You need time to work on your business, but you just don’t have it. Today, on Two-Brain Radio, Chris Cooper will help you create time no matter what stage of business you’re in.
Hey guys, this is Chris. And today I’m gonna talk to you about something very simple, and that is how to make time to grow your business. We’re all dealing with overwhelm. I wrote the book “Founder, Farmer, Tinker, Thief” to help you decide what you need to do at each stage of your business or what you need to do, depending on how you’re spending your time or how profitable your business is right now. We’ve got a brand new rewrite of that book coming out this month that should narrow things down a little bit and give you some more clarity instead of just more ideas that cause even more overwhelm. So today I want to tell you how to set aside the time you need to actually build your business. And this came up because I was working with some gym owners in our growth program, and we were doing this thing called the hundred lead challenge.
And my goal was to get everybody in that growth program a hundred leads in 30 days. And some people did it in three and a half days or something, and they won a little prize and it was awesome. But some people said, Coop, I don’t have 30 minutes a day to work on this. And I thought, uh, oh, if they’re so busy, they don’t have time or 30 minutes a day to spend on just getting leads to grow their business, their business is just gonna naturally go backward. You do lose some clients, no matter what. And you have to be attracting new clients. That doesn’t happen by accident, but it can happen predictably if you spend time working on it. And if you don’t have time to spend working on that, then your business will probably shrink. So today, depending on which stage you are in your business, I’m gonna tell you exactly what you need to do.
So founder phase is when you first open up your business, you’re kind of doing everything yourself. You’re wearing all the hats. You’re scrambling, you’re hustling and grinding. And you’re probably working from 6:00 AM until eight at night and thinking about your business when you’re not at your business. When you’re at this stage, the best advice that I ever got was if you’re not spending 45 hours coaching, then you spend all of the other time in that 45 hours working on things that will grow your business. So look at your week, add up all the hours that you’re spending coaching. What is that number? It’s probably not 45. Let’s say that you’re spending 30 hours a week coaching one on one, nutrition or group training. That means you’ve got 15 hours a week where you have to work on your business. Now you’re probably working more hours than that at your gym, right?
So what are you doing for all that other time? That’s not for me to say, you can do a time audit if you want, but you’re probably scrolling social media. You’re probably working out. You’re probably mopping, stuff that doesn’t actually grow your business. So if you’re in the founder phase, you have to create the discipline to actually work 15 hours on recruiting new clients. What would you do with 15 hours? There’s so much. You could grab coffee and take a coffee to all of the businesses around you, create like a referral black hole in your neighborhood. You could start an email campaign, right? You could set up an email list and you could start a daily blog every day. You could film some content for video that goes on Instagram, you could set up a Facebook ads funnel. In 15 hours a week,
There is so much you could do. You could set up goal reviews with your clients. You could set up a better referral program. You could read books on referrals, but the key here is that you’re actually spending the time to grow your business, instead of just showing up and waiting for stuff to happen. If you’re in the farmer phase, which means you’ve reached a point where you’ve hired some staff, at least one person that’s helping you out and you’re trying to grow your business. And you’re trying to create more income so that you can pay them. Maybe they’re earning more than you, whatever. Maybe you’re struggling because they don’t do it as well as you do it. Or your clients complain when you’re not there. What you need to do is buy yourself time in this phase. So the purpose of hiring staff for any role in your business is to buy you the time to work on higher value things in the business.
This is true. Whether you’re hiring a coach, a personal trainer, a nutritionist, a specialist, a cleaner, an admin, or a VA. The purpose of buying this person’s time is to create more time that you can spend creating more revenue than it costs you to hire that person. If it costs you 30 bucks a class to pay a coach, your job is to use that class time to generate more than $30 in revenue. This is how you grow the pie by hiring staff. And so what you have to do though, is not get sucked into this trap of like managing staff that takes up the same amount of time that they’re spending working. So if it takes you an hour to manage your staff, like you’re just watching them run a class. You’re looking over their shoulder as they do a PT session, you are, you know, watching every move that they make, then you’re not creating value with that person.
So in the farmer phase, the way that you make time to grow your business, is you schedule it. If you are coaching the morning classes, then you need to work on your business for one hour, right after you coach the morning classes, ideally you would work on your business before you work in your business. So you show up to work an hour early, or you block off the first hour. You hire somebody else to run that morning class, take that morning client and use that first hour to work on your business. What worked for me is not sleeping in an hour. It’s not spending the first hour of my day working from home. When I was in the farmer phase of gym ownership, what worked for me best was getting to the gym at the exact same time, going into my office, closing the door, drawing the blinds.
My office had windows, and working for one hour. Back then I would spend time working on the blog and sending out emails to my clients. Around 2012, I started sharing that stuff on Facebook, but I stayed disciplined to that one hour, the hour when I was sharpest and most creative and most alert and least distracted to work on my business. OK. I’ll tell you, working from home would not have worked for me. Maybe it’ll work for you, maybe your best to roll up, you know, get the espresso machine, going, sit down on the couch and write for an hour. But for me, I don’t get into that work headspace, unless I’m actually at work. In the tinker phase, you need to block off one day a week to work on tinker level projects. So one of the myths of entering tinker phase, where your gym is running by itself, you’re pulling out money and you’re reinvesting in the next thing.
You’re leading a team that basically like runs the gym. You have some freedom of time and you have some freedom of finance. A big mistake that people make is they think like, well, that’s it, I’m outta my gym. Now I’ve got, my week is wide open. I can do anything with my time. Really entering tinker phase just means that you could saw one day off your week to work on other projects. Work the next thing. OK. And it doesn’t even have to be a specific day. I pick Friday, other people use Friday, but you could do two mornings. My recommendation is that you take Friday to work on other projects. And you’ve probably heard of this strategy at like Google, where a lot of the engineers are free to take their Fridays and work on other projects that will benefit Google. You can do the same thing for your own business and your own wealth and your own family.
And your own legacy, is work Monday to Thursday on your gym business. But Friday you take off to learn about investing, to learn about real estate, right? To learn about leadership, to explore options like starting a T-shirt company or whatever that is. You take Friday to work on tinker level stuf. Being in the tinker phase. Again, it doesn’t mean that you’re completely free of the gym. You have unlimited time and money and you don’t know what to do with yourself. It just means that you can afford to take one day to work on the next level thing, to build your platform, to build your wealth, to create a legacy. Sometimes on a Friday, I don’t know what to do with myself. So you know what I do, I get on my little tractor and I go cut somebody else’s lawn. Or I go clear the snow out somebody else’s driveway.
Or I go for a hike with my chainsaw and I cut down trees and I chop firewood. If I don’t know what to do with my myself on the Friday, I don’t go to work. I maintain that discipline by finding things to do outside of work. So right now, what am I doing on Fridays? I’m learning how to run a self-storage business, which I’ll be hiring somebody for and handing off. I talk to bankers about private equity lending and stuff like that. I talk to tinkerers, I explore other business ideas. Sometimes I’ll get on the phone with somebody that owns a completely different business and just brainstorm with them about stuff. And I get on a call with my mentor to help guide me to what’s next. In the thief phase, the fourth phase, where you’ve got a big wealth platform that creates revenue, like you’re living off your investments, basically.
How do you create time for that stuff? You set up meetings.You set up meetings for yourself to work on projects, to research on projects. You block time in your calendar to meet with other people at your phase. I do this over lunch. I love having lunch with people. And you block off certain periods in your year and your month and your week and your day when you’re going to be working on certain legacy projects. So here’s an example for me, and I’m not in this phase yet, but I am in like the late phases of tinker. And, so what I’ll do is I’ll say, OK, what are my legacy projects? One is teaching entrepreneurship and financial literacy to school kids. So I found an organization that does that. And what my job is going to be is Wednesday nights from six until eight I’ll work with kids in 11th and 12th grade on their make-believe project.
And then I’ll set up like a shark tank type thing with some local entrepreneurs where they can come in and pitch their idea and maybe get funding, right? So that’s one thing. Another legacy project that I work on is coaching hockey. So usually Monday, sometimes Friday, usually Thursday, and sometimes Sunday I’ll work on coaching that team and making myself a better coach. So the point is though that I schedule these things off because if not, what retirement looks like is a downward spiral of like boredom, playing Canasta, learning pickleball, declining health, obesity, you know, and like numbing, your brain goes downhill. This is how to set up the time to work on your business. It’s one of the first things that we teach in our ramp up program, because while ramp up can really get you far really, really fast in like 12 weeks, you have to have the mental, emotional, and labor intensive bandwidth to do that. Hope this helps.
Two-Brain Radio hits the air twice a week and features all the info you need to run a successful fitness business. Subscribe so you don’t miss a show. Now here’s Coop one more time.
Thanks for listening to Two-Brain Radio. If you aren’t in the Gym Owners United group on Facebook, this is my personal invitation to join. It’s the only public Facebook group that I participate in. And I’m there all the time with tips, tactics, and free resources. I’d love to network with you and help you grow your business. Join Gym Owners United on Facebook.