I released my 50th episode of Side Quest Podcast on July 27th, 2015.

Click here to check the show out on iTunes.

I learned a lot while producing 50 episodes over the first nine months of the podcast.

Some of the things I learned while starting on this journey also apply to life, weight loss, fitness, gaming, or even starting a business, of which I did as well.

Lessons Learned

Do not worry about the stats or the numbers

Photo from Precision Nutrition

One of the first things I tell my coaching clients, especially those trying to lose a few pounds, is to throw their scale out.

The number on that hunk of cheap plastic and aluminum does not define you.

It’s arbitrary. It can change from hour to hour, day to day, and if you obsess over it, all it will do is enslave you.

July is the first month I have reached over 1000 downloads.

You might think with some of the guests that I have had like Jen Sinkler, Tony Gentilcore, Bryan Krahn, Greg O’Gallagher, and many more that I might have been pulling in huge numbers with their audiences, not so much.

Launch days might have 60 downloads and then two days later I’d be lucky to get 5.

Initially, I was obsessed with checking the numbers every day.

Similar to that time when you get on the scale and see no movement, there came a couple of days where I had zero downloads.

After the first month of looking at the data each day, I made a choice only to look once a week on Fridays.

Similar to those who watch the scale I could have obsessed over the numbers. I could have seen the big glaring “zero downloads” and given up.

But I didn’t.

Maybe it’s because I know that like weight loss, I knew it would get better if I just kept plugging along and doing it.

I may not have the numbers that Tim Ferris, Barbell Shrugged, or the FitCast has but I don’t care. I do this because I like it.

I enjoy chatting with coaches and learning from their experiences.

I enjoy putting out stories that might inspire a random listener to begin to find ways to make their lives or health better. I also enjoy talking, something I have realized I do far too much of sometimes, lol, but for me, it is fun and that is why I could not care less what the numbers tell me.

The numbers do not define the content of my show just like the scale does not define who you are as a person.

Have Balls and Swing for the Fences

This is a scene from Major League 2.
This is a scene from Major League 2.

To start any large endeavor in life takes some balls.

It’s not uncommon for us to be easily crushed and conquered by fear. I was no stranger to this fear and anxiety either when I started to schedule guests for the show.

There were countless times I did not hit “submit” on an email because I was too afraid that the person on the other end would laugh at my pitch or just hit delete.

I was sitting at work one day listening to Tim Ferris and my friends over at Listen, Money Matters, the overall theme between both podcasts that day seemed to be:  “just do it, fuck the fear and go for it.”

That night I swallowed that fear and sent an email out to Bryan Krahn. The first big name fitness industry person I had grappled with emailing for days.

When he responded and said he would come on the show, my jaw dropped and I stood in my bedroom staring at the reply email.

“Did he just really say he would come on? 

Holy crap, I better ask some good questions and be as professional as I can because this guy is a NAME in the industry.”

So I stepped up my game.

I listened to every podcast I could find that he had been on in the last year, to prevent myself from asking the same questions. I read every article he wrote for the last 2 years and posted on his site. I wanted to make sure that I knew my stuff and did not come across as some kid living in his grandmother’s basement repping out endless sets of curls and bench presses every day.

I busted my ass to make sure when Bryan came on that I seemed legit and professional and knew what I was doing.

Which leads to the next thing I learned.


Gary Vayernerchuk, is the master of hustle and I hear his voice every time I read the word.

My initial plan was to release two episodes a week.

The goal was to put out as much content as possible and on a regularly scheduled time.

For most of the 50 podcast episodes, I had a typical desk job.

To achieve that goal, with your standard 8-5 job, I was going to have to hustle. I had to schedule interviews with people at 5 am, due to time zones, I had to schedule Sundays or Saturdays and get “sick” at lunch, so I could go home early from work to interview a guest.

To create something that was more than a Boy Scout birdhouse project, I needed to bust my ass every day.

I read articles at every break at work.

Followed people on Twitter, read their website(s) content, liked them on Facebook, followed them on Instagram and tried to interact with them on those mediums in hopes that they got to know me a little before I reached out.

I blasted out emails to people on Fitocracy’s Top 30 Under 30 list and their list of the 5 Trainers Taking the World by Storm in 2014. I set a new goal to have all 5 on by Christmas, of which I accomplished.

I did not want this just to be a “hobby.” I wanted this to be a resource where people could hear from coaches and hopefully find inspiration or even motivation to change their lives.

Coaches and trainers are far more than the gym fanatics that we can sometimes seem to be.

They too struggle with the same issues that their clients struggle with.

It became a second job and when I launched my coaching business it became a third job, and I made the choice to reduce it to one episode a week. This made it easier for me to move more of my focus to writing and coaching.

That same hustle though bled over to my coaching and writing; since February, I’ve been getting up since 5 am to write every day.

Success doesn’t come to those who sit on their asses it comes to those who hustle.

In case you didn’t watch the video above, take a minute or two and watch it.

Final Thoughts

All three of these things I learned are relevant to anyone’s own personal health goals as well. As I said above, it is not about the immediate numbers.

It isn’t about how much you lose in a week or a month. It’s a long game, full of ups and downs and maybe a few loops thrown in because life figures “why the heck not?”

Sometimes the biggest pair of balls you need is the pair you need to get over your own fear.

The majority of the time it is our own selves that holds us back.  We overthink, we contemplate, we create theater in our head and act out scenes of failure.

Swing for the fences!  

Get up and do it and learn as you go and work to get better and better each day.

Hustle.  The end.

You’ll have to make sacrifices, i.e. time, food, Netflix marathons, money, nights out with friends, etc.

Unlike trying to fly a space ship to Mars if you are looking to lose fat, add muscle, get in better shape, or eat better your biggest obstacle is going to be you.

So you have to hustle harder than your inner negativity.

Hustle so hard that you leave the negativity in the past. If you can hustle and make this a real commitment for 6 months and give it the majority of your attention, you can turn your life around completely.


I will end this post with a quote from Neil Gaiman’s 2012 commencement speech to graduates at The University of the Arts. I feel it sums up not only my desire to create a great podcast but that I could care less about how many people listen nor if it ever even made money.

I decided that I would do my best in future not to write books just for the money. If you didn’t get the money, then you didn’t have anything. If I did work I was proud of, and I didn’t get the money, at least I’d have the work.  Every now and again, I forget that rule, and whenever I do, the universe kicks me hard and reminds me.

I don’t know that it’s an issue for anybody but me, but it’s true that nothing I did where the only reason for doing it was the money was ever worth it, except as bitter experience. Usually, I didn’t wind up getting the money, either.  The things I did because I was excited, and wanted to see them exist in reality have never let me down, and I’ve never regretted the time I spent on any of them.

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