Leadership, Marketing, Operations
My Story and Why You Should Expect and Appreciate Haters and Competition
I’m going to start this article off with 100% transparency. This is the first blog that I’ve personally sat down and typed up in over a year. However, you’ll notice I’ve published about 100+ articles in this timeframe. Don’t worry… it’s still my content. However, I’ve been able to add a couple of great writers to my team that interview me and write the blogs in my voice.
Why am I sharing this information with you?
I’m sharing this because it’s important to me that you understand how passionate I am about the topic I’m about to write.
The truth is – I can’t stand writing! I love speaking, love videos, love podcasts… but writing? Not nearly as much.
I’m actually pretty self-conscious about my writing. I never know if I’m using too many commas, exclamation points, and I seem to use the “dot-dot-dot” thing way… too… much… <- see what I mean? So prepare for some improper use of punctuation. It’s coming.
This afternoon I experienced something that truly upset me. It’s a lesson that mentors have warned me quite a few times that I’d eventually learn. It’s also something I’ve noticed with some of the most successful people in the world.
The lesson: When you start getting attention, haters will notice too.
Now, I’m not a big deal yet. At least not in my eyes. Not even close.
But, I can see what I may be up against if I keep hustling and working the way I do.
Just think about some of the people that have accomplished some of the most amazing things:
Fact: Won 2 championships, broke tons of records, donates millions to charities.
Haters say: Over-rated and selfish.
Fact: Lets see… only became the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES!
Haters say: He’s an idiot.
*Side note: Many of these haters have zero chance of even managing the department of the company they work for, yet they have a lot of ideas of how the country should run.
Fact: Changed the way we use phones, computers, tablets, listen to music, and watch tv.
Haters say: He only cared about himself and nothing else.
I could go on, but by now you can probably think of your own favorite athlete, actor, businessperson, speaker, or singer and recall many different ridiculous things said about those people that have achieved success.
You see, a hater sees the world differently from everyone else.
When they see someone else succeed, they like to say it’s because of an external reason (i.e. “he got lucky” or “his dad is rich”).
When they see someone else fail, they like to say it’s because of an internal reason (i.e. “he’s lazy” or “he makes bad choices”).
Usually these are the same people that when they themselves succeed it’s because of an internal reason (i.e. “I worked my ass off” or “I made great choices”), and when they themselves fail it’s because of an external reason (i.e. “I didn’t have the help the other guy had” or they’ll blame it on unlucky circumstances).
Since October 11, 2010 (the day I started running Loud Rumor full-time), I have worked as hard as I can imagine working. 18 hour days and sleepless nights at the computer are no strangers to me.
2010 – 2013 included 105 hour work weeks (regularly), 2 car repos, letters threatening to take away my home, tons of debt, many peanut butter and jelly dinners, zero traveling, and a ridiculous amount of “what the hell did I get myself into?” thoughts. I learned the value of reading books and getting mentors and educated myself heavier on sales and finance. My favorites were “You Can’t Teach a Kid to Ride a Bike at a Seminar”, “Financial Intelligence”, and “Simple Numbers, Straight Talk, Big Profits!”
2014 still had the 105 hour work weeks, but the company was growing. However, I was NOT used to running a business with more than 3 people in it. We grew to 8. I did a terrible job of hiring and leading and had a miserable year because of it. I remember having talks with my wife in the hallway of the office I loathed working in about selling the company or even just closing the doors. I continued to read, but this time I focused more on reading books on leadership, people, culture, and psychology. My favorites were “Starts With Why”, “Multipliers”, “Leaders Eat Last”, “Outwitting the Devil”, “The Alchemist”, “Good to Great”, and “The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team”.
2015 started to look much better. I was able to work less with only 70-80 hour work weeks and the company was growing. The people I was adding were great! Culture was awesome! People ACTUALLY loved working at the company I worked so hard to build and they took pride in everything they did. However, I was stagnant. I would gain 2 clients, then I would lose 2 clients. I couldn’t get past this plateau. So, I hired coaches, met with mentors, and read more books on scalability. Some of my favorites were “Built to Sell”, “Traction”, “The Tipping Point”, “The One Thing”, and “Scaling Up”.
2016 has been phenomenal! I’ve worked much less with only 60-70 hour work weeks (sometimes more, sometimes less) and the company is growing. The numbers look right, I have the right people on the team doing the right things, culture is fantastic, and because we’ve learned the value of niching and becoming masters at ONE THING, we’ve been able to build great systems that make us more efficient and profitable, while also being able to focus more on customer service than we ever have! This year all my education has been on marketing and the fitness industry. I’ve read “Ask Gary Vee”, as well as focused heavily on podcasts as I usually listen while driving and doing cardio. My favorite podcasts have been “Perpetual Traffic”, “The Fitness Business Podcast”, “Ask Gary Vee”, “Barbell Shrugged”, and “The Art of Paid Traffic”.
With that said, our website and landing pages have never had so many visitors. We’ve gotten more leads and referrals than ever before, and we’ve been adding fitness studio after fitness studio. Our team knows what to do, how to do it, when to do it, and why to do it. We all love what we do and who we do it for.
On top of that, I’ve been doing something I know I’ve needed to do for years – get more active with video marketing.
In the last 3 months, we’ve brought on a full-time video producer and he just films, edits, and publishes new videos all day long. This includes videos for social media posts, landing pages, testimonials, how-to’s, customer updates, event documentation, and of course… The GSD Show – our new pride and joy.
In other words, my slightly less than handsome face is getting out there more and more, and it’s tied in with fitness marketing.
So… the hater and competition part?
Today we’ve had someone (without even considering how hard we’ve worked to get to where we are), make efforts to make life difficult for us.
Fortunately, I’ve grown accustomed to difficult and am brushing this off without a problem.
But I would be lying to you if I said it didn’t hurt. It did hurt. I’ve put so much time into building an amazing company that provides a top notch service, and it bothered me that someone else had negative things to say without even considering all of that hard work. This person calls himself my “competitor”.
Now, I put quotes around the word “competitor” because this is his perspective. Not mine. I actually really like and respect the guy and what he’s built. It seemed he had a similar goal and vision as I do, and wants to help the same people. To me, that’s not a competitor. That’s a friend.
My competitor is someone that is trying to make fitness studios fail. And that’s not him. I don’t think so at least.
We’ve been trained in business to look at competition the wrong way. One of my mentors, David Berg, taught me this lesson when I asked him who his competitors are with his company, Redirect Health. He responded, “What do you mean by competitors? You mean companies that also want to help the same people with the same problems that I do? I don’t have a problem with them. They’re my friends. We care about the same people the same way.”
MAN! Did I hear that?! David has been known to make a few minds get blown, but this was big for me. Especially because I’m a super competitive guy. But it made so much sense! When we meet someone that wants to help our friend, we become friends with that person. However, in business when we meet someone that wants to help our potential customers, we get crazy defensive and scared. Why is that?
I thought about that a lot, and I wondered if this happens when the focus gets lost along the way. Could it be that the initial vision was to help certain people with certain problems, but over time that gets lost and shifts to just… growing the company?
I’m not sure, but I’ll take your ideas in the comments below if you have them.
So, I’ve gained my first real hater. Am I upset? I was, but this writing thing actually helped a bit. I’ve been able to really think about things while working hard to articulate it all, and in the end… it was by someone that doesn’t really know the real me, my team, or even my business.
Our customers love us, our employees love us, our vendors love us, and we love ourselves and what we’re building. If multiplying all of those things means adding a few haters along the way, I can live with that. We have a mission at Loud Rumor, and we’re at it 100%.
As for my “competition” AKA friend – thank you truly for helping the same people I want to help. There’s so many of them out there that need people like us and you’re making my job much easier. Keep growing your team, keep getting better, and let’s help as many people as we can.