Interview with Jacob Power
Fitness Pro, Jacob Power, is a Fitness Trainer in Ohio. His experience as fitness trainer and hard charging coach makes him a great asset to our PocketSuite Pro community. Jacob talks to CEO, Chinwe Onyeagoro, and Managing Editor, Sean Litteljohn, about the importance of having a business coach and what it’s like working with his fiancée.
You have been on PocketSuite for quite some time now. I’d love to hear what you do and how you got your start.
I was first introduced to PocketSuite by Eddie Zhang at Training Grounds Gym. He showed it to me. I tried another app before, but I didn’t like it.
How did you get started?
I got my start fresh out of college. I had a dream to be a personal trainer and I thought I would work for a gym until I met Eddie. He was like, “Man, you shouldn’t work for a gym. You should open your own business. Try it.” I found that I enjoyed working for myself. I just loved it, loved every second of it, loved the build-up, loved the grind. One client at a time. One person at a time. I fought my way and now I’m running a decent business. We’re trying to get better and better always.
How did you find Eddie? He’s like the Tony Robbins of the gym game!
Back when I started, I had maybe 100 followers. Eddie reached out, he saw that I was working out, working on my business, and Ed said, “Come check out my gym.” I saw it and I fell in love. It was just perfect. You get your pod and you get your training area. Next thing you know, he’s like, “I’ll give you a month to train for free.” This was when he was building his business up as well. I’m like, “Okay, I’ll do that.” Since then, we’ve been connected. I think I’m probably the longest person he’s had at that gym right now.
It’s from a podcast from Andy Frisella, and he said, “Help one person. Help one person so much that they feel obligated to tell another person. Give one person your all.”
What was the opportunity cost of going out on your own?
You’re bringing up old memories. I was a server and I used to serve at California Pizza Kitchen. This was when I had three or four clients, which isn’t a lot of income. I made the leap, and I quit. Once I quit, there was no fallback. Once that happened, reality struck. The first two months were a struggle. I ended up having to ask for my job back. I asked for my job back and there was something about how my manager handled it. Two or three weeks in, I hated everything about it. I love the place and I love the people there. I just hated the job. I literally would go in there with such a bad attitude, mad at the world. Then my boss said something and I was like, “Yeah. You know what? I’m done. I quit. I’m not working here anymore.” After I did that, I started bringing in real clients, putting my all into my business and building something out of it.
You said, “Take this job and shove it!”
I did. I’m trying to be nice on Zoom and not say what I really said.
Tell us a little bit about who your clients are. We know there are lots of different kinds of fitness trainers. What’s your specialty?
Right now, my fiancee and I are growing our online business. For my in-person, I didn’t have a niche at first. I just wanted to train and help people. Then I found that women gravitated a little bit more towards my style of training than men did. I’m a very hard pusher. In your face, motivating, let’s get going, come on, lift heavy weights, don’t stop. I’m sure if you have seen my Instagram, you would know I’m that hype individual – always motivated, always ready to go.
You’re also very handsome. I’m just going to be the person who says it.
Babe, did you hear that? My fiancee heard you. She’s okay (laughs). I don’t know if that was the cause, but yes, more women gravitate to me. It just became a thing where I was able to help push women and they started to come in. They liked being pushed to that point. They would be literally dying on the ground and they liked it. Some people like a lighter touch. I’m more like that, “Oh, you’re fine. You’re not hurting. Okay, we need to make it hurt more,” type of person and a lot of my clients like that.
You mentioned that you and your fiancee are building your online businesses. Is she a personal trainer as well and how does that work?
She is. Her name is Mikalia Otis @motis_fitness. I’m not sure if you guys have talked to her.
Not yet. She’s on the list now.
She’s awesome. She is amazing. We met at that gym and I fell in love instantly. She caught my heart from the start. Right now, we’re launching our online training together and it’s just really like a sweet and sour combination. She’s really sweet. She’s very mindset-driven, helping women to change their mindset towards fitness and nutrition. I’m more, “Hey, your mindset’s fine now. Okay, cool. We need to go to the gym and get our asses kicked.” It’s a great combination and right now it’s working out well and we’re starting to grow.
We feel like we need to reach more people to help them in a way that the fitness industry needs. There are many great coaches out there, I know a ton of them, but I feel like some coaches out there don’t give the right information. We want to bring the full environment. We want to bring the mindset, nutrition, great training, and bring you coaches who care, so things are working out well.
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Are there a lot of couples that run training businesses together?
I know of a few. I don’t see too many, though, maybe running gyms together, but not as far as online communities and online coaches. I haven’t seen too many. One example is Erin Dimond @erindimondfitness and Jordan Dugger @duggaesthetics.
You can live together, work together, all good?
That’s what we decided because we have our son. We’re getting married! We wanted to be able to be together and raise our son and not have to worry about somebody having to work from 9-5 or 9-7. To always be there to help each other and grow with each other.
A lot of people say to me, “I would kill my partner if I had to work with them.” Is there a secret sauce that makes it work for you?
It has its ups and downs like any other thing. But we know what we want and we feed off of each other. She’s very supportive, very understanding, and we’re both very hard workers. Just like anything, there’s going to be ups and there’s going to be downs. Nobody’s perfect. Sometimes she wants to kill me. It’s just like any other relationship. We find our way to work through it. Communication is the key.
What would you tell new folks coming into the industry? What would you share with them about what they should focus on in those early days when they’re just getting started?
One thing that stuck with me and it still sticks with me today. It’s from a podcast from Andy Frisella, and he said, “Help one person. Help one person so much that they feel obligated to tell another person. Give one person your all.” It’s going to suck at the beginning, just like any other journey. It’s going to be tough. But if you focus on the person in front of you and get them to where they need to be, they will feel like they have to tell at least one person. When they talk to that one person, you’re going to be talked up so much. Build it that way. Build a strong foundation. Build it up and your name rings well within circles years later.
I believe in it. I believe in it. I really believe in it. I really think what I’m doing is working and it’s going to keep working. It can only go, so that’s why when I’m talking to these guys, they feel it. You can’t fake this. You feel it. You feel the energy, the momentum, and it’s just like, “This guy Sounds crazy, but let’s just go with it, and let’s see what he’s got.”
How important do you think it is to have a business coach? If Eddie hadn’t reached out to you, do you think you’d be as far along as you are? Would you reach out one day to other people and pay that forward?
Eddie was my first coach and I have another one now that I sought out.I believe having a coach is key. Without having Eddie first, I don’t think I would have gotten nearly as far as where I am now. It was a grind at the start. We went through so many different things. I remember I hosted a seminar, and nobody came, and we were just like, “Yep, nobody came. Okay, onto the next project.” I was pretty upset about it, but ended up building off that, and it motivated me. Without Eddie’s knowledge in specific areas of what I needed to be doing, like starting an LLC, stuff that you wouldn’t even think about that comes with having a business, I wouldn’t be where I am. Investing in a business coach is 110% worth it. It’s going to help you lay that great foundation.
I took these courses to become a personal trainer and I had the textbook, super boring. We had to do all these studies and whatnot. Do you think it’s more practical to find a person who will be your mentor?
I went through the textbook stuff, too, man. I didn’t realize it at first and then once I started training, I was like, “Well, I could have learned all that from Instagram.” I could have just watched some videos to learn about the training aspect of it. But in terms of running a business, having a coach to guide you through will be so beneficial. Mikalia and I have talked about coaching coaches to pay it forward and help people who are up and coming. There’s a lot of little stuff that we can eliminate for you – just a guide to get you where you need to go.
There are a lot of people who are starting, and they’re like, “I can’t get a leg up here. I can’t get it done.” How do you bridge the gap to be able to eat? How do you survive, particularly now?
It could take working multiple jobs. If you want to build a business and you’re at ground zero, you have to survive. For me, it was serving while I was working and trying to build up my business. It’s going to be a grind. It’s like running into a brick wall continuously until the brick wall breaks. Over time, it’s going to wear down. Over time, you’re going to get through it. You might have to work another job to make ends meet and build this. You might have to put in 12 to 16 hour days. You might have to work a job and then go to your business and work late at night until 2 am, back up at 6 am. It takes that, it does, and it’s not for a lot of people. Many people can’t handle that stress and there have been times, I have broken down mentally. Everything’s on your shoulders. It can get overwhelming. The best way to persevere is consistency.
Eddie talks about the Power List. I create a list of three things that are a “must get done” for the day. If you get three things done, you’re good. What changed for me is I started to think about it as a 10-year process. Once I began to think, “If I just get three things done and three things done every day for ten years, I’m going to be where I need to be.” You’ve got to change your mindset. You’ve got to change the way you think.
What do you love most about working for yourself and what do you loathe?
What I love most about working for myself is the pressure. I like the grind. When we started our new online business, I loved the startup life. All the little tedious stuff gets to you, but I love the build-up of it all. I love watching it start from nothing and then start working up. I love talking to people and not just being in sales. I’m not selling something. I’m helping somebody. I love feeling great about selling something that will help somebody change their life for the better.
I loathe all the other stuff. Honestly, it sucks. I don’t like typing stuff up and I’m not a very computer-oriented person. I’m not good at writing stuff. I’m not good at doing all the tedious editing and all the small things you have to do, but you have to do it.
What was your moment with serving where you said, “Nope, that’s it. I’m out!”?
I know exactly the moment. The one thing that I hate about serving is when you bring somebody water, and they ask for lemons. You can ask for lemons right off the hop, but if I bring the water and you ask me for lemons after… It was at that point I was like, “Nah, bro. I’m not getting your freaking lemons. I’m tired of bringing lemons. I’m tired of bringing out your bread. I’m done.” The lemons did it. The lemons got me. It was one lemon too many.
What is your message to the PocketSuite Community?
Keep grinding, keep working, keep hustling, have fun, enjoy the journey. It’s worth it. My fiancee and I are not even close to the end of our journey, but we’re enjoying it. It’s fun. Keep going. Don’t stop.