Was 2016 The Worst Year Ever? It Depends On Your Perspective.

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So, when I glanced at the calendar, I made a startling discovery.

I realized that it’s 12/29, and I have yet to pen an “end of the year” article!

Oh, shit, does this mean I am no longer a “blogger”? You may have noticed my frantic blogging pace that I’ve kept up in the last few years has slowed a bit.

Nah, that doesn’t mean I have stopped putting out content, or I am busy with my head buried in a plate of white powder.

It just means I’ve…….well……….changed a few of my philosophies since the start of 2016.

What a year.

WHAT. A. YEAR.

It has seemed like a whirlwind, that’s for sure.

For those of you interested in the business side of things, the statistics are in and the biz has increased 2.57 fold.

Middle school mathematicians – that’s a 257% growth over 2015.

That’s pretty damn cool.

As I tend to do, I am a bit “meta” about the last year. As I think back and I analyze all 365 days, I realize I’ve done some right, some wrong, and I’ve made a few realizations about life, about fitness, and about business that I would like to share with you.

These are in no particular order, but they are my thoughts about the previous 52 weeks which have passed.

 

Thought #1: “Passive” Revenue Is Bullshit

Yeah, okay, you’re going to create a book and it will reap dividends forever, right?

It’s an “asset”. It’s “passive revenue”. You make the book once, and it will pay you royalties in perpetuity.

While it IS pretty damn cool when you wake up and you’ve sold a few books (it happened today, actually), unless you’re Tim Ferris, you probably won’t have enough of a stronghold on the internet to “make it big”.

And passive? Ha! That is flat out laughable.

In order to prepare for my first ebook launch, No Squats. No Deadlifts. Huge Gains., I had to do the following:

  • Write the book. (duh)
  • Create a “cheatsheet”, because some people don’t read and just want the nuts and bolts.
  • Create workout templates and spreadhseets to print and go. Because some people won’t even read the cheatsheet, so they just want a piece of paper with sets and reps.
  • Send the materials off to a graphic designer to create the books. Go back and forth with edits about 5 times.
  • Hire a coach who has done launches before to guide me through the process and can help me with the copy/email list.
  • Reach out to fellow fit-pros and get some affiliates who align with the philosophies of the program.
  • Write articles for 5 of the affiliates, averaging 1,800 words apiece.
  • Put the book and the materials up for sale on a third party site, Gumroad.
  • Create the sales page for the product.
  • Create a sales page for the Pre-Sale List and create discounts for launch week.
  • Create a schedule for promotion on social media accounts – Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
  • Email my list 3 times per week for the 4 weeks up to launch, as well as create the Launch Week copy.
  • Provide customer service during launch week (remember, it’s just me here).
  • Create an email sequence to “auto-sell” the book post-launch. This consists of 8 separate emails which future email subscribers will receive which highlights the value of the book.

There’s more, too, for sure. But those are all the pieces which come to my head immediately.

The only thing that’s really passive is to create a business where you also hire other people to do everything that YOU would normally do.

If you’re a “solo-preneur” like me, there is no such thing as “passive” revenue.

 

Thought #2:  There Actually ARE Real Life Haters

For a long time, I kept thinking that people who thought there were “haters” everywhere were simply full of shit.

Yeah, sure, sometimes I get a crappy email from someone. Hell, I have been accused of doing steroids. I’ve also been accused of hiring “kid body doubles” to help my business.

One look at my girls’ extraordinary height and blonde hair will tell you that they are, in fact, my daughters.

But in 2016, I had an experience that was tough to deal with, personally.

In August, after discussing a few mental health issues with my family and my doctor, I decided to take a step back from teaching. I was ordered out of the classroom by my family practitioner, who was concerned about my long term health.

This is a good thing, right? I thought mental health was becoming important in our current society.

Apparently not to everyone. A number of my old co-workers took offense to this, and gossiped about me regularly at work.

A few even sent me nasty text messages, calling me “selfish” and “self-absorbed”. (Among other, nastier things.)

While that hurt, I had to realize that “haters are gonna hate”. I had to let it go. Not take it personally. Realize that if someone has such an emotional response over someone else’s decisions (decisions which don’t affect them directly), the problem isn’t mine.

It’s theirs.

Tough decisions will always be met with controversy.

Always keep what’s important to YOU at the forefront of your mind.

To me, the important things are my wife, my daughters, and myself.

The rest I need to ignore.

 

Thought #3:  People Are Too Consumed Over Shit That Doesn’t Directly Affect Them.

2016 was a nasty year, apparently.

Lots of celebrities died.

Donald Trump got elected.

More Star Wars movies came out.

Basically, a whole lot of crap that doesn’t directly change the day-to-day operations of 99.9999% of society happened.

But yet, millions of people lost their shit.

I don’t like to hear about celebrities dying any more than the next person. It would be wonderful if we were all immortal beings, and such horrible circumstances as death just wouldn’t have to be dealt with.

I live in the real world, however.

Luckily, I didn’t have any close family members that died.

I worked hard to improve myself. In business, in fitness, and in my own mindset.

I was able to reap the rewards of my relentless focus on improvement.

The President Elect didn’t change a damn thing for me. Other than maybe a smile here and there over America’s collective response.

Once there is actually something to worry about, I’ll start worrying.

 

Thought #4:  Anxiety Is Real.

Not gonna lie, there were times where I used to think that “anxiety” was for those who didn’t “have their heads on straight”.

I had never experienced true anxiety. I didn’t know what that was like.

In the Fall, I had a few bouts of anxiety that I would like to soon forget.

On more than one occasion, I began to have racing thoughts. I started feeling light headed. My fingers and extremities became numb.

My hands actually “whited out”, and I lost all color in them.

I became dizzy, and I had to lay down in my bed. I was worried over what was happening to me.

It was the “feedback loop from hell”. I was having an anxiety attack. And the fact that I was having an anxiety attack made it worse, as I couldn’t get out of my own head.

Each time, the symptoms slowly subsided, and I was able to return to my normal life within a few days.

But it certainly wasn’t fun.

2016 has made me realize just how real mental health issues are.

My heart goes out to those who have symptoms worse than mine were.

 

Thought #5:  The Landscape Of Online Business Is Constantly Evolving.

In the spring of 2016, a pretty big shift occurred.

Facebook, which was once a major source of traffic for me (and many others), changed their algorithm.

External links were devalued.

Instead of getting 1k views per day strictly from Facebook, that number dwindled to 100-200 views per day.

Shares were way down. Page views were way down. Facebook quickly became a ghost town for all but the most prominent of bloggers.

While I fancy my little corner of the internet, I’m not “big time”. I’m not James Clear, Tim Ferris, or James Altucher.

Full disclosure:  The Facebook changes hurt my business.

Now, I could yell, scream, and throw a tantrum.

But would that fix anything?

I needed to adapt and survive.

Facebook Ads became red-hot. At least they became red-hot if you had someone who actually knew what they were doing to help you out. (Shoot me a message if you want the name of my “guy”……..his results are mind-blowing.)

Email lists and Facebook groups became the new Business Pages.

If you missed the memo, you are missing out.

After a slight blip, Anyman Fitness is back, stronger than ever. We are coming out with a new, interactive group coaching experience – Full Access: Anyman Fitness (join the Pre-Sale list here for free sneak preview) that is going to change the way we do business.

I’m confident and jacked up about providing the ultimate in online fitness, at a cost that is affordable to anyone.

I had to adapt. Changes were made that were out of my control.

I’m happy that I was able to get a bit ahead of the curve, and make the necessary decisions to thrive.

 

Thought #6: Traditional Bulking And Cutting Cycles May Be Holding You Back.

“Bulk until you hate your body, and cut until you hate your life.”

Right?

While this age-old adage from bodybuilders may make for a nice sound bite, 2016 was the year I became really pensive about the traditional thoughts of how to gain muscle.

Is it intelligent to put on 30 pounds of fat to gain 8 pounds of muscle?

Especially if you have to then diet for 6 straight months to strip the fat off of you?

Nobody likes eating at a deficit. You get moody. You feel lethargic. You have to plan every damn meal out, pretty much.

In both 2015 and 2016, I had to diet profusely to make up for the fat gains which occurred during bulking protocols.

I had simply followed in the footsteps of those who came before me.

Aim for a pound of weight gain per week. Half will be muscle, and half will be fat.

But are humans really that tuned into their own intakes?

Hell, I’m a “professional”, and I STILL ended up gaining fat way too quickly.

I wouldn’t exactly recommend forgetting “all in” bulks completely.

But after you’ve done a few of them, it’s probably time to change your approach.

Stay relatively lean. Stay healthy. Keep fat gain to a minimum.

Keep it so that if you need to “cut”, you can take care of the job in 6-8 weeks, max.

Your sanity, and your physique, will thank you.

 

Thought #7: Other People Know More Than You Do. So, Invest In Yourself.

Don’t you just hate “guru-land”?

Every time I look at my social media feed, I’m flooded with adverts for online gurus who will show you how to live at the beach while working 10 minutes per day.

The idea that you’ll be able to make millions while sipping on Mai-Tais is a pipe dream.

That shit won’t happen.

Even though I’m not as active on social media as I once was (see Thought #5), that doesn’t mean I’m not working.

It’s just that my approach is different now. It’s a bit “behind the scenes”.

I have a hardcore group of regulars, that are my die hards. They are “ride or die” clients. They love me, and boy, do I love them.

They are clearly my “heavy users”, if you will.

Without them, I am nothing.

The goal should be to get more “heavy users” into your sights.

I realized that this was my priority moving forward.

So, I hired people to help me out. Actually, I hired people when I was at my most challenging point.

Fitocracy, which was my lifeblood for two years, had disappeared.

Facebook, which provided me with 75% of my traffic, had all but vanished.

For a few months, I looked at the spreadsheets, and seriously said:

“OH, SHIT.”

What would YOU do in that situation?

Cut costs?

Cancel cable television?

Get another job?

Nahhhhh, that won’t work. I did the exact opposite.

I doubled down.

I hired not one, but TWO coaches to help me navigate the rocky terrain.

The thing was, I didn’t want a “mastermind”. I wanted direct, 1:1 instruction on how to crush things and make swift steps forward.

The investment wasn’t an easy one to make.

During a relatively low time period, I ponied up more expenses than I’ve ever paid for in my professional career.

I was an open slate. I needed help. And I am coachable, before all else.

I took their advice and I ran with it.

The results were fantastic, and my confidence and my faith was restored.

Mark my words:

2017 WILL be the biggest year YET for Anyman Fitness.

I just hope you’re going to come along for the ride.

 

My Final Thought For 2016: Thought #8: Life IS Good.

Seriously, what are we worried about here in America?

Yeah, we have tragedies.

Perhaps you’ve had one that has happened to you.

If that’s the case, then seriously – my sincerest apologies.

But we have it pretty damn good here in the good old U-S-Of-A.

We are in a time of peace.

We are in a time of prosperity.

You can literally be ANYTHING you want to be.

Yeah, sure, that sounds corny and cliched.

But it’s true.

A few years back, I pictured what would be my “ideal day”.

And it went a little something like this:

  • Wake up without an alarm clock.
  • Get my girls ready for school.
  • Walk them to the bus stop.
  • Hop in my car, and go to the gym.
  • Train for an hour or two.
  • Relax in the hot tub and take a shower.
  • Return home and attend to client emails.
  • Spend a few hours creating and building assets to improve my business.
  • Close my laptop.
  • Pick up my daughters from school.
  • Help them with homework, make them dinner, welcome my wife home from work.
  • Clean up from dinner. Finish homework. Get my girls ready for bed.
  • Relax for an hour before turning in.
  • Rinse and repeat.

That was what I envisioned as my “dream job”.

My “retirement job” if you will.

It was what I wanted to do. To live life on my own terms, create things that will help others, and focus on things that are important to me.

It seems like I may just be “Living The Dream”.

Perhaps you don’t have the same schedule that I have.

Maybe you’re struggling through “normal life”, the same as I did for years.

But is life really that bad?

Do you have a roof over your head?

Food on your table?

Are you surrounded by people that you love?

Then what are you so damn worried about?

This is an unprecedented era we live in.

Life is ripe for the picking.

So, are you going to pick it?

Or are you just going to sit there?

Here’s to making 2017 the BEST. YEAR. EVER!

 

Best,

Jason Helmes
Anyman Fitness

 

 

 

 

 

 

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