Welcome to the Strong Coach Podcast. This is where you get to learn how to build your very own six-figure, maybe more, maybe seven-figure coaching business. Now we focus on how to be the best coach possible and how to build a business sustainably so that you can do things like take vacation, take care of your family, make it a full-time gig. Because we know if you are full time as a coach, then you can deliver the best coaching possible to your clients. You can deliver to them the transformation that they’re showing up to get.
So this show, we’re going to be covering all those topics and if you’re interested in joining our program, we have a 90-day program that starts with your transformation first, help teach you to be the best coach possible, and give you the business skills necessary to be successful. Go over to thestrongcoach.com. Click the become a strong coach to get started today.
Table Of Contents
- Introducing April For The Strong Coach Podcast
- We’ve Been Preparing Since July
- April’s Learnings From The Interviews
- April’s Life Before The Strong Coach
- April’s Life After The Strong Coach
- What’s Gonna Happen On The Show
- Being a Leading Learner With The Podcast
- Closing Thoughts
Introducing April For The Strong Coach Podcast
Mike Bledsoe: Mike Bledsoe here for the first Strong Coach podcast. Now you may have heard of the Strong Coach podcast before now, we’re doing things a little different. So we’ve had two seasons of the Strong Coach podcast on the Shrugged Collective Network and we are now in our third season on the network. So those are simply seasonal shows. What we’ve decided to do is create a podcast that posts twice a week for the Strong Coach podcasts.
We want coaches to be able to come in, trainers and coaches to be able to come to this show and get regular content that’s going to help make you a better coach and improve your coaching business. So something that’s very, very consistent. The way this is going to look is one episode per week, April, April’s here on the call, she’s the host.
April: Hey everybody.
Mike Bledsoe: I’m going to be introducing you to her today because she’ll be hosting and I’ll be on the shows a lot too. I’m going to go into that real quick. She’s going to be doing the interviews, she’s the host and she’s going to be a person that makes sure that this happens twice a week all year. So the way that we have this structured right now is she’s going to interview me once a week. So this is going to be a bit of a mentor, mentee conversation where she brings questions to me, and I get to say what I say and tell my thoughts.
People have told me it’s good. It’s good. So that’s going to happen once a week. And then the other show every week is April is going to interview one of the coaches. So one of the coaches that have been through the program, coaches that are in our mastermind, people who are involved with us and are able to teach. So what’s really cool about interviewing everybody that has gone through the program or in the mastermind or is involved in some degree, they’ve learned things that have transformed their coaching business, their life as a coach or their life in general.
And we get to dig into those things. So you get to learn the lessons of those that had been through the program. Lots and lots of gold in there. One of the things I love about this format is you get to learn from me. We’re just cool and I’ve been in the game a very long time. So it is easy for me at times to forget what it’s like in the beginning and how painful it can be. The fact that April is interviewing coaches that are just getting started. You get both.
You get my stuff, which I’ve got a lot of experience and I might forget how hard it is in the beginning, but then you have the coaches that are just getting started and there’s a lot of nuggets in there. I think a lot of times what a blue belt can offer a white belt is more valuable than what a black belt can offer a white belt. So having a mixture of the two is going to create a really amazing recipe. So thank you April for stepping up to the plate, taking this on, and honing your own skills as a podcast or interviewer and coach.
April: Thank you for, yeah, I’m so excited to do this, to be honest. I came to you to pitch the idea of me hosting the Strong Coach podcast completely a white belt. Never really having done, I had some recording equipment, I played around with it. I had some fun with some friends and that’s really the only type of experience I had. So it’s been really, really cool to jump in the deep end and get started on podcasting and recording and doing this stuff. I’m enjoying it so much talking to everybody.
We’ve Been Preparing Since July
Mike Bledsoe: Yeah. How many shows have you recorded already? So I want to let people in on this as we recorded a bunch of shows ahead of time. I like to have a lot of transparency on these things because we do things well. We do things really well with Strong Coach, we’re dialed in, we’re focused, and I’ll go ahead and throw out. If you’re somebody who wants to podcast, these are the types of things that you want to consider and want to do. So we record, how many shows do we have recorded?
April: We’re getting close to 30 now, to be honest. We’ve been recording since July, a couple of times a week. You’ve seen them go up on the Facebook Lives and we got a bunch of really great content at the Strong Coach Summit. So we’re at 25 to 30 shows so far.
Mike Bledsoe: Yeah. So if you’re subscribed to the Facebook page, then you’re getting a head start on a lot of this. So if you’re following on Facebook. We’re also looking into how to live stream on YouTube. So a lot of content will be going up there very soon as well. So now you’re going to learn how to be a better coach.,But we’ll talk about things like podcasting because this all feeds into it.
Podcasting is a form of marketing and marketing as a component of running a coaching business. So we’ll be talking about all these things. Podcasting is super attractive because it’s conversations you’re likely excited to have anyway. And it can be a conversation. It doesn’t have to be like a lot of other marketing may feel.
April: Those are favorite podcasts, the ones that are very, very conversational. It’s just two people shooting the shit, having a fun conversation, and oftentimes just telling their stories. I think you can really get a lot out of someone just telling their story, learning what experiences they have had, and then what experiences you might want to have from that.
April’s Learnings From The Interviews
Mike Bledsoe: Yeah. April, I want to know now that you’ve done 30 interviews, what have you learned? What are some things that stand out to you, either as a podcaster or as a coach?
April: Good question. What I’ve learned is the one thing that’s popping up for me right now is keep being curious. Even after doing 25 to 30 of these, I still find myself in my head rather than in the moment a little bit. What I really want to do is just keep being curious so that I don’t have to be in my head. I can just listen to the conversation and be in the conversation and then just whatever pops up next, that’s my next question. That’s something that we did in the Strong Coach I need a program a lot, which when I did it the first, which was the beta round was not 90 days. It was eight weeks instead of 12 weeks.
Anyway, still got a ton of great stuff in the beta round. So the curiosity part is one thing that you taught us, especially when it comes to our clients. I loved playing the curiosity game with my friends and clients. So essentially that’s what I’m doing with these interviews and with these podcasts. Sure I’ve got a couple… I want to learn a little bit about beforehand to get an idea of where to go with the podcast with a specific episode or the specific coach or person that I’m interviewing.
But ultimately you just get into a flow of a conversation and just keep asking curious questions. That’s the biggest thing that I’ve learned and gotten excited about for the podcasting side. As a coach, again, it’s about the experiences that I’m learning. I’m learning a lot from other coaches and other professionals about their experiences and how they experience things. There’s some interesting conversations that’ll come up, especially from the summit conversations that I had that I really learned a lot about different ways to learn and bring my coaching game to a different level, which is just really cool.
Studying certain things and yeah, learning what experiences people have that have really made a difference.
Mike Bledsoe: Sounds like learning how to learn.
April: Yes and I’m learning. Oh goodness. So much I’m learning. That’s been huge for me is because I grew up, I went to college, I got right into the fitness industry right after college. All I knew is what I had learned and I did my best to apply it. Ever since getting into the Strong Coach, both as a coach and a trainer and then my evolution from that to now doing podcasting, I’ve had to unlearn a bunch of this stuff that I thought I knew or that I thought was working. So the unlearning and then relearning has been huge.
April’s Life Before The Strong Coach
Mike Bledsoe: Yeah. What was life like for you? Can you paint me a picture of what was your experience as a coach before you even heard about the Strong Coach before? It was about a year and a half ago that I went on the Bledsoe Show and I said, “Hey, if you want to hop in the beta program for the Strong Coach, fill out this application.” I’ve probably made some Instagram posts. Was it the podcast or was it Instagram that you found it?
April: I think I saw it on Instagram.
Mike Bledsoe: You saw it on Instagram. Okay, that’s good to know. Right? The thing you should be listening to. It was like, “Ah, okay. Instagram is performing. Podcast performing.” So I had a hundred people apply. Now I’m curious, what was your experience of coaching? Were you happy? What was all that going on before you even knew the Strong Coach existed? What was your life like then?
April: So before I even knew the Strong Coach existed, I had had some difficulty finding the right environment to be in in the coaching world. I moved around a decent amount in the last few years, and so I’ve been in California since 2015. Since being out here in California, I had been bouncing around to a number of different gyms for a variety of reasons. I’m laughing about this now, two of the gyms that I was at closed and then there was another gym that wasn’t the right place for me.
I’m now like, I was mad about that for awhile and I’m not so much anymore. And then again, another gym that I found out that I worked at after the Strong Coach also wasn’t quite the right place for me, but for different reasons. Anyway, so at the time I had completely gone into survival mode as far as my career and my coaching.
Mike Bledsoe: So tell us what survival looks like, what it feels like.
April: Survival mode for me was a lot of crying, a lot of frustration. The gym that I was at, I was putting in what I thought was a lot of work and a lot of efforts. Really trying to pretty much give all of myself to that gym. What I imagined was that I was doing all this stuff, these things for the gym and just not getting compensated or noticed, or recognized for all the work I was doing.
I remember a specific time where I sat in… It was actually a pretty big storage room, there’s a bunch of apparel I was trying to organize things and it just like broke down and started crying and called my friend. I was like, “I’m so frustrated. I don’t want to be here. These people around me are not.” At the time, it was like are not me and I’m working my ass off. I’m not getting what I want out of this job.
So that’s what survival mode really felt like for me. Putting in all this work and not receiving what I wanted out of it. It was especially difficult at that time for me because I really, really loved all of the community members at the gym. I just knew that I started to realize that the staff of the gym was not the people that I wanted to be around. And so as soon as I made the decision that this is not the right place for me, I started looking for another job that would pay me better, that would get more satisfaction out of, all that kind of stuff.
So I went from coaching, which is what I love to do to working at a chiropractic clinic, which I’ve done before and I did like. I liked working at it, I learned plenty. The exception here was that I was a front desk assistant rather than a coach. It was like ask me what I am and what I do and I’m not going to tell you that I’m a front desk assistant, but I was in survival mode. I was frustrated. I was like, “I just need some like real income and I just need to do something besides this that’s not going to be so frustrating.” So I got out of that.
Mike Bledsoe: The piece of survival is there’s not enough money. I need to do something to make money and survival usually goes hand in hand with I think about am I behaving out of inspiration or desperation. Doing your job you don’t enjoy is desperation.
April: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah, 100% and for me it was also not just there’s not enough money, but for my own sanity to do something else that’s even a little bit better. Not fully what I want to be doing, but just better than where I was before. It was going from, what do they say? The out of the frying pan into the fire? Well I went out of the fire into the frying pan so it was a little bit better, but it still wasn’t what I wanted.
And so even moving, what I finally realized after being in the strong coach was that even being the chiropractic job was still survival mode for me. It was still just doing something to get by and not really what I wanted. I started to get really bored there. My talents and skills are not scheduling and calling people who miss their appointments.
So, yeah, I’d describe my time before the Strong Coach is very tumultuous and a big old roller coaster, but a roller coaster that I didn’t want to be on. Now, especially after going through the Strong Coach, learning all these principles and applying them, it’s still a bit of a roller coaster, but I want to be on it. I’m driving the roller coaster now.
Mike Bledsoe: Well, when you first heard about the Strong Coach, what was your initial thought?
April: My initial thought was cool, “Mike Bledsoe’s doing a new thing. Let me check it out.” You had said a couple of things in the Instagram posts that was like, “There are things missing in the fitness industry.” I was like, “I agree with that. I definitely agree with that.” It was definitely a Mike Bledsoe is doing another cool thing. Let me check it out, and also what do I have to lose? I don’t have anything to lose. I have lots of things to gain. If like at that time it was, if I get this chance to be in this beta program, cool things are going to happen regardless.
Because I’d be working with Mike Bledsoe because I’ve followed Barbell Shrugged and that stuff for a long time too. I knew that content that you put out was really high-quality. And so I was excited to see what you were doing next, and that was honestly my first thought. It didn’t so much happen out of like, “Ugh, I need this because I’m bored at my job and stuff like that.” Although that was part of it, but it was like, “Cool, what else can this give me? What else could something like this help me with?”
Mike Bledsoe: Yeah. So what, after getting into the program, what changed for you and then how’s that led to right now?
April: The biggest thing that changed for me was in the first half of the program, which is the get your own shit together part of the program, or get your house in order as we like to say.
Mike Bledsoe: I had a friend recently, we went and had dinner about three months before Burning Man and she runs her own business. She goes, “I don’t know if I can go to Burning Man because I got so much work to do.” And I said, “Get your shit together and go to Burning Man.”Because this is the opposite advice that most people would give me. Get your shit together and stay home and work. And she did. She got her shit together and she said, “That was the best advice she received.”
But here’s the thing is there’s so much counter-intuitive information. That’s the stuff I’m attracted to because if what you’re doing, if what you believe to be true work, shit would look different than what it does right now. So fitness being counter-intuitive. Anyways, I’d bring that up because they get your own house in order, a lot of times people are looking outside of themselves for the solution. And then the Strong Coach program in the very beginning, we start on what’s going on on the inside. So when that happens, get your shit together, get your own house in order first. That’s the foundation.
April: Mm-hmm (affirmative) and that really was for me. That’s why the strong coach was so life for me is because I looked inwards and I looked at, I did a lot of reflecting and I looked at the fact that once I understood the difference between survival mode and creation mode and truly how to create something and that creating something really starts with myself. That then everything opened up relatively immediately.
I know that’s a little bit of soft talk there, but it opened up a lot quicker than I thought it would. So the first thing, like I said, getting my own house in order and figuring out, first of all, what do I actually want? And so wrote all that stuff down, did the vision casting, painted my picture of my perfect day. And got to sit with that and think about it and feel how that would feel. That felt so much better than all of the crap that I had gone through before. So I was like, “Cool. Oh, there is another option, there is another thing.” There are other ways to do things.
Another thing that I really loved and that really helped me out was to let go of the question of how to do things. Just become the person that will get it done and the how will happen. So that was really cool for me. Ever since then, yes, I’ve continued to coach. I do like coaching and as I’ve gone through coaching over the last year and a half or so, since I did the strong coach, I’ve realized that I liked coaching and I’ll always do some coaching. I’m really excited about this podcasting thing now.
There’s a number of podcasts that have meant a lot to me that have, especially since being in creation mode. Given me ideas to create more and to influence more people influence, connect with. Really it’s about connection. Influencing will happen, sure, but I look for connection in my coaching and I think podcasting can be a really cool way to continue to connect globally. So creation mode just allowed me to keep asking for and speaking out about what I want, and that’s been really, really cool. That’s basically what happened with me becoming the host of the Strong Coach podcast.
I asked for it, I messaged you, I was like, “Hey coach. Hey Mike, what’s going on with a Strong Coach podcast? Hey, can I run it?” You’re like, “Yeah, cool.” It happened and I was like, “Oh, I got what I wanted. Awesome.”
Mike Bledsoe: April a year and a half ago wouldn’t even think to ask that.
April: No. I’d be like, “Well, you know what’s interesting?” Definitely in the place that I was at a year and a half ago, I would have not thought to ask that. A little bit before that, even though I had sent an email, maybe it was like 26. I don’t remember exactly when, but 2016-ish time. I had sent an email to like info@barbellshrugged or something and I was like, “Hey, I want to what you guys do. I want to go interview people. I want to do a podcast. I want to. It’s so cool. I love that you guys do this. I want to do it too. Do you have any advice?” I don’t remember who emailed me back. It wasn’t you or Doug or Anders or anyone.
Someone emailed me back and they were like, “Cool, yeah, keep working on it. Just go for it. Just do it.” And I was like, “Cool.” Like one, I got like an email back and that’s okay. Cool. So I didn’t know what to do, but I like it. It’s been in my mind for a while and it’s accelerated since I’ve gotten into creation mode.
What’s Gonna Happen On The Show
Mike Bledsoe: Nice. Where do you want to take the show? What are you excited about happening with the show?
April: Oh my goodness. It’s really simple. I’m excited to share people’s stories and connect with them. One thing as I was in creation mode, I wrote out this little intro for a podcast that I wanted to start and it’s still relevant now. I have it right here. I wrote it out a long time ago. I’m excited to… Here’s what it says. Here’s a few things that it says. It starts off.
My name is April, some call me Apr. I’m a trader and a coach and a movement specialist. I believe in movement. I believe movement is essential and there’s a little bit more about movement there and really this next part is why I’m excited to do this Strong Coach podcast.
I also believe in learning and being a resource and helping people learn. I know a lot of cool stuff. I also don’t know a lot of cool stuff, so this is my journey to figure out what I don’t know, and learn about it. I’m not going to do it alone though. I want you to come with me. I want to connect you to knowledge that you didn’t know or that you didn’t know you needed to know or maybe you do need it, but you just don’t know how to find it.
It turns out one of the best ways to learn is by experience. So I also want to share stories and experiences. Maybe you learn from someone else’s experience or maybe what you will learn, what experiences to have for yourself. Join me in this journey to listen, share, learn and connect. And essentially that’s what I want to do with this. I came to you with the idea to interview all the strong coaches that have been through the program because I’ve seen them really mostly on Instagram.
I’m sure they’re doing things off of Instagram, but what they are doing and sharing is amazing and really incredible. Mike Gonzales down in Florida is doing this really cool reset program. That’s the first thing that always comes to my mind on that one, which you’ll hear about in the podcast. So I was just excited to connect with strong coaches and see what they’re doing, share their stories and share the message of Strong Coach. This is something that I really, really believe in and I’m so excited to be a bigger part of it now.
I always knew when I started with this, well not always knew. I knew after I went through Strong Coach the first time that I wanted to be a bigger part of it. I didn’t know how or what that meant. I just knew that I wanted to continue to work with, contribute to and just help out. So this is how I’m doing that, which is really exciting and then you had the idea to have you and I have conversations which I was like, “That’s great.” That just adds more value and excitement to the podcast itself. Plus I get to help you with questions and directly learned from you as we’re sharing these stories as well.
This, where am I excited to take this? Goodness. There’s lots of possibilities. I am deep in the middle of learning the basics of podcasting right now and we’ve got tons of coaches. I imagine we have tons of coaches who want to be on this and share their stories as well. I remember Alex Morningstar was really, really excited to be on a podcast. So I was excited to help him with that and be the person that, to interview him first. So yeah, because I’m in the middle of really doing it right now, I haven’t yet sat down to look at a year from now or five years from now on it. That’ll happen. I’m excited.
Being a Leading Learner With The Podcast
Mike Bledsoe: It’ll happen. There’s a time for me, I noticed this. There’s a time to be in the process that is really honing your craft and getting deep into the details. That’s where I spend 95% of my time. I spend 5% on the visioning, on the dreaming. We need to dream. Some people don’t dream enough. Some people dream too much. The people who drink too much are in a fantasy and don’t take enough action. Then the people who just work, work, work, they’re not going anywhere because they have no dream, they have no vision.
For me, it’s over time it’s been having that balance. So it sounds like you’re in the process now and that’s okay. We’re doing a lot. A lot of change happening inside the Strong Coach. We’re moving ahead where we’re expanding what it is that we’re offering and you’re a part of the team. So there’s just so much shifting. There’s cycles to this. We’re actually moving into a new season of Strong Coach as a company because we’ve been building a lot and we’re moving into a phase of focus. I love sharing just what’s happening in the company publicly. This stuff is real important.
I want to point out a couple things is something that stuck out to me that you said, which is your… This is something that really happened for me through podcasting over the years, is I got to learn. One of my favorite things about podcasting is I get to find people who are the best at what they do and I get to learn from them. I was at a conference recently with a guy named Roger Hamilton.
He was speaking, really cool guy, and he was talking about it being 2019. Before 2019, 20, 30, 40 years ago, a leader was somebody who would come up and they would teach. you’d get glimpses of them. You see them in the newspaper or you’d see them at a conference. Or you’d see them on television or on radio, you’re only getting snippets. What’s happening in… You normally didn’t get exposed to them until they were really polished, right?
The leader was really, really polished already. They were the expert in their field, whatever. But in 2019 what we have is we have a decentralization of communication. What that’s really opened things up to is the leading learners. I’m a leading learner. You’re a leading learner. So anyone who’s really posting to social media, podcasts, YouTube, all these different platforms that have made coming on, I do do this as well, which is teach what I’ve learned. But I also teach what I’m learning right now and I get to take someone on the ride.
So you get to as a podcast, you get to learn from the person that you’re interviewing and take people on and ride with you. It being 2019 moving forward, the leading learners and the ones that are resonating with people. If someone wants to wait until they’re polished, you know? “Oh, I’ve got all my fucking shit together.” It is part of the credibility builder. Now people want to see, oh wow, they went from point A to point B. I get emails from people all the time and say, “Okay, I’ve listened to your show for a long time. Things changed. Tell me about that.
And I expect the same thing with you. What’s really cool is something like the Strong Coaches, we’re attracting some of the top coaches on the planet. They’re the best at what they do and they’re being very innovative. I’m extremely pleased to be participating with these coaches that are on the fringe. They are truly innovating fitness, strength and conditioning health. It’s blowing my mind that this is our community and I’m really, really stoked to be a part of it. And do whatever it is I can do to amplify the message of these coaches that are part of our community.
April: Exactly. That’s a really great way to put it. On the note of the leading learner, I’m trying to decide if I feel, or if I imagine it. I feel there’s more authenticity in that too. It’s real time what’s happening. You’re describing your process. You’re going through the process from the beginning so that there’s a lot of authenticity there.
Mike Bledsoe: Well, yeah, people can get in to see the process of how you learned it versus having to, there’s a level of trust and faith that’s necessary when you just present the information. But if they’re along for the ride, they go, “Oh, this is how this accumulated. I can now trust this much more easily.” Rhe best marketing because in marketing you want people to know, like, and trust you. If you allow them in on the journey then all three of those things are much more likely.
April: And are happening organically and with you.
Mike Bledsoe: Yeah, Colton do something. [inaudible 00:30:01] Yeah, so if you’re somebody who wants to get in on what we have going on with the Strong Coach, make sure to go to thestrongcoach.com. When you’re over there, there’s going to be different options. You can check it out. I highly recommend you click the become a Strong Coach button and from there you will start receiving emails.
You’ll have the opportunity to interact with us. It’s we’re working continually to become more interactive with everybody and we want to build this community out. It’s really powerful already and let’s get you involved. Let’s grow this thing. Let’s really take the coaching game to the next level. So go over there, check that out.
April, thank you so much. Thank you for heading up the Strong Coach podcast for all of you out there. She’s going to be leaving this up. I’m going to be popping on all a lot, so we’re going to have a lot of fun conversations. Thanks for joining us. Thanks April.
April: Thanks guys.