Graham McDonnell and Phil Britten from The WA Institute Of Martial Arts and The Institute Of Martial Arts (TIMA) share their journey to 3 dojos and 1600 students.
IN THIS EPISODE YOU WILL LEARN:
Who is George Fourie and the twist that got him started in his Martial Arts journey
How Graham McDonnell and Phil Britten got funding to buy their martial arts school now known as The WA Institute Of Martial Arts (WAIMA). You can use some of these resources right now to open a martial arts school
The one thing you must have before going full time with your martial arts business
Why having your back against the wall is the best place to be for your business
Communicating your value and identity through your brand
Why losing your top students is not necessarily a bad thing
*Need help growing your martial arts school? Learn More Here.
Download the PDF transcription
GEORGE: Hi this is George Fourie, and welcome to the first official martial arts media podcast. Now, this is a big adventure for me and I'm sure it's gonna be one for you, because my goal with this podcast is to be interviewing top martial arts business experts, from around the globe, and dissecting their methods, their strategies, their frameworks, their mindset – everything that it takes for them to be successful.
And I'm gonna be going from, spoil the journey, from the beginning, how they got started, how they got the money, how they made the transition from part time school owner, or just martial arts student, to a martial arts business owner, and going through that process. And this first episode is really going to set the benchmark, because I am interviewing two industry experts, that run a top school – a top organization I'd rather say, because they've expanded from one school the day I met them, to now three, worth 1600 students all up.
And whether that is a goal for you or not, to have such a large organization, I can tell you what – they share some gold within the interview, which I'm gonna have to break up into three parts, because we're in for a good hour and a half, going back and forth and learning their journey of how they got to where they are today.
But before we get into that, I want to give you a bit of background about me and how I got started with this whole podcast journey. A little more than five years ago, I was just a parent, sitting inside the dojo, on the side of the mats, watching my son go through his martial arts journey. At that point in time, I was not involved in martial arts whatsoever, although I've always been fascinated by it, I've always been impressed by the discipline, the methodologies around martial arts. And attending all his classes, I sort of had the opportunity to work on what was important to me, which is of course my business.
Doing digital marketing, building my online business and marketing my products online, and everything that I was doing at that point in time. And spending a lot of time at the dojo, I couldn't help but notice what they were trying to do with their online marketing. Getting their message out on Facebook, and social media, and they were trying blogging strategies at the time. And having a lot of experience with this, I thought, “You know what, these guys obviously need help – let me offer my advice.” And I went to the guys and said, “Look, there's a few things I think that you could really optimize and improve.
Why don't I just come see you guys and I'll just give you free consulting and such.” I had a meeting with them, and about a half an hour in, they asked me, “Look, could you just do the stuff for us?” And it was something I never contemplated, doing my marketing stuff as a service. I already had a growing business at that time, and I wasn't really looking to take on any clients.
But after some consideration, I decided, “You know what, this is gonna be a learning experience for me as well, so why not just take it on?