That Moment When You Question Everything: Is This My Midlife Crisis?

by Michael Keeler

[Disclaimer: This is not a typical post for a business blog (maybe it should be?). So if you’re not ready for some raw, unfiltered emotion, this may not be the post for you.]


Right now, as I’m typing this, I am having a moment when I am questioning everything. And by everything, I mean all of it–my life. Not in a super dark life isn’t worth living kinda way, but in a what the hell am I doing with my life sorta way.

You ever have one of these moments?

Mine seem to come about every 18-24 months. It’s not a precise cycle, but it’s a cycle. And this one seems a little more intense then the others have been.

Is this my midlife crisis?

If someone was to look at my life from afar at this very moment, humbly, they’d have reasons to be impressed. I have an incredible life partner who is one of the greatest humans you’ll ever meet. I own two very successful businesses that make me comfortable financially. My work is often very fulfilling, working with amazing coworkers and clients who make me feel like my contributions are valuable.

I live in a beautiful apartment in a lovely neighborhood with a great view of the NYC skyline. I have incredible friends who are caring and support and fun. I have good health and many of the people around me are well and thriving. Plus, I have a laundry list of other privileges that frankly put me in a class of people who are never supposed to complain about their lives.

All of that is true. But that fact is, I’ve been incredibly unsatisfied for the past few months. And I can’t help feel ashamed that I’m unhappy.

With everything going right in my life, what the f*ck am I doing being unhappy?


Gratitude sometimes feels like a tool I want to use but it’s locked away in a treasure chest that I’ll only find by decoding some ancient Indiana Jones-style scavenger hunt.

The movie that continues to play on repeat in my mind is one of continuous questioning and judgment and aimlessness, asking myself…

What the heck am I doing in NYC? This place is noisy and dirty and mostly unpleasant. If I never had to ride the damn subway again I’d be so happy.

What am I doing running a fitness company? I don’t even like working out. What an impostor.

What right do I have to coach other business leaders and owners? Is this what I really want to do for the rest of my life? Am I even any good at it?

What is the end game of all this work? Am I really going to make an impact on anyone or anything?

Then my problem-solving brain turns to what if questions followed by even more judgment…

Well, what if we just picked up and moved somewhere else? Ugh, who wants to make all new friends? That sounds exhausting.

What if I went back to school for something totally different? Maybe go to pastry school or become a psychologist. OMG, that also sounds exhausting. And expensive! I just paid off school debt, do I really want more?

What if I just really work on a business plan that excites me? Am I just a little burnt out? I feel like I’ve done this already. What good is more planning gonna do?


The cycle continues on an endless loop of self-doubt, which leads to shame and judgment, which leads to more feelings or aimlessness and self-doubt.

Someone get me off this insane merry-go-round from hell. Ahhhhh, I’m gonna barf!

As a coach, I know that there are seasons in life and this will not last forever. But in the moment it’s hard (often impossible) to simply rationalize my way out of feeling restless. Plus, I’m not someone who will easily just let this thing play out, it will take care of itself. Nope. Not my style.

I also know intellectually that it’s a great quality to be able to question everything in my life. Striving for things to be better and stretching myself to achieve greater and greater things is one of my best characteristics. And that’s not at all useful information when I’m sitting squarely in the muck of self-doubt and uncertainty.

So then, what do I do?

Honestly, in this moment I’m not sure how I’m going to dig my way out of this.

In part, I’m writing this as a journal to help me process my thoughts and feelings — honestly not even sure if I’m going to share it publicly or not. And another part of me wanted to write it because I wanted other people to know that you’re not alone if you’ve experienced something similar.


We all go through times when everything looks great on the surface, but there is a tumultuous undercurrent that is forcefully trying to pull us under. That’s where I’m at right now and let me tell you, the current is strong.

In moments like this I ask myself,
what would I tell someone else who came to me in this situation? After all, I help people overcome personal and professional challenges for a living.

I’d say first, take time to be with your feelings. Sit with them and maybe do a little journaling to see what comes up. (Cool. I’m doing that now. Check!)

My second piece of advice would probably be that in my experience getting out of your head and into conversation with other people can be useful. I’d also say that taking action (doing something, anything) will teach you more than merely thinking about it.

Okay, so taking my own advice, what are some ways I can get out of my own head, into conversations with others and start taking action?

Let’s brainstorm. I could…

  1. Schedule some coffee dates with three of my best friends to talk about it.
  2. Talk to a coach or therapist.
  3. Find a personal retreat to go on that focuses on self-exploration.
  4. Plan a work retreat to explore a vision of my future work.
  5. Host a mid-life crisis dinner party. (Haha. This is just a brainstorm. All ideas are welcome!)
  6. Find a therapy or counseling group.
  7. Sign up to learn something new that is outside of my comfort zone.
  8. Hire a career counselor to help me analyze my passions and skill sets.
  9. Take a poll of my closest friends and colleagues to see what they think I’m best at.
  10. Make a bucket list of things I want to experience or accomplish in my life.

Those feel like some good options. It feels pretty good and productive to have made that list. ?

Now what? How do I pick which action (or actions) to take?

Well, shit. I don’t know. What would I tell someone else to do?

I’d probably ask, Which of these possible action steps evokes an emotional reaction for you? Which ones lights you up or gives you butterflies?

I like #1 (coffee dates with friends) because it would feel great to talk about this with people I trust and respect. It makes me feel warm and cozy.

I like #4 (work retreat to explore a future work vision) because it really pressed a nerve for me that my future work life seems unclear.

And I like #5 (mid-life crisis dinner party) because it made me giggle and seems absurd.

Okay, now I’m armed with three action steps that really resonate with me. I’m an overachiever, so I want to commit to doing them all.

Is that too much? Are they S.M.A.R.T. goals?

I feel the need to take some drastic action, so I’m comfortable taking on all three goals. And they feel pretty SMART to me. Each one feels Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Bound. Oops, not really that last one. What’s a reasonable time-frame for me to take this action?

I’ll commit myself to take action on all three by the end of this month and have all three completed by the end of next month.

Let’s check in. How am I feeling?

For starters, I’m tired of typing. #truth


Beyond that, I still feel like I’m in the muck, but honestly, my inner monologue of negativity has gotten much quieter. I feel just about 1% more optimistic now that I have some clear action steps to take.

I think I’ll share this with my husband tonight just so I have an accountability buddy to ask me about my progress. Plus, I just like sharing with him anyway. He’s the best.

Should I post this publicly? Hmm, not sure.

Will it read like some self-indulgent, over-sharing, pseudo-psychological-self-exorcism? Will co-workers or clients be put off or hurt by my admission of not feeling fulfilled in my life?

Or might it be helpful for people with similar challenges to see that they’re not alone? Could it be useful for people to see how I tried to apply my coaching skills to myself? Could it be useful to lead with vulnerability in the hopes that it encourages others to do the same?

Well, if you’re reading this I guess you know what I chose to do.

Thanks for reading. Cyber Hugs!

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Read the Transcript

[00:00:00] Hello, fitness business nerds. What’s up? Welcome to another episode of the Business Phen Unicorns podcast, and today I’m super stoked to be back here again with Ben Pickard. Hello. Hello, friend. Thanks for having me. I’m so glad you’re now a regular on this podcast because I just love picking your brain and we get to work together on a regular basis, maybe more than I work with anyone else on the business Unicorn scene.

You and I get to work together, so when I get to share what we’ve been thinking about on this podcast, it feels we’re really pulling back the curtain to show behind the scenes of how we think about our work at Business pH unicorns. So anyway, thanks for being here, my friend. Before we dive into today’s topic, which is gonna be about how to use a business coach, which I’m really excited for, I wanna do a quick little, just shout out a little mini commercial because we are now in, we started enrollment for Unicorn Society.

And if you’re listening to this, when this podcast was released, we’re in the middle of our early bird enrollment for Unicorn Society, which means we have a few spots left. We have a spew few spots open to join our unicorn society. And Ben, do you wanna tell him a little bit about how early bird enrollment works?

Yeah, a hundred [00:01:00] percent. So early bird enrollment for Unicorn Society will launch on May 29th, and typically we only open enrollment twice a year, once at the end of the year for a January start, and once in the middle of the year for a July start. Because we don’t wanna, honestly, we wanna focus on serving our members, not be constantly selling.

So early Bird, you get a bit of a savings. And some perks. And then early bird will close on Sunday, June 12th, which is also my birthday. For my birthday. Join you to Unicorn Society. Oh, what a gift. What a gift. And then registration officially ends on Sunday, June 19th. Got it. So if you wanna save some money, and we’re talking about like saving literally hundreds of dollars, sign up before the end of the enroll period.

And even if you’re not sure if you wanna join Unicorn Society, then just fill out the damn application, follow the link down below, fill it out, and then we’ll have a conversation. And frankly, you’ll probably have a conversation with Ben as your first tip to decide whether it’s a good fit, so you don’t have to have major mind up.

When you apply, applying does not mean we take your credit card and you’re in [00:02:00] applying means you have a conversation with us to see if you’re a good fit for us and we’re a good fit for you. It’s like a first date, and you’ve heard us, I’m sure on this podcast if you listened to any of them at all.

You’ve heard us talk at length about what Unicorn Society is, but Ben, just in a nutshell, who is Unicorn Society ideal for you? Unicorn society is ideal for training gym owners. Who offer a mixture of one-on-one small group or team slash large group training. Ideally, you’ve got a, a couple of team members in place.

You’ve got a handful of clients, radius, semi established business, and that doesn’t mean you have to be making 80 grand a month semi established. This means like it’s not your first rodeo and you’re looking to grow your business, not just I want 10,000 more leads, but you’re looking for like, how do I improve my leadership?

How do I get. Operationally efficient. How do I standardize client experience across the board? How do you like plug all the little holes that often end up on our to-do list but don’t become a huge project? So we’re really good at helping. And I say this cause I’ve done a ton of interviews now and I was a member of helping people who are like already established, have their feet under them, [00:03:00] but are really now trying to make the leap to, let’s make this a real business, so to speak.

A grown up, yeah, a grown up business. And that means like someone other than you is gonna answer. Member phone calls and emails, but you wanna have the same beautiful standard of customer service. And there’s a lot going on with, yeah, beyond just how do we grow revenue? It’s how do you get the pieces in place so that you can grow revenue more easily.

Yeah, said my friend. We’ll leave it there. So friends, click the link down below on the show notes. Visit and click the link to learn more about Unicorn Society. Apply. Have a conversation with Ben. See if it’s a good fit for you, and if not, we might have other ways we can help you. So just be in touch.

This leads us to today’s topic, which is funny. We actually planned this topic before we were going to talk about Unigram site enrollment, but it dovetails beautifully with today’s topic. So today we want to talk a little bit about. How to use a business coach, like how to actually get value from working with a coach.

Cause a lot of you out there have never worked with a coach before, and many of you out there offer fitness coaching and sometimes nutrition coaching. But [00:04:00] working with a business coach is a little different. And so I wanted to talk about what we’ve learned in terms of the clients we work with that really get a lot out of our services.

So maybe let’s just start with this. Who do you think. Business coaching is ideal for Ben, and actually it’s not that different, the question we just asked, but just maybe talking a little bit bigger picture, not just about unicorn society, but generally speaking, working with a business coach, who do you think should consider finding a business coach?

Yeah, it’s a great question. I’m heavily biased that I want to go so far as to say, like almost everybody knowing that yeah, business coaching is an extremely broad spectrum. That is an unregulated profession. So instead of my super coppo answer, I do think it’s really a good fit for people who are like open to having their ideas challenged, know they wanna get to some sort of destination, even if they haven’t perfectly clarified that, but aren’t really sure of how to get there.

And possibly even if they believe that they can get there as I like, yeah, true coaching as we, [00:05:00] me and you have to discuss, but maybe not for everybody. Like we’re not just, it’s not just saying do this and this. It’s not like on the consulting end of the spectrum, so to speak. It’s helping people get clear on their goals, helping identify obstacles and helping commit to consistent action and stay accountable.

So, Even if again, cop out answer, even if you don’t have a crystal clear goal, a really good business coach, case in Point U, that’s why I was a member of her so long. Helps you actually clarify the goals. What do you really want and how can you get there? Because there’s the obvious stuff of business coach can help give you better referral strategies or help you get more testimonials or help you get more leads and those are kinda like checkbox items to a certain degree.

But like really good coaching is getting not just one layer deeper, but I think I’ve actually worded your skills to people like you just cut right through everything I say and get right to the heart of the matter and be like, it sounds like you’re struggling with this and it’s holy shit. I didn’t even realize I was struggling this, I was operating on the assumption that once I get X, then I’ll have Y.

What I’m really looking for is, is this business a ref [00:06:00] accurate reflection of my amazing vision I have for my community? Yeah. I wanna go back and repeat something you shared, but I think is a great paradigm for our listeners to think about, which is, you mentioned fifth three things that great coaches do, and this is not just unicorn, sorry.

This is, we’re talking about coaching as a whole and the great three things that great coaches do is help people identify what they want. Whether that’s goals, a vision, a clear vision of what you want, help them identify and overcome obstacles. Notice what’s getting in the way and get it out of the fucking way as soon as possible.

And number three is to commit to consistent action. So ideally when, if you’re thinking about getting a coach, that you are someone who you think would benefit from ha being more clear about where I’m heading. Having a thought partner to help identify and overcome obstacles more quickly and hopefully more efficiently.

And I want someone to hold me accountable to taking consistent action. So number one thing we hear when working with clients at all is that they mainly want a coach to help hold them accountable because as the owner of your own business, You’re not accountable to anyone. You got no boss. You got no one to report to.

And as coaches, we’re not your boss, but we get to be a [00:07:00] really powerful mirror to you to say, Hey, this is what you said mattered. This is what you said you’re gonna do about that thing that mattered. So did it happen? And if not, we’re not here to judge you. We’re to help you get curious about your own behavior, your own mindset, your own habits, right?

And get curious about how they might change if you’re not getting the outcomes you want from the way you’re working. So I just wanted to re highlight that. Those three things you shared I think are so, I. Critical, Ben, and let’s dive into a little bit. So once someone decides to work with a coach, how do you see people really extracting value from that experience?

Certainly, we’ve already listed a few, but just going a little bit further, maybe give some examples of ways that you extracted value from coaching, or you’ve seen people extract value from our coaching. So yeah, dive in a little deeper. Yeah. I think the first one that comes to mind is what you said about being a thought partner.

Because owning your own business is lonely. Yeah. It’s definitely not all that it’s cracked up to be. Don’t get me wrong. I love that I’m self-employed and there’s all sorts of perks with that. But it also comes with [00:08:00] some things that could easily be perceived as cons, and one of those cons is you don’t have someone in your office building who’s like your co-manager or whoever, corporate works where you can just be like, Hey, can I run this by you for a second?

Because you can’t always run everything by your team. And sometimes even with their best interests, even with their, even if they’re trying to give you their best interest on it, like sometimes they just don’t have all the right information for it to be valuable feedback. Sometimes the thing you wanna run by them has to do with it.

Yeah. It’s about them. Exactly. My trainers have tons of ideas on lots of things, and many of them are great and many of them are not. And oftentimes it’s when it’s like outside of their lane, then it gets a little bit. Blurry and it’s less their hearts for that, but someone at peer, at your level who you can have those deep conversations with to be like, I’m really struggling with X.

Can we talk about it? Like those are some of the best coaching calls I’ve had is when they come in with, I’m struggling with this thing and I’m open to discussion about it. And having that thought part and be like, as you said, I heard you say [00:09:00] it, you’re interested in X, but it looks like you’re doing Y.

How do we help you navigate that? And even if nothing else, just having that person to. Like sometimes all it is reinforcing that does sound like a good idea. What’s the next step? But in that case, you’re still taking something that could have been you mulling it over for three weeks before doing something on it and be like, cool, I’m gonna make sure that’s done tomorrow.

Like you just gained three weeks of progress time and that happens multiple times a year. So anyways, first one is a valuable thought partner because it’s lonely as fuck at the top, so to speak. Yeah. The second piece I’ve found really valuable for having a coach is, And this is like how to use a coach, but it’s not a great use of coaching time to be like, can you tell me about x?

Especially at Business for Unicorns when we have so many done for you resources and videos and courses already created, but using a coach in a way where you’ve absorbed information from one or a couple different places and you need to like it’s jumbled and give you through [00:10:00] it all in a bucket and it’s just a cluster fuck and you want to bring it to the meeting and be like, Hey, I’ve got this bucket of stuff I think is useful, but can we help get it organized?

Yeah. Synthesize, organize. Yeah, exactly. For some reason I have image in my head about a kid’s beach bucket full of like different toys and we need to get them in some sort of order for the benefit of the sandcastle. Not sure. Yeah, I think the thing you mentioned before, I think was a great example of the kind of thing that people bring is, I think you mentioned a few minutes ago, or maybe I just made up in my head, was referral structure, referral and strategy that I would love for, the best way to use a coach, and this is true for example, for us, is that someone comes to say, here are the last three referral programs I had.

Here’s one I just saw on the Facebook Live. You all did, or from our retreat, I got that idea, and then here’s two others I read about. How do I take all this information and decide which one do I do next? Perfect example of how to use a coach as a thought partner and to help streamline like your synthesizing of information.

We’re not there to reverse, which I think you said is not. The way to do is come to a coaching call and be like, tell me about [00:11:00] referrals. Help me understand referrals. That’s not the best way to use their time with a coach. Come with some ideas, and if you really have never done a referral program before, maybe you can start a call like that.

But if every call is about, tell me everything you know about this topic. The knowledge is not the best way to, to use a coaching call. You can Google us, listen to the podcast, read our blogs, go to Mark’s YouTube, take one of our courses, especially if you work with us. There’s so much done for you stuff, and that’s the way most coaches work these days.

Yeah. The knowledge is free. It’s the processing of that information and right sizing it for you, then that’s what a coach can do best. So I just wanted to like Yes. End your answer. So keep on. Yeah. That’s not the antithesis of how we’ve been taught in school. Like you wait for the teacher to give the lesson.

So the method of content delivery is a human telling it at you. And coaching is best served for like the. Area where the two area, the two circles of the Venn diagram, I overlap. And then figuring out how you can roll out that initiative in a way that fits [00:12:00] your business and your values. So a hundred percent.

Yeah. So I said having a a thought partner, super valuable. Having someone to synthesize information for you. And the third one, where we’re gonna get a little more deep here is putting it on just having the emotional support. I can’t say enough how valuable it is to have somebody who you know is just like in your corner.

And I’m not texting when I was a client. It’s not like I was texting you every day or something, but it was really n nice to know if I really am struggling with something that like somebody’s got my back. Because it often feels the government doesn’t really have your back as long as you pay your taxes.

They don’t really give us your tax money and shut the fuck up is basically the message that I hear. Again, you can bring some stuff. And you’re, and for the context, you’re even in Canada and think that, so in the US it’s even worse. You’re even more on your fucking own. Sorry, keep going. Yeah, that’s a good point.

But like I said, you can sometimes bring some stuff to your team, but I don’t know. There’s a boundary there, I think, with a lot of things. [00:13:00] But you can sometimes bring things to a spouse or a parent. I know I’ve talked to a few, be a few members who they’re a family member is basically like, they’re like, CFO or FI or financial officer.

But even then, yeah, I know if I bring work stuff to my wife or she brings it to me, like we’ve both got a lot of biases for each other’s behavior. So it’s not like I’ve even trained myself to some, I don’t do it as much recently, but if she brings me something, I’ll sometimes pause the conversation, be like, Are you looking at for advice or do you just need to feel hurt?

And more often than not, it’s actually the latter. Mm-hmm. So you still got emotional support in other areas. But I know I started my business when I was 24 and I’ve been self-employed since I left school. And like, and we have a son who’s now 11. I’m 33. So the reason the li, the reason this has been so beneficial for me, and I’m imagining there’s other people out there with similar, yet different.

Past of life that this will resonate with is I’m three years into a business learning everything I can, trying to scrape things together to make it work in like the [00:14:00] scrappiest fucking business ever, as many gyms are. And then the friends are in life situations where, yeah, I’m not sure, like my job, I think I’m gonna quit, but I might go on vacation.

And it’s like that peer network, at least when I started out, wasn’t to the same degree. Yeah. Like there was misalignment there and it wasn’t for better or for work. They just can’t relate. Yeah, they just can’t relate. If you have a corporate job, you work for someone else. It’s hard to relate to someone who works for themselves that, and we wake up at early as hell in the morning, so it’s like, I don’t really want to go drinking, which is when most good conver like you, it was hard to go your way.

So this is my roundabout way of bringing it to like having that emotional support from someone who you know has your best interest in mind. Whether you like the thing that just came outta their mouth or not. I know it’s. Best interest in mind and but can also see the whole picture from an unbiased point of view.

There’s like true coaching, as you’ve told me many times. There is no agenda. Obviously we want the person to get to their goals, but how we get there is not set in stone by any stretch. So having that person who’s got your back and you can bring them pretty much whatever, knowing that [00:15:00] even though to a.

An observer. These might feel like completely different buckets. Like we know that work and life don’t completely separate. Yeah. We’re not two separate people. No. Yeah. Unless we’re in the Apple TV show severance. And then you are two separate people. Have you watched severance show? No. I really like, I like Apple people.

Well, we’ll go on a tangent. I wanna start a new pod, a new podcast about severance. So listeners, if you. Haven’t watched the episode, the TV show Severance on Apple tv. Go watch it. It’s wild. It’s about this topic. Okay, so yeah, I’m gonna add one more thing to your list cause I, I think that’s a fantastic list, right?

Like emotional support, thought partnership, et cetera. Those are, I think, all fantastic reasons to, people can benefit from coaching or ways people can benefit from coaching. The other thing that I think is really important, I’ve come to this after having. Been a business coach for many years is I think the best kind of business coaching offers you, dear listeners, both coaching, which Ben described here as a non-agenda, open-ended question, motivational interview [00:16:00] approach to helping you explore yourself.

Get curious about your choices. Get curious about your mindset, get curious about your habits, get curious about what’s working and not working for you. There’s a pure coaching element that I think business coaching has to offer. Then I think also really good business coaching also offers some mentorship and consulting.

I think business coaching has to do all three, and for me, mentorship is working with people who’ve also done what you’ve done. Let’s actually have some subject matter expertise and experience running the kind of business that you’ve run. And so that’s one piece of it. And that way, as a business coach, I can not only help you explore what’s working and not working for you, but can I also, I can also say, here are three ways that I’ve tried to attack this problem and three ways I’ve seen other people try to attack these problem.

Let’s work through all these different options and find out what’s best for you. I’m bringing some mentorship. To the conversation as well. And the third piece, consulting is exactly what it sounds like is someone who’s actually has enough expertise, they can help you diagnose problems and actually offer some solutions.

[00:17:00] Right? And sometimes I offer solutions that are not things that we’ve done at Mark Fisher Fitness that are not things that I’ve seen other. Unicorn society members do. They’re things I just thought of because I’m an expert in some areas and I have a brain that works and is thinking about these things a lot, right?

And that’s just straight up consulting. I’m gonna bring all the data I have and experience I have to the table and help you diagnose a problem in your business and offer some solutions. And I think all three are really important for business coaching. These days. I don’t think it’s enough and back. I think if you would’ve asked me this six or eight years ago, I would’ve probably said that the first bucket was enough.

That just offering pure coaching is enough, and I think it can be depending on the kind of person you’re working with, et cetera. I can talk a lot about that, but I think for most of you, dear listeners who own gyms, the kind of thing, the kind of value you want to extract from a business coach is someone who can offer you all three, who can offer you those big picture questions and those motivational interview open-ended questions.

Someone who can offer you [00:18:00] examples from their experience and some mentorship. Yeah, someone who’s maybe 10, 15, 20 steps ahead of where you are in your business and someone who has some real subject matter expertise and can be a real consultant in helping you solve problems, gain knowledge, et cetera. So yeah, I would say I.

I guess what I’m suggesting there is that you will get more value from a business coach if they are well-rounded in all three of those areas. Does that, is that tracking? Yeah. I’m just gonna reinforce that if you didn’t clarify it, because on the pure consulting end, it can be like, Hey, we’re not converting enough of our members from a low Bay area offer to a membership.

What do we need to do? A consultant can go in, review what they’ve got and be like, this is good, this is, fuck. Just do that. And on the other end of the spectrum, a coach can be like, What makes you wanna approve your conversion? There can, obviously, that’s a bad question, but there can be some good open-ended questions.

Yeah. But the marriage is beautiful because then you can have someone who has the industry expertise to be like, yep, this is the step that’s missing it. It needs to be changed. But then they can factor in the other stuff around like, how does this fit into [00:19:00] your time? How does this fit into your capacity?

Because I’ve seen some coaching programs out there where it’s like, you just need to do A, B, and c. And so, but if you have a kid at home and you’re coaching 30 hours a week on the floor and you’ve also got a laundry list of other to-dos, it isn’t so much the question of like, everybody knows they need to try to convert people.

There isn’t a magic script for this. The obstacle is often a capacity or a limiting belief or a mindset thing, which is where that coach being able to shift gears until, let’s talk about the big picture here for a minute, is so much more valuable. We’re not just a dictionary of answers. It’s how does like life and business fit together in a way that.

At the end of the week, hopefully your bank account is bigger, but you’re also more fulfilled and not burnt out. Yeah. Yeah, I think it really well said. Cause there’s some plenty of times where, you know, both of my work with business coaches and then me in my own work as a business coach, like it’s very clear that the topic just requires some expertise.

Who has some knowledge. If someone comes into a call and I’m stressed about finances and I pay all of my coaches, 80% of the revenue they generate per hour. I don’t need to [00:20:00] ask you any open-ended fucking questions. I don’t need to explore. I don’t, I just, we need, I need to tell you that is wrong. We need to.

Fix that. This is a, this is a bad choice that was made. And we can, I can acknowledge and validate all the reasons why you may be made that choice, right? But ultimately I don’t need to explore. Whereas if someone comes to me and says, they’re just feeling really burned out, they have too many plates spinning and they don’t feel good about the.

Father that they’re showing up as in their life, then I need to have a real coaching conversation. That’s a real chance for me to switch gears and dive into what’s working and not working in this person’s life. And that’s a whole different skillset. So I, I think those are two very extreme examples of very different conversations, and I think the, you can get more value from a business coach.

If they’re able to put on those different hats, and as we both suggested, a lot of business coaching out there only offers one. And again, this is not a commercial for us. Of course, we think all of you should work with us. That’s not a hidden agenda here. But at the end of the day, if it’s not us, we wanna make sure that you’re finding people out there to work with that can put on these different hats for you.

That I would say [00:21:00] run away from the programs that tell you they have some secret formula to success. If you just follow their formula, everything in your life will be fantastic. Bullshit. I also want you to avoid the ones that are also gonna just be like, we get together every month and, and drum circle and write poetry about our business problems should also run from that as well.

I think the reality is you need, I think business coaching should be a mix of those things. I love a drum circle, I love poetry, but it doesn’t solve all of our problems. It solve a few. Yeah. Yeah. And even just to, yeah, you made it sound like those were two opposite questions, which there are, but even on the, Hey, you’re paying your coaches 80% of gross revenue or per session rate.

There’s probably a PDF out there that is, yeah, just fire everybody and pay them 33% or 40%. And coaching can then dance that line between, here’s the problem that needs to be solved, but here’s how we actually roll that in out in a way where your coaches don’t all fucking quit and it takes you three months to get new ones.

And there’s an impact of that. And yeah, the, we can’t stress enough. It’s the marriage of all the, it’s being [00:22:00] able to walk the whole spectrum. That is a strength. It’s not a is better than B, it’s, they’re all useful at different stages. Yeah. Yeah. So I think that’s it. I think people can get more. I think our whole hypothesis here, this podcast episode is people, you can get the most value from a coach when they have a big toolbox, right?

And a proven track record of helping people using more than one. Tool and the tools we think matter are straight up coaching, consulting, and some mentorship. A combination of those things that are really valuable. Maybe let’s just wrap it up with what are the kinds of results you’ve seen people get working with a business coach?

Maybe just thinking about yourself, certainly some of our insider members or just anyone else working with a business coach out even outside of us. What are the kinds of results you’ve seen people get who’ve been able to work with a business coach successfully? Yeah, the most obvious one. Is revenue cuz I haven’t yet to meet a gym owner who doesn’t want to increase the revenue.

Like we just had a testimonial recently from one of our members who through working with us, no, did he get through Covid [00:23:00] relatively unscathed. He also tripled his gross revenue. So that’s a monster win. So yeah, there’s the obvious answers of, yeah, we will help you make more money. And we have tons of case studies and testimonials of how, going back to the emotional support piece, I, I don’t wanna name names on the podcast, but.

Like a laundry list of members who, it’s like that thought partner and that support partner. Really huge. Even if all I did was validate their ideas, which is not how every coaching call goes, but sometimes it is. Having that person where it’s, yes, we’ve, I’ve got these systems in place and we held you accountable to doing that thing.

I feel more confident in my ideas. I improve my team meeting structure. We’re. Not running around like chickens with their head cut off. I don’t think anyone’s actually verbatim said that to me, but that’s my interpretation of how they were operating before. Yeah, and there’s something to be said for not just, Hey, yeah, you’ve got more money, but it’s also, yeah, you’ve got more freedom and you’re more organized and expectations are clear.

Like when A happens than we do B, than we do C. And having that in place would a gym owner can then go on vacation. Or another [00:24:00] person can do consultations or someone handled sessions while you were away. The list goes on of all the benefits for that, but it really is coming around like freeing up time, which is not just your time as the owner, because we work with your entire team.

We treat your business as the client, not you as the client. The whole team is, oh, that’s so much better. That works easier. There’s a better structure for everything goes. Yeah. Said. Yeah, I think that’s it. I don’t think I have much to add is that I think the main benefits I’ve gotten from working with business coaches, I’ve seen people get is that we are able to identify our challenges more quickly, build systems.

To help our business run more efficiently, more effectively, with a less effort over time. And because of all that, I’m more clear and strategic about how I spend my time. That is a thing I’ve seen over and over again, and that all of that has a ripple effect into my personal life and my family, to the team members I work with.

So having those systems in place that make expectations clear, makes everyone more efficient with their time. And because of that, We can have more life outside of work, [00:25:00] which is why we work to begin with for many of us. And I think that’s great. I think let’s leave it there, my friend. Again, this dovetail beautifully with enrollment for Unicorn society, even though we weren’t planning this.

So again, if you wanna work more with us and you’re a gym owner who wants a business coach? We can do all the things we talked about here and more. And so go learn more about unicorn sided. Click the link below, fill out the application, have a conversation with Ben, and let’s see if we’re a right fit for each other.

And if this podcast was valuable, leave us a five star review everywhere you listen and let us know what you want us to talk about next. Ben’s gonna be a regular on the podcast now, so email him ben business Email me mike lip Let us know what guests you want us to have, what topics you want to cover, and we’re excited to.

We’re excited to serve. Yeah, so let us serve you. Awesome. Thanks for a great conversation. Thank you, Ben. I’ll see you on the next one.



  1. Tamara Christie

    This is such a great post, Michael. I think we all have those moments! I really enjoyed the process you used here to come up with some action steps. Thank you for sharing, cyber hugs back atcha! xo

  2. Oscar

    Thanks for this post Michael! We all go through moments like this and it’s a good reminder that even those we look up to have a crisis every now and then. Keep sharing and helping!

  3. YA

    Read – and appreciated. Honest and relatable, and the recognition that this comes and goes should assuage any sense of oversharing or regret. We get it.

  4. Juliane Godfrey

    Dear Michael,

    I resonate SO VERY MUCH WITH THIS POST. You are NOT alone at all as I feel like I’ve been on the exact same journey for the past 4 months. I recently finished my first Broadway show feeling more miserable, restless, and terrified of my uncertain future than ever before in my life. I’ve taken a ton of small steps including courses in meditation, career counseling, therapy, talking to every friend and family member I know about what I’m feeling, and researching other careers and job opportunities non-stop as well as debating grad school. As a former Ninja and high-achiever myself, I so identify with your feelings of guilt and frustration when life seems to be pretty great on the surface, and yet you seem to have completely your personal life compass. I’d love to write you a similar article about my journey and where I’m currently at, and if you would like a digital accountability partner, I’m all ears. I think the company that you and Mark Fisher have built is truly remarkable and I am so glad that you had the courage to put these feelings out into the world. Rock on and know that I’m right there with you!

    <3, Juliane

  5. Tom Keegan

    Right there with you. I’ve mentored many, and have seen their success and cheered them from the sidelines, but have been afraid to truly pursue what I think I could excel at and be happy both. I’m my own worst enemy when it comes to making personal choices, especially related to my “career”.
    Instead, I find happiness in smaller ways. I find outlets to be creative, and to free myself, accept myself, love myself. While I probably should be more concerned about my long term planning, I find joy in the here and now. And most often, that’s enough.
    Yes, you are the zig to Mark Fisher’s zag; the yin to his yang; the vinegar to his oil. You’re both fine separately, but when you’re blended together, everything is as it should be.
    Will there come a time when you two need to go on separate journeys? Probably. Is that coming sooner than either of you expect? I certainly don’t know. But if some of your fears are whether or not to try something new, I usually say go ahead and try it.
    A friend once said she never regretted anything she did; she only regretted the things she never did.
    Trust yourself. Even if you don’t know the answers. Put yourself out there, and the answers will come.
    Thanks for sharing.

  6. Tim Goldman

    Thank you for posting this. I’ve been at a career cross road that has been causing me stress. I want to leave my current job but I am not sure what the next best step is and I am afraid to take the next step because I am not sure what the right step is for me.

    Perhaps identifying some actions I need to take to get me there will help me beyond looking for answers in job postings on Glassdoor or Indeed!

  7. Shanti Nagel

    I love this and YOU. I want to be on the coffee list! I have thoughts ?

  8. Michael Vinereanu

    Thank you for sharing this post! Please keep us updated on how your goals are coming along!

  9. Brian Crowley

    I loved this post, Michael! It’s comforting to know that others feel this way no matter their level of success. I love the list you made. It was invigorating to digest the idea that “taking action (doing something, anything) will teach you more than merely thinking about it”.

  10. Stella Kaufman

    I really love this “raw” post. Also, I am available for the mid-life crisis dinner party. Love you.

  11. Michael Keeler

    THANK YOU to everyone for your outpouring of support and affirmation. I’m so glad I decided to share this post because it seems to have resonated with so many of you. I truly appreciate all of your outreach and friendly advice. I promise to post a follow-up article about the next chapter of my journey (and photos from my midlife crisis dinner party, haha!). <3

  12. Geoffrey

    Aloha! In the past 5 months I’ve wrestled with quite a few self doubt loops coupled with a sprinkling of existential angst. Our ability to do self audits & ask hard questions is a blessing and a curse because we may not be able to come up with the answers to our own questions.

    Not to be dark, but I am often steered by the question “What would people remember me for/as if I got hit by a bus today”. I personally think you’re making an immeasurable improvement in many peoples lives, and that you are creating the change you wish to see in the world by teaching humans to be better humans. It just so happens that the humans you teach are the teachers of other humans, so your impact expands in a big big way.

    So many of the details we tend to worry about are arbitrary, and what really matters is that we live a life with the intention of virtue and goodness (at least that’s what I tell myself haha) . If that’s our standard, you’re on top of it!

    Love ya Keeler!

  13. Anthony

    I’ve had this blog post earmarked for reading for over a month now, just waiting for the right time to dive into it because I am going through the exact same cycle in my life right now. Your words resonated with me and my partner as we took turns reading it aloud to each other.

    What’s next? I have no idea, but this is some of the encouragement and questioning needed right now.

    Thanks for leaning into it and being brave.

    • Michael Keeler

      Thanks, T&A! I’m so glad it resonated with you both. Cyber hugs!

  14. Farid

    I don’t know, years after we met, the thought of you popped into my mind and I decided to look you up. Upon finding you on FB, I get inclined to Doha little deeper …I didn’t have to dig very deep to discover this post which happens to be very relevant in my life right now. I’ve begun doing some work in order to get me out of this slump and this article was just what I needed to read. Thank you for posting it.

    • Michael Keeler

      Thanks so much for reading it, Farid. I’m so glad this resonated with you and you’re working to get out of your slump. I’m here for you if you need any help or support. Hive fives! Michael

  15. Kate

    I honestly have those moments where you question about everything as you explained about twice a week. Only for like a few minutes because my brain starts hurting being so confused so I then distract myself. It use to happen once every 2 months but cause we don’t have much to do at home during the lockdown, it’s been having more frequently.

    • Michael Keeler

      Thanks for sharing, Kate. So glad to know I’m not alone. I also want to say that it’s important for us all to have some healthy coping mechanisms for handling these feelings when they emerge. Whether you cope by distracting yourself with work, or use medication, or make artwork, (or whatever!) it’s okay to purposefully walk away from these feelings until you’re ready to address them more directly. I hope you find what works for you! 🙂


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