Early one morning several years ago, I stood in an asphalt parking lot with about 30 fellows all over 40 years old, attempting to respond to the commands of a very fit looking chap who was in charge of warming us up. We were in Riverside California for a team building exercises designed through a series of paint ball games. While many were out late the night prior, the leisurely and luxury bus ride provided ample space to sleep, along with hearty food and drink to comfort the troops. This group was clearly not prepared, nor particularly fit enough for what the drill sergeant was doling out.

As the day and paint ball stings wore on, I came to learn that the guy was an Ex-Navy Seal who had high hopes for launching a fitness product. Given my background, several folks recommended that we be introduced before taking reprieve on the bus back home.

It was on that day that I first met Alden Mills. Perhaps it is indicative of the type of individual who becomes a Navy Seal, but this was a guy determined to bring his product to the market no matter the obstacle. In my own fitness business I was forced to learn the hard way that I was not the customer, which led me to have reservations about the viability of “The Body Rev.” However, if it is true that people buy people, I did buy in to this guy.

As such, I assembled a group of potential investors to hear Alden’s story. He presented the product, defined how much money he was looking for, and what the payoff could be if his plan was properly executed. Suffice it to say that Mount Rushmore shows more expression than these fine fellows did at the end of his “pitch.” Sensing this, as what might have seemed like a hail mary pass, Alden pulled two paddles from his gym bag for a product demonstration. As he did his “push ups” and talked up the opportunity, he was looking to change the energy in the room and perhaps the likely outcome. Alden had no such luck.

As we broke that day I heard him say that he had studied customers, and he knew his products and solutions could impact our sedentary and unhealthy population segments. He said it was his life’s calling.

No doubt, like all successful entrepreneurs, this guy did not retreat in the face of defeat. He cobbled together all the money he had left and created an infomercial for the “Perfect Pushup.” It worked, and the company took off like a rocket ship. While I had lost track of Alden over the years, his television spots were a friendly reminder of the man and his dream.

Recently reconnecting with Alden has been inspiring, as he has shared the trials of how the economic crisis has tested his business and strength like no other time in his career. And, no doubt the “Seal” training has served him as he may now have a stronger company than at any time since inception.

These guys at ‘Perfect” take simple movements into the lives of people who need physical activity and exercise. And while there have been many great accolades awarding this CEO, Alden’s team and his company, the proud father for four boys will tell you that life is about living your purpose. He says that one day he may look back and think about things he might have done differently, but he refuses to see himself looking back with regret for what he did not do with his life.

For all of us who have struggled with building a business, looking after family, and maintaining our own health needs, I single out Alden as a person who has come close to finding the formula. And, I think we all benefit from the journey taken by many of our peers and colleagues. It is good to know that in our quest to help make the world a healthier place, we can draw strength from others when ours may be in short supply.


Author's Bio: 

About James McPartland:

James McPartland (aka Mac) is the Principal and Chief Inspiration Officer of the JMac Performance Group, a specialized management consulting firm focused on realizing the importance of the human potential in business. He is an entrepreneur, author, international speaker, and noted authority on leadership, team building, corporate wellness, and transformational change.

Mac focuses on helping successful leaders get even better by achieving positive lasting change in behavior (and results) for themselves, their people, and their teams. As a consultant and speaker, he has worked with senior executives in organizations from Fortune 500 corporations including The Dow Chemical Company, IBM, Allergan, Technogym, Les Mills International, Spinning and Total Gym, as well as non-profits such as the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports.
Mac’s vast business experience includes:

• Expertise in strategic business modeling and business plan development, analysis and execution.
• Design and deployment of creative, effective and aggressive sales and marketing strategies
• Recognition of potential in business, people, and opportunities
• Strong communication skills in motivating and inspiring allegiance to company goals and core values
• Strategic recruitment of synergistic top executive and support staff talent
• Development of passionate corporate culture, commitment and productivity through credible leadership, incentive drivers and motivation training
• Proficient management analyzing and employing measurable key metrics to drive core objectives and outcomes
• Efficient execution of self-administered accountability systems motivated by incentives, recognition, and reward programs
• Track record of results. Built companies from start to $150mm in annual revenue, launched two additional companies in the health and nutrition space

Mac also actively participates in numerous events and organizations including the International Health and Racquet Sports Association, the American Heart Association, and the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. In addition he is currently active in U.S. Public Policy legislation that will positively impact the companies that provide wellness benefits.

He sits on the Board of two new health and wellness companies in California, Best Fit Data and Worthwell. Mac also speaks French, and is an active member for the World Presidents’ Organization.

James has been featured in numerous magazines and newspapers including The Register and Times of Los Angeles, Club Business International and The Business Journal. He has also been a guest on network TV and numerous radio shows.
In 2008 “Mac” was recognized at The Mayo Clinic by the President’s Council of Physical Fitness and Sports for his outstanding contribution to wellness. Additionally, his efforts were rewarded by the World President’s Organization with an award for leadership. After a year of preparation he led a group of 55 executives on a first of its kind business retreat to Vietnam.

James earned his Bachelor’s Degree from North Carolina State University. An avid fitness enthusiast, he has completed 37 marathons and 8 Ironman Triathlon events. He resides in Coto De Caza, CA with wife Mara and sons Luke and Logan.

About The JMac Performance Group:

A ‘Human Performance Company’ dedicated to improving the health and profitability of a company by unlocking the potential of its employees. Business and people development consulting is cultivated through seminars, workshops, and executive retreats.

If you would like to receive The JMac Group monthly communications, please visit our website 'Resources' page: http://www.jamesmcpartland.com/resources.html and click 'JOIN'.

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