The Worst 29 Minutes of My Life

Somewhere in this post you’ll find some really good points that you may want to use in your business or personal life to further enhance it.

Full disclosure…

I’m not much of a drinker. And as I write this post it’s late Sunday night.

I feel I should warn you that I’ve had three or four New Castle beers and a couple skinny girl margaritas. I know, I know, a skinny girl margarita is beyond fruity – none the less I had a couple glasses full and liked the stuff…

…big props to Bethenny Frankel for creating booze that has such a cult like following by woman everywhere. My curiosity got me to try the glass full of the stuff, I liked it so much I decided to drink another.

Now, to the average person, a few beers and a couple of margaritas for a 232 pound man over a few hours isn’t much. But for me… let just say that I’m a little buzzed.

In my entire life I’ve been buzzed all by three times and drunk twice.

One of the times I was totally drunk was two years ago in Miami after an intensive weekend of teaching my 7 figure mastermind group. I ended up in a night club with Vince DelMonte, Craig Ballantyne, and Sam Bakhtiar and a few others… but my memory is still fuzzy about that night… partying with Jay-Z, waking up in a strange room, catching a cab with CB back to my hotel at 6:00 AM, passed out and being driven across Florida in the back seat of Leanne Ellington’s car, where I ultimately ended up on a cruse ship headed to Panama.

The other time…

…well, that’s the story for another day.

In an attempt to get all of my lightly intoxicated ramblings to make a lick of sense to you; I should start from the beginning so you can fully appreciate my near meltdown that took place at the end of the 29 minutes of hell I had to endure Sunday afternoon.

My wife had invited a high school friend to our house for dinner Sunday night. They had driven down from Seattle to Cali to take the kids to Disneyland – so a stop over at our house for dinner was only natural.

At the last minute we had invited a few friends over to join us for dinner. So a party of four, quickly grew to about twenty people including a bunch of kids.

This post will inherently reveal a lot about me… One thing you may not know about yours truly is that I am one damn good cook. These days I don’t cook much. But I still have a passion for cooking, and when I make time to actually do it – watch out!!

I decided to grill up top sirloin steak and a side of salmon grilled over a soaked ceder plank cooked on indirect heat. Of course to make the steak and salmon happen I had to go to the grocery store to pick up a few things for what was inevitably going to turn out to be a magical meal.

This is where the worst 29 minutes of my life took place … at the grocery store.

Minute: one – three: Walk in, find a shopping cart, and get oriented with the store. See, this is where i royally screwed up. I walked into a grocery store. More on that in a moment.

Minute: four – eleven: Steak, check. Salmon, check. Marinade, check. Large zip lock bags, check. Strawberries, check. Ceder plank, check. Italian dressing, check. Ice, front of store, pay for it, and grab it on the way out.

Minute twelve – fourteen: Made my way to the front of the store. Realized that I have two option… wait in a long line at the only “maned” register or meander on over to the “self checkout” lane which was totally open and clearly the better decision, or so I thought.

The Next 15 Minutes Could Have Led Me to a “Falling Down” Moment (Micheal Douglas circa 1993), but instead I kept it together as realized that the self checkout line was nothing more than evil scheme concocted by the collective retailers of America to stump, frustrate, bewilder and outright enrage innocent shoppers like myself.

Let me just say that the ENTIRE self checkout system is screwed up. Whoever invented this concept and sold the idea to big retailers should be shot and given an award at the same time.

Shot becuase (like I mentioned) the entire concept is stupid (I refuse to accept that I may have been part of the problem).

Given an award, becuase you’ve got to be one hell of a salesman to sell a crappy concept like “self checkout” to big grocers.

I digress…

It should have taken me all but three minutes to check out with my eight items.. but it took five times that instead.

First off you have to scan and bag your items. Easy enough right? WRONG. See, the bagging section is sensor operated (I think by weight) so if you choose to scan an item of odd shape, say like a big pack of steak or side of salmon and you choose to skip the bagging and put the item directly into your shopping cart you get to wait for the attendant to come and approve the fast that you chose to skip bagging proccess.

This happened with the steak and salmon of course. And since they assign one attendant to four self check out stands (and since she was too busy chatt’in it up with a co-worker to notice me, the red blinking light above my register or the obvious sign flashing on her screen designed to monitor the progress of all four self checkout counters I was forced to walk on over to her and ask her to approve my decision to not bag my meat).

BTW, it was clear by rolling of her eyes that I obviously interrupted a very important conversation she was having with her co-worker.

I feel at this point I have to qualify to you (mostly to remind myself) that I’m a pretty smart cat. I’ve owned and operated five personal training facilities successfully, I’ve created software and technology that has changed how thousands of fitness trainers communicate and connect with their tribe (FitPro Newsletter and FitPro Magazine), I put on the biggest industry event of the year bringing together over 400 fitness pros from all over the globe and the top industry producers (Fitness Business Summit) and between my info products and mastermind coaching programs I’ve helped tens of thousands of fitness professionals worldwide reach more clients, increase their income, and get more freedom…


So yet again I rudely (in her opinion) interrupted the attendant and asked how one would go about purchasing two bags of ice. See, they have everything under the sun categorized in the self checkout computer so you can easily look up EXCEPT FOR ICE.

She pointed to a sticky note that was hanging of the side of the screen that had “bag of ice” handwritten on it with a long 12 digit code that I was supposed to punch in – she showed me how – and I did. I proceeded to ask her where the quantity button was so I can type in two bags. She informed me that there wasn’t one, that they only have that button at the manned check out counter and that I’d have to retype the 12 digit code to purchase another.

See how cool and competent she looks? That WASN'T me.

Since the bags of ice are near the exit of the store so you can pick up however many you purchased and head out, I was forced to go through the “approval” process of not having to bag my ice.


SIDE NOTE: imagine this entire time a sweet little lady patiently waiting in line behind me so she can self checkout. Little did she know that minutes later she’d get frustrated and go wait in another line and ultimately beat me out of the store.

The hilarity continues…

Of course as I go to pay with my credit card, the computer once again flashes the red light above my register signaling for the attendant to come and check my ID since I’m purchasing with a credit card.

At the point both the attendant and I are frustrated to Michael Douglas levels in Falling Down, she for having her conversion interrupted at least four times during one check out process.

And me becuase of a multitude of stupid things that took place in those 29 minutes… but mainly for violating my own 5% rule and actually walking into a grocery store after years of not having stepped foot into one.

Like I said; 29 Minutes of Hell.

But there’s a lesson in all this for you…

1. Stick to your critical 5% and delegate the trivial 95%. I created the 5% rule for crying out loud…. and the minute I walked into that grocery store, I stepped into my 95% and I royally sucked at it.

2. As a business owner make it easy for people to give you money. Doesn’t matter if that’s on your website, in person or whatever. Make it easy and ENJOYABLE for people to give you money.

3. Customer service is EVERYTHING. People have options these days, if you don’t deliver the WOW experience, they’ll go else where, and rightfully so. Exceed your client’s and customer’s expectations.

4. Similarly, give your client’s what they are there to get. In your case it’s results. If they’re not getting the product or service they signed up for then frustration and resentment will build up quickly.

5. Plan ahead. Had I planned ahead, I could have had the shopping trip done for me by my wife and I could have done the thing that I’m good at which was to grill up the foods and put them into the muscles.

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