Usually ego-driven goals like money or fame will be short lived. When you hit the goals, the satisfaction is fleeting. When you have a team or a community that's been with you for the ride, there are people to celebrate with, and a bigger mission that endures.
Recently I had the opportunity to sit down with Christian Guzman of Alphalete for an interview.
What impresses me most about Christian is not his community of over two million followers, his massive success in his early-twenties, or his workout regimen. Don't get me wrong, these are all truly noteworthy accomplishments in their own right, but there is something even more rare and admirable about Christian.
It's his selflessness.
Christian works tirelessly building his brand, his following and his business so that it serves as a platform for his community and his loved ones to all achieve more.
Here are the most important takeaways I learned from Christian and his story of building Alphalete.
1. Start small and think big.
Christian started the Alphalete empire with a small gym, less than 1,000 square feet. He started his Youtube channel with zero followers, and his training business with just one client.
He built each aspect of his business day by day, putting in the work.
This reminded me of every business I've ever had. Start small, focus on that first customer. Under promise and over deliver.
Christian's story is testament to the American Dream. Put in the work. Be patient.
Both Christian and I will tell you, don't mistake starting small with thinking small. Envision the ideal version of your business 10 years in the future and how many people you want to impact. Then remember that outcome will be built day after day after day.
I started out doing whatever I could to get in the room with business executives. I was willing to shine shoes, take coffee orders and write notes during meetings. My ego didn't get in the way of my desire to learn business.
The road isn't always glamorous, in fact in rarely is. Be willing to put in the work, go through the grind, and when you give it enough time you'll see success.
2. Get extremely clear on your motivation.
The reason Christian built Alphalete was to improve the lives of those around him. Christian wanted to create a community of leaders that were proud but never satisfied.
From the community he would build, to the opportunity to give back to his parents, all of these served as motivators for Christian to persevere through the journey.
I relate to Christian so much as a fellow Latino entrepreneur. We are both family people who grew up always wanting to give back to our parents for the sacrifices they made to make our lives possible.
I remember my mother would work seven days a week and never complain about it. My father would mentor me in leadership and leave quotes in my lunchbox from great leaders like Marcus Aurelius or Abraham Lincoln.
Christian had a similar upbringing with a strong family bond. Both of us used this intense desire to give back to our family as our motivation to fuel us throughout our journeys.
We both recall some of the happiest moments of our lives were the days we were able to give back to our families through the form of gifts we knew would mean so much to them.
This is what success is about to us. Not the money or the fame, but what those things can provide, which is memorable and meaningful experiences for our loved ones. What is your motivation?
3. Articulate your mission.
Just like you need to be clear on your motivation, you need to articulate your mission.
"Proud but never satisfied." This mantra is spray painted on the walls at Alphalete. It's Christian's favorite phrase. It serves as a reminder for their community to never forget their accomplishments, but to never lose track of the bigger vision.
In my past businesses, one of the most important parts of our culture was our mission. At Elite Daily, it was "be the number one publication for millennials by millennials". At Fownders, it's "Own it".
Do you have a mantra for your business? Spend time coming up with a phrase that every single team member knows and lives out. This will strengthen your culture in ways you can't even imagine.
Remember in your journey that to accomplish truly legendary feats, it requires a vision that is so compelling because it's bigger than you. Your legacy can live on through your community and through your loved ones.
Today I encourage you to start small and think big. Spend time getting clear on your motivation and mission. These small steps will be vital to your growth and the legacy you desire to create, and hopefully, it's bigger than you.