If I neglected one of the 3 pillars required to ensure you're ready, in this case the body I would not have been able to grab hold of that opportunity.
It was sub 10% body fat, I was ready to shoot.
"Give me 2 days to dehydrate and tan and lets do it" I said.
2 days later we did the shoot.
If I were 20% body fat and said "give me 6 weeks to run through my cutting regime" the photographer would've laughed, hung up the phone and called the next guy.
In the fitness industry your body is your resume, there's no off-season - you can't tell the photographer, the contest judge, your clients or anyone for that matter that it's 'off season'.
Off season may as well be called 'I'm letting myself go'.
If you want to seize these opportunities when they arise, you must stay ready.
How To Stay Ready (The 3 Pillars)
When it comes to the 'stay ready so you don't have to get ready' mentality we're talking about three different pillars here.
As per the example above, a musician doesn't just need to make sure that they're hitting their notes consistently, as if they don't have the liquid funds to get on a plane to that once in a lifetime gig then it doesn't matter how good they can play - they'll be replaced by the band who had their finances in order.
Here are the three pillars you must ensure are in order so you're able to tackle any opportunity that comes your way.
Pillar 1- The Body
When we're talking about the body pillar we're talking about both health and physical fitness.
You can be the richest man on earth but if you're in poor health, confined to a hospital bed day in day out you have absoultely no quality of life and you won't be able to seize any opportunities whatsoever. Your health is without a doubt the number 1 pillar when it comes to seizing opportunity.
If you're an athlete, bodybuilder or fitness entrepreneur this also involves staying in great shape year-round. Opportunities don't have an off season.
You may have one, but when opportunity alligns itself with you and you're out of shape and holding too much body fat that opportunity will walk right by you to the next guy who knew he had to stay ready.
Nate Diaz is a great example of an athlete staying ready.
'The Notorious' Conor McGregor was set to face Rafael Dos Anjos for the Lightweight Title at UFC 197.
Less than 2 weeks before the fight Dos Anjos broke his foot during a training camp.
The UFC and Conor McGregor had a number of prospects they contacted to fill the place of Dos Anjos - in the past they all hounded McGregor and the UFC, asking for the fight... now that they opportunity was there for them (which they didn't see coming) none of them were ready. They were out of shape, they were injured, they made excuses.
Nate Diaz was ready. He knew an opportunity like this was going to present itself eventually so he stayed ready.
He wasn't the first prospect, but he was THE first prospect that was ready.
He got the fight.
He made what is estimated to be in excess of one million US dollars for that fight.
"Even on my worst day I train for 2 hours" - Nate Diaz
Pillar 2 - Time
In order to pursue an opportunity you need to have time on your hands.
If you're spending all day every day working for the man with no days off, arriving home every evening borderline asleep then you're not leaving yourself any energy, time or way of encountering, identifying and seizing opportunities.
You must be on the lookout, you must be able to pack up and chase that opportunity as soon as it arises.
"I'd love to take this massive, once in a lifetime opportunity but I can't, I have work next week"
You just missed out.
Become self-sufficient. Rely on no-one but yourself and plan your own day.
Letting others consume your hours, tell you what to do and decide when and where you'll have your lunch break or your free time cripples you when it comes time to take that opportunity.
Pillar 3 - Available Funds
Cash is key.
I'm not saying you need to have $100,000 in your bank account ready to withdraw at any moment, simply ensure you're living below your means and you're free of any debt.
Debt is a noose around your neck. Debt will constantly remind you that you can't do this and you can't do that.
If an amazing investment opportunity, an overseas job, the car of your dreams comes up on the market and you're first in line to get it but all your funds are tied up in that condo you took a massive mortgage out on... well you're fucked.
You've missed it.
You must have access to liquid fund in order to be ready for an opportunity if and when it strikes.