What Gym-Growing Jobs Are You Avoiding—and Why?

Black steam shoots out of a woman's head as she tries to make a tough decision.

Tough question: Are you doing low-level jobs at your gym because you’re intimidated by tougher tasks?

I’ll answer first: I definitely did this.

Example, I spent hours shoveling the parking lot in winter because I didn’t want to improve my weak sales skills.

Now you answer the question—and be honest.

A head shot of writer Mike Warkentin and the column name "Pressing It Out."

Over the last decade or so, I wasted all kinds of time in my business. This is perhaps the best example:

But I have more. They include:

  • Patching and painting drywall.
  • Cleaning.
  • Replacing broken toilets.
  • Mowing the lawn.
  • Trying to fish broken keys out of locks.

And so on. I won’t bore you with the rest of the list.

Let’s be clear: Everything I listed above had to be done. But not by me.

I justified my time investment by telling myself I was saving money.

“I can mow the lawn in an hour—so why would I pay someone $12 to do it? I can save that money.”

This is small thinking. It should be clear that my time as CEO of the business was worth more than $12 an hour. I could have simply paid someone $12 to free up that time so I could coach another class and give my members a 10-out-of-10 experience. That would have been a much better use of my time: I would have “sold” that hour for $25 instead of $12.

Or I could have gone much further. For example, I could have invested that hour in sales training to improve our close rate. I could have sent a newsletter promoting our fall special event. I could have taken coffee to a neighboring business and asked how I could help staff become healthier. And so on.

I’ll be honest with you: I didn’t want to do that stuff, so I mowed.

I hate sales. So instead of getting out of my comfort zone, I did some mental gymnastics to tell myself that I was “saving money” by mowing the lawn. I was actually just avoiding sales and marketing.

I had constructed a narrative that would allow me to stay in my comfort zone. But that narrative also ensured my business wouldn’t grow.

Now, after working with a mentor, I understand that this sort of thing is commonplace. I’m not rare.

A few fictional examples that I hope will prompt you to examine your own behavior:

  • A gym owner who insists on coaching every class to “maintain standards” is actually avoiding reviewing monthly financial statements.
  • A gym owner who obsesses over which floor scrubber to buy is avoiding giving an underperforming staff person a review.
  • A gym owner who reorganizes the storage room doesn’t want to research how to implement a badly needed rate increase.

Ask Yourself a Hard Question—Then Get Help

Two-Brain founder Chris Cooper has talked about “climbing the value ladder” for years, and he even has a complete step-by-step process to help you offload low-value jobs to focus on tasks that will actually grow your business. I don’t need to tell you how to invest your time better. That info has been around for years. It’s a plug-and-play solution.

Instead, I’m going to ask you why you aren’t investing your time better.

I’ll give you one answer that covers a host of scenarios:

You don’t have anyone to support you, guide you and hold you accountable.

It was easy for me to shovel because no one said, “Mike, you’re wasting your time and hurting your business. Do exactly this instead, and text me when you’ve done it.”

When someone actually said that to me, I stopped shoveling and started improving my business. It had nothing to do with knowledge and everything to do with support and accountability.

So one more time: What are you avoiding right now?

Whatever it is, a mentor can help. Click here to book a call and find out more.


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.