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When to Sell Your Gym

A red and white "for sale" sign hangs on the door of a gym business.

“It’s too late. I’m done.”

In the previous post in this series, I told you to make your gym more valuable before you sell it.

But sometimes the owner doesn’t have the resolve left to last another six months. Sometimes they’ve wrung themselves all the way out and there’s just nothing left to give.

If that’s you, click here to get our free “How to Sell a Gym” guide. It’s step by step and very thorough.

If you’re almost there but not quite, book a call with my team to talk about making your gym more valuable. Just as you tell your clients, I’ll tell you this: You can survive anything for a short period, and we can make a plan to fix your business for sale or to serve you better.

The only other time to sell is when you’re scared.

I know some owners who think “it’s way too hard to make the changes I need to make here. I’ll sell and then start over in a few years.” Or they think “I can’t overcome the mistakes I made here. I made them with the best intentions, but I’ll lose all of the friends I’ve made through my sacrifice if I try to make these changes.”

If that’s you, I understand the temptation to sell. But you are the person who cares enough to help these people. And you’ve just figured out that you can’t save them at your own expense. So now do you care enough to do the really hard things to keep your gym going—even if some won’t understand and might get angry with you?

I want to make something clear: I hope you don’t sell.

You entered this business with the intent to serve others. No one told you that owning a gym required far more than being a good coach. No one told you about the accounting or the marketing or the heartbreak when members quit. That stuff is hard. But most of us make it far harder than it has to be because we try to figure it all out ourselves.

When you sell, you’re giving up on a noble dream. I don’t want you to have to do that.

There’s an old joke in the gym business: The two happiest days in a gym owner’s life are the day they open and the day they sell. Our industry is full of people who claim to have “retired” from the gym business when, really, they couldn’t make a living and had to give up. None of these people would have quit the industry if their gyms were successful.

A well-run gym doesn’t ever need to close, and—at least in my case—it doesn’t require much oversight from the owner. I run mine on a one-hour meeting per month and still take home $100,000 per year in net owner benefit. To me, that’s retirement. If you can live with that, you don’t ever have to sell.

I hope you choose to fight for your gym. But not at the expense of your family, your mental wellness or your grocery budget. You can always start over later.


Other Media in This Series


“What’s Your Gym Worth (and Can You Increase That Number)?”
“How to Increase the Value of Your Gym”

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One more thing!

Did you know gym owners can earn $100,000 a year with no more than 150 clients? We wrote a guide showing you exactly how.