by Mark Fisher

Let’s talk about my favorite acronym: BOCTAOE.

This is an important (and implicit) disclaimer to strong statements.

You see, when you write missives like I do, it can be annoying when every single statement is qualified with words like 



“most of the time”

“in most circumstances”  

etc. etc. etc.

But if we’re being honest, virtually any statement you can make will have exceptions.

For instance, last week I wrote that most training gym owners will struggle to sell their business for a fat check. Now you’ll note, I said most training gym owners. So I’ve already qualified this as not being an absolute statement.

 It makes my writing weaker. But I don’t care. 

 It’s not that I like conviction. It’s that using the word “most” makes it more factually accurate.

In other words…


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

You can tack this on to any strongly worded maxim because, well…. There are always obvious exceptions.

(I addressed this in the very first maxim in my 40 Years, 40 Lessons post about my personal life philosophies.)

 In other words…

Training gym owners need to be making at least $175/ avg. monthly revenue. for large group class memberships.*


 To grow your training gym, you need some kind of low barrier offer so clients can try before they buy.* 


 If you have more than three service offerings, your business will drown in complexity*


Moral of the story: even the best business maxim is not correct in all situations. One of the key tasks of lifelong learners is the never-ending process of contextualizing various pieces of business advice. 

When faced with a maxim, rather than discount it if it doesn’t fit your experience, ask yourself “under what circumstances would this be correct? 

Because if and when you think YOUR business is different, 99% of the time you’re wrong.*


Love ya,

PS The Unicorn Society is off to a rocking start with our newest batch of super achievers.

Not gonna lie… pretty excited about an opportunity for us to gather in-person in just a few months.

Enrollment is technically closed until 2022, but you can join the waitlist for priority consideration HERE.




Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts

A (Counter-Intuitive) Facilities Tip…

Here’s a quickie pro–tip to best nurture your facility. When making improvements, don’t do everything all at once. If you’re anything like me, you like to get THINGS DONE. FAST. (I have many lovely qualities. Patience is not among them.) So when I’m thinking about...

“It Worked So Well, I Stopped Doing It!”

First up, want to give you a gentle reminder, you have until tomorrow to sign up for my upcoming time management workshop and save $200. I’ll be hosting it over Zoom on January 7th from 10am est to 5pm est. Although live attendance is strongly encouraged, we will be...

Who We Are

We’re just a few days away from the closing of the Early Bird window for the Unicorn Society’s 2023 enrollment… So I want to shamelessly talk about the humans who provide the BFU coaching magic.  If you’re looking for support in growing your training gym, you have one...

Exactly What I Track (Personal, Financial, Business)

First off, reminder: this is one of your only chances of the year to join a crew of some of the fitness industry’s most successful gyms AND get personal coaching from Michael Keeler, Pete Dupuis, Ben “the Secret Weapon” Pickard, and yours truly.  To learn more about...

Top Lessons From A Unicorn Society Member Turned COO

Today we have a guest post from BFU coach (and now COO!), Ben “The Secret Weapon” Pickard.  Ben was a client for many years. Since we just opened up enrollment for the 2023 Unicorn Society, I’ve asked him to share a bit about his experience. He also includes one super...

3 Takeaways From My #1 Tool [I Legit Cried To My Wife]

I had a pretty intense experience recently… For the first time in years –– possibly since I wrote them –– I went into old journals and reviewed my planned 5-year goals from ten years ago. The years described were 2017- 2020 (written in 2012-2015). As I flipped through...