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Jill Coleman | Consistency Beats Magic Bullets Every Time

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On this episode of Investing for Freedom, Mike talks to Jill Coleman. Jill is a fitness expert and has her own podcast called The Best Life Podcast. Jill talks about the importance of building a personal brand on social media, as well as discussing how important diet is to our health. Enjoy!

“Here’s the thing. If a brand only shares their personality and personal things about them, I might want to hang out with them. However, I also need to know that you can help me with something.”


0:00 – Intro and background on Jill
1:18 – Mike asks Jill about her podcast, The Best Life Podcast
2:52 – Jill talks about how Byron Katie has had the biggest impact on her life and shifted her mindset
4:27 – Mike asks does it matter that she has never met Byron in person
6:11 – Jill talks about what a blessing it is to be so in tune with her body
7:37 – Jill explains how consistency has had the greatest impact on her success
10:39 – Mike asks if good habits and consistency come naturally to Jill
14:29 – Jill says it’s more of an identity, rather than being motivated by a goal
17:57 – Mike asks what Jill’s greatest setback was and what she learned from it
25:26 – Jill explains that you can view an obstacle as a pain or as a puzzle, which is the piece of advice she finds herself sharing the most
30:04 – Employees are never going to care about your business as you will
32:47 – Mike asks about the importance of building a personal brand on social media
36:53 – It’s important that a brand shares their personality and their product, as Jill explains the trust formula
42:57 – Mike asks Jill how to sort through all of the different types of diets and vocabulary related to them
49:46 – If you’re a high performer and want to leverage every part of your life, you still need to be gentle with yourself


Instgram: @Jillfit
Podcast: The Best Life Podcast
Podcast: Fit Biz U


Mike Ayala: Thank you for joining me on the Investing for Freedom podcast. Today, I’ve got a special guest that I’ve had the privilege of spending some time with. I actually met Jill through my wife. My wife was at a certain event and Jill was there and she met Jill’s business partner, Danny. And I’ve just had such a privilege to be able to spend time with not only Jill, but Danny as well, but the reason why I wanted to get Jill on the show, she’s got such an amazing background and she was an early adopter in a lot of you know, early online space. And, and she’s a coach, not only in the fitness realm, but around business and mentoring, and they’ve got a podcast that’s just amazing. And I love the name of it, which I’ll let her talk a little bit about, but Jill, I appreciate you being on the show.

Jill Coleman: Yeah, thanks for having me. I’m so excited.

Mike Ayala: Yeah. So tell us really quick about your podcast. I love the name.

Jill Coleman: Yeah. So we have a podcast with my co-host Danny J you mentioned, and it’s called the best life podcast. So it’s funny because we actually named it before there was that big, like living your best life, sort of like, you know, tagline. It was actually before that. And both of us, you know, went through some, both of us are entrepreneurs. Both of us went through you know, some kind of ups and downs in our personal relationship and ended up at a point where we were both single, living in Los Angeles, building our businesses and, you know, we’re just like, wow, we’re so grateful despite what has happened in some of the ups and downs, the emotional ups and downs that we just feel like, wow, we get to live here. We get to do this. And this really is the best life. And that’s essentially a conversation we had over a sunset in Santa Monica and it kind of just stuck. And so for us, it’s really just about creating the lifestyle that you want, regardless of sort of where you’re getting started from, you always have, I think both of us really do believe that you have you’re always in control of your attitude. You’re always in control of your effort and there’s always something you can do, even if the circumstances you’re in, weren’t technically your fault, right? Like you always have a say in what comes next.

Mike Ayala: I love that. And that’s one of the reasons, again, why I really wanted to have you on the show because every time I’ve ever been with you, like it’s just always great conversation. And it always goes somewhere amazing. And you know, we’ll get into this a little bit more, but as entrepreneurs, high performing, even, you know, W2 guys that are listening, we tend to, a lot of times neglect not only physical health, but the mental part of that. So I’m really excited to have you on and just kind of go through that, but let’s dive into the question. So who’s had the greatest impact on your life.

Jill Coleman: Gosh, I have so many mentors, like people who are either friends of mine, you know, family members, my ex-husband even and then people who don’t even know, I would say probably if I had to say in terms of my thinking, because for me mindset is everything starts, right? Your belief system about yourself, your beliefs about what’s possible. Byron Katie is an author whose work really resonates with me and she’s kind of like personal development, but she’s like not really a super-spiritual, I’m not super-spiritual, but I love the idea that I have a say in what I do and moving forward. And she was really the only author that sort of spoke to me at a time when I really needed some personal development tools. And so I would probably say that in your, obviously, it’s an author, she doesn’t know me, but to me, that’s probably the person that’s had the biggest shift in terms of my mindset, which has allowed me to sort of create the things that create over the last 10 years.

Mike Ayala: That’s awesome.

Jill Coleman: Yeah. She has a book called loving what is, which if you guys are listening, you’re not familiar with that book. She’s really kind of like a counterintuitive sort of self-help guru. She’s like your grandma, like she’s like 70 something years old and she’s just really rooted in reality. And I really love that. I think sometimes in our space, Mike, sometimes we talked to a lot of kind of spiritual people and it’s not that that stuff’s not fine, but sometimes it can be really intangible. Her stuff to me is really rooted in reality. And it’s very concrete advice for high performers who want to experience next level of success. So I would probably start with that book-loving what is.

Mike Ayala: I have a random question just cause I’m thinking about it. So you said you’ve never met her. She doesn’t know you. Is that like when you’ve got somebody that’s that impactful in your life, does that matter to you like ever knowing them?

Jill Coleman: You know, not on a personal level per se. I mean her work itself, like, I mean, I don’t really know her as a person. Like, I’m not like, Oh, if she lived next door, we’d hang out. You know, I think more just her work has been impactful for me. Whereas I feel like we have, you know, you and I have a lot of friends, a lot of colleagues sort of in the personal development sort of mindset space. But to me it’s not really important to have like persuasion, I’ve actually been to her seminars which are great. And I’ve had huge, especially when I was going through kind of my own divorce and stuff like that. Just like I had a huge epiphany. This is actually a really interesting story. I worked for several years and I was in a point where I was about six months out of my marriage and I’m really still struggling mentally in just terms of like being able to move on or resentment and sort of like all these things that I could tell were really blocking me, but I had no tools to sort of move through them. She did a four-day, four-day event here in LA and I went and Mike, I couldn’t even get through the second day. I started getting so physically ill and I hardly ever get sick. The second day, I was like, I couldn’t even go to the last couple of days. And after that complete shift, mindset just like complete 180, like every resentment, every sort of like self-righteous anything I had completely gone away. And I don’t know, I’m like, not like super woo woo, but I was like, there’s something to that. The fact that like I had such a physical reaction to like that, you know, that emotional kind of change in me and everything did a 180 after that. So it was pretty powerful.

Mike Ayala: It’s so interesting how you know, whether it’s resistance or, I mean, I’ve been through some scenarios like that where, you know, when you know you’re at a point where something so pivotal and things are changing, and your body reacted the way it did. I think a lot of people don’t realize how connected our mind and our bodies are. It’s crazy.

Jill Coleman: It is, you know what, I was lucky enough to come up in the fitness space, health space. I did a lot of competitions and like fitness modeling type stuff. So we’re always in touch with our bodies, right. If we have like one single food item that doesn’t sit well with us, like we immediately can track, like, you know, so it’s been a blessing to be in that, in tune with our body. And to your point, I think a lot of people don’t make the connection that like what I put in my mouth actually affects how my body performs. It affects my stress levels, my sleep, my you know, digestion, all that kind of stuff, fat loss, my metabolism, my hormonal situation. So yeah, I’ve been lucky. And so I immediately that day, it was like, wow, this is strange, this is happening. I hardly ever get sick. So being able to kind of track that was just incredible. And then seeing that, like, I’m just emotional 180 that I was able to do. Yeah. It was pretty impactful.

Mike Ayala: I want to circle back to that here in a little bit, because I think, you know, you just, I mean, through that conversation, something, with your background and experience, I think a lot of times as entrepreneurs and not really understanding the importance of food and all that in our body, we think health is, I’ve got to work out three times a day, which I meant three times a week, but three times a day. But I want to dig into that a little bit more because I think we’re becoming more aware and cognizant of how, especially in this day and age and the type of food we’re eating and all that. So we’ll circle back to that. If you could narrow it down to one thing that has had the greatest impact on your success, what would that be?

Jill Coleman: This is the easiest question. It’s consistency, by far consistency. You know, you had mentioned it a little, a few minutes ago. I have been in the internet space, sort of like an early adopter. I didn’t feel that way, but now having been in it for a decade, 10 years old in October. I’ve seen a lot of people come and go. I’ve seen a lot of people start out like, you know, piping hot, super excited, like gain a lot of traction, go viral, like, and then they’re just like years later, nowhere to be found. And so for me, it’s been like a really slow burn over the last 10 years. I’ll give you guys an example. The first couple of years I was still working full-time, so I wasn’t able to quit my full-time job for about 18 months after Jill fit started. And I was doing kind of what I call the fitness hustle, sort of a hybrid of like some online stuff and building that. And I was also still working about 70 to 80 hours a week in a gym setting. And so I was like getting home from work from the gym around nine o’clock at night. And I just, I didn’t know ideas in my head. Like I was just, if I’d worked, you guys know like you’re working at for long hours, you’re working with clients, you’re in the service industry. You just feel really drained by the end of the day. So you come home and like, you just want to watch television or do something like that. And I remember being like, you know what, I’m just going to commit to this blog. I’m not going to do anything else. I am not going to give my, I don’t need to do all these other things. I’m just going to commit to my blog. I actually read a book called inbound marketing. And it was all about attraction marketing. So basically like, and this is in the golden age of blogging. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend a strategy now, but obviously, maybe the podcast would be the version of it, like in 2021. And I just woke up every day and I posted every single day for two years and that was it. And they weren’t like the most amazing mind-blowing piece of content. It was like a recipe or a workout or a couple of little tips here and there. And I just got really good at being consistent. People would check my blog before they even check their email in the morning. So that was it. That was my promise to myself is like, over time, the quantity begot the quality, right? The quality became better as a result of just doing it more. And that’s just been my mantra, like is, you know, it’s reps. We hear a lot of people saying that now, like, get your reps, get your reps. We can keep saying it. And if you’re new to the space, you still really want things to go faster. And so for me, I would say number one, most important thing is just the fact that I’m consistent, that I show up. I’m really reliable to my audience because of that. I don’t take huge, long breaks. I don’t, you know, I don’t apologize for being MIA. Like I’m consistent. I show up, even if I don’t feel like it. I don’t know if you’ve read the book the war of art by Steven Pressfield, probably. He says, if you’re professional, you do it whether you want to do it or not, you sit your butt in the chair and you write, or you sit your butt in the chair and you do the thing. And so for me, going from that, like sort of amateur hobbyist to someone who like really wanted to make a legit business and make it legit living, doing what I love, I had to, even the days I didn’t really want to. So getting home from the gym at nine o’clock at night, writing client meal plans to one in the morning, getting a blog up, just because that was, I treated it like it was already a viable, this is before it even was.

Mike Ayala: So I think this is an obvious answer, but, you know, does creating habits and consistency, is that natural to you? Or do you have to fight through that like anyone?

Jill Coleman: You know, I’m like, I don’t know if you’ve read Gretchen Rubin’s book, the four tendencies. If you guys haven’t, it’s really cool. It’s like, basically, you take this quiz to figure out like how you’re motivated and some people are externally motivated, right? Like some people are more internally driven and some people like me are neither. Well, the problem with that is I’m a, technically like a rebel is I don’t love rules in general as most entrepreneurs. That’s why we have our own business. Cause we don’t like to follow the rules. We don’t like to be told what to do. So for me, yes, I am sort of habit driven, consistency-driven, but only if I arrive at that habit of my own volition. So for example, my family right now is doing dry January. And like, so they’re not drinking all month. And so we’re like, Julie, you’re going to do it. And I’m like, yeah, like, I would love to just like, maybe not drink for a month, but I know myself the second I say that I can’t, it’s the only thing I’m going to want to do. So for me, I don’t even like my own rules. Like my mantra is you can’t make me, neither can I. So yes, I like habits. I like routines and that makes me feel safe and certain, but I have to arrive at it from like a very like natural sort of like high-level autonomous place versus feeling like I’m doing it because I have to do it or because it’s the right way or it’s the only way. I feel, I tend to feel really boxed in by rules.

Mike Ayala: I love that. And again, just because it was fresh this morning, being on a call with my coach, you know, I’m kind of even deep work. I hate going into a zone where I have to grind something out for an hour, two hours, three hours. And one of the solutions for me is finding an environment of inspiration, where I want to be in order to get that deep work done. And so I love what you just said about can you give us some examples? Like how would you reframe if you decided you didn’t want to drink for a month or whatever, how would you reframe that?

Jill Coleman: Yeah. So it’s very simple. It’s literally like, I take it day by day, right? So for me, it’s much easier to be like, to feel as though I had the autonomy to drink if I want to, but then I’ll decide in the moment whether I want to or not. And most times when I do that, I don’t drink. Like, so I’m just like, cool. Like, yeah, I’m good. You know, but I don’t love the idea of being like it being a game or like gamifying something to me. I feel really boxed in by that. I’m not motivated by that at all. So the idea that like once, and it’s funny because I was talking about a girlfriend of this, a girlfriend of mine about this last week, these people who constantly need this like a constant stream of inspiration, motivation, you know, social media and they’re like, oh my God, this fit body is going to make me want to go to the gym. I’ve just never been like that for me. I’ve always wanted to make my own choices from, I have a huge autonomy button. I, so I think for me if I have the choice or at least perceived choice of I can do this or not today, typically I make a better choice versus just telling myself I can’t have it at all. And you know, like most people, it’s all, it perpetuates this idea of all or nothing. And I’m just not that way. I’ve done that in the past and has always kind of blown up my face. So for me, I’m moderation across the board.

Mike Ayala: Again, just having a conversation with a coach that’s in my world, one of the things that I realize. So I’m part of this small group of guys. We have a call every week. There are five of us. And one of the guys in the group is always motivated by either something positive or something negative. Like if I do X, I’m going to take a trip or if I don’t do Y, I’m going to pay someone a thousand dollars to I hate and I’m just like, to me, I’m not motivated by either. And it took me a while to figure out what that is. But for me, I’m motivated by the result I’m looking for. And so for me personally, like health is one of my challenges, but is that, does that tie into, you know, where you are? You’re so clear on what you want, the really the motivation of alcohol or no alcohol doesn’t really matter. You’re just focused on the goal.

Jill Coleman: Yeah. It’s funny. It’s not focused so much on the goal. It’s like, it’s more of an identity to be honest. It’s funny, you said that about not being motivated by that. They actually have shown in research that about 10% of people are motivated by negative motivators. So most people are not right. If you tell me I can’t do it, but like 10% of people would be like, I’ll show you. So like, I think that’s more of a men typically the thing, but Danny J and I had this bet a couple of years ago and both of us wanted to try out a new nurture sequence for our, you know, for online business, we’re going to write a nurture sequence and both of us had been putting it off, putting it off, putting it off. So we said, all right, if you write it and I write it, then it’s neutral. If you write it. And then I don’t, I owe you $250. And like, we just basically did that. I just like, literally I paid the $250 before the deadline was even up, because I wasn’t going to do it. So it’s like funny it just to kind of get those insights, but how you are motivated. For me, when it comes to health, it literally is just who I am. And I know that’s such like a, just a kind of like an obnoxious answer. There are other parts of my life that I really have had to kind of home in on. But because I’ve been in the fitness industry for about 25 years now, it just isn’t even a thing for me. Like for example, I don’t think about if I’ll go to the gym today. I just think when I’m going to go to the gym today, because it’s just such a part of like, I don’t, it’s not even hard to get there and I know again, that’s an obnoxious answer, but to me, I really practice lower the barrier to entry.  So I think this can be helpful for people who are really feeling as though maybe your health is a big thing in your life that you’re trying to overcome. Typically I’d have my clients lowered the barrier to entry. So even if it’s a 10-minute workout and I know this sounds like cliche advice, but it truly does work is allowing yourself and I still do this, even though like I do train every day and I still eat healthily and things like that. I allow myself to be off the hook 10 minutes. Cool. I’m going to have a couple pieces of chocolate. We’ll see how I feel. And I give myself permission to, if I want to have more, I have more, but oftentimes like that permission, I usually don’t because I have that permission. That makes sense. So if you’re an autonomy driven person, you need to feel like you have options. So whether it’s nutrition or fitness, I think kind of knowing yourself well will help you dictate how you’re going to go about doing those things. So for me, when it’s like, when it comes to health, it’s kind of a non-issue, it’s just like a, it’s an identity. But if you are trying to become better at your health or getting healthier, eat better, whatever it is. I like a book called the, as if principle, have you heard about this Mike? It’s basically like you start acting as if you’re that person already. So treating your business like it’s a viable business before it even is, you know, doing what a healthy person would do, even though you’re not quite there yet. For me, my practice is like, who’s doing it better than me. And what would they choose in this moment? So what would a fit person do today? They’d probably go to the gym. For me in business. I’m always like, what would Oprah do? Someone who’s like at the success level that I want to get to or whoever your person is, what decision would they make here? And that’s literally how I make my decisions. And I don’t think about what would Jill the current Jill do, I would say, what is the successful version of Jill? What decision would she make in this moment? And that’s sort of my tangible, sort of actionable strategy when it comes to making choices about business, about health, about relationships, things like that.

Mike Ayala: I love it. So good. What was your greatest setback and what did you learn from it?

Jill Coleman: Not a lot of setbacks. You know, I think if you’re doing anything bigger or different, you’re going to have a lot of lessons. So you do have to have a level of resiliency about you. I would say probably especially in business. And I’ve been in the industry long enough to have had like some really monstrous sort of mess-ups. One that comes to mind actually was a few years ago. So when I first got into the space, I was doing fitness and nutrition and then I transitioned into doing some business mentorship and I launched a year-long mentorship called best of you, and I think 2012. It was a year-long business course. And at the time it wasn’t, there wasn’t a lot for fitness business owners or personal trainers. There wasn’t a lot of that. So this became like, you know, a really well-known sort of signature year-long business course for personal trainers, for fitness instructors, health coach, etc. And over the years, and you know, this, when you try and scale you, I started pulling away like sort of facetime with me cause I was getting more people in and we were growing the program and we’re getting a lot of people taking this course. And I just couldn’t give everyone so much time with me. I wasn’t doing one-on-one calls. I started pulling back even the group calls. Cause they were just getting too massive and it was a good problem to have. But what happened was it became way too robust and way too, sort of DIY that I sort of noticed in like 2018 was the last time we ran it that like only 10% to 15% of the people were actually finishing the course. And like, that’s not a good percentage, right? So if this is my reputation, I’m only as good as the results I can get from my clients. I had to have a really serious like look, this thing was like a cash cow. I think the last time we launched it, we made like half a million dollars and it was like, no work for me. All DIY and I had to look at it and go like, okay, this is not good. Even though this program has a great reputation and we’re making a lot of money, I’m only as good as the results my clients are getting. If they’re not finishing the course, that’s my problem. Like that’s something I need to figure out. So I actually retired the program, and this is really tough because again, this was like a shoe and this program had a really great reputation. I’ve ran it for about six years. So I retired the program and I just streamlined the entire curriculum. I gave a lot more face time with me. I bumped the price. And the first time I launched that program, I made like $60,000. So I went from making half a million dollars to $60,000 in a brand-new program. And over time, the last couple of years, that program has grown too, but I had to completely redo the whole thing. So a lot more facetime with me. And then we got our retention rate over 80% with the new course. So like that to me was a moment in my business where I had to pick my head up and go, Hey, this isn’t working anymore. As much as like, it’s going well from a monetary perspective, like I can’t keep sustaining this like 10%, 15% retention rate compliance rate is not good for when it comes to this stuff. So retire the program. And so I’ve had moments like that where things had been working for a time and then they just stopped working and you need to, and it’s hard because it’s your ego, right? It’s like, you have to do an ego check. Like this is my baby. This is my thing. This is, like my identity was kind of tied to that program or tied to whatever it is. So you have to kind of, I’ve had many moments like that where, for example, the blogging I had mentioned you know, blogging was a thing that was working for a time and then it just stopped. It wasn’t working people aren’t reading long-form content anymore. So I was teaching a blogging model that worked for me and I had to pivot like in like 2014, 2015, okay, this isn’t working anymore. What is working? And so staying on your game, especially in this space Mike because, you know, like this stuff changes so fast. The technology changes, the way consumers are consuming content changes, the way they’re buying changes, like technology changes. There’s so many different things. So there’s definitely been some like moments where I’ve had to check my ego a big time. And that was one.

Mike Ayala: I love the approach that you took there though, because in this day and age, I was just having this conversation with somebody on the back end. Some people’s business models completely rely on people signing up, giving someone their credit card and realizing that they’re never going to cancel that. And that was the exact opposite of what you just said. And so I really appreciate and love that you’re so results-focused. The 15% is just not acceptable to you. That’s pretty amazing. And I think there’s a powerful lesson in that.

Jill Coleman: Yeah. I mean, it’s one of those things where like, it doesn’t feel good, you know, I was just like, okay. Cause I had to say it to myself and I could’ve easily been like, well, they should just finish the course. Like all the materials here, they just don’t want it enough. Like I could have said that, but instead I was like, okay, it’s my problem. This is my course. There are things I can put in place to get the adherence to be higher, you know and that’s my issue. And so retiring that program at the time, I want to say it felt like a risk because it was not really like it to be in my integrity, I couldn’t keep like launching that program. And I still had people ask me about it, but it’s just, the iteration it was at the very end is not the same as what I’m offering now. So yeah. I mean, it’s tough, but if you and you know, this, you have to have integrity in this business. I think that’s one of the things, if you don’t have that, if you don’t have like honesty you know, integrity, cause there’s no checks and balances, right. Someone can put on their Instagram profile that there they are a multiple seven-figure business owner. And you’re like, there’s no way to check that. So you have to have be, you know, you have to be a person of your word and 10 years in I’m like I have to, that’s the only thing I can’t sleep at night if I’m not.

Mike Ayala: I don’t need all the details, but what was, what’d you find in that, like, what’d you have to adjust? Was it just something about the delivery? Like what was wrong with it?

Jill Coleman: Yeah, so it was completely self-paced. So for example, like there was like, the curriculum was dripped over a year. And what happened was because so many people wanted it, I actually lowered the price point. So it was like more affordable, more accessible, which is great. Cause you were getting a lot more volume of people coming in, but because there was no direct coaching with me, it required a lot of self-sufficiency on the part of the consumer, you know, and the person who was like watching the tutorials and like take a lot of, just sort of like self-starting. But it was also beginners and they just don’t have that sort of self-start they need a lot of handholding at the beginning. So that was really the biggest thing. And also because the curriculum grew over six years, there was more and more like add more and more tutorials. And so anyway, they logged in and there’s literally like 60 something tutorials it’s overwhelming. So when I thought about what the next iteration would be, it was way more streamlined. I thought about everything that I wanted to include, and then I cut it in half and then I kind of have again, and I know that sounds counterintuitive because as course creators or business owners in this space, we think we have to give a bunch of stuff like how many zoom calls and how much Facebook access. I’m like, we just try and get like over-deliver, but we end up overwhelming. Sometimes our clients I noticed was, and I took a lot of market research. People were just getting overwhelmed. They were feeling behind. And then they were just like, well, I guess it’s just not for me. And they were checking out. And so my goal became, how can I keep people engaged? What’s that going to look like? So instead I started doing weekly zoom calls. I was like, cool, everyone’s getting on every Tuesday at noon or getting on for like, and literally these calls are like two hours long. So it’s a big chunk of time. And then instead of giving them tutorials every week, it was every two weeks. Instead of giving them 60-minute materials, it was 20-minute tutorials. This sounds counterintuitive, right? We think we need to give more stuff. What I found for adherence, which is predicated on better results was less, is more. And that was a really, that was a lesson I had to learn, less is more. People feel like they can do it. And they build their self-efficacy, and they stay engaged in the process. They’re going to get the result, but people were checking out way too early because they were super overwhelmed.

Mike Ayala: It makes a lot of sense. I love it. What is the piece of advice you find yourself sharing the most?

Jill Coleman: I would say probably, and this is kind of something I came to my own, but I think having been in this industry for a long enough time and having enough blenders and obstacles and barriers and things that I’ve overcome, I tell my clients all the time that we can see something tough or see some obstacle as a pain, or we can see it as a puzzle. And that’s always my mantra. I can see this as a pain, or I could see this as a puzzle. And I think that goes to the need for resiliency and resourcefulness, if you’re building a business and you know, it’s Mike, like, you’re always good. There’s always, it’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when something’s going to happen. And so I have found, at least from my clients, the ones who are able to almost expect that at some point, there’s going to be resistance and not be so jarred when they finally see like, when they run up against an obstacle or a technology or something that’s not cooperating, this is called failure expectation. The idea that like, at some point, you know, there’s going to be a failure. So once you see it, you’re like, okay, there it is. I knew it was coming. How can I go around it or work around here with my pivot versus people who think everything’s supposed to be smooth sailing, they’ll crumble at the first sign of any sort of resistance. And they end up checking out. And so for my clients and myself, even I can see this as a pain, or I can see this as a puzzle. To me, everything in business is a puzzle. There’s always a solution. It’s just that we don’t know it yet. People are buying things on the internet. Cool. What do we need to do? Is this a marketing issue? Is this a product issue? Where does it break down? And I think oftentimes, especially if you have your own business, it’s really easy to get so emotionally attached to your business because it’s your baby, you know, it’s your creation. So if you don’t make sales, you take it personally. Like they don’t like me. And it’s like, no, of course they like you, but it just didn’t connect. So what broke down there? What was the issue? And I’ve actually done this. I have a business podcast called Fitbit. You and I did five episodes on why people don’t buy, reasons why they don’t buy. And none of those reasons were because you’re not good. Like you are good, but it’s a marketing issue or it’s a trust issue, or it’s a product issue. So if I can get clinical and like remove the emotion and make it all about me and I’m bad and just remove the emotions he had clinically, I’m much more likely to be able to push through, to find the solution. So for me, the mantra is always, I can see as the painter, I see a puzzle and my clients who are able to see something as a puzzle and really pivot and get clinical, they do much better than like really taking then I would, I would say that I think getting really emotionally attached to outcomes is probably more of a beginner issue. I think once you’ve had enough reps and you’ve seen that, like not everything goes well you just get more used to it and you don’t get so emotionally attached.

Mike Ayala: That’s such, that’s so good. It’s hard not to be emotionally attached, especially to that outcome and not take it personal. It’s so much value there.

Jill Coleman: I read this book years ago by a, I forget his name, Ryan Blair. I forget the name of the book. But anyway, he says he has a mantra that he says, the path is all math. And I love that because it’s a reminder to me that like, I don’t need to get emotionally attached to something. Like, where’s it breaking down? Somewhere in here, something isn’t happening the way it needs to be happening for this to be successful. So what is that? And it’s just a reminder for all of us to just stay as objective as possible, but to your point, yeah, it’s hard. You know, it’s funny. I talked to my girlfriends who are employees and they do projects all the time, and their projects don’t always go really well all the time, but they just go, well, we’ll just try again next time.  But if it’s your business, it’s so easy to take it so personally. You know, but if you’re working for someone else to like, well, you know, better luck next time, or like, okay, we can do a couple of things. You don’t take it as seriously. I always say like, take your results seriously, but don’t take them personally. Like to me, I’m like a clinician, like, cool, let’s do a full debrief. To me, that’s not scary. You know, I like talking about things that didn’t go up, because that’s the only way I can start making them better.

Mike Ayala: That is such a good point. And so powerful. I mean, just the conversation. I watch my employee sometimes and I feel more emotionally connected to the outcome sometimes. And separating that has been a valuable lesson to me. And the way you just said that is so powerful, because again, from a project management side, I mean, a lot of people don’t take it as personal as we do. I had somebody tell me one time, like you don’t realize how ugly your baby is and, and everybody else can see it. And he was talking about my business specifically. It was like a mentor of mine. And I took that so personal because he was talking specifically about my business and he’s like, listen, if this was the same scenario, when you were working for your employer previously, would you be this emotional about it? And it’s like, no, I wouldn’t be. And he’s like, it’s because you’re, it’s your child. And I’m like, Oh, it was such a turning point for me.

Jill Coleman: And it’s also good to remind us as people who are employing others, that they’ll never going to love us as much as, why would they? That’s not a knock against them. That’s just like the reality of the situation. And so realizing that no one’s going to care as much about your baby and your business as you are, kind of gives me a sense of freedom. I don’t need to blame someone else. I’m like, cool. Like, they’re there, and they want to work, but they’re not like they’re not so emotionally attached to this being successful. So, I mean, I think there’s ways that you can get your employees excited about the outcome and incentivize them to care more. But I don’t know that, you know, at the end of the day, they’re just never going to as much as you are.

Mike Ayala: Yeah. And I think if we could just bring that down to incentivizing certain outcomes versus like the big picture success of everything, it makes it more palatable for. Because you know, we’re invested in this for the long haul and not to say that I have some employees that have been with me for 12 years and I feel like they’re vested in what we’re doing, but we still have to bring it down to something that’s actionable and measurable. So I love it. So I want to change this a little bit. You’ve been in the online space, the personal brand space. You’ve built your personal brand for how many years? This goes back to 2010, 2012?

Jill Coleman: Yeah 2010.

Mike Ayala: Okay. So I heard Gary V, I am going to set this up and then I just want to, I want to let you dig into it. So I heard Gary V a couple of years ago, say that there’s a day coming when, just like we have an accounting team, just like we have an operations team, a sales team, every business in the world is going to need a content team and they need to build, you know, a personal brand. He’s literally said, I think a personal brand around that company. Somebody needs to take that position. And I, like, I heard that. And so two things. Number one, when I sold my first business in 2014, I often say it was the best and worst day of my life because I had spent 10 years of my life building that business. And now Kara and I exited and I’m like, now what? My entire identity and personal brand, even though I didn’t have a personal brand was tied up in that business. And I went, I’m like, now, what, what am I going to do?  Who am I, everything was that. And then when I heard Gary V say that my marketing team had already been saying some of this to like shorten the life cycle of the investors in our real estate investment business and all this stuff. So I kind of listened, but now I’m watching. And I think that, well, number one COVID has just accelerated it, but there’s people like you that got ahold of this 12 years ago, 10 years ago, 11 years ago. I look around and there are so many brick and mortar businesses and people running those businesses that are obscure. Nobody knows who they are other than if they’re out shaking hands with people. So what do you say about all that? I mean, is it more important than ever that entrepreneurs and business owners are building their personal brand?

Jill Coleman: Well, it’s so interesting because I’ve had this conversation a lot recently and it’s because of the way consumerism is right now on social media and like the fact that we have more access now than we’ve ever had. So for example, I could DM a celebrity on Instagram and like, maybe get a response for the first time ever, right? There’s not all these different, like access barriers to different people like celebrities or, you know, whatever. So while I think that we’re in a place where a lot of consumers who want to have a personal relationship with the person they’re buying from, that’s why the beauty of personal brands is like, it’s the easiest way to get started because you just have to be you. And then you see who connects with you and then who wants to buy for you. But when I think about stores, like, I don’t know, target or home Depot or something, we don’t know the person behind those brands, but we still want to identify with someone who shops there as an example. So for example, if I say to you, okay, Mike, which, you know, gee, would you rather go to Target or Walmart, you clearly have one that you would rather shop at because you want to identify as a person who goes there and not there. Same thing, Lowe’s versus Home Depot. I think that there, even though there’s not a person like a face behind these companies, there’s a feel and that’s, you know, that’s branding. So like, who do you want to be associated with? We always say in our space that people don’t buy coaching, they buy coaches. So the end of the day, I want to identify as someone who’s a Target shopper. I want to identify someone who goes to Walmart. I want to identify someone who goes to Home Depot versus Lowe’s or whatever. So even though there’s not like a physical face, there still needs to be a feel because as consumers where we spend our money is that’s our values. It’s like who we want to be associated with. That’s a part of our identity. So I believe that we see this on Twitter all the time, especially with like big brands, you know, they have personalities on Twitter, and they should, I think that’s important. Like, you know, Wendy’s and like all these different fast-food chains. And I do believe that the value of something like a Wendy’s, right, it’s kind of, self-evident you go there, you get a burger, you like their fries, whatever. But there also needs to be something else at this point, because so when he says a content team, I actually think that’s true. I think that a lot of the content we’re seeing from these bigger brands, like we want to identify with them or not. So it’s not just enough to say we have the best burger. It’s not good enough for me to say, I’m the best meal plan. I need to feel connected even more so, because there’s now so many different people I could connect with, you know, like how many different fast-food chains are there. Same thing, I talk about this in personal branding all the time. You know, I don’t know, 30 years ago, 40 years ago, you went to an ice cream shop and there was what? Chocolate, vanilla strawberry. Now, if you go to your local, wherever, there’s like 10 different kinds of chocolate, there’s triple chocolate, death by chocolate, chocolate chip. So the same thing is happening online with not only personal brands, but you know, stores as well, brick and mortars. So the specificity of client to company or client to brand matching system is so much more specific than it’s ever been, which is good for outcomes, right. Someone might choose to hire me because I deadlift versus a coach who doesn’t deadlift. We might have the same similar sort of way we do things. We have similar kind of, you know, our expertise is the same, but they connect with me because they also dead lift. And that’s literally how people are making decisions is these really small sort of personality traits. And so, I do believe that there needs to be a content team because a brand like McDonald’s or Wendy’s, or Lowe’s, or Home Depot, they can’t afford to just rest on the value of what they sell. They have to have something else, because again, there’s so many more options for consumers now, that that fit is a lot more specific than it used to be.

Mike Ayala: Do you feel so, like for an entrepreneur, that’s not really, you know, doing much on the content space or online brand or any of that kind of stuff. Do you feel it’s more important that they start sharing about them or about their product? Or is it a combination of both? What does that look like?

Jill Coleman: Yeah, it’s both. There needs to be definitely like a personality. Here’s the thing. If a brand just only shares their personality and like personal things about them. I might want to hang out with them. Like if we live next door or something, we might hang out together. However, I also need to know that you can help me with something. So this is actually called the pratfall effect, this is like the ultimate trust formula. There’s two pieces to the trust formula. Number one is there needs to be an authority. So this is where if I’m, I’ll give you an example. So I love flavor God, you know, flavor God? They’re like these, they’re like these pre-made sort of herbs and spices. And they market mostly to fitness people. And they use a lot of like sponsorship type stuff. And I love their spices, but a lot of them are really obscure. There’s one like ranch and there’s like a cinnamon roll. And like, they’re just like really obscure ones. And they share recipes on how to use their things.  So it’s super simple, but their entire Instagram feed is recipes using some of their more obscure spices and herbs. And like that has a ton of utility. So I need to feel that they’re an authority in the space so somebody that can learn for them. There’s something they can teach me. They have a solution for a struggle I’m dealing with. So there needs to be an authority. And the second is what we were talking about earlier, which there needs to be relatedness. So you can be the smartest person on earth and have all the solutions and have all the degrees. But if I don’t feel like we could have a conversation over a glass of wine, I’m probably not going to buy from you. And the opposite is true as well. I don’t want to just feel like we’d be best friends. Like that’s cool, but I’m not going to give you money. I need to also feel like you have something to teach me. And so we need both of those things. We need relatedness and we need authority as well. And when you have that combination, so the answer to your question is yes, but it also needs to have some sort of solution-oriented piece of content, something where there’s like, actionable sort of tactical utility in what you’re sharing. So flavor, God, they’re cute. They have like, you know, they have like a personal brand, but then they also have a ton of stuff that you can learn, like a utility. Like I can print out these recipes and use them, we just used one the other night. So we need to have both, we need to have the authority as well as the relatedness.

Mike Ayala: I love it. So you’ve been in this space for a while. So how do you, I was thinking back to something that you said earlier, and I get asked a lot, you know, Hey, I’ve got $5,000 to invest, where should I invest that? And for me, my go-to answer when you’ve got $5,000 to invest, is it it’s in yourself. You know, whether that’s around health, mindset, business, whatever. So how do you, how do you stay on top of, I mean, the world’s changing so fast now and you’ve been at this a long time. How do you stay ahead of all this?

Jill Coleman: I don’t always clearly, by the example I gave earlier, you know, sometimes I am behind the eight ball and I got to catch up really quickly. You know, it’s hard to say because in our space, there’s a lot of different schools of thought. You know this, there’s a lot of, there’s hundreds of ways to arrive at success. I don’t know that there are one best practice. You know, we can look at someone like a Brendan Bouchard or Tony Robbins, or, you know, these people, Marie Forleo, who had mass success, Gary V obviously these people have ways in which their best practices and what they teach in their courses. So I think the best lesson I could give someone listening to this is figure out the way that you work. So for example, if you have an expert telling you have to have a podcast, right, you have to have a podcast. If you don’t like talking and you’re not good at speaking, you probably don’t want to start with a podcast. Maybe you start with written content first, right? And then you practice sort of your speaking skills and things like that. And maybe so, even though it’s a best practice, it might not be a best practice for you. And in my experience, it takes up a lot, a lot of years, but it’s certainly a good amount of reps to arrive and almost have the confidence to choose your path. I think oftentimes you have to see a whole bunch of different things. At the beginning, I think we see a lot of people feeling like they have to fit themselves to a specific mold or what that looks like for success. And so in other words, there are people in the space where I really respect, and I really liked the way that they do things. And I’d be much more likely to jump on those bandwagons and listen to those people than others who I just know, like I just never worked that way. If someone wants to work 12, 14-hour days, they might be multi, you know, millionaire or whatever. But like I just, I don’t want to have that type of business. So you have to, it’s just a level of self-awareness too, which I think takes some time and some reps. And the other way, honestly, is I have to be in the trenches. Like I’m talking to my clients constantly. I’m constantly on calls. I’m in groups, I’m talking to them about their launches. I’m launching my own programs. So a lot of this comes down to just like clinically what’s working in the space right now. And I think it’s important. And I think the times in which I’ve lost touch of what’s working, it was because I pulled back on that. And it’s hard because we want to scale. So we can’t always just have a ton of face time with our clients all time. But for me, however, I can figure out how to be in the trenches with my clients as much as possible, also having my own sort of level of autonomy and things like that. Stay on the pulse, you know, like you need to, what’s the word, just cultivate high self-worth, right. To me, it’s like, that’s reading, that’s listening to podcasts. It’s being in the trenches. That’s, you know, staying on top of what’s working, what’s not working. If you haven’t had a lot of clinical experience lately, we probably need to take on some clients, just see what’s what. So I would say probably that is, I mean that space is interesting. Cause there’s so many different people you could listen to. There’s a school Gary V and so I think you have to just get a certain amount of where your values are.

Mike Ayala: Yeah. I love it. So much value. I want to make sure that we tap into what I think is genius. And again, we’ve got busy, successful entrepreneurs, business owners, all that. So it’s a very, very crowded busy world when it comes to food intake and diets and all the above. And I love the approach that you take. Like, you know if somebody tells me I can’t do something it’s really hard for me to not prove that right or wrong one way or another, what’s your advice for I mean, how do we, you know, Keto and diets and macros and all this stuff, like how do we sort through all this?

Jill Coleman: It’s such a good conversation because we are so inundated with the latest and greatest. And I think the nature of the dieting industry is that. And so, I mean, you guys probably know this, but if I want to write a diet book and I got a book deal with a publisher, the first question the publisher asks me is what’s the hook? What’s the thing. What’s the new way. And in the health and fitness role, it’s not rocket science. There’s not like some special combination of foods that produces a six-pack in six days. So with the pressure of having to market a hook, all of a sudden now the entire bookshelf at Barnes and noble is diets that are all these sort of like novel, weird, strange protocols because that’s how they need to sell books. So it’s the marketing itself perpetuates this idea that the old shit doesn’t work anymore when it does. Like the old things work, like pick up heavy things and put them down, like eat, try to eat more vegetables, try to have more protein. Like it’s very simple, but healthy eating has a marketing issue. We’re not excited about it.  So I think one of the things to stop doing is trying to find something else. I think most people spend more time looking for something to do than actually doing something. And it’s hard because we’re so used to it being really intense. I got to do this cleanse. I got to do this thing. And it’s like, we’re used to, like, I got to give up alcohol. Everything is, we’re so inundated with intensity around fitness and nutrition that we forget that doing most things mostly well most of the time actually works. But when you kind of give up the intensity, it feels kind of boring. It feels kind of anti-climactic. To me, people ask me all the time, like, what’s your secret? I’m like just lift weights for 20 years. Like, that’s it. You know, and so I think what my advice to someone listening to this who has a lot of competing priorities, you’re trying to build a business. You’re trying to, you know, have a great relationship. You’re trying to do the home stuff is pick three things that I call these daily nutritional commitments, like three things daily. Because there’s a list and you know, it’s like there’s 20, 30, 100 things you could do. Ask any nutrition or fitness expert. They’ll give you all their best practices. If we try to implement 20 things perfectly, we’ll end up implementing exactly zero things. So instead, why don’t you just pick three big dial movers. When you do them consistently, you know, that you stay fairly on track. So for me, I have protein every meal. When I say protein, I don’t eat 20 grams, 25 grams. I don’t count. And like, does this have protein? Yes or no. Second thing is I have one big salad today. Because I just know if I don’t get any other vegetables throughout the day, I have this one thing has me five or six servings. So I have one huge salad. I don’t make it like, you know, lettuce, leaves with lemon juice. It’s like a legit delicious salad that has a ton of vegetables, you know, marinated meat, like whatever, like make it taste good. But I know at least I’m getting five or six servings of vegetables in that. And then I always have like protein bars on hand for snacks. To me that gives me a little bit of sort of like sweet relief, but a little bit healthier. So if I’m getting jonesing for something sweet, I have half of the protein bar, a third of a protein bar throughout the day and that’s it. And like, sure, there’s other things I do. But for the most part, if I just do those three things, I do pretty well. And I always say like, as with the rest do your best, as with the rest do your best.  Could I be drinking more water? Could I do dry January? Could I go to sleep earlier? There’s a million things I could do, but if I do these three things consistently, I stay pretty on track. So for other people might be water. For someone else it might be getting into stop eating after eight o’clock. For other people, it might be, you know, waking up and having breakfast right away. So you need to kind of have a level of self-awareness to know what those big dial movers would be for you. Just start with three, get really good at those and see how you do. And I think you’ll be surprised.

Mike Ayala: That is so valuable there. I’ve been thinking about this a lot as, as high-performers business owners, entrepreneurs, whatever. We’re constantly looking to leverage our time. I’m going to hire someone to do this, and I’m going to outsource this. And what I realized recently, like if I really want to key in and get successful in what you’re talking about, I need to spend a little bit of time investing in prep too. Because when I find myself go off, you know, slide off the tracks is when I’m, you know, 30 miles from home and I forgot to bring a lunch and, so it’s funny how much time we put into preparation around all these other areas in our life, but not our health.

Jill Coleman: Yep. And we just wing it. And so like a super simple solution would be like, if you know that about yourself and that’s a great piece of awareness that you had is like, cause that’s the thing is you have to notice that about yourself. A lot of people would just be in the McDonald’s drive-through before they even notice it. So you’re like, cool, I notice when I’m 30 miles away and I have no food, what my tendency is, is to go into the gas station and grab like chips and a chocolate bar or whatever it is. So deciding, okay, then how can I circumvent that? What else do I need to have on board? I think there’s a difference between being like nutritionally prepared like you’re talking about and having like nutritional crutches because I come from like a very obsessive sort of dieting competition background where a lot of times people oftentimes either yo-yo diet or yo-yo back and forth from like no prep at all to like, I can only eat in my kitchen or else I can’t trust myself around food. So being able to stay fluid but have that awareness. So my nutrition philosophy, if people are interested is moderation 365. There’s a whole sort of curriculum that goes into it. I am a certified professional in the method, so it’s moderation 365 on Instagram. There’s a lot of free content on there if you’re, okay, this sounds interesting. I could maybe start to adopt some of these really sustainable practices. There’s a lot of free content on there. I would definitely encourage people to start there.

Mike Ayala: Awesome. This has been so valuable, and you already mentioned moderation 365. Where else can people find you?

Jill Coleman: I am just at Jill fits on all the socials. So Instagram is pretty much where I spend most of my time. Would love to chat with you guys. I have a business podcast as well called Fit Biz U, I actually just launched it in November. And we’re publishing five days a week. So it’s Monday through Friday, all episodes are 15 minutes or less, mostly for sort of the personal branding stuff, especially for those in years, 0 – 2 of their internet business. So these are super short soundbites, kind of like yours Mike, you inspired me by your short episodes. All 15 minutes or less publishing Monday through Friday. So if you guys are interested in more of this stuff, it’s some digestible content for you.

Mike Ayala: Well, I appreciate you coming on, any final words. I mean, again, our audience is like, you know, super high performers, they’re trying to become better versions of themselves. I think you’ve already given us so much value, but any last things to say?

Jill Coleman: I mean, it sounds like, you know, if you’re listening to Mike, you guys are obviously in really good hands. You know, one of the, I think especially if you are a high-performer and you’re trying to leverage all areas of your life, you want to have amazing relationships. You want to have great health. You want to have a thriving business. You want to be passionate and have purpose around something. One of the biggest lessons, I think, at least for me over this the past 10 years has just been self-compassion. I think that this is one of the biggest things is just being gentle with yourself. And realizing that you’re on the journey that we’re always in process, we’re always learning. So it’s funny. And I don’t know if you’ve had the experience Mike, where like, I finally feel like I’ve mastered something. In a second I feel like I mastered it, it like goes in a different direction and I’m like, oh yeah, there’s still shit for me to learn. So I think being gentle with myself and giving we the benefit of the doubt, realizing that this is always a practice. I don’t know that you ever just like master you’re eating, as soon as you feel like you have it mastered something happens. You move to a new city and there’s new restaurants and there’s new things to do and whatever. So I think be gentle with yourself, show yourself compassion. To me, self-compassion has been a compliance tool. What I mean by that is if I beat myself up, I’m much more likely to just check out the process instead of being like, you know what? You’re learning, you’re getting better. There’s always a solution. You just got to find it. You got to stick with it. So I do a lot of sort of internal, like mental pep talks to keep myself engaged, whether it’s in my business and kind of moving that forward or it’s in my nutrition and health journey and realizing that there’s going to be ebbs and flows and that’s okay too. And it doesn’t mean that you’re bad or you’re going to be like that forever. It’s just like, show yourself, compassion, show yourself some grace, give yourself the benefit of the doubt and realize that this is a journey that I don’t think ever really ends. So that’s, it.

Mike Ayala: That is probably the gym, my biggest takeaway there at the end, because we spend so much time encouraging everyone around us, but we don’t stop to celebrate us and our wins and our victories. And so can’t thank you enough.

Jill Coleman: I mean, like we hold ourselves to a high standard, you know, we’re like, we’re quick to show our clients compassion and empathy and be there for them. And then, but we expect ourselves to just, you know, just to have it completely dialed in. And I think that’s a mistake. I think that’s a fast way to kind of check out of the process.

Mike Ayala: Wow. Well, I still appreciate you. Yeah. Thanks for coming on. And so much value. Thank you for your time.

Jill Coleman: Yeah, you got it.

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Episode 99