There's an old thought process – out of sight, out of mind. I believe that it’s true. If you don't see something or it's not in front of your face, then it's hard to be reminded of it. It’s difficult to have thoughts that inspire creativity to make things happen.
When you see something on a regular basis, it sparks something inside you, whether you put a lot of time into that thought or it just kind of happens. It’s exactly why I have specific setups in the small studios I use every day. It’s all based around things that will spark creativity and inspiration.
One of my setups features some of my favorite baseball, football and basketball cards I collected as a kid. We have the year Roger Maris hit 62, O.J. Simpson's rookie (I thought he was really good before he did what he did obviously), a Ricky Henderson rookie, Barry Bonds before he did drugs, a Shaquille O'Neal rookie, and the year that Hank Aaron hit 714 or 715.
Collecting and trading cards brings back memories of excitement and hustle. I absolutely love it. These cards represent the early stages of hustling, understanding things of value, and working deals for me.
Have you ever heard Babe Ruth’s famous quote about striking out? That’s one I keep up on the wall. “Never let the fear of striking out ever get in your way.” You never get the home runs if you don't strike out. "Every strike brings me closer to the next home run."
Obviously from being a card collector, I understood a couple of things about Babe Ruth. One, he's the greatest to ever do it, especially in his era. He didn't lift weights and he didn't have supplements. This dude was unapologetic, a party animal, a maniac, and did things in his own way.
I love that he did things in his own way. He punked the system and didn’t care what others thought of him. Now, not everybody agrees with his partying or some of the things he did, but I liked the fact that he was just him. He didn't think he had to look a certain way. He just knew that he could come through and deliver.
One of my more recent inspirations is Nipsey Hussle. Nipsey has given me a lot of motivation. I didn’t consume his content when he was alive, but I started consuming his interviews, not even his music, but his interviews after he passed away. I started going down the rabbit hole of understanding what he was really about.
Then I got into his music, and now understand it way more. He didn't fit in the system and he was always creative. He was always doing his own things, his own brands, and was willing to put in the time and effort for what he really wanted to achieve, which he did right before he passed away. Having a piece of Nipsey artwork is a great reminder of what his content has done for me.
Signed Pumping Iron covers. There are three different Pumping Iron covers, but I have the one with Ed Corney on the front. There's one with Ed Corney, Tom Platz and one with Arnold Schwarzenegger. Pumping Iron is the old bodybuilding book that, in a way, started the whole industry.
When I first saw that movie, everything immediately changed for me. I finally got to see, in action and in color, all of the stuff I was reading about as a kid. The film showed how big these guys actually were, how much they trained, brought to light how funny Arnold was, and started to give me an idea of what the lifestyle was really like in California at that time.
I’m one of the few people out there that have all three covers of Pumping Iron, each signed by the individual on the cover. It’s something that gives me inspiration every single day.
Then we have my Franco Colombu poster with him deadlifting 700 pounds with a Great Dane looking at him. Once again, representing the Golden Era. I was fortunate enough to spend some time with Franco from time to time when I was around Arnold. Our conversations blew me away because he had an unbelievable understanding of the body. Not only that, but he was also one of the first people that truly executed powerlifting, bodybuilding, and strongman at a high level. Inspiration flows when I see this iconic picture.
Giannamore's Pizza. My friend and business partner, Dustin Myers, have been lifting weights together for a very long time. This is from the night we spoke at our 20-year commencement of our high school. No one thought in a million years that we would be the ones to come back to speak, but through our work and careers we have been able to inspire many people.
Dustin's by far the best strength coach in the wrestling world that exists. I've been able to do my thing too with what I excel in. We were then able to share with the graduating seniors and everyone else that came to the graduation ceremony. I would consider this in my Top Five moments in my career. We went from being outcasts, to going back 20 years later to inspire the graduating class.
Articles of inspiration are important to have around you at all times. If it’s out of sight, it’s out of mind. Take time to create a collection to keep around you. On the fridge, on the walls in your home gym, or on the backdrop of your phone. It doesn’t matter.
Find those things that you know are going to spark creativity. That are going to spark excitement. That are going to spark motivation. Then, keep them in front of you. You can change them over time, but always keep them in a position on purpose.