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maximizing personal productivity

Relentless Podcast

Tony Federico 2: How to Eat the Elephant and Make Your Idea a Reality

It’s time for episode 18 of the Relentless: Real People, Real Results, Real World podcast!

In this episode I welcome back Tony Federico, personal trainer and fitness manager, Paleo Grilling author, Paleo Magazine Radio podcast host, Paleo Fitness Magazine editor, avid blogger and Instagramer.

Part one of our discussion can be found here, and this time around Tony and I dig into topics on the business and entrepreneurial side of the coin.



  • How to maximize your personal productivity.
  • Being the director of a fitness center and managing his own clients along with employees, customers, and facility demands.
  • Constructing an experimental multi-media e-book presenting recipes in a fresh manner.
  • Tracking everything with Google Calendar.
  • Dividing a day between “maker” and “manager” activities and crediting the 4-Hour Workweek and 7 Habits of Highly Successful People. “I do want security, I do want a steady paycheck, I do want a base, a foundation – that really comprises my managerial functions and my salary job – but I also want to have something that’s moving my life in a new direction creatively. That keeps the manager stuff fresh. The two feed each other.”
  • “It might sound like that guy is interested in being busy for busy’s sake, but that’s not the case. It’s enriching to have these activities because it keeps me growing.”
  • Acknowledging an early phase as a bad employee and improving by asking the question: “What happens if I really apply myself?”
  • Embracing responsibility and looking for new opportunities within his fitness profession.
  • Learning how to manage: “First and foremost I had to learn how to be a good employee.”
  • Balancing two forces – employees feeding information up with big bosses feeding information down – as well as having customers on either side.
  • Simple rule for success: “At least do one thing each day that’s moving the ball forward rather than get caught up in patching holes.”
  • Step-by-step to manager: First improve as an employee, second embrace new opportunities to get your feet wet, third when you become a manager understand that you’re starting from scratch.
  • The importance of remembering what it’s like to be an employee: “You have to keep your empathy muscles strong…as long as you can remember that you’re always dealing with people and it’s really just about relationships…you have to have compassion.”
  • Defining empathy: “A willingness to step into someone else’s shoes and to understand their reasons even if they’re not my reasons.”
  • Dealing with tough employee situations and respecting the individual to generate positive results.
  • Being a strong leader by empowering others.
  • Introducing Powerful Personal Trainer, a co-production, idea, and product to help other personal trainers.
  • “I learned 90% of what I use each and every day on the job.” [not in college or in a certification program]
  • Providing people a condensed version of our collective experience. “It’s a much more personal project than almost anything else that I’ve done because my day-to-day life is training.”
  • Idea phase vs. production phase: “It’s easy to have ideas…everybody has world-changing, million-dollar ideas…the hard thing is to take that idea and turn it into a physical reality.”
  • Match your idea to your preferred lifestyle.
  • “Your idea is a vehicle, and it’s going to take you somewhere. If you see it through do you like where it’s taking you?”
  • Expanding on the process of creating Paleo Grilling – writing, promotion, review copies, radio, tv, podcast, and blog appearances. The writing process doesn’t end when you put your pen down.
  • Breaking down your overwhelming list of 20-30 things into simply this: what is your single next step? “Do a manageable bite at a time and trust that enough bites will eventually eat the elephant.”
  • Key components of a podcast: sound (mic), recording program (I use Evaer to record Skype conversations), editing program (I use Audacity), and publishing platform (I use Libsyn).
  • Key components of a book: concept, outline, draft, rewrites and edits (sometimes keeping space constraints in mind), refinement, (possibly) photographer, layout, and (possibly) printing.
  • Two broad options for a book idea: “Is it your personal passion or is it looking for an audience to speak to their needs? It’s a your needs or their needs proposition.”
  • Why books are often a team effort.
  • Why published books don’t usually make you rich: “By the time it actually gets done, the author is just one small piece in the overall picture.”
  • The hidden benefits of having a book: credibility, pay negotiation, speaking engagements, etc. “It’s a powerful thing to put on your resume.”

“There’s something that you can do today that you can take advantage of to learn and to grow from. I challenge you to do that thing today. That’s what it’s all about. It’s getting enough of those under your belt. You’re going to look back 10 years from now and you’re going to say ‘Wow, I’ve accomplished a lot just by doing a little each and every time the opportunity presents itself.’


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