Eric Bach, Fitness Guru And Entrepreneur, Shares His Story And Actionable Advice For Success
The venerable Rick Ross said it best: “Everyday I’m hustlin (hustlin, hustlin, hustlin …).”
Believe it or not, not every bro fires up the Sebring, puts his khakis on one leg at a time and slogs into a an office just hoping that management plans an impromptu happy hour (hint: they won’t). And, unsurprisingly not everyone is putting radio on the internet a al Russ Hanneman on their way to the 3 comma club.
There are plenty of bros, just like you and me who are on the grind. Every. Single. Day. So we’re diving into the trenches with these hustlers to get the real, raw, hard to swallow truth about being an entrepreneur. It ain’t all bean bag chairs stocks options in Menlo Park.
Today we’re bro-filing Eric Bach, president of Bach Performance, an online training platform, and fitness consulting business. He undoubtedly has better abs than your and has become a leading source of expertise in the fitness industry.
But don’t take our word for it, we sat down to chat with Eric …
Eric in his own words …
Eric Bach, BS, CSCS helps busy men look great naked without living in the gym. He’s the creator of the Minimalist Muscle Blitz System, the Ultimate Muscle Building System to help busy men build their dream bodies.
Eric also coaches entrepreneurs and fitness professionals on how re-take control of their day, make more money, and how to leave an IMPACT with their coaching business. Grab your Six-Figure Online Training Cheatsheet here.
And now onto the interview …
The Water Coolest: Thanks for joining us, Eric. Can you tell us about your background (education, where you grew up, what type of upbringing did you have, prior career if any)?
Eric Bach: I grew up in Green Bay, Wisconsin. I was a die-hard sports fan with one big problem: I was a sunken-chested munchkin. I entered high school at 5’2” 103 pounds. After getting pulverized into dust in football practice and having no confidence, I became obsessed with training. I went on to become a solid athlete and playing college football for a short bit before injuries took hold. At this point, my passion for the gym was clear: I wanted to help guys build muscle and boost performance.
TWC: Tell us how you first got into the fitness industry and why you founded Bach Performance.
EB: As soon as I stopped playing sports I began volunteering with the University strength staff. I gained experience working with athletes through college before taking a job at a top gym in Denver, Colorado.
Once I was there, the ugly side of the fitness industry became apparent: most gyms are in the business of selling memberships and squeezing the profits out of every inch of real estate rather than creating the best environment for people to succeed.
Seeing the writing on the wall and being surrounded by good trainers struggling to scrape by, I started a cheap blog on WordPress and wrote about the problems my clients were experiencing.
I figured if I answered their questions and shared them with more people, I’d be able to help more people. And (cough, cough), attract more clients so I could actually pay my bills.
As my writing improved and I studied marketing and sales, posts in major publications like bodybuilding.com, t-nation,com, CNN and Brobible brought an influx of people interested in working with me. My online training business was born. Now, we have coaches on staff, multiple digital products for sale, as well as an online business mentorship program to help fitness professionals and entrepreneurs impact more clients, retake their financial freedom, and build their businesses.
TWC: What has been the biggest reason for your success?
EB: Ruthless consistency. Before I end my days, I write three of MIT’s (most important tasks) I will complete the next day to move my business forward. I wake up early to work in a distraction-free environment and bang them out.
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TWC: What has been the most significant barrier to your success?
EB: A few years ago I left a fantastic position at a top sports performance gym, run by a coach who’s now an NFL Strength Coach. I was ready to do my own thing and started working independently at a different gym so I could spend more time scaling my online business.
What felt like moments later, I remember training a client and my phone vibrating in my pocket every few minutes. Once the session concluded, I checked my phone and had seven missed calls and voicemails from my *former* accountants secretary.
Chills ran down my spine, and I must have muttered “fuck” about 40 times before calling her back.
It turns out my accountant funneled all my payroll taxes from the IRS into his account, stealing over $50,000 from my business. He’s in prison now, but that didn’t help me, nor the other companies as part of his 20+ million dollar fraud case.
My income had already taken a jab because I took the “plunge.” This was like absorbing an uppercut from Tyson. To add to the stress, I was recently married, and my wife worked for a computer software company dealing with IRS taxation software. We were worried her position could be in jeopardy due to a clause in her contract. Luckily, she was okay, but the ordeal put me in under massive stress and cost me over $100,000 once paybacks, taxes, and interest were added.
Luckily, the dire circumstances forced me to rethink my business, double down on developing skills for success, and motivated me to push harder.
TWC: What is the most actionable piece of advice you would give someone trying to get into this type of business or any entrepreneurial endeavor?
EB: Do one thing to move your business forward each day first thing when you get up. Most people put off essential tasks necessary to build their business until the evening.
This is a mistake.
When you wait, two things can happen:
The chaos of the day takes hold and your regular work ends up taking all your time.
You’re too exhausted to work on your new business because you’ve exhausted your willpower early in the day.
Wake up early and take one small step forward before anything else.
TWC: What is the biggest mistake that you’ve made during your journey that you would warn others about?
EB: I avoided sales and marketing like the plague. I joined the industry to help busy guys look great naked and change lives, not “sell.”
Both marketing and sales have a lot of negative stigmas, especially in the fitness industry. Unfortunately, a world of detox teas, miracle wraps, and other bullshit have made everyone extremely skeptical. I get it. I’ve been burned too.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t matter how good you are at your job if no-one knows you can solve their problem. Even worse, if you can’t get people to commit to changing their body and yes, financially putting skin in the game, they won’t.
When you pay for a product or service you pay attention and work harder to get the most out of the experience. When I realized this truth, studying sales and marketing became essential skills if I were to accomplish what I vowed to do: help busy guys look great naked without living in the gym.
TWC: What is the best tool you’ve found to help you in your day today?
EB: My five-minute journal. This simple journal prompts me to write three things I’m thankful for each day, three ways today will be a success, and an affirmation at the end.
With this journal, I practice gratitude. As a hard-charging guy, it’s easy for me to sprint full speed ahead without reflecting on the journey. The journal helps immensely.
Also, the “3 ways today will be a success” works as my most important tasks for the day. When I reflect at the end of my work day, I often accomplish more than I planned. Instead of feeling anxious and always working, I have more peace of mind and headspace to spend with friends and family.
TWC: How important have other people (cofounders, S.Os, investors etc.) been to your success?
EB: Hiring coaches and mentors has transformed my life. If someone has succeeded where you’re looking to grow, investing in his or her services is the best way to avoid the biggest errors, have the accountability to stay consistent, and hone the skills you need to grow.
When you invest in coaching, your entire world opens up to leverage the expertise of others and expand your network.
TWC: How much luck do you think you can attribute to your success?
EB: Look, I’m a white dude born in a middle-class white family with loving parents. I didn’t have a silver spoon in my mouth, but I’m extremely lucky. Still, I’ve leveraged the pain of feeling “slighted” and being a little runt as a kid to work my ass off.
I’m very fortunate, no doubt. But as I’ve found, the smarter/harder I work the luckier I seem to get.
TWC: What are you doing today to take Bach Performance to the moon?
EB: Hangin’ with Elon. Kidding.
We’ve expanded our team and now offer more digital workouts and small group coaching to coincide with our customized one-on-one services.
As the business grows my role continues to change as CEO. My big focus has been around putting great people around me, staying true to our missions, and continuing to deliver a great service above all else.
TWC: How far do you look down the road when thinking about Bach Performance?
EB: I set up annual and quarterly goals and reverse engineer what needs to happen to hit our numbers and stay true to our mission. Once we know our numbers, it comes down to focusing our daily MIT’s around hitting them.
TWC: Do you think ANYONE can be successful at being an entrepreneur or does it take a certain “type?”
EB: Yes. I know successful introverts, extroverts, high school drop-outs and doctors. The biggest factor is being growth-minded and disciplined enough to do the work and take the plunge even when you don’t know how.
You must be willing to learn. You must be willing to adapt. You must accept everything will probably cost twice and much and take twice as long. As I tell my clients, ready, fire, aim. It’s much better to get started and course correct as you go rather than searching for the perfect answer or perfect time.
TWC: Final question: how will you know when you’ve “made it?”
EB: My definition of “making it” continues to adapt. At one point, being paid to write an article felt like making it. So did getting my first client and being able to buy a nice dinner without caring about the bill. In many ways, I’ve already made it. I can make my own schedule, travel on a whim, and cover everything my family needs financially.
Maybe I’m the oddball here, but I probably won’t be satisfied by a financial number. I see finances as a measuring stick to how many people were able to help and the impact we have on peoples lives.