Episode 160: Leadership Lessons With Chris Cooper

Episode 160: Leadership Lessons With Chris Cooper

Episode 160: Top Leadership Lessons of 2019


The other day I was outside clearing some snow from the trails when I was reflecting upon the last year and some of the leadership lessons that I have learned. Over the past couple of years, Two Brain has gone from 20 or so gyms to now over 500! This is really exciting and has required a level up in leadership skills to tackle new challenges.  I think more so than anything, Two Brain is here to train leaders and level up entrepreneurs and that is why I want to talk about the 5 key leadership lessons I have learned over the past year. 


Be on the lookout for my new book coming out in just a few weeks: Founder Farmer, Tinker Thief!


Don’t Forget about the 2019 Two Brain Summit, June 8-9 in Chicago! This year we have some amazing topics and guests for both yourself and your coaches. Click hereto register and sign up now!


Top Five Leadership Lessons:


  1. Creating Clarity in operating procedures
  2. The importance of communication with your staff
  3. Asking for help is critical
  4. Building a moat around your business
  5. Leading from the front

 Announcer:                            00:02                       Welcome everyone to TwoBrain Radio. It is our mission at TwoBrain to provide 1 million entrepreneurs the freedom to live the life that they choose to join us every week as we discover the very best practices to achieve perfect day and move you closer to wealth .

Greg Strauch:                        00:29                       on this episode. You guys get to hear, Chris Cooper talk about the top leadership lessons he learned in 2018 . He’s reflecting on the past year of 2018, withTwoBrain. We’ve been growing more than ever and he talks about the five leadership lessons that he’s learned throughout this process to make him more of an effective leader. Enjoy the episode.

Chris:                                         00:53                       Hey everyone. Chris Cooper here and really thrilled to see you this year in June in Chicago at the 2019 TwoBrain summit. Every year we have two separate speaking tracks: one for you, the business owner and there’s one for coaches that will help them make better, longer, more meaningful careers under the umbrella of your business. This year. We’ve got some pretty amazing topics like: the client success manager, how to change your life, organizational culture or the business owner’s life cycle, how to have breaks, how to have vacations, how to help your marriage survive. Owning a business and motivation and leadership. How to convert more clients, how to create a GM position that runs your gym for you and leaves you free to grow your business. How to start a business owner’s group in your community and more. The point here is to do the right thing that will help gym owners create better businesses that will last them for the long term, get them to tinker phase, help them be more successful, create meaningful careers of their coaches and give their clients a meaningful path to longterm health.

Chris:                                         01:54                       We only do one big seminar every year and that’s the TwoBrain summit and the reason that we do that is because a big part of the benefit is getting the TwoBrain community together and and welcoming strangers into our midst and showing them how amazing gym ownership really can be. We’ll have a link to the TwoBrain summit, including a full list of all speakers and topics on both the owners and the coaches side in the show notes. I really hope to see you there.

Chris:                                         02:17                       Hey guys, it is super exciting for me to be here today and I actually had a different topic planned. Um, but yesterday when I was out snowshoeing around in our back field, packing down trails and you know, trying to get my trails back after another three feet of snow. Um, I was listening to his new book that I really loved by John Maxwell called “Leadershift”, and I really wanted to share some of that stuff with you guys. And so I started thinking about like the last year for me and, um, the leadership lessons that I’ve had to learn. So we’ll get into that. Um, what I’d love to do is just give you a little bit of context on, um, like what I’ve been challenged with over the last, and if, you know, there’s some mentors listening, they’re well familiar with this, but what’s basically happened with TwoBrain, and you guys have seen this from the inside, is we went from 20 gyms three years ago to over 500 now. And that’s meant that the company has leveled up. You know, and that’s my, that I’ve had to level up my leadership skills. But stuff that I learned in the gym one-on-one has certainly been helpful, you know, as formed a basis for all this stuff. But it wasn’t enough.

Chris:                                         03:25                       And so most of you guys know that I have some, some big, well known mentors like Dan Martell. And now my mentor is Marcy Swenson and all we talk about for $1,400 an hour is leadership. And every call, what I do is I bring a certain scenario to her and we’ll walk through it. And I’m usually taking notes so quickly that I have like a script almost by the end. And these aren’t always things that I have to tell my staff. Sometimes it’s like, well how can I make this better for the client? Or how can we make sure that we improve this next time? That kind of thing. Um, so that has really been super valuable to me and I’ve been sharing a lot of that stuff with the mentors. But I want to share it with you guys, especially with so many of you reaching the tinker phase so quickly.

Chris:                                         04:12                       I’m really, really proud of that and I’m going to be talking more to you guys about leadership, but I think this is stuff that everybody can learn. So why now? Well, the main thing is that when I published the article “why your rules don’t work” this week, I started getting a lot of questions and I’m always surprised when I publish something that seems so obvious that so many people you know want to argue about it or like just don’t understand it. And I think I’m preaching to the choir here because most of you guys understand now like why you need roles and tasks and why you need a staff playbook. And why consistency is more important than everything else. Right? Like you guys get it, but not everybody does. And so when I write these articles, that feedback that I usually get is misunderstanding. And most of the time the problems that they’re having are not that they don’t have the rules.

Chris:                                         05:03                       It’s a problem of leadership. And I think what we’re actually building here are leaders. I think that one of the best reasons anybody can open a business or become an entrepreneur is to learn crazy valuable leadership lessons that they’ll carry the rest of their lives. Whether they open five more businesses, whether they take a business from, you know, me and Danny and Jay to crazy smart people around the world. Um, you know, these are, these are lessons that you’ll always have. And so I want to talk more about these leadership lessons too. So I’m not going to spend a million years introducing this. I just want you guys to know like why this is coming up so much right now. The other thing too is my new book is coming out in about four weeks: “Founder, farmer, tinker, thief.” And the book is really about filters.

Chris:                                         05:51                       So, you know, there’s so much out there right now about entrepreneurship and leadership and you know, popular speakers have made entrepreneurship and leadership cool. But there’s almost so much that it’s hard to know what to apply and when and it’s all well meaning, right? Like, you know, I just, I just listened to “can’t hurt me” by David Goggins and probably five of you told me that I needed to read this book and for the first two hours of listening to it, I was in trance. It was awesome. And this, the story is great, but now five hours in, I’m saying, is he going to say anything new? Like, do I have to finish this book to, can I move on to something else? And what I want to do for you guys is be that filter. And, none of us can read every single book that’s out there.

Chris:                                         06:35                       Not Anymore. None of us can take that stuff and filter it or distill it. And we all want to read more, but we don’t have time. And so what I want to do for you guys is like continue to take these best lessons and teach them to you in the context of gym Ownership. So thanks for letting me do that. The very first one that I want to go through with you guys is clarity. So whenever you run into a problem in the gym, if somebody doesn’t do what you expected them to, either good or bad or somebody didn’t live up to your expectations or somebody didn’t complete a task, the first thing that you have to ask yourself is did they know exactly what to do? Now, the reason that we address that so early in the incubator is because these mistakes get really, really, really expensive when you’re focused on growth for a couple reasons.

Chris:                                         07:24                       Number one, if you’re bringing new clients in, you know, you’re using to brand marketing and like, wow, 20 new people came through the door this month, but nobody’s emptying the garbages in, in your restroom. Then those, that mistake becomes super expensive because their first impression is not good. If, um, let’s say that you’re bringing 20 new people in and you don’t have reliable coaches who are going to greet these people and care for them and embrace them. And so you have to get sucked in to coach every class to make sure that these new people have the best experience. That has a very, very expensive mistake because you could be doing other things. You could be focused more on sales, marketing, whatever. Right? So the first thing I want you to have is I want you to have the understanding that if somebody doesn’t do what you want them to do, it’s very rarely out of spite.

Chris:                                         08:16                       It’s not because they’re trying to screw you. It’s not because they’re asserting their authority. You know, they’re not your teenager, the reason that they’re doing something wrong, it’s because they don’t know the right answer. And it’s our job to tell them the right answer. Just as we tell our clients, here’s how to squat, you have to show your staff, here is how you empty the wastebasket. You have to show them as many ways as it takes. And one of the questions that I got this week was like, when should we give up on a staff member if they’re not just, if they’re just not doing the job. And there are actually four steps that I go through. The first is I ask myself, how have I clearly told them what to do? Do they have like a written document or a video or something that shows them what perfect looks like?

Chris:                                         09:04                       The second thing is, have I given them context? Have I given them an emotional reason to succeed? So do they understand how a client’s day can be ruined if they get in the shower and the shower is filthy from the guy before them? The third thing I do is I ask, does the staff person understand the consequences of not doing a good job? You know, do they know why it’s important and do they do they know that I’ll fire them if they’re not doing a good job? And the fourth step is would this person be happier as a client? So when I’m, when I’m going through a situation where I’m not really sure why somebody is not doing, you know, the thing that I think they should be doing first, I assume that I haven’t told them clearly enough. Second, I assume that I haven’t given them a good enough reason to do it that way.

Chris:                                         09:52                       Third, I assume that they don’t understand the consequences and fourth, I move on. Okay. So in your gym, these look like writing down your mission, writing down your vision for success, recording what your values are and sharing them with your staff. It means having recorded standard operating procedures. It means regularly communicating all of those things. Even when you think, like Dave Henry said this morning, even when you think they get it, they know this what I’ve told them before, why aren’t they doing it? You have to revisit those standard operating procedures at least every year, you know, and that was a great post that he made. So you also have to ask yourself, what don’t I know? For example, if a client is routine or a staff person is routinely showing up late for, um, you know, to teach a class or whatever and you’ve been over them and they use it, they say, yeah, I know.

Chris:                                         10:44                       I know I have to get here before you take drastic action and cut them out of your life. You have to ask yourself, what don’t I know about their life? And this is a very important lesson taught to me by Josh Price, who is like our vision, mission, leadership guru who I turn to to all the time when I’m struggling with these things is first ask yourself, what don’t I know about the situation? And what this all leads to you guys have picked it up is you need to sit down with people regularly, talk to them, show them the way, okay?Show them your vision for their career. Show them the horizon, showed them the steps to get there. Make sure that they understand that they’re important to you, all right? And, uh, if they’re making mistakes, assume that they don’t know what to do. So the second thing that I’ve had to learn this year, um, through both lesson and by screwing this up a lot is communication.

Chris:                                         11:39                       So the first thing is clarity. The second is communication. And what I was taught when I went to San Francisco and visited Thumbtack was, this: as your company scales up (and Thumbtack went from like two employees to 20 to 200 to 2000. Really, really quickly,) what I learned there was that internal communication usually gets lost. So thumbtack was growing and these guys were eating up market share. They had a couple of big competitors that are producing a ton of media. But like why thumbtack, here’s how easy it is, here’s how reliable we are, here’s how strong our filters are. And um, the problem was that the founder wasn’t talking to his own staff. And so the rule he gave me was super powerful. He said, if you spend five hours a week talking to people outside your company, then you need to spend five hours a week talking to people inside your company.

Chris:                                         12:30                       If you realize as a CEO that like you have to repeat your message over and over on various media before everybody gets it. Then you have to realize that as a leader you have to do the same thing with your people. So at the time he was producing like a podcast to people about hiring and HR. He was writing emails everyday like you know, not as good as love letters that you guys, right, but you know, emails they were shooting, they’re doing a ton on youtube at the time, but none of that was actually staff facing. It was all potential client facings, all sales stuff. So what he did was he asked himself like, how can I run a podcast just for my staff? And what he does on the way to work now is he pulls out his phone, he records a two to three minute voice memo and he sends it to all of his staff.

Chris:                                         13:17                       Like all 2000 people are on one text thread with this guy. Then every time he writes like a promotional piece that go to future clients, he writes an internal piece, you know? And so what I started doing is writing a digest to the mentoring team every Friday. and, every time he did a live video for his clients, he would do a live video for his staff, like a Q and a or an open office hour. And you know, after I do this video, every Monday I go right into our mentors private Facebook group and do on there too. I learned that. But what I’ve also learned is that we have to hold our people just as accountable for communication as we’re holding ourselves. So that means we have to give them the tools to talk to one another. As you get bigger and you introduce a management layer into your business, like a GM, you need to show people a hierarchy.

Chris:                                         14:11                       And I know we’re all crossfit and we hate that stuff and that’s so corporate. Uh, but the bottom line is like if your people don’t know who to talk to, they’ll talk to the wrong people and they’ll share the wrong message. And usually that message is one of frustration and angst. And I don’t know what he’s doing. I don’t know what’s happening. Why is he making these choices? Okay? You need to give your staff very clear, uh, examples of like, here’s the communication pathway and if something’s not going right, here’s who you talk to. And then you need to make sure that you’re investing in those conversations. So if you don’t have time to do all those conversations yourself, as much as would love to, you have to make sure that they have a point of contact that they can go to with questions that they can go to with anxiety or I’m not sure how to make more money.

Chris:                                         15:01                       Okay, now it has a gym owner. Maybe that’s you. And you want to sit down with every code, all of your coaches, every single quarter. And you want to do the career roadmap for them. And you want to work backward from the career road map and say, here are the steps to getting there. And then you want to celebrate bright spots just like you do with your clients. But if you hire a GM, then you have to make sure that your GM is also doing those things because they can’t just stop. So Josh has a question before I go on to number three. The biggest thing I hear on calls with regards to this as the discipline piece, what is the appropriate discipline for these situations? And then the follow through. So the discipline is a tough one because you, you can’t really discipline somebody who’s not an employee, right?

Chris:                                         15:42                       I mean, all you can really do is remove them from your team. Now if there’s subcontractor that’s not too hard. Um, I don’t like confrontational interactions even though I’m getting a lot better at them. And that’s something that I practice all the time. But the bottom line is like, you have to ask yourself, what is the best thing for my client here? And so actually Joshy you know, one of the questions I got yesterday was I have a bad coach. I know there are a bad coach. I don’t want to coach the 6:00 AM class anymore. I’m going to have to, if I fire them. and, they referred like two other clients in the past. You guys know the story. The bottom line is your duty is to provide the best service for your best clients. And you know, hopefully that means the majority of your clients.

Chris:                                         16:31                       And so your duty is to not just put forth the best coaches, but also to remove the worst ones and to constantly be reading your garden, not just planting new seeds. So your primary duty is to remove that person. Now I think that your responsibility to that person is to ask them, do you understand what I expect of you? Okay, so you start with that first. You ask yourself, have I clearly told them? If you think that you have told them exactly what to do, then you ask them, have I clearly told you what my expectation is? Or do you understand exactly what I expect of you in this situation? And I think a lot of the time you’ll be surprised to find the answer is no. Now, if they’re doing bad behavior, no. If they’re sleeping with your members are stealing money, then the answer’s obvious.

Chris:                                         17:20                       Like you, you remove them right away. But if it’s just a coach who’s not quite getting it and he’s not, he’s not wearing shoes. We used to deal with that with boxes all the time. My coach shows up all the time and I can’t get him to put a shirt on. Huh. Um, then you go through the same steps. You know, what don’t they know? What have I not clearly explained to them? And, did I give them an emotional reason for succeeding? And, do they understand the consequence and you know, will I follow through on the consequence? So the consequences in my mind is not like written warnings. If you have employees though, you’re going to have to go through that process of like, am I going to write you up twice before I fire you so I don’t get sued? Okay. So the law will determine your responsibility there.

Chris:                                         18:04                       If it’s a subcontractor, I like to give them the opportunity to fire themselves and of Jamie’s watching, um, he actually just went through something like this, at catalyst not too long ago where he sat down with them. This coach had been canceling her Friday night classes all the time or trying to get other coaches and Jamie was just like jumping in and taking them a lot. And um, finally he sat down with her and said like, are you happy? You know, are you happy doing this? Because people, when it comes down to it, they don’t care about your gym. They don’t care about you that they care about themselves first. And that has, I didn’t mean that to sound as harsh as it probably did, but the bottom line is like, if they’re not happy, then the best thing you can do for them is to give them an easy way out.

Chris:                                         18:48                       That saves. There you go. So in this case, Jamie said, um, you know, would you be happier as a client? And she said, yeah. And she rejoined the 6:00 AM class. She’s been working out. Life’s just better. And when people say like, did you get fired? How come you’re off the schedule? She can hold her head high proudly and say, no, I just wanted to be a client again. So it doesn’t always work out that way. But the bottom line is like it has to get done. Okay. So if you have other questions, guys, feel free to just post them. The next thing, the next big lesson of leadership that I’ve had to learn this year is asking for help. And um, so everybody here, everybody on my team knows that I have mentors, I have mentors for different areas of life. I have tax mentors and financial CFO and Mike Lee Mentors me on process a lot.

Chris:                                         19:42                       Uh, but also have like external mentors like Marcy Swenson. And I’m glad to find this out because I would have had a mentor either way. But it’s really important for your staff to know that you are investing in yourself as a leader and in the platform that you’re providing for them. So for example, when you’re starting the incubator, you should tell your staff, I’m doing this thing because I want to create a better way for you to make more money, or I want to create a better career for you, or I want to be a better leader for you. Or if you’re Justin Keane, um, I’m going to be home more. I’m going to be a better dad. Okay? That’s still chokes me up. It’s really important that your staff sees this. The more direction you can give your staff, the more clarity surrounding your vision, your mission and your process.

Chris:                                         20:32                       And, the more excited that are going to get, or at least the less scared. What really drives staff away is the unknown. It’s, ah, this guy doesn’t have any vision and I don’t know where we’re going to start to look for visionaries, right? So you have to be really, really good at asking for help first from the outside. Second, you have to be really good at asking for help from the inside. So I want all of you to do one thing this week. I want you to go to a staff person and say, can you help me with this? Okay. A lot of us think that we have to be the expert, but we have to be the one providing the answer and that is dead wrong, okay? Most of the time when somebody brings us a problem, they don’t want us to solve the problem.

Chris:                                         21:17                       Now, that’s counterintuitive for a left brained guy. Like me, you know, if somebody’s complaining about something, I want to say, here’s how you fix it. But most of the time what they really want is just to be heard. And so you need to make them feel like what they’re saying is important to flip that script when you’re encountering something really challenging. One of the best things you can ever do for your staff is say, can I have your help with this? Now you don’t want to say, how would you solve this problem? Because if you go another way and you never take their advice, then you’re proving to them that what they think doesn’t have value. But if you say, can you help me with this? And you work collaboratively on solving a problem, even if you already know the answer, they’re going to think he asked me for help and nothing will make anyone feel as important as that.

Chris:                                         22:07                       So what I want you to remember from this chapter is people will never remember what you said to them. You know, if you blew up one time in anger and you said some stuff that you regret, don’t worry. I’ve done it a thousand times. What they will remember is how you made them feel. And um, if, if you can make them feel important, they’re far more likely to stay with, with you, you know? So don’t just solve people’s problems, listen to them, help them solve the problems, give them a little bit of a lead rope to run with. Ask them how it went, and then finally ask them for help on the next thing too. All right, your people are smart. And one of the, one of the greatest experiences that I ever had was as a very young guy, um, I got a job that I was not qualified for and I went from wearing a Yogi bear costume for the summer to running most of a ski hill.

Chris:                                         23:08                       And this was a, you know, a multimillion dollar, a pretty large resort. I suddenly had 130 staff or I’ve never had a staff of more than like three before. Um, you know, we are responsible for $1 million in rental and lesson revenue every month. Right. I really wasn’t qualified for that. And when I went to the board meetings where the staff meetings, the owner of this resort was kind of this crazy guy, uh, who I still talk to, you know, 20 years later. And, um, this guy was famous for having these crazy tantrums and like he threw, you know, dry erase markers at me from across the room more than once. And, um, the second time I spoke up to him in a meeting and said, I don’t think that’s right. I think we’re losing money on this, you know, and I was only like 22. Um, somebody beside me was like, you gotta just shut up or else we’re going to be here all day.

Chris:                                         24:03                       And the owner, JJ, said, I’m not scared to work with powerful people. The reason that you’re all here is because you’ll speak up when I say the wrong thing. And you know, now that at TwoBrain, if you think of the team that surrounds me, these are brilliant entrepreneurs, successful entrepreneurs, and these guys have done things right that I haven’t even thought about, right? They’ve avoided mistakes that I stuck my foot in. You can’t be scared to work with brilliant people and working with brilliant people means listening to them, getting their help and letting them know when they’re brilliant, you know? Alright. Learn to ask for help more often. I mean, you guys all know my story right there. The gym was practically bankrupt. Like we couldn’t buy groceries until I finally asked for help. Nobody has done that worse than I have by all means.

Chris:                                         24:53                       All right, so the fourth tip is, uh, so the first one is clarity. The second is communication. The third is asked for help first. The fourth is dig deep to build a moat. All right? So the, the coolest new buzzword out there right now I think is build a moat, right? And I love talking to John Franklin. The guy is just so cool. I would never have been able to come within 10 lockers of this guy in high school. He’s so cool. And these are, this is like the phrase that he’ll use, oh. TwoBrain has this massive moat and what he’s really talking about is like trust, right? We, we’ve worked for a very long time to establish this foundation of trust. And when people sign up, it’s not because they saw an amazing ad, maybe that’s what led them to the phone, but, um, they’ve, they’ve seen this entire platform that thank goodness has helped them know, like, and trust us.

Chris:                                         25:44                       Okay? So what we want to do is build that relationship of knowing, liking and trusting with our staff. And um, years ago I had a personal training client named John and John had a single kid, a daughter, Allie, that he was super proud of. And John would come see me every Friday and one Friday he invited me to her wedding. Now I had never even barely met his family before, right. And I felt kind of weird. Like, dude, I’m your personal trainer. You, you’re inviting me to her wedding. And he said, you know, I’ve been training with you for six years. You probably know more about, her then her husband does because we talk about her all the time. And when I found crossfit, one of the things that attracted me to Greg was when he was talking about our relationship with our clients and how deep that gets and how we can get in there.

Chris:                                         26:33                       He said more than their therapist, you know more than their spouse, sometimes it, how many people on the call right now have been told about a pregnancy before anybody else. Right? The client comes in, I need to talk to you for a second, I’m pregnant. And you’re like, you know, you’re all excited and you’re in the secret with them and, and you’re trying not to show because they haven’t told the world yet. And like, you know, before her mom knows and maybe before her husband knows whatever, right? You guys have all had that experience before. You’re the first one to know that is crazy and we get that and we should have that with our staff too. So it’s really crazy important here that you understand first, what is your staff hoping to get? Okay. So “what do you want now?” Is the title of the seminar I used to teach back when we did seminars.

Chris:                                         27:24                       That is the most important question in entrepreneurship. What do you want now? So every three months when you sit with your staff person, I want you to say, what do you want now? Because they often change when I get on the phone with affiliates that I’ve never met before and always asked this question, who’s helping you? And they’ll name off their staff and I’ll say, would any of those people like to make a full time career? And you guys know what’s going to happen, right? We’re going to start personal training or we’re going to start marketing. And there’s these opportunities will exist where they didn’t before. And they’ll say, oh, I don’t think so. I don’t know. Maybe, maybe Jimmy. They don’t even know what their staff want. So every quarter you have to sit down with your staff and start with what do you want.

Chris:                                         28:13                       Now the next question you have to ask them is why do you want that? And people change over time. You know, we can assume that somebody wants to, same thing they did six months ago, but what doesn’t change is people’s values and motivation in life. And so if somebody says to you, I really need a salary right now, it might not be because they’re just trying to make more money. It could be because they’re trying to buy a house or maybe, you know, in one case in my gym, uh, he had a little baby, she was one year old and in Canada after a year, um, the mum goes back to work and his wife was getting close to that point. And I’ve been there and it’s horrible. I can’t imagine how you ladies do it in the states, you know, after six or eight weeks.

Chris:                                         29:03                       But anyway, um, so he said, I need a raise. And if I hadn’t probe deeper, if I hadn’t dug in, I would never have built the moat that wound up surrounding me with that guy. And this guy and I traveled together for years. You know, we stayed in hotel rooms and talked about ignite and cognitive training and all kinds of stuff. Um, and we still have a good friendship specifically because, um, you know, I, I knew what his motivations were and I would never have guessed them. Dig deep to build a moat after you know their why, then you have a sticky relationship with them. And from there it’s your job to say, here’s how we’re going to get you there. All right, so we’re going to take out our, um, how to make a career in coaching the career-o-matic is Brian and I like to call it, and you’re going to say, okay, here are your goals.

Chris:                                         29:57                       You’re going to have a baby this year and you need a new car. And that means you need to make $50,000. Here’s how we’re going to do. And you’re going to pull out your little spreadsheet that I made. So it’s rudimentary. It’s not pretty like Anastasia spreadsheets. And you’re going to say $50,000 on the top line. And then you’re going to say personal training. I think we could get you five clients a week. So here’s what you’re going to earn from that $250. And I can give you four classes a week that you’re not already doing. And the kids program, you know, if you, if you talk to Gretchen, we can get that thing going. And here’s what I forecast we can do nowhere else in their life are the, is somebody taking the time to say, here is how I’m going to help you achieve your goals.

Chris:                                         30:43                       It’s true of your clients. And you guys hear me rave about this all the time in the incubator, but it’s also true of your staff and it’s also true of you. And that’s why your mentor does that exercise with you in December or January. First we go through your emotional reasons to succeed and then we break down the steps to get there and then we give you metrics that you have to hit to get there. You need to do those same things with your staff. All right? The next piece is, um, the tools that you give to your staff to help them know when they’re being successful. So digging this mode means also telling them you did that, right? Okay? So I want you to establish like what the KPIs are in your business and which ones you’ll share with your staff. For example, you might decide that your KPIs are arm, leg profit, gross revenue and number of clients.

Chris:                                         31:36                       Okay, I’ll give you that one. Which one of those do you want to share with your staff? Well, ARM we can share no problem. LEG, we can share. No problem. Number of members, we have no problem. Do you want to share your total revenue? It’s up to you. It depends on the staff, right? And then you want to tell the staff, here’s how you can influence these numbers. So if the staff’s career-o-matic says that they have, they’re going to take five personal training clients a week, then you’re going to say, here’s my plan to get you there. I work with and my mentor and I have this goal to hit 10 personal training clients by March. Here’s our plan. What else do you want to know? All right. Give them some confidence in your leadership and then say, here’s how we know if we’re being successful.

Chris:                                         32:17                       So, um, my friend nick who owns the tire store, nick, I don’t know if you’re on here. Um, he’s got a whiteboard. You know, at the end of the day he can wipe out that big 80 and he can write 76 if they did for jobs that day. And the staff see that and they know like, wow, we’re making progress here. You know, the science of motivation really boils down to this. It’s hard, but you can do it and then proving it. So if we show people like you’re being successful, success precedes motivation, they’re more likely to want to do it, okay? And so it keeps them engaged. So the four rules here are clarity, communication, ask for help. First, dig deep to build a moat. And finally the only two words that really, really matter, but of all the hundreds of leadership books, seminars, ted talks, whatever, there’s really only two words that matter and they are following.

Chris:                                         33:12                       You have to set the footsteps in place for your clients to follow or for your staff to follow. You have to be the leader. Now that can’t mean that you disengage your team. And you run on up ahead and you climb the cliff face and then you turn around and say, hey guys, the view up here is amazing. If you can figure out how to join me, come up. He can’t do that. What you have to do is stay a step or two ahead of your staff and no more. It’s important that they see you leading from the front so they have footsteps to follow because we learn our behavior through modeling. You know, it’s one thing to tell people what to do, it’s quite another to exemplify that behavior. But if they can’t see you because you’re so far ahead, if you haven’t communicated what you’re doing or what the sales staff is doing or how much personal training you’re doing, they will lose sight of you.

Chris:                                         34:11                       And if you’re not turning around now and then and saying, here’s the map guys, remember, here’s the vision, here’s our goal, here’s our mission. They will lose sight of those things. And so you need to be communicating those things to them as often as you’re communicating to your clients and your other, your non-clients through media. You know, think about the time that you spent posting to Instagram today. Time yourself as longer than you think it’s, it’s 11 or 12 minutes for every post. Have you spent 11 or 12 minutes communicating your vision to your staff today? I doubt it. I haven’t, right? So I need to do that. We all need to do that and I’m going to dedicate myself to doing that because I know it’s my responsibility to put those tracks in place. All right? So there’s a couple of things that you need to focus on when it comes to follow me.

Chris:                                         35:05                       The first one is you’re not above any work, so it might not be your job to empty the garbage is anymore. Okay? It might not be your problem. It might not be responsibility, maybe somebody else’s even being paid to do it. But if you walk back and if you walk past an overfilled trashcan and they’re watching, then you need to do it because it’s your job to show them that it’s not acceptable to walk past and overflowing trashcan. Likewise, if you’re paying somebody to do the programming and you don’t have the programming and time for the morning class, or if there’s a problem, then you need to say to them, here’s the problem. Let’s walk through this together. Give them an opportunity to fix it. But no, you know how to fix it yourself and guide them that way. I’ll tell, I’ll tell you guys, if there’s somebody on this call and they’re saying, man, I need to get better at that, then you’re doing it right.

Chris:                                         35:58                       You should always be questioning yourself as a leader. You should be questioning your motives. You should be questioning your momentum. Am I making enough progress? You should be questioning, you know, the, the, um, the leadership persona that your team sees. Am I showing these people how to be what I want them to be? You should question your ability to share your, their horizon with them so that they understand what you want for them in life. You know, it’s funny, um, I won’t share which meant or this was, but when I finally explained to this person, like, you’re working too much. I want to give you this thing to help you. It wasn’t a shock to me, but it was to her and, and she was really moved by it. So it’s important, not only that you’re sharing like, here’s what you’re doing right, here’s what you’re doing wrong, but also here’s how I’m helping you.

Chris:                                         36:48                       Okay? The only two words that matter when it comes to leadership are follow me. Okay? I said that I want you to live your vision. I want you to be flexible in your methods, but unimpeachable and your beliefs and to also know as Babe Ruth said, that you can’t win the day when the game on yesterday’s home runs. Okay? Eventually as a leader, Opportunity becomes responsibility. And this is something that’s hit me really, really hard the last couple of months is, you know, we built this big mode and after we hit 500 gyms and we started getting approached by, you know, the, the software companies and software developers and like equipment companies and we want to pitch this thing to you. And at first I looked at those things as opportunities and then I looked at them differently and I said that if we’re going to lead us being the 500, then it’s our responsibility to make these people live up to our standard.

Chris:                                         37:46                       You know, it’s, it’s not just enough for us to go begging wodify to tell us the metrics that we need anymore. We, US 500, the few and the powerful, the tip of the spear need to say, if you want to work with us and do this, that rings true of many areas of our business. We need to hold everybody to a higher standard. You need to be looking at your expense sheet every single month and asking, am I receiving good value from this? Um, and you need to say, you know, what can I do to bring all the people up around me? You know, if you’ve got a popular gym and another gym down the street is closing at first, that may seem like a great opportunity to get their members. But if you’re a leader, you’re going to understand that it’s really your responsibility to try and help them if you can.

Chris:                                         38:33                       All right, my last piece of advice, I didn’t want to give this one a number. Uh, I came last year and so Robin and I sponsor some hockey teams and we go way out of our way to give these kids like an amazing experience. And we pay for hotel rooms and sometimes we have to like deliver food to the families. And you know, we dressed the kids up and everything, right? Um, and we’re, we’re thrilled to do it. We don’t want anything in return. That’s not why we’re there, but sometimes the parents complain anyway. And one of these mornings I was feeling really frustrated and I walked into the workshop and Mary who was running the cafe, rolled her eyes and said, Chris, never forget that some of the people, we do this for our assholes. And so on the days when it feels like, man, I, I’ve gone over and above, I can’t go.

Chris:                                         39:20                       I can’t do this anymore. Don’t stop. Just remember that not everyone is good at showing gratitude. Not everybody appreciates why you’re giving them. And some of them are assholes. All right? So if there are any more questions, by all means, please ask them here. Um, what I want you to remember is that mentorship is not a friendship. Friendship brings encouragement. Mentorship brings empowerments and I got that from my new favorite book leader shifts by John Maxwell. All right? Okay. So Nick, for me it’s definitely sharing my vision with them. That’s a problem. I haven’t submitted a way to keep that vision in front of them. Dude, you’re preaching to the choir here. Okay. Um, I am very blessed to have guys like Josh Price and Jeff Smith with a military background on the team because they will call me up and say, what’s your vision again? What’s our mission here?

Chris:                                         40:13                       Why are we doing it like this? Okay, they are, these are powerful people that I am not scared to work with. Now if you ran into these guys in a dark alley, you’d be scared of them right there. They’re big, smart, powerful dudes. But the bottom line is like, um, these guys are constantly asking me and that reminds me to tell the whole team. So here’s what I do first, we have a team digest that goes out every Friday. So I sent an email just to people on the team, here’s what’s happening with this thing. Here’s what we’re doing about it. Okay. And about every third month or so, or I’m sorry, every third email or so, I’ll remind them, here’s how this fits our mission. You know, to serve 1 million entrepreneurs, to get a million entrepreneurs to wealth. And so the questions that I get back are not like, why are we doing this?

Chris:                                         41:00                       But how will this help us fulfill our mission? And they’re always good questions, right? Because they’re always qualified by that. The second thing is you need to repeat that message over and over and over because even though people are reading it, maybe like you and I, you know, they don’t learn by reading, right? So maybe you have to do like a podcast for your staff. Imagine that. Or maybe you have to do like a video message to your staff every single morning. Right. One of the reasons that we started doing this Facebook live and one at every, you know, every day at 2:00 PM is so that we talk about these concepts in an informal way with you and you could ask questions in real time, even though, you know, we do the modules and we do the mentoring and stuff. Sometimes you know, you, you just need to hear it a different way.

Chris:                                         41:46                       And John Gilson, Tommy this, you know, you can be working with a client on their muscle up for two years. You can be doing personal training with them. They can be doing it in class and they’re just not getting that transition. And they, you know, they can do that. 100 ring dips and they can do that. 100 ring pull ups, but they just can’t pull their elbows back. And then one day of visiting coach walks in the door and he says, Oh yeah, Tuck your chin. And the client talks to his chin and they get a muscle up. Well, it doesn’t mean that that other coach was better than you, it’s just that he had words that the client heard instead of your words. People hear things differently. So what I’d like you to do is write down your vision and then I want you to think of two ways you’re going to communicate that to your staff.

Chris:                                         42:29                       Maybe you’re going to do a Facebook live like this and your private coaches group. Maybe you’re going to do an email digest like I do. You know, maybe you’ve got a private slack channel with them. Um, maybe you’ve got something else. Maybe you’re doing a podcast for your staff. Maybe you’re copying thumbtack strategy of like a mini podcast. So I want you to be leaders in your own community. I want you to be leaders in the broader community of gym owners in the movement. I also want you to be leaders in this group, so thanks for participating, asking tough questions and listening.

Speaker 3:                               43:01                       As always, thank you so much for listening to this podcast. We greatly appreciate you and everyone that has subscribed to us. If you haven’t done that, please make sure you do drop a light to that episode. Share with a friend, and if you haven’t already, please write us a review and rate us on how what you think. If you hated it, let us know if you loved it, even better. See you guys later.


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TwoBrain Marketing Episode 1: Sherman Merricks

TwoBrain Marketing Episode 1: Sherman Merricks

Stop spinning your wheels.

Use our Free Help Kit as a roadmap to a more successful gym.

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This is our first episode of Two-Brain Marketing, our NEW podcast dedicated specifically to attracting new members.

Announcer:                            00:02                       Welcome everyone to TwoBrain Radio. It is our mission at TwoBrain to provide 1 million entrepreneurs the freedom to live the life that they choose. Join us every week as we discover the very best practices to achieve perfect day and move you closer to wealth.

Mateo:                                      00:26                       All right, so we’re here with Sherman Merricks, TwoBrain mentor, extraordinaire and owner of dynasty crossfit. So Sherman, for those of the, for those listening who don’t know, I mean I think you’ll do have a kind of prolific internet presence, but for those who don’t know, you know, who are you, how long have you been in business? Tell us a little about your, your story, finding crossfit and, and, and your gym.

Sherman :                                00:52                       Yeah, I’m married. I live in Gainesville, Florida. We own dynasty crossfit and my wife and I, we’ve had our gymfor seven, eight years. We’ve been affiliate, you know, sort of that typical story from back then you could start your garage. That’s what we did. On our garage , we’d been slowly but surely building this thing up to what it is today. I was actually doing crossfit for a couple of years before I even knew where to what a, you know, what an affiliate was and that type of thing. It’s been a great run. You know, I’ve been with two brain for awhile. No for awhile. And excited about this. A little podcast right here to talk about some cool things that you guys have in store.

Mateo:                                      01:39                       And so how long have you been involved with TwoBrain?

Sherman :                                01:42                       Hmm Man. I mean I’ve been with TwoBrain since day one. Coop. Chris Cooper has been my mentor before TwoBrain. I would imagine if I had to put a number on it. I mean I’ve been with Coop probably four or five years right around there.

Mateo:                                      01:57                       And how has your business, I guess changed like before TwoBrain and then after TwoBrain, you know, what were the differences in your business and then I guess, uh, your lifestyle, your quality of life. Can you tell us a little about that?

Sherman :                                02:10                       Yeah, definitely. So before TwoBrain, it was sorta the typical, you know what, I opened a gym for me. I opened the gym from the beginning because I’ve sort of always known I wanted to be my own boss. I wanted to be an entrepreneur. And the barrier to entry to open up an affiliate was so low, alright man, this is my shot right here. You know, like I like fitness, I want to run a business. So you know, I sort of combined those two. And like I said, we started off small in my garage, you know, I was working a job and training in the afternoon and all of that type of stuff. But we came, my wife and I, we sort of came to a turning point when my wife, she became pregnant with our second child, which is our daughter.

Sherman :                                02:48                       And we had to make a decision, right? If she was going to go back to work or what was going to happen. And honestly, my wife, she made quote unquote the money back then, but I just couldn’t imagine staying on that track of going to work at eight and nine and stand there all day doing office work and going home every day at five or six being miserable. So we decided that we’re going to, you know, start the gym in the garage and that’s what we did. So basically once she came home for maternity leave, I was like, Hey, now’s the time we had to go all in and I quit my job as well. So young couple, no income, two kids. But that was sort of a blessing in and of itself because a failure really wasn’t an option. Right. We did not have a choice why there was no, there was no one that would, you know, give us money and things like that.

Sherman :                                03:42                       So that really lit a fire up under me, of course. And my wife as well. And we’ve been, you know, we’ve been blessed ever since. We’ve been growing and learning and that type of stuff. And I’ve always known, you know, I’ve always had mentors, whether that personally, professionally. So when I got into this, I actually had another, um, I was working with another company, we’ll call it a mentorship. Um, I was working with another company because I’ve always known I needed help. So I’ve always been doing something. And then I met Coop at a, uh, met Coop at, some type of seminar or something. He came down to Florida and my wife and I, you know, we sort of clicked in. We’d been with TwoBrain ever since.

Mateo:                                      04:23                       And what were the changes? You know, I, I know you, you and I have talked previously, but I know you were working a lot in the gym and I know it wasn’t always so easy.

Sherman :                                04:34                       Um, so what were the changes that you saw after starting to work with, you know, the mentorship program in the incubator? Oh yeah, man, definitely. So, I mean, when we first started it was, I was the coach, programmer, cleaner, social media person. Actually that’s my wife. You’re in charge of that. Um, but basically we did everything, right? Like, one of my most vivid memories is cleaning the gym every single night with the mop, regardless of how long the day was. Right. So I would coach the 6:00 AM you know, and then, you know, we coached throughout the day and then at night after the last class I would have to stay back and mop the floor with the mop. I remember that. Just thinking about it makes me sort of cringe a, I can’t believe that I did that or you know, I probably did it for about a year, two years, probably like two years because I’ve been there for sure.

Sherman :                                05:25                       That’s sort of one thing that we still behind. You don’t have an a clean gym and you know, clean bathroom, all that stuff. And Man, just doing that on top of everything else would just make the day’s so long. So I was basically just in survival mode for years.. Just trying to grow the business and the little down time that I had to make sure that, you know, people were coming in, payments going through, trying to gain new members. I’m able to really just looking back now, it was just like, it was really just a mess, but you do what you have to do and you know, to get things done. But like I said, I was looking for something different. Actually one of my, one of the guys that I know, he’s like, hey, you should come down to my gym. So a seminar, uh, this Guy Chris Cooper has come in and I think you will like him.

Sherman :                                06:08                       So I’m like, yeah, I don’t have anything to lose. I’m always trying to learn something. And so we went to that seminar and you know, listening to some of the things that Chris was saying really resonated. My wife and I, we did not want to be tied to the gym 24-7, you know, we wanted to grow the right way. Just not, you know, say we have 200 members, but we can’t make money. We can’t feed our kids. We can’t save for retirement. All of that stuff. And Chris was talking about that stuff, um, way back then. And then since then, you know, like I said to Barry for awhile and now to where we are today, you know, sort of fast forward, I want to bore you too much. But you know, now I don’t coach any classes, and I’m , you know, not needed in the day to day.

Sherman :                                06:49                       Um, however I am still president, my gym, you know, I think it’s cool for people to sort of do what works for them. You know, I really don’t have a preference to be totally removed from my gym, not in the gym ever most days. But I know some guys, they frigging don’t do anything with their gym. You know, someone, a mentor, they don’t do anything. Someone else is running it. And I have,, you know, I have a general manager and all of that stuff, operation director and I have all of that, but I still like to be involved in the gym, hang around in the community some and stuff like that. But man, my life is so different now. You know, like, you know, like I love to travel my family and I, so we, you know, we travel probably four or five weeks a year and all that type of stuff and you know, the gym runs just fine without me.

Sherman :                                07:32                       Um, and that’s really a testament to the years of hard work and learning and growing and trying to, you know, get this thing to where I want to be. That’s sort of where I am today.

Mateo:                                      07:43                       And so you were saying before the gym wasn’t making as much money, you were in the gym day in and day out, doing all the, all the roles and tasks. Now I guess what I’m hearing you say is it’s a lot different. You’re, you’re moved to you, you choose to be in when you want to be in, but you can leave and go on vacation when you want to. And the businesses make enough money to be able to support you and your family. Is that correct? Correct. That’s great man. And so tell me a little bit about, tell me a little bit about your experience trying to grow some of your programs. We’re going to talk about the paid advertising strategies that you’ve been able to implement with two brain marketing. But I want to first hear more about, you know, your, you’re super charismatic guy, you’re great on camera. How are, you know, before really pushing heavily with paid advertising, how would you grow your programs? How would you market at your gym?

Sherman :                                08:33                       Yeah, so that, you know, this is a great question because I think that like, I like the paid advertising, but I also really enjoy doing the organic stuff. Now I will say if one of the biggest differences is, you know, the organic stuff is very, very difficult. It takes years and years to hone in. I wish I would’ve found paid advertising a little bit earlier. Um, but you know, with my organic stuff, like I still do a lot of organic stuff now. If you guys don’t know what organic quote unquote stuff we were talking about is, you know, a lot of, some of the programs I run, I don’t, I don’t run any paid advertising and we still have great turnout and stuff like that and great signups.

Sherman :                                09:09                       But one of the biggest keys to my success has been, you know, keeping an email list and really continuing to put out content for people that can really benefit them. Not just when I’m trying to get them to sign up for something. Right. So some of the things that I really implemented, you know, like I enjoy going live, right? I enjoy being on being on camera. I’m comfortable in front of the camera. So we try to get on it, interact with people as much as possible if I’m being honest. You know, we’ve gotten away from that a little bit just because paid advertising is so good. But it’s funny that we’re doing this little interview right now because we’re actually running a a weight loss program here soon and I’m only doing, you know, for the most part, organic marketing. And like I said, we’ve just, we’ve only been marketing it for about not even a week and we already have like three sign ups already and we’re going to promote it for like six weeks.

Sherman :                                10:00                       So our goal is to get, you know, 25-30 sign ups at the price. We were asking and I think a lot of gyms could benefit from really understanding how to utilize the, how to utilize the organic market in. Because when you can put the organic marketing with paid marketing, then you have a recipe for success that’s hard to match.

Mateo:                                      10:19                       So when you’re talking about creating content for people in your audience and your use your newsletter list, what’s the stuff you put out when you go live? What are you talking about?

Sherman :                                10:29                       Yeah, so here’s the thing that I think a lot of people complicate and over complicate. You know, as fitness professionals, most of us take stuff for granted, right? They take information for granted that we know it’s second nature to us, but to the common person, you know, just how to prepare their plate is a huge deal.

Sherman :                                10:48                       Right? So I go on and just talk about anything really. You know, if someone asks me a question in the gym one day, I was like, oh, all right, I’m going to go live with it. I’m going to talk about, you know, she just said, what type of foods should I eat at night? Or what’s the latest I should eat at night? It’s basic stuff. You know, one thing I will say about the live videos, they’re sort of better when you can sort of announced them because it’s not, and I don’t want to say better to just have a little more interaction when you can announce them because the people that want to watch them, they will actually get on at that time and they’ll interact with you as opposed to when you just jump on a live. Like I do a lot of times, uh, you know, I won’t have a lot of interaction while I’m on there.

Sherman :                                11:29                       So I sorta just me talking into my phone, out of the camera. But people will pop on and then people will go back and watch it and then questions and comments that come up. But honestly, I just talk about anything that could be beneficial to my future clients. Right. I’m a potential client.

Mateo:                                      11:47                       So what you’re saying is you basically you’re surveying your current clients and seeing, okay, what are the questions I’m getting most often from the people who already are our existing clients. And I think the lodge there as well. If my current clients have these questions, prospective clients are probably going to have these two. And so you’re, you’re kind of creating the content, the videos, the things you’re talking about, the emails or writing about based off of that feedback. Is that correct?

Sherman :                                12:12                       Correct.

Mateo:                                      12:13                       That’s great man. That’s great man. Awesome. So now I’d like to talk a little bit more about, actually before we move on for people want to try this out. What’s your process? Do you like you blast a post out saying, hey, we’re going to go live talking about how to eat after 5:00 PM and that goes out 10 hours before or whatever it is. Like what’s the, what’s the process?

Sherman :                                12:34                       You know what I would do get the most bang for your buck is posted on your, um, on your social media sites like a day before if you can, you know, if you’re gonna go live on Tuesday, post on Monday, say, hey guys, tomorrow we’re going to be talking about how, what type of foods to eat after 5:00 PM or are we going to call it about how to really get shredded it for the summer. Something called summer shred, right? I’m going to talk about that tomorrow at 5:00 PM and then the day of you post it again and I like to post everything from my, from my personal page as well.

Sherman :                                13:09                       So I’ll post it from, I’ll post it from the business page, then I’ll share it on my personal page. Of course, I’m asking, you know my members to share it. I’m, you know, my wife is going to share it. A coach is going to share it because I think for the most part, we as gym owners, we don’t like asking people to do stuff, but if we don’t ask them, they’re not going to do it. But if we ask them, most will do it. So you know, all of my members would tell you I don’t have an issue with asking them to do anything. Right? Like Hey, oh we’re going to be running this program. Tell your friend posted on your page, Hey posted on your page again. Right? Because a, that’s how you read people that cause the people that want to get in shape man.

Sherman :                                13:48                       Like that’s the thing. It’s not really about crossfit and barbells and all that. If you are talking about a solution to their problems, people are going to come in and to talk to you. Right. So I think it’s hard to come back to your question if you have to be sharing it across a lot of different avenues on social media, but you need more than just you sharing it. You need your coaches, you need your clients in that type of thing right there. Okay, cool. So what you’ll do is you’ll basically say, hey, we got this thing we’re going to run with your people in your, in your captive audience know first your clients and then they share it. Help get the word out and then you know, you have a little bit of time to collect some. Yeah. Get some, some anticipation going in and people looking forward to see what you’re going to have to say.

Sherman :                                14:34                       You know, one of the biggest things is, you know, like used to it, like I consider myself fairly good on camera, but there’s still a piece of me that gets sort of hesitant when I get, when I get ready to make a video or something, I’m like, man, no one wants the feed is, well, how am I going to look? You know, how’s it going to? But really once you get on, if you’re really, you know, genuinely trying to help people, it’s going to turn out fine. Right. It doesn’t mean the video is going to be perfect or anything like that, but it’s going to help to someone and that’s all, you know, if I’d get on and speak to one person at a time, that’s totally fine. I was one person that I helped, you know.

Mateo:                                      15:07                       Awesome. So how has your business changed since joining? What is your experience been with paid advertising prior to doing the two main marketing course? And, uh, how has your business changed since implementing some of the strategies that we teach?

Sherman :                                15:25                       Yeah, so I think that before, before I was working with too many marketing, you know, we basically did, I didn’t know real paid advertising. I would boost some posts. I would boost some posts. You know, back when people were, I don’t even know people still boost posts, right? Oh, I would boost some posts. You, I was like, all right, I’ve made like a pretty good post. No rhyme or reason to it. This, all right, I’m going to put $20 to it see how many people would comment. Right. I wasn’t even trying to really get people to sign up. I’m just trying to get more traffic to my page. And like we talked about, most of my programs were selling out with only organic marketing. So I wasn’t too concerned about honestly paid advertising until you and John, you know, I watched some of you guys stepping out, hey, these guys are killing it.

Sherman :                                16:07                       I need to really look at this. You know, if I can grow my business like these guys have. So, you know, I jumped on TwoBrain Marketing and now it’s like, it’s a different, it’s just a totally different animal as far as the, the number of leads coming in, uh, the way that we have to deal with them and all of that stuff. So beforehand there was not a lot of, there was not a lot of paid advertising going. Like I said, I would really only boost a post and then until I sign up with, to bring in marketing, now it’s just a lot of work has to be done right to really see the benefits of it, you know?

Mateo:                                      16:40                       And so what I guess before we talk about actually, yeah. Can you tell us a little bit more about that work when you run paid ads? I guess before we talk about that, what exactly do you sell and how do you sell it? I’d like to talk more about, you know, what’s your front end offer? What do people come to you most often looking for you to solve? What do you, what are you selling? How do you sell it?

Sherman :                                17:00                       Yeah, great question. So we are really selling a solution to weight loss problems. For the most part, right? At my gym we don’t target males, right? Just a and not that we don’t have males in the gym, we just don’t pay to get the man. Because from what we’ve seen, you know, over the years of being with TwoBrain Marketing, the guys are very difficult to get in, right? So you know, when we were talking about paid advertising, now we’re talking about ROI. It make dollars and cents. So from a business perspective for us doesn’t make sense for us to target males. So all of our ads are sorta catered toward my ideal client, right? It’s going to be that way. Females aged 26 to 60 or so, right? So all of our service is speaking to weight loss, getting lean, that type of thing and our front end offer is really to get people in the door. It’s a 90 day challenge and that’s what we were talking about to get people in. Now, here’s one of the biggest sorta fallacies that I’ve seen with people new to running Facebook ads. We run the 90 day challenge, get them in the door, listen to what they want, and then we make the best recommendation based on their goals, not on what ad brought them in. Right? So yes, they’ve seen the 90 day challenge ads on Facebook. That’s what has them sitting in front of me. But me or my, one of my coaches, whoever is doing the no sweat intro has to sit down with them and we see this person really needs one on one personal training. That’s what we’re going to recommend to them. We’re not going to recommend, oh you should do this group challenge, when that’s not going to get them the best results possible. Cause at the end of the day we don’t. We want them to be super successful cause if they’re super successful then we’re super successful,

Mateo:                                      18:33                       yeah, no it makes total sense. So what you’re saying is someone will come in because they see an ad program sounds cool, but when you sit down and talk with them, you’re prescribing the best solution. That’s going to fit, fit their, their needs, right? Yes,

Sherman :                                18:48                       absolutely. That’s exactly what we’re doing.

Mateo:                                      18:50                       So can you walk us through your, you know, your sales pipeline. So someone sees the ad, they, they inquire for more information. What happens next?

Sherman :                                18:59                       So someone through the ad, they got to, you know, you’re going to see a picture or a video, they got to click on it, they’re gonna go to a landing page. The landing page speaks to them. They’re going to enter their information and then it, cause first we’re going to capture their information before we let them see our scheduling availability. Right? Because we want that. We want to have their contact info because they’re interested, right? They’re interested. It’s sold before we even let them see our scheduling software and what availability you have. We’re going to capture their info. Once they go there, now they’re going to pick a time that works for them. They’re going to self schedule. They don’t have to call us. Uh, they don’t have to come in or anything until their time. Once they enter their, their appointment time, that’s when we start working. Right now we have two options here because they may enter their info and not see what time that works for them.

Sherman :                                19:49                       And a lot of times people won’t book anything because they don’t see a time that works for them. And then that’s when we’ll reach out to them within two or three minutes and say, Hey, we saw that you want more info about the 90 day challenge. Do you need any help scheduling your appointment, right,? If they say yes, we’ll, you know, we’ll help them through that. A lot of times people, a lot of people just trying to get the price, you know, first thing they say, oh, well how much is it first? You know, we will give prices over the phone. Um, but we want a little bit more information before we just give out the price because we like to know more about this person. Right? It could be $1,200 a month to come here if this is someone that very deconditioned, they can’t go to a group class. They need personal training four times a week. Okay. But we don’t make those type of decisions over, the phone. So we’re trying to get them to come in. Right. But if someone perceives, absolutely give a price range.

Mateo:                                      20:38                       Who handles that? So you said they had given their information, you guys respond in two, three minutes. Who does the setup here?

Sherman :                                20:46                       My old general manager, she, she moved away but she was so good that I couldn’t let her go. Right. So she actually handles it. Her name is Stephanie. Not going to tell you the last name cause I don’t want people reaching out to her, all of that. Right. And she does it remotely. She actually lives hundreds of miles away. So she’s in charge of the software that we use. You know, when she’s reaching out to him, uh, she’s following up with them. She scheduling, she’s rescheduling if they had issues and all that stuff. So, um, so I’m totally hands off of that. Right. I’m not doing really anything with the software. She scheduling, communicating with the coaches, making sure everyone’s on the same page. Awesome. And so someone books an appointment, what happens once they begin an appointment? We’re going to, so they could only book an appointment, I want to say three days out, three days out.

Sherman :                                21:38                       So, um, in that time, we’re going to email them a couple times. We’re also going to text message them the night, the day before, right? So Mateo, if you had appointment with us on what’s today, Tuesday, whatever, Wednesday, Wednesday, an appointment with us on Friday, right? Tomorrow you will receive a text message from us saying, now in the meantime, while you’re receiving this, you’re still going to be receiving emails from us as well. It’s all right. Just talking about the value that we’re going to be adding and the No Sweat Intro, right? Um, you may meet our team and stuff like that. So once they go through that, they’re gonna receive a text message the day before if we don’t hear back from them to confirm, because we ask them to confirm because I don’t want my coaches showing up if no one is going to be here. So we basically asked them to confirm, uh, you know, we send him a message, blah, blah, blah, blah.

Sherman :                                22:34                       Look forward to seeing you. Please confirm that you will be attending this appointment. And if they don’t confirm, we will reach out again the day of the appointment via phone call or text messages. Again, sometimes people just miss it or they get busy and they forget, but we want to make sure that we stay on top of them. And you know, this has been sort of new to us. Paid Advertising, um, you know, like, you know, Mateo, like it’s a numbers game. So just because someone books an appointment doesn’t mean they’re showing, right? So we need to make sure that we’re following up and really doing everything we can do to get them to show up and you know, the numbers, you know, everyone’s not showing up and then we basically work it from there. If they don’t show up, they’re going to go into a different funnel and we’re going to continue to nurture them forever until they tell us, leave us alone, or they come in for a no sweat intro.

Sherman :                                23:22                       Right. I think that’s the biggest piece that I was missing prior to TwoBrain Marketing was the continual followup. Right? Like, if someone came in, I had a Google sheet back in the day and I will follow up for a month or two because you know, whenever I get low on clients. So I didn’t look at that Google sheet. Oh yeah, that lady came last month. Let me follow up with her. But six months later I was following up with no one. Right. Uh, I was following up with no one. I wasn’t going back to, you know, I wanted to go in right in July, look at the people in February and following up with them, they were thought to just lost leads. So now we have a system and all of that. I have someone in charge of all that and we just follow up with them consistently until they tell us no.

Sherman :                                23:59                       Right. Like our software is managing all of that person’s in charge of the software. Um, and you know, one of the things that I’ve seen over the last six months is, you know, really keeping up with the data and stuff. There’s, there’s, there’s probably 25-30% of people that come into our funnel and just sit in there. They don’t respond to any emails. They’ll open them, but three months later, like they’ll book a No-Sweat Intro and come in. Right. So just because they’re not ready, right, when they get into your funnel, it doesn’t mean they’re not ready. So really you’re doing yourself a disservice if you aren’t constantly following up with these people until you get a yes or a no. I want a yes or no. Personally I prefer yes, but I will take a no as well cause they tell me no.

Sherman :                                24:38                       Okay well I can scratch them off the list and I can move on to the next person that I can help.

Mateo:                                      24:44                       And so what kind of returns are you seeing from your paid advertising efforts? You know, what is your ROI been? How’s your membership grown? Talk to us a little bit about that.

Sherman :                                24:54                       So membership has grown. I don’t have exact numbers in front of me. I guess I should, but I do keep up with, you know, my ROI and that type of thing. Right. They are now, you know, I’ll just use last year, I’ll use what was August, September, October, November, right? So September, October, November, I was spending about $800 a month on Facebook ads. And in those three months we gained on average say 12 people. And that was, you know, that was on average about $11,000 in front end revenue. Right? So I was spending seven, I was spending 750 and then that was turning around and about $11,000 in front end revenue.

Sherman :                                25:35                       Because again, everyone that comes in, they’re not doing, you know, like we would require some personal training before we allowed them in our group. So some people it will come in and do a little personal training. They didn’t go to group. Some people that would come in and be like, Hey, I only want to do personal training. So you know, for us, everything sort of starts with personal training anyway. So that’s how we get our numbers. Our numbers are so high. So for me, um, you know, this year we bumped our ad spend up to about $1,200 a month. You know, so, and we’re seeing, you know, the, the benefits of that. And I think one of the, one of the main things I’ve learned is to, this is sort of a, trying to think of the right term is sort of a hit and miss game, right?

Sherman :                                26:13                       It’s not going just because you spend x amount of money per month, it doesn’t guarantee that it’s going to work. Right? You have to play with your ad, you have to get your, your copy right, you have to find the right picture. And sometimes one picture may work and it may be crushing it. Then all of a sudden, two weeks later, it may not be doing as well. Right? So that’s what you, you’re constantly sorta of with it, making it better. But I’ve seen a huge ROI on my, on my, uh, on my investment with, TwoBrain marketing and so I couldn’t be happier.

Mateo:                                      26:43                       And what do you attribute your success to? Like what’s been the key, I know you mentioned a little bit about staying vigilant and, and, and looking at your metrics on a regular basis, but what else is it just that you’ve been able to utilize the prescriptive model when you bring people in and give them the solution then those high ticket items or what do you think has been the key to your success?

Sherman :                                27:03                       So I think one of the, you know, one of the major cue cards or test has been, yes we’ve been able to get people in, but we really take the sales piece seriously, right? Like all of my coaches, no, I personally train them on the sales piece because the market, it may work, but if people are coming in and you can’t sell them and you know, some people don’t like the word sell, but everyone’s selling something and the people that don’t know, you know they’re in trouble. Right? Because you better believe that there’s other franchise type gyms out there that are absolutely selling. They’re trying to sign these people up. So, as are we, and I think one of our, one of our biggest pieces have been my coaches and myself. We really take the sales piece seriously. We read, we get together, we role play. We’re constantly trying to get better at that sales piece. Well, I think there were going to have to do a whole other call just for that man for sales training.

Mateo:                                      27:54                       I love it. All right, Sherman. Well that’s all I got. Thanks so much for coming on here. And, uh, where can people find you if they want to talk to you more on social media?

Sherman :                                28:03                       They can simply email meSherman@twobrainbusiness.com.

Mateo:                                      28:10                       Awesome, man. Thank you.


This is our NEW podcast, Two-Brain Marketing, where we’ll focus on sales and digital marketing. Your host is Mateo Lopez!

Greg Strauch will be back on Thursday with the Two-Brain Radio Podcast.

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TwoBrain Summit 2019: The Lineup

TwoBrain Summit 2019: The Lineup

I used to think that seminars were the best way to teach.

Now I don’t. I know that mentorship creates action, and seminars create overwhelm.

For that reason, we only do one big seminar weekend every year: The TwoBrain Summit. This isn’t a lecture series; every hour is an interactive, hands-on workshop where participants get stuff done.

I promise: you’ve never been to a weekend “seminar” like this before!

I founded TwoBrain to help gym owners thrive, and also to help coaches make a career helping others. At the TwoBrain Summit, we have two separate speaker paths for that reason.

Over two days (June 8 and 9, 2019) owners and coaches will learn–and act!–to make better careers and better businesses for their clients, their families and themselves. Here are the topics and speakers on the agenda this year:

Owner’s Side

The Client Success Manager: The Most Important Role In Your Business – Stories and Processes, with Brian Strump and Jeff Burlingame

How To Change Your Life – Jay Williams

Organizational Culture – How to Retain Your BEST Employees, with Eden Watson and Greg Strauch

The Business Owner’s Lifecycle: Breaks, Vacation, Marriage and More, with Sherman Merricks

Motivation and Leadership, with Anastasia Bennett

Converting More Clients: Why You Need To Call Them NOW!, with John Franklin and Mateo Lopez

The “Golden Goose”: Leaving a Farmer Behind When You Reach Tinker Phase, with Jeff Burlingame

How To Start a Business Owners’ Group In Your Community, with Tammy Friedt

Making Decisions: The 3-Question Process for Deciding What to Do, and When to Do It, with Josh Price

How To Tell Compelling Stories About The Three Most Important Client Avatars, with Josh Martin

The Apple Story, FFTT, Where Relationships Should Be Focused, and How, with Josh Martin


Coaches’ Side

How To Make a Career In Fitness, with Brian Alexander

How To Run A Successful Kids’ Program, with Gretchen Bredemeier

How To Sell More Personal Training, with Jeff Burlingame

The Future of the Microgym, with Chris Cooper

1 Year On Seminar Staff: What I Learned, with Oskar Johed

Live Coaching, with Jay Rhodes and Oskar Johed

How To Make $100 Per Hour, with Kaleda Connell

Mobility Vs Stability, with Josh Martin

Two-Brain Coaching, with Josh Martin

Un-Slimy Sales, with Sherman Merricks

Coaching Nutrition, with Lindsay MacDonald


Tinker Group (Thursday and Friday):

Rolling Stone Retirement, with Norm Jaehrling

The Multiple-Location Model: Are You Ready? Should You Do It? With Jeff Larsh


Goodies? Yep. They’ll be there. Awards? Definitely. Shirts? Of course.


All of your favorite members of the TwoBrain Family? YES. Come and meet them in person, work together, and forge bonds with the “tip of the spear!” You are the average of the 5 people you spend your time with: upgrade those top five!


This year, our location is the Crowne Plaza Chicago O’Hare (1-847-671-6350). Mention that you’re booking in the TwoBrainBusiness block!


Ready to get your tickets? Click here.


Episode 159: Buying Cash Flow Assets, with Joe Flanigan

Episode 159: Buying Cash Flow Assets, with Joe Flanigan

Joe Flanigan joins us to talk about buying real estate to grow your wealth. We specifically focus on buying multifamily apartment buildings and the risks and rewards of investing in real estate. Join us in this exciting episode! 

Joe Flanigan is from Houston, Texas where he owns District H CrossFit. Joe started CrossFit in 2005 and spent five years studying the methodology behind the fitness program before he got into coaching. As a coach, he specializes in weightlifting and helping others achieve their fitness goals. In addition to owning a gym and his passion for fitness, Joe loves real estate and has been involved in the real estate market for many years now.  

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

2019 Two Brain Summit in Chicago! Register here!


Joe Flanigan:                         00:02                       Welcome everyone to TwoBrain radio. It is our mission at TwoBrain to provide 1 million entrepreneurs the freedom to live the life that they choose. Join us every week as we discover the very best practices to achieve perfect day and move you closer to wealth.

Joe Flanigan:                         00:26                       This episode is sponsored by Anvil Coffee, creators of the CEO brand coffee from two brain. If you’ve ever been to a two brain seminar, a summit, you’ve heard me do a little segment called what is the value of a cup of coffee. And I shared four key points in my life where I’ve shared a cup of coffee with somebody, really influential and it made a big deal. So in one circumstance, you know the coffee was worth a dollar 70 but it got me through this mountain pass in the dead of night in Utah. While I was working on a story about polygamous and there are three other even larger examples where coffee has been worth, you know, up to $100,000 with somebody. What does a Great Cup of coffee worth? Well, it can be almost priceless. And if you’ve met me, you know that I’m always either holding a cup of coffee, drinking a cup of coffee, or maybe even talking about a cup of coffee if I’m not doing one of those three things, I need one now.

Joe Flanigan:                         01:14                       When I approached Brian, I approached him from the help first mentality. Hey Man, I want to talk about your coffee on my show. It’s fantastic, and he turned right around and out, help first and me. He said, yeah man, we are going to help. Every time somebody in the two brand family order some coffee from anvil, we are going to make a little donation to the Special Olympics, which is a charity that is very near and dear to my heart. I can’t say enough about these guys. The coffee’s amazing brain and amazing person. He’s a valuable part of the two brain family and he’s going to make a contribution to special Olympics. Thank you Brian. I love your brother. I love your coffee. If you’re listening to this, give anvil coffee a shot, you will not be disappointed except for this one little disappointing thing. You can’t buy CEO coffee. The only way to get CEO coffee and the coveted two brain’s CEO Mug is to sign up for the incubator details for that are on our website too.

Greg:                                          02:07                       On this episode of TwoBrain radio. We talk to Joe Flanigan. This episode’s a little different because we talk about buying assets. Normally you hear us talking about gym ownership or something along the lines of that, but we kind of want to reach out a little bit more and show you guys that there’s other things besides the gym ownership that we talk about. And in this episode we kind of dig into that. Now Joe is a crossfit box owner, but we talk about, hey, when we get to a point where we have enough money and we want to do something with it, what are those other options that are out there? And we kind of dig into buying assets. Now we don’t dive into buying a building, but this is just like as if you were trying to buy a building. This dives into buying a multifamily apartment complex that Joe is currently in the process of doing. And we get into the different things that you need to do, including due diligence, making sure you know the numbers and analyze the numbers correctly and just kind of get a better understanding of, uh, the risks and the rewards with buying assets and allowing you to figure out what is the best case for you. Enjoy.

Greg:                                          03:12                       All right, I’m here with Joe . Joe, welcome to TwoBrain radio.

Joe Flanigan:                         03:16                       Thank you. Thanks for having me.

Greg:                                          03:18                       So I know a little bit of background about you, Joe. I know you own district h crossfit in Houston and you also have kind of dabble in a little, a few other things to kind of build up your, you and your families. W I wouldn’t say legacy, but more of your, your assets. So if you want to give us a little bit of background to anyone that’s listening about the business that you own, including the gym and then kind of what started you out looking into other assets.

Joe Flanigan:                         03:44                       Sure, sure. Uh, well first of all, I am, I am a part owner in district h crossfit and here in Houston and part owner being, you know, managing the, the staff and help manage the day to day operations, financials, all that stuff. And it frees me up and gives me a little bit more time to do my other passions and loves, which is really real estate. I came up and uh, the real estate industry straight out of school, straight out of college doing customers start a service for a builder here in Houston. And from there I was able to kind of parlay the experience from customer service and move it into building, then move it into project management and then into operations, which then helped me to have enough competence to actually open up a gym because that was something that all the way through college I did personal training and uh, I loved the physical and training side of helping people and I wanted to be able to continue to do that. You use the word legacy, and I really continue to do that as a long term gift of skills and talents that I had to be able to give to others. So, so I have, you know, two things that I love doing and real estate was something that was, was always on my mind as a vehicle for wealth in the future. And by that I mean, you know, being able to invest in something that is going to appreciate and time is going to give me tax difference or tax depreciation, you know, just, just or, and then also obviously the cash on cash return on a monthly basis is also helpful. It’s nice to be able to have that passive income on a, on a monthly basis, on a regular basis to be able to offset anything else income wise that I may be. I have a growing family, my wife and I, I have three kids, three kids. As of last week we had a third kid. So it is nice to be able to have the additional income to be able to put toward school homes, education, whatever it is that we have to do. In the future and still be able to create and build an essay for our future and for the legacy of our family.

Greg:                                          06:01                       First off, of course, congratulations. Got to say that with the newborn now you, you started down this path a of real estate in the past and I mean, you know that, that as you said, the real estate game is very, it’s very nice to have something that appreciates usually, I mean, of course we all know that markets do crash, but for the majority of the time that they always do appreciate. So you kind of started getting down, going down that road along with having being a co-owner in a gym. What kind of led you down the path to kind of what we’re going to get into a little bit more today of starting with compared to like maybe buying homes and renting them out, but more of like apartment complexes and the different types?

Joe Flanigan:                         06:41                       Sure. The way I started in, in, uh, investing was investing in single family homes. And the reason why we started in single families because I was comfortable there. I knew all of that went into a home just from building them for about 15 years. Being in the industry, I knew that that was it. Kind of a safer bet for us. Uh, we’re pretty conservative when it comes to our, our money. You know, the money that you make. You obviously don’t just want to give away. You don’t want to just want to hand out to somebody and hope that it’s going to appreciate in the future or grow. Uh, so, you know, we were, we were a little skeptical at first, but we bought our first rental home, made all the mistakes possible that I could make, but still turned out a monthly cash on cash return as well as a profit whenever we ended up disposing or selling the property.

Joe Flanigan:                         07:37                       So that essentially got us hooked and it made us want to do more. I missed one, two, uh, know how to do more. Um, so it got us involved in a group called Lifestyles Unlimited It’s actually been talked about before by one of the mentors. Actually Jeff Smith is involved here in Houston as well, but it got us involved there. And the education along with the experience doing it ourselves, a really, it just kind of push the needle even further. It made us want to invest fully in, in this as a long term approach. Once we got through with a few single family homes and disposing the as single family homes at to build up enough capital we have since moved to more of the multifamily approach. And multifamily approach is very similar to that, that have single family, but it requires obviously more capital. It requires more of a network when it comes to real estate brokers and agents that are out there pounding the pavement, trying to find these deals along with you, trying to find the deals and then a whole other slew of people, just a team, uh, that you have to build up, um, with attorneys and with mortgage and commercial brokers and mentors and all of that stuff to be able to move into this, this multifamily realm, uh, which is, which is what we’ve pushed to now.

Greg:                                          09:05                       So the process is, is definitely not a short road whatsoever. So, uh, if somebody, if somebody had enough, uh, cash assets, so we’ll say liquid cash and they decided, hey, real estate is definitely the way I think I want to go long term and they’re listening to this podcast. What do you feel like is the first step that they need to do?

Joe Flanigan:                         09:27                       I mean, I would say first step is figuring out what your comfort level, you know, again, handing out your money or giving your money to somebody or something in hopes that it’s going to uh, appreciate. Obviously hope, hope is not a strategy. You got to have some sort of a game plan to get it there. So I would say no. Your comfort level first then decide whether or not you want to go to the single family route or the multifamily route with the multifamily. I mean there are plenty of programs out there, people out there that are already doing this type of thing. I would get educated first though. It’s far more important to understand the inner workings of, uh, multifamily real estate then than it is really to go on, on the single family route. I think the single family route is a little bit easier to grasp.

Joe Flanigan:                         10:23                       It’s really one project is one dwelling is one home. You know, it’s, it’s not much more in depth learning as opposed to finding the brokers to find the home, to know how to plan your Rehab and know where to purchase. We know what your purchase price is, know what your sales price is and know how much you’re able to rehab the home in order to still make a profit whenever you’re refinancing or you’re selling the property. There are so many levels to it all. I mean, I apologize for, you know, possibly rambling at this point, but there really is so many levels when it comes to each avenue of, of investing in single family or investing in multifamily. But yeah, that choice has to be made first, obviously. Uh, and then educating yourself on which ever having you choose either single family.

Greg:                                          11:18                       Okay. So if, if somebody has, has the money or has the ability to purchase an asset, whether that’s a single family home, multifamily homes, I mean a building, like you said, the best bet is to, is to really decide what your, your risk level is. Right? Like what?

Joe Flanigan:                         11:34                       Willing to risk more risk, less and, and really then due diligence it sounds like. So,

Joe Flanigan:                         11:39                       mmm.

Greg:                                          11:40                       Really educating yourself on the ability to, uh, which avenue you’re going to go down, be able to actually say, okay,

Joe Flanigan:                         11:47                       this is, this is the steps. Yeah, definitely. Yeah. I think that education piece is very, very important because if you don’t understand the investment you’re getting in, you’re essentially just, again, throwing something, throwing money at something and wishing that it’s going to increase. I think that happens a lot with the stock market to, people don’t understand it yet. They’re willing to put money in a four o one k or an Ira because that’s what we’re told to do. I think the education piece is far more important than just do, just do, just do, don’t worry. It’ll be, you know, you’ll be able to, to cash out when you’re 65 or cash out later in life educated, educating yourself and then really trusting your education and the ability to do it yourself is, is another thing. Uh, and I’m not saying do the, you know, the whole Rehab Yourself, um, you know, get your hammer in your tool belt out and you do it all yourself.

Joe Flanigan:                         12:47                       Uh, I am just saying, you know, know who to call, know who to talk to, know your dollars and cents because you know, if you do not all of that stuff and you know who to contact, yeah. Actually becomes a pretty easy investment to get in it at least an investment vehicle to get in. I think far easier than the market is. And I only say that because I’ve done day trading and I’ve done some of the training piece too. And it’s not easy. I mean it does take a lot of education as well, but yeah, that’s that. I hope I answered the question.

Greg:                                          13:23                       No, no, no, that’s perfect. I just want people to be aware of that. Especially because, like you said, every scenario is different. I mean, you’ve got to know your comfort level and then being willing to, how much are you willing to invest? How much are you willing to put on the line for, for what you’re going towards or what you’re trying to achieve. So I definitely, I definitely think that that answers the question. Now let’s, let’s go a little bit more specific with you. You went into the multifamily homes now, what does that process actually look like? So I mean, from the point of view, trying to find where you’re at to kind of where you are and I know you’re still finishing up the process now, um, but kind of giving an overview each step of the way of, of what you’ve had to do.

Joe Flanigan:                         14:02                       Sure, sure. Absolutely. Uh, at the risk of boring folks that, uh, with terminology and verbiage and all that stuff. Absolutely. I will definitely tell because I feel it’s fascinating. I think it is something that, you know, being in real estate and in the industry or so long, I’ve been in it for about 18 years now. All facets and all sides of the industry. Then moving into a multifamily, I mean it’s like this is brand new. It’s completely different. And, but it, it’s exciting to me, you know, cause I, I love that challenge of learning something new and really trying to master it. And if I can forecast the future and see where this longterm road ends and the goal, you know, my longterm goal, I mean I just see it’s being, being so fruitful to learn this as well as I’m learning. So, um, so at the risk of boring, yes, I will talk about this, uh, beginning to end.

Joe Flanigan:                         15:08                       So the way I got started was obviously pulling together for personal financial statement. I’m really kind of going out there and meeting brokers, telling them what my net worth was in order to kind of figure out how much I could afford when it came to a multifamily project. Um, and then from there I’m honing my search to, you know, talking to these agents, talking to multiple agents, building relationships, something that everybody who’s listening to this podcast probably does very, very well. If they want a box. It’s that personal connection that is going to get you the deal. It’s that personal relationship that is going to help you find that diamond in the rough, that you are then able to pursue or at least do due diligence on at least doing some further analysis. So yeah, that’s what I think it takes anyway. The search starts, right and the searches with an agent and you’re looking at a number of different properties in small pockets of town or all around Houston, all around the nation, whatever it is that you choose, your search parameter is.

Joe Flanigan:                         16:16                       Um, and then obviously based upon your net worth from there, once you find a property, you, you’re going to handle eyes. It, you dig into the numbers. You, I use a spreadsheet that I actually got from the group that I am in lifestyles unlimited. Um, and I’ve tweaked it just a little bit in order to satisfy some of my add needs and, uh, and, and definitely something that I, I, I need to see on paper that otherwise they didn’t have. So, uh, after the analysis, then I move into the LOI stage, which is a letter of intent. Draw up a letter and you send it to the owner or you sent the owner’s agent saying how much you would have purchased the property for or how much you’d be willing to purchase the property for. And uh, once they accept you go into a period of 60 to 75 days and in that 60 to 75 days, you do a number of things.

Joe Flanigan:                         17:12                       Um, you signed a purchase sale agreement, you create a PPM, which is a private placement memorandum for all of your investors or all of your potential investors to view the deal, understand the deal and decide whether or not they want to fund it. And you go into feasibility, uh, which is period where you’re able to get on site and really do the hands on due diligence. You get to see, you know, all of the units, get to look at the roof, the foundation, everything, all the bones. And then from there, get a term sheet from your lender, get the loan commitment right to foreclose, finalize all these legal and that both your FCC attorney and your real estate attorney create. Go into the settlement statement and then take it over. And from that point on, I’ll have to, you’ll have to call me again for another podcast and I’ll tell you that after the takeover is complete, I’ll be able to give you a little bit more information after that.

Greg:                                          18:09                       It sounds like basically, um, you said you basically got to figure out your network worth first to be able to kind of network and, and build those relationships kind of now you’ve got to know what you’re worth. Now if people are out there and they’re wondering how do I determine that, what would it be? What’s the best,

Joe Flanigan:                         18:26                       best way to determine that? Is doing a personal financial statement. You can pull a personal financial statement, uh, or at least a spreadsheet online. Or you can go to your bank and you can say, Hey, this is what I’m thinking about doing. I’m thinking about getting into purchasing a building for my gym, purchasing a strip center or commercial use or I’m thinking about buying a multifamily property. What they’re going to say is, okay, we need to see a personal financial statement and they’ll give you a template of probably give you a spreadsheet for you to fill out on that personal financial statement. And it essentially is at the risk of sounding crude, a personal financial enema. I mean it goes through everything that you own that you know that, that the income that you make, the liabilities that you have just every, and then at the end of it you’re able to find out what your actual from from there, I mean you actually, once you do own a property, you actually do have to have a certain number of a dollar amount of liquidity as well.

Joe Flanigan:                         19:25                       But that comes a little bit later. Initially you just need to know what your net worth is because you, you are essentially a lender will loan up to your net worth on a property. And that was just kind of a quick hack that I, I learned halfway through this process is, you know, I was reaching for a little bit larger piece of Pie that I couldn’t necessarily go for without a key principle or without a guarantor on the loan. And then finally one of the lenders was like, you know, it’s because you’re reaching beyond your network and, and uh, that’s what you need to kind of stay within those parameters.

Greg:                                          20:01                       So if somebody was, I mean, and we can put this into context, I mean for, for everyone else or, or easier, easier context. I mean if somebody is buying their own building, I mean, you’re going to be kind of following the same steps are, or if they’re going to build a building, they’d have to find the property and stuff like that. So that’s the steps. These steps are very similar. They’re not all the same, but they’re definitely, definitely similar.

Joe Flanigan:                         20:23                       I would, I would say yes for sure.

Greg:                                          20:26                       Now that you, somebody knows their net worth, they’ve built up relationships with different brokers then they searched for, are they better yet they find an agent. And then start working. They’re way out of of their search of what, what they’re going to be looking for. Is it,

Joe Flanigan:                         20:40                       go ahead. Sorry. Go. Well, so the search itself, I have found it is one of the most challenging at least for the first deal once you have a name established in the industry. And really that the shocking thing about this is there are really only five major brokerage houses with that throughout the nation that deal in multifamily purchases and acquisitions and dispositions. So really getting in with each of those brokerage houses, establishing a name that you’re somebody who can purchase clothes, turnaround a deal or operated deal very well, um, that you’re able to close with funding. You have, uh, a group of investors that want to invest with you as a person. Um, then it’s a lot easier to get the deal, but it’s establishing that first, establishing the first contact with all of the agents and then also, um, establishing your name, um, in your reputation after that first deal.

Greg:                                          21:43                       So it’s more of we got to, it’s kind of like, what would you say, like by buying a car for the first time or something like that, uh, you got to have that credit. You have to do, you have to show that you’re worthy of it and kind of get your foot through the door. And sometimes some people just bite the bullet and get that super high interest rate on that first first vehicle just to get that credit established if necessary. But it sounds like that’s what you kinda got to do. You have to, you have to get that deeper steel done. And then it seems like deals after that become easier and easier because you’ve, you’ve

Joe Flanigan:                         22:10                       creative reputation then, or at least find the first deal. Yeah. The analogy is good until you’re a, until you get to the, you know, accepting the higher interest rate or a higher dollar higher expense to get into the old. Because a lot of these deals are so thin that you can’t, you can’t accept a higher interest rate. You can’t put any more of your own personal dollars in because it won’t yield a return. So it, it’s really dependent on, you know, it’s, it’s all about the market, right? It’s does somebody need to sell and is there a buyer? And a lot of these are either there owners that have owned the property for a very long time that no longer live in state, that are having a third party property management company running the deal and they’re just pulling a, a piece of the pie off every month.

Joe Flanigan:                         23:04                       And so if you can come in with a number that is enticing enough for them too, essentially get rid of the, their monthly cashflow, but they receive a huge nut in order to do that, then you know, you’ve found yourself a seller. And so I’ve, I have found a couple of different ways or I’ve, I’ve kind of created a couple of different ways in order to do that, that I’m sure other people have done as well. But it was one of those things where as a trial and error thing, I was just really searching for a deal. And so I age cat pulled up, uh, um, some of the properties that are really liked in the area that I liked and found that some of these honors lived out in, out of state. And I started calling him and I have my agents start to call them and tell them that we were willing to purchase their property for x amount of dollars. And I’m at that point it created a conversation and half of the conversation was created. Then we really dug into the numbers. So some of them didn’t work. But the one that we are on right now, that is exactly how we got it.

Greg:                                          24:08                       Wow. So basically, uh, figuring out what, what properties are available and then like you said, trying to figure out, usually the ones that kind of have moved away maybe, um, or out of state, uh, have a little bit better yield of, of a possibility than ones that are still active in theirs because they’re probably still trying to grow it. And the other ones are more of, hey, I’ve kind of moved on and started other things and yeah, they still own it, but yeah. Okay.

Joe Flanigan:                         24:34                       Okay.

Greg:                                          24:34                       So now that you’ve, I mean, you found the property, what’s, what’s the next step that, that you had to take? I know, I know we kind of talked about it of the analyzing the numbers, but what numbers specifically are we, are we looking at like what are the things that we need to make sure to do?

Joe Flanigan:                         24:50                       So it’s pretty in depth because, and there’s a couple of different layers. So there is a quick form that I use initially whenever I go in on a deal and essentially I’m looking at there, um, rent, whether I pull their rent roll or ask them to give me the rent roll. And then I asked for 80 12 financials. Enjoy the time. They don’t have financials. They have like a t three that boosts up their revenue, their income. And so it’s showing you, uh, uh, much better light than a t 12 would. So anyway, you take those initial numbers, you put those in, you know, I have a spreadsheet that essentially shows me what the gross rental income is, what the offer an asking price is, and then I kind of pencil in what my closing costs would be, what my operating capital for the first few months would end up being.

Joe Flanigan:                         25:43                       Put that in there as well. And then any rehab that’s going into the loan, I you, you also have to put in down payment, um, you know, in loan amount, interest rate terms in years, which you get that from your mortgage broker. Um, all of that is, you know, you’ve built this team of people already. You just ask them, they give you those numbers for what the going rate is or what the current rate is. Um, and then I plugged that into my equation and then kind of figure out what my yield will end up being after expenses are putting. So I use a very generic, um, dollar amount for expenses per unit, uh, at first. And then whenever I started digging into that, uh, t 12 or he sex or T3 financials than I actually know what their actual expenses are. Um, and then, you know, it’s an easy equation which every gym owner has done before.

Joe Flanigan:                         26:39                       It’s that, uh, net income Maya stolen expenses equals their net operating income. Um, and then you kind of add in whatever your potential debt service would be and you figure out what your cashflow, your annual cashflow is going to be. It’s essentially exactly what Greg and I had just gone through with that last year’s financials. So, yeah, if they’re with the brain, they, you know, any gym owner actually knows exactly what we’re talking about here. It’s, you’re just really trying to forecast what they are currently doing and then you look at the market rate for rents and see what you could be doing, perform it out. You performed that out and see what your return would be on a cash, on cash basis, annualized basis, put in whatever my compensation, uh, would be as a lead investor in what my net to the passage would be. And then that’s essentially what a uh, it’s a go or no go. And then from there you’ll get more information after an LOI is, is given a letter of intent has given and then you’ll get even more information from the seller if you do have a, a purchase sale agreement

Greg:                                          27:47                       signed. That’s a, that’s a lot of different things. We’re very quickly, but I like it. Yeah. Sorry. It’s funny.

Joe Flanigan:                         27:53                       Okay.

Greg:                                          27:53                       No it’s perfect because you, you brought up a really good fact that if, if people are working with to bring, we definitely go through those things and you know,

Joe Flanigan:                         28:02                       business is business and you know, it all does revolve around financials. Obviously there are certain things that we can do in order to better our business, which is creating those personal interactions and high touch and great experience for people. The whole reason, and I’ll actually call you into what my business is called, but my business is called worthwhile capitol. And the reason why I called it a worthwhile capital is because I wanted it to be more than just, you know, dollars and cents and you making a, you know, a ton of money. I wanted to make it more of that legacy type of business to where I felt good about taking a product that was a c class property, a run down property that has just been, has seen better days, you know, long ago and renovate it and make it better. Not just for dollars and cents, the end product, but are the people who were living there.

Joe Flanigan:                         29:01                       You know, people in a c class property, everybody knows what an a class property, right? The brand new luxury apartment complex that is, you know, everybody wants to live in but nobody can afford it. You know, they, if that’s, that’s the property that, you know, most people think of when they think of very nice apartment living. But the truth of it is there are so many people in these working, this working class that can’t afford much more then that, you know, but there is a big disparity in price point from Class A to class B or c and if we can invest in classy properties, reposition them to make them more of a B minus or B of course bringing up income because you know, people are willing to spend a little bit more money in that price point to have a better feel whenever they’re, they’re going home, you know, a better feeling of safety and security and possibly community if it’s a small community or a large community. So that’s the intent. And that was the hope whenever we, we started this venture, my wife and I and, and hopefully we’re able to continue that.

Greg:                                          30:07                       That’s amazing. And it’s something that I think a lot of people, again, we would want to hear is, is, is the process and, and kind of what it takes. So that’s why I wanted to bring you on here. There’s one thing that you mentioned and and well of course many things that you mentioned, but the one that I want to, I want to point out you mentioned investors and getting investors in that it’s that 60 75 days out going through everything and then eventually getting, yeah, talking to the investors, but how do you actually, how did you actually go about finding investors or getting, finding the right fit of investors so that they could help make this up?

Joe Flanigan:                         30:43                       That’s a great question. The, I felt I had a pretty good network and my wife has a pretty good network. She has her own business and has, I’ll probably a little larger network and I view that we could have tapped into to fund these deals potentially, but our concern was not everybody knowing the same information going into the deal. So knowing what questions to ask and knowing how much you know that the potential risk that their money could, we might not be able to return, hey or have her return for a few years or ever. That’s the reason why we went with one of these investment groups and lifestyles unloaded in particular because it’s all like minded people. Everybody has the same education growing yet everybody understands the risks and the reward when it comes to investing in multifamily or single family investments. And so I felt a lot more comfortable being able to reach out to that group, that Group of passive investors and investors on my distribution list from by unlimited Alyssa that I’ve created.

Joe Flanigan:                         31:50                       But still it’s of members of lifestyles unlimited. And you know, it just brings more like I, I just, I know in the future there’s still maybe people who are like, if stuff goes wrong or the economy tanks and, and we’re not able to get the returns that we project in, in our PPM, a private placement memorandum to them, they’ll at least know that they have the education saying that, hey, you know what, there, there is a risk, there’s a risk in everything, any investment, any investment vehicle for business that you create. And so that’s why we went through that channel.

Greg:                                          32:26                       Gotcha. And with that, I like that you definitely hit on, I mean, understanding risk and reward, right? Yeah. Like there’s, there’s so many things out there. When people open up a gym, they have to understand that or open up any business. There’s risks to it, but there’s also definitely rewards to it. So it’s Kinda, it’s Kinda cool that you were able to find those investors that are very likeminded, that are a part of a group that you’re part of, that can kind of help facilitate your dreams of what you’re trying to do. Now I guess my next question would be when it comes to having these investors buy in, because you kind of talked about you being lead investor and I mean this is like if you went into a partnership into buying a business, I mean, I mean, investors are definitely different than, than partners. How does that distribution of profit to everyone else? Is there a certain amount? If they invest a certain percentage in, they get a lot more out of it then?

Joe Flanigan:                         33:20                       So there’s a whole white paper that’s created through white through lifestyles that actually does protect the passive investor. Um, the lead investor is, has a very strong fiduciary responsibility to his investors, right? To the people that are relying on him, uh, or really investing in him in order to make a return. So there is how to create an operating agreement. I have to create stipulations on voting rights every month. They’re receiving financial state financial statements, a, uh, a balance sheet and income statement, rent roll, just a proper look at the property on a monthly basis. And then a quarterly basis, they’re getting a little bit more of financial reporting. And then annual basis, of course they’re getting financials. So there’s a whole, yeah, it’s all listed in, in my operating agreement what they’re, they’re getting now when it comes to compensation, a lead investor through lifestyles can only take compensation one way and a first time lead investor gets paid 5%.

Joe Flanigan:                         34:28                       And then I hope I’m not really giving too much information about lifestyles because it is a, it is a company that it’s like a paid for membership. Right. And so, you know, I don’t want to divulge too much I guess of that information but, but yeah, so there is a compensation plan and in the PPM and which private placement memorandum essentially lays out, gives you the whole entire investment summary and how people are, what the voting rights are and what the percentage of ownership is. And all of that is laid out in this. And what I did and what most will do is work with an SCC attorney in order to come up with this private placement memorandum. The reason why I would use, uh, a private placement memorandum is it is a requirement. It’s a necessity when, so it’s, it’s a, it’s an SCC regulated the event, right?

Joe Flanigan:                         35:27                       Because we have investors that are coming in to essentially create a fund and invest in a property. So the SEC regulate that even if you have one sophisticated investor, you’re legally required to have a ppm. Now if everybody was an increase in a credited investor, which accredited has three criteria, you know if you have over a million dollar net worth did you make over I believe 300 or two 50 as an individual and as a married couple, 300 and it’s 200 and 300 then you’re considered an accredited investor and if you have all accredited investors in a deal, then the sec regulates or does not require that you have a ppm, but it is just a great vehicle to be able to give to investors and say, Hey, here’s my deal. It has everything from an operating agreement to your investment summary to a, what we call a BPO, which is essentially the opinion of my opinion of my analysis of the deal in number form. It just has everything for them in order to view in one package and tell you whether or not they want to invest in them. From there, they fill out a subscription agreement and send it in and saying they want to invest in. Then from there I give them wiring instructions or a way to fund the deal

Greg:                                          36:51                       and does funding the deal basically. Then just their, their funds would go into, into the loan are basically are kind of like, uh, minimize the loan of whatever you’re going to need to write.

Joe Flanigan:                         37:02                       Yes. It goes into the ownership of the, of the property.

Greg:                                          37:06                       So

Joe Flanigan:                         37:07                       it may include the rehab that we were not able to get into the loan or it just may, may just be the down payment and operating capital for the first few months. Just depending on how the deal is structured and what you’re able to get into the loan when it comes to dollars. Otherwise the, yeah, the loan proceeds. Yeah, it goes to closing costs. It goes to a operating capital. It goes to essentially equity ownership in the company. Gotcha.

Greg:                                          37:37                       With this, I mean this is, this is definitely a long process, right? It’s not, it’s not something that’s short that people are giving me able to do over a weekend. I mean, unless they are very, very talented, but even then, I don’t think there’s enough time no matter what. But what is the overall time line look like if somebody is buying piece of property, whether it’s, I mean in multifamily, probably be a rental property like this. That’s multifamily or single family. I mean that’s a house, um, or even like they’re building for their business. What,

Joe Flanigan:                         38:03                       what does that timeline usually? So I’ll speak to multi family first just because that’s fresh on my mind. I know exactly how long it took me to do the whole process in getting to a deal. But so roughly first three stages of search, analyze, Loi. A letter of intent generally takes most people anywhere around, I’d say six months to 18 months. Just depending on how you’re able to network and build relationships with folks. Really get your name out there and hit the ground if you’re hitting the ground running and trying to find the property yourself, you know, I would say that timeframe is pretty good. I ended up writing, to be honest, I would say, oh well it was 1111 LOI is before I got one deal. So it took it, it took a lot of hitting the pavement and just, is this a good deal?

Joe Flanigan:                         38:57                       I’m gonna write a letter of intent. Oh, it’s not a great deal. You know, and trying to just go through the process and you learning it and learning it as you go. And I think that was, it gets a little bit stressful and a little disheartening. Oh, at times just because you’re like, man, I want this to happen. I want it to be yesterday that I have a property. But you know, you just keep doing it. You just keep doing it until, you know, you see blue from it. And I mean, I knew, I knew I would see fruit from it. I just knew it. I’ve seen so many people that have gone through the process and it took them two years or a year to find their first deal. And once they got their first deal there, you know, they’re moving to three, four deals, you know, in the next few years.

Joe Flanigan:                         39:38                       So, um, I’m very hopeful on that now. Everything on the backend when it comes to, you know, purchase sale agreement, Uvm, the feasibility side, lone sides takeover, that’s anywhere between 60 and 75 days. Just depends on what you’re able to put into your contract, your purchase sale agreement. Some sellers will say I want it as fast as possible and you know your money is going to go hard right away. Whereas, and they want the 60 day process, whereas others are like, okay, we understand that you need more time. 75 days is fine. So, but it’s generally 1675 days from there.

Greg:                                          40:15                       Okay. So there’s definitely, depending on the dealer or better yet what, how much things that go into it, it’s really going to determine how long it’s going to take the, the complications of having, having a much bigger property and then if it’s costing more and then all the other paperwork with the due diligence, that’s,

Joe Flanigan:                         40:34                       that’s necessary. It’s just going to take a longer time. So

Greg:                                          40:37                       overall, what is, I mean, what’s the end goal for you? What is, what does that longterm, yeah,

Joe Flanigan:                         40:42                       my goal is really to to to build a sustainable business. And multifamily and hospitality type industry where my wife and I can utilize our talents and our education and background in real estate as well as she’s an interior designer. So utilizing her business in my business together to be able to grow our wealth long term for our family’s legacy or our children for their children. And yeah, I think that really motivates us to, to grow something big. And I mean, it doesn’t necessarily have to be huge, but it just something that is of worth for not only ourselves, but we’re also creating spaces for people to live. I mean, there’s not too many people that can do that. Right. And with the box, we’ve been able to touch a lot of lives and build community and help people get out of despair of, you know, just weight gain and not being active and sickness and illness and all of that.

Joe Flanigan:                         41:52                       We’ve been able to do that there. Now I want to be able to do that with another side of our life that we’ve spent a lot of time, you know, both educating ourselves and working in this space, you know, why not be able to do that there too. So, so that’s a long term goal. And, um, while we’re waiting then getting steps, and I want to make it clear that I’m, I’m not a pro at this. I don’t, you know, I haven’t done a million deals or anything like that and this is all education that I’m, I’m learning as I’m going and really anybody, I think, especially those of us, those of us who own gyms and who our business owners can do this type of thing because we understand the, the operational side, we understand the acquisition of bringing people in. It’s kind of the same thing as finding the deal, you know, and then marketing that you have the property already under under your belt is really bettering the operations and, and bettering the experience for the people who live there. Um, so they have longterm residents and you don’t have a ton of turnover. So, yeah, I think, I think this group, the two green, the two brain group really would understand and grasp this pretty well

Greg:                                          43:03                       and, and that’s, I mean my main focus for ha for having you on definitely today is, is to get it so that people understand if they have, if they built up their business and they’ve a, they’ve done a great job with it and they want to know what’s next, what, what can they do next? They have enough money in the bank and they want to do something with it. Like you said, build a legacy, do something that is meaningful for their children or their children’s children or continue on what, what are some of the things out there? Because I think too many of us will say, okay, I have, I have this cash, I got to put it in the stock market. Or like you said, I got to put it in a 401k because that’s what I’m always told to do. But there’s other avenues out there.

Greg:                                          43:41                       So I understand, like you said, you haven’t done a ton of deals, but that’s okay. It was more of getting you on and kind of explaining the process so that some people can say, okay, hey, you know what, this is, uh, this is something I definitely want to do and I want to do it longer term and I’m really interested in real estate or I really like it. So let me start down that path in. This definitely gives them the idea. So I really appreciate you, Joe, for being able to spend this time with us and jump on here and it kind of talk about your, what you’ve, the process you’ve gone through and you’re currently still gone through. I know, like you said, you’re, you’re still in the process. We’re almost done. But I want people to be able to listen in and have the understanding that they can, there are other opportunities out there if their business is very successful and, or even mildly successful, that if they have cash in the bank and they want to put it towards something that this is a avenue. It’s not the only avenue. It may not be the best avenue for some, it may be the best for some. Uh, but it’s something that they can do to grow their wealth and grow their assets. Fantastic. So again, thank you Joe. I greatly appreciate your time for being able to share that with us and share your experiences and, uh, can’t wait to hear more from you and can’t wait to hear about the baby and all the things growing up, uh, with the family and, and such. So thank you for having me on.

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Episode 158: Your Strategic Advantages, with Josh Martin

Episode 158: Your Strategic Advantages, with Josh Martin

How do we celebrate our strategic advantages? In this episode we talk with Josh Martin, a mentor on the Two Brain Team, about the three most common strategic advantages to a CrossFit Gym: Coaching, Programming, and Community. Many gyms claim to have the best coaches, the best programming, and best community but do they in reality? Learn how you can actually market these items correctly and truly bring them out as strategic advantages. 

Josh Martin is not only a Two Brain mentor but also owns his own CrossFit gym in Lithia Florida, CrossFit for Glory. Josh has always been big into fitness growing up playing baseball, basketball, and even speed skating! At the University of Florida he got his degree in Applied Physiology and Kinesiology before stumbling upon CrossFit and opening up his own gym. Josh enjoys helping other people reach their health and fitness potential and CrossFit has provided the perfect platform to do so. 


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

2019 Two Brain Summit in Chicago! Register here!





Contact Josh:







Announcer:                            00:02                       Welcome everyone to TwoBrain Radio. It is our mission at TwoBrain to provide 1 million entrepreneurs the freedom to live the life that they choose. Join us every week as we discover the very best practices to achieve perfect day and move you closer to wealth.

Chris:                                         00:26                       Debt is a tricky subject in our world. We’ve been taught by HQ to avoid debt, to accumulate cash and then when we’ve got enough money to spend it, but in the business world, the reality is that there’s good debt and there’s bad debt. Good debt creates an asset and there’s also something called opportunity cost. Meaning if you wait until you can afford something, you probably never will be able to afford it and you’ll be missing a ton of opportunity. In the meantime, let’s say for example that you were bursting at the seams and your clients couldn’t attend the 6:00 PM class anymore because there was a waiting list, so they started canceling their memberships. You’re missing an opportunity cost here. The opportunity to keep your current clients because if they’re paying for a membership and they can’t attend, they’re not going to keep that membership for long so you’re looking to expand and so you’re going to have to take on some debt or you’re going to wait until you have the $10,000 or whatever that amount is to buy the new equipment.

Chris:                                         01:23                       You can keep turning new clients away while you wait and try and accumulate this money or you can leverage the capital through guys like rig equipment requirement is a partner that we chose a two brain business because their commitment to crossfit and their commitment to helping first has been proven over several years. I got to admit, I shy away a lot from money people. It’s intimidating to work with people who understand money and finance better than I do. I’m sure you feel the same way, but these guys have shown up time and time again. They’ve offered free help. They’ve turned down business a lot of times because they aren’t sure if the person has a good working business model and to be honest, they’ve sent people to us and let us turn them down for them because they wanted to know if this person’s plan was going to work before you expand, before you start out.

Speaker 2:                               02:16                       It’s super important that you know what you’re getting into the, you have a plan to pay back the debt. They have a plan to increase cash flow that you’re going to do based on new purchase equipment has a great tool. If you go to their site rigquipment.com you can figure out if you can’t afford that expansion, should you be buying that new rig or should you be investing in something else like mentorship. These guys will even finance the Twobrain business incubator phase if you purchase it with your equipment because they understand that the incubator makes your business more viable, it’s less of a risk for them. I love working with clay and Joe from rigquipment because these guys understand what our service in life is and that matches their service too.

Chris:                                         03:00                       Hey everyone. Chris Cooper here and really thrilled to see you this year in June in Chicago at the 2019 TwoBrain summit. Every year we have two separate speaking tracks is one for you, the business owner, and there’s one for coaches that will help them make better, longer, more meaningful careers under the umbrella of your business. This year we’ve got some pretty amazing topics like the client success manager, how to change your life organizational culture or the business owner’s life cycle, how to have breaks, how to have vacations, how to help your marriage survive, owning a business motivation and leadership. How to convert more clients, how to create a GM position that runs your gym for you and leaves you free to grow your business. How to start a business owner’s group and your community and more. The point here is to do the right thing that will help gym owners create better businesses that will last them for the long term.

Chris:                                         03:52                       Get them to tinker phase, help them be more successful, create meaningful careers that their coaches and give their clients a meaningful path to longterm health. We only do one big seminar every year and that’s the two brain summit and the reason that we do that is because a big part of the benefit is getting the to bring community together and and welcoming strangers into our midst and showing them how amazing GM ownership really can be. We’ll have a link to the two brain summit including a full list of all speakers and topics on both the owners and the coaches side in the show notes. I really hope to see you there.

Greg Strauch:                        04:24                       How do we celebrate our strategic advantages? We get into this episode talking about three of the most common strategic advantages that we see. Usually they are the best coaches, the best programming or the best community. Well there it’s all three of those or maybe one or two. We definitely see that a lot. All of us have the best coaches. All of us have the best community and all of us can program better than everyone else, but if we’re all doing it seems like none of us are doing it. On this episode, I talked to Josh Martin, one of the mentors on the two brain team, and we expand on this, these top three strategic advantages that we’re always seeing and really digging into them. How can we actually market these things correctly? How can we say that we do have these as strategic advantages and not look at them from a macro standpoint of just saying the best coaches, the best community or the best programming.

Greg Strauch:                        05:12                       We break these down and we give you actual tactile cues so that you guys can build a better strategic advantage and build a better community, better programming, and better coaching. Enjoy. All right, we’re on another episode of two brain business or to brain radio better yet. I’m here with Josh Martin. How are you Josh?

Josh Martin:                          05:31                       I’m doing great. How are you this morning, Greg?

Greg Strauch:                        05:33                       I’m doing well. So I wanted to bring you on here that you made an amazing post, but I wanted, I wanted people that maybe don’t see that kind of understand where you’re coming from on this cause I think it’s something that too many of us do and that is as a, as a gym, we do look at what is our strategic advantages and it’s kind of a role playing scenario that we do through incubator. But the top three that we always hear, which I will let you talk about, is something that really comes out to be that all of us do this. So you have a unique way of, of kind of talking about how to celebrate these and kind of dig into them. So, uh, let’s kind of dig in. What are those three top three strategic advantages that we always hear gym owners say?

Josh Martin:                          06:17                       Yeah. So one of the first exercises that are new incubator clients go through is the list of strategic advantages and where we’re looking for 10 to 12 of them. But inevitably the, usually the first three that people always go to is we have best community, we have the best programming, and we have the best coaches, community programming and coaches. Those are on every list of every client’s strategic advantages that I’ve ever worked with. So my thing is, if everybody has that, then it’s a strategic advantage for exactly none of them.

Greg Strauch:                        06:54                       And I think we all do. We all say it, right? We, I have the best coaches and I have the best programming in my communities better than anywhere else. But, uh, like you said, it’s, we all have it. So none of us really have it.

Josh Martin:                          07:06                       Exactly. You know. But here’s the funny thing, while we all say that we have that, I don’t think that really any of us, if I’m being perfectly honest, Greg, do a good job or a job at all of talking about this stuff enough on social media or blog or our newsletter. And I’m sure that there are some gyms out there who do you do a good job? Maybe talking about one or two of them, but you know, if these are the most common three, then we need to do a better job of talking about them, you know? So you start with the first one community. Well, what does that even mean? First of all? You know, what does it mean to have the best community?

Greg Strauch:                        07:46                       Yeah, no, I agree. I mean for me, I would say the best community is the fact of the people within the community, right?

Josh Martin:                          07:52                       Yeah, yeah, exactly. And one of the things that we talk about as a staff at my gym is while we all want to talk about how great our community is, the reality is that prospective clients that are looking for somewhere to go, and all of the no sweat intros I have ever done, I have never had somebody come in and say, you know what? I’m really looking for some new friends. I don’t have enough friends or I need some people that are going to high five me or I need a great community. Do you have something like that? Because that’s exactly what I’m looking for.

Greg Strauch:                        08:25                       No, I don’t think, I don’t think I’ve ever gotten somebody come in that says the same thing. Agreed.

Josh Martin:                          08:30                       Yeah. So that, you know, that’s, that’s the first one. And so what I want to do really today, and this can be done so briefly is like just give a couple of, of tips or, or actionable things that people can do to actually showcase what it means when they say they’ve got the best community, the best programming, the best coaches. So for me, the thing that, that I love about our community beyond the fact that yes, they’re wonderful, outgoing, amazing, high fiving people, is that they actually make a positive impact in the surrounding community. So I want to celebrate the things that our clients are doing to positively impact the surrounding community. So one of the things that I think all crossfit gyms and why we point to community, one of the things I think all crossfit gyms can do is actually highlights the charitable contributions that they are making from outside the four walls of their gym.

Josh Martin:                          09:28                       I think most of us have finally come around to the fact that we need to be celebrating what our clients do from a results on an individual basis, you know? But when we host a toy drive that stocks the toy closet for the local children’s hospital for the next six months, to me that’s a big, big, big deal. And that’s one thing that separates our community apart from not just other gyms, but maybe other local businesses in the area. And I’m not saying that to say that we are better because we do that, but it’s just that, hey, I think that the places that I go and frequent and visit, I want to know that they are making a positive impact in the community. And in turn, that makes me want to be a part of that. So I want to be a part of something bigger than myself.

Josh Martin:                          10:20                       So I think that that’s a very, very easy way. You know, around Memorial Day, I’m sure at your gym, Greg, I know at my gym has so many other crossfit gyms around the world. We do Memorial Day Murph and we do, it’s to honor the fallen soldiers, first responders, military, all those things. And I think it’s great that we talk about the workout and talk about why it was created, but it would also be great if we could celebrate the way that we are using this platform to bring awareness to these individuals. Does that make sense? No, that makes perfect sense because I think, and it sounds like that we really need to break down these bigger, we always like to say like the, like you said, best community, but really breaking that down to a much smaller level, a micro level. And one of these ways, like you said, is, I mean, uh, celebrating what you guys do outside of the community and the giving and giving back.

Josh Martin:                          11:14                       And I think you hit on something that was really the hits home for me because I know that’s something that I always talk about is being part of something bigger than oneself. Right? I mean that’s, that’s our staff loves to do what they do because they get to be part of something bigger than just themselves. They get to help others. And I think with one of the ways you said it, I mean like the toy drive or the Murph and Memorial Day, being able to show how much the community stands by of everyone gets to come together and do something amazing for other people. That’s, I mean, that’s something that I love and I love being part of that. And that’s, I mean, that’s part of the reason that I opened a gym, right. To help people, which now my, the people that I get to help get to help others, which is huge.

Josh Martin:                          11:55                       Yeah. And you know, it, it’s, it’s taken me a while to come around to, you know, the, the revelation that, yeah, we all do have great communities, but we need to be celebrating that. If we’re saying it’s a strategic advantage, well, you know, we need to be talking about that. And I think you know, this about me and anyone that’s heard me talk before or even knows the name of my gym knows that we’re a Christian owned and operated. I mean, our gym name is crossfit for glory. And so every Sunday, you know, we’re sitting in church and this was probably last summer one time, uh, we were listening in on a message from our lead pastor and they played a video highlights of a big, big community, really worldwide outreach thing that our church does call Christmas in July. And so throughout the spring months, so basically from like the new year up until may is a time where we can bring gifts and to the church.

Josh Martin:                          12:52                       And then the church in turn takes all these gifts over to Africa in a village that, uh, the church has basically built up and created through all the tithes and offerings that people have given. You know, throughout the course of the years, this village has been, you know, put up and all this stuff, but they ended up creating this thing called Christmas in July to where we bring all these packages over and then give the gift of Christmas to this village in Africa that has never seen or experienced anything like that. And it really made me just as a participant or member of the church crowds that my church was doing something like this. And that is the type of thing that I think people that wear our shirts are proud to see. I mean, yes, if you get somebody to lose 50 pounds or if you get them off of their diabetic medication, that’s a huge win.

Josh Martin:                          13:46                       But if they can brag on their gym for the big huge outreach things that we’re all doing, um, I think that the sense of pride just goes up exponentially. And I really think that that’s at the heart of what, what all these gym owners are talking about that makes their community so awesome. It’s not the in house parties or the potlucks or the barbecues. Like that’s a given. I, I think I even read a story that like planet fitness, you know, has donuts and coffee for you, which is hysterical by the way, but they have that for you when you come in to work out in the morning. So, you know, I don’t think those are the things that really make the community awesome. I think it’s the things outside the four walls of the gym, um, that really allow people to feel like they’re a part of something much larger than themselves.

Josh Martin:                          14:34                       Let’s, let’s get into the next one. Let’s, let’s talk about either a best programming or best coaching. Let’s go to a programming next. Okay. So like we said, if we all have the best programming, then none of us have the best programming. But here’s the funny part. If you were to poll, let’s say that you have a clients at your gym and you were to ask them on the day that they first came in, number one, what is programming and what are you looking for and programming. I don’t think that any of them would have any clue whatsoever what you’re talking about with regards to programming.

Greg Strauch:                        15:10                       Agreed. Nor do I think anyone Google searches best programming in whatever city you’re your businesses in.

Josh Martin:                          15:17                       Exactly what I, what I do think that gym owners want to talk about when we finally get into the weeds with programming is that really it needs to serve two purposes. Number one, it needs to deliver results. And number two, it needs to do no harm and I think the deliver results piece is probably the easiest one is because if you take somebody who really doesn’t have much of a background at all in doing anything health and fitness related, you could probably give them anything and they’re going to see results. That’s just one of the principles of, you know, exercise science. Now the more training time that somebody has under a structured program, the, the more that you, you need to maybe manipulate things, but we’re not even going to go down that road. We’re just going to say that our programming gets results and here they are.

Josh Martin:                          16:06                       Well, if we’re sharing clients’ success stories, then I think we’re doing a good job of that. The other thing is we need to show that our programming is not here to hurt people and I think the way that you talk about this, instead of saying like, Hey, come work out with us, we’re not going to hurt you. I think the better way is through education. And what I mean by that is if you are doing a workout that has combination of thrusters and pull ups and it’s in this silly rep scheme called 2115 and nine why is it that we’re doing these two things and this many reps of these things? Or why is it that another day we have row or God forbid run a five k for the workout. I think what it boils down to is we want to point to the letters and numbers that we have on our whiteboards and say come work out, lets us, our programming is the best, but the clients really have no context for that. But they do have context for am I getting results and am I staying injury free? So are we doing no harm? And I think that if we can educate them on, you know, what those components are that lead to those two, it establishes you and your gym as the authority in your area and it really creates buy in with the client that you know what you’re talking about.

Greg Strauch:                        17:23                       I agree. I mean that’s, that’s a big portion, right? Is, is being able to educate our people on why the why behind everything. Why are we doing it this way? And really getting them to understand the background. I mean we’re, we don’t have to jump into what each phase is going to be in and more of a biomechanical standpoint, but more of just the overall why, why is this good for us? Cause I know if gym is like mine, if we program a five k we always have less people and it’s always, we always know why that we have less people because no one wants to go run a five k for a workout. They want thrusters, they want the quick changement of, of all the movements we have going on and they really enjoy that. But a five k is just a five k you just got to put one foot in front of the other, but they don’t really understand the why. So being able to teach that point that, that makes perfect sense.

Josh Martin:                          18:14                       Yeah. And I, you know, I think that the more that you talk about these things, right, about these things, video, you know, it gets easier and easier and easier. I think coop probably said this in some form or fashion that you know, you’re writing and blogging and creating video content or content in general. Um, you think of it like a muscle. It’s going to be tough at first, but the more that you do it, the better at it that you’re going to become. So, you know, we’re not asking people or telling people to become novelists, but you know, even if writing is not your thing, something, especially when you first start in terms of educating your clients, something is better than nothing.

Greg Strauch:                        18:50                       Agreed. Now let’s, uh, let’s jump into the last part of this, which is, uh, the best coaches, cause I’ll say I have the best coaches and so will the gym down the street?

Josh Martin:                          18:58                       Yeah, I think I have the best coaches. But first, I think what we need to, and this is, this could be individual for every gym, we need to actually define, you know, what, what is a good coach? Or what is the best coach? What does that actually mean? Well, our coaches care, you know, are there the, you know, they’re the happiest, you know? Okay, great. You’re a, you’re a decent human being, you know, but to separate a good coach from a great coach, you know, what does that actually look like? Is it that the great coach spends more time learning? I, I would say that that’s probably, uh, a good starting points is that they have just spent a lot of time in the trenches. Now that I know people can argue against that, but I think a benefit for the affiliate owner would be to say that our coaches are great.

Josh Martin:                          19:47                       One of the reasons that they’re great is because they’re always pushing the bounds of their knowledge and education so that they can bring the best product to the client every single day. So if we have some sort of structured education program for our coaches, I would want to take some pictures of what it is that they’re studying. You know, take a picture of them going through modules on a computer or them reading a book or maybe highlighting a passage out of a book that is a part of your education program because to the the end user, right, the prospective client or even you can think of it in terms of retention for your current clients to know that their coaches are always striving to get better, I think would be huge for them. So even something as simple as that is, is posting content or sharing a snippet of a, of a book they’re reading to up their knowledge game I think would be huge.

Josh Martin:                          20:42                       Another thing, maybe taking a picture of your coach actively, even video of actively coaching somebody through a movement. You know, spotting them with a hand on the back for a ring row or teaching them, you know, elbows high and tight for a clean or a snatch or simply taking a picture of them standing at 45 degrees to the front of a client and saying, one of the things that we teach our coaches is to see from all angles and this is what Jimmy is looking at from this angle. These are the things that he can see, you know? Then maybe we take a picture of them, no coaching from the front and these are the different things that he sees from this angle. That would be, I think a solid place to start is just documenting what it means for your particular gym to have good coaches and then putting it out there and sharing it.

Greg Strauch:                        21:35                       And that was, that was going to be my final question is now that that people have these ideas after listening to this episode, what are, what do you feel like the best ways to market these ideas out there to share them? I mean, is it, I mean, do we, do we just do written, do it just do video, like what? What do you feel like it would be?

Josh Martin:                          21:51                       Yes. Any time clients ask, well, should I blog or should I video or audio or just take pictures? My answer is always, yes. Okay, first is low hanging fruit. If you are somebody who likes to write, then just start writing. If you are somebody who is very comfortable in front of the camera, then great. Turn on the Selfie Cam and shoot a couple of videos. If you are somebody who just prefers to maybe take a really well framed, are well lit picture and put a cute filter on it and then write a really compelling piece of copy for Instagram or Facebook, then start there. The worst thing that you can do is nothing. The next worse thing that you can do is try to do all of them because you’re going to do each of them poorly. Whereas if you can just find one, find your niche and really get that process dialed in.

Josh Martin:                          22:43                       Then move to another. You know, maybe go from writing to video or from photo to writing to video, but just doing something at this point is better than nothing. And then I would say having a consistent schedule of when you’re going to post what one of the things that has made the biggest impact from a consistency standpoint at our gym for social media posting is just creating a calendar. I actually, I got together with my head coach several months ago and I just threw something on too, you know, an excel spreadsheet Monday through Sunday am and pm. This is what we’re going to post. And she was asking me questions about it and I said, look, I don’t care what you post when, but let’s just follow something and stick to it because I, I feel like I’m just quoting coop this whole episode. But you know, he says consistency is greater than everything else.

Greg Strauch:                        23:36                       Agreed. And I think, uh, that’s, I mean that’s a huge, huge nugget for people to take out of this is finding whichever medium you want to post, however it’s going to be. Whether that’s written, whether that’s video, whether that’s pictures, it’s, it’s taking action on that, that lowest hanging fruit, tea, I mean knocking out what you, what you see as yours, super power if you want to say that on, on media creation and getting that done in that direction first and then maybe slowly going in getting these other things done. But I think you said it best with with having consistency, having a schedule built out so that if you’re doing this or if somebody else is doing this, they know exactly what to post. I know with me and our social media person, she actually has a a scheduler for Instagram that basically she can fill out an entire month’s worth of content and then it automatically send that to our Instagram on the day that she specified at the time she specified.

Greg Strauch:                        24:30                       And then on there we’ll actually carry over to our Facebook page as well. So it’s constant, constantly getting that information to our members, but then also our our front facing to the community, people on Facebook so that they can still have that content. They can learn about us because I think not only do we have to educate our, our current clients, but like you said, we need to, we need to educate everyone else too. Why we have the best community, why we have the best programming or why we have the best coaches. Yeah, exactly. Exactly. I’m glad you brought up the automation. You know, there’s tons of automation tools where you can schedule a bank of content to go out and all it really takes is, you know, sitting down for maybe you know, an hour or two on a Sunday and you can knock out a month’s worth of posts in that time.

Greg Strauch:                        25:14                       Agreed. Agreed. Well, I think that’s a perfect place to wrap it up. Thank you Josh for jumping on and talking about those top three strategic advantages that we always hear everyone say, but really being able to break them down to a smaller level so that people can really kind of dig deep and and develop content for their, for their businesses, for their gyms, but then also really realize that those are a macro and we need to kind of get a little bit more micro into each one of those to show why we are who we are and why we are better than the gym down the street or the business down the street. Absolutely. My pleasure.

Speaker 6:                               25:53                       As always, thank you so much for listening to this podcast. We really appreciate you and everyone that has subscribed to us. If you haven’t done that, please make sure you do drop a light to that episode. Share with a friend and if you haven’t already, please write us a review and rate us on how what you think. If you hated it, let us know if you loved it, even better. See you guys later.


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How To Start A Kids’ Program From Scratch

How To Start A Kids’ Program From Scratch

by Gretchen Bredemeier, TwoBrain Kids Program Mentor


I am SO excited you have decided that you want a Youth Program! Here are a few tactics that will set you off on the right foot!


  1. You are going to need a coach/program manager that fits a few parameters.

You are looking for a hard-working and energetic coach who is excited to create (within parameters) and who sees the long-term value of what they are doing.  You need someone who communicates well with you, someone that believes in your values/mission, and someone who is willing to make mistakes, educate themselves, and try again.  This person should have or develop a long-term vision for what THEY want and discuss it with you before you consider them as a Program Manager.


  1. You need to wait until parents are asking for it.

Scarcity is always your best friend. You want few enough events that they fill up.  You want to start with few enough classes that the kids AND parents want more! If it’s your idea- you just want the money.  If it’s their idea then you are serving your clients, doing it for THEIR best interest.  If it’s their idea then you can truly Help First! Typically, the same concept applies for adding additional classes.  While it’s good to get ahead of things (plan for classes you want to start in the next year), you want to start them when clients are asking for them.  


  1. The best way to begin is with a 6-week session where parents pay up front.

6-week sessions are the best way to start!  There are a few reasons for this. 6-weeks is a short enough time frame that parents can more easily commit, but long enough for them to see obvious results and understand the value of your program. 6-weeks is also longer than a month, which allows you to price well, because parents don’t tend to break the cost down per class, but relate the cost to “a large group of classes.” It makes GOOD pricing easier to swallow, which sets your value from the start.  6-weeks is also usually long enough that kids will miss one or two classes. This isn’t the goal, of course, but gets parents into the habit of seeing missed classes as their responsibility and not yours. You don’t ever want to get into the habit of parents expecting a specific number of classes with their payments.


  1. You need to consider the rates you’d like to charge in a year or two when you set your session rates at the beginning.

You should set your 6-week session rates based on what you’d like your program to be making once you’ve moved to a monthly membership.  This first 6-weeks sets the tone, and begins to develop the culture, that you will be will for the long-haul, so you need to get ahead of as much as you can.  Pricing is an easy one. Decide what you want your monthly rate to be once you are monthly and work backwards through the transitions of a 6- then 8- then 10-week session.  There are lots of tricks here, but the general concept will move you solidly in the right direction.


  1. Understand your partnership with parents

Bus stops are the kid-focused version of hair salons or water coolers.  And you want your program to be the topic of choice!!! The best way to make that happen is authentic relationships with parents, and just like price you want to start from your first 6-weeks.  Make time before and after class to ask your questions and field theirs. Get to know them and their kids for REAL. Set-up a communication system that works for your clients: Email, Facebook, Texts, Instagram… whatever works for them.  And then make sure you TELL them when you’ve addressed the issues, made special allowances, seen improvement in the behavior etc. Make sure they understand the things you worked on today, how that will benefit their kids, and why you chose to work on that specific thing.  “I noticed that Sammy was uncomfortable in the front roll, so I chose this and that to work on vestibular development today so that as her inner ear gets the challenge it needs, she will become more comfortable in the positions that will be most helpful in creating great lifelong motor patterns.” They have to KNOW how much you know and how much work you are putting into this and they won’t know if you don’t tell them.  Encourage them to take photos and to share photos. Make a “Bright Spots Friday” tradition where parents use pictures from the week to brag on their kids. Make fun car magnets that say “My kids sport is Crossfit” so parents can be proud of what their kids are doing. Parents that know you WILL talk about your program at the bus stop, and they will also give you more grace as you inevitably make mistakes. Take the time for parents and you will never be sorry that you did.