Mel is a Powerful Thinking Coach and Lifestyle Entrepreneur from Williamsburg, VA. He is author of the 90-Chapter book 90: Building The Ultimate Empire as well as the founder of the Powerful Motivation Company, Grip Work Gear. His aim is to give the average person mental direction so that they can physically maximize their performance.
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Time Stamped Show Notes
(click the time stamp to jump directly to that point in the episode.)
- [01:05] – Grip Work Gear focuses on mind, body and success
- [01:36] – Mel was in the military and played football
- [02:18] – He found motivational speaking and created his first YouTube video
- [03:08] – Mel’s area of expertise is powerful thinking
- [04:02] – One BIG and Unique Value Bomb: “Powerful thinking is when you make conscious decisions.”
- [05:35] – Worst Entrepreneurial Moment: “I brought a partner to Grip Work Gear but there was something telling me, ‘Don’t bring him in.’ He was in charge of online work and I would send him information on what I wanted for the website – then weeks would go by… Nothing was done and he started changing what I wrote.”
- [07:59] – Listen to your gut
- [08:30] – Entrepreneurial AH-HA Moment: “I was still a personal trainer and I was taking my vacation. I was wondering if I should quit or do business. My personal trainer certification was expiring, and I let it expire…”
- [10:20] – What is the one thing you are most FIRED up about today? “I’m so fired up about every project that I do and the time I have to perfect and grow my craft. I’m also writing my next book right now.”
- [11:03] – The Crown Table, Mel’s new book, will launch in 2017
- [11:19] – The Lightning Round
- What was holding you back from becoming an entrepreneur? – “Money”
- What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? – “Don’t wish it was easier; wish you were better”
- What’s a personal habit that contributes to your success? – “Reading every day and listening to podcasts”
- Share an internet resource, like Evernote, with Fire Nation – DocuSign and Fiverr
- If you could recommend one book to our listeners, what would it be and why? – Signals – “it’s about body language”
- [14:11] – Brainwash yourself
- 14:43 – Connect with Mel on Instagram and Grip Work Gear’s Instagram
Mel Jones: I’m already on fire, John.
John: Yes. Mel is a powerful thinking coach and lifestyle entrepreneur. He’s the author of the 90 Chapter Book, 90 Building the Ultimate Empire, as well as the founder of the powerful motivation company Grip Work Gear. His aim is to give the average person mental direction so they can physically maximize their performance. Mel, take a minute and fill in some gaps form that intro and give us a little glimpse of your personal life.
Mel Jones: Yes, sir, Grip Work Gear like you said is my powerful motivation company. We focus on mind, body, and success. I believe and do a lot of my reading, my experience to motivational speaking, personal training, playing college football, being a boyfriend, being a father. I seen that all and these are pretty much the main three areas: mind, body, success, mastering the mind, optimizing the body, and creating mass success whatever that looks like for yourself. So that’s why I created Grip Work Gear. Going back I was a military kid growing up, three brothers and sisters all younger than me, so I always tried to be the leader show them the right path.
I’ve played football since I was seven years old all the way up through college, ended up being stationed in Hampton, Virginia, went to Taft High School for my last two years of high school, and then went to the College of William and Mary to play football, was a walk-on, ended up getting a full ride scholarship about my fourth year. Didn’t quite get into the NFL, but I decided like right after that same year I graduated I was gonna keep trying because I’m not a quitter. I’m this person that keeps grinding it out, but then I found motivational speaking. I did my first like You Tube video and then something just clicked, and I was like this is what I’ve got to do, and I’ve been chasing that dream ever since.
John: I love that story and I think we have a little connection, Mel, actually I was stationed at Fort Eustis for a couple of years back in my Army days, so in the Virginia area, and also kind of had that click the first time I got on stage, because Fire Nation you just never know until you get up there. That’s why I’m always just saying just try it, just give it a whirl. I mean I was terrified to step up on stage, to publicly speak, to try to be motivational. You just get up there and it’s gonna just click or it’s not, but at least you know, and that’s why it’s so important just to put yourself out there. Get out of your comfort zone and just try.
So Mel for you what would you say your area of expertise is? Break it down in just a couple sentences.
Mel Jones: My expertise is just powerful thinking. I’m a powerful thinking coach because I have the ability to think creatively and critically, interchangeably at the same time. I’ve just always been a big thinker growing up, so I’ve had spells of suicide, I’ve had spells of depression; I’ve had spells of anger. I’ve had spells of being overly excited, but my mind is always turning, always learning, always taking experiences from around me, and experiences from other people, and able to come up with solutions to overcome those inner demons.
John: Powerful thinking, let’s break that down, Mel, give us one unique tip that we should know about powerful thinking, but we probably don’t. I mean we’re entrepreneurs like tell me something that we should know about the realm of powerful thinking that we just don’t know?
Mel Jones: For me, when I say powerful thinking, I’ve really talking about conscious thinking. Most people were operating based off of just whatever habits we have come up with as we’ve grown up, the habits that we’ve built over the years, and we just kind get stuck into the same routine, the same way of thinking. So then if someone like, for example, you ask him how are you doing today, nine times out of ten they are gonna just say good, and then you might say what are you gonna say back, you’re just gonna say I’m good, right? And then the other person will say back oh that’s good.
And that happens over and over again, so we’re stuck in average, we’re stuck in just good, so powerful thinking is like when you make the conscious decision like you know what instead of saying good I’m gonna say awesome, or today I’m gonna say fantastic.
John: Love that. So Mel let’s talk about your journey now as an entrepreneur, and not just any part of your journey but what you consider your worst entrepreneurial moment. Take us there and tell us that story.
Mel Jones: I would say the lowest moment would be when I brought a partner in to company Grip Work Gear because I knew he’s an entrepreneur, he has his own business, he was pretty semi-successful in it, but there was just something even though we were kind of cool there was something that was telling me don’t make him a partner. But he kind of convinced me to do it, and then that’s when things kind of went downhill.
John: Let’s get specific for a second like when was the first time you saw things going downhill? What was the actual experience?
Mel Jones: We kind of split up like he was gonna take care of the Internet part, the creating the brand online part, and I was gonna handle trying to like find manufacturers and stuff. This was when Grip Work Gear was just sportswear, motivational sportswear, so I would send him information on what I wanted to put on the actual website, what the philosophy was behind Grip Work and stuff like that. And then like weeks would go by and nothing was getting done like the website wasn’t getting done. Then he finally put something up and he would totally change what I wrote.
What I started realizing is that and what he told me that he didn’t really understand my vision for it, my creativity for it, and he just didn’t believe in what I was writing, and he actually felt that what I wrote didn’t make sense. And that just didn’t sit well with me because even though we were partners what I was trying to let him know it’s still my baby. This is will my vision, so I need you to follow my lead, and he just wasn’t able to do that, so that’s when I had to cut it real quick.
John: I’m looking at this year and I’m saying communication was a huge flaw. I think you failed, Mel, because you didn’t sit down and effectively communicate your vision, your message, the mission that you wanted to share with the world even before you brought your partner on, and I think he failed by not communicating back to you. So lack of communication is so huge, and it sinks so many partnerships, and that’s why I love the quote, “I love all kinds of ships, white ships, black ships, big ships, small ships, but I hate partnerships,” and Fire Nation that’s not across the board.
There are some amazing partnerships out there, but for the most part unless you are just a really unique duo or whatever if it’s three or four people, you are going to have problems. It’s just going to happen, so Mel just break it down in one sentence, what do you want to make sure Fire Nation gets from your worst moment?
Mel Jones: We want to be logical, we want to look at all the data, but sometimes your gut is gonna tell you what you should do and should not do, and I think sometimes we should just listen to that.
John: Mel, let’s talk about one of your greatest ah-ha moments to day. I mean you’ve had a few but take us to one that you think is going to be an impactful story for Fire Nation, and really take us to that moment when that idea happened, and then take us through how you turned it into a success.
Mel Jones: I would say that the ah-ha moment was when I was still a personal trainer at this gym American Family Fitness, and I was taking my vacation, and I was going back and forth. I was like should I quit, should I go full-time to my business, should I continue to train because it’s bringing in most of my money, but at the same time I had let my personal training certification slip. So it was actually expired, and I didn’t redo it because I wasn’t sure if I wanted to keep going, so I kind of purposely let it expire.
John: Self-sabotage so to speak.
Mel Jones: Yeah, it was like self-sabotage, but I didn’t tell anyone. I didn’t tell anyone, and then they found out right around that time, or actually, at that time. I was like all right should I get it renewed or should I just quit because they brought in a new manager, they were changing things up, and I was like you know what I’ve got about 20 more chapters to finish in my book. I can knock them out. I don’t know exactly how I’m going to substitute all the money I’d been making with personal training but I’ll find a way. That’s the whole point of being a powerful thinker, so that was my ah-ha moment.
John: Fire Nation, survival of the fittest, and guess what we are homo sapiens, we are humans, we have an incredibly strong survival instinct, so sometimes a little self-sabotage is needed to put your back against the way, so you can’t stay in your comfort zone. Mel might still be training people one-by-one-by-one. If he had just let himself stay in the comfort zone that’s where the money is coming in, but no, he said you know what I’m gonna put my back against the wall, and when you do that, Fire Nation, and you’re an entrepreneur like you are because you are listening right now, guess what, you are gonna take action. You are gonna make things happen.
Your survival instinct is gonna kick in and you are gonna do whatever it takes to win and you will win, so get out of the comfort zone. Now, Mel, let’s kind of fast forward a little bit to today and the one thing that you are most fired up about right now.
Mel Jones: I’m so fired up about every project that I do. I’m so fired up about the time that I have to perfect and grow my craft, from the videos to the speaking. I would say probably the biggest thing I’m writing my next book right now, which is called The Crown Table, and it’s like a mix between The Greatest Salesman in the World and The Alchemist as far as like that fictional style of writing, including with like not necessarily scrolls but that idea of like the chapters are teaching you something, giving you that moral compass.
John: Look out for that in 2017, Fire Nation, and look at below because the lightning around is about to drop some value bombs on your head after we thank our sponsors. Mel, are you prepared for the lightning rounds?
Mel Jones: I was born ready.
John: What was holding you back from becoming an entrepreneur?
Mel Jones: Money. I think that’s what holds most people back. You feel like with your job or the person employing you that they’re bringing you the money, security, but you’ve just got to take the leap and just know like you say put your back against the wall you’ll find a way.
John: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Mel Jones: From the average person I’m not really sure, but I think from Jim Rohn though the best advice I’ve ever got was don’t wish it was easier, wish you were better.
John: Love that. What’s a personal habit that contributes to your success?
Mel Jones: I read every day and actually I hate reading but I read every day. I listen to podcasts or some type of speaker every day while I’m working out or while I’m in the car. And while I’m eating I’m always watching a You Tube video that’s teaching me something that way I’m always being immersed in new information.
John: Can you share an Internet resource like Ever Notes with Fire Nation?
Mel Jones: Actually, I just discovered Ever Note because of your podcast, so that was interesting. I didn’t even know how cool it was until I checked it out, but I like these DocuSign that’s really helpful as far as my documents go onto like I would have the paperwork. I don’t know if this counts but Fiber I think it’s a great for people who just need something quickly made, something cheaply made as far as like a logo, as far as making someone help you edit a video. So it’s been a real big help for me in my books.
John: If you can recommend just one book, Mel, to join 90 Building the Ultimate Empire on our bookshelves, what would it be and why?
Mel Jones: That’s tough. You’re gonna give me just one book. All right, I would say Signals by Allan Pease. I don’t know if you’ve heard of that book, but it’s a book about body language. I think that’s like 70 percent of how we speak to each other through body language but nobody knows how to read it or knows how to speak it. So I feel like we should be fluent in that area, so Signals by Allan Pease he’s just teaching you about what certain positions, how you look at somebody, how the arms are crossed, or whatever, and it’s telling you what they’re telling yourself in a subconscious way that way you’re able to maneuver around them successfully.
John: Oh, that’s fascinating. Fire Nation, it’s so important that you know this so that you can be giving off the right signals subconsciously to whoever you’re speaking to, and you can be reading them correctly. I love that. Mel, let’s end it today on Fire, brother, with a parting piece of guidance, the best way that we can connect with you, and then we’ll say goodbye.
Mel Jones: Brainwash yourself. You’ve got to brainwash yourself. As I said, every day I’m always reading, I’m always listening to podcasts it’s because I’m actually trying to brainwash myself to think a specific way every single day. That way I don’t have to when I do an interview, if I do a speak, if I’m writing a blog or whatever, I’m already in that mentality, that mindset, so if you are an entrepreneur, you need to think a particular way pretty much all the time. So if you brainwash yourself, you don’t have to worry about trying to get into the zone you are always in the zone. As far as connecting with me, I think the easiest way is probably through Instagram at Motivational Philosopher, or you can also reach me on my company’s Instagram @GripWorkGear.
John: Brainwash yourself, Fire Nation, and you know this. You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with. You’ve been hanging out with MJ and JLD today, so keep up the heat, and head over to EOFire.com, just type Mel in the search bar. His page will pop up with everything that we’ve been talking about today, Fire Nation, best show notes in the biz, timestamps, links galore, and of course check him out on Instagram Motivational Philosopher, and Mel, I just want to thank you, brother, for sharing your journey with Fire Nation today. For that we salute you and we’ll catch you on the flipside.
Mel Jones: Thanks, John.
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