How Successful Are You as a Gym Owner?

Scoreboard on a football field - how successful are you as a gym owner

What is your time worth?

Do you have to work many hours to run your gym? Are you still trading time for money? Or have you figured out how to scale the value of your time?

One measure of your skill and leverage as an entrepreneur is your Effective Hourly Rate (EHR). In my book “Founder, Farmer, Tinker, Thief,” I called this the Kingmaker Equation. It’s a great way to quantify your success as an entrepreneur.

Yes, the value of a gym can be measured in the lives it saves, the smiles it creates, the pounds it helps people lose and the medications people no longer need. But the value of an entrepreneur is different—because, after all, that’s your real job now! And the time you invest is valuable. Read more here.

The top gym owners in Two-Brain have a great EHR. That means they get to choose what they do: They can coach if they want to coach, market if they want to market or do something else.

A leaderboard showing the top effective hourly rates in Two-Brain, from $476 to $121.

Here’s how the top gym owners in the world protect their time and focus on bringing maximum value to their gyms.

1. Delegation

Key: They stop doing the stuff that others can do better (and cheaper).

Owner: “We have two locations; we learned from our mistakes at the first location and copied what worked well. We really documented our systems and processes and then got the right people to do the right tasks. We have one GM for 2 locations, and that works better than one GM at each location.”

2. Focus

Key: They identify their strengths and spend all their time on those things.

Owner: “I worked on leadership and got the systems in place. Then I developed the team.”

Owner: “I recognized that I need to lead myself and become the best leader that I can be. That was my goal last year. Because people are my business.”

3. Mentorship

Key: They mentor their staff to success.

Owner: “We (are) spending time with the team to make sure they’re in the right role. This is done one on one with the FT staff. And we’re not afraid to transition them to something else.”

Owner: “Autonomy of the staff: I let them come up with their own solutions. I give them the opportunity to learn from their mistakes, but I also celebrate successes. Leadership: They know that (we have) their back either way 100% of the time. They also have the ability to … do things differently from how I would—I’m OK with mistakes.”

Owner: “I live in a different state from my gym, and I meet with my GM on Tuesday every week for 45 mins to an 1 hour. I usually just ask her, ‘What do you need from me?'”

Owner: “I reinforce (to my staff) that I work for them, not that they work for me. Also that the staff works for the members.”

4. Accountability

Key: They have someone to hold them accountable for their focus and time spent.

Owner: “I stepped back in for some additional leadership through the pandemic. I plan to keep 10 hours a month through COVID, but then I plan to go down to 4 hours afterwards.”

Owner: “We’re purpose driven instead of passion driven—we try to stay cool and level headed about the decision making.”

Owner: “We have mentors. We pay attention on a monthly basis to our financials. We always ran it as a business. We base all the decisions on sound business principles.”

Level Up as a Gym Owner

When you start working out, you train to be better at exercise.

When you become a coach, you train to become a better coach.

When you open a business, you must train to become a better business owner.

Yes, knowledge is part of it. But it’s also critical to receive objective feedback and work with people who have done it before—same as it is with exercise.

There is no sport in the world in which athletes try to “figure it out for themselves.” Hockey players don’t reinvent skates every year. Baseball players don’t carve their own bats. Swimmers don’t simply jump in and hope to reach dry land eventually.

Business is the toughest game there is. EHR is your scoreboard. Are you playing or playing to win?

Other Media in This Series

“By the Numbers: What Gym Owners Earn”
“What Does Your Gym Pay You?”


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.