Today's show is with Blake Conner. He graduated from The Strong Coach Program about a month ago and he shares the results he got, what he's up to now and a lot of other cool stuff. This is a really cool show for me, because he is from my hometown of Memphis, Tennessee, and he is taking what he learned and bringing it there, as well as having launched an online program that can be done from any location. Enjoy the show.
Table Of Contents
- What Got Blake Interested In The Strong Coach Program
- Blake's Life Before The Strong Coach Program
- The Intention Of The Strong Coach Program
- Blake's Biggest Obstacle When Considering The Strong Coach Program
- Biggest Results Out Of The Strong Coach Program
- His Favorite Feature Of The Strong Coach Program
- Blake's Life After The Strong Coach Program
- Closing Thoughts
- Connect with Blake
Mike Bledsoe: Welcome to The Strong Coach. Today's show is with Blake Conner. He graduated from The Strong Coach Program about a month ago and he shares the results he got, what he's up to now and a lot of other cool stuff. This is a really cool show for me, because he is from my hometown of Memphis, Tennessee, and he is taking what he learned and bringing it there, as well as having launched an online program that can be done from any location.
Mike Bledsoe: So before we get into this show, I want to remind you that we have the six figure coaching foundation guide over at strongcoachpodcast.com. So go to strongcoachpodcast.com. Get free access there. It's really obvious. It's a red button right there at the top. Click that, get access and it'll start taking you through steps and exercises that'll help you get your coaching business squared away. Enjoy the show.
What Got Blake Interested In The Strong Coach Program
Mike Bledsoe: What got you interested in The Strong Coach Program in the first place?
Blake Conner: I'd always followed Barbell Shrugged, kept up with the podcast, all that good stuff. Heard it, it was like a little birdie in my ear every time I was listening to any episodes and as I kind of took the leap into starting my own coaching business, I do online nutrition coaching. There were a lot of things that I didn't know and that kind of spoke to a lot of my pain points where I felt like I was lacking, which would be any of the business stuff, I'd never run a business by myself.
Blake Conner: So that's where I started. I was like, I need to learn some stuff there. And then just improvement on my coaching, that's always been a high priority for me. And I was like, this is speaking to me. This seems to be the next step. So yeah, that's what caught my interest in it. And it's been all uphill … I wouldn't say uphill, it's been just rocket ship from there.
Mike Bledsoe: Yeah, The famous rocket ship.
Blake's Life Before The Strong Coach Program
Mike Bledsoe: Where were you at in life? Where did you come from and what got you interested in coaching in the first place? Just take us through where you were at before you came in the program.
Blake Conner: Okay. I guess really just the plunge into life was kind of going into college. I started as a Computer Science major. Thought that I wanted to work on computers, do some programming and quickly found out that that is not what I enjoy. So one thing that I had picked up on and enjoyed doing was nutrition. I've done it for myself, I helped a few other people. So went to school for that, so got my degree in Nutrition Dietetics at Mississippi State University. So finished there and straight out of college, it was kind of a stumble around to kind of figure out, most people go the dietetic route and work in a clinic. Not what I wanted to do. I definitely had professors that were like, you're not smart for doing that. And I was like, I'll make money, just watch.
Now I know in alignment with the vision that I had. So did not finish, go that route. Finished college, got out, kind of stumbled around. I've worked at nutrition shops, I've done odd jobs just to make money. And then eventually I got fed up and said, you know what? I'm going to start using this and doing what I want to do.
Blake Conner: So I had enough saved up to where I could kind of float a little bit. And I initially started out training at a kickboxing studio, that lasted about two weeks. Realized that one, I had no idea how to Kickbox. Two, this was absolutely ridiculous for the pay and the things, it was a terrible business model for a gym, but it got me moving, right? It was an action step. Through that, I went and got my CSCS, I'm a certified strength conditioning specialist, precision nutrition certified. I did all of that. At a certain point, you can only do so many certifications before you're just trying to add alphabet soup to your name.
Certifications, certifications, certifications
Blake Conner: It's like, you already have what you need, right? I think you start racking up all these certifications, certifications, it's coming from a place of insecurity that you don't know what you're talking about.And for me, I was sitting there for a little while, right? And then that's … Even through The Strong Coach helped me out because there are times I was like, do I know enough to be coaching this? And of course I do. And that's where one of my most powerful mantras that I had very simple was, I'm a confident coach. And I would say that to myself, write it down all day. And through that, it was like, even if I didn't have an answer for someone, I was confident enough that one, I go figure it out-
Mike Bledsoe: Yeah, I'd be like, I don't know. And now you've got the resources to find out.
Blake Conner: Whereas before I would say, I would just spit some bullshit out to sound like I knew what I was talking about.
Mike Bledsoe: That's true insecurity.
Blake Conner: Exactly. I don't want to seem vulnerable, that I don't know what I'm saying. So I would literally just be like, Oh, well you see it's the whatever in the plants that you're eating or this meat. And it was like, that's not a great fucking answer. Just say you don't know. So yeah, I definitely see that as people operating out of a place of insecurity. Now, I mean there is a level of, I'm not going to go teach someone, something I have no idea about. I'm not going to teach someone how to speak French. I don't know how to speak French.
Certifications are not inherently bad
Mike Bledsoe: I love having this conversation and that look, there's this level of experience you need to have. There's education, so it's not a blanket statement. And the majority of people I witness have multiple certifications. They've been coaching at a gym or something like that for a year or more and they think that now going and getting a kettlebell certification or another nutrition certification is what's going to make them more money. They'd be like, Oh, I'm going to get that and then I'm going to be able to charge 10 more dollars per client-
Ben Walker: This is going to change everything.
Mike Bledsoe: It's going to change everything and it's not. It's not bad. I still go to fitness certifications, at least … Was it last year? I think last year I did four. I counted them up. I'm like, I'm doing more fitness certifications when I'm not even a fitness coach anymore. I'm a business coach and I'm like, this is so fun because it was rad.
Blake Conner: Would you agree that that comes from a place of actually wanting to learn now, you're not just doing it to make money? One idea I feel like people get caught up on, it's like, Oh I'll get that certification. It's going to make me money. Oh, kettlebells are cool now. Great. I'm going to get certified in kettlebells and it's going to make me money instead of-
Mike Bledsoe: It does not work that way.
Blake Conner: Instead of, I want to actually learn how to do this because I think it's cool as shit. And I think that's, once you get to a place where you're doing the certifications for fun, to learn things, that's so much more powerful.
Mike Bledsoe: You're going to learn more from that place too.
From youth athletics to CrossFit
Blake Conner: I ended up leaving that place and go into a youth sports performance gym in Mississippi. Training people from 10 year olds all the way to doing youth athletics. I really enjoyed it. It's just the place I was at was not doing very well. It was a weird location. No one really knew about it. They didn't really have a clientele at all. I worked to try to bring some people in. I worked a little bit and eventually they started kind of sliding downhill.
So that is when I got another job, coaching CrossFit. So I do that in Memphis now. And I've been since then pursuing my own coaching, with nutrition. I literally woke up one day and was like, it's time to make myself money and do this shit for me. So I was like, I'm going to put what I know to use. We're going to start, we're to pick up this nutrition coaching. I've tried to do it in the past. It just didn't get the attention it needed. So it never grew. Just like if you don't water the plant, it's not going to grow.
Blake Conner: Took it back and I was like, this time we're hitting this hard, put everything I had into it. And then, brought us to strong coach time, when I just was, now that I have the language, out of integrity in a lot of places, of course this isn't working, don't understand the business side of it. I need some help figuring out how this works, things of that nature. And yeah. Then I found The Strong Coach and it's been just a constant climb in an upward direction.
The Intention Of The Strong Coach Program
Mike Bledsoe: In the beginning it was, I want to teach people how to communicate and leadership and relation … Mostly turn it, how to improve the relationship between the client and the coach. And then I've got a few weeks in to coaching the beta group and realized that their biggest pain point was getting more clients. And that's why our tagline is now, helping you build your six figure coaching business because until you do that, you're going to have a hard time, that's going to actually help people get out of survival and into this creative space where they can be curious enough to really help their clients. It's hard to be curious when you're worried about how much money's in your bank account.
Blake Conner: 100%. I mean, it's the only thing you think about. It's like, how can I make money off this? How can I make money? How can I make money? You're not even focusing on your clients. I actually had this struggle a little bit, it's like, I started kind of reverse engineering the amount of money I wanted to make. I picked a number and it almost became too structured and too much about the numbers to where I was like, I need to make this much this month, this day, this week, this hour. And I wasn't even thinking about the coaching, it was just making those people numbers and I was like, okay, I'm kind of getting lost in my vision here, of what is the core of it is helping people, right?
Blake Conner: Not, I'm going to help just for the money. Once it becomes only about the money, I feel like you can lose yourself in that. Right? Too much structure, too many numbers. So one thing for me that, advice that I've kind of given myself was, would you do it for free and be happy about it?
What are you doing it for?
Blake Conner: And that's been lately a big driving force for some of my stuff is, would you do that for free or are you just doing it for the money? Are you just doing it as a way of bringing in income? And it's like, if you would do it for free, yes, I wholeheartedly believe you should get paid for that, but you're going to feel a lot better about it. You're going to do it from a place of happiness and a place that's free of just scratching for survival. Right?
I feel like you can be a better coach if you kind of look at it and reframe it a little bit. It's like, Hey, would I do this for free and still be happy? Cool. All right, well I'm going to charge this much for it because money's just a part of it. The more money I make, the more energy I have, the more energy I can give someone else. I can pay for this software. I can afford to do this … It's all about how can I put more energy back into it. And that's something I've been riding here lately. Not being overly structured in the numbers.
Ben Walker: And that's why I close every discovery call, whether I make the sale or not with, thank you for helping me do my favorite thing. Because it's, I'm in, inner child. Ben is running all over the place. Ben joy is running all over the place when I'm coaching in any respect, whether I am getting paid or not. I look forward to every one of those interactions because I know how fun it's going to be. And then it's like, Oh and I can get paid too? Great.
The process of finding out the whys
Blake Conner: That's why I was so excited for the mentorship opportunity because I had.. I'm not going to say his name, but the guy that came to me and kind of interested in the strong coach, I got really excited about that phone call and that type of coaching. Just not specifically just for a coach, but just like that development piece. Right? And it's like all of my … What I do differently with my nutrition coaching is that's the center of it.
Blake Conner: The personal development and the mindset is kind of the forefront of it. They're going to come in thinking, Oh, weight loss or this or what. That's their level one. I'm trying to get them to that level three without yanking them to it, but it always ends up on that, always ends up on, anytime someone shows me interest, they'll say, Hey, can you help me lose weight, get abs or whatever.
Blake Conner: Cool. Well, why do you want that? And then if it's over the phone, they kind of sit there. If it's a message, you just see that typing for 10 minutes. I'm like, dude, what are they writing? And they send you this super long message. It is so much more than just, I want to lose weight. It's like, Oh, I don't feel confident anymore. I want to operate at the best of my ability and just so many … Even relationships, stuff like, Oh my ex, whatever, told me that I'm not good enough, so I want to lose some weight. It's like, well, let's back up. That's something we need to focus on. Right?
Blake Conner: So I spent a lot of time on the whys, of any of their motivation and then they're like, Whoa, this is so different from any other nutrition, fitness, whatever help I've had. No one's ever asked me that. They say, Oh, I want to lose weight. And they're like, all right, cool. I'll give you a meal plan. And that doesn't mean shit and it's not going to work. You need to find those deeper rooted motivations. That's where I find myself now with the coaching. Yeah, it's just so much more to it.
Directing the flow with structure
Mike Bledsoe: Yeah. It sounds like you love … You've been able to build this process that's actually going to help you love your clients. And as you were talking about getting too structured and that getting in the way, the two concepts I play around with a lot is structure and flow. And so, rarely can you be built … You can't really build structure and be in flow at the same time. Structure is a very mental, cerebral exercise and then flow is a very energy, emotional exercise. But if you have flow without structure, what you have is chaos. And if you have too much structure and not enough flow, it becomes stagnant.
And so, what we want to do is be able to direct that flow. So one of the things that we do with The Strong Coach and this is awesome because I'm rebuilding the curriculum right now and I go, Oh I actually am going to … This conversation is informing me on something. I'm going to build a slide out of this. And that is that, if you sit down and you take the time to put in a solid structure and that is your business model, your pricing, your offer and make a commitment to this is how I am going to operate in my business. And then you set the structure and then you don't have to think about it anymore. It's set. You're not going to sit there and keep tweaking.
The person who keeps tweaking the structure and trying to fuck with the structure and think that making the structure better is going to make them more money, which it will make tweaks down the road. You'll need to revisit the structure, every quarter or maybe every six months and make tweaks. We tweak our structure maybe every six months I'd say, on average with The Strong Coach. So it's not very often. But I mean it's a tweak. It's not a revamp. And we set that in there and then that allows us to be in flow.
Now all my attention is on the clients, where all my attention is right now. We have the structure of the business completely dialed in. We know this is what we offer here to this person, this person and this person. And now everything that we're doing is, I'm so focused on our client's pain. That's the only thing I care about is, what is the phrase? I want to know the phrase that's running through your mind most consistently that's causing you pain. And if I can do that and I can give you a solution to that, I can go here, here's some education, here's some coaching. I know exactly where you're at and where you want to go and I actually know how to get you there quickly.
Mike Bledsoe: Then that to me, that's like, I'm in love with my client and I'm there to help relieve the suffering through helping them remove that pain. And so, it allows me to be in flow. And so it's like, that's what's awesome, is the connection to the clients and being able to help them out, that's what's really fulfilling. But if you don't have that structure in place and you're only doing that, you can be a broke motherfucker.
Blake Conner: And you got there by delegating and creating space for yourself so that, you can have the mental capacity to focus that specifically on the one thing.
Blake's Biggest Obstacle When Considering The Strong Coach Program
Mike Bledsoe: Yeah. What was the biggest obstacle when considering The Strong Coach? Was there, like, okay, I want to do the strong coach, but was there something that was like … Was there a resistance that came up?
Blake Conner: There was resistance and it was in the form of finances. Danny said X number and my eyes got really big. I was like, Oh, okay. That's the most amount of money I've ever had to invest that wasn't through student loans or something. I'm pulling up my bank account as he's telling me, yeah, that's not in there. And I was like … And then he obviously broke it down for me, but that was the biggest … I was fully locked and loaded, ready to go.
But we figured it out and we hopped over the obstacle and I mean, really just doing that changed my entire relationship with money. Just that one thing, not even getting coached. It was just like, yeah, you can do this and it's okay. I've never been the same with my money. I'm like, yeah, we'll buy that. We'll invest in that shirt. We'll go get that. We'll go get that. Macy's cool. And having a better relationship with it, I can look at it and I'm like, well, it really hasn't changed that much. I've still been able to pay my bills and I'm okay. I haven't been hurting.
Changing your relationship with money
Ben Walker: If money is the thing that's holding you back from investing in yourself and that's it, that's not a good enough reason. If I'm on a call, I want someone to say no to the program itself. That's a no I could respect. If it was like, no, I don't like what you're saying. This is not for me. If it's like, yes, I'm so bought in but money, that's not a good enough reason to throw away the path to that life that you've been chasing or the life that you want to build for yourself, your family, your community. That's how big you need to think when you're making an investment in a program like this, is it's not about what's going to happen on day 91, it's what's going to happen 50 years from now because of that initial investment.
Blake Conner: And yeah I'll leave it like, it doesn't matter what coaching program it is, I will literally look at a person and just be like, we're going to figure it out. Even if they don't offer me that opportunity, I'm like, you tell me how we can figure this out because I'm in, let's just figure it out. It's money, we can put it a million different ways and break it down however we need to. And yeah, that was definitely my biggest obstacle for joining this, money, which I'm sure is pretty common.
Biggest Results Out Of The Strong Coach Program
Mike Bledsoe: Yeah. What's been the biggest result you've gotten out of the program?
Blake Conner: My favorite thing that I took from this was the confidence. My complete whole shift in my confidence. I do things that I would never have done before. I do things that I thought were … You're bugging this person by sending this message and just stepping out and being so open to things is just, even in my coaching, just the confidence to … Like I said, if I don't know something, I don't know it. That was one of my big takeaways and saying no.
Saying no was a big obstacle because, previously in all of my ventures, saying yes is what got me where I am. Right? And I do wholeheartedly believe that, I don't resent or regret anything that I've gone through because I wouldn't be here if it weren't for those experiences. But learning that you can tell someone no and it's okay, that you have those boundaries and even that you have boundaries is definitely a second big takeaway. If someone comes to me, it's like, I want you to do this, but maybe it's not what I do or it's not part of my passion, I just say, no, I'm sorry, but here's someone else who can help you.
Before, I would have scratch and claw to figure something out for that person, it's just that's money, if I can make that person pay me. But now it's like, no, I don't have enough time to take that responsibility on right now. That's important to me, is having my time. So sorry. And it's okay. You can tell a boss no, and it's okay. Yeah.
His Favorite Feature Of The Strong Coach Program
Mike Bledsoe: What was your favorite, I guess you would say feature of The Strong Coach? In the program, what was it? What part of The Strong Coach program was the thing that you liked the most?
Blake Conner: One thing that I have learned about myself is, I've always been a very independent person and I felt like I didn't need a mentor. I got into The Strong coach program, I was introduced to even just having someone there to be a mentor for you. And I was like, Oh shit, I've been missing a lot. Having a mentor is powerful for me. And that shifted a lot for me. It's just like, Hey, there's people that are here to help you and show you how to do these things. You don't have to always figure it out, without any support. And just, yeah, having having a mentor was my favorite feature.
Whether it's, Ben as the head coach of the calls or in a way you're a mentor on the videos through the modules. Kim [Kasting] was my mentor and just having someone that there like, I'm stuck. You don't have to tell me what to do but I need you to help me figure it out, was super, super awesome. That was great.
Mike Bledsoe: Yeah. I identify with being super independent. I was a very lone Wolf for a long time. I remember even going to certifications when I was younger and resisting. I'm like, I'm here for the information, but if you try to talk to me, fuck you.
Blake Conner: Yeah, step back.
His breakthrough moment in the program
Mike Bledsoe: Yeah, I'm just here to mind this stuff, I actually don't want to hear. I wasn't willing to share where I was at. At the time I just thought, I didn't need it because I was a smart guy, but looking back on, I was like, no. It was just my inability to be vulnerable is what was really in the way. Was there a specific moment where you go, Oh shit, this is really why I signed up? Was there was a moment where like, Oh they've solved that problem, that thing?
Blake Conner: I'll give you two because really I looked at it from, I know we do a lot of deep diving but I really want to know the business side of things and that's the second half. So my mentor, I was always bugging, asking business question, business question, business question and be patient. You need to get this stuff figured out. So a big thing for me, was I really came to it to have an identity and I'll put confidence in there with that. I was lacking that, I'd had no identity or confidence.
But also, to be a part of a group that was like-minded, that was there to support you. That is something I figured out I needed all along, that I haven't always had in other ventures and where I'm from. I don't like to put the blame on the South, but some of my thoughts don't always resonate with people. So finding a group of people who was there with me, like I like to say on the same frequency as me, was amazing. I didn't know I needed that until I was introduced to it and thrown in class 10 with those awesome guys.
Blake's Life After The Strong Coach Program
Mike Bledsoe: Oh, what does your life look like now? What's the big difference? I mean, besides the confidence piece, but what would people that know you best, they're looking at your life and being like, Oh, Blake's changed in this way or something happened for him or whatever?
Blake Conner: People are taking a lot of notice to the things that I'm doing. Whether it's just ideas that I'm putting out there. What I've noticed is people are just really peculiarly, not peculiar, but interested in the energy that I'm bringing to things. I could walk into work or into a family event. Everybody's like, man, you are just kind of a lot right now. And I'm like, "Yeah, I am." "Well, what's the deal?" Oh, well, I've just completely shed all of those insecurities and I'm myself. I have identity now. I can walk in a room and I'm just like, I'm here.
I do my thing and it's interesting, you see the people that want to be that way and want to be so carefree and live like that. They always have something to say. And this is a great outfit. So I was talking to Muka, right? The Fear Sherpa, and we were having a conversation about people wanting you to make yourself smaller, so that they feel, okay. He gave me a metaphor of the crab trap. Okay? Crab traps, there's a way to get out of them.
Blake Conner: The crabs aren't necessarily trapped in there. What happens is they put the food in there, the first group comes in and starts feeding. Well, the other crabs see that and they come in too. They don't ever get to the food, but they just attach to the group. There's even a third group comes in, right? So the first group finishes eating. Well, there's no food left. So the first group's like, we're going to leave, the group won't let them leave. The group will pull them off the wall. If they try to leave again, they'll rip their claws off.
Those crabs will make the first group die with them through group suffering or making themselves smaller. Right? And that opened up to me going through this program, because now that I am the way I am, I'm confident I'm bringing this energy and abundance to everybody. People are like, you're being weird. They want to bring you down or how are you going to make money doing that? That's a terrible idea. And it's like, y'all are just trying to pull me back into the trap.
And it shows you a lot when you, and I think that's one reason that some people are afraid to get into this type of stuff, is because they don't want to be apart from the crab group. They're okay with being in it. They feel like-
Mike Bledsoe: Crab people.
Blake Conner: Crab people. They're crab people man, they want to keep you down. And so, they don't want to step outside and change anything because they're afraid that everyone's going to … Their friends are going to leave them or their family's not going to like them. And it's like, really there's just pulling you down because they don't feel good about themselves. Do it for yourself. And yeah, I've noticed that a lot lately, is there's some people were like, man, what are you doing? You're just so abundant now and you do all these crazy things with your money. How do you have any money? And it's like, it's just money, man. Are you doing anything with it? Are you putting money into yourself like this? And no. Well, yeah. It's just been a whole shift in identity and people have noticed it for sure.
Changes in Blake's Business
Blake Conner: With my business, I've been able to ask for more money than I had before. I used to just abysmally put my prices just in, please give me some clients, please. And now it's like, this is what it is. And no one's been like, that's too much. If you attract the right people, it's not too much.
Within the business too, it's just taking skills and ideas I already had and just adding to the tool belt, like the Batman belt, it's what I feel like I have on all the time. I'm always just adding different gadgets and trinkets to it to pull out. Even going through this program, just learning so much about myself and the skills that you develop through this, I use that a lot in my coaching. You think the business changes, but a lot of times your coaching changes is what I feel.
The way I coach is completely different, so much more just genuine love. It's not numbers X's and O's all the time. It's like how can I genuinely help you and here's some ways that I've learned and let me bring those to your attention. So definitely shifted how my coaching is and my entire business.
Closing Thoughts: Do It.
Mike Bledsoe: Yeah. Anything you want to tell people who are thinking about it?
Blake Conner: Do it. Figure it out. It's definitely worth its weight. I don't even … I mean, you could … Honestly, you could probably charge more for this and it would still be worth it. It's like –
Mike Bledsoe: Don't tempt me. No, we're going to keep it at where it's at.
Blake Conner: If you decide to join, if you're sitting on the fence, this could be the step for you. This for me, it's like, I was sitting on the edge of the plane, right? I'm looking down, this looks really scary and joining The Strong Coach was like the kick in the ass out the door to make the jump, to do all the stuff that I knew I wanted to do. So if you're sitting on the fence, follow that feeling. Like Ben always says, surrender, surrender to those feelings. Right? But yeah, other than that, go out and crush it, man.
Ben Walker: And remember too, that when you are in that surrender state, me, Danny, Jared, you're standing on the edge of the cliff, we're going to hold your hand and jump off with you, so you're not doing this alone. And if you're on the fence about joining, talk to us so that we can help you figure out which … Because, Hey, maybe you're not supposed to. Danny has had conversations where he … Sales calls where he goes, yeah, they weren't right. This wasn't the program for them. Let us help you figure that out at least.
Connect with Blake
Mike Bledsoe: What are you doing? Yeah. Not a good thing to happen. Cool. Where can people find you, who want to connect with you?
Blake Conner: Instagram is probably my best place to reach me. That's where I operate most of the business through. Facebook is there, it's just not my main source. But that's coach, all lower case, coach underscore Blake, underscore, W-H-P or you go to my website. It is a www.wholesomehabitproject.com, that's the name of my business. I got an ebook on there. You can book a call. You can go ahead and set coaching up, whatever you need to do, all your nutrition needs. If you feel on the fence as far as your confidence goes with your food, maybe you're just not happy with your body right now. We can work on some things. Get to the deep root of it and yeah, get it all set up and help some people make some changes.