It’s August 2014,
And I’m on top of the world!
Living the dream!
I’ve got the perfect and happy relationship with my partner of 9 years Connie, a gorgeous son called Jude, a daughter on the way and an amazingly energetic and fun Black Labrador called Max.
My fitness business is on target for turning over well over 6 figures this year, I’m looking at locations for my very own training facility (fancy talk for a gym), I have 3 energetic and passionate staff that I’m paying well, the business has online and offline parts to it and to top it off I have a bunch of frikkin awesome clients that I love working with and who are getting amazing results with their health, fitness and body confidence goals.
I’m driving my dream car (an Audi A5 S-line Black Edition with leather seats and all the trimmings),
I’m in great physical and mental shape myself – 7% body fat, can run a marathon, lift twice my body weight, absolutely no stress or worry whatsoever,
And I’m about to move my family into a ridiculously large 4 bed 3 bath detached house in a very affluent area,
I had life pretty much figured out,
All at just 28 years old.
Or at least I thought I did.
What could possibly go wrong?
Well how about everything!
Fast forward a few months and this story takes us to November 25th 2014,
A cold but clear Tuesday morning.
I remember it like it was yesterday,
I’d just finished walking Max, he was staying at my mums because between selling our old house and moving into our new one we’d moved into Connie’s parents (8 week gap between moving).
I was sat on my mums sofa in her front room in her house that’s located on the outskirts of a town called Droitwich,
It’s a brand new build on a new housing development and everything is new inside,
Cream carpets, cream walls, you know, the standard stuff they colour brand new houses with,
So it’s like a blank canvas ready for you to make your mark on it (that bit will make a come-back a bit later in or story).
Anyway, I go to check my online banking just to see what’s up and make sure everything’s in order as it’s coming up to the end of the month and you know what that means…
Outgoings galore, especially as a business owner!!
But what did I discover when I checked my online banking?
‘Insufficient funds available’.
I had no money left.
Now if you’re a human being who is older than 3 years old you’ll know that the month after November is December.
Which means Christmas is only 4 weeks away,
You’ll also know that I am a man with a family.
Which means I am yet to do any Christmas shopping,
You can imagine the feelings that are starting to creep into my mind.
No money, Christmas on its way, a whole family to buy for…
How did I have no money left in my account?
Oh yeah, I almost burnt my successful and thriving fitness business to the ground in the pursuit of more income for less hours worked.
I got the less hours worked bit sorted because most of my clients left me,
Which means I kinda messed up the more income bit.
Well we need to jump back to September for this bit.
Remember I was looking for a gym?
Well what I decided to do with the money I was going to invest in a gym was instead invest it in a business mentor.
Why did I do that?
Because I saw he was getting amazing results with his own business and with his clients and I wanted a piece of the action.
Yes I was doing well, very well in fact but what had I forgotten to do on my journey?
To be grateful for what I already had.
I had forgotten to stop and realise how good I actually had it,
I thought that by having more stuff I’d be happier.
I wanted more and I thought that by hiring this business mentor that would be the answer.
At the time I was running something I called The Fitness Camps, outside, in a park, with no equipment whatsoever.
I was also doing semi-private personal training and some VIP personal training, as well as the online stuff.
But in a moment of madness, after the suggestions of the business mentor I hired,
I posted into the private Facebook group that I had set up to keep everyone accountable and deliver even more value this statement:
As of Monday there will be no more fitness camps.
Instead I will only be doing semi-private Personal Training in the gym.
AND I only have 1 spot available.
*Side note, I didn’t have one spot available, this was supposed to be a clever marketing strategy called scarcity tactics so that everyone rushed to grab that 1 space*
Please contact me if you want to apply for this one space.
Everyone, bar a few, of the members of the fitness camps left.
Stating they didn’t want to take the 1 place because that meant the other members of the group would lose out.
I built my fitness family as I called them into such a tight nit group of awesome people who had become great friends that it eventually worked against me, ironic right?
And because most of the girls who left agreed that I’d acted very unprofessional they all demanded a refund.
So I ended up refunding most of the members for the last month of training with me (If you’re a business owner you can imagine how bad for cash flow it would be refunding almost 20 monthly memberships).
I still to this day don’t know why I didn’t fight my corner and say it’s my business I can do what I want and as they’d already had the service and results they’d paid for I wasn’t going to issue a refund but I did what I did and that’s that.
So now with no fitness camps I had to tell my awesome fitness camps instructor that I had no work for him and had to let him go, this really hurt me because he was my little protégé and I loved seeing him grow and develop not just as a trainer but as a person too.
Then because the guys program I was running at the same time was causing me lots of stress, the trainer was a great trainer but needed a lot of hand holding as something like this was completely alien to him, I ended up giving that whole part of my business to him, just like that, no sale, no contract, I just walked away from it.
That program by the way was being built into a 6 figure business all on its own; just shows you, money isn’t everything.
This also meant that I no longer needed my very astute, good friend and my director of sales AJ because now I had all this extra time on my hands and 2 less programs to enrol people into I could do the enrolment calls myself.
And to top it off, I gave up with the online side of the business because my heart wasn’t in the product I was selling at the time.
This sent me into the biggest depression, anxiety, panic attack filled hole anyone could ever imagine (don’t feel sorry for me, I did this to myself and accept full responsibility for my actions, I also forgive every one of my ex clients and fitness family members for their hate and abuse that they directed at me for acting so unprofessional).
I also want to point out that I am in no way blaming the Business Mentor I hired, what he does is awesome and it works, it just wasn’t what my business needed at that point in time.
Why did I spiral into depression? Because if you know me at my core you’ll know one of my core values is love. Love as in love of helping others. And what I did went hugely against this core value of mine and when we go against our core values we experience massive amounts of pain. Physical and emotional.
So anyway, back to the living room at my mum’s house.
After the reality of what I’d done to my life had set in,
I immediately shut my computer, went upstairs into my sisters room,
Lay down on the floor and just exploded into the most emotional ball of tears and screaming you could imagine.
The emotional pain I experienced that day was like nothing I’d ever experienced before.
Because I hadn’t just failed myself,
I’d failed my family; I couldn’t financially support them.
I’d failed my staff; no longer could I provide the opportunities and growth they had when they were working with me,
And I’d also failed my clients, who were now ex clients because if they were not in my business they were not receiving the level of service that I was delivering to them; and yes I’m going to be arrogant, cocky, confident (whatever you want to label it as) and say you will struggle to find anyone who will serve you like I will if you were my client.
What else caused me to experience this emotional pain?
In the process of chasing more money, I had let my own personal health and fitness go to ruins.
I used the excuse ‘I don’t have time to train and prepare my meals because I’m busy with building my business’, I let my exercise and healthy eating take a back seat.
What I was really saying was ‘I don’t respect myself enough to exercise and eat right so I’ll make up some bullshit excuse as to why I can’t and justify my actions that way’.
So now, because of my lack of gratitude and love and pursuit of more with my income,
I’m not only financially broke, but I’m also physically broke.
AND THEN because of all this stress I was going through I was always in a bad mood.
In fact that’s a lie,
Because of what I’d done to my business and my physical condition I CHOSE to always be in a bad mood but I hid it well.
I did that thing that most people who are in emotional pain do and respond to questions like 'How are you' with 'I'm fine'.
*On that note, have you ever stopped to ask someone how they REALLY feel, or how they REALLY are? try it, you might get a slightly different response to the standard 'I'm fine'. You might also save a life,
Which brings me to the next part of my story...
What other part of my life is left to destroy other than myself and my business?
Yup, my personal relationships with my family.
Long story short here, but a few weeks after my mini meltdown in my sisters room, Connie (my partner of 9 years and counting), told me she couldn’t do it anymore and threatened to take Jude, Max and our unborn daughter Maggie and leave me on my own in this puddle of self-pity, hate, excuses and mess that I’d created all by myself in a VERY short space of time.
That night, about 9pm, I found myself driving on the wrong side of the road 20 miles away from home heading straight into an oncoming lorry.
That was the lowest and most worthless I'd ever felt.
So the only thing left to do in my mind at that time was to end it all.
And by ending my life I'd end the pain I was causing to other peoples lives.
I’m just going to let that sink in for a sec as even writing this is bringing back memories of that cold, wet and dark night in December a few weeks before Christmas.
Ok, it’s sunk in.
So now I guess I better cheer you (and me) back up by telling you how I bounced back from being in the worst physical, mental, emotional, financial and relationship-ial (new word) condition of my life.
And what made my pull back onto my side of the road and answer the phone to Connie who was desperately trying to get hold of me after I told her a few hours earlier that she won't have to suffer anymore because I'm going and never coming back.
At that point I asked myself this question;
What if there is a way out of this mess?
And that was it.
I pulled over, had a conversation with Connie, she made me realise that I wasn't worthless and that a LOT of people still loved and respected me and how I was still serving some really cool people who appreciated me (you know who you are and you know how much I love, appreciate and thank you).
And from that day everything changed.
Almost in an instant I went from weak, depress and powerless,
To Strong, Happy and Powerful.
And ever since that day I've been on a journey,
A journey that is transforming every area of my life,
And I'm going to sum up in 10 points how and what I'm doing;
(get a pen and paper and make notes, especially if there are parts of your life that you are not happy with)
1. I made myself fully aware of my current situation and how I felt being in that situation in every area of my life (see above) and this is something I recommend you take 10 minutes right now, or at least at the end of this blog post, and do yourself.
2. I decided what I wanted in every area of my life (my physical condition, my relationships, my income, and yes my soul or my emotional state), again, do this yourself ASAP.
3. I got ridiculously committed to achieving what I wanted in every area of my life.
4. I put a big ass WHY behind each goal.
5. I started taking forwards action EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. in every area of my life.
6. I stopped comparing myself to other people < that alone eliminated 90% of my depression and anxiety.
7. I started practicing gratitude EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.
8. I decided to start EVERY. SINGLE. DAY the same way; Read something either education, informational or inspirational, drink a greens drink and a bulletproof coffee.
9. I changed my environment, I eliminated EVERY. SINGLE. Negative person, or people who were holding me back or trying to pull me down, any negative media and any negative self talk from my life.
10. I surrounded myself with people who were where I wanted to be in every area of my life.
Am I in the physical shape I want to be in? No-where near, but I’m on the path. Click here to see my ongoing transformation pictures
Do I have the finances I want that will support me and my family and will allow me to bring in great teams of people into my business? No-where near, but I’m on the path.
Do I have an epic relationship with Connie and the kids? Yep :)
Am I depression, worry, anxiety and stress free? 99% of the time yes, ok those emotions try to creep in now and again but as soon as they do I know EXACTLY how to handle them and as soon as they show up they’re gone again.
Am I happier than I’ve ever been? YES! Happiness, I’ve learned, is a choice, it’s not something you get when you hit a certain income level or status in society, it’s something you choose to either be or not be on a daily basis.
Is my business where I want it to be? Nope, but I’m on the path.
Do I hope this has helped you or maybe someone you know?
Yes but the only way for me to find out is if you reach out to me over on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/MattSmith2310 and let me know so please come and connect and say hi, I’d love to hear if you have a similar story or if my story has helped you.
In closing I would like to leave you with this…
Life is not about the destination, hell it’s not even the journey, it’s about our attitude, our mind-set and our energy in any given moment that needs the most attention. Get around people who are either where you want to be, can take you to where you want to be or who are on the path to where you want to be. Remove any negativity or anything that's holding you back from your life ASAP. Stay committed to whatever it is you desire most in life, and whatever it is you’re going through understand this one thing, things can only get better, but you must want them to and then take action on that want. Take care of Number 1 (that’s you if you didn’t already know). You’re the most important person on the planet and don’t you ever forget that.
Love, Freedom and Family.