TLDR: The way to succeed at anything is to fail at it. That's the thesis. For the juicy details - keep reading...
Yesterday I launched www.fitmemeapparel.com , I've been thinking about doing something similar to that for a few years and on Friday I got hit with a little inspiration. I spent an hour editing a photo of my cat with a barbell so it would be high enough resolution for printing. I turned to Jess and said "I can't believe this is my job". To which she replied "...it isn't." And...fair point! So I figured, why not make it my job?
The way to get good at something is to be bad at it. You learn lessons along the way, and the next time you do it - it's easier. For example, the first order I shipped yesterday, I lost $5 because I hadn't set up the shipping rates properly. Then I spent 2 hours trying to set up the shipping the most complicated way possible, before realizing there was a 5 minute fix. Now I know how to do that - and I always will. I lost $5 and 2 hours and now I have a new skill.
Send the Email
Every job I've ever had has started with an email to someone who probably shouldn't have bothered answering me. In 2012, I sent an email to firstname.lastname@example.org asking if I could clean the varsity weight room in exchange for gym access - as non-varsity students weren't allowed in. I met with Graham Kennedy, who was managing some aspects of recreation at StFX but was also the Head Coach for StFX's men and women's soccer teams. After a few conversations - I had a job as the S&C for both soccer programs, who I trained in my 3rd and 4th year and really launched my career.
Fast forward a few years and a few emails later I'm at the Ottawa Redblacks training camp interning with their human performance department. I realized I had a few months free and emailed their S&C coach who replied with job descriptions for internships I hadn't previously seen posted. Six months later I'm in Italy interning with the Scottish Under 20s during their Six Nations campaign. A job I got by sending an email.
In 2018 after 16 months of volunteering with Rugby Canada's men's program I was hired to be the S&C coach for Canada's Senior Women's 15s team - all because I offered to volunteer in the fall of 2016 and showed up every day. Now - what isn't glamorous is the dozens of emails that never heard back from. Or the 3 commercial locations I've gone to see over the last 5 years. I've had business ideas ranging from high performance facilities, to co-working spaces, to a COVID safe gym.
What you won't see are the folders in my dropbox that have 8 different business ideas that never came to fruition, or the domain names I still own for businesses that might launch next year. The real lesson I've learned through all this is - just try it out. If you've never done something the biggest risk you're taking is what you think people will judge you for. But for the most part - people are too wrapped up in their own insecurities to worry about yours.
How does this relate to fitness? A lot of people are worried about starting training because they aren't comfortable with it. My recommendation is to just start - do anything. You're going to mess up no matter what. Ronnie Coleman did his first bicep curl at one point. I've been lucky to be apart of transformations where clients of mine have lost 60+ pounds. A PT client of mine couldn't stand on one leg in October - now she can do lateral lunges, turkish get ups and full depth squats. It all starts with the first step.
So far, I've spent a weekend and a few bucks getting Fitmeme Apparel up off the ground. It might crash and burn - and that's fine. But what if it doesn't? In my mind, worst case I have a cool story and now I know how to set up an online store.
Take the first step! If you're looking to ramp up training, drop me a line! If you're in Victoria let's go for a walk and chat training. And while you're at it - check out www.fitmemeapparel.com ;)
Chat next week!
Mylan Clairmont MSc, CSCS