For the better part of 15 years I have been saying Sacrifice Without Regret. What it has always meant is, I will put my best foot forward at all times and regardless of whether I win or lose, I will have no regret for the hard work I put in.
It all made sense until now. I finally realized I do have a lot of regrets that I could have fixed had I just cared more, paid more attention and worked just a little harder! No I'm not talking about in the gym. I have no regrets for the physical work I put in.
I'm talking about the networking side of bodybuilding. Yes all too often as bodybuilders we get trapped in this vicious circle of train, eat, sleep, repeat. Its am amazing cycle to be stuck in lol, there really isn't anything I would rather be doing.
That being said I should have paid more attention to my relationships. What I mean by that is, you meet A LOT of people as a traveling bodybuilder. I suffered with a social anxiety for a long time and that kept me from making those relationships stronger and longer lasting. I don't mean with girlfriends. I mean with just people. Fans, promoters, tanning people, booth people at expos, just industry people in general.
Why does that matter now? Business, life, getting ahead, its all about relationships and who you know, meet at the right times and how they effect you or you effect them. When you turn yourself off to the outside world, you eliminate so many great possibilities that can be happening without you even thinking of them.
So many times I was offered to train at this gym or that gym or work out with this person or that person and I turned down almost EVERY instance. Why? I was comfortable and scared. Anxiety is a bitch and it will make you avoid situations you KNOW you should be part of just to protect yourself. Looking back I would have challenged this mental issue I had much harder and worked to figure it out.
For those of you coming up and trying to find your way in bodybuilding, I will give you this piece of solid advice. Do not say no to anything (obviously consider your ethics/morals for some things) when it comes to travel and appearances.
The $500 you're negotiating for that you didn't get is not going to matter down the road. Those trips, traveling meeting tons of fans, new promoters, etc. These things will pay off in spades as your career develops and who knows maybe after your career is done as well. A little something to consider as you navigate the world of bodybuilding and owning your own business. (don't forget, YOU are the business)
Sacrifice Without Regret,
Fouad 'Hoss' Abiad
People are always asking me how I made money in the bodybuilding world. There is a misconception out there that there is no money in bodybuilding and its a waste of time as a profession and a career. I beg to differ.
There are millions of bodybuilding fans and they have money for programs, clothing, personal training, shoes, accessories, etc. They want all the same merchandise or knowledge that any other sport/lifestyle has to offer.
The difference in bodybuilding is this. If you decide to become a bodybuilder its your job to bring in the money. It doesn't just come to you like in other sports. In hockey for example, someone is of professional caliber, so they're drafted and from there on they receive a cheque as an employee of the team that drafted them.
In bodybuilding its a little different. You are your own company. Yes, YOU. So, Fouad Abiad for example is no longer a person but a company. Everything that I do now is sellable, thats how I have to look at it. Everything I have learned, created or am going to create has potential to be sellable.
So it starts with sponsors. What are they buying? They're buying your "likeness" its called. Your "likeness" means, they are buying you, your body, your image, your words, your credibility, everything about you (thats in your contract) is now theirs and what they're paying you for.
Then after sponsors, it becomes more entrepreneurial, it becomes up to you if you are going to go after money or wait for it to come to you. It may come to you if you're good enough. If you're a top tier bodybuilder (I mean very top) people may manage your clothing line, your YouTube page, your e-book growth, etc.
If you're not a top tier bodybuilder, it is incumbent upon you to get off your ass and make your own shine.
That means, filming your own videos and creating your own YouTube page with content that people like. It means, designing and creating your own clothing line that people may want to buy. It means, building a reputation and a credibility by posting content that is informative and interesting that will lend itself to building your brand. It means training and coaching people so that you're thought of as a knowledgeable person, which will mean you're a trusted brand.
If you're not a top tier bodybuilder in other words, you are going to have to WORK for EVERY dollar you earn.
Don't let that scare you though. That doesn't mean you're going to be poor. On the contrary, there are A LOT of dollars out there to earn. All I'm saying is you're going to have to navigate the lifestyle like a small business and really work to grow your salary year in and year out.
Sacrifice Without Regret,
Fouad 'Hoss' Abiad