27 May Everything I Need to Know About Business I Learned In The Gym
By Eric Bach
You learn more in the gym than just how to add muscle. Along with the physical transformation, you learn how to transform your mindset about what you can achieve professionally.
You add mental muscle and resilience.
I’ve been an iron junkie since I was 13 years. I wanted to add muscle to my feeble 103-pound frame for football. And, yes, there was also another reason: I wanted to impress the ladies.
Eighty pounds and 17 years later, I’ve gone from skinny runt to author and sought-after trainer working with athletes and executives.
In parallel, I’ve started three business: my online fitness coaching business, my business mentorship program for trainers, and a new venture completely outside the fitness industry that draws on the sales and marketing skills I’ve mastered.
Here’s what I’ve discovered:
The discipline, laserlike focus, and willpower you use to transform your body serve you well in succeeding in business.
Here are the eight things I’ve learned about what building your body has in common with building your business.
1.What You DON’T Do Determines What You Can Do
There is a staggering amount of information out there on training and nutrition. The same holds true for building any kind of business.
So you don’t need more information. You need more focus.
Start by eliminating conflicting sources of information that will just overwhelm you. Read less and do more.
Whether in the gym or on in business, formulate a plan and stick to it.
Execute with excellence.
Get in your sets and reps. There are no shortcuts.
Don’t be a program-hopper. It never works.
Overwhelmed? Stop following so many different people. Stop taking advice from 87 different sources.Follow ONE…
When it comes to fitness, follow one expert who resonates with you. Dig deep and truly understand their method. Buy their programs and do them to completion.
Apply the same focus to business. Pick one program, one funnel, one social media platform, and nail them one at a time.
Only move to a new area, goal, method, or create a new product once you’ve mastered what’s in front of you. But this all begins with eliminating the noise so you can focus.
2. No One Cares About You
All those buff half-naked studs and sweaty meatheads grunting and smashing weights can make for an intimidating environment.
You look around and feel like you don’t measure up. Everyone seems more advanced than you. But as Theodore Roosevelt once said: “Comparison is the thief of joy.”
Whether you’re a seasoned vet or just getting started, you have to remember everyone was a beginner at one point. They’ve all walked in your shoes. They had the same doubts, insecurities, and struggles you’re experiencing now.
The same dynamics exist in business. When I started blogging, I was terrified of hitting publish, figuring I’d get criticized left and right by my boss and coworkers.
It turns out the opposite was true. They reached out and said: “Congrats, it’s great to see what you’re doing. I wish I could do the same.”
We all tend to think our every action is being examined with a microscope and being criticized by others. Not so. Almost no one cares what you do. They have their own problems.
The truth is, we’re all just trying to figure shit out as we go. Do you. Focus on the process and improve daily. Sure, some haters may pop up, but they’re the minority, not the majority. (More often than not, their criticisms are more about their insecurities than anything you’re doing, anyway.)
3. Consistency is More Important Than Perfection.
Tell me if this sounds familiar. You’ve decided now is the time to get in shape. You’re going to follow a specific diet, workout five times per week, and turn off Netflix so you can get your needed sleep.
You crush it for a week, or heck, a month.
Then work gets in the way. So do family obligations and social engagements. They leave you exhausted with little willpower and time to focus on you” Voila, you’ve fallen off the wagon (again) and are back at square one with fitness.
The key to transforming your body over the long term isn’t having a plan created for the perfect time. It’s about having a plan you can stick with long term.
The inability to adapt and stay consistent (not a lack of information or “drive”) is the reason most people fail.
The same troubles brew in business. Your new marketing strategy or sales funnel will never be perfect. If you continuously chase perfection, you’ll never get anything accomplished.
Which is not to say you should just “take it easy” or release an inferior product. I’m saying: “Do great work, then course correct as needed.”
You can slow down in the gym and have an imperfect product, but you can’t “stop” or never start in the first place. We learn, grow, and adapt through action. Over the long term, consistent effort is what separates the best bodies and businesses from the crowd.
4. Sometimes Bad Shit Happens. It’s How You Deal With It That Matters.
I ran track as a senior in high school to prepare for college football. For a white dude in northern Wisconsin, I was okay. But everything changed when I tore a hamstring in the state semi-finals for a 100-meter race.
I was devastated. Still, I rehabbed all summer and was ready for Fall camp. I tested well and ran well. But ten days later, history repeated itself. My hamstring frayed like an old rope, and my football aspirations fizzled.
I could have kept going, but the injury presented me with another opportunity: to go all in and learn the ins and outs of strength and conditioning, getting experience early. What felt like the end of the world ended up being instrumental to my success as a coach.
A few years later, right after I had decided to go all in on my online business, a fraudulent account stole roughly 50k in tax payments meant for the IRS, causing an incredible amount of financial and heck, marital stress. I tell the full story here
The bottom line is: bad things happen.
I hope you never have to deal with either scenario or anything worse. But should an unfortunate situation arise, choose to use it. You can either let it define you, or use it as motivation and a chance to improve.
5. Hone One Skill At A Time
An old saying goes: “If you chase two rabbits, you’ll catch none. “
If you train to run a marathon, build muscle, and powerlift at the same time, you’ll end up working your ass off with nothing to show for it.
Fat loss requires a caloric deficit. Building muscle requires a caloric surplus. So chasing two opposing goals won’t work out too well. In fitness, you’ll get results exponentially faster pursuing one goal, doing it to completion, then moving to the next.
You need the same focus in business. With my online business, I need a few pillar skills:
Writing: Content writing and copywriting.
Sales: Hey, it’s a business. You need to sell your product to make an impact.
Deliver a Killer Product: Without this, nothing matters. No amount of slick marketing will make up for a bad product.
Systems and Processes: You need to systematize delivery, scale, and have quality control.
Most entrepreneurs take a shotgun approach to improvement. They try to improve all areas at once and end up feeling overwhelmed.
A better option is to take a sniper’s approach, shooting for one precise target at a time. You’ll make marked improvements and stay motivated to push through initial struggles.
I like to break my self-improvement into quarters. In the first quarter of the year, I may go deep into copywriting, focusing on getting coaching and reading books on improving as a writer.
In fitness and business, go an inch wide and a mile deep. You’ll learn more, grow more, and succeed faster.
6. If You Want More, Do More.
Lost in the world of “hacks and secrets” is a simple truth: if you want more, you’re going to have to do more.
In fitness and business, you must be willing to make sacrifices the “average” person isn’t ready to make if you want exceptional results.
In fitness, you’ll need to train harder, longer, and say “no” to a night out on occasion. In business, you may need to get up earlier and sacrifice sleep or date night.
You may need to invest, get a loan, and take a risk. For some strange reason, many would-be fitness entrepreneurs seem to think they can launch online businesses without spending any money at all. They hesitate to invest a few hundred dollars in software or a website and say the “can’t afford” $2,000 for a course that would provide them with the very skills they need to succeed.
In the end, the choice is yours. It’s up to you to decide what you want, what sacrifices you’ll make, and ultimately, where you choose to be great.
7. Play The Long Game.
Crash diets and crazy “photo-shoot ready” routines can help you get dramatic results in the short term. Take this picture for example:
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I fucking hate how I look in picture 😣. I put in an incredible amount of work to get into into tip top shape in under six weeks. ⠀ But holy shit, I needed Zebra cakes and a pedialyte. I’m ripped, but I looked and felt like I could be cast on the living dead. ⠀ The beauty of this picture is, it shows the side of #fitspiration and exposes the bullshit most will never talk about. ⠀ The highlight reels? ⠀ Photoshoots? ⠀ That shit doesn’t last. – It’s an aggressive, incredible stressful short-term ATTACK to get as lean as possible. It’s an incredible experience to push your body this hard, but it’s not safe, maintainable, practical, or what you should compare yourself to on a regular basis. – ➡️➡️As an example, I did my bloodwork after this shoot and again this week. My TESTOSTERONE was 423 compared to my normal levels around 790 (where I am now). ⠀ So, the striations and ripped physique you see❓That stuff lasts hours, days at most before your body reverts to a semi-normal state. What you see on the outside doesn’t show a clear picture of health, performance, or longevity. ⠀ Use this as a simple reminder not to compare your shitty days to someones highlight reel. Chances are, they feel like shit during the highlight reel, it’s short lived, and had months of preparation going into it. And in most cases? It takes weeks (or months) to bring health back to normal levels. ⠀ Want to know more about the process (or some of the B.S.) most wont talk about? Ask away. ⠀ I’m an open book. ✌️ -Eric #fitspirationexposed 📷 @kaylatrainsandshoots
After following an aggressive fat loss diet and pre-shoot hydration strategy, I was shredded, not to mention ravenously hungry.
You might also notice I don’t look very happy. Here’s what you don’t see. My blood biomarkers for organ stress were all elevated, and my testosterone levels withered like a raisin. As a reference, my testosterone levels were down to about 400, the equivalent to a 60+-year-old compared to my normal levels of 800
Had I stayed the path, I would have done long-term damage to my health and hormones. The lesson? Despite how they’re marketed to you, challenges, tweaks, and aggressive fitness plans must remain short term.
Only take on aggressive, short term plans with professional help and a plan to return to sustainability. If you rely on them or stick to them too long, you’ll run into long-term issues.
The same lesson applies to business, especially those who sell out for a quick buck or rely on constant sales and challenges to generate business.
Sure, a short term sale can improve cash flow, but it can’t be the lifeblood of your business. If you make a habit of discounting your services, people will wait until the next discount. You’ll become the Groupon version of your industry, rather than the Apple.
Another example would be the “influencer” crowd.
Popular media personalities attach themselves to any brand willing to dole out a 30% discount code on form-fitting tights or protein supplements so they can pay their bills.
But as we often see, companies go bust whether it’s due to poor management or something more sinister, like lying about their product. When you attach your brand to another (or 20), you’re now linked to any bad stuff your partner does.
Choose wisely. Play the long game. Protect your name and your integrity. Much like you need a long-term focus on transforming your body, you need a long -term plan for creating a sustainable business.
8. No One Succeeds Alone
You can learn from a trusted expert who can help you avoid the biggest mistakes, hold you accountable, and provide the roadmap to success.
Or you can take exponentially longer to (maybe) figure it out for yourself.
In fitness and business, time is your biggest asset. A quality coach will help you get better results in a fraction of the time. More importantly, a mentor will expand your network and give you the accountability to stay the path, helping you when times are tough.
There’s no right or wrong way for everyone, nor a perfect coach for everyone. But if you want to make the most of your efforts, a trusted mentor is a gamechanger.
Maybe you’re thinking of starting an online coaching business to supplement your in-person training. But you’re stuck at square one because you secretly doubt how effective online training really is.
Let’s talk about how you can get out of that damaging mindset once and for…one on one.
My business partner Daniel Freedman has a few openings for 15-minute discovery calls. This is NOT a sales call. It’s just a way of pointing you in the right direction to get beyond self-limiting beliefs.
There is no charge.