Take Charge with Matt Frazier
Nov 18, 2019
Welcome to Take Charge!, a series of interviews with some of our favorite health and wellness thought leaders. Each post features advice on topics like longevity, nutrition, exercise, and physical optimization. You'll also receive guidance on how to follow through with your goals and work through feelings of fear and doubt. Plus, we compiled the best tips in this free ebook - click here to download it.
Today we're featuring Matt Frazier, author, entrepreneur, and vegan ultramarathoner who is best known as the founder of No Meat Athlete. Matt’s books, No Meat Athlete and The No Meat Athlete Cookbook, have sold over 100,000 copies and have been published in five languages around the world. Matt lives with his wife, two children, and rescue dog in the mountains of Asheville, North Carolina.
Whitney and Jason connected with Matt through his annual No Meat Athlete Black Friday bundle sale, which we have been participating in since 2016. Matt's wisdom and long-term experience educating others about health fitness made him the perfect fit for this series. Below he shares valuable perspective on topics like increasing energy through nutrition, how authenticity impacts productivity, the art of letting go, prioritizing fitness, how patience leads to monetization and why travel motivates him to succeed.
Matt's Tips on How To Take Charge Of Your Life:
Everything starts with eating a whole-food, plant-based diet, according to Matt. He says, "I went vegetarian and then vegan for ethical reasons, but I've experienced so many unexpected benefits to my energy levels, sleep, and mood. For me it was the first piece of the puzzle, the gateway that led me down a path of fitness, mindfulness, and purpose."
Being true to yourself and embracing the seasons of your life has been the only "productivity system" that has ever worked for Matt. "First, it requires a practice — sometimes meditation, sometimes morning pages or other journaling, sometimes a hobby like running or playing an instrument — that creates a space for you to get in touch with what you really need and want. And then it takes the discipline or patience to be okay with whatever "season" you discover you're in. When I'm super-motivated, it lasts for a few weeks or months, and those are the times to think big and hustle and all that good stuff. But other times — often for several weeks — all I really want to do is stay home and read, binge on Netflix, and make comfort food, and I embrace that too, and give myself the time to move through it, rather than forcing myself to keep hammering away at something that isn't motivating me."
A few years ago Matt went through a period of severe anxiety that he had never experienced before. "For about six months I could barely function. Mostly what helped me come out of it was just the passage of time, but during the months I was suffering, I found Stoicism and Seneca's "Letters from a Stoic" that introduced me to a whole new way of thinking about life, death, and meaning — one on that ultimately places less importance on the day-to-day happenings and emotions that we experience. Since then I've learned a lot about Buddhism and consciousness, and what has come of it is a sense of detachment and "letting go" that helps me when I'm worried or stressed. Essentially, it comes down to reminding myself of just how small we are, and how unimportant, in the grand scheme of the Universe, everything we're dealing with is."
For Matt, staying in shape comes down to having a reason to be in shape. He says this needs to be "a compelling goal that I'm borderline obsessed with achieving. It could be an ultramarathon, a marathon time-goal, or a new sport... and when I don't have that, I don't exercise; that's all there is to it. But when I don't have that, I'm okay with not exercising hard during those times. I look at "fitness" as separate from health and longevity. For me, fitness comes and goes depending on my motivation and goals, but for health and general wellness I try to avoid long lapses in my habits, and almost always maintain a baseline of eating well, standing instead of sitting, paying attention to sleep quality, and staying active by playing sports with my kids."
Consistency and education have been key to monetization for Matt. "Thanks to our social media culture these days, patience and focus are lacking in a lot of people. So they're a huge advantage if you nurture them in yourself. When I started No Meat Athlete, I put out content every day for months, without any concrete plan to make money from it. Instead, I understood that if people trusted me and cared about what I had to say, I'd eventually find the right way to get value from the platform. (And this is a good reason NOT to quit your day job for as long as you can possibly avoid it.) I got laser-focused on creating as much trust and attention as possible, which meant obsessing over how to create great content and package it well. So in addition to becoming an expert in my topic (vegan fitness), I studied blogging, copywriting, SEO, and marketing; read books; joined courses, went to conferences... everything else took a backseat to this."
- Travel is very important to Matt and his family because of the new experiences that travel provides are his biggest motivator when it comes to the way his businesses are set up. "Since the beginning, I've made sure that I could work from anywhere and I've paid a lot of attention to making sure they can run without my constant attention and time. I wouldn't call myself a minimalist by any stretch, but I buy almost no "toys" or new technology and instead spend whatever I can on travel. More than sightseeing, my family likes spending a few weeks in a spot pretending like we live there, soaking up a different culture and language, and being able to bring that new perspective home with us."
Want more tips to help you take charge of your life?
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