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Phil Graham: The Magic of a Growth Mindset

phil graham

Phil Graham is one of the fitness industry’s most well-known resources for springboarding small businesses into wild success. He has coached celebrities, athletes, and everyone in between on how to improve their fitness journey. In recent years, however, he’s worked with a wide variety of fitness business owners to help them create sustainable, predictable income streams for their budding enterprises. 

In this interview, Phil explains exactly where most fitness business owners go wrong and how a simple shift in mindset can help their future franchises flourish. 

In scaling your fitness business, there is one thing to remember: 

Money is not the end goal, it’s the means to get to the finish line. 

Why Money is Not the Answer

“Most fitness business owners are great coaches but terrible business people”

It may be a sweeping statement, but it really is true. Many fitness business owners have incredible skills in helping their clients lead healthier and happier lives. They can create workout programs for any body type or need and show clear, actionable results. But, when it comes to their business, they often fall short. 

Simple things such as sales and marketing can get left by the wayside because they’re focusing too strongly on the things that don’t matter. Instead of creating a predictable and scalable income stream, many first-time business owners will create an unrealistic and unsustainable business plan that leads to failure in the end. 

So what’s the key? 

Move away from money and focus on freedom. 

From conversations with thousands of business owners, from small studios to major franchises, Phil has seen time and again that money doesn’t buy happiness, freedom does. If you can create a business model that creates a clear line of income that is repeatable month in, month out, you will be far happier than someone earning five times as much but needing to hustle every waking moment to make it. 

So how do you create this freedom? 

Selfish and Selfless: Find the Balance

“Don’t hold back from asking for money whenever you’re going to provide a service. But, the service must be a fair exchange for what you are providing to what you are charging.”

There is nothing more common in this world than fitness business owners underselling and overworking themselves. 

Ask yourself this question: 

Do you know someone in your area who’s charging more than you, but offering a worse service? 

We all know the answer. 

Take a deep look at your business model and analyze whether you’re undercharging for your expertise. It’s not just your fees that you need to look at – are you doing too much for your clients? Spending hours on programs that you know they’re not going to appreciate? 

Be more selfish with your time and how you charge for it. In the end, you’ll start noticing that your clients will start valuing your time more because of it. 

But how do you know when you’re charging too much? 

You’ll know when you feel like your clients aren’t getting enough gains out of their investment. 

Think about your business this way: your clients are giving you money as an investment, saying that time spent with you will lead to a healthier and fitter body. There’s a price on that investment, for everyone. Once it feels like you’re no longer providing the experience that your clients are investing in, it may be time to either lower your prices or increase the quality of your services. 

So let’s say you have an excellent pricing model that leads to predictable income and peace of mind – now what? 

Learn How to Improve Yourself

As a fitness business owner, you are the product. Your fitness program is what people are paying for. You are at the center of the web, being the key stakeholder for every single decision you make. 

If you’re not improving, your business won’t improve. 

If you’re currently earning $2-4k a month and want to boost that up to $15 or $20k, you need to focus on you, what you contribute to the business, and how you can improve it overall. As Phil says, “you can’t build an inspiring life without asking for help”. 

Look to your local community, other fitness business owners, courses, and any and all other material you can find that might help you become a better business owner. 

Finally, and most importantly: 

If you don’t have a mission, you’ll most likely fail. 

If you’re coming into work every day just for the money, you will get burnt out and you will lose your enthusiasm for every aspect of the business. 

If you’re working towards a goal, however, you’ll be able to work better, harder, and more efficiently than ever. Ask yourself why you’re building this business. Is it to help yourself? To help others? The community? Take some time to really understand what your motivators are and how you can achieve those goals. Once you have those, you’ll see a dramatic change in your business’ health. 

Read More: The 10 Barriers Slowing Your Business Growth


Confront Your Problems to Find the Solutions

Every fitness business has problems – it’s the nature of business. There is always something to improve in marketing, sales, onboarding, equipment, staff and every other element of running a business. 

But these problems are usually a symptom of a deeper root cause. Usually, it’s either due to a lack of education or a lack of motivation. Changing your business mindset to see yourself as the project to improve solves both of these problems. 

No matter what stage you’re at in your business journey, take some time now to visualize where you want to be in a year, in five years, and in ten years. Do you actually know how you’ll get there or achieve it? What are the accelerators that lead you to those goals? Are they realistic? You need to realize that mindset and goal setting are the keys to creating a successful business. When you have the eagerness and energy to learn, change, and grow, you will eventually see success as a fitness business owner. 

Looking for a fitness business partner? 

ABC Glofox is the platform that can help you create predictable, sustainable income for your fitness business. 

We empower you to boost your business

"I think Glofox speaks to lots of different fitness businesses. I looked at a few options, but the Glofox positioning was more flexible. Without it the business wouldn't be scaleable”
Mehdi Elaichouni
Owner at Carpe Diem BJJ

Trusted by studios, and global gym chains.

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