Overcoming adversity Featured

8:00pm EDT June 25, 2009
Marketing, Media and Entertainment

It would have been easy for Tony Little to just give up on his dream of being named Mr. America, the pinnacle of the bodybuilding profession, after being seriously injured in a car accident and suffering injuries to his neck, shoulder, knee and back.

For a time, it seemed that Little actually was going to give up. He fought through his injuries and recovered enough to take fifth place in the Mr. America contest but quickly went downhill as the accident continued to haunt him both physically and emotionally.

But after two years in which Little became depressed, jobless, hooked on painkillers and severely overweight, he saw a workout video on TV. The video inspired him to create a video for people like himself who thought there was no hope of ever getting in shape.

He called a local cable provider to ask about producing a weekly fitness show but was stunned to learn that what he thought was a free access channel would actually charge him $15,000 for the spots. That day, to raise money for the spots, he put together a business plan for a cleaning company focused on gyms and health spas. The same day, he visited as many gyms and health spas as he could and raised about $60,000 in contracts to make the show happen.

Next, Little focused on his exercise video. With the persistence and determination that he demonstrated in recovering from his accident, he got the word out about his video. It succeeded because, in addition to exercise techniques, Little spent a lot of time discussing motivational tactics and muscle group information. This sound advice became his trademark, and his slogan is a simple one: “Conceive, believe, achieve and you can do it.”

Today, he has expanded into other products, including health foods made of bison meat and a line of exercise shoes called Cheeks.

How to reach: Health International Corp., (800) 780-6744 or www.tonylittle.com