We soft-launched Total Body Reboot in April 2013 and officially got off to the races in May 2013. In the first year, 350 people signed on to reprogram their body and mind for sustainable fat loss, vibrant health, and peak performance.
Putting 350 people through a program where I’m deeply connected with their progress and struggles is eye-opening. I learned a lot. Many of the lessons learned are valuable for you to hear (and help you frame the mindset required for your own success), so I’ve listed out what I think are the top ten.
Let’s do it…
1. Being mentally flexible makes you exponentially more likely to win, and win big.
Mentally flexible people are willing to challenge previously held beliefs, experiment, work loosely, and accept that winning rarely comes without losing. They see obstacles as opportunities and perseverance is one of their core attributes.
Mentally rigid people love the status quo, they want a perfectly crafted script that tells them every move to make, they feel comfortable inside a box (even if that box turns out to be a coffin), and they can’t handle any hiccups in the journey without feeling like they’ve lost it all.
Looking at those two groups, it’s quite easy to see which one would be more likely to succeed. The problem is that people have a hard time admitting that they’re trending toward being rigid. They see themselves as flexible, but their behavior says otherwise.
What it boils down to: If you can practice flexibility rather than just pretending to be flexible, then you’re going to win big.
2. The more people invest, the more likely they are to succeed.
If this was a magic pill for $19.95 then the price wouldn’t matter because all you have to do is take the pill. But Total Body Reboot requires actual work (as with all things in life that carry any meaning).
When I launched Total Body Reboot I had no idea what I was doing with pricing. We launched the thing at a stupid rate of $9/mo. That was quickly increased to $29/mo and then $39/mo and then $49, and so on.
The program is being constantly improved, but the price increases were mostly done to control the flow of active members because I wanted to ensure that the support system didn’t get overloaded.
I’m not trying to build a system that can handle a gazillion people where everyone fends for themselves. I care deeply about giving people the support they need, and that requires keeping the active member number in check (which then must require a higher price).
The interesting lesson that became glaringly obvious was this: Every price increase caused a subsequent decrease in the dropout rate. Why? Because people who VALUE what the program offers enough to seriously invest in it are also people who are seriously willing to do the work.
When the barrier to entry is very low, a bunch of uncommitted people join, clog up the system, and then quit. When the price is higher, people who actually care about transformation join, get the support they need (which is now of higher quality), do the work, and get the results.
The price is raised every time we hit a certain membership tier and usually coincides with some type of upgrade to the program. As we continue to raise the price, I’m certain we’ll continue to see higher graduation rates and higher success rates.
What it boils down to: The higher the price, the more effective the ecosystem. Everyone wins. This is why I made it a policy at Rebooted Body to NEVER offer discounts or special rates for this program, never offer it in giveaways, and no longer give it free or discounted to interested friends or family.
3. Treating the program outline as a rule book is a recipe for disaster.
The first rule of Total Body Reboot is that there are no rules. It says that on the first page of Stage One.
Some people have a tough time with that. They want rules because life, up to this point, has been all about rules. Following the rules in school gets you good grades. Following the rules at your job gets you a raise. Following the rules at home when you’re a kid gets you love (conditional parenting is another topic for another day). And so on.
Rules create rigidity and I told you in point #1 what rigidity does to your chances of success. Rules also create a deep feeling of shame and guilt when they get broken. Shame and guilt are antithetical to winning. Rules also WILL get broken at some point because nobody is perfect, and “rule followers” can’t stand when that happens.
What it boils down to: Any serious program that legitimately cares about the big picture will not be rule-based, it will be buy-in-based and flexible. And it will be shame and guilt-free.
4. People hoping for short term miracles always fail. The anxiety is too much to handle.
OMG, it’s been like 3.7552 days and I know you say not to weigh myself but I just did and the number is only .0255 less and I was really hoping for a full pound by now and I really don’t know if this program is for me and I just, just, what do you think I should do?
Does that sound like someone who is going to stick around through thick and thin for the months that real change takes? Does that sound like someone who will stay stable when plateaus (which are perfectly normal) occur?
The crazier your expectations, the crazier you’ll be during the journey. If you’re in a race to get a beach body or a wedding body or a birthday body then you’re in the wrong state of mind for something like this. You might be able to achieve your goals in time for a wedding or some other special day, but that can’t be the sole motivation or your obsessive focus.
What it boils down to: Expectations that don’t align with reality create an unsustainable level of anxiety. Doom is the only destination for that train.
5. People who ask for a refund didn’t fail; mostly, they didn’t start.
I took all the people who asked for a refund and looked at the reasons they gave. 9 out of 10 people who asked for a refund never started. They signed up, kicked the can down the road for a month, and then wanted out.
The other 1 out of 10 started and then tried to escape after hitting the first obstacle. Almost always, they’d ask for a refund before asking for help. This is an expectation misalignment. They expected the journey to be smooth sailing and didn’t want to put forth the time or energy dealing with any rough patches.
This analysis led me to change our refund policy, which now states that you must actually START and do the work if you want a refund. I have no problem giving people their money back if what I say doesn’t pan out. I DO have a problem with having my time and attention wasted on people who like the idea of success but aren’t actually willing to do the work.
Often, people will clog up the support system while kicking the can down the road and then quit and ask for their money back. This is not fair to the people who are kicking ass in the program because attention is taken away from them to deal with tire kickers.
What it boils down to: Wanting the results without wanting to do the work is a waste of everyone’s time, including yours. Results come through doing work, not dreaming about results.
6. Men use the program’s support network just as much as women.
This didn’t surprise me, but I think it would surprise a lot of people because of the stereotype of men being independent and unwilling to ask for help.
There are many more women in the program than men, but men ask for help at the same rate (sometimes even more) than women. Just an interesting tidbit I thought I’d toss into the mix.
7. Those who try to go at it alone and avoid the support system are much more likely to fail.
Support is a major part of the program. Rebooters are in constant contact via email support, we have a private Facebook group for fleshing out smaller issues and hurdles and staying motivated, and we do two live coaching calls a month for group support. I also often do some free one-on-one Skype calls when I have extra time or if someone is dealing with a particularly rough obstacle.
People who are active in the support group, use the email system, and show up to the coaching calls don’t fail. I don’t think I’ve ever received a cancellation notice or refund request from someone who legitimately participated in all aspects of the support system.
What it boils down to: While people don’t have to participate in every aspect of the support system to be successful, it certainly helps.
8. People hoping for secret information fail 9 times out of 10.
Every once in a while I’ll get the obligatory, “I have 10 textbooks on nutrition, I’ve read dozens of blogs, listened to hundreds of podcasts, and I’ve taken these five other courses. There’s nothing new here. I want a refund.”
First, a little context. These people are always overweight and “stuck.” They have all the same issues that everyone else who enters the program has. So, why are they so disappointed in me?
I’m very clear that the program doesn’t contain any secret information. I didn’t spend a year with some long lost tribe in the purple mountains of Panamazing to collect research that nobody has heard before.
I don’t sell information, I sell transformation. Information is free. Do you know what Google is? I can’t compete with Google.
What I offer is a proven system that separates the important information from the nonsense, puts it in an order that optimizes the process, and accounts for individualization. What I offer is expert coaching and guidance, the unique addition of behavior and recovery psychology, and a like-minded community. What I offer is a direct line from point A to point B so you don’t get lost wandering in the dark woods of shame, guilt, confusion, information interpretation, and distraction.
What it boils down to: If you go through Total Body Reboot and feel there’s nothing new, yet you were overweight and stuck when you joined, then you have a severe action deficit. I’ve said many times that a high fact Diet is one of the worst there is. At least people who join low fact Diets like Weight Watchers take ACTION on something.
If you “know it all already” and you’re still stuck, then you haven’t done the work. Period. That’s like a general contractor standing around truck loads of tools, raw materials, and cheap labor and complaining that he doesn’t have what he needs to build a house.
9. Those who listen to the podcast and continue to consume the blog articles, emails, and videos always win.
The blog and podcast offer a ton of knowledge and wisdom about the process of building a healthy lifestyle. I’m not afraid to give that insight away free because I know that information is only one leg of the success stool.
Total Body Reboot offers the other two legs. But sometimes people join and they completely disengage from the blog and podcast. This isn’t necessarily a disaster, but the blog and podcast contain motivation and tidbits of insight that complement the work being done inside of the program.
It’s also important to keep your brain engaged in learning and discovery throughout the process of change. Even though blog articles and podcast episodes might not apply to your current situation, it gives you an idea of where you’re going or where you came from. It’s like a GPS beacon that tells you your current position on your expedition to an amazing life.
What it boils down to: The more you stay engaged with everything we produce, the more successful you’ll be.
10. Telling the truth and running a legitimate program hurts the bottom line (at least in the short term).
I hate the health and fitness industry. As a whole, it’s an unmitigated disaster. There’s been many days where I sarcastically asked myself, “How can I help people transform their health and fitness without being in the health and fitness industry?”
If you want to be super successful in this industry, the path is clear: you dupe people. You come up with amazing new life-changing products that actually do nothing, you put on a white coat and prance around a TV stage with your bottle of Garcinia Cambogia, you sell with sex and unattainable body image, you over-hype everything, you give people ridiculous expectations, and you pretend everything is cut and dry and easy peasy. Or…you release a Paleo cookbook. (boom!)
Most people don’t want the truth. They want a cute story they can buy into. They want a one-step solution that comes with a free bottle of magic pills, preferably flavored with green tea extract.
You know what consumers want next? They want the space to complain about how the health and fitness industry is a sham. It IS a sham, but it’s a sham that sells what most consumers want, the idea of success without hard work. Demand, meet supply. I could easily get rich quickly by joining the supply chain of empty bullshit in pretty packaging. But I can’t do that, because it goes against every principled bone in my body.
What it boils down to: My hope is that consumers will start paying attention to what they need. My hope is that consumers will realize that anything that’s worth having almost always requires some sweat and some tears. You can’t break your body for 10, 20, or 30 years and fix it in a few weeks. Once consumers as a whole start accepting reality and embracing people who truly care about them — and not just their money — that’s when we can really get to work.
If you’re interested in Total Body Reboot, check it out here. If you have some comments on this article, I’d love to hear them below.