Today, let’s meet Michael Beiter, a trainer from Iowa who sat in a hot tub one night and made a discovery that changed his life...

Location: Des Moines, Iowa

Company name: Pillar Coaching Services

Mike knew early on that the fitness industry was his calling.

He was the only 7th grader in his class reading Muscle & Fitness magazines. As a tall and scrawny kid, he became enamored with an article about how to develop six pack abs in just two weeks.

After that, he was hooked: he read Schwarzenegger’s books, fell in love with the weight room, and never looked back.

By 12th grade, Mike was working in the highschool gym and taking a college course that enabled him to get his fitness certification at just 18 years old. He wasted no time putting it to use and got a job in a gym where he expanded on his fitness knowledge and learned about nutrition.

In many ways, he was already living his dream. Soon, he was managing large, highly profitably facilities.

Unfortunately, at a certain point, the rose colored glasses had to come off.

“I found myself in a place where I disagreed with the management a lot. We had different values. The approach seemed to be ‘turn em & burn em’. Get their money and move on.”

Ditto for nutrition. “I didn’t agree with the way they were dieting the clients. It wasn’t right to me.”

Then, with just one “90 second phone call”, Mike was let go from his job.

“It turned out to be a blessing,” he says. “But it was a tough few months.”

Unemployment can really suck. But couple it with clinical depression and you have something even more serious on your hands.

I’ve battled with depression my entire life,” says Mike. Getting laid off led to him feeling “the lowest of lows.”

Mike struggled to figure out his next move.

“I didn’t know what to do. I thought of online training, but I didn’t know how to do it. I didn’t have anybody that could help me, I didn’t have anyone locally that I could latch onto. Finances were an issue. Combine that with an unstable mindset and you have a recipe for inaction.”

Throughout the difficulty, Michael kept up a couple of his tried and true methods that have helped him before. “Exercise has always been a natural prescription for me. Thankfully I found it when I was young.”

So the whole time he struggled, he kept lifting and staying active in the gym. He also continued to read and listen to some of his fitness heroes.

I just tried to consistently do something everyday to take a step forward,” he explains.

It came to him in a hot tub.

One day, while sitting in the hot tub of his local health club, Michael was doing some reading and discovered the Online Trainer Academy.

“It was real. And it was right there when I needed it. I didn’t have a mentor so I treated the course like my mentor. I took everything that was in it and applied it to the best of my ability.”

Mike started implementing the material immediately and since then signed on 18 new clients, exceeding his ‘Freedom Number’ — the monthly income needed to cover his financial requirements.

With that freedom comes the opportunity to take stock and consider where he wants to go from here, something he’s excited to do. “There’s still a lot to implement and grow,” he says.

Meanwhile, the business of life has gotten a lot easier.

For example, he says “I used to have to get up at 4 a.m. – thank God that’s over. Now I get up at 6 or 7 in the morning. I take my time, enjoy my breakfast, and do some reading to get my day started on a positive note.”

Using methods outlined in the Academy, Mike manages his day in a way that works for him, allowing him to serve his clients well. He has his schedule back, his freedom back, and most importantly for him, a new chance to really live his values.

Now he’s building the kind of business his seventh-grade self would be proud of.