My Manifesto and Personal Mission Statement

This past weekend in Louisville, I attended a mastermind meeting with a group of outstanding fitness professionals. I sometimes struggle to open up at these events, but this time, I decided to open up a bit more than usual and discuss something that’s really important to me.

At the risk of sounding hokey, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my future and how I can make the most of it. It’s amazing how badly you want (and need!) to prioritize your life when you have a tiny human  that is totally dependent upon you!

Over the years, I’d like to think I’ve been fairly successful – but how can I maintain that success going forward?

How can I continue to grow, develop and evolve?

But the biggest question I asked myself was this: How can I leverage my time most effectively so that I can not only be a leader within our field, but also have the time and energy necessary to be a great husband and father?

As a result, I decided to create a personal mission statement. Now we know the deal here – companies often create mission statements only to post them on a wall and totally forget about them!

This is different, though – this is something that I want to use to not only help me clearly define where I’m going in life, but to help me make better decisions as a result.

So without any further ado, here’s my personal mission statement – as well as a bit of breakdown as to why I worded it the way I did.

“To positively influence, on a deep level, as many people as possible to the benefits of proper fitness and strength training.”

Short, sweet and to the point.

There are three key phrases here that I want to explain a bit further.

#1 – On a Deep Level…

Let’s be honest – blogging is pretty easy. There’s no real timeline, or finishing point.

You can wake up one day, have a great idea, and blog about it.

Or, you can just do nothing. It doesn’t really matter.

Along those same liens, blogging is a Readers Digest version of what a coach really thinks and feels. It’s an incredibly small snapshot of their overall training philosophy.

But the absolute WORST thing about blogging right now is everyone has one. If you try and read or follow everyone’s blog, it’s like a firehose of information.

What’s important? What isn’t?

Who’s right? Who’s wrong?

It can definitely be overwhelming.

After running a survey a few weeks back on my newsletter, I’ve found out one very important thing – my readers want me to BLOG LESS, and create more REAL CONTENT.

Manuals, DVD’s, webinars, etc. – stuff that is more than a glimpse or snapshot, but more of a total package.

And I’m more than happy to oblige them on that. After the next two weeks, I’m definitely going to switch some things up with the blog that I think you’ll appreciate.

With regards to coaching, the days of me training people for 12, 14 or even 16 hours in the gym are probably a thing of the past.

Does that mean I’m going to go home and do nothing?

Absolutely not.

While I may not work the sheer volume of hours I did before, I’m going to make the hours I am coaching extremely purposeful and focused.

Again, it’s not just doing more – it’s doing things better.

#2 – As Many People…

Again, this comes back to priorities. I’ve discussed this a bit before, but I think a review is probably necessary.

If I train 20 people in the gym, I’ve positively influenced 20 people’s lives.  That is awesome, right?

Absolutely! Coaching has always been a passion, and part of the reason I enjoy semi-private training so much is because I can positively influence more people than in a 1-on-1 environment.

Again, the word leverage comes to mind here.

So that got me thinking – how can I scale this even further? How can I help even more people?

And this is where the sacrifice comes in, because I really do love coaching. I love being in the gym and working with people.

But if I’m going to have the strongest impact possible, I need to go beyond just the end-user. I need to go the administrative level.

I need to influence other trainers and coaches.

Think about it like this – in the gym, 20 people trained is always 20 people.

But if I coach or educate 20 trainers or coaches, and each one of them only works with 10 people, that’s now 200 people whose lives I’ve helped improve!

Now that’s the kind of leverage I’m talking about!

This year I’m making more of an effort to get out there and speak. I’ve already got more seminars and speaking events booked than in most years past, and it’s only March!

Needless to say, I’m very excited about this. But there’s one final point….

#3 – Proper Fitness and Strength Training

Let’s be honest – there are tons of clowns out there who like to hear themselves talk about training. They might have a big e-mail list, tons of followers on Twitter, or even a bunch of viewers on YouTube.

But here’s the problem guys – many don’t know what they’re talking about, or worse, don’t if this stuff actually works because they’ve never trained anybody!

I’d like to think I have something both unique and powerful to say. I’ve worked hard to balance and blend the following three things:

  1. An online presence,
  2. In-the-trenches experience, and
  3. Keeping up with pertinent science and research in our field.

PROPER fitness and strength training is critical – after all, people that don’t understand anatomy, or proper coaching technique, or how to develop a program, can all get their clients and athletes injured.

But those who are willing to educate themselves can have a profound impact on the quality of their clients’ lives.

So that’s where I’m at. In the coming months, you’re going to see and feel some palpable changes in the site.

I hope you’re in for the ride 🙂

All the best

Mike

(Lead Photo Courtesy of UggBoy)

28 Comments

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  1. GREAT POST!! With so many people trying to get the “knowledge” spread with products, email, blogs to other people, it’s great that people like you are getting QUALITY information in all these formats and always seeking to improve.

  2. Mike,

    I’ve been thinking about this topic for a long time now. I keep asking myself what my mission is? It keeps changing yet staying the same. I keep asking myself who’s done what I admire, how did they do it? I look to the best performing companies, athletes, scholars, educators, and there is a theme.

    You just impressed me more than I would have guessed someone would.

    As a past project manager I have had two very different types of experiences. Both types happened when everyone disagreed. On one hand chaos ruled and infighting was the norm, projects “succeeded” but left everyone dry, used, and mentally checked out. That experience happens frequently. The other experience had chaos that turned around and the project succeeded beyond expectation. The folks involved on the project finished with an energy, with some pride. The difference was really one, the second group had clear, meaningful purpose.

    Imagine a chaos meeting, as I called them, when all I had to do to align people was ask, “could you for now step back far enough to ask the higher level questions?” Then after they calmed ask, “in a perfect world, what is best for the client right now?”

    That only worked if people really did have a meaningful mission.

    Bravo Mike, you are and will continue to be a role model for me. Forget that I’m older, I’m still just a kid learning the ropes.

    • Thanks for the kind words Roland!

      Like you, though, I’m just trying to keep learning and growing. It’s an ongoing process!

      Take care and thanks again!

  3. I just got turned on to reading your blog after I purchased Cresey’s “Maximum Strength” book and the “Magnificent Mobility” DVD. I’m looking forward to catching up on all the great blog posts and podcasts. I’m also about ready to pull the trigger on a few more DVDs/books from the online store. I enjoy getting together with friends and watching the material together to help each other learn.

  4. Ciao Mike,
    I want you to know that I totally agree about the “less blog more real stuff” direction that you want to follow….Maybe I am a bit old ( 42 ) for these “modern” things….Heck when I started training with my older brother Arnold was running for his sixth Olympia….:-)…Keep up your good work!

  5. I always enjoy your blog content because you have a way of simplifying theory and programming. Like you said, I look through about 30 or so sites/blogs daily and and there are so many different conflicting theories it is difficult to formulate a prevailing conceptual idea about training. Although I think it is still necessary to learn from as many sources as possible, I always like to come back to your site/products before adding to my template. Your products have done a great service to me.

    Thanks
    Chris

  6. Great news. I have read every article and bought every product. And I am very grateful. But do you think Mike that you will ever put out a product bringing it all together, like the Essentials of the IFAST system. Or is this selling out your own product. Cheers.

    • Dwayne –

      This is definitely on Bill and I’s to-do list, it’s just a massive undertaking.

      But to answer your question, yes, this is on the radar.

      Thanks!
      MR

  7. Hey Mike,

    It was good seeing you again on Thursday and Friday at the MM in Louisville. Honestly, you were the reason I was there, and I wanted to thank you. The very first seminar I ever went to was the Indianapolis Performance Enhancement Seminar held by you and Bill. I was a newly certified trainer attending the University of Notre Dame, and I thought I knew things. Your seminar was an eye opener and made me realize I knew nothing. It made me want to know everything, so I started reading more and more stuff, going to more and more seminars, and eventually meeting tons of people. It was the first step in my development… now I have a book written, an invention pending, and a great job with Pat Rigsby and Nick Berry (because I somehow got on their radar). Thanks a lot Mike for putting me on the right path. I love the mission statement.

    • Thanks Tim! It was great seeing you as well and I’m really glad to hear I’ve had a positive influence on your life.

      Good luck with Pat and Nick – I think you’ll be just fine, though!

      MR

  8. That’s it awesome Mike. Was trying to ask, in a polite way, to put everything you know in a product and I will buy it. Game changer. Thanks heaps.

  9. Mike,
    great post.

    Sometimes you really have to step back, zoom out and look at what it is you want to achieve. It’s easy to get of track and just do things, many of them not having a purpose.

    I love the mission statement, especially because it really is your mission and not just something you threw out there because “you should have one”.

    Luka

  10. Mike-Great perspective. I get a lot out of your site postings, but you hit the nail on the head by saying it’s just a glimpse of the big picture. The number of intelligent people with websites has been increasingly overwhelming to keep up with, and it can be difficult to distinguish between when someone is talking about something they have fully implemented into their programs versus a new idea/theory they had and are just putting it out there for others to think about. I look forward to studying more of your products in the future!

    All the best,

    Kevin

  11. Thanks for this wonderful personal post! I appreciate you for being so honest and open.

    Your final part is very important. I know that I don’t know a lot of things but how do I learn if I don’t train anyone? In other words, when are you ready to really train someone?

    Best wishes

    Risto

  12. 1st, thank your for putting out a what I know will be a breat product Knees and Back). 2nd, I’m in a Mentorship program as well, and like most others in the Biz of helping people, I was asking myself the same quation. Going DEEP is something I will be doing very soon to move my life and career to another level.

    Thanks for everything you do!

    Rich

  13. Awesome Mike.

    I appreciate when power people like you have the perspective to analyze where they are in the context of the big picture.

    Keep it up. I know you will.

  14. Mike,

    You are a good man. Getting into this industry, yours (with Mr Cressy) was the first info I studied. You have certainly influenced me.

    I agree with blogging less and creating more content. Education, not entertainment. I think you wrote once about how people turn off, if an article is longer than 600 words. I guess you need to decide who your audience is. I want real education, so I find shorter articles interesting but more sizzle than steak.

    Congratulations on your new family.

  15. I’m so glad that I just learned about you through another trooper Elliot Hulse! Man I wish we had all the access over here about all things fitness and health related through great information sources like events, summits, seminars or even small group coaches by guys like you like you guys have in the States!
    Because I learn so much from you but things always are much more clearer when you have that real life personal action reaction thing..
    Anyways I am a newbie in the fitness world,working out since 2002 but really training since just recently…I’v worked in the fitnessbiz in 04 and 05 as a sales consultant. But after lots of soulsearching I know now what I already knew all along but was afraid to act up on too..that I too want to help people getting in the best body/mind/soul that they ever experience. This year I am going to start with educationprogram to become a CSCS. The first step on hopefull a long list of education degrees because I also just love the research side of fitness and translating that into users benefits. This is what love to do and eventhough I’m a really late bloomer in this field(just started my second youth…!!) I’m planning and I’m going to give it all I got to do what I love and earning my own money with it!
    Wow needed to get it off me chest apparantly lol cause I just wanted to say that I really appreciate the information you give and that soon I will be able to purchase some of your products on dvd. And it would indeed be awsome when you will put your event on DVD for those who can’t attent..Thank you. Role Model..you are!

  16. Well written and I agree. You got me thinking about basketball coaches and how they need help (many times) with fitness programs for their players. If I help them they help the whole team which increases my reach. Thanks for all you do.

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