Category: Blog Posts

Are You Holding Your Business Back?

You need to take a hard look at yourself.

Are you living up to your fullest potential? Is your business begging you to man up and become the leader it needs?

I always say it, and I’m gonna say it one more time: your personal income will never exceed your personal growth. If there’s a disconnect between what someone preaches and how they live, their business will flounder once their growing pains catch up to them.

But if you’re always aware of what you need to improve, if you practice what you preach, and if you invest in your personal growth, your business will have no choice but to evolve and skyrocket.

My man Craig Ballantyne had to do a lot of soul searching before he could become the influencer he is today. Let’s take a look at Craig’s story to discover how business and personal wellness affect one another.


You Need Strong Role Models

You need to hang around with winners to become a winner yourself. For some people, that could be their father or mother. For others, a big brother. For Craig, it was a few close friends (including myself).

Look, as much as we want to believe we have all the answers we need, we don’t. We need guidance and coaching. We need someone to teach us what to do and what not to do.

Craig used to be one cold dude. He tells the story of how he once gave a friend of ours amazing advice, only for that advice to fall on deaf ears. Why? He gave that advice like a dick.

But credit to Craig, he did the self-work and listened to me and others. Now, he’s one of the nicest guys you’ll ever come across—and the advice he gives is well-received by his peers.


You Need to Get a Grip on Anxiety

Anxiety is the struggle no one wants to talk about, yet I still hear about how so many entrepreneurs deal with it. As an entrepreneur, you need to defend your health: physical, mental, emotional, spiritual.

Anxiety is just the anticipation of future pain. Not present pain, but future pain. Once you minimize it, you can focus on your path to domination.

Craig’s dealt with anxiety in the past. It even put him in the hospital twice. So how did he overcome it? He realized that he was ok.

Doctors hooked him up to a heart monitor after his second hospital trip, and they told him they’d let him know if anything went wrong. 24 hours passed and no word came from doctors. Craig was physically fine.

Then, he read a book about anxiety. Five words at the start of chapter 2 confirmed to Craig that he was gonna pull through.

“There’s nothing wrong with you.”


You Need to Let Go

You have to trust your team to do stuff and to do it well.

Micromanaged team members are ineffective team members. You can’t clone yourself (yet, at least), so you have no choice but to put your trust in your team.

Like many early entrepreneurs, Craig used to run his business from the top-down. He did everything. Then, as he went through reinventing himself and his mission, he had no choice but to delegate responsibilities.

That paid off. He hired a copywriter that wrote a sales letter that converted big time, enough to sell hundreds of thousands of copies of one of Craig’s new programs. Again, the strongest empires are built on trust and a shared vision for the future.


You Need to Build Around Your Strengths

Your business will thrive when you build it around your strengths. That’s pretty easy to understand.

But so many entrepreneurs don’t want to reinvent themselves and instead stay inside their comfort zones. Maybe they’re making a decent living doing what they’re doing now, even if they aren’t playing to their strengths.

Listen, business is competitive! Someone’s always figuring out a new way to sell, or a product to pitch, or a new service to offer. You either stay ahead or struggle to survive.

In 2012, Craig knew he had to change his fitness business from turbulence training to bodyweight training. Yet there was still something that didn’t feel right to him…he didn’t have a burning passion for fitness.

Instead, he wanted to coach people through productivity. Why? Because he knew his gift was to help others structure their schedules to meet their long-term goals.

That’s why Craig chose to reinvent himself. He knew he could make a bigger impact as a productivity and time management expert, so he made the switch. Now he’s the guy people go to when they want to get their life in order.


Want to get to know Craig even more? Click here to check out this week’s Empire podcast, where Craig and I talk about his life in detail, including how he’s changed his habits to improve his quality of life.


An Inside Look – Jason Capital

Everyone wants to make money. No one knows how to keep it.

That’s what my friend and business coach Jason Capital learned the hard way. He made a ton of money at a young age, got complacent, and lost it all before making it all back nine months later.

Have you ever tasted success, then stopped growing? Have you felt an inner urge to reinvent yourself and your business?

That—and more—is what you’ll learn in this blog, where I share the biggest takeaways you can learn from Jason, his rise, his fall, and his second and third acts, which have him on track to become a billionaire.


Get Over Your Past Bullshit

Your past is like a tight grip that never wants to let go. You won’t break free unless you really put some effort into it.

My past used to define me. For years I carried around shame and rage because of stuff that happened to me in Armenia—back when I was just 4 years old.

Maybe you can relate. We’re all pretty messed up after all. But as an entrepreneur, you have to believe that your best days are yet to come and that growth is just around the corner.

Here what you need to do to make sure you never, ever peak.


An Inside Look – Jesse Itzler

Be different.

When you stand out, you make money. In today’s crowded marketplace, you HAVE to be different to survive.

Jesse Itzler is living proof that being different is a big factor in success. He’s sold multiple companies for massive profits, he’s the co-owner of an NBA team, and he’s just a badass in general.

How do you capitalize on your unique idea like Jesse did? Here are a few lessons you can learn from Jesse’s rise to the top.


Storytell to Sell

Marketing a product or service by itself is boring. Think about it. Why would someone buy a broom if it’s just a wooden stick with some straw bristles at the end?

That’s why you have to bring your product/service to life through storytelling.

See, when you connect what you sell with a story, then that’s when people begin to listen. It’s what hits their heartstrings. As Jesse says, “People buy into stories more than products.”

No one wants the broom you’re selling, but everyone wants the spotless house that all those moms who sweep have—or the ability to fly through the air like a witch (ok, maybe that one’s only in movies).

Jesse experienced this with ZICO Coconut Water. When he tasted coconut water for the first time, he was hooked. He wanted to market the hell out of it, but he didn’t know how to describe the taste.

Then it dawned on him: it’s basically a sports drink, but it also comes from nature. That’s the story he told, and lo and behold, he eventually sold the company to Coca-Cola.


Be Different

I talk about it all the time, but you have to stand out if you want people to buy your product.

The marketplace is too crowded. Are you gonna be “just another option”? Or can you become “the option” in a different niche?

In college, Jesse once had to pitch something to his advertising classmates. He decided to sell them on a brownie.

He was stopped 30 seconds into his presentation. Why?

It’s simple: his brownie wasn’t different. It might have been really good, but there are thousands of really good brownies out there.

He learned from that experience and created a private airplane service that charges by the hour, something that hadn’t been done before. Of course, rich people loved it, and the company eventually sold for a high profit.

What can you offer that no one else can? What makes you different?


Never Accept Your Limits

Limits are usually self-imposed. You’ve got so much more in you than you even realize.

And when you push beyond your limits, you get more done and you become a higher-performing entrepreneur.

Jesse decided to live with a Navy SEAL for 31 days. He even wrote a book about it (it’s hilarious). In that book, he talks about one time that SEAL made him do 150 pull-ups on the spot. Like, he wouldn’t let Jesse leave until he did 150.

At first, Jesse doubted himself, but he eventually got them all done. That day, he learned the “40% rule” that the SEALs live by: Once you think you’re at your limit, you’re really at only 40% of what you can actually do.

Push through the pain and make a real impact through your business. It may be rough, but that just means you’re on the right track. That time under tension will build your entrepreneurial muscles and net you some valuable experience.


Cut Your Deadlines in Half

That’s what my man Craig Ballantyne always says. Boy if that ain’t the truth!

You need to operate with urgency. Time is NOT on your side. You have bills to pay and a family to take care of.

That’s why I time collapse. If I can give my family a better life immediately, why would I hold out?

Jesse has that same mentality. He attempted to climb one of the most dangerous mountains in the world, with no guide to help him. He didn’t make it on his first attempt.

So what did he tell his wife (Spanx CEO Sara Blakely) when she suggested he take some time to better prepare himself for the next attempt?

“I’m going back this Saturday.”

To Jesse, and to every great entrepreneur, time is valuable. Time is money. The more of it you have, the more opportunity you buy yourself.

So why waste time when you can make it happen today?


Want to hear more wisdom from Jesse? Click here to listen to the full-length podcast I shot with him—trust me, it’s one of the best we’ve done!

How to Avoid Committing the Biggest Entrepreneurial Sins

Why do most young entrepreneurs struggle to make money right off the bat? It’s because they don’t have experience. Experience is what teaches you what to do and what not to do.

But what if you could learn those lessons right here rather than through trial-and-error? Wouldn’t that be a huge advantage?

Today I want to share the biggest sins I see entrepreneurs commit every day. For some of you, this might be the first time you hear about any of these “sins.” Some of you might be making one (or more) of these mistakes right now—which just means you’re on the verge of another spike in growth.

Let’s talk about the things you shouldn’t do as an entrepreneur.


Don’t Take the Easy Way Out

You don’t need to spend a ton of time on the color of your logo, or the font of your sign, or the design of your website. Spend it on the stuff that moves the needle for your business instead.

I get it, all that stuff I mentioned is fun to do and easy to knock off your list. But will you really make more money if your logo is red instead of green?


Will you make more money if you concentrate your efforts on your marketing campaigns, your sales copy, and your client retention?


That’s the hard stuff, but it needs to get done. And the quicker you get it done, the quicker you’ll distinguish the things that work from the things that don’t. At that point, all that’s left to do is to take action on the things that work.


Don’t Entertain the “Idea Fairy”

Every entrepreneur with a creative bone in their body has to deal with the “idea fairy” at some point. This is when your problem-solving mind (a good thing) begins to find more problems to solve.

Your have to ignore the idea fairy at all costs.

The reason? It divides your focus. You end up trying to juggle 10 projects at once, but eventually they all crumble and nothing gets done.

Think of it like this: say Dan opens his own dental practice. It starts out profitable, but then Dan thinks it wise to sell toothbrushes on the side. He also tries manufacturing some retainers and inventing a new brand of toothpaste.

What happens? Dan’s business sinks, and none of his side ventures come to anything.

If Dan had just stuck out his main business, taken himself out of it, THEN focused on his next big idea, it could’ve worked. That leads me to the next point I want to make, which is…


Don’t Work “In” Your Business

I say this all the time: you never see Richard Branson inside the cockpit of a Virgin Airlines plane.

That’s because he works on his business, not in it. That’s what you need to do too.

The thing entrepreneurs always get tripped up on is how to make that transition from employee to overseer.

Here’s what you do: hire someone who can do your job 80% as good as you can.

You could hunt the globe for the ultimate replacement, but that’s gonna take you forever. Someone that’s 80% as effective as you will eventually become 85%, 90%, 95%, and even 100% as good as you over time.

That frees you up to do the high-level work that will take your business to the next level.


Don’t Be Afraid to Say No

Once you reach a certain level of success, you start getting offers left and right from people wanting to work with you.

It’s tempting to say yes to every proposal you hear, especially if it’s coming from another successful entrepreneur. The truth, however, is you have to learn how to say no.

The last thing you want is to waste your time in a partnership that fizzles out—especially when you could have spent that time growing your main business.

You don’t owe anything to anybody. Don’t feel bad for saying no to distractions, because “no” allows you to say “yes” when the big opportunities come your way.


Don’t Hesitate to Part Ways with Slacking Team Members

When your business grows, your team’s forced to grow with it. If they can’t keep up, you can’t keep them around. No hard feelings.

I have two former partners that I had to stop doing business with. Those guys are still two of my good friends because I ended things before our business bled into our friendships.

This is actually a positive because it forces the rest of your team to level up and work on their self-development. You’re no exception. In fact, 99% of businesses scale when their CEO focuses on self-development, when he becomes the leader his/her growing business needs.

And if there are team members that don’t meet expectations, hire a replacement that’s even better until your entire team is filled with fighter jets.


Want to dig deeper into this topic? Click here to listen to the full podcast Craig Ballantyne and I recorded about the pitfalls of entrepreneurship.


The Power of Pricing

What do a Rolls Royce, a Rolex, and a Louis Vuitton bag have in common?

Yeah…they’re all expensive. But they all symbolize wealth and status.

People don’t buy a Rolls Royce because it’s fuel efficient or because it’s safe. They buy it because it brings them status. And because people value status, they shell out hundreds of thousands of dollars just to get it.

Here’s why premium pricing is actually a good thing for you and your clients.


You Out-market the Competition

Fit Body Boot Camp, the fitness franchise I own, is relatively expensive to buy in to for a fitness studio.

Not only do we have a higher buy-in, but we charge monthly royalties to each of our franchisees.

What does that mean? We have more money to out-market the rest of the competition.

A couple of years ago, there was another fitness franchise that started before mine and had about 300 locations. At the time, they were offering a $5,000 buy-in while we offered a $10,000 buy-in plus royalties.

But when the royalties came in, I used the money for our online marketing. All of the sudden, I was outpacing them in ads 10-to-1, so for every ad prospects would see of that boot camp, they’d see 10 of mine.

Not to mention that we have the budget to send our franchisee prospects goodies that give us an edge when we go to sell them.

By the way, that boot camp is now out of business. We’re thriving and growing more than ever.


Your Can Multiply Your Income

I’ve talked about my old mentor, Jim Franco, a lot on here before.

One of the most important lessons he taught me was that people don’t buy your time. They pay you for the outcome you give them.

At the time, I was training him for an hour at a time. That was, until he gave me a great idea.

If I could get him the same results in 30 minutes, why not charge the same price for a 30 minute workout instead? That way, I could work with twice the amount of clients and make double the money.

Apply that same principle to your business. How can you deliver the same product or service faster and/or easier? Again, people care about the result more than how that result is delivered to them.


You Can Offer a True World-Class Experience

Let’s talk about Planet Fitness. They’re well known for selling $10-$20/month memberships. Our memberships are a lot higher in price (around $150/month on average).

But when you sign up with Planet Fitness, all you get is access to a crowded room full of haphazard equipment. There’s no customization, it’s literally “go and do your thing.”

Do people see results? Some, maybe. But if you know anything about fitness, you know that you keep the weight off when you make lasting changes to your lifestyle.

For that, you need a coach. That’s what we provide: coaches with extensive experience, who educate you on fitness, nutrition, and life.

That extra money we charge goes back into the business, and the quality of our clients’ boot camp experience gets better and better.

A low-priced gym? They won’t be able to afford that same level of service. It’s the sacrifice you pay when you price low, which leads me into the next section.


You Won’t Race to the Bottom

What happens when you price your product too low?

Say you’re selling something for $45. Your competition obviously doesn’t want to get left in the dust, so they undercut you and sell at $40. Then, you counter back and sell at $35.

Eventually you’ll both reach  prices that are simply too low to be profitable.

It isn’t scary to price high when you know your product or service is worth what you’re asking for. Make what you sell worth what you’re selling it for.


Want to hear more pricing insight? Click here to check out the latest episode of the Empire Podcast that Craig and I just shot.

An Inside Look – Amanda Bucci

You can turn your social media into dollars.

Just ask my friend Amanda Bucci. She’s the queen when it comes to YouTube and IG fitness—she’s got 600,000 IG followers in case you were wondering.

Amanda knew next to nothing about entrepreneurship. But with the right coaching, she tripled her income (twice!) and made the most of her social media following—and you can do the same.

What made Amanda so successful in such a short time? Check out these lessons and apply them to your own business.


Create Content That Speaks to Your Audience

When people try to be everything to everyone, they end up being nobody to no one.

Amanda thrives because she creates content for a specific audience. But she doesn’t just see her audience as a demographic. She looks beyond that and asks, “Where are they at in their life?” and “What kind of person are they?”

So use your content to hit pain points, to answer the questions your followers have, to address the specific things they go through on a daily basis.

That’s valuable content to your audience. They then trust you as an expert and begin to buy into what you say (and purchase what you sell).


Be Vulnerable

You don’t need a billion social media followers to make money online. What you do need is the trust of your followers.

Before Amanda exploded her income, she built a following on social media. But how did she do it? She did something that 99% of people out there struggle to do: she was vulnerable.

For example, she once posted about her struggles with binge eating. Soon after, people flooded her DMs thanking her for sharing her story.

I’m not saying you need to put your entire life out there. But the first step to trust is being open. And once your clients know, like, and trust you, they’ll want to give you their money.

As Amanda says, humans buy humans, not products.


Handle the Hate

The more successful you get, the more people will question and criticize what you do.

Remember that hate comes from a dark place of insecurity. You can’t take what someone behind a computer screen says personally.

That hate can bring anyone down if they don’t know how to handle it. Amanda is not one of those people. In fact, she deals with criticism better than most people I know.

Here are a few of her ground rules to follow:

  • Don’t waste your time and energy trying to get Internet trolls on your side. They’re stuck in their ways.
  • When you get something nasty and vile on your timeline, just block them.
  • If you do get constructive criticism, even if it doesn’t come from a friendly point of view, you can respond with a “Hey, thanks for your opinion. Sending you love.”

What’s the best way to counter hate? Be successful. That’s it.


Get the Right Mentor

Coaching is huge. In fact, it’s a time saver.

Amanda’s big on this one. Her argument? Why waste your time and energy figuring out everything yourself when there’s someone out there with the answers you need?

Plus, we tend to see things only from our perspective. Sometimes you need someone else to look at your business from the outside. They might find opportunities that you missed.

I have people like Joel Wheldon, Joe Polish, and Craig Ballantyne as my mentors. They each coach me on specific areas of my business, and that increases my chances of success and takes a ton of stress off my shoulders.

That’s how you’ll feel when the right people are coaching you up.


Want to get more high-level social media insight? Click here to check out the full conversation that Amanda and I had on this week’s Empire episode.

How to Grow Your Business Through Instagram

Instagram isn’t just for selfies and likes.

I leverage it to bring in leads and make money. Craig Ballantyne does the same thing.

The best part? You don’t need to have millions of followers to make money.

Whether you have 4,000 followers, 40,000 followers, or 4,000,000 followers, you can  use Instagram to reach new leads and close big time sales.

It’s not that hard either. All it takes is a little effort and a lot of value.


Who Has My Customers?

No, it’s not Facebook or any other social media platform you’re on.

It’s other human beings. Influencers. The key is to add value to these people’s lives to get them to talk about you on social media.

For me, guys like Gary Vaynerchuk, Andy Frisella, and Lewis Howes speak to my target audience every day. Imagine the leads you could get from having one of those people share your message with their fanbase.

That’s why I bought 250 copies of Andy’s children’s book to pass out at my kids’ school. Before you know it, Andy reaches out to me, we connect, and I eventually speak on his podcast (and gain 10,000 new followers in a few days).

Those followers are leads that you get to close. Now how do you do that?


Your Instagram Is Your TV Network

People love two things: consistency and predictability. Heck, everyone’s got a routine because humans like routines.

Ironically those are the two things the best TV shows get right. They’re on at the same time, on the same day, every week.

What message can you deliver over and over again that’s reliable, that’s predictable, that’s consistent, and that gets your followers to want to buy your product or service?

My buddy Craig Ballantyne has a full 7 day posting schedule that he recommends to his high-level coaching clients. Click here to catch Craig breaking down every day of this plan.

The gist is this: when you add consistent value to your followers’ lives through Instagram, you earn the right to pitch and sell them.


A Trick I Use to Capture Leads…

So you have the followers and you give them great content. What now?

You need to make that personal connection with your followers. I use a simple trick to do this…

I’ll go ahead and take a picture of a stack of books, or a protein bar, or something else. I’ll post it with a caption like “What are you reading?” or “What’s your favorite protein bar?”

That’s engaging stuff that gets people to reply back.

Now let’s say they answer back with something like “I’m reading some Hemingway” or “I’m fond of X protein bar”. That’s your cue to segue the conversation.

“I  see. Just curious, what kind of business are you in if you’re reading that book?”  And once they tell me that much, I then ask, “Well, do you have any problems with your business that a business coach like me can help you solve?”

See what I’m doing? I’m helping them understand that I have a solution to their problems and frustrations.

With this method you can sell high-priced product or service bundles. It makes all the follow-up worth it.

Bonus Tip: Craig likes to send direct video replies to the people who reply to these engaging posts. It adds a personal touch to his conversations with them.


Want to hear more money-making Instagram tips and tricks? Click here to listen to the latest episode of the Empire Podcast now.

An Inside Look – Aaron Hinde

Is your entrepreneurial focus in the right place?

So many entrepreneurs think that getting their product on the shelves is the holy grail, that retail is where the money’s at. But when the industry is crowded with options, your business is either a household name or nothing.

My friend Aaron Hinde, Co-Founder and President of LIFEAID, found a smarter way to grow his fitness drink brand without shelling out top dollars on marketing. His formula can also work for you if you apply it to your industry.

Check out the lessons Aaron’s learned on his way to success—you can use them to grow your own business!


Why You Have an Obligation to Relentlessly Sell

Ever pitch something and thought you sounded too “salesy”? Or maybe you’ve heard pitches like that somewhere…

Because of that, the word “selling” is taboo to many entrepreneurs.

Look, you need to reframe the way you think: selling is NOT sleazy (unless the seller tries really hard to be).

In fact, you have an obligation to sell your product or service if you truly believe it’s better than anything else out there.