Archives for December 2016

21 – Double Your Martial Arts Paid Trial Conversions With Festive Season and Back To School Promotions

If you're doing paid trials for your martial arts business, this simple tweak will double your signup rate.

IN THIS EPISODE YOU WILL LEARN:

  • The system that lead to 86 paid trial signups in 2 weeks
  • How to match your marketing message to festive season celebrations
  • What a paid trial is and how it works
  • The missing factor in most paid trial promotions that robs your success
  • Why Facebook Marketing is not enough
  • And more

*Need help growing your martial arts school? Learn More Here.

Download the PDF transcription

TRANSCRIPTION

Hi, this is George Fourie from martialartsmedia.com. Today, I'm going to be talking about paid trials, how they can help boost your sign up rates for your martial arts school or your martial arts gym, how you and use this festive season and back to school and all these events to really amplify your results, and I'm going to be talking about the one key factor that everybody is not doing with paid trials that is literally robbing you of your success.

In the last few weeks, we've been helping one of our clients with their paid trial offer. We've been helping them optimizing and tweaking it and really adding a few elements to skyrocket their results, and that's really what happened. We managed to help them generate 86 paid signups within two weeks – that's 86, 86 paid signups within two weeks. And just last week, I was interviewing somebody else on the Martial Arts Media business podcast, who's really taken this paid trial concept and they've restructured their whole process of enrolling people that actually eliminated everything free and everything goes through the paid trial feature, which in a way helps them not to focus on selling, because that's just what it is. If you want to start training, here it is, you join, pay the trial and you train with us and you assess it from there and you walk away with value either way.

Having this in place eliminates a lot of the time wasters and there are so many benefits to it, and I want to get into that because there are a few things that I'm going to be talking about here, that you can do right now to your offers to optimize your results and this can be done during the right season. At the time of recording this, there'll be the whole back to school trend coming up – there's always going to be a reason to market, so you can adjust your offers to match what is happening in the environment. Right now, it will be Christmas, that's almost over, but there's always things like back to school and New Year's and New Year's resolutions and so many things happening.

So, first and foremost, 86 paid trial sign-ups in two weeks. Now, taking a step back: if you're not familiar with the paid trial, to explain the basics of it, it is basically having a front end offer, something that's very cheap, whether it's 30, 50, a 100, but something that is affordable for anyone to take and then providing a free training trial, which can be two weeks, three weeks, four weeks or a few classes, or whatever suits your establishment and it's something that you've got to test.

Ideally, try to give away something physical as well, maybe a set of gloves for kickboxing or a uniform. Putting that in place is a lot easier for people to decide, because even if they might get a free trial they think, “Well, free: I'm going to come in and they're going to try and sell me something,” whereas, when you're just paying a once off amount, a small amount, you can justify it and you're getting something that you can keep, physical, gloves or a uniform or something and you're getting some training. In a way and strangely enough, you put an offer like that in the front and now you are eliminating a lot of your sales headaches because that's just what it is: you buy it for $50 and this is what you get or whatever the offer is.

So, how did we take this type of concept and how did we get to 86 sign ups within two weeks? There were a few components that were in play. Now, I can't stand here and tell you “Do this and you're going to get 86 sign ups,” because there are a lot of components in play. And a lot of this also depends on what type of marketing you have been doing, how familiar people are with your brand, what time of the year it is and how the offer applies to that as well.

So always be thinking touch points: if you aren't out there marketing, how many times have people interacted with your brand? What have they seen, what have they seen on social media, have you provided value to them and content or something, or do they just keep seeing the same offer? Because if they keep seeing the same offer, there is no urgency to take up that offer. They know that they can contact you at any given time and take up that offer. So when you want to create a rush of people, then it's key to do a few things.

One, you want to set a deadline that you can only get it within this time frame, and that means obviously that if you are running a paid trial offer, that you've got to change it up, you've got to provide something different from value. There are a few ways that you can go about this. You can for one, just have that one offer, but create maybe something different, like a waiting list, and only open up at certain times.

I know that sounds crazy to a lot of people, but you can do that because you create a rush of buyers, because there is a deadline on when people can get in and they know that there is a chance that they are going to miss out. Or just go ahead and if you want to go on a craze or something like what's happening now at Christmas time, or it's Easter, or whether it's back to school, tie your marketing to that message and put a strict deadline to it. So a deadline that people can only take at this point in time and that's it.

Now, the marketing components we used for that was Facebook, they were doing a lot of Facebook marketing. Basically, targeting different audiences and their fan page. Now again: if you've got a good following, this is going to help, because you're going to have all these people that are familiar with your brand that are going to take you up on your offer, if the offer is a good match for them. Then we also did strategic email campaigns and we really drove to the deadline of when the cut off is and when they have to take up the offer and when it was five o'clock the cutoff, we took the page down, so people could literally not by at that time anymore.

So you also can't be fake and false scarcity, people see through that and your local business and you don't want to go down that track of creating false scarcity and people can just get it at any time, because you lose credibility instantly and it just takes those few people to know and spread bad rumours about you, so you don't want to do that. You want to be genuine and authentic in how you do it. So, email marketing, Facebook marketing, direct marketing and putting a direct deadline on that.

Now, one thing that we also did that was the icing on the cake is, we managed to put a system in place where people could double up on their order at the end and this was quite an advanced sort of process that we took with the shopping cart that really, really elevated the results. But those are the basics, if there is one thing that you can take away is put that deadline in place and create something that gives a bit of a wow factor that people can really, really benefit from.

If you want to do something similar and you want to take up a campaign like that, you can get in touch with us, this is the kind of stuff that we do on a day-to-day basis, is put these types of systems in place. We handle all the tech side, we create sales copy for your offer that really supports it and goes with the trend and put strategic things in place that drives people to that deadline.

So if you want to take advantage of something like that, you can just get a hold of us on martialartsmedia.com. Get in touch with us and ask us how we can create a strategic offer for you that drives people to a strict deadline and hopefully, you can skyrocket your results. And hey, if it's not 86 paid member sign ups, I know a lot of school owners that would be happy with 10, 20, 30, 40, whatever the number is. So results will obviously vary, but it's something that can be put in place for your marketing and it's something that we can reuse all the time for different offers and I can explain that more to you.

So if that's of interest to you, get a hold of us on martialartsmedia.com – thanks for watching, I hope you got great value from this and I'll speak to you soon. Cheers!

*Need help growing your martial arts school? Learn More Here.

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20 – Kevin Blundell: 100 New Martial Arts Students in 5 Weeks Without Sleazy Selling

In just 5 weeks, Kevin Blundell from Kumiai Ryu Martial Arts System grew their new martial arts school to 100 students without focusing on selling. Discover how he did it.

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IN THIS EPISODE YOU WILL LEARN:

  • The marketing strategies Kevin implemented to grow KRMAS into 26 locations in Australia
  • How to overcome tall poppy syndrome backlash
  • The importance of underselling instead of overselling
  • Removing all things free to boost sales and reduce frustration
  • How being accredited positions you as a market leader
  • Why your ‘sphere of influence’ is your ultimate martial arts marketing tool
  • And more

*Need help growing your martial arts school? Learn More Here.

Download the PDF transcription

TRANSCRIPTION

If you're in business, if you charge a dollar for a lesson, you’re in business. And irrespective of people say they do it for nothing, there are still fees involved.

Hi, this is George Fourie and welcome to another Martial Arts Media business podcast, episode number 20. I have another awesome guest with me today, Mr. Kevin Blundell from Kumiai Ryu Martial Arts System and Kevin has grown his organization to 26 locations. We touch on the most recent one, because the most recent one was opened just over 5 weeks and as of today, they have 109 fully enrolled students into the system. So we touch on his success and how they’ve really engineered the process to happen in 5 short weeks.

And this could be a key turning factor for you in your business, this could be just that one thing that gives you that edge, without having to be all creative with teaching your staff to be super salesy and pushy and having all these fancy sales systems in place, but just simplifying your process at having a core offer in front that invites people and eliminates a lot of time waste for you and allows you to really run the organization a lot smoother and really talking about your front end marketing process, of getting people through the door. And I hope it’s not me that picked up on these subtleties because I listen to these interviews and there are things that just come through where I am like, wow, that's awesome!

But more than just picking them up, I hope you take these to heart and apply them to your business, because if there's no transformation, then it doesn't help. And I know that in these last 20 episodes, there have been really, really great interviews, there's been some core, fundamental information that could be the key factor that makes your business successful. Or, and if you're really successful, take it to that next level, just applying these few, simple steps and really optimizing your business.

Now, we are moving into the new year: depending on when you are listening to this episode, there are lots of things happening and people are sort of wrapping up for the end of year and people are getting ready for the new year. Depending of course on when you are listening to this episode, but no matter where you are, if you need help with this marketing stuff, we do this on a day-to-day basis and we help martial arts businesses grow and go to the next level through marketing automation and marketing systems.

And when I say marketing automation, I don't mean fancy things where you've got to press the button and you get all this automation stuff coming out – no, it’s really a case of automating your outreach so that you make more conversations and speak to more people. Because at the end of the day, you're going to have to speak to people before they join, you know? Some people are going to take up an offer online and so forth, but for the most part, there's going to be some communication involved.

So we put systems in place that help facilitate that process and it helps you get in contact with more people. If that's for you, head over to our website, martialartsmedia.com and get in touch with us. Set up an appointment with me and we can chat about how we can possibly help your business grow through the new year. And working with so many school owners, it’s always interesting to see different approaches people take at this time of the year being the end of the year, that a lot of people are saying, well, things are dying down and nobody's ready to join in the martial arts school.

And then, we are doing campaigns for some of our clients that are, at this point in time as of recording this, that have 28 new page sign-ups in the 7-8 days, and we've still got a couple of days to go, which is weird that the campaign starts to ramp up in the last couple of days. And this takes me back to episode number 7 with Paul Veldman, which you can access at martialartsmedia.com/7 and he mentioned market for a season or a reason.

And when you take that concept in mind and you follow the sense that it is the end of the year and people are buying and they are in a buying mood – give them something to buy, because that's what people are doing. Whether they start training now at the end of the year or in the beginning of the year, it doesn't matter, but people are in a buying mode, and why not give them something to buy and something to join, because that's what they're doing anyway. They're buying Christmas gifts and they're doing all these things, so put something, put a great offer in place. And I guess that's what all this comes down to, is when you have the right offer at the right time, people are going to take it up, that's just the way it goes.

All right, enough from me: this is an awesome episode, I'm really looking forward to sharing with you. We had a few echoes and so forth, as you do, but I'm sure you'll get the whole jest of the conversation. And if not, of course, download the transcript and you can delve into it deeper. But without further ado, that's it from me – please welcome to the show, Mr. Kevin Blundell.

GEORGE: Good day everyone, today I have with me, Mr. Kevin Blundell. Now, Kevin has a total of 26 locations with his martial arts school, KRMAS and recently he opened the 26th one, which generated a total of 100 students within 5 weeks. I already chatted to Kevin, just on that one topic, although we've got several things to talk about, but just his recent success of how he approached that with paid trials and a bunch of other things. So welcome to the call Kevin.

KEVIN: Thanks, George.

GEORGE: All right. First things first, let’s start from the beginning – who is Kevin Blundell?

59067_308136995965991_1157955173_nKEVIN: I’m a guy that's been hanging out in the martial arts for 47 years. I started as a boy in judo boxing, then went into karate and kung fu and Muay Thai and jiu-jitsu, sort of just training and enjoying my training and in 1989 we formulated my own organization, Kumiai Ryu Martial Arts System, which is KRMAS. And we have a couple of locations in the Central West of New South Wales. It was more just a hobby and something to spend time with likeminded people. It’s subsequently grown over the years and it’s become my full-time occupation 5 years ago.

GEORGE: All right, fantastic. So, full-time occupation, you said 5 years ago?

KEVIN: Correct, yeah. Prior to that I was a building contractor by trade and then I went into state government into the building services corporation and worked my way up to an executive level and one day I realized I couldn't do 80 hours a week anymore doing both things, so after a bit of discussing with some of the key people in the industry, such as our friend Fari, Fari Salievski, and back in 2009, we had a conversation and he said, why aren't you doing this full-time?

And I said, well, I can't. And we weren't even doing direct debit then, we were just doing pay as you go and it was all hobbies and we had one little permanent setup at one location in a guy’s backyard and subsequently, here we are, 5-6 years later, where we have fourteen full-time centres and the rest being part-time centers, whether they’re in a school or a community centre where the guys train 4 days a week, so we’ve grown from back then just under 600 members and now we’re just shy of 1800 current active financial members across those locations and 6 of those centres are full time occupations for the guys running them.

GEORGE: Ok, it sounds like there was a big switch where things really just came together for you. What was the first thing, when you decided to turn it into a full-time business, what were the first steps that you took?

KEVIN: The first thing we did, we went from pay as you go, pay per term to pay per fortnight, direct debit system. I had a lot of pushback from the guys at the time, I had guys who were virtually in tears, saying that we're going to lose all our students and it’s the worst thing you can possibly do. But I had a look around the industry, I had faith in the people who were successfully doing it at the time. And I believed in myself and we just formulated a slow integration period and we finally got all the locations online by mid 20-10 and we had been using a direct debit system.

And about that time, we were introduced to the educational funding company and we used them as our billing company, who at the time were quite good at initial marketing and setting up plus all the information Fari was sharing with us through his MA Professionals. And we started to formulate our own approach and I then went on a bit of a tour to visit with guys that were doing it full time and I thought, our end game product and our martial arts were equally on par and was quite up to the standards and that, so it was just a little bit more self-belief.

I think that a lot of us in the industry and the guys that are still on full-time or holding back are excellent martial artists, I know some guys who are fantastic martial artists but they “Well, that won’t work.” Well, yeah it won’t work unless you do something about it! Self-prophecy, 100%, people don't believe in stuff that might work. So it was just a bit of self-belief and I left my job. It was a pretty high, six figure job and I just said, I made a decision. I didn't have a plan B, I did have a parachute on my back without a reserve ‘chute, I just went for broke and the results were outstanding, it turned into a multi-million dollar business.

GEORGE: Well, that's excellent, well done on your success, Kevin. Why do you think there's a big block with direct billing? I just look at general purchases that you make during the day: your phone is on direct billing, your gas and electricity and all these types of things: what is the stick point with martial artists?

388743_128852240561135_579475575_nKEVIN: My observations, and I think it happens in the US and the UK and other countries as well and I think the biggest sticking point is, people are brought up with the belief it’s just a bit of fun that you do a couple days per week, a little hobby and they don’t see us for what we really are. And that is high end educators us who facilitate positive change in individuals lives. Take people who have no confidence who become business leaders, experts in their fields and give kids confidence to excel at school. Once I had come to the realization I had many, many success stories, I started to see, for me personally the light if you'd like, that if I did this full-time, I could provide a better service with the help of direct debit it enabled me to have the resources and then provide the facilities to provide a much better environment for the students to learn and have better quality in the student, if you'd like. We call it a ‘black belt end' product if you like after a four year period on average, some people a little bit quicker, most around four years to five years.

Much better, higher quality than I've produced before, not because of the syllabus or desire, but because we were able to put more resources in for people to take care of jobs, like doing administration and stuff, so you didn't have to do as many on a higher level, so you can train and get the message across. So, I think it comes back to, people just need to take that quantum leap, they need to believe in themselves, believe in their product. Undoubtedly there are brilliant martial artists out there serving the industry, but they go “Ah yeah but…”.

So one of the key things I did personally George, I just decided to surround myself with positive, like-minded people, and the naysayers and rejecters and the it-might-work and sadly, all of these were just being jealous because you're moving forward. And in Australia, the tall poppy syndrome is a real thing, it’s a sad thing. In the US, if you're successful, people applaud – in Australia, they wonder what underhand things you are doing and that's the sad thing.

GEORGE: Yes, and I guess, just clarify that for the American guests, the tall poppy syndrome?

KEVIN: The tall poppy syndrome basically is, if you rise above the pack, everyone can see you, you're noticed. Therefor you’re a tall poppy in a field and you become more opened to be targeted if you like and they try to cut you back down to size, so you're in the group again if you'd like. Now, that doesn't mean you have to leave everyone behind, in fact, I bring a lot of people with me. There's a saying that says, a rising tide lifts all boats and that is a true saying and very much relevant. Once I started to associate with the guys that were successful, they're just the same as everybody else, they're just out there doing the best they can, but their full-time occupation is a professional martial arts instructor, whether which way of martial arts that is.

380943_128852193894473_1848109605_nI've always been a firm believer in education and enhancement of martial arts instructors. I’m the senior vice president of the martial arts industry association, which provides an accreditation program. I’m also the New South Wales president of Kung Fu Wushu and I recently re-joined the Australian Karate Federation accreditation program. All the accreditation programs are linked back to the Australian Sports Commission, and parents and people who are not familiar with martial arts often think someone has a black belt or a black singlet in Muay Thai, whatever the case might be and they're an expert. With all due respect, that's not necessarily the case.

If you can well hang on I’m accredited, you can contact people in the martial arts industry association, or the Australian Sports Commission and they can verify that you are accredited. It does give you an advantage, especially when it comes to going to a new location. The understanding of people with accreditation, they have done first aid, fitness, coaching etc. – I've done all that as well, but having accreditation lifts the industry overall. That's just my viewpoint, but I can see the benefits because it aided greatly in our growth.

GEORGE: For sure, and success breeds success. I really like that philosophy of a rising tide lifts all boats, you know, it beats the whole tall poppy syndrome. You can also see it as the whole crab and the bucket: when the crab tries to get out of the bucket, all the other crabs just pull each other down, instead of everybody sort of making a plan to get out. But the whole success breeds success, it’s something that really will make you deliver a better class as well, because if you are successful and your instructors are successful, that's going to transfer over to the student base and just deliver a better class, a better experience and a better student at the end of the day.

KEVIN: I often ask people, I say, what do you provide? I mean, if you charge a dollar for a lesson, if you're in business. And irrespective you can say you do it for nothing there are still fees involved you have to pay this and that, you're in business. So if you’re going to charge a dollar, charge enough. I mean, the difference between a professional and an amateur is a professional earns bacon. That's the difference. So fundamentally, people need to get out of the past. I mean, we didn’t ride into the office today on a horse and dust yourself off. Everyone moves at the time. You can talk about, oh, it’s not traditional, it’s just rubbish – it can be more traditional by having more access.

Then you can source the best martial artists in the world and go to their base and train with them, or you can bring them to your base or your school, wherever – discipline will follow. It’s probably more traditional than people that see themselves as being traditional. At the end, I respect all that, I think it’s wonderful and if people want to do it as a community service, that's fantastic and I respect that. Some people generally do it for nothing they put all the funds in and that's great, but I've made a choice. Look Kumiai Ryu, my organization, we employ 120 people, full or part time and we’re giving back to the community.

Every one of our locations raises funds for various causes, Cancer Council or Starlight Foundation, we give back to the community. Not because it’s a marketing ploy, and I get very offended when people make that innuendo – it's genuine, heartfelt, giving back to the community. We sponsor children, we have a sponsorship program where kids that come from underprivileged or less fortunate social economic environment, they're sponsored at each of our locations, so we’re always giving back. In fact, we’re probably giving back more than the people who are standing there throwing rocks and saying were bad guys for charging money. Basically, all I say to them, have a look in the mirror, you'll find an answer to your problem.

GEORGE: Good call.  All right, Kevin, let’s jump to a few things. Now, recently, I want to get down to your most recent success: 100 students in 5 weeks. Some people have been in business for 20 years and they haven't reached that 100 student mark. You did this in 5 weeks, now, obviously, you have 25 other locations that have given you the groundwork to really do that, so I doubt we’re going to be able to summarize it as quickly as we want, but what are the key steps you took to be able to have that level of success?

KEVIN: As I mentioned earlier George, I was a building contractor and I never built a thing unless I had a plan. If you haven't got a plan, you might have a concept or an idea, but a plan is in detail. And that's what I did, I sat down with the project, the location is Taree New South Wales, it’s an agri business center. It has some social implications but it draws on a large population, around 25,000 from the town itself but within a 40-minute radius around, about 65,000 people.

So what I did, I sat down and looked at The Australian Bureau of Statistics. I looked at all the demographics, I looked at all the income, I looked at employment levels, I looked at all that. And I went there and had a chat with people. It’s 55 minutes from where I'm located, so you have to take that into account and we didn't have one person in the area who was involved. So we started from scratch. So what we did, we formulated our plan, and just to give you an overview, we decided to go for broke and set up a part time instead of a permanent location, we signed a lease for two years with a possibility of a purchase.

I firmly believe in buying locations, because of long term, it gives you a return and you're not paying somebody else's mortgage off, but that's another subject for another day. But back to this project: what we did, the key points were, we did our research. We then worked on setting up a marketing plan, and a way we could communicate. So obviously, Facebook was good and joining groups such as Buy, Swap and Sell plus local community groups on Facebook. Plus, we just went down there to give some flyers out, put up some posters up, visit the schools and we just talked to people.

And we started a campaign of whispers and rumors of, hey, something really cool is coming to town. And we started that about 4.5 months out from our launch date. And then, we devised an offer. And Rod Darling gave me an idea when I was in Sydney and we had a good old chat about that. Rod was originally in Perth, now he's in Newcastle. And I took his concept and quickly put together an offer of $49.95 for two weeks training and you've got a karate uniform for a karate program or a set of boxing gloves for the Muay Thai program. We also made a firm decision – no more free stuff. Free is for five dollar Fred down the road. We’re a professional organization and we want that mindset that you pay for the service and that the only way you could come watch a class is if you were a parent or a child or a guardian of the child.

So instantly, it eliminated all the tyre kickers, which wasted all our time. Because basically, people would come in from another school, just wasting your time. We wanted genuine people. Before we had our first class, we had 60 people that paid for the trial and over the next 5-week period, we had 118 paid for the trial and a 100 of those have joined by the 5th week. And as we speak now, I think we’re in week 7 or 8, we’re just coming up to 109 members. So now it’s slowing down as we are leading into Christmas, but we've got 19 people booked to come back when we come back in January.

GEORGE: That's excellent. So can you clarify the whispers and rumors campaign?

KEVIN: Sure, what we did was, we just let people know we were there, we got our guys walking around in their staff shirts with our logos on them and get a coffee, get a haircut, just be part of the community. So we sent someone down every couple of days and their job was just to walk around, buy something from a shop and people would just start a conversation and tell them what's going on. And from there, a conversation started and generated an awful lot of interest and we said, if you're interested, just pop online, go here and book here. And we got results every day that we did that, the next day people actually got booked in and they paid for the trial, or what we call the introductory program.

GEORGE: So, people purchased the trial: how do you go about delivering that? What's the sales process for getting the trial started? Is it all online based, or do you have a bit of a leading to that?

KEVIN: They can either come in and come to the facility and pay for your introductory program, or they can do it online. But we train all that stuff, we don't have any selling. Selling is not in our vocabulary. We’re a martial arts organization it’s about storytelling. So we tell people what they can expect to learn what will happen over a period of time and we just show them. We don't want to sell anyone; we don't want anyone in the organization that's been sold. We want them there because they feel like they want to be here for the program for the duration and to obtain the benefits of martial arts training, which we all know are many. And that's the way we approach it, we don't try to sell anything.

So people come in, we give them a pre-free trial, we introduce them to the mat and to the instructor team that's on that night and then they just do their classes over in the next two weeks and then we welcome them to the opportunity to join up and every single one of them, by the end of the first week they were joining. You can have the best marketing program in the world, you can spend a million a month on marketing, but if it’s no good on the floor they march out the door. So you've got to make sure your mats are spot on, they can deliver the message in a fun, but martial arts like way. We’re not entertainers and we’re not here to entertain people, but they must feel like they're really being looked after. And that's what we do, we look after them.

GEORGE: You mentioned people can't get on the mats without buying the offer.

KEVIN: Right, that is correct.

GEORGE: Do you feel that you turn people away because of that?

KEVIN: If I do, that's OK, because, short term pain, long term gain. What I mean by that, people that sit around and whinge about this and whinge about that's too expensive and I can't do this and all that sort of stuff – I just want positive people in there. And by the way, we have a high percentage of people who are on low income, unemployed, they're on benefits or between jobs and they can still afford our program. So we’re not priced out of the market, but at the same time, we charge what we think is fair and we provide a full package service. I would rather have people in there that are genuine from the first day and the way it goes through the process, if they have to leave, it’s usually a very genuine reason, like they've relocated, some medical circumstances or some dramatic changes and anything other than that, you've failed, you haven't done your job properly and there's been a hole somewhere along the way.

14855943_1067427773370239_4421982320578165968_oThat's why it’s so important that you don't sell them anything and you make sure they fully understand the program. We talk a lot about things like there is going to be a time when you don’t feel like coming or your child won’t want to come so we have strategies to help them move past those phases. So it’s very important that people when they come to your organization, are very clear what they're getting. And don't oversell, OK? Here's a saying that's underselling, overdeliver and that's a really important thing.

Because it’s a very personable thing we're doing, it’s a great thing we're doing and that's coming back to talking about people that want to do it professionally or full-time or they shouldn’t be doing that kind of stuff – we’re not selling kids doughnuts. We’re not making people fat or making them unwell. We’re really changing their lives and I think that's really important. That people grab hold of that, to be passionate about what you do. You can't just feel it as a business, there's a business part to it, but you've still got to be passionate about your martial arts and what it means to you.

GEORGE: I really love that approach, because it’s the perfect qualifier: if someone's not going to be prepared to spend $49 with you, chances of them committing with their martial arts program are minimal. If they're not prepared to commit that, then the next level of commitment is really probably non-existent.

KEVIN: We had an awesome marketing campaign, we got 300 leads. And it was spin the wheel and it was free. But out of that, people were just pouring through the door for free lessons or two lessons a week or whatever. And out of that, we've got a lot of people, a year later, nearly all of these caused grief and they were disrespectful, abuse staff on the way out the door and all sorts of rubbish. And I said never again, no more free stuff. Sure, the flow of the people coming in is a little bit less, but the quality and the longevity and participation rates are exactly what I want. It’s the positive environment, it’s a great place to be even though we still use a lot of those marketing strategies, but instead of the free stuff, we give them opportunities other than free stuff. That is the introductory offer I was mentioning.

GEORGE: I love it. Kevin, that's awesome. I have one more question for you and it’s something that we just touched on that you mentioned in a conversation a few days ago, and that's your sphere of influence. There's a lot of talk always about the lifetime student value, what are students actually worth for you in a monetary value of how long they stay on your organization and train. But you take that a level up with this sphere of influence. Can you elaborate on that?

10584036_771471196299233_6071391268594329736_nKEVIN: Sure. What I mean by that is, each individual person that joins a new school, they represent a possible candidate or future student. So, one person has a sphere of influence, well, you've got a mum, a dad, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, next door neighbor, buddies from school, buddies from work, work colleagues, something like that. I've broken it down to this formula and I've come up with this: in general terms, most people have about 8 people in their sphere of influence.

So what I do is, someone joins, we put their photo up on Facebook with their permission, “Welcome George to Kumiai Ryu Port Macquarie, we’re excited about your journey,” and then you go to work you say if someone contacts you, within your sphere of influence and asks what that’s about. You become like a marketing messenger. You tell them about it, they may or may not come straight away, but they're inside your sphere of influence and therefore, as you move forwards through the system and it’s highlighted and you progress, quite often they end up bringing a book.

Everyone listening, I'm sure you’ve had someone join, say a 9-year-old boy, and then in 2 years’ time, you might have a whole family join. I’ve got cases here where we’ve got the whole family, mum, dad and the two kids, and then they've got their next door and their whole families join. And that's happened dozens of times. So it’s about having that person understand from the day one it’s ok to tell everyone about martial arts and the benefits you're getting. So that's built into our program, it’s great to be proud of your achievements, your next belt level, the training that you attended, the seminar that was had and take lots of photos, tell people.

We encourage that, we have a system where the kids have their photos put up on the board and all that stuff. The whole time, it’s about them sharing their experience and then other people subsequently wanting to join that experience. So that's what I mean by a sphere of influence. The power of one person is 8 people waiting out the door to come in. It’s really important not to push them, not to offer trinkets and rewards and all that sort of stuff. We don't offer anyone anything: if they bring a friend, that's just great, it helps the dojo grow and then we've got more positive people in there.

GEORGE: That's awesome. Kevin, it’s been great chatting with you. There's so much gold in this episode and I hope everybody listens to this again, just because there were so many small things that came through there that I think are life changing. It’s life changing advice for any martial arts school owner that really just want to ramp things up and get moving to that next level. Kevin, where can people find out more about you?

KEVIN: Our website, krmas.com.au and they can reach out to us through there if they like. Just click on locations Port Macquarie or home office, it’s easy to access through there. Just go to our website and reach out, I'm happy to share and have a chat and nothing too sell here.

GEORGE: Excellent.

KEVIN: Alright then, thank you very much for having me, George.

GEORGE: Thank you very much, Kevin, that was excellent, chat to you soon.

KEVIN: Ok, bye.

GEORGE: And there you have it – thank you, Kevin. I hope you got a lot of value from that episode, I certainly did. One key thing that stands out for me: I speak to a lot of martial arts school owners. Depending on the level that you're at, or where they're at, there are different problems in your business. If you're just starting out you've got different problems versus someone like Kevin that has a 120 staff in 26 locations. So there's going to be different levels and different problems, obstacles you've got to overcome in your business.

But the key one that always comes out is the sales process. Even for some business owners it's hard, but it’s probably easier for you as a business owner because you know all the aspects of your business. But to formulate that into a process, it can be a difficult task, and to actually teach your instructors who are more than likely not sales people can be a hard slog to get done. And I know for most people, most people don't really want to learn sales.

For me, it was a default profession and I'm not going to go into details, but when I lived in South Africa, there was a time in my life where I had to get into sales or not eat. That was the scenario, and I learned something and it taught me so much about life and it’s something I value. And for me, it’s not a sleazy or slimy thing, it’s just taking people from one situation to a better alternative, if that's a match for them, without pushing people into any scenario that they don't want to be in, or any situation.

But to convey that type of skills and to teach that kind of skills, it’s a hard thing to do. And if that's such a big obstacle in your business, the sales process, why not simplify that? And that's really what Kevin has done here: he's put an offer in front that people can take and it eliminates the time wasters and it just makes a life a lot easier for everybody and the more people can tell stories about how people are having success in their business, that's really what people want to hear and they can evaluate for themselves if your organization, your martial arts school or MMA gym is a match for them.

So there you have it. As always, the show notes can be found at martialartsmedia.com/20, so that's the number 20. And if you got great value out of this show and all the others and you would like to leave us feedback, this really, really helps us get our rankings up. If you've got an iPhone and you're listening to us through the iTunes app, click on reviews and you can submit a review from there. If you're on a laptop, you would need to go to martialartsmedia.com/itunes. There's a blue button that says “view in iTunes”- that will open up iTunes and you can leave a review from there. And then, depending if you're listening on another phone, like stitcher radio or somewhere else, then you can leave a review within that platform as well.

Last but not least: if you would like to leave some feedback, or have any questions about anything within this show, and if you've maybe asked a question below this episode, we could get Kevin to answer them for you. So you can go to martialartsmedia.com/20, scroll right to the bottom, just add your name and email there and you can add a comment, leave your feedback, what you liked, what you didn't like and we can have a bit of a discussion on the episode.

That's it from me – I hope you have a fantastic week and if you are traveling this time of year, be safe, I’ll chat to you next week – cheers!

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19 – Fari Salievski: Having Your Martial Arts School As An Avenue For Investments

Should you rent your martial arts school premises or own it? Fari Salievski believes in the latter and funds his investments.

Fari Salievski

IN THIS EPISODE YOU WILL LEARN:

  • What to do when nature takes it course and destroys your business
  • How the concept of recurring billing started within Australia
  • When you should consider owning your martial arts school premises
  • Why hype is not always the best way to go
  • When it's ok to drive your Ferrari
  • And more

*Need help growing your martial arts school? Learn More Here.

Download the PDF transcription

TRANSCRIPTION

Are you owning your own building? That nice car that you drive, do you actually own it? If your school is so successful, your school should become really an avenue to invest.

Hi, this is George Fourie and welcome to another episode of Martial Arts Media Business Podcast, episode number 19. I have with me today Master Fari Salievski from KMA, a champion martial artist in Sydney, although they have several locations around Australia. An interesting martial arts business conversation, about ownership, owning your actual school and not renting, using your martial arts school as a vehicle to fund investments. We talk about 34 years in the business and how things have changed and brought things like recurring bullying and things that have obviously taken for granted today but getting that process started way back in the day.

Now, discussing the topic of ownership, I’d like your feedback. We talk about ownership, obviously the physical school, and that got me started on something that I haven't really spoken about, which is owning your digital assets, which is a very very important component when you build out your website and your Internet properties, but it’s one that is completely missed in most modern day training, so people don't really focus on it. But at the end of the day, if you’re building a business for longevity, you want to own digital assets, as you might want to own a building – or is it something that you do not agree with?

I know there could be a lot of contradicting opinions on that, whether you should own something or rent something. At the end of the day, is ownership really better? Yes, mostly, but some people say it’s not. So what's your take on that? Blow the show, and you can do that with every show basically and this one at martialartsmedia.com/19 – right below the transcript, you can leave your name and email address and fill in a comment and start a debate. If you have any questions, or something that you don't agree with or agree with, then raise that and let’s discuss and evaluate a few options.

I know for me in my marketing business, I don't own a physical location because I don't need to – I can work from home, which is awesome and that's the way I wanted to have it set up in the beginning, that I can work with remote staff and work with people from all over the world, which is what I do. I have only one person in Perth that I work with, everybody else is located in different parts of the country or different parts of the world. So that's from me, but when I talk about ownership, am I into digital ownership? Oh yes, I want to own every single property and put my primary content on a website that I own, and this is a topic that I’ll dig a bit deeper into and elaborate more on.

This episode, we’re getting right there, stuck into the business. You're going to get a lot of value from this, or it’s going to create contradicting opinions, who knows? If it does, whether it does or not, leave a comment below the show notes, martialartsmedia.com/19. That's it from me, please welcome to the show – Master Fari Salievski.

GEORGE: Good day everyone. Today I have with me Master Fari Salievski. Now, Master Fari Salievski has been in the industry a good 34 years, started the whole craze of fortnightly billing in Australia and a whole bunch of other things that we're probably going to touch on in this interview, so welcome to the call Fari.

FARI: Thank you, nice chatting with you.

Fari SalievskiGEORGE: Awesome. So I guess let's start right at the beginning – who is Fari Salievski?

FARI: Yeah, sometimes I ask myself that question as well. I'm still evolving, but I like to consider myself a martial artist, first and foremost. There are some people in the industry that know me as the guy that probably was the first to start marketing Hapkido and doing a whole lot of seminars in the early nineties. From 2000, people probably knew me as the guy that set up a whole lot of martial arts business seminars, but for me, it’s about being a martial artist first and foremost.

GEORGE: So let's go back to give everything some context. How did your martial arts career evolve, where did you start teaching?

FARI: I started teaching in 82. I started teaching for a man called Chang Wu Lee and that was in a city Redfern, and actually, I opened up my very own school in 1986, in New Town, a suburb of the city of Sydney.

GEORGE: And that was your first location?

FARI: Correct, yes. And eventually, that became a full-time school in 98 – if some Sydneysiders remember, there was a very big house storm that was the size of baseballs. The building that I was in was closed and I went from a full-time school to a part-time school. In fact, that school has now moved to Erskineville, the next suburb down.  Still a part-time school and at the time, I started to look for other locations. I had a part time Bankstown and a part time Liverpool school. in January 2000 I opened what still is and became my KMA headquarters.

GEORGE: Ok, great. Now, that's a long time ago. Working your way through and you've been doing this for 34 years, which is a lifetime for most people, how have things evolved? What were the first problems you encountered at that time and moving forward to now?

FARI: I have to say that in 2000 when I purchased, not leased, but purchased my premises, I made the big decision to change everything that I did. And I have to say that the building was a key part of that. In 98, with the hail storm, I learned in a very hard way, I learned to rely on loyalty, the martial arts teacher, relying on that just wasn't enough. The fact is, within a matter of two weeks of moving virtually across the road to a school gymnasium, I ended up with only 30% of my students. And in 2000, I decided to virtually go across America , I did a martial arts tour, looking at the very biggest schools. And I came back and I started billing. In other words, having students on direct debit.

GEORGE: Ok. Let's just go back quick – the hail storm, just to give it a bit more context for people who are not familiar with that. What was that about, what was the impact?

FARI: Well, if you look at the size of baseballs, basically destroyed the building. I was in the police citizen’s youth club – people will know that building for great famous boxers like Jeff Fenech, Kostya Tszyu, especially Jeff Fenech, who I still admire quite a bit, an Australian icon. They had the boxing room, I had the martial arts room. I was the guy that brought all the kids in especially, the PCYC movement is predominantly about kids. I had all the kids in that area and the fact is, at the time, the inner city was evolving and the PCYC headquarters in there wisdom believed there weren't many kids or weren't enough kids in there in the city.

I don't want to offend anyone, but they actually said the words to the effect of, gays do not have kids. And the money and real estate were pretty expensive even back then, the money that would generate by selling the building would open up a lot more centers in the areas where they believed there was a lot more kids. I was not the landlord and I found myself out on the street. I ended up across the road in the gymnasium, and that was a very tough lesson for me. Even though I was into property investing, I didn't own the commercial premises. And that was the big wake-up call for me. In hindsight, as typical as it was, that spurred me on to purchase and for me to become the landlord of commercial premises and guarantee my longevity in the martial arts.

GEORGE: Ok, and what did you base that decision on, because it sounds like you did that quite early, you decided you're going to purchase your actual premises.

FARI: We were out on the street about roughly August of 98. So I did not purchase until December of 99, it took me that long. I was operating out of part-time centers, we were ready to open in January of 2000 in premises I owned and I still own. There are quite a few different opinions on whether people should lease or people should buy, but I can tell you, that's why I'm a very good example of why people should buy – you're the landlord. Nobody can kick me out, and you know what? I've had two martial arts schools in that street competing against me, and the fact is, both of them are gone and I would doubt very much that anyone would be able to come in and establish themselves in the heart of Liverpool city. If they do, it’s going to be a very expensive bill for them to rent and compete with someone that's not paying rent.

GEORGE: Right. Would you see that as the biggest advantage, it’s a financial competitive edge? Because obviously, the purchase can be quite expensive initially.

FARI: The purchase, regardless of the price – the fact is that the first school that was across the road from me, what they were paying in a week was less than I was paying on my monthly repayments as a loan, that's the fact. And I remember the words to the effect of, my opposition school – you're an idiot. Well, you know, I would argue that I think you're the idiot for paying a hell of a lot of money when you could have bought it and you didn't realize there was an absolute bargain across the road. I bought it not to compete with anyone: I bought it because it was great real estate deal. And in the end, the person that said I was an idiot, ended up moving out in less than two years.

GEORGE: If you could give anybody advice on purchasing their premises, or premises where they would like to move in, is there any sort of pointers, some key point that you would look at before you take that move?

Fari SalievskiFARI: Obviously, you need to start at a part-time location. You need to crawl before you can walk and walk before you can run – that's the goal. Back then, I didn't know really anyone that actually owned. Now I know lots of people that actually own their premises, and I sort of compare that very much to the four minute mile: nobody believes you can break the four-minute barrier and the fact is that once one guy did it, within a few months, there were a half a dozen guys that did it. But before that, nobody could do it. It's very much the same in owning your premises and that's why I find it quite fascinating, I’ll always get guys, especially some of the business advisors, business gurus, martial arts business gurus in America, they're quite openly bagging owning your building, and I don't understand why they would actually do that.

There are benefits in owning, there are benefits in leasing, they're not going to understand leasing and I can’t understand it's much easier, you can pick your location, but you know what? I picked my location and I bought. If you can buy and become the landlord, always buy. At the end of the day, if you look at what I bought it at and what it’s worth now, even if it was not a bargain then, even if I got ripped off back then, it’s still a bargain compared to today’s prices, that's a fact and that's real estate, especially in Sydney. You're always going to move forward, you're sitting on a financial nest egg and you happen to spend a bit more money on it. I've got air condition, to put value above the $35,000, I'm happy to spend it because I own the premises. And that's just one example.

GEORGE: Definitely. I look at it from the marketing side of course, but when you look at digital assets, which is something that's very neglected in the internet space, people might rent their website on a different platform, or invest all their assets in social networks that they don't own as such and I see it as a big problem in the longevity of your business. There were things like MySpace back in the day, where everybody ditched their websites and moved all their digital assets to MySpace and we all know what happened to that. And when you don't own your actual assets, whether digital or physical, you're always going to be at that risk where you don't have the control, you're playing on someone else’s field basically.

FARI: Well, that's why I find it amazing that there are people recommending from the outset, this is the only way, this is what you do. And the fact is, the reason they recommend leasing is because they're leasing. And I sort of question, is that the advice you're giving because it’s the actual best advice, or is that the advice you give to justify why you're leasing your premises?

GEORGE: Interesting. So let's jump pack to the billing side. It's something that's kind of taken for granted today because I guess it is the norm, but you did touch on earlier that you toured America and you had a look at bigger schools and then you took away that concept – can you elaborate a bit more on that?

FARI: Look, the focus that having a good mix and a focus that allows you to concentrate on teaching, even to this day, I say to potential new members, why we do billing or we do pay it in full. The reason we do that is because I do not want to spend time collecting fees – I want to do it right now and then I want to focus on you as a student. And it’s simple, and we ask them: would you like me to spend more time collecting fees, or would you like me to spend more time on teaching you, or teaching your child? And obviously, the answer is, I want you to focus on teaching. And for that reason alone, they're the only options we offer. We do some casual classes, if it's a workout class, for example, that's only on the workout classes that we have a casual option, and even then people are purchasing in groups of ten.

It's always what is best for the school, best for the business unashamedly, and in the end, it's best for the students, because let's face it: in our example, we own the premises. That's a huge commitment, we invested heavily in not only the premises but in the equipment. But by investing, we made a commitment. It’s not wrong to ask from members to make a commitment in order to start. We're in the martial arts business, were not playing ping pong, it’s not a seasonal sport. So for me to change habits, for me to make someone better than what they were before they came in, I need a commitment, and billing, or pay it in full, and I say both those things – pay it in full, it’s not wrong for me to ask people, OK, I don't want to do direct debit. What other option do I have? More than happy for you to pay in full. Why? Both of those things will give me my goal of a commitment. I have a minimum 12 months – if you want to train at our school, it’s 12 months commitment minimum.

GEORGE: So what's your take on the whole billing industry as such within the martial arts areas? What are the options and so forth?

FARI: I think there are advantages and disadvantages to everything out there. Ultimately, it’s what's best for you. I don't believe that you should be getting your business advice from your billing company for example, and that's just my opinion. If for example, a billing company would not want you to do a pay it in full, why is that? What would you think they would not want you to do a pay it in full?

GEORGE: They don't get the billing fees.

FARI: Correct, there’s no commission. There’s a whole lot of things that they want you to incorporate in the billing. To me, that's biased advice. And obviously, it's not in their interest. For me, each to their own, I just don't believe in giving a percentage of the business. There’s a lot of ways of collecting fees and paying a percentage, it's very much like a franchise and again, I think it’s good if you're smaller and you're not turning that much over but if you start turning over a decent amount of money, and that percentage can add up. And you might say, that percentage is tax deductible – fantastic! So is my new car that I can by every year. So are those trips, so is my next property. So where do you want to spend your money? Well, I have a very different view on where I want to spend my money.

GEORGE: For someone that wants to take on a billing company, is there anything else they should be assessing to evaluate their decision of who to go with?

FARI: For me, it's what's best for you. I prefer a transaction fee myself, a flat transaction fee. My student pays that, be it ¢0.50, be it a dollar, be it a $1.95 – on top of your fee, it's very transparent. If your fee is 60 a fortnight, for example, you get 60 dollars a fortnight on your account – simple. Anything above that is the fee – very simple to understand. A hundred students at 60, you just got 6000 – simple. The moment I start doing percentages, I really can’t justify paying a flat percentage unless it’s a franchise.

GEORGE: So Fari, how do you feel the industry has evolved – good or bad, from when you started?

FARI: Look, I think having opened the door for the business of martial arts, now I think people have gone a little bit too over the top. And it’s quite ironic because one of the pet hates of school owners is splintering. And what I mean by splintering is you build a student up and you take all that time to develop that student, he becomes a great black belt, he works for you, and then that loyal martial arts black belt that you built up to be a great instructor to help him build up great relationships in the school, then decides to become your competitor, not far away and take your student base.

And probably that's the pet hate of every school owner, is splintering. But you know what? I've done the same thing in the business of martial arts. So many want to be this representative, that representative, I'm going to bring this guy and that guy. There is already a wonderful base of people and organizations – why reinvent the wheel? At the end of the day, the people that have started to have actually done quite well. So what's happening is that the next generation of people, how they can make some noise, is a whole lot more hype. And unfortunately, there are some that are getting caught up with the hype.

Aussies, I think, in my view, we don't like the hype. I don't need to oversell to get more members. I don't need the hype. I just need a good product, all the essentials and we need to keep it simple, but they want to hype things up so much. I don't believe you should get a potential new student and lock yourself in the backroom not to be disturbed to sign them up. Really? What are we buying? Are we buying a house, are we buying a car, are we doing a deal that we don't want to be interrupted on? I’ll do it on the front counter. I want them to see where they're going to join. See that big crowd down on the floor? You're going to be a part of that big crowd. And you're not going to see that big crowd in the room out the back floor. All this hype, all this big sell, constantly looking to upsell in order to increase your sales for that month and turn your turnover.

Aussie schools and the fact is this: we now have a very good friend of mine, you've met him, and I won’t mention the name now because there’s obviously figures involved but we’re talking hundreds of thousands of dollars a month in turnover and that's not just turnover, but that's in straight out membership fees that they collect. And I would challenge any school in America that can do that amount of turnover, strictly on student fees. I mean, that is phenomenal. There are people that will get maybe half that in a month, but that will include upgrades and testings and products and things like that. But you know what? We don't need to sell anything else, we've created a base of success on straight out membership fees. Of course, you can do all those other things, but our focus and emphasis are not in sales, it's being on membership. Because you're guaranteed that you're getting paid every two weeks, or every four weeks, whatever it may be, you're getting paid on student fees – guaranteed. And you know what, to me, that's real success. I don't get too excited and try and turn my staff into sales people if you can understand that.

GEORGE: Do you feel this hype comes exactly from this, because the majority of the leadership I guess, comes from America with different systems. And I know there’s a vast difference, I moved to the States for sales years ago and I couldn't sell for the life of me in America. And then I learned the American way and then I moved back to Australia and people frowned at me in Australia and I had to adapt again. And that to me was such a key thing, there’s such a different way of communication. And when people are creating websites and things like this, that same principle applies, because that's our virtual communication.


FARI: A 100%. Look, your website’s going to reflect your personality and what you do. We don't need to be blowing trumpets and whistles – Australians, they want to buy. People came to the school to buy, they called you because they want to buy – you don't have to oversell. We’re really in the information business, there are the right things to say, the right things to keep it simple, but I don't need the hype because again – you come back from that Anthony Robbins seminar and you're all hyped up, right? Someone does a big sell and you're all hyped up. But how long does that hype last? When someone joins, I want that hype to last for the next 20 years. I want martial arts for life, ideally. If I'm all based on hype, you're not going to have the student for life. And people might say, the average student only stays four or five years anyway – well, that's fine. Regardless, they're not going to be there for hype, they'll be there even less for hype.

GEORGE: Excellent.

FARI: Anyway, that's just my view. It’s not there to downgrade anyone, but this philosophy based on not to over-hype, and again, I would challenge anyone that is against that or doesn't agree with it, because the fact is, the biggest schools in the world are here in Australia. The most profitable schools are here in Australia. Pure success and I'm not talking, I have 1000 students, or 2000 students came through my premises this week – great. What did those 2000 students that came through this week, what did that cost you? Are you owning your own building? That nice car that you drive, do you actually own it? If your school is so successful, your school should become really an avenue to invest. What have you invested?

And they'll always be trying to do something to generate more funds, but I can tell you: if your school becomes an investment or buying properties, you know what?

That's investment because you'll be making money in your sleep. And I would ask, and my question in finding whether be a mentor or whatever, I don't care what your business is worth, I don't care what you're worth – what do you actually own? If you stop working tomorrow, how long will you survive? And that's a big question. And the biggest schools in this country, the most successful, and I can tell you, it’s not the current generations, it’s the generations before. They're very old school, I can tell you, if they stop working tomorrow, they stop teaching or whatever, I can tell you, they will do just fine.

GEORGE: Let’s talk about success and let’s talk about your success – you have 16 locations yourself: what do you acquaint to your success?

FARI: Keeping it simple, don't hype. Try and minimize your debt, minimize unnecessary expenses. The fact is, when I was driving around in my Ferrari, and I actually think that that was the worst thing that I could share in the martial arts industry, because there's a generation of people now thinking if they open up a martial arts school, they can own a Ferrari, that's the goal. For me, it’s not about owning a Ferrari, or owning a Lamborghini: it’s putting yourself in the position to have the choice. Because there will be some people to say, I would never waste that sort of money – it’s fine, it’s good that you say that, and it’s probably a good advice, but the person that said you should never waste that money – are you, or will you ever be in the position to buy that Lamborghini or Ferrari? Are you saying that because you're a smart, intelligent person, or are you just saying that because you'll never be able to afford one regardless?

And I'm not being cheeky, but that's just a fact – put yourself in the position where you can have that choice. And if you do buy it, don't go borrowing money. A car costs you money, it’s an expense. It’s extra money that you want to burn, be it for tax purposes or whatever. It plays money, but get yourself in the position where you have that play money, but only after you own some property, you've got some real assets, you've got a foundation for real success. The fact is, the rich person will buy and invest for example in a property, and a poor person will buy a car or home. Owning your own home is great, fantastic, but your own home is an expense. It's an asset – yes, you can use that to help you buy the things, but it's not producing an income. So my view of success is not what you see on face value. And I see people walking around, that have businesses valued at millions this and millions that – it might be values, it doesn't actually mean that you actually turn it over each and every day. I've now bought a Rolls Royce. Fantastic! Did you buy it in cash? Who knows, but the point is that Australians especially are a little bit more conservative.

Fari SalievskiThe goal is always to own your own home and have the stable income. But again, I think people are getting caught up too much with the hype and success has become different things. Ultimately, to me, it’s to be able to live a lifestyle teaching what you enjoy and not have the pressure, financial pressure to do that – to me, that's success, because you can’t beat peace of mind. I don't want to be looking at my next student as, how much money will I make. I need to get the extra student to pay my bills, or buy my next car. You know what? I want that person to join because I actually believe this will be the best thing for them. Absolutely, no doubt in the world. And if they join, I have the platform and experience of teaching that in all our centers that we share in the success. And to me, that is success. But you know, to have the pressure, the hype – I honestly find that quite, quite sickening.

GEORGE: Excellent. So, before we wrap it up, I’d like to ask you, what's your goal for the next five years? You've expanded to 16 locations; you've been in the industry for a long time – what's the next step for you?

FARI: We have several locations under review currently. There is a process of becoming a KMA school, so we are not obsessively looking to expand. My goal, if you wish, there’s a natural growth of becoming a KMA school. It’s not something that we necessarily plan, but I think it's important for school owners in particular to give their black belts that want to grow themselves, that want to follow in your path, you need to give them an opportunity to be able to grow just as you have done. That's an important note because it's not to help you grow: it's to help them grow. Having a model where it's very much a win and making people feel like an employee, that's essential. And my goal is to very much for them to be in a position like I am and not feel like they're my employees. They're not my employees: I want them to succeed and achieve more than I have ever done, and I mean that sincerely.

GEORGE: Awesome. Fari, thank you very much for your time. If people want to learn more about you and get a hold of you, where can they do that?

FARI: Ok, we've got martialartsprofessionals.com, martial arts professionals for MARA, martial arts professionals represents the martial arts industry association in America. We also have a good local relationship with the MAIA here, but being the business arm, I try and link with, and again, not reinventing the wheel, but they're obviously in the US, but we bring some things in here, we help digest and localize it and provide a world of resources with local support. And the biggest schools in Australia have been and you know what, still are members. And to me, that's a wonderful network. And the best guys, the most successful guys do not swap and change guys. They've built on it and in building on that foundation, regardless of how much they turnover and have become not just the biggest in Australia, but have become the biggest in the world, which I'm very proud of.

GEORGE: Thank you very much for your time Fari, I hope to connect with you soon.

FARI: Have a great day.

GEORGE: Thanks, cheers.

And there you have it – thank you for listening, thank you Master Fari Salievski for sharing knowledge. We are going to come back for a second show and elaborate on a few topics and ramp it up a little. What I’d like to know from you: what did you like, what didn't you like. What do you agree on, what did you not agree on? Do you agree with the ownership; do you prefer the renting strategy? How do you feel about the show? If you go to martialartsmedia.com/19, the number 19, right at the bottom you can leave a comment. Share your perspective, share your opinion, we’d love to hear from you, start a debate – obviously keep it friendly and let’s have a chat about the episodes and how you feel about the matters and what else we should be covering.

If you got good value out of this show and any other show for that matter, do help us out: head over to martialartsmedia.com/iTunes, and you'll see there a sort of a weird looking picture of me. Right below it is a blue button, “view on iTunes.” If you click on that, it takes you through to iTunes and you can leave us a review. Five-star reviews will help us ramp up the show and get more listeners and bring more great guests to the show, but an honest review would be much appreciated from you.

That's it – we’ll be back again next week with another great episode. I look forward to chatting with you then. If you have any business queries and you need any help with your business marketing, especially leaning into the new year, then get in touch with us. You can go to martialartsmedia.com and contact us there, or even better here, down on martial arts business plan for online media. That will help you get a bit of a perspective on the holistic view of marketing your business online and bringing in new members and reach out to us. Just reply to the emails that you receive, get in touch with us, we’re happy to have a chat and see how we can help you grow your martial arts business. Thanks and I’ll chat with you next week – cheers!

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