I truly enjoy interviewing all my guests on my podcast, but my most recent one was one of the most valuable, to me. Don’t you love when you hear something and then the lightbulbs start going off in your head? Or maybe even fireworks? When you talk to certain people, especially ones that have learned the skill of communication, this seems to happen a lot. Which is exactly what happened when I was speaking with the founder of Barbell Medicine, Dr. Jordan Feigenbaum.
One of the last questions that I asked him was about the underlying skills he developed during his journey, and how that lead him to all of the success he has had, and he knows success more than most people. Just to name a few things he has done: he earned his Medical Degree, is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, has been a USAW Weightlifting Club Coach for over a decade, is an Elite Powerlifter with one of the top totals in the world, and started a thriving brand called Barbell Medicine. What I appreciated about his answer so much was he spoke in detail and backed it up with real life experience/stories. Then one of the last things he said was “don’t dilute yourself to the point of irrelevancy.”
To summarize what he meant: don’t spread yourself too thin. We have all heard those cliche words before, but the way he put it just made so much sense to me. Sometimes when I hear a cliche too much, it becomes a one-ear-out-the-other type of thing. Even if the cliche is true. However, the way he said it made me think deeper about the subject.
He brought up two examples about this during the podcast. The first one was referring to being a medical student and starting his brand at the same time, all while competing in powerlifting as well. Can you imagine? There came a point where he was working over 80 hours a week in the hospital, while at the same time trying to grow his brand and competing in powerlifting. That is the epitome of spreading yourself too thin. He went on to explain how burnt out he felt especially toward the end of that period. The other point he made came from one of his mentors and went something like this: “Jordan, you have the ability to do anything you want in life, but once you choose what that is, you won’t be able to do everything.”
Dr. Feigenbaum has the mentality of going all in, but only with the things you love. For example, he said he is really into golfing right now, so why not start competing? Eventually he explained he realized it was best to pick that “one thing” and to put all your time and energy into that, and then try and be the best at it. He said if you try and put your energy into too many different things, you then just start riding the middle of the fence, and your purpose in life becomes irrelevant.
His wise words rang so true to me, and I could relate to exactly what he was saying. A few years ago is when I first had the idea of entrepreneurship. To give you an idea of what life was like at the time.. I was working as a firefighter/paramedic in the Recruitment Division full time and was constantly going around the county doing speaking engagements and other events. I was also working part time as a CrossFit Coach, and at minimum I was at the gym every morning for at least two hours to train and coach. My idea for entrepreneurship was starting a nutrition coaching business along with a podcast (I bought all of the equipment almost immediately.) At the same time, I was going through the Precision Nutrition Certification Program, and had enrolled in college to get my bachelors degree so I would be qualified to take the Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist Exam (I wanted to become a S&C Coach for a college or pro sports team for a while.) On top of this, I was also enrolled in the NASM Personal Trainer Certification Course, along with their Performance Enhancement Specialist Course. Around that time is when my daughter was diagnosed with Autism, which meant my wife and I spent countless sleepless nights hearing her scream all night long due to her insomnia.
I think you get the point with where I am going with that. What was I thinking trying to do all of that? I understand that there will be seasons in life with less sleep, and too much going on, but there literally wasn’t enough time in the day to do all of those things I listed above. Can you guess what happened? I diluted myself to the point of irrelevancy. I had so many things going on that I was getting NOTHING done. I was so overwhelmed that the second I hit my first road block when starting my podcast I basically gave up. I had been accepted into college, but the second there was an issue with the admissions process I gave up. I did make it through the Precision Nutrition Course (because it was self paced) but gave up on the NASM CPT Course & PES Course. I was less focused on my recruiting efforts for the fire department, and I definitely wasn’t being a present dad or husband a lot of the time. I remember the exhaustion and the depression setting in, especially knowing I’d never given up on so many things before. I had never felt like such a quitter in my life.
Although life is still busy, I have decided to go all in with just a few things, things that I care about and value highly. Think of how much more impact you can have in this world if you decided to go all in with just “that thing.” Just like I wrote about in a recent blog, less because way MORE again. Now time to go get it everyone!
Stay Mission Driven everybody.