My ten year career in SEO was never planned. Whilst studying at King’s College London I fell into Search Engine Optimisation as so many others did at the time. It is not a career I would admit as being ‘life changing’ or ‘awe inspiring’ however it has led me through certain paths that have deeply changed the way my brain functions and my mission in life as a whole.
I have performed SEO campaigns for some of the world’s most famous brands and reputation management for some of the most prominent celebrities around today. Doctors, Lawyers, Politicians and Entertainers, I have helped them all with regards to their marketing goals. In return they thanked me with a nice fat pay check. Some went so far as to pay & refer me to their friends and a select few payed, referred & helped me with my own personal goals. This post is dedicated to the select few.
After a casual meeting at a small local restaurant with an existing SEO client, a self-confessed ‘B list’ entity trying to make it back into the ‘A list’ crowd again, a ‘meeting’ that involved more time spent discussing the range of cocktails on offer rather than actual results generated, I was heading back home until I spotted one of my all-time childhood hero’s: Lou Ferrigno, better known to superhero movie aficionados as ‘The Hulk’, was sitting right beside me. My conscience kept telling me ‘you know they say meeting your hero is always a let-down’ yet my gut ignored the voice in my head and ruled over. Little did I know that those few minutes I would spend talking to him would change my way of thinking forever and provide me with 3 invaluable lifelong lessons.
Use your weaknesses as fuel to reach your dreams
As I introduced myself to Lou, the famous mantra ‘Don’t make the Hulk angry, you wouldn’t like him when he is angry’ filtered through me and I promised myself that I would be on my best behavior. His colossal hand eclipsed mine during our handshake and the strength he greeted me with left me thinking whether I had just suffered one fractured bone or two. Conversation soon began flowing and after the initial chit chat, Mr. Ferrigno soon got into providing me with some real pearls of wisdom. Due to ear infections suffered soon after birth, he lost 80% of his hearing and has been using hearing aids since he was a toddler. But according to Lou, ‘this helped fuel a determination within me to be everything and more that I could be, it gave me an unmeasurable strength of character’.
Don’t strive to be amongst the best. Be the best.
Lou’s rivalry with Arnold Schwarzenegger for the Mr. Olympia title is surprisingly not as much of a heated subject as one would think. The fierce battle between the two Heavyweights was promoted in the Docudrama ‘Pumping Iron’ which was crucial in pushing these two into the limelight. However many of the other bodybuilders competing in the same category never reached the same levels of fame as Lou and Arnold did. Why? Because most of them were content just to be there, amongst the best. Lou admits the trophy is the only thing that would bring him a sense of fulfillment at the time. Most of the rage portrayed in the movie was in fact only a sliver of what went down behind the scenes because ‘when you want to be number one you will push yourself beyond your limits over and over again until eventually your limit looks nothing like the initial one’.
Nowadays the intense frustration has dwindled into a smile and many fond memories of that era.
Test, Try and Retry to find out where you excel
Many people don’t know this fact but after winning the Mr. America and Mr. Universe championships Lou Ferrigno actually became a sheet metal worker in a Brooklyn factory and only left after his colleague accidentally cut off his own hand at work.
He then became a professional football player in the Canadian League but was fired after a mere 2 games. I was tempted to give out a little friendly chuckle during our conversation however memories of his bone shattering handshake trickled through and my half giggle quickly turned into the sternest facial expression I could master.
After this brief stint in Football Lou turned his attention to competing in the World’s Strongest Man but soon returned back to the sport that made him into the champion he is, Bodybuilding.
‘How do you know what you excel in if you limit yourself to a box? Go, try and retry’ he said.
I was left staring at him, inspired, craving for more golden nuggets of knowledge but I didn’t want to overstay my welcome. So I asked him for a photograph and left the restaurant attempting to take down as many mental notes as I could. I am sure he had more weapons of wisdom up his sleeve, however until we meet again I will forever keep using these 3 lifelong lessons he taught me.