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16 Jun

Ep. 144 – Chris and Heidi Powell – Fitness Entrepreneurs & Transformation Specialists

Chris and Heidi Powell – “You guys know it doesn’t matter how amazing your message is; if you don’t have the right business engine behind you and the stars aren’t aligned, it is nearly impossible to get your message out to the extent that you want to, so we really … it was a lot of hard work, a lot of failures, a lot of wonderful team members, and a lot of luck, too.”


Chris & Heidi Powell – Fitness Entrepreneurs, Transformation Specialists, Hosts of Extreme Weight Loss; Success was a 15 year process; an alignment of two people; taking transformations to tech; Having the right mindset and heart to change; honesty and integrity.

Segment 1: (Length :04:00) – General Updates; Introduction to Chris & Heidi Powell; Success was a 15 year process; Losing it all at the beginning; A chance meeting; 5 years on television.

Chris & Heidi’s finer points:

“Everything you read in the bio, if you only knew how many failures or falls there were to go along with the successes. Gosh, all those things you mentioned, those are the things that happened to stick, but we threw 100 times more things against the wall, which don’t really ever get brought up or mentioned, but all of those successes and failures combined are what led us to where we are, but Chris, from kind of a chronological standpoint.”

“it’s kind of crazy to think back all the accomplishments, but this whole thing is also, as far as Transformation goes, we’re 15 years in the making, so it wasn’t just overnight.”

“Started way back in 2003. I landed a gig as the Good Morning, Arizona fitness guy, started doing all these different weight loss segments and I started receiving a lot of emails from people who were just right here in Arizona asking for help.'”

“The thing that was unique about these emails with these individuals were 500, 600, 700 pounds, and back in 2003, you really didn’t see those individuals a lot, and I was reading their letters, the one thing I noticed that they prided themselves on being invisible, and so they would only come out at night or maybe not even come out at all, and it really … I couldn’t stop thinking about it because I just kept getting more and more of these emails.”

“There was one in particular, it was a gentleman who was 630 pounds at the time. I was 24; he was 25, and the doctor had just left his house, said he would never see 30 years old, and I just couldn’t stop thinking about that.”

“I ended up driving out to his house the next week, sat down with him, and after just a couple minutes, I said, “Dude, I don’t know where this is going to go, but I’ll see you on Tuesday,” showed up every other day for two years. He ended up losing over 400 pounds and became one of my best friends.”

That's where my love for transformation began because it changed my life so much in the process and I actually got one of my best friends out of it. In fact, he's sitting in chair not 50 feet away from us right now as we speak. He's in our living room, my buddy, who actually was my very first transformation.

“We’ve met our closest friends through this process as well, helping them transform, but long story short, after he lost all the weight, I reached out to some of my buddies who were doctors, so we got him skin surgery and we got his teeth done, and nothing happened for a few years because we just went on with our lives.”

“Then, sure enough … because he had lost between 2003 and 2005. In 2007, he posted his before-and-afters on a site called Myspace . . . he posted his before and afters on Myspace and went viral, and that was when things really took off, and by 2009, Discovery was doing … and TLC was shooting a documentary on his transformation and our friendship.”

“We were living together at the time, now. We lived together for a couple years, and then by late 2009, it was, yeah, actually turned out to be one of the highest rated documentaries on TLC in 2009.”

“Actually, through those times though, I ended up going through some really, really rough patch, made some bad investments. I patented a product that I really believed in, tooled a factory in China, sent hundreds of thousands of dollars over there, and when the first container arrived, I opened it up and the product was bad. It was bunk, and I didn’t have a good contract to be able to back it up and get any kind of money back, and I lost hundreds of thousands of dollars.”

I ended up losing my ... the roof over my head; I was living out of my car, sleeping on friends' couches, and so actually it was during that time, my buddy who I had helped through his transformation, his family opened up their house to me and they let me sleep on their couch for about six months while I got back on my feet.

“In that process, when I realized that, “Hey, I can’t run away from my problems forever and I gotta figure something out,” I ended up getting a tattoo down my side, and I said, ‘Look, I don’t know where and how this is going to happen, but my tattoo is the Roman numerals one through a million.'”

“This is kind of where that million number is really special to us, and it’s the roman numerals, and it’s 1, 100, 500, 1,000, 10,000, 500,000 and a million, and I told myself by the time I leave this earth, I want to make a positive difference in a million lives, but it had to start with one person and I had to figure myself out first, so as I changed my own life, I crossed it off, and as people said thank you along the journey, I would continue to cross them off.”

Then, after I got the tattoo, I ended up going to a self-improvement seminar and I met the most incredible woman who became my life coach who's sitting next to me right now, and she kinda helped me through the ups and downs, really helped me understand the psychological and emotional struggles that we go through.

“Long story short, we ended up getting a random phone call from a friend of mine out in Los Angeles who said, “Hey, I saw this documentary on TLC. Would you guys like to come out? Basically our CEO would love to meet with you guys and explore what it takes to transform and how you guys do what you do.”

“So, we ended up going out to LA a couple times, sat there with their development team, didn’t hear anything from them for about three months, got a random phone call out of the blue; it was the CEO, said, “Hey, dude. We just sold your show.” “Wow, okay, that’s cool,” and they made it really clear that we were just consultants in the development of the show.”

“They were trying to find a celebrity trainer to put on the show, and I was like, ‘Congratulations, go team. This is really exciting, especially to actually be a trainer from Phoenix and consulting the development of a show,’ and I was like, ‘So, who’d you sell it to?’ And I was thinking just a cable network or something. He was like, ‘No, well, ABC wanted it, so ABC bought it.’ I was like, ‘Whoa. Cool, one of the big four,’ and I said, ‘So, who’s the trainer? Who’s the guy?’ And he’s like … the guy’s the master of the long, drawn out pause . . . and he just says, “You are.'”

Sure enough, it was a whirlwind five years of Heidi and me on the road transforming lives, helping people, and it's just been amazing. It's just been a wild journey.

“We have been so blessed to have surrounded ourselves with some really incredible people, and some people that have been quite a struggle, but you learn along the way. I’m sure you guys have been there, too, and eventually, you kind of find your core. You find your team that will help you spread your message and do your thing. Now, there’s not a better person in the world at leading than Chris. He is the ultimate.”

“Now, we work in a different way. I definitely work better one-on-one with people. He works better in large groups and masses, so he can get an entire country to literally move where he wants them to, whereas I am like, “Don’t spare a single soul.” I want to save every single person that’s lagging behind, so I spend my time playing catch up with the people that are struggling in the back, and that’s what I love. I want everyone to succeed. I get completely invested in who they are.”

“You heard Chris’s story, which was awesome. When I met him, he was a struggling trainer that had … he was hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt, and really having a hard time just with life because he had so much potential but he could never focus on the potential because he had so many things and businesses and debts pulling him down.”

So, for me, I actually have a business background, and I grew up in a family that focused in business. I was a trainer as well, straight out of high school, so my two passions happened to be training and business, so as soon as I saw the dilemma he was in, I was like, Oh my gosh. I'm a fixer. I can totally fix him.

“Chris is like, “She can save me. I’m totally going to hang on to this one right here.” Actually, his and my relationship, we had that commonality that we enjoyed training and transformation, but then it was more me helping him with his businesses and helping him get out of debt, and helping him organize his credit, and get all of his finances and his house and all these things in place.”

You guys know it doesn't matter how amazing your message is; if you don't have the right business engine behind you and the stars aren't aligned, it is nearly impossible to get your message out to the extent that you want to, so we really ... it was a lot of hard work, a lot of failures, a lot of wonderful team members, and a lot of luck, too.

Segment 2: (Length :08:00) – Talking with Chris & Heidi Powell; the alignment of two people; the art of transforming millions of lives; taking transformations to tech.

Chris & Heidi’s finer points:

“One of the best bits of advice that I’ve gotten over and over and over over the years is, “Surround yourself with people that are smarter than you are in different areas.” I don’t want to find the tech guy that I know more than. I don’t want to find the social media person that I know more than. I want to find the people that know more than me so I can have the best team and the best chances.”

This isn't about making money. This is about spreading our messages and helping people live happier, healthier lives, and the money follows, but you can't do any of it until you surround yourself with people that know what they're doing.

“Okay, so we’re going to fill you guys in. One of the biggest secrets of success on the show: this is going back to community. A lot of times … when you see the show, the show documents one person’s journey from beginning to end through this journey of transformation. What you don’t see is behind the scenes.”

“We fly everybody in. We put them all together in a group of 30 people, and they all begin the transformation together. They are together for at least three months as they begin it because there’s a magic ingredient: when people come together and they work together, that Heidi and I as individual coaches, we simply can’t provide, and it’s the power of that community for motivation, for inspiration, for support, for accountability, and you see that we simply apply it to weight loss.”

That is without a doubt one of the most powerful magic ingredients of the show, is the people working together.

“Then, what we did, is that exact same power translates so beautifully into business as well. There’s no way Heidi and I would be anywhere close to where we are now if it wasn’t for all those supporting people, so what Heidi and I have done. Clearly, ten years ago, I was living out of my car because I don’t have a business mind. I’m a dreamer. I ended up meeting and marrying my best friend who’s a doer. She’s a manager. She’s a realist, but at the same time, those two pieces don’t build an empire.”

“So, you’ve got the dreamer; you’ve got the doer. Then you also have to have those people that are so incredibly passionate, specialists in their own place, in marketing, in tech, in development, in economics or in finance, and so you end up building these teams and the whole thing works so beautifully, so synergistically, the exact same way, that these teams work as they rally around each other to help them lose hundreds of pounds in a year.”

“But, that was also one of the best things that ever happened to me because it showed me and it gave me a lot of time to reflect on what’s genuinely important to me, and that’s why I tattooed down my side, “By the time I leave this earth, I want to make a difference in a million lives, and it changed, it shifted my perspective to trying to make a lot of money in life, to, instead, “I’d much rather make a real dent in a lot of people’s lives, a positive dent, and that, when you can have, just speaking to any entrepreneurs out there.”

“If you can shift your focus from money to genuinely providing value to people, if you are passionate about that value, you will rally the people around you that need to be around you in order to get that vision where it needs to go, but if it’s money-driven, it’s a much more difficult process, but when you can sell that dream of creating something of value to people to the world, that’s something that speaks to people’s hearts and they want to get behind you.”

“I actually just wrote a note. I put, “Forget the money. Do what you love and do it well. The success will follow,” and it’s true. It’s at that point when you do what you love, success then doesn’t always equate to money. It does many times, but you start to find purpose in what you’re doing and so there’s not so much focus and value on the monetary gain, but when there’s only focus on that monetary gain, like the revenue that’s flowing through, life is miserable.”

And then, when you actually get the money, it doesn't matter how many zeros you have in your bank account. Life still sucks, you know what I'm saying? If you can't find happiness now and fulfillment in what you're doing, you're never going to find it no matter how rich you are.

“We went into tech knowing nothing about it. What we did know, though is that: so when you have … this is gonna sound kinda crazy, but … so, our show, it was amazing. We were totally blessed because once our show ran for five seasons on ABC, which was great, we got it out to millions of people here in America, but when they ended up selling the show, they sold it around the world to like 148 countries around the world, so it’s airing everywhere, which is so cool.”

“The only catch, though, is that when your show starts out with, “He wrote a letter to Chris and Heidi Powell,” then, as you can imagine, we’ve received over a million letters from people around the world asking for help. And, while it’s powerful, it’s also heartbreaking because then we’ve got to turn around, and we selected 15 people a year to transform, and we were getting a million letters from people asking for help, and who are we to choose who is going to transform and who isn’t?”

“We ended up finding some amazing business partners and we created our own team, probably about 35 strong of production, developers, programmers, etc, and we just dove right into the app space. We spent a year and a half in the studio just shooting content alone, because there’s over a thousand videos inside this app depending on which direction you want to go.”

“So, the app is a year and a half in the making. It’s funny. When we first sat down, we were like, “Hey, we’ll create an app. This is going to be great.” Then we were like, “We’ll roll it out in four months.” A year and a half, almost two years later, and a lot more zeros than we expected, we finally rolled it out, but at the same time, it wasn’t about that.”

. It was about our commitment that we made to creating value for people, to bringing something to them that we felt was genuinely going to positively impact their lives, so that's where the app came from.

“Because not everybody wants to necessarily lose weight, a lot of people, they don’t want to lose 200 pounds. Maybe they want to lose 15 pounds. Maybe they want to get shredded. Maybe they want to put on some muscle or just focus on cross-training, so we created different paths in the app, so when you jump in and you enter your biometrics, you tell it where you want to go, and it will create a custom transformation specifically for you, and we’ll guide you through that.”

“If you pick any one program, there’s over two years of workouts in men’s physique alone, or in weight loss alone, or women’s physique or cross-training. Two years, you’ll never do the same workout twice, and it will build in progression as your body changes, so we put a lot into it and it will never stop.”

“We got this whole thing mapped. This app is going to evolve forever. As long as we are here on this earth, we’re going to keep making it better and better.”

Segment 3: (Length :10:00) – What really goes into transformation; Having the right mindset and heart to change; Being honest as coaches; Having integrity in your transformation.

Chris & Heidi’s finer points: 

“I think most of them come to us thinking that they’re ready, but they’re not actually ready, and it is our job as coaches to let people know when they are and aren’t ready, and sometimes just by simply saying, “Hey, it sounds … I think the idea of transformation sounds good to you, but it also sounds like you think Chris and I have magic dust that we can sprinkle over you, you know?”

“And the reality is: we can’t. We can provide a roadmap and we can help you tap into yourself so you can see what you’re capable of, but if you’re to actually ready to put in the work every single day, not just talking about diet and exercise, but talking about mentally and emotionally, too, and learning to love yourself, if you’re not ready to love yourself, then you’re not ready to work with us and we’re not ready to work with you.”

“However, some of them just don’t understand what ready means, and as we start to show them their true strength and their capabilities and we start to dig out that power within that they have and they start to see who they really are, their readiness becomes more apparent.”

“But then, with other people, it’s like, as we start to dig that out, they start to hide and hermit, and it’s scary. The idea of succeeding and the idea of responsibility that comes with success is terrifying to them, so much so that they’ll run away back to their comfort zone, because naturally we all kind of gravitate towards what’s comfortable, but comfort truly will sabotage your progress completely.”

“So what we do is, again, if you look at just the crazy success we’ve had with the folks on the show and even the people that are following the app right now, the one thing that we do that we hammer home with everybody: we cannot have a conversation about weight loss or transformation without having a conversation about integrity first.”

“What we’re talking about with integrity is integrity with yourself, and so before, what we do is we actually vet people early on to the process if we’re going to work with them one-on-one, and we have them simply make one promise to themself, and that promise can be, “I’m going to drink an extra quart of water today,” or, “I’m going to eat breakfast every day for the next seven days,” or, “I’m going to deliberately move for five minutes a day,” so, something that’s so insanely small, but we want to see if they’re actually able to keep that commitment to themself for seven days, 14 days, and if they can do that, then definitely, we can start to build on it.”

And so, transformation is all about integrity with yourself, doing what you say you're doing to do when you say you're going to do it, and if you can prove that to yourself with something small, then we can build upon it, so what we do is we take transformation one step at a time.

“Once most people realize that’s what it’s really all about, it totally changes their perspective, and then most people realize, “I am ready. I really can do this,” because it’s not as difficult as most people think early on. Then, as they start to build upon their promises, they’ve got so much incredible momentum, and so much integrity, it’s hard to stop that freight train.”

“the real guru when it comes to catching this stuff is Heidi, because, especially as coaches, we will always find ourselves in these situations, and especially when our people begin to understand the language of integrity, which, once we lay that foundation, we speak that language throughout the entire transformation, and so, but even regardless, it’s something that’s ingrained in all of us, and our commitments are so powerful even without understanding the power of integrity and the effect that that has.”

“And that’s where Heidi is great with talking people through that, and laying out their totem pole of priorities, because yeah, it’s true. It’s one of those things. It’s either you’re taking on too much, or yeah, you simply don’t want it bad enough. And so this is something that, as coaches, once we begin people on their journey of transformation, we are constantly looking for that kind of language and where people are at in their hearts and their minds.”

“Segment 4(Length :03:00) – Hustler Thought of the Day:

Saying “I’ll try” means our soul isn’t really in it. We tell ourselves “I’ll try” when our inflated egos won’t come clean and admit that we’re actually not all that determined. We can’t overcome obstacles with the words “I’ll try. – Chris Powell


Chris & Heidi Powell – Fitness Entrepreneurs & Transformation Specialists

Chris Powell is widely known as the transformation specialist and host of ABC’s documentary-style series, “Extreme Weight Loss.”

Heidi Powell is the ultimate female force. She is a trainer, transformation specialist, devoted wife, mother of four, savvy businesswoman, author, nutrition nut, and overall health guru.

Heidi became a fixture in America’s living room as she worked side-by-side husband Chris.

With an unyielding dedication to helping others, Chris traveled the country using his innovative techniques, education and expertise to guide extremely overweight individuals as they shed hundreds of pounds over the course of a year. Heidi empowered thousands across the globe as the matriarch and tour de force for the often-struggling participants, serving as their daily fitness coach, voice of reason and biggest cheerleader

Season 5 premiered to high ratings in 2015, and the Powells continue to touch lives weekly as EWL airs in syndication on TLC and OWN networks worldwide

In March 2017, the Powells launched their debut digital platform, TRANSFORM with Chris and Heidi, with the goal of transforming one million lives. The app received more than 25,000 downloads within the first 24 hours, and provides users with the motivation, exercises, nutrition, and built-in community for a successful transformation

In August 2017 the duo expanded the TRANSFORM brand further with the launch of Fresh by TRANSFORM, the world’s first USDA-Certified All Natural, and Ready-to-Eat Meal Delivery Service. Designed to make eating healthy fast, convenient, affordable and sustainable, Fresh by TRANSFORM delivers a week’s worth of delicious, nutritious microwavable meals directly to the doorstep

Adding best-selling author to his list of accolades, Chris has written two books that have soared to the top of the New York Times Best Seller list

Heidi writes an incredibly successful blog, where she shares her insight and expertise on health and wellness trends, fitness regimens, healthy recipes, family-friendly workouts, marriage and parenting advice, navigating life with a blended family, and her secrets to balancing it all

Chris and Heidi released their most recent book in December 2015 titled, Extreme Transformation: Lifelong Weight Loss in 21 Days, which provides a comprehensive blueprint for changing your body—and life—in just 21 days

Chris holds a degree in Exercise Science with concentrations in biomechanics and physiology, and the training accreditation: The Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS).

Heidi has more than a decade of experience as a personal trainer, and holds both ACE and Crossfit certifications. As a coach, mother of four, and manager of their family business, Heidi brings a whole new perspective and level of compassion to the Powell’s approach, helping others overcome many of life’s challenges to create effective, long lasting success.

Check out Chris Powell HERE |  Social for Chris: Facebook | Instagram  | Check out Heidi Powell HERE | Social for Heidi: Facebook | Instagram


Matt Gottesman

Matt Gottesman is a global digital strategist and technology advisor, creator and editor-in-chief of Hustle & Deal Flow™ - an online magazine dedicated to the world's entrepreneurs, creators and makers, a Social Media Influencer and a consultant on New Media and go-to-market strategies for investments in digital marketing, technology, websites, mobile applications, eCommerce, social media and content.

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