Posted on 30. Jul, 2010 by in Marketing Fitness


Sometimes being a little foolhardy is part of being courageous (Im talking about William Wallace, not this abusive jerk)

Sometimes being a little foolhardy is part of being courageous (I’m talking about William Wallace, not this abusive jerk)

Here’s an editorial about the fitness business I wanted to put up here for a while, and there was an article on the cover of New York Post last month that reminded me all about it and summed it up perfectly.  I’m sure it was a cover story in your town as well …

It was all about this construction worker who went to Afghanistan fully armed in an attempt to catch Bin Laden by himself.   Once I stopped laughing, I realized that this story illustrated a mistake I’ve made multiple times in my career, and I just wanted to give you a heads up about it as well.  It’s a mistake a lot of personal trainers, bootcamp operators, and fitness entrepreneurs make, especially in the hyped up fitness marketing age we’re in today (which this site is a part of too, by the way).

It’s the difference between being brave, a risk taker, courageous, ambitious, and being FOOLHARDY.

What would you call this construction worker guy? Brave? Heroic? You know, you got to give him some credit.  He put himself on the line to make something happen.   He took action.  But I woudn’t call him brave or courageous at all.  What I’d call him is foolhardy.

A guy like this the definition of foolhardy.  Let me explain.  A lot of times in success literature, self help readings, sales, and business books, you’re going to hear people tell you to put good judgment and disbelief aside and take massive action; to burn your bridges, to do things outside of your comfort zone, to eliminate fear, and so on.  This is in some ways good advice, because for the most part people take too little risks, aim way too low, and end up taking no action at all because of it.

But realize this risk taking must be met in equal or greater measure with learning, planning, and preparation.  When you combine learning and preparation with action in the face of uncertainty, what you have is courage.  But without the learning and preparation what you have is foolhardiness.


This guy chose to die without falling for the promises of a sleezebag he didnt respect - theres a lesson in that.

This guy chose to die without falling for the promises of a sleezebag he didn’t respect – there’s a lesson in that.

For example, I describe our soldiers, many of which are life-long career soldiers, and the rest of which have gone through some of the most rigorous training in the world, as what you would have to call courageous.  They’ve gone through every measure possible to prepare; to not lose or die, but unfortunately many of them do get hurt and killed, despite all of their training.

Going in fully prepared, but still  in harms way and not knowing what to expect is courageous.  But going in untrained, unprepared and with the odds nowhere near your favor, is what you would have to call foolhardy.  It’s vital that you understand the difference, because the cause you’ll find behind most business failure is action on the side of foolhardiness, no bravery.

If you fail while being courageous, and it’s not a life and death situation of course, you’ll always be better prepared and wiser to make more correct decisions in the future.  This type of failure isn’t bad – in fact it’s very positive because it allows you to learn at a much faster pace than playing it safe.

But being foolhardy leaves you back at square one with little or nothing to show for it.  Truly understanding the difference is something that takes time, comes through trial and error, and through periods of failure and success.  Understanding that there’s a difference is vital before you go and do anything that’s too crazy, like quitting your gym job when you haven’t learned or studied a damn thing about how to become a personal trainer or fitness marketing.


Its funny, in New York you have to wake up every day and make sure you dont do anything stupid thats going to get you on the cover of the post.

In New York, you have to wake up every day and make sure you don’t do anything stupid that’s going to get you on the cover of the post.

But if you’ve done your homework, weighed the negatives, and are going in it with your head up, then you’ve set yourself to succeed no matter what.  This goes for anything in this business.  I’ve found that most studio owners go in grossly unprepared.  Same with starting a bootcamp.  As easy as any of these fitness business models sounds, starting one up without taking advantage of any of the valuable resources there are out there for you to do so is extremely foolhardy.

So the bottom line is there’s a balance.  You can’t sit holed up in the planning process without taking action.  This in fact is the mistake that I see most people making in the fitness business – they’re perpetual planners.

But if you’re a follower of this blog, understand the value in taking action, and are hell bent on making positive things happen, explode your income, and make a name for yourself in this industry, I’d just warn you about the other side; about being foolhardy.  But hey, even if you screw the whole thing up, I doubt anyone will ever put you on the cover of the New York Post because of it.

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31. Jul, 2010

great article and couln’t agree with you more….I observe the same thing in the online world…..while you must also must act. No product,workout,even coach will work..if YOU don’t:)

Travis Tucker

31. Jul, 2010

Hmmmm …. an editorial … then what do you call all the other posts on here? Solid shit.

Adam W.

31. Jul, 2010

Yup – been there. Done that.

This was brilliant – great EDITORIAL!

Raquelle V.

31. Jul, 2010

Hey Kaiser! I don’t know how you do it, but I always feel like you’re talking to me in this post. I guess you would call me your target customer :-)

I tried to leave my gym job after I first discovered your blog last year. I had only been working at my gym job (Bally’s, like you :-) for two months before I tried it. I had a very hard time doing it, but luckily I didn’t tell my manager so my job was still okay.

But then I spent the money to get your TOP LEVEL TRAINER PROGRAM and everything changed. That’s when I learned how it’s supposed to be done. I guess you could say I was FOOLHARDY before, but now I was being BRAVE.

Well like I’ve told you before, business is going really well for me, and I’m making more than 1,000 a week right now. I know that’s nothing for you, but for me that’s more than I’ve ever made before in my life. My first job after I graduated was paying me $12 an hour! Even at Bally’s, my biggest check was $850, and that was every two months. But I got smart and got your program, and that’s when everything changed.

Now I’m ready to start a bootcamp, but I’m going to make sure I get educated about it first (just like you talked about here). I also got your new program to help. Thanks so much for all the help and support!

P.S. I’m still waiting on the rest of the materials, but what I got so far is great! No rush ;-)

Adam W.

03. Aug, 2010

Great stuff Kaiser. This was the most important thing I’ve read in a while, and I’ve made the same mistake myself too in the past. Great job.

Jason Aurman

03. Aug, 2010

Wow! Great post Kaiser. This a real important thing to keep in mind – positive thinking is good, but you’ve got to back it up.


05. Aug, 2010

Hey Kaiser – I loved this article. So true – keep spreading your wisdom brah.

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