The Gym Owners Blog/Podcast/Hiring New Gym Staff 101

Hiring New Gym Staff 101

Saturday, June 03, 2023



coach, people, hiring, gym, fitness, owners, talk, business, big, sales, put, person, clients, real, paying, fitness industry, members, good


  • ​Introduction to this episode. (0:00)
  • ​The problem with promoting from within. (3:25)
  • ​Taking people at their word and not taking their word. (7:25)
  • ​Look at the part and have the right references. (11:41)
  • ​Are you subjecting your current members to danger? (17:25)
  • ​How to decide what certifications you need? (21:46)
  • ​Anyone with a degree needs to be in sales. (28:00)
  • ​The importance of hiring the right coaches. (34:15)
  • ​How to set expectations for your staff. (39:19)
  • ​How many people are not renewing and staying in your business? (43:16)
  • ​The reputation of gym owners. (46:53)
  • ​The importance of branding and social media. (51:04)


Tyler 00:00

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to this week's episode The gym owners Podcast coming in hot with the radio voice. Tyler stone over there as John you're either either host how's it going, John? I am John. Hello, John. Guys, before we get started, let's talk about what we're gonna do today first first guys, we're gonna talk we talked a lot about building your team setting expectations for your team over the past like maybe a month or so making a killer staff we didn't really covers like how to actually acquire these people. And so what we're going to do this week and next week, we're going to do a two part two part episode here. The first week we're going to cover pre-hire, how to do everything you need to do, everything you need to think through every thought experiment exercise, setting your own expectations for what you need to do before hiring staff, coaches, personal trainers, all of that stuff. John, we have to do a little bit of stuff within our gear Academy as well for some of our franchise level people. Where we handle all of this stuff, where we handle everything from job posting, screening, the interview stuff, like pretty much everything, whether they're full time part time contractors, we get agreements in place, no bullshit, no nonsense, we qualify the leads save you all the headaches. Yeah, that's kind of our like, premium side, because acquiring clients is one thing, one. And once you've acquired enough clients, all of a sudden, you need to start acquiring staff. And if you even if you're operating at a base level of your staff of your your clientele, there's no way your staff is going to stay the same and they're not going to turn over and somebody's not going to leave somebody is not going to get married, somebody spouse isn't going to move away. So you're always going to be in a position where hey, if you're not, if you don't need to hire someone, right now, it's common. And so if you don't know how to do this, you're gonna get you're gonna get run over by and it sucks. There's nothing worse. And we deal with this a lot with gym owners who are trying really hard to build their business, they add layer after layer and system after system and a lot of things are moving forward. And then a coach gets a girlfriend and a different town. And then it's like, oh shit, every hour that this coach was working now the gym owner has to be doing and then has to simultaneously find staff, when that process has always been kind of loose and we promote from a dead or I got a guy in here and scan and stuff it becomes it's not systematic enough for you to rely on. So what we're going to go over these next two weeks is how to make your pre-hiring and post-hiring process something that you can just turn on and off when you need to and that it's reliable, it works and it fits your business. So before we do all that make sure you go to the links in our descriptions or go to the gym owners gym owners and get in the Facebook group we have the Facebook group gym owners revolution there we got also John drops his musings there at least a couple times a week at least. We have the video episodes of this and we have a lot of cool promotions that will be running through there as well soon. Get in with a community of gym owners who are trying to do cool shit all the time. If you want to get into gear Academy that's also at gym owners. follow the show at the gym owners podcast on Instagram. Follow me at Tyler Elphinstone, Tyler eff ironstone on his ramp and John,

John Fairbanks 03:03

you can follow me at J banks f L on Instagram.

Tyler 03:07

All right, enough of that shit. Let's go. So hiring is very, I don't know, I think it's kept when businesses above a certain scale hiring is done very systematically. All right. Every business that I know hiring is a process within a process within a process within a process. And I see the thing I see the most about the fitness industry is we like to think that our business is different from other businesses that are unique. It's totally different now. I just hired a member like motherfucker. Members got a job already like Do you got me that thing where we always kind of promote from within. That kind of is true because they already have trust and they know people and then they have relationships with people. But are they really about art? Do you have a lot of members about to abandon their day job to come work for you full time for less money? I doubt it. Usually that is a solution that works when you need somebody to coach or Tuesday night's class.

John Fairbanks 04:04

It certainly is not a plan. And I've even been a part of schools that like preschools are usually pretty nebulous. As far as your certifications can kind of be like fast and loose sadly Right? Like who you're gonna have especially in like practice blogs, EMS preschools, their private right so it's it is they kind of get the set the rules themselves. And so in all reality is that I cannot tell you how many parents just become preschool teachers. So just like the mom is like, Well, my baby's no longer home and I can get paid to then be with my baby

Tyler 04:36

and lonely during.

John Fairbanks 04:38

So this so what they do is they they hire within and the problem is is that it always ends up being you're at the mercy of eventually those folks move on now you're at the mercy of hoping that you can find somebody it's almost like the mercy of

Tyler 04:53

that pool of talent. That pool of talent sucks sometimes guys and I hope like here let's be honest if you're Trying to get fit people with years of experience into your gym. Like if that's who you're marketing to. Cool, like, like to be your members, great, like, it's great that you can help fit people stay fit or get fitter, wonderful. But like you shouldn't be getting, you should have a wide amount of people who aren't quite fit yet who are still on that path who certainly shouldn't be coaching people. So know that like us, that pool is much smaller than you think. And the idea also that like, oh, we do things this way, and we don't, you know, we need to know our way of doing things, I promise you, your members don't know shit. Either, even the ones that are coached real well, they're not they're trying to get educated. So while they may know how to do a thing, because they've been told you go from A to B to C to D, they don't really know all the why behind it. So it's not that big of an advantage, bringing somebody from who's worked out in your group classes, or has worked with one of your personal trainers. Or if you just have a 24 hour gym who is just around, the only value is in that they have a friendly relationship and are warm to the people there. That right there, there is warmth. Other than that, I very often treat that as a disadvantage, because not only if it doesn't work out, or you're going to lose an employee and all the stuff that goes into it, probably gonna lose a client to

John Fairbanks 06:13

Well, you're gonna probably lose a client, because ultimately it is, it's, they're not going to pay you anymore, once they're on the bank roll. So you got to understand where someone's like, Hey, do you need some coaches? Do you need somebody to like to help you coach? Is them saying, Hey, do you want Can I stop paying you, that's usually what is right. Like, I would like to stop paying you money every month. And instead, like, I'll seems like your coaches kind of just fucking stand around and wear tight clothes. So like, I could do that. In the front desk.

Tyler 06:45

Yeah. And so it's not uncommon for that to be the case. And very often you want that arrangement because I see a lot of gym owners that piecemeal that together. And they give people just enough group coaching and stuff like that to cover the membership. So it's just moving. But then you have, you don't really give them any value, there is no real upside to them. So I'm not opposed to that type of arrangement here in there with the right person. But I really, really like having professionals in your gym, they don't all have to be full time. But like, if they don't, if this isn't a thing that they're paid for professionally, and that they are treated like a system that is like a situation that has growth opportunities in it for them. I get it, not everyone's gonna be full time, but they should care a little bit. And sometimes you can't, you just can't if you're coming in from a full time gig and you're just trying to get your membership for free. And you're just covering a class like it's just going to be them hanging out as members among members. And just being the one running the clock or with a whistle or with a notepad.

John Fairbanks 07:40

And I think from the gym owner, from your perspective, it needs to be due. Do you not often allow your desire to finally find someone or to put somebody in that spot or God Damn, I've been looking for somebody that's a front desk person. And by looking for someone means you've, you've done nothing. You've literally done nothing about it at all, like zero. And then somebody finally says something and you're like, Oh, well, I no longer have to like think about that every every couple of weeks for like five minutes and then never do anything about it. So what you ended up doing is because your desire is so strong, you negate or like rose colored glasses, the entire situation. We're like, No, this person's great. Like, wait a second, this is what we're gonna talk about today, like, what are all the things that we need to have in place before you just because we've seen it go really bad, it's just give the keys to the kingdom to some fucking dude that shows up that has to offer.

Tyler 08:42

And if you're not addressing the situation, soon enough, one of the things that you can't, you can't make in the grand scheme of things a very good decision, you can make a better decision than a bad decision. But you're not going to make a very dialed in tune decision, the perfect move, when you're in a very bad position. It's just not gonna be the case if you let this get too far. And that's exactly what Jon's describing. let this get too far. And you're in need now and your business is not growing because you're stuck doing too much coaching and you're covering all this stuff. It's stressful for you as stress for your family. It's tough on the business, it's tough on your mat, like everything is difficult when it gets like that. When all of this stuff starts to trickle down, you've taken too long. So now when you get a lead that comes in and somebody wants to maybe coach somebody that wants to coach in your gym, you're going to just yeah, you're going to do exactly that. You're gonna paint that turd gold, and you're gonna put it in front of your members, you're gonna pay for it, you're gonna rush it through the process, you're gonna believe everything that they say. And that sucks. One of the worst things you can do as a boss is when you're tiny when you're looking to hire people is to take people at their word. I've had an employer who did this and bless his heart. Everybody came in and they said yeah, I want to make a career out of this. Yeah, I want to be reliable. I want to be Yeah, I want to do this yet this where I see myself in five years here doing this being the best I can be Are you in your business, and then they come in two days later than 45 minutes late, and they want to borrow money and they need to advance money for the next paycheck. But it's not trying to just, you know, it's been a rut. And this poor guy, he's a great guy. And he really wanted to give people opportunities within his business because he had it. So he would have thought he was helping these people, right? Open the wrong fucking people, if you're helping anybody who comes in the door, so you can't be doing that. So let's cover some prerequisites here. Yeah. What does this hire need? And this is really up to you as the gym or what do you need from this hire? Like what soft skills, hard skills experience, whatever that is? What are some of the prerequisites that, that they're there, and that may just be it can start a simple do they work out and do they look like they work out step one. Because if one of those things is true, and not the other way, that's already a problem. And even though you can coach some of that stuff up, if it's not a part of their life, already is weird, right? You can take someone off the street who doesn't like McDonald's, and they can make a great McDonald's employee, you really can't, you can take someone who's off the street who isn't a big fan of whatever it is, and they can be a good employee at that place. Because it doesn't have to be a part of it. But if you aren't making this a part of your life, you actually don't have the skills or knowledge that people are paying for that you don't have to be 10 miles further down the road than the people you're coaching more advanced, you just have to be a little bit further, you have to guide them through the next couple turns that they're gonna go through and their fitness journey. So they don't have to be ahead in their fitness journey like everyone else in the world. But they gotta be a little bit ahead knowledge wise and understanding why so they can guide the people that they're working with super important, but I think

John Fairbanks 11:41

it's also really, really important to call out whether, fuck you, if you, if you get your panties in a bunch about it, is that it's, you have to look a certain way to do the job. And if you look that certain way, it will allow you to then get away, it allows your staff to get away with maybe not having their expertise need to be exactly where it is. Because if you're a fat fuck, or you're sloppy, and you just don't look like you have your shit together, you could be a fucking savant, when it comes to fitness, training modalities and all the expertise in the world. The problem is, that's a big first impression hurdle that you're gonna have to be able to get by.

Tyler 12:31

And then all of your other skills, whatever they may be, why they better be. So above and beyond to overcome that. And at that point, it's not at a high level. If you've watched the Olympics, there's plenty of gymnasts, Olympic gymnast coaches who are like fat guys on the sideline, we're like, Yep, yeah, it was great. You know what I mean? They're just there. But it's a 60 year old person, coach and 15 year olds, right? It's a very, very different thing. But in the space of teaching, people want to come in weight loss, like, you can't be further behind them.

John Fairbanks 13:03

And the problem is that it's not fair, but it is reality. So it's, if you look the part and you look like you fitness, and you are put together and you have your nutrition, nutrition dialed in, or whatever it is that you like, the fact is, it's while I may not have a six pack, I am very large. So if I say, I'll make you big, check the box for strong problems. Like it's like, it's like, it's already that the sniff test right out the gate is like, Well, fuck, that guy's big. And he kind of lives heavy for regular humans. So it's like, he could probably help me be more like him.

Tyler 13:46

Fitness is the opposite of selling crack. Like you got to get high on your own supply. You got to take the medicine that you're selling. You just have to be super important. The same thing with McDonald's, don't begin hiring those five McDonald's men, you gotta leave that shit that shit in a bag. Get out of that building. But I experienced this. One, you got to look at the part you gotta, it's gotta be a part of your life. Because very often what you're teaching is habits and are you teaching habits that you don't have? That's a fucking problem, right? All the knowledge in the world without application is tough. It's, it's, it's tough. People sniff it out. Right, right. Right away. They can sniff out fraud. They can sniff out somebody who's all talk. It's very easy. The second one would be references.

John Fairbanks 14:29

Yeah, and if you're gonna, if you're gonna get people, and they claim to have fitness experience, well, can I ask where they came from? This is totally normal. And it gets like it's the idea that there's reasons why very large companies and most companies have like, I need three references. Can you please provide me three references that we can then be able to call and check up on them and actually fucking call them and check up on them and see where they were?

Tyler 14:58

References are important, I think Employment references are thin ones. And if they've just maybe they've just kind of had a couple of personal training clients they had their I would get, I wouldn't Why would want to talk to the person whose gym you're coaching them out of just if you're respectful in the space, you know, even if they weren't paying you, I need to know what that relationship was like. The other thing about references as client references, I made a wealth of them. But like, give me a couple. That's my biggest advantage. If I ever needed to go get a job or worry frankly, if I'm trying to close a big ticket personal training client, I'll give you references from clients I'm currently working with, and some that I'm working with I've worked with in the past. And this goes back to same thing you do as a gym owner, we talk about testimonials fucking matter, they really matter, you can sniff a lot out from testimonials, it puts a lot of concerns at ease. In the real world or real world application in real people's words, man, does that go a long way. So get them from your info if you've if they've coached somebody for a year or six months, and can't get a single person to like, say a nice thing about him for me, or just Hey, will you just message this guy, and I'm gonna give you a heads up, we just met this guy to talk about working with me, if they can't do that, that means one, they didn't do a good job. Or two, they never actually maintain a real, real, real relationship with the person to where if you couldn't ask for that from one of your clients, maybe not all of them, maybe not all of them are there. But from one of them, then maybe that's a red flag, it's a big red flag. The other red flag issue then would be background checks.

John Fairbanks 16:28

And it's one of the things you don't have to go to the top like you can spend quite a bit of money on background checks. And you don't need to like get their credit score and like everything else, but there are right sex predator like

Tyler 16:42

Google the sex offender registry in your state. And Google's check that person's name on that registry, make sure because that'll be a two colossal deal breaker. It really is. It's just one of those things, you can't have them. Depending on the type of facility sometimes you want that to be there's a thing that's kind of rising up in like the martial arts world is like maybe some of these facilities should vet their clients that way too. You know, it's one thing for members or for coaches to obviously not have a history of sex crimes, but maybe I shouldn't have members in your gym that are that way too. From strictly a safety standpoint, and, and what tools are you helping them sharpen? Martial arts definitely don't need to help some guy with any of that.

John Fairbanks 17:25

And are you subjecting your current members to danger completely? Like even if you're a facility or you are 24/7? facility?

Tyler 17:34

It's a big problem, right?

John Fairbanks 17:35

Like for you to have showers and bathrooms and all sorts of things where you're like we knowingly put you in harm's way or unknowingly.

Tyler 17:45

And obviously, so that's on the member side, right, obviously, which is maybe an adjacent conversation, but on the coach coaching or employment side. Totally a huge show, right? That's just a no not for any other. It's just a no if there's, if there's any flags that pop up on that type of background check. It's no, it's no, it's no, it's a non starter. There's no conversation.

John Fairbanks 18:04

No. And there's, and it doesn't matter how charming right? How charming they were, how

Tyler 18:08

much of it was just as it was. I just understand No, nope, nope, nope, you just, you can't, you just can't. And that's it's that's a very easy issue to work around it done. Problem solved.

John Fairbanks 18:20

I sat with a job interview. And again, a lot of my background comes from education and teaching as well. So it's, I sat with, right with one of my bosses, and we're interviewing a new staff member for the summer. And the dude is like, his oldest father's time. And it just seems off. There seems to be something wrong with him. He's gonna come and he's going to teach science. And when he comes in and answers the questions I don't like it. So he leaves and my boss goes, well, he seems great. And I'm like, No, he doesn't. He seems off. There's something wrong with them. She's like, Yeah, but we're a military school. Nobody wants to teach here. So whatever, we'll hire them. So luckily, we have background checks. So the background check comes through. A couple of weeks go by check in, say, hey, what's the deal? Because the dude spent his entire fucking interview talking about Turkey vultures. We're hiring him for science, like biology. Like I don't want to hear about all your fucking time with turkey vultures. That's where I felt that was off. She goes back. She said yes, we sent bombs to his previous employer in the mail. I was like, Excuse me? She goes, Yeah, so I don't think we're gonna hire him. I'm like, because he tried to blow up his previous employer

Tyler 19:39

shows on that list. Like, I was like, Well, yeah, I don't know what off dude.

John Fairbanks 19:45

So that was just like, but it was just based off of like, how often Tyler do we hear? I just feel really good about this person.

Tyler 19:54

I have never heard of a gym owner. Come out of an interview. Go fuck that guy. No bullshit. And I'm telling it and by the way that that's in your good nature. If I'm being honest with those people, you're being good natured. You're trying to give people the benefit of the doubt you're not an awful curmudgeon distrusting. But like, John, are i True? My gut on those things is really good. I don't know what to tell you. I've, I've tried very hard over a lot of years to go, No, I'm gonna give this person the benefit of despite my first instinct, because I feel sometimes like my first instinct is just being critical and judgmental. Right, I just know, I know that I have a bias towards I have a quote, fuck that guy. bias in anytime I meet a person or anytime someone is folded into my stuff. And like fog, this, I just am very short to very quick to being No. And so I try not to. I try to treat that like this as pre judgment. This is maybe a blind spot that I had. And I spent many, many, many years in many situations, looking past that instinct. And confirming later on. I was right. And then the next time I'm at the Academy, I'm just, nope, I was right. And the next time I was right, so trust your judgment, know your blind spot. But start, you gotta tune that up a little bit as you go. And now it's at the point where like, I don't know, if I just get a vibe, I don't even bother justifying it anymore. I was just like, oh, like, and the truth is, if they're gonna be in your gym, you know, like, everybody that's around you all the time. But if they're representing your brand, you better like them. It should be no, should be no, like, Fuck, I gotta spend how many hours a week in the same building as this guy. I do the same thing with my clients. One of the things I spend two to three hours a week with somebody for the foreseeable future. If I don't like our conversation, it's a no, just because I don't care how much money you pay. I just, that costs me too much time. So just trust your gut on that type of stuff.

John Fairbanks 21:48

And it does, it does end up costing you a ton of time down the road. Another issue that we keep seeing folks running into when it comes to hiring, I'm just trying to decide what people need is. And I think this one is a double edged sword. And this is certifications. So it's right now it is important, you don't want somebody that is like, I know fitness, I like to do things, and then they like fuck your people up. But at the same time, you also don't want to be like these golden handcuffs that you can put on yourself in your business. When it comes to like, well, they don't have an NASM certification, so they can't come in.

Tyler 22:30

Now their requirement. So whatever you are bound by by law, or by any affiliation you have, you do kind of have to follow but understand that sometimes people don't understand those as much as they think they are. So like, oftentimes, your insurance provider may require this person to have NASM certification, some arbitrary certification, depending on your facility, right NASM, or like an L one, I think oftentimes qualifies, but then they got to carry their own live, but then and then your insurance will cover them, depending on also if their contractor full time where we get into that stuff later in next episode. But the other side of that is sometimes if they don't have it, they can just carry their own liability insurance too. Yeah, hired guns. And also in a lot of states, including this one, you don't need any of those things. Your business doesn't need it for insurance just as long as they are there. And they are on your payroll or at least have filled out your contractor paperwork. They don't need any certification. And they don't need to carry their own insurance here. So yes, here any schmuck who has the soft skills, and the willingness to coach someone can in almost any capacity, which is great. Now, let's say you're a CrossFit affiliate, right, your coaches have to have an L one, kind of they have to have a level one certification at a minimum to coach CrossFit in your gym. That does not mean they need that to coach private personal training in your gym. And also doesn't mean they need that to coach powerlifting in your gym, it also doesn't mean that they need that if they want to coach your cardio your noon, 30 minute cardio pump session stuff I see I see what you're doing. Yes. So know that if you're trying to bring somebody in, and yeah, so they're not CrossFit. So if you're a CrossFit person, and you've been doing CrossFit, right, a bunch, and then you're going to apply to work at a CrossFit gym, it's very likely that you understand that getting your level one is going to be right around the corner, it's going to be probably a requirements for you to be coaching those group classes, but they can very easily get in and start coaching some of your other programs some of your other time slots or getting some personal training as a one on one. Let them fuck off one person who trusts them instead of 20 that don't know that or 20 that they're they're getting started with. So you can still ease them via something called an internship program. I used to be like a trial period you know, sometimes when out , everyone should be hired on a three month three to six month trial period. You can just fire them at all times. For any reason because they smell bad you can fire but that's the thing with the certifications. And I see a lot of people get hung up on it. This is the thing that I run into a lot in the technical field as well with electricians, service technicians, heating guys plumbers, if there is if you're looking for a 10 year guy with tons of technical experience a 10 year service technician who has all of his licensing, and is certified on this equipment and that and has education and geothermal, you want a tech school degree and all this stuff, you know what that guy is working somewhere, somewhere that pays him pretty fucking well, because he has all those things already. And he's developed those things throughout the course of a long career, if you're looking for that guy unemployed, if the person that has that is unemployed, and isn't, and it's not because he just moved to your area, there's a problem, there's a fucking huge problem, double back on background check references, and double into those real hard because what's too good to be true very often is, and we would find this all the time. And every, by the way, every single business in the fucking real world, not the fitness industry, which is unique. Supposedly, every other business has had trouble hiring people with skills. That's been nature for a very, very, very long time. I've had a hard time finding people with the skill set they need to do, let alone the certifications or the education or the field experience, it doesn't exist, those people don't exist. So what you do is you get a person that has what we're going to cover next year, the personality that they need, reliability, just all the basic stuff, right? Yeah. Are they friendly? Do they show up on time? Are they leaders? Are they good? Are they good at leading? Are they good at following neither of those things are particularly important unless they're in conflict with what they need to have in the job. But you can go through and you can hire the right human, and you can build the technical skills, the applicable skills into the you're into the right human, what you're not going to find is the right human, who has those skills already? Who is not looking for a job who's not going to be so expensive, because in the hiring market right now, those are the people that have the leverage. Okay, had I stayed in that field I could get my boss was a great guy, but I bent him over a barrel every six months in my employee review for more money, like to the point where he was like, Tyler, come on, every six months. Why? Because I just say I've everything I need to do to go somewhere else, like you pay me all this. And I don't want to work. I don't want to work past 5pm Because I want to lift weights. So I don't care if there's a service call at 430 Someone else does it? Well, what do you mean? How are we gonna do that? I don't know. But I don't care. And what happened was, it was just a situation where I had all the leverage I could have. This poor guy would have been in a real rough spot dealing with me. And he would have had to keep me until I finished all of the skills and stuff that I had taken me to. Now I want to do my own business, I want to do my own thing. But that guy dealt with the fact that the employees that have skills that are reliable, have all of the leverage. So you don't want to give yourself some leverage by presenting an opportunity for someone. Instead, as an employer, instead of coming in and finding somebody who's like, Fuck you, I own you, buddy. I know what I got. And that's a rough way to start a relationship on the business ownership side.

John Fairbanks 28:00

Oh, 100%. And you know, who really figured this out? Is anyone in sales? So when I played football, at the University of Florida, we every year had a job, it was a career fair. That would come. And there were, I don't know, 50 different employers that would come and it was only for student athletes at the University of Florida. So they'd set up in one certain area and one of our athletic buildings. And we'd have 50 employers that are career fair. And they would be coming to only hire graduating student athletes. It didn't matter. It was fucking pharmaceutical sales craft, like fucking like mac and cheese sales, like it was, it was all of these major companies. And they were coming, because none of us had sales experience. None of us had any of the hard skills to do any of the things. I mean, some of the guys that I played with, they did like hard like medical pharmaceutical based type sales shit for years and made fucking bank, because that's where they went. They went into that. And so it's like, okay, what are the intangibles? And so this again, this helps you when it comes to hiring and screening and looking at people. What do student athletes typically have that graduate with a degree? What are the skills that they have that will make them good at sales or interacting with people or being in front of the office? All of them, all of them. The fact is that you can balance and

Tyler 29:40

None of them are at the top of the pile. They show up. They show up on time they work, they learn to be flexible mentally, they can work hard physically, they can put in hours and all of those things like that becomes a very ripe market for any hire. And that's one of the things about university as much as I fucking hate the fact that what the degree is right Right. What it does is vets doesn't mean that anyone who doesn't have a degree sucks, but there's a pretty good chance that if you got a four year degree, and you showed up and played sports throughout that time, that you are not going to not show up for work. No College. Like, you guys, y'all forget, get out there in the real world, you just forget that that shit exists. And it exists a lot. It exists all over the place. And I think that one of the things is like, Are they reliable employment history friendly? All these things that we talked about one of the big ones in this skill set to his empathy for coaching for fitness is do they actually give a shit about clients, they care about other people. And that's the difference between someone who is fitness or who's like, Oh, I just like, I like working out, I have I have ABS I work out, I know how to lift I've been lifting, that is great. That's one prerequisite. On the other side of that, though, if they don't actually give a shit about people that they're coaching, then very often becoming a coach is simply an exercise in massaging their own ego. It's I look at how much of a fitness or I am, now I'm a fitness or who gets paid to fitness. And I was like, Wow, this was to help people. And very often that's missed and I know that it's twofold. You have to have enthusiasm for fitness and for training and stuff. But your passion needs to be in guiding people. And that's a big one where you see this all the time. But like you have to actually give a shit about the people. Because like one of the things we touched on is that just having the desire to coach and being great at it, by the way, like being very, very focused and good at one specific thing, the types of coaching exercise training, it's the word John, how would I put this, the goals that you would help someone achieve? The type of training you're most familiar with, is very different from someone who says that like, is doing just a lot of cardio, a lot of aerobic stuff, like a lot of the there's nothing wrong with it. But a lot of people say the less heavy the less strong and that doesn't mean that you're not the right fit. But it does mean that if I am that if we're coaching a what I need is I need someone to cover my fit mommy's noon hour. And I need somebody who can come in and personally train my clientele to say 60% women, and most of them are targeting weight loss. That doesn't mean you can't do it. But it's like, shit, maybe there would be a better spot in my system for John than my fit mommy's class, you know, without a doubt. And I think one of your clients really put it best to tell the story, right is that it's you I think you were going over cardio. Yeah, so buddy, you got it. You gotta get it. I told him I said we got to do this part. It's very simple. Hit this for me twice a week, just simple steady state cardio. So I just need you to maintain a decent cardiovascular base who keep that in place. And then we can that's the foundation we build all this other stuff on. He said, Tyler, if I gave a shit about a cardiovascular base, I would have hired someone who was half your size. Said I'm here to get huge. And I said you know what? Fuck it, I'll take that under advisement. You're right, whatever. You don't want to do cardio. And I say you should. But if you don't want it, that's it's like, you know what? This and I get my brand. McDonald's here anytime, anytime. To give you a reply. We've covered this briefly. Right. But I think I think that is a I think that's really, really important that you just put the right people in the right place. And if you've got a powerlifting group, or you have a strength training segment, and you've got somebody who's weak and small, maybe don't maybe if you like the local hospital slash strength training fucking conglomerate here. And they bring out every year to talk to the fall and winter and spring sports parents, they said, Okay, we've got our strength training specialists and they will roll out a 155 pound man, who's 23 years old, or whatever version, it's a new person. Every time he sees I eat this motherfucker every week. What does he do? He's the one in charge of getting my kid big and strong. Rose. Fuck, I want any advice this this kid has, what are we talking about here? Right? And so that's again, are you getting high on your own supply? We should maybe align your supply with what the other people want.

John Fairbanks 34:15

And I think it is really important. So you know what coaches from a gym's perspective that you want to be trying to attract or hire, because the fact is right, not all coaches can coach all people to all things. Yeah. They just don't have the ability. And when you start trying to do that, or you start trying to find people that are specialists in particular things up front, it's the same way where I always felt like and I've heard this, I have a friend who is a contractor and he's an engineer, and and they do like huge, huge buildings for all the major universities that are around our area. And he talks about all the time, so he does the career fairs too, but he goes to the engineering schools to be able to go and recruit new engineering kids And he goes, honestly, he was I would love to have somebody come in and intern with us over the summer, while they're going to school, instead of just getting these kids that are coming straight out of college with their degree, because because we have to undo so much learning that they have, because it's actually a detriment. Yeah, they have the paper, but their expertise, their, you know, like desk expertise is so misguided than what's existing in the real world that he goes, we have to spend like six months on training them, just to get them where we want them to be. It was just like, I would rather take a kid that just has a general interest. And then we just teach them exactly what we do, specifically in our firm.

Tyler 35:52

And I was talking to Coach kind of in my network I've known for a long time, Matt, and he said, we're talking about exercise science graduates, I've made a post about a man there's nothing more discouraging than seeing some extra kid come out as come out of college with an exercise science degree. That's just awful. A hubris and quote, knowledge. And it's the dumbest shit in the fucking world as I've never you never see anyone coach with more ego and less empathy and less, just, it's all the worst, it's all information in a vacuum, it sucks so much. And so we're kind of going back and forth. And he said, " You know, I speak at universities three or four times a year for their exercise programs. So he's gonna pull me along for a couple of them here next year, so that'd be a rip. I'm gonna fucking piss off whoever's there, but it's gonna be what it's going to be, but will light a fire under the ones who matter. And the ones who are bothered by that conversation can go fuck themselves, truthfully, then go work for some hospital making kids jump back and forth across lines all fucking day or whatever dumb shit that they do. But, and also so back into the context, right? Is this a situation where maybe you're better off just hiring somebody with a clean slate, right? Who just is enthusiastic about fitness, maybe kind of wants to help people doesn't have a wealth of knowledge. But like just is, it's better to have that sometimes in your gym than someone who is hyper specialized right. And so the thing that I told that I was one of the guys in our gear Academy told this story the other day, and I thought it was pretty funny. He said, " You know what happened when they were trying to get shampoo for SeaWorld. He said, They're going around the ocean, they find these big schools of killer whales, and they go through and what they did is they put a pole on the back of the boat. And that boat was that posed like 15 feet high, right? And they went driving around, and it kind of tried to scare up these big killer whales, right. And they went through and they went through tons of them. And one of them finally got up and was able to jump and clear over that poll. They said, Ah, that's the one that's gonna , that's the one that's going to be Shamu. It's going to be a SeaWorld. And really, that is that no shit. I didn't know that. He goes, No, of course, that's not how they fucking did it. He said they just went out and caught a whale. And then they taught him how to do the shit. That's it. That's it. And he had a really good point, though, in that the big turning point with his business and staffing and scaling and things like this was that it's on him to create the system. And once you learn how to take someone with a base level of prerequisites, and bring them up and make them useful and teach the things that they need to put them in a place to succeed, when you're able to take someone from A to Z like that. He said, That's the moment where he was very confident and he no longer had to worry about cheese. I gotta find an ace, there is no Asus. And I hate to break it to go out in the world, guys, there are none. There are none. And when you talk to people, I've been all over the world. I've talked to a lot of fitness people, a lot of business people at a really, really high performance. And a lot of the people out there you think are experts, guys, there are no experts in anything. There is not anybody, it's okay. The best people who are the most capable are the ones who just go. Okay, in this situation, I have knowledge and experience and I can figure this out. They can aggregate it via troubleshooting problems, shooting problem solving and course correction just like you and I. They've just done it enough to where they don't stress about it when the problem is complicated or is put in front of them, which you perceive from the outside is expertise. But that is absolutely not what is happening. So trust me, there are no experts, it doesn't exist.

John Fairbanks 39:19

Yeah. And you. The fact is that understanding should give you confidence, from your perspective, that it's, oh, I can turn any of my people into an expert. So even if they're just like God has seen this, and this is why you have 90 days. This is why you establish 90 days or 180 days when you get a higher than if they are just like you are a sad sack of crap. And I'm going to turn you into a fucking marbled statue of what I expect out of a staff member or person trainer or whatever it may be. And it's you If they continue to stay a soft potato, a sack of shit, once you hit 90 and 180 days, adios, send them off. Because you will have people that are hungry, that do want to be able to do these things that are, whether it's entrepreneurial minded, or they just want they have a drive to do better. And if you

Tyler 40:21

set those expectations in the beginning exactly what's important, you're not just going, you're not surprising them by this, you are doing like you said, you're guiding them you're coaching them to you're giving them the opportunities to become the employee they need to be and cross this threshold, you did not no longer work here to problem solve.

John Fairbanks 40:39

And that does become rougher because we have been part of gyms, where you've had longtime staff that have not been holding the standard and have not been doing the things that they should be doing. And starting to implement. It's a very specific process of how you go about doing this. So you can help those coaches expose themselves and make sure you're putting yourself in a position to be able to start establishing new expectations. But the way you know what expectations to set so that they can be established ahead of time during the pre-sales process. And then all throughout your post hire process as you go through those first 90 180 days you have to know what your gym needs. You have to know what what are my expectations for these individuals, and what's the specific roles that I'm trying to fill because you can really fuck good people in a bad way to where if you are putting them in a position where it's impossible for them to be successful because you do want them to be all the things for all the places inside your your space.

Tyler 41:52

Yeah, and the big one is, you know, let's talk just generically maybe like four roles that are probably just just generic that every coach kind of will absorb give or take there's just general staff being in the gym being around putting things away there are things to be done there's there is coaching, like group cook group coaching semi private coaching there's personal training just one on one stuff and then there's also sales like that is a it's a some places some of these other consulting giant organizations in this field want you to we bring in their salespeople, salespeople, killers killers salespeople sales as a separate salespeople closers and settlers. And yes, like it guys, this sucks, man. I don't know if it can kind of work if you have this massive volume of leads, and have the ability by the way to fulfill this. Let's assume this is all. So bring it, let's cover this for a second. Bringing in full time salespeople is wonderful. Assuming you need to constantly be selling, because you better be paying them. Well, if you're not, they're going to be a shamanic, they'll just go sell cars, like a good salesperson is not going to be taking 10% of your stuff, that's not going to be enough. Unless there's a ton of volume. If there is that much volume, let's say you're closing three to five people a day. What are we talking about here to make that worth carrying full time, full time staff in there, if that is what's going on? How many people are not renewing and not staying in your business for the long term. Tons. Meaning if your business requires that on the front end, and you're not essentially five axing and 10 axing every fucking year, then your business is completely and totally fucked, you're completely lost your retention altogether. And so you're just feeding people through a system that sucks. And that everyone who walks out and doesn't stay, someone choosing not to continue to do business with you, is a downvote. If this was Reddit, that's a downvote. So depending on your market and your community, and how many people live within an easy driving distance to your business, there's only so many people you can churn and burn in the fitness industry, by being bad on the fulfillment end or misleading on the front end, to where all of a sudden you're left holding the bag with a gym, that's not very popular anymore. A gym that makes a bunch of money and has a bunch of systems in place that aren't yours. It doesn't have your character and your vision in mind. It has somebody else's, but then it's been optimized and yet totally devalued in your brand in your market and across the board. And there's not a lot of competition to buy and then someone will come in and acquire it at pennies on the dollar, which is perfect you can sell out you'll get your little chunk, but then they're getting a can system so know that that's how a lot of the shift fucking works. And it's important to know that that is in a business that is growing at a reasonable rate, with actual humans getting actual results, and good staff getting good careers instead of this turn and burn bullshit that's out there. You need to know that those sales are happening with trust. Okay, and the first thing a person needs to trust is not a fucking salesperson. Yeah, not if I'm buying a car. Yes, I need to trust that salesperson kind of in the business as a whole But then it's me in that car and I'm driving off the fucking lot. And it's just me and my car. But the fitness industry is very different because you have a coach that you need to trust and a coach that you need to connect to. So I still believe that while not all coaches are great as salespeople, coaches should be your best salespeople, they really should, because because they're the one if they're not good at what's the word, presenting themselves as trustworthy and building early on a very quick sense of trust with client, getting someone to take that leap saying, I trust you with this part, this vulnerable part, this next part of my journey, I'm starting something new, I'm trying to make a change, I trust you with this, okay? That you cannot make them make that decision twice, first with a salesperson, and then just stick them in front of a coach who they didn't make that decision with, for or on behalf of.

John Fairbanks 45:46

Yeah, and you do have to have a be where you empower you have a system that is built to empower your coaches, personal trainers, and your fucking front desk staff individuals to have the ability to take someone through what ultimately is a sales conversation, but should be deeply cloaked in just being a goddamn human? Yes. Because that is where it's, whoa, I need to have a salesperson. And now immediately, we start talking about like sales tactics and sales closing

Tyler 46:19

salesperson who when someone says, Oh, I got to talk to my wife, it's like, what do you make? Well, let your wife make all the decisions. What if she says no, you're gonna it's like, What in the fuck kind of bullshit? Is that? Like when you're trying to get someone into me? Because of fitness, the problem with those sales tactics is that in the fitness industry, people actually need to be bought in and care, you can't, you're going to dupe them into making the commitment. And if they're not really in it, then they're not going to get the results. So then you're selling a product that doesn't fucking work. Now you're in the turn and burn fitness business, and you are a part of the scourge of cancer that this business has a reputation for.

John Fairbanks 46:52

And it is better and it's a reputation. Yeah, and it's a reputation that not only clients experience, but you guys as gym owners know, I can't tell you how many conversations we are having, where people immediately are like, on guard. They're like,

Tyler 47:11

wait a minute, you're not from these people, are you? And it's like, No, dude, I'm like, who hurts you? Yeah,

John Fairbanks 47:18

I'm so sorry for whatever they did and how they did it. Because they obviously can't be bastards that have come out and have done this stuff so shitty and realize how you feel as a gym owner. Whenever you start thinking about marketing and ads and all that other shit like business development and being able to enhance your shit. How you feel about that is how your clients feel about somebody wanting to talk to them about supplements or nutrition or fitness, because they got fucked by somebody. And they are snake bit

Tyler 47:51

gonna You said this was free, but is free, but you need $500 And then it never really works out to be free ever. Fuck. You know, that's the shit that sucks. And those types of things that happen with you as gym owners, you commit to a system like that from some consulting organization or gotten it just kind of shit on the competition, they do better with money, what they're doing, they're, they're doing just fine. They don't need you as a gym owner either. What's happened is their reputation is not solely their reputation is only kind of shit on nationally, from a few huge gym owners who were like, man, that seems like it's right. I didn't like how that felt. The problem is what they're cashing in on is your social equity, your reputation, they can go in and make money off of you help you make a little bit of money, while you just fucking scrape your reputation all across your town across all these people who are coming and making a change. And they fuck up your rep. They help you fuck up your reputation and trade it for some quick money in some turn and burn system and that sucks. It really sucks. And none of those clients know that that's where they were getting the information from. The worst part is that he was a gym owner. He just listened to the wrong dudes, man. Yeah, arming or just spending a bunch of money on ads to get in your face like but it's, yeah, it's a real shame. So anyway, be better. Fuck up better. I think that's a new model. We should watch you better you better

John Fairbanks 49:14

John and Tyler. There is more, right? We want to be able to go into more of this and specifically get into sweet talk. These are all the pre-sale pieces. And then the next episode that we want to go into that will be done for next week is going to be tied to now let's look at like part time hiring full time hiring versus contractors. And because it really starts to make a difference whether we're talking about staff that you're hiring coaches, that you're hiring personal trainers specifically, like those are very specific skill sets. And again, as long as you know what you need as a gym owner, and the expectations can be set because you've done all this pre-sale process first. Now how do we handle what happens next? How are you people? And

Tyler 50:02

How do you put them in a place to succeed? How do you not just set the expectations for them, but also help them market themselves, make sure that there's earnings and sales opportunities put in front of them quickly when they get in. So they have a chance to learn and a chance to be successful, and have a chance to actually have an impact within your community. Because that's what it starts with. They can come in and get working with people and deliver people with results, delivering results to people if they can do that, and get started with that right away, man, you're doing great, because that's addictive. It's very addictive, if you're a coach addict, right? If you're a coach, it's great. Like you have clients come in and drop 2030 4050 pounds in a year, man, that'll get you fired up. Okay, that makes it very easy, then to sell the next person because you're just riding that wave, that's, this thing needs to be based on success across the board, success for your members, first and foremost success for your coaches, because you need them to help guide the clients. And in return, every layer, that system needs to create success for the business, okay. And then with all those outcomes, feedback to your reputation, your marketing, we create that feedback loop of success, that's the thing we need to do. That's the thing we build in our gear academy or franchise level stuff is big time where that's where we go through and do everything from your hiring, marketing, ads, all of this stuff, but built with your branding, and all this stuff in tact. All this stuff everybody else does wrong and does fucking really poorly. We make sure that we do this with like, your shit in mind, not just making it our stuff. So if you want to know about that, you can shoot us an email at Jonathan's email, they can shoot us, or shoot just message us on Instagram if you want. Or if you want to have a little more to say you can email us at

John Fairbanks 51:35

your mom at Hack Your

Tyler 51:37

That's real to it is your Mohammed hack your So we have many, we have many they all feed at the same place. But I do like that one. And when we tell you that it's not just because we don't like you, it's real shows up in our

John Fairbanks 51:48

inbox. That's only for our most favorite people. Your most favorite emails get

Tyler 51:52

text, it is one we might only give out on the podcast. So it is nice to know that someone has heard it because I won't say that to someone in person. If I'm having like a handshake, your mom,

John Fairbanks 52:04

go fuck yourself.

Tyler 52:07

So that's where you can start, you can message us on the official page to the Jim Morris podcast on Instagram and we can carry on the conversation there. We are still doing our free for you Instagram audits. We also have the kind of Google Business tune up stuff, some like marketing will give you 30 minutes of our time. We'll run through your profile, we'll do it for free. We don't work with anybody in our gear academy or otherwise, unless we've done something like that with you for free. It's not a sales call. It's not anything, it's you asking for help, here's us telling you the things we think you should do. And then we sit back and see if you do it. And then if you do it, we'll be interested in taking money from you. Because if you don't, like I said before, there is no amount of money I'm going to take from you that I will continue to take from you if I fucking think you're not doing the shit because I hate that there's nothing I hate more than my work my efforts, even if I wasn't being paid for them or not being gone to waste. So if you're going to waste the information and waste the opportunity, save yourself the fucking money. But if you want to make it happen, we can start helping you right now for free. Give me a couple of opportunities, we can tune up your stuff to be an organic marketing strategy, tune up your social media stuff, every single person who's got one of those, we should get some reviews for those we'll put up there at some point. But like, every single person has jumped on with these calls and being like holy shit was amazing. It was like mostly, I haven't had a chance to really think about this stuff this way. And it's super, super, super helpful. They've made huge changes and got huge results from just their organic social media stuff. So if you want that for free, just go to our Instagram. That's gonna be there. You can book those appointments we only have live they're very limited, we don't do a ton of them each week because it's free. But it's good for us, keeps us sharp, keeps us looking at your stuff, we want to help you guys get moving forward, if you're not making enough money to start working with us full time now. Some of these things we can do for free will help put you in a position where you can start paying to take yourself to the next level.

John Fairbanks 53:50

Yeah, for us it is you may want to be able to talk with us and you may want to work with us but we may not want to work with you. And that's why it's we have to be able to have those conversations first and be able to get a feel and get a vibe because it is not everybody is going to fit this

Tyler 54:03

funnel for everybody. Not a single person, though, that we have done the audits for why not work with that's very important to know. So it's always the first step the first step is willingness to take action that's the filter the ones that don't do that stuff and say oh I think maybe man if y'all just kicking the tires go to hell man he won't make some work and we get some work let's go let's fucking go so get in that's your access point. You can learn a lot of other stuff, you can go to our website, you can join the Facebook group, all this stuff in our description, but your access point to start really doing the work will cost you nothing. So coming for free those Instagram audits will point you in the right direction and give you a really honestly stuff you can work on for probably like a month it'll keep your business to social media stuff and start generating leads hype we want to make stuff that people are excited to talk about in your area so teach how to do it so that's it that's all we got fall show Jim Morris podcasts on Instagram. Follow me at Tyler Elphinstone, Tyler, eff ironstone and John

John Fairbanks 54:55

and follow me at J banks f L alright guys

Tyler 54:59

have Good week we will see you next week

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