“Don’t be scurred”

“Fear creates its own self-fulfilling dynamic-as people give in to it, they lose energy and momentum. Their lack of confidence translates into inaction that lowers confidence levels even further, on and on.”

This quote from the book “50th Law” is a perfect example of what happens to most people in life and business.

Fear is our natural reaction to danger. But honestly, at this point in world history, how much physical danger are we actually in?

Fear paralyzes people from fulfilling their potential, from being themselves, from being successful.

In today’s society, fear has manifested itself as anxiety, depression, and feeling helpless. I believe that these three feelings are all a byproduct of a severe lack of control. Fear is stopping most people from taking control of their lives.

Fear is the reason you don’t get shit done, the reason you miss a deadline.

It’s time to take control…

“The 50th Law states that there is one thing we can control – the mind-set with which we respond to these events around us. And if we are able to overcome our anxieties and forge a fearless attitude towards life, something strange and remarkable can occur -that margin of control over circumstances increases.”

There was a time in my life where I was depressed, anxious, and unhappy. It was directly related to the lack of control I had in my life. I was living reactively, allowing external factors to affect my happiness. The minute I TOOK CONTROL, my life changed. I was happy, I made more money, I surrounded myself with like-minded people, and I rid my life of negativity. I rejected fear.

Fear is the reason people are followers.

“The Greatest fear people have is that of being themselves. They do what everyone else does even if it doesn’t fit where and who they are.”

Many business owners avoid fear, and by avoiding fear you are actually staying in your comfort zone. Staying in your comfort zone is a surefire way to never grow, and will only result in you getting the same results you are getting right now.

What is FEAR? I like to think of it as False Events Appearing Real. Fear is based on emotions, not rational thought. Most business owners will react to fear by retreating. As a reader of this blog, you will NEVER RETREAT! You will come back with your shield or on it!

When you feel FEAR you will move FORWARD!

When you feel FEAR you will EXPAND!

When you feel FEAR you will TAKE MASSIVE ACTION!

The fear we feel has been instilled in us by others. Others who have mastered mediocrity. Others who were too scared to start their own businesses. Others who have been paralyzed by their FEAR.

Don’t be scared of FEAR, USE IT!

Steve

Pack Forever!

 

 

Warriors Lead From The Front

On Being A Warrior…

Out of every one hundred men, ten shouldn’t even be there,
Eighty are just targets,
Nine are real fighters, and we are lucky to have them,
For they make the battle.
Ah, but the one,
One is a warrior,
And he will bring the others back.
– Heraclitus

 

I believe in those words so much that not only do they cover the wall at my gym, but I am having the tattoo on my rib cage completed real soon as well.

What does it mean to you?

I actually want you to think about what it makes you think about and feel when you read it.

What it means to me is purpose, heart, being relentless, never giving up, and inspiring.

Stay with me for a bit….

I see more and more of fitness being about manipulation, whether through price, promotions, fear, peer pressure, aspirations, or novelty.

Now, I’m not saying I do not use some of these things in the marketing of Vigor Ground Fitness and Performance, as it is a means to get people to experience what we are about. But the underlying message of our WHY is what will always prove that even that style of “marketing” is applied for the right reasons. More and more I see fitness professionals falling into the trap that they cannot be successful without the latest sales and marketing techniques, SEO strategies, and anything else new that will generate revenue fast. These strategies work and they generate revenue through sales and bring people in the door, but they won’t keep them there.

We need to remember WHY we got into fitness in the first place. What is our why? Then, when you figure that out and can actually answer it, can you say that you are living it, breathing it?

In the book “Start with Why” by Simon Sinek, he talks about something called the Celery Test. Essentially it describes how we take advice from different people that have had success in (or outside) of our industry, whether we get it from info products, or coaching conferences/seminars. Because of their success, we feel like we should also implement these strategies into our businesses, as it will do the same for us. So we work on the HOW and the WHAT.

In the Celery Test example (exchange the “foods” with strategies you hear all the time), others tell us that we need M&Ms in our company, some say we should get Oreos, some say that almond milk is the answer, and others say that celery is the ultimate solution. So you buy into all of it and go shopping for food, spend a bunch of time and money, and arrive at checkout with all of these “foods.” The problem is, that if someone were to try to figure out what you are about, they couldn’t tell because you have all these different foods in front of you. You didn’t ask yourself the WHY before you went to the grocery store. Because if your WHY is to live a healthy lifestyle and be fit, then what would be in front of you would be the celery and the almond milk. And when you told people your beliefs, it would be hard to take you seriously if you have M&Ms and Oreos in front of you.

I hope that sheds some light on the Celery Test. More importantly, have you looked deep inside to find your WHY? If you know your WHY, then are you doing WHAT proves those beliefs or are you presenting all types of different foods at the counter?

When you consistently do the WHAT and HOW that proves your WHY, you will attract people that believe the same, and you will also build loyalty rather than just manipulating people and working on the “quick fix.”

This brings me back to the quote on Being A Warrior and inspiring.

When you do the HOW and the WHAT that speaks to your WHY on a consistent basis, you inspire rather than manipulate.

The true warrior inspires the others to come back (or begin!) with his actions, beliefs, heart, and dedication!

Are you consistently speaking your WHY through HOW and WHAT you do? Are you living it and breathing it in a way that inspires people and connects them to your business?

I’m far from perfect and I make mistakes but I live my WHY on a daily basis.

I believe in the fitness lifestyle, training hard, and eating right, not only because of what it does for you physically but also what it does for your mindset, your social life, and building a bond with a community. Because I believe in that, I eat healthy and in alignment with my goals and I train 5-6 days a week, in a way that I preach and believe in.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I believe in constant never-ending growth and improvement, and that we do not find happiness in the achievement of our goals but in moving toward them (the journey). I implement this in my life by making sure that the Luka Hocevar whose head hits the pillow at night is different, better, than the Luka Hocevar that got up this morning (even if in the smallest of ways). As long as I am growing and/or pursuing growth, I am adding to my happiness.

A big part of my growth and a big WHY in my life, includes helping others to grow as well. I work on this by sharing my knowledge and skill, my story and experiences in a way that helps others to change for the better and live their greatest versions of what they envision their lives being.

So I am relentless about always learning by reading, studying, experimenting, attending masterminds and conferences, and by coaching. I travel around the world to become the best I can at my skills and connect with people that are better than me, or more fulfilled in some area of life.

The only way I can help others if I help myself to become better at all the things I am teaching/coaching, and if I live them myself.

That is why we built Vigor Ground. In the dictionary, Vigor is defined as:

  1. Physical or mental strength, energy, or force.
  2. The capacity for natural growth and survival
  3. Strong feeling; enthusiasm or intensity.

That is why, at Vigor Ground, it is our mission to help people grow physically and mentally, and with it, become better, happier people who enjoy and embrace life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I believe in building from the ground up, putting in time, blood, sweat, and tears to put together a TEAM that will look in the same direction as me and understand that the vision is bigger than all of us. Understand that you are only as strong as your weakest link, so we always strive to improve and grow together. Since fulfilling our potential is the goal, I no longer compare us to the competition; I don’t even compare ourselves to greatness. Rather I choose to compare us to “the unicorn” – that perfection that doesn’t exist. This makes the journey the challenge, and continuous growth a habit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I choose to have a close relationship with my team and to care about them beyond what happens in the business. I care about what happens in their lives. Even though gurus in books say it’s not the best way for business;,it is who I am and it’s our way.  I lead while being imperfect, and I learn and grow and fail forward when I make mistakes. Because Vigor Ground is me, it’s us and it’s the only way we will make this vision be authentic.

I believe in being a Go Giver and using my skills and gifts to give to others that are less fortunate and in need. More importantly, I like inspiring others to see that they can make a change too. When many, many small ripples combine, they can create a wave that creates a big change. Our boot camps for a cause started ripples, which are now continuing by other members taking action, not to mention fitness professionals that have observed what we are doing. At Vigor, we want to continue doing more and more as there should be no limit to making a change for others/the world, which is why we will be connecting with a cause even when every new member signs up, as it will mean that our growth will also be a catalyst for making a bigger change for others.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I believe in Vigor Ground not only being a place where we deliver the best real world results and transformations, anywhere, but in going far beyond that and creating a community where our family (yes, it is our VG family!) knows we are there to help, support, inspire, and cheer on their goals and dreams. It’s a place of no judgment, positive atmosphere, and electric energy, where everyone wants members of the family to do better! Vigor Ground is not just about body transformations; it’s about life transformations.

 

I believe in “Memento Mori,” remembering my mortality, and because of it, choosing to live every day to the fullest, whether it be changing lives, doing something significant that creates positive change in myself or others, living my dreams and creating experiences (over getting “things”) like traveling, learning, ticking things of my bucket/life list, thinking bigger so I can make even more of an impact on this world. You leave this earth with what you etched into history, what you will be remembered for, and the memories of your life. Make sure you smile bigger than ever when you are lying there looking back on your life, because it was grand!

Understand that every day is not sunshine and rainbows, and that there are bad days and sad days, and living through them is a part of life, and we have to accept them and know that, without those, all the great experiences and feelings wouldn’t be what they are. Also remember the toughest times make us who we are, and without them we might not be able to reach higher.

Luka standing in front of a racecar.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I believe in studying and learning from others, but at the end of the day, in treading my own path and not following. I realize I’ll never be happy living someone else’s dream. We have to fight for our dreams to become a reality, go through a lot of hardship and learn to become comfortable with the uncomfortable many times. But to say it is worth it is beyond an understatement, as living the life of quiet desperation, the life of “what if” and “if only I could,” is being alive…but it’s not living.

I hope you see and feel my thoughts. My beliefs are my WHY and I show them through HOW and WHAT I do, what the Vigor Ground team does. We are not perfect, but people feel our WHY, our mission and vision, what we are about. We just need to get even better at speaking the message through the biggest megaphone.

If you haven’t found your WHY, then stop everything and dig deep, because it’s what will fuel everything you do, and it should be the foundation of every message that comes out about your business. Don’t just be about features, price, novelty, etc. Be about something more, something bigger. Speak your WHY through HOW and WHAT!!!

What are your beliefs (core values)? Write them out and put them up in your office so that whenever you market, start new programs or partnerships, grow your team, or think about the next step in your business, you will always keep in mind what your WHY is. This will make such a huge difference in your business and your life!

Make sure to lead from the front, be the warrior that brings the others back!

And remember, every day is important!

Do you have a puppy or a baby?!

 

 

 

 

 Our businesses can be classified in two ways…

A Puppy.                                                                   Or A Baby.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What’s the difference?

Sooner or later a Baby will wipe its own ass.

If your business is a puppy, then you have not set up the proper framework for it to run like a well oiled machine, with or without you.

How can you tell if you have a puppy?

  • You don’t have an EFT billing system in place.
  • You are chasing people for money that is owed to you.
  • You have NO systems in place, or you don’t follow the systems you have.
  • You don’t know your #’s
  • You don’t know your expenses
  • You spend money like a douche bag…You have 20 pairs of sneakers, and an Escalade, but live in a shit hole apartment and have zero net worth.
  • You have no Investment Strategy or Savings
  • You don’t have a plan
  • You don’t have written goals

This list could go on forever but you get the point.

If you have a puppy, then it’s time to remove your head from your ass and start running a real business… It’s time for you to have a baby! (I know fellas, that shit just made you cringe!)

If your business is a baby then you are on the right track!

  • You have systems in place for EVERYTHING!
  • You have a system for checking up on your systems!
  • You have checklists for everything that a 5 year old could follow
  • You have your #’s down pat

Weekly / Monthly numbers you should know at all times:

  • Total # of Active Clients
  • Total EFT Revenue
  • Total Expenses
  • Total Net Profit
  • # of clients lost
  • Why you lost those clients
  • # of consults
  • # of new sign ups

These are things that, if done CONSISTENTLY and ALWAYS, will allow you to have yourself a healthy baby!

If not, you will have a puppy that SHITS ALL OVER THE PLACE FOREVER!

It’s not enough just to be “profitable” or end up with excess money at the end of the month. That is short-term thinking. You need to look at your actual net profit after expenses, and how much of that is actually going into your pocket.

Consistency is what matters in business. Those owners who have puppies will be part of the 90+ % who will be out of business in less than 10 years!!

It’s not EASY to raise a baby. It’s going to take hard work, dedication, consistency, and a little testicular fortitude. But at some point this will all pay off, and when it does that baby will be WIPING ITS OWN ASS!

And that is PRICELESS!

Don’t Network. Connect.

How to Really Network Connect and Build Relationships

You’ve heard this before: “It’s not what you know, but who you know.”

You’ve also heard that you should surround yourself with people you aspire to be like, that are successful in areas of life you are striving to reach, whether in business, finances, wisdom, freedom, lifestyle, relationships, or anything else for that matter.

I actually agree with those statements.

The missing link is not just knowing someone but rather creating a connection and building a relationship.

The picture I get when I think of networking is when someone asked you to come to a business networking event and everyone there hands out their business cards to others and tells you what they do. It’s rushed and not very genuine, as you can feel the “what’s in it for me” aura, and people are more interested in talking about themselves than in listening to others.

Connecting and building relationships happens over time, and it takes a lot more than just giving out a business card or holding a five-minute conversation with someone. When you meet a mentor, a possible joint venture partner, a person of influence in your community, or anyone else, you have to remember that they meet a lot of people and if you do the same thing as everyone else, the chances of them remembering you are not that great.

I feel too many people focus on trying to close the deal (whatever it may be in that situation, even if it’s just to try and impress the person and have him or her like and acknowledge you) the first time they meet someone, when they should be focused on building a relationship.

Buy them lunch, or a drink, and ask them about something they are passionate about that you are also interested in. If you know what they do and you admire them for it, then compliment it and let them know you’ve read it or seen it. Most successful people are very approachable and they are also appreciative when they know you are interested in what they do and have purchased their product. Wouldn’t you be if it were you on the other end?

Above all, be yourself and be genuine, as it’s not worth putting on an act; people can see through the bullshit. Honestly, if you can’t be yourself, who will you be? If someone doesn’t like you for you then maybe it’s not the right company, or you need to check yourself (but that’s a discussion for another article).

There are so many opportunities to start building connections and relationships with other people, whether it’s people you admire and look up to, clients, potential partners, people of influence, or anyone else you really want to connect with.

Over the years I have taken a lot of notes on what I have done to build relationships with people, especially in the fitness industry – but also outside of it. This can truly apply to anyone, and although the thoughts may be a little scattered, I promise you there is advice that will help you.

20 Tips to Really Connecting and Building Relationships

1. No matter what happens, it is most important to be real (genuine), be yourself, and always approach the situation from a perspective of adding value to the other person’s life, while not expecting anything else in return. If you follow just this first point you will already be on a good path to creating great relationships over time.

2. Send the person you would like to connect with an e-mail, thanking them for what they do and letting them know about a product or service of theirs you used, your opinion on it, and ask if there is any way you can help promote it.

3. You can never go wrong by gifting someone a book, whether you are meeting them for the first time (if you have a book and you gift it at a first time meeting, then I’m okay with that being your business card), or it’s someone you admire, a client, or a team member, and you thought they would like it and benefit from it.

**I would much rather have someone gift me a used book that cost $3 than give me a $100 gift card, as one is generic, while the other took some thought and will benefit me when I read it.

Since we’re talking about gifting books, gift yourself this, a great book on connecting and building relationships…

book cover never eat alone

4. When you read articles and posts of people you admire and follow, leave a comment on their blog, or on Facebook. Be interested and interactive, as they will recognize that you are passionate about the subject as well as their work, and it easier to connect to them in person once you get an opportunity to meet them.

5. When you have an opportunity, donate time or money to the person’s worthwhile cause. If it is in your community, then you can even lead a charity campaign for the cause. We do this a lot with our “Saturday boot camps for a cause.” I would reach out to a local person of influence after finding out which cause they are associated with, and let him or her know that we will be raising funds for the cause, and that you would love it if they could come and participate as you know that they are a supporter of that cause.

6. Invite a client out to lunch, or for coffee or a drink, just to talk to them and get to know them better and see if there is anything you can do for them.

7. Always keep a notepad handy so you can note what people are interested in and passionate about. After you spend time with them, you can send them a card letting them know you appreciate their time and that you just wanted to thank them with a small gift (which would be something they like from the notes you took). More than anything this shows appreciation for the person’s time as well as the fact that you were present and listening.

8. Whenever I meet people for the first time, I will always send a thank you card thanking them for their time and letting them know it was a pleasure to get to know them.

Image of a Pack document

9. After seminars, always stick around; people go to restaurants and bars and that is where the real connection begins, and where you have an opportunity to get to know people better. Buy a round, or maybe two, and you’ll put a smile on many people’s faces (or a headache if it goes all night…this too has benefits).

Photo of the guys out for a drink

10. Create a get-together where you can invite people to a more relaxed setting: a BBQ, bowling, or a movie night with food at your place. This is something I would do for some of your best clients – get to know them better, and have them bring a friend along.

11. If the person has a product and you admire his or her work, ask if you could do an interview with him or her for your site, promoting the product to your clients, especially when you know it would benefit them. Always keep it real, though, and be a part of things you believe in.

12. Come prepared to events, masterminds, and seminars. Know who will be there and whom you may want to meet and connect with. Have you read their books or bought any of their programs? Have you commented on their blogs or their Facebook pages? Have you connected?! If not, then do it before you meet them. Show them you appreciate what they do.

13. When people do speak to you, always try to understand what they really mean. Also, always let the speaker be the star. This is important with anyone you communicate with, but even more so when you are dealing with your clients.

14. When you see that someone you look up to, or want to meet and connect with, has a problem that needs solving, take the time to find a solution or recommend what worked for you. Remember that even though you may not be as successful financially or career-wise (or in any other area, for the matter), you have advice in other areas that may help them out (that’s why they asked for it). Just the act of taking time to help will be appreciated and build a connection.

15. When you attend events, ALWAYS go and meet people you want to. Everyone started somewhere and was nervous when greeting mentors. Being audacious in networking has some similarities with dating (pitfalls and fears), but without it you will never be able to connect and create powerful relationships. It’s safe sticking to the people we know but building a power circle of trusted people means you have to be out there a little bit. Don’t forget to have a notepad with you and write out all the people you met at the end of the day, as you can later get their information (just do some research) and follow up with them to continue building the relationship.

16. Invite a mentor to your gym to do an in-staff training or seminar that will benefit them. Pay for their time and show you really appreciate what they do. Not only will you and your team or staff get a ton of great information, you will also be able to spend a lot of time building the relationship outside of just “business.”

Speaking at Vigor GroundGroup photoat Vigor Ground

 

17. Since most people have a phobia when it comes to speaking, and this doesn’t necessarily mean in front of hundreds of people, but even when approaching someone they look up to, it’s crucial that you work on getting better at it.

Here are some tips to improve speaking and approaching people you are afraid to:

  • If you’re not ready to take the leap and become the master connector, then be around a friend or colleague that naturally engages with people and learn from them as well as have them introduce you to others. This is a lot easier and less stressful :)
  • Learn to speak. Join Toastmasters Club or anywhere that will give you a chance to practice in a non-intimidating environment, maybe with an instructor that will guide and push you. Since this is one of the most crucial skills that will help you in many areas of life, I recommend you put it high on your to do list…and thank me later.
  • Be part of something you connect to, maybe a hobby (cars, sports, etc.) as it is much easier to get to know people that way, and the possibilities of reaching out and making new contacts will grow. As you’re in that situation, work on growing and becoming a leader (practice at it, YES, practice at becoming a leader).
  • Set a real goal of meeting X number of people per week. How about we start with just one? Doesn’t matter where or how. It could be at the gym or the bar; it could be a new team member. It will get easier and easier with practice and you will also get ore comfortable with the idea of rejection (rejection will happen, and it’s okay…well, somewhat). Remember the saying “Fail, fail again. Fail better.” I’m not sure who said it, but it was someone smart.And remember, you actually have to do it!

18. This is more specific, yet really important. Acknowledge your team, and let them know; show them you care for them as much as you care for yourself. The hardest part of business is managing people. If you want to create a business that works for you, grows, and continues to keep the quality, vision, and community, it starts with your team. This is where the core of the connection and relationships happen, regardless of how you decide to run your business.

Do you show genuine concern for the lives of your team outside of work? Have you made an effort to make them part of the vision, the leadership? I know much has been written about being a ruthless leader, but in this day and age, mean guys finish last. My philosophy is to inspire love and admiration, as well as help people see their full potential.

This goes to connecting right at the core, where you work: your business!

19. When you are at events, dinners, or seminars, have something to say, and say it with passion. When you speak, be sincere, and have something to offer. This is not difficult when there is something that you are passionate about, and you feel strongly about it. Be yourself and don’t try to agree with people because of who they are or because you look up to them. People respect valuable additions to a conversation, especially when you are sincere, transparent about it, and they can see that it what you truly believe in.

20. While you may think it’s important to meet as many people as possible when you attend events, I’d rather spend more time with less people and really get to know them and connect with them. And how can you rush through a conversation where you are building a connection and relationship and expect people to have respect for you and remember you?

Remember, you are only as good as what you give!

21. Yes, I lied, there are 21 tips; do something about it!

This one is important and takes me back to when I was growing up in the industry and there were people I looked up to that wouldn’t give me the time of day or made smart ass remarks if I made a comment in a conversation. That made me feel little and would take away my confidence for speaking. I vowed not to do that to anyone regardless of where they are in their career. So never treat those under you poorly, treat people up or down the ladder with respect.

There are many more tips on connecting and building relationships and I hope these gave you ideas, or, even more importantly, they made a point that you need to put yourself out there and start connecting with clients, mentors, employees, joint ventures, and people of influence. Always be real, transparent, and sincere. Speak with passion while working on providing value and giving. You will be amazed at the relationships you can build over time and how they will influence your business, and, even more importantly, your life.

You can download our lunch and learn networking sheet. Use this to write down who is in your network. Add their information, and reach out. Set up meetings, lunch, or coffee or a drink.

Give yourself a goal to reach out to at least one person a day for the next 28 days, whether it is sending a thank you card, inviting them to lunch, doing an interview for your blog, or just thanking them for doing what they do. See what happens after the 28 days, and let us know.

But there is one piece of knowledge that is crucial to making the above advice actually work:

Actually do this shit!

Image Text Get Shit Done

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