Zach Even Esh, Underground Strength Coach podcast

Jim: Welcome to the 6th episode for Wrestling with Greatness, the show for former wrestlers who want to achieve their fullest potential in getting clarity on their goals that they can take massive action to lead their ideal life. I’m your host, Jim Harshaw. I’m a former Division 1 All-American, former Division 1 head coach and among other things, I’m an entrepreneur. In this show, I take you inside the minds of the most successful people on the planet who have wrestled and together, we learn their blueprint for success and fulfilment.

Our guest today is speaker, author and entrepreneur Zach Even-Esh. Zach is known as the Underground Strength coach and he owns both brick-and-mortar gym and he’s a leader of a massive online community of “underlying strength coach fanatics.” So he’s the Underground Strength coach. Today, he shares with us how to find the time for this relentless pursuit of excellence in every-day life, from business to parenting to work to fitness to everything in your life.

Actually, one interesting part of the interview, he actually recalled something that John Smith said years ago that’s changed his life. That’s really interesting so keep an ear out for that. Zach is a guy who doesn’t believe in shortcuts and he knows in order to achieve greatness, you have to be clear on what you want and you have to take massive action. He gives you some examples of how he’s done it and how you can too.

I’ve created an action plan in PDF form from what Zach will share with us here today. You can download it at That’s This action plan will help you turn the act of just passively listening to this interview into real transformation in your life. And it will boil down his message and advice into a one-page PDF that you could save or print or share with someone that you think needs it. If you’ve already If you’ve already left me a review on iTunes, thank you, thank you and thank you. I really appreciate it. It helps me get this podcast ranked higher and it’ll help me get more listeners. I bring these guests to you because I want both you and I to learn from them. So your reviews are appreciated.

If you do want to leave one, you can just go to iTunes on your computer or phone. Click Search and do a search for Wrestling with Greatness. Even if you’re subscribed, you’ve got to go through the search. And then click on the icon for the podcast and you’ll see Reviews. Click on that and leave one there. Also, if you want to share this, if you’re enjoying this podcast, I ask you to share it with at least one person. If you go to, you can just click the ‘Share’ button. Share it on Facebook or Twitter. Just a one-click share. Super easy. Post is already written, you can rewrite it if you want but the text is already there.

On that same page, you can subscribe to get email notifications of when new shows are launched or when I write a new blogpost like I did today on overcoming self-doubt and dusting off your biggest dreams. I shared some self-doubt that I’ve had and how you can overcome that. Then go ahead and jump on the email list. You can unsubscribe anytime, no hard feelings. Thank you for helping me grow this podcast and for helping me do my part in adding value back to the sport.

Now, let’s get to my interview with the Underground Strength coach, Zach Even-Esh. All right, here we are with Zach Even-Esh. How are you doing, Zach?

Zach: I’m great man, thanks for having me on the call, Jim.

Jim: Thanks for being on the call, thanks for making time. I know you’re a busy guy. You got your hands in quite a few things, don’t you?

Zach: Yes. I don’t know when it’s ever going to slow down. So I’m embracing it and accepting it rather than trying to fight it.

Jim: Yeah, it’s better that than the alternative, right?

Zach: Yes, keeping my mind set like that allows me to work with the stress rather than let me suffocate me and hold me down and basically hold me back. So I don’t want to allow myself to get to that point. It’s a big mind set strategy.

Jim: I’m with you. You know, I think a lot of people just get bogged down with the self-talk. They tell themselves how bad it is, how stressful their life is and they wear themselves down with their own words. Whereas they can actually control that self-talk just like you did. You say positive things about it and when we do that, it changes us our outlook. We look at stress as a different way, as growth and as opportunity and as part of life. We’re going to deal with it and move on or we’re going to move through it. I think that’s really important.

Zach: Yeah, you’re grateful for it and loving it or you’re like you said, letting it bog you down. Just yesterday at my gym training one of the wrestlers, I saw kind of how one wrestler beat up their mind and the body starts performing at a lower level. I’ve seen it in business and when I’m with my buddy Joe De Sena, he always talks about changing . . .

Jim: Spartan Race.

Zach: Yeah. So he’s the founder of the Spartan Race and loves hard work. That’s when he feels best. He loves wrestling. We were hiking the mountain behind his house which is the Tenmile, this one section. Everybody was trying a stone or sand bag that was about 50 pounds and he was saying that he was doing a Spartan Racer hiking with a military veteran who had an artificial leg. He said while they were hiking, the stone went down and rolled down the hill and took out his artificial leg. Joe was like, “Oh my God, your leg!” This guy was like, “Thank God it wasn’t the titanium one!” He’s like not getting all worked up over it, he turned it around. He already lost his legs in war. Now he loses the artificial leg and he goes, “thank God it wasn’t the more expensive one! That would have cost me a fortune.”

So that old school saying of it could always be worse, I don’t like to look at it just like that. That’s a bit simple. But I’ve been learning more and more as I get older, it’s tougher for the younger generation to get it because they’re still learning But I learn more and more to be grateful for everything that’s going on and everything’s got its place and reason. I’d rather be the guy that’s embracing it and loving it versus the guy that’s complaining about it. It’s so energy-draining to just hear other people complain and whine

If that drains me, I can only imagine what if my self-talk was like that, how it would drain me if that was me doing the talking. So I just prefer to cut that kind of negative talk out altogether.

Jim: Yeah. Actually, part of my morning routine or ritual is on my drive to the office, I say at least three things that I’m grateful for. Sometimes, they’re the most mundane thing. Like “I’m grateful I can take a shower with hot water in the morning. I’m grateful that I can sleep in a soft bed with blankets.” There are other things. I’m most grateful for my wife and for my relationship with her and my kids, my home and everything else in my life. But there’s an unbelievable amount of things that we can be grateful for.

It depends on what you focus on. You can focus on what you don’t have or you can focus on what you do have, and your story illustrated that perfectly.

Zach: And the beauty I found is more and more in the simplicity. In the simple things in life. Last week, about half of the week I was in Florida and I was speaking at a conference. I got to connect with some friends who are entrepreneurs who I haven’t seen for quite a while, like five years. A buddy of mine, he was super-busy managing a website, editing, he was writing. He wrote a book and he was active on all social media channels. He told me that he found himself just losing touch with the important things. The simple things like enjoying a good meal with good people.

He just found that he was taking everything too seriously and it was stressing him out. Being on Facebook and all the social meetings. Now, he doesn’t have Facebook. He doesn’t go in such extremes with his nutrition, his training, his life. He spends a lot more time outdoors and just spends time enjoying things versus being in the extreme end of things because he found he just wasn’t grateful. He was never satisfied and now that he’s living a more minimalist lifestyle, he’s grateful. He’s happier and his quality of life is better.

Jim: I’m going to point out two things that you just talked about. I like to point out themes, because I’m interviewing a lot of different people and I like to point out themes to the listener who can kind of connect the dots here. There’s sort of a theme between a lot of successful people. I’m going to tell you one. Kyle Maynard who I interviewed here recently, he’s a congenital amputee.

Zach: Yeah, I know Kyle. I met Kyle . . .

Jim: Yeah, and I think probably a lot of listeners have heard of him. But he’s a high school wrestler. Really successful. I watched him win at a round of 16 at a high school senior National Championship. It’s unbelievable. Now he’s a best-selling author, world traveller, motivational speaker, mountain climber. Unbelievable person. But I asked him to talk a little bit about his disability and he said, “My disability is that every morning I wake up, I got to have a cup of coffee before I can function. Otherwise, I can’t go on with my day.” It’s just the way he chooses to look at things a little bit differently.

The second thing I want to point out is you mentioned simple. Andy Hrovat who’s an Olympian, he’s coaching Cliff Keen Wrestling Club now. He’s a three-time All American for Michigan. He was just talking about the simplicity of his daily routine. He eats the same thing for breakfast every day just to keep his life simpler. So he can expand his energy on more important things. So two themes I wanted to point out there that you already brought up.

All right, hey, let’s start from a couple of questions here. I want to hear how you got your start in wrestling. Let’s hear about that.

Zach: Yeah. So I wished I wrestled earlier. I didn’t start wrestling until high school and my older brother started wrestling sophomore year in high school. He’s two years older than me. When I was in 8th grade, he was in sophomore and he’ll tell me this sport is so awesome. It’s amazing, and my brother was a very physical, really intense guy. He was more of an extreme kind of guy whereas I was more like more shy, even scared, not very confident. So that didn’t seem to really suit who I was. My father was born in Romania and grew up in Israel so he had us playing soccer.

Sports like football, baseball are things that he didn’t know anything about. But when I started wrestling in freshman year, I got killed. I mean, I got pinned every match. I had to wrestle out just to make the freshman team and I got pinned every wrestle-off. And I did not win a match until sophomore year and the summer before sophomore year, I went for the first ever John Smith Intensive Camp and at the time, John was not a two-time gold medallist. He had one gold medal and a couple of World Championships.

That was the summer of 1990. So I remember telling him, saying “Why are you guys here? What’s your goal?” There was just shy of 20 wrestlers there. All of them were All-State, State Champ or All-American. And there I was, like a total black sheep in this crowd of wolves where I had never won a match. He said, “Well, you will start winning now.” I had to go through so much physical and emotional pain before I got to win my first match and wrestling was a super emotional time as it is for any wrestler who is very much into it.

By the time I graduated high school, I was so emotionally wrecked from the time that I went through so many downtimes in wrestling that I just wanted an emotional break. But I never stopped training. I was lifting and training very, very hard. I started coaching the youth program in town and I would go to the high school and wrestle. I did not want to wrestle in college. I wanted to experience some success. So I didn’t’ wrestle that year, my freshman year. And then that was the last year of the program.

Right after that season ended, the university – actually it was a college then, now it’s a university – announced that [inaudible 00:14:43], they’re not going to continue the wrestling program. That’s kind of like the story I share with people about pain of discipline and regret. And I regret not giving myself the chance to succeed, the chance to compete at a higher level because as I got older and more mature, I went to college as a 17-year old. So my parents being immigrants, and me too, I wasn’t born [inaudible 00:15:10] they sent me to school a year earlier. Sent me to first grade earlier. They didn’t know what was goingon.
Then when I was in college and went back to wrestle at the high school, I remember just mentioning the guys and I was the same age as some of the juniors, yet I was in college. I remember feeling that change, that transformation of mind set and the physical transformation. I had a different belief in myself. I always share that with athletes and people in general, anybody, whether you’re an athlete or not. Because regret can be very painful and something that you’ll never let go off. That’s why I always speak about when there’s opportunity there, you got to go for it even if it’s not perfect because things truly are never perfect.

So my lessons in wrestling really guide my life, as far as the work ethic, discipline, commitment, pain tolerance, ability to overcome obstacles, to turn obstacles into opportunities. I tell people essentially, I learn pretty much everything I need to know about life in the wrestling room, whether it’s training, whether it’s running a business, motivating other people. Even being a father, being a husband, the commitment and discipline of all, that was taught to me through what is required to be a successful wrestler. And I learned that. That’s why I’m also grateful of my coaches. I always am grateful for them.

Jim: You know, I feel a lot of people have regret and a lot of regret comes from people lowering their goals. When you’re young, you learn that earlier on. And we tend to regret that. The person listening, the woman listening has experienced that in some way, shape or form. We’ve all lowered our goals. At some point, we’ve all lowered our goals. Let go of that dream and if you don’t regret it now, you’re going to regret it. I think people need to hang on to their goals, dreams and find a way to get there because you know what? Other people have achieved those dreams and goals with less. They were more headstrong that you.

Kyle Maynard climbed Mount Kilimanjaro and there’s just a lot of people who’ve done more with less so I really encourage people to heed what you’re saying there. So Zach, tell me about a memorable match that you can remember back on.

Zach: Well, I’ll tell you two of them. I clearly remember winning my first match. Sophomore year. Then I remember it was we had our match right before going on winter break. There was a home match and I’m putting everything together that I’ve used at the John Smith Intensive which is low single and that was something in 1990, that was pretty rare. Nobody was hitting low singles and I remember I hit the low sing and I’m coming out the back door and I start kind of feeling the resistance of my opponent fighting me back and I feel it overpowering and my confidence just wasn’t there.

I remember from the scramble, getting put to my back. I mean, deep down I remember thinking to myself “Oh my God, here we go again. I’m getting pinned again. I’ve done all this hard work and I’m getting pinned.” And all of a sudden, I just snapped. I fought off my back and got to my belly and I remember my mind, saying to myself, “I’m pinned, I’m pinned,” and I must have been a hair away from getting pinned. Or the wrestler’s being ultra-nice and he let me fight through. I got to my belly and I remember winning that match, fighting back and basically just taking him down, letting him go from there. Taking him down, letting him go.

Winning that first match, getting my raised, I couldn’t believe it, to finally win a match after so many times getting pinned and really being embarrassed in front of so many people for so long. It was an amazing feeling and I also remember a match in senior year where I had been injured and this is kind of like the beginning of my knee injuries. My doctor said, “You got to take two weeks off wrestling.” My knees were sore on the side and the soft ball. I came back after two weeks, practiced a day and then I had a really, really close match where I was winning.

And I remember a guy beat me by a point in the very end. I remember at the back of my head, being satisfied with “good enough.” I wrestled a really top opponent who was ranked pretty high, who placed really well in all the tournaments. I always look back at that scene and say ‘good enough’ is the evil brother of greatness. It’s what stops everybody from achieving greatness because so many people are into this good enough and I was caught in that trap because my mind just didn’t get it. I was 16 years old during that match and I was wrestling 18 year olds. When I got to freshman year in college, I remember coming back to high school as a wrestler. I remember driving to the school and they were saying, “Setting goal,” which is what John Smith says. “Set goals for every match.”

So I said any match I wrestled with anybody today, nobody is going to take me down in this match. And then the next match I said, “All right, I’m going to make decisions through shutouts. So I’m going to get at least 10 nothing on the score. And I didn’t have that strong attitude and that strong belief back when I was younger. I see that in younger athletes there but I also see it in their parents. Parents that pull their kids out of training from the gym and they say things like, “I’m sure he’ll be fine.” Or “He’s going to do so good now that he’s learned these things.” And I just can’t believe that people are very satisfied with, “I’m going to be good. I will be fine.”

Me, those are just horrible thoughts. Horrible words. Like why not strive from greatness? There’s proably a lot of internal chatter amongst many people where they don’t think they can do it or what not. You got to train your mind the way you train your muscle. If you want to be strong, you’re going to go to the gym. You’re going to attack the weights, you’re going to exercise, you’re going to live the lifestyle, eat the way you need to and sleep the way you need to. People who want to succeed, they train the mind.

So I am constantly training the mind because that’s the pain of regret. Like I remember 1992 losing a match because I thought I did good enough I regret that and now it’s 2015, it’s 23 years ago or so, and I remember that stuff. It’s a shame to accept good enough. I just don’t accept that stuff at all anymore, for myself or for anybody I work with.

Jim: You talked about training your mind and it reminds me of a quote from J. Robinson. I actually think it was one of his wrestlers said this. .J. Robinson, head wrestling coach at Minnesota and one of hs wrestlers went on to become an army ranger. He came back and was visiting him in his office and he said, “You know coach, I learn that you get tough by doing tough things.” I use that on my kids all the time and I don’t care if it’s wrestling or piano or math. You get tough by doing tough things.

You don’t get tough by lowering your goals or doing something like you said, that’s just achieving at a good-enough level. You don’t get tougher. You don’t get stronger, you don’t get better, you don’t improve, you don’t do great things. And I firmly believe that we’re all built for greatness in our own way, in whatever shape or way or form it comes. Sphere of influence we have in our lives, whether it’s through business or coaching or through parenting or otherwise, at our job. We’re all built for that so why not maximize it?

Zach: Yeah. I love hearing that stuff. I think it was J. Rob who was a ranger himself.

Jim: Yeah, I think so.

Zach: Even as you and I who are wrestlers and anybody out there listening that’s a former wrestler . . . you got to do all these tough things on your own. If I see parents screaming, freaking out at kids on the wrestling stand, then that kid is not doing it on his own. That’s why I don’t let parents into the gym because I tell them “You being there on the sideline, trying to scare or impose your will on your son doesn’t matter. He has to do the work on his own.” Doing the tough things, I agree with that stuff the same thing like you’re telling your kids with piano or whatever it is.

My kids is young also but I think it’s going to be fine for them to learn that “Hey, working hard is a gift and it’s OK to work hard,” because I know other people around them who would be saying. “Oh, you’re playing tennis five days a week. This is crazy.” But I tell my daughter, “You want to be great at tennis, you’re going to have to be different. You’re going to be working and practicing in a way that I think normal kids aren’t doing.” And I tell her that’s OK. “You should be grateful for that,” and it’s pretty cool that she’s learning herself on her own without me being that overbearing, crazy parent.

I tell her the hard work is fun. It’s beautiful, it’s a gift. And they don’t think that that’s weird because they see daddy running his gym. They see me working out. My wife’s running. My son comes with me to the gym on Friday afternoon. So he thinks that its’ normal when he sees 10, 15, 20 athletes working out on a Friday evening. He thinks that’s the normal thing for a kid to do on a Friday afternoon. So he admires that and looks up to that. Whereas most kids on a Friday, it’s like time to view TV and just whatever.

I’d like for my kids to have a different way of thinking and to be more hungry to succeed because it is something that I learned how to do. And I learned it by training my mind, by listening to podcasts. Back in the day, just listening to books and books on TV. I used to buy books on audio cassette and I trained my mind by listening and learning from other successful people. I did that because . . . have you ever heard the saying – I’m sure you have in the gym for people listening – surround yourself with like-minded people. You hear that all the time, right?

I had nobody that was like-minded. So I had to surround myself with technologies of people that I admired. So I would listen to cassette tapes from Tony Robbins which [inaudible 00:27:33]. I mean, I was reading books on Special Forces, Special NAVY Seals because my friends, their normal thing was spending their paycheck every other weekend on alcohol and partying. I didn’t like that so I had to find a way to surround myself with like-minded people and that meant I had to buy my way in essentially, with the books and cassettes and CD. Now with the age of technology, we just have all this podcast. The information is so regularly available. You could be as successful as you want to be or as unsuccessful as you want to be.

The choice is totally up to you. Nobody is held back. There are plenty of stories with people that come from poverty and even third-world countries who find their way out of bad times and achieve success.

Jim: I think it was Jim Rohn who’s a guru and the guy was amazing. But I think he was the one who said “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” I agree with that to a point but I don’t think it’s the full story. I think it’s more like what you said. And I’ve said this before, “You’re the average of the words that you tell yourself and the words you feed your mind,” because you can control what you put in your mind. You can’t so much always control who you surround yourself with. You just can’t always spend time with different people.

If you have a job and you’re going to the office, you can avoid the negative person and spend more time with the positive person. But you could take that to a new level and fill your mind with Tony Robbins, Jim Rohn and Zach Even-Esh on your podcast. Fill your mind with positive things. That’s what really drives you. There are certain things you can control, there are certain things you can’t. Well, control the ones you can. When I’m driving to work, when I’m driving to another town for work or whatever else it is, if I’m walking through the airport or working out, guess what I fill my mind with?

Not with music or not things that aren’t going to benefit me. Not even ESPN Radio. I fill my mind with positive things and that’s what you’re talking about; finding the time to put positive things into your head because if you put good in, you get good out. And you got to be a life-long learner. And along the lines of what you’re talking about your daughter and tennis, there’s a world-renowned sports psychologist. Guy by the name of Bob Rotella, R-O-T-E-L-L-A in case anyone wants to Google him. Guy is amazing. Professional athletes fly in from all over the country, all over the world to hear him speak or to spend an hour with this guy.

He was quoted recently a while back saying, “If you want to be extraordinary, you can’t do what other people do,” and especially for kids, they don’t understand that. They want to fit in. that’s sort of this overwhelming desire to fit in and that’s just part of growing up. But if they understand that “OK, if I want to be like the best tennis player, the best pianist or the best wrestler or the best academic and get into a great college, I’ve got to do different things than maybe my friends. Maybe on Friday night. . . .” I didn’t go out on Friday night when I was in high school. I told the story before.

A friend of mine, Teague Moore who was a National Champion for Oklahoma state and he’s head coach for American, Teague Moore and I used to break into the wrestling to go and work out. And then at 11 o’clock at night, we’d go for a run at the cemetery behind his house. How many kids were doing that? Not many people were doing that but if you want to be extraordinary, you can’t do what everybody else is doing. I think you hit the nail in the head there.

So Zach, tell us how you got from your experience and your time as a wrestler to where you are now. I told the listeners a little bit about what you’re doing now in the intro. But I want to hear more about how you got from where you were to where you’re at now.

Zach: It’s really been fully merged into everything. So right now, I run two different locations for my Strength & Conditioning Club. I got an online business with certification, seminars, speaking engagements and I just immerse myself in what’s called the relentless pursuit of excellence. I don’t have any ego. I’m always learning. There’s always more for me to learn and something better for me to achieve and accomplish. And I did the things, essentially like what you just said, that the counterparts in this industry did not want to do. So simple things like to build my online presence, I made a YouTube video a day when YouTube just came out.

For six months, I would release a new video every day. Now I’m probably doing it two to three times every week. I was writing, I was speaking at conferences, doing interviews, writing articles. You name it. I probably have 1,800 YouTube videos now and I don’t even know how many certifications I’ve done. It’s been a long time coming. I’ve trained thousands of athletes. I mean, I put my time in, I get my hands dirty every day and I’m never basically satisfied. It’s never like, “OK, that’s enough. I’ve done enough. I’m good enough.” I don’t ever get to that point. Especially when you think you’re good enough, that’s when you really got to push to the next level.

So one thing I’m doing now though is I’m saying more to a lot more things because I am so busy, and kind of taking back control and owning where I want to be and how my lifestyle really works. My kids are growing up and that’s just the stuff I want to control. Not manage my time so I’m setting my own rules for everything. But really, the key to . . . I don’t know if I’m the epitome of “Hey, this is successful,” but I am doing what I want to and that’s because I’ve done the things that people in my shoes are supposed to do. Whereas people who say they want to achieve XYZ, that might be their target. But then, Joe De Sena always talks about this. “If you value being a good family man and you think being a good family man is the bulls-eye, the target, but your actions, are you out partying on week nights or weekends? Then your values don’t align with your target.”

So the things I value help me align with my target. So I value hard work, commitment, excellence, dedication, being a man of my word, so I put these things into plan, and they allow me to reach my target. I’m literally just applying the things that it takes to be a successful wrestler for my life. And whether you’re a wrestler or not, we all understand what it means to work hard. We don’t know what it feels like, some people have never really pushed themselves.

But there were times when my work schedule would be something like 5 or 6 am until 1, 2 or 3 in the morning. Just putting in the work, building the website, writing articles, creating the videos, organizing all the things, the intricacies, all the behind the scene stuff of building a good website. Just putting in the time. It certainly did not happen overnight. Every overnight success story has a 10-year history. So it has been a lot of work and it’s still a lot of work. The thing is now, I’m just smarter so I’m much more strategic with where my energy goes and the kind of work I’m putting in.

Jim: Do you think there’s a benefit for the listener to identify what they value? How does that change your actions? When you identify your value, is that motivating in itself? Tell us about that.

Zach: I’m a very simple guy, actually. Most people, not everybody but if you look on your phone, you probably have a photo on the screen saver of the person that you love the most. So when I make decisions on how I’m running my business, I like to do it in a way where I want to be able to tell my kids what I’ve done that day and those things should make them proud. And if that’s not the key, then I’m not doing the right thing. So I ask people to do that. Think of the person or people you love the most and now, backtrack your day. The things that you did that day, can you go home and tell those people “Hey, this is what I did,” does that make them proud?” So today, with me setting up a certification, organizing a Mastermind, creating stuff for my gym, these are things that are adding value to people’s lives. I want to be able to make my family proud with what I’m doing and if I’m supposed to be taking care of my family and running a business and I’m out partying and wasting my money and buying fancy clothes and spending money on cars and shit that I don’t need, things that maybe people want but don’t actually need, then I can’t inspire my family. I can’t make them proud. That’s how I like to look at things.”

Jim: Sounds like being a good father is really important to you and being a successful entrepreneur, running your gyms, your online business, your coaches’ certification program, speaking etc., those are also important to you. And I think a lot of people see those as maybe mutually exclusive. You can be either a good father in your home or prioritizing your family, or you can prioritize your work and your business. You seem to have found a way to do both.

Zach: Yeah, see, if I don’t run my gym to the best of its ability, then I’m letting down my athletes. I’m letting down their parents who are investing their time and money with us. That’s not something I could go to bed at night and be proud of. I just don’t feel good about it.

Jim: Yeah, I think finding that balance is really important. I think it’s also important to say there’s no shortcuts. You’re doing the right work and whenever you figure out what it is you want, whenever you identify your goals and what you’re trying to achieve – first you identify your value then your goals – then that dictates how you spend your day. For me, it’s waking up at 5 o’clock in the morning and working early in the morning before my kids wake up so that I’m not impacting my time with them.

It’s scheduling my day and life around them. It’s a lot easier to say ‘no’ to things. We get overwhelmed. There are so many options and opportunities to say yes and do different things. You know what? You got to say ‘no’ to somethings. We’re doing this phone call while I think you’re driving down the road and you’re doing something else the same time because you prioritize your family and your business. And then you sound like you schedule things around that.

Zach: Yeah, now that my schedule has kind of gotten so crazy with my travelling, I said I’m not going to do anymore of these interviews really, unless I’m in my car. That way, I can leverage my time to be more time-effective. To me, that’s saying no to certain things. By saying no to things – which I’ve really started to do lately – I feel hundred times better. I hate to say it but if you say yes to everything, people don’t respect your time, they don’t value your knowledge. That’s a tough thing for somebody like me who’s so motivated to helping people, oftentimes is more motivated than people are to help themselves.

I get always inquiries about training teams and helping teams. But then the coaches or the administration is not motivated to move quickly. And as they know, it essentially hurts the kids and I’m still wanting to say, “Listen, let’s go. Let’s make this happen.” And then when they finally get their marbles together and say, “OK, now we’ll do it,” oftentimes, it’s like other things have come up and I’m too busy to commit to them when they had the opportunity to do those things. So now it’s like people are either on the bus, ready to make it happen, or they’re not. And I’m moving now. And that’s how I feel people should be, like, “Listen, do you believe in certain things and the equality of it there? Then that’s it.”

So now I just do things only if is really important to my own rules, whether it is business or training or any of that stuff. I just feel better, now I know I’m doing the right thing. I don’t make my decisions based on money or based on how I feel. Mostly about it, I try to blend those two together because if you’re all based on money, you’ll never win. If you’re all based on heart, you’ll also never win and people take advantage of you, unfortunately so.

These are the things you just learn through not just years but decades of working in business and things of that nature.

Jim: We all have the same 24 hours in the day, whether if you’re Zach Even-Esh, Richard Branson or Oprah. Successful people, everybody gets the same number of hours in a day. Some people seem to get more done in those same hours and a lot of is knowing what to say yes to and no to. So Zach, you know your stuff about fitness. Can you tell us about what we need to be doing as former wrestlers who are living our life now and what role fitness plays in our life. I think I saw a blogpost recently about proper breathing on your website. Any tips or advice or thoughts there for the listener?”

Zach: Yeah, I’m always intrigued with what a former wrestler is doing. Meaning, sometimes I see a former wrestler stll getting after it, training hard, taking care of themselves physically and mentally. Other times, I see them completely fall off the wagon, like they [inaudible 00:43:51] so many years of their life, they don’t want to do that anymore. I think the most important thing is to keep it fun, being consistent. If you’re more of like an endurance person and you want to do triathlon, do those things. If you’re more into the gym stuff, then get to the gym.

Be consistent, doing on a regular basis, most of us as former wrestlers have some nagging injuries. One of the things you mentioned is the breathing and believe it or not, there’s this change in lifestyle where we’re sitting a lot more and driving or you’re sitting at a computer. It puts your body in a very bad position. So learning what’s something called belly breathing, you can just go on YouTube and type in belly breathing and you’ll see various stretches and how to get ahead and utilize belly breathing to basically reset and restore the way your body functions because when you’re not breathing through your belly, you’re breathing more through your chest.

What it does is it negatively effects essentially the way our body moves. So our shoulder joints gets pins, you start getting shoulder pains, back pains. In a nutshell, it helps you feel better and when you start doing it, you really feel your body stretching or opening up. So I don’t discriminate against any kind of training. I think it’s all great, from yoga to training outdoors to body weight-only workout, the kettlebells. I mean, I love doing all of it and really, that’s what [inaudible 00:45:38].

You got to take care of your health or you’ve got nothing. Your health is your ticket to everything and if you’re not healthy, you’re not only affecting your life but you’re hurting the lives of everybody else that loves you, essentially.

Jim: Towards the end of these episodes, I like to give listeners action items. Something where when they stop listening to this, finish their workout or get to work or wherever they are listening to this, something they can put into action today or within the next week. What’s one action item that the listener can take from this and is going to help them reach their goals?

Zach: This is a great way to close out. One thing I am very keen on is – I tell this to my athletes and everybody – “You have to read every day. Read at least two pages of something inspiring. Whether you want to read in the morning, during lunch of before bed is up to you. But you got to read two pages every day.” At my gym, I’m always giving books away as some sort of a competition or contest. Right now, it’s my book. I’m giving away ‘Spartan Up!’ the book. So every day should be two pages of reading.

I also found that journaling and writing is great. I write every day because I have my own websites and what not but I also write into a physical book. It’s called The Five Minute Journal. You can get it on Amazon and it actually tells you “Wrte about this, be grateful for that, things you’re going to do today.” So reading and writing every day, that stuff is key. Of course, I’d like to add do something for your health that improves your health. Whether it’s eating healthy, moving, getting outside, do something for your health.

Jim: Love it. Man, I tell you, more themes. Everybody who’s listened to multiple episodes will realize there are some themes here. Reading every day, journaling, breathing, health, a lot of common themes from show to show with successful people. Zach, can you give us one book that you recommend the most? It’s a hard question so if it’s two or three that’s find too. Can you give us one or a couple of books that have changed your life the most that you can recommend?”=

Zach: I’m reading a book now, I love it. It’s called ‘Winners Never Cheat.’ Oh man, it’s just amazing. So that’s on Amazon and I buy lots of books on Amazon. I’m trying to think of other favorite books because I’m always reading. ‘Turning Pro’ by Steven Pressfield and ‘Warrior Ethos’ by Steven Pressfield.” Those books, I love those books. I go back to them very frequently and of course, I just mentioned ‘Spartan Up”’ by Jo De Sena. That’s the book I’m gifting and those books are great. There are so many great books out there. I’m like a book jumper. I’m usually reading five books at a time. I can jump back and forth.

Jim: Yes, there are some great books out there. What would say is the one piece of advice that you would give to your 20 year old self?

Zach: I was asked this question very recently and it would be very simple. Believe in yourself. I was a very hard worker but I did not believe in myself so no matter how hard you worked, if you don’t believe then it just doesn’t matter. You’re not going to succeed unless you really believe in yourself and that was my biggest fault. I did not start succeeding at anything in life, even in my school, until I started believing in myself.

Jim: I’m with you there. Finally, let’s wrap it up with this Zach, how do we find out more about you? Give us your website, Twitter, how do we find you and follow you, and a little bit more about you.

Zach: Sure. The website is That’s just a forward for My name is not easy to spell so I’m on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook. Z-E-V-E-N-E-S-H.

Jim: I’ll have links to all this in the show notes so everybody can find this if you go to the episode here and I’ll have it in the outro the exact link where you can go find this episode and all the links Zach’s talked about there. Zach, awesome stuff. Love it. Can’t say thank you enough. I know everybody got a lot out of this. I appreciate it and I hope to see you soon.

Zach: Cool. Thanks Jim and thanks everybody.

Jim: What a great interview. Zach is always great at interviews. He’s always someone to talk to that’s just inspiring and motivating and you can just tell he’s a no BS guy and he takes massive action. He takes his own medicine, man. The guy works hard. I’ve created an action plan in PDF form from what you’ve just heard here. You can go to Again, that’s Like I said before the show, I really urge you to do this and download these things so you can take action. If you haven’t left a review, I hope you’ll leave a review or share this with a friend as well.

One more thing for you. Imagine if the entire wrestling community had a vehicle from which we could communicate and voice our opinion. All 11 million strong of us who are former wrestlers and even the millions of parents and fans in addition to that 11 million. Guess what? Now there is. If your name is not on the National Registry for Wrestling, it should be. [Inaudible 00:51:49] the former USA Wrestling Man of the Year. He’s the founder and the guide behind Beat the Streets along with Mike Novogratz, Beat the Streets wrestling and Al is the owner of AC Sports. Al is heading up this effort to get 1 million wrestlers – that’s the goal – on this list so we can leverage our power to the media and with other constituencies. We’re powerful as a wrestling community if we know who you are. So here’s what you do. Go to Go there right now, no excuses, you can do it on your mobile device. It’s super easy. and get your name on the list and be part of the solution.

That’s all for today. Until next time, attack the day with intensity and focus and outwork everyone because you can’t get pinned when you’re on top.