Have you ever wondered if it’s possible to succeed at work and make money while still being a Supermom or Superdad at home?
Today I have an expert in work-life balance, success, and happiness. Her name is Isabel De Los Rios, and she attributes her success to one word. It’s allowed to build her company, BeyondDiet.com, into one of the most inspiring forces in the nutrition industry today, transforming the lives of over 1 million men and women around the world. And she’s been able to do all of this while raising, and homeschooling, her two sons, and having a deep and powerful relationship with her husband. Today you’ll learn Isabel’s secrets to success, as well as how she started in a very dark place and was able to overcome these obstacles through her faith.
Today you’ll learn Isabel’s secrets to success, as well as how she started in a very dark place and was able to overcome these obstacles through her faith. We’re going to break down a lot of excuses and show you what’s possible, no matter where you are starting in life, and no matter what struggles you are going through.
Craig: We’re gonna cover a lot today about how you’re so successful and you’re still able to really spend a lot of time with your kids, quality time with your husband, your spiritual work, and all this great stuff. So, what I wanted to start with is when we first met, you were telling me about your situation and the way your business and your habits were back then.
Isabel: Yeah, so Craig, I don’t know if this happens to you but sometimes it’s even difficult to remember all the way back then. It just seems like forever ago. Actually, I could remember where I was, when I found your online super profits videos, I was living in a client’s home, they were my personal training clients. They needed someone to house sit for them, they were paying me to live in their house and thank goodness that they were because I, financially, was in a really bad place. I didn’t have much money, I didn’t have any money saved. I was actually in a tremendous amount of debt but I did have a personal training studio at the time and I was a very busy trainer. So, I was bringing in a good amount of money but there were just too many months left at the end of the money.
So, I think I was a hard worker, as I see with a lot of people. I was never a lazy person but I was just all over the place. That’s really the best way to describe it, I was just trying to do a ton of personal training sessions, trying to make as much money as I could but that really wasn’t getting me anywhere. So, when I saw your videos and I know that was one of the first programs you created, I was like, “I think this guy knows something that I don’t know.”
Craig: Well, you know, when we got on our first call I was struck by your tenacity and I just thought, “This woman is gonna succeed come heck or high water, there is no stopping this woman.” I could just hear it in your voice. What did you do next? I know you got started and I know you became successful but what was the mindset shift you had and how far were you willing to go in order to be successful? What did you need to do?
Isabel: I had heard Tony Robbins say very, very early on around that time, that he learned a lot through modeling, not copying people but modeling them. So basically you want to find someone who is doing what you want and then model their success. That helped me tremendously because I knew that I needed to find someone that was doing what I wanted to do. One thing that you said on your Super Profits Program was how you were able to work from home and make money, you didn’t have to survive only on personal training sessions.
I grew up very, very poor. I mean I can remember the Christmas where I was able to choose one Christmas present, it was this dress that was like $49, that was a tremendous amount for my family. I think I was even in high school at the time, so it’s not like I was little but money was just always such a struggle and I promised myself that I was not going to live the rest of my life like that.
Craig: Well, if we go back in time that far, I guess it would be maybe a couple of years later when you were struggling with your health. So, what were your habits back then and how did you fix them?
Isabel: Yeah, so it was really a combination of myself gaining and losing weight a million times trying to figure that out and along with that, my mom struggled with type two diabetes. I was kind of chubby when I was younger and then in high school, I lost some of it doing all kinds of unhealthy things, like starving myself and running a ton. Then I went to college and I gained the freshman 15 because I just started eating normally. Right? But I guess eating tons of frozen yogurt every night is not normal. I was no longer starving myself and running all the time, so I was like “Well, this normal eating thing isn’t working. I don’t really want to starve myself, I hate being hungry.” So, it was just like such a journey of figuring all of that out. On top of that, my skin was really bad because I was eating all kinds of garbage and then my mom was really struggling with her type two diabetes, so I started reading about nutrition and exercise until I figured out what I needed to do.
Craig: How did you get through to your mom about nutrition and exercise? I know that’s always been a struggle for a lot of us fitness folks and just people, in general, to share with the older generation how they need to be eating. I know that eventually, people come to it by the fact that, “Hey, it’s this way or we’re gonna end up in a whole lot of trouble,” so what was the journey there for your mom because I think that’s very important to share with everyone.
Isabel: Yeah, I think everyone needs to have their heart attack moment, that’s what I call it. Unfortunately, for some people, it is a full blown heart attack. For other people, it’s not. Like, my heart attack moment was the fact that I was in my 20’s and my acne was so terrible. When you’re a young woman, right out of college and your skin is so horrible, you’re really willing to clean up the diet and do whatever you need to do. My mom didn’t even want to hear this nutrition stuff until her diabetes got so bad that her kidneys failed and she was on dialysis for four years. After four years, she finally came up on the kidney transplant list, she had a successful kidney transplant and she woke up that evening from the eight-hour surgery and she looked at me and she said, “Isabel, I’m willing to do whatever you tell me to do.” After her transplant, she was on prednisone, which is pretty heavy duty and she lost 40 pounds where most people gain a tremendous amount of weight. Not my mom, she lost a ton of weight, she felt great, she got her diabetes under control, and the transplant was successful.
Craig: How important was it for you, your clients and your current business for you and your mom to go through what you had gone through?
Isabel: I can still feel the feeling that I felt when my mom went to her first post-transplant appointment and the doctor said to her, “Whatever you’re doing, keep doing it, ’cause it’s working,” and for my mom to be able to enjoy life again after she had gone through dialysis, like I can still feel that, as we’re talking about it. That is why I’m just so excited and driven and want to share this information with clients. I think it was critical. I mean, sometimes I think back to that time period and how ugly it was and how hard it was but man, I don’t think that Beyond Diet would be where it is today if I hadn’t gone through that because I still read the audio’s for the VSL’s with like the same passion I had nine years ago.
Craig: Well I hope that you continue that because it really is the passion that comes through and that’s why people follow you because it means so much to you. What do you feel like you were put here on this Earth to do?
Isabelle: I know it’s to communicate this information so that people don’t have to go through the same struggles my mom and I did. Sometimes people say that and it sounds so cheesy but look, my mom was put on some heavy duty, diabetic medications, high blood pressure meds, cholesterol meds, the whole bit and all the side effects from those medications are what damaged her kidneys. So, I’m not blaming anyone. I mean, really, I truly appreciate that this journey had to be mine but the side effects from those medications are what affected her kidney and then she had to go on dialysis and I don’t want that for people.
Craig: Now, you had a moment where you were ready to check out because you’ve been very successful and got to a point where it’s like, “Holy cow, this is really great. This is more than I ever expected.” I guess you get into a little bit of complacency but what did God say to you when you were ready to slow down and pull back and what did that mean to you?
Isabel: I really can remember this vividly. Christian, my oldest, was almost two years old or just turned two. Marcos, my youngest, had just been born. So, here I have an infant and I have a two year old and we were here at our lake house in South Carolina and I had made plenty of money. I think this was like five years in, I had made plenty of money, we owned two homes, and we had been pretty smart about it so I had saved a good amount. It was hard to run the business and have two small children and you know what? I just wanted to be done with the whole thing. I felt like God had told me to put together a program, to share what had happened with my mom and put it out into the world, I had done that and I was like, “God, hey, am I good to go? Like can I just be done?” And I swear I heard an audible voice say to me, “You have only just begun. I will do this with you. You have only just begun,” and you know I think that I have gotten very good at hearing God’s voice. I was kind of mad. You know? I just wanted to stay home and ride the wave of my success and I don’t know, the money I had saved and take care of my kids. I decided I’m not really very happy with this answer but I’m gonna keep going. Again, thank God I did because here we are, almost another five years later and I think about how this business has been even more of a blessing to me and my family.
Craig: That’s wonderful! You mentioned your young boys and I think this is really important for a lot of our listeners who think, “Oh she was able to do this and get started because she was a single trainer back when you got started,” but you were engaged and your business really took off right around the time you had your first child. How did you structure your life for success so that you could continue to do this?
Isabel: That’s where you really helped me during that time, Craig. I mean and that took a lot of trial and error. Basically, it’s the same thing that I do now except now I’ve really refined it more and more. It’s focus. That’s all it is. I mean, if you want to do something, you have to do away with the nonsense, whatever the nonsense is for you and you’ve just got to have laser focus because you only have so many hours in the day.
Craig: You know, that’s really, really great. Earlier today I was on Linked In and there was a question that Ryan Dice answered and the question was; How do you do it all? Ryan’s answers were, “Well, there’s no option, you have to do it all because you have the responsibility to the kids.” I really just loved the way that he phrased that. That if you’re going to be successful, you have to commit and be focused, exactly as you said. So, what do we say to somebody who is looking for the lowest cost investment that someone can make to improve their schedule and open up more time for what matters? What were your recommendations that anybody could use and implement right now?
Isabel: Well, I think that what people have now is your book and I’m not just saying this because it’s a plug for your book but when I first read it, I thought, “Wow, this is what I had to scrape up thousands of dollars on a credit card to get, personally from Craig that’s now in a program for less than, goodness, not even close to that amount,” I think they really have to start there. I kind of have this new thing, where I tell myself, “How can you fix this problem with less? And you already have the answer, Isabel,” I tell myself that all the time. You already have the answer inside you.
Craig: I love that ’cause I was going to ask you how your daily schedule and structure had evolved and we’ve been talking about this recently and you’ve just got a really, really great less is more philosophy on things, it seems.
Isabel: I would say that if you haven’t done all the internal work first. Don’t even think that you need an extra thousand dollars to hire a nanny. Don’t even think that you need to hire your first employee, you may not even be there. Start with yourself first and those daily habits.
Craig: Now, what about communication? That’s another thing that’s free. So how do you make sure communication is effective between your spouse and your business partner?
Isabel: Jeff, my business partner, and I have been best friends for over 20 years. So, we know each other really well. He wants the same things for me that I want for him, and we have very similar goals. We both want each other to have a peaceful life. We obviously want to make money and we want to make sure our employees are taken care of. So as long as we have the same intentions and our results are there then he doesn’t care if I work all day or if I work one hour. If the result is there, the result is there. So that’s in my business, with Stewart, my husband, I always remember that we are a team in this. It’s that constant over communication, which I think makes a relationship stronger, you know, whether that’s a marriage, whether that’s a business partnership because you’re both considering what the team needs are.
Craig: So, what happens if things go off the rails? I’m sure not every day is perfect, so when things do go off the rails, what do you do to get focused and back on track?
Isabelle: I think to myself, what is the most important thing today? What is the one thing, if I accomplish it today, will make today successful and what is more important in this moment? It might take you one minute to do that, it might take you 30 minutes to do that. However long it takes, just get yourself back into the right place and just remember, everything isn’t going to fall apart. I know you really like this word too now, Craig, after we both read the experiment, sometimes you just do have to surrender to the moment.
Craig: When things do get off track there, what can you do to plan in advance to make sure that those days happen less and less?
Isabel: What you do is you learn from every, single experience. If something gets derailed, you get yourself in the right place first and then you decide, okay, this thing happened. So now, since it probably might happen again, how can I prepare for it? It’s just thinking through things like that. If something happened, what could be a good solution for it next time?
Craig: Now, let’s describe a perfect day of high performance and quality family time for you. What does it look like when Isabel is in the zone?
- A perfect day would start by letting myself wake up at whatever time my body wants to wake up.
- Then, I will get up, I will make a tea and I will go right in front of the computer and start working. Now, I have played around with a bunch of different routines like, I tried to do meditation first, I tried to do prayer time first, and I tried to do my bible study first, but I seriously just need to get my butt in the chair and do the first thing that I already have on my list.
- I do that and then I do the stuff I love. I do my bible study, my prayer time, and my gratitude journal, but because I’ve already gotten the work thing done, I can then more peacefully read my bible and sit in meditation.
- Then, I go right into a stretching routine. I love it, it’s like some yoga, some stretching.
- Then, my first customer wakes up and that’s one of my kids. I make breakfast with them, we eat breakfast together, I take a shower and get ready for the day, they get ready for their day.
- That’s usually when I do school with them. I only do about an hour to an hour and a half of school with both of them.
- So, we do that and then the kids pretty much then just do whatever the rest of the day. They can go outside, they’re free range kids.
- I get back in front of the computer at about 11AM and I will work until about three or four and that will be straight through.
- Usually by about four o’clock I can call it a day and then I go outside and go and do whatever the kids are doing.
- That’s really it. I make dinner and spend the rest of the night with them.
Craig: What are Isabel’s weaknesses when it comes to stealing away your time and how do you overcome those things?
Isabelle: Well, just two weeks ago I took myself off Facebook because I had no discipline around it. I had to take it off my phone. I had zero discipline when it came to social media because you know what? I’m a homeschool mom, getting into yoga and that kind of stuff now so all I wanted to do was be on social media and talk to my other homeschool moms. I gave myself some work goals and I told myself, “When you have all these things done, when you have more control over this phone in the day, you can go back on social media and until then, no.” That’s it. I just took it away from myself.
Craig: Do you have two or three rules from your life that busy parents and busy entrepreneurs might adapt or consider creating their own?
Isabel: I’m really going to encourage your listeners to define success for themselves, not what anybody else thinks is successful. What is success to you? For me, I have friends that have much newer homes and nicer homes, I have friends that live in incredible cities, I have friends that go on incredible trips but I know what success is for me. I would just encourage everyone to start there because your definition of success might be a lot cheaper than you think. Like, you might be a lot closer to that than you even think. Don’t waste time on, “Then I’m gonna do this, and then I’m gonna do this, I’m gonna do a little bit of this, a little bit of that.” No. Just what’s going to get you to that definition of success and Craig, I think you’ve been really great about this too. You know what’s important to you. The less stuff, the better.
Craig: Isabel, the last thing that I want to ask you is something again, for those people that are starting from scratch, with just a dream, as you once were; what do you want to say to them?
Isabel: Well, you know, I want to say, again, define what success means to you and hold on to that. The other thing is, and again, I know people hear it all the time, but don’t think it’s possible for someone else and not for you. I mean, there is nothing, nothing that makes me different from anyone who’s listening to this. Just the same way, Craig, that when I first saw that online Super Profits video that you had nine years ago, I just figured, “If this guy figured it out, I’m sure I could figure it out too.” Right?
Craig: Thank you so much Isabel. We are all very grateful that you’ve been able to share this information about how you can succeed at work and still be an amazing parent at home and I think you just have incredible work, life balance. Thank you very much.
Isabel: Oh, you’ve got it Craig. I’m just always happy when we get to chat.