Sometimes fortune smiles upon you, the skies part and you gain a better perspective on something significant. That very thing happened for me on Thanksgiving day. I decided to send an email to Beachbody CEO Carl Daikeler to express my gratitude for creating Team Beachbody and for his leadership. It was a pretty typical email to Carl. Short, thankful and packed with as much humor as I could come up with. He has quite a sense of humor, so I don’t want to bore him. What I got back was a tremendous gift. Carl thanked me for my email and then told me he was happy to have me as a member of his “Tribe”, giving me just a hint of insight as to what he was talking about by saying, “it’s a Seth Godin thing”. Not wanting to be left out of the loop, I investigated further.
Seth Godin is an author, blogger and speaker on marketing. I’m sure I will be letting you all know my thoughts on his book “Tribes“. One of his recent books/theories proposes that real change is accomplished small groups of highly motivated people picking up, and running with, an idea. I quickly found Seth’s speech on The Tribes We Lead on TED.com and was a bit blown away by it. I was moved for two reasons: (1) it struck me that this is already what we are doing with our Beachbody business; and (2) Carl had tapped me as a member of his Tribe. #1 inspired me. #2 humbled me.
I spent the next few days, learning more about Seth and his concepts and exchanging emails with Carl about the bigger picture of what we do as Team Beachbody Coaches. See, I’ve believed for a long time that Team Beachbody isn’t just a business model, or a network marketing company, or a distribution channel for Beachbody’s products, but it is a movement. We are a Tribe. We have a powerful idea: This country is in serious trouble. We are slowly killing our children with the food we are feeding them. Obesity has reached an epidemic level and there are powerful forces that have driven it there. Massive corporations with deep pockets are making a mess out of this country from the inside of the individual out in the name of profit. The Government plays whatever tune they want. We truly will be “Too Fat to Fight” if we don’t do something about it. Why is this happening? Three reasons in my opinion: (1) the food manufacturers have a lot of money and powerful lobbyists; (2) Congress is more interested in getting rich than the well being of our children; and (3) not enough people are pissed off about it (yet). See Mission: Readiness for more info on the “Grass Tops” effort. Watch me for the Grass Roots version.
Enter us. We have the ability to effect change here. The more we talk about it and the more we do about it, the better it will get. Here’s how we do it. One by one. It would be cool to speak to 20,000 people in an arena, or to speak to a Congressional hearing with retired General credentials, but that’s not what we do. We work with people individually. It’s that commitment to change at the individual level that makes us unique and it is our experience that gives us the opportunity. When you’ve done P90X or Insanity, or Turbo Fire, or really any of Beachbody’s programs you learn how to eat and how to train. You learn discipline. You learn work ethic. You get that things in life worth having are worth earning. That things aren’t given to you. That you can’t fake it and that you better dig in and get to work if you are going to finish. In short, you learn essential life skills.
I believe that good ideas spread. That’s what we do. We spread the simple healthy habits we’ve learned through our own fitness journey to other people. We help them get over those walls that we’ve gone over. We setup structures like Beachbody Challenge Groups that create space for people to be successful. I can’t make anyone do anything, but I can create an environment for them to choose to be successful. When they make that decision, the idea spreads further. Being a fitness Coach is about that simple. You learn. You practice. You succeed. You teach. The outcome of this process is that your customers learn the essential life skills you learned when you did the program and you pick up a few new ones. You learn how to give. You learn how to empathize. You learn how to communicate the idea. And, if you are like me, you realize that our society is in desperate need of change and you find your passion. You find that thing that gets you up early in the morning and keeps you awake at night.
Being a business Coach (what we call a “sponsor”) isn’t much more complicated. You begin by learning The Game Plan, which is our way of sharing the ideas and concepts that are Beachbody’s foundation. As you practice those simple disciplines, you make a lot of mistakes and doing so makes you better at them. Once you’ve mastered the system, and had some success, it is easy to teach it to someone else. The cycle repeats: Learn. Practice. Succeed. Teach. You just keep repeating the cycle. And just so we are clear about what’s expected for success, this isn’t one of those “get in early, do nothing, make millions” deals. You keep working. You keep spreading the idea to people. Just because you are a business Coach, doesn’t mean your duties as a fitness Coach are relieved. Quite the opposite. “For of those to whom much is given, much is required”. But I don’t worry much about that, because if you are like me you’ll keep teaching people the health and fitness skills you learned. If you aren’t like me, you won’t and that’s fine too. I’m betting there are enough people like me to make an impact and effect change. Those are the people I’m looking for.
The next step is to become a leader. To become a leader, you must become a mentor and that’s a powerful thing. You can be a great Coach and an incredibly important part of the movement without becoming a mentor, but you won’t be a leader until you learn to mentor the people on your team. Mentors teach other people how to teach. They dig deep into the lives of the people they mentor. Being a mentor means, at times, being uncomfortable. Realizing that you set the standard and that the person you mentor will watch your every move is a little scary. Establishing trust and close relationships requires time and effort. Getting honest with people isn’t easy, but it is necessary. Handling the disappointment when someone close to you doesn’t see the world as you see it (even if they said they did) and leaves our ranks is tough. On the flip side there is an incredible reward. See, when you establish this kind of relationship and you make another person’s “why” your “why” and then you help them get there, there is no better feeling in the world. You can bet it will be that person’s goal to do the same and pay it forward. The cycle repeats: Learn. Practice. Succeed. Teach. – Learn. Practice. Succeed. Teach.
Now that we understand all that, let’s talk about why I believe Carl created Team Beachbody. I believe Carl realized that the infomercial business would ultimately be very successful at selling products, but it could never grow into a movement. It’s hard to rally around a TV set. A movement requires people. It requires leaders. How do you get people to take up the cause and effect change? An easy way is by compensating them for doing so. This picture can be difficult to see, but I believe Beachbody compensates me for educating people about health and fitness. I get paid to take the secret veil off of fitness and nutrition and show people that it really is pretty simple in the end. I’m rewarded for organizing people and moving them in the same direction. You won’t find a line item in my weekly check for most of the work I do, but my compensation is directly tied to how effective I am at spreading these ideas and helping people get healthy and fit and then teaching as many people as I can how to do that very same thing. Ultimately, my position as a leader in this business will depend on my ability to be a mentor to others and how well I can teach them how to teach others.
This weekend I had a unique opportunity to establish a vision for my life over the next 10 years at the Magnitude Seminar presented by Brainstorm. My vision for my life is broader than the following paragraph, but this portion of the factual narrative of what my life will look like in 10 years, sums up what I’m trying to accomplish:
I’ve been instrumental in changing the world. The members of our movement have succeeded in getting the US Government to revise the flawed Food Pyramid and stop promoting corn as some sort of miracle food. School lunch has gone from pizza and chicken nuggets to grilled chicken salads and apples. Our society now recognizes that sugar was the culprit and they know that they were lied to by the very people that were supposed to protect them. That corrupt system is now defunct. As a result, children are healthier and the obesity trend is in decline. It’s easier than ever to get healthy and fit and our society is collectively happier as a result. Those outcomes are due, in large part, to my efforts over the last 10 years. In the end it was all worth it. It was worth all the struggle and all the pain. All the failures. All the disasters. All the strife. It was all worth it, because “we” are better now.
It can be a little scary to write something like that. To make that level of commitment to something. If I thought I had to do it alone, I’d be terrified. But that’s not the case. I have you and a small army of people committed to change to help me. We are already making a difference and the impact that we will have in the years to come will go down in history. For those of you already on board, I thank you. For those of you not yet involved, I strongly urge you to get involved. We need your help. We can change things, but it is going to take a movement to do it. Please do not hesitate to Contact Me for details on how to get involved.