Vinnie is the author of Fitness Confidential and the host of Celebrity Fitness Trainer Podcast.
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- Pure Vitamin Club
- Fitness Confidential – Vinnie’s book
- Celebrity Fitness Trainer – Vinnie’s podcast
- Vinnie Tortorich
3 Key Points:
- Never stop.
- Success depends on your appetite for failure.
- Pay attention to the people who help you – and make sure you help them, too.
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Time Stamped Show Notes:
(click the time stamp to jump directly to that point in the episode.)
- [02:54] – Vinnie’s business is booming and he’s become an international speaker
- [03:50] – Last year he toured through India on a 10-day speaking tour
- [05:09] – Vinnie started life in a Louisiana bayou
- [05:41] – “Every step along the way was: how do I make it to the next step?”
- [06:34] – How do I turn this into the best opportunity?
- 08:30 – How did Vinnie get onto Adam Carolla’s podcast? Tune in!
- [10:25] – “Once someone’s on the ‘no’ train, it’s hard to get them on the ‘yes’ train.”
- [11:30] – Never give up
- [13:22] – Vinnie got his foot in the door through a Facebook message from his daughter – and that was the start of a train of appearances
- [16:32] – He started a game called “Fit or BS” on Adam Corolla
- [22:30] – Vinnie is getting regular bookings as a speaker through Mike August
- 24:15 – He’s speaking at the Pasadena Ice House on July 14
- [25:30] – How did Pure Vitamin Club hit 300% growth in the last year?
- [26:30] – “Everyone told me not to get into the vitamin business.”
- [27:00] – “Once you start getting your people to buy your goods, other people are going to start buying them, too.”
- [28:50] – “I’d rather attempt to do something great and fail, than attempt to do nothing and succeed.”
- [29:59] – Look at who’s helping you along the way, and then help them
- [32:40] – Parting guidance? – Never stop
- 33:20 – Connect with Vinnie at Pure Vitamin Club
Vinnie: I'm fired up already.
JLD: Yes, Vinnie is the author of Fitness Confidential, the host of Celebrity Fitness Trainer Podcast, and founder of purevitaminclub.com. Vinnie, take a minute catch us up with what’s been going on in your world since the last time you were on EO Fire and all that jazz.
Vinnie: You know it’s crazy in the last year, I think we talked about it the last time I was on; we did crank-up purevitaminclub.com, this is the second year. Andy tells me, Andy is my partner who runs the company, we are up three hundred percent the second year over the first year.
Vinnie: If anyone would have ever told me that was going to happen. In business school they would tell you that, that kind of thing cannot actually happen. But then again I didn’t go to business school, so I guess it’s all a moot point. The other crazy thing since the last time I was on is, I've now become a bonafide international speaker. I think the last time I was on I had been to Amsterdam, and London speaking and the whole thing. Last year, at the end of last year 2015, I ended up doing a ten day tour through India, where I was talking to colleges and hospitals. Which the whole time it was me and again my fore-mentioned partner Andy Schreiber and Serena they invited us all. It was a completed all paid trip, plus I got paid to do these speeches. If you would have told me that five years ago; that I would be invited to go around the world and speak I would have said oh you’re absolutely; you’re out of your mind. The other place I went towards the end of last year was the ivy leagues, I was a featured speaker at Princeton and I'm bragging right now but these sorts of things aren’t supposed to happen to a guy like me, Right?
JLD: Vinnie, I think you’re selling yourself short here.
Vinnie: Do you really?
JLD: No I totally understand where you're coming from. When we look at our lives we say man, look at where I've come from. We both know where you’ve come from or where I've come from and how we have crawled and scratched our way to where we’re at now. I mean sometimes it can be pretty shocking.
Vinnie: A truer statement has never been spoken. Everybody wants to think that people who “make it” if you will, that we had some kind of special leg up. I know you started off in the military.
JLD: Oh yeah, Army.
Vinnie: You got a lot of discipline, doing that. I started off literally on a bayou in Louisiana. I was born in a shotgun shack, on the bayou. I don’t think you can have more of a humbling beginning than that. My mom and dad were the first two in their family, to actually get a college degree. Before that, they were just immigrants from Italy. They got us good education; I ended up getting a scholarship to a nice college in New Orleans, Tulane University. But every step along the way, it was how do I make it to the next step? Okay now I'm at Tulane, how do I, well first of all, it was football scholarship; okay I have these scholarship offers. How do I pick the best college for me? Right, how do I do that?
Well, okay I can go play for Ole Miss but guess what, I'm in another kind of ass-kicker town; it’s another country town like you go to one of these Texas schools with great football programs. I could go to LSU, these were all schools that were offering me scholarships, but when I went to Tulane it was different. These kids were a different level, right. I looked at that when I took those trips, it wasn’t the best football school but I looked at it and said how do I turn this into the best opportunity? That’s what I did and once I was there I said, okay I'm here now how do I turn this into the next best opportunity. How do I take everything to the M-th degree? How do I maximize everything and I've just spent a lifetime doing that.
JLD: What I love about that Vinnie is because we end every EO Fire episode by saying, “Hey you’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with, you’ve been hanging out with VT and JLD today, so keep up the heat.” I mean, we will be saying that at the end of this episode to cause it’s such a reality and the fact that you could just, at that age like at seventeen, eighteen years old say I'm going to go to Tulane, because at Tulane I'm going to be surrounded by just a higher level of people. More motivated, more educated, more aspirational people than I would be at these other schools that you mentioned and that’s such a huge realization Fire Nation that we need to understand. I'm going to take one step at a time and at every single step, I'm going to make that the best step that I can, surround myself with the best people that I can and make things happen.
Vinnie, you were on episode five hundred and thirty-two, so almost a thousand episodes ago, and then you were back on episode seven hundred and sixty-three so a couple hundred episodes after that. But now we are talking, it’s been almost six hundred episodes since you’ve been on EO Fire. I mean it feels like yesterday, literally because I was on your show pretty recently so we’ve talked. It’s just crazy like, how fast that time is going by and every time I look up, I feel like you’re doing something new, something cool. I want to talk about Pure Vitamin Club in a second here because I'm really fascinated with how your build that. I think Fire Nation would really get a lot of knowledge from what you’ve learned and just how you have grown that business. Over three hundred percent from last year, I mean that’s massive.
But first let’s have a little chat about Adam Corolla because next thing I looked up and book there’s Vinnie, he’s a regular on Adam Corolla. Which is the biggest podcast in the lands and a lot of people say how do people like Vinnie seem to always get the breaks like that, he’s always doing stuff like that, how’d that happen?
Vinnie: Again very interesting thing, I had when the book, when Fitness Confidential first came out, I was calling every podcast I could to get on because I self published that book. And there was no publicist, I was my own publicists and I was getting on every podcast. I got on your podcast; I think that was the first time I was on. And I called Corolla Digital and a guy named Mike August answered the phone; remember that name Mike August because-. Well I didn’t call there, I literally got Dean Lorey secretary to call, Dean Lorey is my partner in crime writing the book. He’s also a big Hollywood producer things like he wrote Major Pain the movie, Arrested Development, he’s one of the brains behind that and at the time he was bringing Robin Williams, the now deceased Robin Williams back to television, after so many years. So I got his secretary to call over there and they spoke to a guy names Mike August and Mike August said, “Vinnie, we don’t know who this guy is, he’s not a big enough celebrity he can’t come on.” right. So then she called back again and said look Vinnie is associated with celebrities, he knows Dean Lorey who is bringing Robin Williams back to television; the guy said again eh still not enough just not enough. So then we got Robin to agree, that while we were on the show that he would then call in.
Vinnie: The guy still said no and since then I will tell you the end of the story before we get there. I told the story to Adam and Adam said about his guy Mike August, once someone is on the no train, it’s hard to get them on the yes train and Adam was right about that because the guy never said yes. Well them my guy, Howie Mandel has a study, my buddy and Adam was shooting a movie and needed to use Howie Mandel’s studio and had Howie do a cameo. I got Howie to ask Adam directly, he goes hey can you have my trainer on your show and Adam couldn’t say no because Howie was doing him a favor. So, Howie came back and says yeah they are going to call you and no one ever called. Then after sometime passed I felt to embarrassed to call and go hey you know you owe Howie a favor and maybe you should-.
So I let it go by again because it wasn’t going to happen, it was too long. Then I saw where this is me never giving up and folks here’s the lesson. I saw where one of Adams guys, a guy name Chris Laxamana, started a show called Resume; which is not unlike your show, where he talks about people who got somewhere from nowhere.
Vinnie: So I contacted Chris, through his website and asked to be on the show, never heard back from him. So I'm getting nowhere at Corolla Digital, literally, I cannot get in that door. Well, I'm not one for giving up, we’ll say about a month past and my daughter was in the next bedroom from my office. I have a bedroom that is my office, and then she has the next bedroom and she was playing some music on her computer. I said, “Hey it sounds pretty good, who is that?”
She goes, “oh you don’t know who this guy is.”
I go, “Oh come on who is?”
She said, “A guy named Chris Laxamana.”
I said, “Yeah, yeah I've heard of that guy.”
She goes, “No you haven’t.”
I said, “I know that name, I know that name.”
She’s like, “You’ve never heard this name before in your life because I just pulled him up on YouTube and he’s not a signed artist.”
My brain couldn’t let go of what she wants telling me. I was like I know this guy, I know I know, Laxamana I know that name. So, I Goggled Laxamana and realized that I had sent him a message about two months earlier and I walked into Tallulah’s bedroom and I said Tallulah do me a favor. I was trying to get on that guy’s podcast, he never responded but you know what your eighteen, your cute, he’s a young guy, hit him up on Facebook. Within thirty seconds of her saying I love you music on Facebook he got back to her and within a week I was doing Resume over at the Corolla Digital Studios. That’s how that works, so yes you can say I was whoring out my daughter, okay great.
I'm at Corolla Studios and I do Chris Laxamana’s Podcast and kept the guy laughing the entire time, everybody that was in the booth was laughing. What do you think they did? They went straight to Adam and said hey you told us if we ever found a good guest let you know about it. We found this guy and he’s really funny and Adam says well who’s the guy and they said well he’s Howie Mandel’s trainer and Adam goes Oh my God I was supposed to have that guy on like two years ago but he didn’t want to have a trainer on his big show as he calls it. So he invited me to go on with him and Dr. Drew on the Adam and Dr. Drew show.
Again walked through that door, blew that one away. That show went so well that Dr. Drew had a heart out, he had to leave the show and Adam and I continued the show for another fifteen or twenty minutes, without Dr. Drew on his own show. So, that’s how that went and then that led to Dr. Drew saying, hey you were good on that show could you come back on my other show, did that show and then I got an email from Adam saying, I have a show called Take a Knee where I speak to luminaries in the field, and he talks to really big people but he wanted to talk to me on Resume, because he has read my book at that point, he was intrigued and he read my book.
By the way, EO Fire people, he read my book because I learned by Goggling Adam Corolla that he doesn’t read, he doesn’t like to read but he likes to listen to books on Audible. So, what I did was when I walked into the studio that day, I brought one book for Dr. Drew and I took a twenty dollar bill and I wrote on it, “Fitness Confidential” and I handed Adam the twenty and I said, “I heard you don’t read, you can take this twenty and buy my book” and that’s what he did, he bought it with that twenty. The key to this is, I never gave up and just like going to college or getting of the bayou and everything else I've done, I took every step along that way and just moved it to the next step. Until his producer to the big show called up and said would you like to come on and I said yes. But I also knew that if I went on and I didn’t have some kind of catch, it would be one and done. I wanted it to be more than one and done, so I created a game called, I don’t know if you can use language on your thing.
JLD: Yeah I can bleep it out go ahead.
Vinnie: It’s called Fit or [bleeped out] where we, but now if you look at it on Twitter people go is this Fit or BS. So, we do that. I go on every other week, I have a standing appointment every other Friday and we play the game Fit or [bleeped out] on the Adam Corolla show. So yeah that the whole story as to how I got onto Adam Corolla.
JLD: Now what’s a quick example of the Fit or BS show, like what happens? Does somebody call in and be like I'm 6’4 220, like how does the Fit or BS work?
Vinnie: Okay, it used to be true, false but since there were three or four people in the studio playing. It’s Adam, his guy Bryan, and his news girl Gina. I will through something out and I have the ones for this week, written so I don’t want to use them.
JLD: Woe, woe well actually can you use them cause this won’t give live till July ninth?
Vinnie: Okay, alright.
JLD: Okay, so let’s do this.
Vinnie: Here’s one for this coming.
JLD: Now I'm answering true or false
Vinnie: No there’s going to be four different.
JLD: Okay, let’s do this.
Vinnie: It started as true or false, but now it’s multiple guess.
Vinnie: Okay water is often taught as for weight loss, how much should you drink per day. One, I mean A one gallon, B 2 liters, C sixty-four ounces which equals eight glasses of eight ounces per day, or D drink to thirst.
JLD: And now this is to lose weight?
Vinnie: Yeah this is how much water you want to use to lose weight.
JLD: I want to say one gallon.
Vinnie: Okay, the answer is waters never a good way to lose weight, so the answer is drink to thirst because water is there to help you hydrate but in Hollywood and in most places people think oh you can just drink a lot of water and you won’t eat as much calories.
Vinnie: Since calorie in, calorie out doesn’t matter anyway, it doesn’t work that way. Does that make sense?
JLD: It does. It definitely does.
Vinnie: So water has nothing to do with weight loss, so each question is like that. Where it’s meant to, they are meant to get it wrong or if someone gets it right, then I go on for fifteen minutes and explain.
JLD: Right, how does Adam do, is he usually pretty good at answering?
Vinnie: Well, Adam as it turns out who, according to Adams wife and I've been on her show now too and we love each other, she calls me Adams girlfriend. Apparently he and I are kind of the same guy. We are both bootstrap kind of guys.
Vinnie: Came up from nowhere, we are about the same age and we think alike and he ends up doing better than the other two, who are both about the same age in their early thirties. Adam even answers the question sometimes he’ll say well, “My inclination is A, but knowing Vinnie I think it’s D.” he will do that.
JLD: So he knows you. I mean Fire Nation; I really hope your taking away the core theme of what Vinnie was just talking about. He got denied from seven or eight different sides. He tried to entire that castle by the mote, from the grates, from the sewer, from the air. I mean you name it he tried to do it and guess what he got denied at every way shape or form but his mind never stopped and then that one little opening. Because his daughter was listening to a song and he had his daughter send a message to the artist and guess what, the door was creaked open, he charged through like a knight on a horse and that door has never been closed since, I love it. And we have some cool things Fire Nation that we’re going to be talking about coming up right after we thank our sponsors.
So, Vinnie we’re back so if Fire Nation is listening to this on July ninth which is the date this is going live, you have something pretty cool coming up in a few days here, do you want to expand on that?
Vinnie: Yeah, remember that guy I was telling you about at the beginning of the Adam Corolla story, Mike August?
JLD: Yeah, Mike August.
Vinnie: Okay, Mike August basically creates Adams schedule. He creates all of the live shows Adam will do per year. Adam is following me to Europe now and that was the only place I got to before him, as far as speaking but Mike August the same guy who said no to me a thousand times but started calling me aside from Adam saying, “Hey, I can get you booked.” He’s kind of my quasi-booker now.
JLD: Oh, wow.
Vinnie: The funny thing is all the speeches I've been doing; I've never been with a booker. These people are just calling me at vinnietotorich.com and saying can you come and do a show, or what do you do, or can we have you for convention, or what have you or college. Mike August is now getting me booked into different places; he has also gotten me booked into the Pasadena Ice house, here in LA. It’s in Pasadena not in LA proper. Are you familiar with the Pasadena Ice House?
JLD: I've never been there, no.
Vinnie: Its, I think the oldest comedy club in LA.
JLD: Oh wow.
Vinnie: Way back in the day when all the famous people use to do their albums they would do them at the Pasadena Ice House.
JLD: Oh, wow.
Vinnie: You name the comedian; they did it at the Pasadena Ice House. Everyone plays there, Seinfeld still goes there, and everybody shows up. My Fore mentioned buddy Howie goes there. Well, I'm not a comedian but they are doing a special show on July fourteenth 8:30PM, tickets are twenty bucks. Space is limited; we’re expecting a sellout crowd and try to get those tickets now. You have a couple of days left; go right now while you’re listening to this. If you’re on your mobile device go to Pasadena Ice Hose and get a ticket because they are going fast.
JLD: Fire Nation, if you are in the Greater LA Area, I mean come on get on over to the Pasadena Ice House and make it happens. I actually got some friends down in San Diego that I'm going to be hitting up after we chat, Vinnie that I know are going to want to be there for sho.
Vinnie: If I can tell you the added advantage to this.
Vinnie: My co-host who’s Anna Vocino who’s also a comedian is going to do five minutes before she brings me up so she is going to do some comedy. My daughter Tallulah will open the show and do a few songs with, Chris Laxamana from the Adam Corolla show.
JLD: Wow, full circle.
Vinnie: So if you don’t think that I bring everything around, thing again.
JLD: You bring everything around and speaking of bringing things around. Let’s end the show strong with a little chat about purevitaminclub.com, like kind of talk to us about that. Where’d the idea come from? Talk us through the birth and the creation and then of course let’s hone in on some best wins that you’ve had that have really taken Pure Vitamin Club to a three hundred percent gain over the past year.
Vinnie: John, I was told by everybody and their cousin because I know a lot of very smart businessmen, never get into the vitamin business you will lose your shirt, do not do it, do not do it but I knew I could make a better product.
Vinnie: Because every product has titanium dioxide, which in nano-particles can cause colon cancer. Every product had magnesium stearate which blocks the absorption of nutrients, so the one thing you’re taking that you want to have it absorb makes it the world’s most expensive pee. So we wanted all of that, I wanted to make a pure product, the best product on the planet and I wanted to make it pretty much a Rolls-Royce but at a Toyota price. So that’s what I did I made the best product but put it at a price that everyman could afford. I was told by everyone and their cousin, this is going to fail, what do you think you’re going beat Centrum, you think you’re better than GNC, do you think you can top these guys at whole foods. My answer was no I'm not trying to, all I'm trying to do is make the best vitamin in the work, put it out there talk to my people on my website. Tell them you guys want this vitamin, go get it. Guess what, once you get all of your people involved and they start using it, it moves up the Google rank and is sitting on top, and that’s when everyone else starts finding it. And that’s basically how we did, it break’s every old rule of business. That any kind of marketer would tell you, we break the, we did the same thing with my book. We broke all the rules, it’s a self published book that sells at the price as any other book that say Simon and Schuster is going to put out and the book has sold well over a hundred thousand copies.
JLD: Fire Nation, if you really think you need to follow the “rules” what rule book are you looking at. This is 2016 we make our own rules, I mean here is Vinnie here’s JLD, just a couple of guys. We had no skills in broadcasting or interviewing people when we started. Now we are on international stages we are creating products and services. He’s rubbing elbows with the likes of Adam Corolla, Howie Mandel, fill in the blanks. I had a nice conversation with Tony Robins on a couple weeks ago on my show I mean. These are the things that happen when you take it one step at a time and move forward. Today we have had great talks about Vinnie bootstrapping all the way from where he was born into Tulane and every step just going one step higher. What he did with the Adam Corolla show, and how he penetrated that organization which again is like a castle with a mote around it. Now he’s boys, again Adam Corollas wife calls Vinnie Adams girlfriend, I mean that’s amazing. We just talked about the Pasadena Ice House and again if you’re in the LA area make sure you get to the Pasadena Ice House on July fourteenth just Google Pasadena Ice House and you will be able to check it out and buy some tickets. Now Vinnie you have grown Pure Vitamin Club into something that is a real business now. What do you want to make sure Fire Nation gets from the lessons you’ve learned along the way?
Vinnie: Never, ever stop. I know you like quotes on this show can I read a quote.
JLD: I do, please do.
Vinnie: “I’d rather attempt to do something great and fail, than attempt to do nothing and succeed.” I fail; I had a mentor when I was a kid. A guy who started a little company called Converse Tennis Shoes; he would always say to me, your IQ does not matter in life it’s all about your FQ. Your Failure Quotation the number of times you can fail and come back. That’s what it’s all about. We sat here and talked about yea I ended up on the Adam Corolla show yeah I did this and did that. The point is the number of failures I had just to get there and look at it. The guy who said no no no to me is now the guy who is booking me into the Pasadena Ice House, on July Fourteenth. The guy who had me on his show is going to do some songs at my show, with my daughter, who got me on that show. Look at who is helping you along the way and then turn it around and help them.
JLD: Wow Fire Nation, take that in. realize that this is the world that we live in. a world that by you helping others, you’re going to see that comeback and turn around to you. So Vinnie I'm totally open brother, this is your third time on the show. We are coming up on thirty minutes chatting here and it feels like three minutes that’s why I love talking to you. How do you want to end the show, what do you want to talk about, what do you want to close out on.
Vinnie: Let’s talk about the three-peat, how many people have done the three-peat?
JLD: Including you now, thirty-eight people.
Vinnie: Okay, how many have done the quad?
JLD: There's only been two quads.
Vinnie: Okay, I need to work it into a quad. I don’t have anything to push right now but when my new book comes out; I want to be in that quad nation. We will call it Quad Nation I just gave it a name for it.
JLD: Vinnie, I love it. It’s officially, Quad Nation my man, my brother you know the door is always open. And here’s an example as to hey Fire Nation, the doors are open both ways for each other and we have this repor because I reached out to him and I said hey Vinnie in January I'm launching the Freedom Journal. I would love if you could just let your audience know and immediately without even hesitation he said JLD let’s get you on the show let’s get this out there let me help you out. That’s the kind of guy that he is and that’s the kind of entrepreneur Fire Nation that you want to be. And the Freedom Journal went on to become the sixth most funded publishing campaign of all time.
JLD: Four hundred and fifty-three k in three days, yeah blew it out of the water Vinnie and the huge this is people, like yourself who say, hey I want to help because John you have had me on the show before, you’ve helped me do my stuff and now we are giving it all back and you will be part of Quad Nation.
Vinnie: Quad Nation I'm in baby. We wrote the book we just don’t know when we are going to put it out. Anna’s book is coming out first, and I want to give that a lot of sunshine and make her, I want her to do really well.
JLD: Shell do well, she’ll do well.
Vinnie: you need to get her on your show man; she needs to be on this show.
JLD: Let’s make it happen.
Vinnie: Yeah she, you want to talk about a story; she is one of the top voice over people in the city now.
JLD: Wow, wow.
Vinnie: I'm going to connect you right after.
JLD: Yeah connect us up, well get her on the sched, no doubt.
Vinnie: yeah you want her on cause this is a woman, husband raising a kid came out to Hollywood, bam killing it now.
JLD: Love that story Fire Nation you are going to hear that story. Vinnie lets end this day with a parting piece of guidance, I know you just gave us that quote but this is just something from you, from the heart something quick and then what’s that final call to action?
Vinnie: Never stop, I'm going to leave I'm going to make it that simple. Never stop believing in yourself I know it sounds like a song, never stop believing in yourself.
JLD: No that’s [sings Journeys don’t stop believing].
Vinnie: Which president used that was that.
JLD: Oh who was that was that Reagan?
Vinnie: No it was after him, the democrat, his wife is running now.
JLD: Dukakis, oh yeah.
Vinnie: Wasn’t it Clinton that did [inaudible].
JLD: Yeah I think it was Clinton, right.
Vinnie: Don’t stop believing man.
JLD: Oh, I love that Vinnie and what’s the final CTA, call to action?
Vinnie: Go to purevitaminclub.com and check it out.
JLD: Check it out Fire Nation see what’s going on; get those pure vitamins in the body. And Fire Nation you’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with. You’ve been hanging out with VT and JLD today so keep up the heat and of course, head over to eofire.com just type Vinnie in the search bar his [inaudible] will pop up for this episode of course, episode five thirty-two and seven sixty-three. These are just three epic episodes Fire Nation that you want to listen to all of them. And of course best show notes in the biz. I have everything that we have been talking about, it’s been time stamped and linked so you can check it all out its waiting for you. Everything we have been talking about from purevitanclub.com, to the Pasadena Ice House, the Adam Corolla gig, the whole nine yards. And Vinnie brother I want to thank you again for sharing your journey again with Fire Nation, for that we salute you and I will catch you on the flipside.
Vinnie: Thank you, John.
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