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5 Top Posts of the Year

Have some extra time this weekend to catch up on some reading? Here are some of our most popular posts from over the last year. They’ll help you hit the ground running in 2022! Why MFF Closed a Location [$500k Lesson] - My scars are your lessons! Haha. All kidding  —...

Don’t Drive Angry

Quick thought for you today... If you run a business, I bet that sometimes you have feelings. This is normal. It means you care! And feelings can be helpful signals. We don’t want to dismiss them or attempt to block them out and repress them. That never works anyway....

You May Unsubscribe…

You can usually trust this missive for a weekly heapin’ of actionable fitness business know-how. But long time readers know your friendly author’s commitment to a never-ending liberal arts education. You see, if you want to win at your business — and be the best human...

How Can I Sell Without Feeling Sleezy?

Today we’re going to cover how to sell your services without feeling sleezy. First point: if you’re concerned about this, you probably don’t need to worry. At the end of the day, those of us that are concerned about turning people off or being too pushy usually don’t...

2022

Seems hard to believe. But we’re a stone’s throw from 2022. If you don’t already have a dedicated 2022 planning session in the books, now would be a great time to pencil one in. The Unicorn Society is gathering in Nashville this weekend to prepare for the new year. In...

I Was Feeling Pretty Low. And Kinda Disgusted. But This Really Helped.

I want to share a powerful framing that encapsulates why I’m so passionate about the Unicorn Society. But first, lemme tell you a quick story. Your ol’ pal Mark has had some ups and downs over the past 18 months.  I suspect I’m not alone and maybe you can relate. When...

15 Traits of Successful Training Gym Owners

As we chat with training gym owners for the January enrollment of the Unicorn Society, I’ve been reflecting on the differences between those who just get by and those who thrive.  (Want to learn more about the Unicorn Society? Go HERE.) Listen, this can be tough biz....

How To Learn Faster

If you’re a long-time reader you know I’m pretty aggressive about my education.BEHOLD. *Cue the Majestic Trumpets of Angels” In all honesty, I can’t think of anything more fun than learning.  In fact, if there’s one thing I know about myself, it’s this: Mark Growing/...

36 hours Of Pain

One of the hardest parts of running a business is “ripping off band-aids.” The band-aid in question can be any number of situations demanding a change: A pricing model that won’t allow for profitability A long term employee that’s no longer working out A new hire that...

Simple Marketing Calendar For a Training Gym [Easy]

I hope this missive finds you well and drinking something seasonal including but not limited to a pumpkin spice latte, apple cider, or a pumpkin ale. #basic If you haven’t already put some thought into leveraging Black Friday/ Cyber Monday, now’s the time to get...

Should You Bill Weekly or Monthly?

You know, it’s very rare that I speak in absolutes when it comes to success as a training gym owner.  But this is one of those moments. Virtually all members of the Unicorn Society have made or are making this change. I promise you, this is a move you need to make...

Does Offering Discounts (or free trials) Devalue Your Services?

No, offering discounts or free trials does NOT devalue your services. In fact, they can be a powerful tool to grow your business. But it’s not always wise to hurt your revenues by reducing prices.  And if you’re looking to create an incentive to inspire action by a...

I Changed My Mind

In today’s missive, we’re going to cover five topics where I’ve changed my mind over the past 10 years of running MFF. But first, I wanted to remind you we’ve got a truly awesome virtual event coming up.  If you’ve ever wanted to peel back the curtain and go behind...

What Are The Best Business Finance Books For A Training Gym Owner?

In that particular missive, I made an important point: once you’re making money with your training gym, you need to know how to leverage it over time. And I stand by that logic! BUT To make money in your training gym, you need to have a basic understanding of business...

Thank you

Keeping today short because I hope you’re enjoying your last week of summer. Long time readers know I’m usually in the desert this time of year at Burning Man. I’m skipping this year’s “Rogue Burn,” so no desert for me, alas. But I’m nonetheless semi-off grid. And I’m...

I Messed This One Up…

Let’s discuss something I could have done better during MFF’s first 9+ years. You see, I will forever identify as an artist. I want MFF to be the most human business possible. I don’t want to overly constrict our operations by forcing people into the straight jack of...

Why MFF Closed a Location [$500k Lesson]

Got a personal story today with some takeaways for your training gym… As a lot of you know, MFF was shot out of a cannon from the moment we hit the ground running. We hit $1m in our very first year in business. And by year four, we broke $4m in a single location.  We...

Should You Name Your Business After Yourself?

Great question. The answer is a strong maybe with a side of “Probably not!” Obvious context: my name is Mark Fisher, and I own a gym named Mark Fisher Fitness, hi, it’s very nice to meet you, thrilled to be visiting you here in your inbox. A question that comes up...

How Many Services Should Your Training Gym Offer?

2. Maybe 3. Ok, great talk, happy Thursday {Contact}! .... I kid, I kid. Well, I’m sort of kidding.  I actually do think “2-3” is usually a good answer in many situations. But you know how I roll; I shan’t leave you hanging without context! Let’s start by analyzing...

Best Market for a Training Gym? (NOT What You Think)

And it’s totally upside down from conventional wisdom. (I’d sincerely love for you to give this a read and respond one way or the other ESPECIALLY IF YOU WANT TO CONFIRM I’M CORRECT jkjkjk.) Ya ready? “The easiest market to build a sustainable and high-margin...

Why Your Marketing Sucks (And How to Fix It)

It’s ok. Don’t beat yourself up! Not all of us had the good fortune to receive a BFA in musical theater, the widely accepted gold standard for education in fitness business excellence. *Mark humbly bows to you with a flourish of his top hat* Furthermore, the confusion...

Should You Offer a Free Trial?

Let’s dive head first into this hornet’s nest and answer another of the most common questions in all of Training Gymdom… Should you offer a free trial? Here’s how I suggest thinking about this… First off, we need to appreciate that unless you have some low barrier way...

Should You Increase Rates for Long Time Members?

Yes. Yes, you should! Listen, I’m all about loyalty; at times, to a fault. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned (the hard way), it’s this: When you prioritize individuals over the group, the group suffers, and then it’s still a bad outcome for individuals.  This is a...

Should You Have Your Prices on Your Website?

Let’s talk about prices and websites. The Fitness Business Thought Leader Industrial Complex has many strong — and conflicting — opinions on this topic. Here's my personal take. In a vacuum, your best bet is often something like this: “Prices start at X, but depend on...

Number One Missing System…

Today I want to highlight the most common missing system I see in training gyms and micro gyms… And that’s the follow-up. Let’s assume you’ve got... A compelling low barrier offer that makes it easy to get started and removes all risk Communication channels to make...

How Much Should You Charge for Your Services?

If you’re in a market where the other options are low priced, volume gyms where people rent access to equipment. Now we know that’s not a fair comparison; you’re not selling equipment access, you’re selling coaching and accountability

How Can I Make Sure My Team Follows Our Systems?

Want to cover a pretty common challenge for training gyms (and frankly, all businesses)… Whether you’ve got a larger facility with 10+ staff, or just hired a part time trainer and/or admin, the only way for you to have true peace of mind is with a well-trained team....

Fitness Business Coaches [The Truth]

Here’s a common point of debate in the Fitness Business Guru Industrial Complex: Do fitness business coaches need to be running their own training gym? (Longer one today… get a cup o’ joe to sip on…) One side of the issue says:  “Yes. If you’re not (currently) running...

BOCTAOE

BOCTAOE.

This is an acronym popularized by Scott Adams that stands for “but of course there are obvious exceptions.”

Why Should You Start a Business?

My dearest, please indulge me as today we’re getting semi-philosophical. There are lots of reasons to start a business. To help more people. To be the captain of your professional fate. To have fun. To increase your earning potential. To learn and grow as a human...

How Do I Know What to Work on in My Business?

One of the most common challenges we face as training gym owners is deciding what to work on next. After all, we have constraints of time, energy, and money.  And being a business owner can make you feel like you’re snorting crushed up crazy pills, so it can be hard...

How Do I Get More Referrals?

Quick suggestion for you to get more referrals for your training gym… Long time readers know we’ve covered this topic in depth (article HERE), but in the spirit of giving you a quick takeaway, here’s your move: Instead of bribing clients to get you paying members,...

5 Key Traits of Modern Leaders (with links to TED Talks)

I’ve been thinking and reading about leadership a ton over the last few months while creating the Leadership Society. To be fair, leadership is a topic I’ve been fascinated by for most of my life.     It’s become clear to me that the recipe for great leadership...

What’s Working NOW In Marketing

If you’re looking to build a thriving business, the marketing piece is actually pretty simple.  First, there need to be some systems that alert people to your existence. Then there needs to be some systems that help your prospects come to like and trust you over time....

240 Words on Building a Business

Building a business is not for everyone. It takes guts, vision, and persistence.    If you want to build a business...   You’ve got to have a vision for the value you can bring to the world and be willing to fight like hell to make it happen.    You...

4 Ways to Upgrade Your Team’s Customer Service

No matter what business you’re in, great customer service will always be an asset. But if you’re in any service-related industry, it’s a non-negotiable foundation.  Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs focus most of their attention on the service itself, without thinking...

The Perfect Done-For-You One-on-One Meeting Agenda for Managers

What do you think is the most important skill for a manager to have? When I ask people this, they often say it's hiring the right people, being a good problem solver, or building systems that scale. I agree that they are all super important skills, but I think the #1...

40 Years, 40 Lessons (Maxims Only)

NOTE: This particular post is the MAXIMS ONLY version. It offers my thoughts in rapid fire style, but admittedly, without much (potentially helpful) context. The FULL TEXT (~8000 words) version is for those who want to understand my perspective more completely via...

40 Years, 40 Lessons (Full Text)

NOTE: This particular post is the FULL TEXT (~8000 words) for those who want to understand my perspective completely. It provides more context on the rapid fire thoughts from the original post.  For the MAXIMS ONLY post, go HERE.  *********** Hi there true believers!...

What Can You Learn From 2019?

We’d all like to believe that we’re the kind of person who learns from our past to improve our future. That is exactly what my article will help you do today. As 2019 comes to a close, give yourself the gift of self-reflection to consider all the highs and lows of the...

Avoid Burnout: How to Take Care of Others While Caring for Yourself

The fastest way to burnout as a helping professional is to take on the thoughts and feelings of your clients as your own. It doesn’t have to be that way. It is truly possible to be available to help others while still leaving some gas in the tank for ourselves at the end of each day.

The New Must-Have Skillset for Business Leaders

(Disclaimer: Hey Fitness People! To avoid any confusion, when I use the word coach in this context I’m talking about the umbrella term for any professional who guides and instructs and not specifically a personal trainer or fitness coach. Cool? Disclaimer over.)...

5 Random Musings On Self-Discipline, Leadership, Burning Man, and More

Behold! In today's post I bring some quick thoughts on topics ranging from self-discipline to leadership to Burning Man and more. Pour yourself a cup of coffee and enjoy...Self-Discipline: Use A Habit-Tracking System To Help You Adopt Good Habits The past few years,...

The Big Three Questions of Marketing

In this video, I break down the three questions you MUST answer to effectively market your business. Give it a watch and let me know what you think in the comments below. (And for those that prefer to read or simply want to get the gist without watching the full...

3 Tips for Taking Feedback Like a Pro

We often focus on improving our ability as managers and leaders to give feedback, but we should also spend time becoming better at receiving feedback. Receiving feedback can be difficult for two main reasons: it is unexpected or it is emotionally triggering. In this...

6 Reasons Your Marketing Isn’t Working (And How To Fix It)

If there’s one goal all businesses have in common, it’s to get more clients and customers.  And yet many business owners are reluctant to get serious about marketing. After all, most people don’t open up a business because they want to become marketers. For obvious...