Millionaire Gym Owners: How They Did It (and How You Can, Too)

Headshots of gym owners Taryn Dubreuil and Joleen Bingham with the words "Millionaire Gym Owners: How They Did It (and How You Can, Too)."

Mike Warkentin (00:02):
Welcome to “Run a Profitable Gym.” This episode was recorded live with host John Franklin in Dallas, Texas for a meetup of some of the world’s best gym owners. Some of them will be featured in Chris Cooper’s upcoming book, “Millionaire Gym Owner.” It’ll be out early this year, and we’ll tell you how to get it. Now, here is John Franklin.

John Franklin (00:19):
With me today, I have two special guests, two millionaire gym owners, soon to be featured in the forthcoming book, “Millionaire Gym Owner,” all the way—if you’re watching, you can see what I’m doing, but if you’re listening, you can’t—all the way towards the back we have Taryn Dubreuil of CrossFit Function. And then closer to me here is Joleen Bingham of 13 Stripes Fitness. Nailed it? Alright, and so both of you are Two-Brain mentors. People are who are in Two-Brain are probably familiar with you—for people who are not familiar, let’s go and we’ll do a quick, you know, 30-second to one-minute bio how you ended up getting into owning a CrossFit gym—maybe kind of the bottom for you in that journey and how you ended up at this chair talking as a millionaire gym owner today. So, Taryn, why don’t you kick us off?

Taryn Dubreuil (01:16):
30 seconds. Let’s go. Went into a globo gym when I was home from university. Saw two guys working out in the corner doing something crazy. Was interested. Showed up at 5 a.m. the next day. Found out it was CrossFit. Loved it. First workout—addicted. Later, a couple months after that, the gym burned down and–

John Franklin (01:34):
Like literally?

Taryn Dubreuil (01:35):
Yep, literally. It’s insurance fraud—long story. We were standing on a building across the street watching this thing burn down and the person I was standing with said, “If we were ever going to do this, now would be the best time.” Small town, you know, really great opportunity. You know, I was fresh out of university. Did not go to school to own a business, that’s for sure. And turned around later that year and started CrossFit Function. That was 14 years ago, so it has been quite a journey along the way.

John Franklin (02:02):
2010 was—that was when you started?

Taryn Dubreuil (02:05):
Yeah. First day—I mean, I ran the business. It was a hobby business for sure. I designed the gym to be something I could train for regionals to eventually try and get to the games, and that was my sole purpose. It was cool that there were other people to be there along for the ride with me, but it was a hobby business, definitely. The first day of the COVID lockdowns—I mean in Canada it was quite extensive—I realized that, you know, this is a make-or-break point, and I’m not going to let the government dictate the success of my livelihood happening. So, I had followed Coop for a very, very long time—you know, 10 years at that point probably. It was the next logical decision to hire a mentor to help me get through that part and also just make my business profitable because I was 50k in debt at that point.

John Franklin (02:49):
10 years in?

Taryn Dubreuil (02:50):
It was eight years at that point. Yeah. Wasn’t paying myself. Like, I checked all the boxes of an unsuccessful business owner. Followed the directions to a T from my mentor and turned that business around black and white; from two and a half months in, it was insanely profitable during a lockdown. So really fast growth enabled me to do a lot of things to check the boxes off my perfect day. And that kind of has led me to where I am today, I guess you could say.

John Franklin (03:20):
And what about you, Joleen?

Joleen Bingham (03:22):
So, my story’s a little bit different than hers in that I was actually at home when we decided to buy a gym. My husband was working out with a current gym owner, and he looked at him and said, “Hey, I wanting to sell. Do you want to buy?” So, I got a text message saying, “Hey, this would be cool. We could buy a gym, work out with our friends, hang out, be some easy money for us.” Well, you know where that’s going, right? We all know the story of that.

John Franklin (03:45):
It’s passive; it’s passive.

Joleen Bingham (03:46):
It’s passive. You just get to work out all day long. We actually bought our first gym when my middle child was 10 days old. I remember sitting in the hospital bed answering emails because we had taken over running some of it at that point—after I had him answering emails from clients. Fast forward to about eight months later, realizing that we were just—we had no idea. I was a teacher at that time. I had no idea how to run a business. It wasn’t just going in and working out with your friends all day. And so, I remember looking for something, and I found Two-Brain. And at that point it was kind of at the beginning of really taking on clients and doing a call with Chris Cooper himself at that time. So, my first call with Two-Brain was with Chris Cooper sitting on the floor of the massage room in our gym, because there was nowhere else I could have a conversation and realizing that I had no clue what I was doing and needed help. So, we started mentorship, and I don’t think I was quite ready to listen to everything at that point, so it took lockdown for us as well to realize that, “Oh wow, we really, we really need to do exactly what they’re telling us to do.” And COVID was really the turning point in my business, and I say it’s the best thing that ever happened to us.

Taryn Dubreuil (04:54):
I say that too.

Joleen Bingham (04:54):
Yeah. We doubled our revenue from before COVID to after COVID because of realizing that we just can’t do things the easy way. We’ve really got to take things and do it the right way.

John Franklin (05:06):
So it sounded like you just ate shit for eight years trying to figure it out on your own. Then you joined the program, and I remember you were like the rising star in the program. You hit pedal to the metal; you were just—shot to the top really quickly. And then you realized it early on, but then ate shit with a mentor and then had the forcing function of COVID, and that’s when you started to rock it as well, right? And so, you know, you guys both mentor other gym owners now. Do you like—I’m not going to wait for the next COVID; you know, what is that—how do you get people to be coachable? You know, how do you get people to take the action that they need to do in order to see that inflection point? Or is it just something where you’ve got to struggle for a little bit and hit bottom before making that happen?

Joleen Bingham (05:55):
So for me, one of the things is being willing to ask them the hard questions. I have a very, very strong “why” about why I do what I do. I have three kids. I want to give them the lifestyle that they deserve, and I want to build a legacy for them and asking the questions of the gym owners of, “Do you want to spend the years that I spent kind of wasting time struggling doing all of this? Or do you want to fix the problem now? Because we have a solution to the problem. Are you willing to put the work in now, or are you just going to flounder along for a couple years?”

Taryn Dubreuil (06:24):
And I find that sometimes the inaction is indecision or a lot of hesitation or, you know, just wanting to continue doing what you were doing, but obviously what you were doing isn’t working. Because that’s why you and I are sitting facing each other right now. But I have been there; I’ve made those mistakes along with all the people that came before me to set the precedent of what does work and all of the 900 other gym owners that are doing it too. We like—if anything, we know that this stuff works. So, my job is just to meet them where they are, simplify it as simple as I can, and give it to them in a dose that is going to be appropriate and applicable for them to do it.

John Franklin (07:01):
And I know you were also a pretty high-level CrossFit athlete, right? Like—

Taryn Dubreuil (07:06):
At the time. Yeah.

John Franklin (07:07):
Like, so that was probably your focus when you were getting started as well?

Taryn Dubreuil (07:11):
No, by that time I had like, quote unquote retired, but I was really deep into being a semi-professional referee—basketball referee.

John Franklin (07:20):
OK, well, we’re not going to go deep down that hole because I don’t think a lot of people are going to empathize with being a semiprofessional basketball referee.

Taryn Dubreuil (07:27):
Sure. Something else that required a ton of attention and time and desire and energy and effort—you know, equivalent to what that life of being a competitive athlete was. Yeah.

John Franklin (07:35):
So we’re here; there’s a little over 70 people coming to these sessions. There’s a lot of transparency. There’s a lot of vulnerability. There’s a lot of talking about numbers. You know, I’d say only like a fraction of 1% of gym owners ever reached that million-dollar net worth threshold. You guys were both able to do it. And I think you went from kind of a dead stop to hitting it relatively quickly. What do you think—we talked about what the forcing function was, but what do you think helped you get to that point faster than others in that short span of time?

Joleen Bingham (08:12):
I could say, for me, it’s very clearly defining my vision—where I want to be—and then identifying the steps that I need to take to get there. So, we had to identify, “All right, we’re making this money. We’ve got money coming in. We have two options: We can invest it in something that’s going to make us more money, or we can spend it.” Well, I don’t want to spend it; I want to invest and make more money with it. But I think one of the biggest mistakes that I see around me is that not identifying what that is and what your risk tolerance is and what’s going to make you happy to invest in. So, for us, it was taking the time and saying, “This is the strategy we’re going to use, and we’re going to stick with the strategy, and it fits our vision,” and moving forward with it and not getting sidetracked by other distractions of what other people are doing.

Taryn Dubreuil (08:54):
I went—you know, my perfect day was all about moving to Arizona to get out of the cold Canadian winters.

John Franklin (09:01):
She lives in Saskatchewan, by the way, which is—

Taryn Dubreuil (09:02):
Minus 50 winters.

John Franklin (09:04):
It’s like—if you ever watch a Mad Max movie, it looks like that, just colder.

Joleen Bingham (09:08):
Well, and if you’re in the U.S. minus 50, what she’s saying is minus 67, so it’s even worse.

Taryn Dubreuil (09:14):

John Franklin (09:15):
Just imagine the worst place, and then make it worse, and that’s Saskatchewan. So, OK, I can see how your perfect day was to get out of there.

Taryn Dubreuil (09:22):
Exactly. And so, for me it was like, “Well, I don’t want to lose my golden goose, which is the gym, and I want to amplify it for as much as I can make it work for me in order to allow me to not have to be there, not have it depend on me, and still funnel me the same amount of money.” And so it was like: Well, what things need to happen in order to do that first before I can even look at something like acquiring property and doing what I needed to actually in Arizona? You know, so higher level things like full-time staff, GM; you know, getting all the systematic things in place so that I knew that I could not have to be dependent—like the gym would not be dependent on me, and I could turn my back away from it to go and focus on the things I needed to learn and acquire to relocate my life.

John Franklin (10:04):
So yeah, just for clarity, if you are somebody who isn’t doing like 50, 60,000 in net owner benefit, meaning you’re not pocketing around 5,000 a month from your gym and all your add-backs, this probably isn’t going to be the most actionable one because what we’re really focused on here is if you are a gym owner who is starting to see that first level of success, you are starting to pay yourself a little bit. You know, Two-Brain has so much content to help you get to that point if you’re not there. But once you get to that level of success where you have a little disposable income, you can buy some nice things; you can make some new investments—the decision tree gets a lot wider, and a lot of times people will get successful, and that’s when they start making really stupid and expensive mistakes. And I think you guys have largely avoided some of the pitfalls. One of the things that I’m hearing from both of you is just clarity and vision. And that’s something that no matter where you are in your journey, you want to be very clear on what the destination is. And so, I noticed neither of you have multiple gyms, right? And why is that?

Joleen Bingham (11:11):
Well, I had multiple gyms at one time. And I sold it because of what you just said: clarity and ability to focus on one thing at one time. I was doing a really poor job. I didn’t have the systems in place at that point of managing and growing both at once. So, I wanted to simplify it and bring it back. Will I go to multiple gyms? Yes. Right? I’m not going to go start them. There’s another plan in place. But I had to systemize and very clearly define what that first one was. And much like Taryn said about, I had to be able to step away from that one in order to make the second one successful.

Taryn Dubreuil (11:44):
My decision tree is based on: What can I earn the most money from with the least amount of work? Like where I don’t have to be involved in it. So, that’s why owning multiple gyms is just not attractive to me. I don’t want to have to be in there or have it—even that little amount of time where you’re responsible for just maintaining it as you transition ownership and all that, I don’t want that; that doesn’t interest me. It’s just not enough bang for my buck in terms of my time.

John Franklin (12:08):
And it is—one thing that, if you haven’t spent a lot of time in rooms with a lot of higher-level gym owners, you’re going to see a lot more often than not, you have multiple gym owners condensing down into one. Which is counterintuitive to what you would think, right? Especially the more grizzled ones who’ve been around for a while. One thing that comes up over and over and over again is you can oftentimes produce a better outcome—to Taryn’s point—with less effort from a little bit of focus. So how do you guys view your gym? Like, is it still your primary cashflow generator?

Joleen Bingham (12:42):

Taryn Dubreuil (12:42):
I wouldn’t say it’s the primary one for me, but just because some other ventures I’ve taken on generate greater amounts of cash flow from it. But it is cash straight into my pocket, and it is good enough to justify the amount of time that I have to put into it.

John Franklin (12:57):
Which is what—how much are you working on your gym now?

Taryn Dubreuil (12:59):
I mean, arbitrary right now as I await my GM to come back from mat leave, but, you know, in the normal plan and the way it has functioned for most of my Tinker journey was about half an hour to an hour per week.

John Franklin (13:11):
And what about you?

Joleen Bingham (13:12):
So the gym is my primary revenue source right now, and that’s why I want to maintain my focus on it. I would say anywhere from five to 10 hours a week is what I’m spending in it. And that’s mostly mentoring my team at this point.

John Franklin (13:24):
OK. And so, at what point in your journey were you guys like starting to make some real money off of the gym, and we’ll constitute real money as like, you know, you’re able to take, let’s say—median household income in the U.S. is like around 75,000—at what point were you taking that out of the gym pretty consistently?

Joleen Bingham (13:44):
I would say within a year of opening back up after the lockdowns. And so that was really my trajectory in Tinker too. I entered Tinker more of with a function of being pulled along, right? I probably was at that cusp of this is the next progression, but I might not have the financials that I should have had yet, but I needed it to kick me into that next level. So that is really when I started to take the money and then just took those strategies and went from there.

Taryn Dubreuil (14:11):
My story is—they say my story is a little bit of anomaly, but you know, when I had such fast growth two and a half months into this, the biggest thing was just learning “Profit First” and understanding what to do with that money. And all of a sudden, I could pay myself exactly that. And that shot up really, really fast because the money was now there.

John Franklin (14:28):
And so, you know, again, some of the most common things we see when people have that is they go open a second gym, or they’ll make some expensive purchase, or they’ll triple the size of their building. How do you guys think about the money coming in from the gym, and how do you analyze investment opportunities to make that money grow for you?

Taryn Dubreuil (14:46):
I still filter it through time and energy.

John Franklin (14:48):
OK. Yeah. But like—so you just have like a pot of pot of cash under your mattress, and you’re just, you’re waiting for something to—like what do you do with it once it hits the bank every month?

Taryn Dubreuil (14:58):
Yeah. I mean, like, I am—me personally, I’m always looking for real estate investment opportunities.

John Franklin (15:04):
Yeah, you personally. Say—you’re on the pod; this is all about you. Yeah.

Taryn Dubreuil (15:06):
So like, that is my strategy. I have a little Airbnb empire I’m trying to build in a city in Arizona. And so, when those opportunities present themself, I want that cash to be really fast available to be able to grab the house with the heated pool and every other amenity I want in it.

John Franklin (15:23):
OK. So, you’re basically taking cash flow from the gym and you’re buying Airbnbs. And that’s the main strategy. You also have a mentorship business for people who aren’t gym owners as well. Right?

Taryn Dubreuil (15:34):
Service-based business owners. Yeah.

John Franklin (15:36):
Yeah. OK. And so, basically those are your cash cows; that comes in, you reinvest that into the Airbnb, the Airbnb provides you a little bit of a tax shield and gives you some nice assets that you pay down over time, and you’re just going to rinse, repeat until you see something that is lower effort, higher income?

Taryn Dubreuil (15:54):
Yeah. Right now. Yeah. Yeah.

John Franklin (15:56):
OK. And so, we’re just going to do that ad nauseum because it appears to be working. Are you going to tell us what town in Arizona, so everybody can go buy Airbnbs there?

Taryn Dubreuil (16:06):
Uh, nope. If you want, you can click my link.

John Franklin (16:09):
You can—you can sleuth. All right. I don’t want to own Airbnbs, and I don’t want to own anything in Arizona. So, you’re safe; you’re safe. We’re not going to compete together. OK. And so, and so you’re taking a different approach. How—well, you have an Airbnb.

Joleen Bingham (16:20):
I do have an Airbnb. Our—actual real estate’s our main approach too. And I say we, I mean my husband and I because we’re making the decisions together. Our main focus though isn’t Airbnbs. We have one in a family—where our family likes to travel. It was more of a, “If it pays the mortgage, it’s good,” but it’s doing more than that. Our main focus is multifamily residential. So, that is when we look at taking the money, it goes into, “OK, is there a fourplex, a sixplex, nineplex, something like that, that we can invest in?”

John Franklin (16:48):
And so, basically you’re—both of you see, you view your gym as like a consistent cash flow coming in, and so you’re reallocating that into hard assets. So, basically you’ll—

Taryn Dubreuil (17:00):
Yeah, basically.

Joleen Bingham (17:00):
Yeah. Yeah.

John Franklin (17:01):
And why real estate versus anything else you could be doing?

Joleen Bingham (17:05):
I mean, it’s one of the fastest ways to become a millionaire, right? And I—simple pure facts. If you look at the country, and I’m not sure what the exact figure is, but there’s a certain percentage that a very, very large percentage of millionaires in that the U.S. in particular are made by owning real estate, right? So, it’s safe for me. It’s a relatively safe, low-risk investment. And I don’t have a huge risk tolerance. Like, I don’t want to go dump money into stocks and see where that goes. So, to me, that was a safe investment.

Taryn Dubreuil (17:34):
Like I feel the same way about the safe—like the safety part of it, but it was more the interest part of it for me. Like I tried some other things and kind of dabbled in other—you know, Bitcoin and stocks and stuff. And like, I want the quick cash right off of it, you know?

John Franklin (17:49):
Oh, so you want to get rich fast?

Taryn Dubreuil (17:51):
Well, doesn’t everybody?

Joleen Bingham (17:52):
Who doesn’t?

John Franklin (17:54):
And so, yeah. And so how does that work for somebody who may not be familiar with, like, how you can use your gym money to buy real estate to grow your net worth quickly? Like, can you explain to me like I’m five.

Taryn Dubreuil (18:06):
So you take your gym money, put it into like whatever you need for your first asset. The asset produces profit; you take that profit—it essentially buys the next one and the next one it just compounds like that.

John Franklin (18:17):
So talk to me real numbers. Your first one was in this anonymous Arizona town.

Taryn Dubreuil (18:23):
It’s in Maricopa, Arizona.

John Franklin (18:24):
OK. So, and you bought—you paid how much for this house?

Taryn Dubreuil (18:27):

John Franklin (18:28):
400. So how much money did you need? How much cash did you need to have to buy this thing?

Taryn Dubreuil (18:33):
Unfair question. It’s international purchase, so I needed 25% cash down.

John Franklin (18:36):
OK. But normally for you, it’d be like 20, 30%—multifamily, you’ve got to go a little higher, right?

Joleen Bingham (18:43):
Yeah, a little higher depending on the type of loan you’re using too. But right now, it’s about 25%.

John Franklin (18:47):
OK. So, fairly similar. So, you need a quarter of the purchase price. So, 100 grand. I’m assuming that came from your gym. And whatever—your mentorship business, or were you—

Taryn Dubreuil (18:58):
It was just the gym at that point.

John Franklin (18:59):
OK, so you managed to save up 100 grand. You put that in. What year was this?

Taryn Dubreuil (19:06):

John Franklin (19:07):
So interest rates were like nothing. And so, you know, what were the costs associated with that property?

Taryn Dubreuil (19:13):
So it actually was—like with the house itself, it being an Airbnb, do you mean? Or acquiring it?

John Franklin (19:18):
Like your insurance, your mortgage, like all the baseline.

Taryn Dubreuil (19:22):
Yeah. Let’s say 2,500 a month.

John Franklin (19:25):
OK. And then what does it generate?

Taryn Dubreuil (19:28):
I profit about 5k a month. Well, it’s summer in Arizona, or not summer—like people go there in the winter. It’s a snowbird city. It’s a little small town, kind of a little gold mine. There are no other hotels in this city except one. It’s on the Indian Reserve. So, the whole city is just nothing but Airbnbs. And it’s a kid population town where they play soccer and do all this stuff. So, there are always people coming and going.

John Franklin (19:54):
So, that’s year-round or just in season you’re pocketing?

Taryn Dubreuil (19:58):
Three quarters of the year. Yeah.

John Franklin (19:59):

OK. So, annualized out, what does like one of these little houses do for you in terms of—

Taryn Dubreuil (20:04):
Anywhere from 40 to 50k.

John Franklin (20:06):
OK. So basically, you need a hundred grand from your gym, and you can put that into a house in Arizona that then generates 40 to $50,000 in income for you forever, basically. Or as long as Maricopa, Arizona continues to be a kid-friendly town with no hotels. And then, in addition to that, the Airbnb provides you with tax shelter. And in addition to that, the property appreciates, I’m assuming, right? And so, then you have the—your gym continues to produce money, so you’re continuing the same way you got that first a hundred thousand. There’s money coming in there. And then you have this other thing that’s producing money. So, the 50,000 from the Airbnb, that’s in your bank account now. And so, every time you get another—I’m assuming they’re more expensive now.

Taryn Dubreuil (20:52):
Actually, they’re cheaper now.

John Franklin (20:52):
They’re cheaper now? How is that possible?

Taryn Dubreuil (20:55):
Sunshine state. During COVID, eerybody was working from home. They wanted to go to the sunshine states. Because if you’re going to work from home, you might as well do it in a nice, sunny state. So, the property value—dlike the 400 we paid for the house was like far overpriced at that time.

John Franklin (21:09):
Oh, so now what?

Taryn Dubreuil (21:11):
So they’re actually cheaper now.

John Franklin (21:11):
So you can get that same house for what?

Taryn Dubreuil (21:13):
Like 350 to 375.

John Franklin (21:15):
OK. So, then you need 70—you need 80 grand or whatever to buy the house and then that’ll continue to cash flow. And that’s what you’re saying. You just do that to infinity.

Taryn Dubreuil (21:25):
Yep. Just compounds.

John Franklin (21:27):
And at what point does it like no longer make sense for you to run your gym? Or is the gym a passion project; you’re going to keep it forever?

Taryn Dubreuil (21:33):
You know, that’s a question I’ve explored. And to me, it makes sense that if I’m going to be a business mentor, I want to have boots on the ground so that I can be doing the things that I’m also teaching my mentees to do. And that’s an important value to myself. Until that far outweighs the time and energy I have to put into the gym—say the gym implodes or whatever, you know—then that would be where it no longer makes sense for me. As well as like some of these other things are—you know, I talked about time and energy in terms of the value of the money that you’re taking from it. Like when that gets dramatic, then I really have to weigh the time and attention that the gym is pulling to make that decision.

John Franklin (22:13):
And so, you know, if you guys had a restart, knowing what you know now, like how quickly do you think you could do it from a dead stop? Like if you were advising someone who is really coachable to go from just nothing to in a position where they had a million-dollar net worth?

Joleen Bingham (22:28):
I would say it depends on revenue. Two years, two years. But again, it would depend on where they’re starting from. If they have zero, zero business, zero assets, they’ve got to have that a hundred thousand in cash. Right? How quickly can you put a hundred thousand in cash together?

John Franklin (22:42):
And that’s just a function of how quickly and how profitable they can make their gym?

Joleen Bingham (22:45):

John Franklin (22:46):
OK. And so, sounds like your strategy’s relatively similar. It’s just a different asset class.

Joleen Bingham (22:51):
Yes. Yeah. And so, with the Airbnb, ours I would say isn’t quite as profitable every month, but we didn’t go in designing it to be just profitable, but we’re—right now it’s 3,000 a month in profit that we’re making from it, from our Airbnb.

John Franklin (23:04):
Because yeah, I bought one. I bought one in—when did I buy it? It was 2020, and it was like awesome for two years. I didn’t try very hard. So, I will caveat that I didn’t try very hard; I didn’t cash flow well for two years. And then I noticed there was like a dip 2022 to 2023. Did you guys experience that as well? Like is it softening at all?

Joleen Bingham (23:26):
No, actually. So, strangely enough, I went, and I did the opposite thing. Our prices were lower at the advice of another company that we had worked with. And I tripled our prices. I added a hot tub, and now I’m making way more money with it.

John Franklin (23:40):
Yeah. I follow these guys on Twitter who like do funds for Airbnbs, and they’re saying like, yeah, you get like a stock tank and a hot tub, and you paint the walls pink and something crazy, you put a slide in, and then all of a sudden you can take a $400,000 house and turn it into like a $900,000 house because of the rental rating.

Taryn Dubreuil (23:57):
The amenities are important.

John Franklin (23:58):
Yeah. OK. So, you guys are pros. I’m amateur hour over here. I just bought the house and only did a month at a time. But that would be my fear, as somebody who’s unfamiliar with it going into it. Like, what happens if the market turns, and I’m stuck holding onto that.

Taryn Dubreuil (24:14):
That’s kind of why I picked where I picked. You know, with it being Indian Reserve land, they’re not—they don’t permit other hotels to build on there. Only the ones that are attached to the casino and whatever else. So, you know, families will come in with their kids for a soccer tournament, and they pay $2,000 to stay at my house for the weekend to let their kid play three games of soccer. It’s bizarre.

Joleen Bingham (24:33):
I think the important thing too, if you’re looking at Airbnbs, you’ve got to make it make sense as a long-term rental. Yeah. Right, so if there’s restrictions added in your town, if they get rid of Airbnbs, if hotels come in and lobby it, you have to have an asset that’s still going to make you money if you no longer can rent it out as a short-term rental if the market gets oversaturated. So, knowing the area that you’re going into and doing the research is important.

Taryn Dubreuil (24:53):
There’s lots of little like ins and outs, you know, that you should know before you do this. Just like anything else. Any other direction you would go.

John Franklin (25:00):
And like, doesn’t it take up a lot of your head space? Like, that was the other reason why I never took it like very seriously and tried to like double down because I was just like—or still am—just focused on growing my main thing. Like, is it something where you just felt like, “OK, the gym; I got this in a great place. It’s where I want it to be; it’s going to continue rocking. Like I have the head space to dedicate to this,” or, you know, how are you thinking about that?

Taryn Dubreuil (25:21):
I treated it exactly the way that I prepared the gym to even make this decision to go into buying the property was: if I’m going to do this because I’m 2000 miles away from it, then I needed somebody who is going to look after it. So, you treat it just like—you know, you make all the same decisions. Everything’s got to be systemized so that it cannot depend on me. I’m not going to be the one that’s calling the plumbing at 1 a.m. because the pipe burst. Right? So, you know, strategically we also picked that because we knew the real estate agent. We—she does property management, and she makes sense to run the little empire.

Joleen Bingham (25:56):
And for me, I take it, and I say, “All right, how much time do I need to allocate to each thing? And does this fit within my day?” And I’m very strategic in saying, “All right, on Mondays this is what I’m going to handle. And do I have the time and space to handle anything additional in that?” So, if I were to go on and take, say a new company, well, is there time in my calendar for that at this point for me to execute it well? And if it was starting this real estate business, if I didn’t have that time, I’m not going to do it because my gym is my cash flowing asset right now. And if starting something new takes away from that and doesn’t allow me to continue to cash flow it, it’s not something I can handle.

John Franklin (26:33):
How do you find time? Like I got two kids, you have three, right? How do you do that? I don’t understand how that works.

Joleen Bingham (26:41):
I would say prioritizing. If there’s something that no longer serves my family, if it doesn’t serve my business and my goals, and if it doesn’t make me happy, I get rid of it. And that might sound cold and ruthless, but this is my life, and I want to enjoy my life, and I want to grow and make more money, and I have to do it that way.

John Franklin (26:59):
So, you got rid of the kids?

Joleen Bingham (27:00):
No, no, no. I love my kids.

John Franklin (27:02):

Joleen Bingham (27:02):
They’re my “why.” So, I said I had a strong “why” earlier. They’re my “why.”

John Franklin (27:05):
Yeah. So, both you mentioned vision and picking a strategy and following it, right? Yep. And so, one of the mistakes I see a lot of people in this group making—a lot of high-level gym owners make—I’d say like they’re a little squirrely with strategy or a little soft with strategy. Would you say that’s fair?

Taryn Dubreuil (27:20):

Joleen Bingham (27:20):
Yeah. That’s fair.

John Franklin (27:21):
Yeah. Like a lot of strategy hopping even in today’s meeting, you know? “I’m going to sell my gym.” “I’m not going to sell my gym; I’m going to do Airbnb.” “I’m going to do—” You know, there’s just a lot of flip flopping. And I do think one of the things that you need for one of these strategies to play out over a long period of time—to play out—is time. And focus and not like changing course every 30 seconds. So how did you go about like deliberately setting your strategy, and how do you manage to not like flip flop and do other stuff? Or do you?

Taryn Dubreuil (27:50):
The decision to go all in on the Airbnb route—you know, when you first come into the Tinker ecosphere is—it is overwhelming, and there’s so much going on and so many people doing different things. So it is, I would—like, I’ll admit, it’s hard to not get distracted by the 10 different directions you can go. Again, mine went back to what my perfect day was, which was getting to Arizona. So, I knew that it had to be real estate. So, from there it’s just acquiring the knowledge and then starting to take the action points as soon as you have the pieces—like the essential pieces of knowledge that you needed. Having conversations with as many people who are doing what you wanted to do, copying and pasting the systems they’re using to then implement them in your own. You know, it doesn’t need to be complicated, but you can definitely make it an inconvenience if you’re paralyzed by inaction. Right?

Joleen Bingham (28:39):
And I want to add to that, for me, it was everything that Taryn just said, but having a mentor to help keep me focused too, right? Making sure there was somebody that would call me out and say, “That’s not what you’re supposed to be working on.” And who wasn’t afraid to tell me that and ask me that.

John Franklin (28:53):
I think that it’s difficult—especially as someone who hosts podcasts in the fitness space—it’s tougher to find female entrepreneurs who are comfortable talking about money and comfortable talking about success. Why is that? Is that just something that lives in my head? Or do you think that’s a fair assessment?

Taryn Dubreuil (29:14):
I don’t think it’s something that lives in your head. I just think, like, socially it’s just not represented. Like the women who are at the top are just not glorified the way that the men are at the top, and for whatever reason that might be is—you know, it is what it is. But we also have this opportunity to sit there, and like, I’m OK talking about it. I know that there’s people behind me that I can turn around and pull up just by telling my story and “Here’s what I did.” Just like there were—but you know, my mentor when I first started Two-Brain was somebody that I looked up to because I saw what she was doing, and she was female. And you know, that’s a cool example to follow. So, I am happy to tell these stories and talk about the success because there are people behind us that need somebody to be in front of them, to say, “Hey, it’s OK. Like, it’s OK to talk about money. Like we all make money; we’re all allowed to make these decisions, and we’re all allowed to set our futures up for what we need them to be. Who cares if I’m a female,” you know?

Joleen Bingham (30:13):
And I think there’s a good representation here of women, and I’m speaking as a mom here, so I’m only speaking as a mom with—you know, my role is caretaking of my kids. And for a lot of other women out there, it’s hard to say, “Well, I’m going to invest this money in Tinker for myself so I can, I can grow and become better,” because they want to put the money into their kids or their family or somebody else. Instead of saying, “No, it’s OK to take care of myself. It’s OK for me to prioritize that I’m making money. I want to spend it on myself, and I’m doing it to become a better person for me, not necessarily to take care of somebody else.”

John Franklin (30:49):
And so how do we get more women in the Tinker group? How do we lift more female gym owners up? Like what are—what do we need to do there to make that happen?

Joleen Bingham (30:59):
I think just becoming more comfortable talking about money, right? I think having these conversations and saying, “Look, we’re two women, we’re sitting here, we’re proud of the fact that we have done this hard work, and we want other people to stand up and be proud of that too.”

John Franklin (31:11):
Because if I had to guess, it’s probably 30 to 40% of affiliates are owned by women. And do you have any information—if you had to take a wild-ass guess what would you say?

Taryn Dubreuil (31:23):
I mean, I don’t have a stat for sure, but I would say it’s definitely low. It’s on the low side.

John Franklin (31:27):
But I’d say it’s like 30 to 40%. And then iif you look at that room, it’s probably 10 to 15% female.

Joleen Bingham (31:34):
If that. I mean, it might not even be that.

John Franklin (31:37):
So it feels like a little—it just feels a little underrepresented. But it seems like if you look within Two-Brain, a lot of the like rockstar shooting star success stories are female clients.

Joleen Bingham (31:48):
And for me it’s I have a very strong “why.” Right? I have a very, very strong “why”9 of why I need to be successful and why I want to be successful, and I take that and I utilize that to motivate me. And I think a lot of other—specifically the female gym owners that I work with—I can get them to look at their “why” a little bit more and focus on that.

John Franklin (32:07):
Do you guys deal with clients who are like struggling with imposter syndrome a lot?

Taryn Dubreuil (32:10):
Yes, 100%. All the time.

Joleen Bingham (32:11):

Taryn Dubreuil (32:12):
That’s a normal everyday thing.

Joleen Bingham (32:13):
Right. And I’m sure—I struggle from it myself from time to time.

John Franklin (32:17):
And so what—how do you guys deal with it? How do you advise your clients to deal with it?

Joleen Bingham (32:21):
From my perspective, I deal with it by acknowledging it and saying, “You know what? I feel like I don’t know enough right now,” but then I want to go learn more, so I don’t feel like the imposter.

Taryn Dubreuil (32:30):
Like it’s a good thing that you feel uncomfortable because the opposite is feeling comfortable. And if you’re comfortable, you’re not growing. So, if you are uncomfortable, like acknowledge it, embrace it, and like what lessons can you learn from being in that position? Go start talking to people. Go start asking questions, you know, like, you’re obviously in this position for a reason. So, let’s figure out what that reason is.

John Franklin (32:51):
And so, I mean, there’s a lot of talk here about like making yourself uncomfortable. What would you say to someone who’s like, “I am comfortable. Like, my gym’s doing what I want it to do. I’m happy.” Like, you know, is that a bad thing?

Taryn Dubreuil (33:04):
No, I just think they’re lacking context. They don’t have enough information. They only know what they know. They don’t know what they don’t know. Right? So even just progressing into the Tinker ecosphere and you see everything—like that, I walked in there and was like, “Whoa. Like look at all the possibilities.” And I probably would not have known that if I wasn’t looking for that information, if I wasn’t talking to those people, if I hadn’t entered into that situation. Right? If I hadn’t sat at that table, you would never know. And so, if you are comfortable, I think you just lack context and information. That’s all.

Joleen Bingham (33:39):
That’s a good way of looking at it. And I also think that if you’re comfortable, does it go back to your perfect day? Is your perfect day going to be your perfect day 10 years from now? Right? So maybe it’s your perfect day from now, but you don’t know what opportunities are coming. You don’t know what doors are open. Like you said, walking into that room, we would never have known about it. I would never have bought an Airbnb. I probably wouldn’t have gone down the real estate. I wouldn’t have been looking at acquisitions. I had no idea what to learn. And honestly, I would’ve been bored at some point. Just being honest. I would’ve been bored.

John Franklin (34:10):
And so, at what point do you think people are ready to start thinking about that and crafting their vision and making these type of wealth-building plans?

Taryn Dubreuil (34:18):
I think you need that check mark of 100k. Because at least you have that comfort pillow of being able to have the disposable income to turn around and invest it back into something else. That’s an obvious—

John Franklin (34:27):
Like your gym’s making 100k, or you’re sitting on 100k?

Taryn Dubreuil (34:30):
100k net owner benefit. Right. Because then you can pay to play to take the next step. Right? Which then gives you the opportunities to at least build your next steps towards.

John Franklin (34:40):
Do you feel the same way?

Joleen Bingham (34:41):
I do.

John Franklin (34:42):
Just 100k NOB, you’re ready to rock?

Taryn Dubreuil (34:44):
Well, I mean, there’s time requirements to that, right? Like, you have to build your gym to be able to sustain you, for you to be a way, for you to turn your shoulders and focus on some other things. You know, like there are those prerequisites like that, that are important other than just money, but money is a large part of it.

Joleen Bingham (34:59):
I think you’ve got to be able to have that money to be able to take the step away and have that space to be able to say, “What’s next?” Right? That money is the way that you get that space, whether it’s through staff, a different business, whatever it is—that money is the way you get there.

John Franklin (35:13):
And I know both of you personally, so I know you have both invested heavily in mentorship both within Two-Brain and outside of it. That’s a very true expense. Like how do you think about the investment in mentorship? How do you go about calculating the ROI, at least to you personally?

Taryn Dubreuil (35:28):
I just want to fill my ignorance gap. You don’t know what you don’t know, and if you can walk into a world and get exposed to contacts and information, things you don’t know that other people know, have executed, have achieved things way greater than you, and you can get to that level too, but faster? You know, to me that ROI on doing things with less mistakes faster for a price to pay is worth it, time and time again.

Joleen Bingham (35:55):
Right, and I don’t know that you can put an ROI on, “This year I made three times more money because I was in Tinker,” which while we see that—that’s awesome—but what if you went to a meetup and you had one conversation that changed the rest of your life and the trajectory of your life? And I see that’s what’s happening. People are having these relationships, having conversations. What if you go and you learn something that makes you a better leader, so your staff stays two years longer, and you have freedom of time now because you’ve kept your staff longer? So, I think it’s important to look at all the different types of ROI that are out there too.

John Franklin (36:24):
It works in kind of mysterious ways too that aren’t really evident while you’re like in the room. Like for me personally, I met Kaleda at one of these events, like the very first iteration of the Tinker meetup. And so, she’s the CEO of Kilo, and Kilo was formed at—like the idea for it was formed at one of these events, but iit didn’t even play out until three years after that event had happened. And that was a very transformative, life-changing experience for me. But at the time, it didn’t feel like, “Oh—” I didn’t leave the event being like, “My life has changed forever.” But, you know, I ended up having professional working relationships with at least two or three people that came out of that existing group.

Taryn Dubreuil (37:07):
If it’s not information that you’re gaining, the networking, I would say is the next valuable asset that comes from leveling up.

Joleen Bingham (37:16):

John Franklin (37:17):
And yeah, at first, like, sure, you can go out and “Hey, Mr. People” and meet people who are doing well in the fitness industry, and you should do that on your own. Like you definitely should, but there is value in just getting on a plane, stepping off of it, and like 70 successful gym owners are there, and it’s curated, and people are being vulnerable—talking about money, talking about their problems, and being able to just insert yourself in there. Right? And that works out in kind of mysterious ways. Like you could see in the room today how a lot of people were sharing information like, “Hey, I tried this thing; it worked.” And you can kind of get a year’s worth of learning in a weekend here if you just listen.

Joleen Bingham (37:54):
Yeah, I agree.

John Franklin (37:56):
And so how do you make the most of a group like this? You know, we talked about the value of it, but you know, you guys are what, three years in both of you?

Joleen Bingham (38:05):
Three years. Yep.

John Franklin (38:05):
Yeah. So, you’re still coming back—like, at this point you’ve probably learned all there is to learn in terms of the curriculum, right? So, how are you guys viewing the value of the group, and why do you guys keep coming back?

Taryn Dubreuil (38:18):
The value is in the people and the opportunities that present—just like you said—you know, things that happen that you may not know at the time that result in other stuff down the road. So, for me it’s the networking; it’s the conversations—the everything outside of just the information. I mean, the information is time and time again valuable for sure. But it’s the conversation that happens over supper. It’s the conversation that happens on the walk to the gym when we’re going to go get our workout. Right? Like it’s—those conversations could be equally if not more valuable than everything else that you’re learning in that.

John Franklin (38:50):
Supper’s dinner for all you Americans listening.

Taryn Dubreuil (38:51):
Yeah, Canadian.

Joleen Bingham (38:54):
I didn’t even think anything of that.

Taryn Dubreuil (38:56):
We need a translator on this episode.

Joleen Bingham (38:59):
Yeah. Yeah.

John Franklin (39:00):
And is it the same thing for you, or do you have—

Joleen Bingham (39:02):
It—exactly. 100% the relationships and being able to open yourself up to not just learning from the relationships, but seeing other opportunities from those conversations. I think the most important things are breakfast, lunch, dinner, even the workouts themselves—like building that network of people that not just open opportunities, but also keep you accountable.

Taryn Dubreuil (39:25):
Right, and I think that the opportunities also become multidimensional. You know, so somebody starts a secondary business, and someone else starts another secondary business, and you realize that those two businesses can be complimentary to each other. And so now you have this formed connection through this thing that you’re doing, even though you’re both building separate entities, but you have that mutual relationship because of the table you’re sitting at. You know, it’s infinite—the possibilities are. That’s so cliche, but it truly is.

John Franklin (39:50):
Right. And was your service-based business? Was that like a Tinker brainstorm? Did it come out of that?

Taryn Dubreuil (39:56):
In a way, sure. Yeah. Yeah. I was sitting in a hospital with my dad having brain surgery and talking on the phone with Coop is really what—how it happened. But you know, it’s evolved from time and space that Tinker has provided me with.

John Franklin (40:10):
Yeah. And so, what’s kind of next—what’s next for you guys?

Joleen Bingham (40:14):
Right now, what’s next for me is continuing to buy real estate. Right? That’s going to always be next. I have another project that I’m currently working; I’m not quite ready to talk about yet. Still in the—

John Franklin (40:25):
Secret project phase?

Joleen Bingham (40:25):
Well, not secret, but if anybody who knows me, I’m very much like a planning person. Like I’ve got to have a plan in place so that I can make sure I implement it well. I don’t just throw things out there to the world and then make them stick.

Taryn Dubreuil (40:37):
I’ll throw things out there and make them stick.

Joleen Bingham (40:39):
Yeah, that’s fine. Yeah, so we’re very different brains.

John Franklin (40:41):
So what’s next then?

Taryn Dubreuil (40:42):
Yeah. Obviously, is like grow Perfect Day Business Mentorship to what it can be. That’s my main focus. And, you know, building the real estate empire on the side is just the thing that runs parallel along with that.

Joleen Bingham (40:56):
Yep. And I will say the one thing that I’m working on is gym acquisitions, right? That is a big thing that is my focus in 2024. I want to help operators on the ground continue to do what they love and operate the gym, and then help take the business side and work with them that way.

John Franklin (41:13):
And so basically, you’re trying to—you’re buying minority or majority stakes or entirety?

Joleen Bingham (41:18):
I think it would be—not entirety. I want them to still have equity. I think that’s important. Like, they have to have equity; they have to have a mentor. That’s going to be 100% important. They have to be part of the Two-Brain ecosystem. And they are the operators. They love coaching, they love managing people, and I get to do what I love, which is run businesses.

John Franklin (41:34):
OK, cool. So, if you’re looking to sell your gym, email Joleen.

Joleen Bingham (41:41):
Thanks for the plug there.

John Franklin (41:43):
Yeah. So yeah, where do people go if they want to find out a little more about you? You know, I’m sure some people will watch this as they’re kind of trying to decide who they want to work with on the mentorship team. Like why work with you guys? This is your pitch for yourself.

Taryn Dubreuil (41:58):
I mean, I am super action orientated. I like to do things fast, and I like to present it to you in a way that can build you momentum really, really fast. I move fast, I am no fluff, and I’m going to deliver it to you black and white, just like that. So, if you want to move fast, you work with me.

Joleen Bingham (42:14):
And that’s why Taryn’s my friend because when I need a reality check, she’ll call me out on it. Very, very black and white. Very clearly. Why somebody should work with me? I’m very systems and processes oriented. I’m very focused on getting you where you need to be, but in a way where you don’t make the same mistakes that I did. I think it’s 100% important if you have a family and if you have a vision for your family, that’s tied into it as well. So, I take a little bit different approach, but the end result’s the same: We want to get your results, and we want you to get your perfect day.

John Franklin (42:44):
Well, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed watching both of your ascents within the Two-Brain ecosystem. I give the gold stamp to both of them. So, if you are considering, you can’t make a bad choice if you go with either of them. And thanks for sharing this. Thanks for being vulnerable. Thanks for talking about numbers. I hope this pulls up some people under you and inspires the next generation of female millionaire gym owners.

Mike Warkentin (43:08):
Thanks for listening to “Run a Profitable Gym.” Please subscribe for more episodes. Now, here’s Chris Cooper with a final message.

Chris Cooper (43:15):
Hey, it’s Two-Brain founder Chris Cooper with a quick note. We created the Gym Owners United Facebook group to help you run a profitable gym. Thousands of gym owners, just like you, have already joined in the group. We share sound advice about the business of fitness. every day. I answer questions, I run free webinars, and I give away all kinds of great resources to help you grow your gym. I’d love to have you in that group. It’s Gym Owners United on Facebook, or go to to join. Do it today.

Thanks for listening!

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