I Remember Ep 98



In a rare, introspective night-time reflection, Alex shares the origin story of his journey from a dissatisfied management consultant to a passionate gym owner and entrepreneur. He recounts the pivotal moment he chose to pursue his dream over a traditional career path, leading to a drastic life change that included sleeping in his gym and facing financial struggles. Despite the hardships, Alex's determination and the lessons learned from his failures laid the foundation for the success of his business and the upcoming major release he's preparing for. He expresses profound gratitude for the community he serves and emphasizes the importance of elevating the gym industry. Alex's story is a testament to the transformative power of embracing challenges and relentlessly pursuing one's passion.

Summary Notes

Reflective State and Personal Documentation

  • Speaker A is in a reflective mood and is recording content at night for personal reasons.
  • The content is meant to document a memory before it fades.
  • Speaker A acknowledges that this content is different from their usual output as it's primarily for personal reflection rather than for their audience.

"I am. Well, you've caught me in a reflective state. I don't normally make. Actually, I don't think I've made a piece of content at night in really. I think since I've started this thing, it's an interesting evening for me."

This quote indicates the speaker's unusual timing for creating content and sets the tone for a personal and introspective narrative.

Pre-Launch Reflections

  • Speaker A is reflecting on the eve of a significant launch.
  • The speaker describes a moment of stillness and heightened awareness.
  • There is an emphasis on the importance of the moments before a big event, which often lead to reflection.

"And I think there are moments where the world kind of stands still for you, and I'm not sure if it's just, like, the emptiness of your mind or that you're more acutely aware in the moment, but moments where memories get etched into your brain like they're singed, they become moments that you remember."

This quote captures the speaker's experience of a profound moment of stillness and clarity that precedes important events, suggesting these are the times when lasting memories are formed.

Team Interactions and Identity

  • The speaker's team, which has grown to nearly 70 employees, is curious about the personal history of Speaker A and their partner, Leila.
  • Leila prompts Speaker A to share more personal stories with the new hires, leading to a reflection on past experiences that are usually buried in the day-to-day focus on business.

"And so, earlier today, our team asked for the new hires. We tried something new, which was, they just wanted to know more about how it all started, who Leila and I really were."

This quote reveals the curiosity of new employees about the founders' backgrounds and the origins of their journey, prompting a deeper exploration of personal history.

Career Discontent and Change

  • Speaker A recounts their dissatisfaction with their initial career as a management consultant.
  • The speaker expresses gratitude for the intense dislike of the job, as it was the catalyst for change.
  • Speaker A saved money with the intention of applying to business school but had a realization that led to a significant life change.

"I really hated my job, and I'm really grateful for the fact that I hated my job, because I don't think I would have ever left that world that academia had gotten me and the degrees, and I went to a really good school that was relatively recognized."

This quote highlights the speaker's intense dissatisfaction with their job, which ironically served as a motivator to leave the security of the path laid out by academia and pursue a different direction.

Decision Against Business School

  • Speaker A struggled to answer the first question on the Harvard MBA application about how the program would help with their long and short-term goals.
  • The realization that the MBA would not align with the desire to start a business led to the decision not to pursue it.
  • Speaker A calculated the financial implications of business school and decided it was not a logical step.

"And the first question for Harvard was, how will Harvard MBA help your long and short term goals? And I stuck it. Sat with me for two days. I couldn't answer it because I realized it wasn't going to help me with my long and short term goals at all because I wanted to start a business."

This quote captures the moment of clarity Speaker A had when they realized that the expected path of business school did not align with their entrepreneurial aspirations, prompting a significant decision to change course.

Leap of Faith into the Fitness Industry

  • Speaker A took a leap of faith by leaving their job and reaching out to gym owners to enter the fitness industry.
  • Only two gym owners responded, one of whom was Sam backtiar in Orange County.
  • Speaker A sold all their belongings, packed their car, and left without informing many people to avoid being discouraged from their decision.

"I emailed 40 gym owners, and two of them got back to me. One of them was Sam backtiar in Orange county. So he responded back and he said, hey, yeah, you can come on out."

This quote illustrates the speaker's bold move to change careers by cold-emailing gym owners and the pivotal response from Sam backtiar that led to a new beginning in Orange County.

New Beginnings and Mastermind Involvement

  • Upon arrival in Orange County, Speaker A joined a mastermind group despite not having a job.
  • Speaker A was committed to learning and spent 14 hours a day immersed in this new environment.

"So I got there, and he was like, yeah, I have a mastermind. And I was like, I don't have a job. But he was like, you can join. Anyways, I was like, okay. And so I joined."

The quote shows Speaker A's commitment to their new path, joining a mastermind group to learn and grow despite the uncertainty of not having a job, illustrating a willingness to embrace new opportunities.

Opening a Gym and Naivety

  • The individual opened a gym in Huntington Beach without knowing anyone in the area.
  • Despite lacking experience and financial stability, they were not initially afraid due to naivety.
  • They signed a lease for $5,000 a month without a clear plan on how to generate that income.

"I wasn't freaked out because I didn't know any better. I should have been freaked out because now I know going into it, the skill set that I had, I should have been totally freaked out, but I didn't know any better, which is, I think, one of the gifts of being naive."

This quote highlights the speaker's lack of fear due to inexperience, which they retrospectively recognize as ignorance of the risks involved.

The Reality of Starting a Business

  • The speaker decided to sleep in the gym to save money.
  • They experienced loneliness and discomfort, sleeping on a workout mat without proper bedding.
  • The gym was located under a parking garage, and the noise from cars was disturbing.
  • There were no shower facilities, leading to hygiene challenges and discomfort.

"And so I was just looking around and I just remember that first night, I was like, where am I going to sleep? Even, like, have a pillow or sleep or anything?"

This quote conveys the speaker's initial realization of the harsh realities they would face sleeping in the gym without basic amenities.

Adaptation and Support from Clients

  • The speaker gradually adapted to the difficult living conditions.
  • They experienced skin rashes from sleeping on the gym's mat and had limited opportunities to shower and wash clothes.
  • Clients noticed the lack of cleanliness and began to help clean the gym and bring food for the speaker.

"I didn't actually get a sleeping bag until someone recommended I get a sleeping bag because I hadn't even thought about it."

The speaker's lack of preparation for their living situation is evident in their surprise at the suggestion to use a sleeping bag, something they hadn't considered.

Reflections on Hardship and Support

  • The speaker embraced the concept of suffering and tried to find value in the hardship.
  • They experienced a lack of support from their father, which was emotionally challenging.
  • Clients showed pity, which felt uncomfortable for the speaker, who identified more with being self-reliant.

"And I remember calling my dad and just being like, this is really hard. This is not fun. And he was like, look back on these moments. You're going to appreciate them."

The quote reveals the speaker's struggle and their father's attempt to provide perspective, despite the father's lack of belief in the speaker's choices.

Business Inexperience and Client Assistance

  • The speaker did not understand the need for employees and neglected cleaning the gym.
  • Clients stepped in to assist with cleaning and brought food, showing a community's support.
  • The speaker reflects on the discomfort of being pitied and the desire to be seen as capable and independent.

"I didn't understand that you should have employees. And so I didn't clean my gym because I didn't know you were supposed to."

This quote illustrates the speaker's inexperience in business management, not realizing the importance of maintaining cleanliness or having staff to help with operations.

The American Dream and Underdog Narrative

  • The concept of the American Dream is appealing because it supports the idea of rooting for the underdog.
  • There's a shift in perception when the underdog surpasses the success level of their peers.
  • The support for the underdog diminishes as they become more successful than those around them.
  • This shift may lead to isolation and a lack of social life, which can be both a curse and a blessing.

"American dream, right? Everyone wants to root for the underdog. But there's a moment where the underdog becomes the man. Screw the man, right?" "So everyone wants you to be successful, but just not more successful than them."

These quotes encapsulate the paradox of the American Dream, where the underdog is celebrated until they surpass the perceived success of others, at which point support can wane. The speaker reflects on this shift and its impact on personal relationships and social dynamics.

Personal Journey and Growth

  • The speaker reflects on their past, acknowledging the lack of social life and connections.
  • They recognize that their solitude provided the opportunity to focus on personal development.
  • The speaker is preparing for a significant release and feels a mix of gratitude and disbelief at their success.
  • They acknowledge the role of difficult experiences in shaping the teachings they now share.

"And so when Friday night would happen, I would be there. And then when Saturday would happen, I would still also be there because I had nowhere else to go." "And I think that maybe if I had had friends or the potential distraction of a social life or whatever, maybe I wouldn't have just started reading about this stuff because I had nothing else to do but just want to end this level of misery that I was at."

The speaker is reflecting on their past isolation and how it led them to focus on self-improvement and acquiring knowledge. They express that their adverse circumstances were a driving force behind their desire to escape misery and achieve success.

Gratitude and Reflection

  • The speaker expresses a deep sense of gratitude for their achievements.
  • They find it challenging to convey the surreal nature of their success in words.
  • The speaker acknowledges that hardships have been instrumental in developing their current teachings.
  • A sense of nostalgia and the desire to remember the current moment is evident.

"And I'm just like, it's just crazy. There's no way I can say it otherwise. It's just crazy what's happened in such a short period of time." "But I'm just so grateful for what's happened."

These quotes convey the speaker's amazement and gratitude for the rapid success they have experienced. They struggle to find the words to express the surreal feeling of their achievements, reflecting on the journey and the importance of remembering these moments.

Overcoming Adversity and Professional Identity

  • The speaker recounts their reluctance to pursue a career in sales, viewing themselves as an academic.
  • Despite initial resistance, the speaker has become known for their expertise in sales.
  • They share a personal message of reflection and anticipation for a significant event.

"I sucked at sales. I literally was offered a sales job at a finance, at an investment bank, like, a good job by my dad's friend because he was trying to convince me to not do this gym thing." "And lo and behold, that's the thing that we're known for, which is just crazy to me."

The speaker reflects on their past self-perception and how it contrasts with their current reputation as an expert in sales. They highlight the irony of their initial resistance to sales and how they ultimately excelled in that very field.

Emotional Vulnerability and the Pressure to Succeed

  • The speaker admits to feeling the pressure to succeed and not wanting to be seen as a failure.
  • They were driven by a desire to prove their father wrong and to avoid failure.
  • The speaker acknowledges that their initial motivation was not virtuous but rather a fight for survival.

"I just didn't want to fail. I just didn't want to be seen as a failure. And I didn't want my parents. I didn't want my dad to be right." "It's like you're fighting for survival. We're like, love your customers. I'm just trying to fucking pay rent."

The speaker shares their raw emotions about the fear of failure and the pressure to succeed, revealing that their initial motivation was not out of love for their work but a desperate need to survive and prove themselves. This vulnerability illustrates the intense personal struggle behind their journey to success.

Personal Journey and Struggles

  • The speaker reflects on a challenging time in their life when they almost faced bankruptcy.
  • They had owned six gyms with working capital but ended up with only $1,300 across all bank accounts.
  • The speaker expresses a desire to share this experience for personal reflection, for their children, or for their future self.

"almost filed bankruptcy at the end of 2016, like, nothing. And I had all these gyms, and then I sold them all, and then it's beyond the scope of this. But I almost lost everything. I mean, I did lose everything. I just didn't go under everything, luckily."

The quote outlines the speaker's financial crisis and the loss of their business assets, emphasizing the severity of their situation without going into complete bankruptcy.

Philosophy on Work and Labor

  • The speaker finds solace and meaning in the proverb 14:23, which emphasizes the value of all labor.
  • They believe that work has a more profound purpose beyond the immediate outcomes, shaping who we become.

"One of my favorite sayings is proverbs 1430, 1423. It's like, in all labor, there's profit, and it says all labor, not some. Or, like, when it's supposed to be right, it's all labor. And I think that's so profound, because it just means that it always counts, because your work works on you more than you work on it."

This quote reflects the speaker's belief in the inherent value of all work and the personal growth it fosters, regardless of its nature or timing.

Gratitude and Community

  • The speaker expresses deep gratitude for the community that has supported them.
  • There is a strong sense of responsibility to do right by others who have placed their trust in the speaker's leadership.

"And I'm just really grateful for you guys and the community, and it's just crazy. And I feel like we've been given this opportunity where so many people have trusted us with their futures, and we just want to do right by everyone..."

The speaker acknowledges the trust and opportunities given by the community, emphasizing their commitment to honoring that trust.

Elevating the Industry

  • The speaker aims to uplift the gym industry from a state of struggle to one of pride and respect.
  • They share a vision of transforming the perception of gym owners to one of significance and meaning.

"I felt like I was on my knees, like, begging, and I wanted to elevate an industry, to stand tall on its feet proudly and not be something where people are like, they take their gym owner boyfriend home, and the parents are like, oh, shit, man."

This quote illustrates the speaker's personal connection to the struggles within the gym industry and their ambition to change the industry's reputation.

Mission and Dedication

  • The speaker is determined to utilize available resources to solve industry problems and prevent others from experiencing similar hardships.
  • They emphasize the collective effort and progress made by the community in improving the industry.

"And so we do, and we will do everything that we can with all the resources that I have to fix all the problems that we can."

The quote demonstrates the speaker's commitment to taking action and leveraging resources to make a positive impact on the industry.

Reflection and Pride

  • The speaker reflects on the quiet moments in the gym and the pride they feel in their accomplishments.
  • They acknowledge that their experiences, including failures, have shaped their identity.

"And it's weird because it's so empty and so quiet and it's so bustling with energy. Normally there's the music and the people and all that stuff, but when you're always the last one out, you're like, it's like this small piece. This is mine. I made this."

This quote conveys the speaker's sense of ownership and pride in their work, appreciating the contrast between the gym's energy and its stillness.

Empathy and Caring

  • The speaker expresses a deep empathy for others, wanting to spare them from the hardships they have faced.
  • They emphasize the importance of showing care through understanding and shared experiences, rather than just words.

"And how do you say I care so much? I feel like that doesn't really mean anything, but I can just say that I care because I've been there and I just don't want anyone else to have to be there because it was really hard for me."

The quote highlights the speaker's empathetic approach, suggesting that genuine care is demonstrated through relatability and a desire to alleviate others' struggles.

Respect and Solidarity

  • The speaker extends respect to all gym owners, regardless of their affiliation with the speaker's community.
  • They celebrate the shared understanding and camaraderie among gym owners, acknowledging common challenges they face.

"If you're a gym lord, sorry, gym owner. You have my respect, whether you work with us or not, just for being who you are and for doing what you do every day."

This quote shows the speaker's respect for peers in the industry, recognizing the effort and dedication it takes to be a gym owner.

Passion and Commitment

  • The speaker has a clear passion for the gym industry, which they prefer over other professions.
  • Their commitment is driven by love for the community and a deep understanding of the industry's nuances.

"But I wasn't a dentist. I'm sure we could, but I don't like them. And the reason I think that we've gotten to where we are is because I love us. I love what we're about."

The speaker's preference for the gym industry over other professions is based on personal identity and passion, which fuels their success and commitment.

What others are sharing

Go To Library

Want to Deciphr in private?
- It's completely free

Deciphr Now
Footer background
Crossed lines icon
Crossed lines icon
Crossed lines icon
Crossed lines icon
Crossed lines icon
Crossed lines icon
Crossed lines icon

© 2024 Deciphr

Terms and ConditionsPrivacy Policy