How to expand your training biz with subcontractors & renting from big box gyms (Part 2) (Interview with Jordan Berry)

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Highlights from the interview

[03:18] – The 3 pillars of Jordan’s Kaizen Fitness

[09:27] – Jordan’s personal training business model — from cost to session times

[16:48] – How to use onboarding to attract top talent to your personal training business

[29:25] – The four things you have to do in your weekly one-on-one with your trainers

[32:44] – Why building a ‘community’ is essential in any kind of business


About our Guest

To know more about our guest, visit the first part of our interview.

How to build your fitness authority and network through your own podcast (Part 1) (Interview with Jordan Berry)


Edited transcription of Fitness Business Secrets Podcast, Episode 37

The 3 pillars of Jordan’s Kaizen Fitness

[03:18] Kristy: All right. So, I’m going to transition now to your fitness business in particular. I have a lot of questions. So, I know that you have different aspects of your fitness business.

It looks like you have some partners and I’ve seen a boot camp, one Instagram thing, you do a lot. So tell me, what does your fitness business offer? 

Kaizen is a Japanese philosophy that means continual change, continual self improvements. So we can base all of our business off of their principle.

Jordan: Okay. Well, the fitness business is called Kaizen Fitness. Now, Kaizen is a Japanese philosophy that means continual change, continual self improvements.

So we can base all of our business off of their principle. Now, my business currently offers personal training services, massage therapy, bootcamps, they are the three the pillars that we offer at the moment. 

The personal training is done at gyms. Or it can be done in the park and the boot camps are done outside as well.

And then as part of our causes for the community, we do walks, we go to dinners together so that we aren’t just kind of offering paid service, but we’re offering people the chance to be a part of a supportive and greater community that are all there for the same reason that are all there to improve and get better. And with that they can support each other to do that. 

Creating a personal training business -But training in big-box gyms and parks

Kristy: Okay. So, it sounds like you have a lot of services. But just so I have context, there isn’t a physical space besides maybe the places they do their boot camp. And other than that, it’s sort of onsite. 

Jordan: That’s correct. Yeah. We, myself, my other person, we’re trying to be a contractor  to other gyms.

So, we’re working out of other gyms and then the bootcamp as an outdoor space. But over the next year or so, we are working to have our own building, our own hub that we can have all of our services and then we can really create and grow that community. So, that’s like the really big goal that we’re focused on at the moment.

Kristy: I thought, “Oh, you’re going to get a great deal on rent.”

Jordan: Yeah. That’s the thing like, Wellington, the capital of New Zealand is super expensive. So we’ll have to see, but if there’s any advice to buy or to rent probably now. 

Kristy: Yeah, you might be able to get closer to where you want to be now, you know, more for your money than, you know, now having to accept like behind the building.

Jordan: Exactly. Just walking around central Wellington, there’s certainly more spaces for rent available than there was pre-COVID. So, it’s definitely had an impact on the commissioner market. 

Kristy: I’m just curious, since you mentioned you’re in a major city and I think if anyone else is in a major city, like New York City or Austin or something, do you know what the cost per square foot is on average for certain commercial spaces? Have you started looking? I’m just curious in what’s what it’s like there. 

Jordan: Per square foot, not off the top of my head, but I can give you some rough numbers. For a 300 square meter facility, would cost in central Wellington around 70 to 80,000 New Zealand dollars per year. 

Kristy: Okay. So, let’s do that math real quick. Because I’m really curious. Brooklyn before COVID was pretty expensive depending on where you are, even if you’re farther out from New York City.

So, in a sense that’s like a sub-borough and you’d imagine it’d be cheaper, but it wasn’t too much. And then in Manhattan was really ridiculous. When I talked to gym owners, that was the biggest struggle after payroll that kind of made the whole business fun and profitable was that rent, so I’m just curious, what’s happening in the retail market for rent right now. 

Jordan’s biggest revenue stream

Kristy: That actually brings me to the next question. I was going more into your business now, but I’m assuming you’re looking at your numbers about how much can you charge per month there? because in New York city, 100 was almost becoming a good deal.

Jordan: Are you specifically talking about just gym membership use? 

Kristy: Let’s say gym and class. Were you going to do classes? 

Jordan: Yeah. Okay. So for a gym membership with classes involved, in New Zealand, aiming towards a slightly more premium gym, you’d be paying between 20 to 25 New Zealand dollars per week. Over a month, perhaps a hundred New Zealand dollars. So, they’ll break out to be about 65 USD per month. 

Kristy: You’re right. 65. Okay. That’s not too bad.

And then, so we’ll rewind back because it sounds like you have this vision I’m interested in hearing about. So right now, then, what’s your biggest revenue stream? 

Jordan: Biggest revenue stream is personal training.

Kristy: Yeah. And how does it work? I was curious. I’m sure the big box gyms work similar to how other big box gyms work in other places, where you can either rent time, you split, or how do you do it since it sounds like you guys are a business, you have partners in your business, but you’re training at these studios.

Jordan: Yeah. Yeah. So Kaizen fitness is like the umbrella business.

And then we individually are contracted to different gyms. So, I’m contracted to a particular gym and then I just pay a weekly rent to them in order to use their space. And then whatever I earn I keep, and then I just pay them and pay them a flat rate per week.

And that works pretty much all throughout new Zealand. Most PTs, most personal trainers would be contractors to the gyms they work out. 

Kristy: Oh, okay. That’s interesting because I was talking to somebody in Calgary, Canada, and they’re talking about sometimes there’s a monthly rent and then sometimes you can split.

I’m just curious regarding structure? And also I noticed that you said weekly, I usually hear monthly. Can you say, “Hey, I’d like to do a split.” Or does everyone do rent? Can people do splits there? 

Jordan: Yeah, people do like a commissioner’s split, where, say for example, a few charge out for 50 New Zealand dollars for half an hour of personal training, which is our half an hour price. Then, we will break it down so that the personal trainer will get paid a split of what they earn. And then the business will retain a split of that as well. 

And in regards to the payment, yeah, for some reason most places in New Zealand work on a weekly basis. It’s really peculiar because everywhere else in the world seems to work fortnightly or monthly, but New Zealand, for whatever reason, we tend to work quickly for a lot of the things.



Jordan’s Personal training business model — from cost to session times

[09:27] Kristy: Yeah. Okay. That’s super interesting. So, it sounds like people do splits and then you can also rent. What are the numbers and feel free to say them in New Zealand dollars, how much do you generally pay for rent at a gym? 

Jordan: Yup. $200 per week, $800 per month, New Zealand dollars. 

Kristy: I see. Do you get a cap on how many hours you can use? 

Jordan: No.

Kristy: Is it $200 per trainer? But because you kind of mentioned your business, I wasn’t sure if you could have other trainers under that $200.

Jordan: Yes. So, the $200 is per individual. But in my case, because at the time I had a trainer working with me at the same gym, her range was $150 as opposed to $200. So, we’ve got a slight discount for her being a subcontractor to me. But standard in New Zealand is around $200 per week, flat rate. So, about $800 per month. 

Kristy: Yeah. Okay. All right. Interesting. So then, about how many training sessions do you do a week? 

Jordan: It can vary from week to week. And we do tend to do 45-minute sessions, but it can be anywhere from say 40 to 60 sessions per week, depending on half an hour or 45 minutes.

Kristy: Okay. 40 to 60 sessions and 45 minutes a session.

Jordan: Yeah. So generally, if we’re doing 45-minute sessions, which is what we’re doing more of, I might do slightly less than that. It may be 30 sessions or 25 40-minute sessions. I just prefer the 45 minute block because you’ve got more time to talk with your clients. And so to do some stretching and stuff with them as well.

Kristy: So yeah, I could see how that takes up a lot of time if that’s 30 to 25 sessions a week. That’s a big revenue. How about what’s your second biggest revenue?

Jordan: After personal training, it could be the bootcamps or the massage therapy. Personal training is by far like 95% of our revenue. The stuff I generate myself and through my the trainer. And then we get a little bit from the massage therapist, and the boot camps. But personal training is like our biggest by a huge majority revenue stream. 

Kristy: Yeah. I could see that. Okay. 

And, are you the main person or do you have a co equal owner of the business?

Jordan: Yep. So, I’m the sole owner of Kaizen Fitness. And then I do personal training myself with my clients. But moving forward over the next year or so we’re looking to move into a commercial premise, then I’ll start to have a business partner coming on board with me. And then when we form the wider company, we will be equal share holders.

Kristy: Okay. Do you already have a partner in mind? 

Jordan: Yeah. We were talking together last week and stuff, so yeah, he’s already there. He’s just not a part of the current business, but as we take the next step, then that’s where he’s going to be integrated. 

Kristy: Okay. That’s fantastic. so it sounds like you built up a personal training business, and then you started to notice you ran out of time.

The low-cost way to expand your fitness business — subcontractors

Kristy: So, maybe is that how you got into hiring and kind of making it more of a from a solopreneur to kind of some subcontractors? 

Jordan: Exactly that. So I was finding I was getting booked up during my week. So, that’s when the subcontracting occurred, so that I could have trainers working with me to service the clients that we were getting coming through.

Personally I’m a bit of a hustler. I want to retire when I’m 40 years old. I don’t want to live till I’m 65. And so we have to work. So it’s important to start to develop an asset, start to build a business so that you can remove yourself slightly and still have income coming through.

And also I’m a very big believer on the approach we take and how personal we can get with people. And by training people, having people working underneath me, we can kind of grow that vision and work with more people that I know are going to get the same level of quality. 

Kristy: Yeah. And so the big question I think some of us might be asking, who have tried to expand through subcontracting, and what’s also interesting is you’re doing it through renting gym space so there’s a lot less risk. And I think that’s appealing because taking on a whole business operation is hard. How has that worked out for you? Because hiring and managing someone, especially if it’s not your own controlled studio can be challenging.

Jordan: It’s been really good. It’s worked extremely well. The hardest thing is finding suitable personal trainers in New Zealand. I’m not sure what it’s like in the States. I can only speak from experience in New Zealand, but it’s extremely easy to become qualified or certified as a personal trainer in New Zealand, the courses can be quite short.

The hardest thing is actually finding people that are passionate, are authentic, good communicators, and just have a good heart.

So, it can be a rather overinflated industry with qualified people, but the quality of those people isn’t always up to standard. So the hardest thing is actually finding people that are passionate, are authentic, good communicators, and just have a good heart. A lot of people that become personal trainers just for the status, if you like. So they can put PT at the end of the Instagram username, or you know, have a reason to post topless pictures of themselves. 

Unfortunately, there was a little bit of that. So it does, it can be hard to find suitable people to work with you, but once you have, it does become quite easy. In New Zealand, to approach a gym and to talk about the situation and then to get the trainer working out of that space. And then it’s just a matter of continuing upskill and making sure that kind of aligns with your business and direction and obviously giving them the freedom to provide feedback as well. 

Kristy: Yeah. How many subcontractors do you have right now? 

Jordan: Just two. 

Kristy: Okay. And how many hours do you provide them?

Jordan: So, they are kind of in a sense their business is of their own accord, so they can do as many hours as they want, basically they can train as many people as they want, and I’m providing kind of regular support for them to do that. But yes they are welcome to train as many people as they can. 

A consultation process that is sure to boost your leads and sales

Kristy: How does the lead generation work and the sales closing, do you mainly do that or do they do that?

Jordan: They do that as well. So, we have a structured consultation process. We were sitting down with an individual for an hour. We’re not doing any exercise purely to build the rapport with that lead. And to find out their true reason why.

Because our philosophy with Kaizen Fitness is know your “why”. If you know why you’re doing something then it becomes a lot easier to motivate yourself.

And as a trainer, that’s obviously hugely important to know the reasons why as well. So we do that for a session. We usually will do kind of two introductory sessions, one that see your intention session, and then one where we’re actually working out with the individual. And then at the end of the session, when we have our clothes, we have a script that we follow, which has really because we want to make sure that, it’s kind of fits to the lead and what they can afford.

But now all of my subcontractors do that themselves. And for lead generation and we get some through Google, through our website, and then also the gyms we’re contracted to will provide leads to us as well.


How to use onboarding to attract top talent to your personal training business

[16:48] Kristy: Oh, okay. And I think some trainers might be agreeing with you definitely saying it is hard to find good trainers. And so it probably feels like we have to provide a lot of value to get them to come to us. 

So it sounds like you have these two great trainers, what made them want to work with you versus just saying let me do it by myself? 

Jordan: Yeah, now, that’s a  hundred percent good point. And it’s something that when you first go to subcontract, you have to be very sure of your own ability as a trainer first. And that will again, grow with time. 

But up-skilling is hugely important. A lot of people see value in the up-skilling. So it would be, you can cover some of their expenses when you cover the rent, which is what I do with my trainers, it’s a big draw card as well. 

You’re providing them with lead generation, you’re providing them with marketing and you’re providing them with the sort of core structure of being part of something greater than themselves. A lot of people are extremely motivated just to go out on their own and to do their own thing.

But there are a lot of trainers who love the profession, but don’t like the idea of having to pay rent and not having the guidance that they may get from being employed. So this is a big draw card for us. And as we grow our business and our brand that will become a little bit more, I guess, trusted amongst the community and amongst the industry so that we will naturally draw more people into it as well.

But the key thing is it comes down to yourself, it comes down to how sure, how passionate you are about your business. If you’re really passionate about your business, if you really believe in what you’re doing, then you will ideally, you know, find the right kind of people to work for you as well. 

Kristy: Yeah. And it sounds like you also have some structure in place, which some people take for granted, but it sounds like you have some scripts and some set protocols. Is that something that you developed when you took on people or is that something you had before?

Jordan: Yeah, when we go to take on people, we do have a set structure or scripts to take people through. So I’ve got, I put everything in Google drive and I have documents for them to go through, et cetera, et cetera, and a bit of a plan as to how to get them from the interview process where I’m interviewing them to initially bring them on board to the point where they are training people and they’re happy with the closing process, et cetera. 

So, yeah, there’s definitely a few boxes that I’ve kind of set up that we need to take in order for them to have competency and their role. And a lot of it is, for some individuals, they really struggle with the sales process really because you’re literally selling yourself and it can be super difficult.

This is something I really struggled with to begin with as well. So, for a lot of the time, we’ll spend a lot of time on that area with only sales scripts with only confidence and just their belief in themselves. So a lot of the time we’ll focus on that, but you may also get an individual who’s really strong in that area but lacks skills as a personal trainer, the skills in regards to exercise, prescription and nutrition. So that might be an area you need to focus on. So it’s pretty much a case by case basis, but we have the tools and the structure there to make sure that they can get what they need.

Kristy:  This sounds big, you’re helping them improve their skills, whether it’s in sales or being a personal trainer and their technical or coaching skills.

How much time do you put into these trainers? Because that sounds like  what’s your value add as a company.

Jordan: Yeah. And initially it is quite intensive. So for the first month, two months, you’ll be meeting with them multiple times a week for an hour or so. To really focus on those key competencies and to fulfill that role as a personal trainer. So the first few weeks you are going to have to be prepared to miss a little bit of your time, but obviously if you want to have that person really represent your business in a good way, then it’s obviously in your best interest to spend time on them.

So, to give some numbers here, the first eight weeks you might be spending potentially six to eight hours of your time with them per week. And then as they become more competent, they would find more confidence in themselves. It kind of gets the point with my trainer at the moment who I’ve had on for over a year now, where we’ve kind of meeting just once a week for now and just having amazing talking, I’m giving him anything he needs, et cetera. So yeah, very intensive to start off with, but then like you kind of waned them off the processes, they become more competent. 

Kristy: Yeah. And that sounds amazing. 

Big tip-how to help your unconfident personal trainers improve their sales pitch and energy

Kristy: So let’s say, someone’s saying, “Okay, I’m totally willing to do that. I can train them, but there’s so many different ways to train people.”

What do you do? Do you do role playing? Do you do quizzing or what do you do? 

Jordan: I’m huge on role play. I love role play because it makes the situation real.  It’s easy enough to give them a document and just say “Here, read this,” but there’s so much nonverbal communication, particularly when it comes to sales, that it’s so important that you role play with them so that you can pick up on a lot of the things they would not notice if they were just reading a script.

I’m huge on role play because it makes the situation real. There’s so much nonverbal communication, particularly when it comes to sales, that it’s so important that you role play with them so that you can pick up on a lot of the things they would not notice if they were just reading a script.

For example, like if you might be super confident and you take them through a really good training and you’re smiling and then it comes to the close and suddenly you’re body language changes, you’re like, so this is our business and your voice changes and the eye contacts, that’s the kind of stuff that they wouldn’t be able to develop if they’re simply reading words on a page, or if they’re watching a video module. 

So, one-on-one role play is super important because as the trainer, you can suddenly pick up on all of the things that they could be working on that wouldn’t necessarily be picked up if they were learning through different medium.

Kristy: Yeah. So, I like that because if someone’s thinking about expanding and they’re worried about a bunch of things, it sounds like the number one thing you’re investing in is your time to be a coach. And a lot of people are familiar with being coaches. That’s what they want to do. So you’re coaching other coaches really.

Jordan: Exactly. And I love helping people and teaching people. So to me, I find it a really natural way of approaching it. And to any trainers watching or listening at the moment who perhaps struggle themselves with selling themselves. It’s really funny. I did this with my trainer, so, and this has stuck with them fondly enough.

So, awesome trainer like very skillful. But when it came to the sales process, he was often quite shy and reserved just because he lacks kind of the confidence. And we were talking one day and then he started talking about, “Oh, you’ve got to go to the supermarket man. It’s like this really good pizza. It’s got like meat on it. And it’s just so delicious. That’s $4.50, but I’m telling you, it’s the best pizza you’re ever going to buy.” And I said to him, why don’t you sell your personal training like that? And he just clicked. He was like, “Oh man!” Because he was so passionate about this better pizza and he was so animated about it.

And I just wanted to run down to the shop and buy the pizza because he did such a good job of selling it. He had so much emotion. And so, for those people that really struggle with selling themselves. Just think about how do you talk about your favorite movie or how do you talk about your favorite food?

You know, you’re animated, you’re lit up. It’s like super easy and it just rolls off the tongue. Think about that when it comes to selling your personal training or selling your services. So from now on my personal trainer is like, yeah, if I’m struggling with confidence, I’ll just think about pizza, like how would I sell pizza?

The most common “disservice” you and other trainers might actually be doing

Kristy: So, that’s a good lesson. Do you have any other lessons since it sounds like something you’ve been doing a bit, coaching trainers on sales, like any other tips or common issues you see them face?

Jordan: Yeah, I think, yeah. Confidence is like a really, really big one. The other thing I like to say is we as personal trainers or coaches, we’re not dodgy car sales people, you know, we’re not trying to sell people with dodgy car that they’re going to lose money in and regret buying. We’re selling them a service that genuinely has the impact to change people’s lives. I truly believe that. And that’s something that my trainers believe as well. 

So, the key thing you’ve got to think about when you’re approaching someone on the gym floor, walking’s quite big for personal trainers to New Zealand. Somebody walked in the fall and talk to these people.

Think about this, if you don’t offer your services of personal training to someone, you are doing them a disservice by not offering them personal training, basically because if you value your ability as a coach so much, and you think it genuinely has the ability to positively affect other people, you’d be doing them a disservice by not offering it to them because they’ll potentially go on with their lives to be unhappy with the way they look, be unhappy with the way they feel, they may have a really bad experience with another personal trainer who’s not as invested in their health and fitness as you. So you’ve just done them a disservice by not offering your service. 

So think about it in that way. Think about if you’re not willing to sell and offer yourself up to these people, you are doing them a disservice because they may get a worse service somewhere else, or they may continue through the rest of their lives not happy with the way they look and feel. 

Kristy: Yeah. So, it sounds like you’re saying build confidence in what you’re selling. Like be so confident that it’s worth it, like running down to the restaurant and getting that pizza, be so confident about the value that you’re offering to these clients.

Jordan: Exactly. And as long as it’s coming from an authentic place. Because as humans, we instantly know if we are getting sold something, we know automatically from the person and the way they’re speaking, just in the general feel that they’re giving us is that they’re just after our money.

So, if you truly believe in your product, if you truly believe in what you’re selling, then yeah. Go for it. Just offer the service up to people because there’s certainly plenty of people that are doing it for the wrong reasons. And there’s plenty of businesses who are, you know, playing on people’s naivity and ignorance.

So, if you are a genuine person who has a genuine want to help people, then just develop those sales skills so that you can present that in a positive way. 

Kristy: Yeah. So, there’s a huge investment and that’s a huge draw for anyone who wants to be successful in personal training to work with someone who’s going to invest in them.

Addressing the fear of Your personal trainers leaving your business

Kristy: I think one worry that some trainers might have is “Okay, so I invest this 40 hours or 48 hours into somebody and they could become good. why wouldn’t they just leave after a couple months and try to do it on their own and take all my education that I gave them?”

Jordan: Yeah. I mean, that is a possibility. And we came to a point with my current trainer. He was working in the same gym as I was, but then he ended up moving gyms. And then when he told me about that in my mind, I was thinking, “Oh, was he going to leave Kaizen Fitness?” But he said, “No, I want to stay with the business because I believe in you, Jordan and I am really happy with what you’ve given me so far. And I want to stick with you.” 

So, I genuinely think if you are continually giving value to the personal trainer, then they should see no reason to leave. It is a fear. Definitely it’s a fear because you are investing a lot of time into them, but again, if you let that hold you back then I don’t think it’s going to do you any good either.

So, I genuinely think if you are continually giving value to the personal trainer, then they should see no reason to leave. It is a fear. Definitely it’s a fear because you are investing a lot of time into them, but again, if you let that hold you back then I don’t think it’s going to do you any good either.

Kristy: So, you’re providing some value for them. What do you think it is? You mentioned you talked to them every week for one hour. And I’m curious, what you guys talk about, is it how are your clients doing or is it more role playing? Is it more tip tips and techniques? What do you feel like now that you’re kind of reflecting on? What do you provide to them? 

Jordan: A lot of it is personal developments of all things. It’s actually making them better people, because if you’re not making your trainers better people, then they’re not automatically going to become better trainers.

So, through the role-play, through the things that I’ve taught my trainer, he’s really seen the value in that. And he’s actually been able to take that into other areas of his life as well. So, I think holistically he’s saying that through working with me, through working through our business, he’s saying not only is he doing well with his personal training, but he’s been able to see the kind of value that can be added into other areas of his life as well.

So, yeah. I guess it just comes down to value. If you’re able to provide someone with genuine value that they could potentially take outside of work, then you know, they would see no reason to want to leave you or your business.


The four things you have to do in your weekly one-on-one with your trainers

[29:25] Kristy: Yeah. I think that’s key. What do you do during that session? Do you talk through issues? Do you do role playing? Do you go down a checklist? What do you exactly go over? 

Jordan: Yes. Okay. So, now in our kind of meetings, we’d have a bit of a reflection on the last week because that is important. And we talk about the things that went well, like you may have got another client on board or a particular training may have gone really well.

And that’s cool. And as part of that, we talk about the challenges because in life we have people call it winning and losing, right? But we only really lose if we don’t learn anything from it. So, in the example of this, if my trainer came up to me and said, I went to close the sale, but it didn’t go so well instead of just thinking, “Okay, we’ll move on from that.” We think, “Okay, well, how can we learn from that? How can we make that better?” 

So, as part of that reflection process, it’s very much about refining the skills. So we’d spend a bit of time on reflection. And then I’ll just ask my trainer, “What kind of things would you like help with?” Or he may come to the training, come to the me saying with a particular topic in mind that I want to bring up.

So we might talk about kind of the laws of momentum, developing momentum. We may talk about role play through things that I’ve learned. I may have a particular topic that I want to bring to the meeting. But otherwise I’m very much asking the trainer, what do they want, what do they feel, because it’s a very easy thing to just want people to understand you, but it’s super important to be able to understand where other people are coming from.

It’s overwhelming structuring this meeting time, but if I’m not in touch with what my trainer  actually needs then that’s going to be a big turn off for them. So yeah, I may have some modules to go through, whether it be about momentum or role play or anything else but at the same time, I make it very clear that, you know, this is kind of directed by them as well. And if they feel like are struggling in a particular area, then we can focus on that instead. 

Kristy: Okay. So it sounds like you really take that time to help them feel heard. And, you do number one, a reflection, number two, maybe a lesson, role playing, some modules and number three, ask them what do they need or what could you help them with.

  1. reflection
  2. lesson, role playing
  3. feedback
  4. goal setting

Jordan: Exactly. And then number four would be some goal setting for the next week as well. And how I phrase that would be,

“When we sit down and have this meeting in a week’s time, what would you be super, super happy with achieving?”

“When we sit down and have this meeting in a week’s time, what would you be super, super happy with achieving?”

Kristy: I like that question. Okay. I’m going to write that down.

Jordan: Yeah, that’s quite funny. As soon as you ask that question, people’s faces light up because I think about all the things and I say set the bar way up here, like just be super unrealistic with it because you’ll just strive to get there. And even if you fall short, you’re going to get way more success than what you previously thought you could if you just set the bar down here. 

So. Just yeah, allow them to dream, like what would make you super happy to have achieved by the next week and, you know, set the bar high. And if they fall short of that bar, they’ll still way past what they thought they were capable of. 

Kristy: Yeah. And that sounds like some real structure that helps them kind of reflect and feel like whole as in what they’re doing.


Why building a ‘community’ is essential in any kind of business

[32:44] Kristy: You also mentioned some other things that I’m not sure if these are big parts in your business. You mentioned you have little get togethers or community. Do you do that often? Is that a big thing for your business? 

Jordan: Yeah. Yeah, I’m huge on community. So yeah, our primary business is one-on-one personal  training. But I’m a huge believer of bringing everyone together outside of the gym, because for a lot of habits to create that continual positive change, that’s what Kaizen is about. It’s important that it becomes a lifestyle. And part of that lifestyle is feeling a part of a supportive community. Community is so important to people, whether they like to admit it or not, everyone likes to feel a part of something.

And then the health and fitness, since there are a lot of communities that can be unsupportive in the gym or people don’t feel a part of because they don’t look a certain way. But yeah, for our community, we will have things, almost every couple of weeks we’ll have a bootcamp. Last week we got together, we bused out to this place outside of the city and we went through a big hike and then a couple of us jumped into a waterfall. 

So, we do kind of cool adventures. A few weeks ago, we went out for dinner together. There was a group of about 15 of us, we went out for dinner, had a couple of drinks, then it becomes more of a lifestyle and people can find to connect with more lot of like-minded people.

Later on this year, we’ve got a mud run plans. We’re going to do a five kilometer mud run. We’re just going to get a team of people together and then go through the obstacle course. So yeah, it becomes a really fun time. People kind of connect with each other through that as well. 

Kristy: Yeah. And are your trainers really active in that community?

Jordan: Yeah, definitely. Usually there’ll be either the trainer or the massage therapist will be there with us during those meets as well. It’s super fun. It’s super fun. There’s a bit of banter that goes on and jokes and stuff. So yeah, it’s really, really fun. 

Kristy: Yeah, that’s again HR, that’s extremely team building, morale building. I could see why. I guess without knowing the vibe going in initially, someone might think, “Okay, what is this? What is Kaizen providing this one trainer?” But it sounds like you have mentorship, you have a training program, you have community. So, I think those are all the things that  takes a solopreneur working by themselves to feeling like they are part of something bigger without having the “studio effect”.

Jordan: Definitely. And I’m not one to stagnate, so I’m always trying to better myself. I’m huge on personal development myself, I’d be a bit of a hypocrite if I wasn’t. So, I’m always trying to find new ways to improve myself as a person, to improve my ability to listen, to empathize with people, because that’s what I’m passionate about.

And if I can build a team of people that believe in the same thing as me. And that’s kind of how the business scales, because we want to be able to scale and help more people without losing the quality of the service we provide. And yeah, a huge part of that is just creating a really cool community that people can feel a part of and people can connect with one another.

How to do a boot camp event and motivate your trainers to bring their clients

Kristy: And I had one more question since I’m sure that the trainers in a sense resemble a leadership role for your clients. Do you pay them to come to these community events, I know it was a tricky question. As a business owner, I know that I want to do these events and I know sometimes people won’t show up.

Jordan: I understand. For the bootcamps, because the bootcamps are a paid event, that’s slightly different from our other events. The bootcamps are paid events where our members will pay $10 to be a part of the bootcamp. And I just say to my trainer or the massage therapist, anyone you bring along, you can keep the funds.

Yeah. But for the likes of our walk or the dinner, now, that’s just free for all that. They want to turn up because it’s such a fun time. So, if they’re not busy, then they’ll come down on the weekends to have some dinner. My trainer and my massage therapist, we’re all like really close.

And they were willing to do all these things for free and I’m doing it for free and then the members aren’t having to pay anything, because if you’re always, if money’s always coming into it, then obviously from a business point of view, you need to get paid. But at the same point, just build a team strong enough that you’re not all there to get it just because of money you did, because for the love and support for each other.

Building a fitness business around your personality

Kristy: Yeah. I could see that. And, it just sounds kind of funny, but you mentioned, understanding your why, I feel like I could see how this business is really built around your why of connecting.

And when you say Kaizen, always like thinking about personal development. It just seems like you’ve built a business that really matches who you are. 

Jordan: Definitely. I’m very lucky in that regard, being so young and to have founds my purpose almost like from an early age. Because I believe if you were able to positively improve the quality of someone else’s life, that is like one of the most powerful things you can do as a human. 

And the amount of times with someone’s come out to me and said, “Wow, I’ve been able to do this for the first time because of our training.” That is just so powerful and makes me feel so great that, you know, just one human connecting with another human we’ve been able to create such a substantial difference on people’s lives. So that to me is just awesome. It’s so directly in line with what I want to do. 

Kristy: Yeah. that’s awesome. And it sounds like you have a great business and it’s kind of low risk, so just looking forward, for me, one of my big why’s is to not lose a ton of money to manage risk. I’m all about managing risks, even though I started the gym, with all my own money and it was extremely stressful. so this is my why question. You got a lot of success going here. You’re you have very little overhead.

How to manage your stress levels 

Kristy: What do you think about to help you reduce that risk of overstress and too much expenses? What are you thinking about right now for your gym? 

Jordan: That’s a very good question. So first and foremost, I’m definitely in line with opening our own space, just so that we can have a central hub where we can offer all of our services.

And so we can develop the community, because I’m definitely on board with that. But I have noticed that since thinking of this idea, and moving through the processes, the stress and the tension can build slowly. The risk doesn’t bother me so much, it’s more just making sure we’re still able to provide a good service and manage the expenses. 

The big thing for me is just being very in touch with myself and recognizing when I am getting stressed and being able to identify straight away, what’s making me stressed and how I can overcome that.

Now everyone has their own ways of dealing with it. I personally have found that types of breath work, meditation and exercise have been really good at helping me to manage stress. Because obviously if you are in that kind of situation, it’s very hard to be energetic and to be able to give that body to members you work with.

So yeah, as a business owner and moving forward, I’m going to have to be extremely true and honest with myself. Me and my business partner have had this discussion as well that we are both going to find times where we are stressed, anxious, perhaps angry, overwhelmed, and we need to be able to give each other that time and the support, but also the transparency to let each other know how we’re feeling.

 But yeah, for me personally, I can notice straight away when I’m starting to get stressed. So I just need to be able to take some time out of my day for myself to be able to understand, to be able to go through it in a logical fashion. 

Kristy: So, it sounds like one thing is you’re going to just make sure you emotionally balanced going into this new milestone in your life. 

Jordan: You know, business owners listening, you’ll notice that we’re always constantly taking over, right? So, in order not to get burnt out, I like to take a decent amount of time where the phone’s switched off or the phones away. I’m just living in the moment. And I find a lot of that is through being in nature, going for a run outside, jumping in the ocean, swimming or surfing.

Jordan’s online strategy to get local online leads

Kristy: Hmm. Okay. And one last question on managing your risk as you jump into this thing, because it’s so exciting but there’s a lot you’re putting on the table, your time, five year commitment. If anyone’s ever worried about getting married, I mean this is bigger. Okay. You could get divorced, but you can’t get out of the lease.

I’m imagining you might be thinking of a lead generation strategy because you’ll probably need more leads. Because everyone is always like, “How do I get more customers?”

And you seem to have found that with having a lot of customers, what kind of leads strategy do you think you’d do for your gym? 

Jordan: Yeah, so it’s a very elusive processes and that it always changes, but a big focus will be online because if you think about it, how a consumer will find a personal trainer or a gym, generally, the first thing they’ll do is they’ll type into Google, “personal trainer “or “gym”. And generally it will be the first one, two or three options that come up. 

So, part of our lead generation strategy would just be to have a very strong online presence, have really strong SEO so that we rank quite highly on the Google listings, have good reviews on our website, so that you’re developing that kind of social proof, that social trust.

So, part of our lead generation strategy would just be to have a very strong online presence, have really strong SEO so that we rank quite highly on the Google listings, have good reviews on our website, so that you’re developing that kind of social proof, that social trust.

So that will be the number one. It would be having a really strong online presence and being able to show how personal we can get with people so that you’re not just treated as another member so they will come into it. 

And then another one, depending on where we are in the study, just another tactic that I’d like to do is just to do some really different stuff.

So you get this all the time, right? People standing on the side of the gym, handing out flyers, you know, coming out to the gym and half the time they’ll either completely ignore you or they’ll pick up the flyer and then they’ll put it on the bin just down the road.

So I believe in creating really creative and interesting ways outside of the environment to engage with people. We set up a little hotspot outside the gym and have people like jumping into cold water or, you know, there’s people singing a song about the gym or whatever it may be just being super creative with how we market the gym to again create that strong point of difference from other strategies that other people might be using. 

Jordan’s New Zealand perspective of the future of fitness over the next few years

Kristy: Nice. Well, that sounds really exciting. Different marketing strategies are really good. So, we’re excited to hear how that goes and I hope you can find some good rent at this time.

How is it over there with COVID? 

Jordan: So it’s like it’s never happened. Like you look outside and everything’s back to normal in New Zealand. We are having low cases for a few days and we might have one case every now and then, but we’ve got hardly any masks in society. Once we transitioned down from our highest alert level, as we transitioned down we’re now at level one, which is basically everything’s back to normal. We’re having live events here again, festivals, music events, gyms, they’re back to normal, supermarkets are back to normal and it’s basically back to how society was. It’s like it’s never happened. Yeah. 

Kristy: Wow. That’s a big difference from here.

You can’t get out of the newsfeed for it because it’s affecting everywhere. So, that’s interesting. And I could see how maybe you might not feel like you would get the best rent yet but we’ll see. So, basically it sounds like you’re optimistic about fitness and physical location still because right now things feel like they’re back to normal.

Jordan: Yup, exactly. But on that point, there is this big discussion about whether the people are going to be consuming health and fitness in a different light. With lockdown, with COVID-19 obviously far more people are exercising at home. So, I think over the next 5 to 10 years, there may be a little bit of a race to see what kind of fitness experts can dominate the online field.

But I’m still very optimistic in the fact that people will still crave that in person experience. We were only in lockdown for eight weeks. And in that time, people got so sick of exercising in their bedroom or exercising in their living room and not being able to feed off the energy of having someone else in person with them.

So, although we may see a little bit more of a trend of people going online and there may be definitely a market for some interesting online exercise strategies, I think there’s still a market. 

As human beings, we still crave that kind of in person communication. We still crave, you know, being able to go to the music events live, being able to go to a workshop or a seminar live in person, or to be able to go to a gym and see a personal trainer live and in person to get that energy, to have that motivation.

Kristy: Yeah, that’s interesting. Wow. This has been really informative. And to find out that you guys are kind of back to normal, which is kind of night and day from us. That’s awesome. 

Well, Jordan, thanks so much for being on the show. Sorry for the thunder in the background. It’s been fantastic to kinda just learn about your journey and I feel like what I’ve learned is that my Aha! was that I think that a fitness business despite it feeling the same for every fitness entrepreneur in a way, everyone kind of makes to match their personality, their “why”, like you would say. And, I think that’s sort of a key to making the business work so that it’s always authentically you.

 I feel like that’s what I see in our conversation. So, it’s been really interesting. 

Jordan: It’s been an absolute pleasure, Kristy. I really enjoy being able to help peoples and other fitness experts as well, because it can be like a tricky industry to be a part of. It can be tricky to know how to scale the product that’s so personal sometimes. So, the key thing is just always remembering why you started in the industry, and that will kind of get you through.

And if you do feel like there is a change of heart, then follow through with it. But I think it’s really important that as personal trainers, nutritionists, physiotherapists, we’re all kind of in the same game together. We all want to help people. We all want to improve the quality of their lives. So, it’s important that we do stay connected and I’m extremely transparent with how my business is going and what we’re doing because if you treat other PTs as your competition, I can kind of create an unhealthy environment. Whereas there’s an endless amounts of people that are suffering from diseases, heart disease, depression, and those numbers are just increasing. So spread the love, share the love, share the knowledge with one another.

Kristy: Yeah, that sounds awesome. So, thanks for all that positivity and, thanks for your time. Oh, how can people find you if they want to work with you in some way? 

Jordan: Yeah. Sure. So you can go to our website at, Kaizen is spelled K A I Z E N. Or you can find us on Facebook or Instagram or LinkedIn underneath the handle, @kaizenfitnessnz.

Kristy: Awesome. All right. So definitely reach out to Jordan. He has a lot of interesting things to say, and his podcast is really interesting. So, thanks for being on the show. 

Jordan: Thank you very much for having me, Kristy. It’s been a pleasure. 

Kristy: Thanks.

Stay connected with Jordan!

Jordan Berry


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