"You Can Do It!" - The Tony Little Story
From early on, Tony Little has always been able to find success through adversity.
After suffering a devastating football injury in his teenage years and hanging out with the “wrong” crowd in his hometown of Fremont, Ohio, Tony moved to Florida to live with his uncle. The change in environment did him good; he grew introspective, more aware of his life and more goal-oriented.
Soon Tony began bodybuilding.
He also began reading spiritual and motivational books, among them Zig Ziglar, who specialized in motivational speaking. Ziglar was an exceptional salesman, preaching about self-esteem, positive mindset and getting what you want in life by helping people get what they want.
Having won Mr. Florida, Tony began training for the Mr. America Bodybuilding Championship. In 1983, he was involved in a car accident which seriously injured his back, shoulders and neck, and left him no chance at becoming Mr. America. For two years he battled depression and addiction. He gained weight.
Through a chance meeting with an acquaintance, he attended a health convention in Orlando. Even though he felt he could barely help himself, on the way home he felt as if he were destined to help others. He couldn’t understand it; yet he couldn’t shake the feeling. Days later, watching TV, he caught Jane Fonda, the actress-turned-fitness-guru, leading a workout. Now that was something he understood better than most — fitness training. He wanted to start his own cable fitness show, and he wanted to talk to the audience about how to become fit — the science behind it — not just show them how to do the exercises. But he had no start-up money. What he did have was belief in himself and a positive mindset.
He quick-started a company specializing in cleaning health spas. That earned him the money to do the fitness show, which also allowed him to sell commercial spots. And he was good at selling. In 1987, he struck a deal with Home Shopping Network; six years later he partnered with QVC.
All told, Tony has sold over $3 billion worth of fitness products, including his Gazelle Glider exercise machine, in over 10,000 appearances. He is recognized as “America’s Personal Trainer™,” and known around the world for helping people improve their lives.
But with success, again came adversity. In 1996, he suffered another serious car accident, adding more injury to his body. In 2009, he and his wife, Melissa, had twin sons born prematurely and with health challenges.
But as always, Tony looks for the positive.
His hallmark “You can do it!” captures the secret of his continued success through difficulties: There’s always a way if you believe in yourself.
Tony Little knows that if he can keep focused on moving forward, no matter what happens, then anyone can. And if you have a few minutes, he'd like to tell you more about it...