Scott Elliott – Taking A Leap of Faith


Gail: Welcome everybody. Gail Kraft here with The Empowering Process Podcast and with me today is a dear friend of mine and this is Scott Elliott. Scott Elliott is the owner of a gym called Kool Body and that’s K-O-O-L body and he’ll talk to you a little bit about that near the end.

But he’s an amazing man and he is here to talk with us a bit about taking a leap of faith. He’s been doing this personal trainer business for about a decade now and his mission is to unlock the self-potential of his clients all over the world, because of course he’s online, who isn’t these days? Using his tools and exercise and nutrition and mindset. 

His system is to create workouts based on your body type and motivated by you figuring out what your why is and it’s a unique approach and I know Scott I was absolutely not interested in training until I met you. So, Scott welcome.

Scott: Gail I am very excited to be here. Thank you for having me on. I’m excited to share the message and get some transformation happening to all the people that are listening to this. So, let’s get started.

Gail: Let’s get started. Scott comes from Texas. I met him about eight years ago in beautiful San Diego. He was really pushing his business at that time as a trainer and had only been a few years in San Diego and he went from a lush six-figure business, career shall we say not business, in Texas to barely making it when you started out and of all places one of the most expensive places in the country to live, San Diego.

But I’d like to ask you Scott, this leap of faith that you took, what’s the process, what was the pain that you were feeling that you decided to shed the money and follow your dream and how did you find your dream?

Scott: Gail, that is a very powerful question. I don’t know the right word to say. I guess there comes a point in time where your soul needs to be fulfilled and as an engineer making six figures, I was living a very comfortable life. At the time it was me there, was a girlfriend there. Life was very simple. 

However, on the inside I was not being fulfilled at all and because of that level of unfulfillment I was becoming my own worst enemy. I was becoming very self-passive aggressive with every aspect of my life. With the girlfriend with my job with my parents with my brothers and sisters.

Just very passive aggressive because there was something inside of me that was not comfortable, and I was reflecting that amongst all of my other activities. Around my circle of influence if you will. I knew that there had to be something that needs to change and just a thought of what my future was going to be like in the next five years, 10 years, doing the same thing as an engineer just didn’t settle really well with me.

So, it had me go into a deep question of what would I want to do? What’s my big why? Where do I want to go with all this? If I were to snap my fingers and do something and money didn’t matter what would that one thing be? And as simple and harmless as asking myself that question it led me down a rabbit hole that ended up becoming what I do now for a living.

Gail: Well, that’s interesting Scott because I will tell you many people don’t ask that question until later in life. I know for me I was on a survival mode even though I did very well in corporate America, like you I was making six figures. I got to play, I got to have fun, I had a nice house, I had a nice car.

But there was no meaning in my life and for me my marriage fell apart because I wasn’t happy, and I went out and lived on my own and decided I wanted to move. When I came up to San Diego, I brought the misery. So, for me and I’m going to ask you what your kick in the pants was. Mine, was I got my ass fired in San Diego.

Now guys I’ve been on the board of directors of some pretty powerful companies. I’ve worked for the big guys and to be fired my attitude was, “who do you think you are?” But it put me on this path of I’m not working for a corporate again. So, what does that mean? I did some consulting doing this, a consulting doing that, and I tripped into coaching and realized that was my dream.

So, what are some of the pain points that you went through? Because you don’t just say, “Oh, I’m not happy with my goal. Oh, there it is”, no. What were some of the things that you went through?

Scott: I was burning every bridge at home. I mean there was not a healthy relationship. If it was a girlfriend, I was so passive aggressive, as I mentioned earlier, and it was always her fault, remember, it was always her fault. Then when the next one came it was their fault.

And I start seeing the same thing happening with my mom and my dad. I saw the same thing happen with the co-workers at my work and it was always their fault, it was never my fault. Then one of my dear close friends I burned that bridge too. Something happened, it was something so silly and was ready and willing to just sever the ties of a friendship that I’ve had for over 10 years just because of something so dumb.

And at the end of the day here I am on my own little island still living a life that was very unsettling.

Gail: But you were right?

Scott: But I was right. Why doesn’t anyone else see what I see? And that was the breaking point for me, Gail. I was absolutely nothing and no guarantees.

Gail: How did you discover that you wanted to be a personal trainer? What was that journey like and what did your family say?

Scott: Your questions are very good, very good, I love them, Gail. But before I answer how I came to be a personal trainer I’d say this; that friendship 10 plus years that I without hesitation severed, there was a period of time, I’m going to say it was probably about two or three months of not talking to this friend of mine.

Well, you know what? He came back, he came back around, and he called me. He goes, “Hey Scott, you know what? Let that be the past. You’re my friend and I want to call and say hi how are you, let’s talk about this” and I sat down, swallowed my ego for the first time in many years and had just a very genuine conversation with what he’s up to and all that good stuff.

He told me what he was up to, and he was up to bigger and better things, he was climbing the ladder of his life becoming a better person and I wanted that. He said something that I wanted that. It wasn’t the car, it wasn’t the house, it wasn’t the job or the money, it was the life.

Because this is what my life is like, this is what I’m doing about living life and I wanted that. That had me ask the question what is something that would really be fulfilling to me? And the answer was always under my nose the whole time for all these years. What is something I would love to do?

Well, I have a passion for health and fitness. I wanted to be that guy that always took the extra step of eating healthy just living a healthy life. I loved it when people do come to me and say, “Hey you know your physique looks this way” or “I see that you’re eating this way. Can you tell me more?”.

I love answering those questions. I love being that guy that people approach to in regard to that. And it didn’t have to be a career, I’m not saying to your audience quit your job. I’m saying you need to acknowledge your passions because those passions were given to you from a bigger source.

You were built with those passions, and you are lying to yourself if you don’t take action on those passions. That’s your gift to the world. And so, when I saw that in me, I was like okay to whatever degree to whatever extent I am going to become more of a voice in the world of health and fitness. That’s when I decided to pursue personal training, not as a career at that point though by the way just as a hobby. 

Gail: Yes. So, you used to compete and then at one point you decided you were going to leave Texas, why, and build your career in expensive but beautiful San Diego.

Scott: Yes. Gail, as you I was a master of burning bridges and so I guess me, I don’t know, call it being an Aries I’m like all in. And so, I was an engineer working in San Antonio at the time and I was just at a meeting with the owners that flew in from Chicago, the owners that flew in from my company, there’s a lot of bigwigs at that table and the meeting was not going very well at all.

I stepped outside just to catch some fresh air and my phone rings, my Nextel, if you remember those phones. I picked it up and it was a was a recruiter, a job recruiter, and he goes, “Mr. Elliott would you like more money? Because let me tell the job, the career, that you’re in as an engineer there’s jobs everywhere. I can get you more money wherever you want. Do you want to stay in San Antonio? Do you want to go to Dallas? Do you want to go to Houston? I got jobs listed at all over the place but definitely more money. What do you say?”.

And I said to myself, you know what, in my mind if I’m going to make a move I definitely– hmm I don’t know. I want to become a personal trainer. I think that’s when I made up my mind Gail is when this job recruiter who was trying to recruit me for another engineering job with more money when he called, I told myself, you know what, if I’m going to make a move, I want to be a personal trainer in Southern California.

Because to be a personal trainer in Southern California, the mecca of fitness in this country at the time, that’s what I’m going to do. So, I told him, “Look hey, I know that you’re looking for engineers but maybe you can find me an engineering job in San Diego, California. I randomly threw that out there Gail. 

Just a random shot in the dark. I was like San Diego, California. And in my mind, I was like if this guy can pull this off as an engineer, show me an engineering job in Southern California, then something is trying to tell me something. Well Gail, he goes, “Are you being serious?” And I go a hundred percent. 

If you can’t find me a job in San Diego, California then I don’t want to talk to you. And he goes “No, that’s so funny that you say San Diego because he says I’m from San Diego. I literally moved to Texas from San Diego last week. I was working in the recruiting office. Let me connect you to that office and we’ll get you all set up”. And I just swallowed my heart all the way down. 

Gail: Be careful what you ask for.

Scott: I was like, what did I just do? And sure, enough the next day the recruiter from San Diego calls and he goes, “Hey I hear that you want to move to San Diego,” and I go, “Yeah I do” and he goes, “Well, we’ve two jobs lined up for you. When can you fly out?” and I said this is happening.

This is happening, I put the wheels in motion. Obviously, this is the direction I want to be. My game plan was to go to California, try out the engineering thing in there for a little bit, maybe get my roots soaked into the ground and then become a personal trainer. So long story short, two months later I was living in San Diego, Gail. 

And when I gave my two weeks’ notice to my current boss, he pulled out his check book and he says, “Scott you’re doing really well for our company, how much would it take you to keep you? How much do you want?” and mind you, money was no object to this guy. He ran a very large business. I could throw any number out there on the table. 

Gail: And he would have met it. 

Scott: He would have met it without a blink in the eye. Wow, Gail. The illusions of life.

Gail: It’s crazy. So that you came out and picked up the engineering gig that you still weren’t happy with.

Scott: Right. 

Gail: So, I will coach this with, when I work with clients who want to become entrepreneurs, we figure out a formula for how much money you need to be making consistently each month before you give up your day job, for the majority of the folks. Because the fear of not paying the bills is too great.

But that means a lot of work because it takes a lot of effort to create a business and if you’ve got a day job and you’re trying to create a business just on Saturday and Sunday it’s tough. So, tell me about how this happened for you.

Scott: Yes, I moved to San Diego, I was an engineer. I had personal training in the back of my mind, but honestly as you alluded to if I was going to do this personal training thing, I had to do it. I just had to let go of being an engineer and be a personal trainer. That’s just how I was.

If I were to give words of wisdom to someone that’s listening to this, I would say don’t do what I do. I literally did take the leap of faith, I jumped out there and I went full in with being a personal trainer and financially it hurts very bad. I can talk about that in a moment but if I were to give advice to the younger Scott’s out there, I would say plan, look at your finances, save your money, make a budget, build up your company until you’re making the money that makes sense to make that decision.

Gail: But you need to have those boundaries on that goal and not chicken out when you meet that goal. 

Scott: Right. 

Gail: So, it’s a lot of risk. Go ahead.

Scott: It’s a lot of risk Gail. The biggest killer for all dreams is comfort zone. People get comfortable. They like their car, they like their house, they like their life, even though that’s not what they want to do for a living or maybe they’re not living their passion to whatever degree.

They just feel comfortable. Life is comfortable and it shows them. It’s the illusions of life, it’s the money is only an illusion, the car is only an illusion. It’s not necessarily happiness. 

Gail: And that is so much easier said than done. I have actually someone I’m going to be interviewing or we might be doing an ask me anything, but it is about the fact that your worthiness is not tied to your achievements. 

Scott: Oh, yes. 

Gail: Right? Because if we didn’t fail that means we continue to live in our comfort zone and in a cloak of fear. I had; this is an example then I want to get back to you. I had a conversation with my brother. Now I come from a family affair, believe me, I had a lot of work on Gail to do.

And one of the things that I said to him, this is a few years into my coaching, Masters trained NLP. I was pretty confident in my observations, and I was right. I looked at him and said, “You have so much fear around being poor that you let amazing opportunities just walk right by you know it’s walking walking by, and you don’t care”.

And he said, “You’re right”. He literally took out a loan on the house to invest in a business and then chickened out. And so, to them I’m like the gravest thing that since chocolate ice cream because I’m like what’s going to happen? Right?

Scott: Yes. 

Gail: I’ve eaten hot dogs at Costco because that’s all I could afford. So, here you are in San Diego, and you jumped in. So, you quit your day job.

Scott: I end up ironically enough in the construction world 2007/2008. That’s when we got hit by the economic downturn and so whether I was ready for it or not the company I was working for they started their layoffs because money was getting a little tight. And so there I go, just like that. 

I was laid off, I was put out on my own, ready for it or not and I did that. I had a conversation with my dad, and I said, “Dad you and I have been talking about the personal training thing for a long time, now is the time”. And this is what happened and here we go. And so, I woke up the next day with zero clients.

Gail: Tell us about your first client. I love the story about her. Do you remember? She’s the one who only wanted one type of exercise.

Scott: Yes. I absolutely adore my clients each and every one of them. They are so unique in their own way. But yes, one of my initial clients she hired me three times a week, one hour session, and she only wanted to work one area, that was her glutes.

Gail: And so that she looked good in those jeans.

Scott: If you want to test the trainer’s creativity that’s the way to do it. I don’t want anything else I want this for an hour three times a week. Oh, you got it.

Gail: And not be boring.

Scott: You got it.

Gail: Right?

Scott: The same thing every time. But I love it. They taught me, boy, when it comes to working the glutes, I know some exercises, Gail. 

Gail: I know. So, I want you to know one of the things with Scott we have so much in common. Yes, I met him at a BNI group but then the next thing I know I bumped into him at a motivational group with his then girlfriend, now married. But I think you would just be dating Elle at the time.

And it’s all about caring about the person, right? Scott comes to his training with a huge heart, and I think you did two things for me; why are you here? I was very clear as to why I was there. I wanted to be a motivational speaker and be on stage and I didn’t want to look like **** on stage.

And the other thing was my diet. I was on the wrong type of diet for my body type. I had to go back to eating meat which it was a gradual thing for me to do but it’s what my body actually needed. Kind of interesting because I now pay attention to my body. I have a holistic nutritionist that I work with.

I will call and say this is what happened, and this is what I did and it’s because I listened to my body. Because of you.

Scott: Yes, thank you.

Gail: Tell me about some of the client’s experiences that you’ve had. You’ve helped people make that leap of faith.

Scott: Yes, absolutely and I would say who clients are to me, I’ll put it this way, when I work with someone, I get to see who they really are as a person because they get to see who I really am. I am very genuine, I’m living a life with Integrity, running a company based around Integrity is very important to me.

It took a lot of digging deep in the soul to become that person but because I became that person and it’s an everyday event to be that person. When someone walks into the studio or when someone logs in on their online program, I get to see who they really are because they feel comfortable because they know who I really am.

I approached my business with passion, it all happens from the heart Gail. I was willing to give up a six-figure business as an engineer down to $0. I was eating oatmeal and drinking protein shakes breakfast lunch and dinner for three years.

Gail: And that woman still married you.

Scott: And I still eat oatmeal because it wasn’t about the oatmeal it was about the bigger picture. I had an opportunity to do what I love, and I was willing to do whatever it took and make it work. Is there a better way of doing it, absolutely? 

Gail: I don’t know because it’s all about commitment, right? Right?

Scott: Yes.

Gail: And I think that sometimes when people don’t take the leap of faith– in fact, I’ve had clients who won’t take the leap of faith they do the preparation, they have amazing ideas. And they get to the point with all of it you have to leap because you have to make a change and they don’t do it.

Scott: Going back to your initial question, the reason why people have chosen me as their personal trainer whether its virtual or face-to-face is because I asked that of them. I was like there’s going to be a financial commitment. There’s going to be a time commitment. There’s going to be a commitment on what you know as your way of living. 

I’m going to ask that of you and if you’re willing to make that commitment to me you’re going to get me to be committed to you. I can’t be successful unless you’re successful. My Success comes from your success and so show to me that you’re willing to make that commitment.

And you know what? I haven’t even begun to talk about my system, how I do it. Because that’s secondary to why I do it.

Gail: Well, that’s just it, because I would never– I mean I was dancing when I started with you and dance was initially intended for exercise because I don’t like gyms. And at the time that we were working out you did not have your own gym yet and so we would show up at these gyms and I’d be like, “Ugh, all these sweaty disgusting people”.

Everyone’s showing off and here’s flabby me. Even though I dance that only exercised certain muscle groups, not the whole body. And I was in pretty tough shape, I’ll tell you. You were so patient. And then you got your own place and that’s in Del Mar which is not an expensive place either. It’s a beautiful little gym there. 

Scott: That’s cost a little penny every month for sure. 

Gail: Now you’re going online and tell me a little bit about Scott 2.0 or maybe it’s 3.0 because 1.0 was Scott the engineer, 2.0 is Scott the trainer, 3.0, where are you going? What’s your dream? What gets you going in the morning now?

Scott: My ultimate mission in life is to have people see their potential of becoming their ultimate– basically having someone see their ultimate self-potential. I have people that will show up in life not knowing who they are, not knowing their true identity, because they’ve become so distracted with the worlds.

It’s about the car, it’s about the house, it’s about the kids, it’s about what you do for a living, it’s about let’s go out to eat. So distracted in life and all of a sudden boom, you’re forty you’re fifty you’re sixty years old and you’re thinking what do I want to be when I grow up. And so, I used the tools of exercise nutrition mindsets to really bring that opportunity, to bring an environment, for someone to create who they really are.

Gail: Yes, you and I have done presentations together and it works really well because I am basically mindset. I had a friend, and I might have told you this story, it’s so funny. I went to a reunion that was not mine but was my friend’s reunion and one of her buddies, one of her girlfriends, she’s like, “Yeah, I go to sleep at night and before I go to sleep I either put my knees up, put my elbow on my knees and I read a book. And one night I’m reading the book and I look over at my arm”.

And she holds up her arm and she flaps. She goes, “When did that happen? I did not give it permission, when did that happen?” and that’s what happens is that life kind of sneaks up on you. And that’s when I saw you when I was losing control of my physicality and I couldn’t stop gaining weight and I couldn’t build muscle, it was ridiculous.

So, I went on a three-year hiatus from training and moved to New Hampshire. It took me a while to find a trainer that I like enough, truly, I burned through a couple of them around here. But I found my home and I take classes at her gym, and she said, “Gail, so when you go on your road trip” which I will be doing soon, “Say hi to Scott and show off how you look”. 

So, Scott, your leap of faith people don’t understand how scary that was. It really is mind-boggling that you would allow yourself to live on shakes and oatmeal for three years when you could have been– even though there was a layoff there were still jobs you could have gotten. You could have been basking in the sun. 

Scott: 100% yes. I’ll tell you my story might be extreme what I did. Out of Texas, moved to California from engineer into personal training in the matter of 24 hours. That’s not the message that I want to bring to people necessarily, what I want people who are listening to this to understand is how important it is to acknowledge what you’re passionate about and to take action on that.

Whatever that means. If that means quitting your job or if that means making it a hobby, the world needs to hear from you what you’re excited about.

Gail: Right, what your gift is. 

Scott: Let it be. 

Gail: Exactly. I can’t express how scary and fulfilling it is all at the same time. I take scary steps every day and there are times I’ll be biting my nails, don’t want to do that, don’t want to do that, I’m like, that’s the reason you have to do it. Because I don’t want to do it. I did, I think you know, 75 hard and that’s 75 days folks workout for 45 minutes indoors work outside for 45 minutes, drink a gallon of water, be on a meal plan, take a selfie, read a book. Just every day.

Understand I did this starting the week of Thanksgiving, it went through Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s and ended right after Valentine’s Day. In New Hampshire where it was snowy sleety below zero wind factor 15 miles an hour and I was out there.

Scott: Yes, you wouldn’t have had it any other way. 

Gail: Oh my gosh, no I wouldn’t. And I did it because I didn’t want to do it. The friend who was doing it I’m like, “Heck no I’m not doing that sh!!. I’m not going out. Do you know what winter’s coming” and then I went, “Oh Gail? That’s not the right reason”. Yes, you can do this. 

Scott: That’s awesome. I remember when you told me that you were starting that, and I had heard about it, but I didn’t know too much about it. I Googled it and my eyebrow rose like Gail can do this. 

Gail: Yes. Some folks went onto the next phase which adds three more elements. One of them is a cold shower and I couldn’t because it actually– I had some damage internally because of the food and the exercise that it too much and I had to get my body back into balance. I really pushed myself too much because you know that I do that. 

But anyway, how can people get in touch with you Scott if they want to know more about your online training, more about your philosophy, more about what it’s like to take a leap of faith and hold your nose and just dive in? How can they get in touch with you?

Scott: Absolutely. Well, you can always visit me on my website, it’s Koolbody dot com and you spell cool K-O-O-L body dot com. Ironically that name Kool came from the number one reason why people want to exercise, it’s how they look. So cool is look spelled backwards and so that’s a nice easy way to remember.

So Koolbody dot com. Also, Gail, I’m going to give you a link and that’s going to lead people to a little video that describes how I do my business. It’ll tell you a little about the online program and the private training program and how I do it why do it all that good stuff. So that’ll be in a separate little video that maybe you can share in your show notes.

Gail: Absolutely. Thank you so much Scott and thank you everybody for listening to The Empowering Process Podcast. If this brought something up for you by all means leave a comment. Maybe I’ll do an ask me anything segment or bring Scott back on. If you like this let me know that you liked it. If you know someone who this might actually inspire share it with them. 

It was a pleasure having you with us. Thank you again Scott. Everybody bye-bye.

Scott: Bye Gail.

Leave a Reply