Welcome to the Healthpreneur Podcast! Today we’ve got Jason Ferruggia on the show, and he was online even before I was! He’s an original gangster in the field. Jay has been a fitness and lifestyle consultant for over 20 years, has been featured in major publications, hosts a podcast called Renegade Radio, and has helped thousands transform their bodies and lives.
Today on the show, Jason discusses the truth about success. He gives insight into the difference between success and fulfillment – especially as it pertains to building a business online. Jason’s unique perspective true fulfillment revolves around the question, “What can I give?” and he has dedicated his practice to connecting and communicating at a deep level with people.
Jay is a self-made man and has taken full control of his life and way of being. He reveals the habits and techniques he uses to improve his social skills, confidence, and lifestyle, and helps others do the same. Tune in to hear how to become a better leader, business owner, and friend.
Click here to subscribe to the Healthpreneur™ Podcast on iTunes
In This Episode Jason and I discuss:
- Achievement versus fulfillment.
- What is success?
- The importance of people skills and being present.
- Tips for self-improvement and business growth.
- Social media management and identifying what’s important.
- Being the best at your one thing and avoiding distraction.
2:30 – 7:00 – Jay’s personal journey, awakening, and how he built true success
7:00 – 14:00 – Habits to live a fulfilled life, improve personally, and be present
14:00 – 23:00 – How Jay manages relationships and leads
23:00 – 32:00 – Building a fulfilling business, managing technology, and picking that one thing
33:00 – 42:00 – The Rapid Five
What You Missed:
I recently went on an Alaskan cruise which I highly recommend you do.
The last episode was a solo round where I shared with you some business lessons that I learned from my recent vacation to Alaska.
It’s amazing how stepping away from your business can help you see things more clearly.
If you feel like you’re zoned into your business and it’s time to take a step back, tune in. Get reacquainted with the big picture.
Remember that you’re an entrepreneur because you desire impact, results for yourself and others, and – perhaps most importantly – freedom.
Hey guys, welcome back to the show. Today, I’ve got a really great guest on with me. He’s a buddy of mine who’s one of the original gangsters. He’s been online way back since probably actually before I even started. I think he’s been online since the early 2000s. His name is Jason Ferruggia, also known as Jay Ferruggia. He is a fitness and lifestyle consultant with over 20 years of professional experience, working with athletes, celebrities, military personnel, and entrepreneurs. Since 1994, he’s helped thousands of people transform their bodies and change their lives. He’s been featured in Men’s Fitness, Men’s Health, Muscle and Fitness, MMA Sports Maximum Fitness, ESPN, and a whole bunch of other places.
Again, he’s experienced a lot of success online. What we’re going to be talking about today is the truth about success, and really understanding the difference between what he’s recognized over the years, the difference between success and fulfillment as it pertains to building a business online.
Jay and I have both been through a very similar journey. I think you’re going to get a lot of value out of this. This is a wisdom rich episode. Sit tight, don’t go anywhere, grab a green juice, grab a sip of water. If you’re in the car or walking your dog, or doing something else, then buckle down. This is going to be a good one.
Without any further ado, let’s welcome Jay Ferruggia to the show. Jay, what’s up, buddy? Welcome to the Healthpreneur podcast.
Jason Ferruggia: Thanks for having me, Yuri; appreciate it.
Yuri Elkaim: Great to have you here, my friends. You’ve got an amazing podcast yourself. Guys, if you are not listening to, what is it?
Jason Ferruggia: Renegade Radio, Renegade Radio.
Yuri Elkaim: Renegade Radio, that’s right. I was thinking of Kevin Gianni. I don’t even know. Renegade Radio, amazing podcast. I’ve been fortunate enough to be on the show. You’ve got an amazing, amazing following. You’re just a good dude, and you’ve got a shaved head like I do, so that’s awesome.
Jason Ferruggia: Thanks, bro.
Yuri Elkaim: Yeah, for sure. Let’s jump into today’s topic of conversation, which is this whole notion of achievements versus fulfillment; something you love speaking about. Let’s talk about how all this came about for you.
Jay’s personal journey, awakening, and how he built true success
Jason Ferruggia: I’d say for the first 35 to 38 years of my life I grew up kind of in fear of a lot of things based on my early days and my parents, and what not; which that could be a whole nother hour talk. It led to me being insecure, and shy, and just scared to come out of my shell and do things. I built up this wall, and this kind of façade of I got to get bigger, and stronger.
No one in my family weighs more than 150 pounds, but then I got up to like nearly 230. It was just really this suit of armor that I was hiding behind; hiding behind the tattoos, and the angry guy kind of personality, and stuff like that, and the rebellious guy. I thought I was happy, so I never worked on myself. I buried myself in work, because that’s what we do in our culture. Everyone prides themself on, ‘I’m always grinding. I’m hustling. I’m working.‘
I did that, and despite my issues, I was successful. I built up a really successful business, got in a bunch of magazines, successful online. But, by what definition of success? I was making a lot of money, but I was still never happy. I was always angry. I was still the same guy. I was just this big insecure socially awkward guy who had no close relationships, wouldn’t let people in, didn’t know how to connect, didn’t know how to communicate.
Finally, I just realized seven years ago I had to get out of Jersey, because I kind of had this awakening. I realized that, that environment triggers behaviors. Some people can make those changes where they are. I just wasn’t strong enough at the time. I heard something from Henry Rollins talking about, ‘Get out and reinvent yourself,’ and you should always do that. I was like, ‘You know what? I got to get out of here. There’s too much baggage, and too much connection to my past, and too many people that are bringing me down like crabs in a bucket.’
I moved out to the west coast, and I started to dig deeper on what really would make me happy. I’ve heard Tony Robbins talk about it, achievement versus fulfillment. I was making that mistake, so I was just trying to get bigger, stronger, and make a lot of money. Every time I did any of those things, I was never happier. I kind of just looked at the people that were living the life I wanted. I was like, ‘Man, some of these guys aren’t making half the money I am. They’re not obsessed with training the way I am, but they’re super fulfilled, and they’re happy, and they have great relationships.’
I was like, ‘I got to shift my focus for while. Business can go on the back burner.’ Learning about it, and obsessing about it, reading all these business books. Same thing with training. Let me start reading books about human nature, and psychology, and just being better at these things that are holding me back, and let me get around those people who are good at that so I can learn by osmosis. The cliché of the five people you spend the most time with, get around those kind of people and observe them. Okay, they do this. They do that. How can I start to push myself out of my comfort zone to be better with people, and to communicate more effectively?
That’s the most important thing in life. It’s your people skills. It’s not your technical skills. In this case, we’re talking to help entrepreneurs, so it’s not necessarily how much you know about macros, or periodization, or back squats. That all helps. You have to be really good at your craft, sure. It’s not your sales and marketing techniques. Again, that’s good. You need to get people in the door to teach them what you know about macros, but at the end of the day, it’s people skills. That’s the most important thing. When you develop those people skills, for me and everyone I’ve worked with, it just helps you to have much more meaningful connection. That’s what people are missing. Everyone wants connection. We all want community. We’re tribal beings.
I could just ramble on and on, but basically by focusing on that, my life dramatically changed.
Habits to live a fulfilled life, improve personally, and be present
Yuri Elkaim: Yeah. No, that’s awesome. For you, going from very focused on business, to now getting more perspective connection and relationships; what are some habits or practices that maybe you still adopt, or you started to adopt to start to really build those relationships in a meaningful way? What were some of the initial, general lifestyle practices that helped you get more fulfillment outside of just making money?
Jason Ferruggia: It was like, again, I was focused so much on myself. I had to shift from an internal focus to an external focus. When I woke up every day, instead of what can I get? What could I give? Muhammad Ali said service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth. I was just too much all about myself. Even though I’m training people, and they’re getting scholarships and stuff like that, it was still just me, me, me; if I’m really being honest with myself.
Instead of how much more money can I make? How can I fix my problems? Just how many people can I engage today? How many people can I make smile? Who can I help? Then, I studied conversational skills, started to talk about myself less, and listen more. We’re never taught that. We’re never taught those things in school, how to be a better listener. I just made it my number one priority, because I was awful at it. I would read books about it. Like I said, I would study it.
They always say the number one characteristic of successful people is they make other people feel important. I found that every time I was reading these types of books, they would always use stories about Bill Clinton, and Oprah, and Arnold. I’ve been fortunate enough to get to know Arnold well. I wouldn’t say ‘well,’ but better, over the years. When he first started getting back into fitness a few years back, I was one of the first five people he contacted to write for the site, and to be an advisor. I was lucky enough to get invited to a couple of his movie release parties, and what not. Just to be around him, and to see the way he does it; it’s such a gift. He makes people feel so good. He actually came up to Jenn and I, my wife and I, at the bar at one of these movie release parties.
He’s like, “You gotta try the margaritas here.” That in itself was awesome, that I had this little exchange with someone I idolized growing up. Six months later, we’re at another movie release party. Imagine how many people Arnold has encountered and interacted with during that time. Comes up to Jenn at the bar; this is after he’s working the political set, and the fitness set. He’s talking to Stallone.
He comes up, and he says, “You got to try the chocolate martinis here. Remember, I never steer you wrong on drink recommendations.”
I was like, “Oh my god,” like my head exploded. I was like, “Wow, that is special. That’s more important anything.” That’s the kind of stuff I really want to pay attention to, and work on; and just being present. I always consciously am the guy who looks at my phone less than anybody else. I think so many people go through life, or at least I did, not aware of my body language. Like, what does my body language show? What is my face showing? Do I pause and show that I absorbed something when someone says it, or am I just the guy waiting to talk, and jumping in, and interrupting people?
All these small things that I think people overlook so much. Then, because I was timid and shy, I learned that science has proven that if you speak in a strong, kind of strong voice, and use strong body language, and strong gestures, all of these things will make you feel more confident. Then, that just changes the way people perceive you. I would just track this stuff, like almost like you would track PRs at the gym. At the end of the day, review in my journal, ‘Okay, how many compliments did I give today? How many questions did I ask people to start a conversation?’ At first, it was really hard. It sounds crazy. It was really hard to do, and I just continually just worked to get better, and better, and better.
I found that things like role playing, for example. If that’s not who I am now, maybe I’ll go out and say, ‘Okay, I’m as charismatic as the Rock when I walk into this room.’ Or, maybe you make it more relatable, like, ‘I’m as charismatic, and engaging, and as entertaining as my buddy Mike when I walk into the room.’ I would do all these things, like anything I could think of. I would use visualization. We use this for sports, why not for that?
Before I would go to a social event, a party, a meeting, a workshop, I’d go, ‘Okay, I got 35 years of going into these things, sitting in the corner, barely talking, being standoffish. Now, how do I want to visualize myself? I’m going to be smiling. I’m going to see in my mind and feel how my posture is going to be. I’m going to engage people. I’m going to make other people smile.’ Over time, it just becomes who you are. You just continue to push yourself out there. It becomes more and more natural. Now it’s funny. Again, I could go on with tactics and ideas for hours, but it’s funny nowadays people know me as the super connector. I have friends who are celebrities and pro wrestlers, and athletes. They’ll say, ‘hey, you gotta meet Jay. He knows everybody, he knows everybody. He knows somebody who can do that for you. He knows somebody who can connect you,’ or whatever.
Some of the situations and scenarios I’m in nowadays, I honestly can’t even believe; but man, I put a lot of work into it. It just doesn’t happen, right? I think we know for our business, we got to work every day. We know that to take your squat from 135 to 315, you gotta squat. So many people don’t focus on this type of stuff. Like, ‘Oh, that’s just who I am.’ You write that narrative in your head, ‘Oh, I’m just quiet and socially awkward. I have no friends. Whatever.’ You’re not going to get better at it if you don’t prioritize it, and work on it all the time. It changes your life so much.
My business is better now than it’s ever been. I have coaching clients who are making significantly more money than they ever were, but it’s really just because of this. We’ve barely even tweaked their business plan that much. That’s the thing, you can give people the best business plan in the world, just like you can give them the best diet or workout plan. Until you fix what’s in your head and what’s in your heart, and address some of these issues, it’s all useless anyway. You’re going to sabotage it anyway.
Yuri Elkaim: That’s right. That’s why I like being an entrepreneur is, I believe, one of the best spiritual journeys you can go on. Your business is a direct byproduct of your personal growth.
Jason Ferruggia: Right.
How Jay manages relationships and leads
Yuri Elkaim: It’s amazing to see when you compare our journeys to like an employee’s journey, it’s a very, very different trajectory, I think, for … in a lot of cases. I want to ask you about building relationships, and really emphasizing that; because you have an amazing podcast. You’ve been doing the podcast for like, what a decade probably now?
Jason Ferruggia: No. No, not that long.
Yuri Elkaim: Really?
Jason Ferruggia: But I appreciate that it feels like that.
Yuri Elkaim: It seems like a lot. For me, for instance, I love podcasting because I love having conversations like this. For you, was having your podcast maybe a subconscious way of starting to develop those relationships? Above and beyond the podcast, what are some things that you do to show people that you care, to build those relationships, to say, ‘ Here are the things that I do to help people know that I care about them, that I treasure what we’ve built.’ What are some of the things that you’ve done to help that process?
Jason Ferruggia: Yuri, it was actually more of a conscious decision. It wasn’t even unconscious. I knew that having the podcast could help me have these conversations, and build more relationships. What I’ll do for example is, with the podcast specifically, when I know someone’s coming over to do the podcast, I have the rest of the day blocked off free because I know when they get here, we’re going to hang out, have coffee, talk for 45 minutes. We’re going to record for an hour or two. Then afterwards, I want to be totally open if they say, ‘Hey, you want to go train?’ ‘Yup.’ ‘Want to go eat dinner?’ ‘Yup.’ ‘Want to go chill out and just go to the beach?’ ‘Yup.’ Whatever they want to do, I’m going to spend the next four hours with them, and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve done that where I just spend the entire day with someone who’s a guest; and we hit it off.
Then, what I’ll do no matter who I meet, is I have a rule. Within 48 hours, they’re always going to get a follow-up from me. I always tell people, ‘Take the reins.’ The ball is always in your court. Never let someone else do this, because people won’t do it. They’re quote unquote “too busy”, or just they won’t do it. People just aren’t great at this. I don’t give out business cards. I don’t give out my number. I get their number. I get their email, all that. Within 48 hours, they’re going to get a text message. They’re maybe going to get an audio message, maybe a video message, an email; whatever it is. I’m going to also within 48 hours, if appropriate, if it’s forced and it’s weird, I’m not going to do it, but if it makes sense, I’m going to connect them with at least one to two other people. I’m always going to set the time, especially if it’s somebody local. I’m lucky enough to live right around LA, so often times, great guests are local.
I’ll say, “Hey.” We record on a Tuesday. I’ll get their info, and I’ll say, “All right, let’s meet up Friday at Bulletproof Coffee at 11,” and I’ll just lock it down. You can’t be vague. You can’t wait for other people to do it. Always take the responsibility. Now that’s what I do. It’s funny, my wife jokes around that I’m an event planner, because I’m just constantly planning stuff. I do it for all my friends now. I’m constantly telling people, ‘Hey, I’m getting Pearl Jam tickets for this date. We’re going.’ ‘Hey, we’re going to go to Montana, are you free this week? Let’s get it booked this week.’ ‘We’re going to go to the comedy store, our favorite guys are there on Wednesday. Let’s go.’ I constantly do that stuff, and just push myself.
A lot of people will be like, ‘Well, nobody ever calls me,’ and that was me for years. ‘Oh, nobody ever calls me. Nobody asks me to do anything. All my friends are jerks,’ or, ‘People don’t like me.’ That’s not the case. You’re just telling yourself that story. People will thank you if you start to do all this stuff. It makes their life easier. Now, you could say, ‘Well, you’re busy, too.’ Yeah, I’m busy, too, but I prioritize that because I realize how important it is. Those are just a few of the things, and just … I think just taking the reins and always following up is crucial.
Yuri Elkaim: Yeah, I so get it. You’re essentially stepping into a leadership role in a bigger way. It’s like you’re taking responsibility for the fact that you think this is something important. It’s not going to happen magically by itself. I think people appreciate that because there’s a whole paradox of choice and overwhelm. It’s like, ‘Hey what do you want to do tonight?’ ‘I don’t know, what do you want to do?’
Jason Ferruggia: Right.
Yuri Elkaim: If you make the choice for them, it’s like going to a restaurant and the restaurant has one option for dinner. It’s very freeing. I think people appreciate that, which is awesome. I think it’s like, if you’ve got kids, or even with your clients, people are turning to you as the leader. It’s like take the reins, lead by example; just show them the path, and commit to those relationships. I think it’s really awesome.
Jason Ferruggia: Well, you brought up such a great point there. It’s just another way. You said it: it’s another way for you to become a better leader.
Yuri Elkaim: Yeah.
Jason Ferruggia: It sounds kind of crazy and trivial, but I always tell guys, ‘Hey, you want to become a better leader? When you’re out with your friends and you’re at O’Brien’s, and you’re going to go to the next bar, don’t be the guy that’s just, ‘I don’t care. Where do you want to go? Where do you want to go?’ Say, ‘Hey, we’re going down the street to this place. We’re going here. We’re doing this.’ Any opportunity you have to stand up and practice your leadership skills, do it. If you’re somewhere, if you’re at an improve show, and people say, ‘Hey, does anyone want to come up on stage.’ Jump up. Do it. Just be the leader all the time.
Yuri Elkaim: Yup, absolutely. Yeah, I mean again, people appreciate that. I think a lot of people podcast and they miss the boat. They think it’s a 30 minute interview, and then it’s done. It’s like, no, you have someone, like in your case, in your place or in your house.
Jason Ferruggia: Yeah.
Yuri Elkaim: What an opportunity to start a relationship, right? Or further that relationship. I think so many people just want to get some cool person on the show. Then it’s like, ‘Okay, we’ll email you in a couple weeks when it’s live, and you can send us your followers.’ It’s like no, you guys missed the boat on this big time.
Jason Ferruggia: Yeah, totally. It’s funny, we have parties all the time. A great book to read on this is ‘Never Eat Alone,’ by Keith Ferrazzi. He talks about getting people together that you don’t know. We have parties quite a bit. At a recent one we had for, I don’t know if it was UFC or something. My friend says to me.
He goes, “Dude, look around this room. It’s absolutely crazy, like the level of pro athletes, and wrestlers, and entrepreneurs, and authors, and multi-millionaires, and they’re all here ’cause of you.” I kind of got emotional, because I can’t tell you how many nights I spent through my teens and 20s where I hung out along. There was no one around. For me, it’s a fantasy just to have that. The funny thing is, I’d say 70% of those people were guests on the podcast, and that’s how I got to know them, you know?
Yuri Elkaim: Yup. Yeah, in Toronto, very much like LA, there’s a huge hub of people in our space, and entrepreneurs. I started this trend about a year and a half ago. I call them ‘wine and shines.’ I’d say every four months or so, I’d just invite people that I don’t know who are doing some cool stuff in our space, over to my house for some cocktails, wine, some h’orderves. We just kind of hang out and talk personal stuff, business stuff, just get to know each other. There’s something magical that happens when someone enters into your front door.
Jason Ferruggia: Yeah, yup.
Yuri Elkaim: You’re welcoming them into your home. It’s almost like vampires have to be invited into a house, right?
Jason Ferruggia: Right.
Yuri Elkaim: If there’s something special that happens there. Because we started online around the same time, we’re kind of like internet dinosaurs. I think back in the day, the whole promise was like come online, hide behind your computer, put out some eBooks and never talk to anyone ever again. I think a lot of us found that attractive because we got so sick and tired of training clients in person, that we realized, ‘Fuck this is miserable.’
Jason Ferruggia: Yeah.
Yuri Elkaim: I really think there’s a huge swing that’s happening culturally now. The more digital we get, the more people are craving this intimate type of relationship. Not like sexual, but just actual connection with humans. Are you finding that as well, like in your space, the people that you surround yourself with either online or offline, that this is. Have you seen kind of a similar type of trend with, in your surroundings?
Jason Ferruggia: Yeah, I agree with you. For me, definitely, it’s so funny because like you said, I was cracking up. I used to love that, to be able to make a bunch of money online and not go out or not talk to people.
Yuri Elkaim: Yeah.
Jason Ferruggia: But now, it’s the bane of my existence. I can’t get off the computer fast enough. That’s because I feel like to discover this superpower late in life that I love being around people, and I love connecting. I’ll do it for free all day. I spend a lot of my time. I’m not even saying this to brag, but just how great it is and how more people should do it. My friends reach out to me, ‘Hey, can you help me with this thing, or that thing?’ ‘Yeah, absolutely. Let’s meet in an hour. I’ll be right there.’ I just love being out and amongst people. It just makes you feel so good to give back, and to help people. I do see that from so many other friends, too; from colleagues and what not where they’re pushing. They’re doing more live event stuff, and just getting off of the … Like you said, like it was, I don’t know 15 years ago, or whatever.
Yuri Elkaim: They get back from a social media blitz, or they’re online typing up some sales copy. They come out like on fire compared to actually like going to events and hanging out with people.
Jason Ferruggia: Right, yeah.
Building a fulfilling business, managing technology, and picking that one thing
Yuri Elkaim: What advice do we give to, let’s say people in our space who are either starting their business online, or they’re looking to grow their existing one. From your years and all the wisdom you’ve acquired, what advice do you give to them to build a business that is successful, but also gives them a deep level of fulfillment in the process?
Jason Ferruggia: There’s so many questions I think you should ask yourself, what would you do if money was no object? Would you do this for free? So many people would say, ‘Oh well, this specific niche is untapped. It’s going to make a lot of money.’ Well, do you love it? Are you going to do it every day for free? What would you go down the street and help someone for free at the gym, or at the coffee shop, or whatever, forever? Be sure it’s something you’re really passionate about, or if money was no object, you’d still do.
I think that’s the most important thing. What really lights you up? One school of thought says you should speak to a super specific niche, paint the avatar. Okay, it’s a 38 year old guy who lives here and does that. I do believe that’s good advice for when you’re starting out. You should probably do that and solve a problem, and ideally a problem in your own life.
Like okay, I don’t have time for workouts, so you create 15 minute workouts. Whatever, I’m just using a super easy example. Solve a problem in your own life. Make sure it’s useful to other people. Also, a business idea has to be something not only you’re passionate about, that you can monetize, and that you can be really good at, and stand out, and be exceptional at.
With those three things, I think it’s good advice in the beginning to speak to that super specific target niche audience. As you get out there and grow, and get bigger, and you think bigger, I think that’s a little limiting. I think that’s where I’m going with that; is that is a little bit limiting. I think too many people think small and limit their self, so ‘Okay, I can only talk to 45 year old golfers.’ Okay, maybe, and you could certainly make millions doing that; but I like to think bigger. I like to think to myself, if I was able to do what Jay Z and the Rock do, so I’m not going to speak to you at an ultra specific niche. If I hire some business coaches, they might say, ‘Dude, you’re going too broad right now. You’re casting too wide of a net.’
Yeah, okay. I get that. If I was starting out, maybe; but I think that’s too limiting as you gain more confidence, and you get better at what you’re doing. Just as long as you’re trying to help, you got a good product, good service, something you’d do forever; I think you can’t go wrong.
Yuri Elkaim: Cool. Good advice, I like it. Talk about social media, because you’ve got a presence on social media. You talked about like not being on your phone all day. How do you navigate social media? What is a day in the life of Jay look like, social media-wise?
Jason Ferruggia: I’m not the best at it. I know mutual friends of ours would yell at me and say, ‘You gotta step it up a little.’ I just prioritize people and real life experiences so much that I’m willing to sacrifice some of my reach, and some of the amount of money I can make. Most of my friends would tell you … All of my friends would tell you, they’ve never seen my phone out at a dinner or lunch table.
I don’t document as much as I should. Some days I’ll get gung ho on it. I’ll talk to one of our mutual friends who’s really good at it. I’ll do it for a little bit. Then I’m like, ‘I miss some amazing conversations. This is annoying me. I really don’t want to do this.’ I’m not the best at it. The only thing I have in my phone, I don’t know if anyone even uses Twitter anymore, but I’ll have Facebook on my phone. I don’t have email on my phone. I have Instagram on my phone, and I log in and log out twice a day. I’ll log in, post some stuff, like some friends’ stuff, comment a little, interact, support some people, respond to comments, and then I’ll log back out so I can’t go back in until later.
I post at least once a day on Instagram, and then I just … I know it’s not ideal, but I select a little thing and post it automatically to Facebook. I refuse to go on Facebook. That’s how I do it. I focus more on the podcast, for reaching people. Honestly, email still works great. I can get up in the morning and pump out an email in 15, 30 minutes. That works more effectively, actually.
Yuri Elkaim: That’s cool. I agree with you. I don’t have email, Facebook, or Instagram, or that thing called Twitter, on my phone. I don’t do any of that stuff, because I recognize for me, my personality is if I start, I’ve caught myself on occasions scrolling through a Facebook newsfeed on my phone for 30 minutes.
Jason Ferruggia: Oh yeah, easy. Yeah, for sure.
Yuri Elkaim: I’m like, ‘What the hell am I doing?’ I really believe that environments trumps willpower, at least in my case.
Jason Ferruggia: Yeah, yeah.
Yuri Elkaim: I’m like if I know this is my tendency, I’m going to get it off my phone and figure out another system to make this work somehow. It’s tricky because there obviously are ways to monetize social. There are ways to really add value. We’ve got mutual friends that are posting Instagram stories like every second of the day. It’s like, is that the life you want to live? I personally don’t want to do that. I don’t want to have my phone around when my kids are with me. I want to be present. I think for me, the big distinction was I stopped caring about Instagram when I started feeling like I had to take pictures of everything I was eating.
Just live your life. I don’t need to document every single part of it. I understand that some people, it works for them, and that sort of the thing. I think it goes back to what you said. Identify what you love to do, what is it that’s important to you? What is it that’s just a time suck or an energy suck? Spend more time on the former.
Jason Ferruggia: I don’t know about you, but if I’m around people … If we’re out doing something fun, and they’re Instagram story-ing the whole fucking experience, I want to lose my mind and say, ‘Whoa, why’d I even come hang out with you? Put your phone away.’
Yuri Elkaim: Seriously. It’s like a celebrity moment for them, almost. It’s like they have to document it because it’s cool, and their followers who probably don’t even know who they are, are not going to be interested.
Jason Ferruggia: Yeah, I mean I get it if we’re hanging out for four hours, and you want to post two things. If you’re documenting the whole thing. ‘Oh, here’s our appetizer. Oh, now we’re going bowling. Now we’re going to this bar.’ Dude, come on.
Yuri Elkaim: Yeah, I know. It’s too much.
Jason Ferruggia: Once in a while, it’s okay; but when it’s your whole thing, I think it’s a little much.
Yuri Elkaim: Totally, and that’s the irony. We feel, or a lot of people feel they have to do this for whatever reason so people like them; who they don’t even know, instead of actually being present with the people in their presence.
Jason Ferruggia: You and I grew up … I think we’re close to the same age. There’s plenty of people who made a lot of money and had a lot of impact that didn’t have to do any of that stuff. I still think there’s something to have a little bit of that mystique, and being more exclusive, and reducing frequency, and stuff like that. I get that social media gurus are telling you, you have to be in front of people 24/7. I don’t agree with that. We went, I don’t know how many years without all that, and people still were pretty successful.
Yuri Elkaim: Yup. I’m sure there’s people that are doing great with classified ads in the newspaper still.
Jason Ferruggia: Right.
Yuri Elkaim: That’s the tough part about this day and age. It’s like everyone thinks they have to be on this, and this, and this, and this, and this. It’s like, shit; like you don’t have to do all that stuff. For everything you think you should be doing, there’s someone else who’s not doing that, who’s crushing it, and is laying in a hammock right now and just enjoying life, or whatever it is they’re doing.
Jason Ferruggia: Yeah, and you hit on a great point there. I think that’s great advice for someone starting their business, or who’s struggling and looking to grow their business. Do one thing. Just what you say.
Yuri Elkaim: Yup.
Jason Ferruggia: Don’t try to do all different forms of social media, and have a blog, and a podcast, and a YouTube channel. Pick one thing that really … that you like to do. If you like to write, and everyone says, ‘Oh no, you have to podcast.’ Don’t podcast, just write. There’s always going to be written word from now until eternity. There will always be books. There will always be blogs, and whatever. Do that, and do really well at that. That was all I did for years is I would get up every day and write a minimum of 500 words. That’s largely responsible for the success I have today.
Yuri Elkaim: Yeah.
Jason Ferruggia: If you just want to do YouTube, that’s your thing. Do YouTube videos, two to five days a week, and don’t worry about anything else. Then, if you want to chop them up for Instagram, cool. Do that one thing. Do one thing in business. In 2018, instead of being the guy who gives you workouts, nutrition, lifestyle, this, that, and the other thing; maybe be an expert at one thing. Like Jason Phillips has this nutrition coaching certification, and some guys just do kettle bell stuff. I think you’re going to have a much better chance of standing out if you just do one thing. Eventually, once that one thing is crushing, maybe you can move on to a second thing, and then maybe a third thing. If you try to have those two and three things at once, forget about it. You’re going to buried. You’re always going to be stressed out. You’re always going to have anxiety off the charts. You’re really never going to get anywhere.
Yuri Elkaim: Yeah, I call it the underwear drawer; which means if we have cabinets of stuff, what is the drawer you want to occupy in your market’s mind? I am the underwear drawer. I am the sock drawer.
Jason Ferruggia: Yeah, yeah. Yup. All I did for literally like the first 12 or 15 years of my career was I talked about how to get bigger, stronger, faster; so just work out. I don’t think I mentioned nutrition once for the first ten years. I did it through a blog, that was it. Nothing else.
Yuri Elkaim: Yup, absolutely. I do believe folks on the one thing is huge. It is I think the most dangerous question you can ask someone, or have someone ask you is what’s new and exciting?
Jason Ferruggia: Right.
Yuri Elkaim: It’s a dangerous question because we think that we have to always be doing new things and exciting things; but honestly, I feel so much happier answering that question by nothing is new and exciting. It’s the same old boring goodness.
Jason Ferruggia: Yeah. That’s so funny because dude, that’s crazy that you said that. I had a bunch of people this weekend, I was at an event with 500 plus people. A bunch of people asked me that question. I basically gave your answer.
Yuri Elkaim: Yeah.
Jason Ferruggia: I was like second guessing. I was like, ‘Should I be giving them a different answer?’ But that’s really true, you know?
Yuri Elkaim: It’s a sign of wisdom. For all that’s listening, not only do we have the same hairstyle, but we also have the same level of sageness and wisdom.
Jason Ferruggia: Right.
The Rapid Five
Yuri Elkaim: This has been a lot of fun, Jay. Let’s move into the rapid five; you ready?
Jason Ferruggia: Sure.
Yuri Elkaim: All right, man. Five rapid fire questions, whatever comes top of mind is probably the right answer.
Jason Ferruggia: Is this just like a one word answer, or you want me to elaborate?
Yuri Elkaim: You can quickly elaborate if you need to.
Jason Ferruggia: All right, sure.
Yuri Elkaim: Whatever’s most suitable.
Jason Ferruggia: Sure.
Yuri Elkaim: First question is what is your biggest weakness?
Jason Ferruggia: I think it’s still thinking … It’s still going against the advice I just gave. It’s still thinking that I’m more super human than I am, and I could take on too many things. I always have to be reminded, that’s why I re-read the book, ‘The One thing’ and ‘Essentialism,’ all the time. I have to be reminded of what I just told you, and that’s why I think we all have to have accountability, and coaches, and things in place to remind us of that. I can get suckered into it just like anybody else. This is a huge opportunity, and I could probably be pretty good at it. Then once I start I’m like, ‘Fuck, I gotta get out of this.’
Yuri Elkaim: Totally. Number two, other than improv and stand up comedy, what is your biggest strength?
Jason Ferruggia: Just building relationships and connecting with people.
Yuri Elkaim: Nice. Number three, what’s one skill you’ve had to become very good at in order to grow your business?
Jason Ferruggia: Listening.
Yuri Elkaim: There should be a course on public listening.
Jason Ferruggia: Yup.
Yuri Elkaim: Instead of public speaking.
Jason Ferruggia: There should. Yeah. No, I agree. That’s a great idea, because we’re never taught that.
Yuri Elkaim: Yeah. All right, maybe we should work on that. We’ll see.
Jason Ferruggia: Yeah.
Yuri Elkaim: Yeah, we’ll just get off course and we’ll work on something else. … Number four, what do you do first thing in the morning?
Jason Ferruggia: Do you want the whole … I’ll give a quick run down. I get up. I put on a hot water, which I drink with lemon. While I’m doing that, brush my teeth and all that. I will then … Sorry, first I meditate for five minutes. I used to meditate for 30 minutes, and that became overwhelming, so I meditate for five minutes; put on the hot water with lemon. Then, I read. I’ll either read something that was written over a thousand years ago first thing in the morning. I’ll just read one passage of that. I write in my gratitude journal. Then, I eat, and then I get into my most important task of the day, and then I get out, hopefully within an hour of being awake. I get out, and get sunlight, and movement by taking a walk with Bronx.
Yuri Elkaim: Awesome, love it. Finally, complete this sentence: I know I’m being successful when.
Jason Ferruggia: I know I’m being successful when I’m making people feel good, making them smile, making them laugh, introducing them, connecting. That’s a large part of my life. A lot of the time I spend out with friends just connecting, and focusing on other people, and complimenting them. Like if that was my epitaph, like that was my one line on my tombstone; ‘Here lies Jay, he made people feel better,’ I’d be very happy with that.
Yuri Elkaim: Awesome, love it. Jay, this has been a lot of fun chatting, shooting the breeze, hopefully giving our listeners some things to think about. First and foremost, I want to acknowledge you for everything you’ve done for our industry over the past … decade and a half. Obviously, you’re one of the original gangsters doing some amazing work and serving a lot of people. I just want to acknowledge you for that, and for who the person you are. Like honestly, you’re a great dude. It’s just great to see your evolution, and I just want to acknowledge you for that.
Jason Ferruggia: Thanks so much, brother. I really appreciate that.
Yuri Elkaim: You’re welcome. What is the best place for our listeners to stay in touch with you, or follow your work online, or listen to your podcast?
Yuri Elkaim: Awesome. All right guys, listen in. It’s a great podcast. Jay’s got tons of awesome stuff, so follow him online. Stalk him in a healthy way. I hope you guys have enjoyed this one.
All right, so I hope you enjoyed this one as much as I did. Jay is a great guy, a great friend, and doing some awesome stuff in the space.
I want to leave you with one call to action today.
The reason for this is because time is of the essence. We have our annual event, Healthpreneur Live, taking place September 20th to 23rd in Scottsdale, Arizona. Tickets are almost sold out. We only allow 150 people to join us. It’s by invitation or application only.
If you’ve been listening to this podcast for any amount of time and you enjoy what I’m bringing you, and if you’re enjoying these guests; many of these guests you will be able to meet in person. Most importantly, you’ll be able to connect with 150 other health and fitness entrepreneurs doing great things in their businesses. We’re talking about coaches, authors, practitioners, naturopaths, dieticians; like the whole gamut. We’re coming together. We do this once a year, and it’s our big family gathering. The reason why we limit it to 150 people is because I believe in scaling by going deeper and not wider.
A lot of other events, there’s no shortage of events. They keep getting bigger, and bigger, and bigger. It’s like a pissing contest. ‘Hey yeah, I’ve got a thousand people at this one. We have so many cool speakers.’ Ours, there’s no ego. There’s 150 amazing people from people kind of getting things going with their business to businesses doing eight figures, and everywhere in between. There’s no ego. The speakers who are on stage will also be sitting beside you for three days at your table. There’s no, ‘Here are the speakers. Here’s the VIP section.’ Everybody who comes to our event is considered a VIP, whether you’re a speaker or not. Everyone’s on the same playing field. That’s just the environment that we create so that everyone can just let their guard down, and really connect on a deeper level. I just found there’s just so much ego and BS at so many different events, where you have like little cliques forming of people who are more successful, and then others are like beginners are over there. This is not about that.
If you want to connect with myself at a deeper level, with other amazing entrepreneurs in our space at a deeper level, then this is the event you need to be at. We’ve talked about this, how you cannot grow a successful business in isolation. Almost all of our guests have said one of the things that they wish they had done sooner was start going to events and connecting with other people, and hiring a mentor sooner. I can’t overemphasize how important that is. You have to be connected with the right people. You have to be in environments that are going to lift you up and raise your momentum. They’re going to raise your energy, because that energy and that momentum’s going to last you for months after the events. It’s going to help you create the things you want to create in your business with a lot more facility.
If you want to join us, here’s where you got to go: HealthpreneurGroup.com/Live. Do that right now. Do not finish what you’re doing, if you’re walking your dog, if you’re driving your car, pull over, put it in park. Take out your phone, type it into the browser. When you land on the page, you’re going to see a red button that says ‘request an invitation.’ Click that button, fill out the questions that are on the next page, and submit. Once I get that, we will review it. We’ll get back to you within 24 to 48 hours to make sure all is good. If we have any further questions, we can have a quick chat about your application.
That’s what I’d like you to do right now. If you’re on your desktop, on your computer, just get it done; because again, space is limited. We want to make sure that we have given you enough time to think through this, to look at the option for attending. I’m telling you, this is an event that you will remember for a long time to come. We have some amazing business relationships that I didn’t even know about that happened last year’s event. I was actually at dinner; I’ll just give you an example. I was at dinner a couple weeks ago with a friend, with a number of friends for a bachelor party. One of the people there was actually at the event.
He was telling me like, “Dude, this was the best event I’ve ever been to, and I would love to come this year but I’m going to be in Columbia for a month.”
I said, “Why are you going to Columbia?”
He’s like, “Well, I connected with two of the guys at the event from last year,” and they started shooting a bunch of YouTube videos together. This is back in already, just after that event. One of those videos went viral on YouTube. It now has millions of views. It’s generated so much business for the respected businesses. I never even knew about this. This is just what’s possible. I mean I don’t even know the things that might happen when you bring amazing people into the room, but that is what is possible if you’re in the right place.
Again, if you’re new to the podcast, and you’re interested in the event after you’ve been listening to the podcast for a while and you want to check it out; now is the time to take action. HealthpreneurGroup.com/Live. Do that now and I’ll see you in our next episode.
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