In late 2012 I recruited 8 husband and wife teams on a 6 month endeavor to better health and fat loss. A few years prior I had made my own transformation, losing over 60 pounds and escaping high blood pressure and borderline Diabetes.
Through my own process I learned a lot about the huge negative impact conventional wisdom is having on our society. My transformation had been so relatively easy (compared to my years of struggle when listening to said conventional wisdom) that I felt I had to lead others; I felt responsible having the truth when so many don’t.
When those 8 couples agreed to let me help them, the framework for Total Body Reboot (TBR) was born. Version 1.0!
[vision_pullquote style=”1″ align=””]My transformation had been so relatively easy (compared to my years of struggle when listening to said conventional wisdom) that I felt I had to lead others; I felt responsible having the truth when so many don’t.[/vision_pullquote]
We met for our first meeting after hours in a martial arts studio that I co-owned at the time. I brought an LCD TV from my house along with my laptop and gave a presentation that covered much of what Stage One still covers today. I spent the remaining time answering questions. It was pretty amazing watching 16 individual and unique journeys launch right before my eyes.
That version of TBR was rudimentary compared to what it looks like today. But it didn’t stop anyone. The results my test group experienced were amazing. Best of all, it taught me valuable information about the process, the curriculum, and the struggles people might face.
Things started happening…
There was no concept of The Rebooted Body prior to February 2013. All I had was the framework for a 6 month curriculum and a test group that was experiencing great results.
Other areas of my life were coming to a head at the same time. The majority partner in the studio that I co-owned was a mess; I felt the martial arts industry as a whole was selling out and being completely watered down; and my only child — my beautiful daughter Noelle — was born 8 months prior.
I wanted nothing more than to escape the prison I felt I was in with my current career. At the same time, my daughter changed my entire perspective on life. Those grand ideas of making millions of dollars I had in my early twenties was quickly replaced with new priorities, such as giving her as much of me as possible.
“If I’m going to do this — if I’m going to leave — it’s only going to be under certain conditions,” I told my wife.
The main condition was that the new life would be location independent. For my daughter to have as much of me as possible, I can’t be tied to a location for hours a day. And I want to be able to take her places — to travel and experience amazing things.
[vision_pullquote style=”1″ align=”left”]Those grand ideas of making millions of dollars I had in my early twenties was quickly replaced with new priorities, such as giving her as much of me as possible.[/vision_pullquote]
My wife is a SAHM. An amazing one I might add. Unfortunately, that made it difficult for me to just walk away from my old life and step into a new one. I had to build something new while I was doing this other thing. I had to take two steps back to take a step forward.
I loved helping that first Total Body Reboot group. So, I explored doing more of that. But doing more live groups was out of the question. It would be nearly impossible to scale, I didn’t have any time as it was, and if it became successful it would fail the location independence goal.
The Rebooted Body was born
The clear option was to put a stake in a corner of the internet. Besides, if it was online I could help people all over the globe. That’s far more powerful than helping a handful of people in a suburb of Atlanta, right?
Imagine waking up to an email from someone in Australia or Japan telling you they’re ready to start their journey and they want your help. That’s mind-blowing to me.
So in February I had this vision and decided to create a name for a brand based on the name of the program, Total Body Reboot. I can’t remember what all of the options were, but I decided on The Rebooted Body and started building the website.
I wish I had screen shots of the early version of the website so you could see how far this thing has come in a relatively short amount of time. And of course it’s changed under the hood a lot as well.
[vision_pullquote style=”1″ align=”right”] Imagine waking up to an email from someone in Australia or Japan telling you they’re ready to start their journey and they want your help. That’s mind-blowing to me. [/vision_pullquote]
In 10 months I’ve posted a little over 100 articles, most of which are well over 1000 words. Of course, I’ve written numerous articles for other sites as well. There’s also been thousands of comments, which I love because I do this specifically for engagement; to speak with people rather than to people.
Here’s the traffic count at 9.5 months:
According to Google, that traffic comes from 186 different countries. Yeah, that means someone in Venezuela now knows that calories are bullshit.
Launching a podcast
A little over a month after launching the website, I decided to start a podcast. I was a little afraid of it. I kept wanting to find a co-host to lean on. I knew I wouldn’t feel confident reaching out to people and trying to get them as guests on the show. It would all be easier with a co-host.
Of course, I don’t have a co-host. Never did. At some point I told myself, just go fail then. Just go do it and if you suck at it you can sell the equipment on Craigslist, delete the episodes, and pretend like it never happened.
So, I recorded my first episode and put it up on iTunes. A week later, after some mentions on Facebook and such, I had 100 downloads. I didn’t know if it was 100 real people or if my mom had just put her iPad on repeat. Frankly, I didn’t care. Seeing that number made me realize that I could do this.
[vision_pullquote style=”1″ align=”right”] At some point I told myself, just go fail then. Just go do it and if you suck at it you can sell the equipment on Craigslist, delete the episodes, and pretend like it never happened. [/vision_pullquote]
And you know what? The podcast started resonating with people. It drove some initial memberships for Total Body Reboot. I started getting emails from people thanking me for putting out this information. People from Japan and stuff. Remember that goal?
Now, 9 months later, I just published the 35th episode of 2013.
That first 100 downloads has transformed into 49,000. And shortly after taking this screen grab I hit 50k. By the way, I’ll be doing a big giveaway in January for hitting that milestone, so keep an eye out for that!
I set another goal a few months back of hitting 75 five star reviews on iTunes. I’m so proud to announce that we hit that goal — and I expect a few more to roll in before December 31st.
Each of those reviews is an endorsement in the hard work that I’m doing and I’m so thankful for each and every one of them. Getting a new review is like having a fresh gallon of gasoline thrown on my fire.
Total Body Reboot grows
I got my first Total Body Reboot client in April. That month, 8 people joined in total. Five of them have since graduated.
I was ecstatic about that first member. I had no idea that people were going to trust me enough to pay me to help them, having never met me. I had no idea that people would be responsive to a 6 month program in an industry that makes billions of dollars off superficial and short-sighted “8 week transformations.”
In May I signed up 31 people. One a day? Are you kidding me?
Now, I will say that August is a special case. And it blew me away because I didn’t think people would be signing up in the dead of the Summer when they were probably doing a lot of traveling and relaxing (most of my traffic comes from the U.S.). In August, I published The Health and Fitness Industry is Dead: And That Includes You Paleo.
Needless to say, the article was well received and well shared, garnering 16,441 unique views from the Monday it was published to that same Thursday.
You can look at the article now and see that it also promoted great discussion and engagement: 5.5k Facebook likes and around 60 comments. It’s not the most popular article I’ve written, but it’s an article that drove trust and Total Body Reboot memberships. It was a key point for the program.
Today, Total Body Reboot is on version 2.5 and getting better every single month. As January rolls around and people start looking for a way to change their life, I can only hope that they’ll find me and trust me enough to walk with me because I believe so much in this program and know how truly powerful it is.
Back to feeling ecstatic about that first signup: I can say that I’m still ecstatic every time I get a new membership email notification. Having my career and my passion aligned so well is deeply fulfilling, especially considering the final years of my prior career.
Escaping my old life
August was a pillar month for another reason: the influx of Total Body Reboot members that month was the tipping point for leaving my old job — a job that, at that point, was oppressing my soul.
I told my business partner — who had basically abandoned me to run the studio on my own without actually giving me control of anything — that he had two weeks to figure out what he wanted to do with it.
Truthfully, I had dreamed of leaving for at least two years prior. I won’t get into it all, but my wife can attest to the amount of times I confided in her that doing what I was doing (and more-so who I was doing it with) was draining the life out of me.
My decision to leave and risk everything on The Rebooted Body is also a testament to where I was mentally. I took a pay cut to leave the studio and pursue this project full time.
[vision_pullquote style=”1″ align=””] Having my career and my passion aligned so well is deeply fulfilling, especially considering the final years of my prior career. [/vision_pullquote]
The risk was worth it to me because I finally saw an opportunity to spend more time with my wife and daughter and escape the hell I felt I had been trapped in for so long.
Even so, I can tell you without hesitation that I’m working harder than ever. This is no picnic. And the stakes are higher. But — as usual — the more you stand to lose the more you stand to gain. If you notice any typos, it’s because I constantly have my fingers crossed.
Goals and Plans for 2014
First and foremost, I have a goal to reach and sustain 250 active members in Total Body Reboot. That’s tougher than it sounds because the program is not ongoing (members graduate). I’ll continue to improve the curriculum and user experience as well.
My next focus is on building my VIP email list even bigger. From the beginning, I’ve treated this list differently. It’s not a newsletter. It’s not just a way for me to distribute my blog articles. It’s much more.
Instead, it’s how I connect personally with people across the globe. It’s how I start conversations. It’s how I get feedback and answers to important questions that dictate how I write, why I write, and what I write about. And I send tips and advice to that list that doesn’t get published anywhere else.
Breaking 10,000 email subscribers is something I truly believe I can accomplish in 2014. I also want to achieve a 60% open rate (mostly unheard of, I know) so I’m going to continue to increase the quality of emails I send.
If all goes as planned, you’ll start seeing me in more places online. I’ve already been selected as a monthly columnist for the Chris Brogan owned BossFit Magazine (launching in February) and I’m increasing my outreach to other prominent blogs about guest publishing (if you’re a blog owner, get in touch with me).
As far as publishing goes, I’m working on an idea for building a unique and helpful YouTube presence. I’ve really held off on YouTube because I didn’t want to just go publish “typical” content there.
I’m going to double down on live webinars in 2014 — they were very fun and successful for me in 2013 and I got a lot of thumbs up on them.
Also be on the lookout for more action guides. There’s two new guides that will be released in the first quarter of 2014 and I hope to have five guides published by the end of 2014.
For the podcast, I have a goal to hit 7500 downloads a week.
I’ve intentionally avoided invited “big names” (with the exception of a few) on the podcast because I’ve wanted the vibe of having discussions with people who are lesser known and doing important work in the trenches.
I also have a goal of exposing my listeners to people who aren’t already everywhere. However, I still think it’s valuable to have some bigger names on the show so I’m going to make a point to invite a few more in 2014.
As a balance, I’d love to talk some of my Total Body Reboot members into joining me on the podcast to talk about their journey, their struggles, the solutions, and more. We’ll see how that goes…
If you’re not a publisher you’re likely to not know this, but Facebook changed their algorithm and brands are being forced to pay for their statuses to be seen, even by people who like the page and have expressed interest in the updates. I can’t afford to participate in that at this time.
In light of that, I’ll be posting slightly less on Facebook and working on building my Pinterest community. If you’re on Pinterest, definitely follow me as I’ve got some good stuff planned for that platform.
Tell me about your experience with The Rebooted Body!
I’d love to hear from you in the comments! I’d also like to know where you’d like to see this project go in 2014.
And a final THANK YOU to EVERYONE who is involved with this project, whether you’re a contributor, reader, listener, or just a friendly occasional visitor 🙂 You’re all appreciated.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Noelle says the same…