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Tip #6: Never forget what really matters


This past weekend I took some time off.

My brother and his wife were in town with their newborn baby from Nova Scotia (Eastern Canada), my other brother was in town from Vancouver, and my sister and her husband were showing off their newborn baby. For the first time my parents got to act as Grandparents — and I got the honor of being an Uncle!

I never thought that having nieces and nephews would have such a profound effect on me. Everything from their tiny fingers to the squisshyness of their faces made me smile.

At least one of us was having a good time.

For as long as I can remember work has been #1. I spent years training 10+ hr days before deciding to write Ignite the Fire. This meant that at the end of a 10+hr training day I came home to write until I’d fall asleep in front on my computer. I’d wake up and frantically rub my face so I didn’t have an alt button imprinted on my left cheek.

The first year was especially tough because I kept the book a secret. Not even my parents knew of my project. The truth is I didn’t believe that I’d ever finish it. I was a walking zombie and didn’t give my family nor my friends the attention they deserved. The book was built on an idea powerful enough that I made it a priority in an already busy life and it somehow got done.

When the first draft of the book was finished I decided to start thePTDC as a way of marketing the book. “How easy” I thought. “I’ll start a little website to promote my book.” That little website quickly turned into something much more. I came up for air less and less as I was consumed more by the fitness internet rabbit hole.

This went on for close to a year until last weekend. On Friday I met with David Wu who is going to be helping with the site over the summer. David’s going to allow me to focus on spending more time with my family and a couple huge upcoming projects. Some involve myself and others are collaboration projects unlike anything you’ve ever seen.

What Really Matters?

Business guru’s will tell you that you must be willing to sacrifice in order to be successful. They’ll say that you must work long hours and pay your dues. It’s draining both mentally and physically but is the price you pay to be successful. While I’m not saying that becoming a success  doesn’t stem from hard work I believe that sacrifice isn’t necessary. What really matter is focus. 

Find something you’re passionate about and you’ll be looking forward to getting and answering emails on a Sunday. You won’t need a vacation from your real life because you’ll wake up every morning with a renewed energy. You’ll look forward to tackling any obstacles that come in your way. Small accomplishments will make you smile bigger than you’ve ever smiled before.

Trying to do too much without a vision is a recipe for unhappiness.

Figure out what really matters to you. If there’s a project you want to take on — do it now!

Now’s your chance. Write that book, develop that blog, build that prototype. Believe me when I tell you that when you’re ready others will take notice. The support networks are there, you just need to find them. If you have an idea run with it. Make it a #1 priority or it will never happen. Reach out to those who inspire you and let them know the effect they’re having. You’ll be astonished with how far people will go out of their way to help if they believe in your vision.

Everyday chores, habits, and jobs don’t matter. I promise that if you don’t do them right away the World won’t implode. So what drives you?

If you’re not already Facebook friends with me please go ahead and add me. It’s quickly becoming a powerful gathering point for like-minded trainers from around the world.




Written by Jonathan

Jonathan Goodman CSCS is the author of Ignite the Fire: The Secrets to Building a Successful Personal Trainer Career and Race to the Top: How to Take Over the Social Media Feed. He'd love it if you added him on Facebook and/or joined him on Twitter. He also explores the psychology of social media over at Viralnomics

  • http://jeremysmith89.wordpress.com/ Jeremy Smith

    Great post with some awesome tips Jon. Do curls in the squat rack LOL – way to keep us on our toes

    • Jon_PTDC


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  • Damon Brobst

    Congrats on the book!!!  I’m going to pick up a copy from amazon and make it a must read for all trainers (not just the newbies) at my facility.  Best of luck with everything and keep up the hard work! 

    • Jon_PTDC

      Thanks Damon. Enjoy it! Make sure to review it on Amazon if you get a chance once you’re finished.

  • JJL

    Would the book be available in a pdf or non-kindle version?
    Asking cause i cant buy kindle books and the shipping’s a tad high :/Thanks!

    • Jon_PTDC

      Unfortunately right now I can’t offer any other versions of the book JJL. Sorry.

      • JJL

        No probs, I’ll get it by shipping next time I’m amazoning.
        Thanks! and, Congrats on the launch!!

        • Jon_PTDC

          Thanks you and enjoy!

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  • Sara

    What educational resources do you recommend for learning more about motivational interviewing?

  • Bsonnemaker

    Great stuff!

  • Matt

    I lol’d at the curling in the squat rack one. Good article, thanks.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/rich.thaw Rich Thaw

    Hey Sara,
    There’s actually a book called ‘Motivational Interviewing: Helping People Change’!
    That may be the resource you’re searching for?!

  • JamesGore

    Great read as I’ve just started a shift from sports coaching for 6 years to personal training and a lot of these tips are really helpful especially Strategy #4

    I know when I go to the gym I’ve always got my work hat on, try to push myself and get in the zone. Will definitely open up my body language.

    Thanks Rich!

    • http://www.facebook.com/rich.thaw Rich Thaw

      Always a pleasure James! Glad I could help out

  • http://www.facebook.com/rich.thaw Rich Thaw

    Every time I see it happen I do too!

  • http://www.facebook.com/rich.thaw Rich Thaw


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