Being coached by a billionaire was not what I expected!

A few years ago, I had the privilege to be coached by Jesse Itzler, a self-made billionaire and the husband of Sarah Blakely, founder of Spanx.

Just a little bit of background, Jesse Itzler is:

  • Owner of the Atlanta Hawks
  • Author of best-selling book, Living with Seal
  • Founder of Zico Coconut Water and Marquis Jet
  • Husband to Sara Blakley, founder of Spanx – oh yeah! Did you hear they will be making jeans?!

Ok, back to my story.

It was September 2018, and I was attending an event where Jesse was speaking. He had everybody on the edge of their seats as he shared his own strategies that allowed him to run multiple companies, train for endurance races, a house full of kids, and still be a great husband and a happy man.

How does he do what he does? I was totally blown away.

I wanted to get into his head and pick his brain. So when he made the offer at the end to work with him, heck yeah, I was in! I took my credit card right to the back of the room to sign up.

I didn’t know what I was getting into, but I knew it would be worth it.

So January came, and I got my first assignment from Jesse. It was 10 days of workouts. Really?! What did I sign up for? *eye roll* I thought I bought a business growth program. I was confused.

But I made the investment and decided to stay coachable because I knew that what I was going to get out of this program was going to be highly valuable, and I just had to trust the process. I followed the workouts and attended the coaching calls.

A few months later, I came to the final in person event to wrap up the training. We were told nothing of what to expect. It was top secret. When I got there, we were given instructions…

4 hour obstacle and run course to complete with as many laps as possible in that 4 hours. Think tough mudder before it was a thing.

Trust me, it was no easy feat because not only was each outdoor lap approximately 2 kilometers (or 1.24 miles), but there were all these obstacles around each lap… such as jumping through tires, a burpees station, a steep hill where you had to pull yourself up through a rope, and an army crawl under the wires.

At that point, he had already been building up our endurance… Even then, our longest training had been nothing over 2 hours.

But that did not faze me, I was determined to go for his gold standard – 10 laps.

So we began running, and I was doing each lap. I felt myself wavering as time went on…

I remember that I went through stages where I wanted to give up. I was getting cramps and blisters and my stomach was upset from drinking Gatorade, which was supposed to be our refuel. But it just wasn’t sitting well with me! (Talk about a catch-22!)

Jesse was right there with us, shouting into his megaphone, encouraging us to keep on going… “Live for tomorrow” and “the actions we do today will pay off tomorrow”

… and perhaps that reignited my spirits and I pushed through lap after lap…

No one was quitting, and I didn’t want to be the first one to give up.

Eventually, we got the 4 hours done… and I was the first to come in, having done 12 laps.

I was super pleased with myself, and I knew I conquered something deep within myself that day.

Through that journey, I learned 10 lessons that I now hold dear to my heart and guide me in my everyday decisions.

  1. Don’t under-index yourself because you’re doing yourself a disservice if you set goals that don’t stretch you. When we set our bars higher, it gives us more opportunities for growth.
  2. Enjoy the process. If you’re always focused on the results, you lose sight of having fun. That will lead to burnout, exhaustion, and giving up easily. By not knowing what we were training for, it forced me to lose control and enjoy the process.
  3. Finish strong and be as excited at the end as you were in the beginning. It’s human nature to lose interest after awhile. So you have to pace yourself and take things one step at a time!
  4. Give that extra 10% because whatever we think is the maximum capacity we can do, we can always do more.
  5. You are stronger when you are NOT alone. Having accountability partners can support you through your journey, and you can push each other to succeed.
  6. Find your edge. What makes you special? You become unstoppable when you tweak your mindset and realize how unique you are.
  7. How you do anything is how you do everything.
  8. Be committed. If you’ve started a project, always be in the mindset of “whatever it takes” to get tit done. Stay committed even when you don’t feel like it.
  9. Do what you love, and invite other people to join. It creates bonds and fosters community. You work together and celebrate together.
  10. There is always another way. The next time you feel like you need to give up, pause, open up, ask better questions, look for different ways to get to the end result.

There you have it!

I’d love to know if any of them resonated with you 🙂


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