When my gym was in trouble, there was one consulting service in the CrossFit world.
I watched their videos. Many of their messages made sense. But I couldn’t get past their spokesman: he ranted, he swore at people, he spammed me with sales pitches and “Hurry up! Buy now, or you’re a loser!” emails.
A friend–a nearby gym owner–signed up for his service. The best testimonial my friend could give was:
“I figure I don’t have to like the guy for him to help my business.”
I thought, “If this is what I have to do to be successful in the fitness industry, then I’m not sure I want to be part of it.”
Luckily, his manner didn’t seem to fit with the rest of CrossFit’s message, so I hit “SPAM” on the next few emails and looked outside our little world for help.
I found it, and shared what I learned far and wide. And I’ve been doing it since, because knowing that I could succeed in the gym business without feeling like a slime ball was a huge revelation. It still fills me with gratitude every day.
This week, more than ever, I’ve been on the phone with gym owners who have reached a line they refuse to cross. Six out of the last ten entrepreneurs who have signed up for the Incubator have been part of other fitness consulting companies in the past. And while they all unanimously agreed that the knowledge was good, every one also said “I couldn’t do what they were telling me to do anymore.”
Not because the owner wasn’t smart enough. Not because they lacked “hustle” (please.) The gym owner couldn’t continue with their business coach because they weren’t willing to compromise their values to boost their business.
The words “bait and switch” came up a lot. So did “cold calling” and “slimy sales scripts.” So did “spam” and “I felt dirty.”
As one TwoBrain family member said this week, “I’m choosing to follow the gold standard for care. And if that makes me unsuccessful in this business, then I don’t want to be in this business anyway.” She IS on the road to success now, but had to go through a few rough weeks to get there. I’m proud of her.
Entrepreneurship requires sacrifice. You’ll sacrifice your time, your money and a lot of your stomach lining. Your family will sacrifice to support you.
But you don’t have to sacrifice your soul.
There’s no easy way to succeed in business. But there is a GOOD way: a path that will let you be proud of your policies and profitable at the same time. I wrote “Help First” to map that path for marketing, and it runs through everything we do. The high road wins. Hallelujah!
My new friend Nick said yesterday, “I’ve already read your stuff and set aside the money for mentorship. You’re not going to have to push very hard to get me to sign up.”
I said, “Nick, I’m not going to push at all.” And we welcomed him to our table with open arms.
My new friend Michael said, “Again, thank you for today, it feels as if we’ve arrived at ‘home’.”
I get to feel that way every day, because several gym owners book free calls with me every day to talk about the Incubator.
You should too.
Your business doesn’t have to make you feel like a cold corporation. Your sales process doesn’t have to make you feel like a salesman. And your service doesn’t have to impoverish you.
Two of the key questions on our gym checkup are:
“What was your profit margin last month?”
and, “When was the last time a member hugged you?”
They’re both pretty important for your longevity in this industry.
There’s a way to win, and feel good about it. I’m SO thankful to have found that path.