I wish someone would have told me the importance of being productive instead of just being busy. There have many been times when I am doing “busy work” and it makes me feel productive. But busy work does not move the needle. In order to make the impact I want to make I must have massive production during the times I block out to work. It is something I have to constantly work at and there are still some times on occasion where I have to catch myself and avoid doing busy work and focus on maximum production.
As a part of my series about social media stars who are using their platform to make a significant social impact, I had the pleasure of interviewing Jason Priest, who is a registered nurse, personal trainer and fitness nutrition specialist. Jason specializes in helping busy Dads and professionals re-define their Dad Bods with sustainable health solutions. Jason has been called the Dad Bod Destroyer and is well known for helping high performers achieve great health. Jason has built his business from the ground up and is on a mission to change the lives of 1,000,000 men while making an enormous impact on the obesity trend in our country.)
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
Absolutely! I spent the first 6 years of my nursing career working in an intensive care unit and during that time I saw some extremely scary and disturbing things. Many young people, some as young as in their mid-30’s, were losing their lives or having open heart surgery after procrastinating with their health for too long. The extra 30 or 40 pounds they were carrying around over the last 10 years was catching up to them. It was during those years when I realized how serious the obesity epidemic in our country truly is.
Later in my career I got into corporate wellness and became a personal trainer and fitness nutrition specialist and developed an extreme passion for fitness and nutrition. After years of trying all types of different diets and strategies I discovered a way to be able to eat all the foods I love while still maintaining a fantastic physique. It was during this process that a light went off in my mind. I decided I wanted to help other men do the exact same so they could be around to watch their children grow up to do amazing things and avoid becoming a statistic.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began this career?
Of course! I have a ton of interesting stories because of all the things I have witnessed in my life, especially working in ICU. So it is hard for me to choose just one. But I would have to say one of the most interesting stories which actually happens quite often is when one of my clients has what I call the “light bulb moment.” Because I am so passionate about what I do, it is truly fascinating to me when someone I am working with realizes how simple the process can be when it comes to feeling better and getting into great shape. The reason I find it so interesting is because 36% of our country is obese. I firmly believe that a large percentage of these obese people would drastically improve their health if they only realized their fitness journey isn’t as difficult as their mind often leads them to believe.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
Absolutely! One funny mistake I made is when I started doing live videos. I actually thought the entire world was tuning in and I was extremely nervous at first. I would occasionally do live videos in my kitchen so my audience could focus on what I was cooking instead of staring directly at me while I was talking. During these live videos I would have 3–4 viewers so clearly I had nothing to worry about. Looking back, I realize that real people want the real you. Nobody cares if your hair is a little messed up. Nobody cares if you have a stain on your shirt. The lesson I learned is that the world is starving for real and when you just be yourself things get a lot easier.
Ok super. Let’s now jump to the core focus of our interview. Can you describe to our readers how you are using your platform to make a significant social impact?
Of course! I primarily use Facebook and Instagram and show full transparency on both. I post a lot of mindset content relating to both my own life as well as the journey of my audience. I post a picture of every single dinner I eat. Dinner is the only time I have cheat meals and I want my audience to see when I am having cheat meals and when I am not. I want them to know that you don’t have to give up all the foods you love to get in great shape. I want them to know that health is wealth and getting healthy and being healthy is a fun process and it is something they should embrace. I do frequent live videos on Facebook providing as much value as I can to my audience. I do frequent stories on both platforms so my audience knows all of my health habits throughout the day. I want them to see how simple the process can be and my goal is to inspire them to take massive action.
Wow! Can you tell us a story about a particular individual who was impacted by this cause?
Yes! It’s funny because when I started doing this I had no idea who all could be impacted. I figured I was just adding value to the world and if someone benefitted from it great! I have people reach out to me fairly frequently and tell me they love what I am doing and that they have started making changes in their own life. But I received a message one day from someone I had never interacted with. The guy is from Australia and wanted me to know that my message is having an impact on him and his son all the way across the world. He told me they have been watching my videos and have started taking action on the things I was teaching. I thought that was a pretty awesome message to receive.
Was there a tipping point that made you decide to focus on this particular area? Can you share a story about that?
Absolutely. Before I started my business I was extremely unfulfilled when it came to my career. Working in corporate wellness was never going to provide me the opportunity to make the impact on the world that I want to make. The amount of people I could help was quite limited and I believe my message needs to be in the minds of as many men as possible. I firmly believe most men simply want to feel better and by implementing some of the things I teach on a daily basis they can experience this much quicker than they actually believe.
Are there three things the community/society/politicians can do help you address the root of the problem you are trying to solve?
Unfortunately the obesity epidemic isn’t going away anytime soon. We live in an immediate gratification society. People can get anything they want almost immediately from the computer that is always in their hands. Sitting has become the new smoking and more and more people are living sedentary lifestyles with high stress jobs. When you have high stress jobs, sedentary lifestyles and fast food restaurants on every corner, it is difficult to see this epidemic going anywhere for a while. It is projected that by the year 2030 around 50% of the United States will be obese. This is an extremely scary trend and I don’t think soda taxes or taxing high sugar foods are the answer. I do think community is the place to start. Community health initiatives and feeling like you are apart of something much bigger than just your own health goals is extremely powerful. That is a big reason I started my own community called The MAN UP Community. I wanted to give men a place to go so they could get helpful resources and support as well as accountability from a group of men working toward becoming the healthiest version of themselves.
What specific strategies have you been using to promote and advance this cause? Can you recommend any good tips for people who want to follow your lead and use their social platform for a social good?
To be honest with you the best strategy is being omnipresent. Content is king and when you put out content all the time across multiple platforms people are going to hear your message. There is a reason some of the best marketers in the world are all over the internet at all hours of the day. Showing up every single day and adding as much value as you possibly can to the world is my best tip. I post at least 3 times per day on multiple platforms and I do frequent live videos and frequent stories. This gives people the best chance to hear your message and implement the valuable lessons and teachings you are putting into the world.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why? Please share a story or example for each.
1. I wish someone would have told me how much family time I would have to sacrifice in order to build an empire and help as many people as possible. I know why I was put on this planet and I am on a relentless pursuit to changes the lives of millions. But in order to do so there are sacrifices that have to be made along the way. I have had to restructure part of my life so that I can be present in the moment with my wife and son. I have learned to stay off of my phone when I am around them so they know they are more important than whatever it is in the phone. It was not an easy lesson to learn but is has paid off big time.
2. I wish someone would have told me the importance of being productive instead of just being busy. There have many been times when I am doing “busy work” and it makes me feel productive. But busy work does not move the needle. In order to make the impact I want to make I must have massive production during the times I block out to work. It is something I have to constantly work at and there are still some times on occasion where I have to catch myself and avoid doing busy work and focus on maximum production.
3. I wish someone would have told me when I first started that showing up every day is the only thing that matters. Your content doesn’t need to be perfect. But you must show up. There will be times when you don’t feel like posting or you don’t feel like you have anything to post. There will be times when you don’t feel like making a video. But showing up every single day is what matters most. I learned later on that an average video or even a poor video will outperform no video at all. Your audience wants to know what you are up to. When you are providing influence, they want to know about your bad days and your good days. People like to paint a pretty picture on social media but your audience wants the real you.
4. I wish someone would have told me when I first started that there will be many lonely days along the way. In the beginning you are all excited to get your message out to the world. But there will be days of radio silence. There will be days when you feel like you aren’t accomplishing anything. Some of your posts will get little to no engagement. Some of your videos will only have one viewer. But you have to keep pushing forward. I have had many days when I felt like quitting and that is what makes me work even harder. I remember many times in the beginning wondering if I was the person for this mission. But I know exactly why I am here and what my purpose is. I will not be stopped until I help change as many lives as I possibly can.
5. I wish someone would have told me when I first started exactly what all the best options were when it comes to technology. I have failed miserably many times over when it comes to choosing the right platforms to work with. I have had to move all of my courses from one platform to another. I have had to switch accounts of many different programs I use. But it is all part of the experience. No business is run the exact same way and in order to have the largest impact possible you have to figure out which technology is best suited for you and your mission to serve others.
You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
The movement I would inspire is the movement I am currently working toward. I want other Dads and men to be around for their kids, their family and their friends and live the longest life possible. Life is entirely too short for it to end prematurely due to a few bad decisions. We are put on this planet once and by getting my message out to the masses I am hoping to create an enormous impact. By creating my community, The MAN UP Community, I hope to be able to reach the lives of over 1,000,000 men and help them become the healthiest version of themselves and the leader of their families in every aspect.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“Sometimes later becomes never. Do it now.”
This quote has been relevant in my life multiple times. Once when I had my own body transformation and once when I started my business. I often ask those who are contemplating making healthy lifestyle changes “why wait?” We live once and the last two words you want to use together in the same sentence are health and regret. I knew when I had become sick and tired of being sick and tired it was time to make a serious change so I took massive action.
In terms of my business I am a “late blooming” entrepreneur. But I vividly remember a discussion with my wife when I was feeling so unfulfilled and without purpose. The last thing I wanted to have happen was to look back 15 or 20 years from now and regret not starting my business and having the ability to help change the lives of so many men.
Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂
Narrowing it down to one person is tough because there are many people who I would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with. But if I had to absolutely choose one I would have to go with Jesse Itzler. The reason I would choose Jesse is because of how successful he is while remaining so passionate about his own health and fitness. I love how he inspires other entrepreneurs to take massive action but also prioritizes health above all. Jesse has many talents and growing and scaling businesses is obviously among them. But beyond his talents are his hard-working mentality and just showing up every day and putting in the work. Jesse’s wife Sara is also amazing and she is one of the best speakers I have ever seen in person. Having breakfast with him and getting to interact with him on a personal level would truly be a dream come true.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
Instagram — @DadBodHealth
Linked In — https://www.linkedin.com/in/dadbodhealth/
This was very meaningful, thank you so much!