WTF Gym Talk is a no BS resource for owners looking to own an actual business instead of just the gym. The rise of CrossFit gave way to a surge of entrepreneurs who wanted to open their own microgym. However, opening a business and staying in business are two completely different things.
Eli Slossberg owns MDI Apparel, a company hell bent on making your microgym brand come to life via retail items.
And this is exactly why I asked him to come to SELF MADE SUMMIT on October 19th/20th.
Creating welcome boxes/bags
Dope apparel designs that your members WANT to buy
And understanding that your logo needs to be scalable to multiple sizes and retail varieties are all the things that Eli knows better than most and is going to be talking to owners about at the SELF MADE SUMMIT.
If you haven't pickup your tickets yet - do it now before we sell out!
Mike Jones is one of the signature speakers at the SELF MADE SUMMIT that is going down in Charlotte, NC on Oct 19/20th this year.
Mike owned several very successful CrossFit affiliates in MN and then had a vision for a new workout style that nobody had exploited yet. So he went all in on this new venture (Alchemy 365) and they have had nothing but rapid growth over the past several years.
Mike will be sharing with you the deep dive into how he went through this creative process, built a new class that turned into a new business model and has scaled it to over 6 locations in two states thus far - with plenty more in the future.
If you haven't listened to my first podcast with Mike - here it is.
And if you're not signed up for the SELF MADE SUMMIT - do it here before tickets are sold out!
While I still work microgym owners to help un-fuck their business, I've been taking on more and more personal brand development clients and I thought I'd share some of my thoughts when it comes to developing a "personal brand"
Before we can make a sale, we need to have someone attention.
Before we get their attention, we need to craft a message that is educational or entertaining to them.
Before we craft that message, we have to be educated or entertaining...
You get the idea. Enjoy.
You know how I came up with the name for this media handle?
I wanted to create solutions to the WTF!?! moments I had as a microgym owner.
So I did.
Then a funny thing happened. I started having my own WTF!?! moments seeing all the stupid shit we do as microgym owners.
So here's a full on monologue about the most frustrating of those moments I've had recently.
Joe and I come up with a brilliant idea where Shark Tanks meets the SELF MADE SUMMIT, we discuss the two avatars of prospective clients (even though Joe believes there are actually 3 avatars) and Joe makes the commitment to creating his own podcast.
Gymonkee is a tech startup here in Charlotte, NC who is trying to break into the Class Pass market by creating a similar product, but with more favorable features to the microgym owner.
One of the founders stopped by to talk shop - enjoy.
Daniel is my dude. He's been a fan of my content for a while and we would always share DMs back and forth regarding different topics.
We finally got to meet in person at the PT First Crash Course that I put on with Sean Pastuch earlier in 2019.
And wouldn't you know....he's not even a microgym owner. He's a coach at NC Fit in California, but he has the vision and forecast to know that he has to become more than that if he wants to continue to chase his ever-growing aspirations for himself.
To the extent that he has developed his own Corporate Wellness clients, performed full presentations for staff/HR and is slowly growing his business....all while taking time to learn from others.
The dude is incredible and I think you're going to get a lot out of this podcast.
Kev used to own a CrossFit gym.
Now he owns a micro-globo-gym.
Seriously, this thing is fucking insane. The pure scale and becoming a multi-option facility with 9+ different types of group classes, 1000 members and scaling option that has nothing but runway...it's a badass interview and I hope you enjoy.
Franchising a CrossFit gym....not common.
We've seen Iron Tribe step up to the plate of creating a repeatable prototype and from what I can see it's not doing great.
But in my research of guys in the microgym scene that are doing it different, Sasquatch stood out to me.
No longer a CrossFit affiliate, Isaac has taken his company to the prototype model that can be repeated anywhere in the country, especially if you already have a CrossFit affiliate and you're looking to rebrand under new leadership.
For more information
This fucking guy is one my favorites.
I've been a fan of his from afar for years and then to find out he low-key fucks with my content was a surreal moment for me.
We've been balls deep in each other's DM's for a minute but we finally got to meet at the Iron+Mortar Summit in Portland and our jam sesh was documented for your pleasure.
Learn more about JP and Brick
We don't have THE answer ready to go for you.
I wasn't given permission to speak on behalf of any of these guys, but I did so anyway.
Anyone who is in the space of providing business coaching services to microgym owners + anyone who is seeking out their advice needs to listen to shit.
Morgan is from Rochester, NY....which would typically place him in a category of high probability that he'd be a douche bag.
But he's literally the antithesis of a douchebag. He's an awesome dude, extremely enthusiastic and the embodiment of personal core values that more of us probably wish we had.
Morgan shares his journey of working for PLN for the past 6 years, his view of the current client experience inside of microgyms and gets in-depth on a health setback that ended up in what can only be described as a miracle.
Questions for Morgan? Hit him up at @morgainz10
There's some complete crap out there when it comes to this infestation of gym marketing-guru fuckfaces that we see all over our social media feed and I'm here to discuss two particular half-truths that drive me nuts.
IMO, the technical aspects of coaching are required...but not paramount to the ability to deliver the message.
This means that showmanship, delivery, performance and presence are king when it comes to becoming an amazing coach...because you can be technically gifted AF...but if you're boring, nobody will ever know.
Recently gave a talk about the importance of branding over marketing.
Now don't get me wrong, we need to market, we need to make sales - but if every piece of content distributed by your business is geared towards a sale, you're going to find that you fall into this all too common trap.
Dave is a successful microgym owner with 3 locations.
But who gives a shit - this guy creates hella awesome content - not only for his microgyms but as a side hustle he started called So Creative 845.
Dave and I jam on videography gear, mics, editing software and the creating content for your microgym with some fine examples.
Check out Dave's YT Channel for his microgym, CrossFit 845
A recent conversation on the interwebs amongst some microgym owners brought up this topic that I wanted to expand upon - creating your own certification/education platform for on-boarding your coaching staff
Many of the self made brands do this already but CrossFit affiliates have the benefit of this already being done for them through CrossFit HQs Seminar Staff - so are there even benefits to this if you're a CF affiliate?
I dropped a VLOG the other day that discussed the need for your coaches to be incentivized to make content....but not just for your gym...for themselves.
I go deeper into this topic on this podcast and hope it helps owners + coaches bridge that communication gap when it comes to content creation for the gym vs. their personal brand.
I had a pretty sweet idea...
The Friday (Oct 18th) before the SELF MADE SUMMIT (Oct 19th + 20th) - I'm going to get together with any owners who want to hit 3-5 different microgym models to see what the other guys that we all talk about (Orangetheory, F45, Barry's Boot Camp, MADabolic, Eat the Frog, etc) are all doing for
- client experience
- brand positioning
- class flow
So if you're coming in for the SELF MADE SUMMIT (link below), I'll be sending you some information regarding the Microgym Bar Crawl...hope to see you there!
It's soooo much easier for us to criticize than it is to actually create something.
Next time you feel like knocking someone's idea...
Spreading negativity on a concept that is antagonist to the status quo...
Or just being a straight up piece of shit human...
Ask yourself this -
"Am I just criticizing cause I'm too scared/unskilled/ignorant to create something different myself???"
Ruffalo is a fucking trip.
This guys combines a CrossFit/Orangetheory client + financial planner + comedian all in one skeleton.
Which is why I wanted to bring him on the podcast, he's got some useful basic personal financial planning tips for those of you who have been too busy to take time to think about that type of stuff...
Plus he brings a really interesting perspective from a guy who used to do CrossFit and now does Orangetheory - and let's us into that decision making process.
An in-depth breakdown as to my thought process when it comes to hosting events like Memorial Day Murph and offering Military discounts - for a different perspective, check out the latest vlog on this topic on YouTube!
I've had the pleasure of working with Adam for awhile now and I can honestly say that while Adam is still working hard everyday to bring his business to his desired level of success - the guy has become deadly with his eye for quality video content.
Adam has recently purchased his building and in addition has been on a video content mission to bring his brand to life - and he's done a hell of a job.
CrossFit HQ recently added to the virality that his homegrown videos have already obtained by sharing it on their handles - if you haven't seen Stacy's Story - you need to.
Adam and I jam on buying a building and building organic video content, who to look for in a videographer and the story making process that he uses .
Shawn Rider is a microgym owner whom you may already be familiar with....
His organic social media game is on-point and you can typically find his musings on Instagram to be quite helpful for running a successful business.
However, Shawn has taken on a new challenge - becoming an author....and he's done a damn fine job at it.
Shawn and I jam on the 6 pillars he discusses in this book that anyone can use to live a better life, grow a better business or love themself a little bit more.
Use this link to pre-order your copy (releases on June 1) and enjoy!
Want to see some gorgeous branding? Go to www.elevatestpete.fit and see what Nicole Race has done with her microgym.
Started in a very similar fashion as many of us, became a CrossFit affiliate, decided her brand has different vision - so she rebranded, joined the Gym Launch model for a minute until she decided it was time to continue to move in her own direction and I truly think the future is very bright for this owner.
If you want to hear from a strong and successful female microgym owner who has plenty to say about the journey of rebranding, 6 week challenges and how to stand out in a crowded market, this is for you.
Joe and I hit the podcast again to jam on cyber bullying, why using your member feedback isn't always the best idea and a bunch of other witty shit that I can't remember right now cause I've been drinking.
Remember - if you're looking to attend the SELF MADE SUMMIT, here's your link to buy tickets. These are selling out FAST! So get moving.
I had the pleasure of having one of the original OGs on the podcast for a LIVE recording - Jon Gilson.
Jon is one of the first guys to pioneer into making business content for the microgym owner and has since had quite the interesting journey working with several different companies, consulting with gym owners and is now currently documenting his work via his Project X blog.
Stephen Hitt is a successful microgym owner out of Seattle, WA with his Industrious brand facilities (2 locations currently). However, he has been pretty busy working on a side project that has some serious legs in my opinion.
I've been talking about the need for better music experiences for years now and have had the pleasure of advising other groups in this same pursuit - but Stephen has actually put together a subscription service to address this exact issue.
I present to you, Beats Rx.
This has been a long time coming, but I'm proud to be able to provide this event for the microgym industry.
Business conferences and summits are great - but a hyper specific event that is focused on those micro gyms who have the desire to develop a brand bigger + more unique than the one they may have been developing is my goal.
I've gathered the best micro gyms in the industry who started off as CrossFit affiliates...
...realized they had their own ideas that needed their own identity...
....and they fucking made it happen.
The SELF MADE SUMMIT is Oct 19th + 20th 2019.
All the details are here.
Buy your tickets before they sell out!
I preach this all the time - network with your competition, don't hate on them.
So that's exactly what this is. A new fitness facility was recently announced that it was opening up in my area...like right down the street. It's going to be massive, offer a ton of different classes and start marketing to my demographic.
Instead of doing what most would do, I invited them into my gym to meet and talk shop, give advice and simply network.
You should try this sometime...trust me.
Ethan Chandler is a smart guy...like a really smart guy.
I've had the privilege to work with Ethan to improve some elements of his business in Richmond, VA and I can honestly say that our conversations were always fire. I remember telling him after one of our scheduled calls that we need to start recording the entire thing - so we did a podcast instead.
Make sure to check out the amazing work on Instagram stories that Ethan does for his microgym @phoenix_fma
Paul Klein has been on this podcast before - well...not sure if it ever got published, but I def. interviewed him and his business partner awhile back because they too own their own building and microgym and it was an interesting story.....ANYWAY....this time through, Paul has since sold his gym + building and is now working on a new venture - Fext Push.
We jam on all things related to text message communication as it relates to marketing in 2019 world.
So Craig RIchey recently had an awesome interview with the founder of CrossFit, Greg Glassman.
They hit on some topics that I had some thoughts on, so figured I'd make a response video and walk you guys through some of more pertinent parts of the interview for microgym owners.
Craig - awesome job with the interview!
Make sure to subscribe to his channel
Also, here is the keynote that Greg Glassman gave back in the day that I think every CF affiliate owner should watch
Recently had a meeting with a former member who also does Google SEO + advertising. While this turned into my advice for a guy who is trying to make a personal brand for himself in a crowded space, there's a solid chunk of discussion here focused around Google SEO + advertising that I think you'll find very interesting.
You guys know I live with an abundance mentality. I frequently invite what would be "competitors" in my space (either gym or consulting related) onto my podcast because I always want to fuck with the best and continue to learn from other.
And I'm continuing that trend by having Andrew Freeza, owner of CrossFit Palm Beach and Seven Figure Box podcast/coaching, onto the podcast today.
Imagine if you got to be a fly on the wall while two guys who have built successful businesses, walked away to build successful consulting/coaching services were just shooting the shit on business + industry.
That's what you're going to get on this podcast.
I get to sit down with the 3 founders of the Iron+Mortar Summit - Ashley & Brendan Loyer + Layci Nelson.
This dynamic threesome have undertaken a feat that most have found to be unsustainable and simply not profitable - hosting business confrerences for microgym owners.
We jam on a variety of topic that I know you guys will enjoy and they even are giving away a FREE TICKET to this year's Iron+Mortar Sumit in Portland, OR on June 24/25th ---> use this link to register to win --> theironandmortarsummit.com/wtf
Dr. Brian Strump is currently my only return guest on the podcast. Maybe that's cause he literally owns the gym a few miles down the road from me and I have easy access to him - maybe because he's a smart motherfucker and I like talking to those kind of people.
Either way, since our last podcast together, Brian has been busy working to help entrepreneurs in the clinical space (chiro, massage, etc) as well as other service industries.
The controversy surrounding the legitimacy of companies that sell the "members on demand" marketing play via duration based fitness challenges has been a hot topic of the past few years. The most popular of these marketing companies, Gym Launch, typically is the center of these hot debates.
I asked a few microgym owners who are former clients of this company to come on the podcast and give their opinion on this marketing/client acquisition system and what it ultimately did for their gym.
While this isn't a hit piece of Gym Launch or any of these marketing companies (I've had several of them on my podcast/content), I do think it's important to hear the other side of the conversation that doesn't sound like "OMG, I just got like 600 leads and made eleventy million dollars in 3 hours #hustle....or whatever they would say.
Sydney lives and works in the fitness industry just like I do - in Charlotte, NC. But she went about her career growth in a much different way than most microgym owners have. What originally began as a quest to start her own gym, quickly detoured and turned into developing a YouTube channel where she would post full-length workout videos for anyone looking to get fit at home.
And it worked. Like really fucking well. Her workouts videos get ~400,000 views on a regular basis and she's completely flipped her traditional gym owning dream into a digital online presence. We dig into her background, starting a YouTube channel and how microgym owners can start to create a digital revenue stream
Julian Bryant almost appears to be another one of these douchebag Click Funnel gurus selling a dream to microgym owners...
But he's not.
Yes, he's a marketer. Yes, he knows how to use funnels, create landing pages and run successful Facebook ads - but his story is actually the most interesting part of this equation.
From a traumatic injury turned drug addiction turned gun violence turned serious prison time - this guy has lived more lives in his years on this earth than most of us will ever hope to live.
His story is human and beyond interesting to me. What he now does for gyms (and is currently killing it for CFT Fitness - a client of mine) makes this the total package conversation for this podcast.
How many dead people still have accounts on social media?
Are graveyards really a wise utilization of our precious land resources?
Why the new homepage on Urban MVMNT is fucking dope and genius.
Did I just get lucky with having CrossFit + SouthEnd at the right place at the right time???
John Swanson, successful microgym owner of the Fast Factory, creator of the Granite Games and biz coach via Factory Forged had a question for other gym owners and asked me to weigh in...
How to go about changing your fitness model up on your membership - how to get the members to understand the WHY behind it and the risks involved...
Had a question come in from a microgym owner who is currently contemplating changing his entire business structure but he’s scared to death to make the move. He asked me how I came to being fearless when it comes to making hard changes, where the end result is unknowable.
A podcast about drugs, club nightlife in NYC, murder and oh yeah, owning a microgym.
That's what you're gonna get on today's podcast with Vincent Miceli, the owner of The Body Blueprint in New York City. An established entrepreneur who has a background that you don't commonly find in the fitness space.
The audio on this one is a little rough again (I apologize, this was recorded before we fixed the issue). But still worth the listen!
For most of the microgyms out there that are running a group fitness model, that will be your biggest revenue stream.
Then (depending on the model), personal training should be the next largest part of the pie.
Throw in some nutrition + retail and that's pretty much the current day status quo.
HOWEVER...I think there is a new revenue stream that is already here for some of us...but most of you are probably naive to it....good thing you have me to lead you to the light.
Jason Ackerman is a former CrossFit affiliate owner.
A current member of CrossFit HQ Seminar Staff.
Owner of Own Your Eating (online nutrition coaching)
and is currently writing a book...
We get into the in's and out's of owning a microgym, jam on the concept of writing a book from scratch and some other random shit I can't remember - but trust me, it's worth a listen.
Anytime I hear a business owner say "the guy down the street stole my head employee"...
...I literally want to throat punch them.
I think this piece of prediction that I'm making should scare some of you that don't have your shit together and excite the rest of you.
On the 2nd episode of this awesome as fuck segment, we have two microgym owners who significantly disagree with me on several topics:
- having dogs in the gym
- creating a 2nd home for your clients (in a good way and bad way)
- cubbie with smelly Olympic weightlifting shoes
- and a few others
The great thing about this episode is that both of these guys show that though I may not agree with their way of doing it - they are proving it can work for them.
Thanks to Bill Russell @crossfitcleveland
and Matt Andrus @sequoiacrossfit
Joe and I discuss the All Star Game being in Charlotte, NC + why the location of your business is entirely your fault and what you need to do to market it better + Google Ads vs. Facebook and other silly shit.
The first episode of this new segment and i'm really excited...but on this particular episode i'm REALLY REALLY SORRY for the fucked up audio.
I'm gonna promise to never let this happen again, but you never know.
Hope you're still able to get some nugs out of this.
Zach is head trainer at Orange Theory Fitness. He works in the location less than a mile down the road from my microgym, Urban MVMNT.
Some would say that Zach and I are direct competitors and even enemies from a business standpoint.
But that couldn't be further from the truth.
Zach has even referred high end personal training clients to my business and coached my wife at her first OTF class (yes, she has a membership there too).
This podcast will be great for owners & trainers alike - especially trainers who are looking to make a name for themself in the industry and even pick up a side hustle.
You can reach Zach @zachscarboro.
On Saturday March 2nd, I'm co-hosting a PT First Crash Course with Sean Pastuch (Active Life Rx).
This is a one day, topic specific course to help you integrate personal training into your gym, sell it at the right price, pay the trainer the right amount, change the culture of your gym (if they are too used to "Unlimited" memberships) and more.
We will have a meet and greet the night before.
Check out the link below and in Instagram bio @wtfgymtalk.com
This guys is one of my first mentors and certainly one of the guys who had a huge influence in my development when I got started with the globo gym side of my career.
Did you know I used to work in a predominately black gym?
Like I was the only white dude selling personal training to people on food stamps?
Ambrose tells some secrets that no one of you have ever heard about me in my earlier days.
We jam on the trending documentary on Netflix that looks at that FYRE Festival (which was a huge marketing campaign that turned into the largest musical festival scam in history)
...we comb through the messages both branding + marketing related that microgym owners can take home from learning about this event rise + demise
Thanks for listening!
Is your business struggling because you don't have any full-time help to ride shotgun with you as you grow this company?
Do you have part-time coaches (based on intent, not hours worked) that are not going to help you get across the finish line because they have other life obligations that come BEFORE your business?
Then give this shit a listen.
Threesome time with Will Lanier + Chloie Jonsson.
Will and Chloie are traveling the company with a handful of others to speak on the topic of creating a higher level of inclusiveness for the LGBTQ+ community and create a safe conversation for business owners to ask questions and learn about this growing sector of the CrossFit community.
You call yourself an entrepreneur, a visionary...
You claim to be a problem solver and designer...
Yet, in reality you just want someone to tell you exactly how to do it to be successful.
Maybe you weren't meant to open your own gym?
Maybe you should have just franchised some other guys dream?
Microgym owners talk about Facebook in two facets:
- they admit they know nothing
- they think they know it all
No doubt that a small percentage of my brethren know their shit when it comes to FB ads, but let's not pose...
...most of us are just headline readers. We think because one guy has a conversion based ad that goes to a landing page for a 6 week challenge, that this is only way to generate leads.
I've got a surprise for ya.
Retail is one of the last pieces of the puzzle. Plenty of more important elements of owning a microgym should be addressed before it - but once you've got a solid grasp on those, I do recommend putting some energy into this very viable revenue stream.
My man Sean Pastuch, founder of Active Life Rx, came on the podcast to jam and we went down a rabbit hole of creating a social media presence that will not only make you money, but help with your hyperlocal virality + how to start thinking of your social media strategy at a higher level.
Jammin' with the owners of Fortitude Fitness regarding adding class times
- when to add classes?
- should the demand be there already?
- what if we're losing people because we don't off that particular class time?
I don't talk much about programming because it can be such a polarizing topic in microgym scene, especially for CrossFit affiliates.
But had JJ on the podcast to discuss programming and dive deep into the competitive nature of microgyms.
This is the full keynote I delivered at the Iron+Mortar Summit in 2018. I address figuring out WHO is your business is (via Core Values) WHY it exists + WHAT you'll do better than anyone else in your market (Core Focus).
This is not a podcast about nutrition.
It's a podcast about how a technician in the fitness/health industry started his own company, is learning how to scale and how he navigated from conception of his business to reality.
Whether your personal trainer or nutritionist, this episode will be immensely valuable.
Featuring Joe Tebaldi, owner of FLEXX. You know that feeling when your calendar suddely went from being jam packed to being wide open...and you don't even know what to do with your hands...
Well you call your buddy Joe (who is also coincidentally available) and you tell him to come over and drink whiskey and jam on a podcast with you.
On this one, we hit on CRMs + Marketing, YouTube and social media campaigns and the microgym industry at large.
Grab a glass and enjoy.
Today, at 10:30 AM Eastern, a new video drops on my YouTube channel. This podcast is the precursor to my discovery that an individual had completely stolen my gym concept. You are not gonna want to miss this.
But when you really analyze it and when/where it pops up...it can be very telling as to what you NEED to be doing. Fear is more of an indicator sometimes in business than it is a chemical process.
Give this one a listen and let me know...
What are you afraid of in your business right now???
CrossFit Tuff sent over a great series of questions a while back and I completely blanked on getting back to them....so here it is.
"How do I maximize my space/efficiency when running multiple programs at once?"
Brand new, weekly, long form content will now be available only on YouTube. It can be cut into podcast audio because of the over the top visual nature of those videos, so get over to YouTube and subscribe!
the WHY and WHAT behind your business is directly influenced by WHO you are as a business...
your belief system
your core values
got em' or nah?
taken from this years Iron + Mortar Summit (2018)
Dan Bond, owner of CrossFit Fort-Ashton in the UK, came through with some questions that I'm sure some of you are currently dealing with as well..
"Classes are getting to capacity...how do I handle that?
"I need more coaches for certain classes, but they are hard to come by!"
"Should I make a price raise video vs. sending an email?
One of my favorite interactions with microgym owners is having them on-site at Urban MVMNT. I get a chance to share what we've created here and then I get to learn about where that gym came from, where it is now and where it wants to go.
Recently, Sean Eaton, owner of Crossfit Core Fitness, came through and we got to jam on the entire spectrum of scaling a gym, implementing PT First, continuing ed for coaches and more.
During my time at the 2nd annual Iron+Mortar Summit, I had the pleasure to speak alongside James Fitzgerald + Jim Crowell with OPEX.
In our small group intensives with the participants, I was asked my thoughts on the OPEX model and the delivery vehicle of fitness that is Individual Design.
I have gone through the CCP courses, I've had Jim + James on my podcast and I've had the immense pleasure of watching their network grow into what it is today.
That being said - I am NOT a representative for OPEX, nor do I speak on their behalf. This is merely just one man's opinion.
For more information, straight from these guys, please visit www.opexfit.com
And I think one of the biggest internal Mark Kane plays we will see you in 2019 our gym is creating internal podcasts for their current membership. In this episode, I layout my thoughts and strategies as how to best execute this.
Are feather flags effective outdoor marketing?
What are the downsides to only paying employees hourly?
Do I have any thoughts on the MadLab Group's performance based compensation belief?
...watch the video. it's all in there.
The amazing crew over at Sweatnet Charlotte + I have been working on bringing together studio and gym owners in our city.
Creating a venue where we can all collab, commiserate, share best practices and work together to build better businesses.
This is a lengthy one, but I gurantee it's worth the watch. It's also uploaded on the podcast as well if you don't have 40 minutes stare at a screen.
Here's the biggest takeaway: Do this in your city. Be a leader. Start a movement. Build something bigger than you.
It's worked well for me.
Rachele is a badass.
Team USA Aquathlon.
Mother of 5.
The list goes on.
But what I'm mostly interested in with Rachele is her knowledge in helping gym owners understand the type of IP (trademarks vs. copyright vs. patent), understanding non-competes and creating membership agreements that won't leave you holding the bag.
You'll enjoy this one.
My dude Mike Archangel from Archangel CrossFit in AZ came through with a question regarding head coaches -
What are the duties/responsibilities of a head coach?
How many hours should your leadership team players be working/week?
Sure, Mike. I'll give it a go.
I'm all for stealing. All for it. What I think is fucking lazy is plagiarizing word for word or play by play something. I don't even care that you took something from someone else.
That's not what bothers me.
What bothers me is this is a huge tell that you are going to get crushed in this game if you can't spark your own design + creative part of the brain. Steal to spark inspiration, but then make it your own.
Sit down in a quiet place where you can think uninterrupted.
Write down all the things in your business you wish you would have done differently.
Circle all the items that are still possible to change.
Get off your ass and change them.
Craig is my kinda guy.
Loud. Honest. And actually knows his shit when it comes to the fitness industry.
As someone who started exploring the business model of CrossFit back in 2005, it's really awesome to talk shop with a guy I looked up to since his infamous CrossFit Journal video dropped back in the day where he started explaining the business side of this microgym explosion.
So sit your ass down and take notes. This one is solid.
Detour Athletics and Frazier Fitness LLC dropped a few questions, so I figured I'd make time during lunch to answer them.
"Do you outsource your marketing for Urban MVMNT?"
"Should I puruse a garage gym or go straight for brick + mortar?"
Thanks for the questions fellas.
I used to think that vacations were for 9-5ers and people who hated their work.
I used to think that taking a vacation was a sign of weakness as a business owner.
But that perspective has changed.
And my hope for you is that you get your business to a place where vacations become testaments to the awesome job you've done building an actual business.
Mike is the author of some of my favorite biz books:
The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
His newest book, Clockwork, dropped on Aug 21st and he was gracious enough to come on the podcast and discuss how to remove yourself from the DOING of the business and get into the mode of DESIGNING.
Take a moment to thank anyone who has ever given you an inch during your journey as a business owner.
Regardless if that's financially, emotionally or mentally...anyone who has given you that extra little something that allowed you to turn an inch into a mile.
Tell them you love them. Tell them you appreciate them. Tell them you hope to return the favor to someone else who needs an inch.
Do it now. Cause tomorrow ain't promised today.
If is underperforming and it’s causing you to sacrifice happiness or creating grief in your life...but you still find time to spend 5 days at the CrossFit Games or take another vacation with your fellow yogis...then you my friend are full of shit. Let’s talk about.
Recently I was requested to elaborate more as to why I still pay $3000/annually for my CrossFit affiliation, but I refuse to use the name in any marketing language, signage, etc.
I had done this once, but sure...I'll dig into it deeper. Hope this helps clarify.
***I apologize for the poor audio....but shit happens***
It's the current celebrity status that brands are searching for and they generally don't know where to start.
In the fitness industry, if you look hot in yoga pants, you can have a pretty descent following and make some good money posting for various brands.
But what if you used those powers to create something bigger? Something that created collaboration amongst all the fitness brands in a city vs. competition?
That's what Erin, Grace and Tom have done. And as a SweatNET supporter...I'm beyond impressed with what they've already done and very optimistic about their future.
We all need it to start our business. When we get some, we typically spend it. Which means we need more.
Clayton Ferrer, owner of Rigquipment Finance flew down to Charlotte, NC to kick it with me at Urban MVMNT and jam on the financial side of the microgym industry.
His company lends money to gyms + studios who need it...who can show they are going to use it wisely and pay it back. Equipment, interior design upfits, etc.
I highly recommend taking a listen as we jam on the typical boring aspect of business (the math) in a very non-boring way.
The longer I’m in this game the more I realize how much of both ends of the spectrum with design and math we need to have.
The math is what helps us run a great business, know our numbers, plan for the future, logistics, etc.
The design allows us to make emotional connection with others, create the infrastructure to our organizations, build amazing spaces, etc...
My thoughts these days reside around the design more than the math. Here's why.
Brad went to dental school to become...a dentist.
Brad gained 30lbs while in dental school.
Brad finds a local CrossFit gym, falls in love with it and takes the Level 1 certification.
Brand opens up his own CrossFit Affiliate, starts coaching people for money, giving exercise instruction + nutritional coaching.
Brad, by appearance, is now a "fitness professional".
Brad, is full of fucking shit.
You may have some of the best, most technical instructors in your studio. They are masters of their craft.
But if they are boring AF, can't carry a conversation or make someone smile or laugh....what fucking good are they?
When the business seems to be on fire - when chaos is at an all time high...owner typically try to move faster to handle the volume of shit being poured on them.
I'm gonna recommend we do the opposite.
Don't let me or anyone else tell you that your concept or idea won't work. Fuck me and everyone who talks about "how it should be done". While I pride myself on having a firm grasp on what works and doesn't in this market, I also realize that pushing the edge is what makes what once seemed like a dumb idea into genius.
want to hear from a microgym owner who has a full grasp on branding and how her brand stands out in a saturated market - listen to Olivia Young from Box + Flow on today's podcast.
by far one of my favorite conversations with an owner who truly understands her brand and has made it resonate in everything her business does.
If you're familiar with the Birmingham, AL based franchise, Iron Tribe - then you'll know they came onto the scene strongly in the post 2008 CrossFit era and have grown impressively to ~36 locations, mostly franchised.
Recently I saw a local Iron Tribe running one of Alex Hormozi's Gym Launch ads....and it got me thinking...
Shawn Rider is the owner of Shenandoah.Fit and most recently has created an opportunity for gym owners to convene onsite at his facility and learn how to create more consistent, effective and branded coaching experience.
Shawn and his head coach Jerod have put together a 1 day immersive coaching development seminar on July 28th. For more information, check out www.opequon.co
Thought I'd share with you guys the scenario of being removed from the technician role in your gym/studio...and then all of sudden being thrusted back into it.
The in the dirt work is something we want to get you out of doing 90%+ of the time...but I think there's a good lesson to be learned from my story:
every now and then...it's good to get your hands dirty
Here's how life works...and coincidentally, also business.
If you're hot AF, you can get away with having the personality of a fork (for a little while).
But when you're busted AF, you better be funny, charming, witty or have some other positive personality trait.
Your business is very similar. Watch n' learn.
Stealing is a unique verb in the fitness industry.
Another studio "stealing" your ideas.
Another trainer "stealing" your clients.
Another competitor "stealing" your workouts.
Do me a favor.
watch this video...might change your fucked up perspective on "stealing"
Starting to record all the podcasts on the roof with video content...so if you're into looking at good looking ginger guys talk shop on owning a business in the fitness industry, then take your ass over to the WTF Gym Talk Facebook page and take it all in...otherwise, sit back and enjoy the podcast.
Just wanted to take a few minutes to spit on what an amazing weekend that transpired at CrossFit 908 Central in NJ. Amazing gym owners, incredible people and I'm beyond humbled to have your attention.
Spring Training 2019 is going to be fucking nuts. DM me to get on the waiting list.
Steve is the fucking man.
Besides being one of the honestly, nicest guys I've ever encountered...he's done things with his business that would give me blood in my urine and and problematic drinking habit.
This guy doesn't just own his own building - be constructed a 50,000 sqft behemoth from the ground up. Literally.
Steve also created a hyper-successful program to introduce his product to the market - EvoFit.
We jam on all this and more. Listen & learn.
This is Brandon Cullen.
Brandon grew up an athlete. Became a fitness coach. Encounter CrossFit and started his journey in the microgym space.
However, Brandon decided to zig whenever one else was zagging.
Brandon didn't align himself with all the core values of CrossFit and had his own recipe for group strength & conditioning.
This is his story and it's a damn fucking good one. Enjoy.
How many of you think this when doing payroll each month:
"Where the fuck is this money going!?!"
"I still have to constantly follow up on these guys, re-do their jobs, always micromanaging, etc".
Many times, we have swelled our payroll costs with nothing but part-time employees + energy exchange individuals.
Both have huge merit and can play awesome utility roles in your fitness business. But ultimately, we need to find a way to bring on people in a full time capacity to ever really have them bought into the business.
I think most of you guys are spending enough money in payroll for someone to come on full time, you just don't realize it yet.
If you know someone in the fitness industry that claims to be closing 90% of his/her prospective customers on their service....then one of the following statements is true:
1. They are full of shit.
2. Their price is too low.
Give this a listen and let me break it down for you.
I think there are two types of prospects looking for fitness - those looking for "starter fitness" and those looking to "enhance their fitness".
I dive into what these two avatars look like, how to appeal to both and why it's important that you realize that each subgroup needs it's own special marketing message.
Recently a gym owner made a comment to me that prompted this podcast.
He asked me, "Why do you come off like such a dick?"
My style. My delivery. My voice...is mine.
It's me. It's not contrived. It's not created to razz you or create a "shock jock" type persona. It's who I am. It's authentic to me and my story.
Use this a nod. Use this as a suggestion: ESTABLISH YOUR OWN VOICE.
You want to standout in a crowded marketplace? ESTABLISH YOUR OWN VOICE.
You want you clients to rally behind your brand. ESTABLISH YOUR OWN VOICE.
You get the idea. Listen to the rest.
Brian Strump is probably one of my favorite gym owners. Honest as hell, blunt as fuck...but he's a Michigan fan, so he's dead to me during college football season.
But that aside, awesome guy, wise business owner and is constantly providing practical, valuable advice to gym owners.
Best part? Brian is technically a competitor of mine. We own competing businesses in the same city. Yet, we share idea, equipment and even employees.
See. We play nice. Why can't you and your surrounding competition?
Have you created the appropriate proven process and educated your members as to how they can get their friend introduced to your service?
Or is that structure loosely established and not well known?
Why don't more members refer their clients? I've got some answers on that.
If you are looking at something from afar - another gym..another concept...something that you watch with admiration for what they've built. Get up and go fuck with them.
Travel. Send an email. Make a phone call.
Let that person know that you admire what they've done and you'd like to come check out the machine up, close and in person.
The abundance mindset is flourishing in most successful entrepreneurs. Go fuck with them. You won't be disappointed.
Finally brought Joe Tebaldi, my biz coach for all things marketing + branding related.
In this completely unstructured podcast, we literally sit in my office and shoot the shit on marketing, growing your biz in the microgym industry, how fucking up will help grow your business and more.
Enjoy...oh and sign up for Spring Training 2018 ;)
"I HAVE to go open up the gym in the morning."
"I HAVE to fill in for my coach who called in sick."
"I HAVE to fire one of my employees".
Don't forget where you came from. Where owning a business was a just a dream. Now you actually own it - and all the headaches that come with it.
So think twice before you start bitching about the day-to-day headaches that comes hand in hand with GETTING to create your own destiny with your business.
One of the biggest issues with profitability in the microgym model (especially the CrossFit sector) is the issue of creating enough operational capacity to be appropriately profitable.
Operational capacity is your ability to generate enough profit out of your space via your workout service logistics.
My guess...you are def. not optimizing your operational capacity.
Creating allies + colleagues within your competitive marketplace is a play that most gym owners are hesitant or even openly against.
I can't get behind it or understand why. Here's my breakdown as to why I've always created a strong network with my "competition" and how the ROI is 10x.
Jacob W. from BearFitness sent me a request to jam on focus and how should biz owners organize their focus with so many items that require their attention.
Great question Jacob. This is one of those - it depends- type situations, but I do my best to layout an avatar for you guys to align yourself with and then pick the best route for you and your biz.
I'm obsessed with the concept of creating rituals in your business and for the group fitness industry - in your classes.
Take 10 min out of your day to get a better idea as to how you can start using rituals to create a consistent CX, different naming conventions to distinguish your offering and how the combination of the two allow you to stand apart.
In a sea of microgyms looking to differentiate themselves - many are turning to rebranding efforts, adding in new features and services and including more technology into their training.
With the rise of Orangetheory Fitness, heart rate monitor technology has made it's way from the exercise phys. lab class to prime time once again.
Does adding this piece of tech help your gym gain an advantage in the market?
In order to give you guys some context as to where my experience comes from, where my background and mindset comes from...I summarized my journey that has lead me through the fitness spectrum to where I sit today.
Hopefully this will give you some context as to where some of my thoughts on the fitness industry come from...
Not many players in the supplement industry that I respect, but this guy is the exception to that.
I really don't give a shit if you order his product, but def. learn from the wisdom that he brings to the table in terms of retail, selling any product and organizing the the tug of war between supply & demand.
How much thought do you give to the actual appearance & design of your business?
Do you take time to research retail design and figure out how the apparel should hang, look, cost, interact with customers, etc.
Your bathrooms, are they there for necessity or to create an experience? Yes...taking a piss in the gym is an experience. It's either gross AF or surprising clean, fresh and impressive.
Bottom line: much of what you offer is a commodity...what can you do to make yourself stand out compared to your competitors?
One too many emails & DMs asking me to recreate another client's success prompted this one.
A great biz coach who has had great success with a certain client, can't guarantee you the same success.
You are the X factor. You are the independent variable.
Everyone is looking for a button to be able to push to make the leads pour in, to fix their staffing issue, to give them all the marketing answers.
That's not how this works my friends.
A quick tactic that I use in sales training with my gym owners and I have them utilize during their consultations. If you want more of this - get signed up for Spring Training 2018. wtfgymtalk.com/springtraining
Too much caffeine plus I listened to an entire Logic album and I just decided to turn on the recorder and jam on the daily struggles we experience as gym owners, but that it's all part of the game, and if you want to play you have to be ready to take this shit on every.damn.day.
Another early morning rant where I use the success of companies like Silk & NETFLIX to tell a very important story for any business owner - you have to be unique in order to standout in the marketplace.
What are the consistent practices of your business?
Does your company utilize a reliable, enduring set of lexicon, rituals and business flow that creates a consistent customer experience?
If you don't know EXACTLY how and why a client has an amazing experience, it means you can re-create it.
And if you can't figure out how to re-create it...it won't be long till someone moves into town that has it figured out.
When was the last time you had an Ah-Ha! moment???
Do you have your own "Ah-Ha!" moments, or are you just implementing someone else's?
IMO, successful businesses will have "Ah-Ha!" moments. Whether they are as profound as sliced bread, CrossFit or something as internal and unique re-developing the training program for staff.
I think most business owners are having their own "Ah-Ha!" moments. They just aren't recognizing them and giving them the energy needed to fully unleash their potential.
Recorded this one while walking Jameo (figures) and I had just come off a call with one of my gym owners who shared with me one of his good ideas and then how he executed.
It fired me up so I decided to spit on that topic:
Ideas are shit. Execution is everything.
Inspired from Traction by Wickman, what are your 3 Uniques.
What are the 3 things that separate you from your competitors?
You should have 3. And if you can't identify them or if you think that your coaching, community and programming are your 3 uniques...you need to listen to this.
Owning a business is all about fucking up and taking a loss, an "L".
Show me someone who has 0 marks in the L category and I'll show you someone who is full of shit or someone who is about to crash and burn.
Fucking up is REQUIRED to be great.
Winning isn't endearing. Success is endearing.
This is a follow up to Sales Psychology Pt. 1 that I published several weeks ago.
For most of my gym owners, the biggest issue with sales is simply asking for the money, or even addressing it during the consultation.
This is where I typically go in the opposite direction of other sales training gurus. Take a listen and see if this doesn't change your mindset during the sales process.
Not a big fan of the term consultant, mentor, business coach, etc.
I resonate better with "problem solver".
And while I do this for a living, there are several other ways you can help solve your business problems without hiring a coach.
Regardless of how you choose to get help, take a listen and let me tell you about my problem solvers and how they've helped me create the businesses I have now.
In the past year I've coached over 30 gyms through effective price raises. Cancellation rates b/t 3-7%, avg. revenue growth 26% and 100% growth in experience and maturity for the business owner who had a hard time seperating the emotional and rational side of owning a business.
This past week - I raised prices on my clients. Not at my gym, but my consulting clients. It sucks. But I realize that even though I'm extremely emotionally attached to them (more than you could imagine), I owe it to my business to put the business in a position to succeed.
One of my all time favorite interviews...and I barely spoke (weird). Mike has built 3 successful CrossFit affiliates in MN and then, at the peak of his success, realized there was a gap in the market and created Alchemy 365. This one you don't want to miss.
I don't like the term marketing or advertising. I prefer Story Telling. I believe with the social media platforms we have access to today, it is a true representation with how we turn prospects into customers and customers into raving fans.
If you haven't ready StoryBrand by Donald Miller, I highly recommend it. This podcast was inspired by his book. Hope you find it helpful.
"It's the magician, not the wand."
This is a phrase I've used all throughout my coaching career and it rings true especially for business owners. It's not your equipment, location, marketing tactic, fancy this or that....it's you. You are the difference maker, you are rainmaker. Start betting on yourself vs. the auxiliary items that you may be associating with success.
Knowing the mindset of your prospect when you are engaging with them for the first time is a must. If you can't get understand thought process of someone looking to buy from you, then I highly doubt you'll be able to solve their problem and sell them your services.
Not really. I obviously don’t want you to stop doing the things you love. However, I do want you to realize that your job as a business owner is to replace yourself. Even within the roles that you absolutely love, it may be critical for you to find a replacement.
Alex Hormozi, owner of Gym Launch - a company known for their 6 week challenges & client acquisition services. Highly discussed and debated with affiliate owners as everyone is digging for leads in a world of FB marketing ,Click Funnels and landing pages.
I drop in to as many gyms as I can when I travel. Not cause I really care about improving my fitness, but because I like seeing how we are all doing our thing. Here are some of the things I’ve seen in my visits that I hope none of you guys are guilty of...and if so, no worries - good news is you have the power to change it.
So an Instagram video that Blue Ridge CF posted got some serious blowback within the past 12 hours and thought I’d comment on it. Here’s the link if you’re unaware http://wlos.com/news/local/gym-owner-apologizes-after-controversial-instagram-video
How are you communicating with your prospects before meeting them face-to-face? Most of us are using some combination (hopefully) Of email, text message and video message, phone call, Facebook, etc. Here’s the rundown as to how I recommend you conduct these touchpoints with your prospect before ever meeting them in person.
Developing your coaches is quite broad topic but I try to break down my favorite practices in creating a team of coaches that truly represent your brand and that you’re proud to leave your clients in their hands.
“If it’s not broke, don’t fix it..” Is a saying I use quite often, but I don’t necessarily agree with it. There are aspects of your business right now that are currently working, they are allowing you to survive… But they are not allowing you to thrive. They may not necessarily be broken, but that doesn’t mean they cannot be improved.
Do you have a “less expensive” program that you use to draw in membership? While these LBO offers can drive high traffic, make sure you don’t act disappointed when they don’t convert to your higher priced membership.
Instead of venturing through the CrossFit Affiliate Owners Facebook groups, asking the same exact question that’s been asked a hundred times, answered the same way by the same 30 individuals - why don’t you try something new? Like this - get out of your fucking gym and see what else the microgym world has to offer. You’d be surprised what you can learn from others.
When I hear the following from the gym owner, “there’s no way anyone will pay that in my market”. “These people can’t afford that high of a price point”. I collectively lose my shit and rightfully so. Give this a listen and tell me if you truly think it’s the prospect that doesn’t value your service or is it you?
There’s a lot of basic math that gets missed by gym owners when opening their business. They base their membership and service prices and what the rest of the market is doing and sometimes their past experiences as a client. When really the math is much easier than that. I’m gonna walk you through how to take the square footage of your building and reverse engineer your pricing structure.
A great conversation with CrossFit Merle Hay, as we discuss
⁃how to handle those times of the year where you KNOW you’ve got large expenses due (affiliate fees, taxes, insurance, etc)
⁃utilizing Quickbooks Online as a huge bookkeeping hack for small biz owners
⁃creating a higher barrier to entry by requiring Personal Training before entry to group class
With Black Friday steadily upon us, gym owners are going to be tempted to make equipment purchases that are relatively awesome deals. And for those of you in a profitable situation - go for it. For those of you not in a great profit scenario...then I advise against the attractive expense that is increased equipment inventory. The other item to take into consideration when purchasing equipment is operational capacity which I hit on here as well.
In part two of the series we’re gonna talk about how to set up your consultation for the ultimate success in selling the prospect of personal training. The key here is making sure that you make the prospect aware of the final that requires personal training before group class. This is an easy explanation when the common association with CrossFit in the market is injury.
Selling PT @ Point of Sale (POS). When evaluating a gyms financial health, one of the metrics I look at is what is their POS cash vs POS EFT ( electronic funds transfer). This tells me if the gym is only selling a monthly membership or if they are also selling PT on the front end. This 4 part series will cover 1. WHY YOU NEED TO SELL PT AT POS. 2. HOW TO CONDUCT A CONSULTATION 3. HOW TO CREATE A GREAT FIRST WORKOUT (THAT SELLS THE PT FOR YOU!). 4. HOW TO CLOSE AND HANDLE OBJECTIONS
Running gimmicky 6 week challenges is the latest marketing effort that we see domination the microgym space. While none of this is new to other businesses, it definitely has been showing the light to many gym owners who may not have the business acumen in comparison to their coaching skills. So here are my thoughts on these different companies and what I think we can all learn from them.