When to stop digging

This week on gihansjourney, I cover the intricacies of how to dig a hole sufficient to bury a dead body.

I am of course, only joking…(pause for awkward reassuring laughter). If anyone asks, my name is Ramesh.                                     

Sooooooooooo, the business is looking promising.

Personal trainer. Acquired.

Awesome location. Sorted. 

Clients. No comment.

I must say, the uncertainty of starting a business is like supporting the Sri Lankan cricket team. You just have no idea whether you are going to win #1996Worldcup.

Clients do not come easy. You are new to the industry. No one knows you exist. No one trusts you despite your good intentions. And for only the third time in my life, my good looks haven’t seemed to be getting me through either.

So I decided to kick it old school. Yes, albeit impulsively, I became the friendly neighbourhood doorknocker. I absolutely love “comfort zone challenges” and no doubt this fit the description. Particularly, given that it is common knowledge that in most “Top 10 things I hate” lists, door knockers would average a cool number 4 below tax, Trump and spiders.

Initially, I actively seeked out a certain type of house. No cars in the driveway. Closed blinds. Essentially, no sign of life.

My overactive mind was in overdrive. There was very little “tasting of the chicken curry” at this point. I was pre-rehearsing all the possibilities.

I walk into a breaking bad-esque drug den.

A rabid dog jumps out from inside and bites me. I proceed to die a slow and horrible death.

I meet a professional touch rugby player who represented England in last year’s World Cup.

A shotgun gets pointed at my face with a countdown to get off the property.

I meet my long lost twin brother, Jihan (just like me his name has been mispronounced his whole life).

Everyone loves the idea and they sign up for the 12 week challenge.  


One of these actually happened. More on that later.

It was time. I walked up the driveway and I knocked. I saw kids playing inside but presumably their Dad “answered” the door. He looked me up and down in absolute disgust. My face had clearly reminded him of a painful traumatic memory that he had been suppressing for the last 10 years (sometimes I fill in the blanks to make better sense of why things happen the way they do).


“Is this a fitness thing? I am 55 and in great shape, we are OK mate”. The door was slammed in my face.

I hadn’t said a single word to him…


I walked off their property and just stood silently. Shaken. Broken. Felt uncomfortable (hard to describe) as if I lacked the energy to even support my head.  

That was the first house. I wasn’t sure whether my mental health was willing to go for round 2.  

So I did what any irrational human being would do. I kept going.

But, my goal for the day changed. It wasn’t to sign up new clients anymore. I didn’t like how that first experience made me feel and I have a personal problem with external things dictating how I feel internally. Not cool.

So my new goal was twofold.

  1. Knock on the door and wait for someone to answer it (easy enough)
  2. If the person said “No”, try to continue the conversation by asking a follow up question or trying to stimulate some sort of conversation.

20 or so houses later.

“No, I am too lazy”

“No, sorry”

“Are you a salesman?”


Not a single yes.

But then, I stayed for almost one hour at this particular stranger’s house.  

I followed rule number 2 and it opened up a glorious can of worms. Turns out the dude plays professional touch Rugby for ENGLAND! #touchrubgyisathing. He even played in the World Cup last year! He told me about his kids, his wife and his fitness. He even opened up his garage and showed me his home studio packed with a boxing bag, weights etc. He then gave me countless tips on how to grow my business and most importantly, he told that I am doing a good thing for the community. That meant a lot to me. It was so ironic, the last house for the day made it all worthwhile and taught me some solid life lessons.  

And…..he still said no. #Tears

Have you ever given up on something?

If so, what was your threshold?

How long did you try for before you decided that something doesn’t work or won’t work or is not good for you?

How deep do you have to dig to be confident that diamonds are not waiting for you underground?

Door knocking has given me a hint of insight into the above. After the first door slammed shut straight in my face, I could have given up straight away. Most people wouldn’t blame me for it. But, I kept going. Both at the hope of finding potential new clients and also, to learn some essential life skills like pitching my idea to strangers and dealing with difficult people.

As always, the moral of the story is to go to school, stay away from drugs and if ever a young handsome Sri Lankan boy knocks on your door with a INCH BY INCH LIFESTYLE shirt on, hear the brother out.

So in light of me pouring out my vulnerabilities on this public stage, it is time to go watch Black Mirror on netflix.

If this adds value or at least, gives you something to think about, SHARE AND COMMENT!

If you don’t, I know where you live (that was Ramesh).

Be kind to yourself and others.