Why I Set Goals — and How I Kicked My Own Ass (and NOT in a good way)…

I began writing goals back in 2002. After years of selling something that is legal in my state today (but not then) and paying the price for it, I spent 1994-2000 broke, mostly jobless, and completely useless. I even went though a short period of homelessness. In fact, if not for the kindness of a good woman, I would’ve probably been homeless a lot longer.

Most of the jobs I had were throwing drunks out of bars. The gigs were part-time and typically a buck or two over minimum wage. I usually didn’t stay very long.

At age 30 I threw a gorilla-sized monkey off my back that had been pushing me down for 15 years and moved in with my mother (bless her heart.)

I started with a minimum wage job at a print shop and then began building my own personal training biz. I wrote down my goals, reviewed them, visualized myself attaining them, believed I could and worked my ass off.

Within a year I was making six figures. The most I’d ever LEGALLY made in my life. A year after that, multiple six figures. A few years later I started putting out info products ( ebooks, Video courses, membership content programs) teaching other trainers how to market and grow their businesses. I learned a TON about marketing. And marketing is a GREAT skill to have.

I was soon bringing in a RIDICULOUS amount of money. I’d made a good income in my personal training biz, but info marketing trumped that.

I upgraded my lifestyle, moved into a McMansion, bought a fancy new sports car, a new Harley Davidson Cross Bones, all sorts of toys, had a fat savings, and felt I had “made it.”

And with the help of science (pharmaceuticals) I got ripped: at 6’6″ I was 265, shredded and strong. I even sported a Mohawk (Today I think the damn thing looked ridiculous for a 40-year old man. Not that it wouldn’t look great on someone else, though. See silly picture of me to the right.)

Problem was…

I bought into my own PR. I let my success go to my head. I got cocky.

And…

I was empty inside. I no longer thanked my creator every day for what I had. I was no longer grateful. I was selfish, egotistical, and more miserable than I had ever been in my life. More miserable than during my period of homelessness and kicking my ass (with the help of that big ass monkey I mentioned) a decade earlier.

I’m fact, I was so empty inside I invited that monkey back into my life and onto my back once again (after having shook him off back in 2000.)

You see, I thought the money and material objects would fill a hole that today, for me at least, I believe can only be filled spiritually. But I ain’t here to preach about my spiritual beliefs. I hate when people preach to me, so don’t worry, I will say no more about that.

My (now) wife pulled me back to my feet a little over five years ago.

Climbing out of that seemingly bottomless pit led to a transformation. Funny how that works. Sometimes we gotta go through the darkest of nights to get to the brightest of days.

I took a long hard look at my life and realized that …

A) Money will not make me happy

B.) I’d be much more fulfilled and enjoy life so much more doing something I’d love than chasing money.

So I began writing full-time. Fortunately, for some reason, people are willing to pay me damn good money to write for them. I work on my own fiction in my off hours. Now I love the stuff I’m paid to write. A lot of it is GANGSTER. And I’m big into gangster.

But while the money IS great, it ain’t like it was back when I was living in the McMansion, selling my own info products.

With my daughter Seersha. Today—as I write this—is actually her first birthday (=

Thing is…

I’m way happier today. Way more fulfilled. I enjoy what I do all day much more than I’ve enjoyed any other kind of work I’ve ever done. And I get paid to hone my craft. All. Day. Long. How cool is that? (Plus, the clients are work for are close friends and some of the coolest people you could ever meet.)

I would never have accomplished any of this stuff had I not set goals, believed I would achieve ’em, and then worked my ass off to hit ’em.

Today my goal is to earn enough money writing my own crime fiction that I don’t have to do anything else for money and never have to worry about money—that I make enough of my own fiction to be financially free and get to spend my days doing what I love: writing crime fiction. Because that IS what I want to do all day.

This goal is a bit more challenging than previous ones like “make six figures as a trainer” or “make millions as a info marketer.” I know a lot of damn good novelists who still work day jobs. I know a few others who bring in seven to multiple-seven figures per novel, and for the most part, they’re even better. But often times not by much.

Photo by David Oliva

What I have going for me is:

1. An obsession with hitting my goals

2. Fairly kickass marketing skills (it’s what i did for years)

3. The fact that I write 6 to 10 hours a day and get better every single day

4. My determination. When I set my sights on something, I am relentless. Dogged as a mofo.

5. Even though I’m an introvert I’m pretty damn good at making connections.

6. An awesome, supportive wife.

All that said, I am so grateful to get paid the money I do to write the kind of content I am for my clients. Their stuff is very similar to my own crime fiction, which is a giant blessing.

Try tellin’ this guy he’ll never make any money as a writer.

(By the way, any struggling writers who want to shoot me down for having financial goals tied to my writing or for believing that I can earn a damn good living as a novelist can go get fucked. Just cuz YOU ain’t made it yet doesn’t mean that I can’t. In fact, people telling me I can’t do something propels me forward. That shit’s like fuel to me. So bring it on.)

Moral of the story…

I never would have accomplished any of the cool stuff that I have had I not set goals in the first place. In fact, I’d probably still be making minimum wage.

So yeah, I guess you could say I’m big on goals and have benefited a ton from setting them.

Talk soon,

Big Chris

Written by Chris McCombs

Just put your primary email in here and I’ll be sure to hook you up ( I hate spam too so I promise to keep it private and never share it with anyone) … I’ll see you on the other side

Well, this is embarrassing…

Well, this is embarrassing. Not only have I not blogged in over two years, I also got FAT.

The pic on the left was taken late 2010. I’m 6’6″ and weighed 265lbs at the time. The pic on the right was taken three days ago. I’m 385lbs and need to do something about it…again.

My motivation this time is different than before, though. While back then it was 90% about how I looked, this time I need to do it for my health…so my wife and children can have me around.

Let’s face it, I’m 46, and I’m sure I have a bunch of crap built up in my arteries.

I used to NEVER worry about dying. Now I worry about it every day.

I’ve gone up and down to extreme ends of the spectrum three times in the last 20 or so years. I get ripped and then balloon up. Right now I’m a balloon. The biggest balloon I’ve ever been.

I eat WAY too many sugars/carbs, especially at night. The only exercise I’m getting right now is 45 minutes brisk walks with my dogs about five days a week.

Here’s the thing: I KNOW what to do. For years I owned a personal training business. I lifted obsessively, did cardio, ate like a bodybuilder, and read everything about fitness that I could find.

My struggle is embracing/living a healthy lifestyle. And I’ll be honest, in that pic in 2010, I did a lot of things to get into that kind of shape that were far from healthy. I also obsessed over everything I ate. I was way too OCD about it all, and believe that played a part in my inability to stay the course.

I want to do it healthy this time, and in moderation.

I have a lot of things going for me…

– Like I said, I know a lot of the “how.”

You can I have a good bit of muscle hiding under all that fat.

– Even though I haven’t lifted consistently in a while, I have a ton of muscle under my fat, and I’m damn strong

– For years I’ve been prescribed injectable testosterone and HCG. But not crazy amounts like a certain dude who looks like me was known to take in a past life.

– I have a badass home gym, tons Rogue equipment, power rack, all kinds of specialty bars, heavy DBs, boxes, bands, landmine, KBs, you name it.

– I have an amazing, supportive wife (Veronica) who will cook healthy meals on the reg. And for the most part, she already eats pretty well.

– Because of the years I spent in the fitness marketing “guru” arenas, I know HUNDREDS of trainers, bodybuilders, fitness gurus, CrossFitters, powerlifters, gym owners, etc. from all over the world.

I have beautiful little children I love with my entire heart and know that if I don’t do something about my health, I’m not keeping their best interest at the forefront of my life and may end up robbing them of having me around until I’m a (big) little old man.

What I don’t have going for me…

– I write for a living, so every day I SIT on a couch or recliner writing and reading for approx 11 hours. NO EXCUSE.

– I have an insatiable hunger. Always have.

Again, that’s no excuse. So, I’m putting this post out to keep myself accountable to staying the course of a new, healthier path. And because if I don’t do something about it, now that I’ve posted this, I’ll feel like a major flake/jagoff /loser

So there you have it. This is where I’m at.

Talk soon,

Big Chris

P.S. If you have any tips on what works best for not only losing fat, but also keeping it off FOREVER, please comment about it below. It seems to me less than five percent of the people who lose weight are able to keep it off for good. I’d love to hear why you think this is.

Also, words of encouragement are appreciated (and for some reason, I feel like a major wuss for saying that. It is, however, the truth.)

Written by Chris McCombs

Just put your primary email in here and I’ll be sure to hook you up ( I hate spam too so I promise to keep it private and never share it with anyone) … I’ll see you on the other side

How to Cure To-Do List Panic

list-h600I rolled out of bed with panic running wild through my blood.

My to-do list stared me down like a crew of cranked-out, roided-up outlaw bikers about a half-second before they barrel down on me to flatten my skull for knocking over their choppers.

Deadlines for copywriting and ghostwriting clients loomed over me hard.

Emails anxiously laid in wait in my inbox, screaming to be opened, so urgent needs and pressing expectations could be attended to.

And I had to call both my tax lady and my attorney. God bless ‘em, but I’d rather eat shards of glass drenched in Ebola mucus than hop on the phone and discuss the issues at hand. Calls like that tend to send my blood pressure through the roof and throw my A.D.H.D. into overdrive.

RUN, my mind screamed at me. Race down the to-do list so you can get all this shit done before the sun goes down.

As I poured high-octane, black coffee down my gullet, I reminded myself…

1. Thank God I have clients willing to pay me good money to do what I love.

I make money writing marketing copy—how cool is that?

I’m also paid to ghostwrite crime stories about high-level gangsters. Stories that go out to hundreds of thousands and even millions of readers and entertain the heck out of ’em. I’ve wanted to write crime fiction since I first saw Death Wish when I was about five years old.

PLUS, I get to do it all from my home office, hanging out with dogs and an arsenal of southern rock jams.

And my two-year-old daughter Zoe is right downstairs and pops in from time to time to give me hugs and talk about princesses and fairies and show me pennies she found on the floor and ask me for a pen so she can draw on the walls.

This is a million times better than waking up and having to fight my way through traffic to that minimum wage job at the print shop, like I did 13 years ago. In fact…this is downright fucking awesome! It’s what I’ve always wanted.

2. Thank God I have emails flying my way.

My clients value my service, and communication is just part of business. Without communication, there would be no business. And hell, email beats chatting on the phone any day of the week—something my introverted nature rarely wants any part of.

3. Thank God I have taxes to pay.

That means I’m making money.

4. Hey, I can afford an attorney!

There was a time when I couldn’t, and that sure sucked.

5. And, remember Chris, you’re WAY more creative when you’re relaxed and not in a hurry to get 10,000 things done at once.

Your work is better and you typically get more accomplished when you just do your best, focus on one thing at time, and throw your fucking heart into it. So chill out, dude. One. Thing. At. A. Time.

6. Action Alleviates Anxiety

When you’re doing one thing at a time, moving forward, it eases the anxiety. Thinking about tasks is stressful. Doing them, one at time, in the zone, without worrying about the rest of the list, is both relaxing and rewarding.

Well, damn, doesn’t that shift in mindset—the gratitude, action, and present moment awareness—make all the difference in the world?

Hellyeah it does.

Looking at it this way feels sooo much better than freaking out just because my to-do list is the size of James Joyce’s Ulysses.

My to-do list is a reflection of all the awesome stuff I have going on in my life…

It’s a list of things I want to do. (Well, most of it I do.)

There was a time in my twenties when I didn’t have a to-do list. My entire days were spent hitting doctors’ offices and pharmacies so I could score opiods and benzos and keep the dark clouds of impending withdrawals at bay. I was miserable, broke, and defeated.

Today I’m sober and have a damn good life, living by the beach in Orange County, doing what I love.

Focus on that.

I have to admit, though, being relaxed is making me a little uncomfortable. Feels strange. Better dump some more coffee down my throat so I can ramp up the tension again. Tension has been running buddy for years and it just don’t feel right not having him around.

Maybe I’ll wait a few hours for the next cup. Yeah, that’s what I’ll do. I’ll wait a few hours.

Talk soon,
Big Chris

Written by Chris McCombs

Just put your primary email in here and I’ll be sure to hook you up ( I hate spam too so I promise to keep it private and never share it with anyone) … I’ll see you on the other side

Watch This Video Real Quick – It’s Funny and Important

Hey there it’s Big Chris. Check out this video from Henry Rollins real quick. It’s both funny and important.

Did you know that 4500 children die each day from dirty water and poor sanitation?

The sad fact is the while we take our water for granted, others are dying. But you CAN make a difference.

Learn how you can help out by clicking here.

Screen Shot 2015-02-09 at 3.21.52 PM-h600

Click Here To Learn How You Can Help Out

Talk soon,

Big Chris

Written by Chris McCombs

Just put your primary email in here and I’ll be sure to hook you up ( I hate spam too so I promise to keep it private and never share it with anyone) … I’ll see you on the other side

9 Ways You Can Make a Difference—Even if You’re a Selfish Bastard Like Me

141928597962243-w650With Christmas barreling down on us like an out-of-control freight train manned by a couple of insane little elves hopped up on energy drinks, ephedrine, and PCP, I figured it would be a good time to do a post about making a difference in the world.

Now, I’m just going to throw this out there…

I’m selfish. Have been my whole life.

I remember in the 6th grade my football team won first place and we all went to Round Table Pizza to celebrate. Everyone on the team got two slices of pizza. However, I noticed that there was one slice left in the pan, so I gulped my two pieces down like a stray dog—not enjoying even one single bite—just so I could claim rights to that final piece and get three pieces of pizza instead of just two like the rest of my teammates.

Doesn’t matter what it is, I always seem to want more.

I also think about myself constantly—my goals, fears, image, what I gotta do today, what agitates me, what makes me happy, what I want to avoid and achieve. Me, me, me.

Now, it’s no secret that only thinking about oneself is a surefire path to misery. No matter how good you look, how much money you make, how big your house is, how much awesome stuff you do or own, or how much sex you have, without some kind of selfless contribution to the world, it just doesn’t seem to be enough.

Screen Shot 2013-12-10 at 4.54.09 PM-w800-h600There’s never enough.

Most of us play movies in our head all day where we’re trying to figure out how we can get a bigger pile of gold and a smaller pile of shit.

The pile of gold is what we want: money, recognition, admiration, sex, approval, success, food, comfort, etc.

And the pile of shit is what we don’t want: pain, embarrassment, fear, poverty, loneliness, drama, crisis, and lack of this, that, and the other thing. (OK, some people actually DO want the drama, but that’s a post for another day.)

Fortunately, there’s a quick and easy way out of this continual mental loop. It’s by thinking about other people and doing something to help ’em from the raw goodness of our hearts.

Now, sure, you can make a contribution through your career, or through books or info-products you release, or through paid seminars or mastermind events you put on, and that can all be very fulfilling. But without some form of selfless giving—meaning doing something without compensation, recognition, or an angle—I don’t think life can be lived at 100%.

And sure, [Read more…]

Written by Chris McCombs

Just put your primary email in here and I’ll be sure to hook you up ( I hate spam too so I promise to keep it private and never share it with anyone) … I’ll see you on the other side

Here’s a List of My Favorite Books – What Are Yours?

75F86412-985D-4FBC-92FE-BCAFCC9CF7C1-w330My favorite way to both start and end my day is by kickin’ back and enjoying a good book.

Here’s a list of my favorites—including personal development, business, fitness, and fiction. I’d love to hear what your favorites are in the comment section down below.

Personal Development/Psychology/Philosophy/Spirituality

The War of Art by Stephen Pressfield

Turning Pro by Stephen Pressfield

The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

Psycho-Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz

The Charge by Brendon Burchard

Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway by Susan Jeffers

The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor

Loving What Is by Byron Katie [Read more…]

Written by Chris McCombs

Just put your primary email in here and I’ll be sure to hook you up ( I hate spam too so I promise to keep it private and never share it with anyone) … I’ll see you on the other side

I’ve Been Running From This My Entire Life

Screen Shot 2014-06-30 at 1.33.05 PM-w800-h600 I had no place to run. I screamed, cried, and tried to hide under the table. The big nurse holding the syringe blocked the door, while my mom tried to apprehend my little seven-year old ass and subdue me long enough for the nurse to have her way with me.

The promise of getting a Mad Magazine after the visit wasn’t enough to coerce me into voluntarily surrendering to that godforsaken needle of fate. It took being overpowered and held down. Or at least that’s how I remember it.

However, the real hell didn’t begin until after the injection made it’s way out of my tiny, undeveloped medial deltoid muscle…

You see, at the front desk my mom scheduled another appointment. I had to come back in 30 days for a second stabbing.

As we walked out of the doctors office to go pick up my promised Mad Magazine, I thought about how I could run away. Possibly flee the country if I had to. Or maybe even do myself in. All to avoid the hell of another puncture wound being perpetrated on me by the evil medical professionals who seemed to be only interested in one thing—harming innocent and defenseless children like myself. [Read more…]

Written by Chris McCombs

Just put your primary email in here and I’ll be sure to hook you up ( I hate spam too so I promise to keep it private and never share it with anyone) … I’ll see you on the other side

Here’s What My Dog Just Taught Me About Life

1622871_10152287357337442_1228212020_n-w800-h600

Zoe and Olive hatching some kind of plan

My 5-month-old lab puppy Olive just taught me a powerful lesson about life….

When Olive was about 2 and 3 months old, we crate trained her—meaning, we put her in a little cage and every few hours would take her out to go potty and play some tug-of-war and fetch.

This helped her learn to control her bladder and not turn my carpet into something that looked like Jackson Pollock had painted with wide swaths of urine and dog turd.

At first, she would work like crazy to get out—feverishly trying to dig through the cage’s door with her paws as if she hadn’t been fed in three days and we were dangling a nice fat rib eye steak just outside the [Read more…]

Written by Chris McCombs

Just put your primary email in here and I’ll be sure to hook you up ( I hate spam too so I promise to keep it private and never share it with anyone) … I’ll see you on the other side

The Most Important Thing I Know

C85E776D-BD19-4821-9898-BC964AD596C9-w800-h600When you have a blog like this one—or are a coach, mentor, parent, boss, teacher, or even if you’re…well…anyone—it’s easy to become impressed with yourself and all the cool stuff you know.

Not only have you taken classes, attended lectures, read hundreds of books and thousands of articles, passed the exams, gotten the credentials, and have an entire case full of trophies (or at least a box full of em’ in the garage or somewhere at your mom’s house)…

…but you’ve also trudged a hard road. You’ve scrapped with the best of ’em, conquered demons, flattened opponents, walked through the fire, and have even stared death square in the eye more than a few times and lived to tell about it. You have the scars to prove it.

And let’s face it, you’ve [Read more…]

Written by Chris McCombs

Just put your primary email in here and I’ll be sure to hook you up ( I hate spam too so I promise to keep it private and never share it with anyone) … I’ll see you on the other side

About My Dead Friends and the Sheer Awesomeness of Life

pic3-05-w800-h600This is probably the hardest blog post I’ve written.

It’s a fact of life that sometimes bad shit happens that reminds us of how downright awesome our lives are.

This is gonna get a little dark. But there’s beauty to be found here as well. And I promise, this post comes straight from my heart.

In 2002 I was working at a craft store called Tall Mouse, making minimum wage.

During my lunch hour I’d study for my personal training certification in the break room. While I buried my nose in my textbooks, my coworkers—mostly little old ladies—would eat their sack lunches and talk about their husbands, grandchildren, and what happened on American Idol last night.

The staff was made up of a bunch of cute-as-a-button grandmothers, teenagers who worked there after school, and dudes in their 30s and 40s whose dreams had died.

Christina Smith was 19, artistic, cute, and shy. She had an innocent little crush on me that she made known in the way bashful girls do.

However, I was more into bad girls at the time, and even though she was 19 [Read more…]

Written by Chris McCombs

Just put your primary email in here and I’ll be sure to hook you up ( I hate spam too so I promise to keep it private and never share it with anyone) … I’ll see you on the other side