The Real Reason I HATE Bait-And-Switch Advertising

The Real Reason I HATE Bait-And-Switch Advertising

If you go read the message boards all the way back to 2001, you’ll find questions about marketing.


The very first affiliates struggled with marketing. Affiliates in 2014–during the highest-growth period of CrossFit affiliates worldwide–still struggled with marketing. And in 2018, affiliates were still struggling with marketing.


So when some gym owners started to find success with various Facebook marketing strategies, I was thrilled. FINALLY, we could talk about actually running a business! FINALLY, more affiliate owners could afford the service that would really make a difference: mentorship!


And it happened: on more and more “Free Help” calls with affiliate owners, I heard: “I ran this six-week challenge and now I can afford mentorship!”


It appeared that the marketing problem was solved–at least, temporarily. No Facebook strategy lasts more than a few months, but I hoped that gym owners were being given some breathing room to work on the stuff that works forever.


But then I started hearing about the “bait and switch” advertising (I refuse to call it “marketing”.)

You know how it works already: “FREE challenge! Sign up here!” Then the potential new client is told the challenge is actually $499…but they’ll get their money back IF they leave a good review…and check off a bunch of other boxes.


I heard stories about coaches leaving, because they no longer trusted the box owners (“If they’re lying to clients, they’re probably lying to me, too.”)


I heard stories about great, long-term clients being “washed out” of the gym by the tidal waves of short-term, in-and-out groups of 30 or more.


I heard stories of burnout by owners. Stories of clients who thought they had “done CrossFit…and now I’m looking for the next thing” because they thought CrossFit was an 8-week mass challenge.


Stories of marketing companies charging tens of thousands of dollars for this stuff!


But what really broke my optimism was this: “People have commitment problems. They never stick around after 8 weeks!”


That’s not a commitment problem. That’s a leadership problem.


What kind of leader promises something to get you in the door, and then tells you the truth later? Not one that I’d follow.


What kind of relationship starts with a lie?


Since starting TwoBrain, I’ve wrestled with the question “What do gym owners actually NEED?” many times. It’s my mission to make gym owners wealthy–because I am one. I’ve asked the question about data sources; about booking and billing software; about handbooks and templates and courses and seminars and mentorship.


But what gym owners actually NEED is the ability to change lives. That means leadership. It means business strategies that stand on their own: logical, replicable, and honorable.


What gym owners don’t need is tricks. That’s what made the industry so corrupt BEFORE CrossFit!


So when two members of the TwoBrain family–John Franklin and Mateo Lopez–told me about their success with Facebook marketing, I was eager to hear their story. I love these guys. I trust them. They’re great leaders. They do things the right way.


They showed me their strategy. They’d taken years (and over $80,000 of investment) to learn how to market their four gyms well. I loved their method, but I don’t sell ideas; so we tested it. First in mentors’ gyms, then in a dozen TwoBrain gyms, then in a hundred. Their Facebook marketing strategy proved SO successful that we built it into the Incubator permanently. Every gym owner who works with TwoBrain receives mentorship in Facebook Marketing now.


Our strategy isn’t a swipe file or one specific campaign. It’s not an over-promise-and-pray plan. It’s mentorship.


What works in my market might not work in yours. Hell, I wouldn’t WANT another gym running the same ads in my city anyway. But John and Mateo have built a mentorship program for marketing on the TwoBrain platform that makes me proud. It’s one-on-one help (not big group calls); a help desk; tons of samples; coaching on ad spend and mentorship on testing. And it’s a fraction of the cost of these challenge-brokers, because I think that’s the right thing to do.


We also make gyms fix up their operations, retention strategy, coaching development plans, and pricing before teaching them marketing…because that’s ALSO the right thing to do.


I want to make gym owners wealthy. That means the ability to stay in the game for 30 years; to build long-term relationships of trust; to lead. Does your marketing make you proud…or does it make you a fraud?



Why Your Rules Don’t Work

Why Your Rules Don’t Work

Have you ever tried to sue someone for their gym fees?


I haven’t. And I don’t want to. So I don’t have contracts.


“Never make a rule you won’t enforce” is something my first mentor taught me. But he didn’t tell me the harder lesson: that you have to enforce the rules that you make. And you have to enforce them the same way every single time, or they won’t work.


When we sold Open Gym memberships at Catalyst, we had a full page of rules:

Clear out before group starts
Don’t come near the floor while there’s a group going on, even to warm up
Put your stuff away

I don’t have to spell it out for you. You know what’s on that list.


The problem was that no one really followed the list. So for awhile, members using Open Gym would show up while class was on, and discreetly their warmups in the corner. Sometimes they’d walk through class to get a foam roller. Eventually, their warmups involved a barbell. And then they began to involve the AirDynes…and then a coach snapped on them, and everyone felt awkward and bad, and I had to placate people who were in the wrong.


They weren’t bad people, and it wasn’t their fault. It was my fault for not showing them where the lines are.


When the rules are gray, there aren’t any rules.


If you give people five extra minutes of personal coaching after class for free, you’ll never sell personal training as a service.

If one coach starts class late, your clients won’t show up on time.

If “Open gym” runs during class time, your students will have a lesser experience.


If you aren’t saying “no”–and saying it clearly every time–you’re really saying “yes.”


Consistency is greater than everything else. Even when it’s painful.


The irony is that upholding your rules consistently and clearly is only painful once. In the long run, it’s far LESS painful.


I once had a client decide to row a half-marathon during Open Gym. Great guy, he’d been around for over two years, and he was choosing a tough option.

But five minutes before class was set to start, he still had nearly 5k to row. There was no way he was going to finish.

The coach told him to make sure he finished rowing before class started. Period. He said, “I’m over 15k in! I can’t stop.”

The coach said, “You will stop. That’s the rule.”

He stopped. He got off the rower, picked up his bag, and left the gym. He never came back. In the moment, it sucked.

But we’ve never had the problem since. That was six years ago. One hard conversation saved us from dozens of hard conversations, awkwardness and apologies down the road.


When the rules are complicated, they won’t be followed.


Imagine you’re a new client, and you you’re not really sure what the rules are. You see others showing up early and warming up while another class is running, so you do it too. Then a coach barks at you. You’re in a new place with strangers, and you were just embarrassed in front of them. Why would you ever come back?


Clear rules and consistent delivery teach your clients how to fit in. They save you from frustration and burnout, and save your clients from confusion and awkwardness.


If your rules aren’t being followed now, it’s probably because you haven’t enforced them before. Or because they’re just not clear. Or because people don’t know them.


Good pet owners, good parents, and good parents do it the same way every time.

Episode 155: Driven Nutrition, with Jason Rule

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

Announcer:                            00:26                       This episode is brought to you by ForTime Design. The real focus of this episode is talking about the value of your time. Is it worth it to outsource your programming and what I started to bring to bring I built these sites myself from scratch because I wasn’t satisfied with what else was out there. It’s important to know how to build a website yourself. It’s important to know how to change your own oil. It’s important to know how to rotate your own tires, but the value of your time is what’s most important. I’m not a graphic designer, I’m not a website designer and so I trust liquid state design to take care of all this stuff for me. Check them out. Toxic Teresa, they do some pretty amazing work and a lot of two brain gyms are already using them. To huge advantage in their local market.

Greg Strauch:                        01:10                       All right. I’m here with Jason Rule, owner of Driven nutrition. Jason, how are you?

Jason Rule:                             01:15                       I’m good. Thanks for having me on Greg. I appreciate it.

Greg Strauch:                        01:18                       Happy to. I know personally within my gym, I love the products that Driven nutrition has been able to offer us. I would say as a business owner, I love the profit margins as well. Uh, before we get into all that, let’s kind of start with your story. Let’s start with kind of what led you up to open driven nutrition and uh, Kinda expand and we’ll go from there.

Jason Rule:                             01:37                       All right. Right on. We’ll dive into it. So about 20 years ago, I bought my first supplement store and then shortly after that, about a year after that, about another one and got pretty entrenched inside of the supplement industry working with the franchisees. And what I found in the industry was a lot of times a company will come out of nowhere, build itself up, and then start charging a lot higher premium for their product or they’ll start selling out the people, the businesses that actually built them. So after about three years of doing that, I decided to open my own shingle and I figured, okay, at least I can control if I, if I start my own brand, I can control not only the quality of products but retail distribution as well as the wholesale price of it. So not having to worry about a manufacturer’s undercutting me or anything like that.

Jason Rule:                             02:30                       And that rolled around, that was about 14 years ago when I started tight. And, and then once crossfit came about, some of the supplements, uh, took a big jump again cause people started focusing on health and wellness and all that. But as crossfit gyms started reaching out to us saying, hey, we’d like to carry your product lines. I kept hearing over and over again, we don’t care if we make a profit, we just want a really good product offer our members. That struck a chord with me because that’s really how, well, that’s not exactly how I ran my company, but I’m a big believer in there’s no amount of money that’s worth giving up your reputation for. So when someone came into my stores, I trained all of my guys like, Hey, these are the products that we recommend for these situations. We’re not here just to make a buck or to sell a product, but instead to help these guys achieve their goals.

Jason Rule:                             03:21                       So the compassion and the, and the relationship that crossfit gyms had with their members really compelled to me. But it scared me really bad cause they’re saying I don’t care if I make a profit. So you know, keep in mind, this was seven years ago, I was flat out telling people like, look dude, you just bought a hobby. If you’re doing something for the sake of just, hey, I want to do this cause my members are telling me I should do it, then you should generate revenue from it and not, you shouldn’t do it. Focus on a part of a business that can be profitable, that can drive the metrics forward. So we worked with, we worked with a handful of gems and we just basically said, look, if we created a brand that was exclusive for affiliates, what would you need? And of course they started with protein, you know that it needs to taste great, it needs to be amazed and he said mix easily and it just needs to be a really straight forward product.

Jason Rule:                             04:10                       So we started with that and then amino acids, a creatine, glutamine, fish oil and nighttime sleep aid and recovery product, post workout, pre workout. The list goes on and on and now we’re up to 60 or 70 different products. And as we started developing the products, it stayed in the back of my mind. It’s not just the products that these affiliates need, but it’s the support and the training. And I caution to say this, permission to make a profit. And you know that at the time there were, there were some brands in the space, but they were, they were very expensive and there’s only so long you can overcharge for a commodity. And that’s what, that’s what supplements are, their commodities, you know, I’ll be at high grades depending on what company you work with, but they are, they are commodities. So eventually if you’re charging a lot of money for a product that a member can walk into a local retailer for and buy for 30 or $40, eventually the koolaid wears off a little bit and then like, oh, it’s proteins protein.

Jason Rule:                             05:12                       Right? Well that’s a tough business model. If the prices are really high, it’s just not something that can be sustained. So the, besides the teaching and the, the approaches that we take to retail of teaching Jim’s how to create a successful business unit. Inside of that, we wrap it around a model that allows the affiliates to sell the products at a reasonable price point. In fact, a lot of our affiliates will sell it a little bit below our retail price. So you’ll find our products on our, on our website as well as on our Amazon store and that’s at full blown retail and I encouraged the affiliates to sell it just a little bit below our retail price point. Then that way you can say as an added value of being a member of our gen, we’re proud to be able to save you money on these products.

Greg Strauch:                        05:58                       Yeah. Which is usually a different approach that a majority of supplement companies we’ll talk about with the people that are going to be supplying the supplements to the members. They definitely don’t, don’t do, don’t do that same justice that you guys do have of really making sure that they’re getting the benefit of being able to carry the products within their facilities. Right, right. So you guys take a different approach to onboarding. Anyone that, that, that decides to start with driven, what does that onboarding process look like?

Jason Rule:                             06:28                       Well, it uh, anybody who is interested, they can go to our website and fill out the form to become an affiliate. And then the next step is we’ve got a gate there intentionally. The next step is for them to schedule a call with me and then we jam for 1530 minutes to see if we’re a good fit. And we go over the process of how do I talk to my members about supplements? How do I come off as though I’m not being salesy and you know, and then how do I talk to my members as well as my coaches about it? And how do I make it part of my community and what we do here. So it’s kind of laying out that overall framework. And then we have emails that kind of are follow the bouncing ball. Everything from a script that an affiliate can use to post up when they first announced about it to a coach’s newsletter that has 60 to 70 different emails.

Jason Rule:                             07:15                       And, and in that we just drip emails to the coaches every seven to 10 days. And that’s a mistake that I made early on. A couple years back, I realized some of my onboarding calls were taking two and a half hours. And not only was I getting hungry during these things, but I, you know, the trickle down the lane, there’s only so much information you can absorb in and a certain amount of time. And what I found was, hey, I could create, I can create an article. So I started documenting our processes like any good business will. I mean, you guys do a great job of teaching that. And I was just winging it. You know, here’s what I know about retail. And I was just puking all over it.

Jason Rule:                             07:55                       And uh, so I started documented like, here’s, here’s a ball, just follow it. And we, we integrated that into infusion soft that we use for followup and it just kind of follow the bouncing ball and um, hopefully, uh, we’ve done a good job. I always say, hopefully because I believe that we’re just one version away from being better and that includes whatever version we just made that’s better. Uh, so we’re constantly improving those processes that here’s how you introduce products to members, here’s how you introduced it to coaches and here’s how you create a successful business unit inside of your gym. Instead of just buying products to help us pay for the products you take yourself, it should be a profitable venture.

Greg Strauch:                        08:36                       Agreed. Agreed. And with that, I mean, you guys do even more unique things with, with the onboarding, but also with a presales. I know, uh, Bryan Alexander did this and in what kind of interests me into driven was the fact that you guys do more of like a preorder. So if is buying shirts

Jason Rule:                             08:56                       or other kinds of apparel companies kind of do this, hey, put out a list, let everyone kind of pick what they need and then a kind of forward that to you guys with payment to get, get the order placed. Is that correct? Yeah, yeah, that’s right. Brian. Brian crushed it and he actually helped us develop the sop is for it. I was sitting there at my desk and I heard the printer just go and go and go on and had like an $8,000 order and I just picked up the phone. I said, what did you just do? It said all, I’ve been building up for that for a couple months. And I was like, okay, we need to hop on a call. And that’s one of the things that I do is if a, if an affiliate is crushing something, I’ll hop on a call, I’ll record it, and then I’ll turn it into a podcast and they’ll spread that out to the rest of our affiliates.

Jason Rule:                             09:34                       Then that way we can all kind of get up to speed and also accelerate, you know, the hive mind mindset. So we, we took what Brian was doing and then we implemented that into not only an email series but also a mini cha using Facebook messenger. You know you mentioned doing things different, I call it weird, you know, things that stand out that kind of make people go, what was that? What did I just look at? I get real heavy into Facebook messenger and so we have a link then an affiliate you can click on and then it’s just basically a follow the bouncing ball, nine day process of here’s what you post, here’s what you say, here’s the links to the assets that you need. And then nine days later you, you have this big list of members that need products and you go place the order.

Jason Rule:                             10:19                       And then two days later you’d get the order and disburse it out and you have profit in the bank. And that’s amazing to be able to do, cause I’ve, I first handed been able to do that and allow for us to have excellent margins on our products in the industry. There’s definitely different models throughout supplementation of how people should, should be selling it and all that kind of stuff. Can you talk a little bit about the difference between what driven has done compared to maybe the conventional business model of supplements? Uh, sure. I mean that’s part of the reason that we, we created a new brand completely out of by driven nutrition instead of taking the original brand than we had and saying, hey, here’s, here’s a traditional southern, that company, you know, it’s normally dealing with body builders, fitness competitors, weight loss, that type of thing.

Jason Rule:                             11:05                       And a lot of those companies were advertising at crossfitters as well as at owners. You know, some went directly to the gyms, they have sales forces for wholesale and everything else and then they will call you and hey Greg, are you looking at selling some supplements? Sure, send me some samples and then they hound you and pound you until you either buy or die. And we don’t, we don’t do that. We, we’ve grown strictly by word of mouth. And part of that was through being broke and you know, simply through desperation of hey, we can’t, the margins that we have that aren’t anywhere near what the affiliate can have. So we had to get more creative with how, how we grew our brands. So you know, working with affiliates, one of the first things I tell them, and I encouraged, I can encourage affiliates to do the same thing, is I expect to do such a good job for you that when somebody says, Hey, what do you do for some months?

Jason Rule:                             11:55                       Or what are you selling your gym? It’s a flat out. If you’re not working with Jason had driven, you are missing the boat. And I know that by saying that, then I’m, then I’m establishing the level of quality that you as an affiliate expect. So if, if we ever drop the ball, if we screw up, if we mess up an order or we can improve our process, you know, all of all of the affiliates we work with have my cell phone and I expect a text like, Hey Jason, you’re dropping the ball or you could do a better job here. And if it’s something that is possible or within with our, in our abilities to learn than we, we build it and then we implement it and then we test it. So I think that, you know, working directly in with affiliate owners and letting them know, like you’re the, you’re the ones growing our brand. You’re the ones that are, that are talking to your members, that you’re the ones that are trusting that when you sell them one of our products, that they are getting a good product. So we’ve, we’ve stayed very loyal to that and we rely on the affiliates to help us spread the word because I don’t think there’s anything like what we do.

Greg Strauch:                        12:57                       No I I 100% agree and I can attest to anyone out there listening to this podcast that a, I do have your cell phone number in my phone and if anything like that does come up. Definitely being able to reach out to you, which is unique because it’s not like you can reach out to a lot of other supplement companies. Their CEOs are even have their cell phone number to say, Hey I need help with this. Or Hey I think the system could be streamlined this way or that way and giving you feedback directly. So that’s definitely a unique thing that you’re able to do and continue doing at a high level with, with all the other things that you currently do within the business and still be able to keep that personal touch with affiliate owners and gym owners.

Jason Rule:                             13:36                       Well for me it’s very honestly it’s self serving because we serve the affiliates and if I, if I build a wall between you guys and I don’t have that line of communication, then I’m just going and I’m going to start mentoring stuff as far as what is my opinion is that everybody should be doing instead of listening to what are the best ones out there doing. We can just move a lot faster altogether. Then we can just individually, so for, it’s part of it’s lazy by me is I don’t want to have to think of all this cool stuff that everybody’s doing out there. I just want to be able to take it and be like, hey man, good job. How do we, how do we duplicate that this out with, you know, a thousand other affiliates.

Greg Strauch:                        14:13                       Yeah, definitely. Now you guys have the typical supplements. You have the protein, you have the BCA A’s, but you have some unique supplements to. Can you expand a little bit on some of the stuff that is kind of outside of the normal protein and bcas that that most Shim cell?

Jason Rule:                             14:32                       Yeah. You know, our top sellers are two bound protein. Then we’ve got posed quad, we’ve got prewired, which is a lot of, lot of crossfit gyms and not a lot. I’d say some of them are like, no, I don’t want to sell preworkout great. So another product we have is called disrupt. So it’s our branch chain amino acids. It’s BCAS plus one gram of an energy formula. So you know it has about 120 milligrams of caffeine. So not enough to really give you much energy at all, but it’s just kind of a smooth, smooth product that you can take to help increase pain tolerance. So there’s no pump product. You know, if you’re doing a metcon or something like that, you don’t want your heart rate up if you’re doing a long rowing, you don’t want to get a pump in your legs. So disrupt as a cool product that really doesn’t fit the, the space of normal supplements.

Jason Rule:                             15:16                       But it falls into the crossfit space. Well along with post one. And then, you know, we got into, Jeez man, Greg, we’ve got, I think we’ve got 60, close to 60 some odd skews just with, and that’s just products. And then you get into apparel, you know, shirts, uh, men’s shorts, uh, ladies shorts, you know, and all of those are brand. And we set those up at a pass through cost. Some affiliate can sell our apparel and generate a really solid revenue stream. And then, you know, when somebody is thinking that they need to take a protein or something like that and they see a coach or an owner, other members walking around driven nutrition tee shirts, what are they going to buy? You’re going to buy what everybody else does. So that’s one way that we kind of help drive interest into the brand and keep that, keep that internal marketing going without a lot of effort from the affiliate owner.

Jason Rule:                             16:04                       So apparel is great. And then, I don’t know, lower year ago I created a, a good relationship with Charlotte’s web who’s the industry leader in CBD. In fact, they’re the ones that created the, the rush for CBD. You know, Satya gooped in 2014 the an expo say on them called weed, and he documented the, the medical refugee crisis that was happening in Colorado of people hearing about CBD and what it was doing for these, the two first patients, Charlotte figgy and a Secai Jackson. So this, these Stanley brothers or seven of them, they started as Stanley brothers, his name of it, and eventually that the name got out so much about of what it was doing for Charlotte figgy that they ended up naming their entire company Charlotte’s web off of the strain of him that they were growing. So as I started looking into it for personal reasons, there was a lot of misinformation.

Jason Rule:                             17:03                       It reminded me of, it reminded me a lot of when a new supplement comes out and there’s all this amazing sexy marketing on it, and that just makes me raise an antenna of bullshit antenna like that doesn’t make any sense there. So I started digging into it and digging into it, digging into it, and every, every form that I found, everybody that actually was needing CBD for what, what they consider medical reasons, whether it’s dealing with epilepsy or depression, PTSD, that type of thing. Every, every legitimate source that I found was pointing to Charlotte’s web. And the more I dug into the company and more I realized like all of these other companies are private labeling their buy in bulk oil from Israel, from China, where China, you can, you can pet spend 100 bucks and get an organic certification. There’s no validity to it whatsoever.

Jason Rule:                             17:54                       So the market, you know, the big CVD market that is, is what it is now was scaring me a year and a half ago because there’s, you know, there’s no one at the wheel of this industry except for Charlotte’s web because they grow. So every, every bottle that is produced comes from the exact same strand of him. So if you can imagine the Fido chemical properties of a plant, it’s going to vary from one batch to another. Hemp is such a, such an untapped market that we still have unique strains. And that’s what these guys did was they, they, they bred this strain up until it’s CBD content was higher than anything else I’ve ever found were a lot of times, you know, four years ago, everybody was growing hemp plants to increase the TNC to get people more high. They had read these studies in the sixties about what CBD can do and the studies are coming from Israel and you know, what the endocannabinoid system is and you know, uh, all of that, we can spend hours talking about CBD.

Jason Rule:                             18:53                       But these guys believed in the benefits of it. So they started breeding this strain that they own that genetics for now. And not only do the hand plant every plant in Colorado on their own farm, but the hand cultivated. So there’s no synthetic pesticides, no synthetic fungicides or anything like that. And in the end product, every batch, every product is exactly the same, has the same fido chemical properties. And you know, the scary thing about CBD, the scary thing about hemp oil is hemp as a reclamation plant. Uh, what that means is, is they’ll plant it around like mining operations, uh, to pull the, pull the contaminants out of the soil to get the, to get the, to get the levels out to where they’re not going to get sued by the EPA. Well, I mean, like, uh, in Japan, after Hiroshima was bombed, they planted him all over the place to pull the radiation on the soil.

Jason Rule:                             19:46                       Now it’s going, it’s coming out of the soil, but it’s going into the plant. So if you’ve taken, if you take these huge roomfuls of hemp, grinded up that have been grown in less than stellar conditions are polluted conditions, all of those contaminants are going to be inside those plants. And now they’re getting to get this entire roomful of him is going to get processed and put inside these two gallons of oil. So now you’ve got an incredibly concentrated level of contaminants. And so instead of doing what a lot of well a lot of companies do is, you know, buying raw products, putting your label on it, I felt I was really doing a disservice to the industry. But more than that, our clients, because I can’t make a better product than Charlotte’s web.

Greg Strauch:                        20:28                       Yeah. Oh, I was gonna say, so you basically turned around and said, okay, if gym owners are, are selling supplements and this is something that can benefit them, which we can go into the benefits of, of their members in them of what CBD oil can do. But because you couldn’t develop a better product to, you wanted to get the best of the best, which was, uh, what Charlotte’s web was.

Jason Rule:                             20:48                       Right, right. Or his right, right. Yeah. Yeah. And uh, you know, the CBD concentration is a factor of seven times stronger than most of the other brands out there. And it’s the same price point. The cost per CBD mall milligram is a fraction of most brands. So an affiliate, I’ve had affiliates bring it in, you know, one of the, you know, we talk about how do we, how do we promote it, how do we do all that? And a lot of times affiliates will, we’ll spend a lot of time researching and everything allows to get like that. I’m really just teaching affiliates. Hey, if you can get out of here, get out of the numbers way and like just make it available, ask them a question. So one of the ways that we taught affiliates early on to to see if it was a good fit was I took a picture of the bottle and then I just put this question mark on it.

Jason Rule:                             21:31                       And so I sent affiliates of the script and said, ah, just post this, post the picture and say, do you take CBD oil and why? And then listen, listen to your members. Uh, we had, we had one gem get 37 comments on it. Yeah. Like, I mean like do Murph, you’ll get that many comments or program, a three mile run for time. You know, you’ll get a bunch of comments. But people, now, this has been a year and a half since we’ve been into it, but when we first started it was pretty divided. You know, people were passionate about it one way or the other and um, you know, that that is starting to die down. The acceptance of it and everything else. People are starting to realize this product doesn’t get you high. You know, there’s not enough THC in it to do anything. Psychoactively but there are benefits that, that people are getting.

Greg Strauch:                        22:15                       Yeah. I like to always say to people that are worried about that with, with the being in CBD oil. I say it’s a, it’s about the equivalent of the alcohol in Cambridge show. Jay Is, I mean it’s fermented tea. It’s going to technically, but nobody’s drinking that and a drinking and driving. So it’s like that. It’s, yes, technically it could have a trace in there, but it’s such a, such a minor level that it will, you could drink the whole thing and I’m pretty sure it’s still wouldn’t cause that much of an effect. But I mean, and, and CBE CBD you can get into to the benefits if they do have members that are taking this or don’t know about it. What, what exactly are the benefits that people that would be telling their, their members of what this could do?

Jason Rule:                             22:59                       You know, there, we have to be careful with, um, you can tell stories, you can say why people take it. But you can’t say that it’s fixing it because then you get into, then you’re telling people that it is a medication and that’s, that’s really, that’s another reasons that we work with. We decided to work with Charlotte’s web is I want us to make sure that we’re staying on the right side of, of this particular industry because right now the pharmaceutical company, they were able to produce one CBD product. Apple dialax I believe is the name of it, so if, if we as an industry of people who are offering as well as gems that are offering CBD and hemp oil and then they start saying, well, this can cure this or this can cure that. They really get themselves in a tough spot of where they’re prescribing and unapproved medication.

Jason Rule:                             23:48                       I’d be doing everybody a disservice to answer that question. What I will do is there’s, there’s a nonprofit and we talked about this before we got on the call. Greg is, it’s called the realm of caring. The t h e r o c. Dot. US. It is the best source that is available on the planet that I’ve found of. What are the studies and what are the studies pointing to for different conditions? What impact does CBD and humble having on these and out of out of the studies that have been done and it’s, it’s, there’s a huge library, like you can go to the resource and there’s, there’s hundreds of conditions that studies have been done and they’re linked up on there. So I would recommend any affiliate, use that as a resource not only for to learn about, but also if a member has a question, plugged them into it.

Jason Rule:                             24:35                       Since since we work with Charlotte’s web, who was one of the original founders of who was the founder of the realm of caring. Now it’s a nonprofit that works with other oil companies and it recommends other hemp oil companies. But since we’re connected to that, our gym can use the realm of caring. Our gyms can use the realm of caring as a resource to pick up the phone, to hand the phone to a member and say, hey, you’re dealing with this condition. Please reach out to them and have these conversations. And the beautiful thing is, is the real caring is run by people who have dealt with, you know, sick kids. They’ve been sick themselves, they’ve used these products. And so no matter what condition someone is dealing with, they have people who have dealt with that themselves and they’re able to plug you in to that resource so you can use it. So I, I’ll the, I believe that on better serving everyone that’s listening to this, by sending them in that direction, then doing what all these other companies are doing of, Hey, this is what CBD oil does or cures this or cures that. There’s, that’s not doing the industry any justice.

Greg Strauch:                        25:38                       Yeah, no, I agree. We definitely appreciate that. We’ll make sure we link that in the show notes so that everyone, if they’re doing the research for that, and that’s just one of the products that you guys have to offer that’s a little bit more unique because a, a lot of supplement companies aren’t going in any other route, uh, besides the protein, the preworkout, um, possibly even the creatine. But even further into that, you guys, I mean, let’s, uh, let’s talk about a unique product. I remember at the summit last year, you brought it up. You were, you were, you were eating a bag of them and we’re a little confused on what they were, but I think it’s called the meat snacks. Is that correct?

Jason Rule:                             26:11                       Yeah, yeah, that’s right. Um, so I made snacks is made from chicken isolat. So this, this company not too far from us. In fact, if you buy Campbell’s soup or any, any type of a chicken bullion, anything, it comes from this company and what they, what they were trying to do is figure out how, so as they’re refining chicken processing chicken, they had some byproduct, which was chicken protein. So they’ve started refining the process of chicken protein isolate and then having this, this powder, which it doesn’t sound very, and by itself it’s not, um, you know, just basically it’s, it’s cooked chicken with very little seasoning or anything like that, but it has unbelievable health benefits. Chicken is one of the highest things in branch chain amino acids products out there by a factor of almost two. So chicken protein has some great benefits for athletes.

Jason Rule:                             27:02                       So as they started developing products, I started buying these meat snacks. So I, last year I set a goal, I wanted to travel and go to five different events or masterminds or anything like that. And as I travel, I don’t like eating crappy meals, Mcdonald’s, anything like that. So I try to control, okay, I need a snack here, I need a snack there. So I was traveling with these things and, and eating them. I was eating three or four days sometimes when I would travel. And I was like, these are delicious. So created a relationship with the company and said, hey, we’d like to offer these to our affiliates. And um, and we do. So when we, the thing is when we create those relationships with the affiliates or with these companies, we’ve been very careful to vet them. Uh, not only from the standpoint of their Ra’s and their products, but their business. What’s their business goals? Do they align with ours? And is this something that, that their members are going to be able to buy it? The costs that they’re getting an ad and a few months. If so, I tell people flat out, look, if that’s the path you’re going down, let’s, let’s just part friends because we’re not going to get along and it’s not going to go well if you start selling us out and our, and our retail partners,

Greg Strauch:                        28:10                       which is very unique because I mean supplements, you’re looking at margins and you’re looking at what you guys are able to make and look in numbers really is what it comes down to. And that’s definitely a different take that you guys go about within the industry of it’s not chasing the money, it’s more of chasing what’s going to benefit the end user the most. Along with the gym owner, the, the crossfit affiliate owner.

Jason Rule:                             28:33                       It’s a, it’s a lot longer game. You know, there’s not, there’s not a flash in the pan. We’re not looking for instant revenue, um, incident profits. You know, we’re, we’re in this for the long haul and it’s, you know, the crossfit owners that were telling us six or seven years ago, you know, I don’t care if I make a profit, I just want a good product off of my members. Um, we just kind of flipped that on its head a little bit, but I know how, how are trusting, you know, a lot of these guys are past military firefighters, law enforcement. My Dad’s a retired highway patrolmen. My brother’s a trooper. I got a nephew that’s a trooper, another one that’s going into it and Kansas. And you know, I just grew up with that mindset of, you know, tell people what you’re going to do and then do it.

Jason Rule:                             29:11                       And then crossfit goes a step farther of that vitality of, hey, this is, this is really unique. This can help your business. And then, you know, there’s been a lot of consultants that have come out and they’re saving a lot of these gems by teaching them how to make profit. And, um, and thankfully I’m grateful that they’re helping us spread the word as far as, hey, this is what driven does pay attention to them and you don’t have to sell supplements, but if you do, I feel that uh, driven is probably the best model out there. I hope.

Greg Strauch:                        29:42                       And coming from an experience, I mean we’re almost five years in now, uh, with me owning the gym and I can definitely tell you that, uh, it’s, it’s the way the process you guys have made, um, which is what I want to get into next of somebody being able to onboard with you to the point of selling the supplements and how easy you guys make it. Almost like a plug in play to do along with, I mean, looking at it from a business standpoint, the margins that you make on the products are, I’ve yet to see something better and we can break down the difference between, I mean, whey protein and the different types of it and casein protein and all these other things of what’s going to be the most beneficial. But you guys do a great job of not only instituting a learning process of what you guys have and how to show what to offer so that people don’t have to go out and do the research themselves if they haven’t yet.

Greg Strauch:                        30:33                       But you guys sell top notch supplement. So it’s not like you guys are going to the the guy, like you said before, with the oils of, of going to like China and getting a bulk order of, of, of protein. You guys are actually making it and manufacturing it to the highest possible quality all the time. Right, right. I appreciate you saying, saying all of that. Yeah. You know, I, I mentioned that earlier. A lot of affiliate owners, we’ll try to learn everything that casein does or everything that fish oil does or what do I mean? I’ll acids do. And the truth is a lot of your guys as members are already taking and buying supplements. They’re just not buying them from you either because you don’t offer them. The products you offer are that, some of them don’t taste good. Right? So it has to taste good.

Jason Rule:                             31:16                       It has to taste like reward or it’s priced outside of what the other markets do with that specific product. Um, so we, we kind of focus on instead of, hey, instead learn everything in that a branch chain amino acid can do, just make it available to your members, find a product and this is, this is true of any retail. Find a product that you believe in and if it’s something that you can generate a good enough profit on to make it worth your while, make it available to them and then talk about it. Let your members know this is what you take. You don’t have to know everything about amino acids. You just have to say, hey, this is what I take. This is why I take it. This is what I perceive when I take it. And then let them taste it. If you, if you do those things and you have it on your shelves, they’ll buy it

Jason Rule:                             31:58                       without a doubt. And I think, uh, something that I’ve always done and I’ve stuck to and my head coach still make sure, um, that my GM follows this as well, is the fact that we’re never going to sell a supplement or product that we don’t personally take or willing to take something, whether it’s a workout or it’s a amino acid or protein. Everything that we have on our shelves is stuff that we take and our coaches take and we believe in. And I think that’s something that you guys also have a line in. I remember you saying it plenty of times of, and I’m not going to sell a supplement that I’m not willing to take or that I haven’t taken that I enjoy taking too because I mean supplements are supplementation. So it’s, and that’s, that’s awesome to be able to have an that care in there. So let’s say somebody right now is listening to this and they’re like, you know what? I needed to talk to Jason. I need to figure out how I can institute this. The onboarding process, you said that they sign up online on the website, which we’ll put in the show notes, there’s a link for that. But what is, what does that onboarding process look like for somebody coming on with

Jason Rule:                             33:00                       driven nutrition? Well, first thing I’d do is ask them, are you carrying supplements now? What have you carried in the past of what worked? Then that way I can get a feel for kind of where they are as far as business, you know, do we need to break down some, some preconceived notions about making a profit first of all. And uh, and then the other thing is just plugging them into the, the emails of here’s, here’s the system that you follow. And you know, once we throw the switch, all ordering goes through our website, which is very convenient. There are no spreadsheets. So when you need to order something, you just hop on the website and you order at will. There’s no volume discounts. I don’t believe in that at all. I think that I want to work with a gym that has 10 members.

Jason Rule:                             33:40                       Then that way when they have 300, they will never change because they knew from day one that, that, that we were there with them. And I had businesses when I had stores that, that were that way. Um, it always, it always aggravated me when people, as I got bigger and more successful companies would come out of the woodworks, you know, it’d be like, Hey, your movements and volume, let’s increase this and then you can, you know, we can increase your margin. Like, you know, those products don’t cost you any lesson in your warehouse. Why? Why are you charging me less? I needed, I needed a profit when I was broke, man. So, you know, we don’t have minimums. Pricing goes, you know, pricing is, it’s flat and simple and you just get on the website and order whenever you need to.

Greg Strauch:                        34:20                       That process is super easy to you guys. Definitely take the leg work out of, out of trying to figure out how to do everything. I mean you guys have that affiliate separate log into, uh, which, which makes it super easy for people to jump on in and order what they need to.

Jason Rule:                             34:33                       Right. And then, um, you know, that we go through kind of the, how do we introduce this to the members? You know, talking about the first introduction, you know, do you order samples or do you order a handful of products? Uh, I’m a firm believer that samples do nothing but delay a purchasing decision. You know, if I hand you a sample and say, here you go bro, let me know what you think, you know. And then in a couple of days I see a, hey Greg, what did you think of the products? And like a, you know, things are going to get awkward cause you haven’t tried it or your dog ate it. It fell between the cracks, your seat, you know, instead on day one, like here, Greg would just getting in this protein, let me grab a scoop, go grab four or five ounces of water, throw it and shake it up. Let me know what you think and you’re going to buy that product that day if you like it.

Greg Strauch:                        35:14                       Yeah. I think, Jeff Burling had the chocolate peanut butter. And uh, I was like, all right, let me try it. Like I’ve had chocolate peanut butter proteins and he was like, man, I love this stuff. Like I can’t, I can’t keep it on the shelf and I’m buying it personally. And I tried it and I was like, Yep, that’s a, that’s exactly what I’m doing now. Um, that’s awesome. So if somebody wants to reach out to you guys, um, what’s the best way to contact you if they want to start up or if they have general questions for you guys? What’s the best way?

Jason Rule:                             35:45                       Uh, well, I’m on Facebook and my name is Jason Rule. You can reach out to me personally if we’re not friends. Um, and they hit my spam. So it may be a better idea to go to the Driven Nutrition page and then send a message that way. We do not have a wholesale price list. I’ll warn you ahead of time. Um, we do not send out samples. So the process to learn more information and we keep those behind the gate intentionally. So if he remembers or you have a coach that’s going rogue or somebody selling, wanting to sell products out of their garage, we don’t send that information out. So you fill out the, become an affiliate form. And then once we see that we’re a good fit and then I open the gates and you’re able to access the wholesale information. And then, uh, another way that you can do that, that I think any Jim could benefit from and should is we have a Facebook group called building retail in your box.

Jason Rule:                             36:31                       And we try to, you know, like on this call, I try to stay very agnostic as far as, you know, as far as brand, anything that we teach can be applied to any brand that you have in your gems. So, even if you’re not wanting to jump on board with a driven in building retail in your box and take some of those steps and implement them, you know, recreate some of the assets that we have and um, and, and use that to, to increase retail there. There’s, here’s one thing I just want to add and I know we’re running short on time. It’s your, your members want you to be successful. They want to buy products from you that, that you trust. And if as a gym you don’t talk about supplements or you don’t, if you don’t want to offer supplements, that’s fine. But talk about supplements, be a conduit for that information because when they do have questions about it or they get marketed to on Facebook or on Amazon or anything else, I can’t imagine in five years the number of people you’ve had walked through your door, Greg, after they’d been with you for two months and they’re bringing in a pile of crap that they have no business taking cause it’s not right for them where they are on their fitness journey.

Jason Rule:                             37:35                       So I highly encourage any gym that’s listening. If you’re, if you are carrying a product, offer it on day one, make it available on day one and make it part of the conversation and not something that’s just sitting on the shelf collecting dust until a member comes along and buys it from you.

Greg Strauch:                        37:51                       No, I agree. I agree. And I think, uh, that’s a perfect place to wrap it up. So thank you Jason for Bml jump on and uh, your time for sharing everything, uh, all the products that you guys have. I mean, they can always jump on the website and there’s plenty of different things that we didn’t even get into on here, but I definitely appreciate everything you guys do and uh, thank you so much for your time.

Jason Rule:                             38:11                       Oh, it was a pleasure. Greg. Thanks for having me.

Speaker 6:                               38:18                       As always, thank you so much for listening to this podcast. We’d really appreciate you and everyone that has subscribed to us. If you haven’t done that, please make sure you do drop a light to that episode. Share with a friend and if you haven’t already, please write us a review and rate us on how what you think. If you hated it, let us know if you loved it, even better. See you guys later.


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Why I Started TwoBrain

Why I Started TwoBrain

Last week, I told you why I started a gym: to create freedom for my family.


Today, I’d like to introduce you to my larger family.


Years ago, a physiotherapist told me, “If you care about your health, then you have to care about the health of the people around you. And if you care about their health, then you have to care about the city.”


I started the gym to take care of my family, and help my wife achieve her goal at the same time. But I started TwoBrain to help my larger family: other first-time entrepreneurs who had opened a gym. I knew what they were going through, and the camaraderie of the early days of CrossFit affiliation encouraged me to share all the mistakes I’d made.


You’ve probably heard the story ad nauseam: I hit bottom, found a mentor. Posted the mentor’s lessons on a blog called every day for four years. Answered a call to mentor a couple of gym owners through a website company. Published three books about gym ownership, added a few dozen videos and articles to the CrossFit Journal, and continued to publish love letters to gym owners every day.


But the story I haven’t told is why I founded; why we keep producing free stuff every single day; and why I’m more committed than ever before.


In early 2015, while still mentoring gyms through a website company, I built a 14-hour online course around the conversations I’d been having. While every gym is different, certain work has to precede other work, and I recorded videos, wrote lessons and built templates around these foundations. I was the guy on the videos and the guy behind the lessons. I thought we could help more gym owners by selling the video course for less. And with a waiting list, selling a course as an alternative to 1:1 mentorship seemed like a great way to leverage my time.


It didn’t work.


If my goal was simply to make more money in less time, I’d say the course was a success. But my goal is to help gym owners, and an online course without 1:1 mentorship simply isn’t effective. MENTORSHIP IS THE ONLY THING THAT WORKS. It’s not the cheapest service to provide; it’s not the most scalable option to offer. If your goal is to scale without big costs or have a massive profit margin, you can get away with selling an online course. But if your goal is to make a meaningful difference in the lives of entrepreneurs and their families, you have to provide 1:1 mentorship.


My goals didn’t align with the website company’s goals anymore. And so, on February 13, 2016, opened its doors to gym owners.


Now there are over 500 in the TwoBrain Family. Every single one has a personal mentor. Every single one gets at least a full hour of 1:1 time every single month (and that’s an hour every WEEK in the Incubation phase.) Every mentor has a small caseload. Because that’s what works!


Like you, I took this leap into entrepreneurship. Like you, I made an emotional leap: I believed in the mission of getting people healthier, because I cared about them. I embraced CrossFit as the most effective tool available. But, like you, I quickly realized that a fitness tool isn’t a business plan. A business plan is a business plan, and a mentor makes it work.


We now have nearly 30 mentors at TwoBrain: all successful entrepreneurs who have been through our model, reached the Tinker Phase, and are dedicated to pulling others up behind them. This huge staff means a LOT of big ideas and new solutions to problems; these aren’t call-center employees trying to troubleshoot your website. These are high-earning, successful entrepreneurs who have been there. As my own mentors tell me all the time: it’s not the fastest way to build a business, or the cheapest. But it’s the ONLY THING THAT WORKS.


I care about the health of CrossFit. I care about the health of the fitness movement. That means I have to care about the health of those pushing the movement forward: the gym owners. You serve them; we serve you. Every hero needs a guide.


That’s why, most days, I wake up with a chip on my shoulder: because we have a long way to go, and gym owners deserve better.


Think about this: you’ve put your entire life on the sidelines to help others get healthy. You’ve asked your family to carry on without you at breakfast and bedtime; taken a vow of entrepreneurial poverty (hopefully short-term); skipped your own workouts; eaten your stress; missed your sleep; skipped meals; drank too much coffee…


…all in the name of providing excellent service. The least we can do is fill the gap between that service and your reward. No one else is willing to do it this way–the only way that works. But I am. That’s why I founded TwoBrain.

Episode 155: The Intramural Open

Episode 155: The Intramural Open

Episode 155 – The Intramural Open with Mike Lejeune

The Intramural Open is a fantastic way to build your community during the CrossFit Open. The focus is on inclusion and celebration instead of competition (though there’s a good bit of that, too.) Every year, we’ve built and improved on the idea thanks to the feedback from those gyms.


The Intramural Open was invented by Chris Cooper, founder of Two-Brain Business. You can download our 2019 Intramural Open Guide here for free!

You should also read “How To Make The Open Easier” after you’ve downloaded the guide.

On the podcast today, we are joined by Mike Lejeune of CrossFit SciCoh and Echelon. Mike’s been running the Intramural Open at his gyms for years, and built Echelon to help him host competitions in his gym. The software makes it easy to host world-class fitness competitions. We talk about hosting competitions in general; the Intramural Open in particular; changes to the Games season (and the effects on your business!) and new opportunities for you as a box owner this year.

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

2:43 – Introduction to the Intramural Open
4:19 – What is the Intramural Open?
5:57 – How you can get the Intramural Open started at your gym?
10:45 – The importance of creating a competitive environment and keeping it fair
17:17 – Why RX athletes are not placed on a pedestal for the Intramural Open
18:31 – Facebook Live Events to pump up the gym during the Open
20:24 – Boosting participation through Friday and weekend events during the Open
26:46 – The Sixth-week grand finale to the Intramural Open
28:24 – Motivation and prizes for winning the intramural open
33:00 – The Re-Open, the midterms for the Open.
36:19 – The benefits of using Echelon for Intramural Open planning
39:29 – How to sign up to use Echelon and begin planning an event


Contact Mike:

Why I Started A Gym

At TwoBrain, we teach that successful entrepreneurship creates freedom. Freedom means the ability to choose: will I coach classes today, or not? Will I sleep in, or get up early? Will I mop the floors, or will someone else do it?


But successful entrepreneurship also means freedom for the people you care about most.


I opened a gym because I had to. I wasn’t under the impression that it would be easy, and I didn’t even have the CrossFit brand to lean on.


In 2005, I was a personal trainer at a small facility. I worked with 6-12 clients every day, one on one. I was paid around $20 per hour. Go ahead and do the math.

My wife, Robin, had a great job. She loved her company and she was paid around 3x what I was. She liked her coworkers and she liked driving new cars around every day.


Then we had Avery. And built a new house out in the country. Life went from great too amazing. And then, when Avery turned one, it got really tough.


In Canada, new moms take a full year off work. And after a year, Robin went back to work. She struggled. I struggled too: I cried when I dropped Avery off at daycare, because she was a shy baby. One month after her return to work, Robin said: “I just want to be home with her.” And I realized that I wanted the same thing.


The problem was money: I didn’t make enough. After one 13-hour day without a break from coaching, I added up my share of the revenue and realized it wasn’t enough. I had no choice but to start my own business.


Keeping one partner home is expensive, but it also meant I could work 80 hours outside the home while she worked in our home. We both understood what was necessary. And we stuck to that schedule for YEARS.


Entrepreneurship isn’t easy. But it allowed both of us to get what we really wanted in life.


Smart entrepreneurs ask themselves, “What kind of lifestyle do I want?” and then build their business around the goal. They work backward from their “Perfect Day” instead of simply jumping out of the airplane and trying to build wings on the way down.


One of the greatest things a client has ever told me was this (from Sherman Merricks):

“My income goal is that my wife can walk into any store she wants, and buy anything she wants without looking at the price tag.”


Of course, he could have been talking about his kids, or his parents, or his coaches. But Sherman wants what I want: for my entrepreneurial labors to create financial freedom for the people I care most about. I want to have choices; and I want them to have choices, too.


Entrepreneurial success means that my loved ones have flexible lifestyles. Entrepreneurial failure means forcing my loved ones into the trap of martyrdom with me. There are more lives than yours on the line. Whose needs are you considering first?