Can a Gym Owner Add $6,000 in Revenue in 8 Weeks?

Can a Gym Owner Add $6,000 in Revenue in 8 Weeks?

Mike Warkentin (00:01):
Austin, you just completed RampUp with Two-Brain. How much money did you add your gross revenue?

Austin Ruesink (00:06):
Gross revenue was roughly about $6,000 over the last eight weeks.

Mike Warkentin (00:10):
Whoa. That is a huge number in a short period of time. Would you be willing to tell other gym owners how you did it?

Austin Ruesink (00:16):
Yeah! We’re a personal training facility. We only focus—well, I won’t say “only”—but we mainly focus on personal training compared to other gyms that are kind of doing more of the group classes, the boot camps, etc. And we’ve really kind of dove in on that a hundred percent. You know, we still have the boot camps. We still have all that, but that’s not where our effort has been, as that is our bread and butter. So that’s something I’ve been working on with my mentor, Storm, is really kind of dialing in on everybody that’s coming through. We want to really be working on the “hey, here’s the personal training.” We get that out in front of ’em, we show ’em how great it is, we show ’em all the benefits that come with it, the value of it, and then if it comes to where they don’t wanna do the personal training, then we can move ’em to a boot camp or something of the sort.

Austin Ruesink (01:06):
But that has been our main focus—and also getting systems installed as well has been really huge. A big thing that I came into was, I was approaching a one-year status of owning the place and was like, “Okay, I can’t keep this up. There’s just no way. Like it’s affecting my life with my wife. I’m not seeing friends and family. I’m up here 80 hours a week.” And, you know, after I kind of got the systems put out in front of me, I kind of started to see, “Oh, well this helps here, this helps here, this helps here.” And so it’s really just been all together everything that’s really brought us here.

Mike Warkentin (01:45):
Okay. So those are the broad strokes. And this is Run a Profitable Gym. I’m your host, Mike Warkentin. And Austin, my friend here, he runs Big Time Results in Springfield, Missouri. He’s a recent graduate of the Two-Brain RampUp program. It’s a high-speed sprint, one on one, with a mentor, a real person. It produces impressive results—like Austin’s. 93% of RampUp clients add enough revenue in just 12 weeks to pay for the program. That’s a huge stat and a great investment. We’re gonna dig into Austin’s numbers today. He’s given you some tips already how we did it. But Austin, I’m gonna ask you this. Do you have any other numbers? Average revenue per member? Anything else that you can tell me as a before and after from RampUp?

Austin Ruesink (02:25):
Yeah, so our average revenue per member before we started the RampUp program was still pretty good. It was around the mid-two-hundreds. We’re pretty fortunate where we’re at, but we have had some expenses along the way. But since getting through this eight weeks or eight to 12 weeks of the RampUp program, we’re about low threes to mid $300 per member.

Mike Warkentin (02:54):
It’s funny ’cause again we have people on social media all the time saying “no one will pay 300 hundred dollars for a gym membership,” and yet it’s happening at your gym. And, listeners, interesting fact, Austin cannot record in his gym right now. He’s not in his gym because his gym is full of people and he has to record somewhere else, which is a good problem to have. We were laughing about that before the show started. I thought I’d let you guys know. So average revenue per member went up, which is huge. Gross revenue went up. Any of the other numbers? Those are two big ones, so I won’t press you for more if those are the ones you’ve got.

Austin Ruesink (03:25):
No, it’s been kind of flaky off and on with client retention. So I just bought the gym a year ago. So that’s been a little up and down, keeping those. But something that has been started in the Growth program, which, you know, we’re talking about RampUp right now, but we have brought in people with some affinity marketing and also with online marketing as well. So that might be our second call that we go over that. But that would be my third big number.

Mike Warkentin (03:52):
So, listeners, again, the Growth program comes after RampUp. Austin completed RampUp. He’s now moving into Growth. RampUp provides a foundation. Growth is a bit more tactical, where we’re picking specific things with a mentor to fix and work on to grow your gym. We’ve got a huge toolkit that will help you do it. So tell people where you’re coming from. What’s the short history of your business? You mentioned that you bought it a year ago. Give me the short history of what your gym does, what it sells, who you are. What’s the basis of your success here?

Austin Ruesink (04:24):
Sure. Yeah. So I was in school. I was going to school to become a registered dietitian was working in the hospital, and it’s just like, “You know what? I can’t really help people as much as I want to here.” I got a reference to go work at Big Time Results and worked there for about five, six years through my undergrad, my internship. And then the opportunity came. I was actually training—this would be a pretty good story for a lot of people listening to this. I was training two clients, and they were like, “You know what? Let’s buy this place. We think you could run this. You could bring the nutrition. You’re already like the main trainer. You’re a student. Let’s do this.” I told ’em “no” for multiple months. And finally about two weeks after my graduation of becoming a dietitian, we decided to purchase the gym. So we got into that. And so before I even owned it, it was mainly kind of like a 75-25 of personal training and then boot camp. What we mainly offer now is the personalization of personal training. We offer group training, we offer couples training, we offer partner training. We still have the boot camps, and we’re getting ready to start nutrition probably come first of the year with obviously me being a dietitian. We’re a little behind on that.

Mike Warkentin (05:37):
But you’re hyper qualified to add it.

Austin Ruesink (05:39):
Yeah. But this is something we learned from Two-Brain as well. We’re trying to get more profit first before we move on to just another program like nutrition. We wanna make sure we have our ducks in a row. But that’s our main offering: personal training. And what we really dial in on is having people understand the value of having that one-on-one experience with a personal trainer. You know, we always tell everybody “there’s just nothing like it.” It’s like if you go to the mechanic, you listen to your mechanic. And you go to the doctor, you listen to your doctor. And health and wellness? Go see a person that’s good at health and wellness. And so that’s our main goal is to have them see that value.

Mike Warkentin (06:17):
Okay, so you’ve been at this gym for five or six years. You’ve been there in charge running the show for a year now. You’ve got a ton of skills. Obviously you’re highly educated, which is super cool, and you’ve got a personal-training basis for this thing. So you run some small groups, and you’re going to add in some nutrition stuff. Gym owners who are listening, know this: You don’t have to add everything all at once and all the things. It’s better to have a small number of highly profitable, very strong revenue streams rather than all these random things that are difficult to manage that fall apart and maybe putter along. A couple of good ones: Personal training, high-value group training is another one. Nutrition is a huge one. A kids program is another one. Those are four. If you have those four, you can run a very profitable gym, make a hundred thousand dollars a year or more. You don’t need all the stuff, but you can certainly tack things on. There is a plan for doing that. That’s beyond the scope of this show. What we’re gonna do here is talk about the early stages of gym ownership. So in your first year, I gotta know, why did you sign up for mentorship? Like what made you pull the trigger on that, And what were you hoping to accomplish with it?

Austin Ruesink (07:23):
It was just kind of one of those things where I just was getting so burnt out. I have two investors. They do nothing with the gym. It’s just me. But they were kind of noticing me kind of get the burnout, you know, it kind of was—

Mike Warkentin (07:36):
Getting cranky at meetings?

Austin Ruesink (07:37):
Exactly, yeah. My wife was noticing it. She was like, “Ah, you’re getting a little, you know, you’re coming home late.”

Mike Warkentin (07:43):
“Austin’s got an edge!”

Austin Ruesink (07:44):
Yep. So it was finally, you know, there was a certain point where what I did, I really learned from my clients. They took the step to go, “You know what? I’m gonna reach out to an expert and have them help me achieve something I want to achieve.” And that was something I really was dialing in and watching them do. And I’m like, “Well, why am I not doing that?” So I went out and looked at different companies that offer mentorship, but by far, you know, Two-Brain immediately got me on a Zoom. It was supposed to be like a 45-minute call. The guy talked to me for like an hour and a half. It was just one of those where I immediately knew, “Okay, they’re not really here just to take the money. And it’s also not just a bunch of gimmicky sales stuff like ‘you need to be DMing this person.'” I could tell what you guys were doing was—like you kind of just said earlier. It’s like, “Hey, start with the small stuff that leads to the big stuff.” And I knew that’s what I was missing ’cause I didn’t go to school on how to learn to run a business and do all these things. This is kind of my way of getting that education to understand “okay, there needs to be systems installed.” That’s why I reached out.

Mike Warkentin (08:56):
And what did you wanna accomplish? Like when you sat there on that call, if you were looking at your gym before you signed up, what did you wanna change? Like what, what for you would’ve equaled success? Did you have that in your mind then? Or was it just “fix everything”?

Austin Ruesink (09:10):
Yeah, that’s a good question. I wasn’t prepared for that question. I would say it really just kind of came down to—I knew I wasn’t gonna be able to keep that up, like doing the 80 hours. Like I knew it wasn’t fair to my friends and family. I knew I wasn’t fully energetic with the clients that I’m still training, I’m still working with. That’s not fair to them. And there were all these things I was starting to really see build up—kind of that snowball effect. And so that’s what really made me reach out: I was at a breaking point. It was do or die. And that’s where I started looking into the mentorship, and that’s what brought me to you guys.

Mike Warkentin (09:45):
Yeah. So unsustainable work hours. That’s a huge one I hear from a lot of gym owners. Like 60, 80 hours are not uncommon. I’ve done it, too. It’s not sustainable. And if you’re a gym owner out there who’s doing this and you have this time to listen to this podcast, know that you will burn out no matter how powerful and strong you are and driven. You will burn out. It happens to all of us, but there are ways to fix this. So let’s talk about how you fixed it. You get into the RampUp program, and you’re matched up with a mentor. What happens? Walk me through what happened right away when you started because you ripped through this program in short order

Austin Ruesink (10:19):
I mean, it’s pretty scary up front because I mean there’s a lot to do, and there’s a lot of stuff. Like, gosh, I mean I ran the place for a year, and I’m reading terms that I don’t even know. And it’s sometimes embarrassing when you’re reading certain financial terms. But I’d say the thing that really started off best for me was getting systems installed. One of the first things I learned with my mentor was he asked the question of, I think he called it “the bus experiment.” Like if you get hit by a bus, what happens tomorrow? And I’m like, “Oh God.” You know, this place…

Mike Warkentin (10:55):
If you go down that place falls apart.

Austin Ruesink (10:56):
Within 10 days. I mean, some people don’t even know passwords to like software and stuff. So I mean that was probably the thing I think I got started with. The best was getting systems installed, and then it was really going through, I think it was the middle part of RampUp, where we start kind of hitting the financials. Like you’re checking on the expenses. Like, “What’s the return of investment on this expense? What is this and that?” And so I think that was the two areas by far in RampUp that helped me the most because now I’m able to help my staff more. You know, I can sit down with them and help them keep retention on clients and everything. Cause I don’t have to be doing the janitor work. I don’t have to be doing all the stuff we were just talking about. If you’re doing the 60, 80 hours a week…

Mike Warkentin (11:44):
There’s no gym owner that I’ve spoken to who has reduced hours without systems and procedures. It’s just the way you do it. And, like you said, there’s a lot of stuff that you have to do, but the reward is well worth it because you’re not working 80 hours again, your wife isn’t seeing a cranky person across from the table. Your business partners aren’t seeing a burned-out guy who’s going to fall apart in the business. It’s worth it. You said initially you get into this and you’re seeing like, “Wow, there’s this huge pile of stuff. I don’t know all of it,” and you feel a bit overwhelmed. How does a mentor help you get through that and find the confidence to just chip away in the right order?

Austin Ruesink (12:19):
Yeah, that’s the beautiful part is you can send an email. They’re absurdly fast. Storm always gets back to me it seems like always a little less than three or four hours. It was very rare that he never gets back to me within a day. And if it is, I usually start the email with “no rush, this is a dumb question.” I hear not only just from myself, but I see from others in the Facebook group that we have, like, other mentors do this. And also Storm does this as well. My mentor as well, if you have a question, you know, you maybe have a phone call set up maybe a week from now. They’ll usually squeeze you in if you have a real big question at hand. Or I never had anything too crazy that I had to reach out by call. But I’ve seen numerous people constantly reach out, and that has made me feel super comforted. I haven’t ran into anything yet that I’ve been like panicky that I need to get on a Zoom call or a phone call with my mentor yet. But it’ll happen. I know it will. So I’m glad the option is there. And I think that’s probably the better part of that as well: it’s like going to class but with a professor that cares. I think that’s the way to kind of put this—you know, everybody has gone to class, and you ask questions, and the teacher kind of fluffs you off or whatever. They don’t really respond with the answer you’re wanting or they’re like, “Oh, just look more into the data.” Where here I’ve had the mentor go, “Oh yeah, it’s this, this, do this, and then I’ll send you some ideas.” You know, so like that has been by far the biggest thing: it’s someone actually reaching out to help you. It’s actual helping.

Mike Warkentin (13:48):
So rather than dump a giant curriculum of stuff on you, a mentor leads you through it, shows you the path and helps you find the success, get some wins, get some momentum. And then at the end of this thing, I look and you’ve got this gigantic increase in gross revenue. People are gonna wanna know a few details about that. Obviously you improved every aspect of your business, but what are some specifics that are tied to that $6,000 increase in gross revenue in like eight weeks?

Austin Ruesink (14:15):
Again, I hate to keep coming back to it. It had to be the systems.

Mike Warkentin (14:20):
No, hammer that. That’s important.

Austin Ruesink (14:23):
30, 35 hours of personal training as I’m starting, and then that’s including administration, that’s including orientation, that’s including janitorial work, that’s opening the gym, that’s closing the gym, that’s getting new staff members ready. So I mean there’s all the million things other owners listening to this are gonna know. A million things that are piled up on an owner. What has helped is now when I go into a client orientation, I have the information like the pricing presentation that we worked on in RampUp. Now I have a script to go right off of. I don’t have to go into a client orientation blind, not knowing how to do necessarily the sales, not knowing how to represent what we do at Big Time Results. When I’m going in there, it’s not Hour 14 on the client orientation. You know, I’ve worked systems out to where we’ve hired two staff members now that have taken over some of my hours, taken over some of the janitorial work—you know, the “value ladder.”

Mike Warkentin (15:27):
Yep. Climbing that.

Austin Ruesink (15:28):
The value ladder, you know, that’s probably my favorite thing that I’ve done in RampUp. The value ladder, figuring out, “Oh my gosh, I’m making almost $13 an hour doing all this.” And I found out, whoa, that’s not sustainable, you know, at the end of the day. And so that has been by far the thing with RampUp that’s helped me the most—it’s distributing the work where, you know, it’s not that that work is lesser than me. It’s just that work is not sustainable, and vice versa. It’s not profitable … Like, you don’t make money cleaning. Does it help sell? Of course. But if you pay somebody $13, $14, $15 an hour to clean, you can go make a sale with two people. But before it was very hard to … I’m very Type A. I want my thumbs on. It’s gotta be clean. It’s gotta be perfect. But that’s something that working with the mentor has really helped me with: they’ll get it done. They’ll get it right. Just teach ’em how to do it. Give them a playbook or give them a script on how to clean it. Get those things in line. It’ll work out. And I’ve seen the benefit of it. So it definitely works.

Mike Warkentin (16:42):
Well, you’re a coach and a dietitian. You have high, high-value skills that are wasted if you’ve got your arm up a toilet fishing something out. It’s obvious—but it’s not obvious at the time because I did the same thing.

Austin Ruesink (16:54):
That’s the reality. Like it was something I’m still struggling with and, Mike, I’m into the different program now of Growth, and I still am looking back going, “Oh well there’s a little bit of chalk over there in that corner.” But it’s one of those things: you had to take that step back and like you just said, “Well, okay, I don’t have to worry about that. I need to be worrying about bringing more people in because then the people that are trained, I can help them provide for their families more as well, too.” So I mean it’s a win-win

Mike Warkentin (17:22):
Listeners, the value ladder: I’ll give you the short summary of that. Austin provided the perfect real-world example. We have a system called “climbing the value ladder.” You are going to take a look at what you’re making per hour. Austin said it was about 13 bucks. Okay? You make a list of every role and task in your business, and you start looking at them and say, what can I offload? Cleaning is an obvious one. You can probably hire a cleaner for $13 to $20 depending on your market, whatever it is. You offload that task, you take the hours that you spent cleaning, then you reinvest those in a higher-value role. Sales is a very high-value role. If you make one sale, you will probably pay for your cleaner.

Austin Ruesink (17:59):

Mike Warkentin (17:59):
And we have a whole ladder effect that goes all the way up, including general managers, CEOs and all sorts of stuff. But there is a process for this. It involves simple math, and then it’s just changing, changing, changing, making some swaps, a few hires here and there. And then having a mentor tell you exactly which activities you can pursue to add revenue to pay for what you just did. So it’s not like “I hired and everything is fixed.” It’s “I hired, then I put in a No Sweat Intro free consultation process. I put together a sales binder. I’m making better, more valuable sales. My business is growing.” Is that what happened to you when you started selling like that?

Austin Ruesink (18:36):
Yeah, a hundred percent. I mean that’s the reality. Like at first, like I said, I was not comfortable with it. I was nervous. I was like, “Oh man …” You know, I’ve got good staff, too. That’s the thing. Like I really can’t complain about most of ’em. But I was still nervous because this is my baby, because I wanted everything to be perfect. But the reality of the matter is there’s no perfection. So that was something that was very hard. That was where I’d say that was some of the best value from having a mentor was: “Hey, dude, we get it.” Like you just said, you did it. You know, my mentor did it. Everybody here, everybody in this, has done it. But that was the hardest part: to kind of have to lay down the sword and understand “okay, I need to take a step back here ’cause otherwise you’re just spinning your wheels to spin your wheels.”

Mike Warkentin (19:25):
I’m very similar to you where I’m like, “That thing is outta place. That dumbbell is twisted a little bit sideways.” You know, it bugged me. Putting together roles and tasks specifically in a staff playbook allowed me to say, “I have outlined exactly how I want this done.” I now have an evaluation process for staff to correct things if there are issues and I can offer support. That allowed me to kind of step back and just, you know, you’re not washing your hands of things. You’re saying exactly how you want it done and then making sure it’s done that way. Did that help you sleep at night?

Austin Ruesink (19:53):
Yeah, definitely. That’s by far something that’s easier to do. And also it’s something I’ve taught them that they have seen. So like since we’ve entered Growth, we’ve added four clients just right away. And now the trainers are starting to see, “Oh, it’s clean in here, and it doesn’t smell like a locker room, and there’s music playing, and all these things are running correctly. Oh wow. We make more money, too.” It’s kind of walking them to the big picture. It’s like, “Oh ,this is why we do it.” And it’s like, “Yes, I understand you gotta take five seconds outta your day to move the dumbbell back up to the rack. I get that. I get it. But the big overall thing here is we’re all in this together.” So if that person comes in and they buy a membership or buy sessions with us, they likely might have a friend that wants to come here, and now you are getting another client. So it’s always this never-ending snowball of “if you got everything functioning right, everything will function right.”

Mike Warkentin (21:00):
And if you’ve got staff members who are acquiring clients, that’s gonna be more profit for your gym, right? Because there’s more revenue. You’ve got your profit margin set up, which we teach people do in RampUp, and all of a sudden, you know, you’re offloading training to other trainers, you’re taking a percentage, and your gym is growing. Tell me about this. You went from 80 hours—what are you working now, and gimme the broad strokes of what you spend those hours on.

Austin Ruesink (21:24):
It depends on the week, you know, that’s always kind of iffy. I’d say maximum I’m really putting in maybe 60 most. So I mean, again, I think that’s just gonna kind of always be a standard. It’s kind of hard to turn it off. I’m kind of one of those guys that lives to work, so that’s kind of one of those annoying habits that I have. But you know, what I’m mainly focusing on more now is getting the No Sweat Intros set up with everybody working on strategy sessions or goal reviews with new clients that we’re bringing in, like the ones we just talked about. And we had had I think three or four, don’t quote me there, but three or four signed up through, no, we have five, we had five sign up through RampUp. Cause I remember I told my mentor before “five would be ideal,” and he was super ecstatic when he was like, “Oh, well by the way you got five.” I was like, “he nailed it.” But you know, like working on that, keeping those retained, keeping retention high, that’s been something I’m working on a lot more. And then just kind of getting the other systems ready to get going. So trying to have the other programs get going. But again, now my time is more focused on, “Okay, well how do we make more profit here? How do we make more profit here?” So before it was more, “Oh God, make sure everything’s not on fire.”

Mike Warkentin (22:43):
Yeah. So you were talking to me at the beginning of the show like a janitor. You’re talking to me like a CEO now, right? You’re talking about profit margins, staffing solutions, program development, all the things that a CEO would do to grow revenue in a gym. And the beauty thing is you’re still in the first year of gym ownership. So yeah, you’re gonna work some extra hours, and you like to work. You can do that, but we’ve taken 25% off your hours, which is a huge deal. And as profit grows and the business stabilizes, you’re gonna be able to decide if you wanna work 60 hours. You can absolutely do it. But if you want to cut that back, you can. We have people, gym owners, that are in the end of our Growth program and moving on to the Tinker stage, which is Stage 3, the upper-level stage, and they work maybe one to five hours a month on their gym. And that one to five hours is often spent meeting with staff members and telling them how this should go and then checking in later on. And at that point, these tinkers then start to look at, “Okay, can I open a second location? Should I start a distillery? Should I bring a sports beverage to market?” And these are things that actually happened. Airbnbs, all sorts of investments. You have options as your business stabilizes. You have profit, and you have options for stuff. So Austin is living exactly that, where he is working 60 hours, but it’s less and he’s probably a better husband, I’m guessing. And you’re spending your time on those high-value roles like sales, No Sweat Intros, retention. If you have a gym with $350 average revenue per member, retention is one of the most important things you could possibly do. The second most important thing would be acquiring more people. Tell me more about that retention. Like that’s gotta be huge focus for you if you’ve got high-value clients.

Austin Ruesink (24:19):
Yeah, I mean that’s the reality. That’s the beauty of the personal-training realm. If you bring in, gosh, you know, four people that month, you’re like, “Whoa.” If you’re just even at $300 average revenue, there’s an extra $1,200 in revenue. So I mean that’s quick. You know, that’s just another level of “wow, I can move real quick.” And yeah, by far that’s the hardest part of retention is, you know, they’re spending that money, so they have to see the value of it. And so the more you can put in front of them “wow, look at where your goals were when you started. Now look where they are,” you know, cause we do our packages and packages of 10 sessions. So we try to always have a goal review about that seven to nine range of their sessions. And so right in between there I kind of sit them down, look at their goals. Again, back to having the systems. The trainers know, “Okay, now at that 8-session mark, we need to go back and look at their goals and make sure that we’re dialing in on that.” You obviously know the value of personal training. You know, you have someone that goes from a half a push-up to eight, and eight, eight sessions, and then boom! It’s life changing. You’re like, “Before you couldn’t even do a push-up if you fell. Like that’s a problem.” Like it’s not just about, you know, aesthetics, it’s, “You couldn’t do a push-up. So that means if you fell on the ground, and this is me having that medical background, you likely can’t get back up. So unless you have a smartwatch that can make a call, you’re in big trouble. So you know, now you can do a pushup, you’re fine. You fall down to the ground, get back up.” Or we had another one that told us, you know, “I can get down on and off the ground now with my grandchildren, and I have no pain, no issues getting up and down.” And that was after, you know, seven or eight sessions as well too. And I was like, “Man, if I could get that on 20 billboards” because that’s the reality of keeping that retention and keeping them moving forwards. Because now they see the value of what they’re doing. It’s not just going to the gym to go to the gym. They see more value in it than just how they look. They see, “Whoa, there’s more to this.”

Mike Warkentin (26:29):
So if I had told you back, you know, six months ago that you could add $6,000 to your gym in eight weeks, would you have believed me?

Austin Ruesink (26:39):
Probably not. No.

Mike Warkentin (26:43):
So the follow-up question is now that you’ve done it, and you know I’m gonna hint at the nutrition angle, do you see a path to adding another $6,000 and maybe another $10,000 or more?

Austin Ruesink (26:53):
Yeah, a hundred percent. That’s the beauty of this. Like I said, even though some people might get a little weary of the 60 hours I’m putting in, I love doing the personal training. I love my people. Now that I can start doing nutrition, I love being behind the desk talking nutrition. And yeah, that’s the reality. I look at this and I go, “Oh, this is cool. This could really start to get to moving.” And like you said, the more you know, it’s the reality of just doing business. If we’re more profitable, the more comfortable I am, and then the better practitioner I’m gonna be at health and wellness. And so the more comfortable you are, the more people you can help. And I think that is the biggest thing I love about being a part of Two-Brain, like you just said, is, man, we’re already here. Man, we just keep going and going up. Like how many people can we really help? This is awesome.

Mike Warkentin (27:42):
So gym owners, if your gym goes outta business, you can’t help anyone. That’s it, right?

Austin Ruesink (27:49):
Yeah. I mean, and I think that’s something hard to realize. When I first got in, I was like, I hated the—”Oh man, I gotta do the sales, I feel slimy.” It’s this and that. And then working with the mentor, he finally looked at me one day and was really kind of stern about it and was just like, “Hey dude, if you don’t have four walls and lights up in a ceiling, who are you helping?” And you know, I’d already discussed that: “I don’t wanna go back to the hospital.” And he is like, “You’re gonna have to go back to the hospital if that place isn’t running.” And I’m like, “That’s a good point.” You know, and it was not something I really liked to hear, but once it was said it was, “Oh man, you’re right.” Like you just said, if you don’t have a business, you’re not helping anybody. And that is what we’re in this for.

Mike Warkentin (28:29):
And because you have that business and solidified it, that person who can do those eight push-ups can now get up off the floor and isn’t gonna die down there. Right?

Austin Ruesink (28:37):
It’s life changing. It still gives me goosebumps to this day. That’s one of the—as funny as this is gonna sound—that’s one of my favorite things of doing those strategy sessions or goal reviews is hearing the people see the results. I still get goosebumps. I still love the face they have when they’re—you know, sometimes they’ll come in and they’re a little down and they’re like, “Well, I mean it’s only eight.” And I’m like, “And you were doing zero!” And then once you can kind of walk ’em to it, then like we just said, that light bulb clicks with them with:” Oh my gosh, you’re right.” And then you get—I’m getting goosebumps right now thinking about it. You see the life-changing effects you have, and it’s so cool. Like how many jobs allow you to smile every hour and help someone every hour? It’s not that common

Mike Warkentin (29:26):
Gym owners, if you’re not doing goal review sessions, I’m not gonna go off on a tangent here, but you should start, because what they do is they increase your retention, and they increase your average revenue per member. You will show your clients their successes and they will be blown away by what they’ve accomplished. They’re going to want to stay in your business. Do goal review sessions, and if you want a book that’s a resource, Chris Cooper has talked about this several times in the Gym Owners United group, “The Gap and the Gain.” The gap is thinking, “Oh my God, I’ve only done eight. I gotta get to 20.” The gain is like, “Dude, you had none and now you’ve got eight.” And that totally changes the mindset, and clients stay with your business. Start goal review sessions. Do you agree, Austin?

Austin Ruesink (30:03):
Yeah. Oh, agreed. We’ve had people move from doing one time a week to two or three times a week. Like I said, we don’t even offer nutrition, but I still have now three people coming in just doing nutrition consults with me even though we don’t have a program. I have three of my own that are coming in now just because they were sitting down with me in one of those goal reviews going, “I just don’t know what to do.” And, you know, I’d ask ’em just even basic nutrition questions and you know, I’d be like, “Well what protein foods do you like?” And they’d go, “Well, you know, like bread, corn. I’m like, “Whoa, okay, hold on. You know, not a, not a protein food. Okay, we need to start from the basics.” And so they kind of saw the value of that. And so it’s kind of a cheat code because you really get to know them better. It’s really cross sales more than up sales. It’s definitely a cross sale because you can move them over to nutrition. You can move ’em over to anything that you’re doing and you can help them or vice versa. During that RampUp program, we got two “seed clients” from doing those goal reviews. So that’s another one, too, where, it’s funny, I didn’t even sit down with them with that intention, and sure enough, I got two re referrals from it. So again, if you can take 15, 20 minutes outta your day to sit down with somebody about their goals, it’s huge. It just, there’s no negative.

Mike Warkentin (31:26):
I’m not gonna add a 62nd hour to your week here. I wanna thank you for everything you’ve shared. You’ve given people a ton of stuff to think about. Thank you so much, Austin. And I can’t wait to see what you accomplished with that nutrition program firing in a couple of months. Perfect,

Austin Ruesink (31:37):
Thank you.

Mike Warkentin (31:37):
That was Austin Ruesink, and this is Run a Profitable Gym. I’m your host, Mike Warkentin. I’m telling the stories of amazing gym owners every week. Please subscribe for more episodes, and if you’re on YouTube, hammer that like button, too, on your way out. Now here’s Two-Brain founder Chris Cooper with a final note.

Chris Cooper (31:53):
Hey, it’s Two-Brain founder Chris Cooper with a quick note. We created the Gym Owners United Facebook group to help you run a profitable gym. Thousands of gym owners just like you have already joined in the group. We share sound advice about the business of fitness every day. I answer questions, I run free webinars, and I give away all kinds of great resources to help you grow your gym. I’d love to have you in that group. It’s Gym Owners United on Facebook, or go to to join. Do it today!

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