Ep 334: Reinventing Yourself for the Next Big Thing with Former NFL Player Clay Harbor



If you’ve ever found yourself at a pivotal point in your career where you needed to reinvent yourself or shift your identity, then today’s episode is for you!

Our guest today is an incredible individual who has consistently used discipline, routine, and hard work to achieve great things.

Many of our listeners will already be familiar with Clay Harbor from the nine years he spent playing for the NFL, his memorable appearances on The Bachelorette, or his health and fitness brand; which includes an impressive social media presence that boasts more than 240 thousand followers on Instagram alone.

After a series of injuries left Clay unable to continue his football career, he decided to ask himself what else he was passionate about and what he wanted to be known for going forward.

In our conversation, Clay shares what this transitional time was like for him, how he hoped to use his appearance on The Bachelorette as a stepping stone to a larger goal, and how a disciplined routine has been integral to his success in life and business.

We also discuss how Clay and his brother transcended their challenging circumstances, why Clay is passionate about dedicating his life to helping others, and how Brand Builders Group helped Clay further establish his personal brand.

Tune in today for a fascinating conversation with a truly inspirational and humble individual on how to find success and build your brand, one small step at a time!


  • Get to know today’s guest, Clay Harbor.
  • How Clay’s identity was shaped by playing for the NFL for nine years.
  • The habits that have helped Clay succeed, both as an NFL player and in his broader career.
  • How to stay focused on yourself and not compare yourself to others.
  • Why consistent practice and discipline is the key to improvement.
  • How Clay pivoted from being an NFL player to being an entrepreneur.
  • The challenges of going through a transitional phase.
  • How Brand Builders Group helped Clay pivot and shift his brand and identity.
  • The strategies that helped Clay and his brother transcend their circumstances.
  • Simple tips and strategies for how you can change your habits.
  • Shocking statistics on the amount of time Americans spend on social media.
  • How to stay on task with social media and schedule your time accordingly.
  • Clay’s stint on The Bachelorette and how he wanted to use the platform.
  • How The Bachelorette helped Clay gain a following and build his health and fitness brand.
  • How discipline, routine, and hard work changed Clay’s trajectory.


“You have to have habits, you have to have discipline, you have to have a routine.” — @clayharbs82 [0:06:37]

“I want to be known as someone who’s a servant to others, someone that spends his time and energy to help people better themselves.” — @clayharbs82 [0:22:10]

“There’s a time and a place for social media and connecting. But you need to work that into your schedule.” — @clayharbs82 [0:32:50]

About Clay Harbor

Clay Harbor is 9 year NFL Veteran, Missouri State Hall of Famer, and Nationally sought-after speaker. As a Certified Personal Trainer and Strength and Conditioning Coach, he has worked with hundreds of clients to achieve their goals and find fulfillment. 

Widely regarded by leading coaches, Clay has been led by Bill Bellicheck, Andy Reid, and Jim Caldwell, and has played amongst Super Bowl Champions including Tom Brady, Drew Brees and Matthew Stafford. 

As a Commencement Speaker, Clay speaks regularly on his journey from poverty to earning Millions in the NFL and how to rise from undisciplined to unstoppable using his Hall of Fame Habits Methodology. Clay is the Founder of the 30-Day Habit Building Fitness Challenge where he encourages members to refine their overall strength and wellbeing, one day at a time.

Clay’s insights on habits and health have been featured in Forbes, The NFL, and Sports Illustrated, and he has appeared on ESPN, Good Morning America, and The Bachelor. 

With a degree in Hospitality and Marketing and a passion for health and wellness, Clay is a well-respected Brand Ambassador for dozens of top brands including American Airlines, Optimum Nutrition, Blue Diamond, Bud Light, and Atlas Protein.

As a highly recognized Speaker and Habits Expert, Clay empowers underperforming professionals to use routines and self-discipline to optimize their performance to achieve massive results.


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RV (00:07): Hey brand builder, Rory Vaden here. Thank you so much for taking the time to check out this interview as always, it’s our honor to provide it to you for free and wanted to let you know there’s no big sales pitch or anything coming at the end. However, if you are someone who is looking to build and monetize your personal brand, we would love to talk to you and get to know you a little bit and hear about some of your dreams and visions and share with you a little bit about what we’re up to to see if we might be a fit. So if you’re interested in a free strategy call with someone from our team, we would love to hear from you. You can do that at brand builders, group.com/pod call brand builders, group.com/pod call. We hope to talk to you soon. AJV (00:53): Hey everybody. And welcome to another episode on the influential personal brand. This is AJ Vaden here. And I have a friend on the show today with me, clay Harbor. You guys are in for such a treat. I’m about to give you guys a my version of his bio, my version of what you should know about clay, but let me tell you first why you need to stick around for this episode. So if you have ever gone through some sort of what I’m gonna call a change in identity, right? You could call it an identity crisis. I don’t think that’s what clay went through, but it’s a change of identity, right? So this is the show for you to talk about how do you take, you know, a large portion of your life that was leading up to this moment, and then how do you take all of that transition? AJV (01:42): What you’re doing, reinvent yourself, reimagine who you are, and then kind of like re-engage back into the marketplace. That is what clay is doing. That’s what he’s been doing. That’s what so many of us do at some point in our lives, both personally and professionally. So if you have ever found yourself in a pivot point situation of like, this is what I was doing up to this point now, what am I gonna do moving forward? This is an episode that you wanna stick around to also, I would say, if you wanna know how to grow maximum exposure and your online platform, by doing unique things that are out of the ordinary, this is also a show that you wanna stick around and stay tuned for. Cuz we’re gonna talk a little bit about that as well. So now let me introduce you to my friend, clay Harbor. AJV (02:32): Here’s some things that I think are fascinating, that you would wanna know is one at clay as a nine year NFL veteran, like nine years is a long time in NFL and my opinion but you were also a college hall of Famer at Missouri state, right? So pre pre NFL you are a nationally sought off speaker. You are a personal trainer, you’re a coach. You have so many cool things in your resume. But one of the things that I think is really fun and just unique are some of the things that you don’t have in your resume. Like I’m surprised that you don’t have in here that you also, you had a stint on the bachelorette like that’s how that did make it in here. I think that’s really interesting. I think also the things that are in here that really are so awesome about you is that you are so humble. AJV (03:23): Like you are so humble. You do not talk about all these amazing accomplishments. You do not talk about all these awards you’ve been featured in all major sports media. You’ve done brand deals for anything from bud light to American airlines. And those are not things that you ever talk about, right? Those are some of the things that people will hold at the pinnacle of their career and you don’t even mention them. . So I just love that about you. I love getting to know you for those of you are listening clay and I are newer friends. We have a lot of friends in common that we’re so blessed that clay is a part of our brain builders group community. And I’ve gotten a chance to know him and wanted him to be on the show today to talk about what it’s like to go through these unique transitions in life. So clay, welcome to the show. CH (04:12): Wow. One introduction. I appreciate you having me, AJ. And you, I just appreciate the opportunity to talk to your audience here and, you know, have a conversation with you. And I appreciate everything that you and Rory do and have done to help me really figure out exactly what it is I want to do and to structure that. And I think that’s a good lead in to his conversation is, is, is structure because when people ask me, how do I go from, you know, playing in the NFL for being in college, you know, just working towards this goal my whole life and just identifying as NFL player. Okay, your career’s over. I have a couple injuries now, what, you know, for me it’s what do I wanna do now? And that’s a question that I had for a long time, and I didn’t really know exactly where I wanted to go and just figuring out old, old school way of writing down the things that you enjoy doing and going to brand builders. CH (05:07): And the first thing they have is go, what are you an expert in? What do you enjoy doing? You know, what do people come to you for? What kind of advice do people coming for, come to you for? And having all these questions really helped me to figure out where I wanted to go with my brand after the NFL. And for, for that, for me, it had a lot to do with, you know, habits and routines and, and, and things of that nature. So that was big for me. And that’s what I wanted to really chase. AJV (05:34): Mm. I love that. And that didn’t start in the NFL. Like that started way before the NFL for you. Like that’s how you got to the NFL. So one of the things that I would love for people to get to know about you is like, what do you think that it takes to create the extraordinary results that you’ve achieved in and outside of professional athletics, but, you know, super specifically like making it to the NFL is a really small amount of people, right? That’s, that’s extraordinary talent, but more importantly, it’s extraordinary discipline and habits that are gonna both serve anyone really well during their professional sports time, but then also way after. And so I, I think it would be really cool for you to tell people, like, how did you get to the NFL? CH (06:23): It’s funny that you you, you already brought it up in my opinion is is habits to me when I look back at everything I did and, and how I was able to succeed. Cause you go back to college. Obviously I have a natural ability. I start to realize in college early on, but it’s not much different than a lot of the other guys I’ve seen. And people have asked me this, you know, there’s a lot of guys out there that can run and jump and play football. What made you go from the same level that these guys for you to keep improving and to keep moving and improving, to, to get to the point where you’re in this smaller college, Missouri state university, haven’t had a draft pick in 20 years from Missouri state university draft in 20 years before I got drafted there hadn’t been one draft pick and I got drafted in the fourth round, the Philadelphia Eagles. CH (07:08): And that itself was a huge accomplishment for everybody in the, in the area. Wow. How this guy from Missouri state do this? And I’ll tell you, AJ, it’s, you know, it’s, it’s simple but not easy. And that is you have to have habits. You have to have discipline and you have to have a routine for me. The thing that really kept me on track was having a knock out routine from the time I woke up to, I would look at my day and say, how can I fit in all these things I need to fit in? I gotta make sure that I’m eating healthy. I gotta make sure that I get this workout in. I gotta make sure I work on catching the football. I gotta make sure I work in on blocking and that can work in any sort of environment that you’re in and any job you’re in you, you improve, you get 1% better every day. CH (07:53): And then by the end of the year, you’re 37% better than you were at that the beginning of the year. So for me, it was getting 1% better every day, always changing my routine to be as effective as I could. And I just kept getting better as a freshman. I got better as a sophomore, better as a junior. And I got to this point where I was a really good football player in college. And then you get drafted and go to the NFL and you you’re back to the bottom of the total pole again. and it was tough. You have to make the team, you don’t automatically make the team. So you have to reevaluate. You have to get a whole new routine. You’re in this routine for four years in college. Now you have to reset. It’s like, you just got a new job. CH (08:28): And I do the same thing. I go through my routine and I fix it and I make it the best I can you go through these position battles, highly competitive environment, but you just gotta focus on yourself. That’s why I made sure to do. I focused on myself. I focused on my routine and I made sure I was disciplined. I wasn’t the most talented guy, but I was a guy that had put in the most time and could fit the most things in my day because I had that routine. And that’s how I improved and players that were better than me. That only lasted 2, 3, 4, 5 seasons. I was able to last night, I was able to take care of my body and, and be able to put myself in position to where I could take care of my family and, and things I’ve always wanted to do coming from an underprivileged background. It was always in the back of my mind to be able to take care of the people that were, you know, important to me. And that’s what I did. It was all about habits, routine and discipline. AJV (09:18): Wow. You know, you said something that really stuck out to me. I one, I love all of that and I think it’s so true. It’s like talent can only get you so far. Right? It’s like, you’re gonna have all the talent in the world, but if you’re not gonna apply that in a focus direction, it there’s a limit to that. Right. but you said something, you said, I focused on myself. So whether or not you meant this or not, this is what I heard. It’s like, yeah. I wasn’t comparing myself to other people. I was focused on what I was doing, not what other people were doing. So can you talk a little bit more about, you know, both in and out of football, like the power of just like, you know, putting blinders on, right. It’s like stay focused on keeping the main thing, the main thing, and that is not what everyone else is doing. It’s what you’re doing. CH (10:01): Absolutely. The most important person you can compete against is yourself. You’ll look on online. Or for me, I see some of these speakers, these guys, these athletes that I’ve had better careers in. And I see their, you know, they’re getting booked at maybe this gig, this gig. And I go, I have a better story. I’m a better speaker. You can’t focus on that. You gotta focus on yourself. How am I gonna improve myself every day? There’s the same thing in football. I look at these tight ends. These other tight ends, when I’m drafted, I say, I can do everything they can do. Why am I not getting this opportunity? Then I just focus on myself. And then that shows you put the time in and you keep working. You keep repeating things over and over again. You have a good habit. You have good routines, you have discipline. CH (10:40): That’s gonna show. If you keep showing up day in and day out, you start to stack these days. And that’s when you improve. You’re not gonna improve in football. You’re not gonna go from a rookie to a pro bowler. You know, it’s gonna take you a little bit of time. Maybe sometimes, you know, guys will get lucky with a big catch or a big play, or, you know, in the speaking world or the business world, you’ll come up with just one big idea, but that’s not common. You know, what’s common is you’re putting in the hard work day in and day out. You’re improving a little bit every day, a little bit every day. And then you look up six months later. Wow. I’ve I was back there, you know, six months you look back, I was a guy that was barely making the team. CH (11:19): Now I’m a starter. And that’s when you keep going and you keep going. And the next thing you know, like my, my college career, wasn’t playing at all as a freshman, barely got in the field, improve, improve. Wow, I’m on the field. Now, as later, later in my freshman year, I’m playing sophomore year. Next thing you know, I’m an all American. And I look back at, at everything that I did to get here. And that was just a day in and day out. It didn’t happen in one day mm-hmm . I didn’t go from a, from a guy who was getting a little bit of playing time to a starter to a, to a three time, all American in one day to an NFL draft pick. Literally the secret it’s simple, but not easy. Like I said before, the secret is in the day to day, the secret is in the routine and the secret is in consistency. CH (11:59): You gotta consistently show up just like my time as a fitness coach, you know, I’m a certified personal trainer. I’m a certified as strength conditioning coach. You are not gonna see results in a week. When you keep showing up. My mom has lost 50 pounds in the last three months. Wow. Cause I finally got her on a routine in a program. She walks a mile every single day. I explained to her, your diet, your walking, your activity level, everything comes together. Now. She feels so much better. She’s able to walk and play with the grandkids. She’s able to travel with me when I go see my brother and all these things. But she, she took a day, a day, a day, a day. It’s you’re not gonna wake up and it’s not gonna happen. That’s why I try to explain to people is it’s the day to day, every day routine, AJV (12:40): You know, it’s the exact same thing with building a personal brand establishing yourself in the marketplace, building a business. It’s like, none of this happens overnight or in a, a week or a month or in a year for most cases. This is, you know, it’s what they say. It’s like anything worth doing takes time. Yeah. Right. It takes time. And it’s that discipline and consistency of showing up that I think that’s huge. You gotta show up, CH (13:03): Showing up is the number one thing. You go back to me and my fir my personal fitness brand. And when I’m, when I’m doing that, here’s what I tell people. If you, if you can only go to the weight room for an hour, go for that hour. It’s like in, in school, if somebody fails or somebody’s not getting the grades they want, it’s because of the missed assignments. If you get a 0% and then you get a hundred percent, you’re still only at 50%. Okay? So now you go back and you get a 60%. That’s not good. I mean, you still might be failing that day or, you know, you’re barely passing, but that 60%, and then you come back and you have a really good day. You get that a hundred percent. Now you’re an 80, you know, you go from a 50 to an 80 just by getting, just by showing up in the weight room. CH (13:42): When you miss the days, when you have the days where you don’t do it, where you’re not focused, you’re not gonna do any work. Those are the days that sets you back. If you can just sit down and do some work, you keep moving forward. Cuz every day improves. You improves you when you stay still and don’t do anything. That’s when you go back down and when you, when you start to, you know, you start to fail and whatever your business is, whatever your enterprise is, it’s your health, your fitness. If it’s your speaking business, you gotta keep moving forward. And you don’t miss days. That’s if you just show up every day, the discipline have that routine, you show up. That’s when you start to see the improvements, AJV (14:16): Oh man, we get in this podcast right now. That is so good. That is so much truth because it, it is like, it’s like you can apply that to your finances, your health, your marriage, your relationships your, your platform. It’s like, you know, I think about, as you were talking, we have a, a good friend of ours who is recently named one of like the sales influencers of the year on LinkedIn and oh wow. It was a really simple formula. He posted a content video on sales every single week for about 18 months. CH (14:49): Yeah, AJV (14:50): It was. I mean his content, clearly it got better. His skills get better, but it wasn’t like, it was that different. Yeah. It got better, but it wasn’t different. Yeah. It was consistency. He showed, showed up. He gave value and the more he did it, the better he got, but it was, he showed up and he goes, I’m committed every Wednesday. I’m gonna do this video. I’m gonna post it. If it helps one person it’s enough for me. Yeah. And then it was helping 10 and then a hundred and then a thousand and then a hundred thousand. Right. But it was consistency. I think the challenge is how many of us want it right now? Yeah. It’s instant gratification. We don’t wanna wait. We don’t wanna put in the work. It’s like, we want it now. And we want it. All of it right now. CH (15:30): Yeah. You got, you gotta be consistent. You wanna grow following on social media, your platform, it’s consistency. It’s consistently posting and doing things like that. What I always say is people is sometimes it’s better. I know some, the people tell me, well, I don’t know when the right time to do it is when should I start? And I always tell ’em this. I go a great plan. A good plan today is better than a great plan tomorrow. Mm-Hmm if you just get started, you don’t know exactly what to do in the weight room. You know the fitness, you go in the weight room and you get started. You’re gonna figure it out. AJV (16:00): Yeah. CH (16:00): You’re gonna, you’re gonna get some pretty good and you’re gonna keep getting better and that’s gonna exponentially improve you. If you’re trying to work on social media, you don’t know exactly. You don’t have the perfect aesthetic. Hey, start, start right now. Start posting. You’re gonna keep getting better and that’s gonna help you to improve in your business and your speaking business. You know, it’s, for me, it was like, I don’t know if I’m ready to do these, to do these events. Oh, Hey, I’m ready enough. And I’m going to learn and keep getting better. A good plan today is better than a great plan tomorrow. So you start doing it and then you see yourself improving, you see yourself feeling more comfortable, then you’re, then you’re ready to go. Everything’s firing. You can set up your routine, you know what to expect. And that’s another thing that gets you going, you gotta get started and you gotta stay consistent. AJV (16:43): Ah, so good. I love one of our good speaker friends. Eric Chester always tells us and reminds us, he says the difference between a good speech and a great speech is a thousand speeches. Yeah. That right. It’s doing it. Yeah. It’s just doing it right. It’s showing up. It’s being consistent. It’s putting in the work. So, okay. So I wanna talk about, I’m gonna change, you know, change chords just a little bit. And I wanna talk about kind of this, this pivot moment that you went through, not all that long ago when your NFL career ended and now you’ve got post NFL life of all right. Now, what am I gonna do? So can you take us back to that? And because I think a lot of people in our audience are struggling in one of those pivot moments of, you know, they’re in a full-time corporate job and they’re trying to pivot too. AJV (17:34): It’s like, I wanna go out and do my own thing or I wanna start my own business or maybe they have their own business and they’re looking at evolving it or selling it or starting something new, or maybe they’ve sold their business. And they’re like, you know, what does chapter two look like for me? And what do I want to be known for? And, and I can just personally say, like, I went through this in 2018 of when we had our separation from our former company. And yeah, I was known for 15 years. As a sales consultant, I was really good at it and was making a lot of money at it. Yeah. But I looked up one day and I was like, I don’t wanna be known for somebody who helps companies increase their top line and bottom line. Yeah. Like I don’t, I don’t wanna look 15 years from now and go, that was my legacy. AJV (18:19): That’s how people think of when they think of me as they think of me as a sales consultant, I don’t wanna be known for that. And so it was a, an intentional shaping of how do I, how do I even wanna be known in the marketplace? And it’s a, and I think anyone who’s going through a major transitionary time has gotta look themselves and I, and go what what’s next? And who am I? Right. Who am I? I’m not this. Who am I, so can you gotta walk us through, like, what was that journey like? And how did you kind of get to where you are today? CH (18:49): Yeah, no, that’s, that’s a very good question. And that’s, that’s something that I like helping people with. It’s a journey that was difficult. And for me, it’s a journey I’m still going through. I think every day, it’s, you know, it’s something that you, you, you gotta figure out for yourself is, you know, am I happy where I’m at and what I’m doing and, and is this the path that I wanna be on? And I, I’m happy that I’ve finally figured out exactly what I want to do. And I want to thank you, firstly, and Rory for helping me a lot with that with brand builders, but I’ll go back to 2018, you know, NFL, I think I’m still playing. It’s a little different for me because I wasn’t ready to get to end. I’ve played this long career and I wanna keep going. And I get injured during a workout, which I would’ve got signed with a, with a team, the Buffalo bills, I’m on the field. CH (19:33): I’m working out. If I’m healthy in shape, they’re gonna sign me. I’m running a route. I’ve ran a million times. I run the route I plant, I cut. I end up tearing my groin. So now that’s tough. I go to the doctor, I see ’em out for six, six months almost with this groin tear. And you know, I missed the whole season. And now it’s a question thing for me. Do I want to continue working to get back to the NFL or do I want to move on to something else? And for me, icontinue to try to try to go back to the NFL. I got some calls that didn’t really go for me. So then I try to figure out what I want to do next. And going through figuring that out. I’ve, I’ve went through the fitness stuff. I love fitness, but what I really decided is what do I, I want to help people and I can help people with their health and wellness. CH (20:21): And I still do that and I can help people with their story. And I think that I have a story that really could move people. And that’s what made me decide what I wanted to do for other people. It’s gotta be a passion when I’m on stage. And when I’m speaking, I’m speaking to kids, I spoke to a lot of football teams, obviously being in that, in that space and a lot of high schools, colleges, and just speaking to them and telling them how I did what I did, how I got from here to there. And then underprivileged kids coming from an underprivileged family to become, you know, what I’ve become. And my brother who didn’t play in the NFL and he was able to do the same thing and our parents never graduated high school. My brother’s got three master’s degree and he’s working on the doctorate. CH (21:02): You know, he was the assistant director of, of the assistant director of academics for university of Colorado for five years. And now he moved on to start his own high school as a principal. And he just passed his superintendent exam. Now he’s gonna be a superintendent of a big of a big high school. And our parents didn’t graduate. Didn’t graduate high school. So using those steps and me and him uses the same strategies I used. We work on a daily routine. We have positive habits, he’s got three kids, a wife, and he’s still studying to do his doctorate. And the guy works out six days a week. Where do you find the time he’s got a routine that helps him through that? But I think that’s number one thing is finding something you’re passionate about and, and using that field when you’re going through this transitional phase and really sitting down and it’s like, you learn in brand builders, write down what do people, what would people say you’re good at? CH (21:52): What do you enjoy doing? What are the, the main things that people come to you for advice? And when I started, started thinking about that, and I realized that is how I’ve become so successful. How did you do this? How did you shape your body in the certain ways of fitness professional? How did you, you know, make the NFL and gain all that weight? When you had to go from a wide receiver to a tight end, you had to be at a certain weight and I’ll tell ’em, it’s, it’s simple, but not easy. It’s a routine, it’s a discipline. And it’s, it’s, it’s that. And going through that transitional phase, those are the questions I ask myself. And that’s what really helped me to decide where I wanted to go. And obviously, natural, what are you good at naturally? What’s something you enjoy doing. That’s a big question, cuz you don’t wanna go through life. Even if it is very lucrative, you want to be good at what you’re doing and you wanna, for me, I wanted to make an impact in other people’s life. And those were the questions I asked myself and that’s why I went to the direction I did. Mm AJV (22:49): Man. That’s so good. It’s it always makes me think about like how long was I doing something that I didn’t love doing? Yeah. Just because I was making a lot of money. Yeah. and that was my truth. It’s like I was not happy doing what I was doing for a minute before. I actually wasn’t doing that anymore. And I, my story’s really similar to yours. It wasn’t planned or expected. It was really unexpected. But I needed it. I needed a, I needed like, you know what they say? It’s like they needed, I needed an abrupt change in my life for me to do a, a full evaluation. But I hadn’t asked myself, what do I love doing maybe ever. CH (23:29): Yeah. AJV (23:29): Until 2018, it’s like, I started doing something. Got really good at it. Just kept doing it. Yeah. But never in like 15 years that I stopped to say, what do I want to be doing? Yeah. What do I want to be known for? Yeah. and so I’m kind of curious, like for you today, like, do you have an idea of what you want to be known for in this next phase of life? CH (23:52): Yeah, absolutely. I want to be known for someone who’s a servant to others, someone that spends his time and energy to help people better themselves. And you gotta do that by first, you know, bettering yourself and then you help people find that path, that same path that you did to improve yourself. And if that’s for business, if that’s for health, that’s something that I’m really passionate about. And just going from where I grew up going from where I started from to where I finished and my story and my brother’s story and my family’s story and things like that. I wanna see those results for a lot of people, for more people that can get out of this perpetual your perpetually, like your poor or whatever. And I want you could, there’s ways that you can improve yourself and help your whole family’s future. And that’s what me and my brother really took tar. CH (24:47): We would talk as kids. I mean, these aren’t normal conversations kids have. I remember me and my brother sitting up and talking to each other, how we’re going to buy mom a house and we’re gonna help dad get a car and help our family and our grandmas. And we’re having these conversations. And you know, we put these strategies at the time. We didn’t know exactly what the strategies were, but that’s what we were using. We were using that routine. We were using habits and we’re being consistent and that’s what we did. And that’s what I really am passionate about doing, because I did it. Anybody can do it. Maybe you can’t be an NFL player and play nine years in the NFL, but you can be successful at what you want to be in, be at be if you use these strategies, if you use these habits, if you use a routine and you use discipline, AJV (25:30): Man, I, I love this so much. And it’s like, you and your brother you’ve changed your family tree. Yeah. It’s like, that’s, I mean, that’s gonna, that’s a legacy. That’s gonna go for generations. CH (25:43): Like that’s. And that’s what we’ve always talked about. Yeah. Is our family for so long, we’ve been underprivileged, you know, for so long, going back, both sides of our family nobody’s ever went to college, you know, and we both graduated college with good grades. And my brothers, obviously he had better. He was better at the school, the classroom stuff than I was, but it’s, it’s looking back and seeing what we were able to do just gave me so much confidence that I could really help anyone. If you use these strategies and you do these things to get to where we were in their specific career. Me and my brother have reached such a high level, just doing these simple strategies of having, just having a routine, getting up at the same time every morning, you know, making sure you get your workout and focusing on your health and wellness, just having these routines, having these habits, always having a book, we’re reading, always having a project. CH (26:34): We’re working on something to keep bettering ourself. My brother, if he, he always has this allotment of his schedule, he’s always learn working on some project, whether it’s a certification, whether it’s another degree, whether it’s something he’s always bettering himself. And that’s something I took. That’s why I became a certified personal trainer, a certified fitness coach, certified strength conditioning. I just applied to Kelly business school just to have that allotment of something to do to always better yourself, find your routine, find your schedule, keep it going, keep moving forward and keep showing up. And that’s when you look back and a year down the road, tears down, there you go. Wow. That’s where I was. AJV (27:12): Yeah. So why do you think it is that people can’t do that or don’t do that? CH (27:18): Well, it’s, it’s, it’s difficult. I always say it’s simple, but it’s not easy. And that’s a lot of things. Why can’t people stop eating junk food? you know, it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s simple, but it’s not easy. Don’t eat that for me. You gotta come up with certain strategies. Don’t have that in the house. You don’t wanna watch Netflix. And you, you know, when you get home, you can’t, I gotta watch this show, unplug the TV, sign on a Netflix. You make it difficult for yourself to do these things. And these are strategies that happen. It’s not just a single day where it clicks and it’s gonna be easy and you’re just gonna do it. You have to go through it every day. You want to go to the weight rooms like you’re happy. You’re gonna go there every single day. There are some days you are for some days you’re oh, I can’t wait to lift. CH (27:58): But the days that matter the most, the times that matter the most and your habits and your routine is when you don’t want to do something, you show up anyways, you don’t wanna go to the weight room. You end up getting yourself in there. You really wanna watch this and that. You don’t wanna open the book and do this project. You do it anyways. And there’s there’s habit stacking things you can use in certain things that me and my brother use when in college I used to, I used to be a video game guy. I wanted to play Xbox and I look back and go, what am I doing with this time? What, what am I getting out of this? I gotta stop playing, but you’d go home after practice. You’re tired instead of studying, instead of going to get a little extra workout and working on your craft. CH (28:38): So now what I would do is I’d unplug my Xbox. I’d put my controller up high somewhere that unplug my TV. So now when I do get home the next day, man, if I wanna do Xbox, guess what? I’m gonna have to go find my controller, plug in my TV, plug in my Xbox and sign in all over again. So now it’s like, I might as well just do this. And there’s little tricks that we’ve always helped each other do and use and that way. And there’s a lot of those, those things that we’ve done. And that’s what a lot of, lot of everything, the things I speak on is, is how those little tricks can help and, and, and just help you to improve and make you more consistent. But it’s just goes back to showing up every day. AJV (29:19): Yeah. That’s those are so many good little nuggets in there and you know, it’s a, it’s about removing the temptation, right? Yes. CH (29:26): Yes. AJV (29:27): You wanna lose weight? It’s like remove all the bad food from the house. Yes. Donate it. Give it away. Get it out of the house, right? It’s like unplug your TV, right? Yes. Turn your phone off after hours. All the hide, your remote, right? It’s like all those little things of like, you have to learn how to remove temptation, right? Absolutely. That’s temptation CH (29:51): Bundle something. One thing my brother does is something I’ve, I’ve always loved is he, he has a couple shows. He has to watch. Only time he can turn on Netflix is when he is on the Peloton or when he is riding a bike. So you don’t wanna work out. Okay. If I, if I work out, I can watch this 20 minute show this 30 minute show. So then he’ll go work out just so he can watch the show. You know, you bundle things that way and that’s an improvement. You know, maybe it’s a 1% improvement, but those 1% improvements add up and they keep you showing up and they keep you improving. AJV (30:24): Oh my gosh. There’s so much richness in that of, and that could be applied to whatever it is in life. Right? Yeah. It’s, I’m I’m reading a book right now called the ruthless elimination of hurry. And one of the statistics in this book I thought was fascinating and it said that the average American reads roughly 200 words a minute. Right. if that’s true, if that’s true and you were to read one hour every day for an entire year, you would actually be able to read almost 200 books in a year. CH (31:00): Wow. For one hour. AJV (31:02): Yeah. For one hour a day. Wow. at the average rate of reading. Yeah. Words a minute then. So think about that 200 books. Yeah. And like my goal this year was a book a month and I’m on track and I’m like, so proud of myself. Yeah. And then I read this and I’m like, oh man, I have a long way to go. They have a long way to go. And I’m a really fast reader. I bet my average reading speed is twice that. And I’m like, oh, what am I doing with my time then? And so it really forced this internal reflection of how am I choosing to spend my time? Because when I say I don’t have time, that’s not true. I’m giving my time to things unintentionally that are sucking up all my time instead of them on the things that I should. So I thought that was amazing. But then these were the other two statistics that I literally put the book down and was like, you have to come here this like what? And these statistics and these were from two and 19, 2019 statistics. And so they’re probably even far more greater right now. Yeah. and so here was the next one, the next one said the average American and the course of a year spends 700 hours on social media. CH (32:16): Wow. That’s AJV (32:17): Twice what it would be to read one hour a day. So if we don’t have time to better ourselves, look at what you’re doing instead. So it’s twice the amount of time. That’s two hours a day. Yeah. In and off of social media. And I literally put the book down and was like, no effing way. And so I pulled out my phone cause you know how your phone can track your social time. Tell me what its, and it was like this like aha moment of like every like five minutes here, five minutes here, five minutes here. It’s like, CH (32:53): It adds up. AJV (32:54): Then this was the one that I was like unbelievable. The average American each year watches TV for more than 2000 hours. That’s two and a half times the social media. Not in place of, in addition to, CH (33:14): Oh my gosh. AJV (33:15): So think about those things when it’s like, don’t have time to get healthy. Don’t have time to lose weight. Don’t have time to do this. Next thing. Don’t have time to read. It’s like I say these things, right. I have two young kids. I have a two year old and I just turned five year old running into business. I’m like, I don’t have time to go do that. I don’t have time. Like yes you do. Cuz my phone just said, so my phone said, yo girl, this is how much time you spent on social media last week. And then I was counting up like how many hours of Bridger Tim did I watch? You know? And it’s like all these things. And it’s like, yeah, yes you do. It’s like, but we’re not consciously aware of our time is going cuz we don’t have a schedule. We don’t have a routine. We’re reactive. We’re living this default life of just letting everything fill up our time because we don’t have a regimented schedule and routine that we’re proactively trying to get better. Yeah. love that so much. That’s so good. And it is simple that it’s so hard, right? It’s so difficult. It’s so hard. CH (34:10): There’s some crazy statistics like I next next speech I give I’m, I’m gonna put those in there and there’s, there’s a time and a place for social media connecting. But that amount of time you need to work that into your schedule and you know your routine say, Hey, after I finish a project, I will give myself five minutes or 10 minutes to figure out social media. And that’s how you bundle it. And you make yourself, you can make yourself be extra productive with it. If you give yourself an allotment at the end of a project, you have your to-do list. You go down and I’m a big guy of having a to-do list. I know some people say yes, some people say no. Some people say yes on goals. Some people say no on goals. I’m big goals. I’m big to-do lists. That’s what’s helped me throughout my life. CH (34:52): When I’ve been the most productive is goals. To-Do list. And you put, you put your list up. Okay. Here’s are the most important things I have today. Okay. After I finish this, I will give myself five minutes here on social media. I’ll give myself five minutes here and that’s the way it should be. And that’s something I’ve implemented. And I know I’m cuz I, you know, I make, I have a business, a social media business where I, I do influencing, I do brand partnerships. I do consulting with some of these companies. So sometimes I’ll convince myself that what I’m doing is necessary and I need to do this for work. And I find myself just scrolling. I go, okay, what am I doing there? And you’re convincing yourself that you really you’re benefiting from that, but you’re not, you’re not being productive. And when you put it in, you fit it in after the end of checking something off your list at the end, okay. I I’m gonna work on this for an hour then to give myself five minutes. Mm-Hmm , that’s when you really, you really add your productivity and it makes you more productive. Cuz you know, after this you were going to get to that, that little dopamine rush you get from looking at social media. AJV (35:49): Yeah. I mean I have found for me, it’s like I have to set a timer. It’s like, if this is a part of my business, which it is, it’s like, yeah, but this is what I’m gonna allot to it every day. Yeah. Set the timer. Cause otherwise that’s true. It’s like you just start scrolling and you’re like, oh wait, what was I doing? What was I supposed to be doing? CH (36:05): absolutely. AJV (36:06): Somehow I’ve ended up on the revolved shopping website and I’m like, that is not what I’m supposed to be doing right now. Focus back on track. I love that. That’s so good. That’s so wise. That’s so smart and it’s so applicable. No matter what your business is, it’s like, I think it’s a really great task for anyone who is listening to this show right now, just to take a quick inventory of what are you doing every day? Like do you actually have a schedule? Do you actually have a routine for your personal brand, for social media, for podcasting, for learning, for reading, for improving, for creating content, right? It’s like gotta have a schedule. Otherwise it’s like that just the, the at entirety of the urgent, right? There’s always gonna be something that’s urgent. That’s happening that fill, fills up this time that you’ve set aside unless you protect it. AJV (36:51): And I think that’s so applicable universally. It doesn’t matter what you’re doing as a parent, an entrepreneur and athlete doesn’t matter. Okay. All right. I’m gonna switch gears. I have two other quick things that I wanna talk about before our time runs up together. So one of the things that you did that I think is really fascinating that I did not know about you until well, well, after we were friends and chatting is you have this stint in the reality TV world. And you know, I was, and this was like, you know, six or seven months ago. And I was like, oh, I didn’t even know that about clay. And then I was like mine. And then one of our, my friends was like, do you not know how many like followers he has that are like just all these women that were like crazed for him. AJV (37:35): And I was like, I totally missed this part of Clay’s life. I don’t know how I miss this. So here’s what I wanna know. It’s like one, why did you decide to do it? Yeah. Right. How did that help you grow your platform, grow your audience. And then two, what are ways like I think what I think what would be most interesting is to this audience is why, like, why do you think people follow you? Right. Because I think a huge part of this is just exposure. Right? That’s putting stuff in front of a group of people that you’re like, no, I like him. Yeah. Like I wanna see like what he’s all about, but then how do you keep that going way after, you know, in this case a show ends. So walk us through that. Why’d you do it? How did it help your audience? And then how do you keep it going? CH (38:15): Absolutely. So I wish that I would’ve been a part of brand builders while a long time earlier than this, you know, it would’ve really helped me in my journey, but you know, I’m here now and it’s really been great. So after I, when I go on the batch ride, it’s my, I know my football career is winding down and I’m starting to look and see, okay, what is going on afterwards? And as far as the bachelorette, I get contacted by these people. They go through my agent and you’re like, Hey, he’s still on the football team. Like we, this is all in the off season, you know, we’re very, we’ll let you do what you need to do. We just want, really want you to come on this show. And so I’m thinking I’m like, should I really do this or not? And I’m like, maybe there’s, you know, some things can come from it. CH (38:59): And one of my passions was announcing announcing football and being a commentator. And I had known a few ex football players, Jesse Palmer, friend of mine. He went from being the bachelor to being on the ESPN and all these shows, Jordan Rogers, same thing, football players are being announcer. I’m like, Hmm, these guys have really used this platform to jump into their second career. Yeah. And that’s kind of what I was thinking. I go, I’m single, I’m unattached. I’m I’m not opposed to meeting someone and dating and getting married. I, I do want that. I want a wife. I want kids. I want all of that. So I would be open to that. But then also I think that this can be a way for me to move into a second career. I didn’t know much about social media back then. I had a private Instagram. I was on Twitter for a little bit. CH (39:46): And I had a Facebook page that I was connected to. My family didn’t even know people made money off of social media at that point back in 20 17, 20 18. So I go on the show and I actually end up getting hurt on the show. Not, not emotionally, physically , you know, so I ended up, well, physically and emotionally, you know, I had to broke up. It was really heart, you know, warming tear. And but I actually broke my wrist on the show and it was, you know, kind of looking back, it kind of negatively affected my football career. But in hindsight is 2020. How would I know it’s gonna happen? Mm-Hmm how would the professional football player get hurt playing football on the bachelorette against a male model and a beer truck delivery guy. You can’t make this stuff up. So I ended, boy, it makes her good TV. CH (40:32): Yeah, great TV. So I ended up getting injured and whatever, and you know, I still go back to the NFL and that’s after that is when I tore my groin. It was kind of a, a spiral of things that happened. I ended up pull, tearing my groin in my workout. So after that, I’m still trying to figure out what I want to do. And then I go on the the spinoff show called bachelor in paradise for same kind of reasons. I’m open to, I’m open to a relationship hoping that happens. But I think it’s a way at that point, I start realizing this is a way that you can get exposure and build your brand. Maybe I could jump into announcing things like that. And it’s really puts you in front of a big audience, ABC prime time, eight o’clock it’s a great opportunity if you wanna build your brand for the cults kind of. CH (41:14): Yeah. So that’s, so that’s what I did. I didn’t leave there married or engaged, you know, sorry, mom. She always calls me. She wants grandkids, but I’m focused on so many things right now, mom. If you’re watching this it’ll happen soon. I promise . So after that, you know, you get this, this audience. And then for me it was, you know, the people that like you and they follow you, they see your I’m posting a lot about fitness, you know, health and wellness. And you know, now I’m starting to post more inspirational stuff and, and do things like that. And that’s kind of how my journey went with the bachelorette and in gaining this big following. And I thought it was something that might, would disappear in a day. You know, you get these files, but it’s, it’s been pretty consistent and I’m surprised. CH (41:57): And I think you have to keep consistently working on it and it’s not something that’s gonna happen. Keep putting forth good content. And then you work with brands. I’d never worked with brands before. And then, then people like the content you’re putting out. They like how you brand yourself, what you stand for. And they keep working with you. I don’t have the most followers in Bachelor nation or anything like that. But I get a lot of deals with some reputable companies because of my brand health and wellness. You know, I I’m speaking on, on good things than just keeping your image and your brand is so important. These guys like, wait, I got better engagement. I got better, but you don’t have a brand. You don’t have something that you stand for. Yeah. So that’s a very important thing. When it comes to working with these companies and these people, when they want to hire you, it, it really comes back to your brand and brand building. Like I said, I wish I had went through some of these courses before I went on the show, but now I know more and more, you know what these companies are looking for, what these people wanna do when they’re hiring you, how do you sell yourself? That’s all things that I’ve learned from, from you and Rory and it’s, it’s been great. And I’m still learning. AJV (43:02): Yeah, I know. That’s so good. It’s you know, and a thing I love about this is a great reminder to anyone who’s like working to build their audience, build their platform. It’s like, you know, it’s like, you know, there’s, I know there’s so many things out there where you can like buy followers and you know, you can buy accounts now. And it’s like, why? Right. Yeah. What you really want is to be known for what you believe in, right. It’s to have a reputation that compliments all of your values and beliefs and, and I love what you said. It was like, really like this show was a way to get more exposure. Yeah. But you know, it’s like, but what they were getting exposed to is the real you, right? Yeah. It’s like, they’re coming, they’re saying I’m all about health, fitness, wellness, positivity, schedule, routines, mindset. AJV (43:48): And it’s like, although they met you here. Yeah. Right. They’re they’re following and staying with you because they align with you. They like you yeah. They’re, they’re getting value from you. They start to learn from you and trust you, which is why they stay. Yeah. Right. Absolutely. I mean, that’s not any different, like, you know, I follow Leo Messey and Christiana, Aldo, right? Yeah. World famous soccer players and Nashville just got our first soccer team. Right. We just, oh, nice stadium. And so I’m like really going all in on learning all things, soccer outside of my kids’ Peewee soccer. And so it be fascinating. Like, you know, Christiana Ronaldo has got the largest social media following in the world, in the world, almost 600 and 600 million followers across platforms. Yeah. Almost twice the size of the United States. CH (44:41): Oh, AJV (44:42): Wow. Enormous. Right. Wow. But here’s the thing it’s like, people first heard about him because of his amazing skills in his sport. Yeah. But once you go to his profile, he has hardcore health, wellness, fitness. Yeah. He a die hard health, nut nutrition. It’s about his family. I think they have five kids. It’s about a lot and commitment to his wife being a father. Yes. He talks about soccer and modeling and there’s lots of shirtless posts that doesn’t hurt him. I’m sure. Yeah. But it’s a lot about like what you put into your body exercising fitness routine schedule habits, right? It’s like people may have heard about him because of soccer. Right. People may heard, learned about you because of the bachelorette. If they were watching. Yeah. Know, people may have heard about me because of something, but if you can stay true to your brand, if you can stay true to the reputation that you’re building, and if you get clear on what you wanna be known for, then when people find you, it’s easy for them to go. AJV (45:42): Yes. I want more of that. Yes. I like this. Yes. I will follow this. Yes, absolutely. To engage with this. But if that’s not clear, then I don’t know what I’m coming for. Right. Yeah. It’s like, it’s the same. It’s like, if I would’ve come to your profile, you know, back in 2018, when you were on the bachelorette or whenever that was 17. Yeah. And you were just pictures of you and chicks all the time. I would’ve been like pass. Yeah. But if I would’ve come and it’s like, no, I’m looking for health, fitness, wellness, inspiration, motivation habits, routines. It wouldn’t have mattered where I learned about you from, because once I’m there, I’m like, that’s what I want more of. CH (46:20): Yeah. AJV (46:21): And that’s sounds for any of us. So it’s like the question is to everyone listening, it’s what are you doing to increase your exposure? Right. Absolutely. This was a great way of growing and building your platform. But it was in a way that was in line and true to who you were and what you had to be talking about already. CH (46:40): Absolutely. You gotta have that brand and that’s how you get, get an audience and keep an audience, a loyal audience. And, and even after, you know, the show, a lot of people, you know, a lot of the people that go on these shows are audience start to go down and dip and you’ll see people that don’t really have a brand, just keep posting themselves with, you know, friends or family and stuff. And you, you know, you gotta, you gotta give people a reason to follow you. And, and for me, it’s a lot to do with health and wellness. And now I’m really working on some cool things to do with the motivational space, the habits and routine coming out there. And I’m really excited to show people that side of me too. So it’s, it’s, you gotta give some reason, you know, what am I getting out of following this person of, of staying, you know, involved in what this person is doing. And if you give people something, you, you generally give them something that they, they can use, they will follow you. And, and that will, will help both of you. AJV (47:33): Yeah. You gotta give them some value, right? Like CH (47:35): Gotta give value. Absolutely. AJV (47:37): Like give value, build trust. Yes. Again, simple. Not easy. Yes. Alright. Last question, clay. And then I’m gonna let you go. What do you wish people knew about you that they don’t know right now? CH (47:49): That’s a good question, AJ. And you know, there’s, there’s quite a few things. I, I mean, I don’t wanna tell people that my, you know, my first love was, was trying to be a singer and I, my mom had to tell me, clay, you have a terrible voice and you’re never gonna do that. But that’s something funny, mom. AJV (48:07): Thanks. CH (48:07): But something that I, you know, I do we’ve talked about a little bit on the show is just where I’ve come from. I haven’t spoke out much about my, my history, my background, where I come from, you know, people see me and, you know, living a good life and taking trips and, you know, and living in a nice home or nice car, whatever. But I really want people to know that this is not something that I was given for me. It was all about discipline routine and hard work. And, you know, I was, I lived in a trailer with 12 people growing up. I didn’t have my own bed until I went to college, shared to bed with my mom and my brother. You know, this is where I came from. And this is what people can do. If you just have the habits that discipline routine you can grow and you can change your life. Even your family’s life, your, your family’s trajectory this way. Me and my brother, both it wasn’t just because I hit a home run and could play NFL football. You know, some people might say, oh, you got luck. You could play NFL football. Look at my brother. He didn’t play NFL football. And he’s doing the same thing AJV (49:05): He’s CH (49:05): Working. Yes. He, he’s working a great job. Him and his wife are, are doing very well financially. They have amazing kids. They keep bettering themselves. They keep this routine. They always have a project. It’s, it’s something that, that anybody can do. And that’s something I want people to know that I wasn’t given to me. I had to work for it. And that’s why I’m so passionate about getting my message out there, AJV (49:28): Man, clay, I hope this becomes a pivotal part of your story. I hope that one day for every kid, every young person, every adult who looks out there and says, woe is me. Yeah. Look at my situation. I can’t do anything about it. That would be able to then look at you and go, but yes you can. Yeah. But it’s hard work. It’s hard work. It’s discipline and it’s habits and it routine. It’s like, yeah. I love that you changed, you know, the trajectory of your family tree, you and your brother. It’s like, I would really love to meet your parents one day. Yeah. How proud of you guys, they must be. And man, I just, I love your story. I love your heart. I love what you doing. So honored to get, to know you and get to be a part of your story and your journey. Thank you so much for being on the show today. If people wanna follow you online, where should they go? CH (50:19): You can follow me on my Instagram clay HARs 82, or you could just message me on my website, clay Harbor, online.com. And if you want to just talk to me about possible speaking, gig consulting health and wellness training. My website, it’s all there. Clay Harbor, online.com. Social media, clay. Harbor’s 82 on Instagram. And yeah, I appreciate you having me on AJ. And I look forward to seeing you and Rory at, at the next brand builders event. AJV (50:49): Yes, likewise. And y’all, it’s like if you’re looking for a great podcast, host, go to clay Harbor online.com request him as a guest. If you’re looking for a speaker at your upcoming event, go to clay Harbor, online.com, check him out. You will not be disappointed. I promise I’ll put all these links in the show notes and we’ll catch you guys next time on the influential personal brand. See you later.

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25 of the World's Most Recognizable Influencers Share Their Tips on How to Build and Monetize a Personal Brand

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