We currently have 868 gyms in Two-Brain Business, my mentorship practice for gym owners.
We’re going to cap it at 1000.
I’m Chris Cooper, and this is BusinessIsGood.
Today, I’m going to tell you why we’re capping membership in my mentorship program, TBB.
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- It’s best for our clients.
We know that the clients who get the best results from Two-Brain keep it simple: they trust the process, they follow their mentor’s direction, and they don’t get sidetracked by second-guessing or other options.
These traits are harder to instil in new clients. But if a new client joins a group that’s totally bought in, positive and making progress, they’re more likely to do the same. They learn the skills by watching others.
The best thing we can do for our new clients is to put them in a high-trust, high-affinity environment of other people who are excited and focused.
Adding a cap will mean they are more likely to encounter those people.
Right now, we have the best ‘churn’ rate in any business coaching program I’ve ever found. But still–even ONE nonbeliever, doubter, or cynic in our program affects ten others.
Clients can pull one another up, or pull one another sideways.
It’s clear: the faster a client can build momentum, the larger their result will be over time. Removing overwhelm, distractions and imperfect fits will help them build momentum faster.
- We don’t want to ‘compete’ for every client anymore.
While we have more experience, data, proof, clients, and success in every metric than other business coaches in the gym industry, it’s still tempting to watch what the others are doing, or try to talk gym owners out of joining their program.
This promotes a scarcity mindset, and worse: it means we “play down” to everyone else’s level. We find ourselves building stuff that gym owners don’t need just because the “other guys” have it.
The truth is that not every gym owner is ready for mentorship with Two-Brain yet.
With a cap, we’ll stop chasing ‘bad fits’ or feeling like we’re losing when a gym owner signs up with someone else.
We’ll always ascend the best clients to Two-Brain, even if they start elsewhere.
Over the last decade, I’ve worked with many clients who have had another business coach or mentor. Some were happy with the other program, but had simply outgrown it. Others were skeptical of all business coaching because they’d had a bad experience.
But either way, the best fits always find their way to Two-Brain, even if they start somewhere else. “Best finds best” isn’t a slogan – it’s our business plan.
- We want to focus on getting the big results FASTER.
Two-Brain could continue onboarding 35-40 gyms per month indefinitely.
Instead, I want to focus on getting Two-Brain gym owners to earning 100k NOB–and then to 1M net worth–FASTER.
We’ve proven we can do it. Every month, a couple of dozen of our clients reach 100k NOB for the first time. And, on average, two of them become millionaires.
For the last five years, we’ve been focused on building everything they needed to get there. We’ve been tracking and publishing how the best gyms do it across the Simple Six metrics.
Now that we’ve done it with hundreds of gyms, we can ask “How do the FASTEST gyms do it?”
We know what’s possible. Now we’ll do it for time.
- We want to actually change the industry.
We’ve seen, from our data, that a thousand well-run gyms can actually have greater impact than 2000 pretty good ones.
The best gyms create full-time jobs for trainers, keep clients engaged far longer, pay the owners dramatically better, and have the systems to last 30 years.
If you believe in the libertarian ideal of a free-market economy, then you understand that most gyms won’t make it. But ideally, the owners and coaches AND clients in the failed gyms will just join the best gyms when theirs closes.
Unfortunately, that’s not what happens. When a gym closes, the owner usually leaves the business. The coaches either try to start their own gym–copying the failed gym to a tee–or go and get “real jobs” outside the industry. And only 30% of the gym’s clients move to another gym.
The better play for coaches and clients is to grow the best gyms faster; encourage their owners to open multiple locations; and eliminate the learning curve of new entrepreneurs.
- We’ll be able to balance short-term tactics and long-term strategies more effectively.
When a client is desperate for more revenue, we can allocate even more resources than we currently do. And when the heat is off, we can build the foundational systems that will last them for decades without trying to “try” every new marketing tactic.
- We can build true entrepreneurial skills instead of just putting out fires.
Success in business depends on three things:
Strategies (marketing), tactics (5130 posts)…and skills (like focus.)
The gyms getting there fastest seem to have all three.
They don’t worry about learning everything – they dial in the basics, and repeat them when they get boring.
They find 2-3 marketing strategies that work, and repeat them over and over instead of starting from scratch every month.
They have dedicated time set aside to work ON their business every day.
I hear these repeated in every Leaderboard interview, every Tinker 1M interview, every conversation with the most successful owners in the world.
A focus on speed will allow us to determine WHEN people should learn each, instead of dumping ideas on people who don’t have time to do any of them.
- We won’t have to scale up our ‘management layer’ of staff, or go through “the dip” again.
When we crested 500 clients, I faced a choice: pivot to a group coaching model, or add a management layer.
A group coaching model is a great move for biz coaches trying to build a lifestyle business.
A 1:1 mentorship model is better for the client. So I chose the latter, and reinvested into hiring an amazing COO, CIO, CMO; building an app for tracking metrics; systemizing our hiring and training of mentors; choosing a ‘lead mentor’ and tripling our Client Success Team.
That investment took a ton of time and resources, but we have capacity to serve 1000 clients with excellence now. Capping at 1000 means I can stick with the incredible team I love so much instead of doubling our back-of-house staff and then racing to get more clients to cover the cost.
- We’ll increase speed to outcome for our clients.
On average, most gym owners in Two-Brain spend 12 weeks systemizing their business. They learn systems for marketing, sales, tracking metrics, making decisions, hiring their team and improving their product.
Then they spend another 12 weeks optimizing those systems: tracking what’s working, doubling down on their successful process and changing what’s not.
Then they spend 2-3 years growing their business to the point where they have more money than they need and more time than their business requires.
At that point, they have a choice: to multiply their gym business; to reinvest their profits elsewhere; to focus on building their lifestyle; or to mentor their team to greater careers.
During that process, most owners become millionaires. They build assets that will let them retire. This usually requires another 1-2 years of work.
Some then become mentors for Two-Brain, and help other gym owners follow the same path.
Imagine if that path was even faster:
From broke gym owner to millionaire (and maybe mentor!) in 5 or 6 years – that’s amazing. Doing it a year faster seems like a miracle. But 10 years ago, there were NO millionaires created in the fitness business. The reason we do it so fast now is simple: focus.
What does a “cap” actually mean?
I’ve been publishing free content for gym owners for a decade. That’s not going to stop. But the total number who are invited into our mentorship practice–where we help people grow their gym–will change.
A cap doesn’t mean we’ll stop taking new clients. Even with our amazing retention, we’ll still have spots to onboard around 20 gyms per month after we reach 1000. We’ll just have a bit more freedom of choice with our invitations, knowing there are other options out there for those who aren’t a perfect fit.
How do I know this will work?
I don’t. However, I made this change in our gym at the start of 2022, and the results have been incredible.
In that case, we decide to cap our membership at 150 people.
That cap told us what we had to charge for our service to meet our revenue, staff pay and profit goals.
It also made us carefully consider every potential client: should this person really take a spot in our tribe?
That focus created permission in the team: they now know to do whatever possible to get the client results, instead of thinking about the next client coming in (or not).
As always, my gym is a testing ground for new ideas. Capping our membership in the gym was really effective.