Episode 134: “Clockwork”, with Mike Michalowicz

Episode 134: “Clockwork”, with Mike Michalowicz

Episode 134-“Clockwork”, with Mike Michalowicz


Mike Michalowicz’ new book, Clockwork, continues his tradition of writing VERY actionable books. While business books containing one great idea are published every week, Michalowicz’ books are valuable because of the action they trigger. His Pumpkin Plan and Profit First strategies are part of our Incubator and Growth Phase curriculum, and Clockwork’s “Queen Bee Role” has been the subject of great discussion in our private Facebook group.


First, we start with Mike’s definition of the Entrepreneur’s Survival Trap: doing the things that will help you survive the day, but won’t grow your business. It’s the rush to the “urgent problems” without considering the future we’re trying to reach.


Then we talk about Parkinson’s Law: how your tasks will always expand to fill the time you have. You’ll always be busy. The key to success is to do the RIGHT things.


(What are the “right things”? That depends on which phase of entrepreneurship you’re in! Take our test here.)


Mike said that he doesn’t like the “grind” and “hustle” mentality that many business speakers push now. I agree (here’s our post called “The Hustle Is A Lie.”)


Mike went into his “4-D Mix” – where an entrepreneur spends his time, between Doing, Deciding, Delegating, and Designing.


All of us know we need to spend more time thinking about our business; planning for growth; identifying and prioritizing opportunities. But we all get sucked into the daily delivery of our service. Mike gives us a great exercise to get more “Designing” time. He calls this the QBR: The “Queen Bee Role”.


Mike explained how to get yourself out of daily Doing, Deciding, and then how to properly Delegate. Then we got into Design, and what you SHOULD be doing every day.


Michalowicz says that after you identify the ONE thing that will grow your business, you–the entrepreneur–should be able to take time away from the business without it collapsing. Just make sure someone is doing the QBR!


In creative businesses (for example, if you’re an author or painter) it’s harder to replace yourself in the QBR. That doesn’t mean it can’t be done, at least partially. For a solopreneur (like a gym owner or attorney), it’s still possible to move lower-value roles off your plate!


What will you DO with the extra time? You’ll think about which opportunities to take (because when you have the time to look, there are always more opportunities than you can possibly handle! Every entrepreneur in our Tinker program knows that’s true!)


As you move away from Doing everything in your business, you’re going to be tempted to stick your fingers in the gears. Your ego will jump up and say, “This is MY company! I need to feel important!” Mike talks about his experience with this struggle and how to beat them.


BONUS: Mike’s “AC/DC” test to see how your business systems are doing. Rock on!


Finally, most of us actually LIKE working. The point is to have the choice, instead of fighting fires all day!


THEN Greg Strauch interviews Rebecca Boskovic of The Fittest Me – listen to this TwoBrain Family member’s story! You’ll LOVE IT!


Mike Michalowicz’ Fan Page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MikeMichalowiczFanPage/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MikeMichalowicz

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mikemichalowicz/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mikemichalowicz/





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Episode 133: Michele Letendre

Episode 133: Michele Letendre

Photo credit: Johanny Jutras (@johanyjutras)

Episode 133– Michele Letendre


Today we are joined by Michele Letendre of Deka CrossFit. Michele was the most successful coach at the 2018 CrossFit Games. Michele is a six time CrossFit Games veteran herself, and finished fourth in 2014. She is a former collegiate swimmer and national level water polo player. Michele decided to retire from competition after the 2016 season to focus on her coaching career where she now works with top CrossFit athletes across the world. Join us today as discuss training methodology as well as what it was like to retire at the pinnacle of the sport!


Contact Michele:







1:40 – Retiring from Competition after reaching the Pinnacle of CrossFit

3:55 – How did people react to Michele’s retirement from competition

8:25 – Should elite athletes workout in a regular CrossFit class?

10:03 – The future of the CrossFit Games

13:15 – How do you truly become a CrossFit Games athlete?

16:08 – The amazing list of athletes that Michele coaches at the games

18:16 – What does Michele tell athletes to bring out the most in them?

20:58 – What are Michele’s top tips for competing at next year’s CrossFit Games

23:24 – What does Michele say to motivate Patrick Vellner?

26:23 – Transitioning from an athlete to a coach successfully

30:37 – Keeping athletes from becoming frustrated while competing

33:27 – How to create fun and creative training sessions for your athletes

36:25 – Geeking out on the CrossFit Games. Who should we be watching next year?

38:19 – What is the key to getting to the CrossFit Games?

42:18 – Planning for goals outside of the CrossFit Games

44:17 – How much training time does becoming a CrossFit Games athlete require?

47:19 – Michele’s training program, Deka Comp

50:28 – Two Brain Stories with Kalenda Connell




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Episode 132: The Pebbles

Episode 132: The Pebbles

Episode 132– Pebble


How you do anything is how you do everything.


In other words, consistency > everything else.


We can talk ourselves into anything. We’re masters of justification. We tell ourselves, “I can live with it” when we encounter small problems in our lives, and in our business. We avoid hard conversations because we fear the downside. We allow people to take advantage of our goodwill because, on balance, the relationship is slightly more positive than negative. But sooner or later, these little “pebbles” cause us to walk with a limp. We compensate for the bad habits of others. We shift our schedule around to cover. We stay at the gym to “make sure” a coach shows up on time instead of making sure they always show up on time.


After awhile, we just become accustomed to the limp. But others notice, and the more we compensate the more long-term damage we do to ourselves, until eventually we need surgical action to repair our problem.


Worse, in the service industry, we think no one notices our limp; that it’s our own private sacrifice. But they do. We think, “Clients won’t care if I jump into class and exercise with them instead of coaching them.” But they do. We tell ourselves, “My staff will know that they should take the garbage out when they leave tonight.” But they don’t. We’re willfully blind to the service we’re offering, and believe our clients will see past the overfilled garbage cans, past the never-answered phone, past the bad language of our 7pm coach…they won’t. They see our limp.


When problems grow to become crises, are they too late to fix? No. Pricing errors, even carried for ten years, can be corrected. We have the best surgeons in the world at TwoBrain. But that doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy, or painless. You’ll still probably require some rehabilitation, and we’ll be there for you when you do. But it’s SO much simpler to remove the pebbles in your shoe instead of waiting for a hip replacement.


In this episode, I share a half-dozen pebbles that I’ve removed at Catalyst over the years. Then I give you a few tips on taking action to identify and remove your own.


Some listeners might dislike the overall message here. Some might really dislike one of my decisions in particular. They’ll say “It’s my gym, and I’ll do what I want!” And it’s true: they own their gym. But it’s really their CLIENT’S gym. And if there’s a pebble in your client’s shoe, they won’t stand it for long.

Some of the Pebbles I’ve Removed (and How I Did It):

  • Allowing “gym dogs”
  • Giving discounts
  • Selling access instead of coaching
  • Offering each client an inconsistent experience
  • Free trials

    What areas of your gym need improvement? How are you doing as an entrepreneur? Take our test at www.twobrain.com/test and find out!

Then, with your mentor, identify the pebbles within your business and create a plan to start removing them from your life. The best way to get started is to start right away! The anticipation of removing the pebbles is often worse than actually doing so and because of this you need to get started right now.

2:17 – Ask yourself the important questions, What is my Pebble?
5:40 – Entrepreneurs are meant to get people away from saying maybe
6:29 – What pebbles did I incur when I started my CrossFit gym, Catalyst
7:47 – Why I don’t allow gym pets at Catalyst
11:03 – Is offering discounts to new or existing clients a good idea?
14:03 – Why I no longer sell Open Gym
18:43 – The importance of treating each of your clients with consistency
21:12 – Why I no longer do free trials
25:20 – How to determine the pebble in your shoe and maximize your gyms potential
26:34 – How to begin to start removing pebbles from your life and business
29:38 – Two Brain Stories with John Franklin

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Episode 131: Keeping Clients Longer

Episode 131: Keeping Clients Longer

Episode 131– Increasing LEG with Anastasia Bennett


This week I again ask you the same question as last week: I have two affiliates in front of me, one with 40 clients and one with 400. Who has the better business? The answer is that you can’t possibly know because what matters is profit!

At Two Brain, we measure only a few metrics which include Profit, Average Revenue per Member (ARM), and Length of Engagement (LEG). This week we dive into LEG by talking with Anastasia Bennett about peak moments, bright spots, firing the wrong clients, and smashing cliques.

Anastasia brings a wealth of experience as she owns two CrossFit gyms in New Zealand! Join as we learn more about LEG and Anastasia’s amazing story, starting in Russia.


First, I want to ask you four questions you can use to reflect on your gym and how it handles client retention.


  • What helps you to retain members?
  • How do you help your members stay motivated?
  • Why do your members come to your gym?
  • What process do you follow to retain members?


Based on your answers above, you may need to work on your client retention approach and that is fine! The first key is to engage with members and encourage them to become part of your CrossFit family is to prescribe the right classes and matching up your services to their goals. These type of activities can be accomplished by hiring a retention specialist or “Joy Girl” to reach out to clients on a regular basis and continually check in. Keeping in tune with your clients’ goals and ensuring they are progressing towards them is critically important.


The next way to keep members engaged is to make them feel like family. Sending a client a birthday card, a Christmas card, or other thank you and rewards is a great way to thank members and make them feel like they are part of your family. This is a simple and inexpensive gesture, but goes a long way with your members.


The third important way to connect with your clients is to recognize their progress and make them feel successful. Goal progression is key, and recognizing these progressions goes an extremely long way with your clients. This is done through Bright Spot Fridays where we make our clients feel great about what they have accomplished!


Client retention is critically important for a gym to be profitable. Use the topics and strategies of this podcast to begin implementing a retention plan to increase your LEG. If you are struggling or are unsure of where you are at on your entrepreneurial journey, I encourage you to head over twobrain.com/test, take our free evaluation, and then give me a call!



2:45 – Introduction to Increasing LEG

6:36 – Anastasia Bennett Introduction

9:11 – Four key questions to ask yourself regarding LEG

11:46 – The importance of having a customer service and retention specialist

16:05 – Keeping members engaged by giving them rewards and making them part of your family

19:23 – The importance of knowing your clients’ motivation

25:26 – Is it possible to have more than one Joy Girl?

26:25 – Can the Joy Girl role be hired from outside of the gym?

28:02 – How to track a client’s progression and check in status?

28:54 – How to handle a client behaving badly at the gym

33:48 – Two Brain Stories with Jeff Larsh





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Episode 130: Increasing Client Value

Episode 130: Increasing Client Value

Episode 128– Increasing ARM with Josh Price


Last week I gave you a pop quiz. I asked: between two affiliate owners, one with 40 clients and one with 400 which was more successful? The truth is, you really can’t tell unless you have additional metrics such as length of engagement, average revenue per member (ARM), and profit.


The average CrossFit gym is only going to maintain around 150 members at any one time. This means that each client must be paying enough to cover the fixed costs associated with your gym, pay the coaches, and allow the owner to make a profit. If a business does not generate a profit, it is not a successful business!


In this episode, we talk to Josh Price about what it takes to increase ARM. Once you begin to create a meaningful career with your business, it is time to diversify your revenue streams and to create a less fragile business. These are the beginning steps to increasing your ARM.


Josh Price is from Loco CrossFit located in Leesburg, Virginia just outside of Washington D.C. He is an expert at diversifying a gym’s revenue streams and also increasing a gym’s ARM. According to Josh, the most important part to increasing your ARM is to focus on the vision for which you want to create for your gym. This means going past just the day to day roles and tasks and focusing on what you really want to create within your gym. Additionally, developing the right culture is extremely important to not only a healthy gym but also to increasing ARM. This means more than just putting up posters in your gym but actually defining your culture and living it. The coaches within your gym need to be bought in to your vision and what you are trying to show them. This is the foundation for creating a wildly successful gym that has a high ARM. Apart from this, the four specific ways to increase profit are as follows:


  1. Increase the total number of customers for your CrossFit Gym
  2. Increase the average transaction size
  3. Increase the frequency of transactions (Courses, Seminars, Etc.)
  4. Raise the prices within your CrossFit Gym


Join us today as we walk through these methods and learn how to create a more cultured and profitable gym!



1:07 – Introduction to Increasing ARM

5:08 – The most important factor to increasing ARM

7:55 – The eleven qualities of a strong leader

13:05 – Building the right culture within your team and organization

17:09 – Tactics to grow ARM

19:10 – Four ways to increase the ARM of your gym

23:20 – Question and Answers regarding ARM

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Episode 129: Taking Action, with Jay Williams

Episode 129: Taking Action, with Jay Williams

Episode 128– Taking Action, with Jay Williams


Jay Williams is a senior mentor at TwoBrain. He owns two CrossFit gyms (one in California, one in the UK) and his mentoring style is different than mine.


Jay is a problem-solver. He’s direct and transparent. He’s never rude or abrasive–I don’t think I’ve heard him say the F-word more than three times in four years–but he gets right to the point. He’s huge on accountability. He doesn’t believe in wasting time.


Every year at the TwoBrain Summit, I like to put Jay onstage as the last speaker. It’s too easy to attend a seminar and get educated, or even motivated…but then go home and take no action at all. That is NOT what TwoBrain is all about. That’s not what mentorship is all about.


Mentorship means mapping a path, and then leading you down it step by step. TwoBrain has done that for over 500 entrepreneurs now (not including the kids on last week’s show!) and we’re now attracting entrepreneurs outside the gym industry: from body shops to bakeries.


What kind of mentorship do you need right NOW? Take our test here: www.twobrain.com/test and find out!


Are you going to the CrossFit Games? If so, can we get together?

Here’s where I’ll be:

Saturday, 10am: SME Stage (probably in the Pavilion) – talking about Founder | Farmer | Tinker | Thief. Show up and get a #Founder or #Farmer shirt!

Saturday, 1pm: Book signing at the CrossFit Stuff booth. Bring a book to get signed, or just come for the hugs!

Sunday, 8-10am: TwoBrain Family Breakfast at CrossFit Recursive. Join the Mentoring Team, Dan Martell, and some friends from HQ. Thanks to Nikole for hosting again!

Sunday, 10am-11am: Nicole Aucoin and I will host a little “meet and greet” at the Sheraton Madison (across from the Games venue). If you’re friends with a gym owner who ISN’T already part of the TwoBrain family, this is a great place to bring them. There’s an RSVP required for this one (CLICK HERE).

I’d LOVE to see you in person. Hope you’re coming to the Games!




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