[00:00:00] Hello, my friend on today’s episode, I’m speaking with a man, Pete, and we’re talking about the things that we see all of you as gym owners overthinking the most, the places where we see many of you getting stuck in analysis paralysis and just not moving the ball forward. And as you’re just thinking about stuff for too long, we share that list and a few tips for how to overcome it.
So if that sounds like something you suffer from, it’s a great episode for you. So keep on listening.
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 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.[00:01:00]
Hello, fitness business nerds. What’s up? Welcome to another episode of the Business for Unicorns podcast. I’m back again with Pete. Hello, my friend. Hi, I’m showing up for this one with a smile on my face because You made me laugh as we were hitting play or record. Just trying to sabotage. Just trying to sabotage.
Um, before we dive into today’s topic, which I’m really excited about, I want to just do a quick little shout out about websites. So all of you probably listening have a website. And for many of you, I say this with love, it probably stinks. It’s probably not doing a very good job of converting people who land on it.
To a next step. It’s not doing a very good job of selling your low barrier offer. It’s not doing a very good job of making it easy for you to capture information from people who land on your website. And we specifically partner with our friends over at Kilo because they build websites to do all of those things.
And we think you should go use them. You got to use kilo. com. Let them know. You’re listening to this podcast. You came from business unicorns. We’ll take good care of you, offer you some discounts and they’ll build [00:02:00] you a fantastic website that not only looks good, but it functions well for its primary purpose, which is to convert leads, convert visitors to leads.
So go check them out, improve your website and get more leads. Friends. Let’s pivot to today’s topic. Today’s topic is all about things. That Pete and I think all of you are overthinking and this topic came up because I think it was a kind of a theme and some of your reflections on calls with unicorn center members recently Pete.
So you just want to talk a little bit about how we got to this topic. We’re overthinking things all the time, myself included, but there are definitely some trends that I’m seeing in calls continuously. The one specifically that spurned me to put this on a possible conversation agenda was. The fact that I noticed a number of clients who are making a transition away from personal training into some iteration of small group or semi private or anything that we’re calling it training.
They were dragging their heels a little bit because they were caught up on details like [00:03:00] terminology. And, and while I agree the terminology is incredibly important as it relates to how we talk to our potential clients, I think it’s fairly irrelevant when it comes to these internal changes. No one in your community is going to choose not to stay with you because you called it semi private training and not small group personal training.
Now, sure, there are arguments to be made for every label, and for the record, we are phasing out the term semi private in our facility and leaning in. Two small group personal training, but it’s not changing the client experience in any capacity. And if that terminology is what’s slowing someone down from pulling the trigger on just making the move and ripping the bandaid off, then I would say they are either a overthinking or be intentionally avoiding change.
And so that was the impetus for me throwing the conversation out there. Yeah, totally. I love that one. I think [00:04:00] you’re so right. So often when people are in the midst of, or even just starting, a change project, they will get stuck in this analysis paralysis. We’re just thinking about it. And I think, at least my understanding of what’s actually going on there, is that it’s a coping mechanism.
When people are nervous and fearful about change, about making the wrong decision, about pissing people off, They’ll just think about it more to avoid taking any action. And that thinking about it cycle protects them from having to do anything because thinking is free. Can’t get in much trouble for the thinking, but it’s the talking and acting and making the change that I think people are nervous about.
So I think we’re going to dive into this conversation. I want to start with saying that is normal. We all do it, including Pete and I, we’ll sit in analysis paralysis and just think about stuff for too long. And it’s important for us to recognize that we’re doing that because we’re nervous often. They’re afraid of what’s around the corner and that’s okay, you just need to talk it out with somebody.
And I think it’s the number one thing that helps me get out of that overanalyzing process [00:05:00] is just get into conversation, get out of my own head, maybe get into a journal or get into conversation with you, Peter, Fisher, Ben, whoever, um, or. Or a client or a team member. And as soon as you can get into conversation about it, the problem and the fear starts to subside and make sense of itself.
But, but I think, yeah, this is a phenomenon. We could probably list a million ways that we see people overthinking, but we’re making a stick to the most common ones today. So aside from changing a service and the name, what else do you see people overthinking in that same vein? I think that most of us, not you specifically, not you and Fisher, not our guy James Pratt or some of the big operations in Unicorn Society, but most of us have a small enough active client roster that communicating change can and should happen in a one on one format.
Often face to face, and it’s pretty easy for us to articulate an adjustment if we’re making a move from one on one to a 3 to 1 or 4 to 1 or maybe we are, [00:06:00] we’re moving from 4 to 1 to 5 to coach ratio and we’re worried that someone’s going to think that this is the end of the world, we can sell it pretty effectively face to face in the warm up area and anyone who says, not I’m worried about how the client will receive this because you changed the terminology on your website is lying to themselves because nobody who currently trains with Mark Fisher Fitness is just scrolling through markfisherfitness.
com, seeing what’s new on the site. Literally none of them know. And so new clients, people who find our sites don’t have any familiarity with the way things used to be done, which is why when we increase prices, Yeah. The increase happens effective immediately because they didn’t know what with people who haven’t been in before.
And I think that we need to just stop overthinking the way people are going to receive the information in a digital format when we know with absolute certainty that we can put it on their radar face to face. To jump from there. I think that’s huge. It does a great job of de escalating any tension because you take [00:07:00] people’s temperature, right?
You have the conversation face to face on the training floor. Hey, we’re thinking about doing this. We’re going to call it this. We’re going to change your rates to this. What’s your reaction to that, right? You can start to test it out and plant seeds. And I think that’s a great way to recognize, listen, people are not going to go crazy.
It’s going to be okay. Face to face. It’s very easy to get that sense of how might this change go. And I’m going to give you the confidence to move faster into that change. I think it’s a great tip. I’m interested in hearing how you do it at scale. Cause like I said earlier, your active client roster is probably in the range of three X what mine is and the volume you do.
Is such that, uh, across the board face to face interaction would be prohibitive. So do you aspire for a certain percentage of your community to have these conversations in person or what’s the plan of attack? Yeah, that’s a good question. Yeah. So it’s, this could be an actually a whole nother podcast.
It’s like how to manage these change projects, but in a nutshell, I think we do a lot of the same things you do, [00:08:00] right? So our version of kind of. Planting the seed and taking people’s temperatures. Sometimes we’ll actually do a pilot program of the change, right? So for example, if we’re changing our services, we did coming out of COVID, we went from three on one to six on one and we did a pilot.
We did a small group of people trying out that new way of doing things and doing that. People started talking that word got out that we were testing this thing and trying this thing and people got the idea planted before we even told them that it might be coming before we told them whether it was a green light or a red light as a project it started to get them familiar with the idea so it’s the first step we definitely planted some seeds and started taking people’s temperatures we also the pilot also helped us get our shit together so that we did decide to move in that direction we were sure that we were We know how to do it.
We sure that, that we wanted to do it, that we knew how to do it. We could change the programming. We can get the coaches prepared to work six on one instead of three on one. Uh, and then we start the formal communications, which has to be layered. And we want to make sure that we always in those [00:09:00] communications center for what and the why.
So here’s what we plan to do and here’s why we think making this change is going to serve all of you, our dear beloved clients, as well as serve us and our team. And so I think chain, making sure that we communicate that and the way that we try and get quote, FaceTime in those communications. And I still do this.
In business unicorns, we would often send a video message in an email. So we’d write a long email with the what and the why we’d also send a video. So people could see our faces, hear our tone, hear our humanity, hear our energy. You know, so all of that made a big difference in how the message and landed for people, because they could see, you know, Mark talking about it.
That makes a big difference. And then there’s the follow up and there’s going to be at some percentage of people that there’s, you know, friction in the change, all of that. Is I think pretty par for the course, but I think it’s that beginning prep that you do that kind of planting the seeds, building up our confidence in the change, starting to let the community know that something’s coming and starts to bubble up from under the surface and then having the [00:10:00] communication roll out, be really thorough where they can see our energy and tone about the change.
So they know we’re not worried. You shouldn’t be either. Or as opposed to a cold email without any tone, it’s really hard to interpret and they can catastrophize very easily the change that they’re reading about, but it’s harder when Mark’s making a video about it and making jokes, it’s harder to catastrophize that kind of message.
Sure. You just said something that made me realize there might be a whole other podcast and things were under thinking because you mentioned how you test for on this. And I run into a shocking amount of people who conclude that they want to make serious change and they just make it without trying it.
So the person who’s been doing one on one personal training for five years and all of a sudden they’re like, now we are a small group. And they don’t give it a trial run. They just roll it out overnight and they don’t realize that their programming strategy needs to change a little bit. The way that they utilize the equipment in the gym needs to change a little bit.
And what [00:11:00] happens is they create this absolute train wreck of miscommunication on managing expectations for. Duration of sessions and what the client experience should feel like because they just take this like, we’ll figure it out approach to the shift because they heard us saying a podcast like, Oh, just tear the bandaid off as it relates to something different and they tear that bandaid off and then there’s blood everywhere.
So yeah, 100 percent that topic could be. I think that’s the thing is. We would both agree that there are plenty of things you should rip off the band aid for, right? That is a relevant and necessary approach for a lot of things. And there’s some band aids that have to come off slow, right? They’re more like casts, right?
You have to slowly saw it off your arm. And I think, you know, When it comes to change projects, which I agree, we should just have a whole nother podcast about, but the last thing I’ll say about it is this, is that one of the, uh, this is true in all the research that I’ve done in my graduate studies and not PhD studies, when it comes to change in businesses, one of the number one [00:12:00] reasons why change projects fail is that no one assessed everyone’s readiness for the change.
No one took time before steamrolling the change out to be like, is everyone ready for this? Are we, as a team, who’s going to lead this change ready for this? Do we know what we’re doing? Have we tested our ideas? Are we all on the same page about what change is that we want to make? And then our, how do we get our people ready for the change?
How do we start getting them thinking that change is good and we have some good ideas? How do we test that with them? And so I think there’s a whole nother podcast there, but I think people both over and under think change, right? They overthink it and then change never comes or they under think it and they just Roll out a disaster, right?
Both ends of that spectrum are shit. We’re looking for somewhere in the middle of the appropriate amount of planning and consideration without sitting in analysis paralysis for months. So like everything, moderation is really the key here. Let’s go back to our list. What are other things that we know?
People are consistently overthinking. [00:13:00] Well, you and I have harped on this one in the past, so I’m not going to go into it in too much depth, but I think everybody overthinks their presumed client reactions to pricing increases. And the example I’ll give you is that we did one on June 1st. We notified somewhere in the vicinity of 180 to 200 active clients.
And I’m still, here we are, it’s Halloween that we’re recording this. I’m still waiting for my first response. Literally nobody pushed back. I got a handful of responses. I take that back. I probably got two to three responses who were like, Oh, I figured this was coming, it’s been too long. And then the rest was radio silence, and those credit cards stayed on file and kept running.
If there’s hesitation because there’s gonna be a panic move, and you’re raising your prices by, say, sub 10%, And you haven’t done it inside of the last calendar month, calendar year, then I think you’re overthinking it. 100%. Yeah. And for those of you who are thinking about a rate change, go [00:14:00] listen to our past podcasts.
We’ve done probably a few on the topic of rate changes, but I think you’re a hundred percent right. That’s a rip off the band. If you haven’t done a rate change in a year, it’s less than 10%, it’s time to do it. There’s nothing else to think about, right? It’s just time. Yeah, I’ll throw one out. And I want to preface this by saying that I feel like I harp on this topic, maybe too much on this podcast.
So I might give a few disclaimers, but one of the things I see are many of content members overthinking constantly is program design, program design. And here’s the thing I want to make sure I say on this podcast, I fully respect and appreciate and honor amazing program designers and people who are really.
Amazing at that are incredible. And it takes years and years of expertise and practice and experience to create amazing programs for clients. Let me just say, I appreciate the skill and the craft of program design, but from a business systems perspective, I see so many gym owners making such. Frigging complicated program design [00:15:00] systems.
We have some Unicorns members who I won’t name, but you know who you are and I love you, but you’re making like entire university level, four year college programs out of your program design process. It’s just so complicated. You don’t need everyone on your team to have a four year degree in kinesiology and a master’s degree in physical therapy to be able to interact with your programming.
Like it doesn’t need to be that complicated, especially for almost all of you listening, sort of a general population audience. And for those of you who work in sports performance, you mostly work with youth athletes, right? We’re not talking about almost any of you listening, working with pro or semi pro athletes, which is when I think it probably does need to get complicated enough that people got some degrees and a decade of experience.
But for most of you, it should be dead simple. It should be dead simple. I know that sounds maybe blasphemous coming from someone who’s not a trainer. So I want to make sure I couch that with I respect all of your certs and your degrees and your business is [00:16:00] too complicated. If your program design process requires so much energy and effort all the time, it’s just weighing you down.
Yeah. Did I give enough disclaimers to get away with that? I don’t think there’s such a thing as harping on this too much though. And I think I’m part of the problem. My business is part of the problem because we spent a significant chunk of the 17 plus years we’ve been doing this. hammering home this mindset that we do individualized program design.
But the disclaimer I would give is that if you strip down our program to the elite athlete you mentioned, who you said may or may not require that like elite level of program design skills. If you take their program and you strip it down to the four foundational core principles. It looks exactly like our strength camp program.
Like it actually is the meat and potatoes, the basics. So the way that our programming complexities get introduced with our higher level athletes is really more in like the corrective stuff or the it’s like the complimentary pieces. It’s the [00:17:00] additional seasoning that gets thrown into these things because of the unique, the unique demands of the sport these people are playing.
But if you really can see through the fluff, the extras. You’ll realize that the programming strategy is actually very similar. Like they’re still using the same trap bars. They’re still doing lunges with the same dumbbells. It’s just that we don’t have a professional athlete making 10 plus million dollars a year who comes in looking for the 55 minute training session with the group warmup.
They have some very specific needs. And so if you really think about it. We’re building the specific needs on top of the 55 minute session. And so, yeah, they might be around for two hours and they might be doing a lot of arm care and they might be doing a lot of sports specific, like they’re throwing med balls in a way that makes sense for a baseball player or things like that, sure.
That stuff’s layered on top of it. But program design is basic in its most true form and that’s coming from a guy who doesn’t design programs in our operation So take what you will I [00:18:00] know you can all come at us. You can all come at us in the comments. It’s fine But the reality is, you know, I’ve seen for 12 years now at Mark Fisher Fitness How our programming has stayed very meat and potatoes when we’ve had, you know Thousands of people go through our classes where they just use kettlebells and body weight and resistance bands.
That’s it. And even our small group personal training area is not full of a million toys. Our exercise library stays pretty lean, right? It’s not that complicated. And We’ve been very successful with that. People still feel like they’re getting a really great workout, a great experience that meets them where they’re at without having it be overly frigging complicated.
And I think we could probably talk more about this and I can talk more about it with Fisher and Ben, because I know they’re the ones more and wheels are more intricately involved in program design conversations. They can add some more color here, but it’s one, I’m pretty confident. I can say, I see.
Almost everyone in Unicorn Society at some point overthinking that system in their business of [00:19:00] how programs get designed and implemented. And it just needs to be simpler. It just needs to be simpler. Yeah. I know there’s another one that we both agreed on before filming, uh, this, which was, we both agreed that people are.
almost always overthinking their social media strategy. Yeah. Say more about that one. Yeah. Hey, I’m probably just speaking to myself to a degree. Those of us who sit home thinking that the consumer on the other end of our content strategy is saying, why did they use that font? Or I don’t like the lighting in that post.
The, that person is few and far between. And the reality is we just need to show up and check the box and put a lot out there and be top of mind as much as possible, as opposed to sitting home, trying to craft the most flawless Canva template we can and many posts of mine. Have sat on the shelf for longer than they should have because I was too concerned with the aesthetics And so [00:20:00] again, i’m speaking to myself here, but gym owners make this mistake all the time as well They’re in search of perfection that doesn’t exist and it’s slowing down their ability to stay on radars Yeah, it’s huge.
I’m so guilty of this too, Pete. Honestly, anyone who’s been following Business of Unicorns for a while will know that I used to do some blog posts for a few years when Mark and I first started Business of Unicorns. But then I didn’t really create much content for a while because I was in the same position.
I was just like, what exactly do people want from me? How do I create, how to make great video? It wasn’t until I found, I started doing this podcast where I was like, oh, it can just be messy. Like we almost, we hardly edit these podcasts at all. Once in a while, when we say really dumb things, we’ll take it out.
But for the most part, this is just, we get on and we talk and it’s messy. We do a little bit of talking about what we’re going to talk about. And certainly when I have guests, I do a little bit of planning, but not a ton. And it took me a while to be okay with this kind of ready fire aim. And what I learned is exactly what you said, Pete, which is the consistency is almost [00:21:00] more important than the content.
Sure. I hope to put out useful bits of information that. We’ll resonate with all of you and same thing for MFF. I know Mark does a really great job of sending out emails and our team does a great job of putting out social media content, but we really do try to prioritize consistency above all else. I’d rather have a really short 10 minute okay podcast than to miss one of our posts.
And we post twice a week, this podcast now. And so it’s not, it’s a lot of content, but I’m not agonizing over every episode. Maybe some of you think I should more, which is a fine opinion to have, but the reality is, I think Pete and I would both agree that most of you listening probably should just put out twice as much content and care a little less about it being perfect.
Yeah, we’ll look at it this way. I’d say that you and I get out to a fair amount of industry specific events. Maybe me a little more so as you pursue a PhD, I get a lot of feedback on the podcast and it’s always about the subject matter. I have never once. Had someone say to me, I [00:22:00] noticed that Keeler hooked you up with a 1080p camera, or I really wanted to tell you that the sound quality has been great on the podcast lately.
That does not happen, but people will specifically reference stories that we told. They will specifically reference tactics that we shared and the quality of the delivery. On the platform is pretty irrelevant to those people. They’re just here to learn. And so stop overthinking it where we’ll leave it.
Stop overthinking and just fucking do it. Just do it. Let’s leave it there. My friends, I feel like I think we covered a lot of bases here. I think there’s, we talked a little bit about what overthinking is and why we do it. It’s okay. We all do it. And there’s gotta be some dance you do with yourself to say, okay, just.
Get out of my own way and put something out there. Just move the ball forward, uh, and learn by doing. And I think maybe we’ll follow this up with another podcast of things people are not thinking enough about. We started to talk a little bit about that because I think planning and change projects can go in both directions.
[00:23:00] But I think that’d be a good follow up to this is start thinking more about some other things. Yep. Put on anything you want to say to wrap up this one. Oh, no, I got to start brainstorming that next one. Cause I have a feeling that’s what you’re coming at me with next week. Yeah, 100%. We’re going to do that next.
I can already think of a few. Unlike your advice earlier. I’m going to show up with a plan in place for that one. I’m going to overthink this one. Good. That’s awesome. All right. Thanks for a great conversation, Pete and listeners. Thank you for listening. If you love this podcast, please leave us a five star review everywhere that you listen to your podcasts.
It really does help us find other folks out in the world who need this brilliant advice. And if you’re in the business of looking for a new website, and many of you probably should. Go to usekeyless. com and check out our friends amazing service over there. See you on the next one. Pete, take care of Michael.