Black Business

Activate Your Greatness_Alex Toussaint – The Network Journal

It was all about balance, but you didn’t think of it that way. All you were interested in was riding your bike with the big kids, pedaling without training wheels and without an adult holding you up. You got a lot of skinned knees, but you could see the goal.

Then one day: Boom! You rode that bike all by yourself.

Now, read “Activate Your Greatness,” by Alex Toussaint, and find that determination again.

To succeed, says Toussaint, “requires confidence.” It means being “comfortable with… failing.” Success is knowing how “to turn your pain into power.” It’s being grateful for things big and small, seeing yourself as you hope to be, being unabashedly authentic, and knowing how to tame distractions. “And once we glow internally,” Toussaint says, “we start to shine externally. It is impossible to ignore.”

Toussaint had what seemed like a privileged life. The son of Haitian immigrants, he grew up in a stable, middle-class household with both parents involved in his upbringing and with education in the forefront. Alas, Toussaint fell in with the wrong crowd as a pre-teen, and his father, who was disabled by then, was unable to claw the boy back. Because of that, Toussaint was sent to “a military school in the middle of Nowhere, Missouri…” and it made him hate his father.

Still, he grew there, and learned, but he eventually decided to make the school expel him – which landed him back under his father’s thumb. He was accepted at college, but he quit that, too. After another battle with his father, Toussaint stormed out of his parents’ house to stay with a friend until another friend offered him a job at a “new company” called Flywheel.

Intrigued by Flywheel’s stationary bikes and spinning classes, Toussaint began to dream. He studied the classes and instructors, taught himself things he figured were important, and he asked for a job as a spinning class instructor. From there, he was noticed by an up-and-coming business called Peloton that offered subscription-based live-streamed and on-demand fitness classes with branded stationary bicycles and treadmills equipped with Internet-connected touch screens.

At 31 years old today, Toussaint is a superstar among Peloton instructors, with a reported Instagram following of more than half a million and an estimated net worth of $2 million to $3 million.

Sometimes, when everything is in pieces around your feet, you just need to take a deep breath and remember that it’s all about the hustle. “Activate Your Greatness” is a great example.

From mistakes to milestones, Alex Toussaint tells a dual story that readers will find quite interesting.

First, he offers his own memoir, filled with bootstrapping and determination, but also a nod to the “angels” who gave him a boost along the way. Surely, this happens all the time but Toussaint makes it feel fresh, exciting, and unique.

The other, much smaller part of this book is a memoir of a business. Toussaint was there at the launch of Peloton and he writes about how he does his job. This will be of particular interest to anyone fascinated by an unusual workplace.

If you want a different kind of memoir that brings advice along for the ride, this book could be what you’re looking for. Find “Activate Your Greatness” and put its pedal to your mettle.

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