The article below is the script I wrote myself before recording a piece of audio for a multi-guest episode of the Shredded By Science Podcast.
When the host of said episode requested us to come up with “the one fitness industry thing we wish would die in 2017”, I came up with what is written below.
For the full audio of that SBS Podcast episode, CLICK HERE. I am the first contributor, and my part is delivered within the first 15 minutes.
It’s a REALLY great listen, and I gotta give immensely huge kudos to Lawrence Judd for organizing the whole thing
Here’s my part in text. I hope you guys dig it…
EVERYONE NEEDS TO STOP BEING A FITNESS ENTREPRENEUR
My hope for the upcoming is year is that everyone who has ever lifted a weight will continue to enjoy lifting weights rather than attempting to turn that joy into a marketable strategy to launch their way into entrepreneurial stardom.
While I believe being an business owner in the fitness industry truly is the right move for a very few select people, I think this Instagram-induced fantasy has made it into an unfortunate fad for quite a few reasons.
I bring this topic up, because it stems from the second most-asked question that graces my many email or social media inboxes.
Now thankfully, the number one inquiry is how to begin coaches services with 3DMJ.
But like I said, the close runner-up would be a collection of asks that surround this whole fitness entrepreneurship realm.
“How do I get more followers?”
“How do I become an online coach?”
“How do you start a podcast?”
“How did you get to be a 3DMJ coach?”
…And so on and so forth.
Now while I don’t think intentions are bad, I do think that these are the wrong questions to be asking. I don’t think the “how” is as important as the “WHY”?
I’d like to ask these people…
“WHY do you want more followers?”
“WHY do you want to be an online coach?”
In my heart of hearts, I think a lot of it is because “that’s what everyone else does.”. But where I think most people get it wrong is that they THINK that’s what everyone else does.
Most people go to the gym to exercise. Most people simply lurk on social media without ever producing content. Most people live happily normal lives while surfing the internet to learn a bit about their interests from time to time. Most people do not think that they’re cool enough or knowledgable enough to build and online empire and offer their fitness expertise to the world in exchange for thousands or millions of dollars.
But the people who send me and my colleagues those emails with giant asks and favors are those that DO feel they have something offer. Maybe they look better than the average human, maybe they’ve successfully completed a contest prep or two, maybe their stronger than their friends, and now a few people have noticed.
And this is where my hope that 2017 would be different comes into play…
Just because a few people have left comments on a couple of pictures does not mean that you have to allow them to alter your life’s plan. Just because some of your high school buddies want weight loss results does not mean that you have to quit your day job, change career paths, get sponsors, sell other people’s products and create a full-fledged coaching business to help them.
These types of hasty decisions have led many people I know down the path to financial struggle and major bouts of depression.
I think many people don’t understand how easy it is to make a few bucks online and how extremely difficult it is to make a living online.
Anyone can sign themselves up on a supplement company’s website to become a brand ambassador with a 10% discount code for their followers. But it is very uncommon that someone realizes the long road of challenges, hardships, risks, and struggles it takes to fully take the long journey into full-blown entrepreneurship.
When people get excited with their new body shape or the new small flood of social media compliments, they tend to give up everything they’ve worked on for the last decade of their life and drop it all for this new endeavor to stardom. But unfortunately, after 3 or 4 months of lots of work and not a lot of financial return, they end up quitting. The money isn’t there as soon as they thought, the followers aren’t there as soon as they thought, and now they’re embarrassed and retreat from the internet altogether…And that is something that I hope we can minimize in the years to come.
Enjoy your fitness for what it is. Keep training and growing and sharing your story with those who would love to follow along and show you encouragement. But please think VERY hard if you are actually someone who should be ruining a perfectly awesome current life for a future fitness career that has no guarantees.
Now, just to be perfectly clear, I’m not saying this to be discouraging to those who know that this is their path. Obviously, I am someone who has been in coaching and fitness since I was 16, and the goal was never to do anything else. I also work with many colleagues who have successfully taken similar routes.
And to be honest, those that are truly passionate, involved, risk-averse, and willing to go through what it takes to cultivate a career like this will not be phased by this little rant of mine. They are well on their way, have already taken some hits, and will continue on their journey to creating the things they love no matter what.
But for many many others, the ones who send messages asking the questions I mentioned earlier, I’d have to ask you to proceed with a whole lot of caution.
Is this a phase spurred by a few compliments, or is this something you are willing to risk your safety and a stability for?
Do you truly want to be an entrepreneur in the field of fitness, or do you simply want to be more socially accepted because it feels good?
Do you find yourself saying things online that your old self or future self would be embarrassed about? Are you posting pictures of yourself in poses that might be embarrassing to your family, friends, parents or children in order to gain more attention?
These are the things that I personally worry about, and things that have plagued many a dreamer in this whole Insta-fame culture that we’ve entered over the past couple of years.
With all that said, I know that our industry still has many integral individuals fighting the good fight and making an honest name for themselves in our brutal and clouded field of commerce.
But for those on the fence, let’s keep it honest and positive. Let’s enjoy the gift of fitness, let it continue to be a positive accessory to your life, and don’t necessarily let the immediate gratification of compliments from strangers get the best of you.