Shrugged Collective

The 3 lessons that have changed my life

Photo credit: Josh Homes Photography


1. Sometimes it’s better not to ask, “Why?”

It’s good to be curious and ask questions, but sometimes it’s better to find your way through discovery rather than being told what to do.

I’ve said YES to many opportunities over the last 3 years, many of which have changed my life forever. To be honest, much of the time I cannot say exactly why I made these decisions.

Throughout my life people have suggested that I try things that sounded completely unrelated to what my goals are. Now that I’ve grown older, found leaders I trust, and do what they say without question, I have learned that is the best idea most the time.

My mentors have slowly earned my trust by delivering extraordinary results that I could have not realized on my own. These are the types of leaders that you want to follow in training, in business, and in life. They give you exactly what you want and what you need, not necessarily what you prefer.

Select a leader in your industry and do everything they say is a good idea. Really, don’t ask questions. Act!

Your leader should have the type of success you would like to have. Follow them with optimism and passion. I committed to this action awhile back and my life has transcended to levels beyond what money can buy, beyond what I could have imagined for myself a few years ago.

“The seeker embarks on a journey to find what he wants and discovers, along the way, what he needs.” – Wally Lamb

2. Share your secrets

Don’t be afraid to share what you know with those who ask.

Many people have been hurt in their lives. They’re worried about their future. Many times, they feel like they are all on their own. Extend your hand and you may find yourself with a lot of friends, real friends.

My true wealth is measured in my relationships. I don’t worry about money because I know that no matter what, I love and I am loved.

I used the think John Lennon was full of shit, but after living a life of love I have to agree with him. You don’t know what you don’t know and that includes loving everyone. If you can pull that off you’ll know what I mean.

I think this might fall into the, “I can’t explain it to you until you do it” category. Give it a try and see for yourself.

Because I have so many close friends, I also have many close allies. Sometimes there are people that have ill intentions, but I remain unfazed. This is because, no matter what, I know I’ve got a team of amazing people who’ve got my back. This isn’t just the dudes on the Barbell Shrugged team. I’m talking about people who inhabit all aspects of my life, in and out of my industry.

I’m proud to have a lot of ass-kicking friends. I don’t worry when someone comes gunning for me because my allies are strong, and my efforts are rooted in love.

These bonds are solid, baby.

Time for a sunset surf

A photo posted by Mike Bledsoe (@mike_bledsoe) on


3. Be a “We”

I cringe when people categorize themselves or categorize others, especially when those people may have no control over whether they fall into that group or not. Some examples are race, nationalities, companies and sports. None of that matters in the end.

Even if people do control which group they’re in, that’s no reason to treat them different than you would yourself.

In “Tribal Leadership,” Dave Logan cites the 5 stages of tribal culture. We as human beings, no matter how much we fight against it, are a part of a tribe. We all fall into one of these 5 categories.

In the 21st century most of us get to choose the tribe we’re in. Most of the time this choice comes in the form of where we work, and what we give our time to. It also comes in the form of schools, religious groups, geographical regions, and fitness communities. I see each stage as a step to the next step and a step to strive for.

Here are the 5 stages:


Make sure you’re a part of a culture that strives for “Innocent Wonderment”. Tribes that segment themselves, point at other groups, or blame others are only holding themselves back.

If you find yourself in a group like this, run! But not until you find a group to run to that is in stage 5. Too many people run away, and not TO something better. So identify that stage 5 group as soon as possible and make a bee line for it.

I think that’s why people are attracted to Barbell Shrugged. We’re a stage 5 tribe and we’re proud of it! We see opportunity and we work towards improving the lot of everyone, no matter who you are.


We love you, and we’re not afraid to say so.


Mike Bledsoe


Follow us

Don't be shy, get in touch. We love meeting interesting people and making new friends.