Most of us know how hard John Meadows had to work for his pro card. Many of us mourned with him after multiple shows in which he finished just short of achieving his lifelong goal. And many of us celebrated with him when he finally triumphed this year. If it seemed to anyone that Meadows's success occurred overnight, that person wasn't paying close attention.

Recently, Meadows received national attention for a different story of perseverance and success: his business, Mountain Dog Diet. The article, which was written by Elaine Pofeldt and published on, focuses on John's transition from a secure job in professional banking to a successful career as an entrepreneur:

It’s not easy to leave a thriving career to start a business—even one built around your passions—but John Meadows did just that. In 2012, the father of now six-year-old twin boys left his job as a senior project manager at Huntington Bank and dove into growing Mountain Dog Diet, an internet business in the Columbus, Ohio area that is built around his passions for competitive bodybuilding and fitness.

“I’m conservative by nature,” says Meadows, 43. “It was hard for me to give up my salary and nice bonuses at the bank when I had a family relying on me." But with many clients seeking him out as a bodybuilding coach, he saw there was evidence his business would succeed and finally gave his 30 days’ notice. “I had done well in the corporate world,” he says. “I figured if it doesn’t work out I can always go back to it.”

The article, which focuses on Meadows's decision to quit his Senior Project Manager position in exchange for devoting himself full-time to his own business, categorizes the success of Meadows's business as very rare. As a non-employer firm, Meadows does not hire any W-2 employees, instead performing all of the work for his company on his own or with the help of per-work contractors, such as the freelance writers who contribute to his site.

As well as outlining Meadows's basic business ideology ("If you take good care of people, they'll stick with you"), the Forbes articles examines multiple elements of his success, highlighting the relationship Meadows's has with his mentors.

One crucial element of his success, he says, has been relying on mentors such as Eric Serrano, a medical doctor who has treated him, and Dave Tate, owner and CEO ofEliteFTS, where sells conditioning equipment and other products to those involved in strength training.  ”With really good mentors, I have been able to minimize the mistakes I made in the business,” Meadows says. 

When Meadows publicly shared the Forbes article, Dave Tate commented to verify the extreme amount of work that Meadows has put into his company.

Here, in text form, is what Dave had to say:

There is one thing I want to note about John Meadows when it comes to business. As he noted in the article I have been and will continue to be a mentor to him. Through elitefts I have mentored many. This is part of being on the team (John is an adviser for elitefts as well as a friend). 

You can see the Alumni list here. 

This isn't a shameless plug because I sell very few business retreats, summits, etc., because they are a PAIN IN THE ASS. I am noting this becuase I am not new to being a business mentor. I have seen people who are shit, who suck, who are good, and those who are great. I've seen great potential lost on being lazy and poor potential build brands that will be known for decades to come. 

Helping mentor others with businesss isn't like training at all. The front end research time it takes is insane and it only works when the other party is willing to do ALL the work needed. For example, if I suggest something to someone and they ask a follow up question for something they could of looked up online it tells me they are lazy. John listens, learns, and I know works his ass off because some of the ideas we have discussed for him would have taken hundreds of hours to look deeper into. He makes mistakes like we all do AND learns from them. If he disagrees he lets me know and always has a solid and good reason why (this teaches me). 

Business is brutal — this industry is even more brutal. To navagate it with integrity is VERY hard to do becuase this means saying no to many things than could make you decent money. I have to note I have never worked with anyone as a business mentor with the skill set, knowledge and morals John does. I really debated writing this becuase I have always believed the mentor and coach should remain in the shadows as they are not the ones "doing the work." 

I felt compelled to say something becuase what many of you see is the success (and he is not done yet). You do not see the struggles, set backs, stress, long hours, frustration and all the rest that come with the territory. This WAS NOT an easy journey for him in ANY way. Only a seect few know how hard some of the hard times were. As I tell everyone, these are the times that HAVE to happen if you want to move forward. John's outlook on adversity in businsss is the same as his outlook on adversity in sport. Once the dust settles he doesn't make any excuses but starts looking for solutions. 

Please realize this is not an overnight success story. This also didn't all happen because of his "name." He had to build his name. 

John is not the same man he was in 2010 - He is a BETTER man. With the dynamic growth he has had with his business over the past few years this is the most impressive part. He is a better business man, father, husband, friend and bodybuilder. If you want to admire his success take a moment and wrap your head around that one.

You can read the article in its entirety on

Images via