Rebirth of Reason

War for Men's Minds

Learning Lessons from Beachbody
by Luke Setzer

Objectivism holds life as the ultimate root of value.  A person's state of physical health can serve as a measure for how well he lives.  Likewise, more profound aspects of wellness -- mental, emotional and spiritual health -- also reflect a person's overall state of wellness, though they prove harder to measure.

Objectivism views man as an integrated being of body, mind, emotions and spirit.  Thus, it makes sense that improvement or deterioration in one area will affect the other three.  Medical studies support this holistic viewpoint conclusively.  Improvements in physical health can improve one's overall outlook on life, while degradations in health can degrade his optimism.  Likewise, a more optimistic attitude can have a direct and beneficial impact on physical health.  Books like The Eighth Habit by Stephen Covey and The Power of Full Engagement by Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz thoroughly document these relationships between the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual needs.

Given the importance of all four of these needs, one might expect Objectivists to dedicate time conscientiously to each of the four.  After all, they extol selfishness as the ultimate virtue.  By that standard, taking good care of oneself rightly stands as the highest and best possible undertaking.  Sadly, not all do.  Flabby, chain-smoking, couch potato Objectivists do not exactly embody "the best within us."  Nor do they serve as inspiring role models to motivate others to learn about Objectivism.

As usual, the free market offers solutions to this enigma.  Objectivists who want to unleash the best within themselves can do so quite affordably.  They can also engage with others online at those crucial, deeper emotional levels for ongoing motivation and support.  Moreover, these arrangements offer important lessons for guiding the construction of a global Objectivist club network Web site.

Help from the Capitalists

Product Partners, LLC, under the leadership of Jon Congdon and Carl Daikeler, has created a phenomenon in the world of personal fitness and health.  With the help of personal trainers like Tony Horton and Debbie Siebers, they have offered the global market a set of highly effective physical fitness products.  They brand this line of products Beachbody®.

The company markets its life-affirming products profitably.  It employs a highly efficient marketing system composed of infomercials, a Web site, etc. They also sponsor local events such as Tony Horton LIVE! in Miami for additional exposure and inspiration.

Beachbody sells an integrated system of tailored workouts, nutrition plans, and moral support.  It combines these with effective marketing efforts and excellent customer service.  As a result, Beachbody has grown into a powerhouse in the world of fitness products.  It has thousands of enthusiastic repeat customers.  Many of these customers participate regularly in the Beachbody message boards.  They encourage each other to pursue worthwhile goals.

Objectivists strive to make major headway into the culture.  Doing this requires that they supply products and services to the market which generate excitement and energy among consumers comparable to Beachbody.  Imagine a network of Objectivist clubs filled with energized participants encouraging each other to follow the same kinds of life-affirming habits as the Beachbody participants do on their message boards.

Beachbody has the advantage of tangible, visible results to show the world. Anyone who has doubts about the effectiveness of the products needs only to look at the testimonials and accompanying photographs at the Beachbody Web site.  These offer concrete evidence that the products work.  This excerpt and photograph comparison from a gentleman named Craig exemplifies a typical Beachbody success story:

Beachbody is the greatest. I lost 60 pounds and went from having high blood pressure (155 over 105) and high cholesterol (265), to perfect blood pressure (110 over 70) and great cholesterol (165).  ...  When someone asks to know my secret, I tell them about Beachbody. The Beachbody program has helped me change the way I live my life. People ask me what diet I am on, and I tell them that I don't believe in diets and you need to change your eating habits for life. Since I'm a chef, you'd think it would be easy for me because I know the difference between good-for-you food and bad-for-you food, but I really needed that extra push and knowledge I gained from the P90X Nutrition Guide. When people ask me about my motivation and how can they become motivated too, I tell them what worked for me but that everyone needs to find his or her own motivation and take it from there.


By contrast, Objectivism faces the challenge of its customer benefits being primarily internal rather than external.  What sorts of life-changing attitude shifts can an Objectivist report and share with others in his club network? What visible results can he show that would motivate newcomers to follow in his footsteps?  In short, how can an Objectivist show concretely that his philosophy offers values even more profound than those of Beachbody?

An Objectivist club network Web site needs a testimonials page as motivating as that of Beachbody. The writers of such testimonials need to spell vividly their states of flourishing before and after embracing Objectivism.  They must make clear to all newcomers the vast increase in quality of life that Objectivism delivers.

Today, Beachbody stands as the equivalent of an evangelical church of fitness. It has literally thousands and thousands of practicing missionaries paid, not in money, but in body and spirit. It has a profitable business system that employs many people throughout its distribution chain. It has prompt and courteous customer care. It continues to generate new products and services. In short, its business model offers many lessons for an Objectivist club network.  Anyone seeking to create such a network would do well to study Beachbody closely.
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