The Day I Stopped Caring (Why I Should Be a Failure)

Back in 2007, at the request of a reader in my fitness business, I created a video called “Bodyweight Butt Exercises”.

The day after, when my video editor had posted it, I thought to myself, “Why did I do this? It’s so dorky.”

And then I had an epiphany…

It didn’t matter.

It didn’t matter that it was up there, it didn’t matter what other people thought about it…it just didn’t matter
.

So I have a (bunch of) silly, embarrassing videos on youtube, many of which has been watched over 250,000 times, and are full of teenagers making fun of me.

It’s not something to care about.

I helped someone out, and if people don’t like it, or if it looks goofy, so what. It just doesn’t matter.

That was the day I stopped caring.

Once I was able to let go of concerns about what others thought I was able to write with greater honesty and feeling
.

Now it’s easy for me to talk about the 12 Rules that guide my life (no matter how weird someone else might find them), or the impact that my dad’s drinking had on my life.

Also, it was a big lesson for me to understand that I must write in a way that repels some people in order to develop a greater attraction to the people that matter, like you.

And so the “day I stopped caring” was a watershed moment, because it allowed me to write articles like this for you.

Why I Should Be a Failure

I recently spent Memorial Day weekend down in beautiful San Diego, where the hotel I stayed at was packed with young men and women attending their graduation ceremonies at the adjacent convention center. Many were doctors, or student receiving their Master’s Degrees.

It was a very big day in their lives, and one that all started years ago when they made the big decision to invest (heavily) in their future.

That reminded me of a big decision I once made back in 1998, when I chose to spend another two years in graduate school getting a Master’s Degree in Exercise Physiology.

That was followed by an even bigger decision in 2000 to commit my career to building a website-based business, long before the first IPod, or before their was a Facebook, and even before Google was the juggernaut it has become today.

But I knew at a young age that writing and helping others was something I was destined to do, and I committed fully and completely, and I don’t regret my decision for a second.

As you know, there are many times in our lives where we must finally make a big decision.

To “fish or cut bait”, as the old saying goes.

For example, most of us are quickly realizing that we cannot trust big corporations or the government to protect our financial future, and that we must be do something about it.

Whether we follow through or not is up to us
.

One of the most accessible ways to grow your income is with a website based business. It can be started anytime, anywhere, for the same money you might spend at Subway for lunch (it costs less than $10 to register a website domain name, and there are several ways you could start making money with that alone).

Of course, too many people reading this email will file this under the category of, “sounds good, maybe later” or worse, “sure, he can do it, but I can’t”.

But let me tell you, as a fitness expert who has spent the better part of two decades in the world of body transformations, I’ve found that almost anything is possible.

Men and women of all ages, backgrounds, and “bad genetics” have overcome obstacles to lose 30 pounds, 50 pounds, 200 pounds, or more.

What was the common attribute among them all?

A burning desire to succeed.

And in the past four and a half years since I began coaching other men and women on building their own website businesses, my observations have been the same.

It doesn’t matter who you are, it doesn’t matter how great the odds stacked against you, because if you have an indomitable will to succeed, a positive attitude, a never-quit disposition, and the ability to work hard at implementing proven systems, you can lose 100 pounds or build a $100K per year income.

Period.

Still, I know you might be clinging to the argument that there are just too many reasons you can’t.

You can’t. You can’t. You can’t.

Listen, let’s settle this once and for all.

Do an exercise with me, will you?

I’m going to show you two sides of the coin…two sides that exist in everyone’s lives.

These two sides of the coin influence our decisions and our beliefs about what we can and cannot do.

You’ll see that each side of the coin clearly indicates your chances of success.

What matters is though, is which side of the coin you’ll look at.

So grab a piece of paper, and draw a line down the middle.

At the top of the left hand column, write “Adversity” – or if you want to honest, “Excuses”. Or if you want to be brutally honest, “Why I Should Be a Failure”.

Label the right hand column, “Advantages“.

Now let’s get to work. Under “Adversity” (Excuses), write down everything that you believe is holding you back, and under “Advantages”, write down everything you have going for you in your life that could contribute to your success.

I’ll do this exercise with you, but I’m going to do it as if I was a 24 year old living in the year 2000, deciding whether or not I could succeed by selling my fitness information on the Internet.

Here’s what I wrote down.

I’ve held nothing back, and you can’t either.

Why I Should Be a Failure

1) My well-meaning Mom wanted me to get a safe job, like an accountant…she worried I would end up working in a factory where she worked.

It didn’t help that the most recent applicant the factory hired had the same undergraduate degree as I did (a Bachelor of Kinesiology).

So shouldn’t I just give up on my dream, and settle in to something safe and familiar? Who was I to enter a completely new industry and try to help strangers?

2) My Dad was a 3-decade strong alcoholic. A hard-working man who would die too soon, and who squandered an enormous amount of talent because he couldn’t conquer his demons. His brother was also an alcoholic. So didn’t this give me an excuse to be one too?

3) I’m cheap. This cost me dearly in the early years of my career, when I was too pennywise and pound-foolish to invest in a mentor or coach. It wasn’t until 2006 that I finally smartened up and my business almost doubled in 3 months.

Two years later I met a business partner that is helping me achieve my greatest business goal ever – which I’ll soon be announcing to you.

Makes me wonder what I missed out on because of my failure to
invest wisely.

4)  No technical savvy.

I didn’t have a clue about building a website, fixing a webpage, or setting up an online shopping cart.

And remember, this was long before easy-to-use options like WordPress existed. Heck, “blogging” wasn’t even a verb in 1999.

Fortunately, I soon found that the technical aspect could – and should -be delegated to others.

The real business building comes from product creation and selling, and so I focused all of my time on that.

In fact, the more successful people I meet, the more I realize that the LESS you know about the technical aspect of a website business, the MORE successful you will be (Mark Zuckerberg excluded).

5) My final excuse was that “I had no time“. (But who does?)

By 2003 I was working as a personal trainer from 6am to 8pm almost every day of the week (plus a half-day on Saturdays).

When I arrived home each night, my eyes were too glazed over to even attempt to sit in front of a computer and write.

So I did the only thing left to do, I started getting up 30 minutes earlier every day. During that precious 30 minutes at 4:30am I was able to get “2 hours of work done” and move my business ahead one step at a time, slowly but surely as I built a full-time income from this part-time project.

Those were my excuses. Fortunately they were far outweighed by my advantages, or perhaps I was just too naive to pay attention to them.

Advantages

1) Like you, I was willing to work hard.

2) I learned to create a time and energy management system where I would work on important projects when I was mentally alert and creative.

3) I could build connections. When you help others, people will help you. I discovered this early in my career, and have used this as the foundation of my success.

4) Despite the “adversity” within my famil
y, my mom and dad were incredibly supportive.

Everything I learned about hard work I learned from my parents.

I can’t thank them enough for having patience with me and letting me “try out this Internet thing”.

(Although I’ll be honest, to the day he died in 2008, I’m absolutely certain my father had no idea what I did for a living. Then again, he NEVER once used the Internet.)

That’s it. My Advantages are not exclusive to me, and hardly impossible for anyone to include.

So I’m sure you’ve made two equally strong lists.

Both with powerful reasons for success and failure.

Two sides of the coin.

Which one will you choose to look at?

Your decision makes all the difference.

So let me leave you with this…

In the summer of 2009 I traveled to Independence, Ohio to attend an information marketing seminar by Dan Kennedy.

During that weekend he spent almost as much time on mindset as he did on marketing strategies, and emphasized again and again how overcoming resistance is one of the 7 keys to financial success.

The failure to act,” he said, “is much more often a product of inner, emotional resistance than external resistance. To move forward, you must give up your story, whether it is excuses about your childhood, lack of education, your “bad luck”, your unsupportive family, or where you live.”

On that day, when I heard Kennedy say that, I decided to take a blowtorch to the adversity side of my coin. I tore that sheet in half  and got rid of my excuses forever.

What will you do?

Craig Ballantyne

“I will write with honesty and feeling.” – Ted Nicholas

  • Craig this is literally one of the most powerful posts I’ve ever read. Your posts are always great, but this one hit a home run for sure. Thank you so much for not only being so transparent and authentic, but also for being such an awesome teacher! I learn from every post of yours that I read!

    God bless,
    Ginny

    • Anonymous

      Happy to help Ginny, thanks for the feedback.

  • I second what Ginny had to say. Thanks for taking us through that exercise and my favorite line in the whole post was “I decided to take a blowtorch to the adversity side of my coin”. That line alone if put into action can help so many and teach us all to just keep moving forward.
    Thanks
    Jarrod

    • Anonymous

      Great, thanks Jared, appreciate the feedback.

      Craig

  • Thank you for the inspiration.

    There’s so much of your story that I can relate to.

    I appreciate you and what you do. And I am grateful to have you as a teacher.

    Thank you.

    I have no more excuses for not achieving my dreams.

    Take care, Craig.

    All the best,
    Mike

  • Thanks Craig!

    Man, great post. I can really relate to this post.

    I run my own businesses as well. It has been a lifelong goal for me. (since I was about 8 years old I knew I wanted to run my own business. I always had that fire in me).

    I grew up in upstate NY without a lot of money nor opportunity, but I made opportunity. When I was 8 I started my own little lawn service, cutting lawns in my grandmother’s neighborhood 🙂 I was so small that the handle of the lawn mower was over my head hahaha.

    I always knew that I wanted to have my own business and make my own way.

    It took me from the time I was 8 until I was 29 to actually get a full time business that allowed me to work for myself.

    Just imagine if I would have given up and listened to everyone that told me to quit dreaming and “just go get a real job”!

    You have to have that “I’m going to do whatever it takes type mindset” in life and realize that you will learn through small tests and failures” Just keep trying and testing, keep what works, get rid of what does not and eventually you’ll build systems for getting new customers, selling more products/services, and making more money.

    I think you also have to have that attitude of ” i don’t care what people say about me, I’m going to get this done!”.

    I too focus on product/service creation, getting new customers, and getting existing customers to buy more and more often. Those are the 3 things I focus on.

    Thanks Craig! Keep the good info coming.

    Cheers,

    Jeremiah

  • Bless you Craig,
    Your honesty and openness is inspirational. Thanks for taking the risk to share your process publicly, being willing to tell us how you have learned from your life experiences and have worked to overcome any challenges that have come your way.

    There really are no excuses – if we want to be, do, or achieve our dreams, then we just have to get on and DO it.

    Thank you, your emails are always a great reminder to me to keep doing what I love, and focus on the most important tasks that take me closer to building the “bigger Picture”

    Wishing you JOY,
    Annie D 🙂

  • Shaun

    Craig,
    First of all, I think it’s awesome that you authentically expose and write about many of your struggles and shortcomings of the past on this blog. It serves as great inspiration for those of us who are having (or had) similar experiences.

    Today’s post is another great one with several “hidden” gems.

    I’ve often had anxious thoughts about all my embarrassing videos and posts that I used when I first started on-line just a few short years ago and this post really helped me put it ALL in perspective. I look back now and laugh at myself and make sure to focus on how far I’ve come – instead of what I’ve done wrong.

    I’ve also had many of my friends and family poke fun at me when I first started on-line, but I’ve never let it stop me. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had times where I’ve wanted to quit, but it’s never an option.

    There’s also been many, many times where I catch myself being focused on “why” something is not working instead of “how” can I make it work. Thanks for reminding me to never give up.

    This blog is like getting “mini” coaching sessions directly from one of the word’s best. Thanks for all you do!

  • Love people who are as ‘real’ as you are!

    Thank you for your living example of courage and conviction.

  • yarnball

    Thanks, Craig! Wonderful info that has inspired me to stop making excuses! Looking forward to continuing to be your student.