The Gym Owners Blog/Podcast/STOP “Getting By” - START GETTING PAID


Friday, January 20, 2023

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gym, people, work, business, coaching, sell, money, American dream, offer, owners, fitness, mortar location, clients, leads, personal trainer, training, plan, personal, run


  • ​The American dream - 0:00
  • ​When you play for a team, the only thing you get to do is tackle a dummy - 3:04
  • ​What happens if you’re stuck in a rut - 5:28
  • ​There are too many fans in the world of combat sports - 9:17
  • ​Why you need to use social media to promote your business - 11:37
  • ​You need to look at it objectively and go, “Why did I come off this way?” - 16:18
  • ​The three core things that we’ve done - 17:50
  • ​You don’t need a brick and mortar location to be able to sell - 22:16
  • ​What to do if you’re thinking about opening your own gym - 24:27


Tyler 00:00

Welcome back to the gym owners podcast. I'm your host, Tyler is the way John. I'm John. Alright, guys, we've been putting together a lot of content here lately that you'll probably be seen. But one of the things we touched on with some of our kinds of products directly to gym owners is that a lot of them get into this in pursuit of what we call the American dream, right. That's the entrepreneurship thing, right. And it's not necessarily the American dream, I think it is just like, the person who wants to stand on their own two feet for all our international audience out there. But the American Dream for the sake of rolls off the tongue really well, it just is, in my opinion, I define it as not being kind of owned by anybody else's system, and not making all of my labor go towards making somebody else rich. It's about standing on my own two feet, making money, making a future creating a legacy for my kids, I hope that my kids have better opportunities I had which the same thing that my parents did that their grandparents and that's the American dream, I think you can just nudge your family forward each step of the way, by building something that is yours. Right. So things I've always talked about, it's always been important to me as you want to chisel your name into something permanent. Because that's going to last forever, right. And if you don't, then that's fine. By the way, people can be very happy doing things for other people for other people's business. There's plenty of jobs out there that are satisfying. But you're probably not listening to this podcast. You listen to this podcast, because you own a gym. Because you're a personal trainer, or because you're trying to get into this business. So I hope that this this ranty American Dream appeal, appeal to the American dream, I think connects with you, because it's a piece that we've really talked about a lot over the last year, which is a lot of gym owners are stuck, maybe not wanting to be martyrs in their business and being stuck but barely getting by. But as if the situation just kind of ends up that way. And then there you sit, you're not making any real money. You're working real fucking hard. You made your thing, you made it. You built it, it exists. And then now you're stuck. How do you get past this point where you're like, you're just completely stuck, you're scrambling, you're selling $150 memberships? And you're, what am I going to do? My classes are now full, you're coaching all day. Like that sucks. It's a tough spot to be in. And I know a ton of gym owners who are in that position. How do you get out of it? How do you get to the point where you can get your slice of the American dream and get your slice of that pie, which is to make a pile of money. You want to be driving nice cars, you do a good job, you've worked really hard to be good at your thing. You get your clients results. But yet somehow someone who's that good at that part of your job you barely get by sucks. So how do you get to the point where you're getting paid for the value of what your stuff actually is worth? And the truth is, maybe you want to be earning more than you're worth. I'm not really all that interested in making just exactly what my stuff is worth, I wouldn't mind having a pile of money for doing very little. Seems like that would be okay, too.

John Fairbanks 03:04

For sure. A thing that we called the way the American Dream topic really resonates with me was when I played college football. And on that team, you had really brief windows of opportunity to where you could be a baller be a starter. And the coaches used to joke around all the time sadistically of just give me a chance, man. Are you a chance man, like you want a chance, man, just give me a chance man. Because that was always a frame that got said, right. It was like, man, just give me a chance coach, like, give me a chance. Let me get out there. Let me show you what I can do. And it's like, the coach used to say, chance man's don't come around all the time.

Tyler 03:51

And you've already shown me what you can do every day, which is not enough. As you ain't making it, you're not the better, you're not good enough for that spot based on what I'm seeing on a day to day basis.

John Fairbanks 04:03

And I cannot. I think a lot of your listening can resonate with the emotion but it's when you play for a team. And the only thing you get to do is be a tackling dummy, or a practice hero or get tortured and not get to travel and do any of the things and get to enjoy. Like, all the pomp and circumstance of being a part of the team is the equivalent of being shackled to your business that you've built this thing. Like I made it. Like I made it on the team. And that was the goal. And now you're suffering now, man, there was a stretch when I hadn't gotten a chance man. Like I was still working up to get my chance man. And they would give me two free tickets to the games. So me and my Mom could sit in the stands, and watch the team play. My mom is so excited because I'm on the team. So she's got her button. It's got my picture on it. So you're sitting with all the parents. And sure enough, parents are trying to be conversational and chat with people, whatever. And they're like, oh, is your son on the team? And it's like, well, yes. He's sitting right here. It's like, but aren't they? They're playing like LSU right now. But you're here.

Tyler 05:39

Did you ever just like limp? Like, I gotta, you know, don't fuck it, ask me this question.

John Fairbanks 05:45

There's very few times that suicide seems like a very logical out.

Tyler 05:49

That is a rough spot to be in. It's something that is a really rough spot to begin.

John Fairbanks 05:54

But I bet you it's no different than thinking and thinking you've made it. You've got your gym, you've got your business. You took life by the proverbial balls, and you already

Tyler 06:07

took the risk.

John Fairbanks 06:09

Absolutely. And yet, you are stuck. In the stands, watching the game happen, watching everybody else that's doing the same thing, are you just kicking ass? And you just need a chance, man?

Tyler 06:26

Yeah. So if you're in your business, you're waiting around on a chance is that what by the way, there are things like this happened, maybe maybe you have your dream client, who's got 10 friends who've got 10 friends, and they're all going to come in and join and it's gonna cascade and all of a sudden, you're gonna have 80 new members in the next two months. You got plus 80. From what you are right now, can you handle that? Is that profitable? Do you have a staff? Do you have staff? That's good? Is that just going to break you and your business? Is that your plan, though, to wait around for your chance, man, that's a tough plan to have. And we talked about this, when it comes to businesses that are stuck with a group fitness model, it's just it does at some point top out, right, there's just at some point people want more, it also gets hard to sell. Because not everyone out there wants group fitness. So if your market is saturated, and you're only selling group fitness, it's just tough. You can make a lot of money doing semi-private stuff and other things. Whatever you identify as your next opportunity, I'm cool with it. But identifying as your next opportunity and sitting on ass and wandering around wishing like why are people hiring me for personal training? Nobody wants to hire me for personal training. What is your fucking plan? Do you have a plan? That's the question. Do you have a plan? If you don't, you're going to sit where you sit. And that is it. And so there's no way around this thing where like so whatever identifies your opportunity, what's your point? What are you going to do? And we've helped gyms do this now. We got a guy right now who's really been killing it this last couple of weeks. And one of the things that he's done, instead of sitting around posting fluff on social media, like a lot of people do, we're trying to do influencer stuff. He just started making a focus. Who am I talking to? Who 's going to appeal to the average person? What's gonna get people who want to take a step instead of convincing people that they should take a step in their fitness? What's going to get people who are right there ready, want to go to him? That over the other guy, because that's what you want to do? What just appeals to those people. So he's done very focused social media stuff. And it's been directed at exactly the right people. And he's done it consistently. Then what he's done is every single week, you go back and you look at every one of your posts. And every one that worked didn't. What did I get that leads to what's cringeworthy? What should I have done differently is a call to action on his garbage, what other what other things? So what he does is he does the thing, because he's trying he takes a step forward. And then he looks back and says, Did that work? It didn't work. Okay, let's go. This is now all of a sudden leads start coming in. By having all this other stuff rolling that we've done for them on the back end, and teaching them how to sell and how to get their offers right. Now, all of a sudden, it's 600 bucks, 1000 bucks, 500 bucks at a time instead of 150 153. People told me no in a row, you know, that's not the game we're playing anymore. And, but having that plan taken instead, you need to take control of your situation. This is a thing that I learned from a coach, this is a boxing coach on the internet. And so one of the things that he talks about is, there's way too many fans in the world of combat sports. And even with people that are actually in the sport, if you're training as a boxer and you have a favorite boxer. And you're out there like he's the best versus the other guy who's the best known Oh, this guy is the best. That argument is dogshit. It is a waste of your time if you're trying to be a boxer. What you should be doing is whether or not this guy actually won this fight or not. You should actually be studying the sport, study what he did and how then am I going to take the things he does well, and implement that into my own development? Why don't you be a fan of something that is not a development program? Okay? You're wanting to launch personal training is not a plan to launch personal training, wanting to grow your business is not a plan. So none of these things are helping your development until you actually sit down and go, What am I going to do to start moving in this direction? And how am I going to hold myself accountable? When things aren't working? Of course correct. So many people sit in with their hands up sitting on their hands, and just wondering why things aren't working out for him. And so this is the thing, you just need the plan. And if you don't have one, talk to us, and we'll help you with it. But you have to start taking that thing. You're in that spot right now. And this is the thing between you. And the American Dream is just what's your plan to make this work? Because you didn't just open a business and it doesn't just fucking rain money on you. It doesn't.

John Fairbanks 10:45

And I think you forgot that you opened your gym. And maybe you did hustle, maybe you did do the things that you needed and you started getting leads in. But that's your group fitness model. And how many gyms? How many gym owners are we talking to and gyms that we're looking at, where the group fitness model just ends up leaving you. With no time, you're too busy to do anything, and you're not making enough money. So you get the bright idea to be like, alright, well maybe we'll start hustling, a little bit of personal training and provide a little bit higher service. And just coming up with that idea. Isn't a plan, even just sending out one email? Well, I've done social media, how many times? God? How many times have we heard that people participate? Or do social media? I don't like it. But I've sent some stuff. And they put out a post? Yeah, they say it once.

Tyler 11:46

The thing that I see the most. And this is important for you guys out there, because some of you follow us, some of you we see out there. I see a lot of coaches and personal trainers and gym owners out there on social media, who don't ask anybody to hire them on their social media, if you don't. When was the last time you said hey, we got personal training options, let us know if you want to talk about it and that's it. That's not great coffee, but let's just pretend that's it. Big thing on text. That's it right there on your screen on Instagram or Facebook or whatever it is. And put it on your when was the last time you saw that? I know guys, I've been in the fitness education space for years. And we got into the business consulting side of this. So I have seen a lot of coaches and a lot of gym owners and a lot of trainers who are not making the money they want. It's their main complaint. How can I do this better? I'm losing clients or how do I get more clients or all this stuff and they spend. They're so passionate about their learning. They want to learn, I want to learn, I want to learn how to deal. All they learn is about coaching and all they learn is about movement and all they learn is about dorky stuff. And yet I have yet to see very many of them solicit anything on their social media. It's like you're too cool. Are you too cool? Like are you too cool to try to be successful? Look at what car dealerships have had to do lately to adapt to the new world. The most savvy car dealerships constantly leveraged their staff and their staff. Social media following every salesperson is posting when a car comes in every salesperson who makes a sale is posting a picture of the person, by the way that gets to be a bit overbearing. If you're not interested in a car or you don't really care it can be like cheese, all they're doing is blowing up a shit about selling cars. Family and if you don't like it, I'm falling. I don't remember if it was either Bradley or Grant Cardone ever telling the two of them falling apart? Are they the same person even I don't even know I really can't put it side by side I would not know one over the other and they all seem kind of the same. But one of them had said the thing that you need to do is all your social media, really your personal and your business, whatever is for your business. If you're not using your personal social media, promote your business and try to get sales and try to at least stay on brand the whole time and do the thing. You're making such a huge mistake and people say well gee you know all it takes is one person to come up to you and be like you know it's just you kept posting too much about trying to get a store in the gym so I you know, I unfollowed you and the thing about that is there someone unfollowed you because of it what you're supposed to say is well you weren't fucking buying anything anyways. What and when I heard him say that I was like that's exactly because fuck those people if me trying to feed my spear trying to get my piece of the American Pie me trying to do the thing if that makes you uncomfortable because you're not interested in my business. And I'm really not that worried about you going away because this platform is not about me getting my fucking feelings stroked because I'm pretty or whatever. You know what I mean this like pay me pay me here's what I do. I'm good at it. Here's how all the other things that I do here's people like it. Here's what we do. Paying you want to do you want to do the thing I can help you that is what that transaction should be. If you're still busy trying to like, I don't know how to connect with people you're in junior high with on Facebook. Get the fuck out of here. This it's no If we're going to work for you, that also jams up your algorithm, you get ratioed real bad when people scroll past your stuff, so just let them go, man. So make your stuff about you and about what you do in May. And if they don't like it, go away. But that is trying, not doing it is not trying. Trying without a plan is better than not trying, by the way. But I really highly recommend you just invest a little bit into getting yourself a plan, make a plan, and that plan does need to include holding yourself accountable. Because otherwise, you'll sit there and you'll make shitty posts that nobody likes. And you'll try to reach out to people and you'll do it wrong, and it won't work. And then you're just gonna sit on your heels again and wonder, Oh shit, I guess I really would like this to be working. But it's not. The point is you should constantly be assessing and course correcting what is my plan, how many leads that I get that I set a sales goal for this week? Do it start small, and you want to make $500 in new sales next week, just do it and fight for it. You've had people that have reached out and you have these tools at your disposal. So just try it. Shoot out your email list to people, former members. Hey, if you found somewhere else to go, yeah, if you, if you'd hope you found somewhere else. If you haven't, we'd love to have you back or talk. shoot me a message that you can get to that you might shake one or two loose. Yeah, if you don't have your offers, right, it may just be for members. But whatever you're getting in the habit of trying. And in doing that, making that personal connection for that you realize, oh, that kind of works. And then you'll make some social media posts to try to get some action and then some of them work and you do them right. Some of them don't work, and you need to look at it objectively and go, where did I fuck that I come off this way that I come off this way. Did I make it too complicated? Did the office docs suck? Was the audience bad? Did I only put it on the business's page, which then has really limited reach? Is that possible? So you need to do that with everything that you're doing, let's just move forward on it. But you need to hold yourself accountable and actually make sure that you're moving in the right direction. And that effort, don't hide in coach, you

John Fairbanks 16:58

know, and if you've taken those next steps, you haven't just hidden in that constant state of learning, that lot of us can get caught in and you actually have taken some action steps and you failed. The things that you are that you just rattled off Tyler as all ideas that everyone can run with right now, right? It's these things that you're rattling off, these are proven steps that we have taken with the gym owners that we have worked with, and with the personal trainers that we've worked with starting them at that group fitness model as their foundation and then starting to build that personal training business, that higher premium business into their gym, or into everything that they do with their clients. And I think you and I have boiled it down to what three core things that we've done with the weave

Tyler 17:58

to have it yeah, this is and this is of course not really the steps that you need to do if you're you but this is what we do. So if you want to come and get involved one of the things that we help you do is the first thing we're going to do is we're going to start showing you when you're trying to launch personal training show them how to start generating free leads. That's it free organic leads but not with not with paid ads not at this point because you're not good at writing copy maybe your stuff sucks maybe you don't want to spend more money on that other stuff. Go for it, hire somebody to run ads, go for it, let them handle the whole thing. Those services are great if you can afford it if you can't because money's tight you don't have any more time to make more money then you got to figure out how to bootstrap it Okay, so if you're going to do it this way finding out how to make free leads is the best way to start because again that's exactly what I just described to you right to its free leads those are those are some of the free easiest low hanging fruit things that you can do next you got to get your offer right so that when people do come and talk to you they like have some you have some good packages that work for him for personal training for group all those things packages that people want you know packages that allow people to choose higher levels of service if all your people are coming in on group and the only thing you talk to them is when they call is how much does it cost to join your gym? And it's $160 Okay, no thanks that's it well that's that's fucking less that is not a good conversation that's you call on your favorite restaurant and I want you to ask the question how much is food and fucking What do you want? Like that's such an obvious way to go about it. So some calls are about how much your membership is like well our membership is this and this but it really depends on what you're trying to do. A group membership is this we also offer if you're looking for weight loss, get the conversation shifted. So it's talking about what they're trying to do and what they're trying to accomplish. It's not that hard. But we again when you only sell one thing Yeah, I guess if you're the hot dog spot and people call and ask how much a hot dog is then you're only going to sell hot dogs but then you should that guy you can't wonder why nobody's buying the ribeye because you know if I can offer it so getting the That's right, the main thing that has left clients pay, choose to pay more money for you. The secondary thing that that does for you though, is it makes closing those sounds really easy, really, really, really easy because they come in and they have lots of goals. And I just don't know about you and what you offer. And all you do is offer them a path with your services, or the cobblestones along that path. They want to go further, they want to go faster, whatever that is, they're just going to choose more things along that path. Give me this, let's take this road man, that works. But you've got to have those packages, they need to be built for you for your business. And I really think you do need help to do that if you're going to do it on your own. Because we've seen people that have taken stuff from the podcast, and they try to run with it, like I kind of get it. And it's just missed on so many principles, even with people that we get into the gym hacking University, as they run through it on their own, we get to the point where then they end up like, hey, let's talk about my my offer, once they get to that point in the university, and we usually look at it and then it's me, it's fair amount of tuning up always. So it's better to just go direct and work with someone like us to get that stuff squared away. For sure. Because it

John Fairbanks 21:03

it just lets your stuff sell itself. And the faster we can get there, the faster you have the confidence that you're no longer just leaving money on the table.

Tyler 21:18

Yeah, and you have confidence in your sales process. The other thing about it is like, if you're not used to, if you're having a hard time selling personal training, it's because like, maybe you're just every once in a while. So you know, I do personal training, for someone who you have in the gym, instead of really presenting it as a solution to one of their other problems. You know, instead of really putting it out there that you offer personal training, it's a tough thing, we work with some brands that are still, you know, that are CrossFit affiliates. And it's very difficult for some of them. Because they're running everything under a CrossFit banner. It's like Come join CrossFit, this CrossFit, this gym for our personal training stuff. And the solution is really in how you present it is don't you're not selling CrossFit to these people, you're selling them results, the location of the gym, the name of the gym, the type of training shouldn't matter. I haven't sold a single I've been doing, I've been testing a lot of these personal training sales systems here lately quite a bit. And it's been very, very, very fruitful, it's been very productive. And there's also a lot to be learned by the fact that you don't need a brick and mortar location to be able to sell people. And if you remove, you know, trying to sell your facility or your equipment or any of that stuff from the equation, you'll find that you start closing at a much, much higher rate, because that doesn't have anything to do with what they want. So if you're busy talking about all the stuff that you like to coach and the exercises you did and muscle groups and how smart you are, you're not going to give a shit. They just won't. And they're not going to be that interested. So if you learn to keep your sales conversation, anytime someone shows up as a lead, just keep things oriented on what they want, what they're trying to accomplish, and where your services fit along that road. It's gonna be very, very, very easy to close sales because they're there for something already. This was one of the things we learned from one of our coaches, our business coaches as well. And she said for these people, if you're worried that someone's going to come in like, okay, how am I going to do this, they're gonna get ready to sell, what are we going to pitch them on? Guys, they already reached out to you. You didn't go in and drag them out of their home and say you want to join a fucking gym, and you didn't do that. Right? They came to you. And you know why? Because they're ready, they're ready, they're not coming to you because they're not ready, they've reached out, which means the sale is going to happen whether you want it to or not. There are many of them going to the gym. If you're asking if by the way, if you're out shopping for houses, if you're looking at houses, you're you're gonna buy a house, you may not buy this one, you may not do this one this week, but you're gonna buy a house, you're in the market you are, you're right there. So if you if they're showing up to you, the sale is going to happen, whether it's with you whether it's with someone else, whether they go with whatever bullshit they find online or hire some guru, you know, they'll just have somebody stuff, macros down their throat, whatever it is they're going to do. They're going to do something, and you might as well be the one if all you gotta do is show them the way. Oh, here's where you are. I identify that, here's how we can get you there. Here's what that looks like. And that says nothing about your intelligence doesn't mean anything about your equipment. Your location is a matter of convenience. That does matter. But frankly, they know that by the time they talk, but your brand should almost never come up. I think that's important.

John Fairbanks 24:30

Yeah, I think for anyone that's also starting, we have some folks that have come into our community that are thinking about wanting to open a gym, or they're thinking about one day being able to run their own facility. And just a few through a little bit of conversation. We're not quite personal training yet. Like we don't have a whole bunch of clients that are ours or we're just kind of thinking about it. So the goal becomes I need to get a gym. I'm going to tell you Amen, there are a lot of things that you can do to stack the deck against you. If you choose to start your fitness journey, fitness ownership journey like this is what you're going to do for your business to chase that American dream, if you immediately slap a lease payment, or a mortgage to drop you into the negatives, when you don't have to start that way.

Tyler 25:27

No. And I have started gyms, I've started businesses with brick and mortar locations that put a lot of pressure on you and put a lot of pressure on your business to sell. And with a new business what it does, it puts you in the hole and puts you in a hole you have to crawl out of. The reason you usually kind of can get by that is because then you have to sell therefore you fucking do you figure it out whether it's right or wrong. If you're still here, you figured that out. And then that got tiring, or it got on sustainable or whatever. But if you're a personal trainer out there, and you don't have a location and you're trying to dip your toes in the water, get those things that we talked about reach out to us, we can help you get started. Because that thing is so easy this is now I've been testing the system we have Megan's been doing it we have one other person was trying to do this when doing it. Now we have four other locations right now that are running through the process directly of launching and implementing their personal trainer, that whole new vertical that they were not doing before or if they were offering or weren't selling. And all of them once it gets rolling. Once these things start selling you go, shit, I could have done this anywhere. And it's almost easier to do it in another place. And so you really if you want to get started, start with clients, which means you get these things in order, all you need is leads and an offer amount of leads and good offer packages. And that's it. And then all you gotta do is get yourself a relationship with a gym, they'll happily take your money straight away be respectful to the thing. And that arrangement now that as I see it, it would be very hard for me to want to even go with a brick and mortar location. It may happen as an experiment for what you and I do with business. Right? Right, I need a place to test and do some things and operate some systems. But the truth is it was for just the gyms business that would be you'd be on the hook for some. That's a lot to be on the hook for when you should just be making money and getting clients results because you need that stuff in order to build the system for the long haul. Do you need testimonials you do need practice, you need to get good at coaching, you're gonna get good at coaching by coaching more and holding yourself accountable to the results than you are to just constantly keep your nose in the book, at some point, close your damn eyes to all the fucking information that's trying to get stuck in your head about this exercise is good. This one's bad. This is the way to do this, not just fucking coaching people. Start coaching, start coaching wherever you can, every gym owner I know who's got like a big nut. By opening up getting themselves in a big lease all of them 100% Agree, they should have started smaller, they should have just started with clients that all wish they would have started either out of their garage or out of some other small facility. I have never heard otherwise from anyone. All of them say they should have started smaller. Which means that that personal training thing is the thing. That means that if it's started with a client, their results get better with profitable work instead of unscalable work. And that's important. So if you're new, take that advice and run with it. Really take that advice and run.

John Fairbanks 28:28

And this is why we have the group. Yeah, we have a free Facebook group. You can find it at Community dot hack your and join it. It's free. These are things that give you more access to us.

Tyler 28:42

You can see some of the outcomes from some of the coaches we're working with directly before you decide you want to take a leap if you want to work with us directly. You can just message us here at the gym owner's post. What do we add on it's the dudes at your or at the gym owners podcast on Instagram, or just me directly at Tyler resinstalled on Instagram or John at

John Fairbanks 29:04

Jay banks. FL

Tyler 29:08

you got it. Guys that's got us wrapped up for the day for today. Go get yourself a slice of the American dream. We love you and we'll see you next week.

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