WARNING: Got one today straight from the heart. No fitness business tactics in this email, but arguably a more important topic…
(Also, any chance you’ll be at Perform Better in Chicago this weekend? I’m speaking tomorrow. Would love to meet up and say “hai” if you’re there. Hit me back!)
I’ve recently been audiobooking Derren Brown’s truly excellent book Happy. The book makes several claims that, while not new to me, were nonetheless worthy of revisiting.
If you’re a long time reader, you’ve likely observed I approach my work with energy, enthusiasm, and urgency.
Like all strengths, this serves me well. Except when it doesn’t.
You see, I’m a deeply competitive person. I’m not aiming to do a “good enough job” with any of my professional pursuits. I’m driven to achieve my potential while serving the various communities to which I’ve sworn my sword.
But sometimes this urgency can take a turn and veer over into a kind of low-level anxiety.
It’s one thing to joyfully sprint as hard as you can to “make a dent in the universe.”
It’s quite another to desperately flee an imaginary mortality bowling ball coming to crush you like a pancake.
Over the years, I’ve learned to be sensitive to this subtle shift in my energy. I’m certainly not perfect. But with each passing year of practice, I seem to manage this better: I catch it more quickly and address my creeping compulsions with more ease and self-kindness.
And I wondered if, perhaps YOU may have a similar tendency?
Now, this may or may not be the case.
In fact, if I’m being real, the more common issue I see among gym owners is a lack of focus. Because if you’re looking to create an amazing gym? Then there IS such a thing as too little ambition in relation to your chosen professional path. The ugly reality is that not everyone is cut out to be a business owner. So that’s a separate issue.
When I talk about managing urgency-turned-into-anxiety, I’m NOT advocating being rudderless. Nor am I a proponent of passive complacency.
Instead, I’m proposing an ongoing audit of how your deathbed self will feel about how you’re spending your days and weeks.
This isn’t about minimizing work per se. In fact, when I’m in my “Unique Ability,” I feel in flow, tuned in, turned on, and creatively expressed. I’m not just working on my business; I’m making art. So part of this practice is identifying your personal superpowers and building a professional path around them.
And l note with no shame, my work has given me some of the most gratifying moments of my life. I love love LOVE what I do.
(Though I gotta say… when I think about the MOST magical experiences of my life to date? It’s sitting on the floor when my 1-year-old daughter and beloved dog Gizmo wiggle on over and nuzzle into me.)
By all means, I affirm your desire to storm the barricades of your career as a gym owner. You want a fitness empire? I support your quest!
But we must be ever aware of the “tyranny of the quantifiable” and the energy with which we’re pursuing those goals.
With all due respect to the famous TED Talk, it’s not JUST “why do we do what we do,” but how we do it.
So in closing, here’s my question for you:
When was the last time you slowed down and really considered how your deathbed self would feel about how you’re currently spending your time?
Again, I’m not just talking about what you’re doing. I’m talking about your way of being as you travel through life.
If you haven’t done so recently, I invite you to take a pause.
Relax your shoulders.
Check in with your body.
And if this conversation stresses you out?
If you’re stressed about being stressed?
Well, the good news is you can’t get it wrong, because you can’t get it done. It’s going to keep shifting around.
So go ahead and course correct as you think appropriate. But don’t hold on to it too tightly.
You don’t get to keep any of it anyway.
And isn’t it f*cking glorious in its ephemerality?
Yes, it surely is.
Love you much,
PS: Here are four ways to get more BFU in your life:
- Learn more about our coaching group The Unicorn Society HERE.
- Subscribe to our Business for Unicorns podcast HERE.
- Subscribe to my YouTube channel HERE.
- Pick up a copy of my book HERE.
PPS: Speaking of “more BFU,” have you checked out my YouTube channel lately?
To see my latest video, click the thumbnail below.