This podcast is a bit different because rather than interviewing a guest, I’m sharing an interview of me. Specifically, I recorded a webinar for students at Oxford Brookes University in the UK, in which I shared business advice for students who wish to start a health or fitness business or for fitness professionals who wish to grow their existing business.
I was interviewed by professor Paul Hough, a Senior Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Science at the university. Not only is he a fellow author, but he’s worked with elite-level athletes in tennis and Formula One, and published several studies in academic journals.
In our discussion, we chat about . . .
- Writing books (and why you need to enjoy it if you’re going to do it)
- How to use content marketing to help people
- The time management structure I use for projects and my daily schedule
- My system for taking notes on what I read
- How I deal with procrastination
- My favorite part of being an entrepreneur
- Marketing, “micro yeses,” and how to price your goods and services
- And more . . .
So, if you have your own health and fitness business or are interested in starting one, or you’re just curious to hear a bit of my story and about the business side of my work, you’re going to enjoy this podcast!
0:00 – Save up to 30% during our big Labor Day Sale! https://buylegion.com/
7:23 – What do you attribute the success of your first book to?
14:35 – Do you think there is pressure for new trainers to write books?
24:00 – What time management strategies do you use to manage all the projects you’re involved with?
37:24 – Do you ever procrastinate?
40:10 – Do you use a calendar or a to-do list?
44:31 – What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
51:12 – When you say that your supplements aren’t necessary, is it to be different or is it a philosophy you’re passionate about?
57:50 – How do you place monetary value on your servicing when establishing a business? How do you place yourself competitively without undervaluing yourself?
Mentioned on the show:
Save up to 30% during our big Labor Day Sale! Go to buylegion.com and use coupon code MUSCLE to save 20% on any non-sale items or get double reward points!
What did you think of this episode? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!
Mike: Howdy. Howdy. This is muscle for life and I’m Mike Matthews. Thank you for joining me today for something a little bit different, because rather than rambling myself by myself or interviewing a guest in this episode, I am interviewed by a professor at Oxford Brooks university in the UK. I’m sharing a recording of a webinar that I gave to some of his students who were looking for business advice.
And specifically, these are people who are interested in working in the health. And fitness industry. They want to be fitness professionals of one kind or another. And as I have had some success in my work, in the health and fitness space, I was invited to come and speak to them and answer their questions.
And as for the interviewer, his name is Paul Huff and he is a senior lecturer in sports and exercise science at Oxford Brooks university. And not only is Paul a fellow author, but he has worked with elite level athletes in tennis and formula one in particular. And he has also published several studies in academic journals.
And in this discussion, Paul and I talk about writing books. We talk about content marketing note, taking a system that I like to use that is fairly labor intensive, but very productive. We talk about procrastination. Entrepreneurship, various aspects of marketing, including getting quote unquote micro yeses and how important that is to selling stuff as well as how to price your goods and services and more.
But first, if you like what I’m doing here on the podcast and elsewhere, and if you want to help me do more of it while helping yourself reach your fitness goals faster, please do check out my sports nutrition company Legion. Because while you don’t need supplements to build muscle, lose fat and get healthy, the right ones can help.
And that’s why over 350,000 discerning fitness folk have chosen Legion for their supplementation needs. Well, that and our 100% natural products, our clinically effective ingredients and doses and our no hassle money back guarantee. And you should also know that for this week only Legion is holding its big labor day sale.
And that means you can save up to 30% on some of our most popular products, including our protein powders pre-workout and postworkout supplements, fat burners, multivitamins, joint support supplements, end more. And so to take advantage of this head over to BI legion.com. Now that’s Bui legion.com and save big before we run out of stock of at least a thing or two, which always happens in our sitewide sales, usually not at a product level, but at an individual skew level.
So certain flavors run out of stock. Certain options run out of stock simply because we’ve learned it is impossible to be fully accurate in your inventory forecasting. Uh, today
Paul: we are lucky to be joined by mikes. Um, I’m sure many of you’ll be familiar with, um, Mike’s work. He’s a best selling health and fitness and the CEO of Legion, which is best selling brand of natural sports.
He’s the, and host of the muscle life podcast, which I believe has over 25 million downloads. If, if that’s right, Mike. That’s
Mike: the last, it’s probably a bit higher now. I, I update it like once every six months when the number is significantly bigger, but something around there. cool.
Paul: So it’s a lot of people basically listen to of people.
Yeah. Podcast and I’m one of them. Um, so you include me on that and, uh, if you are not, then, um, I recommend the subscribing to, to for life. Um, like there’s some great talks with, um, a lot of different varied guests. It’s not just all about, uh, health and fitness. You get some great people from business psychology and other walks of life.
So I’d recommend tuning into that. Um, for those of you that’ve seen, um, the brief I did on zoom on the, on the link, um, Michael also an accomplished offer. Um, his first book, which I believe is stronger, uh, became one of the best selling fitness books on Amazon and his books have collectively sold over a million copies.
Uh, so today’s webinar is gonna be useful for you if you’re interested in creating written content or maybe even starting your own podcast
Mike: and, and from what it’s worth, I’m actually, I’m, I’m close to 2 million copies now. It’s probably like 1.9 million. That’s that’s just the fitness stuff I’ve actually written, uh, could talk about.
It’s kind of a funny, I’ve written in other genres, um, under a pen name, just to keep it separate. Like I have a book I wrote on. The bill of rights here in the United States and ironically last year and the year before I think by unit sold, that was actually my best selling book, just because of what’s going on here in the country.
Oh, really didn’t know for a while. My book on the bill of rights was outsell. Like. The constitution, you know, that people can buy for like 99 cents, which was funny. Wow. Another string in your,
Paul: my previous guests, my actually contributed to, um, to my book, uh, advanced personal training science practice, Mike, co-authored the, um, training for fat loss chapter with me. Um, but a topic that actually wasn’t covered in the book is, um, exactly what I’ve got. Mike, uh, is given up time to talk about today.
And that’s all the business aspects of, uh, personal training and working in the fitness industry, uh, in general. So I’m often asked about this, um, in terms of authoring, um, Starting, uh, as a trainer and marketing your service, and this is something I’ve got hardly any experience. I’m certainly no way near an expert in any of this.
So I thought it’d be really useful to, to bring in someone that’s got proven track record of both author, author, um, publisher of a podcast, and also CEO of a successful company. So many of the students, uh, that joining us today, Mike are either still at university or have just finished. There’s a few people in the audience as well that are actually trainers.
So I think this will be a really useful session for, for these, uh, people that are students and, um, working in the industry, just to find out a little bit about kinda what it takes to, to make it particularly, um, in multiple facets of businesses as you’ve, uh, uh, managed to do. Um, so if it’s with you, Mike, um, I’ll, I’ll start straight away with, with, uh, with the questions that have come in.
Yeah. Um, We’ll just go through these and, um, I’ll, I’ll try not to go off on too many tangents. I had a few people last time said I kinda asked too many of my own questions. I’ll and avoid that’ll start with Steve. Steve question is what do attribute the success of your first book to, he said would like to write a book on strength training, but I don’t have a large following on social media, so I’m not sure how I would promote.
Mike: Yeah, good question. So, um, when I published figurine stronger, that was 2012. I also had no following at all. I had no connections in the industry at all. Uh, it was a nights and weekends thing, and I had my own personal story, a personal transformation, some pictures I had worked with people, and I knew that, I mean, this was in the beginning when I first learned about energy balance.
Like that was kind of a revelation to me in the beginning when I first learned about it and learned about macronutrient balance and learned about some of the actual fundamentals of training. Whereas up to that point, I had just done a lot of stuff that you had read about in body building magazines, and even that, um, content has changed.
And it’s, it’s, I’d say on the whole better. Now it’s a bit more evidence based now and practical than it was back then. Um, so. Uh, that you don’t, you don’t have to, you don’t have to, to have a big following to have a successful book. Um, so that’s something that I think is just encouraging, however, I will say.
Um, and, and. So this, this is, this is just directly answering the question, bigger leaders stronger. Um, it was the, the right book at the time and for a couple of reasons, and, and in business, um, you, you often wonder you take a successful business and you wonder what. What was like the number one factor that really made this business go in a lot of cases, uh, timing is a big role.
Like the right idea at the wrong time is kind of the wrong idea, uh, the right idea at the right time. That’s when you can really find that product market fit. And so coming back to bigger than, or stronger, we rewind 10 years, uh, or so 1 20 12 or was when I published it. And at that time, uh, there were not nearly as many books, fitness books on Amazon as there are now.
So that was something that was, that was working in my favor. And there were no books, like bigger lean or stronger in that, that first book that I, that I wrote was kind of like a minimum viable product. And, uh, if people haven’t read the book, lean startup, I recommend reading it because I think that’s a smart way to approach business is so.
When, uh, and this is I think a good framework for just decision making in general, but in business you have to ask yourself, all right, what’s my goal. What am I actually trying to achieve here? All right. Now, what, what’s the most effective way that I can come up with to achieve that goal? All right. Now what’s the most effective way to test my idea and see if it has legs and if I should invest more, and then finally, when you start testing, then you start revising the first three based on your results.
Right? And so I, I think that’s a smart approach in business. And, and I took that approach with bigger lean or stronger where that first book, maybe it was 50,000 words, certainly no more than 80,000 words, which is a standardized book. But I will say that, um, I, I didn’t take great pains over the pros. Uh, I worked with an editor.
I, I. Went about it in a semi-professional manner, but I didn’t belabor it. I just put it together. I put as much stake in there as I could and kind of left the sizzle out. And basically really what I was doing is I was writing the book that I wished somebody would’ve just given me back when I was 17 or 18 and said, dude, just do this before you worry about anything else.
Just do these things for at least three to five years. And chances are, you’ll be happy enough with the results that you probably won’t even care to really do much of anything else, but you can at that point. Right. And so. That book was, was missing. There was a gap in the marketplace, and I knew that firsthand because I was, uh, the, the target reader.
I, I was a consumer. And after I had learned these things that I had learned from reading scientific research from reading Lyle McDonald’s work from reading a Aragon’s work from reading Martin Bean’s work from reading, um, uh, starting strength from, oh, I’m probably not giving enough credit, a few other kind of like, you know, uh, pioneers in the evidence based fitness space.
I was like, why, why isn’t somebody just taking the kind of the 20% that gives you the 80% and just put it in a simple book that explains exactly what to do and, and, and gives a prescription. Don’t, don’t make it too complicated. Don’t give people too much latitude to change things because it can get confusing in the beginning when you’re just learning this stuff.
It’s much easier to have somebody teach you the fundamentals and then say, all right, to put those fundamentals in practice, just do these things. Here are some example meal plans. You can play ’em around if you want, but like here’s an example of how it all comes together. All right. Uh, for training here, do these workouts for six or 12 months.
And then when you come on, the other end of that, you are going to have gained a lot of muscle, a lot of strength and a lot of experience, and then start playing around with the programming. And, and so that was, um, that was kind of the approach with bigger than you stronger. And, uh, and. It it, my, again, coming back to that framework of my, my idea of like, how can I test?
I think that there’s an opportunity here. How can I test this? Then I put it out in the marketplace and within a few months got, you know, a strong signal of like, I think there’s something here I see. So
Paul: you, um, what we would call a neat, I think in America, you call it a niche. Um, and then you, um, that and tested.
Whereas I think it’s interesting. The same. My book is it’s yours, but moment and is an academic book. And the reason that it came about is, is not, cause I decided I want to write a book. It was because. We were approached by publishers often in academia. And they say, what books do you want? And exactly the same as you, Michael.
I thought this is the type of book I wanted when I was studying to be, uh, to get into personal training and, and have that sort of link between the sports science side of things, but make it more applicable to the general population. Um, and I’ve had that question a few times is, is what, you know, how did you come about writing a book?
And it, it was a little bit as you, like, you’ve just mentioned a bit sort of timing where there was a little bit of a gap in the market for that. And just to under kind of branch up to that. Do, do you think that that could be an issue in today’s market? Is that people now feel that there’s so many eBooks, whereas when in 2012, when you publish yours, there, there, there wasn’t that.
So you had a little bit of a competitive advantage, but now it’s easier to publish online and self publish and. Or even sort the nature of this person’s question link in social media. Do you feel that there’s maybe a pressure on young, personal trainers or people coming through the industry to feel like they,
Mike: yeah. That’s good question. Um, You know, I, I think that, so I think there are a couple ways we can go with that. So, so one, if we’re talking about writing books, I actually would not recommend writing books unless you like writing. And, and that also applies to content. I would a hundred percent agree with that as well.
for multiple reasons, it’s too much of a pain in the as, unless it sure is. Yeah. And, and, and the thing is, um, to your point, there is a lot of material out there. And even if you spot an opportunity again, where you see there’s an unmet need, there’s something unique that you can bring to the marketplace.
Um, it also, it does need to be up to a certain standard. And again, if you don’t enjoy writing, it is going to be very hard to produce that standard, the best option. In that scenario, I would say if somebody doesn’t really enjoy writing and they’re not very good at it, but they do have an idea that they believe in.
Let’s say they’ve tested it. And I have some thoughts I can share on how to go about testing. Um, but maybe then it would even be smarter to work with a ghost writer act and, and make sure that they understand all of your ideas. But, um, but. If you’re gonna do the writing, I would recommend only doing it.
If you generally enjoy it, just like working out most of us, uh, if we have our programming set up correctly, we enjoy working out. Generally. We don’t enjoy every workout. We always enjoy having worked out. That’s a good sign, right? In writing. It’s the same thing. If you gotta get to a place where you generally enjoy the process, it’s not, it’s not always fun.
And sometimes it’s frustrating and it always takes longer than you want it to. Yes. That that’s, that’s, uh, those are just table stakes. Right. Um, but generally, and, and I think that you’re probably the same way I, I enjoy. Reading. I enjoy writing. I enjoy thinking. I enjoy figuring out how to communicate things.
I like it. And that’s, that’s, that’s why I did it in the first place. I mean, a friend of mine I was working out with at the time. So I had gotten pretty lean at the time and I looked pretty good. And a friend of mine was like, dude, you should just go on YouTube and like take your shirt off and sell stuff.
And, uh, and that was so uninteresting to me. But writing a book was interesting to me, the, the smarter business move and marketing move though. Would’ve been to just take my shirt off on YouTube and sell stuff. If I would’ve went that direction, maybe I would have a huge YouTube channel millions of, of subscribers, but I didn’t want to, because I just wasn’t interested in that.
And I was interested in writing. And so that’s why, and you probably would’ve alienated
Paul: your current audience as well. Had you done that as well? If you, I get asked writing and academia because it’s test when you publishing journals that. The people that you’re actually aiming at your target audience, don’t usually read the journals themselves.
But, um, as you’ve just alluded to there, sometimes if you go down sort of the easier path of, you know, making sort of click user friendly content, then it doesn’t really give you anywhere to go in the
Mike: long term. I mean, again, it comes back to, uh, clarifying the goal, what is my actual goal. And, um, and it’s important to, to, to be very clear about with that.
Right? So if the goal is to, um, just make money to be very kind of just mercenary and. You know, ethics be damned and, uh, churn and burn kind of business, then that would take you in one direction. But if the goal is to create good content, to help people understand how to get into better shape and yeah, most people don’t read books, statistically speaking, the average person reads zero books a year.
Right? So, um, I, by, by writing books and continuing to put time into writing books, I am targeting a specific segment of people, but there are very good reasons I think for targeting that segment of people. And so there’s, there’s an overlap there between a business case and my own personal interests. Um, but, but anyway, coming back to the question, so, uh, I don’t, you don’t have to, to, if you want to.
Let’s say, build a following, build a business from that. Um, you don’t have to write, uh, I do think that you don’t even have to do any sort of content marketing per se. Now that’s something that I have chosen to do a lot of, and a lot of Legion’s success is, uh, from content marketing, my content marketing Legion’s content marketing.
I like it for a lot of reasons. It is not the only way to build a business though. Of course, there are plenty of businesses that produce no content whatsoever, but they do very well on the paid advertising side of things, for example, or they do very well with influencer marketing, for example, however, uh, I, I really like content marketing first and foremost because of what I said is it’s a way to, to really help people and especially in fitness, right?
Take supplements, take Legion. You don’t need any supplements to get into great shape to be healthy. And so one of the, one of the things I like about Legion is, um, I stand behind our formulations. I think that we produce high quality products that are backed by a lot of high quality evidence. I think we, uh, promote them in an honest way and don’t oversell them.
But what is cool about Legion is it brings a lot of people in who are kind of looking for quick fixes, looking for the miracle pill powder potion, and then gets them into learning what they actually need to know, gets them into learning how to eat, how to exercise, gets them to understand that supplements aren’t as important as a lot of these other companies have told them they are.
Right. And so I do think it’s, um, I I’m, I, I really like content marketing, but it doesn’t have to be written. So for people who want to, uh, have the desire to help people in that way and to communicate and to teach again, I think those are important qualities to have, to be able to succeed in any form of content marketing.
But if somebody has that desire, I think that they should choose what is most appealing to them. Um, some people I know very successful content, marketers who don’t particularly. To write they like doing podcasts. That’s what they like. And, uh, take, um, uh, mind pump. Right. Very popular podcast. Cool guys, Sal likes to write, but, but the other guys don’t like to write, they like to have conversations and even Sal, mostly likes to have conversations and they do very well.
Uh, with that take YouTube, for example, um, you. You can have highly scripted YouTube content. And that obviously requires writing, but there are plenty of examples of people out there who don’t script out. Maybe, maybe they put together some bullet points and they organize their thoughts, but they like to speak.
Uh, and they like to be on camera. And for me personally, I don’t particularly like being on camera. I’m ambivalent about it. It’s not, I, I think there it’s YouTube is a great platform and there are a lot of arguments to be made for why I should be producing more content on YouTube. Uh, but I, I don’t particularly.
Like it, I much more prefer working on the next book, working on articles, working on podcasts. And so that’s what I focus on. And so, um, I don’t think it’s necessary to write per se. However, if you do like to write and you can become competent at writing, I think there are some big advantages to that. Um, but I’ll stop there.
So I don’t wanna take too much.
Paul: No, that’s really, uh, interesting point. So I guess to boil it down, it’s, it’s played to your strengths, what you enjoy doing, and don’t feel like you have to communicate for a certain medium just because everyone else is. And there’s a certain, um, expectation whether that’s perceived or real is, um, just do what you kind of feel your
Mike: strengths are.
Yeah. Or even just, maybe you don’t know what your strengths are yet, but then, okay. Where are your curiosities? So where, where are you just drawn toward it’s um, and, and this is it’s just because of the creative nature of, of content creation and marketing is like this as well. It’s very hard to be good at it.
If you don’t like. A lot of what you’re doing. Like, again, you’re never gonna like every moment and every detail, but it’s very hard to be a good creative thinker when you’re just bored and you’re having to push yourself every step of the way you don’t feel drawn into it at all. For sure. Yeah. I
Paul: can relate to that.
Um, It’s um, someone that’s obviously I’ve studied sports science and worked in it for, for quite a long time. And, uh, there were a few trainers earlier in my career I worked with and, um, they would say to me, look, look, we really enjoy training Paul, but we don’t wanna be bored by it. when we started going into old stuff about the science.
So, yeah. Yeah. And I think you wrote that probably comes out, you know, if you try and force it and communicate in a, in a way that’s maybe not your kind of style or you’re not really that into the science and training, then, um, what you end up doing is just regurgitating other people’s content and things like Instagram and Twitter, it becomes quite obvious that you’re doing that.
Um, but anyway, well come onto the, to the next question, which is from cloudier, uh, it’s a little bit a different one actually list. It’s more, um, uh, from the business side, I suppose, and the work side. So, Claudia, uh, what time management strategy do you use to manage all the projects you’re involved with?
Mike: Yeah, that’s a good question. I’ve tried different things, uh, over the years. And I like a basic kind of time blocking strategy where I block out periods of time and do certain types of work during that, uh, during those periods of time. And sometimes things have to change, obviously, just because of emergencies or whatever.
But generally speaking, for example, I’m the kind of person that I have the most energy the most, I guess you could say motivation. I do my best. I think thinking and writing earlier in the day, some people are different and it’s the, the morning is kind of a fog and then they start to perk up later. But, um, I just have noticed that over the years, trying to do that work and doing that work at different times of the day.
So my mornings are generally, so I, I, uh, I do some cardio in the morning. I do 30 minutes, which also I find helps just even further kind of wake me up and stimulate me. Um, and then, and then I’ll do whatever is my most important creative work that needs to be done that day. I do that in the morning. And so currently that’s, I’m working on another book, so I’ll work on the manuscript, uh, put some time into that.
And then I also will usually do some podcast work if I have some monologues that I need to record interviews are usually in the afternoon. That’s okay. Because a, a good interviewer mostly just shuts up. Right. So, um, that’s just, I don’t need, and again, I feel fine in the afternoon, but I find that when I have to.
Actually be the, the speaker and, um, and, you know, talk for 30 minutes on a, on something or go through a Q and a or something like that. I just find that I’m a little bit sharper and a little bit, maybe more articulate and fluent earlier in the day. And so I do that work then, uh, then around 12 to one, I go and do my weight lifting for about an hour and then come back and I always have, um, well, most days I either have an interview, something like this.
And, and I always try to push those into the afternoon for the reason I, that I just gave. And, and I also am always, uh, involved in at least one or two specific Legion projects, marketing projects in particular. So there’s kind of routine stuffs, meetings and decisions that that need to be made. Uh, again, I’ll usually.
Try to schedule those in the afternoon. Um, and if I don’t have that going, then I’m gonna take my one or two marketing projects, uh, that I, I try to try to, I kind of try to take like a commando kind of mindset where in the past my inclination was to actually just take on too much. And I mean, there was a point when, uh, I was working seven days a week.
Um, I would take maybe Friday evenings off, but otherwise I’d be working after dinner on weeknights. I would work probably six hours on Saturday and four to six hours on Sunday. Sometimes a little bit more consistently there were exceptions, but that was the rule. And I would just take on as much as I possibly could cram into everything.
And that was fine and that, um, maybe it wasn’t entirely necessary, but it did help accelerate things now.
Just more stuff. Right? So like for example, um, there was a time when I had four to five hours of email every day, because I would get flooded with questions. Hold on. Uh, I mean, it was, it was cool because it’s, I still get a lot of email. I still put time into it every day, but, um, I was really encouraging people in my books and I like email me if you have any questions.
Right. Cause at the time I didn’t have as many things that I needed to put my time into and I that’s a great, uh, it’s one of those great things. That’s actually a great tip that doesn’t scale. And so many people aren’t willing to do it, like actually put, I mean, I would, again, I was, I became a Gmail wizard, uh, shortcuts and, and uh, but I was answering hundreds of peoples of que uh, hundreds of people’s questions every day via email.
This was before I was really active on social media and, and that generated a lot of Goodwill and also word of mouth because even now that’s kind of rare to reach out to anyone with any sort of following of any kind and get a real answer. Good, um, or an answer at all or an answer at all. Right. Yeah. And so, so I was very diligent about that and so exactly I still, um, I, I still would approach that from a time blocking standpoint.
And so anyways, so, so in my afternoons, I’ll, I, I, I, I have one or two marketing projects that I think are a, a good use of my time that have a high potential impact. I try to avoid stuff. That might be a good idea, but even if it goes well, Really move the needle that much. That’s the kind of stuff that I, um, would rather delegate to, to other people only because I only have so much time.
Not that I like think I’m too good for it or anything. Um, but so I, I work in the afternoon, uh, in, on, on that. And then as we get a little bit later in the day, I take time. So, uh, I should have mentioned when I’m doing cardio in the morning, I’m doing one or two things. One of two things, I’m either doing a phone call that I have to do like a work call, for example, or maybe a personal call just to stay in touch with people, uh, or I’m reading.
And I read on my phone, I use the Kindle app. And so I have this, this bike back here. So I’m just on this bike and I can, I’m doing maybe like five, six out of 10 in terms of intensity. So I’m breathing, but I can still have a conversation. Uh, you would hear me breathing, but I’m not gasping. You know, I’m not doing high intensity stuff.
And, um, so I like to multitask that time just because it’s. I want, I’m gonna take time reading. Anyway, I have to do this call anyway. I might as well do it on the bike fast forward to later in the day. Now, as we approach dinner, then I have another period of 30 or 45 minutes where I read. It’s like kind of a thing in my schedule.
And I used to do that in the morning, but again, I found that I do my most productive, my highest and best use of my time, at least that I can come up with currently I do that work best in the morning. So I really. Don’t want to take time away from it. And the reason I, I shifted my cardio to that time is I actually find, I do it even a little bit better after I’ve done 30 minutes of exercise.
And so I’m really trying to optimize that morning to get the best work out of cuz as you and anybody who does creative work knows it’s not just about quantity. It, it also quality matters. And um, when you’re in the right state of mind, I mean that quality can be so much better and save you time. On, let’s say like writing a shitty first draft that you know is shitty, but that’s fine.
And then it takes four revisions to get it to the right place. If you’re in a different state of mind, or if that quality is better, it might only take two drafts to get it into the same place. Right. And, um, so we, fast forward to later in the day, I have a, another set period of time that I read, I read on a genre rotation.
I, I won’t waste time going into it, but I’m pretty systematic about what I study because there are a number of things for my work and my personal that I wanna make sure I’m covering. Um, and then, uh, after that, I put some time into email. I save that now the email, just cuz. It’s kind of mindless. I, I don’t, I don’t need to be, I can be kind of drained and get through my email just fine.
And I don’t want to waste energy earlier in the day. I will check my inbox a couple of times just to see if there’s anything that cuz like, for example, I’m, uh, getting ready to build a house and the bank is sending me stuff and some of it’s timely. So there’s always something I kind of need to pay attention to, but I’m not actually engaging in my inbox until later in the day usually.
Um, and then, and then I have dinner and then after dinner I do usually one or one of two things. One is, uh, pulling. Notes and highlights out from the books that I read. That’s one of the reasons why I read digitally. It makes that very easy to do. Um, do you use a
Paul: particular app for that or is that just on the Kindle?
Mike: Yeah, go. Yeah. So what I do is, um, so I use it’s called it’s, um, Amazon’s, it’s like Kindle notebook. I think they call it. So in your browser, you can go to a book that you’ve read and it’ll show all of your highlights and all of your notes. And so I I’m copy and pasting them. I’m rereading them, which is nice to go through again.
And then I’m bringing them over into a single Google doc. And then what I do is I choose my key takeaways from all of those highlights. And then. So that’s like a short list of the ideas I really liked in the book and my notes, which are I, I add as comments. Cause usually like a note is obviously stimulated by something you read.
Yeah. And you can drop that as a comment for the context. And then I’m bolding the key takeaways that are like the key key takeaways. Right. Um, and so I do that with books and then also articles. I mostly read books, but also with articles, I use Insta paper, which is pocket is fine as well, but same kind of concept.
Right. Bringing ideas out. And then I, I, I will alternate that, um, with the, I don’t know if you’re familiar with the zeal cast and, uh, method of note taking. So, um, uh, there’s a book called how to take smart notes that I’d recommend for anybody who reads a lot and, and takes notes and wants to think, uh, deeply about things.
And so I, I use that system. I use it. For, for certain topics. Um, that again, I want to go deep in and I really want to think, uh, in, in an interconnected fashion about and want to essentially kind of build out a second mind or, or that I can manipulate and anybody. Who, who, who has done a lot of studying has run into the, I, I mean, I’m sure it’s a little bit, it’s almost like a little bit disconcerting when you realize how much of the material you’re forgetting, no matter how diligently you study, no matter how many highlights you make, no matter how many notes you make.
There’s so much stuff that is just gone a year later. And, and, um, so that zeal cast method was, uh, a solution for me, at least to take things like, um, relate some health and fitness stuff, obviously. And, um, marketing and persuasion, something that I do every day, I want to get better and better at writing. I have a lot of writing material in there.
And so that is, um, it’s very time consuming. So again, I use it selectively and I, and my bias is toward application. My bias is toward, at least currently, if I didn’t have to, if I had hours and hours a day to just sit around and think about things, I, I would probably expand it to include some stuff that’s just for fun.
But currently it’s stuff that I, that I use and I want to do something with. And so that I will save also for later in the day, even though it probably, I would do a little bit better work if it were earlier in the day, because it actually does require thinking. Um, but I find that. It’s a reasonable compromise for now.
Paul: think that’s, um, really interesting, particularly for the, the people that are still studying, um, on this, um, webinar, uh, the students, um, that those sort of, I would
Mike: highly recommend checking it out.
Paul: Yeah. Note taking and, and also what you said there about the amount of stuff we forget. And I think that that’s where for me, Kindles are quite useful because it stays on your tablet and often I’ll, I’ll reread a book, whereas.
I dunno in the hard copy format, you kind of put it on the shelf or you get rid of it. You, you never revisit it. And I think that’s quite important, particularly with, um, books on personal development, is that very easy to read through a book and you can get some great tips, but as you said there, if you, if you don’t really in it, then it kind, it just becomes more of a, a Leisurer pursuit then something that’s actually given you results and is, uh, useful.
Mike: yeah, that’s one of the reasons why I like pulling all of the highlights and notes out into a single Google doc is because in my experience, most books are not worth rereading in their entirety. Um, and so then you can just go, what, I mean, I’ll do this where it depends on why, but, you know, I’ll pull up, uh, my Google doc on whatever book and just go back through what were the key takeaways.
Um, maybe even go back even into some of the highlights and, and. is it maybe in some cases rereading the book would be a bit better, but I think often you’re now into the realm of diminishing returns that the extra time that it takes is not worth the marginal improvement in utility versus just reviewing.
Oh yeah. These were the big ideas in the book and these were my thoughts. And now I have different circumstances. So I maybe have new thoughts now, but at least like, you know, if we were to distill this book down into one article with the biggest ideas here it is
Paul: for sure. And, uh, I think I know the, but for a lot of people listening, pretty exhausting and quite regimented, but do you ever
Um, yes. I, I wouldn’t say it’s a, a problem that I generally have. Uh, but I, I do understand, I do feel the internal friction where, where I feel it is with stuff that I just don’t want to do. Right. How have you only
Paul: hacked to get around that? Cause this is something I think is, is something everyone suffers with it, you know, no matter how passionate they are.
Um, is there anything that you do to kind of overcome that procrastination?
Mike: Yeah. Yeah. So what has worked best for me is, is pretty mundane. It’s just do it. Uh, just get it done. First thing. Uh, and, and so like, there are podcasts where I don’t hear, I don’t really wanna record this podcast. Simp, let’s say it’s a monologue on something that is not interesting to me anymore.
Cause I’ve already gone through it. I’ve already written about it and I would rather move on to something else, but I gotta do the podcast. And, uh, so something as simple again, as making sure that I get that done first, maybe I’ll even do it before I write. I’ll just get that done. First thing, um, it just.
It, it makes it gets it done. And also it sets me up to just enjoy my day more, as opposed to putting it off where it’s like, kind of just lurking, you know? And I know, I know that I have to do it ruin the rest of your day. Doesn’t it just in the box. Exactly, exactly. But the other way around it, it, when it’s done again, it’s like slogging through a bad workout.
We all have to do that now and then, but then when it’s done. We still feel good. We’re still like, Hey, I’m glad I got that done. And so I also remind myself that that is how it goes. Um, no matter how much, uh, resistance I might be feeling once it’s done, I’m gonna be glad that it’s done and then I can move on to something that’s more interesting.
And then also the, the 10 minute rule. Um, yeah, again, it’s cliche, but it works it’s it works for me at least. And for people not familiar, it’s just tell yourself that you’ll do it for 10 minutes. Just commit to 10 minutes of whatever it is. And you’ll probably find that after 10 minutes, you’re like, yeah, what’s another 10 minutes
Paul: really, really useful.
And that’s one thing I used to say, clients is when they were unsure, if they wanted to train, I’d say to think about it during your warmup. And if you, if you do your warmup and you don’t wanna do it, then yeah, quit go home. But you know, 99 times outta hundred, they would stay on and do it. And that’s something, uh, I apply myself, um, just yeah, get on with it.
Mike: yeah, I mean, it seems kind of silly. It works. So who cares? That’s, that’s
Paul: my opinion. And, and just quickly before we move onto the next question, when, um, just the audience time blocking, do you use like a calendar to do that? So you’ll put in blocks of time on your calendar as opposed to a, like to
Mike: do list.
Yeah. Good question. So I, I have done that, but I found that it’s, um, not in, not necessary in that. So what I’ve done is I I’ve just kind of worked out a daily template for myself, uh, for my weekdays and I have a, kind of a different template for my weekends and I still work on the weekends. It’s just a bit less, it’s maybe two to four hours on average.
And, um, and so I, I found that I, I don’t really need to deviate much from that just because of, I guess, how. World is set up and where every day is kind of the same. Um, and so, you know, if I were to add time blocks to my calendar, it would kind of just look like the same thing over and over. So what I use my calendar for, uh, is, is just any like this, any thing that I need to do at a certain day at a certain time, uh, I put it in my calendar.
I never try to remember. Any appointments of any kind. It goes in my calendar and I look at my calendar first thing in the morning. It’s just part of my, you know, it’s just so I know exactly what I’m doing that day. And then I move that. I use notion, um, to, to manage my, my tasks of like, here’s what I’m doing today.
Here’s, what’s kind of in progress. Here’s what I have this week. Here’s what I have next. And I have a, a column for calls just cuz I, I look at my notion several times per day cuz I get something done, move it. Okay. What am I doing next? And just to make sure I don’t forget that I have, you know, something like this or whatever, cuz I’ve done made that mistake before where I’ll get into work and then lose track of time and be late for things it’s kind of embarrassing.
So, um, that’s yeah, that’s that, that’s how I, that’s how I track that. And also one other thing worth mentioning, just speaking about not wanting to remember things I use Google, keep for dumping, any random ideas that I have that I think are worth saving. Uh, even if they’re just mildly interesting. I mean stuff like.
I think I want to tweet that out and just see what people think about that idea. Like stuff like that. Is that an app? Is it, yeah, it’s just, I mean, I’m sure there are better out there. It’s just a free, simple app that you just throw stuff in. And then I process that a couple of times per week. I kind of have that in my, my template of, um, I have my daily, like, these are the big things I wanna make sure I get, wanna make sure my creative work done.
I wanna make sure I put some time into Legion projects, blah, blah, blah. And then I have my weekly of wanna make sure. Get certain things done every week. And one of them is a couple of times I process everything that I’ve dumped into my Google keep. And, um, the, the point of doing that is I, I, I don’t want to waste any mental energy, trying to remember things that are just one off, again, appointments or little interesting ideas.
And so also what I like about Google keep is you can take screenshots on your phone and then add notes and save it in there. So like, if I come across an email that I like and marketing email, I know that’s kind of clever. I wanna maybe do my own version of that. Save it to Google, keep, and then I don’t have to even think about it anymore.
And I know it’s there, which then frees up attention to focus on. Work and other things cool. Um,
Paul: uh, for people in the audience, I’m, I’m noting down as many of these apps and books that Mike’s, uh, recommend to. So I’ll send those out afterwards to
Mike: you all. So you, I should also mention for the Ze cast and for people who read that, how to take smart notes and like it mm-hmm I personally like the obsidian app, I’m just throwing it out there.
I know Rome is popular as well. Um, you have to pay every month for it, but I. I, I use it obsidian for what it’s worth. Cool. Thank
Paul: you very much. All really useful up pointed.
Mike: Hey there, if you are hearing this, you are still listening, which is awesome. Thank you. And if you are enjoying this podcast, or if you just like my podcast in general and you are getting at least something out of it, would you mind sharing it with a friend or a loved one or a not so loved one, even who might want to learn something new word of mouth helps really bigly in growing the show.
So if you think of someone who might like this episode or another one, please do tell them.
Paul: The next I’m I’m come on Sams because, um, Sam actually was that eager to this. He joined the webinar a day early. I got a message yesterday saying, where is everyone? And on the wrong day, hopefully us is your aspect of being an
Hmm. Um, you know, that’s a, that’s actually a good question because if I rewind to, I was 17, 18, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. Um, I, I figured I probably would become an entrepreneur, but the, at the time my idea of an entrepreneur was like, just someone who sells widgets for a profit. And that sounded so uninspiring to me.
I was, and, and I, I, I, the idea of making money, making a lot of money, wasn’t nearly stimulating enough for me to get excited about that. Like, yeah. I can’t wait to just figure out how to. Make crap that people will buy at a good margin. You know what I mean? And now that I’ve, uh, had some success in, in business, I have more appreciation for, um, the kind of like the art and science of building a business.
And, uh, I have more appreciation for the positive impact that, um, businesses can have in people’s lives, of course, depending on what they’re selling and how they’re going about it and blah, blah, blah. Um, but I was not necessarily inclined toward entrepreneurship just as, uh, a thing. Uh, the idea of like working a lot of the, what I see some of the appeal, the idea of making a bunch of money and, uh, just working for yourself and calling yourself a founder and entrepreneur.
I just didn’t really care about that stuff. I wanted something that, uh, I really would you say
Paul: that’s become more prevalent. Now over the last five years or so then when you first started out in terms of that whole, the whole kinda hustle culture and do it yourself type
Mike: thing. Yeah, I’m sure it has. Uh, I, I didn’t personally participate in social media really until it became a thing for work.
Um, you know, I remember having a MySpace, so I remember that, but that was just like for friends and just saying stupid stuff online. And maybe I had a Facebook, same thing. I didn’t really pay attention to, to it much though, but I’m sure, I’m sure as social media has become more popular. Uh, I would guess if we were to poke around online and even just probably like Google trends doing a couple searches, we would, we would see that that’s the case.
And, uh, I, I, I actually, I don’t think that, um, it’s, I don’t think it’s, it’s, it’s a. Uh, I don’t think that just the desire to again, be a kind of hustle and grind and make money and show off stuff and, uh, call yourself an entrepreneur that that’s not a good reason to, to go down that path. And I don’t think it bodes well.
Uh, what is much more important is wanting to solve problems, help people solve problems. Like that’s where it starts. People have problems, uh, and you can help solve them. Or, uh, in some cases, maybe it’s people they, they want, um, like why does, why does a, a woman buy a $5,000 purse? It’s not to solve a problem, but it’s the scratch and itch, so to speak, right?
So I guess there’s two sides to that. We have, uh, wanting to experience certain things because they’re pleasant or wanting to solve problems. And, um, a lot of businesses, of course, what they do is they solve problems for people. And so, um, Starting with that mentality. And also considering not just they aren’t just customers, but maybe taking the perspective of these are clients.
These are people who, um, you want to treat, uh, as, as friends and you want to take, uh, you want to act in their best interests over your own, right? So that’s just, I think that, that, that is the correct mentality to have when getting into business and looking for an opportunity where you can help solve problems and you can, um, show people, uh, again, in their own interests, as a trusted advisor and friend, how they can experience better, whatever it is that we’re talking about.
And so that, that’s more, what drew me into the, the work that I do. I mean, like I’ve said, I do enjoy writing for its own sake. I enjoy researching for its own sake. Uh, but it, it is also. Particularly rewarding that, um, my work has made a real difference. It has really solved, important problems or helped people and solve, uh, solve important problems.
Um, and so. That’s that, that’s why I, why I moved in that, um, direction and in terms of what I enjoy the most about it, what I find most satisfying is really what I found most satisfying in the beginning. I still enjoy researching. I still enjoy writing. Um, and I still enjoy seeing the, the effect that, uh, my work and, and it’s not just me, there’s like 60 plus of us.
So I, I can’t take all the credit, but to, to see the actual impact in people’s lives. And, um, I know that it sounds almost like that’s what I’m supposed to say, but it really, it really is the, the truth. I’m not, I have friends who are very successful, more successful than I, than I am, who are not bad people, but they love making money.
They just fucking love it. Right. I have one friend, um, all in his net worth is, I don’t know, 700 million, 800 million. And he loves making money in the fitness industry. No, he does not. he, he loves making money though. He, he loves it, you know, like what’s another $10 million to this guy. It really doesn’t matter, but he loves it.
It, he, he just, he gets so excited about building his business and making more money and he is not a bad guy. He doesn’t do it unethically. It’s just, that’s how he’s wired. Right. And, um, I’m just not wired that way. And so for me, what’s more exciting really is, is it’s more about the impact, uh, that, that I can have, and that Legion can even have, like I mentioned earlier, where we kind of lure people in with, they have these certain expectations of what supplements are, and then, uh, educate them into a new way of thinking and, you know, eating and exercising and so forth.
For sure. I think you are pretty much the
Paul: only supplement company. Um, this kind of tagline is you don’t need supplement all. That’s what I often hear you on your podcast. And I think that quite, um, disarming to a lot of people, because in, particularly in the supplement market, I don’t wanna off tangent, but if need this, your problems and, and make health, et cetera.
But I think, um, someone like yourself who owns the supplement companies to be that honest with your client base and say, look, you don’t need supplements, but they can help you if used appropriately. Um, was that deliberate in any way to be, to be different? Or is that just sort of general philosophy that you, you were passionate about coming through from the, from the answer?
Mike: Yeah, that’s a good question. So, um, I would say that that is. uh, that coming back to even what I was saying of, of acting in other people’s best interests. I, I think that that is an example of that because that’s the truth. And, um, a lot of the other, a lot of the marketing puffy, a lot of this sales, jargon and nonsense in the supplement industry is not true.
And somebody like me knows that somebody like you knows that a lot of people listening probably know that, but. Layman many consumers don’t know that, especially. I remember I was once that person who would go to GNC and ask the guy, what should I be taking? And then I’d leave with $400. I mean, we’ve all been there.
Right? Massive magic tubs. And, and remember in the back the stuff under lock and key. Yeah, yeah. The gorilla test 2000 and all that shit. Right. And it’s just like Tribulous terrestrial and saw dust, who knows. Um, and, and so, so that’s an example of, uh, I think of, of, uh, exhibiting, exhibiting that. And, and to that point, it’s also good marketing.
And so somebody cynical could say, yeah, right, Mike, you just know that it’s good marketing, you know, that when you. A flaw. People are instinctively inclined to trust you. It it’s just human psychology. Right. And yes, that’s true. That, that is true. And I know that and, uh, yes, I’ve read that in a number of books and it works.
That’s correct. Uh, but this doesn’t mean that it’s wrong to do it if it is being done honestly. And this is an example that being done honestly. Uh, and, and that message, uh, it resonates with a lot of, uh, at least it, a lot of my. Target audience. There are some people it doesn’t resonate with. And like, for example, there are a lot of people who are just getting started and they’re, they’re unsophisticated as a consumer, not stupid, just unsophisticated.
Uh, we were all unsophisticated at one point and they hear me say, supplements are, are not that important. You don’t need them. The right ones can help if you use them correctly. But, um, you really want to know how to do this other stuff first. And then they hear somebody else. Some guy on YouTube, maybe, uh, some good looking ripped guy on YouTube.
What’s his name? Uh, V shred named V shred. And they see him saying, Hey, um, look at me and take this, this pill. And you’re gonna lose 20 pounds in 30 days. It’s that easy really? Right. And whatever the rest of the pitch is, but that’s the pitch. And, and even somebody who’s unsophisticated and let’s say they’re not stupid.
They might be skeptical and go. Really, I don’t know, but whatever who cares, it’s 50 bucks and maybe this, maybe this
Paul: many people take on it, don’t
Mike: they maybe, maybe just maybe right. Hope and exactly. Exactly. And so those are, those are lessons that, that people just have to learn and we’ve all had to learn those lessons the hard way so to speak, but what’s nice is, um, once.
Unsophisticated. Let’s say they’re at the lowest level of sophistication when they start out. Okay. They try his, they try one or two others, and then they go, all right, I’m done with the, the quick fixes. And then now that all that type of messaging turns them off and maybe they remember me or they come across me again.
And now my messaging appeals to them because they’ve had some experience and they’ve kind of like, you know, moved to a, a higher level of sophistication as a consumer. And so, um, yes, to, to answer your question directly, that messaging is very deliberate and, and, um, it has even been tested. Like, I, I know that messaging.
Wins out versus many other types of messaging that we’ve tried. Uh, but I, I think that, um, the, the primary, the two biggest reasons why, yes, it is, it is a good admission of, uh, a flaw so to speak. Um, but it’s also true and it speaks to a truth that many people. Maybe they don’t know it yet, but they instinctively they’ve they’ve come.
They’ve started to come to that conclusion. And so then when somebody says it, also somebody, a supplement company is saying it, it gets people to pay attention and in marketing. Right. So to get somebody to the ultimate yes. Of saying, yes, I will buy, they need to go through a series of, of micro yeses, so to speak.
And that first one starts with yes, I will pay attention and, and there’s so much noise out there. It’s hard to get people just to pay attention. And from, yes, I will pay attention. It’s yes, I will engage. Right. I’ll I’ll engage deeper with this. I will start to have a conversation, so to speak with, uh, in this case, I mean, it’s literally me who wrote the copy, but, um, so that’s one of those things that it grabs people’s attention and it makes.
A certain percentage of people inclined to engage further. And I guess
They would listen to that. And that’s exactly what I sort of caught my eye, but that’s really refreshing to hear someone say that, um, about supplements and I guess we would call it, um, in today’s day, age being, being authentic, but yeah. Yeah. I avoided the word cause it’s such a buzz
Mike: it’s yeah, I think it was
Paul: a workshop advertised, um, maybe on Instagram or somewhere of an authenticity workshop. And I just put the ironies completely lost on these
a couple of questions that have come in and, um, I know we’re at time now. That’s really flow by is OK. If I just put one of these, if yeah, yeah, sure. No problem. Cool. Um, so for the question, how do you monetary value on your, when establishing a business without prior paid advice, nutrition, planning, how do you position yourself competitively without undervaluing yourself?
And I think this is a common problem. A lot of people starting out,
Mike: have you not been race to the bottom? Yeah. Yeah. And, and is this question, I mean, if, if we, if I could just pose a follow up, is this, uh, specifically like in the context of training or just in business in general? Just cause I wanna make sure I get
Paul: from the wording, just put nutrition.
I’m guessing it’s um, a nutrition student or someone that’s starting out providing sort of nutrition advisor consultant.
Mike: I’ll, I’ll speak. I’ll speak generally, because I, I think what I, what I can say on this would apply, um, really to, to any, um, commercial activity. Uh, so, um, low price is a strategy. It is right.
I mean, if we look at, in the world of physical products, that’s the strategy of Costco and Walmart and, um, and similar kind of big box retailers. And if you look in any space, like look at supplements, um, I think of body fortress protein that, I mean, that is there to use a marketing buzzword, like a unique selling proposition or their value proposition.
Like if which is really just what’s the answer to the question. Okay. If I am your ideal consumer, why should I buy your product versus your competitor’s products? Right. In the case of something like body fortress, uh, they would say, because we’re the cheapest or one of the cheapest or whatever. Right. And that is, that actually is a valid business strategy.
It’s just a difficult strategy. To execute. It’s not a strategy that I personally would. I, I don’t think I would look to pursue it in any business because the margins are very slim. The capital requirements are very large. Uh, you, you have no customer loyalty customer lifetime value is low and it, it really is a quantity game.
Paul: do you think, do you think that’s more problematic in a, in a service industry, like consulting where, where you kind of, if you start too low, then people might think, oh, the, the actual standard of the advice I’m gonna get
Mike: is gonna be. Yeah. Yeah. And, and so that’s, that’s, uh, that’s a great point in that there’s, uh, there is certainly a perceived value in cost as well.
And so this is where you’d want to know who you are trying to sell to and why. So in the case of body fortress protein, I think they sell in Walmart, for example. And, you know, that’s worked out where they’re selling to people who don’t have very much money to spend on supplements. And so that is what is most important to them is the price.
Now, if, if we’re talking about a service, um, yes. Uh, if, if you charge too little for a service, it’s perceived as less valuable. If you’re trying to charge too much, then the total cost is out. It outweighs the perceived benefit. And so my. Inclination in business. And what I’ve done with Legion is I, uh, I wanted to make a premium product for really first and foremost, because I, myself personally wanted to take premium products.
And that, that meant that the products were gonna cost a lot to produce. And I was going to have to be able to sell them at a premium. I didn’t wanna price. I didn’t want to be so much more expensive than my, my, my, my, my let’s say, uh, second, second, most expensive option in, in a space. But I knew that I needed to justify a top tier, like to be one of the most expensive products in every category.
And so that I think is a. I just find it a more appealing business strategy. You can create better products. Um, you generally are gonna have less annoying customers and that might sound bad, but it’s just a fact of business that, um, if you’re dealing with, let’s say more of a commodity and it’s all about low price and I’ve spoken to a lot of people in business, you’re just gonna, you’re gonna get a lot more complaints and it’s, there are gonna be more headaches, uh, than if you’re selling to people who have a bit more money to spend on, on stuff.
And they just, they, it just is a point of psychology. I, I, I, I suppose
Paul: that’s interesting that one of the services, um, previous lab that I worked at, um, we would, um, sell sports science services. So clients come in, they pay for a fitness test or body analysis, whatever its, and I would find that with people that, um, initially might sort of haggle at the, at the, to a lot more questions.
After the assessment and, and want a lot more follow up than people that didn’t even ask how much the test was. They kinda, you never see them again. And what what’s going on there is that a common
Mike: phenomenon? Uh, I we’ve seen it a lot, so we have a coaching business as well that, uh, does fairly well. Uh, we do a few hundred thousand dollars a month in revenue.
We’ve worked with thousands of people and we have seen that consistently, uh, where just that point of the, the more, um, the, the bargaining and the more of the more difficult somebody is, uh, in, in, in the, in the outset. The more difficult. They generally are as a client. And whereas people who are, who are just, uh, kind of, they go with the flow, they understand the process.
They don’t have any major complaints of sure, sure. They have questions, but once it makes sense to them, they just do it. Um, they tend to just be smooth clients and a lot of our clients will stay with us, even though part of the pitch is we want to make you self sufficient, but we actually it’s in the copy.
Like we want you to fire us after three months and that’s copywriting, but it’s true actually. Like we want people after three months or so of coaching to at least feel like they could just go off on their own many people choose to continue though, because they like the service. Um, but. Yeah. I mean, there are, there are what what’s, um, I think it’s selling the invisible is a, is a good kind of classic book on selling services.
And what we’re talking about here is, is talk, is talked about in that book and elsewhere. Um, so it just is something to understand that if you generally speaking, if you’re, if you target higher segments of a market in terms of product quality product price. And so now you’re going after people who like in the case of Legion, what it really means is, and I, and I know this, I have this data, right?
So my best customers generally are, uh, quite a bit more educated than the average person. So we, we have a lot of college degrees, a lot of advanced degrees. They make quite a bit more money than the average person. So household income of a hundred K plus is overrepresented. Um, and, um, well, I guess those are kind of the two main points for just this point here.
Right? And, and so we’ve just found that, um, Those people again, they just tend to make better customers. And I, and I don’t wanna say they’re better people. Um, cause I don’t think that’s fair, but I’m just speaking in a business context, they tend to make better customers than people who maybe, um, are on average a lot less educated and make a lot less money.
And part of that of course, is just the people, the latter group, uh they’re the money is tighter and the problems are greater and not having enough money sucks. Having financial problems sucks and then making maybe. Bad financial decisions on top of having money problems. Like for example, buying hundreds of dollars of supplements when you can’t really afford it and then having buyers regrets.
So I understand these things, right. Uh, and, and, um, I just find though that, um, we deal with, with maybe less of that than some of our competitors. Um, but the question is how do you, how do you create products and services that people who, um, Let’s say are in the former group, maybe a bit more educated than average, um, and make more money, uh, than, than the average people.
There are also, those people tend to be pickier as well. Um, so they’re not, they’re not necessarily easy to sell. So how do you, how do you create products and services that will appeal to those people? Well, I think fundamentally that is, is just, just a marketing question and marketing begins with, with ideation.
It’s not just, I have a product now, it’s time to market it. Marketing informs even the creation of products and services. And so really what we’re talking about here is how do we create a product with enough appeal and enough exclusivity? That’s unique enough to warrant the high cost. And, uh, I don’t want to go on and on.
I don’t wanna take, I go off on tangents and I don’t know if I’m even like saying things that people want to hear anymore, but what I, my, my point is that you can. Systematically create products and services that have enough appeal and enough exclusivity. And those two things are very important. They, they almost are like, they they’re like multipliers in terms of ultimately, um, can you get the person again to, to, to see that the value outweighs the cost, right.
And the cost, isn’t just the, the money. It’s also the time, the energy, nobody likes to buy things that don’t work out. We feel it makes us feel kind of stupid and annoyed that, you know, so there’s, there’s, there’s, uh, some psychological costs that, that comes into play as well. Uh, so I’ll stop there for,
A large part of this then from just taking what you were saying there is, is actually establishing what type of client you are looking to work with. And, and almost like you’ve got the, your demographic there and a lot of data, which probably. Feed into your future marketing. So this person’s starting out to ask the question is probably wants to be in a position where they can almost kinda draw their, their intended client base and
Mike: that will help them yes.
Paul: Sell to that,
Mike: that, that demographic it’s very right. Specificity, specificity cells specific
Paul: rather than just sort of a blanket approach, that sort of more targeted approach, which as you say, might alienate a group of people, but equally it will resonate more with, with the people that you want work with.
Maybe that, I mean, if they’re going for sort of, I’m guessing its nutrition advice in this, this context, they’re probably gonna ha be. Thinking of being health conscious or already health conscious, and they just want that advice. Um, but then maybe don’t wanna pay a premium. So you just gotta kinda get an idea of what that person looks like.
Would that be sort of a way of starting for this
Mike: person? Yes. Yes. It’s very important. Uh, so specificity sales in marketing specific claims, um, and speaking specifically to. Certain to, to people and to people who you understand, who you understand, the psychology of you understand what it’s like to be in their shoes.
You understand what they are drawn toward. You understand what they are are, are, um, repulsed by, right? What, what, what pushes them away? You understand their problems, right? You understand how they talk about their problems to themselves. Uh, you understand the types of things that they’ve tried before, right?
Um, and, and so the, the better you can understand really who you’re talking to, um, the better you are going to be able to sell to them, of course. And, and
Paul: having that honesty as well is also important about who the product is for and who it’s gonna be beneficial
Mike: for. I mean yep. And who it is not for, that’s also a marketing, for sure.
That’s like a, a copywriting tactic that is smart. I mean, when you see there are smart copywriters and you’ll see them use it and you know what they’re doing, but if it’s used. Authentically, uh, then it, it is it’s, it’s a powerful persuasion tool that actually is helpful because nothing, no product or service is for everyone.
There, there are always people. It is not for. And when you can explicitly say, this is not for everyone, it is not for, and sometimes there’s a little bit of salesmanship in there, right? Like you wouldn’t necessarily say this is not for lazy SLS who don’t wanna put in any work
Paul: in the reverse psychology type.
Mike: But, but, you know, depending on what you’re doing. So like, if you were, if you were in the make money at home space, like how to start a business space, that probably would be something that you would want to work. Maybe not in those terms, but there are a lot of people out there who just. Buy product.
Like they buy these, these courses and they read books, but they don’t really follow through on anything and they often want refunds. And so you actually, it might be appropriate depending on what you’re selling to, to, to kind of say like, this is not for people who don’t take action. This is not for people who are looking for, uh, you know, just get rich quick buttons.
Um, so, uh, but, but to, to your point, yes, being very, getting very specific about who you are trying to help. And that might even mean like maybe these people have a common interest, uh, and, and that’s, and that’s something that you’re interested in. And, um, you know, maybe it’s, uh, I mean, it really, it could be, it could be, uh, it could be related to, let’s say a sport.
It could be related to a hobby. It could be related to any, any type of interest that brings people together. It does make your
Paul: product better as well.
People on social media message me that. Aren’t personal trainers and they’re not studying, they’re not students. And they’re just sort of interested in fitness. And they ask me, is this book for me? And most of the time I say, no, it, that’s not really how I wrote the book, because if I tried to, to catch that audience as well, it would’ve diluted it too much for my actual target audience.
So I think being honest people as well, cause book’s pretty expensive. I don’t set the prices. Um, publisher does, but um, I’d feel quite uneasy about saying yeah, yeah. It’s for you. It’s for everyone. Cause no buy it. Maybe be a bit baffled by it or find it a bit too to read. And then of course then that doesn’t look good on you as, uh, you lose your
Mike: authenticity I guess.
Yeah. Yeah. And again, coming back to, that’s not acting in their best interests. It you’re acting in their best interests actually by telling them. Uh, probably not for you. And I’ve done that many times over the years where people would email me with questions and instead of pitching them to try to buy a book, I would just send them to a free article that I already had written that answers their question and, and just leave it at that.
And if they have more questions and eventually some of them would find a way to a book, but, um, people, they really appreciate that type of honesty because, uh, I don’t, I don’t know if I would say it’s. It’s rare maybe, but, um, I can say in the fitness space, especially with supplements, it’s kind of rare yeah,
Paul: definitely vouch I’ve up time than I intended to with this, it’s gone quickly.
Andd your responses and in your answers and advice that really useful, and I’m sure the audience has, and we can take these points where, um, and really sort of be able to apply them. Um, Thanks very much for your time. Really appreciate you. Um, taking time, didn’t get through anywhere near like the, the questions that came in, but, um,
Mike: if, if you, if you wanted, we could do a round two, I’d be happy to do it.
Oh, that’d be awesome. Yeah.
Paul: If, if you’d be cool with that. Cause I there’s, um, couple of questions that come in on the chat and also that I received beforehand that, uh, I’ve not managed to get to, so, uh, yeah, maybe let’s just set it up. So link in the future, that would be really useful. Appreciate you giving your time.
Um, cool. I’ll I’ll I’ll contact you about that. So, um, yeah.
Mike: Uh, I, I feel, I feel like I’m partially, uh, to blame because I, I tend to talk a lot so, you know, maybe, maybe I should have given shorter answers than we could have gotten through more.
Paul: No, no, not at all. It’s better. To elaborate and getting what my colleague would say, the richness of the answer to
I work with a few sociologists and they, they really like long extended, uh, answers. So no, I find that really useful. And as I say, I’ve taken notes myself and, um, for people, uh, on the call, I will, um, send you the, the articles and the apps and things that Mike’s mentioned, and I’ll be in touch about, uh, second part.
We do. So thanks much for your time, Mike. Uh, uh, I dunno what time you’re on over there?
Mike: 2 45. Yeah.
Paul: Okay. Quarter eight. It’s still pretty hot. So
Mike: yeah, I’m in Florida. So it’s the same kind of like, you know, eight, 9:00 PM. It’s still hot. And the sun is just going down. You have air conditioning
Paul: over there though.
Paul: Europe’s brutal. So that most
Mike: big. Well, I hope you liked this episode. I hope you found it helpful. And if you did subscribe to the show because it makes sure that you don’t miss new episodes and it also helps me because it increases the rankings of the show a little bit, which of course then makes it a little bit more easily found by other people who may like it just as much as you.
And if you didn’t like something about this episode or about the show in general, or if you have, uh, ideas or suggestions or just feedback to share, shoot me an email Mike muscle for life.com, muscle F or life.com. And let me know what I could do better or just, uh, what your thoughts are about maybe what you’d like to see me do in the future.
I read everything myself. I’m always looking for new ideas and constructive feedback. So thanks again for listening to this episode. And I hope to hear from you soon.