Summary Notes


Alex, host of the Gym Secrets podcast, discusses the realities of running a gym business while responding to listener questions mid-flight to evade Hurricane Maria. He emphasizes that businesses, like gardens, require regular attention and can't be left on autopilot, especially service-oriented gyms. Alex stresses the importance of passion for one's work and providing creative solutions for customer problems. He also touches on knowing when to let go of problematic clients and the value of customer feedback in assessing staff performance. Additionally, Alex shares insights into his shift from a done-for-you to a done-with-you service model to improve customer relations and scalability. He advocates for significant investment in personal development and continuous learning as a means of future-proofing one's career. Lastly, Alex discusses his approach to tithing, giving 10% of his personal income to his church, and the spiritual and material benefits he attributes to this practice.

Summary Notes

Introduction to Gym Secrets Podcast

  • Alex hosts the Gym Secrets podcast, which addresses common questions from gym owners.
  • The episode takes place on a privately chartered plane, escaping Hurricane Maria.
  • Alex feels blessed and wants to give back by answering questions.
  • Leila has a list of questions for Alex to answer.

Hey, everybody, it is Alex. And this is the gym Secrets podcast. And today we're going to be talking about some of the frequently asked questions that we get most commonly from gym owners.

This quote sets the stage for the podcast, indicating that the episode will focus on addressing common inquiries from gym owners.

Privately Chartered Flight

  • Alex and Leila were fortunate enough to charter a flight to avoid Hurricane Maria.
  • They acknowledge their fortunate position and express gratitude.

There were no flights left, and so we were fortunate enough to get on this flight. So we are feeling very blessed.

This quote explains the circumstances under which the podcast is being recorded and conveys a sense of gratitude for their situation.

Business Management

  • Alex discusses the idea that businesses are like gardens, not machines.
  • He challenges the notion of a business that operates independently of its owner without any work.
  • Alex emphasizes the importance of continuous involvement and maintenance in business, akin to tending a garden.
  • He contrasts this with the unrealistic expectation of passive income from a business or real estate investment.

In my belief, that's a great question. And this kind of goes back to the analogy that I use, that businesses are like gardens and not like machines.

Alex uses an analogy to illustrate his belief that businesses require ongoing attention and care, similar to a garden.

Passive Income Myth

  • Alex is skeptical about the concept of passive income, as even real estate investments require management and attention.
  • He discusses the reality of property management and tenant issues in real estate investments.
  • The analogy of a garden is used to describe the need for regular maintenance and growth efforts in any business or investment.

And they're like, ha. There is no passive income.

This quote highlights Alex's stance on the myth of passive income, emphasizing that all investments require some level of active management.

Running a Business Remotely

  • Alex addresses the question of running a business remotely for extended periods.
  • He believes that while it is possible to be away from a business for 30 days, being away for 90 days or more is challenging.
  • Alex is unsure if his business, Gym Launch, could operate effectively without his presence for an extended period.
  • He expresses reluctance to have his business run without his involvement.

And so not being there for 30 days is doable, but not being there for 90 days, that's like a stretch.

This quote conveys Alex's view on the feasibility of managing a business remotely and the limits to how long this can be sustained effectively.

Entrepreneurial Drive and Customer Focus

  • Entrepreneurs often seek freedom but may find themselves restless without purposeful work.
  • Alex emphasizes the importance of being passionate about the cause or customer base one serves.
  • He highlights his dedication to solving problems for gym owners and developing products for them.
  • Alex believes that thinking deeply about customer needs leads to a sense of obligation to help them.

And so I think it's really connecting with the cause that you're behind for us. I love gym owners. I love gym owners. I love solving gym owner problems.

This quote underlines Alex's personal commitment to gym owners and his drive to address their specific challenges.

And I try and come up with products and solutions to issues that I faced and that they have as the marketplace changes.

Here, Alex discusses his proactive approach to innovation and adaptation in response to evolving market conditions.

And if you're thinking about your customers like that, you'll be pulled instead of pushed to work. You'll feel obligated. Like, I have to help these people.

Alex suggests that a customer-focused mindset leads to intrinsic motivation and a sense of duty to assist one's clientele.

Business Autonomy and Service Quality

  • Running a business on autopilot is challenging, especially in service-oriented sectors like personalized gyms.
  • Alex clarifies that he is unaware of any method to fully automate a micro gym that relies on owner operation and specialized service.
  • He contrasts this with larger, facility-usage type gyms that may have different operational models.

Can you get your business to run on autopilot for a year? Not that I know of.

Alex expresses skepticism about the feasibility of automating a service-centric business for an extended period without direct involvement.

Client Management

  • Knowing when to fire a client or member is crucial for business harmony.
  • Alex advises that persistent negative thoughts about a client are a strong indicator that it may be time to end the relationship.
  • He emphasizes the importance of confronting the issue and, if unresolved, taking action to remove the client if possible.

Oh, how do you know it's appropriate to fire a client or member? As soon as you think about them a lot is pretty much the answer there.

Alex provides a straightforward metric for assessing when a client may need to be let go, based on the frequency and nature of thoughts about them.

Personal Life and Pet Ownership

  • Alex shares a personal anecdote about his dog, Charlie, and how pets can provide a mental break and add joy to one's day.
  • Despite initial reluctance, Alex acknowledges the positive impact of having a pet.

Charlie's awesome. He's not really happy with us right now because he's been moving and he's been on planes a bunch.

This quote gives insight into Alex's personal life and the current state of his pet's well-being.

And as much as I was against having a pet, he's nice to have a little brightness in your day when you just want like a mental break.

Alex reflects on his change in attitude towards pet ownership and the benefits it has brought to his life.

Business Model Evolution

  • Alex discusses the shift in business strategy from a "done for you" to a "done with you" model.
  • The conversation indicates a strategic change, though the specifics of the shift are not detailed in the transcript.

What caused the shift from done with you to done for you? Sorry, done for you to done with you?

This quote indicates a correction in the discussion about the direction of the business model change.

Multimedia Content and Learning

  • The podcast offers a video version with additional effects, visuals, and graphs to enhance understanding.
  • The speaker invites listeners to check out the YouTube channel for a different content experience.

If you ever want to have the video version of this, which usually has more effects, more visuals, more graphs, drawn out stuff, sometimes it can help hit the brain centers in different ways.

The speaker explains the benefits of the video version of the podcast, suggesting it may cater to different learning preferences.

It's absolutely free.

Alex emphasizes the accessibility of the video content, highlighting that it is available at no cost.

Scaling a Sales Team

  • Alex discusses the challenges of scaling a sales team monthly, which was necessary due to high demand for their services.
  • The process was complex due to the logistics of travel, accommodations, and other expenses.
  • Despite high revenues, the profit margins were not as high as Alex desired.
  • Scaling the team involved a lot of hustle and moving pieces, making it a difficult task for Alex.

"One is scaling a sales team each month, because what happened is we were able to basically sell out our services with six sales guys, six months out within two weeks."

This quote explains the rapid success Alex's team experienced in selling services, leading to the need for scaling the sales team.

"And so for someone like me, that was really frustrating because I was getting on the phone with people being like, yeah, the first time we can take you seven months from now."

Alex expresses frustration with the inability to immediately accommodate new clients due to the existing demand.

"And for me to continually scale salesman was really hard because it takes a lot of hustle, and there's a ton of travel and logistics."

The quote highlights the difficulties in scaling the sales team, particularly the effort and logistics involved.

"It wasn't as high margin as I wanted it to be. Tons of revenue, but the margins weren't there."

Alex notes that despite generating a lot of revenue, the profit margins were not meeting expectations.

Customer Resentment

  • Alex experienced resentment from customers, particularly gym owners, due to the disparity between their income and the success Alex's team could generate for them.
  • The resentment stemmed from gym owners' low average take-home income compared to the rapid financial gains Alex's services could provide.
  • This customer dissatisfaction led Alex to reconsider how to serve them in a way that would be more acceptable and make a bigger impact.

"And then the other reason was that I actually had a lot of resentful customers."

Alex identifies customer resentment as a significant issue that influenced the decision to change their approach.

"If someone averages, gym owners average about 20,000 a year take home income, which is really sad, and it's true, and that's what we're trying to fix."

The quote provides context on the financial struggles of gym owners, which is the customer base Alex is trying to help.

"But if they're averaging 20,000 a year take home income, and then some dude comes in and makes 50 grand in 30 days, it was really 21 days from his gym. They didn't really like me that much."

Alex explains the root of the resentment: gym owners felt overshadowed by the significant earnings Alex's services could generate in a short time.

Managerial Tools for Performance Evaluation

  • Alex uses social media praise and customer feedback as indicators of employee performance.
  • Regular positive posts about employees on Facebook are expected.
  • Complaints should be nonexistent, and customers should be vocal about their appreciation for employees.
  • Alex believes in the importance of good relationships with customers, which allows for direct and honest feedback about service providers.

"I use the same thing for customer service, which is I should be getting posts regularly about you, about how amazing you are on Facebook."

Alex describes the use of social media feedback as a tool to gauge employee performance.

"If I don't see posts with you almost daily. I'm going to think that there's an issue."

The absence of regular positive feedback on social media is a red flag for Alex regarding an employee's performance.

"There should be zero complaints. There should be customers going out of their way to personally tell me how awesome they are."

Alex sets high standards for customer service, expecting no complaints and proactive positive feedback from customers.

"Even with our gym owners, if our service providers aren't doing a good job, I think everyone has good enough rapport with me to be like, hey, by the way, this sucks."

The quote emphasizes the importance of maintaining good relationships with customers to ensure open and honest communication about service quality.

Exceptional Training and Service Communication

  • Emphasize the importance of communicating to customers the commitment to exceptional training and service.
  • Encourage customers to provide feedback if the service received is not exceptional.
  • This strategy involves customers in monitoring the quality of service provided by employees.

You want to always communicate that you have exceptional training and exceptional service, and you want to make it clear to everyone that if they don't like that, they need to tell you if they get anything but exceptional service.

Alex highlights the necessity of ensuring customers are aware of the business's promise of exceptional service and training, and the importance of customer feedback in maintaining service standards.

Customer Policing of Employees

  • Customers help to oversee employee performance.
  • This approach is a practical solution to the impossibility of the business owner being present to monitor service quality at all times.

And so that way your customers start policing your employees for you because there's no way you can be everywhere at once.

Alex explains how customer feedback serves as a means of quality control, effectively allowing customers to oversee employees and ensure the service standard is upheld.

Continuing Education Investment

  • Alex consumes a vast amount of information for continuing education, including courses and seminars.
  • He invests significantly in learning from experts to apply knowledge to his businesses.
  • Believes in investing in oneself as the biggest and most secure investment.
  • Emphasizes the importance of vetting the qualifications and relevance of the educators.

I consume a ton of information, courses, seminars, masterminds, like a lot. I hire guys for multiple thousands of dollars an hour just to give me 2 hours of time on how they're truly doing something and apply it to my business or gym business or whatever.

Alex discusses his approach to continuing education, which involves consuming a wide range of informational resources and hiring experts to gain insights applicable to his business ventures.

I invested probably three quarters of my income for the first three years in learning more stuff.

This quote illustrates Alex's commitment to self-improvement and education, highlighting the extent of his financial investment in his personal development.

You are the biggest investment you can make because ultimately, if everything's taken from me, I can make it all over again because I made that investment.

Alex emphasizes the value of investing in oneself, suggesting that the knowledge and skills acquired are assets that can enable him to rebuild if necessary.

You want to feel secure, get better. You know what I mean? Get smarter, get faster.

This quote reinforces the idea that self-improvement is a form of future-proofing one's career and life.

Tithing and Offerings

  • Alex practices tithing by giving 10% of his personal income to his church.
  • Offerings are considered separate and are additional to the tithe.
  • The practice is faith-based and rooted in scripture, specifically referencing the Book of Malachi.
  • Alex testifies to the blessings received from tithing and recommends the practice.

So for us, tithes is 10%, and so we give 10% of what our income is. So the business can make whatever the business makes. But then whatever we write ourselves as a check is what we tithe off of.

Alex explains his method of tithing, which is based on giving a percentage of his personal income, not the business income.

And then an Offering would be anything that we go above and beyond that tithe, which is always to our Church.

Here, Alex distinguishes between tithes and offerings, with the latter being additional contributions beyond the obligatory tithe.

It's like Malachi 13 something. But anyways, I always remember it because basically if you give to the Lord, he says, test me in this and watch and see if I don't open up the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there won't be enough room to store it.

This quote references the scriptural basis for tithing and the blessings Alex believes are associated with this practice.

And yeah, we do. We just pay via Ach and that'll be all the faqs for this podcast and we are going to get to them in the next one.

Alex mentions the logistical aspect of how he fulfills his tithing commitment, which is through an automated clearing house (ACH) payment.

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