Originally published on Medium.com:
“You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help enough other people get what they want.”-Zig Ziglar
If you search online, you’ll find over a million inspirational quotes from leaders in almost any field.
Here’s the most important one: “Follow me.”
Great coaches can change the lives of hundreds…if their gym business thrives. Our mission at TwoBrainBusiness is to assist those on the front lines of fitness. We are business mentors for gym owners.
We believe in modeling success. We believe in actionable advice. We believe in personalized strategies. And we believe in creating leaders. We believe in a “sum of systems” instead of dogma.
A mentor provides more than a map; a mentor is a guide.
Over 250 gym owners have asked for my mentorship. 240 of them remain in the TwoBrain program. I’m convinced these are the “tip of the spear” that will drive The Movement forward.
I’ve asked a few of the outliers to join me in mentoring other gyms. Below are the minimum criteria I considered in each case, whether each knew it or not.
What is a mentor, and why am I publishing these criteria?
This is not a “Help Wanted” ad. The next TwoBrain mentors will come from within the TwoBrain group; I trust every member within to know more than most “gym consulting” businesses. That might sound uncharitable. The truth is that a gym owner should be grateful for any help they receive (I certainly am) but also have the tools to discern experience from opinion. And I understand that a leader’s role is to create standards where none exist. Here are mine:
- A gym business mentor must own a gym. You and I are in the service industry. We sell a niche service. To be an effective model of success, a mentor must start from the same place as his protege. I’m wary of “experts” who have never been in our ring, and consultants who have “retired” from gym ownership. Trust me: when good systems and staff are present, a good gym can run itself. There’s no reason NOT to own a gym.
- A mentor’s gym must be fully automated. A mentor must be able to take a minimum of two weeks away from the gym without an interruption in service or cash flow. Two weeks is a test: ideally, the mentor could step away for an indeterminate time.
- A mentor’s gym must provide a net profit of at least $50,000 to the owner.
- A mentor’s gym must provide a full-time job — paying enough to afford a house and car, or other assets — for at least one other person.
- A mentor must understand ARM, LEG and other metrics that matter.
- A mentor must demonstrate understanding of problems through their own mistakes. The more, the better.
- A mentor must leverage these lessons by helping other gym owners through written and video content, seminars and frequent posts on internet forums in response to questions. Unsolicited advice counts less than responsive expertise.
- A mentor knows what n=1 means.
- A mentor inspires others by modeling leadership. Read more here.
- A leader is the example, not the exception. A mentor must confirm proper habits and behavior through their own actions.
- A mentor must teach systems and ideas that are reproducible beyond their immediate influence. The success of one idea in one market one time doesn’t make it reproducible.
- A mentor must inspire action. Ideas are great, but few of us suffer from a lack of ideas. Seeing the big picture, a mentor can break a large idea into manageable parts, and map out each step.
- A mentor balances thankfulness with skepticism. He is equally eager to learn and, in the same lesson, to question its authority.
- A mentor maintains the practice of “Beginner’s Mind.”
A teacher lectures. A coach demonstrates. A mentor forms.
Some of my job is lecturing; some is demonstrating. Most of my job is learning and translating. Every gym speaks the same language, but each has its own dialect, tribal customs and history. This is why we mentor the business owner, not the business itself.
Entrepreneurship can save the world’s economy. But entrepreneurshipdoesn’t mean “having the next big idea.” It means bridging the gap between innovation and action. A mentor is that bridge, holding up a small band of driven leaders while everything else floats by below.