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Dream Big While You Can!

 

Dream Big SummitSo, I am on a flight back to Minnesota after an amazing, busy few days in Las Vegas for the Team Beachbody Coach Summit. It is our annual conference where coaches get together to share experiences, celebrate successes, learn about new product releases, promotions and work out live with the celebrity fitness trainers found in our popular Beachbody at-home fitness programs. This was my third Coach Summit and there were over 7000 coaches in attendance. The theme of the Summit this year was very timely for me and my family – DREAM BIG!

You see, the past year has included some of the best times of my life including the birth of our second child, Naomi, but also the single worst experience of my entire life when my sister passed away at the young age of 40 years old.

I have to be honest with you, this is very difficult for me to write about, but it sets the stage for how we are going to dream big and make a better life for our family. Perhaps the story may inspire others.

For those of you that have unfortunately experienced similar heart-breaking, significant losses to close friends or family, you may relate that you (hopefully) gain perspective in your own life from the experience. For me, it changed everything. My sister was on life support after sustaining cardiac arrest, and I had a lot of time to reflect on my own life as a brother, son, grandson, uncle, nephew, husband and father.

I had a lot of mixed feelings with regard to my priorities and what is truly important in life. I thought I knew, but in reality I had no idea. I do know that I wish I had spent more time with my sister and told her I loved her more while she was still alive. She was an amazing woman that passed on a legacy with her three beautiful children.

And then there are my parents… you see, I live in Minnesota and they live in Chicago. We currently see each other 2 – 3 times per year on average given our busy lives and travel distance. Upon reflection, what blows my mind (not in a good way) is that even if they live let’s say another 30 years to 100 years of age like my Grandpa, god bless him, we will only see my parents 60 – 90 more times. That is just depressing to think about. To take it another step further my parents may never meet their great grandkids from our side of the family or celebrate a lot of the accomplishments of our kids. Although I can’t control that fact, what I can control is how much we see my parents now.

I was always told in life that you need to go to school and get your education, go as far as you can and don’t look back until you get the highest degree possible to give you the most choices in life. This is very sound advice. I did it and would not change a thing. Thank you Dad! My wife has done the same. I earned my Ph.D. is Science and Engineering at 26 years of age. However, what came next I had to learn from experience. You need to balance priorities in life and baseline what is really important to you. At the end of the day, I would argue that family will rank high for most people. For me, it is THE number one priority. It has to be in my mind.

The last (almost) 10 years since earning my Ph.D. have gone SO fast that I now realize that I wish I spent more time with family. I worked very hard and have been recognized for a lot of accomplishments in my primary career including numerous technical achievements, sales performance awards and multiple promotions with progressive responsibility and direct reports. Some of this hard work required significant travel, even on a Global basis, and time away from my family. Looking back I am not so certain that any of these awards or accomplishments mean much to me, especially in terms of helping me focus on my family.

4 Star Flag Summit 2013These past few days though have given me the forum to make public the change in trajectory my wife and I are planning to dream big and spend more time with family. After being a Beachbody Coach part-time now for 4 years, it was an amazing experience to receive multiple recognitions I earned in the past year as a Team Beachbody Coach including Star Diamond advancements, Success Club All-Star (sales recognition) and the Financial Independence Award for eliminating all debt (excluding primary mortgage). Here are some images from the celebration including the opportunity I had to carry in the 4 Star Diamond Rank Advancement flag at the beginning of the general session as well as receiving the Financial Independence Award on stage in front of 7000 plus coaches!

Financial Independence Award 2013

At the Team Beachbody Coach Summit I was also provided the opportunity to DREAM BIG and make it known to the world. Here is what I wrote…

Dream Big

 

So there you have it. I am making it public that my wife and I are dreaming big. I plan to officially “fire my boss” on my 10-Year anniversary at my day job so that I can work from home full-time as a coach and spend more time with our kids, including our parents and extended family. Of course nothing is guaranteed, but we are in a strong position to make this dream a reality. And nothing against my current company for my primary career, they have provided excellent growth opportunities and I have been honored to contribute. I am very thankful for the amazing opportunity Beachbody has provided our family to build a financial legacy through helping others. Life is good, DREAM BIG. What is YOUR dream?

Financial Independence Award

Here is the full presentation of the Financial Independence Award beginning at the 4:30 mark in the video!

Here is the full entrance to the Coach Summit general session where I am carrying the 4-Star Diamond Flag around 1:30 mark in the video!

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Premiere 5 Star Diamond Independent Beachbody Coach, CEO and Founder of TEAM RAGE, Mike Nowak Fitness, HowDoIGetRipped.com and How Do I Get Ripped, LLC. You are about to learn how I went from out-of-shape busy dad with significant travel, 2 kids and a wife to losing 20 pounds, 16% body fat and 7" off my waist while getting paid more income from home than my Ph.D. in Science & Engineering. Retired my Ph.D. career to focus on FAMILY & FITNESS!

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