Made my Last Truck Payment!
Today marks a great day…I just made the final payment on my truck. No more $700 a month payment.
My plan is to keep it until it becomes a lawn ornament!
There are two types of people in the world. Those who lease and get and new car every 2-3 years and those who buy and keep their car for a decade.
I’ve done both over the years but as I’ve gotten older and smarter I realize there is a lot more value in buying. Why?
Leasing often allows people to buy a car they could not otherwise afford. Most people lease up. Instead of buying a $15,000 Honda Civic for $499/month, they lease a BMW for the same price. Every time they get a new car another $400-500 payment, but they never own anything. Leasing allows you to abuse your car for 3-years and get rid of it.
When you buy you have to chose wisely and take better care of your car. My truck is like my baby. I take pride in it. Clean it, wax it, regular service, and pay special attention to any major repairs.
When you buy your car, it is an asset. Not the best investment, but still an asset. It holds value. It also speaks to the kind of person you are with your money. Whether you think about the long-term investment or just looking for the coolest ride that fits your budget.
There’s also a great sense of accomplishment when you finally pay it off and have no payment for years to come.
How’s does this relate to the gym business?
When you own a gym you have to think long and hard about every purchase, every employee, and every move as if you were investing in your retirement. Because you are!
I see a lot of gym owners buy a ridiculous amount of equipment, hire a bunch of employees, and “lease” their business. Huge overheads, huge debt, and no assets.
When I started Varsity House I borrowed nearly $30,000 dollars from family and friends. I paid them all back by the end of the year. I owned every piece of equipment, had no credit cards period, and only spent money on what was absolutely critical to training my athletes.
If I didn’t have the cash I didn’t buy it.
We stayed that way for years. It was nearly 8-years in business when we already had a great cash flow, great systems, and great employees before we took our first line of credit to level up the gym.
With that we built one of the premier facilities in the country. We also own the building and property… more assets.
I would rather be in a garage with no debt than in a monster gym where I own nothing and are leveraged to the gills!
Moral of the story is look to the future. Look at the implications of your actions 3, 5, 10 years down the road. If you spend 30k on equipment now will you be able to hire an employee next year? If you hire a new coach do you have the business to support their pay?
Start small and grow slow.
Find a small space with a low overhead. Get the bare minimum equipment. Hire one employee at a time and develop them properly. Good employees are your greatest asset.
Don’t move to a bigger space or hire more people until your busting at the seems. Develop your systems, marketing, and sales. Create a training process and methodology for your coaching staff. Build out an internship program.
Then expand…Build assets not debt!
– Coach Joe
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