Mentor Lesson #5: Are you a Donkey or a Thoroughbred? - Fitness Quest 10

Mentor Lesson #5: Are you a Donkey or a Thoroughbred?

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One of the men that I have loved studying from the most over the past couple years is Dave Ramsey. I have read his books. I’ve attended his live events. And I love listening to his EntreLeadership podcast.

If you don’t know who Dave is, he is a best-selling author and speaker specializing in leadership, financial-management, and personal development.

As a matter of fact, I like him so much, I took my entire leadership team to one of his live events in Los Angeles last year to see him. And it was worth every penny.

I have learned a ton from Dave and here are some of my top lessons:

1. Tell your team your purpose 21x. And keep telling them.

2. Slow & steady wins in business.

3. The most successful business owners continue to READ, LEARN, and personally grow. And take time out with your team to attend events, conferences, workshops, and retreats. Those events are extremely valuable for their growth and it opens up great communication.

4. It’s critical your business operates with SOUL. And you can win in business without losing your soul. Remember, it’s the work that matters; it’s not the money.

5. 5 Stages of Life:

1. In your 20’s, you enter a season of Learning.

2. In your 30’s, you enter a season of Editing.

3. In your 40’s, you enter a season of Mastering.

4. In your 50’s, you enter a season of Harvesting.

5. In your 60’s, you enter a season of Guiding.

You can shorten the process; but you can’t skip a step. Now that is some great stuff.

6. You are entitled to NOTHING. You gotta work your tail off for great results and get used to playing outside your comfort zone.

7. If you’re happy, notify your face.

8. Procrastination can be avoided by setting a self-imposed deadline or by recognizing the reality of an actual deadline. Write a deadline down.

9. Don’t let your principles change; but frequently change your processes.

10. Thoroughbreds like hanging out with thoroughbreds. They don’t like hanging out with donkeys.

That last one may be my favorite. Think about it.

Thoroughbreds are fast, beautiful animals. They love to train. They eat the best food. They get equissage. Many receive acupuncture. They are million-dollar animals. And they are treated as such.

Donkeys are jacka@$$&$es.

Which one are you? A donkey or a thoroughbred? Or which one do you want to be?

Exactly. I heard you. THOROUGHBRED!

Like Dave Ramsey, another mentor of mine, pastor Miles McPherson, once asked me a question relating to the same topic about who you surround yourself with:

Pastor Miles asked me, “Todd, who are the 5 people closest to you in your life? Who do you hang out with? Who do you spend time with? Who do you learn from? Who do you socialize with? Who do you work with?”

And he said, “You are probably just like those 5 closest people to you in your life. You are probably like them in thought. Socially and economically. Belief system. The way you think and act and do.”

And he went on to say, “If you want to be a great coach, hang out with great coaches. If you want to be a great athlete, train with great athletes. If you want to be rich, hang out with millionaires. If you want to be spiritually strong, then hang out with spiritually strong people. Because you are just like those people you surround yourself with!!

Now that is some POWERFUL stuff.


Think about who you spend the most time with. Who do you hang out with? Who most influences you on a regular basis? Now write those 5 people down on a piece of paper. Are those 5 people donkeys or are they thoroughbreds?

If you have any donkeys on that list that are pulling you down instead of pushing you up, you need to remove them from your “Top 5” list.

Next, is there anyone within your circle of friends, coaches, or mentors that you need to spend MORE time with? If so, write their name down and put that intention on paper.

Now go make it happen!

My friends, all of these lessons from Dave Ramsey are valuable. But I find the PEOPLE in my life play an absolute critical role in my thought-process and ultimately my actions.

So make sure your life is full of thoroughbreds also and that you leave the donkeys behind.

Much love to you and all the thoroughbreds out there.


P.S. Would you like to run with more THOROUGHBREDS?
Now you can! My most intensive LIVE program I offer is coming up Oct 2-5th in beautiful San Diego, CA. My 3.5 Day Mentorship is full of “thoroughbreds” that are ready to run and sprint outside their comfort zone. Meet me, my extraordinary team, and a host of other passionate, fired-up fitness professionals for the best fitness, business, and personal growth experience of your life. Train at the legendary Fitness Quest 10, be a fly on the wall at one of America’s Top 10 Gyms, hear from over 10 other extraordinary fitness leaders (a.k.a. Thoroughbreds) that I have personally mentored, and let me guide YOU and facilitate over 15 hours of coaching to help you craft your BEST LIFE. Keep running!

For all the information on my 3.5 Day Mentorship Program, click here:


Todd Durkin, MA, CSCS, is an internationally-recognized performance trainer, bodyworker, speaker, author, and owner of award-winning gym Fitness Quest 10 in San Diego, CA (one of the Top 10 Gyms in the U.S.). His outstanding team of 38 professionals deliver extraordinary service in personal training, sports performance training, massage/bodywork, Pilates, yoga, physical therapy and chiropractic. Todd is the Lead Training Advisor for Under Armour, regular contributor to Men’s Health, and author of The IMPACT! Body Plan.

Todd is also the President/CEO of Todd Durkin Enterprises where he conducts motivational keynotes/presentations, educational & leadership workshops, he operates a Mastermind Group for dedicated fitness entrepreneurs, and he presents internationally on health, fitness, peak performance, and success in life.

You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram at @ToddDurkin, his FB Fan page at ToddDurkinFQ10, or sign up for his monthly motivational newsletter at You can get more information on his facility at or

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