“If that’s how I have to act to succeed in fitness, then this industry isn’t for me.”
The REAL low point of my career as a coach didn’t come when I was losing money. It came when I was losing hope.
In early 2008, I finally realized that I needed help to run my business. I had finally figured out that being a good coach didn’t translate into being a good entrepreneur, and I went looking for help. But what I found turned my stomach.
The fitness industry has always been full of snake oil, deceit and hustlers. I was used to bad behavior when it came to training, diets and supplements. But when I sought help for my business, I expected better.
What I found was bait-and-switch advertising; scammy sales pitches; fake “ownership” plots to keep coaches tied to bad gyms; and advertising gimmicks that just didn’t work. Everyone made claims; no one gave proof. It turned my stomach. And I thought, “If that’s what it takes to succeed in this industry, then I don’t want any part of it.”
Luckily, I found help outside the fitness business, and brought what I learned back with me. I started sharing these lessons on my first blog, DontBuyAds.com, and then continued to publish every day for the next 11 years. Some of the best early feedback I got was:
“Stop telling people what NOT to do. That’s what everyone else does.”
That was great advice. The fitness business doesn’t need more critics. The fitness business needs action. So I started writing more tactical blog posts: “Here’s how to do THIS”, “Here’s the first step to X”, and “Here’s your Intramural Open Playbook.” I started doing free calls, and telling gym owners exactly what to do–without trying to sell them anything. To date, our team has done over 2500 of these free calls, and I did the first 2000 myself.
Then something amazing happened.
Over the last decade, other fitness professionals have said “This industry must do better.” They committed themselves to serving their clients the RIGHT way: through the “Help First” philosophy; through fair and transparent pricing; through Intrapreneurial opportunities for their team.
Last weekend, 400 of us got together in Chicago. Here’s what that looks like:
These are the forerunners of change. These are the tip of the spear. And you can be one of us.
In Chicago, I told these fitness entrepreneurs that the tip of the spear had two edges: Opportunity, and Responsibility. These leaders will see further, and become more profitable, because they’re not burying their head in the industry mud. But it’s also their responsibility to lead others to positive business practices, honest care for their clients, and the Help First approach.
Many gym owners went home and started local meetup groups. Want to join one? Look at members.twobrainbusiness.com/map and talk to gym owners in your area.
Others began meeting with local entrepreneurs in other industries to help THEM. Because the force for positive change exceeds the limits of our industry. Other entrepreneurs need our help. My mission is to make gyms profitable. My vision is to have them do it the right way. And we’re winning. Want to talk to us about it? You can book a free call here.
Thank you to everyone who came to our 2019 Summit.
First with the head, then with the heart, then with the hands.
(And don’t forget to eat the sandwich.)