Man Up: How to Cut the Bullsh!t and Kick @ss in Business (and in Life)

Man Up: How to Cut the Bullsh!t and Kick @ss in Business (and in Life)

by Bedros Keuilian


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"But I can't . . ."

"There's no way . . ."

"It's impossible . . ."

Enough. Get off your ass and make your "someday" goals a priority—today.

After years of coaching and consulting hundreds of startup rookies as well as seasoned entrepreneurs, executives, and CEOs, Bedros Keuilian realized that most people who want to start a business, grow an existing business, author a book, make more money, or make a bigger impact usually take the long, slow, painful way to get there . . . and more than 80 percent of entrepreneurs never get to their desired destination or achieve their full potential in business. They treat their dream as if it were merely a hobby and dip their toes in the water, but they never commit to diving in—you get the idea.

It's time to cut the bullshit excuses. Everyone has a gift, a purpose. It's your duty to figure out what your gift is and how you're going to share it with the world.

Man Up: How to Cut the Bullshit and Kick Ass in Business (and in Life) is your guide to doing exactly that. Keuilian, founder and CEO of Fit Body Boot Camp and known as the "hidden genius" behind many of the most successful brands and businesses throughout multiple industries, will show you how to break out of the sea of mediocrity, get singularly focused on your purpose, and do what it takes—not only to achieve but dominate your goals.

With Keuilian's no-nonsense approach in both business and personal spheres, you'll be able to define your purpose and have clarity of vision—and a plan—to make the quantum leap. Whether it's creating and growing a company, leaving a legacy, making a difference, or launching a new brand, you will discover how to use your passion, purpose, and sheer grit to overcome any adversity that attempts to derail your progress.

If there's an area of your life in which you need to man up, this book will get you there.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781946885036
Publisher: BenBella Books, Inc.
Publication date: 09/18/2018
Pages: 192
Sales rank: 133,088
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Bedros Keuilian is a serial entrepreneur with multi-million dollar generating businesses in franchising, software, digital marketing, and business consulting. He's known as the hidden genius that the entrepreneurs and business experts turn to when they want to quickly scale their business, boost sales and and increase profits.

Bedros is best known for his ability to help his clients quickly establish expert and authority positioning and become the predominant brand in their field. His sales, marketing, business systems are the secret weapon used by thousands of successful businesses, bestselling authors, and entrepreneurs who want to grow their businesses to it's fullest potential without the stress, frustration, or uncertainty that most entrepreneurs experience.

Read an Excerpt


Wisdom from an Unemployable Dropout

There was a time when I was not qualified to write this book. After all, I'm a foreigner from a Communist country. (Fun fact: My father was actually a member of the real Communist Party.) I was born in Armenia, a tiny country on what used to be the southernmost part of the Soviet Union. I could have very well been assigned a job working as a grocery store clerk, cab driver, or a car mechanic somewhere in Armenia had we not escaped the Communist Soviet Union in June of 1980.

My father bribed a Soviet government official with 25,000 rubles, which had taken him more than five years to save up, and my family (consisting of my father, Krikor, forty-six; mother, Suzy, forty-two; sister, Julie, twenty-two; brother, Sarkis, twenty; and me, the six-year-old baby of the family) escaped to Italy. Once there we went to the American consulate, declared ourselves as anticommunist political refugees, and asked for permission to come to the United States.

Permission was granted, and our lives would never be the same. My dad had $184 and we, a family of five, could only bring two suitcases. We arrived in America on June 15, 1980, landing at JFK Airport in New York. I remember thinking the whole airport was a city! It was a bigger and crazier swarm of people than I'd ever seen in the villages back home. We had nowhere to stay, so we spent the night in the airport. My dad hadn't slept for days, but he stayed up that night to watch over all of us and our things.

The next day we flew to California, landing at LAX. My dad had a friend of a friend in Southern California. He agreed to pick us up and drove us to the nearby city of Cypress. My family sat in the back of his van, and I looked out the window and all I could see were lights and cars and wide roads. We were all dumbfounded and in awe — and that was seeing it in the dark! It was a forty-five-minute drive, and even in that short a time, we knew it was a big country. Certainly bigger than where we had come from.

We were given a spare bedroom in this man's apartment. All five of us lived in that one room for a month, like we'd come through Ellis Island in the 1900s and moved into a tenement. The morning after we arrived, this "uncle" lined up a paper delivery route for my dad that paid him ten dollars a night. At 2 a.m., my dad would leave us, get in the same van, and start throwing papers onto front steps. By day three, he got a second job as an attendant at a gas station. By the end of the week, he got a third job as a dishwasher at a pizzeria. The following week, my brother got a job at the same gas station where my dad worked. In one of the scariest moments during that early difficult time, my brother was robbed at gunpoint. He came home in shock. A couple weeks later, someone else tried to rob my brother at gunpoint again. My brother, for some reason I'll never understand, tried to grab the gun. The guy shot a few rounds that barely missed my brother, a near-death experience that would stay with him his whole life. Welcome to America.

My sister, who was now washing dishes at the pizzeria where my dad worked, came home upset one night. She told my dad about how the restaurant owner would take a sip out of her cup, just to make sure she was drinking water and not Sprite, because he wanted to make sure she wasn't stealing. Needless to say, she was grossed out that this guy sipped out of her cup every damn day. She was being paid less than minimum wage under the table. She couldn't say a thing to him. We needed the money, so she had no other choice. I remember when I overheard that my sister was unhappy with her job, I promised myself that one day I'd make so much money that she'd never have to work for someone like that again. Today she works for me, from home, on her laptop doing customer support.

I was only six years old, but I can remember that times were tough: We were broke, didn't speak the language, didn't understand the culture, and didn't know how we were going to make it. My brother and sister would come home crying every single day because they didn't belong, missed their friends, and wanted to go back to Armenia. We were yelled at and harassed on a regular basis, called every bad name in the book, and told, "Go back to your own fucking country, you fucking foreigner." That was how I learned the F-word.

My father wondered if he had made the right decision for his family. He had a sense that things would get better. He knew that we were in a wonderful country that offered us freedom and the opportunity to make something of ourselves — but first we had to overcome being poor and foreign.

Sometimes you can take a look at someone's later success and assume that they had a cushy life or an easy journey. Let me be clear: I've eaten out of dumpsters because at times we had no money for food. I've worn clothes we found in the trash that were more than a generation old and a couple sizes too small. I've had my hair washed with gasoline when my parents couldn't afford lice treatment. Wherever the bottom is, go a few feet deeper, and that's where my family and I started.

I never did well in school. I entered the public school system a few short months after landing in America, starting my school career before learning a lick of English. I remember literally pissing my pants because I didn't know how to let the teacher know that I needed to use the restroom. As if being the weird foreign kid wasn't bad enough, now the kids had another reason to pick on me. Being at school was pure torture. It was hell.

A couple of weeks into the school year, I started taking matters into my own hands: Instead of putting up with the ridicule and confusion, I ran away from the classroom. I'd escape and then bolt back down the street toward the apartment where my family was staying. The school would call my mom, who would start running from the apartment toward the school, and the principal would run after me from the school. I'd end up trapped between the two of them. Finally, my mom would drag me back to school, where I'd sit and imagine how to plot a better escape the next day.

One day, finding myself once again trapped between the worried principal and my upset mom, I found a piece of broken beer bottle on the sidewalk. Picking it up and holding it against my arm, I told my mother, in Armenian, that if either of them took another step toward me I would cut myself. Two adults, in a standoff with a suicidal six-year-old. It ended fine. My mom talked me down and I eventually put the glass down. I suppose this was my way of dealing with the stress of being a new kid from a foreign country and not being able to communicate or relate to the other kids.

My school career wasn't off to a promising start. After the incident with the broken beer bottle, the school found an Armenian translator to sit beside me in class, filling me in on what in the heck everyone was talking about. School became more bearable at that point, though it didn't improve beyond that: I've always had a bad association with anything school-related. Even today, a simple ad for back-to-school supplies gives me a stomachache and a mild sense of anxiety.

Part of that is that school was, for me, a source of instability. We moved around so much in the eighties that I never really had much time in any one school. I went to three elementary schools, two middle schools, and two high schools. My grades were awful, but as so often happens in the education system, the administration and the teachers just didn't want to deal with me, so they kept passing me along to the next grade just to get me out of their hair.

One high school teacher did try to talk sense into me one time. Her name was Mrs. Boyd, my eleventh-grade science teacher. By that point I had all but given up on high school, so rather than paying attention to the lessons in class, I'd sit by the door, look out at the school quad, and try to get the attention of anyone who was within earshot of my voice. Mrs. Boyd wouldn't have it. She'd storm up to me, yell at me to stand up, grab me by my shirt collar, and bang me against the wall with each word that came out of her mouth: You ... need ... to ... go ... into ... the ... military! They're ... the ... only ... ones ... who ... can ... set ... you ... straight! In all her anger I don't think she realized that there was a fire extinguisher hanging on the wall right behind my head. Or maybe she did.

After high school I took her advice and went to the Marine Corps recruiters station in Anaheim, California. They said I had flat feet and couldn't join the military. So a year after high school I went to Fullerton Junior College to see if higher education was any different. I hated every minute of it and dropped out after only thirty-one days. Just like the other schools before it, I felt lost, confused, and out of place. I never even read books back then. If you told me I'd be writing one someday, I'd have laughed at you.


It wasn't just school: As proud as I am of my business successes today, I failed at my first two business ventures. I was never afraid of hard work. In fact, I got my first job at the age of thirteen at a local mom-and-pop grocery store. I emptied boxes of produce from their truck, rotated the produce in the walk-in fridge, and made sure the shelves were stocked with produce, cans, jars, and stuff like that. In high school I got a job at a bagel café.

I used all the money I earned from these jobs to start businesses back then. I guess you can say that I started young. My first attempt was a DJ business. When I was eighteen, I bought two very expensive turntables, a mixer, some speakers, and an amp. I loved hip-hop and dance music, and I figured I could make money as a DJ. Let's just say that business failed: The only event I ever DJ-ed, I did for free.

In that time, I also worked as a personal trainer. It wasn't a business success by any means, but I did train a handful of clients and I really enjoyed it. In the beginning, I had no idea how to make my personal training business successful. I had the right instincts about business, but I had no way to turn those instincts into results. Here's a good example: The year was 1997, and the internet was just coming around at this time. Websites that sold things were popping up left and right. I thought the internet was a great place to make money, so I launched my site It was an online supplement store. I found out where the local supplement stores got their supplements from and I went and bought my own at wholesale cost.

I spent $55,000 I had saved up from my personal training gig and by charging up my credit card. I stored all the supplements in my tiny apartment. I figured the low overhead, the wholesale price, and my hard work would lead to riches. I hustled. I sent two to three hundred emails late into the night, every night, to prospective buyers. Not enough people bought from me to move the product fast enough, so the products expired and I had to throw them out. The $55,000 evaporated. I had maxed out my credit card, and because I used my rent money to continue to pay for the business, I got kicked out of my apartment. I needed to eat, so I ate what was left of the protein powder and protein bars. It sure beat eating out of dumpsters again. But I was constipated and sick all the time from eating all those protein products that I didn't want to toss out.

This was the beginning of my entrepreneurial career: catastrophic failure and constipation. It was a dark time. So after failing at school and failing at business, I found myself working at a big-box gym as a personal trainer just to make ends meet. But as anyone who has worked as a personal trainer in a big-box gym can tell you, the pay isn't great. So I had a side hustle as a bouncer at a gay bar. The gay bar paid more than the straight bars because skinheads would try to come into the bar a couple times a week to gay bash. It was our job as bouncers to make sure that skinheads never made it into the bar. I suppose the extra money was considered hazard pay. But even with the extra pay from the gay bar and the income from personal training, I still wasn't making ends meet. So I took on a third job at Disneyland. I worked as a busboy at Carnation Café, on Main Street, U.S.A.

I think everyone should work as a table busser at one point in their lives. Here's what I did as a busboy at the Carnation Café: cleared tables; washed dishes, glasses, pots, and pans; mopped floors; and deep-cleaned the kitchen every night, after the park closed, till 2 a.m. Every busboy hated the job. We'd return home physically exhausted and smelling of food. Plus, you got zero respect from the rest of the restaurant staff, who looked down on busboys.

But I paid my dues, and before long, I was asked to unpack pallets of foods that were delivered every morning. This was just as exhausting as busing tables, but I got to work normal hours and no longer returned home smelling of ketchup, mustard, and greasy hamburgers at two o'clock in the morning. Then I was asked to become a fry cook, then a dinner cook, and finally after five years, I was trained as a chef and got to wear chef whites and a fancy chef hat. (By the way, fun fact about the folds you see in a chef hat: There are one hundred of them and they signify the hundred ways to prepare an egg.)

I learned a lot from that time at Disneyland — but the best lesson of all was seeing firsthand the difference between a great leader who was respected by the team and one who was mediocre and earned no respect. This was a lesson that would be central to my future success. The lesson of poor leadership came in the form of a sour-faced manager — let's call her Kathy. As one of two shift managers who oversaw all the Main Street restaurants, Kathy had to make sure that the kitchen maintained standards and met a laundry list of rules and regulations set forth by the health department and Disney. Kathy would drop in randomly, usually at the busiest times in the kitchen, to stick thermometers in meats, inspect the ice trays, and look for any aspect of the kitchen that wasn't up to code. Yes, her work was important, but no one particularly liked the intrusion or the way she would disregard the kitchen staff during the busiest of times without ever giving a word of encouragement.

Kathy was one of those managers who didn't give praise, validation, or approval. It appeared that she only cared to point out shortcomings and mistakes we made. Add to that her pessimistic attitude, passive-aggressive way of communicating, and skeptical demeanor, and you've got someone who simply rubbed everyone the wrong way.

One busy day while manning the hot grill, I felt a pencil pressed against the side of my face, just under my left sideburn. It was Kathy. She noticed that my sideburns were a smidge below my earlobe, thus breaking the Disney dress code for facial hair. Kathy insisted that I immediately resolve this issue by making the trek to the employee locker room to find a razor and trim my sideburns up a quarter of an inch.

Never mind that no guests would ever see my sideburns back at the grill in the kitchen. Never mind that it was our busiest hour at the restaurant, with swarms of people in right before a parade was scheduled to go down Main Street. Never mind the fact that that very same parade would trap me on the other side of Main Street, keeping me away from the kitchen for a full forty minutes. The rest of the kitchen staff suffered without my help during that busy hour because Kathy had prioritized the length of my sideburns over the service and efficiency of the kitchen during a critical time. She failed to see the big picture, which was to keep the kitchen efficient and to deliver the Disney magic to the guests. Because of this, morale suffered and she lost the respect of her team.

The whole incident really bothered me. Sure, I was absolutely at fault for violating the Disney grooming standards. I deserved to be written up and even docked pay while I shaved back my sideburns. But all that could have happened after the parade passed and the restaurant went from chaos to manageable.

Kathy's counterpart, the other shift manager — let's call him Doug — was a tall, heavyset man in his late forties with a slight southern accent. Everyone seemed to adore Doug. During those busy times in the restaurant, Doug would come into the kitchen, flip his tie over his shoulder, and say, "What can I help with, boys?" Make no mistake about it, Doug was firm, did his job well, and maintained the restaurant and its staff to high standards. But he was also quick to give you a pat on the back for a job well done.


Excerpted from "Man Up"
by .
Copyright © 2018 Bedros Keuilian.
Excerpted by permission of BenBella Books, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents


Preface: You Have Permission

Introduction: Being a Bad Leader Can Kill You (Literally)

SECTION ONE: Leading Yourself

1) Wisdom from an Unemployable Dropout

2) Getting Your Shit Straight

3) The Nonnegotiables: The Only Secret . . . Is that There’s No Fucking Secret

4) Fix the Leaks

5) The Beginning Is the End: Fix Your Mornings

6) The 5 Percent Rule

7) What Do You Think? I Don’t Know, What Do You Think?

8) Why You Should Never Sleep with the TV On

SECTION TWO: Your Vision and Path

9) Picking a “Just Right” Purpose

10) Besides Your Own, Whose Life Are You Going to Change?

11) Coming Out of a Crisis

12) Vision Isn’t a Dish Served Family Style

13) Getting to an E-Vision

14) Clarity of Path


15) Psssst, You Might Have Crabs!

16) Building an Outside Team

17) Your Inside Team

18) The Glue that Holds It All Together

Conclusion: Never Peak


About the Author

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“The business landscape is always changing and full challenges and risks. In his book Man Up , Bedros Keuilian reveals a powerful secret that drives continues growth, profits and industry leadership. A must read for all entrepreneurs!”

—Lewis Howes, New York Times bestselling author of The School of Greatness

“Bedros is a master at communicating the leadership skills and mindset hacks necessary for massive success in both your business and in life. Man Up delivers the goods in the most brutally honest way possible!”

—Andy Frisella, CEO of 1st Phorm International and Host of The MFCEO Project podcast

“Bedros is an insanely SMART guy. He’s a great husband, dedicated dad and a master at building EMPIRES. It’s hard to be masterful at one of those things . . . but he’s great at all three! My point is if you want to up level your life and business, you’ve got to let your brain absorb the things Bedros talks shared in this book!”

—Shanda Sumpter, founder of HeartCore Business

“From the NFL locker room to the boardroom, effective leadership is the single biggest determining factor for an athlete’s or entrepreneur’s success or failure. Speaking from personal experience, there’s no one more qualified to teach entrepreneurial leadership than Bedros Keuilian.”

—Steve Weatherford, Super Bowl Champion with the New York Giants

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