If you’re not familiar with my story, the truth is I didn’t always want to have a career in the fitness industry. But after I decided to write a book to help people learn from my own mistakes in the gym, things started snowballing.
Not only have I sold nearly 2 million books, but I started my own sports nutrition company, Legion, which has since become an 8 figure business with over 250,000 customers worldwide.
If you’re interested in hearing more about my backstory and the beginnings and founding of Legion, you’re going to love this podcast, which is actually an interview from The More Than Fitness Podcast with Matt McLeod.
In his podcast, Matt interviews some of the brightest stars in the fields of fitness, business, and self-development, with the goal of maximizing life both in and outside of the gym.
So, I was happy to oblige when Matt asked to have a conversation with me. In this episode, Matt asks me all about the history of Legion and my background as a do-er of “fitness things,” including . . .
- How I got into the fitness industry and why I started writing
- The origins of Bigger Leaner Stronger
- Why I started making supplements
- How I make business decisions
- How and why I continue to learn
- And more . . .
So, if you’re interested in hearing how it all started, and maybe pick up some “inside baseball” tips, tune in and let me know what you think!
5:03 – When you meet someone for the first time what do you tell them you do for work?
6:10 – When you first started, how intentional was all of this? Did it slowly evolve or did you have a big master plan?
32:00 – How do you decide what is and isn’t worth doing?
54:14 – What drives you to keep learning?
Mentioned on The Show:
What did you think of this episode? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!
Hello, friend. Welcome to another episode of MFL with M. Thank you for joining me today and giving me the opportunity to penetrate your skull with some sound waves. Now, why should you grant me such a privilege and such an honor? In today’s episode, I talk about my absolute favorite topic myself. No, I’m kidding.
I actually do talk about myself and my origin story, so to speak, but not because I want you to know how cool I am. More because I am often asked about how I got into the fitness industry and what has worked, what has not worked, what hard lessons have I learned along the way? What things do I wish I would’ve known?
Back when I started that I know now, and in case you are not familiar with what I’ve done. Again, not to brag, but just to give you some context here. When I got into the fitness industry back in 2012, I had no connections. I had no obvious advantages or opportunities. I self-published a book called Bigger, Leaner, Stronger, and it was a minimum viable product.
The simple book, I wish somebody would’ve just given me back when I was 17 or 18. And fast forward to today, I’ve. Written several best selling books, fitness books, and I’ve sold nearly 2 million of those books as a self-published author. And I started a sports nutrition company called Legion Back in 2014 that now is doing eight figures a year in sales.
And I’ve built a bit of a following and a name for myself in the industry. And so I am often asked about the story, how did that happen? Especially with an eye to practical takeaways and things that people who want to maybe follow in my footsteps in some regard can use to get ahead faster. And that’s why I’m sharing this.
- Because in it I talk about the story, which many of you probably know at least the outline of, I basically just gave it to you, but we also, we being me and the host, his name is Matt, and he had me on his podcast, The More Than Fitness podcast. And so Matt and I get into not just the background, but also some of the valuable teachings I have picked up along the way, and how they have informed how I go about things now, how I go about making business decisions, how I go about.
Continuing to learn and why I do it the way I do it, and how I go about weighing the opportunity cost of personally getting involved in projects and pursuing things versus other things. And so if you are interested in hearing some of the inside baseball of how Mike Matthews does Mike Matthews and how Legion does Legion, then I think you’re gonna this episode.
Also, if you like what I’m doing here on the podcast and elsewhere, definitely check out my health and fitness books, including the number one best selling weightlifting books for men and women in the world, Bigger, leaner, stronger, and thinner. Leaner, stronger, as well as the leading flexible dieting cookbook, the shredded.
Now these books have sold well over 1 million copies and have helped thousands of people build their best body ever. And you can find them on all major online retailers like Audible, Amazon, iTunes, Cobo, and Google Play, as well as in select Barnes and Noble stores. And I should also mention that you can get any of the audio books 100% free when you sign up for an Audible account.
And this is a great way to make those pockets of downtime like commuting, meal prepping, and cleaning more interesting, entertaining, and productive. And so if you want to take Audible up on this offer, and if you want to get one of my audiobooks for free, just go to www.by Legion, that’s b y legion.com/audible and sign up for your account.
So again, if you appreciate my work and if you wanna see more of it, and if you wanna. Time proven and evidence-based strategies for losing fat, building muscle, and getting healthy, and strategies that work for anyone and everyone, regardless of age or circumstances, please do consider picking up one of my best selling books, Bigger, Leaner, Stronger for Men, Thinner, Leaner, Stronger for Women, and the Shredded Chef for my favorite fitness friendly recipe.
How you doing man? You doing good? Yeah. Yeah. Just staying busy, yeah, of course. I appreciate you doing this. I know you’re super busy. I know you have no idea who the hell I am, and to take an hour out of your day to come and do this, it means a lot and I think a lot of my listeners and think they look up to you as well just as I do.
Yeah, thank you man, for doing it. I appreciate it. Absolutely, man. I’m flattered. Thanks for the opportunity. For sure. Whenever someone. A laundry list of achievements and things like you do. So you have multiple books you’ve got your podcast going, you’ve had the blog for a long time, and then of course you’re the founder of Legion Athletics, the supplement company.
Whenever you meet someone for the first time, whether it’s at a bar or wherever, what is your answer? What do you tell them that you do? ? That’s a funny question. I have an answer for this. It is, I just say I do fitness things. I’m like, eh, I’m primarily an author, I guess I have some books that are popular and I have a supplement company and an app and other things.
So fitness stuff. And they’re like, Oh, okay, cool. And so sometimes you’ll be like, Oh, so is that like your full-time thing? Yeah. Yeah. That’s a full-time job. Yeah. Yeah. No, it’s funny cuz I always have some people that give, it depends on if they want to continue the conversation with people, so they either give one answer or the other.
So yeah, that’s funny. Fitness things that takes care of about everything that you. Yeah, I don’t give a shit. I’m not trying to impress anybody. And it actually, if somebody is less interested in talking to me, because it sounds like, Oh, I’m not doing them of fitness things. Oh, he’s like a trainer or something.
Oh, so you’re a personal trainer. As if that’s a job to look down on. I probably don’t wanna talk to that person anyway. So I think it works out. Yeah, that makes sense. That makes sense. And I think the question to go from there is, I’m always curious on. Because obviously you’ve done so many things.
How intentional was this from the beginning? Did this evolve over time or was this like in the beginning? Cause I know you’re a fan of planning three to five year plans, things like that. Take it back to the beginning. Was this all part of your own master plan or something? Initially? No. It was, I just got a wild hair, wanted to write a book, and at that time, Amazon’s Kindle Publishing platform, their self-publishing platform was getting a lot of media attention because there was a guy named John Locke.
He was the first guy to sell a million eBooks on their platform, and he had a cool story. It made for good publicity. He had made a bunch of money in insurance. I think he built up two companies and then sold them. So he built up an insurance company like selling insurance. Then he sold that and he did it again and sold that.
And then he had enough money where like he didn’t have to work for money anymore. And what he had always wanted to do was write. I haven’t read any of his stuff ironically, but. I know they’re, it’s just like fun sex, violence novels geared toward women. And that’s just what he wanted to do.
So he starts writing these books and because he didn’t care about making money, he put ’em up for sale for 99 cents, which at the time was novel. Like you didn’t really see that novels for , it’s is a novel way to sell novels. EBooks at that time were, if I remember correctly, were even more expensive on average than they are now.
And that’s still a point of contention. A lot of people don’t wanna pay $15 for an ebook. They will gladly pay $25 for the hard copy, but $15 for the ebook, the perceived value is just so much lower that they just don’t wanna do it. So at the time, again, if I remember, cause there was a legal battle over this with Amazon and I think they even excluded some big publishers, all of their stuff for a bit.
Anyway, so this lock guy was like, Eh, I’ll just use that as my irresistible offer, so to speak. It’s 99 cents. And also, Kindle, I think you have two weeks to refund a Kindle book if you don’t. So there’s actually no risk. Anyway. A lot of people don’t know that though. So however, he puts his books up for 99 cents.
And I believe, I think I looked into this data recently almost certain that women read a lot more than men on average, right? And so that was a smart marketing angle too. In general, I would say business advice. If you have the option of doing something for women or for men, women, every time, right?
Women drive 70% of consumer spending. It is so much easier to sell stuff to women and not because they’re easier to manipulate or anything like that. It’s just women are the consumers of our. Society and it’s not a criticism, it’s just a fact, right? So he writes these books and lows up and turns into this whole thing.
And at that time, so I had gotten into pretty good shape for the first time, right? So I had a bit of muscle from working out, not knowing what I was doing for six or seven years. Then I had learned more of what I should be doing. I got pretty lean and a buddy of mine was like, You should just take your shirt off, go on YouTube and just sell stuff and good advice.
Good advice. Yeah. Yeah. I was just like, I can’t do that. I have some dignity. I can’t do that. What age is this? Sorry to cut you off. What age is this? This is 2012, so nine years ago, eight years ago or so, and I’m 36, so yeah. Late twenties, and I was like, I can’t do that. But then I heard about this Kindle thing and I was like, Okay, that’s something I’m interested in.
I am interested in writing. I, at that time was, I guess you could say it was almost like a specialty publishing business, so I was creating employee training programs for companies. I worked in a different number of different industries. Toward the end was focusing on healthcare, so creating employee training programs for like dentists and their offices.
Not just, not how to do dentistry, but okay, you’ve hired a receptionist. How do you train her to do a good job? Got it. Was this kinda your first career, like after did you go to, did you go college and things and then go. Okay. You didn’t go to college, so this was your first major career.
Yeah, and that, and there’s a story as to why I didn’t go to college and how I got there. But but anyways at that time I already was used to writing how to stuff and practical stuff. And I liked writing and I liked reading. So I was like, All right, that’s something that interests me. I’m gonna write a simple book on training and diet, something I wish that someone would’ve just given me back when I was like 18, and it would’ve just saved me a bunch of time and I would’ve gotten a lot further, a lot faster.
And that was bigger than you? Stronger, and so the first edition of it was a minimum viable product. It was I don’t know, maybe, I don’t even think it was 80,000 words. It was probably, I would guess 60,000 words or so, which is on the short end for a book. There wasn’t much marketing sizzle there.
It was mostly just steak. It was mostly just, this is how it works and it doesn’t, I’m not asking you to make a big leap of faith, just do it in within a month. You’ll know it works. So it’s literally that simple. And this was just a hobby for you, you were just, I’m gonna write a book on Kendall. Yeah.
Amazing. . So I published that January, 2012, and I was not in the fitness industry, so I had no, and I didn’t bother going through an agent and trying to get a book deal because I know that’s even more the case now than then. That it’s very hard to get a book deal if you aren’t established in some way.
If you don’t at least have a following for something. At that time, I was just some dude who wrote a fitness book. Yeah, cool. Whatever. So I just self-published it and I think in the first month it sold like 20 copies and I thought that was pretty cool, actually. I thought it was like a coin cost between zero copies sold and any copies sold.
Right. . Yeah. And so 20 I was like, Shit, 20 people bought my book. That’s neat. People liked it. And the key to selling a lot of books is word of mouth. No matter how good you are with your market, You can have a great title, you can have a great cover, you can have great copy. But ultimately, if the book is going to do very well, it has to be a book that generates word of mouth and so bigger, leaner, stronger.
It is a great title. Just factually . Yeah, but I’m biased, but it is because that’s, that summarizes why any of us guys go to the gym right there anyway And the original cover was actually ugly and bad. I think it’s okay now, but the book then by the end of 2012 was selling several thousand copies per month.
And that was with me doing nothing. And that was really, I was mostly just working on my other stuff, I was answering some emails every day. Cause I put an email address in there and I was like, Hey, if you have any questions, shoot me an email. And so I was getting more and more emails, people telling me I like the book, it was getting reviews, whatever.
So by the end of 2012, I saw there was an opportunity to do more with. Fitness, but I wasn’t sure. I actually wanted to, because although I liked reading and I liked writing, and I liked fitness personally, and I liked what it could do for other people. There was a lot that I didn’t like about the fitness industry, and also I think it’s unhealthy to become too well.
This is not, I think it just factually is unhealthy to become too obsessed with your body, with how you look, especially how you look, but even your health, you, if you get too neurotic about preserving your health, that actually can turn into like real problems, eating disorders and other things.
Obviously the fitness space has a lot of that, and that’s a complete turnoff to me as an individual. So I was conflicted and initially I was thinking, all right, what I would rather do actually is just take what I’ve learned about how to sell books and start a publishing company. And I’ll publish, I’ll write myself and I’ll probably write some more fitness stuff, but I also will write about other things that I’m interested in.
And I would just use pen names to make sure that it’s like from a marketing perspective, okay, if Mike Matthews is fitness, it’d be a bit random If Mike Matthews is also I have a book on the Bill of Rights, Like that’s very random. You know what I mean? Alright, I’ll just make a pen name for that and put my other stuff over here.
And obviously I don’t hide that from people, but that’s just a simple, it’s just a marketing tactic that makes it clear to the consumer, like what is. Mike Matthews guy about, oh, it’s all fitness. Oh, and I have a pen named Sean Patrick who did a couple names in my extended family, just grab them, whatever.
Didn’t put that much thought into it, to be fair. And that’s the other stuff, right? And so that I actually started going in that direction. Cause I’m not an extremely money motivated person. Yeah, I like to make money as much as the next person. And money is great and not having financial problems is great.
And ultimately getting to financial independence is a great goal just for utilitarian reasons. But money is not the number one factor in a lot of my lifestyle and business decisions. And so I was pursuing the publishing thing and came up with a name for the company and started to put the plan together and even a website and stuff and what I wanted to do and then, In thinking about it, talked myself out of that and into fitness because it was a bigger opportunity and I knew I could make a big impact in people’s lives, like very directly.
Not that I couldn’t with the publishing company, but it remained to be seen. I don’t know, like it, it depended on what type of stuff I was going to be publishing and how it was gonna go. I already had something over here that was gaining a lot of momentum and I know exactly the impact that I can have in people’s lives if I just help get them in better shape.
And then it is a much bigger game in terms of the financial upside. So that is a factor as well. And so I went in the other direction and wrote more books. So I wrote a book for women. Cause a lot of women were reading bigger Leaders Stronger. And then they were correctly recognizing like it sounds like a lot of this is applicable to me, like the principles are applicable to me.
I don’t wanna be bigger. How you explain dieting and energy balance or macronutrients. So it sounds like that is exactly the same for me at least in terms of the underlying machinery as guys. And then on the training side of things, they would often ask about the programming. So like basically saying it has a lot of upper body volume has, could I flip this around?
Could we have like less upper body and more lower body basically. And so I took the book then and modified it for women as much as I could. Pulled out a lot of examples that were specifically with men, turned them into female examples, put some other female only information in the book. Changed the training program to more align with your average woman’s goals.
And then did that and did a cookbook. And so started doing more books. And then I launched a website in, I wanna say March of 2013 called Muscle for Life. So that was Muscle for life.com. It was really just a glorified blog. I just started writing articles and I linked to my books and here’s my stuff, right?
But at that time there was nothing else for sale. What I did do though is I put up a section on the website that I think I just called recommendations because I would, I was starting to get asked for recommendations for all kinds of things, like supplements of course, and things related to fitness, but also just random things like I would talk about books that I’ve read and that I like.
So people would start asking me for book recommendations, would ask me for workout, like gear recommendations would ask me, even for just like jeans, they’d see like a picture on Instagram, what jeans are those? Whatever, right? And so I started putting up just stuff I like, right? And I would link out to Amazon and I was participating in their affiliate program.
Not cause I cared about the money, it never made that much money, but I was just curious if people cared enough to about my recommendations to buy something, right? And so I saw that people were buying a lot of supplements through my recommendations. And my recommendations were super lukewarm. Like I remember for a pre-workout I was using at the time, I think it was On’s pre-workout, and my recommendation was like along the lines of.
This isn’t a very good product and I just don’t like coffee. I do now, but at the time I didn’t like coffee and I was like, Sometimes I’ll use a caffeine pill. Sometimes this, because it does have a little bit of citraline, about half of the amount you want, about half the bit of aine that you want, but maybe it’s better than nothing.
That’s why I use it, but Right. You could also just use a caffeine pill probably, and that’s most of what you’re gonna get out of it anyway. Or you could drink some coffee, right? Yeah. Protein powder. I remember I was like, all on. Again, it’s cheap and it has been independently verified many times.
They’re not me spiking, They’re not cutting corners. It tastes like shit, but whatever. Basically I was like, That’s it, that’s why I use it. It’s convenient. Yeah. Yeah. And so with endorsements like those, which are hardly even recommendations, it’s like the antithesis of selling. I still was generating a lot of sales.
People were buying a lot of protein powder through my links. They were clicking and Amazon’s cookies only last for 24 hours, so it’s like a click and a buy. That’s it. So after seeing a lot of that, I was like, Oh, that’s interesting. So then what if I just made the products? I like, what if I just made stuff that kinda just scratched my own itch, similar to bigger than stronger, write the book that I wanted back when I was 18 or whatever. And what if I just made the supplements I really want? And if somebody else that time would’ve been making them, I probably wouldn’t have done it. I probably would’ve just went to them. And because something to consider with and this is more along the lines of I guess entrepreneurialism and business running is to make a hundred thousand dollars a year with a business, how much revenue do you have to generate?
Now your average business is, depending on if it’s a service based business, the profit margins can be a bit higher, could be, I don’t know, maybe anywhere 20 to even 40%. But if you’re selling a thing and you’re running your business at 10 to 15% profitability, meaning that at the end of the day, 10 to 15% of the money is left over for you, the owner or reinvesting or whatever, then you’re doing a pretty good job actually.
And if you’re up around 20%, you’re doing a fantastic job. If we’re just looking at profitability, how you’re getting there, you might be doing unethical things, to get there, like just lying to people about the actual quality of your products, for example. But as far as profitability goes, you’re doing a pretty good job and.
To make a hundred thousand dollars a year. I think it’s fair to say if you’re gonna sell something, you’re probably gonna have to have a business generating at least a million dollars a year in sales, probably more, because you can’t, as an owner, take every dollar of profit out of your business and continue to grow it usually, and so maybe it’s more like a million and a half or 1,000,002 or something like that.
All right. Now how many businesses get there? Very few. Like just go look at the SBA numbers, right? Most businesses are gone within their first five years, so it’s a small percentage of businesses that ever even get to a. Maybe or 1,000,005 a year in sales. And that’s to make a hundred thousand dollars a year, which is good money for sure.
But there are much easier ways to make a hundred thousand dollars a year than owning a business. Yeah. Less headaches for sure. Absolutely right. Especially if you have a commercially viable skill, like for example, to make it in business, and this is almost gonna be always the case. You have to be good at selling.
It could be one to one selling, it could be one to masses selling. That’s marketing, advertising, copywriting, direct marketing. And if you’re good at that, if you’re truly good at that, if you’re good enough to build a seven figure business, then you could probably. Just go get paid more money, more than a hundred thousand dollars a year doing it for somebody else.
So my point with saying all that is there’s some calculus to consider before starting a supplement business. For example. This is something I get asked a lot about, and you see a lot of influencers just launching their own supplements lines, and I know details of several of these businesses, and they don’t do it nearly as well as you might think when it’s all said and done.
And there’s a lot of extra headache that comes with owning a business. And what I would say to these people, I’d say once you have a line, it’s a bit random to no longer have a line and promote something else. But something they should have considered initially is how much money could they get paid to just promote somebody else’s stuff.
Like for example, I won’t say who. I know one guy who’s one. Key players in a brand. He’s one of their big promoters. Makes them a lot of money. I know as of a couple of years ago, he was getting paid a hundred thousand dollars a month to promote those supplements. A hundred thousand dollars a month, no expenses.
That’s net, that’s bottom line. You know what I mean? And so to make a hundred thousand a month as an individual, as a business owner, Now you, you need a established business. You need a business that’s doing I would say probably 15 million a year in sales and at least, let’s say 10 to 15 million a year sales.
And okay, now look at what does it take to get to that? And yeah, good luck. Exactly. Now it can be done, of course Legion is much bigger than that, but the likelihood of it happening is very low. And so you better have a very good strategy and a very good reason to believe that you can get there.
If you could also, if you could just skip that and be like, No, I’ll just go over here and I’m guaranteed to get the money and I don’t have to worry about anything. I like what’s payroll? I don’t know. I just get paid. The checks don’t bounce. That’s it. Anyways, that’s just a tangent for anybody that, Cause I do get asked fairly often about starting a supplement business or get people who are influencers and who are in a position where they know they, if they go this way, they can just get paid to promote.
But it feels more prestigious and it’s more of an ego driven thing to go the other way and have your own business. Yes, in many cases, I would say the smarter decision is fuck the business. Just promote stuff you believe in and you like, of course, you don’t have to just chill anything. You don’t have to sell out, Find stuff you like that you can make good money with and it’s much easier.
And then you’re able to focus on what you are good at, which is what got you to the position in the first place. And so in my case, however, the reason why I didn’t do that is it just didn’t exist. There was no company creating stuff that I really could get behind. And so that was more the driving factor for me as far as master plans go and so forth.
Of course, I saw the potential and at this point there was exponential growth in books Even muscle for Life. I think March, 2013, by the end of the year, we were already close to a million visits a month, and this is when that was like mostly organic. That was when it was very easy to rank. And it’s much more difficult now to do anything related to anything content if it’s written.
At least YouTube is a lot softer, but written content in the health and fitness space is extremely difficult to get anywhere. Now, I’m not saying it’s not worth doing, but it’s not like it was one time you just had to write like pretty good articles. Make ’em long enough and you’re gonna rank and you’re gonna rank quickly.
Not the case. First off, thank you for all that. Cause I think people can apply that to multiple different areas of life other than just, business influencers, fitness. Do you that’s gonna open. Somewhat of a space because so many people are shying away from blogging. If you are a good blogger, if you put out a good content and you can attract enough of a tribe of people and you’re niche enough around a certain area, do you think that could be some type of what is it called, a Blue Sea opportunity?
Something like that. I would say not if we’re talking about, again, the health and fitness space, and if we’re talking about the SEO game, like if you’re trying to rank first page or top three, top five for big terms that get a lot of traffic. Absolutely not at this point, you not only have to be able to produce really good content, you also need to know the SEO game.
You’re not gonna get there just reading blogs on seo. Yeah. Like there, there’s a whole nother side to the game and it comes down to money. Like I know people, for example, who are spending one to $300,000 a month on what you could call link building activities, for example. And that is a crucial element to SEO without any sort of link building happening.
Now, it will happen to some degree organically, but if you cannot stimulate it with money, and let’s say that if you don’t have at least. $10,000 a month to spend on that. Don’t even bother. Like a thousand dollars a month will literally do nothing. Then it’s in the health and fitness space, I just, it’s, you’re very unlikely to get anywhere.
Now, there are a couple of exceptions, of course, proving any rule, and there are a couple of people I’ve seen who they were very big on YouTube or big enough or whatever on YouTube, and then they started a website and Google recognized that. So they were able to use the success that they’ve had on YouTube to see, to funnel that into Yes, I think that’s the SEO juice, right?
Oh, okay. Yeah. So I’m saying na like organic rankings. Got it. Cause Google recognizes, oh yeah, this is a fitness expert, big guy on YouTube, this is his website. We’re gonna give this more weight than we would otherwise, but of. Okay then yeah, sure. If you can go build, a high six figure seven figure sub base on YouTube, then good.
Go start our website too. Yeah. But if you don’t, if you don’t have that then I would say no. However, where blogging can certainly make sense is if like you can do what you’re talking about. If you can. And this really just, this means being a part of a community. So you have a niche and you’re really actually a part of it and you understand it.
And you can speak in the terms that these people think and speak in. And I would say it really probably should come from a, at least partially from a. Place of passion, like you’re into it and then you can become a thought leader within that community, and this has nothing to do now with SEO tactics or even marketing tactics.
This is just like human nature and psychology and persuasion, then? Yes, absolutely. If you can communicate persuasively, if people tend to listen to you when you say things, then you can leverage that. But that don’t think that means that Google gives a shit because there’s a lot of content that still outranks my stuff.
That is, it’s worse content in every way. It’s shorter, it’s poorly written. In some cases, there are no scientific citations whatsoever, and that’s actually mostly because I’m not spending a bunch of money on link. That’s actually the primary reason why some of the content that’s out there is there are big websites that have spent millions and millions of dollars building links over the course of many years, and that allows them to produce inferior content and outbreak Mine.
Now, all of my content lives on Legion’s website, right? Muscle For Life. I eventually merged it into Legion, which I should have done some time ago. So it’s still though, I’d have to look at the latest analytics, but Legion is around eight to 900,000 visits a month right now, so it’s pretty significant.
And that’s without amp, we’re gonna be turning on amp, which will, It might even double it just because of how much weight Google gives to AMP in terms of se r rankings. But it’s a very involved process if you wanna play the SEO game. So for somebody who can communicate effectively, I would say do what you said is.
Build an actual following and focus more on, think less about the quantity of the traffic and more about the quality and what you’re doing with it. And if you’re talking about making money from it, which is what we’re talking about, then okay, how are you converting blog visitors and readers into buyers?
And if you’re good at that, you don’t need nine, eight, 900,000 visits a month. 80 to 90,000 visits a month might be more than enough. Produce all the income you need to make this your full-time thing. Yeah. That I’m thinking more along the lines of Kevin Kelly’s a thousand true fans, and more so just, Yeah, just for a one person, small giant type of business, one to one consulting, and then you have whatever courses, products, other things like that. I think if you can tap into that, like you said, be an effective communicator and things, that was more so a selfish question for myself because Totally.
I do enjoy, I don’t know if you remember Nate Green at all, but he wrote I remember that name. Yeah. He wrote for, Men’s Health. He does a lot of work with Precision Nutrition now. He’s been a big mentor of mine, but he did this and I was a, shoot, I’m still a big fan of his, but I plan on somewhat following along his course on things and he was really successful with it.
Yeah. One other thing I should mention with blog, cause I said one of two, the second was, it is, Acceptable and commonplace to blog your way to a book. So if you wanna write a book, for example, and you have, maybe you don’t publish everything on the blog, although some people do. And again, it’s not considered even bad form because take Legion’s blog, we have over a thousand articles now on the blog, like long form, written, researched.
So if I were to repurpose a bunch of that content into a book, which means I am curating it, I’m selecting what content, why, what order am I gonna be presenting this in? And then of course, there’s a little bit of extra work. It’s not just copy. Some people are, they are that lazy about it. They copy and paste blog articles into a book and it just reads like a bunch of essays.
And that is still even consider. Acceptable. Maybe it’s maybe considered a little bit lazy, but still acceptable. But it’s certainly acceptable to take bits and pieces of things that you’ve already published on your blog and flesh them out and add some connective tissue and turn it into a coherent book and sell it.
So that’s also a useful, I do that a lot of the articles that I write now for Legion are with future book projects in mind. , and maybe I’m not gonna get to it for a year or two years, but I am gonna come back to that. I already know how this article’s gonna fit into a book that I’m gonna be releasing at some point in the next couple of years.
It’s the seat that’ll eventually, hopefully turn into that tree of the book and things. I, yeah, I really like that. I like that a lot.
If you like what I’m doing here on the podcast and elsewhere, definitely check out my health and fitness books, including the number one best selling weightlifting books for men and women in the world. Bigger, leaner, stronger and thinner. Leaner, stronger, as well as the leading flexible dieting cookbook, the shredded chef.
To get a little bit broader here, so we this could turn into a consulting call just for me to be honest and I’ll make sure that we hit enough, but sometimes people like that inside baseball stuff. They like hearing about different things with how the sausage was made, right? Yeah, dude. Exactly.
I’m serious. I think so a lot. But one of the questions I definitely wanted to ask is because clearly thought things through and your decision making process is it’s effective clearly. And how do you decide what is worth doing and what is like not worth doing? And especially in the beginning, but then also now, do you seek out from mentors?
Do you literally just email them? Do you have books? I know you’re a big book guy. What is the main source? Inspiration or decision making process that you go through. So I don’t have any mentors. I never have had any, I do have, I’ve had access to successful business people and I’ve gone to them with some questions here and there, but not a regular thing.
And the instances I can think of it was more just reinforcing what I already knew. Not that was my intention, but it’s usually confirmation on what you’re thinking. Yeah, that’s how it’s, that’s how it has played out at least. However, now given where legions at, it makes sense to get a bit more serious about that.
Now, I don’t particularly like the word mentor because it’s associated with masterminds and that whole sleazy space where people just get ripped off for shit. They could just read in books like, Don’t pay a thousand dollars a month, pay $20 and read this book. There you go. And however I guess you could say, what I’m setting up now is a bit more along the lines.
A board of directors. I’m picking a few people I know who are very successful and very good at very specific things, but they’re gonna get paid for this. Again, this is like a real, we’re not gonna do it as a board because if a board were to meet every month, that would be like a lot. Boards usually meet once every quarter.
But for us to do what we want, we’re gonna have to be in closer communication than that. I don’t know. I guess you could say they’re advisors and I’ve chosen them though, like one guy is, he’s one of the top, if not the top digital market. Period out there, he’s made more money than he knows what to do with, and he just really knows how to build e-commerce businesses online.
Another guy, he’s, I guess you could say he works in finance. He made a bunch of money in his hedge fund career 20 years ago. And then since then he’s gotten to a lot of other investments and been involved in many different businesses and sits on the board of many businesses. And so he’s a very smart strategic business guy.
And so I know the good things will come of that, but up until now I didn’t have that right. Again, I had a few people I’d ask some questions of here and there. So for me then to answer your question, it’s been reading books. That is the number one source of good information. And maybe second to that would be articles, but I prefer books because.
Often, and not always, but often, a lot more work has gone into crafting a book. Articles would probably be second to that and I don’t, I actually don’t listen to podcasts. I don’t spend much time on no time basically on YouTube because I find that many discussions that I’ve listened to, let’s say on podcasts.
Yeah, sometimes there’s some good information, but I had to wade through 80% of nothing to get there, and that’s fine. If you get one idea, especially if you have a going concern, a business that’s doing millions and millions of dollars in sales, one good idea can worth a lot. And so yeah, you spend an hour of your time, you get one idea, it might make you millions of dollars next year, you don’t know.
But I’ve found that reading books is just more efficient and I also enjoy reading more cuz listening even on, one and a half or two x speed as fast as I can make it and still understand, I’ll still get impatient and I’m like, get to the fucking point. Like I’ve been, I’ve listened to for 20 minutes now and I haven’t made a single mental note, like what am I doing?
Whereas with books, I can control the speed that I’m going through it. And again, because there often is more work that goes into curating the information that’s being presented and also presenting it in a logical. That has been a lot more productive for me. So that’s, most of my self education comes from books.
And I often get asked for book recommendations for business and marketing. And so I have a copy paste that I send people. Here’s where I would start, depending on, it depends on where you’re at in your business, but a lot of. People asking that are either like very early on in their business or they haven’t even started yet.
And so as far as making decisions goes, my primary criterion is how does this relate to the overarching strategy? So I have three to five year. Strategic plans going further than that, I don’t think is very useful. At least not in my case, I’m not big enough. I could see if I were running a very big company with a lot of resources and if now we’re talking about acquisitions and growing comes require, I could see that why you might need to go further out.
But for my purposes, I don’t think it’s very useful. So that’s the furthest time horizon and then that, then I also have the next. Plan and then of course that’s broken down into quarterly sprints, so to speak. So when I’m looking at whether it’s decisions regarding my time, which really is then now, okay, so how do I fit into this?
What’s the highest and best use of my time? Should I be doing this right now or should this be delegated or should nobody be doing this? Does this not even matter? And in most cases, it should be delegated or just shouldn’t be done. Not in most, in many cases. There are many things that seem to be urgent, but actually are just not important.
Like they just don’t really matter. And a lot of things that are truly important actually aren’t urgent. And so this is, it’s a paradox that messes with people and leads a lot of people, and this doesn’t apply to business, but applies to life leads, people to pursue immediate, there’s gratification, but then there’s also immediate urgencies.
And neglect the far reaching stuff. That’s actually very important, but you’re not gonna really see much from it in the short term because there’s a longer runway. It is, in many ways, more comforting to deal with the fires that surround you than it is to, Look over the flame and go, Oh maybe I should clear out all of this underbrush over here so it doesn’t burn everything down, kind of thing.
You know what I mean? Or on the flip side, see the opportunities. Maybe I should start planting trees now. So like I’ll keep the fires as low as I can, but I really can’t forget to plant the trees kind of mentality. And so whether it’s a business decision, again, it comes down to what are the key metrics that we are driving?
How does this relate to the overall strategy? What am I trying to achieve even with the business? So for example, am I trying to maximize the value of the company for the purposes of recapitalization or maybe selling one day, Or am I trying to just achieve maximum personal income? Those are very different strategies.
You can’t have both because maximum personal income means, okay, maximize profitability, sacrifice revenue growth, and take all of that profit outta the business, essentially reinvest as little as possible. Okay. If you want to do that, why? What’s the purpose? Is it to buy knickknacks and shred up on Instagram and go on extravagant vacations?
Is that why? And why do you really need that? Is that if yes, you feel like you really need that, maybe you should address that instead? Or is it to take money out of the business and invested elsewhere? Okay. Why? Why would you do that? Is it your business is no longer growing, You don’t know what else to do to grow it.
Your business has a shelf life that is about to expire for market reasons. And I can think with, So that’s how I tend to think about business and just life in general. One of my pet peeves, and it’s almost to a fault, is I really don’t like doing things that don’t have a clear purpose. Like, why am I doing this?
What am I getting out of this essentially? And it doesn’t even have to necessarily be all about me. Let’s say I were spending my time at the local soup kitchen. Okay. Yeah. I’m not personally. Benefiting from it in a material way. But I do believe in being a contributing member of society beyond just paying taxes and providing value through my work.
And so there is some satisfaction that comes with that, obviously. And what I don’t like though is like I watch basically no tv. There’s no, I’m like, Why am I doing this? I don’t care about these fake stories and fake people. Like I don’t give a shit at all. I don’t feel emotionally invested in this, especially with the general quality of TV shows and movies.
I just, it doesn’t resonate with me as a person at all. Ironically, Fiction was my original interest in writing, and so I’ve read. I don’t know, maybe 30 books on storytelling and fiction. And that has it makes it hard for me now to watch a lot of this stuff that is, is current because all I see is what is wrong and how it should be done better and why that doesn’t make sense.
And so that’s an activity. I just don’t get anything out of it. So I just don’t do it. And if I do it within 15 minutes or. I just, I’m bored and I’m like, Why am I doing this ? So I’m very much like that in my work. And for example, doing a podcast like this, why am I taking time to do this? I like talking with people and maybe I like hearing my voice to some degree, but really the reason why I’m doing it is because the highest and best use of my time is stuff like this is creating my own content, right?
Writing articles, writing books, recording podcasts, do a little bit of video stuff, might do more in the future, not so much right now. And then any other publicity outward reaching activity like this. And so when I’m looking at doing a podcast cause I, I get a fair amount of invites to podcasts.
I have to look at, is this an established podcast at all? Is anyone even going to hear this? And that’s not because I think I’m special and I’m like too good to talk to somebody who has a new podcast. Not at all. It’s just there’s an opportunity cost now that is much higher on my time than it was years ago when.
Yeah. If it took an hour out of my day, was I gonna do anything that valuable? In the end, yes. But at the time that wasn’t clear. Maybe, I don’t know, I could write another article. Is it gonna matter? I don’t know. At least over here 500 people will probably hear me speak, if I write the article, maybe fucking 50 people see it.
I don’t know. Yeah, I think that’s a long winded answer, but I guess provide some insight into how I go about making decisions on a, not just in business, but in life. No, absolutely. I think that’s, I enjoyed that a hundred percent. I think I tend to struggle with balancing out, okay, is this going to be an activity that’s gonna gimme a maximum ROI with also with something like the blogging is a good example.
Like I just, I genuinely love writing and I love the creative side of things. , that’s why I’m going all in on blogging, so writing and the podcasting, it’s my two things. That give me the ultimate fulfillment. And so what I’m curious with you is how do you balance between I just fucking enjoy doing this, on a regular basis.
Sure. It may not gimme the most ROI positive, but I enjoy doing this on a regular basis. I’m okay with taking a little bit of the efficiency or effectiveness out. Do you have certain things that you do like that on a daily basis or weekly basis? You’re not gonna like my answer on that because it’s mostly No, like
I, I figured based off of everything else, I’ve numbed myself to the pain of doing things that I don’t instinctively want to do. And you have to be able to do that to, I think, to achieve success in anything. I don’t care what it is. I don’t care if you’re trying to become a musician and you love playing the piano recreationally, and you’re like, All right, I wanna get good enough so I can make money with this.
There’s a point where it’s going to feel, I don’t even like saying work, because I don’t think work is a negative thing that doesn’t have a negative connotation, but it’s not always gonna be fun. It’s just not. There are gonna be times when you’re just gonna have to do it and you don’t like doing it, but you do it because you have a purpose and that would apply to the activity.
Playing piano, but it would also apply to the sub activities that would be required to get to the point where you could make money. Like maybe there’s gonna be a little bit of a business side of things. There’s gonna be a little bit of a marketing side of things. Even if you’re just trying to sell yourself to I don’t know if orchestras have pianos, but I don’t think so.
Your guess is as good as mine. I don’t know. Sure. What they do. Maybe the adult. Yeah. If you’re gonna try to go that direction, like you have to at least sell yourself. And so many artist. Clients, people hate that side of their work and they avoid it altogether. And then there’s also, if you’re trying to, if you’re gonna make money with something like that, you’re gonna have to be very good, not just better than like the average idiot on the internet.
No. You’re gonna have to be very good. And what does it take to get very good at a lot of deliberate practice? Is deliberate practice fun. Not really, for the most part. It’s not think about writing, for example. Okay. It’s fun to write. I agree. What is less fun, but something I do every day.
Are you familiar with SRS flashcards, space repetition? No. No. So basically it’s flashcards, but they run on a system based on research. I forget his name sometime ago. A guy is like his life’s work to study how memory works. And what he found is that like when we’re first exposed to a new piece of information, the dropoff in memory occurs I think at about 24 hours or so.
But if we re-expose ourselves to it around hour 20, give or take, then we will remember it for a little bit longer. I don’t remember the exact numbers. Let’s say it’s 36 hours, right? Is where now that starts to drop off. If you re-expose yourself to it before that or right around that period. And if you remember it’s right, you have to take the time and the effort to remember.
It’s not just Oh, look at the cards. It’s a key point is you have to. Like work mentally to remember. But if you do that and you remember it now you are likely to retain it for a longer period. And the purpose of this system is to get to the point where you have committed things to long-term memory where you just don’t forget them anymore basically.
And so what’s cool about the flashcard system is you put something new in it, it exposes you to it the first time you go. Yep. Got it. Depending on, you can answer like easy. Moderate and then wrong. Basically, there are different apps, but the app I’m using is you can say, Nope, didn’t remember it. And then it’s gonna serve it to you again.
You can say, I got it. Sorry. Actually it has four settings. So one is, I got it wrong, I just couldn’t remember. The second is, I got it, but I had to work at it. It was hard. The third is, I got it. It was, I had to think about it a little bit, but it came, and then the final setting is, I got it immediately.
I didn’t even have to think. So what it does is if you get it wrong, it’s gonna re-serve it to you in this session. If you got it right, but it was difficult, you are going to be re-served it. Let’s just say, X number of days, or in some cases, it might be tomorrow. It, depending on where you’re at in the sequence of things.
It might be a week from now, it might be a month from now if you got it, but you had to work at. It’s gonna be pushed out a little bit further, right? If you got it very quickly pushed out even further. So what it does, it’s just a very effective way to commit information to your long term memory.
Where what ends up happening is you just end up spending more time on the things that are harder to remember and the things that just click for whatever reason, get quickly. Just pushed out. And I have cards that I’m not gonna see again for. And I’ll have cards that will come up that are year old and still immediately remember them at that point, you know that thing you’re just not gonna forget it.
And so I’ve used that for many things, but one thing I do every day is I have a deck of, I don’t know, it’s thousands now of words that I’ve come across in my reading that I like, right? So if I come across a word I like, it’s usually so I have ’em separated into nouns, modifiers, verbs, and idioms and phrases and the cords, like my nouns are all caps.
So I immediately can recognize it’s a noun. My verbs are first cap, my modifiers are lowercase. And my idioms and phrases are first cap, but there are multiple words. If I have a word like compass, which I have as a now not. Things used to na, not being used to navigate, but other definition, right?
So I have, Compass is a noun, compass is a verb. The noun will be all caps. I’ll immediately know Oh, okay, that’s the noun. And then the verb would be first capped. And so these are words again that I just that strike me as interesting, that I would like to remember. I would like to use in my writing.
And so Anke is the app. I use a n k. This is an Android app. It’s free on iOS. It’s $25. I have no idea why that is, but that’s how it is. Interesting. Yeah. Fuck you to Apple, I guess I have no idea. So I go through that every day and I have probably, I don’t know, anywhere from 40 to 70 cards a day to go through, and I don’t mind it.
It’s not fun. I’m j again, I’m just numb to it. But that’s just an example of something that I know for a fact makes a difference in my writing and my ability to just communicate persuasively and eloquently because I’ll experience it. I’ll be speaking or I’ll be writing and I will quickly be able to access some of these words.
Sometimes I do still have to go looking for them, but that’s something that like after 20 years of doing that, it’s going to have made a major difference in my ability to communicate. And that’s one of those things that I like because that’s the type of work that nobody wants to do. And it’s based on good first principles.
It’s just a slog. So nobody wants to do it. Practicing is another thing that many people don’t wanna do. If you want to be a good writer, for example, yes, you need to understand, we go back to the ancient, to Aristotle’s principles of persuasion, right? So you have pathos, ethos, and logos. Pathos we can say is appealing to emotion, right?
And one of the effective ways to do that is to use vivid words to paint. Vivid pictures and figures of speech are very good for this, especially metaphors and similes. It’s not easy though, to think metaphorically. For most people, it doesn’t come necessarily easily to me. It’s something I work on. I have to practice, and so that’s part of my routine of this is just writing drudgery.
This is not as fun as writing, but it makes for better writing, where every week I will practice, although last weekend I didn’t do it. I have tasks on the weekend that depending on what other things, if I do have some urgent things I have to get done, then I might not get to some of these kind of housekeeping things, but I generally keep it in, and that is to practice.
Just coming up with metaphor. Just making up my own right, because yeah, I have a massive swipe file of all kinds of stuff that I like that have come across in my writing. But it’s important to be able to do it yourself. And it’s important to be able to think creatively, think laterally, and it just takes practice.
And then again, there are 30 plus different figures of speech, and maybe some of them are a bit esoteric and obscure. You wouldn’t use them in your writing, but many of them do make for better writing. That is, it makes for more pathos, right? Ethos, appeal to authority. That’s not something that.
Are going to practice per se. That is, you have bone of fee days, you have credentials, but you also have character. And that’s an element of ethos you can’t fake. That’s not true. You can fake it, but many people will see through it unless you’re a very good liar, a very good hypocrite. And some people are, There are plenty of influencers out there who I know for a fact are complete degenerate losers, but if you were to look at their Instagram, you’d think that they’ll, their Uber mench, right?
Uber mention. But if you want to be honest about it, it is. A good character be worth listening to and worth following. And ethos almost takes care of itself, in my opinion. And then you have logos, you have logical thinking, and that can be studied as well. A lot of it used to be taught, you go back far enough that used to be something that kids, they would, That was like one of the beginning foundations of education was how to think logically.
And they would be taught it formally, right? They would learn about logical fallacies. They would learn about syllogisms and how they work and how to craft arguments. Okay, you have premise A and B and C and D and how they all need to interrelate. And then you have your conclusion and that’s based on all the premises that’s not really taught anymore.
So you have a lot of people who don’t, they just don’t know how to do it. It’s not that there’s too stupid to do it, they just don’t never learned it. And it is something that it is inborn to some degree, I do think, But it can. Twisted and subverted through twisted and subversive education, and it also can be sharpened and enhanced by studying and practice, right?
So there are different figures of speech that allow you to tap into those things. And so by practicing them, they just become more a part of you and a part of your inherent. Like when you do sit down to write what. And it makes for better first drafts and better successive drafts because there is a point where if you’ve done enough of this type of work, there’s not copy.
Booking isn’t thing, Any writer who wants to do anything should be doing by hand as well. And that is a, it’s not, that’s not necessarily like an there actually is a little bit of science that shows that reading. I know reading books for most people though, they’re gonna retain a bit more, reading a hard copy versus a digital, definitely versus an audio book.
There may be some research actually on retention for writing by hand versus digitally, but anecdotally, copy booking has been a thing forever, by the way. This is where you just, you have writing you like, who are the best writers? Who are the people you wish you could write like. Copy their shit out by hand and word for word.
And I’ve done it on the computer and I’ve done it by hand. And what I’ve noticed, and this is my explanation for why many writers have said that by hand, just works better for them, is by hand does force you to focus a little bit more because of, I don’t know what my words per minute is maybe 140 or something.
It’s very easy to just drone through it. Whereas my handwriting is disgustingly bad and slow. It’s actually upsetting when I look at my handwriting. . Likewise, I understand. I look like a serial killer one day when I’m being charged with thought crimes. That’s gonna be some of the evidence that’s gonna be presented.
It’s my child’s work, I promise. Yeah, exactly. Just look at this dude’s writing. He’s obviously a psycho . That’s crazy. Anyway, so doing that by hand, right? So I spend some time on that. So those are just some examples of things that if we could apply that to, let’s say, playing the piano, Like I was saying, I don’t know how to play the piano, but I am certain to get good enough to make a career of it, it requires a lot of that type of stuff as well.
It’s not just playing the songs you like and playing them. Beautiful. Sure. Yeah, I love that type of deliberate practice is not necessarily just putting in the rep. Yeah. That efficient type of learning is very interesting. And I wanna be cognizant of your time and you can answer this kind of as long or as short as you can.
But the question that came up my mind after you were going through all that is what drives you to keep learning like this? And to keep, cuz by so many people’s definition, you would have success. You have a beautiful family, you’ve got this company, you’ve got, everything that a guy could look, you’re super handsome, you know what I’m saying?
Keep going. Yeah. No, keep, I’ll do it all day. don’t have a private jet Okay, there you go. See, we’re still phasing out different things here, but Yeah. What drives you on a regular basis to keep learning, to keep bettering yourself in all facets of life? My answer to that I feel is just not that compelling in.
It’s fun to me. Like it’s actually enjoyable to me. And remaining stagnant as an individual is very uncomfortable to me. So in some ways, I’m just following my instincts. That said, there is an element of self discipline and willpower. I don’t always want to do these things. I’m not like waking up pumped every day to do these things I’m talking about, or some of the work that I have to do in the day to day running Legion, for example.
Some of the stuff I probably shouldn’t be doing. And there are always things need to be better. And so there is that element of I’m doing it again for this higher purpose. And that comes back to, what I was talking about earlier, right? How I like to spend my time. In alignment with bigger goals.
And so as for business, I would say that there is the very human element of, It’s cool that in my line of work and you’re in our line of work, we get to see very firsthand the effects that we’re having in the world. And we know that we’re having positive effects. Like I can say with certainty, I am a net positive in society.
I’m not a parasite. I give more than I take for sure. And the world is better for you being here. Yeah. Yeah. And that is much more satisfying than money, for example. And then there’s also, there’s the very. Personal element of, it’s cool to hear people’s individual stories as well, there’s a touching element of that, and I still, and that never goes away, that the enjoyment of that, it’s like one of the few things that you just never get enough of that. And maybe sex, I don’t know, , like there aren’t very many things that you can keep coming back to and you can derive just as much enjoyment from the first time.
5000th time. There’s just not much. That is words of wisdom right there, . But I love that and so there’s that. And then there are at this point some financial related goals. But it’s more about, again, like reaching financial independence. And what that means to me is not a business that makes me money, or even books that make me money per se.
Although books, you could say that’s very resilient and that’s unlikely to go anywhere anytime soon. And at this point, that flywheel is spinning so quickly that it would take a lot for me to slow it down, even let alone stop it. However, for me, financial independence would be where your money makes you enough money to not have to work for money.
And Personally consider that investments outside of businesses I have, even though that’s, of course the businesses making enough money, but it’s a different level of security, and so there is that element, and it’s not, again, it’s not driven by a burning desire for a private jet or fancy things at all, other than maybe I like living in a nice home.
I don’t care about cars. I’ll drive a nice car or nice ish or whatever, but it’s just not really a thing. I don’t own very many things. And I’ve tried a little bit, I’m like, Oh, maybe I would like to buy like some nice watches. So I buy a couple nice watches and don’t even wear them. Don’t care.
Doesn’t do it. Yeah. No, it just doesn’t. So I’ve tried it a couple times, ironically. So I’d say my biggest expense in the last couple of years is, has been board games, . That’s it. That’s my biggest expense. All right. Amazing. That’s my Personal, I have a family, I have to pay for name, but I’m just saying, I, I just don’t buy many things.
I also do like to buy historically significant things that are just interesting to me via like auctions. And not super expensive stuff. Like I’ve bought some recruiting posters, mil old military, like World War II recruiting posters. Oh, cool. And I like World War ii. I like that period and that history.
It was obviously a terrible thing, but I am genuinely maybe is the wrong word. I’m just very interested in it. I like reading about it. I like watching documentaries on it and whatever. So I’ve bought like little trinkets and little things that are not too expensive though, just cause I think it’s cool.
You know what I mean? Oh, I have a, it’s. I’m guessing it was probably an envelope or something and it, it said war department and it was signed by a patent. I like that. Oh wow. It’s not that’s super expensive. I just like it. You know what I mean? No, it’s meaningful. Exactly. But it’s more financial independence to me.
There’s just a certain level of additional. Again, security because I do have two kids and I have a wife, so I have to think with that. But also, maybe it’s just peace of mind or freedom, although I am doing what I want to do anyway, so it’s not a huge thing. However, in the future, I definitely will scale back on my fitness work to write fiction.
I will have to make the time for it as a thing. Like currently, I work as much as I possibly can and I only work on fitness stuff. Yeah. And at some point I would like to maybe I still, let’s say I still put, I don’t. 20 to 40 hours a week into fitness. But then that frees up the time I know that it would take to actually make a go of fiction.
And it would be nice to not have to care about the financial aspect of that and just do it because I wanna do it. And if it goes well, ironically, the fiction market is so much bigger than, Dude, you’re gonna be right back at the evolution of where you started with the Kindle book. I, It’s so funny.
Just a different way. Yeah, I hope just because that’s hilarious. The level of success. And I, again, I don’t really care about the money of it, but it’s more just the, I did it of it. You know what I mean? Is I’ve sold a million and a half fitness books right. Since 2012. And the fiction, I don’t even know what the order of magnitude is, how much bigger it is, a hundred times bigger maybe.
Oh, I’m sure. Just look at the top 100 books on Amazon and 80% of them are gonna be fiction. then you’ll have a few history related biography, probably some diet stuff in there from like big, celebrities and whatever. So I have that. That’s on the back burner. What age? Real quick.
Just what age do you think? It’s a good question. I would say I would be happy if I could start doing that by 40. Okay. I think there’s a chance that again, this is up to, it’s just my decision, but where I would feel like it’s appropriate, again, coming back to the point of how does this align with strategic objectives and right.
It would be very random for me to start putting time into writing fiction. I would find it fun and it would be satisfying. I don’t consider myself an artist per se, but I definitely, I like creating stuff. Creative. Yeah. It would be satisfying in that regard, but it would be strategically random. It would actually just work against these strategic objectives that I’ve already decided upon.
And okay, if that’s, if I’m gonna do that, why? And if I can’t give myself a logical reason, if it’s just like Meic, basically , that’s it. You know what I mean? That’s not a good enough reason for me. So if I. I’ll start with short stories, but if I could publish my first short story by 40, I’d be happy with that.
I think then, and then see where it goes. My plan is very simple, is just publish. I have a bunch of ideas. I’ll pick the best, the ideas that I think would be the most fun to work on, and also have the most potential. And I’ll publish short stories. I’ll probably, I don’t know how many exactly, Maybe minimally, it’ll probably be three to five different ideas.
Publish short stories, 30 to 50 pages. It’s really, you’re just presenting the premise, right? And you’re just trying to get people interested in what could become something more. And then see out of those three to five, what does the marketplace say? What does well, and they’ll pick the one that does the best.
Cause if they’re all more or less the same to me, in terms of enjoyment, pick the one that does the best and then flesh that out. Okay. Write a novel with the, probably the smart way to do it is with a series in mind. So at least a trilogy. That’s the sweet spot is to write a three book series.
And again, just for fun, talk about board games. I could have a lot of fun in the board game industry. Oh my gosh. Yeah, I like games. I don’t play any video games. I don’t I just, again, that’d be such a pointless waste of time. But I grew up playing a lot of sports and I played some video games when I was young, but I like games and I also like game theory.
I know that if I were to get into that space, there are people out there who are, there are game designers who do freelance work, like they work for publishers. And so if I brought some money to it, I know that I could put together probably a decent team of people who know, of course, they know way more than I do.
So I could have the pleasure of taking concept. Similar to storytelling, right? Where like premise is the most powerful thing in storytelling. The classics are the best example of that, where many classic books are actually shitty. Like the writing is not very good, the plot is not very good, but the premise is so compelling that the book still, it remains in currency, right?
Similar to board games, if you have a strong idea and you have something, some unique spin on a familiar type of game mechanism, and then you put good marketing, good branding, and you bring in good game designers, that is a winning formula. So that could be fun as well. But again, it’s something that I’m not gonna pursue at the moment.
Listen, I can’t wait to buy all the short stories, the board games, the video games, everything. It’s gonna be the second team. I’m all by Sean. Patrick, I don’t know. I have to, I think Mike is, He just has to be fitness now. I think you’re leaving him. It would be a mistake to execute ’em, but I’ll have to put ’em in a cage and just bring ’em out every now and then, that would be amazing. Like the gimp in Pulp Fiction, yeah. There you go. That’s beautiful. Mike, thank you so much. You’ve been more than generous with your time. You’ve been more than generous with all the information and everything like that. I think the last question is just where can people find more about.
Sure, yeah. My online hub is legion athletics.com, and so I, again, I had that Muscle for Life website, but that merged into Legion, so it just made more sense to put everything at Legion. Also, because that’s my strategic focus is growing Legion, for example, and so you can find, again, over a thousand articles, of course, free over at the blog I can find my podcast Muscle for Life, which if.
Like any of the things I’m saying. And if you like podcasts, then you might like it. And of course anywhere you listen to podcasts. But we put it all up on the website over at Legion as well. And my books are in the store there. Of course, you can buy them anywhere else online that you buy books. And some of the books are also in Barnes and Noble stores.
Not all, but a lot of Barnes and Noble stores and yeah, that’s it. That’s the elevator pitch, there it is. Short stories coming soon. Yeah. Sean Patrick . Yeah. That’s amazing. It’s, you know what’s funny, as close with this, so that Bill of Rights book that I wrote some time ago, really just for fun, it was, is something that I’m personally interested in.
I wanted to do some studying on it, and then I figured, all right, I might as well just distill this down. Shorter book that kind of just traces my own process of just educating myself and I don’t consider myself an expert on the Constitution or bill rights. I know more than the average person.
And I studied it to a point where I satisfied my own initial curiosity and figured, ah, this is enough to turn into a small book. I think other people will find that helpful, and especially if it doesn’t port to be anything more than what it is, which is kinda like a crash course. And that now is my best selling book in the United States.
Wow. Because of what’s going on here. Yeah. No, it’s selling thousands and thousands of copies a month. . Wow. That’s wild. That’s wild, man. No, it is. Good. If it wants to strike it out that is the Know Your Bill of Rights book. That’s Yeah, that’s how On the Nose it is by Sean Patrick, aka. Oh my gosh, Mike Matthews.
I will a hundred percent put everything you just said in the show links. Yeah, man. Mike, thank you so much for doing this. I wanna say goodbye off air for two minutes. Sure. But yeah, thank you so much for doing this, man. I really appreciate it. My pleasure. Thank you. All right. That’s it for today’s episode.
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