MUSCLES and MILLIONS (Feat. Craig Ballantyne)

If you’re an entrepreneur, and you’re not working out, you’re not challenging your body, you’re not going into the gym and giving it your all, you’re just dogging it in the gym and dragging ass; you’re a little bitch.

Bedros Keuilian: Hey Craig, what do you, me, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and the Rock have in common?

Craig Ballantyne: Well, we’re all beautiful men, and I think I know where you’re going here, but you tell me.

Bedros Keuilian: Well you’re right. In addition to being amazingly handsome, we work out, we work out. We’re fit, we’re jacked, we stay in shape. We make that a priority and we’re hard-charging entrepreneurs, and that’s what I wanna talk about today.

Craig Ballantyne: Yeah. I think there’s a really great overlap there about the lessons that I learned in the gym when I was 16 years old and I went to the YMCA for the first time in my home town. I remember doing a bench press workout, and I remember leaving and I had one of those old Ford Tempos, and I could barely lift my arms up from my first workout to grab the steering wheel.

But that sent me down the path of discipline and entrepreneurship and structure, routine, all of these things. And relentlessness and resilience that allowed me to become successful. And so I think, is that where you’re going with this?

Bedros Keuilian: That is where I’m going. One of the things that obviously I wanted to talk about here, is the connection between entrepreneurs who are jacked or in great health, physically fit, and entrepreneurism. Another person that comes to mind is our friend Ed Mylett …

Craig Ballantyne: Oh yeah, max out.

Bedros Keuilian: Max out, the guy’s like a brick house. He’s got the gun show going on, and he’s a relentless, focused entrepreneur. And one thing I realized very quickly when I started working out is, we put ourselves through adversity. Think about what happens when you go to the gym. Whether you decide to go on a five mile run or you go to the gym and lift weights or you do yogas and Pilates, it comes with a lot of discomfort.

Craig Ballantyne: Sure.

Bedros Keuilian: It comes with a lot of new territory. If you’re working out in the gym, you’re probably gonna increase the weights or the repetition, or you’re going to do it faster. If you’re running, you’re probably gonna add another mile or two every few weeks or months.

We’re always increasing the resistance to challenge our body. Well, what’s great about that is, the parallel between the exercises that we do in the gym and our desire to constantly challenge ourselves with resistance and do the discomfort, uncomfortable stuff, that happens in business.

We have to challenge ourselves as entrepreneurs. Each year that we’re more successful, comes with new challenges and setbacks and adversities. And if we can overcome the ones in the gym, we’ve trained our body mentally and physically to also overcome the challenges that come to us as entrepreneurs.

Craig Ballantyne: Absolutely, and it’s not just when you say every year you have to get better and better, but even within every single workout there’s gonna be some sets that are tougher than others, some exercises, and it’s the same day to day.

You post that very popular picture on Instagram where it’s like here’s my day as an entrepreneur. It’s up, it’s down, it’s way up, it’s way down, it’s way up. It’s just like that, and that’s how every workout goes, that’s how every day goes.

Now I am curious, how did you get into working out?

Bedros Keuilian: It was just straight up over fat, is what I was. And so I started working out and eating right, and one of the guys on the high school football team who was in my science class, ended up helping me with my fitness ’cause I didn’t know any programming for exercises. He helped me, and so I lost the weight.

I never asked out Nikaya, but it changed my trajectory in life. And truth be told, I was a pretty lazy kid, I ate cereal breakfast, lunch, I would’ve eaten it for dinner if my mom didn’t force me to eat something else.

Craig Ballantyne: And Arby’s.

Bedros Keuilian: And Arby’s, well actually there was something else, it was Arby’s and Kentucky Fried Chicken. So not that it was anything better, but the bottom line was that when I started working out, I realized there’s this addiction that comes from lifting weights, challenging your body, running out of breath and still going for it anyway.

Craig Ballantyne: Yeah, and the feeling after of having done something, being productive, having a purpose, right.

Bedros Keuilian: The high.

Craig Ballantyne: Yeah, absolutely. So I also love the stories about Arnold, the icon. You hear the stories, if you’ve ever done any research about Arnold, not only did he train hard and he did all that resilience, persistence, everything. He overcame so many objects, and probably channeled a lot of that through his training.

But he also was an entrepreneur from day one. He knew the importance of getting in, being an entrepreneur, buying real estate. He was sleeping on a couch, more sacrifices while he had bought real estate, but he was sleeping on people’s couches back in the day.

Bedros Keuilian: Yeah. And that’s the thing that people who work out, who are fit and jacked, do. They put themselves in uncomfortable positions over and over again. ‘Cause look, no one is forcing you to wake up early in the morning and go on a long run. No one’s forcing you to wake up and do 100 burpees. I think our friend Joe Polish was doing 100 burpees every morning for a while, I hope he’s still doing it.

No one’s forcing you and me to wake up and go to the gym and just put ourselves through a brutal workout. But the reason we are doing that is because we’re building a routine in life. It becomes a consistent pattern in our life. And just like the challenges that you’ll have as an entrepreneur, you need routine, you need a pattern to overcome those challenges as well.

And to me, it’s been a game changer. I’ll give you an example. I realized real quickly one day that as an entrepreneur, I’m always gonna have challenges, resistance, adversity. Most people who are entrepreneurs and don’t workout, the first time or two they deal with a setback, they start questioning, maybe this isn’t my path, maybe I shouldn’t be doing this, maybe I should be doing something different.

For me, because I’ve always worked out ever since high school, I realize, “Hey, wait a minute. The best things happen to me once things get tough.” When I’m working out and I need my spotter to come in there and give me another spot to eek out another few reps, when it burns, the lactic acid is building up and I’m sweating and I’m hot and I’m running out of breath. That is when my body sees the greatest amount of positive change.

Well, I just draw the parallel to my business. Oh, when something tough is happening right now in my business, holy shit, I’m about to see a big breakthrough financially or with impact. And so I don’t stop, I excitedly go through the repetitions as an entrepreneur just like I do in the gym, because my outcome on the other side is greater than the weakness on this side.

Craig Ballantyne: Absolutely. Remember your first Fitness Business Summit? I love this story. We didn’t even have a stage and no one could see me at the back. But you went and did the next year, it got better. The year after that, it got better, the year after that, it got better.

And so entrepreneurs, one of the things that those that train, one of the things that they both have in common there is that they started, they got started. ‘Cause most people don’t get started, being an entrepreneur is tough, it’s scary. Going to the gym, it’s tough, it’s scary. But if you can go to the gym and get through that, then you know, “Hey, I can get through anything.”

And so you go out, you get started, you overcome that initial inertia and then you make it that habit and a routine. I remember when I was in high school, I would go to school all day, then I’d go to my part-time job and then after my part-time job, I would go immediately to the YMCA in Stratford Ontario and lift weights there. And I still go back there sometimes, and then I would go home and have dinner and then do my homework.

And it was automatic. It was automatic. It wasn’t a question, it wasn’t a choice. It was, “Okay, get in the car, go to the gym.” And because I built that up, when it comes to entrepreneurial stuff, it’s like, “Get up, go and write. Then go and do your calls and then follow the script that you have for the sales calls.” And it’s just following those. Rituals and routines build success, because none of this is rocket surgery.

Anybody can go and go to the gym and we know a lot of fitness competitors who … they aren’t the NASA rocket scientists that’s for sure, but they follow the plan. And the same with entrepreneurs, you don’t have to be the smartest person in the room, you just have to do the work. You have to get started, and it all starts with you building up that entrepreneurial muscle like you build muscle in the gym.

Bedros Keuilian: That’s exactly it. It’s the consistency. Because we get hooked on the fact of consistency builds muscle or consistency burns fat, and consistency makes me look younger, consistency in the gym gives me more energy.

And that same consistency, going back to how you do anything, is how you do everything. You’re not gonna find someone who’s jacked and athletic, but has poor work ethic. You’re just never gonna find that person.

A great example of that is the Rock. Here’s a guy who was a pro wrestler, and kept himself in tip top shape. We know plenty of pro wrestlers who are not in great shape. He was a pro wrestler …

Craig Ballantyne: ‘Cause you’re traveling all the time, you’ve got all the excuses in the world.

Bedros Keuilian: You got a million excuses. The time delay, I’m traveling, my body doesn’t feel right.

Craig Ballantyne: The food you’ve gotta eat.

Bedros Keuilian: And now he’s an actor. He’ll shoot for eight, 10, 12 hours at a time, and he’s shooting in different parts of the world, different time zones. He’s out of his element, yet he always makes time to workout, which is why he’s also the most consistent and the most profitable celebrity out there right now.

Craig Ballantyne: Absolutely. It is a huge game changer. And so what I want people listening to do right now is just think about, man remember how good it feels when you go to the gym. Because listen, we’re talking about building the habits and all that stuff, but you also are building the energy. The energy that allows you to focus.

And so you know you’ve gone through times where you traveled on a work trip, and as soon as you travel for a work trip, as soon as you get in that airport you’re like, “Oh, all the rules are off. I can got to Auntie Anne’s and get a pretzel or a Cinnabon or whatever.” And then you go to the seminar, and you spend all day sitting down, and then you go out and have these heavy meals and you go home feeling like crap.

But you also know how you feel when you’re consistent, when you’ve had those work trips where you do go to the gym, where you get outside, go for a walk, you get sunshine, you eat healthy and you know how much more energetic. You have been on both ends of that extreme, and you know that if you wanna take it to the next level, it’s time to take this mindset, this fitness mindset and apply it to your life.

It’s no joke that guys like Ed Mylett, even Grant Cardone’s working out. All the female entrepreneurs you know, they are consistent with their workouts and their habits, and it’s because it builds that base foundation. Imagine your success foundation as a pyramid. If you had to build that foundation first of your energy and your success habits, including high performance self-care stuff so that you are able to build a very high profit peak at the top of your pyramid.

Bedros Keuilian: Amen. And to that point, to anyone watching and listening to this episode. You’re probably thinking, but what if I travel? Does that make it okay? Like Craig said, all of a sudden you’re traveling, that doesn’t make it okay to eat Aunt Annie’s pretzels.

So if you’re traveling, it doesn’t make it okay to stop working out. I was doing Andy Frisella’s podcast, the MFCEO project. Big shout out to Andy Frisella, make sure after listening to this, you tag him and you let him know we gave him a shout out, show Andy Frisella some love.

Craig Ballantyne: And that guy’s showing the journey too of entrepreneurship and in the gym.

Bedros Keuilian: Absolutely, yep he’s paying his dues as he says. And we got to St. Louis like 11 o’clock at night. And I turned to my camera guy and I was like, “Dude, I’m gonna go to the gym and workout.” Because it was still shoulder day. It just so happens that I’m in St. Louis at the Four Seasons, and I gotta be on a show with Andy but it’s still shoulder day.

Craig Ballantyne: Got it.

Bedros Keuilian: I’m training arms and shoulders, and nothing is gonna stop me. And so I did. And so, you remember our Navy Seal friend who applied for a job here?

Craig Ballantyne: Yeah.

Bedros Keuilian: When I was talking to him upstairs, he goes, “Look, here’s how I look at my days. Every day I have a mission, and part of my mission is to make money, to keep my body healthy, to work on my mindset. And it doesn’t matter what goes wrong in the current job that I have or that I went to the gym and then I had to leave the gym. If today my mission consists of getting a workout in, I will not go to sleep until I’ve accomplished the mission.”

And I started thinking like, “Man, I’m not a Navy Seal, but I’m gonna start thinking like that.” Every day I have a mission to move the money needle, to move the impact needle, to work on my fitness, to make a deeper connection with my family and that’s part of my mission. I’m not gonna go to sleep until I’ve accomplished my mission.

No high performing, special forces guy is gonna go to sleep and just give up without accomplishing the mission. They’re all about the mission.

Craig Ballantyne: That’s so funny, ’cause I recently gave that advice to a coaching client of mine. And I used the phrase “operator”. And actually I stole this from Jerrod Glandt, who works with Grant Cardone. He said, “I’m an operator.” And I’m like, “I’m an operator too.” And I used that same mentality.

When I go and when I’m traveling for work, I am going to give a great speech at an event, but I’m also going there with the mission of staying on my routine. The first thing I do when I land, I don’t go to the hotel. I go to Whole Foods, I am on a mission to go to Whole Foods. My backpack is packed out, I know where exactly the protein bars are, the nuts are in the backpack. I know I’m gonna go and grab water and I know that there’s no excuses. All I have to do is be planned and prepared like an operator.

And one of my clients, he said, “Well I go and do these certifications, and then I go and get drunk with people after and I come home, and I got sick.” And I said, “That’s not how an operator operates. The operator goes in there and they’re on that mission.” And I don’t read the Seal books, you do, but I get the lessons from these Seal books.

And I remember you telling me about, either it was No Easy Day, the Marcus Luttrell story, whichever one that one was. And they were on a mission, if they had to sacrifice themselves, didn’t matter. They had an operator of that they had to do it.

And so they went out and operated like that, and I thought, “You know what? If they can do that, like you felt like that. It’s the same thing.” And so there’s no excuses, you just have to plan. And then that’s another thing that we get from training.

You don’t go into the gym and just wander around, because even those people with experience have had those workouts and then not good workouts. The best workouts are when you go in there and say, “I know what I gotta do today. Maybe I don’t feel like doing it, but I’ve got the plan. I’ve got a great training program.”

And that gives you faster results. And then that bleeds over into business where you go, “Well listen, if I go into the gym and get better results with a training program, it’s probably gonna give me better results in my business if I go in with a plan. If I go to a coach,” which is another thing that people in high performance athletes, body builders, fitness competitors, they get a coach, they follow the coach’s advice, they have that plan. And it’s such a parallel between business and training, that if you have a plan and a coach, a plan and a coach, you are gonna get better results than anybody else in the competition.

Bedros Keuilian: That’s the bottom line. And here’s the big lesson I’m gonna give to everyone listening to this episode right now, is that if you’re an entrepreneur and you’re not working out, you’re not challenging your body, you’re not going into the gym and giving it your all, you’re just dogging it in the gym and dragging ass, you’re a little bitch! And if you’re being a little bitch in the gym, I promise you, you’re being a little bitch in business, and that’s why your business is struggling.

Guys and gals, I get excited about working out. I know Craig does too, and so does Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Rock, Ed Mylett, our friend Andy Frisella. You look at the best businesses, and you will find people behind it who work out relentlessly. Jesse Itzler, right? He’s a working out machine.

Craig Ballantyne: 100 mile runner. Shana Sumpter, a friend of Jesse’s, she loves her hardcore endurance training. It doesn’t matter, I built my business making fun of endurance training, I don’t care how you train these days, you just need to train the right way for you that builds that unstoppable mindset and that’s gonna be a game changer in your business, your family life, everything. Because how you do anything …

Bedros Keuilian: Is how you do everything.