437. Maxing Out His "Immigrant Edge"
As the son of a political refugee, Bedros had a huge chip on his shoulder and was filled with anger and rage. One day his high school teacher, exasperated with his disruptive behavior, grabbed him by the collar, slammed him against the wall, and shouted something at him that turned his life around.
Bedros Keuilian has created popular brands and businesses throughout the fitness industry. He is the founder and CEO of the fastest growing fitness franchise worldwide: Fit Body Boot Camp. He’s also the fitness industry’s leading consultant for marketing, branding, business systems and development. His blogs, products, books, and live events help tens of thousands of fitness professionals and business owners around the world build more robust and profitable businesses.
How Did You Start Using Your Talents?
As the six-year-old youngest son of a former Armenian Communist Party member, Bedros learned how to survive in the face of adversity when his family escaped Armenia under the guise of a vacation in Italy. For years, his father dreamed of coming to the United States. “I was the guy who put the bread on the table, literally,” he recalls. We would go to the dumpsters behind the grocery stores. My dad would give me a boost. I would dive in and he would teach me what to get. Grocery stores throw away tons of food—milk, cheese, meats and bread—that has passed its expiration date but has not necessarily gone bad. To me, it was a fun little trip. It sounds crazy, but remember we were a family who was broke, who knew no one, who didn’t speak English. We were truly in survival state. In hindsight, I realize that the adversities I grew up with were the greatest advantage I could have had.”
The Most Impactful Turning Point?
“I grew up with anger, rage, and a chip on my shoulder. Hearing people tell my father, over and over again, “Hey, go back to your own country, you foreigner!” Bedros credits one of teachers in high school with turning him around. Exasperated with his behavior one day, “She grabbed me by my collar and started banging me against the wall, shouting, ‘you are never going to make it in life unless you go into the military. They’re the only ones that can save you!’ I thought to myself, OK, I’ll go apply.” The military wouldn’t take him, but he set about to prove her wrong. He did.
The Most Powerful Lessons Learned?
When the military wouldn’t take him, “I knew I had no other path, so I took the path of physical fitness. Becoming a fitness trainer was the thing that changed my life and gave me confidence. Today, my life revolves around re-framing adversities, taking negativity and turning it into positive. I think of adversities as being like dumbbells in a gym. Like a dumbbell, I can keep curling it and pressing it, and the more I do it, the bigger and stronger my muscles get. I use this image to strengthen my mental and emotional muscles.
Steps to Success from Bedros Keuilian
- Now is the time to start making the changes you want. There is no perfect time.
2. With a strong work ethic, you can outwork anyone who has talent but is not willing to work.
3. Stop over-estimating what you can do in one year and start realizing what you can do in five. Give yourself five years of consistent hard work and see how much you will accomplish.
Connecting With Bedros Keuilian
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