Hey everyone, today we’ve got a great guest on the Healthprenuer podcast. A long-time friend of mine who I’m really excited to have on. His name is AJ Mihrzad and he is the owner of Online Super Coach.
I’m so excited to have AJ on the podcast because he is a really reflective person and he is totally committed to his own growth. He’s always evolving, he’s constantly learning and growing. And one thing you will take away from this conversation is that he is willing to go outside of his comfort zone, forcing himself to grow.
AJ is the author of the bestselling book, The Mind Body Solution: Train Your Brain for Permanent Weight Loss. He studied exercise science and nutrition, plus he has a master’s degree in psychology. He’s got a cutting-edge approach to permanent weight loss, and he insists that the key to a healthy body is a healthy brain.
To be honest, I could talk about all of his accolades for a while, but I’d suggest you just go ahead and listen to the podcast. You really don’t want to miss this one.
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In This Episode AJ and I discuss:
- How AJ overcame some of his biggest fears and grew from it.
- Tips and tricks for your first live events.
- The most important elements of a live event.
- How to use events to gather ongoing support.
- Mastering your mode of media
4:00 – 11:00 – How AJ stepped off a ledge and started doing live events
11:00 – 16:00 – AJ’s three keys to seminar success
16:00 – 20:00 – Infotainment
20:00 – 29:00 – Vulnerability: How does it apply to videos and social media?
29:00 – 32:00 – Conversions at live events
32:00 – 36:00 – Rapid five questions
What You Missed:
In the last episode, we talked with Aidan D’Arcy, who was sharing his journey about how he transitioned from training clients to building a successful online training business.
Some of the important lessons he’s learned along the way, including a special number 18. If you missed that episode, go back and listen to that so you understand what that number 18 refers to, and it’ll make a lot more sense.
Today, we’re going to continue on the path of speaking with amazing online fitness professionals. We’ve got none other than AJ Mihrzad, who is the owner of Online Super Coach.
You can check his work out at onlinesupercoach.com. I’ve known AJ for a number of years, we’re actually in a genius network together. Probably four, five, six years ago, I can’t remember the first time we met—but right away he was just a genuine, great guy, we connected, and it was just cool that we were in the same space doing similar things.
I’m excited to have AJ on the podcast today because AJ’s very unique in the sense that he goes deep. He really introspects. He’s a reflective person who is very committed to his own growth, which is I think a very important value for most entrepreneurs, and most entrepreneurs share that.
But what I love about AJ is that he’s always evolving. He’s constantly learning and growing. In our conversation today, you’re going to learn how he really puts himself in situations where he’s forced to grow.
He’s willing to take a step off the ledge and see what happens and make things work no matter what. He’s very much sink-or-swim, and he believes that if he can put himself in a situation where he either sinks or swims he will do whatever he needs to in order to swim.
And he’s going to share exactly what he’s been able to do to help make that happen.
We’re going to talk specifically about live events in this episode. We’ll talk about the power of live events, how to fill them, how to conduct them, and also some really important segues into the best ways to share information in today’s day and age.
Then we’ll talk about being authentic and being real, and we’re going to share some interesting stories about that and how it’s really opened up our businesses to some pretty amazing growth.
Anyway, before we bring AJ on, let me formally introduce him. He’s the author of the bestselling book, The Mind Body Solution: Train your Brain for Permanent Weight Loss. He studied exercise science and nutrition because of his passion for health, and earned a master’s degree in psychology due to his fascination with the mindset of weight loss.
His cutting-edge approach to permanent weight loss insists that the key to a healthy body is a healthy brain, and his clients are walking proof that this is true, and he’s got many, many of them.
He’s also been inducted into the Personal Trainer Hall of Fame. His writings have been featured in Entrepreneur Magazine, the Huffington Post, Men’s Fitness, and Bodybuilding.com. He’s also a keynote speaker at high-end entrepreneurial and personal development events, and he’s also the host of the popular podcast—which I’ve been fortunate enough to be a guest on—called The Online Super Coach Podcast, which is available on iTunes.
So, are you ready to bring AJ onto the show? If you are, let’s make it happen.
Yuri: AJ, what is up, my friend? Welcome to the Healthpreneur Podcast.
AJ: Hey. Thanks, Yuri. I appreciate it. Honored to be on here.
Yuri: Awesome, buddy. So, what’s new and exciting in the world of Online Super Coach?
AJ: What’s new and exciting is really having a lot more live events. That’s really my passion.
I find that it’s great to have an online business and to connect with people on an international level through technology, but there’s something powerful when you have people in your presence.
I do seminars or hold retreats at my house, and I’ve been doing a lot more of those. Just the connection that comes out of it is really lighting me up. Sometimes people come for this in-person event, they have this immersion, this powerful transformation.
But I realized when I’m teaching them I get transformed myself.
Yuri: It’s funny, because I have definitely moved in that direction as well, because I’m very much like you. I love connecting with people in person and just find there’s an amazing synergy and energy that happens that you can’t really replicate online—even though the online space is tremendous.
Let’s talk about these live events and these seminars that you’re doing. What does that look like? You have your bigger events that you do, is it once or twice a year?
AJ: So, I have my major event twice a year. I typically have it in April and October. But I’m going to add a third, most likely in the summertime.
Yuri: Nice. So is this for all coaches? Or is it just for fitness trainers who want to do their online thing?
AJ: Yeah. This is actually a seminar that I’ve done about eight times already. It’s evolved.
It really started for fitness professionals who wanted to build an online personal training business. But then I realized, every seminar that I had, I would have just regular people showing up—real estate agents, coaches, people that were just sick and tired of their nine-to-five. Then, it just evolved to online coaching in general.
I just found a lot of people have these amazing skills and gifts, and they want to provide a service for people but they don’t know where to start. The seminar now came to really helping people understand, number one, what is their superpower?
What is their gift that they could turn into a service-based online business? We go into the marketing systems, the sales process, and then how to deliver that gift through technology and virtual infrastructure.
Yuri: Nice. That’s awesome. If you’re okay with it, I want to dig a little bit deeper on these offline events, because I think there’s a lot of cool value to be had from this.
We had Keith Norris on a couple weeks ago, who is the co-founder of Paleo FX. He walked us through his journey from day zero to one of the most successful health events in the world, where they are now.
Why did you start? Going back to the first event, what was your decision behind doing that first event?
How AJ stepped off a ledge and started doing live events
AJ: The first decision came from just challenging myself.
People that know me, I’m a big introvert. I have this fear of public speaking, and I tend to be kind of secluded.
I said to myself, “You know what? I always have to face my fears.” Intuitively, I knew that I had to put on this big seminar, and by doing that I would get a new superpower. So I said, “You know what? I’m just going to do the opposite of what is safe for me,” so I set off to do my first seminar.
Believe me, it was scary as hell, because one of the reasons why people don’t do a seminar, why I hesitated for so long is the public embarrassment of nobody showing up.
You put on this seminar and then your biggest fear is that three people show up, and you’re putting yourself out there. I was like, “You know what? I’ll do whatever it takes to fill this room up.” That was the first step.
Then, it was more of, “Okay, now I’m going to be performing for two days straight.” Prior to that, I spoke at other seminars, and maybe it’d be 45 minutes to an hour. But this is two days of me performing nonstop. It was really learning, “Okay, now how can I develop this skillset of not just teaching information for two days but engaging the crowd?”
My biggest fear, again, was if people showed up and they were like, “Man, this sucks,” or they’re bored. It was more so, “Okay, now I set out this goal of, one, having the seminar, two, speaking nonstop for two days. Now I have to build the skillsets.”
Like any entrepreneur, we have the ability of jumping off a cliff and building wings on the way down. For me, this seminar was that. It was just a big fear that I had to overcome. I knew by publicly announcing it, I would do whatever it takes to follow through on that specific date.
Yuri: That’s awesome. How many people did you have at the first seminar?
AJ: At the first seminar, I had about 80 people.
AJ: Yeah. Because it was literally that. The first month of marketing it—I put it out, I put it on my Facebook, I blasted out some e-mail lists. It was all organic, and four people got tickets.
I was like, “Oh my god. This is going to be a failure. I screwed up. Why did I do this? I put so much time into this. No one’s going to show up.”
That’s when I learned that seminars tend to get filled up in the last six weeks. In fact, even to the last minute. I didn’t really know that, because this was my first time promoting a major seminar. It was a fear of, no one’s going to show up. Then, slowly and surely, more and more people showed up by the end of it.
Yuri: That’s awesome. How did you market it? What were the big needle-movers for getting people to attend the live events?
AJ: I’ve never ran a pay-traffic for a seminar, for all the ones that I’ve done. I’ve just relied on organic.
For me, it’s social media, e-mail list, and then I have a few people that attend seminars that have influential audiences. They would make some posts about it. Really, those are my simple strategies, just doing it through the e-mail list, social media, and a few of the influencers that attend. They helped out by promoting it to their lists.
Yuri: Awesome. Just so our listeners know, what was the price point for the tickets to attend the event?
AJ: I basically do two tiers of price points. Knowing that a majority of people are going to sign up last-minute, I have early-bird pricing. I make it pretty drastic.
I have early-bird pricing at $97 per ticket. Then, when you do it the six weeks prior to the seminar or after the early-bird tickets are sold out, it goes to $597.
Yuri: That’s a good jump, a good reason to jump in early.
AJ: I want to really reward people that take the initiative, because then I can fill the seats and I know what I’m looking at with the hotel, food, and accommodations.
Yuri: Totally. It’s a whole animal in and of itself, just logistically on that end. How have the seminars evolved over time? You’ve done eight of them now.
What have been some of the improvements, the things you’ve learned, new things that you’ve implemented that are rocking people’s worlds at the live events now?
AJ’s three keys to seminar success
AJ: Absolutely. Great question. When I look at seminars, I look at three main areas. Let’s say if you’re doing a lower-price seminar, one of your main objectives is to basically enroll people at the seminar. You want to give people this amazing experience but also give them a chance to have ongoing support.
The way that I looked at it, I looked at three main phases to have a successful seminar. This will really be for any business. Whether you’re an online business, an in-person business, obviously you want to get people to have this incredible experience.
Of course, number one, the most important aspect of the seminar process and why most people don’t do it, is filling up the seats, the marketing element of it. This happens prior to the seminar. This is the element where most people have this innate fear that no one will show up.
Now, I’m at a place where—even if 10 people show up, I’ll give a great seminar. Now it’s basically making sure that that front end is figured out, how you’re going to market it and how you’re going to create the urgency to get people to enroll into buying the tickets.
Number two is the seminar itself, the experience. Whether it’s two or three days, how can you give such a powerful experience that, just by being there, transformations are occurring? While people are there, the person that walks in is going to be different than the person that walks out. To me, that’s the most important element of the seminar process.
Then, three is the ongoing support. Whether you decide to make an offer at the seminar or you just want to create a community. I know a lot of people—I’m you sure you do as well—they don’t make any money on a seminar, meaning that sometimes they’ll break even or lose money. But they want to create good will in the market for a group of people, so they create a community.
A person that comes to mind is my friend, Khaled Elmasri. He runs the Nor-Cal Fitness Summit. I think he’s been doing this seminar for about six years now. He’s very open about this—he doesn’t make any money off of it. He literally just breaks even and doesn’t really pitch anything. He basically has a seminar so he creates community.
But every year, this seminar doubles in size. I think they’re having about 400 people this year. He just brings together people and creates good will and just has this ongoing event. It’s really, like I said, having the end in mind. Whether it’s going to be a seminar where you want to enroll people into ongoing support with you, or you want to just enroll people into a vision where it grows a community over time.
So, I think it’s simply those three areas. Again, to quickly review: Number one, filling out the seminar. Number two, a transformative experience. And then number three, going into, “Am I going to offer ongoing support, or do I want to build a community of good will over time?”
Yuri: Nice. That’s awesome. Out of the years you’ve done these, what’s the biggest challenge? Let’s say other than filling the seats, what’s the biggest challenge you’ve run into that you’ve been able to overcome?
AJ: To me, I’m a perfectionist. I often look at the greats—the great speakers and entertainers. I’m a huge fan of standup comedy. I look at people that could just engage an audience for long periods of time and have them in a very inspired, entertained, just informative space.
So, I guess it’s being my own harsh critic. Every seminar I do better, in terms of connecting with the audience, giving them both the information but also the transformation, have them walk away like, “I feel different. When I walked into AJ’s seminar, I was kind of insecure about these areas. Now I’m super confident about these areas. I feel like I could do anything. It’s possible.”
I guess it’s just seminar by seminar, getting 10% better at giving the attendees a powerful experience.
Actually, I really work hard between my seminars. I take improv classes, I take acting classes. And this time around, two weeks prior to my seminar this year, I’m doing a night of standup comedy.
I’m really stepping out of my comfort zone to be a better entertainer.
Yuri: That’s awesome.
AJ: Earlier this year, I made a distinction between a teacher and an entertainer. Especially in the States here, the entertainers are the highest-paid industry, whereas teachers are the lowest-paid industry.
A lot of times, when we’re putting on a seminar or teaching on a webinar or even teaching our students online, we could take on a teacher role. And although information is great, it’s a dime a dozen. We’re the information age.
So, I’m really looking at myself to fuse entertainment and information to create really powerful infotainment. And that’s why I’m working really hard on myself to be a better entertainer, so when I do my seminars I have a better experience not just for myself but for the attendees as well.
Yuri: That’s awesome. That’s what I love about you. You’re so committed to your own growth, that you’re always looking to challenge yourself, step on the edge, and be like, “Okay, well, is this going to work?”
Then you make it happen. I think this continual, non-stop improvement, like taking acting classes and improv, is just a testament to that, which is great. Then it better serves your audience, which is what it’s all about, which is awesome.
AJ: I appreciate it, Yuri.
Yuri: Yeah, for sure. So, I want to talk about this infotainment idea for a second, because there’s a lot of people in our space who have an amazing amount of knowledge—doctors, trainers, nutritionists, and so forth—but they’re dry as hell in front of the camera or on a podcast or even live in person.
What advice do you give them to … Do you steer them in the direction, “Hey, maybe you should just write.”? What kind of advice would you give that person to make what they do a bit less dry, a little bit more entertaining and captivating?
AJ: Great question. I would start off in the most foundational aspect of the communication—which modality are you the best at?
I just found in myself and coaching my students, people are really good at three of the modalities, whether it’s audio, text, or video, meaning that if you’re very charismatic on video, then do Facebook videos and go on YouTube. If you’re great at writing, start a blog or do e-mails or long Facebook posts. If you’re just amazing at audio, do a podcast. See which modality you shine the most.
I think sometimes one of the biggest mistakes people make is they try to be amazing on every single modality but they have a strong suit in one of them. My personal opinion is focus on one and become the best in the world at that.
Let’s say you’re great on video. What can you do in your videos to be more entertaining, to be more engaging? Because, as we know, the marketplace, it never lies. They show us. When you put out a video, you get to see very quickly the amount of views it gets, shares it gets, engagement.
Then look at, when you are getting really high engagement, when you’re getting people to share your videos or comment on them, what are the things that you’re doing? Are you telling stories? Are you sharing personal aspects of your life? Are you telling jokes? Are you going into character impersonations?
Stuff like this will allow you to break people’s patterns but also get them ultra-engaged. As we know, this world is very attention-deprived. There’s so many things competing for our attention, and as technology exponentially improves, people will have lower and lower attention spans.
That’s why I believe in the power of infotainment, whether it’s in your writing, in your audio, in your video. How can you make it so engaging that the person is super-focused on your content and they’re not allowing anything else to distract them?
Yuri: Yeah, I think you should just take your shirt off and do videos like that. That will keep people’s attention.
AJ: That works for a lot of people! [laughing]
Yuri: Totally. So, you do a lot of Facebook Live videos, a lot of Facebook videos. I think a lot of them are awesome, at least the ones that I’ve seen. They’re very inspiring, they’re more than how to build a business. There’s a lot of personal growth type of stuff you touch on, which is awesome.
Out of all the videos that you’ve done, what are some of the trends you’ve noticed in terms of which ones get the better engagement, at least for your audience?
Vulnerability: How does it apply to videos and social media?
AJ: Yes, well I’ve noticed this in myself, and a lot of people, as well. It’s actually the ultra-vulnerable videos. This is where you share a secret or something in your life that maybe no one else knows.
It’s a traumatic incident that you went through, or a pain that you overcame, or even in the present moment if you’re not feeling 100%, and you’re fully authentic and transparent about it.
I feel like they do the absolute best just because many times you could have a coach or a professional and they’re looked at like this person who’s flawless and they have so much discipline and they could do anything. They could follow a diet, follow a workout. They’re great with their business and their family.
But the moment you share vulnerability and you open up your heart and say, “You know what? I’m not perfect. This is what I’m going through in the moment. This is what actually got me to where I am today. You might think that I have my stuff together, but this is what I’m dealing with.”
This really connects you in a very deep way, and this is where people say, “Wow. I thought you were superhuman, but you’re just like me.” That level of connection becomes so deep when you’re vulnerable.
Yuri: You’re not superhuman, you’re just a super coach.
AJ: Yes! [laughing] There you go.
Yuri: How do you get people to open up? How do you get people to overcome that fear of, “I don’t want to reveal this story. I don’t want to share this truth.” Any tips or advice there?
AJ: Yeah. Actually, when my students start my program, this is the first thing that they do.
I know that whenever someone starts a program they’re just so excited and they’ll do whatever it takes. I’m like, “Great. Great. Let’s just create the most vulnerable video ever.”
The first thing I do is say, “Listen, write down the most challenging things that you’ve overcame, make a list of those, and out of those what is the worst? What is the thing that you’re scared to talk about?”
They typically find the one thing that stands out, and number one, it’s just authentically sharing that. In the beginning of the video, jump right into the worst thing that happened to you, talk about it in a very authentic way, and then always end off at an inspirational note.
Here’s where sometimes people could get it wrong. They could talk about a horrible incident. God forbid, something happened in their childhood, maybe it was abuse, and they just end it at that. But it’s really, “What did I learn from this? I don’t have this level of a grudge against what happened. I learned this from it. You know what? If I could overcome this, then you could overcome anything.”
It’s just essentially finding the worst thing that happened to you, being able to talk about it openly and authentically, ending off at an inspirational note, and then you’re good to go.
Yuri: That’s awesome. You’ve just got to do it. I think that doing what you just said is a great framework to just jot down those events, those learnings, and then you just have to hit the record button and hope for the best.
AJ: Totally. I just found that this type of videos work remarkably well. Once a month I do them.
I’ve been through a lot, and so has everyone else. The more people know what you’ve been through to be where you are today, it’s so much more inspiring, because, like I said, a lot of times people see the end result, what you’re doing now.
They see you’ve been through all this amazing work and you are the person you are today. But the question is, what made you who you are today? That’s what people are fascinated with.
Yuri: Totally. I had this realization about four years ago. As you know, I have alopecia, so I lost my hair when I was 17. I regrew it, and then it fell out again a couple years ago. I was painting on my eyebrows for two years with my wife’s makeup because I was shameful of what was going on.
At some point I was like, “You know what? This is ridiculous. I’m going to stop doing this.” I shot a video on YouTube to explain the situation. That was the scariest moment of my life.
I’m happy that I did that video because what I realized on the flip side of it was that it gave people permission to just be okay with who they were. That was something I never really thought of before that.
I was like, “What are people going to think of me? What are they going to think of me?” It was all very egotistically self-focused.
But I think the flip side of being authentic and being real is that you give people permission to not just connect with you more deeply, but you allow them to really open themselves up to what’s truly possible in their lives.
I don’t know if that’s something you’ve recognized. That’s something I definitely realized almost immediately upon publishing that video.
AJ: I saw that video. I’ll tell you a personal story that I’ve never actually told you. I’ve known you for quite some time. I remember the first time I met you was at a 25K annual event. It was in New York.
I just remember being in your presence. You were so well-spoken, so put together. I was like, “Wow. This guy’s like … he’s got his shit together.” Then, from really getting to know you, I just sensed you had this really humble heart and, even though you were very well-spoken, articulate, and intelligent, you cared about people. You had this sense of, “You know what? This is who I am, but it doesn’t define me.”
Then I just remember … I really didn’t know that you had alopecia. Then, when I saw that video, and you were very vulnerable about it, I felt this connection with you that I’ve never felt before.
Yuri: Thank you.
AJ: I was like, “Wow. Yuri’s really down to earth, and he’s a human, just like me,” because people just put you on a higher pedestal. Then, when you connect with them in a very empathetic type of way, you’re like, “Wow. We’re on the same level.”
Yuri: Cool, man. Thank you for letting me know about that. I didn’t realize that. That’s really cool.
I think that’s important. It’s important to remember this, because we position ourselves as the expert. I think sometimes we create this distance between us and the people we’re trying to serve.
But, as you mentioned, you just bond with that “expert” so much more effectively when you recognize that they’re more like you, you’re more like them. I think that as a coach, as an expert, you deprive yourself of that relationship if you’re not opening up and truly sharing who you are.
Because if it’s all just bling-bling and the best things in your life, that’s great, it’s all superficial. It’s like an Instagram feed. But you have to show the true you, because that’s really where people open up and really connect with you.
AJ: I agree with you 100%. Just like you said, in the world of Instagram, Facebook, and social media—it’s really the highlights of people’s lives. We show our best sides, our loving families and, “I love my career,” and “I’m having the greatest day.”
When you’re real, raw, and authentic, it’s this connection that you have because it’s very rare. When you go through your newsfeed, it’s rare to see people just being fully honest.
When you see that honesty, you’re enthralled to it.
Yuri: The other thing I realize too, and this is not a shot at women, but most people’s Facebook pictures are the best they’re going to look. Most often, we’re not going to put up the worst picture of ourselves as our profile picture.
What I’ve also noticed is, in a lot of women’s feeds, a lot of women’s pages that I’ve been to, they’ve spent a lot of time taking pictures of themselves or pictures in front of the mirror—and they’re always showing the same side of their face.
They know exactly which is their better side and which is their not-so-great side. I just found that interesting.
I’m like, “Wow. This is really calculated,” because they’ve been doing this for so long. It’s like, “Hey, let’s just be real. Be you. Don’t worry about your imperfections. Don’t worry about your flaws.”
Renee Airya talks about flipping your flaws, and that’s such a great thing to remember for everyone. We’re not perfect. We all have flaws. We have imperfections, and those are the things that really help us stand out.
AJ: I agree with you. I agree. That’s the thing—when you have all these manipulations and filters people use online, then when you meet them in person you’re like, “Wait, wait, wait. You’re not the same person.” That’s the drawback to that. But I agree with you.
I think people are pretty savvy nowadays. People can tell that if you’re putting on a façade or showing your best side. They want the real side. They want the authentic side of you. How do you look when you wake up first thing in the morning? That’s what I want to see.
Conversions at live events
Yuri: And going back to what we were talking about with these seminars and live events—I think that’s where the real power is. People get to see you raw, on stage, off stage, hanging out over food, whatever.
There’s power to that. It’s easier to sell people one-on-one, but it’s also easier to sell people in a group setting like that. (I’m just going to use “selling” as influencing people.)
Because there’s a level of connection, people see you as you, as real. There’s less filters. There’s no shining stuff around you like there is online.
For you, you talked about at the seminars and live events, elevating people into a higher-level program or ongoing support. Have you found that to be easier from a live event than through a strategy call or some other online strategy?
AJ: Oh, without a doubt. It’s so fascinating, because I get so many people that come to my seminars and when they come up and talk to me in an intimate level, many of them say, “Wow. You’re the real deal. I had to come here to really see that you’re honest and you’re very genuine. I really didn’t trust you online. That’s why I came in person to really meet you.”
I was like, “Wow.” There’s a large majority of people who, you could do the best marketing, use the best copy and persuasion online, but they’re going to have to meet you in person to have that full connection.
When you’re up there, you can’t fake it. When you’re up there speaking and someone asks you a really tough question or you’re going to have to improv, you’re being fully exposed. You’re being fully authentic.
When you’re able to just show your expertise or display your superpowers in the most challenging situations, people really admire that. There’s something very special about meeting in person. Even though we live in a digital world, I feel like the world is starving for these intimate connections.
Yuri: Just before we get to the rapid five, what advice would you give to somebody who is looking to start up their own series or even just one-off live events? Maybe one mistake to avoid and one important thing to consider.
AJ: Sure. Let’s start with the one important thing to consider.
The hardest live event is going to be your first live event, just because you’re going to go through a lot of uncertainty and a lot of human emotion. You’re going to basically learn how to do it step-by-step.
But just remember that it’s going to get so much easier, because once you do that first one you create the framework for the next ones. This is my eighth major seminar, and it is so much easier than the first one. In fact, it gets easier and easier. That’s why I’m doing them two to three times a year.
Just know that. The first one’s going to be tough. After that, it’s smooth sailing.
The biggest mistake that you want to avoid is, especially for the first one, giving enough time to market it and fill it out. I would recommend a minimum of 12 weeks. I’ve seen a lot of friends who crashed and burned because they waited literally 30 days before a live event to market it.
go, “No, no, no. Don’t do this. This is a terrible mistake.” But they just say, “You know what? I’m going to jump off the cliff.” It’s the wrong cliff to jump off because you don’t have enough time to market it. Making sure you give enough time, especially for your first one, even six months to a year out, that’s the way to go.
Yuri: That’s great advice. Plus, you’re on the hook. You’re paying hotels, event space. It’s not chump change.
Rapid five questions
Yuri: That’s really good stuff. AJ, this has been awesome. We talked about live events, infotainment. We’ve gone down the road of authenticity, being you. Now it’s time for the rapid five. Are you ready?
AJ: Let’s do it.
Yuri: All right. You have no idea what these questions are. I haven’t given them to you ahead of time, so it’s on the fly, on your toes. Number one, what is your biggest weakness?
AJ: My biggest weakness is the fact that I sometimes get into overwhelm.
Like I said, being a perfectionist. I can overthink. Many times, it’s like Occam’s razor—the simplest solution always works. But I can tend to make things a bit complicated.
I myself, I’m now learning to trust my gut and go with my intuition. “Okay, what does my intuition want to do? Okay, that’s the right answer. I was overthinking it and making it way too complex.”
Yuri: I agree. Intuition is usually the best coach, for sure. Number two, your biggest strength?
AJ: My biggest strength is just persistence. Whatever it takes.
I’ll stay up nights and nights and nights to get something done. I will face failure, after failure, after failure. If my heart is set on something, I’ll do whatever it takes to make it happen. I’m not the smartest person, not the most talented, but I will persist until I succeed.
Yuri: I love it. Awesome. One skill you’ve become dangerously good at in order to grow your business?
AJ: One skill that I’ve become dangerously good at is really connecting with people. I feel like just the element of being able to be on video and to have live events in person, over time I’ve been able to really just have the understanding of what a person wants. I can connect with them in a very deep way, especially at a live event.
I think I’ve created this amazing calibration that, when I’m in front of a crowd, I can know exactly what they want. Do they want a break? Do they want to jump up and move around? Do they want more learning?
That connection, I feel, is something that I just want to cultivate over time.
Yuri: That’s great. What do you do first thing in the morning?
AJ: First thing in the morning, I write in my journal. This journal has been with me for about 11 years now. I have not missed a day.
I had a weird near-death experience. Long story about that, but it happened in 2006. And then, from that moment on, I said, “You know what? I’m not promised every day, so I’m going to keep a journal.” I just write my entire day, the previous day, from morning to night. I’ve just been doing it every single day.
Yuri: That’s awesome. Good for you. Number five is, complete this sentence: I know I’m being successful when …
AJ: I know I’m being successful when I’m in a flow state, when I lose track of time and space, when I’m just sharing from my heart, and I just go on and on and on, and I just feel the chills, I get more energy, I get more creativity. I’m in the zone.
Like right now! I know I’m being successful because I’m in a flow state talking to you.
Yuri: Awesome, buddy. I love it. You know what’s funny about this question is that a lot of people answer stuff they control. You talking about being in a flow state is something you control. A lot of other people answer it based on other people’s feedback.
I find that interesting. “I know I’m being successful when other people tell me I’m doing a good job.” It’s interesting just to see the dichotomy of these responses, so that’s why I throw that in there.
Dude, it’s so great to connect with you. Again, you’re the real deal. For everyone listening, AJ is … Just follow him on Facebook. Just check out his videos, check out the stuff he’s doing. He’s the real deal.
I’ve known him for years. We’ve hung out in person, and who he is in person is the same person he is online. That’s why I wanted to have you on the show.
Plus, you’ve built an amazing business, helping a lot of people in the process. Dude, I just want to express my gratitude for who you are as a person and everything you’ve been able to do and all the people you’ve been able to positively impact. It really, really does make a difference. Thank you for taking the time to be with us.
AJ: Thank you, Yuri. I just want to acknowledge you, because you’re someone I look up to. You’re literally a pioneer in this world of online fitness.
What you’re doing is always being one step ahead. You have this amazing intelligence and this way of always evolving yourself. But the one thing I admire the most is your humbleness. Just for how big your business is and how many people you’re serving, your level of being so down-to-earth, being a family man, being a good friend.
Whenever I call on you, you’re always there for me. I really appreciate you for that.
Yuri: Awesome, man. I appreciate you. Thank you so much, AJ. I appreciate the kind words and obviously for taking the time. Before we finish off, what is the best place for people to follow your work online and maybe attend one of your events?
AJ: Yeah, I would love that! Super simple. My main website, onlinesupercoach.com. There’s a tab at the top, it’ll say “live events.” It will have all my seminars and retreats and other one-off speaking gigs that I have, so come meet me in person.
Yuri: Awesome. AJ, this has been great. Thank you so much, my friends. Look forward to chatting with you soon. Hope you guys enjoyed this.
It’s always great catching up with AJ, and I was happy to be able to bring this conversation to you because he’s just such a great guy, full of great insights. A very reflective, introspective person, as you can probably tell from our conversation.
We’ve got an amazing episode coming up. It’s actually a solo round that’s happening in the next episode. I’m going to be talking about why winning the lottery is for suckers.
That’s right. If you want to hear my perspective on winning the lottery and then some interesting things I have to say about that, that is coming up in the next episode. I think it’ll really make a big difference to the way you see your business and how you communicate what you do with your clients. Stay tuned for that.
In order to not miss that episode, be sure to subscribe to the Healthpreneur Podcast on iTunes. You can head over there, hit the subscribe button. All these amazing episodes will download to your phone, or computer and you can just enjoy it like that.
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