If you’ve decided you want some help getting fit, finding a coach can be a daunting task. In these days with social media, the barrier to entry to becoming an online coach is lower than ever, and potential clients are left spoiled for choice. Too much choice can paradoxically leave us overwhelmed and exhausted, as we develop decision fatigue and unintentionally start tipping the scales towards maximizing instead of “satisficing.”
Unfortunately, with so many potential coaches out there, there’s no shortage of bad coaches either. Or there may be plenty of “good” coaches that simply aren’t a good fit for you and your goals and needs. That’s why I’m talking with Jonathan Goodman in this interview all about how to find a coach worth hiring.
Jonathan knows a lot about both good and bad trainers because his business is based on making coaches better at what they do. He created the first-ever certification for online fitness trainers, the Online Trainer Academy, which teaches online coaches how to earn more money and better serve their clients. Jonathan has also written several books on the topic, and is a host on the Online Trainer Show, a podcast full of advice for fitness professionals looking to build an online career.
While I’ve built my own online coaching program, there are people for whom my program isn’t a good fit. So whether you want to work with my team or not, the information in this podcast can help you think about what you need in a trainer and start the process of finding a good one.
In our conversation, Jonathan talks about . . .
- Different places to look for a trainer (and what matters most in finding one)
- Trainer certifications and qualifications (what to look for and what to ignore)
- Red flags to watch out for when hiring a coach
- When you should fire a coach
- His new (free) tool for sending training programs to clients
- And more . . .
So, if you want some advice on how to find a good coach for you, and don’t mind some marketing, business building, and entrepreneurship tangents along the way, listen to this podcast!
0:00 – Try Phoenix risk-free today! Go to buylegion.com/phoenix and use coupon code MUSCLE to save 20% or get double reward points!
3:31 – How is it like working from home?
10:07 – How do you find a good trainer?
19:39 – Where can we find a trainer?
25:52 – Are a trainer’s qualifications and certifications important?
1:21:26 – What are some red flags when looking for a trainer?
1:28:27 – When should people consider finding a new coach?
Mentioned on the Show:
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What did you think of this episode? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!
Mike: Hey, and welcome to Muscle for Life. I am Mike Matthews. Thank you for joining me today for a new episode, an interview with my buddy John Goodman about finding a good. Coach, which can be a daunting task because these days with social media, the barrier to entry to becoming an online coach is lower than ever, and people are spoiled for choice.
And too much choice can actually create overwhelm and exhaustion paradoxically. And so with so many. Coaches out there, it can be tough to separate the sheep from the goats, as they say, because there are a lot of bad ones out there, a lot of bad options. Now, there also are plenty of good coaches. I. But even some of them are not going to be the best fit for you, for your goals, your needs.
And so this interview is all about how to find a coach that will work for you, that you should hire. And I wanted to get Jonathan on the show because he knows quite a bit about good and bad trainers because his entire business is based on making coaches better at what they do. He created the first ever certification for online fitness trainers, which is the Online Trainer Academy, and that teaches online coaches how to earn more money and how to better serve their clients.
Jonathan has also written several books on the topic. He is the host of the online trainer show, his own podcast, where he shares advice for fitness professionals looking to build an online career. I. And so in this interview, Jonathan and I talk about different places to look for a trainer and what matters most in finding the one for you.
We talk about trainer certifications and qualifications, what to look for, what to ignore. We talk about red flags to watch out for when you’re hiring a coach, when you should. Fire a coach. As uncomfortable as it can be and more before we begin, you definitely don’t need supplements to lose fat and no fat loss.
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Hey John, welcome back to my podcast.
Jon: Yeah, it’s been a little while. It was, it was fun catching up before we started quoting you. I feel like we could’ve done that for a lot longer.
Mike: Yeah, yeah. Uh, congrats on, on the imminent. Well, actually, I don’t know, when did you say when the baby come? Pretty’s?
Jon: Not that it’s pretty imminent, like I don’t know when this is going out, but I might be, I might be a father of two by the time that this comes out.
Mike: Oh, wow. So, so you’re right there.
Jon: It’s, uh, it’s about a month from when we’re quoting this issues due. Okay. So who knows when the baby will decide to come, but about that.
Mike: Yeah. Yeah. That’s great. That’s exciting. How old is your, um, your kid that you, your, your younger?
Jon: My, my oldest will be turning five. My other one my oldest.
Jon: My other one will be turning five in May. So, okay, so about the same as me. I have a nine year old and a four year old, nine year old, and a four year old. Okay. Teach me your ways. So how was that gap?
Mike: I feel like I, maybe I got a little bit lucky, um, because so my boy is, is nine mm-hmm. And my girl is, is four.
And they get along well. They play with each other. They’ll have their little spats here and there, of course. Um, but, but they’re good friends and so they keep each other, you know, they give each other company. And so from that perspective, it’s been relatively easy. Uh, it hasn’t been what, you know, what I’ve seen with friends where, um, especially if it’s two boys and two more kind of aggressively minded boys.
Right, right. And so my kids, my boys is more of a, he’s just more of a gentle kind of kid. And then my girl is more rambunctious and, um, but because Lennox is older, again, it, it just works. Right.
Jon: It, it works out. Yeah. Yeah. That’s kind of my hope. That’s kinda my hope is, is Calvin, I mean, Calvin’s certainly rambunctious.
He’s, he’s nuts, but, uh, he’s also super, super caring and like heartfelt. Yeah. He gets that from his mom and so I feel like, I feel like it’ll work well, but who knows? I
Mike: I’m sure that, uh, you’ll make it work one. Right. Even, even, even if, even if they, uh, are, are, are have their kind of water and oil moments, all kids do.
Yeah. A lot of it, a lot of it has to do with the parents and, and you’ve already experienced it and just, you gotta have patience and. Hold your tongue sometimes.
Jon: Yeah. I don’t have any of that. That’s why I told you I’m building a office structure outside of my, outside of my house on our property. Uh, it’s, it’s gonna double my reading room.
It’s gonna be my escape reading room. I’ve always wanted one of those, like, I’ve always wanted those, one of those things where you pull a book on a bookshelf and like some hidden secret womb goes down. I feel like this is gonna be, that. It’s just gonna be No, no, no. It’s, it’s, it’s a special code. Only daddy can go in there.
Mike: I, I’m, I, so I, I’m gonna, I’m gonna put a little cabin on my property. Um, I’m like, like you, uh, have some land and I’m, I’m building a house and. It, uh, I’ll have an, an office in the house, but particularly for reading and for writing, although finally the kids are getting to school, they’ve been at home working with tutors because there’s only one school in this area where we wanted to send them, and we, we were playing the wait list game.
Jon: Um, oh, wow. Okay.
Mike: I’m not, I’m not rich, so I, I was on the wait list and Yeah.
Jon: You’re not, you’re not Bill Gates’s daughter.
Mike: Exactly. It’s, I, I figured, I figured, you know, what’s the threshold? If I were worth probably a hundred million or more than my kids would’ve gotten in right away. If it were, if it were 50 million, it probably would’ve been like a few months of a wait list.
Jon: Yeah. You know, Yeah. Uh, but having the kids at home, as you know, ’cause you do a lot of similar kind of work as as I do. Uh, it, it, it grates on you because it, it’s hard to, to focus and to follow lines of thought.
Yeah. You know, down, I can’t work at home.
I leave the home. Yep. I leave the home. I, wherever we go, i, I rent in office, you know, and we live abroad.
’cause we live abroad four to six months over the year, over year. Uh, when, when we are going to places that we don’t know as well, I actually set, I, I look for an office space or a co-work space or something like that. Yeah. And I set that as the pin in Airbnb. Yeah. And I make sure that wherever we stay is within walking distance to it.
Mike: And with the, with the second kid, are you still gonna do the half of the year for six months abroad?
Jon: Yeah, I don’t know. We’ll do it next year for sure. We’re gonna go back to Mexico. We go to a town called Alito. We’ve been at the last four years. We can do that again next year for sure.
Mike: Cool. Uh, cool.
Jon: Beyond that, I’m not sure. I mean, Kelvin’s in JK now, he’ll be in ko No. Coded next year once it gets to grade one, I’m not sure. Um, I don’t know, man. Every year that I’ve done, I’ve done it for nine years now. Every year that I’ve done, I’m like, eh, we’ll try one more year. We’ll see what happens. Like, it’s just kind of, it was never a plan.
It was never like, like I started doing this in 2013, like digital, no matter was not a word, was not a thing. It just, yeah. Wasn’t cool. There wasn’t stuff set up for it. Certainly. It definitely wasn’t something that people like set out to try to do was just like, well, shit, I could do this. Nobody else is doing.
I guess I could do honestly why I couldn’t do this. Yeah. All right. And the next year was like, baby, you wanna go again? She was like, I guess, Hey, when do you wanna leave? Like that was it, I mean, every year. Uh, so I feel like it’ll just be that thing. I mean, we’ve had, we’ve had nannies, like when we toured around Europe, uh, we bought a nanny with us, uh Yep.
And, uh, you know, we were talking about Jackson, like a, a nanny. Mexico is actually fun. Jackson Hole. Oh, cool. And so teaches wake skiing there in the summer and then spends the winters in Mexico inside leader and nannies for us, and then goes back and teaches wake skiing. Like it works really well for her.
So, um, so we have nannies and, and they’re generally educators as well and stuff like that, but I, I don’t know, man.
Mike: We’ll figure it out. I like it. I like it unconventional. It’s always, uh, yeah. Fun to hear. Fun to hear. So like that, yeah. Yeah. People who, who, uh, are willing to make different choices. Um, but let’s, let’s segue to what we wanna talk about, because I don’t, I know you have a, a hard stop here at the in, in a bit, and that is how to find a good trainer.
And from the perspective of somebody who wants to hire a trainer, somebody and to give you a specific person. So, uh, a lot of my listeners are, let’s say in the age range of 25 to 45. Okay. And they’re more kind of everyday normal people in, in the sense of that fitness is important to them, but they have three to five hours a week to give to it, right?
And they wanna look good, they wanna feel good, but they’re not gonna be neurotically obsessed with, you know, tracking every calorie or, uh, tracking their, their nine caliper sites or Right. You know, they, they, they want to, they want, they, I wouldn’t say that, that they’re unbe unambitious in their fitness, but they have a lot of other things going on.
Sure. And they realize that, uh, there’s, that, you know, fitness is not everything. Like everything is harder if you’re not fit, but it’s not everything, right? Mm-hmm. And, um, so, so I would say that’s probably the, the, the lens to view this through. And so, Uh, yeah. What does that look like? What does that process look like for winnowing out, uh, a coach or a trainer worth hiring?
Jon: I think the most important thing, first off to note, is that it’s changed a lot, particularly in the last couple of years, in that it used to be if you wanted a trainer, you basically had a choice between people who happen to work at the gyms 20 minutes from your house. Well, now you can choose anybody, which gives you a kind of paradox of choice.
It’s, it’s different. It’s like, it’s better because now you can find the right person for you in every single way.
Jon: Theoretically, yeah. If, if you know what to look for, but Exactly. So it’s. It’s better in that way, but it’s also more difficult in that there’s a pretty serious paradox of choice.
Like, whereas before you just walk into the gym, you have the, you know, 18 year old salesperson, whoever gets assigned to you really. Right? And then you just get whoever gets assigned to you. And if you have good luck, right? If you have shit luck too bad, like, you know, and there’s, there’s kind of something to that in a weird sense because in, in fitness, particularly for people who are untrained and who don’t have aspirations to stand on podiums, stand up on stages and little banana hammocks or whatever, you know, there, there are, there are a lot of people in a lot of things that they could do to get good enough results for them.
And at the beginning, what actually matters is that you kind of just move any way that doesn’t hurt. And then as you start to do that and start to build up habits with that, well, then you start figuring out better ways to do it. You maybe start, um, associating or, or, or, or believing in yourself as the type of person who does the thing, which was really cool.
You know, when my, when my clients started showing up at the gym with their own sheko bottle and protein powder, I was like, I, yo you in, because now you actually have self-selected yourself. You, you, you are presenting yourself as somebody who is into fitness, which is really cool. But until you get to that point, I think it’s just important to find what’s comfortable to you.
And the way to do that is to find somebody who you connect with on a deeper level than fitness. And this is the part that I want to illustrate here. I’d actually be really interested to hear your opinion on this, Mike. Because I actually don’t think that the fitness part of it really matters all that much at the beginning.
You sure find somebody who’s not terrible at what they do, but the reality of it is most workouts are gonna get you good enough results if you are a beginner. And then as long as you try a bunch of different things, you can figure out what you wanna do later. And so look for somebody who you connect with on a deeper level beyond fitness, or that you believe has some sort of different nuanced understanding of you.
I’ll give you an example. The trainer that I work with, ’cause I think all trainers should have trainers too. The trainer that I’m working with right now, his name is Brian Kran. He’s great, been in the industry for a lot of years. The reason why I decided to work with him is that he specializes in working with dudes who wanna look good, who don’t particularly care how they perform.
Like, they’re not competing in anything. They just wanna look good in a bathing suit with their shirt off, who have been lifting for more or less their whole adult life who are over the age of 40 and don’t want to hurt themselves. Okay. I’m not 40 yet, but I don’t know, I don’t know how old you are, Mike, but like I, I, I’m starting
Mike: to feel, we’re probably about to say I’m 37.
Jon: Yeah. So I’m 36. Yeah. So like, I’m starting to feel it. Yeah. And I feel like, I feel like everybody under the age of 40 could benefit from maybe lifting like they were over 40 sometimes a little bit ahead of the curve. Yeah. Like, like nobody, nobody over the age of 40 ever regretted. Stretching too much or doing too much soft tissue?
Mike: Yeah. Or, or, or leaving that extra rep in the tank on that deadlift or on that squad or bench press.
Jon: Yeah, like, I did the, I did Jamie Scott, if you know him, I did his podcast and I was out in Arizona and uh, and, and, and I said that, I’m like, I can afford to not be the most ripped, strongest guy, but I can’t afford to get hurt.
And so I don’t push it as much as I otherwise would. Because it gets to a point where the benefits of going a little bit harder, of pushing a little bit harder don’t outweigh the potential repercussions anyway. That’s, that’s
Mike: neither here or there. So in fact, it becomes completely lopsided. I know we don’t have to get off on, on that tangent, but it is a good point.
Uh, especially when you, whether it’s a guy or a girl, when, when you’ve gained most of the muscle or strength that’s genetically available to you, let’s say there’s still a bit left, but, you know, you’re at the point where if you’re a guy, you’re looking at one to two pounds maybe of muscle gain per year, and you have to bust your ass for that.
And for, for women, it’s about half of that. And you have to bust your ass for that. And, um, and, and you look at the amount of volume and the intensity that it requires just to gain those couple of pounds of muscle and lifestyle
Jon: habits that you may or may not be willing to do. Like, I don’t wanna measure my food.
Yep. I just, yeah, I know that I could look better. If I wanted to do that. Um, I wanna stay up a little bit later with my wife sometimes and not get as much sleep sometimes. Mm-hmm. And like, you can’t do that if you’re trying to maximize it. So, I, I, so, and to go back to a question,
Mike: um, when you say connect on a deeper level, what, what do you mean by that?
Do you mean because you gave the, you gave the example of the guy you’re working with. Is that what you mean? Just somebody? ’cause ’cause you have that connecting on a deeper level. Yeah. Or somebody who more fits your circumstances and somebody,
Jon: it could be either right? It could
Mike: be either. You mean just like I just, where you find someone, you’re like, I just like this person.
I like their perspective. I like,
Jon: I. We have something weird in common. Yeah, we got a, we got a student of our online trainer academy. His name’s Alex Pfeiffer. His thing is barbells and brews. He loves craft beer. He makes craft beer. He has a whole community around craft beer. And so his whole thing is dudes who are into craft beer who wanna look good and lift weights and still be able to drink craft beer, connecting.
I mean, if you’re really into that world, he might be a good guy to work with for no other reason than a, he kind of understands that, you know, he’s not gonna give you a diet that doesn’t include beer, for example. ’cause he knows that’s important to you. ’cause it’s important to him. He’s clearly, he, he looks good, you know, he’s, he’s, he’s a fit dude, so he clearly understands what it takes to look good and still enjoy your beer and you can talk to him about stuff.
Other than that, I mean, I used to, I was a. 21 year old personal trainer, fresh out of university, studied kinesiology, but fresh outta university. My clients were, you know, the associate Dean of Medicine at the University of Toronto, the, the, the chief of psychiatry at one of the biggest hospitals. Real estate magnet.
A construction magnet in locally in Toronto. I had to connect with them on a deeper level than just fitness. Yeah. And so I got a newspaper delivered to my house every morning and I read the headlines so that I could say, Hey, did you hear about so and so? I, I like reading books. I mean, it wasn’t fabricated, but I like reading books.
I, I like reading a whole wide variety of books. And so I started just leaving the book that I was reading on my desk, so then they’d see it and so then I started connect with connecting with my clients on books, on reading. I’d ask them questions about fatherhood. Uh, as a, as a trainer, I think it’s important to recognize that, but as a client, like it could be either, it could be you’ve got some aches and pains, you wanna make sure you work with somebody who understands.
That could be you have some lifestyle preferences, like, or it could be just you’ve got weird interests and it’s just kind of fun to have somebody who understands your uniqueness in a way that you can talk to them about something other than should you do six to eight reps or eight to 10 reps. You know, at the end of the day, fitness is.
Reasonably simple. Like in terms of what you’re actually told to do. It’s, it’s executing it, that’s hope.
Mike: What are your thoughts on where to look for a trainer? So somebody is like, all right, that’s it. I want some help. Do I start poking around on Instagram? Do I go to the gym and see who they assign me?
Where do I go? I
Jon: would first take stock of the type of support you think that you need. So are you the type of person who wants the accountability of somebody standing there beside you? If that’s true, then you are gonna want somebody locally, which means, yeah, find, find a place that’s convenient to you.
So I’ve got a, I’ve, I’ve got a book that I want to write at some point. I mean, all the chapters are laid out, but, but basically it’s like, okay, here’s what actually matters in getting your fitness in check, and here’s the order of importance. And number one is convenience. Because the reality of it is the, the, the capital B best workout, the importance of that pales in comparison to whether you’re actually gonna do it or not.
And so take stock in the routines that you already have in your day. Can you figure out a way to work in the fitness into your existing routine? What’s the most convenient way to do that instead of looking for the best trainer on Instagram? Do you happen to have a gym that’s outside your office that you could pop down to for half an hour over lunch?
If you do, that might be, whoever the heck works there might be the best person in the world for you, for no reason other than it’s convenient.
Mike: Do you think it would be worth looking into other people in the area? Uh, like so social media, so, so, so yeah, sure. You could, um, you could just work with somebody at the gym or there, there could be a trainer.
Who lives in the area who can meet you at the gym maybe, you know.
Jon: Yeah. Maybe. Depends what the rules and stuff of the gym are. Most gyms have rules pretty strictly against that condos. Maybe you could bring somebody in, um, uh, the, the question would be, you know, how do you really
Mike: find them? Or maybe their home gym so to speak, is five minutes that way, or 10 minutes that way, wherever.
Jon: Right? So, so that’s the case. I mean, despite my best efforts for the last decade, the reality of it is most trainers in this world are pretty shit at marketing. So you might not even be able to find them if you wanted to. I mean, sure, ask around if anybody has results, but look at what’s already there.
Figure out what works with your routine. Now, if you, if you are the type of person who wants somebody there with you, or you might be the type of person who really likes more of a community type. Feel, so I like that Every once in a while I go to an F 45. I mean, my routine right now is three to four days a week in the gym with, with a program for my trainer who trains me remotely and then one to two days a week at an F 45.
And I just like, I just, I just like the atmosphere in the F 45. I think the program means pretty asinine sometimes, but I don’t really care, you know, it gets me moving. It’s cardio, it’s a different type of training than I do. I know
Mike: enough, not to myself, it’s exercise more than training, but
Jon: that’s fine.
Sure it is. It a hundred percent is, but it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s still fun. Right.
Mike: And so I do 30 minutes of cardio every day, but it’s just exercise. Like I don’t have a program I’m following. I’m not tracking my wattage. I’m not trying to, I’m just maybe trying to increase the resistance, like keep the speed and the duration kind of the same.
And if I can increase the resistance a little bit over time, you know mm-hmm. Getting a little bit fitter, or maybe I can pedal it a little bit faster at a certain resistance, that’s fine. Maybe that’s
Jon: fine. Maybe. But you’re not measuring it. Correct. Yeah. You’re, you’re not actively measuring it and trying to progress it.
Uh, or there’s, I mean, there’s, there’s also, if you like that atmosphere and you want to think progressive, there might be a great small group training atmosphere. Or you might be the type of person who’s like, just tell me what to do and get outta my way. ’cause I, I train like that. I don’t, I would never want a trainer to be with me by my side, ever.
Sure. Be with me to make sure I do something right. If I need that, but I don’t want you there everywhere. I mean, to me, my training is, is meditative. I also don’t want to think about what I do in the gym. I could build my own workouts, but I don’t wanna think about it. So for me, the perfect situation is, okay, well I want somebody who I feel really knows me and understands me, who can write me a program.
So I know exactly what to do every time I go in the gym and I never have to think about it. And then basically gimme a virtual high five afterwards and say, yeah, I saw that you did that good job. Or, and be there if I’ve had a questions or whatever. It’s so, so the second part of it is what type of person ou and what type of support do you want?
Because if you’re the first where you want somebody with you, then it’s, you are limited to location. If you’re the type of person who. Just wants, you know, wants to do it yourself, but have the guidance, then it becomes really important. Or Val, I wouldn’t say important, but then it becomes more valuable to try to find somebody who perhaps can connect with you and maybe has walked in your shoes, somebody who’s been through the transformation that you’re going through, somebody who has dealt with extenuating life circumstances that you’ve dealt with.
And so how would you find them? Well, I mean, be resourceful. Like Google, Instagram, look for, I mean, you could probably find articles on how to drink beer and still have a six pack. Track it back to the authors who write it, see if you connect with the rest of their stuff. If they do, I’m willing to bet that they’d be happy if you paid ’em a couple hundred bucks a month to
Mike: train them.
What about qualifications, certifications? Yeah, they’re all
Jon: nonsense. I dunno,
Mike: what’s your opinion? Elaborate.
Jon: Um, oh geez. How much trouble am I gonna get myself in? Uh, certification in the fitness industry is complete nut garbage. It, it, it’s just, it’s it, there’s no regulation by anybody. Um, the only scope of practice is the scope of practice passed down by a private organization that’s run by other venture capital.
Private equity. That’s primary responsibility is primary fiduciary responsibility is to their investors. And so, um, they, they sell trainers what makes ’em the most amount of money, not what the trainers actually need. And so as a result, they’re, they’re not actually preparing trainers for the realities of the job.
And individual operations like myself have had to come in and basically build independent education companies as accessories. I’ve said time and time again, my company should not have to exist. There’s not much more to it than that.
Mike: But I’ve had many trainers reach out, reach out to me over the years and say, Hey, I learned more in your books and articles and podcasts.
Mm-hmm. Than, uh, you know, any, any of the certification work I did.
Jon: I read, um, I’m sure you know him. Brad Schoenfeld, uh, sent me his most recent book, oh geez, I should remember the name. Uh, his most recent book about, about Muscle. I mean, he’s, Brad’s like the, the Hypotrophy, you know, PhD. He’s brilliant. Um, and he sent me his newest book, and I’m looking through this.
I’m like, this is an entire college curriculum in weight training in this one book. And, and it’s crazy to me that people are, Signing up for all these certifications with these companies. It’s like, okay, well this book costs $27 on Amazon. The first 30 pages is the leading researcher in this subject telling you all about the physiology of, of muscle and how muscles grow.
And then he’s talking to you about different periodization principles and the realities of using them and what’s good and what’s not good and how to use them. Then he has full workout plans based off of that. Every single exercise has pictured demonstrations with all of the guidance and like you just, like, I used to take these things and take pictures of them and send them to clients like those are, I mean, people are buying like exercise video libraries.
Like, no, buy a book on Amazon for $27. It’s, it’s. Crazy to me how much education is there is out there actually in general consumer box. And so, uh, to, to answer your question about what certifications, qualifications to look for, if somebody just has a basic personal trainer certification for many of the, the big registering bodies in the United States, nasm, ace, I s s A, it doesn’t mean that they’re necessarily bad, but it certainly doesn’t mean that they know anything.
There are a number of additional education qualifications, like certification does not equal qualification. There are a number of additional qualifications that show that I, I, if the trainer’s done them, they kind of show that the trainer is the type of person that goes out of his or her way to gain additional knowledge.
Like I could walk into a gym. And I look at, you know, the wall of trainers and they’ve got, you know, 10 pictures of faces and whatever, and, and they have their qualifications. And inevitably there’s one person on the wall, you know, every single person is like C P T C P T C P T C P T, and then one person has all of the other ones, right?
Has all of the, the, they’ve done nutrition and post rehab and, and all of these other things. And inevitably, every single time I go into the gym, that’s the trainer who’s busy. And I never see the other people. Like they’re just, they’re just never there. Um, and so there’s a, there, there’s certainly varying degrees of seriousness that exist, um, that you could pick out pretty quickly based off of how much it looks like somebody has continued to invest in their development beyond their initial.
Certification, but initial certification, unfortunately in, in the fitness industry means so little. It’s laughable. And I can tell you from, I mean, I run, I put together the first DEVO certification for online fitness. I wrote the textbook on it. And, uh, uh, when, when Covid hit, I had deep conversations with all of these companies worldwide, not just in the United States to license it.
We ended up licensing it to Ace and I like ace. Um, I, I think out of all the companies, they’re, they’re the best one. They’re also a not-for-profit, which I like. Um, but. God man, these people don’t give a shit. They just wanna make as much money as possible despite all of the nice things that they say.
Mike: Remember, you’re speaking to somebody who, who owns a sports nutrition company? So well. So it’s the same thing, right? Despite, I could probably see that and raise you. Um,
Jon: it’s, and, and all of them have these, you know, beautifully pithy mission statements and I don’t know if you saw it, so Yeah, I think it was yesterday was like National Women’s Day or International Women’s Day.
Yeah. And there was a Twitter account that I loved it. That was, um, I think it was at Gender Pay Gap. And I don’t know how this person did this, but it was supposedly a bot that whenever a company tweeted some sort of support for International Women’s Day, the bot would retweet it and respond with how much less the women at that organization make than the men.
Mike: That’s, that’s clever.
Jon: That’s clever. So it was like, it was like, we support
Mike: in, although women, although there is controversy, not to go off on a tangent, but there is controversy over when you look at that data and then you control for time worked and time off and so forth. But, but that’s clever. We did that is, that is key.
Jon: we built a calculator at our company and um, and, and when, when we built it, it was actually very hard to control. ’cause you know, our company was a small organization at that point. We had 25, 30 people working for us. And, um, and uh, and so it was a small company and there was very rarely two people doing the same job.
And so you can’t compare one job to the next. So then you’re looking at industry averages for roles. Well, a lot of the roles are loosely defined because it’s a small business, a lot of people wearing multiple hats. It’s actually really, really hard to do. Um, but yeah, we did, and then especially early on, especially where live too with remote work, somebody in San Francisco, like in Toronto, you basically can’t pay somebody less than $75,000 a year.
Like, you just, you just can’t, doesn’t matter what they do. Yeah. Below the, below the poverty line if you do. Whereas if I were to hire somebody in Saskatchewan, you know, Midwestern Canada, $75,000 is a. Pretty healthy living, um, where they’re at. So it’s very hard to do. But anyway, this, this Twitter account was funny.
Yeah. Because it was, you know, this, this company’s coming up with this like beautiful statement from some PO up or something, right? And they’re like, and this thing just retweets. It’s like women at this organization make 34% less than men,
Mike: but it’s the same shit. So that’s, that’s, that’s the, that’s the art of, of publicity and propaganda. Oh
Jon: my God. But you can’t do that anymore, which is the best thing. ’cause there’s companies like Yos who come out and you’re like, Hey, let’s call out all of this nonsense. In the supplement industry, there’s companies like mine where I’m like, I hate that my company has to exist.
Like legitimately. I hate that it has to exist, but nobody else is. Do, I mean, I had the, I had the VP of marketing, um, at, at one of the major certifying bodies, literally say to me, to my face, the people who come through our organization are generally a little bit dumber. And they haven’t completed college.
And so, um, we target them by building cheaper, easier to complete certifications that we put on sale all the time.
Mike: Marketing, marketing
Jon: Mastery. That’s the, that’s, that’s the market.
Mike: Yeah. Yeah. It’s just a very, it’s a very, it’s a very mercenary approach to business. It’s, yeah. Where you lose, lose sight of, uh, are we supposed to be ultimately helping anybody here or, or, or we are we just trying to Yeah.
Make, make a pretty p and l
Jon: It gets well it, there have been a number of people that I’ve known over the years. That. ’cause I’ve seen this happen now in a decade of being in this business. I mean, 17 years in the fitness industry, but in a decade of being in the online fitness industry. Now, I’ve seen a lot of people, a lot of people I know, well, some, some very good friends that have gone on to become pretty big successes and sell their business.
And then I’ve seen what’s happened to their business afterwards. And not every case, but in a lot of cases where the person who built their business is like you, Mike, just like genuinely really good person who’s super smart, who worked their butt off, who built something great, you know, caught some lucky breaks, but also like, did a lot of really good things, built something great for all the right reasons and, and what they measured.
Often though, KPIs were very customer centric and then they sold a controlling interest of the entire company to a private equity year, to an investment fund or venture capital, whatever. And all of a sudden now everything that’s measured. Financially driven and just everything changes. And, and, and those statements, their mission statements and everything are the same, but, um, but, but how they operate seems to.
Really change doesn’t have to happen, I don’t think. But that’s what happens often. No, it doesn’t.
Mike: It doesn’t have to. You know, I, I would say that your, the people you’re thinking of, they bear some responsibility as well. ’cause, you know, I’ve spoken with, um, a number of people in the PE world, not, I’m not looking to sell Legion.
I was gonna say, do you,
Jon: did you sell, do you own a hundred percent of, of what you do? Do you have
Mike: investors? Yeah. No, I have no investors. So it’s just me a hundred percent. Oh, cool. And, uh, I’ve, I’ve spoken over the last probably six to 12 months I’ve spoken with, with a fair amount of, uh, people. Not because I’m looking to sell the business, but I would be interested in, uh, a growth partner.
Yeah. Someone who could provide, not just capital. I can get money if I just need money, but really, ideally it would be a more. There’d be some strategic synergy there. They would have, they would have expertise or connections in, take retail. I ha I’m still 100% E-commerce. That’s a mistake. Uh, my international distribution is nowhere.
That’s a mistake. There are, there are. I can only build the business. Um, well, I’m doing my best, but it can be done a lot better. Well, it’s a
Jon: mistake, but because you focused on those things, you’ve been, you got to the point where you’re boasting at the seams. It’s true if you
Mike: tried do there certainly with consolation prizes, but you know, I’ve seen, you don’t have to put it that way, man.
You’ve got, I, I’m just saying I’ve seen, I’ve seen now, um, I’ve seen some very professional business builders operate, I’ll just put it that way. And, and, and seen, I’ve seen now what, what can be done. Mm-hmm. If you come into something with the right team, the right amount of money, uh, and the right plan, you put those things together and a little bit of luck.
As you mentioned, timing of course, plays into it, but, um, you, you can, you can build a pretty big business pretty quickly. It gives you
Jon: space to move like a, you liquidate a little bit and get some cash, but also, you know, it gives you some space to move. Like, I think about, I mean, your, your business is bigger than mine, but I think about, you know, we’ve got a lot of cash in the bank.
I’m fine. The business is generating enough, but we can’t take a lot of big risks. And, uh, and I don’t want to right now, which is, which is fine, but if I wanted to, we wouldn’t be able to do it. And so it’s like, okay, well is this a bet that we can put 2 million bucks out and be perfectly okay if it misses?
Well, it’s hard to do that if you are generating 10 million a year or 20 million a year and your, your EBITDA is four, let’s say. Um, it, it’s, it’s hard to do that. You might be able to justify it, but it’s hard. It’s a lot easier to do that if you’ve got a $50 billion hedge fund behind you. Investment fund behind you, and
Mike: you have people who have input in the $2 million plan.
They like it. You have people who are gonna execute. You know, it’s all lined up. Yeah.
Jon: Yeah. So there’s, I I, I agree there’s a lot of advantages there. Um, I actually really like, I mean this is off on a tangent of how to buy a trainer or how to fight a trainer, but I actually really love like half a million to $2 million businesses.
I think the next stage of my career is basically just stacking those ’cause, ’cause I think, and I mean I’ve done it a few times now, I think that you can build these days with a strong personal brand, multiple half a million to $2 million businesses. Yes. At a 60 to 70% profit margin with like, Basically no staff.
Mike: You know, it depends on what you’re selling. Um, as far as margins
Jon: stuff, oh yeah, you gotta pick, you gotta pick the right business model. That’s, that’s the key.
Mike: Um, but like in supplements, you can’t have 60% gross margins and that, and great products. You can have shitty products and 60% gross margins,
Jon: books and mentorship and digital learning and software, you can, yep, 100%.
So what do you think I’m doing? So, you know, with, with basically a chief of staff, like, I like, oh, the majority of my staff. Um, and, uh, but once you get above that, things start to break. Maybe not with software, depends, but once you get above that, things start to break. Right? And, uh, and so I just, I, I don’t know, I’m really excited about, call them micro businesses, but like three or four, you know.
Million, one and a half million dollar businesses working for you. Yeah. Um,
Mike: that are, that are highly profitable, that are highly
Jon: profitable, that are super, super low and that don’t
Mike: stress and headache make you Exactly.
Jon: Oh God. You, I mean you inventory and everything isn’t, it’s, I mean, you’re big enough now that you can have people to manage it, but the growth of that before you were as big as you are now.
I can only imagine. I mean, you’re having to stock for six months from now and put out cash for six months from now.
Mike: Right. And I, and I can, uh, I can give credit to the people along the way who have managed that. Like I, personally, I was not involved in inventory, um, for long, for maybe the first year or so.
Okay. Um, and then, and then from there, it, it was, it was different people. And now I have somebody who is a real pro at it. He, he came from a very big sports attrition company running their global, um, supply chain and logistics. Oh, wow. How many skews do you have with Legion? Um, I actually don’t even know.
That’s something I should know, but I don’t, so there, I’m gonna guess, um, let’s see, there’s probably 15 to, let’s say 15 different products. Um, 60 to 80. I’m, I’m just kind of throwing a number out there. Yeah, that’s quite
Jon: a bit. Yeah. So why did you decide to go that route as opposed to a ’cause? Because I, I, I would guess, tell me if I’m wrong, I would guess that.
There’s a disproportionate amount of sales per product, right? Like some products really
Mike: 80, 80 20, I mean 80 20, right? 20% of the skews generate 80, 80% of the revenue. So
Jon: why do you, why do you have the other ones? Why do you decide to do that model versus, versus focusing, versus like the athletic greens model, for example.
Right. Or they, they have one thing, they package it two different ways, and they’ve got hundreds of thousands of people that get it on autoship every month.
Mike: I, I like, I like the, the Athletic Greens model, if you have a product that warrants it. Uh, I don’t like how Athletic Greens promotes their product. At least last time I looked at their marketing, A lot of it is dishonest.
Uh, they’re, they’re selling a, it’s a, it’s a green, it’s a, it’s a fruit and vegetable powder with like some probiotics and other junk. And in fact, it’s a stimulants,
Jon: which I was
Mike: surprised at, uh, that I didn’t even, I haven’t looked at their stuff. Well, it’s
Jon: got not like, not like stimulants, but like some hoal kind of stimulant stuff.
Mike: which I was, which probably just means caffeine. I mean, sure you can, no, it’s
Jon: not caffeine. No, no, no. It’s not caffeine. Okay. Um,
Mike: I can’t remember because sometimes, you know, there are herbs and it, it, it really is just caffeine, but it’s, it’s a natural, uh, oh, I see. Kind of caffeine. So let me see. Um, But, but while you’re looking at that, I’ll just say that I, if you’re just gonna sell one product, then I think it needs to be one really outstanding product to mm-hmm.
Carry a brand. And Athletic Greens has done a good job on the marketing front. They obviously have smart marketers. Uh, but again, the last time I looked at their product, how it was being sold is a, basically a replacement for eating vegetables, for eating well. Mm. Right. Even if the, even if that wasn’t explicitly stated, that was clearly the pitch.
Like, look at all the servings of vegetables in this vegetable powder. And it has all these other things too. And, uh, and. Again, the implication is you don’t need, if you, you don’t need, you don’t like eating vegetables here. Just drink this powder every day. And, and I know that that’s why a lot of people buy vegetable powders, fruit and vegetable powders because they don’t want to eat fruits and vegetables.
And I fundamentally disagree with that. Uh, my greens supplement it, it has no fruits and vegetables in it. It’s only green because it has spirulina. Yeah. But it has re resche mushroom, it has maca, it has other things. It’s, it’s not your traditional Greens supplement. And so, um, I can appreciate what Athletic Greens has done from a business standpoint and a marketing standpoint, but I think it’s, it’s a dishonest, I think it’s fundamentally a dishonest business.
And so, um,
Jon: yeah, like they’ve got green tea extract, they’ve got ashwagandha. So
Mike: those are fine. Those are fine ingredients. I mean, uh oh. There’s nothing wrong with them. Again, it was, it, it has been some time since I looked at their pitch, but it very much at the time I looked revolved around all of the servings of vegetables, quote unquote, that are in the I I see what you’re saying.
And, and it is not true that at least we can say that, that there’s good evidence to the, to the contrary that you can. Instead of eating fruits and vegetables, just drink powders and get all of the same benefits that you will be totally fine in terms of hitting your nutritional Yeah. Needs. That’s still their pitch.
Yeah. Of course. Their website says that’s why pe, that’s
Jon: why people buy them. Yeah. Their website says, welcome to foundational nutrition. Exactly. Yeah. Uh, is their big headline. And then it’s, you’re going to need a smaller cabinet.
Mike: Cabinet. Know what that means. Actually, that’s an odd,
Jon: yeah. They say you’re gonna need a smaller cabinet.
Comprehensive nutrition. Every ag, they’re a G one now. Every a g one scoop is like nine health products, and one giving you the equivalent of multivitamin, minerals, probiotics, and more. So basically it’s, it’s a replacement for everything. Um, that, but they have, that they don’t
Mike: mind one product. That I, that I actually don’t mind.
I, I think that if you’re pitching your greens, again, I haven’t looked at their stuff recently, but if you’re pitching your greens as a replacement for a multivitamin, and I do think that a multivitamin, a well-formulated multivitamin is justifiable to cell and to take, even if you eat well, especially in when you have certain nutrients, that it’s actually hard to get enough of.
Take vitamin D, take K one, K two, and then if it’s a good multivitamin, it can have other stuff like ashwagandha and other ingredients, um, that you’re not gonna get in your diet. I think that’s totally fine. So, so maybe, maybe Athletic greens has pivoted a little bit. Uh, in their, in their messaging, in which case, um, what I said might not apply to them currently, but I certainly have seen in the past where, um, really the, the, the theme of the marketing that I was seeing, it was more about how there are so many servings of vegetables is just, just one or two scoops.
And again, the pitch was basically like, you don’t need to eat all the vegetables, you can just drink our powder. Mm-hmm. Um, and, and, but a single, a single product approach certainly can work. Uh, but, um, you, you, you better have a really good single product and it better be very profitable. Because to answer the question that you asked me, where the, the skews, the products that make the most money for me are protein powder and pre-workout.
Right. Those are also the products that, uh, get me the most new customers. Right. Okay. And so, My, my product, my company margins are quite a bit lower than a lot of my competitors. They should be better. We were working on getting them better than covid hit, and now they’re kind of stuck. So my gross margins right now are 39% or so.
That’s not very good. Like anybody whos, yeah,
Jon: that’s tough to grow a business on.
Mike: Correct. And well, uh, grow it. That’s,
Jon: that’s direct to consumer. That’s, that’s e-commerce,
Mike: correct. Yeah. And, but, but, but my, my marketing spend is 15% of revenue. Yeah. Right. So, so there, you know, I’ve been able to do it because of that, because I do not need to spend as much money as a lot of my competitors.
But regardless, just from, you know, business finance 1 0 1, business health 1 0 1, that gross margin to be respectable, it should be in the mid to high forties. Yeah. And that, that can be done as Legion continues to grow. And, and if some costs of things come down, like creatine is out the roof way, protein is out the roof, um, even a couple of ingredients in Pulse or out the roof.
And what I’m hearing is assuming the world doesn’t end, uh, that prices are going to come down, they’re not gonna come. Down to pre covid levels. Mm-hmm. Everything is just more expensive now, period. It’s not, that’s not changing, but they are going to come down from where they’re at now. Um, so are
Jon: you saying some of the, some of the back catalog stuff, then that maybe doesn’t sell as
Mike: much as more profitable?
It’s more profitable. Even though, even though though, I still spend a lot more, take my multivitamin. Normally multivitamins are, that’s a profit center for a lot of sports nutrition companies. Oh, is it? I know that. Oh, absolutely. Um, I, your, your average sports nutrition company, they’ll spend five to $6 a bottle producing a multivitamin.
What? And absolutely 100%. Holy shit. Yep. Okay. And like, if you’re generous, you’re gonna spend maybe seven or eight. Right. And then you’re gonna sell that for, um, A a, if you’re spending $4 a bottle, maybe you’ll sell it for 2025. Maybe if it’s a dollar or two more, you might go up to 30, 35, maybe even 40, right?
My multivitamin costs me close to 13. 13 to $14 a bottle to produce, and so the margin is better there, but. It’s, it’s, um, it’s not as profitable as multivitamins generally are, and that’s true of all of my products. And just because, because your ingredients are high quality or what? Yeah, higher in quality ingredients, more ingredients, larger doses and, and all natural ingredients.
It costs me, it costs me three to $4 a bottle to flavor some of my powders. If I were to switch to artificial ingredients, 50 cents. And, and when ’cause using
Jon: natural flavoring versus like just na
Mike: Yep. Suc or whatever. Exactly. And, and, and so, you know, I pay, I pay a premium for, for, but, but for now, what we’re talking about though is this, is, this is really legion’s, uh, this is its value proposition.
This is, is its unique selling proposition. Right. Um, do you think that
Jon: stuff really, I mean maybe I’ll ask you this not being recorded. Do you think all that stuff really matters? Like, do you think it’s really a problem flavoring a protein powder, let’s say with sucralose? Uh, so, so I mean, I get it as a sales proposition.
It’s a fantastic sales prop.
Mike: Yeah. Yeah. So, so, um, If we’re talking about artificial flavoring, and I actually don’t even comment on it, on Legion’s website, I don’t think there’s any, there’s any issue, uh, with artificial flavoring. Now, artificial sweeteners and food dyes, if we’re talking about one or two servings a day, certainly no problems.
I’m not, I’m not an alarmist about, about any of these chemicals. Um, however, I know from, from doing this for a bit, and I was one of these consumers before I had this company that many fitness people are, They’re going to have anywhere from two to four servings of protein per day. Right. Uh, there’s gonna be a pre-workout in there, there’s gonna be a post-workout in there, there might be an energy drink or two in there.
There might be a green supplement or some other powder intra-workout in there. Mm-hmm. Maybe some BCAAs. Right. And so it’s, it’s easy for, for a fitness person to get to eight to 10 plus servings of those chemicals per day. Right. Every day forever and Right. Um, and when I started Legion, the, the research wasn’t, I wouldn’t say it’s robust right now.
There’s more research to suggest that, that doing that might not be the best for your gut health and that can impact your overall health in many different ways. Um, and when I started Legion, it was less, there was less evidence to support that, but I, first and foremost, I was kind of scratching my own itch and I care about my health and if, if I can possibly avoid.
Uh, what, it wouldn’t be a catastrophic problem, but if I can possibly avoid, let’s say, meaningful negative effects, health effects by using all natural products, that’s what I would do personally. And, and so, um, as, as research, uh, in, in on the, the microbiome and gut health has progressed, I know there’s still controversy even over what I just said, but I will say that there is more evidence now for, for that, and there are more experts who would agree with me.
Mm-hmm. Um, and, and so that, that’s why I chose to do it and why I’ve stuck with it. And, and then there’s the marketing side of it where if you poke around on my website, I, I explain it more or less as I just explained to you. I don’t make any extreme claims about, I mean, I explicitly say that these chemicals are, are not, uh, as dangerous as, as many people would have you believe.
I’m not an alarmist. Mm-hmm. But there is evidence that. Having a lot of these things every day, more or less forever, might not be great for your health. And so that’s why I stick with natural stuff and that that’s
Jon: it. So you stick with it. Well, and it’s also knowing your audience. I mean, you’re, you’re, you’re selling to people who are definitely more health conscious or health conscious, very active.
I mean, the idea, like if, I mean, I maybe have a scoop of protein powder once every three days, right?
Mike: So of course it doesn’t matter. So it doesn’t, you use whatever you like. Yeah. Um, but, but if, but if you were a person who was, was taking several supplements several times a day, every day. Yeah.
Jon: So it’s, it, it is just, this world is very interesting to me.
You know what, it’s, it’s interesting to me because it seems like there’s some disconnect between what you should do and you see other people doing and not realizing that they’re different people than you. And, and there’s no one way, uh, you know, for the right type of person, what, what you are doing is brilliant.
And there’s a lot of people like that. But is it. Actually that important for your average Joe or Jane. That’s
Mike: why no supplements. Supplements are, are supplementary by definition. Yeah. I mean, I say right on the homepage, you don’t need any of my stuff actually to build muscle, to lose fat, to get healthy.
And that’s true. You could say, oh, that’s good marketing. You’re just being clever. Because if you admit a fault, then people instinctively trust you. Sure. I, I, I know that. Uh, but it’s also true. It is true that. And there aren’t many supplement companies who will just explicitly tell you, like, you actually don’t need to buy any of our stuff.
It’s all just optional. Uh, if you have the inclination and you have the budget, there are some things you might want to consider. And that’s why we exist. And that’s also one of the reasons why I’ve focused so much on educate, uh, education, of course in my own work, but also with Legion. I mean, over at Legion we have now close to 5,000 articles and podcasts over on the website.
Uh, we have a coaching service. We’ve worked with thousands of people. People, I mean, we get hundreds of chats a day of people just asking us questions, uh, diet questions, exercise questions. That little chat that, that you see on the website. That’s, that’s mostly how, how it gets, uh, how it gets used. And, um, the, the people who, who man it up are all certified personal trainers for what it’s worth.
And, and they’re on our team internal. We don’t outsource that. They spend a lot of time just helping people, just answering their questions because I, I see supplements as kind of the, if you to use like the meat in the medicine analogy, it’s kind of the meat to get people to accept the medicine, which is that supplements can only, uh, help a little bit in different ways.
You, you really need to know how to eat, how to exercise, um, and you, you need to be living a healthy lifestyle to, to achieve your fitness goals. But some people are ready to hear that. Many people are not ready to hear that, and they’re looking for pills and powders and potions. And so by bringing people in who are just looking for a fat burner so they can lose fat, and then helping them understand that the fat burner isn’t what, What helps you lose fat?
It’s the calorie deficit and it’s eating enough protein so you retain your muscle and it’s doing the right type of training. And if you do all of those things and you want to include a fat burner, you have to be careful because a lot of them are just useless. The best fat burner, the is gonna help you burn a little bit more energy.
It’s gonna make you maybe a little bit less hungry. Uh, and if, if that’s worth it to you, then, then buy it. If it’s not worth it to you, then don’t. But if you just do the other things, you’re gonna reach your goal. And so, That, that’s also part of, of legion’s, d n a, so to speak. And part of why I do it, I’m not a very, eh, it sounds people, I’m just not a very money motivated person.
Like I like to make money as anybody else, but I don’t get the thrill out of making money that some of my very rich friends do. Um, and you know, I can think of a couple of people who, if I had their money, I could just throw my money away and they, they love. Building their business and making money. And they’re not unethical, bad people.
They, they have good businesses, good services. They just love it. They just love, you know, like, dude, you’re worth $500 million. Like, what does it matter if you, you’re done if you make another? It’s like when you see,
Jon: it’s like when you see a fit person in the gym, it’s like, what do you doing? Go home. You’re done.
Mike: Yeah. Yeah. It’s like, what do you, what do you need another, why are you so excited? Over $10 million? Like, I can hear it. It’s so exciting. It’s more exciting. You know, it could be his birthday and be like, yeah, whatever. I don’t care. But, uh, you know, he just made $10 million so excited about it. And, and I don’t say that as a criticism at all.
I’m just saying, I just, I’m not, I’m, I’m not that personality. I get more excited over writing a book than I do. Uh, I mean, $10 million would be cool, but, you know, and just, just so,
Jon: because, so I do, I do love the fact that your, the Know your Bill of Rights book is on the Legion. Page for sale. You know what
Mike: you’re gonna like more than that, you know.
Guess, guess. So. That was my number one bestselling book last year. I know, I remember you telling me that. Uh, yeah. Okay, good. So it’s that for, for people. I mean, I won’t get into the, the origin story ’cause people have heard it, but, um, um, my original interest, I, I was not planning on being a fitness guy, so to speak.
Right. I was planning on, I would write in fitness and if that went somewhere, sure. I’ll write some more fitness stuff. I like fitness and I like what it can do for people, but I have other interests and I want to do other things too. And, um, and, and then the fitness stuff just did so well that I decided to pursue the opportunity.
But I, I still am very much that person who, um, would, a part of me would love to just. Go back to my original plan, which was I’d be writing fiction and writing a nonfiction that interests me and Right. Just, you know, pursuing, I guess, intellectual curiosities. And maybe in my next life, if I, if I can, if I can make enough money, then I can justify it, I guess.
’cause I don’t know how much you,
Jon: I think you’ve probably made enough money to do it now. I mean, I’m, I’m working on a fiction book. It’s fun. Oh. That’s exciting. It’s something I do in my spare time. It’s a parable in the fitness industry. It’s ridiculous. It’s funny. It’s, it’s, it’s, I mean, it’s, it’s just, it’s fun, you
Like there’s, I mean, it’s fun for, for people and, and I, and I’m guessing that you’re just similar to I am in that, um, if you’re a creative type of person Yeah. There, that’s the only way to scratch that itch. It’s not fiction per se, but doing creative work, everything else. If, if you get away from creative work for, for too long, I.
It, uh, it, it just, it just kind of drains the, the life out of you. Um, at least that’s, that’s been my experience, like a, a lot of building a business and running a business is, um, you know, it just feels like kind of putting out fires, solving stupid problems. And I’ve been good enough at it to get as far as I, as I’ve gotten, but that doesn’t give me the thrill that it gives.
Some people, some people are, are really good operators and they just love, they love the game of, of putting out the fires and, and solving the stupid problems and growing the business. I do not, I like some aspects of marketing, and you probably do too because it’s creative, because there you go into something knowing that.
There is a way to hit a grand slam home run with this product or service, assuming that it’s not completely terrible. Right. Some, some products or services. There is no way. But in many cases there is a way I, I guess I could, I could take that back and say, well, then you’d have to go back to crafting the product or service.
But there is a way to come up with a product or service and then market it in such a way that it, it explodes and mm-hmm. Uh, and, and, you know, there are the, the total addressable market is, is gonna dictate how big that explosion is. But, um, and, and that to me is, is fun. It’s fun to figure, try to figure that out and, and get into the psychology of it.
Jon: Well, this is what we’re finding with our software. I haven’t even, it’s not even out yet. Nobody’s seen it. Nobody’s seen it. It’s hitting the need that’s been unmet so deeply, which I, which I had hoped, I mean, we’d done all the, all the research. I’ve advised or had been an advisor to basically every software company, you know, online training, software company, fitness software company for the last decade.
And uh, and it’s just like, nobody’s even seen it yet and like, went to bed last night, like, it’s not anywhere. We’re not $0 in paid advertised, like went to bed last night, woke up this morning, there’s 70 new people on the wait list. Like, it’s just like people are talking about it ’cause it’s, ’cause it’s needed.
’cause it just hit it. Right, right. Um, I think that’s what’s missing, you know, copy is not about, uh, uh, marketing is not about like the best words in copywriting. It’s about, it’s about figuring out what product needs to be there and why and dialing in on that.
Mike: Yeah, I would say that, um, on, on the product development side of things, huge.
It’s everything. Yeah. I, I would, I would agree. However, I, I would say though, and this is, this is, this is not just me saying this is me just parroting smarter marketers that I’ve studied, really. And, and that is that, I mean, I do agree with, with the idea that fundamentally marketing is messaging and it fundamentally is perception.
Mm-hmm. Value is, is, is perceived or not, or it’s perceived as low or, or, or high. Um, but, but to your point, I think you need to have a combination of those things, right? Uh, you need to have, it’s, um, it’s not just the right idea in my opinion. It’s, I think, the right idea at the right time. Yeah. That timing point is huge.
And that, that, that’s where some of the quote, the luck plays into it, right? Although you can engineer some of that, um, but you can have. An idea that is fundamentally sound. And you can have a great team and you can have a lot of funding. Um, but if it’s just not the right time, it, it, it’s not gonna go. But if you have the right idea at the right time, poor team underfunded, it’s still gonna go.
You’re gonna see, you’re gonna see some fireworks and, and hopefully you can scramble to get the team and get the funding because it’s, it can have big, big potential. Right. Um, but then in terms of how do you communicate and how do you sell and ’cause a lot of products and services probably are, are. That, that people come up with.
Um, maybe it’s not a majority, but a lot of them are good enough. They are good enough to succeed. Right. Um, take something like supplements. People could just copy and paste my formulations. Like, there, there everything is right there. It’s fully transparent. Uh, there’s, there are, there’s no hidden proprietary information of any kind, right?
Even all the research, uh, that is behind the formulations is cited on sales pages. I mean, you’re not seeing all the papers that were reviewed per se. You know, maybe 60 to 70 papers were reviewed in the creation of a product. And then you’re gonna get 30 citations or something because it’s just not necessary to cite the other 30.
Um, but, um, So, so somebody could have products that are just as good as mine and yeah, they’re gonna have to figure out the manufacturing and whatever. But from there, how do you, how do you win? Because just putting that stuff out there, I, I’ve seen quite a few companies, um, rip off some of my fam uh, formulations and it’s totally fine.
I don’t even, I don’t take it personally. Uh, I don’t care really sure to come, come compete with me. Um, maybe, maybe you’ll end up just growing the pie a little bit bigger for all of us and some of your customers will end up trying my stuff ’cause they just like me and my brand more than yours, whatever.
Right? But just having grow, having products that are objectively premium minimally, in some cases, I think I could really say best in class is not enough. Right? So that’s where I think this, this, um, element of marketing that revolves around perception. And ultimately, I, I do think it’s messaging. I do think at least, um, A lot of the, some of the best marketers that I’ve known personally are, maybe they’re not outstanding copywriters in the sense of being able to write a long form, you know, nine page sales letter per se, but they are good at messaging.
They, they, yeah, they are good at a hundred percent at, yeah, at, at creating, at communicating in a way that resonates with people. Yeah. And they, and they’re good at understanding people, looking at the world through their eyes, meeting them, where they are, persuading them, and so forth. A lot of that is, is fundamentally salesmanship, really.
And so that’s what I really like about marketing, again, because you can never, there is no, there is no perfect. Sales letter, there is no absolute, it can always be better. There is no perfect p d p. There is always a better way. There is always something that if you can somehow stumble upon it, it’s gonna increase your conversions by 10%.
And, and in some cases it might just be designed rejiggering things, but once you get past the easy wins, and I’ve done a lot of c r o ro, uh, c r o work, so I’ve experienced this firsthand. When, when you get past the easy stuff, then a lot of it is understanding. Psychology and hitting on something that is a hot button and then figuring out how to communicate that in a way that makes people say yes or, or, or just pay attention.
And that’s a game to me. I like that. And, um, so I, I would suspect that, that you’re a similar and, and, uh, that’s why you like to write. That’s why you, I, I like the content you share on social media. I, I like that it’s, it’s unique and, um, that’s why you’re writing a fiction book. I, I would. I’m making assumptions, but, um, no,
Jon: I mean, you’re right.
There’s a lot of things in this last year particularly that I’ve just opted out of and, uh, and I I came to the realization that like, I have enough and, um, and I opted out of a lot of the games and maybe I’ll opt back in at some point.
Mike: Hey there, if you are hearing this, you are still listening, which is awesome.
Thank you. And if you are enjoying this podcast, or if you just like my podcast in general and you are getting at least something out of it, would you mind sharing it with a friend or a loved one, or a not so loved one even who might want to learn something new? Word of mouth helps really bigly in growing the show.
So if you think of someone who might like this episode or another one, please do tell them about it. Is, is that, is that partly because, did you feel like you were, uh, to use a, a school analogy, maybe getting by your own standards regardless of what other people thought you were getting? Maybe, maybe B’S in, in five classes and you’d rather be getting a pluses and two or three maybe?
Jon: Um, I was doing a lot. I mean, I have the entrepreneur syndrome where the minute that something becomes successful, I, I become disinterested in it. Mm-hmm. And so you can see that with my career. Like I’ve written like you, I’ve written 11 books. Why the hell would you write 11 books for personal trainers?
I’ve written like six books for a niche of a niche of a niche. Like, why the hell would you do that? Like write one, have a product it leads to, but get the shit outta that one and keep pumping that funnel for, for the longest time. And so I just can’t, not. Do it. I mean, I, the amount of things I’ve done in the last 10 years, I could list ’em off.
You’d be like, holy crap man. And some of it has been very successful. I’m just not interested in it. The minute that it becomes successful, I just wanna do something else. And so the, the most successful things that I’ve done, to be honest, um, the reason why they’ve done really well and continue to do well is because I built it and then I stepped the hell away.
And so all of my focus, my personal focus is on my own personal brand. ’cause it allows me to write, to be creative, to get eyeballs. That’s what I’m good at. And um, and I can spend six to eight months and I can build a business and then hand it off. And then go and build another one. Uh, but that’s not the way to build a unicorn business.
Mike: That’s the way to build. Is it, is it necessary though, to build a unicorn
Jon: business? No. It depends what you want. That depends what you want. But that’s what I mean. I mean, that’s the game that I opted out of. That’s what I was talking to you about. You know, can, can you build a, a, a high six, a low seven figure business once a year, once every two years, basically at infinity.
Mike: Um, and I’ve, I’ve, I’ve had to resist the temptation myself to, because I’ve, I’ve wasted time and money on a workout app that it’s just free and put a fair amount of time and money into it. And, and a lot of people like it, some people don’t. It wasn’t necessary. It was, it was, I. I should, I should’ve stopped.
Jon: Other people had an app, so why
Mike: wouldn’t I have an app? Right. It was just for fun. It was actually just for fun because I felt like doing it. But at, at the time, my, my time, maybe I put less of a premium on it. I maybe should have put more of a premium on it. Now, I’m, I’m more careful about what I say yes to because, uh, like, like you, I, I have more things going on and, um, I, I’ve just learned what type of work I, I actually really like to do and what I don’t like to do.
And things are at a point now where I don’t, I have a high pain tolerance, uh, probably like you, I can grind on shit more or less indefinitely. Mm-hmm. Um, I’m just not. A person who quits because it’s hard or because I’m bored or I just don’t wanna do it anymore. That’s just not me. Right. Um, but, but I think there is something to be said for, um, exactly what you just said is, okay, if you reach a certain level of success, there’s nothing wrong with delegating all this stuff you just don’t like to do.
And maybe, maybe that includes stuff that you’re not that good at either. Um, or, or that you can find somebody who’s better at it, maybe just minimally because they like it more than you. It’s hard to be really good at something that you really don’t like. It’s just hard. Right. And, um, and then that allows you to, to focus on the stuff that you like to do and, and.
You don’t necessarily have that, um, you don’t have that luxury in the beginning. You have to do a lot of stuff that you don’t like to do to put that business there. But once you’ve, once you’ve earned that, that luxury for yourself, I don’t think there’s anything wrong in indulging it, right? Think it’s
Jon: sees, i, I think it’s seasons of life.
At least for me it’s kind of seasons of life. I mean, you are right when, when you younger in your business journey, you gotta do a whole bunch of different shit that, I mean, you gotta wear a lot of hats and
Mike: that separates a lot of the winners from the losers, right. Is being willing to a lot of. Yep. A lot of the winners, a lot of, I think it just comes down to stamina and being willing to do a lot of the things that the quote unquote losers the people who are, and I just mean people who are not winning.
I don’t even say that as a, as a, a knock on their identity, but the people who are not winning, they generally are just not willing to do a lot of the things that the people who are winning do. And they don’t do it because they love it. They just do it because they have a strong enough reason to do it.
Jon: Yeah. And I wonder, I I, I go back, I, I think a lot about like the stories we tell ourselves or the stories that we hear that resonate and the companies we admire and, you know, it’s, it’s easy to admire. Like Amazon and those, I’ve read all those books about, about, uh, Walmart and Amazon and that kind of thing too.
But to be honest, like some of the companies I admire most are the, are like Craigslist.
Mike: Yeah. What are, what are they? It’s like, it, it is it, is it 50? How many employees? And it’s like a billion dollars in
Jon: revenue or something? Like 10. Like, like nothing. Like nothing. But I mean, that could be, uh, they have like, they get like 500 million page views a month.
It’s like something like that. Yeah. But, but, but you think, I mean, how many, how many Silicon Valley firms would I’ll take, would’ve I take that business over? Yeah. Well, how many Silicon Valley firms must have gone up to them and offered them ungodly sums
Mike: of money? Actually begged not only a offered money, but got down on their knees
Jon: and then, and then you have Craig Gobbled, and then you have Craig who’s like, nah, bro, I’m good.
Like I’m making 20 million bucks a year and I’m just chilling, living my life and I’m providing a great service. And this doesn’t need to be any more than it is. We don’t need to do anything more than what we’re doing right now. Company that I admire most, I keep on my list. Every day, all day. Cassio, they created the first ever digital watch, 1978.
And they got it perfect on day one. 14 bucks tells time, lights up, has a time on an alarm. It’s waterproof and the battery lasts forever. That’s it. Watch doesn’t need to do anything else. And as a result, they’ve been selling the same ugly ass watch for 50 years now. They’ve screwed around and done done stuff like the GShock and all that kind of thing.
But the reality of it is it’s, it’s so perfect in its simplicity and that’s, that’s what I admire. It might not be for you. Right? I’m like, people give me all types of fitness gadgets all over the place. Apple watches and that kind of thing. And I’m like, I don’t use them like I give ’em away. ’cause I just, I don’t want that kind of stuff.
I. Um, so that’s me. But, but those are the, those are the types of companies that I admire. I want to do all of the work that we need to do. That’s what we did. But our software Quick Coach, man, it’s the Casio watch of online training software. I’m building it in a way that I don’t ever expect to have to touch it.
It doesn’t integrate with anything. It doesn’t automate anything. It does exactly what it needs to do for trainers. Nothing more, nothing less, and if you’re looking for higher level automations, that type of thing. But the reality of it is the average personal trainer has 10.4 clients. Basically, no independent trainer has more than 30.
Why do you need something that’s powerful? You don’t. You need something that’s going to save you time, make you look professional, and uh, and so that’s, and, and, but it’s the same type of thing. Like it’s free, it’s a, the software is a hundred percent free. It’s my gift to the industry, like straight up, we’ll process, you know, if people want us to, we have payment processing and, and invoice.
And in there if people wanna process their payments through us, we’ll take a fraction of a percentage. But, uh, but beyond that, like, I don’t know what I’m gonna do with it, but I don’t need anything with it. Yep. Like, think that’s the, you
Mike: can figure out how to monetize it. Uh, uh, bro. A friend. It’s not hard.
I mean, yeah. I mean, a friend of mine, he’s in the digital marketing world, s e o world. Mm-hmm. And he, he, I believe he started with buying an existing tool for ss e o research. Right. Like keyword research. And then what he did is he just, he spent a lot of money too. I mean, he was spending six figures a month for a while.
I, I remember. And he just copied basically all of the useful features in the competitive products, but made his free. And that was the beginning of, is this Neil Patel? Yeah. Yeah. So, yeah,
Jon: I know he put out a free, a free tool like that. Yeah.
Mike: And so, so that his free tool quickly became, uh, about as good as the tools that people were paying a hundred dollars a month.
Jon: A software was better than any of the other platforms already. And, and it
Mike: blew up. Neil’s blew up and then he monetized it, and now it makes a lot of money. Yeah. So, so think
Jon: about, think about even this breakdown. I mean, a, a, our software is already better than anything else out there. Uh, uh, now it doesn’t do as much because, but what it does do, it doesn’t need to.
Um, and a lot of the reason why the other platforms are difficult to use is because they’re cumbersome and bloated. I mean, they’re just, they just do stuff for people who don’t need that stuff. And so there’s a lot of people who do. That’s great. There’s a lot of people who don’t and they don’t currently have an option.
That’s, but he was here was a basic breakdown numbers.
Mike: Well, let’s also, why don’t you quickly tell people where, if they, if they want to see this software, if they’re, let’s just make sure they know where Yeah. Quick, quick coach
Jon: fit is the website. Okay, cool. And so, um, initial, initial prototype that we’ll get it out to, uh, cost about 350,000 bucks to put together.
Okay. Give or take, um, right now, I, I haven’t checked today, but right now there’s just over 11,000 on the wait list, $0 in paid advertising. And so we’ve, we’ve gained, so if you look at this as a pure marketing expense, it’s cost us $38. Again, I don’t do public math, so give or take the change, it’s cost us $38 a lead for 11,000 leads, irrelevant of everything else.
Yeah. Right. To, to market. Everything else that we do because really this is kind of a marketing tool for education and stuff like that. Well, $38 for a lead for a B two B niche is actually really, really good. So alone already I’m doing as good or better than I would probably be doing with cold advertisements.
Then you consider that these people are actually gonna get something that they actually want versus like an ebook or, or a course or a free course or whatever it is that I I, I mean they may or may not want. Right, but, but the odds that they’re gonna spend a lot of time going through, so if you have a cold, if you have like an ebook or whatever that you convince somebody to download with an advertisement, get ’em on an email list.
You do it like, and that email list is 10,000 plus like. You’re doing good. If you’re getting a 15% open rate and a 1% click rate, well, a quick coach wait list has a 78% open rate and a 37% click rate. And these people are gonna be logging into our software every single day because they’re going to use it to manage their clients.
And by the way, inside the software, there’s a Grow Your Business tab where they can talk to us about how we can help them grow in your business. So from a pure marketing expense standpoint, let’s say I spend half a million dollars on this tool. If I were to use that same amount of money on paid advertisement, I mean spend that on paid advertisement in a year.
Easy. What’s my return on investment? Irrelevant of everything else. It’s actually a really interesting kind of, kind of, kind of flip, right? Building a tool for your audience. I’ve surprised more people don’t do it. What about
Mike: red flags? So red flags, when you’re trying to pick a trainer. Yeah, things that should give people pause.
Jon: There was a book by somebody named Upton Sinclair that was written a long time ago, uh, like 1920s, 1930s. It was called. It Can’t Happen Here. And it featured a demigogue who, who rose to become, I think it was governor at the time. It was, it was actually pretty present, um, kind of kind of book. But one of the lines in the book I highlighted and wrote down, and I’ve never forgot it, and the line is, it is difficult to get a man to understand something when his job depends on him not understanding that
I know that quote. It’s a good one.
Jon: And the reason that I bring that up is the number one red flag when choosing a trainer is that trainer has branded him and herself around some sort of dogmatic approach.
Mike: Now, do you mean. Like a branded dogmatic. Oh, the paleo diet. I ke or maybe just lo
Jon: I’m, I’m keto killer 27 on Instagram or whatever.
Right. And nothing against any of these things, but the
Mike: reality of it. So that would mean intermittent fasting as well, just people listening. If they go, that is the one that is the, the way, like the stupid Star
Jon: War show. It still brand is based around these things. There’s a chance that that might be the best thing for you, but there’s also a pretty good chance that there isn’t.
And the, the reality of it is the coach, a coach in branding themself in a, in a dogmatic way and, and building, you know, perhaps reputation around there, whatever they, they literally can’t. Say, no, this isn’t the best one. We’ve seen lots of experiences. This, I mean, we’ve seen, um, uh, what was the famous example?
There was a vegan fitness influencer who basically got told by her doctor that she was like, she was like super ill. And they’re like, yo, you need to eat fish.
Mike: Was that, was that the banana girl who she’d only something like that? I don’t remember seconds. I remember seeing some YouTuber, she’d eat like 30 bananas a day or claim to, or something.
Jon: Something like that. And like there’s nothing, again, there’s nothing wrong with veganism, but once you blamed yourself around that, it becomes very difficult to say, okay, well this is right for me. For you, perhaps a different approach is Right. Stakes every day. Right. I mean, we see this with all the insane, um, like, like Instagram nonsense stuff where it’s basically just, it’s just exhibitors.
I mean, it’s just, it’s it’s What’s the new liver king? Yeah. I wasn’t gonna mention the name, but.
Mike: I mean, I, I’ve, I’ve commented briefly in a, in a q and a. It’s, it’s, so, it’s, it’s clever marketing.
Jon: I’ll say it’s a hundred percent clever marketing. And the interesting thing is that somebody exposed it, um, basically like him and this other guy who also like sells leather and that kind of thing, are actually like, have a company together.
Yeah, of course somebody figured that out. And the other guy is like a slim, like 50 year old guy who is, is sort of more normal. And they, they basically just wanted to like corner both posts the market. Like he’s just got a, he’s, he is got a PO team behind the media team by him. Right. And he just does stunts.
Like that’s all it is. It’s clever marketing. It’s stunts. It’s obviously
Mike: gotten a lot of, I mean it’s obviously contrarian. It is. Oh, for sure. It’s, it’s, it’s, even some of the stuff is kind of grotesque and it’s ridiculous. It’s stunts. It’s stunts. There’s no, his, his work is kind of grotesque and you know, it, it makes you, uh, stop scrolling.
And I guess half of social media now is just that. Right.
Jon: So, I mean, to me that’s a red flag. Like, yeah, like, like this guy’s like, well I feel like I need a little bit more vegetables in my diet. Like, you’re not gonna go to that guy. Um, So that, that to me is the number one red flag is if that trainer, if he or she or they has branded themself based around some sort of dogmatic approach to training or nutrition, I would say it’s a red flag and be very, very cautious.
Again, it does not mean that you shouldn’t hire them. It doesn’t mean that they don’t know what they’re talking about. Absolutely not. It doesn’t even mean that what they’re talking about is bad. It could be very, very good, but understand that in doing that they’ve painted themself into a corner and cannot possibly build a full mental model of the different ways that fitness and lifestyle and nutrition can be a part of your life.
And I think it’s pretty important when coaching people to understand that there’s different ways. For different people.
Mike: Yeah. Yeah. Great point. And I, I was just gonna add that, um, the, the same, uh, same tip would apply to exercise as well. If somebody is saying that one way of training, this is the one way, and it could be, um, it could be a certain, it could be a certain type of programming or it could be a high intensity interval that’s, that’s everything has to be a high intensity interval or, or some mm-hmm.
Derivative of that or so forth. Yeah. Yeah. I mean,
Jon: there’s tons of examples of it. Yeah. Yeah. And it, there’s, there’s, there’s pressure to do it. It’s, it’s interesting because
Mike: marketing, a lot of it is marketing.
Jon: A lot of it is marketing. And you, you see lots of examples of it. And then oftentimes when you go deeper into that person, you realize that that’s a lot more depth.
One example I think, I don’t know the guy, but, but I’ve seen a few of his things, the knees over toes guy. Yeah. And, uh, buddy, a buddy of mine. Oh, is he? Okay, cool. Yeah. And I. The name and everything, you’re just like, oh, what is this shit? Like, more of this, like, what the fuck is? But then, but then, I mean, you go deeper and you realize there’s more depth to it and it’s, you know, there’s a lot of intelligent training and, but uh, on Instagram, it stu Yeah.
That’s how you get attention. Yeah. And then you can decide whether to go deep or not. So again, it’s just a good example of like, it doesn’t necessarily mean that there isn’t something there that could be really beneficial for you. Yeah. It’s just, well,
Mike: that’s the nature of a red flag, right? Yeah. It just means that like, Hmm.
Slow down, look deeper. Yeah. Um, And, and we’re, we’re talking about, uh, likelihoods here, and I would absolutely agree that the likelihood of right, that person not being a good fit goes up when Yes. You, you, you, you see a, a very rigid approach to I think anything related to eating, exercising, living. Totally, totally.
Uh, la last question for you. I know you gotta run, and that is just when, when should people consider quitting? Uh, uh, an in moving on finding somebody else
Jon: with their coach? Yeah.
Mike: Ooh, that’s, I, I don’t,
Jon: dude, I don’t think I’ve been asked that question before. I don’t really know. Gimme, gimme a minute to think about it.
I wanna hear your
Mike: answer. Yeah. I mean, the, I I wanted to pose it to you because, um, people have asked me that. I know also people, they find it uncomfortable, right? Yeah. That, so they, when they start working with somebody, um, they, they then they, they, I’ve seen many people I think, work too long, stick with somebody for too long.
Mm-hmm. Like it was clear at some point that it just was not the right fit and they just kept going. Yeah. And so to, to, to start out, I mean, we could start with the obvious. Um, if, if somebody, if, if they, if they don’t know even the fundamentals, then their, their chances are they’re gonna have a hard time helping you get to where you want to be.
So a lot of people who are looking for a coach, especially these days, so easy to educate yourself online. So if, if a, a trainer or a coach didn’t know, What energy balance is, and they’re giving diet advice. They’re saying, Hey, I’ll make you a, I’ll make you a nutrition plan. And they, and they, they, they couldn’t explain to you what energy balance is, or they couldn’t explain to you, um, the difference between protein, carbs, and fat and how your body uses those, those different macronutrients.
It’s, it’s, uh, I would say it’s that. Is probably, well, certainly I would say you probably shouldn’t get a nutrition plan from that person if you are trying to significantly improve your body composition. Um, because that’s, that’s, that’s pretty fundamental right, to being able to, at least you have to, you don’t, you don’t have to count calories of course, as people know that, uh, you don’t have to track everything you eat, but you do need to understand what a calorie deficit is and, and how to produce one.
Um, so that could be an example. Yeah, if you’re looking weight box, there are many examples of just bad advice that, that, um, that I don’t, I don’t
Jon: know how to. I mean, I understand the principle of a calorie deficit, but I couldn’t tell you how to do macros or anything. That’s just never been an interest of mine.
Mike: coached nutrition. See, but you just said that you don’t coach nutrition though, so Yeah, you, you’re the, you would be the type of trainer who would tell your client, Hey, um, what I specialize in is this exercise programming, or, oh, I could
Jon: program man, uh, I could build programs.
Mike: Exactly. But, but, but you would, you would be okay saying that I’m not your guy for a nutrition plan.
I could, I could teach you a few things, but if you really want to dial in your calories and macros and get things adjusted Yeah. Dah, dah, dah. I know. I’m not your guy for that. Exactly. I’m not that guy. Those, that’s what you would say. Um, so, so, uh, if though, if a, a trainer were to not say that, if they’d say, oh yeah, I got you.
No problem. Uh, here’s your nutrition plan. Right? And then you would find out that they, that they, they, they don’t. No. Again, even like, you know, nutrition 1 0 1, then that could be an issue. Yeah, that’s, that’s definitely a red flag, right? Because now you have to wonder what else do they not know? And if you’re, if you’re that, that client, uh, there’s a lot of unknown unknowns.
That’s the problem. Right? You don’t know what you don’t know, and you’re hoping the expert knows. And now you have to wonder, and again, it comes down to, to, to likelihoods. What we’re trying to do here, if we’re a potential, if we’re a client, is we’re just trying to increase our chances of getting somebody who can help us get to our goal effectively and efficiently as much as we can.
Right. And, um, so that, that would be one, um, obviously results. I think, uh, if it, what are your thoughts on. If somebody’s not seeing results in a certain timeframe, for example. Um, but you did make a good point earlier in this interview that if you’re new, you can do pretty much anything and, and see results.
Um, so it’s, it’s really hard to not give results. However, I’ll add an asterisk and then give the mic back to you is fat, fat loss. I don’t wanna hijack the conversation. I’m gonna, I get, I get, I get hate. Uh, I get comments every, every interview. Uh, I mean some interviews, I swear I’m so good. Like I don’t, I don’t say much of anything.
I just ask my questions and I just, I just acknowledge and ask the next question and I’ll still get comments. Oh, you interrupt guests too much and you hijack the conversation. Um, but anyways, with fat loss in particular, right? Yeah. That’s, that’s something where you can get results quickly and just doing effective workouts is not enough.
Jon: The, the question to me is what the client is after too. Mm-hmm. The majority of my clients, for the eight years that I trained in person, did not have major physicals. You know, they were happy to, to look a little bit better, but they were largely health related. Functional related. I mean, they wanted to feel sexier for sure, but it wasn’t like I need to lose 30 pounds.
And I actually think the majority of personal training clients are not weight loss or muscle gain clients. Like, like they’re not, they’re not gonna hold a trainer. They’re not actually there for that. They, they may enter in and hire a trainer and say, I wanna put on five pounds or 10 pounds muscle, because their, their understanding going into the gym or wherever they’re talking to the trainer is like, this is what I should be asking for.
Like, like if you don’t know, if, if you go into a, a conversation with somebody who’s an expert in that thing, everybody, myself included, kind of starts with what they know when says what they feel like they should say that’s correct in that situation. And so it’s the trainer’s job to ask why, why do you wanna do that?
Okay. What would that mean to you? Oh, do you remember a time when you felt that way? Oh, was there anybody else there? Well, all of a sudden now, Susie. Who told me she wanted to lose 10 pounds when she came into the gym is now talking to me about her real goal, which is to feel the way that she felt when she wore a black dress with, on a cruise with her husband when he couldn’t keep her hands off of her.
And she still has that black dress and she wants to fit into it. Well, who gives a shit what Susie weighs because you and I both know that she’s gonna fit into that dress, probably weighing the same amount, but with a bit different body composition, which is exactly what happened. Susie’s a real person with her name changed, and so, so I, I mean, that’s not like, like when to fire a trainer or whatever it is, but I, I think it’s important as a client to say, okay, well, like what am I, what am I really.
After. Um, and how can I
Mike: make sure, and then maybe what’s a reasonable expectation of what it’s gonna take to achieve that? Right. And then, um, ’cause, ’cause many people, they think they are, quote unquote, not making progress when they’re actually doing quite well. They just have the wrong ex tons of progress.
Yeah. They just have the wrong expectations. Often because of social media, because of stuff they see on social media.
Jon: It’s, it’s crazy to me. I mean, even my own, my own physique, I’ll train so hard and I’ll be like, oh, I’m not making any gains. And then I’ll have like a little period where I’m like, no, train it a bit.
And I wake up in the morning, I’m like, whoa, how’d that come from? You know? That’s pretty cool. Um, two, two, like, to me times though, when you should immediately, like I’ve got a few non-negotiables with anybody I work with and, um, and, and honesty and punctuality are the two. And, uh, so the minute that anybody, I, I believe that.
You should be 100% honest in all of your dealings every single day, no matter what the situation is. No white lies, no nothing. And I try to do that. I catch myself doing white lies to, in my mind, protect other people. And I hate when I do that and I’ll, I’ll try to self-reflect on it, but the minute that anybody is dishonest in any way, cut ties immediately, there’s just no question.
I give all of my staff so much leniency, so much. But the minute that they, uh, in any way, shape or form dishonest, it’s an immediate fire. And it’s only happened a few times, but, but honesty number one. Um, punctuality, perhaps I’m a little bit far over the line on this one, but I think punctuality is. One of the top three, one of the top important traits for people to have for sure, successful people.
Every successful person I know is punctual, and maybe that’s just my upbringing as a personal trainer. I mean, you just have to be punctual like you have to be on time. But if you want other people to respect you and your time, you’ve gotta be punctual. You’ve gotta respect their time. It doesn’t mean that stuff doesn’t come up and you might be late, but you try to get ahead of it.
You try to send a message ahead of time and say, Hey, there’s a chance I might be running late to this. I have something before I can’t get out of. Hopefully I’ll be there on time. But I wanted to let you know in advance if you’d like to reschedule for a time when I can be 100%. I’ll be punctual. Like get ahead of it that way if you can.
And so to me, if a trainer is not punctual and if a trainer is dishonest, I. Cut ties immediately. They are, they are immediately red flags for the type of posting that that posting is.
Mike: Great tips. Yeah. I mean, the dishon the, the honesty point. Um, for me as a, as a, if I were thinking as a client, absolutely the punctuality, uh, I maybe.
Mm. I mean, yeah, would think I, it would, it would really annoy me. It, it personally, it really would annoy me because I probably like you, um, I, I, I try to spend my time carefully and I try not to waste time, which is like,
Jon: do what you say you’re gonna do. I’ll tell you an example and then I gotta go. Yeah, yeah.
I was in Arizona for a month and a half in, in January and February. ’cause my parents are in Arizona for the winters and I wanted to be close to them. So we, we lived in Arizona for a bit and I, I got together a group of local fitness pros in Phoenix and Scottsdale and stuff like that to go for a hike, you know, instead of like bringing people together, we’d go for a meal.
I was like, Hey, let’s just go for a hike. So yeah, it was like 15, 20 of us. It was super fun. And there was one guy. I didn’t know, you know, but I, I, I noticed on Twitter, he, uh, he was from Scottsdale, so I shot him a message on Twitter. I was like, Hey man, we’re, we’re getting together. And I knew that he followed the P T D C and stuff like that.
Like, he followed my website. And so I sent a message like, Hey man, we’re getting together, you know, for, for a hike on this day. Uh, if you’re free, would love for you to join us. You know, it’s just a bunch of, bunch of local fitness people getting together. He’s like, yeah, man, that sounds awesome. I was like, cool.
What’s your number? I’ll send you a a a, you know, I’ll put you on, I had a text message list, right? I’ll send you a text. And I, and he sent me his phone number and I sent him a text, never heard from him. And then the day of the hike and, and, and the text, like, not everybody got back. Like, I didn’t ask people to get back.
In fact, I said, don’t respond to this mass text. If you need anything, you know, respond to me personally. Just show up. I’ll see you there. And, and the day of he posts his schedule, he is like, oh, it’s gonna be a busy day. And right in the time when we were supposed to go hiking is his like ice bath. And I was just, You have just shown me that I want nothing to do with you for the rest of your life.
And I, and I even sent him a message, like, I, like, I responded to it and I was like, so I guess you’re not coming from the hike. Like, I don’t give a shit. Tell me no or don’t respond. Right? But if you say you are going to do something, people make plans with you in mind now. I mean, I didn’t make plans. I was looking forward to meeting him, but I, if I ever come across this person again, I’ll be cordial, but I will never go outta my way to serve this person in the future.
Because to me, there were very, it’s such a great disrespect to say that you’re gonna do something. To somebody and then just ignore it.
Mike: I think it just highlights the importance of manners. Yeah. It, it, it really does. And, and obviously he would say, oh, it’s not a big deal. You know, he, he, he wouldn’t consider things like that a big deal.
Maybe even if people do that to him, he doesn’t care. But yeah, I don’t know. I don’t know what it’s, but the point, the point that I’m making though is, um, that, that different people perceive things differently and manners are extremely important. And, um, and this point of punctuality I think is, that’s manners 1 0 1.
And, and if, and this point of, uh, Of doing what you say. Yeah. You are going to do that is Manners 1 0 1, and that’s also being a say, being dependable person. Well, we say no, like, well, that, that would, that would
Jon: then be, I have so much respect for people who say no to me. Yeah. Yeah.
Mike: I mean, so much respect. If, if he would’ve just said no, then he is doing what he says.
Right. He said that he’s not gonna go and he doesn’t go, and he, uh, totally fine. And yeah, so I, I, I totally agree that, um, and then, and then this other point also just speaks to, uh, just reliability, dependability and in, in, in work. That, to me, just as honesty, I totally agree with you. That’s a non-negotiable.
This point of doing what you say you are going to do is also a non-negotiable for me. Um, I, I would, would never work closely. Yeah. With somebody who is not, I mean, you’ve said no
Jon: a few times. I sent you a message, say, Hey, we’re doing this thing. Do you want to join up? And you said, no, man, that’s not something that.
Is important to me right now, but I wish you the best. Cool dude. Yep. Let’s talk again soon. Yep. It’s fine. I said no to you about, yeah, I think you asked me to, and I don’t take it personally. I know you don’t at all promote Legion too, and I was just like, I’m just not doing that kind of thing right now.
Mike: it’s fine. Exactly.
Jon: I’m not gonna say yes and then never send out the link. ’cause I know that if I say I’m gonna promote it, your team will probably put together some materials for me and I’m, I’m not gonna use them, so, might be disrespectful.
Mike: Yep. Yeah, it’s, uh, I know you gotta go, but last, last little, little, uh, little peeve that is, is similar to this, I’m sure you’ve experienced this, where people will introduce you to somebody, oh, you should talk to this person.
You should do an interview with this person. And then in the, so in the, in the email thread. They’re like, oh yeah, sounds great. You know, Hey Mike, just, just reach out to me. We’d love to do it. Reach out to them. Never hear back. Oh, yeah. On principle, on principle follow up like three times just to be annoying and get no response every time.
I love it. It’s happened, it’s happened quite a few times in, in certain peoples network.
Jon: The problem is with the person making the, making the introduction
Mike: though. No, I know, I know, I know. It’s the wrong way to do it. It’s the wrong way to do
Jon: it. Yeah. Like, like what I’ll do, like I was introduced to somebody
Mike: that’s with watch.
I’ve, I’ve got, I’ve, I’ve also gotten it though, doing it the right way, where they actually asked the person and so the reason why the person said yes to their. Proposition to be introduced to me is they wanted to maintain maximally good relations with our mutual friends, so to speak. I think that’s, I think
Jon: that’s bullshit though.
I totally agree. It’s total bullshit. I said to people, I’ve said to friends of mine, like, I’m not, but I,
Mike: I get a point now to go back to the mutual friend. I go back to the mutual friend when that happens and just tell them, Hey, by the way, that person totally flaked out. And they’re like, really? Because he sounded so excited when he talked to me.
And I’m like, yeah, he’s just, he’s just trying to keep you buttered up because he probably wants something from you at some point, but just know that that person is full of shit. Just know that,
fuck that. That’s, that’s, tell me, tell me how you really think about that. Yeah, that, that’s, it’s just, that’s just pathetic. Alright. I gotta go anyway. I know you gotta go. Um, why don’t, why don’t we just wrap up quickly where people can find you in your work. Um, and, and you already mentioned the software, so they, you know, quick coach.fit.
Jon: Other than that, Instagram’s the best place right now. It’s at, it’s Coach Goodman on Instagram. Um, and then Quick Coach Fit is is the software if you’re interested in that. Cool.
Mike: Thank you brother. You got it buddy. Well, I hope you liked this episode. I hope you found it helpful. And if you did subscribe to the show because it makes sure that you don’t miss new episodes.
And it also helps me because it increases the rankings of the show a little bit, which of course then makes it a little bit more easily found by other people who may like it just as much as you. And if you didn’t like something about this episode or about the show in general, or if you have, uh, ideas or suggestions or just feedback to share, shoot me an email, [email protected], muscle f o r life.com, and let me know what I could do better or just, uh, what your thoughts are about maybe what you’d like to see me do in the future.
I read everything myself. I’m always looking for new ideas and constructive feedback. So thanks again for listening to this episode, and I hope to hear from you soon.