The Tiger Woods story that inspires cold showers

I’m almost 100% certain this post’s content isn’t going to be about what my subject line made you think it is.

Let’s check back later and see if I’m right…

Down to last four holes at the 2001 Masters (which Tiger Woods would go on to win, completing the slam of holding all four major titles at once), some tool snapped a camera shudder at the top of his backswing.

Amazingly, Tiger pulled up mid swing.

But that wasn’t the best part.

After shooting the guy a 2-second death stare, he took a couple of breaths, then stepped up and crushed it 300+ yards straight down the middle.

Those stakes.

That pressure.

What do you want to bet most mere mortals would have taken the bait, and let the whole thing upend their concentration?

In this instance, and many others, Tiger was able to use what Stephen Covey calls “the pause button”.

Most of us are very Pavlovian in our responses (Pavlov was famous for training dogs to salivate at the sound of a bell by associating that sound with chow time).

We’re conditioned to react to things in our environment.

Phone rings, we pick it up.

Stephen Covey’s pause button is about using the ‘space’ between stimulus and response to proactively choose our responses rather than merely reacting to things.

In our story today, the phone was ringing, but Tiger wasn’t home.

(He was too busy becoming a legend.)

What’s so useful about this particular skill?

Instead of being at the mercy of whatever direction the wind blows, or whipped around on a stormy sea of emotions, you can learn to be poised, clear-headed, and yes happy a high percentage of the time.

What could be better?

This is something I aspire to.

In fact, I deliberately train non-reactivity.

One of the ways you can do this is by means of physical challenges.

Basking in cold water is an example.  The way I see it, if you can allow cold water to rain on your bare skin for up to two minutes while staying relaxed and controlling your breathing (I’ve even started singing when I do this) then you’ve seeded the feeling on non-reactivity into your nervous system.

Give it a whirl.

At the end of your morning shower, turn the water temp as cold as possible.  Stay relaxed.  Try 30 seconds at first and work your way up.

(This has other health benefits, btw.  Improves circulation, reduces inflammation, boosts immunity and promotes hormonal health.)

Ok, one last thing before I go.

The #1 way to foster non-reactivity is by eating well, working out, and cleaning up your sleeping patterns.

If only I had a nickel for every time a client has commented on how all the little things that used to bother them now roll off their back.

(Ok so it wouldn’t be that much…but I’d have enough for an espresso…)

Get your state under control here:

http://www.conorkellypersonaltrainer.com

That does it for today.

All about that sweet, sweet ability to own your own emotional state.

Well?

What kind of story did you think this was gonna be?

😉

Happy Non-Reacting,

Conor Kelly

What 70.9% of consumers say would make them STOP doing business with you

One of my longest suffering victims…er, I mean clients should be a sit-com character.

The one-liners come fast and furious with this dude, I’m tellin’ ya.

We met when he showed up at my doorstep asking about personal training.

I mentioned our 16-week program and he protested.

“That’s too much of a commitment.”

And while I generally wouldn’t take a lesser contract, I was intrigued by his quirkiness.  So I sold him a month’s worth of sessions.  He rolled it over the following month, and the next…and the next…and here we are, eight years later.

Now we laugh about a time when four months was ‘unreasonable’.

Every time his sessions are up (he calls it *pay day*), it inspires another round of witty back and forth between us.

He claims I give him a better session because I haven’t been paid yet.  He threatens to postpone payment another few sessions to keep the heightened love and attention rolling.  I promise to give away his spot because he’s so ‘unreliable’.

It’s all in the spirit of a good laugh.

Retail Marketing Institute recently wrote that 70.9% of customers would STOP doing business with someone and go somewhere else if it was more FUN.

Yes, your clients want results.

But they also want good experiences.

My former head trainer did a masterful job with this.  People loved to do business with him.  Even when booking an intro session over the phone, if the prospect asked “should I bring anything?”, he’d say, “Just your credit card.”  But he was so affable and charming about it he’d invariably get a chuckle followed by a “will do.”

Just planting some seeds here…

How could you do an even better job of creating the kind of experiences that’ll make your clients want to tell others about you?

Good one to chew on.

Hmm…I do have a suggestion.

How about sending your customers two or three emails per week, which, like this note are concise, fun, engaging and deliver a valuable idea or tip — all while promoting YOU or YOUR SERVICES?

Like that one?

Thought so.

Find out how.

Get your Email Income Consultation here:

https://calendly.com/conorkel

Happy Funny,

Conor Kelly


How to stand out in your niche like a fart in a library

True story:

I sometimes do my work at the library.

When I’m not at home, it’s the only place I know I won’t be interrupted.

On this particular day, I had set up in the magazine section.  It was deserted until one fellow showed up and started perusing the rack.

Then, suddenly, he fully (and very audibly) let one rip.

Just like that.

No “excuse me”.

Nothing.

It was only the two of us, and there was no chance I hadn’t heard it, but he simply went on about his business like nothing happened.

Funny.

Anyway, that brings me to today’s marketing tip.

As per my last email, I now offer email copywriting services.

And a very common objection is, “but Muscle, my clients don’t want to hear from me by email.”

Correct.

They don’t want boring, corporate, blatantly self-promotional emails carpet-bombing their already cluttered inbox.

Howevs, if the messages were concise, fun, engaging, and shared valuable info about a subject that concerns them, you bet your bottom dollar they’d look forward to reading them…

AND buying from them.

Let’s take a look at an example.

Now surely ATTORNEYS couldn’t use this type of marketing.

No, no.

Attorneys need to be taken seriously.

Here again, me thinks this is a symptom of what Dan Kennedy calls *marketing incest*: when everyone just looks at what everybody else in their niche is doing, and copies each other.

One voice in a chorus, drowned out by all the other voices.

If, on the other hand (and this is just off the top of my head), a personal injury attorney were to offer something like this, “Consumer Awareness Guide: 5 Things Everyone Should Know About Dealing With Insurance Companies” and follow up with two short emails per week in a conversational tone, sharing recent success stories or safety tips, or tips on how to read the fine print, all the while opening up about personal stuff and building the relationship…

Don’t you think said attorney would stand out?

Like the aforementioned flatulence in an otherwise quiet corner?

And who would the client call?  Mr. Side-of-the-bus-guy, or their old friend Al, whose emails they enjoy?

Hey.

Sometimes what’s inside just gotta come out.

Keep your marketing DNA intact, and get more sales: schedule your email income consultation here:

http://calendly.com/conorkel

Happy…ahem…well, standing out,

Conor Kelly

4 tips for a better memory

I like the character of Mike Ross on Suits.

If you don’t know the show, Mike’s talent is his insane photographic memory.  He remembers every line of every conversation he’s ever had.  He remembers every book he’s ever read, word for word.  He can look at a legal document once, then type it out verbatim hours or days later.

I’d kill to be able to do all of that.

Maybe sell my soul?

Track down a reclusive master in a remote Mongolian monastery?

Scratch that…

I’ll settle for these 4 memory tips instead:

1. Meditate.  In a recent study, researchers found that participants in a 9-week meditation retreat markedly improved their ability to focus, and displayed the same boost when measured 7 years later.  What’s interesting is the benefits lasted whether they maintained their level of meditation or not.

More’s not necessarily better.

I do 15-20 minutes a day.

To me this is all about training yourself to be present.

When you’re truly aware in the moment you notice more, and every experience can take deeper root within you.

2. Supplement with R+ALA and Acetyl-l-carnitine.  You lose a quarter of your cholinergic neurons between the ages of 25 to 75.  These are cells that produce the neurotransmitter acetylcholine which is essential to memory.

In combination these nutrients have been shown to reverse cell damage in aged rats.  In some cases, these good ‘ol boys got back the memory and motor skills of their youth.

I recommend an age-dependent dose of 200mg-800mg of R+ALA and 500mg-2,000mg of Acetyl-l-carnitine (in the morning) daily.  The older you are, the more you need.

These are the bread and butter of my personal brain health program.

(It goes without saying, any supplementation you undertake is at your own discretion and risk.)

3.  Learn a new language.  This is probably the least practical suggestion of the four, but the hippocampus (the brain’s center for processing memories) lights up on brain scans of language learners.

Mas cerveza, por favor?

4. Pump iron.  Here’s what we know: estrogen in women, and testosterone in men = intelligence (I know, hard to believe, isn’t it?).  We also know that unless you regularly challenge your muscles with heavy weight (10-12 reps seems to be the sweet spot) you can’t hope to maintain your body’s hormone cascade.

Once those hormones start circling the drain (as they do with regular aging), cognition and memory disappear with them.

I can help with all these in varying degrees, but ‘specially that last one.

Get your IQ boost here:

http://www.conorkellypersonaltrainer.com

I’m excited.

I’m gonna pound out another value-packed email for my small biz marketing list, then it’s time for my Bulgarian lesson.

Maybe the devil can’t have my soul just yet…

Happy Remembering,

Conor Kelly

Toronto fashion icon conquers her fear

Two weeks ago, I told the story of an 86-year old client who came to me because he wanted to walk straight, and discovered we could help him think straight.

Today, the next installment.

Meet Catherine Hill.

Her story could easily be another topic, and indeed was the focus of an entire chapter in Linda Grant’s book, The Thoughtful Dresser.

(Holocaust survivor, came to Canada as a refugee, and went on to become a sort of fashion icon…one of the first to bring young-at-the-time designers like Versace and Armani to Toronto.)

When we first met she was 87.

At the time, I ran my business in a old boxing gym called Florida Jack’s, on the corner of Yonge and Bloor.  At FJ, you’d open a door on Yonge St. and the first thing you’d encounter is a giant set of stairs.

This was intimidating to Catherine.

We even mused as to whether it would prevent her from training with me.

Well, she decided not to let that stop her.

90 days later she was leg pressing 110 pounds.

And bounding up those stairs.

You see, things most of us take for granted can become a source of anxiety to seniors, especially if they haven’t done the required maintenance work while ticking up the miles.  It gets to the point where their perceived physical limitations factor into the decision of whether to go somewhere or not.

Now that’s a problem.

But one which Catherine proved was solvable.

Over the years I’ve had many success stories like her, folks who started in their late 70’s or 80’s.

And I want more.

I can think of few things more rewarding than helping someone get back quality years in their life.

So who do you know with that many candles on their most recent birthday cake?

Maybe it’s a parent or grandparent even.

If they’re anywhere near downtown Toronto (and still relatively mobile), I’d love an opportunity to meet with them and see if I can give them the same gift.

Pass along my number, 416 826 4844.

It’s literally the best thing you could do for them.

Oh, and in case you missed it, the not-so-subtle undertone of this story is, if she can do it, what excuse do the rest of us have?

For realz.

(As my five-year-old told me yesterday.  Hahahaha)

Happy Fear-Conquering,

Conor Kelly

#1 Success KILLER and how to beat it

“In the words of the ancients, one should make his decisions within the space of seven breaths.  It is matter of being determined and having the spirit to break right through to the other side.” – Yamamoto Tsunetomo, Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai

Indecision.

Or better yet, a lack of decisiveness.

It’s killed more good ideas and more dreams than illness, misfortune and laziness combined.

Here’s my take on how to grab indecision by the jugular so you can claim your rightful, exalted destiny in this world:

Learn to put less weight on your decisions.

You see there’s a cognitive bias known as the “one-page bias.”

Using this filter, we tend give too much significance to the things that happen in a single day, and not enough significance to what happens over a year, or a decade.  In other words, we’re making *little* things count more than they should.

If for no other reason than your peace of mind, know this…

One day is one day.

It’s a page, in a chapter, in a section, in the book that is your life.

Your story.

What happens on that page generally matters much less than you think it does, you’re just not in the habit of looking at it that way.

And more…

The truth is, ultimately, NOTHING matters.

Fifty thousand years from now the sun will have cooled, and the earth will be nothing more than a big ball of ice.

That’s a fact.

It’ll be like we never existed.

I’m not trying to be nihilistic or depressing.

Things DO matter in their own time and place.

However, learning to take a broad perspective helps you to not go blowing sh*t all out of proportion.  It’s liberating.  It frees you to TAKE ACTION because you aren’t unevenly weighing the consequences of every choice.  You’ll be more relaxed, resourceful and positive, which helps you make better choices, too.

I’m all for thoughtful consideration.

What I’d spare you is the ‘paralysis by analysis’ that held me back for so long.

Remember, today’s only ONE PAGE OF YOUR LIFE.

The story will go on.

You’ll have the chance to write a new chapter.

Starting TODAY, no more indecision, ok?

Tell yourself, “ultimately, nothing matters.”

And go for it.

At some level you know what to do, you’re just not letting yourself do it.

For many of my success stories, simply making the decision to call me was the first step in a journey that changed their life.

Here’s your chance to practice being more decisive:

http://www.conorkellypersonaltrainer.com

Did you pass the first test?

Good…good.

Now go make it a great day.

Happy Deciding,

Conor Kelly

The bigger the wedding, the bigger the hat

Hats are big at Irish weddings.

Both in terms of size AND importance.

No self-respecting Irish woman would present herself at a wedding without well-chosen plumage-carrying head gear.

So it is for English weddings, it seems.

Let alone Royal ones.

I read this week that tv networks will be using facial recognition software to identify guests at Meghan & Harry’s wedding today, but there are fears about its accuracy.

This, ostensibly, is partly due to the hats.

You see, AI’s don’t adapt quite like we do.

Even to small changes.

In a computer, all of the components are hard-wired together.

In a human brain, there are gaps between neurons known as synapses that have almost infinite ability to reorganize.

The result?

Plasticity.

Greater ease in forming new connections.

Cognition.

It also means no matter what you’ve done with your life up to now, it’s never too late to change.

I don’t care if change shows up wearing a giant purple hat adorned with an austrich, the crown jewels, and a freakin’ Faberge egg, you’re smart enough to figure it out.

You’ve got a brain.

And brains can adapt.

Faster and better than any thing else ever created.

Try on a new hat here:

http://www.conorkellypersonaltrainer.com

Alright, that’s enough fun for today.

I hope “we” enjoy “our” long weekend.

(This use of the royal “we” is brought to you by the new Duke and Duchess of Sussex.)

Make it a great one.

Happy Changing,

Conor Kelly