In March of 2018, I was lost.
I had quit my job in July 2017 to become a full-time gym owner, hoping that my full-time efforts would result in full-time revenue.
Lee, my boyfriend and partner, had a full-time job, so by the time he came home each night, he was too exhausted to talk about the gym.
When it came to the gym, it felt like I had to get to the other side of the country somehow but I didn’t have a car.
I knew where I needed to be, but I had no idea how I was going to get there.
I tried to walk. I got on my bike for a few hundred miles. But ultimately, I wasn’t really getting anywhere.
The gym was doing better than when we took it over, but it wasn’t great.
I was stuck.
About the same time, I came across an event in Puerto Rico on investment opportunities. Having traveled extensively, this piqued my interest, as this group traveled the world in search of investment deals.
As much as I was excited about the idea of this trip, I also felt silly about wanting to do something so unrelated to the gym. This trip could be a total bust.
I talked about the trip with Lee, and we both decided this was a trip I needed to make. So I bought a ticket, booked an Airbnb, and crossed my fingers.
I was terrified.
Not just because I didn’t know what I was getting into, but I was mentally in a fragile place.
When we first decided to become gym owners, I was through the roof with excitement. This was the next step I had always aspired to, but now, I felt stuck, stagnant, and with little to show for myself.
Whether I knew it or not at the time, everything rode on Puerto Rico.
So what happened?
Going to Puerto Rico turned out to be the best decision I could have made.
I met incredible people there. Forward-thinking, open-minded, and radically positive people who encouraged those around them to do the impossible.
People who aspired to start micro-communities and provide off the grid living for displaced residents of Puerto Rico.
People who started and sold a number of tech companies.
People worth millions, making a massive impact on the world around them, and you’d have never known it.
Did I see any tangible returns on investments? Did I take away relevant knowledge I was going to implement upon returning?
Not at all, but I got something even better: I found my ocean.
We all have heard some version of the rehashed quote, “If you’re the biggest fish in the pond, find a bigger pond.”
Going to Puerto Rico was like driving hundreds of miles and finally reaching the ocean, where the biggest fish on the planet lived.
What I learned is that if you really want propel yourself forward, at some point you’re going to have to leave your pond in search of the ocean.
Since I came back from Puerto Rico, Lee and I made huge leaps, reinvigorated in a way we hadn’t been before.
Lee quit his job.
I started Almost Elite.
I found a way to monetize Almost Elite.
And we finally took control of the gym’s trajectory.
When Jim Rohn says you’re the average of the five people closest to you, it’s not just a worn cliche. It’s true.
You have to be surrounded by the right people to become the best version of yourself.
For me, I didn’t need to learn more about tactics on running a gym. I had read enough books and listened to plenty of podcasts to generally understand what I needed to do at the gym.
What I needed was a kick in the ass.
I needed to be around others who were wildly accomplished. I needed to come up close and personal with the massive gap between where I was and where I wanted to be.
I found that gap in Puerto Rico.
When it comes to changing your social scenery, many people can’t appreciate how transformative this can be until it finally happens. You have to experience it to know its value.
That said, here are three paradigm shifts that will help you find your ocean and the value therein.
1. Reframe your aim.
Do you want to be a successful gym owner, or do you want to be successful, period?
Find groups that reflect your values and psychographics, not just the activities you’re involved in.
Learning specific strategies to running your gym is important, but all of that is easy compared to the mental and spiritual transformation you have to undergo to realize the life you envision.
As Lee always says to athletes about CrossFit, “The physical stuff is easy. The mental aspect is what’s hard.”
All the owner’s manuals in the world won’t help you if you don’t have the mental foundation to follow them.
Find people that can lift you up in any facet of your life, because they, too, are successful (and fulfilled) in all arenas of their own lives.
2. Reframe what “networking” means.
If you ask most people what networking is, you might hear one of the following things in their answers: elevator pitch, business cards, or dress to impress.
For these reasons, I hated “networking” for the longest time.
It was always about picking up the latest tricks on how to “win” at networking, but we forget that being an authentic human being is a great hack, too.
Networking events used to feel hollow and self-serving, but they have now become exciting opportunities to meet like-minded people who are intelligent, encouraging, interested in people outside of themselves, and expect the exact same from others.
If you’re lucky, it’s the adult version of making friends on the playground.
Look to find events and groups where you can be yourself while looking to elevate yourself and those around you.
3. Reframe what a “return on investment” looks like.
Ever look at the cost of some of these masterminds online and say, “That’s expensive”?
If so, start looking at these groups and ask, “What value can I get from this?”
High value comes at high cost. It’s tough to quantify the return on intangible benefits, but there’s a reason they say your network is your net worth.
As Napoleon Hill talks about in Think and Grow Rich, if you continue to surround yourself with the right people, your success will increase exponentially. It’s not just improving your behavior that will help you realize success. Even more important is improving your attitude, beliefs, and values, all of which dictate your behavior.
How do you put a number on life-changing?
The cost will ultimately reward you with a great network, and it is an investment you will see dividends from, infinitely.
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