Welcome to the Join Up Dots business coaching podcast with Craig Ballantyne
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Introducing Craig Ballantyne
Craig Ballantyne is my guest today, on the Steve Jobs inspired Join Up Dots business coaching podcast interview.
Craig is a man who believes 100% that we all have the power to create the perfect day (and by rights should be doing just that.)
He is a Productivity & Success Transformation Coach from Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and funnily enough the author of the book The Perfect Day Formula: How to Own the Day and Control Your Life.
He has been a contributor to Men’s Health magazine since 2000, and his articles have also appeared in Women’s Health, Oxygen, GQ, Maxim, National Geographic, Men’s Fitness and Muscle and Fitness Hers, amongst many others.
But of course the journey towards being known as the “the Godfather of fitness info marketing” starts with an understanding of what you enjoy most in life, and then building a business around that love.
We have to find the belief that there is more possible in our own lives before trying to changing the world.
How The Dots Joined Up For Craig
And this was certainly the case with today’s guest, who like so many young men who now earn their living in the fitness industry, he found the love early in his life when he played a lot of sports day after day.
The competition, the physical challenge and of course the outright fun was what lit him up inside and made him want to do more and more.
So he then focused his energies on weight training, before realizing that he wanted to be a strength coach in professional sports.
He had found the starting point that had lead to the amazing business that he has today.
If just one part of what it has become.
As of course we all know, that being fit is just one half of what makes us ready to tackle bigger and bigger challenges, to build amazing success in our lives.
The physical will always bash against the mental.
So by setting your stall out everyday to tackle the world in the right way, you are giving yourself an amazing platform to then become the version that you would want to be too.
They work hand in hand to create a powerful force of self improvement.
But dont think that this a dot to dot story that was a breeze from start to finish, as our guest has had to overcome many obstacles on his journey to success, even tackling his toughest battle with crippling anxiety attacks that could have stopped everything before it began.
So looking back on his life, was he lucky that he found the thing within himself to build a business around?
Or is this a doorway that most people have waiting for them to walk through if they only work on asking the right questions?
Well lets find out as we bring onto the show to start joining up dots with the one and only Mr Craig Ballantyne.
During the show we discussed such weighty topics with Craig Ballantyne such as:
How Craig Ballantyne will never outsource certain parts of his business no matter what, and the reasons why he wont do this.
Why so many people across the world hold themselves back because they dont truly believe in themselves and what they can achieve in life.
How he has found the optimum sleep patterns that helps him find the periods of the day where he has the best energy, what he calls “Magic Time”
Why it is so important for us all to find out “Our Why” in our lives, so that we can fight though the hard-times and the lack of income that is there at the beginning.
How he recalls his big dot occurring in his life at the very young age of four, seeing his Mother driving him home, and why it affected him so much.
How To Connect With Craig Ballantyne
Books By Craig Ballantyne
Or if you prefer just pop over to our podcast archive for thousands of amazing episodes to choose from.
Audio Transcription Of Craig Ballantyne Interview
When we’re young, we have an amazing positive outlook about how great life is going to be. But somewhere along the line we forget to dream and end up settling. join up dots features amazing people who refuse to give up and chose to go after their dreams. This is your blueprint for greatness. So here’s your host live from the back of his garden in the UK David Ralph
David Ralph [0:35]
Yes, hello there, everybody and welcome to join up dots. This is a show that just keeps growing and growing and growing. And hopefully you’re all growing with me because that’s basically the story and the message behind the about every single one of us. by hook or by crook by inspiration, knowledge, stumbles and falls can create something that is uniquely us and is needed for the world. It’s needed for all of us out there. And that’s what today’s guest is doing. And he is a guest. But I suppose we can summarize it as he believes 100% that we all have the power to create the perfect day and by right should be doing just fat. He’s a productivity and success transformation coach from Toronto. And funnily enough, the author of the book, The perfect day formula, how to own a day and control your life. Now, it’s been a contributor to Men’s Health magazine since 2000. And these articles have also appeared in women’s health, oxygen, GQ, Maxim National Geographic, Men’s Fitness, and Muscle and Fitness hers amongst many others, with many articles also being featured on Lifehacker and telegraph.co.uk. But of course, the journey towards being known as the godfather of fitness info marketing, that’s a title and starts with an understanding of what you enjoy most in life. And then building a business around that love, we have to find the belief that there is more possible in our own lives before trying to change the world. And this was certainly the case with today’s guest who like so many young men who now own their own in the fitness industry. He found the love early in his life when he played a lot of sports day after day, the competition, the physical challenge. And of course, the outright fun was what lit him up inside and made him want to do more and more. So he went focused his energies on weight training, before realizing that he wanted to be a strength coach in professional sports, he had found the starting point, or the dot that had led to the amazing business that he has today. And if that is just one part of what he has become as of course, we all know about being fit, it’s just one half, or what makes us ready to tackle bigger and bigger challenges. To build amazing success in our lives. The physical will always bash against the mental. So by setting your stone out every day to tackle the world in the right way, you’re giving yourself an amazing platform to then become the version that you would want to be to. They work hand in hand to create a powerful force of self improvement. But don’t think that this is a doctor story that was a breeze from start to finish, as our guest has had to overcome many obstacles on his journey to success, even tackling his toughest battle with crippling anxiety attacks that could have stopped everything before it began. So looking back on his life, was he lucky that he found the thing within himself to build a business around? Or is this just a doorway that most people have waiting for them to walk through? If I only work on asking the right questions? Well, let’s find out as we bring on to the show to start joining up with the one and only Mr. Craig Ballantine.
David Ralph [3:25]
How are you today, Craig?
Craig Ballantyne [3:27]
Very, very good. Thank you so much David
David Ralph [3:29]
is lovely to have you here. So so I’m gonna cut to the chase, do you have a perfect day every day always eat just a way to think
Craig Ballantyne [3:38]
I have a perfect day, most days, the days I don’t or when I’m going to the airport that can often get in the way. But it is, as you said, a way of thinking and probably even more important a way of planning. It’s planning, preparing, being proactive, that allows you to have near perfect days, because you get off to a great start, which matters so much.
David Ralph [4:00]
One of the things I always think about planning, and obviously we are going to delve into the perfect day formula a lot on the show is by kind of planning Do you miss out on the sexy stuff are you sort of planned so that when an opportunity comes along, you can’t grasp it in both hands?
Craig Ballantyne [4:17]
No, because what you’re doing is you’re planning for the stuff that you have to do anyways, that you’re planning for the day so that you have freedom in the evening so that you are free to take advantage of what the world brings you. Now, most people what they do is they don’t plan ahead. And they end up you know, working late or working into the evening or having to check their phones late at night. And they always feel like they’re working. But if you plan ahead, the whole purpose is to have more structure, get more done, make more money, get home on time for dinner, and be present with the people you love at night.
David Ralph [4:51]
Now I’m a great believer in productivity. And I have two mantras to life. I don’t know their mantras, but they’re they’re things that I focus in on number one is the eight 20 principle big believer in that. And also Parkinson’s Law as well where you you compress the amount of time that you’ve got available to do a task to allow yourself the time time off. And I find that those two principles work wonderfully for me. So I don’t really have to plan as such, I just make sure that when I am working, I’m absolutely Uber focused. Is that fair enough this way as well? Is that how it can work?
Craig Ballantyne [5:27]
Absolutely. I mean, I love that you brought up Parkinson’s laws, my favorite part of Tim Ferriss book, The Four Hour Workweek. And it’s really about setting those deadlines. You know, you get things on your calendar, you set the deadline, you get it done. Otherwise, people just procrastinate, procrastinate, they don’t even get started. But if you have the deadline, as you mentioned david boom, you get it done. And that matters so much. And you also mentioned the focus, focus on the things that, as we say, here in North America that are the big leavers are the big levers that and move needle movers that moves you ahead in life that are really going to make a big impact.
David Ralph [6:03]
Now, what I love about Parkinson’s Law for the people out there who’ve never heard of it at all. And Tim Ferriss his book was, was my moment really, I remember reading that and realizing that my life is never going to be the same again. And we waste so much time in our life. And we think that by putting sort of six weeks into a job, the quality is going to be better. But if you compress it more often than not at the end, Craig, the quality is probably better than if you kept on coming back to it and chipping away at it. Every now and again, my introductions at the beginning of my show, and I sort of mentioned this numerous times over the last 600 episodes or so I used to spend literally two and a half hours researching at the beginning to make them the most perfect intro as I could possibly have. Now, I spend about 20 minutes, and I think that the quality is better. Yes, it takes practice, it takes experience. But the end product doesn’t have to be diminished by the amount of time that you you have been given the task does it?
Craig Ballantyne [7:02]
Now, you know, it’s funny, I was thinking, you know, as I reviewed a couple of your intros, I was thinking man, I wonder if he outsources this, because they are just so thorough and so wonderful. So it’s good to know how the sausage is made. David, thank you for sharing
David Ralph [7:15]
when I haven’t outsourced it, because I think it’s a key part. And I think it’s one of those things that you need to know whether you can do it better than somebody else. Yes, somebody else can always do what you do, but do you have that extra X Factor? And that’s what you bought into your business, isn’t it? You’ve got that extra factor that Craig Ballantyne, can can produce, but nobody else can. And there’s going to be things that might be a bit menial, that you could outsource. But you know, it’s that extra focus that extra commitment to the task that makes your business what it is, would you agree?
Craig Ballantyne [7:46]
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I, I know that I could never outsource my connecting, which is one of the biggest things that I do in my business I could have, I’m sure I could have people, you know, set up and making the initial contact. But that’s not the way i i’d like to be contact. It’s not the way I like to operate. So I like you will probably never outsource those intros, I will never outsource my connections to other people my reaching out. Now,
David Ralph [8:11]
let’s go back in your life, because he is is a fascinating story. And the more you sort of look at you, the more you kind of think, what’s this the life that was waiting for you? Or did you go out and find it? Because you did start in a kind of, I suppose normal environment, you like sports, most kids growing up like sports. But you went that one step further, didn’t you? You went that one step further, where you started to think bigger, it wasn’t just fun. It was something that you could give back. Was it a work in progress? Was it something that was just waiting for you or were you lucky,
Craig Ballantyne [8:45]
I think it was almost a detour, it was almost a detour from what really is what I should be doing, which is the transformation which is helping people change your lives, physically, mentally, financially, and emotionally, which is what I the track that I’m on now. And it really, I guess you would say the sports training was the gateway, you know, the gateway drug into the transformation world. But it wasn’t where I really should have been spending my life. And I’m, I didn’t end up spending more than a couple years there. But it was the thing that allowed me to realize, aha, here’s where I should be. And it gave me such a great background and foundation of knowledge that helps me every single day and what I do.
David Ralph [9:26]
So I tell the people what you do out there for the people that are listening, who never heard of you give us an idea of your day, and how you bring income and of course provide value to the world.
Craig Ballantyne [9:38]
Right. So I’ll just go back and quickly mentioned that, you know, when I was thinking of being that strength and conditioning coach, and it was actually the National Hockey League to be specific, that was my goal and dream. Then I stumbled into the opportunity of writing for Men’s Health magazine, which I’m sure you know, most of your listeners have heard about. It’s the biggest Fitness magazine in the world. And I got an opportunity right them and help you know the kind of the average Joe to transform his life with regular workout programs and articles in the magazine. And I love that. And I then started selling my own products online in 2001. And so that’s how my business really runs today. But I also have a second business it is about productivity, time management, personal development called early to rise. And so I do a lot of content creation for those sites that do a lot of connecting, I do a lot of interviews, both interviewing other people and then interviewing being interviewed to promote my book. And I also interview people to be on our team. And we have a team in Denver that puts all our content out and we publish a couple other people. So really, we’re, you know, to make an analogy, we’re like Beachbody, the company that publishes p90x and insanity. We also publish cookbooks and yoga programs, we we essentially are getting information out there to help people change their lives in a positive way. And that is the business that I help run today. So is it sort of
David Ralph [11:05]
did you help yourself before you help the world? Is that the way that it operates? Do you need to find your thing become a better version of your thing? Until you believe totally that yes, this is worth sharing with the world is that the quickest way to success,
Craig Ballantyne [11:20]
I don’t think that you have to totally change, you have to be in the mindset of it. Because I’m still not done changing. And I’ve been at this since you know, I was 16 years old. And you know, as I had a bad temper and tried to improve myself, that’s where my personal transformation journey started. And also, that’s when I started lifting weights and transforming my body. But you know, I’m still not an expert, I’m still not done. And so you can’t wait until you’re done or an expert or perfect in order to get started. Which I’m sure which you know, David, and I’m sure you teach people, you know, just get out there and take action. So with the you know, the real thing is, is get some expertise. And once you’re able to help somebody else, help, by all means, don’t hold back, get out there and help people.
David Ralph [12:03]
But there is that mental thing, isn’t it? There’s that mental bridge that you’ve got to cross where you you believe in yourself. And I spend so much time talking to people? And I’m sure you do where I say Can you can you not see this? Can you not see how good you are? How good you’re going to be that you’ve got it already. But I just need something else. I used to say that it was dumb bows, magic fair. But you remember when Dumbo could fly. But unless he had that feather in his his trunk, he just couldn’t. And then he suddenly realized, hang on, I don’t need this feather. I’m a flying elephant, I can do what I want. And that’s sort of what life is about, isn’t it, we need that favor, until we suddenly realize Hang on, we can do this ourselves, we flap our ears, and off we go.
Craig Ballantyne [12:48]
I think you just hit the nail on the head. This is the biggest hurdle for so many people that I coach today to get over them. One of the things that we have in our business is a certified personal trainer program. And there’s so many good people out there who are, you know, just kind of dabbling in helping other people, but they because they don’t believe in themselves. Like you said, they don’t believe that they’re the person who should be out there, they see somebody else in their town or something who they think is fitter or more experienced, and they don’t give themselves a credit. But you don’t need anybody to give you the credit. You just you know, you know stuff that can help people. The majority of people out there No, absolutely nothing. You know, whatever industry people are listening, you know, that are there. And you know, if you’re somebody out there who can help somebody improve their relationships, or marriage or something. I mean, most people are really struggling in all of these areas in life. And they need somebody with confidence and expertise to come along, take them by the hand and say, Hey, listen, let me help you. Just like you’re helping people with podcasting David I mean, you didn’t wait until you were the perfect podcaster. You got out there and you help people and I’m sure you’ve helped thousands of people get started. And that’s what matters. So much is getting started getting feedback and then improving as you go along.
David Ralph [14:02]
Well, yeah, I buy into the improvement, I find that I am obsessed by the technicalities of podcasting, the more I get into it, the more I think to myself, I could make the audio just slightly better. Or I can just do it this way. Or I could just do it that way, it’s become almost an obsession, do you feel the same way in your business are you kind of obsessed by by finding the simplicity, it’s like that analogy that they say about there’s a beautiful statue in that block of wood, you’ve just got to chip off the right bits, I find that in all our lives, there’s that that statue waiting, but you’ve got to have the obsession and the passion to carry on chipping away at it.
Craig Ballantyne [14:40]
Yeah, now there is one thing is that we can sometimes turn our passion into this perverse form of procrastination. And so you know, some people might be saying, Oh, I’m going to wait until I get that audio perfect before I record my first podcast. So again, you can’t do that. But you certainly can be tweaking and improving all the time as you go long. And so in my business, I have to be careful that I don’t, you know, get so focused on productivity that I may, as you mentioned earlier, miss out on something, because I’m just too focused on every single second of every single minute. So you do have to step back and take a look at Okay, is this fitting in the 8020 rule, you know, is tweaking my audio really that important for making the massive impact on the world? Because you take a look at some of the videos that have, you know, 10s of millions of views on Facebook, and they’re, they’re quite crappy and quality, but it’s the message that matters. And so, again, stay focused on what matters, get it done, and improve as you go along.
David Ralph [15:38]
So a use of it. Are you Uber healthy? Or do you walk around with a pocket full of tissues and a runny nose? Did you because you’re sort of mentally on your game? Does it mean that you never get sick? You know,
Craig Ballantyne [15:52]
it’s funny, um, I actually did get sick this year for the first time in a long time. And it’s because I was in a mastermind meeting, and I was staying out late. And I was getting up early because I was so excited about what I had learned over the course of the day that I wanted to apply it. So I was getting only a few hours, Kip per per night as my friends over across the pond would say a few hours of sleep per night. And then I was hanging around my friend Pedro’s Coolen, who would be a really great guest for the show. And Beatrice and I were going hiking in the morning, but they had a cold. And so babe Rose was driving and he was coughing in the car. And I don’t I think that even if I had gotten eight hours of sleep, I wouldn’t have been able to get away from catching that cold from Pedro. So that’s when I got sick. But most of the time Yeah, I mean, before that I couldn’t remember the last time I got sick. Because mostly it’s nutrition, but also it’s decent sleep and consistent exercise that allows me to stay out of trouble with illness.
David Ralph [16:50]
So what is decent sleep for you, you’re not one of these guys, that gets up at four o’clock in the morning and pushes through to midnight, or one of these guys goes to bed, a venue youngest child,
Craig Ballantyne [17:02]
I go to bed so early, it freaks people out, I get to bed about eight o’clock at night, and I get to Yeah, and get up at about 330 or four o’clock in the morning. So I do love to get up early at the morning time is spiritual to me. I mean, it’s just so beautiful to be awake for the sunrise to be awake when everybody else is asleep. I mean, you can do it the other way you can stay up all night if you want. But for me personally, I’m an early riser. I love it. I love being ahead of the game. And so that is the way that I operate. And for me, seven hours, seven and a half hours of sleep is a normal night.
David Ralph [17:38]
Because I went through a phase of trying to compress everything I read, you know, when you online and I saw you on the authority summit, that Josh Denning and Tom Marquez actually hosted and you were talking about sort of getting your sleep patterns, right and going to bed at the same time is waking up now. And if you on the online environment, you look around all the time. And you see one guy saying hi, what you need to do is go to bed at midnight and wake up five minutes later. And then an hour later do the same thing. And you’ve got all these kind of bizarre ways of operating, which generally don’t fit into your life. So I thought to myself, well, I love getting up early. That’s the good thing. And I’ve got a lot of work to do. So I go to bed late and then get up early. So I started going to bed at 12 and waking up at about 10 pounds for and I felt the first week I felt brilliant and I thought I’d crack this master code. And then I found I wanted to have a sleep in the afternoon. I just found like my energy levels had sort of drifted off somewhat. And I’m still battling to find that optimize time for me, even though I know that the early mornings are what lights me up. But those same reason I like it when there’s no one else around. I like going for a walk in the morning before anybody’s up. It’s harder in the winter. And the summer, the summer is much easier to do. But how does somebody out there find that right time for their body clock? Because to be honest, Craig going to bed at eight o’clock. That’s not right for that Oh, is it you must miss so much socializing and being with people.
Craig Ballantyne [19:06]
Most people just watch TV all week. So I don’t miss anything during the week. And then you know, you stay up late a couple, you know, maybe on Friday or Saturday. But I mean, most people are doing nonsense stuff till 10 o’clock or 11 o’clock at night. So I’m not missing out on anything. And, you know, for me personally, I just don’t care. The other people who are you know, worried about what other people think of them and worried about you know, missing out, you know, that fear of missing out which is so popular here in America these days, they might have a harder time with it. So what you’re going to do is you need a time journal, you’re going to time journal and take a look at how you spend your day when you have the most energy when you feel like you are ahead of the game. When you feel like you should wake up when you feel like you should go to bed when you’re hungry, when you’re wasting time. And just really take a look at how you spend your day for at least three days, including a weekend day. Most people are familiar with doing this in terms of nutrition journal, where they log what they eat all day, you should also do this for your time, every 20 minutes, write down what you’re doing how you’re feeling. And in a couple of days, you’ll really get an idea of your patterns about when you should be up and went what you should be doing. And also identifying something that I call magic time, which is where you can really get a ton of work done in a short amount of time. So for me, it’s first thing in the morning, I have a friend who works from 10 till midnight, and he gets most of his work done at that time. So everybody has their own. But it all comes down with being taking an objective look at your own life.
David Ralph [20:32]
But so well. And so an individual person, isn’t it, but for an adult with kids, whatever, who’s got to get up at certain time because of school, and that, that that might be a battle. How would you sort of tackle that problem?
Craig Ballantyne [20:45]
Right? Well, I mean, if you have three month old, a six month old, everything goes out the window, and all that matters is taking care of that child until they’re up and healthy. But then eventually, I mean, I have coaching clients, you have four year old and six year old kids, and you know, they’re done work at 330 in the afternoon, because they got up early. And so I mean, we could sit here and make excuses for everybody about why they can’t go to bed and get up at the same time every day, if you want to do it, you’re going to do it. I mean, I saw my parents go to bed and get up at the same time every day when I was a kid. So again, it’s it’s it’s really the end users choice, you want to make the excuse, by all means you got all the excuses in the world. If you want to get things done, you want to be more successful, here’s the formula,
David Ralph [21:28]
you’ve got to find the thing that really makes you want to do it and haven’t you, you know, I I’m not a great exercise guy. The years I’ve always called myself fat skinny. So basically, I could eat what I want, I could drink what I want. And I never put a bit of weight on and it was always perfect. And then recently, I found that my cholesterol was sort of off the scale. And they said I was like six months from heart attack or stroke. And I thought bloody hell, I’ve got to do something about this, you know, I want to be a little longer than six months. And so I went for it. And I cut out all the fat in my food, I cut out all the potato chips, the crisps, anything that I thought was bad for me, I cut out and I started walking as much as I could. And although the weight hasn’t dropped off me because I feel like I’m at my sort of optimum weight Anyway, I’ve got it back down. But I wouldn’t have done that without having that absolute, you’ve got to do this, or it’s the end in front of you. And that’s what makes people take those choices in that when they can actually see that end product is required. But unfortunately in life, most of us can’t see those results. They we don’t have that target to set, do it.
Craig Ballantyne [22:38]
Now most people don’t have that meaningful incentive. They haven’t sat down and actually thought about what really matters in your life, which is something that I encourage everybody to do. You know, last week I was at a mastermind meeting and Bill Phillips, creator of body for life. And he on the supplement company as a very popular guy who sold 6 million copies of his book. And he was telling us about a person who just came to one of his transformation camps. He was overweight, but he learned his wife needed a kidney. And this guy, the only he was dedicated to giving his wife a kidney. And so in four months, he lost 40 pounds, he didn’t miss a single workout. He didn’t cheat on his diet a single day, because his wife’s life mattered so much to him. And it just shows you what’s possible. When you as you said David when you have that in meaningful incentive in your life, to go and make the change. And so for people that are struggling in any area of life, whether its financial or fitness or faith or family, you’re struggling because you haven’t really sat down, planned out where you want to be in life and figured out well I better darn well change this thing. If I want to achieve my goals in life. And this is meaningful to me. I’m going to make a plan to do it. And I’m going to get it done. And once you do that you can transform any area of your life.
David Ralph [23:54]
Well, let’s play some words. And then we’re going to delve back into this because I think it’s a key point to the whole episode. He’s Jim Carrey,
Jim Carrey [24:01]
my father could have been a great comedian, but he didn’t believe that that was possible for him. And so he made a conservative choice. Instead, he got a safe job as an accountant. And when I was 12 years old, he was let go from that safe job. And our family had to do whatever we could to survive. I learned many great lessons from my father, not the least of which was that you can fail at what you don’t want. So you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.
David Ralph [24:28]
So what did your parents do for a living, Craig?
Craig Ballantyne [24:31]
Well, it’s very funny. My mother wanted me to become an accountant when she learned that somebody with the same degree as I had, which was a kinesiology degree, got a job at the factory where she worked and she was very upset. She was why don’t you just go and get a regular job, like an accountant instead of you know, whatever this kinesiology thing is. And so she was a factory worker, my dad was a farmer. And so I grew up and I watched these people work as hard as anybody possibly could, you know, they worked all day. And then they worked all night. So my mother would work in the, in the office at the factory, then come home, and in the wintertime, she would so our clothes, and in the summertime, she would be in her garden until eight or 9pm at night, you know, collecting the berries and making the jam and doing all this. And so I learned my work ethic from my parents. And so that’s what they did. And that’s what they thought.
David Ralph [25:19]
And do you have work ethic always it’s smart work ethic, because I come from a background a bit like yourself, my dad was a mechanic. So every hours of the day, he was basically laying under a car. And I just had this memory of a pair of feet, basically. And that was my that was my dad. And he was always under there fixing stuff. And you’d go out and you talk to him. And he’d matter a few words. And that was it. Now, I know that he was working incredibly hard. But nowadays with the online environment that you’ve got, and the ability to create something global and far reaching, do we have to work the same kind of way? Is it better to work smart and not had the work ethic? Should we take days off and walk around to recharge ourselves? What do you think?
Craig Ballantyne [26:03]
It’s a great question. And we certainly can work all day long. I mean, you know, just from social media channel, so I got to have an Instagram and Tumblr, this so that you know, everything. There’s, there’s so much so many things. We could be doing that yes, we could be working 24 hours a day. But if you take a look at what Tim Ferriss has done, and you know so many people referenced Tim Ferriss, because what did Tim do? He put together a big idea, he really thought about something and figured out you know what, if I come up with one great book or one great blog post, it’s so much better than putting out 100, mediocre or crappy blog posts. So there are two different ways of doing things. I mean, you can do the Tim Ferriss approach, which is really, really big idea thinking or you can do the Gary van der Chuck approach. And that guy just seems to be working every single minute of every single day. He does have big ideas. But he also, you know, he’ll go along with the, you know, he’s hustling, he’s always hustling so you can have the hustler approach or the big idea approach. I think that does come down to Well, which one do I want to fit in my life. And also, which one is actually going to make better use of my skills, if you’re not a big idea, think or maybe you’d have to be more of a hustler can all be you know, Usain Bolt 100 meters, some of us are going to have to work harder to run faster. And so you just have to figure things out. And then going back to the two great lessons you gave at the start of the show david at 20. Once you find what works for you focus on what works for you, and do less of what doesn’t, and then also can set those deadlines and get things done. And don’t let that task expand to fill the time allotted for it.
David Ralph [27:42]
But it is kind of easy to do that in entrepreneurial world, isn’t it? I you know, as I say at 20, Parkinson’s Law, bank them together, and you’re cooking on gas, as long as you’ve got something that you want to develop around, but you need a talent, you need a passion or whatever. But in corporate land that kind of goes out the window, doesn’t it? Because, you know, I used to go into offices and be there for eight hours a day. And when I come out, I think I’m really done anything. I’ve just kind of been there
Craig Ballantyne [28:09]
shuffled some papers, right? Yeah, yeah, I used to work in a corporate office too. And so what I did was, same thing I do. Now I got in early, and I got something done. You know, it’s a big project, you know, focus on your number one priority first thing in the morning, every single day for at least 15 minutes. And whether it’s your number one priority in your own personal life, or the number one priority in your job, and you will make more progress than most people will make sitting there and reacting to the world over the course of eight hours. I know what it’s like to finish a day at five o’clock and think I was so busy today, but I didn’t get anything done. And so many people listening to this, who were once like you David in that corporate world before they made that big shift. They feel like that almost every day because it’s reactive world when you’re working for somebody else. The best way to overcome that is be proactive, get in early. get ahead, I think, because most people don’t spend any time thinking, thinking and planning and preparing and being proactive. And yeah, you can even do it in that corporate world if you prepare and plan ahead.
David Ralph [29:10]
So So how did you plan ahead? How did you take jumping back a bit your idea of a fitness business and actually start it bringing the income in? Because that is the sticky point, isn’t it right at the very beginning, when you’re not even working for minimum wage, you’re working for no wage. And I’ve heard stories where people have worked for four years on something and haven’t earned a penny. But I still keep on coming back to it every single day. And we’ve joined up dollars I worked for probably six or seven months didn’t earn a penny of it, before it suddenly started taking off. And then you know, it was it was happy time in my life. But at the very beginning, it was just a pure belief that it was worth doing. How did you get through that sticky point?
Craig Ballantyne [29:54]
Well, I worked a lot without making any money because I no idea what I was doing. So in 19, I started my first email newsletter that was still a graduate student. So I was 24 years old. So I didn’t really have to worry about money because I was broke and didn’t know anything different. So I started that email newsletter at 3000 people on a David and I was sending it up by hotmail and with Hotmail, you can only send it out to 50 people at a time. So I’m sending 60 emails out to send one email newsletter. And so that was 1999 2001, I got a site up. And that’s when I started making money. And I was doing this because I love doing it, I was fortunate enough that I found something I loved doing. So as passionate about the product, I was also passionate about the process of writing. And so what I recommend to somebody is be passionate about either the process or the product in the business that you want to create. So you can be passionate about, you know, SEO, Search Engine Optimization, and not really care about what you’re selling. And not really care about being passionate about the product. Or you can be really passionate about your product if you want to come up with a fitness program, but not really passionate about the process, like learning internet marketing, but you can still be successful as long as you’re passionate about one of those two things. And so I just basically kept on grinding away until I kind of figured out things the hard way, the slow way without getting any help from buddy, somebody which was a mistake. But I started selling things in 2001 2003, it took off 2006 was exponential increase. So it was a long journey for me. But I was pretty young and I was a little bit patient.
David Ralph [31:28]
And you do think it was a mistake by not investing in yourself or asking for help or or networking in those early days just trying to figure it out for yourself.
Craig Ballantyne [31:37]
Because biggest mistake I ever made in business for sure. So I was well networked with other people who wanted to do what I was doing. But I wasn’t connected with a coach who had done what I wanted to do. It wasn’t until 2006 that I actually did that.
David Ralph [31:53]
And was that scary time investing in because there’s an element of pride isn’t there that we can work it out? Know, we can do that we can create the impossible on our own backs. So when you actually went No, hang on, I need help. And the person said, Yeah, okay, I can help you. And it’s going to cost you X amount of pounds or dollars was that scary time.
Craig Ballantyne [32:14]
It wasn’t scary. I mean, I was just stubborn and cheap. You know, I’m half Scottish, German David and so and you know, grew up poor on a farm. And so I didn’t want to invest the money. And it was just stupid. I mean, it was three years that I could have invested the money into a coach, I had money in 2003, I could have invested. But it wasn’t till 2006. And when I got my first coach, you know, things just became so much easier. And I basically would slap my head against the wall because what a silly mistake to be so cheap to step over dollars to pick up dimes is the way I was living life.
David Ralph [32:48]
And how did it become so much easier?
Craig Ballantyne [32:52]
Well, you just find somebody who has been there and done that, you know, somebody who is traveled down the past somebody who’s you know, 30 miles down the road, who will say, Hey, you know, at mile five there, watch out for that giant sinkhole. But if you don’t, you know, get that coaching from somebody you step in the sinkhole, 100% of the time, if you don’t have somebody telling you what to avoid, and what to do, you know, if you come to a fork in the road, the coach is going to say you can go right, you don’t want to go left, because if you’re left, you’re gonna end up with all these problems. You don’t want to do that. So just take the right it’s easy way to go. So that’s what coaching brings you. And that’s why people need to get it, whether they’re starting a podcast or starting an online business selling information products in the fitness world, you need to get help from somebody who’s done it before. You know,
David Ralph [33:33]
I agree with that totally. And I haven’t actually got a coach at the moment, I’m in between coaches. But it took me a long time to actually buy into that. And it was only I was listening to people talk to me day after day after day. And some of them were like multi millionaires. And they were saying, Oh, yes, I’ve got a coach. And I used to think really, why do you need a coach or a multi millionaire, but every single person will have somebody ahead of you where we’re all standing on the shoulders of giants some way?
Craig Ballantyne [34:02]
Well, I mean, everybody’s got a coach and the professional sports world. So why why on earth? Would we as business people think, you know, we don’t need a coach, you know, like, all Usain Bolt is doing is running in a straight line. Why on earth would he need a coach to become better at that, but that’s why he’s a gold medal champions, because he does have a coach who helps train him who, you know, dials him back when he’s doing too much or give some advice, you know, when he’s going into a competition. And so yeah, we do all need coaches. For the rest of our lives. We need coaches, Mark Zuckerberg has a coach, and you know, they’re in Facebook, for business and for all these other things that he gets into. So we need one as well.
David Ralph [34:39]
So one of the other things that so many people get stuck with right at the very beginning, is thinking that they they need to create a new Facebook, they need to create their big global idea. How much of a difference is your product? Other products? Can people find the same thing that you’re doing around the world? Is? Did you need to recreate the wheel?
Craig Ballantyne [34:59]
That’s everybody can find everything for free on YouTube? I mean, I wouldn’t be, you know, shocked if you couldn’t find how to do everything that you possibly want to do in life. It’s all available on for free on YouTube. And yet, why do people pay for anything in terms of information? The answer is, is because they don’t believe that everything has been told. They believe that there are more secrets out there, they see somebody who’s successful, they see somebody who has used you know, Joe’s program, and they think, you know, Joe must have this secret that I can’t find on YouTube. So I’m going to go and buy from Joe. And so, you know, you put the greatest stuff out there, and you will help people because it’s all in one place, which is another reason that people want to take action on your products and buy them. But that’s the bottom line. Just get it out there, as we talked about earlier, because people need help.
David Ralph [35:52]
How do you find your market? and Craig, is it as simple as you saying, but you’re putting your best work out there people see it and then being he’s the man for me, or is it big on marketing? You know, we said in the introduction that you’re known as the godfather of what are you the godfather of fitness info marketing? Did you come up with that? Or did somebody give back to you? Does it work?
Craig Ballantyne [36:13]
Now? Yeah, it actually it’s easy to remember and people it’s, you know, pretty obnoxious. But I didn’t come up with it. It was a friend of mine, Vince, Delmonte gave me that nickname, just because I obviously the first guy to do really big seminars about this in the fitness world. And I’ve been doing it for so long. And I have, you know, I just I know everybody in this world pretty much. And you know, by nature of being the older guy in the group, I was given that moniker. And so I use that as the introduction and a lot of people, you know, spread it on their own. And you know, but going back to your question about the market? The answer is, it’s really helpful if you’re coming from that marketplace. So it’s called affinity. If you have been, where your end users is, and know the struggles that they go through, it’s going to be very easy for you to sell to them, it’s going to be very easy for you to communicate to them that hey, I know exactly what you’re going through here. For example, the woman who invented Spanx, why did she invent Spanx? You know, this word pantyhose thing? It’s because she had a problem with it. And so because she was the end user at one point, it’s become very easy for her to market that product to sell that product to grow that business. Now, if you’re just going into a marketplace, because you think I’m going to go in there and make ton of money. Well, unless you’re really good marketer, you’re probably going to have a very hard time with that, because that approach doesn’t get people very far these days, because they don’t know what the end user is feeling. And if you don’t know what the end users feeling, then in most cases, you can’t clearly communicate the benefits of what you have to share with them, even if you have a pretty darn good product.
David Ralph [37:52]
Yeah, no, I agree with as well, I’ve got a product called on podcasters mastery. And literally in the first year of creating this show, I was on my knees literally killed me because I just didn’t have any systems or structure I was making up as I go along. Now I know literally 50 pain points. And that is what I resolve in the product. And it does help it sell itself. It is as simple as pain and pleasure, isn’t it? We all like pleasure. Some of us could be a pain every day. But more often than not, we don’t end that that’s how life is balanced, isn’t it?
Craig Ballantyne [38:26]
Yeah, we want to escape that pain. So you know, someone’s sitting there and thinking, Oh, you know, I’ve got a computer, I’ve got a microphone, what more could I possibly need, and then they start that podcast, and they’ll, you know, do 20 episodes like nobody’s listening, they’re in there in a lot of pain there. Because they’ve, you know, sunk in a lot of cost and time and, and, you know, whatever, for whatever reason humans hate to, to lose out on opportunity they are, they always want to throw more money after bad money. And so if you get involved in something you want to figure it out. And so you’re providing a really great service to people because you’ve gone through it all. It’s very much like that mentoring that I mentioned, before getting that coach, you want to find somebody who’s been there and done that. And David you’ve been there and done that for everybody who’s starting a podcast.
David Ralph [39:11]
So if we take you back because of the reason you on the show, obviously I want you to talk to you, but also that you are the author of the book, The perfect day formula. What kind of person would that book appeal to? What what, give us some nuggets in there that somebody could listen to and go fast? What I’m gonna do, I’m gonna go and buy that because that is my pain points.
Craig Ballantyne [39:32]
Yeah, so I, I would use the analogy of someone who feels like they’re a racecar, on stuck in the mud beside a racetrack spinning their wheels, they’re working so hard, they have this great idea. They just can’t get traction. And then all they need is for me to come along, lift up those wheels, and take them out of the mud and put them on that hard pavement and then zoom, they go racing down the road. And that’s what I’ve helped people do just by getting dialed in with their day. So if someone feels like they’re that person who, at five o’clock has done so much work, but accomplished nothing, then they need to get the book because the planning, the structure, the preparation, the little formulas that I have in there for getting the most done in their day, and also for getting a good night’s sleep so that they can have a great day, everything’s in that book, and shows them how to dial in their life for success and dominate their path.
David Ralph [40:23]
I’ve just started taking cherry tablets, which I’ve never taken before. But as I say I had this health issue that I’ve been having to deal with. And they apparently have amazing cherries for helping you with great sleep and fitness. And God knows well.
Craig Ballantyne [40:37]
Yeah, they have a little bit of melatonin in them. So their natural source of melatonin, which helps people sleep. And then they’re also great for anti inflammatory properties. And so they really are a very, very healthy little fruit. And if you don’t have cherries in season that by all means do as you’re doing David
David Ralph [40:57]
absolutely pop the tablets. It’s no Don’t say that, yes, just be healthy. That’s what we want. Well, I’m going to play the words now of a guy who created the whole theme of the show join up dots back in 2005 days of words that we listen to every day, Ghana do it again, Steve Jobs,
Steve Jobs [41:12]
of course, it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very clear looking backwards. 10 years later. Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something, your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leaves you off the well worn path. And that will make all the difference.
David Ralph [41:48]
So Mr. Craig Ballantyne do those words that resonate with you?
Craig Ballantyne [41:51]
Absolutely. Absolutely. Looking back, it’s like this is the path take? And I’m glad I took it.
David Ralph [41:57]
And what did you have a big.in your life when you look back and think to yourself, yeah, but that that was it. That was a moment, that was a conversation that literally opened the door to where I am now. You know,
Craig Ballantyne [42:08]
it was a little dot that happened to me when I was four years old, I was riding in a car with my mother on the way home from town out to our farm. And I remember her looking very sad. And I mean, I’m four years old. So this is one of my very first memories in life. And I looked over and said, Mom, what’s wrong. And she said, You know, I was at my weight watchers meeting, and I didn’t lose any weight. And that stuck with me. So that was really what was driving me it wasn’t this interest in sports, it was this interest in transforming and helping people and not letting you know, people have that paint on their faces because they failed. And so that was what was driving me I thought it was sports that I wanted to get into. But it was that transformation that I always want to get into. So that was the very first.on my journey that I can draw my line back to today.
David Ralph [42:54]
If you ever reflected on Why that little four year old kid felt that is that is it. Is it true to say that, if you feel that at that age, it’s just naturally in you. And it’s something that will light the fires of ambition and passion as long as you recall that you felt that at that age?
Craig Ballantyne [43:12]
Well, yeah, I mean, obviously, you don’t want to see your mom upset when you’re that age, or at any age. But
Craig Ballantyne [43:19]
it definitely stayed with me, I always hated to see people frustrated, and especially when I had expertise in the area and where I thought something was relatively simple. And so that’s what drove me every single day to start writing to start putting together, you know, my workouts and programs and selling them. I mean, that was a big leap for somebody, you know, I was 25 years old when I started selling my programs, you know, what gave me the authority to do that. And it was because I believed that I had the right answers for people, I knew that I could help them and remove that pain and frustration. And so that would has been what’s been driving me and yeah, that really can stick with you, and help you succeed over time.
David Ralph [43:57]
So with your success, what kind of frustrations Have you released from yourself? Where has your own personal transformation come from? You know, we we mentioned in the introduction that you had anxiety as a person, you don’t sound anxious at all? Is that part of your transformation? Did you actually have to heal yourself by healing the world?
Craig Ballantyne [44:21]
I would say that I have always been trying to heal myself. And by learning new things, it’s allowed me to heal other people do a lot of work on myself, you know, so I was very, as you mentioned, I had the anxiety, relatively introverted person, somewhat blunt with people in the past. So I’ve learned to be more patient, I’ve spent time in meditation to help me with overcoming the anxiety and just slowing down because I, you know, I’ve when somebody gives a presentation, that’s 20 minutes long, I just want the two minute version. And so I have to be cognizant of that when I’m having a conversation with somebody in cut them off. And, and so patience has been basically the word of my adult life learning how to be more patient. I remember when I was signing up for the big brothers program. Do you have big brothers program in the UK? Yeah, we do that city thing where they will go into a house together and beat each other up to Well, no, no, no big brothers and Big Sisters, is where you, you get involved with somebody who doesn’t have a father, if you’re a big brother, do they have that charity? And if I do, I’ve
David Ralph [45:29]
never heard of it.
Craig Ballantyne [45:30]
Okay, so big brothers and big sisters is big in North America. And so as I was signing up for that, I was applying for that. And you have to get references from three people. And one of the questions on the reference letters is what’s this person’s greatest fault. And my mother told me that what she wrote down was that I was a very impatient person. And so that’s the way I was when I was younger, and I become better at it through time by transforming, transforming myself. And by learning to transform myself, I then become better helping other people transform their lives, no matter what they’re trying to change. Because I know what it’s like to be faulty. I know, it’s like to have flaws. And I know what it’s like to, you know, know, to improve them, but not do anything about it. And then I know what it’s like to try and improve them and struggle to improve them. And so, going through all of that is what made me a better coach and helping other people.
David Ralph [46:21]
Well, just before we send you back in time on the sermon of the mic, what what’s in front of you, if you’re converting those dots into stepping stones, where’s the next ones where your feet are going to land,
Craig Ballantyne [46:33]
I need to become again, better coach, and the more I become better coach, the more I can help people in my perfect day coaching programs. So we have small group coaching about how to implement this. And then I have very high end executive level coaching for this where people come and spend an entire day with me, and I walk them through it, I take them and we identify the rules, their systems or structure. So they have freedom in their life, and they concentrate on what counts. And so over time, I just need to become better at that. It’s almost like being a bit of a therapist really by extracting Okay, here’s someone’s struggles, here’s the system we’re going to use to overcome that. And so I just need to continue to learn about myself and continue to learn about coaching and to continue to become a better communicator.
David Ralph [47:15]
That’s the way it builds, isn’t it, you find your thing, you start stumbling around. But then when you want to get better and better and better at it. You found it,
Craig Ballantyne [47:24]
haven’t you? Yeah, I’m very lucky to have found it. I thought I found it when I was 18 and 19. So even then I thought, Hey, I’m lucky, I know what I want to do with my life. And it has evolved just as most people’s lives will, they’re going to take so many changes. You know, you might not be doing podcasts in five years, David you might be, you know, have your own TV show or something, just because of the way things evolve and the way that you’re helping people. And so you just have to grow with it and go with it.
David Ralph [47:50]
Well, at the moment, I honestly think in five years, 10 years time, even if I’ve got my own TV show, and I mean movies, and I’m sleeping with Jennifer Anniston, and all those kind of things that can global success. I still think I’ll be on the mic. I don’t think that you can beat Miss Craig,
Craig Ballantyne [48:05]
I think you found it. And you’re great at it. And I really enjoy doing this.
David Ralph [48:09]
Well, this is the bit of the show where we’re going to send you back on time to have a one on one with your younger self. And if you can go back in time and speak to the young crew. What advice would you gave and and what age would you choose to wear, we’re going to find out, because I’m going to play the theme tune. And when it fades you up. This is the Sermon on the mic.
Craig Ballantyne [48:51]
So I’m going to go back into 2004 when I was 29 years old, I’m going to say to myself, listen, it’s time to stop screwing around Craig, because you are almost 30. And you are living a bit of a hypocritical life, you are going out late at night on Saturday and Friday night staying out till the time you usually get up during the week when you go and you train your clients downtown Toronto, and this is not going to end up well. Because you’re going to get anxiety attacks from this if you keep going on. And you need to get serious about how many people you can help. So you need to stop being so cheap, and you need to go hire a coach and you need to get started right now. So take that money you’re spending on those weekends out, get some more rest stand. get settled down. Get serious, because you have really important information you need to share with the world. And you need to help change people’s lives. Because right now somebody out there is crying themselves asleep because you have not helped them drop 10 2030 pounds and improve their life. So get to work. stop screwing around.
David Ralph [49:53]
Right? What’s the number one best way that our audience can connect with you
Craig Ballantyne [49:57]
twitter.com forward slash Craig balance time. That is the fastest way. I’ll check in there a couple times a day. And if people want to send me a little note, we can start the conversation that way.
David Ralph [50:07]
Right. But all the links on the show notes. Great. Thank you so much for spending time with us today. joining up those dots. Please come back again, when you have more dots to join up. Because I do believe that by joining up the dots and connecting our past is the best way to build our futures. Mr. Craig Ballantine, thank you so much.
Craig Ballantyne [50:23]
Thank you so much David
David Ralph [50:27]
Mr. Craig Ballantyne, who’s found his thing, and he’s worked towards it. And then he’s found a bigger thing. And he keeps on developing himself and building himself into the bigger version. And the more you know, the bigger version you can be, the more experience and knowledge you’ve got, then ultimately, the more you can charge to people because you are an expert in your field. And it doesn’t take long to become an expert. Because, as I say to a lot of my coaching clients, you’re looking at the people, not in front of you who know more than you, you’re looking at the people behind you. And there are people that are just, you know, getting going. So even if you’ve been doing something for a year or two years or six months, whatever. I know people that have been doing things for like a couple of weeks, and still have developed businesses around it. You can do just look at the people around you, but don’t know the knowledge, not the people that do know the knowledge. Same simple, but that’s the way it is. Thank you so much for listening to this episode of join up dots. We’re going to be back with you very, very shortly with some more in depth conversations, some nuggets of gold, and of course, a little bit of me too. Thanks very much. Cheers. Bye
David doesn’t want you to become a faded version of the brilliant self you are wants to become. So he’s put together an amazing guide for you called the eight pieces of advice that every successful entrepreneur practices, including the two that changed his life. Head over to join up.com to download this amazing guide for free and we’ll see you tomorrow on join up dots.