It’s time for episode 30 of the Relentless: Real People, Real Results, Real World podcast!
In this episode I welcome in Michelle Norris – PaleoFX co-creator, chef extraordinaire, owner and founder of Instinct Catering Events, and founding partner of ID Life.
- In hindsight: “I would build our infrastructure first if I had it to do all over again. We did this as a hobbyist type model. We didn’t do this as a business. It was just to spread the message, get the movement going, and fill a need. That’s what we did. We saw a need and we filled it.”
- What are examples of better infrastructure? “Having protocols in place, having a hierarchy, and knowing who has what answer. What happens is 20 of us are emailed and just 1 person should have been emailed.”
- Roger: “Everyone gets hit with everything and everyone wears down in the process. Take things off of each others’ plates on focus on each others’ strengths.”
- On efficiency: “We weren’t built efficiently because we didn’t know it [PaleoFX] would get this big and it would turn into an actual business.”
- Taking action on advice from Robb Wolf: Incorporating digestive enzymes and turning off phone notifications.
- A lesson from organizing sponsors and the expo floor: “Engaging with them on what their expectations are and meeting them…because they’re spending very good money to be there…It’s managing their expectations too. It’s finding out exactly what they’re expecting and letting them know if some of those things are not within your capability and letting them know what is and trying to go above and beyond.”
- Roger: “So much of the enjoyment of an experience is what you expect going into it.”
- A lesson from organizing speakers: “Without the speakers we wouldn’t have a conference. Making sure they are happy and that they get what they need.”
- Have you dealt with divas? “This is a people business and that’s one of the best parts of it. But the toughest part of it is that it’s a people business. In every business you have a diva to deal with in some aspect.”
- Most memorable food/drink consumed at PaleoFX:
- One thing you did that you didn’t know you could do: “PaleoFX as a whole.”
- How do you determine who takes the blame during a crisis? “In my opinion, it’s always my ultimate responsibility. It’s our show.”
- On sticking with your dreams: “We went into personal debt after the first PaleoFX, but we knew in our hearts that it was something that was needed and something we believed in.”
- On learning to respect money: “The more money that you make, the more people that you can touch, employ, and have involved. That resonated with us. That’s when it turned into a serious business.”
- On price setting: “We set our ticket prices at the expectation of the public. We intentionally kept our ticket prices low because we didn’t want a high threshold to entry. Our position isn’t to make a lot of money. Our mission is to further the movement and bring in as many people as possible so they get education and empowered so that they become their own health advocates.”
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It’s time for episode three of the Relentless: Real People, Real Results, Real World podcast! (Scroll to the bottom for all listening options.)
A deep dive into how real people get real results in the real world. Relentless mixes stories to provide context and the actions you can take right now in both short-format episodes and long-format interviews. Get ready to tackle anything from your morning cup of coffee to your exercise and nutrition regimens to building a million dollar business.
Chris Plentus: Crush Crossfit, Travel the World, and Endure 26.2 Hours in a Diner
In this episode I welcome in Chris Plentus, one of only five Level 3 Crossfit coaches in Pennsylvania, international traveler, blogger, passionate photographer, soon-to-be-father, and coffee lover. Here’s the rundown:
- Drawing inspiration from athletes overperforming in workouts.
- Breakfast: Breakfast tacos – 3 corn tortillas, bacon, over easy eggs, and salsa.
- Coffee: Americano with 2 long shots drawn from a Pixie plus equal parts water.
- Workout: Bench press and pistol squat strength plus metabolic conditioning – back rack lunges, double unders, and ring muscle-ups.
- Snap Out of a Funk: Go for a drive to get the juices flowing.
- Coming face-to-face with a lion, overcoming the moment, and snapping a legendary photo
- Business Book: How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. Top Takeaway: Experiencing empathy and knowing people’s names.
- Relaxation: Nic Cage movies.
- Being born in South Korea and coming over to the US at 3 months.
- Using public transportation and commuting over an 1:20 each way to a high school in NYC.
- First following what he “was good at” and engineering in college.
- Then realizing that he wanted to work directly with people and switching majors.
- Leveraging a summer internship to learn what he didn’t want to do. “I can’t do something that I don’t like for very long.”
- How the Myers-Briggs Personality Test made all the difference.
- “I don’t know if I necessarily believe in destiny, but it happened for a reason, and I had to pay attention to it.”
- The macro theme of most jobs having unseen day-to-day stressors. “Walk a mile in someone else’s shoes. You don’t really know what someone else is going through until you actually try it.”
- Following an out-of-the-blue career opportunity and transitioning into becoming an education consultant, traveling internationally, and doing professional development with teachers.
- Being equipped for the modern world and a more transitory professional landscape.
- The new educational revolution – the Khan Academy being an example – and accessing anything from anywhere.
- “So you have these kids that are spending 8 hours in high school but they’re learning more on this 20 minute video because he explains it succinctly in a visual way. Obviously teachers are amazing, and they deal with so much – total respect for them. But we’re definitely seeing the market move in a different direction.”
- Ordering a black eye and getting weird looks.
- Nespresso vs. Keurig machines.
- Transitioning from a military bodyweight fitness routine and diving into Crossfit via recommendations from his now father-in-law plus inspiration from the movie 300.
- “Anytime I started a gym routine I would do it for a couple weeks and then stop because I was bored. It wasn’t holding my interest.”
- “I went to Crossfit.com and stalked the website for a month. I didn’t do a thing because I was petrified. What are these things? What are these movements? Why don’t they run? Why are these workouts 10 minutes long?”
- Retaining the ability to think like a new client.
- The WTF moment of first hearing that someone didn’t eat bread or pasta.
- “No matter what you’re looking to do, we can start at ground zero and work our way up. There’s always a step to be taken. You don’t have to do the crazy stuff you see online and on ESPN2 Crossfit Games. You do you and take it one step at a time.”
- Committing 3 months to 1 year upfront due to the body needing time to adapt.
- A call to action to share your opinions via podcasting, blogging, etc.
- “Even if it’s one person that you can reach out to and touch in some way or change their life, good. It was totally worth it.”
- “I grew up wanting to do things. I’m very restless. Some people – and this is fine because people are different – can have the 9-to-5, go to work, come home, sit on the couch, watch TV, go to bed, wake up. I can’t do that.”
- The importance and inspiration of international travel and immersing yourself in foreign cultures.
- Not waiting until you are retired to travel and embracing your youth and physical fitness. Pulling a Tim Ferriss and taking mini-retirements.
- Why travel? “I’ve never met anyone who has traveled to another country and also is a hateful person – and by that I mean prejudiced or closed minded. Whether that’s a correlation or a causation, I don’t know, but I imagine it’s more of a causation.”
- “I realize that traveling costs money, but make it work.”
- Best starter trip: Iceland.
- Sitting in a New Jersey diner for 26.2 hours and having over 200 people visit throughout.
- Embracing life bucket list items – seeing the 7 wonders of the world and cage diving with Great White Sharks.
- Becoming Crossfit Level 3 certified and continuing to pursue education with the end goal of helping people.
- Being a big picture guy and focusing on health. “The only thing we have at the end of our lives is our health. The idea of not being healthy at the end of my life is not a fun thing to think about.”
- Preferring live clinics and seminars as a means to learn. “The ability to adapt and go with the flow and see what the crowd – whether it’s 5 people or 50 people – is there for an to understand their interests is a good skill to have.”
- The community of Crossfit.
- Visiting 30+ Crossfit boxes and distilling 11 Tips for Box Owners and Visitors.
- Recommendations: know the basic movements before you drop in, be humble, introduce yourself, and get to know other people.
- Pushing himself extra hard due to external motivation.
- “None of us know everything, and we can always improve upon something…the better you get at it, the more you realize you don’t know.”
- Shout-out to Robb Wolf for having a humble voice, presenting sound information, and admitting when new information presents itself.
- Having a bad memory and embracing photography as a means to capture events.
- Going from in-gym photography to family and wedding portraits. “If I can help someone smile and create memories, that’s a cool thing.”
- Heading towards fitness being his #1 career focus.
- Having 100 different possible directions and crystallizing ideas into action.
- “Very few people actually invent the wheel. You’re doing the same thing that other people have done, but you’re doing it slightly different or at a different time.”
- Self actualization, the book Flow, and seeking more of that professionally.
- Ignorance is bliss. “Sometimes I wish that I could do a boring job and be content in doing a mediocre job…but it’s not who I am, and I have to acknowledge that.”
- Chris and Kristin expecting their first child in the Fall.
- Owing everything to Kristin – from Crossfit to traveling more to keeping him in line.
- On the impending baby: “It puts things in perspective. You become more selfless. You have to think of other people if you haven’t already.”
- Preferred vice: Cabernet wine…but choosing ice cream over it every time if given the choice.
- Going on a mass gain and housing ice cream and rice all summer (but not together). “It was a very uncomfortable summer.”
- Avoiding the input of mindless television.
- Receiving the question “How do you do all of this?” and answering “It’s more about not doing things that waste time.”
CHRIS’S Relentless Action: “Serve other people. We’re not here for ourselves.” Draw inspiration from the book The Other Wes Moore and remember this quote: “Hell is meeting the person you could have become.”
A Favor: If you like what you hear on these first few episodes, please help me out by subscribing to, rating, and/or reviewing the podcast on iTunes. Thanks for your support!
How much do you value your sleep?
Whatever your answer, my response is probably not enough.
Back in the Relentless Transformation Stone Age (5 years ago), sleep wasn’t on the priority radar. Sure, sleep was important. Sure, sleep was recommended. But those statements came with no oomph, no zest. 99% of the time and effort was spent revolutionizing exercise and nutrition.
Today, sleep is smack on the priority radar. The oomph and the zest have arrived, and a proportionate amount of time is being spent on it. Continue Reading
When I was a teenager, my best friend and I had an unusual habit: walking. It was unusual because not many teenagers were doing it. In fact, I’m not quite sure why we did it. Maybe it was because his mom was an avid power walker. Maybe it was simply time to catch up about the latest in sports and punk rock.
Our neighborhood was a figure-8 loop of almost 2 miles, and it had some nice scenery to boot. There was nothing quite like going out on a nice summer day, soaking in the sun, and smelling the fresh cut grass. We would say things like “man, I could walk forever”.
Fast forward to the present day. I met up with a good friend yesterday and we… yes – you guessed it – took a walk. It was time to catch up about the latest in sports and fitness (interesting swap with punk rock). It involved a nice spring day, soaking in the sun, but unfortunately a little less fresh cut grass than the suburbs. It took us around Philadelphia and the Schuylkill River trail, with a pit stop at Rival Bros coffee.
Conceptually you know that walking is good. The reports on its benefits are endless. But how often do you actually do it? Continue Reading