Interview with Carter Good
Fitness Pro Carter Good is a Fitness Trainer in Ohio. His experience losing weight and creating lasting habits makes him a great asset to the PocketSuite Pro community. Carter talks to CEO, Chinwe Onyeagoro, about his struggles with weight growing up and how he used his own journey as a force for good.
Hey, Carter, how’s it going?
Hey, it’s going well. How are you doing?
Doing very well. Thanks for making the time. This has been a highly anticipated conversation.
I know, I’m glad we finally made it happen.
I did some research. You’ve had a personal journey with weight loss. You lost 145 pounds. From what I read, it was incredibly important for your health and happiness. So, I’m curious, how did it go from a personal journey to becoming a business and global community of several hundred thousand people? How did that happen?
Yeah, for sure. Like you were alluding to, for me, fitness is definitely very personal, and obviously my whole journey with it started with myself. Well, most of my life, I struggled with weight, but back in high school I really put on a lot of weight. I had tried and failed at pretty much every diet, like a lot of people maybe have, the fad diets and everything. Back and forth, I never really took it too seriously. What created the change? It’s always a funny conversation. It wasn’t this amazing moment of realization. I was just 16 and I asked this girl to go to Homecoming with me and she totally friend-zoned me. So that was the catalyst to wanting to create a change. Obviously, that’s not necessarily the whole reason why I did it long term, but that was what started it. I learned a lot about fitness and weight loss specifically, a lot about how to do it the wrong way. I was one of those people who went from one extreme to the other. I’ll always say that after losing weight most people would think, “Oh wow, you must be way happier now.” But I was mentally way off, way worse off than before. A lot of it was because I had this obsessive fear of gaining weight.
So, that translated into me doing a lot of inner work, which then translated into finding balance with fitness and life, which is what Leaner For Life actually is. I had this mission. I had this message that I thought needed to be heard because there’s not very much balance with fitness. You see these crazy fit people and there’s a lot of shame and morality around fitness. Like, “Oh, when I’m working out and eating well, I’m being a good person. When I’m not, I’m being bad.” Overcoming a lot of that was really important for me. It’s what I try to help people do. I started posting on social media. At the time, I was a part of a company that was in marketing. So I knew a little bit about content creation. I was actually doing content creation for the fitness world for other people – kind of as a ghostwriter. So I already knew how to create content, but I started posting it personally. I started posting infographics and it was really early on when infographics were brand new. The only other company I’d seen do it was Precision Nutrition. It was really big. People probably know that company. I started doing that and it just took off. People really resonated with it. So, that was what began the larger following on Instagram.
Passion is great, but it’s like motivation; it’s great when you have it, but it’s not always going to be there.
So, at some level, you had the skill set and the training to share these messages that really resonated. Then you were also going down this really personal path that allowed you to open yourself up in ways that also really resonated with folks. Wow, that’s really cool! You know, it’s funny, I was reading some of the holiday posts that you made. You talk a lot about just setting intention. You talk about moving at your own pace. It’s you versus you. As I was reading, it felt a little bit like you were deprogramming me. I felt like you were forcing me to think about things in a much more positive, much less shame based, as you said, way. I’m just curious, where are we getting this programming to begin with? I don’t remember in my household my mom saying anything to me about weight, or fitness, or what have you, and in school I don’t remember anything either. Is it just subliminal messages that we’re getting as we grow up?
There’s probably a million answers, but what I feel it is, is really this. I always joke around, it’s almost like we beat evolution, because we live in a world where we’re highly encouraged to over consume and convenience is at an all time high. So, at a baseline, just going out into the world it’s pretty easy to overeat and under exercise. Everyone will always say, “Eat less, move more.” When it comes down to the science of it, yeah that’s true, but that’s not going to help anybody. The reality is the cards are stacked against us. Even to this day, you go into a grocery store, you see, “Lose 10 pounds in the next 10 days.” I think the negative programming is this idea that you have to lose weight to get to a certain place or to achieve something. I always use weight loss because it tends to be more in my demographic, but I think this could be fitness as the whole, whether it’s losing weight or anything.
Basically, think of it as a temporary thing, like “I’m going to go to college to get this education to get a job.” So, “I’m going to follow this diet to lose this weight, so then I can go back to my life.” It’s compartmentalizing things and not realizing that this has to be a part of your life forever. There are fundamentally habits that have to change. So, my biggest thing is always reminding people, because I think the one thing that always hurts people, not just in fitness but also business, is time. This perception of whether they think that they should be making progress faster or they should be losing weight more quickly, that’s what starts the negative feedback loop of, “I’m not making progress fast enough, which means I’m not trying hard enough, which means I’m not good enough to do this.” That’s the problem.
So, my big thing is helping people break that thought pattern and being able to really own the decisions they make in every moment. That’s my big thing. If you want to go out to eat and eat more than usual, go out and get drinks with friends, that’s totally cool If you can own that and be okay with the fact that, “Hey, this may push back my progress.” Totally fine. Because like you said, it’s like you versus you. I’m really big into that kind of stuff. Helping people realize that this isn’t a race, you do have to work hard, but there’s no set amount of time that you have to get there.
Yeah, I was just thinking, in some ways, perfection doesn’t sell anymore. It just doesn’t resonate with people, it doesn’t feel real, and it’s like, “That’s not human.” That’s good for robots, but not for us. So, your messages lean in that direction as well. Can you share a little bit about what Leaner For Life is? There’s a 30 day challenge, there’s a community. What is the full array of offerings that are part of Leaner For Life?
There are really two main offerings. There is a 30 day challenge, which for anyone listening, we just talk about deprogramming and stuff. The 30 day challenge is about deprogramming the traditional way people approach challenges. It’s about daily habit tracking. It’s not about, “Do this in this amount of time.” Or anything like that, but that’s an entry point into what we’re doing. From a business standpoint, creating the most revenue and where we’re serving the most people is through coaching. For a long time, it’s just been me as a coach, coaching other people. But now, it’s shifted to a place where I have assistant coaches underneath me and that’s the model that we have right now. We have two assistant coaches. We have a 3rd coming on soon. We have a little team.
And is this purely online, or is it also in person?
It’s based entirely online as of right now. That’s actually how I got into it as well. I did a little bit of fitness coaching in person, but mostly all online and digital.
Okay, digging in a little bit on the personal side, you mentioned Kaylin Pyles, your girlfriend. I see her in your IG comments and in your feed. I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing her, and she runs an awesome business. She’s a powerhouse as well. What’s it like running this fitness/life transformation business alongside someone who’s literally doing the same thing, but differently? What’s that like? Is it super motivating? Is it nerve racking?
The majority of it is absolutely positive. I started my business earlier than Kaylin, so already had success when Kaylin was first starting. So there was a time when we would butt heads on business really hard. Looking back, it was because I had an ego about it. I felt like, “What do you mean you’re using that?” So funny enough, and you’ll think this is funny, it’s going to tie it in perfectly. She had been telling me to use PocketSuite for well over a year. I fought against it because I’m like, “Oh, I’m not going to change my systems. I’m doing this. I use PayPal. It works perfectly. I don’t need to do that.” Once I got over my own ego issues with business, ever since then, now it just works really well.
We have to both be very mindful of, “Remember that we’re also in a relationship and we need to not be working sometimes.” So we have to set time aside, which we do a pretty good job of. We’re bouncing ideas off of each other. A lot of times she’ll have people who she refers to me. I’ll have people who I refer to her because our business models are similar, but a little bit different. So, on the whole, it’s definitely positive and awesome.
I’m going to send Kaylin a glass of champagne. I didn’t realize that she brought you to PocketSuite. That’s awesome.
She did, yes.
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It’s funny, I’m one of the co-founders of PocketSuite, and another co-founder is my husband. So, we always have this challenge of when do we put the work down? Because we really do love what we do, there’s a little bit of stigma in society like if you’re working all the time that’s a bad thing. But it’s like, what if you happen to love what you do? So, when you’re talking about intentionally blocking off time, is it retreating from this feeling of, “We’re just working too much.” Or is it, “Hey, we love a lot of other things in common and we just want to make sure we create space for those things, too?”
I think it’s both because I also think with work there’s a time and a place, especially, when you’re really early on starting your business. You’ve got to put in the hours. You have those 12 hour work days, and they happen, and we still have those occasionally. It also reaches a point where it’s like there can be too much of a good thing. Or rather maybe you have to really understand your own energy. Not just physical energy, but mental energy too with running a business. So, I think it actually pays to purposefully distance yourself from it because you come back stronger. I’ll say this, there are times where Kaylin and I would go out to dinner and we aren’t really talking about business. But something will happen and that will spark a business idea that we would have never gotten because we were constantly in that grind of just waking up, working, and going to sleep.
So, for our own health as a relationship as well as to spend time with one another enjoying other things. It also serves as a good mental break from it, and then it gets you excited to wake back up to work more. Even this weekend, we purposefully decided, “Hey, we’re not doing any work Christmas day or the day after.” We forced it and we didn’t do it, so now we’re both more motivated to go to work this week, having taken that break. I think it’s important. I think especially if you’re in a situation where you and your significant other are both entrepreneurs. I think even more so if you’re doing separate things because you could easily not talk to each other for a whole week, if you’re in your own world.
It’s funny – Eddie Zhang’s online. He’s heckling us. I love it! He’s like, “You’re so smart, Carter.” Love it, we love you Eddie. So, this is a little controversial. We’ve talked to a lot of Fitness Pros, many of whom use PocketSuite and are active on social media. One of the things that they bring up as a challenge for their business is that you have a variety of folks who are influencing people on social media. You have fitness celebrities, who look great and who certainly talk the talk, but then you also have fitness professionals, who are certified, who have a lot of credentials. You’re in this unique role of being both a celebrity and a fitness professional. You straddle both spheres. Do you see them as two separate roles in terms of what you put out there or is it one and the same in terms of how you approach it and how you engage your community?
I think of it as one and the same. Honestly, because it’s always weird to me whenever people say fitness celebrity. Obviously, I’ve built something great and I’m super, super proud of it. I think of it more like a new age blog, more than anything else, because I wouldn’t say I feel like a celebrity. I think it’s super inspiring though that so many people have resonated with the content that I’ve put out because people aren’t necessarily following me because I’m always showing my six pack abs. People are following me because they resonate with my content. So, if anything, it’s a testament, a reassurance like, “Hey, what I’m talking about really matters and it’s really important to people.” But no, I don’t feel I ever have to change how my energy is, because what I’ll talk about on Instagram on the surface level is the same exact thing I’m teaching to my clients, because I really preach simplicity in all areas. So, yeah, I guess I feel like it’s the same all the way through. I don’t feel like I juggle anything.
Right, double clicking on that. Your community is several hundred thousand folks and growing. That’s just the ones we see. There are probably millions who are touched by your messages. You actually have a fair amount of fitness professionals who are following you as well, not just individuals, and we certainly have a huge number of fitness professionals in our community. I’d love to hear what advice you would give fitness professionals who are just starting out and really trying to build their online business? I think everyone, given COVID, everyone is now trying to think about what is my online strategy in a way that they weren’t necessarily before. You were way ahead of the game. What advice would you give them as they’re going down this road?
I think the biggest one is, and this is coming from somebody who has a very big following, don’t get fixated on the number of people who are following you, or even how many likes you’re getting on your posts. Because the thing to remember is this, especially when you’re trying to start a business online, is that systems are really what are going to create the change. What I always say is this, especially since doing one-on-one coaching, and let’s say that you wanted to make six figures doing one on one coaching. I’m going to try to do the math in my head. You would probably need, assuming that you’re pricing competitively, 100 people, 100 clients over the course of a year.
If you are approaching it that way, remembering that hey, the people who are following you, even if you have a thousand, or maybe you’re just starting out and over the course of two months you now have 300 to 400, 500 people following you. Those are real people, and especially in today’s day and age where there are a lot of people creating content, it really pays to go deeper versus trying to go wide. That’s why, even in my own business, where I’ve seen the most success are in areas where I have put more attention towards going deeper versus just trying to spread more as a message. That’s where even things like PocketSuite have really helped with streamlining my systems and getting those things in place because you have to have the machine working in order to get the inspiration to keep creating content.
I always say, “Passion is great, but it’s like motivation; it’s great when you have it, but it’s not always going to be there.” Especially with fitness, a lot of people get into fitness because they’re really passionate about it, but there’s a difference between being a fitness trainer and being a business owner. I would say anyone who is shifting online, you are going to very quickly become a business owner. Just recognizing that from the start and putting more attention towards building really good systems and funnels and investing in, whether it’s business coaches or whatever to help you create those types of things, because the content I think should come second. If you’re speaking your truth, you’re going to find people who resonate with what you have to talk about because at the end of the day people don’t buy content, they buy people.
That would be my biggest suggestion. Do not get too caught up in going crazy ham on content. Really make sure that you’re putting time into developing your systems and learning about the business and marketing side of it too because that’s what’s really going to obviously create the money longterm for you to want to continue doing what you’re doing. You’ve got to make money in order to still want to create and be passionate.
You’ve talked a bunch about systems. So I’d love for you to share just one thing that rocks your world about PocketSuite for folks who aren’t in the know.
This was my big selling point with PocketSuite. It’s basically like a Swiss army knife. It’s a payment collector. You can deliver contracts. There are a lot of functions even within PocketSuite that I haven’t even dove into yet that I can utilize. It’s just been a matter of I have to change my systems over to do it. What’s made PocketSuite so nice, well one is obviously the customer support, too. I get that you guys have amazing support, like anytime there’s a question, you’re very on top of it, which is super helpful. I’ve got contracts set up in a way where they’re attached to forms. Then my employees can fill out contracts for people. You guys talked on the phone with me and walked me through it. One of the really cool things I saw from you guys was you actually put in a feature request to improve a process [based on a suggestion that I made].
So, not only do you provide a really awesome service, but you’re also open to hearing where you can improve to make it even better. Then obviously prices, incredible. What you guys charge just to use your service, it’s ridiculously low, almost too low I think. Just the ease of it. The effortlessness of it and you guys do a great job, honestly, all around. I feel like it’s like Wave plus DocuSign plus a Calendly/CallBooker – all in one.
Awesome, love it! A Swiss army knife. I’m going to use that. So, as you look ahead, what do you see on the horizon for Leaner For Life? You’re always pushing the edge. We want to see where you’re going so we can cheer you on.
As of right now, the biggest mission is to continue building out the coaching side. Going into the latter part of Q1/Q2, we actually sank a lot of money into app development. So the hope is once we get this app up and developed, we’re going to start pushing more subscription, lower ticket offerings, because that’s one thing that we’re lacking right now. We have a one off product that’s a 30 day challenge and then we have our high end one on one coaching. So, we want more of a middle ground there, and we feel like there’s a lot of people who would really benefit from that.
So, we’re investing a lot in an app that has really good support, the community, maybe even an app that has different subscription levels where there’s one where you can just do anything. There’s also maybe a support level to it that’s a little bit more. Basically, just trying to gamut the whole range from free resources all the way up to $500 a month services at some point. That’s our mission. I think the app’s going to be one of the major pushes going into 2021.
Awesome, happy to trade notes as you move into the app development space!
Yeah, for sure. We’re going to need it, for sure.
Carter, thank you so much for spending time with us. We’re super excited to hear your story. Send our best to Kaylin, we love her. And we’re so excited about Leaner For Life.
Absolutely, thanks for having an awesome service.