Thanksgiving Stories & Brand Reflection

“These are the most important people in your life and these are stories that you are going to remember.”

“In today’s culture you can be scrolling through Instagram for an hour and miss spending time with your grandparents.”

“This is 30 years in the making. This is family. “

“You have to take your branding ultra serious.”

“You guys should think outside the box when you’re gonna start doing stuff”


  • Welcome Back: 00:30
  • John Talks Politics at Thanksgiving Dinner: 1:30
  • Cory’s Favorite Thanksgiving Foods: 6:30
  • Actually Being With Family on Thanksgiving: 10:30
  • Reflecting On The Past Year of Max Effort Muscle: 23:20
  • How The Wealth Is Broken Up In America: 33:00
  • Closing Remarks: 39:30


We all know it is a bad idea to talk politics/religion in dicey situations because everyone is so entrenched in their views that it will only cause chaos at what is supposed to be a nice family gathering. John’s uncle decided to ignore this rule of thumb and go on passionately about conflict in the Middle East. John is forced to give his viewpoint and is then called a coward by his 72 year old uncle. John responds by explaining how he was asked for his opinion and did just that. Then his uncle goes nose to nose with him and John warns him that he will knock his ass out if prompted further and the situation is promptly broken up by the rest of the family. Altercations like this can be hard to come back from within a family.

Cory’s associations with Thanksgiving include his grandmother baking several massive pumpkin pies, two for the family and one for Cory. As well as “bread noodles” that his aunt used to make in Pittsburg. Things like this hold sentimental value and to this day he ensures that these dishes will be had on Thanksgiving every year.

Thanksgiving is a day where you can hang around with the people you love and it provides a human connectivity that isn’t present in day to day life. People put their phones away and actually enjoy the company of those around them. You cannot allow yourself to sit in a corner and scroll through social media because you will miss out on spending time, you will never get back with those you love. Every family has traditions surrounding Thanksgiving and those are so much more important than ANYTHING that is going on in your Instagram feed. The value of actually being present on that day with your family is far greater than anything that is going on in your business or on your phone. Take the day and spend time with family and loved ones. You don’t get these days often so you need to make the most of it when they come around.

Cory and John almost fell into the trap of making Max Effort Muscle look like a supplement company but thankfully they caught themselves and said NO, we need to make it completely different, even if no one understands it in the beginning. It was understood that if they executed well enough, eventually it would make sense to the customer and it seems that people are catching on. Cory struggled with not falling into the old company’s branding because it was so engrained in his head. Once the concept of Max was chosen, it opened up a multitude of avenues for creativity. Cory and John spent 20% of their startup capital on getting things like the logo and the labels just right. That is how valuable they felt this idea was. It was key to differentiate from every other company in the supplement space. You have to take your branding ultra serious because that is how people will recognize you. You have to differentiate yourself from everyone else. If you can even find something small that makes you unique, it can make a world of difference. This is where it can be useful to go to someone who is not familiar with your particular space and get their opinion because they don’t know what it is “supposed” to look like. In the age of retailers having their own product lines, it makes every new company a marketing company. The only way you can take some market share and fight back against the behemoths of the business world is to understand that you must be supreme in marketing.

With regard to net worth (assets minus debts and liabilities equals net worth) 0.7% of people in the US are worth one million dollars or more. 7.9% are worth between one hundred thousand and a million, 21.3% are worth ten thousand to one hundred thousand and approx. 70% are worth up to ten thousand dollars. This is not like being a top 1% athlete. This is something you have far more control over. If you make around $350,000 yearly you are in the top 1%. Seeing where you stack up can help stoke that fire pushing you to keep climbing and to climb even further. It is almost like taking self-inventory no matter where you fall on the chart you can use this to help you wake up on fire every day.



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