Q&A with Greg Scheinman, Author of ‘The Midlife Male,’ A Guide to Living a More Fulfilled Life
Greg Scheiman’s “The Midlife Male” is a framework to help men maximize middle age
“The Midlife Male” by Greg Scheinman is a book designed to help men maximize middle age to achieve a better quality of life. Scheinman was inspired to change his life after feeling a lack of connection and motivation in his day-to-day life. He began a newsletter and podcast of the same name, which eventually became his book. In designing the new framework for his life, Scheinman used conversations with thought leaders to provide his readers best practices in an easy-to-use format. Unlike many self-help books, “The Midlife Male” is not necessarily meant to be read front-to-back. Instead, Scheinman included accessible checklists and tips to get his readers working towards their ideal lives. Although “male” is in the book’s title, many of Scheinman’s readers and listeners are women, interested in gaining a better understanding of their partners, friends, and family members.
Athletech News (ATN) caught up with Greg Scheinman about “The Midlife Male” and his tips for taking the first steps towards one’s ideal life.
ATN: Tell me about your background.
Greg Scheinman: So, I’m 50 years old, married for 22 years to my wife, and we have two boys. I was born and raised in New York and grew up in the north shore of Long Island. I had a great upbringing for the first 17 years of my life. Unfortunately, my dad got sick, and he passed away when I was 17. That’s when things really started changing, and it was my first time that I really experienced hardship, that I experienced grief, that I lost my father, my father figure, my mentor, advisor. And that kind of started me on, maybe let’s say not the healthiest of paths overall.
I thought I wanted to be a film producer. I was Harvey Weinstein’s assistant 30 years before the MeToo era, so I have the glorious distinction of having told the big man to f*** off 30 years before the rest of the world really did. And the reason I did that was that my father was probably rolling over in his grave if he knew that I let somebody talk to me or treat me like that.
After meeting my now-wife, we relocated to Houston, Texas. And I was completely anonymous, had nothing to do, had no friends or anybody here. We had our first child, and I started a video company, a sports video company and it blew up. We went from zero to over a 10-million-dollar valuation in a couple of years. I bootstrapped it from selling DVDs out of the trunk of my car to former Disney CEO Michael Eisner becoming my partner. And then just as quickly as it went up, we crashed and burned.
I was left without an identity and not sure what I was going to do again. Tucked my tail back between my legs and said, I’m tired of taking risks, and invested in a risk management and insurance company of all things down here in Houston. We spent 14 years building that firm and exited at the end of 2020. Along the way, I was professionally successful and wealthy, but personally, bankrupt. I didn’t like what I was doing; it wasn’t authentic, and it didn’t feel good. I dressed in a way that wasn’t me and socialized in ways that weren’t me. But I was doing what guys were supposed to do- have a job, 401k, benefits, build up residual income, and have a wife and kids. In my 40s, I fell into this midlife crisis. My father’s life ended at 47. And at 47, I like to say mine began. I started reevaluating everything.
ATN: What are the “six Fs” and how did you develop them?
Greg Scheinman: When I reprioritized my life, instead of salary and title, my six Fs became my priority- family, fitness, finance, food, fashion, and fun. These were the things that I loved, and that I was into, and I started working on turning those Fs to As every day. I started working out, and fitness became a priority. Family time was a priority, and I started paying attention to what I put on my body and what I put in my body. I stopped putting on a suit and tie every day and started dressing the way I wanted to. I swapped all my clients out over time and went after businesses that aligned with my interests. Instead of boring corporate clients that I didn’t like, I started working with businesses that I loved, such as healthy food and fitness companies. Once I cut down on alcohol, I started drinking healthy stuff like protein shakes. I started a podcast because if I didn’t know the answers to the questions, I better start asking the right people the right questions. All this stemmed from not having my dad around, not having great mentors and resources, and thinking that I had to go it alone and push the boulder uphill. The podcast turned into a newsletter, and the two of those combined went from a tree falling in the woods to 15,000+ people listening and reading every week. It became a book, a coaching program, and now I’m out on the road, speaking every month about this.
ATN: What was your process for writing the book?
Greg Scheinman: Basically, what I’ve established during this process are five rules that helped me transform from mediocre to maximized. I felt mediocre, I think no matter how successful you are from the outside looking in or all kind of… I felt mediocre, and that was really, really scary. What I developed a concept to aggregate, curate, and eliminate. There’s so much noise out there. My conversations on the podcast, out in the world, in business. And I would aggregate from all of that and then curate it down to what I felt would work best for me. So, it came down to starting to make better choices. I was consistent, but I was just consistently making poor choices. What if I did the opposite? What would that look like? And it started me on this path that became the five rules, and it became my process for the book. It came from combining these conversations on the podcast, it came from the experiences that I had lived in the people that I was there was meeting. Trial and error testing and retesting and then putting my spin on it.
The first rule is knowing what’s important is what’s most important. The second one was, if you don’t know where you’re going, you’re never going to get there. Number three was eliminate. Number four was show me your calendar, I’ll show you your priorities. Then, the last one was what I call grace, gratitude, and latitude because for like 30 years, I was beating myself up. Way too hard on myself, and a lot of guys are way too hard on themselves.
ATN: Do you have any stories about a listener or reader who implemented one of your recommendations?
Greg Scheinman: The emails, texts, and letters that I have started to receive are incredibly touching. I got one recently that said, “I turned 46 weeks ago and I really didn’t think that it was that big of a deal. But I’ve been self-examining my life and my future and what I wanted it to look like and the changes I need to implement to get there. Your book helped me in this process. I lost 60 pounds by following your plan. I now work out multiple times a week typically at 5 am, and I’ve gotten sober. Being a father of two boys like you are at 40, I needed to hear and follow what you wrote.”
I can’t tell you what that stuff means to me. Sharing that even with my own boys. I’ve received one letter from my dad to now be getting these kinds of things from other guys out there. It matters to me. So, the Everest has gotten bigger. I didn’t know what to expect when I started this. I just went to my backyard on Sunday mornings and started writing. While I would not wish a global pandemic on anyone, it was the best thing that ever happened to me and my family. We had that time.
People think it takes huge immediate changes, like “I have to get fit tomorrow.” It’s really about designing a framework and a plan, then understanding and following the steps. Even if you go back to a place where you felt complacent and trapped, you can go in there with a different mindset because you’re working towards something.