I was the third personal trainer in my city.
It took me about three months to fill my schedule. I was employed by the second personal trainer in my city, who took about a year to fill his. And he was friends with the first guy, Shane.
Shane was the first personal trainer in Sault Ste. Marie. He worked at a Globo-gym. He had to teach the members what a “personal trainer” was; then he had to convince them they needed one. He had to sell, hard, all day and night. It took him around three years to build his business. When I showed up five years later, everyone knew what a Personal Trainer did, and there was a surplus of at least 40 people who wanted one. I know, because those 40 signed up with me instead of Shane. But he did all the hard work for me back in 1997.
In 2008, it was my turn to carry the water: I became the first CrossFit affiliate in the city. The CrossFit brand attracted one guy, a friendly early adopter named Joe. I had to teach 80,000 other people what CrossFit was; what it wasn’t; and how it could solve their problem. I’d say I’m about halfway through those 80,000 now.
When another local gym affiliated in 2009, I panicked: they were going to build on my foundation! All of my hard work had created a funnel into their gym! I saw the posts from earlier affiliates through a different lens: yeah, I wanted a protected territory that I owned! I panicked. I compared my rates to theirs. I called them out for copying me. I tried to rip their coaching, condemn their programming and tear down their business. Of course, that created a lot of animosity.
They did just fine. They’re still around, getting people good results and making people happy. And obviously we did really well, too.
But what if we had worked together from the start?
In Baltimore; in Denver; in Houston; in Boston; and in more cities, entrepreneurs in the Two-Brain family are beginning to gather together.
They’re collectively educating the local population using the Help First philosophy. They’re inviting others into their boxes. They’re not competing on price; not running each other down; not texting each other’s members.
When everyone is doing well; when no one is desperate; we all do better.
When everyone’s healthy, no one has to resort to dirty tricks, lies, or price wars.
We call this collaborative competition, but it really means eliminating the bad actors. Wrestling with a pig just gets you dirty; lifting the pig out of their dirty sty creates a better life for everyone.
Over the weekend, the TwoBrain family grew by 8 entrepreneurs. They came from:
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
and Greenwood, Indiana
You can choose to make enemies, or you can choose to make a difference.
The Incubator costs $5500. Our friends at RigQuipment will now finance that payment at zero percent interest for a full year. $5500 won’t change my life, but it will certainly change theirs, and probably change yours.
Good fences might make good neighbors, but Families don’t need them.