I just got back from a little exercise session at the gym, which has inspired me to talk today about "moving the pins".
All Kinds of Strength
I don't know how many of you go to the gym regularly, but you probably know that when you use any kind of machine weights (not using barbells or dumbbells), there are stacks of weights on each machine. There's this little pin you can move depending on how heavy you want the weights to be.
So, if you only want to lift 10 pounds, you take the pin and you push it into the hole where the 10 is and that'll give you 10 pounds of weight. If you want 50 pounds, you move the pin to 50, and so on.
I've been pretty active for most of my life; I do a lot of surfing and riding bikes and stuff like that. But, in the past couple of years, to be honest, I kind of let myself go. I haven't been as active and physically fit as I need to be. I want to be here for my kids and my family. I want to live a healthy life so I can be here to support them and not get worn out when I'm playing around with them. But these days when I go surfing, I'm out of breath immediately.
It was easier when I was a teenager and that's all I did. I had all the time in the world and I could surf for hours on end. I was in shape and able to do cardio and things like that. But as you start a family, have kids, and take on other priorities, like this business.... Well. It's been a little harder to keep up.
So, this past year, I've made it a point to get fit. I've been journaling my gym experience and getting back into shape on my Instagram account. You can see the transformation if you go to my Instagram page (@jeremydeighan) but be warned that I do a lot of pictures without my shirt on because, for me, it's a personal journal.
My whole life, I've always maintained a bodyweight around 180 pounds or so, but last year I went over 200 pounds for the first time in my life. That was the point where I thought, "Yeah, I can't keep doing this." That’s when I started going to the gym again regularly and tracking my progress.
You may be thinking, this isn’t a health blog. What does that have to do with digital products?
There are two connections, actually, and I’ll be talking about them today. One is moving the pins, and the other is consistency.
Building Over Time
So, back to the pin thing. I went to the gym when I was younger, but I didn't take it as seriously. But now, I'm really paying attention, and as I come day after day and week after week, the weights are getting easier. As I've been getting stronger, I have started moving the pins to increase the amount of weight I am lifting, and it's been a cool experience. I'm seeing growth.
There are a couple of different exercises where I could hardly pull 10 pounds when I started, like a shoulder press, for example. Now I'm getting up to 30, 40, or even 50 pounds. Being able to move that pin has been an amazing experience.
That same concept also works in online business and creating digital products.
I saw the fastest transformation in myself when I started exercising. As I said, I was over 200 pounds when I went back to the gym and changed my diet. Very quickly, I saw big changes. I lost 15 to 20 pounds immediately. I was pumped up to be making such quick progress.
The past couple of weeks though have not produced such big results. It's actually been very slow and tedious. So, where I lost 10 or 15 pounds in the first couple of weeks, in the past week I have lost half a pound or so. So, it has slowed down, but I have to keep going. I can still see the transformation happening, even though it’s not happening as fast.
It's the same for online business. When you learn these concepts, and especially when you make your first money online, it's super exciting. You know you're going to do more and more.
However, that excitement does wear off, as it does with all new things, and it gets hard after a while. But you have to keep up the effort to keep your business going. This is not an easy game.
There are very, very few people who are "overnight successes." Anyone who's been wildly successful, if you go back and study their history, you will realize that people who have blown up on the scene all of the sudden have actually been working behind the scenes for years before they got any recognition. Steve Jobs, Walt Disney, Henry Ford... If you look at their early lives, you can see how hard they worked at it. They struggled and had trials and tribulations.
It's the same with an online business or working out at the gym. I saw explosive growth in my online business at the beginning, but it's the day-to-day consistency of doing it over and over again that has brought me to the place where I am now. Had I given up, or had I realized that explosive growth and let my foot off the pedal, I would not be where I am now.
Even now, I know that I have to keep pushing, I have to keep moving that pin more and more, to push myself harder every day so that I can lift more weight. So that I can do more with my online business: reach more people, make more sales, and impact the world in a greater way. As long as I'm continuing to push myself, I will see the change happen over time.
Pay Attention to Progress
What's great with Instagram is that I can look back to Day One and see pictures that I took of myself, and I can see the change to now. This is my 44th day of working out--not in a row, I've been counting every day I've gone to the gym. Forty-four days. If you look at the first picture I took and the most recent one, you can see little improvements.
It's the same with the business. I can look back to those first days when I started making sales, getting excited, and realizing how little I knew. But it's the consistency and the effort of constantly pushing myself forward every day, and learning new things, that has given me the most growth.
...it's the consistency and the effort of constantly pushing myself forward every day, and learning new things, that has given me the most growth.
So, if you're just starting out or finding out about this, I can tell you it's going to be exciting at first. That is the fun part. But if you really want to be successful, you have to have the mindset that you're going to continue pushing yourself over the long term.
It's easy for us to fall back into our old habits. It's easy to say, "Oh, this online business isn't working fast enough. I'm just going to give up and go back to my job." And of course, if that's really what you want to do, that's fine. But that's not what I wanted. I wanted more for myself and my family. And if you’re reading this, I would guess that you might want more for yourself also, right?
So, it's going to be hard at first, and involve learning lots of different things, but I promise you: if you stick with it and keep working at it, you will continue to move that pin.
I hope you enjoyed this installment. Don't forget to check out the podcast and subscribe for future episodes.