Megan chats with Peter Taunton, founder of one of the largest wellness brands in the world and a Forbes Master Class Instructor, about achieving impossible dreams with a strong mindset and solid plan.

We cover how important it is to go into being an entrepreneur with your eyes open, why being an entrepreneur and winning at it are different goals and how discipline, accountability and perspective are needed to keep going strong.

Listen on the player below or on iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, or your favorite podcast player. Or scroll down to read a full transcript.

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Guest Details

Connect with Peter Taunton
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Peter founded one of the largest wellness brands in the world with over 6,000 franchises or licenses across 3 brands in 28 countries- LIFT Brands.  

He’s also the 2010  Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year. Peter is currently a Forbes Master Class instructor at the Forbes School of Business. 

Peter’s business accomplishments have been well-recognized by the business community. He and his companies have been featured in many business and industry publications such as Forbes, Entrepreneur 500, Inc 5000, Top Global and Franchise 500. 

Peter also wrote a #1 best selling book sold on Amazon called “Impossible Hill”… which shares 30 years of real life stories laying out the mindset that helped Peter build his business empire. 

Peter is ever-committed to coaching and inspiring people in both their business and personal lives as they navigate through life striving to light the fire with-in and make their  impossible dreams… possible!


  • Go into being an entrepreneur with your eyes open – it costs more than you thought and takes more time than you thought.
  • Going into business is one thing, winning in business is another.
  • You need discipline, accountability and perspective to be an entrepreneur.
  • Always be willing to learn from your mistakes.
  • Have a strategic plan for your business.
  • Create a lofty goal and then benchmarks along the way.
  • Treat people well, your employees and your customers – community and culture are important.
  • Visualize your dream, your goal. Make a plan. Then JUMP.
  • Whatever your product is, it has to have relevance and be scalable.
  • Be up front with your audience about who you are and what you’re about so you can serve the right people.


Click for full script.


Megan Porta: Food bloggers! Welcome to Eat Blog Talk.. THE podcast for food bloggers looking for the value and confidence that will move the needle forward in their businesses. 

This episode is a special one. So special that I’m not numbering it and in fact deeming it as a bonus episode. My guest today is Peter Taunton and I’ll read through his bio in a bit. My husband and I had the honor of meeting Peter in person in April and we were both blown away by his success, kindness, knowledge and humility. I feel extremely grateful that he agreed to be on Eat Blog Talk. I hope you love this episode! Enjoy!

Peter founded one of the largest wellness brands in the world with over 6,000 franchises or licenses across 3 brands in 28 countries- LIFT Brands.  

He’s also the 2010  Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year. 

Peter is currently a Forbes Master Class instructor at the Forbes School of Business. 

Peter’s business accomplishments have been well-recognized by the business community. He and his companies have been featured in many business and industry publications such as Forbes, Entrepreneur 500, Inc 5000, Top Global and Franchise 500. 

Peter also wrote a #1 best selling book sold on Amazon called “Impossible Hill”… which shares 30 years of real life stories laying out the mindset that helped Peter build his business empire. 

Peter is ever-committed to coaching and inspiring people in both their business and personal lives as they navigate through life striving to light the fire with-in and make their  impossible dreams… possible!

Welcome Peter, it’s such an honor to have this chat with you today!

I am going to not give you any prep for this, but I like to ask people for a fun fact about themselves. So something that maybe is not widely known about you, something fun that is, I don’t know. It can or cannot be related to business. It’s totally up to you. 

Peter Taunton: Sure. No, I’ve got one for sure. 

Megan Porta: All right. Let’s hear it. 

Peter Taunton: My fun fact is I’ve never used a cash machine in my life. I’ve never used an ATM machine in my life. 

Megan Porta: Oh. You’ve never used an ATM machine?

Peter Taunton: Ever, in my life. In fact, when I go into the bank, they always ask me, what’s my pin number. And I say, I don’t have a pin number. Everybody has a pin number. I go, no I don’t. What would you need one for? She goes if you ever use an ATM machine, I said, I’ve never used an ATM. They go, you’ve gotta be kidding me. I said, no. I never have. 

Megan Porta: That’s impressive. Just get your money out of the bank and plan ahead?

Peter Taunton: Yeah. If people owe me money, I tell them, pay me in cash. Honestly I tell them to pay me cash. So I’ve always got cash. I always have cash and so I’ve never needed it. 

Megan Porta: Wow. 

Peter Taunton: If I did, I would just go to a bank and grab it.

Megan Porta: Oh, I love that. Okay. I’ve never gotten that fun fact, so that’s great. Then my husband, Dan and I are huge fans of yours. So we follow you on Instagram. He was just mentioning this morning that I needed to ask you about your cooking class in Italy. Since you’re talking to food bloggers, we’re interested in hearing how that went. Any fun takeaways from that? 

Peter Taunton: You know what? My girlfriend and I had a great time and the people there were so inviting. It was a husband and wife and then the two of us, so just four of us. They had this amazing setup in this cabana trellis type setup, a full outdoor kitchen area. So it was very comforting and inviting. This particular couple had not only amazing cooks, but they had their own gardens. Everything was picked fresh. They had their own vineyard. They produced their own wine and it was just really all inclusive. So I really appreciated the vertical integration that they had and they really brought the garden to the table mentality. It was really cool to experience that. But as always, the pasta over there is next level. I don’t know if it’s in the flower that they use, I have no idea why it’s non-filling, it’s not so heavy and it tastes fantastic. I can’t figure it out. Maybe it’s a question for you.

Megan Porta: Yeah. Oh, I don’t know the answer, but I do know a few food bloggers who are just true Italian cooks, so yeah. I’m sure they would know. I’ll get back to you.

Peter Taunton: I wonder why, and maybe you can, but I wonder why we can’t seem to buy fresh pasta like that here. Why can’t you get that feeling here?

Megan Porta: You always hear that people with gluten intolerances can eat the pasta over in Italy. So I always wonder why that is as well. 

Peter Taunton: We had an amazing time. They were very gracious hosts. We had some great laughs and it was fun. I enjoyed it. Highly recommended. 

Megan Porta: That’s awesome. Okay. We want to glean some wisdom from you, Peter. You are so accomplished and successful in so many stretches of the imagination. I just love your story because you come from humble beginnings. I have your book here, Impossible Hill. Yeah. Thank you. We’ve read through it a couple times. One thing that you talk about a lot is that you have built your success from the ground up. So I would love to ask you, do you have any tips for sticking with a project that you want to turn into a business? Because I think that sticking with it is huge, it’s a necessity if you want to be successful. So can you talk about that a little bit? 

Peter Taunton: Sure. It’s so important. I get this question asked all the time. People love the idea of being an entrepreneur and I do as well. They love the thought, the mindset of being their own boss. Some people have a little bit of a skewed perspective on that because they feel that being their own boss means they pick their own hours. They golf more, they fish more and they squeeze in work in between their free time. Really, if you’re really gonna commit to it, the first thing going into a business is, you have to plan for the worst and hope for the best. I think that’s going into any situation with your eyes open. That you don’t feel blindsided if it takes more time than you thought it was going to. Now I’ve said this before, Steve Jobs said it best. Going into business. You’ve gotta be a little bit crazy because it costs twice as much as you thought it takes, three times as much time as you ever thought it would. It’s stressful as ever. Even with all those things coming into play, you’ve got a nine out of 10 chance of failing. So I think that’s not doom and gloom. For me, I share that little narrative because I want people to be prepared that going into business is one thing, but winning in business is another. That’s where I come into play. My job is to set people up to win in business. The first thing that I ask people, are you mentally prepared for it? Are you ready for the battle? Because it’s not all kittens, balloons and butterflies. It’s hard work. You gotta be, you gotta be able to commit yourself to it. Committing takes discipline and accountability. Let’s face it, if you don’t have discipline, you don’t hold yourself accountable to any standard. Okay. So discipline, accountability. The third piece of it is perspective. Many people lack perspective. And the reason that the third word is so critical is it gives people an understanding of just how long it can take. Winning takes a long time. Winning is not a straight line up into the right. It’s ups and downs and peaks and valleys and trials and tribulations. That’s for everyone. Honestly for someone to say, yeah, I got into business and it was always up until the right and not stressful. It’s truly an anomaly. If it’s in fact the truth, it’s really an anomaly.

 What I will tell people is, winning in business, the challenges in business just like in life, that’s where all the gold is. Learning from your mistakes and making sure that the mistakes that you make are not crippling. In other words, don’t bet the farm. When you’re getting the business, don’t swing for the fences. Have a strategic plan of growth. In fact, I talk about this in my book Impossible Hill. I talk about setting that north star, that goal of where I wanna be three years from now and setting your goals lofty. I always say, you know what? Anyone can be an All Star if you set the bar at your ankles, right? Put a lofty goal out there for yourself. Some real push goals, but then make sure that you set milestones along the way. The reason that’s so important is if all you’re doing is looking at that north star, that’s way off in the distance, sometimes you’re gonna feel like you’re standing still. That becomes discouraging. If you set these milestones, just like it can become discouraging, it can be very encouraging if you see that you’re hitting these little goals. You are moving the ball down the field. It’s so important because the mindset is equally as important as the other side of winning in business, which is having capital, having the right amount of capital to get into your business.

Megan Porta: Okay. So I love your north star concept that you talk about in the book. I try to keep that in mind a lot, but I struggle with how you say be lofty. But how lofty? What if it’s like something that’s just so out of reach and the milestones aren’t quite getting you there. Do you readjust? I just never know, like the balance between being lofty and being reasonable.

Peter Taunton: You know what, Megan, that’s a great question that you bring up. Many people that I consult with and coach, set lofty goals. Sometimes the goals are not necessarily realistic goals. So what I try to do for them is pull ’em back. I’m not the one to throw a wet blanket on it, but I bring a level of practicality. I bring a voice of reason to it. That voice of reason that I bring, it comes from 30 years of being in business; the practicality, the road rash that comes with winning. So I try to reel ’em in a little bit and say, look, you know what? That’s a lofty goal. That’s great. But even if you got it to this point, that’s a huge win. That’s a huge undertaking. You know what I mean? So maybe let’s put our first goal here and then once we get there, there’s nothing wrong with setting another goal. Okay. But let’s get something that we feel is in reach and then let’s create a strategy to get there. I know as we’re talking, you wanna get there, but for me, real life, my first goal, it took me 20 years to get there. And had I known it was gonna take 20 years, I would’ve quit. Honestly. I would’ve said no way, I’m gonna do something else. But the fight took that long. Now, I was winning along the way and those little wins kept me motivated and inspired. It was through that inspiration of winning that kept my nose to the grindstone. 

Megan Porta: What was your first goal that took you 20 years to get to?

Peter Taunton: I had an opportunity to turn around a failing health club. Believe it or not, my salary was $16,000 a year, but the owners of this health club said, Hey, look, if you can turn this club around. Now, the club was losing over $200,000 a year, just cash flow, straight up losing 200 grand a year. They said, if you can turn this club around, we’ll let you buy us out with the profits. Many people say, Peter, why would you ever have done that? They paid you 16,000 a year. The club was losing 200,000. Why would you do that? That’s a loss. But for me, I didn’t. I had nothing going. I just looked at that and all I saw was opportunity. I didn’t see what they had done to get to do what they’re doing that was so wrong, that was not winning. Now, I happen to know a little bit about the business, because it was a health club that I grew up in. I knew that they lacked marketing. I knew that they lacked passion. I knew that they lacked customer service, cleanliness, all the basic blocks and tackling of what it takes to get people to appreciate you in business. So my first day on the job, that’s exactly what I did. I implemented the things that I knew were blatantly wrong that needed to be fixed. That’s what I focused on. Fortunately for me, my guess was right. The people, the customers, appreciated what I was doing. Even though there were small things, we didn’t have a budget. I wasn’t going out and buying a bunch of new equipment because there was no budget. Okay, the club was losing money. But they appreciated my extra effort to keep the club clean, keep the equipment in as good of working order as I could. But most importantly, treat the customer with love and respect, which makes them feel appreciated. They knew that I appreciated their hard earned money spent on my club. That made all the difference in the world. 

Megan Porta: That’s a huge piece of it, right there is how you treat people. That goes a long way.

Peter Taunton: It’s true in everything. You know what? I see it in business all the time. People think that they’re gonna bring this new business into the market. They say, Hey, Peter, this market lacks any competition. The only competition there has been this one business, they’ve been there for the last 25 years. They’re tired. They’re dilapidated. We’re just gonna go in there. We’re gonna crush ’em. I always tell ’em, never underestimate the loyalty that customer base might have. Because it’s not so much what’s in those four walls. It’s the community and culture that the owner has created with his customer base. He goes above and beyond, and that’s not easily uprooted. Many times people miss that element of customer loyalty. Especially when you have the hometown hero running the business, who’s been a part of that community forever. You think you’re gonna come in and just kinda wipe ’em off the mat. It never works as easy as you think.

Megan Porta: You touched on mindset a little bit, and I know you’re a huge believer in just implementing positivity into a business and into your life, really. So can you talk about that? How a mindset can affect your business either positively or negatively?

Peter Taunton: Yeah. You know what? I was doing an interview here. This is a couple of months ago and somebody said, Peter, what are your thoughts about manifesting, manifestation? I said I think to an extent it’s a little bit bullshit. Then I prefaced it by saying, Hey, look it’s a little bit BS because so many, they sit back and they go, some people say, oh, Peter, just dream it and it’ll come. It just doesn’t work that way. Okay. I’m all about visualizing it. I’m all about that. Don’t get me wrong. Visualize it. See it. See yourself there. I get it. Second step. Let’s create a plan. Let’s create a plan of action. Just like we spoke about earlier. The third piece is the most important one. You’ve gotta make the jump. There’s so many times that I talk to people, they go to all of this effort, they visualize it. They create this elaborate plan. They put milestones along the way, they’ve done everything right. But the one thing they never did was the most important piece. They made the jump and that’s the courage. That’s where it takes courage. Because it can be a little bit nervewracking, making that jump, whatever it might be. Whether you’re jumping out of a relationship, whether you’re jumping into a new job, into a new business. All of those things are nervewracking. Perfectly normal. Why? Because you’re doing something you haven’t done. That’s gonna bring anyone a moment of pause. But the moment of pause, it’s not divine intervention. It’s just a natural reaction of doing something you’ve never done before. That doesn’t mean don’t do it. Do you know what I mean? People say, oh, that’s divine intervention. No, it’s not. You’re just nervous. So take a deep breath. You’ve got this. Now let’s go. Okay. Still, even with all those hoorah moments with people trying to get ’em to make the jump at the end of the day, they’ve gotta make the jump, because I’m not gonna make the jump for them. You can say all the things you wanna. I can’t give you a future of no uncertainty because none of us have that. So it’s gonna be uncertain, but learn to embrace that uncertainty. That doesn’t make it wrong. Just have the stomach for it and just understand it’s perfectly natural, perfectly normal. You’re not different. You haven’t been dealt a bad hand. Every business goes through some of this stuff and that’s part of the ride. Learn to embrace it and enjoy it.

Megan Porta: That is gold right there. I love that. Because it is hard being an entrepreneur. A lot of our lives are uncertain, especially when a pandemic rolls around and blindsides us. You know that better than anyone, right? With Snap Fitness and in-person fitness center, I’m sure that wildly impacted your business.

Peter Taunton: It did. At one point, we had thousands of our clubs closed around the world. We’re in 28 countries, thousands. At one point in time, every door was locked and you didn’t have a choice. You couldn’t unlock your door and say, look, I’m just gonna unlock my door and I’m just gonna free wheel it here. It was not, it was government mandated. So you had no choice. When your doors aren’t open, you can’t charge your customers. You can’t charge your customers. Now you have no revenue. If I don’t have any revenue, if my franchisees don’t have any revenue coming in, I can’t hardly charge them the royalty that we deserve. So it just trickled right down the line. They didn’t charge their customers. We didn’t charge royalties. So everybody sat in this holding pattern and it literally cost us north of 10, 15 million. It was legitimate cash going out the door with no chance of recovery, just to keep the lights on just to keep our corporate staff employed. It was a tough time. Very tough. 

Megan Porta: How did you deal with that mentally that had to be draining or worrisome? I don’t know. Did you take it in stride?

Peter Taunton: It was worrisome. It was very worrisome, very concerning, but fortunately for us, we had bankers, our bankers participated in that uncertainty and challenging times. What we were feeling was being felt across the entire country. Every business owner that was serving the public was experiencing the same thing we were. So all of us were in it together. If there’s any silver lining in those, at that time, it was that we were all in it together. We knew that there had to be a solution. We were not gonna find our way out of it without some financial help from the government and our bankers. Fortunately, everyone stepped up. Had they not, we stepped up, the banker stepped up, the government stepped up and had they not done that, it would’ve decimated this country, like you can’t imagine. It was a really tough time. 

Megan Porta: How is Snap Fitness doing now? Have you guys recovered? Are you back in full force? 

Peter Taunton: Yep. We’re back. All of our stores are open. Business is good. We’re selling franchises, opening stores. But it’ll take a while to get back to where we were pre COVID. 

Megan Porta: So I was in Puerto Rico. I met you in Puerto Rico actually. You had mentioned it there. And Dan and I were like, what is the Nautical Bowls thing, because you mentioned it was in the Twin Cities. We looked it up. We’ve been going every week since it is so delicious. So tell us a little bit about Nautical Bowls. 

Peter Taunton: Yeah. You know what, I got involved with that company a couple of years ago now, just meeting the two founders. To make it a long story short, I’m equal partners with the two founders. Created a franchise concept around this concept, made a few changes to it and then rolled it out. What I loved about it is the relevance of the product. This is good for all of your listeners and followers. If you’re gonna get into business, if you’re gonna try to build a business out of your blog, your food blogs, okay. If that’s the path you want to head down, you have to almost think of it like I did. I said, okay, if I’m gonna be in the acai bowl space, how do I thin myself from the herd? Because it’s so important that you can separate yourself from everyone else that’s doing what you do. So for me, it was what is my bowl? My bowl, it’s gonna be plant based. It’s gonna be dairy free. It’s gonna be gluten free. By the way, it’s organic and has no refined sugar. So for me, I had no desire. I’m not serving sugar bombs. I’m not dessert. I don’t compete with Ben and Jerry’s. I serve acai bowls, which is a meal replacement. Okay. My bowls are full of superfoods. The relevance of it is right what I mentioned. Just plant based, dairy free, gluten free. Just those three. Anybody who’s leaning down a path of making healthier eating choices, those are the first three things they move to. Now the fact that I’m organic and no refined sugar, is just the cherry on top to what is already the right product. So I knew I had the right product. I knew the product had to taste great. So it tastes great. It looks great. The flavor, the texture. So I knew that’s my go to market. That’s my strategy. I’m not gonna serve smoothies. Many of our competitors serve acai bowls, smoothies, avocado toast, and salads. That’s not us. All we do is acai bowls and we do it better than anyone else. The fact that we’re so streamlined allows us to go into a 750 to 1200 square foot space. I just take a small little space and just serve the best bowl on the planet. It’s healthy, it’s super food. I always tell people, Hey, look, it’s not what you take in the front door. It’s what you take out the back door. Because people say how much money you’re making? Who cares how much money you’re making. If I make a hundred grand a month and my operating expenses are 95,000 a month, I’ve got one foot on a banana peel. Do you know what I mean? Anything goes sideways there, I’m upside down. So I tell people all the time and I don’t care if I’m talking about health clubs, my core business growing up and for the last 30 years, I don’t care if it’s acai bowls or gyms, right? The reality of it is, I don’t care what you take in the front door. It’s what you take out the back door. Our businesses, they’re very profitable. They’re very simple. They’re very relevant. Let’s face it. In less than a year, I’ve awarded over a hundred territories and by Christmas, I should have 40 to 45 stores open and I should have awarded probably 150 or so territories by Christmas. Wow. Yeah. So we’re well on our way. It’s no surprise to me. This is exactly what we set out to do. Next year I hope to open 80 new stores. So by the end of 2023, I should have 120 stores open and I should have roughly 250 licenses sold, is my goal. 

Megan Porta: How do you discern what is going to be a success and what is not after so many years of being in business? I’m sure you have little things that tell you yes or no. 

Peter Taunton: Yeah. It’s relevant. It’s product relevance. I always make sure that it’s not a little pet project of mine. Okay. I see this, honestly I’ve had the privilege of meeting so many amazing people over the years since I’ve been consulting. Look, I admire people’s passion for what they do. No one likes to hear their baby’s ugly but that’s my job. My job is to say, Hey, look, I love what you’re doing here, but this is your baby. You are the business. Okay. There’s no scale to it. If I pull you out of this business, there’s no scale to it. So, you are the business. That doesn’t make the business wrong, but it’s gonna be very difficult unless we make some dramatic changes to this business to make it scalable without you being the glue to this business.

So for me, I look at, is the product relevant? Yes it is. Is it scalable? Meaning, can I put one here and one in California and one in Texas and can I keep the consistency of the product the same? Do I have distribution? So these are all things that I think about, if I’m gonna get into franchising. That’s what I’ll do. I’ll look at businesses all the time and I’ll say, look, this is a business. We can franchise it, but we’re gonna need to make some changes to it. Most of the time people listen to it.

Megan Porta: Yeah. Does that carry over, do you feel like with an online business? Like food blogging where we aren’t necessarily franchised, but I feel like a lot of us are our businesses, really. We are our brands. So is that different? 

Peter Taunton: If I was gonna be a food blogger, going into a space where there’s a lot of it. Okay. There’s millions of you out there. If it were me, I would try to say here’s what I like. I would put my profile out there saying this is who Peter Taunton is. These are the things that I like. And these are the things that I look for. So then, what am I doing? I’m trying to get people to relate to me saying, look, you know what? I like the same things Peter likes. Okay. So for instance, some people love very rich French cuisine. Okay. That might be their sweet spot. Other people like Midwestern comfort food. More relaxed atmosphere, bigger portions. Good value, great flavor, good value, good atmosphere. Laid back atmosphere. I can roll in there with a t-shirt and faded jeans and be perfectly comfortable. Okay. So I would create this profile of who I am and what I look for. Then once I’ve created that profile, then I would go into the open marketplace and say, look, I’m not just another foodie. I’m not for everyone. This is what I look for. This is what I love. This is what I’m gonna bring to you. I’m gonna bring you greatness within the wheelhouse of what I love and that’s what you love. So that’s what I would look for. That’s what I would look for is, I would create my own chapter of people, my own followers. That’s gonna be great because if you do that, if you can create that fraternity of people who love what you love, now you’ve got really dedicated, committed followers because they love exactly what you’re doing. They love what you’re about. And they know everything that you’re gonna show them is rich in value. Okay. 

Megan Porta: That’s what we call it. Niching down. That’s become more evident than ever that we need to do this because when you don’t niche down, you are talking to everybody. When you’re talking to everybody, you’re talking to nobody.

Peter Taunton: That’s exactly right. You’re exactly right, Megan. That’s exactly right. When you try to be everything to everyone, I don’t care if it’s blogging or business, if you’re trying to be everything to everyone, that’s a no win situation.

Megan Porta: Yeah, I totally agree. Okay. I wanna ask you about streamlining because I know that systems and processes are huge for you. You really believe in streamlining in order to be more efficient and successful. So I would love to hear more about that. 

Peter Taunton: You know what? I think having systems and processes and streamline, whatever it is objectively, whatever you’re trying to accomplish. Whatever that is, you need to look at what are the material things that I need to do to move the ball. What are those things that are going to be critical? You have to identify what those things are and then create a plan of action. A course of action. For me, when I’m starting a business or starting a franchise, whatever it might be, I know what the big movers are. And those are the places I go first because I don’t have to worry about the granular detail of things until I accomplish the big movers. Okay. So I look at the big movers and if I can check those boxes, then I take it down to the next level, distribution. How the flow of inventory, quality control, some of these things. Then the training of the staff. How much cash is gonna be required to actually execute or launch this business. So all of these things become part of the equation. Each one of those are layers. I look at it in layers because if I try to look at it all at once, it almost becomes blurry. So you gotta dissect it a little bit. Look at each one and make sure that you can check the box without stretching what’s possible and what isn’t. You know what? You can’t build a business on hail Mary’s. So many times I see people, they create this business model and they don’t take into consideration enough things that if anything goes sideways, they feel like they’re completely blindsided. Why? Because they failed to plan for it. They failed to forecast any of that resistance that comes with starting a business. That’s the problem. 

Megan Porta: That was so well said. I love how you said that if you try to look at it as a whole, that it becomes blurry. You’ve gotta break things down piece by piece.

Peter Taunton: Break it down. Which means, you know what, you have to be cognizant of what the big picture looks like. Okay. You gotta be able to visualize that. That’s why being an entrepreneur. You gotta be able to visualize the big picture of what exactly it is that you wanna bring to market. How are you gonna execute this business and bring value? Because it takes more than just bringing the business to market. You’ve gotta execute at a high level. If you don’t execute at a high level, people aren’t going to support your business. Because there’s so much competition out there and I don’t care what it is. There’s competition everywhere. Some competition is when some people perform at higher levels than others. Let’s face it. So depending once again, what standard do I wanna go to the market in? You look at Kmart as an example. Kmart’s not Target. Okay. Walmart’s not Target. They would argue. It’s probably Kmart, Walmart, Target. Target would like to think that they’re a higher end version of Walmart. Okay. Walmart would like to argue that. From my perception, as I look at their strategies, Target is slightly above it. Just like Costco and Sam’s club. Okay. Costco has better merchandising, better products. They both do well, don’t get me wrong, but I think it’s two different customers. 

Megan Porta: That’s really interesting to hear that perspective. I don’t often talk about it, we get so immersed in our little niches, food blogging is my world. So I love hearing other business conversations. It’s really interesting for me. 

Peter Taunton: You know what Megan, if food blogging is your business and your business. What are you selling? You’re selling knowledge and insight. That’s what you’re selling. I’m going to your blog. If I wanna learn about whatever it is that you’re pitching, whatever your area of expertise is. In your area of expertise, as I said before, if it’s fine French cuisine, if it’s comfort food, is it dessert? Is it Mexican? Is it Italian? Look, whatever your niche is, if it relates to me, if it’s relatable to what I’m looking for, I’m gonna pop my head in there and I’m gonna look around, see what you’ve got. See what you’re saying. Look for your suggestions. It’s so critical that you’re on point with what you’re writing. Because as soon as I walk into a restaurant and it’s not what you said it is, if you oversold it, then what happened? You’ve lost my trust. Okay. You’ve lost my trust. Therefore, you’ve lost accountability with me. Once you lose that accountability and trust with your clients, they’re not coming back. Okay. Then things start going into the heads of your customer. They start thinking, okay, clearly Megan is just getting paid out the back door from these restaurants, trying to get her to write positive blogs to drive traffic. It just creates this ugly narrative surrounding it. 

Megan Porta: So knowing who you are and being consistent with your message about who you are is what you’re saying.

Peter Taunton: No question. Be true to it. Be true to it. To me, I love it. A good blogger would be, here’s what I’ve always been about. Let’s just say it’s comfort food. I’ve always been about comfort food. I grew up in the Midwest. This is what I love. I love some of these traditional dishes. I love a great burger. I love a good hot dish. I can appreciate that. I love value. I love portion size. I’m a man’s man. I love to eat. I don’t like these dainty little servings, whatever it is that I’m going to. But then, if I can say to my clients, Hey look, okay, everyone. I’m just telling you straight up. I know we’ve liked these other restaurants. But I went to this Mexican restaurant over here. It’s a little bit different than what we’ve normally been talking about, but I went to it and I loved it. Because now I’ve, I’m almost leaning in and saying, look, it’s a secret. I like this. It’s not something that I normally do. But I went there and we had a great time. It was good value. The portions weren’t small and I would do it again. It’s different than what we’ve done, but Hey look, everyone, let’s just be real every now and then we need to run with scissors. So your blogger, your followers that are gonna go, you know what, man, I love that Megan can have some fun with this that she trusts us to share with us. It’s not all rigid. She’s willing to go outside the box a little bit and that’s what we love about her. That can be just as powerful if you’re a blogger, because you wanna be relatable. Okay, so important. 

Megan Porta: Yeah. Without probably ever having looked at my blog, Peter, you just described exactly what I do. So comfort food, portion sizes, great food. I don’t worry about calories. Occasionally I talk about things like my favorite spicy Mexican dish or margarita. That was funny as you were talking, I’m like, huh? You just nailed it. 

Peter Taunton: Oh, I’m glad. That’s great. I’m sure that is what your followers appreciate about you. That you’re not so rigid in your thought process. That as a blogger, you should be evolving too. Okay. It’s equally as important. Otherwise you’re just talking about the same thing, your message becomes stale and complacent. That’s not a way to continue to grow. I think as a blogger and this goes for all of your blogger followers out there, you’ve got to constantly be measuring yourself. If you truly want this to be a business, then you gotta be always trying to level up, always leveling up on who your guests that you’re bringing in, your guest speakers, what’s their range of knowledge and validation. All of those things become part of it because the more value you can bring to your listeners, the more listeners you’re gonna get. Because you’re trustworthy and you’re bringing nuggets of gold to them. 

Megan Porta: Oh, I love that. Thank you for saying that. Yes. Leveling up is a goal. I’m always trying to level up. That’s why you’re here today. So thank you for being here. 

Peter Taunton: You know what, I say this all the time. It’s like a shark. If a shark isn’t moving, it dies. A shark never stops moving. All right. So you have to continually move. You gotta constantly be moving, be thinking about what is my thing. That doesn’t have to be pressure that you’re putting on yourself. That’s just part of the game. Okay. I think a way to get your head around that is saying, look, as a goal, as a person, you should be looking to to level up in, in everything that you do. You should always be looking to learn something every day. That’s just part of living. You hear this all the time with older people. They say, man, I don’t wanna ever retire. I’ll die when I retire. Look, there’s some level of truth to that. It’s not so much that they’re gonna die, but what happens is, they leave what was stimulating them every day, their purpose and now they get up and it feels like everyone else is going to school and they’re staying at home. Some people never fight their way out of that. Some people never say, Hey, look, I’m gonna go do something else now. They just sit there and just kinda wither. It’s not healthy. In today’s day and age, you don’t have to do that. So many people have found great occupations working from home. Even in my companies, some of my companies, we probably have 30 to 40% of our staff back in the office. If I went back to those companies and said, look, effective September one, everybody we’re gonna be back in the office full time, just like old days. I think I’d lose half my staff. No joke. I’d lose half of them. That’s on me because I can tell you straight up, it forced me as a business owner to embrace the culture, the dichotomy of the corporate life, office lifestyle has changed. There’s been a paradigm shift in that, and you no longer are gonna evaluate people on how many hours they put in the office. It’s gonna be more performance based. How much work? What’s the trajectory of the work that they’re able to complete? What’s the quality of the work? What’s the output of the work that they can do? Quite honestly, if you can do 30% more work 25% of the time, who am I to question that? That’s where some of these CEOs and C level employers have needed to make a change. They need to understand, Hey, look, quit looking for people’s butts to be in the seats in order for you to measure how dedicated or committed they are to the job. That’s no longer relevant anymore. It’s purely performance based. People that don’t embrace that, honestly, they’re long in the tooth. It’s time to move them out. 

Megan Porta: Yeah. I love that you are embracing that because I was just talking to some family members over the weekend who were saying that. Their employers were making them go back into the office. They said that like 30% of the people were gone. They just leave. So yeah, you have to roll with that. 

Peter Taunton: Yeah. You gotta roll with it. You gotta adopt it. That’s the new world. I did a bit with that for Forbes on what I think the corporate lifestyle looks like in the future. In fact, with Nautical Bowls, I told them, look, my own goal is to build a 200 plus million dollar company, Nautical Bowls. To build a 200 plus million dollar company and I’m gonna do it without a corporate office. I say, you watch me do it. Because you don’t need the brick and mortar, that’s not the validation people are looking for. Validation from my franchisees, validation is I’m gonna show you. You’re gonna pay me your hard earned money for the concept. I’m gonna build out your store. I’m gonna help you find a location. I’m gonna build out your store. I’m gonna teach you how to make a living in this space and that’s the validation. The validation you’re looking for is does the business make money? Are you profitable? Are you living the American dream? At the end of the day, my validation rests on the shoulders of my franchisees. I’m teaching them how to make a living. I’m teaching them how they can work and live the dream, and be their own boss. That is what they paid for. They paid for me to teach them how to make a great living, selling acai balls one at a time and having fun doing it. 

Megan Porta: Oh my gosh. I love how you think differently. How it’s not just, this is how it’s always been, so I’m going to continue this. You think about new strategies and new ways of thinking around problems. I think that’s so great. 

Peter Taunton: That’s the society that we live in. You know what you’ve gotta be a thinker and you’ve gotta have your ears and eyes open and and you’ve gotta be able to pivot when it’s warranted. COVID exponentially speeded up this whole process of where the workplace is. I tell you what, I don’t think we’re terribly far. I don’t think we’re terribly far from a four day work week either, in this country. I really don’t. I think given the choice, I think many people, given the choice, would rather work four, nine hour days, then that fifth day.

Megan Porta: Absolutely.

Peter Taunton: I think that more and more people are understanding the value of leisure with their family, with their friends. That there can be life without work. It doesn’t have to be, oh, thank God it’s Friday. It just doesn’t have to be this grind anymore. Friday, here we go. Friday. Now I live for the weekend. You know what? We’ve gotten a little bit lost in it and it’s not that everything has to be Shangraila. Okay. Because work is work and accountability and expectation. Look, that’s all part of it. Some people are gonna be overachievers and some are. But all I’m saying is the mindset that you have to be in the office five days a week in order to be productive, in order to make an honest wage and living, that’s the thing in the past, in my opinion.

Megan Porta: I love that too. My husband is cutting back. He works in the corporate world now, but he’s started cutting back because he’s going to come into my business and help me a little bit. So now it’s that same exact thing is going on in our family, where it’s not, oh thank God, it’s Friday. Today’s Monday and we’re gonna take our boys to Valleyfair. We are enjoying every day and I think that’s how it should be for everybody. 

Peter Taunton: You have flexibility. You have flexibility that if you wanna take your son to Valleyfair today, you can. It might mean that you’ve got some commitments and obligations tonight after or tomorrow. But you know what, it’s your choice to manage that within your thing. You’re not shunning off your responsibility for your job or what people are counting on you for. You’re not saying that you’re not gonna do it. All you’re saying is I’ve made blocks throughout the week when I know that I’m gonna get my work done. I’ve got this and that’s perfectly the way that it should be moving forward. 

Megan Porta: That’s exactly how I operate my business. Exactly. 

Peter Taunton: Yeah. You got it. 

Megan Porta: Yeah. I have one more question for you, Peter. I know that you live a physically healthy life and you prioritize your physical fitness and mental health. So do you have any encouragement for us as far as how that can bleed over into business? 

Peter Taunton: Absolutely. I think creating good habits is everything. Yeah, we spoke about this earlier and what it takes to win. Let’s face it. There is no winning without discipline and accountability. Okay. So it starts right there. Discipline, accountability, and then vision is how you see yourself? How do you wanna show up? Okay. So you gotta sit down, in a quiet room with your pen in your hand and say, how do I wanna show up every day as a person? Forget about your business. Just who do I wanna be? Okay. This is how I wanna look. This is how I wanna feel. You just go through these boxes of how you wanna show up every day. So for me, I know I get up every day and I have my morning coffee and I just think about the day. It’s just a moment of peace for me. It’s only 15, 20 minutes for my morning coffee. When I come down from my bedroom, I have my workout clothes on. Okay. I know that after I have my coffee, that I’m gonna go get my workout out of the way. Why? For me, I like to just check that box. I like to get my physical exercise out. It clears my head. Then when I take my shower, I’m ready for the day. All right. So that’s why for me, I don’t start my day, my Workday until 10 o’clock in the morning. Okay. So that gives me plenty of time. Coffee, work out, shower, do any little odd end things that I need to do, but 10 o’clock I’m on. And I’m on for typically from 10, I like to wrap my day up by four o’clock. I like to, but sometimes I’m here till seven o’clock. I don’t freak out. Today is a long day for me, it’s not a big deal. It just comes with it. But then Friday might be really light. But I managed it. So getting into good habits. So for me, what are the things that I understand to be good for me? Working out every day, eating healthy. Okay. Not that I don’t ever have cheat days. I do. But most of the time I eat healthy. When I have those cheats, the pizza, the desserts or whatever it is that I’m having. I appreciate them. I don’t feel any guilt at all for it. Then when I get into my work environment, I’m serious and intentional about everything that I do. If I’m gonna give someone my time, I’m gonna be intentional with them. I’m not gonna be looking at my phone. I’m not gonna be looking at my watch. I’m gonna be in the game with them. Because I know that’s what they’re looking for from me. So I’m very sensitive to how I give my time and that I give them all of me, when I’m giving it my time, if I can. 

Megan Porta: So I do the morning routine as well. I get up and work out. I find that when I don’t, I debate with myself all day long about maybe I’ll work out at four. No. Then four comes and I don’t work out. Maybe I’ll do it at seven. It’s just unnecessary clutter in my head that doesn’t need to be there. So that’s the reason I just like to get it out of the way.

Peter Taunton: Yeah. You know what? We all have these moments. For me, there’s times where I’ll have a client that’s in need and they’ll call and my phone is lighting up. I take the call and I’m on it. My workout grows wings and flies away. That I tell myself if I don’t get it done in the morning, I’m not gonna do it because I’ll do the same thing that you’re doing, Megan. It’ll haunt me. It’ll be like a bird chirping in my ear all day. I’ve learned that’s not good for me either. I just say, Hey, look. You know what, Peter, you work out six to seven days a week. Missing one day. Not gonna make a difference, let it go. I don’t think about it because otherwise I’ll beat myself up over it. You don’t have to, it makes no difference. I know that I’m gonna get right back on the horse tomorrow and get my workout. 

Megan Porta: I need to adopt that because I do beat myself up all day. So I just need to let it go and know that I do it most days and it’s okay to miss a day once in a while.

Peter Taunton: Yeah, exactly. It’s great that you have that level of discipline and accountability that you’re not gonna let yourself off easy. All right. The antithesis of that is, you don’t have any of those things. Instead of working out, five to seven days a week, you work out two to three and you look at yourself like, oh, it’s the same. It’s not the same. So you’re gonna miss a workout here and there. No big deal. Everyone has a different level of accountability, that they hold themselves to. Their own standard. One’s not better than the other but don’t tell me that you’re doing it every day but you do it three days a week. People all the time, they’ll say Peter, they’ll complain about something and I’ll listen to ’em for a while. I know where the truth lies and I tell them look you can’t bitch about the result if you’re not willing to put in the work. Okay. So you just gotta understand that’s true in everything. Don’t complain about the result if you didn’t put the work in. So whether it’s your business. Oh, Peter, I work hard at my business. No, you didn’t work hard at your business. You worked long hours at your business. That doesn’t make it right. Just because you put in the time, doesn’t make it right. You didn’t work smart. You didn’t delegate. You didn’t adapt. Those things are all gonna pay a role in the trajectory of your business, the success of your business. 

Megan Porta: Oh, such great stuff, Peter. Thank you so much. I’m extremely grateful for your time today. Thank you for taking the time for us and for just sharing all of this value with food bloggers. We appreciate you. 

Peter Taunton: Yeah, no. Hey look, my pleasure. Great line of questions. Good luck to all your bloggers out there. Hopefully there’s a couple of nuggets of gold there, in this hour, but I enjoyed it. I’m glad I took the time to come join you today. 

Megan Porta: Absolutely. Okay. Is there anything we can do to support you? I know you have this amazing book.

Peter Taunton: You know what? Go follow me on Instagram. My Instagram is easy. It’s Peter_Taunton and that’s T A U N T O N. That’s my Instagram handle. Just follow me. If you have questions or comments chime in. I love to hear. I look at my stuff every day and chime in. I love to hear from you and see what’s making you tick. 

Megan Porta: All right. Thank you, Peter. 

Peter Taunton: Hey, you got it. I enjoyed it. 

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