Train. Don't Try. - Travis Robertson

Train. Don’t Try.

Too often, we “try to do better” in an area of life. The problem is that trying won’t get us any closer to our goals. Only training will do that.

Let me explain. If you want to run a marathon (26.2 miles), “trying” will not get you there. If you woke up every morning and tried to run 26.2 miles, you’d fail at it every time you tried.

However, if you woke up each morning and trained to run a marathon by following a strict diet, an exercise program, a running schedule, and a recovery schedule, almost anyone will have the ability to successfully complete a marathon. That’s the difference between training and trying.

Unfortunately, most people simply try. Maybe that’s what you’ve done. You wanted to lose weight so you tried to exercise and diet, but it didn’t stick. Perhaps you wanted to quit smoking so you tried and failed. Then there are those of you who have tried to figure out how to create a better marriage with no success. Others have tried to get out of debt but can’t seem to. Still others have tried to start a business.

The answer isn’t to try again. The answer is to train for what you want.

Training requires a plan of action. Training requires commitment to the plan. Training requires a shift in your mindset. Training requires accountability. Training requires expert help.

If you really want what you say you want, train – don’t try.

Question: What area of your life do you most want to change and have you been training or just trying in that area?

(Hat tip: Pete Wilson for the title.)

Leave a Reply 9 comments

Harmen Kampinga Reply

looks like you learned by reading Tim Ferriss’s stories 😉

    Travis Robertson Reply

    Thanks, Harmen! I do enjoy Tim Ferriss’ work but I don’t remember him talking about this. I’d love to read anything he has on it – can you drop a link in a comment?


Luke Stokes Reply

Thanks Travis, great post. I’ve talked to so many people who want to “try” to build an online business. The only problem? They don’t build things online. To me, that’s kind of like wanting to start a restaurant without any experience cooking. Is it possible? Sure… but the great ones who have vision and passion are often the ones who can actually make it happen directly. They spent the time training, experimenting and taking risks to hone their craft.

All of their customers benefit from that effort. 

    Travis Robertson Reply

    Great point! Having experience and having been in the trenches of the business you are trying to create certainly helps. Like you said, it’s possible to do it without that experience but the challenges that go along with that are so much greater. It’s always best to train for something as difficult as starting a business.

    Appreciate the comment!

Deacon Bradley Reply

LOVE this distinction Travis, so true! I was reading Derek Sivers book “Anything You Want” recently and he talks about something similar. Basically, if you wait for the complete dream/goal to come true you’ll never get there. Instead you have to start with little things and continually build and work towards it.

For me it’s starting with a blog and helping the people immediately around me. Someday that could turn into something really big and exciting, but I can’t start there. I’m not ready to run 26.2 miles yet!

    Travis Robertson Reply

    Thanks, Deacon! Great perspective. I love what you said about no being “ready” (yet) to run the 26.2 miles. We need to train not just for the event but for what will happen when we are doing bigger and better things. It’s why Lotto winners end up going broke. They never trained up to that amount of money and, consequently, don’t know how to manage it when it lands in their laps.


Armand Polanski Reply

Hey Travis,

Thank you very much for following me at twitter, I hope we can chat if you have time.

One of the areas that I want to change in my life is being a non-doer. I have read a lot of books about success, leadership and business but even though I know what I need to do, action was not in my vocabulary.

Now, slowly I am beginning to train and start being a doer.

Stay Awesome!

Armand Polanski

    Travis Robertson Reply

    Thank you so much, Armand! It’s huge that you recognize the need to change in that area of your life. It’s the first step. I would love to talk with you more about my programs and how I can help you.

    Please send me an email at travis[at] and we can chat about it further.

Spence Smith Reply

Great post, Travis. I used to be one of those guys. I tried too much, then I started to train… I trained myself all the way to an Ironman:)

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