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The 5 Minute Mission Statement

Your company’s mission statement answers the simple question, why do you exist? Having a good answer to that question isn’t trivial. Having a good answer to that question will influence every decision you make about your business. It defines your purpose. Without a...

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Four Apps That Improve My Business and Lower My Stress

The promise of technology is that it helps to improve the quality of our lives, making us more organized, connected, and efficient. But most days I feel like technology makes me less productive. From the daily avalanche of emails to our growing addiction to social...

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Should You Work On Your Strengths or Weaknesses?

One of the great debates in all of personal development and business literature is this: Should you focus your education on shoring up your weaknesses? OR should you ignore your weaknesses and focus on your strengths? In the 70’s and 80’s, personal development gurus...

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3 Ways to Improve Your Customer Service, Starting Today

Here are three things you (and your team) can do today to improve the customer service in your business. They don’t cost any money, they don’t take much time, and you already have all the resources you need to do them. 1. Ask more questions. The more you encourage...

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Getting More Dream Clients By Being More Who You Really Are

When we look at the skillsets that make up “marketing,” we’re actually talking about many distinct creative and technical facilities; copywriting, building out “funnels,” analyzing FB ad performance, creating landing pages, writing value-building content, creating...

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How to Create Boundaries That Help You Achieve Your Goals

Here is a description of what can be a normal week for me. Does this sound familiar to you? On Sunday I sit down to look at my week ahead. It looks busy, but pretty doable. I have some regularly scheduled meetings, some plans I made with friends, and some dedicated...

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Time Management Is About These Two Things

Teaching is a great way to learn. Now that I've finally launched a time management course, something has become very clear in the research, creation, and execution of the course. The good news is time management is really only about two things: 1) Setting Boundaries...

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5 STEPS TO DELEGATE WITH CONFIDENCE

  After you watch, please join the conversation in the comments below. How do you like to be asked for help? If someone was going to delegate a task to you, how should they do it? Can’t wait to hear your thoughts!...

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HOW TO USE TO-DO LISTS WITHOUT BEING SAD/MISERABLE/CRAZY

The To Do List is one of the most tried and true stalwarts of personal productivity. And if poorly implemented, it also has the potential to be the most emotionally destructive. If used well, To Do Lists free up your brain and massively reduce stress while improving...

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10 ESSENTIAL QUESTIONS FOR BUILDING A BUSINESS

It was July 16th, 2011, in the living room of Mark Fisher’s apartment in Astoria, Queens. I took the train from Philadelphia, where I had been living at the time, for our first ever face-to-face meeting about how to grow Mark Fisher Fitness. I showed up with an...

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MF’S 15 BUSINESS PRINCIPLES

In this post, I’m going to give you a run-down of some of my guiding principles in how I approach decision making. When possible, I do my best to attribute, but I’m very confident I have adopted concepts that I’ve read and later forgot. We can assume none of my ideas...

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THE BIGGEST PROBLEM FOR PERSONAL TRAINERS

Being a personal trainer is a tough job. I’ve never done it, but I’ve been in the business long enough to see how challenging it is. You have to be energetic but chill. You have to be demanding yet compassionate. You have to be informed but remain curious. Clients...

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YOUR MEETINGS PROBABLY SUCK. I CAN HELP.

Let’s start with the unfiltered truth. No one at your business likes going to meetings and that’s (probably) because your meetings suck. Your meetings rarely start or end on time, they’re boring, they are mostly filled with people not giving a shit or people talking...

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HOW TO GIVE FEEDBACK EVEN IF YOU HATE CONFLICT

When I zoom out to my most core beliefs about the value of business in society, I think of two tenets about business done well: Business should make you a better human. Better humans are more successful at business. It may not seem that way, because oftentimes raging...

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HOW TO CREATE POWERFUL SYSTEMS THAT GROW YOUR BUSINESS

We recently surveyed all of you — our list of Business for Unicorns subscribers — and nearly 100 of you replied. Thank you so much! Y’all are the friggin’ best! Overwhelmingly this was the #1 questioned asked: How do I create systems to help my business grow and run...

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THE ONE TOOL YOUR TEAM DOESN’T KNOW THEY NEED

Tell me if this describes a team that you are part of or manage at work: We just aren’t all on the same page. We seem to be working toward different goals. No one seems to know what’s expected of them. Any of that sound familiar? If so, you are not alone my friend....

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EXCELLENCE IS A HABIT

3 Exercises to Fine Tune Your Team’s Customer Service Skills   “Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do....

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THE BEST EDUCATION RESOURCES FOR TRAINERS AND OWNERS

Following my recent book post, my pal Dean Somerset reached out wondering if I had ever written a post with recommendations for fitness workshops, fitness business conferences, etc. After trying to convince HIM to write it, we finally decided to cuddle and make one...

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51 BOOKS EVERY GYM OWNER SHOULD READ

For anyone who knows me in real life or follow me on the interwebz, it’s no secret I have a problem. You see… I’m a junkie. Every day I wake up and live a life of servitude to my addiction. It’s all consuming. It’s obsessive. And at times, it’s truly a burden for...

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DEAR FITNESS INDUSTRY

Dear Fitness Industry, Am I invisible? Every day I see your ads online, on TV, and in the street, but none of them seem to be for me. I can see you, can you see me? I know you are a big industry with lots of opportunities to make money, but I think you are missing out...

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BFU TV #5 IF YOU HATE SALES, WATCH THIS

Oh booooy I’m excited for this one. For this week’s episode of Business for Unicorns TV, we have MFF’s “Minister of Belief” Brian “The Manimal” Patrick Murphy. (Yep. He has not one, but TWO unicorn names.) There are few topics more important to master in all of...

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YOUR SECRET WEAPON FOR BUILDING TEAM MORALE

It’s Wednesday afternoon at your fitness facility, 4:30 pm. Your evening trainers are just shuffling in to prepare for the tidal wave of clients that will be pouring through the door in the next few hours. Let’s take a closer look at your training team to see how...

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BFU TV #4: NETWERRRRRRRKING

Hi! It’s Mark! In this episode of Business For Unicorns TV, I talk about one of my all-time favorite topics; relationships! (Or netwerrrrrrrking.) “Networking” often has a dirty connotation. And this is probably because people often do it so poorly. I prefer the term...

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THE ULTIMATE BRAND BLUEPRINT

The Ultimate Brand Blueprint: How Design Your Brand to Attract Your Ideal Customer   One of the biggest mistakes fitness businesses make (particularly small ones) is that they don’t spend enough time designing and strengthening their brand. Before we get started,...

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BFU TV #3: DEVELOPING A TEAM OF SUPERHEROES

In our last video blog, we talked about a few topics related to building and supporting your team. In this post, we’ll be taking a deep dive into how to set up systems to develop your team on an on-going basis. Although this can be time consuming, your job as the...

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5 WAYS TO INCREASE YOUR SALES CONVERSION

… AND EARN YOUR PROSPECT’S TRUST ON THE FIRST VISIT   For most brick-and-mortar fitness facilities, our greatest sales tool is the 1-hour personal consultation. Whether you call it a Success Session, or tour, or some other clever thing, the goal is to get a...

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BFU TV #2: EXPECTATIONS, DISSENT, AND EVALUATIONS

In BFU’s second vlog, I’m gonna be talking about building a team. I’ll talk about how to balance setting clear expectations while setting the stage to make disagreement safe. I’ll also share my VERY STRONG opinions about what makes an effective performance evaluation,...

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3 SIGNS YOU’RE A CRAPPY LEADER

The first significant opportunity I ever had to flex my leadership muscles was when I was hired to run the concierge team for a luxury hospitality brand in Hawaii. I know, relocated to Hawaii, sucks to be me, right? I managed a team of about fifteen people spread over...

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BFU TV #1: EXPANSION, COMMUNITY, AND FEAR VS. INTUITION

In our very first ever video blog (vlog??), I’ll answer some questions from BFU readers. You’ll see me address how to know if it’s time to expand, how to drive more community (very specific actionable strategies here!!), how to write content that gets engagement, and...

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THE ONE THING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT CUSTOMER SERVICE

Forget everything you know about customer service. This blog is my personal invitation for you to start over. Clean slate. Let’s take a look at customer service with a fresh perspective. I’ll give you a new framework for thinking about customer service in your...

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4 WAYS GREAT LEADERS COMMUNICATE

The takeaways in this post will allow you to go on vacation and actually take time away from your business, physically and emotionally. Doesn’t that sound nice? If you really want freedom and a business that doesn’t rely on you personally, you need to build a culture...

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THE ULTIMATE HIRING GUIDE

The Ultimate Hiring Guide: How to Avoid A Bad Hire and Build A Rock Star Team   The cost of a bad hire is staggering. Great companies are made from great employees, so when you hire the wrong person for the wrong job your company can take a serious hit. In this...

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FUN MATTERS

How much fun is your job? Kind of fun? A lot of fun? No fun? Fun matters. A lot. Regardless of your industry, if you create a space where your team and your clients/ customers have a lot of fun, you’re going to have a huge advantage. Your team will work better, and...

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SERVANTS AND LEADERS

Viktor Frankl is a smart motherfucker. If you’ve never read Man’s Search for Meaning, that would be worthwhile. Frankl’s book is a classic with brilliant  insights into the human experience. One of the premises Frankl karate chops in the throat is that happiness can...

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BUSINESS TALES FROM THE CRYPT

You know what freaks me the fuck out? Business horror stories. They freak me ooooooout. I recently read a long-ass expose in Fast Company about the spectacular flame-out of electric car company Better Place. I can’t say there was a lot in there that reminded me of...

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THE ONE THING YOU MUST KNOW FOR UNREASONABLE BUSINESS SUCCESS

Sorry for the linkbaity title. But there really is one thing you must know. First, let’s think about your death. You’re gonna die one day. So am I. What type of impact do you want to make on the world while you’re here? Whether you own a business or work for a...

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