First off I’d like to start this post off by mentioning I haven’t gone totally off the deep end (yet) …
And secondly, this is not really a new series of posts I’m starting on the blog about people that hate personal training (unless you want to see more of them) …
But I thought a little humor would be appropriate for the guy I’m profiling here right now – it’s my buddy Nate Green.
Now, I don’t think Nate hates Personal Training per se – he’s a guy that took his start in training and was able to leverage it into tremendous opportunities in the fitness industry.
Most of what Nate has been doing is online, but not in the typical, e-book, affiliate marketing, joint venture sense.
He broke the mold and took it by a different angle, by landing a full-time gig writing for the top online training magazine, T-Nation, getting a major book published, and then blogging about all of it.
Add to that serial networking, balls, and a good sense of humor, and you’ve got a fitness success story that is still really just in its starting stages.
There’s nothing more that can be said about Nate that hasn’t been covered in the TWO times I’ve had him on the blog – the first was a print interview, and the second was a full length audio call we did, going into Nate’s story.
If you’re one of the thousands of newcomers to the blog since the recent re-launch, I’ve put them both together into one super-post below – here’s the audio first, and you’ll find the print part of our first interview right below it
Whatsup Nate – From looking at everything you’ve accomplished in the industry at such a young age and short time, marketing and self-promotion seem to have been a driving force in your career. This is really interesting because way too many fitness professionals put this on the back burner and expect their marketing to just happen on it’s own – can you talk about that?
I agree with you; most don’t understand how important “marketing and self promotion” are to overall success in their fitness businesses. However, I think there are two distinct points often overlooked from non-marketers and ambitious people, alike:
1. You absolutely must be credible and good at what you do before you unveil your “brand” to your customers and fans. No wannabes allowed.
2. You have to understand that marketing is merely drawing people’s attention to your core values, your habits, your work ethic – everything that encompasses you – projected by what you do, what you say, who you meet, what you stand for, and if you continue to act congruently with that message.
“What I mean by that last point is simple: while you can dupe yourself, you can’t pull a fast one on others. They’ll notice if your message doesn’t “fit” with you.”
Don’t write an e-book about fat loss if you’ve never really produced results with actual people. Don’t try to write about physical therapy issues if you’ve only read an entry-level text about rehabilitation. And make sure to keep your charisma, your innocence, your wit, your sense of humor (whatever it may be), your arrogance, your whatever. Don’t be afraid to show who you are and what you stand for. And if you’re in a position where you can’t express yourself the way you like, I’d suggest figuring out a new career path.
I write about looking good naked, weight-training, girls, bourbon, travel, cigars, sex, steak dinners, Testosterone, and close friends and family. I’m not trying to re-write the basics of exercise physiology. And I never have to use the word “tummy.”
Yes, very true – that marketing must be grounded in reality. I don’t know why, but a lot of trainers are looking to make the jump before they’ve even developed a specialty, learned to deliver value to clients, or earned a stable income from fitness. Speaking of Personal Training, you’ve stepped away from the career for a little while – do you plan on going back?
Currently, no. While I loved training, I owned my own private studio and was actively training clients for the past four years, I realized how exhausting it was for me and how unmotivated I felt.
Now, that certainly wasn’t always the case. I had an amazing “job” and a great group of clients, but I started to lose my passion for my own fitness and health.
I was sulking through workouts, getting less than six hours of sleep, eating at random times, and succumbing to time-famine, causing my social life to sputter.
Does everyone in the fitness industry feel that way? Of course not. There are some who love to train one on one or in small groups; I prefer to speak to a different audience and help them through media, whether my blog, my articles, or my book.
Haha – you don’t have to sell me on that one- me and a lot of trainers are in or have gone through the same situation. Burn-out’s the mortal enemy for any ambitious Personal Trainer. Yeah, you mentioned the media – you’ve moved on to the role as a Journalist now with your job at Testosterone magazine – how did that happen and how’s it coming along?
Honestly, I was a journalist before I ever was a fitness professional; I’ve just combined the two.
A lot of people thought I just fell into my writing career: “It must just be who he knows!” some say. But I’ve always wanted to write. Personal training was a means to an end – a way for me to find out what inspired me and how I could share my idea of the ideal fitness and lifestyle with others.
When I was a junior in high school, I covered sports for my hometown weekly newspaper. I was the editor of my high school newspaper. I wrote for a handful of local publications before I ever had the opportunity to submit to a big magazine. And when I contributed to those magazines – namely, Men’s Health, Men’s Fitness, Maximum Fitness, STACK and T-Nation.com – I was still training clients.
Fast-forward to last winter and I got my first book deal. Skip ahead to this summer, and I accepted a full time position as a contributing editor to Testosterone (T-Nation.com), leaving my training studio in the hands of my business partner. It definitely wasn’t planned out, but it wasn’t out of left field, either. They say “luck” is when opportunity meets preparation. I believe that.
You mentioned the people you know in this industry, and it’s a pretty impressive list. You maintain a social and professional circle of some of the top dogs. What’s the importance of networking in fitness?
It’s as important as networking in any situation. It’s how you get your foot in the door. It’s how you start word-of-mouth chatter, rumors (both good and bad), and cement yourself in the minds of others.
But remember, you must be good at what you do before you try to get “fast-tracked.” You don’t want to arrive at the top of the world to be reminded your skills are lagging way f*cking behind.
“Be honest, interesting, and humble. Be intriguing. Listen. Surprise them.”
Lou Schuler, my editor and good friend, once wrote me that at a certain point in your career, your experience and contacts will speak for themselves. Nobody will be talking if you haven’t introduced yourself, though.
Yeah that’s a good point – speaking of contacts, I checked your Flickr and noticed you recently met someone you’ve admired for some time, Tim Ferris, author of the best seller The Four Hour Workweek which is a really good book I’ve mentioned a bunch of times on the blog – what was that like?
Yeah Tim’s a friend. His book helped me straighten some things out and for that I am incredibly grateful.
He actually contacted me earlier this year and asked to see more of my writing after reading a post I left on his blog. We’ve been in touch ever since. That picture was just our first face-to-face meeting.
And speaking of blogs, you’ve got a great one – everyone can find Nate’s blog about fitness and lifestyle here. We’ve never met, but from reading your blog I get the feeling you’re a real high energy guy, but you also value peace and serenity – what’s your view on life?
High energy? Really? I should print that out and show it to my mom who calls me a “grandpa.”
I work effectively. I keep myself entertained. I have an amazing circle of friends and a very inspiring family. I love the company I work for – their mission and values are very aligned with my own. I value my health. I like to lift heavy shit. I enjoy looking good. I like bourbon, green tea, cigars, glazed doughnuts, Coke Zero, and helping people.
I have diversity and routine at the same time. That’s the “secret”, I think. It keeps me sane, at least.
It’s obvious you place a high priority on your lifestyle – I think people don’t put enough importance on this, and then end-up very disappointed even if they do achieve their goals. Is your lifestyle your first priority?
Absolutely. You and I only have a small, precious amount of time. We need to have the ability—the courage—to do what we want, when we want. We need to outline our “perfect life” and work like hell to reach it.
In terms of combining fitness, lifestyle, along with his own quirky personality and views, Nate’s a guy that broke that’s really found a way to do it on his own terms.
I guess in that case, he must love Personal Training, because like so many other success stories, it’s what got him there.
What did you think of the post and what are your plans to create your own ideal fitness lifestyle? Leave your comments below.