Professional boxer Ed Latimore joined me for an interview. Ed fights out of Pittsburgh and currently holds a professional record of 11-0. He’s sponsored by Jay-Z’s company, ROC Nation – and this is his story.
I’d like to give a huge personal thanks to Ed for taking the time to do this; his answers were so spectacular and detailed that I split it into two parts. Read the whole thing to see the next questions that will be posted on this upcoming Thursday.
I’m Ed Latimore and I’m a guy that believes a person makes their own way in life. Right now most of my energy is spent on professional boxing where I’m currently holding a record of 11-0, or on physics and electrical engineering, where I’m currently at the end of year 3 of a 5 year program. At the end of this semester I’ll be taking a year off to focus on making my run towards a major boxing title as well getting a lot of writing done, honing my foreign language skills, and traveling a bit.
My goal on Twitter and my website is two-fold, selfish and unselfish. My selfish goal is to take control of how the world views and interacts with me before I (hopefully) am introduced to the world via boxing at the televised level. I am not interested in being a passive presence on social media. Rather, I love interacting with and meeting different fans, and learning as much from them as I hope they learn through me.
My second goal—the more altruistic goal—is to use my life, experiences and the perspectives I’ve gained to teach people that you can do anything you want to do. You can become any person you want to become. All that is required is focus, dedication to a goal and an image of yourself that you work towards. Your circumstances are irrelevant as long as you are willing to take risks, suffer, learn and be willing to give up who you are for what you will become. This is the core of self-improvement, but there are very few role models and examples. I aim to be a walking, talking, live example of all things related to self-improvement.
If you a break a man down to his 4 basic components, it usually goes into wealth, health, social, and spiritual. More generally, we can substitute “finances” for “wealth” and “physical” for “health”. In all of these areas I have experienced tremendous transformation. The details could fill a small book, but I will extract the key details and the most important lesson from them.
First, everything takes time. Furthermore, the later you start to improve yourself, the more time it will take. While I’m not in the school of thought that says a guy can’t turn things around after 35, the further you go into a adulthood the harder it gets to dramatically change your income, get in great shape, meet interesting girls, pick up new skills, or whatever you want. The reasons for the difficulty are numerous. Responsibilities, dealing with old mistakes, natural effects of time, social atrophy, etc. As Morpheus told Neo in The Matrix, “We never free a mind once its reached a certain age. It’s dangerous, the mind has trouble letting go.”
So I seriously started working on my finances at 26. I was already in great shape from boxing, but my sense of style was garbage and it just so happens that 26 is when I started putting real effort into that too (the early results of experimentation are hideous, thank God I don’t have pictures haha). Socially, this was an interesting point of development because I’ve never had trouble there, but this was also when I got recruited to go live in Los Angeles. I took the offer, left suddenly, but couldn’t’ fly home because of the schedule and couldn’t’ buy a car because my license was suspended. So for 9 months, for the first time in my life, I learned to be alone and resourceful. How to make friends from the ground up, how to legit be by myself, and how actually be detached from people. This was important to build my and spiritual strength.
So, at 31 I feel like I have a relatively decent handle on all of these areas. I beat myself up a lot about not getting started on improvement faster, but as I always tell people about my decision to return to school at 28, “4 years are going to pass anyway. I might as well be in a position to never be broke again instead of freaking out every time I use my debit card.”
Haha, I’ve thought a lot about this particular part of my life and I believe there are some powerful lessons for young guys here in regards to meeting girls. First, you have to be completely honest about what you want in a girl. Like, raw, to the core of your being, “if I express this idea people might look at me funny or call me a hypocrite” honest. If you do anything other than that, you are going to waste serious time doing what people think you should do instead of what you want to do.
How’s that relate to meeting girls are getting the adventures out of my system? I honestly was never interested in playing the field. In a perfect world, I would have met a great girl and she would be everything my current girlfriend is to me. However, the world isn’t perfect. Things have changed, and either you change with them or you get smoked and up with an encyclopedic knowledge of porn stars.
To be honest, I wished that one girl I met was of the caliber that I wanted. And when I met those girls I knew. Not immediately. But over time I did. This is why, at 31, I’ve only had 3 serious relationships. Most of the girls simply weren’t up to the standards that I wanted for a partner. But I’ve always wanted someone to do dorky stuff with like travel, cook, go to nice restaurants, and celebrate the holidays with.
That’s the brutal honesty part: admitting that I wanted those things. While finding a girl that fit my criteria was difficult, it is way more difficult—in the face of what society and different groups tell you—to admit that to yourself. So it was never really hard for me to give up the adventure. But the adventure was there. Without going into detail, I can tell you that life is better when you are improving and you actually are doing something. You know that you are doing things right when you have more suitors than you are legitimately interested in.
You can’t get what you aren’t worth. Here’s another painful truth that most guys get intellectually, but have a very hard time with viscerally. If you are not attracting the women into your life that you want, it is because you are not worth enough to get them. I can’t remember the exact moment that this realization went from my head to my heart, but I do recall the general circumstance that enlightened.
I stopped seeing one girl because she was physically appealing, but came with a boat load of emotional issues. I stopped seeing another because intellectually she matched, but physically I wasn’t attracted enough to her to make it work. Another was mentally and physically outstanding, but her emotional immaturity gave me a headache. Think of meeting girls as distributing points to character in a video game.
Let’s use a 100 point scale and say I was a 60. Men desire physical beauty, mental curiosity and emotional stability. At the level I wanted, each trait costs 30 points. So I can only have 2 of the 3. You see the problem immediately, but you also see the solution: level up and become worth more. Instead of scaling off in each area—say trading looks for emotional stability—increase your worth as much as you can so that you can get the best deal you can.
There’s a lot of complaining going on in some parts of the Manosphere about there being a lack of quality women. For the most part, I don’t agree. I think, like all things, the better the quality the low the quantity. If you want the best, you have to have enough to pay or get outbid by someone who does. Like most complaints, this one is by losers. All young men should aim to be winners so they turn into cry babies about this type of thing.
You are correct! Though lately boxing as become a lot more lucrative for me so I don’t have to rely very much on my National Guard pay. If you are a young man looking to plan your future but don’t know exactly what to do, there are some options and ideas. After all, passion is built not discovered. But before we get to those, lets go over a brief list of things to NOT do.
Do not major in liberal arts. I have nothing against them, but every liberal art subject falls into one of two categories: you won’t make any money or you can teach yourself. The former category is pretty much anything that with “Studies” or “-ology”. The latter category covers stuff like foreign languages. You can learn a foreign language for free. If you really want major in English, it’s the self-publishing era. Write your own books and do numbers that way. You’ll make more than if you tried to get “traditionally” published anyway.
Do not break the law to make money. I know quite a few dummies that decided to sell some weed on the side and now they have no choice but to do fast food for life.
Do not live in debt. I lived like a college student (with actual college students as well) until I was 25. Not only was it a lot of fun, but my monthly expenses stayed low. Life is easy as well when you have a lot of money and options or no money and options. In other words, don’t go into debt, don’t get in the system, don’t get in the middle.
As for what to do, pick anything that will develop a skill or put you in an opportunity to learn one. You’re already young and broke so unless you did something dumb like have a kid you can’t afford, then you don’t need to sweat money. Instead, sweat opportunity. Volunteer at a garage cleaning in exchange for learning, join one of the union training programs for trades, get a gig at Best Buy and work your way into the repair side of things, join the service, work on an oil rig, take a welding class. Work in sales (real sales, not some bullshit multi-level marketing gig). Take up programming or web design and build a few things. If you’re bright but just not sure, sit for a few actuary exams. Join a branch of the service, preferably one that teaches technical skills.
I’m sure you could come up with a few more, but the theme behind of all these is that you want to do something that you can get better at over time. Then you can leverage those skills. Either you can continue along that path and building a living or you can use the money and experience to jump into something else. As a young man, just worry about getting good enough at something that you can earn an above average amount by your mid 20’s.
Here’s my full dork about to come out. I chose electrical engineering because it looks like the closest thing we have to magic on this planet. Seriously, when you start to understand how the world of electronics and energy works, it is very exciting, because you start to think about all of the problems we are going to solve in this world. Or at least, our potential to solve many problems.
At this time I have no plans to work for a company. I study electrical engineering and physics because it is difficult and interesting. I feel like I am genuinely working out my mental muscles when I learn the topics on this major. A large reason is intellectual curiosity but I suppose that one day, I may have to work. I have to go to work for something, I would rather be involved in science or mathematics because this work is interesting to me.
I get a choice each day: stay up late or wake up early. I won’t have enough time in my day otherwise. So I try to get out of bed between 5 and 6 each day. If I really need rest, I’ll work until 2 or 3. But that’s how I buy the time.
Waking up early means getting a slight workout in. I try to run for 2-3 miles and do calisthenics or I watch boxing videos and work on moves in my den. Or I work on mediation or Wim-Hof breathing. Either way, I devote my first hour of the day to improving my boxing. Then I get to work on whatever I have in terms of homework and studying. That usually goes to about 9 am, then I had to class.
Class generally ends around 3, and then I head to the gym where I’m there until about 8 or 9 each night. I’m rarely thinking about school work when I’m there because it’s very important for me to improve at boxing. I can deal with getting a B. Getting a B in a fight might mean the end of my career. So when push comes to shove, school takes a back seat, but I work hard. My lowest GPA has been 3.57.
Once I get home, it’s almost 10pm most nights, and I spend time eating with the girlfriend, catching up stuff, talking to her and just in general having a fun domestic time after a hard ass day. I am incredibly grateful that I get to end each day with her. Not just because she goes out of her way to make delicious food for my training, but it lets me relax before diving into studies. So 5 days of my week are pretty packed. Sunday there is no practice so I get more school work done then, and Saturday I try to relax in the afternoon.
7.) It’s pretty subtle on your site and Twitter, but you’re signed to ROC Nation (Jay Z’s advertising company). What was that experience like?
8.) When I used to race go-karts on an amateur level, the feeling as I put my helmet on, prepped, and approached that first green flag was a drug. Nervous, but calm – so locked in and focused that you’d practically have to slap me to break me out of the zone. The best high in the world. Do you feel the same way when you step in the ring?
9.) You fight out of Pittsburgh, which I think is an underrated city and could reasonably be classified as a “Tier 2” US city. At the same time, you’ve spent decent time in the “Tier 1” cities like Los Angeles. What do you think as far as pros and cons of this, from both a career and social perspective?
10.) If you could give one piece of advice to guys like me in their (early) 20s, what would it be?
1.) If given the choice – would you rather have Hillary elected or be forced to own a TV (and watch it for 2 hours a day)?
2.) What books have had the most impact on your life?
3.) If you could describe the feeling when you step into the ring in 3 words, what would it be?
4.) How about one word you’d like to say to your haters?
5.) When is your next fight and how can we all watch it live on the Internet?!