“I’d hate dying; it would ruin my image.” — Jack LaLanne
Who do you turn to for fitness help? What successful folks do you look to for general advice? Have you heard of Jack LaLanne?
Unfortunately, Mr.LaLanne is no longer with us. Fortunately, he was the original fitness entrepreneur that inspired generations to get into shape and take this whole fitness thing pretty seriously. He even lived to the young age of 96!
If you haven’t heard of LaLanne, you’ve likely heard of his famous quotes on food:
“If man ate it, don’t eat it. If it tastes good, spit it out.”
I love to study sharp minds and great entrepreneurs. I like to see what others did to get to where they are.
What can we all learn from the original fitness entrepreneur?
LaLanne taught us many great lessons over the years that should be passed down for generations. Let’s look at them:
You have to deal with adversity.
Adversity can easily lead to opportunity. Are you afraid of pissing people off? I used to be. Now I don’t care as long as there are enough of you out there that support the cause. There will always be those that don’t understand what you’re doing or are just aggressively anti-change.
LaLanne sure pissed people off and dealt with adversity. Jack opened one of the first fitness clubs in the country in 1936 (that’s pre-Twitter era)…
“People thought I was a charlatan and a nut. The doctors were against me—they said that working out with weights would give people heart attacks and they would lose their sex drive.”
Look at what’s happening in this fitness world now. Back in 1936, he was a charlatan. Now he’s a hero. There’s a gym on every street corner. There are probably more gyms than Starbucks locations out there.
If you’re always going to be worried about what others have to say about you, you’ll never get ahead. Imagine if LaLanne chose not to voice his passion for fitness? What if he didn’t have the balls to start a gym back in the 1930s?
“Anxiety is nothing but re-experiencing failure in advance. What a waste.” — Seth Godin
What will you do to change history?
There are no shortcuts.
LaLanne was vehemently against steroids and shortcuts. This thinking transcended into other areas of his life. When you’re not afraid of work, amazing things will happen to you. I’ve noticed this in my own life over the years. I finally have a book self-published on Amazon and I’ve won awards at blogging-related events because I’ve put in the work to try to become the best.
Fitness will help you solve other problems.
“You’re tired or turning to crutches often because you haven’t embraced fitness yet.”
I personally love to work out and eat as well as I possibly can. Life’s too short to feel like crap on a daily basis. You’ll be surprised by how damn amazing you feel when you lift three times a week and try to eat right.
Fitness will give you the energy to work harder. Getting into shape will give you the confidence to grab life by the balls!
Speaking of confidence…
You can’t be afraid to sell.
Selling isn’t sleazy. You don’t have to be nervous. You can’t just wait to win the lottery.
Jack sold exercise equipment, vitamin supplements, and electric juicers before they were even in! This is before every single soccer mom and fitness guru on the Internet told us to “juice” it down on a daily basis. This is before a new line of supplements was released on a daily basis.
There’s nothing wrong with selling.
I sell products because I put in MASSIVE amounts of research and effort into them. I don’t feel bad for one second about selling you a book or promoting products that I believe in.
You can’t be afraid of selling products or yourself. Of course you’ll have critics. You’ll also have believers.
“To avoid criticism say nothing, do nothing, be nothing.” — Aristotle
How else can you study successful freelancers/entrepreneurs?
Study successful folks isn’t easy. Most of us will just chalk it up to they got lucky. I hear this all the time.
“That guy got so lucky”
“He was at the right place at the right time.”
That’s rarely ever true. While luck is important, there are many little tricks that we can learn from someone’s journey to the top.
Before we go on I need to note that it’s important to study what successful folks did to get there and not what they do once they’re successful. I have a successful friend who drinks fairly often. This doesn’t mean that you always did this! Once he get the money and comfortable lifestyle, he decided that he can enjoy a beer whenever he wants. This doesn’t mean that you can enjoy this luxury. You have to earn your freedom.
Watch what they did differently.
Jack pumped weights and owned the gym until he was 96. I know people that are 26 and full of excuses! If you want to behave like everyone else, then you’re going to have a life like everyone else. If you want to study successful people, you need to watch closely to see what exactly it is that they did differently.
- What separates them from the pack?
- Did they do anything that’s considered scary to you?
- Were they ever criticized for being different?
I’m always looking to see what interesting entrepreneurs are doing differently. You never know when something will catch on.
Look at what others didn’t do.
When I read the work of Tim Ferriss I notice that he’s not afraid to simplify complex topics. In a world where simple doesn’t sell, Tim isn’t afraid to simplify things (from gaining muscle mass to learning languages).
What can you do that others aren’t doing?
That’s what we can all learn from the original fitness entrepreneur, the guru of bodybuilding, the pinnacle of health and fitness.
How does this apply to freelancing?
If you want to be successful at anything you have to see what others did before you. If you want to help lots of people with your freelancing service, it’s important that you learn about marketing and delivering quality. If you can’t promote yourself, nobody will ever know about you. If you don’t deliver quality, nobody will ever care about you.