The Gym Owners Blog/Podcast/What is Gym Hacking?

What is Gym Hacking?

Friday, January 20, 2023

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people, gym, money, framework, work, owners, piece, talking, changing, john, hacking, plan, clients, years, blade, thinking, guillotine, tyler, premium, step


  • What is Gym Hacking? - 0:14
  • ​How to know what you do well and how you should do it - 3:02
  • ​The importance of having an actionable plan forward - 5:35
  • ​Bootstrapping every business I’ve started from - 7:23
  • ​You need to get in and test it out - 9:14
  • ​Why you need to ruthlessly execute on your plans - 11:17
  • ​Steps that are necessary in order to do everything you’re talking about - 14:44
  • ​You’re not going to get where you want to be in a year from now if you don’t start working at it - 16:25
  • ​How to get the results that you deserve - 18:59


Tyler 00:14
Hello, everybody, welcome to the gym owners podcast. Your co host here, Tyler stone over the way, John Fairbanks Welcome. Greetings.

John Fairbanks 00:22
Welcome everybody. Clicky

Tyler 00:24
Audio I knew we should have waited a second. Well, I want to make sure I sound can you hear me, okay, sometimes just takes a second to catch up to speed,

John Fairbanks 00:32

You are smooth as silk per the usual set

Tyler 00:34

Up on your end. Okay, oh, we're just gonna assume that it is that way on the recording side. And I'm gonna move forward here. I think it only only takes a few seconds for this thing to get warmed up. So, guys, we're gonna come through some recap for you guys. Today, we want to go through everything we've kind of covered up to now and like to zoom out and give you guys a little bit of overall context. So that if you're kind of new, you're not like if you come in in the middle, like some of the stuff sounds like it's out of sequence or like. Next level, especially if sometimes you can't see the forest through the trees. So I think we've done a lot of laying out of some of these frameworks. And I would just want to zoom out and be like, Alright, guys, let's give you a real overview of like, what is gym hacking? Like? What does it mean to hack your gym? You know what I'm saying, John?

John Fairbanks 01:20

Yes. So let's jump right in.

Tyler 01:22

That's perfect camera trouble. It sounds like we are on a roll.

John Fairbanks 01:24

We're just playing. I'm just playing around every time we get a new thing, you got to play around with stuff that makes everybody uncomfortable? No. So definitely what Tyler is talking about, right? So that's the idea where we want to be able to jump in and start talking about a kind of zoom out and say, we've given you a lot of framework, we've given you a lot of things we're talking about. And we've made a lot of references to a particular word that I think deserves us kind of adequately going over and kind of firming up what exactly it means. And so this phrase is Jim hacking. So what does it mean to be a Jim hacker? And what does it mean to be Jim hacking, and at its core, kind of what we decided to do of kind of creating that word and everything that it entails is, it is the surefire way to make sure that every time that you have the opportunity to make money, you make more money, each and every time that you have the opportunity to make a sale within your gym. Yeah. And that's it at its core, that's all it is. And then all the frameworks and everything that goes along with it, that allows you to do that over and over and over again, to then be successful, that kind of how you make money, how you go about making sales and your gym, how you go about organizing your gym has a framework that gets followed. So as you grow as other pieces come in, and as you add more complexity, you always can kind of come back to this framework into this attitude, this gym hacking mentality that allows you to make sure you're super grounded. And that whatever you add next, kind of fits into this larger framework that's at your gym.

Tyler 03:02

But that's really important is the piece that it fits that it has to fit in with you and your gym. And that's why as we get into a lot of these things that we're going to go through today, that is that it isn't just making money and chasing the dollar, you know, you can't be that it really is about aligning with your thing. And then finding a way to make the most money doing what you do. Well, the way that you want to do it. How does one know what they do well, and how they should do it? Like, what are some of these? What is the first step as far as going through this?

John Fairbanks 03:33

We've talked about this before. So you definitely can go back to previous episodes and kind of where we drilled in pretty deep on this one particular topic. And this is the idea of building the framework and building the foundation at your gym. So we talked about what we call the T three framework. So the idea of you're looking at your teams, you're looking at your tribe, you're looking at the transactions that are happening inside of your gym. This has to happen first. Because this is the thing where you kind of said, well, how do you start? What do you need to do? And it's you at first you need to know what your gym has? We keep hearing and we now have right? The community is open. Right? We were talking to lots of gym owners now every each and every day, people are giving us feedback. And the same feedback that we've had now for a number of years. In our past life when we got to travel all over the place and go to seminars and see people in person, humans and whatnot. The needs or the confusion or the phrases that are getting used haven't changed. Yeah. And so because gym owners are so busy, and you're so busy doing oftentimes you're kind of scatterbrained doing. So things are all over the place. And the thing that we keep hearing from is like, Man, this is really helpful just to be able to kind of step back and kind of see all the things that we've been doing because I didn't even realize that we did all the stuff. I thought we needed to do more.

Tyler 04:55

Yeah, yeah. You're getting a real layer of what you offer, what you can offer, maybe what you could offer. But what could you offer in two years? Three years? What could you offer? If you had different relationships made? What? What can you act on right now? You know, what, what do you do right now that you could package and sell differently. And I think those are knowing or Jim, what you can do, how you can do it how you want to do it is extremely the thing. But as the person goes through this process to identify all of it, it's really important that they understand that just knowing where you stand is great. And knowing what you want to do going forward is wonderful. But implementation and doing the gap between knowing and doing is literally where all the secret sauce is. And I think that's the piece that we make sure very, very well that people get going on this stuff here. And it doesn't just stay as words and doesn't stay as rah rah. And it's not just a philosophy checklist that you got. I mean, we want actionable things. And Jim hacking is really about a plan forward, but a process forward.

John Fairbanks 05:53

And the actions that come next, I think it was the piece that I've talked about before. And you and I have felt really passionately about this idea. But it's the concept where it can't just be a blueprint that people are buying, it can't just be like an ethos, or a method or a methodology or whatever you want to call it, it cannot just be fancy things that can go onto a bumper sticker can be a really great quote, post, right? It has to be something that is like, Okay, this is great. Now what and the now what for me is where the rubber always has met the road. And whenever I've taken online courses, seminars or events and been involved, it always felt like that was the piece that was always the most lacking. It was a piece of like, okay, great. How do I do what you're talking about? And I just got sick and tired of people saying, well, you just need to work on it for like the next 35 years, and then you get it?

Tyler 06:49

Well, I have like a, I would say like a different form of it, but a psychological bias in the way that we pursue trouble problem solving, and analyzing situations where I have found myself in multiple businesses, multiple fields, owning businesses in both fitness and otherwise. And on the fitness education side, or the physical fulfillment of this stuff. And like, also on the media stuff, and then you know, the apparel is just a lifestyle brand. And so we've kind of been through a lot of different ways and a lot of different things and a lot of different starting points, middle points and end points, right. And the one thing that I've learned that I do very well. And once we started, you and I started working together, I began to see that you did the same thing only better and more organized. Was it very good at seeing exactly where what is going on right now? You know, as opposed to if you grow up with maybe limited means or you're poor, you're starting businesses, you're bootstrapping businesses, things like this, the only thing you can do right now work with right now is what you have. And so that's the piece I bootstrapped every business I've started from, you know what I mean? Absolutely every project I've started, we've never just sunk money into it. It's something I've never been like, entered into a business or a venture or anything. We're like, oh, I have as much money as I want to be able to do the things I want to do with this. It's never ever ever been that case, when I started a project, meaning what we have honed over these years is a very, very, very good eye for seeing, what do we have? What do we work with? What options do I have at my disposal right now? Which ones align with what I can do? And what should I do first, we can deliver very, very effectively what you should do next. And then after that, and then after that, and then after that, and those pieces may not lead you to a million dollar a year business a $2 million a year business in the first six months. But you're now on the path. And when you get through some of those things, then we start looking okay, what's the next thing, the next thing, the next thing? And that's what we built into this process is to identify, come up with a plan and truly execute on that plan.

John Fairbanks 08:49

And it doesn't happen overnight. The only reason why we were able to do this is that everything that you just laid out is exactly right. Because this is the concept of we figured this out by doing not by sitting around talking about it, thinking what would be a good idea. The thing that I've always worked well with and people that I've worked well with, I've been people like fail fast. Yeah, so you need to get in, you need to test that theory out. You can't sink in six months of research and all these other things that go with it. It's like you still need to do certain important pieces. But that needs to be when it comes to research and figuring it out and looking at your market and all this other mumbo jumbo bullshit but at the end of the day it comes down to doing because if you have an idea, then throw it out there and see what people give you in return. If you start hearing people being like, Yes, this is it. This is what sounds good or I'd like this or people start buying. That's now the confirmation that you really need to be able to see whatever you need to do next is worth doing otherwise it just becomes what I call and we'll talk about often, which is this analysis paralysis, where everyone starts thinking about what like, oh, it has to be perfect. And, what social media makes it such a struggle. Because you look around and be like, man, like, I can't, I can't do what they do, or they have this or they have that or whatever it is. And then you're like, oh, here I am. I'm just gonna do my stuff over here. And that kind of sucks and whatever. And that's where it's like, just like you said, the bootstrapping, like duct tape and spit is all you need to really kind of put something together? Because at the end of the day, people, this goes so much deeper, but its people are not at your gym. Because the back hyper machine that you got, no, no. So stop thinking that the back hyper machine is going to be the difference maker. You're the difference maker, you're the reason why people are there, the coaches are the reasons why the people are there, how that you feel like all these other intangible pieces, are why they're they're

Tyler 11:05
So layered on top of the fact those things and how they're able to give them at its root, the experience and the results that your clients want, right? All of these things need to align. And that's why you cannot just come in and be like, I'm going to recraft and sell, sell, sell, or I'm not just going to look at this thing, like what is the perfect way to move forward? How do I move forward flawlessly, I got this plan, and you cannot spend five months scratching out this plan and changing these changing this coming up to some perfect, perfect thing. Like John said, like, what was it? This is the macho man, the cream will rise to the top. Right, but but but in terms of once you get these things out, you start operating, and then you just make changes based on what works and what works and what doesn't. What's interesting to me is how often people sit back with a system that's not working for them. It's not right now, and you're not changing it. Why? And that's the game, by the way, you can come up with the best plan for it and the best ideas for it. And yet, you're sitting in a plan that's not working for you, and it is not moving forward, what is your plan? And what are you going to do? And I think that's important to not just execute this thing, but to really like it. You got to bite down and you got to go forward, you really got to push forward into this thing. And the term we use is ruthlessly executed. Right? You know, it's not something you kind of do, you don't go in and kind of you never gonna go up to a person present, you know, your, your stacked offers from your plate framework, never gonna come to like, hey, this top option is well, you know, no, come in and be confident what you do. And you've put these things together deliberately in a way that by the way, that shouldn't matter to the client, it should matter to them because it is to help give them an increased chance of success or an option to choose a more premium experience or a more high end experience. Or they can choose a lower option that fits their budget, and then they understand the types of trajectories they could take as they choose to develop or get more comfortable with you as a coach. You know this, but you need to come into it with that confidence. Like this is my thing. This is how we do this. And being able to ruthlessly execute on these plans, both in designing them, selling them, fulfilling them, you know, with honor like you do as a coach, like, Ah, this dude picks a premium shit, he needs premium results. He's premium effort, premium enthusiasm, I got it, and you're gonna learn that's gonna bleed through your entire job. And that's and that's when the culture shifts completely. And then it doesn't become a thing where you're just bearing down like a bite and forward into the wind and leaning into the coal trying to trudge forward. Now the thing has momentum and people understand it and you have the confidence that the feedback loop reinforces itself, then it's not so goddamn hard. Because a lot of this process is changing things right to get you from standing still, or skidding backwards to going forward and overcoming that momentum is not always the easiest thing in the world. But as long as you just commit to doing and moving forward, one month, two months down the road and we're already past it, you're already past so many of the problems that you thought you didn't even have a solution for. And that's why actually executing no more analysis paralysis, no more thinking about it. Gym owners get stuck in that martyrdom mindset a lot. Because it's like, I'm just trying real hard. I care about these people. And you put that first and you should. But I can't help these people. If your doors are shut and you can't help these people. If you're so broke, that you're miserable, and he's having trouble at home because you're struggling with money. You don't know how you're gonna make your bills. You don't understand if you keep this gym open for a year, two years? Absolutely not. How good are you going to serve people when you have a blade hanging over your neck? That just does not work that way. So get your money, right. And this is exactly what we want to do with this stuff. Get your systems right, get your money right and then power forward.

John Fairbanks 14:44
And we give you we've already given you this. We've already given you the steps in order to do everything that we're talking about right now. Yeah, we've given you the steps that are necessary. I love the idea of the guillotine. Right. The blade is above you at all, every moment

Tyler 15:00
Are you paying attention to your clients when the blades are at your neck? Are you really? Are you thinking about their six months? Two years? Are you thinking about anything?

John Fairbanks 15:10
In order? And I will tell you to, from what we have seen, like firsthand, we've seen with folks is that it becomes that fear or that I guess it's more or less, it's actually an excuse. The excuse that the good template is right there becomes obviously addicting. Because it now gives you an out, it gives you the excuse of why can't we like how we can? How can we not want to do this? Or how can we just take the next step to do this thing? Or are we trying to do something a little bit different? Like, I can't you see that thing up there? It's right there. Like if I do anything different, if I do anything that could change things like I'm done, I'm done like that. And it's like, okay, well, good luck. Like I don't know, I don't know what to tell you. Like, there's a reason why all of them figure out the lay of the land. That's step one. Once you figure out the lay of the land, it's not going to change until you start changing. So once you have the lay of the land, now you need to take everything that you have, and make something out of it, put it in the one plate to plate three plate for plate, we talked about this before it's put it into that plate method. You're not going to get where you could be in a year from now, when you're training, it's super easy for us all to understand training analogies. Training analogy is the perfect one for this. Yeah. So it's, you're not going to get to a foreplay or six plate deadlift. If you don't start at least lifting one to two plates on each side. Like you have to be doing it each and every day working at it methodically,

Tyler 16:50
You have to have a plan. You can't just have a program. By the way, you can have a program that perfectly assesses where you are right now, step one is this step two is and it just will not help you at all. Unless you're in there doing it. And you have to do it, you have to go forward, we can adjust as we go. Right? That plan any plan that you're going to come up with should change as you go. Has anything ever gone from literally A to Z shorter the alphabet without any deviation? I don't think so. Not a plan that I've made, at least certainly. And so but that's the point is this is not a system of an absolute checklist you run down this is a constantly evolving thing based on your own corrections and your own ethics and your own things just guided just action based guidance. And truly step by step down, you're gonna go through this and show them everything. Like how can we get this go here go. This isn't I don't we don't do vague concepts. I don't stand principles on the board and expect you to sort them out and want to call you stupid if you can't. It's not right. This is why we want to help you to do this. And I don't want you to pay us so that we can talk about this. It's not with this.

John Fairbanks 17:54
No, no, no, there's a reason why we have the podcast exists, the group exists for us to talk about it, when you're ready to start doing there are a lot of you this is this is the issue. Like for me, my personality is I'm going to consume as much content that is physically out there. And I'm going to start going and I'm going to start doing because I'm a hyper doer, one of my biggest is that double edged sword, I will just start doing.

Tyler 18:22
And it gets to the point with John where sometimes he needs to not be doing it because now we're at a point where John's time, effort and energy is more valuable than a lot of the things that he gets inclined to lean forward and just do. John used to be purely weaponized productivity, but it was well weaponized productivity for everybody else. And I was like, Oh, we got to start, we got to do better than that. It's got to be better than that, because you're more valuable than labor. And I think as a gym owner, shit, how much more valuable are you than labor, whatever fucking nightmare to be, I'm the one who's here for an hour I have more respect for you. So you know, you're better than that. Your clients know you're better than that. And someone who comes in off the street should know that you're better than that. So be it let your business reflect it, power forward on that thing. And you'll get the results that you deserve based on the inputs that you're putting in and how you really value yourself and the results you deliver.

John Fairbanks 19:11
And the results that you deserve is are the results that your people see this

Tyler 19:16
One this one for you is what

John Fairbanks 19:19
I mean is no you're sure

Tyler 19:21
That this money comes on. You get all the good feelings from coaching all the way as a gym owner, all of the real feelgood stuff you get you live in and so it keeps you here even though it doesn't make you any money right now. That's why you're here. Right? That is it. So Quit fucking it doesn't have to be that way too. You're gonna get all of those things, those things don't go away. You're gonna get more of them easier, and you're gonna make so much more money in the process. Why did I sign up to be a goddamn martyr for the next two years, three years and hopefully and maybe fail or be miserable or be under the thumb or the guillotine at your neck the whole time? Don't live like that. Just right, whether you go down this path with us or whether you simply start thinking forward with this, and just gradually let this make this mindset change, you gotta do it for yourself, you gotta do it for your clients because you cannot help anybody with your door shut.

John Fairbanks 20:14
You can't help anybody. Right? You can't help your people, you can't be philanthropic , you have to make money in order to then be able to do all the things, so stop making money from the bad guy and start doing it the right way. And that's really what we're talking about is how can you do this the right way? And we talked about this off and we're gonna keep talking about it. It's how can you make as much money as possible while keeping your soul along the way? Yeah.

Tyler 20:40
And that's it. That's it. That's really it. Let's get out of your job. All right, guys. Thanks a lot John. We tell him where to find us.

John Fairbanks 20:47
Yeah, if you're not already in the gym owners movement right Facebook group you need to get in there. So go to the link in our social media accounts. You can go to hack your you can find the links that are there. Drop in there right if you're a gym owner, you love a gym owner, your opinion matters to a gym owner, right? That's where you have

Tyler 21:09
The more that you care about. Let them know like hey man, you see people struggling. It's been a shit two years for gym owners for some and I've seen some gym owners make this the absolute best two years of their entire career. And most a lot of people would not believe it but absolutely hands down and with this system that this is how I know this system is gonna fly forward because amidst all this bullshit, we've seen people with staggering success and so we know not only does it work that it works in an ideal conditions and that's why we want to make sure to bring it to you before that for the for the blade drops here because it's gonna get easier. So let's get you fixed up and follow me on Instagram at Tyler Elphinstone this other eff I installed you can find John at J banks f L. And I think that's got about everything, share the podcast, leave us a review, get in that Facebook group and we'll talk to you guys soon. Adios

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