Driven Nutrition: Consistency Brings Success in a Tough Market

Jason Rule-Blog

Andrew: 00:02 – Welcome to Two-Brain Radio. This week, your host is Jay Williams with guest Jason Rule of Driven Nutrition. But before we get to that interview, here’s a message from Chris Cooper.

Chris: 00:11 – 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 and don’t forget to subscribe to Two-Brain Radio wherever you get your podcasts.

Jay: 00:31 – So Jason, welcome and thank you for joining me.

Jason: 00:33 – Oh man, thanks for having me on again. I appreciate it, Jay.

Jay: 00:35 – So for the new listeners, can you give a quick background on who Driven Nutrition is and why you started it?

Jason: 00:43 – Sure. So I started my first supplement company 15 years ago. I used to own some stores and the supplement industry, like you said, it’s very competitive and it’s competitive both within brands but also within the industry to where you have retail establishments that are trying to pay their bills by selling a reputable brand. So that means that they need to have a solid product, a solid marketing plan behind it, but also good margins to be able to maintain, to be able to stock the products and get their bills paid. So after doing that for about six years, I started seeing the life cycle of a supplement company selling us out as far as an industry goes. So I kind of took the tact of, well, what if I just start finding a good contract manufacturer and start producing products for my stores? I would have that outlet. Well, that company grew, that’s been 15 years now. And seven, almost eight years ago now, we started having CrossFit gyms reach out to us and they kept saying, you know, I don’t care if I make a profit. I just want a really good product to offer my members. And they had this fascinating lingo, right? Like pre-WOD, what do you take post-WOD? I was like that’s kind of cultish. I kinda dig it cause I like groups and I was so blown away at how supportive everyone was and how kind and there was no ego involved, but what struck me was so many of these owners were coming from a service mentality, like past firefighters, law enforcement, military, like they have a mindset of serving their members.

Jay: 02:16 – But the simple phrase of I don’t care if I make a profit really scared me from an industry standpoint. So I was telling them flat out like, look, that’s admirable that you want to sell a product that’s going to help your members. That’s how you should be doing it. But if you’re coming at it from the standpoint of you don’t care if you make a profit, that’s really stupid. Here’s the thing. Like there’s no part of business that, in my opinion, there’s no part of business that you should go into it with a standpoint of, I don’t care if I make a profit. If it’s something that your members or your clientele are already doing, bring it in if it’s something you believe in and make sure that you’re making enough profit to make it worth your while. If you can’t do the latter, push it over to somebody else and then let them make the profit and then just make referral and then go focus on whatever it is that you choose to do in your business that’s generating enough revenue to make it justify that time.

Jason: 03:05 – So that’s really what we leaned hard into. And we started working with gyms from scratch and said, look, if we start a brand from scratch, what do you need? And so they started making a list. You know, we need good tasting, high quality protein, we need amino acids. We need creatine, we need, you know, the list went on and on and on. And now we’re up to 70, 75 odd skews right now. We listened to the products they needed, but more I listened to what did they actually need beyond the products in terms of product training for them, product training for their coaches, mindset shifting, like getting away from, I don’t care if I make a profit to how do we actually turn this into a business unit in our gym where it’s a retail leg that we can stand on instead of just being, you know, this one pole of revenue of memberships. So, we start day one with my goal is with the exception of memberships to become the most profitable part of the gym. And that’s been our Northstar since.

Jay: 04:06 – So just back up one, one second. So you created this, line as something you could sell at your stores. How did you bridge the gap between selling at the stores and selling to gyms? Like were you distributing it to other places?

Jason: 04:21 – No, so yeah, so that’s a good question. So I actually got out of stores after nine years in it. I was well outside of stores for about three years before Driven even came to be. So I’ve been in the supplement industry for a little over 20 years.

Jason: 04:39 – OK. Yeah. So it’s basically like you saw kind of a need in the market, you started asking questions and then you developed on the back of that.

Jason: 04:46 – Right, right, exactly.

Jay: 04:48 – And you said you have like 75 different products. What did you start with?

Jason: 04:54 – Initially or with driven?

Jay: 04:57 – With Driven, what was the first product?

Jason: 05:01 – Driven whey. Offering it in two pounds and five pounds. We started with two flavors and then we transitioned to six and now we’re at a limited edition, chocolate peanut butter whey. And then it’ll retract actually back down to six again.

Jay: 05:18 – And roughly how many gyms do you work with now?

Jason: 05:22 – So I think just about five minutes ago, I onboarded 1623. So over 1600 gyms is what have been onboarded. I think probably active 11 to 1200. You know, you’ve been at it for seven years, so some have closed and some don’t work with us anymore.

Jay: 05:40 – How do gyms normally find you?

Jason: 05:44 – So, that was something I discovered early on of how viral CrossFit was, but also how genuine it was. And so from day one when I onboard at a gym is I take them through a process, teach them how do you introduce products, but also tell them like, by default, I want to do such a good job for you that when you’re talking with other gym owners and they say, hey, what do you do for supplements? It’s not I do this or I do that. It’s a flat out, if you’re not working with Jason at Driven, you’re missing the boat. So I preface that as part of doing business together. And I know that that’s a two-way street from a stance that if I say that to you, Jay, that may not mean that you’re going to generate $100,000 in revenue.

Jason: 06:29 – But that also means that in order for you to feel comfortable recommending gyms to do that, then my door has to be open to where when we do screw up, which we do, we own it and you have a direct pipeline to meet where we’re able to address it, fix it because if we’re messing up for one owner, then we’re messing up for hundreds or thousands of them. So what that’s led to is that trust within the marketplace to where when our gyms are working with us, they do talk and they do share information. And these are endorsements that that can’t be bought. They’re genuine, felt Driven is the best direction that a gym could go. And if a gym doesn’t feel that way, then they shouldn’t be working with us. So word of mouth, short answer, word of mouth, but very intentional with it.

Jay: 07:24 – OK. So I’m glad you made that distinction because as I’m thinking, as a gym owner, it’s sort of like when I asked gym owners, where do their clients come from? If they don’t have any sort of paid marketing campaigns out there, it’s always word of mouth. Right? But then I ask them, OK, well how are you generating word of mouth? And very few of them actually have a plan for how they’re doing that. And the plan, you know, and if they do, the plan kind of sounds similar where it’s like, OK, we provide the best product, we’re the best coaches, best community, best facility in the area. So people tell their friends, but that’s not enough. Right? There’s gotta be more to it than that. So it definitely can’t be enough for your company with all the competition out there. So what do you actually do to promote and kind of enhance that word of mouth on your end?

Jason: 08:20 – Collaborative relationships, And it took me about three years before I got comfortable with that, to where I started reaching out to industry experts. There were consultants in the space, but all other supplement companies were playing the short game. They were, Hey, advertise, advertise, advertise. And I took the different tact of working with the gyms and trying to build enough value to where when whether they were a consultant or they worked for a consultant’s agency or they were a client themselves to where, you know, I would put a bug in their ear and be like, Hey, if we’re doing a good job for you, please give us a shout out. Whether it’s the affiliate owners group, I’m a big fan of the phrase, do me a favor. And because it’s so powerful, if I’ve done a good enough job for you and your gym, and if I reach out out of the blue and you’re not comfortable doing me a favor, I want to know why, first of all. So we can fix that to where you are comfortable doing that. But finding those collaborative relationships really allowed us to go to the next level and that meant working with consultants in the space, like Two-Brain, and several others within the space.

Jay: 09:26 – Yeah, that’s OK. That’s so great. So this is why I wanted to talk to you because in your industry, it’s the same industry, but in particular product line that you’re selling, there are like millions of companies, right, that are offering lots of stuff with celebrity endorsements and all of this kind of stuff. It’s really hard to stand out in that with all of that noise. And I think what gym owners are finding is that the same thing is happening in their small towns or even their bigger towns. It’s like there’s more gyms like theirs or you know, something in that area and it’s really hard to stand out with all of that noise. And as a result, some gyms have just either given up or they end up on this cycle of spending more and more money to try to bring new clients in. You know, how would you approach this if you were a gym owner with that same kind of approach? Like how would you ask for referrals or how would you create a good enough product to generate those referrals?

Jason: 10:34 Those are two very distinct questions. I’ll start with number one is I would, same thing I do with Driven is I would make it part of doing business together during the onboarding process, during the first initial phases. Not promising. What I’m going to do for you in terms of the results that we’re going to get. You know, going down the goal checklist of things that you’re wanting to accomplish as an individual, but also going through and reiterating like these are things that we’re going to make sure that you do, but we’re going to be such a valuable service to you and these goals and your family that we fully expect that when people start talking about exercising or their stress levels or their diets are crap or they’re not sleeping well, that you pull them into the gym, you physically grab ahold of them and bring them in and make an introduction to where we can serve them better.

Jason: 11:18 As far as getting it out to the community within the areas where they are, Alexander did something so special a couple of years ago. He works with you guys and I don’t know where the idea came from, but I was so impressed of he worked with his members who had businesses and he actually took a film crew and he went and interviewed those businesses. So he created this expose about how great this business was. Who is a person that’s spending money with him. And I think that that’s something that I think that all businesses get caught up in this popularity contest of, Hey, let’s be cool. Let’s be sexy. Let’s try to get attention to ourselves. And you know, I shared with you the other day on the phone. I think that competence will get you attention, but mastery will get you respect and finding out what it is you can master and get really good at and then share that experience with others is what gets that attention in the space.

Jason: 12:20 – And then clapping for the people who are actually paying you money. And I get so frustrated, I look at some of these gyms that start working with us and I never see them post about how great a member does. Now I may see some PR pics and PR videos and it’s intimidating, but I never see them actually brag about a person or a person’s business, realizing that that person has bills to pay just like they do. So if you direct business over to them, they’ll most likely reciprocate. And you know, they have a tendency to follow all of these famous CrossFitters, but they’re not following the people who are paying them money. So from a very basic level, follow every single one of your members on Instagram and then cheer for them when they have a birthday or when their dog dies, send them a note of consolidation or whatever the word is. You know, I’m sorry. Condolences. I’m sorry that that happened to you. So staying in touch and staying in communication with those guys instead of being in the space of, Hey, I want to pay attention to what’s popular right now. The people who are paying you money should be the most popular part of your business in terms of what you’re paying attention to.

Jay: 13:30 – So if I could like summarize, it’s almost like providing amazing service as a start. Then, you know, celebrate the people that you are providing that service for, whether it’s them getting some sort of results or you know, helping them with their business and then ask them for a favor.

Jason: 13:54 – Yeah. Ask them for a favor.

Jay: 13:56 – Yeah. That’s, I mean, that’s great advice because you wouldn’t ask for that favor unless you earned it.

Jason: 14:03 – Yeah. So here’s something that’s relevant. Just yesterday we did a live training inside of one of our gym owners group. He actually invited us into his Facebook group and we did a live training. So his members had questions about, Hey, what does this do? What does this do? So we actually went into the training and once we stopped going live, we were still jamming back and forth. He got a text message within 60 seconds of when I hit end and one of his members had shot back a message and said, dude, that was the most amazing thing I’ve ever listened to. And like, I’m looking at it like, Oh, you know, it’s just normal supplements. But it really struck a chord with this member. He goes, that was the most amazing thing I’ve listened to. Is it going to be saved out there to where I can listen to it again? And it’s like, yeah, absolutely. So he read that to me. He’s laughing. I said, do me a favor, take a screenshot of that and then share it up into a group, whatever group it is. Tag us in it and then, you know, give us a little bit of applause for what we just did. I would be grateful.

Jay: 15:03 – OK. So you did a basically a live webinar for a single gym. And how many people were on that thing?

Jason: 15:11 – I don’t know.

Jay: 15:13 – But it was more than zero.

Jason: 15:15 – Yeah. Yeah. You know. Well, what we did was we scheduled it a week in advance so he would be prepared, but he could also quiz his members. So, kind of, it’s not just a matter of going live. So that’s some of the things that we do is not just set the goal out there, but set up the path towards that goal for these gyms. And one of those things is, Hey, let’s do a Facebook live training. Here’s the things you need to do in order for it to be worthwhile for you as well as for us.

Jay: 15:42 – And this was you doing this, right? This wasn’t like, you know, this was you that was running it?

Jason: 15:48 – Yeah, yeah. I was in it. And so it was Tyler Shamnas who we hired who’s a product training specialist. So we brought him on to try to pull me away from some of that, but also he knows the products incredibly well.

Jay: 16:02 – Yeah. I guess the reason I underline this is you have 1600 gyms that you work with. You know, you said 1100 of them are fairly active. I would guess that, you know, you have some that are just like crushing it, right. And yet you took the time out to work with one of them on one of their challenges and maybe they have 50, a hundred clients and of those maybe 10 or 15 that might actually tune in.

Jason: 16:28 – Yeah, as I was answering your question, it hit me like I can picture Chris Cooper, like, dude, know your numbers, know your numbers so I can make this metric count. But really in the end, it’s not just the one or the two or the 50,000 people that listen to it. To me it’s a matter of is this a process that we can duplicate out and it will actually bring value to us. So I believe that I’ll do it five times, I’ll do it 10 times or a hundred times, whatever it takes to make it a good finished product that we can then scale out and schedule for every gym that we onboard to actually be the best product that we can.

Jay: 17:08 – The reason I highlight that is because as gym owners, business owners, you know, we always read books like “The E Myth” and you know, “Clockwork” and things like that that talk about scaling. And talk about the operations guides and things like that and we kind of jump into this frame of we need to scale up, you know, we need to make this easier. And it’s like, you know, most of the gyms that are listening to this have somewhere between 150, you know, maybe even a hundred and 200 members. It’s like you can talk to each one of those members every month, you know, and if you’re giving them what they need then they can’t help or recommend to somebody else. And so the point I want to underline there is like before you start scaling up, make sure that you’re helping the people that need the help. You know, you can get to 1600 members before you start worrying about scaling up certain aspects of things.

Jason: 18:08 – Yeah. And hopefully you do. And if you find like what we did, I think it was probably three years ago, I was really disappointed with our own onboarding process. They were taking an hour and a half. We actually shut down signups for about two or three months. We stopped letting affiliates sign up to sell our stuff because I looked at it and I said, we suck. Like we can distribute really well, but I’m not getting the message through to these guys. The calls were taking an hour and a half. Our follow-up system really was pretty haphazardly thrown away. And since then, you know, we turned it on 90 days later. I felt that it was the best product that we could launch at the time. But since then we’ve probably rebuilt it four or five times. And actually we’re just about to launch a new one here in the next two weeks. So the people that onboard at a month ago are going to be in a completely different frame of mind and training process than the ones that will be onboarding in a couple of weeks.

Jay: 19:02 – Can I ask you just a little bit left field question? Like why do you do what you do? What is your mission? What is the mission behind Driven?

Jason: 19:10 – Our North star is always, does it help affiliates? Does it help the people who are building our brand? And is it something that we can do, and if we answer yes to those things then we add it to the development board and we figured out how do we one either take the bandwidth to do it or hire someone to find the money to go do it. But I think I do it because there’s, like you said, there’s a lot of competitors in the space and so many of them are either combination of two things. They’re a hell of a lot smarter than I am. So they’re able to take a look at the analytics and they’re able to say, OK, if I spend $10 I can make 11. And then they get that down and then they spend as much money in advertising and they scale up.

Jason: 19:55 – Right. So, the other part is they’re smarter or they have a lot more money so they can advertise and they hire, you know, people to promote their products. So the only thing that I know I can do is I can pay attention. I can try to find out where that opening is and where that weaknesses in the market, where we can actually serve and deliver that. And if we find there’s an opening in the market, but we can’t serve and deliver a good product there we just stay out of it. So that’s really what kind of gets my wheels spinning.

Jay: 20:29 – Yeah. So when we talked a couple weeks ago, you basically said, you know, you’ve grown from zero to 1600 clients, but you had some major challenges in the last 24 months from competition. Can you, without using any names, can you kind of tell me a little bit about what happened?

Jason: 20:48 – Sure. So what we do is we teach gyms how to effectively and ethically offer supplements to their members. Selling it, training on it. The list goes on and on. And it was really a challenging experience for us because a player came into the space, came in and really took off like wildfire. They did that scaling thing, right? They came in, they spent a mountain of money. They brought people in, but they started training gyms to sell supplements in really a greasy way. I’m not gonna pull punches on that. They were teaching their gyms and their coaches to literally lie about the cost that they were selling it to them at. Then they were getting them on subscriptions and they were selling, I mean, for example, they were selling two-pound protein retail and it was like 110, 120 and they were telling they were training coaches and owners, so this is what was taught. You know, Jay, I’m going to be able to give you this product at my cost as the gym owner. So it’s $85 for two pounds of protein. So not only is hat doing a major disservice to the member because these are commodities, like these are products that eventually the member’s going to be like, you know what? You’re full of shit. There’s only so many times you can sell a protein for 85 bucks before people just like, I don’t believe this is actually your cost. So that erodes the market, but it also gives your coaches a bad taste, I hope. So a lot of gyms came in, they followed that system and we never actually saw it decrease. Like, thankfully we’ve grown the last three, the last four years, we’ve basically doubled business every year.

Jason: 22:36 – Last year, we didn’t hit the double mark, but we continued growing, but I noticed a decline in some of our gyms that have been with us for six months or a year. So that really gave me time to pause, evaluate, like, are we doing a good job? How do we take some of the things that are being taught but still keep our DNA congruent with not being a sleazeball.

Jay: 22:59 – So what ended up happening with those clients that you lost?

Jason: 23:03 – They’re coming back. So that was one thing I really struggled with. A couple of them actually were early adopters and some of what we do as far as our affiliate backend was actually copied. I never turned off their access just because I didn’t want to be that guy of like, Hey, you know, you moved on, so I’m pulling the switch. They’ve maintained access to our backend, maintained access to our pricing. And I just continued doing what I needed to do and it was probably about a year ago, I actually reached out to Chris Cooper, and just kind of vented a little bit about things that we were dealing with. And he gave me some really good advice. He said you know, what you’re what you’re doing is on the right track. You guys do it from the heart and you serve the community in a good capacity, he said, keep doing it. But shine a light on what’s different between you versus them. And basically drive draw that line in the sand, let people choose their side.

Jay: 24:08 – Yeah, that’s such a great story. And I think gym owners can relate. I mean, I had this happen to a much smaller extent at my gym where it’s like an Orangetheory opened around the corner and it’s the new thing. And if you’ve ever been to one, they’re very slick. You know, they’re slick, they’re clean, they’re very targeted in their market. You know, you go in and you do a very specific thing and there’s a theory behind it. And you know, for somebody that’s been doing this for a long time, looking for something new, it’s a new thing they can check out. What we found is six, eight, 12 months later, those people, we see them wandering around the neighborhood and they’ve put on 10 or 15 pounds and they’re going, yeah, I stopped doing that six, eight months ago cause it got boring. Because it’s not a program, it’s a theory. Right, right. And so we ended up saying, Hey, you know, come back. Like let’s just get started. You were in your best shape when you were with us. So let’s do that. And we just see that time and time again. And the difference really is, you know, if you have your values, if you’re focused on helping people in the best way possible, those people will eventually see that.

Jason: 25:24 – Right. And, so we kept the access, but I also used it as a learning experience. I’ve taken a look at the standpoint of the training, how can we improve our training as far as products goes? So we’ve actually, the last seven months, we’re wrapping it up. Like I said, the new portal will launch for our affiliates. We’ve got so across 70 or 75 skews, we’ve got three videos for each one of those products. And that will be delivered not only to the gym owner, but it will transition to make the introduction to the coaches, to where it does just focus on the product. And not only what it does, what are the questions of it, but the science behind the formula. So it’ll just basically have a little knock on it to where if your coaches haven’t made it through the journey, that’ll kind of knock, say, you know, Jay, you still need to finish the science of creatine, knock, knock. So we feel that it’s gonna be a good benefit, but that was part of the learning that I got out of how can we make what we do better without just resting on our laurels.

Jay: 26:26 – Yeah, absolutely. I mean, and that’s a big lesson if you have clients that are leaving your gym to go to the local Orangetheory or bodybuilding gym or whatever, find out what they’re doing. What are they getting at that place that maybe they aren’t getting with you or maybe they aren’t getting right message from you. That actually you can achieve that here. That’s great. So, you’ve pointed to a couple of things, but if I asked you to name like three or four things that your company that your supplement company does that no other supplement companies do, what would you point to?

Chris: 27:03 – Hey guys, Chris Cooper here. I wrote the bestselling fitness business book of all time, but I often think about taking it off the shelves. Here’s why. Business evolves quickly and while the ideas in my book “Two-Brain Business” still have value, my program has evolved. That’s where my most recent book comes in. In “Founder, Farmer, Tinker, Thief” I break the entrepreneur’s journey into stages because the things that work in the first stage don’t work in the second and vice versa. Everything I put in that book is based on thousands of hours on the phone with gym owners and tens of thousands of dollars in research. I know what works, when it works and why it works. I’m not just going to try and inspire you with pie-in-the-sky philosophy and memes about grinding and hustling. I’m going to give you step-by-step instructions based on what the best gyms in the world are doing to succeed. You can spin your tires like I did 10 years ago as a struggling gym owner or you can avoid my mistakes by reading a book based on a decade of knowledge. Check out “Founder, Farmer, Tinker, Thief” on Amazon. I wrote it to help people like you. And now, back to Two-Brain Radio.

Jason: 28:07 – To be 100% transparent, there’s so many supplement companies out there. So I can’t say that what makes us special, no other company does. I want to be honest on that. Some of the things that really set us apart is we have full disclosure labels. All of our products are fully dosed, but on the back you can read, flip the back around and you can actually see what’s in the product. There’s no proprietary blends claiming that we’re going to hide it because we made such an amazing formula that, you know, some ninja company’s going to steal our formula and then copy it. Like that’s crap. We have full disclosure on our labels. We have very solid price points on all of our products. There’s nothing is—I acknowledge that these are commodities, protein, creatines, amino acids, they’re commodities. We’re buying from high-grade manufacturers. We’re doing spectral analysis on every single raw that comes into the plant. So what we have after our finished product is the components of what went in the product.

Jason: 29:09 – So we do all of the testing on all of that. But we keep the price points in line where their members, your members can buy the products without overpaying for these products where there’s the proteins, creatines, amino acids, the pre-workouts. Anytime we have an opportunity to add more servings into it or improve on a product, we do. You know, our creatine and our amino acids or glutamine are good examples that instead of having a 30 serving, it’s a hundred-serving bottle. So most of these guys, it’s going to last anywhere between two to three to four months. So fully dosed disclosure labels, solid price points, and then pricing to the actual gym itself. Since we don’t do a lot on advertising, we don’t sponsor events, you know, I get anywhere between five to eight sometimes requests in some cases a day like, Hey, we’re having a competition, can you send me free stuff?

Jason: 30:05 – Like, no, like, no buy it. Our price point doesn’t allow that. So having an affordable price point for the gym to be able to buy the products to be able to offer it affordably to the members, but still maintain a strong enough margin to make it worthwhile. I think that’s what separates us. Oh, and one last thing is you’re only going to find our products on our website and on our Amazon store and it’s going to be at full retail price. And I actually encourage our gyms maintaining their margin, selling it just a little bit below our retail prices online. Then that way they’re able to say as an added value of being a member of our gym, we’re proud to save you some money on these products. So we actually use the internet, the pricing, the validation of the reviews on Amazon reviews on our website, our social media to validate the purchase within that gym itself. So that’s one thing that I can confidently say I’ve never seen another business do. I’ve never seen another supplement company use all of their leverage points to drive business to the retailer itself.

Jay: 31:12 – Yeah. You know, it’s interesting. That sounds a little bit like Costco actually, a little bit like Amazon as well, where, you know, Amazon has some different values, but it’s really just focused on like, OK, we’re not going to take advantage of the customer, right? We’re going to focus on giving them a really good product, the best product we can deliver at a really good price. And what’s interesting about your company is, you know, we’ve bought several things for the gym. We don’t make huge orders, but you know, the coaches keep coming back to, OK well we need the Driven stuff cause it’s, you know, it’s consistent. The pricing is better. And I know that if there’s a problem, I’m going to get a refund. It’s not going to be an issue. Don’t mean to sound like a sales pitch, but these are all like customer service basic things. So if we apply those to how you might run a gym, I mean you’re talking about delivering the best quality product, right. Pricing it in a way that is not taking advantage but allows you to run a business. And not offering discounts for any reason.

Jason: 32:28 – And not apologizing for the price, you know, which I know a lot of gym owners do. Like I’ve had gym owners be like, you know, I feel bad cause I had to buy a new vehicle and my members are saying, Oh, you know, you’re getting so rich. It’s like no, this is, I work 80 hours a week bro. Like, I need to be able to buy food for my family. I need to be able to pay my mortgage. And yes, if I want to buy a nice car, I want to be able to buy a nice car.

Jay: 32:50 – Yeah. Actually it should be the opposite. It’s like you should be proud that I take a vacation and that I ride a car and then I’m not basically martyring myself for you.

Jason: 33:03 – Yes. And I believe, I sincerely believe Jay, I think that wave has crested. I think there’s still some owners out there, but I think as a majority, gym owners are getting comfortable making a profit and not apologizing for it. And that’s one of the tough dances that we have to walk is we’re such a visible company in the space and it’s something that I’ve tried to figure out of how do I position our company and our message? Because really we’re built around affiliates to give you guys a profitable part of your business. We have to do that by offering amazing supplements at amazing prices and then the training that you need to be able to offer. So like, that’s our core business. So how do we maintain that message inside of that? And I don’t apologize for it, like, yes, I want your members to know that you’re going to make a profit from these supplements because I want them to buy it from you and they want you to be successful.

Jay: 33:59 – It’s like very transparent. I love it. So it sounds like a lot of your time and effort is spent on product development and helping to train the gym owners and stuff. What other type of marketing do you do?

Jason: 34:17 – We’re heavy in about three years ago I stumbled across Infusionsoft email management. So I’m kind of visually queued, like I can kind of see a map and I can figure out the train of where it needs to go. We get heavy into Infusionsoft you know, email marketing. I know you guys work with UpLaunch. I think that they’ve got one of the best systems as far as taking clients through that journey. We do quite a bit like on top of our lids itself, we have a scan code, a QR code, so if you scan it, it’ll take you through a journey on Facebook messenger. I really have a firm belief that you should communicate with the customer when they’re ready to communicate with you in the environment that they want to communicate with you. And so we do it through text message. We do it through email, we do it through the phone, as well as, did I say Facebook messenger? We’re multichannel.

Jay: 35:16 – Yeah. Yeah. OK. So if I am a gym owner, so one of the things that’s really clear about this is that you have very clear values of how your company, it should be run and how it’s kind of developed over the years. So if I’m a gym owner, how do I create values like that?

Jason: 35:37 – Man, it’s been so long, Jay, since I’ve gone through that exercise, I’ve done it a few times through just different entrepreneurial journeys that I’ve had. There are some good books out there. I probably wouldn’t be a very good guide to direct that. There’s some good books out there. I know “The E Myth” actually addresses that, but sit down and really for me the biggest challenge was not to establish the values, but to be able to communicate, to be able to actually share those values comfortably, to figure out how do I make that message match my actual values instead of just being quiet and hiding? Cause for I think three years, I just basically I told people I was in a cave, just helping affiliates as much as I could, learning as much as I could until I got confident and comfortable enough knowing that yes, I can actually deliver what I’m telling people we’re going to deliver in terms of the system, the support and everything else. But simplifying it to where it wasn’t too long winded.

Jay: 36:39 – OK. So let’s flip it a little bit. You talk to a lot of gym owners, what are some of the common struggles that you see with gym owners and what do you recommend to them to deal with them?

Jason: 36:49 – One of the common struggles I see is they try to reinvent the wheel. Now this is specific to supplements. They come in with a mindset of, well, I’m going to hand somebody a sample and then a way for feedback instead of coming to the table and saying, Hey, like I know my members are buying supplements, what should I do? How do I talk to them about it? How do I introduce it? How do I get my coaches on board? So they try to start from scratch and everybody starts at pretty much the same point of, I don’t know what supplements my members are taking. I do know that they’re taking it. I’m just going to hand out samples and then I’m going to wait for feedback from the coaches. I’m gonna wait for feedback from the members and then I’m going to let them lead me in the direction that they want to go. Instead of going out, planting a flag out in the field, pointing to it and say, Hey everybody, let’s go over there. I want your feedback on this and then go in the direction that you choose. I think that that’s the struggle. There’s a lot of overthinking instead of just going, testing it and then moving in the direction that’s best.

Jay: 37:56 – I mean the same thing kind of applies to the product that they offer at their gym. Right? It’s not just the supplements, it’s sort of like, this is the vision. Let’s make sure that it works for everyone. And then go.

Jason: 38:10 – Right. Yeah. And you know, programming could be one of those examples, like, are you going to program in house or are you going to outsource it? Like whichever one you decide, just go all in on it, make it the best product you can. And then if you’re going to outsource it, go find something that you can choose to focus on, profit from and then go all in on that. Yeah.

Jay: 38:31 – OK. So if you were to start all over again from scratch, nobody knew who you were, what are the first few things that you would do?

Jason: 38:40 – Oh man, Jay, that’s a good one. I would go find industry groups where people are talking about what it is that I’m trying to focus on. I would learn as much as I could, work 18, 20 hours a day, read, read, read, just consume as much content that’s specific to that niche, whatever, however you want to pronounce it. I think you’ve got a 50/50 shot depending on who you’re talking to. I would learn as much as I could about that market. Stay relevant inside of those and then start contributing to those, whether it’s forums, Facebook groups, I’d start contributing. And then I would start making the relationships with the people in those spaces. Not so much from a strategic standpoint, but from a value standpoint of who aligns with what it is that—who sounds like me, who am I trying to aspire to either be like, or who would I be proud to have represent my company or my brand? And then just make sure those values are aligned and start talking. I think that I really limited our growth because it took me about three, almost four years to do that before I started reaching out to the space and saying, Hey, like I think we do something special. Is this something that you or your clients may find value in?

Jay: 40:14 – So you kind of have, so you take this sort of idea of a space that you want to be in, you learn as much as you can about that space. So reading or participating in forums and things like that, you come up with a clearer version of that idea and then you start talking to specific people that have values that align with you.

Jason: 40:37 – Yeah. Knowing that I think you’re going to discover two things early on. Either one, you’re not going to like it. Like you may get into it and be like, you know, but you learned so now you can transition out over to your next journey, or you’re going to find that I just have to launch with the best product, the best system I can now knowing like we go into everything, every project that we develop, knowing that whatever version we make is wrong. It’s the best we can do, but there’s going to be a next iteration. So it’s never a finished product of knowing like, OK, I’m good enough now to start or I’m good enough now to at least start that conversation. Where does it go from here? What else can I learn?

Jay: 41:17 – Is there any one sort of business habit that you do differently or more consistently than anyone you know?

Jason: 41:23 – I’m a voracious reader. I read constantly. I don’t listen to really any radio. I don’t read any news. I’m doing a lot of what I don’t do’s, but what that’s allowed me to do over the last two and a half decades of being an entrepreneur is to consume a lot of content. Just put it in my ears when I’m driving, you know, put my earphones in, walk out the door and I’ll have an audio book playing. If I find something that I really like, I’ll buy the book. It’ll be on either hard copy or Kindle and then I’ll have an audio version of it. But I’ll consume it three or four or five times and then I’ll go back a year or two later and do that again. Cause you know, the phrase a man never steps in a river twice because the man is always different. And so is the river, so I think the same goes with books and knowledge.

Jay: 42:20 – Well, you’re not the only one that does that. I will tell you that I do almost the exact same thing. I’ll listen to a book. If it’s great, I’ll listen to it again and order the copy. And if it’s amazing, I will go through and like make notes about it as well because it’s like you really got to study it. I mean, this is like, you know, you’re preparing for an exam that is, you know, your business,

Jason: 42:44 – Yeah. Life.

Jay: 42:45 – Yeah, exactly. So what books or resources do you most often recommend to business owners?

Jason: 42:51 – Oh, let’s see. I love Ray Dalio, “Principles.” Chris Cooper’s books. I recommend all of his books. I love “Help First.” In fact, pretty much when an employee starts, they get a copy of that. I like history. So, I think there’s been some really enlightened humans to walk on the planet. DaVinci, Franklin, Jesus of course. So I like reading those biographies about those guys and learning what is it that they did that was so much different. Instead of reading like the latest journals, I still like “Think and Grow Rich,” and study and like what did make what didTony Robbins read that gave him such a level of enlightenment, going and reading his books instead of reading his books.

Jay: 43:47 – Awesome. This has been phenomenal. There’s been a lot of stuff in here that I think will help business owners at various stages of their business, but if people want to find out more about you, what’s the best place they can go?

Jason: 44:02 – Driven We’re on social media of course, Facebook and Instagram at Driven Nutrition. Uh, you can find me Jason_Rule. Just reach out if you have any questions. We’re glad to help.

Jay: 44:16 – Awesome. I really appreciate you taking the time, Jason, and I think people will find this really useful.

Jason: 44:21 – Oh, Jay, thanks for having me, man. It was a pleasure.

Andrew: 44:29 – Thanks for listening to Two-Brain Radio. Be sure to subscribe for more great episodes, and if you’d like to learn how a mentor can help you build a successful business, book a free call at Chris Cooper’s team will show you exactly how you can add $5,000 a month in revenue and move closer to your Perfect Day. Visit Two-Brain today.

Thanks for listening!

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