“Let everyone else call your idea crazy… just keep going. Don’t stop. Don’t even think about stopping until you get there, and don’t give much thought to where ‘there’ is. Whatever comes, just don’t stop.” — Phil Knight, Shoe Dog
You know that feeling where you get tired of working, and you just long for a vacation?
Then you finally take one.
A few days in to your vacation, you find yourself itching to get “back to your routine,” and it’s only when you finally return to work do you find the sense of relief you went on vacation to find.
Funny, isn’t it?
As much as we let ourselves get distracted by shiny objects, what we really want, more than anything, is to be able to do one thing exceptionally well, without interruption.
Because, fundamentally, we understand that in order to do something well, to the point that we’re successful and fulfilled by our efforts, we have to truly give it our all.
It can’t be a side hustle.
It can’t be a hobby.
We have to dive in.
We will drink the Kool-aid and ignore everything else until our vision finally becomes real.
“Extraordinary results are directly determined by how narrow you can make your focus.” — The ONE Thing
For the first year or so as gym owners, Lee and I were still figuring out how we wanted to run the gym.
We both had full-time jobs for quite awhile, and figuring out a balance between our jobs and the gym was tough.
I outsourced a lot of my roles, thinking I was mastering entrepreneurship because we had hired people to help us.
However, over time, the gym became less and less of my own. I wasn’t keen on the way certain things were handled at the gym, but I was reluctant to change anything because I believed in continuing to empower those we had hired as staff.
Juggling two jobs at once, who was I to occasionally rule with an iron fist?
More and more, I realized the gym grew and evolved without me, in a way I had no say over.
But that’s what I got, for wanting to have my cake and eat it, too.
Or, in other words, for half-assing it.
That was an important lesson for me, and it’s one I remember when I get side-tracked with ideas and opportunities outside of the gym.
Because there’s something really gratifying about dedicating yourself to something.
With no distractions, no interruptions, no detours.
When you commit to something completely, you are taking total responsibility for that endeavor. You either give it your best effort and succeed, or you realize you’re not cut out for it.
Either way, there’s no question.
There’s no woulda, coulda, shoulda; no room for regrets.
You can say you did it, 100%.
“When you want the absolute best chance to succeed at anything you want, your approach should be always the same. Go small.” — The ONE Thing
There are many different ways to choose to live your life, if you want to be happy. But trying to do all of them at the same time is not the way to do it.
When you try to do everything, you do nothing well.
You must be deliberate with your life decisions because they quickly determine the trajectory your life follows: the one you want or the one you endure.
There is a big difference between a distraction and a choice, and the sooner you appreciate the difference, the sooner you will be in the driver’s seat of your own life.
Because there’s nothing more empowering than your sense of agency.
Remember what the end goal is, at all times. The end goal needs to be something that inspires and excites you, no one else.
I was lucky. My parents never romanticized the notion of living for others, and as a woman, I consider myself fortunate to have had parents that encouraged me to live a life for myself, before anyone else.
“She wrote down everything she stood for and everything she did not. Then she changed her business.” — Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
It’s important to understand what your priorities are… but more specifically, what they aren’t.
What do you stand for, or better yet, refuse to stand for?
What will you never let be a distraction in your life, because it is counterproductive to everything you are trying to do with your life, right now?
Because there’s a scary thing that happens when you don’t ask yourself these questions.
Life moves forward anyway.
You can either choose to take control of your growth today, or you can check back in years down the road, only to find you’re nowhere near where you wanted to be with nowhere near the time you had before.
“You want your achievements to add up, but that actually takes subtraction, not addition.” — The ONE Thing
One thing we’re taught as gym owners is if we really want to grow our business, we need to develop multiple streams of income. We don’t want to put all of our eggs in one basket, and we want to make sure there’s always some type of income coming in, regardless of the season.
So what do many of us do? We add everything under the sun.
We add Zumba to our repertoire, take on 20 extra hours of personal training a week, and start selling knee sleeves in the name of diversifying.
We hear the advice to add alternate means of income, and we follow it blindly, trying to hack our way to success.
Then we burn out.
Because we couldn’t care less about Zumba or knee sleeves.
We’re working longer hours, but we don’t have the enthusiasm behind any one income stream to really develop it.
So now we’re just spending a lot of our time and effort doing everything poorly… and hating all of it.
Instead of increasing income, we just found another way to pass the time.
“I had an aching sense that our time is short, shorter than we ever know, short as a morning run, and I wanted mine to be meaningful. And purposeful. And creative. And important.” — Shoe Dog
I recently interviewed an accomplished gym owner in the UK, and in our conversation, he admitted to barely surviving for the first 3 1/2 years his gym was open. I asked him why it was so important for him to finally tap into his vision for his gym, and he gave me the simplest, most poignant answer.
“Time goes by quickly.”
He didn’t talk about the satisfaction that comes from an executed vision. He talked about what happens when a vision is never realized.
Whether you started your gym from the ground up or you took over one like we did, all of us became gym owners for a deeper reason. There was a tangible sense of our “why” that propelled us into this decision.
Tapping into that “why” is what drives you forward, each and every day.
But even as I say that, it’s not enough to remember our “why.” Our challenge is not that we don’t know our “why.”
Our challenge is that we lost our intentionality, for far too long, without us ever seeing it.
When we stop being purposeful in what we do, we remain as we were when we started: untapped potential.
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