When I was 18 years old, I met a guy who changed my life. He was a former Navy Seal  and was pursuing more entrepreneurial ventures such as business and acting. He was extremely different from other successful people I knew. His mindset, his way of life, and the things he did intrigued me. This compelled me to take him on as my mentor. He is inspiring because he was never talented at any of the things he pursued in life. He built all his success on hard work and discipline. 

Thankfully, I had the privilege of working out of his house every day for three years, and he’s been a good friend and mentor of mine for the past seven. To say that I’ve learned a lot would be an understatement.

By the way, you can learn about the origin of the Navy Seals here if you’re so inclined.

In this post, I’m going to share with you the top five things this Navy Seal taught me about business. 

Follow Through on Commitments

“Your drive and commitment to the goal must be more important than the struggles or pain you experience”

My mentor says the majority of people only talk about following through on their commitments with others, but there’s something even more important than that. It’s following through on commitments to yourself. In my company, we define commitment as,  “Doing what you said you were going to do, long after the feeling you said it in is gone.” He taught me to follow through on my commitments to myself, no matter how hard it is, then decide later if I wanted to do it again. I will give you a funny example of this.

One time we made up a crazy Crossfit workout to do together. When we were still going after 55 minutes, we both really wanted to quit but we didn’t. The majority of people would think, “I already worked out 55 minutes, I’m done for the day”. He taught me that having a ‘quitting mentality’ will ruin my success. Instead, finish the workout and then decide to create an easier workout next time. But never, ever quit.  Here’s one Navy Seals workout regime you can check out if you’re so inclined. 

Trust Yourself

Every time I’ve heard about the dangers of lying, it’s in regards to other people. But the worst person you could ever lie to is yourself. Most people will do whatever it takes to be truthful to others. But it is more important to be true to yourself than to others. Be real with yourself in your faults and your strengths, and if you tell yourself you are going to do something, make that the highest priority.

“If you verbalize a goal you have and then don’t do it, you just lied to yourself.”

Here’s an example: When I decided to put on a live event, I needed to book a venue. If I said to myself I needed to have it secured by a certain date, then I was going to do it. I wasn’t going to  let excuses and outside circumstances dictate my results. My mentor said that you are the only person that will make yourself successful, no one else will.

If I didn’t book the venue by that certain date, I would’ve lied to myself. I would have then told myself that I can’t trust myself. However, once you start being truthful and setting clear expectations for yourself, it will change everything. People will even trust you more because you now trust yourself. 

Be Teachable

I’ve always had a coach in sports, so it’s a no-brainer that I should have a coach in other areas of my life. My mentor coaches me on speaking for videos and in person. He goes through all my past videos and rips them apart by telling me everything I could do better. Why? Because everyone close to me will always tell me what I want to hear: “You did awesome!” “That was amazing!” The best thing is to have someone tell you that you suck. It might sound harsh, but being teachable and wanting to hear constructive criticism will always help you grow. My mentor told me that when he was 16 years old, his employer gave him a list of things he had done wrong. At the time, it was super hard. However, he looks back and says it was one of the best moments of his life because it made him grow so much. 

If you like this content, then come hang out with him and hear him speak at Billion Dollar Body Live. 

Accept Reality Quickly

You can’t change your reality without accepting it. The majority of people do not accept reality quickly. They dwell on the mistake or problem day after day, even if it’s not going to help them get out of the situation. One thing that my mentor taught me was no matter what the situation, I must accept reality quickly. As a Seal, you have to make fast decisions, especially since many are life or death situations. Unfortunately, he had to accept a lot of hardship and death as his reality. He personally invested $250,000 in a business deal and lost all of his money. Dwelling and being sad is not going to make the situation better.

He accepted the reality that he’s now worth  $250,000 less and he needed to figure out the game plan going forward. As an entrepreneur, I know the daily challenges that come up, but I can’t let those things dictate my tomorrow. Life is too amazing to keep looking at the mistakes and the problems of yesterday. 

You can learn from Seals on how to blitz your job interviews here.

Define Your Own Success

This was one of the most valuable lessons my navy seal mentor taught me. If you are not clear on exactly what you want, then you will never have the fight to be able to get it. The majority of success is drawn out by other people, from getting a job, to going to college, buying a house or a nice car. Someone else had the dream and then says “this is success” and we follow it. That is a place to start, since when you learn how to play music you always play someone else’s music before you write your own. But through that you get to know your style and what you like.

My mentor decided he didn’t want massive amounts of money or influence if it took away from freedom. So now he lives a life where he gets to work on whatever he wants, sacrificing money and fame, but he is completely happy. He defined success and he executes on it every day. If deep down success to you is time freedom, but you have to work 12 hour days because of a high maintenance business, then you won’t be happy. You will be living someone else’s dream, not yours. Create a business around the lifestyle you want to live. Figure out what success looks like to you and then be obsessed over that thing until you have it.

These five things will not only change your business, they will change your life.

The reason I don’t mention his name is because he likes his privacy. However, I convinced him to come speak at my men’s event, Billion Dollar Body Live, happening this July in San Diego. 

 Opinions expressed here by Contributors are their own.

Nicholas Bayerle

Founder/CEO of The Billion Dollar Body, helping men reach their ultimate health, power and confidence. Named top 30 under 30 influencers with my wife of 5 years, Amanda Bayerle. Co-Host of the top rated podcast, The Billion Dollar Body. Went from obese and depressed to fit and thriving.