The Calling

*The title of this post was taken from the Santana song of the same name*

My sophomore year in college (circa 1995) I had nine different jobs.

I remember my parents freaking out when I turned all of my tax forms over to my Dad for filing. Unlike my parents, who were always fiercely loyal to their employers, I couldn’t find anything I really liked.

I tried it all: retail, manual labor, food/beverage, office work, you name it.

There were some jobs I went to for only one day and decided, “Nope, not for me.”

Needless to say, my parents weren’t happy with me.

In fact, I think if I were to count all of the jobs I’ve had in my life, it’s between 20-30.

That’s embarrassing to admit.

For most of my life, I was convinced I’d make it big as a musician. It was only after I came to terms with the fact that a musician’s salary was far below my lifestyle tastes, I knew I had to do something else.

When I started RevFit in 2009, I was at a strange point in my life. My son’s mother and I were dissolving our marriage and I had moved back to Ohio from South Carolina (where my son was born.) The financial risk I was taking by opening a business after the economy took a dive was severe enough that I was encouraged by my parents to move in with them until the business took off.

Safe to say, I had no idea what the future would hold for me.

What I did know was that I had to throw myself into my business if I had any hope of it surviving. You sure learn a lot about yourself when you don’t have much of a safety net beneath you.

In 2010, I attended a nutrition seminar that opened my eyes up to some possibilities for my clients. I had a client (Mike) at the time who was pre-diabetic and I asked if he was willing to try some of the diet protocols I had learned at the seminar. Not being a dietitian, I can’t legally prescribe diets but Mike understood anything we discussed were merely suggestions and there was no promise we could do anything to change his diagnosis.

Lo and behold, Mike dropped the weight he had desired to lose and he was able to reverse his symptoms.

I remember coming home to tell my parents what happened and my father listened carefully to all of the details of Mike’s journey. He offered his kind smile and said, “Jason, you have found your calling.”

I think about the clients who come through my door who, like I once was with my job struggles, have hopped from one diet plan to the other, or one exercise program to another, only to be disappointed by not permanently finding their solution.

And after doing this training/coaching thing for a while, I think I’m in a good place to offer some solutions if your health journey looks a lot like what my job journey did.

Know Your Purpose. Helping people transform their outlook as well as their physiques has been simple in concept but not always easy in execution. Reminding myself of WHY this is important and not trying to force my goals on my clients has been a key point for us here.

Wanting to lose “X” amount of weight is admirable. Hunkering down to give your all to the process is where the challenges start to flesh themselves out. Reminding yourself of what your real motivations are can be helpful if you find yourself getting distracted and away from your goals.

Commit To The Long Haul. I knew with this business that if I gave myself an out, RevFit would fail. Now that we have outlasted the length of time that most small businesses go under, I know it was the right perspective.

Even if you reach your goal in a short time frame, we’re all planning on being around for a long time. Think about a diet plan and exercise program that you envision yourself embarking on for longer than just a few weeks.

Expect Deviations. Not one of my initial marketing avenues for RevFit succeeded. This was after spending thirteen years managing other people’s businesses and majoring in business management. It took a long time of networking, getting good results, building the right base of clients and having great trainers help me before I could consider the business successful.

Even the best laid plans will be colored with detours. Expect them. Prepare for them. And then forgive yourself if it doesn’t all work out perfectly. This is real life. Fairy tales exist in books (and sometimes social media.) There will be hiccups and they are 100% normal.

Document Your Victories. Tracking the progress of our clients via weigh-ins, pictures of PR’s (personal records) and gauging the amount of referrals we receive is a sign of what’s working. Learning new tips and tricks to help our clients succeed along the way (via continuing education) has been huge as well.

Often it will be the small bits of progress that add up to your greatest achievements. Make sure you have a way to track the meals you get right, the extra reps you got in on an exercise that you were previously not as capable of, or even the fact that you only ate three bites of dessert instead of the whole slice. Those things can make a huge difference. If you don’t have a way of looking back to reminding yourself of them, it will be easy to forget when you’re trying to slump. 

Get Support. I have been fortunate to have my wife and my mother in my corner since my father passed away. They have watched me through nearly every peak and valley with RevFit. Knowing that I had them on my side along the way made every step count.

It doesn’t matter if that includes a trainer, a spouse, a colleague from work, or your child. Get the people together who know how to lift you up and support you. We all have saboteurs who can stand in our way (they’re typically the easiest ones to find.) You’ll want to set your sights on the people who keep you honest and know how to motivate you to greater heights. 

It’s been 7 years since my Dad said the words to me:

“Jason, you have found your calling.”

And I’ll pose the question to you: What will be your “call” to finally change?

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