Behind the Games Broadcasts With Mike Roth

Behind the Games Broadcasts With Mike Roth

Sean (00:00):

Hi everybody and welcome to another edition of Two-Brain Radio with Sean Woodland. On today’s episode, I speak with the man who was the television director for the CrossFit Games from 2011 through 2018, Mike Roth. Over the years I’ve covered dozens of fitness events all around the world and I have seen the best of the best work with coaches to find success. Yet many business owners don’t think coaches can help them. If you want to hit a revenue PR, visit TwoBrainbusiness.com to book a free call and find out how a business coach can help you. Mike Roth, or as we call him, Rothy, has been working in sports television since 1984, and nobody has directed more broadcasts of CrossFit events than he has. We talk about how he first got roped into directing the CrossFit Games way back in 2011, how many times things almost went completely off the rails during a broadcast and what needs to happen for the CrossFit Games season to get back to where it was in 2018. Thanks for listening everyone. Rothy, thanks for doing this, man. How are you today?

Mike (01:13):

I’m well, thank you. I’m well, I was at the gym this morning feeling like an old guy, but I’m recovering slowly.

Sean (01:19):

You’re looking good man.

Mike (01:20):

I appreciate you saying so, I’m working hard enough.

Sean (01:24):

Yes. Hey, you know, just keep moving forward. Before we get into the whole TV side of things, there are people who don’t know a lot about television and may not know what a television director does. So what does a sports television director do?

Mike (01:38):

So the easiest way to explain it is when you’re watching a television show at home, you’re seeing the shots change, right? And that’s different cameras and you’re seeing graphics go in and out or you’re seeing a replay happen. And my job is to paint a picture with cameras, right? So my job is to pick the right shot during action, right? Whether it’s a hockey game or a CrossFit event or a basketball game, so that you at home are seeing the very best angle in real time. Then my job at the same time is to be listening to a producer who is sitting next to me and listening to announcers who are talking to make sure that if a whistle blows or there’s a break in the action or using the CrossFit example, it’s a long event and you know Sean and you and Tommy want to talk about somebody in lane five that I’m listening to you and I’m listening to my producers so I can get us to lane five. Once I do, right, what’s the best shot?

Mike (02:38):

And then, OK, now we have a graphic with that athlete’s name. Put that in. Let people read it, take it out. So I’m really painting this picture with cameras and I’m talking to the cameramen the entire time, the camera operators, telling them what to shoot, shoot tighter, shoot looser, shoot the guy in lane five, shoot the guy in lane seven you know, we’re watching the finish line. So all of that’s in real time. And hopefully if you’re sitting at home, it doesn’t feel like all of that’s happening, it’s just one seamless, you know, coverage.

Sean (03:06):

How did you get roped into the production side of things of the CrossFit Games?

Mike (03:13):

So I was working in Phoenix, Arizona at the time, and I got a call from an old pal of mine, Eric Thomas, who I’d worked with for years on car racing all over the world. And ET called me and he said, I’ve got this crazy event and we need a director and I think you’d be the right guy to work with these people. And I said, what is it? He said, you know what CrossFit is? And this was 2011 and I said, no, I don’t. What is it? And he said, it’s world’s strongest man meets Olympic gymnastics. I said, OK, all right. Yeah, sounds good enough. And he said, it’s a week in LA. And what you have to understand about this group of people is they’re the most dysfunctional people you’ll ever meet.

Sean (03:57):

That was an understatement.

Mike (03:59):

They are. They are unable to focus on anything for more than two minutes before some sort of athletic endeavor breaks out.

Mike (04:09):

He says, all of a sudden they’re running stairs. They’re doing push-ups or there’s some competition at all times. He said they speak their own language, but it doesn’t matter because they won’t tell you what any of the events are until an hour before the events. I said, well, how do I cover an event if I don’t know what it is until an hour before? He said, well, that’s the good part. They’ll put cameras whereever you want. As many cameras as you want. I said, really? So I said, all right, they’re dysfunctional, they speak their own language. They can’t focus on anything. Sounds perfect, man. A week in LA, I’m good. So I agreed to fly to LA and meet Tony Budding, Rory Mckernan and a merry band of misfits. And I remember ET rented a van and he picked us all up at LAX.

Mike (04:57):

We’re all at different terminals and we had everybody in the car. And the first thing Tony Budding said was, “We’ve got to go eat.” And ET said, I forgot to tell you, everything’s about eating. Like we’re going to go eat breakfast for an hour. And as soon as we’re done eating breakfast, we’ll be talking about lunch. I said, wow, we only have a few hours guys. And they said, no, we’ll talk over breakfast. So we went right to breakfast. I realized quickly, Tony and I were brothers from different mothers and I went through the weirdest site survey I’ve ever been through and I realized, these guys have no idea what they’re talking about, but it sounds like it could be a fun ride. So I signed up and I directed my first CrossFit Games in July of 2011.

Sean (05:40):

The CrossFit production department was pretty much in its infancy at that point. What did you think about what they had built so far when you first saw it?

Mike (05:50):

They hadn’t built much. I mean, they had the website and there were videos on the website and I was impressed with the volume of videos on the website. You know, it seemed like every day there were new videos and that was impressive. From a live standpoint, they hadn’t really done anything live. They sort of did the 2010 Games in LA to a big screen. I don’t think you could see it anywhere except if you were there, but I was told they bought three pro zoomer cameras and they pulled some CrossFitters out of the crowd and said, you’re running camera. So in 2011, we added our first TV truck and we were a crew of about 30, and we parked in the bowels of the StubHub center.

Mike (06:38):

And you know, all of a sudden here we go. And you know, like literally I got there, this will tell you how little I knew. I got to LA on Monday and was told, Oh, we’ve added an event on Wednesday in Hermosa Beach. On the beach, on the pier and you have to go set it up tomorrow and then you’ll be live Wednesday at like 6:00 AM. And I said, Oh, can I put cameras on the pier? No, no, because we don’t have a permit. Really. We kind of have a permit. We don’t really have a permit. And interestingly, I said, well, what are they going to do? And they said, well, they’re gonna run, they’re going to do kettlebell swings on the beach. And then they’re gonna swim around the pier. I said, Oh, well I’m going to need a helicopter if they’re going to be out there in the water, you know, they said, OK.

Mike (07:34):

I thought, wow, that didn’t take very much. So Tuesday comes and we go out to Hermosa Beach and I said, who’s the camera guy who’s going to be on the helicopter? I want to call him and talk to him. And they said, what camera? And I said well, we need to have a camera on the helicopter. They said, no, we got you a helicopter. Because as soon as you’re done here, you have to get on a helicopter and fly back to site because you have to direct the team stuff that afternoon. And I said, wow. So they got me a helicopter and Heber Canon was on that helicopter, Heber and I, and there was one other person, they drove us to a helipad and they helicoptered us to the the StubHub center. And I remember landing and looking down and there were all these different boxes were represented and they all have their different colored T-shirts on. And that’s the first time I said it looks like the Woodstock of fitness. And it was absolutely wild. But yeah, so we had helicopters, just we didn’t have any cameras on it.

Sean (08:35):

Other than not knowing events, maybe minutes before they took place, and you know, dealing with equipment shortages, what were some of the challenges that you faced in 2011 getting that competition on air?

Mike (08:50):

Dave Castro. And I will preface this by saying Dave and I have come a long way to finding middle ground. And I think we’re in a fairly good place now. But Dave certainly wasn’t used to having to run things on a schedule other than his own. And I was used to TV time, which is if you’re not five minutes early, you’re late. If we say we’re going at 12:01, then at 12:01 we go. And we definitely struggled with that. I was not used to a sport in which the rules change mid-heat, which is, you know, a CrossFit standard, time caps changing and rules changing and those sorts of things. So I, you know, I had to learn that. And then the other thing that I had to learn that I didn’t expect was I didn’t know anything about CrossFit.

Mike (09:47):

And the biggest thing to me was a guy would finish clean and jerk and he would drop the barbell and then he would walk to a box to do box jumps. So I would cut to somebody else and I kept hearing the transition matters, the transition matters. And I thought, well, what? It’s just a guy walking from a barbell to a box. What I learned later on in my CrossFit life, cause at this point I was not CrossFitting, was that that transition tells you a lot about where an athlete is. Right. Is his chest high? Is he breathing normally? Is he grabbing his shorts? Is he limping? Is he crawling, you know, those sort of things. So there was a lot of that. And Tony Budding who is a dear, dear brother of mine, stood behind me the entire week and just screamed in my ear what he wanted to see cause he was, as he said, helping loudly.

Sean (10:40):

That’s another understatement. When you finish this whole competition up, you’ve been there now for the whole weekend and it’s all said and done, what’s going through your head?

Mike (10:47):

Never again. Never again. I honestly left there thinking, there is no way I can work with these people again. Like this is madness, and I was one of the only TV professionals on the production side. Heber Canon, who’s a friend of the show, he will tell you his one and only live TV producing experience was that week. They made Heber the producer, and he swore never again as well and went on to a phenomenal career doing other things. But yeah, I walked away and I was like, there is no way I could put myself through that again.

Sean (11:26):

So why did you decide to come back the next year?

Mike (11:31):

So, I got a call from Tony in March of 2012 and he didn’t ask so much as tell me that we are doing the Central East Regional as a test broadcast for the CrossFit Games, and here were the dates and I should be there. And I said, OK, hang on. I said, the only way I’m coming back is if I can bring a producer. And he said, great, great. Get a guy. And I said, all right, all right, this will be better if I have a producer. So our friend EB, Eric Barnhart, I dragged him into the fray. I didn’t tell him much, admittedly, I can’t believe we’re still friends. And I said it’d be fun. It’s different, you know. And Tony had this plan where we were going to be live for 12 hours a day with a set and competition and 20 announcers and it was madness. But it was sort of the point at which I said, all right, as long as I’ve got somebody who knows TV riding with me, I can do that. That was the first time we met.

Sean (12:41):

Yeah. And one of my favorite stories from that was, I don’t know who asked whom, but someone was in the room and said, if you’re an announcer, raise your hand. Where were you during that whole incident?

Mike (12:56):

I was the one who said that. And then 20 hands went up and I looked at EB and I said, and that is your problem. So the producer typically deals with the announcers a lot more than the director. So I felt like I was getting off easy on that one.

Sean (13:14):

From a broadcast standpoint, obviously things are starting to grow, but what did you think that CrossFit as a sport needed to really get to the next level?

Mike (13:25):

It needed to be easier to follow. Well it needed to start on time and that was what I tried to explain to Dave and Tony was, you know, if you’re looking at networks, you know, in 2011 we ended up on ESPN3, which you know, timing doesn’t really matter, but I said if you’re looking at networks, you can’t tell ESPN, hey, we’re going to start at noon and then you know, at 10 after noon and be like, yeah, we’re thinking about it. But the other thing was it had to be easier to follow and back then things were not at all linear. There was a lot of, you know, you had athletes moving in both directions or sometimes all four directions and so as a spectator or as a viewer on television, it was very hard to tell what was going on. And that was the next thing that needed to be addressed was just who’s actually winning this thing when I tune in.

Sean (14:15):

The 2012 Games was, fast forward now, we’re back in Los Angeles, presented one of the most unique challenges from a production standpoint because we had to go cover those events at Pendleton. What stands out to you about that day at that location?

Mike (14:30):

The two biggest things from Pendleton, I will give you two. The first is that we had a full set-up day because we had to take all of our cables and bury them in the sand all the way out to the cameras. So you’re talking about hundreds of yards for some of these cameras. And we had a map with a start line and a finish line on it. And we had a camera plan and all that had been signed off on and we did this and we trenched the beach and we buried the cables and we did all of those things. And the next morning, Tony and Dave Castro came out and said, we didn’t realize it was going to be low tide so the athletes can actually enter the beach here and exit the beach where we had told you, we have to move everything a hundred or 200 yards down the beach.

Mike (15:21):

And I said, well, we can’t move all the cameras in an hour. So what do you want to do? And they said, well then it’ll just be whatever it is. And I said, OK. So that was the first thing I remember just thinking, I had this beautiful jib with a 35-foot arm in the middle of nowhere, like literally not shooting them entering the water, leaving the water or anything. And then the other thing, and this is madness, and in my entire career I’ve never experienced anything like this. The plan was that we were going to cover the athletes. They were going to run down the beach, they were going to jump in the water, they were going to swim back, they were going to run across the beach, they were going to get on bicycles. And they were going to head off into the hills.

Mike (15:59):

We were going to cover all of that until the last bike headed up in the hills and was out of sight. We were then going to pack up the entire television truck. Now mind you, this normally takes between two and three hours when you’re not dealing with the beach. We were going to pack up the entire television truck, drive it around the mountain, park it, pull everything back out, reset it in time to cover the athletes coming down the mountain. And then the obstacle course race that was going to be on the other side of the mountain. And somehow, we got one camera up and running as the first man crested the hill and we actually had video of this. Whoever won the event, I don’t remember, coming down the hill and I remember Tony Budding looking at me and saying, see, you thought it couldn’t be done.

Sean (16:56):

Along those lines, there have been plenty of times throughout your career directing the CrossFit Games where things almost went completely off the rails during a broadcast. What are some of your more memorable incidents where things almost totally crashed and burned?

Mike (17:11):

There are so many. I mean the beauty of what we do and you know, the magic of it is if you’re at home, you don’t know that everybody’s pants are on fire, we’re doing our job right. And literally there were times where things were on fire. But there were moments, and this happened a lot with offsites, where all of a sudden they changed where they were running or the direction they were running or where they were going to enter and leave the stadium. And I would find this out an hour, maybe two before coverage started and now we had to move all our gear. And so there were definitely times where not was moved when they were starting the event. And so, you know, with one side of your brain, you’re watching to see when cameras started coming up and the truck where I can, OK, now I can see that camera, I can use it, now I can see that camera.

Mike (18:01):

And at the same time, you’re directing the show with the cameras that are working. Those happened, you know, more times than I care to admit. But you know, we got really good at dealing in the mayhem and chaos. And a big part of that is we put together a great group of people, people who were more than just a crew, you know, they were family and they were invested. And you know, so my last Games was 2018. So in 16, 17 and 18, we were nine television trucks and 350 people on the broadcast crew. That’s as big as the Super Bowl. And we, that group of people, you know, we would get everybody in the meal tent for a mandatory crew meeting on Wednesday morning or Tuesday morning. And everybody there was there because they were handpicked and because they wanted to come back.

Mike (18:59):

And we had, you know, technicians who had worked all eight years that I was there with me and they were committed to making this a success and we would never have been able to pull off what we pulled off, never, without guys who were that—not just good at what they did, but able to evolve. You know, we realized early on like bitching about it wasn’t going to change. You know what I mean? Yeah. It’s frustrating. It was, you know, my first couple of years, it really like my head was blown a lot that things would change, like remember the runoff? All of a sudden we see guys putting their sneakers back on in the stadium and you were on the air calling it and it’s like,

Sean (19:43):

I have no idea what’s going on, we’ll let you know when we find out.

Mike (19:47):

Exactly. And we have no idea what’s happening and, you know, and things like that. And then also because it became so big, there were times where things that we had no control over, like there’s no audio in the beer garden. OK. I’m sitting here in a TV, I don’t even know what that is, but you’re all losing your minds and I’m still, I have to direct this. So can you lose your minds outside, you know, or at one point I remember hearing Dave Castro doesn’t like what’s on the big screen. Again, OK. But that’s not our department, you know, so we’re just going to keep making pictures until we can’t. But so there were a lot of occasions where you kind of went, oh man, I don’t know if we’re going to pull this off. We probably will. The last year, in 2018, they had the parade of nations for the first time and we were supposed to do it in the Coliseum in Madison.

Mike (20:43):

And an hour before I get a call, they said, what if we to move this to the North park? Cause we have all these people waiting outside and we’re afraid we have too many fans and we’re going to have people who aren’t going to be able to get in. And I said, well, you could move it to the North Park. You have no cameras there or no cameramen. Now you can move it anywhere you want. And I was asked, are you sure? I said, no, I’m sure that you cannot be covered there. We don’t have equipment there. Nothing is ready to go. But that was, you know, that was CrossFit. And I learned that it was important to tell them the truth and not try to be a hero when we couldn’t and then be a hero when we could.

Sean (21:22):

We will continue our chat with Mike Roth and just a moment. But first I want to tell you about 500-pound deadlifts. To get a big deadlift, you need to follow all the steps in order. It’s a journey. You can’t just step up to a heavy barbell every day and pull. It’s the same deal with business. So Chris Cooper has mapped out the exact steps a gym owner must take to level up and eventually reach wealth. All these steps are based on research and data. There’s no guesswork anymore. A Two-Brain mentor can help you analyze your business, figure out where you’re at, then tell you the exact things you need to do to grow. It’s all in the new Two-Brain Roadmap available to clients. To find out if working with a mentor is right for you, book a free call at twobrainbusiness.com. Now more with Mike Roth.

Sean (22:15):

At what point did the synergy between the live event side of things and the TV production side really start to build?

Mike (22:26):

I think in 2013. So I did 11 and 12 and it was kind of a shit show.

Mike (22:37):

And in 2013 now we were live on ESPN for the championship. You know the final hour that we’re going to crown our champions on ESPN and I think that was where everybody said, oh we really need to—this has to go on time. Like we have a one-hour time slot, we’ve got a men’s event, we’ve got a women’s event, we want to crown our champions, like we need to do this right. And I think, you know, here’s the thing about Dave Castro, he’s an incredibly intelligent guy, and the guy make can make anything happen, but he had to have the desire to make it happen. And I think 13 was sort of that year, and you know, Dave started to understand what we did a lot better. We started to understand what he did a lot better. You know, it took a while. It’s science and art and magic all sort of rolled into one on both sides. And so I think like by the time we got to 14 we were starting to really make sense of it and I will say like from 14 to 18, what we did coverage-wise, like I would hang my hat on that. I’m as proud of that as I am of anything I’ve done.

Sean (23:46):

Yeah. Along those lines, what are your proudest moments from directing the CrossFit Games?

Mike (23:54):

Rich’s first win in 11, just cause it was my first Games and that was sort of my entree into this is CrossFit. And that was where I was like, I am definitely never going to CrossFit. Look at these guys. Like there’s no way. Rich’s fourth win in 14, I still go back and look at that and think we really, like the way he won and the dominance in his win and our ability to cover it, I felt like a lot of things clicked that year for us as a TV crew. Saturday night in the tennis stadium from 14 through 18, like nothing like it. The push-pull event for me in tennis is still one of the great things I’ve ever directed. It’s hard to replicate Saturday night in the tennis stadium. It really is. I think what CrossFit’s done in Madison is great.

Mike (24:51):

It’s really neat. It’s got that festival feel and they did a great job with the Coliseum turning it into this beautiful hall of CrossFit, but nothing will ever be Saturday night at tennis stadium. That said, I was really proud of our first year in Madison cause that was an incredible challenge to take this system that we had, you know, kind of banged our head against the wall until we came up with this system that worked great in LA and then to try to move that into a new venue with new challenges, that could have really gone a lot of different ways. And I will say like 2017 in Madison, I really think we did a great job. CrossFit did a great job. Dave programmed a great event. Just a lot of things came together. I was always really proud of that.

Sean (25:40):

As far as a broadcast world goes right now, it’s kind of the Wild West with the CrossFit Games season and the Sanctioned events and they’re all trying to do it kind of on their own and in a different way. But what are the things that they absolutely have to have if they’re going to have a successful broadcast?

Mike (25:58):

So I’m going to say this and I think that many of them don’t have these things. And that’s why I think the quality of broadcast is vastly different than what we were doing. Obviously not just the Games but Invitationals, even Open announcements, you know, there’s a certain quality and it starts with your producer and director. You have to have people who understand not just television and not just CrossFit, but both, you know, broadcast and CrossFit, because where they meet is a very, it’s a very special place, but it’s also a very, very thin line where those two things come together. And if you don’t know both sides of that, that’s an issue. I have always maintained that the camera guys you have on the field of play really have to know what’s going on. Like we’ve got a cadre of guys we trust, the athletes trust, the judges trust.

Mike (26:48):

Dave trusts. When you put other people down there, anything can go wrong. And you know, my guys know, like you never get in the way of an athlete. You never get in the way of a judge no matter what. And it’s also dangerous. Like there’s barbells flying around, there’s dumbbells flying. It’s dangerous. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you can get hurt down there. And that’s my biggest fear where I see some of these events, people just running around and then you can tell they don’t know what they’re doing and that could end badly. I think you have to have announcers that understand, again, not just CrossFit, but broadcast like the theory that anybody can just talk about CrossFit cause they CrossFit, it sounds great, but television, any kind of broadcast is a synergy between words and pictures and graphics. And if we’re not all headed in the same direction, if you’re talking about, you know, the guy in lane five and I’m staring at the guy in lane nine and there’s a graphic about the guy in lane six, that doesn’t help anybody.

Mike (27:47):

And I think those are the things you really need. Like you could talk all day about how much equipment and what equipment and where and how. And do you need a truck or can you do it in a van or can you do it in a room and bring equipment and build it? And there was a lot of different theories and a lot of different philosophies and then a lot of ways to do it. But if you don’t want to have the right people in the right positions like that, then you know, then really you’re doing more harm than good in some cases.

Sean (28:14):

I always get the sense that people think it’s easier than it is. Why do you think people underestimate the difficulty of pulling off a live broadcast?

Mike (28:26):

If you ever go into a bar on a Sunday, football, and you watch football with people in a bar and you say to them, how many people does it take to put that broadcast on television? And they say, well, there is three announcers, there’s a producer. They always talk about the producer on the air. So there’s a producer and then they always talk about their stats guy. So that’s five. And there must be a camera guy. So six, seven? And you say 60 or 70, and they say no, what do they all do? It’s supposed to be magic to people at home. Like they’re not supposed to understand what it takes. And when you talk about what it takes for us, how many cameras and how many utilities working with those cameras and how many engineers that have to make sure that stuff works.

Mike (29:16):

And video operators to make sure that the pictures look the way they’re supposed to. And audio, the team of audio guys and the team of replay guys and the team of graphics people and all of the announcers and all the producers and directors and associate producers and associate directors, like it takes a lot. And the goal is that they never see it. Like it’s always our goal, and you know, you’ve heard me say it a lot, is seamless television, right? It shouldn’t ever make anybody go, huh, what happened there? It should just roll over them. And we educate and we entertain. We do both in every broadcast and the next day, these people know more than they did the day before and they were entertained and they’re talking about the game they watched. That’s when we’ve done our job right. And it does take more people than anybody thinks about. But you know, if you bring somebody to watch in the truck, right, they come into the spaceship. They can never watch television the same way again because they now understand how it all gets to that one picture that’s on your screen.

Sean (30:15):

I get asked this a lot. In fact, I got asked this the other day and I wanted to get your take on this question. People ask me, what is it going to take for the sport of CrossFit to get back to where it was at its peak in 2018?

Mike (30:30):

Money. You know, I mean now that we’ve got the Sanctional season and we’ve got, you know, I think it’s 26 or 27 events this year and they’re autonomous. They can do whatever they want. Right? Great. So they can have a stream, they can not have a stream. They could have a good stream of media, a medium stream, a bad stream, they can have a guy running around with a cell phone, whatever they want. I think the big shock for all of the event people was what broadcast costs. And I think there was this theory that, you know, I’ll put 20 grand in my budget for broadcast, social media, all that and I should be more than covered. And one of the things that they’ve learned is you get what you pay for and there are efficiencies of scale which aren’t being used when you have 27 autonomous events.

Mike (31:24):

Nobody’s really working here, you know, the Loud and Live guys have five, and you know, it’d be interesting to see what they do going forward. I know they’ve got a deal with Flow Elite, so that’s sort of off the table. But everybody needs to start to work together. And when I talk to people, I explain that, you know there are efficiencies of scale and I can help you do your broadcast for less than it would be as a one off if we’re working with five or six or seven other events because now I can hire people and offer them eight events instead of one. I can pay them a little less. I can work with my vendors, my truck companies, my equipment companies and say, Hey, I have eight shows for you. Not one. There are efficiencies there. But I think until people start working together and until people start to value what it costs to do broadcast like we did, and it doesn’t have to be the CrossFit Games. Like when I talk to the folks who run events, I sort of start with an Open announcement. OK. It was a nice small show, five or six cameras, which means a smaller crew, a little truck or a van and even that, you know, but that costs money. You know, it all costs money. A day to set it all up. Cause you can’t try to set it up when competition starts at nine in the morning, you need to set it up the day before. And then all of these competitions are three days long, right? So now you’re talking about four days, and long days, right? Really long days, in a lot of cases. Everything costs money. And that’s one thing that’s got to change, right?

Mike (32:55):

People have to figure out how to afford what a good broadcast looks like. The second part, like I talked about before, is you have to have the right people. And it is the Wild West right now. And because it is, everybody’s running around saying, I can do that for you. And in some cases you’ve got, you know, Sanctional’s who, they put together a broadcast and they hire a buddy, you know, because he knows CrossFit. So he’ll produce or he’ll direct or he’ll announce, and this is a professional game. You know, I do what I do for a living, right? I don’t do it as a hobby and I’ve got more decades into it than I care to admit. And that’s because, you know, this is my art form, right? This is what I’ve chosen to dedicate my life to professionally.

Mike (33:45):

And so you can’t just grab a guy out of the stands and expect that he’ll have the same knowledge that I have based on the tens of thousands of events over all these years. And even just from a CrossFit standpoint, like there’s nobody out there that’s called more CrossFit events than you, right? You’ve called more events than anybody else. So if I’m looking for a guy who’s got that sort of experience and I look past you, I’m immediately not getting the best guy in the business. And sometimes that’s happening. And then the third part of that, honestly is the community. Like if the community is accepting what’s out there and they’re watching it, then all right, great. Then that’s where we’re at. If the community says, you know, we expect a higher standard, then they can kind of start to push the issue a little bit.

Mike (34:36):

You know, I think it’s going to take all three of those things.

Sean (34:38):

Your involvement with the broadcast side of things also required you to get into a gym. What was it like for you the first time you were introduced to CrossFit the fitness methodology?

Mike (34:51):

May of 2012. I was told that it was time to get started. I was told by Tony Budding I needed to CrossFit in order to continue to direct CrossFit events. And I said, but I direct, you know, college football games and I never played college football. And he said, you need to understand the suffering. And he was right. So, I left the Central East on Sunday night. On Monday I went to my local box, CrossFit local here in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. And I said, what do I need to do to start? And they said, come back tomorrow for your baseline WOD. And I was like, OK. And I did my baseline WOD in seven minutes and 43 seconds and couldn’t walk for three days. Like my wife and kids laughed at me. I was going up and down the stairs on my butt. Like I was just destroyed and I couldn’t wait to get back in the gym. Like I could not wait. And I’ve been doing it ever since. It works. There’s no way around it.

Sean (35:58):

How has it changed your life?

Mike (36:02):

One, it’s introduced me to a community of likeminded people that are so wonderful and so accepting. And even from my first class, people were just nice and kind and wanted you to succeed. And that was amazing. That was, you know, cause you’re nervous the first time you go to a class, you don’t know what the hell you’re doing. And you could see where people might get frustrated having this newbie there. But no, everybody comes up and introduces himself and that community has expanded and expanded and expanded for me. Cause I’m lucky, I travel for work, I drop in all over the world. Like, I have worked it out in some incredible gyms all over the world. And everywhere I go, even if they don’t speak English, they’re kind and welcoming and they write the WOD on the board in English, which is ironic in so many ways.

Mike (36:52):

You know, the second thing for me is physically, you know, I’m 53 years old. I’m in the best shape my life. Really, truly am. I feel better. Things that used to bother me all the time, like my low back used to bother me when I traveled, I was always sore. It’s not like that, you know, I feel better. I feel like I look better. I feel like I don’t look, you know, as old as I probably should. You know, I always say I’m leading a zero-sum life. If I’m not getting worse, I’m getting better. So it certainly helped with that. You know, and then through the broadcast side, like the family I have, you know, I mean, from you and Tommy and Ro all the way up and down.

Mike (37:32):

And, you know, I’m so blessed to have all those people in my life. You know, the Justin Berghs and the Tony Buddings and the Joe Novellos, you know, the guys that worked at HQ and the fact that anywhere I go now, you guys are there and it’s amazing to be able to see your family out there and get a WOD in in Sean’s garage, you know, and feel old. But it’s been so positive for me and it really brought discipline back into my life. Like it’s crazy, wherever I go, no matter what time I get there, I’m in a class the next morning. Like I get up and I go to class and it doesn’t matter how I feel and it doesn’t matter what I was doing the night before, I was at a double-bill concert a couple of weeks ago.

Mike (38:22):

I was out until two o’clock in the morning drinking beers and dancing and got home at three and I was at the 9:00 AM like, it’s that discipline has been really, really good for me.

Sean (38:31):

I want to give you credit for a PR that you hit recently. You I know had been chasing the 400 pound-mark on your deadlift for quite some time and I know you hit that, there’s a great video of you doing it on Instagram. What was it like for you to finally pull that weight?

Mike (38:45):

I’ll tell you what I’ve wanted to pull, you know, 405 is the goal. Like I keep saying, I’ll quit CrossFit at, you know, at four wheels. But I weigh 130 pounds. So 400 pounds is more than three times body weight. And I always thought I could get there, but to actually do it, and I did it on a day when I wasn’t trying to do it.

Mike (39:10):

It wasn’t the plan. I didn’t even know I was going to deadlift. I was going in the gym to work out with this group of guys. They are all way younger and stronger and smarter than me. And when I got there, somebody said, well let’s deadlift first. And I said, we’ll see where it goes. And I hit 385 and it felt really good. And I said, what do I do now? Like do I jump to 405, do I go to 395 which is my PR and then see how that feels? And somebody said, screw it man, we’re putting 400 pounds on the bar. Just just give yourself, they said, give yourself five minutes. Just really give your body five minutes and give it a shot. And the whole gym was stopped and was watching and it just felt like it was going to happen.

Mike (39:56):

You know? I had gotten it to my knees a couple of times before and failed. Then I was just like, there’s no way I’m going to fail. And it was a really neat moment for me, man. Like to accomplish a goal. You know, as you get older, like you check a lot of stuff up, a lot of those boxes get checked and there aren’t necessarily that many more goals. This has been a goal of mine and I will tell you it was one of those times that CrossFit brought me a pure joy. You know, usually it kind of kicks me in the nuts and sends me on my way. But it was really an amazing moment for me. I was really proud of it. But now I really haven’t deadlifted in two months since. So it’s time to get back.

Sean (40:37):

Why would you?

Mike (40:37):

Right. Exactly.

Sean (40:39):

Final question. You have directed a ton of events, a bunch of different sports and all different locations around the world, but I know CrossFit obviously has a special place in your heart. Why is it so special to you?

Mike (40:55):

It’s the community. It’s one of the rare things that I do where I feel like I’m serving the community. I remember when we did Murph the first time that we had Murph at the Games and there was a lot of talk about, you know, it’s a pain in the ass to cover cause they’re running a mile outside the stadium and then they’re coming back in and there’s going to be, you know, of course 40 men on the field at the same time. And then 40 women. And I got the crew together the night before and I said, listen, this is an honor and a privilege for us to be able to cover something as important to the community as Murph. We’re going to give the community Murph the first time they’ve done it at the CrossFit Games. And that’s special.

Mike (41:38):

And we need to see it like that. We need to stop complaining about the logistics, we need to cover it for what it is, which is a really, really important part of our community. And I feel like I’ve had a lot of moments like that where I know the community cares. They come out, you know, they do care. And that makes me work that much harder. And that’s the most special part of it for me is just knowing that. And then, you know, secondarily, like again, the family I’ve met, the athletes I get to deal with. They are a pleasure in so many ways. You know, some of the athletes we deal with in professional sports are less of a pleasure. These folks are amazing. They’re amazing at what they do. It’s the most compelling thing I direct every year, is the CrossFit stuff I do. And so it makes me feel good to know that we’re out there doing the best job we can and that it matters to the folks at home. It matters to the community.

Sean (42:31):

Well, Rothy, listen man, I appreciate you taking the time to do this. I appreciate everything you have done for me professionally and can’t wait to work with you again.

Mike (42:37):

Well, I appreciate it, man. You do great work. I’m really proud that we’ve been able to do some great things together and your podcasts are awesome. So keep it up and I’ll keep listening.

Sean (42:48):

All right. Thanks, brother. Appreciate it.

Mike (42:49):

Take care, man. Peace.

Sean (42:50):

Big thanks to Mike Roth for taking the time to talk with me today. If you want to follow his adventures, you can find him on Instagram. He is at @rothy99. If you’re a gym owner and you need some help growing your business, Two-Brain mentors can show you the exact steps to add $5,000 in monthly recurring revenue. Book a free call on TwoBrainbusiness.com to find out more. Thanks for listening to Two-Brain Radio. I’m Sean Woodland and I’ll see you next time.

 

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

Two-Brain Radio presents marketing tips and success stories every Monday, and Chris Cooper delivers the best of the business world every Thursday.

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The Essential Automations You Need to Drive Sales and Retain Clients

The Essential Automations You Need to Drive Sales and Retain Clients

Mike (00:02):

Hey Mateo, how’s it going?

Mateo (00:02):

It’s going well, Mike. How are you?

Mateo (00:05):

I’m good. Oh, you’re texting me. What are your goals for next year? We’re talking right here, right now. You know, you could just ask me, but just so you know, I’m looking to increase my—I just got an email from you. Dude. Hey man, it’s Mateo. Did you enjoy my free marketing course? Have you cloned yourself Mateo or what’s going on here?

Mateo (00:29):

No, actually Mike, those are automated messages. Those are marketing automated messages and I’m actually not doing anything right now. I’m sitting here talking to you on this podcast. Those are me, but not me.

Mike (00:43):

So you’re basically Siri, you basically have a Siri unit that’s like a Mateo unit that just does this stuff in your spare time.

Mateo (00:50):

Yes, yes, I have. I’ve cloned myself.

Mike (00:53):

I bet that saves you a ton of time to do podcasts and other interesting things that you like to do.

Mateo (00:58):

Yes, it saves me tons of time.

Mike (01:00):

  1. And I’m going to guess the gym owners could probably use some automations to save themselves a ton of time and make some money. Have you seen that in your experiences?

Mateo (01:08):

In my worldly travels, yes I have.

Mike (01:13):

And you have time for these travels because you’re using automation.

Mateo (01:15):

Exactly. It’s messaging that goes out while I sleep. It’s amazing.

Mike (01:19):

Well, let’s discuss it. That’s the topic of Two-Brain Radio. I’m Mike Warkentin here with Mateo Lopez, our marketing expert. We’re gonna talk about automations that can save you time, we’ll tell you how to do it, what you need to know, what you need and where you can get them. We’ll be back right after this. To add $5,000 in monthly revenue to your gym, just book a call at twobrainbusiness.com. You can talk to one of our certified mentors and he or she will tell you how to add 5k in recurring monthly revenue. All right, we are back with Mateo Lopez. We’re going to save you a ton of time so you can use your phone for Candy Crush, Fortnite, whatever you enjoy as opposed to constantly texting leads, messaging, leads, emailing, doing all that other stuff. So the first question, I’ll just toss it right at you Mateo. For those who don’t know, what are marketing automations, how do they work? What’s the deal?

Mateo (02:09):

Well, you know, this can get really complicated in terms of the scale at which you’re automating your communications to clients, to your staff, to yourself. But you know, basically, let’s say every time someone inquires for more info on your website, ideally you’re messaging that person, responding very quickly and say, Hey, I saw that you were interested. How can I help you learn more, solve this problem that you’re trying to solve? Marketing automation is just all that messaging is happening automatically. Without you having to actually message every single person who is inquiring about you, your program or your service.

Mike (02:53):

Now we’ve talked before on the show about response time is a huge deal. People don’t want to wait a day. They don’t want to wait 24 hours. They don’t even want to wait 24 minutes. They want responses almost instantaneously. And with the modern consumer, you can make a huge impact just by responding immediately with a text message that pops up right away. As you and I both know, if you’re doing that yourself, it sucks because you’re getting text messages middle of the night, it’s brutal. You’re getting them weird times, you’re just about to go do something important and bing you get a lead and you might drop the ball or you might miss what you were going to do. So marketing automations can then step in and solve a lot of problems for you.

Mateo (03:29):

Yeah, and the other thing too is like not everyone who inquires is, you know, gonna respond right away or is actually, you know, maybe they’re just tire kickers. So you’re also saving yourself some time by not communicating with them personally. To those who aren’t interested, those are just tire kickers. Right? Let the robots do it for you and let them filter out the qualified leads for you. I mean, that’ another huge way that you can save yourself time and more money.

Mike (04:01):

So you mentioned one of the things that these automations do. They filter people out so they, they qualify leads so to speak. Some of the other stuff I’ve got here, in sequences that you can set up, you can nurture leads, you can have people book appointments off of confirmations, and if they cancel, help them rebook or you can use these sequences also to build value and educate. So we’re talking for existing clients. You can use that to sell new services to existing clients or to clients that are on a mailing list that might not know about these services. You could also use them to alert staff of cancellations. So someone’s cancelled a membership. You might have a chance to reach out and save that. So there’s a retention aspect. And then you’ve also got ways to reengage old clients. So I just read a ton of cool stuff that these automations can do. And I’m going to ask you, like when I read that list to you, does it make your eyes light up? Like maybe there’s some ways that you can make some money with all that.

Mateo (04:53):

I mean, yeah, all of that is, if it’s on the prospect side, you know, all, all of those things where you’re giving away value, sending messages out, you know, giving your prospects little nuggets or information that can help them. All that’s gonna work to help you build that know, like, and trust factor. And keep your prospects engaged and eventually if you nurture them enough, they’ll take the next step and buy from you. So that’s huge. And yeah, with your current client base, you’re gonna do a lot of your—a lot of that relationship-building in person, in classes or you know, in their personal training sessions, you’re going to do a lot of that when they’re in the gym. But they’re only in the gym one hour out of the day. Right. So with some of the automated messaging that you can build out and these client nurture campaigns, you can continue to engage with them and offer them feedback, support, info about the gym, info about fitness, info about nutrition automatically, you know, at various intervals, during the week, during the month to keep them engaged and to show that you’re still giving them value even if they’re not in the gym.

Mike (06:19):

Our communication system at the gym, CrossFit 204, was very sophisticated, it was scrawling a note on the upper right hand corner of the whiteboard so that people, when they were looking at the workout and crapping their pants, they would hopefully see that and know that there was wine and WOD going on and we should come and bring a friend. It never worked. We started using email newsletter stuff, email communications. Literally every time we send something to the mailing list, we make money because people actually know, they see the stuff that they didn’t know about and they want to do it. It wasn’t that they didn’t want to come to the wine and WOD before, they just didn’t know about it. So that’s just one personal experience that we’ve had with, and that’s not automated, but at the same time, that is the value of communication where you can automate stuff and keep telling people, for example, Hey, we have nutrition services. A current client might not know that you have nutrition services and you think that, of course everyone knows that, but some don’t. Simply telling your mailing list that you have nutrition services and they’ll help you accomplish your goals will get new clients. So, and that can all be automated.

Mateo (07:18):

Yeah. Or like you sign up a new member, you tell them about nutrition in the beginning and they, they’re not interested in that, they just want to do personal training to start and that’s fine. But then you can send them information periodically about your nutrition program. You can share client stories and success stories with them. Give them some nutrition tips, and you can do that and you can automate that. And over time, you know, you’re just reminding them that this is out there and when they’re ready, they’ll pull the trigger on it, but you’re keeping it front of mind for them, right? So, I mean, yeah, there’s infinite ways in which you can build out nurture campaigns and communication pipelines for your clients. I mean, you can segment it and get as complicated as you want or keep it as simple as you want, right?

Mateo (08:07):

You can segment your lists into new clients, clients in the gym from post 90 days to the year mark. Long-term clients or clients who have bought PT, clients who haven’t bought PT, clients who bought nutrition, clients who haven’t bought nutrition. And then you can do the same thing for your prospects. People who are interested in your front end offer, your six week program. People are interested in personal training. People are interested in your ebook that you gave out on your Instagram a month ago. You know, you can segment this as much as you want and therefore tailor your communication and customize it to these groups as much as you want or you can, you can keep it simple, right? Just a list of people who haven’t bought and who are my prospects and then a list of people have bought and just talk to those two groups of people, you know, according to the information that they need. And that’s fine too. But the more the point there is, you can build this out and make it as big as you want or keep it as simple as you want, but at its core, you do want to communicate with your prospects and your clients regularly. And automation can help you do that.

Mike (09:18):

In the second half of this show coming up in about 10 minutes, we’re going to tell you what we think are the essential sequences that you need to have. So we’ll go through them. We’ll give you some tips for what you want to put in those sequences. We’ll list that out in just a little bit. The first thing, you know, the first thing we’ll talk about is quick refresher. How are we getting leads on onto these lists, right? Give me the quick details of how we’re actually going to get this contact information that’s going to fill out these lists and how we’re going to keep track of how it comes in?

Mateo (09:48):

I guess let’s say you just opened your gym, right? You just opened your gym. Yeah, you probably don’t have to have a very sophisticated automated communication platform, right? But let’s say you open your gym, you’ve got someone who inquires, they’re either finding out about you by Googling local fitness facility in your area. Maybe they saw a post on Facebook, maybe they saw a sponsored post on Facebook, something you put a little bit of money behind. They heard about you somehow they found your website or a landing page of some sort and they’re going to inquire for more info, right? So they’re opting in. And there’s tons of ways you can get people to opt in. You can say, Hey, book an intro. You can say, Hey, download this free guide on, you know, six pack abs in six weeks. Download this coupon for a free InBody scan. There’s tons of ways you can get people to inquire and give and have them give you their contact info, right? But at some point they will, there’s going to be a transaction there. You’re going to offer up something to them. They’re going to want it. So they’ll give you their contact info.

Mike (11:06):

So you need a call to action or a secondary call to action as it’s known. You need something on your site or on a landing page that says, Hey, click this. And when they click that, they have to give you their contact information potentially to get to the next phase where you give away either an ebook or you maybe reveal your prices or they whatever. So they’re trading something for something or they’re giving you their contact information to get to the next step.

Mateo (11:32):

Here’s a cool thing. You want it, give me your info, I’ll send it to you or I’ll send you the details or send you even more the next step.

Mike (11:40):

Yeah. And that can be done in one of those landing page builders that are out there, third party kind of thing. Or you can, if you have the skills and knowledge, you can do it on your own site. But the whole point is that whatever you use, you need to get this contact info from where it comes in into your automated mailing list manager. Correct?

Mateo (11:59):

Right. You need a form. All right. It can be a pop up, it can be on the site, but you need a form where someone can fill out their info, their contact details and then submit it to you right.

Mike (12:10):

Now the system that you use, cause you talked about all these different mailing lists that you can segment and create and so forth, you should be able to see where these contacts, like how they came in, right? Your system needs to be able to tell you what happened?

Mateo (12:21):

So after someone submits the form, that needs to go somewhere, ideally somewhere where you can see it, right? You don’t want it to, and I’ve done this, I’ve built out landing pages or website forums and forgot to connect them to something. And that means that the lead just submitted their info and it went into outer space basically. So you want to make sure that that info is being captured and stored somewhere that you can see it and use it. Right? There are a lot of different CRM out there that can help you do this. We’ll talk about my favorite at the end of the show. But there’s plenty of form builders or CRMs that will take that info, store it somewhere. And yeah, if you’re just starting off, we’re going back to that example.

Mateo (13:18):

If you’re just starting out, you know, if you just opened up your gym, yeah, you could just have a simple Google form on your website, someone puts in their info, it gets sent to your Gmail and then you can email that person, or text them or call them up. If you want to automate it, which is what we’ve been talking about today, you can definitely do that as well, right? So it’s not so manual. You’re not like having to search, OK, someone submitted the form, I have to go find where it’s stored and then I got to pull it up and then I got to call them or message them or text them or email them and hopefully they reply. Right? There’s systems out there, platforms out there that will take that information store for you and then send them the messages that you want to send to them automatically.

Mike (14:05):

Yeah. And there are different systems, like I use, you can trigger some automations just with gym management software, some of them have that ability. And you can even—I’m gonna confess it. I don’t know that it works perfectly, but the software that we use for gym management is supposedly communicating with MailChimp or one of the other platforms that you can use. I think it works, but I’m not a hundred percent confident in that. Then we’ve also got, I use the system that you taught me how to do in your marketing course where I’m using an outside landing page builder. I’m funneling that with Zapier and I’m using Google sheets to keep track of things and so forth and whatnot, and also Acuity. All of that, it totally works. However, I just listed four or five different steps in programs and there’s a cost attached to each one. So when I add them all up, I’m probably looking at, I don’t know, 300, 400 or something like that. And they don’t always play nice.

Mateo (14:54):

Yeah, no, for sure. You can build something yourself from scratch. And I actually have a on a couple of marketing courses I teach people how to do that. You know, you can duct tape something together where you’ll capture info from your site or a landing page, it’ll one, notify you and your staff two, it’ll store it somewhere so you can reference it later when you want to manually follow up and then three it’ll push it into whatever piece of software you’re using to automatically send a newsletter or lead nurture email campaigns or whatever it is. Right? Like you said, MailChimp or whatever it is. Yeah, you can duct tape this stuff together. There’s also all in one solutions, but again, some of those like, you know, some of them are very expensive and complex and maybe they have a lot of capabilities, but maybe you don’t need all those features. You know, something like infusion soft for example, something that’s a really robust and it can do a lot of things for you, but you need to take a separate course or hire someone just to teach you how to use it. There’s costs associated with just the material, you know, software, the tools and there’s costs associated with the time spent to actually learn how to connect them all and put them all together and make it all work and talk to each other.

Mike (16:16):

The end of the show, we’ll give you an idea of something that you can use to make all this happen. But let’s just assume that our listeners have everything figured out. They’ve got the systems in place. We’ll talk about the actual mechanics. We’ll talk about the mailing or the sequences that we want to do, the essentials and we’ll talk about what should go in each one. We’ll do that right after this. Two-Brain Business has created the Roadmap to wealth. Chris Cooper developed this thing. It is based on data. It is literally the stuff the best gyms in the world are doing. No guesswork, just action, results. Your first step is to complete a 12-week sprint where we’re going to build the foundation of your business. Your second step is to work with a mentor to use the Roadmap to build your business and generate tons of momentum.

Mike (16:57):

For more info on that visit twbrainbusiness.com to book a free call with a mentor. Now I’m back with Mateo Lopez marketing expert. We are going to talk about the essential sequences that you need to have for marketing and communication and this stuff. We’ll go through them point by point here. We’ll kind of give you a few tips for each one. These are the ones that we recommend gym owners use because they’re going to warm leads, communicate with clients and they’re going to generate interest and also revenue if you do it right. So the first one I’ll give you is just the simplest one. The goal we have every time someone’s on our website is have them book an appointment. So the first sequence is you need to have something that comes up that encourages people to book an appointment, a call to action button or whatever, they click it. Then you want their contact information and something that your partner John told me is that you want them to have to submit contact before they get to the scheduling page because if they get cold feet and don’t schedule, you might be left empty handed. So to get to that page, they have to enter contact information. When they do book an appointment or when they enter that contact info, what should happen in this appointment booking sequence?

Mateo (18:05):

Yes. So yeah, a lot of people will just have like book an intro and then go straight to the scheduling page or software. I like to gate that stuff. I like to, like you said, have them submit their contact info first and then pick the time afterwards. And the reason is just, yeah, as you said, some people might get cold feet, some people might say, yeah, I’m interested. They get halfway and they’re like, you know what, now I actually have to pick a time. I actually have to pick a day, it’s a big commitment. And then they jump ship. But now at least you have their contact info so you can follow up with them manually or with automations. Right. But let’s say they take the big action step here and they book an appointment.

Mateo (18:50):

You should have appointment reminders. You should have some kind of automated messaging that reminds the person that—or first confirms it. Hey, we got your time booked here. We’ll see you at the gym. This is the address. If you get lost, here’s our phone number, give us a call. And then, you should have messages that follow up with them, basically until they walk into the gym, say, hey, see it’s coming up tomorrow. Really excited to see you. My name is Mike, this is me and my dog. We’ll be waiting for you at the gym. And then, Hey, your appointment’s coming up in a few hours, don’t forget about us cause we haven’t forgotten about you. Things like that, right? It doesn’t have to be massive.

Mateo (19:36):

But, yeah, if you use any kind of appointment booking, scheduling piece of software, most of these have those kinds of reminder things built in. But you want to make sure that you have those reminders going out and it’s a really, yeah, if you’re booking like five appointments and you’re doing it on, you know, your Google calendar and and then you’re having to remind all five of these people manually or without any kind of automation, that can get pretty tedious. So that’s an easy first simple way. Like, let’s automate that. Let’s at least just automate the appointment reminders.

Mike (20:14):

And that’s a short campaign. Generally. Like, we often would try to prevent people from booking an appointment three weeks in advance because they’re probably not going to come. So you would like, you’d want them to book that appointment in the next, you know, even that day would be best. But then three or four days, whatever, send them two or three reminders, confirmation. It’s a short, blunt campaign, just saying, we are just thrilled that you’re coming. Here’s where we’re at, here’s how you contact us. And then just reminder, reminder done. What happens if this person has booked an appointment to the next sequence here is they either cancel or they don’t show up?

Mateo (20:48):

So you want to make sure you note that down. Obviously if you’re sitting there waiting for them and you’re looking at your watch and it’s been five minutes, 10 minutes, yeah, don’t be afraid to call them up. That’s where you do want to take some actual action there and manually message them or call them. But let’s say they don’t show, it’s been 15 minutes. You should be able to notate that somewhere in whatever platform you’re using.

Mateo (21:19):

You should be able to notate that in whatever platform you’re using. And that should trigger some kind of a sequence. It’s like, Hey, sorry we missed you. Sorry you had to take a rain check. Don’t worry. Like you haven’t hurt our feelings that bad. Just like rebook. All you have to do is click here, something like that, and that you can use that same sequence. It only needs to be a couple emails or a couple of text messages long. You can use that same one for if they no-show you right, it’s essentially the same. Or if they cancel, if they cancel or if they no show. It’s a very similar sequence. Like, Hey, yeah, sorry I missed you. Sorry. You can’t make it in today. I’ve got more time tomorrow. Click here to rebook or call me at this number right now and I’ll get you set or whatever it is.

Mike (22:05):

Yeah. This is short, abrupt stuff where like the iron is still hot, so you’re trying to strike pretty fast and hopefully get this person to book because he or she did book and just didn’t come or canceled. So we’re going to try and just poke them, you know, Hey, come, come. We’re still here. We’re still interested. We’re still interested. And then eventually that is going to get shuffled off into another sequence, which we’ll talk about later on because you can’t keep nagging them for that appointment forever, but for two or three days when that iron is still hot, you might want to keep pushing out them and then see what happens and see if you can get that person back. And what you said is great. Like don’t hesitate to pick up the phone and actually call the person yourself if you’ve got, cause you’re sitting there, they missed the appointment anyway.

Mateo (22:43):

Yeah, no, 100%. So let’s say they actually do show up and they’re sitting down in front of you and ideally you’re going to close them, right? Ideally you’re going to sell a membership or sell a package. In rare cases they’ll turn you down, which is fine. We’re trying to get a yes or no at that point. The worst one is a maybe or I got to think about it, right? Ideally you’re getting an answer yes or no, but let’s say they sneak out of there saying, all right, I just gotta check a couple things. I gotta find my credit card or I need to talk with my dog and make sure that he’s OK with it. You know, whatever it is. You should have some kind of post-appointment follow-up.

Mateo (23:36):

That can also be manual, right? You can just say, you know, you can assign this to one of your staff members, you can do it yourself if you’re doing the sale and maybe it’s a cold messages that are going to deal with the most common objections or maybe the most common fears that people have. Something we did was, you know, we’d send a followup email that said, you know, is it worth it? Is it worth the price or something like that. It’s like, we know this is more expensive than your normal gym membership and this is why. And then we kind of, we’d lay down our justification for and explain the value, right. Or it can be like, is CrossFit really scary?

Mateo (24:17):

No, don’t worry. It’s not, it’s safe. Look at all these grandpas doing it and then you use all the crossfit.com photos of old people going to the Games. But yeah, you should have some kind of post-appointment nurture to try and make sure that you get them to actually give you an answer. Either way, whether it’s a yes or no.

Mike (24:36):

And this is again, this is probably, at least early on in the sequences this is more abrupt where you’re just saying, you know, Hey, we talked, you know, do you have questions? Contact me. Can we go over something else? Like what can we do to solve any problems? And then if it trails off a little bit, you get a little bit more detail later on. That’s cool. But again, this sequence isn’t going to go forever, correct?

Mateo (24:58):

No, correct. This is one or two messages just to say, Hey, so what’d you think? You’re ready to make the next step. And so you can do this yourself, but again, it makes life easier if you can click a box on your calendar or their appointment schedule or fill out a post appointment form and then it sends, you have a system that automatically sends those follow-up messages for you.

Mike (25:29):

Alexa, nag my lead. Right. Just make it happen. Let’s talk about another one, let’s talk about an active lead sequence. What is that? Who qualifies as active lead and what do we want to tell this person?

Mateo (25:40):

Yeah, so you kinda, I would say new leads. Or warm leads or hot leads or new leads.

Mateo (25:49):

So these are people who have opted in, who have inquired but who didn’t actually book an appointment. Right? So, that’s the sequence. Yeah, we’re close. And that’s the sequence. Basically the goal of that sequence, the goal of the messaging there, going back to the guy who just opened his gym who doesn’t have any members. Let’s say he’s got someone who opts in or fills out a form on his website. The job of that person is to call, message, text, email that lead as many times as possible in order to get them, make contact with them and then talk to them and get them to actually book an intro. Right? Now if you can automate that, it’s great because you can send as many messages as you as you need to.

Mateo (26:37):

You don’t have to worry about following up manually. I mean you should still follow up manually yourself. I still think I’m getting people on the phone is the best way to build a relationship, get leads to know, like, and trust you. And build rapport. It makes the sale easier. So you should always try and get someone on the phone, and we can talk about how you can automate some of those tasks. But let’s say you’re coaching class cause you just opened your gym and you’re just starting out. If you can have some kind of automation that will send out messages to these new leads right away via email or text, that’s gonna help you a ton because it’s gonna ensure that you’re not letting your leads fall through the cracks.

Mike (27:25):

So this is something like thanks for your interest in our gym. Just want to make sure that, you know you can get ahold of me at any time. We are all about building relationships with people and you can contact me at this email address anytime. I will respond to any email, if you prefer phone or text, I am here. And if you’re a face to face person like me, book an appointment here right now, click this link. You know, we’re talking stuff like that.

Mateo (27:46):

Yeah. Or the messaging can be tailored to the pipeline, right? If they inquired because they opted in for keto cookbook that you had posted on your Instagram, say, Hey, saw you’re interested in the keto cookbook, here it is delivered to your inbox. By the way, what had you interested? And they’re like, Oh, I was interested cause I’m trying to lose weight. Oh really? And then boom, you’ve got the conversation started. Well, OK, what have you tried in the past to lose some weight? How much weight are you trying to lose? Oh, you’ve tried, like all these things, they haven’t worked. Why don’t you come and book an appointment? Talk to me, bet we can solve that problem for you. Right. So that’s kinda how it works. So you can tailor the messaging, you know, to the pipeline to the way in which the lead came into your CRM or however they opted in, whatever their point of entry was, you can customize the messaging to that point of entry. But if they’re just opting in on your site, yeah, the goal there is to get them to book an appointment. So you should say, Hey, saw you’re interested in our gym. This is my phone number is my email. If you’re ready to chat, book an appointment right now. What had you interested? Talk to me about it, what’s going on in your life?

Mike (29:10):

And this thing can go like this active lead campaign, again, these people are close. This thing can go up to like, you know, three weeks kind of thing, right? Like you’re probably going to front load this thing where, you know, they were close, so you want to hit them as, you know, maybe even twice a day for the first couple of days or something like that. But then this thing can go for, you know, 16, 20 days and you start to get into some longer emails at that point where maybe you’re telling them a little bit more about your gym or just trying to build, you know, you’re trying to find something that interests them. So this thing can go for a while, right?

Mateo (29:36):

Yeah, definitely. 100% so yeah, the messaging is going to be a little bit more intense in the beginning cause you’re really trying to get them to book right away. Like you said, strike while the iron is hot. Your chances of qualifying a lead basically decrease exponentially as time goes on past the point of opt in. So yeah, you’re really trying to get them to book as soon as possible. And then yeah, you can continue to message them periodically but then you’re moving to more of like a once a week and then a once a month type of deal.

Mike (30:08):

So let’s talk about that. So that that becomes when they’re, after your active lead thing runs its course, you’re going to dump them in into a long-term nurture sequence and that thing is going to go for, you know, quite some time. It’s probably have a bunch of emails in it. What would you want to put in a longterm nurture sequence?

Mateo (30:23):

Yeah. So you have your new lead sequence, which is what we’ve been talking about. Trying to get them to book. It’s a lot of messages in the first few days there. And then moving to once a week and then after the 30-day mark, you’re really moving them into long term nurture and that’s going to be a message once or twice a month. This can go for a year. I know you’ve written out, for Two-Brain clients, you’ve written out a year’s worth of emails and text messages that go out to these leads. You’re a better copywriter than me, but you definitely want to know things like, hey, been thinking about ya.

Mateo (31:07):

Hey, I miss ya. Here’s a little tip I got for ya about fitness.

Mike (31:11):

I like that idea of that tip. And I like, cause like in the long term nurture thing, I think what you’re kind of trying to do is you’re trying to educate because something stopped this person from coming to see you and you don’t know what it is. You’re kind of just shooting in the dark. But as a gym owner, you probably know some of the stuff and it’s like price, so you haven’t established value. Fear, I’m not fit enough to do functional fitness or CrossFit or it’s, you know, they just don’t understand. It’s like, they think if I walked into a CrossFit gym, I’m automatically going to get massive traps and I don’t want them, will I get bulky all the old school stuff so you can get exactly these different things, right?

Mateo (31:44):

If I weight train, will I get bulky? Is CrossFit dangerous? And you kind of just address the most common objections and fears. But in some kind of like educational bloggy type of email, right type of post. And then if you can engage them with like a quick question for you, you know, what do you think of this idea I’m throwing out at you?

Mike (32:08):

And a big win here is a response. Right? Like if someone reads this, first win is if someone sees your name in the inbox. I think the second win is when someone actually opens it. A third win is a click to anything you’ve linked to a and a fourth win is like a response to you, like saying Hey, thanks for the email. I have another question. And then the fifth big win I think is like if they book an appointment.

Mateo (32:28):

Exactly. Yeah. Like Hey, are you more of a strength trainer or do you like more endurance stuff? Oh, I’ve like been a runner my whole life. Oh really? Did you know that strength training is the best way to make sure you stay injury free when you’re training for a marathon.

Mike (32:45):

Any response here is a huge deal. And like you might not get one for a while but eventually, who knows? Maybe that 270-day email get someone to come to your gym and you know what’s the old adage is that you need like seven or 11 different marketing contacts before people take action. I mean, what you’re doing is adding up those contacts, right?

Mateo (33:08):

Yeah. Consistency is key. Something that I just thought of, my buddy Jack Wheeler over at 360 fitness, he does a lot of lead magnets, a lot of eBooks. And so he’ll deliver those, he’ll do a couple of nurture things and then like a week or two later he’ll be like, Hey, what’d you think of the book? And it gives them time to actually read it or engage with it. Obviously not everyone’s going to engage with those pieces of those little infoproducts, but yeah, the, Oh, like I actually really liked it, or Oh, I didn’t like it. At least they’re responding. Right. And if they’re responding, that gives you a window to start that conversation.

Mike (33:40):

If you didn’t like the keto cookbook, maybe you’ll like the paleo cookbook. I got that too. So let’s talk about this. So those are your long term things, and like that those chickens may come home to roost at some point. You’re not sure. Talk about, let’s go to a new client. So someone, let’s say you close them out.

Mateo (33:59):

Yeah. Let’s say they show up for that appointment. They listened to your reminder, your appointment reminder emails and texts, and they showed up and then you sold them, right? So, those first, really the first two weeks, well, first 90 days, but really the first two weeks, you know, is critical, right? You want to make sure that that person is enjoying their experience at your gym. Joining a new gym can be scary and intimidating. So you wanna make sure they’re enjoying their experience. And you want to make sure that you’re keeping the lines of communication open and you’re engaging them. Like we talked about before, you’re only gonna see them for an hour in class. If they’re first starting out, maybe they’re doing three times a week. So, you know, it’s not a ton of opportunity for you—

Mateo (34:43):

There’s opportunity but not like a ton for you to communicate with them and strengthen that relationship and nurture that new client. So a way to do that is with automated messaging, texting and email saying, Hey, you know, you can do this manually, right? You can have a person on staff, just keep track of where everyone’s at. OK, it’s this person’s first week. I’ll send them a first week, you know, congratulatory email. Oh, it’s this person’s, they’re at the two-week mark. I should ask if they have any questions or if they’re feeling sore or whatever. Like you could do that manually, but it would be way easier and better, but you could automate this and let the robots do it for you.

Mike (35:24):

And then they launch the nuclear missiles and the matrix happens. But we won’t get to that part just yet. We’re saving time now, so forget about that.

Mateo (35:32):

I was on the plane yesterday. I just watched the newest Terminator movie. And it was OK. I understand why it got like, I think like a 62 on Rotten Tomatoes. It’s like, all right, no one hated it, but it was like, yeah, it’s one of those things where it was, you had all the right ingredients. I think you just waited too long to make this reunion thing happen.

Mike (35:56):

And it all started though with Arnold just doing some automated text messaging for a gym and then he became a sentient being and took over the whole thing.

Mateo (36:04):

It did look like he hit the gym for this movie, but the reason I bring this up is they renamed Skynet in this movie. They renamed it, it’s a new timeline. So it’s not Skynet anymore. Sarah Connor’s is talking about it and the person in the future’s like, ah, I don’t know what Skynet is. They call it Legion, where I’m from. And I was just like why rename this to Legion? Why? It doesn’t make any sense. But yeah, before Skynet, you can still automate your text messages. I don’t think we’ll get there in our lifetime. Yeah, I am a little worried about Tik Tok. That stuff I’m pretty sure is just spyware. I’m almost a hundred percent sure it’s spyware. But if you’re scared of Skynet, or Legion, you could manually keep track of all of your new clients and track where their progress and then send them a little love letters and congratulatory emails based on like, you made it through your first class or your seventh class or your 10th class.

Mateo (37:05):

If you’re not scared of Skynet, you could automate it and let the robots do it for you.

Mike (37:10):

Yeah, I embrace the robot overlords wholeheartedly. But like you said, this thing can go for let’s say like 90 days, a hundred days. This is like the prime habit forming time. So we want this person to feel welcome. You want this person to understand, you want to educate and brand, show your mission, your vision, let them know how you can, how they can find help if they need it. You want to solve problems. Like if someone’s going to quit in the first 30 days, you need to find a way to find those problems ahead of time and then fix them. Right? Can’t figure out how to book in for a class. Oh, handy-dandy automation says book in here.

Mateo (37:44):

You use the app to book the class or whatever.

Mike (37:46):

All of it. Workout tracking, bright spots. Classic Two-Brain stuff. Booking goal review sessions. You’re nagging these people to come and see us. Celebrate your bright spots. Let’s book some new goals. Talk about new services that’ll help you get to your goals. So this thing is really like kind of the first indoctrination. It’s almost like a boot camp where it’s like we’re telling you everything you need to know and we’re telling you how much we love you every five days or so for about a hundred days. And we’re making sure you know where everything is, what we’re all about.

Mateo (38:14):

Yeah. 100%. And that’s the other thing too, it’s like, yeah, you can automate, if you know you want people to book an athlete check in every 90 days, you know, you can have that set in the automated timer, because yeah, like I’ve said this a couple of times on here, every month when they get that auto pay email coming up, you know, that’s a point of sale. Like you have to resell them every month. You don’t have to do it in person necessarily. You don’t have to sit them down and do a no sweat every month. But you have to be in some way checking in and making sure people are making progress. And you have to—they’re a flight risk every single one of those months. So you have to always be making sure that you’re delivering an awesome service to them and helping them get results consistently every month.

Mateo (39:07):

But after that first, you know, 90 day period or so where the communication frequency is going to be a little bit higher. It’s gonna be a little bit more intense. You can transition them to a longer term client nurture for the more established clients because they’ve been around, they know, like and trust you a little bit more at this point. You probably don’t need to blow up their inbox every week or so. So you can reduce the frequency, send them a message once or twice a month, but do that for years because hopefully they’re gonna stay for years.

Mike (39:40):

And this stuff, with the established client, this is really where, I mean you have to write this stuff only one time, but it goes out to all your clients and it does establish value where they’re getting communication with you, they are getting things from you information. When I wrote some established clients stuff, I would get into more like topics that people would have an interest in after about three, six, eight months of CrossFit or whatever. So it’s like when they come in, they just need to know where the bathroom is and where they put their bag. Right. After three or six months, they’ve probably got supplement questions, nutrition questions, knee sleeves questions, wrist wraps, Oh, should I do a squat program? All the more technical stuff.

Mateo (40:17):

Yeah. Or like I’ve been doing three times a week. Should I start doing four or five? And like, you know, you can start talking about those things and talking about them so that when they do book that athlete check in with you, they’re already starting to think about it. They already know a little bit of the context that they need to start making those decisions with you.

Mike (40:33):

Yeah, new services can could definitely go in there. If someone just signs up for a group, maybe they want some personal training in addition, nutrition services. You can start educating someone when they come in and let’s say they just came in to you know, to work out, now you start telling them how nutrition is the second half of that equation, they’re going to get better results because if they do this, Hey we have a nutrition service and so on and so forth. When they come to that goal review session, which you are asking them to book every 90 days or so, they know about your services, they at least understand that you do offer nutrition and then you have a chance, you’re essentially warming leads for resale essentially.

Mateo (41:10):

100% exactly right.

Mike (41:12):

Yeah, and this thing can go on for, you know, I think the one that I wrote was, I don’t know, 500 or 600 days or something like that. Like it goes on for quite some time. And the goal of course is retention forever, after probably, you know, two years, you probably don’t need to write, you know, your 10-year email. There’s probably a small investment on that. You’re probably looking at more personal contact after that. But an established client sequence can go for about two years, something like that. And you’re talking like every 30 days or something like that. So they’re always getting contact from you, but not to the point of spam and annoyance. Let’s talk about this one. Despite all your best efforts, you’ve done all this cool stuff. You’ve said all these things, someone cancels. What automation do we want there? How do we want that one to roll?

Mateo (41:55):

Yeah. So, like you said, ideally we want everyone to stay forever, but not everyone will, right? Some people are gonna cancel for whatever reason. So what we like to do as a best practice is we want them to fill out a cancellation form first. Especially if you’re a business is a little bit larger. Maybe you have an admin or a customer service rep or a CSM. You know, maybe you’re not reading every email that comes in your inbox anymore for the gym. So, someone requests like, Hey, I think I want to cancel my membership. It goes to your admin. The admin can then send them a cancellation form, right? And the cancellation form will then prompt the member to provide a little bit more about info about like, you know, the reason for canceling, if they were satisfied with the service or not or whatever it was.

Mateo (42:52):

Now ideally you have some kind of automation that then pings you, the gym owner or your coach or your one of your senior coaches, says, Hey, this person just filled out the cancellation form. That gives you an opportunity to intercept them. Schedule an exit interview if possible. And then you know, you have an opportunity there to see if you can get them to stay or if not, make sure that you two are leaving amicably and satisfied and say, Hey, look, I know you’re leaving. I know you’re moving. Would you mind still leaving us a good review or whatever it is, right. You have an opportunity there to get some closure. So make sure that they’re leaving satisfied, right?

Mike (43:33):

Yeah. So this is like a very short sequence. It involves like a notification to staff and probably email the client that asks them to either come in or reminds them of the different things that they’re missing, but very warm and friendly. Obviously leaving the door open for a re-engagement, which is the next and the last thing that we’re going to talk about here, let’s talk about this person has now canceled. You’ve tried your best to save him or her. Couldn’t, but now you still have contact information and a long term established relationship. So now how do we try to get this person back with automation?

Mateo (44:05):

Yeah. This is another one where you want to keep the information or the communication constant but you don’t want to blow up their inbox. Right? But you want to keep it constant. And this is one where yeah, you should have something that lasts years for this thing. You know, you should have I guess whatever 12 times five is you want to have as at least that many emails set up and on timers and ready to go out to these people.

Mike (44:37):

  1. So, in this reactivation sequence, there is an email that we use that has probably drawn in more old clients than any other and Two-Brain gyms across the world have used this thing and it almost always brings back old clients. It is a 10 word email, super simple. We’ll give it to you right here in Mateo. What is the 10 word email that brings clients back in?

Mateo (45:00):

I think it’s, Hey Mike, would you still like to get fit this year? Something like that. I think that might be nine words. That’s it. But would you still like to get fit this year? I think that’s only nine, but I think there’s a 10th one somewhere floating around there.

Mike (45:18):

Yeah. Well we’ll call it the nine or 10 word email. But either way, the point behind this is that people send this thing out and it often goes out in January when people are kind of more prone to start a fitness program. But we’ve seen gym owners send this thing out and it works. And it’s super simple. It doesn’t have to be this lengthy, endless thing. That email generally gets clients to respond. Sometimes they come back, sometimes they just start talking and you can then find out what they need. But that email has 100% been effective across the Two-Brain communities. So if you want to try that with your clients, I’d highly encourage it.

Mateo (45:55):

But that’s the idea. You’re messaging them periodically post cancellation and then you insert that question right a few months after. And then you nurture them some more. Give them some more tips or just info about what’s going on at the gym. Cool events that you may have put on, cool programs you may have added. And then again, you ask another question. It’s a spin on that 10 word email. You know, would you like to get fit this year? You know, how’s it going with your fitness or how’s it going with this goal or that goal? It’s a spin off that question, but that’s the same basic idea. It’s like, Hey, since you left, how’s it been going over there?

Mike (46:44):

The thing I like about it is that it sounds so legitimate. Like it sounds like it was written by a person. You open it up, you have two options. You either respond or you ignore it. Those are the only two things you can do. There’s no like endless reading or different, you know, confusion. It’s like a pointed direct question that sounds like it was asked by a real person. And I think that’s why it gets a good response. Like you said, some of the other stuff that you can do and some of the sequences that I’ve written, I’ve sent people workouts and said, Hey, you know, I know you’re not the gym right now, but I want to make sure that you’re still, you know, doing stuff. Here’s our link to our travel workouts page. Here are five workouts and if you want a personal one, email me back and I’ll give you a personal one, you know, on whatever you need to do today.

Mike (47:24):

I’ve done things where I’ll send them, you know, cool videos or interesting things. Hey, have you seen this cool video on YouTube about this fitness thing? Just try to do anything to get them to, you know, remember that you’re around, remember that you’re kind of fun and interesting and maybe get them to respond. So that’s kind of the goal there. And again, you’re looking at, you have an established relationship with these people, so you can definitely run the sequence, but I’d advise you, you know, reach out with some personal details from time to time. There’s no reason you can’t, you know, shut down Skynet for a little bit and just call these people and say, Hey, I was just thinking about you the other day I was looking at our PR log and I saw you had a 400-pound deadlift in March of 2019.

Mike (48:07):

What’s your deadlift at right now? Just checking in. Something like that. Maybe it works. I don’t know.

Mateo (48:11):

I think that’s awesome. I think that’s great, Mike. I’m going to do that. Yeah, that was amazing.

Mike (48:20):

So that’s the whole thing there is we’ve got lots of different sequences and so you’re collecting contact info from either leads or clients. You’re going to use your sequences, you only have build them once. They can be, I’m not going to lie to you. It’s a lot of work. I think some of the ones that I wrote recently topped out at I think what, 90 pages of writing and about 23,000 words for all this stuff that we’re doing that filled all these different categories. It was ton of work. And then on top of that you have to build all the different, you know, triggers and automations and all the systems connect, everything test to make sure it works. It can be done, but it could also be tiresome. Mateo, tell me about the solution that exists if people don’t feel like building all this stuff themselves.

Mateo (49:00):

Yeah. If you don’t want to buy a bunch of different logins for, you know, editing your website, editing the forms on your website, your landing page builder, some kind of thing that can connect your landing pages or your forms or your site to your Facebook ads or rather your CRM, right, your newsletter software. And then also a different login for your appointment scheduling. If you don’t want to do all of that, deal with all the logins and the deal with setting up all those different platforms and make sure they talk together and paying for all those subscriptions, my favorite platform and solution for marketing automation is Gym Lead Machine. That’s my favorite one.

Mike (49:48):

So tell me, Mateo, what is Gym Lead Machine?

Mateo (49:55):

Since you asked, now that we’ve brought it up, so Gym Lead Machine is actually a company that I am a part of and we’re a website and EMR, marketing automation all in one solution basically, geared towards Two-Brain clients. So not only will we host and design and build your website, but also we’ll make sure that the forms on your website are connected and talk to and seamlessly capture client inquiries and booked appointments and push them to a dashboard where you can track all of your leads and send all of your messaging from all in one place. It comes prebuilt with all the automated sequences that we just talked about. And includes in those sequences, like the actual emails and the texts, the messaging, all that stuff, we worked with you to create, isn’t that right Mike?

Mike (50:54):

Yeah, I did write, like I said, it was 90 pages or 23,000 words of stuff there. So all the sequences that we just mentioned, I did write those things and they are going into the Gym Lead Machine sequences to be triggered. And let’s be honest, the real reason here is like you, you worked in gyms for a long time. I worked in gyms for a long time. We’ve dealt with all these different systems and things that it’s a ton of work. Like I can write this stuff cause I’m a writer and you can build this stuff cause you’re a marketing guy. But for the gym owner who maybe doesn’t want to do that stuff, there needs to be a solution. And the other thing is that your product is going to be cost saving. Am I right? I mean we’re looking at, all the different platforms that I need to buy to connect all this stuff, what is the average client gonna save at Gym Lead Machine?

Mateo (51:41):

Yeah, I mean, typically if you pay someone to build a website, you know, it’s going to be at least, you know, could be as expensive as two grand, right? Just to build the thing. Or if you’re doing like a payment plan, right? You have a monthly payment over the course of five years to pay that down. Maybe it’s like 200 bucks a month just to host your site and pay down the developer who designed it for you and set it up right? And then you’ve got whatever your CRM is, let’s say, even if it’s MailChimp, right? That’s still expensive. A lot of those are more expensive. Other ones out there, some of them are more, have more of a niche solution for gym owners are even more expensive for automated nurturing and messaging for leads and for clients. And then on top of that, you got to pay for your scheduler.

Mateo (52:24):

And a lot of times it’s either Acuity schedule, once, whatever it is, and then you’ve got to pay for way connect everything. And if you’re paying for a separate landing page builder, like lead pages or Instapage or click funnels, you know, that that can, that can add up.

Mike (52:39):

It’s $100 just for the landing pages usually.

Mateo (52:41):

Yeah, exactly. Some of those landing page builders are just a hundred bucks by itself. So yeah, this is something where we wanted to have a solution where all of these problems are solved and we can save people, you know, in some cases close to five grand a year in just software and services, fees and subscriptions for all these different pieces of software that you need just to market to your clients.

Mike (53:11):

Now that said, we did give away all the secrets already. So if you are so inclined, you can listen to this podcast and write all that stuff.

Mateo (53:17):

You could write it out, you can build it out. You can go in and add each email template to a sequence and set the timer. You can definitely do it yourself, but this will save you, you know, hundreds of hours of work there.

Mike (53:30):

The secret sauce is left on the table for you. But if you’d prefer to have it served to you and automated with our version of Gym Lead Machine Skynet, we can make that happen for you. Where can people check out more about this if they are so inclined?

Mateo (53:45):

Yeah, go to gymleadmachine.com. Check out the demo video. I’m in there. You’ll see my face popping around and then book a time to talk to us and you can learn more and we’ll show you what it’s all about.

Mike (53:57):

Excellent. This is Two-Brain Radio. Please remember to subscribe. If you have a comment or rating, that would be awesome if you guys would leave that for us. We would love to hear that. I’m Mike Warkentin, I’m you’re media expert with Mateo Lopez, he’s your marketing expert. Two-Brain Radio publishes three times a week. Chris Cooper is around on Thursdays with the best of the business world. Sean Woodland is around on Wednesdays with the best of the fitness community. If you’re a gym owner who needs some help growing your business, Two-Brain mentors can show you the exact steps to add 5k in monthly recurring revenue. Book a call on twobrainbusiness.com to find out more. Thanks for listening and we’ll see you next time on Two-Brain Radio.

 

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Women in Business: Managing the Pressure With Rebecca Boskovic

Women in Business: Managing the Pressure With Rebecca Boskovic

Andrew (00:02):

Welcome to a special edition of Two-Brain Radio featuring Tiffy Thompson. Tiffy’s a journalist and graphic designer you might have seen in Vice, the Globe and Mail, and she does thecity.com. We connected Tiffy to Rebecca Boskovic of The Fittest Me. Rebecca is an inspirational entrepreneur and mother who gives her hot takes on women in business. If you enjoy this special episode, be sure to subscribe to Two-Brain Radio for more great shows posted four times a week. And now Tiffy Thompson with Rebecca Boskovic on Two-Brain Radio.

Chris (00:30):

Welcome to Two-Brain Radio. I’m your host Chris Cooper, here every week with the best of the fitness industry. Got a sec? We would love to hear from you. I write emails to my mailing list every day and it’s a highlight when somebody takes the time to respond. If you’ve got feedback on my show or a guest you’d like to hear on Two-Brain Radio, email podcast@twobrainbusiness.com. Don’t forget to subscribe to Two-Brain Radio wherever you get your podcasts.

Tiffy (00:56):

Hi everyone. Thanks for tuning in. You’re listening to Two-Brain Radio. I’m Tiffy Thompson. On this week’s episode I’m going to be speaking with Rebecca Boskovic, an entrepreneur and mother of four, Rebecca’s experienced firsthand the specific pressures that many women in business face, but she’s also figured out how to work through these situations and use them to her advantage. Rebecca is the owner and head coach at The Fittest Me in Suwanee, Georgia. She also produces the Strength for Life podcast, which aims to help women nix their self-doubt. Rebecca is on a mission to help more women make lasting changes in their lives and to truly love the skin they’re in. Today we’re going to be talking about her life, her battle with depression, the book that changed everything for her and when she realized that the fitness industry in particular can benefit from a woman’s perspective. Rebecca, welcome to the show.

Rebecca (01:55):

Thank you, Tiffy. It’s my pleasure to be here.

Tiffy (01:58):

So you described yourself as a pretty active kid growing up. You had a couple of older brothers and you were involved in a lot of sports and then when you hit your teens, you experienced major depression. Take me back to that point in your life. What was happening?

Rebecca (02:17):

That was a particularly stressful time in our family. It was coming off of a divorce for my family, for my parents. And in addition to that, there was some internal strife going on in a family business. That was the beginnings of a lawsuit. My mom was also getting sick. She had lupus and she was also starting to battle cancer. So there was a lot of parts of my life that were becoming unraveled and I think that kind of pushed some buttons. Now, depression actually runs in my family. So my mom had major depressive symptoms all of my life. I could see it in her and it wasn’t just her, you know, her father had been bipolar, her brother was what’s called affective schizoid disorder. Her mom probably has some kind of personality disorder and so there are definitely a lot of threads there, some genes towards depression.

Rebecca (03:18):

And it seemed to be that age when all of those buttons got pushed. And that’s, you know, it’s kind of one of those things where the depression was what it was. And in some households that depression could have probably spun even worse. But because my mom had already been dealing with depression for a long time and she had had success with cognitive behavioral therapy because of that, she quickly saw the symptoms and got me help. So I saw a psychiatrist from when I was 14 and that I think really helped make it so that instead of growing up in a household where depression was stigmatized, it really was seen as, you know, really part of the genetic makeup and predisposition. Not like you’re guaranteed to have it, but odds are high and she saw it and there were no hesitations like, Oh, you need to get over it. You need to just buck up. What’s wrong with you? There was never that message for me. So instead it was really something that I just had to overcome. Just like somebody who has a hard time reading or somebody who maybe struggles in math. You know, for me it was just struggling with managing the intensity of these emotions and the thoughts that would go through my head so that I could still function in life. And so I feel very fortunate actually to have been brought up in a household where at least I never felt like my depression was something wrong with me. It was just something that I had to deal with.

Tiffy (04:54):

Right. When you went through your life and you continued to be active, fast forward to 2006 when you came across Carol Dweck’s book “Mindset,” what was going on in your life at that time and how did that book sort of shape your focus?

Rebecca (05:18):

I was trying to think when I came across that book or why I picked it up. I think it’s at the time when I was really hungry for finding information on raising my children. My daughter, my oldest at that point was two years old, so I was scouring books for brain development essentially. So I had read like one book called “Magic Trees of the Mind” that talk about, you know, just the importance of having our children be exposed to a variety of environments to, you know, really develop thriving, flourishing minds. And Carol Dweck’s book “Mindset” was one of the ones I came across. And cause I really wanted to raise my children in an environment that fostered creativity and also really just honored who they are. And that’s something that’s, it’s actually really hard to do in our culture I find where there’s so much pressure to perform and to get them into sports and to get them into this.

Rebecca (06:22):

And I could already see, even though my daughter was only two, my internal pressures to like, Oh, I want to sign her up for classes at the park district. I want to get her into this. I wanted to get her into that. And I could already see that the challenge in raising my kids would be to help create the structure that would support them, but also not overwhelm them. So I think that’s what I was searching for at the time when I came across the book. But of course the book ended up having greater impact than just in raising my kids. It has totally impacted how I manage my own life as well as being a parent. So for people who are unfamiliar with “Mindset,” the book, really the premise of the book is that you either have a growth mindset or you have a fixed mindset and not that it’s either or and it is forever, but in any decision that you’re making or any situation that goes on in life, you have an opportunity to have a growth mindset or a fixed mindset. And the difference is a growth mindset is setting you up to believe that any failings or any challenges that you come up against are really opportunities for growth. And they’re opportunities to become better at something and to learn whereas the fixed mindset is all about either you have it or you don’t. And it’s that very black and white. And the problem with a fixed mindset is it sets us up for cheating, lying, and creating these lives that are really limited because all we know is the structure we’re in. And we say, OK, I’m either smart or I’m dumb, I’m strong or a weak. I’m a good mom, or I’m a bad mom. And everything becomes so polarized that our ego wants to support our belief that we’re good, right?

Rebecca (08:10):

So we end up doing just enough to make us look good and feel good and we never grow. So the growth mindset, however, sets us up for success because we see it’s not so much about the outcome, whether we do well at a test or not. It’s more about the process of learning that becomes the distinction.

Tiffy (08:34):

How did the sort of growth mindset, the introduction of this concept, how did it affect how you perceived your own life? Like you realized that you could impart that to your children, but how did that sort of change how you viewed your own career and your own path?

Rebecca (08:54):

Once I read that book, having that growth mindset has become my ultimate goal in every decision. And the most distinctive thing that it has benefited me on is a willingness to fail. I grew up in a household that was fairly, even though it wasn’t overt, like the overall idea was you succeed, you get the A’s. It was very performance based. So it has taken me time to learn that it’s not so much about did you do it right, do it wrong, how’s it come across and performing, instead it becomes about the experience. And so that has informed not only how I parent, so for example, with my kids, I have a child who’s a perfectionist. So a lot of times we’re talking about her mindset because she’ll go into a task and she’s really anxious about it because she’s afraid she’s not going to do well. And in her case, I have to encourage her in a sense, to be OK with failing. In fact, we went out for tea the other day and she was talking to me about how some of her classmates will tell her that they got a B on a test and then they go home and tell their parents and their parents take away their phone or their apps and all this stuff because they got a B, and she and I were laughing because she said, do you remember last spring when I failed that test?

Rebecca (10:19):

And I came home and you gave me a high five. Yeah, I remember that because here’s somebody who wants to get 100% on everything. And for her, there’s so much wrapped up into being perfect that I really, more than anything, my goal for her was to find some opportunity for her to fail while she was in my house. Because when you become an adult, it’s so much harder to fail. It’s, you know, it’s harder to save face, all that, so I’m always telling her, look, you’re going to do as well as you can. And what happens if you don’t get 100%? OK. And so we talk a lot about that mindset of it’s OK to fail and if you do, then learned from it. And that sounds kind of simplistic, but at the same time it’s so hard for her because she’s perfectionistic, she wants it right all the time.

Rebecca (11:11):

But life is so filled with opportunities for failure that if you’re just going to play it safe and just get the A, you’re always gonna find yourself flying under the radar, right? Because you just want to get it right. So my goal with her is to encourage her to put herself out there a little bit more, challenge herself and maybe she’ll fail, but as a result, she’ll end up growing from it. So I high-fived her, not of course because the F, but I high-fived her because she lived through it. Right. And that gave us an opportunity to talk about it. So that’s as a parent. But like in my business for example, I moved here from Illinois to Georgia and I had plans, right? And I knew that some of the plans were almost like trying to catch lightning in a bottle.

Rebecca (11:57):

It was almost too perfect, but I also still wanted to go for it. And over the course of the last 10 months, I have failed probably 10 times for every one success. And that’s hard to do, right? Every time we fail it hurts. And if my goals were to execute A, B, and C and I had to do A, B, and C, no matter what, at all costs, then you end up putting yourself in this box that makes it so that you stop thinking and you’re not really going to make the best decisions. So instead, by coming down here knowing these are my objectives, I don’t know exactly what form they’ll take, but this is what I’m going to go for. And then finding that, OK, that didn’t work. OK, that didn’t work. That didn’t work.

Rebecca (12:52):

But what ends up happening is that if you’re willing to go through the pain of failure, if you’re willing to deal with not succeeding, what ends up happening is when you do succeed, you know it’s real, right? So I’ve waded through the stuff that I thought was going to work and now I’m like, OK, well that didn’t work and that didn’t work and that didn’t work. And so it has put me in a position now where I have a really clear sense of what my purpose is and what systems work, what systems don’t work. And so it makes for a much more efficient day because now I’m really spot on. It’s not like I’m guessing all the time or just doing just enough. So the whole growth mindset for me makes it so that when I fail it’s not a reflection of my ego, or it doesn’t reflect on who I am.

Rebecca (13:43):

It’s not like, Oh, I failed, I’m a failure. Instead it’s OK, what can I learn from that? And let’s move from there. And, and that’s a really hard thing to do. And I think the reason why it’s hard for people to do it, and it gets so in their fixed mindset about something where either they’re right or they’re wrong, or they’re good or the bad, or I’m a good business person. Oh no, I’m a bad business person. I think part of it is that you have to allow for the fact that there will be another time, you know, like even doing a podcast for example, right? So you come onto a podcast and there could be all this pressure on you to do it perfectly, and you could put all this pressure yourself to do it just right. And when we put that kind of pressure on ourself, usually what ends up happening is just too much.

Rebecca (14:30):

Right? So we don’t do anything at all. Whereas I just published my 20th podcast, which was exciting just because it’s exciting because I’ve done 20, that’s it. It’s exciting because I got through a lot of really bad ones to get to a 20th one, right? And that’s only possible if you’re willing to handle the fact that not everything’s going to be great, but I’ve gotten better and I’ve gotten better at keeping my head on while I’m talking and thinking in the present mode, staying authentic. And so I’ve grown as a result. But if I had had a fixed mindset of like, I don’t do podcasts, or if I had a mindset of I’m not going to do business ownership, then these avenues would just be shut off. Whereas if you have a growth mindset, it really stimulates your brain to be open to opportunities and you’re looking for them instead of like, I am this, I’m not that.

Rebecca (15:33):

It’s like, Oh, this is my life. Let’s see what happens. And then as we go through it, we improve and then that starts building. So it just allows for you to build scaffolding in your life, to build other skills on that in a fixed world, you really rob yourself of the opportunity of ever really getting better at stuff and developing skills. And, yeah, it just kinda keeps you in a constant state of stuckness and I like the growth mindset cause it informs everything I do and allows me to fail and to still get up the next day and go forward again.

Tiffy (16:13):

And it must bring something special to your clients as well if they are contending with a fixed mindset themselves. Have you noticed it’s enhanced your ability to kind of open up their minds to what they’re capable of and what sort of results they can achieve?

Rebecca (16:31):

Well, that’s a great question largely because that is really where my passion lies with my clients. You know, my background in fitness, really my twenties and thirties were really just going to the gym, working out. For me, fitness has always been just a way to manage my moods. So my twenties and thirties, the only reason I really exercised was because my psychiatrist made me, he said, you know, you should be working out six days a week and that’s going to help you manage your moods. And he was right. So I didn’t really have any major goals when it came to fitness. It was really just more maintenance. But what ended up happening when I got into CrossFit is I ended up shifting. CrossFit in and of itself was transformative because it shifted my mindset from just doing just enough to a mindset where I could actually have goals and achieve things.

Rebecca (17:28):

And all of a sudden I’m doing things that I didn’t know I would ever be able to do in my forties, you know, that kind of thing. So that got me into the CrossFit world, which is great, but as far as having a passion for helping women specifically was when I started coaching classes. So I got my Level 1, I got some other certifications through CrossFit, but when I started coaching women, specifically women who didn’t see themselves as athletes, so there’s that fixed mindset, right? I’m not an athlete. I am an athlete. And so you go into a box and there is the women who could do all these movements and they are the athletes and everybody else is kind of on the outside. Right? Yeah. And so, you know, I applaud anybody for walking through the door period. You know, that alone is huge.

Rebecca (18:17):

But to get them to stay, they have to start to see that it’s not so much whether they are or aren’t athletes, really the goal is just to show up. But I could see how that fixed mindset of like, Oh, that’s not me, could start getting in the way. So absolutely like with clients, whether it’s in talking about like their eating habits or in terms of fitness for them to see that it’s more of a focus on the effort and not a focus on the outcome. You know, because we get so focused on success being how we look, you know, what the physique we get. And ultimately that becomes sort of the, I guess you could say the prize at the end of all of it. We ended up like really liking, physically we transform.

Rebecca (19:09):

And that’s a great feeling. But the successes early on have to be founded simply in showing up. Right? So that growth mindset is, I showed up, I showed up, I showed up. That’s the success right there. And that’s the great thing about the growth mindset is it’s like, it allows you to focus on the area where you can actually find that success so that when you do have little failures, like, Oh, I couldn’t finish that workout. I thought I could and I couldn’t, or I couldn’t lift as heavy as I wanted to, in a fixed mindset, and I could see this in the gym I was in, a lot of people with a fixed mindset and what would end up happening, and even though they had achieved a certain athletic level, so these are people who fixed mindset had achieved something, is that they wouldn’t show up on days when the movement wasn’t something that they could do well or they could do a movement, but they don’t do it well.

Rebecca (20:09):

And so it ends up kind of putting their own caps on themselves. So whether you’re a new person who doesn’t see themselves as an athlete and needing to have that growth mindset just to get through the door or somebody who’s an experience athlete but who’s going to limit themselves because they only show up on days that have nothing to do with muscle-ups or something like that, you know, whereas when I see a muscle-up day I’m thinking, wow, I am so far from a muscle-up and I still can’t do one, by the way, but you know, I’m so far from that I need to show up on that day cause that’s the only way I’m going to get better.

Tiffy (20:45):

You mentioned your ideal client is a woman between 42 to 58 who’s 50 to 150 pounds overweight. That’s a pretty specific window. What is it about that sort of demographic that really appeals to you in terms of helping them?

Rebecca (21:07):

I like the age groups specifically because when people get to around the age of 42 that usually is a point in life when they’re going to no longer think that they can do everything themselves. So before that, you know, our egos do support us believing that, you know what, I can do it, I can do it, and if somebody can do it, great, that’s awesome. But if somebody can’t do it and they haven’t been able to do it yet on their own by the age of 42 then they’re starting to look like, wait, I’m in my forties, my health is going to start declining. I’m not losing weight as easily as I used to. I better get some help now. So I work best with people who have really reached that level of like, I’ve tried everything and nothing’s working.

Rebecca (21:57):

It just sets them up for a greater opportunity of success in terms of that growth mindset because they’re like, I’ve been beaten down by life and nothing I’m doing is working. Please help me. And they’re open at that point to taking in the training from somebody else. So that’s one of the reasons that age group is really a good age group. And also a lot of times in that age group, we’re talking about women who’ve been moms and women who have sacrificed so much of their life for their children. So you know, in that age group also we’re talking about women whose children are either out of the house or they’re a little bit older than say your children are very young, right? Very demanding. But the people I’m working with, you know, it’s like they’ve given, they’ve given, they poured out so much of their time, their energy to their children and now they need something for themselves.

Rebecca (22:59):

And so it works well for me because I can give that to them and they’re so grateful. Right. I personally appreciate gratitude. Like I like seeing an impact and you know you’re having an impact on someone when they’re writing you texts and saying, thank you so much. I didn’t think I could do that. Right. So that gives me good feedback. And so I like that. And so yeah, I think that that age group is, they’re ready. They’ve sacrificed enough. It’s time for them to give to themselves. And probably on a psychological level is that’s pretty much the age group my mom was in when, my mom was 40 when she had me. And since the age of very young, I just remember my mom being in bed, you know, she was in bed, depressed, in bed, depressed.

Rebecca (23:53):

And it wasn’t until I was probably around the age of 14 or 13 or 12 that right around the time when my parents got divorced, that’s when she was starting to like get on her feet. And so that’s the age group to me where I really wanted to help my mom. And you know, as a kid you only have so much impact on your own parents, but I could see how her not taking care of herself had impacted how she viewed herself. And it also impacted how I had to deal with seeing myself. And so moms of that age still have impact on their families. And that’s really important to me, is to be able to help them feel good about their bodies so that they can then demonstrate and show the uh, model for their children who are still looking to them.

Rebecca (24:49):

And to see this as an example of an adult who knows how to take care of themselves. And then hopefully that will trickle down to their children. And the other thing is when we take care of ourselves, it also—women specifically, when we take care of ourselves, it enhances every relationship we’re in. It enhances our friendships, our relationships with our children. It also makes our relationships with our spouses better. And so by helping women, in my mind, I’m also helping men because I think it’s really hard for men to be in marriages with women who don’t care about themselves. And you know, it all feeds on it. It’s a big system. But by helping the women where I feel like I can have the most impact, ultimately my goal is to also help the men and the children in their lives.

Tiffy (25:42):

The ripple effect extends outwards.

Rebecca (25:44):

Exactly.

Tiffy (25:50):

How did you come upon Two-Brain and how has that element of mentorship assisted in kind of reinforcing this growth mindset that you’d started out developing. How did that sort of build out your business model?

Rebecca (26:08):

Well, number one, I adore Chris Cooper and I adore him because of the fact that he is so true to what he stands for. So he has principles and he has values and he abides by them. So I really like that about him. Now I learned about Chris Cooper through a interview he was on in one of the CrossFit Kids Facebook groups. And so that’s where—because I was the CrossFit Kids coach at the gym I was at. So I was learning about that. I learned about him. So I started following him and reached out to him and we had some back and forth emails and it was right around that time when I left the gym and I went to open up my own garage studio that I reached out to him and was asking him about what I was planning to do.

Rebecca (27:07):

And, you know, he gave me good feedback, you know, it was like, well, tell me about this and how’s that working then? And then he even referred me to a podcast he had done with another gym owner, a couple who had started in their garage. So it was very practical advice. And so I started with Two-Brain very close to the beginning of my garage gym up in Illinois. And that was definitely something I wouldn’t change. You know, as far as like, when people look back, what would I have done differently or not done differently, to me, having a mentor from the beginning was critical. I don’t think I’d still be doing this if I didn’t have a mentor. I’m sure I would have given up a long time ago or not given up in that sort of fixed mindset.

Rebecca (27:53):

But it was sort of like just without a path, without a sense of like where I’m going or it would still be a hobby, let’s put it that way. If I were still doing it, it would just be like hobby mode and it wouldn’t be actually generating income to support my family. So, having Two-Brain in my world has multiple levels of benefits. It’s that benefit of having the accountability to my mentor, it’s the benefit of having a model of someone like Chris and then all of the people who are impacted by his life, his mentors, who ended up having the same message and the same systems to support the growth of all these gyms. And when you see other people succeeding who are in similar situations to you, there’s enough examples in our group that you say, Hey, if they can do it, so can I. And so on all these multiple levels, the Two-Brain mentorship group and then the group of gym owners themselves. And the way we support each other, it’s invaluable.

Tiffy (28:58):

It helped you to make a pretty big leap. You moved from Illinois to Georgia and your husband’s a stay-at-home dad, you’re the breadwinner. What’s that change been like for you and how has that sort of played itself out?

Rebecca (29:22):

So we decided to move down here after my husband’s family business decided to close. So he and his dad and brother after Sears when they, and that was their major client, they decided to close the doors, which was fine by me because I hadn’t seen him in years with the family business and just being chained to his tasks. So we talked about it and I said, you know, what would you think about you staying home with the kids and me going out on this venture?

Rebecca (29:53):

And we kind of did some numbers and figured things out and how much savings we had. And then, you know, with our house selling, you know, like we know the practical aspect is it takes time to build relationships and it takes time to build a business. So we were prepared for this to take a while and we decided to make it happen. And it has been—so from the level of him being a stay-at-home dad and me working, it is absolute perfection for our family. You know, I’d been a stay-at-home mom for pretty much 15 years, so it was time for me. I was ready for the switch and he was ready to be out of the grind of day-to-day business. So having that switch has been great. I moved ahead of them six months down here to Georgia and so in terms of all of that, even though things haven’t played out the way that I originally intended, I get into the Two-Brain, mentorship aspect of things.

Rebecca (30:53):

There are things that my mentor said to me back in February like, Hey Rebecca, why don’t you do this? And I wasn’t ready. You know, the fact is if I had listened to him then and if I was ready to do what he was telling me, you know, like, what do you think of this? If I was ready, I’d probably be farther along now. You hear people say, you know, if there’s any advice I’d give it’s listen to your mentor. But I wasn’t ready and so it is what it is. But, you know, I was still chasing what in my mind I thought I wanted to happen. And so what’s ended up happening over the nine to 10 months I’ve been here is that I had all these ideas in my mind, I’m going to do this, this and this and this. But they really weren’t connected to my heart.

Rebecca (31:36):

They were all just ideas, right? So I’m kind of an idea person, so it’s really easy for me to get caught up and to believe that my ideas are good. Right? And that’s one of the roles of a mentor is to kind of ask you questions, so it kind of bounces, puts it in the back of your mind like, Oh yeah, maybe I should be doing that. Ultimately I found success in specifically what my mentor, Jeff Burlingame had said back then that I’m finally doing now. I have been doing it for about four months, which is just to stick with the garage gym format as opposed to what I was trying to do when I came down was to have, I had enough money still reserve-wise to get a lease in a building and to hire coaches and to essentially ramp up to having a gym, right.

Rebecca (32:30):

A full-blown gym with classes and this kind of thing. And none of that happened. And largely because I couldn’t find the right lease, and the right deal and all of that stuff. And I can’t tell you how grateful I am that that did not happen because the burden that I think that would have put on me in terms of hitting that monthly rent and sometimes there’s positive stresses like that that kind of spur you on, but because there were so many other transitions going on in my life with the move, getting the kids down here, getting them into school, acclimating them to making new friends and selling our house, there’s so many other things going on. I think it would have been too much for me. Now that might still be a part of my future. But having the simplicity of just working out of a garage where I’m literally renting it from my apartment complex that we’re in for $150 a month.

Rebecca (33:23):

So my overhead on a space sense is only $150. More of my overhead is actually in like mentorship and you know, my systems and that kind of thing. But my overhead is so low so that by having, you know, right now I’m at nine clients. If I have nine clients paying me $80 an hour, you know, it’s a very doable business model that makes it so that I can help people, which is what I’m here to do, is to serve people. So it allows me to satisfy my purpose, is to help people and in a very concrete way as opposed to like hands-off right away. So I feel fulfilled and the overhead doesn’t crush me. And I can still weave this into being connected to my family and not feeling like I’m chained to, you know, a five-year lease or something that’s gonna, you know, put a lot of stress on me. So I’m very grateful for the mentorship, even if when I’m not willing to listen to it, having it there, knowing that when I am ready and I come back and say, you know, that idea you had Jeff, where you know, stick with the simplicity of the garage gym model? That’s where I’m heading and that’s where I’m finding success.

Tiffy (34:43):

And you were talking earlier about how when you’re making the transition from being like a stay-at-home mom back into the working life, the fitness industry is really, it can be really beneficial for women in that they can make their own hours and that it doesn’t take a lot of overhead to start out initially. Has that been your experience?

Rebecca (35:08):

That’s exactly, you hit the nail on the head. That’s what I would say too, is the barrier to entry is fairly low. And and the garage gym model can work just about anywhere. And a lot of times what women want is they want that work-life balance. So if there’s someone out there listening who’s thinking about it, my advice for you would be just to start, you know, get started because it takes time to build any business, no matter what. And it takes time partly because you have to get the word out there. There’s that sort of the trickle effect of social media, it might take 12 months before people start following you and then another 12 months before they come in the door. So get started now so that in two years’ time you’re making some money. And I also think it’s a great opportunity for women because of that work-life balance so that they can set their own hours.

Rebecca (36:08):

They know who’s showing up, you know, they have appointments. It’s not like you have to open up at 5:00 AM and you close at 9:00 PM and you’re on the floor all day. You can have down time. You get to establish the schedule. So there’s so many benefits. Oh, and I think the other thing I was going to say is not only from that social media standpoint and building, but we personally as humans, it takes us time to process, chew on, integrate what we’re learning. So like through Two-Brain, if you choose to hire Two-Brain as your mentor, and get a mentor through that group, you are going to be transformed. That’s all there is to it. You know, I don’t remember where I’d read it once, but when we open a business, what we’re really doing is asking to be transformed because there’s no other way to do it because you are going to be pushed up against discomforts.

Rebecca (37:05):

But the benefit is that you are forged into a more beautiful form of yourself. And you know, when we play it safe in life, you know, things might feel safe and there’s obviously comfort to that. But what you end up missing out on is the opportunity to actually become more truly yourself and to find out what your strengths are and to learn where you can lean on other people to help you with areas that you are not as adept at. And that’s a pretty beautiful thing.

Tiffy (37:33):

Yeah. Fitness has traditionally been seen as pretty male dominated. But like yourself, more and more women seem to be getting into the game. How do you think that the inclusion of more women in head coaching roles, in owner/founder roles, how do you think that changes the fitness industry for the better?

Rebecca (38:03):

That’s a great question. I would say that what I think women often have, not always, but what women more often than men, let’s say percentage wise, a greater percentage of women are going to have an empathetic view. And I think it’s just literally hormonal. I think that’s all it is. I think because the men have more testosterone, there tends to be more of the drive and I think that drive and stop overriding sometimes more of like the empathetic parts of our brain. It’s not that men are less good or anything like that. Whereas the women, I think because there’s maybe more of the estrogen or less of the testosterone, there’s more pause. And that pause I think allows for more empathy, or more opportunities for empathy, let’s put it that way. And then the other thing that I think women distinctly have an advantage over men when it comes to fitness, especially women who have had children, is that they’re in, unless you have gone through the process of being pregnant, unless you have gone through childbirth or had to have a C-section or you’ve gone through that kind of bodily trauma that comes from childbirth it’s really hard, I think, to be empathetic or to relate to what is going on in somebody else’s body. And so like when I first started coaching, and actually even before I was coaching, when I was working out, what I found, what was happening is that I was surrounded by people who had never had kids. And so we’d be doing a workout and they’d be like, Rebecca, why aren’t you doing heavier? Like, you should be doing heavier on this. And after four kids, I’m saying to myself, no way. Like, and that’s one strength I have that I’ve, and I don’t know if it’s from the growth mindset, I think I had that even beforehand, is like the internal dialogue that says yes or no. And when I hear people say push it, I say, are you kidding? Like, do you know what it feels like to live in my body?

Rebecca (40:13):

You do not. You have no clue. And that’s one thing that unless you’ve actually been through some kind of physical trauma or in this, you know, the fact is that not all childbirth is trauma, but it certainly is a reckoning. You know, there, there’s a transformation that happens with our bodies that happens at such an internal level that from the outside I might look strong. I might look capable, but I know internally things have shifted. And that’s a perspective that I think only a woman specifically who has had children can offer to somebody. So that’s something that I would say is the one difference between men and women in terms of perspective. And so a female trainer I think is more often than not going to be able to listen to the other person and say, yes, but how’s this feel at this level?

Rebecca (41:14):

Now, of course now I’ve got all this male, female thing, so I don’t want to like ostracize. I know a lot of really amazing men who are great coaches and they’re great coaches partly because they’re looking at the form and they can see the form’s breaking down and so that they know this person is lifting too much. So I think that there’s different ways of getting at the same thing. But so whether you’re looking at the form and you see it breaking down and then you know that something internally is not working quite right or you can just know and relate and say, you know what, this looks like too much because, and I know that you’ve had four kids, so let’s back off on the weight and let’s just work on building your strength from the inside out.

Tiffy (41:54):

Final question. I kind of want to talk about what your vision is that has come out of this whole experience of kind of uprooting your life and making it on your own and honing this vision of working with women. Can you tell me a little bit more about that?

Rebecca (42:16):

My vision is to help 5 million women love the person they see in the mirror and that has a lot of layers to it. You know, it sounds like a lofty vision when I say it. I actually only recently have even started verbalizing this because I was a little embarrassed to be saying, and Rebecca, how are you going to get 5 million? How are you going to impact them exactly? And you know, the fact is I don’t a hundred percent know how it’s all going to play out.

Rebecca (42:48):

That’s one of the benefits of the growth mindset though, is I don’t have to have all the answers. And even, you know, for me it’s like this is my vision, how I’m going to accomplish it, I’m not 100% sure, but I feel like there’s no better time in history to be able to impact that many people through social media. And you know, whether it’s YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, getting out there on the circuit of doing public speaking. You know, there are so many opportunities, TED talks, TEDx talks, you name it. I feel like if I can’t impact 5 million women, I have only myself to blame. It’s not like the opportunities aren’t there. Right. So as far as why and why that’s important to me, you know, I think that from the age of, basically the adolescent years, I think that girls, the level of self-consciousness that they undergo, that we undergo, and not that men don’t, but I can’t speak to men.

Rebecca (43:51):

I guess that’s the thing is like I can’t say what men have gone through. So I can only speak from my experience and that is to know that the experience of being self-conscious in our body is an extremely painful and uncomfortable one. And I have learned multiple, there’s like a handful, literally five things that I think of when, steps I even to today will have to go through when I find myself feeling self-conscious that helped me get out of that place so that I can actually engage in the world. Because when we become self-conscious, our world closes in, it just becomes, so opportunities are small, relationships are small, our decisions are small. We’ve become very, overly simplistic and it makes for a very static, flat life. And yet the flip side of that is when we can transform ourselves from sort of looking at ourselves from the outside in, instead we look at the world through the inside out, we can look in the mirror and feel beautiful and it’s that simple. If we can look at the world from inside out, our anxieties diminish, if not vanish, we stop worrying about what the world thinks of us. We start to put presence and importance on our own values, not other people’s values. And as we learn to build strength through fitness and eating well and making positive decisions that protect our boundaries, then we build this confidence that makes it so that when we look in the mirror, even if our body hasn’t completely transformed to where we want it to be, doesn’t matter at that point. We look in the mirror and we like the person we see and that’s my vision. Fitness is one step. Eating well is another, but there’s also just this whole layer of how we perceive ourselves in this world because I think one of the biggest limiters that women place on themselves and what prevents them from succeeding in their fitness goals is simply the behavior and habit of comparing themselves to other people.

Rebecca (46:10):

And when we drop off that comparison and we stop worrying about the expectations of others, we give ourselves permission to be truly ourselves and we actually like who we are. And that is transformative.

Tiffy (46:23):

Rebecca, I really appreciate you taking the time out of your day to chat with me.

Rebecca (46:29):

It’s been my pleasure to be, I’m so glad that we got to talk.

Chris (46:38):

Thank you for listening to Two-Brain Radio. I’m Chris Cooper and I’m here every Thursday. Every Wednesday. Sean Woodland brings you the best stories from the fitness community. Every Monday we’ll bring you marketing tips and success stories from our clients. Please subscribe to Two-Brain Radio and share this show with any friends we can help.

 

Chris Cooper delivers the best of the business world on Two-Brain Radio every Thursday.

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Chandler Smith: Giving the Finger to Giving Up on His Goals

Chandler Smith: Giving the Finger to Giving Up on His Goals

Sean (00:05):

Hi everybody and welcome to another edition of Two-Brain Radio with Sean Woodland. On today’s episode, I talk with the man who finished 15th at the CrossFit Games last year and won the first ever Mayhem Classic, Chandler Smith. First, over the last month I’ve interviewed some truly amazing guests, Stacie Tovar, Tanya Wagner, Adrian Bozman, Chris Hinshaw, Rory Mckernan, Julie Foucher and more. If you’ve missed out on this stuff, check out our archives for the best stories from the fitness community, and to avoid FOMO, please subscribe to Two-Brain Radio. I’ve got a great guest coming every single week. Chandler Smith is an up-and-coming CrossFit competitor, a West Point graduate and is currently a captain in the United States Army. He made his CrossFit Games debut last year and qualified for the 2020 Games thanks to his performance in the Open. We talk about why he wanted to become a soldier and his time at West Point, his competitive debut at the Atlantic Regional in 2016 and what it meant to him to make the Games three years earlier than he had planned. Thanks for listening everyone. Chandler, thank you so much for taking the time to do this. How are you doing my friend?

Chandler (01:19):

I’m doing phenomenal, I’m honored to be on the Two-Brain podcast because I think this implies that I have a full working and functional brain. So you’re operating at 1.5 and you’ve decided to bring me on as like a parade of the hats that you bring in to match wits with you or whatever. But I’m just glad to be here, so thanks for having me.

Sean (01:35):

I really appreciate it. I think you know, you are definitely the brains of the duo going on right here. A lot of people might not know that your father played in the National Football League. So as a kid, what was it like growing up with a professional football player as a dad?

Chandler (01:52):

Well first off I thought you were going to go the CTE route and mention that my dad probably has half of a working brain at this point and I was going to laugh really hard, but instead I had to make the joke on my own. It was definitely a big shadow to live under, you know, for professional sports at that level, like within the big four are pretty all-consuming and offers you a lot of amenities that maybe skewer your perception of what normal work relations are like or like time expectations or a lot of things. I always felt that pressure between me and the other coaches’ kids too, that we like also needed to play in the NFL. So when I started topping out on height in ninth grade at a meaty 5’5, I was a pretty worried, I had my first crisis of confidence there cause I was like, I don’t think I’m gonna be big enough to make it to the NFL. So I got to find out another plan. Cause I think that was probably my main job plan as it is with the most kids. But that dream was allowed to exist in my head for a little bit longer than it was with most people, because my dad did it, so it couldn’t be that hard. Right?

Sean (02:57):

What kind of things did you do as a kid that just seemed normal to you, that were probably like inconceivable to other kids your age?

Chandler (03:06):

So when you say it, the first thing I think of is I got to ball boy for the Denver Broncos training camp. Pretty much every year as I was starting to get older. And I remember one year, Jerry Rice came and was going to play. He ended up deciding not to play that year, but I was like his personal ball boy. So Jerry Rice and I had a secret handshake. I’m making jokes with, you know, like Jake Plummer and all these guys that all my friends at school are watching these dudes and they got their jerseys and everything and I’m like, Oh yeah, let’s Jake, like, he always does this. Like he likes to make these jokes. Jake Plummer, talking jokes. Sorry Jake. I know you’re probably living a nice, peaceful, retired life. Doesn’t even know who I am, I’m sure, at this point.

Chandler (03:47):

But he would do this dinosaur thing right where he’d take a towel and he’d put the towel between his legs, butt naked. Then he’d walk around like scaring people. And I thought that was hilarious cause I like, you know, I’m ball boy at and they’re like they’re, you know, doing locker room things. I just like happened to walk in and I remember seeing that. So I say rubbing elbows with professional athletes. But I think it also put a pretty distorted view of what was normal in regards to the physical realm. So my dad being a strength coach, I saw regularly squat over, you know, 500 pounds for reps, I see these guys who are some of the most explosive people on planet Earth running three cone drills. And it’s not, I’m not trying to compare myself to Roger Bannister, but I know when he set the four-minute mile, right, like a bunch of people after him were able to do it because they realized that it was possible.

Chandler (04:35):

So I think my view of what was possible athletically was not limited by being around, it was enhanced because I was around some of the best athletes on Earth from a very early age. So always had very high expectations. Like when I graduated high school, I needed to be this strong and this strong, I wasn’t comparing myself to the high schoolers, I was just comparing myself to the NFL athletes that I’d been seeing work out for so long.

Sean (04:57):

What sports did you end up playing growing up?

Chandler (04:59):

I played football growing up. That was my main one. Through high school I ran track because my dad wanted me to be fast. Unfortunately I only got the slow twitch muscles, which ended up being a blessing later. But it wasn’t good for football. It’s good for CrossFit, but not so good football. And then in high school, I tried out for the basketball team and cause I played some like D team basketball in middle school.

Chandler (05:23):

Again the height thing was kind of a big limiter. You know, people, a lot of folks told me, reminded them of Michael. Not Jordan, but there was another kid in my team named Michael and he was really bad. I tried out for the basketball team my freshman year at Rockhurst and it was readily apparent that I was not going to make the team. And so I, didn’t allow myself to be cut, but I cut myself away and then I asked about wrestling. That’s probably that’s probably the best decision I ever made as far as just putting myself in place to be surrounded by people who really knew what it was like to work hard, who were willing to invest a lot of time and energy into me as a person and as an athlete. And then just a sport that suited me for my physiology.

Sean (06:11):

What was it about wrestling that stuck with you?

Chandler (06:14):

I think there’s a lot, you hear stories about a lot of, like really high-level athletes where it seems like they’re coasting by on talent or because of the nature of their physiology. Like I was never gonna play in the NBA cause I’m not six foot seven. So there’s probably some six-foot-seven guys out there who maybe don’t work crazy hard, but because of the fact that they’re six foot seven, they could jump through the roof, like there’s a team that’s going to be willing to sign them, right? But for wrestling, there’s so much technique to be learned. There’s a big requirement as far as being able to physically express that technique. Like how in shape you have to be in, how strong you have to be to apply some of these moves, that you have to be pretty holistic and well-rounded and you can work your way up in these areas.

Chandler (07:02):

So even though I started and I was never like a great technician, but I learned a bunch of moves and there’s a bunch of moves I could teach at a very high level now, when I go to my local jujitsu gym, I can help out these areas so I could learn the technical part. The conditioning, if you ran extra sprints or you woke up early and ran your conditioning would improve, if you lifted weights, you could get stronger and you were fighting within your weight class. So, it was a level field as far as what you were bringing to the table, like height and weight-wise. So, you were never really at a disadvantage if you decided to work hard enough in those three areas.

Sean (07:35):

At what point did you start thinking about joining the Army?

Chandler (07:41):

When I was six, we had a book exchange at my school in Arizona and I asked for a book about war because I probably had read something about it that week or you know how six-year-olds are, whatever pops in their head. And I got a book on war that was horrific, graphic, like just not something meant for kids at all, but someone’s parents went really all in. It was a two-volume book. I wish I still had a copy of it. It just had “war” on the front and the first half was World War I and it had like orange pages and or like orange coloring on the top and bottom of the pages and the second half was World War II. Had deaths, people passed out in like the trenches, bodies rotting, all this stuff.

Chandler (08:25):

I was fascinated. I was like, this is super cool. And there was something in there about General Blackjack Pershing and how he was a ’88 grad of West Point. And that was the first time I remember thinking like, I want to do this. And after I finished reading the book, I was like, I want to be a soldier. Didn’t really know the specifics of it. Troy Calhoun had worked for the Broncos for a point in time and then became the Air Force head coach and he was like a family friend. So that kind of made me more interested. But then when I began wrestling my freshman year, our assistant head coach was a guy named Nate Damos and he had been a former West Point wrestling captain and he wrestled in the Army for a bit. And our team captain at the time, current US army captain Douglas McFarland was heading to West Point to play football.

Chandler (09:09):

And both of those guys beat me up in a way that somehow made me like them. And then I decided I wanted to do that. That’s a really confusing, I don’t know how I arrived from them. They pushed me, coach Damos made me run and condition more than anybody in my life had to that point and pretty close to since. And then Doug was way big. He was a heavyweight and he’d beat up on everybody. But somehow them being those dominant physical forces convinced me, maybe I thought if I went to West Point, it’d be cool, but that kinda set things in motion. And it was my junior year as I was getting closer to applying, it was on the cover of Forbes for being America’s best public university. And that kind of sealed the deal. So a lot of things had kind of been drawing me towards going to West Point.

Chandler (09:51):

And then obviously the subsequent pursuing a career in the Army. But things kind of lined up really nicely as far as mentors, being exposed to it at a early age and also like wanting to prove myself in some sort of way that I could be a successful person and West Point showing itself to be a place where successful people attended school.

Sean (10:10):

What is it like going through that extremely extensive and grueling application process?

Chandler (10:17):

I owe my mom so much for helping me through that because it’s a lot for a 17-year-old kid to go through. You have to get a recommendation from your senator. There’s multiple letters of recommendation that you have to collect. And these are processes that, you know, as adults when you’re getting ready to apply for a job, you’re familiar with it now, but it was a first-time experience for me at that point. Gotta collect recommendations. You have to take a physical assessment, numerous essays, short answers, all this other jazz that goes into your account. And then also too, you have to build a profile outside of what it is that you’re doing specifically to show that you are someone who’s capable of being a leader at West Point. And then also in the Army once you are complete with your time there. So it was a lot and I don’t think I would have come anywhere close to getting it done without my mom saying, Hey, you should probably, you know, do this. You should probably help out here. This will look good on this. Cause I honestly never quite thought up to that point. So I didn’t know what was going to look good on that. And she really, when I told her that was something I wanted to do, she’s like OK, I’m gonna help you here. I took, well, she signed me up for ACT prep classes. I did very well on the test, but I did not go to those classes, I went to my buddy Sean’s house and played video games. But she put me in position to be very successful for it. And that’s the main reason why I got in, so thanks, Mom.

Sean (11:42):

How does your life change when you step on that campus? Day one and you are now a cadet?

Chandler (11:50):

I don’t think it’s something that you feel at at that point in time. But looking back on it, it’s a very daunting thing to be moving into because you come into the military, everyone has all these accolades. You’ve read and you watch the news and you see all these people who have come through this institution or a part of the military or the Army in general and they’ve done such great things, but they all started at that same point. So it’s, you have infinity in front of you, infinite options to go. Like maybe I wanted to be like a cyber guy and maybe I want to be a Green Beret, whatever it was all those options were laid ahead of you. It was just a matter of working hard enough to put yourself in position there. So it’s—given how big the Army is and that you could really do anything cause it’s a meritocracy at some level or it’s closer to it than most organizations.

Chandler (12:39):

I didn’t realize how much opportunity was there, but I definitely realize it now. And you felt the weight of it but you didn’t understand, it was like I don’t know why this is so important, but it is because X percentage of generals are coming from West Point. They’re not just building good cadets, they’re building good platoon leaders or good company commanders who are expected to make the right decision in very difficult times. Like you know, potentially you’re going to be trading in lives for lives at some point or you’re going to be deciding if this guy gets to stay in the Army or if this gal is going to get promoted at a certain time. Like your decision-making abilities are going to affect, the second and third-order effects are going to affect hundreds, potentially thousands, potentially millions of people.

Chandler (13:22):

So, it all starts with can you make it through cadet basic training and then are you going to be a good enough cadet to put yourself in position to succeed at the next point and at the next point and at the next point.

Sean (13:34):

The academic part of that is difficult enough. You mix wrestling into that as well. How did you manage to balance both of those and stay successful?

Chandler (13:43):

Oh well that implies that I was successful, so that’s where you’re wrong. I definitely did a little too much wrestling and too many burpees, probably should’ve done more school, especially if I decided to get out at some point and like wanted to apply for grad school. GPA was good enough. You’re always being ranked against your class members at West Point and you have, there’s the academic—they’ve changed a little bit. My brother’s a junior there now and there’s some differences now. When I was there, there was you have your academic ranking, you have your physical ranking, you have your military rank and those are all weighted differently. Academic being the heaviest, military I think next and physical performance. But you’re ranked one, two, I think 992 you get a number every semester and it tells you where you’re at in relation to everybody else and how well your ranking is like determining what branch you get to go to. So if I wanted to be an aviator or a finance officer, both of those kind of go out early. So if you have a high class rank, you can get those. And if you don’t, I’m not going to say anything bad about any other branches, but people know what branches go out last. Actually wait, this is not a military—it’s like field artillery, armor, the branch I went.

Chandler (14:52):

I was not lowly ranked, but those got out late. And then also they determine where you get to go for your first assignment. So if you worked really hard at school, then you can go to Italy or if you didn’t then you’re probably going to the also equally lovely Fort Polk, Louisiana. So it weighed on you pretty heavily and I like tried to balance it all, but I definitely, especially I walked onto the wrestling team but by my sophomore year, I think most of my identity as a cadet was rooted in wrestling team. So my grades did not really—I did well. I did better than my brother. That’s important. He’s going to graduate with a worse GPA than I did and he didn’t have the excuse of wrestling. So most importantly I beat my brother or am on track to beat him and I did well enough to pick the place, I picked Colorado, ended up going to Kansas, but got my branch that I wanted and then got my post that I wanted and stuff. Did well enough at balancing it.

Sean (15:47):

How did that whole experience change you as a person?

Chandler (15:52):

It really just taught me how much I was capable of while also—it’s a double thing. It taught me how much I was incapable of and also how much I was capable of. Incapable in that I was surrounded by people who were so much smarter than me, other cadets or professors who were just so squared away militarily or so proficient at their jobs that they set standards that even then like even knowing that I could work really hard, I had the capacity work really hard, I knew I could never, I wasn’t going to be as smart as some of these people and I wasn’t going to be as tactically proficient as some of these other folks. They live and breathe it and they just got an understanding for it, had an understanding for it that I didn’t. But also I learned that I could function on not a ton of sleep.

Chandler (16:36):

I could simultaneously study hard, maintain one or two personal relationships, really not that many, but I guess the team counts. So like do a few things that were way harder than what I expected to do, especially during wrestling season when I was cutting weight and then still attending classes, fighting to stay awake, running on very little sleep, working out for four to six hours a day between the weight cut sessions and lifting weights and then wrestling practice, and then still studying, like I was capable of—if you would’ve told me that I was doing all that stuff, if you would ask me to do that stuff now, I don’t think I could, but in the right situation, I was capable of it. So even though I don’t, I wouldn’t love to operate at that level of stress, I know that I can’t do it.

Chandler (17:20):

So then I think the design of this is so when you are under situations of extreme pressure, like you have to make a snap decision or you’re under a time crunch in a combat situation or something more serious than turning in a paper like you have a West Point, you’re used to that amount of stress and you’re able to react appropriately and not have it overwhelm you.

Sean (17:41):

How did you find CrossFit?

Chandler (17:42):

So it was in preparation for West Point, I think it was my junior of high school wrestling. Or had just finished, took sixth of the state of Missouri cause I’m big, big trash and was never good enough to win a state championship even my senior year. And I was like looking for ways to train for West Point. I was getting ready to go to a what they call the summer leadership experiences for rising seniors.

Chandler (18:08):

You go to West Point, they show you all the cool parts. They don’t tell you about the homework, but you’re like, Oh cool, I’m going to shoot guns and run around all the time. Not the case. But anyways, I was getting ready to do that and I was looking for training and somehow on the Google machine I came across CrossFit and Spencer Hendel at like Santionals 2010 ripping off massive, like 170-pound snatches or whatever was big at the time. And I was like, this is cool. Like I want to do this. So I got more into it. I like did some, a few WODs, mixed it in with my normal programming of doing a lot of crunches and hoping that girls in the pool would look at me. And my junior year or my senior year of wrestling, I started like actually mixing it in cause I was very intent on winning a state title, which again that was big fat failure and did not get that done.

Chandler (18:49):

But after that was complete, I had found that I liked how I was training. I thought it was in pretty good shape. So I went to the local 24-hour fitness after like, this is February, 2011. So I’ve been dabbling for a while and there was a guy at the gym named Ronnie Oswald and he was getting ready to open up one of the earliest gyms in Kansas City, CrossFit Sky’s limit. And he was like, hey, shouldn’t be telling you this cause I don’t want to get fired. But you look like you’re trying to do CrossFit, only you’re terrible, looks like like if I was blind and I was trying to describe how CrossFit works to someone who was also blind—I was like I get it, I’m bad, got it. But he was like, if you helped me build this gym, I’ll let you come for free.

Chandler (19:27):

And I was like, I don’t really care about anything but you said free. So I’m very interested. So I helped him build Sky’s and set up the horse mats and put the bars up and all that jazz. And I did that until I left for West Point in June. So from like March to June I was throwing down over there and at that point I was already kind of hooked cause I was in pretty good shape going in. I felt that that was my advantage, so I just stayed up with it after that.

Sean (19:52):

When did you decide that, you know what, I can actually be a pretty good competitor at this?

Chandler (19:56):

So it’s actually this moves along very good chronologically, after cadet basic training, I came back and we did a 31 heroes WOD. It was kind of framed as a competition and we went, we did pretty well and I’d always been in like decent shape in high school, but I was competing against adults and I was like oh, I’m decently competitive. And some of these guys were Sectionals levels, athletes. I think I might’ve said Sanctional but whatever. The OGs know I meant Sectionals. Some of these guys were like Sectionals level competitors, Regional level folks. And I was like, Oh wow, I can kind of hang. And then that December I did a competition with the Army CrossFit team and Dan Teminski was there, a couple other Northeast Regional guys that were, you know, real legit were there and I made it to the final eight and I didn’t know how to do like a kettlebell swing cause I got cut, but whatever. At that point I was like, huh.

Chandler (20:51):

I’m like definitely competitive. And then I watched the Games in the summer of 2012 and that’s where I came up with this Games 2022 thing. I was like, if I give myself a decade, the Army, you can kind of look at your career timeline and assume like when you’re going to be in positions of like a little more free time, positions without free time. And I said, I think by 2022 I’ll be done with command and all this jazz. Like that gives me enough time, 10 years gives me enough time to train and get myself ready to make the Games by then. So that’s my goal. And I wrote down and I did a really bad Photoshop. That’s still the background of my phone. It says Games 2022 cause it was 2012, but I just copied the 2, pasted over the over the one like a genius.

Chandler (21:32):

One of the, one of the greatest accomplishments I have had to this day, to be honest to making that Photoshop. And I said I was going to do it. So kinda started orienting all my free time around it. And when I say all my free time, I mean like all of my free time cause I have a very obsessive personality and a lot of repressed sadness about not making it to the NFL. So I thought this is my chance to be a professional athlete. I’m getting a second shot because Lord knows I was not gonna make it for wrestling.

Sean (22:00):

Four years later after you do that, you’re at Regionals. What were your expectations going into that competition?

Chandler (22:09):

Wow. This will sound like some really defeatist and not tough guy stuff, but I was just going to have a good time cause the whole plan that year I was training out of CrossFit 215 which had been my gym and kind of second home my entire time at West Point because getting back to Kansas is pretty hard. So I spent pretty much all my weekends out there and we were trying to send a team to Regionals and I was driving down and doing all the workouts with them. I’d graduated from West Point, but I was back coaching wrestling first semester and I was just taking a bunch of time out and I thought we were going to be able to make it as a team. And after somewhere, halfway through 16.1, I realized that we were not going to make it as a team.

Chandler (22:51):

And I just so happened to qualify, I thought I’d lucked out cause it was two workouts that year and I didn’t know a whole lot of CrossFit. I moved terribly. I still move terribly, but I also moved terribly then and I thought I just kinda lucked out into it. So I was like, we’ll just go there and have a good time. I finished ninth in our region and it was this first year of the super regional, if you put them all together, I was expected to take like 15th or something. So that’d be cool. Like that’d be nice to go in there and take 15th. So we’ll show up and see what happens.

Sean (23:24):

Hey guys, before we go any further with Chandler Smith, I wanted to ask you a question. Remember when pictures of bloody hands and vomit attracted clients to your gym? Well that stopped working in about 2011 or so. It’s also not enough to be a great coach or programmer. The key to success in 2020 is building a personal relationship with each client, then helping that client’s friends and family. Total ad spend on that? $0. The average gym owner can also add $45,000 a year in revenue just by keeping each client a few months longer. Two-Brain’s new Affinity Marketing and Retention guides will give you everything you need to know. You can get both and 13 other guides and books for free. Visit TwoBrainbusiness.com/free-tools. And now more with Chandler Smith. After you take ninth, what did you think about your chances moving forward of making it to the Games?

Chandler (24:24):

I didn’t think this, because I was in a very, very good position as far as like coaching and then having access to a competitive gym and I thought, not I thought. Platoon leader time, I was heading into platoon leader time, I was going to be moving to Fort Riley shortly thereafter and I was going to lose my training partner, Luke Conan. I had a nice spot of requisite, like a lot of things were I thought had been set up nicely for me to make it there that time. So, I was like, Oh, maybe I’ll make it again in a couple of years, but probably won’t be able to make it for the next few years and Games 2022 was still the goal. So I didn’t think anything had really changed and I just thought I’d had a good year, but I still held the competitors who would be me to such a level to where I thought I couldn’t really achieve what they achieved.

Sean (25:11):

You had a freak accident I think in 2017. What exactly happened to your hand?

Chandler (25:19):

I always like to tell the children that it was a freak nail-biting accident. If you’re a kid and you’re listening, don’t bite your nails, but if you’re not a kid, we were coming back in from a field exercise, at this time, I’m a tank platoon leader, out of 118 infantry for Fort Riley, and we’re coming back from field exercise and part of the exercise is gotta clean off the tanks and one of the guys just kind of rushing through cleaning off the tanks. And so he knocks off the side skirt of the tank, which is the wheels, big heavy Johns, like probably half a ton. And all our recovery assets, things that would normally help you move such a heavy piece of metal protection, are still out in the field. So the idea starts somewhere.

Chandler (26:04):

I don’t want to be throwing names around, but idea starts somewhere, pick it up and load it onto the Humvee. And I just got out there to get yelled at because if the guys mess up, then if I’m in charge, I have also messed up. And then, so we’re, I’m helping the guys move this thing and there was a few of us taking up the piece that I’m on. And then we pick it up and it like hinges like a book closing and we’re like, okay, we’re not gonna be able to pick it up if the hinge is like a book closing. Cause then this big heavy piece, that would be the part of the book that’s coming over the top. It’s like hanging in the air. So I say, Hey, we gotta flip it over, which is also stupid. Flipping this over was not going to work either, but we gotta flip it over to make the hinge work with us.

Chandler (26:44):

And so while I’m explaining this to some of the other guys in the unit and they all step back to take some time to listen. Cause I mean, anytime you get to hear me speak, it’s magical and they’re just appreciating the moment, you know, beautiful winter day out in the middle of Kansas. And so I go to help bring it back down so we can flip. And as I’m bringing it down, we had five guys bring it up, but only two guys brought it down. I am one of the two guys and the other guy’s like, man, this is a lot heavier with two people. He’s right. And he says, but Lieutenant Smith, he deadlifts a ton. I saw the video, he’s really strong so he can probably just deadlifted on his own so I’m just going to let go and let him have it.

Chandler (27:24):

So he gets out of Dodge, but he doesn’t tell me that he’s getting out of Dodge. So it becomes a Chandler problem. And so it comes down. My deadlifts skills fail me and I’m like, Aw man. This finger, ouch. I’ll never forget looking at my glove. And it was like a black glove, a glove I had from school. I looked at the glove and like, because it had taken the piece of glove with my finger, the gloves like is missing some, you know, you shake your hand and you’re like, man, it’s really stings. I look at it and I’m like, there’s no part of that glove, which is such a ridiculous thing because my finger is where—I look at it and I already know, but I like, well let’s just take it off to check.

Chandler (28:12):

And so I like pull it off and it’s hard to pull off because it’s all intertwined with my bone at that point and all that jazz. I pull it off and fun fact for anybody who’s ever wondered what it would look like if you lost a digit, blood does not shoot out a la like movies. It like pours out like you’re pouring a glass of water. So like blood starts falling out of my hand and then the story’s R rated from there, but it wasn’t a good time.

Sean (28:38):

When happened, I mean, I’m sure there’s a lot going through your head, but as far as your CrossFit career was concerned, what were you thinking at that time?

Chandler (28:45):

I thought it was super over. Um, cause I assumed, you know, like that you needed all your hands and stuff for grip, which is a good assumption.

Chandler (28:55):

It was also the first full day of the 2017 Open. I’d done 17.1 that night. The night it got announced, chasing Brent, I think it was Brent and Pat and which is cool now cause I’m decent enough friends of both those guys. Wow. To think about. But I was like first full day Open and I was already planning my retest for Friday, my retest for Monday and all of this other jazz and I was like, man, it’s over, it’s all over. And I didn’t have really any experience to know anything else. I don’t think anybody had had a similar injury in the sport and yeah, I thought I was toast. So very bummed for the next couple of months cause I’d also broken a few bones to where I couldn’t really sustain any like contact. So I was just running a bunch and squatting, kinda like I’m doing now. And didn’t I think I was going to be able to do much.

Sean (29:44):

When you were completely healed from that, how did that affect your training moving forward?

Chandler (29:52):

So I think I was probably healed up like July. That happened February 27, 2017. I was getting healed up in July. I went to training Think Tank to train with Noah and Travis for the first time. I don’t remember how I made that. Oh, I was friends with Noah. I’d gone out to see him the year before. And went down to train, I got smoked. I don’t know if I want to work out all weekend, but at least I was like starting to get back in shape. And I was like, there’s some things that I could do pretty well and maybe like if I work a bunch of grip and everything. And then it had happened that I was getting ready, my unit was getting ready to deploy to Europe as part of Operation Atlantic Resolve, which is the continuous US presence in Europe to deter Russian aggression.

Chandler (30:35):

Sorry, Krenakov. And we were headed to Bulgaria to do our mission out there. And so we weren’t going to have a bunch of equipment, especially for when we first got to Europe. We were in Poland for a little bit and I said, well, I’m going to get like some kettlebells and some other things and I’ll at least work on grip. And I was told from one of my classmates that there was a rower in Bulgaria. So I was like, I’ll work my grip, I’ll row a bunch. And then maybe when I come back I’ll patch up those weaknesses and we’ll get better. And I got out there and was stopped doing the Think Tank thing, because it was difficult to meet all the pieces with work. But I started doing Misfit and was getting feedback from all that OG Misfit crew, like Jordan Cook and Travis, all these guys.

Chandler (31:14):

And I was losing, but I was closing the gap a little bit each week and getting a little bit better. And I was like, huh, well maybe I’m gonna be all right. And I think confidence started to go up from there over the time I was in Europe, I actually missed Regionals in 2018, my scores were, I think it was like the third guy out worldwide. And it was the only reason I didn’t make it in was being out in Bulgaria. But that may be even hungrier and kinda made me realize that actually I was pretty close at least to being a Regional level athlete again. So that was where my expectation was at.

Sean (31:45):

you come back in 2019 to the US and then you take 40th overall in the Open night. It wasn’t good enough to qualify for the Games, but that’s a hell of a result. What did that do for your confidence?

Chandler (31:57):

So that’s when it started. That definitely drove it up a lot. I had done Dubai as a team in 2018 with Travis, Andrea Nisler, and Taylor Williamson. We took second. So we were spot out of qualifying. And I did Wodapalooza with Jordan Cook, Kenzie Riley and Chyna Cho, we took third, but one of the teams already qualified so we were a spot out of qualifying and so I was already like pretty hungry. Also my life was in shambles. I didn’t have anything else going on besides fitness so that that makes for a good training environment too. And then I moved to Fort Benning where I was doing the maneuver captain’s career course. So I have a little bit more time than I’d had at Fort Riley and all these things like knowing that I have a little bit more resources, knowing that I was capable of being at least like Games level team athlete, that all kind of had begun to build my confidence.

Chandler (32:43):

So I attacked the Open a little bit differently than I had in years past. Like I wasn’t viewing myself as someone who was not good enough to be performing with these guys. I was like, I kind of think I belong, and having that flipped mindset allowed me to perform like someone who belonged. I think it really set the stage for I guess I only did one Sanctional, but for the Sanctional I ended up doing that year. I wouldn’t have thought I could hang at Rogue if I hadn’t already hung and traded workouts with some very, very good guys over the course of the 2019 Open.

Sean (33:12):

Yeah. You mentioned the Rogue Invitational and that is a loaded field. What were your expectations when you showed up in Columbus?

Chandler (33:22):

I like was hoping I was going to be in the mix, but I didn’t really think, I didn’t think I was going to get the spot. Like I thought I was going to be close, but I’d had a couple of close calls before, like being the first guy out at Regionals. At some point like if you’re a little bit of a negative person, which I can tend to be when I’m not at my best, you expect that things happen. I said, well, we were a spot away at the last two ones. I was a few spots, I think I was like five spots out from qualifying from the Open. Didn’t make Regionals the year before, the few spots. I was like, I’m probably going to come close and then not do well. But, my training going into that was awesome, awesome. So I did have a lot of confidence in my own physical abilities. I just figured that like I didn’t give my abilities enough credit and I thought the situation was going to be enough to overcome the fact that I was hanging out with my buds every day. We were really getting after it and I had like good sleep and like life was supporting being good at fitness for the first time in a while.

Sean (34:16):

How are you feeling then after that where it’s all said and done, you’re in fifth place and not only are you in fifth, but you now have the invite to go to the CrossFit Games three years ahead of your goal?

Chandler (34:27):

That made me smile super big just hearing that. It felt really, really good because it was a goal realized. But then after a goal is realized, you know, you only, you end up setting setting new ones. So didn’t really allow that to last too long. And it was a pretty quick turnaround cause I think it was mid May and the Games were in July. So just continued to try and orient my life around being ready to go and perform well at the Games. The Army fitness team was a concept I’d heard about when I was still at Fort Riley in 2018, like September. And I didn’t think it was going to come through because again, my mentality was just decently negative at that point in time. But it was starting to settle down and it looked like it was something that was actually going to happen.

Chandler (35:13):

So I was boiling up some confidence that not only was I going to be able to go and give a good effort at that point in time, but I was also going to be able to set conditions to perform better in the future, which gave me even more confidence, like really buy in, you know, like knowing that I wasn’t just going to do it this year and then some situation was going to occur next year that was going to keep me from training. I fully believed that I was going go, if I went all in on the Games, not only would it help me for the 2019 Games but it’ll also set the stage for me to make it in 2020. And then, you know, I’m still hoping to do some things in 2022. So that’s looking a little bit further ahead. But really just bought, went all in and think I got the result I earned at the Games and I was really grateful for it.

Sean (35:56):

Yeah. You finished 15th at the Games. What stands out to you about the way you performed under that brand new structure?

Chandler (36:04):

Man, that structure is definitely something that stresses the athletes out. And even though I think I’ve been in situations that helped prepare me to deal with stress, I was still pretty high strung the whole weekend, but I didn’t let it affect my performance. I did a good job of clearing my head and dealing with the highs and lows of the weekend. I want to say it was you who said that I had a roller coaster of a weekend on one of the broadcasts, because I went from, I took second in the first workout and I took 48th in the next one, and then I took fourth in the ruck and then like 30-something on the sled. I was all over the place all weekend. And I didn’t let it really get to me. I stayed—my mentality was positive before the first workout, like immediately before, sure you have your jitters and everything.

Chandler (36:51):

But like before it was like, I’m gonna go and I’m going to give it my best and what I get is what I get. And then after the second workout, when I’d done poorly, I said, well, that didn’t go great, but I’m going to go after it tomorrow and I’m going to do what I do and see what happens. And things just continued to work. So I really do feel—the cuts, you know, were what they were. Some people feel like they got screwed or some people did better than they would have and that’s definitely the case. But I definitely feel like I got what I earned as well. Like the work that I’d put in and to be strong mentally and stay consistent over it gave me a consistent and a pretty good result that I think lined up with my level of fitness.

Sean (37:26):

What do you think the biggest difference between Chandler Smith right now and Chandler Smith one year ago is?

Chandler (37:33):

A year ago? So this is right in the middle of the Open 2019. Well there’s the obvious confidence part where I know that given the right set of conditions I can compete with anybody in the world in this sport. So the confidence is the biggest and most obvious one, which I’ve talked about a decent amount, but I think I’m just a little bit mature and acknowledging that there’s some things that maybe I’m not as great at and I reach out a lot better for not only like physical health but you know like if I need a friend in a certain time, like I don’t think—maybe a detriment of coming from where I came from is that like you learn how capable you are and then you don’t rely on other people as much as you should.

Chandler (38:19):

But being a little bit further away from that, getting a little bit older, maybe not wiser, but like trying to be has helped me recognize my limitations and applying that to the sport has made me a better athlete and I think it’s like kind of trite to say that I’m a better person, but I definitely have enough lessons learned from last year to where my approach for this season, regardless of what the results are, is going to be better comprehensively, like holistically then last year’s. Maybe I’m not as much of an obsessive as I was about some things. But I still think t’s all working towards me performing better and it’s also helped me be somebody who’s giving back more and is better for other people be around, which is more important than being, if I take 12th verses or 17th, I’m hoping to still be top 20. That’s who gets paid. But like, you know, 12th vs 17th that’s great that it didn’t work, but I’m in a job where I’m able to make a difference, positively affect the lives of the guys I work with, cause I’m in a better space and also be a resource for people who reach out to me as well. And I think that’s more important than anything else and I wouldn’t have recognized that before.

Sean (39:31):

You mentioned confidence. How did winning the Mayhem Classic help bolster that?

Chandler (39:37):

So again, it’s always, it’s temporary. I mentioned the concept of the double thing. It’s one I grapple with a lot where you like simultaneously believe two contradicting things at the same time, the old George Orwell 1984 thing where like now that I’ve won Mayhem, I know that I can win a Sanctional, but also you allow enough of the haters coming in and telling you that there wasn’t enough good people. You didn’t beat anybody, you allow enough of that in to where you still feel hungry. I won Mayhem hurt, I haven’t really gotten too far into the specifics of the injury, but I was hurt going into it and managed to make it through. And so I know what I’m capable of if I’m healthy and even if I didn’t get to fully express that I can have confidence from that. But also I have a better relationship with allowing what other people say affect me, but only in a way that fuels me. Not in a way that brings me down. So the confidence is increased, but at the same time it hasn’t grown enough to where I am past knowing that there’s people who think it’s not legitimate for one reason or another.

Sean (40:40):

You were dealing with a hand injury at Mayhem? Okay. I just wanted to clarify that. Where is that right now as far as the healing process goes?

Chandler (40:49):

It’s getting closer. Should have the splint off in the next week, I’ve like started to rehab it pretty aggressively as far as like when the times when it’s out of the sprint. I’ve done nothing but swim, run and squat for the last month and change. And I had to drop out of Wodapalooza because of it, which is a super bummer cause that’s an awesome event where they give me a chance to, you know, maybe put some of the haters to rest, but I wasn’t able to train for it. I have West Coast coming up next month and I’ll be training through that. But I’m just hoping to go and be ready for, really for the Games but also for Rogue because of how, you know, special ed event is to me personally, like peaking for that and being trained up for that is kind of the first priority right now. But until then, staying in busy with some fun comps, doing like some team stuff with the Army Warrior Fitness team, doing some running and stuff with ol’ Hunter Mcintire and Heppner and just in general trying to be as ready as possible so that way when the time comes I’m able to fully express my capacity at that point in time. I’m not limited by peaking at the wrong time or any of that other jazz. Like I am as ready as possible for the show. Cause that’s what matters.

Sean (41:58):

Final question. What are you the most proud of when you look back on what you’ve accomplished so far during your career?

Chandler (42:07):

I think I’ve—I hope this doesn’t sound corny. I have like been a good representative of a professional athlete for all the groups that I get to represent. So like, it’s February, it’s black history month. I’ve had a lot more people reach out and that’s—this space isn’t filled with a ton of people who look like I do. So that’s important to me. Being a soldier is very important to me. It’s the core of my identity for my entire adult life. Being a wrestler is important to me. And there’s other people who fit all these groups, but I also recognize that the intersection of some of these groups like only occurs within me. Like maybe there’s not another soldier out there who, so that means there’s not a soldier wrestler out there. And so I’m able to represent for a lot of groups.

Chandler (42:53):

I don’t think I’ve done anything to like negatively represent them. That’s the most important thing. All the lessons I learned from being around the pro athletes growing up, there was some things that they did well, some things that they didn’t do, but I came in with this goal sheet that I made in 2015 when I started to get pretty competitive. And the whole first part of it was all related to things that weren’t like more specific goals. There were stuff on the other side, like, I want to squat 600 pounds and have the one-minute Fran and all this other jazz because I didn’t know what I was doing. I just thought it was like, all right, linear progression will continue to occur, but all of these other things I’ve been able to hold true to. And even though some of them were misguided as far as like what my priorities were, I’ve remained pretty true to myself and haven’t done anything to negatively represent the people who are nice enough to believe in me or who I’m blessed enough to get to represent. So that’s what I’m most proud of.

Sean (43:50):

Chandler. Listen, man, it is always an absolute pleasure to speak with you. I appreciate you taking the time to do this. Best of luck moving forward and I hope the hand heals up quickly.

Chandler (43:56):

Thanks, Sean, I appreciate you having me. Thanks for letting me blabber on for an hour.

Sean (44:02):

Big thanks to Chandler Smith for taking the time to speak with me. He is one of the genuinely nicest people you’ll ever meet and it is always a pleasure talking with him. Do you want to follow him on social media? He is on Instagram. You can find him at @blacksmifff, and that’s Smifff with three Fs. If you’re a business owner who craves actionable advice that can move you closer to wealth, you’ve got to pick up Chris Cooper’s book. “Founder, Farmer, Tinker, Thief” is available on Amazon now. Thanks for listening everybody. We’ll see you next time.

 

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

Two-Brain Radio presents marketing tips and success stories every Monday, and Chris Cooper delivers the best of the business world every Thursday.

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Simple Solutions: How to Start Marketing and Media Production in Your Gym

Simple Solutions: How to Start Marketing and Media Production in Your Gym

Mike (00:02):

OK, time to go CEO and offload some jobs. Cleaning—punted. Coaching—donezo. General management duties, long gone. Ooh, Ooh. $5,000 a month to get rid of my digital marketing duties and hire a pro service and another 5,000 for media production? Mateo. Can I borrow 10 grand for media and marketing service? I will absolutely get you back when these trees grow some fruit.

Mateo (00:31):

10 grand? Well I could maybe swing it Mike, but I don’t know. I don’t, I don’t know. Tax season is coming around the corner. It might be a little tight for me to be able to give you that extra scrill there.

Mike (00:47):

All right. I guess, I guess, OK, so no loan, but I understand that you are a marketing expert and I’ve got a bit of media experience. Perhaps we can put our heads together and create a podcast here that will tell listeners how they can develop in-house marketing and media team in the, founder stage the first stage of entrepreneurship. What do you think about that?

Mateo (01:04):

Let’s start there and see.

Mike (01:07):

All right. All right. We’re going to do that. We’ll come back in just a second. We will tell you how as a very new small business, you can develop a media and marketing team. Want to add $5,000 in monthly revenue to your gym? You can do it. If you want to know how you can talk to a Two-Brain business mentor for free. Book that call at twobrainbusiness.com today.

Mike (01:27):

All right, we are back. I am Mike Warkentin here with Mateo Lopez. He is your digital marketing expert. I am your media expert. Together we’re going to save you a ton of money by telling you how you can start marketing and associated media production in house. And my quick story is I started doing media stuff, at a university newspaper, you know, 25, 22 years ago maybe. And I’ve been writing and producing media ever since, own a gym, doing a lot of stuff there. And I’ve worked in now fitness media for some bigger companies as well. Now we run Two-Brain media. Mateo, tell me just the short version of why you are qualified to be on this podcast.

Mateo (02:06):

Well you invited me, Mike. That’s really the only reason I’m here.

Mike (02:12):

Technically it’s your podcast, and I’m the guest.

Mateo (02:14):

It’s true. So, uh, I guess—I definitely didn’t go to school for it. I studied philosophy at undergrad, so that doesn’t help.

Mike (02:27):

But I think that makes you qualified to tell people how to develop a team in house because I think you’ve done that and been through that. Have you not?

Mateo (02:33):

Yeah, yeah. I guess we, well I started working at a CrossFit gym and then we saw that people were, well, yeah, the short version of the story is we saw that people were leveraging the power of email automation and ads, basically Facebook ads, to really grow their gym. So we’re like, we should be able to figure this out. I feel like we could figure this out. And just through trial and error and spending a lot, a lot of money on the Facebook ads manager and writing a bunch of copy, email copy, we grew our businesses. We found a way to teach other gyms how to grow their businesses the same way and it’s been working out pretty well so far. But really I’m not qualified. Really, I shouldn’t be here at all. It’s just one, right place, right time I guess in terms of being able to figure it out.

Mike (03:26):

Here’s the’s the main question. Have you been able to help a large number of businesses make money through digital advertising?

Mateo (03:34):

Heaps.

Mike (03:35):

Yup. Yup. I’ve seen the data too. So, it is a thing. It is true.

Mateo (03:41):

Some could say hundreds. Many hundreds, many hundreds of gyms.

Mike (03:46):

  1. So we’re going to talk first of all about when you should look at this whole situation of media and marketing. The idea is as a founder, you’re doing absolutely everything. You’re wearing every hat you are coaching, you are cleaning, you are doing the accounting or not doing the accounting in some people’s cases, you’re doing all the stuff. At some point you need to start offloading jobs and there is a way to figure that out. It’s in the Two-Brain Incubator. But you figure out how you can replace yourself, hire yourself in different jobs given to other people and use that time to make more money because you have higher level skills that are worth more. One of those things that you’re gonna have to offload at some point is media and marketing. In the beginning you are media and marketing. Whether you know it or not.

Mike (04:24):

That means every blog you put up, every email you send out, every text message to a client, every Instagram post, everything you do that someone else sees is media and marketing and it takes a ton of time. It doesn’t take a ton of skill. Of course you can have a lot of skill and do it, but in the beginning you don’t need it and it is something that you can offload. So we’re going to talk to you about how you can do that in the very early stages of a small business or if you’re not offloading it, how you might be able to really ramp up your own skills as that quote unquote in-house media and marketing person. And then eventually we’d encourage you to document that, use that list to then hand those skills off so you can go out and grow your business elsewhere. What do you think, Mateo?

Mateo (05:06):

Yeah, I think that’s a great place to start. I mean, cause that’s the thing, right? You’re limited in your time when you’re in the founder phase. And so you want to offload various jobs when you can, but offloading something like media and marketing and paid ads, that is expensive, especially if you’re gonna go and hire an agency or even if you’re not, just paying for ads in and of themselves can get costly. So it’s tough to do that. But there is a way, there are some things that you can do to still market and grow, even when you have limited time and limited cash in those early phases of your business. So yeah, I think we should definitely talk about some of those.

Mike (05:52):

So the, you know, the easiest place to start is know why can you do it yourself? And the honest answer is that media and marketing are at the basic levels, are not that hard. Yes, like Martin Scorsese’s an expert, making movies is difficult. Making a decent Instagram post? Not that hard. Figuring out the basics of Facebook marketing. You taught me Mateo in your course and I’m not a super savvy Facebook marketing guy, but I figured out how to get the thing moving and we got leads out of it. So the first thing is that this stuff may seem intimidating, but it’s not that hard. In to the next, you know, 20 minutes or so, try and give you some tips on how to do it. Uh, and the other thing is that technology is cheap. Right. Before, back in the day, the big giant cam corder over your shoulder, camera, super expensive. You can do a ton of stuff with just a cell phone. We’re also going to tell you about some of the gear that you’re going to need and we’ll talk about it. But again, this technology that you need at this stage, pretty cheap. Finally, education is available, and Mateo, you should tell them about what is in our free tools section that features you.

Mateo (06:55):

Well, there’s tons of stuff. We’ve got various guides on how to market and sell PT, how to grow your newsletter list, how to create content. And we also have a free course that teaches people how to use Facebook ads, how to build a basic funnel. And that’s the thing, you know, I think the hardest part really about, sales and marketing is you know, copywriting and trying to get what you know in your head down on the page and communicate that, the benefits of your program, and the problems you’re solving too to people in your audience. But the thing is that stuff is available, none of that’s hidden. You know, I always like to say copy from the best and make it your own. You can see everyone’s ads, you can see everyone’s posts, you can see every competitor’s website. And so if you look at people in your space who are doing well, take a look at their messaging and see if there’s any commonalities, I bet there are. And then, you know, apply that template and that framework to you and your message, your brand and go from there.

Mike (08:13):

All right, let’s talk about some of the basic tasks. And when we say marketing, people always think about ads and billboards and things like that. We teach people at Two-Brain that marketing starts without spending a ton of money. It starts with talking to your members and working through what we call affinity marketing, which is looking through the people who are closest to you to find, you know, the families and coworkers and colleagues and activity mates of your current members. Right? These are going to be warmer leads than random person on Instagram. You’re talking to long-term client Jane Smith’s husband, things like that. So I’m gonna, I’ll give you a list of a few things. You tell me what’s missing and what you like on these things. Basic tasks early on, marketing without ad spend. You’ve got newsletters, you’ve got event organization, you’ve web posts, you’ve got social media, and then you’ve got retention duties. And there is some overlap there with what we call the client success manager, which is your person in house who is making sure all your clients are happy. That person is texting, messaging, congratulating your members, and that definitely has a marketing effect, even if that person’s already in your business. What do you think of all that?

Mateo (09:15):

Yeah, 100%. I think, you know, getting people, building a newsletter list and reaching out to people on that list consistently is really important. You don’t have to send a blog every day. But you know, even something as simple as once a week just to engage people who have inquired, who are curious, you want to engage with them and an email newsletter is a great way to do that. It allows you to tell prospects about, you know, what you’ve got going on at your gym. You can showcase success stories. You can provide valuable info, like a tutorial on diet, on nutrition, on, you know, fitness, fundamental fitness movements and workouts and things like that. So that’s key. Event organizations. I think that’s also a fundamental piece there as well.

Mateo (10:13):

You know, especially if you’re just starting out, you know, if you want to actually meet people. That’s something we did back in the day when we were first starting out as we did when Meetups was a thing. I think I’ve talked about on this podcast before. We would organize a free workout in the park, right? That’s an event. That’s an organizing an event. We would do free park workouts. And we would advertise that on Meetup and we’d post to our newsletter list and people would come and if we saw someone came a couple of weeks in a row, two, three weeks in a row, we would say, hey, like, you know, you’re obviously enjoying this. Why don’t you check out the gym? It’s just down the street. You know, that’s 100% sales and marketing, web posts, blogs, things like that.

Mateo (10:58):

Yeah, 100%, helps with your SEO, helps with your search results and how you rank. And then, yeah, everyone’s on social media. So repurposing some of this information that you’re putting in your newsletters or that you’re putting in your blogs or even if you’ve got an event, putting that on social media like Instagram, Facebook is also really important, especially once you move on to start advertising with the Facebook ads manager and putting paid money behind it. If you have content on your page that exists already, your ads are going to do a little bit better.

Mike (11:33):

You know, just going back to what you said there about events and outdoor stuff, I can’t tell you how many times I have heard people in the CrossFit world tell me that they started doing CrossFit in a garage or whatever it was, or just doing it in a park. And then all of a sudden two people said, what are you doing? And they started doing it with that person. And then four and then 16, and 32, and all of a sudden it was just this spiral where they had to open a gym, probably because the city was going to kick them out of their garage. But it happens so regularly, and not just outdoor workout events, we ran a WOD and wine where we had partners or members bring their friends. We just did that two weeks ago and people came. It was an awesome time. Our members loved it and some new people came out of it. So we got new email contacts, we got some new members out of it. So those events are super, super important.

Mateo (12:18):

Yeah. For those of you on the coasts, if you’re LA or San Fran or New York, or I think even in Chicago, now, they have some, Y7 is this really big hip-hop yoga, hot yoga with hip hop. They’re not a franchise, but they’re, you know, a chain of yoga studios that are blowing up right now. And they started in farmers markets. If someone can fact check me on that. But they, I’m pretty sure they started just doing their shtick, which was, you know, yoga with with ratchet hip hop and they started in farmers markets and people liked it. They had enough people coming regularly where they use that money and did their first studio and it just went from there. So yeah, events is key, especially for starting out and you’re short on time and you’re short on cash.

Mike (13:11):

So the skills needed for this kind of stuff. You know, we’re talking to gym owners, business owners, most of these people, if you have the ability to stand in front of a class and teach someone how to squat and make them feel good about themselves and laugh and smile when they’re doing a challenging workout, you definitely have the skills needed for social media and things like that. I think the most important for me is like when we’re talking about this kind of stuff, marketing, when you’re doing yourself, you need to be friendly, you need to be friendly, and you need to be literate, I would suggest is good. You should have someone proofread your stuff. So if you’re sending things out, literate is good. Now again, I’m not saying it has to be biblical in terms of quality and literature and so forth. However, try and make it spell, you know, Grammarly is out there. Spellcheck is out there. There’s a lot of ways. What do you think, Mateo?

Mateo (14:02):

Yes, I would say, definitely try and proofread and spell correctly and use grammar correctly, even though now I don’t even know if we’re using it correctly right now as we’re talking. But yes. I think that’s really important, especially if you’re sending out a newsletter blast. You know, and a lot of times this is someone’s first interaction with you. You want to make sure you make a good first impression and you want to have a level of professionalism that allows people to say, oh, I can trust this business. And then you can start to build that trust with them and then they’ll come in, it’s more likely they’ll come in for an intro when you present yourself that way.

Mike (14:52):

Again, don’t overthink it, right? Like you don’t have to make this—like, your email newsletter does not have to be, you know, a 72-page, perfectly laid-out thing. It just needs to be your thoughts written properly, spelled pretty much correctly, sent out regularly. And that’s key. The thing that I see a lot of gym owners make mistake a mistake with when they do this kind of thing is they start something and then it becomes sporadic. So I talked to lots of gym owners in the early stages and they’ll say, can you help me with social media? And the first thing I say is well is how often do you post? And they’re like, ah, I posted back once in, you know, three months ago. And I’m like, well, you know, start by posting three times a week, then work up to once a day and whatever you start doing in terms of media and marketing, like make it consistent.

Mike (15:33):

So that means your newsletter, don’t send one newsletter and then leave it for seven months. Try and send that newsletter monthly to start. If you can do that, go weekly. Right. Same thing with blog posts. You know, I’ve seen a lot of gyms to try to start a podcast and it goes strong for like three episodes and then they’re gone. Stuff that’s hard to sustain, pick the thing that’s in your wheelhouse and do it consistently. Right? One outreach event per month or something or one every three months, but not once and then never again.

Mateo (16:02):

I think that’s great advice. Oh, cut you off there. No, I think that’s great advice. I think consistency is key. I will also say, you know, you don’t have to do all of these at once, right? Like you just said, pick a few that feel most comfortable to you and then reach out to your prospects, people in your audience consistently. You know, whether it’s a monthly event or a weekly blog post or a newsletter that goes out every four days or whatever it is, pick a few, do them consistently and be patient with it as well. You know, I know people who are like I was posting on Instagram, but I wasn’t getting a return on it. But like, people will look at your online profiles. Like people will look at your reviews.

Mateo (16:52):

People will look at if there’s activity, if there are people having fun in your Instagram posts. Like, people will look at these things when they’re inquiring, and looking at your gym and thinking about joining. So, you know, these are all important things to do. And so don’t get impatient or give up or say, Hey, I didn’t get any members from my Instagram last month. Yeah, you probably won’t be able to see that in your first couple months. But I know from personal experience I have had back when I was managing the gym in New York, I had several people join the gym and I’ll ask them later on what made you join? Honestly, like, I looked at everyone’s Instagram and yours looked like the weirdest one. And so I joined yours because of that. Like, so, you know, yeah, consistency is key. And again, you want to put your best foot forward on a lot of these outward-facing directories and platforms.

Mike (17:52):

Yeah, I agree 100%. After that, some of the steps that you can do, and we won’t spend a lot of time on this. Some of the other things that you can do, are, you know, trade shows, visiting things like that, putting up booths wherever there’s like local fairs, you know, small businesses, chamber of commerce events, things like that. Coffee drop-ins where you just bring a whole bunch of coffee to the businesses right next door and in your area, establishing business to business connections. This is all marketing stuff and a lot of that doesn’t take a whole lot of money, right? It’s more time and doing stuff. But all of this stuff requires someone to do it. And that can be you, in the founder phase, probably is, but eventually you want to offload that.

Mike (18:30):

And so the things that I’ll give you in terms of skills needed, you need someone who’s friendly, you know, you need someone who can talk to people. That’s important. You need someone who’s reliable because that’s a consistency aspect. So if you hire someone and he or she posts once in a while and then forgets and doesn’t care and then posts a bunch, not effective, you need someone who is, who’s probably literate or can at least, you know, use Grammarly or figure out what the red line in the word document means that it’s a spelling error. And then you probably need someone with some tech skills. And that’s becoming increasingly easy to find because everyone in the generation that’s grown up with cell phones knows all the cool tricks and can do a ton of really cool stuff. Whereas, you know, I’m 42 and I’m not as cool as some of the other people with all the different features that they can do.

Mateo (19:12):

Yeah. I mean I can’t do the, I can’t do the, I know people on, in shot or whatever. They can do like the multi-tiled, you know, pictures and put them on Instagram or put filters like, I came just right a little bit too late for that, to get that education, so yeah, but don’t worry, everyone after me is going to have that just in the bag already, so you’re good to go.

Mike (19:41):

It’s amazing. Like what, when you see some of the people that are experts on social media and they’ll just put these videos up of tips and tricks and hacks. It’s incredible what you can do and the technology that you now have on your phone is unbelievable. The stuff that used to be like thousands of dollars of professional equipment and software, all the stuff like Final Cut on six different CDs clogging down your crappy computer. You can do that in your phone with like a thousand different apps now so you have the potential and you can learn there if you ever need anything media related, Google how do I do whatever it is you want to do and you’ll get six videos from some very clever people. We’re going to talk a little bit right after this about media skills and equipment. We’ll get into that a little bit more detail.

Mike (20:21):

I’m just going to tell you one quick thing here from Two-Brain Business before we do. This podcast, we just gave you some actionable steps. We always try to do that. We give you things to do. Chris Cooper just created the roadmap to wealth and it’s full of things to do. The app is incredible. It will literally tell you step by step how to create an amazing business. The best part is that it’s based on data. It’s the stuff the top gyms in the world are doing. There’s no guesswork. It’s just action and results. Step one is complete our Incubator, a 12-week sprint to build the foundation of your business. Step two, work with a mentor and use the roadmap to build your business. For more info, visit twobrainbusiness.com and book a free call with a mentor. Now we’re going to back to tech stuff.

Mike (20:59):

We were talking a little bit about how easy it is to do some things. Now you created in a marketing course, I’m not sure which one it was that I saw, but it was one of the many courses that you have done. And it was about how to make a video for a marketing landing page or YouTube in pretty easy steps. Talk to me a little bit about some of the stuff that you think is quote unquote essential media equipment for people. I’ve got a list here. I wanna see how many we’ve got together.

Mateo (21:25):

Yeah. So, yeah, it depends on the goal, right? If it’s, you know, if it’s a quick, push-up tutorial or squat tutorial or whatever it is, you know, you could pretty much just do that on your phone. And then do a couple quick edits, either on your phone or upload that to your computer, add some text, add your logo and you’re good to go. If you’re doing something that’s, you know where you’re going to be talking to the client, talking to the camera, trying to sell them on a program or trying to sell them on, you know, give them a nutrition tip, I think the essential thing is, one, you gotta be able to shoot in at least, you know, 720 or 1080p right? And most of the phones can do that these days.

Mateo (22:12):

Most cameras can do that these days. You want to have clean audio. If you’re going live, which also is a great way to engage people, this is less important. If you’re doing something that’s kind of spontaneous, you want it to seem authentic. And so, you know, having it look professional is less important in that context. But if you’re shooting some kind of a video for a website or landing page, or where you’re advertising a program or where you’re going to speak to the audience directly and say, Hey, it’s coach Mike here. I want to just give you three tips on how to get summer body ready when you’re in the kitchen or whatever. Yeah, you want to have a clear audio, right? Clean sounding audio. So a simple mic, and there’s tons that can connect to your phone if you’re shooting on your phone.

Mateo (23:03):

If you have a camera, it’s even easier to find mics that’ll work for that. And then the last thing is, you know, you want to have a stable shot. Again, if you’re doing something live, like, Oh, you guys are doing the Open workout and you want to start streaming live, this is less important. But if you’re creating some kind of like a, yeah, like you said, a video sales letter or a program video, you want to have a stable shot. So simple tripod, that’s going to be really important for creating videos, for shooting photos, and creating some content.

Mike (23:39):

You hit on just about everything that is, you know, the pet peeve of mine. I’ll summarize it. You can get away with a cell phone a lot of the time. I highly recommend you get a tripod, as Mateo said, for that cell phone. It doesn’t have to be expensive. You can find them for like, I don’t know, 15 bucks on Amazon. There’s hundreds of them. Get a tripod and use it. So that means like you’re not holding there jittery jittery after you just did, you know, a max bench press or whenever, you are just putting this thing on a tripod and it is stable because there’s nothing worse than jittery video. A mic, just a simple lab mic that’s going to clip onto your lapel and you can use it like a wireless one with Bluetooth or you can use a wire, that is going to make a huge difference because you’re in a gym, things are clanging and banging is a huge pain to listen to that, clients can’t hear.

Mike (24:24):

It’s annoying. No one wants to hear it. But you can use this mic to have some great ambient noise in the background where you’ve got people doing happy stuff, high fiving and you’re talking and audio is crystal clear. Please do that. And the final thing that I’ll give you is, you know, when you’re filming stuff, avoid the tendency to just wave the camera around and like you’ve got, you know, everyone gets excited and it’s like 50 people. It’s a big lunch class. You start waving the camera around super fast. It’s like watching a Jason Bourne fight scene and you start to feel ill. You know, just just show them what’s there and do some like slow panning back and forth. Don’t wave the camera around. Definitely walking with the is also brutal most of the time. There are some places where you can do this, but like I’ll give you in the next section here a thing that will change your life if that’s what you want to do.

Mike (25:07):

Final thing on that, basic video and editing skills as Mateo said, that stuff is all, there are so many cool apps that you can use. Find the simplest one. Find the one that you think is easiest to use and there’s lots of them. Now let me tell you, I’ll take you to step two. Mateo, tell me here, I’ll give you a list of stuff you tell me if you agree with me. So I’m saying if that’s your basic setup, I’m going to say your tier-two setup is getting a DSLR or a mirrorless camera. Now you don’t need that. You can get away with a cell phone for a long time, but if you do want to take another step, I would suggest getting one of those cameras. There are some amazing mirrorless cameras out there. You can also get some DSLR ones. You don’t need to spend $5,000, you can probably get a decent one for well under a thousand dollars that’s going to be pretty good.

Mike (25:49):

And benefits of that are is you know, you’re not getting text messages in the middle of filming videos and things like that. It’s a dedicated thing. More lenses, more different, you know, different things that you can do with it. More control if you see a need for it. From there, you can get more advanced editing and software. So you want to look at some of the stuff like say by like Adobe or Photoshop, things like that. Again, you don’t need to cause learning curve on that is steep, but if you so desire the stuff is out there. The other thing that I’ll give you is a gimbal, and this thing is cool. It’s technology that like is just mind blowing to me that it’s like $100 now. Basically it’s a stick and it’s got a bunch of gyroscopes on it. You put your phone or a camera in it and then you just walk around and it rotates the camera to hold it super stable. Have you used one, Mateo?

Mateo (26:30):

Yes, I don’t own one, but yes I have used them before. They’re awesome. Especially if you’re moving around. You can get some really cool panning shots and things like that.

Mateo (26:44):

Gimbals are great. You can get them for smartphones now. They’re really cool. And I think, yeah, the reason we’re talking about cameras is, well actually before I say that, the other cool thing about DSLRs is it doubles, you can now get even more professional looking photos that you can then repurpose for your blogs for your website, for your Instagram. You know, we’re talking a lot about equipment for creating media. And I think the reason why is because, yeah, a lot of advertising and a lot of marketing, especially if you’re going to be doing it yourself, you know, a lot of the ways to get the best bang for your buck is on the social platforms, is on Instagram, is on, you know, Facebook and YouTube.

Mateo (27:35):

And so everyone, every business essentially needs to become a mini media production company. You know, everyone’s got to have just a little bit of that, you know, juice somewhere in their business. Because you know, people are consuming content, online, you know, they’re not listening to radio anymore. So I’m not going to hear a radio ad. They’re not watching TV anymore. So they’re not gonna see a commercial. You know, most people are consuming content on their phone and so if you want to get your message out there, you have to present it in a way that is going to reach people. And yeah, I mean I think I quoted this statistic, I think I quoted it like a couple episodes ago, but I think like in like three or four years now here, like 75% of all content that’s being consumed is going to be online. It’s going to be like video or maybe it was on Facebook or something like that. But you know, so that’s why we’re taking the time to say like, you know, having a way to create that is important and should be essential to your marketing plan. Even if you’re just starting out, there’s a way to do it and it’s with the some cheap technology you probably already have in your pocket.

Mike (28:57):

Google is the best teacher, right? You can just, anything you want to do, just how do I do X with my camera or whatever. How do I change the setting on my iPhone? How do I edit a video, put it in Google, see what comes up. And you will find a ton of stuff. So you know, when you start out, do some research on your own. Again, don’t put too fine a point on it in the early stages because it’s more important to be consistent than it is to be perfect. But eventually you’re going to get better at it. You might as well learn a little bit. And then when you offload it, you can find someone who has those skills or just loves to do it. You know? And that’s kind of me where I love learning about cameras and photography and things like that.

Mike (29:30):

So like playing with the stuff, talking to you, Mateo, about different things and figuring things out is really exciting. So is stuff out there. We’ll end with this and Mateo, tell me, we talked a little bit on the intro, talk to me now, let’s say you have as a gym owner, you’ve got a foundation. Let’s say you’re publishing a blog once a week. You’ve got a newsletter that’s going out once a month. Every quarter you’re doing some sort of in-person outreach event. You’re posting social media, let’s say five to seven times a week. So you’ve got a pretty good consistent output. Now you want to put your toes in the realm of maybe spending a little bit of money, and you haven’t a clue how to do it. Talk to me about your free courses and what people are going to learn in there when they start wanting to put some money behind the marketing.

Mateo (30:17):

Well, yeah, so if you’re putting posts out, if you’re creating media and you’re ready to take it to the next level, you want to start putting some ad dollars behind it, you can do that. You can do that with Facebook ads. You can do that with Instagram ads. An, we teach you how to do that in incubator. I also have a free course out there in the universe as well where we’ll teach you how to set up a basic funnel, teach you how to create a basic ad, how to use the ads manager and the do’s and don’ts on what to say on the ad. What kind of images and videos to use and yeah. How to get people to inquire about your program.

Mike (31:05):

  1. So if someone wants to learn this stuff, this is now in our free tool section on TwoBrainbusiness.com. Correct?

Mateo (31:10):

Yes.

Mike (31:10):

And I have taken one of your courses. I came into before I worked with Two-Brain Business, I came into this as a gym owner. And I went through your course and I have pretty good at consistent social media, always getting that stuff out there, didn’t have a clue how to run ads, boost things, do any of that stuff. I went through the course and learned how to do it pretty easily and it was, you know, not making this up. I literally turned the thing on and just had no idea if anything would happen. And all of a sudden I started getting text messages that people are booking appointments and it actually worked. It is still working to this day and people, we’re still getting text messages.

Mike (31:48):

It is not that hard to do. There are certainly did more difficult things. We’ve talked about some other shows where you can really ramp things up, start testing things and changing audiences and all this other stuff. But in the early stages here with this course, I’m telling you as a person who’s done it, you can use it to learn how to do Facebook ads, and you’ll make some money. And you’ve helped a lot of people do that. And I’ve seen with the infinite stuff that you’ve done Mateo, but, I wouldn’t be out of line saying that it’s not uncommon for people to see a return on their investment, a significant return on their investment. Correct?

Mateo (32:22):

Yeah. I mean, I think the hardest part about the whole thing is just the ad math, you know, figuring out how to track that stuff and change your mindset a little bit and think a little bit longer term. I think when you’re really hurting for new members and you need a quick fix, it’s possible. But I think you’re going to see better results if you’re able to track lifetime value. If you’re able to say, OK, I know what a new customer, a new client is worth to me, and I know what I’m allowed to spend to acquire that person. And once you have those numbers, and we’ve talked about this on episodes before, the whole advertising process becomes a lot less stressful.

Mike (33:13):

All this, you can learn all this in Mateo’s free course, get it free tools, it’s at the twobrainbusiness.com site and it’s under free tools. I’ll close it out by giving you, the takeaway here is if you are a founder and you’re starting media and marketing, be consistent, do your best and learn and keep improving. And then when you start to get momentum and consistency and you start to level up, offload that stuff and teach someone how to do it or hire someone who’s better than you are. Eventually you may find yourselves where you need some sort of professional help and that’s totally cool. You can start looking at professional photographers, videographers, other marketing services if you so desire. But again, you can definitely do this stuff yourself and we can teach you how. And the main thing is just consistency and willingness to learn. A little bit of tech. You can get it all done for about under a thousand dollars of equipment for sure. Probably just your cell phone and a few small things, but if nothing else, start producing some content for your audience. Do it consistently and grow that audience. Thanks for listening Two-Brain Radio. I’m Mike Warkentin with Mateo Lopez. Please remember to subscribe for more great stuff. If you’re a gym owner and need some help growing your business, Two-Brain mentors can show you the exact steps to add 5k in monthly recurring revenue. Book free call on twobrainbusiness.com to find out more. .

 

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What One Gym Owner Learned by Going to Other Gyms for 30 Days

What One Gym Owner Learned by Going to Other Gyms for 30 Days

Josh (00:02):

Welcome and thanks for tuning in to Two-Brain Radio. I’m Josh Martin and in this episode I get an opportunity to talk to Brooks DiFiore, who will talk about a unique way he invests time to upgrade his staff. I will be back with Brooks right after this.

Chris (00:20):

Welcome to Two-Brain Radio. I’m your host Chris Cooper, here every week with the best of the fitness industry. Got a sec? We would love to hear from you. I write emails to my mailing list every day and it’s a highlight when somebody takes the time to respond. If you’ve got feedback on my show or a guest you’d like to hear on Two-Brain Radio, email podcast@twobrainbusiness.com. And don’t forget to subscribe to Two-Brain Radio wherever you get your podcasts.

Josh (00:45):

All right, Brooks, I’m pumped to have you on today. Welcome to Two-Brain Radio.

Brooks (00:50):

Yeah, thanks for having me.

Josh (00:51):

So before we get into the meat of our conversation today, why don’t you give our listeners some information on, you know, who you are, your journey to fitness, and how you came to own your own gym.

Brooks (01:05):

Yeah. So my name is Brooks DiFiore, I’m from Pittsburgh, PA. I have always been a fitness enthusiast. I think my dad really put the fitness spark in me when I was young, just training for sports. I mean some of the earliest memories I have are going with him to the gym to get a workout in. And that carried on all the way through middle school to high school. And then when I got into college, I was playing lacrosse and my mom started doing this thing called CrossFit and summer after my freshman year, she was like, you know, you obviously need a way to stay in shape. You’ve been working out with your dad for the past eight years. Why don’t you come and work out with me? And I was like, yeah, all right, cool. You know, I’ll go and work out with my mom.

Brooks (01:51):

So went to the box. Typical CrossFit story, first workout there. And of course it was Fran, right? Threw me right in. It was an absolute disaster of a workout. I was absolutely hooked on it and went pretty much every day when I was home for summer before going back to school. When I went back to school in the fall, there wasn’t a CrossFit box around me, so I like would recruit some teammates and say, Hey guys, you want to do this workout with me? So we started like doing some CrossFit workout to stay in shape and get ready for the season while at school. And then once I graduated that just carried over into wanting to open up a gym.

Josh (02:32):

No way. So I gotta back up, cause I gotta hear a little bit more of this. Like usually we hear it’s, you know, kid gets involved into CrossFit, somehow they drag their parents into it. But for you it was the other way around. Like your mom was the CrossFitter and then she was like, Hey, you need to stay in shape. You should come do this.

Brooks (02:53):

My mom has always been an athlete, fitness enthusiast. Growing up she was an awesome track and cross country runner. Still today she works out at my gym. Does CrossFit, does bootcamp classes. She does trail running like she did a, I think it was like a 40 or 50-mile trail run. Yeah, she’s an animal. She was doing CrossFit since probably summer of 2010.

Josh (03:25):

That’s like, yeah, that’s back in the day CrossFit.

Brooks (03:27):

Yeah, this is like summer 2010 and she was in it and a couple of her friends were really into it too and they just dragged me along and spent a summer just kicking my butt.

Josh (03:36):

So your mom and her friends, like the Golden Girls dragging you into CrossFit?

Brooks (03:40):

Exactly.

Josh (03:42):

Does she have a CrossFit story like, like most of us do, where it was like, I just went and I got my butt kicked and I fell in love with CrossFit?

Brooks (03:52):

I think so because I can remember like being in the middle of the lacrosse season, my mom texting me these workouts and I was like, I don’t know what the hell this is, I’m in the middle of lacrosse season. Like, what are you bothering me with this for? I can’t do any of this right now. You know, not really thinking much of it. And then when I got home she was like, are you coming with me? I was like, yeah, of course I’ll come with you.

Josh (04:11):

That is amazing, man. That is so funny. OK, so take me back to, you know, you get out of school, did you open your gym right away or did you go do something else or what was that evolution like?

Brooks (04:25):

Not right away. So my dad actually, he had owned restaurants. So my family had been in the restaurant business for about three generations and my dad was a restauranteur for a little bit over 20 years. So when I was growing up, I’d always been working in the business, whether it was like starting out as like a dishwasher, prep cook, bar back and then like bartending. So as soon as I got out of school, I was actually starting to go into the family business full time and I was managing one of the restaurants, and while I was managing one of the restaurants, I was also personal training and running group classes in a gym that’s like a globo-gym type space that’s no longer around, up in their attic. It was like the only place that had any room for functional fitness. I ran my first group on-ramp in their basketball court on the first floor, cause I wanted to like get some attention for it. I think we had like three people and then just all these other people like lined up looking at us in the basketball court, kind of like what the hell are these people doing? So I was subleasing a space from them for probably about like 18 months before I signed the lease for our big-boy space.

Josh (05:38):

That’s awesome. And what year did you open Arsenal?

Brooks (05:41):

I opened Arsenal, this April will be five years. So yeah. So was that spring of 2015.

Josh (05:52):

That’s amazing man. And you just moved into a new facility at the tail end of last year, is that right?

Brooks (05:58):

Yeah, we did. So we moved into our new facility in the end of August, beginning of September.

Josh (06:06):

  1. And just to kind of give everybody a, you know, an understanding of the operation that you guys run there. How many staff do you have?

Brooks (06:14):

We have about 11 coaches on staff, 11 coaches, me, my wife, two other coaches, are full time. And then our GM Vincent, who you mentor, is a full time with us as well.

Josh (06:27):

Yeah. I love, Vincent man. He does a fantastic job.

Brooks (06:29):

We’re lucky to have him.

Josh (06:31):

Yeah. All right. So what I’m really excited to talk to you about today is what you termed, I think your month of sweat. Did I get that right?

Brooks (06:42):

Yeah. So it was sweat till Christmas.

Josh (06:44):

  1. So in full transparency, the genesis for this conversation, it actually came from me stalking your Instagram for like the month of December. I really just fell in love with like what you were doing and I thought it would be super valuable. So first why don’t you tell us like what was that month I’ll all about?

Brooks (07:07):

So it really started out as just a way to stay consistent through the holidays. We had just gone off of like the move and like we just settled in. I think the stress of that was finally starting to subside. But like the minute we moved into the new space, I also went like right back into working out full time. And like, you know, doing like being like really focused on my nutrition and things like that. After Thanksgiving and the holidays rolling around, I was just burnt out on everything and I wanted to make sure that I was going to stay consistent through the holidays without putting a ton of pressure on myself. So I thought a really fun way to do that would be OK, just make sure that you get a sweat in every day leading up to Christmas.

Josh (07:51):

And so, yeah, I mean the idea was just, I’m kind of smoked. We just moved, I’ve got all this, you know, stuff going on, responsibility, life feeling kind of burnt out. But I know that like fitness, exercise, nutrition, all these things are important. How can I do it in maybe like a more low pressure but fun and exciting different way?

Brooks (08:13):

Yeah. Low pressure, more fun, exciting, different way like you said, but also an opportunity to go and experience some classes and some facilities that I hadn’t had time to try when we were getting ready for the move.

Josh (08:27):

So was there anything off limits in terms of what you were going to try?

Brooks (08:32):

There was absolutely nothing off limits. We had some things we wanted to do and then throughout the month we had people saying, Hey, why don’t you come to my class? Why don’t you come to like a yoga sculpt class one day. I think the only thing we didn’t hit was a cycling class.

Josh (08:48):

Did you hit a Zumba class?

Brooks (08:50):

We did not hit a Zumba class, but we did hit, like, what’s it called? We did a pilates class. So we did a Solidcore class.

Josh (09:00):

Oh, what’d you think of that?

Brooks (09:02):

Solidcore was, it was good. It was a tough workout. And I have a ton of respect for the instructors there. So we have a instructor at the local Solidcore who’s a friend of ours. And we were talking about, you know, what the expectations are of Solidcore for their instructors. And one of the biggest expectations is that they are not allowed to stop speaking for 60 minutes.

Josh (09:26):

Wow.

Brooks (09:27):

There’s no—

Josh (09:28):

Like motor mouth the whole way through?

Brooks (09:31):

Motor mouth, motor mouth, motor mouth. So between them explaining the workout, cueing you on how to use the machine, what the resistance should be, there can be no gap in between. So they need to have like motivational lines scripted, ready to go and it is 60 minutes of nonstop talk and some of them coach two to three hours of classes in a row.

Josh (09:54):

That is remarkable.

Brooks (09:58):

It’s pretty eye-opening.

Josh (10:00):

Yeah. So you know, funny side story, whenever I coach my athletes will always laugh at me because I do love to talk a lot and I explain things and I’m all over the place. But there is definite like dead time in that hour, especially like when the workout starts and the music kicks up and maybe you’re talking a little bit individually to people during the workout. But man that, yeah, mad respect for being able to just go, go, go for 60 straight minutes.

Brooks (10:29):

Well that’s exactly it. You know, I think especially if you look at it in the context of a WOD, after you say 3, 2, 1, go, it would be really challenging for any of us as coaches to say, OK, aside from you cueing an individual athlete, now we need to layer on you speaking and saying something to help keep them going in between. Basically fill those gaps of time the entire time when you’re not working with an athlete individually.

Josh (10:56):

I’m still trying to wrap my head around having to do that. Not just for one class but like back to back-to-back classes.

Brooks (11:03):

Yeah, it’s a lot. It’s a lot to ask of them and they do a great job and they have to be enthusiastic and motivated and dancing around the whole time. I mean, I don’t see like another way to really do it.

Josh (11:17):

So speaking of taking a brief break, let’s pause for just a second. You know, while we hear this message from Two-Brain Radio.

Chris (11:26):

Hey guys, Chris Cooper here. I wrote the bestselling fitness business book of all time, but I often think about taking it off the shelves. Here’s why. Business evolves quickly and while the ideas in my book “Two-Brain Business” still have value, my program has evolved. That’s where my most recent book comes in. In “Founder, Farmer, Tinker, Thief” I break the entrepreneur’s journey into stages because the things that work in the first stage don’t work in the second and vice versa. Everything I put in that book is based on thousands of hours on the phone with gym owners and tens of thousands of dollars in research. I know what works, when it works and why it works. I’m not just going to try and inspire you with pie-in-the-sky philosophy and memes about grinding and hustling. I’m going to give you step-by-step instructions based on what the best gyms in the world are doing to succeed. You can spin your tires like I did 10 years ago as a struggling gym owner or you can avoid my mistakes by reading a book based on a decade of knowledge. Check out “Founder, Farmer, Tinker, Thief” on Amazon. I wrote it to help people like you. And now, back to Two-Brain Radio.

Josh (12:29):

  1. So you know, before we go into it any further, what I want to know is, you know, what were you hoping to get out of it? You know, doing your month of sweat. Was there a higher motive or a different motive other than just like novelty and getting out of your normal routine or was that kind of it at face value?

Brooks (12:52):

It was it at face value. I just wanted to get out my normal routine. I wanted to switch things up and just try as many things as I could throughout the month of December. Now naturally when you go into a new studio, like, your gym-owner mentality starts kicking it, right? You’re looking around, you’re seeing like, you know, what kind of services are they providing? Like all these places, someone at the front desk, right? Like what are these roles that the people at the front desk are actually serving? Like is this place clean? Like what other classes are they offering? Is everybody welcoming? You know, so you just start analyzing all of those things. So it’s impossible not to take it into another level of seeing things that you like, you don’t like. Things that you think you could be useful to us as gym owners and things that you think, you know, belong to, you know, the more boutiquey fitness-type studios.

Josh (13:39):

You’re so right. You know, as a business owner, I can think of countless experiences where I’ve walked into—whether it’s a business that is in fitness or completely separate, where I’m thinking like, man, you know, I love how they did this or maybe I didn’t like how they did that, or here’s how something we can take back to our team. And obviously that’s, you know, really what we’re talking about today is, you know, upgrading your team. So from that perspective, like what did you get out of this this month of sweat?

Brooks (14:10):

One of the big things I got out of the month of sweat was us taking a look at, you know, how we can take our experience to another level. Because I look at, you know, what we talk about all the time, it’s like creating a great class experience in CrossFit. Like are our coaches welcoming? Are they keeping the athletes safe? Are they delivering the class, you know, and following our timeline, not going, you know, 10 minutes over, are they cueing correctly? Are they spotting flaws? You know, are they interacting with each member? You know, the prep for class that we do goes into, you know, technique, scaling. Like that’s, you know, that our end. When we look at the opposite end of fitness, when we start talking about things like Orangetheory, like Solid Core, like spin classes, what you’re really getting there is like a choreographed experience.

Brooks (15:02):

Right? And not that that’s necessarily a bad thing. It’s just different than what we do. Like the great experience in their world is OK, like class starts, lights drop, music goes up, someone’s on a mic and it’s high energy the whole time through, right? When we come into a class experience, you know, what do we do? OK. We bring everybody around the whiteboard. We do an icebreaker, we explain the workout, explain the why and all that stuff cause that’s very needed. But are there elements that we can pull from that OK, lights go down. Music is blasting It’s high energy, to create a more unique class experience for our offerings.

Josh (15:37):

Yeah. So I failed to ask you this earlier in our conversation, was it just you or was your whole team involved? Like who participated in this with you?

Brooks (15:47):

So my wife Ally and I were the ones who were going around and checking things out. But as we got through, as we kept going through the month, I reached out to our team and I was like, guys, if you want to go anywhere this month, just let me know. Hopefully I’ll go with you. And I’ll pay for the class, but just get out there and if you have the time, try and get another, just go to another gym and get another experience.

Josh (16:12):

I’m curious, did you visit any other CrossFit gyms?

Brooks (16:15):

I did visit one other CrossFit gym. I did not take their CrossFit class. I took their, they have a like a Barry’s boot camp style class where it’s treadmill and floor work and they, and again, you know, lights, microphone, loud music and that was a great experience. And I went and checked out the CrossFit gym and talked to them a little bit, but I really wanted to try the treadmill classes they were offering.

Josh (16:40):

So what are like the two or three big takeaways that you got from this and then will it lead to, you know, how you guys operate at Arsenal, you know, will it lead to you upgrading your team, things like that?

Brooks (16:55):

Yeah, so I think the big takeaways that I got are that there’s not a ton of unique offerings out there as far as fitness goes. If we look at like all these boutique national chains that are popping up, the formula is pretty much the same. It’s some version of high-intensity interval training with a cardio aspect and a floor aspect. Now, whether that cardio aspect is something like Row House where it’s rowing and then you know, dumbbell core work or something like Barry’s boot camp where it’s treadmill and then dumbbell floor work. Or you know, you have Orangetheory where it’s treadmill, rower, dumbbell floor work. They’re pretty much all the same concept. They’re just repackaged and rebranded in some different ways.

Josh (17:42):

Yeah. So it’s funny at the end there, where my mind was going with this, and this may be way too out there, but wouldn’t be the first time I said something like this, but where my mind is going is like, you know, in the NFL you’ve got all these different teams, you know, that have their own branding, their own colors, their own fan base. But like the product on the field is still football. It’s just, you know, I’m assuming you’re a Steelers fan.

Brooks (18:09):

Yep, of course.

Josh (18:10):

  1. And so who is the Steelers rivals?

Brooks (18:13):

The Ravens.

Josh (18:14):

Yeah. So like you’re, you’re not ever going to wear Ravens gear, but like you love the sport of NFL football. And so that’s kinda like what I’m thinking here is like all these guys, you know, and even us included like we’re delivering fitness. It’s just, you know, for the client coming in, you know, how do we connect with them? How do they connect with our brand, you know, the messaging and all that kind of stuff. Right?

Brooks (18:40):

It’s so spot on. Because I think when you look at things like, you look at like Orangetheory, you look at F45, you look at 3-Minute Fitness, Barry’s boot camp, again, they’re all pretty much the same. It’s just which one does the person resonate with more? Like which team are they going to go and join and be a die hard fan of.

Josh (18:59):

So knowing that and learning what you learned, like what do you take back to your staff? How does this change anything at Arsenal?

Brooks (19:08):

So I think that the messaging that we put out there, I think that like when I look around the fitness world, I think we’re starting to see all these fitness studios do things that we’ve been doing for years. Right? Working with dumbbells, working with kettlebells, things like that. I think that like just from a marketing standpoint, it’s going to benefit us too when we’re like putting out pictures on Instagram or what have you, to put out pictures that like people are familiar with. Right? Like if you have like all these people going and doing kettlebell swings all the time, like we need to show them that we do kettlebell swings at Arsenal, right? We also have a barbell, but like there’s at least this one thing here that you’ve done and you know how to do and that you might be pretty good at. So like that might be more inviting for you to walk through the door should you get bored at one of these at one of these fitness studios.

Josh (19:58):

Yeah, I mean, you know, something that you mentioned to me, I think before we actually started recording today was the level of execution and detail that some of these places had when you went there. That it was, everything was very crisp and polished and very high energy. Do you find that that’s an area where you can, you know, go back to your staff, your coaches and say, Hey, like, you know, I thought we were a 10 out of 10 until I went to these guys and you know, really they’re like a 12 out of 10, like we need to level up.

Brooks (20:36):

Yeah. So I think I’m going to say that from two perspectives. I think for one it’s super beneficial for CrossFit coaches in general to go and try these classes out, because I think what they’re going to discover is one, how knowledgeable they are and how good of coaches they are, but then they’re going to find unique ways to enhance their class experience, right? Like we’re for sure the best in the world at teaching people how to move, hands down. There’s other fitness instructors who are in the best in the world of providing an amazing, like heart-pounding experience that like just gets people like addicted and coming back for more. Like there’s a marriage there, like there’s something that can be done to bring those two together. So I think introducing more CrossFit coaches to that would help nearly any gym.

Brooks (21:27):

The second thing that, this is more from an operational standpoint. Everywhere you go, they have a front desk staff, and we’re guilty of this, like we’ve gone through three months where we have like a full time front desk staff and it falls off. But having a front-desk staff just, it creates this buffer that just allows for fluidity between you and the members or potential members or the coach and members and potential members, because the coach can come in and just focus on coaching. And if someone has a question about like membership rates, cancellations, things coming up, anything like that, there’s a resource there who is just there for customer service all the time. So I think that from an operational standpoint is a huge missed opportunity for CrossFit gyms.

Josh (22:15):

Yeah, that’s a really unique perspective, man. I mean, I remember when we moved into our new location several years ago, we had a front desk but never had it staffed by anybody. You know, and we’re not like where we’re getting foot traffic and things like that, but I do agree that the benefit to having somebody, you know, especially I’m sure at all these locations you walk in and it’s not somebody that’s, you know, looking all disheveled backwards hat or any of that. It’s, you know, they’re professional, smile on their face. It’s like you are the light of their world when you walk in the door.

Brooks (22:52):

For sure. Because you know, what these sales staff people are at all these places too, or sorry, these front desk staff people, like they’re the salespeople. They’re the ones who every time that we were leaving a class were saying, Hey, how was class? Do you have any questions about membership, signing up? Right. You know, for us it would be super like—I don’t think for us, especially like the way we do things at Two-Brain, for the front desk staff to be the salesperson, but the front desk person should be at least able to deliver an elevator pitch regarding your service, right? Yeah, we do personal training, group classes, nutrition coaching. Everybody who comes in starts out with a No-Sweat Intro, a No-Sweat Intro is a one-on-one sit-down with a coach to discuss your goals and figure out what’s going to be right for you. Is that something you’re interested in? OK, great. Let me grab your information. Let’s look at the schedule and schedule a time to sit down with somebody, right? So they can at least give you—they should at least be able to deliver that sales pitch for you. And if somebody walks in off the street and wants to get an intro or calls, they should be able to do that and get that scheduled.

Josh (23:52):

I’m impressed. That’s a very well-rehearsed sales pitch. I feel like you have practiced it and said it so many times. It just rolled really well.

Brooks (24:01):

A couple of times, you know, a couple times.

Josh (24:02):

  1. So I want to hear you elaborate on something because you know, being a part of Two-Brain Coaching, coach development is just a huge, tremendous passion of mine. It dominates all the free time that I have. And I’m constantly talking to owners and even other coaches, you know, about the importance of your coaching staff, when they get to a certain level, maybe not when they’re brand new at your gym, but you know what we would call at Two-Brain Coaching that third, fourth degree coach, it’s super important for their development to step outside of the box, pun intended, and seek out knowledge from other fitness methodologies, you know, and really allow that to inform their training and development of themselves and the staff back at the gym. And you kind of hit on that as one of the points that you thought was super important for your staff when you started going out there, saying, Hey guys, this is something I’m doing. It’s amazing. I think you would benefit from it. Can you elaborate on that a little more?

Brooks (25:07):

Yeah. I mean, I think that for any new coach who’s going to be joining your team, it’s going to benefit them to go to as many fitness classes as possible before they ever step foot on your floor. Just to get an idea of what is out there. See different coaches in action, maybe there’s things that they can pull from and implement themselves. Especially with a newer coach starting out. You know, everybody starts out a bit nervous, a bit unsure of themselves. So if you can give somebody the power to like, OK, this is how you like run a like super enthusiastic class and it can kind of, I don’t want to say shade any of the areas that might be a little bit weaker, they’re still working on, but it could really elevate their game and give them the confidence they need to really progress as a coach in the future.

Josh (25:57):

Is this something, you know, we’ve got the ears of a ton of coaches and owners, you know, that listen to this podcast, is this something that you, you know, doing this like month of sweat, visiting all these different types of fitness methodologies, boutique studios, is it something that you think all owners or head coaches, depending on how your staff is set up, should be doing?

Brooks (26:21):

Every owner should be going and trying out as many gyms as they possibly can in their area. And not in like a, you know, a sneaky way. Like, let’s go and see, you know, what this guy is all about so we can steal from him, but just like with a completely open mind, and whether you agree with the methodology behind their training or not, just go and experience the class for exactly what it is. Because if you go in there with an open mind, you’re going to take something away from it. And we talk about these things all the time. Oh man, there’s 10 gyms in my area. There’s so much competition. But like for most of us, we really don’t know what this competition is or like really what they’re about or what they’re doing. So until we go and like experience it for ourselves, we don’t know exactly like how to proceed.

Josh (27:09):

Now I feel guilty, like an irresponsible owner cause like, I go and do CrossFit at our gym, you know, four or five days a week. I ride my bike, I go for walks with the family and the dog and all that, but I can legitimately say I’ve never stepped foot in another, you know, gym or fitness offering within my area. But now I feel like I’m being called to do that, Brooks.

Brooks (27:39):

You know, and I think we talk about it all the time too. Especially like when new members come in, like it’s good to be able to understand where they’re coming from. Like we talk about in Two-Brain how like all these fitness programs are coming out are really just feeder programs for CrossFit, right? Eventually someone’s going to get bored with whatever functional boot camp they’re doing and graduate into a CrossFit gym. It’s going to be super beneficial for any business owner to be able to say, Oh, you went to Orangetheory. Like, I love an Orangetheory class. Like, I had a great experience there. You know, we’re a little bit different. We’re going to be, you know, we’re like, we’re a step up from there. It’s going to be a little bit more complex. But you’re going to get more results from it. So being able to, you know, relate to where the person is coming from will definitely provide them with some level of comfortability when they come to your facility.

Josh (28:26):

Yeah. You know, it’s interesting that you bring that up man, because really I, you know, I really viewed, you know, this topic through the lens of being a coach and developing as a coach. But this provides another layer that you can have, you know, if you want to consider it like on the sales side of things. But when somebody does come in is being able to relate to them, because relateability is such a big part of what we teach in terms of coaching development. And if I’ve never been to an Orangtheory or a Barry’s bootcamp or F45, if I’ve never heard of them or have no idea what they’re doing, it almost makes my, whether it’s true or not, my fitness credibility come down a little bit in the eyes of the client.

Brooks (29:09):

For sure. Especially because they look at it like how have you not heard of these things? Like these are some of the biggest fitness franchises in the world right now.

Josh (29:20):

Yeah. And the other thing I’m thinking too is it allows you to, not down what they’re doing and talk about how you’re better, but it really allows you to frame like we talk about strategic advantages in Two-Brain so much, so you know, if I know that somebody has done a ton of treadmill work or running or whatever at Orangetheory, then I can talk about the benefits to how we train, how that’s going to translate to them getting better results.

Brooks (29:49):

Absolutely. Right. It’s like, Oh, you row? I love Orangetheory. Like the rowing’s so hard. They’re like, yeah, the rowing is my favorite part. We row here all the time. You’re going to be a great fit,

Josh (29:58):

Man. This has given me so much to think about. My team is probably going to be mad because now I have to set up all these dates to go and visit these different places. Let me ask you this, kind of in closing, what was your favorite thing you went and did?

Brooks (30:13):

The favorite thing that I went and did, so again with them all being somewhat similar of like cardio paired with floor work, I liked Row House because I enjoy rowing. But I found the floor work to be a little bit lackluster just from the background that I was coming from. You know, just being in a CrossFit gym. They Barry’s bootcamp style workout out had the treadmill and the floor work I love, because the floor work we did there was, like we did dumbbell snatches, AbMat sit-ups, things that would be, you know, much more predominant in a CrossFit setting. I’d never been to a Barry’s bootcamp, but we’re going to New York in April for the next Tinker meet-up and hopefully I can get that whole group to maybe go to a Barry’s boot camp class with me.

Josh (31:01):

If they’re listening to this, they better feel guilty if they’re not doing these things.

Brooks (31:06):

This is not me calling them out and telling them we’re all going to a Barry’s bootcamp class together.

Josh (31:10):

I will. I’ll call them out. OK, so leave me with something like this. Like why should somebody do this? I mean I know we’ve just spent, you know, however long this podcast is talking about these things, but what do you think is truly like the bottom line benefit? Why should an owner/coach go and do this in an effort to upgrade their team?

Brooks (31:36):

I think it’s going to raise your expectations for your own gym. I think you are going to leave there like so grateful for the amazingly talented people that you have around you and the amount of time that they spent investing in becoming really great professional coaches and then leave with a bunch of tidbits of, OK, we can layer these little things to enhance the experience on top of all that knowledge.

Josh (32:05):

That was very well said, man. I can’t close it out any better than that. Man, thanks so much for the conversation today, Brooks. I always love catching up with you and I’m glad that we could do this.

Brooks (32:18):

Absolutely, man. I appreciate it.

Josh (32:19):

All right. Thank you for listening. Once again, I am Josh Martin and this is Two-Brain Radio. Please remember to subscribe for more great shows. And if you’re a gym owner and need some help growing your business, Two-Brain mentors can show you the exact steps to add $5,000 in monthly recurring revenue. All you gotta do is book a free call on TwoBrainbusiness.com to find out more.

 

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