The Four Habits Every Successful Entrepreneur Must Master

The Four Habits of Every Successful Entrepreneur

Chris Cooper: 0:02

There are four habits that every successful entrepreneur needs to master to ascend from making $0 to making a million or $10 million or more.

I’m Chris Cooper . This is Two-Brain Radio. If this episode is helpful to you, please hit “subscribe” on your favorite podcast.

On June 4 and 5, I was speaking at the Two-Brain Summit. We had 426 gym owners from around the world—New Zealand to Sweden, Germany, France. It was amazing. And we were talking about impact. And we were talking about how to make a plan to have an impact on your family and on every single client who comes through your door and on the coaches who work with you—but also the impact on your local community.

And we went step by step, and every single gym owner left that room with a plan and a promise to create impact by next year. But underlying these plans are four habits.

Think of these as the foundation for success. And I thought I’d share just the four habits with you today. The first habit that you need to create a long-term impact is discipline.

Now I’m talking about a specific discipline. I’m not talking about eating right or doing meal prep or training or doing your mobility work or working on your weaknesses.

I’m talking about doing one thing every single day to grow your business before you do anything else—every single day. What do you do in that time ? It’s up to you. And it’s really up to your mentor.

Your mentor should be telling you objectively “here is the thing that you can do to grow your business right now.”

Now we have a lot of operational systems that our mentors use to determine what that exact thing should be.

But way back in the day, when I first started getting a mentor, he was giving me a ton of work and I just couldn’t keep up. And he would give me a big project. Like “you need to write a staff playbook.” And I’m like, “OK I know, but this is a four- or five-hour project at least.”

And every time I thought about it, it seemed to get bigger and bigger. And then finally, one day I said, “I’m gonna go to the gym 30 minutes earlier. I’m gonna do as much as I possibly can on this. And then I’m gonna put it away until the next day.”

Because what was happening was I was feeling like I was working a ton but not really getting anywhere at the end of the day. 9, 9:30 at night, I looked back on my day and said, “What did I actually accomplish to grow my business?”

Everything that I was doing was built to maintain my business instead of actually moving it forward. And so setting aside this time, like a half an hour at the start of the day to do something that grew my business before I did anything else, was actually the little baby steps that started giving me momentum to grow the gym, fix the gym, become super profitable and eventually build Two-Brain, too.

So the first habit that you need to create an impact is discipline.

The second habit that you need is respect. Good leaders don’t criticize, condemn or complain. I learned that from Dale Carnegie. This means don’t run down your staff to your other staff. Don’t complain about your clients to other gym owners in Facebook groups. Don’t attack other gyms out of jealousy or fear. Teach your staff respect. Model it to your clients. Teach it to the rest of us, your competitors, and me and the other people in your community by your example.

Now sometimes I struggle with this. It’s so easy to point to somebody else and say, “Hey, they’re cheating, right?” But that doesn’t help you. And it’s an anchor. That’s holding your rocket back. So the second habit that you need is respect.

The third habit that you need is influence. You need to share your story. You need to tell us why you need to share your mission, and you need to share your wins, and you need to share your losses. And you need to tell people why they should sign up with you and why they should stay with you until tomorrow. You need to tell this to your clients and your future clients and your former clients. And you need to tell it to your staff.

This means you need to publish something every day . And this means prioritizing who you’re telling this story to also. I mean, you have to tell your partner, “Hey, here’s why I want to do this.” And you have to tell your kids “here’s why dad worked so hard. And here’s why he’s spending all this time at the gym.” And you have to tell them “here’s what I want to accomplish.”

Through COVID, when we started emerging finally after almost two years of being shut down at Catalyst, I grabbed two of my staff, each of whom had been with me for more than a decade. And I said, “Guys, this is gonna be hard, but let’s go back to a blank slate. And let’s start with ‘what is our mission here? What are we trying to accomplish?'” And what we came up with was we want to extend and improve the lifespan of 7,000 people in Sault Ste. Marie. Now “extend” means help them live longer. “Improve” means improve their health-span. And I’ll do other shows on that later. 7,000, because that’s 10 percent of my population. And if I can influence 10 percent of 7,000, each of them might influence one more. And each of those people might influence one more.

And so what we did from this was say, “How do we rebuild our business to make sure that over the next 30 years we are extending and improving the lifespan of 7,000 people in this city?” And that led to some big changes. Number one, the staff said, “We only wanna work with 150 people at a time.”

Fantastic, but also we started publishing this stuff. And so we published this video about 7,000 people in Sault Ste. Marie and didn’t think much of it. Six months later, we won an award for best business in the city. Now, some businesses stayed open. Some businesses grew. Dome businesses closed during all the government shutdowns. Ours survived, but we weren’t the only one.

Why did we win this award—business of the year 2021? It’s because they said, “We know your mission and we see you working toward it.” Not “you’ve got the biggest business.” Not “you employ the most people.” Not “it’s smiley, happy, friendly.” “We know your mission. And we don’t know anybody else’s mission. We don’t know if they’re actually accomplishing it. The fact that you have a mission and that you published it is why you are our favorite.”

So that is what influence is. It’s storytelling and just telling people why. One more little note on influence: You gotta publish every day . At least a quarter of the stuff that you publish has to be internal to your staff. Have a podcast just for your staff or send a blog to your staff once a week, not just with “here’s next month’s calendar” or “here’s how to scale this workout” but “here’s why we’re in this.” So the third habit is influence.

And the fourth habit that you need is behavior. Now I did an exercise at the summit to help people identify who their hero is. Who is their model of success? Who do they wanna be like? And that makes this habit easier. But I want you to think, “Who is my hero?” What would your hero do when they’re faced with struggle? How would your hero meet or greet a new person? How would they say “good morning”? And what you want is this mental image in your mind of somebody whom you can act like until you are like them.

So, for example, when something hits me outta the blue and tends to derail me, I can say, “What would Karl do right now?” Or “how would Oskar behave?” “How would Anastasia handle this?” And then I can just be like them. I have some amazing clients at my gym, Catalyst, named Betty Lou and Dave. And these are the best greeters I’ve ever met. They’re so warm and caring, and they will stop their warmup, put down their barbell to hug you if you show up late to class. And when I’m not sure how to greet somebody, I just think, “What would Dave do? How would Betty Lou greet this person?”

And that means sometimes I’m a little bit over the top with greeting people, but it also means that I’m usually the most polite person in the room. It usually means that I get to be the one to make somebody else feel comfortable. They are my hero. And that means I can be like them.

So these four habits put together—discipline, respect, influence and behavior—will create impact. These are the pieces on which you build your systems and your tactics and your processes and your marketing and your sales and your team to have an impact on the clients who come into your gym, on your family’s wealth and on your community at large.


Announcer: 8:36

That was Chris Cooper on Two-Bain Radio. Chris is dropping knowledge bombs twice a week all the time . So please subscribe so you don’t miss a show. Now, Coop’s back with a final message.


Chris Cooper: 8:47

We created the Gym Owner’s United Facebook group in 2020 to help entrepreneurs just like you. Now, it has more than 5,600 member and it’s growing daily as gym owners join us for tips, tactics and community support. If you aren’t in that group, what are you waiting for? Get in there today so we can network and grow your business! That’s Gym Owners United on Facebook or Join today.

Thanks for listening!

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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.