“The man in the suit has just bought a new car from the profit he’s made on your dreams.” – Traffic
I walked into a sushi restaurant one day. The sushi chef was an American. I turned around and walked out. He might have been the best sushi chef in the world. But he didn’t fit my image of a sushi chef. There was another time when I walked into an Italian restaurant and could see in the back that all of the food was being cooked by Mexicans. Once again, I turned around and walked out. Why? It just didn’t look right to me. It might have been the best Italian food in the world. It didn’t matter. Does my theory hold any weight? I don’t know. Let’s take cars. Italians make the Ferrari. The Japanese and Americans copy their designs and make sports cars. But they’re not Ferraris. You can take all the specs of a brand new Corvette, and in most cases, it will out-perform the car from Italy. At the end of the day, if it doesn’t have the badge of the prancing horse, it just ain’t a sports car. The founder of the company, Enzo Ferrari, once said the only true American sports car is a Jeep. Why? Like the Ferrari, the original Jeep was built for a purpose. It only does one thing really well. I told you that to tell you this. Serena and I were having dinner last night with a mutual friend. The friend was in town from Hong Kong where she lives with her husband and kid. They started talking about the good days and this trainer they once shared. Let’s call him Rodney, which is not his real name. I don’t personally know Rodney but we’ve exchanged niceties from time to time. There is something very interesting about him. In my guess, he goes about 300 pounds. Most of it jiggles. I asked the two women why would they pay an expert who can’t take care of his own body? The first answer I got was that he was nice. I realized right there that Rodney and I were vastly different. I don’t think anyone has ever paid me for being nice. I’ve been fired for not being nice enough. But guess what, I’m not going to change. After prodding a bit, our friend admitted that Rodney wasn’t really a good trainer. Often she would have to motivate him to motivate her. She said her husband shared my view of Rodney. She also told me Rodney charges one third of what I charge. Then we went into one of those “I guess you get what you pay for” conversations. In my opinion, she wasn’t even getting one third. The point I’m trying to make is there are a lot of so-called experts out there. And they’re not all just fat like Rodney. Some of them look quite fit. There are whole Web sites dedicated to these folks where you can hire a “coach” to help you do anything from marathons to triathlons to mountain climbing. In reality, you’d be better most of the time coaching yourself and saving the money. In the cyber world we’re living in today, it seems that anyone can hang a shingle out and become an expert on something. There’s not a lot of regulation on this. It’s a “buyer beware” market. In the fitness game, the client can end up hurt, and with that I have a real problem.