Episode 175: The Green Light Program With Vaughn Vernon

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Greg: 00:01 – It’s Greg Strauch of Two-Brain Media and on this week’s episode we talked to Vaughn Vernon of Affiliate Guard. We talk about the Green Light program that they’ve started with this new act that’s going to be taking place of 2020 and we jump into the changes within the CrossFit certifications and the different certifications that Vaughn as an insurance agency will back so that you guys can take care of business. Subscribe to Two-Brain Radio to hear the very best ideas, topics to move you and your business closer to wealth. Two-Brain Radio is brought to you by Two-Brain Business. We make gyms profitable. We’re going to bring you the very best tips, tactics, interviews in the business world each week. To find out how we can help you create your Perfect Day, book a free call with a mentor at

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Greg: 01:40 – All right, I’m on another amazing episode of Two-Brain Radio with the famous Vaughn Vernon of Affiliate Guard. How are you, Vaughn?

Vaughn: 01:46 – Doing good, buddy. Thanks for having me on again.

Greg: 01:49 – Oh, happy to. I love having you on. I love even when we were able to chit chat at the Summit about different things, things that gym owners go through, some of the things, stories that you hear, that you think, “Oh, there’s no way that’s possible.” And then you kind of confirmed, sometimes hey, yeah, this does happen. I’ve seen it happen. Or heard of it happening. And so it’s always good catching up to you, but really jumping onto today is kind of talking about some of the changes that we’ve had within the CrossFit certification realm. And really diving into that with the knowledge that you have of the insurance side. I mean, with the changes that have happened, there’s a few things that gym owners should know about that could affect them in a positive way or possibly even negative ways. So, let’s kind of jump into that. What are the changes that have happened with the CrossFit certification system?

Vaughn: 02:42 – I know enough about that to be dangerous. I try to focus on what has like the biggest ripple effect going into these gyms for these gym owners and coaches of what this landscape is going to look like in the future. For the fact that one constant in this life is change, right? So with kids training, this is the biggest change I have seen with kids training, that landscape is a lot different now. And you need, absolutely 110% need abuse and molestation coverage on your insurance policy. Minimum of 300,000 on an aggregate, 100,000 on occurrence. We need to have mandatory background checks done every year on every trainer that is interacting in any capacity with 17 years of age and younger. So not only is this coming from the insurance geek’s end of the stick, this is also coming from the Safe Sport Act that has been passed and come 2020, this legislation is going to be full circle in all these gyms, right? So in order to be in compliance with this legislation, you’re going to need to have, again, mandatory background checks on every trainer every year. You’re going to need to have an anonymous tip line via email and phone. If someone sees something inappropriate happening, they can anonymously tip it in. We’re going to have to have documentation for like accident procedures where something does happen, how you intake that correctly, documenting the occurrence. And if something does happen and you have a governing body come into your facility to investigate and you don’t have your ducks in a row, probably going to be a very character-building experience to say the least to address that. So I spoke on this briefly at the Summit with the Green Light platform that we’re launching. So this Green Light platform will make every gym underneath the Affiliate Guard flag in compliance with this new legislation turnkey. OK. Now, with training youth, it’s an entirely different ball of wax than training adults, right? For the fact that if little Johnny gets banged up, we’re going to handle that a hell of a lot different than we would if Johnny’s dad got banged up in the event of legislation, or excuse me, litigation. Does that make sense?

Greg: 05:52 – Yeah. What we do, what would be the real difference that a gym owners need to think about between an adult versus a kid if an injury happens?

Vaughn: 06:03 – Right, so with a kid, I mean, we got to make sure A, it’s a super safe environment, with the programming, with you know, if you’re doing obstacle drills or whatever, or just basic movement or if little Johnny falls over that he’s not gonna have his head break his fall for him on the rig or anything like that. You know what I mean? So it’s like a controlled environment. So look at it like this way too bro. So if a kid gets banged up, we don’t want to go to the mat, we don’t want to go down the litigation road for the fact that, you know, if it gets that ugly, who’s the court gonna side with, mom and dad or the fricking insurance company? So we want to handle that in an entirely different fashion than we would if an adult got injured because we can rely a lot more on the waivers. We can rely a lot more on, you know, he didn’t check his ego at the door. This is a self-inflicted injury, stuff of that nature. So it’s an entirely different mindset. Obviously we’ve got to have waivers in place for minors. We still got to do that. It’s just best practices. We should have policies and procedures in place to where if, say my son goes and works out and I can’t go pick him up or my wife can’t go pick him up and he gets a ride with his buddy’s mom and dad, we should have pick-up authorization forms in place. Does that make sense?

Greg: 07:35 – Yeah, completely. Completely. I mean that’s a huge factor. It’s a minor and I can only imagine the litigation route that could happen if you released him to so-and-so that said that they were an uncle or an aunt when they really weren’t. That could be huge. So that makes complete sense.

Vaughn: 07:56 – And then I got templates, all this stuff, after we’re done here, I can email you those templates if anybody wants to use them.

Greg: 08:02 – Yes. Yeah, that’d be perfect if you have them. Do you have them on the website as well? Cause we can definitely link on your website.

Vaughn: 08:08 – Yeah. Should be underneath my resources section.

Greg: 08:10 – Perfect. We will make sure that it’s in the show notes. So with these changes, what was the reason for you now coming out with this Green Light program through Affiliate Guard, and this kind of act that has come from federal government. What was the reasoning behind it?

Vaughn: 08:30 – Yeah man. So it’s unfortunately it’s the world we live in. This is in the wake of what happened with USA Gymnastics and this whole Me Too movement, variety of other scandals that have happened. I have been in the circle on this for about a year, about a year now of how this legislation is gonna look in 2020. And I have partnered up with some people who are, this is all they do. And we have been working on a proactive versus reactive platform to where all the i’s are dotted. All the t’s are crossed. Once this comes full circle, here’s—boom, turnkey. Here you go. I mean it’s so much admin work to get in compliance with this stuff. Nobody wants to take the fricking time to do it. Where you know with this new p
latform here, once you’re registered up, signed up, have your coaches do the background checks, all that, you know, you could be good to go in a couple hours and you’re done, moving on with life. So I would look at it like this too. Insurance companies, believe it or not, did you know that they like to make money?

Greg: 09:53 – I can believe it.

Vaughn: 09:53 – I know, it’s weird. So I’m thinking from the companies that I deal with, I’ve been talking to my reps about how this is going to look and all that stuff and they flat out are saying, you know, if there are not policies and procedures in place to be in compliance with this new legislation, if something did happen, the insurance company’s going to exclude that out of the contract because you, the policy holder, were not in compliance. So you’re basically going to be self insured if you don’t do this shit. That’s the bottom line.

Greg: 10:29 – Oh wow.

Vaughn: 10:29 – That’s the bottom line. Yeah.

Greg: 10:31 – Now with this Green Light program, I mean you guys have built it, so it is, if you’re an Affiliate Guard member and you have a policy with you guys, I mean like myself, that means I can basically go to you and it includes, I mean the background checks and all this paperwork and stuff like that. What are, is there additional costs or anything like that?

Vaughn: 10:50 – It is, dude. So, we’ve been kicking the tires on anywhere between 50 to 100 bucks for the whole year to have this tool, which is a smoking deal in my opinion.

Greg: 11:02 – 100%. I completely agree.

Vaughn: 11:05 – Yeah, it is, man. I mean, just the time alone it’s going to save you from the burden of not knowing where to go. How do I do this? What governing body do I show that we’re in compliance, all that crap. So, yeah, that’s how, that’s gonna look, I just had a brain fart, dude. I’m sorry. Don’t edit that out either, will ya?

Greg: 11:31 – No, it sounds good. So, with the Green Light program. What else is included into that? Like is there waivers and everything like that? Kinda like the release you were talking about?

Vaughn: 11:42 – Yeah. So we’re going to have obviously waiver template, stuff of that nature. A lot of people use, you know, Wodify, Mindbody online, whoever. That’s great. Keep those digital platforms there. That’s good. So, with these trainers, right, these background checks, so once these background checks are executed, so like 10 months down the road after that’s done, we’re going to be pinging you to get those refreshed. So annual background checks, it’s 15 bucks per trainer per year. That’s how that looks. Now we have also kicked the tires on doing a full like, employment application as well for these trainers, which would be a good loss control tool. You know, at the end of the day, trainers are representing your brand. If you know, you get a guy that has had a bad past and whatever, you know, you have full disclosure here of who you’re conducting your business with. It’s just a best practices position, right?

Greg: 12:48 – Yeah. Well that would be awesome. I mean, you got gym owners that are looking for coaches and you find somebody that’s got their L1, or any certification. You can get one online even and it’s not going to specify any kind of background check on them. So I mean you could be getting the wrong people in the door and not even know it. So that, I mean that would be huge to be able to do something like this. I mean 15 bucks, like that’s such a small amount of money for the risk that you’d be putting yourself into by having these coaches work with kids and be able to talk to these kids and groom these kids. Like you see in these situations that have happened with like you said with the USA Gymnastics team, you know, and you don’t even know what’s happening. So, I mean that’s just a huge risk for $15. I mean I would spend 10 times that amount per person if I knew it was going to help us be covered. And then also me not having to do the lay work as the gym owner.

Vaughn: 13:48 – Right. Yeah. We’re also going to implement in this too, and please don’t shoot the messenger on this. So every quarter we’re going to be pinging you with you going through your gym, checking out if your rig’s still secure, your ropes are secure, your rings are good. If you have squat racks bolted to the wall, that that’s all nice and adhered. So where if you know, God forbid a piece of equipment does fail and we get John a litigation and they say you never maintained your equipment or anything like that. We have that set piece to rely on as well. That scheduled maintenance is performed on the rigs and all that stuff. All the infrastructure of the box there.

Greg: 14:37 – I love that. And if any gym owner out there is listening right now, pause your podcast, go check every piece of equipment for safety and make sure it’s serviceable, as the military loves to say, make sure that everything is bolted down correctly. Because I know my staff does that on a quarterly basis. So I think that’s huge. If you’re going to be pinging the gym owner or the GM or the head coach or whoever is going to be actually going through and checking these things, having a checklist created for each piece of equipment and make sure that everything’s safe. I mean, the last thing you need is somebody doing a muscle-up on a rig and those bolts have loosened over time and that whole piece of equipment comes crashing down on them.

Vaughn: 15:17 – Yeah, that would hurt really bad. Gravity does not discriminate.

Greg: 15:23 – No, not at all. Not at all. So I love this Green Light program. I mean, I remember when we were talking about it, I remember hearing about it at the Summit. And I think it’s huge, and not the amazing factor of doing the background checks for the kids and the parents and everyone feeling a lot more safe with making sure that these people that are coming in are the right people if we want to call it that. But really from a gym owner side, I get super excited because this is gonna save them time. This is gonna save them money in the long run if a litigation actually did come forth. And it’s gonna save everybody a ton of time, ton a ton of headache, ton of stress. But it then also, I mean from a money standpoint, this is pennies on the dollar. I mean, I know my coaches have done background checks and it’s 50-plus dollars for each one of them at a minimum. And it’s not easy to do. It is not like, hey, fill out this form and you’re done. This is going like to police departments, and you guys are saving them time, money. You’re saving the headache, you’re helping out the staff, you’re helping out the parents that are bringing their kids there to make sure it’s a safe environment. And when you say, “Hey, we do background checks and every single person,” regardless, like for me, I would have every single one of my staff members go through a background check, whether they deal with the kids or not, kids are in the facility. So that means if we have a childcare area and people brings their kids, some people may interact, it may not be directly, but indirectly with these kids, I would much better my staff all have the checks then even having just one or two that are just doing the kids courses. So this is huge.

Vaughn: 17:05 – So let’s talk about noncompliance. So let’s say you sign up, you’re good to go. We’re gonna give you like 30-day window to finish all your registration and all that stuff. And we start seeing, you know, nothing’s happening. And if we don’t get a call to action, you’re registered on the Green Light, the whole policy is canceled. Boom, you’re out. So we’re taking a pretty aggressive standpoint on that for the fact that A, it’s, you know, kind of required now. It’s federal law and B, if you don’t want to comply with this tool that we’re giving you, I dunno if we’re going to be a good fit or not type-deal you know what I mean? You’ve got to take this stuff seriously.

Greg: 17:51 – So switching gears a little bit, I mean, anyone out there that does want the Green Light program better yet, when is that going
to go into effect?

Vaughn: 18:00 – Well, believe it or not, developers are slow, did you know that? This thing was supposed to be live Monday and they’re saying now it’s going to be live 7/15. So it’s all but there, my friend. It’s all but there.

Greg: 18:20 – So if any gym has their policy coming due here shortly, it’s best to just jump on that train here. I mean, if they’re due August 1st, it’s perfect timing for them to jump in and start onto this Green Light program with you.

Vaughn: 18:33 – So let’s talk about—before I switch gears for two seconds, I’m going to get you links as well, how this legislation reads and all that stuff. So if these guys want to, you know, just kind of check out what the, the verbiage looks like on the infrastructure and all that stuff. It’ll be there in black and white.

Greg: 18:51 – Perfect. No, that’s huge. Thank you. Thank you Vaughn. I think everyone needs to needs to understand the verbiage and have it, but then even people that maybe aren’t using Affiliate Guard and they’re like, hey, I didn’t know about this legislation. My insurance company has not contacted me about any of this stuff that’s coming up soon. They can at least jump into your free resources and look at those different documents and decide if they, I mean maybe they want to switch over then because you guys are going to be keeping track of this stuff and showing them, hey, we’re going to be proactive and not reactive.

Vaughn: 19:24 – Yeah. I got to tell you, I don’t know any other outfit that is taking this approach on what’s coming down the pipe here. And the people that I work with, too, she’s been in, she’s been in the game for 40-plus years and she’s working really close with the law firm out of Connecticut that’s helping with this legislation as well. And I mean, we’ve got the A team working on this. They’re the real deal. And she’s got a son who just got a full ride scholarship playing lacrosse and you know, she sees it day in and day out too, man. So it’s like I said, you got the A team working on this. So yeah. It’s good stuff.

Greg: 20:07 – Yeah, agreed. And it’s stuff that’s definitely a necessity that wasn’t as a necessity in our minds. Not that it’s not a necessity, but five years ago, we weren’t thinking about this to this extent, but it’s definitely come to light.

Vaughn: 20:24 – Right? It was not even on the radar.

Greg: 20:27 – No. I mean, I look at it like this, 20 years ago when you would leave your kid home alone, when they were like 15, it was no big deal. Now that would be a huge deal. I mean, and that’s just the world we live in now. So it’s not that those people weren’t there back then. It just wasn’t as, I guess publicized, that, hey, these people are here, this is what’s happening. This is what they do. So I think it’s something that I wish we had back then, but I’m glad we have it now. I’m glad you guys are working on this and building out this Green Light program so that gym owners can, sleep a little bit better at night knowing that hey, their bases are covered to the most extent they possibly can be. So jumping into some of the certifications lately, now, CrossFit’s made some big changes. They’ve done some things with their certifications where, they have their L1, their L2, I believe their L3 even, but they’ve kind of gone away from having those like CrossFit Gymnastic certs or CrossFit Olympic Lifting certs. And they’ve kind of put that back on the other people, so that they are the experts and allowing them to continue being the experts. Now with running classes, and let’s say I have like a boot-camp style class, that isn’t CrossFit methodology and my coach wants their L1, but really they probably, it’s not as important as making sure they have a certification in small-group training or something. And I still love the L1. I think it’s a great certification. I love having all my coaches go through it, whether they’re working with a Oly club program or if they are going through with PT. I still think it’s a great program for everyone to still go through in certification. But kind of with the changes and everything like that, I know with Two-Brain, which we had Josh Martin on a little bit ago with the Two-Brain coaching, if somebody goes through that cert, you guys are actually also authorizing that to be a legitimate cert since it has been backed to be authorized for gym owners to use or their coaches to use, correct?

Vaughn: 22:38 – 100 percent correct.

Greg: 22:38 – And with that, is there other certs out there that you guys say, hey, if they’re doing some other small-group training besides CrossFit, you guys are saying, hey, these are actually legitimate certs that we allow as well?

Vaughn: 22:56 – Yeah. So we’re pretty flexible on that end of the stick. We just need these guys certified in the movement they’re instructing to their athletes for the fact that if we get sued, you know, these attorneys that want to go after the trainers, well it’s just the way the game is anymore. And so if this trainer does not have any certificates, I mean that’s negligence, then that’s going to be a really shitty day in court. Right? So we’re good with like Ace, NASM, USAW, Two-Brain. Just proving that we know our head from a fricking hole in the ground here, you know, and yeah, just keep records of all those certs on file there at the gym. Back in the day we used to make every gym owner shoot us up emails of who is a trainer, who wasn’t, and that just became a logistical nightmare to manage. So, we came up with, if we get sued and your trainer cannot provide any form of certification, we will not honor defense on behalf of that trainer. That’s how the game is played.

Greg: 24:05 – Awesome. No, that’s completely legitimized. Now one thing and I still get this, I still do my mentor calls, I still do the free help calls and I love both of those. That’s part of my Perfect Day. But I still have gym owners ask the question or better yet they make the statement of, well, I can’t have so-and-so coach my class because they’re going through an internship process right now with us because they don’t have their Level 1, and they’re always concerned with that. Now, can you give the actual statement of if somebody, is coaching a class that isn’t L1 certified, what are the requirements then?

Vaughn: 24:44 – So if they’re wanting to become a trainer and the owner of the gym or head trainer, GM, whatever, is there supervising and critiquing X, Y, Z trainer here, I am 100% OK with that stuff. All day long. Just as long as we have some formal supervision in place here. If the trainer just turns them loose, I’m out, I’m gonna go grab a coffee and someone gets injured underneath their direction. There was no certificates in play. There was no supervision in place. That’s where the line in the sand gets drawn.

Greg: 25:23 – OK. So if somebody is supervision certified for that type of training, whether it’s CrossFit, boot camp, whatever, they have a certification, you are still backing them as long as they’re within the facility or the grounds, on the property if somebody is coaching that program that isn’t certified?

Vaughn: 25:43 – Correct.

Greg: 25:45 – I just want to clarify that because I still get question even now when I jump on those calls that people still ask those questions and I want to make sure that they understand like, hey, this is coming from the insurance company. Now I would probably put a disclaimer out there that, hey, this doesn’t mean every insurance company does it, but if you fall under Affiliate Guard you’re good to go. You’re OK.

Vaughn: 26:05 – Yeah. I don’t know what other insurance companies platforms are and compliance and all that stuff that’s just coming from my relationships with my carriers, how they want that to look. Yep.

Greg: 26:16 – So the last thing I definitely wanted to hit on was the health-care insurance that you guys offer through Affiliate Guard. We talked about it before, but will you give us a little synopsis of what that is?

Vaughn: 26:29 – Yeah, so we do, it’s a concept calle
d health sharing. It’s been around since the 80s. And it’s kind of a different animal. You gotta be a little bit more hands on. I’ll hop into an example here in two seconds. So this is straight up a demographic that’s in this pool together that are health conscious people. So we’re not in these pools with chronically ill people that are pounding the dollar menu for time all day, every day. That’s not us. OK. So I practice what I preach. I’ve used this form of health care for pushing three years now and I’ve had to use it several times. So, my wife went in for her annual, blood work came back a little funky. We went back to see the doc, doc says, Hey, look, premenopausal here, we should probably kick the tires on getting a hysterectomy done, right. And Jess and I were talking about it on the way home and like, yeah, it’s looking like this is what we gotta do and call the health sharing company. And they said, hey, let’s just do a second opinion. I signed some HIPPA forms, shot my forms down to them. It’s called Second MD, 10-minute phone call. They said, yeah, it’s time to get this procedure rocking and rolling. So they call me up and they say, go into the hospital and get the self pay rate. So I go in there and do that. It was over like 43 grand, something like that. So I send that over to health sharing company, within 72 hours they had that negotiated down to 19,000 bucks. They overnight me a check and we go to the intake there at the hospital and I’m getting ready to sign the check over to them. And I asked for a minute, I go, can I use credit cards to pay for this? And they said absolutely. So I flipped out every freaking credit card that I had and I got a shit ton of points and then paid my cards off with that check. Then you got to show proof of payment that everything’s done cause they got attorneys you want to talk to you if you take the money down to Vegas and decide to double it.

Greg: 29:00 – Yeah, very true. Right.

Vaughn: 29:03 – So let’s talk about this. So from blood work to hospital stay to surgeon, to anesthesiologist to medications, that whole procedure costs me 500 bucks out of my pocket. Right.

Greg: 29:20 – That is, I mean, yeah. That’s all I can say,

Vaughn: 29:24 – Yeah, it’s awesome dude. When I got—so next month will be my fourth year anniversary for my new hip. That costs me 10 grand out of my pocket and I had to refine my fricking truck to make that deductible. That didn’t make big boy very happy. Had I had this form of health care, that’s 500 bucks.

Greg: 29:46 – Wow. Is that now this program can be used for the owners? Let’s say like in my case I have health coverage through being a reservist. Does that mean that it will, my coaches could actually still get on this plan even though I have my own health coverage.

Vaughn: 30:04 – Absolutely. Owners and coaches all day long.

Greg: 30:09 – What is the best way? Is there, I’m guessing there’s a resource on your website for people if they are interested in this to jump into it. Cause I mean—

Vaughn: 30:16 – Yeah, there’s a landing page called affiliate share. It is kind of dated. I’m revamping everything on my website. So if you’ve got any specific questions, just reach out to me, I’m more than happy to walk you through it.

Greg: 30:27 – What’s the best way, and that’s a perfect place to wrap it up. What’s the best way for people to reach out to you if they do have questions, whether it’s about this Green Light program, whether it’s about the health care or whether it’s about, hey, I’m more interested in making sure that my coaches are completely good to go with their certifications. What’s the best way for them to get a hold of you?

Vaughn: 30:48 – or hit me up at the office at (801) 677-0076.

Greg: 31:01 – Awesome. Vaughn, it’s always awesome to catch up with you and have you jump on the podcast or when I get to see you in person at the Summit or even at the Games here and there. It’s always great to be able to sit down and talk shop with you. Hear all the stories of what people are willing to do or not do in their gyms and just the stories that I just can’t believe that this happens, but it does. That’s the scary thing. So, I love having Affiliate Guard. I am so happy that I have Affiliate Guard, because you guys have helped us out a ton in the past. A perfect example is when we got robbed. I mean, I was able to jump on the phone with you that morning and start the process so that we can make sure that everything is taken care of. So it is an awesome company that I love working with. And hopefully anybody out there that’s thinking about changing and they’re going from something else to Affiliate Guard, make the switch. It will be the easiest thing you’ve ever done, and it will save you a ton of peace of mind and any kind of risk. So thank you Vaughn for jumping on here. We greatly appreciate you. And we hope you have a wonderful rest of your week.

Vaughn: 32:09 – Will do brother. Good catching up, man.

Greg: 32:16 – As always, thank you so much for listening to this podcast. We greatly appreciate you and everyone that has subscribed to us. If you haven’t done that, please make sure you do drop a like to that episode. Share with a friend and if you haven’t already, please write us a review and rate us on what you think. If you hated it, let us know. If you loved it, even better. See you guys later.

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