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While my world revolves around lifting heavy objects and learning how to eat “like an adult,” I occasionally dip into talking about entrepreneurship, marketing, and business in general.
And feedback on this sort of content has been great. People with the entrepreneurship bug want to know what’s worked for me, what hasn’t, and what I’ve learned while growing my own businesses.
The truth is starting your own business isn’t for everyone. You have to do a lot more work, take on a lot more stress, and generate a lot more revenue to be successful than most people think.
In other words, it’s not for the lazy or faint of heart.
These are things I recently talked about with Cody McBroom, who interviewed me on his Tailored Life Podcast, in which he asked me about all things business.
I wanted to share this interview on my own podcast because I think it will be valuable to my listeners. It provides a peek behind the curtain of what it really takes to run and grow a business, build and maintain momentum, and more.
In the interview, I talk about . . .
- The myth of “overnight success” stories and how to deal with impatience
- Reasons why you might not want to start a business or become an entrepreneur
- Work life balance, stress, and parenting
- Reflection and “self-care” routines (and why I don’t meditate)
- And a whole lot more . . .
So if you’re interested in getting an “inside scoop” on what it takes to be successful in business, I think you’re going to enjoy this episode.
Lastly, if you want to support the show, please drop a quick review of it over on iTunes. It really helps!
6:35 – What are your thoughts on patience and people not being patient enough?
17:59 – What allowed you to become more patient?
25:18 – What does it take to start a business?
45:42 – What are your thoughts on reflection and balance?
56:06 – Rapid questions
Mentioned on the Show:
What did you think of this episode? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!
Mike: Hello and welcome to a new episode of Muscle Life. I’m Mike Matthews. Thanks for joining me today for something that is a little bit different. I do this every now and then when I think it’s appropriate, and here is another one of those times. So a couple of weeks ago, I went on another podcast. I went on the Tailored Life podcast, which is hosted by my buddy Cody mc.
Broom, and instead of talking about the stuff I normally talk about, like how to pick heavy things up and put them down and how to not eat like an asshole. We talked about entrepreneurship and marketing and business in general, and whenever I release content along those lines, whenever I write about those things or speak about those things, I always get good feedback because I have a lot of entrepreneurs in my orbit.
I have a lot of people who own businesses or who are thinking of starting businesses or who work at a business, who work at a company and are happy to keep doing that, but who are striving to accomplish more in their career. And a lot of the principles that allow you to succeed as an entrepreneur apply just as much to someone who wants to succeed in a business working for somebody else’s business.
For example, a very viable path to both meaningful work, work that satisfies you, that you generally enjoy doing as well as financial success is to become an entrepreneur. Meaning somebody with an entrepreneurial type of spirit who doesn’t want to own their own business, but who would like to own in the sense of responsibility.
A piece of a business, maybe an entire department, maybe it’s the marketing department for example, where they are going to, uh, preside over. An array of activities that produce something very valuable to the business, and that person is going to treat that part of the business like it’s their own business, coming up with new ideas and always looking to move things forward, both personally and for the area of the business that they’re in charge of.
Anyway, as content that I’ve released in the past, along those lines has always done well. I thought I would post up this interview again that I did on another podcast, on my podcast because it is in the same vein. In this interview, Cody and I talk about the myth of overnight success stories. We talk about how to deal with impatience.
I am, by my nature, a pretty impatient person, and that’s something I’ve had to force myself to get better at. We talk about reasons why you may not want to start a business, why it may make more sense to work in another company or for someone else, and that ultimately may allow you to again, be more satisfied with your work and earn more money.
Uh, we talk about work life balance and dealing with stress, and particularly in the context of parenting, which is something I now have a bit of experience with. I have two kids, an eight year old son and a. Three year old daughter, uh, Cody and I talk about self-care routines. Uh, I talk about why I don’t meditate.
That’s something I get asked about fairly often, actually, and more. 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 Chef. 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.buy Legion, that’s b u 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 learn 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 recipes.
All right, dude. So like I said, you’re, uh, the most frequently returning guest as far as I can remember. We’re almost on episode 600, but I’m, I’m pretty sure that that’s the case. Um, but I’m excited for this one, cuz. Hundred, like I told you, I wanna take it a different route. See if I can, let’s see if I can, uh, earn my, my, uh, my, my, uh, my invitation.
Yeah, uh, I think, I think you will, man. I think because I’ve heard you talk on this stuff maybe, and, and I haven’t probably listened to every single interview you’ve done. You’ve done so many, but I’ve only heard you talk on this like a few times and it, and it tends to be the ones that I’m like most excited for when I see your interview and I see the title and I’m like, and maybe it’s cuz I’ve been in this industry a long time, but people ask me often too, like, you know, who do you follow or look up to from a business perspective?
And a lot of times it’s not necessarily other. Online coaching companies doing exactly what I do, uh, which is a good tip for people. Like you shouldn’t just follow the people doing your thing. You’re in my industry, but you’re mainly a supplement company. But I, from your content to marketing, to branding, to your philosophy on like longevity, all those kind of things, it’s something that’s always resonated with me.
And I’ve always kind of, for the last few years at least, just followed and watched and, and really, like, you’ve, you’ve kind of been a trailblazer for a lot of the actions I’ve taken. So for one, thank you for that. And, and, and you have been a role model, but because of that, I want to use this podcast to talk about that shit, because usually we talk about fitness and how to be evidence-based and stuff like that, which tends to be more simple than people realize.
Um, so the first thing I want to talk about is, is just like patience with it all. You know, like when I think of. Your development and going from being an Amazon author to what you’re doing now and how long that’s probably taken. And although it seems like for some people, like you blew up or you grew quick, or it hasn’t been that long, I’m sure you feel like it’s probably been a really long fucking time.
Um, yeah. It feels like it’s taken too long. Yeah. And, and so like, what are your thoughts on that? Like, I mean, people not being patient enough. How, how, like did you have to remind yourself throughout the process to be more patient? Like how important is that? Yeah. I mean this is a, a good topic because I am naturally an impatient person and a lot of successful people I know are the exact same way.
Yes, ma’am. Some very successful people. I know. You know, nine figure net worth people are extremely impatient and this is something I wouldn’t say they struggle with, they just have to be aware of because if they don’t keep it in check, it will cause problems. Mm-hmm. It will cause problems with personnel, for example, or they’re then railing on employees for not getting things done as quickly as they want them to get done when there actually is no way to get, you know what I mean?
Mm-hmm. Like there, there are. There are constraints of reality. I mean, we all do have to at least sleep and like poop and eat food and stuff. And if we’re gonna maintain some health and wellness, we have to also exercise and get outside and have a social life to some degree, right? Mm-hmm. And, uh, so that, that is one thing I’ll just throw out there quickly and then, uh, I wanna jump just to this point of this, this like overnight kind of success sensation.
Just quickly comment on that, that that is always an illusion. Almost always. Of course, you can find the exception. You can find like, I don’t know, maybe Justin Bieber, wasn’t he just a, a, some kid on YouTube and then the right person found him in like, you know, A year later, he’s Justin Bieber or something like that.
Yeah, yeah. It can happen. But in business, that almost never happens. It is almost always what you just alluded to, which is a lot of work, a lot of grind, and eventually things reach that critical mass. And then you can see exponential growth and, and then more and more people start hearing about you or start coming across your work or your products or whatever.
And it appears like you were nothing, nowhere doing nothing to just, oh wow, that’s the next it guy or the next it girl. Uh, but that’s, that’s, again, that’s almost never how it ha the, the, the illusion is not the reality. Right. But, um, but anyways, coming back to this patient patience point, I am again, I’m an inpatient person by nature.
I want things done quickly. There’s an objective analytical side to that, in that speed is extremely powerful in business. It, it’s a, it’s a force multiplier. It’s one of those, those quote unquote little things that has that, that, that has a disproportionately large effect on your success. The faster you can get things done, the faster you can seize on opportunities, the faster you can put out fires and, uh, fill in holes in the business and so forth, the faster you can win.
And, uh, I mean, that, that’s probably something that’s a, I could go on a long tangent on that, but that’s just a, that, that is a true, just a basic kind of maxim of business, right? So I come to my work with that. At least looking through that lens. I mean, there are maybe other things that go into it, but that’s a, a major priority for me is getting things done quickly and not getting stuck in perfectionism, for example, where things take a lot longer than they needed to take, because I have to get every little detail right before I even know it’s a good idea, for example.
So I also have to balance that with my impatience. And, um, so for, for me, what I’ve, what I’ve tried to do is, is. B. So in, in, when I’m planning right, I, I try to, to to think with, okay, what am I trying to do here? And what is a, a realistic estimate of let’s say time and resources that it’s gonna take to get this done.
And then double the time and cut the, the, the proposed roi. And that may not be financial, it depends what we’re talking about, but like what’s the outcome that I think is a conservative estimate, cut that in half. So double the time, uh, that it’s gonna take and the money, if we’re talking about money as well, and cut the conservative estimate of the result in half and then.
Think, uh, with those numbers, with that scenario, do I still want to do this or not? Does it still make sense to do it or not? And so that’s saved me from committing myself to projects that, cuz what I don’t want is I don’t want to get into the middle of something and then start questioning the cost of the opportunity.
Like, uh, should I be doing this because that makes my impatience go outta control, right? Where I’m like, all right, now I really just wanna get this thing done. Cause I don’t even know if this was worth doing it in the first place. And there are so many other things I could be doing. Right? And so I’ve found that by working a little bit more on the front end, before I commit myself or any of my, uh, the people who work with me or, or commit money or whatever, that I, I’ve done my due diligence, so to speak.
In the past. I was quicker to just. Go with my kind of gut instincts of, oh yeah, that’s a good idea. We should just do that and then go and do it. Sometimes it worked out, sometimes it did not. And so that’s one thing that has helped me. And another thing is, uh, this is more just a kind of dealing with the emotion of impatience, is now that I’m in the middle of a process and I’ve done my, my initial work and on why I think this is a good idea and I haven’t changed my mind, there hasn’t, there hasn’t been like some market shift in circumstances that makes me have to now redo that basically of, of, okay, I don’t wanna just put more, uh, Money after bad.
You know what I mean? Mm-hmm. I don’t want to keep going on something just cause I said I’m gonna do it. It needs to keep making sense. So let’s say it, it is making sense and it’s not getting as done. It’s not getting done as quickly as possible. And what aggravates me the most in that scenario is when I start thinking about what could be happening if it were done right now, like if I had this book out right now, I could be selling X number of more copies.
And I know what that does strategically. And it, you know, brings more, uh, attention to legion and uh, so there’s that element of it. And then there’s the element of. Uh, maybe a little bit of like a, a fear that the, the opportunity’s gonna disappear mm-hmm. By the time I actually am done. Right. Like, it might be too late or, um, or it may just not go very well because it’s been three months and who knows?
Circumstances can change and I. So in my experience, what I’ve learned is that those kind of worst case scenarios, uh, even though maybe that’s not a worst case scenario, but that’s a, that’s a bad, bad case scenario. They don’t seem to happen nearly as often. If we, if I were to look at it in terms of like actual probability, emotionally, I’m quick to take something that is a, maybe a smaller probability and make it a larger one.
And this is just kind of a human thing, I think. Um, I think in that book, thinking Fast and Slow, I think that was a book where the authors were talking about this is, this is just humans, right? This is all of us. We have this, this, uh, it may be biological or who knows, but it’s, it seems to be kind of hardwired into us to take small probabilities that, um, have emotional value and make them into larger and then to, in some cases, take larger probabilities and make them a lot smart, uh, smaller.
And so I, I try to. Consciously fight that cognitive bias and remind myself that, uh, it’s unlikely that the opportunity’s just gonna be gone. It’s unlikely that someone’s gonna preempt me so effectively that when I’m done and it’s gonna do nothing. Right? And so I try to, uh, almost like have a dialogue with myself.
There’s the emotional side, right? And then there’s the more analytical side. And so that, that has, that has helped me just be more patient and understand that, uh, it’s. When it gets done, it will, um, it will likely, the conditions will be likely very similar to when it began, and it’ll have its chance to do well.
And, um, and then, and then also I would say that, uh, maybe, maybe an analogy would be, um, take speeding, right? If you look at, okay, if you’re gonna drive to wherever you’re gonna drive at the speed limit of 50 miles an hour, uh, if you speed up to 60 or 65 miles an hour, there’s emotional satisfaction there.
You feel like you’re getting there faster. Mm-hmm. But if you actually run numbers, you’re like, Bad. What do I save? I save a few minutes. It doesn’t really matter. Right? Yeah. Like you’re getting there more or less, just as quickly. So as far as work, and really, again, and this is really just, if I’m trying to pursue any goal, I try to remind myself of that effect where so long as I’m making good progress and, uh, that, that also is gonna have to be quantified to some degree.
Like take training, right? It’s important to track your workouts and see what’s happening to make sure, you know, you’re at least moving in the right direction. And so, so long as things are moving in the right direction, and so long as we are more or less on target, or I am more or less on target for my deadline, I, I actively resist that emotion of I’m not going fast enough because that’s where I’ll go if I, if I don’t like really show myself that.
This is okay. The speed that I’m going at is okay, it, it’s fine. It’s gonna work. Then I will go there and I’ll be like, I need to work on this more. I need to work all weekend, which I tend to do. Maybe not all weekend, but I always work on the meeting. But you know what I mean? I’ll just be like, all right, I’m not doing anything today.
I’m gonna work on this until just 10:00 PM Yeah, that’s it. You know what I mean? So those are some initial thoughts. I don’t wanna go on and on and on, but, uh, I think it’s, you, you brought up a couple interesting points. Like even, even the kind of self-sabotage stories that you create in your head of, of worst case scenarios or how big or how small.
I, I, I often tell people too is like, just logically ask yourself, is that really true? Because if you really break things down, it’s like you’re creating things that probably aren’t gonna happen realistically, and that’s why you start self-sabotaging yourself. Um, and sometimes, you know, reverse engineering the process can help.
And, um, but. On the patient’s note. I think it’s cuz I’m a very impatient person too. And, and I’ve come to realize that I think it’s, and I’d be interested if you agree. I think it’s, it’s kind of, uh, it’s a double-edged sword in a way, but it’s kind of a blessing and a curse. Like I, I think it’s, it’s nice because it pushes me to keep going.
Like I have to stop it sometimes. But like you said, like I have to be like, okay, you’re going at the right pace, slow down, it’s okay. Chill. But at the same time, there’s people who are, aren’t. Impatient enough. And so they just don’t grow. Yes. They don’t push themselves, they don’t push the people around them, and because of that, they’re going too slow.
Um, do you think like that’s, see, that’s the fear though, right? Yeah. For people like us, that it’s, we don’t want to be that. Mm-hmm. So if, if we’re gonna air in one direction, it’s gonna be in the other direction, right? Yeah. We’re gonna air on, uh, over overburdening ourselves, so to speak. And overreaching, not unburdening or under reaching.
And I don’t think that’s bad, but I think that’s gonna be to your question. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And, and I think it’s, it’s one of those things that like, obviously there’s times where you can get burnt out or you can go too far, but I mean, you never regret trying too hard. Really. Yeah. Like, you know, I think that’s the biggest thing.
Um, but along the lines of, you know, patients and impatience, is there ever like, What was the thing that allowed you to become more patient or learn how to control that was do you think like people have to find what their thing is? Like I know a little bit about your past, like I don’t even think you were going into the fitness or supplement space or anything like that.
Yeah. Was it when you decided to make that shift and you saw that it was working and that you had this skill or this passion or this, this purpose there that you were like, okay, now I can be patient because I can see the long-term plan, I can see that like, if I am patient, this will work out well. Does that make sense?
Yeah, yeah. Um, I would say initially, no, probably because I, I don’t remember having these type, this, what I was just describing is, I would say more of a recent thing as I’ve had kids and just more obligations. Whereas at that time, I mean, eventually my, my son arrived, but I was, I was working. I don’t, most of the time.
I mean, I was like, kind of, I would wake up at 6:00 AM I’d go to the gym, uh, go to the office, work all day, go home and eat some food, do like 30 minutes of cardio, go back to work. That was Monday through Friday, maybe sometimes Friday evenings were off, but that wasn’t every week. I would work all day Saturday, just kind of morning until at least morning, till dinner, sometimes after dinner, and I would work half days Sunday and I got into playing golf.
So sometimes that was like my other, you know, afternoon or whatever. And, and that was pretty much my life for several years. And I didn’t take, I don’t think I took a vacation in, I don’t know, for like four or five years. And, uh, and, and the, the, the easiest antidote, my drug of choice for dealing with impatience is to just work.
That’s it. Just work. Just work on the goal and then I’m happy and then I’m, I know I’m making progress. And then I can also say that, If it doesn’t work out, and again, this is initially when I was building things and uh, now, uh, take Legion or books, whatever, there’s a lot of momentum. So, um, at this point it would take, it would take, I don’t know, a major economic catastrophe to just delete what’s there.
But at the time, uh, when I was building things, I was. I just, I don’t want to fail. I’m not the person who, I never want to fail because I didn’t work hard enough. Mm-hmm. Like, I don’t want to be that kind of person. I don’t want to be the person who fails because they just didn’t put in the effort. To me, that’s the most pathetic reason to fail, uh, failing because it wasn’t a good idea.
Um, okay. Sometimes that happens. Sometimes there’s actually, the only way to not have that happen is to not even try. Yeah. Because, uh, a good example of that is in marketing, conversion rate optimization. I’m working with a firm, I’ve been working with them some time, and they’re good. And we come up with ideas and there are some ideas that.
I was certain we’re going to work. Like they were so obviously good ideas. Uh, like we dramatically improved our checkout, uh, process. Legion Legion’s, old checkout was janky. It was just bad. By, by best practices, by anyone’s standard who knows about building a proper e-commerce checkout. It was bad. We rebuild it, we basically swipe Shopify, which has a really smooth flow that a lot of people are, are, are used to now.
And it did statistically, it did nothing like it. It was a, I mean, maybe if, if it did do something, it was probably 5% and a 5% increase in checkout rate or less. And I was like, how, how is that now? The, the hypothesis that we came up with is that, Although the previous checkout was bad, the checkout rate was actually quite good.
It was like high sixties and it’s basically impossible to get over like 75. And I, I, and I learned that later. And so I was like, oh, okay. So I, I guess now I see why, that’s probably why it didn’t, cuz once a person starts the checkout, a lot of the people are just committed to finishing it regardless of, of how ugly it is.
Right. And um, so my point with just saying that is that like, that was an idea though, that I was like, this is a great idea. I’ll bet you we see a 10 or 15% increase absolute not even relative in, in checkout rates. And uh, nope. It turns out like that’s basically impossible to, to hit a checkout rate of like 80% plus I guess your Amazon now or something like that.
And, and so coming back to just working hard again. If I come up with an idea, let’s say it’s an idea for a book, write the book, launch the book, uh, and then it doesn’t meet expectations. It doesn’t do as well as, uh, I had hoped or maybe it completely flopped. Uh, if it’s just because the idea didn’t resonate fine, I, that actually doesn’t, that doesn’t really bother me.
Uh, uh, but if it were to flop because I just didn’t work hard enough, I kind of tried to phone it in and, uh, I, I didn’t really do it up to the standard that I feel like I should have that. Is that would, that would, that would just bother me more. Like, that’s unacceptable to me. And so, you know, I I, in the beginning I was just committing as much time as I could, uh, to, to work and, and building things.
Because if it wasn’t gonna work out, I wanted to make sure it wasn’t gonna be for the lack of effort. And, and so, so now though, you fast forward to where I’m at, I still work a lot. I don’t work that much. It’s not that I don’t want to or that I couldn’t, it’s just that would mean that I would, I, I don’t want to be a derelict dad.
I don’t wanna be just never there and have no relationship with my kids and, and try to tell myself that. Like, well, I’ll, I’ll. We’ll be rich. Like, hey, whatever. You know, they’ll, they’ll have a nice house and they’ll have trinkets and things or, or be like, oh, well, you know, so-and-so didn’t even know his dad until he was like 12 and he’s okay.
Like, yeah, though, that’s magical thinking. That’s, that’s, uh, that’s talk, coming back to these ideas where like, I’m creating, if I were to do that, if I were to create this narrative and I assign a high enough probability to make me want to go with it, like, yeah, it’ll, it’ll be fine. Well, what am I saying?
It will be fine. I’m saying that there’s what, at least an 80% chance that it’s gonna be fine if I’m not even there for my kids at all. No, no, if I were to go, like, look at some data, there’s research out there that would immediately disagree with my fake illusion fantasy that I’ve just created, right?
Yeah. And so, so now, now though with less work, the opportunity cost of my work time has gone up. So I’ve, I’ve had to care more about priorities and what am I going to work on, and that’s helped me with, whereas previously I could quote, unquote, afford to do things that may or may not work. And I didn’t really have to do very much thinking or analysis if it seemed like a good idea and it wasn’t gonna cost an inordinate amount of time or money, do it, see what happens, right?
But now I’ve, I’ve isolated, I’ve found a lot of things that work that I can put my time into and that that can get me to my bigger strategic goals. And so I’m, I’m more, uh, protective of my time, so to speak. And I, and I’m more just cognizant of like, I really should be putting most of my time into these things, even if doing all of these other things would be more fun or more interesting, it’s kind of in service of a bigger goal.
And, uh, so that has helped as well. Yeah, I think there’s, there’s a couple things that I think are really, really important for people to hear in that, and I think, you know, one of ’em is, is this really what it takes to create a business? And that’s something that I appreciate about you is that you openly say, I worked every single day of the week for a long time, and, and I did the same thing and shit.
I would even say for my daughter’s, like, first one and a half years of life, at least that’s how it was too. And it, it was like, it took me a while. Same, same here. But I had this, I I I, I had a conversation with somebody recently about this, about entrepreneurship and about how they, they want to, like, it was, it was this idea of like being an entrepreneur.
Entrepreneur so you can have more freedom and flexibility and travel. And I was like, I like, I hate to tell you this, but. I’m just now to a point where I could do that if I didn’t have a kid. You know, and I still can if I take the kid, but like what you’re talking about, like if you wanna become an entrepreneur, you gotta remove that for quite a while because it, it actually takes so much more than people realize on the back end to create and consistently build something big.
Very true. Yeah. I mean, for the first couple years of my son’s, uh, life, I, I, I don’t have very many memories with him, which is not something that, uh, I feel bad about for my sake, and I’m not asking for pity or anything. It’s just a fact. And I, I probably still would’ve done it the same way because that period, uh, produced a lot and it’s gonna mean a lot for his future.
And, uh, now that he’s a bit older, I mean, to be fair, at that time, he really just wanted his mom most of the time. But I could have, uh, made an more of an effort. It just would’ve taken time, of course. And maybe I should have made a little bit more of an effort. Fortunately though, he’s eight now, and I do still work a lot.
And there are certainly better dads out there. But I give him time, I give him importance and, uh, I’m not as, Uh, just inaccessible as, as I was then. And, and I think it matters a little bit more that he’s older, so I can, I, I totally understand that. And to your point about entrepreneurship, I totally agree.
I, I’ve, I’ve said this, um, Have ran interviews and here and there on my own podcast when, when the topic of entrepreneurship has come up, it’s not for everyone. And that’s okay. I don’t say that like by putting us entrepreneurs up on a pedestal, looking down at the dirty peasants, like, uh, no peasant, you can’t come up here.
No. It’s just, it’s actually just not for everyone. And there’s a lot to be said for having a job that you enjoy that allows you to focus on the work that you’re good at and that you like to do, and that allows you to build a skillset that’s gonna be commercially. Valuable and viable for, uh, de the decades to come.
And that’s not that, A lot of that is changing because of technology and what’s happening in the economy. And there’s a lot to be said for not having to worry about payroll and not having to worry about inventory issues and let’s ask your job, uh, not having to worry about so many of the other things that come with owning a business.
And it’s not because you quote unquote couldn’t do it, but no, there, there’s a, there’s a trade off there. And in my opinion, if we’re talking about owning a business, um, there, the benefits of. Let’s think, let’s talk about this idea of, of freedom. Yeah. If you can get to a certain level of financial success and you, you can put enough systems in place and have enough people, you can have more time to, to play around, I guess, than if you had a steady job that, that, that keeps you busy 40 to 50 hours per week.
Like you can take more vacation time, so to speak. Uh, but there, and, and I’m sure you can relate to this, Y you’re not to, to get to that point, you have to be the kind of person who doesn’t really get off on not working. You know what I mean? Like y you’re gonna probably be the person who, who defaults to work, who enjoys work, who takes for me like a vacation.
Sure. Five days. Uh, after five days or so. It doesn’t matter where I am. I can be in Italy, I can be in France, I can be in beautiful places, whatever, five days. And I could leave and I’m like, yeah, that was good. You know, a little change up of the routine, looked at the rocks, ate the food, fine. You know, that’s it.
That’s traveling. Cool. And I’ve done a lot of traveling. I’m just kind of whatever about it at this point. Right. Um, seven days. I’m now looking forward to coming home 10 days. I’m like, I want to leave. Yeah. I, I want to get back to my routine. I want to be productive again. I want to have my workout schedule in.
I want to eat like an, like an adult. I wanna stop, you know, just randomly eating in this restaurant here and there. You know, it’s just, I want to get back to my system, my personal system that works for me, and that is the case with a lot of successful people. I know. That said, where I’ve seen it change is in the case of either large amounts of wealth, um, hundreds of millions of dollars net worth type territory, where I’ve seen people who have worked tremendously hard.
I’m thinking of one person, he started at like 16, and he has worked. He’s my age, so 20 years of the type of lifestyle that we’re talking about. And he’s at a point now where, I mean, his net worth is in nine figures. And at some point he’ll probably sell his business for, I don’t know, 400 to $900 million, depending on what he wants to do.
And, and he now is more interested in just kind of finding other things that interest him. Uh, but it’s been 20 years of that, of really working his ass off and achieving a certain level of success where he now, he can’t pretend like money matters anymore. Mm-hmm. You know, like, it, it just doesn’t, he can do whatever he wants.
Right. He made eight figures in the markets last year. It just doesn’t matter at this point. Uh, but. The, I, I know just as many very successful people who are still just, they just default to work. Like they, they want to have fun. That’s more how it has changed. Where at one point they did whatever they needed to do to get that financial freedom, but for them, the financial freedom was to only do the things they want to do now.
And that means work though, to only work with people they wanna work with to only work on projects they wanna work on to only invest in businesses they want to invest in. And that’s what they’re looking for. And, uh, the, they, in a couple of cases, I can think of people who went through the kind of the phase that my buddy’s going into right now, and then got bored and went back to, they were like, I was happiest and I felt most excited about my life back when I was working to build my businesses and build my net worth.
And now that I’ve done that, and then I tried to take it easy and just live the good life, quote unquote. I mean, in a couple cases people have told me like they were even depressed. They were just, they just didn’t, they weren’t happy. Mm-hmm. And they had everything, but they didn’t have a game that they wanted to play.
And that’s really what it comes down to. Right? Yeah. I, I think it’s that creative process. I was even gonna say when you were, you mentioned that person that was very successful after he sells, he probably will start another company, right? Oh, he already says he will. Yeah. He knows he, yeah, exactly. And I think that’s, it’s a, it’s a trait.
And I’ve even, I’ve had conversations with my wife about this where she, uh, has talked about like working on Sundays and she’s like, we don’t have to do, and I’m like, no, I definitely don’t. Like, things are good, but. Like, I really want to, because like I, I get this antsy feeling of like, well, it’s, Sunday sets me up for Monday, and it’s like this whole cycle and it’s just, it’s what I love to do and it’s that creative process.
Um, and that’s important. That’s, I, I would say for entrepreneurship, if somebody is not that way, and I, we don’t have to make a. A character judgment or a moral judgment. If, if it’s just, they’re just not that way. I know people who are just not that way. Mm-hmm. And so do you. And so does everybody listening.
They know at least someone who, uh, it’s not, it’s not even that they’re, they’re just good for nothing and, you know, they can barely get outta bed in the morning. No. It’s just work is, is, uh, an important part of their life. But it’s, it’s, it’s just, it has very clear boundaries and it serves, uh, a very specific purpose, which is usually to just pay the bills, maybe a little bit, uh, into the 401k for retirement and slowly grow it over time and retire that, that, that kind of approach.
And then they have their other things. That’s totally fine. But I would say to, to the. People who are more of that, uh, inclination that I would seriously consider not becoming an entrepreneur because like one of the criteria that I have thrown out there to people just to, again, this is kind of that due diligence before you get into something, right?
Is can you consistently work at least 50 hours? And I’m going low here. I I really think it probably should be more like 60 or 70, but let’s just start with 50. Can you consistently work 50 hours per week? Indefinitely. Not like, oh, you can muster the, the metal to do it for a week, and then you need to take a week off.
Like, no, can you just do that forever, basically. And uh, again, that’s a low number. And, and that’s work too. That’s not I. With the TV on or with social media going, or with your phone and you’re just kind of quote unquote multitasking and jumping between email. And that’s, that’s doesn’t have to be deep work.
Like I don’t even know if I could do 50 hours of actual true, deep work. Yeah. And not that I hold myself up as like a paradigm of productivity, uh, but I’m pretty good. I’ve done a lot of deep work. I’ve just practiced it a lot of the years. Right. Like writing. Writing is deep work. Yeah. I’m not sure I could do 50 hours of productive writing work per week.
It’s probably something around half that. Well, if it’s seven days, it’s a bit more. But if we’re talking to, let’s say, just five, I’m good for probably four to five hours of deep work per day. I know that I can do that. If I need to push and go further, I can, but it is. More, uh, there’s more of a burden to it.
Like I feel myself now. I feel the gears turning as opposed to for the first few hours, it’s pretty smooth, right? Um, but we go from the deep work to the light work. You do have to do email, you do have to make phone calls, you do have to coordinate with people, blah, blah, blah. So if you can’t work consistently at least 50 hours per week, I would say I would not, that’s a red flag.
As far as starting your own business goes. It’s not a red flag as far as being a human goes per se. I mean, maybe a little bit, but that’s a different discussion. Um, but as far as starting a business goes, that is, that is not, that is, uh, it’s gonna work against you, let’s just put it that way. And then another thing is understand the economics of business, right?
So, With all the extra bullshit that comes with owning a business. And I don’t care what business we’re talking about. I mean, I, and you’ve probably spoken to a lot of successful business people. I, I have. And in every case there’s always, the analogy that I use is, it’s like everything feels like it’s on fire all the time.
Yeah. And you’re just trying to pick the fires to put out. You’re just like scrambling around trying to prevent the whole thing from burning down. And even if that’s not reality, that’s how it feels. That is just how it feels. And, and there is some truth to like that is, That is the reality of some degree, right?
There are always problems that need to be solved. Sometimes they are hard to solve and sometimes they suck resources and whatever, and so to, to produce a high enough income to make it worth it. You first need to think about that because if you could get a job and you could make a hundred thousand dollars a year, and again, not have to worry about all that stuff, just work on what you’re good at.
And you’re only expected to produce in that discipline, that domain. And there’s value to, to also, now, you don’t have to educate yourself about 19 different things that come with running a business. You just need to get really good at your one thing. Let’s say, let’s take writing you, you create content for a business.
You just need to get better and better at researching and writing and improve your quality and quantity. And your value goes up. If your business doesn’t r see that and they don’t continue to pay you more, go somewhere else because that’s a valuable thing. And you could find a lot of individual examples of like, just get really good at this thing and you’re gonna be able to make good money and you’re gonna be able to make more and more money as time goes on.
Your wages don’t have to remain stagnant. Now if we’re talking about, uh, physical labor, for example, Yeah, you’ll need, you only can do very simple physical actions so well, and so of course you, it’s hard to expect the value of that to go way up, especially with automation and AI and whatever, right? Um, so let’s say you can get a job a hundred thousand dollars a year.
If you had a business, how much money would that business have to make for you to make a hundred thousand dollars a year? And you know this, but, but many people who are not in business, they don’t realize that the average business, if we’re looking at profitability, is probably around 10 to 15%. That, that’s actually considered good in business.
Mm-hmm. 10 is okay, 15 is good, 20 plus is great. And you don’t really see 20 plus often you see it maybe in some software companies, um, and, and digital agencies and you can do it. Uh, but most businesses are gonna be, assume, I, I would say assume 10% unless you know for a fact that margins are just higher.
Like if you’re starting a SaaS company and you know what you’re doing on the marketing and you’re not gonna waste a bunch of money there. Sure you might be able to get 20, but let’s just say 10. Okay? So you have 10% profits, and that means that after all of your expenses come out, your cost of goods and your overhead and blah, blah, blah, there’s 10% left for you, the owner.
And in the beginning, you don’t get a salary plus your distributions. Where, what? Where’s the salary coming from? You get your, that’s it, that’s all there is to pay you is 10% of, uh, the, the revenue. Now, if you take all of the profit out of your business, you’re gonna struggle to grow it, because what’s gonna happen is you’re gonna create systems that are gonna get you to a certain level of revenue and to scale those systems.
It often takes investment. Uh, and if it doesn’t, I, if you find something that, that, that, uh, is continuing to grow at a certain level of investment, eventually it will taper off, right? Mm-hmm. So you have your systems now that are producing your income. How do you double that income? Something has to happen.
You, it’s not just gonna come from, uh, the, the government, although these days maybe it will. Uh, but no, something has to happen in the market. You have to make something happen. You have to launch a new product, for example. Great. That’s a good way to grow your revenue depending on where you’re at in your business.
That costs money. Where does that money come from? Comes from your bottom line. It comes from your profits because that’s the only money you have left after all of your expenses to just stay where you’re at. Yeah. So, uh, there are different schools of thought on how much money the owner should be pulling out of the business if he wants to also, or she wants to also maintain good growth.
But if we want to be conservative, 50% is a high number, that’s high. Um, 25 or so is, and this is gonna change based on businesses. So if, if somebody listening is taking more than that out of their business, I’m not saying they’re doing it wrong per se, but I’m just going with kind of middle of the curve here.
Right? Um, but even if we’re really generous and we say, all right, you can take 50% of your profits, that’s yours, right? And, um, you can figure that out. So it’s gonna probably be hard to grow quickly, but whatever. Let’s just say that’s the case. So now let’s do some math. What does it take to get to a hundred thousand dollars a year in income, given those, uh, parameters?
Well, now you need 2 million a year in income, cuz you have $200,000 profit and half of it is yours. How many businesses make it to 2 million a year in consistent revenue? I mean, forget it like you have one year is, it’s a, it’s a small percentage. I don’t know what it is off the top of my head, but it’s small.
Mm-hmm. Most businesses fail within the first five years, for example. A lot of them fail within the first two years. Uh, so it’s a very small percentage. I would not be surprised if it’s, it’s less than 10%, maybe even less than 5%. Ever even see 1 million in annual revenue. Uh, I’m not sure. I’d have to look, but, um, that feels about the right range.
I might be a little bit off there, but then you go to 2 million and now it gets smaller. 10 million. And so to make $500,000 a year, again, assuming what we just laid out is, is true. That’s 10 million a year in sales. That’s now a very small, that’s a fraction of 1% of businesses make it to 10 million. And then we, so we take those base rates, right?
And we apply those now to the, the arenas that we’ve chosen to. To participate in. So it’s not just what does it take for a business to get to 10 million year in revenue? What does it take for a coaching business, for example, to get to 10 million in revenue? What does it take for a supplement business? A a book publishing business?
And you can get more granular with that data and understand that, hey, you may be in a great place. That makes it a lot easier to get to that, uh, than the average, but it also may be the other way around. And so understanding the economics, I think is very important because when people understand that, they’re like, oh yeah, wow.
Making millions of dollars a year consistently in sales is, is, uh, maybe I could do it, but that’s not as easy as I was. Thinking, like, I was thinking, hey, if I get my business to like a hundred K, 200 K a year, I could probably take a, I probably could take half of that, you know what I mean? And, uh, that’s not how it works.
So, so that’s also a discussion that I’ve had with people and then also for them to think with and assign a value, try to assign a monetary value to the extra bullshit that you are going to have to deal with as an entrepreneur, because that has certainly added to the stress quotient in my life. Like I guarantee you, part of the reason why I’m no longer as good of a sleeper as I once was is because the stakes are just a lot higher.
Yeah. Like, yeah, you know, I make more money now. My net worth is higher. But unfortunately, The emotional counterbalance, like the weight of that is, it’s just not, it’s just not very much like, it’s just bigger problems, more problems and more. Again, I I, I’m not trying to pretend like I’m a victim, I’m just saying reality.
Right? Just, there’s just more stuff on my mind all of the time now than ever before. And of course, I’m, I’m, there are rewards that are associated with that, but it, it takes its toll, so to speak, even though I do a pretty good job managing it. And so you have to sign a monetary value to that. If you could make a hundred thousand a year in a job and have none of that, or you could own a business and make a hundred thousand a year and have all of that.
Why, why, why, why would you even bother? You’re not gonna have the freedom, right? You’re not gonna be able to just walk away from your business and go to, to, uh, Indonesia for a month and think you’ll still have a business when you, when you come back. A lot of people I, I know who own businesses, they about two weeks is the point when business things start to, unless they’ve really put in good systems, things start to go wonky after about two weeks.
Um, and, and, and you also remember, you’re probably not gonna want to do it very much. You’re not gonna enjoy your trip to Indonesia nearly as much when you know that your business is starting to unravel every minute of every day. Right? And so for me, the math. Is, uh, I, I, I would personally have to make probably three to five times the money as an entrepreneur as I could, as an employee for it to probably, that’s just probably my point of indifference.
Like the point of where now I’m kind of indifferent, it’s okay, I, I could have the extra money and, and you know, there are the extra problems that come with that, or I could have less money and not have those problems. Like the, the value to that is probably about equal at that 0.3 to five times. And people don’t need to work that out for themselves, uh, individually.
And so, yeah, tho the, that’s, that’s, that’s a discussion I’ve had many times. 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. What do you do personally? Do you, I mean I’ve never, and I don’t know if you do this, but I’ve never heard you speak on like journaling or meditation or anything like that. But I’m curious of like reflection work because some of the stuff we talked about just now kind of made me think of like, you know, there was like this, uh, and, and I have nothing wrong with Gary V, but there was like a Gary v era where entrepreneurship came, became like really, really fucking cool and then everyone was doing it, which is cool.
Yeah. I mean I, but I respect Gary. I don’t know him and I don’t really follow him very much, but I’ve seen a lot of his stuff and I’m like, this guy has energy. Yeah. And he’s not giving bad advice. Exactly. Right. And then there’s also this aspect of the whole balance thing of like, um, you know, having balance and needing balance and all stuff.
And I don’t think people, I used to always say balance is bullshit, but I don’t think balance is about time. Cuz you’re never gonna balance time period. If you want something to be, if you wanna be the best dad, you have to put all of your time in being a dad. If you want the biggest business, you have to do that, you know?
So, um, but is there ever. Like practices or like what have you done to kind of stay in your own lane, so to speak, mentally? Because a lot of what we’re talking about isn’t the normal thing. Or people would kind of look down upon working too much to build something or not having this balance or even like what you just talked about, shit.
I mean, entrepreneurship does not sound cool or fun at all based on what you just talked about. Right. But there’s something that like makes you want to do it. Right. Exactly. And, but that’s, that to me is like if somebody just listened to my, uh, litany of, of reasons to not be an entrepreneur and they still want to do it, they feel like they’re up to the challenge and they’re willing to put in the work and then they understand the economics and they believe in their business plans, so to speak, and uh, and they still want to do it, then I think great signs and, and those are all green flags to me.
And as far as like self-care goes, I, I don’t talk about it because I feel like I’m not a good role model in that sense because I don’t, I’ve tried journaling and just got bored with it. I’m like, I’m not getting anything out of this. I’d rather be working. I’m wasting my time. Uh, meditation to me is, is okay.
It’s just, uh, I don’t, so, so really what we’re talking about right, is just not spazzing out for like 10 minutes. Yeah. I mean, really. Right. They’re breathing exercises. We’re not talking about Zen Buddhism meditation six hours a day, like trying to absorb into the universe or something. Mm-hmm. It’s, can you just like, chill out and not have 8 million thoughts a second for like 10 minutes and, uh, for whatever reason, I don’t have a great explanation for this.
That’s very easy. For me, and again, I don’t say that as a brag or, or try to put anybody else down it, it’s just, uh, I can relax easily. I, I have good control over my thoughts, my focus, my attention. Maybe the fact that I’ve done a lot of writing for a long time now, and a lot of reading for a long time now.
Yeah, I was always a good student and I was always into studying outside of school, and so it may just be a matter of practice. I’ve practiced controlling my mind, controlling my attention, uh, and in, in some ways, maybe even controlling my impulses to the point where I’m pretty good at it. I can always be better and I’m not perfect.
Uh, but with meditation, it was similar to where I just didn’t really feel like I was getting anything out of it. I didn’t notice any difference in any element of anything. And maybe it was making a difference and I just wasn’t aware of it. But if I couldn’t. Like, put my finger on this is why I’m doing this.
I’m not gonna do it just because everyone’s doing it. Or that’s like what you’re quote unquote supposed to do. That’s not a good reason. Uh, I need to know for me why I’m doing it. And so I’ve done that and was, it was just kind of, uh, it was a wash. It didn’t hurt, but it was not, I didn’t see that I was going from, let’s say, uh, even though I’m, I tend to be a higher, strong person.
I wasn’t going from like, clearly feeling anxiety to feeling calm. Like that would’ve been, oh, cool, that’s a great benefit. Like, I’m starting my day with that. You know what I mean? Uh, but there was nothing like that. And I, I did some gratitude journaling for a while, which I didn’t mind where I was looking for.
I, it was three things that I was anticipating the next day. This would be at night. So three things I was grateful for. Um, very simple. I didn’t overthink it. And three things I was looking forward to the next day. And, uh, again, I was, uh, I just felt like after doing it for a while and staying committed to it, I didn’t care whether I continued to do it or not.
You know what I mean? Like, I didn’t notice a, a market improvement in my, in my mood, which is generally when I’m in my workflow, I’m generally in a, in a good mood. Uh, if, if I’m not working, sometimes if I feel like I should be working, I’m gonna not be in a very good mood. But, but generally, generally, I’d say I’m pretty, pretty balanced, uh, emotionally and I do tend toward irascibility.
Uh, I will say that. Um, but, uh, not, uh, I don’t think to the extreme or to an extreme fault. And so, so that’s something, that’s another example that was just, it just didn’t really seem, again, I’d rather. It didn’t take much time, I guess it just, I didn’t notice any benefit from it. I liken it to like cold showers, right?
Mm-hmm. Which I, I’ve done for a long time and I, and I continue to do, uh, simply because, I don’t know, I’ve kind of gotten used to it and maybe there’s, I think there’s a little bit of value in, it’s, it’s almost like a little bit of a metaphorical just forcing myself to do something that is uncomfortable.
And I, I understand there are no health benefits. If I were to take like a six minute ice bath every day there, actually bring down some inflammation levels there, there could be a few things to be said for that, but just. A few minutes in cold water. You know, just raining down on me is not, not gonna do anything health-wise.
Uh, it has though, if we’re talking about physical effects, it has increased my cold tolerance. That’s kind of cool. Like, I do not get cold easily since then. And that’s kind of useful. Living in Virginia now moving to Florida, so that is no longer useful. In fact, I, I probably, if, if the body has counter ba, like if I’m now a warmer person, if I run hot now I’m fucked.
Cause in Florida it’s gonna, it’s gonna be disgusting. I’m just gonna be sweating literally every day, all day. Um, but, but the cold showers thing was something that I’ve continued to do because it continued to make sense to me where even though I didn’t quote, I didn’t, I couldn’t like tell you, oh, well here’s the before and after.
Mm-hmm. Like before cold showers, I was the person who couldn’t. And then after, no, not at all. But I, I like things that. Our, our, our high leverage that, um, it’s, I mean, ideally you have things that are relatively easy to do that can. Have big effects. And, and so this is one of the things that I don’t think it has big effects, but because it’s at the level of character, because it’s, it’s at the level of I’m the type of person who blah.
That is appealing to me because I think that that level of personal development takes precedence overall, more tactical types of things, like how to be more productive and, uh, how to, um, how to, how to, how to be a better marketer and or if we’re talking about how to be a better person, like, um, we talk about a relationship.
Um, people research shows that, uh, people who have sex more often have better relationships. So much so that the joke is like, fuck, don’t fight, right? Mm-hmm. And, and but above that is more, I think of the book, like The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, where it’s. What type of person you are, your values, uh, your principles, your own precepts, your ideas, your attitudes that drive your behaviors.
And in the case of a cold shower, does it really matter? No, but it is just one little indicator that I am the type of person who can force myself to do uncomfortable things, and I don’t even have a good reason to in the case of a cold shower, uh, in, in the case of maybe doing work I don’t want to do. I have a reason to, but it’s just I don’t allow my, uh, desire for comfort to drive my decision making.
So that’s why I continue to do it. Yeah. So that’s maybe an example of something that’s kind of trendy that I have maintained. And, and that’s, that’s one that, uh, we’re doing actually like a, a challenge. It’s free, completely free daily routine challenge thing, and cold showers are on one. And somebody was like, well, what’s the purpose of like, what are the health benefits?
I was like, ah, there’s not really any. But yeah, when you, when you, you want, do you want to do it though, when you turn your No, don’t, it’s cold. And you don’t wanna do it, but you still turn the water on cold. Like it’s just that little bit. I don’t care if you do it for 30 seconds or three minutes or whatever, like doing that consistently.
And then, and like I have a similar thought with meditation in the sense that like, I know people who have anxiety where like it helps them. Yeah. For me it’s, it’s more about visualization and like, if I can get quiet and think about one thing long-term, big picture, and then go to my journal and kind of write that out, it gives me ideas to come to my team with and then say like, this is the next step.
This is what we’re doing, this is the direction we’re going. Um, and that, and that, that’s, that’s a, that’s a spin on it. Uh, cuz the, when I think of meditation, again, I, I stopped. Looking into it some time ago when I did my little thing with it and was like, okay. Mm-hmm. I guess it’s just not really a thing for me, but that point of it was, it was like, oh, focus on your breathing.
Yeah. Or focus on a body part, or scan your body or different things like that. Uh, but how you’re using it, uh, it would be more appealing to me because they, I do think there’s value in that. Yeah. I get antsy when I’m, it’s like, okay, like now think about your toe and then think about your heel and then think about your knee.
And they’re like, going and like that. I can’t do it. And some people would say like, oh, but if you’re getting antsy, that means that you need to do it. Yeah. Ah, touche. I get it. Maybe, maybe. Um, uh, I, I would say I would agree again if, if somebody. Can’t calm their mind down and just relax really, and just kind of chill out for, for 10 minutes, then there’s certainly value in being able to do that, right?
Mm-hmm. Um, because again, there’s this point of let’s come back to work or really any activity, you have to be able to control your attention, right? You have to be able to put your attention on something and keep it on something. Yeah. And sometimes for extended periods of time, and you can’t be flitting all over the place.
And so I could see meditation helping with that for sure. Yeah. Yeah, a hundred percent. Um, I want to use these last little bit of time to run through this over under, so we’re gonna dive into like, it’s just gonna be rapid fire. Um, yeah, sure. You don’t literally have to say overrated and stop. You can, you know, give your spiel on it.
Yeah, yeah. Um, but we’ll ran, run through a handful of things and, uh, and I wanna just get your, whatever comes to mind first. Uh, and these are random topics, so, uh, and, and the reason we’re doing this too, just so you know, like we did a couple episodes, Doing over under. People fucking loved it. Like it was like some of the most downloaded people, just, and I thought it was fun.
I just gotta sit there and just fucking answer, answer, answer. It was really cool. So, um, yeah. All right. So the first one is, uh, the big three compound lifts. Oh. Um, You know, I, I say who we’re talk, who are who according to who, because if they’re not, you can’t overrate them. I mean, if you’re gonna make an argument for overrating them, you would say that, well, maybe if you were to only do those and nothing else.
Mm-hmm. Like, uh, maybe the Mark Rippetoe message, and I love rip and, uh, and, but that, I mean, that’s his brand. I understand. I think though, in from, from that like kind of purest, dogmatic, this is literally all you need. I don’t care what your goals are, then a bit o overrated. Uh, but then of course we have the people who were, who would say like, well, those exercises are, are not, There’s nothing really special about those exercises.
You can recreate all the same effects with a bunch of other exercises. Yeah, that’s true to some degree. But I would say those exercises are certainly the most efficient way to increase whole body strength and increase whole body muscularity. So in that case, they would be, uh, I’d say those people are underrating them.
Yeah. It’s funny cuz it was so hard for me to do any of these without saying it depends. So like, and that’s a sign of I know, I
Mike: It’s like the. Who, uh, there’s a little anecdote, I forget which president, the joke was he was looking for a one-armed, uh, economist. Somebody who didn’t preface everything with, on the one hand Yeah.
But on the other hand, like, just tell me one thing. Yeah. Come on. Make a stand. Not everything is 50 50. Yeah. Well, in, in our industry it’s, it’s, it’s probably a good sign, you know, because cuz you’re thinking about it both ways. And, and I would agree too, I think that like, there’s people that are like, oh, you want big biceps just do squats?
It’s like, no, you should do some fucking curls because Yes. That’s how you’re gonna get your bicep period. Yeah. I mean even, even if you’re deadlifting and you’re rowing, that may not be enough to get you big biceps. Like Exactly. You want big biceps, you’re probably gonna have to do some curls too. Yeah.
Yeah. Um, all right. Knowing you’re one rep, max, Uh, that’s a good one. I would say, uh, it’s not something I get asked about very often, but if that is like a thing out there that people are very concerned with, overrated for sure. Because unless your programming uses that for, let’s say, telling you how much weight to put on the bar, you don’t have to ever estimate your one rep max.
Certainly you don’t have to do a, a true one rep max test, which you can do, but increases your risk of injury and it shouldn’t be done very often and it needs to be done appropriately in terms of your programming and like where it falls in a, in a cycle of training and what you do after. Uh, and so if though, like for example, if some, if someone’s following, let’s say it’s a guy following my bigger, leaner, stronger, which is double progression, a lot of four to six reps, uh, or a woman, uh, following thinner, leaner, stronger, uh, a lot of eight to 10 rep work, double progression it, they can do really well.
Never calculating a one rep Max, never knowing a one rep max ever. Um, because what they, what they will know is that the weights are going up over time, though they’re getting stronger. And of course, the one rep max is going up. But to know it explicitly is for bragging, uh, or, or for programming. And it, it is useful like in, in my beyond bigger lean or stronger program, which is for intermediate and advanced weightlifters, the primary exercises actually are programmed according to percentage of calculated one rep maxes.
Now I’m not asking people to do true one RM tests. These are, these are calculations based on AM wraps with some heavy weight. Mm-hmm. Uh, and that’s useful. So, uh, I think, I think that’s my spiel on that. Do you think that the, the value of percentage based training lowered when R P E was discovered and actually, you know, Used in science.
I don’t actually, I, I think when used together, they, I think they’re very complimentary and I think though the value of percentage based training is much higher for intermediate and advanced weightlifters than it is for novices. Novices people, guys who have yet to gain their first 25 to 30 pounds of muscle women who have yet to gain about half that and who have yet to achieve some kind of like novice level strength standards.
They, they, sure, they, they can, they could grab my beyond bigger lean or stronger book that and do well with that program, but it’s unnecessarily complex for them. It also would have more volume than they need. They can do really well with double progression, just kind of auto regulating their training, uh, and knowing that, okay, they’re going for that one set of six or two or three sets of six before they add weight to the bar.
And that’s all they have to care about is just put that weight on the bar. Oh, you got five. All right, cool. You got three sets of five. Great. Can you get six on your first sec on your first set next week or on the next workout if you can. Cool. Throw some weight on the bar. Does that progression stick?
Great. That’s your new weight. Do it again. Oh, it doesn’t stick. All right. Go for two sets of six. Real simple. Right? Doesn’t require a spreadsheet. And, uh, so that though, Eventually doesn’t work so well. Once you have gained that initial, your newbie gains are well behind you. You’re pretty big now or you’re pretty muscular if, uh, to put it in terms that women would more relate with.
Right. Uh, even though you’re not bulky, but like you are not now a frail a hundred pound woman, like you have some, some, some muscle mass mm-hmm. And you’ve gained some strength. There is a point where that double progression model becomes hard to continue working with because the weights are heavy and how you feel doesn’t always correlate well to how well you can perform.
Uh, and with a, with a percentage based system, what it allows you to do is bake progression into it and know that if you can just hit these numbers, you are progressing. Now it’s. It’s going to be slow, and it’s not like in the beginning where you’re adding weight every week and then every other week and then every month you might, you know, over the course of, I, I talked about this recently, over the course of a four month macro cycle of training, um, I increased my one RMS by, I’d have to pull up my spreadsheet, but I’m gonna guess the total increase was no more than 30 pounds.
And that’s on, that’s on bench overhead, squat and deadlift. It may have been a little bit more because I was still coming back from L home workouts and getting kind of back to where I was. And on the whole, I’m still regaining, I, I’m coming back to my previous prs, uh, which are about 3, 4, 5, like three plates.
One on one rep max on the bench, four on the squat, five on the deadlift. Although actually I think it was a bit less than five, it was high fours on the deadlift. And so I’m still. It’s not muscle memory per se. There’s no such thing as strength memory, but I’m, I’m still working back to something I’d already done.
Right. Um, and so that was four months of training, and then in the next macro cycle, which is the one that I’m just wrapping up now, uh, it’s gonna be less than that. It, my bench was a wash. No, no one RM gain on the bench. And, uh, I did my one rm. Uh, I did my AM wrap on, on a trap bar deadlift, and it looks like, I think I gained about 10 pounds.
I went from four 60 to four 70 a one rep, and we’ll see how my, my squat goes. My overhead press went up by about 10 pounds as well. And we’ll see how my squat goes. Um, so it, it may be similar. We’ll see how my squat will determine, I guess, uh, how, how, how it goes. And that was with training disruptions toward the end of this macro cycle from traveling.
And then I got covid, which was, I was mildly congested for a couple of days, but I quarantined like a good boy. I, I waited for the symptoms to subside 10 day, 10 day quarantine before I got back in the gym. So, Uh, and then I got a PCR test to, to test, uh, negative. And just cuz I don’t care about it for my, for my personal health at all, uh, it did nothing.
And so I will never probably care about it ever again. I never really cared Once the data came out and I realized how little risk it actually posed to me personally, not to others, just, just me personally, right? So I didn’t, was like, okay, I don’t have to worry about it for myself. But now that I’ve had it, uh, what they’re saying is that if you get it again, it’s likely to be even less severe than the first time.
And it was, it didn’t even rate as a cold for me the first time. Um, but it still disrupted my training cause I didn’t have a home gym to work out in, so I didn’t, uh, I, I just didn’t train for those days. Uh, I didn’t bother doing pushups or I was like, whatever, I guess I’m taking 10 days off. So then I got back into the groove, couple of weeks to try to get back to it.
Um, but so we’ll see on that macro cycle. And that’s not, that’s, that progress is gonna slow down. I know once I start getting back toward those previous prs, I’m gonna be lucky to, to, to probably add f. I don’t know, 10 to 15 pounds probably per year. Yeah. For those lifts. And then it’s gonna eventually, probably just grind to a halt because I’m not gonna be willing to push myself as far as I’ll need to go, simply because the, the, the wrist award no longer makes sense to me.
I, I, the chances of getting hurt to try to get above those 3, 4, 5 numbers for me is just gonna go up because my body’s not built to be big and strong. Like, it’s just not, I, I’m built to be an endurance dude and I, I have decent muscle building genetics that have made up for some of that. Uh, but I have long legs, long femurs, long arms, um, and in my body, uh, I, I’ve always had good cardio, but I’ve never been particularly strong.
I have small bones. I mean, that’s just it. I’m not made to be a, a strength guy really. Um, So that’s, uh, that’s just some context for, for progress and percentage based training helps me just make sure again, that I’m just inching the, the, the, the, the intensity. I’m making things just a little bit harder over time and that’s hard to do with double progression cuz what’ll happen is you’ll feel really good one day and you’ll go in there and you’ll get your sets, your set of six or your two sets of six or whatever, and you’re like, great progress.
And then, um, the following week or the following workout, you’re, you add, even if it’s just five pounds to the bar. Let’s say you, you first try to go for 10 and you get two or three and maybe you’re not feeling too good that day either, or it’s just an off day. It just is what it is, right? You get two or three and you’re like, okay, you go, you take the fives off and you replace ’em with two and a halfs.
You get two or three and now you’re back to your old weight. And it’s very easy to get stuck in those ruts if you’re just trying to stick with double progression forever. Right. Yeah. And I think, like you said, it be like in conjunction, I think they’re good together as you get more advanced. Cause I’ve even had times where actually I have a video of me maxing out on back squats, and it was like during my knee surgery recovery, like months and months after.
And I walk away from the rack saying that was definitely an RPE nine, nine and a half. And I watched the video and I was like, that was like a RP seven. Like I, I had more in the tank. And I think as you get better, you can keep that form intention under heavier loads and sometimes you can push past, you know, and, and if I was using more of a percentage based approach, I would’ve been able to say like, no, I can keep going.
And, but that’s also the value of filming, um, your workouts. But, um, all right. Few more. That’s true. That, that, that’s a good point. Uh, That subjective element comes into it as well. Yeah, that’s a very good point. I didn’t think of that, but yeah, when you see it on video and you look at the bar speed, you’re like, it barely even slowed down.
That was not anywhere even close. Yeah, it just felt really hard. Yeah. Because, you know, maybe I didn’t sleep all that great the night before. Yeah. And once you’re beyond, what, 80% everything feels fucking hard, you know, at a certain point. Um, All right. Uh, email marketing. Oh, it is if, if people, anyone who thinks it’s not amazing when done well, underrated.
It’s certainly not, I have not seen it Overrated. Yeah. Uh, and, and the thing though is doing it well, and many companies do not do it well. Many people do not do it well. And for example, many companies, you never hear from them unless they wanna sell you something. That’s not doing it well. Yeah, and it could work.
You can make money, but you’re just gonna have shitty lists. It’s gonna be low open rates, low click through rates. Uh, you’re gonna have sending problems, deliverability problems, I guess would be the term. Because you have this low engagement list or these low engagement lists, a lot of your shit’s gonna end up in spam.
And so, uh, What what makes email marketing work is really what makes any sort of, um, content related marketing work, and that is giving a lot of good content and earning the permission to promote things. It’s that kind of permission marketing perspective. Yeah, that works really well. So if you give a lot and, and that means that, and people understand it.
Even if it’s, they understand it implicitly, maybe they don’t, uh, they don’t explicitly think like, oh, this person is spending a lot of his time just creating things to help me. But that’s the effect cuz that is the truth. If you are putting a lot of your time into writing good articles or writing good emails, recording good podcasts, creating good videos, and you’re.
Promoting those, you’re sending those regularly to your people and they get used to hearing from you and they see that it, it is good content and work clearly went into it. Then they start to like you, they start to look forward to your emails. They start to open more and more of your emails, or at least they look at the subject line, is this something for them?
If not, eh, fine, they’ll pass. Right? And you have to get to that level with people to make email marketing work, to actually start converting a lot of those people into customers. And, um, again, not to, not to brag, but just, just to let people know, well, if they’re thinking like, why should I care what Mike says about email marketing?
Um, so I have right now over 500,000 people on my lists. I clean those lists every, I believe you do it every three months. It may be six, but I think it’s three once, uh, maybe it maybe actually, yeah, I believe it’s every quarter. Um, and what that means is I. If you clean your list, you take people that are not engaging at all.
So like, I, I don’t remember the exact parameters. I put it together originally, and it’s, I think it’s been refined by the people who do it by now, but basically you want to take, uh, it’s, it’s usually kind of like the lowest quartile of your list in terms of engagement. Mm-hmm. And send them an email basically saying, Hey, um, oh, I think what, what’s our email?
The subject line is, was it something I said? And it’s basically saying like, Hey, you don’t really open anything. You don’t click on anything. And if you don’t want to hear from me, that’s totally cool. Uh, but if I don’t hear from you, I’m gonna have to remove, remove you from my list. And I, it’s a long, it may say something totally different now, but that’s kind of the, the, the gist of it.
And it, it’s not bullshit. Actually, the reason why I do that is not as a marketing gimmick to try to get people to, to buy something from me or whatever. It’s actually, because if I keep them on my list, Then my deliverability rates go down. Uh, ISPs, they, that matters. There, there is a relationship between the quality and the health of your list, and you can look at that in terms of engagement.
That’s what they look, look at. Uh, open rates like in the, in the highest quartile or open rates on average are, and that’s a lot of people, right? And on a, on a half million. Person list or different lists? Uh, I, our average open rate is probably over 30%. That’s really good. The highest, that’s really good.
Right? Anything in the teens to 20 is like good, right? Yeah. You get into the mid twenties, oh, you’re getting real good. You get to above that and that’s really good. And that then has a rising tide effect because it allows more of my emails to a land and inboxes and not spam. Right? Yeah. And so, so that’s a, that’s a half a million people and it continues to grow and it gets cleaned regularly.
And, um, and so I send three to five emails a week. It’s mostly content. Some of them are. Content in emails shorter, just maybe 200, 300 words. You can read it, learn something, get some inspiration. Some of them, uh, that we have a newsletter that goes out every week, which is, here’s the new stuff over at the blog, here’s the new stuff on the podcast.
Uh, and we have, let’s see, what else? Um, yeah, so it’s, it’s just, it’s a combination of those things really, but it’s a lot of content. And so people, um, the, there’s often, like after I’ve gone through a couple of weeks, there’s usually something for a lot of people in there. Right. And then that allows me to, I, I’ve earned the, the, the permission of many of my subscribers to promote aggressively when I have a sale.
Yeah. For example. So like if I have a, a big sale and I may email, I may email literally nine times in like, Five days. Um, and sure I get more unsubscribes and some people tell me to fuck off and die and stop emailing them and whatever, that’s fine. But, but I don’t get much of that. A lot of people are okay with it because they, there’s enough value being on my list.
And also a lot of people, they’re like, oh, cool, that’s on sale. Great. Yeah, I want that. I wanted to get that anyway. Yeah. And, and so as a result of, uh, what is a pretty simple system, I mean, we, Legion does millions of dollars a year, a year in sales from email marketing. So that’s where I’m coming from. Uh, my email marketing of of course can be better, but we have pretty good systems in place that would also include good autoresponders that share some of your best emails right up front.
So things that, um, people really have engaged well with. If we were starting from a simple just, uh, kind of blank, blank slate, get people on, have an introductory email. Um, Invite them to ask questions. That’s one of the first things that the outer responder does is like, it’s an email from my email address just saying, Hey, do you have any questions?
Get reply. Let me know. You’ll hear back from me. You’ll get an answer. Right. That is tremendously powerful, psychologically. It’s very helpful. It also, uh, by starting that, Discussion by getting them to send me an email. Now my delivery ability with them skyrockets. Yeah. Because now it’s recognized like, oh, they’re actually talking to this guy.
Right? So when an email comes from Mike at Muscle Life or whatever, uh, it’s gonna hit their inbox and there’s value in that. And, um, and then building that ar out with, again, emails that have really done well. And, uh, there’s some other strategic. Thoughts that, that go into building that out. But that’s a very simple way to start building something that by the end of somebody hits your list and they’re gonna get, let’s just say it’s three emails.
It’s gonna be every other day. And those emails are an invitation to talk to you, ask you questions, so right away you get them engaged. And then you have a couple of, let’s say, really good content emails that you just know have performed really well. Like really, you got a lot of good feedback and people are forwarding them around.
Um, then if you just load those and front end that, then you’ve just created a really good first impression with your subscribers. So there’s so many things you can do with email marketing, uh, and it’s, it’s, it’s, I don’t think it’s ever gonna go away because email would have to go away. Like what’s gonna replace email?
Yeah. I don’t know. Uh, telepathy brain chip, I don’t know. May until there’s that, you know? But don’t worry, that’ll be a Facebook chip and there’s gonna be, then you’re, you’re, the advertising is gonna be, uh, resonating in your skull. So, uh, I think that’s, that’s the perfect one to end on, but for people listening every, like, that was probably the most valuable snippet of business information in this entire podcast.
Cuz I think email marketing’s, uh, extremely underrated. And no matter what scale your business at, you can value from what he just said and do it exactly how he does it. Because my list is not nearly as big as yours. However, I do the same exact cleanup process. I do the same exact auto-responder process.
I have the same exact philosophy of giving free value. And then when I have something to promote every single day, we’re actually promoting it cuz people are willing to accept it. Cause I don’t annoy them every single week, year round. But, um, and I, I’m subscribed to you guys list, so I know that that’s true and I get those emails.
But, um, no, that was, that was great man. I think that’s perfect info and I think that, uh, I’m glad we went the route of business and stuff cuz it, people don’t hear you specifically talk about it enough. And it’s always interesting to hear when we see big businesses. What’s going on in the person’s head behind the scenes that doesn’t do a lot of business coaching, mastermind, stuff like that in the backend.
So, um, thank you for, for sharing all that, dude. And, uh, um, I mean, I, I have your guys’ links all over my shit cuz obviously I’m, I’m on the team, but, uh, if you wanna share where to find everything, you do that, this would be the time to plug it. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Again, I appreciate the opportunity. It’s, it’s fun for me too, to talk about this stuff.
It’s, uh, sometimes can be more fun than recording a monologue podcast on something. I’ve already, you know, I I, I’m doing it in service of my listenership. Cause I know it’s a question that I should put this out there, but sometimes those are a bit of a slog, honestly. Yeah. Cause I’ve already like, written about it and I, I don’t really care to go through a hole, but, but I do it anyway.
So, um, legion athletics.com and that’s really where Everyth people can find, I have books and, uh, The books are pretty comprehensive and I, I update them regularly. I’m working on another round of updates actually, to kinda my flagship books for men when bigger or stronger and thinly or stronger. And they’re not expensive.
Uh, I think the digitals are like $8 or something. And, uh, of course there are supplements. You can find a lot of articles at the blog. I’ve written personally, uh, probably well over a thousand, and I have a couple of people now who write with me, not under my name, under their names, but we have like a, now it’s a, it’s a collective effort, so there’s even more stuff going up on the blog.
Uh, and if somebody has a question on, on pretty much anything, I’ll, I’ll bet you if they just search it, they’ll probably find something that one of us has written. Uh, the podcast on my own podcast, muscle for Life. Um, you can find that wherever you listen to podcasts or you can check out on the website.
Um, and yeah, so that’s kind of my online hub. Love it. I’ll link all that in the show notes. Um, yeah, man, once again, thank you for time. Absolutely. I appreciate the opportunity. All right. Well, that’s it for this episode. I hope you enjoyed it and found it interesting and helpful. And if you did and you don’t mind doing me a favor, please do leave a quick review on iTunes or wherever you’re listening to me from in whichever app you’re listening to me in.
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And if you didn’t like something about the show, please do shoot me an email at mike muscle for life.com. Just muscle f o r life.com and share your thoughts on how I can do this better. I read everything myself and I’m always looking for constructive feedback. Even if it is criticism, I’m open to it. And of course you can email me if you have positive feedback as well, or if you have questions really relating to anything that you think I could help you with, definitely send me an email.
That is the best way to get ahold of me, mike muscle life.com. And that’s it. Thanks again for listening to this episode, and I hope to hear from you soon.