Jay Ferruggia is a fitness and lifestyle consultant who has helped thousands of guys get fit, get focused and start living awesome lives. He’s been featured in Men’s Fitness, Details, Men’s Health, ESPN and Fast Company. He’s the host of The Jay Ferruggia Show, and owner of Renegade Roasting Co.
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- Jay’s big failure was the fact that he made BIG money in his 20’s, spent it all, and then had to call his mother at the age of 30 to ask if he could live in her spare bedroom. Ouch!
Entrepreneurial AH-HA Moment
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- Jay is off to the races in 2015 with powerful products and services that his audience wants and needs.
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Best Business Book
- Essentialism by Greg McKeown
- The Jay Ferruggia Show
- Jason Ferruggia
- Renegade Roasting Co: Sells High Performance Coffee. Better Brew. Better You.
Johnny Dumas: Entrepreneur on Fire 808. Who's [inaudible][00:00:05] today Fire Nation? Johnny Dumas here and I am fired up to bring you our featured guest today, Jason Ferruggia. Jay, are you prepared to ignite?
Jason Ferruggia: I am prepared to ignite, John.
Johnny Dumas: Jay's a fitness and [inaudible] consultant who has helped thousands of guys get fit, get focused and start living awesome lives. He's been featured in Men's Fitness, Details, Men's Health, ESPN and Fast Company. He's the host of the Jay Ferruggia Show and owner of Renegade Roasting Cow.
Jay, I've given Fire Nation just a little insight so share more about you personally and expound upon the [inaudible].
Jason Ferruggia: Sure, yeah. I started – I always had an entrepreneurial spirit as a kid so I was doing manual labor every summer from probably 7th grade through sophomore year of college. But I started just doing the work, getting paid, working for somebody else, but I always wanted to work for myself. I have no idea why. So I started saving up the money and then I was able to buy a power washer and start power washing on my own. And then I brought other people in with me.
My fitness business I started in college while I was – I started cutting hair to make money in college. I always cut my own hair. I was kinda – back in the early '90s I grew up super into hip-hop so I was shaving things into the back of my friends' heads and giving myself fades and whatnot. So I was cutting hair in college to make money. And then I started becoming obsessed with fitness.
And so I actually got tuberculosis from a foreign exchange student during my either sophomore or junior year and I had to be sent home. And I was home for six months on bed rest. And while I did that I got certified as a personal trainer for the first time. Then I transferred back home because while I was home sick I got – once I got well enough I started training people. And not because I knew a ton about business or entrepreneurship at the time, but I was just good with people and obviously I was getting good results. And I was making six figures while still going to school.
Johnny Dumas: Wow.
Jason Ferruggia: So I transferred home, was doing that in school. And fast forward to today, that was 20 years ago, I no longer train people anymore but I still help guys build their bodies and get focused and find freedom through my blog and books, podcasts, live events, stuff like that.
Johnny Dumas: Now is that the kind of transition that you purposely went through as far as not doing that one-on-one kind of trading time for dollars anymore to more leverageable and scalable businesses like your show, like your blog, like your products and services?
Jason Ferruggia: Yeah, absolutely. Like you said, trading time for dollars is never the best idea. And I didn't know that at the time but I was getting burnt out. I did ten years, 12 hours a day –
Johnny Dumas: Wow.
Jason Ferruggia: -- Monday through Friday and then I think six hours on Saturday. And at some point the light bulb just goes off. You can't live like this forever. It took me a long time to realize that but, yeah, that was really the main impotence to get that going. And today I still get offers from – I was just discussing recently that I still get offers just not too long ago from a big-name pro athlete and a really big name Hollywood star. And I just – I can't do it. I just can't trade time for dollars anymore. There are too many other things, and you reach so many more people when you have the blog and the podcasts and whatnot.
Johnny Dumas: And Jay, you use the word light bulb and we're actually going to be talking about a light bulb moment that you've had. We're gonna be talking about some great successes that you've had. But an entrepreneur on fire, we always start with a failure. We always start with a struggle and obstacle that you faced at some point in your entrepreneurial journey. So Jay, tell us a story. Take us to that moment when you failed and let's chat.
Jason Ferruggia: Well, John the biggest failure probably was when I was 30. So, like I said, I was 20 when I started making six figures. Ten years later doing that successfully, the problem was I never had someone telling me how to manage my finances. I earned a nickname of MC Hammer with my friends because I spent so much money. It was insane. And it was because of the fact that I started making money young. And that's why I could personally understand when you hear about athletes blowing all their money and whatnot.
Johnny Dumas: Oh, yeah.
Jason Ferruggia: I wasn't educated about that. I didn't know. Here I am at 19, 20 making a lot of money. And my friends, when we're in college, obviously aren't making anything or maybe they have a side job. And then when we first graduate this is early '90s, people weren't making a ton of money. My friends are making maybe 30 grand a year. So if we wanted to go to Vegas, if we wanted to go to the best restaurant in town, if we wanted to go to a club, VIP service whatever, I was always paying for that nonstop, nonstop.
Johnny Dumas: And when you start like that, Jay too, it's like your parents – your friends are almost like, well okay, this is what's gonna happen. Jay [inaudible][00:04:52] let's just continue to leach off this so to speak and continue to be with Jay to experience these experiences. And what is just one thing that right now just kinda makes you cringe that you maybe purchased or an experience that you paid for that just like you would never do today?
Jason Ferruggia: It's hard to narrow it down to one, John. I mean, there were so many times. But it's embarrassing to think that that became my identity. People would even joke around and say, oh, it's Hammer time because they knew I was gonna pay for something.
Johnny Dumas: Make it rain, Jay.
Jason Ferruggia: Yeah, exactly. So there's just so many things, it's hard to [inaudible] –
Johnny Dumas: I mean, come on, there must be a car, there must be a house, there must be a private jet. I mean, name something.
Jason Ferruggia: No. You know, it was probably just more the partying and the trips and the suites at Vegas and stuff like that I think [inaudible] –
Johnny Dumas: Okay. So that makes you cringe a little bit, that suite that you bought in Vegas [inaudible] the strip.
Jason Ferruggia: Exactly. Going to Vegas, spending a ton of money on the strip and just the amount of money that was spent over that three or four day weekend.
Johnny Dumas: Renting that live tiger, I mean, that is crazy, you know.
Jason Ferruggia: Right, yep.
Johnny Dumas: So let's get back to this failure. So let's kind of continue to go forward and tell the story and then let's really analyze this.
Jason Ferruggia: Sure. So because of that habit I had blown through tons of money. And one day I wake up at 30 years old completely broke. The building that my gym was in was being sold and I had six months – everyone in the building had six months to find a new location. And because of zoning laws and whatnot, it was really hard for me to find a spot. So I had to close the gym down temporarily. And I went through a really tough time.
And I was completely broke. Had to call my mom with tears in my eyes at 30 and say, mom, can I please move into your spare bedroom for six months? I'm gonna turn it around. I won't be there forever. Believe me, I don't wanna be and I know you don't want me. But I had to do that and I basically just ate potatoes and bagels and whatever mom was making for dinner. She really helped me out. I'll be forever indebted but it was six months of misery, but I just committed. I didn't go out, I didn't see a girl, I didn't see my friends. I didn't do anything. I just worked my ass off to start my online business at that point.
I had been online since 2001 but I wasn't really making any money. My buddy who introduced us actually, Craig Balentine, helped me start monetizing online. And six months later I was able to launch my first e-book. And at that time it was a huge deal because I didn't have any money. I made 25 grand in three days. And from there I saw, wow, this could be really successful. And it's grown exponentially ever since 2006 but that was a tough time that I'll never forget for sure.
Johnny Dumas: So Jay, one thing that I've always resonated with is the power of living below your expenses, of continuing to be frugal no matter how much you're making to make sure that you're putting some away for that rainy day, for that turn in the market, for that pivot in the economy which is always going to happen so that you actually have a foundation, a runway Fire Nation, to fall back on. Because everything we're doing is in cycles. I mean, podcasting's on fire right now. And Jay and I, we're taking huge advantage of it. And we are banking, to be frank, but the reality is it's not always going to be on fire. There's gonna be a time in the future when, I don't know, hologram images in your living room are gonna become the new thing and we're gonna be left in the dust.
So what are you doing, Fire Nation, to really set yourself up for future success, not just present success? That's my big takeaway, Jay, but –
Jason Ferruggia: Yeah, that's so important absolutely. And I wish I knew that when I was 20. I really just never thought about having that rainy day fund or investing properly or saving or living below my means. And like you mentioned, having multiple streams of income –
Johnny Dumas: Right, diversify.
Jason Ferruggia: -- because if something happens to you or I and we can't type or speak tomorrow, you gotta have other ways of making money.
Johnny Dumas: You know, I actually interviewed somebody who told me a story that he lost his voice, like gone. He just lost his voice and it didn't come back for years to any kind of capacity that he could continue to talk and have a normal conversation.
Jason Ferruggia: Was it like – was it from an accident or some freak disease or something or –
Johnny Dumas: Yeah, I think it was some kind of disease like degenerative of his voice box. There were a few things that went along with it. And since then I've had a few kind of dreams where I've woken up and I haven't been able to talk. And I've – really in that dream I've tried to cope with how – what do I do? I mean, my living is from the podcasts and from the live webinars and the speaking engagements that I do. Like what now? And that's kind of a scary thought.
Jason Ferruggia: Yeah, absolutely.
Johnny Dumas: So, Jay, we got kinda fired up and we kinda skipped over a part that I wanna make sure we get to because Fire Nation loves it, your success [inaudible][00:09:26], your mantra. Take it away.
Jason Ferruggia: It's almost become a cliché, it's overused at this point, but I do love the Zig Ziglar quote about the best way to get what you want is to help others get what they want. And I didn't focus on that for so many years. It was just me, me, me, me, me. How much money can I make? How is this gonna convert? What's the ROI, blah, blah, blah. And once I started focusing on that, it really changed everything. And not only does it make me happier but there's just some karma with it that you are more successful. And so, yeah, that would probably be my biggest thing.
Johnny Dumas: No, I love that and you said a couple key things that it does make you happier, Fire Nation, when you take this mentality. There is great karma that comes with it so I love that quote. Actually kinda funny, it is fairly common. I don't wanna say it's common. I mean, we've definitely had that quote on Entrepreneur on Fire before. But we went through a little bit of a dry spell with Zig Ziglar shockingly.
Jason Ferruggia: Oh, really?
Johnny Dumas: But just yesterday we had somebody use his quote, so two days in a row which is great because, hey, it's gonna get through the Fire Nation how important this is. And Jay, we're shifting gears now. We're pivoting to that light bulb I alluded to earlier. So take us to that moment that you had an ah-ha moment. You had a light bulb, an epiphany. You've had many of them, Jay, but tell us a story of one. Let's hear it.
Jason Ferruggia: It was probably realizing – and I can't pinpoint exactly what it was but one day I just realized wow, I can't do this all myself anymore. And I don't even know why I thought I could but a lot of entrepreneurs when they get started think that. So I was doing it all from day one. I was answering the phones, cleaning the gym, training people, doing the marketing, emailing, you name it.
And obviously you get burnt out. And then when I – I did the same – I repeated the same mistakes when I started online. I was designing the site, I was writing, I was managing every account. I was tracking all the stats. And you get burnt out. You can never be as successful as you are – could potentially be. And I've always had kinda that rebellious loner personality. So I tend to think I can do it all myself or you think, well, I have to do this because no one else can do it better, which is really just a horrible approach and, I don't know, based on ego or whatever.
But so I finally started hiring people and outsourcing. And that made the biggest difference for me was I was really just able to focus on the few really important tasks that only I could do and the stuff that I was passionate about. Because I'm definitely not passionate about tracking stats and testing colors and all these other things, or even answering phones that I was doing back in the day.
There are only a few things that I really enjoy doing related to my businesses. And most importantly, that only I could do. So I outsourced everything else and then some of the stuff I just completely wiped off the plate. If there wasn't someone good enough or that I could afford to hire I'd say, you know what, then we're not even gonna do it.
Johnny Dumas: See, what I love about this, Fire Nation, is that you have an incredibly valuable resource right now in your possession, and that's time. So if you can use that time to focus only on your strengths and to outsource your weaknesses, which we all have weaknesses, if we can outsource those weaknesses and we can focus on the strengths, then we are going to be able to build the type of businesses that we want to build. Because we're not trying to do things that we should never even be doing in the first place.
And Jay, I wanna talk about something that's near and dear to both of our hearts, and that's podcasting. What was your ah-ha moment for the podcast? Tell us the beginning journey of that.
Jason Ferruggia: Well, John, I'll be quite honest with you, I kinda have not really gone all in 100 percent as I should have on the podcast. And it wasn't until I really started digging into all your stuff, and I must've spent six hours on your site one day going through everything, and I kinda was kicking myself in the ass. Because I said, I really gotta go more in on this.
I'd always gone all in on writing and my blog posts and whatnot, and we get a ton of traffic, over 300,000 visitors a month in the blog. But the podcasts I kinda gone a little bit half-ass on it. And my goal and my plan for 2015 is to really kick it into gear and follow your advice and learn from you and to really step it up a notch. I mean, that said, it's done well. We're getting close to 10,000 [inaudible][00:13:44] episode. But I know deep down in my heart that I'm not giving it my all and that I really need to step up and follow your lead in the upcoming year.
Johnny Dumas: It's really scary that you're getting those kinda down numbers that you now have, I just noticed, over 250 reviews. I mean, these are massive numbers across the board period. I mean, it's putting you in the top 1 percent of the top 1 percent period. I mean, I know this, and you're not even trying. I mean, that's the scary thing. So whatever you're doing is resonating. Now if you can just get some kinda plan, get some kinda focus and put an execution plan into place, I mean, the sky's the limit for you, Jay. And I'm excited for you, my friend.
I've actually just come out with some recent things that could be a huge help for you as well. I just launched free podcast course podcast, 20 episodes all about how to improve your podcasts. And then FreePodcastCourse.com which is a 15-video series for free about just the same thing, how to crush your podcasts. So check those out.
Jason Ferruggia: I will be all over that. That's how I'm gonna spend my entire weekend.
Johnny Dumas: Listen to this, Fire Nation. This is a guy that just takes action. So like this is a result of action taking where he's got you today. This is exciting. I love this motivation. And, Jay, tell us a story, an entrepreneurial moment that you would consider your proudest entrepreneurial moment.
Jason Ferruggia: I was thinking about that and I couldn't pinpoint just one because there's been so many, so there's not really one that stands out. And the reason is I'm always moving forward and I don't really take a lot of time to sit back and reflect, and maybe that's a bad thing. Maybe that's a personality flaw or whatever. I don't know. I just kinda always move forward. And so honestly what makes me the proudest is really just all the constant feedback I get, the emails, the comments, the tweets, people coming up to me at live events or whenever I meet someone in the streets, whatever.
Johnny Dumas: What's one of those that stands out?
Jason Ferruggia: Well, probably just because it's most recent in my mind I've got a hand-written letter for somebody who's been buying my products and been a part of my membership site and whatnot and come to my live events for years. And he wrote me a really nice letter about some things that he'd been going through personally and his family and how I helped him out to get through it.
And the coolest thing was ten – maybe five years ago even, if someone wrote to me and said they gained 10 pounds of muscle or added 50 pounds to their squat, that would've excited me. But that doesn't really excite me anymore. It's really more people changing their lives and maybe – even recently I went to get a massage. And someone else was getting a massage at the same place and said – you know, they recognized me and they said, hey, I just wanna thank you. I started reading more books because of you. And I thought that was so cool. That made me more excited than if he'd said, I added 10 pounds to my squat.
So just to be able to have an impact and impact people's lives positively in that way and to constantly hear it through social media, email, in person, whatever is great. And recently I spoke – I think you know Badros Scillion, right?
Johnny Dumas: Oh, yeah.
Jason Ferruggia: Yeah, so he and Craig are two good friends of mine and they ran an online business summit, and I spoke there. And a ton of people came up to me afterwards and it was just great. That's a great feeling to know you're making a difference.
Johnny Dumas: So Jay, we all know that 2015 is gonna be the year of the podcast for Jay, for you and probably the year of the podcast for anybody that takes it serious, to be honest, because of all the exciting things on the horizon. But, man, I want you to share with Fire Nation right now the one thing that has you most fired up about your business.
Jason Ferruggia: I hate to sound like I'm kissing up to you but honestly the day I spent six hours not too long ago reading all your stuff and just this realization of talking to you now, that I could do so much better on the podcast. That's what's got – what has me the most excited. And I'm just – I'm getting ready for that and I'm really amped up about that.
And then the second most exciting thing would be our coffee company that we launched this past September. So we partnered up with Generosity.org to build wells in Africa. So every bag we sell helps provide one person with clean water for two years.
Johnny Dumas: Wow.
Jason Ferruggia: And it's only been since September and we really have a lot of customers, a lot of – already a lot of people on recurring billing. So we're gonna be able to do some good things for the world. So I'm excited about that as well.
Johnny Dumas: Well, that would fire me up as well. And honestly, Jay, I never shrug off any kissing of the little behind here, a little JLD booty-kissing. So I'll take it and I'm excited to see you and I'll be checking back in to make sure that you are taking strong action on the podcasts and everything else you have going on. And what we're gonna do, Jay, is hit the Lightning Round. But before we get into that, we are gonna take a minute to thank our sponsors.
Jay, welcome to the Lightning Round where you can just share incredible resources and minds-blowing answers. Sound like a plan?
Jason Ferruggia: Sounds like a great plan.
Johnny Dumas: What was holding you back from becoming an entrepreneur?
Jason Ferruggia: Well, like I said earlier, I always kinda was an entrepreneur but I think the thing that holds me back, maybe even to this day a little bit, but definitely originally was second-guessing, not being able to come – make a strong decision and asking so many people for opinions. So that would really be the biggest thing that held me back. It doesn't as much anymore but it's still something maybe I struggle with a little bit but 99 percent better than I was.
Johnny Dumas: So of all those opinions, what is the best advice that you have ever received?
Jason Ferruggia: Definitely to adhere to the 80/20 rule. Badros even says it's more like a 95/5 rule where you just focus on your 5 percent. And I always, like I said earlier, try to do too many things. And wiping all that off my plate and really just focusing on the things that only I can do in the business. In my business, only I can write my unique voice, speak on my podcasts or be a guest like I am right now or do videos. Those three things are all I do in my business. I outsource everything else. When I try to do everything else, business is horrible.
Johnny Dumas: Share one of your personal habits that you believe contributes to your success.
Jason Ferruggia: I start every day by meditating for 30 minutes. I've been doing that for probably seven years now. It's just made a tremendous difference. And then I write my gratitude journal. So that's how I start every day. And the meditations definitely calm me down. It's improved my focus, my clarity, my ability to think. And it's definitely made a positive impact on my ability to tolerate stress.
And the gratitude journal just kinda gets your day started on a positive note because I list the people and the things that I'm grateful for. And then when I look at that I see it right there in writing and I know that it's impossible for me to get stressed out or really be in a bad mood because I see right there all the great things I have going on. So I'm already set up in a positive mind frame for the day.
Johnny Dumas: Do you have any resources for people who might be looking to get into meditation?
Jason Ferruggia: I use Holosync and then I also have I think it's called Zen Meditation on my phone where sometimes I'll just put that on while I'm reading or writing or something like that. I believe – I think it's – oh, you know what? I think it's called Brain Wave – the Brain Wave app, yeah.
Johnny Dumas: Brain Wave app. Yeah, there's actually something that I tried – well, I'm actually trying. I'm on day seven right now. It's called Head Space and they have a free ten-day app where anybody can just try it out, try 10 minutes of meditation for 10 days, and it is powerful.
Jason Ferruggia: Yeah, I've heard good things about that. I gotta try that one.
Johnny Dumas: Yeah, try it out because they got videos that start you off. They kinda put in the right head space. And then they just dive into the actual meditation for 10 minutes. And it's free, Fire Nation, and it's 10 days and it's just 10 minutes, so it's not a big commitment. And that's cool stuff. And then you can get into more serious stuff. And Jay, if you'd recommend one book for our listeners, what would it be and why?
Jason Ferruggia: Well, I wanna recommend something that you didn't have recommended a ton. I looked at your most recommended books and they were awesome and I've read most of them. But I didn't see "Essentialism" by Greg McKeown on there. Maybe I missed it but that's a really good book.
It's – I'm big into minimalism and simplicity and it's his own take on it. But it's just really focusing on that which is essential in all aspects of your life. And just reading that – because, you know, even as focused as we may get and adhering to the 95/5 or 80/20, sometimes bad habits creep in and you start trying to do too much. So that got me refocused and I wiped some more stuff off my plate. So I think that's a great book for anyone to check out.
Johnny Dumas: No, it is. Actually recently just listened to the audio version of "Essentialism." I do 35-minute power walks every morning here in the bay in San Diego to kinda get my day going. And that was one that I just truly loved. It actually went really good with another audio book I recently listened to called abundance.
So Fire Nation, I know that like me that you love audio. So I have teamed up with Audible and if you haven't already, you can get an amazing audio book like "Essentialism" for free at EOFireBook.com. And Jay, this next question's the last of the Lightning Round but it's a doozy. Imagine you woke up tomorrow morning in a brand new world identical to earth but you knew no one. You still have all the experience and knowledge you currently have. Your food and shelter taken care of but all you have is a laptop and $500. What would you do in the next seven days?
Jason Ferruggia: Just a funny aside here, Badros and I smoked weed, I forget what beach we were at one day, and asked each other this exact question and just talked about it for about two hours. So –
Johnny Dumas: I would love to be able to kinda bring in the answer to that question you guys talked about in this episode.
Jason Ferruggia: Oh yeah, it was great. So [inaudible][00:23:15] –
Johnny Dumas: Okay. So what would you do, Jay?
Jason Ferruggia: I would start a blog on WordPress immediately. I would start publishing two to three pieces of high-quality content each week. I would answer every single comment and obviously share everything on social and be very active answering every question on Twitter and Facebook, sign up for an email account with AWeber and create some kind of free giveaway. You know, create a high-quality giveaway to capture emails.
I would also start a podcast super cheap just interviewing people on Skype, not getting too crazy with all the expensive mikes just yet. And just sign up for a few different affiliate accounts related to the topics of blogging and podcasting about so I can start making some money. And while I was doing all that I'd be working on my first probably $10 entry level product. So that would be what I would do the first seven days.
Johnny Dumas: I love that answer. It's actually pretty darn close to my actions over the seven days that I would be doing as well. Because these are all things, Fire Nation, providing valuable free consistent content. It's gonna build that audience. It's gonna give you the opportunity to offer them solutions to their problems and then you're off to the races.
And Jay, let's end today on fire, with you sharing one tiny piece of guidance, the best way that we can connect with you and then we'll say goodbye.
Jason Ferruggia: Yeah, absolutely. My parting piece of guidance would be to just focus on one thing and that's a great book, "The One Thing." But really just eliminate all that's not essential, focus on your strengths, outsource or eliminate weaknesses from your to-do list. And the best way to connect with me is at my website which is JasonFerruggia.com. It's hard to spell so if you go to RenegadeFitness.com that will redirect you there. Jason's FacebookPage.com is my Facebook and then I'm on Twitter @JasonFerruggia and Instagram @JasonFerruggia as well.
Johnny Dumas: Fire Nation, you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with and you have been hanging out with Jay and myself today. So keep up the heat and head over to EOFire.com. Just type Jason in the search bar. His [inaudible][00:25:21] page will pop right up. And Jay, thank you for sharing your journey with Fire Nation today. And for that, my friends, we salute you and we'll catch you on the flipside.
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