You Have to Be Honest with Yourself

Mike Coval
January 5, 2021

It's December of 2016.

I wasn't happy with the progress of the business.  The business wasn't performing at the rate that I wanted (4.5% growth that year.  Our lowest total ever to that point and to this day). 

It was gut-check time. 

In order to fix the rut that we were in, I knew what the answer was, but it made me uncomfortable.

It made me feel like a failure.

I didn't like the answer.


I was still in a bit of depression from my last chronic bout of depression that was pretty severe from August of '15 up through June of '16.  That bout of depression was brought on by poor choices that I made and I let it trickle into other areas of my life. 

I looked at my life as a whole.  How had I been living and was I proud of that?  Did the way I was living truly reflect what I wanted in my life?  Was I showing good leadership up to that point? 

The answers?  Shitty and no.  No.  No.

My frustrations with the gym and the lack of growth pointed directly back at me and I needed to change for the better.

My leadership needed to improve.  I started listening to my team better and worked on understanding them as individuals.  I thought that I needed a team that were exact replicas of me.  It was what I had been taught and it made sense to me until it didn't.  I didn't realize it at that point, but managing my team was the same as coaching clients and I missed the boat on that for so long. 

I needed to get ahold of my anxiety which meant managing what I allow to get my attention.  It also meant utilizing healthy coping strategies with the stress (outside of exercise) that I encountered on daily basis.  Less of mindlessly scrolling Instagram and daily breathing exercises helped.

I needed to find more hobbies that weren't related to work.  I started playing in a basketball league for the first time in my adult life and started playing basketball more regularly.  I did things that I had never done before in my life including taking a basic pistol course and salsa dancing lessons.  I started dating someone (Heba) who had similar interest and values.  I started traveling regularly for the first time in my adult life (travel that wasn't related to business at least).

All of these things compounded with focusing on becoming a better version of me took time, but within 3 years it resulted in 54% growth over a 3 year span with over half of that growth coming in 2019. 


I'm pretty confident saying "no, it's definitely not a coincidence."

Sometimes we need to be honest with ourselves.  It would likely be more beneficial though if we were honest with ourselves most times so that we don't have to wait so long for the success that we deserve.  We all deserve better.

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Mike Coval

Coval Fitness is a Personal Training Studio and Gym in Ann Arbor, Michigan

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