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How Consistency Transformed My Body

Five more days until the new year begins. Dreams and aspirations of massive change linger in the air as the new year creeps in. Once January 1st hits, people will rush off the starting line in pursuit of their new years resolutions. Determined that this year will be different.

Weight loss. New career. More money.

Gyms are packed. Self help books are selling off the shelves. Military like determination to accomplish their goals.

By February, the air will linger with the death of those resolutions. Why? Because they were unable to maintain consistency with their new years resolutions.

Enter the Fat Dragon.

Growing up I was a normal kid. Then I discovered video games and taco bell nacho cheese chalupas. This led to hours upon hours of gaming and eating shit food. My personal best was 60 McNuggets from McDonald’s in one sitting. They had a $1.99 for 20 special going on. How can you say no?

Like clockwork, I would get out of school and fire up my x-box while nibbling on the fast food of choice for the day.

What did this consistency get me?

fat-face
Lock up your daughters.

 

The picture you see above was the result of an accumulation of years and years of shitty food and bad habits.

Chicken Breasts and Iron

Sometime around when I was 17-18 years old, something snapped in me and I decided to change. I decided to not be fat anymore.

After weeks of research on how to lose weight, I joined a gym and learned how to cook.

Fast forward through a year or two of going to the gym and cooking 98% of my meals. I finally made it. I wasn’t fat anymore.

header-transformation-image

The picture you see above is the accumulation of hours upon hours in the gym and meal upon meal of chicken breasts and rice.

There is no magic pill.

Taking Home the Gold

Around six months ago I decided to start training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. When I signed up I made a commitment to myself that for the next six months, I would train at least three times a week (unless I was injured and couldn’t physically train).

For the first couple of months I was getting smashed and submitted left and right. I was shitty and I knew it but I kept going because of the commitment to myself and because I knew consistency was the only way to get better.

A month ago I competed in my first tournament and I took home gold. The guy who was getting dominated four months before hand took home gold at the tournament. Why? I was consistent in my training.

bjjtourney

The deadline passed a couple days ago and with the exception of blowing my knee out which put me out of commission for a couple weeks, I hit my goal of training at least three times a week in a six month time span.

bjj-training
interested in this awesome graph? click the image to find out what it’s all about!

 

 

The wrap this up. Consistency is how you get results in life.

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. – Aristotle

Not only is excellence a habit but poor performance and lack of results is also a habit.

You are in control of your destiny, be consistently attacking your goals and you will achieve them.

Where I'm at now after eight years of consistent training.
Where I’m at now after eight years of consistent training.

Your Confidence is a Health Bar

Imagine our confidence was like a health bar you see in video games. You can either get attacked and lose health points or you can find power ups and gain health points.

This is exactly how confidence works.

Every single choice you make either adds to your confidence or takes away from it. There is no in-between. Regardless of how small or large the choice is, it will decrease or increase your confidence.

Just say “hello” dammit!

You’re in line at Starbucks to pick up some coffee and next to you is a gorgeous woman. You’re immediate thought is that you want to introduce yourself and get to know her. However the longer you take, the more your thoughts of self doubt creep in.

  • She’s too pretty for me.
  • What if she rejects me?
  • I’m going to look like an idiot.

Eventually the soldiers of doubt invade your brain like the beaches of Normandy to the point of paralysis.

You freeze up and proceed to order your latte with a side of shame.

This situation is called “Approach Anxiety” in the world of pick up artists.

Here’s the urban dictionary definition:

Approach anxiety (AA) is a term used to describe a man who feels highly nervous, awkward and distressed during (or even before) the act of approaching and getting to know women he has never met before. While the anxiety often derives from a greater social phobia, approach anxiety itself derives specifically from man’s belief that he is very likely to be rejected by the woman of his desire in unpleasant and harsh ways.

It takes confidence to approach a woman you’ve never met before. You’re putting yourself in a vulnerable position and it’s very uncomfortable because you have no control of the outcome.

Let’s go back to the example at Starbucks. You see the woman and you decide to approach and say hello. Regardless of the outcome, you’ve faced the fear and showed you’re brain that you’re not going to die from saying hello to a woman. Confidence +1. However if you succumb to the anxiety. Round house kick to your face and confidence -1.

The studs you see at the bar approaching women? They have approached so many times that their confidence health bar is maxed out and they feel little if any anxiety when approaching.

They felt the fear and did it anyway.

Writing this article.

I only got 5 hours of sleep last night and the last thing I wanted to do was write this. My brain screamed for me to take a nap. I wanted to lay down, shut my eyes and tell myself that I would write this when I woke up.

The problem was that I know the difference between when my brain wants to nap because it’s tired versus when it wants to avoid doing something.

While in college, I took the most naps during finals because my brain wanted to avoid the studying.

My mental game was weak.

This weak behavior has happened so many times that I’ve developed an awareness to it. Procrastination has been the worst habit of my life so far and the devil of my time. Each time I succumb to it’s grip, my confidence and happiness goes down.

Not anymore.

My decision was to either write this or take a nap. I knew that sitting down and writing it would increase my confidence while taking a nap would decrease it. I chose to sit down and write it.

Make the choice

Each time I’m faced with a choice I ask myself if it’s going to increase or decrease the confidence in myself.

The choices range from tiny things to big ones.

  • I see some trash in my car, do I get rid of it now or wait until later?
  • The alarm goes off and I’m still tired, do I get up or do I sleep in?
  • Do I say hello to the pretty blonde or do I check my phone for the fourth time?

Each time you face a fear or internal resistance, your confidence in yourself increases. Each time you succumb to it, your confidence decreases.

There is no in-between.

Next time you’re faced with a decision, ask yourself:

“Which decision will increase my confidence in myself?”

Then do that one.

My first dip into e commerce

About a year ago I joined a course to learn how to build an online business. Up until that point, my only “online business” was selling my services as a web developer. I don’t really call it a business because it consisted of just me trading my time for money. I essentially created a day job for myself. Sure sometimes I would price on a project basis, but it all boiled down to a business where I was trading my time for money. I had been doing it for about a year by then full time and I was starting to get sick of it. That was the reason I signed up for the online course to learn how to build an online business. A business where I sold goods and could make money while I slept. That was the plan at least.

The course was focused on learning how to set up a drop shipping store online. For those of you who don’t know what drop shipping is, I’ll explain it in a nut shell.

Drop Shipping in a Nut Shell

  1. I drive customers to my site.
  2. Customer places an order on my site.
  3. I charge the customer the MSRP or whatever price I set.
  4. I forward that order to a manufacturer/distributor who I made a relationship with.
  5. They ship the order and charge my card with the dealer pricing.
  6. Customer receives their order with my invoice inside of it.
  7. I keep the margin between what I sold the product for and the dealer pricing. Typically 20-30%.

The course taught me how to narrow down a niche, build a store, and how to drive traffic to the store.

My internal resistance kicked in around the part of the course where we were supposed to pick a niche. I avoided it because deep down I felt like it wasn’t going to work. I self sabotaged myself by not even trying. Eventually a year goes by and I still don’t have a store up yet.

It was only last month when I got a kick in the pants. A significant emotional event triggered me to push my comfort zone and just fucking try it at least. I ended up picking a niche after a couple of days then signed up for Shopify to create the store.

The course taught me that I should have a website up and running before reaching out to suppliers so that’s what I did.

The resistance kicked in again. It was afraid of being rejected by suppliers. Calling suppliers was something I’d never done before and my monkey brain was afraid of the pain of rejection so I put it off and fiddled around with my website for a couple more weeks until the pain of what I was doing became too unbearable.

I nutted up and just picked up the phone and called all the suppliers I could find. Had about 14 on my list. Two said yes on the first call, the rest said no, that they didn’t do drop shipping, or they wanted me to email them my information.

For the ones that didn’t say no, I followed up multiple times before I could get two more yeses. So as of today I have only three suppliers who have agreed to a drop shipping relationship with me.

The planned launch date is next week on Monday (November 21st, 2014). That’s the date I told my suppliers that I was going to launch.

It’s funny because the anticipation of something scary is always worse than the actual thing 99% of the time. As I’ve grown, I’ve realized that my brain is an ass hole when it comes to pushing my comfort zone. He always thinks of the worse possible things that can happen, not the best possible out come that could happen. Although I believe he’s doing his best to protect me, I know that I need to push my comfort zone in order to become the man that I want to become.

Where I’m at now:

  • Approved for drop shipping accounts with three suppliers.
  • Site 95% of the way completed. Need to modify a couple sliders.
  • Toll free number and professional voice mail added.
  • Live chat added.
  • Google PLA and Amazon ads ready to rock.

My planned launch date is next week on Monday. I don’t plan on a flood gate of customers to roll in since my plan for traffic right now will be paid (Google & Amazon).

I don’t see drop shipping to be my long term end game but more of a stepping stool to the bigger game of e-commerce. Bigger game meaning building my own brand and manufacturing my own product. One of my goals is to start a life style clothing brand around the fitness industry and I believe that this initial dip into e-commerce will 1. Be helpful to learn how it all works and 2. help me build the capital I’ll need to start manufacturing my own product.

Take Aways

  • The anticipation of something is 99% of the time worse than actually doing the thing. So just do it. It always feels so so good after you conquer something you were afraid of.
  • Stop trying to be perfect. Ready, fire, aim.
  • There’s no speed limit. Success loves speed. Execute. Execute. Execute.
  • Usually it takes a significant emotional event to create massive change.

Starting

I’ve wanted to blog, write, and share my opinions for years now.

It’s been years and I’m still where I started. Nowhere. Each day I fantasize about how I would build a large audience and tribe through my writings.

Soon I told myself.

Inspiration for blog posts would come to me daily through all the blogs and articles I read. Life experiences would spark light bulbs for amazing post ideas. Yet the ideas never saw the light of day because I never started.

Tomorrow I would tell myself.

I have a horrible habit of wanting the conditions to be perfect before taking action however I know deep inside of me that the conditions will never be perfect. This happened for my business and even when I first started working out.

Ready, aim, fire.

I can remember the first two months of my first time joining a gym seven years ago. At 16 years old I rolled into the gym with my mom and signed the dotted line for a gym membership. Once all the paperwork was done and credit card was charged, I rolled back home and proceeded to do research on bodybuilding and how to work out… for a month. I sat at home and researched how to workout for an entire month before stepping back into the gym that I signed up for. Realistically, that month of research did nothing for me because I had zero experience to begin with. It did more harm than good because I was so overloaded with information.

It actually took me a couple years before I realized what happened that month and why it happened. Internally I was afraid of failing and looking bad so my solution was to try and prepare in an effort to avoid failure and mistakes.

What I looked like when I rolled in the gym.
What I looked like when I rolled in the gym.

 

Ready, fire, aim

There are more stories of over preparation and information overload I can share with you but I’ll give you the condensed version.

  1. Tell others/myself I was going to do something.
  2. Buy some books and learn about that thing.
  3. Find more content on that thing before doing it.
  4. Have nothing to show after a month because I didn’t even start yet.
  5. Repeat for the next thing I was going do.

It took years and years of this bull shit fear before I truly realized how damaging it was to my self esteem and confidence. Each time a project fell through my confidence took a hit.

It was only after getting absolutely sick of myself that I decided to change. Instead of over preparing I decided that I would just do. Regardless of how uncomfortable I felt. I knew that I learned exponentially more from doing the thing than learning about it through books or content.

About five months ago I decided to start training Brazilian jiu jitsu. I called up the gym, took a trial class and signed up that day. After about two months I knew that I wanted to compete. Did I feel ready? Hell no but I told my instructor I wanted to compete and three months later I competed for the first time and took home gold.

  • Did I feel uncomfortable? Hell yes.
  • Did I feel ready? Hell no.
  • Was I scared? Hell yes.

Now even if I took last place, the amount I would have learned surpasses anything that I could have learned from contemplating competing.

bjjtourny

Ready, fire, aim. This has become my new modus operandi. I learn exponentially more from doing the damn thing versus reading about it for a month. Now I’m not saying to go in blind but there is a very fine line between gathering enough information and gathering too much information.

Bullshit reasons why I didn’t start writing years ago

1. I didn’t own my domain name

I remember when I first wanted to write, it was around high school. So around 2007-2008. I went to buy the domain name and realized it was bought by someone who wasn’t doing anything with it… until October 2014! My train of thought was that I didn’t want to invest time and effort into building an asset that wasn’t even my name. Bullshit I know.

It was only until last month when I realized that the domain was free. I snagged it for five years. Regardless of how bullshit my excuse was, it can’t be an excuse anymore.

2. I’m not a good writer

Who is born a good anything? No one. Mistakes will be made and there is no way around it. Put in the reps and you will get better. This is a lesson I’ve learned through weight training, programming, and jiu jitsu. How do you build a house? Brick by brick. Until they can start engineering humans, you’re going to need to put in the reps.

Be aware that your work will be shitty when you start though. You may even be brutally aware of how shitty it is but that doesn’t matter because you’re getting better with each rep and eventually you will close the gap.

Is this blog post “good”? Probably not the best.

Will it touch and change the lives of millions? Probably not.

Does it matter? No because I started and that’s all that matters right now.

And if you’re like me, every time that voice comes into your mind, how many fucking tomorrows do I have. How many tomorrows have I put off? You’ll find that you’re surrounded by stacks of tomorrows that have become yesterdays. They surround you like rotting fruit and you just keep stacking those days on top of that pile of rotting fruit as you lay there surrounded by the bloat flies. the demonic forces that whirl around you in the form of unpaid bills, belly fat, and bad friends.

– Duncan Trussell