Is this Your First Time Here?
In case this is your first time reading my blog or being introduced to me. Let me give you a crash course on who I am and what I do:
My name is Josiah Novak. I have 2 boys (ages 2.5 and 1) and a beautiful wife who somehow puts up with 3 maniacs in the house. I grew up a skinny kid who wanted to be strong to defend himself, then I fell into a tailspin of eating my stress away and blew up to 280 lbs. I fell into a deep depression, but fitness saved my life. My mission is to help others experience the life changing power of health and fitness.
I run a company called The True Transformation where we design programs for people who want to get more functional strength, build a body they can be proud of and enjoy a nutrition plan that includes foods they love. We do this while coaching our clients on the mental side of transformation which includes habit and routine formation, understanding our “why”, overcoming self-doubt and building a strong community around ourselves.
Besides all that, I enjoy reading a book per week, watching shows like Power, Breaking Bad, the Walking Dead and The Night Of. Plus I root my ass off for Chicago sports, I love chillin on the beach with a Moscow Mule or an Orange Crush (shout out to the 757), playing with my kids, and traveling with my wife.
Growing an Online business takes time
Running an online business has been incredible. I won’t lie and say it’s been easy. In fact, besides being a father and husband, it challenges me more than anything on a daily basis. A huge part of running my business is managing my social media. In fact, I do about 70% of my business through social media - whether it’s Facebook groups, Facebook marketing and ads, or Instagram and YouTube posts, my business is heavily involved on social.
This of course takes a massive amount of time. I’m not talking about 40 hours a week either. Try closer to 80 hours a week. With most of that time being spent on email, social and client programs. We live in an incredible time, but with all those hours being spent on social - there’s a tradeoff. And it’s not always a good one.
A few weeks ago I did some self-evaluation and realized that I was spending an absurd amount of time on social media. This evaluation had come up because I found myself feeling anxious if too much time had passed since I had last checked my social accounts. It had started to feel like an addiction and so I wanted to look into the amount of time I was investing into my social presence. The results were pretty eye-opening. I had spending way more time on social media than any other part of my business. In fact, I found myself checking on my client groups, marketing ads, and status updates during times where I had committed to focusing solely on family stuff. Not cool!
Social media is Amazing But,.....
Now, before I go on I want to say that social media is incredible. It’s changed my business and life forever. It’s such a powerful tool to connect with people from all over the world and spread your message to folks who need to hear it. It’s similar to the gym. The gym is an amazing place, but if you don’t balance gym time with family and personal time, you’ll quickly get caught up in the addiction of it. It’s important to note that social media is designed to hook you in. It’s built to make you want to come back for more each day. The “likes” and “hearts” you get trigger pleasure centers in brain - which of course makes you want more and more pleasure. It’s no wonder people live on their phones these days with the easy access they have to social media. I was one of those people.
Admittedly I wasn’t the first to embrace social media. Apps like Instagram took a few years for me to really accept. I wasn’t the first to the party. Naturally I wasn’t comfortable with sharing my life at first, but over the years I’ve realized the impact i can have on thousands, heck even millions, of people if I show value and help them solve their problems. But, as I mentioned earlier there’s always a trade off.
After my self- evaluation I knew something had to change. I was waking up early and spending valuable time checking my social accounts. I was checking my social accounts right before bed. I was checking my latest Instagram post and missing little moments that my kids were having right in front of me. Very uncool. So I decided to go completely off the grid for 24 hours. No social media for a full day. I wanted to evaluate how I was using it and ensure that it was serving it’s purpose while gaining clarity around an action plan moving forward.
What I LEARNED GOING 24 HoURS WITH NO SOCIAL
24 hours was a cake walk, but it was eye-opening for me. I knew that social serves a massive purpose in my life, but I also knew that it would be a massive negative in my life if I continued to misuse it.
So it was time to put a plan in place. Of course, as I always say, fitness is a metaphor for life. And this time was no different. There were 3 lessons that I learned after this whole experience and I want to share them with you now.
My clients always compliment me on how accessible I am. They email me and I get back to them within 24 hours. They comment in our client coaching Facebook groups and I respond very quickly. They know that I’m there for them all the time. This is one of the things I pride myself on doing. I’ve built a business that gives people who shell out their hard earned cash a high level of accessibility to me as their coach. Social media has helped me build this and make it super easy for clients to reach me.
However, I need to practice what I preach. I tell my clients all the time that they need to put family and their health as a priority. This includes taking breaks. I’ll use a car analogy. If you drive your car 100 MPH without stopping for gas...you’ll end up coming to sudden halt pretty quick. However, if you check in with your car to see how it’s performing and whether it has the energy (fuel) it needs - you’ll be able to schedule breaks to give it the care it requires. The same is true with our minds and bodies. Social media takes up a lot of attention and energy. If we don’t take scheduled breaks we’ll eventually run out of juice. If we run out of juice we can’t serve our clients or our audience at a high level.
Taking a break, for someone like myself, is scary. I’m driven to help as many people as I can while building a brand and community so a break sounds like a bad idea to me most times. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Taking a break won’t destroy your business or cause you to lose clients. It’s just like a battery in our phones - we have to plug in (or in this case plug out) and recharge. That way we can present our best, full of energy, selves to those who need our help!
Moving forward there’s a few actions I’ll be taking:
-Every Other Sunday is a Social Free Sunday - no social media at all for 24 hours to give massive focus to my wife and kids.
-Every day from 6PM-9PM is Zero Social Media
-Once a month I will be taking off a normal workday to spend the day with my wife and avoid work completely!
2. Social Media Isn’t the Best Food for Your Brain
We live in a world where we constantly compare ourselves with others. Keeping up with the Jones’s is something we’re all guilty off. We see perfect bodies, houses, cars, etc. and think “Why don’t I have that?”.
Now, I’m not saying its possible to completely eliminate that comparison gene in our heads, but I think it’s important to take a step back and be grateful for what we have. Trust me, it’s not easy to not want the amazing things we see on social media. I mean after all, if you’re reading this blog you’re probably someone who enjoys taking care of themselves and improving your life. Aiming for improvement is healthy, but only if we control our desire for a better life.
Social media is jam packed with people posting their highlight reels. The problem is that we compare our behind the scenes daily life to these perfectly captured moments in time that look incredible. We think “wow, my life isn’t that great” and our brains become jaded with negativity. Even if it’s not a conscious thought, subconsciously we are thinking we aren’t as good as the people we see on social. I’m just as guilty of this as the next person. I’m also guilty of posting some amazing pictures to inspire others. I think there’s a right way and wrong way to go about dealing with this.
First of all, don’t stop sharing the beauty in your world. I know I sure won’t. But, be willing to share struggles too! Keeping it REAL is what social should be about. Trust me, if you ever met these social media superstars you’d be highly disappointed to find out that they are 100% normal and have many many flaws. Don’t waste time thinking you’re not as cool or as good as the perfect lives you see. There is no such thing as perfect. Use social to inspire and motivate you to share your journey. Your journey will inspire plenty others that are going through life dealing with the same battles you deal with each day.
Feed your brain with positive energy. Give back positive energy. Win win :)
3. Social Media is the Truly PHENOMENAL
This article is not me throwing shade at social. Quite the opposite actually. Taking 24 hours completely away from social gave me massive perspective.
First of all, I’m grateful to the geniuses who have developed these apps and allowed us to connect with billions of people across the world. I mean, it’s truly incredible. My business has grown year over year simply because of the ability to connect and help people from every corner of the globe.
If used properly, social media is hands down the most incredible tool on the planet. You can literally start a business, connect with a potential spouse, find old friends and see whats going on right this second anywhere in the world all from your cell phone. It’s wild!
My challenge to myself and to you is to use social media wisely. Don’t allow it to run your life - even if you run your business like I do on social media, it’s extremely important to give yourself a break. If you find yourself constantly checking your phone - it might be time for a break.
Give it a shot and let me know how it goes!
If you’re interested in learning more about my online coaching services - please email [email protected]
I'm a husband and father of 2 who stays fit year round and enjoys LIFE 24/7/365 - so I like to write about that.