Success Mindset

Reverse Engineering


Below is a weekly email I sent to my team to explain the idea of reverse engineering any goal, I thought you might find value in it’s application personally or even to your team so I thought I’d repost for you here!


Do you use reverse engineering in your life?

If not you should, and it’s a great concept to understand and be able to teach friends, family and especially our clients.

Reverse engineering is just as Stephen Covey (author of the 7 Habits books) would put it, “beginning with the end in mind.”

Most commonly people might think of this in terms of money or finances, and certainly in my crazy entrepreneurial world it’s a way I use reverse engineering frequently; but it’s so much more than that.

It can and should be used for any goal.


Simple, what’s the only thing that stops us from reaching any goal? (Finances, fitness, personal, any goal.)


Yup that’s it. We can be too intimidated to start, too stressed out about the work or how hard it will be, or fearful because we fail one or more times along the way (or have previously failed in our attempts to reach the goal.)

Reverse engineering helps absolve fear by shoring up another thing I’m a big fan of talking about with you and hour clients; and that’s confidence.

You know what I’m talking about, that when the step or next task is so small or easy that we’re not afraid motivation or action comes easy because well it appears easy.

Now what feels easy to you may not to me and vice versa, which is where reverse engineering comes in.

Step 1: What’s the big outcome you want? (ex. Buy a new car/lose 30 lbs)

Step 2: What time frame do you want this to happen in? (ex. 6 months/12 weeks)

Step 3: Break down to next increment. (ex. each month I need to earn an additional $500/each week I need to lose 2.5lbs)

Step 4: Break it down to next smaller increment until it feels easy.


I need to earn and additional $125/week, I work an average of 30 hours so I’d need to earn about $4.25 an hour more or increase my working hours by 5-8 / I need to lose only 0.35lbs/day)

Does it feel small enough to you yet, if not break it down further or begin creating a plan.



Could I talk to my teammates and offer to take some extra shifts?

Do I have a skill or hobby that I’m good at and could pick up a freelance project on the side?

What could I do to add enough value to increase my earnings by an additional $4.25 an hour?

Every testimonial/before and after we publish helps increase our reputation, every new Google/Facebook review we get helps someone on the fence make a decision, every new person that has a great workout has a chance to sign up, every new person you get to come workout the first time has a 50/50 chance of deciding to stay.

Every person you talk to about staying longer has a better than 50% chance of deciding to stay. Have a look at the “Levels in your job description” for ideas on how you can quickly achieve this. Could I speak to 3 people per day about continuing and basically “1-2” memberships per week? Or find 1-2 new people per week to try a workout by asking daily on my personal social media? Does that seem easy and sustainable?

(Now boys and girls, full transparency, I mention this because I want you to choose this one, as selfishly it’s the one that can help me the most, but there’s also a bigger reason. This is the one where if we all work together the results/potential are limitless so selfishly it should appeal to you too!)

Could I learn about something new and start building a passive or additional income?

Last year I became curious about Amazon, in September I sold $184 on Amazon all things I bought in clearance bins with less than $100 of starting capital, in October that was $1994 with a profit of $330, last month we sold nearly $40,000 on Amazon! Now I wish I could say you could grow like that with $100 to invest but that isn’t true. But my point is that anyone could easily generate $300-500/month on Amazon with 5-10 hours/month worth of effort and I will even teach you how.)

Could you dedicate 1 hour/day Monday-Friday to learn about how to sell on Amazon and another 3-4 hours/week to go and shop for things to sell? Does that seem easy and sustainable?


0.35lbs of fat = 1430 calories of energy.

30 minutes of boot camp = approx. 400 calories

Reducing daily calorie consumption by 10% = approx. 180 calories

Adding 30 minutes of slow distance cardio = approx. 200 calories

Reducing starchy carbohydrates and replacing with fibrous to increase energy utilization during digestion = approx. 150 calories

To me this is about the maximum that seems “easy” and might be overwhelming already for many, so we must re-evaluate the goal, if it took 16-18 weeks to lose 30lbs would you still be satisfied? Does the above seem simple? Only works if you can answer yes to both!

Anyways, that’s my attempt to teach you the power of reverse engineering, it can work for anything like: setting dedicated working hours or working less, like improving your relationships with others, like accomplishing any big milestone in your financial life, and even spirituality or emotional growth.

Please let me know if there’s anything I can do to help!

The 3C’s of Chaos Management

The 3C’s of Chaos Management

The 3C's of Chaos Management - EntrepreneurshipWe all know by now if you’re going to own your own business and be an entrepreneur chaos is nothing new.

In fact we must always work to embrace the chaos as the only time to worry is when chaos is enveloped by calm.

When all is “calm” that’s a clear indication you’re not pushing, reaching, stretching or evolving fast enough as a company or team and will be the time you’re entrepreneurship is at real risk.

So this week’s topic is “Chaos Management.”

How do we handle and embrace chaos so that we don’t become overly stressed or burnt out?

Let me share with you the concept of the 3C’s of Chaos Management.

If you’re striving and pushing as hard as you can life will always be chaotic.

Chaos attempts to break us, burn us out, or leave us paralyzed due to stress, this is the paradox of achievement.

In order to reach a new level of success or achievement we must face and avoid, or overcome burnout, mitigate stress, and still find time for joy and happiness in the midst of continually urgent demands.

Now success can be many things: helping more people become the best versions of themselves, finding more time to do things you love, establish more and more meaningful relationships and so on.

No matter how you define success to reach a higher level of success we must increase our level of output or expenditure to that activity. Make sense? (ex. Even reducing stress requires greater output; just the output might be different such as allocating more time for meditation and reflection.)

So what are the 3C’s of Chaos Management?

First is Control.

With all the demands upon us inevitably some of that burden is within your “wheelhouse” the things that seem easier than the rest.

Usually we focus on these things first, they bother us less because we’re comfortable with what we’re facing, control is the easy part (but still make it a habit to deal with these items first because they increase confidence which will help with the remaining 2Cs.)

Next is Change.

What skills can you learn this week? How can you become more competent in what you already know? What things are you doing that you can do better at? What systems do we have that you see we could make more efficient? Is there a better way of doing something?

The real mark of embracing change is to take ownership and lead from the front; but as leaders we must really strive for our team to act in the same way.

We want them to feel comfortable and confident to vocalize ideas for improvements, ask for permission or take action to make improvements and then share their successes with their direct reports and team members.

Make it a safe place to fail and affirm that the only real failure is to fail to act or tray. (In our organization the only caveats being if there is a risk of someone getting hurt or a significant financial risk you must clear it with your direct report first.)

This is one of the purposes of the frequent reviews in an effort to increase collaboration and support change as a whole.

Finally is Cope with what you can’t Control or Change.

Like I said above the paradox of success is we must embrace the chaos that comes with stretching in any area but with that there will always be things that there’s nothing you can do about right now.

Do your best to embrace, accept and move on, not everything will work, it’s certainly not going to be easy, you will let people or yourself down from time to time.

In the end coping is a part of striving and it’s just a matter of asking yourself these two questions for all important affirmation:

  • Did I/Have I done the best I possibly could?
  • Has my positive impact/feedback outweighed that which I can’t control/negative feedback?

Remember without chaos you are at risk for extinction.

Don’t dread being busy, the unknown or the stress of responsibility for if you do you’re in dreadful danger of adding to the statistic of entrepreneurial failure!

You’ve got this!

P.S. The image in the meme above is one of my own taken on a trip to Iceland last February at an amazing place called “Diamond Beach” I highly recommend checking it out if you ever get a chance!

Draw your line in the sand and don’t cross it!

Draw your line in the sand and don’t cross it!

What is the value of your time?

What is the value of your time?

What is your time worth? This is a very serious question and one you need to answer for yourself. What’s more I’d suggest you re-evaluate it about every six months; that is if you want to grow your fitness business as fast as possible. Let me explain.

No matter whether you’re just starting out or have been operating for years chances are your business began as one man (or woman) show. In the early days, and maybe still, you were doing everything. You were the head trainer, chief salesman, sanitation engineer, accounts receivable clerk, lead marketing consultant, web developer, and well you get the picture.

Do you ever notice how difficult it is to switch between two very different tasks? You wouldn’t be weird if you have. Not only that you likely notice there are tasks that are on your “to-do” list that somehow never seem to gravitate to the top of the list, in fact it’s like gravity keep sucking them down to the bottom. We all have tasks that we detest so much that we just consciously or subconsciously avoid them.

You probably have other fears like I had. Thoughts like, “why pay someone to paint the studio when I can do it this weekend?” It seems logical, and seems to make good financial sense, but does it really?

Let me ask you if you decided to play handyman in your business this coming weekend and spent 8-10 hours on both Saturday and Sunday at your business do you think you might be less enthusiastic for your first clients come early Monday morning? What if instead you had a fun weekend with your family, would that leave you more refreshed and excited to see your clients come Monday morning?

Sometimes by doing a variety of tasks saves us money in the short-term. But long-term these tasks can catch up to us in a variety of ways:

  • Straying from our primary tasks serves as a distraction making it hard to stay focused and become increasingly proficient at our main task. (ie: client results through continual research or business growth with a full-time focus to marketing and growth.)
  • It takes time to mentally and emotionally “shift gears” to different tasks, this leads to longer days, procrastination and burnout.
  • Cutting corners on “me time” or family time leads to resentment toward “work” which will quickly stunt your business growth.
  • Narrowing your task list allows you to become a “pro” quickly and accelerate your business growth. It only stands to reason if you spend 8 hours a day on 1-2 tasks as opposed to 5-10 you’re going to quickly get better at doing those 1-2 things.
Draw your line in the sand!

Draw your line in the sand!

Draw your line in the sand, what is your time worth? Now in this context this is a practical question, it might help to also think of it as “what can I afford to have others do?”

For instance if you have tasks like cleaning, filing, calling to confirm appointments, posting updates on your facebook fanpage, tweeting, or creating a new blog post on your website, these are all things you can hire someone else to do for likely minimum wage. Here in Alberta that’s about $10/hour, so I might start by saying my “line in the sand is $10/hour” any task I can hire someone else to do for $10/hour I should and will in an effort to keep me more focused on a narrower set of tasks.

You have to trust me on this, relief from these tasks will instantly pay for itself and as a result your more narrowly focused efforts will actually yield instant growth causing you to ask yourself again, “what is my line in the sand now?”

FEAR is Ruining Your Business, 9 Steps to Eradicate Fear!

FEAR is Ruining Your Business, 9 Steps to Eradicate Fear!

hwbtWhen I was walking into security at the airport the other day the security person seen my shirt (HARD WORK BEATS TALENT) and asked, “do you really believe that?”

I said, “100%”, she said, “how do you know?”

I said, “I’m living proof!”

My morning routine is I listen to motivational speeches/programs and there’s one thing that stands out, successful people are ones that keep working at it, and when that’s not enough they make a new plan and try harder.

I know this is hard to believe, as I didn’t for a long time.

There’s only one thing that ever holds you back from greater success.

Your FEAR.

You get in your own way.

Even today I responded to multiple emails from clients that stated: the economy is affecting my business, the videos and images I was using are attracting the wrong clients, the word boot camp gives people an impression to expect it cheaper.

We’re logical people, trust me, I’m the worst in this fashion.

And all of those things are logical “validations” for the simple truth, your fear is holding you back.

You’re afraid that you may not be that good at sales and need to reinvent yourself.

You’re afraid to ask for more because you’re not sure you’re worth it.

You’re afraid that they may be disappointed.

You’re afraid that the fancy new place down the street might actually be better than you.

Be honest with yourself, you’re afraid of many things, so am I.

It’s a battle every single day, and how you fare will be the real indication of what you achieve.

  1. Start each day off in the right mindset, do what makes you feel good. For me it’s motivational speakers, sometimes while I’m working out, other days it’s loud music, my favourite song or spending my first 15-30 min reading a book I love.
  2. Surround yourself with role models. It’s true about hanging around with people more successful than you, consciously or subconsciously you will begin to emulate them. (Heck I hung around with my mentor for years until he finally hired an immigration lawyer to import me to give me the reigns of a company to build an international brand.)
  3. Not your muscles, your vision, read big thinker books. I love reading about Richard Branson, Steve Jobs, and books like The Big Leap and Psycho Cybernetics.
  4. Set big goals then work backwards down to the simple daily step.
  5. Embrace simple math, with this and step 3 I’m convinced you can create plan for success no matter what.
  6. Review your goals and metrics regularly.
  7. End each day with the three most important things you will work on tomorrow.
  8. Realize that anyone you look up to really is no smarter than you, then you’ll realize just how awesome you are.
  9. Most importantly make someone else’s life better today, you can’t help but feel better about yourself.

You do these nine things and I promise you, you can’t fail!


Unstoppable Film 1, a story of inspiration

I don’t know about you but I feel continually blessed that I get to spend my career working to inspire people and change their lives. What we do as fitness professionals is world changing, every day you are a hero.

During my short tenure as COO at Fit Body Boot Camp franchise HQ I’ve got to roll up my sleeves and drive change, it’s taken the pursuit of knowledge of learning to build a business and now a brand to a whole new level.

Recently released is our first brand building short film “Karri’s Story”

If you’re afraid of inspiration you won’t want to watch this.


Want to find a Fit Body Boot Camp near you or learn about franchise opportunities?

Coach James on Bouncing Back!

Coach James on Bouncing Back!

I remember having this obsession with bouncy balls as a kid. I thought the coolest thing about them was that if you dropped one it would come back to you. Then I discovered the harder you “dropped” it the more it bounced. This is where the “fun” (at least that’s what I thought it was) started. I would take that tiny ball and throw it down on the ground as hard as I could and it would shoot off the floor and bounce from one object to the next. The more force I could put behind that ball the more things I could get it to bounce off. This was a ton of fun, well until I broke something and my mom found out. Then it was all bad lol.

boucyballs-940x626My point is that I want to be more like that bouncy ball. I want to be Resilient. The dictionary defines resilient as: adj. (of a substance or object) able to recoil or spring back into shape after bending, stretching, or being compressed.

synonyms: flexible, pliable, supple; More

durable, hardwearing, stout, strong, sturdy, tough

“resilient materials”

(of a person or animal) able to withstand or recover quickly from difficult conditions.

I have had a lot go on in the last 30 days and at times I wanted to have a pity party and sit and say woe is me. I wanted to ask myself the million dollar (?), why is this happening to me. Well after that short mental deliberation I realized I’m not that special, it happens because it’s supposed to happen. It’s actually a sign that I’m going in the right direction. In entrepreneurship we must accept the good with the bad. We must be be mentally prepared to bounce back no matter what the odds are. The more pressure that is put on us the more “bounce” we should have.

So my challenge to you today is to be like that little bouncy ball and be virtually indestructible. Don’t let the little things distract you or discourage you. Use those little things to bounce back faster, harder, and better. I encourage you to welcome trials and adversity when they show up in your life because I realized some time ago that they make me BETTER. So don’t be BITTER be BETTER and have a “bounce back” attitude.


I gotta “bounce” bad pun I know but I’’’ talk at you later.


Be Great!

James Simpson