Emotional Work Ep 211

Summary Notes


In this episode of Gym Secrets, the host discusses the importance of balancing optimism with confronting harsh realities for entrepreneurs, particularly in the fitness industry. He emphasizes the growth that comes from overcoming challenges, such as handling negative customer feedback or financial scrutiny. Drawing from his own experience and referencing Jim Collins' leadership qualities, he advocates for embracing difficult situations as opportunities for innovation and improvement. The host also highlights the value of direct customer engagement, as demonstrated by his own practice of daily calls with gym owners, which has been instrumental in the success and adaptability of his business, Gym Launch, especially during the COVID-19 crisis. He concludes by encouraging listeners to maintain a positive outlook while staying grounded in the practical aspects of their business.

Summary Notes

Introduction to Gym Secrets Podcast

  • The podcast is aimed at gym owners, focusing on customer acquisition, revenue increase, and customer retention.
  • The podcast also shares failures and lessons learned in the journey of entrepreneurship.

Your ability to maintain neutrality is based on your ability to be optimistic. Welcome to the Gym Secrets podcast, where we talk about how to get more customers, how to make more per customer, and how to keep them longer, and the many failures and lessons that we have learned along the way.

The quote introduces the podcast's theme, emphasizing the importance of optimism in maintaining a neutral stance in business challenges.

Emotional Work in Sales

  • Sales teams at Gym Launch have noticed a trend of gyms avoiding confronting reality.
  • The podcast intends to address this issue of reluctance in facing the truth.

One of the things that came up from my sales guys on our side for gym launch was that at this current period of time, there are more gyms that are getting on the phone and they describe it as being reluctant to confront reality.

This quote highlights a problem identified by the sales team, where gym owners are hesitant to face difficult truths, which is a critical issue to address for business success.

Leadership Traits from "Good to Great"

  • Jim Collins discusses the balance of optimism and reality confrontation in leadership.
  • Good leaders maintain optimism while also facing the brutal facts of their situation.

Jim Collins talks about some of the character traits of good leaders, and he talks about one dichotomy, which are know, it's two kind of things that you have to balance back and forth, which is maintaining almost unreasonable optimism for the future while also confronting the brutal facts of reality.

The quote summarizes a key concept from Jim Collins about the dual nature of leadership, which requires a balance of optimism and realism.

Entrepreneurial Development

  • Entrepreneurs evolve by becoming less affected by challenges over time.
  • Recalling past stresses can highlight personal growth and increased resilience.
  • Entrepreneurial progression involves skill acquisition, character trait development, and belief transformation.

So just to give you some hope and positive feelings about yourself right now, can you remember what your business was like maybe five years ago, and the things that you used to stress about and the things that used to bother you, keep you up at night?

This quote encourages listeners to reflect on their past business challenges to appreciate their growth and development over time.

The Cycle of Entrepreneurial Growth

  • Entrepreneurial growth is cyclical, involving skill acquisition, character development, and breaking old beliefs.
  • This cycle repeats with each new level of entrepreneurial success.

But first you acquire skills, then you acquire character traits, and then you break beliefs, right? And that's kind of a cycle that continues to happen at each level.

The quote outlines the stages of growth for entrepreneurs, emphasizing the continuous nature of this development cycle.

Maintaining Neutrality Through Optimism

  • Optimism is crucial for entrepreneurs to confront harsh realities.
  • Holding onto hope and working on new ideas can empower entrepreneurs to deal with difficult situations.

But I think your ability to maintain neutrality is based on your ability to be optimistic and think about the things that are going to happen or things that you're currently working on, things you're experimenting on, things that you're hopeful for and holding on to.

This quote connects the ability to stay neutral and objective in business to the entrepreneur's capacity for optimism, which is essential for facing and resolving tough issues.

Confronting Business Realities

  • Acknowledging the importance of examining business fundamentals such as profit, expenses, and sales conversion numbers.
  • The necessity of confronting uncomfortable truths in business to identify and address issues.
  • The analogy with doctors' philosophy on diagnoses, implying that bad news, while emotionally painful, is beneficial for timely action.

"And that's the dirty work, right? And not wanting to look at what your sales conversion numbers are."

This quote highlights the reluctance to engage with the challenging aspects of business analysis which are crucial for growth and improvement.

"But the sooner you find out your bad news, the better it is."

This quote emphasizes the value of early detection of problems within a business, akin to early diagnosis in medicine, as it allows for quicker resolution.

Embracing Challenges as Opportunities

  • The mindset shift from viewing problems as opportunities rather than setbacks.
  • The idea that the best entrepreneurs excel under pressure and in unfamiliar situations.
  • Personal reflection on finding calm and happiness in the midst of the Covid crisis due to focusing on what truly matters.

"And I think that, I don't know if you've heard this saying with doctors, it's like there's no bad diagnosis."

This quote underlines the concept that information, even when it's negative, is valuable and can lead to better outcomes when acted upon promptly.

"And so we have to rewire our brains to start loving bad news and trying to frame them as, instead of problems as really opportunities to come up with solutions."

This quote speaks to the psychological adjustment needed to perceive challenges in a positive light, fostering a solution-oriented approach.

Entrepreneurial Mindset and Leadership

  • The natural inclination of entrepreneurs towards risk, change, and uncertainty.
  • The contrast between the entrepreneur's comfort with change and the typical employee's discomfort.
  • The balance between maintaining optimism and confronting brutal facts as a leadership quality.

"If you have employees, then you should understand that they definitely aren't comfortable like you are in change."

This quote acknowledges the different attitudes towards change between entrepreneurs and their employees, highlighting a leadership consideration.

"And so if you have somebody on your team who is constantly talking negative, it's difficult for them to even see anything positive, and then they end up sabotaging themselves."

This quote illustrates the destructive impact of negativity within a team and the importance of leadership in fostering a positive mindset.

Self-Awareness and Cognitive Discipline

  • The importance of monitoring one's own thoughts to prevent self-sabotage.
  • Recognizing the need for self-awareness in leadership to maintain a constructive and optimistic outlook.

"But you yourself have to think, or at least for me, you have to catch your own thoughts around that stuff."

This quote emphasizes the speaker's personal strategy for mental discipline, crucial for maintaining a positive and proactive approach in business leadership.

Board of Big Ideas

  • The speaker values having a board of big ideas that inspire opportunities for their gyms and business.
  • These ideas are new, fun, and exciting, balancing out the more mundane aspects of work.
  • The board represents the speaker's personal vision and strategy for driving business growth.

"This has been something that's been really valuable for me, is a board of all of kind of like the big Alex ideas of things that could just drive massive opportunity for the gyms, could drive opportunity for our business."

The quote emphasizes the importance of the board as a source of valuable, high-impact ideas that can significantly benefit the speaker's gyms and overall business.

Balancing Work

  • The speaker balances exciting, big-picture work with necessary but mundane tasks.
  • They acknowledge the importance of both aspects in running a successful business.
  • The "boring work" includes meetings, one-on-ones, doing reps, and other routine tasks.

"And I balance those that work that I have to do with, like the meetings and the one on ones and the doing reps and just the Boring work."

This quote highlights the speaker's approach to balancing engaging work with essential, albeit less thrilling, routine responsibilities.

Business Growth Invitation

  • The speaker extends an invitation to business owners looking to scale up their businesses.
  • They offer to discuss how they can help businesses grow significantly in revenue.
  • The invitation is directed at owners of substantial businesses aiming for major expansion.

"Mozanation, real quick, if you are a business owner that has a big old business and wants to get to a much bigger business, going to 5100 million dollars plus, we would love to talk to you."

The quote is a call-to-action for business owners with ambitions to grow their businesses, offering assistance from the speaker's team.

Daily Call with Customers

  • The speaker has resumed taking daily calls with customers within Gym Launch.
  • These calls allow direct interaction with customers and immediate feedback.
  • The practice is seen as a cornerstone activity that has contributed significantly to the speaker's success.

"I started taking over the daily call again within gym launch, so that pretty much for all of our customers, they can hop on a daily call with me every single day."

The quote indicates the speaker's commitment to engaging with customers on a daily basis, which they believe is a critical factor in their business's success.

Confronting Reality

  • The daily calls force the speaker to confront reality by dealing with customer issues in real-time.
  • This direct feedback mechanism allows the speaker to understand and solve problems quickly.
  • The speaker believes many businesses would find such frequent customer interaction daunting.

"It forces me to solve problems in real time, and it forces me to constantly confront reality."

The quote describes the value the speaker finds in the immediate and unfiltered customer feedback obtained through daily calls, which keeps them grounded in the reality of their business operations.

Understanding Customer Needs

  • The speaker gains a precise understanding of gym owners' current needs through daily interactions.
  • They learn about the immediate challenges that customers face, enabling rapid product improvement.
  • This process allows for quick experimentation and feedback, improving the rate of innovation.

"Because in taking those calls, I, one know exactly what the needs of a gym owner are today right now, not last week, not an hour ago, right now."

The quote explains how the speaker uses daily calls to stay informed about the current and specific needs of gym owners, ensuring that their business offerings remain relevant and effective.

Industry Longevity through Innovation and Communication

  • The speaker emphasizes the importance of continuous innovation and effective distribution of these innovations across their community.
  • They highlight the benefit of direct communication with customers to understand their needs and pain points.
  • The speaker notes the ability to quickly adapt to changes and improve products or processes, thus avoiding delays that could negatively impact customer retention.

"It's been because we've been able to innovate solutions at a faster rate and we've been able to distribute those innovations across our community at a faster and more effective rate."

This quote underlines the speaker's belief that their success in staying relevant in the industry is due to their ability to rapidly innovate and efficiently share these innovations.

"We are better able to communicate with our customers and prospective customers because we understand their pains now, why? Because we talk to them every single day."

The speaker is emphasizing the importance of daily communication with customers, which provides insights into the customers' challenges, allowing for better service and product offerings.

Balancing Unreasonable Optimism with Confronting Brutal Facts

  • The speaker discusses the need to maintain an optimistic outlook while also facing the harsh realities of business.
  • They suggest keeping a list of big ideas to work on while also staying aware of the business numbers and ground realities.
  • Engaging directly with customers is crucial not only for gathering valuable intelligence but also for staying competitive and prepared for any challenges.

"Have your list of, at least for me that works is having the list of big ideas that I'm working on and pushing forward."

The speaker shares a personal strategy of keeping track of major projects or ideas to maintain a forward momentum and optimism.

"Being able to confront the brutal facts of reality, which in one term can be knowing the numbers of your business, which if you don't, obviously you should do that."

This quote highlights the necessity of being aware of the critical metrics and realities of one's business as a counterbalance to optimism.

"The value of the intel, of what is going to come to you in terms of the needs of the customer and how much your product can improve and where the opportunities exist will far outweigh the cost of time that it takes."

The speaker argues that the insights gained from engaging with customers are far more valuable than the time invested, providing a strong rationale for direct customer interaction.

Response to COVID-19 and Future Outlook

  • The speaker expresses enthusiasm for the fast-paced changes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • They acknowledge the positive improvements made in their business that will have long-term benefits, even after the pandemic.
  • The speaker is hopeful about the future despite recognizing that many businesses, particularly gyms, may close permanently.

"I'm loving this. I'm loving the fast-paced environment. I'm loving the change."

The speaker conveys a positive attitude towards the challenges posed by COVID-19, appreciating the dynamic environment it has created.

"Even when gyms come back, are going to create huge downstream impact for how much money they're going to be able to make."

This quote suggests that the adaptations made during the pandemic will lead to significant financial benefits for gyms in the future.

"I think that many people will go out of business, and I think many gyms will open back up and then only to reclose 90 days later because they go out of business, I think that's very real."

While optimistic, the speaker is also realistic about the potential negative outcomes for businesses, especially gyms, due to the economic impact of the pandemic.

Conclusion and Encouragement

  • The speaker concludes with a message of hope and encouragement for achieving goals.
  • They express a desire that their message has been valuable to the audience.
  • The speaker signs off with a positive and affectionate farewell, looking forward to future interactions.

"I hope you have an amazing day. I hope you crush your goals, and I hope this was of some way valuable to you."

The speaker ends on a motivational note, wishing the audience success and hoping that the insights shared have been helpful.

"Lots of love. And I'll catch you guys on the flip side. Bye."

This final quote is a warm and friendly sign-off, indicating the speaker's affection for the audience and anticipation of future conversations.

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