Barbell Business: Grow By Getting Out Of Your Own Way w/ Mike Bledsoe

Mike Bledsoe is the co-host of the Barbell Shrugged and Barbell Business podcast. There are SO many things we cover in this episode for coaches and gym owners. Even if you’re not, you will take away some gems from this one. And if there’s one thing I can guarantee, this guy will make you think.

In this episode, some things we chat about:

  • How do we compete with Orange Theory, Lifetime Fitness, and these multimillion-dollar companies that have their shit together?
  • What will differentiate one coach from another in 5 years?
  • How to break through to the next level and how to know if fear is controlling the situation

Show Notes:

  • (10:30) – Things weren’t always easy, here were his struggles
  • 14:00 – “A year and a half is too long for most people. Most people 18 months into something that’s not making any real money, throw their hat. They throw their towel in the ring.”
  • (15:15) – Not knowing how to make rent (what happened) or groceries
  • (17:20) – Doing more of the same vs transcendence
  • (21:00) – “Is this actually threatening me or is it threatening my ego? And do I need to step in the fear?”
  • (23:00) – What to do when you’ve stalled as a coach or gym owner
  • (25:30) – “Business is not CrossFit”
  • (28:00) – Self-limiting beliefs
  • (36:00) – Why people go after certifications
  • (38:15) – Getting people to open up who are hard to assess
  • (41:30) – Learning and teaching athletes how to let go
  • (51:30) – How do we compete with Orange Theory, Lifetime Fitness, and these multimillion-dollar companies that have their shit together?
  • (55:00) – What will differentiate one coach from another in 5 years
  • (1:01:00) – How do you nurture that community and culture
  • (1:20:00) – Question how and why you do EVERYTHING

Also available here:

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Podcast Transcript:

Mike  00:00

Hi, there’s Mike Bledsoe and you’re listening to the Airborne Mind Show.


Misbah Haque  00:34

Hey guys, Misbah Haque here. Thank you so much for joining me and welcome back to the show. Before we get started, make sure you head over to the and sign up to get one of our free coaching videos. So lots of cool stuff rolling out in the next couple of weeks. So see what’s most relevant to you and grab that at the Now today’s podcast is brought to you by So I just got this book called Born standing up, it’s by Steve Harvey and I had been meaning to get to it for quite some time, it just completely went off my radar. But we’ve talked before on the show how stand up comedians are just fascinating people to learn from and any chance I can get to peek behind that creative process and peek behind just kind of how they think I’m always eager to do so. So highly recommend it, I just got through it. And I will actually probably be re listening to it because I was listening while I was working. So I must have only  gotten like 50% or so of it. So I’m excited to give it a re-listen. If you want to grab a free audio book in 30 day free trial, head over to the forward slash reading list. And there I’ve also put together you know all the other books that guests may have mentioned on the show. And so check it out.  So today we get to chat with Mike Bledsoe. He is the co host of the Barbell Shrugged and barbell business podcast. And he just started his own solo podcast called The Blitzer show. There are so many things that we cover in this episode that aren’t just related to gym ownership. So if you’re not an affiliate owner, I’m not. Don’t turn this one off, I would say keep listening, there’s tons of things that you can take away. They’re universal themes, I think that you can apply to training, the way that you think and just kind of the way that you operate on a day to day basis. So some things we chat about are how do we compete with Orangetheory Lifetime Fitness Equinox. And these multimillion dollar companies that have their shit together? We talked about what coaching will look like in the next five years, what will differentiate one coach from another, we talked about nurturing community and culture. We talked about taking step back and burnout and how do you fill that void. And we get personal. So we talked about Mike’s journey. As an entrepreneur, we talk about some of the dark days, some of the struggles and some of the vivid turning points that he remembers. And most importantly, I think we at least begin to get to the root of some of these barriers, or these glass ceilings that we quite often hit. You know, as a coach or as a gym owner, if you feel like you have stalled, you know, what is the thing we typically resort to? And why is that typically not the answer? What are we hiding from? These are all questions that Mike definitely touches on in this episode, and gives us some awesome insight. So I had a blast having this conversation with him. And so with that being said, Please enjoy. Mike, welcome to the show, man.

Mike  03:29

Thanks for having me.

Misbah Haque  03:31

I’ve mentioned this a couple times. And you you know, Barbell Shrugged was the first podcast I ever listened to before I even knew what podcasts were and how to navigate it. Then eventually started listening to barbell business, even though I’m not an affiliate owner, I’m just a coach. But there were definitely some things that a ton of things that would take away, I actually was revisiting my notes from a couple years back, and I still have notes from the episodes you did with a DEA and Travis mash, and all those guys. And you know, looking forward now I’ve been able to kind of apply that somehow in my life, hopefully. And if not, I’ve kind of tried to observe different affiliates and be like, How would I apply this there? So tons of useful nuggets that you have on that show? And so I’m really glad to have you on man.

Mike  04:18

Thanks for having me. i Yeah, doing the barbel Business Show is interesting, because it’s, it’s sad in one way. And that I know that every person that listens to it no matter even if they’re not a business owner, you know, let alone a gym owner, we’ll get massive benefit out of it. And we keep it nice so that gym owners will actually listen to it. So it’s, it’s awesome because we’re going after a very niche market. And a lot of people just won’t listen to it that would otherwise get a major benefit. So a lot of it’s just good life advice. I find especially with a lot of the guests that we have.

Misbah Haque  04:54

Absolutely. And you’ve walked a pretty tough road like you’ve been on a roller coaster as an entrepreneur, you started off being a gym owner. And then things kind of came after, you know, the podcast came after that. Could you kind of take me back and tell me the story of where that seed was planted? Where does that kind of origin come from?

Mike  05:21

I didn’t even know what the word entrepreneur meant until maybe I was already an entrepreneur, when I, and my business partner, Doug, who’s also my co host, on my shows, he goes, you’re like a Type II entrepreneur. And I was like, I didn’t even I don’t know what that meant. That was, I think that was about 2009. And then I would say, I would always start identifying as such, maybe in 2010. Because it was still just a new idea to me, I grew up in a family where everyone was in business, and it was mostly construction and carpentry and a lot of blue collar type. Business owners, so just small business owners, you know, a lot of working with their hands. And so the idea of having my own business wasn’t really that foreign. There was actually I went in the military after high school. And I think one of the reasons I did that is because I saw how hard being a business owner was. And I didn’t really know how to be an employee. But, and I knew that, you know, the, you know, some people, my family had done the military. And, you know, I felt it was an honorable thing to do and to serve my country. And so, while I was in the military, I definitely discovered that I didn’t belong in that much structure. And I was a person who always saw how things could be done better. And that’s the definition of a visionary, if you see how things could be done better. And you know exactly how it could be done better. You’re a visionary. And so it I think a lot of times people like to make it out to be more than it really is. It’s very simple. And you don’t have to be Steve Jobs to be that. But yeah, I think that when I got to the military, and I started going to school, opening up a gym, a CrossFit gym was something that it was erupting from inside of me, there wasn’t there wasn’t this thing where I’m like, oh, I want to be a business owner, I want to be an entrepreneur. It was more of a, it’s more of a, I can’t keep this inside anymore. I have to take action. And I would say that’s still how I operate to this day, a lot of times people are asked me how did you decide to do this? I’m like, I had no choice. Opening up a CrossFit gym didn’t really feel like a choice to me, so I then sit there and contemplated should I do this? Or should I not? I just one day, I was like, it has to be done. Nobody else is doing it. And it needs to exist. And it’s like, I can’t help myself. And so I think a lot of really, I think the more successful entrepreneurs feel that way. They’re like, it’s more of an eruption from within. It’s something they they, they have inside of them that they want to have expressed out in the world. And, you know, what’s interesting is, that’s the same definition of you know, art and being an artist is you. When someone artists expresses themselves, and they bring it out into the physical world, what’s inside of them. That’s what you’re saying, as what they were able to technically painting something or sculpting something, or making a video or whatever is a cool technical ability is I can paint or I can sketch or I can sculpt. But what you’re getting to witness is something that was inside that artist at one point, and I think business is the same way is, you know, there’s, you have the Type II entrepreneur who is the artist, and then you have the, the and then you have people who I don’t know, I think that there’s like to clot and so you have the artists and then you have the people who just want freedom. And and there’s nothing wrong with either one of those, you know, somebody like because I think we’re moving the economy is moving to a place where everybody is becoming entrepreneurial, you know, even if even if you’re not building a trying to build a big empire and change the world by building this whole inventing this new thing. If you’re a copywriter or if you’re working in marketing or or you’re working on simple product solutions. That’s still a different type of entrepreneur at times where They want the freedom and they want to be able to work, you know, via contract with other companies. And I think it’s going to be, it’s making the economy much more efficient. And it’s really cool to be part of this new era where entrepreneurship is really just, it is erupting as a whole. And, yeah, I like being somebody who’s encouraging people to do it.

Misbah Haque  10:27

It’s a really interesting time to be alive. You know, I feel like when we fast forward a couple of decades from now, it’s gonna be very cool to be a part of the history that’s kind of in the making right now. And so, you know, you said, you grew up around business owners, and so it wasn’t foreign to you. But I’m sure that doesn’t mean that it was always right. So tell me about a time when things maybe weren’t so great, a time where you felt lost, you questioned yourself, or you didn’t know how you’re going to keep your doors open. What kind of comes up for you, when I asked you that?

Mike  11:00

I was thinking when did I not feel lost? The only time I don’t feel like I know what I’m doing is what I’m teaching. And I’m just teaching what I’ve learned and through my own experience. So a lot of what I do, as my job is I teach, you know, I podcast, I hold a mastermind group where I gather entrepreneurs in one place, and I teach them for a few days, and, and I don’t even teach at those things. I just facilitate connections between, you know, subject matter experts. And, you know, when I’m at the actual running of the business, I have no idea what the fuck I’m doing that. It’s an end, every business is different, right? Every single one is different. I’ve owned and ran several different types of businesses. And if you try to run the same playbook from running a gym to running an online business, good luck, it’s not, you can’t run the same playbook, it’s not gonna work. And for instance, Barbell Shrug was really focused on b2c type business. It’s direct to the consumer we’re selling a product or service, whatever. And then we moved into the barbell business and then became a b2b business, it’s now a business owner to business owner. And that’s a different animal. So and, and now I have this other show called The Bledsoe show, which is not attached to the other companies really, and, and game. And so recognize it recognizing each type of business as a different type of game. And then you just can’t run the same playbook yourself from previous businesses. And I can’t run someone else’s playbook on online business, because they’re a different person than I am. And so yeah, I, the running business is a constant. I’m in a constant state of discovery and learning. And there’s definitely months from getting my ass kicked more than others. And yeah, I would say the early days of running a gym, I’d say the first year and a half it was. It wasn’t a mystery. So it was a real fucking mystery. And then after being there year and a half started watching some online seminars about business, and I was like, oh, there’s these things called metrics. We’re supposed to be tracking how many people come in the door. They’re supposed to be tracking how many people come to the website versus we tracking how many of the people that that tryout classes are signing up. Oh, cool. Okay. I now I start tracking metrics. It’s like, okay, this is some of the mystery. Gone. It’s not, it’s not too crazy. But in the beginning, I lived in my gym, I lived in my gym for a while, I think it was eight months, Doug lived in the gym for a year and a half. We weren’t making money. You know, and we built the business up over time, the gym business and just as we were getting our stride where all this feels comfortable. We decided to an online business, which doesn’t make any money, you know, no real money for a year and a half. So it’s like another. It’s weird this year and a half cycle of figuring out a business. A year and a half. 18 months is too long for most people, most people 18 months into something that’s not making any real money, they throw their hat, you know, it throws the towel in the ring, you know? And so I think it takes us about 18 months to figure it out. And then about six months after I figured it out, I start something new that is a challenge. So I like having that constant pressure. Yeah, you know, if I start feeling like oh, this is easy, like okay, let’s add a let’s add a new challenge. I don’t know if that’s healthy, but it’s definitely been my pattern but Man, yeah, there’s ever times where I didn’t know how I was gonna make. I remember running the gym and not knowing how I was gonna make rent. And you know, the 30th of the month and two days, it’s gonna be the first and I gotta pay, you know, I got to write a check for 3000 bucks for rent, and I don’t know how I’m buying groceries. And I’m just like, I’m just gonna keep doing the thing I’m gonna trust that’s gonna work out if I can’t make friends. Fuck, I don’t know, I guess. And then somebody would come and pay for four years now, like, oh, I want to join membership. Here’s a check for, you know, $2,000 I’m like, Oh, shit, that’s really how much money I needed to keep the doors open and pay utilities. So. So I got a bit of a cough. So there’s, I didn’t, there was a little bit of luck involved.  I got up on stage a couple weeks ago, and I spoke to this mastermind and I had 126 seconds to teach people something. So just over two minutes, and my big lesson that I thought was like, you know, I have a, I have a strong YouTube following social media podcast, I have a strong following. I never created a viral video. I never, you know, there was never a moment where I was like, Oh, we fucking made it. It was like, he’s like, dude, just show up every day, just show up day after day after day. And build it over time. And then people on the outside will be like, Oh, you finally arrived. It’s like, I don’t know. I mean, I just took one step in front of the other. And consistency. Like, we just post the show every Wednesday, and this and that. And there’s definitely been times where it was easy. And we were ahead, and there were times where it was, like, I have no idea what we’re gonna post tomorrow. And we’ve committed to the fans that we would post something every Wednesday. So I would say more often I, in my in business, it’s been, I’ve spent more time with it being challenging and difficult than I have with it being awesome and beautiful.

Misbah Haque  17:21

There’s no real such thing is like overnight success. That’s kind of how the outside viewer sometimes might see it. But so you’re saying that there was no real vivid turning point? Or is there a turning point where you can kind of remember where, or maybe a couple turning points where every time you know, things were kind of getting rough? Something just kind of sparked you to, you know, take action and do something like Do you can you recall any moment like that?

Mike  17:51

You know, there have been turning points. There, you know, it was a turning point where I figured out how to make monthly recurring revenue online. What was the gym, it was like a turning point, which is, let’s just have people signed contracts, let’s ask our members to make a commitment to us. And we’ll make a commitment to them. That was a huge turning point. With the online stuff is like, oh, we should offer coaching and training programs that, you know, will make us more money every month versus trying to figure out how to sell constantly, which is the same as a gym model. another turning point that I that I would point at but I didn’t see the any of these turning points at the time, it was more of a retrospect. Another turning point was getting comfortable partnering with people who are better at things than I am and being okay with not being the guy. You know, like being okay with not being able to delegate something. And and that’s more difficult than it sounds because our identities, I know, my identity was really tied to being a certain person in the business. And, you know, I’m really good at this things like, are you really is somebody else better? Because if they’re better at it, maybe you should have them do it, and you can step back, and you’re not that guy anymore. Well, that’s a challenge. Letting go of certain things. I think most business owners can identify with that. And understanding what doing more of the same as versus transcendence is, and so. So, there’s, there’s transformation, and then there’s trans transcendence, you know, and some, are you are you trying to be better? Are you trying to make improvements by doing more of the same? Or are you actually going to go up a level play a bigger game, like, you know, for instance, I was running a gym, I can impact a couple 100 lives at a time, then I went into the online space and where we now have hundreds of 1000s of people. And that’s a bigger game, you know, and then it’s like, okay, now I’m going to get into, now I’m going to help other gyms, I’m going to help these gyms out. And we have software for them. And we have coaching for these gym owners. And each of these gym owners have 200 athletes and we can have 1000s of gyms that we’re helping, that’s playing a bigger game. And, and so, it you know, are you doing more of the same? Or are you transcending? And the funny thing about transcendence is there’s, there’s no way to see above where you are now. So, to predict what’s gonna get you to the next level, you’re never right. You’re never right. It’s always a surprise of what’s going to be the next level. And it’s the thing, it’s the scariest, it’s the thing that is the most uncomfortable. So I’ve learned to if, if, if a situation comes in, or someone walks in the door, and, and, and what they’re losing is fucking scary to me. I’m paying attention, like, Okay, should I this? Is this fear something? Is this person actually threatening me? Like? Or is it threatening the ego? And I need to like step into this fear. Most times, I might just step into the fear. And that’s where most people turn their backs and go, no, no, no, this is my thing. I’m not gonna, like do this thing, whatever. And then people turn down the opportunity of a lifetime, constantly. And they have no idea. They’re doing just that, because they’re letting fear control the situation. So they think a deal is not good for them, when’s the best deal that could have ever had? Because they’re not willing to give up, you know, a small piece of who they think they are in order to get there. So one way to know if it’s fear is controlling the situation? Or if it’s, or if it’s something you should really be looking out for? Is, is it best for your customers? Or is this best? Is this by doing this thing? Are you going to better serve other people? If the answer is yes, and you’re still afraid, the fear is just fucking with you. And you need to like step into it. But if if you go, you know what, this is not going to be a better service to the people in the world, then then you know, it’s not the right choice. So, you know, if there’s ever a question in your mind whether, you know, or is this fear, something I should be paying attention to? Clients, is this going to be better for our audience? The answer is, yes, you have to do it anyway. And when you do that, then amazing things will appear. And I definitely went off in a rabbit hole. It was good. But I don’t know if I answered your question.

Misbah Haque  22:58

Coaches, you get to interact with tons of coaches, and you know, affiliate owners, and when coaches often feel like they stalled, and they want to play that bigger game, you know, it’s not uncommon for somebody to go down a rabbit hole of chasing, you know, stamp of approval, right chasing certifications, like my gym membership has stalled, I’m going to go get a master’s degree in business, or I’m going to become a level four trainer, coach, or whatever the case might be, because that’s what’s making me a better coach. So what do you think it is that we’re really hiding from? And why is this typically, you know, not the answer.

Mike  23:35

Yeah, certifications and stuff like that’s usually more of the same as having Einstein said something along the lines of like, the same way of thinking that got that created, the problem is not going to be how you’re going to solve the problem. I completely butchered that. But you get the idea. Yeah. You have to be yet approached with a new way of thinking. And that doesn’t mean go adopt some school’s version of business. Because by the way, when you study business, you’re studying people’s opinion on business. The only way to study business that works for you is to be in it yourself. And so I aimlessly, aimlessly and directionless Lee, like approaching education is a big waste of time. And I think there are really simple things you can do out there that will be highly enlightening. One is Strengths Finder, calm, wealth dynamics, calm wealth dynamics, calm is my favorite. I’ve been studying personality traits for a long time. And I’ve used Myers Briggs Colby Strengths Finder. There’s another one Gallup so there’s like all these personality tests. And I recommend just taking all of them you know, spend a few 100 bucks however much it costs. Take them before you go trying to get education something, because you may find that so hey, if you go take these personality tests, it’s going to tell you who you should partner with. And you can have, if you think you should park, it’s like, there’s no way that I can do everything I need to do in my business myself, it’s just not going to happen, I’m not going to be the best at it. So the best thing I can do is figure out what is it that I actually am good at, okay, I’m gonna do more of that. So this isn’t business is not CrossFit. So we’re not trying to be good at everything all the time, we want to be we want to find what we’re specialists that we want to build a team, you know, we want to be you know, we want to have the guy that’s really powerful over here, and a guy that’s got a lot of endurance over here and a gal that can do muscle ups over here. And so I think it’s a, it’s a common mistake to just try to do more of the same guess what, if you go get a certification, everyone else is doing the same shit. Like you’re not differentiating yourself at all, it’s the easiest thing to do, the easiest thing to do is sign up and go do a weekend seminar. Not saying that bad things is like, don’t think that’s going to solve your problem. Or if you if you if you’re hitting a wall, that’s the last thing that’s going to be good for you. So learn about yourself, find out who you should be partnering with, and make sure those people on your team until that happens, everything else can be a waste of time. So knock that out, and then make sure, yeah, you know, the business is a business is a reflection of who you are. And so if finances are hurting more than likely, your personal finances have always sucked. And now your business finances suck. It’s not a, there’s no mystery, there shouldn’t be, you go, Oh, I should learn more about finance, specifically, you don’t need to spend two years getting MBA to learn about finance, you can there’s just tons of there’s, you know, start with something simple, like Tony Robbins has this book about money, and, and so on, and so forth. And the best marketers on the planet didn’t go to Marketing School, you know, there’s so many resources, online information is free, find out what vibes with you. If you went to Marketing School, and you and you became an awesome marketer, then you’re the 1% You know, that education lined up with exactly what you like, you need to hear you got lucky. But in a world where there’s a million people teaching it, certain things are gonna vibe with me that that vibe for others, and so on and so forth. The resources are endless, and a lot of information is free, or it costs money, but it’s common for, for us. And see, like, I really like how Mike approaches things, maybe I should buy his stuff, you know, everyone’s putting out enough free stuff where you can try it on, you know, you know, if you’re a business owner looking to borrow business, and if it fits, then do our stuff. If it doesn’t fit me like somebody else do their stuff.

Misbah Haque  27:58

I used to work for Lululemon Athletica. And what they did after a year of working there, they encouraged the employees to go take this seminar. And it was a three day seminar that was like 13 hours a day. And you know, I heard some great things about it. I heard like, nobody could really give me a clear answer of how it went for them. And like everybody said, it was great, but they couldn’t tell me exactly what was happening inside the seminar. Right? So anyways, I decided why not this thing? You’re talking about? Do you? Alright? Is it a landmark? Yeah, that’s exactly it. So pretty much what happened was, it’s like 1000 bucks or something like that to go, everybody who fucking shows up there, thinks that you’re going to be talking about business, you think you’re going to be talking about leadership, or all these, you know, the surface level things. And then all of a sudden, you know, things get really fucking uncomfortable, really fast. Like I remember the first day, there was something about, you know, digging into, like, you know, your limiting beliefs and like having a conversation with somebody about these beliefs. And I’m kind of paraphrasing there, but the fact is that it made me so uncomfortable that I was like, okay, you know what, I’m gonna come back tomorrow, I’m gonna come back the day after, but I’m not doing that. I’m not doing like the and I wasn’t the only person who was in that boat, right? And so something you’ve done a great job of kind of introducing to the community and the audience is a fundamental aspect of I think behavior and psychology. You know, self limiting beliefs are essentially just projections of, you know, some pattern that probably traces back to childhood, and it’s something that we’ve tucked away and we’ve become oblivious to you know, and I’ve been digging pretty deep the last few weeks around this topic. And you know, I’m back and forth with it all the time just like anybody else, but I’m noticing the repercussions right, like I’ve been somebody to block it out or avoid certain things in my childhood. And it has a direct correlation to your relationships with people you know, expressing how you know your creative potential. And for this episode operating As a business owner, so I’m curious how the hell did you bring this concept to people without that woowoo stigma attached to it? Because I’ve heard you kind of mentioned that, you know, in your seminars and in your discovery calls and things like that, you’re kind of touching on on some of this stuff, right?

Mike  30:18

Yeah, that’s how I do it, I touch on it, I don’t, at all go straight for the jugular. Um, I think one of the big benefits I have to being able to present that type of information that’s digestible and palatable is because when I first started Barbell Shrugged, I didn’t consider any of that. And it was over the past five years that I’ve grown as a person, and I recognize that I hit barriers that were my self limiting beliefs as an example. There’s a lot of other things that, you know, that’s just, you know, a sliver of the personal development work that’s available for people to, to get into. And there’s always more layers. But I think people actually, especially people who have been fans for a while, watched me transform.

Misbah Haque  31:20

Absolutely. From the first episode, we can hear you all the way to now. The vibe is different that is that is a person who is different. I am a different being now. And if you can, literally it’s, I’m, I am one of the most fortunate people on the planet, because I’ve always been very authentic and my communication. And, because of that you actually, there was no facade. I mean, there. I guess you could say there’s less facade now than ever, but you gotta watch the facade diminish over time. And my ability to be, I would say, my, my number one parlor trick is vulnerability. And. And I’m, I’m actually still like, you listen to the Bledsoe show, if you want to see the most vulnerable recordings that’s over there. You know, I’ve definitely become more vulnerable on Barbell Shrug barbell business where I share my own personal challenges. And the deeper I get with myself, the more universal the lessons become. So it’s like, oh, I had to deal with this thing to start talking about things that are really deep to me. But the truth is this world, pretty much all the same. And the end, right, right, you dig deep enough, but the human spirit is, you know, there’s not really that much variance from one human spirit to another. And so the more the more vulnerable I become, the more the more people can identify with me, they go, Oh, well, I feel the same thing. Oh, I’ve had that experience. And now it was, how did he get through it? Like, I’m curious. Um, and then I am very conscious of where people are coming from. You know, where I live in a bubble where people get very, very quickly. And the explanations for why things are the way they are a little shaky at times. And I don’t like that. I definitely entertain Whoo, I will sit right in the middle of it. I mean, I’ve flown down to Peru and gone into the mountains and sat with shamans I’ve done the most Whoo, things you could ever imagine. And then I see it as my job to go Okay, what about this makes sense? What did I learn here? And how do I apply this for other people, because I know other people aren’t going to do what I did. They’re not going to fly into Peru. And so a shaman to find things. And I wasn’t going to find anything for anyone else. I do things and find things about myself. And when I do go on these personal journeys, I am finding new depths. And again, it allows you know, I come in with vulnerability, I share what I find, and people go that’s in there for me too. And so, yeah, it’s I think, I think I am, that’s a skill I do possess is understanding what the audience needs to hear, to be able to digest the thing I’m presenting, and not everyone’s gonna hear everything all the time. You know, people are listening and they’re catching 10% or, or whatever, and that’s fine. I’m not attached to I become a I used to be pretty attached. I’m not very attached anymore. I’ve let go of expectations about what other people are going to get out of my message. I just share what’s real and the truth for me. And there’s a percentage of people who are really going to connect with that. And then there’s going to be a percentage of people who think I’m fucking crazy. That’s okay. Yeah, I, I’d rather just be myself. So a lot of this stuff is subconscious, like you’re not consciously always thinking every time you get blocked, like, oh, well, this is because a parent might have said, in some way, shape or form that you’re not good enough when you were younger. And this is why I’m acting this way. So I can see why it’s, it’s more appealing to go after a certification, instead of asking yourself that hard question, but really kind of peeling back the layers? Because you’re not really aware of it at first. But that’s for sure. Yeah. You had an episode that you just did with..

Mike  35:59

Let me share why I think people just got the certification. 

Misbah Haque  36:03

Yeah, let’s go.

Mike  36:04

So they do it. Because if you go and look at the sales copy, if you go look at how they’re selling a certification there, a nine times out of 10, the marketing is telling you that you’re not good enough. So you need this thing. So you can be good enough. And there’s, there’s different types of marketing out there. This is the the consciousness level of Western culture in this moment is we’re emerging out of this place of lack. So if you look at the marketing over the last 100 years, if you’re not good enough, if your teeth aren’t wide enough, if you’re, you know, if you don’t have this amount of knowledge, if you don’t have this, or this or this, then you’re not good enough. So you have to buy our product, so you can feel better about yourself. And so, most certifications that people get, is because they feel like they don’t have something. And then once they have that thing, they’re gonna feel whole and complete, they get the certification don’t feel whole and complete. And then they do it again, they’re stuck in a pattern. And so this is why it’s difficult, because that’s how we’re raised, where we’re go five years old, go sit in a classroom, get an education, that’ll solve your problem, graduate problem still exist, alright, go to college, do that problem still exist, go get certified in this thing, problem still exist. We’re taught from the youngest of ages that an education and the more formal education you have, the more successful you’re going to be, but no one ever feels successful. So they just keep doing the certifications. So I just want to touch on the fact that is the reason you can’t dig into the past is because the program is running. And the majority, if 95% of the choices you’re making are automated, you’re a fucking robot. And you’re doing these, you’re not making these choices consciously. 90. It’s your subconscious that’s running a program that was installed at the age of five years old, it’s running, our lives are being run by a five year old. And that’s why people do really dumb shit.

Misbah Haque  38:11

No, dude, I love that episode that you did with. I can’t recall his name. Bu he was like, in the military super, like tough guy ran his classes, like a boot camp. And somebody like him, how did you get him to kind of, I’m sure he had maybe some type of resistance at first to peeling back the layers. But he mentioned that when he dove into that, and he uncovered some of that stuff. He had some of the biggest breakthroughs and things kind of turned around, you know, overnight, or in a shorter period of time. How did you get somebody like him? Or how or maybe this is with yourself, how do you get somebody who’s resistant to that to open up to that? If it’s even if it’s even possible.

Mike  38:53

It is possible and it’s a case by case basis and not everybody’s ready all the time, I don’t have magic powers where I can walk in and be like, oh healed or whatever, but like I think I have one thing is I was once in the military I was once a hard ass I was once I once held little to no empathy. I’m definitely I’m from the other side of the tracks and away is the background. And so, for a while, I thought that was holding me back. And then once I really gotta understand in Excel where I came from, I found that I was able to help people who came from the same place I came from. So that hardcore military, you know, guy who’s running the boot camp style, and just like, his relentless doesn’t have any empathy. I know exactly where he’s coming from, you know, I’m like, I know what it is, that would have helped me. I know, I know what I heard, that flip some switches. I’ve done the work, I see the web, I see that I see like, Oh, his path, or her path could be right here. And I can make some suggestions. And I say, I say, I’m looking for things that trigger people, I trigger people on purpose at times, and I look for the thing to see if they’re open most of the time, you know, oh, resistance, and that’s okay. I’m like, okay, cool. I just drop off a little seed. And there have been times where I get an email or call three months later, it’s like, holy shit. You know, that thing you said didn’t make any sense to me that day. But, you know, weeks later it did. And it’s that thing. And then whatever it is to predict what it is, it’s trying to predict what’s going to wake somebody up. Yeah, I don’t think there are ways of setting up situations for a favorable environment until the soil bit, but a guaranteed result doesn’t exist. And in my opinion.

Misbah Haque  41:32

When somebody does kind of go through that, you’ve seen breakthroughs happen, right? Like you can you give me an example of somebody who might have been pretty resistant? And you know, they decided to kind of be open to it. And what were the results that came after that?

Mike  41:47

A lot of time. Well, people people don’t know they’re being resistant for once. Yeah, if someone’s like, my being resistant, it’s like, you have no idea if you’re being resistant. You just think that whoever whatever it is, you’re resisting is dumb. So you know, I I’ve worked with I’ve worked with clients who you got to take them out of their, their common environment. So I like to have people travel to me. A lot of times if somebody wants to work on that’s what we do in mastermind, is I have people that mastermind is a place where we like shake it up. Books, this new locations, getting people out of their daily, whatever. Yeah, I’ve had, I’ve watched people go from I have no idea how to make money to, in less than 24 hours having the the battle plan ready to make 1000s of 1000s of dollars a month type of thing, or 10000 or hundreds of 1000s. I find that most people know what they should be doing. And then that thing they are doing, but they are use this word, they’re blocked, in a way, you know, there’s a thing that they, they got this momentum that Come, come come and and then they just stop. And it’s like, Ah, they’re like, they’re on that path. And they know, they’re like, yeah, there’s a ceiling. I can’t I can’t break 1000 bucks a month, or I can’t break 10,000 bucks a month. Just it’s easy to talk about money because we can attach a number to it. And we know when right through that. But um, yeah, it’s it’s really, really fascinating. To watch on if I can get too specific, without sharing super personal stuff. Not so certain. Yeah, it’s, um, and it’s, and it’s usually not like a overnight thing. You know, there’s a lot being up to it. And then weeks later, it’s like, yeah, but I’ve worked with, let’s see, I worked with one girl. She was a she’s a CrossFit Games athlete. She’s on a team. And she spent five days with me, she came and spent five days with me, and she didn’t know why. She thought she came to see me for one thing, and then she got another notch how she usually everyone. That’s how real transformations work because people think they’ve got they’re coming here to do this. And then they walk away going, I had no idea this other thing even existed, spend five days with me. And then five days, discovers that even though she’s been a CrossFit on a team for CrossFit Games, she was completely disconnected from her body. And hadn’t she thought that she was very connected to her body because she was an athlete. And just because you beat your body into submission, doesn’t mean that you’ve mastered it, and in fact, is probably the opposite. And so, over a week, weeks period of time, we went from changing her perspective on on training on, why are you in the gym? What are you doing? Are you even focused on what you’re doing? Or are you escaping, we moved from a place where she was punishing our body and didn’t love her body at all or herself to a place where she have a lot of self love, and feeling very connected to her body loving her body. You know, with a week later, she had left and she’s training with her team, she was like, Oh, my God, I can, like I’m breathing better, I can feel my breath going, and I can feel the blood pumping in my veins. And one of the things that we were talking about was, when she would get into this pain cave, the way she would deal with pain is to disassociate from her body. So like, Okay, I’m gonna go in as painful place, and I’m going to get out of my body, so that I don’t have to deal with it, and I can keep pushing it. And that’s, that is actually what helped make her successful in her sport. But it was holding her back, you know, at the same time. And what we what we learned was, let’s be present in the moment, and let’s feel everything. Let’s not let it control our actions and our behaviors. But let’s feel it all. And so she went from a place where now she breathes much more deeply. endurance type events are much easier for her. She can focus better when she lifts like from, from an athlete performance perspective, her entire experience as an athlete changed in one week. And she back out, we spent one day in the gym in those five days. And she was she was used to being in the gym more is doing more of the same. So I had to take her to a place that was the opposite of what she would have chosen for herself. And ended up being Yeah, really, really great for her. And I, you know, in a five day period, there was, I would say most athletes need to get cleaned out. So I actually put her on, like one thing, it does put her on a diet. I just put her on something that she wouldn’t normally be eating. And we were doing a lot of self care, in regard to diet. And I mentioned shitting, like five times a day, the whole time. She’s here and she’s like, What the fuck is going on? I’m sitting and eating. I was like, Yeah, it’s like, because the work we were doing, you know, we were, we were I was teaching her how to let go of things, personally, and emotional things are stored physically. And it just cleaned her out. Right. And the nutrition that we were practicing wasn’t really that much different. We definitely added some stuff in our diet that she was not used to getting a lot of medicinal mushrooms and stuff like that. Like a lot of nutrients that most people just aren’t getting. So grant really take anything out, we added some we went very micronutrient dense, and like was just started feeding her body stuff that it was probably starving for. In addition to doing some of this emotional psycho emotional work, and then all of a sudden, just her body’s just letting go of tons of shit. So she walked out of my she walked out of my place five days later looking different. She I would say she looked more feminine, was softer and more in her body and and not such a happy person. All right. Maybe I’d love to get permission to share a sheet. Yeah, we’ll have to come up with I have interesting methods. I would like for her to figure out a way for her to share it without. Yeah, I don’t know exactly what she’s sharing what she’s not.

Misbah Haque  49:17

That’s okay. I mean, so to kind of sum this concept up to people there was this one time where I think like, I didn’t have an ear infection, but it was like, like, you can’t really hear out of one year, I don’t know, something was going on. And I pretty much went to you know, the drugstore and got like this over the counter, like your medicine that would kind of drain out what was in there, right? So whatever, I put it in my ear, and I can’t fucking hear for the next day and like the doctors not in the office. And so I’m just I’m just left not being able to hear. It was worse than it was before. But when I ended up kind of going to the doctor, you know, they put a syringe in your ear and they kind of drain it out or whatever. And yeah, it’s kind of disgusting. So it comes out onto like a little bowl or whatever. 

Mike 50:02

It doesn’t sound like a thing, you should do something there. 

Misbah 50:10

That’s exactly it, they kind of pressure wash it out of there. And when it comes out, you literally feel like you can hear, I’m not even kidding. I vividly remember this, you can hear what’s going on, like inside the fucking faucet when you know, when you turn on the water, like you can hear it coming through the pipes. And it’s a very clear, clear feeling. And it’s one of those things like, I never knew that I could hear something like that, right. Like, I wasn’t aware that that was a thing. And that’s kind of how I would describe the experience at Landmark was I actually, by the way, I ended up actually going through those conversations and doing those exercises by the end of it and kind of following it. So you wake up Monday morning, because it’s a three day thing, you wake up Monday morning, and it’s like the best day you’ve ever had in your life. You feel like you can hear things better, you just feel so much lighter. You’re in this state of I guess fulfillment and a sense. And the point is like, the point isn’t, you’re never gonna fall out of that, because you probably will. But now you know what you’re kind of chasing now, you know, like this is the state that I want to hold on to. And yeah, that’s kind of how I feel like, is a good, good place to sum that up. Anything else you have to say on that before we kind of switch gears a little bit? 

Mike 51:24

No, I mean, I could probably talk all day about it.  

Misbah 52:28

So let’s see, let’s answer a question that a lot of people are probably thinking about right now. We’re no longer competing with other CrossFit gyms, right before it was like, Okay, you’re competing with the person who’s a mile down the street. Now it’s, you know, how are we going to compete with Orangetheory Lifetime Fitness, and these multimillion dollar companies who have their shit together, and who have been in the game for you know, some time, and then they’re giving people what they want? So, you’ve mentioned that, you know, these people are really people that could be walking into your gym, right? How do we compete with that? How do we even start to approach that? 

Mike 52:09

We become professionals. 

Misbah 52:13

That’s a good answer.

Mike 52:16

There’s a lack of professionalism in the market. And I know this because I used to not be professional. So you know, because we didn’t have to be, you know, got away with murder. And what I mean by really being of service to your customers, and then also taking your business seriously, every aspect of your business is just as important to the other people love to you know, put so much emphasis on the service or the product and like, Oh, my programs better than other people’s who gives a shit? Like, what’s, but what about your marketing? What about your accounting? What about your finance? What about? Did you know, even Greg Glassman was talking about this. I don’t always agree with everything. He’s all the advice he’s given on business to people, but it’s like, you know, keeping the gym clean. I remember, it used to be acceptable to clean the gym twice a week. It’s got to be cleaned twice a day now. Just walk into an orange theory, or a Barry’s boot camp, or, you know, equinox and they are offering all of the same equipment. And it’s nicer. And I also got a sauna and swimming pool, and Wi Fi and a cafe. And so, what I’ve been telling box owners recently is, well, first off, we need to be selling coaching. Don’t be selling gym memberships, because your gym membership doesn’t look anything like you know, Lifetime Fitness, Lifetime Fitness. They’re selling gym memberships, you walk in the door, shiny equipment, everything you would ever need. If I walk into two spaces, and they’re selling the same thing, I’m obviously joining lifetime. But gym but CrossFit gyms aren’t selling gym memberships, we’re selling coaching. And you know, when you go Oh, it’s 200 bucks a month for a gym membership. People go fuck, that’s a lot of money. But if you go look, it’s for I will coach you, three, four or five days a week. For only 200 bucks a month people go Holy shit, that’s a fucking deal. Like I’ve spent 1000s of dollars on coaching people people buy online coaching for you know that it ranges. I’ve seen some coaches charge up to 600 bucks a month to write somebody’s program. People walk in off the street in your gym. They’re getting a good program. And they’re getting hands on coaching and the facility all stuff and people are afraid to charge that much money because they’re coming at it from the perspective the gym owners coming out from perspective. gym membership, you know, saying a gym membership, you’re selling coach, let’s be coaches. And coaching is not just running a program and correcting people’s movement, it’s about connecting with a person finding out what it is that’s keeping them from getting to the next level and offering that the best coaches, program design and movement coaching is becoming extremely common, extremely, extremely common. Yes, it can be done better. I walk into gyms all the time, I’m like, okay, they could be doing better, both with program design and movement, however, and five years from now, what’s gonna differentiate one coach from another is the lifestyle factor and being able to help someone with their block, you know, somebody who’s like, oh, I can’t lose weight, because I, and the real reason is because my parents won’t accept me if I’m not fat. That’s what’s really going on in the subconscious. It’s just lurking back there. And, and people self sabotage and helping them see that, that’s the future of coaching. So we have to be selling coaching, first off, and then. So be more professional self coaching, not a gym membership, and hire your own coach, hire a coach that helps you see the things that you can’t see, don’t hire a coach to write a program for you, like, man, you can but make sure you also have a coach that’s showing you your blind spots, right? That’s what a coach is supposed to do is study the shit you can’t see yourself. 

Misbah 56:31

So like we that the program design and the movement, that’s all like the technical aspect of things. And you’ve mentioned that, you know, you can definitely look at all the different types of coaching, like, you know, health coaching, life coaching, nutrition, coaching, business, coaching, whatever. And there’s things that you can pull from that, and that people currently maybe aren’t applying to cross, you know, being a crossfit coach or whatever. What are some of those things when you look at those disciplines that were lacking? I know that connection, you just mentioned a little bit about that. But could you touch a little more on that. It’s not necessarily technical, it’s more so being able to relate and being able to provide an experience in a sense. 

Mike 57:08

That’s the only thing that’s not technical in nature. So we’ll get back to talking about being an artist, you know, to be a good musician, we’ll say that’s to be a good musician, and say you play the piano, you have to be able to copy what someone else is doing. You have to be able to sit down and go, Okay, this is Beethoven’s Fifth, whatever, and I’m gonna play this music and I am hitting the keys and it sounds beautiful. And that’s really amazing. That’s not art. That is you are, you are just replicating you’re regurgitating, you’ve memorized you’ve, you’ve, you’re able to do that. The expression comes in when you make your own music, like, and you can’t make your own music unless you have the technical ability first, you know, it is very, very rare, it happens. But they’re, you know, the five year old sits on piano and just starts playing whatever song came out of their head, and you’re just like, What the fuck, you know, that’s like, one in a billion. But most musicians have to learn how to copy other musicians first, and get technically good at what they’re doing later, and self expression creates their own music. So the same thing happens with coaching as we have a bunch of copycats. So we have people like, Oh, I’m gonna go learn these cues. And you have to do it, you have to go learn the cues to get people to move better, you have to understand and visually see how people can move better, you can have, you figure out all the science behind program design. And you can even get, after you learn all the technical aspects, you can become creative and create your own program and your own work on your own theories, and all this kind of stuff. And the same with nutrition. But the next level of artistry is learning to communicate, listen to the client, hear exactly what they need, and give them the smallest amount of information possible. Just the shortest piece of advice, that’s gonna make the biggest difference for them. And a lot of coaches love to just be heard, they just want to hear themselves talk. Let’s figure out how we can distill down these complicated concepts that the average person is having a hard time understanding and distill it down into a simple Senate. They go, Oh, I get it now. And now they start moving better. They start reading better, they start they start actually showing up the class they actually when they leave the gym, they eat healthy foods, because you said that thing that helped it click. That’s where next level artist is that like if you want to be a next level coach, you have to learn how to communicate with people that’s meaningful to them. Coaches tend to tend to make coaching about them on the best coach or right these programs. Okay, this shit, are you getting your people results? Or are you only able to help 1% of the people that walk in the door? That means that you’re, you’re just doing your thing and those people just happen to match up, or are you a coach that can work with anybody’s like, Oh, I know, I need to manage you differently than this person over here. So I think in the future, and this is what separates coaches currently is the ability to connect with the athletes and figure out exactly what it is they need to hear, to make a change that’s going to move them closer to their goals. So that’s, that’s the piece that I see that’s missing in the fitness industry. So, and  I’ve had coaches that are life coaches, business coaches, their marketing coach, there’s like all these coaches and consultants and I’ve, I’ve worked and hired a lot for myself. And that’s where I start connecting the dots and go, Oh, this is, this is where the most this is where we can make the most progress. As fitness coaches, we don’t know how to communicate with our athletes. So communication. Number one. 

Misbah 01:01:03

I’m curious to know if you’ve noticed this trend, from visiting affiliate owners, when it comes to kind of community culture and burnout. So let’s say that the gym owner starts to burnout, or they want to take a step back and kind of start orchestrating things. They let other coaches kind of take over the classes and the community starts to feel a bit disconnected. The other coaches are great, but they feel as if maybe there’s a vibe that the owner doesn’t care anymore. Have you ever come across that?

Mike  1:01:31

Yeah, I mean, does it even happen to me?

Misbah Haque  1:01:35

How do you nurture that community and culture?

Mike  1:01:38

I think when that if that happens, it’s because the coach waited too long to step out. Okay, so yeah, what ends up happening is, the coach waits until they’re overwhelmed to put other people in place, then they actually really don’t give a shit. What the members are picking up on is reality. And if you wait until you’re like, at your wit’s end, and you can’t do anything else, and you have to bring someone else in, you really, the truth is, is you don’t care. And everyone knows it. There’s no trick. The trick, as is to put people in place and start coaching the coaches before that happens. And some, yeah, I don’t, I don’t know why we have this thing. Some program installed at some point, that leads us to believe that we have to do it all ourselves until we can’t. But, you know, again, if you want to be a next level coach, learn how to coach coaches.

Misbah Haque  1:02:31

Gotcha! So what if somebody is at that point? Oh, sorry, you kind of cut out a little bit, are you saying?

Mike  1:02:38

So? Number one is, you need to put other coaches in place before you think you do. So pretty much if you own the gym, or your head coach. Any classes that you are coaching should be completely voluntary, and you should not be on the schedule. And all your efforts should be in training the coaches, you should be holding one or two hours a week, where you’re helping teach the coaches.

Misbah Haque  1:03:03

So you should be filling that void with, you know, investing more time into essentially being that an activator, you had an episode on that, where that’s kind of the first time that I’ve heard of that, but we have the stigma where we have to do we have to finish everything we start all by yourself, even if it drains you, and it’s no longer serving your purpose, just because you started it, you have to finish it. But some people, like you talked about in the episode, are meant to be orchestrating and activating. Right? So filling that void. Once you do, take a step back. What does that look like? You said investing time in your coaches? What other roles do you feel like gym owners should be you know, filling that space with

Mike  1:03:46

Taking time for themselves. And, and learning themselves I should be reading. I should be studying things then may not seem connected in the beginning. But you know, if you need to be better at business, be studying business. If you if your gap is in coaching, be better coach and then pass the coaching stuff down to those coaches you should be watching the coaches coach class and giving them feedback on how they can make improvements. Just because you’re not coaching the class doesn’t mean you’re not at the class. You know, and and seeing how you can continually improve process, you should be coaching your coaches, you know, they may have another coach that’s writing in their workout programs or what everybody should be helping them figure out like, you know, how can I make your life how can I help you move through life a little bit smoother? How can I remove any barriers that you may have to helping out our clients? What is it? What is it that you want to be able to do professionally in six months that you can’t do now and what can we do to make that happen? You should be spending just as much time doing things but it won’t be coaching bosses, okay, and and, you know really taking time for ourselves and studying things and, and getting our own coaches and all that kind of stuff. What that allows us to do is be every minute that we spend with other people making it that much more impactful, it’s sharpening the x, and we don’t really do that. And, and, as coaches, a lot of times, a lot of a lot of fitness coaches out there, you know, they learn up to a certain point, and then maybe they go to a certification every once in a while, but they’re not really sharpening the axe. And I think a lot of gym owners don’t step into that coaching role, because they’re afraid to play the bigger game, you know, they’re afraid that people might judge them for not working hard or whatever. But they’re, they’re afraid of something, they’re afraid of playing the bigger game for whatever reason, and they’re just not stepping up. So when a coach says, Oh, I just have classes I like, what I hear is, I have no idea how to coach other coaches. And I’m terrified of being a leader. Because coaching a class is relatively easy. You know, it’s difficult in beginning but easy to get comfortable. It’s like, Let’s push and be a little let’s get uncomfortable. And let’s coach the coaches. Let’s, let’s really test your leadership.

Misbah Haque  1:06:33

So the magic question that gym owners are probably wondering at this point, or maybe the reason why they tuned into this episode is how do we get people to walk in the door? What are some actionable tips for, you know, how gym owners should? Maybe? How should they be utilizing social media or setting up referral programs? Like what comes to mind for you that somebody could kind of put into place right away?

Mike  1:07:01

That’s such a broad question. I mean, to be bold, if you just, if you’re a CrossFit gym owner, you go to We have tons of free resources, we have social media calendars that you can use as examples, we have everything you need I. What I would recommend is doing the easiest thing first. If you’re good with Instagram, just crush Instagram, if you’re, if you’re good at creating a lead magnet that goes on your website, where people opt in, and, and you’re good at like writing email, automations, then do that. I mean, oh, man, it’s just there’s like a million different rabbit holes, we could go down. But then most people just aren’t focusing on marketing in the first place. It’s like they have in their head that it’s, you know, not an authentic thing to do. And it won’t be authentic. If you’re just copying how other people do it. We offer people structure to work within that structures, they can have an authentic expression, and their marketing. And that’s how we, that’s how we approach everything is there is no cookie cutter. Because the moment you start copying somebody else’s stuff, you become authentic, and people can tell that that’s what’s happening. So I would get really clear on what your message even is, because if you don’t know your messages, and you people don’t know your messages, there’s no way to be authentic in the first place. Because you don’t even know what you want to help people with, right. But focus on the benefits people are going to get out of whatever you’re doing. And you know, you got Facebook Live, you got Instagram, I’m a huge fan of the social media stuff. So make sure you have a website that converts. A common mistake is people build websites that they think looks good, but that doesn’t matter at all, you know, build a website that gets members in the door. And that’s a big complicated conversation in itself.

Misbah Haque  1:08:57

So the takeaway is you got to go to barbell business, you got to listen to pretty much all the episodes, you got to take notes. And one I think if we want somebody to take something away from this episode is maybe or if you only want to listen to one barbell business episode, I’d say start with like copywriting, right, that that episode you did was really good because everybody on their site has call or email here for a free trial week, right? Everybody does that. And that is equivalent in the online business world to writing something like sign up for the free newsletter, right? It’s like, okay, I get a newsletter and some people might do it, it might work. But it’s like you’re not maximizing. You’re not that doesn’t really connect with me. Right? And just by tweaking, you know, those words, you know, you could test headline A, headline B, everything can be the same, but if that copy doesn’t connect, you know, it’s not going to convert. So I would say maybe digging into that a little bit is a good place to start.

Mike  1:09:51

I like the copywriting because especially the way that McKenna lays it out in our show because she’s teaching you how to approach marketing from the Like state of mind. So and that’s, that’s the mystery to a lot of people is just even, like how they should even be thinking about marketing. And so she goes, she has a great way of approaching that I think. And honestly that anything that we do, we do it because we know we can do better than other people. Right? If someone else is doing something, and then better than what we’re doing than the way we’re doing it, I would just not do it. So yeah, like, if you asked me, he’s like, oh, what should people do? I’m like, just going about our business. Like the whole, the whole business, the whole thing exists to help gym owners, like right had to tell, and we’re only adding more stuff. So if a gym owner actually just, I won’t say guaranteed. But if they want to have the best chance of being successful if they just go into our pipeline, it’s built to make really successful gyms.

Misbah Haque  1:10:53

Awesome. And I just have a couple, maybe like one or two more, we’re gonna do a listener q&a. And I want to ask this one because he’s the guy who kind of sparked the idea for this episode. But what is the right balance of return for a gym between hardcore athletes and the novice groups? Are there any ratios to think about like three for novice, and, you know, one for elite or hard hardcore,

Mike  1:11:16

As they go on, all in on what you want. So if you want to, if you want to make no money and go to the games, shoot for all hardcore athletes, if you want to, if you want to make money and help people get off their diabetic medication, go for the 55 year old soccer moms or whatever, you know, I say, build your business to serve, you know, 123 clients, and they’re all gonna be very similar. I think, I think, I think trying to find a balance between hardcore athletes and average, Joe’s is going to send mixed messages in the marketplace. And you got to figure out what it is that you want. And I think most, the CrossFit Games is fucked up a lot of gym owners, because they, they think that that’s gonna make them important. And it’s not, you know, helping someone to get 3% better, and getting them in the games, in the end, is, you know, getting them on the podium, that’s cool. And that, there’s nothing wrong with that. Or you can help people get off their diabetes medication, help them live 1020 years longer, improve their quality of life, it changed your life by people, what I would like to see is, Is CrossFit gyms to get away from this fucking competition mentality, and get more into just helping people, we have a, we have an epidemic of diabetes, or obesity, this is a fucking problem, not just in the United States anymore. It’s worldwide, we need to get people in the gym. And we need to get people enlightened around movement and nutrition. And to be thinking about getting somebody on a podium, it actually, like, I get a little frustrated with it. And I used to be that I used to coach athletes that were going high level and I, you know, I still give advice, and I still coach here and there on that stuff. But I am not, that is not where my focus is, I’m not trying to make people, you know, I’m not trying to get people on the podium anymore. Because I personally don’t value it. And I want to see what I value is that person who just added 10 years of their life, and they’re going to be able to see their grandkids now, that’s a big deal to me. So I personally, you know, if I’m running a facility, the focus is on helping the average person really get more out of life and get the most out of it. And if you want to really just help the CrossFit Games, athletes and all that kind of stuff in the hardcore athletes, and that’s where your passion is that I say go after that with everything you have. And if and if you are, if that is what you’re supposed to be doing, it’s gonna be the most fulfilling thing ever. Yeah. And if you go 100% towards those athletes, and then a year later, you’re like, This is the worst thing ever been, you know that? You just learned something. Right? Okay. And the same thing, the same thing. If you go after average judging like, Man, this is just not fulfilling. I feel like I need to be training hardcore athletes and do that. So my advice is, there’s no ratio to go after exactly who it is that you want to train, who do you enjoy being around? Who do you enjoy coaching? I think a lot of times people put a lot of importance on the athletes, but athletes don’t pay. And they’re a pain in the ass. And they complain, and very rarely do they take a lot of personal responsibility. So I’m speaking from my experience as a coach, and there’s some good athletes out there and I would never coach anybody who I didn’t have the pleasure of. It wasn’t a pleasurable experience.

Misbah Haque  1:14:55

Let’s say that you’re a billionaire, right? If you had a couple billion dollars You had a staff of 40 people, and the staff of 40 people consists of the top thinkers and top performers in whatever craft it is that you’re recruiting them for. And you wanted to use that to make some type of change. What would you do with that?

Mike  1:15:21

I would create, I would be doing the same thing I’m doing now would probably be a little less, might be a little more expressed. I don’t know. I mean, I would have more, you know, with that much money with that many minds who would be more effective with what we’re already doing. But I want people to love themselves more. And I want them to train and eat well, because they love themselves, not because they feel like they’re not good enough.

Misbah Haque  1:15:58

So you essentially amplify what you’re already doing now? 

Mike  1:16:01


Misbah Haque  1:16:02

Great. Is there something you feel like you don’t get asked enough about, you know, something you wish people would ask you more?

Mike  1:16:10

I don’t think so. If I do unsolicited advice, it would be that I think most people are playing too small. And they’re comfortable. And they’re just doing what they were told growing up. And I think it’s a real shame. There’s a lot of genius sitting in a cubicle. And I think that we live in a world where we actually can do whatever it is we want to do. And people are choosing to play small, and they’re, they’re not really going after life. You know, we put a lot of emphasis on working hard, but at what, you know, what’s the impact that you’re making on the world? Are you making, like plastics that pollute the planet? Or are you helping? You know, are you working for, you know, a pharmaceutical company? Or are you? Educated place? Are you? like, are you making the world sicker? Are you making it healthier? Do you know, what? What is it that you’re doing? What is the purpose of what you’re doing? Do you wake up? And are you excited to do that thing that you’re doing? You know, I, I think most people aren’t not doing that. And I want people to wake up excited to make the world a better place. And I want people to treat each other as if we’re all the same. And stop treating people like we’re different from each other. Because we’re not. And yeah, that’s, there’s not a question. But that’s my statement.

Misbah Haque  1:17:56

So what is the first step for somebody who wants to play the bigger game?

Mike  1:18:02

Start asking better questions. Ask yourself, who you are, and why you do the things that you do. And when you’re in the shower, and you get hit with that feeling of you know, that feeling of like, I can’t do this, or I don’t want to do this or that negative feeling or you’re driving down the road. Figure out what, what thoughts are connected to those feelings and what feelings are connected to those thoughts. And then chain you know, really dig deep, really pull the stream. You know, question everything question? And I’m not saying like, yeah, I am saying like, question what politicians are saying, question what question what your parents told you? Question What, whatever, I just think you grew up and question that question. Question Why you do everything, most of what we do doesn’t make any fucking sense. And, and it’s not who we really are, it’s not really an expression of what’s deep down. Like, I want to see people express themselves fully. And I want their true self expressed, not the program. I don’t want to see the program that our parents installed, you know, we, we inherited a lot of bullshit from our parents. And they inherited a lot bullshit from their parents, and so on and so forth. It’s all everything that the person you are now is just inherited from the people that came before you, and they were doing the best they could do. And they’re evolving each step of the way. And one thing that’s interesting about evolution is once you become conscious that evolution exists, you can speed it up. And the best way to speed up that evolution of your own Consciousness is just start looking around and what what are those thoughts that are coming in and, and finding out where this thing originate and this is not my thought this is this did not originate from inside of me this was installed at some other point. So, I would love to see people start asking those questions. Why do I have this job? Is it because of the paycheck and it makes me feel comfortable and they got health benefits and all this bullshit? Or do I do this work because it’s fulfilling and I’m helping people and it’s improved. It’s making the world as a whole a better place. So yeah, yeah, again, I can go all day about this.

Misbah Haque  1:20:42

I can love that man. Alright, so where can we support you? Where can we learn more about you? Where can we point people to?

Mike  1:20:50

If you want to learn more about strengthening auditioning if you want to learn more about business, and if you want to hear rants like BS and may sit down with like, my friends and wax philosophical like go over to the Every single one of those entities I just named off have if you go on iTunes or Stitcher you can just subscribe to those podcasts. And just give it a listen. If you want to make improvements and those aspects of your life, those shows will change your life I promise. And if they don’t, if you give it to them, if you listen to five shows, any of those things that you want to get better at and and you’re and you’re not excited about I’ll give you your money back.

Misbah Haque  1:21:40

Well, thank you so much for you know taking the time out of your day to do this and being so generous and you know, giving me and the listeners so much to chew on.

Mike  1:21:50

Thanks for having me. I really enjoyed it.

Misbah Haque  1:21:51

Absolutely. Thank you so much for listening, guys. I know you’re probably driving right now, you’re probably eating, cooking, working out, you’re doing something else. But make sure you head over to to check out some of the free coaching videos, warmups guides, checklists, all the things that you can use to make the best use out of your training time. If you enjoyed this episode, please leave a review on iTunes and let me know what you think. I love hearing from you guys. And it would really help me out so I can continue creating awesome stuff for you. And remember, the greatest compliment you can give is by sharing it with somebody else who might enjoy it or somewhere on the web. So once again, thank you so much for being a listener and supporting the show. Until next time!

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