Episode 153 – The Tinker Phase of Entrepreneurship, with Jeff Smith

Episode 153 – The Tinker Phase of Entrepreneurship, with Jeff Smith

Jeff Smith is the owner of Cannon CrossFit, a real estate investor, and leader of the TwoBrain Tinker program.
In this episode, Jeff talks about his story, what it means to be a mentor, and what it means to help those in the Tinker Phase.

Contact Jeff:Jeff.smith@twobrainbusiness.com
Timeline:
2:39 – Introduction with Jeff Smith
11:30 – Joining Two Brain as a mentor
13:09 – Joining the military, the motivation behind the decision
15:31 – Jeff’s other business, real estate.
17:14 – The importance of being a lifelong learner
21:27 – The benefits of splitting up your day with a workout
22:39 – How has a real estate investing led to becoming a better mentor
26:12 – The importance of learning while mentoring someone else 
​29:53 – How to contact Jeff
​​

“For this reason, they must believe in the cause for which they are fighting. They must believe in the plan they are asked to execute, and most important, they must believe in and trust the leader they are asked to follow.”

—Jocko Willink, Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy Seals Lead and Win

Founder, Farmer, Tinker, Thief

In the Great Information Age, we all have access to more knowledge than we can absorb, let alone act upon. And action is the only thing that matters. So what knowledge should entrepreneurs have? What action should they take? When?

The modern problem for business owners isn’t lack of knowledge: it’s too much knowledge. It’s paralysis by analysis. It’s overwhelm.

Entrepreneurs pass through four distinct phases as they first grow their business, and then their leadership. These phases are Founder, Farmer, Tinker and Thief.

In the Founder Phase, the entrepreneur leaps off the cliff with his big idea. His goal is simple: to survive.

His big idea might leverage a better life, but his labor is the fulcrum. And that’s understood by the Founder, who embraces the romantic ideal of the entrepreneur: poring over the books at midnight, a trace smear of flour on his tired face, pondering the next step up the ladder to success. Hashtag #hustle, hashtag #grind.

The Founder Phase takes a heavy toll — physically exhausting, financially terrifying, and the largest strain on every personal relationship the Founder has. My job as mentor is to get the Founder out of the Founder Phase as quickly as possible. Many never survive this phase.

The Farmer Phase starts when the entrepreneur begins the shift from self-employed to business owner. He’s hired his first employee, even if it’s a low-level role. He’s begun paying himself a little. But he’s probably still the face of the company. He’s probably still baking the donuts at 4am, then answering emails and making sales calls “when he can”. He’s still working in the business instead of working on the business. He’s busy being busy.

In the Farmer Phase, the entrepreneur is susceptible to the Martyrdom. “No one can do it like I can!” he thinks, whether about sweeping the floors or mixing the secret recipe. And he’s right: no one else would do it that cheaply, that tired, or at the expense of their kids’ baseball games. No one else would work for a boss so demanding, so cheap, so ruthless — but in buying himself a job, the Farmer is beholden to his own self-worth.

My role as mentor to the Farmer is to replace him in low-value roles, and fill his time with high-value roles. It’s to systemize his batter-mixing, replace him at the front counter, and teach him to grow his reach. Eventually, it’s to get him home by dinnertime.

The Farmer Phase is where 90% of entrepreneurs spend the entirety of their careers. They call themselves “owner-operators”, and most will never even retire from their business, let alone become wealthy.

But some do. These are the Tinkers.

A Tinker has built a business that runs itself. Now she’s trying to build another; or to duplicate her first success; or to take her first idea to a new market; or to start over with a new idea. If she’s not given new challenges, the Tinker will probably stick her hands in the machine, constantly “tweaking” her original business until it’s broken.

My role as mentor to Tinkers is to help them identify the Next Big Project, and then keep them focused on it. I’ve never met a Tinker who didn’t have at least three Big Projects in mind. Free from their original business — and still making passive income from it — the Tinker’s greatest risk is killing the golden goose.

The Tinker’s attention must shift from developing their first business to developing themselves as a leader. That means a plan for physical activity, mental acuity, and mental training. It means peer support: “It’s lonely at the top” describes the Tinker to a capital T. It means mentorship from someone who has successfully navigated the “valley of death” created by hiring a management layer for the first time.

If they can, the Tinker becomes a Thief.

A Thief moves resources from an area of high concentration to an area of low concentration. Think Robin Hood, not The Hamburglar. With new resources, the Thief seeks to build a legacy business, providing multi-generational wealth or service to his community.

Many Thieves turn to mentorship. Others create bursaries or endowments, or found charities. Some continue to build, forging partnerships and taking their expertise to new markets.

My role as mentor to the Thief is — well, I don’t mentor Thieves. They mentor me. They inspire me, educate me, and ask me: “Who did you serve this week?”

The path from Founder to Thief is the path to self-actualization. The Founder builds a Foundation of service; the Farmer cultivates success; the Tinker builds on his invention. The Thief spreads the wealth.

Success isn’t guaranteed in any Phase. But it can be strongly aided through mentorship, and that’s why I’ve chosen to mentor other entrepreneurs.

Which phase are you in? Take my test: www.twobrainbusiness.com/test

Contact Jeff:
Jeff.smith@twobrainbusiness.com

Timeline:
2:39 – Introduction with Jeff Smith
11:30 – Joining Two Brain as a mentor
13:09 – Joining the military, the motivation behind the decision
15:31 – Jeff’s other business, real estate.
17:14 – The importance of being a lifelong learner
21:27 – The benefits of splitting up your day with a workout
22:39 – How has a real estate investing led to becoming a better mentor
26:12 – The importance of learning while mentoring someone else 
29:53 – How to contact Jeff

 

Episode 151: Two-Brain Business for Clinics

Episode 151: Two-Brain Business for Clinics

Episode 151 – Two Brain For Clinics

This week we have a special episode introducing a new service being offered by Two-Brain Business called TwoBrain For Clinics. Dr. Brian Strump, a practicing chiropractor joins us to discuss exactly what is Two Brain For Clinics and how this new service can be leveraged along with a CrossFit gym or simply on its own to help chiropractors push their practice to the next level.

 

Brian is the owner of Live Active Charlotte, home of both CrossFit Steele Creek and Premier Health and Rehab Solutions. Brian’s passion for health and fitness led him to Chiropractic School and later to become a certified CrossFit coach. Since diving into the world of CrossFit, Brian has combined these two services together and is doing better than ever. Join us as we discuss these two businesses and much more!

 

Don’t Forget! Find out what stage of entrepreneurship you are in by taking the exclusive Two Brain test here: https://twobrain.com/test/or schedule your free mentoring call by clicking here!

 

 

Contact Brian:

Brian.strump@twobrainbusiness.com

 

Timeline:

1:42 – Introduction to Two-Brain for Clinics

3:18 – What are the differences and similarities between a gym and a clinic?

5:40 – The unique problems faced by practicing chiropractors

9:05 – What is Two-Brain For Clinics

13:21 – Marketing for chiropractor clinics

14:20 – How it can be helpful for a chiropractor clinic to partner with a local gym

19:05 – Ways that a chiropractor can level up their business

22:10 – How to contact Brian

Episode 150: The Wodify Affiliate Survey

Episode 150: The Wodify Affiliate Survey

Episode 150 – The Wodify Affiliate Trend Report

A few months ago, Wodify released the results of its “CrossFit Industry Report” survey. The numbers caused a stir.

There are plenty of these surveys out there. Most are subjective: they ask gym owners what they think, or to self-report numbers. But this one is different: it’s an objective look at data pulled directly from 4500 users’ dashboards. And some of that data is downright scary.

Wodify has build their new Business Metrics Dashboard using TwoBrain metrics: ARM, LEG, and LTV. They’re not an official TwoBrain partner, but TwoBrain gyms using Wodify do report a much easier time getting the metrics that matter every month.

So when the report showed an average LEG of 18 months, we were thrilled. Most of our data points to a lower number (around 13.4 months). While our data overlaps Wodify’s, neither encompasses the entire affiliate spectrum. That data doesn’t exist. The truth is probably a little higher than 13.4 months. While there are hundreds of very successful gyms in TwoBrain, gyms who start with us are often looking for help because they’re in trouble. That means clients aren’t sticking around long enough–a lower LEG score–and we work to fix that right away. So Wodify’s LEG report was interesting. But it’s ARM report was shocking.

According to the report, the Average Revenue per Member per Month is $84 at the gyms in the Wodify survey. That’s extremely low. Most TwoBrain gyms are nearer the $200 mark, with some over $250. A gym with $84 would have to recruit and keep THREE TIMES as many clients as a gym with an ARM of $250…and do it with the same number of coaches. Obviously, that’s a recipe for disaster.

So I indulged my curiosity and asked Olivia DiGiorgio about them. Olivia got her start by studying mathematics in college and began a career as a data scientist in the healthcare industry.  After falling in love with CrossFit, Olivia has since shifted to a more action-oriented application of mathematics and is using these skills at Wodify to help CrossFit gym owners better their business, customers, and athletes.  

Don’t Forget! Find out what stage of entrepreneurship you are in by taking the exclusive Two Brain test here: https://twobrainbusiness.com/test or schedule your free mentoring call by clicking here!

Links:

https://www.wodify.com/crossfit-industry-report-2018

  

 

 

Episode 149: Lessons Learned, with Vaughn Vernon

Episode 149: Lessons Learned, with Vaughn Vernon

Episode 149 – Vaughn Vernon – Lessons Learned

Today we are joined by Vaughn Vernon, owner of Affiliate Guard. Affiliate Guard is an industry-specific company that provides insurance coverage for affiliates. Founded by Vaughn in 1999, Affiliate Guard insures 2,500 gyms across the world today. Join us as we talk about Vaughn’s growth as a business and as an entrepreneur.

This episode is NOT about insurance. But Affiliate Guard is an official TwoBrain partner, which means they uphold the TwoBrain standard of excellence and care.

Don’t Forget! Find out what stage of entrepreneurship you are in by taking the exclusive Two Brain test here: https://twobrain.com/test/or schedule your free mentoring call by clicking here!

Links:

http://affiliateguard.info/

https://www.linkedin.com/in/vaughn-vernon-b6517087/

  

Timeline:

0:25 – Introduction to Vaughn Vernon

1:55 – Vaughn’s experience growing a major insurance company 

6:11 – Growing a business within a niche

8:29 – What is the structure of Affiliate Guard? What can we learn about the structure of other businesses from AG?

9:40 – Keeping communication open while running a family business

10:52 – Realizing that you cannot be everything to everybody

12:48 – Determining the seed clients necessary to start an insurance company

15:27 – How complacency can cause problems in your business

16:05 – What does a typical day look like for Vaughn?

18:15 – Insight into the Affiliate Guard hiring process

23:57 – Two Brain Stories with Matt Koym

 

 

Episode 148: The Multiple-Location Model, with Jeff Larsh

Episode 148: The Multiple-Location Model, with Jeff Larsh

It’s no secret that many CrossFit affiliates have opened a second location and had a very bad experience. The mistake usually comes from the old, flawed model of “the more clients, the better” and has sometimes been fatal.

 

As I wrote in “Should You Open A Second Location?” A second location doesn’t double your work; it quadruples it. There’s a checklist in that article to help you decide whether the opportunity is really worth it.

 

But Jeff Larsh is one of the very few who has done it successfully. Jeff is the co-owner of several CrossFit Tidal locations.

 

Over the last eight years, Jeff has opened four CrossFit gyms by successfully implementing a multi-site CrossFit model. Jeff has a wealth of experience to draw upon to help you create a profitable and well-run business. Whether just starting out or looking to scale your current operations, join us today as we talk about adding an additional location to your business and much more!

 

Jeff and host Greg Strauch discuss opening multiple locations from scratch; leadership; and holding several locations to the TwoBrain standard.

 

Important Steps when adding an additional location:

 

Step 1: Make sure it aligns with your vision and is not just a shiny object

Step 2: Ensure that systems and process are in place to scale your business

Step 3: Prepare the support structure required for a multi-location business

Step 4: Decide whether to purchase or start a second location from scratch.

For those considering the purchase of another gym, here’s another resource:

Should You Buy Out Another Gym?

Step 5: If purchasing, finalize the offer and wrap up the deal.

 

Don’t Forget! Find out what stage of entrepreneurship you are in by taking the exclusive Two Brain test here: https://twobrainbusiness.com/test/or schedule your free mentoring call by clicking here!

 

Links:

https://twobrainbusiness.com/mentor-item/jeff-larsh/

https://tidal.training/

https://twobrainbusiness.com/should-you-open-a-second-location/

 

 

0:25 – Introduction with Jeff Larsh

2:42 – What should the motivation be to open an additional CrossFit Gym

4:11 – What would be the first step, to look into opening an additional location

5:26 – How to financially prepare for a second location

7:02 – Taking a hard look at your offerings and products before scaling

9:40 – Preparing the support structure required for a multi-location business

14:18 – Deciding on whether to purchase an additional location or start from scratch

17:06 – Financing a new location with other partners and managers

18:47 – Finalizing the offer and wrapping up the deal

20:19 – Breaking a new purchase or major change to current or new members

22:20 – Why only one additional location is not enough

28:18 – Two Brain Stories with Kim Moore

Episode 147: How To Sell Your Gym

Episode 147: How To Sell Your Gym

On this episode, we talk to Tammy Friedt. Tammy is one our amazing mentors here at TwoBrain, and she recently sold her business!

Selling a business or a gym is not an easy task and it takes a lot of patience in order to do it correctly. Today hear directly from someone who has lived through this process and gains some insight and tips into how it all happens. Learn about what needs to be done to prepare and sell a business, what documentation and legal advice you will need, and also we talk about what it feels like after it is all over!

 

Don’t Forget! Find out what stage of entrepreneurship you are in by taking the exclusive Two Brain test here: https://twobrainbusiness.com/test/or schedule your free mentoring call by clicking here!

 

Links:

https://twobrainbusiness.com/mentor-item/tammy-friedt/

 

Built to Sell – https://www.amazon.com/Built-Sell-Creating-Business-Without-ebook/dp/B004IYISQW

Rig Equipment Evaluation – https://rigquipment.com/

Download our FREE guide here: How to Sell A Gym

 

 

Timeline:

0:20 – Introduction to Selling Your Gym

2:01 – Tammy’s background and starting her CrossFit Gym

4:36 – What made Tammy sell her business earlier than planned?

6:31 – What is the first step in initiating the sale of your business?

8:15 – How to assess the value of your gym when planning to sell?

12:08 – Negotiating a selling price between the buyer and the seller

15:54 – Managing existing leases and existing contracts under your current business

19:22 – Divulging information regarding your employees and creating a non-compete agreement

21:20 – Approximately how long does it take to sell a CrossFit gym?

23:55 – Is leasing to own an option when selling or buying a business?

26:29 – The feeling you have when your business is finally sold.

33:21 – Two Brain Stories with John Miller

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