Episode #34: This is Why You Haven’t Been Successful Yet with Bart Miller

Episode #34: This is Why You Haven’t Been Successful Yet with Bart Miller


Photography Business Institute
Photography Business Institute

On this week’s episode, my friend, Bart Miller, shares the secrets to unlocking high performance in the fastest way possible. Bart and his wife are among the top 1% of Amazon resellers in the world, they run the largest online makeup school in the world, and he’s made it to the elite levels of bodybuilding, cycling, and calf roping. If you’re frustrated with how much time you’re spending on your photography business, and not getting anywhere, Bart’s advice is going to help you.

The Most Successful Person I Know

Bart Miller

Right now, in the world of Amazon, my wife and I are the top 1% of all Amazon sellers. We also own the largest online makeup school. That school is private labeled for every Paul Mitchell School nationwide. So, we have a lot of knowledge in the online school space, but it’s more than just that. When I do commit, I go big or I don’t go at all. I’ve shot one of the largest bucks in the state of Idaho. I made an announcement that I was going to win a saddle last year, in less than one year. Did that last year, accomplished that goal. I’ve done tons of backcountry skiing, and I’ve also raced semi-pro cycling, and been a bodybuilder.

The reason I’ve done all this, is because I started to hack different things, like how can you get high performance the fastest way possible? How do you avoid spending years hitting your head against the wall, trying to get out of this cycle or this rut?

Want To Find Success? First, Find A Coach

If you don’t have a coach, get one. That’s step number one for hacking anything. When I started looking for a coach, I had to get clear on what I wanted to do. I ended up finding the number one physique bodybuilding coach, and I asked him very, very clear questions. I said, “In one year, I want you to promise me that I can walk on stage, I can win my category, and win the overall for my category.” He said, “I can do that. There’s some criteria, but I can do that.” I said, “Okay, great. I’m in. I’ll do whatever it takes.”

Whatever it takes sometimes is what we’re willing to say, but we’re not willing to really do. When I showed up, he said, “You have to be in my gym every month for a week.” I live in Idaho. He lives in California. I made a commitment though, so I took my son with me to California to go lift. At the end of every practice, he makes you take your shirt off, get up on a platform and pose. The first time I did it, I felt uncomfortable, because I knew I was one year away from my goal physique. But I did it. And being in that gym ended up giving me a group of supportive people to surround myself with.

In less than one year, I won two trophies. But, what did it take to get there? 100%. My secret sauce is this: Get a coach, achieve your goals, and achieve them faster. If anybody tries to argue this, it’s because they haven’t had the right coach.

A Recipe Will Make You Successful

Coaches know the recipe. If someone showed you a recipe, you could follow the recipe. So, what I’m trying to show you here is, me becoming a bodybuilder in one year and winning that was because I followed a recipe. And then, who did I hire to coach me through the recipe? A coach that knows what you’re going to experience it before you experience it. If they’ve already experienced it before you experience it, then they can help you understand what you’re going to go through. In the bodybuilding stuff, I was tempted to cheat, but my coach KNEW that. So, he helped me to understand what to do. He knew if I’d take vitamin C, it was the same formulation as sugar, and it would trick my brain into helping me get over sugar cravings.

 A coach knows what you are capable of better than you do. They help you with cutting down years and years of frustration. A lot of people say, “Bart, how much money did you spend in that one year, though, to accomplish the body that you wanted? Well, we can go through that, but I can guarantee you if I compare it to six years of hell or five years through my life, I spent more money and more time and frustration, and more time with my family getting to the same results. There were certain things that I didn’t even know that I was going to come against up against, but my coach already knew these stumbling blocks. At the end of the day, coaches need you to be real with yourself. If you have a backup plan, and that’s all you base everything on, you will never succeed. Okay? So, commit.

Committing And Being Accountable

Here is a story that I want to tell you about accountability. Dana Derricks was going to speak on a stage, and he wanted to look good. He called me saying he needed to lose some weight. I said, “Get on an airplane. Fly here to see me.” I live in Idaho. He lives in Minnesota. He said, “I don’t want to fly to see you.” I said, “Well then, you don’t want to lose weight.” He goes, “I’ll be on an airplane.” I said, “Okay.”

So he flew to see me. He gets there and he says, “What have I got to do to lose this weight? What’s the diet?” I told him it’s not about the diet, it’s not the diet’s problem. I grabbed a napkin and wrote, “Dana Derricks will kill a goat live on Facebook, and eat a steak in front of everybody if he cheats on his diet. And when he refused to sign it at first, I said, “Well, then you’re not going to be successful. It’s the difference between you and me.”

Some of you might think I’m too extreme, or that this is too much. Well, let’s get real. The reality is, if he can’t do that, he is not going to be successful. And that’s what I said to him. “You don’t want it bad enough.” He signed it.

One month out from him being on stage he calls me at three in the morning. He goes, “I’ve got to ask for forgiveness. I flew all night. You know I don’t like to fly. Drank a lot. I got there. It was two o’clock in the morning. They took me to the hamburger shop. I haven’t eaten all day long, and I ate a burger. But, they filmed me, Bart, puking it out. I’ll send you the video right now, but please give me forgiveness.”

What To Do When You Make A Mistake

There are a couple of things here that are really, really important to this story. Number one is he didn’t hide from making a mistake. Integrity is everything. Number two, he did everything he did to resolve the situation, and I forgave him. And then he made it on stage. He hit his goal. If you’re not willing to get real with yourself, with a coach, with your group you’re surrounded with, you will never go as big as you can go. I promise you, you won’t.

I tell you that story because I think it’s super important for all of us to get real. The reality is, you’ve got to be able to have accountability and make this happen. You’ve got to proclaim it. You’ve got to tell the world your goal, because it’s an amazing thing when you tell the universe what you’re going to do, and you commit to your groups. You commit to those around you that this is what I’m going to do, and assume the role. You’ve got to eat, sleep, and drink it. Surround yourself with a like-minded community. Take action and follow the recipe. You can never hold your coach accountable unless you have followed the recipe 100% and not had success. You have to take responsibility. Do not blame somebody else for your lack of responsibility.


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