Losing Weight Doubled My Business and Changed My Life

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There is an audio version at the end of the post.

For 12 years, I delivered bread to groceries during odd hours—I woke up at midnight. When I woke up, it felt like my “morning” so the first thing I did was grab breakfast. Since it was midnight, the only places open were fast food restaurants.

My breakfast consisted of a super-sized family meal from McDonald’s or Taco Bell. I would then wash it down with a 44oz of Mountain Dew from a gas station. It didn’t take long for the pounds to start piling on.

In 2008, my brother asked me to be the best man at his wedding. When the pictures were posted, I was horrified to see how big I had gotten—I was 132 pounds over what I wanted to weigh, 200 pounds.

After the wedding, I went on a crazy diet where I only ate 1,200 calories a day and exercised at least four hours a day. I lost the 132 pounds in six months. No Joke.

Since I didn’t learn what it meant to live a healthy lifestyle, I gained the weight back the following year, plus 38 pounds. I let my weight go until 2013.

In 2012, I started getting serious about my writing and speaking. I wrote for 50 different blogs, and was a guest on 80 different podcasts. I spoke 36 times that year, all over the world.

When I travelled to speak, I was reminded of my out-of-control weight. I couldn’t fit into the airplanes seats—stupid airlines! People laughed and stared. When I was speaking on stage, people would tweet about how big I was—it hurt seeing those tweets.

In 2013, I realized I needed to lose weight for my business and my sanity. This time around, I realized I needed to figure out what it meant to live a healthy lifestyle.

It took over a year of eating right and running, but I lost 170 pounds. I have kept it off for six months now. I feel so much better. I have more energy and perspective. (more…)

Starting a Business Almost Ended My Marriage

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There is an audio version of this article below.

I met my wife at my very first “real” job at the age of seventeen. We both worked at Burger King. We hated each other the first time we met. She was a manager, and I wasn’t, so she did everything she could to show me who was boss.

You know how it goes. Right? What started off as hate, slowly turned into love as we got to know each other, and worked with each other everyday. Six months after I met Tanya, we got married.

After getting married, we got our own place and had grown up bills to pay, this meant me getting a higher paying job. I got a job as a delivery driver for Pepsi. The job paid well, but over the next few years I upgraded to many different jobs that made even more money.

At the height of my career, I was making $60,000 a year. My wife was happy, our bills were paid, and we had good benefits. It was during this time that I told her I wanted to start my own business.

That conversation, and many conversations after that, didn’t involve a whole lot of talking; yelling would be the better word. She didn’t understand why I wanted to leave a perfectly good job for the uncertainty of entrepreneurship, and I didn’t understand why she couldn’t “see” how good this would be for our family.

It took some hard lessons to wake me up to some truths that ultimately got her on board with my vision. These days, it’s gone beyond supportive to her being an invaluable part of the business.

If you’re thinking about starting a business, think about these truths before you turn your business dreams into a marriage-ending nightmare.

Realize that starting a business isn’t for everyone and she might be right

Look, we want to soar free, and starting our own business is a good way to do that. I love being a business owner and the time freedom it provides. I recommend starting a business to those whom it is right for. (more…)

Why I Chose to Start an Online Business

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Haifa, Israel. There is an audio version below.

When I thought about what I wanted for my life—and especially from my work—there was one word I couldn’t shake: freedom. I wanted to live life on my own terms; I didn’t want to answer to a boss or company. I wanted to set my own schedule.

In 2012, I traveled the world speaking in cool countries like Israel, England, France, Australia, but had to do it on the weekends because I had a day job. All week I was a bread man, delivering to grocery stores 60-hours a week. Once Friday afternoon hit, I was on a flight to speak at a difference conference. It felt like I was living a double-life.

When I first heard someone talking about making money on the Internet, I thought they were lying. I was a blue-collar guy who never touched computers, I thought you made money from your hands.

When I self-published my first book and it made no money, I was convinced my initial thoughts were correct. It took eight months before I ever saw money from what would become my online business. I remember getting that first real check from Amazon; it was a little over $2,300. I was speechless and so was my wife.

That check helped tame the doubt, fear, and voice of some negative people in my life. I finally had proof I could make money online. I had proof that my dream was possible. I just needed to work hard and make more.

What do you want for your life?

In 2013, I was free. I made enough in 2012 to quit a job I hated. I was living the freedom I worked so hard for. When I traveled to speak in 2013, I made money passively from my online business. I did coach people, but there were books and products on my website that people bought 24/7. I loved it and still do!

I had the freedom in my schedule to do the things that were important to my family and me. I had the freedom to work as hard or as little as I wanted. After trying several things, this was it.

An online business is my dream, but it may not be yours. If it’s not, you shouldn’t try to force it because passive income and traveling—while making money—sounds easy and cool. Too many people waste time on other people’s dreams.

Not everyone is meant to be an entrepreneur. Some people are better suited to work a regular schedule and get a steady paycheck. If that’s how you’re wired, great! I’m happy if you’re happy. You can create freedom in a 9-to-5 job. Tim Ferriss talks about it in, The Four Hour Work Week. (more…)

4 Creative Ways You Can Make Money

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The job market is pretty bleak these days. Everyday you hear stories of another company laying off thousands of people. Even companies that we thought were untouchable are feeling the effects of this economy.

The days of working at a company for 40 hours and retiring with a pension are over. Job security is a thing of the past. If someone wants security today, they have to create it themselves.

We do however, live in an incredible time where you can create your own opportunities for success. No longer do we have to depend on the old school gatekeepers to do the things we want to do financially. Here are four ways you can create your own financial freedom.

1. Start a service business. In 2001, I started my first business, it was a service business in the vendor industry. At the height of the business I had five contractors in three states. I saw an opportunity and created a business from it.

Around you are many opportunities to make money that you’re probably not thinking about. Whether it’s a landscaping business, a car washing business, a house cleaning business, or something more advanced like working on cars at people’s homes, (They actually do that here in Maui) there are many opportunities.

Identify things that you’re good at, things that you enjoy doing, and things that people always ask you about. Somewhere in there is an idea that you could start a business from. The beauty is that these businesses don’t require a lot of money to start.

2. Start an online business. Online business is what I’m really passionate about. Location independence really appeals to me, all I need is a laptop and an Internet connection, and I can make money. (more…)

5 Things I Hated About Being Overweight

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There is an audio version of this post at the end of the article.

April of 2012 was one of the worst times in my life. I was at a job I absolutely hated, my father died unexpectedly at 54, and I was 170 pounds overweight. I sat there on a cold April day crying about what my life had become. I just didn’t know what to do.

After my father’s funeral, I started to replay our last few conversations. The one thing he said over and over again was how much regret he had. There were so many things he wanted to do in life, but never did anything about. He begged me not to live life that way.

A week after his death, I made a vow to live a life of no regrets. To start, I knew I needed to do something about my weight once and for all. I had lost weight before through extreme measures, but this time I knew I needed to figure out what it means to live a healthy lifestyle.

It took a year, and more hard work than I thought I was capable of, but I lost 170 pounds. The 12 years leading up to this weight loss were rough to say the least. There were five things I hated about being overweight.

1. The money I spent on clothes

When I moved out with my wife at 18 years old, I was “skinny.” As the years went on and the stress of the job got to me, the pounds started piling on. For a while it seemed like I was buying clothes every week, and eventually, I had to start buying clothes at the “special store.” It was embarrassing. I hated my body and myself.

2. The money I spent on food

The worst thing about my eating habits was the money I spent on fast food secretly. I delivered bread at midnight, which meant I would buy fast food and eat at odd hours. I promised my wife that I would stop, but for too long I kept doing it. We sat down one year and calculated how much I spent on fast food; I’m too embarrassed to write the number here. I don’t eat fast food anymore.

3. The way people looked at me

I understand it’s natural to look at those that are different. Some people look and keep going. There are others, however, that go out of their way to make you feel like crap. Whether it was walking down the street, working, or just in any public situation, people stared. I could feel those eyes examining all the areas of my body that I wished didn’t exist. (more…)

4 Choices You’ll Regret This Year

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If you prefer to listen, there is an audio version of this article on the bottom of the post.

Every year, we go through the same song and dance. We get excited for a new year—in December—and make plans. We set goals, and plan on making the New Year the best yet.

January rolls around, and we can barely contain the excitement. By the end of January, the picture isn’t so rosy. Here we are in February, and chances are someone reading this has already given up.

You tell yourself it’s too hard or you can try later in the year. While you shouldn’t beat yourself up, you also shouldn’t give into complacency. None of us is guaranteed a moment past right now. It’s important to use all the time we have wisely.

I’ve been there more times and more years than I can count. February rolled around and I was done. It took the death of my father to convince me not to let regret be a part of my life. Here are four choices you’ll regret this year if you don’t do something about them.

1. Neglecting to follow through on the goals you’ve set

Life is short. I hesitate to write those words because they’ve become cliché. Even though you’ve heard it too many times before, it’s true. Life is short. Time is one of the most valuable resources we have because we can’t get it back.

Follow through on your goals, even the ones that seem impossible. Get back up and keep going forward during the rough times. You set these goals for a reason, and they probably mean a lot to the kind of life you want to live.

2. Believing negative people’s advice

We walk around everyday with doubt and fear. We have self-limiting beliefs that we fight hard to beat. On top of all that, there are people in our lives that “mean well,” but do more harm than good.

There are also those people who are outright negative. They’re quick to point out what they believe is reality. They’re not happy with their life and want to drag everyone down to their level. Ignore these people and muster up enough strength to cut them out of your life. (more…)

6 Things I Wish I Didn’t Struggle With, But Do

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I’ve had a lot of cool wins in the last year or so. After three years, the hard work is paying off. I’ve kept off the 170 pounds I lost. I get to wake up and do whatever I want—work wise—in the place that I love, Maui, Hawaii. I have complete freedom in my work, health, and relationships.

Life should be smooth sailing. Right?

You and I aren’t always together. What we see of each other is through this blog, podcasts interviews, videos, and social media. You get a tiny glimpse into my life, and I get a tiny glimpse into yours.

During all that time we’re not together, a whole lot is going on behind the scenes. I try to be as honest as possible with what I share publicly, but I’m human. There are things I’m ashamed and embarrassed to admit.

I want you to see me as this super cool, take-on-the-world-without-blinking type of guy. I’m not. There are many things I struggle with, but wish I didn’t. Here are six major ones.

1. Envy of other’s success

I’ve had some cool wins, which should make me cheer for joy when I see other’s also experiencing success. Sometimes I do, but too often I don’t. I get all kind of crazy thoughts running through my mind.

I wonder what they did. I wonder why more people didn’t “like” my status update or retweet when I shared my good news? I think twice before liking or sharing their win because, “I don’t remember them liking or sharing mine.” I basically act like a teenager all over again. Grow up KIMANZI!

Envy will lay evil roots in your mind and heart. Life would be wonderful if more cool things happened to us, but sometimes it takes a while. Don’t give into envy. Don’t get discouraged or give up. Cheer for your fellow human because life is hard for all of us.

2. A short temper

Hawaii is a pretty cool place. Learning how to relax is a requirement to move here. I’ve learned how to live a simple and laid-back lifestyle, but I still give into to fits of anger. I yell at times, I pout, and I walk out of rooms. I have temporary moments of insanity where I forget how blessed I am. During those times when you want to give into your raw emotions, don’t. Take a second to breath deeply and smile. You’re alive!

3. A lack of impulse control

I want what I want, and I want it RIGHT now (I told you before I act like a teenager). I see cool new technology and I want to buy it. I smell delicious food and I buy it and eat it. I get an email about book deals and before I know it, my Kindle is FULL! It’s harder to wait, but if we always got what we wanted, when we wanted it, life would fall apart for us. We would walk around like spoiled children. It takes time but you and I can exercise impulse control. Well, most of the time. Our goal shouldn’t be perfection, just small daily victories.  (more…)

3 Reasons to Cut Negative People Out of Your Life

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I always get asked if there was one specific situation that caused me to know I had to stop existing and chase my dream. There was.

It was a cold Wisconsin winter morning. The temperature was some ridiculous number like 15 degrees. I was taking bread off of my bread truck and putting stacks on a lift.

I got on the lift and slipped off because of the ice. I fell a few feet into a snow pile. I wasn’t injured, just irritated. As I was lying in the cold snow, I thought, “Man, life sucks.” Ten seconds later, the bread fell off the lift on top of me.

That was the moment I knew.

Two days later, I started a journey to create freedom in my work, health, and relationships. The first thing I did was tell my best friend at the time. Before I could even finish, he was pointing out the 101 reasons why I should forget about the dream. He said my goals were too hard.

For years, I listened to him and existed. It took cutting him out of my life to take action. I’m guessing you’re reading this because you’re on a freedom journey. I’m also guessing there are negative people in your life who could be affecting your progress. Call them what you want: haters, detractors, dream killers, but here are three reasons to cut them out of your life.

1. They feed your doubt and fear

Making big changes is a hard enough task on it’s own. When your doubt and fears enter the equation, you start to think it’s impossible. Negative people will feed into the battle that happens in your mind.

Battle doubt with a solid plan and action. Use your fear as a barometer to make sure you’re focused. Don’t let negative people get anywhere near what could sabotage your success.

2. Their goal and yours don’t align

Your goal is to create freedom and a life most people only dream of. Negative people are jaded and only have one goal: bring you down to their level. We all know the famous Jim Rohn quote about how who you hang out with affects you. Don’t spend your time with people who have no goals or negative goals. (more…)

5 Choices That Could Make or Break Your Relationship

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In the journey to create freedom in every area of your life, healthy relationships are important. The support of your partner can make or break your dream. Relationships are hard work and an area of our lives that we constantly have to work on.

Three years ago, I decided to make three radical changes in my life. I vowed to lose 170 pounds, quit a job I hated, and move our family to Maui, Hawaii. I told my wife—after we reconciled from our separation—and she was supportive.

I made five important choices that helped keep her in my corner and grow our relationship. You can create freedom in your life and relationship by making the right decisions.

1. Accepting that your partner’s needs should come first

Let’s be honest, we like it when we’re the center of attention. That, however, doesn’t work well in a relationship. This isn’t to say you worship your partners every word, but you do make a conscious effort to put their needs above your own.

A wise man told me long ago that love isn’t a feeling. It’s a decision. Choosing your partner’s needs above your own is one way how you demonstrate that decision to love. During those times when you’re tempted to fight—over something that doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things—choose to work through the issue on your own. Choose their happiness over being right.

2. Fostering a healthy sex life

Sex isn’t everything in a relationship, but make no mistake, it is important. An unhealthy sex life can lead to stress, a negative self-image, and fights. It can also create thoughts that eventually lead to one partner being unfaithful.

With the chaos of life, finding time for sex can be hard, but it is important. Sometimes you just have to pull your partner aside and let the animal instincts take over, but you can find time for sex if you decide it’s important to you. We always make time for the things that are important to us.

3. Being fully present 

When you’re making changes—with a day job and other responsibilities—it’s easy to get distracted. You have 100 things on your mind all the time. We go through our daily lives distracted and miss so much because we’re never really in that moment.

Writing my first book was exciting and frustrating. I worked 60 hours so I had to write my book in the spare minutes here and there. When I wrote, I was in the zone. When I wasn’t writing, I was thinking about writing. I wasn’t fully present for my family and missed a good six-months of my children’s lives. (more…)

The Secret to Beating Doubt

Even after you achieve success and accomplish some of your goals, you’ll still battle doubt. You choose whether or not to let doubt stifle your dream or use it as a measuring stick.

I’ve battled doubt my entire life, just as I’m sure you have. In the second grade, I fell in love with writing because it was a way to communicate words nonverbal. I wrote my heart out growing up.

At 17, I rebelled against my parents and left home. I spent six months living on the streets. At that point, I had to get a job to survive. I gave up my love of writing. In 2011, after a horrible 12 years, I found my love of writing again.

I self-published my first book in 2011 and it completely flopped. You better believe my doubt was screaming at me. In addition to the doubt, there are some major hater that love to criticize everything I do. Here is how I beat doubt and you can too.

Ignore your feelings

If you follow your feelings, you will be on a roller coaster that doesn’t stop. Doubt feeds into your feelings and causes you to believe the worst of what you think. Ignore your feelings, especially when it comes to your dreams. (more…)