Two-Brain Coaching: The Second-Degree Course With Josh Martin

Two-Brain Coaching: The Second-Degree Course With Josh Martin

Greg: 00:02 – Hey everyone, it’s Greg Strauch of Two-Brain Media, and on this week’s episode I talked to Josh Martin. Josh Martin is a mentor within Two-Brain but has created an amazing product and service for everyone out there that isn’t just within Two-Brain and that is Two-Brain Coaching. On this week’s episode we talk about methods versus principles. We talk about the different variables a coach is facing and has to manage when they’re coaching either one on one or a group class and different styles of it. We also talk about what is available right now for any gym owner or any coach out there that wants to jump into this training for Two-Brain Coaching. And we talk about the benefits. We need to talk about the benefits not only of the gym owner, the coach, but really what can be protected by going through this certification. Subscribe Two-Brain Radio to hear the very best ideas, tips and topics to move you and your business closer to wealth. Two-Brain Radio is brought to you by Two-Brain Business. We make gyms profitable. We’re going to bring you the very best tips, tactics interviews in the business world each week. To find out how we can help you create your Perfect Day, book a free call with a mentor at

Chris: 01:13 – What makes a good gym website? The answer to that question keeps changing. Five years ago I would’ve said that you need this rotating banner image. Three years ago I would’ve said you have to have one splash page highlighting the benefits of your service. That’s true. The problem is that the benefits of your service change by the client you’re trying to target and so you need to be able to adapt. You need to be able to add your own landing pages. Your main cover page should reflect what your most important clients want. That’s going to be different from what my most important clients want. So a website that’s based on a template with the same kind of rotating image is not going to work anymore. I use For Time Design for the and Catalyst gym websites because those are the most important websites I own. I want responsive design that’s going to work well on mobile. About 60% of your clients are going to come through mobile and more in the future. I want a responsive designer, which means I can contact them to make changes and I want to know how to change my own oil. I want to know how to get in there and add my own posts. I talk a lot about content marketing and that means I have to know the medium through which I’m delivering my content. Using For Time Design has been my choice now for about three years because Theresa and her team are super responsive. She can answer questions for me, she can show me how to do it myself if I want to or she can do it for me if I don’t have time. She’s created a big series of videos for Two-Brain clients in our Incubator and Growth stages to watch so that they can do stuff like build landing pages themselves. A lot of website companies try to pull the curtain in front of their knowledge. They try to hold a lot of stuff secret so that they can charge you to do the basic things. Just like in car maintenance, changing your oil, rotating your tires. If you want to do that stuff, awesome. If you don’t have time to do that stuff, take it to the garage. Theresa at For Time Design gives you both options and she’ll even teach you how to do it yourself if you want to. I use that’s what’s made them an official Two-Brain partner is our firm belief in their commitment to helping first and a strong sense of service value.

Greg: 03:27 – All right, I’m on another amazing episode of Two-Brain Radio with Josh Martin. He is an amazing mentor. On top of that, he’s created a very, I mean amazing program but really unique program that I think a lot of gym owners can benefit from. And you guys have heard about this before of the Two-Brain Coaching. So I love having him back on here because he’s got more and more stuff for you guys. So Josh, welcome.

Josh: 03:51 – Thanks Greg. It is a pleasure to be here as always. I’m glad that you invited me back.

Greg: 03:57 – Happy to. So let’s kinda dig into this and before we jump into, hey, here’s the new services that that Two-Brain Coaching offers and the other stuff within Two-Brain Coaching, let’s kind of dive into a few different things and when it comes to our principles and methods of how we go about coaching. It seems like a lot of us are very heavy on the methods compared to like principles of coaching. So more of like, how do we do things. And can we dive into that a little bit? What’s the reasons why we dive so much more into the method compared to the principles of coaching?

Josh: 04:43 – Well, I’m so glad that you want to start with this, man. It’s a topic that really formed the foundation for, you know, building Two-Brain Coaching. And you know, there is a stark difference between methods and principles. And I’ll quickly, you know, give you my definition between these two. So, methods are something that—how you do something with a client. So I’ll give you an example. Most of the people that are probably listening to this are CrossFit gym owners. CrossFit is a methodology. Some of you guys within your CrossFit gym, maybe you follow something like the Conjugate Method, that is also a methodology. Similarly, kettlebell training, Olympic weightlifting, gymnastics training, sprinting. All of these things are methods. So that is how you train a client. And I think that the reason that methods are so popular and people gravitate to them so much so is that you can put a label and a brand and kind of a culture around a method.

Josh: 05:53 – But a principle is something that is always going to stand the test of time. And this is why within Two-Brain Coaching, we kind of say that we are method agnostic. So the goal is not to teach you that this is the one way that you can get your clients to their goals. Really the goal is to teach principles that allow you, the coach, to effectively apply any method and methodology of your choosing to help your clients achieve their goals. You know, so I’ll give you a for instance. Some universal principles that I think that we can all agree on with regards to coaching is that clients should be assessed before any training takes place. Nutrition is going to be a vital component to getting somebody the results that they desire, and recovery. That’s something that is an often overlooked aspect of, you know, getting somebody to their healthiest or fittest state. Does that kind of lay the groundwork for what we mean when we talk about principles versus methods?

Greg: 06:57 – I think so. And I think, I mean, those are three very big truths within the fitness or exercise realm or just performance-based. All of those things are definitely things that need to be accomplished. I completely understand the difference between those methods and principles, and working with a methodology compared to working on the principles. What would you say the principles of Two-Brain Coaching are that you work with clients through?

Josh: 07:26 – Yeah, so there’s five of them and we really go break them down into extreme detail on the website. But I’ll just give you the CliffsNotes version right now. So principle number one is we want you to enjoy the process. So we believe that, you know, if you’re a coach or really anything that you’re doing in life, you deserve to enjoy what you do. But in this case we’re talking about coaching fitness. So principle number one is that you need to enjoy the process. And the way that we kind of take people through getting to that enjoyment of the process is by focusing on three things: focus, effort and time. And I won’t define those further, but that’s part of principle number one. Number two is where we get into, like I mentioned earlier, you know, a universal principle that we can all agree on is assessing a client.

Josh: 08:19 – But principle number two within Two-Brain Coaching just goes a little bit further. And so we’re going to say that it is you should learn, design, deliver and refine. So you should learn about your clients. So learn is listen, empathize, ask questions, reflect, and then give them next steps. Design is where you’re actually, you know, writing out a training plan for them after you’ve established some baseline metrics. Delivery of your actual service is it can be done in person or digitally. If we’re doing it in person, are you going to do it one on one or in a group? And then finally refined is, you know, if you’re a member of the Two-Brain family, you would kind of recognize this as, you know, goal-setting sessions or athlete check-ins. You know, every 90 days or some gyms, maybe they do it every 60 days.

Josh: 09:10 – So principle two is learn, design, deliver and refine. Number three is we want you to sleep, eat, move and manage. And what we mean by manage is your stress. So within each of those, we want you to do them often and we want you to do them well. So we want you to sleep often and sleep well, move often and move well. So on and so forth. Principle number four is empower through education. So in Two-Brain Coaching, we’re actually gonna do this in two distinct ways. We’re going to deliver depth and breadth. So we might do a deep dive into a topic, and then we’re also going to teach you a lot of different topics. So we’re going to expand the breadth of your knowledge. So number four is in power through education. And then number five, this is without a doubt my favorite principle as a matter of fact, we just had some shirts printed up with this on it. And that is that everything is everything. And so this one is something I remember kind of putting the pieces together on several years ago. When you’ve been coaching long enough, you really begin to understand that variables of a client’s life that really don’t seem to have any relation to one another, not only do they relate very closely to what the client is going to achieve or not achieve, but they really kind of help inform you on the decisions that you make as a coach because you realize that everything is interconnected. So everything is everything is is where you truly start to see the interconnectedness of everything under the umbrella of coaching a client. So it’s not about movement, it’s not about nutrition or psychology, handshakes and high fives. It’s not even about having fun and achieving goals. It’s about all of that stuff all the time. So that fifth and final principle of ours at Two-Brain Coaching is everything is everything.

Greg: 11:26 – I love it. I feel like those five principles, I mean you’re teaching people more than just becoming a coach. You are teaching them more of principles that are life principles really, that throughout this process—now of course you take it, it sounds like and put it into a micro standpoint of coaching. But from a macro standpoint, all of these things are definitely lessons or principles that people can follow outside of just coaching.

Josh: 11:54 – Exactly. You know, I think that’s a great point to make, Greg, is that yes, we are applying it in the coaching sense. So like in our course when you actually get into it, yeah, we do talk about anatomy and physiology and the psychology of physical activity and group interactions in the fitness space. But universally, if you were to zoom out even further, you know, this is something that, you know, everybody can utilize in whatever avenue of life that they’re in.

Greg: 12:24 – Now, as a coach, we are managing, I mean many different variables, right? If somebody comes in late, if we’re going through the class structure and maybe we had a morning class that said, hey, we went over and it wasn’t structured as much as it should be. But really there’s two variables that we need to seem to manage as a coach overall. What are those two variables?

Josh: 12:53 – So there are so many moving parts when it comes to running a really, really good session, delivering the best hour of the day to your clients. But it boils down to two different things. Number one, you’re managing the lesson. So what is the actual work that is inside the session that you are taking your client or clients through? And then the second variable is that audience, you know, and for each of those there’s two options. On the lesson front, you can either have a fixed lesson. So a great example of this is your on-ramp curriculum or your foundations or fundamentals. So a lot of CrossFit gyms instead of, you know, throwing people into the group training and saying, hey, hope you know how to swim, you know, we’ll take them through an on-ramp process. So we’re going to meet them where they are and teach them the things that they need to know to feel comfortable and competent when they do get into the group.

Josh: 13:52 – So this is a session template or a lesson plan that is really not going to change from one client to the next. And so this is what we would call a fixed lesson. A variable lesson would be that you, the coach, are writing a whole training session that is client dependent. So you’re writing it specifically for them or specifically for a particular audience. So you can have a fixed lesson plan or a variable lesson plan, and then the audience is going to be that second variable that you have to manage. So as a beginning coach, I don’t want you to have to worry about 12 different people. I want you to be really good at achieving results for one client. So you can have a fixed audience of one or if you offer group fitness classes, you know, I know we’re using CrossFit, but it could be any, it could be Zumba, it could be pilates, some sort of boot camp or HIIT class, but your audience can be that fixed audience of one or a fixed audience of what I like to say in the course is more than one. So as soon as you have two people, it becomes a completely different ball game than just focusing on one, because now your attention is spread. I would say probably in most CrossFit gyms, you know, you’re going to have anywhere from eight to 12 people. I actually took a poll of a couple of hundred gym owners earlier this year to ask them what their average group class size is. And the vast majority of people said about 10 to 12 people was their average class size.

Greg: 15:31 – Well, and it’s funny that you bring this up because I mean, on this podcast, I’m always trying to be fully transparent. I’m always trying to say exactly what’s going on and never give anybody kind of BS or say, hey, I do this when I really don’t or anything. I would never do that. I wanna make sure that people understand that. But with the way you’re bringing it to my attention, like I’m even currently, we are training coaches to be coaches, but we’re doing it completely backwards. And it sounds like the way what you’re saying is kind of like the scalability, or really like how CrossFit brings up we gotta have consistency. So the first movement has to look like the hundredth movement before we can start adding intensity to it.

Josh: 16:14 – Absolutely.

Greg: 16:15 – And that’s what it kinda sounds like to me of what you’re saying, which like for me, we train coaches to start group coaching and coaching group classes and I can see how that could be completely wrong, even. I would even go as far as that, because with what you’re saying here, it’s, hey, why don’t we take on one person, a very fixed lesson plan, so for me that would probably be my on-ramp and it’s only one person. And then from there, slowly building up and building up, like you say, to kind of build up over time and get that coach more aware because if I turn around and throw somebody into a 12-person class, really am I even doing a service that is what we at CFUE say is amazing and above that even to 12 people, if it’s a brand new coach that hasn’t even worked with one person and doing a great job with the experience for that one person?

Josh: 17:12 – Yeah, man, you’re exactly right. And, you know, this is definitely not the way that we always trained our coaches, you know, back in the day either. I can remember the first time that I at my particular gym had to bring somebody on to start taking over some of the coaching that I was doing as we were growing. It was a necessity and, you know, yeah, we just kind of, for lack of a better term, threw people in, you know, to the fire, so to speak. And you quickly figure out that that doesn’t work. And then you say, OK, first we’re gonna, you know, have you shadow and you’re gonna shadow some arbitrary amount of hours before I feel like that you are completely competent as a coach and at my level. And then we’re gonna, you know, throw you back to all the wolves.

Josh: 17:59 – And you know, of course over the years it’s been refined, but I’m a firm believer that you are really setting your coach up either to not optimize their development or really just kind of stunt their development as a coach. The goal, just like you have for a client whenever they first join your gym, is the same as you should have for a new coach that is going to be joining your staff. The goal is to build confidence over time. And the only way that you do that is by layering on complexity over time. So you don’t want to throw them into you know, a situation where they’re not only dealing with a variable lesson and a variable audience, you want to start with the simplest approach possible. Teach them this one thing to this one person. They build confidence, they feel competent, they know that what they’re doing is right because they can see that one client in front of them getting results and getting better.

Josh: 18:59 – If you just throw them to the wolves and say, OK, well they’ve shadowed, now we’re going to put you in front, you know, on basically what I like to call the stage, as you’re coaching in front of a group, you’re on the stage, 10 or 12 people, you’re, I mean, you’re really putting basically the fate of those 10 or 12 people on that one coach. And I just no longer think that that is the right approach anymore because I’ve seen it so many times, and this is a much better way, and you know, from a left-brain logical standpoint, it just makes sense, man.

Greg: 19:38 – Josh, I am gonna let you know, I have to basically—all the time I’ve invested into my advanced theory course and my internship process is now going to basically be thrown out the window and rewrite all of it because, and all the time and effort and money that’s gone into it because, for me, I believe in this 100%. It makes complete sense. Especially, I mean, if you’re a CrossFit gym owner, you totally understand. Making sure that first squat is correct and then making sure can they do it again even without increasing that intensity yet. Or I mean complex, being more complex and having more variability in it. So, uh, thank you. Not thank you, but thank you; I’m going to have to go back and redo all of this.

Josh: 20:24 – Or you could just sign up for Two-Brain Coaching, man.

Greg: 20:28 – Exactly. Which actually right after this break we’re going to get back with Josh and we’re going to talk about what are the current available things that we can do at Two-Brain Coaching to level up your staff or someone new coming on. So we’ll be back with Josh right after this.

Chris: 20:42 – Hey guys, it’s Chris Cooper. If you’ve ever run out of money, you know that it affects every single corner of your life, all of your relationships, your business, even your self-worth. And so when I found a mentor in 2009, I said, I want to share this gift with everyone. Since then, I’ve been building and refining and improving a mentorship practice that we now call Two-Brain Business. We break our mentorship into several stages. The first stage is the Incubator, which is a 12-week sprint to get your foundation built, to get you started on retention and employee programs and finding the best staff, putting them in the best roles, training them up to be successful, and then recruiting more clients. It’s an amazing program. It is the culmination of over a decade of work. It’s also the sum of best practices from over 800 gyms around the world. These aren’t just my ideas anymore. What we do is track with data what’s working for whom and when, and we test new ideas against that data to say, is this actually better? Then when ideas have proven themselves conclusively, then we put it in our Incubator or Growth or Tinker programs. I just wrote “Founder, Farmer, Tinker, Thief” to define who should be doing what in what stage of entrepreneurship. But no matter where you are, the Incubator is your first 12-week sprint to get as far as possible in your business. We’re a mentorship practice for one reason: Mentorship is what works. We work with gym owners for one reason: Because you have the potential to change the world with us, and I hope you do.

Greg: 22:11 – All right, we are back. So Josh, let’s talk about this. What are the things that are available right now, and we’ve had you on before, we’ve talked about that First Degree of someone coming in and we can talk about that real quick, but then also moving forward, what are those other things?

Josh: 22:30 – Yeah, so we’ve actually got a couple of options right now and I hope I have permission to let the cat out of the bag on this. If not, then maybe I’ll get in trouble, but I doubt it. But so essentially if you’re a current Two-Brain client in the Growth stage right now, you are actually going to be gifted a brand-new master class for training coaches. This is something that I’m putting together for all of our Two-Brain clients. And it would best be described as here’s how you do it, now go and do it for your coaches option. So we’re gonna provide you with the blueprint. We’re going to say this is how you find, hire and train your staff. This is how to build meaningful careers for them. We’re gonna give you the templates, all this kind of stuff. And then basically you are responsible for putting these things into practice. So we’re going to teach you how to do it and then you’re going to do it. So that’s option number one. That’s going to be out very, very soon for current Growth clients. They’re going to have free access to that. So that’s pretty awesome.

Greg: 23:36 – It’s pretty awesome. Now, but what happens if you’re like me, I don’t have time to do that. I don’t have time to turn around and build everything out, possibly. And I really need something that’s more of a done-for-me version, so I can really maximize my EHR, my effective hourly rate.

Josh: 23:56 – Yeah. Greg, it’s funny because that’s exactly, you know, the itch that I had to scratch for myself is that I wanted something that I could implement, put into place and have a done-for-you option. And so that’s actually what is available through right now. It’s a piece of cake. You go to the website, check it out, sign them up, and they are guided from the moment that they sign up until the point that it is time for them to basically show their stuff off for you and coach for you. And yes, there is shadowing broken down. There is homework. They’re going to be turning things in. They’re going to have assignments. There is a lot of work that they’re going to be doing behind the scenes and in your gym, but you are not going to have to be there to micromanage.

Josh: 24:47 – Now, I do realize that some owners don’t want to be completely hands off. They want to know, hey, what are my coaches learning? I want to make sure that, number one, that it’s valuable. And probably most importantly that it aligns with their vision and what they’re looking for from a coach. So what we put together is an owner’s handbook and that’s available for free for anybody that’s interested to learn more. You know, maybe you’re not quite ready to invest the money, you just want to see what they’re gonna be learning, then reach out. We will be more than happy to send you the owner’s handbook so you can take a look at it and see. But if you are ready to sign up, then yeah, go to, but you can navigate your way there. And right now what’s available is the First-Degree program, which takes somebody and preps them to coach your fixed lesson plan, one-on-one, your on-ramp program, put another way, and the Second-Degree course, which preps them to coach any group fitness offering that you have.

Greg: 25:55 – Wait, hold on. I want to backtrack on that for a second. And really that second point that you just made of any fitness program. So you’re telling me that I can put somebody into my Sweat, which is my boot camp. They can go through that Second Degree and be able to take on any of those group classes, including my CrossFit, including, I mean any literally, I mean, any program that I wanted to bring on, dumbbells and diapers or whatever it is, they’d be able to coach any of those classes?

Josh: 26:25 – Yeah. So the goal again, you know, with the principle approach is that we want you to be able to teach any, you know, fitness methodology, group fitness class that you can think of. So if it’s CrossFit, if it’s Zumba, if it’s diapers and dumbbells, if it’s sweat, if it’s a 30-minute quick fit, a 45, a 60-minute thing, yeah, Second Degree will take care of that. And I don’t want to spoil the really good part, but if you’re a gym that already is insured through Affiliate Guard, your coaches are covered if they go through first or Second Degree, they are already covered insurance wise.

Greg: 27:11 – Whoa, that’s definitely huge because as a gym owner, if I have contractors and I’m having them get their own insurance policies or if I’m saying, hey, I’m going to take the burden and say I’m going to cover anybody that trains here, but I gotta make sure my insurance company says, hey, yeah, you can have so and so train here, they usually have to have a certification. So you’re telling me basically that each one of these programs so far, and I know we’re building out more throughout this process, degree one or one degree, First Degree and Second Degree are technically certified through Affiliate Guard to say, hey, yeah, we will cover what, what you guys are doing.

Josh: 27:52 – Yeah, 100% and you know, this is actually really cool man. Affiliate Guard, I was just talking to them recently and let’s say that you’re a gym that isn’t insured through them. That’s OK. You can actually ensure one of your coaches if they have a Two-Brain Coaching certification for roughly 150 bucks for the entire year. 150 bucks for the year and they are covered insurance wise through Affiliate Guard.

Greg: 28:19 – That’s amazing. I mean, that’s pennies. I wish, I wish my insurance policy was that, but it is not. And I will say it’s definitely not expensive for even a big gym insurance plan, but $150 is nothing.

Josh: 28:36 – Yeah. Yeah. They really put together quite a package for us, so we’re super excited to be partnered with them.

Greg: 28:44 – And I wanted to go back to one other thing you said. And that was really what you were talking about, the different options of having First Degree and Second Degree and really the Second Degree portion. And you talked about how it was going to cover basically any fitness program that you have. And that kind of dives back into that first thing we talked about, methods and principles, and that’s where you’re saying the methodology of CrossFit is great, but if you have the methodology of Zumba or the methodology of a boot camp, whatever that’s gonna be, you’ve built this program not around one of those things. You’ve built it around principles so that literally anyone can come through this program from any type of fitness program and still do amazing with it and still be able to utilize all the information.

Josh: 29:30 – Absolutely. Yeah. That was the goal. Because if we just teach to, you know, one methodology, then you are really limited in scope as a coach. You know, like what happens if you’re a Pilates instructor and that is what you learn how to coach and that’s all you know how to coach and three or four or five years down the road you’re like, ah, I really don’t want to do that anymore. OK, well now I’ve gotta go learn how to coach something else and I’ve got to go take this specific course to be able to coach this other thing. With Two-Brain coaching, the principles are universal. So the same things that you would use to get people fit or to get people to their goals and using a Pilates methodology can also be used to do it with a Zumba or a CrossFit or a kettlebell or Olympic weightlifting methodology. The only thing that I would say is that, you know, you might want to go take a course so that you know the ins and outs of that particular methodology, but from a learning how to actually apply it and work with clients and use it to get results, that’s the service, the coaching service that we provide.

Greg: 30:47 – What—I want to talk about two benefits, and one of those is definitely the benefit from an owner standpoint. So myself. But before that, because I do care about my people more than anything, I really do. I care about my coaches, making sure they’re getting training. I’m trying to build out new things for them all the time and I feel like I can never do enough to make sure that I’m giving them the best opportunities out there. But so from an owner’s standpoint, but really from a coach’s standpoint, what is the coach ROI benefit that they’re getting from these programs?

Josh: 31:20 – Man, that’s such a great question, Greg. You know, we thought about this a lot in the development of Two-Brain Coaching and I haven’t seen it out there from anybody else, but it’s really important that if somebody is going to make an investment in something, you know, like the First Degree program or the Second or you know, not to give too much away, but Third and Fourth that will be out before the end of the year, I want the coach to truly understand that if I pay $149 for the First Degree program, you know, what can I expect to get back? You know, how long is it going to take me to make that money back if the coach is the one who buys that. So for the First Degree program, after talking to hundreds of gym owners now for several years based around what their on-ramp cost is and what a coach makes, if a coach gets to do one on-ramp client, so to take them through the gym’s on-ramp process, on average if they just take one person through it, they have now paid back the money that it costs them to go through the First Degree course.

Josh: 32:32 – Then everything that they do after that is just icing on the cake. So one client you take through on-ramp and it’s paid for itself. The Second Degree course, let’s just say that you’re working at a gym and you’re coaching their group classes and you’re paid roughly 20 bucks a class. If you’re coaching five sessions a week, you’re going to have that paid off in about six weeks. So Second Degree course is 599. You’re getting paid 20 bucks a class to coach groups. Guess what? You’re going to have that thing paid off in about six weeks or roughly 30 sessions. Here’s the bonus part that I haven’t told anybody about. We are actually teaching you how to develop and run your own specialty program within the Second Degree course and we’re going to give them—at kind of a surprise point in the course they’re going to unlock access to five specialty course templates that they can use and implement at their gym right away. But if they just coach one specialty program, they’re going to have it paid off in six sessions. So that’s a huge ROI for a coach because I know for myself, when I was starting out, I wanted to know, hey, if I’m investing this much into education, continuing education, you know, what does that look like from a money back in my pocket standpoint? And so that’s what we can say from the coach’s perspective.

Greg: 34:04 – What about, I mean, that’s a huge benefit from a coach standpoint, but now I’m going to say what about me? What about as the business owner, what is the ROI that I’m getting back from this?

Josh: 34:13 – Yeah, so I think this is actually best explained through a story. We’ve got a gym that has sent one of their new coaching prospects through the First Degree course, and I was talking to this gym owner about a month ago and she said, you know, the funniest thing happened, part of the homework that they do in this First Degree course is they’re learning to how to sit down and talk to somebody, you know, kind of in a consultation-type format or what we would say in Two-Brain is like that No-Sweat Intro, but the homework for them is to practice just having these conversations, you know, learning about these prospective kind of play clients and they’re tasked with doing it with friends and family members. And you know, role playing is always a little bit funny and nerve-wracking. And honestly, Greg, as an owner sometimes I’m like, ah, role playing is kind of, you know, useless and I don’t really get a whole lot out of it personally—until I heard this.

Josh: 35:18 – So I was talking to this owner and she said, you’ll never believe what happened. This coach was doing her practice role playing for consultations or No-Sweat Intros. She was doing it with her roommate who was her best friend and apparently she did such a good job that this roommate signed up to be a member at the gym. So you know, and their on-ramp package at their gym was $299. So right then and there, not only did it pay for itself, you know, but the coach is also going to get paid. So $149 to do First Degree. This coach was just practicing some of the homework, sold somebody on an on-ramp package and paid for itself two times over. So from an ownership standpoint, knowing that things like that are occurring, that’s all the ROI that I need to know about.

Josh: 36:10 – Now for the Second Degree, to me what it comes down to is coaching is all about retention. You know, is the basic that it boils down to. If you get results for your clients, they’re going to stick around. If you are a gym owner and you have a coach that has gone through the Second Degree program, if they just get at an average revenue per member of 150 bucks, so if you’ve got four clients that pay 150 bucks, if four clients stay one month longer than they might not have beforehand, it pays for itself.

Greg: 36:47 – Wow. That, I mean, that right there is worth every single penny. I guess my final question, so probably people out there and we’ll wrap it up here, they’re probably asking, OK, there’s First Degree, there’s Second Degree, possibly Third and Fourth and others later on, do I have to have my coach go through First Degree before they can go to Second Degree?

Josh: 37:11 – Yes. And actually there’s a very couple of very good reasons. Number one is that the language that we use in Second Degrees starts in the First Degree and we want that to be consistent throughout. Number two, we are big, humongous believers in having a beginner’s mind, and even if you’re somebody who has been coaching for several years, it is always a great idea to revisit the basics. So First Degree first, Second Degree next; they build on one another. So remember, we go back to what we were talking about towards the very beginning of the podcast is we want to layer on complexity. I don’t want to jump you right into some of the more deeper topics in the Second Degree, even if you’re somebody like me who’s been coaching for you know, almost two decades now. When I was putting together the First Degree program, I was like, oh man, I haven’t thought about things like this, you know, in so long and I learned so much just from my standpoint of putting the course together. So, it is highly valuable for anybody, whether it’s a new coach that you’re thinking about bringing on or somebody that is a head coach. As a refresher of the basics, if I’m an owner, I want a coach who is not afraid to always revisit the basics and you know, refine them over time.

Greg: 38:40 – Agreed. Now if somebody wants to sign up for Two-Brain Coaching, they’re not in Two-Brain, but they’re a gym owner out there that’s like, you know what, I need to get my hands on this. I need to get my coaches in this. I don’t have the time. I don’t have anything built out that I need to be able to do it, can they join it? And what’s the way for them to contact you to be able to jump onto Two-Brain Coaching?

Josh: 39:06 – Yeah, absolutely. So, they can do a couple of different things, if they, you know, are like, yep, I’m sold. I want to just go ahead and sign up right now, they can go to and then you have the two options for First and Second Degree right there. If they are like, ah, I liked what I heard. I want to hear more from Josh himself. You can go to again and then right there on the homepage in the middle, you can’t miss it, is a spot to book a free call. Just a quick little consult for 15 minutes. You and I will talk face to face and I will answer all the questions that you have about the course happily. Or if you’re like, eh, maybe I just want to get some questions answered via email, and you can reach me at

Greg: 39:57 – Awesome, Josh. Thank you again for jumping on. I love always talking to you and having our conversations and stuff like that. I love what you’re doing with Two-Brain Coaching and I can’t wait to see a Third Degree, Fourth Degree and whatever is created after then even. So I’m super excited and I can’t wait to hear what else is going on. But thank you so much for jumping on Two-Brain Radio and sharing Two-Brain Coaching with us.

Josh: 40:21 – My pleasure, Greg. Thanks again for having me, man.

Greg: 40:25 – Thank you for listening to Two-Brain Radio. Make sure to subscribe to receive the most up-to-date episodes wherever you get your podcasts from. To find out how we can help create your Perfect Day, book a free call with a mentor at


Greg Strauch will be here every Thursday with the Two-Brain Radio Podcast.

Two-Brain Marketing episodes come out Mondays, and host Mateo Lopez focuses on sales and digital marketing. 

On Wednesdays, Sean Woodland tells the best stories in the CrossFit community on Two-Brain Radio With Sean Woodland.

Thanks for Listening!

To share your thoughts:

To help out the show:

  • Leave an honest review on iTunes. Your ratings and reviews really help and I read each one.
  • Subscribe on iTunes.
Two-Brain Radio: When You Have to Let a Staff Member Go

Two-Brain Radio: When You Have to Let a Staff Member Go

Two-Brain Radio: When You Have to Let a Staff Member Go

Today we’ve got a short—but important—episode for you that addresses one of the most daunting tasks a gym owner can face: letting a staff member go.

It’s never fun or easy, but there are steps you can take to make sure the process goes as smoothly as possible for all parties. Here, Greg Strauch shares what to tell your staff and clients as well as a checklist of important tasks to ensure a clean break.




2:47 – When letting a staff member go, what should you tell your members? 

4:35 – What if the staff member still wants to be a member of your gym?

5:24 – What to talk about in the exit interview. 

6:48 – Remove access to all business software and communication platforms.

9:56 – Protect your intellectual property.

10:49 – Let them say goodbye, but only through an email that you approve and send.

11:57 – Resources for the situation: client-letter templates and the fire escape plan.

13:21 – Stay neutral with your remaining staff: Don’t bash the former employee.

15:22 – Have more questions? We’re here to help.



Greg: 00:02 – Hey, it’s Greg Strauch with Two-Brain Media, and on this week’s episode I talk to you about letting a staff member or coach go: the steps that you need to take, making sure that you’re communicating effectively and you are transparent where it needs to be, but making sure that you follow the checklist and go through every single step to make the break clean and the coach goes in the direction or staff member needs to go in the direction they do and the business goes in the direction it needs to. So listen up and make sure you guys subscribe to Two-Brain Radio to hear the very best ideas, tips, and topics to move you and your business closer to wealth. Two-Brain Radio is brought to you by Two-Brain Business. We make gyms profitable. We’re going to bring you the very best tips, tactics interviews in the business world each week. To find out how we can help you create your Perfect Day, book a free call with a mentor at

Chris: 01:02 – One of my favorite finds has been I linked up with Matt several months ago at Forever Fierce and he had some fantastic ideas, and so he and I have put together a couple of packages that we think are really gonna help CrossFit affiliates everywhere. Two-Brain mentoring clients use Matt almost exclusively. He’s got fantastic designs and he takes all the work out of it. All that time that you spend searching the internet and Pinterest and junk like that for great CrossFit T-shirts? You don’t have to do that anymore. Matt has fixed that for you. You can put your logo on one of his templates, which are fantastic, and your clients will never know the difference. It saves you so much time that you could be using on other things like real marketing. He’ll also go so far as to remind you when it’s time to reorder. He’ll give you suggested order sizes, he’ll help you set up pre-orders so you’re not even fronting the cash from the inventory. It’s all amazing stuff built to help affiliates, and that’s why I love this guy and this company, They do all of Catalyst’s shirts, all the Two-Brain shirts, all the Ignite Gym shirts. They do everything for every business that I own.

Greg: 02:03 – When letting go of a coach or staff member, it can never be an easy task. There’s so many questions that run through your mind of how I could have helped this person. But really what it’s going to boil down to is the fact that they don’t line up with your vision or the values that you guys have set forth for the gym, whether that’s just you and having one or two staff members or your entire team helping you guide through that. And there’s been some questions that we’ve gotten throughout Two-Brain that are really great questions, and it’s probably the same questions that you guys are dealing with when trying to let go of a coach or a staff member. So questions that you guys may have is when letting go of a coach or a staff member, do I tell my staff, do I tell my members, what are the things I need to tell them?

Greg: 02:47 – What shouldn’t I tell them? Should I just worry about my members coming up with rumors of what’s happening? Should I create a class announcements or a post or a video or an email? What exactly should I say? And to answer that question, really what it comes down to is you want to tell your staff. You don’t need to concern yourself with your members unless it’s on a PT one-on-one basis with that staff member if they’re leaving. We don’t want to go into detail with what exactly happened always, but we do want them to know that when we had this person come on board, we loved having them and things can change. Time changes things, and for the best part of the business to move on in the right direction, it’s best if we split ways. And you’re going to talk to your staff about this and make sure you answer any questions.

Greg: 03:41 – You can let them answer any members that have questions if that person played a pivotal role in the classes as in if it’s a head coach or it’s a GM or something like that, or even a customer success manager, make sure your staff can come to you with questions on what you have to say. Make sure that they understand that we’re doing this for the betterment of the business. We’re moving in the right direction when we do this. Make sure that you sit down and have an exit either call or interview with said coach. Somebody that is leaving, we want to make sure that they understand a few things and one of those things is we want to make sure that they understand whatever classes that they have done, that they are getting paid for those classes, that we make sure that we collect all the things like maybe keys and those kinds of stuff.

Greg: 04:25 – But there’s a few other things and we have a full-on list that I’ll go through to make sure that you guys are executing on these things when removing somebody from your classes or basically your business. Now, the next question you may be asking yourself is what happens if this coach still wants to be part of the gym? They want to be a member at the gym. Can we do this? And the answer is yes and no. Yes, depending on what they were being let go for. If you have a problem with a coach because they were stealing from you, let’s say they were collecting everybody’s money for Kill Cliffs and FitAids and shirts and pocketing the cash and never recording it, probably not somebody that you want to have in the gym because they may take from other members and you don’t want to have somebody like that in your environment. But make sure that if you decide to keep them and have them become a member, that all of the processes and standards that you have set forth for other members are completely understood.

Greg: 05:24 – This can be done definitely in that exit interview or call. Also the thing you are going to want to do is make sure that in that exit interview or call that you review your NDA and any other agreements that you have set forth with them. You want to make sure that they understand exactly what is in there, what they’re basically allowed to do and not allowed to do, and you’re not doing this to bully them. Make sure you are explaining to them, listen, we want to make sure that you are set forth in the right direction, but we also want to make sure that they don’t turn around work for a competitive not knowing that they’re actually violating their NDA or if they had a compete at some time. Depending on who they are and the regulations within your country and state, that’s going to change from state by state and country by country. Make sure that you sit down, like I said earlier, and go over that final invoice with them. Make sure you get that final invoice paid. And then a few things that you’re going to want to make sure that you guys go over. Now, some of these may be things that you guys have within your business. Some of them you may not. But things like the gym-management software, make sure they’re removed access from it. We don’t want them to have any access to any of those things. Make sure if they have an email account that the password is changed and they’re logged out of anything that they had access to, especially if you had PT sessions that were documented in say like a Google Docs or Google Drive or your playbook is in there.

Greg: 06:48 – We don’t want them to have access to these things. So make sure that you guys are removing access to all of those things. You’re going to make sure that your CRM, if they have any type of contacts, say, let’s say they have PT clients that you had actually assigned to them, that they’re removed out of there. Make sure your CSM is knocking that out and making sure they’re removed from there. Make sure they don’t have a CRM account. Make sure that is removed. Depending on the communication that you have with your staff, if you use something like Slack, we want to make sure that that is removed as well. We don’t want them to be communicating back and forth, having staff saying, hey, sorry, that sucks or whatever it’s going to be, because we want to make sure that we have a clean break when we do this.

Greg: 07:32 – We want to make sure that if there are any Facebook groups or any kind of front-facing to clients or future clients, we remove them from there. Any private groups, remove them from there. Make sure that if they’re in Acuity and you’re scheduling appointments with them, we get rid of that stuff as well. Remove them from any email lists. Say we send out an email once a week to our coaching staff or just our staff in general, we want to make sure that they are removed from there. If they use any kind of online software such as like Zoom for recording, if they do online stuff, we want to make sure that’s gone. If they have any calendar appointments, we want to make sure those get rescheduled as well. Cause if you have coaches that are performing PT sessions or on-ramp sessions or whatever it’s going to be, we want to make sure that those are all rescheduled so the client doesn’t really see a big step from this one coach to the next coach that’s going to be taking over for them.

Greg: 08:24 – Now when that happens, that is definitely something by case by case that you may want to sit down and have a one-on-one conversation with that member. Just letting them know, again, we’re not going to turn around and throw their dirt out there. We’re not going to turn around and say what exactly happened. Except for the fact of the facts, which is, hey, they’re moving on to new and better things, which is the same thing that we’re going to be putting in that email that we’re going to be communicating to our coaching staff. And make sure that the coaches that are still at the gym and the staff that’s still at the gym, they understand. If anyone has any hard questions that they don’t feel like they can answer or don’t really know and they’re going to speculate, make sure they don’t and they have those members come to you and talk to you because you’re going to do the same thing as what we’ve laid out before.

Greg: 09:07 – Communicate with them, but in a positive way that they’re moving in the right direction, the business is moving in the right direction. This was just better for everyone to go on to bigger and better things. Next we’re going to want to make sure communication again with the coaches with that staff member is removed out of that group, if there’s any kind of messaging, that kind of stuff, make sure that is removed. Make sure any messages one-on-one with clients is removed. Again, if you have some kind of non-compete in play and you’re authorized to be able to institute that still, make sure that in that exit interview or call or whatever, you want it to be, that they totally understand that that is still in play. Because the last thing you want is them to be reaching out to your members and trying to coax them into coming to another gym if you have a non-compete or anything like that in there.

Greg: 09:56 – The other part of that is too, let’s say they downloaded some of your documents, like your playbook or any of your information that is your business’. We want to make sure that they understand that that is still your business’ property and they’re not allowed to utilize it in any way. If they go to another gym or open up their own gym, whatever it’s going to be. So we want to make sure all that, and then anything else that you can possibly think of that they’d have access to, whether that’s your website, whether you have social media such as Instagram or YouTube or Twitter or whatever it’s going to be. Make sure that we remove access to all of them. And we want to make sure we go through this checklist to really knock all of that information out that I’ve said already.

Greg: 10:37 – We want to make sure that everybody understands exactly what’s going on and we want to make sure that everyone understands that we need to get past this and just keep moving forward. OK. The one thing you can do is make sure that the coach—if the coach does want to communicate with the staff, we can get one final communication with them. This is on behalf of them, but what they’re going to write is something that you as the owner is going to have to approve and then pass on. We’re not going to have them write to the staff members that this sucks and everyone come with me, that the owner or the GM, whoever’s firing them is doing a poor job and everyone needs to come with me, because we know that that probably isn’t true.

Greg: 11:18 – I mean, you aren’t firing them because they’re great and they’re doing everything right and they’re doing everything perfect and they’ve never made a mistake and they bring more members always. All those things is not the reason why you are letting them go. So if they do want to communicate, you can definitely have them send that to you and then you can clarify it and then send that out to the coaching team and the members. But make sure you are overlooking everything that goes on. But that’s the only way they should be communicating. They should not be reaching out to them personally. If you are sending something out to the clients, it is only really those one-on-one personal-training clients that we’re going to do that with. The other part of this is we are having a letter that I would definitely send an email which Two-Brain has a template for this.

Greg: 11:57 – So if you’re a Two-Brain client, you definitely have that email. And if you look through blog posts from the past, I know we have this blog post out there as well, but it’s basically a firing blog post and it’s going to basically just state, hey, things have been going great. The path that you’ve decided to do and the coach has decided to take on new things. And that we’re happy to announce that they’re able to do that and everyone’s moving in the right direction. And then of course at the end, making sure you say thank you for your trust, we won’t let you down or some version of that to remind them, hey, we’re here for you and here for the clients. And that’s really the reason why we had to let go of that staff member was we are moving in a different direction than they are and that’s OK.

Greg: 12:43 – They’re moving in the direction they need to and we are in the way we need to and it’s perfect. So I wanted to come on here, give you guys a little bit of information, action items that you guys can take forth and actually put into play. Because this is a question that we get a lot. Even though we’ve created content for it, it still comes up because every scenario could be a little different. And we’ve created a checklist. If you’re within the Two-Brain family, there are the modules that you can jump on and use the fire escape plan that we’ve created along with the different templates and stuff like that. If you guys have questions, as always, please reach out to us. You can reach out to me,, I’m happy to answer any questions, especially when letting go staff you, never know what can happen.

Greg: 13:21 – Every scenario can be a little different. And if you’re interested in making sure that hey, we want to handle this 100%, always booked that call, that free help call with us, at and we can get you set up with a mentor and get you started in Incubation where you have a mentor one-on-one and you can work on these things. But really when it comes down to this, make sure that you guys are being as transparent as it allows for both parties to stay neutral, if that makes sense. So you’re not going to go to your staff and remind them, hey, this person’s leaving cause they suck and they do all this stuff wrong and they’re awful. You’re just going to remind them that this is best for the business and best for the coaches and the best for the members and it’s best for them as well, the person that is leaving. We want to make sure that we create that sense of teamwork, that it’s not the business against the coaches, each coach separately or this one coach. Because at the end of the day, if another coach does get released from the gym or from your staff, you want to make sure that they understand if this ever happened to them, they would be left with their dignity as well. You’re not going to single them out within the group and ostracize them in any sort of way. We want them to know we truly do care, that they are human, they’re going in the right direction for them. And that’s what we need to have happen. This also means that sometimes they’re just not a perfect fit for you. I’ve had coaches and staff members that are not perfect fits for the gym.

Greg: 14:46 – They don’t follow what our vision is and where we’re going. They don’t align with our values and we have a quick conversation and then we follow this process to make sure that they’re moving on to better things. We want, again, to make sure that all staff members feel safe and understand that this is a team and we’re always going to protect the team and move in the direction of where the vision of the gym is going and the business is going. So again, if you guys got any questions out there, this is a little bit shorter episode than we normally have or having a guest on. It’s just me because I want to make sure I address this cause if people are having this issue, I want to make sure that you guys have some kind of resource out there to really talk about it.

Greg: 15:22 – Not too often do we talk about how do we let go of a coach. Usually it’s on the other side of it, how do I hire more coaches? How do I get more people in? Which is awesome. You’re bettering more people’s lives, which is amazing and phenomenal. But sometimes staff members that get in aren’t always perfect for where we’re going, or they were perfect at one point, but they’re not anymore. So I hope this helps you guys. I hope you guys understand to make sure to take care of all of your staff members, whether you’re bringing staff members in or letting staff members go. And of course, if you’ve got questions for me,, I’m happy to answer any questions.

Greg: 15:54 – Thank you for listening to Two-Brain Radio. Make sure to subscribe to receive the most up-to-date episodes wherever you get your podcasts from. To find out how we can help create your Perfect Day, book a free call with a mentor at


Greg Strauch will be here every Thursday with the Two-Brain Radio Podcast.

Two-Brain Marketing episodes come out Mondays, and host Mateo Lopez focuses on sales and digital marketing. 

On Wednesdays, Sean Woodland tells the best stories in the CrossFit community on Two-Brain Radio With Sean Woodland.

Thanks for Listening!

To share your thoughts:

To help out the show:

  • Leave an honest review on iTunes. Your ratings and reviews really help and I read each one.
  • Subscribe on iTunes.
Why Two Croatian Gym Owners Invested a Year’s Salary in the Incubator

Why Two Croatian Gym Owners Invested a Year’s Salary in the Incubator

Why Two Croatian Gym Owners Invested a Year’s Salary in the Incubator

Igor Jelcic and Dino Molnar both own CrossFit gyms in Croatia, where the cost of the Incubator translates to roughly an entire year’s salary for the average Croatian.

Both Igor and Dino experienced some tough times in the early days of their businesses. Igor’s gym, 20350 Athletics, was on the brink of total failure, and while Dino had new members joining CrossFit Rijeka each month, he had trouble keeping them around.

Each of the gym owners had been longtime fans and followers of Two-Brain Business but hesitated to buy in because of the price. But after taking the leap, both said the investment was totally worth it—and both ended up more than doubling their monthly revenues.



3:23 – Finding CrossFit on YouTube, opening a gym and losing a partner.

5:24 – Reaching an ultimatum: Join Two-Brain for a year’s salary or close the doors.

7:30 – “I would pay even 10k now for the things that I know now.”

9:03 – Using ads for personal training to increase revenue by 300%.

12:35 – The reward for trying something new: more than doubling your revenue.

15:37 – The future of 20350 Athletics.

20:33 – Bringing CrossFit to a regular gym, getting fired and starting CrossFit Reijka.

23:15 – Opening with 50 members and 12-hour workdays.

24:20 – Stuck at the 100-member mark: A problem of retention.

25:34 – Finding answers within Two-Brain content.

27:53 – Taking the plunge into Incubation.

30:03 – Signing on 15-17 new members with a $20 ad.

31:38 – How those 15-17 members turned into 45.

34:28 – The key to retention: providing a great experience




Greg: 00:02 – It’s Greg Strauch of Two-Brain Media, and on this week’s episode we talk to Igor and Dino. Both of them do not own gyms together. They own gyms separately, but both of them are from Croatia. And if you didn’t know, in Croatia, for the cost of our Incubation process, it’s the average annual salary of someone from Croatia that is working, that is in the working class. Which makes it unique because could you imagine if you are from anywhere else in the world where you had to pay your annual income to a 10-to-12-week program and really making sure that it’s going to work. And I get to sit down with them and talk to them about their journey through Incubation. Kind of what led up to that point of making that decision. Because I can only imagine what happens in somebody’s process when you have to give up your entire year’s salary to go into this and you have a family that’s counting on this.

Greg: 00:53 – So listen up and get some nuggets of information out of this. You guys are gonna love this episode. Make sure to subscribe to Two-Brain Radio to hear the very best ideas, tips, and topics to move you and your business closer to wealth. Two-Brain Radio is brought to you by Two-Brain Business. We make gyms profitable. We’re going to bring you the very best tips, tactics interviews in the business world each week. To find out how we can help you create your Perfect Day, book a free call with a mentor at

Greg: 01:22 – We would like to think one of our amazing partners, Healthy Steps Nutrition. Are you struggling with creating a nutrition program from scratch? What about looking to save time on building another revenue stream? Are you looking for ongoing support on growing your program? HSN has built an amazing service to help guide you in building your very own nutrition program. They start with an on-boarding training course that gives you one-on-one time with a mentor that’ll help you build a nutrition program, not only to help you with additional revenue, but help your members reach their goals. They’ve helped over 400 gyms build profitable nutrition programs. Go to to check out their free resources and to book your free call today.

Greg: 02:03 – All right, I’m on another episode of Two-Brain Radio with Igor. He is the owner of 20350 Athletics, and he is not in the U.S. or in Canada or even on the same continent. He is actually in Croatia. So, welcome.

Igor: 02:20 – Yeah, thank you. Happy to be here.

Greg: 02:23 – We love having guests on, especially ones that aren’t always, hey, they’ve heard everything we’ve done and followed it to a T prior to Two-Brain. Or better yet when we first started Two-Brain, but I wanted to get you on because you have a few things that I think a lot of gym owners out there run into. And that’s the mindset. But really what I want to talk about is kind of your path to opening your gym and then making the leap into Incubation. Because if anyone out there is listening, the cost of Incubation for you would basically be an average annual salary. So something you’d pay yourself an entire year in Croatia was the cost you had to have up front to then be able to get access and start into Incubation. So I want us to kind of talk about, we’ll start from—we’ll talk about that, but let’s start from the very beginning. So, what kind of led you up to CrossFit, finding CrossFit and then deciding to open up your own gym?

Igor: 03:23 – Yeah, sure. I mean, I didn’t find CrossFit per se, before opening, but it was something, sort of like functional fitness stuff. And as I progressed in that, I started like watching YouTube videos and then I found CrossFit. So our current gym wasn’t offering that because there was no one who can show us like stuff like Olympic weightlifting and gymnastics and all that.

Igor: 04:00 – And I saw opportunity and obviously one thing led to another and I decided to open it for myself. And in the beginning I had a partner, but that fell through like, OK, couple of months in, and since then it was only my wife and I.

Greg: 04:23 – All right. So you and your partner decided to split ways, so you and your wife basically opened. And how long ago did you guys open your gym?

Igor: 04:33 – So the gym is open since August, 2016, and yeah, we had really rough time since then. We had to relocate one year into from our opening and that almost closed the gym because the financial was pretty devastating. So yeah.

Greg: 05:04 – When you started opening your gym and you came to finding a higher level of thinking and kind of how can I be better? What kind of led you up to finding Two-Brain?

Igor: 05:24 – Yeah. OK. So prior to Two-Brain, I was working with a mentor. We had roughly like one or two months, and I have been reading Chris’s books for forever, basically. I mean, I got them all in both ebooks and paper. So, I always followed Two-Brain, and Two-Brain was always a goal for me. But the thing is like, yeah, in Croatia, the price of Two-Brain is really steep. So that was the biggest obstacle. But after talking to a few people and when I found out one of my friends from Italy is in the Incubator, I contacted him, his name is Roberto Muncie. I immediately PM’d him and just started asking questions and all that. And basically what happens is I talk to my family and given that the gym was almost at the end, we were at the point where either we are going to be closing our doors or we have to do something. So I decided to take a short-term loan and just jump in. And buy into Incubator. Yeah.

Greg: 07:07 – And as I said before, everyone out there that’s listening, that’s your average annual salary. So I can only imagine the conversation you had to have with your family to say, hey, we’re giving up a year’s worth of what we need to live to possibly continue with this business or close it down, which I can only imagine that conversation, what that was like.

Igor: 07:30 – Yeah, that was really tough. Now that I think of it like I’ve had to convince a lot of people to just make it happen. And obviously my family supports me 100% on this and now when I look at it in all honesty, like 5k to me was—I would pay even 10k now for the things that I know now. So yeah, it’s that worth it.

Greg: 08:11 – Well, and you’ve seen—and if we have to put the statistics out there, 43% of all CrossFit gyms in Croatia are actually in Two-Brain now, which is amazing. And I think that supersedes even Chris Cooper’s home country of Canada. I think that’s more than any other country out there. But, let’s kind of jump into it now. I mean, you’ve gone through Incubation, you said about a few calls in a is when you actually started turning on some of the ads and started getting people to come into the gym, but what, what has happened due to that? What was the end result for you?

Igor: 08:51 – What do you mean?

Greg: 08:53 – Are you having a lot of people actually show up to your doors now? Like what is going on with going through incubation and where you are now?

Igor: 09:03 – Yeah, I mean, at the start, like when we started Incubator, there was a ton of work to be done. Talking with my one coach, at the time. Now we do have a second one and we had some tough talks and all that, some members left and all that. But as soon as we got to the phase with marketing part, things just got like really crazy, really fast. So as soon as we released our ads, we weren’t in getting a lot of leads in the beginning, but as soon as we made some tweaks to it kinda just when crazy. And we signed roughly 27 people in September. And the thing is prior to this, our gym didn’t offer private coaching at all. I mean we did, but we didn’t push it. We didn’t sell it. We didn’t try to set it, we only relied on group model. So what happened was after we turned the ads on, our revenue is split almost 70/30 now in favor of private coaching. And we had a 300 percent boost in revenue, from last September. So that was huge because this has been our biggest month yet since we opened. Plus we are really getting a lot of people through the door. Like even the people who are already signed for the private coaching, they’re bringing their spouses or friends or whatever. I mean, we didn’t even ask to do that. Like they just keep just keep bringing them,

Greg: 11:17 – Yeah, that’s amazing, right? It shows that the product and the culture that you’ve created is something of, hey, we’re not gonna incentivize you to ask your spouse to be here and anything like that. It’s just naturally been born to show the service and offerings that you guys have. Now 27 people in one month. I mean there’s gym owners out there that are listening that are probably going, that’s crazy. That’s I need that to make my business survive. But only few that have actually done it know how many 27 new people one month is. How has the retention been with those people? With all 27 of them?

Igor: 12:00 – We lost one due to the relocation like business-wise, but everyone else is just like already telling me that they want to renew the private sessions. So retention is amazing at the moment.

Greg: 12:19 – With having a gym that was based around group training and then going to a gym that now offers private coaching, you said that you offered it before but it really wasn’t a huge hit or you couldn’t get people to actually buy into it. Why do you think that?

Igor: 12:35 – Basically, I’m the one to blame for that because like I said before. I was scared of offering that because I wasn’t bought in to that. So how can I sell that to my customers. Like I was projecting my fears onto them and that was a huge, huge weakness of mine. I can say now that I have finally fixed it, so yeah, because all 27 new people, every single one of them is private sessions, not a single group session. So that’s not like a minor increase in our revenue because our group sessions are on a cheaper side. This has got like a average revenue per member, 100%-plus in ARM basically. So prior to this, it was in Croatian kunas it was something around 300 and now it’s upwards from 600 plus. So.

Greg: 13:58 – Wow.

Igor: 13:58 – Yeah, we just doubled that. Now we only need to worry about LEG, basically. Try to get the retention and all the systems going now.

Greg: 14:11 – So have you guys, now that you guys did start the ads, do you still have the ads going today?

Igor: 14:17 – Yup. Yeah we do.

Greg: 14:19 – And are you still getting a ton of new people coming into the gym?

Igor: 14:24 – It has been a bit slower cause we are in a basically rural part of Croatia. Our town is only roughly 15,000 people. That’s on a good day basically, because we did have a lot of migrations, young people leaving to find a job in other countries like Ireland, Germany, Australia, Canada. Stuff like that. So our reach is not that huge. But yeah, we are getting really, really decent numbers at the moment.

Greg: 15:10 – Yeah, that is awesome to hear. I mean it’s crazy to think that before, I mean you were on the brink of possibly closing the doors. And now it’s kind of gone full circle, especially if a year ago compared to now you’re over 300% in revenue. What does the future look like for you? As in are you and your mentor planning together to build on top of this structure to continue moving forward?

Igor: 15:37 – Actually we haven’t discussed that like thoroughly, but we are going to do that. As for plans goes, my biggest goal at the moment is building my own gym from the ground up, which I want to find the property and start planning because that’s my ultimate goal. I don’t want to lease a space anymore.

Greg: 16:12 – So you actually being able to build your own facility and then own your own building basically.

Igor: 16:16 – Yeah, exactly.

Greg: 16:18 – Well, Igor, I wish you the best of luck. I know you don’t need it though because you’re already doing amazing. You’re a go-getter that has, like I said, I mean just implementing these systems has caused you to have a 300% revenue increase from last year. I mean, spending an annual average salary of a Croatian there on Incubation and taking that leap, which if the majority of the people in the U.S. Decided to do the same thing, I mean, or any other country, the Incubator would cost way more than that to equal that out, to do the same thing you did. But you were willing to take that leap and you had your backing of family that supported you and pushed you to do it. And it’s only shown the potential that is out there for people who are willing to take that leap. So I commend you on that bravery and that ability to make that choice and do it and go full board into it and see the results of it. So thank you so much for jumping onto Two-Brain Radio and being able to share your story with us.

Igor: 17:20 – No problem. Thank you for having me.

Chris: 17:22 – Hey guys, it’s Chris Cooper. If you’ve ever run out of money, you know that it affects every single corner of your life, all of your relationships, your business, even your self-worth. And so when I found a mentor in 2009, I said, I want to share this gift with everyone. Since then, I’ve been building and refining and improving a mentorship practice that we now call Two-Brain Business. We break our mentorship into several stages. The first stage is the Incubator, which is a 12-week sprint to get your foundation built, to get you started on retention and employee programs and finding the best staff, putting them in the best roles, training them up to be successful, and then recruiting more clients. It’s an amazing program. It is the culmination of over a decade of work. It’s also the sum of best practices from over 800 gyms around the world. These aren’t just my ideas anymore. What we do is track with data what’s working for whom and when, and we test new ideas against that data to say, is this actually better? Then when ideas have proven themselves conclusively, then we put it in our Incubator or Growth or Tinker programs. I just wrote “Founder, Farmer, Tinker, Thief” to define who should be doing what in what stage of entrepreneurship. But no matter where you are, the Incubator is your first 12-week sprint to get as far as possible in your business. We’re a mentorship practice for one reason: Mentorship is what works. We work with gym owners for one reason: Because you have the potential to change the world with us, and I hope you do.

Greg: 18:51 – All right. I’m on another episode of Two-Brain Radio with Dino. Dino is another one of the Croatian gyms that has taken that leap and jumped into Two-Brain Business. Welcome, Dino.

Dino: 19:01 – Hey. Thank you. I’m fine. Thanks for having me.

Greg: 19:04 – Happy to, man. Happy to. I love being able to talk to people all around the world, whether that’s mentoring or even on Two-Brain Radio here. Because every scenario is different, whether you are in Croatia or the U.S. or Canada or Australia, every scenario is gonna be a little different. And that’s where we kind of get into this because, we’ve already talked to Igor who’s on this episode as well. Let’s kind of start your journey into owning a gym. What kind of led you up into that point? To saying, hey, I want to start a gym and actually start two locations, even, at that point?

Dino: 19:43 – My journey started I think around 2009. I was first introduced to CrossFit in a gym. I saw a guy doing some crazy stuff and I just ask him, “What are you doing?” And he told me “I’m doing CrossFit.” “What’s CrossFit?” He told me what is CrossFit, he knew everything about CrossFit back then and I think he was the first guy in Croatia to do that. I started CrossFit with him, but soon I got injured because we didn’t know anything about it. We were just going hard like in the old days. So I got injured and I didn’t work out for about a year.

Greg: 20:26 – So after getting injured, and I’m guessing you must have rehabbed, you must’ve came back from that.

Dino: 20:33 – The rehab took me almost one year. I was in college and I somehow ended up in a one gym just training there and one day I just asked the owner, can I work for you at the reception or something? And it was that he was just, he was needing a receptionist and a trainer and that’s how I started. That was like 2012, I think. And I was working for him for three years. We changed the whole gym to do just CrossFit and we were in competition mind and stuff. So I was working for him for three years and somehow I got fed up with all the competition and that stuff. And so I didn’t like the work there anymore. And so he fired me. I went to the other gym, I was there for two or three months and I saw that I can get new clients.

Dino: 21:47 – I got like 60 or 70 clients in a small 60-square-meter room. And I just said, I have to do it by myself. And it took me around three months to find the first place. I have signed the lease, I went to Thailand for 40 days and after I come back, I opened the first location. It was February, 2016. So the first year we weren’t affiliated. The second year we took the affiliation and the name was CrossFit Reijka. But the funny story was back then in 2009 after the first session that that guy gave me, I said, I want to do that for the rest of my life. And I said, I will open the first CrossFit gym in Reijka and we’ll call it CrossFit Reijka. And I did.

Greg: 22:49 – And you believed in it. And so you actually pursued it and said, hey, this is what we’re doing. What were the struggles when you opened that first location, I mean, were you able to take those 60 clients that you had from this other location that you were coaching at? Did they come with you or did you have to basically start all over again?

Dino: 23:15 – No, when we opened, the first month we already had like 50 members. So that was pretty cool. And we started good. So, but basically we didn’t have any money and we didn’t have a lot of equipment. So slowly we were building it up, but I was working like 10 hours, 12 hours a day. So finally, after two years, I got help from one girl. That year I got a baby. So it was kind of hard for me to do it by myself. And the baby was the first like, I knew, I need to get some help, because the baby was coming. And so after my daughter was born, I hired this girl and she works for us until today.

Dino: 24:20 – And the struggles were, I mean, basically we were just doing fitness. We didn’t track any leads. We had a lot of new members coming in each month, but we couldn’t pass the 100, 115-mark. We had like 15, 20, 25 new members coming in every month. But we were always at that mark, 100 to 115. I didn’t know why that happening. I knew that we were good. We had good programming, we had fun workouts. Everyone loved to come in, but we just lost members every month. So I knew I was doing something wrong, but I didn’t know why. And I had it in my mind what I have to do, how I have to track new members, I have to talk to my existing members, but I just didn’t know how to start.

Dino: 25:34 – I had like 100 things in my mind that I have to do. That was a big list and I didn’t know how to start. So I think it was around two years ago, I found Two-Brain on Facebook or Instagram or maybe on some CrossFit podcast, and I started following them and I saw from the beginning that those are the guys that know what they’re talking about because every concern that I had, they had the answer. So then there was a few times I tried to book the first call, but I never did it. And I think the first time when I tried to book the call they had the cost of the Incubator on the website. They don’t have it now. And it was around a thousand dollars, I think, back then. And that was too much money for me then. And now that I finally decided to join in, I paid a lot more, but it’s totally worth it. So, yeah.

Greg: 26:54 – Let’s kind of talk about that because, when we were talking Igor, and it’s going to be the same situation for you, but jumping into Incubation was not a cheap route for you in the sense of, I mean in Croatia, the amount of money that the Incubator costs for a 10-to-12 week period is the same as an annual salary in Croatia. So it’s not cheap at all. What was the persuasion to do it? I mean you said you had the right answers and Two-Brain had the right answers that you were looking for, but I mean, that’s a large amount of money. And it would be very hard, I’m sure to make that decision. So what was, what was your mental state when you were trying to process through that? Were you talking to somebody to help you kind of navigate through it? Did you just say, hey, I just need to do this? Like, how did you kind of process that?

Dino: 27:53 – I was by myself and it was around May this year, so just before the summer and the gyms were doing always OK. But I saw that I could do like 10 times better. And I think I started reading Chris’ book around March this year and when I started to read “Founder, Farmer, Tinker, Thief,” then I saw that like every sentence that I read was the problem that I had and he had all the answers, and I said, that’s it. I just had to do it and I had a feeling that after this summer I have to do something because we are going—there was not a lot of members coming in this year as past years. And I just had a feeling that I have to do something big to go back to that state where we were like the best in town. So I had some money, that was the last money I had, and I just booked a call and I said, I want to do this, and that’s it. In June, we had that first call and I was in.

Greg: 29:22 – Let’s talk about this journey because that I think is what viewers will and listeners will see as, I mean, incredible. You went from doing this and saying, OK, I’m gonna pay an annual salary that somebody would make here on a 10-to-12-week program and praying that it’s going to go in the right direction, which you are in great hands with the mentor that you had and within Two-Brain of course. But looking at the results now, I mean, you’ve jumped up crazy amount in new memberships and stuff like that. Let’s kind of talk about what have been the results from incubation and then into growth even.

Dino: 30:03 – So we started in June and it took me almost three months to start implementing things from the Incubator. And, but basically I just—I didn’t finish still staff playbooks and contracts and that stuff. I just did No-Sweat Intros. So I started with No-Sweat Intros. I bought a camera and I made like one-minute No-Sweat Intro film, video. And when I posted that on Facebook, it was around 23rd of August, I think, I put like $20 on it and it brought like 15, 17 people in maybe 5 days.

Greg: 30:54 – Wait, wait, hold on. I don’t mean to stop you, but I gotta. You put $20 on a video that you filmed with a camera and you got 15 to 17 people coming through the door on just that one video for 20 bucks?

Dino: 31:07 – Yeah, yeah.

Greg: 31:09 – Tell me what was the front-end revenue that people were paying to join then total out of those people coming in that gross revenue from those15 to 17 members?

Dino: 31:20 – Oh, let me just calculate, sorry.

Greg: 31:27 – And the reason I say that is that’s unheard of. I don’t think I’ve heard of anybody. Even you were doing that, like 20 bucks on an ad.

Dino: 31:38 – So that’s in dollars around $2,000 from that video, from the first five to seven days. But we got so many leads and I wanted to do them all by myself. So I got so many new people coming in and with those new No-Sweat Intros and PT first, I started to do like 15 to 20 private sessions per day, like that for 30 minutes. Because when I had to stop the ad, that’s why I only spent $20 because when those 15 people come came in, in few days, their wives were coming in, their husbands were coming in, their friends were coming in and in three weeks or four weeks we got 45 new members just from that. I mean, I think it was just from that video because I stopped the ad and those 15 to 17 people that came through Facebook got me another 20 or so people. So we were so full last month. That was incredible. And the revenue just sky roofed. So I was amazed though.

Greg: 33:15 – I mean, I am too. I mean that’s a lot of hard work to put in yet. But for context for people, you basically doubled your gross revenue from one month to the next, and the only increased costs that you would have, wouldn’t be fixed costs, cause they’re all the same. It would only be really staff costs if you had staff taking on some of those PT sessions or if they were taking on more classes for you or something like that. So that was the only incurred cost that you really had.

Dino: 33:41 – Yeah, yeah.

Greg: 33:43 – That’s amazing. That is huge numbers. Now that you’ve gone through this, I mean, taking that leap, I’m sure hindsight is always 20/20, right? You can always say that, hey, it was, it was worth it. But what do you feel like—do you feel like the ad itself was the biggest turning factor? Do you feel like the systems you put in place to make sure that these athletes you could take on 15 to 17 clients and even 40 clients in a month, were sustainable in being able to grow and expand and scale properly? What do you feel like it was? Do you feel like it was the ad or do you feel like it was your guys’ ability to execute on giving a great experience?

Dino: 34:28 – No, I think it was the ability to give them great experience with a No-Sweat Intro because everyone that came, they were, they were surprised about the No-Sweat Intro and they were really glad that they had to start with private session, because like 95% of those people that came in never did a training session or workout before in their life. So that’s kind of my mission, to give people some hope that it’s never too late to start working out and that we have the tools to show them that anyone can do a workout.

Greg: 35:15 – Dino, I love your mission. I love what you’ve done. Now, I mean having two locations, too, and being able to implement all these systems and having a staff, man, that was a huge leap and I really commend you on being able to take it. I would say anyone out there that is in the same shoes as you, well you can always tell them to step through that door, that it’s going to be safe, but you really never know. As mentors we do. We can tell you, hey, we know what works and if you do the work, you will be successful. But when you’re walking through that step, especially when it comes down to you paying the same amount what the average salary in Croatia is, I can only imagine the stress that you guys were going through, you and Igor and everybody else that has a gym in Croatia that has jumped on with Two-Brain. But I really commend you, man. That is not something easy to do and I’m really happy that you did it and you’re part of the Two-Brain family now. And we’re able to share that story out there with everyone so that they can see, hey, there’s people out there paying the average salary that somebody would make in that country just on Incubation, compared to somebody that maybe makes that in a month in just profit in their business or their regular job if they’re thinking about starting a gym. And seeing how much ability that takes and fortitude that you have. So I just want to commend you and thank you so much for jumping on Two-Brain Radio and share that with us and the listeners out there because it just shows anyone can do it. You just gotta put in the work. Even when it comes down to paying an average salary, if it took that, to be able to get there. So thank you so much, Dino, for being able to jump on Two-Brain Radio and share that your story with us and I can’t wait to hear you guys double again and again and you guys are just doing awesome out there cause I know you’re going to continue doing that. So again, thank you so much for being able to jump on Two-Brain Radio and sharing that with us today.

Dino: 37:07 – No problem. Thank you for contacting me and for helping us to do that. We will do our best to be even better.

Greg: 37:19 – Thank you for listening to Two-Brain Radio. Make sure to subscribe to receive the most up-to-date episodes wherever you get your podcasts from. To find out how we can help create your Perfect Day, book a free call with a mentor at


Greg Strauch will be here every Thursday with the Two-Brain Radio Podcast.

Two-Brain Marketing episodes come out Mondays, and host Mateo Lopez focuses on sales and digital marketing. 

On Wednesdays, Sean Woodland tells the best stories in the CrossFit community on Two-Brain Radio With Sean Woodland.

Thanks for Listening!

To share your thoughts:

To help out the show:

  • Leave an honest review on iTunes. Your ratings and reviews really help and I read each one.
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Fat People on Mars

Fat People on Mars

In a recent series of articles, I talked about playing the “infinite game,” how to avoid the trap of “competition” and the mindset necessary for success.

My mission is to make 1,000,000 fitness entrepreneurs wealthy. Because the world needs more fitness coaches.


Evolution to Enlightenment


Until the last 100 years, humanity has concerned itself with playing an infinite game. We won merely by surviving. First, we survived long enough to replicate ourselves. Then we survived long enough to overlap generations: We invented grandkids.

Now we’re surviving beyond the age of manual utility and enjoying decades as observers. We have ease. We have medical care. And hell, we should: Our ancestors worked hard to give us this gift.

We can do all these things because, as a species, we’re wealthy. Capitalism has created the opportunity to coast through our last years. We no longer work ourselves to death; we work ourselves to pension. The poorest person in Western society today is wealthier than the kings of Europe were 200 years ago: We have medicines and food and access to water. We have sanitation. We avoid most diseases and cure almost all the others. We have time for leisure and coins in our pockets.

We have time to wonder, “What’s it all for?” and we have time to Netflix and chill.

But … .

We have not survived millions of years of evolution to sit on the couch and watch Oprah.

We have suffered through famine. We have struggled through wars and squeaked our way through plagues. Our bodies are adapted to survive through conservation of resources.

We now have more than we need. But our surplus is killing us: Our greatest health problems come from abundance. The bounty of victory is clogging our arteries, our brains and our planet. We have so much that we’re choking on it. Our bodies are fattening, our brains are slowing, and our environment is filling with our garbage. We have no universal “just cause” left, so we’re depressed. We’ve survived eons of need just to realize that surplus might destroy us in the end.

We might, someday, escape our collective pollution by rocketing off to Mars. Or we might banish our garbage from our beloved planet by launching it to the moon. Slowly, inch by inch, we’re conquering space.

But we’re losing the fight to conquer ourselves.


“If You’re so Smart, Why Aren’t You Happy?”


The real goal of humanity isn’t survival. That was just a short-term goal. The real goal is happiness.

The ultimate goal of the neocortex—the most evolved part of the brain, the part that separates us from every other species—is to make itself happy.

Call it “enlightenment” or call it “heaven” or call it anything you want: When things are going well, we secrete “reward” chemicals that please the brain. Dopamine and serotonin are the trophies we get when we do things right. Triggering these chemicals is the brain’s ultimate goal. Our bodies follow our brains around, and we are constantly led toward the pursuit of happiness.

We’re just not sure where that is, exactly.

We know how to prevent unhappiness, mostly. We know which boxes must be ticked first: air and water, food, security, habitat, a sense of belonging. We can’t be happy without those.

Abraham Maslow described the path to self-actualization in his Hierarchy of Needs. His little pyramid looks a lot like the tip of the evolutionary spear.

The founders of the United States said their goal was “Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”—in that order.

So let’s get on with it.


Halfway to Happiness Is Health


A healthy person wants a thousand things. But a sick person only wants one thing: to be well.

Elsewhere, I wrote that to solve any problem you have to split it in half, and then split it in half again, and so on, until you identify one specific action to take right then.

Later, I wrote that Greg Glassman’s “Sickness-Wellness-Fitness Continuum” was brilliant but incomplete: that the continuum should include death on its left side. Today, I’ll add that it should include “happiness” on its right side. Fitness isn’t the ultimate goal; it’s a step in the journey.

Now, plenty of people are happy without being fit. But everyone who studies happiness—from neuroscientists to Buddhists—agree that some measure of fitness is necessary for an enduring state of happiness. Yoga was created to prepare people to meditate longer. A therapist’s first prescription for depression is usually “go for a walk.” And most medical practitioners understand that exercise works as well as antidepressants in many cases.

But depression is still the leading cause of disability worldwide. The World Health Organization says so.

Who is leading the pursuit of happiness?

I say it’s the people leading the pursuit of fitness. Because fitness and happiness are interdependent, fitness professionals are best positioned to lead our species forward.

So we need more of us.

My first training business wasn’t Catalyst; it was a 1:1 strength-and-conditioning practice called Focus. I made two T-shirts and about a dozen homemade cards with “FOCUS Strength and Conditioning” on the front and “The Continued Evolution of the Species” on the back. That was 1998. But I still believe it—that evolution isn’t over. That the human race has evolved toward happiness. Or self-actualization or nirvana or enlightenment or heaven. That we have the tools—and most of the knowledge—to get there.

But we’re waiting to be led out of the wasteland.

If we produce 1 million fitness entrepreneurs, I believe one or two will figure it out.

Some of my friends are already working on it:

Colm O’Reilly—listen to his podcast here.

Craig Hysell—sign up for his daily blog here.

Bonnie Skinner—read what she has to say about depression here.

Mark Divine—simple, directive daily exercises here.

If you want to be happier, we can help.
Click here to talk to a Two-Brain mentor for free.

Two-Brain Radio: Playing the Infinite Game

Two-Brain Radio: Playing the Infinite Game

Andrew: 00:02 – Welcome to this very special edition of Two-Brain Radio featuring Chris Cooper. Over the next 22 minutes, Chris is going to help you set your mind on success. If you ever felt like you’re focused on the wrong things to say in your business, this is the show for you. If you’ve ever felt overwhelmed or threatened by your competition, Chris will let you know how to put on the blinders and pull ahead. If you struggle to cultivate the mindset needed to be successful, Chris has you covered. If this episode helps you put your business on the right track, be sure to subscribe to Two-Brain Radio for more tips every week, and if you need help with your business right now, book a free call on Coop by visiting

Chris: 00:36 – If you’ve had a bad week or a bad month, it’s easy to think I’m losing. But you’re probably not. You’re probably just playing the wrong game. In the context of a 40-year business, a bad month is nothing. Hell, five bad years is no big deal. That’s only like 12 and a half percent of your career. No pro athlete, no superstar entrepreneur and no politician is at their peak 100% of the time. Five years spent learning hard lessons and 35 years spent reaping the rewards is a great trade-off. Take it from the guy who did it the hard way for 10 years. In the Founder Phase, playing the Infinite Game is easy. You’re just trying to survive. Every day you win just by opening the door, but eventually you need your business to sustain itself and feed your family. These are the goals of Farmer Phase. Most gym owners though are playing finite games. They try to get the most members, they try and get the highest gross revenue or average monthly billing and they try to get their athletes to the CrossFit Games.

Chris: 01:45 – Instead, they should be trying to build a business that lasts 40 years, provides great careers for their coaches and makes them wealthy. Simon Sinek calls this the Infinite Game. He has a new book on the subject and it’s pretty good. Sinek says there are five keys to success in the Infinite Game. Number one, you have to have just cause You must feel compelled to serve your mission whether you’re going through good times or fighting for your life. If you started a gym, I know you’ve got this one covered. You didn’t do it to get rich. You did it to get people healthy. Your just cause it so inspiring that helping you achieve it is my just cause. No exaggeration. Number two, you must have a worthy adversary. You must have someone else trying to compete with you. I know you have other gyms nearby. I know they copy you.

Chris: 02:36 – I know they undercut your prices and blah, blah, blah. Guess what? You need them. You need them to make you better. You need them to justify your high rates. You need them to force you to get better at business instead of better at coaching the snatch. Number three, you need an open playbook. You must pursue a fixed cause with a variable strategy. You must choose methods without being trapped in an ideology. HIIT and paleo are really effective, but they’re not what you sell. You sell weight loss. HIIT and paleo are tools. When better tools emerge, you will test them and adopt anything that’s better, right? Here’s a test. Could you change your gym’s name and still attract new clients? If your gym name is Bill’s Pilates or Harry’s Barre and Boxing, you’re probably trapped in an ideology. Your clients should know that you’re updating your skills and knowledge all the time, that you’ll find what’s best for them and you’ll filter out the rest.

Chris: 03:33 – Number four, you must have a vulnerable team. You must have a culture where people feel free to say, “I don’t know,” or ask, “How do I do this?” Your coaches must balance being an authority with maintaining a beginner’s mind and you, the leader, can build trust by telling your team, “I hired a business mentor to help me build a sustainable platform for you.” Number five, you must have courageous leadership. You must have leadership that focuses on the just cause instead of the competition or what’s being said on social media. Now, this is pretty tough. It’s easy to get distracted by what the other guys are doing, what HQ is doing or what the critics are saying, but none of that matters. What matters is helping people live better, healthier lives. The more focused you are on the mission, the easier it is to block out all these distractions, but it takes practice.

Chris: 04:21 – Three years ago, Dave Tate told me, you’re playing a game of attrition. You don’t have to win. You just have to last three years from now, everyone else will be gone, and he’s almost always right. As other gym-consulting businesses in the CrossFit space wither or even fold up their tents and join Two-Brain, we’re growing, and the key reason why is this: We’re focused on making gym owners wealthy. They’re focused on us. It’s pretty amazing to see Tate’s advice born out three years later. The competition in 2016 is either gone or they recommend us at their seminars or they’re among our clients now. That means we can all focus on making gym owners successful together. Sure, there are still some playing the finite games of getting followers or likes or attention and there always will be. When they die, someone else will take their place.

Chris: 05:09 – You and I will never be without critics or short-term competitors, but if you play the Infinite Game in your business as I try to do in mind, they won’t be distractions for long, because it’s easy to ignore the mud on your shoes when you’re gazing it infinity.

Andrew: 05:22 – If you’ve ever felt threatened by a competitor, Chris wants you to know a simple truth: We all can win.

Chris: 05:29 – Yesterday I wrote about playing the Infinite Game. Here’s how the philosophy applies precisely to your business. Gym ownership is not a zero-sum game. To get a new client, I don’t have to take one of yours. In fact, it’s a positive-sum game. As more gyms open, the cost of opening a new gym goes down. Equipment is cheaper now than it’s ever been, and best of all, the expensive lessons learned by tens of thousands of gym owners is available in our Incubator.

Chris: 05:54 – You can pay a little and dodge hundreds of thousands of dollars in costs and pain. Microgym owners can make a great living from 150 clients. That’s it. 150 great people paying the right rate and staying long enough to stabilize the business. You don’t need to fight me for clients. I don’t need to fight you for coaches. The reason new fitness founders think they have to compete are simple. We’re mostly first-time entrepreneurs. We’re scared as hell. We don’t have a buffer. We need to make money right now to eat and we think the market is limited. That was me. In 2005 I opened Catalyst with 30 clients, but that wasn’t enough and I thought I had to take clients from other local trainers to succeed. I remember saying to my partner, “I’m going to bankrupt everybody else,” but I didn’t. Many of the microgyms that were around in 2005 are still around today.

Chris: 06:49 – They kept some clients and they got some new clients. Some of theirs came to me and some of mine went to them. If they were good at business, they’re still operating. The key to a good gym isn’t getting clients, it’s keeping clients, and in a small city, even when the major employers go bankrupt, there’s more than enough clients if you build your business the right way. In the next video I’ll be talking about why this is true, how you can avoid having competition and the mindset necessary for success and why you want a Two-Brain gym next door and how we’re going to make a million fitness entrepreneurs wealthy.

Andrew: 07:26 – Every entrepreneur feels pressure from other business owners, but there’s a way to escape. Here’s what to do to never have competition again.

Chris: 07:33 – Escape competition through authenticity is a credo printed on my wall. The phrase comes from Naval Ravikant. You can watch his short video on the topic in the link below, but I learned it far earlier. I first built up a client base in Sault Ste. Marie by publishing content. Even when I took a job as a trainer under someone else, I still published under my name. I just submitted articles about health and fitness to every local news site I could find and I quickly got a few dozen clients from it. Then I kept publishing and grew Catalyst to the dominant gym in our city. We’ve never run a Facebook ad because we don’t have to. Clients at other gyms graduate up to Catalyst when they’re ready. Globo gyms feed us clients. Other personal trainers are preparing and filtering clients for Catalyst. They’re not my competition. I don’t have any because no one else can be Catalyst. I started writing about the gym business in 2009. A few other people were doing it then, but they’re all gone now.

Chris: 08:31 – The difference was that I was authentic. I told real stories about struggles and failures instead of trying to sell them something, and I kept writing and grew Two-Brain Business to the largest mentorship company in the fitness industry. Clients of other business consultants graduate up to Two-Brain when they’re ready. Facebook groups feed us clients. We even have critics. While I write about stuff to help gym owners, the critics write about us, and then they copy us. All the while they’re filtering and feeding us the best gym owners on the planet. They’re not my competition. I don’t have any because no one else can be Two-Brain Business. In the next video I’ll share with you the mindset that’s common to all successful gym owners, but today I want to give you some directive advice. Publish your story, tell people why you started the gym, tell people why you continue to run it instead of going back to the secure nine-to-five salary, because I know you’re tempted sometimes. Tell people about the best client stories that happened yesterday.

Chris: 09:36 – Tell them how you solve the weight-loss problem, the strength problem or the aching back problem. Don’t parrot what I say or Greg says or what Naval says. Tell them how you do it. No one can compete with that. They might disagree. They might argue, they might post ridiculous rants or Instagram videos about how wrong you are. Yeah, Facebook ads can push people across the finish line. Yeah, social media might speed up the sales cycle, but eventually everyone is going to ask, “Who are you?” And then “What do you do?” And then eventually “What do you stand for?”

Chris: 10:24 – If you don’t tell them the answer to those questions, then the answer is nothing.

Andrew: 10:28 – In the mindset necessary for success, Chris lays out the differences between rich entrepreneurs and poor entrepreneurs.

Chris: 10:34 – Robert Kiyosaki’s real lesson in “Rich Dad Poor Dad” isn’t buy lots of buildings, it’s how to have the right mindset for success. Kiyosaki’s book, “Rich Dad Poor Dad,” is one of my favorites. I keep 20 copies in my office and I hand them out all the time. In the book, Kiyosaki tells the story of his rich dad, actually his friend’s father who owned businesses and was really wealthy. He also tells the story of his poor dad, Robert’s real father, a university professor who worked really, really hard but died broke. You need to read the book for yourself, but I can sum it up in this little anecdote. Kiyosak’s poor dad would see something that he wanted and say, “I can’t afford that.” Kiyosaki’s rich dad would see something he wanted and ask, “How can I afford that?” The difference in language is subtle, but the difference in mindset is worlds apart. A few weeks ago I shot a video about doing expense audits using the Two-Brain Dashboard. I worked you through an exercise to determine whether you could afford to hire a new staff member or not, and you can read it by clicking the link below this video. The most important part of the article though was the question “How can I afford that?” This is the difference between rich entrepreneurs and poor entrepreneurs.

Chris: 11:54 – Let’s say you’re combing through your monthly expenses and something sticks out. A piece of software maybe that you’re not using or some expensive subscription with like unclear ROI. A poor entrepreneur says, “I need to get rid of that billing. Get rid of that expense, cut that off.” You know, “I can’t afford to pay for something I’m not using.” A rich entrepreneur says, “How can I use that thing better to improve its return on investment?” Now, you’re not in business to keep the software companies in business. You’re not in business to keep your mentor in business. The opposite is actually true, we’re in business to keep you improving your business. But my first question when I’m looking at my monthly expenses is why am I not getting the results that I thought I would?

Chris: 12:44 – So I do the same thing with time investments. I ask why isn’t this workout plan working for me? And then I look at my diet, my sleep, and my commitment to the program. And if one of those is the problem, I call my coach and I ask him, how can I improve my results? I’ve even done the same with my own mentorship. Whenever I felt that my mentor calls were decreasing in value, I’ve thought about maybe canceling; when you pay 40 to $80,000 per year for a program, you tend to notice the monthly billing. And since the ROI on mentorship compounds forever, it can sometimes be murky in the short term. So for example, I wouldn’t have scaled one business from $260,000 to 2.5 million without mentorship, but it’s hard to track that compounding effect on a spreadsheet. So instead of saying, is mentorship worth the cost, I ask how can I make mentorship show a more immediate ROI? And then my mentor says, “Focus on this short-term thing for the next week,” and I get a big return. And then I go back to the big-picture stuff. It’s even easier at Two-Brain because clients in our Growth Phase can move from mentor to mentor according to what specialty they need that month. Here’s another example. I was one of the first people to sign up for Healthy Steps Nutrition because the value is obvious to me, but the staff person I chose to lead the program wasn’t intrapreneurial. We weren’t using the program to its full potential, so after many months I said, how can I improve my ROI on this? I asked Miranda if she’d like to take the course. We started from scratch. Now we see a huge ROI on Healthy Steps. The purpose of an expense audit isn’t to cut, it’s to maximize. Every expense should create value. If it’s not, before you cut it, ask, “How can I afford this?” That’s the question separating good entrepreneurs from bad ones.

Andrew: 14:35 – A new gym opens up nearby, and you feel scared. But what if that gym shares your values and what if you can help each other grow? Here’s Chris on why you want more Two-Brain gyms in your city.

Chris: 14:46 – This week I posted a video that says gym ownership is a positive-sum game. That gym makes it easier for future gyms to open. And if the gym is owned by the right person with an abundance mindset, they will help your gym grow. Best of all, if a new gym opens and shares your brand, your values and your pricing, everyone rises together. We all can win. I was the third personal trainer in my city. It took me about three months to fill my schedule. I was employed by the second personal trainer in my city who took about a year to fill his, and he was friends with the first guy, Shane.

Chris: 15:23 – Shane took three years to fill his schedule, but as the third one in, I benefited from the hard work done by those who came before me. Now, Shane was the first personal trainer in Sault Ste. Marie. He worked at a globo gym. He had to teach the members what a personal trainer was. Then he had to convince them that they needed one. He had to sell hard all day and night. It took him around three years to build his business. When I showed up five years after he started, everyone knew what a personal trainer did and there was a surplus of at least 40 people who wanted one. I know because those 40 signed up with me instead of Shane, but he did all the hard work for me back in 1997. In 2008, it was my turn to carry the water. I became the first CrossFit affiliate in the city.

Chris: 16:08 – The CrossFit brand attracted one client, a friendly early adopter named Joe. I had to teach 80,000 other people what CrossFit was, what it wasn’t, and how it could solve their problem, and I’d say I’m about halfway through those 80,000 11 years later. When another local gym affiliated in 2009, though, I panicked. They were going to build on my foundation. All my hard work had created a funnel into their gym. I saw the post from earlier affiliates through a different lens. Yeah. I wanted to protect the territory now that I owned. I panicked. I compared my rates to their rates. I called them out for copying me. I tried to rip their coaching, condemn their programming and tear down their business. Of course, that created a ton of animosity and of course they did just fine. They’re still around getting people good results and making people happy and obviously, we did really well too, but what if we had worked together from the start? In Baltimore, in Denver, in Houston and Atlanta, Kansas City, more cities, entrepreneurs in the Two-Brain family are beginning to work together.

Chris: 17:11 – They’re collectively educating the local population using the Help First philosophy. They’re inviting others into their boxes. They’re not competing on price, not texting each other’s members. When everyone is doing well, when no one is desperate, we all do better. When everyone’s healthy, no one has to resort to dirty tricks or lies or price wars. We call this collaborative competition, but it really means eliminating the bad actors. Wrestling with a pig just gets you dirty. Lifting the pig out of their dirty sty creates a better life for everyone. Over the weekend, the Two-Brain family grew by eight entrepreneurs. They came from the UK, from Sweden, from Canada, from Georgia, from Cambodia, from Belgium, from Arizona, and from Indiana.

Chris: 18:06 – Some of these were referred by other gym owners in the Two-Brain family. Some of them have gyms that are less than a mile away from gyms in the Two-Brain family in Winnipeg. New clients routinely call the wrong gym to sign up. The Two-Brain gyms send the new client where they should be going, but general awareness helps them grow together instead of fighting over scraps. In Stockholm, Sweden, gym owner meet-ups led by Two-Brain family get together regularly. They share, they teach, and they help one another grow in a positive way. You can choose to make enemies or you can choose to make a difference. Good fences might make good neighbors, but families don’t need them.

Andrew: 18:45 – Want to know Coop’s big plan for Two-Brain Business? You’re part of it. Here are the four pillars of the Two-Brain plan to make 1 million fitness entrepreneurs wealthy.

Chris: 18:54 – My mission is to make 1 million fitness entrepreneurs wealthy. Here are the four steps that we’re taking to get there. Step one: Fix the gyms that are already open. Make those founders wealthy. Now we’ve figured out what’s working and we teach people to do those things. We’ve been doing that since I found my first mentor in 2009. Now we use data to help us figure out what’s best faster. We find the new best ideas in the industry. We test them and then we deliver them to the owners of Two-Brain gyms. It’s harder to fix an existing gym than it is to open a new gym, so we’ve spent years mentoring gym owners to fix the early mistakes they made just as I did back then, but when we take these lessons and we share them with people before their gyms open, those entrepreneurs zoom to wealth in three years instead of like 15.

Chris: 19:50 – Step two: Make coaches more entrepreneurial. This happens by encouraging fitness coaches to build their own brand under another person’s umbrella or to open their own gym with the help of their current owner. We’re going to accomplish this by taking our existing best resource, the coaches in Two-Brain gyms, enriching them with business knowledge, and then weaponizing them by helping them to build their careers. In some cases, gym owners will license their brand to their coaches and help them their own business. In others, gym owners will help the coaches make more money coaching. If you want a gym, you can jump straight to this step by downloading our free Intrapreneurialism 101 Guide through the link below this video. You can help your coaches build their careers in a way that builds your gym instead of building your future competition. Step three: We’re going to make more coaches.

Chris: 20:48 – This is what Two-Brain Coaching is for; to help us pump a million new fitness coaches into the world. If each coach can change 150 lives, we can affect change in the world’s health, and we can do it the right way. All the right things for all the right people, for all the right reasons, with data and proof instead of fake supplements and influence legislation. We’re method agnostic. We don’t care if coach improve fitness through pull-ups or pole dancing. We just want a healthier world. Step four: Make more clients for Two-Brain gyms. This is where Two-Brain Media is already helping. We need to educate people on the value of fitness, how to avoid the opiated decline into death and how to take control of their lives. We can do this. We don’t have to wait for people to find CrossFit or Pilates or boot camp and then wait for them to fall in love with that ideology and then wait for them to decide to open a box of their own.

Chris: 21:51 – We don’t have to hope the doctors will embrace our philosophy of fitness and somehow create an audience to support themselves. We have all the parts. We have all the data. Best of all, we have the will to do so. We don’t have to wait for anyone else, not anymore. We want to make current gym owners wealthiest of all because they deserve a reward for figuring this all out. Here’s the thing about wealth. It’s the best reason to open a business. Wealth is the freedom of money and time. Wealth is unattainable in a nine-to-five, despite what you were told in school. You can’t save your way to wealth. You can’t cut your way to wealth. Wealth requires risk and growth, and entrepreneurs who risk everything to help others become healthy, well, they’re the most deserving people on Earth. If more gym owners become wealthy, more people will be drawn to gym ownership. Current gym owners will stay in the game longer because they’ll see a light at the end of the tunnel, and then more lives will be saved. We’ve mapped this path to wealth. When you’re ready for some direction in your business, book a free call with my team.

Andrew: 22:59 – Thank you for listening to this special edition of Two-Brain Radio. Don’t forget to subscribe, leave us a rating or write a review; we’d love to hear your thoughts. and if you’re inspired to take action today but need some guidance, head over to to book a free call with a mentor.


Greg Strauch will be here every Thursday with the Two-Brain Radio Podcast.

Two-Brain Marketing episodes come out Mondays, and host Mateo Lopez focuses on sales and digital marketing. 

On Wednesdays, Sean Woodland tells the best stories in the CrossFit community on Two-Brain Radio With Sean Woodland.

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Two-Brain Radio:Buying a Dying Gym With Bo Buser

Two-Brain Radio:Buying a Dying Gym With Bo Buser

Greg: 00:02 – Hey everyone. It’s Greg Strauch of Two-Brain Media. On this week’s episode, we talk to Bo Buser. Now, Bo didn’t start off the typical route of going through a gym, becoming a member, and then opening his own gym at one point and feeling like you could do better. But Bo bought into a business and bought the business and took over. But he has a story that may not be so typical when buying a business and realizing that it was marketed to him in a much better light than what was really going on under the hood. So we jump into buying into a business like this that is dying and the steps he took to get out of it and get the business into the right place so that it can move forward and do better and still remain OK.

Greg: 00:48 – Subscribe to Two-Brain Radio to hear the very best ideas, tips, and topics to move you and your business closer to wealth. Two-Brain Radio is brought to you by Two-Brain Business. We make gyms profitable. We’re going to bring you the very best tips, tactics interviews in the business world each week. To find out how we can help you create your Perfect Day, book a free call with a mentor at

Greg: 01:10 – We’d like to thank one of our amazing partners, Driven Nutrition. Have you ever been asked by your members or your staff what supplements to take, when to take them and where you should get them? How about the time it takes to put in the orders and making sure you have the right amount of supplements on hand? What about your profit margins on your supplements? Do you know what they are? Are they good, even? Your time is worth something, and ordering supplements isn’t worth your time. Driven Nutrition has solved this for you. They allow you to step aside and use preorders to send to your members for all supplement orders. That way you don’t have to have extra inventory on hand and it allows your members to order the supplements when needed. They’ve created an amazing on-boarding process for new businesses to allow for quick and easy understanding of what they have to offer and true profit margins that most other supplement companies promise but never deliver. This is why I personally use Driven Nutrition within my gym. Go to to become a Driven affiliate today.

Greg: 02:12 – All right. I’m another episode of Two-Brain Radio with Bo Buser. How are you sir.

Bo: 02:18 – I’m doing very well today. How about you?

Greg: 02:20 – I’m doing well. So you have an interesting story, but it’s really the story of a lot of gym owners that I’ve talked to that decide, hey, I want to buy into a gym. I’m thinking of buying into this gym or buying, taking it over. And things don’t always go as planned. So before we do that, let’s kind of talk about your background. What kind of started you into the fitness realm, and then eventually leading up to you wanting to buy a business?

Bo: 02:51 – Yeah. So I’d say like a lot of people, I’ve always had some sort of fitness in my background as something that I loved. I played soccer all the way through college, and then needed a new outlet once I was done playing competitive soccer and tried a handful of things. And the one that stuck best was CrossFit just cause it still had that competitive aspect to it. And so I dabbled with CrossFit just casually a little bit, and then after I, stopped working with my last job, I had more time and I was not traveling for work anymore and I got much more into it and realized that if I could do this professionally. I’d love to do that, be paid to do CrossFit every day. Whether that’s coaching or just working out with my own members. So it was meant to be a long-term goal to make CrossFit my job somehow. So I was going to grad school, getting my masters in business with a long-term plan of either starting or taking over a gym, figured that would take three or so years to find the right spot. And then an opportunity happened within three months of graduating. So I was kind of thrust into it, but I was really excited cause it was what I wanted to do and it was fairly good timing with school ending and just being ready to start a new chapter. And so I took the plunge.

Greg: 04:38 – So three months, I mean, you plan for three years, but three months into it, which is a much faster accelerated rate to going into either buying a business or starting a business. What was that like? I mean your mind shift had to change very quickly from, I mean, a three-year plan, 36 months, compared to three months. I mean, I could only imagine. How did you deal with that?

Bo: 05:04 – So I consulted with my best advisor, which is my dad and he was on board. He knew I could do it. And he was there to support me and help me make smart decisions as far as like financing the purchase would go. He’s got a financial background. So he was able to tell me what kind of price range I should be looking at, what makes sense. But as far as getting in the right mindset to be going from just a member and part-time coach to owner, I think I was just ready to get back into a routine and have a lot of projects to do, because grad school was not as tough as I was expecting, so I had a little more free time and I think I just needed a little bit more on my plate and I was excited. I had the energy to get back to doing something full time. And yeah, I think I was just ready to go. I don’t think there was too big of a preparation phase for me, I was just going to be looking or planning for a couple of years and the opportunity found me, so I was ready to go.

Greg: 06:36 – Excellent. So you were part time coaching and were you part time coaching at the gym that you purchased?

Bo: 06:42 – I actually was not.

Greg: 06:44 – OK. So you were coaching already at another gym, and doing that part-time coaching and taking on additional duties and stuff like that. And then how did you actually find this other gym then that was interested in possibly selling?

Bo: 07:01 – Yeah, so right when I finished grad school in December, this past December, I reached out to a handful of gyms in the area to see if they needed coaching or wanted extra coaching just with the goal of making some more connections, getting more experience and kind of learning as much about CrossFit business as I could. So I started coaching at two more gyms and within a month or so of coaching at one of the new gyms, their owner was contacted about my current gym being for sale. And they knew that my long-term goal was to do CrossFit on my own, have my own gym, and so they told me about the phone call or email, whatever they received, about the opportunity. And then I started looking into it.

Greg: 08:06 – Wow. That that usually doesn’t happen either, especially if you’re going into a gym and you’re coaching for a gym, usually, which is really great, that they were able to do that. But usually it doesn’t always go that route. It usually goes the route of they get a call and they’re not going to tell their coaches even if they know that they have long-term plans, cause they feel like, well, that will be direct competition with me. And all the other scenarios where it’s more of that fixed mindset compared to growth mindset. So it’s awesome that you had people that were willing to say, hey, here’s an opportunity. Even though you just basically started with us, here’s the opportunity to grow into what you really are passionate about. So that’s good. Now that you have this opportunity at hand, what were the steps that you guys took to actually, purchasing the business?

Bo: 08:55 – So, it started with, they kinda did a interview of me. Cause I think the previous owner who I purchased from was a long-time member and coached for a few years also. So they’re very attached to the community and wanting to make sure that the gym was going into good hands. So they actually interviewed me and I had a chance to ask them questions as well. But we got to know each other a little bit before any business-type talks happened. And then after that I spent a couple of weeks kind of undercover as a fake new member cause they weren’t advertising that they were selling the gym for private reasons. So I was a pretend new member just dropping in to classes, seeing if I liked the gym. And also doing a little bit of research on the community and just what type of feel the gym had. And then after that, there’s I guess the usual price negotiations, I guess I can’t say usual, this is my first time doing it, but what I assume would be the normal business negotiations of how much and what’s included. and that took a couple of weeks, I think, having lawyers on both sides look over the purchase agreement, and then after that signed some papers and the check and made the switch.

Greg: 10:49 – Wow. And that whole scenario took about, you said a couple weeks, so would you say like maybe six weeks from start to finish?

Bo: 10:57 – Yeah, that sounds close to right. I’m trying to think back exactly. I’d say there’s definitely two weeks where I was just pretending to be a member and then at least two weeks of getting all the legal stuff in place. And so there had to be a couple more weeks where we’re actually negotiating price and what’s included and all that kind of stuff. So I’d say at least six weeks from start to finish, maybe a couple of weeks longer.

Greg: 11:38 – OK. So, and I mean that is very quick. I mean we’ve had one of the mentors on Tammy Friedt who talked about her process and it was a much, much longer process. So it’s great that you were able to negotiate and everything and get through it so fast. Cause that is really quick, I mean, to buying any business, anybody out there listening, that is a very fast rate, which is great when you can do that. But doesn’t always happen that way. So those results aren’t always as typical as what I’ve seen. Now, did you decide, hey, I’m gonna buy this business outright and just pay cash. Did you decide to finance it and kind of have your dad help you with that? What was your decisions on actually, with the financial side of purchasing the business?

Bo: 12:26 – It was purchased all in cash. I’d done a good job saving up from previous job just cause I got to travel for work and all those expenses were paid. So I went straight up and purchased with cash. Just make it easy.

Greg: 12:46 – And now while you were a member, I mean you decided to pay with cash to buy the business, which means I’m guessing you were like, hey, everything is exactly the way I want it to be. And as a member, did you notice the gym, did it feel like it was a good atmosphere? Did everything seem like everything was firing all cylinders and everything was going great?

Bo: 13:10 – I would say yes. It seemed like a fairly put-together gym from what I saw. The atmosphere I got was that a lot of people were coming in to the gym because they like to see the people that they also knew would be there. Whereas some gyms are just a bunch of firebreathers there to work out I’d say this gym has a very good casual community, lots of different goals, but I’d say very few people on the competitive side of CrossFit. So a lot of people are there just to move each day or each day that they’re there. So everyone gets along well. There’s not a lot of, wouldn’t say any cliques that I’ve seen it at other gyms I’ve coached down or been at. As far as like the operations, I thought they were fairly smooth. Again, I’d never owned or managed a gym, so I didn’t know all the stuff that goes into running a gym, so I couldn’t say for sure that all that stuff was taken care of. But from what I’d seen coaching at other places, it looked like it was ready to go.

Greg: 14:41 – All right. So now that you’ve purchased the business, it is completely yours. Did they, I’m guessing they just did an announcement of that you were now going to be the new owner of the gym?

Bo: 14:52 – Yes. So it actually timed up with the, I can’t remember if it was in the last week of the Open or their like week after the Open closing party, but at a Friday Night Lights event, I came to be introduced as the new owner by the previous owner, which was a surprise to pretty much everybody and especially people that I had met and worked out alongside and thought I was just a new member. But yeah, it was a semi-emotional announcement from the previous owner to the Friday Night Lights, barbecue picnic group.

Greg: 15:47 – Gotcha. And overall, did it seem like people had an issue with it or do you feel like overall people were like, OK, like this is the next step?

Bo: 15:57 – So actually I guess there’s a little more background. The owner I purchased from actually purchased the gym from the original owner in early December, and then turned right around and sold to me for personal reasons in March. So I think it was a big shock to the members that it was changing hands again. But not in the sense that they thought the gym was going to go in a big different direction, they understood her reasons to need to get out of it just cause it was kind of a surprise of a situation for her. Yeah, the members handled it pretty well. It’s a good community. Everybody gets along and I’m sure it took a little bit for them to warm up to me and trust me. But no backlash at the very beginning.

Greg: 17:10 – All right. And that’s always good to hear that, I mean, especially if somebody bought it in December and then was willing to sell it, I mean four months in, but, knowing that, did you have any kind of reservations on whether or not the business was doing well or is it just because of the situation with that previous owner knowing that she had some unexpected things that happened personally in her life that caused her to want to sell?

Bo: 17:34 – So I’d say I’m a pretty trusting person, so I kind of thought or believed fully everything that she was telling me. So I didn’t see it as a red flag that it was up for sale so soon. Maybe I should have in hindsight. But it just seemed like life happens and it was an opportunity for me, so I didn’t make too much of that.

Greg: 18:09 – OK. And now, now leading up to that, you were able to buy this business, take it over, open up the book, see what was going on. And what was really going on within the business?

Bo: 18:26 – So I’d say they did a good job of marketing the business to me for the sale. I’m not sure if they intended to or meant to, but the numbers look better on papers that I was looking at than I think what I was actually going to end up working with just due to some, just the use of the front-end revenue to make monthly revenue look like it was a little better than it might’ve been as far as like some yearly memberships were built into the monthly revenues, which made it look like the recurring revenues would have been a little bit better. So I had more work to do than I thought. I think the numbers, once I took over and was doing it all myself, worried me a lot more than I thought they were going to when I was in the process of figuring out if I wanted to buy the business. So right off the bat I’d say I was fairly stressed out. Wasn’t too worried about too much of the day-to-day operations just cause I’m sure I’d helped with most of those types of things at all the gyms I’ve coached at. But I was very, very concerned with making the numbers work, which I don’t think they were exactly when I took over.

Greg: 20:20 – Wow. That is never a good thing to see, make it feel like they marketed the business for you or making it sound better than it was. So, we’re going to get back with Bo right after this.

Chris: 20:39 – Hey guys, it’s Chris Cooper. If you’ve ever run out of money, you know that it affects every single corner of your life, all of your relationships, your business, even your self-worth. And so when I found a mentor in 2009, I said, I want to share this gift with everyone. Since then, I’ve been building and refining and improving a mentorship practice that we now call Two-Brain Business. We break our mentorship into several stages. The first stage is the Incubator, which is a 12-week sprint to get your foundation built, to get you started on retention and employee programs and finding the best staff, putting them in the best roles, training them up to be successful, and then recruiting more clients. It’s an amazing program. It is the culmination of over a decade of work. It’s also the sum of best practices from over 800 gyms around the world. These aren’t just my ideas anymore. What we do is track with data what’s working for whom and when, and we test new ideas against that data to say, is this actually better? Then when ideas have proven themselves conclusively, then we put it in our Incubator or Growth or Tinker programs. I just wrote “Founder, Farmer, Tinker, Thief” to define who should be doing what in what stage of entrepreneurship. But no matter where you are, the Incubator is your first 12-week sprint to get as far as possible in your business. We’re a mentorship practice for one reason: Mentorship is what works. We work with gym owners for one reason: Because you have the potential to change the world with us, and I hope you do.

Greg: 22:09 – All right, we’re back. Bo, so you’ve set the scene, things are not as well as they were marketed and shown to you. And you had to do something quickly, and make changes to get the business in the right direction. So, going about those changes, what did you do to actually create change? And I think this is the biggest thing for any gym owner out there that has done the same thing where they bought into a gym or bought a gym, took it over and then realize that, hey, I’ve been bamboozled. I’ve been told that, hey, everything’s going great. And then I realized that it’s really not. So what were the big changes that you made in the beginning to kind of put you at a point where things were at least looking better? Just a little bit.

Bo: 23:01 – Yeah. So it took me one month before I made my biggest, biggest change, like I said, that time, and that was to get a hold on the payroll expenses. So Centennial CrossFit, at the time when I took over, had nine coaches, which is a lot, especially considering, the size of the gym. It’s not an enormous community, mega gym or anything like that, but there’s nine coaches on the schedule. And all being paid for all the classes they were coaching, all receiving a free membership, all having a free membership for their boo, their significant other. And so the payroll was, I knew when I took over and I’d seen all the numbers that, I could get that down fairly quickly just by coaching more classes. But still it was, in my opinion, out of control.

Bo: 24:12 – So at the first coaches meeting, I informed them that they would be coaching their first four classes a month to earn their membership for themselves and their spouses, and that immediately almost cut payroll in half as well. Since so many coaches and then so many coaches contributing a few membership classes. So that helped a lot. I still needed to get a few more coaches, I guess I needed to get more hours for me to coach. And so I had to adjust people off the schedule, and I knew some people wouldn’t like it. Some people would understand. And the people that understand and want the best for the community is the ones I wanted to keep around, and only had one coach push back and who was hard to deal with.

Bo: 25:25 – But I was lucky enough that they were caught doing personal-training sessions without anybody knowing. So I was able to let them go pretty easily without any reservations. So that was a big change. Number one was adjusting how the coaches were paid and then, cutting some of their hours by coaching more or in one case, letting one go. And so I was a little worried to do that just cause I was not only the new owner but a new face in the gym. But all but the one who was let go are still around and they’re still working well with me.

Greg: 26:11 – Wow. So you had to turn around and tell all the coaches, not only is your spouse no longer going to get a free membership, but you also had to turn around and say, OK, you’re going to have to coach your first four classes free, basically to pay for your membership, then pay your for your spouse’s membership on top of that. And then also finding this one coach that decided to go against what the business was doing and kind of do personal training on the side and you were able to let them go, that helped with payroll, cutting that down.

Bo: 26:48 – Yeah. Yeah. So they, I think at that coaches meeting were, somewhat, I don’t know if shocked is the right word, but surprised. But I was very transparent with the idea that this was for financial reasons for the gym, not to finance myself a yacht. And so they understood for the most part, a lot of them told me that, yeah, it makes sense that we should have to have to earn a membership and not be theoretically earning a $160 bonus for the membership just for coaching a few times a week. So a lot of them understood, a lot of them were hesitant, but in the end, it made sense to them. And I’m glad I told them face to face and was honest with them.

Greg: 27:55 – So being honest with them, I mean, I think that’s a huge turning point for a lot of gym owners, too. They don’t want to tell them, hey, the gym’s not doing well, the gym’s not going in the right direction. And it’s not going to be here long term if we keep going the way we’re doing it because they’re afraid that that’s going to cause their staff to leave. But you were willing to open up and tell them this stuff, which caused them to have what kind of reaction with you, then?

Bo: 28:24 – I’d say they all, including some members who’ve witnessed some changes, for the most part have been very supportive of the idea of keeping the gym open rather than saving some money for themselves, a lot of them. So the gym has been around for over 10 years now. I was actually invited to the 10-year affiliate owner meeting or summit, wherever that was, even though I’ve only owned the gym for a couple months. So it’s been around a while and there’s a lot of people who have not only invested a lot of money over the years, but a lot of time forming a lot of relationships throughout the years. So they want the gym to stay around. And I think they’re for the most part, all willing to sacrifice a little bit in some way to keep it around so they can keep coming and keep hanging out and working out with the people that they’ve grown to be good friends with.

Greg: 29:43 – And that’s awesome to hear. So they kind of all joined hands and said hey, yeah, this makes sense. We need to do this. And, so what were the next changes that you made to get the ship heading in the right direction?

Bo: 29:58 – Yeah, so, when I took over there were a couple of classes running at the same time and I don’t think were even close to having the amount of members that it would ever make sense to have concurrent classes. So those aren’t happening anymore. And then also one of the bigger changes was so we have a CrossFit class and then we have a Burn class that when I took over was an intro-type class. It was kind of a pseudo-on-ramp class where you don’t need any experience at all to come in and do the Burn class. From what I remember, it was maybe 10 or so, 20 minutes of instruction, maybe learning a new movement that you could take into the CrossFit class. And then a very not-intense workout at the end, maybe 10 or 15 minutes.

Bo: 31:08 – So it was not seen as an option for long-time athletes because they wouldn’t get a good workout out of it. And there’s also not a structure to like how many Burn classes you need to do before you were ready to jump into a CrossFit class. How long or which movements you had to learn before you jumped into the CrossFit class from Burn. So it was just not really a good prep course for doing normal CrossFit classes. So I’ve changed that. We still have a Burn class, it’s more of a HIIT sweat class, not a lot of heavy weights, but longer cardio-type workouts. Good if you’re feeling sore or you don’t want to lift anything heavy that day. CrossFit classes are the same, but now we also have an on-ramp program, which has been great doing the one-on-one sessions just cause it’s been good to meet the new members one-on-one and form a relationship.

Bo: 32:17 – And I think that keeps them around longer and at least gives them a little bit of comfort to reach out to me if they have any questions or concerns since they’ve actually met me and worked with me. So it’s been good for that. It’s also of course been good to have front-end revenue from on-ramp courses. I think people are much better prepared for whether they jump into Burn or CrossFit classes. So that’s been a good switch. It’s helped the coaches not have to do so much one-on-one time when they should be, when they’re technically in a group class. So on-ramp’s been a blessing I think in a lot of ways, both for the members, coaches and then also the books, I guess you can say.

Greg: 33:18 – So making the shifts with the staff first with payroll, turning around and creating more of a on-ramp or foundations or whatever people want to call it, that intro classes that are one-on-one, has definitely helped. Now, is there anything else that you did that you feel like were huge changes to the sale to move the business ship in the right direction?

Bo: 33:44 – Yes. There sure is. I think like a lot of members who I’ve seen in the Facebook group have to go through some price raises or changes. And I definitely had to do that as well. And I knew that I was going to have to do that when I took over, cause I had seen the monthly membership payments and rates and all that good stuff, and I knew at some point that I’d have to address it. Of course I was not excited to. But yeah, so we had, I think our unlimited rate going into September, we had seven different rates for an unlimited membership. And some people were paying half, or sorry, less than half of what other people were paying for the same membership, which is crazy, in my opinion, and I hope most people would agree with that.

Bo: 34:55 – Yeah, so I had a lot of people with rates that needed to change. And I devised a plan with my mentor Kaleda to make that happen. And what it looked like was first getting everything in the back end of Wodify set up to handle all the rate changes when they would come around. Two would be, step two would be letting the coaches know that it was about to happen when it was about to happen. And then three was meeting with all of the members who had a substantial rate change, which there was a lot. There was about 20, 25 people that had rates that were going to change. Maybe more than that, maybe around 30 and 20 of them needed a face-to-face conversation just cause they were enjoying the rate from 2010 or something that had to go up a lot.

Bo: 36:10 – So then I met with all of them in person one week. I came to every class, even if I wasn’t coaching, just to try to catch everybody, told them what was happening. And that I wanted to tell them in person just cause I value their time at the gym. And I like having them as a member, but that I wanted to be equitable and fair to everyone and that meant everyone paying the same rate. And I gave them a hard copy of the letter that would go out that following week to the rest of the members saying that these are the current rates, everyone’s going to be brought to them gradually over the next four months. Do you have any questions? Let me know. And then a couple of days later sent the letter to the people who had smaller changes to let them know that it was happening.

Bo: 37:05 – Most of them were just a few dollars, I think 10 at most for the people who received the letter. But there was a lot of people who had almost 50% increases, which was scary to approach some of them just cause a handful were seed clients, but it went much better, I would say from what I’ve read in all the Two-Brain group as well as the CrossFit Affiliate owners Facebook group, I think I may have had the best rate increase of any CrossFit gym that’s ever existed as far as retention went. So yeah, it was scary, but it went very well.

Greg: 37:54 – All right. So I mean, changes to payroll and your staff, changes to your on-boarding processes and then changes to your current members. It seems like those three steps now have kind of corrected the ship. Where are you now with the business? Do you feel like, hey, it’s in a good place? And we’re not having to worry about, hey, are we going to make rent every single month? Where are you guys at now with the business?

Bo: 38:22 – So we’re doing much, much better. I wouldn’t say we’re bringing in any sort of stacks to be blown on all kinds of fancy stuff, but the gym is doing much better as far as what’s coming in, what’s going out. Another big expense that was unnecessary was the rent, the space we’re at is very large for our average class size. And luckily the lease is coming up soon. We’ll be relocating to a space that one is better on the budget and two is much more efficient as far as the amount of people we have in the building at one time. So that’s good to have. I think right now at the current space, still struggling a little bit, but not nearly as much. I’m not nearly as freaking out as I was when I first took over or maybe two weeks after I took over when I saw what was actually happening.

Bo: 39:27 – So we’re going in the right direction for sure. Revenue’s going up. Expenses are much more under control. And then when we move we’ll be in a great spot. So I think a lot of the changes have been great to get things moving in the right direction. The lease, of course, is not something I could go in and change overnight. But it’s good that it’s coming up. So right now we’re doing OK, when we move we’ll be doing much better, much, much better and in a much better spot for our gym.

Greg: 40:12 – Excellent to hear. Well, anyone out there that’s listening, definitely make sure that you guys are taking note here of, I mean, if you’re going to do this, it’s definitely a step-by-step process and definitely something that a Two-Brain mentor can definitely help you with. But make sure that you guys aren’t doing this on your own because this is something that is not always done—unless you’ve done it before, it is not an easy process to not only implement, but really for you to mentally navigate through. So Bo, I commend you on being able to make all these changes and basically save a dying gym. I mean, that’s what you did. You turned around and saved it and you’re moving it even further in the right direction than it already has been. So I commend you on being able to take those actions cause I know they’re not easy, especially even owning a gym, doing rate increases or, I mean, even the small things or the big things like the rate increases, it’s never easy to make those changes. So great work on that, man. If somebody decided, hey, you know what, I want to know about Bo’s experience with going through this process, what’s the best way for someone to reach out to you if they just want to talk about your ability to do this and kind of how you started within Two-Brain or where to go and kind of get some feedback from you?

Bo: 41:30 – Yeah, so probably the best way is email, my email is And I’m pretty good at checking that. I’m happy to chat with anybody who’s got any questions about big changes, turning things around. I’ve enjoyed it. It’s been hard work and stressful, but I’m excited to see where things are going now. I’d say the biggest piece of advice that I could tell people would be is just be invested as much as you can. I’ve gotten some of the—seems like a very mild compliment or comment from members is that they’ve said they’re just happy to see me in the gym. And so they can tell that I’m working on the gym and I want the gym to be better. And if members don’t get that feeling that you want the gym to be better than, I think it’d be hard to keep them around or keep them on your side. So I’d just say work hard and people notice, and have someone help you make the right decisions.

Greg: 42:41 – Awesome. I couldn’t say it any better myself. Bo, thank you so much for your time and being able to share your story with us.

Bo: 42:49 – Yes, sir. I enjoyed it. Thank you.

Greg: 42:53 – Thank you for listening to Two-Brain Radio. Make sure to subscribe to receive the most up-to-date episodes wherever you get your podcasts from. To find out how we can help create your Perfect Day, book a free call with a mentor at


Greg Strauch will be here every Thursday with the Two-Brain Radio Podcast.

Two-Brain Marketing episodes come out Mondays, and host Mateo Lopez focuses on sales and digital marketing. 

On Wednesdays, Sean Woodland tells the best stories in the CrossFit community on Two-Brain Radio With Sean Woodland.

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