The Victim, The Villan, The Hero
& The Teacher

     Every great movie, every great story or journey has 4 major characters, the victim, the villain, the hero, and the teacher.

The Victim is the one that is in despair, sees no hope and is waiting for someone or something to rescue them. When I was working on Wall Street all I thought about was how to make more money. Although I was able to make a good living, I never achieved the financial success I was seeking. I was focused on the wrong thing. Slowly, throughout my 20 plus year career, my spirit for accomplishment and motivation for success dwindled until it hit and an all-time low in my early 40s. I was in despair. I didn’t know what to do with my life. I felt I was wasting away with no way out. I saw others progressing while I was stagnant. Yes, I made more money each year but none of it came with any sense of fulfillment or meaning. I was stuck and seduced by a corporate salary that began to erode my desire to create an amazing life story. I was depressed but I kept doing what I was doing hoping for something to come along that would change things for me. I was a hard worker and I tried different things. None of them worked. I was sinking deeper and felt no way out. I changed jobs thinking it would be the answer, but it wasn’t. It was more of the same. All I could do is look around and see what others were doing and watched my self-esteem continue to crash. I didn’t know what to do and was just looking for a way out. I was playing the Victim.


     Then there is the Villain who is the one that makes others feel helpless. They prey on peoples’ weaknesses so that they can feel strong. They harm people physically, emotionally, and financially so they can feel powerful. They hate to the see success and the progress of others.


     For most of my life I have been a people person, an extrovert. I made friends easily. I was smart or at least I thought I was. I mean I thought I was better than smart. When I put my mind to things, I excelled. There was just one problem. I really wasn’t as smart as my ego told me. Whenever I came across an uncomfortable situation, I would immediately go on the offensive. Whatever the situation was, I wanted to let people know that it wasn’t important. It was stupid because well, you know, I knew better. Not!

     Here’s the thing about egos. Egos are a cover for low self-esteem. Whenever I felt inadequate, my ego reared its ugly head to make the other person feel stupid. Sometimes it was overt and sometimes it was subtle. Instead of listening and learning, my gut reaction was that I had to know more even though I didn’t. Whoever was in my way, got the brunt of my aggression. I was the Villain.

     The Hero is and was the loser. They are the ones that don’t have the ability and are not equipped to take on the challenge. They are also the ones that accept the challenge, fight for the ability, and transform throughout the story until they can come out victorious.

     In March of 2018, I decided to leave my corporate career to pursue a business in fitness. I was going to open a gym backed by a national franchise. Easy, right? WRONG! I would learn over the next 9 months how little I knew and how unprepared I was. I must admit I was scared. I had already invested tens of thousands of dollars and did not know what I was doing. As it turned out, the franchise I signed on with would be no help.

     Here’s the thing. I promised my family I would succeed and build a great business. More importantly, I promised myself I would never go back to my previous career. I had to succeed. I knew there was a way because I had seen it. I would not be the first to be clueless and make it. There was evidence. I spent the next 6 months networking with successful gym owners and gathering as much knowledge as possible. I developed relationships in the business that would change my mindset in many ways. I traveled around the country to visit successful businesses and learn the things I needed to do. The end result was that in January of 2020, I had an explosive grand opening that would have made a lot of veteran owners envious. Mission accomplished. Sort of. I had to close 2 months later due to COVID but that’s for another article. For a moment in time, I felt like the Hero.


     Finally, there is the Teacher. The Teacher is someone that has been the hero in the past and is now ready to guide the new hero to greatness. The Teacher has the knowledge, the scars, and the experience to help the Hero reach their full potential.


     In January of 2021, 3 of my coaches left the business at the same time. We are group fitness business. Coaching group exercise classes is physically and mentally demanding. The Coach needs to bring energy and maintain it throughout the entire session. Normally, there would be more than one coach on the floor. However, in this situation, 3 coaches had left, so I was the sole coach on the floor. I was not ready to coach. I was not well practiced but I had no choice. The clients expected something, and I was the one to deliver it. I demonstrated and explained the exercises and coached the class through the session. I wasn’t just the trainer. I was also the motivator. It was important to keep the client engaged and having fun. On top of that, at the end of every session, I gave a brief motivational speech. I listened to a lot of podcasts and self-help books. Whenever I listened to something that really resonated with me, I would deliver the message to the class. Usually, the feedback was overwhelmingly positive. I was a gym owner that became the primary coach and a motivational speaker. I had become a teacher. What was I teaching? In my mind, I was teaching the clients to feel a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment through the efforts they were making so they can feel like the Hero. Even though they may see the coach as the hero, it was important for me to make clients feel like THEY were the heroes. My business wasn’t about me or the coaches. It was about teaching the clients about their true potential. Every story, good or bad, has these four characters. In fact, each of these characters exists in all of us. They all play an essential role in our personal growth and the development of a great life story. You cannot have a hero without a villain. You can’t have a villain with a victim. Finally, every hero has a mentor. There are no self-made heroes just as there are no self-made millionaires. Every millionaire had some sort of guidance and help along the way.   

8 thoughts on “The Victim, The Villian, The Hero & The Teacher”

  1. I had been to different gyms, classes, then life happens sometimes you stop. It took me months to sign up. I finally did. I do not regret it. Yes, there are days I am exhausted, but I know I will be motivated once I get there. Especially at 4:45 am. You have made the Wolfpack group more then a gym session, you have made it a little family, God knows this is what I needed. I look forward to many more sessions. I can’t wait what the future holds. Thank you for all the motivation Especially at 5:30 in the am.

  2. Great article! Every person has a story to tell and while its true that every story have those characters that you mentioned, its the character you gave most power to, you gave more focus on, is the character that will dominate your story. How would you want your story to play out in the end— a victim, a villain, a hero or a teacher is all up to you. You have control of your story. My business and personal development mentor always tells me, “Change your story, change your life.” When i stopped playing victim and started taking responsibility of everything rhat happens in my life, it made a hige difference!

    Thank you for sharing your wisdom and brilliance in this article.

  3. Coach, thanks for this article. It resonated with me. As my “teacher”, you have made it easy for me over the last year+ to step out of my comfort zone and do things I have never tried before or thought I could ever do Amd for this length of time. I’ve never stuck with any diet or fitness plan this long in my life. Thanks for showing all of us the way and being our mentor..

  4. I have learned so much from you in the year I’ve known you. You motivate me to do better. Your story is inspiring. Thank you!

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