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Jan 25, 2018

Today’s guest on Just the Tips has an incredible story of how blogging, and writing, and sharing his ideas took his business out of near-bankruptcy and put him on the map. When Chris Cooper’s CrossFit gym was struggling out of the gate, he got a mentor to help him turn things around. He then decided to blog about the experience, which caught the attention of other fitness bloggers and industry leaders. Eventually, he decided to collect a dozen or so of the posts from his blog into a self-published book, Two Brain Business, and boom: It became the biggest selling fitness business book of all time. Chris walks us through his amazing journey, which has led him to mentoring businesses all across the country. If you want to hear how to accelerate your business growth from someone who went from near the bottom to the top of his industry, you’ll want to hear this episode.

“If you build it they will come” isn’t working

In any industry, not just the fitness world, people often think that just because they’re good at their job, they’ll be able to expand to running their own business. As Chris says, a lot of trainers think that because they have loyal clients, they can open their own shop and then those clients will refer friends, and so on. But that’s not the reality. And as Chris says, every time you level up, you have to be prepared for new challenges and new skills to succeed at that level. If you have a job, be the best at that job. But if you own a business, be the best business owner you can be.

Ideal clients: You don’t want everybody”

When you’re starting your own business, it can feel like all you want is as many customers or clients as possible in the door and paying you money. But as Chris says on this episode of Just the Tips, his business really transformed when he identified his ideal clients and only pursued and catered his business to them. Some clients will have unrealistic expectations, or undervalue your work, or simply want outcomes from you that are outside the goals of your business. Finding the right clients and nurturing those relationships, and building a business around what both you and they are looking for, is a path to success.

Sometimes you just have to make the hire

One of the things Dean and I have struggled with in the past, and which Chris discussed with us on this week’s episode, is learning to better manage our time, and what tasks we’re doing. Sometimes that means hiring someone to take tasks off your plate so you can concentrate on high priority tasks. As Chris says, they often do the math: Here’s how much this person is going to cost to hire, here’s what you need to make in order for that hire to make sense, here’s how that hire is going to get you to that level. Because a lot of people will need to hire someone to grow revenue, but are afraid to pull the trigger without that revenue. And Chris has a great tip for how to pull that trigger on this week’s episode.

Forget newsletters, write love letters

If you’re an entrepreneur, you’re used to wearing many hats. But underneath those hats, are you using both sides of your brain? Chris shared with us some fascinating insights into the need for an entrepreneur to be logical and organized (left brain) and creative and imaginative (right brain). And it takes work. Many of us are strong on one side but not the other, but you can train and work at developing both, and your business will be better for it. And one of the most creative ideas Chris shared: Writing love letters to your clients. You really have to hear how Chris breaks it down.

Outline of This Episode

  • [3:45] How Chris got started
  • [7:34] What mistakes Chris made early on
  • [15:32] Learning to say “no ”
  • [25:30] The willingness of an entrepreneur to martyr themselves
  • [28:11] Two-brain business
  • [32:56] Sending love letters to clients

Resources & People Mentioned

Music for “Just The Tips” is titled, “Happy Happy Game Show” by Kevin MacLeod ( Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

Connect With James and Dean

James P. Friel:

Dean Holland: