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