Think on a macro and a micro scale. Think about things on a large scale when you need to remind yourself of the intended outcome. Think about massive changes you’d like to see in the world outside of yourself through the work you’re doing on the inside. When the macro seems too big to accomplish without massive effort, remind yourself why you’re doing it and the small steps you can take today. Create a to-do list and don’t focus on anything but the task at hand until it’s finished. When you’ve done that, move on to the next task. Be like water and erode the obstacles in your way.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Scot J Chrisman, a former professional skier turned entrepreneur. Scot has lived a life that few have but many can relate to. From the highs of being a sponsored skier and Junior Olympics silver medalist at the ages of 12 and 14 respectively, to the lows of drug addictions and trouble with the law, to building a personal development empire that helps world renowned athletes tell their stories and create a positive impact in the world, Scot has truly lived a unique but relatable life.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what events have drawn you to this specific career path
Branding and marketing have always been interests for me, although when I was in high school I didn’t even know that’s what they were called. I’ve always been curious about how large corporations created advertisements and decided to position themselves. From leveraging popular songs to different strategies for engaging viewers, my curiosity was high and my brain was always wondering about who they were targeting, why they approached it in the way they did, and how it performed when released to the market vs. what they expected and hoped. That curiosity surrounding branding and marketing benefitted me when I got back into skiing after dropping out of college. I was able to market myself to brands, photographers, and people in the industry in a way that allowed me to sponsor relationships. After some tough times in 2016 it just made sense for me to dive into things head first.
Can you share your story of Grit and Success? First can you tell us a story about the hard times that you faced when you first started your journey?
Life got really tough for me in 2016, not to say that 2008–2016 weren’t some of the toughest years of my life, but 2016 was the breaking point. In a matter of 6 months, I broke my back, lost one of my best friends, and got charged with a felony. I was the most broken I’ve ever been, and I was unsure of how to rebuild myself into someone I could love. I started by investing in myself. I hired a life coach and that started my personal development journey. Although it wasn’t apparent at the time, life serendipitously introduced me to everyone I needed to know along the way in the last 2 years. Most of the things that I thought would pay off didn’t, but I stuck with it after every “failure” and looked for the lessons. There were days that I didn’t want to, nor did I, think I could keep going. I poured my heart and soul into a company — thousands of hours — just to have a larger company come in, replicate my online products, and out market me. I had to pivot and keep pushing on and that’s when I had my first big success: I launched a podcast that went #1 in sports in iTunes. From there I’ve barely looked back.
Where did you get the drive to continue even though things were so hard?
Drive is something that I’ve had within me for a long time. I wasn’t the most athletic kid when I was younger, and I sure didn’t have the athletic physique that a lot of others had, but I had drive and I looked at the small things that could make a big impact. I took control over my diet at a young age and that took discipline. While everyone else was eating pizza and candy bars, I was eliminating both sugar and dairy from my diet. I got my black belt in Karate at age 12 and that also taught me discipline. So did my past in ski racing, long days, working out, and going to a college prep school. These are all things I can fall back on when times are tough. The number one thing that keeps me pushing forward is the thought of ‘what if I don’t?’ What if I don’t give it my all, who could suffer? Who might end up suffering because of my lack of commitment and discipline?
So how did Grit lead to your eventual success? How did Grit turn things around?
Grit allowed me to keep pushing through the hardest times of my life. It allowed me to find gratitude in the moments that looked absolute. The moments where I couldn’t see a way out but decided I would stick around until the clouds parted and I could see the sun. It’s allowed me to push through 5 season ending injuries and continue to pursue impact although the medium has changed from skiing to entrepreneurship. Grit allowed me to push past what seemed to be insurmountable obstacles by being like water and slowly eroding the obstacles in my way while sharpening my skills and refining my tactics, until the obstacles washed and were tackled with ease.
So, how are things going today? 🙂
Things today look completely different than 2 years ago. I’ve got a content creation agency that has multiple employees, I’ve interviewed multiple Olympic medalists on my podcast, and I’m working with people like NFL stars, a Super Bowl ring winner, a former Pentagon intelligence officer, UN ambassadors, companies forecasted to be worth billions, and much more.
Based on your experience, can you share 5 pieces of advice about how one can develop Grit?
The 5 things that you can actively do to develop Grit from my perspective are:
1) Meditation. Silence your mind everyday to get to the core of the issues. Practice being centered and whole without any sort of external validation. Find “enough” within yourself so that you aren’t bleeding your energy out through your thought process. Thinking about how terrible things are never helped anyone and as you may have heard several times: life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.
2) Think on a macro and a micro scale. Think about things on a large scale when you need to remind yourself of the intended outcome. Think about massive changes you’d like to see in the world outside of yourself through the work you’re doing on the inside. When the macro seems too big to accomplish without massive effort, remind yourself why you’re doing it and the small steps you can take today. Create a to-do list and don’t focus on anything but the task at hand until it’s finished. When you’ve done that, move on to the next task. Be like water and erode the obstacles in your way.
3) Try a 3 day Fast. (Before you try a fast consult your health professional.) Fasting is an amazing way to develop discipline and grit. It shows you how tough you really are mentally. I highly recommend taking advice from someone like Tim Ferriss when starting a fast and kicking yourself into ketosis (the state you’re in when you’re on a ketogenic diet) before you fast or within the first 24 hours of starting the fast. This will limit your hunger and allow you to burn fat as fuel.
4) Gratitude. Find gratitude for what you have. Instead of placing validation in what you may accomplish, place validation in what you can accomplish today. Go to that to-do list and start knocking things off one by one. Find gratitude for the moment and create a frame of mind that’s grateful for the work you get to do instead of thinking it’s work you “have to do.” The past and the present can’t be changed except for by the way you view them. Find gratitude for what’s in front of you and you’ll be forever empowered.
5) Optimize your body, aka get into biohacking. Biohacking, or creating optimal health for you body, is key for optimal performance. If you’re dealing with a lot of stress, at a biological level you’re not going to perform the way you’d like to at a mental level. The more you can optimize your body, which generally is a practice in grit itself, the better off you’ll be. Things like cold showers, cold water submersion, fasting, and working out all develop grit in different ways. (Consult a medical professional or hire a professional to help you before you just jump right in to any of these.)
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped you when things were tough? Can you share a story about that?
I honestly wouldn’t be here without several incredible people in my life. There are so many amazing people I could name that have helped me when things were tough. Some of my mentors including Nicholas Bayerle and Matt and Caleb Maddix are a few. The 2 people who have had the biggest effect on my success though are my parents. I’m lucky enough to have parents that are still together and they have helped me through some of the toughest of times. I lived with my parents for a couple months after getting into trouble with the law and they have continued to support me along my entrepreneurial journey through the last 2 years. They’ve helped me find perspective when I felt like giving up and have continued to believe in my mission even as it’s changing.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
I aim to use my success to bring positive change and impact to the world everyday. I got a message a couple months ago about the impact I had on someone’s life in getting sober. They’re convinced they saved their life this summer and I was a positive inspiration for them to take the steps needed. That’s why I do what I do.
Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?
We’ve got a ton of amazing projects in the works. We’re expanding our agency to do paid ads and more. My book is about to launch online and in stores. It’s a 12 step guide to living your hero’s journey and I hope it impacts millions of people.
What advice would you give to other executives or founders to help their employees to thrive?
Autonomy and accountability are the 2 most important things you need to give and receive from employees. Look at your company as a living being and if you can limit the entropy (loss of energy) at a cellular level (from person to person) then you can optimize the company to its maximum potential. If you can help people in your company develop communication skills and feel invested in the company, if you can give them a level of ownership of their craft that allows them to be empowered, you will win. Eliminate micro management and create channels of communication that invite open communication between employees and yourself. Be willing to listen to each of them and honor their opinion in a way that honors their intelligence and that they are capable of greatness. Lastly, hire the right people and vet people in a way that allows you to know who they truly are off the bat. People will say all sorts of things to get a job but won’t do much to keep it. Just like sales, you’re relying on fulfillment of the team. If they’re selling you on their employment then they better be able to fulfill their sale.
You are a person of great 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. 🙂
I want to redefine the term YOLO (you only live once) and allow people to create a big impact with their life. So many people I’ve witnessed are living a life that doesn’t serve them. They are stuck in degradation because of their inability to grasp that this is their one life in this body, this is their one shot to become a part of the greater human organism. There are 4 core principles that I’m convinced will save the world: eliminating resource scarcity, optimizing health, creating relationships, and managing wealth. If we each optimize ourselves and learn about the last 3, if we take control of our world physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, if we learn to create amazing relationships and communities together, if we learn to manage money, and if we’re all provided for at a basic level, we will win as the whole human organism. Back to limiting entropy, if we can lift up the floor of society, not the ceiling, humanity will win. I’m working on several projects that will help in implementing these principals but I ask you to start with yourself. Become the best human you possibly can and learn your strengths and weaknesses. Be able to express your strengths and weaknesses to others without feeling less than or not enough. Create great relationships that are based on honesty, trust, communication, and empowering others. Work on managing your money and putting your money where it’s going to have the greatest impact and invest in yourself and in companies that will help the human organism as a whole.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“YOLO. Life is not a dress rehearsal. You only get one shot at this life and the time to act is now.” It’s how I approach everything in my life, and it’s how I’ve gotten to where I am today.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational.