Best Lessons of 2019: The Alter Ego Effect

A portrait of business expert and writer Todd Herman in a blue suit with an urban skyline in the background.

What do you avoid?

What makes you procrastinate?

What scares you?

Those are the things that are probably holding you back in life. As motivated as you might be, it takes a huge amount of energy to pick up the phone and call a potential client. It takes massive will to give a coach her first evaluation or to ask a client to upgrade his membership.

But there’s a real shortcut. And it works.

Todd Herman has a really interesting story: He was selling personal training at a big gym in New York City (and mostly failing). Then Chris Rock told him about “the alter ego effect”: the strategy many top athletes and stars use to get ready for their big game or performance. For example, Beyoncé becomes “Sasha Fierce” when she takes the stage, and even Bo Jackson put on his “alter ego”—Jason from “Friday the 13th”—every time he took the field.

Todd got some fake glasses and transformed into “sales Todd”—and he became the club’s best-selling trainer of all time.

But his real passion was working on the mental game with athletes and entrepreneurs. Todd is my personal mentor, and his help has been invaluable. I actually met him at lunch while in the Dan Martell program but didn’t begin to research his work until I read “The Alter Ego Effect.” I recommended that book to our Tinker Mastermind group months ago.

Here’s the trick: Go get yourself a pair of glasses without a prescription. The next time you’re about to do something you dislike (like calling a lead or closing a sale), put on the glasses and adopt an alter ego. Become “Sales Chris” or whoever your alter ego might be. It takes practice for some, but for others the change is immediate. Seriously, it works!

I spent a day in New York City with Todd in October and changed the entire organizational structure of Two-Brain while I was there. I took my daughter to see him speak at Archangel (where he beat out Seth Godin and everyone else to be voted best presenter). And in January, he’s going to run a workshop for our Tinker Mastermind program. 

Todd’s site:
Here’s Todd on “How to Get out of Your Own Way”:

(Can’t see the video? Click here.)

Todd is the first speaker for our Tinker Mastermind for higher-level entrepreneurs in January. Get more info here!

Other Articles in This Series

Best Lessons of 2019: The Power of Nice
Best Lessons of 2019: The Queen Bee Role
Best Lessons of 2019: Never Split the Difference

Feature image credit: Nick Onken


One more thing!

Did you know gym owners can earn $100,000 a year with no more than 150 clients? We wrote a guide showing you exactly how.