Thirteen Lessons I’ve Learned as a Novice Internet-Based Entrepreneur

It’s been roughly one year since I started this website, and over that time, things have changed. I’ve learned more about internet businesses, and shifted my focus several times, before returning to a slightly altered vision of my original idea.

There’s been a lot to learn about the process of building something from nothing. I’ve wasted a lot of time, applied some great advice I found (mostly at Bold and Determined and Good Looking Loser), tapped real-world friends who are successful entrepreneurs, and learned from my own mistakes and roadblocks.

Ultimately, I’m in a great place. Everything has been set in motion, and I’ve built the foundation that my future will be constructed upon. I’ve analyzed my weaknesses and strengths. I’ve developed a vision, put it on paper and got down in the trenches to make it happen. The infrastructure is there, and cash has started to trickle in. Within the next week, my main site will go live and a massive marketing campaign can begin. That trickle is set to become a raging torrent.

Despite the fact that I’ve only just begun, as I said earlier, I’ve learned quite a bit about the initial building stage that I was completely ignorant about, and I’d like to share these points with everyone.

1) Do not waste time (make hay while the sun is shining). For six months, I was receiving a payout from my former job, and did not have to worry about money whatsoever. Instead of developing a strict budget, saving the majority of the cash (thus extending the time I would not have to work), and using a massive chunk of free time to develop my business so I wouldn’t have to go to work for anyone else, I elected to find a part-time position (because I wanted to make EVEN MORE money). I traded my time to an employer, and wasn’t careful with my earnings (because I had enough coming in that I didn’t “need” to be strict about it). When the six months ended, I had not made much progress towards developing my business, and I had not saved much. I had, however, worked a whole bunch of hours to buy a bunch of shit that I didn’t really need. At this point, I now have to suck it up and work for someone else again while continuing to develop my business, leaving very little time for anything else.

2) Twitter, when used correctly, is a great way to meet like-minded people. I’ve had great conversations with a ton of people on Twitter. There’s a long list of interesting people I’ve met, both virtually, and in the real world, because of this platform. That never would have been the case without Twitter.

3) Twitter, when used incorrectly, is a gargantuan echo chamber. A fun yet ultimately worthless time-suck that crushes productivity like an ant on the sidewalk. I can’t remember how many days I’ve flushed down the toilet watching entertaining videos that served to do nothing more than reinforce my already rock-solid viewpoint on varying issues.

4) If you have a viable, logical business idea; see it through instead of thinking about reasons why it won’t work. I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time and energy analyzing why I “might not be able to pull this off” from many different angles. It’s a huge waste. There is no way to gauge this other than to just get out there and get moving every single day. You have doubts? If they’re not HUGE, GLARING issues (For example: I want to start a supercar company with my savings of $600), and they’re more like “This is sort of a crowded market. How can I differentiate myself?”, dive in head first instead of analyzing everything to death. As soon as you get some momentum, you’ll figure out what’s working and what isn’t.

5) Your business must be the #1 priority, and you cannot have another goal at the same time. Your business comes before your girlfriend, your family, or a traditional career. If you try to have multiple goals, the business will suffer, or both will end up being half-baked and progress will slow to an absolute crawl. There is no compromise, only single-minded focus. Compromise is for those who don’t really care if they succeed or fail, for those who don’t consider it a “do or die” scenario. I have had to put many things on the back burner recently, dedicating less and less time to visiting the gym, and almost zero time towards recreational activities. I will have plenty of time for that when everything is in place and I have some serious momentum. Or maybe I won’t have time for it. I won’t know until I get there. 

6) Learn the value of isolation. Go to a coffee shop and shut off your phone. Take a trip by yourself, and SHUT OFF YOUR PHONE. 99.9% of people do not see the point in doing this, and do not value this. People want your time, your attention, and your focus. The other day was a great example. I wanted to work by the pool, to get some sun while working and to jump in the water every hour or so. This was a terrible idea which did not work at all, as my parents and girlfriend were constantly doing their best to distract me and divert my attention elsewhere. Yes, they mean well and just wanted to spend time with me, but I found myself frustrated and gave in because nothing was getting accomplished. To truly get things done, one must be isolated. Alone. A computer, an internet connection, and a burning hunger for success is all you need. I mean look at Victor Pride. The guy moved to CHINA to focus on Bold and Determined.

7) Don’t expect anyone to understand or to respect your wishes. I’ve been called shady, antisocial, a selfish asshole and a whole host of other things, but this won’t matter when you get to reap the benefits of your hard work. I’ve skipped birthday parties, weddings, and family gatherings because I needed to get work done. When your friends and family figure out why you haven’t been around much, some of them will panic and start trying to undermine you. They’ll tell you it won’t work. They’ll say your idea is stupid. They’ll find every reason to try and knock you down a peg, probably because they lack the guts to try something like this themselves. I used to be a hater, and when scoffing at someone else’s ideas, I would frantically be saying to myself “Holy shit, he’s probably going to be really successful with this, and here I am, just spinning my wheels. I suck. I want to bring him down to my level”.

8) If you have a hard time concentrating on your work, and are getting sidetracked, use a variation of the 30-5 rule. Work for 30 minutes, take 5 off to answer text messages, e-mails, make phone calls, fuck around on the internet. Just set a schedule and stick to it. I work best when I do something like 60-5, using the timer on my phone to let me know when it’s time to get to work, and when it’s time to take a break. Often times I skip the breaks, though.

9) You have to spend money and invest a massive amount of time before you will make any money. Once you have skin in the game, your standards will get very high, very quickly. I could never grasp this concept, as recently as a few years ago. The idea of investing time and money into something, growing it, and reaping the rewards down the road… this didn’t work for me. I simply wanted to show up, do my thing, and get paid. This isn’t the way it works when you’re building something from the ground up. I’ve spent a significant chunk of money on domains, hosting, logos and design. I’ve put in time and been a pain in the ass because I want it to be exactly what I’m envisioning. “Good Enough” doesn’t exist. The presentation has to be absolutely impeccable. My SEO has to be on point. My instagram posts, my tweets, and every bit of content linked to my business needs to be outstanding, and I won’t put anything “out there” unless this is the case. I am shocked to see small businesses with websites that are poorly designed and look (at best) ten years old, with no social media presence or SEO. Truth be told, they’re not making the kind of money they could be if they put in the effort, the time, and the money.

10) Make sure there is demand. Be the best at what you do, or do as good of a job as your competition, but for less money. Chris over at Good Looking Loser introduced me to these ideas, and he goes in depth during his “Success Principles” podcast series (I highly recommend these, by the way). My primary business is selling a service online.

  • I specialize in a small segment of my industry that is growing rapidly, meaning there is plenty of demand.
  • I charge 2/3 the price of my competition.
  • I offer a far superior, more in-depth product with much more comprehensive support than my competition.

11) If you offer a truly phenomenal product, your customers will spread the word. I learned this from my experiences with Red Supplements. I was blown away by their products, and as a result, I wrote articles about their products and commented about them on Twitter. It didn’t take me long to realize that myself and others who were raving about their products were, in effect, a guerrilla marketing team, spreading hype and talking about our experiences with their supplements. This is a fantastic strategy, as everyone wins. The business gets free marketing and new consumers, and the consumers end up with a product so spectacular that they feel compelled to rave about it on social media, and can sign up for a great affiliate program if they’re so inclined. Like I said, everybody wins.

12) You can have the greatest product or service in the world. If you’re not reaching your customer base, you’re still fucked. There are plenty of online businesses that don’t require any SEO, but right now, mine do. The idea is for people to find my site via Google, buy the product, and refer to the previous point for one aspect of my marketing. On top of this, there’s building a large social media base and having a visible presence at events, with plenty more to implement in the coming months and years. What is the purpose of this? To ensure that I have every conceivable advantage over my competition, who likely won’t have the sort of comprehensive marketing blueprint I’m developing.

13) Audacity. I love it when Mike Cernovich talks about audacity. The old saying “the squeaky wheel gets the grease” is 100% true when it comes to running your own business. You can help others, and they can help you. It’s often said that networking is the key to success, but most people will stop at putting together a shitty LinkedIn page (with obligatory “polo shirt and goofy grin” photo) and showing up at one or two “young professionals group” meetings in their hometown. Reach out to people. Offer mutually beneficial propositions. The worst they can say is “no”.

 

Truthfully, I could continue with this, but I want to keep the article brief and to the point. Within the next week or so, I’ll be rolling out my site, and making the links available both here and on Twitter for those who are interested in checking it out. There’s quite a bit of crossover between readers here and people who would benefit from the services I offer.

As always, thanks for reading.

 

 

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Training for Action Sports: Part One (My Story)

Before I begin, I’ll preface the post with this… It’s a bit of a tie-in with one of my businesses, which is remote training for amateur and professional Action Sports athletes. For anyone wondering what my phantom “businesses” are… this is one.

 

Downhill Mountain Biking, Freeride, Snowboarding, Freeskiing, BMX, Skateboarding, Surfing, Motocross, Rock Climbing… all of these could be considered Action Sports.

This is the world I come from, for better or for worse.

I grew up racing Downhill, taking an extended break from 1999-2008. For the few years after I got back on a Downhill bike, I did some racing. From 2008-2012 my results weren’t spectacular, as I usually finished somewhere in the middle of the pack, like 15th place in a field of 30. At the time, my nutrition was garbage, my alcohol intake was high, and my training consisted of lap after lap in the Bike Park, usually 3-4 times a week. Almost all of the racing I did was at the resort I called home, and rode at constantly.

Fast forward two years.

I barely touched my Downhill bike in 2013, riding only three or four times. 2014 was almost as bad, getting up to the mountain maybe six or seven times by late summer. I wanted to race that September, regardless of the fact that I hadn’t been riding. My local spot had no races, but four hours south, a far bigger, gnarlier mountain was hosting an event. I marked my calendar.

On race day, I woke up in my hammock, made some cowboy coffee and headed over to the start gate for practice sessions.

Halfway through the first run, I thought “I’m in deep shit”.

The track was rockier, steeper, far longer and far more physically challenging than what I was riding at home. To make matters worse, it was completely new to me. I didn’t have it memorized like most of the locals I would be racing against.

“I’m going to go out and push as hard as I can, hopefully I won’t finish last”

By the time I was in the start gate, I was feeling better about the track, but still didn’t hold out much hope.

me 1

This photo was taken during my race run, about 1/4 of the way down the track.

At the finish line, I almost collapsed. I had put every ounce of effort into my race run. I’d done it cleanly, with no big mistakes. I felt like it was a fast run, but I was too busy thinking about my shaking hands, my cramping forearms, and my jello-like legs.

Then I looked at the leaderboard. I was utterly shocked. 30 seconds up on second place, over a 5:18 run. That’s huge.

There was still one rider left on the course, and he crossed the line 25 seconds slower than my time. I had won by a very siginificant margin.

results 1796471_332270770286391_9101474838209807162_n

What were the variables here?

  • I was unfamiliar with the course (disadvantage)
  • I had slept in a hammock for about 3 hours the night before (disadvantage)
  • I had not been on my Downhill bike many times that season (disadvantage)
  • I had spent a negligible amount of time in the past year on cardio (disadvantage)
  • I was racing against guys who had easily beaten me in the past (disadvantage)
  • I had spent a significant amount of time weight training and getting stronger before this race (massive advantage)

That was the key.

In 2012, when I last raced (and finished in the middle of the pack), I was a fat mess. My conditioning consisted solely of riding my Downhill bike, with the occasional cross-country ride thrown in for good measure. I didn’t touch the weights until September of 2012.

When I returned to racing in 2014, I had a 1RM bench press of 250 pounds (up from 165), and was routinely deadlifting over 300. I had dropped 50 pounds of fat, as well. I looked better, I felt better, and I performed far beyond my expectations.

All because of strength training and a proper diet.

Ride Hard / Lift Heavy is Changing

The purpose of this blog isn’t as easy to define as it once was.

It started off in August of 2015. My goal was to write about the correlation between Downhill Mountain Biking and weight training.

It was a spur-of-the-moment decision. I had been writing for some time, and knew enough about the subject to qualify as an authority on it. But the underlying issue was that I needed to conquer my fear of others reading my writing.

At first, no one did. I didn’t tell anyone about the site. I wrote in a bubble, published articles that would be viewed by myself and myself alone. The point of this, though… the writing was now out there. Anyone COULD see it (even if they didn’t).

It didn’t take long for me to re-focus. Sure, if I would have gone through the proper channels, I could have had a mountain bike-centric audience. But I wouldn’t have liked the people reading my site. I had to take a look at myself and realize that being a mountain biker wasn’t my dominant defining characteristic anymore, and I no longer identified with the vast majority of the people in that community. It was still part of my lifestyle, but had taken a back seat to fitness, nutrition, mindset and entrepreneurship.

In November, I got on Twitter and actively started interacting with like-minded men. I found a world within a world of people doing precisely what I was shifting towards: writing about whatever was on their mind, offering free information to help others better themselves.

People started reading this site, and some of my articles here found a healthy audience (even when I release and promote a new post, they don’t do as well as the popular ones).

But the truth of the matter is that my focus isn’t 100% on this site. Not even close, in fact. I’m getting the ball rolling with a few small businesses, and they absolutely devour my time.

The other huge time-suck is my books. I mentioned them a while ago, and they’ve been eating up a massive chunk of my writing time. Have you ever tried to write a great blog post after spending ten hours of writing and editing material about an entirely different subject? If not, I can verify that it’s extremely challenging, and has produced 19 drafts of articles that I’m simply not happy with.

drafts

The books themselves, without going into too much detail, are going to be game-changers for a lot of people. I’ve never seen the subject matter (All three are separate yet related… I’ll get into that when they’re closer to being finished) covered as extensively, with as many practical examples.

As far as this site is concerned… it will always exist. It’s slated to become my major focal point as soon as I can devote more energy towards it. My books will fall under the umbrella of this site. Ride Hard / Lift Heavy is home base for me. There’s simply a lot I want to do on here that I just don’t have the time for right now.

There really is quite a bit in the pipeline, the books notwithstanding. I’ve recorded a few more podcasts, and am shooting a short “Day in the life” video in a few days that should give more insight as to who I am. Every single one of those draft articles will be released at some point. Although they’re not ready to fly, it’s without a doubt the best writing I’ve ever done. I cover subjects I’ve never seen addressed, and also give my two cents on some fairly popular subjects in this particular community.

I know in this corner of the internet, it’s as easy to lose an audience as it is to build one. For a site to get lost, passed over and ignored in the stack of countless blogs is fairly common, as I’ve done it myself. For those of you who do stop by from time to time, I do truly appreciate it. I hope you’re able to take something valuable from what I write.

Thanks for reading,

Brian @ RH/LH

 

The Challenge of Freedom

It wasn’t long ago that I was working a 40-hour a week job that I truly hated.

I was not a good employee. I never have been. The days would slip away, and the only thing that grew was my resentment.

Is this good for the company

In my last job, I did have autonomy, though. As long as I was getting my work done, I was free to budget my time as I saw fit.

So I developed a system. It wasn’t uncommon for me to buckle down and hammer out a week’s worth of work in eight hours so I could spend the other 32 on writing and developing a side hustle.

In time, my priorities shifted, and I cared less and less about my actual job. I would get irritated when my private enterprises were interrupted by an e-mail or a request for a progress update. My work for the company started to get sloppy, my attitude soured, and I started to gain some unwanted attention from my supervisors.

There was no turning back. I could no longer place myself back in the mindset of a person giving 100% effort to my employer. Even giving 20% of my effort was asking too much. I saw my future with the company. More responsibility. A heavier work load. 60 hours a week. And for what? A couple hundred more dollars every two weeks?

It wasn’t worth it to me.

In November, a mutual decision was made and we parted ways for good. I was out.

But I made a mistake during this critical period. Instead of taking a full measure, I took a half measure. 


I ran into a friend just after I had gathered the last of my possessions from my old office. He owned a small cafe not far from my house, and offered me a casual part-time position. “This is just what I need” I thought to myself. “Zero responsibility or frustration. Easy idiot work. Yes, it’s a job, and I swore I’d never take one again, but having a safety net won’t hurt”.

What ended up happening?

I started giving him more and more hours. It changed from a casual gig to a fairly significant commitment. 

In short, it turned into something it was never intended to be: a major time commitment.


A month ago, I told my friend I was leaving for good when I took a week off to visit the beach.

Let me tell you, it takes a leap of faith to turn down fast money in exchange for time (playing the long game).


The week at the beach was meant to be endlessly productive. To be a catalyst in this process.

In truth, it wasn’t.

Much like Dylan over at Way of the Olympian, I lounged on the beach and slept too much. When I got back home, the pattern continued. I was laying on the couch, eating Chipotle, and straying from the path I had laid out for myself.

“Oh fuck. I’m going to have to get a job.”

This is the challenge of freedom. The voice of self-doubt that whispers “This is hard. You’re going to fail. Wouldn’t it just be so much easier to save yourself the frustration, give up now, and be a slave again?”

I’ve conditioned myself to associate these thoughts with experiences from my past. Namely the miserable jobs I have worked at, and the miserable people I have worked for.

I’ll illustrate one example:

For years, I developed and ran a business, a division of a larger company. I poured my blood, sweat and tears into the design, the builds, the marketing and the maintenance of that place. I “owned” it. But when push came to shove, I still worked FOR the parent company. I was simply an employee. When I left, it was not with my head held high, but defeated, empty-handed and broken.

Four years later, I have nothing to show for that effort. My name was immediately struck from the record, as though I never existed. The business has stagnated and failed to build upon my work, but this division of the company has nonetheless continued to turn a significant yearly profit directly due to my time spent there.

Others are reaping what I had sown.

I had built something wonderful. It was something I was proud of, something that was truly heart and soul. But I had built it for someone else. When I became a problem employee,  one who was too much of a liability to upper management, the solution was obvious to them: I was violently pushed out and erased.

This is my motivation: I will never allow this to be done to me again.

Everything I am building, I own 100% of it. There is no one else to strategically force me out. There is no one to disagree with, no one to look over my shoulder to check on my progress. There is no one to answer to but myself. 

When I succeed, I will have no one else to thank, but if I should fail (I won’t), that burden falls squarely on my shoulders.

 

My Experience with Intermittent Fasting

In October of 2013, I was starting to backslide.

Thirteen months earlier, I had thrown myself headlong into a life-transforming whirlwind of fat loss. Despite not really knowing what I was doing, I worked my ass off, day after day. It started in the gym, with marathon sessions that hit muscle groups that I hadn’t even known existed. My nutrition was next on the agenda, and for months, I ate nothing but chicken breasts, eggs, cottage cheese and protein powder in such small quantities that I can scarcely believe that I retained any muscle at all. When all was said and done, I dropped 50 pounds in three months, from 240 down to 190. Utterly exhausted, I decided I was going to take it easier on myself for a little while.

By the time October of 2013 had rolled around though, my body fat percentage was creeping back up. I had gotten far stronger since the first of the year, mostly a result of lax dietary standards, more sporadic visits to the gym (allowing for better recovery), and lower-intensity sessions. When I headed in, my workouts certainly weren’t the three-hour sufferfests from 2012. I’d eat a burger here and there, as nothing was really being regulated or monitored. The size medium shirts (after ten solid years of being an XL) I had bought in January and February were starting to seem a bit small around my mid-section.

Prior to this, I had taken the bulk of my fitness advice from my friend Dave. A former Marine officer, I had known Dave for going on twenty years at this point. He has a great understanding of the mechanics, the nutrition, the supplementation, and the methods with which to put it all together. With some guidance from him, I certainly got stronger and more rounded, learning to both squat and deadlift with proper form. Where I hesitated in applying his advice, unfortunately, was in taking a highly regulated approach towards my nutrition.

For those who have known me for a long time, it goes without saying that I’m noticeably more bull-headed than the average person, although this has (with some work) softened with the passing of time. If I believe I have something figured out, I tend to stick with it, not necessarily dismissing the advice of others, but rather preferring to test my own theories first. In this case, I wisely chose to take one look at my slowly expanding waistline before deciding that I should probably hear him out.

Intermittent Fasting Explained

  • Pick a 4-8 hour window each day where you will eat. The most common window is something like 12-8 PM.
  • Eat or drink no calories outside of that window.

That’s it.

You can have black coffee, unsweetened tea, water, BCAA mix, or any other calorie-free beverage outside of the window, but no food, period.

Design, Implementation, and Results

The whole concept of Intermittent Fasting was completely foreign to me. When I had dropped 50 pounds a year or so earlier, I was eating different foods than I was used to, in smaller quantities, but my attitude towards eating was still the same: If I’m hungry, I’m going to put food in my mouth. Of course, the food choices were better, and the portions were small. A hard boiled egg, a chicken breast, a bowl of cottage cheese. The idea of determining when and how to eat these foods was simply the next step.

I sat down and designed my weekdays, which were remarkably simple, and operated (in terms of macro breakdown) along the lines of a fairly normal high protein, moderately high fat, low carb diet:

  • 7:30 AM Wake up, coffee
  • 9:00 AM Arrive at work, coffee, tea, and water
  • 2:00 PM Weight training on my hour-long lunch break (we had a small gym in the building)
  • 3:00 PM Drink whey protein and eat 4 oz. of chicken breast
  • 6:00 PM Arrive at home, eat dinner (usually a large steak/egg/spinach salad served in a pie plate, followed by some cottage cheese with cinnamon and a splash of honey).
  • 7:00 PM No more food, eating window closed.
  • 11:00 PM Bedtime
ifdinners1314
Some of my evening meals from this time period

The morning of my first day came. I was initially nervous about going to work on an empty stomach, but within a few hours and several cups of coffee, the nervousness had passed. It wasn’t anywhere near as hard as I expected it would be. Sure, I was thinking about the fact that I hadn’t eaten, but for the most part I was sitting around waiting for my hunger to descend into a sort of hellish misery, which never actually happened. Training on an empty stomach actually seemed to allow for a higher intensity session (At that point, I had no idea WHY this happened, just that it did). After the first week, I was shocked at how effortless IF really was.

A few weeks into IF, I started noticing that my clothes were fitting differently. My gut was shrinking, and my shoulders were beginning to get more defined. I didn’t have a scale at the time, but it became apparent that I was losing fat.

I am impatient by nature, and I wanted to see results even faster. I stopped bringing chicken to work with me, and only drank a protein shake after my short training sessions. When I got home, my evening meal was proportionally larger. Many of these meals would see me eat until I was completely full. But by limiting the time frame in which I was eating, I ensured that when all was said and done, I was operating at a caloric deficit each day, even if I absolutely stuffed myself. Add in the fact that I was waking up, walking around the office and visiting the gym on an empty stomach (meaning my body HAD to run on stored body fat) you can see how Intermittent Fasting gives you a significant advantage in the war on body fat.

I wasn’t lifting significantly heavier weight in the gym (and wasn’t building muscle, because I was at a caloric deficit, something I keep mentioning that we’ll get to in a moment) but within several months, I was far leaner, dropping quite a bit of body fat while still maintaining my strength. My energy level throughout the work day was always significantly higher than that of my sluggish co-workers, despite my having not eaten since 7:00 PM on the previous day.

My weekends, though filled with cheeseburgers, burritos, and pizza, still adhered to the eating window I had laid out so many months before. I remember vividly one Saturday morning, biding my time and watching the clock until 2:00, when I would allow myself to visit a local Sheetz, and eat myself sick. Cheat days allowed my body to refuel itself on carbohydrates, but also helped me maintain my sanity. I would have seen greater results without them, but may have ended up institutionalized, negating anything positive about the experience.

By the time I took a break from IF in June of 2014, I was as lean as I had ever been in my adult life, dropping almost 10% of my body fat in eight months. I hadn’t made any strength gains, but then again, that wasn’t my goal. I wasn’t any weaker or smaller than I was when I started. I was far leaner, though.

 

Caloric Deficits and Surplus (in simple terms)

Everybody is different. Some of us are tall, some of us are short, some of us build muscle easily, and others pack on fat like a grizzly preparing for hibernation. It’s one of the most crucial reasons why having a training program custom built for you is so vital to your success or failure. Thankfully, there are tools to help all of us make sense of where we are at, and give us starting points for where we need to go.

We’ll start by using this tool, a basal metabolic rate calculator. Your basal metabolic rate is the amount of calories you need every day to maintain your current weight. (Enter your measurements, and click on the link labeled “Harris Benedict Equation” below this to determine your requirements based on your daily activity level)

Got your number? Great.

Consuming anything higher than this number is considered a Caloric Surplus and with a few exceptions (which we won’t get into in THIS article), the excess will be stored as body fat. There are 3500 calories in a pound, so if you eat a surplus of 500 calories (that is to say; 500 calories ABOVE the number you got from the Harris Benedict Equation) per day, in seven days, you will have put on one pound of fat. That’s four pounds per month, 36 pounds per year. Most people don’t eat this consistently, but it’s easy to see HOW one can pack on the pounds with a fairly modest daily surplus.

Consuming anything lower than this number is considered a Caloric Deficit. The same math applies, just in the opposite direction. Lower your intake by 500 calories per day, and in a month, you can easily lose four pounds. Thirty-six pounds in a year? If you have that much to lose, simple math shows how it can be done.

Keep in mind, though, as your weight goes down, your BMR is going to change. If you’re losing a pound every week at 1700 calories, eventually your deficit is going to “catch up” to your BMR, and caloric intake will need to be lowered again. I know it’s not fair, but neither is life. Get used to it.

The definitions of surplus and deficit are universal, but come into play significantly when it comes to IF. The simple mechanics of eating once, maybe twice a day, no matter how hungry you are, it’s far more difficult to enter a surplus. Glutton for punishment that I am, I’ve tested this theory, eating steaks larger than my head. Even though I’m quite hungry when I eat only once a day, I find it nearly impossible to cross the BMR threshold when I’m eating the right kinds of foods.

A Short Note on Macronutrients

Notice in the last sentence of that last paragraph where I mentioned “when I’m eating the right foods?” Yes, calories in versus calories out is the most important metric, but neglecting  which macronutrients you’re pulling those calories from can come with consequences. I talked about it earlier, but I recommend a high protein, moderate to high fat, low carbohydrate breakdown on IF. You’ll retain muscle, feel fuller on less calories, and decrease insulin sensitivity (which determines how excess calories are stored).

Unfortunately for most of us who have acquired a taste for it, aside from the odd cheat day, this means saying goodbye to the crack cocaine of the food world, sugar. Sugar is purposely re-branded as “agave nectar” “corn syrup solids” and “golden syrup” but whatever food manufacturers want to disguise it as, the nutrition label does not lie. The best way to stay away from it is to simply avoid pre-packaged foods altogether. Bars, cereals, and frozen meals with “healthy” packaging are anything but. Stick to fresh meat, eggs, fish, poultry, green vegetables, and all will be well.

These sugars and high-GI carbs play quite a few nasty tricks on our body, one of which is making us think we aren’t full, causing us to slide right past our BMR and into the surplus range for the day. Hypothetically speaking (I really don’t suggest you do the latter of these two), if you were to put 1000 calories worth of steak and eggs into your stomach one day, then 1000 calories worth of pizza and ice cream into your stomach the next day. Determine how hungry you were an hour later and chances are on steak day, you’d likely still be satiated, whereas on garbage (pizza and ice cream) day, you’d be ready for more. Quality most certainly IS as important as quantity, but I’ll go much further in depth in a future article.

In conclusion

Intermittent fasting is, by and large, fairly simple. It’s like anything else in terms of fitness, though. On the surface, it certainly works, but it’s a seriously powerful tool if you understand it, design it to fit your life, and occasionally rework it the program so it can serve you best.

 

Thanks for reading

Shattered – By Timo Fischer

I’ve known Timo for about six months, and I wasn’t at all surprised when he told me back in January that he was planning on releasing a book. He’s a hard worker, always charging full-steam towards his objectives, and his idea for a book sounded solid. Earlier this month, as we were preparing for our podcast session, he asked me if I’d like to take a look at a pre-release.

final.png

To be honest, I didn’t know what to expect, other than the subject matter, which dealt with the illusions and lies that shape modern life. I was certainly not expecting a sub-par product, but I was prepared to let Timo know my unbiased thoughts on his work. After all, there’s no point in offering a critique if you’re going to lie to make the author feel good about himself. So, in the midst of our Skype call, I paged through it, and told Timo I would let him know what I really thought about the book as soon as I had the time to actually read it.

Shattered on Amazon

Later that night, I took the time to sit down and open Shattered with no distractions. Within the first five minutes I told myself “I’ve underestimated him. There’s no need to think about how I’m going to phrase criticisms, as this is an excellent piece of work”. I was incredibly impressed with what I was reading.

Shattered is not a narrative, a how-to book, or a self-help book. Rather, it is a collection of hard-hitting Maxims and short statements that apply universally. It reads a bit like “The Art of War” but “The Cliffs Notes of Wisdom” is how I would describe it.

This book is designed to be read differently, but it’s an intuitive process. You simply can’t help but stop and think about how each individual Principle or Maxim applies to your life. I find myself going back to it, time and time again, pausing and reflecting, pausing and reflecting. As I said, it’s not a self-help book in and of itself. That being said, if you’re really absorbing the words, they will motivate you to ask yourself some difficult questions, and at times take an unblinking look at yourself.

I’m really impressed with Timo’s book, and consider it quite a valuable piece of writing. Take into consideration that this is his FIRST book and it becomes all the more impressive. Shattered has made an impression. It gets an enthusiastic thumbs up from me, and will remain in my library for a very, very long time.

Check out Timo’s work here.

 

 

My Difficult Relationship With Sleep

I’ve always had a hard time with sleep. In high school, the simple act of dragging myself out of bed at 6:00 in the morning for class was far more difficult than any of the hellish cross-country practices I had to endure in the afternoons. Fights would brew between my parents and myself every morning. By the time I finally got out of the house, I had to sprint through the dark, cold Pennsylvania morning on my old Diamondback to barely make it to the bus stop in time, sometimes rounding the corner to see the yellow beast pulling away from the intersection. I would often be left behind to climb back up the hill and beg for a ride to school from my parents.

As a teenager, I was too young and naive to see my bad mornings as a potential problematic issue in the future. It didn’t really effect anything, and I always ended up at school more or less on time. In my mind, getting up early just “sucked” and was something I wouldn’t have to do after high school, anyway.

In college and my early twenties, it only got worse. Night after night, I was staying up until at least 4:00 in the morning, if not later. If I wasn’t out, I was on my computer, drinking Mountain Dew, talking to friends on AIM, posting on Mazda message boards and downloading music. Morning classes were never attended, and when I had somewhere to be before noon, the act of waking up after only three hours of sleep was an absolutely excruciating proposition. If left to my own devices, the sky was the limit. I’d be up until 7 or 8 in the morning, dicking around on the internet, then sleeping until 3 or 4 in the afternoon. I had nothing else going on, so who cares, right?

This continued for years. I gave myself excuses instead of looking at the underlying problem (a behavior that was prevalent in all avenues of my life).

  • “I’m just not a morning person”
  • “I must have a sleep disorder”
  • “People aren’t meant to wake up that early, they’re stupid for doing it”
  • “Fuck it, I like sleeping in”

As college faded into adult life, and having to actually hold down a job, I faced a choice: wake up on time or you don’t get paid. So I turned to my new friend, alcohol. I would drink enough to pass out at least a few times per week. The alcohol definitely made it easier to fall asleep initially, but the quality of it was abysmal. I would toss and turn, ending up completely awake and sober after only a few fitful hours, feeling even more exhausted than when I went to bed.

From 2009-2012, the problem got worse. I was sometimes working 24 straight hours, from 3 PM until 3 PM the next day. This wrought absolute havoc on whatever sort of sleep schedule I had poorly attempted to establish. Unfortunately, these overnight shifts came with the territory, and there was no opting out. For months on end, my circadian rhythm was a complete mess. I would take naps any time I could, drinking until dawn sometimes, other nights sleeping from 6PM until noon the next day. There was no normalcy whatsoever. I was a mess.


When I left that job, got into the gym, and (most recently) stopped drinking, things started to normalize a bit, but I was still predisposed towards staying up late and sleeping through my mornings. Something had to change, but I took a dangerous approach with some unpleasant results.

walsom

When I first experimented with an OTC sleep aid (pictured above), I was convinced I had found the solution to my problems. It was like shooting myself with a tranquilizer dart. I was down for the count immediately. If I took them too early in the evening, I would stumble around the house running into furniture, trying to find a place to collapse and pass out.

The tranquilizer dart analogy works quite well, as I felt my body was “fighting” the medication. Even though I wanted to be knocked out, my body didn’t. I would unconsciously struggle to keep my eyes open, to snap out of it. When I did fall asleep, it wasn’t natural. I was being dragged kicking and screaming into a state of sleep.

Mornings became far worse than they had ever been. I would wake up but my brain was not functioning. I would often leave my house without my keys, my wallet, or my phone. I would forget to turn off the bathroom sink, leave the front door unlocked, and try to drive my car with my parking brake still engaged. I had the cognitive function of a brick until several hours later, when the fog would finally start to lift. If I didn’t have five or six alarms set, I would easily stay in bed for 10+ hours on the stuff.

In time, I developed a tolerance. It became evident that one softgel wasn’t having the effects that it once did. Over the next few weeks, I upped my dosage to two, then three, then four. Then the first sleepless night happened.

I couldn’t lay still. My legs were constantly in a state of restlessness, I couldn’t get comfortable, and it only got worse as I thought about the minutes and hours slipping away, still awake and alert. It was though the medication had turned on me, and was doing the exact opposite of what was intended. The next day I was useless, mumbling and walking around like a zombie. The experiment had failed. So finally, after this miserable night, only a few months into taking “knockout pills” on a nightly basis, I quit cold turkey.


Sleep is much like nutrition: you reap the benefits of having good habits, which need to be properly developed and have attention paid to them. In the weeks following my decision to stop using the knockouts, I realized that I needed to put forth some effort towards correcting my sleep habits. I consciously started to develop behaviors and, through trial and error, employed some natural aides to help regulate my sleep.

  • Have a set bedtime every night, and stick to it. Mine is midnight. When it’s bedtime, I am in bed, with all electronic distractions having been set aside. No twitter, no texts, no conversing or interacting whatsoever. Even if I don’t fall asleep until 1:30, I’m still in bed and ready for sleep at midnight. Instead of saying “I am waking up at 7:30 AM tomorrow” and setting an alarm, I wake up the next morning instinctively, after 6-7 hours of sleep.
  • Melatonin before bed. I found a low dose of this does little for me, but a slightly higher dose tends to work well, making me tired, telling my body AND brain “it’s time to go to sleep”. I fall and stay asleep naturally, with no restless tossing and turning, unlike with alcohol or OTC pills.
  • Visiting the gym and staying active. I fall asleep far more easily on work days than I do on rest days.
  • No caffeine after 4:00 PM. As immune to caffeine as I feel, I do notice the effects of it if I’ve taken it in the evening. At bedtime, my mind will be racing and my body will  be restless.
  • Vitamin D when I wake up. Either via a Vitamin D3 supplement, getting some sunshine or (in the case of winter) visiting the tanning bed for a few minutes, I want to make sure I’m receiving enough Vitamin D. On days when I’ve been out in the sun all day, I fall asleep effortlessly. Not the case at all if I’ve been sitting inside staring at a screen.
  • Staying hydrated throughout the day and tapering down in the evening. I read something interesting a few months ago, written by Mike Cernovich. The methodology is that by drinking a large amount of water just before bed, you will wake up naturally at the end of your sleep cycle, needing to visit the bathroom. Unfortunately, this doesn’t work for me. I try to stay well hydrated at all times. If I drin end up needing to take a half-dozen trips to the bathroom as I’m in the process of falling asleep, which proves to be a major interruption. For myself, I’ve found I need to slowly taper down my water and BCAA intake at around 10:00 PM.
  • No sugars anywhere close to bedtime. Even on cheat days, when my sugar and carb intake is relatively high, I tend to avoid them before bed. The rush and crash cycle makes it very difficult to fall asleep.
  • No alcohol. Ever.

One of the most common bits of information I hear when it comes to people with difficulty falling asleep is to never keep a TV in your bedroom, and ensure that the room is completely dark. I do not do well in this setting. My internal dialogue is simply too strong. I prefer to have an external source droning on and on about a subject at very low volume. It is something to focus on, as opposed to my own racing thoughts. Right now, Netflix’s “Secrets of Great British Castles” is working wonders. Hearing someone drone on and on and on about the hidden tunnels beneath Dover Castle could put down an army of Mexican wrestlers hopped up on Red Bull.


I can’t say I’ve cracked the code to a perfect, healthy sleep pattern, but I’ve made huge improvements to it, which can be felt all across the board. Last night and today serves as a great example. I was in bed at midnight, I fell asleep at 1:00, and I was awake today at 6:45. I drove my girlfriend to work, drank some coffee, worked on this article and published another. I did some work on my website. I bought a pair of shoes. I went for a bike ride and threw a load of laundry in. It’s 11:20 AM now, and I still have time to go to the gym, hop in the tanning bed for five minutes, drive home, prepare food, and get even more work done on my site before I have anything else to do. I’m going to go to sleep tonight tired and ready to begin the cycle all over again.

None of this is particularly earth-shattering, but even a year ago, a day like today would have been completely unfathomable.

 

 

Lessons From Curt Schilling’s Firing

Yesterday, Curt Schilling was fired from his position on ESPN as a baseball analyst. I haven’t followed baseball since elementary school, and honestly had no idea that the former pitcher even worked for the network, as I don’t watch cable TV.

His firing proves an important point, though.

He was fired for a tweet which was critical of transgenders using whatever restroom they “identify” as.

This is not an unpopular or extreme opinion, and it mirrors my own. I don’t give a fuck what you identify as. If you have a cock and balls, you’re not going into a restroom with my mother, my sister, or my girlfriend. I don’t have any children yet, but these people would not be even remotely welcome to share a restroom with a daughter of mine.

The statement I just posted is my opinion, and (although completely rational and understandable) certainly isn’t politically correct. Neither was the meme Curt posted.

ESPN, instead of saying “We disagree with Curt, but he is welcome to his opinion on this sensitive matter” they cowardly chose to bend to the SJW narrative and fire him over it. 


With the prevalence of social media in today’s society, this sort of thing doesn’t surprise me at all. It serves as a sobering reminder:

There is no dividing line anymore. If you work for someone else, they own your sorry ass. You are not welcome to your opinion if it’s not politically correct or in line with the leftists’ narrative.


I recently put in my two weeks’ notice at my part-time gig. It’s the final nail in the coffin of my days spent working for someone else.

I waved goodbye to a promising career several months ago for many reasons.

  • I need to be location-independent
  • I need my vision of my business to be completely untainted by others
  • I need my income to reflect the effort I’m putting in, and not be an arbitrary number determined to be “fair” by an accounting department
  • I need to make money for myself, not just take a tiny percentage after all my superiors have taken their cut

Curt’s situation with ESPN drives home another point:

  • I need to produce income without having to constantly look over my shoulder and worry that the wrong person is going to notice a tweet or a post.

I can only imagine what would happen if I was still in the corporate world and my blog or my Twitter was discovered by someone in HR.

I would be called down to the office, asked to explain my bigoted, offensive viewpoints, and beg for forgiveness. I would offer to immediately suspend my accounts, and promise to be a good little boy from now on.

And after the groveling and begging was done, I’d still end up packing up my desk and walking out of the office hanging my head in shame.


Now, what if a client doesn’t want to work with me? What a shame. Bye.

If someone decides they don’t like my tweets or my blog? What a shame. Bye.

Curt Schilling was playing with fire. He knew what he was doing, and he did it anyway. It wasn’t a calculated risk, but a game of chicken with a tractor trailer, which he obviously lost. Things didn’t play out well for him, but he has no one to blame but himself. Fuck with fire and you’re going to get burned.

I’ve made my final decision. I have no boss, no master, no supervisor. I don’t report to anyone or depend on anyone. I say whatever the fuck I want. I’ve hoisted the black flag, and I’m not planning on lowering it. For better or for worse, I’m on my own, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

 

From Left to Right

Every once in a while on here, I touch on the subject of the “Red Pill”, which the vast majority of the people who visit this site will be quite familiar with, and most likely also identify as.

The Red Pill is (to me) an informed, unblinking understanding of the true nature of relationships between men and women (for better or for worse).

In the late Spring of 2014, when I frustratingly left a terrible relationship with a malevolent parasite of a woman, I was looking for answers. I had treated her like a queen, bent over backwards catering to her every need, and dumped tens of thousands of hard-earned dollars into the toilet, all for nothing. The last six months of our time together, I was treated as fucking vermin, despite my efforts to “just be a good dude”.

Truthfully, I was pissed. I was in the early stages of completely rebuilding my life from a pile of rubble, and she proved to be a huge stumbling block in this process. I wanted to know why. I wanted to know how a relationship turned into such a disaster, when I had supposedly done everything right. I was single for the first time in a long time, and I didn’t want to end up entangled with another nightmare like her.

Inevitably, I stumbled across some Red Pill literature, and started devouring it. At first, being a socially-conditioned drone, I recoiled in disgust at the ugly, inconvenient truth it presented. “This has to be wrong” I told myself. But after reading horror story after horror story on Reddit and various blogs, then seeing how plenty of men had adapted to FLOURISH in this bleak landscape, I stopped fearing the truth.

It’s an unsettling feeling, learning that you’ve been lied to and intentionally misled for your entire life. When you’ve struggled and suffered as a result of living by those lies, the feelings of unease can easily turn towards anger, misery, and a defeatist, “I give up” mindset. In my case at least, I chose to learn and apply the knowledge I was absorbing, and my life became FAR better as a result of this.

I had successfully de-programmed myself.

Around the same time, I started to notice some other changes of perspective that were surprising, to say the least.

I had, since Freshman year of college (go figure) in 2000, referred to myself as a Liberal. I protested the Iraq war. I was a huge pussy, terrified at the thought of being sent off to the desert to fight for my country. My friends and I started calling anyone who sported an American flag a “redneck” and an ignorant, racist Bush supporter. I fully supported John Kerry in 2004, and Obama in 2008. I loved the idea of socialism, because I wasn’t willing to work hard to get what I wanted, and believed it should be handed to me by daddy government. Despite knowing deep down that this was a warped vision of the world, driven by cowardice, failure, and laziness, it was a popular outlook with others my age, and one that aligned nicely with my almost nonexistent standards at that time.

Throughout my twenties, I made it a point to suppress any controversial viewpoints, be politically correct (all the ugly punk-rock girls I knew seemed to like it when I was, surprisingly I still wasn’t getting laid… how interesting), to never be critical of feminism, to never even MENTION race or religion (unless it was to ridicule Christians), to be a good, obedient little boy. Outwardly, I joined my peers and scoffed at the ideas of conservatives as archaic, oppressive, twentieth-century naivete. After all, it was (the current year) and PROGRESS was the name of the game.

Beneath the surface, though, things still didn’t sit right with me. If I ever saw a minority acting like an animal in public, I wasn’t allowed to acknowledge it. When I heard “straight white male” used as a derogatory term, I had to hang my head in shame, although I had done nothing wrong. After all, my ancestors were straight white men, and they had helped to build steel mills, fight the Nazis, worked with Nuclear energy, lasers, and robotics, all while being committed to their families. They were good men. Brave, hard-working, and strong. Why were they so hated by the progressives?

Consolidated B-24

My grandfather was a navigator on a B-24 in WWII, and flew on many missions with the goal of destroying Hitler’s oil refineries in Romania.

I would go to progressive political events, but looked around and saw nothing but ugliness, failure and degeneracy. Obese 40-year old virgins. Filthy, drug addicted crust-punks who would beg me for money. Surly, androgynous women with leg hair, facial piercings, and an illogical hatred for those who ate meat. Effeminate, fixie-riding man-children who spent their days in a marijuana and noisecore-fueled haze. And hippies. I made the decision that I did not belong in this environment, with these people who represented the failures of modern society. And largely, the politicians I had voted for were failures as well. Obama’s America was no different than Bush’s, so I wrote all of it off. Politics were a sham, I decided, and vowed to shut myself off from it altogether.

From 2009-2013, I was largely apolitical, avoiding cable TV or reading political rants on facebook. But in 2013, I would occasionally read Gawker (via Jalopnik, a formerly great site, now irreversibly tarnished, as it’s under the umbrella of Gawker) and curiosity would get the best of me. Here and there, I’d check out some of the political articles. At this point, I had long since walked away from the progressives themselves, but finally started to come to terms with just how ridiculous and harmful the narrative itself was. There would be glaring discrepancies and absolute refusal to confront anything that didn’t support their reality. There were huge holes and omissions in the story. Inconvenient, unpleasant, yet factual truths were immediately mobbed and shot down, using terms such as “racist” “bigot” “hate-monger” and “___-phobe”. I would occasionally have a look at Jezebel, and it got even more ludicrous. Article after article insinuated that I, as a straight, white man could be nothing other than a moronic, destructive monster, and “the real problem here” while glorifying obesity, degeneracy, sloth, and mediocrity.

And so, when in the midst of all the aforementioned Red Pill literature I was absorbing in late 2014, it became impossible for me to miss the correlation between feminism, the twisted progressive narrative, and blue-pill men. This wasn’t a case of a few isolated and independent opponents, but rather more like a Hydra, the multi-headed beast.

hydra1

I couldn’t shy away from the political side of things, or pick and choose one of the heads of the Hydra to confront. The Red Pill is an all-or-nothing proposition, you either understand the scope of the whole mess, or remain ignorant and disjointed, blind to the root causes of why our current social landscape is such a nightmare.


Being a blue-pill “man” is to stay willfully trapped in a complex, multi-layered snare. It is designed with the purpose of keeping you dumb, distracted, fat, estrogenic, miserable, subservient, tired, indebted, inebriated, scared and weak. You are a castrated pawn, willing to sacrifice your purpose, happiness, and vigor for the promise of $2000 every two weeks to spend on college football cable packages, processed food, a comfortable McMansion, and a new Hyundai loan every three years. Breaking out of this mold is to utterly reject the narrative in every sense of the word, in order to live a truly happy, fulfilling life.

Progressives, feminists, and enemies of free speech are horrified by the thought of a mass exodus from the oppressive, miserable world of mediocrity and censorship that they’ve created. The rise of the Manosphere has effectively told these shitheads that we’re onto them, and we’ve had enough.  Word-twisting, public shaming, and outright silencing (on the grounds of “offensive speech”) are their favorite weapons. If you step out of line, you get smoked. However, it’s not difficult to see how one can be exempt from these tactics: wholeheartedly reject the progressive narrative, become completely self-sufficient, and live on your own terms. When you don’t answer to anyone, their weapons become meaningless.

But for some who have come around, they’re already in too deep. For them, social pressure is a factor. Having traditional, conservative beliefs is, in 2016, to be labeled a bigot, a racist, and a hate-monger. Still having to answer to an HR department or any other controlling entity means that they can’t be as vocal as they’d probably like to be. Like the men who read Good Looking Loser or Danger and Play “on the down low”, I would have to estimate that there’s colossal amounts of men and women out there who are pulling for Donald Trump privately. The progressive narrative is utterly merciless to all who oppose it, so most will likely choose to remain in the shadows. 

In day to day life, I don’t really wear my heart on my sleeve. I think I own a grand total of two tee shirts with anything printed on them, neither political in any way. I don’t rock a MAGA hat. I don’t want to see my car vandalized, so there’s no Trump sticker on my bumper. I don’t leave my house looking for a fight, because it’s not worth it to me, and I can’t get any work done from the inside of a prison cell. If asked my viewpoint, I will enthusiastically make it known who I am supporting (which usually comes as a surprise, especially to people I’ve known for years), but I don’t go out of my way to broadcast my personal views to everyone I come into contact with (unless we’re talking about Twitter). In most cases, it simply invites arguments by dim-witted people who are consumed by the progressive narrative. Although this can be entertaining, it’s by no means a productive use of my time, and as I said, it would be difficult to get anything done if I ended up in prison. I have total respect for those who make a bold statement, but in the case of politics, that’s really not who I am. I’m voting for Trump. If you knew me, you’d probably have that figured out by the way I live my life and my viewpoints on certain issues (and the fact that I have yet to see a single Bernie or Hillary supporter who looks like they’ve ever been in a weight room).

I’m not going to list each facet of my personal belief system, but as a whole, I believe that conservative values, traditional gender roles, and a coherent National identity (as opposed to a Globalist identity) makes for a thriving society. This is not something I just “decided” upon, as the Red Pill has not so much CHANGED my viewpoints on the world, rather it has allowed me to be confident enough to no longer hide behind a mask of political correctness and progressivism to “not make any waves”. I am writing this not as an expert in realm of politics or social sciences, but as a former underachiever and “regular guy” who let himself get burned one too many times, wanted to know why, and kept digging to see how deep the rabbit hole went.

The world is changing. As more men realize how powerless and disposable they are in the context of being a blue-pill supplicant, they are opening their eyes. They’re taking control of their lives, as opposed to zoning out and going along for the ride. And with this eye-opening comes the frightening, ugly, often inconvenient and “offensive” truth. But the truth is simply the truth. It doesn’t care about your feelings, or anyone else’s. Making peace with that fact allows for a much greater understanding of life in the modern age.

Thanks for reading.

“You’re Too Hard On Yourself”

I have heard this sentence all too many times over the past few years, and it always strikes a chord. Rather than argue something that is irrelevant to the vast majority of people, I change the subject.

I truly believe that it’s impossible to be too hard on yourself. When I fuck up, I hold myself accountable and don’t give myself excuses.

If I miss a session at the gym, I don’t tell myself “well, you needed a break” when I was really just being a lazy fuck, laying on the couch, dicking around on the internet.

I am brutally honest with myself and do not rationalize these mistakes.

If I held others to the same standard, I would be seen as “the asshole boss”, but I no longer care what most others do. If they want to slip into comfort, mediocrity and failure, good for them. It’s not my problem.


 

I am hard on myself because no one else will be, and because I am the only person who is truly in control of what my life is like.

When you are hard on yourself on your own terms, for the right reasons, great things happen.

Right now, I am motivated by two things:

  • Getting my body fat percentage where I want it to be
  • Never having to go to work for anyone else again

My focus is dead set on these two objectives. I’m working extremely hard in both cases, but just as I am the only one who can succeed, I am the only one who can cause myself to fail. 


 

  • I want to call up a Chinese restaurant and order some General Tso’s Chicken.
  • There’s a movie on Netflix that I want to see.
  • I think I’ll just relax and see what’s happening on social media.
  • I have a headache, better stay in.
  • I’m sooooore. No gym for me tonight.
  • It’s a good idea, but it would be way too much work.
  • Oh man, there’s a Sheetz. I want nachos and a doughnut.
  • I need a day to just take it easy.

All of the above statements have been things I’ve told myself, most of them many times over. To most people, none of them would seem unreasonable at all.

These rationalizations, however small each of them were, snowballed. Each time I gave myself an excuse, the invisible force of complacency tightened its noose. I remained shackled to a life that was not truly mine; one of dependence (on an employer, for a paycheck and direction), poor health, and misery.


Fighting the rationalization machine:

  • Time management. I’ve talked about using Evernote and some other tools to manage my time. Having this plan for my day is CRUCIAL.
evernote

Yesterday’s Evernote checklist

  • Impulse control. EVEN NOW, as I write this, my mind is drifting. We live in a society of unlimited stimuli, so remaining 100% vigilant and focused is incredibly important. I like Chris at GLL’s rule; put up post-it notes saying “I must do the most productive thing at any given moment”.

 

No, I am not too hard on myself. I want to live my life my way. Fit, Free, and Abundant. To achieve that, I MUST be productive, disciplined, focused and ruthless. Fuck comfort. Being easier on myself? That’s a great way of spinning my wheels to failure.