Why I’m giving-up a seven figure income to help people look great naked

8 minute read

Now that sure is a splashy headline, and maybe it’s the only reason you clicked through to read. But if you’ll give me the benefit of the doubt, I’ll show you that it’s fundamentally true. Perhaps most importantly, I’ll tell you the why of that decision and how that could be important if YOU decide you want to look great naked.

For the last eight-plus years I’ve worked as a professional engineering manager and career coach for YouTube and Google. Prior to that, another two decades in software engineering and management.

So let’s get it out of the way, shall we?

Seven figures, you say?

In 2017 and 2018 my W2 showed that I earned just shy of $1M. A large chunk of it in equity of course. And no, not technically a seven-figure income—but now you’re just splitting hairs. If it helps, you can factor in a LONG list of benefits from healthcare, dental and vision to 401K matching, legal aid, commuter passes, free food, corporate devices and discounts galore!

And yes, just 37 days from today I walk away from it all to start a business as an online personal trainer. A business whose sole purpose will be liberating men and women from the vice-like grip of middle age, and helping them to feel fantastic, look great naked and squeeze every last drop out of life.

Optimistically, if I do everything right, maybe I could make $100K/year at this game. Hell, maybe I could even make $150K. But the odds are that I’ll make substantially less, especially when you factor in living costs, healthcare, insurances, business expenses etc.

Shit. I’m going to be skint.

Anyway, a lot of made-up numbers—but you get the point. I’m clearly not making this move for the untold riches, benefits and job security!

So why then? Why am I willing to walk away from a career thirty years in the making to coach people online?

To follow my passion!

First and foremost, to follow my passion for bodybuilding and all things physique!

I’ve been a die-hard fan of bodybuilding since first watching Pumping Iron back in the late ‘70s. I’ve loved it and I’ve hated it. We’ve fought and argued. We’ve even parted ways at times. But never for long, and I always come back to it.

It’s my anchor and I’m not the same person when I am not around it.

The why is hard to articulate, but there is something otherworldly about transforming your body through bodybuilding. It’s partly about the extreme level of control and influence you learn to exert over not only your body, but your emotions and behaviors too.

But it’s also the outcomes.

There’s nothing quite like the feeling of accomplishment when you strip away all that body fat and truly see your body for the first time. A feeling only rivaled by the overwhelming sense of confidence and empowerment that comes from adding slabs of muscle to your frame. Believe me, it’s a very different kind of “bigger”.

So yes, very much a passion. And I want to follow it. To live it. To align passion and paycheck.

But increasingly, “follow your passion” is terrible career advice to give someone. Especially when your passion can perhaps thrive best when it’s not being suffocated by the pressure of also having to pay the bills.

However, I’m not wet behind the ears. I’ve been around the block. There’s certainly no illusion that following one’s passion is easy. On the contrary, I’m acutely aware that starting over from scratch is likely to be brutally hard. Especially in an industry as mature and competitive as this one.

Nevertheless, having worked, saved and invested for 33 years, I’ve earned my shot at aligning my passion with the day job. Sure, it’ll need to be much more than just a hobby. But I’ve created enough space to give this opportunity a fighting chance at success.

To help more people

I also just want to help more people. This is in no small part why I’ve been so successful as a manager and career coach.

The tech was always just a means to an end for me—it’s helping people that I enjoyed the most.

Helping people …

  • make sense of their careers, performance and personal growth.
  • turn intellectual knowledge into positive action.
  • avoid overwhelm, join the dots and be the very best they can be.

These are the things I’ve enjoyed the most. These are the things I am good at.

But who’s going to want to pay for coaching from me versus a certified personal trainer with a kinesiology degree, masters in sports science and 250K followers on the ‘gram?

Well that depends…

EDIT: I came back, gutted this next part and totally re-wrote it. In my first (and second, and third) pass I simply found ways to tear everyone else down to make my opinions, approach and positioning look better. But that’s a dick move. At some point you just have to put yourself out there, be truly vulnerable and let good people decide.

There are endless ways to achieve your goal of transforming your body, and hundreds if not thousands of truly excellent and highly qualified coaches ready and waiting to help you. Some of them I know personally, others “virtually”… and there are many I would highly recommend.

So why me?

What have I got to offer?

Well there’s a number of reasons I think potential clients will want me in their corner.

Coaching is about people, not programs or meal plans. And at the heart of coaching is communication and behavior change.

Realizing your full potential comes down to building the best version of yourself, and that means shutting down bad behaviors and negative self-talk, and systematically and incrementally driving positive change to support your goals. This is critical, hard to learn and even harder to “teach”. It’s certainly not something you’re getting from an app or template. Twenty-plus years of coaching people to perform at their best has given me deep experience and insight into human behavior.

Coaching is also about communication, and given I plan to be working online with clients, they’ll at least want a real human on the end of the wire.

But more than that, perhaps clients want someone that’s been around the block and has the maturity, wisdom, experience and empathy to help them cope with everything that life has to throw at them?

Perhaps someone who’s lived through building a successful thirty year career, marriage, fatherhood, divorce, remarriage, juggling family across two continents, managing finances, planning for the future… all while suffering chronic anxiety, bouts of depression and soul-crushing guilt?

Someone that’s not only survived all that, but perhaps even thrived in spite of it?

Someone that has consistently made the time to invest in themselves and transform their body, repeatedly, from 150lbs and shredded to 210lbs and huge—and everything in between.

People buy people

Look perhaps you’re doing the wrong workout? Perhaps you’re not doing the right workout? Perhaps you’re not working out right? What about the diet? Eating too much? Too little? What about food quality? Nutritional health? Scale constantly heading in the wrong direction? What about sleep? Stress? Recovery? How’s your mind game? Do you have a clear goal? What about a plan? Bad habits in the way of progress?

Dropping body fat and building muscle is simple, it’s just not remotely easy. Especially given we don’t get to live in a vacuum—life is happening all around us, all the time.

And oftentimes life is hard. Brutally hard.

So my hope is that I can just get people to talk to me. That’s pretty much the sum of my entire strategy right there.

Yes, web sites. Of course, marketing and “copywriting”. Absolutely, blog posts and tips and precious little quotes at times.

All to drive a conversation.

An opportunity to talk. For me to learn about you and who you are. To learn about your goals and aspirations. Your dreams and desires. To understand your struggles and challenges. To immerse myself in the context of you.

You see, I know I can help you.

As sure as a bear shits in the woods, I know I can help you get results. And while I can’t and won’t help everyone, I know that I am the perfect fit for many.

So talk to me. It’ll cost you nothing but time, and it might just change your life.


Anyway, there’s more to come. Lot’s more.

Everything I’ve achieved in this space today I’ve done in my “spare time”. You cannot begin to imagine how fast and hard things will move once this is all I do.

See you online!

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