Make a Bonfire of Your Reputation (when necessary)…

I think one of the greatest challenges for ALL of us as fitness pros is that on a daily basis we have to build our business around other people’s limitations.  For the most part, we succeed.  People change their lives for the better, and we have a positive impact on those we touch.  But there are always a few people who challenge our patience, our mission, and their own ability to grow and evolve.  And in the end, they make us better coaches.

I’ve written before about one of my biggest frustrations – when those around me justify their limitations. 

Limitations are OK.  We are all human.  But there is nothing worse than a situation where a client attempts to make a case for their negative attributes.  Example: “Well, it’s difficult for me to get motivated to cook for myself because it’s only me at home, and it just seems like a waste of time…”  Heard that one before?

I’ve heard that and so many others I could tell you stories for hours.  But in my new goal to remain positive at ALL times, I will refrain.  I write today on this topic both to share and to process one of my most recent frustrations.  And that’s as far as I’ll take it with you here today and in general.  After all, it’s Sunday, the weather is beautiful and I have a monarch butterfly cage to build, and a World Cup Final to watch.

Until we meet again though, here are a couple parting words…

For clients or prospective clients who might be reading this.  I don’t care that you’re not perfect.  Neither am I.  Ask almost anyone.  The only thing I ask from you is that you bring an open mind to every interaction we have.  That you bring a sense of trust both for me and for the spirit of the work we do together.  Likely, you will not always agree with me or feel all warm and fuzzy toward me.  That makes me a good coach.  But if your mind stays open, you won’t let those thorny interactions prevent you from enjoying the roses.

For my colleagues out there?

Stay true to your mission no matter what.  Don’t be passive, be reasonable and firm, and hold your ground when you need to.  Because if you don’t, no one else will.  And if at all possible, “make a bonfire of your reputation when you need to make your point.”  Goodness knows, the world needs more of that!

…be a fitness nomad

There's Gold in Your Back Yard…

I’m out in my backyard again on a Saturday morning – writing…

This time, there’s a giant new red shed staring right back at me. It’s not mine. I would never plant something so obtuse in my backyard. The new little ‘Red Barn’ (as I’m calling it) belongs to the neighbors behind me. I don’t like it!

That was my first reaction though. Now, I’m trying to embrace it’s presence, because like it or not at the moment, it landed here for a reason. Possibly, my guides decided that it was time my kids learned how to plant some trees, or learn new landscaping techniques. Because there’s no doubt, something will need to be planted to remake the view.

Or, there are other reasons I cannot see yet. And I suppose it’s possible that in the mean time, it makes damn good blog content 🙂 One reason is for sure – I’m listening…

As a fitness business owner, Dad, and Husband, I have much to balance in life. Especially when presented with big challenges like the ones I’ve tackeled in the last few weeks. Most present in my mind today is the experience of having to let a long time trainer go. I’ll share those details another time. For now, it’s important that my focus stays pointed in the right direction almost every minute of the day.

If you’re a fitness business owner, I’m know you can relate to the challenges. I hear regularly from many of you who share the passion.

One of the most important lessons so far, is the fact that as a business owner, you are no longer simply a practitioner of your craft. You are now a “marketer in the business of fitness.” This was an important lesson I learned when studying in the NPE program with Sean Greeley and Eric Ruth. Eric especially drilled this message firmly into my head. And since then, I’ve heard and read it in countless other books written by leading marketing experts.

The problem, of course, is that often, it is extremely difficult to manage my time effectively enough to take care of clients, staff, and my family. When days get long, and staff changes like the one that happened this week present themselves, there is not a lot of time left over in the day to craft effective marketing messages and get them out the door.

You can waste a lot of money in a short amount of time, sending innaffecitve marketing messages to the wrong market, the wrong media and with the wrong message, especially when you’re in too big of a hurry. That is why these headlines you read about promising to double your income in half the time are so compelling. And if you’re working at your business and studying the way I do, you find them everywhere.

I’ve said in the past that this does not mean that the programs behind the headlines are not for you, or that the content and the information is not excellent. Often it is, and as I said, I learned a lot from my work with NPE. The important thing is that you have to remember at all times that your business is YOU and your unique situation, and that any message you model, program you purchase, product you buy for business building, MUST be molded to fit your business, in YOUR market, and through the media that makes sense for YOU.

The most important thing you can do right now is to LISTEN closely to what your current clients are telling you. Because there is pure gold in there, right in your own backyard. And if you’re listening closely enough every day, you won’t even have to dig for it…


If you’re interested, I still have a few spots available for my 30-minute consultation offer.  I promise that this offer will have to come down soon.  I’ll be entrenched over the next few weeks making up for a lost trainer and in working on the new products and services that are comine down the pipeline.  So, if you would like to take me up on my offer, you can use the order form at:

It's Time…

Enough is enough, it’s time to take back my life, my mission, my goals.  It’s time to undue the clutter that has accumulated in my basement and in the back seat of my car.  Time to clean out the lint trap in the furnace and breath fresher air.  Yes, it is time.

If you have read Deepak Chopra you will know that when you’re talking Quantum Physics, time does not exist.  If you don’t believe this try staring down your clock with the second hand for about a minute.   Then turn away for a few seconds and look back at it.  For a brief moment that second hand will stand still, and you will be living in that fiction in the space between moments where everything in life is happening.  That space we all forget about or never even knew existed.  That time and space in our life that has been gobbled up by PacMan, Dilbert, Wal-Mart and gasoline.

The great irony of life is that though in metaphysical theory time does not exist, in life on earth, time is our most precious asset.  Time spent at dinner with my kids attempting to explain the idea of financial education, inflation, and the benefits of saving for a condo they can live in when they go away to college is precious, fleeting, and unbelievably pure.  Like a golden nugget in the sand that washes up on the shore at your feet and greets you like an old friend.  And the time spent writing about it is even more divine.  The trick is in finding it, putting it in your pocket and holding it carefully until you can store it away and build your wealth.

Attention to this small and enormous detail in life is essential to your survival as a human being.  Living at attention cultivates the intention you need to prevent the thief from coming through your back door at night and steeling your existence, one precious minute at a time.  Leaving the door open to let the fresh cool summer night air in is important, but forgetting to lock that door at night while you’re sleeping is disastrous.  All of your valuable assets, including your time will evaporate in the dry night air.  Stars will shine a little brighter as a result, but they will be borrowing from the future, just as you do when you waste your time.  Just as you do when you let your attention slip and your intention fade away into the night one evening at a time until suddenly you realize that you have no time left to give.  Morning has arrived…

You can pretend to care, but you can’t pretend to be there.  To smell the scent of the freshly cut grass.  To hear the sounds of cars rushing by on the highway 3 miles away.  To hear, I mean really hear, the water as it trickles into the bathroom sink off your love’s sweet and succulent lips in her preparation for another good night’s rest with that back door shut tight.  You can’t pretend to hear your children dancing in their dreams as they describe to you their thoughts about what a dollar means to them and about how funny Ace Ventura, Pet Detective really is.  You can’t pretend to listen.  Your children and the people who are talking to you will know.  They will sense your distraction and turn away from you like a sunflower at dusk.

How often have you heard yourself say, “When I have the time, I’ll…”  How many more times do you need to hear yourself say it again before you can hear what is garbling out of your mouth?  A failed attempt to take back your life and manage this precious gold.  How many more times will you miss dinner, a baseball game, a piano recital, a spoonful of laughter at the dinner table?  A taste of heaven at the side of the bed, singing sweet hymns and basking in the shadows of your creation.

No one ever promised there would be no sacrifices.  In fact, sacrifice is religion.  A religion of the discipline it takes to honor this truth.  Gandhi said we must become “the change we want to see in the world.”  I have often looked at this quote with irritability because it sounds so corny when I’m not listening.  Tonight I’m listening so closely that I can hear the universe calling my name.  Asking me to step up and take on the responsibility of the change I want to see in the world.

To some extent, I’ve done that.  I’m a living example of what it means to be fit, healthy, and strong, built with plenty of muscle and plenty of vitality and an undying eagerness to share it with the world and inspire you to build the same.  Yet, suddenly I’ve been called to do more, because now I’m listening…

Suddenly my guides speak into my ears and I can hear them as if they were singing at the pulpit.  They are calling me to “be the change I want to see in the world.”  And that change is the challenge I see presented over and over again for not only myself, but for all of you who have come to do your work with me.  The great challenge of life that forces us to wrestle with that irony I mentioned earlier.  That force that puts us on the mat against an opponent that we would have never considered being strong enough to face and now we are.  That opponent who will only be defeated when we can wrestle him to the mat and ask him carefully how and what we each need to do to find the life balance we need to pin him to the ground and rise up in victory.  A victory that will grant us the freedom to claim everything that is ours.  Everything that belongs to us, especially our time and the balance that comes with this mastery, so that we can accomplish everything we need to to fill our own life’s unique mission.  We all have our own mission to fulfill and until tonight, mine was not yet completely clear.

Stay tuned for big changes that will be important for all of us in considering what we need to do to perform the work at hand, and at the same time, reclaim the work we almost left behind…