Episode 3: Nick Reyes – Chief Happiness Officer of PushPress
Nick Reyes is the Chief Happiness Officer at PushPress Gym Management Software, owner of Kansas Athletic Club, and devoted husband and father. Did we mention he’s also a former marine?
Listen in as our CEO, Dan Uyemura sits down with Nick to discuss the intent behind “Happiness Officer”, fitness trends in 2020, how to properly pee in a urinal under the duress of the US Marine Corps, and much more.
“Understand that it’s okay to know your worth, not discount that, and ask someone for that worth, for that value.”
— Nick Reyes
Selected Links From the Episode
Links to interesting items (books, podcasts, fitness, food, and the occasional adult beverage)
Connect with Nick: Website | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook
Kansas Athletic Club
Mixergy – Startup Stories: A software founder’s story of addiction and recovery
Core Values — Why You Need Them
Never Lose a Customer Again by Joey Coleman
SNAP Selling by Jill Konrath
Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
The Breakthrough Company by Keith McFarland
The Serving Leader by Ken Jennings and John Stahl-Wert
High West Distillery
- What is a Chief Happiness Officer? [1:30]
- Nick describes what he learned from experience in the Marines. [5:15]
- Getting dressed by the numbers and cramming three guys in a porta-potty. [9:00]
- Nick’s journey to becoming a gym owner and pain points. [11:55]
- How Nick discovered PushPress. [14:42]
- What Nick believes are the three most important data points that gym owners should be looking at and why. [17:10]
- Income creation vs. Churn reduction — What’s more important? [20:20]
- Knowing your worth and being an ethical salesperson. [22:00]
- Tips from Nick on becoming a better salesperson. [23:35]
- “Staying on the no.” [26:00]
- Nick talks about the failures he’s experienced and what they’ve taught him. [26:55]
- Something Nick is learning more about: The psychology of keeping clients and keeping them happy. [32:10]
- The importance of putting your mantras down on paper. [34:00]
- The PushPress core values: Dan and Nick’s favorites. [35:00]
- Nick dives into some of his favorite books and podcasts [37:40]
- Two things you can do right now to make your gym better or life better. [40:15]
- Dan’s 5 minute fix: What’s in an email address? [44:00]
- What’s Nick’s current drink of choice? [45:30]
- Looking ahead: 2020 boutique fitness predictions from Dan and Nick [46:35]
- Nick’s final thoughts. [51:50]
Full Episode Transcript
Dan Uyemura: Welcome to the gymOS podcast, helping fitness professionals become better business owners. One episode at a time. PushPress as a company is probably pretty similar to yours. We’re made up of a bunch of individuals who care passionately about what we’re doing. And what we care about is helping gym owners succeed. Over the years, we put together a pretty big team of people who have made PushPress what it is.
In today’s episode, we’re gonna chat with Nick Reyes. Nick is the owner of Kansas City Athletic Club and the Chief Happiness Officer here at PushPress. He was one of our earliest hires and one of the key members of our executive team. If you’ve interacted with our front end sales team or support team, you probably met Nick at some point in your journey with PushPress. And if you’re not yet a PushPress client, you no doubt will talk to Nick as part of your journey in the process.
I can’t speak enough about Nick as a person, a parent, a coworker, somebody that I have the pleasure of working with daily. In this episode, we rap with Nick about his back story, why he opened a gym, how he came to work with PushPress, and things he sees that’s happening in the fitness industry in general.
Dan Uyemura: Alright, Nick let’s start with something easy I’m going to throw you a softball…why don’t you tell everyone what your current role is here at PushPress.
Nick Reyes: I appreciate the lob pitch here…I’m the Chief Happiness Officer at PushPress, so essentially that entails what we like to say is giving the people what they want, making them happy, making sure they have a good experience from the time they first touch base with us until they’ve executed on making their gym, their vision come to fruition.
Dan Uyemura: You know, one thing I’ve noticed and felt is that intentions, like words and title, set intention. And I really love the title Chief Happiness Officer, can you speak to why you think that might be an important title, as opposed to Chief Revenue Officer or Chief Sales Officer.
Nick Reyes: Yeah, for sure. I think whenever I first started at PushPress, my actual title was Chief Revenue Officer. And then we kind of realized that just grabbing revenue doesn’t speak to who we are as a culture. And so, you know, with the change of Happiness Officer, I mean, it really did kind of shift my own mindset as to you know, what is my exact job here? What is my role here? What is the goal of every single day whenever I break open the laptop or whenever I’m talking to a client or a prospective client, is the goal grab revenue? I would say absolutely not. The goal is to make sure that they’re happy. And so it’s crazy that the title can actually control that. It keeps you grounded as to what the mission is.
Dan Uyemura: Yeah, it’s pretty cool. Why don’t you take our listeners back a little bit and give us a back story into who Nick Reyes is?
Nick Reyes: Oh, man. Yeah, so I’m from inner city, KCK, and went to, a lot of people may not know this even at PushPress, I went to a prep school for high school, and at one point, this prep school was like in the top 20 public schools in the entire country. So, kind of bucked the trend when all of my schoolmates were going to these good colleges, and I was just kind of bored and worn out of school, so I went to the Marine Corps, spent six years in the Marine Corps.
I got out of the Marine Corps about the same time that I met my wife and followed her down to Phoenix. She got her grad school degree, and then I really kind of started my career in tech working for Sprint, then from there navigating over to Sprint Partner Company, and just kind of kept going into that tech sales role. Every job that I found myself in with was a tech company, and I really enjoyed the sales role in each one of those. I went from this kind of start up company here in Kansas City after Sprint, and then eventually found my way into Caterpillar, a Fortune 50 company, working in a sales capacity for them, before I found PushPress. So, yeah, Marine, father of two, and husband to a great wife who’s also pretty career mindsetted. She’s a physician assistant in Ortho, so our family gets pulled in a lot of different directions and, thankfully, you know, working here for PushPress with our team and having the flexibility that we do allows us to kind of maintain a pretty awesome level of family happiness, just due to the flexibility that we have here.
Dan Uyemura: That’s a super cool back story. I actually want to dive into the sales end of things here for a second, but, first, I want to talk about military experience. I am not a military person myself. I haven’t really been around military people in general. I feel like California is not a super pro military state, but one thing I’ve noticed in running this business is some of the most organized, most diligent, most responsible employees that we have and people that I enjoy working with the most come from military backgrounds, and we’ve almost made it like a check box or a question now — “Do you have military experience?” Because we’ve seen such a remarkable difference in people who do and don’t, and that’s not to say people who don’t have military experience don’t possess certain traits, but it’s 100% for the military people you do. Can you speak to maybe some things you learned in the military that have helped you in your career and your life?
Nick Reyes: Yeah, absolutely. You know, I’m with you, I don’t know that it’s necessarily exclusive to the military, but I always say, you know the level of work that you feel where you are maybe working outside of your comfort zone? That’s an acquired thing, right? Like you feel like you’re working hard now and you’re really not. If you put in an extra hour every day, if you wake up an hour earlier every day, it becomes a little uncomfortable for a while, and that’s when you’re really breaking that zone. College does that for a lot of people, forces you to go to class on your own, which isn’t necessarily comfortable because you don’t have mom telling you to, right. You got to stay up late in study and you’re learning the self discipline part of it. So you learn a lot of those traits, but I feel like with college, just by the nature of how it’s structured, you can also kind of punt on some of those things, skate by with a C, and you never really immersed yourself into staying up until 1 a.m. studying for something or waking up early. In the military there is no pass, right? You have to wake up. You have to do PT, you have to eat certain meals. It’s so regimented, especially early on that it basically redefines what work ethic is in your mind at a very young age. Actually one of the things I think a lot of military guys struggle with when they get out is they get thrown into the corporate world, typically into an entry level position, and they may have had 4-6 years in the military, probably leading a decently size large group of men and women, and then they’re thrown back into having a boss who may not work the hours that they’re willing to work, and so it could be a little bit tough, but I think that’s the reason why. It just redefines work ethic at 18 years old.
Dan Uyemura: That’s that’s interesting concept I’ve never actually heard discussed before. It’s ironic because in the fitness space, it’s all about being uncomfortable to achieve gains or growth, and you’re right, there’s a lot of people in college who can skate by, can get A’s without having to work crazy hard because they can outsmart the system, right. But in the military, there’s no out military-ing the military. You’re getting up earlier so that you’re doing what you have to do. It’s a given. I remember there was one story you told us that I think would be a funny antidote, which I have semi forgotten, so I’m doing it selfishly, too, the story about being paired up and having to take showers in threes.
Nick Reyes: Yeah, talk about uncomfortable. Right? So, everything that Marine Corps basic training is centered around is for a reason, you don’t do anything just for funzies. Little things like getting dressed in the dark, they would call it getting dressed by the numbers, so you stand at attention at the end of your rack in nothing but underwear and this drill instructor will say, start getting dressed, you have 10-9-8-3-2-1. He’ll skip numbers intentionally, and the guys have one boot on, they got on a shirt, and are not even close to dressed. It’s pitch black, and then when they turn the lights on and no one’s dressed, and they chew everyone out. You get undressed, they turn the lights off, and you do it again and you do it again and you do it again. By the time you’re done with basic training, you have purposefully, at the end of the day before, staged your clothes in such a manner that you can get dressed without seeing anything, and you can do it so fast that, moving forward, if you were in an environment, may be sleeping out in the desert, and you started taking gunfire you would be able to get dressed in the dark in a hurry, under stress with someone yelling at you, and you don’t worry about it. Everything has intent behind it. Hitting the head is no different, so they would say, in a platoon of 80 recruits that you’ve got two minutes if you have to go to the head, and so when they’ve intentionally stopped, you’re not allowed to go to the bathroom. I know that seems weird for a lot of people that may be listening to us that you actually have to request permission to go to the bathroom in basic training, but you’re trying to filter as many people as possible through a porta potty, and it’s not like one in one out, like had a football game or something. It’s typically as many people as you can cram into a small port a potty space and out as possible, so that’s usually, one guy standing aiming at the left little urinal, one guy standing on the bench aiming down, and one guy at the door aiming between the guy’s legs. So you learn to take advantage of opportunities to relieve yourself when you can. When you have down time, you learn to leverage your down time, so that you’re not thrown into a porta potty with two other guys.
Dan Uyemura: That’s hilarious. Maximizing time, operational efficiency. I guess that is best. Hey, why don’t you tell us a little bit about how you came to own a gym? How did that happen?
Nick Reyes: Oh, man. So interestingly enough, I met the original founding team at CrossFit 913, I was one of the day one members. I’d been working out at a Snap Fitness, which is a 24 hour access franchise — pretty sure they’re all over the US — but I’ve been working out there and had some back pain and was on doctor prescribed pain pills for pretty severe back pain, where I wasn’t sleeping at night. Doctors had told me to quit exercise blah, blah, blah. Well, a friend of my wife’s found out that there’s a CrossFit gym opening, and my wife actually knew one of the guys that was opening it, TJ Kiblen. So she said, TJ’s opening a CrossFit gym, you should go and check it out. If you’re gonna be in pain, but you love working out, you should probably stop just running on a treadmill at Snap Fitness, so I became one of their day one members. TJ Kiblen and Brady Moore originally opened the facility and at about the three month mark, maybe two month mark, somewhere in there, I got my first night of sleep with no pain pills and no back pain. So that was probably my big first ah ha! moment of holy crap this works and it’s significantly improved my lifestyle. Fast forward several months and they had been kicked out of the facility that they were in with the partnership that they had opened with and were really looking at having to close the business, so I bought into the business, helped find the new location, and that’s how I became an owner. I was passionate because they had cured a big problem for me in a very short period of time when doctors in modern medicine, their only solution was either pain pills or surgery. To this day, I have zero back pain and love what we do at, now, Kansas Athletic Club.
Dan Uyemura: You know what I love about this story? This is actually the first time I’ve ever heard it — in sales and in business we talked about finding the customer’s pain and solving their pain because that’s ultimately what brings value to the equation of your existence as a company, and they literally solved your pain. So I mean, you became so in debt in them, you obviously bought in and became a partner and helped them move and helped them grow just from solving your back pain. That’s cool. So how did you guys find PushPress? Take us to that moment.
Nick Reyes: So when they first created CrossFit 913, they created with Mindbody, like, I think, a lot of gym owners that are opening up a facility. They google gym management software and usually the big fish with the billions of dollars of net worth are the number one google result listing, so they clicked on the first google listing. I would doubt that they did a ton of due diligence just knowing Brady and TJ, and in their mindset back in the day. But so they fired up a Mindbody account, and once I came onboard, having the corporate background and the data driven background that I had, I realized that all of the data that I was looking for was such a pain to extract from Mindbody, and part of it was set up, part of it was the confusing system. It just didn’t fit what I needed, and I ended up tracking most of our important data points manually on spreadsheets. So when we moved to a new facility, we had done demos with other gym management platforms and really weren’t coming up with anything that we thought was a viable solution for us, so we were pretty intent on sticking with Mindbody. I went down to Ochi CrossFit where I was doing my USAW certification and met a gentleman named Jake Crandall. And Jake Crandall being one of the very few gym owners there in the room, we started talking and he said he used a platform called PushPress. They’re fairly new, you should look at them. I got on a demo, saw how easy it was and saw that the data points that I was manually tracking were pretty much all right there, and that was even in PushPress’ infancy. You just knew almost immediately, this is what we’re doing. There’s no other doubt, stopped my search, didn’t look at another platform and from there jumped on board.
Dan Uyemura: So it’s widely known and discussed in business, that data, since you’re talking about data, is the new oil, right? Those who possess it will end up winning, and at PushPress that’s an important endeavor of ours and something we’re moving down as you know. Can you tell the gym owners out there listening right now what you think the one, two or three most important data points are that they should be looking at and why?
Nick Reyes: I’m actually gonna work a little bit backwards here and reference some of the things that I look at in PushPress pretty consistently. Payments forecast in PushPress to me is super important because that shows what we’re going to make in just membership revenue in the next month. At Kansas Athletic Club, we basically have a rolling 12 month budget for all income line items and all expense line items, that forecasts raises that we’re gonna give the staff and certifications we’re gonna pay for them, and I mean everything under the sun. It’s all privy. It’s all based upon making sure that membership revenue number grows so that payments forecast is like data point number one. If that’s trending below our forecast, then we know that we’re in trouble with the overall budget and we need to play a little game called “Fill the Gap” right, like we’re $1000 under where we need to be, and we can’t be, so what are some ways that we can fill that $1000 gap? We play that game from time to time, unfortunately, so that’s one important data point. I think for most gym owners, that data point is largely driven by leads in sales, so how many leads are you getting every single month? How many of those are you closing? Those are important and then churn. Are you tracking churn as a data point and what are you doing to mitigate that number? What are you doing to decrease that churn number? I think that those are probably my top three. The outcome of both new sales and losing clients.
Dan Uyemura: Yeah, like every business that’s kind of in our line of work, which is the recurring revenue subscription type business. You’re gonna be living on a few things, that’s incoming sales, length of membership, and churn percentage. That kind of dictates your revenue.
Nick Reyes: It really should dictate your daily actions, right? Like let’s say, and I doubt this happens for a lot of gyms, let’s say you’ve just killed all your churn, like you have virtually no churn, and the churn that you have, you can’t really help, maybe people are legitimately moving out of town, and that’s your primary source for all of your churn. Then your daily actions, if you’ve got processes set up to tackle the churn part and you’re still not where you want to be financially, well, then they need to be on income creation or revenue creation and that needs to be where your daily mindset is. At the same time, if you’re getting in a ton of leads and you’re converting those leads and you’re just moving kind of sideways and not up, your daily actions really need to be centered around churn reduction.
Dan Uyemura: Of those two, income generation or churn reduction, what do you think gym owners are focused on? And what do you think they should be focused on, speaking generally.
Nick Reyes: Generally, they’re focused on income creation and they need to be focused on churn reduction. I actually think that the deeper answer here, and I’m guilty of this completely, is I think the reason for that is we all want to believe that our business best serves every single person that walks in the door. So if someone cancels then it truly is that they don’t have the money to pay for it or it truly is that they don’t have the time, we don’t want to believe that we have failed to set forth a solid value proposition to where they create the money in their budget, where they create the time in their day.
Dan Uyemura: That’s so true and the other aspect to it is we’re all humans and humans are emotionally driven and closing a new client and bringing a new face in the gym is an endorphin hit. Saving a member from churning is something that has no tangible moment, it’s not like that. The person who’s coming to you saying I’m gonna quit and then you save them, it’s just like they’re slowly leaving. So I think a lot of owners chase that endorphin hit of getting a new member, which is ironic, and this is a good segue way into sales, because no gym owner I know ever wants to be a salesperson, but they do like the endorphin hit of closing five new clients in a month or something, right?
Nick Reyes: Right, right. Yeah, so I was talking to a buddy of mine, just earlier today, who basically thanked me for a lot of work that he had done with us for sales development, and understanding that it’s okay to know your worth, not discount that, and ask someone for that worth for that value, and I think that’s really tough for a lot of gym owners.
Dan Uyemura: Yeah, so this might be me preaching to the choir, but I think this is important for our listeners to hear. My biggest inflection moment in business, to date, was when I took a sales course and I took it for my gym, but I also took it for PushPress because what we’re selling is very similar. The course really taught me how to be an ethical salesperson who was driving decision making on a client’s behalf, but at the same time, valued my time and valued my services and put a premium on what we did, didn’t discount what we did. It taught us not to lower prices based on our own insecurities because once you know how to sell and you understand the psychology of it and the direction of it, you can actually keep your worth. You know you don’t have to discount your services to get clients.
You’re a sales professional. You come from that background. Is there any framework or any quick sales primer you can give someone listening right now that can help change their perception on sales if that person used to think of sales like I did like, I’ll never want to be a salesperson.
Nick Reyes: A couple of things. I would say listen, listen, listen, listen, and if you listen to what they’re saying and you ask questions that are maybe not in your financial best interest, but in understanding their pain points, and those things may not align, right? But, if you really ask questions as to why they’re standing in front of you, then you will be absolutely prepared to prop up your solution to their pain points, but you can’t do that if you’re not listening to what they’re saying with the true intent of “Do I have a solution to this or not?” If you’re not listening in that framework you’re shooting yourself in the foot. I tell people, from a sales standpoint, you have to be able to do one of two things: 1) Either truly believe that what you offer will solve their problem beyond any shadow of doubt 2) Or you have to be able to not sleep at night. One or the other, there’s no happy median there. So if someone says that they are having tons of shoulder pain and they’re hoping CrossFit can solve it for them.You may have a solution in your facility, but it may not be do a free trial class of CrossFit, so you better learn to sleep at night, if that’s what you’re pitching.
Dan Uyemura: Yeah, but again, understanding sales. If you have to ask those questions and like you said, ask and listen, ask and listen to understand that they’re coming to you for shoulder pain. So either you might be referring them to a doctor or you might be referring them to personal training to work on shoulder and scapular strength and not just go and lift and put a bunch of stuff over your head, and do kipping pull-ups, and destroy your rotator cuff even more.
Nick Reyes: Exactly, but you can’t get there if you’re just thinking, “Oh man, it’s been a tough month. I need another CrossFit membership.” Right?
Dan Uyemura: Yeah, like one of the bigger sticking points from my sales course that I could drop on people is called “staying on the no,” which basically means my job is not to make you say yes, my job is to find a reason for me to say no, so that keeps really ethical. I’m actually actively trying to disqualify people when I’m selling them because that leads me down questioning that doesn’t make them defensive because I’m not trying to set them up for the sale. I’m trying to set them up for disqualification. I’m trying to find reasons why they wouldn’t be a good fit in my gym as opposed to trying to force them to be a good fit. It was a huge take away that I got from the sales course.
Nick Reyes: We do that here at PushPress, right?
Dan Uyemura: Yeah. It became one of the founding principles of the sales. Luckily, when we found you, you jived with all of the philosophies we had with sales because you were an ethical salesperson, and it worked. So now let’s talk about something a lot of people probably don’t like talking about that’s failures. In my opinion, failures are paramount to becoming a successful person. I don’t think there is a single successful person who hasn’t failed tremendously and often, so I don’t think it’s taboo to talk about failure. Personally, I talked about mine openly. Can you share with us a failure that you’ve had that was, at the moment, the worst thing that’s happened in your life and maybe didn’t turn out so bad. Maybe it turned out to be something good.
Nick Reyes: Yeah, I’ve actually got one. It’s funny, it pops up on Facebook memory every year and every few years I share it. The startup company that I worked for was here in Kansas City, and it employed about 50 people. It’s called ICOP Digital, they were a publicly traded company. We sold digital video systems to law enforcement, like what you would see on cops. Those used to be all VHS tapes, and this was right at the time when that all started switching to cameras and wireless cameras and body cameras on officers and things like that. So I managed the East Coast sales, and we as a company, we had never turned a profit, right? So investor driven, never turned a profit, kept raising funds, kept spending funds, and internally. I thought in my mind, a big goal of mine was to get to the position that I was at and 100% honesty, I became ridiculously complacent. Once I achieved a certain salary, I thought, “Man, if you could have pinpointed a job back in high school that you would have been thrilled with, this is it, you’ve done it.” Eventually that company filed bankruptcy, and in fact, my wife and I closed on our house on Friday before Christmas, moved in over the weekend, and on Monday morning when I went to the office, they laid off all 50 employees. Christmas was like that Thursday, so I remember it just felt like a slap in the face. You know what, you were responsible for 1/3 of the country’s sales, and one of the reasons why we had to file bankruptcy was because you were complacent. You quit that wake up early, go to bed late, grind you learned as a Marine because you were just fine with where things were at.
Dan Uyemura: Wait, that’s what they told you. Or that’s what you internalized?
Nick Reyes: That’s what I internalized. Those were the feelings that I had. No one blamed it on me. It was what I felt, I had let down a ton of people and that became probably the biggest motivating factor — you will never be complacent again, you will work, you will wake up, you will grind, and if you’re not willing to, then maybe there’s something else wrong with what you’re doing. But this is who you are now. You can never make that mistake again for the rest of your life. It largely shaped the last, gosh, I guess it’s after that I went to Caterpillar, and then now for PushPress, that’s been nine years. So it’s largely shaped the last decade of my life.
Dan Uyemura: That’s interesting. That makes me think of something that somebody told me once recently that I feel is very important and kind of in line with what you’re saying — but also, at the same time not, which I think is a good lesson to tell people here — because I see this come up in gym owner forms all the time…I got this coach and they’re doing X, Y and Z, and how do I fire them, or do I let them go? One thing that was told to me is every person inherently is good, and every person inherently can kick ass at something, and if they’re not kicking ass at a job in your company, you’re actually doing them a disservice by keeping them because they should and could be kicking ass somewhere. And they’re stuck in a situation they probably don’t know how to get out of themselves. So a lot of times when it comes to letting go of people, it’s the same concept — in the moment, it’s really hard for you, it might be the worst thing in their life, but when they look back on it in 18 months, they’ll say “Thank God I got out of that situation because I probably would have still been there and still been unhappy, but now I’ve got this better job that I’m doing better things.”
Nick Reyes: 100% agree. I mean, if the passion isn’t there, then you really are doing a disservice by stringing them along.
Dan Uyemura: Yeah because a lot of times as an owner of a business you know when someone’s not a fit and just because it’s an uncomfortable conversation, you let them waste time, and it’s doing your business is a disservice, but worse, it’s doing them a disservice.
I love the idea of exploration of knowledge. In fact, one of my most favorite podcasts right now is called the Knowledge Project, where it just talks about concepts that people have figured out that have nothing to do with anything in particular. But it’s just about frameworks of knowledge. What’s something that you’re curious about, something you want to learn or you are in the act of learning about, and how have you gone about seeking that?
Nick Reyes: I think recently the big thing that I’ve been trying to learn about is the psychology of keeping clients and keeping them happy. What makes a client dissatisfied, and how can you preemptively attack that for different industries? Because every client is different. Some of them might be projecting dissatisfaction because of something else in their life, so there’s just a ton around churn reduction for both the gym and for PushPress and client happiness that I think, again, if you’re just revenue focused, then maybe you don’t care, but if you truly are trying to make sure that every single one of the clients at your gym or at your company or whatever it might be are satisfied, you can’t just say: I don’t need to learn this. I don’t need to study this. I don’t need to learn different hacks for my gym to make sure that people smile every time they walk into this place. Who’s doing it really, really well — let me see what they’re doing — and in one of my big goals, to actually go and visit some gyms. So I think, do it really, really well or identify some gyms that do it really, really well, and then go visit them and watch it happen.
It’s kind of a tangent, but I think that’s something that not enough gym owners probably do, we don’t create time to go and visit other gyms and forge relationships within our own fitness communities and learn best practices from each other.
Dan Uyemura: Yeah, that’s a good point. So there’s something you brought up there that made me think of something — how do I make sure everyone smiles? Right when you said that, my mind started to think about the gym I was involved in, and that was never really a mission, although it was kind of a mission meaning the point was to make sure we had a great time. But saying those words, telling your coaches, make sure everyone smiles, it’s so simple. It’s like a core statement. Just like Chief Happiness Officer, I find it so powerful that when you put a few words or a title or a direction to something that it just shapes culture.
Nick Reyes: That’s a tangible point, right? It’s easy. They walked in the door and they smiled, we’re doing our job. They walk in the door just like, “Hey, what’s up?” We’re not doing our job.
Dan Uyemura: Yeah, and it’s so easy to change that. I know it’s an obvious concept to me, but just hearing that is so profound — if you don’t put these mantras down on paper and in your coaches’ mind, and in your founders’ mind, they don’t conscientiously happen, so that’s actually a huge — honestly, at this point in this podcast, if there’s one thing you’re listening to this and you’re taking away — it’s that put very important concepts down on paper and make sure everyone understands that’s your culture. Make people smile, if that’s what it is.
Nick Reyes: It’s funny you say that because even internally at PushPress, we didn’t always have on-paper core values, and so as those core values were published and discussed at our retreat, it has really changed the fabric of the company.
Dan Uyemura: So while we’re on that topic, why don’t you share with everybody what your favorite core value is with PushPress and why? I’ll tell you mine while you’re thinking about it, mine is to create real relationships because I believe we’re in a relationship business. Not just as PushPress helping gym owners, but I believe in helping gym owners help their clients, and it’s all relationship driven. To me, at the end of the day, when I’m on my deathbed, it’s like the relationships that I’ve created, and the people I’ve helped ultimately is all that matters, and that includes my family, includes my friends, and that includes our clients. But the real relationships one to me is one that’s just so tangibly important.
Nick Reyes: I go 50/50 between that one and empower dominating gems. It’s so hard for me, maybe just to give the listeners arun down here: Our core values are 1) Empower dominating gyms, 2) Build a kick ass product, 3) Create real relationships, 4) Be a data driven organization, and 5) Execute incremental perfection. So the real relationships I 1000% agree. I think that’s one of the main ones for us here, but the empower dominating gyms to me, whenever I picture that, I picture the person who took the massive leap of faith moving the gym from their garage, and signing a lease, and we allowed them to take that vision that they had when they took that massive leap of faith and create this powerhouse in their market. So to me that kind of speaks to the heart a little bit. So I go back and forth between the two, but either one of those I think are awesome answers.
Dan Uyemura: Cool. So given that we’re on this concept of learning and growing, what are your three favorite books, podcasts or other educational things you’re soaking in right now?
Nick Reyes: Never Lose a Customer Again by Joey Coleman is one of the books that I’m in the middle of right now. SNAP Selling — every so often, I’ll switch back over and read that again. That’s by Jill Konrath. Podcast-wise, I jump around a lot. Outside of The Daily for news and political stuff, which is a short, little 25 minute podcast that I do listen to every day. As far as knowledge enrichment, if someone slacks something at PushPress, you send me some stuff and I’ll jump in and listen to a few episodes, but I don’t really have one that I just have to listen to every single day for knowledge enrichment. I’m a lot more into the audiobooks and listening to those as I’m driving around the city and sitting here working. Some of the other ones that I think I’ve gotten great value from: Outliers, I read every couple of years. A Breakthrough Company is another good one. Any of the leadership books, The Serving Leader, I think is an awesome book. I think for gym owners, in general, you and I talk about this, refocusing into leadership books and business development books, and podcasts really need to be where the mindset shifts too.
Dan Uyemura: Yeah. I mean the reason we’re doing this podcast, one thing we’ve kind of come to feel is a lot of gym owners spend a lot of time listening to podcasts that center around gym stuff, and I think they need to start listening to business stuff because business is bigger than gyms. Gyms do need to know business. I mean there’s stuff out there that’s good, that is specific to running a gym business. But many of these concepts are tried and true and executed at levels that are orders of magnitude higher than a local gym, and there’s a lot to be learned from the business community, in general. We’re trying to take some of that information from that community and bring it to the gym.
If you could give the listener, right now, one thing that they could do, right after this podcast is done, to make their gym better or their life better or something along those lines, what would it be?
Nick Reyes: Can I give two?
Dan Uyemura: Yeah, you can give two.
Nick Reyes: First, and it may not be quite as tactical, but first, find an in-person sales course in your local city area, something you can drive to, sign up for it ,and do it. When I say it needs to be local, and hopefully it’s in a room full of people, some forced role play and not just something online that you click through. I think that role play portion really makes you uncomfortable and grow a ton. So find one and do it.
Dan Uyemura: Can I interrupt you right there?
Nick Reyes: Yeah. Yeah.
Dan Uyemura: Can you build a sales seminar that we bring to the community specific for gyms?
Nick Reyes: Yeah, Let’s do it.
Dan Uyemura: Given that you’re the pro.
Nick Reyes: Yeah.
Dan Uyemura: Okay, we’ll sidebar that next one.
Nick Reyes: The next one and this is one that I’ve probably done like 3-4 times a year since I got involved with the gym. And you could do it right now, it is go through every single way that someone becomes a client at your gym from the time they first hear about you until the time they are three years in, and put yourself through that journey. What does that look like? For example, they hear about you from a friend. How do they find you, contact you, and become a client? What’s that first couple of years client experience look like — map that entire process out. If you can put yourself in those shoes, and maybe even do it, sign up for your own consultation or No Sweat Intro. How hard is it? How easy is it? Did you have to make 30 clicks to sign up for it? Did you get some weird emails or was something miscommunicated with you as you walked yourself through the journey. Does originating that journey in Google look different than if you originated in Yelp? How much different does that look if they just walk into your door and they talk with a coach instead of you as the owner, walk yourself through that journey, and if you think that it’s too cumbersome, too click heavy, it’s not intuitive. Then your clients, I guarantee, your prospects think that too.
Dan Uyemura: That’s a really good one. Something that I don’t think we ever did at my gym — putting yourself in your client experience is pretty key because you know the system best, and if you can’t figure it out or if it seems a little hard for you, like Nick was saying, then it’s gonna be probably 10-20 times harder for somebody who doesn’t know what they’re trying to do.
Nick Reyes: Yeah and not even just that they don’t know what they’re trying to do, but you got to also think of their motivation. If they’re just now thinking that they’re going to start their fitness journey, and they’re a little timid, maybe a little bit unsure they want to do this. Twenty clicks to get it started might give them just the excuse they need to keep sitting on the couch.
Dan Uyemura: Funny enough, that’s the whole reason I decided I wanted to start PushPress because it took me 20 clicks to buy a foam roller and it just pissed me off.
Nick Reyes: I love that story by the way.
Dan Uyemura: My five minute fix that I will maintain to the day that I die is if you’re a rocking a gmail.com email address like firstname.lastname@example.org or something like that, nut up, spend the $5 or $7, whatever Google charges now, get a real email with a real domain because me as a customer, anytime I do business with any service provider, if it’s something at gmail.com, I move on immediately because nothing reeks hobby business, nonprofessional, somebody who may not be around next year, more than a gmail.com email address.
Nick Reyes: Abso-freakin-lutely.
Dan Uyemura: That’s not to talk smack about anyone who has a gmail address today. You just have to again look at it from the customer’s standpoint. I know it’s free. I know it’s easy. It takes no time. But from a customer standpoint, you are honestly probably losing 50% of your leads.
Nick Reyes: You know what else is free and easy is going out for a run instead of hiring a professional to teach you fitness.
Dan Uyemura: Exactly. Yeah, so that would be my five minute fix. So if you’re listening to this right now, you have a few things you can do. 1) Sign up for sales seminar, 2) Run through your sales journey, 3) Get a professional email. Three things you can do when you leave.
Couple more quick questions. These are more on the fun side. What’s your favorite beverage, I know you have an extensive drink shelf I see it all the time when we do voice video meetings, what’s your favorite beverage on your shelf right now? The one that you would pour for your most esteemed guests when they come over.
Nick Reyes: On the shelf right now is a bottle of High West that one of the members at my gym brings back every time she visits her hometown in Utah. They’re in Park City, so love some High West. That’s the favorite thing on the shelf right now.
Dan Uyemura: For those who don’t know? What is that? Is that a whiskey? Bourbon?
Nick Reyes: It’s a bourbon.
Dan Uyemura: That’s made in Utah?
Nick Reyes: Yeah. Park City.
Dan Uyemura: Park City is in Utah, right?
Nick Reyes: Yeah. High West Whiskey.
Dan Uyemura: Isn’t alcohol not legal in Utah?
Nick Reyes: Oh, man, I don’t know how that works. I just know it’s delicious.
Dan Uyemura: I remember when we went there they were joking around that all the beers, you can’t have it more than a certain percentage, just like 1% or 2%.
Nick Reyes: Yeah it’s a big Mormon community.
Dan Uyemura: Interesting. Okay. Last one, before we wrap this up, boutique fitness as we know it has been evolving fast. Given that we’re from the CrossFit community, I would dare to say CrossFit is the one that kind of kicked this off many years ago. But it’s here now, corporations are getting involved. We’re seeing franchises pop up left and right. We’re seeing boutique in-home solutions coming out, the boutique fitness industry is evolving fast. What would you boldly predict for 2020 that might impact our boutique gym owners out? Something they need to pay attention to, shift tom trend towards or whatever.
Nick Reyes: I think, in general, we’re going to continue to see consolidation in the marketplace is my guess. I don’t know if it’s a bold prediction. I think it’s one that we are already seeing, but that we’ll continue to see. I don’t know if that answers the question. Maybe you’ll continue, and some of these we started seeing last year, but you know, if there’s a piece of equipment like the stair climber, now there are entire gyms being formed around Versa climbers and entire gyms being formed around rowers and skiers. If anything, I think you’ll continue to see specialty gyms, that the niches may be widened a little bit. Where you have entire kettlebell gyms maybe more of those, but I don’t know that they will last long. I feel like you can only go in and get on a Versa climber so many times. Know what I mean? Does that answer?
Dan Uyemura: Yeah, let me let me lend, because I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. That absolutely is a trend. In LA, they just launched a thing called Platefit, which is little vibrating plates. Literally, I went into a globo gym and I was kind of making fun of it on a video once because it’s just a little plate that vibrates, and this will stimulate your muscles, you know? I use them more for therapeutic reasons and for actually working out, but there’s a thing called Platefit that just opened, and it’s like doing a whole workout while being vibrated on a plate. Okay, it’s a new novelty. I get it. Someone made a corporate franchise around it. How long do I want to do vibrating squats and vibrating dumbbell-whatever on a plate? I don’t know if I’d be a member of that for more than three months. On one hand, for our gyms, in this industry, the boutique single owner operator with small regional presence, it kind of sucks that all these franchises are coming into our space. On the other hand, it’s like they’re all fighting over these 3 to 6 month concepts. I’ve done OrangeTheory, I’ve done at F45, I’ve done all of these workouts, and I promise I couldn’t do it more than a month or two. I think yoga is the only thing that I could spend a long amount of time doing. But outside of that, I don’t see any of these lasting a long time, they’re just going to recycle people. The good thing is they’re gonna introduce a lot of people to high intensity interval training They’re gonna introduce people to spending $200 a month for high level, high value, high touch point fitness. Honestly, these facilities aren’t run by people who understand fitness. They’re run by cheerleaders, who are cheerleading coaches, and they’re owned by people who are looking to just make money and fitness. They don’t really care about fitness. The franchise owner operators are not your average gym owner. They’re just people with a lot of money who are looking to diversify their money.
Nick Reyes: Exactly. Yeah that speaks to the exact reason why CrossFit has been such a revolution is you don’t do the same workout every time, you don’t just go in and jump on a plate. Now, you may touch the barbell three times a week, but you’re doing different movements with that barbell. So I think, if anything, to expand upon that, the ones that you see succeed will be the ones that have different class types in different niches within their umbrella.
Dan Uyemura: Yeah. What I can see happening is some umbrella owns Pilates, yoga, martial arts, CrossFit, boot camp, and then they just recycle members between their own verticals, and they got somebody for three years because you do three months here, four months there. Whatever. I could see that happening. What this goes to say is, and honestly, even CrossFit or strength and conditioning type, high intensity gyms aren’t immune to this because I’m sure every gym out there, if you look at your member base after about 18 months, they like I got a pull-up now, I can do most barbell movements to some proficiency, and they get a little bit bored. So you still need to pay attention to this, in my opinion, in the boutique gym space because you’ve got to have a wide enough offering or continually have little niche verticals that people can get interested in for a while to keep them interested and engaged.
Nick Reyes: Or forge partnerships that allow you to do so.
Dan Uyemura: All right, cool. That’s it for me. Are there any parting messages or statements you want to make to the listeners out there?
Nick Reyes: Stay on the grind, guys. Don’t get complacent. Stay on the grind. That’s it.
Dan Uyemura: Again, such simple words, and if you actually take heed to them could be very impactful to your business.
Well that wraps up another episode of The Gym OS podcast from PushPress where we talk the business of fitness. We’re gonna be doing a little series of these podcasts, we’re gonna introducing our teams, to get to know our team better.
This is Nick Reyes, the Chief Happiness Officer or the CHO of PushPress, which I just realized is the funniest acronym ever. I’m gonna start calling you a CHO.
Make sure you subscribe to this podcast if you are in the business of fitness and you want to keep learning about how to become a better business owner in your fitness facility. Our mission here is to transfer you from a fitness professional into a business professional. We can be found on Apple podcasts, Spotify or wherever you’re listening to a podcast now.
Until next time, we’ll see you later and stay on the grind.