At some point in the process of networking, contract discussions and relationship building my best kept secret is revealed.  Yes, I do look young.  Yes, I am only 23 years old. And, yes, I do run my own business, (4 if your really counting).

As this conversation is occurring, I am bracing myself for the line of questioning that is sure to follow.  How did you do all of this? When do you find the time? So, explain to it to me again, what do you do?

No matter how many times I have had this conversation, I can never come up with an answer that provides an exhaustive explanation.  It is hard to find that answer because, and I am being totally honest here, I am not completely sure myself.  Truth be told, I am nothing special.  I am a horrible speller, I have the reading level of a 5th grader and I can only count above 10 when I am wearing my five finger toe shoes.

Just 3 years ago my life was heading in a completely different direction.  If you would have told me I would be sitting here, typing up a blog post for my website, I would have told you to go do inappropriate things to yourself.

Not so long ago there was no light at the end of my tunnel.  Having just graduated from bootcamp, I earned the right to call myself a United States Marine and learned that my father had less than a year to live in the same day.  After my dad, Big Al, lost his battle with brain cancer, I realized that time is finite.  I had reached a moment in my life that would determine how I lived the remainder of my days.  I could spend my life trying to please everyone else, just getting by or I could make my own way; and live by my own rules.

Guess which path I chose…

I know, I know that is not a very thorough explanation; but you can’t say I didn’t warn you.

There is no real answer to “how” I got where I am today, but there is one thing that comes close.  My secret sauce; I am Clueless and Confident. I am clueless enough to think running a business is a good idea and I am confident enough to know we can pull it off.

Alfred Vennare Anthony VennareI like to think this confidence was instilled in me by my parents.  My dad was on the grind every day, doing work to make my life easier.  And my mom, she is an unwavering source of support.  While I am not sure that she can explain exactly what it is that I do, she will surly tell you how proud she is of whatever it is I am doing.

After coming to terms with my dad’s passing, I was bound and determine to take advantage of what my parents had worked so hard to provide for me; the chance to lead a life that made me truly happy.

For me, it was not all that difficult to determine what these things were.  I am passionate about fitness and I am constantly trying to improve my own physical abilities.  But, what really brings me satisfaction is helping other people.  I quickly realized that I could combine two of the things I enjoyed the most to provide value to the lives of others by helping them achieve their exercise and wellness goals.

Decision made, I am going to do everything in my power to be the best damn fitness professional, trainer, provider of quality exercise programming and source of motivation I could be.

That’s pretty much how it went.  Since making that determination, I have not looked back.  I don’t have an M.B.A., didn’t even study business.  But, I do have my M.S.A., because I make shit happen.  I did not ask anyone’s permission to be happy and I do not apologize for that decision either.  I am not going to compromise my character and convictions for the sake of social norms or conformity.  If I did, I would be doing my father’s legacy a disservice; not happening.

The Take Away

So the moment of truth had come, are you satisfied with your body, your career, your life?  The only thing standing between you and everything you have ever dreamed of is YOU!

Step your game up, do work and take responsibility for you actions.  If you don’t, no one will and you will be an underachiever for the rest of your life, always wondering what if and blaming others for your failure to take action.  Everyone tries to sit back and say, “wow, Anthony is so lucky, he does this and that.”  When I hear that I am tempted to smack them in the face because luck has nothing to do with it. Make your own luck, make shit happen and stopping waiting for it to happen.

If you are ready to make that happen, follow the Big Al guide to living your dreams…

  1.  Love with all of your heart.  Love what you do, where you are and who you are with.  If you don’t or can’t you better add or subtract something from the picture until you can.
  2. Im going to repeat myself here, love the ones you are with and make sure they know it. There will be a time when you cant tell them and you will be wishing you got out one last “I love you”.
  3.  You are in complete control of your mind, body and above all your attitude.  If any of these things need to change, the time has come to accept responsibility for making a change.
  4.  You can and must live the life you want.  “People might not always like you, they might not always agree with you, but they will sure as shit respect you!” – Big AL
  5.  Have the courage to live a life that is so complete that you can look death in the face, smile and give it the middle finger.

Before you put this plan into action, know that it will be difficult.  You will get burned by people you were trying to help, someone you loved or thought was your friend.  You will be told you work too hard, that you are selfish, that you are crazy.  But, know that living a life true to yourself and your convictions is well worth it.

For me that life means running a business and determining my own lifestyle.  Although I am far from the life I want and I have years and year of learning, obstacles, and challenges ahead, in my heart I know I will get there and to be honest I am pumped to confront all the challenges.  Because like I said I am clueless and confident. Clueless enough to think this was a good idea, but so confident in my work ethic that I am willing to survive on “ketchup and mustard sandwiches” until it does.

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