Full Episode Transcript

Hello and welcome to the Pro-Fit podcast with me, Matt Robinson. Today I have a solo episode for you where I am going to discuss three different categories of books that I’ve read recently that I believe will help you in your business pursuits your health pursuits life pursuits, and there categories of books that I’ve read really recently and uh, found very, very useful in terms of those three categories that I’ve split them down into. We’re going to look at skills as a category. We’re going to look at business as a category and we’re going to look at health as a category. I’ve got one book for the first section, two books for the middle one, the business section, and then one book at the end for the final section, so four books in total, three sections. We’re going to have a look at each area, talk to you a little bit about each book and what I’ve taken from them and as always, all the show notes and the links to these books and things will be on the website. You’ll be able to find that at mattrobinson.blog/036 so head on over there for that but Without further ado, let’s dive right in and crack on with book recommendation number one

So, the first area that I believe the book I’m about to talk about falls into is skills. This is a book that I’ve read recently that I believe is directly impacted my skills within a certain area. The book that I’m referring to is called pig wrestling. And the title might not give you a great idea about what the book is about, but the idea of the book is likening problem solving to wrestling with pigs. It’s a fable that teaches a framework from how to approach and therefore handle the problems that you face in day to day life in business, in relationships and things like that. So the book itself is a fairly quick read. It’s quite a simple one to understand this, a very, very well laid out and teaches the principles nicely. It teaches several principles about problem solving, but the one area that really stood out to me in the work that we do as fitness professionals was this idea of how we frame problems and how we clean problems.

So, I’m going to dive into that for you a little bit now just to give you a little taste of what that looks like. The actual book itself goes into this in a in a lot more detail, so I recommend you read it in full. But the bit that I found particularly interesting was this idea of when we approach a problem unknowingly, we place a frame on that problem, we look at it through a certain frame, which then immediately impacts the types of solutions we might explore to deal with that problem. So let me give you an example. Let me give you a couple of examples from the world of health and fitness in what we work. Let’s take a client that is failing to fill in a food diary. That’s a common thing that we see and we’ve dealt with before. Now when we look at the problem of a client not filling in a food diary, we might frame that problem in our heads as a food diary issue.

It’s the problem here is the person isn’t filling in a food diary. That’s the problem. That’s how we framed it and therefore the solutions you look for are how do I get this person to fill in a food diary? What it does is it really narrows down the amount of solutions you could potentially come up with rather than broadening it and making it look at what other avenues you might want to go down. And that problem is created by how you frame the issue. So we framed it there as a food diary issue. Someone’s ability to fill in a food diary. That’s not the problem at all in that circumstance because what we’ve got to look at is, well, what are we trying to achieve by getting someone to fill in a food diary? What do we want from that record of food intake?

And actually, what we’re looking for is an indication or an idea as to what someone eats. That’s ultimately what we want. So what we haven’t got here is a food diary issue. What we’ve actually got is an issue with the fact that we don’t know what this person eats and that’s the problem. That’s the problem we need to overcome. We want to better understand what this person’s food intake looks like. We haven’t got a food diary filling in problem. We’ve got a problem in that there’s a lack of knowledge on our part as to what this person actually eats in any sort of accurate measurement. So that then changes the way we frame the problem. It changes the way we can handle the problem. If we’re now not looking at it as a food diary issue and we’re looking at it as a lack of knowing or understanding what a person eats, we can now look at other solutions that might help us achieve that same thing.

You know, can we get this person to take some photos of what they eat and send them across to us instead? Can we get them to describe what they eat at a later date and feed that information back to us. I know that that might reduce the accuracy somewhat, but again, it might give us a better idea than nothing. Can we let the client come up with some solutions as to how they might want to report what they eat to us? Can we commit to just doing it for a short period of time so we at least get a glimpse of what’s going on? It’s making sure that we don’t put a frame on these problems that then dirties the problem and makes it difficult to solve. You know, in the book it talks about how if you’re struggling to solve a problem, it’s not that the problem is unsolvable, it’s that you’re looking at it through the wrong frame.

You’ve placed the wrong frame on that problem. Another example of that might be if we’re failing in getting someone to come to the gym an extra few times a week they train with those once a week, maybe twice a week, and we want them to train an additional one or two times a week in the gym. The person isn’t doing that and we frame that as a, as an issue with the person not attending the gym. It’s like an a gym attendance issue. What we’ve got to do again is take a step back and look at the real problem at hand. What we’re actually trying to achieve is getting this person to exercise three to four times a week. It doesn’t matter whether they do that in the gym or not, they might be able to achieve that from home. They might be able to do that by going out for a run on a weekend.

They might be able to do that by joining a local football team or a netball team. So again, we’ve got to reframe the problem. The problem isn’t a gym attendance problem. The problem is that we’re failing to inspire this person to get a couple more episodes of exercise into their week and only when we change that frame and how we look at those problems can we explore different solutions and different avenues. So as I’ve said, the book itself delves into a whole sort of problem handling and solution focused framework that it lays out for you. And it teaches that through this fable and that it talks about, it’s very similar to other books that I’ve read, like the go giver where they teach through a fable and it works quite nicely as a model of teaching. So I’d recommend that because it’s fairly short and there’s a lot of information packed into there and a lot of really good examples. But in terms of the specific part of what I found applicable to what we do, I really enjoyed the bit about how we frame problems and therefore how we approach cleaning problems and issues as we deal with them. So that’s my recommendation number one.

Section number two is the business section. And in this section I’ve got two recommendations. The reason I’ve got two is because it’s a couple of business books that alone, you know, they are standalone excellent books to read and I’ve got great advice in them. But actually on the face of it they look like completely opposite ends of the same spectrum. And I’ll talk to you about why that is in a second. But actually when you read both books and look at what the saying there’s a lot of crossover as well. So the two books that I’m talking about here, uh, the infinite game by Simon Sinek and shut up and listen by Tilman Fertitta I’m hoping that I’m saying his name right. I believe that’s, that’s how you say it. So one side of the spectrum, you’ve got Simon Sineck who’s like a, thought leader on leadership and management and dealing with people and organizations and individuals and things like that.

And then on the other end of the spectrum, you’ve got Tilman Fertitta who’s a self-made billionaire. He owns, you know, the golden nugget. He owns countless casinos, he owns an NBA basketball team, he owns aquariums. This guy owns restaurants, hotels, the lot. He’s got his fingers in a lot of different pies and a lot of the information that he gives in his book can almost come across as very sort of old school. It’s like know your numbers, you know, know the ins and outs of your business. Make sure that you know how the lowest level job needs doing properly, right up until the highest level job. Make sure that you can still operate within your business regardless of the size, and be able to know and understand each facet of what’s going on within your business. And that almost seems like too involved and a bit too micromanaged in some senses.

Um, but I’ll come back to that in a moment. In terms of what I like about that, on the opposite end of the spectrum, you’ve got Simon Sineck who’s talking about this idea of how a lot of people are approaching business as if it was a finite game. And you know, we’re treating it as it has a start, a middle and an end, when in fact business isn’t that at all. It’s an infinite game. There is no start, middle and end, it goes on forever. And if you approach it in that way, that’s the way to build a lasting business that people want to work for, where people develop, where people stick around. And it’s a much better way to approach business rather than coming up with some arbitrary figures around whether you’re winning or losing in business. So he’s almost not against the idea of like knowing your numbers and things like that.

But I think that his approach comes across as those things are just a little less important than we might think they are. It’s not all about profit and things like that. It’s about the other things that are going to stand the test of time, especially when things get bad. So it can seem like a completely opposite end of the same spectrum when you compare it to the other book that I mentioned earlier and when, when you read both books, or listen to both books as I did. You can get that little bit of a feeling about them. The reason I’ve tied them both in under the same category. um, and what it is that I liked about them both, is where both actually crossover. So in the book by Simon Sinek, he talks about how businesses, that approach the game from an infinite standpoint, these are the businesses that stand the test of time.

These are the ones that are able to adapt and pivot and ride the waves when things get tricky and the seas get choppy, these are the businesses that get through recessions and things like that and keep growing over time. And there’s plenty of examples in his books of companies that didn’t do that. An example that gets used a lot is like blockbuster. They didn’t react in the way the market wanted them to. And that’s when Netflix took over. And there’s loads of examples and that uses comparisons between Apple and Microsoft and now Apple ultimately overtook Microsoft in terms of business size and credentials and what they were doing just because of how they focused on things. So there’s lots of good examples and he talks about how being infinite minded ticks a lot of different boxes that your trying to achieve within business. And one of them is this idea of being able to weather the stormy weather and get through those times.

On the other hand, Tilman Fertitta talks about those same times, it’s just that he uses different language. He just talks about it in a different way and it almost sounds a bit more old school and feels that way, but he talks about it in terms of if you understand your business better than anyone else and you build it to stand the test of time, you will outlast everyone else. You will outlast a lot of your competition. You will be able to grow and mop up the business that’s being left behind when the other ones are failing because they’ve not thought about it the same way you have. He talks about how the universe or the world always has a paddle ready for your ass. What he’s saying there is is that at some point life’s going to kick you in the backside and you need to be prepared for that, especially if you’re in business.

His way of preparing for that, it’s just slightly different focused. He does it in terms of, well, if I know the ins and outs of how everything’s running, I can look ahead and I can be the guy that prepares for these rough times that are always going to come. The good times don’t last forever. We can look ahead, we can prepare for that. He’s talking about his business in the same way that Simon Sineck would, he’s talking about it from an infinite standpoint is very, very open in the book about saying that I’ll never stop doing this. It’ll keep going. It’ll carry on way beyond me. Again, he’s talking about it in the same sort of framework, just in a different form of language than Simon Sineck would and that’s where these two books crossover nicely. So I would recommend that you read both if you were going to choose one or the other.

I would say that’s down to your preference on what type of person you like to listen to. On one side you’ve got self-made billionaire that’s very much no bullshit, very blunt, very honest. And on the other side of the things you’ve got Simon Sineck who sort of takes a step back and looks a bit bigger picture and what’s going on in society and things like that and how we need to handle people differently. So you’d have to choose based on which of those preferences suits you. But I would actually recommend both because when you read them they feel very different. But it’s nice to pick out those things and they’ll similarities between them. Because for me, when you get two books on the same topic that feel very different, but the certain areas that have crossover to me, they’re the bits that you can be absolutely certain are things that are really important because if you’ve got two people that sound very different talking about a similar thing, then surely that’s something that’s applicable to any type of business anywhere in the world at any point in time. So for me, that’s why that really, really stood out. There’s lots of individual bits from each book that again, you can implement and use and are very, very useful. But to me the most interesting parts are where these two differ in approach is crossover because to me that stands out as being something that, right. If two very different people can talk about the same thing, surely that’s something that we should all be paying attention to, especially if we’re not doing so already. So that’s why I would recommend those two

Final book recommendation is falling under the category of health and we actually interviewed the author of this book not long ago in episode 34 of the Pro-Fit podcast, the author is Patrick McKeown and the book is the oxygen advantage. And for me the reason that I included this in this list is because I really do want to hammer home this idea of looking at an aspect of health that is fundamental to what we do day in, day out. Yet many of us ignore. So I’m hoping that just by giving this another extra little highlight, it makes you actually go and have a look at some of this stuff and maybe buy the book and share it with your clients or your loved ones or whoever. Because there are lots of different parts to your health that are impacted by the way you breathe and how you approach breathing and how your body is conditioned to breathe and it’s something that I believe if we can have an impact on it will make a big difference to many different parts of our life.

For me personally, the biggest impacts that it’s had in terms of reading the book and interviewing Patrick and then carrying that over into my personal life is it has massively improved the quality of my sleep. I know for a fact that I’ve been a chronic mouth breather during my sleep for many, many years and by doing some of the simple stuff that Patrick talks about in his book in regards to using some of the nasal clearing exercises and then taping up at night just to promote the idea of breathing through your nose and stuff like that. I can categorically say that I wake up in the morning feeling completely different to the way I used to. You know, I’m not waking up with like a dry mouth and feeling a bit groggy and foggy. I don’t feel like I need that first cup of coffee to get me going in the morning.

Actually, feel like I wake up feeling really energized and really ready to go. Almost like I’m already in that focus state. It almost feels like I’m better recovered even though I’ve had no more sleep. I’ve had the same amount of sleep cause my routine stays pretty much the same every night. So for me that’s big and been the biggest carry-over. But the book goes into way more than that. It goes into a lot of like the physiology of what’s going on and why these things happen. It goes into how you can use nasal breathing to induce the same effects of altitude training, which is great for those of you that are interested in fitness events or really marathons and things like that. So there’s just a massive carry over into all different areas of your life that you will look just never considered because you’ve never been exposed to it before.

I think it’s our job to expose more people to this type of content so that they can go away and do their own research and find out how it impacts them and their lives and sort of inspire them to take action on some of this stuff. That’s my final recommendation is the oxygen advantage by Patrick McKeown. Pick up the book have a read of that and as I mentioned, check out the recent episode we did with Patrick cause that was a really good one back in episode 34 you’ll be able to find that on Apple podcast and all the main podcast players and you can catch the show notes for that at mattrobinson.blog/034 because there’s links on there as well to a free course that he offers in terms of helping children breathe better because that’s a big focus for him moving forwards. So that’s the full book recommendations tied together nicely. Let’s do a quick review of those now and then we will finish up for today’s episode

So, a quick review of those books. Just to finish off with our book from the skills section was pig wrestling and I talked about this in terms of improving problem solving skills and how we at problems and therefore how we can approach solutions in different ways. In the business section we have two books. We had the infinite game by Simon Sinek and we hard shut up and listen by Tilman Fertitta talking about how those books potentially appear to sit on opposite ends of the same spectrum when it comes to approaching business, but how there are certain themes within those books that crossover nicely, although the just explained in different language and those things that I found quite interesting because to me the things that crossover from two very different feeling books and the things that are clearly important across the board.

Finally, I talked about a book from the health section and that was the oxygen advantage by Patrick McKeown. We featured him recently in episode 34 so check that out and I really do recommend picking up the book and understanding some of the science behind breathing because then it helps in still the idea of the importance of breathing and how it can actually impact us both positively and negatively. Um, in the same way that something like food can impact us positively and negatively if we do it the right way, it’s good if we do it the wrong way, it’s bad, and it’s understanding that breathing can actually be seen in a similar light. We need to educate ourselves on what that should look like and how it may be doesn’t look healthy at the moment.

So, I recommend all four of those books that will be listed on the website. Please head over to mattrobinson.blog/036 Because this is episode 36. That’s where you will find the show notes. You will also find a box on that page where you can join the weekly newsletter. These are the people that get to find out about the podcast episode the quickest, so they get it sent straight to their inbox. They also get sent a secret resource each week, which is a resource I am using or have come across that I use in my day to day life are as part of my business. That resource won’t be listed anywhere in a podcast episode or on the blog.

It’s only for those that subscribed, so it’s worth heading over there and getting on that list just to check that out and to get notified about when the latest episode goes live. Before anyone else. Till next time, take care of yourself and I will see you in the next episode. Have a good one.

Recommended Reading for Fitness Business Owners

As a fitness business owner I am constantly looking to keep learning and growing. It’s just part of who I am. I am a huge fan of listening to audiobooks whilst travelling and today I wanted to share 4 of my most recent listens with you.

These recommendations have been split in to 3 categories; skills, business & health, and I will explain how each book has helped me in developing in those specific areas.

The books discussed are…

Pig Wrestling by Pete Lindsay & Dr Mark Bawden

The Infinite Game by Simon Sinek

 Shut Up and Listen! by Tillman Fertitta

The Oxygen Advantage by Patrick McKeown – You can listen to the interview I did with Patrick HERE

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But know I want to use this to add that little extra value.

So each week when a new show goes live, anyone on the email list will not only be notified about the new episode, they will also receive a FREE resource/link to something I am using, reading or listening too at that time that is helping me.

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