Easter Sunday marked my first full month out on my as an Independent Fitness Professional. I’m happy (and relieved) to say it’s been a success so far. I can pay my bills and have more time with Kim and the kids. I’ve been getting a lot of questions about how I made the decision to go out on my own. Maybe the steps I took to make my big leap can help you take yours!

Still being relatively new to the fitness industry (6 years full-time), I have committed a large chunk of my life at getting better at my art and in helping people nail their goals. My quest has meant long hours and a lot of time away from home. You don’t always realize how much time you’re working when you love what you and don’t consider it work. While I regret NONE of it, I finally noticed the toll it was taking on my family and my health. 

Here are the steps I took to make my big leap!

VISUALIZE GOAL I never heard of the term “BEST LIFE” until I started at MFF.  It’s such a lofty concept that it seemed impossible to me at first. You quickly learn to redefine impossible when you’re in the trenches with Mark Fisher, Michael Keeler and Team Best Team. Learning from and with my MFF family opened my eyes up to bigger dreams, goals and realities.

On episode 400 of Kevin Larrabee’ss awesome Fitcast Podcast, Strength Coach Hero and best selling Author Dan John spoke of finding himself in a beat up and burning VW when he realized he had to think bigger. Dan asked himself an important question:

Who do I want to be when I grow up?

Dan’s been a friend and mentor. Hearing him verbalize that simple question has had the biggest impact on me. I needed to visualize who I wanted to be to live my best life.

I wanted to teach, train, produce content and, most importantly, have more time with my family. That’s my best life.

Who do you want to be when you grow up? What is your best life?

ASSESS CURRENT REALITY Now that you have a goal. We need to assess where we are in the moment. What factors drive us toward our goal and what things are holding us back. This is a tough step for many reasons. Sometimes a thing we love dearly may also inadvertently be in our way.

Andy McCloy is a fantastic Strength Coach, human and owner of BCI in Alabama. We had an online Strength Faction QnA with Andy about 4 months ago and I asked him how he managed his hectic life. Andy spoke about making hard lines in his own schedule. Whether it was for his own training or his family, Andy would block out his schedule. Andy’s words stuck with me as I scrutinized all the aspects of my professional life. I needed to have control of my schedule!

From a financial point of view, I also had to take a deep look at how much I was making, how much I wanted to make and how many hours would be reasonable to accomplish my goal. I still have debt stemming from my switch from Visual Effects Producer to Coach and from my divorce. While my debt hasn’t gotten any deeper, I haven’t been able to lower it yet. Getting free of debt is a big goal!

Having already begun growing my DIE MIGHTY ONLINE training program, I realized that being online allowed me complete control over my schedule. Online training is also scalable in a way that personal training isn’t. I can reach and help more people online than I can in person. Looking at my current reality, it made total sense to me to make Online Training a big focus.

I love training people in person too. However, it is really easy to run yourself ragged hustling to sessions.  Commuting time alone can suck up your day. I needed to figure a better way to handle this end of my business.

CHANGE COURSE The assessment highlighted that the two key factors I needed to change were my schedule and room for growth.

It was time to chart a new course. I knew I had to make some tough decisions. The hardest thing I had to do was leave Mark Fisher Fitness. MFF will always be family but I knew that I could never have the control over my schedule that I needed. Don’t get me wrong, MFF jumped through hoops to work with my schedule. It got to the point where it would have been unfair of me to ask MFF to make any more considerations. As hard as it was, it was simply time to leave the Clubhouse.

In figuring out my new course of action I established a minimum number of Online Training members and a maximum number of Personal Training sessions. While it would be easier to build up the one-on-one training, it could also drive me back into my rut. I used my minimum and maximums to establish reasonable rates. I had created a solid game plan. Could it fail? Absolutely! I calculated my risks and made reasonable short benchmarks to hit. I took a deep breath, took a running start and made the big…

LEAP You can weigh all of your decisions. Try to be safe. Try to make things bulletproof. You can do all of that as time passes on and nothing gets done.  There you are. In the same position you were when you started dreaming. You’re likely carrying more resentment from those you think are holding you back. You have to leap! Otherwise, you’re the holding yourself back. Now, I’m not saying to be reckless. Sure you may fail! Make the best strategy you can for yourself and run with it. My failures often lead to greater successes because I learn from them. Build your momentum and…


I have to take a moment to thank my wife Kim for her support through this. It certainly helps to have someone you love backing your moves. I am continuously blown away by the wonderful and generous people in the fitness industry. Thank you for your knowledge, support and friendship! Last but not least, huge thanks to my crew of Fury's Heroes that train with me and make this all possible!

Let me know how I can help you live your best life and be who you want to be.