Value over numbers
January 2016 marks one of the biggest lapses in judgment of my adult life.
I’d been personal training for five years at that point, and was growing frustrated with the high number of hours I was putting in for such a relatively low income. As it happened, I was approached by an IT consulting company at that time. They made a recruitment pitch and had me take some sales aptitude tests, which consisted mostly of situational questions dealing with my worldview and my interactions with others. Apparently my answers were attractive, because the company offered me more than double my salary at the time to go and work for them. So, sure enough, I became a well-dressed, overpaid telemarketer.
My job was pretty simple: set up sales meetings with higher-ups at multimillion-dollar companies and avoid talking too much about my company’s technology (which I knew nothing about). It was fun to play dress-up, take the train down to the Chicago Loop, and sit in my office across from the Sears Tower (no one calls it the Willis Tower), but the job simply was not designed for me.
Most people know that cold-calling sucks, but that actually wasn’t the problem. I viewed being rejected 50 times a day as a good thing—it made asking a woman out after work the highest percentage shot I’d take all day.
I wasn’t even trying to sell these multimillion-dollar companies anything; I was only trying to get them to speak with me. Considering I knew nothing about the services I was selling, I was basically just trying to make friends over the phone. I can’t say I was developing much of a business acumen or adding value to the company, but I was getting pretty decent at listening, building rapport, and dodging questions I couldn’t answer. Despite years spent studying kinesiology at the University of Illinois, spending my summers in gyms as an unpaid intern, and obtaining NASM, TRX, FMS, and MovNat certifications, I found myself sitting at a desk for eight hours a day, completing three hours’ worth of work.
I used to think of a person’s income as a representation of their created value, but as a personal trainer I’d been making less and helping people more. As a business development manager, I found myself sitting at a desk for eight hours a day, completing three hours’ worth of work. My job was to be charming and understand social cues. That’s pretty much it. In the event that I found a potentially lucrative client, it was time to bring in an expert, sit there, and smile. Needless to say, the Jake Dermer corporate experience ended abruptly.
As an online strength and nutrition coach, I get to do more than sit there and smile. Because I’m an expert in my field, I get to be charming and helpful with my clients. I’ve made less money in the past few months than I did at my office job, but I’ve also provided more value. The difference between how good I feel after a day of helping my friends versus one calling strangers is staggering. It is truly a pleasure to watch people who’ve struggled with fat loss or strength gains in the past blow through plateaus and reach new levels of strength and self-efficacy. Large transformations are great, but it’s the little things that I find the most rewarding.
One of my clients is a man in his mid- to late-60s who drives a sports car that rides pretty low. He recently sent me an email saying, “I just wanted to let you know that without even noticing, I got out of my car without using my hands.” I cannot tell you how proud I was to hear that all those box squats paid off.
I want to continue providing value to as many people as possible, and that’s why I am giving away my free e-book, The Seven Laws of Fat Loss. If you’re struggling with ways to shed pounds, if you’ve tried a number of diets with no results, then perhaps this can give you some simple rules that can make a big difference.
All of this isn’t to say I‘m some hippie living off the Earth, preaching free love and giving away my stuff. I like money, and helping people earns me that money. Life is like one big arcade, and you need tokens to play with all the cool stuff.
This one’s a free play, all you have to do is subscribe!