The Lucca Lessons: The Very Real, Sometimes Painful Things I Learned To Be Grateful For When A Baby Is Born

When I was returning home from 3 days in the hospital with my wife and newborn son, Lucca safely tucked in the car seat, I was thinking about how the world is different the moment you have a child. Nothing feels the same once you got a little life in your hands.

But it’s also not a new story. People have shared this feeling before that life changes the moment you have kids. Parents share this all the time. 

I’m grateful, thankful, blessed and fortunate that I busted ass starting almost a decade ago to really be prepared for life when my time to have a kid came. 

Because man o’ man… I couldn’t imagine how difficult it would’ve been the week Lucca came if I was still living my old life as a personal trainer or brick and mortar studio owner. There was nothing wrong with those times in my life, I needed them to be where I am today, but, it also doesn’t mean I needed to stay there once I saw other options because the lifestyle I had when my life demanded I show up for clients, be present at the gym, have to stand there to make money would’ve just added a lot more stress the days following when Lucca was born. It would’ve also stripped away a lot of the freedom Anna and I got to enjoy. 

Here’s the reality, most working class parents have to deal with the hospital, and work, and schedules, and maternity leave, and rushing back to their “normal” life. Usually Dad needs to get back to work in a few days, and Mom has some maternity leave. But, she’s on her own fast, left to try and juggle being a new mom and having a new baby while dad gets back to work. 

And that’s fine for people who want normal. I don’t. If you’re reading this you probably don’t want normal either. You want unique, your choice, ideal. 

I believe we should all have the opportunity to live our ideal lives. Why not? Only difference between people living their ideal life and those living the normal life is choice. 

People living their ideal freedom life chose to study outside the norms of their respective industry. They chose to study outside the norms of how others tell them they can make money. Later in this issue I’ll share some new money math for your consideration. 

But, ultimately living your ideal life so you can have different choices is about doing things different than normal people. 

Normal people are where they are for a reason. They are doing what everyone else did, so they got what everyone else got. I was following that line of thinking for years until I said, “no more” and ditched that thinking and chose a new way to be. It paid off. 

I started to prepare for this moment of one day having a kid back in 2010 when I recognized I want my  life to look different than how it currently looks, and I wanted it to feel different than how it felt and I wanted it to give me more than what is was currently giving me. 

In 2010…

I had….a schedule dictated by others. 

I had to stand at a certain hour to deliver my service, which was amazing and I loved it, only because it’s all I knew. However it left me a prisoner to other people’s demands and timeframes. 

I wanted….a schedule on my terms.

A schedule where I could decide when I need to be somewhere and at what times I can deliver my service. If I hadn’t started changing my reality back in 2010 when Lucca was born, I would have felt…

…I need to get back to work asap because I have to answer to my clients schedules. Versus being able to simply shut down the whole week, have my assistant rearrange calls, and if needed answer anything pressing via email or zoom from anywhere I was so I could be where I’m needed most, with my wife and newborn son.  

Back in 2010 I would’ve had to leave at 5am in the morning and come back at 8pm while my son and wife slept (or had lack thereof) and I would’ve missed their whole day leaving my wife to try and handle a newborn all alone and putting huge stress into her life. And I would’ve missed all the little moments each day as he discovers new things and experiences. 

This is the supposed life of a trainer, group X instructor, and brick and mortar owner most of the time. I say supposed because it’s not market reality anymore. There are examples of people in our industry who are creating online businesses, or hybrid businesses of offline and online so they can escape the reality of most people in the industry and instead carve a new future, a better future by choice and will. 

What I’m happy for now is that I made a change in how I earn money in my life and how I deliver my service because now…

…I don’t need to leave in the morning. 

…I don’t need to come home after dark and miss his whole day. 

…I can see his first steps, hear his first words and see the little moments.

…I can be there to support my wife. 

I think about this not just now, but in the long run of his life. With both Anna and I being able to run our businesses from home, we are simply there more often. We can be there for our kids lives. 

In light of our current political and religious states of being, and where the world is due to social media, gun violence, bullying, shaming, and all the things we didn’t deal with as much as when I was a kid, I’m grateful for the gift of being able to run a business from home and having BOTH parents home to be vigilant, attentive and present for our kids because..

We can choose to homeschool.

We can choose to shut down for the day if we see something is wrong. 

We can choose to not book anything on our schedule and do something fun out of the blue. 

We can choose to go away on a moment’s notice. 

We can choose to have breakfast and dinner as a family everyday.

We can choose to drop off and pick up our kids everyday.

We can choose to have a sitter in the house, and us still be here too. 

We can simply choose.

Maybe these things aren’t important to you right now. You don’t have kids, or you are thinking “oh this is great for you.” Well, that’s your choice. At the end of the day all we have in our lives are the choices we make. We all get to testify to them. 

I was sharing with Anna over some wine the other night, while Lucca was in his favorite DockATot (thanks Uncle Scott Rawcliffe for the gift!), that in life everything boils down to two choices:

  1. Do it.
  2. Don’t do it.

You want to kiss the girl, do it. You want to make more money, learn how to do it. You want to get more time freedom, ask someone who did it how to do it. You want to have a business that travels with you, hire a coach to teach you to do it. You want to get negative people out of your life, just do it. You are in a bad relationship and should leave, do it. The list goes on. 

You don’t feel right about a client, don’t do it. You don’t want to take on a client because it compromises your schedule, don’t do it. You don’t want to keep going down the road you’re on because it’s burning you out, don’t do it. Again, the list goes on.

Sure there’s gray between the lines, but ultimately life is that simple, do it or don’t. Because here’s the thing if you do it or don’t do it and it doesn’t work out, or you’re not getting the results you want, just go back to the moment you made the decision and choose a new path of action from there. Key takeaway is taking action. Considering failure is not fatal unless you allow it to be, doing something is better than doing nothing.

The one moment in 2010 where I decided let’s do it, let’s start building online courses, speaking, growing a list, added Beachbody, invested in coaches, didn’t penny pinch or act like a broke person, didn’t have an ego, didn’t do what everyone else way doing, stopped investing in certifications, raised my worth, figured out a new business model, didn’t care what others think, joined masterminds, paid for courses and books to learn marketing, didn’t fear sales, said yes to being an entrepreneur, are all the moments that have given us the chance to be grateful and thankful at this moment for the fact that…

Health insurance isn’t a worry. 

Given our current healthcare system, this is a huge fear that can loom over any new parent. I’m just glad that I can afford PPO and not have to stay at a job somewhere because I need health insurance. I called to add Lucca to my policy and it’s another $179/m. I want PPO so we can choose his doctors, so we can have choice. What I didn’t do was freak out over the additional amount, I just did some money math and figured I need to sell one or two more online courses a month and we got it covered. I don’t need to think about where do I have the time in an already packed schedule to earn $179/m trading dollars for hours, instead I can simply throw more dollars at our marketing to get 1-2 more sales a month in an online course that runs on auto-pilot. Done. That’s the power and freedom having online courses can add to your life. I suggest starting NOW to learn how to build them. We teach this in our coaching program, The Online Business Fast Track Training: 

Go to: https://go.thevisionaryplanner.com/camp-signuppage  

It could very well be what changes the choices and confidence you have a few years from now. You have to start it’s not a question of if, it’s a question of when. If you never start, you never get the life you want by choice. You get what you get versus you get what you want.

I’m grateful that Anna and I started our online and Beachbody businesses because…

We have revenue streams that can be passed on to Lucca providing an annuity for him. 

Our Beachbody businesses that bring in mid 6-figures a year, in particular, are businesses that we can pass onto a family member. We placed the businesses in our trust so if anything happens to us, our businesses and the subsequent income streams can transfer to a family member and they can tap into the income we built for them. Or if god forbid anything happens to use we know that our Beachbody businesses are still bringing money in to take care of my family. 

This is what you need to understand about a network marketing business that can change the way you feel about it- it acts like an annuity meaning it keeps paying out over years even if you’re dead. 

My training income and studio income would not be paying for anything when I’m dead. They would be gone. Simple fact. The Beachbody business has not only created protection for our kids future, and it’s really not just about Beachbody, it’s the concept of having revenue sources that are high yielding, passive and generate wealth that you did the work once for and are getting paid over and over again for. 

As a trainer I was making ok income but not enough to ever generate wealth. As a studio owner same thing. How could they? The economics of service based businesses that do not leverage also into online revenue streams, or revenue shares, licenses, etc. are different than online and at-home businesses. It just goes back to money math. Change your economic opportunities and you can change your future. 

With both Anna and I having changed our math we’ve been able to add…Investments in our trust that can be passed onto our kids. I’m grateful for this because as a man I want to provide for my family not just while I’m alive but when I’m no longer here. 

As a trainer and studio owner I was always living on the edge. Just keep things afloat. I had the money to live day to day. But, I didn’t have the kind of income that would allow me to invest in land, invest in the stock market, invest in other businesses, invest in our education, masterminds and the list goes on. 

But, the most important thing we’ve been able to add are investments in the financial sectors and markets. If you polled 99% of the fitness and health industry and asked them to provide a portfolio of their investments maybe 1% have it. Most people living in the industry are lucky to have enough money at the end of the month to cover all their bills, hopefully have a little bit in savings, and for some fun like a once a year vacation for under a week, where they most likely have to stay in the US or go see family in order to keep it inexpensive. Again, nothing wrong with that except for the future consequences. 

If you’re income is solely based on you getting paid when you stand there, down the road when you can’t stand there as much because you’re simply older and your body can’t take it as much anymore, the unfortunate thing is your income earning potential is going down. And since most people never had enough money to start investments there’s very little in nest eggs, securities, insurance policies, and other vehicles that can provide financial security for you and your family down the road. Scary. 

You can change this doom and gloom future if you’re willing to change your money math. Get started. Be evolutionary in what you’re doing now. If you’re still doing what everyone else in the industry is doing, or how we did it in 2008, you’re dead in the water, doomed to live paycheck to paycheck. It’s not me saying this, it’s the statistics talking. Most people in the industry are living broke, frazzled and burnout. Fact. 

That doesn’t need to be you.

Everything you want to have, feel and give can be a choice. 

A few other things I was really reminded of when Lucca was born is the fact that…

  • I don’t have a job.

I’m not sure how parents who have jobs get it done. They must be magicians, superheros, or aliens with gifts most people don’t possess. I couldn’t imagine having to negotiate time off, be at work, or deal with the office or a job when a baby is coming. 

I get that is some people’s reality, and if you love your job, disregard this thought. But, if you’re not in love with job living, and you want to be more in control of your schedule and live life more on your own terms, change the way you make money. Simple as that.

I had a job as a trainer.

I had a job as a studio owner.

I got rid of that. 

So, I could be on my own.

  • I can be home to see everything.

My Dad was never home. We owned a restaurant that demanded my dad and his brothers be there from 9am- 12am every single day of their lives. It’s what most small business owners have to do. 

When I was a studio owner I had a 5am to 8pm Mon-Thurs schedule. A 5am to 6pm Friday schedule (yay I got 2 hours more!) Saturdays was 7am-12pm (a big half day was always exciting, and Sunday’s I had off. But as a brick and mortar business I was always on no matter what. An alarm went off, a pipe burst, someone called in sick, or missed their sessions it was me who got the call. Today, I need to make sure stuff around the house is working and internet has no issues. Granted when I have to travel to present or speak, or attend retreats, I’m going to miss moments, but that’s 25% of the time compared to 90% of the time most people deal with. 

  • I can be home to support my spouse

We’ve had Lucca home for a few weeks as of this printing and it’s a 2 person team job to be able to take care of him and still have our lives where we can take care of ourselves, and work our businesses. 

Luckily, we chose to have online businesses so we don’t have to show up anywhere or answer to a schedule, instead we can work in shifts and make our schedules work around Lucca’s needs as a newborn. Not a lot of people have that. They can if they want. They just have to be willing to get started building an online business or scaling their services online via online courses, membership sites, digital products, online coaching, etc. 

The #1 reason people are trapped by time and need to show up to make money is they have simply not learned how to teach their craft online and get paid for coaching online. Or they have no systems in their brick and mortar business so they have to be all things to the business or it doesn’t run. If you’re a brick and mortar owner, Travis Barnes, one of my clients and a good man who’s built 5 studios has a fast track to studio systems, in his FIT BIZ MASTERY Course,  grab it here. 

If you want to be home more you can do it. Everyone is not meant to do it. Some people are meant for jobs, they lack the ambition and drive to be their own business owners or entrepreneurs. And some people will always be small business owners, lacking the imagination or will to imagine how they can scale their business outside their mom and pop shop. It’s ok. I keep repeating that we all get to choose the things we want, feel and get. I just hated feeling that one day if I have a kid I’m going to have to leave my spouse most of the time to raise the kids without me. My dad did it. Not a bad guy, not to blame but it was 1973. It’s 2018- welcome to new world order!

  • My wife doesn’t need to worry about maternity leave.

The maternity leaves in America are appalling. 6-10 weeks is what most people get. If you go beyond that it’s typically unpaid. 6-10 weeks is about as long as it takes to finally create a solid schedule of feeding, sleep, hygiene and awake time, and then a mom is expected to have to go back to work? That’s tough on the baby and tough on mom. 

In Europe they get something like a year of maternity leave so they truly have time to bond and adjust the baby. Since both my wife and I work from home, and we have income that comes in on auto-pilot we don’t have to deal with the typical dilemma most moms must face of “I have to get back to work.” I’m grateful for that. 

It took years to get us to this place and I’m happy we thought ahead of time the kind of life we wanted for raising our kid. Not everyone wants to work from home, they prefer going into a business, more power to them. But, with the effects of social media, gun violence, education, religion, and government I’m pumped we can control the environment we raise our child in because we are home and can always be here for our kids. Why can’t you set up your life this way?

  • We built up a great income to support our children.

Damn Babies are expensive! $23billion dollar industry, I’m not kidding you! Gotta tap into that asap. But, if I had been trying to support a baby on my old trainer income or even my studio owner income, this would have been more stressful. If you’re making it as parent who is a trainer or studio owner with no financial stress please share how. I believe more people in the industry would love to hear how you’re doing it. I haven’t found many parents in the industry who love their financial situation, love their schedule and don’t feel the tug on their hearts each day they have to put kids in daycare or leave without saying goodbye because it’s an ungodly early hour, or that live with the stress every month of is there enough money in the account or are there still too many days left in the month? 

  • Plans never go as planned. Have the backup ready.

Home birth was the plan.

Hospital was the backup. 

We did not anticipate Anna having the issues she did. She’s uber healthy, we expected everything to go as planned, but when she wouldn’t dilate past 8cm and the midwife couldn’t help anymore, it was time to ditch the first plan and lean on the back up and embrace it. 

  • Don’t be attached to your plans.

A lot of people get so emotionally attached to their plans that when they have to change them it emotionally dents them for a long time. A little while is fine, I get it. We all need a good cry or rage for a moment. But, then move on. 

We really wanted home birth because the medical industry has so much wrong with it today that we wanted to avoid it and have our son born at home. Anna’s mom had 6 kids at home! We were hoping for the first one. 

But, it wasn’t meant to be, so we had to let go of it and instead find the joy in the new plans. We got to spend 3 ‘luxurious’ days in the hospital being sent food that looked like plastic fake poop on a plate (I went out each day for real food for Mom and me) and I got to sleep on a rubber couch of some sort. But, in the end…

  • Know your outcomes and goals.

We wanted a healthy baby and safe conditions for mom. That was the outcome. That was the goal. However that got achieved was good in the end. 

That’s why in business and in life having clearly defined goals is the key to clarity of action.  I emphasize clarity of goals as essential, fundamental blocks of having success. So much so that I teach people how to achieve it as step 1 in their journey in my Clear Vision Planner, www.clearvisionplanner.com course, before I even want anyone trying to build an online course or product. Because without clarity of the outcomes and goals you will not have the metrics you need to gauge if you’re aiming at the right things. Clarity of the outcomes let’s you speed things up, know who you need, what you need, get the power of discipline and focus, and allows you to create a plan. Without it you’re hoping things turn out. As I always say, “hope is not a strategy in business.”

  • There’s no battle of the sexes.

Women can endure childbirth! The pain of childbirth is something I know I couldn’t do. Anna took it like a champ! The sheer pain, effort, and resilience a woman has to push a baby out defies logic and is something no man would endure. We would curl up in a ball and cry or fold like a house of cards if we had to go through childbirth. We’d be asking for 5 epidurals and to be knocked out at the first contraction. If you believe in a God, he did the right thing by gifting that miracle to women.

  • Being fit going into childbirth makes a difference.

Anna is fit and takes good care of herself and she still got pretty beat up and dented having Lucca. I couldn’t imagine women who are overweight, unhealthy, and who otherwise don’t take care of themselves and how they do it. When Anna was pushing the little man out, they kept telling her, “You got this down like a mom having her 3rd kid.” If you’re thinking about having a kid, get fit. It’s going to help in every which way. 

  • When you feel helpless, offer support.

There’s nothing more helpless feeling than seeing your wife in pain and there’s nothing you can do. You want to help but all you can do is support, give energy and love. 

I thought about this in relation to my business because so often I speak at conferences, I work with my students, and I hear and see the constant stories of struggle, wanting more, looking for the freedom lifestyle, wishing, and the list goes on. 

I want to reach out and help each person, but I’m helpless until you take the first action. I can’t do it for you…

…You have to decide to give birth to the child of your ideas. 

…You have to choose to give birth to the vision in your head. 

…You have to choose to do what your heart wants.

…You have to stop listening to critics.

…You have to stop doing what you’ve always done.

…You have to take the new first step.

That might mean committing to a business course, start learning marketing the way I teach it, start shifting parts of your business online so you can birth new opportunity. You have to and need to invest in your education in the necessary skills of growth. Your certification rolodex isn’t getting it done. Your training expertise is no longer enough to escape being commoditized in the markets. 

Amazon has now chosen to get into the health field. They are coming! 

Are you going to be replaced? 

Or will you birth the new you?

Become part of the new breed of renegade fitnesspreneurs who are more agile, adept, and evolutionary in their business so that they possess the skills to achieve what they want, get what they want in order to give the life they want to those closest to them?!

We can learn from these moments of birth when we apply these lessons to all areas of our lives so that we can provide the lifestyle, security and opportunity to those we love and serve the most!

~V

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By Vito LaFata

As a certified High Performance and Funnel Optimization Coach, Vito La Fata, is the NO BS business & personal brand coach to the wellness and fitness professional or company that is looking to get outside the box of the industry and start learning how to grow a personal brand online and offline utilizing a hybrid business model of offline and online marketing strategies that deploy customer value optimization systems in order to create as much benefit and offering for the customer and as much profit and lifestyle for the company as possible.