Kyle Traynor: Find Your Zen to Build Your Fitness Empire (Podcast)

Kyle Traynor is head of Business Strategy & Mind Performance at Elite Vitality. At Elite Vitality, handfuls of top coaches help new business owners in the fitness industry tackle and prepare for the tough road ahead of them. Kyle is also the host of the Pivotal Conversations podcast, a podcast that explores the keys and tools needed for success.

In today’s episode, Jake Boly chats with Kyle about a variety of topics including the development of mental fortitude to build a dynamic business, how Kyle has found personal zen, and much more.

In this episode of the BarBend Podcast, BarBend’s Fitness Editor Jake Boly talks to Kyle Traynor about:

  • 2:09 How Kyle got into the business of coaching coaches and business owners.
  • 10:05 How Kyle continues to build his pillars and mindset with an ever-changing business and how to do it during transitional periods.
  • 16:45 The fundamental pillar of branding and how to approach it correctly.
  • 24:00 The importance of consciousness and mindfulness and what constitutes them.
  • 33:00 How to win the battle of your mind and find beauty in the present moment.
  • 38:00 Implementing steps to overcoming times of life when you’re stressed and at a loss.
  • 45:00 The power of mindfulness and implementing strategies to build better introspection.
  • 49:00 How the alignment of Kyle’s introspection has propelled his business.
  • 53:00 Mindfulness is about every thought, both positive and negative.
  • 57:00 Tips for avoiding getting wrapped up in the end goal and forgetting about improving in the present.
  • 1:00:04 Shifting from a “want vs should” mindset and its power.
  • 1:05:00 Where to follow Kyle and how to learn more about his work.

Relevant links and further reading:

Transcription

Kyle TraynorKyle Traynor

 …in business the personal development always has to be the very first pillar. You have to get your own shit in order because without having your own shit in order, you can’t fulfill someone else.

 

Jake BolyJake Boly

 

Welcome to the “BarBend Podcast” where we talk to the smartest athletes, coaches, and minds from around the world of strength. I’m your guest host, Jake Boly, and this podcast is presented by barbend.com.

Kyle Traynor currently serves and plays the role of business strategy and mind performance at Elite Vitality. At Elite Vitality, handfuls of top coaches help new business owners in the fitness industry tackle and prepare for the tough road ahead of them. Kyle is also the host of the “Pivotal Conversations Podcast,” a podcast that explores the keys and tools needed for success.

In today’s episode, I chat with Kyle about a variety of topics, including the development of mental fortitude to build a dynamic business, how Kyle has found personal Zen, and much more.

As always, we’re incredibly thankful that you listen to this podcast. If you haven’t already, be sure to leave a rating and review of the BarBend Podcast in your app of choice. Every month, we give away a box full of BarBend swag to one of our listeners who leaves a rating and review.

I am here with Kyle Traynor. I am extremely, extremely happy to have him on the podcast. This is a guy that has an incredible insight into different mindsets when it comes to coaches and working with athletes. He works with coaches and helps consult for personal trainers around the world.

Super-pumped to have you on, Kyle. Nice to have you man.

Kyle TraynorKyle Traynor

Thanks for having me.

Jake BolyJake Boly

I’m going to dive right into it. I don’t want to ask too much about your background, we’re going to get into that. I want to talk to you about coaching personal trainers, and how you got into that. How did you stumble into that line of work versus just working with clients like most personal trainers?

Kyle TraynorKyle Traynor

You know what? I was actually having this conversation with someone yesterday. I never thought that this would be the direction I went in. For me, it was really about my own story. I was someone who entered the industry at a very, very young age.

 

I was 19 years of age. I’d been training for years. I went to university to try to get into what I thought would make my parents happy. As we all do when we’re quite young. I kept leaving courses and doing different things. Then, eventually, I was, “I love the gym. I love training. Why don’t I just get into personal training?”

 

As most, you go in blindly. I was in the industry for about a year and a half, running my own business. To be honest, I had no idea about business. Just went to a gym, I was, “You guys looking for PTs?” They’re, “Yeah, you need an ABN.” That’s an Australian Business Number here, which means I was, “Yeah, cool. Whatever that is.”

 

Just jumped into it. For many years, I was running a business. I fell in love with the science side of things initially. I was always going to courses and doing all of that. Really loved that. What I started to realize and what I started to see, that there’s a big business component to this. I was working a lot of hours as a PT, to the point where it was massive, massive days.

 

I actually went through a bit of a traumatic experience where I tried to transition one of my businesses to a totally different town that was really far away. At this point, I was working maybe 50, 60 sessions in the gym a week, making really good money, but I had to transition my business. At the same time, I lost my license, right after I signed the papers. This is, I was still quite young, at this point.

 

I had to build a business. The story goes is, I was waking up at 3:30 AM, catching the train because I actually moved house as well. I moved house that week to the area that I wanted to build my business. Had a business that was 50 minutes away by car. I lost my license that week.

 

I was in a tough place, I was waking up at 3:30 in the morning, I would have to catch the 4:45 train every day, go to the gym that I already had a business at. Worked there till 1:00 PM. Come home. Sorry, catch the train back to my new hometown, go to the gym there, build my business up there.

 

I would leave there at about nine o’clock at night. I would walk home, which was about a half an hour walk. I already ate my last meal as every trainer does. I would hit the hay and I’d be back up. I’d be asleep by 10:30, 11:00, back up at 3:30.

 

That actually drove me to have a period where I would have panic attacks every night. I had anxiety and I also realized that’s not what I wanted to do. That was a really traumatic period and not during that period. I didn’t know any better, man. I’ve been out of home since I was 19 years of age.

 

Not that my parents, I don’t have a hard luck story, man. I was just out of home. It was either a sinkhole or float. I had no other option but to survive. That’s just the kind of character that I’ve always been. I was going through these period but because of who I was, I thought that I couldn’t ask for help from anyone.

 

My parents, that I drove myself into a place of anxiety. After that, I realized that I didn’t want to do this anymore and that’s when I really go, “OK, well, if I want to have a family one day and I want to do things in life that I really want to do, I can’t keep working these massive hours.

 

“I also need to be able to put food on the table for my future family. I need to have an income. I need to stop paying myself things, like soup bar and making sure that all these things are getting looked after.” That’s where I’ve got this massive insight into business.

 

I initially put on a course where I didn’t have anything to do with it. I just facilitated it. The course went really well but a lot of people started asking me some mentoring which showed me that there’s a bit of a gap in the industry. In both, in the whole industry, not just here in Australia. We actually work with some clients in Europe, and obviously the States as well.

 

It just showed me that there is a bit of a gap there and that’s where I fell in love with business and eventually it just eventuated our program. The evolution of the program itself has taken off, which is really exciting. It also shows that I wasn’t the only one going through that. That’s where my love for business comes into this.

 

This is really how I started working with coaches, as initially, when I started this little course that I made, is that I didn’t want to be the front man of it. I also realized that I almost had to be, and that’s where I started to really dive into it.

 

Obviously, now the program is an education-based program where we offer business coaching, education, and equipping trainers with the tools to, not just have success and grow their business, but to become a successful business owner. It’s personal development so that these guys can go and have success for the rest of their lives.

 

It ended up me seeing a gap through my own traumatic experience and thinking that most trainers shouldn’t have to go through this, to have a successful career and put some food on the table for the family. I wanted to create something the trainers would come through and it would set them up for life.

Jake BolyJake Boly

I love it, man. I think that resonated so hard to me. I moved to New York when I was 19. I did the same thing with training. I don’t think people realize how much that wears on you, the day-in and day-out, and that’s how you got to grow as a coach.

 

As you said, it’s not sustainable if you don’t have systems set up in place. I think that’s really cool that…It’s almost like that opportunity meeting passion moment in your life and you’re like, “OK, shit, I want to do all of this and work with people, but also I can’t keep doing this grind. How do I mold those and create something bigger?”

 

That’s what drew me to your content originally. Funny, I actually had a podcast with a guy named Zack Parnell, he owns a gym out in South California. He’s a good buddy of mine. I guess Google and Instagram are listening because you were on my Explorer page one day, Elite Vitality.

 

Then I was looking into the content and I saw you had podcast with Jordan Shallow, and I was like, “Shit, this dude is awesome.” I started reading more and more into it.

 

It’s like the difference in how you approach I think, working with trainers and building that like what you said business versus just being, let’s call it a fitness business, but actually like a business that’s dynamic. They can think critically about growing and stuff. That’s what I think is really cool.

 

I guess my next question for you man is, over the last year or so as you really built this up and started to really grow, how do you continue to build your pillars and build the mindset? Because I’m sure you’ve had a lot of dramatic shifts in your growth.

 

How do you really hone in on the pillars of what you stand for in business and as a person and mold them together? Because I think a lot of coaches go through the similar period of like, “Fuck! Is this really for me? I’m getting burnt out. What do I do? What do I do?

 

I’m really interested to hear your thoughts on how you went through that transitional period and how you’ve taken the pillars and everything you know and built your foundation on and continue to evolve those, and make them work for you.

Kyle TraynorKyle Traynor

Awesome. I think the first thing that we got to look at is business, especially when you’re starting off can be a very selfish endeavor. I think this is usually what cuts people off at the ankles.

 

I think it’s when you’re so worried about your own backyard, it’s hard for you to really create a successful or a business that delivers a great service to anyone because it’s like…what I’m trying to get at here is that, when business goes from selfish to selfless, that’s when we really start to grow up because we really start to create or give ourselves more what it looks like from our clients eyes.

 

That’s one of the greatest tools that you can be given in life is just to be able to see life through someone else’s eyes. That’s what I’m trying to teach people is because what happens is when where we’re in such high-stress states.

 

A lot of the time, especially in business usually there’s some type of financial instability, whether that’s the unknown of cash-flow coming in, whether that’s the financial instability that’s happening in your personal life.

 

Whatever that is, usually that’s going to cause you to be on edge that’s going to cause you to be working from a point of survival. This is where the mindset piece comes in. The limiting factor in anyone’s business is always you.

 

What I try to do is, I try to think about and we try to get the individual that’s working in front of us and myself is, I went through a similar path is that, my business finally really started to grow when I started to look at the people I was working with and how really I can fulfill their needs.

 

The only way I can do that is if I take business from being a selfish endeavor where it’s about me making money, everything being about me, and actually make it about the people that I’m serving. That’s where the endeavor becomes selfless, is that now whenever I feel the ego coming out and the ego coming into my life, that is a reflection of me being selfish in this endeavor.

 

Usually, that’s when people start to beat themselves up. Because the ego is almost like a shadow that’s a build up of emotion. It’s this person that comes in and tries to drag you out. It’s like when you’ve got someone sitting in front of you, the ego is going OK.

 

You’re making this conversation, this transfer of energy that’s going on about you and solely you, instead of making it about the person in front of you. I think that in business, the personal development always has to be the very first pillar.

 

You have to get your own shit in order. Without having your own shit in order, you can’t fulfill someone else’s. What I present on these days is, I’ve got two main presentations, but one of them is The Arena and I call it The Arena. It’s actually based on the Theodore Roosevelt’s quote, the man in the arena.

 

The reason that come about is there’s a battle before the war. The battle is your own mind, because that’s always a limiting factor. There’s so many different inputs that come with our minds. It’s like, that’s always going to be the limiting factor.

 

Winning the battle of the minds before you went to the war, that is fulfillment, achievement and growing a business, whatever that is for any individual. That’s the first part to it. The second part is, there are three fundamental keys to growing a business that you have to have before you can start trying to graph these intricate and specific details.

 

I think these are very demist and especially by trainers because you got to think most trainers don’t come into the industry to understand business or to want to get into business, like, “Hey, dude don’t slight fucking squatting.”

 

That’s how we all start. We all come into the industry blind but those three foundational tools that are all sectors of business that I think the reason they are foundational is because they all go through what they offer us but it’s cash flow.

 

Making sure that your cash flows and you’ve got a cash flow system set up from the very start, because what that does is just gives you stability. That allows you to work. Instead of working from a point of survival, we can thrive, from the very get-go.

 

When we’re working from survival man, we can’t look past the next decision. Most trainers work week to week. When we’re not working from survival, we can actually start to plan ahead, we can start to look at where we want to be in five years.

 

How do we go from five years and reverse engineer that to where we want to be in one year to where you want to be in six months, three months, and then we can start to create alignment through that.

 

That only comes when we have good cash flow and financial stability, because financial instability I guarantee you is the root cause of all businesses problems. If you have financial instability, there is no way you can be your best creative and innovative self.

 

The next pillar is branding. Branding is something that everybody looks over. People are so caught up in social media these days and trying to copy like you said the names of four like Loot Alex or Jordan Shallows. All of this people are so caught up in trying to do what’s right on social media that they’re forgetting the fact that they’re not actually building a brand.

 

Your business is an expression of you just at a much larger scale. Think about it, if you’re starting a business, it’s nearly always going to be an expression of you. What you’re trying to do, and this is a really cool thing. This is where the endeavor goes from selfish to selfless. Because personal wealth always has to be selfish.

 

That’s the reality of the game. We can’t deny that. Anybody who wants to deny that, I’m happy to have a conversation because personal wealth, you have to look after yourself and you have to look after your family. You have to look after what’s going to be best for you because if you don’t do that, guess what, you’re working from survival again.

 

Your business is a totally different entity. Your business is now a way for you to express your values, beliefs, and morals. That’s the bridge to the outer community. That’s where you can really start to create a selfless endeavor through your business.

 

That’s where, really, your branding comes in. What do you want your brand to represent? Who are you trying to help? What are their pain points? Why are you trying to help them? You need to work with people that are going to absolutely drag you out of bed every single day.

 

If you’re not motivated to work with the clients you’re working with, I can guarantee you, it’s a short-lived game. You’re going to be out of the industry within five years, and that’s a good stint. Five years is good for most. I’d love to see the numbers on this.

 

Branding is something that gets so overlooked, but it’s something that can be so fun, and really drive those creative and innovative juices that you need to run a business.

 

The last pillar that, I think, that most look over is quantification. Quantifying every little element of our business so that we can make decisions based off of objective data, rather than subjective intuition. I think subjective intuition is great in some areas, but we definitely shouldn’t be just making decisions off of subjective intuition.

 

Unfortunately, as trainers, when you’re running a business and you don’t have staff and these kind of things, quantification is one of the last things to come into the picture. It’s like, “You want me to track all my metrics and data? Dude, I’m just trying to worry about getting someone a result now.”

 

The last piece of the puzzle there is results, that’s a given. That’s a foundation, science and those realms are an absolute given. That’s foundational. There are the other three pillars, the three things that I think if you can focus on those from the start, they will give you a great foundation. You’ll be able to grow from there.

Jake BolyJake Boly

Dude, that was amazing. I love that. Question then off of all of that is let’s say a trainer is getting to that survival-esque state. Do you have any signs? If something is out of alignment of those pillars, then you’re going to tread water in that survival state, correct?

Kyle TraynorKyle Traynor

The problem is that it happens on a subconscious level. You got to remember if we’re uneducated on certain topics, we’re unaware of them. This is why I like continuous education is key. I study for three hours every day. It’s the first thing I do.

 

I read books. I write notes. I re-write those notes every night. What it does is education creates awareness. Foundational education across the board, across many different sciences, or many different topics, actually allows you to connect dots between those.

 

What I think people miss…this is what really drove me to create the program that I did…is that if we look at the three pillars, we’ve got science, business, mindset. Those actually integrate really closely.

 

You got to understand that the more knowledge you have on the science on how to get someone a result, the better you can actually mark it directly. Same with mindset and mentality. I don’t really like the word mindset, but it’s the best way it gets digested with people that I’ve taught.

 

There are so many factors in to the mind and how it works. Mindset is more than being, “Roar.” Will-power, motivation. It’s so much more delicate than that. When somebody’s working from a survival standpoint, it’s happening at a conscious or subconscious level.

 

I definitely haven’t come up with a lot of these topics. I’m not reinventing the wheel at all, but I think I’ve come up with a bit of a process, and this is what I was telling you about before, is that process is the arena.

 

The arena, for me, stands for the mind. The arena is winning the battle before the war. Before you go and try to achieve anything, you need to win the battle, and the battle is your mind, which means you need to understand your mind.

 

Survival happens from the nervous system. That’s an unconscious, passive thing to think that we can make changes to that just by simply changing small elements in our business. This is why you’ve got to do the work on yourself.

 

I had a guy come into our program and he’s like, “Yeah.” I’m like, “Dude, you just need to work on yourself a bit.” You need to engage in this process unconditionally. All those that are successful in business are those that just engage in the process unconditionally without any expectation of doing well.

 

You got to think about that. It’s like, “If I don’t know that I’m going to get a reward, but I still have to put this work in unconditionally.” Back in my mind, has to be able to deal with anything that comes its way, because I don’t know if I’m going to get a reward.

 

I can plan for it, I can visualize it, I can do all of that, but I don’t know. That’s the beauty of it and those that can engage unconditionally are usually the ones that have the most success, because, first of all, that’s an internal thing. It’s important to realize that our internal world creates our external environment, not the other way around.

 

If you’re seeking for things external to you, things like cash flow and branding. Although that stuff is great, it’s a foundation to having a successful business. The business owner has to have his shit together, in order for the business to start growing itself.

 

My advice for people that are working from a survival, or working, or whether they feel they currently only just got their head above water is, it starts with you. There’s a question that I asked them, when I present and it’s like, “Who here thinks that their values, morals, ethics, habits, play a massive role or are the foundation to success?”

 

Everybody puts their hand up like, “Yes,” and I’m like, “No.” The reason I say this is because, there’s three main topics that I think play a massive role in what we call mindset. There’s consciousness, metacognition, and mindfulness. All of these three exist in the same realm. They’re very intertwined, think about a Venn diagram.

 

Those are the three pillars and consciousness is experiencing more of consciousness so that’s based on sensory data projects out of the universe, and we all have an individual personal consciousness. Metacognition is thinking about thinking. It’s like, think about having a brain on top of your brain, just watching what that brain does. I know that sounds a little bit weird.

 

Metacognition is your ability to become aware of how your own knowledge and emotions actually affects your own behaviors, and then being able to do that with other people as well. I just call it thinking about thinking. Then, mindfulness. Mindfulness is a big thing right now. For me, mindfulness, metacognition, and consciousness, actually allow mindfulness to happen.

 

There’s another side, with consciousness as well, there is a conceptual end there as well, with both sides of the brain play a role. It’s metacognition, consciousness, and mindfulness, create this piece and that’s the missing piece of the puzzle. The reality of the situation is that we don’t get a choice in what we think in any moment. Thoughts arise just like anything else.

 

If we don’t get a choice in what we think, then why most people will go through their life, just listening to their thoughts. Think about it, if we don’t get a choice in that, then we are literally shackled. We are literally getting dictated in every single moment and mindfulness is your ability to change your trajectory to choose what you listen to.

 

If you’re not practicing, If you’re not experiencing more of consciousness, if you’re not understanding consciousness, if you’re not practicing metacognition, if you’re not thinking about the way you think, and having a bird’s eye view of the way you think and the way you make decisions.

 

You’re not being mindful in every moment, and you don’t have the ability to be mindful to stop and go…this is just arising, a thought is like anything else, it’s like a car driving past, it’s arriving in consciousness. If you have the inability to not to practice mindfulness, then unfortunately you’re losing the battle inside the arena.

 

When you lose that battle, how can you know what you believe to be your beliefs, ethics, morals? How can you know that they’re actually aligned? How do you know that they are the truth to what you are? The truth here is a brain only collects on average 47 percent of the data.

 

Think about that. Since the day you were born, on average, the brain only collects 47 percent of the data. That’s what it has to do. If it collected everything, we’d be overstimulated. You’ve got to think about that.

 

If we only collect 47 percent of the data, then we definitely shouldn’t be listening to every thought. We should be practicing mindfulness, but there is no possible way that you can truthfully say if you’re not experiencing moral consciousness and have this first piece of the puzzle that these values, ethics, morals, beliefs are in alignment with what you truly want as a human.

 

That’s why most people don’t achieve things. They’ve got these certain beliefs, morals, values based on their particular perception in the moment. They’re not thinking critically about that. The reality of it is it’s in disalignment, which means that you’re not going to [inaudible 28:55] how to produce the power, or the energy, or the drive to achieve what you want to achieve.

 

There’s a big missing piece of the puzzle there. It has a lot to do with the esoteric, spiritual…A lot of this stuff, I try to connect it from these three main areas. There’s philosophy, spirituality, and there’s the brain, neuroscience, and the mind. They’re not so different.

 

When you’re missing that big piece of the puzzle…This is why a lot of us work from survival. Because we’re so caught up in our own minds, we’re losing that battle. We’re so skewed from what the truth is or what our true values are.

Jake BolyJake Boly

Dude, I love that. Question for you then, going off of all of that. Let’s say somebody is having success. They’re moving along. They’re doing well, but from an outsider who maybe knows them or is just now meeting them, they can see that they’re dictated from some other external stimulus and not their own intuition, their own mind.

 

Let’s say somebody is having success. They’re functioning in a survival mode, but they’re not self-aware of it. How do you overcome that? It sounds like a lot of it comes from mindfulness.

 

My question would be, what would be the first steps for somebody to recognize that and go through it to figure out and hone in on, “Hey, is this really what I’m about? Is this really what I believe?

 

“Or am I just going with the constant external stimulus and gratification I’m getting from everything around me that’s saying I’m successful,” but in the inside, maybe it comes from an event that rocks you one day and then you are like, “Holy crap. What am I doing?”

 

Or some other time where it just hits you like that before people run into that wall. I feel like everybody hits it eventually if they’re out of alignment. How would you suggest to check yourself to make sure you’re not functioning in a survival mode?

Kyle TraynorKyle Traynor

This is where the rubber hits the road. It’s the application of all this. That’s why I say you’ve got to do the work on yourself. You’ve got to spend time with yourself. This is how you can tell.

 

If you can’t sit down and spend 10 minutes with your own mind, then you’re completely relying on external stimulus. Again, it’s a short-lived game. This is where I’m a little bit different to most business guys. I don’t like to even call myself a business guy because it is a lot of business.

 

The goal of life is not money and success. The goal of life is fulfillment. You’ve got to think, if you’re not getting fulfilled by the work you’re doing, that’s inflammation. Man, that’s stress. That’s going to be a buildup inside.

 

The only thing that matters in life is how you feel internally. Nothing else can affect you if you’re powerful and you’ve got this stability inside of you. That comes from doing the work on yourself, like spending time with yourself, mediation. It’s going to happen eventually.

 

People can’t neglect this stuff anymore. This is where the rubber hits the road. This is the application of it. You can talk about mindfulness. You can talk about all of this stuff. The reality of it is unless it’s actually occurring inside of you and you are practicing it and truly practicing it, that’s the only way that you can start to see the benefits of it.

 

This is the most important thing here. Most people spend their whole life either thinking about the future or dwelling on the past. True beauty of life and fulfillment is achieved in the present moment.

 

If you look at what causes memories, it’s the emotions felt in the moment. Some of our best memories in life happen from feeling and being truly present in the present moment. That’s why we remember them. There’s a lot you can learn from that. The only thing that really matters is the present moment, ever.

 

It doesn’t matter what you’ve been doing. It doesn’t matter what you think you are going to do in the past. All that matters is you make decisions in alignment with who you are as a person in the present moment.

 

This is another reason why winning the battle before the war, winning the battle of your mind and getting as close as we can to the truth. We can never experience the truth. Reality is, we all see the world through our own lens. Our own lens is based off previous experience.

 

That’s why the way you see the world and the way I see the world are two totally different things, but we live in the same world. It’s understanding that that all you ever have is the present moment. If you can’t find beauty in that and you can’t find fulfillment in that, that usually means that you’re lost in thought.

 

You’re either thinking about the future or thinking about the past. That is a very, very dangerous game to play. Like we said before, we don’t get a choice in what we think. This is where meditation, practicing metacognition, practicing mindfulness…They are not so esoteric. They’re a skill. They’re no different to squatting.

 

Meditation, for me — I’ve said it — it’s a squat for your head. You know what I mean? It’s a skill. When you get good at that skill, you can practice being in the present moment. You can practice mindfulness. You can change your trajectory in any moment.

 

You can learn that your thoughts, you don’t get a choice in them. Why would you listen to something you don’t get a choice in? That’s the real message here. Spend time with yourself. Understand yourself. Understand that if you’re sitting there and you can’t spend 10 minutes with yourself, there’s something you’re neglecting.

 

True growth comes from facing the things that we fear the most. True growth comes from…When we feel resistance, we lean in a little bit. This is where you’ve got to start to work on yourself. You have to do the work on yourself.

 

This is the reality of it. What most people go though is suppression and repression of emotion because they don’t want to deal with that emotion. If you chose to deal with that emotion, that means you have to face what probably is the biggest fear of your life. That’s you being something that you’re not.

 

The only way to become something that you actually are and something you believe in is by facing those. What most people do throughout their whole life is they suppress and repress emotions. That builds up. This is where anxiety happens.

 

When I said I went through anxiety, I went through anxiety because I was pushing myself to the absolute limit, based on what I thought everybody else thought I should be. I was so worried about money, because I recently got a new partner.

 

We just started seeing each other and our whole family’s successful. They’re fucking massive business owners outside of the fitness industry. I was like, “Holy shit” and the pressure started mounting. I was living and acting for people outside of myself.

 

The suppression and repression of emotion was a build-up. The only way that you can literally release the gasket, release that pressure valve, is either by projecting that emotion to other people.

 

This is where you see a lot of people putting other people down. You ever met someone and they completely tell you about their whole life’s problems? They’re continuously talking. You can’t sit at a table.

 

We’ve all been there, man. I think that’s the message. It’s suppression and repression of emotion. There’s only two ways to release the gasket, to release the pressure valve. You’re either dealing with it internally, spending time with yourself working on it, or you’re projecting it onto other people.

 

Who are the people you spend the most time with? Your family, your clients, all of this stuff. This is what holds most coaches back. They’re not dealing internally with their own shit but they’re trying to tell other people to deal with their shit. That projection that happens actually pushes people away and creates their external world.

 

When you’ve set a goal, if you’re not doing the work internally, then your internal world will create your external world. If your internal world is a bit of a mess, then your external world’s going to be a mess, too.

Jake BolyJake Boly

Yeah. I feel that to the core, to be honest. I’m happy that you’re so open, especially about talking about being previously anxious. I think that is something that a lot of people go through but were afraid to talk about at times, afraid to admit, and even afraid to talk to others about.

 

Talking to people like you, for example, helps give others tools to work on themselves. I think everybody is so afraid to admit that, “Hey, I need a little bit of help right now, and I need to figure out my shit before I can progress in this area of life, or before I can build here.”

 

I think we all get in our own heads about being open about that. Being true to ourselves and like, “Hey, something’s not right. I’m being reactive to everything around me. Little things are getting under my skin that never get under my skin.”

 

Do you have any tips for implementing steps to — I don’t want to use the word anxiety here — but when you are at wit’s end, for example, how did you overcome that? Some groundwork that others can employ literally tomorrow if they want to start improving on their mindfulness, and awareness of where they’re at in life and build upon their true values?

Kyle TraynorKyle Traynor

Yeah, look I’m not a massive expert in this stuff. I went through anxiety and I’m open to talking about it because I had nobody at that point. I felt like I had nobody. That’s the reality of the stories I was telling myself of why I had nobody was actually something done by myself, and nobody else.

 

I had so many people surrounding me and supporting me. I had all of the tools in my tool belt. That’s the thing here is we’ve got to understand here, nothing is worth achieving in life without compassion. The reason I’m so open about talking all this stuff is because I went through it.

 

I don’t want other people to go through it. I especially don’t want other people to through it feeling the way they feel, like alone, because you’re not. My main tips with this is I think meditation has changed my life.

 

I can honestly tell you I wouldn’t be where I am today without it. The reason is meditation is spending time with yourself. When you start to look at things like thoughts, and emotions, and everything that’s going on inside of your body, and de-attach from the self.

 

The self is a form of the ego. That’s the reality. The ego is resistance to all growth. This is again why we can’t listen to our thoughts, because the thoughts are the things that are limiting our growth, and they are a form of the ego.

 

Practicing mindfulness is looking at everything that passes through as subjective. De-attaching from thoughts, spending time with emotions. I think talking to people, making sure that you start to talk to people.

 

I look back now and I…My stepfather, Kevin, is probably one of the most amazing humans I’ve ever met. Ex-military, just been meditating since the ’60s. I had him at my door like he was my…He’s my stepfather. I had him there. I thought that I was alone. That’s the big message here, is that you aren’t alone.

 

You’ve got to think about it this way is the thought of an experience enhances the experience and what we practiced grows stronger. You’ve probably heard that a few times is what we practice grows stronger. This happens in the brain. Cortical thinking is something that happens within the brain.

 

When you don’t have a choice in what you think, then what we practice grows stronger. Actually, it can go either positive or negative. Unfortunately, if you’ve rewired negative thought patterns or you attach yourself to thoughts, that’s going to be very, very strong within your brain. That’s going to be a strong connection made.

 

Mindfulness is your ability to choose what you choose, what you grow and choose what grows stronger. To start doing that is that we have to become educated on it. Because, as I said, the thought of the experience changes. The experience in education creates awareness.

 

Education will enhance the experience, which means what most people do is they jump straight into meditation and then that sucks. The first time anyone ever meditates, you’re lost in thought. You’re just like, wow, what’s going on right now? You can’t pay attention. What most people forget is that when they’re sitting down and meditating, the win isn’t not thinking.

 

The win is realizing that you’re lost in thought and bringing yourself back to conscious awareness. That’s mindfulness meditation in a nutshell, is that the win is not in not thinking. The win is noticing that you’re lost in thought. That’s actually the mechanism of mindfulness.

 

Mindfulness is looking at everything as subjective, rather than attaching yourself and listening to. If you are someone who is struggling with things like anxiety, look, I’m with you struggling with things like anxiety. If you’re working from a point of survival. If you’re struggling with mindset. If you’re lacking motivation.

 

Whatever it is that you’re lacking right now, you’ve just got to understand that you have to do the work on yourself. Doing the work on yourself is educating yourself on the minds.

 

It’s putting practices and anchors into your life that are going to allow you to practice the things that I’ve previously mentioned, like experiencing more of consciousness, practicing metacognition, and obviously, practicing mindfulness as well.

 

Those are my tips, man, is that like, if you got to do the work on yourself and the work starts within the mind because the mind is always the limiting factor. It’s not about overcoming it or having the strongest mindset. It’s just about understanding your own mind.

Jake BolyJake Boly

I love that. That what you’ve just summed up is a trap that I’ve fallen into a lot of times, and others do, too. We all know that we should do some form of meditation and do it often to strengthen, like you said, what we build in the brain. I’m so freaking guilty of this is, it fucking sucks when you first start meditating.

 

We all have an idea or not. I don’t want to say, we all, but a lot of people who start implementing meditation think that it’s going to instantly work and it’s going to instantly change everything. That grueling process, we forget that it’s similar to training the body. When you first start lifting, it’s a grueling process. It takes time.

 

I don’t know why there’s a gap between expecting the brain to all of a sudden have this magic power that can just bypass the work that it takes to lay that foundation. We’re OK with it with the body, but why are we not OK with it with the mind? That’s a trap that a lot of people fall into.

 

What we’re going to do, I want to ask you about on the topic of meditation as I was listening to the episode with you and Luke and you had mentioned the silent meditation retreat.

Kyle TraynorKyle Traynor

 

Yeah.

Jake BolyJake Boly

 

I want to hear more about that. Then I started reading more into that and the idea behind it and it sounds wild to me.

Kyle TraynorKyle Traynor

Yeah. I will say that Sam Harris, anyone who knows he’s like, Sam Harris is one of the pioneers of this stuff. He’s who I’ve learned meditation of using his apps and these kind of things. It’s great because he actually teaches you the skill of mindfulness and not just meditation. It comes from a scientific standpoint.

 

The Silent Retreat was something that just listening to Sam, he spent two years in silent retreat. You think about that, that’s wild.

Jake BolyJake Boly

 

That’s wild.

Kyle TraynorKyle Traynor

For me, I was meditating at the time, I’d had some really great experiences with meditation. One thing popped up before that I want to say is, this stuff is a forever moving target guys. That’s the biggest thing with this. For instance, this is hand on heart. I feel like I’m spiritually nowhere near where I was a year ago.

 

I still meditate every day, man, but it’s like this is where your thought of experience enhances the experience. I went on that Silent Retreat, that was about a year and a bit ago now. This is a forever moving target. Don’t think that just because you do something every day it’s going to feel good.

 

That’s the main message as well, don’t meditate because it feels good, or because it’s good for you. It’s defeating the purpose. Meditation is so much more than that. Meditation is an introspection of yourself. Meditation is being OK with nothing. If you look at Buddhist monks and their life.

 

When you can find fulfillment in nothing, you can find fulfillment in everything, and you can start to see the world in a different light. That’s what meditation will do for people, is it will make them OK with the minimal. It means they’re going to be so, so happy with everything.

 

The Silent Retreat was again for a way for me to go into an environment, and learn about myself. I went in there with no expectation. I went in there with an assignment to learn, and damn was it one of the best experiences of my life. The ability to be with yourself, and your own thoughts for a week.

 

Where you’re not talking, no phone, no computer, and it’s just you and you. The first couple of days is really, really hard. Beyond that you start to get extreme clarity. You realize how simple life can be. Meditating for about four to five hours a day, then the rest of the day it’s just you in the jungle.

 

That’s where this place is, it’s in Bali in the jungle. It’s like you’re forced to deal with your shit, and you’re forced to spend time with you and yourself. It’s one of the best things that’s ever happened to me. It’s removed my need for any external pleasure. I can truly spend time with myself and be OK with that.

 

Kind of quote that popped up afterward is, “Those who find enjoyment in solitude, solitude is either a wild beast or gods.” That just hits home to me. If I can find fulfillment in myself, then I’m going to be doing a really, really great job for everybody else in the world.

 

I can really start to truly help everybody else, and give back to the universe. Nothing I do now is worth doing unless I do it with compassion, and I put the people that I serve first, I truly put my ability to do that at the highest level to finding fulfillment in myself and internally.

Jake BolyJake Boly

I love it. Would you say that the alignment that you’ve had within yourself and the work you’ve put into yourself for the last couple of years are reflective of your business growth? Because it seems like the two are hand in hand.

 

That’s why I wanted to have everything circled back to…we started with business, we drift to mindfulness and let’s call it improving oneself in the brain, and now they’re in synergy together and you’re booming. Can you just share a little bit more on how those have tied together, and how you’ve noticed the shift, and how you used to process and work versus how you do so now?

Kyle TraynorKyle Traynor

I’m only in my infancy and I’m nowhere near. I know that I’m absolutely got so much more ahead of me. I’m only at the very start. The thing that I’m starting to realize is that a lot of the stuff that I’m talking about, I’m a business guy here in Australia, and that’s what I’m known as.

 

For me, there’s so much more to this than just business. Again, it’s like fulfillment is the main word that I’m trying to trying to get there. I think that’s the main goal. I think my ability to change my trajectory at any point and to not react emotionally to things is really what I put it down to.

 

I get a choice now in what I do, because I’m mindful. That’s as simple as that. Life without that piece of the puzzle, I’m reacting. I’m reacting to external stimulus all the time rather than working on internal fulfillment and bringing the power from within me.

 

You just got to realize that you’re always a limiting factor in your own business. [laughs] If you look at it, you’re always a limiting factor, no matter how big. It’s like if you truly want to dedicate your life to growth and serving the universe, and that’s really what a business is.

 

A business again is a way for you to bridge and express yourself into the world from the selfless point of view, where you’re serving other people and doing stuff for other people. If you truly want to live that life, then it starts with you. You’re always going to be the limiting factor.

 

I can guarantee, hand on a hat, anyone who listens to this will understand that if they have a business, they would directly be able to say that — and nobody can argue this — they’re the limiting factor.

 

Whatever’s going wrong in your business right now, it is a reflection of you and the decisions that you have made. The more data we can collect on a regular basis, so that’s experiencing more of a consciousness.

 

The more we can practice metacognition, the more we can look at the way our emotions and our knowledge affect our behavior and then start to change our behavior based on the collection of that data.

 

The more we can practice mindfulness, and stop ourselves at any particular moment, from listening to the thoughts that maybe can either overly constructive or destructive. Mindfulness isn’t just about negative thoughts, it’s about positive thoughts as well.

 

How many of us in our life have had something really great happened, and then we’ve either gone to Boise Taco or we’ve gone and partied, or we’ve gone and done something else where we’ve just made an irrational decision because of how happy we are.

 

Mindfulness isn’t just about the negative thoughts, it’s about thoughts in general, and choosing what you listen to in alignment with who you are as a person and your values. Again, we only know what our values are, if we spend time with ourselves and get past all the noise that’s going on within our minds, and really start to listen to the things that are truthful to us.

 

If you’re not doing that, that’s OK. The point of this is not to force anybody into this. This is a decision that you can make and I hope that everybody that listens to this, starts to make that decision where they start to spend more time with themselves internally. They start to understand themselves more, understand their mind more.

 

The reality of that is if you’re spending time with yourself, you’re getting closer to what we know is the truth, even though that it’s unattainable. Remember that it is that engagement unconditionally to the process. If you can find fulfillment in the process and not to the external stimulus, but the internal growth that comes with that, that’s where you find fulfillment.

 

Then you’re never getting caught up in the small things in business. You’re not getting stressed out by the decisions. Any obstacle that comes your way is growth, is a chance to learn, an opportunity to learn. That’s what I think this whole conversation has given me.

 

If we look at what fitness is, fitness has nothing to do with the strength, intelligence, anything of that nature. All of that stuff is the outcome. What creates fitness or how we measure fitness, is the person who can adapt to change the best. The person who can adapt to the stress of change the best. That is survival of the fittest.

 

The people that can adapt to change the best are the ones that practice mindfulness, meditation, metacognition, all of these things because they’re not working from a point of survival anymore. They’re not letting their emotional brain, the amygdala isn’t driving all decisions, fear. We’re actually planning ahead and we’re thriving, when you’ve got this end-goal, this purpose, this desire.

 

You understand who you are as a person. Every time you get this obstacle, or this thing that comes in your way, or this problem, or something doesn’t fall your way, then you can simply just pivot, and adapt, and flow, like water.

 

I often talk about it, like water flowing around boulders. The water always knows where it’s going and it always finds the path of least resistance. The path of least resistance has nothing to do with ease and everything to do with fulfillment.

 

If you struggle to spend time with yourself, good, I’m glad, because that’s the whole point. The path of least resistance is fulfillment and the only way you can find fulfillment is finding it internally.

Jake BolyJake Boly

 I love that, man. You really nipped that in the bud, I think. Before we head out, because I know you probably have a slammed day in front of you, I do want to ask one more thing and just ask you a couple more…Well, one main question basically.

 

Pretty much everything that we’ve talked about, especially in the world of, let’s call it fitness entrepreneurship, one of the commonalities that a lot of folks get wrapped up in, it’s forgetting that the product should always come first. Giving that experience, giving someone why they probably got into the business in the first place, what they want to actually give them.

 

It’s really tough at times to hone in on that when there’s so many things like social media giving us instant gratification and different things pulling in so many directions. Before we cut off this talk and go about our days, I do want to ask you one more question.

 

That is, “Do you have any tips for, let’s say, any entrepreneur, not even just fitness related, that is possibly too wrapped up in the end goal and not focusing on the product in front of them?” How to dial that back and find their roots.

 

I know we talked about self-awareness, mindfulness, [inaudible 57:07] , and fulfillment for the last 30 minutes. That I know has a lot to do with it, but do you have any quick tips of implementations that somebody can do literally today? If they want to figure out like, “Fuck, I’ve drifted away. I’ve drifted away from my moral compass, from what got me here in the first place.”

Kyle TraynorKyle Traynor

100 percent. There’s something that I said before and it’s the selfish versus the selfless endeavor. I think everybody gets to a point in business where you’ve either sat down with a client and you’ve seen the transformation they’ve had, or you see the smile on their face when they see the result. You can see that what you’ve done has changed this person’s life.

 

That really in itself, that’s where the endeavor goes from selfish to selfless. That’s when you start to realize that, “Hey, I’m actually having a massive impact on people.” I think that’s the greatest gift in the world anyone can ever have.

 

When you focus on that, it’s easy for you to then go away and want to do more than that, and plan. It’s a liberating feeling. I honestly think that a lot of this stems from the first thing you’ve got to do, is you’ve got to define your purpose.

 

One thing that I’ve done, I did it within the Ben Pakulski way back…I was lucky enough to be mentored by him for a while.

Jake BolyJake Boly

 

Amazing.

Kyle TraynorKyle Traynor

He’s an unbelievable giving man. One thing he made me do and I get a lot of my clients to do it as well is writing your eulogy, which is a really, really tough thing to do. What you’re doing is you’re looking at, well, if you die tomorrow, how would you want to be remembered?

 

What it does, it just puts things into perspective. It’s like, we never want to be remembered as selfish. We never want to be remembered as greedy. Why are we acting that way in the present moment? If you’re acting these ways in business and this is what this exercise does, it’s like, you just got to realize that it’s not like you can just flick a light switch, man.

 

There’s no prescription to success. [laughs] There is no prescription to success. It’s achieved every single fucking day. That’s the reality of it is, man. You define your purpose, first of all. Once you’ve defined your purpose and you’ve defined who you are, write a five-year vision. Write where you want to be and who you want to be in five years.

 

Then, once you’ve done that, create a brand. Simple. Branding creates strategy, branding creates the goal, branding creates everything because what most people do is they try to jump straight into goal setting. They struggle with this because they’re still in that survival mode, so looking ahead is really, really hard.

 

One thing that you can do is when you create a brand, it’s exciting because again, when you’re writing a brand, you’re not writing a brand around you. You’re writing a brand around the clients you want to serve. That’s fun. That’s easy to do because no longer are we stuck in the survival mindset.

 

We’re definitely going to be thinking about ourselves. Whereas if we can, the branding side of it is actually moving it away from us and getting us to think about our client and how we can serve them best. That’s fun. That’s where you can start to become creative and you give yourself these insights.

 

Define your purpose. Write a five-year plan. From that five-year plan, create a one-year plan. Create a brand that excite you around clients, that really, really excite you. As I said before, you need to have clients that absolutely drag you out of bed. Then, one thing I would say is that you need to systematize the way you go about your week and your day.

 

As much as I talk about a lot of these esoteric things, they are key. One thing that I am big on as well is absolutely being specific and articulate, like every single move I make within my week is calculated. My day is like, boom, boom, boom. That’s all based on who I am at the core, but also who I want to become. That’s where I put it down to is I don’t focus on my business.

 

I go, “Well, my business is just a representation of the person I want to become long term.” You’ve got to have goals that you’ve got to consciously like it. It’s got to be something that matters to you. You got to have a purpose in life because that purpose will…If it connects with you and it’s aligned, then you can keep working towards that blindly with unconditionally.

 

That will be the foundation that drives everything else. Then, that’s where people start to build momentum. When they find out who they want to be, their purpose, who they want to serve, why they want to be the person they want to be, everything else starts to fall into place from there because whatever your core values are that comes out in your daily actions.

 

Then, this five-year vision, if you want to work towards that because of the person you’ve become on the way, then no longer does it become about rewards. No longer do we get disappointed. When I sit down to meditate and I suck at it that day, you no longer do…Do I get upset when I don’t hit my goal for the day because, guess what? All I ever have is the present moment.

 

I’m not dwelling on what happened in the past. I’m not dwelling on or trying to worry about the future all the time. All I’m ever worried about is the present moment, because that’s all we ever have, man. The absolute horror of human life is that 95 percent of people spend so much time worrying about the present.

 

Sorry, about the future and the past that they forget that all they ever have is the present moment. All your decisions get made in the present moment. That’s defining your purpose can do is that dictate what you want to do in the present moment based on your purpose, based on your goals, based on who you want to become and the rest will fall into place.

 

That means aligning your wake up, mixing and matching, and striving for greatness in business, striving to serve people, and learning, and adapting, and changing systems. All of this stuff starts to become fun because I’m no longer in a rush. I’m here to say.

 

Me and Jordan did a podcast a couple of weeks ago. We launched it last week. It was called “Are you here to stay?” That’s a question that if I was to put it out there to everyone right now is that is your mindset that you’re here to stay. When you’re here to stay, you think long term.

 

You work slowly. You think about people. You think about how you can articulate your brand and express your brand in a way that serves people and gets people to want to be a part of it for long term success as a group, as a brand.

Jake BolyJake Boly

I don’t know if I’ve ever had a better single outro like that with one tip. That’s amazing. Earlier this year, I had a big…Not earlier this year. It was late last year.

 

It’s something really helped me and kind of shadows what you mentioned, is shifting to a want-versus-should mindset as opposed in the moment, asking myself, “Is it something that I should do or should have done?” versus like, “I want to do this. I want to do it because of this,” and then asking myself, why? That shadows almost what you said. That’s helped change everything around me.

 

I, too, was living like…It’s weird hearing so much of this because when you talk about a lot of this, I’m in my own head like, “Shit, I am so guilty of a lot of these things.”

Kyle TraynorKyle Traynor

We are all like that. The big lesson here is that none of us are perfect. That’s the reality. This is the problem with social media, is that we paint the perfect picture. A lot of what I do on social media these days is I try to educate. I don’t put anything out there about me being this, me being that.

 

If you read all my posts, I always say “we.” I always talk about “we.” I never say “you” or “I” or anything like that. It’s always us together. The reality of it is humans are much stronger together than what we are as individuals. If we can learn to do that, then that’s where we can start to leave with absolutely unconditional compassion.

 

We can start to identify with judgment and no longer judge others. I can guarantee if we’re judging others, we’re judging ourselves. That’s where we can start to drive ourselves into these states of mind. This is where achievement can be taken away from us and motivation, because we’re judging ourselves just as much as we’re judging others.

 

None of us are perfect. I have bad days. These days, I don’t live up to what I say I’m going to do, but that’s in the past now. All I’ve got is in the present moment. That’s the big thing to me. I don’t want to work with people that are strong and make them stronger. I want to work with the people that are really struggling.

 

My legacy, and what I live for, and what I stand for is helping those who are struggling and just getting them to a point where they can start to live the life and have fulfillment in the life that they want to have. Business, for me, is not about allowing one person to make a million dollars.

 

It’s getting 100 percent of our industry to be able to just enjoy the ups in their career, spend time with their family, live a life that brings them fulfillment as an individual. What you said then is that we’re all guilty of it. We’re all this way. Some of the best minds in the industry that me and you know, I guarantee, go through all of this stuff. None of us are immune.

Jake BolyJake Boly

I love it, man. Before we wrap up, I would love if you drop some plugs. Tell people where to follow you. Tell people where to follow your personal business. It’s been an absolute pleasure having you on. This podcast took a turn that I did not expect, but I don’t hate it.

Kyle TraynorKyle Traynor

A lot of this stuff that I talked about is still very kind of “we, we” in the world we live in. It’s key. It’s pivotal. If we came together, if this stuff starts to take off, we’re going to see a lot of people start to achieve a lot more. Achievement has nothing to do with numbers or anything like that. It has to do with individual fulfillment.

 

We’re going to start to see a happier world. That’s the goal. If anyone wants to find me, my personal brand is a bit all over the shop. Honestly, my Instagram, I just post stuff that I love to talk about. It’s not business. It’s not anything. It’s just helping people understand the mind. Anything that I feel like talking about, I do so. It’s very open.

 

My Instagram is @kylertraynor, and my business Instagram is @elitevitalitymastery. We post a heap of business content on there, whether it’s spiritual, whether it’s philosophical, whether it’s objective data, sales, whatever it is. We’re diving into all of it on the main pillars of strategy, sales, cash flow, and branding. That’s our main pillars. Check them out. We just put a heap of content out.

Jake BolyJake Boly

 

Amazing. Obviously, listeners…

..I will drop all of those plugs below, along with the Jordan Shallow podcast, so you guys can easily find that, and click through, and listen to it if you’d like. Kyle, it’s been an absolute pleasure having you on. It is late Friday here, early Saturday there, I hope you have a great weekend, man.

Kyle TraynorKyle Traynor

 

Thanks for having me, man.

Jake BolyJake Boly

 

Of course.