Big Chris’s Rules o’ Bizness

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
  • Fitness
  • Business

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…

  • Blogging
  • Creating Copy
  • Networking with the right people
  • List Building
  • Strategizing
  • 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…

Smart people.

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)…

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…

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

Comments

  1. Chris, this post was bad-ass.
    This was one of the best blog posts I’ve ever read.
    Thanks for sharing man!

  2. Thats another great post Chris. your right about if you change a morning routine it can mess up your day I have found that alot recently .

    Was also surprised by which of your products sold well and which didn’t

  3. Chris, your style rocks. Your products rock. I looking forward to meeting you to thank you in person for your insight and advice. Keep killing it buddy, you deserve every bit of the success you’ve created for yourself. Cheers from Australia – your mate Darren.

  4. Lisa DeRosa says:

    I’m starting my own business and you just confirmed that my decision to be my OWN boss is the right one. I “amen” ed you on every point except the sleeping late. So, if my venture doesnt work out, can I work for you?? I’ll take the early morning shift!!!

  5. Very nice set of rules chris. As someone to model off you do pretty well

  6. Wicked Kick AS$ post!

    I need my training business to get there.

    I think there is an info product coming now – finally!

  7. Awesome post chris! I love it. I think about what my life would be like if I could just have more time to do it. I just started to get my bootcamp off the ground so we’re not at the point of hiring yet, but when we do…man I’ll feel much better. I can’t wait to launch our first info product. I think that will make a huge difference. Anyway, I appreciate you and thank you for your dedication to our industry. You’re changing lives everyday and that’s the coolest thing anyone could ever do :)

  8. right on time as usual Chris!

  9. That’s a ton of info Chris, need to read it all again. Have fun!

  10. I love the whole breakdown of the blog….it’s taken me a few years to finally have something close to “my own schedule”…now I have that and simply need to get the $$$$ aspect where it should be.

    This was a great reminder and teacher of how to really create balance…thanks for sharing.

  11. Heather says:

    I’m a die-hard blog reader but not a paying customer (yet) and I think your advice is Great and I love knowing your background with trafficking because it makes you…real, and the advice isn’t coming from 8 years studying at a top-notch school (no offense, but those people just seem like they feel better than me) which means a lot to me as I’m a “real” person too. I LOVE your blog, keep it up, keep makin jokes, it’s what keeps me coming back to read!

  12. Chris, I’m very new to reading your blog, and very fascinated by the few I’ve read! I’d love to work to the same type of rules that you do, but sadly at the moment, I’m stuck in a kind of no-man’s land, training unreliable clients at 6.30am in the middle of winter, struggling to get money out of people etc :-( However, I’ve learned a lot by simply reading your posts….lots of ideas mulling around in my head, and I need to make definate plans to get rid of the boneheads in my life, and only work with people I like who are willing to put in the effort, and at approproiate times! I am also a mother of three, and have found that sometimes my family has been sacrificed to attend to clients….don’t want to do that anymore:-( Will definately put some changes in effect, no amount of money is worth putting up with some things I have put up with!!! (even if I do need the money).

    Thank you for your honesty,sharing and sense of humour….I sense that you are a good and caring person underneath your gruff exterior hehe….

  13. Chris,
    It is inspiring that you have remade your life into what you want! Congratulations on your focus and determination. I hope that the trainers reading this blog posting will take that nugget away and think how they can start implementing it into their life. They may or may not ever have the chopper but they need to find what is important to them and go for it!That is what I strive for every day with my businesses!

  14. Absolutely fantastic post man. Loved every one of them!

    Another massive thing you do incredibly well is out of the box thinking – Everything you write about and teach can be applied to all different types of businesses, not just fitness. They are like universal laws for business & life.

    Cool pics btw!

    Ant :-)

  15. Chris, Great insights. I appreciate you sharing so many good ideas. We don’t have a ton in common, but I can sure learn alot from your attitude and business experience. Thanks.

  16. Good stuff Chris, I like it! All about those multiple streams of income! Trying to get rockin on creating those as we speak!

    John

  17. Katherine Chance says:

    I agree with you 100%. I use to give away free free free everything. I have found now that MOST of those people were opportunistic vampires. I still have a sincere desire to help others but am much more selective of my time and energy now.

  18. One simple piece of advice that saves tons of time – the comment about attacking email like a bank robbery – good stuff!

    Lots of other great advice too.

    Thanks,

    John

  19. Chris Great Post. I have about 5 or 6 of your products and they
    all rock! Thanks for everything.

  20. Awesome, above board post. Best ever–full of gold nuggets. Awesome.
    Randy

  21. Thanks so much for this great blog post. It shows that you have studied a lot and implemented what you’ve learned. Some of these suggestions I have wanted to do myself but haven’t yet. It’s great to hear an example of these ideas working for someone. I can’t wait until I can take 3 months off at the drop of a hat!

  22. Great post. Gaining the knowledge to make this happen is just part of the battle the rest is actually making what you know about happen.

  23. Great Job Chris!
    Being a coaching client and reading Your Fitness Blogging Profits have been the best investment in my business ever!
    Thanks for everything buddy!
    Steve

  24. Chris can I be like you when I grow up man? I agree with most of the stuff you wrote, I’m so tired of the uptight 20 hours working, phd fitness marketers… You give me hope, now I know that I CAN be successful AND have a life too! And make a difference here in Athens Greece where most of this stuff is unheard of! Keep up the good work man, I’m proud of you and me being around you!

  25. Awesome Post! Spending the time and money on your coaching program has been one of the biggest factors in my success and seo knowledge.

  26. Chris-
    I have been following you for a while and this is probably my favorite post to date! It is pretty much an info product in itself. Your products have changed my business and life.
    Thank you.
    Monty

  27. Hey Big Chris
    Awesome post! I’ve been thinking about people I know who don’t want to pay for info products and download them for free. Then they brag to me about having those killer info products but they never used them. They’re still broke after a year! And you just nailed it. People who don’t pay just don’t value the products.

    And you’re not selfish! You gave out so many free stuff when I signed up for your Fitness Blogging Profits.

    Thanks again Chris! You been such an inspiration! I couldn’t gone this far without your products. BTW, I paid for them! LOL.

  28. Awesome Post!This is very useful for my fitness business!Thank you for sharing your business points.

  29. Right on Dude!

  30. Chris,

    Thanks for the tips and reminders.

    Excellent info!

    Rick Kaselj of ExercisesForInjuries.com

  31. Great post, I love your principles and I have learned a ton from this one post. Thanks for being real, thats what has made me continue to buy from you and pick you as my coach.

  32. Awesome post Big Chris. Your coaching and mentoring has definitely had a HUGE impact on my business and my life. THANK YOU

  33. Very awesome blog man tons of quality content rock on chris

  34. Damn SON, that was awesome!!!! MUCH love dude, miss ya and talk lata!!

    –Z–

  35. Chris, this is one of your best posts ever. You should turn this post into a book, seriously. Kudos.

  36. Awesome post dude. BTW, I bought Time Management for Trainers, kick ass course. I’m glad you put it out there, even if it didn’t sell as well.

  37. Hey Chris, great seeing you the other day, and I really admire this post.
    It’s like the Chris McCombs Declaration of Independence.
    Virtues to live and die by.

    All the best home slice.
    talk soon,
    E-v-a-n

  38. Big Chris,Ive only been tuned into KBL over the last couple of weeks. This post is an awesome read. Thanks bro!

    RV

  39. You really need to consider your self as the master of everything until that you can not do anything. Consider you know everything and let other know that to.

Speak Your Mind

*

* Results are not typical. Advertised results are only typical of people who worked their tails off and followed every one of the fitness marketing strategies and personal training tips that I outline on my site to really explode their fitness business. Also, if you click on a link on my site to someone else's product, there's a good chance I'm makin' a profit off of it, probably even a steep one.