HOSTED BY GEORGE FOURIE

136 – Jason Flame: Community Networking That Fuels Martial Arts Business Success

[powerpress]

Over and above professional wrestling, martial arts, and the Master Motivation podcast, Jason shares how giving back to the community powers his martial arts school and 2 other businesses.

 

IN THIS EPISODE:

  • How community networking and fundraisers help promote martial arts schools
  • A traditional martial arts marketing strategy that works
  • Why advertising should emphasize the benefits of martial arts training
  • What helps improve student retention during the summer
  • Why giving back to the community matters for martial arts schools
  • And more

*Need help growing your martial arts school? Start Here.

 

TRANSCRIPTION

GEORGE: Hey, it's George Fourie. Welcome to the Martial Arts Media™ Business Podcast. Today, we're back with another epic interview with a phenomenal martial arts school owner, Jason Flame from Moorpark Karate and Krav Maga.

So, this episode, the value per minute was super high. We spoke about community engagement, how to infiltrate your community organically and be involved, and we also spoke about him running three separate businesses. He likes to call it the trifecta and how the 3 businesses actually operate and help boost his martial arts school.

Jason is also a professional wrestler, so he spoke about wrestling, and what I really got a lot of value from is his student retention strategies that's really, really helpful, especially through your long summer months or when students want to take a break and how they boost their attendance through that.

So, all the show notes and the transcript of the show, you can download at martialartsmedia.com/136. The number is 136. You're probably going to want to do that for this episode because as I said, the value per minute is really high. So do that, and by all means, if you love this episode and get some good value from it, please share this with another martial arts instructor or another martial arts school owner, and help us grow the show and get it out to more people.

All right. Hope you enjoy the show. Let's jump in! 

Jason Flame, welcome to the Martial Arts Media™ Business Podcast.

JASON: Thank you for having me. Super excited.

GEORGE: Jason Flame, Flame is your last name. Is that real or a pseudo name?

JASON: It's funny, I get asked that quite often, and yes, it is the name that's on my birth certificate. It's actually my name. Master Flame is really easy to use in the professional wrestling industry. It's great in the karate world, and I guess I get a little extra attention with that name. I bring the fire.

GEORGE: Now, you, one person that can claim you bring the fire because, I mean, it's in your name, right? It's embedded.

JASON: That's right. 

GEORGE: First up, what I love to ask our guests is about marketing, attracting the right students, increasing sign ups, and also retaining new members. What I'd love to know from you, what's been your best strategy recently or of all time for you to bring in new students?

JASON: I would say that the best thing for us marketing-wise has to be our community engagement, our community involvement. We own three different businesses here in our small town, and the martial arts school was first, but it helped us open up opportunities for some other businesses. 

But the one thing that we pride ourselves on is giving back to the community by doing fundraisers, by providing items for auctions, and raffles, and different things for the schools and the sports organizations. Every youth organization in our city, we sponsor in one way or another, and it's just something that we feel is really important because our community has supported us for so long.

We opened our martial arts school in 1994, and we started at a recreation center and built it up from there. The community has supported us. So I think that it's only right that we give back and support our community.

GEORGE: I love that. So it's something that comes from the heart, but it also pays off for the business. I want to touch base on the three different businesses because that's interesting, how that can actually overlap as in one strategy that suits all, but that's the what, what you know do.

How do you actually go about it? Where do you start? Who do you contact? Where do you start with community involvement and so forth?

JASON: Well, you know what, what was really easy in a way is that we have two children who are now adult children, 17 and 20 years old. They went to preschool, and they went to kindergarten. They went to elementary school, middle school, and high school all here in our community.

One thing that my wife is really, really good about is she has always been present. She has always been there in the classroom with our kids. Maybe not necessarily coaching, that was more my forte, but being team mom for soccer, baseball, softball, football, whatever the kids were active in, dance.

So I think that was the best lead-in was that we had children that went through the program. But even before we had children, I think that it was still something that we were able to do. It's just that we weren't as engulfed in it as when we had children, if that makes sense.

GEORGE: Perfect. So, obviously, being a parent, but then just having a close ear to the ground of where the opportunities open up?

JASON: Definitely. I mean, with social media, social media has made our life so much easier in the way of gaining information quickly. Right?

So we see a post on social media, whether it's Instagram, Facebook, or wherever else, and we see something going on with the schools, and we're going to jump on that opportunity. We see something where there's a need for a fundraiser, we're going to jump on that, and we're going to offer our services. So social media has made it so much easier, but yes, I think even back in the day, we'd be looking at the cork boards that local businesses would have, the community bulletins.

I look at everything that comes through the mail regarding our recreation brochure because our recreation brochure goes out to every home in our city that tells all the different recreation programs, be it dance, karate, which we still offer to this day at the recreation program, swimming, you name it, right? The camps. So we can see a lot of what's going on in that brochure. That's really helpful.

GEORGE: That's cool. I always walk past those billboards, and part of me looks at it, and I think, “Do these really work?” It always makes me think that everyone that's in a small business, they typically struggle with the marketing side. 

They typically struggle to get the reach, whether it's a passion project or something that they're trying to do, and what a great way to actually look at that differently. You look across the community boards and just see what's going on. How do you just get people involved?

JASON: Right, and I don't know how it is in Australia, but lead boxes were a big deal in the late '80s, '90s, before the big social media boom. So I would notice Gold's Gym, all the big 24-Hour Fitness. They'd have lead boxes everywhere.

Well, if they can do it, and they're a membership-based service, why can't I do it from a martial arts school? I mean, that was one of the first ways that I learned how to market effectively.  I was a 17-year-old black belt that was working in a karate school, and I can't really say I was working because I wasn't getting paid, but I wanted to find out or create a way that I could get paid.

And I said, “Well, hey. What if I can bring more members into the school? Could we work out something where maybe I get paid per new member?” So lead boxes were part of that. I went out and just placed lead boxes everywhere, got those leads, called them up, made appointments.

I learned how to be really hungry that way, and then I remember even as a teenager making cold calls in our white pages, the phonebook. Nobody uses a phonebook anymore, but I'd just open it up and start calling. I think, for me, I was always looking for a different way to get the message out there, a different way to reach because my target audience for martial arts is literally everybody that is 3 years old and older, and whether they can stand on two feet or not, whether they can see or not, whether they can hear or not.

Anybody can do martial arts, so I don't really discriminate against my audience. I want to get that message out there to everybody.

GEORGE: It's so funny, right, because I'm a digital marketing guy, but if you want to shortcut marketing, just walk up to someone and ask. It can really be that simple. We did a program with Kevin Blundell who's a local here in Australia, he's got 21 locations, and they typically infiltrate these smaller towns.

We did this course called The Next Profitable Location, and everything was old-school, but in a real cool way. The way they would train their staff and the first thing that they would do is they'd just go to town, and get the haircut, go to the coffee shop, and it would always just be, “Hey, we are the new martial arts school down the road,” and always be introducing it in that aspect.

It's something that we've really adapted and we talk about a lot in our group. It is just looking at your surroundings like, “Who's the coffee shop next door? Which small business can benefit or already has your audience that you can chat to?” I was looking at your pages because you're pretty active with your videos, and I just saw you posted a Moorpark Chamber Networking Mixer.

JASON:  Yes, sir.

GEORGE:  Is that part of the strategy?

JASON:  So community networking is huge, especially in a small town, and just to give you an idea, our population is somewhere between 36,000 to 38,000 people. When we're surrounded by the surrounding areas, the population is anywhere from 130,000 to 150,000. So we're relatively a small town, and it's like everybody knows everybody, but still, that community networking goes so far.

Our Chamber of Commerce works really, really hard to help support local businesses to help give networking opportunities. So, yes, tonight we are hosting a networking mixer where everybody is coming here to the karate school. Local leaders, business owners, politicians, the city council, the school board, the mayor, anybody that's anybody will be here tonight in our school, which is amazing because now we get to show them the facility, show them a demonstration from our students, talk to them a little bit about the benefits of martial arts.

I mean, anytime that we can create something unique and special to bring people into the school, I think that's a huge advantage. So, the networking within our Chamber of Commerce has really stepped up over the last, I would say, seven or eight years.

GEORGE:  That's such a simple and really cool concept. Really, just bringing your community together, and you using your facilities to do that. I want to change gears just a little bit here, but I want to learn just a little bit more about you and your other businesses.

I know you were a professional wrestler, so let's just start with the martial arts stuff and the wrestling.

JASON:  Okay.

GEORGE:  So what came first? The wrestling came first, then this karate because it's Moorpark Karate and Krav Maga? Take us a bit back into the martial arts background.

JASON:  For sure. So I started training in martial arts in 1985. My instructor is Dennis Ichikawa, who was a student of Chuck Norris and Pat Johnson. So we're a Tang Soo Do system, and it was my mom's idea.

I think I saw Karate Kid around that time, but it wasn't really because of that. My mom always wanted to do karate, and she said that when she had kids, she wanted her kids to do karate. I have two younger brothers who are also black belts.

One of which owns his own school as well, my brother, Jacob Flame. He still carries the name of our original school, which is Tang Soo Do University. He's in our hometown where we grew up, Newbury Park, California.

So my mom put us in karate, and it just stuck for me. My middle brother played baseball, so he went in and out of martial arts, even though he did earn his black belt. My youngest brother went in and out, and then at a certain point, really engaged with my school in the beginning and worked with me.

We trained together before we decided to help him open his own school, and then I just continued all the way through as a teenager teaching martial arts and opened my school at 19 years old at a recreation center. It was the only way that I knew how to start a school because I didn't have much in savings. I didn't really have a job per se other than teaching karate and private lessons, and so my instructor started when I started.

I started at a recreation center. I said, “Well, if that's how he can build his school, I'm going to go do the same thing.” So, in '94, 1994, we started our first class at the recreation center here, and we still teach that program to this day.

Then, we finally opened our first facility in 1996. So it took me about a year and a half to build up enough students where I can pay rent because once again, I still didn't have any savings. I didn't have any financial backing. My parents were not in a position where they were going to help me open my school.

I wasn't going to borrow money and go into debt, but I had just enough to put the first month's rent down and the security deposit. I had enough students that I knew that I was going to be able to keep paying the rent as long as I kept those students, and so that's the beginning of the martial arts journey.

As far as professional wrestling, that came much later. I don't want to go too deep into the story, but at 20-something years old, I really did want to become a professional wrestler. It was always a dream of mine.

I grew up watching Hulk Hogan and the Ultimate Warrior, and just loved the WWF at the time. Now, WWE. I actually went to a wrestling school, and long story short, I chickened out and I didn't follow through, but continued with my martial arts.

My martial arts was always my career and my passion. But flash forward like 20 years later, I met a gentleman who walked into my school, interestingly enough, who was asking me, “How would you like to promote your martial arts school? How would you like to tell more people?”

I'm like, “Yeah.” That's another marketing opportunity, right? I'm going to get out there. We're going to have a booth at this event. I didn't even really know what the event was, but I knew it was at the Boys and Girls Club, and then he told me it's professional wrestling. I'm like, “Well, I'm in because I love both of these things.”

So I go, and I meet the promoter. He basically says, “Hey, we have a school, and if you want to come by train, here's the address.” I went down, took my first class, and I wrestled for almost 10 years, over a hundred matches, and had a really, really great time. My last match was probably about 3 to 4 weeks ago, but it's not as frequent as it used to be.

Professional wrestling came later, but I was able to tie the two together. As a matter of fact, we opened a professional wrestling school five doors down from where my martial arts school was about five years ago. We've since moved the pro wrestling school, but having the karate school and the pro wrestling school almost next door to each other made it so easy. We wrestled every Friday night.

GEORGE:  I love that. I'm a big fan of the wrestling component, and I know about training Jiu-Jitsu. It is really important. When you get to be a wrestler, that's always the hardest work, but I want to ask you about the professional side. A lot of people look at WWF, WWE now, and they look at it. It's like, “Yeah, it's staged and so forth.”

What's your take on that? How much of that goes into the stage, and how much is the real hardcore wrestling?

JASON:  Well, the way I look at it is that professional wrestling is no different than doing a martial arts demonstration. Whatever we do in a martial arts demonstration is all choreographed. It's all made up.

It's all practiced and rehearsed, but listen, when someone throws you to the ground, there's some physicality to that. You have to be flexible, agile, and coordinated just like martial arts. That's a thing for me is that I flowed right into the professional wrestling world so easily because of my background in martial arts.

I was already very comfortable with my body and what my capability was. I had to learn a lot about the psychology of professional wrestling because pro wrestling is telling a story. It's not just doing a bunch of moves. It's telling a story and getting people to either boo you or cheer you, or get a reaction one way or the other.

I cannot think of many things that incorporate the physical aspect, the drama, and just the storylines. Professional wrestling is just so fun and so entertaining, and the best part for me was just like martial arts. The people that you train with and the people that you're working out with, day in and day out, you really have this bond.

As you train in Jiu-Jitsu, you know how close you get to the people that you train with, and those people that are getting better right next to you only elevate your game. So I found myself wrestling with a lot of people that were way better than me, but made me look like a million bucks. I mean, I have some really good friends that I made through professional wrestling.

GEORGE:  What really hit home for me, what you mentioned there is how the storytelling part works. Can you lean in a bit more about that? How does it work? If you look at a wrestling match from start to beginning, how is that storyline supposed to evolve? Is it flexible, or how do you typically go about that?

JASON:  I mean, it depends on the storyline that's going on with the wrestlers and the characters. Right? I mean, you got your good guy, and you got your bad guy. You got your heel. You got your face. It just all depends on what that next match is going to be or what we're working toward.

In the WWE in the old days, they used to always work up to WrestleMania, work up the storylines to survivor series, and there'd be a series of matches that would create this drama between two characters, and then there's usually some kind of resolution and some kind of closure to that story before moving on to somebody else.

Is it flexible? I mean, most of what's done in the ring is off the cuff. There are some people that really like to plan a match all the way out from start to finish. That's not really my style. I like to go with the flow a little bit more like this interview. Right?

We just go with the flow and see what works, see what's catching the attention of the audience, and draw them in. I mean, that's the whole thing is you want to take the audience on a roller coaster and make it fun.

GEORGE:  You're almost like a professional DJ in a way. You've got your skills or your tracks, and you're there to entertain the audience. Now, you just tune into what's getting the response, what's the vibe, and you give them what they want. Right?

JASON:  Yep, and I'll tell you something else too. I'll tell you something else. We tie in all professional wrestling with marketing, right? I mean, as a professional wrestler, you have to understand how to market yourself, and how to market the match, and how to market the show, right? Because it's really all about the show.

It's not really about one person. But if I can get myself over in a promo, do a video. We do videos for our martial arts school. We do videos for events. Well, we do videos in professional wrestling to get people hyped to watch us do our match.

I just watched one today. I was on LinkedIn, and someone that I know has a school, and he was promoting a match between two people. I happened to know these two wrestlers, and I've seen them wrestle, and I know what they can do, but that video, that promo that they did to hype the match, I was like, “God, I can't wait to watch this match.”

It's so interesting because there's a story behind it, but you got to market the show too because if you don't have anybody there to watch you, who wants to perform? I mean, we love to perform whether there's 10 people or 100 people, but what would you rather do, 10 people or 100 people?

I think most people would say 100 people, but even if it was 10, you want those fans out of their seats going nuts the whole time.

GEORGE:  Right. So this is really putting your marketing act on, right? Understanding your avatar who's your perfect target audience. Then, building a character around that for them.

So what do you think a martial arts school owner can grab from that, from that experience on how to position and promote themselves?

JASON:  Well, I think one thing that martial arts school owners struggle with is they talk about themselves. “I'm a seventh degree black belt. I trained in Tang Soo Do. I trained Krav Maga. I did some Jiu-Jitsu. I do this. I do that.

I've trained many black belts.” At the end of the day, nobody really cares what you've done. They really only want to know, “What can you do for me?” So I think that when a school owner is promoting their school, they need to think about creating value in their program and really outlining the benefits.

When we talk about discipline, well, how do you teach discipline? Confidence. How do you teach confidence? Right? Because sometimes people throw out all the buzzwords: discipline, confidence, respect, but how? How do you do it?

Can you give specific examples? If you go to our social media channels, I think that you'll get a very good sense of the culture of our school, and you'll learn about the benefits of martial arts, which is going to create value in your program and want them to come and sign up.

GEORGE:  100%, and I'm not putting you on the spot, but if somebody asks you, “All right. Well, how are you going to give my child more confidence?” What do you say to that?

JASON:  Well, so one of the things that we do in our program that helps build confidence in a student, especially on day one, on day one, very first class, is we have them do a board breaking lesson. So we teach them how to overcome obstacles and how to have a breakthrough moment.

These are all key terms that I use, but we lead up to it by telling them, “In order to break this board, you have to have the confidence. That means you need to believe in yourself even when nobody else believes in you. If you say, ‘I can do it,' you can push yourself farther than you think.”

“Then, number 2, you have to have focus. So I need you to pay attention. I need your eyes on my eyes. I need you to listen to every direction so you know what to do.”

You need to have discipline. Discipline means doing what you're supposed to do without being reminded. So I'm telling you, I'm giving you all these directions right now. I need you to remember what to do, and then you have to have commitment and follow through.  So when you go to break that board, even if you don't break it on the first try, I need you to try again until you follow through and finish.”

So these are just some of the main things we talk about with confidence. The second thing would be our belt system. Students will achieve confidence through goal setting and achievement. When you start at white belt and you have a clear goal.

The next belt is yellow belt, and you have to earn 3 stripes on your belt for your attendance, and then you gotta earn 3 more stripes for the curriculum that you learn. We happen to use 3 black stripes for attendance, and then a red, white, and blue stripe.

Every time they earn 1 of those stripes, it's like it's a notch on their belt literally to where they feel like they've elevated. Now, they know, “I've got 3 on this side of my belt. I got 3 on this side of my belt.

Graduation is at the end of the quarter. If I have these things, I'm going to be able to test.” Then, they get that new color belt, and now they are fully elevated. We get to start again. We keep repeating that process over and over, and I think that that's what builds their confidence.

GEORGE:  I love that. What I haven't actually heard so much before is giving 2 stripes, stripe for skill and stripe for attendance as well. So do you normally hand those out at the same time. How do you go about that?

JASON:  Well, so we're kinda old-school, and I'll show you something that most people in the martial arts industry are going to go “Oh, what software do you use?” I don't use any software in my school for our billing, not for attendance tracking, none of that.

This is how I keep attendance right here, this little card, and we still do it Old-school. We stamp the card every time they come in. Right? So every student is going to earn a black stripe based on their attendance requirements.

We divide in 3, whatever it is, if it's 30 classes. Every time they come to class 10 times, they get that black stripe. Then, when they get the third black stripe, we know that they have enough classes to be eligible. Once a month, we test on our monthly curriculum.

So, usually, the testing cycle is 3 months. If we divide that up into 3 parts, we're going to do their first portion at the end of month one, they earn their red stripe. Month 2  is white stripe. Month 3 is blue stripe. That way, there's a system which, again, as far as our curriculum goes in my school.

Here's our quarterly. You can't read it, but this is what we teach. This is our class plan. Right? There's no deviating from this class plan because if I deviate from it and do what I want to do and not what we need to do, I might not prepare a student.

If I'm not preparing a student to graduate, then I might not be helping give them the confidence to stick around. Right? So it's a cycle that if we keep the confidence going, and we show them the achievement, they just keep reaching for more, and it continues.

But once that break in the cycle happens, things like missing class, if they don't come to class, we have to make absent calls, and send “We miss you” cards, and find out like, “Hey, are they sick? Are they on vacation? Are they losing interest? What do I need to do to get them back on track?” because we know the longer they're out, the less chance they're going to come back.

If they don't come back, they're not testing, no confidence, they're gone.

GEORGE:  I want to ask about that. How does that help your retention?  I know you guys have this huge summer month, and always, when I talk to my American friends, one of the biggest challenges is keeping students active during that time.

Have you found this system helps you through long breaks?

JASON:  It does. When I was a young school owner and an inexperienced school owner, I would dread summertime. I would dread summertime because everybody's going to take a break, everybody's going to go on vacation.

So one of the things that really helped us business-wise is that we don't operate on memberships or monthly dues. We sell programs in our school. So we sell 6-month programs for our 3 and 4-year-olds. Everybody else is a 12-month, 1-year, 3-year, or a 5-year program, whether it's the basic training, elite training, or our leadership training program.

So they're all based on a time, not necessarily a belt, but when you sign up, if you sign up for 12 months, you're going to train for 12 months, and you're responsible for those payments. So, now, this is where people throw around the word “contracts,” and I don't know that the contract is what keeps them.

The program is what keeps them because you made a commitment to 12 months. Now, here's the deal with our school that's different from most. If you take a break during the summer or you take a month off, you don't lose that time.

We add that time to the end of the program and give you your full time, but programs have really helped us keep people from taking those really long-term breaks. Everybody is going to go on vacation. Everybody gets sick from time to time. So we just let them know, “Hey, no big deal. We add that time to the end.”

The other thing is the striping system that we use. It really just helps keep them on track and give them something to reach for, but again, students lose interest, or they play other sports, or they have other activities. I think more than anything else, what keeps students from taking long-term breaks is keeping them engaged with a fun and exciting curriculum, number one, but also offering special events during those downtimes, be it a day camp.

We don't do daycare, but a day camp or parents' night-out. Most fun comes when we have parents' night-outs. Bringing in guest instructors. I have been bringing guest instructors from all over the world to teach seminars here at our school, and that just makes people get outside of just the normal class.

They get to see a little flavor, a little something different from every one of those events, but the camps I think are so cool. I don't know if you went to a camp when you were a kid, but I remember making some of the best friends and having some of the best memories at camps.

When we create relationships between our students, there becomes this sense of accountability to one another to show up. Right? So if you and I are training together, and we go do this big long 8-hour camp or Jiu-Jitsu session together, and then you're not training next week, I'm going to be like, “George, what's up, dude? Come to class.”

Kids are doing that the same way, and the families become really close in our school. That type of culture I think is what helps keep people training longer.

GEORGE:  Jason, that's so good. I want to quickly change gears back just to touching base on your three different businesses.

JASON:  Sure.

GEORGE:  How do you go about managing all that? We spoke a bit about marketing. How does that overlap between the three businesses, and how do you go about managing that on a day-to-day basis?

JASON:  Well, number one, first and foremost is I wouldn't be able to manage or keep any of those businesses going without the proper teams and systems in place. So you have to have the right people whether it's here at our martial arts school, we also own Country Harvest Restaurant, and then we have Coaches Old Fashion Ice Cream Parlor which, interestingly enough, a lot of people ask me, “Well, how'd you get involved in these other businesses?”

Well, it's because of martial arts, because a high school friend of mine purchased a restaurant about six or seven years ago in our hometown, and we had trained in Jiu-Jitsu, Japanese Jiu-Jitsu, Ketsugo Jiu-Jitsu from the time we were teenagers until now, right?

My friend is where I earned my first degree black belt in Ketsugo Jiu-Jitsu with him, and so Chris, his name, and his wife, and another friend of ours that went to school, purchased a restaurant in our hometown. During COVID, he was reaching out to me and saying, “Hey, I'm thinking about expanding the business and opening another restaurant. What do you think?”

I said, “I got the perfect location. It's already set up. It's already ready to go.” We already have a built-in networking community here in the city. We have a lot of great connections with everything that we do, and so we opened the restaurant first.

Then, within 6 to 7 months, we ended up opening the ice cream parlor as well, and that's something that he also had in our hometown. He had the restaurant, and then he opened Coaches Old Fashion Ice Cream.

It's really cool. I love Coaches a lot because number 1, it's what I do. Right? I am a coach, whether it's martial arts, or wrestling, or business, or whatever, but the whole theme is about highlighting coaches. If you look at our social media at all, every time, it's a quote from a famous coach.

We have one of our coaches, our hometown coach, Dan Burchfield, on the wall with his son, who unfortunately passed away when he was very young, but it's a story in our community, and so we featured him and his quote which was amazing.

Who doesn't love ice cream either, right? I mean, it's just super fun, but how we tie the 3 together, here's just an example, and this is where my wife's marketing genius is just unparalleled. I mean, my wife, when we were younger, I would ask her to run the front desk at the school. I would teach classes, and she could take care of our students and our families, but she didn't like to sell. It just wasn't her thing.

She didn't want to sell memberships or do any of that, but she just has this uncanny ability to market anything and bring people together with events. So what we do in our area is we have a lot of what we call dine-out fundraisers. It will be for,  let's just say, for example, the middle school is having a dine-out fundraiser.

Well, we give a percentage back from the restaurant. We also hold the fundraiser at the ice cream parlor, so we give a percentage back from the sales of the ice cream, and then the martial arts school will match what both of those businesses donate. So, now, we're giving almost 40% back on every fundraiser.

Most fundraiser events like this, they're given 10%, 15%, maybe 20% back. We're actually giving 40% of the sales every time we do one of these special events. So we can really tie our businesses together.

Tonight, the Chamber of Commerce event is held here at the karate school, but all the food is provided by our restaurant, and everybody gets a scoop card to go over and get some Coaches Ice Cream right after the event. So we're constantly doing things where we're tying together, and then also, when we're doing sponsorships, when I come in with three businesses, they're going to sponsor a banner on the high school football field.

You can imagine that they're going to take care of us. Right? We might get a little break when we're doing 3 ads versus just the 1 business, so I call it the trifecta. We have a trifecta of businesses that all work perfectly together.

GEORGE:  Jason, been so good chatting to you. I have one more question, kind of a double question before we wrap things up.

JASON:  Yes.

GEORGE:  What drives you, and what are you excited about for the future?

JASON:  I mean, when you ask me what drives me, my family always comes first. I want to create opportunities for my family to spend more time together. When I first opened my business, I was so focused on getting the business going, and I would pride myself on working 12, 14, 16 hours a day because I thought that was the right thing to do.

But as my family was growing, family time became way more important to me than anything else, and so that drives me to continue to find that extra family time, to provide both of our children work in our businesses. My son coaches here at the karate school. He works at Coaches Ice Cream. My daughter is a server at the Country Harvest Restaurant.

My wife manages all the social media. So these things have brought us together, but my family is what drives me. I want to be the best example for my kids. Physically, I try to work out every day to show them that I take care of your body.

I read every day, trying to show them that we got to take care of that mental. Taking time for prayer and going to church. That spiritual side as well. So I try to be that example for not only them, but also for my team members and for my students in my school. So, really, those are the things that really drive me.

GEORGE:  All right. Perfect. The last one was, what are you excited about for the future? Where is Jason Flame headed?

JASON:  Well, I'll tell you what. With all 3 of these businesses going exceptionally well, and I really enjoy all 3 of them all for their own reasons. The martial arts will always, has always, and will always be my passion.

I love professional wrestling, so I try to stay in tune and in touch with it, but I'll tell you what I'm really excited about is my podcast called Master Motivation. I host a show every Monday at 12:00 PM Pacific Standard Time. I have a guest.

I've had you on the show. I've had several martial arts instructors, school owners, mentors, coaches, but I've also had actors, comedians, authors, and speakers. It's funny because with the businesses, I get paid to do what I do.

The podcast, I don't get paid to do any of it, but I look forward to it each and every week. I don't have any sponsorships. I'm not monetizing it in any way, but the conversations like today, the conversations that I get to have with whether it'd be local or regional, national, international leaders that I get to talk about and help share their story, that is what I'm truly excited about each week to be able to do that.

One of the reasons why is because I feel like… and this is something that I developed after I did several things. I feel like it's an opportunity for not only my children, but my children's children.  

My legacy will be able to look back and watch those interviews and learn about the people that I knew and go, “Wow, my dad, or my grandpa, or my great grandpa knew some really great people and got to learn all about them.” So I think that that is what I'm most excited about now and of course, going on vacation with my wife every chance we get. Those always excite me too.

GEORGE:  That's awesome. Jason, thanks so much. I'll link to Master Motivation in this episode. It was really great.

Thanks for having me on the show there. It's funny, when I started this podcast, I was new in martial arts, but I was so fascinated about martial arts and so inspired. I started so late in my mid-30s in the industry.

The podcast that I started, when I started this Martial Arts Media™ Business Podcast, it was pure selfishness of learning. That was the goal. I just wanted to interview school owners and get to learn and understand. That was five, six years ago that I started the show.

Jason, so good having you. Thanks for being on, and we'll link to the podcast on this episode. I hope to come and see you in California soon.

JASON: I'll be here. I'll be here. I appreciate you having me on the show and going out of your way to make this work. I know we tried it a couple times, but we got this one done all the way through.

I hope that everybody enjoys the information that we provided and keep tuning in and listening to what George brings to the table on this podcast.

GEORGE:  Cool. Thanks so much, Jason.

JASON:  All right. Thank you, sir.

GEORGE:  Thanks so much for tuning in. Did you enjoy the show? Did you get some value from it?

If so, please, please do us a favor and share it with someone you care about. Share it with another martial arts school owner or an instructor friend that might benefit from this episode. I'd love to hear from you.

If you got some good value out of it and you just want to reach out, send me a message on Instagram. My handle is @georgefourie, G-E-O-R-G-E, last name, F-O-U-R-I-E. Just send me a message, and I'd love to hear from you if you've got some value from this.

Last, but not least. If you need some help growing your martial arts school, need help with attracting the right students, or increasing your signups, or retaining more members, then get in touch with us.

Go to our website, martialartsmedia.com/scale, and we've got a short little questionnaire that just asks a few questions about your business to give us an idea of what it is that you have going on. Then, typically, from that, we jump on a quick 10, 15-minute call just to work out if or how we can be of help. Not a sales call.

It's really a fit and discovery call for us to get an idea if we can be of help. That's that.  We'd love to hear from you, and I'll see you in the next episode. Cheers.

 

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Policy Changes

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Email: team (at) martialartsmedia dot com

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