Building a great business.
Justin Hanover is the Founder and CEO of Get Fit Plus.
Get Fit Plus helps brick and mortar fitness facilities build solid businesses that don't sacrifice the quality of of the owners' lives.
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Josh Elledge: Welcome to The Thoughtful Entrepreneur Show. I'm Josh Elledge, Founder and CEO of UpMyInfluence.com. We turn entrepreneurs into media celebrities, grow their authority, and help them build partnerships with top influencers. We believe that every person has a unique message that can positively impact the world. stick around to the end of the show, where I'll reveal how you can be our next guest on one of the fastest growing daily inspiration podcasts on the planet in 15 to 20 minutes. Let's go.
And with us right now, we've got Justin Hanover, Justin, you are the Founder and CEO of Get Fit Plus, which is pretty exciting. You've just converted and we're going to talk about how you build a successful fitness facility and why you've made the move to go purely online when you have a really good thing going. So this is gonna be a really interesting story but your new brand is DivineStrengthLifestyle.com. Justin, thank you again for joining us.
Yeah. Thank you, Josh. I'm really excited to be on and connect with you and your audience.
So obviously one thing and by the way we connected you've been to business mastery, Tony Robbins, is that right? Yes. Oh, no kidding. Did we go to the same one?
I was Vegas.
Now I was, I was in, in Palm Beach down south. But yeah, and I've done I actually. So I did a training for an online you know, how they do the online webinars and for grads, so I got to do one of the online trainings, the Tony Robbins organization, and I connected and they're like, hey, do you want to teach our people and like, Yeah, that'd be awesome. So I like I love the business mastery community. Man, I'll tell you, just amazing, amazing quality people that get attracted into that community.
I was blown away.
Yeah. What did you know if we could kind of zip ahead a little bit fast forward a little bit because I would imagine this is mastery was not the first time You did in your business success, your business history. But what did you get out of attending business mastery? Cuz I got first thing, it's not cheap. Secondly, you know, you got to travel somewhere, obviously to be a part of it. What did you get out of attending business mastery,
I think really like diving more deep into like the numbers of the business in really understanding and using your analytics to really drive the business. I think that was something that really opened my eyes that because like, when I started my business, I didn't, I didn't go to school, I didn't have any of that type of background, I just jumped in and learn from life experience. And so that doesn't mean that like I there was definitely some things I was missing. And being able to go to business mastery really opened my eyes to how to actually run a business based on the numbers. And like I lead a business and we're kind of stepping into like your power really.
Yeah, it really really valuable stuff. So Justin, let's so let's talk about you know, post education So you leave high school right graduate and you What's your first work that you do right out of high school.
I was actually doing landscaping at the time. So I was working at golf courses doing landscaping. And then I was going to school, part time for architectural drafting. And I got six months into that program. Realize that just was not for me wasn't the life I wanted to live and dropped out and went to personal training school and got my certification. It was like a year and a half program, and then just jumped in right into business. I was started out going to people's homes, and had a couple of accounts like that and businesses where I did some boot camps out of and so I was able to get my first location and started growing from there. Well, wait a minute, first location, how does someone get a location you got to generally do pretty good in business to get a quote unquote, location? Really is there's a lot of hustle in the beginning. I was Doing every type of guerrilla tactic you can think of to build up my initial client base. And landing a couple of business accounts really helped me a lot. Because that was one location, I can go and serve as a multiple people. And it really, that was kind of like what carried me through. And then I was able to connect with a gentleman in town, he owned the space. And he was willing to give me a break and not actually charge me rent for the first three months to allow me to lounge and traction. So he said, he believed in me, and he's someone that I'm always so grateful for, for giving me that opportunity. And I just I took it and ran.
So, I mean, that was a, you know, you talk about, you know, people, someone might look at that Justin and say, Well, that was pretty good luck. But it wasn't luck, right? Because luck is generally where preparation meets opportunity. We get opportunities all the time. But because we're not prepared for it, maybe that opportunity doesn't truly manifest in the conversation. You know, it's like if I get somebody who says, you know, Josh, I love the work you're doing, like, I'm a student right now, and I'm doing video editing, and I would love to work with you. And look, I'd love to just do some stuff for you pro bono, just as a way of showing you what you know what I can do. I'm like, that's the kind of thing where, you know, it's like, you know, people who have the ability to partner with you or do something good for you in business. It's that drive that ambition and I suspect that the person who gave you three months free probably saw that in you like, You're, you're hustling, you're building a book of business, like, Listen, I'm gonna hook this guy up because he's someone I want to support. And that's where luck, that's where luck is that intersection of preparation opportunity. If you're fully prepared, you will find that like life will do blaze a trail for you. But if you're just waiting for luck to happen, I'm sorry. But that's I don't think that's how it works.
No, definitely not. I'm like, how I was how I connected with him was I was I was walking everywhere in the town putting fliers in people's mailboxes for days, hours or like hours every day. I was doing that initially. And that's how I was able to connect with him through that flyer, and we start building a relationship. So yeah, if I didn't do that and put the annoying hard work in the beginning, then we never would have had that connection to begin with.
So Justin, some people will say freelancers, personal trainers, they will say that the way to succeed and as a personal trainer, is just to be a really, really great personal trainer and then all of your dreams will come true. Is that the way that it is
that is definitely not how it is.
That is absolutely not how it is and that's unfortunately something they don't really even know They don't tell you that like when you go to personal training school, things like that they don't really cover actual business and how to be successful. And that's why there's such a high fail rate for personal trainers and fitness businesses is people literally do think that, oh, if I just get the certification, I get 10 certifications, people should just come flocking to me. That's not the case. Like you need to learn communication. You need to learn marketing, you need to learn sales. You need to learn how to run a business first, and then be a trainer second, because if you can't get the people in the door, then you can't serve them.
Now, have you been able to help? Then let's let's talk about then you get a place of business and explain how that deal worked and how you grew that inch. You grew that into a big thing? Like no joke. You've made some really great income.
Yeah, no, absolutely. So initially, it really was like that first location. It was like a knot. It was maybe 500 square feet. So it was literally just big enough to do it. One on one training. And I was able to transition some of my travel clients to coming to me personally. So that helps with getting the ball rolling. And then from there, it was just I was building connections in town, I was being a part of town organizations and events and just talking to people putting my name out there. And slowly you start trickling in. And from there, I just focused on creating an amazing experience for that person and making them feel special. So that it was more than just the fitness training, it was really just connecting with them as a person and being genuine with them. And that with that word of mouth is what brought more people in. And initially I was able to grow up to like 45 clients, just by focusing on client experience, I'm sure that they're taken care of in all aspects, not just the fitness aspect because that's kind of more or less the superficial thing they're coming in for but there's really a bigger issue that's going on now. But I find it with most people coming in with like fitness related things like yeah, they say they want to lose weight. But why do they want to lose the weight? And that's what's uncovering that is what is what's going to get people to start talking because like, wow, this person really gets me. Yeah. So that's what I focus on initially. And then from there, I was able to open up actually, there's a weird beginning but a second second location, that was about 1000 square feet. So still not really big enough to do both things. So I had small group training going in that location, and then I private train and go another location. And that's when I first started hiring people. And I was kind of split between both locations, I was going back and forth. So it was a weird first like, couple of three years so so of getting that going. And then from there, I was able to make a jump to a 3000 square foot space and then finally a 6000 square foot space. Wow. But it all really started with just understanding that communication is key and really understanding people and being able to just connect with them. I wasn't, I definitely I would not say I was the best trainer, I had good knowledge I had, like really were able to help people but I just was able to just really genuinely understand people where they're coming from and meet them at that level.
If you were a personal trainer today, and you were just getting started, what would you do? Obviously today, obviously, social media is a huge benefit. But what would you do to grow your personal training business and and maybe it wouldn't look like the personal training business that you started? What kind of personal training would you start today?
Today? Honestly, I would get into the online game. At that's just the way the industry is going. And with the technology that's coming out the convenience factor and the the buying the buying demand of like the actual clients. So it's just and also going to leverage your time because that was a big thing that I've discovered With obviously, being a personal trainer, working with people one on one time became an issue. And you only have so much time in the day. And it also, it's a very, it's a very frustrating lifestyle because you have to work odd hours, you have to work early mornings, late evenings, you have the middle of the day off weekends, holidays. And then if people cancel on you last minute, you also have gaps in your schedule. So it's not the most efficient, effective way. I would say definitely moving to online space, but more importantly, like I like what I just did like to grow initially, you have to understand who it is you're specifically trying to serve. And I think the biggest mistake that I made that I would do over again, was not like hyper-niching who I served, and we were more of a generalist, and kind of like helping anybody. And I think that's gonna be a huge problem for anybody now getting into it or existing. If you're a generalist, you're I think you're gonna get pushed out. Yeah. I agree we have to hyper niche and solve a specific problem, because that's going to help. I know, other fitness business owners that do that. And they literally have people coming to them, they don't spend $1 on advertising. So that is definitely something that I would focus on is making sure you truly understand what it is you're trying to serve and who, and then you can start connecting with those people organically. You know, you don't want to get into like the paid advertising game yet until you really know you. Yeah. Otherwise, it's just gonna be a waste of money.
I agree. I agree. So Justin, you've made a really gutsy move. And that is you've had these all these facilities. Tell me about the transition that you've recently made?
Yeah, so we recently went from obviously a 6000 square foot space.
Or an office space, I guess you'd say.
And we transition to everything online. We're providing everything from the fitness, the mindset coaching The private customized coaching meals, nutrition, all that aspect into our online portal. And it was an interesting transition. Like with anything, any big change, you get, like a good amount of negative and positive from both ends. And we went through both of that. But more importantly, we made this change to make sure that our business is aligning with how we want to live. Because running the facility, it's a grind. I mean, it's it's a tough business to step away from, even though we had a team in place. I mean, we went through a couple setbacks the year before two years ago, we're losing two key people in a matter of a month. So that kind of rocks you and pulls you back into the business again, deeper than what you may have wanted to. So and also, the business originally was built on me building relationships with people. So this is a relationship business. It's not something you can just kind of set it and forget it. So, with that in mind, my wife and I want to make this transition to improve our own lifestyle, but then also ultimately be able to serve people at a higher level and give them more of what they need, and not necessarily what they think they need. Right?
And I would imagine there's advantages to being virtual. So I've worked with several coaches, like lots of coaches over the years and fitness coaches and health and eating coaches. I don't need to meet them in person. That's just that becomes very inconvenient cuz then I get to travel places and all that other stuff and the people I want to work with don't necessarily live on my block. Yeah. Oh, yeah. And especially the people who niche in especially what I need, like, I need someone who understands keto and if and they're used to working with type a business, you know, high achieving business people and so I don't know anybody like that in my community. So it's best that we just connect online
Absolutely, yeah, it severely limits you in your ability. And, and yes, there are lots of people in your area. I mean, that is a serious thought. I mean, where you live in your local community. Some people only live in like a town that is 5000, 8000 people. Okay, well, that's not many people that are actually going to be potentially interested in what you're offering. And at some point, I mean, you're going to kind of exhaust that area and have a local brick and mortar business whereas obviously taking a virtually it's kind of almost near impossible to do that.
Well, great. So Justin, what is the best way for people to kind of figure out what you do? Are you a good solution provider for them and and who do you work with and you got to do it in like 30 seconds because we've run out of time. Sorry about that.
Basically, it's connect with me personally on Instagram, Facebook, Instagram, Justin Hanover, Facebook, Justin Hanover, and I basically serve young entrepreneurs. Do entrepreneurs help them structure their business to maximize their profit, but also to make sure that you're taking care of yourself and not sacrificing your life? Because that's a huge component to being fulfilled in your life journey. Really?
Hmm. So more than just fitness training at this point as as a professional Coach of the Year, you're handling all of the areas so that can live kind of a harmonized life.
Absolutely. I think it all intertwines. It's not just one or the other. So yeah, I'm a kind of a life coach, personal trainer and business coach wrapped in one because I think it's it's it's all needed if you want to excel and truly be a high performer.
And Justin that's found at DivineStrengthLifestyle.com, is that right?
there as well. And
like I said, the biggest, easiest way to connect with me is just on my social media, because I'm very active on that. Yeah, easily send me private messages, and I'll answer right away.
That's great. And that's again, yes. So the best, the best one to find you on would be Facebook. You said, Yep, Facebook, and then you just find you as Justin Hanover. Yes. And all right, that sounds great. Justin, thank you so much for joining us.
Absolutely. It's a pleasure, Josh.
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