I spend a lot of time on social media — not because I want to but because I have to. I am not terribly fond of spending so much time on it, but I have little choice, what with it being such an integral part of gaining and keeping exposure for my business. In doing so, I have no choice other than to deal with opinions on politics, religion, and other topics that I would otherwise love to avoid if at all possible. I very rarely engage in any of these topics on social media, simply because discussion about social issues is not usually a good idea. We are always going to have people who disagree with us, and this can lead to losing potential business.

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The older I get and the more experienced I get with interacting on social media, the easier it is to steer clear of these debates or discussions. However, there are those times where I have to bite my tongue. Such was the case the other day when I came across someone who made a statement that, after much debate as to whether to engage or not, Maverick was able to disengage. I probably only disengaged because I told myself that I could still put my opinion out there for everyone to read, but instead of doing in a setting where it could turn into a back-and-forth, I could do it here, where essentially I talk and everyone else listens. Even if you disagree with me, there won't be a back-and-forth.

Cowardly of me? Hey, I used to love confrontation, and I proved it time and time again during the message board era. These days, I'm old and it isn't that I am not up for the challenge, I am just much wiser and know that debate rarely changes someone's mind.

Now, before I divulge the topic and the statement that was made, I am going to preface this with a disclaimer by saying that the person that made this statement I do respect, and I don't want my position on this topic to sound condescending or pontifical in any way. However, that is going to be difficult, because where he did not have experience on the topic, I most certainly did. Does that make me right and him wrong? Not necessarily, but it does mean that my opinion is qualified and his only a "best guess."

The statement in question:

“When you have kids you have to put your dreams on hold for at least 18 years.”

This statement was made after he posted:

"Seeing too many posts about balance lately. Guess who never talks about balance? WINNERS."

Now, with all due respect: DAFUQ? Let’s start with the original post.


First, I am not going to say that all successful people have balance in their lives. A lot of people feel they need to immerse themselves in something to be successful, and a lot of successful people do this. I won't disagree with that. What I will disagree with is the claim that you have to put all of your eggs in one basket to be successful at something.

To be successful as a competitive bodybuilder takes a lot of drive, structure, and time  — no question there. And I know this because I have competed for three decades. However, it does not need to consume you for you to be good at it. By this I mean that there can still be a balance between your career, family, and even other hobbies, as long as you can structure your time well.

To be successful as a business owner in this industry—whether as a trainer, nutritionist, or supplement company owner—it may take more work and time upfront to get things going. Once you establish your business, you should get to the point where you can balance it with other aspects of your life that you are passionate about. A lot of times in business, the more you work, the more money you generate, so finding that balance can be difficult. It comes down to priorities and what the other things in your life mean to you.

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There is also the caveat of how you define success, and there is a broad spectrum of definitions based on whom you ask. Most people, unfortunately, define success as how much money one can generate or—because we are also talking about competitors here—how many titles one can win in the pursuit of a potential pro card. I think almost anyone who starts out on their journey toward success defines success by these above definitions. However, what typically happens is that somewhere along the way, one has to eventually ask themselves if their pursuit of "success" is providing happiness. This is precisely where balance, if it hasn't been achieved or even desired, becomes more of a focus.

This brings me back to the original post made on social media that I mentioned earlier. Define "winner," because to me being a winner means being successful, which also means being happy. Happiness includes not just making money but also other aspects of your life that you find fulfilling. I understand that one-dimensional people claim to be happy when asked or when they post to social media, but how happy can someone be if they are only focused on one thing at the expense of everything else in their life? I concede that it is not up to me or you (or anyone else for that matter) to determine whether someone is happy or successful. My point is that I will still question whether someone is happy if they don't have a balanced life.

Now, to the statement made about having to give up your dreams for 18 years while raising children: This, to me, is absurd, and could only come from someone that doesn’t have kids and doesn’t know any better. My wife and I have raised four kids and have a 25-year marriage that isn't just a regular marriage but a damn good one. I have been successful enough in business over the last 12 years to live in a beautiful home, provide everything my kids need (and some of the things they just plain want), and be able to travel and not sweat money.

Did my kids get in the way of that? Hell no. Have I neglected them in the process of being successful? Hell no. How did my wife and I do that? With a lot of hard work structuring our time. And please know that it is an ongoing battle. It isn't a point you get to and it becomes easy; it is something you have to constantly evaluate honestly, restructure, and tweak. Am I successful because I am able to provide my family with the previous things I mentioned? In part, sure, but more importantly I can honestly say (and the people close to me will vouch for me) that I am happy.

I could make more money if I worked more, but I have worked hard for the balance that I have created. I am much happier now making less money than I was making six or 10 years ago when I was immersed in business with poor balance — which is why I am qualified to give my opinion because I have been there. It never ceases to amaze me when people give opinions on something they have no experience with and know nothing about. Basically, they are just giving their best guess.

If you think being successful is about how much money you can make, you will find out in time how wrong you are. If you think that winning a pro card at the expense of everyone and everything else in your life makes you successful, there will come a day when, even if you do not admit it, you will know in your heart of hearts that you are mistaken. If you don't ever come to the understanding that your "me-me" mentality was not healthy and that you weren't happy, I couldn't care less. Why? Because I am over here taking care of myself and my family, and I am spending all of my time focused on making sure that my life is balanced and that I experience all I can in this life. I don't have time to sit back and debate with you on social media about how you may soon regret your position (or come to understand that you need or want to change it).

The cool thing about this world is that even if I think you are full of shit, it is your business what you do and how you live. I will admit that because I have been there and you may not have experienced what I have, I feel a wise-old-man obligation to try to give you advice — not because I need it for my ego, but because I truly want to help. Advice is awesome because you can listen to it and then completely disregard it as bullshit, or take in what was said and apply it to your situation. Ultimately, it is up to you, not me. Just Sayin’.