I’m Chris Cooper and this week I’ve been talking about getting clarity in your business. Because it doesn’t matter who reads the most books. That’s not the contest. The contest is who can build a sustainable gym that pays you really well, and the winner is the owner who can focus, who can take one step at a time toward the finish line and who can do that every single day. Now I know you can run really fast. I know you can carry a big load. I know you can travel a long distance. That’s not the problem. The problem is that maybe you’re not going in the right direction or in any direction. You’re going in every direction really fast, all in, full power, and you’re not moving forward. Today I’m going to tell you how to get focus, how to follow a path without distraction and move fast in the right direction. Welcome to Two-Brain Radio. I’m your host Chris Cooper here every week with the best of the fitness industry. Got a sec? We would love to hear from you. I write emails to my mailing list every day and it’s a highlight when somebody takes the time to respond. If you’ve got feedback on my show or a guest you’d like to hear on Two-Brain Radio, email email@example.com and don’t forget to subscribe to Two-Brain Radio wherever you get your podcasts. You need two things: a compass and a map. Well, really a third thing, but I’ll get to that. Your compass is your personal mission and vision. It’s really important to write these down because you won’t be the only person on the journey. You need other people to know which direction you’re headed, because eventually they’re going to take the wheel. You might even be on a solo journey right now in your entrepreneurial journey, but if you own a business, you’ll eventually have some passengers and you can let them do the driving sometimes if you give them a compass. If they know where North is, your staff can head North with you, but if you want to go someplace specific, you need more.
You need a map. And if you want to go fast, you need a guide. Until now, there’s never been a map for business. There have been descriptions about journeys. There have been lots of books about how to use a compass. Many explorers have described the monsters they’ve encountered. Some have even described parts of their route, but no one has ever built a map, until now. It took the eye of fitness coaches to map the entrepreneur’s journey to success. Here’s how we did it. So first we defined success using the freedom of income and time, more money than you need, and all the time in the world, total freedom. We call that wealth. Then we worked backwards from wealth to determine the steps the best gyms in the world have taken to get there. We used our massive dataset. No one else in the world has this, and the hands-on experience gained from thousands upon thousands of one-on-one calls with gym owners.
So every gym owner in Two-Brain now gets the Two-Brain roadmap. You can see a picture of it above. Here’s the idea: Imagine in your mind a great big white wall. Divide that wall up into a big grid. The rows in that grid each represent one area of your business. There are 40 of them. The columns in that grid represent one milestone in each area. There are 13 milestones on each row. You can see an example of that grid if you click on the link to view the blog post that accompanies this podcast. But here’s an example. If you consider digital marketing as one area of your business or one row on that big grid that makes up the roadmap, then we’ve established 13 milestones along the path to digital marketing excellence. The first milestone: practice doing No-Sweat Intros 50 times because you have to get good at a No-Sweat Intro before you start inviting more people to a No-Sweat Intro.
The second milestone: Test your ad funnel with our process, and we’ll teach you exactly how to build an ad funnel, what to look for to make sure that it’s working before you start dumping money into it. The third milestone is to complete our Facebook marketing incubator and calculate your target acquisition costs and target lead cost. So to finish this third milestone, you go through our Facebook marketing course that tells you how to build ads and how to build audiences and how to attract an audience and how to retarget and everything that you need. The fourth milestone is just to launch your first ad, because knowledge without action is useless. The fifth milestone is to maintain a close rate of 60% for two consecutive months. That means that 60% of the people coming into your doors from your digital marketing spend sign up for your program.
Now, if you’re just used to organic marketing, friends of friends, strangers who you meet on the street coming in and doing a No-Sweat Intro, a 60% sign-up rate sounds pretty low. But in digital marketing, that’s actually a pretty high sign-up rate. And in the beginning when you’re mostly working off an audience of of warm clients, 60% is doable. Now in a different role on the roadmap where we’re talking about organic marketing and affinity marketing. 60% isn’t high enough, but in the digital marketing row it is. The sixth milestone in that row is to track your ROAS, which is return on ad spend for two months because we want you to always be aware of what you’re spending to get a client in comparison to what that client is spending in front-end revenue. The important thing to know here isn’t what the specifics are.
Maybe you’re grabbing a pen and that’s OK. You can rewind. The important thing to know is that each step on the map builds on the step before. As you level up from milestone a milestone, you get closer to wealth. You also move through three or four big giant phases on the map. The founder phase, the farmer phase, the tinker phase and the thief phase. You need different mentorship at each stage, but I wrote a whole book about that so I won’t dig into it here. There are literally over 40 areas of your business that you have to master. It’s a lot, no surprise, but the key is to have a guide. Your mentor is your guide and your mentor helps you identify your greatest burning fires and your greatest opportunities. Then they make sure that you have step by step instructions to move forward and they hold you accountable for doing the work.
Then you work on the next opportunities and steps when you’re done. It took me almost well over 10 years to take my gym from a level one to a level 10 in most of these cases. But we’re now seeing gyms travel through the entire roadmap and around 2.5 years. That means they’re getting from start-up to owner wealth in two and a half years. A lot of us never got there and a lot of us took well over a decade and a lot of us still aren’t there. But these new guys, it means their gyms are growing four times faster than mine ever did. And it’s not because of the new secrets of Facebook marketing. It’s because of clarity. They don’t have distraction. They’re moving forward in a straight line. So all this talk is about a tool that we use in Two-Brain, but if you’re not in Two-Brain, how do you know what to do next?
Here’s my advice on filtering ideas and getting some sense of direction. If you’re out there in the wild all alone, we’re going to talk about ideas, tactics, seminars, mentorship books. You know, how to get focus no matter what you’re doing. So I said that a mentor helps you build a plan and stick to it. Entrepreneurship is cool now. Guys like Gary Vaynerchuk and Elon Musk make the dream accessible to the common person. That means there’s more information, more help, more ideas than ever before. Every single day an entrepreneur can choose between a thousand new podcast episodes, including this one. Thank you. 2000 blog posts or hundreds of new videos on YouTube. Access to information is no longer the problem. Everyone has enough good ideas. The new problem is overwhelm. We fail to take action because we’re paralyzed by having too many opportunities. We don’t see how each idea or tactic or habit fits into a larger plan.
So we take a shotgun approach to improving our business and we don’t have filters for the sources of our information. So we trust that everything on the internet is true even when we know it’s not. Because we want to believe. A mentor’s role is to help you sort ideas—your own ideas or the great ones that you find elsewhere—and build them into your plan. Then a mentor’s role is to help you stick to your plan or shift it to match your strengths if it’s not working. if you’re trying to build a plan without a mentor, this might help. Below is a hierarchy of business knowledge. So if you imagine a big triangle, these things are at the bottom. These are the lowest value use of your time and attention.
This might surprise you. First is motivational memes on the internet. You know, like, I need to tie my hair in a ponytail and you know, just get at it, be the boss, need to put on my big-girl panties and just go. You know, there’s also rants, and sometimes there’s like vision posts, right? These have low value, they have very high potential of overwhelm. But a lot of entrepreneurs just eat them up like they’re not a waste of time. We all love motivational memes about business, but unless they clearly say, do this one thing right now, they’re useless. And even if they do say, take this specific action, you should invest your time in something more valuable if there isn’t a clear path to increased revenue from like a Facebook rant or a Facebook post or a meme, you know, and while I’m on this topic, like a lot of entrepreneurs post rants on Twitter or Facebook or wherever else, don’t read them, they’re just texturbation.
The next layer is you’re moving up the hierarchy of knowledge and tactics and strategies, ideas, tips, tactics, and podcast episodes. This layer has value, but it also carries a huge potential for overwhelm. I mean at Two-Brain alone, we publish every single day. Every single blog post, podcast episode and video carries an actionable idea. Every idea has been tested and proven to work with mounds of data, but nobody can implement them all. A mentor’s job is to help you identify where you’re strong and keep you focused on those tactics. A mentor who simply throws ideas at you isn’t helping and they’re probably slowing you down. The next layer of value moving up the pyramid, this is the next layer of value for your time and attention is peer support. So online groups, masterminds, chambers of commerce and business mixers all have value. The best groups are curated for quality people and moderated for quality discussion, but it’s almost impossible to tell the difference between opinion and advice and it’s definitely impossible to spot outright lies.
Nobody posts pictures of their burned dinner on Facebook and nobody shares business failings either. We actually tell our Incubator clients to take a short Facebook fast and only invite them to our private Facebook group and growth phase where peer support becomes more important. Any entrepreneurs group online or in person is only as good as its filters. If you want to have a laugh sometime, go in a gym owners Facebook group and look at the posts from some of the people who you know, put themselves out as experts, then go on LinkedIn and look at that person’s profile. I’m not saying this happens all the time, but often you’ll see somebody posing as an expert on the gym business on Facebook and seeking a job on LinkedIn or saying, I’m trying to sell my gym. It’s funny. But more valuable than pure support is actual education.
So presumably lectures and books and seminars are created by people who have actually been successful and are willing to share their tactics. So this next layer up the pyramid is more valuable than pure support because of the higher-level filters. There are editors and publishers and stages like TED talks. So presumably someone who knows something is filtering out the bad ideas and the noise. It’s not just a catch-all anymore. But many good business books would make a great blog post because there’s not much good information past the first chapter and the filters to publish a book are lower than ever. Trust me on that. My advice is to read or watch until the expert becomes repetitive and then move on. Even in a one-way educational monologue like a book or a podcast episode, you still have the choice to close the book or leave the auditorium.
You can even hit stop on this podcast right now. The next layer of the pyramid is a two-way education, a dialogue. These are courses, seminars and workshops in which the host help the attendees apply the content to their specific challenges. Now, I no longer run two-day seminars where I get up and lecture, because they don’t help. When Two-Brain started just over four years ago, I was traveling around a lot and doing these seminars. The problem was that people were replacing the value of the seminar in their brain with like a cheaper version of mentorship and they’re not even in the same ballpark. So now we run action-based summits where a speaker introduces a topic and then attendees apply it to their business on the spot. And we only do that once a year. If you’re attending a summit or a seminar, one of the best tactics I learned last year was to leave a seminar as soon as you learn one good thing and then spend the rest of the weekend in your hotel room working on that thing.
So you know, book the hotel room for three nights and then go to the seminar. Take one piece of paper. When you hear one good actionable idea, write it on the piece of paper. Go to your hotel room and take action on it right away. That’s far more valuable than amassing ideas and taking action on none, but very few people do it. Now I’m sharing this process knowing that it might sound like I’m saying you need to get a mentor, and I am. Every successful person in business, in sport, in anything has a professional coach. You need someone to break down your journey, starting from your goal and working backward, who has an objective eye and they’re not looking at things through the lens of your history. Fitness coaches are really good at this process, but business owners sometimes forget how to do it and the overwhelming number of business books, ideas, podcasts, and videos makes the path to wealth unclear.
If you’re a fitness coach, you’re good at filtering out pseudoscience and crazy workout ideas and giving your clients are really clear path. I’m a business mentor, and I’m good at filtering out bad and overwhelm to give my clients a clear path. It’s taken us years and tens of thousands of one-on-one phone calls with entrepreneurs to do it, but we’ve mapped the path to wealth now, real wealth, and that’s the Two-Brain roadmap. We provide mentorship through the entire roadmap. So you remember that I said there are four phases you’re going to have to journey through on your path to wealth. I named those four phases founder phase, farmer phase, tinker phase, and thief phase. Loosely speaking, founder phase is from $0, you know, you’re open but you haven’t made any money yet, to the point where you’re hitting break even. Your business pays for itself. Farmer phase is from break even to functional retirement.
Functional retirement means you might still want to go to work every day, but you don’t have to. You make more than enough money and you are completely replaced in primary service delivery roles at your gym if you want to. It’s basically the point where you can go to the beach or you can go to work and you’re the one who can decide. More and more gyms are hitting this point and they’re getting there faster and faster than ever if they stay focused. The tinker phase, the third phase, is from functional retirement to financial independence. So basically this is where your money starts working for you and your money has babies and it’s creating more wealth without you doing more work, you stop trading money for time or time for money. The fourth phase is thief phase which is financial independence to legacy, and that just means that your wealth creates opportunities for other people after you’re gone, you’ve built a legacy. I wrote “Founder, Farmer, Tinker, Thief” to share those steps with everyone and break down a lot of the process, but the roadmap is a lot more granular. So now all these things together form a plan. To make an effective plan, you need some distance from your current situation. You need an objective, dispassionate eye. That’s where a mentor comes in. A mentor is there to identify what you really need and help you identify the best tactics to provide the best support and to supply the right amount of accountability. For example, many new Two-Brain clients say, I need more clients. Then they’ll cite an Instagram tactic they saw in a Facebook group somewhere, but then they’ll say, I don’t have time to do that. So the mentor guides them through the work that will get them more time first, and that’s part of the incubator.
Then the mentor says, let’s determine how we’re going to spend your time. That’s part of building an annual plan which comes at the start of our growth phase of mentorship. If the Instagram tactic will actually generate more clients and we’ve tested it and there’s data saying that it will, then the mentor builds it into the plan. From there, the mentor’s role is to help the entrepreneur fill their time with the best plan for him or her at that moment. They use the roadmap to identify those opportunities and the gym owner moves ahead really fast. Do you see? You could try to do all the things or you could invest your time and budget wisely, doing the right things at the right time to the exclusion of all the noise and overwhelm and wrong ideas. You can spend 2020 the same way you spent 2019, making guesses, trying to do everything and feeling overwhelmed or you can get a mentor.
This is what I realized in 2008 when I found my first mentor, and it’s why I have a mentor today. As you become more successful, the choices just get bigger. The ideas just get better and there’s more opportunities to get pulled off track. So now my tactic is always to ask myself, who has solved this problem before me? And then contact that person, pay them whatever it costs to learn from them and jump ahead instead of trying to ram my way through taking three years in $1 million to do it and risking my health. Good mentors are teachers, coaches, therapists, and trusted confidantes. Great mentors know how to fill all those roles, but the best mentors know which hat to wear and when to move you toward wealth. And the best mentors have a map to follow. Everyone on our mentoring team has been trained to be teachers, coaches, therapists, and trusted advisors.
They all have different personalities because there’s no one size fits all when it comes to mentorship. We’re not a call center or a helpline or a group of consultants. We’re smart, caring and experienced professionals who have been where you are now and mapped the path to wealth for you. I hope it helps, because the biggest thing that stops entrepreneurs is not fear. It’s not that they lack great ideas, it’s that they don’t know where to turn for tested ideas that have been proven by data, and they don’t know which ones to do first. That’s been my mission for the last 18 months, to create a roadmap like this that spells out step by step what you have to do to become successful. And to do that, we had to start by defining what success is and then working backward. But we’ve finally done it and members of Two-Brain are raving about it. So thank you the Two-Brain family for being so excited about the roadmap. Congratulations to all of you who have earned badges and prizes and secret unlocks and all the cool stuff along the way to the gym owner out there who’s listening and they’re not sure if they want or can afford or need mentorship. I strongly encourage you to find somebody outside your business who will take an objective eye, who will charge you money so that you’ll be held accountable for it and who will actually guide you toward wealth because you deserve it.
Thank you for listening to Two-Brain Radio. I’m Chris Cooper and I’m here every Thursday. Every Wednesday, Sean Woodland brings you the best stories from the fitness community. Every Monday, we’ll bring you marketing tips and success stories from our clients. Please subscribe to Two-Brain Radio and share this show with any friends we can help.
Chris Cooper delivers the best of the business world on Two-Brain Radio every Thursday.
On Monday, Two-Brain Radio presents marketing tips and success stories, and Sean Woodland has great stories from the community on Wednesdays.
Thanks for listening!
To share your thoughts:
- Leave a note in the comment section below.
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Share this show on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.
To help out the show: