Surviving and Thriving Past Your First Year in Business

The first steps are often the toughest to take.

Whether it’s your first year in business or your first year of losing weight, getting in shape, you probably have high hopes and dreams. You expect to earn more or get toned within no time.

I want you to understand that every single person on this planet overestimates the amount that they will achieve in 1 year. On the flip side, people generally underestimate what they can achieve in 5 years.

I heard a friend of mine share that quote a while back when he was speaking at one of my events. It really resonated with me.

It doesn’t matter if it’s health, business, mindset, athletics, or whatever else you might be starting. Everyone must deal with a period of adjustment before they hit stride and become successful.

Around a year ago, I went rock climbing. I had never gone rock climbing before. In fact, I have this unreasonable fear of heights, but I decided that I would try this thing and make it work.

So I got a guide who had the rigs, shoes, helmet, and ropes. He tethered the rope nice and tight so that if I fell, I’d only fall an inch rather than falling down the side of the mountain.

I have to tell you, the very first time, it felt awkward. I didn’t trust the gear, including the expensive shoes that he gave me that would grip the side of the mountain so I could push myself up.

I had to go off my faith in him, knowing that I paid this guy and he knows what he’s talking about.

Before you know it, we had done 4 or 5 climbs. Each climb got infinitely more difficult, yet I felt more confident, secure, and sure-footed with each new rep. In a period just over 4 hours, I built up this compounding effect by facing my anxieties over and over again.


In business, I can tell you that I started a franchise in 2010 called Fit Body Boot Camp.

When I started this franchise, I knew nothing about franchising. At the beginning, while we were getting about 2 or 3 people on board per week, we were losing 1 to 3 people per week as a franchise.

It’s all because we didn’t know how to operate.

Now, within that first year of being in business, it was like going through hell. It was torture. It was uncomfortable.

I didn’t like it. But I stuck with it. I knew that my goals were too important to give up on.

So guess what happens when you make it to the other side of that year? You start getting better at things because the knowledge and experience that you build compounds faster month after month.

When you stick to something long enough, you just get good at it.

Here’s the thing. Like most people, I thought that all I have to do is rig up a rope, wear the expensive shoes given to me, and I’m going to be able to climb up that mountainside like a spider monkey.

That’s the pattern we slip in to. We expect more of ourselves. We always believe we will be able to achieve more.

You go into your business thinking, “All right. Once I build it, they will come.” All of a sudden, the realization hits that when you build it and open the doors, even if your business looks awesome and the service is great and the product is fantastic, they still won’t come.

You will have to market. You will have to sell. You will have to follow up with leads, prospects, and clients. You will have to ask for referrals. You will have to network with local businesses. You will have to figure out how Facebook and the web work.

You will have to grind it out.

This eventually leads to what I call the “5-year goal” because so many people underestimate what they can achieve in 5 years.

Most people who open up a business, go on a diet, attempt to better their mindset, or pursue anything else fall into a common pitfall. What ends up happening is that they achieve a fair amount in years 1 and 2, but they don’t set their goals high enough for years 4, 5, and 6.

These latter years are your prime years. This is when your knowledge is at its greatest. It’s when your ability to deal with adversity is at its highest.

Again, this is all because you fought through the rough early patch and learned from your mistakes.

You should set ambitious goals for years 4, 5, and 6 rather than gunning for unrealistic expectations in your first year.

You’re never going to master anything within the first year, but what I can tell you is that if you stick with it, and you keep grinding it out, you’re going to end up exactly where we’ve ended up with Fit Body Boot Camp, our franchise. Here, we are 6 years out from opening up Fit Body Boot Camp as a franchise, and today one new location opens somewhere on the planet every day. How awesome is that?

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We struggled a lot at the time of our inception. But we found the formula to success, stuck with it, and turned this franchise into a fitness powerhouse.

I want you to go into your first year expecting to fail, but still doing everything as though your life depended on it.

I want you to think and believe these words: “I will not fail. I will succeed in my first year.” It’s just like that old saying, that if you shoot for the sun, you might miss it, but at least you’ll land among the stars.

Take year one as a season to make mistakes. Use it to build the foundation of your business, no matter how hard that may seem at times.

Once you get rolling, success will become inevitable in the years to follow.

I’ll talk to you later.

Committed to your success,