Episode 1 with Alan Belcher

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Paul: All right, welcome to the show ladies and gentlemen. Our first guest today is Alan Belcher. You may remember him from the UFC. He had a long career in the UFC, and now he’s moved on since retiring from the UFC to be a very successful entrepreneur. I’m super excited to have Alan on the show, I’ve known him for years. I actually bumped into him backstage at a UFC when I was with Travis Lutter, and then after that we kept bumping into each other at marketing events. We’ve crossed paths a few times, so it’s been pretty cool. I’m super excited to have Alan on the show, so welcome!

Alan Belcher: Awesome, man. Thank you, thanks for having me, I appreciate it.

Paul: All right, so everybody kind of knows – anybody that knows you is going to think about the fighter. The guy who fought a bunch of times, had some real big wins like that, but you’ve kind of moved on now. You retired and have launched a whole new career.

Alan Belcher: Yeah, absolutely. There comes a time when you have to pivot and go a different direction sometimes. I never recommend giving up, but pivoting can be a smart thing. For me, my big pivot was to walk away from fighting for whatever reasons, a few different reasons, and then follow where my passion really was. Which was helping people succeed with whatever it is that they’re doing, specifically business. I’m a marketing nerd, like you, so that’s what I like to focus on. I was thinking if I could do anything to make a living, to make a life out of it, and impact people in a way…what way would I want to impact people? I just kept coming back to business and marketing, and helping people with success. That’s what I’m doing now, and I love it.

Paul: That’s awesome, yeah I know in my martial arts business side of the world, you’ve helped me a lot with that. Since I first went to your gym years ago to check it out. Seeing how you ran all your systems and everything, and made some good changes. It’s been cool to see the evolution, of seeing how you pivot. I like how you used that instead of “retire”. Instead of quitting something, you pivot, so it’s moving on to something else. It’s super cool.

I was going to ask you a question, because everybody thinks about you’re fighting. You’re doing that, now you do business; but when you’re not doing those things, how do you spend your time? Like what do you enjoy doing?

Alan Belcher: You know, for me, I’ve got that question a lot. When I was a fighter people would ask, “What do you do for fun in your spare time?”, and you kind of give generic answers or whatever. But I think when I was a fighter, I always wanted to say, “Well, I like business, I like running my business, or I like training.” I guess maybe I’m just kind of greedy and selfish and I formed my careers around stuff that I like to do. I feel like, you know the old saying, “If you love what you do, you never work a day in your life.” I feel like I’m just nonstop playing, because it’s stuff that I like to do. Sometimes if you have goals, you have to grind it out and do some not-so-fun stuff. But for the most part, I like this stuff.

Other hobbies that I have, I don’t really have too much. I think that martial arts is becoming a hobby for me, where I’m trying to make sure that I find time to do that. It’s kind of like a fun side thing for me to do. Not too many people know that I play music, I sing (not very well), I play the guitar…It’s something that I did when I was younger, and I’ve recently tried to find more time to pick it back up. So I go through these spurts every couple of months, I’ll learn a few songs or something.

Paul: That’s pretty cool.

Alan Belcher: That’s kind of my own hobby. Then as you know, when you have a family, that takes up most of your spare time. You’ve got your kids lives to worry about and everything, so I enjoy it. I’ve got kids and everything, so yeah.

Paul: You still got some young ones running around.

Alan Belcher: Yeah, got a couple little ones.

Paul: That’s awesome. I heard through the grapevine that you’re into playing guitars and stuff, so that’s very cool. That’s something I have no talent for, music, so that’s pretty cool. And you have the famous Johnny Cash tattoo too.

Alan Belcher: Yep.

Paul: All right, so let’s move on from there. This question actually is kind of funny, because I’m real big into morning rituals, and being around you, I know you’re huge into it. What are your morning rituals? Take a typical person through like the first 60 minutes of your day. I know yours is freaking early and stuff like that, but give us kind of a picture of what your morning looks like, first hour.

Alan Belcher: I love this conversation about rituals and routines, and those types of things. I believe if you listen to podcasts and get into personal development, one of the most basic things is the morning ritual. Why is that so important? To me, dude, it’s key, it’s seriously key. I’ve worked with people with this. I’ve learned, I’ve tried to implement this in my clients, and I realized that people…they’re not really that serious about it because they’re like, “Oh, it’s a morning routine;” but when your morning starts off right, then the rest of your day just falls right into place. If your morning is jacked up, then you’re going to struggle that day. You’re going to struggle every day, and it’s going to be a stressful life.

For me, of course sometimes your routine changes depending on what your focus is on. In the last year, I’ve changed my focus to…everything’s been pretty much the same in the last year, but in the last six months…I’ve made my focus more on my number one priority, being fitness. I couldn’t find time to work out, so I was like, “If I’m going to take charge of my health and my fitness and everything, then I have to make it my number one priority.” If you know anything about prioritizing things and getting things done, you’re going to move the most important thing first.

My morning now is all about number one objective: Get out of the house fast, get to the gym and work out. That’s what I’m doing. Also, for a lot of you guys out there, probably if you’re interested in business, a lot of business people have ADD. It’s hard to focus, so exercise first thing in the morning is like a little hack for that. When you get exercise in the morning, then you’re able to focus better in the morning. Also coffee, and a lot of water. My routines are made around this.

First thing I do, I keep water by my bed so when I go to bed at night… also the morning routine starts at night…It’s like I go to the coffee pot, get everything ready so it’s faster in the morning. Then I go to the fridge, get two bottles of water, put them by my bed, and I drink out of one a little bit or something. Soon as I wake up (and I’ve got a hack for getting out of bed too, I think this will probably change people’s lives) but I wake up, I stand up, open up the thing and start walking to the coffee pot. To me, my day starts, and this may be just little weird tricks or whatever, but it works for me. I feel like if I can kind of cheat the system or get a little head start, that gives me momentum, it gives you like a boost of energy or whatever.

If I can be drinking my water on the way to my coffee pot, my coffee pot’s already made and I’m like boom, and I hit it. I’ve already ingested my water, my coffee’s making. Within like five minutes of getting out of bed, I’m like, “Wow, this is a head start on my day.” Within 10 minutes, I can pour the coffee, and the coffee’s going in my body, and I’m starting to wake up and get ready. The first five minutes is detrimental, and this is going to get you, I don’t hear a lot of people talking about this.

Most people mess up their morning before they even get out of bed because they snooze. When I stopped doing that, my whole life changed, I would never go back to that. The snooze, dude, it’s just another habit that you get into, and once you break it though, it’s life changing because like I said, you control the first five minutes. For me, 4:30 is my number. I have to go to bed at 9:30. I want to be asleep at 9:30, it’s not always possible, but it’s what I try for, then 4:30 I’m getting up, and that alarm goes off, I’m getting right out of bed. If you snooze it, you already messed up. Remember the first five minutes, 4:30-4:35, that’s where you can get massive momentum in your day.

Someone listening to this right now may be like, “Oh okay, well it’s not going to hurt that much.” Maybe you’re number’s not 4:30, maybe it’s five, maybe it’s 5:30, or whatever, but that first 5:00-5:05, if you can get your clothes on, drink your water, because it’s important to get some water first thing in the morning. That helps you wake up, gets your metabolism going. If you’re a coffee person, get the coffee in as soon as possible. If you can do all that within the first five minutes without snoozing, you’re going to be pumped, you’re going to be ready for the day.

Paul: Ready to tackle the morning.

Alan Belcher: Yeah, it’s the little things, really, that matters. There’s all kinds of things you can do in the morning. I’ve found that keeping it simple is best. I tried to have a really hard schedule one time. I would write down all my goals, I would write down the things I’m grateful for, I would meditate, I would read for 30 minutes. I realized, “Man, I think that’s impossible for my personality. I can’t hold a schedule.” For me, if I could make my life to where all I had to do was one thing all day, that would be perfect. That’s kind of where I’m trying to design my life around now is getting all the systems in place where I don’t have to be every 30 minutes you’re doing something different. The easier the better, and that’s just me. Some people are better at holding a more detailed schedule or whatever, I don’t know.

Paul: If you’re getting up and getting going and moving, you’re getting all your stuff done, so that’s the biggest.

Alan Belcher: Yeah, exactly. I’ll get the coffee going and everything, and I keep a little journal, always a notepad or a journal or something like that. I’ll be honest, I have a lot of unfinished notepads and journals and stuff. I don’t think it’s about finishing one journal or one calendar, it’s more about having the paper, if that’s how you keep track of things or whatever. I take that thing out, and I’ll write down the most important thing that I want to do that day. One of the adjustments that I made in my routine over the last year is, instead of going through and just writing – when I used to make a to-do list for the day, because I thought that’s what you’re supposed to do, make a to-do list – I would start, and things would start coming out, and before I knew it, I had the whole page filled up with things. Now it makes you feel sick.

Paul: How am I going to do all of this?

Alan Belcher: I started making an adjustment, and I would think, “Okay, if I could only pick three things, what’s my three things I have to get done to move everything forward?” I would pick three and then I would say, “If I have to circle one, what’s the one that has to get done today?” and I circle that. Just getting one thing done a day is more than most people do. Also, if you pick the right thing, a lot of people choose things like something, it’s not an indicator of moving your success forward.

Paul: Yeah, I agree. You’ve got to focus on that one thing, it’s got to be something that’s going to move your business.

Alan Belcher: Absolutely, man. I think people, they’ve got all these things on their list that’s really not going to make a big difference at the end of the day.

Paul: Yeah, that’s a good routine, man. Thanks for sharing.

Alan Belcher: Yep.

Paul: Let’s pivot a little bit here. When you think of success, who’s the first person who comes to your mind and why?

Alan Belcher: I’m trying to let it be natural. First person that comes to my mind is probably Zig Ziglar.

Paul: Nice, didn’t see that one coming.

Alan Belcher: I don’t know if it’s a good or a bad thing, but when I think of success, I think of the mentors and the people that teach success and personal development and those types of things, because I really believe in self development, always working on yourself. One of the people that I followed, my muay thai coach from way back. I moved to Atlanta back in 2004 to train with him, he kind of took me under his wing. I didn’t realize that the training that he’d be putting me through would be more mental than anything. He introduced me to Jim Rohn, and Zig Ziglar and these types of things. I really like Zig Ziglar because I like his philosophies, and I like his teachings.

Paul: Yeah, his teachings stood the test of time, too.

Alan Belcher: Yeah, it’s really great stuff. I like Zig Ziglar, I like Napoleon Hill. Those guys popped in my head. When you think of success, I think of the people that really, really…they made a career out of studying success. Maybe they weren’t billionaires or whatever, but they studied successful people, and I really feel like they’re true philosophers.

Paul: I like that. I’m a huge fan of Jim Rohn, I love all of his stuff, that guy’s a machine.

Alan Belcher: Yup, it’s great stuff.

Paul: You see Zig Ziglar quotes everywhere all the time on Facebook, so I mean like it’s still going, so definitely successful there. A different kind of question here, so if money was no issue, what would you do for a living?

Alan Belcher: Man, that’s a great question. I think everyone should ask themselves that.

Paul: You can’t say, “Fight in the UFC,” you already did that.

Alan Belcher: I can’t say fight in the UFC.

Paul: Now you’re a successful entrepreneur, business coach, business owner…

Alan Belcher: I don’t know, I feel like my own personality, I don’t like to tie myself down to one thing. If money wasn’t an option, I would probably change my career path every couple of months or something, go in to different things, probably not too far off from what I actually do anyways. I try not to live based off of money, but when you’re in business, you definitely have to think about profitability and if there’s a market for things. It does change your judgment a little bit, so I think I would just travel. It’s interesting, if money wasn’t an option, would I work with people and help them grow their businesses? I don’t know, I’m not sure. I think one thing that I would like to do is start a band.

Paul: That’s very cool.

Alan Belcher: I actually told my wife the other day, that’s kind of like a goal down the road. I was like, “You know what? I think I want to put that on my vision board and make that like a long term goal, just start a band.”

Paul: You and Brandon McCatherine can go on tour.

Alan Belcher: Yeah, man. It’s cool. You see movie stars and stuff like that fulfilling their passion later in their career. They’re never really successful or anything, but a lot of times they start a band or something like that.

Paul: I’ve noticed some of that, you start seeing that. It’s cool, I’ve been around you for years, seen evolution and stuff, but I could see you doing that. That could definitely be something.

Alan Belcher: There’s no limitations, man. You can do whatever you want.

Paul: I think mindset, too. I’ve learned a lot of that being around you and all the stuff you do. Mindset’s a huge thing, because people put so many limitations on what they could do. Who says people can’t do that? That’s one thing we see in business all the time, people are like, “Well, how do you do this?” It’s like, “Well, you just believe in it and you do it.

Alan Belcher: Yeah, absolutely man. I think a lot of people probably have had a dream like that before like, “I want to be in a band!” when you’re a teenager or something, and you try to learn how to play the guitar. Some people believe now, or they have a limiting belief that, “Ah, I can’t do that. That’s silly,” they kind of laugh it off or whatever, but it’s like, “No, there’s no reason why you can’t do that. Why don’t you do it?”

Paul: Yeah, it’s like when you were 18, fighting professional MMA, you go to fight in UFC it’s like, most 18 year olds don’t think that far ahead. They’re like, “Ah, I’m just going to do whatever.” That’s cool, I could definitely see that, the Alan Belcher music tour coming soon.

What’s your favorite book of all time that you’ve ever read? What would you say your favorite book is?

Alan Belcher: You know what? One that I keep in my backpack at all times, and this one means a lot to me. It’s a classic, it’s almost like a cliché, but How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. I keep that in my backpack because for me, social skills is not like my natural thing, you know what I mean? I feel like in social situations, I always have to kind of plan out what I’m going to do, otherwise it’s going to be really awkward. Like for instance, sometimes my neighbor will say, “Hey, what’s up man? How you guys doing? What you got planned for Thanksgiving?”, or whatever. I’ll say, “Oh yeah, we got the in-laws coming over and whatnot,” blah blah blah. Then a few minutes later I realize, “Oh, I didn’t ask him what he was going to do.” You know what I mean. It’s little social stuff like that that some people are just really good with interacting with other people. 

That’s just like one example, but for me, that book right there has stood the test of time, it’s been around. It’s great for social situations, interacting, networking with people, sales, and you could even use it for dating, if someone was trying to get in a relationship with someone or whatever. It’s all the same stuff of psychologically learning how to communicate, get people to like you, trade off value with people, learn how to network with people and stuff. That book right there, I’ve read it probably only one time straight through, but now it’s like a textbook to me. I go through and it’s written kind of like a textbook but better, because it has like little examples and stuff in it. I really, really love that book, I’ve given that book to people. 

That’s something that I dealt with, and my life is, I wouldn’t say social awkwardness, but just not like a naturally social person or whatever. Anytime I ever see someone that’s like, “Yeah, I’m not like a real people person,” or, “I’m not really good at sales.” There was this dude at my gym not too long ago, he was crying about some girl breaking up with him, so I’m like, “Dude, there’s so many girls out there.” He’s like, “I know, I’m not really good with girls or whatever,” I gave him that book. I was like, “Eh, it’s not really a dating book, but you know.”

Paul: Get out there and talk to people.

Alan Belcher: Exactly. I really, really like that book.

Paul: It’s cool you keep it in your backpack all the time, so you can always refer back to it and look at it, and do stuff like that.

Alan Belcher: I keep that one, and I keep Russell Brunson’s book in my backpack too.

Paul: DotCom Secrets, I got that one too.

Alan Belcher: With all the funnels and stuff. Man, I love that one, that one’s really cool. You know what’s another book that I could really recommend, that would probably be…I don’t know if I would say my second favorite, you know Napoleon Hill has a great…we don’t have time to go over it right now, but I’d love to talk about the history of philosophy of success and all that. Like I’m really into that. Napoleon Hill has a book called How to Raise Your Own Salary. That book, I recommend that one for people. That kind of wraps up all the Napoleon Hill books in one. Not many people know about it, it actually hasn’t even sold a lot of copies.

Paul: Yeah, I didn’t know about it till you told me about it at dinner, when we were down in Florida. I was like, “What are you talking about? Really?” I looked it up on Amazon and I’m like, “Whoa, crap. It’s really there.”

Alan Belcher: It’s kind of interesting. Anyways, yeah maybe for another time, we could talk about the history of that.

Paul: That’s the thing, it’s such a cool thing like books and podcast audiobooks, we can go and learn all these various things that can change our lives. It’s tough, I mean if you just want to sit back and work nine to five and kind of be a robot, you can do it…but to push out and be an entrepreneur, a successful fighter, a parent, and a husband…Things like that, it’s like, “Man, you’ve got to get outside and you’ve got to learn from people that have already done it.” If you do that, it’s so much faster, the learning curve is so much quicker.

Alan Belcher: Yup.

Paul: Man, this has been really cool; this has been a lot of fun. Before we go, I’ll ask for one last thing. If you could give our listeners only one tip that would make the biggest impact in their lives, what would that tip be? Super secret Alan Belcher tip…

Alan Belcher: I would say figure out a way to wake up, because when you become really awake – another word for that is “aware” – you’re able to be honest with yourself. Then everything starts to change, because most people, what I see, people are walking around somewhat like zombies, and they don’t realize that all the thoughts in their mind have been programmed from years and years and years of the people they’ve been around. The TV shows and commercials and music and everything, the mind’s very sensitive. Breaking out of that, kind of stepping back, and just being open to the fact that, “Hey, what if I am kind of programmed with all these habits and all these thoughts and everything? All I really have to do is figure out a way to change those things.” 

That would by my number one thing, and you could use that for all different types of whatever you’re trying to accomplish as far as success, whatever success is for you. That’s the number one thing, if you’re not open and aware and awake, nothing’s going to work. That’s the first step, that’s even taking it further than mindset. Because mindset is something that you have to be open, you have to be open to changing your mindset. There’s somebody in my life that’s almost like a family member that I wish I could help this person with their mindset. You probably know someone like this too, they have to want it themselves somewhat. You can’t help someone that doesn’t want it themselves, so if you can develop that desire and that openness, and just wake up and be like, “Hey, I’m awake, wow! I really can change and I want to!”

Paul: Oh yeah, we’ve all got those people in our lives. A lot of times they’re family members, which is even harder because you want to smack them and be like, “You can do other things!” I’m like, “No, stop!” That’s an awesome tip, man. That’s a big tip. I know you’re pretty active everywhere, so where’s the best place to follow you and learn more about Alan Belcher? Follow you online?

Alan Belcher: You know what, whatever social platform that you like, Facebook or Instagram. Facebook.com/alanbelcherfans or I’m AlanBelcherOfficial on Instagram.

Paul: If you want a little bit more inside scoop on Alan, follow him on Instagram and watch his stories because he’s getting pretty consistent with those, I’ve noticed that. That’s very cool. All right man, well I appreciate it, this has been awesome. We’ll have to do another one later on down the road.

Alan Belcher: All right, thanks for having me, I appreciate it, Paul.

Paul: Thanks Alan.

Listen to Episode 2 Here