Today, Michael Fear is sharing his thoughts with us about perseverance. I connected with Michael after I found his article: “47 Inspirational Songs for Young Entrepreneurs.” I found this article by chance when looking for inspiring music and I’m so glad I did. Thanks Michael for writing! He is doing amazing work and thought he would be a wonderful addition to this series as he encourages others to Get Better Today! Looking forward to collaborating more in the future with you Michael. Thanks again for sharing with us!
Michael Fear grew up in a small town in Indiana. Being an aspiring athlete in a small town brought its own disadvantages. There was no easy way to find and connect with the proper coaches or instructors that he needed to get better. After many months of searching, instructors were found through word of mouth. Michael and his dad were forced to drive 4 hours roundtrip, for hitting lessons. Michael thought, “There has to be a better way!” Therefore, he developed his own business, Get Better Today.
Michael is also a full-time contributing writer for Under30CEO, the leading media site covering news, advice, trends, & events for the young entrepreneur. He finished 4th in an Under30CEO.com video contest that was voted on by Microsoft Executives and thousands of young entrepreneurs. Read Michael’s interview below!
What is the best piece of advice you have ever received? Who did you receive it from?
“Mike, no amount of money will make me healthy.” -My grandpa (Edwin Sizemore)
This just happened a few weeks ago actually. My grandfather’s health at the moment is not good at all. He has several issues going on at the same time and it’s not a good situation. I’ve really learned a lot from it. This specific statement really hit me hard though. It’s one of those comments in life that I know I will never forget. I’m a very results oriented person and a lot of it stems from him. Growing up seeing your grandparents try to make as much money as possible is naturally going to carry over into your DNA.
The comment really stresses something that I think everyone struggles with at times. We all strive for success in many types of fashions. I think it may be an attempt to validate our self-worth. At the end of the day though, money or “earthly” success isn’t going to save us. As my grandpa said, money isn’t going to heal him or anyone else. At the end of our lives, our relationship with God is all that’s going to matter.
How important is mentorship in terms of your success?
I think it’s everything and will continue to be everything. I’m nowhere near the level I want to be, but I am 100% confident I will get there. I think that confidence comes from the positive environment I grew up in. My parents encouraged everything I did and were always very complimentary. They didn’t try to live their lives through me, they just encouraged. I have no doubt that my self-belief is a direct result from their encouragement. As arrogant as it may sound, I really think I can accomplish anything. That is a direct relation to the thoughts my parents put in my head as I was growing up.
Other than my family, I’m currently working on adding some business mentors into my life. This is somewhere I am lacking and I’m currently looking to connect with some great people that I can learn from!
What has been the best moment in your life so far?
College without a doubt. I don’t know that it’s a specific moment, but those 4 years were really big for me. I was on scholarship as a Division 1 baseball player at Morehead State University. I met lifelong friends and figured out the direction I wanted my life to take. Building an Internet company and helping people is not something I grew up interested in, but it really became my passion in college. Overall, college as a whole was the best moment because I think it was a valuable stepping-stone for me (and I don’t mean by having a degree).
What tips would you have for living a healthy life?
Exercise more and eat less. People make healthy living too difficult. It’s not about crazy diets or unique workouts. It’s simple, don’t over-eat. It’s impossible to gain weight if you’re burning more calories than you’re eating. Learn the basics about nutrition and get on the treadmill. It’s not easy to stay in shape. If it was, everyone would be in great shape. Working out hard isn’t really fun, but it’s better than being out of shape.
How do you motivate yourself to persist despite setbacks?
I think the motivation goes back to the environment I grew up in. The constant encouragement was key. I also heard Will Smith talk about himself being delusional at times. I honestly think I’m the same way. If I fail at something, I understand it’s probably just part of the process or it wasn’t meant to be. In my gut though, I’ve always believed things would work out in my favor. It really is delusion because I believe if I continue to persevere and work hard, success is eventually going to happen. I think it may be one of my greatest strengths. I think people have to believe in themselves above all circumstances. Also, I think the years I spent on the baseball field helped me. Baseball is a game of failure. Good hitters only succeed 3 out of 10 times. I think the game taught me to be able to handle setbacks.
What has been your biggest setback? How did you deal with it? What did you learn from it?
I’m not sure if it qualifies as a specific setback, but this was definitely the biggest change in my entire life. I’m an athlete at heart and that’s why my website focuses on athletics first. I grew up playing sports, not on the computer. My goal through the first 21 years of my life was to become a professional baseball player. Before my senior year of college though, I started to realize it wasn’t what I wanted anymore. I had started to measure my self-worth based on baseball results. During that year though, I realized my purpose wasn’t related to baseball. I loved the game and still do, but that was a difficult time for me. The realization that I wasn’t enjoying the game, our team was struggling, and that my future was going to be different than I had planned was tough.
Imagine living the first 21 years of your life for a game and starting to realize it wasn’t going to happen. I ended up not getting drafted or signed, but I don’t regret anything. I gave it all I had, I just wasn’t good enough. I honestly believe God put me through an extremely tough final year, because He knew that’s what it would take for me to change my vision. I can see His hand at work now. I’ve realized why I was put here and it wasn’t for baseball. Overall though, I wouldn’t trade those years in baseball for anything. I look back now and really enjoyed my time in the game. Baseball and the people I met inside the game definitely have had a shaping on my life. The game was VERY good to me.
How do you deal with critics?
I’ve got really thick-skin. Being 23 and pursuing an entrepreneurial dream isn’t common and I hear the critics. I’m going against the social norm and that tends to ruffle feathers. I know there are some of them that are people I’ve considered close. At the end of the day, do I like that? No. But will anyone else’s opinion ever stop me from pursing things that I know I can achieve? No.
I’ve honestly stopped worrying about it. I use it as motivation and realize if I was standing still, I wouldn’t have critics. It’s just part of life.
How important is social support in overcoming obstacles?
It’s very important. I think it all goes back again to the environment we’re in. I’ve been blessed to have parents I could call and talk to anytime. They were encouraging when I needed it and tough when I needed it. There were multiple times, they’ve gotten all over me about things. Told me the things I didn’t want to hear. My mom is pretty quick to tell me when I need to step out of my comfort zone.
What advice would you give others about goal setting?
Don’t set goals that you can achieve easily. That just limits what you’re capable of achieving. My goals are so ridiculously high that I don’t like telling people. They would laugh. I just never try to limit myself.
What life lesson have you learned that you would like to pass along to others?
1. We have to focus on getting better every single day. It has to become an obsession. When focusing on improving yourself becomes an obsession, there are no limits to what you can achieve. I’ve noticed that successful people in any field are obsessed with this process. They’re always looking for an advantage that will make them better.
2. “Earthly” success aren’t going to matter. When our lives are coming to a close, they won’t matter. I’m so driven, that this is probably my greatest struggle. We have to remember that a desire to be successful is great, but it’s not the most important thing in life. It’s not worth beating yourself up over.
Thanks, Michael, for sharing your thoughts with us! Keep up the amazing work!