Oprah, The Biggest Loser, and Your Success

I don’t watch a lot of TV, but I do get to the gym a few times a week, generally right when Oprah is on. (Could be a lot worse. Jerry Springer, for example.)

A few weeks ago, she had some of the old contestants from the reality show The Biggest Loser. This is, to me, vastly more interesting than watching the actual show could be.

It’s one thing to lose tons of weight while at a ranch where there’s nothing to do all day long but work out and get yelled at by trainers. (Still an incredible and impressive amount of work. But not reality.)

It’s another to make the choices every day to maintain a healthier weight and lifestyle.

One gentleman in particular made a big impression on me. “For 15 seconds, I weighed 182 pounds and won a game show,” he said. His weight has gone up quite a lot since then, although he’s still managed to consistently stay 100 pounds below what he weighed when he first appeared on the show.

If you’re still a fat person in a skinny body, nothing’s going to change

He understood (intellectually) what to do. He knew all about working out and nutrition. And he wanted to be thin.

But his mindset didn’t match his temporarily sleek exterior. And as soon as he wasn’t in the hyper controlled environment created by a TV show, he started to revert to what his mindset told him was his “true” nature.

Money works exactly the same way

I’ve been working for the past few weeks with a money coach. (Actually, Gary’s more of a financial and business and lifestyle and happiness and freedom coach.)

A lot of what we work on is getting me to get what I already know. Internalizing it. Making it real. Strengthening my self reliance. Weakening my tendency to be cheap with myself. And knocking holes in the idea that Nice People Don’t Make Money.

To be successful, you need three things

You need good-quality information about ways to create success. (There are lots and lots of ways to do it. You just need to focus on one that suits you, and to make sure the information you’re getting is reliable.)

You need the will and the ability to translate that information into action. If you’re locked in Guantanamo, you won’t be able to do much to create the results you want. That’s true even if your Guantanamo is mainly psychological.

And you need a mindset that won’t set off little booby-traps to undermine all your work.

The thing about working on mindset is, if you get it in the right place, the first two become a whole lot easier.

Of course, you still need to take action. It’s not the Law of Attraction or magic beans in any way. It might look and feel like the universe is shifting around to take care of you, but actually it’s just what the world looks like when you get out of your own way.

As we weather the massive “economic climate change” that’s occurring all around us, we’re going to need to think about the world very differently.

We’re going to need to unlearn the mental habits we picked up by working for companies. Even good companies.

We’re going to need to re-evolve, from cube dwellers to hunter/gatherers on the open plain.

It’s more fun. It’s more stressful. It’s more difficult. It’s more dangerous. It’s more rewarding.

I don’t believe it’s optional, personally. The corporate cube isn’t the safe haven it was even a year or two ago. We need to find our true self-reliant nature again.


My coach, Gary, has a new group program available with really excellent introductory pricing. If you’re looking for someone who can help you gently but effectively shift your thinking, I can highly recommend him.

This isn’t an affiliate link. I don’t make a nickel, whether 1 person signs up or 100 do. I’ve just gotten so much out of working with him, and I’d love to see more people benefit from what he has to offer. Max Life Coaching

I’m going to be Gary’s first guest speaker, so if you want to hear our call on the real way to use social media in your marketing, that’s how you would do that.


Gary and I are also working with a terrific designer to make his site look less generic and show more of the warm, nice, generous person he is. So if the design makes you think it might be too corporate or business-y or “not you,” keep that in mind.


The self-serving bit for me, of course, comes when you have a killer financial mindset and are ready to start or grow your business. Then you’ll be in a great position to buy lots of marketing information from me. So really it’s all about me and my needs. Pretty sneaky of me, eh?


  1. Sarah Mae says:

    I love the P.P.P.S.

    Now I just have to take this all in…

    Sarah Maes last blog post..Did You See What I Did In My Last Post?

  2. It’s so true, Sonia! Getting out of the cube is difficult and stressful, but definitely fun. It was the best thing I ever did :-)

  3. Niels says:

    “It might look and feel like the universe is shifting around to take care of you, but actually it’s just what the world looks like when you get out of your own way.”

    This captures something very profound for me. Thank you.

    Nielss last blog post..Time to stop reading fundraising advice

  4. Nathon says:

    Sonia, wonderful article. I’d tip it if it was on Tip’d!

    That last PPPS got me laughing. It’s so true!


  5. Cathy Curtis says:

    As a financial advisor who talks to alot of people about money and their relationship with money, this article resonated with me!
    It is so true that the mindset is key to tackling change and getting what you want especially when it comes to making or saving money.
    Enjoyed this post very much!

    Cathy Curtis

  6. Jean Gogolin says:

    Great post, and I’ll take your word for it about Gary. But I’m VERY glad his site is being re-designed. Yuk.

  7. I’ve been working on my financial mindset as well. I’m just starting to get enough readers on my blog to warrant this thinking. I’m putting business systems in place for when I’m ready to make the big push.

    I loved your call on SpeakEasy. You had so many great suggestions for improving my copy writing. Thanks!

    Karl Staib – Work Happy Nows last blog post..The Effects of Fast Food

  8. Sonia Simone says:

    @Jean, smiling, yeah I know. He’s new to all of this social media/content stuff. We’ll get him shaped up.

    @Karl, that’s awesome, I’m really glad you enjoyed the call! It was huge fun. I’m working on having it transcribed, since the sound quality is so scratchy.

    @Niels, I’m really glad to hear that. That realization had the same effect on me. Not sure where it came from, it was just floating around out there and lighted on me one day.

  9. Hey Sonia,

    Thank you so much for this post. I’m working very hard to get out of cubicle life for good, but I keep having all these setbacks (mostly caused by myself). This post was the push I needed to finally realize it’s now or never. I either suck it up, work hard and make it happen or…um, yea, that’s the only option. :-)

    jennifer blanchards last blog post..Don’t Get It Right, Get It Written

  10. “I don’t believe it’s optional, personally. The corporate cube isn’t the safe haven it was even a year or two ago.”

    That’s sad. I wish I had gotten to experience a thriving corporate America. I hope the system recovers.
    Good post.

  11. irma says:

    I really enjoy reading your articles. As a web designer -I was curious and looked at the gentleman’s website. There are a few fundamental technical programming features that I believe was forgotten by the person that put up the site. The website is our “electronic calling card.” People (sometimes) judge us by it. The depth of the website sometimes is said to equate to the depth of our business.

  12. Paula says:

    I’m not sure which of your wonderful posts to comment on — I’m enjoying your “voice” and content so much that I’ve read waaay past my own alloted 10 minutes-in-every-hour creative surfing time! (I do that too, but in a more loosey-goosey way … like today!)

    I found your site via Tiffany Monhollon, who was linked to an astute comment in Modite’s blog, and mostly just wanted to say “brava” on your great marketing advice and writing, which I like to applaud wherever I find it!

    - Paula (a semi-retired former marketing exec who still likes to keep up with what’s going on!)


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