“You can’t do what I can do.”
It seems that everyone wants to have their own business and be the “next entrepreneur”.
It’s a widespread desire, but one that I see a lot with young male Personal Trainers because that’s my specialist industry and young men are generally more likely to be pumped up on ambition, testosterone, and chips on their shoulders.
I know, I’ve been there. No one had more to prove than me.
But there are a few differences between me and most of you reading this who also want to have your own businesses.
Many of you have been sold the dream of the new wave of snake-oil business marketers. You’ve bought the Vaynerchuk bullshit (one of the biggest smoke and mirrors guys around), seen the Frank Kern videos (a super-smart guy whose sole job is to take your money), and if you’re a PT, gone on the business courses run by “fitness industry experts” who’ve never even been successful trainers, let alone operated the PT gyms that (you think) it’s your dream to run.
You’ve been told that if you hustle you’ll make it.
Here’s the problem – just like creating your own ideal body, hustling is never enough. It is merely the start.
And do you know how many people have the persistence, tenacity, and willingness to sacrifice to hustle for the years that it takes to be successful? Let’s put it this way, I’ve seen more men than I can count start out down the road on creating a copy of my own (small in the grand scheme of such things) business.
How many of these men have fizzled out and how many have had what it takes to keep on grinding? The answer is 100% and zero.
It gets worse.
I’ve only touched the surface of why you can’t do what I can do.
Desire is the non-negotiable. Most of you don’t even have that. Every one of you reading this who has been successful in their own right will know that a big reason they left their competitors/colleagues in the dust is because they wanted it more.
To be successful in any endeavour is not about “life balance” – it is about doing what is necessary and prioritising your goals above all of your own desires.
You can probably do it for a day or three, just like most people can follow a diet. Can you look inside yourself and say you can do it for decades? I’ve been doing it for 10 years and I am shattered – the really successful people I know have been doing it for at least double that.
I don’t know if I can do what they can do.
I’ve actually noticed an inverse correlation between those who quote Vaynerchuk and those who are genuinely successful. I don’t have time to read about cheerleading my hustle; I am too busy trying to improve my business.
Maybe you can’t do what I can do because you’re more balanced than me? You need to be obsessed, and very few people truly possess that level of single-mindedness.
Then there are all the other qualities that you need to possess.
If you meltdown in a crisis and reach for the anti-anxiety pills then this does not make you a bad or weak person, but it tells me that you’re not cut out for the rapacious, cut-throat nature of competitive entrepreneurship.
Man management is critical. In fact, if you want a Personal Training business (i.e. more than just you flying solo as a freelancer – that’s not a business, it’s a job) it is the single most important factor for your success; something that I’ve yet to see a single “fitness business guru” touch upon (they can’t because as solo operators they don’t have the experience).
To do what I do you need a host of skills and qualities that you almost certainly don’t possess as a full range.
You need to be able to write, love training, be both highly numerate and literate, have empathy, a thick skin, a strong streak of selfishness, a ruthless edge and a loyal centre. I could go on and on.
I know that there’s a not insignificant note of hubris to this message, but that’s not what I want my parting shot to be about.
Not everyone is cut out for “everything”. By no means are most people cut out for running successful businesses, because if they were there’d be a hell of a lot more people doing it and enjoying the rewards!
We need to have our eyes open to this new wave of bullshit that sells young people impossible dreams that are beyond their abilities.
Do I think we should dare to dream? Hell yes!
Do I think dreams, no matter how grand, should be rooted in some semblance of reality? Yes, because to live a life of broken dreams is only to live half a life.
“You can’t do what I can do” doesn’t make me better than you. It makes me different.
I can mount a solid argument that I possess a unique skill-set that allows me to build a Personal Training business better than you. It doesn’t mean that I can do what you can do.
I am surrounded in my own business by people who can do things better than me. That’s why they are there. There are countless things, both professionally and personally, that I truly suck at doing.
You need to find what you are great at and maximise that.
Try and fail, there’s no harm in that and it’s all part of the process, but fail in such a way that you learn lessons rather than crashing and burning like so many wannabe fitness entrepreneurs are now doing.
I’ll close by telling you the greatest career on earth, one that I don’t have the patience or self-sacrifice to do (my ego is too big) is being a mother who makes the decision to stay at home to look after her kids.
Nothing else is more important than the safe and secure stewardship of our children. We should be celebrating that above everything else.