The easiest way to grow your wealth is to do the same thing you’ve done before. You already know how to build a good gym—why not just build another?
Because, as entrepreneurs, we’re attracted to novelty. We love new challenges.
So if you’re tempted to build a second business that isn’t a gym, build a business that serves the same audience your gym does.
Two key lessons I’ve learned from my mentors are:
1. “If you know how to build an audience, you’ll never go hungry.” —Todd Herman
2. “Don’t find an audience for your product. Find products for your audience.” —Seth Godin
I’ve sold off most of my businesses so that I could grow Two-Brain Business faster.
I still own five: Two-Brain Business, Two-Brain Coaching, Two-Brain Media and Two-Brain Programming. I also still own my fitness coaching business, Catalyst Gym.
What do they have in common? Four of five serve the same audience. The fifth is my laboratory for that audience.
Building an audience is the hard part. Building a product or delivering a service is the easy part. This is one of the most important lessons I can give you in Tinker Phase. It’s true, but most people miss it—and that means they start from scratch over and over, spending years trying to get the first few clients for their second big idea.
Instead, start with your audience and ask, “What else do these great people need?”
A Stack of Solutions
I started Two-Brain Business because passionate microgym owners were going out of business. These poor first-time entrepreneurs had dedicated their lives to helping others get healthy, and all they were getting for their labor was a ton of debt and ruined relationships. I knew that 1:1 mentorship had worked for me, and wanted to give other gym owners a way to get 1:1 mentorship that was specific to them.
When Two-Brain Business started, most microgym owners were delivering a pretty good fitness service. They were getting their clients decent results. On average, most microgym owners were already delivering a B+ service. As we refined their processes, services, rates, retention and leadership to an A+ level, many eventually discovered that their coaching had become their weakness. So I revived Two-Brain Coaching to help them optimize their staff.
After all, it’s hard to charge a high-value price and then deliver a medium-value service. You won’t stay in business unless your coaches are as good as your systems.
The purpose of Two-Brain Coaching is to give coaches the skills that keep clients around for a long time and actually deliver value. While most coaching programs taught “the method”—like how to teach CrossFit or Pilates or spin class—we wanted to teach them to coach. In turn, that would help them keep clients longer and deliver at a higher level to support the business’s new value.
The next problem: Gyms were offering tremendous value and getting tremendous results—but no one was hearing about them. So I founded Two-Brain Media to tell these stories. Most of my clients don’t even know about Two-Brain Media, but they get the benefit: hundreds of blog posts for them to copy and paste; thousands of social media campaigns they can swipe and deploy immediately; tons of helpful DIY templates for video, blog and podcast; and even full courses on podcasting, SEO and storytelling.
Gym Lead Machine
Sometimes others solve problems for my audience, too. At a bar in Manhattan, John Franklin and I were trying to solve the marketing problem for gym owners. This is a multi-stage problem, but the foundational problem was that no one could tell what was working for them. Some gyms were doing better with referrals, some with media, some with ads—but no one could measure the effect of any of it.
So John founded Gym Lead Machine and started building websites that could tell gym owners everything they needed to know to make marketing decisions. The sites also boost conversion—I use GLM at Catalyst, and I can actually watch the site pay for itself every month.
Last year, I launched Two-Brain Programming to save gym owners money. While I think gym owners should outsource their programming and reinvest that time into other things, I also know that programming costs more than it should. And good programming should be easy to explain to a client—not “here’s how to scale the weight” but “here’s how this will help you achieve your goals today.”
So I found the gym with the highest adherence rate in Two-Brain and paid it to provide its programming to all Two-Brain gyms for free every month. When we started getting requests for more (like preloaded workouts in Wodify and SugarWOD), we added that option. Every Two-Brain gym can save $200 per month with great programming, and those who want more can get it, too.
Two-Brain Team Training
Finally, a few months ago, I realized that our gym owners were making good progress, but they could grow faster if they activated their teams. So I started Two-Brain Team Training to offer coaching, mentorship and training to their teams. This program is in Beta Phase right now, so it’s only available to our Growth and Tinker-level clients.
The Narrow Focus
Every new business I launch has a golden rule: It must pay for itself over and over again. But the actual program details aren’t hard because I stay focused on one audience and ask myself, “What else can I provide to these people?” When I spot a way that I can make their lives easier or make my service even more leverageable, I buy it for them.
All my businesses are client-centric service businesses.
Most of them serve the same audience.
Each helps me serve my audience better.
How can you serve yours better?