What Is Mentorship in the Fitness Business?

Mentorship quote by Chris Cooper

You feel alone. But you aren’t.

You don’t have to invent a solution to every problem.

Someone has solved that problem before you.

Who? A mentor will know.

A mentor’s job isn’t to know everything but to find the right answer right now.

Gurus and Mentors: The Difference

When the head of Two-Brain’s marketing department called me in early March and said, “We’ve got a problem,” I didn’t panic. I knew my job was to find the answer, not to have the answer.

The problem? COVID had spun the industry on its head. For years, I’d been teaching systems for bricks-and-mortar gyms, helping gyms price in-person services, and coaching personal trainers and gym owners on marketing.

We’d packaged up the very best in operational templates and sales, marketing and retention practices—all of it. We’d tested everything and served over 2,000 gyms worldwide. We’d just rolled out a brand new Incubator (our 3.0 version) based on the best data in the world. We could say, without hesitation, that it was the best gym business knowledge in the world.

And then, overnight, it became obsolete.

If we were consultants or gurus, we’d have been out of business. But as a mentorship practice, the COVID problem made me ask different questions:

  1. Who has already solved this problem?
  2. Who can teach us how to implement the solution best?
  3. How fast can we teach that knowledge to the gym owners in our care?

These are the hard-learned questions I’ve learned to ask over many years of mentorship. In a crisis, I don’t waste time trying to figure everything out from scratch—I find the best example and buy the systems to execute fast.

So here’s what we did.

COVID and the Fitness Business: Mentorship

First , we used the data from our own clients (over 850 worldwide) to determine what gyms should do to stay in business. The data showed gyms in China and Italy that pivoted online retained over 50 percent of their revenue.

Next, we asked, “Who is the best in the world at training people online?” And then we hired those people or bought their programs so we could provide proven methods to Two-Brain gyms. We also shared enough knowledge for free to keep thousands of gyms alive even if they weren’t in our program. (Join Gym Owners United on Facebook for more free guidance.)

Importantly: We didn’t guess. We didn’t wait for “trial and error” to work. We didn’t just fire off a bunch of unproven ideas.

Then we ramped up to build online training courses and create free guides (“How to Add Online Training in 24 Hours”). We produced a ton of videos and free podcasts. We brought in experts to talk to Two-Brain gym owners. We taught people how to coach online.

The video below shows the the Two-Brain Dashboard and Growth ToolKit. It’s really a library full of proven strategies. Mentorship isn’t the ability to invent every answer but the ability to find and acquire the best solutions. Great mentors are more librarian than author.

Coaching in the Fitness Business

Just as I will always have a fitness coach, I will always have a business mentor.

After discovering the power of coaching on my performance, I look for opportunities to be coached wherever I can find them.

I found my first mentor out of necessity. After realizing I wasn’t going to simply outwork starvation or magically “figure it out,” I found someone to help me turn my gym into a business. Now I spend over $150,000 per year on mentorship (and in 2020 I’ll hit over $300,000).

In this series, I’m going to tell you about mentorship: what makes a good mentor and how we’re cleaning up the practice of mentorship. Because if there’s anything I’m as passionate about as fitness, it’s mentorship. It’s important that we get this right.

Other Media in This Series

“The Power of Focus”
“Action Is Everything (Why We Don’t Sell Courses)”
“Cleaning up the Business of Business”
“Why Our Advice Changes”
“11 Things We Learned From COVID (The Fitness Industry’s New Normal)”


One more thing!

Did you know gym owners can earn $100,000 a year with no more than 150 clients? We wrote a guide showing you exactly how.