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Tony Horton: Unlocking Your True Potential

We are serving up an incredible show for you with none other than Tony Horton. If for some reason you're getting to know about Tony Horton, you should know that he's the wildly popular creator of the bestselling fitness series ever, P90X, P90X2, P90X3, Ten Minute Trainer and his 22-Minute military inspired workout, 22 Minute Hard Corps.

Tony is a world-class motivational speaker. He's the author of top selling books. He is a fitness and lifestyle expert that promotes healthy living through exercise and proper nutrition. I did not realize how incredibly funny Tony is. If you're up at 6:00 in the morning and you're following the P90X workout, you may have a little glimpse into that.

This show takes it to the next level. Here's what you can expect on this episode, a lot of humor, a lot of fun and a lot of laughing. We also get a little serious along the way and dive into Tony's journey. We talk about accountability, how he holds himself accountable, how he has others hold himself accountable in more areas than health about entrepreneurship and all the endeavors that he has going on. Mission critical to all of our success is this. The three Rs to sustaining success. Once you get there, that's one thing but how do you keep it going? Tony shares the three Rs. There are a lot of golden nuggets in this particular show.

Dustin
It's the late ‘70s, maybe early ‘80s, the setting is the Northeast, the Ocean State, also known as Rhode Island. Tony, you've got your eyes set on another ocean, the Pacific. You've got stars in your eyes. You believe Hollywood is the place to be. Take us back to that time in your life and your decision to move out West.
Tony
I hadn't finished college. I hadn’t graduated. I was still six credits short. I was majoring in girls that wouldn't date me and beer mostly. That's the reason why I didn't get the whole four years in. I went out to California for a vacation. A friend of mine who I went to high school with, my good friend, Bob Hennessy, who was my best man at my wedding called me up and say, "What are you doing for the summer?" I said, "I have no idea. I'm in a full panic. I might go to Boston and wait tables and then come back here and finish my six credits." He said, "I'm going out in an iconic beach, do you want to come?" I grabbed a suitcase, my stereo. I couldn't finish the speakers because back in those days they were four feet tall. I brought my mime makeup and outfit because I was a trained pantomime. In case I ran out of money, I've pulled my stuff out and hit the streets and make a few bucks as a street performer.
I had $400. You can't get $400 worth of gas to go from Rhode Island and Maryland these days. That was back in the summer of 1980. I was 21, just turned 22 years old. I ended up in Huntington Beach. I ran out of money in Boulder, Colorado. I broke up the mime makeup and I hit the streets. I made about $125 to pay for more Motel 6 accommodations and gasoline. For that entire summer, we were in sunny Cal. It was fun and amazing. With the intention of going back in the fall to go back to URI, but I get a couple of jobs and a gig. I fell in love with the place, so I had to tell my parents I was going to stay for the semester. It kept happening semester after semester. They gave up on me because I stayed here. I'm still on that same vacation 40 years later.
Dustin
Going from job to job, you arrive in a new place. I imagine they're not rolling out the red carpet for everyone that moves to LA with stars in their eyes. What were some of those initial jobs that you kept taking to pay the bills?
Tony
Like any young actor, you’ve got to wait tables, that's part of the protocol. I was a waiter at the Bel-Air Country Club, which was a prestigious private golf club here in Bel-Air, California. There's Jack Lemmon, some of these people are old movie stars that were there. A lot of folks in the audience might not know. You're waiting on movie stars and TV stars. You're making $12 an hour with no tips. That wasn't so great but that was what I did. That's all I could get. I would wait tables in other places. I was also a handyman. I'm a carpenter. As a pantomime, I would do a lot of statue work. I worked with this organization in Hollywood where you show up and not move for two hours standing on somebody's table or I played a frozen Oscar at Oscar parties. I would go out on the street and I do my mime. I was a plumber and a handyman. I didn't do electricity. I got hurt a couple of times trying to do that. I was good with my hands. I built furniture and stuff. I worked retail for a little while when I didn't want to wait tables anymore.
I became the assistant manager of the Oak Tree Men's Clothing Store at the Santa Monica Mall. It's very prestigious but I got members only jackets at costs. That was a big deal back in the day. I have every job under the sun, but quite often I would try to find jobs where I could go on auditions because I had an audition at that time. I'm running around. I got an agent. I had my headshots. I would show up for various commercials, beer commercials, and whatever you name it. A lot of those jobs didn't have flexibility, so I had to quit them. For a while, I was going on auditions. I was doing mine down to Santa Monica pier and down in Westwood where UCLA is. I'd make $25, $50. I would go to the corner liquor store at the end of my street on Bay Street and Pacific in Santa Monica and I would buy Cheerios and yogurt as much as I could. I would eat Cheerios and yogurt for lunch, breakfast and dinner.
It didn't matter that I wasn't eating anything other than those two things because I have enough sustenance to keep me going. I was in my early twenties. I was in California. I was having fun. I had no furniture in the apartment, so I'd go to restaurants and steel forks and things, which was I'm still doing penance for that years later. That was the life. When you're young, you don't care. You have no furniture and you're living in a bad neighborhood. You’ve got a broken-down car. Those were the early days. That's before I started exercising and understanding the importance of exercise. That exercise came in about two or three years later, then my career changed dramatically. My first real celebrity client was Tom Petty.
Dustin
I definitely want to get into that. That was definitely an amazing a cliffhanger. Tony, I hadn't realized I knew you were funny, but you're hilarious.
Tony
You're not getting the full funny. You're getting like 62.4% funny. You want a full funny. You'll pay for it.
Dustin
You're living the dream. You look back, you've got all this freedom before the fame, before all the success that comes your way. What do you think is your first big break before you get into working out with Tom Petty, training stars and that sort of thing? Before that, when you were in that mode and you're like, "I landed some gigs," what did you think was your break around that timeframe?
Tony
I never got a big break as an actor. I never got in that door. I had a Lowenbrau commercial. I had a couple of other little fitness commercials. I had some tiny parts in some movies, Last Action Hero and The 13th Warrior with Antonio Banderas. My first real break came from a friend of mine that was outside of Minneapolis. He'd worked in Minneapolis. He was part of the early NordicTrack. It was that cross-country skiing machine. Look at it now, they've got different kinds of equipment. At that time, they were expanding their line. They were coming up with other types of fitness products because they knew they couldn't survive on one piece of equipment. As an actor who was also starting to exercise, I was able to walk and chew gum at the same time. You get a lot of actors that show up at these fitness gigs. They don't look the part. They don't understand the language. They don't understand kinesiology or anything like that. You get fitness folks that can't hit their mark and read the prompter very well.
I happen to be one of those people who will do both of those pretty well. I remember my first gig that was for some funny product. I was nervous. It took probably 20 takes to get through it. That was my first break where I was, "I'm in an infomercial for a fitness company." I was hired. They paid for my flights. I didn't get a royalty. It was buyouts back in those days, no royalty. They gave me a few thousand dollars. I flew out to Minneapolis. I read my teleprompter. I showed up. I went through hair and makeup. I like, "This is what it's like to be the center of attention on a set." I fell in love with that. That's not such a terrible thing. After that, I had a show with Playboy when Playboy was at their peak in the early 80s when people bought magazines and whatnot. They had this Playboy channel. I was the host of a show called 360. I was there with Tracy Tweed, who is Shannon Tweed's sister. Two of them both centerfolds and stuff. It was like an Entertainment Tonight kind of a show. We talked about sex. We've talked about different things.
I didn't have to get naked or do anything weird. It was a three-camera set with a co-host. There were three cameras and teleprompters on every one of them. The red light would come on. I start with camera one, I go to Tracy. I go to camera two back to Tracy, camera three, finish with Tracy, close up the segment. That was such an amazing training ground for me because I had never been in that situation where your eyes are darting all over the place trying to find the red light. Trying to find the teleprompter to make it all look smooth. They liked me because I was silly and funny. The writers started doing these opening sketches where we do these silly things where she would crash through the wall and her car. Show up like she was late to the set and I go, "What are you doing?" We will start to show these funny little bits. I got to do the comedy, plus I got to do the teleprompter, plus I get to do the hosting thing with a cohost. Those were the early days. That was all before I was training celebrities.
Not that I was a big celebrity by any means, but it helped me understand what these folks are going through, whether it be a movie star, TV star or a rock star. I wasn't some fitness dude who didn't know how to relate to them. I can relate to their lifestyle. I can relate to the pressure of that. They liked me because I was a normal human being. I wasn't a drill sergeant or the therapist. I was the guy who loves to workout and knew how it changed the way I felt, how I looked, changed my confidence, and improved every aspect of life. I was able to disseminate that to them. They had a tendency to be consistent with me and get results with me when they hadn't done that with other trainers.
Dustin
You caught on like wildfire. You started like hanging out and give advice. That led you to get folks like Annie Lennox. You mentioned Tom Petty and Bruce Springsteen and a whole bunch of others.
Tony
Billy Idol, Allison Janney, Bryce Dallas Howard, Sean Connery, Shirley MacLaine, and half the band at Fleetwood Mac, Stephen Stills, Crosby, Nash & Young. My Monday, Wednesday, Fridays there for about a year were Tom Petty, Billy Idol, Annie Lennox, Stephen Stills and Bruce Springsteen. I kept rock and roll from the ‘60s and ‘70s alive.
Dustin
You're doing this what are you thinking? You go on with the flow and you're saying, "This is going to be my full-time gig. This is what I'm going to do?"
Tony
No, I wanted to be a movie star. I wanted to be a TV star. I thought I was Jim Carrey and Brad Pitt all wrapped in one. He's got great looks. He's funny. He's going to be the biggest thing. You go into a room and there are 45 of the guys exactly like you. You'd be put on a veil, which was like, "You're almost got the gig. You didn't get the gig." They put fifteen other guys on availability. They're always the other one that got the gig. Every once in a while, when you get a job, because there are so many people coming in from around the country, around the world to Hollywood to try to get these roles. The beautiful thing was having done standup comedy for a couple of years, at least attempted it. I've done improv comedy. It was Second City, LA and going from one acting class to another, I got comfortable in front of audiences. I got comfortable in front of cameras. I got comfortable in front of teleprompters. The fitness business was like a side thing. I'm training all these celebrities. I'm sure that'll all go away and I'll become a movie star someday. I'm making decent money.
The one thing about a trainer is you only can train one person at a time. Very fortunately for me, I met Carl Daikeler, CEO of Beachbody, who was another gig. I'm going to do this thing called Great Body Guaranteed. I like your style and technique and that turned into Power 90. Power 90 was one thing that changed my life completely. I'm in a two-bedroom apartment with a view of the train station, a convalescent home in a crappy neighborhood with my car getting broken down and broken into with $60,000 in debt. When Power 90 took off, which is hard. The infomercial industry is harder than ever now, but it's still pretty hard then. People went, "Who are these guys or where do they come from or what does this Power 90 and who's this Carl Daikeler, this Tony Horton come out of nowhere?" These royalty checks started coming in, I've paid all my debts off. I've paid all my credit card debt off. I went out and bought a brand-new car. I went from a tiny, horrible little apartment to a four-bedroom home in Brentwood. That was a big jump. That's how I got going.
Dustin
When you got that first check, was it a big check or like ramp up?
Tony
It ramped up. When I would have a royalty check from a commercial, you get a check for $900, you'd be out of your mind. Then you get one for one for $1,200 and I don't have to do anything. I got this check for $1,200 for this Lowenbrau commercial. With Power 90, it was the same thing. It was $900, $1,000, $3,000, $5,000 a month, $15,000, $22,000. It kept going up from there. I don't want to be gross. The P90X checks for months was insane.
Dustin
You started with Power 90. That was first. I imagine the sales were great from that. What they say, "Tony, let's do this again. Let's capture lightning in a bottle again
Tony
You want to build from that. It was a big debate as what we should do now. I'll give Carl a full credit. He wanted to make P90X. He wanted to make it differently than I did. He wanted to go a Power 90 Mastery Program. I said, "No. Let's blow this thing wide open and make people do Pilates, make people do yoga. Put a 90-minute slow yoga in there. Let's make these workouts beginning to end 55 minutes to an hour. Let's do twelve different things." He goes, "That's going to be too much." I said, "I know what worked for my celebrities. I know it worked for me. I know it worked for you." I trained Carl. I said, "I made you work on your weaknesses as much as your strengths. I introduced you to things you had never done before." No one had ever done that. It still to this day, it's like you look at all these different programs. What is spinning? Spinning is spinning. What is bodybuilding? CrossFit has a certain element of variety. I understood the importance of mobility, balance, doing speed work and adding yoga.
Yoga was the magic to the whole program. A lot of people didn't do it. I put it there because I knew how important it was. That's the reason why it worked. That's the reason why people were losing 200 pounds. There were people who are buying that thing who should have never picked it up, who are getting tremendous results because I show people, not one, not two, but three different versions of each and every exercise. No one had done that before. No one had ever made hard fitness fun before. No one had ever busted balls before like I did. I added my persona. I gave people tons of variety. I gave them different ways of doing the same exercise. We gave them a plan. We told them what to eat. We did it for 90 days. That was unique and to this day it still it is. You think that somebody would steal it by now.
Dustin
Tony, I'm fascinated by success. When something hits that big Power 90, P90X that the whole franchise there. I'm fascinated by the events that take place. Oftentimes, there are one or two things that take place that allowed you to create great success, but it could have swung so much the other way. We wouldn't know Tony Horton on the scale that we know him now. Were there any such events like that where it almost didn't happen or maybe the ads didn't run and it didn't place and they were going to pull the show? Was there anything like that took place?
Tony
Yeah, because when we went through the test group, we had everybody come in. We had about 35 people in the room and about five to eight of those people ate right because it's always about the food. We use those five to eight people in the test group in the original infomercial. We had a trickle. At that time, Beachbody was small enough and the quiver of programs was small enough that they felt, "We put all this time and energy and money into this thing. We’ve got to make this thing work." This is the advent of the internet. The internet was a new thing. People's video cameras weren’t the size of a mailbox anymore. They were able to make more compact videos. People were communicating online. The first year we retooled the show. We changed the price offer. We're using the before-and-after of the people in the test group. A vast majority of people at home were looking at that and saying, "It's a controlled environment. They're probably feeding those people. That probably wouldn't work for me at home."
There were that select few that saw those early shows and went, "I've never seen anything like that" because everything else was a chair or a band or some a gimmick that you do three times a week for 25 seconds. For a lot of people who were former athletes, who wanted to be athletes, who won, they understood like, "They're telling me right now this is going to kick my butt." It's going to be six days. It's 90 days. People said, "I'm going to make that commitment." Voluntarily without us asking, because we didn't know, they were so enthusiastic, so fired up, the results were so off the chain, they were sending Beachbody their before-and-after pictures and their videos. We were like, "This footage is better than what we got." You can see the infomercials like the lighting is bad. There are different kinds of mistakes. We said, "It’s real. It's authentic. It's what's happening." It went the start of that second year, that's when the checks went from pretty good to insane.
We were the number one show which means aired the most. We spent $1.4 million a week on media. These are national spots on every freaking channel. I would flip the channel and go, "There I am." It's weird. Wherever I went and there you are, people would attack me because they lost so much weight and gotten so fit for the first time. These are people in their 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s, who had never in their life lifted a weight or done yoga in this because the formula had a year of researching. Because I had already been a trainer, I already knew what to do. I already knew that the best training grounds, working with these very finicky, high strong celebrity types that were used to being catered to every which way to Sunday. I walked in. I go, "I'm here to kick your ass. I'm not your boyfriend or to be your therapist. If you want results, you go on a tour. You're going on a tour. You're going to be on stage. The whole world is going to look at you. Do you want to be fat or do you want to be ripped? Tell me what you want to do. If you want me to hold your hand, then go to somebody else because I'm not your guy."
Dustin
It seems like this is every day you. Did you know this was special? Did you have this cognition or this was you doing your thing?
Tony
No. I was a quirky, funny kid. I came out that way. I came out of the womb with that sensibility. That's a turn of phrase. I wouldn't call myself a wordsmith, but I'm a huge fan of being able to find different ways to communicate with people so that it resonates in such a way that there's progress, that there's change, that there's a transformation. Having had a speech impediment was perfect. I had to overcome something. I had to overcome a way to communicate so that I can communicate better. It grew. Why does anybody watch anything? Why is Brad Pitt likable? Why is Steve Carell likable? Why don't people like Jimmy Fallon? Why don't people like certain movie stars? Some people are they can do anything. Look at who won the Golden Globe, Dick Cheney, the actor. He's a chameleon. It's amazing. I can do that. I can change gears.
I know when to be a motivator. I know when to be a drill sergeant. I know how to cuddle and be a better listener. I was a communications major in college. If I got anything out of those four years, I learned how to talk to people. I learned how to listen and as an actor too. Good actors react. They don't say their lines because they're supposed to say their lines in a certain way. They seal what's happened. They have a sense of what's happening. They can read the room as a standup comic. You go in the room, you don't do penis jokes at the convalescent home. You don't do that. You don't talk about your kids at a concert. You have to read the room. Hopefully, I'm reading this room. I don't know.
Dustin
Tony, P90X has an amazing success, I know you're thinking about the next thing, expansion and growth. Where did your mind start to go after you have this incredible success with P90X?
Tony
The thing was there were certain things I couldn't do. I had this contractual restriction. I was under Beachbody's thumb, not that it's a bad thing. I was making a nice living. I was able to do certain things and the bomber was, I tried everything that I possibly could try that was outside of my contractual restriction. I tried two different home food delivery services. I tried a series of drinks, salads, and sandwiches at 7/11, which we were so excited about because there are only 38,000 of those around the world. There was so much internal stuff. That organization wasn't ready for it. We started out our test areas where some of the poorest neighborhoods, which was probably not the best idea. There was a certain group of people there that wanted to sabotage it. They thought, "We want to sell hotdogs, cigarettes, and Red Bull if you're okay with that. We don't want to change anything. That shelf space is very precious. That was a bummer.
I had an insole company that didn't work. I had a mouth guard thing with Under Armour that didn't go. Collectively, I've had five or six TV pilots, "Tony, you're on television. Let's make you a TV star doing scripted and unscripted." I had so many of those meetings. I go to every studio in town. I go, "We like you, but we don't know what to do." A lot of times they want to meet me because I lost 65 pounds. You didn't want to do a TV show with me. That was a frustrating period, but Beachbody kept me busy. After X, it became P90X Plus, P90X2, P90X3, 22-Minute Hard Corps, one-on-one series, which was a three-year run. I was there to promote their Shakeology Performance Line and some other supplements. I was getting such a microscopic piece of all that. All the areas that I was an expert, all the areas where I wanted to expand, I couldn't because they had been contractual if I can't be on ABC and CBS and CNN.
I wrote a couple of books. I wrote three different books: Bring It, Crush It and The Big Picture, which was nice. You get those advances were against sales. If you're not a bestseller, you never see any money past that. A lot of public speaking because people want to hear what I have to say, which is nice on. I would travel around the country and one of the things that I enjoyed the most was working with the Pentagon and the Armed Forces entertainment and traveling the world and working with our men and women in uniform as far away as Kosovo to Korea. I did a Korean tour, two Japanese tours, a couple of European tours, and tons and tons, dozens of domestic tours working with our folks in the military. Now things have changed dramatically. The twenty-year thing with Beachbody is over. They couldn't seem to figure out what to do with me next and what they wanted to pay me almost embarrassing after everything that we had done together.
It was time for me to leave. I might still take on an ambassadorship role with them because I do love what we were able to do. I've made so many friendships and connections with a lot of our fans, customers, and coaches, which are amazing people whose lives were dramatically changed and for quite a lot of them permanently for the rest of their lives. I love what we're able to do at least in that timeframe. I hope to continue to keep some relationship. I'm working for four different new organizations that seemed to want to take advantage of who I am. I'm excited about that going forward.
Dustin
Part of being an entrepreneur, part of living life is reinvention as you know. What are these four things that you're excited about?
Tony
I haven't signed the contract yet on one. I've got two different companies who are talking about doing something with me. I'm a big believer in taking certain things. As a 60-year-old, there are a lot of things I can physically do as a result of what I put in my mouth. It's a plant-based diet. Sometimes it's plant-based protein. Sometimes it's animal protein. I don't distinguish anymore. I used to and that got me in trouble. I see it like my great, great, great-grandparents and that seems to work. Grass fed, all natural, organic as much as I can. When it's canned, I don't turn it into a soap opera, I eat. I make sure that they get enough calories in. That in conjunction with the supplements. There are pre-workout formulas and post and different kinds of vegan protein and whey protein formulas. We're talking about powders and potions and things.
The neat thing is with Beachbody they would develop this stuff and I would promote it. I would only promote the stuff that I was a big believer in. I wasn't a fan of all stuff that they did, but their Performance Line and Shakeology were two solid amazing products and still are. That wasn't a problem. There weren't any real royalties from that. I did that as a contractual thing for a base fee. These couple companies that are like, "Tony, you're 60 years old. You can climb ropes and go through ninja course. Sprint up hills and do 100 pushups in a row. What the hell do you put in your mouth and how can we create the very best versions of that?" It's nice that I have some control now. I get to say, "All right, probably a Vitamin D, maybe some collagen and Vitamin K. I don't know. There's a long list of twenty things we're talking about. I'll probably go to narrow it down to five." That's number one.
Number two, I've signed this contract, I'm going to be working for Gaiam. They're in 45 million homes around the country. We're developing content for them. I'll be shooting the first batch of workouts here in the city of LA. They also had studios in Boulder. I might be going out to Boulder to shoot content for them. Here's what's nice. Before with Beachbody, I wanted Power 90. That was Carl's thing. The P90X, Carl sanctioned that but I created it. The X2 was my thing. The X3 was you want to do a 30-minute version. It was collaborative but as things got moving on, like double time, it was a great program. It's for parents and kids and for partners, but that's not what I wanted to do. That was way outside of my brand. We didn't sell any of them because I didn't think it's a good idea. Not that I wasn't going to go in there and do a great job because I would not.
The one thing about Gaia/Gaiam, "Whatever you want to do, Tony. Tell us what you want to do." They trust me. I am the creative guy. Now, I get to make the workouts I want to make it. I'm in the game. I'm doing this all the time. I'm not on YouTube. I'm seeing what other trainers are doing. I'm seeing what different kinds of people are doing. For example, some of these moves that we came up with, they don't exist in the world. Versions of them do, but the entire move the way they are, they're all brand new. I can't wait to showcase that. I'm working with another company that wants to do a cooking show, which is fun and exciting for me. I have no contract yet so I can't talk. There are a couple others as well. I'm excited working with Kroger Grocery stores to create a health and wellness program for them. John Maxwell, who's probably the number one leadership coach in the world. He's got a huge following. It's very rabid fans of his. I'm going to be building their entire wellness program from the ground up.
We're in talks of doing three different three-level programs. It's for beginners, intermediate and advanced folks. We're going to shoot all those back to back to back. That will keep me busy. I'm building all this above beyond different kinds of dietary choices, different menus, those things we have to do but it's the psychological things that happen with people when it comes to jumping into the deep end because a lot of people aren't consistent with it. They never have been. They have never been athletic. They have two left feet. Aesthetics because they despise exercise. It was up to me and my team to come up with formulas, worksheets, plans and how people have discovered their purpose and staying accountable.
All the things that Beachbody didn't have within their bandwidth. They made awesome programs that got great results, but people always fell off the wagon because there wasn't all that ancillary material like go to school first to twelfth, twelfth through college, college and grad school. It's a series of things. It takes time. You have to be willing to be able to take the time to go from stage to stage. The same Tony Horton Persona and formulations will be there. The modifications will be there. The humor will be there. There are going to be so many more levels so that people can truly, honestly find the place that I'm in at 60 years old.
Dustin
I can't believe you're 60. Folks, go online and look at pictures. It's not even close. I want to jump in here because we’ve got a lot of entrepreneurs, Tony. I’ve got a couple of things here that I want you to share. One is you mentioned these deals that you're working on, these things that have got you excited. You at Beachbody, you were given a deal. It changed throughout the years. It added. It minused. Now, you've got other deals. What advice do you have for entrepreneurs when it comes to structuring these deals? In a similar vein where they're the spokesperson or they're the content creator, developer, maybe they have some IP. What's your advice for sitting down and structuring and win deals?
Tony
That cracks you to finding the best people and sometimes your uncles send you a guy who knows a guy. He talks in the game. You figured like you're going to handle all this stuff to him. You're not paying close enough attention because you assume that he's doing the work right. In reality, he's skimming off the top and seeing the world. You have to sue the guy. I've had 23 failed businesses. I've gotten partnerships that weren't ideal. It was partly my fault because I probably wasn't paying close enough attention. I was handing things off because I was so busy doing other stuff. Get yourself a lawyer. I have a great lawyer and I have a great manager. Without my lawyer and manager and my wife is my assistant, so I have 24-hour assistance. That's not everybody, most wives wanted to be that. You’ve got to find somebody who could keep you on track, keep you on the plan, and ask the right questions to have somebody to bounce things off of.
You want to have more than one or two or maybe even three. You want to have a team. You don't have to pay the team. Ask your friends. Who are the people in your life that you love that care about you? They want to see you succeed. I have a men's group. If you're a woman or a man or it doesn't have to be men. It doesn't have to be women. It can be both. Gather up. It's an accountability group. We meet every Thursday night at 7:00. We sit down and go, "What's up? What's up with you?" We do a ten-minute meditation out of the box to clear out our mind and get the day and the week out of our head. Sit quietly and breathe. Everybody does their own type of meditation. Some people are doing body scanning. Some are counting. Some are doing their breath, whatever. It's ten minutes. Everybody gets five minutes to go through their week. We attack what is your working on. We write down what are you going to do between now and next Thursday.
If you don't do it, we beat the crap up. It's like a verbal beat down. It's that. Entrepreneurs, the reason why some are successful is because they have a purpose. They have a plan. They stay accountable. They got the right people around. They’ve got a good lawyer and manager and whatever. Our accountability group, it doesn’t cost a dime. It's gas. You get in the car. You show up at one guy's house and so that's what works for me. That might not work for everybody. Everybody's at different levels. I've got these two different supplement deals going on. I'm going to stress out place because I've started with one and another one popped up. They're offering a better deal, but I don't want to tell the other group that after three months of negotiation. These are grown-up moments. You got to put your big boy pants on. You got to do it. You got to tell some people no. You want to be diplomatic. You want to be authentic. You want to be honest. You don't want to be manipulative. You don't want to be a liar.
That works for some people temporarily, but it doesn't work in the long-term. Attack things now, you can organize your sock drawer later, like folding your laundry after 5:00 PM or whatever. You want to watch TV, record it and watch it later. Entrepreneurs have a tendency to procrastinate and be lazy. They want to do the easy stuff first. Make your list like I had lists in the bathroom. My wife and I have a pen or pencil and a pad in the shower that is made specifically for the shower. You're in the shower because that's where a lot of my ideas come from. A lot of my ideas come from shaving or brushing my teeth. There's a pad there. There's a pad in my office. There's a pad by every phone. I gather up my little notes all day and I put them on one piece at the end of the day. I put stars next to the ones I'm going to attack in the morning like, “Hello,” easy.
Dustin
I've got to ask this one because I wasn't awake until I got the bug. You run into this a whole bunch. What do you say to that entrepreneur, that high achiever that's like Tony that exercising stuff, "I'll do that later? I'll do that when I retire. I'll get to it later. I'm busy building this thing or I'm busy focused here." What do you do to shake people up out of that and say, listen, you need to pay attention to this?
Tony
I ended up with Ramsay Hunt Syndrome because I didn't have any downtime. I wrote a book about the importance of resting and relaxation and vacationing and that's one of my chapters. The chapter is the three R's, recharge, recover and relax. I was doing none of the above. I was stressing out. I ended up with shingles in my ear, which affected the nerves in my face. I ended up with Bell's palsy. I couldn't eat. I couldn't train. I couldn't drive. All I do was sleep and eat Rice Krispies and throw up for four months. We all want to chase the almighty dollar, but I will tell you honestly that the richer some of my friends get, the bigger a-holes they turn into. They're awful people. They're angry. When you've got a lot of money, a big house, a car and you can do what you want, all of a sudden, it's weird. I've seen rock stars do it. Movie stars do it. TV stars do it. Guys in every industry and gals, they're like, "You got all the bread in the world. You can have whatever you want. Now, you're angry about it? It doesn't make any sense." That's why you need let that pendulum swinging the other direction. It's the old Yin and Yang thing. The pendulum has got to go.
What's your downtime if you're not doing yoga? If you're not doing meditation and if you're not doing some gardening, if you're not out in nature, if you're not going for walks, if you're not spending time with your kids and your dog, if you're not sleeping in then I don't know what officially as you get older, then you're going to end up with Ramsay Hunt or cancer or a stroke or a heart attack because you got to be hydrated. You can't be eating lousy food. I went to a funeral of a friend who had a heart attack at a very young age that shouldn't have. A very young age and gone. What was it all for? You got to relax. You got to chill out. You got to let that roll off your shoulder and take a deep breath and still work hard, like disseminate when and when not and then you'll be better off.
Dustin
It's funny for me to follow up with this question, but you've done so many things. You told us to relax and recharge, I'm 100% there. I'm curious what still got you fired up other than the companies that we already described? What's on your bucket list? What else do you want to accomplish? What's something that you haven't done yet and you're like, "That would be cool
Tony
Take the year off and ski, Heli-ski in Alaska and South America, New Zealand and Chamonix, France. I love the fact that I have because before when I was in Beachbody as great as it was, I was waiting my turn over there. I was waiting to be told what to do. Now, it's the opposite of that. I get to be the boss. I get to create from the beginning. That's super exciting for me. Now for the first time, I feel like an entrepreneur. I have a lot of conversations with people like "What's it like to be an entrepreneur?" I was a hired gun more than I was anything else. I was an innovator. I was a creator. I did things other people weren't doing, but I wasn't an entrepreneur because somebody else was paying for it. Now, I have more creative flexibility, which is fun. What's in my bucket list? Spend more time with my wife. I'm 60. Do I want to be doing this at 70? I want to go to Jackson Hole. I have a place Jackson Hole, Wyoming. I look outside and there are fox and moose out my window. I want to sit in a chair and look up. At noon, I'll go out and ski. I'll come home and I'll eat a frigging side of an elk. Sign me up.
Dustin
Tony, I want to move us into WealthFit Round. Essentially, it's my fancy name for rapid fire questions. When life is treating you well and you're getting big checks in the mail or deposited into your bank account or PayPal, what's that guilty spending splurge? What does Tony like to do for himself?
Tony
I've done it already, buy a pair of skis or cashmere sweater. I went out and bought this cute little outfit for my wife. I like to see the look on her face when I surprised her with flowers and things like that because stuff doesn't do anything. Do you know what I do with my stuff? I give it away after two or three years like, "What are these $340 hiking boots? I wore them twice. Here take it." Stuff doesn't do it for me. Going to the movies with my friends or having a party with some people like having a game night here at the house with a bunch of friends. That's it for me. I've jumped off a cliff and I've jumped off the helicopters and I've flown in F-15s and thrown up seven times. I've done all these kinds of crazy things. I want to ski power day so many times as possible and hang out with my wife and dogs. I find out the simple things have more value than trying to check a bunch of boxes.
Dustin
What's the most worthwhile investment you've ever made?
Tony
Getting an accountant that I could trust that made sure that I didn't spend money when I shouldn't have. Having a money manager. How many people in my business, in acting business, they like, "All this money is coming in. The wait was never going to come to shore." It always comes to shore. Learning how to manage my money properly.
Dustin
What's that investment you don't want to talk about?
Tony
I would say the hundreds of thousands of lawyers' fees on projects that went nowhere. You had to do it. You have to find out. I'm not going to tell you what my guy charges an hour. He's good. He's awesome. He's the attorney that doesn't screw up a deal. He can always make a good deal, but it cost money. At the time, Monday morning quarterback stuff. Here's my biggest lesson to everybody, entrepreneurs out there, stick to what you know. Learn to say no and stay in your lane. Kick the crap on it.
Dustin
What have you become better at saying no to in the last year?
Tony
Stupid ideas that have nothing to do with my wheelhouse.
Dustin
Tony, when you want to up your game, who do you learn from? Who are your mentors?
Tony
Youngsters, Millennials, younger Millennials, frigging embryos. I work on Sundays. Everybody is 24. I'm 60, they're 24. We have a list of fifteen exercises that we do, which is like Ninja core stuff. We climb up a rope. We go up the pole. We go across the pull-up, the pegboard, do maximum pull-ups, go back up the pegboard, up this being seventeen feet high, down the pike. I couldn't have done that even five years ago, but I can do it now. One move is called hourglass in the pegboard. It starts wide, wide, narrow, wide, narrow, wide and then go as far as you can. Who holds the record? Me. Maximum chin-up record, who holds it? Me. There were fifteen exercises. I only hold the record for three. If it's 24 and they're all like Ninja Warrior athletes, but it's fun. My older friends, "My back, my knee, I have to modify," which is fine. They're in the room. That's great. I'm glad they showed up but they don't inspire me as much as the youngsters do.
Dustin
Tony, I truly appreciate you being on the show. For folks that want to keep tabs with what you got going on and you got a lot going on, what is the best way for folks to do that?
Tony
TonyHortonLife.com. I've got two events coming up. One, Jackson Hole from the sixth through the tenth is my Seventh Annual Ski Snowboard Yoga Retreat. It maxes out at 50, so it's super intimate. We've already sold about 42 tickets so there are a few left. My first ever right here at my home, Paragon Super Camp and that is limited to 25 people. We've already sold ten tickets. That's all on the website. If you want to know everything I know about fitness and you want to meet some of the top people in their field. There'll be lectures. There'll be trekking. There'll be hiking. There'll be underwater fitness. I'm plugging underwater fitness without a snorkel, Ninja course stuff, a martial arts class, obstacle course, and mixed in with the Ninja course. It's all here at my house. It's 25 people. It's all there on the website.
Dustin
Tony, I appreciate your humor, what you're up to in the world and sharing it all with us here on the Get WealthFit show. Thanks so much.
Tony
My pleasure. Thank you so very much.

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