No matter how hard I worked, I still needed more perspective and objectivity when it came to dealing with my own situation and my own challenges.
I became obsessed with achieving success, figuring myself out, and learning what motivates we as people to do the things we do. It was my passion. I was my hobby. I realize now that it was also my escape from reality and the complex issues that I was dealing with in my own head.
In my early 20s, I was working my way up the corporate management ladder at a grocery store chain. If someone asked me what I did for a living, I always dressed my career up nicely making it sound much better than it really was with the canned response “I’m in management for a large 65-store retail chain in California and Nevada.”
But it didn’t matter how cleverly I presented what I was doing for a living at the time, I was not at all satisfied. It didn’t matter how many promotions I earned, how many other ambitious people I moved past in ranking, how much money I was making, or all the security and generous benefits that company provided me. I wasn’t even remotely proud of what I did. To me, I worked in a grocery store and wore a green smock and a name tag.
I came to believe that, if you couldn’t proudly tell someone what you did for a living without disguising it, then you should be doing something else.
I used all of the motivational books and audio courses I immersed myself in at that time to find my true calling in life. I wanted to be proud of what I did.
I tried to do several other entrepreneurial things in addition to the 50-plus hours a week that I was working at the grocery store in my early and mid 20s. I joined a couple of those network, multi-level marketing businesses. The challenge was that I refused to sell the “business concept” to my friends and family. I was really bothered by that aspect of that business model and it was never going to pass my person integrity “sniff test.” I was really naive back then thinking that I was going to go against its fundamental business design and make it work by selling the overpriced products. Looking back, I am both amused and impressed at the same time by my conviction to run those businesses the “right” way.
I also took myself through the grueling process of studying for and passing my Series 7 securities (stockbroker’s) license at the time. I didn’t really do much with it but I was really impressed that it was something I was able to do while working my crazy nights and weekend shifts at the grocery store.
I had an incredible amount of drive back then but absolutely no real, human guidance. I needed a mentor who actually took the time to have conversations with me. I was trying to make my way through the journey of life all alone. The only people I opened myself up to for help in life were the voices of the motivational speakers on the audio courses and the words that were written their books.
My own personal development skyrocketed to an even higher level when I decided to invest in Tony Robbins’ “Personal Power” self-help program after watching it advertised on a late night television infomercial. I didn’t realize what an enormous impact that one decision would have on my life at the time.
That one decision catapulted me on an incredible adventure of personal growth, intensified my passion in life, helped me learn so much more about myself and other people, enabled me to travel around the world, forced me to meet new people with the same interests, and take big risky moves in my career. That one decision is what even led to me being featured in a newer version of that Tony Robbins infomercial for that very same self-help program. The infomercial that I appeared in aired on television at all hours of the day and night, all over the world, and for about three years.
I was about five years into bodybuilding at the time I ordered Tony Robbins’ Personal Power CDs from that late night television infomercial. I was preparing for one of my first national bodybuilding contests and listened to those CDs every minute of the hours and hours of cardiovascular training that I put myself through preparing for that contest.
That’s when I first developed the healthy connection to both cardiovascular training and learning at the same time. The two are forever emotionally linked into my nervous system as two empowering tasks that help me become a better person. Vary rarely will you see me doing cardiovascular training without reading a book on my Kindle or listening to a podcast or audio course on my headphones.
When I was finished with the “Personal Power” CDs, I went on to read his book “Unleash the Power Within.” That was a very powerful stack of motivation–and I was still hungry for more of this Tony Robbins person!
When I purchased the self-help program, there was a $100 discount gift certificate to attend an upcoming, live three-day Tony Robbins event called “Unleash The Power Within” in my area. After hearing his influential voice and reading his inspirational words every single day for 10 straight weeks, there was no way I was going to miss this chance to see him live.
The live seminar was an amazing, life-changing event. It was at that first seminar that I stood up in front of more than 3,000 people after raising my hand and being selected to share my thoughts by Robbins. I declared to the audience that I was going to quit my safe job and do what I really loved to do for a living. The crowd roared with applause! I have to confess that I wasn’t 100 percent convinced that I was going to actually do it when I confidently stood up and spoke those words. I made many big, huge goals in my young life up until then and really didn’t live up to most of them. But there is something that’s extremely powerful about getting up and “testifying” to a large number of people. It really gets you to commit on an deep, emotional level. My new, ambitious goal was really reinforced when dozens and dozens of my fellow seminar attendees shook my hand and congratulated me for my bold decision. “Oh . . thanks” I gulped every time they approached me. “What the hell am I thinking?!” constantly raced through my mind for the next several years as I put my plan in place.
I invested in just about every single program that Tony Robbins had to offer. I attended his intense seminars all over the world. There were some of his $5,000 and up seminars that were so powerful, I attended them twice. And, you know that three-day weekend event where I saw him live for the very first time? I’ve gone to that seminar about 15 times to date either paying again and again or volunteering to staff the event just so that I could experience it for free. I even took my wife to that event when we were just dating and planning a life together. It was an awesome bonding experience and I was glad I could introduce Tony Robbins’ “magic” into her life.
One of the most amazing Tony Robbins seminar courses was a five-day live, “leadership and coaching” event where he taught about 100 of those of us who attended exactly what he does to help change people’s lives for the better. He is an incredible teacher. I have never witnessed a man so driven and passionate about what he does. For three 12-hour days, he taught us every tool to create positive change in people’s lives that he had at the time. I remember that seminar being such an incredible bargain. It must have cost me only about $4,000 back then. I am sure Tony Robbins wouldn’t do such a personal event these days but, if he did, that event would cost at least $100,000. I was lucky enough to make that investment at the time and get in on the ground floor.
I started volunteering my time at as many Tony Robbins live events that his company’s decision makers would let me. I traveled all over the country at my own expense. I absolutely loved that learning environment. I figured that the more times that I experienced his live events in any capacity, the better man I’d eventually become.
Even though I attended these events, I still did whatever I had to in order to stick to my bodybuilding and training daily disciplines. If that mean I had to get up at 3 am, drive a rented car to a local gym, and workout before the seminar, that’s what I did. I also did whatever I had to do to keep my strict eating regimen. I would travel with my $500 super-blended, George Forman Grill, rice cooker, and plastic bottles so that I could cook my chicken breasts, rice, and broccoli–and then pulverize them all into a convenient (but clumpy) liquid drink so I could work and eat without missing a beat.
I eventually worked my way up to be Tony Robbins’ personal “bodyguard” at some of his events. It wasn’t like the 6’7″ giant with advanced martial arts belts needed me to protect him but it was a big thrill for me to be in such close proximity to a man who changed my life and I admired so much. Working so closely to him was a very systematic plan that I crafted over time. It wasn’t that I was just lucky, I assure you.
I remember this one time when I had to go up to Robbins’ hotel presidential suite to put on his microphone before the seminar. I was a nervous mess acting like an awestruck little boy. Rock legend Phil Collins was walked by the both of us. “Hi Tony” and “Hi Phil” was the casual exchange between these two great men. I know Tony was looking down at me wondering what the hell was taking me so long to put on the microphone. My hands just weren’t working very well because I was so damn nervous! Not to mention, I must have sweat a gallon of fluid during those short, few minutes that seemed like hours of uncontrollable clumsiness to me.
Another time, I was driving in the back of a limousine with him going to an event. It was just me and the big guy. I remember trying so hard to use this opportunity to say something profound and, at the same time, thinking I should just shut up and let him mentally prepare for the event he was about to lead. What great memories and I really appreciate the experience.
At one time back then, I was $75,000 in credit debt investing in myself. That wasn’t just for the seminars themselves. That total also included all the hotel accommodations and airfare that went along with them. But that figure doesn’t even include all the time, energy, and focus that took away from me earning money at the time. Let’s face it. When your time, energy, and focus goes in one direction like investing in your knowledge, it’s sometimes a challenge for it to go in other directions at the same time. I certainly was not maximizing my ability to earn more money for all of those years–and that needs to be factored into the overall financial investment that I was making.
It didn’t matter how much money I invested back then. I was absolutely certain, even at that time, that my investment was going to pay off for me in a big way. I would worry about making more money later, I thought.
Everything that I learned back them was all applied to how I could be the very best drug-free bodybuilder humanly possible and how I was going to make a living doing what I loved to do. Nothing else!
Sure, I would always write down things on my “Life Goals” sheet of paper like fall in love with a wonderful woman, have an amazing family, make millions of dollars, buy a big house, travel the world, and contribute to those less fortunate but all they really were just pointless words on a piece of paper. I figured that all of the other things I wanted in life would just fall into place and take care of themselves when I became that bodybuilding champion and finally quit my job at the grocery store. I put my head down and trained my butt off. I started working night and day writing articles for the muscle magazines and eventually earned paid endorsement contracts from supplement companies. That turned into selling my own books, ebooks, videos, and offering bodybuilding and training coaching to other ambitious lifters.
It wasn’t like I wasn’t making any progress. I eventually did quit my safe and secure job and became a champion many times over.
What I actually accomplished must have been impressive if the amazing Tony Robbins, the man who changed hundreds of thousands of people’s lives around the world including the most successful and powerful leaders, politicians, business people, and celebrities, chose me to be featured on his television infomercial to influence other people to invest in his “Personal Power” self-help course, right?
I just didn’t realize how short-sided my thinking was all by myself. I didn’t understand the angst and pain I was experiencing deep inside that was compromising all of my hard work and desire to create a better life for myself in the long run.
Investing in yourself is extremely important. If you are truly determined to get from where you are now (Point A) to where you really want to be in life (Point B), you’ll need to be introduced to a new way of thinking. And, it doesn’t matter how well you are doing either. We all could use more perspective and objectivity other than our own to get to the next level more effectively and efficiently. That new way of thinking will help introduce you to a new series of actions that you normally wouldn’t have ever considered.
If I would have done anything differently back then, I would have allocated the money that I invested in myself differently. I would have invested only half of that money the way that I did. I would have invested the other half in personal, one-on-one coaching with someone I respected, I could relate to, and was very skilled at creating change in people’s lives who were just like me and were struggling with the same challenges that I was facing.
I’m not even sure if there were coaches who worked with people privately back then. I’m sure there were. But I’ve always been the type of person who only wanted to work with who I viewed as “the very best” at what they did. Anything other than the very best would have been too much of a step down in my eyes. Even though I invested more money than I had at the time, I thought it would have been impossible for me to invest in one-on-one coaching with highly-in-demand and I’m certain very expensive people like Zig Ziglar and Tony Robbins. Now that would have been crazy in my mind.
The information and inspiration that is offered in motivational books, audio courses, and live seminars can potentially be awesome. It can really get you on the right path and open your mind up to a new way of thinking.
But, here’s the challenge with the way that motivational material is presented. It’s sometimes too broad to be the most effective. The information and inspiration given to you with your personal goals, special talents, beliefs, values, priorities, and challenges that you’ve experienced in the past that may have formed any disempowering thinking you have today is the very same information and inspiration that’s offered to everyone else reading that book, listening to that audio course, and attending that live seminar. It offers the very same words, exercises, and assignments to everyone and leaves it up to their own unchallenged opinions and perspective.
I had too much emotional “gunk” (as I call it) that prevented me from using all of the information I learned in the most effective manner. I was just like many determined people who I come in contact with every day and was blind to that “gunk.”
I used all the information that I received and did my best to apply in the manner that would help me the most effectively. I will always have my blind spots that I’ll never consider addressing without help. That was certainly the case for me back then. I also found it to be very true for many other committed, passionate, and intelligent people pursuing the same higher quality of life that I was too.
We all could use a little help. I sure did back then. My life really started progressing at a much faster pace when I started getting one-on-one coaching. And, I was able to use all of the general information I had been gathering for years much more effectively.
We all could use more perspective and objectivity when it comes to dealing with our own situation and our own challenges. It has nothing to do with our level of intelligence or our willingness to do the work needed to make positive change in our lives.
Although I help men all around the world bring that positive change into their lives by giving a highly-skilled level of perspective and objectivity, I continue to invest in one-on-one coaching for myself to this very day. I continue to invest thousands of dollars a year getting that perspective and objectivity that I value so much more now.
Through every page of this book, my mission is to provide you with the perspective and objectivity to “get it” far earlier in life than I did. I want you to make the breakthroughs that you must experience in order to enjoy the higher quality of life, happiness, and fulfillment that eluded me for so long–and do so much, much earlier in your life than I did.
If you can relate to this story and you’d like some help taking your life to the next level, here’s your chance to get some help from Skip La Cour.
Each month, Skip La Cour gives away seven (7) of these coaching session absolutely FREE.
Fill out the questionnaire below and you’ll have the chance to earn a 90-minute private, one-on-one phone coaching session with Skip La Cour that will get you CLEAR . . . get you FOCUSED . . . and put you on the fast track toward getting the RESULTS in life that you really want. If selected, you’ll also get a one-day pass into my weekly coaching program’s members only website.
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