The story really left a long-lasting impression on me.
In fact, I visualize the door from the story in my mind almost every single day.
Let me pass the story onto you — it goes like this:
A criminal was caught committing a crime and brought before a king for sentencing.
The king told him to choose between two punishments:
1. Hanging by rope OR
2. Taking whatever was behind an ominous, mysterious ironclad door
Without hesitation, the criminal chose the rope.
The king, not shocked, mumbled “everybody chooses the rope” while he ordered to have a noose put around the criminal’s neck.
Seeing the king’s reaction, the criminal asked:
"So… out of curiosity, what’s behind the door?”
The king paused then said:
“Freedom — but everybody is so fearful of the unknown that they immediately choose the rope.”
I don’t know about you, but I believe that it’s unreasonable to be completely fearless —
To reach a point in your life where you never, ever feel fear.
Life is too dynamic nowadays.
Situations present themselves in a flash and leave you:
Fearing how your trying will end in failure
Fearing how you’re not good enough
Fearing how your ego or reputation will be bruised
The good news is, like many emotions, I do believe fear has its place…
AS A TOOL.
You just need a strategy to face it so it doesn’t completely overwhelm you.
If it does, you’re paralyzed…
And you’ll most certainly “choose the rope”.
When I’m facing the fear of a limiting belief, big lift, or business risk, here’s how I prevent the overwhelm:
(I call it the triple B strategy!)
I breathe to create space between me and my fear.
Just a sliver of space — a moment of detachment — and, in that space,
I bring awareness to the gift (yes, I said gift) that this fear is presenting to me, such as:
Increased brainpower to focus
Increased motivation to move
Increased opportunity to grow
And then comes the hard part:
I barrel towards the fear.
For you, it could be public speaking, learning a new skill in a group setting, starting a difficult conversation with a coworker, changing careers, ending a relationship —
Whatever it is, remember that fear doesn’t have to confine you…
It can actually be the thing that frees you.
If you value freedom as much as I do, give my strategy a shot and let me know if it helps you out!
Here’s to turning fears into freedom this year,
P.S. The Few United—our ambassador program—grew like crazy in 2021. If you’re committed to bettering yourself this year, check it out and apply! It's free to join and you'll get 15% off FWH gear and early access to all new releases.
Yo fellow Eagle!
I’m back in Philly, fresh off my Nashville trip.
I was there with the team as a sponsor of Vince Del Monte’s 2022 Fitness Business Summit.
It was an amazing event that provided TONS of value to the 450+ fitness professionals in attendance.
While there, I met many FWH community members in-person for the first time
And welcomed many new members into our movement. (Pumped for them!)
It was really a blast…
And then it got even better.
Vince was gracious enough to bring me on stage to speak about the origins of “Few Will Hunt”.
I didn’t do it though…
Well, I did get on stage,
BUT I felt compelled to speak about something more than just our name.
I spoke about our MISSION —
Why we were on it…
And what it meant for society.
Of course, we brought apparel with us to the event, but I was sure to tell the audience —
THE TRUTH IS…
We are so much more than an apparel company.
We’re a movement, specifically a countermovement, with a crystal clear mission.
See, in 2017, Drew and I founded Few Will Hunt because we felt —
We felt alone in a world of shortcuts, hacks, magic pills, success fairies, and entitlement.
Being from a hard-working, gritty Philly family, we subscribed to none of these things —
And, quite frankly, we were sick and tired of watching them
Soften and sap our society of its strength.
So what did we do about it?
We did what we do best:
We got to work.
We set a goal to ensure we, and those like us, would never feel alone again.
We set out to build Few Will Hunt, the world’s largest community of hard workers,
And its members, The Few, would be united in 1 clear mission:
Restore the dignity of hard work
The Few would restore hard work to the rank and respect that it once had in society…
To the rank and respect it deserves!
Not with the hot air of our words…
But with the hard action of our work.
We would set a new standard…
And show others how hard work could change their circumstances, their lives, and, ultimately, our society.
People called Drew and me “crazy” for setting this goal back then
But, here we are today, The Few are 100,000+ deep and stronger than ever…
Us changing society doesn’t seem so crazy now, does it?
To always advancing our mission!
Not only do we have a mission-focused drop this FWH Friday, but we’ve got an INSANE site-wide deal to help you gear up and rep FWH. This is the only time you’ll see a deal like this in 2022. Don’t miss it.
No matter which playground we visit, I get looks from other parents when they hear me say this one specific thing.
It’s something that my uncle said to me many years ago and it’s stuck with me ever since.
It’s the simplest but most effective response to “I can’t” that I’ve ever heard.
Here’s an example of it that happened at the playground last week:
My youngest daughter, Cecilia, showed interest in navigating the monkey bars.
No doubt she’s too young for them, but I always support her when she chooses to challenge herself.
She nervously stepped onto the first bar and I knew what was coming next:
“Daddy, I can’t, I can’t”, she said.
“I don’t know what ‘can’t’ means”, I replied with a confused face.
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw another parent reacting with what I’d describe as disbelief and a dash of disgust.
I know what you’re thinking — my daughter is young and this seems harsh…
But hear me out.
My daughter froze for a moment and fearfully looked at the bars ahead of her.
I could see the tiny wheels turning in her brain…
And then the magic happened.
She stepped on the next bar, and then the next one.
I held her stable as she climbed two more bars — and then safely reached the top.
“See, you can. You just have to try”, I reinforced.
She paused, smiled, and said — “Again!”
I share this story with you because too often in life we limit ourselves with the phrase “I can’t”.
We start holding ourselves back with this phrase at a young age and, if unchecked, we’ll continue to do so for our entire lives.
What “I can’t” really means is “I decide not to try”.
Look, it’s natural — we fear trying because we could end up:
Looking like an amateur
Bruising our ego
And failing outright
But the truth is:
All of these things are required to learn, grow, and achieve.
So the next time that you catch yourself saying “I can’t” —
Feel the fear,
Think about what “can’t” really means,
All achievements, great and small, started simply with the decision to try.
People always ask me:
“Why did you choose the eagle to represent Few Will Hunt?”
When Drew and I made this decision in 2017,
We did not take it lightly.
For ages, the bald eagle has been known for her courage, resilience, and vision.
However, 3 other qualities led us to choose her as the symbol of our community…
I’ve never fully explained them before —
So for the first time ever, here they are!
Yes, the bald eagle is the symbol of American freedom.
In 1782, the eagle was adopted as our national emblem by the Second Continental Congress in Philly (just minutes from FWH HQ).
The eagle is free to soar where she wants, when she wants, to do what she wants…
But our reasoning is deeper than this.
We believe that freedom is our foundation.
It is the raw material of our lives…
And it must be protected.
We are eternally grateful to the women and men devoted to defending it at all costs…
Because, without it, Few Will Hunt would simply not exist.
Our freedom enables us to do the 1 thing that builds our community and advances our mission…
#2 Hard Work
The eagle is equipped with all the sharpest weaponry —
Sharp, binocular vision for spotting opportunities,
Sharp, curved talons for snatching prey, and a
Sharp, pointed beak for tearing flesh.
However, she is not a natural-born killer.
She must work hard to build the skills required to hunt…
And to survive.
See, nearly 50% of young eagles don’t survive their first winter,
So their hard work is literally do or die.
At just 6 months old, she must reject the comfort of her nest
And tenaciously confront the harsh reality of nature life:
There are no free meals. Everything must be earned.
As she hunts, eats, and grows, she uncovers an important revelation…
She is not only working hard to survive, but for a much greater purpose —
Although her hard work helps her rule our airspace as an aerial assassin,
She is not simply a killing machine.
You may not realize it,
But the majority of the eagle’s life is spent serving her young:
Protecting them against the wildest predators
Providing them warmth through the harshest winters
Pushing them to leave the nest to hone their survival skills
This is her greater purpose —
Her life’s mission —
So WHY these 3 qualities?
What do freedom, hard work, and service have to do with FWH?
Drew and I had a vision for an unrivaled community…
Whose members did the hard work, each and every day,
To free themselves from what mentally and physically confines them,
So that they may live purpose-driven lives in service of those they love.
See, these 3 qualities don’t just describe the eagle…
They describe YOU, me, and The Few.
We set the example of hard work —
And our mission to restore its dignity will reset the stage for generations to come.
The FWH Eagle will be front and center for tomorrow’s FWH Friday 010 drops —
As the undeniable symbol of who we are and what we do.
I recently did a podcast with Carolina Panthers tight end, Colin Thompson.
Colin is salt-of-the-earth and the show was awesome…
BUT I did get some unexpected responses to it.
Here’s a video clip — do you notice something in the background?
Well, people in my DMs did and they weren’t shy about calling it out:
“Joey, what’s with the hourglass? Weird decor Lol”
“Is that a giant hourglass behind you dude? Ha”
Why, yes, yes it is.
I’ve got a thing for hourglasses and, when I say thing, I mean obsession.
I’ve been told by like 100 people over the years that it’s really weird, but when I tell them my story about why — they instantly get it.
Let me explain!
I’ve always surrounded myself with hourglasses, like the two-foot-high brass one behind me during Colin’s show.
See, it all started when I was a kid.
I remember “borrowing” the plastic hourglass from my family’s Scattergories board game.
I repeatedly flipped it over on our living room rug and gazed at its trickling white sand.
Back then, I didn’t know why I was so captivated by it, but I can tell you this:
When I flipped that hourglass and watched its falling grains of sand,
I felt AWARE down to the passing millisecond and ALIVE in the moment —
Like I was freezing time and cheating death.
As I grew up, I started using an hourglass for homework, chores, exercise, etc.
Many years later at my first corporate job, I stumbled upon an article about the people of Bhutan, a small Himalayan country with a surprising secret…
I could talk about the people of Bhutan (they’re fascinating) for hours, but here’s the gist:
Bhutanese culture requires them to think about death at least 5 times per day.
Pretty morbid, right? Well…
What if I told you that Bhutan is one of the happiest places on earth?
Yep… it’s true. Figure that out!
Perplexed by this, I began reflecting on my own inevitable end —
When my sand in my hourglass runs out… and I die. No more flip-overs.
It smacked me upside my head — my hourglass obsession finally made sense!
Surrounding myself with them forced me to contemplate the very thing that people most fear and avoid the thought of:
I remember thinking:
“My time here is too short…
I won’t fill it with fear.
I will leave a legacy.
I will do uncommon things.”
Then and there, I vowed to make each and every grain of my sand count.
As I lived and learned, I found that the uncommon things I did were most often:
Uncomfortable, hard, and, at times, downright painful…
But they were the most rewarding, added the most value to those around me, and resulted in the most personal growth.
Fast forward to a few years ago, my learnings exploded onto my notebook when I sketched a new tee for our community:
The Pain Tee
I knew that it wouldn’t be for everybody when I sketched it.
It’s a bold tee with an amazing hand-drawn hourglass that declares:
“Comfort is a slow death. Prefer pain.”
This tee became wildly popular worldwide…
And continues to inspire tens of thousands of people to exit their comfort zones and make their grains of sand count.
These people reject the softening of society, its shortcuts, and its victim mentality.
These people willingly do hard work way outside their comfort zones to create freedom, build legacy, and feel alive.
These people… are known as The Few —
You, me, and 100,000 people across the globe.
Who would have guessed that a little plastic hourglass from my childhood —
Would unite you and me on a mission to change the world?
I certainly didn’t…
But I’m eternally grateful it did.
To making our grains of sand count!
We’ve actually got an unreal deal going on right now — 17% off everything in our best-selling Pain Collection with code PAIN17. Now’s the time to gear up and barrel toward discomfort in 2022.
(Yes, this is the first week I’m doing this, but I might make it a thing if the internet keeps up its nonsense.)
Let’s have a look at this saying:
“Work smarter, not harder.”
AGH, this one really grinds my gears —
It circulates the internet in various forms, like my personal favorite:
“Why work hard when you can work smart?”
Before I go off, let me be honest with you.
There’s actually truth in this saying.
I know, I know — give me a chance to explain!
The foundation of most “work smarter” advice is the Pareto principle (aka the “80/20 rule”) that states:
80% of your results come from 20% of your work
I’ll be clear. This principle is not bulletproof,
But it does hold true in many fields.
So then what’s my beef with this saying?
See, society’s comfort culture (BOOOOO!) got a hold of “working smarter” and did to it what it does best…
Softened it with their go-to “comfort + shortcut + lie” treatment
To them, it works like this:
Replace 80% of your work with leisure (the comfort)
Focus on the remaining 20% of your work (the shortcuts)
Enjoy your cruise to success city in first-class (the lie)
Nothing could be further from the truth…
So I’m going to set the record straight right here:
Working smart requires experience.
Experience requires teachers.
“Life” is not inherently a teacher…
Working hard IN your life and ON your life introduces you to your teachers:
You get it.
The beautiful thing is:
The harder you work, the more hard work teaches you —
And the smarter you get!
It’s your sweat (figurative and literal) that makes you smart.
So instead of “work smarter, not harder”, let’s start saying:
“Work harder, get smarter.”
Alright, enough of what I think —
I want to hear your thoughts!
Drop a comment on today’s post and I’ll reply to you. (Solid comments from The Few already!)
To defending hard work at all costs!
I’ve got to confess something.
There’s one piece of advice that I’m seeing A LOT on social media with the start of this New Year…
And it really irks me.
These Hollywood gurus are spouting:
“Whatever you do, don’t take yourself so seriously in 2022”
“Take life less serious this year”
“How to not take yourself too seriously in 2022”
Ironically, many of them took themselves very seriously for a very long time to get to where they are in life…
But I digress! I’m e-mailing you today to cry this out:
Please don’t take their advice.
Unless you really want to be the same person…
In the same place…
Saying the same things at the start of 2023.
I don’t want that for you, and, deep down, you don’t want it for yourself either.
So I urge you to do the opposite of what they’re saying.
Do something that I used to hear a lot as a kid from my parents and teachers…
It’s an expression that I don’t hear much anymore, sadly:
In other words:
Be dead serious and resolute about what you say you’re going to do in 2022 — and actually do it.
Look, I get it. Taking yourself seriously might not sound like much fun — until you actually do it.
It’s only then that you’ll discover what’s better than levity, amusement, and pleasure:
Purpose, achievement, and freedom
So, trust me on this, and please take yourself seriously this year.
Very seriously, in fact. Most of the time.
Set a big goal for yourself.
Set a challenging deadline for yourself.
Set a tall fence up around your time and energy.
(Make sure it’s a reeeally tall fence… make it an electric fence at that. Protect these things at all costs.)
Then get serious about achieving and get to work!
Remember that your human potential is unlimited, but your time on this Earth is not. The clock is ticking.
Let’s make this year the healthiest, happiest, and most hard-working year of your life.
I’m pumped to be working alongside you for another 365!
Your time is valuable, so I appreciate that you invested it into reading this. As a thank you, use my code JOEY20 for 20% off your next FWH order.
I took my first trip to Vegas on Friday…
And here’s exactly what happened:
“Hold up, Joey!”
I know, I know.
There’s that old adage:
“What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas”
Good thing for you — I’m a rule breaker, so I’m going to tell you about it anyway!
By now, you know the origin story of our FWH community.
It’s the story of an important mission, a humble beginning, and a ton of hard work.
Honestly, there have been more valleys than peaks for us while building FWH —
But this Friday night in Vegas was certainly a peak.
A very special peak at that:
Few Will Hunt was named as a title sponsor at the 13th Annual World MMA Awards.
This Award Show, held in Vegas, is the Oscars of the MMA industry.
And watched by over 14 million people on ESPN, CBS, and NBC.
It is an unmatched celebration of the best fighters and their fighting spirits —and the coaches, media, and personalities in the MMA industry who make it all possible.
BUT I’m not here to tell you about how Rose Namajunas shadowboxed next to our FWH Eagle at the show…
It’s actually bigger than that.
I’m here to tell you HOW it felt to see our FWH Eagle under the bright lights of broadcast television…
And WHY this is so important for us as a community.
Coming from my humble beginnings, the sight itself was a bit surreal, but, more importantly:
It moved me to my core.
Look, I’m an emotional guy, but this was some next level emotion and energy inside of me:
A tingling like electric shocks buzzed through my hands and feet
A tide of gratitude washed over me
A tear rolled down my cheek
To think that our FWH Eagle, which is the very symbol of our hard-working community, was about to be seen by 14+ million people on TV —
Was nothing short of incredible!
But WHY is it so important for us?
IT’S PROOF THAT OUR HARD WORK IS WORKING.
The lifestyle that you and I live each day is making a tangible difference.
It’s advancing our mission of restoring the dignity of hard work —
And impacting society in a very big way.
It put our community and movement under bright lights on its biggest stage ever.
And I can’t wait to see where it takes us next.
As I gazed intently at our FWH Eagle that night, I couldn’t help but see your face and the faces of The Few:
Faces pouring sweat,
Faces grimacing with discomfort,
Faces with their eyes fixed and focused on targets —
100,000 faces of strong women and men facing in the direction of their best selves.
Check out our video recap of the show here:
To our continued commitment to restoring the dignity of hard work!
P.S. While I was in Vegas, I linked up with Paris (one of our very first community members and ambassadors) for a killer training session at UFC Fit Centennial. It’d be dope to meet you, too!
If you’re visiting Philly or you see that I’m going to be in your neck of the woods, hit me up here!
P.P.S. Use Paris’ discount code LETSWORK for 15% off your order with us.
I live in an old, brick house.
And by old, I mean over 100 years old.
It was built in the 1920s when they constructed the Philadelphia Museum of Art (aka the “Rocky Steps”) nearby.
Everybody thought I was crazy when I bought it 10 years ago...
Except for my Dad.
He said this simple thing to me about my decision:
“You’re buying bricks. Do it.”
He was referring to the fact that the brick exterior of the house took time to build and was built to last…
To stand strong for decades —
To withstand fire, high winds, impact, sound,
And anything else the outside world may throw at it.
Fast forward to a cold January morning of this year, I sat sketching new tees for our community.
I stared in silence at the exposed brick wall in my kitchen,
And it hit me like a ton of, well, you know, bricks.
You and I built something special, brick by brick, over the past half-decade:
The Few Will Hunt Movement
Drew and I may have laid its first course of bricks 5 years ago…
But, YOU, as one of The Few, joined us to lay your bricks upon it, too.
Your bricks — made of the
Grind of your hard work,
Crush of your failure,
Pressure of your risk, and
Fire of your pain.
You, me, and The Few — we EARNED our bricks…
And we laid them, one at a time over time, to build OUR house —
The House of The Few —
THE House of Hard Work.
You will find no comfort inside…
But you will find our unmistakable, unrelenting, and unmatched community
Who is built to last and whose impact will stand the test of time.
THIS was the inspiration behind today’s FWH Friday drop:
As I type this to you, they’re almost gone, so, ironically, the tees won’t last long in our stock,
But The Few will last long in our society.
To our brickmaking and bricklaying for decades to come!
Writing this to you fired me up so much that I forgot to mention our deal for today! When you grab a Built To Last tee, you’ll also get a FREE Hardwork University tee while supplies last. No code required. These tees are a fitting pair, don’t ya think?
Hey, I’m going to give you an inside look at our Leadership meetings here at FWH HQ.
Why? You might ask.
One of these meetings led to a huge breakthrough on what it actually means to be one of The Few.
You’ll love it, so I’ll keep it short and jump right in.
Drew, Breanna, Bedros, and I start every Leadership meeting with what’s called the “segue”.
It’s a 5-minute window where we each call out 1 personal win and 1 professional win from the past week.
Typically, I am very prepared for the segue…
But, this one fateful day, I was not. I’m far from perfect —
And I dropped the ball on having a personal win ready to share.
My life happened to be super hectic at the time…
And, truthfully, I was struggling to find a win amongst all of the adversity.
When it was my turn in the segue, I had no choice but to “freestyle” my personal win.
What I shared startled me.
It was raw and genuine.
It leapt out of me like a caged animal that had been ricocheting inside of my chest for months.
“For my personal win, I’m just really grateful to do what I love with who I love —
An entire community of people who are all heart, hands, and hard work.
Every single day. No excuses.”, I said.
You could hear a pin drop on the Zoom.
Then, everybody nodded firmly and slowly in approval.
Next, a serious look of “now let’s hunt!” fell across our faces
…And we got to work.
After the meeting, I realized that we captured the essence of The Few in that moment:
The 3 things that remain when we strip away all of our “earthly” non-essentials,
The 3 things that we use to transform our traumas into our triumphs,
The 3 things that are the true building blocks of The Few:
Heart, hands, and hard work.
We may all use our hands for different types of hard work —
But all of our hearts pump the same sincere love for doing the hard work.
Every morning since that meeting, especially when times are trying, I remind myself of this phrase —
So it was more than fitting that we brought it to life as gear for The Few.
Check them out here.
With all heart and hard-working hands,
I’ve been surrounded by betting my entire life.
My experiences started out innocent —
With fond memories of playing cards at my grandparent’s small kitchen table as a kid.
(I’d rake in loose change winnings playing 500 Rummy!)
As I got older, I met a lot of neighborhood number runners, bookies, and serious poker players.
Then my experiences turned not so innocent —
With a handful of these acquaintances going waaay too deep and getting locked up for multi-million dollar betting rings.
Through all of this, I learned 1 thing:
People rarely, if ever, bet on themselves.
To get ahead, they’d rather bet on a shuffled deck of cards, a random drawing, or an uncontrollable sporting event —
All of which are banking on this mystical force called “luck”.
This is a huge problem — not just for them, but for our society as a whole.
Because when you rely solely on luck to get ahead, you emphasize the things that you can’t control, instead of focusing on the many things that you can control, in life.
This personal emphasis on lack of control snowballs and strengthens the main things eroding our society today:
The victim mentality
Endless shortcut seeking
Lack of personal accountability
When Drew and I released the Luck tees and crops to our community, we aimed not only battle these societal ills, but also to rewrite the narrative on luck.
Our Luck design boldly states what we believe as fact:
“Luck favors hard workers”
In other words, you get “lucky” when you intentionally choose to work hard on the 3 things that you can control in your life:
Your thoughts which determine…
Your choices which define…
Your actions which design your life.
Our Luck design also features an illustrated skeleton hand grasping playing cards for a very important reason…
These icons represent the 2 key things to remember when you bet on yourself:
- Your clock is ticking. You will die. Start betting on yourself right now — at this very moment — or no one else will.
- You’ve got to play the hand you were dealt in life. You are not the victim of your circumstances. With hard work, you will be the victor over them.
The stakes are high — your self-belief, your purpose, and your fulfillment are in the pot.
Go all in and win big!
The next time someone tells you that you’re “lucky” for what you’ve earned, please be sure to tell them that luck had absolutely nothing to do with it — it was your self-belief, focus, hard work, sacrifice… and courage to consistently bet on yourself.