A Fitness Business Post by Chris McCombs
Hey there, hope you’re doin’ awesome
Recently two of my friends, Paul Reddick and Zach Even-Esh both did guest posts here on my blog about the rules they follow in their businesses
Well here’s a few of my own rules ( some are the same or very similar to Zach and Pauls rules, while some are VERY different)…
But first, a quick warning…
IMPORTANT: Now, I realize that some of these rules might make me some enemies ( that’s ok, there’s plenty of people who don’t like me or what I do )… and some of these rules might tick people off, make me seem selfish, arrogant, self-centered or greedy.
So be it…
These rules help me live by my own values, doin’ what I love, providing the ideal life for my family, helping as many people as possible with as few headaches as possible, and allow me to get a TON of stuff done in very little time… so I can spend the rest of my time with my family, enjoying my hobbies and getting all I can out of this life.
I’m not suggesting that you adapt these same rules, I’m just telling you what works for me.
That said, let’s jump in….
Batch Process - I put similar tasks together, this just makes me so much more damn productive, example…
- Phone calls are done back-to-back, I schedule all calls on Tues and/or Thur, these include coaching calls, recorded calls for info-products and strategy/networking calls. If a potential coaching client can’t do calls on Tues or Thur, and HAS to do it on another day, I’m not the coach for them – and no amount of money ( well maybe millions) is worth scheduling calls on other days for me
- Keep phone on silent when working - I can’t stand be interrupted by a ringing phone, when I’m working the phone is on silent, and then I’ll simply return any calls all at once ( usually on the nearest Tues or Thur ) – this ticks a few people off once in awhile, but if they can’t deal with it there’s simply no room for them in my life
- Film videos back to back
- Check all emails at once, and then don’t even look at my inbox until the next time I’m ready to go through them all
With The ***Exception of Emails from Coaching Clients***, If Someone Sends An Email That Requires More Than 3 Sentences to Answer, Unless It’s of CRITICAL Importance, Ignore It - My philosophy with emails is get in and get out, like pulling a bank heist or something
Now I may send an email with more than a few sentences, but I don’t wanna have to provide an answer via email to something that requires more than about 60 seconds
( The exception like I said is my coaching clients, sometimes my answers to their questions end up being damn near essays… but they pay me good money for precise answers, so that’s what I provide)
Keep a Balance in Life Between
- Family and social life
- Spiritual path
I can tend to be pretty OCD, so living by this one is important and PROBABLY the most challenging rule of them all for me for me to follow
Trust me, I’ve let things get WAY outta balance before… for three years I ate like shit and hardly touched a weight cuz I was SOOO focused on business, that I completely neglected health and fitness ( EVEN though I’m in the fitness biz) - Side Note: I did end up building two kick ass business during this period… I just got fat as shit doing it
And I’ve let my spiritual path go before as well, and wouldn’t ya know it, before long I was trying to control things, was worried about stuff and was pretty close to turning back into a full-time stoner… thank GOD I got back on the right path
No Boneheads – If I don’t like a person or don’t like dealing with them, they’re out… PERIOD ( Paul and Zach have this same rule)
Life is to short for time vampires, energy suckers, complainers, the dishonest and shady, the needy, the clingy, non-action takers, blamers, haters and anyone else who brings down the quality of my day
Like The Great Dan Kennedy says, “If I wake up three days in a row thinkin’ about you, and I AIN’T sleeping with ya, you gotta go”
Only Enter Into WIN/WIN Relationships And ONLY With People I Like - ( Similar to the last one)
- If a relationship isn’t win/win, then huge problems will arise, nuff said
Look for the Good in EVERY Situation – it’s there, this one is HUGE
Some people are always looking for something to be upset about, without gettin’ too woo-woo on ya, I’m always looking for stuff to be happy about, and what good can come out of things that appear negative at first
Some of my seemingly biggest nightmares and curses have turned out to be my greatest gifts and assets…. weird how that works.
Keep Karma in Mind at All Times – What comes around goes around, I have enough proof of this in my life I need no more convincing
Invest Time and Money in Info-Products, Hire Coaches and Mentors, Read Books and Learn my Ass Off About Anything that I Enjoy and Can Get Me to Where I Want to Go in Life – I LOVE that we live in a day and age where anything I wanna learn to do I can
Spending time and money on info-products and then applying what I learn has been one of the biggest factors of my current success.
Know the Right People – A lot of what makes up success in life is who you know, in fact that’s one of the big reasons me and Bedros are making a friggin’ documentary of the entire internet marketing sub-culture… it’s like putting the ol’ rolodex on steroids
We’re now friends with a ton of dudes who are very in-demand and keep a necessary wall up between them and the rest of the industry
Focus on the Big-Picture High Leverage Activities that can get me where I want to go, outsource the rest
I spend most of my work time on…
- Creating Copy
- Networking with the right people
- List Building
- Studying Info-Products
Focus on my Strengths and Things I Enjoy – If I’m not good at it, unless I’m in the early learning stages and REALLY wanna get good at it, I have someone else do it… someone who IS good at it
Hire People Smarter Than Me - Everyone who works for me is MUCH MUCH smarter than me in what they do, if I tried to do what they did I would end up making a HUGE mess, breaking everything and losing my mind… I’m only good at a few things ( most of us are like this)… so those are the things I do… the rest goes to people who are good at THOSE things…
Maximum Profit, Minimum Hassle – Only Take on Projects that Fit Into My Lifestyle Scheme – ( Zach has this same rule) - If a project doesn’t fit into my life plans, I won’t touch it, money doesn’t matter here
We have people emailing and calling in like crazy trying to me to take on projects, do joint ventures, promote their stuff… whatever… and the answer is almost always no, and my staff is trained to tell the person “no” right then and there
And when it’s a friend, I turn them down personally. More money is not what I value, and almost every project or joint venture that comes my way would mean nothing more to that than me
Not that I couldn’t make a KILLING taking them on… but most would complicate life, take my eye off the ball and take AWAY from my lifestyle… so with the exception of about once a year, these are turned out… pretty much daily.
Only Take on Projects That Are In Line With My Current Values and Fulfill Me Beyond Just The Money – This ties into the last one… a project must fulfill me in some way BESIDE just money… too many people spend their life JUST chasing a buck, to me, that’s no way to live
For me, the money must be their, but it should fulfill me personally, be fun, help a lot of people, and build in be in line with my current brand and brand equity.
Only Create Products and Services That Fit Into My Business Model and Build My Brand - ( Ties into the last one) – I pretty much only create products and services that are a good match for my current list ( trainers) – that way it all compliments eachother… easy to go deep in one more than narrow in a bunch
Be Honest About My Flaws and Attract ONLY The Kinds of Customers and Clients I Want to Deal With – Be Myself - Only deal with people who are cool… if they freak out cuz I swear a little, joke around too much or have done time in my twenties for trafficking marijuana, they’re simply NOT my ideal audience, so I PURPOSELY offend and repel them as soon as possible, that way I’ll only work with the cool and fun clients / customers… the uptight ones just aren’t for me… NOT that they’re bad people, just a bad match for me
And I’d rather let people know where I stand right outta the gate, so there’s no surprises later… plus it’s too hard to hide things these days, I’d rather people hear my story from me
Say “No” More Than “Yes” - Knowing what to turn down is very important, and 99% of stuff in life falls into this category
Example, I can’t stand moving, and when I move, I hire a moving company
Once in awhile a close friend will ask me to help them move, the answer is always “no”, HOWEVER, I do offer to pitch in a few hundred bucks to help them get a moving company or a day laborer or two
Don’t Act Like I Know the Answer If I Don’t – Be WILLING To Admit When I Don’t Know – Be willing to admit that I don’t know the answer to something is so damn much more of a peaceful way to live than trying to be a know-it-all
Being in the guru biz a lot of people expect me to have the answers to everything, and somethings I know A TON about… but there’s a million times as many things that I have the slightest clue on
Much easier to admit it, then hide it, and give them some bullshit answer that doesn’t help them
Match Every Act of Boasting with a Joke Made at the Expense of Self – Being in the expert business / guru business.. whatever you call it ( trainers are in that business too by the way)... I need to blow my horn sometimes about the incredible results I get for my coaching clients and customers, HOWEVER, I also need to joke about my flaws and what a knucklehead I can be sometimes… cuz if I don’t, then the boasting will come off too strong… there needs to be a balance.
To be followed one must be liked, but no one likes a braggart, so I balance the “showcasing the amazing things I’ve done for my clients and customers” with busting my own balls… HUGE LESSON here
***Have Fun - If I don’t enjoy it, don’t do it ( unless required by law or something – like Taxes, DMV, etc)
Be Able to Take Off 3 – 6 Months AT ANY TIME Within 24 – 72 Hours of Wanting To WITHOUT It Negatively Effecting My Income - Call me weird but I like that kind of freedom, and sometimes outta the blue I decide to take months off just cuz I feel like it…. I simply let everyone working for me know the deal, preload the blog and email management system with posts and emails and get outta dodge
That said, I still do work with coaching clients via email when I take months off, but all in all that ends up taking less than 8 – 12 hours a MONTH tops
With RARE Exceptions for Mastermind Groups and Seminars Schedule Nothing on Fridays, Saturdays or Sundays ( except family and social stuff ) – I can’t stand HAVING to do something Friday through Sunday, if something comes up and I want to do it, fine… but that’s cuz I WANT TO IT in the moment.
With the exception of lifting on Friday, cardio on Sat and Sun, date night with my wife and some cool stuff to do with my kids, I keep these days as open as possible… I guess you could say I like 3 day weekend EVERY week
Now I’m not saying I don’t work on those days, I do, when I want to and it’s spontaneous and don’t HAVE TO… like right now it’s Sunday night about 9:30pm, and I just decided outta the blue to do this blog post cuz’ it sounded like fun ( For me blogging is fun, I’m weird like that… I dig knowing that thousands of trainers will be reading this, kinda pumps me up)
With SUPER Rare Exception – Schedule NOTHING Before Noon - I like to wake up at 10:30 or 11… so if I schedule something before noon it throws me off, so I don’t do it besides maybe 2 to 3 times a year when it’s unavoidable – like a seminar or something
Usually I wake up around 10:30 or so, spend a little time saying “good morning” to my daughters, eat breakfast and check emails, check in with my assistant Del, lift weights, and come back to the home office about 2pm to start my work day
Have Less Than 3 Things On My To-List Each Day – The Rest Goes to Someone Else - Having a ton of stuff to do stresses me out, so I make a huge outsource list that goes to my assistants, trainers, appt setters, overseas workers etc .. and then I’ll have 1-3 things to do myself… I like to keep it simple
NEVER Work For Anyone Else – Nothing against working for someone else, and I have some amazing people working for me, many MUCH smarter than I am, but I’ve learned something about myself, I am COMPLETELY unemployable… I couldn’t stand any boss I ever had, and most of them we’re actually pretty cool, just didn’t like being told what to do or making someone else rich… so I work hard to never have a job
Don’t Trade Hours for Dollars, Create SYSTEMS That Make Money – Self Explanatory… it’s actually why I stopped training ( not that you should though… if you like training, by all means train ) – I just didn’t want to trade hours for dollars anymore, so I systematized things and hired a bunch of other trainers to do the training for me… and went on to create a ton of info products that can sell online even while I’m sleeping
I love waking up and seeing all the money that came in while I slept from the systems I created
Have Multiple Streams of Income – I have about 20 streams of income and wouldn’t have it any other way… it just helps me sleep good at night
There’s personal training, in-home training, boot camps, affiliate products, lots of different info-products, masterminds, coaching programs, a web design service, link building, and on and on and on.
Be an Entrepreneur – Not a Manager or Technician – If you’ve read The Emyth by Michael Gerber then you know what I’m talking about, if you HAVEN’T read it, do yourself a HUGE favor and read it ASAP
Everyone Pays First – I Speak To No One With Questions About Their Business on The Phone Or Via Email Unless They’re a Paid Coaching Client ( or a close personal friend ) - If I didn’t live by this rule I’d spend an average of 25 hours a day helping people for free and wouldn’t have time for what’s important to me and my family, this seemingly selfish rule has enhanced my life tenfold
Plus, it’s not fair to my paid coaching clients for me to give away the same thing they pay for
Also, if someone isn’t willing to pay for something, they most likely don’t value it and won’t take action on it. Years ago, I couldn’t afford coaches and high level info products, but I knew I needed them to learn all the business and internet marketing stuff I wanted to learn, so I maxed out credit cards and took out loans to make it happen.
Today, investing in those programs have paid themselves off literally thousands of times over.
Now… before you call me a rude and selfish SOB, keep in mind, I DO give away free content, right here on the blog, in fact I spend a lot of time creating content that I charge absolutely nothing for, but this way I can do a post that helps thousands of trainers at one time, instead of just one at a time on the phone or via email, which isn’t time well spent, unless they’re willing to invest in it.
We get people asking for free help all the time, and while I feel bad saying no, I simply have to, otherwise I wouldn’t have time for much else
If it’s Important To ME – Then It’s IMPORTANT - Quite simply time is precious, so I’m selfish with it, not that I don’t help other people without asking anything in return sometimes – cuz I do, but I generally keep that to myself
Miserable people are always pleasing others
I live by my own values and feel very fulfilled cuz of it
Watch the Majority and Do the Opposite - Most people are broke, bored, miserable and have bought into the big lies society has taught them their entire life without questioning it for one second
If you watch what 99% of people do and do the opposite, you’ll almost always be on the right path
No Commute - Well, I guess that’s not entirely true, I DO commute, about 40 feet from the master bedroom to the home office
When Working – Work FAST – When I work I do so with speed… if I decide I wanna launch something I just do it
Some products sell like CRAZY, and some hardly sell at all ( most do pretty good though) – but it’s quicker for me to just bust out the product and salespage and push send then it is to figure out if it will sell or not
They can’t ALL be winners, look at Metallica… their first 4 or 5 albums kicked unparalleled ass – then they put out some really friggin’ weak ones, and their latest ‘Death Magnetic’ kicks ass
Same with Eminem, while I love his new one, and his first few were awesome, the last two ( before the new one) were both pretty weak IMO… like I said, they can’t all be winners… move foward anyway.
If you wait for things to be perfect, you’ll never get anything done
Here’s an example of a few products of mine that DIDN’T sell many copies ( less than 100 each)…
- Time Management for Trainers ( which surprised me cuz’ “not having enough time to get everything done” was a HUGE problem for trainers when I ran surveys )
- Low Cost Client Getting
- No Cost Client Getting
- Link Building Service for Trainers
While they’re all good products – they weren’t filling a huge enough perceived need in my marketplace ( and/or the perception wasn’t there that they’re filling that need powerfully enough … probably due to rushing the salescopy in some cases)
And here’s some products of mine that SELL LIKE CRAZY… and most of these continue to do so on a regular basis… mostly just from being on my products page and in random blog posts…
- Fitness Blogging Profits
- Client Retention Blueprint
- One Year Coaching and Mentoring
- Group Training Exploder
- Referral Marketing Blueprint
- Six Figure Trainer Club
- Kick Back Lifestyle Club
- Market Annihilator
- Market Annihilator Simple
- Fitness Media Profits
And a few other products and services are somewhere in the middle
I’d of thought “No Cost Client Getting” would sell like crazy, but that’s just not the case
So I just work fast, make mistakes, learn and keep going
Blast and Cruise – When I feel like it, work my ASS OFF, that way when I don’t feel like it, I can chill, unlike Hochman, who enjoys 22 hour work days for years on end, I LOVE taking time off
For about 1/3rd of the year I like to to hang out and not do any business at all, but when I come back, I kick major ass every time, and create new money making systems that re-assure I never have to work a job
I LOVE what I do, but there’s other stuff I love to do as well, like lift weights, go to the movies, read, hang out with my wife and kids, ride my Harley and so on.
If I’m Not Pissing Some People Off, I’m Doing Something Wrong – Living by your own values will always make a few people mad, and that’s their problem not mine.
Besides, 10% of people are always looking for something to mad at anyway… so no matter what I do, the haters will always be there.
Also, to build a tribe of followers that love you, you need to have a strong voice and stand for something – you simply can’t avoid saying things that some people will disagree with about and hold against you
Trying to please everyone leads to boredom and a day job… no thanks
If They Pay They Matter, If They Don’t Their Opinion DOES NOT MATTER - Almost every complaint we get about the way I market myself is from NON-customers ( and usually it’s just negative put downs about how offensive the blog is, how “group training” is ruining the industry, how I joke around too much, or how’s they’d NEVER take advice from an ex-convict )
When we get feedback from PAYING CUSTOMERS, we treat it completely differently, and often times we learn from it, cuz’ it’s usually constructive and not just bickering, judging or complaining
Now I do care what my loyal blog readers think, but the funny thing is, almost every die-hard reader is a paying customer as well.
Customers MUST Feel Cared Genuinely Cared About – This is huge, I truly care that ALL my customers get the life they want, and that the info I provide helps them get there
Be Flexible, and When My GUT Tells Me, Break The Rules and Write Some New Ones – Sometimes the rules change, but not often.
As a wise man once said, the only thing that doesn’t change, is change itself
Genuinely Compliment Others as Often As Possible – on that note…
Well, there ya have it… my rules o’ doin’ biz
I’d love to hear your comments below, and maybe some of your own rules