Shrugged Collective

Barbell Business – Cultivating Fearlessness w/ Peter Scott

On This Week’s Episode of Barbell Business, We Interview Peter Scott to Discuss:

  • The difference between rational and irrational fear
  • How competence leads to confidence
  • The personal and business benefits of a fearless life
  • How to confront fear and transform it into confidence

Some fear is great. It keeps us alive. Are you afraid of making a left turn out into traffic when there’s not an opening? Good. Don’t die. Other fears, while they feel exactly the same in our bodies, are not useful. Are you afraid of sales conversations with prospects? Or afraid of public speaking? Or afraid of raising your membership prices? Yeah? That fear keeps you from living.

Peter Scott skydiving

This week, we met up with Peter Scott of Fearless Life Experience to talk about the fears that stand in our way and how to conquer them. A former investment banker, Peter shares his personal story about how fear got him into a career that he found to be empty and unhealthy. Once he recognized that fear was his primary motivation and saw the ruinous path he was on, he changed course and transformed his life. Now he coaches other entrepreneurs on fearless living, which leads not only to a life that’s more fulfilling but a business that’s more profitable.


1:50 – Peter Gets Fit
3:00 – Deciding Not to Be Controlled By Fear
11:54 – Transforming from Fearful to Fearless
13:30 – Investing in Himself
15:00 – Selling to and Coaching People Who Are Led By Fear
18:00 – “Fear Doesn’t Exist in the Present Moment”
25:45 – Rational vs. Irrational Fears
32:10 – Remove the Safety Net and Go Full-Time as a Gym Owner?
37:10 – Peter’s Coaching Today
44:15 – For Our Listeners: Free 5-Day Virtual “Face Your Fear” Challenge

1:50 – Peter Gets Fit

Peter Gets FitFunctional fitness saved Peter’s life. He’s only been active in the community for three-and-a-half years, but it turns out there’s a huge difference between focusing on health every day vs. focusing on investment banking and Doritos for 80-100 hours each week. (Later in the episode, Peter describes his “before” as a “Fat Napoleon Dynamite.”)

These days, Peter trains at Stratum Fitness in Solana Beach with our buddies, Blake Bender and Eric DePaula. Fitness is completely different from what he thought it would be as a young man when Pumping Iron with Arnold and heavy bench presses were the only things he associated with exercise. Learning about movement, mobility, and flexibility have been huge revelations. Like us, he admires Max Shank’s mobility work and 5 Minute Flow as an introduction to the Wonderful World of Movement.

3:00 Deciding Not to Be Controlled By Fear

Deciding Not to Be Controlled By FearWe’ll let Peter tell you the details himself, but long story short, challenging childhood experiences led him to run fast towards as much success –– in this case, wealth and status –– as he could muster. And he did it out of fear. It wasn’t until the death of his father, a man who let his own health deteriorate because of fear, that Peter was able to see his own life for what it was. He put in his notice at work and was on a path to fearless living within a week of his father’s death.

11:54 – Transforming from Fearful to Fearless

Transforming from Fearful to FearlessIf only we could just flip the switch and say, “Okay, cool! I’m not afraid of stuff anymore!” In this segment, Peter takes us through the trials and false starts he experienced, not only on his personal journey but on his path to entrepreneurship in this field.

Now that he’s cultivated his own fearlessness, he works with other entrepreneurs who may be in a similar state as he found himself in several years ago.

Fear manifests differently for different people. Stress, anxiety, and worry are the more recognizable forms of fear than the horror-movie level terror that we often associate with the emotion. For Peter, confronting fear meant doing things that terrified him: not just taking business risks, but doing stuff like jumping out of planes. Surviving these experiences led to increased confidence in all aspects of his life, which meant he became more successful.

“The thing that I focused primarily on with entrepreneurs is mindset. It’s really overcoming the fears, the doubts, the limiting beliefs that are stopping entrepreneurs.”

13:30 Investing in Himself

Investing in HimselfPeter knew that he wanted to coach others in fearlessness almost as soon as he began the journey to fearlessness. Once he discovered the difference in his life, he became evangelical about helping others live fearlessly. In order to make a business of it, he had to seek the help of mentors and invest in himself.

This was a scary thing to do. Once he quit his job, his income instantly evaporated. Getting coaching, mentorship, and professional development was risky financially, but he was now in a place to face the fear of financial instability in order to invest in himself. He believes fully in the power of investing yourself because it collapses time. He couldn’t have started a coaching business from scratch, and he knew that. So he cut a check to get some help.

15:00 – Selling to and Coaching People Who Are Led By Fear

Selling to and Coaching People Who Are Led By FearDoug asks how Peter overcomes the fact that clients are led by fear, too. It can be a financial fear about paying $200 per month for a gym membership, even if they have the money. What if they tell someone else what it costs, and that person tells them that they’re stupid? Peter discusses how to find what fear is at the root of their “no.” In order to do that, you have to be willing to be vulnerable first. Say what you’ve been afraid of yourself, and how you’ve overcome it. Authentic vulnerability (and not being afraid of what someone will think of you if you tell your whole truth) is the only way to break down that wall. And in the specific case of a prospect’s fears around joining, we can have absolutely no hesitance about our product and what it costs. “Yes, this gym membership may cost upwards of $200 per month. And yes, it’s absolutely worth it.” We need to believe fully in our services, believe that they will help people live the life they want. Then we can fearlessly offer the product in good conscience, knowing that what we’re offering is good for us, good for the client, and good for the community.

Peter leads a three-day event called The Fearless Life Experience. They do scary stuff. Case in point, an upcoming event will include swimming with great white sharks.

He’s working with people who are already high achievers to get them to a “one degree moment.” That’s when people who are already running at 211 degrees go into 212 degrees. Even though it’s a tiny improvement, it’s the difference between water and steam.

18:00 – “Fear Doesn’t Exist in the Present Moment”

Fear Doesn’t Exist in the Present MomentDoug tells a story* about a man who was attacked by a tiger. When the tiger was coming for him, he was afraid. But once the tiger caught up with him, he wasn’t afraid any more. He was too busy throwing punches at a vicious tiger to experience fear.

*Kind of a story. He forgets how it ends. Maybe with ghosts?

Peter notes that this is true for a number of scary things: that important conversation with your spouse that you’re dreading, an MMA fight, that podcast you’re going to be a guest on, whatever. It will all be fine once you get going. In fact, there’s a breakthrough waiting on the other side, once you push through the fear. As Peter says, “Fear is a chaotic projection of a painful future.”

In fact, one of Peter’s first fear breakthroughs came during his first MMA fight. While it’s not quite like fighting a tiger, it’s pretty close as you can reasonably get outside of a zoo. His first mentor was Garrett White, who led a group called Wake Up Warrior. This included going to Laguna Beach to have an MMA fighting experience led by Jesse Elder.

“I had never fought once in my life, so I had so much fear, insane amounts of fear leading up to that. But once I got into that experience of getting punched, and throwing punches, there was nothing that I could feel but the present moment. That fear faded away, and the certainty, and the confidence that I felt after it, regardless of the outcome, regardless of getting my ass kicked or not, I felt unstoppable by doing that.”

Both Doug and Peter recommend Steven Kotler’s book, The Rise of Superman: Decoding the Science of Ultimate Human Performance, for more about breaking through fear in high-intensity situations.

25:45 – Rational vs. Irrational Fears

Rational vs. Irrational Fears“A quick way to label which fear is good, and which fear is bad, is that the first type of fear is a rational fear. That fear keeps you alive. The second type of fear is an irrational fear, and that keeps you from living. The challenges that both of these fears feel exactly the same in your body. “

In this segment, Peter goes deeper into how irrational fears, like a fear of selling gym memberships, gets in the way of our best life. Particularly in the case of something with as much value to a person as a membership in a functional fitness gym, Peter notes that we actually do our clients a disservice if we undercharge them. We need to have the courage to charge what our service is worth, because we value what we pay for.

Peter talks about one of his first mentorship experiences, with a good friend of his who happens to be one of the world’s best public speakers, Sean Stephenson. Sean mentored Peter as a friend, and as a result, Peter took everything he said under advisement but didn’t act on it. Later, he cut a giant check to a paid mentor to give him the exact same advice that he’d heard from Sean, but because Peter was motivated by the need for a return on his investment, he followed through with the advice this time.

In order for our clients to get the results they want, they need to be fully invested in their own success. When we charge more, people take showing up to the gym and eating healthy more seriously, and client results improve.

32:10 – Remove the Safety Net and Go Full-Time as a Gym Owner?

A question we get a lot is whether people should quit their day job in order to run their gym full-time. This is especially challenging for people who have families –– it’s hard to say goodbye to a retirement plan, health benefits, and a guaranteed paycheck in order to risk going it on your own. Basically, they want to go full-time, but they’re afraid it won’t work out.

Confidence is gained by acts of courage. Peter recommends making a commitment to the people around you about when you’ll go full-time, so that they can hold you to it. If you wait for the fear to go away, you’ll never do it.

And, honestly, it will probably suck at first. Invoking a military saying, Peter advises that we “embrace the suck.” Getting through doing it terribly is how we’re going to get better (or learn that we’re so bad at, say, Facebook marketing, that we hire someone who doesn’t suck at it).

37:10 – Peter’s Coaching Today

Peter’s still growing as a coach. One solid piece of advice he gives is never to coach anyone on something you haven’t yet mastered yourself. Peter’s Earn 100K Coaching is a successful program he’s launched for entrepreneurs working towards making their first six-figures. He hasn’t started a program on earning your first million, because he hasn’t yet done that himself. How many of us know that one guy from high school who sleeps on his mom’s couch but just changed his job title on his Facebook profile to “life coach?” Never be that guy.

Today, Peter specializes in mindset coaching for entrepreneurs who have already become very successful, but who perhaps have done so at the cost of their personal relationships or their own health.

44:15 – For Our Listeners: Free 5-Day Virtual “Face Your Fear” Challenge

If you head to challengeyourfear.com, you’ll get a chance to try some of Peter’s fearlessness shortcuts yourself. Each day for five days, he sends out a five-minute-long video. Each video gives daily challenges for facing fears like rejection, public speaking, failure, or charging what you’re worth. (Pro-tip: If you’re minding your own at Whole Foods and a random dude offers you a bouquet of flowers, you might have encountered a fearless-dude-in-training.)

The Fearless Mindset: The Entrepreneurs Guide To Get Fit In Less Time, Double Your Income, and Become Unstoppable by Peter Scott

If you need more Peter Scott in your life but aren’t ready to commit to hanging out with great white sharks, definitely check out his book, The Fearless Mindset: The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Get Fit in Less Time, Double Your Income, and Become Unstoppable. You can also find him on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook as @PeterScottIV.

Our thanks to Peter for being on the show today. Be sure to check him out at designafearlesslife.com and at fearlesslifeexperience.com.


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Mike Bledsoe


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