The small room was thick with excitement, so thick it was almost palpable.
By chance I had won a short phone call from a competition on Instagram.
The call was with someone who I had invested time in, reading his articles, engaging in his social posts and watching his vlog. I admire what he does.
And then the phone lit up. Ringing and buzzing. A name flashed on the screen. It was time.
The newest thing in the world of social media. People with personal brands command a lot of attention, by just being themselves. They present an open book of ideas, opinions and advice - and often that book can suck you into their story. You find yourself nodding in agreement with what they say and consuming their content like it's the holy gospel.
People like Nick Cheadle, with 584,000 Instagram followers and 1,261,067 Facebook likes, are influencers. You bet your ass that if he says Ben & Jerry's ice cream causes your biceps to shrink, sales of those little tubs of heaven will decline.
Everyone has their own influencers. It's the people you don't really know, but you still like, know and trust them.
The influencer I got to chat with is Mike Vacanti.
I looked at the phone for 5 seconds, that name still flashing. "How cool is this," I thought, as the guy who I watched while eating breakfast this morning was about to talk to me personally.
Nervously, I answered.
The Golden Nuggets I Learned
1. Stop overcomplicating everything.
As an online coach, it's pretty easy to get caught up in the minutiae. With countless software out there to deliver programs, nutrition plans, videos and coach people, it's always a question of which is the best? Which works better? What about this feature? Blah blah blah...
But do people really care?
As long as it looks professional, is easy to use and most importantly gets them the results they want - I can deliver coaching anyway I choose.
Just pick something and stick with it. Stop looking for the next best thing.
This can pretty much go for any aspect of life. Especially in health and fitness.
There's always going to be diverse opinions, countless articles on 'what works best' and media pushing focus on the tiny details rather than the bigger (and arguably less sexy) picture of overall health. But when it comes down to it, many 'programs' and 'diets' can work. You just need to find one that is simple to follow and will fit your circumstances to be consistent.
Stop overcomplicating everything. Pick something that fits your lifestyle and stick it out.
2. Serve your niche.
People have the questions and I have the answers.
To truly become an authority figure in coaching busy men I need to answer all of their questions thoughtfully and thoroughly.
Honestly and relentlessly serving my niche over and over and over again.
3. Help as many men as possible where they are looking.
As a follow on from number 2, I need to answer as many questions as possible and help my niche, but do so in a way that people can see.
This comes down to using social media and choosing the channels which will be most effective. Being wherever my niche's attention is.
If I can help one guy on Facebook messenger, awesome! If I am able to turn that conversation into a video which is shared on Facebook and helps 100 guys, unbelievably awesome!
It's about creating an online presence through giving.
4. Live like an entrepreneur.
You want to succeed online? You need to live and breathe like you want it.
For me, this means living cheap and respecting my time.
Being able to save money in every corner I can find will leave more to put back into the business. And at the stage of where I currently am, this will go a long way.
What about respecting my time? This is two-fold.
On one hand, this means using any chance I get to work on my business, either creating content, helping people, networking or upgrading my profile. Any little things I can add to the business in those little pockets of time will add up to big things over 30 days, 3 months or even over a year.
On the other hand, it means treating my business like a business. Carving out periods of the day that are distraction free and allow me to focus on bigger projects and create the vision moving forward.
Living cheap and spending all my free time on my business may sound pretty crap right?
But think about it more in sacrificing a few little things to achieve a bigger goal in the long run.
Same goes for dieting. You need to make sacrifices. If Ben & Jerry's doesn't fit your calories for the day, you may just have to skip it. It sucks. But in the long run, that's how you're going to get a good physique. You don't have to make these sacrifices forever but sacrificing these little things in the short term to smash it in the long game is how it should be played.
5. You don't need motivation.
I know what I want to do. I know what I need to do. I know how to do it. So just get it done.
Motivation is fleeting. It comes on after listening to a motivational speech, hearing a song you like or reading a quote on a pretty background. There needs to be something more. A deep down feeling of what I want to achieve and a hunger that won't be satisfied until it's within grasp.
Same goes for you if you're reading this and want to lose weight or gain muscle.
It's not a case of motivation. Motivation doesn't last. You already know what you want to do and the decision has been made. You most likely also know exactly what you need to do too, so stop shopping around for the perfect plan and just start.
"Just start man," says Mike, "like start two seconds ago"
"Go get it!"
I hang up with a blazing fire deep inside me. I got this.