The Business of You

Success requires conscious planning or an inordinate amount of luck. There are so many statistics, clichés, and mottos out there echoing this sentiment that I don’t really feel the need to kill our vibe by quoting or siting any of them, because I doubt that anyone reading a gym’s blog hasn’t heard very similar statements before. In fact with popular authors and speakers at every turn discussing the merits of finding your “why” and moving towards that as a goal, and with this becoming increasingly more prevalent in fitness and strength and conditioning, I think we can agree on a few things: Set a goal. Make a plan to achieve that goal. Done. And Done.

But is it really that simple? Even those among us who are the most tenacious and particular in our business lives can be rather “iffy” in our personal and physical pursuits. So let’s look at gym pursuits, our health and fitness “goals” with the same intent we would our professional or economic goals. Let’s begin to think of it as you investing in the business of you. And as a potential partner or investor in the business of you what should you be looking for to ensure success? And how are you defining success in the first place. Well that’s going to come down to why are you going into this business (i.e. joining a new gym, trying to “eat clean”, shooting for a 400 pound deadlift, etc.) in the first place?

If you are looking to start a new business, chances are (at least I hope) that you have identified a new way to solve a problem that’s been around for a while or, better yet, you have identified a problem people don’t even know that they have yet and already have their solution (ala Steve Jobs and Apple). Either way, it starts with a problem. When you joined the gym, you did so looking to solve a problem. On very rare occasions I will hear someone with the ability to be entirely candid with me, and more importantly themselves, about their “why” or rather the problem they wish to solve. Unfortunately most of us have a hard time being that honest. When asked, we will reply with one of a handful of well used and socially acceptable answers. But typically that isn’t the root problem. Typically most of us need to run a root cause analysis on our initial surface responses and like a child trying to gain understanding of their world, “Why” the shit out of it.

“I want to deadlift 400.” Why? “Because the deadlift is recognized as one of the ultimate expressions of strength.” Why (is that important)? “Because that will prove that I am strong.” Why (is that important)? “Because I believe that getting stronger will give me confidence I now lack.”

“I want to burn fat and get tone.” Why? “Because I put on a few extra pounds.” Why (is that important)? “Because I used to be in better shape than I am now.” Why (is that important)? “Because when I look in the mirror, I’m not as happy with the person I perceive as I used to be.”

Now you’re getting somewhere. You have more accurately and honestly captured your problem to be solved. This is your true reason for joining the gym, or starting a new program, or just reinvesting in the business of you. You don’t have to tell anyone the root cause problem but you do need to be able to accurately articulate it to yourself so that you can better work towards solving it. That’s step one in our business development strategy.

Next we have to go about the business of identifying the appropriate solution to our clearly defined problem. What is a suitable response to your problem? What tangible thing or things will check the box as this problem being solved? And what new skills, knowledge, and abilities are you going to need to be able solve the problem? Maybe pursuit of a 400lb. deadlift isn’t the best, most efficient path to gaining both strength and confidence. Or maybe it is for someone with slightly different circumstances, but isn’t for you. Or maybe it is. But you won’t know that unless you take ownership of seeking out the skills, knowledge, and abilities to help weigh the merit of the different potential solutions available to you. Before we move on though, I want to expand on an easily overlooked statement I just made: “Or maybe it is for someone with slightly different circumstances, but isn’t for you.” When looking to invest in the business of you, you need to think “different”, not “better”. Even though P360 has been through some development and rebranding over the years, there has always been one message that owners Dave and Pritz have always made sure was clearly communicated, “Become More.” I’ve always felt that this simple word choice was very important. It could have just as easily been “Become Better”. But in my mind, “better” infers that there is something flawed or inadequate with now. Better is an incremental pursuit using someone else’s ruler. Better is setting yourself up for frustration and disappointment when progress is slow, delayed, or arrives is in fits and starts.

“More” is different. More indicates that you are not the same person you were yesterday. It doesn’t say yesterday’s you was flawed or inadequate. It says simply, you are more today. You are capable of even more now. You have acquired additional skills, knowledge, and abilities. You’ve closed gaps and smoothed over rough patches. You’ve racked up additional experiences, lessons learned, and so on. So when laying out your solution, think different, think more.

The Business of You

 

If the brutal honesty of identifying the problem and the challenge of taking ownership for identifying the appropriate solution weren’t enough, now the real work begins. Now you have to frame how you will execute the identified solution. You’re going to be designing the product so to speak of the business of you. Don’t outsources here. You are investing in the business of you, so you need to get a good handle on this. P360 has great resources physically embodied in the coaching staff as well as online in the form of blogs, instructional videos, etc. But you have to take ownership of that knowledge once received and apply it. You’ve got to be able to match the appropriate foods, exercise, regimens, and practices to the problem in order to solve it efficiently. A shot gun approach won’t work here. This will most likely involve developing guidelines or a way of conducting yourself that falls in line with your chosen solution. Depending on the solution, you may have to learn more about what to eat, when to eat, etc. in order to meet the minimum performance requirements necessary to accomplish your solution. It may require consistency in sleeping habits, training habits, etc. You will need to deliver daily in these areas. But take care. You won’t as easily solve your problem if you are in the business of winning the activities-collecting-contest and just checking boxes for the sake of checking boxes. Doing as many things as possible isn’t as important or nearly as successful as choosing the right activities to participate in in pursuit of your solution. In fact, sometimes simply collecting “healthy habits” or achieving in-gym challenges may end up being far less efficient and hinder your ability to reach your solution. In running and in paddling, we refer to this habit as collecting “junk miles”. Completing miles with no clear intent or design. Junk miles don’t make you a better runner or paddler and junk activities don’t get you to your solution. Pursue skills, knowledge, and abilities that are in alignment with addressing your problem and achieving its solution and that have a material impact on your life.

To help with this you will need to develop a point of view. This point of view acts as a risk versus reward measure, a way to determine whether or not something falls in line with your solution or is just junk miles. The point of view helps you determine your definition of “more” (as in “Become More”). If you live and adhere to this point of view, you will begin to attract the right people into your life as well as begin to repel those that would be potential hurdles. The problem is the “why” and the solution the “what” (as in what are you going to achieve). The point of view helps with the “who” (as in who will you be and who you will surround yourself with) and the “how” (as in how will you behave). Successful businesses build healthy ecosystems around themselves that allow them to continue their success. They build communities of supporters, followers, and partners. They develop great employees and valuable relationships. And they do so purposefully. When investing in the business of you, you should do the same. Living through your point of view, surround yourself with supportive people (like the community at P360). Seek out subject matter experts and learn from them. Remove harmful influences and those things that will waste time which could be better spent on the skills, knowledge, and abilities you identified that will get you to your solution. Do it intentionally and decisively.

Once you’ve nailed down the why, what, who and how, it’s time to clearly define the when. While the ongoing and endless pursuit of excellence is noble, nothing ensures commitment and lights a fire under someone’s ass like setting dates. Without dates, achievements (and in the case of our current discussion, solutions) become a “someday” thing. You never get to more because you never truly get started. In business, deadlines make things happen. Especially if they are made public. Set multiple minor milestone dates or only a few very select major milestones. Either way, make them known to the ecosystem of relationships you are developing so that they can help pull you towards the successful completion of those milestones by their influence. And it’s not the end of the world if you happen to miss one or two along the way. This happens to the best of businesses too. In the business of you, simply do what they do, analyze the situation and draw a recovery line in your schedule as to when you will be able to hit them. The very act of working towards these milestones is by definition becoming more.

So now you’ve defined your problem and its appropriate solution. You have cultivated all the necessary skills, knowledge, and abilities to get you to the finish line. You have developed you point of view and are living by the code it lays out. You have fostered an ecosystem that by design clears a path toward success. And not only have you set milestones which motivated action, but you hit them. So now what? Well, A) Now it’s time for the business of you to build on your position. Define a new problem and nail down its solution. And B) Congratulations. You’re now in the business of Becoming More.

-Chris Hill
@LiftPaddleRepeat

Coaches, Early Bird Pricing for our upcoming November FCC Coach’s Certification Weekend ends 9/30. To apply, visit the official FCC page

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