How being busy was the worst thing that happened to me...
Like many Strength Entrepreneurs my first love was coaching and the science of performance. I spent most of my early career studying the X's and O's of strength and performance, NOT business. I have a degree in Human Physiology and Bio Mechanics. At one point I had over half a dozen training certificates that I held on to as a badge of honor. I’ve been to countless training workshops, mentorships and seminars. None of which ever prepared me for being a business owner and entrepreneur. All I cared about was being the best coach I could be.
Fast forward to 2005 and I had decided it was time for my own gym. Up to that point I had been the director of performance at several big-name training facilities on the East Coast, but always wanted my own gym. My mindset was that if I get results and the coaching is great, I’ll get clients. They were right! What I wasn’t prepared for, was the REAL tangible work it was going to take to run a business.
You see as soon as you take the step to open your own gym coaching the X's and O's of training can quickly get overshadowed by paying bills, managing a schedule, payroll, marketing, sales, lead generation, financial forecasting, and a variety of other business-related mumbo jumbo! In 2006 I opened the first Varsity House, and quickly became overwhelmed.
Between programming for 50 athletes, paying bills, writing emails, making YouTube videos, and going to local sporting events, there was barely any time left. I was just “grinding” 60-70 hours a week, seven days a week, for 3 years. I even worked on Christmas Day. In 2009 my partner Dan joined the company. My first thought was, finally someone to share the workload, and my pain. We were going to open a bigger space, hire a few employees and that would solve everything. Wrong!!! As they say… MORE MONEY, MORE PROBLEMS!
Since we didn’t have the systems in place to scale the business to another level adding more space, employees, and increasing the overall financial output of the gym only made those issues even worse. We were the BEST performance facility in our area, and we were packed. By most accounts a great problem to have, but we were TRAPPED inside our business with ZERO plan to get out from under its weight. We needed help!
In 2010 we made a commitment to learning how to run a “real” business. Time to become a true Strength Entrepreneur. We dedicated every second of spare time to learning about business. We hired our first business coach Pat Rigsby and attended a “high level” sales mentorship he was running in Louisville, Kentucky. We didn’t realize how bad we SUCKED until we saw what Pat and some other REAL business people were doing. We were way behind, but we had a busy gym with an amazing group of hard working people. I knew we would turn it around. It was time to turn our passion, into a real profession.
It was time to turn our passion, into a real profession.
After the sales mentorship we joined several business masterminds. We had weekly objectives, projects, and we got to network with other gym owners who were way further ahead then we were. This gave us many of the tools we needed to get Varsity House performing like a well-oiled machine. Structure, systems, and scale were the key to being able to provide the best training while the business details ran themselves.
In 2008 when I was a solo entrepreneur I did $120k in total sales, in 2010 when Dan and I had been in business for a year we did $200k. By 2011 after we started implementing some real business structure we doubled income to over $400k. Then in 2013 we did nearly $750k in a 5000sq/ft dump of a gym. Now we have multiple seven figure goals, a 20,000sq/ft state of the art facility, and a team that works together to drive business while maintaining the highest possible training standards. I can say with confidence that because of the structure our training is better than ever. We can focus our attention on the things the matter most. Our athletes and their overall experience here at VH.
If this story resonates with you and you find yourself in a similar situation don’t lose hope. Change is always hard, but change is what you need. Dan and I have created The Business of Strength Mentorship to help gym owners get their lives back and make more money. Our programs will show you how we took Varsity House from a dingy two-car garage to a world class brand. We will give you all the tools you need to make serious business gains without losing your identity. We’re going to help you avoid the same mistakes we made so you can add rocket fuel to your business.
I would love to hear from you. If your interested in working with us just respond to this email and we can schedule a call to see if our programs can help. I look forward to hearing from you.
Dedicated to Your Success,
- Coach Joe Strong
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