This Blog series is going to be used to track all of my business stories, mistakes and lessons. The goal is to educate and hopefully inspire some while also giving myself an outlet to look back on what I've done both good and bad in the business world
Blog 1: The First Steps
I want to clear up a couple things right away:
1) We are not a million-dollar company yet (it’s on my 5-year goal list to accomplish)
2) This is not meant to be a brag post of doing well, its to point out all my past failures to
show you that if I can do it, literally any one can do it!
A little background on myself to show why I think this is true. In college I was a broke and for lack of a better word a “bum” I didn’t value money, business or financial stability. I spent all my time trying to succeed at the highest of levels at two sports. (Spending most of my time training, practicing and looking for the winning edge in the sport) I worked for free in return for training (not to mention the knowledge I gained from the place) What I had left for time I worked a on campus job where my pay check every month at most was $650 dollars and my rent was $550 which left me with about $100 dollars every month for gas and food, which didn’t give me a lot of wiggle room. (Not to mention the student debt that was racking up) I was the guy that had to bum off my roommates, girlfriends and younger freshmen offering meal swipes lol. If you read 7 habits for highly effective people, you’ll realize that this became a source of major withdrawals from the emotional bank account with people. To make it clear, I did not graduate with any money and if it weren’t for the help from people I wouldn’t have been able to afford to live, eat and be a college student (and for them I’ll always be grateful) To add onto this I have never taken a business class and had no experience on where to start.
I mention this all not to say this is the right way at all (all though I do think if you have a goal you should go all in, make the required sacrifices and figure out the rest as you go) I mention this to show you that If I can do it, if I can make it out, start my own business and have the ability to start to be financially free, I really believe anyone can. So, lets dive into how.
I get that question of “how do I do it though” and “what’s the first step” all the time from young entrepreneurs that I’ve been meeting with (trust me the first thing I tell them is I am not expert and that I can only share my experience) and here is how I break it down for them.
1) Figure out who you want to be and why
2) Figure out what you can be the best in the world at
3) Figure out a way to combine 1 and 2
4) Start taking action steps
I’m going to gloss over 1-3 and really dive into #4 for the purpose of this blog just because I believe 1-3 could be a book in and of themselves and it’s a long process to figure them out, just know if they aren’t figured out, #4 will always fall apart or lead you down the wrong path.
Figure out who you want to be and why:
I believe this is so important and it’s a required foundation for anything. If you don’t know who you want to be and why you want to be it, how are you supposed to figure out anything else? This has got to be your foundation and your road map. Struggling with this? Who are 5 people in your life that you really look up to and why? What are the qualities they possess that you adore? Model these qualities and form your who and why. For me I admired people in my life that were leaders and that gave hope to me and others when it was hard to find. I modeled who I was and me why towards this. Who do I want to become and why? Someone that brings the world closer to heaven by providing light and growth for individuals to help them become the best versions of themselves.
Figure out what you can be the best in the world at:
I listed “what you can be the best in the world at” rather than “what you enjoy” because I believe you have to have some talent at your future career path. However to be the best in the world at something, you have to enjoy it (otherwise you wouldn’t practice it and hone in on the skills that make you really good at said skill) So it’s a two part thing, you have some natural talent at this skill and you really enjoy it. How do you figure this out for yourself? It seems simple, but, listen and look. What are people complimenting you on? What do you succeed at? What do you enjoy doing? If every time you make dinner for someone you go into a flow state and the person eating your meals dies over how good it was, maybe this is something you want to pursue. Being in the moment is key for this. How did I figure it out personally? How did I know I could become the best in the world at Coaching and owning a Gym? Well personally I loved athletics and was good because of this love for it, so I knew I wanted to do something in athletics. I also realized deep within me I had a passion to become a leader and have grown these skills through sports and life. I also loved communicating with people on a deeper level (even though I was terrible at it) These things all led me to realizing I had the talents and passion to become the best in the world at something in athletics, leading or communication. This again isn’t meant to be a brag, I’m terrible at a lot of things and need to work on the things I have natural talents in. For example, communication is a natural talent I believe I have that I didn’t work on for the longest time, so I became a one-sided communicator. But its being realistic with your skill sets and how you think you can transition them to the world around you.
Figure out how to combine these two things:
So how do I combine who I wanted to become with what I was good at? For me it was a pretty direct link, I wanted to positively affect the world by helping people become the best versions of themselves. I have a passion and natural talents to be the best at being a leader and communicator in athletics. Combining these two things lead me to my path in life of becoming a Coach and business owner with the goal of leading and helping others become the best version of themselves.
Taking Action Steps to Doing This:
Now into the meat and potatoes of this, I have figured out what and who I wanted to become, now the #1 question I get is “How” I wanted to become a coach and gym owner but had a couple problems:
1) I had no Clients
2) I had no money
3) Because of 1 and 2 I had no gym or business
These seem like pretty glaring problems for someone wanting to start and open a gym
and a business! But again, referring back to 7 habits for highly effective people “How can I become a problem solver not a problem finder” What it really all came down to was I had no brand, no community and no trust built up. I needed to build all of these things while solving the above three business problems.
Now that we had these problems identified let’s dive into how to fix them.
1) We had no Clients
I realized quickly that if I continued to not have any clients that this cycle would just continue, and I’d stay stuck. SO, I GOT CLIENTS. (The business advice I give is game changing) but its true, sometimes you just have to do. I found 3 guys that knew of me from my playing days and offered to train them for free. I didn’t have a gym to put these clients anywhere, so I snuck in gyms and unto fields to train them. (Wouldn’t recommend this for legal purposes but sometimes you have to make things happen) These 3 clients I trained turned into 8 by the end of the summer. So, we attacked one problem. We got clients. 8 doesn’t seem like a lot but it’s a hell of a lot better than 0. So, lets attack our next problem.
2) We had no Money
We still had no money. So, you know what the next game changing business thing I did? I GOT MONEY. I worked a low ranking job because it paid me money, that I was able to put away for the business and it provided me an excellent opportunity to grow as a coach.(Free housing was included) One thing I want to mention here was that sometimes you have to take a step back to take a bunch of steps forward. This job took up a ton of my time, which didn’t allow me to train the 8 clients I had built up during the summer. So, boom back to problem 1. However, while I was at this job I worked on a solution to this problem. I had no time to train these clients during the day when they were free to train, but I could still provide value through online programming. BOOM! Our online business was started and it’s what changed everything. I realized this can have a much greater impact than just the people I have in person contact with. So, I built up a social media following, I put out content, I built trust and put my message out there. It allowed me to grow my business, it allowed me to save up money for the end goal, it allowed me to help others better themselves. Yes, it was 90-hour weeks to get it started, yes it was tough, but it’s what needed to be done. Jordan Peterson talks about how you need to sacrifice the goods now for the salvation of later and I truly believe that, nothing good or worthy ever just happens.
3. We had no gym
This growth of the business and individuals lead to some momentum to get the job I’m currently at. This job again has allowed me to increase my reach of my business, grow my talents as a coach and put away more money. All this momentum, effort and currency added up and finally led to solving our third problem. We opened a gym! The 90-hour weeks, the 4 hours of sleep a night and the blood, sweat and tears all added up to the grand opening of the most beautiful 500 Sq. Ft space you’ll ever see. Yep you heard that right, 1 year of 90-hour work weeks, 1 year of struggle, grinding, wanting to quit, for 500 sq. ft of space. People might scoff at that, but its how the growth works. Taking steps forward of solving our problems now, rather than thinking and wasting time for that perfect facility. This space will allow us to continue that momentum of growth. It’s a step forward that’ll allow us to impact more peoples lives and in time open our dream facility, rather than sit around and in a year but in the same spot with the same problems.
Take Home Message:
”Success doesn’t just happen, winners don’t just win, an overnight success is 5 years of work in the dark you didn’t see.” Take those steps forward in your business and in your life. That’s the single biggest message I can give you. Once you realize you are on the right path, you have established keys 1-3, Step 4 is all about action. Doesn’t mean this action will take off right away, just because you do something doesn’t mean you have earned anything. But eventually you’ll start to see the momentum roll. When I started the online programming, I had no idea what I was doing, and it showed. But I did it and I grew.
My online programs sucked at first, the layout was hard to print out, there were no videos demonstrating what to do and it looked sloppy. This showed in how many clients I had on online programs (3 at the time) I got out what I put in. When I started to attack these weaknesses, momentum started to grow. I fixed the format and I got more clients that week. I added exercise videos to the programs, and I got more clients that week. I listened to what clients wanted and added in goal sheets and diet sheets. All these things led to the point of where the online programming is today and its why the online portion of the business has been successful. Step forward, step forward, step forward. Lay that brick every single day and eventually you’ll have a foundation built.
Hopefully you found some value from this post. I plan on continuing to make this a series of blogs tracking all the progress and failures of the business. Hopefully to inspire and to hold myself accountable and on track. If you have any questions you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.