Episode 278

How to Manage Feeling Overwhelmed, Frustrated, and Stuck with Mark Fisher

In this episode, Mark Fisher joins me to talk about how to manage feeling overwhelmed, frustrated, and stuck.

[00:00:00] Hello, my friend in today’s episode, I’m speaking with Fisher and Mr. Fisher talks about a framework that he’s been working on and thinking about a lot lately, but how to manage your overwhelm as a business owner, your frustration and your kind of stuckness. So if you’ve ever had the experience, and if you own a gym, I know you have a feeling overwhelmed with your PR with the amount of things on your plate, frustrated with your lack of progress or stuck.

Because you just feel like you’re on this hamster wheel where you’re not making any progress. We talk about those three very common scenarios and phenomenons. And we talk a little bit about what we think you can do about it to get that momentum back again. So if that sounds useful to you, keep on listening, my friend.

Welcome to the business for unicorns podcast, where we help gym owners unleash the full potential of their business. I’m your host, Michael Keeler. Join me each week for actionable [00:01:00] advice, expert insights, and the inside scoop on what it really takes to level up your gym. Get ready to unlock your potential.

And become a real unicorn in the fitness industry. Let’s begin.

Hello, fitness business nerds. What’s up? Welcome to another episode of the Business for Unicorns podcast. I’m here with Fisher today. And we’re on fire today because we’re in the middle of enrollment for Unicorn Society, which is one of our favorite times of year. So do you want to tell them all how our enrollment works, Mr.

Fisher? Yeah, high level overview is we officially open up enrollment twice per year. Really great. Opportunity challenges a lot of people apply this round my hope I’ve inspired that by some way I think the webinar that I did about how much money should Jim owner make has been getting really great feedback I would note if you didn’t check it out and you want to you can still go to our website and you can be able To opt in to get a recording after the fact [00:02:00] And this was a really great opportunity, I think, to unpack both the most common expense ratios, benchmarks, how much you should be spending on staff.

Then we spent some time unpacking how to increase your income, both by getting more effective marketing sales and, of course, controlling the expenses and taking specific actions to get your ratios a little bit more in line. So it was overall a really great webinar and we ended with sharing a model that I don’t think I’ve quite articulated that we talked about.

I think it’s going to be useful whether you wind up doing this with the Unicorn Society or you just think through this on your own. This to my mind is I think how we think about fixing problems in our business. Yeah, for sure. Before we dive into the model, I just want to say that if you’re listening to this podcast, when it comes out, we’re right now in the middle of that.

Twice a year enrollment for unicorn society. And it’s the early bird period. So if you enroll at least felt the application by November 5th, then you get to save a butt ton of money. You get to save a butt ton of money on [00:03:00] the year and, and there’s no obligation. Yeah. A real butt ton of money. There’s obligations.

So the application, if you want to work with me and Mark and Pete and Ben and wheels, the rest of our team, just start the application. Let’s have a conversation, see if the right fit. And the reason we’re bringing up this topic today is because one of the things that we do best as. Unicorn society. One of the things that you all want a coach for is someone outside of your business to help you get clear about what your priorities are, help you get clear about which direction are you heading and how do you put one foot in front of the other day after day, week after week, month after month, quarter after quarter, year after year to keep heading in the right direction.

And so, yeah, and Fisher shared a little bit of this model in the webinar, which is why I wanted to bring it to all of you because it really relates to the work we do in unicorn society. And it’s just a useful framework for you to know. Regardless if you’re going to work with us ever. Yeah, so you want to just give us a high level overview of how you think about it, Fisher?

Yeah, I think so. And it’s interesting that the other point I’ll make before I dig into this actual framework is when I think about what you get, with the Unicorn Society. It’s really [00:04:00] three big pieces. It’s content, it’s coaching, and it’s community. And I want to stake a flag in the ground and make the case, the content is the absolute least valuable part.

The reason being, it’s all available to you. There’s no extra special secrets that we’re not telling you. However, as you’ll see, I think we explored this model for a lot of gym owners, a lot of people looking to make progress in their business or dare I say their life, the issue they run into is they’re not strategic.

They can at times be scattershot. So while the community is a very valuable piece, and we’re not talking about that explicitly today, I do think having like minded peers is a big deal. I want to zero in on. Why coaching is valuable and the three specific ways this will help you create some clarity on your business and move forward.

I’ve come to think of three very distinct issues, three very distinct negative feelings that gym owners feel that correlate with one [00:05:00] missing solution, one missing thing. Some people feel overwhelmed if you’re listening to this. You might be feeling frustrated with your business if you’re listening to this.

And you might be feeling stuck. You might feel like you just can’t get traction. You can’t get movement. So the first piece When one is feeling overwhelmed. To my mind, the problem there is we’re not clear on exactly what to fix next. I think that’s often the issue I see when someone is Listening to all the podcasts and watching all the videos and taking all the courses is it becomes scattershot because you’re not taking the time to really think through, okay, what is the one action that by doing it will make everything else easier and unnecessary?

Because we do have to think sequentially for the things we’re fixing in the business. So the example I always use is if you don’t have enough leads, but you cast a magic spell and you have a thousand leads and they go right to your website. But, the website doesn’t [00:06:00] work, it’s not obvious who you help, there’s no way to opt in.

If they do opt in, you don’t have a good follow up system, you don’t have a good offer, you don’t have a sales conversation. We actually don’t want to bear you with tons of feeds. Now, to be clear, that’s not to say that you can’t do those things concurrently, it’s part of the benefit of a coach, which we’ll unpack a little bit more in a moment, but I want to really highlight that if you’re feeling overwhelmed.

That’s likely because you’re not getting crystal clear on what to do. And the other side of that stick, I want to make the point is getting clear on all the things you’re not going to do, because that requires a lot of discipline to focus on the one darn thing and get it done. We’ve taken a call on this in the New York Court Society, the most important next action.

And it’s three pieces, which is what is the one most important next action you must do? When are you going to do it? When is it going on your calendar? And then third, when must it be done by? What is the deadline? And this, we find, prevents a lot of the… I think distraction and the chasing of shiny objects can get gym owners a lot of trouble.

So I’ll pull up [00:07:00] there, Keeler. I’d be curious if you have any reflections or anything. Yeah, I’ll just give you like a super strong plus one and a virtual high five that like, yeah, 100%. I think the overwhelm feeling comes from not being strategic enough in what you’re focused on or how you’re spending your time to make progress on those things.

And so the strategy comes at both of those levels. How are you being strategic at picking the right thing to work on that really matters most to moving your business forward. And two, how are you being strategic with how you spend your time? So I think so often that overwhelm comes from being pulled in so many directions, wearing so many hats and not saying no to enough to your point, Fisher, not saying this is what I’m not.

Going to do right now because we’re just not going to do it in the business or because I’m going to delegate it, or I’m just going to stop doing it for a little while because I’ve other priorities right now. And those are tough choices to make, especially when you’re not sure about how to move the business forward.

So I think you’re right. Overwhelm is often comes from a strategic lack of clarity. And I think that’s a great place to start this model. Yeah. And in fact, [00:08:00] we’ve even moved to make some changes in the new court site based on feedback because we really want to dial this in more. So we’re actually adapting even the way we run our coaching to provide even greater structure around this, both clarity on what is the most important next action, as well as the other two pieces, which I’ll now unpack for you.

So if the first piece is feeling overwhelmed, the second piece. I’m just feeling frustrated because usually what this means is you’re doing something and you might even be doing the right thing in the right order, but it’s not working. You’re not getting results. Things are in the way, right? So this, there’s a few things we can unpack here, but oftentimes what’s going on is Either you are completely making up the thing, right?

You’re trying to figure it out on your own instead of using done for you playbooks, which we have ton in the Unicorn Society right now, right? If you need more referrals, we got plays for you, right? You’re having trouble really developing your team. We’ve got plays for you. You’re not sure how to hire people.

Rather than making up a system on your own and spending a [00:09:00] couple years fumbling around. Probably better just to take ours and run with it. But here’s the point I want to make. The other way you can get in trouble and get frustrated and not see results is when you try to take something off the shelf completely.

Because the reality is we have to figure out how to implement it for your business. So yeah, if you join, we have very specific playbooks we want to use as the starting point. And listen, in some situations we’re going to literally copy paste the template because it’s easy and it does work for you. And in a lot of situations, you’re going to have to work with a coach, with someone who knows the lay of the land to help you figure out how you are going to apply that system.

In most situations, unfortunately, you’re not going to be able to literally copy paste it, right? And I think that’s part of the issue. I was going to say, that’s part of the issue. We see this all the time, right? Yeah, we see this all the time. People are saying like, you know what, I downloaded this thing from the internet and I used it and it didn’t work, or I took this course on this kind of digital marketing and I tried it and it didn’t work and often what’s missing there is a translation from that like source [00:10:00] material to what the right size is or the right next version of it is for your business.

And you’ve heard us say a million times in this podcast, we’re often reluctant to tell you what we’ve done. At what we do at Mark Fisher fitness, because for most of you, you shouldn’t copy and paste what we do there. And like most things you download from the internet, they came from a specific context.

And if you just ignore the context in which that thing was created and apply it to your gym with a very different context, you’re going to not get the same results. And so I think that’s an often a key source of frustration fishery, right? Is that people. Might have found some guidance in the form of playbooks or lead magnets or courses But they don’t have that strategic thought partner to right size it Yeah for what their unique business needs and so not that we’re all snowflakes But you do have a unique context where your gym is where your gym is physically located your team your experience your knowledge So all of that really does matter.

Yeah, it’s very true. And it is something We’ve actually lots of maybe [00:11:00] debates, not the right word, but a lot of conversation with yours about our inner debate about what we want to tell you what to do. And you’re asking for done for use, but is that going to work? And I think where we’ve landed at, which is maybe not shocking, maybe we were stooped and we should have gone the other way, but what we need is a happy medium, right?

Because once again, this is the core issue of a scattershot approach. If you’re just like ripping things off wholesale from content, the longer I’ve been in the game. Honestly, the more I’ve come to understand, okay, actually is valuable to see models because another way of thinking through this is it’s valuable, I think, to understand the principles at play and then to see in some cases, a couple of different kinds of examples of way different people apply the same models because yeah, every gym is different.

Every market is different and it’s important for you to be clear on how you apply it. And the final point I’ll make about frustration is remember this is applying. We’re not getting the results we want. So it also implies. Are we tracking results because that’s another thing that we really harp on with our clients is if you want to prove your leads, [00:12:00] but I don’t know how many leads you got last week or the week before or, and you don’t really know what you’re doing.

I can’t tell you that anything we’re doing is even getting results. We have to be clear on not only. the outcomes we want to change, but then we have to track them, right? And I’ll tell you what also helps for anybody that watched my webinar to have some sense of what those common benchmarks are. That’s another thing you’re able to learn and understand.

Okay. On average, what is the average gym do? What is a high performing gym do? So you have some sense of how you’re doing, because if you think you need to be getting a thousand leads per month, then that’s an issue. And on the other side, if you think it’s acceptable that you’re getting five leads per week, we’ve got trouble right here in River City.

And I say that with love. Cause I know some of you listening are in that place. So that’s how I think about the second tier. Yeah, 100%. Yeah. I’ll just say one last thing. We can move on to the third tier, which is, this is something I just was spent a whole week at a really nerdy, like PhD leadership conference in Vancouver.

And one of the things that we talk a lot about in that kind of like academic world is that there’s both kind of what I’m trying to [00:13:00] be in my life is be both a scholar and a practitioner. So when, who cares about the theory and the practice of these ideas, I think what we’re describing here for you is that you all need to learn what the theory is, learn what the models and the frameworks are on you.

Hear us using those terms all the time here, that our playbooks that we’re offering everyone in Unicorn Society are the theory. There are the principles that we think are really important to do something well. And then when you put them into practice, you really need a coach. You need someone to help you understand what is the practice look like for you on day one.

And then how are you going to evolve that in month two and month three? All right. And so I think that might be a useful way just to think about how you as listeners consume information about your business is you want the principles and the theory, but then you also have to learn what the practice looks like for you.

And that’s true in my professional life right now as well, even outside of business for you to accordance. Yeah. Let’s talk about the third one Fisher with our remaining time. What’s the third piece here? Yeah. So our third and final tier, let’s say no longer overwhelmed because you at least know. What you should be doing, you’re no longer frustrated because you see that when you do it, [00:14:00] you get results, but you find yourself not always doing the thing you need to do.

So maybe you’re not overwhelmed, maybe you’re not frustrated, but you are stuck. You just can’t seem to get yourself to consistently do the thing you need to do, right? And now is as good a time as any to acknowledge that all models are wrong. Some are useful. This is an incorrect model. Sometimes you’re overwhelmed and then stuck and then get frustrated, right?

But for many of you. Whatever order this lands in for you, but stuck often means I’m not getting traction, I’m not doing the thing, I just can’t get myself to do the thing I know I need to do. And as trainers, we understand this. It’s not dissimilar from what our clients go through, and just as our clients benefit from a coach that will help you.

understand what to work on and yes, understand what strategy to apply and help you shrink the change and do the right amount of change for you. A coach will also just help with just accountability, just friendly social pressure. And as alluded to before, one of the changes we’re making for the unicorn side is going all in on this to make sure, look, if you work with us, no [00:15:00] unicorn left behind, the whole system is set up such that you can’t fall off, right?

We’re going to be giving you things and with so much love, we’re going to be absolutely on top of you’re not moving forward on. What we collaborate on and identify as the most important next action you have to do that so doing will make other things either unnecessary or easier and really move the ball of your business forward.

Yeah. I think it’s, I think it’s a great third one, honestly, Fisher. I think that’s the one that we see a day to day basis is the one that. Brings a lot of people to coaching is that stuck feeling that sense that I, I’m, I thought I was clear on the strategy. I thought I was spending my time really wisely.

I thought I was actually doing the right thing at the right time. And it’s just not actually getting traction for me. Like I’m still feel like I’m standing in the same place even though I’m exhausted from sprinting. And I think that’s often because we often will try the same things over and over again.

And we need often the outside eye, not just from a coach, but from a peer or a. Colleague or a friend to say, have you looked at it from this angle? And if you could [00:16:00] just get like a slightly new perspective, a slightly new reframe on that thing you’ve been beating your head against, often that’s all that’s needed to get unstuck.

Often to get unstuck doesn’t often require moving mountains. It really is just a step a little to the left. And then try it from there, right? Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So if I can maybe offer one closing thought here and then we’ll bring this to a close. I take as a base belief when we’re working with people that you are competent, right?

I will share maybe a little bit of what we’re not great for is I don’t want to make any of this sound like we’re just telling you what to do. That’s just not our vibe. We’re not interested in having that sort of bad student, like good teacher. I just don’t think that is sustainable for most people most of the time.

That doesn’t mean we won’t be direct with you. It wasn’t mean, won’t mean we won’t be real with you. We won’t be directive. We might even give you tough love, but really we’re looking for people that work more, they’re looking more for a partnership because again, you listen in context about your business.

We just don’t know. It’s not [00:17:00] appropriate of us to always jump in and demand you do these things. We really want to work with you and listen to what’s going on in your business. If there’s a reason you think something might not work, we want to hear you out and invite that in your thinking. We might still.

push you to do the thing, we might still decide even with that additional important information, but it’s not up here on a hill telling you what to do. We want to work with people that were standing side by side. And I would note this is different than some of the other options. There’s a lot of places you can get help.

We really feel it’s very important to have this foundation of individualized one on one coaches. Not to say you can’t have great results if you have a very inspiring zoom call once per week, right? That, that. We offer that too. That’s just not the foundation of what we’re doing because we believe in an individualized coaching approach.

And then the final thing I’ll say is, yes, listen, you’re listening to a podcast about the fitness business. You’ll listen to the whole thing. Odds are you’re top. And that’s what I know about you’re listening to this podcast. You’re probably top. You don’t actually need this. You do not need this. You could totally get this figured out on your own, but there’s going to be a [00:18:00] cost because you’re going to do it scattershot.

It’s not going to be as strategic. You’re not going to be buying time. You’re going to do it more slowly and the longer you wait to have the amount of success you otherwise could have. That’s going to have a cost. It’s going to have a cost of time that you could be spending your family and loved one.

It’s going to have cost of a longer delay before you have the freedom that you could have. It’s going to cost on clients that could achieve. For bigger result and have a you, you have a greater impact on the people you care about, including your team. And then, yeah, it’s a cost of money, right? Because money compounds.

So if we’re delaying the amount of time before you making the income that you could be making, doing this awesome thing that you do that, that’s gonna catch up with you. So I would just say there is a cost and action. Yes, you’re entirely capable of doing this on your own. And I would just encourage you to ask yourself if that’s actually the past that’s most aligned.

With how you want to spend your wild and precious life. Great wrap up Fisher. Let’s leave it there. And friends, if you do want to take that action and work with us, and you’re listening to this podcast before November 5th, and want to save a fuck ton of money on our early bird, go to our website, [00:19:00] businessofunicorns.

com, fill out the application, have a conversation with us, and let’s talk about whether or not working with us is right for you. Thanks for the great conversation, Fisher and dear listeners. I’ll see you on the next one. Have a kick ass day. Bye bye.