Muscle for life

Opportunity Doesn’t Knock–It Whispers

Opportunity Doesn’t Knock–It Whispers


Success in any endeavor, in any aspect of your life, requires opportunities.

Opportunities to make profitable use of talents. Opportunities to present ideas to the right people. Opportunities to create the right products.

Everyone knows this, but here’s something everyone doesn’t know:

Opportunities are whispers, not foghorns. 

What do I mean?

Every day, everywhere you go, soft lilts of opportunity can be heard. But most people aren’t tuning in correctly. Instead of carefully listening for murmurs, they’re rushing about, waiting for thunderclaps of revelation,  inspiration, and certainty.

Well, that’s not how the world works.

Opportunities are whispers, not foghorns.

How a Whisper Started My Career

My career in the fitness industry has been a bit of a rocket ride.

Just in this last year, I’ve sold over 100,000 books; started this website, which is quickly becoming the most popular fitness blog on the Internet; and launched my own line of workout supplements, which is already profitable.

What’s most interesting about the story, however, is how it started–the opportunity.

A couple years ago, I had a full-time job and wrote Bigger Leaner Stronger in my free time. I self-published the book on Amazon’s Kindle platform at a price of $2.99, not really expecting much to come of it. I didn’t have a website. I didn’t have connections. I didn’t even have a plan beyond “publish the book, and see if anyone cares.”

It sold less than 20 copies in the first month, and got its first positive review. “That’s cool,” I thought, not giving it more attention than that.

It sold about double that the next month, and a couple more reviews, which also earned a nod, but nothing more.

A couple months later, it broke 100 sales in a month, and although the project had only made me a few hundred bucks altogether, that’s when I started to wonder if this could go somewhere. Many years ago I had wanted to make my living writing, but had no idea how to go about it.

I wasn’t about to quit my job though. I was good at it, I enjoyed the work, and I was making good money for my age. It was comfortable, and I could easily just continue along,

But every day, when I took a moment for myself, my mind wandered to the same, fleeting thought:

Could I actually succeed as a fitness author? Could I make a living doing something I was truly passionate about?

I dismissed the musings for the first couple of months. There were plenty of reasons to not go there. It’s a very competitive industry–almost cutthroat. Getting noticed was sure to be hard–almost impossible, maybe. I had bills to pay and debt to handle, so I couldn’t afford a dramatic cut in my income.

I kept telling myself that risking my stable, well-paying job to chase a siren’s call was stupid, but there it was, every day, whispering in my ear.









Couldn’t you be putting your skills to better use?

I had to decide. Was this an actual opportunity or an invitation to disaster?

I decided to pursue the whisper. For an hour or two each night, I worked on revising Bigger Leaner Stronger based on reader feedback, and then started on the next book, Muscle Myths. I also started my first website, which was simply known as “Mike Matthews Fitness.”

I did various things to increase the visibility of Bigger Leaner Stronger such as enrolling it in book giveaways, running some ads on Facebook, and contacting various people in the fitness industry, offering to send them books to review. Sales increased, and I used the money to pay off credit card debt I had accumulated.

Several months later, I recruited a friend to work with me on a part-time basis (Jeremy, for those of you who have emailed with him), and while I worked on the writing (Cardio Sucks was next, followed by The Shredded Chef), he worked on growing the book sales.

Jeremy’s part-time work grew into a full-time position, and by the end of 2012, I was starting to make enough money to consider quitting my job to focus wholly on the fitness game.

It might sound like a no-brainer type of decision, but it wasn’t. It wasn’t making a lot of money yet, and past success wasn’t any guarantee of future results. Who knows, maybe my work would just come and go like many other authors of all genres.

Well, to make a long story short, I took the leap, and now, a year later, book sales are still rising, this website is exploding in popularity, and I have an awesome team of friends working with me, and together we’re doing all kinds of fun stuff.

But remember: It started with a whisper, not a foghorn. It started with an opportunity that seemed like an impossible long shot, not a signed and sealed gift from the Almighty.

Your Opportunities Aren’t Knocking–They’re Whispering, Too

If you’ve had trouble finding opportunities to advance your career, income, or any aspect of your life, really, you might be making the mistake of listening for foghorns, not whispers.

Most opportunities would never announce themselves with trumpets and confetti. They never come with a 110% money-back guarantee. They’re often nothing more than chances to improve on something other people are already doing.

So, listen to the world a little more carefully today. There is never a shortage of opportunities, only a shortage of people that can hear them. 


What’s your take on opportunities? Have anything else you’d like to share? Let me know in the comments below!

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I'm Mike and I'm the creator of Muscle for Life and Legion Athletics, and I believe that EVERYONE can achieve the body of their dreams.

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Leave a Comment!
  • Abu

    You’re a real inspiration for us Mike. Keep up doing such a great job with your books and articles. Looking forward to your next Sean Patrick title also 🙂

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks so much Abu. Haha yes, more to come from my “other me.” Fiction is next actually…

  • Mike

    Timely message Mike. I have found the same to be true. The one thing that will be present is an incredible amount of energy and passion to carry out the work. From there its education, right treatment of others, attitude, creating value, and flat up being able to get things done. Have fun & thanks as always!

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks Mike. It sounds like 2014 is going to be a good year for you! 🙂

  • Aidan Cook

    Totally agree, I too have taken a leap for next year :-). All the best to you for 2014, looking forward to more inspiration.

    • Michael Matthews

      Awesome Aidan, good luck!

  • Adam

    Much truth here. Opportunity feels like your spirit is being gently tugged towards it.

    • Michael Matthews

      I agree!

  • J Tan

    Hey mike, hope you had a happy new year, you truly deserved it! There’s really nothing more inspirational than hearing a personal story and I can’t help but feel 2014 wil be a big year for all of us. I wish you the best of luck on your journey and hope one day I can help you to reach your goals!

    • Michael Matthews

      I did, thanks! 🙂 2014 is going to kick ass, and thanks for your support brother. Definitely stay in touch!

      • J Tan

        Will do!

        • Michael Matthews


  • Dana


  • Lucas

    Man, I’m from Brazil and I truly appreciate your job. Keep it up, man!

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks Lucas! I appreciate the support!

      • Lucas

        I would like to give you a sugestion. For me, your youtube material is great, but too long (about 1 hour or so). And maybe other fans are struggling with it to.

        I have some direct suggestions :

        1 – Shorter videos: instead of a large video talking about different subjects make several with a specific subject in it: one about training, other about nutrition, other about personal development and so on

        2 – Creating a table of contents in your videos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F7XUt-Kv0_Y Then i could go straight to the subject I want

        3 – take your big 1 hour video and edit it to the most important sentences (about 10% of the original length time) and share both versions on web. When I get interested in one theme I would go to full version to full explanation.

        I hope you take this in a constructive way! Best wishes for you!

        • Michael Matthews

          Great tips, thanks Lucas! I’m definitely going to do shorter vids and the ToC is a good idea!

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  • Quentin

    We’re so glad you made the jump Mike! Out of curiosity, what was your full-time job?

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks Quentin! I was creating employee training programs and courses mainly for healthcare professionals. Very random, yes.

  • Guenavere18

    Loved the article! Thanks for the reminder! Karmell

    • Michael Matthews

      Thank you!

  • Francisco Silva

    Great Choice. Thanks Mike!

    • Michael Matthews


  • Sergio

    This article actually moved me, I actually have been going through a lot of transformations in my personal and professional life, which, funny enough, is what brought me to this site in the first place, and sometimes it can be a lot to take on your own. I think that you don’t have to do it alone, if you surround yourself with positive people, much like you did, Mike, you can make it happen.
    I thank you for sharing your experience, it served me greatly. Have a great day!

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks Sergio, I really appreciate it. I totally agree that who you surround yourself with makes a big difference. Do well!

  • Oliver Jones

    Awesome article Mike! I have several of your books and have been seeing great results. Thank you hope your website and book sales continue to grow.

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks Oliver! I really appreciate it! Keep up the good work and keep me posted.

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