27 Random Thoughts on my 27th Birthday

Today I turn the ripe old age of 27. Yeah I know, most of you reading this are probably laughing your face off saying "Doug, just wait until you're my age."

I get it. I'm only 27. What could I possibly know? In fact, there's a lesson below all about that. I don't claim to know everything. However, I think we can all learn something from everyone. 

This is not about what I know, this is about seeing if you can pick up one or two golden nuggets and use them to get a little better. 

Please enjoy my 27 random thoughts, they are in no particular order, and I did no editing to them. 

1. Consistency will always win. It's about the day in and day out 1% better. It's about all the singles, not the home runs. In fitness, business, and life, day in and day out consistency will always win. 

2. You are truly the sum of the 5 people you surround yourself with the most. Do you want to get better? Spend time with people who are more successful than you. 

3. Fitness needs to have a fun component. Science can tell you it's the best thing in the world, but if you're bored as shit doing it, you won't stick with it. Guaranteed. 

4. We have always been told nutrition trumps everything when it comes to fat loss. I believe it's mindset, the emotional side of things. If you can't get your head straight, you hate your job, and your husband is cheating on you, you're going to eat like shit, no matter how hard you try. It's all connected; physical, nutrition, financial, relationships, family, etc. Bottom line, if you're not clear in the head, you'll just be a hamster on a wheel. 

5. Ideas are shit. I stole this one from one of my favorite people, Gary Vaynerchuk. Action on those ideas and execution of those ideas are what matter. Way to many people have the right intention, ideas, or goals in their head, but don't turn it into action. 

6. Business is quite simple. Make more than you spend. I got this one from my friend, Pete Dupuis. Way to many people try to overcomplicate things when it's really just a matter of making sure you don't spend as much as you make. If you keep doing that, you'll be in business forever. Now, there's a ton of action that has to happen in order for that to occur as business scales, but it's the simplest form of business success.

7. It's all about how much you keep. Similar to number 6, this one can maybe be related more to people who don't own businesses. It doesn't matter how much you make, it matters how much you keep. Way to many people spend just above their means. As soon as they get more money they find a way to spend more money. You get a tax return, and you buy a new TV. You get a raise and you buy a new car. It's a vicious cycle. Live below your means. 

8. You have to do something to stand out. Looking to find a job? What makes you stand out from the other 150 applicants? Trying to run a business? What makes you different than the gal down the street? Being good in today's market is not good enough. You have to be different. You have to have a unique set of skills. You have to bring something else to the table.

9. You don't deserve shit. My generation and the generation in the school system now thinks that everything will just be handed to them on a silver platter. I think that's the best thing we can learn from our parent's generation and their parent's generation. This generation thinks that if they stay in their lane, go through the educational system, spend $150k on a piece of paper, and walk across the stage, they deserve a six-figure salary and a $500,000 home. That's simply not the case. No matter what your goal is, there is no other ingredient other than day in and day out hard work. As my friend Mark Nedeau says "When I was 16 I thought I had the world by the balls, and I was just going to tow it behind me in my Ford Ranger. Boy, was I wrong." There are no shortcuts. Just because you went to school does not mean you deserve a job. Just because you think you deserve something does not mean it should be handed to you. 

10. The market is the market is the market. This is another one I've learned to love from Gary Vaynerchuk. The market dictates everything. You could think you have the best service or product out there, but if the market doesn't like it, you're gone. You could think you're qualified for this high-level six figure job, but if the market says no, the market is right. The market is the market. 

11. Read more. I read one book a week, about an hour every day. The things I've learned through reading is a large percentage of the reason for my success, my teams' success, and our companies success. Everything you possibly need to know someone has written about, you just have to find it, read it, and then execute on it. 

12.   You think you know something, and then you realize you're dumb. You think you understand the shoulder, and then you listen to Eric Cressey. You think you understand operational efficiencies, brand development, and facility design, and then you talk to Pete Dupuis. You think you understand the training gym model, and then you listen to Thomas Plummer. You think you have your ideal business, and then you listen to Pat Rigsby. You think you have a good gym culture, and then you see Mark Fisher. You think you have good customer service and then you read things from Disney, Amazon, Zappos, and Nordstrom. The pursuit of learning more never stops. There is always more to be learned, there is always someone doing it better than you. 

13. Compound interest truly is the 8th wonder of the world. Stash away as much as you can, as early as you can. The difference between a year or two years when you're in your twenties or thirties saving for retirement is literally hundreds of thousands of dollars when you retire. Go back to #1. Consistently stash away a little each week. 

14. Write your goals down. If you write it down, it will happen. Buy a .79cent notebook, and write every single goal down. Make them specific, make them measurable, and put a deadline on them. It's amazing how much comes true when you put ink to paper. Trust me. 

15. The older I get the less I give a damn about what other people think. Growing up as an obese kid, all I thought about was what everyone else thought of me. Going into college, what people thought of how I acted, dressed, and spoke was one of my top priorities. The older I get, the less I give a damn about what other people think. I can't wait to be that 80-year-old dude that just doesn't give a FUCK. 

16. Outside of our awesome clients, my team is the #1 reason for the success of STS. You can't go at it alone. You also can't micromanage every aspect of your business. Find the best, treat them like gold, and your business will thrive. Josh, Trent, Chris, Amy, and Kim, thank you! 

17. In my opinion, the number one reason for failure in fitness and nutrition is analysis paralysis. As Martin Rooney says, "you're majoring in the minor stuff." Stop worrying about all this GMO, Gluten Free, Anti-Inflammatory this, and Natural that. Just eat real food. Burn more than you consume. Stop trying to find the new fancy exercise that's going to lift your butt. There's no wrap you can put around your belly to get rid of that muffin top. Just do something every day that makes you sweat. Pick up some heavy stuff a couple times a week, get your heart rate up, and if you can't touch your toes, work on some flexibility stuff. Don't overcomplicate it. When you overcomplicate things you get analysis paralysis. Just take action on the basics. 

18. Instead of saying you don't have time, try saying it's not a priority. "It's not a priority to exercise." "It's not a priority to save for retirement." We all have the same 168 hours in a week, and 24 hours in a day. Time management is really more about what is a priority. Right now, you've chosen that reading this blog is more of a priority than something else. When you're watching your reality TV shows or playing video games, you're saying that's more of a priority over something else you could be doing such as personal development, exercise, or meal prepping. When you hit the snooze button you're saying that sleep is a priority over something else. It's not right or wrong. It's just the truth. When you say yes to something, you're saying no to something else. It's up to you to decide what's priority. 

19. As one of my best friends and mentors Heath Pierce always says "If you always do what you always did, you always get what you always got." Don't keep doing the same thing and expecting a different outcome. If you're not happy with your nutrition habits, change them. If you're not happy with your fitness, change it. If you're not happy with how much money you make, change it. If you're not happy with your relationships, change them. Don't complain about the outcome if you haven't done anything to change it. 

20. Leadership is not a to-do list or a system you can follow. You either live it, or you don't. It's not an extra thing on your job description, it doesn't take up more time. It's a way of life, it's how you go about your day. A good leader either has it, or they don't. I don't think you can teach leadership. 

21. Slow to speak, quick to listen. I just heard this one the other day from my newest coach, Kim Lloyd. I think it's gold. If we just shut up and listen, our clients will tell us exactly what they want. If we want to truly help someone, it's not about us, it's about them. 90% of our first visit with someone, what we call a Success Session, is just listening to what they have been going through before walking through our doors. In business, and in life, we always want to talk about ourselves, we always want to give our opinion. Maybe if we just shut up and listened, we'd be much better off. 

22. If you need help, hire a coach. I have a coach for my business. I have a coach for my finances. I hate to break it to you, but for most people, buying a gym membership won't fix your problem. You just bought access to equipment. Now, what do you do? Why not find a place where when you buy your membership, you also get a team of coaches that will be with you every step of the way? If you need help in an area of life, hire someone that does it for a living. 

23. I've never met him, but he's become one of my favorite people. Gary Vaynerchuk. I already mentioned him twice, and he's back for this one too. It's all about reverse engineering something. If you have a 5-year goal, reverse engineer it, and see what you need to do TODAY to keep the 5-year goal on track. If you have a problem in business, reverse engineer what is causing it, and solve the problem.

24. Why you do what you do, is more important than what you do or how you do it. This one I learned from Simon Sinek. The money will only keep you motivated for a short time. But a deep understanding of your true reason, your passion, your why...that shit keeps you eternally lit.

25. I spend my money on experiences. Growing up, I wanted all materialistic things. I wanted the nice truck, the nice clothes, and the nice apartment. I found that spending money on materialistic things does not fix your happiness. You always want more, always want better. I've learned to spend my money on experiences. I won't pay more than $10 for a t-shirt. I haven't had a car payment in 8 years, and don't plan to. I can fit everything I own in a box if I had to. Yet, I'll drop $200 on a dinner out with Megan like it's nothing because it's a cherished experience with her. I'm spending a metric shit ton on our upcoming wedding because it's an experience we'll never forget. I bought a house, not for the sake of owning a house, but because of the memories Megan and I will have in it for years to come. I save money not to buy things but to buy experiences that create life-long memories. 

26. The last thing I want to say when I write this 20, 30, 50 years from now is...I wish. The worst thing you can say is "I wish." I wish I tried this. I wish I asked her out. I wish I applied to that job. I wish I had more money. I wish I asked. I wish. I wish. I wish. Life is way to short to say that. If anything is worth doing, it's worth doing right, all out, all in. I don't want to be sitting on my death bed saying I wish. 

27. The ultimate pursuit in life is happiness. Nothing else matters. Happiness in your relationships, happiness with your career, happiness with your finances, and happiness with yourself. If you're happy, that's really all that matters. If you're not happy, work relentlessly until you're happy. Never settle. 

I hope you picked out a couple golden nuggets of information. I wrote this in one setting, one draft, and just let the thoughts flow. I'm interested to compare this to next years 28 Random Thoughts. 

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. 

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling