Nick Mitchell: Don’t Be Fooled Into Living Another Man’s Dream

In the ceaseless quest for “success”, which has been made much worse by the “keeping up with Joneses” spirit of social media, I feel that a lot of you have lost your true direction.

You see success as the superficial – a fast car, a nice house, a six pack, or you might even look at someone like me and “want” an international business.

Feeling inspired and using external motivations to fire you up is a vital tool on the journey, but somewhere along the way I can’t help but think that far too many of you don’t really know what you want and end up going down the wrong path.

If you’ve been around the fitness industry any length of time, you’ll have seen the person who gets the competition bug. It takes over their life, their circle of friends change completely, they often become psychologically addicted to PEDs, and they lose sight of what they originally loved about the fitness lifestyle.

In the old days, pre social media, a lot of the top bodybuilders didn’t really love the shows, they just loved the process and the journey. They had normal lives, outside interests, and regular jobs (the youngest ever winner of the British nationals was the phenomenal Ian Harrison. He worked for the Yorkshire Electricity Board until he turned pro) and no one ever questioned their dedication to the cause. Nowadays, too many people are being chewed up and left broken.

In the fitness business, it seems every other person wants to own a PT gym. Yeah, good luck with that. The reality is so far removed from the perception as any PT business owner will tell you. 

Those who don’t want to own PT studios now want to be online trainers. They’re seduced by the apparent ease of working from home or the coffee shop. No need for whining clients at 6 am in a cold gym and it’s an “easy” way to work with lots of people.

Again, the reality is so far removed from the ideal and I predict that very soon we will see waves upon waves of these “online trainers” forced back into schlepping it in commercial gyms. 

Without a niche, you’re nothing – there’s only so much room for the next Joe Wicks and, like him or loathe him, he obviously has something special. Hint – this guy kept making videos when no one was watching and never stopped.

What do all of these broken dreams have in common when they come crashing down? The person who failed didn’t do what he loved. 

If you do what you love, it’s still not easy. But it gives you a purpose and a drive to keep going no matter what. Doing what you love stops you from questioning yourself to the point where your lack of motivation makes it impossible to be successful. 

Allow me to use an analogy. Have you ever looked after someone else’s unruly kids? At first it’s great fun, but, eventually, you can’t wait for their parents to get back and take the monsters off your hands. Then apply that to your own kids – nope, it’s not always great fun but you never ever (I hope!) think about the grass being greener. 

Success, you see, is rooted deep in persistence. I don’t know many people in my own line of work who were prepared to do what I did to make their business a success, especially in the early years when it really did demand more than its pound of flesh and I had to put up with some truly shitty behaviour from those I trusted. 

I didn’t love every minute of it, far from it. But I was on a mission to create something special and it consumed my every waking thought. We don’t all need to have that burning desire to succeed, in fact, the world would be an awful place if we did, but what we do need to find is the thing that we love. 

Don’t fool yourself into loving another man’s dream, find your own.

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