What Motivates a Business Owner?
This is a special episode. Joshua Lewis of Dorks Delivered and Scott Aurisch of NRG Boost Fitness talk about taking the plunge in business in the fitness industry.
Josh: I’ve got Scott here from NRG Boost Fitness and today we’re going to be talking about taking the plunge in business. My understanding is you’ve been in business for a while and about 12 months ago, you decided to go for some brick and mortar.
Scott: Yeah, exactly right. I’ve been in the fitness industry now for over 20 years but in business for myself for coming up to 8 years, and very close to 12 months in my own premises.
Josh: Right. Are you loving it?
Scott: Absolutely loving it. It’s probably been one of the most tiring years of my life but certainly the most fulfilling, from a professional standpoint.
Josh: I think it’s a big discipline thing. You get your own business and you take a plunge and you do something that you’re thinking, should I or shouldn’t I, and if you take the risk, sometimes against all odds, and it’s not that you fail, you don’t fail, you make sure you don’t fail.
Scott: Exactly right. You sort of get rid of that safety net and you’re just forced to step up and it’s an enormous growth experience and I’m really pleased that I did.
Josh: That’s cool. And has there been any milestone moments over the last 12 months that really stood out as a, ‘I’ve made it’?
Scott: Yeah! Probably no one moment, just lots of little moments along the way, where, when you do take a moment to reflect back on where things were… Pretty much 12 months ago was when I was in the planning phase for opening here, which all came together super quickly. Once I’ve made the decision to make this happen, things just seemed to fall into place, which is something we might talk about a little bit later on, but as the year has unfolded, just sometimes when I’m training somebody that I’ve built a good relationship with, in some cases over the years, but in some cases, people I’ve just met this year, it’s in those moments that I realise what I’ve achieved, when you make those connections with people. So that’s what I mean by what some people would regard as little things, rather than big milestones, but they’re the most rewarding moments for me.
Josh: That’s cool. Prior to running out of brick and mortar, how was your business beforehand?
Scott: I was working out of a local gym and I’d been there for several years, and it wasn’t that I got to a point where I was unhappy, but I did feel like I wasn’t growing professionally anymore, and I just needed a new challenge that would present that opportunity for growth and freedom as well.
Josh: Cool, cool. I guess you haven’t looked back. You’re 12 months in. What sort of aspirations do you have for the next 12 months?
Scott: Yeah, I guess I haven’t looked too far ahead, which is probably something I need to get a little bit better at, but certainly, consolidating what I’ve achieved in the first 12 months, and I think one of the keys to that is building good relationships with my client base but also other industry associates that I have contact with. So I’ll definitely be looking to build on that over the next 12 months in a way that is sustainable in terms of my energy and my own health and wellbeing because, as you would know, when you work for yourself, you can get a little bit focused on the business and some of your personal life can tend to suffer.
Josh: Absolutely, it can go by the wayside.
Josh: It becomes a very addictive, very addictive thing, having your own business.
Scott: It certainly can, and in my situation, where I’m preaching to people about achieving balance in your life. It’s really important that I practise what I preach and set the example of having a balanced lifestyle where I’m looking after myself and looking after my personal relationships outside of work as well because your business might be firing on all cylinders but if some of those other areas of your life begin to suffer, that’s going to impact on you as an individual at some point, and then ultimately affect your business.
Josh: Yeah, completely agree. It’s all about having balance. Otherwise, the whole system breaks.
Scott: Yeah, that’s right.
Josh: If you were to go back to the moment while you were working for someone else and you didn’t have your own business, can you remember what made you take the step and take the leap towards doing everything, wearing all the hats, and doing the payroll, doing your taxes, doing everything underneath your own banner? What was the catalyst towards the move?
Scott: Yeah, probably just a couple of little moments. Again, it was nothing major. There was no massive falling out with anyone at my previous workplace, but just piecing a few things together and just some little frustrations and I thought it was time to take control of things myself and when you run your own business, you get to do things your way and you are absolutely responsible for everything that occurs. So, yeah, it was nothing major and just a couple of little things and I do distinctly remember in those moments thinking, yeah, I’ve got to do this because there was a lot of thought that went into it beforehand but when I eventually made that decision, like I said earlier, it all just fell into place.
Josh: That’s cool, that’s cool. You do a lot of stuff for communities, and I understand you’ve gone back to the school that you went to and you’ve helped them out. Tell me more about what happened there.
Scott: Well, I was fortunate enough to be contacted by the Logan PCYC who run a lot of great programmes and one of them is called the Deep Blue Line programme, which is in association with Queensland Police, where they visit local high schools and present an 8 to 10 week programme to a group of students of various ages. I was invited to come along and speak for one particular week about the importance of exercise and nutrition and, yeah, it was pretty cool. But one of the schools I got to visit was my own old high school that I had not stepped foot inside for 25 years and it was my Back to the Future!
Josh: That would have been weird.
Scott: It really was. It was a really cool experience, though. The place had not changed. It had been really well maintained over that time but it was just like going back to how I remember it. And then to go back as an adult, as a professional, and feel like you’re adding some sort of value to a place that played a role in your own development. It was very fulfilling for me, and I’ve been back a couple of times since as well.
Josh: Was there any old teachers that you saw and you were like, ‘Oh, no… Sir, what are you doing?’
Scott: No, no. Very much a turnover of staff but while I was at the school office, I did look at the boards with all the photos and the honour boards with the kids’ names and that sort of thing. And just to tie that into NRG Boost Fitness here, I’ve actually got three old schoolmates as current clients.
Josh: That’s cool.
Scott: Yeah. So that’s also something that I find very rewarding as well and makes me feel really good. Obviously, we all run businesses to earn money.
Josh: Ideally, yeah.
Scott: Yeah. You’ve got to earn a living. You’ve got to support yourself and your family, but for me, I think one of the keys to my success is that I don’t focus on just the dollars. It’s about a lot more than that. It’s about personal fulfilment and things that make me happy and the fact that I’ve got three guys that I’d probably fallen out of contact with a little bit over the years but have reconnected with in recent years. They’re now current clients, and I’m helping them improve their lifestyles.
Josh: That’s cool. So you’ve been in business for a long time, you’ve got your bricks and mortar now, have a rough idea of where you’re wanting to go. If you were to do it all again, would you change the order of events or what would you do differently?
Scott: I honestly don’t think I would change a great deal. One of the things I think I got right from the outset was as professionals, as entrepreneurs, you would have to read a lot about the importance of beginning with the end in mind, having a clear picture of what you want your business to look like, and it was the clearest example in my life where I was able to come up with a very clear picture of how I wanted this place to look, how I wanted this place to operate, and doing that, and putting effort into getting those details right from the start, allowed me to almost follow that to the letter and it was amazing watching that unfold. To have ideas go from just words on paper through to, a little over two months later, from when I first decided to undertake this venture and then to actually open my doors, it was literally two months, but the reason it was able to happen so quickly is because I was clear on what I wanted and things literally just fell into place. There was no forcing or pushing. Things just sort of fell my way.
Josh: That’s very, very serendipitous, or lucky, I guess, or fortunate that that worked out that way.
Scott: Yeah. So just to answer your question in fewer words, basically, beginning with the end in mind was the most important thing that I did and I would recommend that for anybody else looking to do anything similar.
Josh: Cool. A lot of people get into business and they think, ‘Oh, in two years’ time I’m going to retire. I’m going to make a million dollars,’ and have these huge thoughts of grandeur and they don’t necessarily make the appropriate planning before jumping in and understanding the depth of the water and realising how deep it goes and how much is actually involved in running your own business, especially when you’re starting up and you need to be the person wearing all of the different hats. You need to be the technical person, you need to be the administration, you need to be the marketer, the salesperson, you do all of the different things all at once, and as you said, you want to have a balance in your business, you want to have a balance in your life. Was there any steps that you went, ‘Oh, shit, I need to learn more about this,’ or, ‘I need to learn more about that,’ or things that you went, ‘Oh, wasn’t expecting that to be a hurdle?’
Scott: Yeah. Not really. That’s probably another thing I think I got right—the scale of the venture that I took on, I think, was appropriate for that first leap. But the point you make about a lot of business people taking the plunge but not realising the depth of the water they’re diving into, in my industry it might be somebody that says, ‘Oh, I can run a gym,’ and they take on this big operation and then it’s not until they’re in it and they realise what an undertaking it is. So I was pretty happy to start with a personal training studio that’s literally a couple of hundred metres around the corner from home, so it suited my lifestyle and I’ve been really comfortable with the size of the jump, so to speak. There have certainly been things that I’ve had to learn as I went along but that was the whole point to begin with—to learn new things and challenge myself.
Josh: I think it’s very sensible the way that you’ve gone about the business because, as you said, a lot of people might just go in and they jump straight into a lease but they don’t have any clientele and they have no idea about marketing. They just think they get some business cards and then they will come, build it and they will come, and that’s not how it really works. I think it’s great that you’re in the IT world, they call it agile development, where you try and make the smallest profitable item first and then you build upon that. A good example would be Uber. So you don’t start with an autonomous vehicle that’s driving everyone, tens of thousands of autonomous vehicles driving everyone around countries. Instead, you start with an app that allows for people to take in that step until they’ve saved up enough money to then be able to move onto the next ventures, and Elon Musk does the same things.
Josh: And you’ve done the same thing in where you’ve built up your clientele, you’ve created a rapport and the message is strong and your social content in strong, and the community that you’ve created around your business is very strong. Different events that I’ve been to with Scott have been 60, 70 people upwards. Your opening day here, I don’t know how many people you would have had here, it was stacks, so it shows the belief and the message that you’ve instilled in all the people that you have come here is very strong and the allegiance of people.
Scott: Well, I think, getting back to one of your earlier questions about community, I’ve done things outside of here for the broader community, but I placed great emphasis on the importance of building a community within your business, in much the same way that a café might do the same thing. There are hundreds of cafes, Brisbane wide, and what makes you choose one over another? It’s generally the one where you feel most welcome and almost like it’s a second home, and so that’s what I try to do here, again, not in a forced kind of way but just in an organic way, and it’s been another very satisfying thing for me to observe, friendships being formed and I know that some of my group members socialise outside of here, that didn’t know each other previously but they met through NRG Boost Fitness and that’s sometimes more rewarding than dollars.
Josh: I think just, straight on the friendship situation, it’s something, it’s a place… I come here myself and it’s a place that I feel very comfortable in, and I’ve brought multiple friends here because I find it’s a good time to be able to catch up and see people while having a workout, as opposed to catching up and having a beer and a pizza, which is lovely as well, but it’s not as great for your waistline and your health, and I can definitely say you…we, two and a half years ago, met for the first time and I told you my goals and you said, ‘That’s not achievable’, in nicer words, in the timeline that I wanted to achieve it in. You said, ‘Look, see how you go’, I think, and I tried really hard, twisted my ankle, stopped trying as hard for a while, but I continued to persevere and 12 months later I achieved the goal that I wanted to, the weight that I wanted to, the percentage of body weight that I wanted to, and I’m very impressed with the results I was able to get from you. But it was not just the journey of the weight. It was also the friendship that was made along the way, and a great example would be Scott coming over and surprising me of a lunchtime and taking me over to see the jolly old Saint Nick.
Scott: That’s right, yeah. Coming up to a year ago.
Josh: Yeah, that’s right. We were able to sit on Santa’s lap together which was…
Scott: For the first time in probably 30 years! Well, for me, anyway!
Josh: For you, yeah! And I thought it was great that you definitely went above and beyond and I don’t think there would be many business owners, or especially PTs, that would do that level of commitment towards the friendships and the bonds that were created within the community, so it’s a testament to the way you create your business.
Scott: Thanks, Josh.
Josh: I’d like to cut across to a quick video that discusses more about taking the plunge and we’ll talk more about that afterwards.
It’s big, it’s wet, it’s wild. That’s right. It’s Niagara Falls, and if you’ve ever been here or any other large waterfall, you might have wondered, what would it be like to just jump in? So, there was this time when Sam Patch, who was the first daredevil to take the plunge over Niagara, all the way back in 1829. He shot to fame and his slogan became part of a popular slang. The slang was, ‘Some things can be done as well as others.’ It’s a great line. You could take it to mean that our achievements are equal, or you could also take it like we are trying to do our own thing as best we can, or maybe he was telling us that we can do those things that others think are impossible.
So what about you? What’s your Niagara Falls? What’s that big challenge that you are scared to take on? Well, let me tell you, it’s often much easier than you think once you just commit to it. For Sam Patch, he was actually pretty disappointed with the crowd that turned up for his first successful attempt. There was bad weather and he’d been delayed, so he announced that he would do it again a few days later. This time, 10,000 people turned up and he cemented his place in history. So, if old Sam can jump off Niagara Falls twice, there’s nothing to stop you taking the plunge. Whoa!
Josh: Good to be back. I thought that was pretty good. So we went through that you can sort of see sometimes it’s not the first time, the first step, but just taking the plunge and just being the person that commits to that can really make a big difference in your business. So it’s cool that you’ve gone through and you’ve done that and you’ve experienced that firsthand and you didn’t, in a sink or swim situation, you were able to swim and, if anything, swim very, very well.
Scott: Yeah. Well, just one point I’d like to add to that, Josh. As any person should do when making a decision to go into business or not, you’re going to come up with your list of pros and cons, and you’ll have your moments of bravery and you’ll have your moments of fear and ultimately, for me, it came down to a fear of financial risk and when I really thought about it, I then fast-forwarded to when I’m 80 years of age and I look back, and if I hadn’t done this, what would have been the reason that I didn’t and would I be comfortable with that decision? And if it was just a money thing that held me back, I think I would look back and regret it and be disappointed that I wasn’t bolder at the time. So, yeah, I think it’s a useful exercise sometimes, to fast-forward to when you’re in your final years, will you wish that you had have taken more risks?
Josh: Definitely, I agree completely. I’ve always looked at it like, who would you like to see standing there at your funeral and… as dark as that is, who would you like to see standing there, at your funeral, and what was the reason you were remembered? And hopefully, there’s a legacy that you’ve left behind, whether that be children or even just a nice smile in helping someone out and that’s there some memory that you’ve left there. So it’s work your way back from there.
Scott: Yeah. And it might seem a little bit dark to some people but it’s an extremely powerful exercise to take yourself through as well.
Josh: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Definitely. So what would you say would be the life tip or quote that you live by?
Scott: Well, there are probably a few but one that I have been thinking about recently is not being a victim in life and basically taking absolute personal responsibility for your life circumstances. I just believe that as soon as you blame somebody else or other people for your situation, is when you give away your power. Sure, bad things are going to happen in your life and some will be other people’s fault, but it’s how you respond to that really makes the difference. So I really try to remember that all the time and take the appropriate action. So there might be people out there who are unhappy with their job and it’s as simple as changing jobs. I understand that it’s scary in that moment but if you’re truly unhappy, you have the power to find a better job.
Scott: And if you’re overweight, you can continue blaming this, blaming genetics, whatever the case might be, but ultimately, if you eat better and exercise, you’re going to improve that situation.
Josh: Absolutely. And it’s all about baby steps and getting the understanding, sometimes understanding your weak points and turning them into your strengths or at least having recognition towards them so you know how to work and come out of your comfort circle, to grow into a better person, whether that be through weight loss or a change of job, or a change of marriage, or whatever the situation is, it can all make you a happier you.
Scott: Yeah, exactly right, Josh.
Josh: Cool. And we’re going to do something here. So we’re going to do a shout out. You’ve done really, really well. Public speaking and especially in a global audience, like YouTube, can be scary. It’s all imprinted in stone forever. It’s going to live on longer than us. This could be our legacy. If nothing else, this is it.
Scott: Don’t stuff it up. Don’t stuff it up!
Josh: So you’ve done really, really well and I really appreciate your time that you’ve given me today, and I’d like to see if there’s maybe another business coach, leader or business that you think would benefit from having a review and that the public would benefit from hearing from.
Scott: Yeah, well, certainly one of the best things I’ve done in recent years in terms of developing my own business expertise, for want of a better term, is I undertook an internship with a business called Create PT Wealth. I attended a free workshop. It was probably over three years ago now, and that, in itself, was a half day, full day workshop that was highly valuable and I took a lot out of that and I realised the position my business, and I’ll use the term business fairly loosely because at that time it was a fairly poorly structured business, and it made me realise what work I needed to do to make a real business. Scott: So I then undertook an 18-month personal training business internship and it covered all sorts of things: business systems, marketing, the whole gamut of things. At the time, I could not afford it, well, I told myself that, ‘You can’t afford this,’ but something in me knew that I needed to do it and it wasn’t an expense, it was an investment in the future of my business. So that was another time where I took the plunge and found a way to afford it and what I learnt in 18 months has been a massive reason behind where I’m at today, in terms of having my own premises and being very happy with my professional life. Scott: So Create PT Wealth is the name of the business and I would strongly recommend that anybody else in the fitness industry or a personal trainer seek them out and see what they can offer your business.
Josh: Cool. Is there anybody particular at PT Wealth that stuck out for you?
Scott: Yeah, well, certainly both Brad and Jason were both extremely helpful, right from that initial workshop and I also had a business coach, Leanne, through that time as well, that I would check in with, every fortnight, and just have a phone conversation, and it was a good way to be kept accountable. She would set me certain business-related tasks that I would need to report back to her on in the next fortnight and that’s a really important thing, is accountability, because sometimes it’s easy to make excuses to yourself but when there’s somebody else that you’ve got to report back to, I found that that really kept me on track.
Scott: Thank you to Create PT Wealth.
Josh: Cool. Well, I think we should all take a deep breath and give yourselves a clap. That’s awesome. Thank you very much.
Scott: No worries, Josh. Thank you.
Josh: Awesome. I hope you enjoyed the episode. Every little bit helps and a small thing that you could do, as a token of appreciation, would be to jump onto iTunes and rate and review to make sure that other people can listen and get the same helpful help that you guys had. Thank you, and keep good.