The Gym Owners Blog/Podcast/Who The %@*& Are These Guys?

Who The %@*& Are These Guys?

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

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people, gym, coaches, money, owners, business, piece, folks, conversations, knowledge, building, community, solutions, marketing, genuinely, deep, information, maintaining, intangible


  • The importance of understanding the basics of business acumen when you get into the gym - 1:11
  • When you’re starting a business with no plan, it’s deadly - 3:08
  • ​If you don’t have a plan, you’re not going to send money that matters to you or to me to someone who - 4:35
  • ​What we love about being a coach - 8:49
  • ​The drive of giving knowledge to your kids - 11:17
  • ​The importance of saving your soul - 15:02
  • ​The importance of having simple solutions that are genuine - 16:58
  • ​Coaching is not a job, it’s a calling - 20:48
  • ​What are the first steps to getting your business on the right track? - 23:12


John Fairbanks 00:00

So one of the coolest things that I found, being a part of this community when it came to gym owners and coaches was the fact that I kind of just stumbled into being affiliated with and rubbing shoulders with gym owners where it's like, you know, I'm from California, I traveled to Florida, like it, that's where I was able to play sports. So I got to meet a bunch of people, but I never in a million years would have assumed that I was rubbing shoulders with people from Sweden, and Germany, and Austria, and all of these people from all over the place, that were these gym owners, that I never imagined that would be my life for my existence, when I was like, getting my history degree in school. You know what I mean? Like, it's like, well, I'm going to teach, and that's what I'm going to do. And through one thing or another, I ended up taking all of this skill set that made me maybe a good teacher and a good administrator. And I realized very quickly, like, there's a large population of humans that enjoy fitness that are some of the most disorganized human beings on the planet.

Tyler 01:11

Yeah, well, and in my case, like how I ended up as a gym owner, and then in a similar situation to you was, is very much the same, and that I had minimal business acumen, I understand some of the basics of of the sale stuff, when I got into the gym for no business reasons, right? Yeah, I think that's important. I think a lot of people get in a gym because they want that piece of their life to have more real estate, right? They want to give more of their pie chart to the fitness, that's it, you know what I mean? I want to have more time to do it, I enjoy it a lot. Maybe I want to coach and people start making career changes, and they just kind of shift. Most people end up in kind of the gym ownership life, or that gym ownership space by these lectures, gradually leaning into the things that they're passionate about the most. And the next thing, you know, you're like, Fuck, I own a business. And I got no business owning this business. You know, you're like, What do I do? Because you do a thing that we did when I opened my first CrossFit gym, as it was like, I wanted to do it, we were in another spot, to train in there and stuff. And I was like, I just know, from the coaching standpoint, that this stuff can be done better. I wanted to, I saw the problems in the systems from a movement standpoint and how things were taught and that administratively, like I just this thing needs to be top down to deliver a better product. And that's what I was always about is delivering a better product on the floor of your gym, which a better product means better connections, better community better results. That was like, my driving thing. So you do all this soft math when you start and my soft math is okay. How much do I need to eat? Do I need do I need to eat? And then like after that it's like, Okay, how many members times how much money per month? Do I charge them? And then we're set. Yep, gym ownership, soft math, all that soft math that a gym owner goes into before he owns a gym.

John Fairbanks 03:08

That's deadly. Yeah, deadly brutal.

Tyler 03:11

I remember I'll tell you what, I haven't told this story to anybody on a podcast, I went to when I was gonna start my gym. Because I didn't have much money. I went to like my, my wife's grandfather side a little bit of money, to talk to him about the business, talk to him about the plan, we kind of wanted to go into this thing. And he has a lot of business experience a lot and in a lot of fields and internationally, but as like very much a move maker. And now in hindsight, my conversations with him are the most not were the most non business, he had to be like, get the fuck out of here. Because the only piece of data I had, I think I'll charge this much. And I think I'll end up with this many people when I started when I start and then I think if I grow that to this with no plan, whatsoever, I was just like, I'll be good enough at it. We'll go from 40 members for six months, I literally had this like, curve planned out with like, no intentions or fucking not a single thing on how to move that needle

John Fairbanks 04:05

forward. And what's equally frustrating is that imagine all the things he didn't say to you. I know. And why so why wouldn't he right? And if you think about it, logically now, he wouldn't have said anything because like this fucking guy doesn't have a goddamn clue of what he's doing. But the problem was this,

Tyler 04:26

what he really was like, was like, I'm not borrowing this guy any money. That's true. I guess what that meant, but But you're right, you're right. You're not going to send money that matters to you or to me to someone who's ill equipped to do it at that point, you would have been better off giving it to an eight year old.

John Fairbanks 04:43

Okay, and I like that, but to be fair, it doesn't matter how much information you have. How successful someone has been that if you cannot translate it. If you cannot get it to people that would be able to use that info Meishan the most or would benefit the most from it, then what good is the it might be talking about like deep things that I've never talked to anybody else about. But it's these ideas of like, it's, for me, it's the knowledge that I gain. And then suddenly, it's like deep ethos and core of like the person I am. The knowledge that I have isn't mine. Because if I gain all the knowledge that I can gain, if I die with it, then it was a goddamn waste. What was the point of me even being here. And so for me, it was like, when I really felt like I started having my father mean something to me. And the things that he said clicked, he was 36 years old. And I can't remember how old I was. But I was probably like, whatever 10 or whatever it was, but it was like, he started saying things that clicked for me. When he was that age, which means as a 10 year old, I started truly benefiting from someone through 36 years of experience and life experience. I benefited that a 10. And so for me, it was like, I have got to be telling like my I got to be telling my kids, everything I know about a topic to share it being like, this is what I know, take everything I know right now. So you can be that much further ahead than I was. And so for me, it was like talking about a missed opportunity of like someone that's a grandfather age, to where it's like, instead of kind of like, oh, yeah, that's something like it's, you know, it all works out the way it is. But like goddamn like, if you have information to share,

Tyler 06:37

share it shares, there is some some to be said for you have to learn it. But I think that's why I usually do go hands off with people, when they're in the enthusiastic beginning phases of a business and they just know, you got it, you almost gotta give them that. And everybody by the way, all you're probably watching if you if you if you've been a gym owner, and you are or at least a coach who's transitioning into this thing, like, there is a lot of pieces of this, that you're going to have to just get underwater and figure out, but not all of them, and not the hardest one. And you can be equipped in ways where you don't need to be poor the whole time, and you don't need to be completely stretched. When things open up. You're gonna have to fix your own toilet the first day when the toilet breaks? Yes, probably because you're out of money. You know what I mean? And you got an extra hour maybe. And that is the way that it goes. But I think that the main things, right, the biggest mistakes that I made going in was one not having a real plan for stuff, and to not having any sensible offering. Other than, like, my base membership. And then everything else that I did, I think I think from a business standpoint, and this is the thing, all of these people that are here are going to have is everything else that you're doing, you're doing ethically and you're doing well, you're coaching, well, you're doing everything you can to get better. And at some point, you get to the conclusion where you go, I have to make money at this or I can't get any better. Yes, me doing this for 70 hours a week doing all the coaching, and all of the business stuff and all of the marketing and sweeping the goddamn floors, like all of that stuff now is in the way of me getting better or building this thing into something better. And when I came to that conclusion, it was a hard one because it does become, it's like a transition. This is a phase all the things we're gonna go through on this. There's a reason this is spelled out very meticulously, of course, it it's thing, one thing to make note of these things is because you do got to make these moves in the right order. And we get enthusiastic as coaches and gym owners. Because it is like I found the building. I don't have any equipment, but I'll spend all my money. And I got 15 people, or I think I can get 50. And I'm just gonna do it. And it's all of that stuff. There's a part of me that loves that about people, when they just jump in. As a coach, you love it because these people come in and they commit and they want change and progress. And so it's just gets us all fired up. I love it.

John Fairbanks 09:01

We just had so much information that was being given to us, without us asking. And it was because you and I had this shared experience where we met each other because of strong fit, right because of this world of coaches. And because of a dude that really was able to break things down. That were way complex, just in a simplistic either frameworks or simplistic principles that were applicable for me in education, where I came from, are applicable in business or applicable for gyms, for coaches, or whatever. And what we found is exactly what you're saying is that we were getting all this data and all this data was coming to us. And it was those things those conversations that gym owners have after they've had one too many. Or they're kind of just hanging out We're just shooting the shit. It's like yeah, man and this fucking sucks and this is what it is like it's it is like A true like, the man behind the curtain kind of thing conversation would never have with members they would never have with their coaches. And we were having them all the time. And so quickly, we realized, man, there's just like this database, this bank of information that I was that I was getting, because I helped these, I helped so many folks that were coaches and because eventually, if you got that itch, the coach becomes the owner after a couple of years.

Tyler 10:29

And that's where we get to people's they get very excited about now their coaching is improved. And they do that and they spend time with it, they realize that simply being better at Coke, being a coach on the floor, will not earn you a single more Penny. It's brutal, not a

John Fairbanks 10:44

single brutal, it's, you've just enhanced your value, overall of what you can do, you can dedicate so much time so much money and resources into books and knowledge and seminars and workshops, and certifications, like all of those things that were sold as coaches of what this is important and what's not. And that transition of like, okay, so then how do we make more money doing this as like, Yeah,

Tyler 11:16

I'm better now. I'm 10 years better than I was 10 years ago. And I'm making the same money. People like paying the same for my service. It's a it's a it's a very interesting thing when you like, transpose that overtop of this industry, where you're like, Well, wait a minute, what other career can you spend 10 years doing and see like a 3%? Raise? What do you school teacher, you know,

John Fairbanks 11:41

right. And, and so that's where maybe that that's where that drive for me of what I was referencing of like the idea of giving knowledge to my kids of like, it's that drive of that of deep in my deep in the jellies, like deep in my core of once I got so much information, I had had the 112 conversation with the same conversation, the same struggles that I found it was like, you just need to be with like, I can't stay here on the sideline anymore. I have too much knowledge about an industry or about whatever these people's pain points are, that someone has got to fix it, someone's got to figure out a way to genuinely just want to take people who genuinely want to help people, and help them just make more money doing what they're doing. And I found that it's a whole reason why I got into strong fit in the first place. It was like, Hey, I love what you guys are talking about, you should make that more accessible so people can find your stuff online. And right, the guy, the owner, Julian at that time goes, Alright, great. You're hired? Let's have you do it. And what I found was, every time I found where I either had enough information to ask the question, it was like, I wasn't gonna bring a problem unless I was going to be able to assist with the solution. And what I ended up finding was like, I was being given all of these problems, all this data of coaches that were struggling, I'm like, there has to be a solution. And when I looked around, there wasn't anybody that was like, well, there's lots of people that are trying to solve solutions for gym owners a lot. Yeah, but there's a huge difference. And this talks goes to really the core of what you and I care most about, which is maintaining our soul and our dignity while helping people when money is involved.

Tyler 13:34

And everybody's got marketing and leads. And everybody's got these things where they can give you the numbers that make sense to you right now. They can just turn them up. So you have a $200 month membership, and you have 90 members. What if we got that to 100? Members? It's like all of that math makes sense to me? And what if you only had to get on 400 sales calls in order to get these extra 10? Members? Yep. Oh, well, what is that you had to lie to half of this, if you were great at marketing, you'd be in the marketing business, right? Most like I would hope, more money in that then there is an owning a fitness center for a lot of people. So Right. But I think that like, people turn to those things. And they can get taken blindly by complexity and things that don't understand. And we have seen this in places or we've been around in businesses, we worked with businesses, we work for companies we've helped pull out of some of these holes. And you get to these things where things get confusing and like all just marketing, money marketing, pay money at marketing. And you watch you just write a check, right marketing pay to the order of marketing and send it send it off with some dude. And you might that's basically the same thing. You're like, I don't know what I got in return. I know I spent the money. I know the phone didn't ring or I know the phone rang a lot. I don't know how it's this is where you end up, confused, moving around pieces that don't make sense to you. While someone just keeps taking your money and telling you how you should do your business. That is not the way that we do things here.

John Fairbanks 15:05

Now it didn't stop the way. And that is the part of like, of maintaining saving your soul is that it's this was the information we were getting is we were hearing from gym owners of like, these people are full of shit, or these people over here were awesome, they were great. Or there was so much of that data. And that's when we realized that for the folks that we have been working with to be able to help them or pull them out of a jam. Oftentimes, it was because right, they were oversold, there were all these experts, and all of these people that came in because man, there's blood in the water, like if they and sharks can smell that. And so folks that come out, and that's why I think at our core, like truly what we care about most is not selling another, it's not selling another product. It's not selling a software that you need to buy, it's not. So it's one of these things where it's like, just take the knowledge that we have now had success with us your own stuff that you have, and all the things that

Tyler 16:13

you do and all the things that you do well, the things that you do the best. Do them. Why does it need to be hard? Why do I need to prop up 500 people who you don't want in your gym in front of you? Is that how you want to make your living? Right? You don't want that? You don't want it? You don't?

John Fairbanks 16:32

And the fact is, is you touched on this earlier, and this is why it's like it's the most simple solutions. Oftentimes, right? Like, they're simple for a reason. Like the reason why they work is because it's simply done. It's something that is that is it's easy to remember, right? It's it is something that you can repeat and be able to do frequently. And then you remember, like you can do these things constantly. And so that is it's definitely the piece to where we keep finding that this was the calling. This is what what I wanted to be able to have simple solutions that was genuinely about helping people be able to sometimes make little tweaks or little changes, or sometimes make huge changes and what they were doing, because they had just gotten so far out into the deep end, they had been so oversold from one expert, one mastermind, one guru to the next that was trying to help them that they really just they were getting hosed. And and the best examples that I've seen are folks that you talked about it was putting things in proper order, and they need to happen at certain times. And that it was that information. I think that was really the spark that was like, I gotta do something. Because I kept seeing these coaches that were like, Oh, well, I've invested 1000s of dollars in doing X. And it was okay, so how's that going? Well, nothing's happened. Or,

Tyler 18:09

and that's if they're willing to say that usually, you don't want to talk about a bad investment. going alright, I think it's okay. I don't know. I don't understand it. So yeah, when he's gone,

John Fairbanks 18:21

or what? Well, yeah, I don't have the money anymore. Or what was worse is the people that like I have invested a bunch of money. And how's it going? Well, it's going great. Like, I have 30. I have 30 appointments tomorrow. All right, 30 appointments this week. And it's like, aren't you like, the only coach in your gym? But he's like, Well, yeah, but like, we got to, you know, I gotta be able to do this. We got to be able to capitalize on the leads and stuff. It's like, you, you have just shut your gym down. Yeah. Because you think that leads where your answer right now. It's like, how are you going to fulfill you have no team like you, you put the cart so far ahead of the horse? That it's like, Was that a good idea? Yes, but just not in the order you did it in. And that was where it just was I saw and we saw it enough times that I was like, we've got to do something different. We got to show folks just at least the information that we have, because there's lots of folks that are just sharks that are out there. But this is again, it's it's the emphasis on maintaining your soul and it's a piece that I'll I've talked about before and I'll talk about again but if this if that intangible result that people are after your tangibly we can say out loud, right without blushing with proof to say that just by implementing the steps in the right order, right, you can walk away with knowing that you have a path and be on track to directly earn six figures just by repeating the process that you would build through our system. But that's the tangible piece. The intangible piece is the piece of legacy building community strengthening Growing, where you're planted this ideas of like making the world a better place, making the area that you exist more beautiful and better from because you were there, those are the things that it's okay, you're gonna show up because we know that there can be results just by doing really simple things and following simple frameworks, you stay. Because the community that we want to build are people that are gym owners that are like minded about maintaining their soul, maintain their integrity, and actually building a legacy. And I think that that's the biggest thing. That's a huge difference. Because at the end of the day, we keep seeing folks that are sharks that are like, well, the the end end goal here is so you can sell your gym. It's like is that is that the end goal? I didn't realize that was the end goal. So

Tyler 20:48

well, that's what's tough. I got into this business because I wanted I open the gym because I wanted to have a gym. So I want to make a difference. I wanted to do those things in as like, well, now I gotta just have to walk away from it. Because I've sacrificed its soul. And I just sell it for money, and I move on. But that was not the end goal. I don't believe that coaching is a job. I think it's a vocation. I think it's a call, I think people find it, they find it in them that they want to help people. And I think it really is a calling. So why just make that suck. So you can just do a bunch of like this very bland vase version of it over and over and over again, while you don't make very much money we don't need, you can do a really, really, really good job of it, you can do a better job, when you have more money, you can do a better job. When you have more time, you do a better job when you got people that are really really enthusiastic about what they're here to do. When you're not racing to the bottom for your pricing. You're not playing the cheap game, you're not getting rough leads off the street that are coming in and people who just don't value the things that you do you want to be in a position where people are valuing valuing you paying you for that value, and you can really deliver that value. That's the like the the piece you want to be able to keep doing and everything else we can move around. And I think there's a lot of things that can be dropped in place and adjusted and picked around. And this is these things that you're going to go through over this next. What are we talking here? How many weeks are they running through here at this? It's kind of self paced, but what are they over the next few months?

John Fairbanks 22:11

It certainly can take a few months, the reality is we're going to see folks that are going to be under 30 days are going to be able to pay for the course back. They're going to get their money back in under 30 days. And that's what we're seeing. I mean, certainly, right. Certainly like, right, what the first folks that we've had go through that they've recouped, like they were hungry, and they ran quickly. And they made way made their money way back, like fat fast, very fast, they got their money back. So that's where it's it is it's built, it's built to teach you the thing, teach you take action on the thing, and then how to be able to make money with that thing. Because I felt like that was always a piece that was missing, that when we heard from general gym owners, they were getting all this knowledge. But then there was no practical application of what I do next. And it's like, you've got to be able to now make money doing this thing. But don't have it be something where you got to reinvent the wheel. It's just plug it right into your system.

Tyler 23:17

Well your metrics for success should still be delivering a quality product and have a first day and a business that you like, don't let it turn into something that you never wanted it to be

John Fairbanks 23:27

as a gym owner. Why did you get into this game? Why did you get started? If your origin of why you started sounds anything like why we started, why we felt a calling, like you said we felt a calling to jump into a vocational type of situation where it's like we have more to give it can be done better. And I want to take charge and jump into this thing with both feet. If that origin story matches, then it's in everyone's best interest for you to be able to reach out to us go into our avenues to be able to shoot us a DM go to the links in our link tree go to the places to be able to reach out and take that next step because if we match as a core in our ethos, then that knows you're on the right track.

Tyler 24:14

What is the first steps here John? As far as VIP for what do we want people jump into right now.

John Fairbanks 24:20

Just go to the link in the link tree is the best spot. If you go in, they'll be able to click or you it's always easy. You shoot us a DM just on the pay on any of our accounts. We will like make our accounts known for just our personal accounts. We also have that community. So we have our gym, the gym owners podcast, right our gym owners community, the movement, Facebook Group is a great spot to be able to have folks come into. You don't need to be buying a product to be involved, right. It's free to enter and you have a community and this is where we're having these open conversations and sharing and just this was the piece that I always wanted to have the intangible part of a community where folks can genuinely share. And that's why it's not a public group, right? It's still a private group, but you still can't enter, you have to be a gym owner in order to be able to get access to that, and be able to have those genuine conversations and you're gonna see a lot of people that that's usually the best place to start, because you can start to see what a community starts to look like a folks that are wanting to do better, and the folks that are having success, keeping their identities, keeping their ethos really keeping their origin story strong of why. And now we kind of take care of the other intangible piece, which is like, hey, it's, this is the piece where I've never been able to kind of make money or your offers were just wrong, they were off how you were trying to go about it, you were trying to compete with the big box gym that was in your area, and they're just playing a different game than you people that are offering things for free. And they can offer they can literally exist and run their business at a loss for years years,

Tyler 26:02

for the sake of the market share. That's why the Facebook group is very important because you can get in there and you're gonna start to see and converse amongst people who are there with the same ethic as you ethics as you, you know, who are aligned really on the principles of service and doing a good job, who are just getting to the point now where I want success in a metric that's beyond just results for my clients. It needs to be results for me and my and my legacy. That's my metrics of my metric of success has changed. Right? Well, if you have any questions, reach out to me reach out to John. You can find us both at Instagram at Tyler effing stone at Jay. Thanks, FL. We're also at the gym owners podcast the Instagram, Mr. Do have an email

John Fairbanks 26:41

Tyler 26:45

Your So if you have any questions you we're happy to answer questions that way. So get in that Facebook group give us a follow and let's fucking start making your business work for you a little bit. Sweet.

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