98 – Brett Fenton – Evaluating Your Martial Arts Life & Transitioning To Virtual Gradings

Lifelong martial artist Brett Fenton talks about taking action fast, navigating through obstacles and transitioning to virtual gradings.

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IN THIS EPISODE, YOU WILL LEARN:

  • How Brett navigated his martial arts business through the pandemic
  • Evaluating if it’s your time to throw in the towel
  • The steps Brett took to pivot his business successfully
  • How Brett's agile leadership helped his team to adapt the right mindset
  • Brett's recovery plan
  • And more

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

 

TRANSCRIPTION

It is a great time to evaluate where you sat as far as life goes. So you can go, “Do I really love doing martial arts? Do I love teaching? Do I love turning up and doing all of this?” Here's the perfect opportunity for some people in the world to go, “You know what, I'm gonna actually jump out of this, because it's not actually something I enjoy doing anymore.”

But for me, it actually made me assess the other way and go. “I love this so much, I've got to keep this going. I will turn over every rock to find a way to make this keep happening.”

GEORGE: Hey everyone, this is George Fourie from martialartsmedia.com and welcome to another Martial Arts Media business podcast. So I have with me today something that I speak to quite regularly within our Partners program. Great martial artist, great school owner, Brett Fenton from Red Dragon Martial Arts. How are you doing today Brett?

BRETT: I'm awesome George, thanks for having me on your podcast.

GEORGE: Thank you. And so a little bit of an insight: this is round two, but round one.

BRETT: Correct.

GEORGE: So we actually did a podcast… Well, it would be a good six months ago?

BRETT: Yeah, absolutely.

GEORGE: Yeah. And I had my laptop stolen unfortunately and there were two files that did not upload into the cloud. And one of them was Brett’s podcast. So it's been a long time in the making. Lots of change in the world, but here we are.

BRETT: Absolutely, a bit of a different environment now.

GEORGE: Exactly. So we can chat a bit about that, but first up, just for anyone who doesn't know who you are, just give us a bit of a roundup: who you are, what you do and a bit of your background.

martial arts virtual gradings

BRETT: Absolutely, thanks George. I’m a lifetime martial artist. I've been training since I was a kid, and jumped around different styles depending on which family member taught it to me, or friend. Didn't have a lot of money as a kid, so I latched on to anyone that looked that knew any martial arts and basically got it for free as a kid. Moved to Brisbane in the late 80s and basically started training with my still sifu Tom Lowe for the last 30 years.

I trained with him in Wing Chun, Jow Ga Kung Fu, Wu Style Tai Chi funnily enough, because he thought I was an angry young teenager that needed some calming down, so he taught me that. Later on, taught me crucial lion and dragon dancing, so I did all the whole Chinese culture, immersed myself in their culture for a very long time.

Lived over near Sunnybank for a long time as well, then obviously went down the route of when the UFC came out, MMA, Brazilian jiu-jitsu with John Will. Trained and traveled overseas a lot, started with the extreme martial arts in the mid to late 90s and 2000s and started bringing that out, probably late 2000s started teaching that, and Kali and Escrima with Ray Floro.

So just basically, just gone on this journey of trying to find the very best martial arts to suit me. And funnily enough along the way, a lot of other people that I've taught have gone, “That's cool, I want to learn it.”

And so now we have over 400 students. We run nearly 100 classes a week, full-time facility with multiple rooms. But we started in 97’ in a community hall, so we've done the usual kind of thing for most professional martial arts instructors. Community hall to full-time school over about 23 years. And that's pretty much my story, so that's all I keep doing today.

GEORGE: Perfect. So you were mentioning you were on this search for the perfect martial arts for you. Now, knowing, working with you from my perspective, you're a guy that sort of, you just jump in head-on into different directions and you're pretty quick to take action. But also get in front of, you know, what is going on with whatever you take on. So for you that you've done all these styles and all of these different things, what’s the sort of martial arts that resonates with you the most?

BRETT: Yeah, I get asked that question quite a lot, especially by my students here, which is my favorite. They always go, “Sifu. what's your favorite style?” I go, “It's like asking which is your favorite child; depends on the day and the time.” So depends on which one is upsetting you the most. I like… again, I still train, I love my kung-fu because I grew up in the Bruce Lee era, so for me it's still a big part of who I am.

But I also love the nuances and the complexities of the Brazilian  jiu-jitsu. I was only just watching UFC yesterday and just watching two high-level jiu-jitsu guys in a cage, throwing crazy control, like twisters and stuff in an octagon. And that was exciting. So I still find that exciting, I love hanging out with, chatting with my coaches like John Will, he's like, he's a wealth of knowledge that I love to just chat to all the time. And so just that kind of stuff is really exciting.

I love blades, I had my first knife when I was six years old and I've got a collection, probably not as good as Ray Flores’ collection, but I have a pretty good collection of knives that have been given to me over the years by students or family and friends. So I've always loved any kind of bladed weapon. So yeah, at the end of the day, I'm fully immersed in it. I gave up being a top-level sportsman in tennis, cricket, volleyball to just pursue martial arts and that was hard, as like a 20 to 22 year old, I could have gone down there.

Martial arts was just such a pull to me that I went… I preferred myself as far as the martial arts goes, preferred myself as a person when I was doing martial arts than I did as an athlete in other sports and stuff. So I went down that road fairly early on as a young adult male and it's paid off, because this is all I do for a living now.

GEORGE: Got it. So, a quick backstory on how you transitioned to where you’re at with your school and everything and then we can take on a bit more of a conversation just on current matters, the current climate and how you plan on getting through that. So what was the… You stepped into martial arts: what was the transition for you going into school owner? You mentioned, from the school hall, etc. Elaborate a bit more on that.

martial arts virtual gradingsBRETT: Yep. So I started with my sifu at the moment in 1989. Started doing Wing Chun and then later on, about a year or so later Jow Ga Kung Fu and then Tai Chi. Early on, he probably recognized that I had a passion for passing on knowledge. I probably did it just organically with my classmates. Like, when I saw someone having an issue with learning something, I would always go over and help them.

And so it was very early on that I found myself up the front doing the warmups, probably within a year or so and then after that running small group classes. And we actually had a very big martial art school for the time back in the early 90s, ten schools, like all satellite schools around Brisbane, running one or two nights a week in community halls with hundreds of students.

And so for me, I was like “Wow, this is amazing.” I would literally drive from one school, I'd finish teaching – this is probably like 1992, I would finish teach at our Indooroopilly headquarters at 7:30 or whatever and then I’d drive into the city, the YMCA in the city and teach a class there 8:30, finish at 9:30 and then probably head out to Jindalee All sports and do a white session.

And so for me, six – seven days a week of martial arts training and weight training and fitness training was not, I didn't think of it as anything special, I was just completely wrapped up in the whole thing. So that led me to running my own school in 94’. Like, one of his branches, was quite successful at that. Then I moved up towards the Sunshine Coast and I've made my school in 1997 and we've been running that one ever since. It obviously has evolved and grown since then.

GEORGE: Gotcha, okay. So quite the story. Now, I mean things have dramatically changed obviously, talking depending on when you listen to this podcast, but I think it's important to just address the current situation of where things are at. Because I think anyone in the world has never faced anything like now and some people have obviously, you know, really felt the pressure.

And also not, you know, kind of waited in freeze mode and didn't take any action. And others have really sort of embraced the change as much as possible, you know, to really get through this pandemic that we're facing right now. So walk me through just how's it been for you and what have you done to navigate through this?

BRETT: Absolutely, thanks George. One of the biggest things I think was that I noticed it is a great time to evaluate where you sat as far as life goes. You can go, “Do I really love doing martial arts? Do I love teaching? Do I love turning up and doing all of this?”

Here's the perfect opportunity for some people in the world to go, “You know what, I'm gonna actually jump out of this, because it's not actually something I enjoy doing anymore.” But for me, it actually made me assess the other way and go. “I love this so much, I've got to keep this going. I will turn over every rock to find a way to make this keep happening.”

We started on March 23rd, we were given information, which was a week ahead of what I thought the schedule was going to be and when we were going to be told to basically close down physical training. So I know that I was chatting with you, leading up to that, saying we're gonna set up Zoom classes and we already were thinking that way and overnight it happened.

And so within 24 hours, I had to go from being on this side of the camera, where I would sit and have conversations with you and the Partners and I was the person watching, I was being the viewer most of the time, to actually steering the ship on the other side of Zoom. And so 24 hours of educating myself from how Zoom worked, creating like breakout rooms and doing all that and we were up and running the very next night with our full Zoom classes, with everything still running, same timetable.

For me, I reveled in that excitement. I like being challenged, I like being out of my comfort zone. I sometimes get stressed out by doing it and I know that meditating is good for that and I do do that every day, but I get excited when there's… when it's kind of like ice skating. I found that very exciting and challenging. Stressful, but exciting. So for me, I was a lot for that I and I still am.

Like, I'm always thinking ahead a week or two ahead, going “Alright, this is what we're gonna do over the next couple of weeks.” and I'm already planning, it goes into my calendar, these are the things I need to do. And I know that you see on a Monday, when you ask every single Monday in Partners, “What's your plan?” So I already know what it is, so I just type it straight in. So I already know what my plan is for the week. And I go ahead and execute. And that's what I do.

GEORGE: Yeah. Personally, I think entrepreneurs were made for this. I mean, you know, that's what we do right? We solve problems. Interesting that you mentioned, you know, where a lot of people jump ship. Maybe it was just the easy way out. I think it also, it really… like you were saying, it really makes you think deeper.

Like, am I… Is this what I really want? And I think that's where, you know, if people have been following their niche or, you know, trying to make money in an industry or something. And you didn't have that gut check before you started it, you were just hoping to make financial gains, which is – hey, it's, obviously, that's okay as well, because that's what, you know, people do in business.

But it's a good time to reevaluate and really sit back and think, “Okay, well is this what I really want?” And then how to go from that. Now, how did you say to see this playing out? I guess, you know, at the time of recording this, where you're at in Queensland there's been some restrictions left. I know in Perth we can… there's already gyms or training outside, restriction of up to ten people, that's moving over I think next week. So what's the plan for you? Where do you see this evolving?

BRETT: Absolutely. One of the things that I've noticed like, we've got a week and then we go to having ten people in an outdoor space, so we can do I suppose boot camps, or outdoor classes. The biggest issue for us is that mostly our classes are at night and it's winter, so once we hit five o'clock, it's going to be too dark to do classes. So in fairness to everyone that trains in our school, we can't fit everyone into their classes. We'll get the three to six year olds done and then everyone else wouldn't be able to.

So we're going to continue to run our Zoom classes, but we're bringing our instructor team now into the school, because up until now we've only been allowed to have two people in the building. And when we run two floors, three instructors to a floor, it's a little bit hard to do that. But now we can do that, we have multiple cameras, multiple laptops going, multiple TVs going.

And that'll allow us to use our breakout rooms to break everyone into small classes. It'll actually be probably easier, because they'd actually be able to verbally tell each other when they need to move people from one breakout room to another. At the moment, we'd be messaging each other, “Can you move such and such over to me, I'm teaching them to do this,” and I have to sit there and pretty much just be a DJ, so it's… my job on Monday, Wednesday, Friday classes is, I'm DJing the whole Zoom classes and I'm shuffling people around. 

It's an interesting time and I saw in the U.S. just the other day, someone's… because they've lifted restrictions now a little bit there. And they said, we're not doing Zoom gradings now, we're not doing our virtual grading. We're gonna do them in person and there was actually quite a bit of backlash about that, because people aren't ready for such a quick change.

And so it's, we're gonna keep our gradings going this weekend. We've got Friday, Saturday, Sunday scheduled for 50-plus gratings. They're all private one-on-one gradings that I'm doing and because – again, we can't change people quickly.

Like, I know I can change quickly because obviously we've got that entrepreneurial kind of spirit thing going on, but for most people it's gonna take a leading of a month to see any kind of changes and we have to plan that for them and slowly bring them up to the boil. And so having them watch Zoom classes while we're teaching back in the school starts to build that familiarity with the students, to see the school again, they start getting excited about doing it.

We started booking in our Calendly bookings, started on Saturday. So straight away, as soon as that notice went through from our Premier, I created calendars for all of our classes to allow ten people to come in from June. So June 12th, we are allowed to have 20 people in the building and so that basically means ten people in each room.

And so we've done our booking for an entire timetable and I literally on Saturday night, watched my phone do two hundred and something emails while people booked in for their classes. So they're excited and it gives them a month to get themselves sorted out. We've got to set up all of our stations for sanitary stations, signage, all of that stuff. We've got to get our processes in place so that we are above and beyond the call of duty as far as what we implement when June 12 comes along. We want to make sure that we're one of the… I suppose the spearheads of that and we showcase how to do this the right way. So it's very important.

GEORGE: Yeah totally. I mean, there's so much that goes into it, right? I mean, if you ever thought your processes were in place, now your processes just change after every premiere announcement.

BRETT: Yeah.

GEORGE: It's new systems, it's new things. You know, interesting things that I see, I think where a lot of guys might find it challenging, where people just shut shop and thought that everything would go back to normal. Well, I know about you, but I sincerely doubt that… you were just mentioning that, I mean, there's been this whole behavior. People have adapted their behavior. You know, there was shock and there was fear, there's all this and… yep, things are gonna slowly return back to normal, but what is that? 

Does that mean 100% physical classes? Does that mean a bit of a hybrid and a balance of, there's online and there's physical. And how do you see this playing up? Another thing that I want to really ask you is how are you managing with your team throughout this? Because I know you've got a large team and how are you managing them and getting them to have this right mindset with all the changes? I know that's two questions, but…

martial arts virtual gradings

BRETT: Yes, that's okay no worries. So again, it's one of those things, you've got to go slowly. I think that we're lucky, we've been reasonably lucky in Australia that they've given us plenty of lead-in time and they've planned this fairly well. There's no knee-jerk reactions, which is good because people don't react well to that. They don't like…

We saw when they released a little bit of the rope and allowed people to go shopping – it was literally Boxing Day sales every day for the last two weeks since they did that. So people have gone… They've been cooped up for so long now, they're exploding.

So we're trying to make sure that we're very, we're over communicating with all of our students to make sure that they understand that there is a limit of how many people can come in and if you do not book in, you'll still be doing the online classes. We're going to give them both and my idea is to keep doing that even beyond like, let's say six – twelve months to still be running that system.

Because we have students that have been on the spectrum ADD, DHD, Autism, doesn't matter, Asperger's, where they don't like being around people, but they love martial arts and they love the benefits of martial arts. And so they will be able to still do it from home with Zoom. The hardest part is to train the staff and the instructors to not just focus on the class, the physical class they’re teaching and the physical students they’re teaching, but also to focus on the ones that are up on the TV doing the Zoom class.

And so like, we've got massive TVs that are going up in each room, where they'll be able to look up and just see who's up there training. And it's just about teaching them to not forget about them. They've had to undergo a very big learning curve and most of them aren't entrepreneurial. Some of them are, they do their own little side gigs as well, but to most this is overwhelming most of the time to them.

So some of my team haven't been out to teach online classes, because they don't like looking at themselves on a camera, they don't like being in that environment and so basically, we've put them into hibernation. We keep contact with them, make sure they're okay, but I've already spoken to one and as soon as we can go back, we're gonna actually up, we're gonna start doing Sunday classes and we expect it to be quiet, so she's the perfect person for that because it'll introduce her back into normal classes and she'll just do the set there Sunday classes and give her a row back in the school without putting her under too much pressure.

And again, most of our instructors are old students. They've all gone through from white belt to black belt, they're homegrown and so we treat them still like they're our students as far as the way we kind of bring them into new situations like we were experiencing at the moment, but slowly doing it is I think the key.

GEORGE: Cool. So what's the situation that you actually navigated someone through that? Because that obviously brings up a lot of beliefs and you know… I guess block for people where they go, “Hang on, I just don't feel comfortable being in front of the camera.” You know, for some people that might just be that introverted personality and they’re just never gonna be that.

You know, we’re all different and that's all good but what's their situation, that you actually manage to navigate someone past that and just say, “Hey look, well…”It's kind of just like having a conversation, it's not a Hollywood show, you know? It's like you’re doing a normal class, but you've just got this screen in front of you. Did you manage to navigate past that? Was there anybody in your staff that they were struggling with that, but you managed to push them past that point?

martial arts virtual gradings

BRETT: Well, we've had obviously with our team, they've gone through a gamut of emotions. For a lot of them, their first biggest worry was, I’m going to lose my job, so a lot of our instructors not just work for me, they work for other businesses. And on that day, the other ones shut them down and they went, “No, we can't keep going.” I kept going even though we were like, they were teaching from their living rooms, or their bedrooms, or their garages.

They kept going, I kept paying them for their classes and I tried to maintain as much normality for them and reassure them that we will get through this, looking to the future and saying that when we get through this, we're not going to change what we do now. This is just a different version of what we do.

And so 90% of our teams were teaching through this. And one actually seemed to prefer it, because the whole social distancing was doing her head in, trying to stop children from touching each other and just frustrated her. As soon as it went to the virtual environment, she didn’t have to worry about that, that was not a problem and an anxiety she had to experience anymore.

So that actually, it was like she was happy when it happened. So she's gonna have to prepare for the other side now as we come back in and whether that means that she still teaches from home via Zoom and she doesn't lose Zoom kids, that's fine. And we have that ability to have them teaching, if they're not happy to be in here and be around students because they're worried about it, they can still be able to teach because we'll still have students at home doing Zoom and so they'll be able to take care of the Zoom students.

And so again, I think it's about being flexible. It's about being able to like Evan, flow with the times and I think one of the things that I think everyone probably, particularly in the business world now will quantify, is that small businesses had an advantage because we've been known to like to chop and change directions quickly with the times, with whatever we were given.

We could change and adapt, whereas a lot of the big businesses fell over because they had certain systems and procedures. They ended up having to just kill their staff and here's why so many people are out of work. And it's from the big businesses, which I know like in Australia kind of mindset is, they're always considered safe. Like go work for a blue chip company, or a big business.

Who would want to work for Virgin at the moment? You wouldn't want to work for a lot of those big companies because they couldn't adapt. They’re just too big, they're like the Titanic. Whereas a lot of the small businesses, we can zig and zag and not feel that pain as much and also be able to connect with our staff and our team to make sure that they're feeling okay and navigate them through this minefield of emotions and turmoil that they could be experiencing.

But I think we've done really well, like I'm proud of my team. They've handled it really well and we're preparing now to go back into semi normal classes and then in another months’ time after that, so July, it should be mostly like we were before we went into lockdown. Hundred to a building, like this mostly social distancing, but I think this will play out till the end of the year. I think by Christmas we might be out actually to give a high five and hug some people.

GEORGE: Yeah, I mean, hats off to you, because I know you've just been on to it then, you know, everyday we checked. You've implemented this and you've jumped into a new direction, implemented new strategies and really taken it on. What are you excited about, coming in the next… I know, excitement for a lot of people when I ask that, they’re like…

BRETT: It’s fear.

GEORGE: What does that word mean? But I mean, if you really put the opportunity hat on and really look at it, “Okay, things have changed, things have shifted,” – what are you excited about in the next coming weeks?

martial arts virtual gradings

BRETT: Well, again, I've tried to maintain, I actually turned one of my students who wanted to do an in-person grading and they don't want to do a Zoom one, it's not like a real grading. And I said, “Well you know, it's not the same as an in-person grading – it's different. It could actually potentially be better, because you're doing it one-on-one.” Now, it's gonna be a different feel, we may never get to do this again. This may be the only time in history where we do every single person in the school as a Zoom grading. 

So like, and that's the truth, it basically may never happen again. So for me that's exciting. I've pulled out all stops to make this grading the most spectacular grading that they'll ever experience virtually, because it may never happen again. So I'm excited to do that like, literally from this Thursday, it’s Monday today, so from Thursday, from 7AM until about 7PM, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, I am grading every thirty minutes and I know how exhausting that’s going to be.

But I also find that exciting and I'm a big fan like, I'm a… what do you call it, I’m a podcast savant. I just like, I just go and listen to podcasts 24/7. It’s my favorite thing, I don’t listen to radio, but that's what I listen to. And it used to be tapes in my car, then it was CDs, now it's podcasts.

And so I’ve always been a big fan of Tony Robbins, lucky enough to have done some training with him, done UPW and a few other things with him. And one of the things that he always talks about is to the professionals, like the professional athlete, or a professional entrepreneur: when they see something that could be scary, feel fearful, they look at the same thing and they look at it as excitement, because your body goes through exactly the same chemicals, endorphins, okay, the adrenaline. It's exactly the same thing as fear.

Like, if you looked at it side by side, okay, anyone that's ever fought in the ring, or competed in a jiu-jitsu tournament, or done MMA, or just been up in front of someone to do a grading, you've got two options: fear, which is, “Oh, I'm going to stuff this up,” or “I'm gonna get hurt,” or “I'm no good at this,” to exciting “Oh, I can’t wait, this is so cool.” Exactly the same experience, it's the outcome that's different.

And so for most martial artists, I think most should have done pretty well through this, if they've got that kind of background. They would have gone, “Wow this is exciting. This is just like another competition, this is another chance to to show my skill, to really challenge myself,” because I think if any industry was really prepared for this, it'd be the martial arts industry, because that's what we do.

We live for the challenge, that's what makes us different. Most normal people can't understand martial artists, they look at them and go, “Do you enjoy touching each other and checking each other out and…” – really? Because that's not normal behavior.

And so that's kind of set us I think apart from everybody else in the world who's freaking out and putting their head under the duna as Scomo likes to say. So yeah, and I think we're well prepared for that and for me, I'm excited to do it, literally, I'll be doing a 65 hour- 70 hour week, this week and 60 of those hours are in four days. That's like, it's insane, but I'm up for that. I love that stuff.

GEORGE: Yeah cool. So if you don’t mind, before we finish up and I think this would be really valuable for other school owners, can you walk us through what you are actually doing with your virtual grading? How's the day going to plan out, what have you done prior and how's the whole process going to roll out?

BRETT: Yep. So similar set up to what we would normally do with a grading and here's another thing, that's the one of the things that I'm looking at as positive coming out of the COVID-19 thing is that, we now have some new systems that we never had before. So everyone that ever wanted to have their curriculums online and available to their students and we're struggling with like, getting like, whether it's IT departments of your website, website developers to actually pull the trigger and do it – they all jumped to it the night this happened. Within two days you had all of the ability to do this. 

And so that was a benefit, being able to schedule all of our gradings on Calendly. I know I can just look at my Calendly now and it is literally 200+ appointments long. It's just like this big list, but I know who's next and in all of my Zoom gradings, they all have their own unique code. All I have to do is click on there, then next I'll click and it brings me to the next Zoom invitation and I'm ready to grade them on my laptop right here, right where I am now, this is exactly where I'll be Thursday through to Sunday.

I will shift from one room to the other depending on the grading, and basically one of the other things I'm doing that's pretty cool is, we've over delivered, which I think is really important. So every student normally only gets a certificate and their belt; this time they’re getting a backpack with a certificate, their belt, a bumper sticker and a gift.

So there's probably $200 worth of value in there for a $50 grading. So they're gonna see that. We're also developing a virtual certificate that pops up on their screen saying “Congratulations, you've passed your virtual grading.” And that'll be branded, but it'll look really space-agey kinda like, very new looking, sparkly, I don't know.

Liam and the design team did that at our printers to do that, so he's designing that this week and everyone's coming in to pick up their backpacks. So every 15 minutes, they're picking up a backpack. We're videoing the whole process and we're going to do a video at the end where it basically just crunches it into a little, probably three-minute version, well they call those videos…

GEORGE: Time-lapse.

BRETT: Timelapse, that's it. Yeah, we're gonna do a time-lapse video from the four days to show it with a soundtrack behind it. So that's something cool. I'm also photographing myself this Wednesday in front of all the logos, so in front of the school like, we're all buzzy here with all the different uniforms that I wear for all the different styles.

So we’ve got seven different martial arts styles in the school, so I'm going to be basically getting changed, doing a new photo with a plain background, with this background sorry. And then every single student when they grade, there's going to be a list inside their backpack of all the things they have to do so they have to take a photo of themselves with their new belt on, their new certificate with a plain background.

So like, white, yellow, as long as it’s not dark, nice clear background, then send the photo to me. I'll then superimpose that into the photo next to me on the wall back and then post that onto our Facebook page. And so it will be like they were there. So we're just going to make this virtual, because again, it's a virtual grading, so we can use Photoshop and make it look cool in a virtual world.

Like, you know, everyone's been loving the Zoom backgrounds that create their own, I've got a few, I’ve used the matrix dojo in one of my classes one day. Everyone over the age of 30 thought that was cool; everyone else was going…

GEORGE: What’s that?

BRETT: Yeah, exactly, they had no idea what it was. And again, it's about building hype and excitement around something that they may never ever experience ever again. And one of the things I've been talking to the parents is, that a lot of people under the age of 25 have never, ever, ever experienced any kind of thing like this, like any kind of hardship. they've been pretty cruisy for the last 25 years as far as the world economy, the way the world's gone, no big wars, it's been really good, okay? Since 9/11, it's been pretty cruisy. So this is really something that's bonded the whole world together, an experience that everyone's going through. 

So let's make something out of it, let's come out of it and say “What did I get out of doing that? Did I get better about my relationships? Did I get better at learning new tools and skills? Or did I just watch Netflix for 12 hours a day?” So like what did you do with it? And so it'll be an interesting year, next year will be an interesting year to see what tools did people get and where did they take those tools.

Like for us, I want to go VR. I want to put VR goggles on students in the home environment, so they're part of this class that we run here. So if this leads us down the road to that, then I'm happy because I was already thinking about it two years ago as adding it to my already system. Because I’m a big fan of Gary Vaynerchuk and I’ve spent some time with him and he's keen to get VR up and running so I'm like, “Cool, I'll look into that at some stage.”

GEORGE: Yeah, totally agree with you. and that's the thing: if anybody thinks this is a phase, nope, it's just the stepping stone, because it's brought this… it's funny you know, I've been doing these Zoom webinars about three to five a week for a long time. And inviting anyone to a Zoom meeting was always a weird thing. This Sunday my two-year-old daughter was having a Zoom party.

BRETT: Yep.

GEORGE: Because that's what you can do. But it's brought a lot of these technology things, it's just accelerated the normality of it. And people just really had to step into it, so it was that or nothing. And now that everybody's so accustomed to it, it's definitely not going away. This is leading to the next thing and if you think of, I had a chat with someone about virtual reality the other day and she was showing me what they were doing in the automated mining industry.

And when I saw that, I was like “Oh, okay, this makes sense.” You know? It's taking objects and putting it in the lounge and you can walk around it… it's like a whole new experience. Now, yep martial arts: it's never gonna go away, the physicality of it. But I think the learning experience is definitely going to enhance in ways that we can't even comprehend right now.

BRETT: Yeah.

GEORGE: Yep, for all those thinking that we're just going back to normal – I’d relook at that perspective and really think of “Okay, well how are things gonna be different from here on and how are we going to embrace this.”

So yeah, there's so much good that's come from it. Yep, there's been a lot of hardship, you know, there’s been a lot of industries that are wiped out. There’s a lot of things that, you know, by no means are okay. But then there are the things that are okay, you know? I see people are friendlier, you know? When people see each other, you know, a lot of people are more… just friendlier greetings.

My teenage son that used to just skate has spent a lot more time at home. It's been really good for us, he's been doing a lot of work around the house which has been interesting for a 13 year old boy to be repainting the door and doing things. I mean, those are little things, right? But I think there’s just so much benefit to what's happened and…

BRETT: Mmm.

GEORGE: It's good to just sit back and reflect and think, “Right how am I gonna play my part in this next chapter moving forward?”

martial arts virtual gradings

BRETT: Absolutely, absolutely. I think that humans have always been like… aren't very good at adapting to situations and then thriving in it. And so I'm sure back when Henry Ford was designing the first motor vehicle, everyone was like, “Yeah, that'll never exist,” like planes didn't exist and it was just… computers! I think back to when I was a kid: when I was 6 years old, not only did a computer not exist; the thought of one didn't exist.

And how fast technology has come in a very short period, what's the next 10 to 20 years going to look like in this space? And I think yeah, you gotta be open-minded enough to go, “Okay, I'm going to adapt to whatever comes that way and I'll try it.” And I think that again, as martial artists, we're usually pretty good at failing forward so we’re adapted, like learning to fail and then get back up and go again.

And so the last 2 or 3 months, it's been all about failing and learning, failing and learning. I had to reschedule my entire Zoom calendar because I did a Zoom code for every single class and that meant I got messages and notifications every day for every single class that came up. So I just went. “No, we have one place where we all go and then we'll go into breakout rooms.” And that took me about a week to realize that that was not a great idea, So yeah, but you learn, that's what it's all about.

GEORGE: Yeah, that's it. A simple thing that I did was, I actually just purchased one domain name and had one meeting link. And because I just got sick of going back and forth.

BRETT: Yep.

GEORGE: What was the meeting number, what was the ID. So just create one link, one domain name, forward it automatically. If anybody wants to meet you, just give them the domain name and now you've just got back-to-back meetings.

BRETT: Yeah, exactly, yeah. I learnt that really quickly. And again, love learning, so it's been fun. Challenging, but fun.

GEORGE: Awesome, that's it. Hey Brett, thanks being on the second time, actually nailing it this time. Perfect, thanks so much for being on. Thanks,it's always good to chat to you, because you're always on top of what's happening and you're always quick to implement and do things. If anybody wants to connect with you, what's the best way to do that?

BRETT: I'm on Facebook, Instagram, our website reddragon.com.au. Just easy enough, a Facebook message is the easiest one these days I think so. Just look me up on Facebook, it’s pretty easy to find people these days.

And yeah, just give me a shout out if you need any information or any help in any direction. I do a lot of mentoring for school owners, the smaller schools that want to try and go full-time, or they're having troubles with staff and how to train up instructors, I do a lot of work on that. So I'm always available, just hit me up. And yeah, my only thing would be, George, make sure you upload this one to the cloud, right after we finish.

GEORGE: I was thinking that just when you were saying that, just when I was giving props about how cool this episode was, I was thinking, hey I'm gonna make sure this one uploads to Google Drive – now.

BRETT: Absolutely, absolutely, because we’ve spoken in the past, I don't do retakes. The next time we interview, it will be different again. You could redo this one straight after, it would be different again.

GEORGE: Yeah, that’s cool.

BRETT: I’m not good at sticking to scripts.

GEORGE: Perfect, thanks so much for being on Brett.

BRETT: My pleasure!

GEORGE: I'll speak to you soon.

BRETT:  All right, see you guys, bye.

GEORGE: Awesome. Thanks for listening. If you want to connect with other top and smart martial arts school owners, and have a chat about marketing, lead generation, what's working now, or just have a gentle rant about things that are happening in the industry, then I want to invite you to join our Facebook group

It's a private Facebook group and in there, I share a lot of extra videos and downloads and worksheets – the things that are working for us when we help school owners grow and share a couple of video interviews and a bunch of cool extra resources.

So it's called the Martial Arts Media Business Community and an easy way to access it is, if you just go to the domain named martialartsmedia.group, so martialaartsmedia.group, g-r-o-u-p, there's no .Com or anything, martialartsmedia.group. That will take you straight there. Request to join and I will accept your invitation.

Thanks – I'll speak to you on the next episode – cheers!

 

Here are 3 ways we can help scale your school right now.

1. Join the Martial Arts Media community.

It's our new Facebook community where martial arts school owners get to ask questions about online marketing and get access to training videos that we don't share elsewhere – Click Here.

2. Join the Martial Arts Media Academy and become a Case Study.

I'm working closely with a group of martial arts school owners this month. If you'd like to work with me to help you grow your martial arts school, message me with the word ‘Case Study'.

3. Work with me and my team privately.

If you would like to work with me and my team to scale your school to the next level, then message me with the word ‘private'… tell me a little about your business and what you would like to work on together and I'll get you all the details.

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97 – Updated Jobkeeper And Financial Essentials That Every Aussie Martial Arts School Owner Should Know

David Simpson, the Martial Arts Accountant, shares up to date financial advice for martial arts school owners to combat the crisis.

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IN THIS EPISODE, YOU WILL LEARN:

  • What is JobKeeper and are you eligible for it
  • The common pitfalls that you should avoid during a financial crisis
  • Should you opt in or out of bank's cash assistance and loan deferment programs
  • Helpful survival tips for managing your martial arts business during an economic downturn
  • And more

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

 

TRANSCRIPTION

There's a number of areas that there is some sort of assistance and that is the banks allowing you to defer payments. I've not gone into their nitty-gritty, because it's one that I'm not overly in favor of. I've spoken about this with a couple of our clients. They may delay payments, but the interest my believe is, will continue to accrue and that's going to put you behind. So if you can continue to meet those loan repayments, yep, or restart them as soon as possible.

There's the offer from the banks to lend you an unsecured amount. Once again, the pitfall is, tomorrow, or the day after, or the week after, or the month after, you've got to pay it back. And that's the thing that really concerns me that people will rush in and borrow money or defer payments.

GEORGE: Welcome to a live recording of the Martial Arts Media business podcast. We are doing this via Zoom, we are doing this as a live session. If you are in the Martial Arts Media Business Community right now, you can look for the link attached to this video. Jump on, that way you're going to get the most out of this call.

So the purpose of this call is to bring you up-to-date information about finances, what to be doing with your finances at this point in time and stimulus packages, JobKeeper updates, things that are relevant to you right now. So to deliver that for you, I've brought on the one and only martial arts accountant David Simpson. How are you today?

DAVID: I'm fine George thank you, how are you?

GEORGE: Pretty good, thanks. Look, so we did the session live in our Partners group, where we work with school owners on marketing and so forth. Obviously, that's not the core topic right now. We are more focused on a lot of attention and doing pivoting with videos and keeping businesses afloat is a lot of the focus. And so I wanted to come and do a rerun of that session.

And I wanted to do this as a podcast, just that, number one, obviously, things are changing day to day, information is constantly updated. There's new information coming out that we need to be up-to-date with. So I wanted to bring David on and get this out to you and there we go. So David first up, just before we get started: if you can give us just a two to three-minute round up, just who you are, what you do and so forth?

DAVID: I am a martial artist. I run a dojo here in Cowra, plus another one in Cootamundra about an hour away. And I’ve been a martial artist since 1978, this goes back a few years. I've been running the school for the last 12-13 years.

In all that time, I've also been an accountant. I did my studies and I took over running my own practice back in 1988. I would say to people that I've been in the industry for 40 years. I've probably got 25 repetitious years, where I've done the same thing over and over again. And on top of that, another 15 years of real experience where you're doing stuff and changing what you're actually doing.

I move my accounting practice, or I’m moving my accounting practice to focus on gyms and martial arts schools, because that's where my passion is and I think I've got a lot to offer to them. In my own personal training as a martial artist, I am a third degree black belt and also a black belt equivalent in Muay Thai. I go over the seas to train in Thailand, but that's been cancelled because of things happening now. But I've also managed to travel to China, New Zealand, Japan, all as part of my martial arts.

GEORGE: Oh fantastic. Okay, so if you're on this call live, please use the chat feature and ask questions. If you're watching this on Facebook, jump onto the Zoom session. That way you'll be able to ask questions and you're going to get the most out of the session. So I'm going to first ask: when the whole pandemic started and as the shifts have happened over the last couple of weeks, what are the first things that you did in your business as an accountant?

DAVID: What did I do in my business as an accountant was, I just went back and had a look at what we could afford to do as far as what can happen to our income. We've made decisions on how we were going to proceed forward as far as, we decided, we're going with the video classes and things like that. And then we had to decide what was going to keep us in good with fair trading.

We had to make sure that we weren't asking people to pay for a full service which we weren't delivering, so we went back and restructured our fee system for the time being. We notified our students and their parents of this and we moved forward from there.

We also then looked at what we could afford to do without government support, that was really important for us. We knew we wanted to keep this going. In my own case what is also interesting is, I'm actually constructing a new building for the dojo at this very time.

We were about a third of the way into it when the pandemic hit. We're about 80% completed now, so that's still happening. And so that's in the back of my mind as well. But it was a matter of restructuring, looking at our staffing situation. What we could do without killing ourselves.

GEORGE: Gotcha, okay. So what information is pressing that martial arts school owners need to know right now? And let's just start there, then we can elaborate on some of the specs of JobKeeper and all the other things as well.

DAVID: Well I was going to say, the main thing that is important now is the JobKeeper. That is the major assistance that is being offered to all businesses and in particular the martial arts schools. A lot of the other assistance out there that they're talking about – and I haven't looked at individual states as far as the state's own grants, but I know in New South Wales, the 10,000 grant that they're offering in New South Wales is going to be useless unless you have employees. So it just doesn't appear.

So it is looking at what's going on in these various areas, because that is what's going to financially keep a lot of us afloat and allow us to walk out of this at the end of it with a very, very strong business again.

GEORGE: Okay, so more on that: are you saying that if you don't have employees you don't qualify whatsoever?

DAVID: Okay, if you don't have employees, you qualify for JobKeeper or you can qualify for the JobKeeper. But you don't qualify for some of the earlier assistance packages that were announced. So there was the cash flow business one, which was between $10,000 and $50,000 in the first instance, only applies if you have employees, or had employees. So that's not going to apply to some but it will to others.

The non-assistance ones as I call them, the increased write-off of assets and things like that, if you spend up to 150,000 – it sounds good, but for most of us, it's not going to be anything that applies, because we don't have the cash flow to go ahead and do those things.

So a lot of the initial stuff that came out was actually of no major assistance to anyone. It was just to make people feel good and that's a horrible thing to say about the government, but sorry that's what I said. JobKeeper on the other hand offers assistance in retention of our employees, and actually in a lot of cases assisting them more than they would have had if they just worked their job.

But it also provides assistance to some of us as business operators, or business participants, depending upon what your particular structure is of your dojo, as far as the legal entity it's running through. So if you're running as a sole trader, you’re up for some assistance there for you potentially because you dropped your turnover, even if you don't have employees. So that's what the big thing is.

GEORGE: All right. Ross said in the chat here, “Queensland has the job support loan based on PAYG.

DAVID: Okay. So as I said, I haven't looked into those. Victoria and New South Wales have two very similar ones and basically they're linked PAYG, but you use the funds for any other expenses. It's not necessarily supporting the employment of your staff, it is to do with other expenses.

I'm guessing that because someone is going to be entitled to JobKeeper if they have employees, that Queensland one is still going to be linked in to, whether or not you have employees. But the utilization of that money can be for anything else. But the fact that they've gone with the loan, yeah, think twice before you take it on, because you have to pay it back.

GEORGE: Yeah, gotcha. I saw somebody post in Canada, he was using… The bank actually offered him all these delays on payments and so forth. And when he calculated it, it was costing him five grand to actually do it. And he had no way to actually get out of it, so there was no way he could back up. What are the pitfalls in this?

Like, if we had to be a real devil's advocate, you know, a lot of it looks great. Yep, here comes the money, you can do this. You know, you were saying it makes the government look good. What should we be really looking out for that looks great on the outside, but long-term has got some potential damaging effects?

DAVID: Okay, there's a number of areas that there is some sort of assistance. And that is the banks allowing you to defer payments. I've not gone into their nitty-gritty, because it's one that I'm not overly in favor of. I've spoken about this with a couple of our clients.

They may delay payments, but the interest my believe is, will continue to accrue and that's going to put you behind. So if you can continue to meet those loan repayments, yep, or restart them as soon as possible. There's the offer from the banks to lend you unsecured amounts.

Once again, the pitfall is, tomorrow, or the day after, or the week after, or the month after, you've got to pay it back. And that's the thing that really concerns me, being able to… That people will rush in and borrow monies or defer payments.

The other one is landlords. You are able to negotiate with your landlords to get some rental relief and that's one that hasn't come out in the… awful lot of how they're going to be supported. But they also have issues that they've got to look at, as far as their ability to pay their debt or whatever.

But the thing there quite often is that you're going to then have to find the resources at a later stage to compensate for that, depending upon the agreement you come to with your landlord. So once again, be very careful of what you are doing. Expenses… There's also support in relation to power and electricity and gas and things like that.

They seem to be a little bit more honest at least, if they're going to knock back the payments, they're not going to come back and bite you again then. They're looking at doing reductions in the actual cost to you. The thing you've got to look at is, anything you are doing – and this is probably not for our group so much, but for much smaller operators who are doing this as a hobby is, is it worth putting yourself into potential debt and then looking at where you can go in the future? Can you reopen, really reopen or not?

I think we're going to find a lot of our compatriots are going to actually disappear out of the system because they're not going to be able to come back in. So the big thing is future debt. That's what you should be careful of. What future debt you put yourself into.

GEORGE: Gotcha. Okay, cool. So if you guys have questions like, this is your opportunity, right? You've got an accountant giving time, it's free, right?

DAVID: I'm going to send a bill later, don’t worry!

GEORGE: Okay, cool, cool. So anything you need to know this is your opportunity to ask questions. And I'm going to keep probing, but I would love for you to jump in the chat, because anything that you need to know about finances, money and what you should be doing, what you should  look out for, please let us know.

Ross saying, good debit as in stock of or business development. All right, perfect. Let's just go to the worst-case scenario, right? I'm a school, I haven't been able to pivot, cash flow is starting to wear real thin and I'm faced with a couple of choices, not many.

Firstly, what are your choices? You know, at what point do you actually say to someone, “It's time to get a job,” or get some assistance? Go, you know, make a call and go into some debt and take that risk. Where would you go with that?

DAVID: My feeling is, as I said, JobKeeper is probably the strongest assistance, which is $1,500 a fortnight. If I can qualify for it, I would be applying for it straight away, even if I don't think I need it. Because we can then turn around and put that back into the development of the dojo once we reopen, which could be as soon as what, July if we're lucky.

But yeah, I would be making the decisions. Look at it now and really go through your stages. Look at the worst-case scenario and find out, you know, how long you can keep going.

But you should not go to the stage where you're going to go into massive debt if you can't get out of it in a short period of say, six months. And I'm… Because really when you look at it, most of our businesses are the sort of business that don't have a strong asset backing.

They're based on current cash flows. And if it means closing it down now and then reopening in six months time and starting that up, that's going to be a better option than digging yourself a really deep financial hole now and trying to trade out of it later on.

GEORGE: Perfect. You might have to make the call and just say, “Look, let's temporarily close doors,” and then it's really just starting from scratch. Oh well, it might be something from scratch completely but… yeah.

DAVID: You won't be starting from scratch completely, because you've got your database of all of your old students. You can come back in and make contact. I think this group has been able to do a lot with their live classes, their streaming classes, their video classes and that has kept a lot of interest and kept their students connected.

And I'm getting messages now for a while saying, “Yeah, when do you think we might be back? Because we're so looking forward to getting back again. The classes are great, it's helping us, but we want to get back together again.” And so, being able to contact them on that level is going to work, it really is.

GEORGE: Alright, perfect. I've got a few questions just in the Facebook group in here. Yes I guess just on that, you know, we are discussing the doom and gloom, like the heavy consequences. But I mean, you know, my advice for anyone is: there is a choice to go down that route and there is a choice to choose and adapt.

I'm just looking on, you know, a part of this group yesterday, one of the guys, I think it was Ben, yeah, 33 online trials, he's replaced everyone that's canceled and it's growing.

So it's out there I know for summer, so it's a hard thing to swallow. That, you know, you’re venturing into this online world that you didn't initially plan. But it's… The online business is definitely better than the consequences of no business. Yeah, definitely so. Alright so David, let me just cross over here. David was asking, “Is JobKeeper tax free? Does it add to your gross turnover?”

DAVID: JobKeeper is taxable income. That is something that we were hoping to get around before, but no. They came back and said it is taxable income. It does not have GST on it, so basically it's not a matter of 1/10th of it or 1/11th of it goes back to the tax department’s GST. But it will be taxable income to the entity.

So basically, if you are doing, if your employees… yes, the $1500 a fortnight comes in and then you pay at the $1500. So it has a zero impact on your income. So you're paying them and not having to pay tax or to supply the income. If you registered as a business participant, it will be taxable income to the entity. So maybe if you're a sole trader, or the partnership, or the trust, or the company. it will be taxable income to the entity.

Yeah, so there is that. But if we then turn around and use that money either for our own income, or to support the expenses of the dojo, we've got the offsetting expenses as well.

GEORGE: That's good to know – Brett, I'm going to jump to your question and then just want to make sure… just to keep it congruent. So David's follow-up question was “Details on the ultimate income tests for schools, less than 12 months old?”

DAVID: Yes.

GEORGE: It's registered for GST.

DAVID: Okay, so going back, we'll take that the other way around: if the school is not registered for GST, that is not an issue because what happens is that it’s being based on your tax returns. So as long as you have lodged a tax return for the year ended 2018 and showing that there is income from it, if the tax return is also launched for 2019, that's even better.

But if not, so long as you've got a tax agent or an accountant who's got you an extension of time, everything there is going to be sweet. You don't need to be necessarily lodging business activity statements. Going back to if the school is under 12 months old, the alternative is, you look at when it was started and there are two or three sort of tests you look at, which depends on what's going to suit you the best, starting from the first full month of operation.

So you can take all of the income for the period up until the end of March from when you started. So if you started mid-October from the 1st of November and use that to work out your average monthly income, or average quarterly income, depending upon what you're using and then compare that to the current now, it should be easily done and those records are all there. They've actually come to the party and said, yes, if you've got a new start up, but also the new start up can be where you have increased dramatically your turnover.

So if you've had a massive growth, you can use that as the basis and a massive growth can be as low as 15%. So they've got a couple of different scenarios with 50% 25% 15%, but if you've got a massive increase in your student base and your fee base, you can still use that. So even though you may have been in business for two, three, four, five years, you can still turn their words to your advantage.

GEORGE: This is good info. All right, so now I'm going to jump to your questions in a minute. Brett’s asking in the chat here, “George, my 70 year old instructor hasn't done anything to help himself and he's overwhelmed. He has an ABN and hasn't learned…” – learned, earned?

DAVID: Earned.

GEORGE: “…earned anything since March this year. What do you recommend as far as JobKeeper, versus JobKeeper with his age?

DAVID: Question: is he on the pension? Age pensions are a big thing. Because if he’s age 70, this may be something that is running parallel, so he would need to go into those. Basically, if he has just closed shop, we may have a little bit of a difficulty in proving that he's still active in the business, so he needs to be possibly doing something there…

GEORGE: Brett’s saying not on pension.

DAVID: He's not on the pension? Okay. So basically, he should get in contact with his accountant. Is it a very large school, as in would his GST have been registered in the past?

GEORGE: He says “Doing private lessons, only twenty students, no GST.”

Okay. So he's still like a micro business. That's not a problem: get in contact with its accountant and get the registration for JobKeeper done. It's a lot simpler dealing with the ATO to do JobKeeper than it is with the Centrelink than the ATO with JobKeeper.

I believe it's a much better way of doing it. So yeah, I'd be looking at that because if he's not in the age pension at 70, he may be in receipt of some personal superannuation pension. If that's the case, being 70 it's not taxable income. The only taxable income is going to be his investments, his school fees and JobKeeper when he gets that. But it sounds like he's dropped his 30% quite easily. I'd be getting that registered.

GEORGE: Cool, Brett’s saying “Thank you.” All right, checking the Facebook group here. You have a question from Darnell. “I had 192 tax dollars taken from the staff for the $1500 JobKeeper, is that correct?”

DAVID: Yes, it is. So 750 a week, the tax on 750 is 96 dollars, so that's 192 for the fortnight.

GEORGE: Cool and Darnell is saying “One thing we have found as an advantage is having staff with excessive annual leave. Take this leave under the JobKeeper program, this might help some schools. Yep, actually my wife's a radiation therapist as well, they've all been on annual leave.

DAVID: Yep, yep.

GEORGE: Annual leave at home, great.

DAVID: What we all want.

GEORGE: All right, cool, let's see… Diana, hey Diana. “I didn't have employees. I've applied.

DAVID: Only to JobKeeper and it has been declined, as my partner earns $2,000 more of the threshold.”

GEORGE: “However, he has spent more money on his salary, trying to adequate his home office. Any suggestions to make it fair for us?”

DAVID: Okay for you for starters: so you run your own school as a sole trader? That's the question. Wait till we get a yes or no back on that. So if you're running in as a sole trader, you can still register for JobKeeper for yourself, so long as you qualify under the reduced turnover.

So if you can meet that, what you do is you register for jobkeeper, but once again, the tax department – I know everyone hates them, but they're a lot easier to deal with than the Centrelink. And you will qualify for that.

GEORGE: Diana is saying “Yes.”

DAVID: So it is a sole trader, yep. So that's fine. So it's just simple, you can do it yourself, but seriously, I recommend that your accountant does it for you, not because I'm trying to get more fees for them, but it just keeps it nice and simple.

What has to happen is, you will sign a declaration saying “`Yes, I qualify,” and then on a monthly basis within seven days at the end of the month, you will have to report your turnover each month. But once you qualify, that stays in place until the 27th of September.

So you'll receive payments all the way up to there. So even say for example, if we go back to running our dojos at full speed from the 1st of June, if we've qualified for jobkeeper, we will continue to get those fortnight payments made and we would continue, with our employees paying them of course. But if it's for ourselves, we continue to get that and that it's going to help subsidize getting up and running again.

GEORGE: All right, perfect, this is really good. I hope you guys are getting great value from it. If you are, just give me a thumbs up. If you're watching this on Facebook, give us a thumbs up and let us know.

So two questions – Ross I'll jump to you in a minute. Jack Leung is asking “Hi David, George: if we get to reopen our school soon and the business gets better, say in three months in July. Say the drop in turnover is less than 30%, do we still get a JobKeeper?”

DAVID: Yes. Okay, so the way it works is, when you've qualified through your drop of income, so we're looking at say month of March, month of April, whatever. Once you've met that qualification, it’s in. It keeps going until the end of the program, which is a six-month program to the 27th of September. You are going to be reporting your monthly income, but that isn't to make sure that you're still qualified; it's merely to look at what the numbers are doing.

And we've been told that it's so the government can use that to see how the economy itself is going on a monthly basis, to look at whether there's any growth happening there, or if we’re returning to normal. So categorically they're stating that, once you qualify, you don't have to re-qualify every month. It's, you've qualified and it just moves forward.

GEORGE: Perfect. Jack, let us know if that was sufficient. “All right, cool.” And let's jump to Ross: “Looking forward, do you believe that banks will ease lending policies, as I'm looking to buy a building for my dojo over the next six to twelve months.”

DAVID: Honestly, no I don't. The reason for that is they are scared as hell. With all the, not just with this, but prior to this the investigation, they went into the banking system. They clamped down really harshly on what they were doing there.

They're looking at supposedly giving some leniency at the present time and if they do do that, they're going to put themselves in a situation where they can't afford to be too lenient once we come out of this again. They're going to stay fairly harsh, because they've had their fingers burnt.

It's just no way they're going to be, oh, back to the… the 80s was a wonderful time for borrowing. Yeah, you walk in there and say “Look, I don’t really need the money, but can I have a couple of hundred thousand dollars,” and they just give it to you. But in more recent times the investigations into them, the Royal Commission, it just brought up too many things. and because of that they're very, very downshot.

GEORGE: Okay, perfect. So follow up here from, Jack “Some people got PAYG boosting when they lodged their BAS on the 28th of April. Some lodged two weeks and got nothing – do you know what's happening? System over crashed. Some lodged two weeks in advance, but got nothing. 

DAVID: That's interesting. I'm not sure how they can launch two weeks in advance, because depending if it's a BAS, though they've got to report their GST sales etc. Basically it is just a system thing, they're doing their best. They’ve still got a two week time frame.

Of course, to be eligible for that cash flow boost, they had to be registered before the 12th of March for PAYG withholding. So some of those who aren't getting anything may be the ones that were not registered for the PAYG withholding, but I've seen the ones that my clients that have been launched, they've been coming through fairly quickly.

GEORGE: Cool. So just to go in for some questions. Jack, let us know if that was sufficient. If you are on the Zoom call David, Ross, Diana, any other questions from you. And if you're watching this on Facebook live, give us a shout if you have a question.

I know there's a bit of a delay in the Facebook group, while we are just waiting for one last take off question. Anything that you'd like to add? Anything that I haven't asked or haven't explored or that, you know, it's good to pay attention to now and in the next coming months, and especially in the next coming months obviously in the lockdown states, what we’re in at the time of recording this, versus you know, when we start swapping things around?

DAVID: I suppose I've been focusing on what's happening now on the lockdown stage and looking from the point of view of what's going to be coming to us in the form of assistance. Once we come out of this, we haven't got a big time frame to make use of any of the benefits that the government is offering us from a tax point of view, because 30th of June, it switches off unless they decide to extend. I think the main thing is that we really need to look at what skills we've picked up over this period and how we incorporate that back into our business.

I mean, it's time to look at our business not as just what we've been doing and we were talking about the 78 year old sensei who has just not done anything. That may not be to do with his classes or anything else, but I think we've gone into a very, very rapid learning period here that gives us a chance to take a little bit of time to step back and look at our businesses, our day shows from the point of view, “Gee what can we do here? What can we do to expand and make this even better? How should we be using technology,” and things like that. I know it's not the Australia counting thing but they're the things that are going to provide you with extra income streams and also the way to move forward.

I think we should also be looking very seriously at what is the structure of our business. And an example that I'll give is, if you have a situation where you have two or more business owners running their business through a partnership and they're just doing it as a partnership and not taking any sort of salary in the form of PAYG withholding, under the current circumstances you can only get support for one of them.

GEORGE: Wow.

DAVID: You may have three people who are actively working in the business and working it hard and are drawing their salary, their income from it – only one will get supported. You can only have one business participant, unless they are an employee, which means, solo traders, yeah, there’s only one of you here anyway.

If it's a partnership, that could be up to 20 technically, but if it's running through a trust or a company, you really need to, you have the opportunity there to do a PAYG withholding and so everyone who's on wages can be supported. So yeah, we're not going to have another pandemic we hope, but there are a whole lot of reasons why we should look at how we are structuring our businesses. That's the big thing.

GEORGE: Perfect. So just, and I'm going to take this as probably the last question Jack saying, “Session’s very helpful, thanks once again for putting your time together.” yeah thank you so much. A couple of questions jumping in, yes so Ross asking “How long will you ask for rate relief from the landlord? I've asked for six months, then offered two months. Structure of business you would suggest a company and trust.”

DAVID: Okay. I would ask the landlord for six months and see what they come back with. And then if they've given you two months, depending on what you're talking about relief – is it a 100% relief or is at 50% relief. And then once we get close to the end of that period, enter into the negotiations again.

Talk to them again, because the thing is, they don't want an empty building. Any intelligent landlord knows that having a tenant that is paying less than full market is better than no tenant at all, especially in this period where you're actually not doing any damage to the budget. There's no wear and tear, it's empty, it’s not doing anything.

So they have got cost, granted. If they've given you a 100% relief for the couple of months, I would approach them and ask them to seriously consider doing another two months or three months at half rental, even after we’re reestablished, because there's a lot of ground to be recovered to get us up and running again. And yeah, even if it means that we pick it up a little bit later on. But yeah, I'd be asking that.

As far as the structure side of things: it's horses for courses. It depends very much.I mean, if you are a sole trader, you are the only business owner, going into a company may not be necessarily the right thing to do. Having said that, my dojos run through a company. I am the only business owner involved in that company or in the dojo, but I also have another business to the side.

And because of the way I've done that, I'm fortunate in that I don't have to aggregate the income from my accounting practice with the income from my dojo in working out if either one of those businesses qualifies for JobKeeper. And it also means I have the ability to do different things moving forward. It's very much a matter of talking with someone who knows what they're talking about to see what suits you. And they've got to listen, it's what suits you, not what they want to pedal.

GEORGE: Okay, so Ross saying 50% is what he requested and levels of protection as a question.

DAVID: I'm assuming you're talking about the structure.

GEORGE: Yeah.

DAVID: You've got to have the appropriate insurance in place is a big thing. Levels of protection are not with companies and trusts and not what everyone expects them to be. They think, “Yeah, I have a company, I’m safe.” No, it depends upon how… because you'll be in there as a shareholder and a director and it can come back to how you act and what you have in place. So levels of protection may not be a 100% there.

If you're talking about asset protection as a different thing, that depends upon what assets you have and what people you had in your life as far as partners and things like that, the best way of putting all that together. So once again, it's not a “one size fits all” matter, you really need to get it tailored to fit your circumstances. Very much so.

GEORGE: Awesome. I think that does it, I mean that was a lot. Thanks so much, that's being super variable.

DAVID: My pleasure.

GEORGE: I'd like to just put this out to anyone listening, you know. David is a martial artist, martial arts school owner, knows the business side inside out and fortunate enough to be an accountant as well, so has a different set of eyes looking into the business. So if that's something you need help with, you need a new accountant, or if you just want to chat with David and ask advice, definitely reach out to him and I’d like to ask what is the best way that people can reach out to you David?

DAVID: Okay, well you can get me through Facebook and things like that of course, but probably an initial email is probably one of the quickest ways, or a phone call. So my email, George the one that you have, it’s david@bailliesimpson.com.au, or you can get me on my mobile which is 0427 400 222.

GEORGE: And it just started ringing.

DAVID: Nah, I’m not here! If it comes through without any identification of the number, I won’t answer it. So you’ll get a message back, you leave me a message and then I’ll leave it back, but you get to many scam calls coming through, trying to sell you something.

GEORGE: Yeah.

DAVID: I'm quite happy to speak with anyone, because it really is difficult to give a generic answer to a lot of things, especially when you start talking about structuring and things like that. It becomes a relationship, you need to sit back, have a chat, find out where the person is, what they're doing, what is their situation and then talk about it.

GEORGE: That's perfect. So I mean, this was really good as in, to give those generalities, the general consensus of what we were discussing. But if you need the real structure, you know, for your particular situation, do reach out to David. We'll be sharing this video, but we’ll also be publishing this on martialartsmedia.com. David, thanks again for your time.

DAVID: My pleasure, my pleasure.

GEORGE: Much appreciated and I'll speak to you soon.

DAVID: Ok, thank you.

GEORGE: Awesome. Thanks for listening. If you want to connect with other top and smart martial arts school owners, and have a chat about marketing, lead generation, what's working now, or just have a gentle rant about things that are happening in the industry, then I want to invite you to join our Facebook group.

It's a private Facebook group and in there, I share a lot of extra videos and downloads and worksheets – the things that are working for us when we help school owners grow and share a couple of video interviews and a bunch of cool extra resources.

So it's called the Martial Arts Media Business Community and an easy way to access it is, if you just go to the domain named martialartsmedia.group, so martialaartsmedia.group, g-r-o-u-p, there's no .Com or anything, martialartsmedia.group. That will take you straight there. Request to join and I will accept your invitation.

Thanks – I'll speak to you on the next episode – cheers!

 

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96 – Rhonda Britten – Turning The Worst Day Of Your Life Into Fearless Living And Success

Rhonda Britten shares her story of overcoming a child's worst nightmare, to practical strategies that you can use to live a fearless, unstoppable life.

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IN THIS EPISODE, YOU WILL LEARN: 

  • The exercises that founded Rhonda Britten’s fearless living today
  • Helpful tips to work through your anxiety and fears
  • Gratitude vs. acknowledgment
  • How your ‘wheel of fear’ and ‘wheel of freedom’ work together
  • And more

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

 

TRANSCRIPTION

People that have a difficult time with gratitude blame the world. The world is at fault. They can't be grateful because they blame the world. People that have a difficult time with acknowledgment, blame themselves.

GEORGE: Hey, this is George Fourie and welcome to another episode of the Martial Arts Media business podcast. So today I'm joined with a special guest. Once again not chatting to a martial artist, but someone that can really, really help inspire this community. And I'm speaking today to Rhonda Britten. How are you today Rhonda?

RHONDA:  I'm very fine George and I'm so excited to be here.

GEORGE: Thank you so much for taking the time. So real quick, Rhonda is from fearlessliving.org. Rhonda has also been featured on Oprah I believe and had a TV show?

RHONDA: Yep, 600 episodes of television and I actually aired all over the world. I've done six hundred episodes of television, I've got an Emmy. Written four books, first life coach on TV, Oprah several times, Steve Harvey… And most importantly, just somebody who has devoted her life to helping people understand how fear really works.

Not from a theoretical perspective, but really from a practical application perspective. So yeah, so I've been around the block. I've been master coaching for 25 years, I was one of the first original life coaches and now here I am with you George.

GEORGE: Awesome. So what brings us here today obviously is a different climate out there of global pandemic and so forth. And there is a lot of fear in the air. People are experiencing a lot of fear, but people are also being pushed in a position of leadership, which can be kind of a contradiction, right? Because if you’re feeling fear yourself but you're in this position to step up and lead… Where do you find the instincts to actually do that?

RHONDA: Well, what you're talking about right, is knowing the why behind your, you know, like Simon Sinek says right, like the big why, right? But what I know to be true is that, you know, times of crisis actually define us and actually tell us who we really are. Because right now I think, you know, most people don't say they're afraid. Like, what people don’t come to me and go “I'm afraid, I'm scared,” right?

And when I meet people and I tell them I'm a fear expert, they're like “oh I don't have any fears, I'm not scared.” but right now with the global pandemic, you can't hide from your fear, right? It's all over the place.

And so right now, if you have a crack in your foundation, that crack is showing, right? That crack is showing. And as a leader, as somebody who has to, you know, stand up and lead, those cracks are opportunities for you to transform your tribe, transform your business, transform yourselves. So it's not about hiding the cracks; in fact right now, leaders need to be not only clear and focused, but they also need to be vulnerable.

So that's one of the things that I know to be true. So you have cracks in your foundation – OK, awesome. Now you get to look at your foundation with clear eyes, not pretend it's better than it has been and actually admit to yourself what isn't working for you and what is working for you.

And not only, you know, fill in the cracks, but actually think about creating a whole new foundation, so that not only can you build from where you are right here and right now, but that you can build no matter what the environment is, no matter what happens in the world.

GEORGE: Awesome, so you just mentioned, you were saying that in a moment of crisis you really sort of define. Now, you've got quite a fascinating story and I think people need to hear it if people aren't familiar with you. I would love for you to just share your story, to really give context of how you got to this knowledge and what you’re really referring to here.

RHONDA: Yeah, thank you, I really appreciate you asking me that George. And what you're referring to of course is the worst day of my life. And I'll tell the short version of the story. I was 14 years old and my parents were in the midst of a divorce and it happened to be father's day. My father was coming to take us out to brunch and, you know, my father walked in and went, “Come on, come on”, because that's what dads do. And my mom's putting on her blue eyeshadow, fluffing up her beehive hairdo.

And my sisters are fighting it out in the bathroom and me and my mom start, you know, walking out towards my dad to get to the car, to go out to the fancy sunday brunch. My sister's still fighting it out and as me and my mom and dad walk out, my dad mentioned that he wanted to get his coat from the car.

And as he lifted the boot as they say, lifted the trunk, I noticed he didn't grab a coat, but he in fact grabbed a gun and he started screaming at my mother “you made me do this! You made me do this!” – and he fires. Now I started screaming “Dad, what are you doing?! What are you doing dad?! Stop!” and he cocked the gun and he pointed it at me. And I absolutely 100% believed I was next.

And he looked at me, I looked at him. I blinked, he blinked. It seemed like eternity, but I'm sure it was only a few seconds. And then my mother, with already one bullet inside her, saw what's happening and screamed “No, don’t!” and so that bullet intended for me, my father took and shot my mother a second time. And that second bullet went through my mother's abdomen out her back and landed smack dab in the car horn. And the car horn just beeeeeeeeep.

Hey, I mean over 20 years, if I heard a car horn, I was right back there in the moment. And then my father cocked the gun again and fell to his knees, put the gun to his head and fired. So in a matter of two minutes, I am the sole witness of my father murdering my mother and committing suicide in front of me.

Now, I don't know how other people would respond to it, but I know what I did. I blamed myself, right? Because I was the only one out there that could have changed it. I didn't jump in front of my mother, I did nothing heroic. I didn't grab the gun, I didn't kick my father in the shins, right?

I did nothing heroic. I just… Dad's out there and I said, don't ,stop, don't. And the level of guilt and shame that I felt basically took happiness off the table for me. Like, you can't be happy and watch your mom die, sorry, not an option anymore for me.

So I basically split in two that day. The outside of me was fine. I'm fine, you know, I'm sure we've all played the fine game, right? Like, no, I'm fine, plenty of money in the bank, I'm good, yeah, fine. But inside, you're scared to bejeebers, right? And that's how I was.

Like, outside I pretended I was fine. Kept going to school, got straight A's, I'm fine. But inside, I was deathly afraid that there was something seriously wrong with me. I mean, one, my father's blood ran through my veins and I became afraid of feeling that there was something, like really damaged about me, like, really wrong with me.

And so I went away to college, which I thought, yay, nobody knows my story, I can hide from it. When in fact, me hiding it and me stuffing it down even further, had me start drinking. I discovered alcohol, became an alcoholic, got three DUIs. Decided, you know what, this isn't worth living for. So I tried to kill myself three times.

And it was that third suicide attempt George that I realized something. I realized I'm not good at killing myself. And yeah, I'm not dying George, I'm not dying. Because George, I got to tell you: that's what I wanted to do. I wanted to die. And here I am, very much alive after you try to kill yourself three times, they do put you in the psychiatric ward to evaluate you.

And so I was there, I don’t know, three or four days. They evaluated me, I'm not crazy, and left me to go home by myself. And I remember sitting in my little studio apartment and going, uh okay, I'm not dying. Okay, I better figure this out, because how I'm living isn't working for me. Like, this is miserable, right?

And now I want to preface this George by saying, you know, during this whole time, during these years, I was reading books and going to therapy and doing workshops. I mean, I read my first self-help book when I was 12. So, you know, I have been devoted to personal growth and self-development ever since I can remember, it's what I'm passionate about.

And so I was doing everything right that I thought I should do. And yet it wasn't relieving me of the burden of thinking there was something wrong with me. That there's something seriously like, wrong. And so it wasn't until that third suicide attempt when I'm sitting in my apartment all by myself and I say to myself, well, I guess I have to figure this out.

And I started out of desperation making up exercises for myself – and shockingly, they started working. Still today, I'm still shocked that they work and every time they work for people, which is all the time, I still get shocked when people send me a, you know, note saying “oh my gosh, changed my life.” I'm always like, “really?”, you know, because it's just, you know, it's just still so amazing to me that the work that changed my life changes so many others.

And so I started doing exercises, they started working. Made more exercises up, those worked. And then eventually, you know, it took me many years to start something called fearless living of course. But it was the exercises I started with in that studio apartment all by myself in Los Angeles are really the foundation of fearless living today.

GEORGE: Wow. That's quite a story. Now, I really want to backtrack because you mentioned that you had the self-worth issues.

RHONDA: Yeah!

GEORGE: That you took the blame on yourself.

RHONDA: Sure, of course.

GEORGE: And I really want to get to the exercises, because that really, I think, you know, people in general. I know I’ve had, you know, the self-talk moments.

RHONDA: Yeah, self attack. Like, who do you think you are, what's your problem, why don't you get it together, right? Yeah.

GEORGE: How did you get pass that? Like, obviously you've got to make the decision and have the awareness that it's actually a problem that you need to change it. But let's say you’re at that point and, you know, alright, well as you were after your third suicide, you know, alright, well, something's got to change.

RHONDA: Something's got to change.

GEORGE: How do you go pass that?

RHONDA: Well, one of the very first exercises I created actually addresses this very thing. And I remember sitting in my apartment, like I said, I don't know what to do. And I actually said to myself George, I gotta go back to kindergarten. I actually said that. Like, I've got to go back to kindergarten. And I said to myself what do they do in kindergarten? Well, they give you gold stars.

So I went out and bought a calendar and gold stars. And at this point you have to remember that I didn't feel worthy to be happy or worthy to be successful or worthy to be loved. Even though out in the world I was so good at faking, people that met me probably were like “Yeah, that Rhonda, she's great,” you know. But again, like, I didn't think that, I didn't agree with that one bit.

So, I got gold stars, got a calendar and I decided that for 30 days, I was going to keep track of anything that I did that was good. Because I felt so not worth living for and why did I exist that I wanted to find anything worth saving. Like, that’s what I was looking for. What we’re saving here? Am I worth saving?

So, I kept track for 30 days and gave myself a gold star for anything good and George, these were things like, got angry and didn’t break anything. Ok? Like, oh, you know, felt rejected, but didn’t run away, right? Like, I'm talking basic things, but back then, that was like a life saver for me.

Me getting angry and not destroying anything, or me feeling humiliated or upset and not walking away was a miracle, right? And so, after those 30 days, I had a calendar filled with gold stars. And that gave me hope that there is something worth saving.

Now, that exercise George has turned into what I call acknowledgments. And acknowledgments are something the high achievers are really bad at. And people that are attracted to fearless living and self help junkies, they’re also really bad at it, because they, you know, they kind of pride themselves on telling themselves the truth about how they’re screwing up so they can improve themselves. When in fact, acknowledgments are going to give you more bang for your buck and your acknowledgments are actually a way for you to have confidence, the way to actually create steady confidence.

So it’s something like this, you do it this way: today I acknowledge myself for and acknowledge yourself for any movement forward. And I'm talking about any movement forward. I have an exercise called “stretch, risk or die” that I teach my clients how like, their comfort zone is right in the middle and there's a structure on the “risk or die” zone and I say, even if you’re moving from your comfort zone to your stretch zone, you acknowledge yourself.

So George, I want to caveat this: because it’s not acknowledging yourself for being perfect. It's not acknowledging yourself for getting it done. It's not acknowledging yourself for how well you did it – it is literally, I had a new thought: acknowledge yourself. Right?

Oh, I made a phone call. Phone call went crappy, didn't go the way I wanted – doesn't matter, acknowledge yourself for making the phone call. So you're basically acknowledging without judging, without putting a oh good or bad on it. You're just acknowledging movement forward.

And when I started just simply giving myself credit for the movement I was making, not how well I did it, but just the movement, that changed everything. Because the confidence started to rise, self esteem started to rise. And when I work with clients and they’re like, I need more self confidence, I go, do this exercise and I guarantee in three days you'll feel better.

I've had parents do this with their kids: within 24 hours, 48 hours, they feel better. I mean, it's a confidence booster big time. Because we, as high achievers, well, we don't give ourselves those acknowledgments, we only see the next thing we have to do and how we can do it better, right? And how we should have done it better. And how it could have been faster. And all of that actually erodes our self confidence and self esteem. So that star exercise turned into acknowledgments.

GEORGE: And I love this exercise. So it's almost like practicing gratitude, but at the micro level. Like if you're struggling with gratitude it's like, well, I've got nothing to be grateful for, or this really peels back the layers. Right?

RHONDA: Well, I like to think of it this way. In the world of fearless living, gratitude and acknowledgments are for different reasons. So gratitude is about the world out there, right? So I'm grateful that today Los Angeles is like, the number one clean air city in the world, which never happens, right? So I'm really grateful that I'm breathing clean air and that this global pandemic has created.

I can see the stars and the moon better than I ever have before. I'm really grateful for this moment that I get to see the sky the way that I do, right? So gratitude is about out there. Acknowledgments are all about you. They're about you. So it's very different.

And usually George, people that have a difficult time with gratitude blame the world. The world is at fault. They can't be grateful because they blame the world. People that have a difficult time with acknowledgments, blame themselves.

And as most high achievers, most people that are making it on their own, businesses, want to do better, they have a tendency to blame themselves. And so acknowledgments for most of my clients are the hardest work sometimes that they do. Because just to give themselves credit takes an enormous amount of surrender, an enormous amount of willingness, enormous amount of perfectionism has to go away, you know? All that fear stuff.

So acknowledgments are all about you taking responsibility and claiming the movement that you made, again, whether it worked or not, whether it was good or not, whether how it looked or not – irrelevant. Did you have a new thought? Did you make a movement? Did you do something? Right? And then when you do that, you're going to start giving yourself credit and this is the reason that acknowledgments are so powerful, is that they become a diary of our effort.

I don't know about you George, but most of my life, if I made an effort and it didn't turn out the way I wanted, I forgot all about that effort. Right? I was like, well, that didn't work and I just threw it out the window, right? This becomes a diary and a reminder for you to go, oh wait, id o know how to do that. I did do that. Life is good, right? So it just changes.

GEORGE: Thanks so much for clarifying that, because that makes a lot of sense to me. Gratitude versus acknowledgments: gratitude out there, acknowledgments in here.

RHONDA: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

GEORGE: How can we tie this into the topic of fear and how things are holding us back?

RHONDA: Ah! Well, you know, fear is insidious. So let me just say a little bit about neuroscience and I know you probably know all this already, but I'll just say it, just in case, you know, so we have a firm foundation. You know, the way the brain and our neurobiology works is that the brain doesn't know the difference between a physical fear and an emotional fear. Ok?

And I know the people who listen to you, physical fear is like their specialty, right? Like, they help people through their physical fears. But those physical fears and emotional fears again, we don't know the difference.

So a fear of rejection and a fear of height to the body and brain are the same thing. All right? The other thing about the way the brain works, the brain does not know the difference between something imagined and something real.

So we walk into a room and we don't think we belong there and, you know, we're going to make up a story about it and we live out that story then. Because we actually are, we're hanging on to the imagined story we've made up. So the brain doesn't know the difference. The other thing about the brain is they’re doing research now and they’re starting to prove that some of our fears are actually handed down through our DNA.

So, you know, some of the things that you may have a fear of failure, or a fear of rejection or a fear of success, or a fear of loss or a fear of identity, or you know, etc. Etc. Fear of speaking in public, right? Any fear. Perfectionist, procrastination etc. All of those things are ways, I'll just put it this way: fear’s number one job is to keep us safe.

And so, your fears are handed down through your DNA, you experience fear as you're growing up, you don't know it because it's just reality. You don't think of it as, I'm afraid of my mom or my dad or my fellow students unless they are hitting you. You just know that they're mean, or you know, you judge them and you put them aside.

So how fear works is that fear wants to keep you in a safe place. The challenge is George, safety means that it's the same. And they’ve been proving this in neuroscience now that the brain actually and the way we work, body and brain, is we’re energy machines. And in order to conserve energy, the brain automatically – it has a problem, it has a problem, global pandemic. Problem. And the brain automatically to save energy, looks in the past for the solution.

So it's looking for a template in the past, going through your books that you already own and going, I've got to have a book here about global pandemic. I'm sure I've cured this before, I'm sure I did this before. And there is no template! Right? So then what happens? Our body and brain gets panicked, because now we don't know what to do, because again, the way that the body and brain find information is looking in the past. Well, the past template does not solve the current problem. And rarely does, right?

So we’re actually unconsciously, not knowing we’re doing it, looking in the past, super fast, auto responder, right? To solve a problem that we’re experiencing in the present, that past template, we’ve outgrown, it doesn't work for us anymore.

Which then, we’re trying to use a past template in the present to create a new future and you and I both know that doesn't work. So I want you to imagine for a minute that you're trying to, you know, create a new business, or make more money or find some steady ground in this pandemic. In order to do that, automatically, your brain is going to look in the past – it's not there. So now you’re in the unknown.

So I like to say that freedom, freedom equals your capacity to live in the unknown.  Freedom equals your capacity to live in the unknown. But our body and brain are completely petrified of the unknown, they don't wanna live there. They’re concerned about security and safety. And remember one of our number one core needs is safety. And when we don't feel safe, we retreat. And instead, we want to move forward, right? Does that make sense?

GEORGE: Yeah, terribly.

RHONDA: I feel like I'm missing a little piece there. I feel like I'm missing something, so I hope you're going to ask me about it, I just know there's something I didn't connect.

GEORGE: Well, let's take a step forward, right? How do we navigate then into the sphere of the unknown? How do we go there?

RHONDA: Yeah. So let me talk you through the “stretch, risk or die” exercise, because I think that's going to be the best illustration. So think of your comfort zone. I mean, we all know what a comfort zone is. Our comfort zone is what we do, you know, I like to tell people, think of your comfort zone as your life right now.

So married, not married, kids, no kids, you know, worried about your bank account, not worried about your bank account. Whatever is happening today, in this moment, let's make it your comfort zone, even though it's not very comfortable.

So think about it as a bullseye, a bullseye on a dart board. The second ring around that comfort zone is called the stretch zone. And now, the stretch zone is the things George, that you now you can do, you just haven’t done.

Like, think about all the things, I can think about a whole bunch of things that I know I can do and I haven’t done. You know, how much vegetables should I be eating? I know I should be going to sleep – oh, I know I should be making that extra thousand steps on my pedometer, right? I know these things; why aren't I doing it? This is the tricky part George because the stretch zone is the simplest zone, because you know you can do it. But in fact, it's where we beat ourselves up the most because we know we can do it and we’re not doing it! Ok?

GEORGE: Right.

RHONDA: So we’re ruthless with ourselves! We're so mean to ourselves! Now, the circle around the stretch zone is called the risk zone. And the risk zone is the things you don't know if you could succeed or not. You're not sure you could do it. The die zone is outside of that, the die zone is like, I don't know if I can do that, – I don't even know if I want to do it, right?

So I think about when I trained for a marathon. A marathon was definitely a die for me, I haven't run since high school, right? So a stretch for me was, sure I would walk 5 miles, no problem. I should my comfort zone was walking 5 miles; a stretch would have been, you know, maybe walking 7 or 8 miles, right? Like I probably can do it, you know. A risk was running a mile, or running 3 miles – I didn't know if I could actually run a mile. I haven't run since high school. So I don't know, I don't know if I could succeed or not.

And then like I said, the die was running the marathon. So I want you to imagine that in between the comfort zone, the stretch zone, the risk zone, the die zone, is a band of fear. And for you to move from your comfort zone to your stretch zone, you must move through what I call the wheel of fear. And in order to move from the stretch zone to the risk zone, you must move through that band of fear.

So we blow it, we go, “I have to add more vegetables” and then we don't add the vegetables and then we beat ourselves up for it. That actually has made our neural pathways stronger in the fact of beating ourselves up, putting ourselves down and proving that we are unworthy. Proving that you're lazy, proving that you're stupid, proving that you don't have it to be successful, right?

So every time that we want to make a change in our life, we actually are rubbing up against the wheel of fear, what I call the wheel of fear. And most of us don't know how that works. Most of us don't have a relationship with our fear. And so they just blame themselves, put themselves down, think it's their fault. But it's actually not, it's how we're wired. And once you know how you're wired, you can make a different choice and move from that wheel of fear to the wheel of freedom.

GEORGE: I love that.

RHONDA: Does that make sense?

GEORGE: Yeah, totally. So I've got this visual picture of the wheels of how…

RHONDA: Yeah

GEORGE: …you know, the band of fear really sits. So it's really never a question of feeling comfortable at what, reaching a level of comfort in our comfort zone thinking, okay, I'm now comfortable where I'm at – it's time to take the next step. It's always taking that leap into that stretch of fear and knowing, well, hang on: I've gotta embrace the fear because fear means I'm going in the right direction.

RHONDA: Yeah, I mean it's like, think of it this way. You know, fear is really subtle, so let me just step back with this. Most people like you and I George don't say I'm afraid or I'm scared. I mean, I am shocked that I'm a fear expert because I never, even when I was going through with my parents and after, you know, those nightmares every night for 14 years of becoming an alcoholic, I never would have said I'm afraid or scared. I never would have said that. But what people don't see and what I didn't see is that fear doesn't show up as, you know, like a big giant monster.

Fear shows up in our behaviors and our problems. So how do we know that we have fear, that fear’s on patrol? If we procrastinate, there's a fear under that.

If we get overwhelmed, there's a fear under that. If we're a perfectionist, there's a fear under that. If we get anxious, there's a fear under that. If we judge, there's a fear under that. If we're comparing, there's a fear under that. If we complain, there’s a fear under that, right? So all the things that we think, “God I wish I would quit people-pleasing. God, I wish I wouldn’t be a perfectionist. God, I've gotta quit procrastinating.” all those things we’re like, I wish I could quit doing.

All of those are just fear responses. Those are not the fear itself; that is just the response that we're having to the fear that keeps us then stuck, stuck and small and convinces us, because we're not doing those things that we then don't have a right, or we don't have what it takes to actually go for the dream we want, or actually make the changes that we really want to make, right?

So in order to really see fear for what it is, we have to really start with our fear responses. And actually no, you're not a procrastinator because you're stupid or, you know, lazy: you’re a procrastinator because you're afraid of something underneath that. And that's where the wheel of fear comes in.

Because I believe wholeheartedly, based on the work that I've done and the research I've done, is that the only way that you can truly change your life is by changing your filtering system. And the best way to change your filtering system is to have a mental model that really sets you free. So I created a mental model called the “wheel of fear.” And the wheel of fear basically explains to you, shows you how you operate when you get triggered, right? And so like, I have two pairs of glasses here wait, what – yep, I do have two pairs of glasses.

So let's just imagine that for a minute George, that these are my wheel of fear glasses that I have on right now. So I'm looking at the global pandemic through my wheel of fear glasses. What am I going to look at? There's not enough opportunity. The government isn't coming faster. How am I going to get toilet paper? Where's my water? Oh my god, I'm going to… right? Like, those are the fear glasses. If you put on what we call the “wheel of freedom” glasses, you actually change the complete filtering system. And you see something, just a different world.

And you see opportunity and possibility and hope and goodness and clean air, and you see something completely different. So that's what I'm dedicated to, is helping people understand how their wheel of fear works and what their wheel of fear is, so that they can choose every day to move from their wheel of fear to their wheel of freedom.

So, you know, the wheel of fear has four parts and again, I could go into that but, you know, I believe that everybody has a core fear that they have that really runs them. And my core fear is, I don't want to be seen as a loser. Now, if you say to me oh Rhonda, I know my core fear: I don't want to be seen as lazy. It's like, trust me, you're wrong. You're wrong, you're dead wrong.

I have only met two people in my 25 years that actually knew what their wheel of fear was, because you will think that your wheel of fear is your fear response. That’s not your core fear, right? So, all your procrastination, your perfectionism, your anxiety, you’re overwhelmed, you're beating yourself up, you're putting yourself down – all those are just fear responses and there's something else driving those behaviors.

And for me, on my wheel of fear, that for me is the fear of being seen as a loser. The fear of being thought of as a loser, that anybody could see it, think it, smell it around me, right? And I'm automatically, my automatic system will go into overdrive the minute I think even for a second that you're thinking that, right?

And that's how we do, we're always operating unless for consciousness we're awake unless we're aware, we're operating to try to preserve ourselves, rather than to shed ourselves, right? To release ourselves. So that's, you know, that's our basic opportunity here, is who's going to win the wheel of fear or a wheel of freedom.

GEORGE: All right, so let's make this practical and let's choose someone out of the audience to be a guinea pig.

RHONDA: Oooooh, ok!

GEORGE: So I really relate to that, right? Again, I think I relate to that, but I could be wrong. Where you mention, all right well, you don't want to be a loser.

So here's something I know that comes up for me: I know that when I get into creative mode, I need to create content. I have this war of art moment. I procrastinate, or I find things to do. I actually, I was talking to Kylie Ryan about this, I mentioned, you know, I was just about to create a new program for our Partners group. And before I knew it, I was down at the store buying a new monitor. It was important, right?

And I’ve noticed, if I set aside a day and according to my Kolbe I should, you know, multitask and do things at the last minute, which is detrimental to me, but I do that. But either way if I know my day is set out that, this is my creation day and I've got to create things – I know that I'm going to find things to do throughout the day and put things, put obstacles in my way and I catch myself doing it. So let's, it's like that is an example.

RHONDA: Yeah, I love that. So that's basically the writer’s, you know, that's a writer's dilemma. As a writer, you know, every, every writer says they love to write, but they hate to sit down, right? Like the hardest thing is to sit down, right?

Every writer would tell you their house was spotless before they'll ever sit down and write a word, right? And on one level, just to talk about it from an ethereal level, is that on one level your brain is switching modes, right? Like creative, incubating and creating is very different than executing, ok? So, you know, you probably are in execution mode most of the time and now you're switching to creative mode. Well, that's a different way to be.

And part of creating is actually dabbling, you know, kind of scat, like kind of just hanging out, cleaning the house, you know, like that actually helps your whole body and brain release. It's kind of like when you want a good idea, where do we all go? We go to the shower, right? We go to the shower, because we're not thinking anymore, we're just in the shower and all of a sudden, an idea pops.

Well, it's that same theory when we're trying to create. Creativity is a, well there's a muse to creativity and you have to court the muse and so it's like, I think you're trying to… On one hand, I want you to be able to create from 9:00 to 5:00, or whatever you want.

I mean when I'm on a deadline for a book, I can write 3 o'clock in the morning – 4 o'clock in the afternoon, because I've got a deadline, right? I'm on purpose. I have zero procrastination. But if I'm not clear about what I'm doing or if I've been in execution mode, there has to be a space for me to change my energy and to prepare the space for me to be creative. So that's one part of it.

The other thing is that there are costs and benefits for you to be creative. So let's just talk about those: what do you think are some costs of you being creative? You came up with this new program. What are some costs? Let's just make them up.

GEORGE: Yeah well, costs are, is it going to be good enough?

RHONDA: Yeah, going to be good enough, yeah. Is anybody going to like it? Are people going to quit? They’re going to be like, oh he's gone downhill I'm leaving, right? Right?

GEORGE: That's, that's a cost, yeah.

RHONDA: Yeah, yeah. So all these, these are costs. So the benefits, what would the benefits be?

GEORGE: Benefits would be that my members get value and they get something that they can action that's going to move them forward.

RHONDA: Right, right. So there's good benefits and you're devoted. So this is what I know about you George: I know that even though you procrastinate because the costs are very high actually, I know that you as a human being are so devoted to your tribe that you actually will create that course.

It won't be when you say it is, it will be based on when it needs to be, because you’re a last-minute person – by the way, so am I. So, you know, I'm the person creating a course, like I'm teaching a class tomorrow and I haven't even thought about it yet.

Like, it's not even a thought in my head. Like, irrelevant to me, because it's tomorrow. After you and I get off the phone I'll be like, oh, tomorrow, yeah I need to think about that. And then I'll start and I'll jot down some notes.

But I, just like you, work at the last minute. So if I'm trying to force myself to go out of my own system, that in itself doesn't work. But I want you to hear that you rationally know the right answer – oh, I'm going to sit down and do this program. But fear comes in and goes, but we don't know how. And we don't have a guaranteed result. And who do you think you are? Come on, you know, you've been doing this for a long time right now.

Yeah, you say you know what you're doing, but what if they don't like it? You know, okay what if this loses your business? What if everybody knows you’re a fraud? What if, what if, what if, what if, right?

And again, you may not be thinking those thoughts. It may not be in your head, right? But they're inside of what I call the wheel of fear. They're the ways that the wheel of fear is, because you're saying to the wheel of fear, “Well I'm going to grow now. I'm going to change. I'm going to add, I'm going to create.” And the wheel of fear is like, “Ah not a good idea thank you very much! This is going to be bad.”

And so it tries to get you to be distracted and get you to go by that monitor and have you, you know, stamped in the middle of the night and then start working at 2:00 in the morning, right?

GEORGE: Totally. Okay, so I catch myself doing this. And I acknowledge my fear. What's my next step?

RHONDA: Well I don't know: are you going to sit down and write or are you just acknowledging your fear?

GEORGE: Right.

RHONDA: So there's a couple things. So like I said, we have something called the wheel of fear and a wheel of freedom, but to bypass that right now, to give you a really quick, quick way to start dealing with this, is actually start having a dialogue with fear. So the first thing you do is you never fight with fear. Never. It always wins. 

Fear is as smart as you are, as educated as you are, as spiritual as you are, it knows everything you know, and it's way smarter than you. So we never argue with fear. So a fear says, this is going to be bad. This is what you'd say to fear: you're right, it's going to be bad and I'm going to do it anyway.

Oh well, this is, you know, I know you think this is going to bring value and you're going to suck it up and get it done but, you know, what if George doesn't like it? What if Harry doesn't like it? Well, they might not like it, that's right, they may not like it and I'm going to do it anyway. Okay, well you're making a fatal mistake. I might be making a fatal mistake, thank you so much – I'm going to do it anyway. Okay, well don't come crying to me. Okay. Right?

So one of the ways that we bypass is not fighting and not arguing. This is one of the tools inside the wheel of freedom, what I call the wheel freedom. One of the things that I teach my clients is how do you talk to fear and how do you move beyond fear. And what do you focus on instead? And what we focus on on the wheel of fear and wheel of freedom is, there's something called the essential nature.

Remember how I told you, like I don't want to be seen as a loser? Well, on my wheel of freedom what I focus on instead is being authentic. So if I'm afraid to be a loser or I think loser around my job is Rhonda Britten is – if I was being authentic right now, what would I do? Oh – I would say this, I would do this.

So you need to, you know, to have another shift of a mental model. It can't be just you and the project because it's bigger than the project. It's got to be like who you are and what really works for you. So whether it's, you know, being authentic, like, well if I was being authentic, would I be doing this project? Or it could be, if I was being compassionate with myself, or if I was being comfortable to myself, right?

But there's another frame that you have to decide to step into and take action from that new frame. So me being authentic is, you know, if you're afraid to be a loser, you're afraid if you're authentic that you're going to be a loser. And I have to know that that's not true. Like right, that's not true. If I was being authentic, who would I be? Oh. I would sit down and I might tell my group that it's going to be done next week and not be done now, right?

Or oh, I'm going to tell myself that maybe I don't know as much as I think I do and I have to do some research. Or maybe I do need somebody to help me be accountable to, right? Tell yourself the truth. But never, never, never, argue with fear/

GEORGE: I love that. Rhonda, so good. Before we wrap things up, I just want to bring it back to my audience. And looking at, you know, we’ve got martial arts school others that we work with, people are faced in various directions. You know, some people have had their income shot down 100%.

RHONDA: Yeah.

GEORGE: Many of them are Partners within our group of martial artists made the pivot online and are venturing in that new arena.

RHONDA: New world, yeah.

GEORGE: Yeah and I don't want to shift the topic too much and, you know, go down a whole new angle. But I just want to talk about the topic of money, because this has come up a lot of times where, I think especially in the martial arts space, there's been so much emphasis placed on the value that they deliver physically. And if they switch to the online, the detachment of what they deliver physically and they are doing online…

RHONDA: Yes

GEORGE: …They feel that it's just not right to charge money, or that they've got to do it for goodwill.

RHONDA: Yes.

GEORGE: what would be your take on that and the relationship of money and feeling comfortable making that shift?

RHONDA: So I'm going to say two things: one is, I have an exercise that we can do in just a minute, but um… The thing is that, you know, I have a client of mine who's a martial artist. He's a… what kind of trainer is that, you know, in the cage, the cage trainers, right? Um…

GEORGE: Mixed martial arts.

RHONDA: Yeah, and he's… Yeah, right, mixed martial arts. So he is, you know, he said the same thing to me. He's like, you know, but I have to touch them and I have to move them. I'm saying, yeah, but right now what do you think everybody needs that are your clients?

I don't know about you, but I think they need a mindset. I think they need maybe critiques on… Like, you could put matches on line and you could critique them. You could help them understand their body better. Like, there are so many refinements, right? Like if you talk to a boxer, a martial artist: the work is not done in the ring, right? The work is done outside the ring, right? So using that attitude of like, okay, I'm not in the ring right now, I'm not with them physically: so what can I do? How can I support them?

That's going to give them a competitive edge and even better when we get back in the ring? And I think that's the mindset that you have to think of that you're doing like the heavy lifting, the deep, rooted work, right? The deep rooted work, without the physical body being there.

So I think that mindset work, getting people to understand that they can use their body, taking care of themselves, making sure they're staying in shape etc etc, doing the fine muscles, etc etc – I mean, this is important and valuable work that people will pay for. They will be happy to pay because they want to belong somewhere.

Because everybody, most people out there are feeling very, very alone, even though they have five people living in their house and they're stuck with them. They feel very alone and they want somebody that understands them, that knows them like this. That knows them in their power like this. They want to be seen, they want to be remembered, they want to be heard – and they want focus.

And you're the one to give them that, because you're their trainer. You're there whether there's a gym owner, a trainer, you know, you're their master. So help them during this time, it's your responsibility. I don't know that's a…

GEORGE: Yes, that is spot-on and very in alignment with what I've been telling our clients iIs really think of the outcome. There's an outcome that people actually get from the martial arts and if you can provide that through a different medium, that's going to keep them together until, you know, the new normal.

RHONDA: That's right. But again, you and I both know martial arts is a lot of mindset stuff. So if your mind is caught in the cracks in your foundation as I said earlier, then you get to do your mindset work alongside your clients. And you get to lead them through that. And that's your opportunity and that is one of the greatest gifts you can give to them. And I promise you this they will remember you forever, leading them through this. They will remember you forever.

You know, I mean I think about the people that I've been talking to and I will never forget them, because they're helping, they're supporting, they’re being with, you know, like we're doing this together, right? So you're not just becoming, you know, who they've trained with; you're really becoming their mentor at a whole new level. So I invite you to take it. Yeah. And do you want me to throw this last exercise out? Because I promised I would, but again, I don't need to. I mean, are you complete, what do you think?

GEORGE: If you have the time Rhonda, I would love it.

RHONDA: I’ll just throw it out, because I actually said I would share it, so I want to give it. Another exercise to actually take about, whether it’s abundance or mindset whatever it is, you know, we're focused on the things like, “oh I've got to give everything away.” and again, goodwill is nice but what can you give for goodwill and what will you charge for you? You have to really start to understand that like, I'm doing a lot of Facebook lives right now for goodwill.

But I'm also charging my clients and I'm also charging for my courses, ok? I'm giving people a longer time to pay and some people I've been talking to are reducing fees 50% for one month or two months and then that's it so that their clients stay with them. But again, you don't have to do that to pay on what you provide, right?

So this exercise that I'm going to tell you and I'll end with this is control versus no control. So grab a piece of paper, put a line down the middle and on the left hand side write “control” and on the right hand side write “no control.” and I want you to write down all the things you are in control of and all the things you're not in control of.

Now, I'm sure you've probably done something like this already with your folks George, is like what do they control, what don't they control. But this is the kicker, this is what I do is my clients. I take it to the next level is, all the things they can control, I want them to grade themselves. I want them to rate themselves from one to ten. Ten is, I'm not going to have a problem with my sleep, I'm the greatest sleeper in the whole world. Water? I'm a ninja! I'm a nine! Right? Or is it, I'm two with my sleep and I'm three with my vegetables and I'm four in connection, right?

So write all the things you're in control of and give yourself a scorecard, rate yourself. Because what I know to be true is, when you're focused on the things you can't control, when you're getting worried about the things you can't control, I guarantee you you're not controlling the things you can. You're not taking care of business where you can.

So I invite you to just do the control – no control. Have the control there, rate yourself, give yourself a scorecard. Focus there, because then when you do that, you'll get your power back. You feel empowered again and then the things you can’t control kind of recede in the background, right?

GEORGE: Simple. What a great…

RHONDA: Simple, but not easy to do, right?

GEORGE: Exactly, exactly. But that's gold and I'm going to do it right now.

RHONDA: It's an amazing exercise, I can't tell you how many clients I have worked with, I've been doing that exercise with clients for over 20 years and I cannot tell you how it changes their life. Because it's not just a list, oh I can do this, I can do this. But it's like, no – rate yourself. That rating gives you like, oh crap, I’ve  got to focus on this, it gives you a focus now.

GEORGE: Right.

RHONDA: Do you mind if I give a gift to your listeners?

GEORGE: Please do!

RHONDA: Ok, so I actually feel compelled to… I don't normally give two gifts, but I did talk about “stretch, risk or die”, so I do want to give them all the worksheets for that, so they can really understand it at a deeper level.

So go to fearlessliving.org/risk, and yes, you're going to have to put your name and email in because it's inside a member center. If you don't want to get emails or whatever, of course you can just unsubscribe right away. But again, you're going to need to do that in order to become a member to get the course.

But the other thing that I realized I had just the other day which is so funny. I'd already talked to like six groups and forgot I had this: I actually have created a course called “How To Overcome Fear Of The Unknown”. Hellooo! Helloo! Duh! And when I realized that, I was like wait a minute I have a course called “How To Overcome Fear Of The Unknown”.

So if you'd like that course as well, go ahead and grab that and that's at fearlessliving.org/gift. So fearlessliving.org/risk for stretch, risk or die and fearlessliving.org/gift for the gifts. And again, sign up, put your email in, you'll get access to the course. Unsubscribe if you don't want to hear from me ever again.

GEORGE: That's gold Rhonda, thank you so much for being so generous with your time. Thank you for the great gifts. I know I got, you know, my secret finish about doing this podcast is like I get to speak to awesome guests like you and  just learn. And I know everybody listening to this is going to get so much value. So Rhonda, thank you so much, really appreciate your time.

RHONDA: You’re welcome – be fearless.

GEORGE: Awesome. Thanks for listening. If you want to connect with other top and smart martial arts school owners, and have a chat about marketing, lead generation, what's working now, or just have a gentle rant about things that are happening in the industry, then I want to invite you to join our Facebook group

It's a private Facebook group and in there, I share a lot of extra videos and downloads and worksheets – the things that are working for us when we help school owners grow and share a couple of video interviews and a bunch of cool extra resources.

So it's called the Martial Arts Media Business Community and an easy way to access it is, if you just go to the domain named martialartsmedia.group, so martialaartsmedia.group, g-r-o-u-p, there's no .Com or anything, martialartsmedia.group. That will take you straight there. Request to join and I will accept your invitation.

Thanks – I'll speak to you on the next episode – cheers!

 

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Hey, George here. Hope you're well. I've just put together our new Martial Arts Pivot Game Plan. I want to go through just the big picture of the plan with you. Over the next couple of weeks, I'm going to be sharing probably a bit more in depth in regards to the certain topics that we're going to discuss here. Been having a lot of conversations with a lot of martial arts school owners over the past couple of weeks and really trying to refine what is going to happen from now, moving forward. So I'm going to map it out for you. I'm not the best at handwriting and drawing, but I think it will give you a good context of what the plan looks like and how to move forward.

First up, let's start with the now. Let's work it from the inside out, but let's work it where we are at. Right now, most martial arts school owners and maybe for you too is, we're consumed in a state of fear, fear from the media, the social media. Just there's not a lot of positivity out there, right? We're kind of consumed with a lot of fear, right? At this point, you're kind of sitting in a, well, we'll just call it a fear consumer stage.

Now, what makes us scared, if we look at the business side of it, is right now we're in a situation where students are canceling. With students canceling, that's going to obviously, as a… within the business, impact your cash flow. And then personally, wait from here. Like, how am I going to provide for my family if the cash disappears and people aren't paying? And it's going to have a bigger impact on your family.

Then on this side, number two. For number two, we've got no normal classes. The platform has changed, hasn't it? And depending on where you're at, I know for most school owners at this point in time still in lockdown, not able to run classes other than virtually. So we're sitting in a situation of no normal classes and that kind of makes the students feel a little uncertain. Like what's going on? What's going to happen? And for you, it's a fear of the future, for fear of the future for them as well. Like where does this go if we can't have our normal classes?

And then number three, which is important but hasn't been really the focus of anyone right now, is no new sign-ups. Impact on the business, if you're not bringing on new students in this type of climate, if you're stagnating, you're really declining because things aren't just the way they are, right? So if you're going to stay the same, then there's going to be a dramatic decline in the business.

By the way, if you're watching this live, just give me a thumbs up or leave me a comment below that says live. If you're watching the replay, just comment replay just so I know. All right, cool.

So here we are, right? Students are canceling, no normal classes, no new sign-ups. And we want to flip this fear consumer mindset. And instead of being on the fear, on the defense, we really want to dial into the offense. And we've got to flip things around and we've got to become the creator, right? Creator versus consumer. Okay. So let's flip these around.

Students are canceling. What do we want them to do? Well, first up, we want them to commit. This is where the video gets a bit better, right? You're not focusing on the problems. Let's look at the solutions, right? So first up, we want them to commit. No normal classes. Instead of them getting hung up about the normal classes, we want to change their perspective and make sure they show up, start showing up to the new medium, which we'll talk about in just a minute. And then we've got no new sign ups. Instead of having no new sign ups, we want to split this around and, once again, have a full pipeline, a full pipeline of new prospects that want to get started with martial arts. Not in the same way of course, but they want a get started. If this is resonating with you, let me know in the comment below. We'd love to know your feedback.

So let's map this out further and let's dive into what I'd like to refer to as our new nine accelerators that we need to focus on. If we've got to stop students canceling, get used to the norm of no normal classes and there's no new sign ups and we want to flip these around, we want to get them to commit, to show up and have a full pipeline, then here's how this looks.

First up on the commit side, we've got to over-communicate. Right now, coming in the position where we can't communicate enough, we have to constantly keep communicating. And taking into consideration that there's no physical location right now, so there's got to be a lot of communication online, back and forth, whether it's one-on-one, whether it's in the groups, you name it.

Number two. We want to engage our community. This is one important aspect where I think a lot of people are missing the point when it comes to creating online videos, is you've got to engage your community, now more so than ever because… I mean, all your students and yourself, you're used to going into the physical location. There's that physical connection. There's that ability to shake hands, how dare we, high fives, all those things, there's connection. We don't have that right now. So we really got to focus on how we engage our community in the time that we show.

And number three, we got to multiply the value. This could be a mindset shift as well, right? Because if we're really focused on that the only value we provide is physical martial arts, within the contact, then we might struggle with that. So we've got to find other ways to multiply the value. Over-deliver in other ways within the online hemisphere.

All right. Number two. No normal classes, we want them to show up. So how are we going to do that? Well, first up, we've got to really embrace online. Because here's a fact, and again, this could be done in 30 days, 60 days, 90 days, but as of right now, for most school owners, you're an online business and you're not a physical martial arts business. That's just where you're at right now. So it's important to embrace online. I think what's important to also look at is whatever you do now in this current climate is going to add so much value to your memberships down the line when things return back to normal or the new normal, right? So we've got to embrace online.

Number two, we want to dial in the discipline with our students. So we're going to make sure they still show up and we've got to build systems around the fact that we want to make sure that they are still arriving at the classes, the virtual classes, because if we're going to lose the discipline, then slowly but surely the commitment to martial arts is going to disintegrate. So dial in the discipline.

And number three, here, is present a plan. Present the new plan because as we were talking about earlier, uncertainty, there's uncertainty and not knowing where things are headed, then that creates doubt and it enhances the fear and then people are going to start canceling and so forth. So if we have a clear plan and we show them how this is going to work, how the classes work, where this is going, how your gradings are going to work in the future, now we've got something to hang onto, it gives us certainty in a time when most people need a lot of certainty, right?

That's been most of the focus for most school owners right now. But let's look at the growth side, because we got to keep this business going, we got to keep the economy going, we got to keep our business moving forward. So we want to turn no new sign ups into a full pipeline. How are we going to do that? Well, we've got to change a couple of things. First up, we need a new offer. The offer that we ran a couple of weeks ago before all the climate changed, where we got sent to our cocoons, where we got to stay indoors, before that happened, that used to work then, but this is now. Yep. And will we get back to the previous way we used to have our offers? Perhaps so. But right now, our offers need to change.

With that, we need a new message. Where our messaging was potentially focused on something aspirational, confidence and goals and a future, we're now looking at more of a survival of how we're going to get through this and support our messaging so that it's a message of how do we get through this versus how do we go for these big goals and so forth.

So for a new message. Then with that, we've got to embrace the new medium, the new delivery. Going back to our point up here, if you're running an online business, which right now you are, then running an online business is more than just streaming classes, right? It's more than just streaming classes. So you've got to embrace the medium and really look at it in a way of, “All right. Well, if we're going to bring new students in, then how does our on-boarding change from now? How are we going to onboard our students? How are we going to deliver the right content at the right time for them so that we are in effect selling the consumption of our content?”

I'm going to leave that. But just as a quick recap. On the mindset shift, this is really important. We want to move out of the fear consumer mindset, and that means maybe turning social media off just for a little bit if it's needed to be done, right? If you need to spend less time on social media, then maybe that's a good idea. Less consumption, less consuming the fear of the media and take the creator stance. Create more content, create more videos and be on the offense instead of playing the defense.

The problems that we're tackling head on, students canceling, no normal classes, no new sign ups, and we want to flip all those on their heads. Instead of students canceling, we want to make sure that they commit, we want to make sure they show up to the new classes and we want to get back to having a full pipeline of prospects we can speak to.

Then the nine accelerators that we're going to focus on. We've got to over-communicate. Over communicate right now. Make sure that we're engaging our community. Multiply the value over and above what we used to do in the past. Embrace the online space. Take note that you now have an online business versus a standard brick and mortar martial arts business. Dial in the discipline and make sure that your students are showing up. To do that, make sure that you've got a great plan in place that they're engaged. Then how are we going to scale or how are we going to start growing again? How are we going to get that curve happening? Well, we've got to have a new offer in place, a new message and a new medium.

So I'm going to leave that with you. I'm sharing a lot of this in our Facebook group. You can find that at martialartsmedia.com… Sorry, martialartsmedia.group. You can find us there or just comment the word group below, I'll get you the link. If you need more help in implementing this plan, then just type help below or send me a message and we can have a chat and I'll see if we can help you with a plan that we are rolling out in the next couple of weeks, expanding on this game plan right here. All right. Hope that was helpful. I'll see you in the next video. Speak soon.

Here are 3 ways we can help scale your school right now.

1. Join the Martial Arts Media community.

It's our new Facebook community where martial arts school owners get to ask questions about online marketing and get access to training videos that we don't share elsewhere – Click Here.

2. Join the Martial Arts Media Academy and become a Case Study.

I'm working closely with a group of martial arts school owners this month. If you'd like to work with me to help you grow your martial arts school, message me with the word ‘Case Study'.

3. Work with me and my team privately.

If you would like to work with me and my team to scale your school to the next level, then message me with the word ‘private'… tell me a little about your business and what you would like to work on together and I'll get you all the details.

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94 – Kylie Ryan – How To Ditch Fear, Get Clear and Embrace Leadership In Uncertain Times

Kylie Ryan, a mindset and performance coach, shares techniques on how to clear our minds, get calm and make decisions from a place of ‘inner truth'.

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IN THIS EPISODE, YOU WILL LEARN: 

  • Mindfulness tips to reclaim your center and balance
  • How anxiety interferes with your decision-making process
  • How to establish certainty in uncertain times
  • The value difference between martial arts paid trials vs free trials
  • And more

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

 

TRANSCRIPTION

Fear only exists when we're projecting our mind out into the future, right? It's like we're imagining some kind of negative future and going from this moment here, I'm imagining that I won't be able to pay my mortgage and my house is going to get foreclosed and what's going to happen? And then what if, what if, and you can go into this awful spiral of what is trying to chess play your way through every possible scenario. And that's a really dangerous habit.

GEORGE: Hey, this is George and welcome to another episode of the Martial Arts Media Business Podcast. Today I'm joined with a really special guest, not a martial artist, but someone who can really provide a lot of value with a lot of things that we deal with on a day to day basis within our mindset.

And now more so more important than ever as we are all forced in this position of having to lead and having to make decisions, it's important that we make that decision from the right perspective and right mindset. I'm joined today with Kylie Ryan from mymindcoach.com.au, welcome to the call Kylie.

KYLIE: Hey, great to be here. Excited to share some conversations with you. Hopefully it's useful.

GEORGE: Love it. I'm ready. First up, if you could give us just a two minute intro, a bit of background on what it is you do and so forth.

Kylie Ryan mindset coachKYLIE: Yeah, sure. I'm a mindset and performance coach. I help people with their inner game. All of the mindset, belief, values, identities, emotions, the things that get us stuck and keep us sabotaging ourselves.

There's plenty of things that we know that we need to do or that we should do, that we sometimes find ourselves struggling to actually do. I see myself as the bridge between what you know you should be doing or could be doing and what you're actually doing. And what we find is that a lot of the times things that seem like that external obstacles like the economy, or clients canceling, or this virus that's going on at the moment, a lot of the times when we find that even though those things are real, a lot of the times you find that people can handle them in very different ways. You can have two different people that face the same situation and respond very differently.

So what's the difference between those two people in their responses is their inner game, right? Is their mindset, their values, their beliefs, their attitudes, and their internal strategy that allows them to shift their external strategy and get different results in the world. So I help people tweak that in a game so that they get to do the things that they want and show up in the way that they want in the world and get the results.

GEORGE: All right, I love that down. Let's backtrack to two things that you mentioned. Stuck and sabotage. Where does this originate from? Where do people get stuck knowing that this is what they got to do, but then potentially put roadblocks in a way that they'll procrastinate or do different things?

I caught myself doing this yesterday, actually. I'm preparing this training from our members right now for our Partners group on how to digitize the school. And I'm in this creation phase and procrastination takes over. This is just a personal thing within me.

And before I knew it, I was out buying the new computer monitor that I needed. It was super essential, right? I needed that second screen. That's just something I like really taking a gut check look at me. But where does this originate? Where do people get stuck and why do we self sabotage?

KYLIE: Yeah, that's a great question. A lot of the… just like a little bit of a background information for… Your mindset, your beliefs, your values, all of the inner world of who you are, the personality that you show up to the world as, where does that come from? Right?

You've got to think about if your mindset was a software program, where did that software get installed? And sometimes we might have… our original software is installed when we're first born and through that what we call the imprint period from zero, from being born to about seven years old. And then there's another period of the modeling period between seven and 14 but basically like up until about 21, you're learning and having these significant experiences from childhood, from your parents, from teachers, and you download and absorb beliefs, you download the idea of what's possible, you download your parents' attitudes and the way that they show up, you might look up to, or have a mentor and a teacher, or a martial arts instructor, or someone that you look up to and you might learn some things from them.

You might learn from people that do things maybe in a way that is not so useful or that is hurtful to you. But you learn that regardless, right? When we're really little we pick up and we just absorb all of these different things. And a lot of those beliefs are formed and then they drop down into the deep coding of your psychology, the inner hard drive of who you are. And a lot of those things, you're not aware of what programs are in there until a situation presents itself where that particular program becomes activated, right?

You might have that situation where you have to go and step into leadership and speak before your people and it triggered… and you might've never done that recently. And that wasn't an issue. But it could potentially just picking… plucking an example out of the air, it could potentially activate an unconscious memory from being a kid in kindergarten and having to show and tell and not having anything to say, or mumbling with your words, or kids laughing at you when you're a little tiny kid.

And then years and years and years and years later, you find that when you have to get up and speak in front of people, you have this idea that maybe it's going to be dangerous, or maybe you might get humiliated, or maybe you might get laughed at. And all of this happens at an unconscious level.

It's not like you go, “Oh, people are going to laugh at me,” but you just find things to do so that you don't have to do the thing that might cause you pain or discomfort. A lot of times when we procrastinate or sabotage about something, then we have attached some kind of negative emotional state to the thing that we want to do. Does that make sense?

GEORGE: Yeah.

KYLIE: Yeah. So we want to go towards a goal and it's… unconsciously you're like, “I want to do this thing, I want to do this presentation.” But somewhere in your unconscious mind, beneath the surface of the water, if you think of the classic iceberg metaphor, your unconscious mind is like all of the bit that's underneath the water. Underneath the water then there might be some kind of belief or negative association with the thing that you want to do.

And it's like consciously you're trying to move forward but got the handbrake on, right? You're accelerating, but you've got the handbrake on. So there's this kind of weird like, “Oh, oh, oh, I feel stuck,” because consciously you want to move forward, but unconsciously your body is sending you signals that it's not safe.

And so it's distracting you with all sorts of other things to do like buying a new monitor or procrastinate cleaning, all sorts of different things. “Oh, there's so many things to do in the house,” when I have something that I'm avoiding. That gives you a bit of a baseline understanding of why that happens.

And it's usually, it can be traced back to some related experience that created a negative impact or a negative decision, right? Where you thought, “Hey, it's actually not safe to do this.” Or, “This creates a negative outcome for me in some way.”

And sometimes the relationships can be quite obscure, like maybe showing your parents a piece of art when you're a kid and they go, “Oh, I'm busy now.” And the kid could take that to mean that their work is not worthy, or that their stuff doesn't matter, or their voice isn't important.

There's all sorts of different deep rabbit holes in our mind from various formative experiences and everybody goes through it, right? Everybody has these things. No one is immune to it. A lot of the times we don't realize that those things are in there until we try to do something and find ourselves getting stuck or spinning our wheels.

GEORGE: All right. There's a few things I'd like to ask from that. Obviously the first thing is, how do you develop the awareness of actually, right this is happening, but then exploring also that… you mentioned there is a negative emotion attached to it and then we'll explore how these things are coming up in today's climate with the situation we're facing right now.

Just because it's a good example, I guess just to base our conversation on, in my case of yesterday where I was procrastinating. The outcome that I'm striving for I know is an outcome that creates impact and it's going to do a lot of good for a lot of people. When you say there's a negative emotion attached to it, is that maybe, yeah. Is that like maybe there's a fear attached there somewhere, a fear of how this is going to be perceived or is this going to be good enough or something…?

KYLIE: Yeah. It's like if you think of it like a balance. A balance of scales, right? You've got, there's the positive future that you want to make an impact, you want to do good in the world, you want to… it's going to have a positive effect on your clients and their clients and all of that.

But it can also have, “Oh well, maybe someone might think that what I did wasn't very good. Or maybe someone might think I'm being salesy, or sleazy, or selling in this particular climate.” Right? And that's… there's a desire for impact, but it sounds like there might also be a fear of judgment that's playing out on the scales. Right? There's often positive and negative associations with anything that we want to do.

Like every… as martial artists, I would imagine that you guys are pretty familiar with the concept of Yin and Yang and push and pull and positive and negative that everything has that kind of synthesis or holism – there is positive and negative in everything. And even if you're trying to do something positive, there is also potentially a negative impact that happens with that. And so it depends on what you're focused on and what that triggers within you and your personal experience about how you relate to it.

GEORGE: All right, great. Before we get into how to deal with things in today's climate, I was having a conversation yesterday with one of our Partner members and we were talking about, this is the time for leadership. This is… everything that you've been taught in martial arts, resilience, discipline, if there was ever a battle that you're facing, this is the one.

You got to show your leadership and be an example. But then how do you do that if you've got your own fears? It's almost like am I faking it? Where do we go to find that inner strength? And then I guess to tie it back into the conversation up to now is, how do we find that awareness of what is causing us to think in that way? Because yeah, what is causing us to look at the negative side and not really the positive and going… not leading?

Kylie Ryan mindset coachKYLIE: Yeah, exactly. Okay. When I think about leadership, right? Leaders get to go first. Leaders are leaders because they're the ones that go first, right? And you can lead… it doesn't necessarily mean that you're up the front as the flag bearer. You might be a leader that's going first from the back and going, “Come on guys, let's do this.” Right?

But you're the… Leaders are the ones that go first. And of course every… I find that every time I step into a new level of leadership there is an initiation. Right? And just like going through the different belt levels in martial arts, there is a test that we must go through and move through in order to attain the sense of victory that allows you to lead others through that particular level. It's like, “Hey, I've been through this myself. Let's go. I can show you the path.”

And you get to show others the path because you have walked that path yourself and you have earned that victory. You have earned that right to then say, “Hey, I can help you through this. I have some wisdom, or skills, or ideas that can help you through.”

To just ease everyone's mind that is feeling fear and uncertainty themselves, everyone is facing that right now across the globe, which is really unprecedented that there have been pandemics and epidemics before but we've never had the level of interconnectedness of communication to really know what our brothers and sisters are feeling on the other side of the planet. To have this rampant experience of media and potentially even fear mongering in the media that is putting all of this information in our heads.

The first initiation is for us as leaders to be able to find our center, try and make it as relatable as possible in terms of martial arts, if you have… and I'm not a martial arts expert, so please forgive me if I make mistakes with the metaphors, but if you have people coming from every angle, right, and you have attacks coming from every angle in terms of information, or loss of clients, or loss of income and relates as I've got blows coming at me from every side.

I would imagine that, and you can correct me if I'm wrong, but I would imagine that the key part of being able to deal with all of those different attacks is to be able to find your own center, right? To be able to find your own center and start to expand your vision, expand your consciousness so that you can start to perceive things almost before they're happening.

So that you can perceive, “Oh, there's someone that's pulling back to throw a punch over there. I can start to perceive with a wider lens than just my internal state.” I don't know if that's right or not. So starting to go into that inner world and going, “Okay, if I find my center, my center of balance, my center of gravity, my internal state of going, okay, if I can find peace in here internally.”

That's the first step to bring yourself into a state of calm, or peace, or if we want to think about it nervous system wise, from sympathetic to parasympathetic, like if we're in an overdriven chronic sympathetic state of going, “Oh,” these attacks on all sides, these chronic anxiety, then the first step is to start to bring our bodies back into calm.

And the simplest hack to do that, which has been taught by sages and mystics and teachers for many millennia, is to take control of the autonomic nervous system by taking control of the breath. Right? That's the one thing that you can take control of that doesn't require a mental shift, but it's almost like a bio hack to go in and go sympathetic in-breath, parasympathetic out-breath, right?

And the more that we can just hack our nervous systems back into calm, then it's almost like telling your body, “It's okay. Right now you're safe, right now you're safe.”

And I think what's so disconcerting for people these days is the disconnect between like you walk outside… I walk outside just before and stand in my backyard and the sun is shining, the birds are singing, it looks like paradise, right? Everything seems like it's totally normal. And so there's this weird disconnect between the present moment that actually is, where to most of us things are okay.

Or there's no creditors knocking at your door right this second and the sense of impending danger. There's this invisible sense of impending danger, right? There's no zombies knocking at your door and trying to pull your eyes out.

But there is this sense of an invisible danger, and the invisible danger is living in our minds. And it's… it is a real danger. It is a real threat. But it's almost like we're creating this chronic sense of anxiety that's putting our bodies into this state of stress.

For me the first step with any… for any leader or anyone at all is to… right, to bring up bodies back into calm and every… all of the mindset training that I've done over many, many years, it's allowing ourselves to come back into the present moment because fear only exists when we're projecting our mind out into the future, right?

It's like we were imagining some kind of negative future and going, “From this moment here, I'm imagining that I wouldn't be able to pay my mortgage and my house is going to get foreclosed and what if… what's going to happen then? What if, what if, what if, what if, what it would?” And you can go into this awful spiral of what is trying to chess play your way through every possible scenario. And that's a really dangerous habit to fall into because so many of the variables are shifting every second, right?

And so it's impossible to know what all of the right steps are to do six months from now, three months from now. It's really about, I believe that this situation is an opportunity for us to be initiated as a global civilization to come back into a sense of center, to be reminded of our power that exists in the present moment and to come back into our hearts and take the next right step.

In uncertain times where things are changing, the only thing you can do, and the only thing that you can really be certain of is, “Okay, I'm here at this moment. My feet are on the ground. I can feel my heartbeat, I can take a breath, my body's still working. I still have the capacity to think and move and communicate. Okay, from this moment, what is the next right step? From this moment.”

And I think it's a real opportunity for every one of us to return to the present moment because many of us have lived in… and live in this kind of perpetual state of future pacing. Like, “Oh, I must get this, I've got to do that. I've got my goals, I'm moving here. I'm going there.

I've got to set like…” to-do lists and get charts and projections and what boards and simultaneously going, “Well, this is how it used to be,” or, “It's not as good as it used to be,” or, “I'm better than I used to be,” but very little, very few of us re really spend time in the present moment. And the present moment is where your flow lives, right?

When you allow yourself to drop into that state of presence, you can start to tap into that intelligent field that allows you to flow with the present environment, right? And allows you to step into the state where you know the next right move because you've dropped all of the mental preconceptions and you're just in the moment.

GEORGE: All right. Perfect. I love that. So really looking at… This is a process before making decisions, right? Like really, let's ground ourselves. Let's just bring ourselves to calm. Take a couple of breaths-

KYLIE: Take a couple of breaths, get yourself into a calm state. No good decisions are made from a stressed state, because any decision you make in a stressed state is going to only ever be reactive, right? You're going to be reacting to the blow rather than going, “Okay, from my center, where do I want to head? What's the next right step?”

GEORGE: That's so good. Okay, cool. All right. I've got a few things I want to ask, but what do feel would be the next best topic to discuss from that point?

KYLIE: From that point? Okay, I think there's an opportunity to make this relevant in terms of what's happening right now, but I'm happy to like, you know your people and you know what… where they're at and what they need. So I trust your questions George.

GEORGE: Perfect. Okay. If I bring things back to current. Right now, what a lot of martial arts school owners are facing is number one, they'd had to just make a 100% pivot. For most, you're either online or you're not a business. And I've been saying this to my clients, “Well, as of today, you are actually an online business.”

KYLIE: Everyone's online. Yeah.

GEORGE: That's what you have now.

KYLIE: Yeah.

GEORGE: It's been a real interesting time because a lot of students that are paying club fees are really happy to continue paying club fees and doing that because they're grateful for what they have in the community and the environment of the martial arts school. The concern number one would be, “Yep, that's great. But then at what point does that… is that not great? How long would people do that if there were real consequences?” And look, we definitely don't focus on the worst outcome, but definitely be prepared.

KYLIE: You've got to be prepared for it, right? You've got to know, “Okay, what's my next… what's the greatest threat and what could I potentially do to mitigate that for sure?”

GEORGE: That's been… the big focus was right, let's retain. Now that we've pulled a lot of our clients, we've got the retain part in control now it's, “Okay, well, how are we going to develop this model from here on?” And I think this is where the money mindset really takes a cave. I can't say I'm 100% aligned with it, but there were a few top people in the industry that announced that they were cutting all their fees and they'll see them in a couple of months and I think it's great if you're able to do that.

What I was concerned about is that there was a long message saying I can't do that. That there's some sort of nobility and ethics involved by not charging and potentially going broke, which is catastrophic. I had a conversation yesterday with someone who was saying, “Well, I'm going to provide all this online stuff, but I'm going to do it as a sense of goodwill and I'm not going to charge.”

And my concern was, “Well, is that really what people need?” Because I'm sure they're still going to go to Dan Murphy's maybe, or like, “Oh, are you really doing them the favor of not committing financially?” One of the cases I'm really getting to here is dealing with money mindset. How do you deal with being okay still actually asking for money during a time like this without feeling the, “I'm taking advantage of people.”

KYLIE: A hundred percent. But I would imagine that a lot of people that get into martial arts work have the sense of wanting to help the community, wanting to help… starting with maybe helping themselves and growing in strength and capabilities and then wanting to help others in the community. So there's a sense of giving, of helping, of caring.

And I work a lot with healers and coaches, and there's a similar mindset of like, “I'm someone that helps people get better.” Right? The challenge with… I guess the obstacle with that is that we can easily… some can easily fall into the mindset or the archetype of the wounded healer or the rescuer. Right?

KYLIE: And this is where… This is a simple model that comes from transactional analysis, a guy called Stephen Karpman developed it and it's basically just a triangle. If you imagine a triangle with the point at the bottom. And the point at the bottom, so it's… looks like a V. Right?

And the point at the bottom is the victim. And when there is a victim and in… and so there's the victim and then there is the aggressor on one side or the bully that's creating the havoc. And then there is the rescuer on the other side or the master. And when we are in situations like this where we're facing a collective drama, there is this aggressor that's happening in terms of the virus is one of the things that's being painted as the aggressor that's causing all of the economy to shut down.

Some people are saying the government is one of the aggressors, or people that's forcing people to shut down, or maybe their direct debit company is aggressively shutting everything down. There are many different potential bullies or aggressors in this dynamic.

And then there's the victim, right? If that's happening, then we can fall into going, “Oh, I'm the victim here as the business owner because my business is shut down. Things that are outside of my control now.” And now when you're in that victim state, it feels like if the power lives outside of you, right?

The power lives with the aggressor. And the aggressor being the virus, or the government, or the economy. And the power belongs outside of you. And when the power belongs outside of you, that's a dangerous place to be because you're at the mercy of whatever that outside aggressor is that you're seeing as the aggressor.

And that's not to say that those things aren't challenging. They absolutely are. And they absolutely exist. And a part of the initiations, right? The levels that one goes through from victim to victorious… to victory, is by passing through a challenge or an initiation. And the victim feels powerless and only gains power by moving through a particular trial and taking a level of responsibility, and taking a level of ownership, and taking a level of assertiveness, and going, “You know what? I'm going to do this anyway.

I'm going to move forward.” And they gain a level of victory. That's how the victor starts to move forward and gain strength and capacity and power to start to move forward.

The other side of the scale is that if we have been a victim, then we often have a level of compassion and wanting to help people that we see as victims, right? And we might see people out in the community and go, “Oh my God, all of my students have… or some of my students, or the parents of my students have lost their jobs.

They now don't have any money. Now they've got to look after their kids at home. Oh my God.” You maybe as the business owner might step into the feeling of the rescuer and wanting to rescue people out there in the community because you're seeing them as victims.

And that's because it's much easier. Out of those three archetypes, the victim, the aggressor and the rescuer, the one that feels the best to be in is the rescuer, right? Firefighters, police, rescuers, true rescuers are pinnacled and admired in our society and people can fall into this desire to be the rescuer, but the dark side of the rescuer is that when you're being a rescuer that's not in a dire life or death situation, obviously sometimes there are times when people genuinely need rescuing and this is not necessarily one of those times, although it may be in some cases.

But overall when we see people as victims and we go, “Well, none of my students can pay and I'm going to give everything away for free,” then you're falling into the shadow side of the rescuer by going, “I am now seeing all of my students as victims because I don't believe that they have the capacity to pay me for my… in fair exchange for my value and my wisdom and my help.”

That's where it's like, “Hang on. You're not actually helping them by seeing them as victims here,” because people don't need to be seen as victims. They need to be given the opportunity and the strength and the support to rise up, and for them to become leaders of their own lives. And the only way for people to… or one of the best ways for people to move from being a victim into being a sovereign being, a leader of their own lives, is for someone to lead them and give them the support and the inspiration.

You go, “No, you have what it takes. You have this within you. I see your greatness. I see your capacity.” That's from a symbolic perspective, but from a practical perspective that might look like, “Okay, I know that there are some people in our community that are experiencing extreme financial hardship. If that's you and you want to continue to be a part of our services, reach out and we can have a conversation.”

Kylie Ryan mindset coachFor everybody else who really wants to invest in moving forward. In this cocoon time, I've reframed quarantine to cocoon time. And I suggest you do the same, right? I think it's quite useful to go, “Okay, we're all cocooned in our homes now.

This is an opportunity for us to transform. This is an opportunity for us to inform our minds with information that supports us to move forward, that supports us to get stronger.” So limiting your media, limiting your fear based panic news and starting to inform yourself with positive things or inform yourself with online classes, that is a really useful and productive use of your time.

And I think there's an opportunity for martial arts schools and martial arts leaders and business owners to step up and say, “Hey, I am a community leader here. I'm going to run online group classes in place of where my live in person classes were,” and we're all going to be together on a screen. We're going to be doing it together. Maybe the class is priced slightly differently because maybe there's… it's a different situation.

But I think there is still an investment that is required because when people pay, they pay attention. When people pay, they pay attention. And there is going to be a flood and a plethora of free information out as there always is on the internet.

And so there's this opportunity for people to pay and continue to be invested in their leader, in their mentor, a lot of people, they look up to their martial arts teacher as a mentor, as a leader in times of trouble, and so there's an opportunity for you to show up as a leader for your people and inspire them to greatness, inspire them to get through the challenges.

GEORGE: I like that. When people pay, they pay attention-

KYLIE: When people pay, they pay attention.

GEORGE: And I'm just going to bring into context to our industry, right? When we do marketing for martial arts schools, we… There's two sorts of this. We got what we call a free trial and a paid trial. Now, a free trial is typically a good thing when there's intent, people search on Google and they go and find you and they had some intent.

When we focus on Facebook marketing, for the most part, it's better to have a paid trial because it's interaction marketing and you can establish some value behind the paid thing, behind the paid trial. People are actually paying to participate, in a fraction. But in the bigger consensus, I think the majority of school owners would agree with me that that creates a better student.

Now just to bring it back to this context exactly the same. Right? If people pay, they are paying attention. I don't think it's a wise thing to give away everything for free because if people aren't paying, it's going to be a lot easier to disconnect when there's a screen and I'm at home and I can switch it off and I can swap it to Netflix.

KYLIE: Yeah. Now more than ever we need engagement and we need investment. Yes, there's a sense of shock and there's a sense of panic and that happens obviously when radical changes occur, but that will settle after a period of time, one to two weeks and people will start to get over the shock and panic of it and they'll go, “Oh, okay, we're starting to settle into this new normal way we just live at home.” But… And then those goals that you had before and those needs and the community desires are all still there. All of those needs for community, and certainty, and growth, and leadership, and family, and connection are all still there.

And there's an opportunity for martial arts schools, for dance schools, for any kind of school where people used to go every day, or a couple of times a week, or once a week and they had this experience of a third place, whether that's their gym, or their martial arts school, homework, third place, whatever that third place is. And I see martial arts schools as one of these third places.

There is an opportunity for you as martial arts leaders and teachers to keep that third place open in an online space. They need that third place more than ever because we're all stuck in our own houses, so it's like we need that third place to inspire us, to connect us, to keep us moving for physical health and well-being, for mental health and well-being.

There is going to be a massive mental health crisis that comes on the back of this. Once we get through this period of the corona virus situation, there is going to be a massive mental health crisis that comes off the back of it. I think there's an opportunity for all community leaders to step in and give their communities a really strong flag in the sand and go, “Hey guys, let's rally around this.

Let's keep moving forward. Let's keep on in uncertain times. Here we go. In uncertain times, certainty matters. In uncertain times, certainty matters. Certainty is a life raft.”

And so there was certainty in your students coming to your classes. There was certainty in your students coming to your school, they got certainty out of it just as much as you got certainty out of it. And in this new situation, they need that certainty in that connection, in that community more than ever. More than ever.

And if it means that you go, “Okay, we're going to do a community 6:00 AM, or 6:00 PM, or whatever time suits you and your people, we're going to do a community class and it's every single day now. And I'm going to show up and we're going to do our martial arts training together. And I'm going to give you pointers on the video.” Right?

I think there's an opportunity to be a lot of certainty and to be a lot of leadership. And that's required of us. And it's required of all leaders on the community level, as well as the global level. And a lot of times we're looking at our leaders and going, “They're not providing assurance, they're not providing certainty, they're not giving good plans.”

And every time we look outside of ourselves and go, “They're not doing that.” Okay, that may be true, but how can we do that in our communities? How can we build a lot of leadership in our communities in our own way too? Like Gandhi said, to be the change we want to see in the world.

If we want to see more certainty than we need to be more certain in the value that we deliver and that it is useful and valid and worthy of investment and fair exchange, there's a real opportunity to step up and also to ask for a fair exchange around that because it is valuable and it is important.

GEORGE: Kylie, thank you so much.

KYLIE: I'm an evangelist.

GEORGE: I love it. I love your message and like I said in the beginning, I just love to talk to interesting people and sometimes it's for my own insight and I'm sure anybody listening to this will get so much value out of that.

KYLIE: Thank you. Yeah.

GEORGE: And even if there was some doubt in things that you were thinking and reaffirming those thoughts and knowing that, “Hey, this is just your opportunity to lead and just really step in that space because people need you more than ever.”

KYLIE: Yeah. It's true. And it's like… it doesn't mean that those emotions aren't there. And it doesn't mean that those emotions have to be gone in order to step into leadership. But a part of the initiation is feeling those emotions, allowing yourself to feel them and then moving forward, anyway.

GEORGE: Like you said, leaders go first.

KYLIE: Leaders go first. Leaders go first. Yeah. What a pleasure George.

GEORGE: Kylie, thank you so much. Is there anything we could do for you? If anybody gets… who's listening, what can we do to just be thankful for what you've just shared with us?

KYLIE: Ah, thanks guys. Well, I have a lot of resources and mindset videos and trainings on my website mymindcoach.com.au and if there's anything that you liked from here and you'd like to hear more, then you can go ahead and find my Facebook page and stay tuned for updates or share one of the resources that you found useful.

I've got videos on alleviating anxiety, I've got a free group that I linked to on my Facebook page that gives out more training and free meditations and things to help the community. And I also have mind coach training for those who want to go deeper into learning about this and how to step up as a leader in My Mind Coach Academy. If you're interested in that, reach out and we can have a chat and yeah, look forward to serving the community in deeper and deeper ways.

GEORGE: Thank you so much Kylie, and we'll have all those links in the show notes as well.

KYLIE: Awesome.

GEORGE: Thank you so much.

KYLIE: It's my pleasure George. Speak to you guys soon.

Awesome. Thanks for listening. If you want to connect with other top and smart martial arts school owners, and have a chat about marketing, lead generation, what's working now, or just have a gentle rant about things that are happening in the industry, then I want to invite you to join our Facebook group

It's a private Facebook group and in there, I share a lot of extra videos and downloads and worksheets – the things that are working for us when we help school owners grow and share a couple of video interviews and a bunch of cool extra resources.

So it's called the Martial Arts Media Business Community and an easy way to access it is, if you just go to the domain named martialartsmedia.group, so martialaartsmedia.group, g-r-o-u-p, there's no .Com or anything, martialartsmedia.group. That will take you straight there. Request to join and I will accept your invitation.

Thanks – I'll speak to you on the next episode – cheers!

 

Here are 3 ways we can help scale your school right now.

1. Join the Martial Arts Media community.

It's our new Facebook community where martial arts school owners get to ask questions about online marketing and get access to training videos that we don't share elsewhere – Click Here.

2. Join the Martial Arts Media Academy and become a Case Study.

I'm working closely with a group of martial arts school owners this month. If you'd like to work with me to help you grow your martial arts school, message me with the word ‘Case Study'.

3. Work with me and my team privately.

If you would like to work with me and my team to scale your school to the next level, then message me with the word ‘private'… tell me a little about your business and what you would like to work on together and I'll get you all the details.

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93 – Strategies From a High Performance Salon Coach To Pivot Your Martial Arts Business

Jason Everett, a high-performance salon coach, shares 3 main pillars to take advantage of with your martial arts business during uncertain times.

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IN THIS EPISODE, YOU WILL LEARN: 

  • The 3 key strategies to implement before you pivot your martial arts business
  • Why you should double down on coaching
  • The hidden opportunity all martial arts school owners have right now
  • How to use your Facebook community to strengthen relationships with your students and instructors
  • And more

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

TRANSCRIPTION

Now the question is, if you're being tested right now, how do you show up to be tested? Are you going to double down? Are you going to get more coaching education, understand more about your business and get lit up and on fire for what you're doing? Or are you going to be like, “Well, I guess we'll just shut this thing down and I'm going to go on vacation for a few weeks and come back.”

GEORGE: Hey, this is George Fourie and welcome to the Martial Arts Media Business Podcast. The first live Martial Arts Media Business Podcast, and… 

JASON: Wow man, that's exciting. First live. 

GEORGE: First live, and I've got a really awesome guest here today. Now, Jason Everett is not a martial artist, but- 

JASON: I'm not. I'm not afraid of some martial arts though, let's be clear. I think it's amazing. I'm just not very good at any of them. 

GEORGE: Here's why I'm bringing Jason on. So, first up he brings good energy. Good energy, a wealth of knowledge and he's in a completely opposite industry, but facing challenges way more than any martial arts school owner is right now. 

JASON: Probably true, probably true. 

GEORGE: And so let me just hand it over to Jason. If you could just give us a quick couple of minutes, who you are, what you do and we'll go from there. 

JASON: Yeah. Well first of all man, thanks for doing this and what you do for martial arts studio owners is extraordinary. I mean I know you do some incredible work for them and I would just say to you guys as a community, now more than ever you need what George is doing. And I say that because I just have seen inside our own group and because I run a group of salon owners. 

So basically what I do is I work inside the salon, spa, beauty industry, barber shops all over the world to help them to increase the amount of take home income that they have, to grow their staff, to grow in locations and to really start creating wealth in their lives for salons. And the reason why I do that is that only 7% of salons actually make a profit, 20% of them are breaking even and the rest of them actually go backwards to go to work every single day. 

So if you run a martial arts studio or a dojo or whatever you would call your place that you operate, is that if you could imagine trying to run your business and knowing that only 7% make money, that's pretty crazy, right? So salon owners very often, like for you guys in the martial arts industry, they love what they do but they're not always the best business owners. Right?

And I know that's very true and the reason why I say that… so I work with these salon owners all over the world. I've worked a lot in the corporate space with the salon and spa industry and I've done tons of work there, but I want you to know my background is actually… I come from being a dance instructor.

I was a ballroom dance instructor over 20 plus years ago and I've worked in outside sales, I've worked in advertising and marketing and all these different arenas. And the reason why I say that is because martial arts, dance instructors, even a hairdresser, all those things, those are very hands-on professions, right? 

So if you think about the massage industry, you physically touch people. You guys might… I was going to say I'm going to make a karate joke about chopping them, but you know what I'm saying? The idea is that you guys are a hands-on industry. Gyms, dojos, all these places are very hands on and so when they say, “Hey, social distancing. Please do me a favor and don't ever touch anybody again,” or at least for 30, 60, 90 days or into the future, this whole idea of ‘don't touch your people’ becomes a very big challenge, especially for our clients.

We have salon owners all over the world, and by the way if you can relate to any of this, do me a favor and comment in the comment section below and say relate, because I want to know if you guys are connecting with this and it's helping you. But this idea is as soon as in the US and probably 90% of our clients have now completely shut down, they can't run any sort of business.

And like George and I were talking before, you guys, if you really want to, you could run martial arts classes online right now and it's really hard for a salon owner to say, “Okay, take out that really crappy pair of scissors in your drawer and take your hair, hold it up and let's go to town.” That's not going to happen, but you guys have a unique opportunity right now to pivot and to change some of your business model, even though it's going to be probably like a baby deer trying to walk on ice for the very first time, you at least have the opportunity to still maintain your income. 

I was just on the phone and hope it's okay for me to tell you this. I was just on the phone, literally about five minutes before this with a friend of mine who still owns a dance studio. The guy, one of my good friends, he's been my best friend for over 25 years, he owns a dance studio and I was watching him in his living room teach classes.

He had his phone up and he had his iPhone and he had the lights up and his wife is walking around showing me he's teaching lessons on Zoom and I was like, “You go man, that's awesome.” He's still teaching private lessons in his house and walking around and dancing and showing people what to do. 

So I guess background, but the other thing I would just say is would you guys please do me a favor and not get discouraged? Because when we look at what's happening right now, I just believe it's a test for you to decide, do you have really the chops that you need to have as a business owner to make it in a really tough time, or are you going to be one of those people who throws in the towel quits and says, “Forget it, I'm out of here. I guess I better go get a job doing what I've always loved, being a garbage man.”

Which is probably not any of you, but I'm just saying that's the choice you get to make here and the universe hands you this choice and it's asking you to step up and I love George, you're doing so much to serve these people and really help them and grow the community because the community needs to be tighter than it's ever been before. 

GEORGE: Jason, so you're talking about having chops. I'd love to know what are you doing to inspire your clients because there is not really plan B. So what do you actually- 

JASON: There's not really a plan B. There's one little plan B. The only little plan B that's going on right now is a lot of our clients very quickly pivoted and they're doing what's called root rescue, which they're giving… They're doing hair dye, because a lot of people come in and get the hair dyed or blow dried and all the other services, so they're actually still selling retail products because people still are on video calls.

You've got to make your hair look good. People still have their roots growing out, they have all these other services, so we do have some clients who are able to go in and do some very basic Amazon style. Sell some products and half come out of their business. But we're talking to people about literally laying off their entire workforce except for some key employees and making it through. 

So, here's what we're doing from a strategy standpoint. There are three main pillars that we're talking about with all of our salon owners. Number one, you need to be able to stabilize what the heck is going on. You need to be able to stabilize your team, stabilize your business, decide what can I stop paying for? What can't I stop paying for?

And we were really clear is that we said, “Look, you've got to stop paying for things that you don't need right now and double down on the things that you do need.” In fact, I have doubled all of my coaching sessions with every single one of my coaches in the group that we're in. 

I just upgraded them now going to the board room group, which costs me twice as much money to do what I'm doing. And I'm doubling down on the amount of mental health and strategy that I'm getting as a professional. I'm asking my clients to do the same thing, but I'm telling my clients, because they're not closing, I'm like, “Look, I'm going to go…” We normally provide inside any given month for our clients, we do two webinars a week and we do a destination training once every four months.

I was like, ah that ain't going to cut it, so I literally started doing every morning at 6:00 AM, we're doing mindset calls. So Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday I do a mindset call at 6:00 AM. I have called in every personal favor that I have with every one of the highest profile, coolest friends that I have, to come in and jump on that call. And we've actually been doing that for over two weeks now. We're in our second week of doing that and it's actually second week plus. 

So we're doubling down and I'm like, “Look, we're running a call every day, plus we're running our Monday call and we're running our Wednesday call.” And our group is on fire because they're talking every day and people are sharing, here's what I'm doing, here's what I'm doing, here's what I'm doing.

And so if you're not engaged in the Facebook community that I'm sure George has, make sure that you're sharing what the best ever practices are because that thing that you might not think a big idea, what's happening in our group right now, is people are sharing an idea and then it's snowballing.

So one gal said, “Hey I'm doing this root rescue thing,” and this other gal said, “I'm using baby food containers to fill up hair color,” and then this other gal said, “I got on TV,” and this other guy… So they're one upping each other on all these cool things that they're doing and the whole group is elevating in spirits and in ideals and all those things. 

And in addition to doing all of that, I'm literally doing daily lives. Anybody who calls to ask, I'm doing a live with them. I'm also bringing them on my shows and doing everything I can to make sure that every single day people are encouraged, because in a world where everyone is discouraged, there needs to be more encouragement. I'm just on that path, trying to be as encouraging as possible because hell yeah, it's hard, but this is where business owners are made or broken. 

I don't know about you guys, but you guys are martial arts guys, right? You know you got to break people down sometimes to build them back up. This is just the world breaking you down. It's just saying, do you have what it takes? Are you that business owner that's going to rise to the occasion and do something extraordinary, or are you going to remain an ordinary business owner? 

Because ordinary business owners, ordinary martial artists… you know, I'm like a loser martial artist. I've had a couple of sessions. My dad used to be big into Tai Chi and we used to do all kinds of stuff and I've done some karate, but I'm just like a baby junior cub scout, right?

I've had some exposure. I can't imagine that every single one of the owners that is in your program is not an absolute consummate professional, expert, award-winning champion tournament winning expert.

So now the question is, if you're being tested right now, how do you show up to be tested? Are you going to double down? Are you going to get more coaching and education and understand more about your business and get lit up and on fire for what you're doing? Or are you going to be like, “Well I guess we'll just shut this thing down and I'm going to go on vacation for a few weeks and come back.” 

So, I was in my list and then I just started ranting, sorry. So I went into… The first thing we're doing is we're teaching how to stabilize, stabilize is number one, right? Stabilize what's happening in your business. Number two, you've got to get organized. You've got to organize what are you going to do between now and when you can open?

And by the way, that might be 30, 60 or 90 days. I'm hoping it's more towards the 30 or less, but let's assume it's 90. Even if it's 90 freaking days, you can survive 90 days. You got this. I'm not even worried about you. 

So we talk about how you get bridge financing? How do you borrow what you can from the bank? And hopefully you'll get some given by the government, we'll see. But borrow what you can, survive on what you can. Go down to your bare minimal staff.

And then third, I just want to say this, because this is the part that I'm the most excited about and it changes my mindset every time I think about it. The other side of this is going to be the greatest transfer of wealth in our entire lives. 

I don't think people get this, is that right now all of the crappy martial arts owners are going to go back and get jobs as garbage men, we already talked about that. But the martial arts studio owners that pivot to online quickly, they call up every one of their students and say, “Look, we have trained you for battle every single day of your entire life, it's time to battle with us. Here's what we're going to do.

And even though the battle's not a physical battle, it's a mental battle. Here's what we're doing to keep you sharp until you can come back into class with us.” That's just totally a different positioning, right?

You've got your kids at home? You need to be more prepared. You've got your wife on you every single minute of every single day? Even more prepared. It is more time for you to get that discipline dialed into your brain. So get up early, stay up late, do whatever we've got to do and your job is to be that bright spot, the keeper of the light for every single one of your clients. And if you become that keeper of the light for them, every single one of them will remember what you did for them when they were struggling. 

You won't keep everybody, but you will keep a lot. And the ones that you keep focused will stay addicted to you, and that is where you've got to capitalize. I said the third thing, right? Stabilize, organize, capitalize. That is where they will become addicted to you and they will be able to grow. They will be able to flourish and you will come back even stronger and even better. You'll just have better looking muscles when you come out of this thing. So anyway, I know I'm just going off here, but I hope it's helpful George. You've got to let me know if I'm on the right track.

GEORGE: Yeah man, it's totally awesome and what you're saying is just being collective in a group where you've got this energy. I've been talking to our Partners group the last couple of days and every time we map out this plan, it's just evolving because there's no script for it. 

JASON: There's no script for any of us, bro. That's the good news. Nobody's got the damn script. There's nobody who has the advantage right now, and I think I've said this the other day on another show. Super, super important. What I know is that if you and I were going to go into a martial art show showdown, because you have a martial arts background, right? 

GEORGE: Yeah. 

JASON: Yeah. I don't have a salon owner background, just so you know. But you have a martial arts background. If you and I were going to step into an arena and we were going to have a physical battle, I know you would kick my ass. I have no doubts in my mind. You know enough to hurt me very badly, I have no doubt, right?

But here's the thing, the cool thing is you're going through something you've never been through before. I'm going through something I've never been through before. Everybody else out there is going through something else they've never been through before. And here's why I'm not scared for a second. Okay? Is that when everything is equal, I know I will outwork everyone. 

GEORGE: Nice. 

JASON: That's it. I just know I will outwork you. I will outperform you. I will out-knowledge you. I will outperform everything because I've been practicing for the most random crap ever in life. I've been smacked in the face. I've been fired before. I've been in all these other scenarios that I've had no money in my bank account. I know how to build back from zero.

And I've said before, if somebody took away my entire business, could I build it back? My answer was hell yes. So it's not some one taking it away, it's some random thing that may or may not take away. 

But if I had to rebuild it all again… let's say my whole life got reset in 90 days, I'll just rebuild it again and I'd rebuild it a hell of a lot faster than the first time I built it. You know what I mean? If I've got to move in with my parents, then I move in with my parents. It's never going to happen, but I'm just saying if I had to, I'll do whatever it takes, man. My job is to provide for my family, provide for the people who rely on me, and I'll do whatever it takes to make sure I make it out right on the other side. 

GEORGE: I just want to repeat what you just said, because if any school owner, if you're thinking you had competition, you don't have it right now. The playing field has just gone level and nobody is… Yeah, someone might have a few more resources than you, but the playing field is equal and if you can rise up and step it up, you're going to come out of this a lot better than you were a couple of months ago. 

JASON: Yeah. And by the way you guys, do me a favor if you're on this live or if you're watching later, type in what is the thing you're connecting with the most right now. What's the piece that's firing you up? Because my assumption is that when I get on the phone and I talk to anybody, I'm going to fire some people up and I always want to be in that spot, right?

I want to get something inside your core to get pissed off so that you do something. Is it like, “Damn, why is this guy more fired up than I am?” Or like, “Why is he saying that I'm going to be the loser who gets wiped out on the other side of this?” Because what would you say in a martial arts environment? Step into a ring, an arena, an octagon, what are we talking about here? What would you say? Step into a what? 

GEORGE: Step on the mat. Step on the ring. Step in the octagon. 

JASON: Step on the mat, step in the ring. 

GEORGE: Yup. 

JASON: Here's what I would say. If you step on the mat or step in the ring, you know that your mindset either takes you out or lifts you up before you step on that mat. The problem is everybody's standing on the mat with the wrong damn mindset right now.

Oh no, this unknown thing that we have no control over is going to take us out, and it's like, just because it's an unknown and it's like this is an opponent I've never faced before. No shit, so is everybody else. Everybody else hasn't dealt with it either. 

And I don't know about you man, but I just have always felt in my entire life, every day I… and it sounds cheesy, but every day is a gift. You've heard that before, right? But I really do believe this, is that I really thought that every single day I could walk out the door and get hit by a bus, take me out.

I just believed that that could happen at any point in time, so here's what I know, is if my gift is to be able to breathe life into other people by helping them understand that they are way more capable than anything they've ever thought possible, right? Everybody's had that taste of like, “Oh, I could be better at this.” Everybody's had that taste, and every time you do something, you get better and you get better and you get better. 

So we all have this gift to be able to improve and get better. Since we were little children, we've all improved, gotten better, and gotten better and gotten better, and we've done this acceleration. So there's room for every single person to get better. And what I know is that my gift is helping people realize that they're capable of way more than they are right now.

And if I didn't get hit by a bus this morning and I'm still freaking here, I got more to do. So if I have one conversation in my life, right? If I have a conversation with you and it prevents you from… I'm talking to you one day, we're casually walking down the street and you go to step out in front of a bus and I grab your shoulder and pull you back and I saved your life. 

Whether it's literally mentally or physically or whatever, and I'm on my purpose for what I should be done to do, and I get taken up that day in whatever capacity I get taken up in, then dude I lived the best life I could possibly live, but every day that I get to wake up and breathe, it's another opportunity for me to help one more person.

Maybe there's only one person that watches this whole show and they're like, “Holy crap, that changed everything for me.” Dude, that's why I did it. I'm 100%. 

But I'm hoping it's going to be more like 20 or 40 or 100 or 5,000 or whoever the hell wants to listen because you deserve to know that you're capable of way more and every single one of you is, I'm sure more of a bad ass physically, mentally and emotionally than I am. I'm sure.

I have no doubt in my mind because of how disciplined you are. Discipline for me is one of the hardest things, but don't let your discipline down right now in this moment. This is when you should be… This is when your discipline is getting tested. This is the ultimate test for your discipline that you guys apply every single day. 

GEORGE: Love your energy. Anything else? I want to be respectful of your time as well. I know you're a busy guy. 

JASON: Yeah, we've got a lot going on. But dude, yeah… I mean, what do you think would be the most helpful thing that I could share? Or in your mind, what question do you think…? If you had to pretend that you knew every single mind of every single one of your school owners and businesses that you work with, what do you think they really need to know right now? What do you think their question is? 

GEORGE: I would say reconfirmation of where the opportunity lies here. I've been begging martial arts school owners to do videos for years, and all of a sudden everyone's doing it. 

JASON: Yeah, yeah, yeah. 

GEORGE: So that's perfect. Where do you think this shift is going? And if you had to focus on one thing right now, where would you place all your energy? 

JASON: I said this to my salon owners. I said there's a really good book out there called Who Moved My Cheese, okay? And if you haven't read that book, it's a good book that you should read and just be aware of.

And basically what it talks about is you put these mice in this maze and there's a piece of cheese at the end of this maze that they go find. And they let the mice go for however long they go, a couple of weeks and they get really conditioned to that's where the cheese is. 

And then the experimenters or the scientists grab the cheese, move it to another place in the maze and the responses of some of those mice is that some of the mice go right back to the cheese over and over, or right back to where they think the cheese will be, over and over and over again.

And at some point those mice… I don't know if mice pout, but the mice just sit there and they go, “I'm waiting for the cheese. It's supposed to be here. There's no more cheese.” And they either run back to the beginning or back to there and they just go, “Well there's no more cheese anymore.” And they give up. 

Then there's the mice that just forget all together and could care less. They just say, “You know what? I'm not going to run the maze anymore because there's no more cheese. It's totally been removed from my world and I'm done.” And then there's the mice that go, “Well, there's got to be cheese somewhere else in this maze.” And they start searching for new paths. Your job right now is to search for the new path to get the cheese. 

martial arts corona virusI want you to hear this. People have more money than they've ever had before. I eat out almost every single day and I've eaten out twice in the last week. So do you think I have more money or less money right now? More.

I usually fly three times a month to different cities. Well guess what I didn't do? I didn't fly. So guess how much more money I have? I have more money now than I've ever had before because all my expenses have been reduced to basically zero. Don't get me wrong, I have a bit of an online shopping habit that's now getting a little bigger, but my point is that most people believe it or not, even though you're thinking, but Jason, my clients have been laid off. Some of them, yes, but not all of them. Not all of them. 

I've heard unemployment in the US might go up to 30%. That's the crazy number they think it may go to. That means 70% of people are still employed, so don't let that idea that ‘all of my clients are gone’ is going to do it.

What I'm saying about this cheese analogy and all this other stuff that I just want you to get, is that, yeah, you know what? Maybe temporarily you're going to need to go to an online dojo, but I just want to let you know it's going to change.

We're not going to stay locked in our houses from now until the end of time. I mean, it's not going to happen. I can't foresee that happening. We're going to go through it. We're going to get through whatever that is.

And again, put a 30, 60, 90-day plan in place, weather that storm and hopefully your business is strong enough to weather that storm. If not, schedule an emergency session with George and the team and go how the hell do I plan this out because I don't know how I'm going to do it? 

And by the way, that's why you need a frigging coach on your side to help you, so you're not trying to put together your own crazy ass plan, right? Get some real advice on this. This is probably a test for you to say, “Look, how good are you at technology?” Do you suck at it?

Because what I've told people is what used to be a nicety, like, “Oh it'd be nice if we had online classes. It'd be nice if I had a website that people could buy classes on. It'd be nice if I could do it online. It'd be nice if we do all these things.” Well look, all those niceties have become necessities. Okay? 

And so all of these things like for me, I've got high-end camera gear and audio gear and all this other stuff because I do classes like this and there's a lot of things that I've had to do over the years to kind of adapt and overcome because of how I wanted to run my business and I just shared a video. I shared… Three years ago, I ran a company called The Video Rock Star Academy teaching people, and the whole video was how do you future proof your business?

And it made sure no matter what happens, you can stay on top of the curve. And I said you better know about video marketing. Three years ago I said that. Guess what the number one thing is I'm teaching right now George? 

GEORGE: Video marketing.

JASON: Video freaking marketing. How to do video? How do you show up on camera? What do you need to do? Because people are going, “I don't even know. How do I turn my phone on and make it work? And Facebook and like…” I'm not meaning to insult anybody, but you're five years behind the rest of the learning curve so get with it, get on track, pivot and understand that pivot's not forever. Maybe you're independently wealthy enough that you can just survive for 90 days without worrying about it. 

But you know what? This is a perfect opportunity for you to teach everyone on your staff how to use video, how to use technology, and how to do it. And it's your job as the leader of your school, of your dojo, of whatever it is that you have. It's your job to step up and be that leader because your staff needs you more than they ever have.

And all those things that you teach them, you've got to exude. It's got to seep out of your pores man, because you guys talk about leadership and discipline and all that other stuff. It's your turn to be the leaders and to be disciplined and do all those things.

Anyway man, I hope this has been helpful. I hope it was powerful, man. 

GEORGE: Totally. Jason, ever so grateful. Thank you so much for jumping on. 

JASON: Yeah, man. 

GEORGE: We'll give virtual fist pumps. 

JASON: I've got digital knuckles brother, that's how that works for me. Digital knuckles, that's how this happens. 

GEORGE: That's cool. Hey Jason. 

JASON: Thanks so much for having me on man. 

GEORGE: Thanks so much. Is there anything we can do for you just to say thanks? Give you a thumbs up somewhere? 

JASON: Dude. Here's what I would say, if any of you guys want to stock any of the stuff that I do, you can find me online. Just go onto Facebook. You can find me at facebook.com/… If you want to find me personally, because my salon owner stuff may not apply to you, but just go online. You can find it at, it's Mr. Jason Everett. Very fancy, Mr. Jason Everett, or just search Jason Everett.

I'm connected with George on here, but what I would just say is, here's the one thing any of you guys could do for me. If you go on my page and you track down anything and you see it, here's my request. If you see something and it ever speaks to you, share it for me. 

The best thing you can ever give me as a gift is not your money. It's your ability to reach one more person. If you help me reach one more person with what I do, even if it's a salon owner piece of content and you're like, “You know what, but it was really inspiring,” just share it on your page because you know what? I know every single one of you, most of you, have hair on your head and you probably go to the salon or a barber shop or something like that and I would love to be introduced to more people.

So if you could help me fulfill my mission to meet more people and to help serve more, that would be what I would ask man, come track me down and you can find me at jasoneverett.com on any of the socials. Just track me down, connect, share some of my stuff. I would be eternally grateful. 

GEORGE: Awesome. Jason, thanks so much for taking your time to share your message with us. Super helpful, love your energy. 

JASON: My pleasure man. 

GEORGE: I'll speak to you soon. 

JASON: George, keep doing what you do, brother. Keep up the good fight and keep disciplined. All right dude, talk to you soon. 

GEORGE: Thank you. Cheers. 

JASON: Bye.

Awesome. Thanks for listening. If you want to connect with other top and smart martial arts school owners, and have a chat about marketing, lead generation, what's working now, or just have a gentle rant about things that are happening in the industry, then I want to invite you to join our Facebook group

It's a private Facebook group and in there, I share a lot of extra videos and downloads and worksheets – the things that are working for us when we help school owners grow and share a couple of video interviews and a bunch of cool extra resources.

So it's called the Martial Arts Media Business Community and an easy way to access it is, if you just go to the domain named martialartsmedia.group, so martialaartsmedia.group, g-r-o-u-p, there's no .Com or anything, martialartsmedia.group. That will take you straight there. Request to join and I will accept your invitation.

Thanks – I'll speak to you on the next episode – cheers!

 

Here are 3 ways we can help scale your school right now.

1. Join the Martial Arts Media community.

It's our new Facebook community where martial arts school owners get to ask questions about online marketing and get access to training videos that we don't share elsewhere – Click Here.

2. Join the Martial Arts Media Academy and become a Case Study.

I'm working closely with a group of martial arts school owners this month. If you'd like to work with me to help you grow your martial arts school, message me with the word ‘Case Study'.

3. Work with me and my team privately.

If you would like to work with me and my team to scale your school to the next level, then message me with the word ‘private'… tell me a little about your business and what you would like to work on together and I'll get you all the details.

Enjoyed the show? Get more martial arts business tips when you subscribe on iTunes for iPhone or Stitcher Radio for Android devices.

***NEW*** Now available on Spotify!

Podcast Sponsored by Martial Arts Media Partners

92 – How To Stop Students From Canceling

In uncertain times, cancelations can escalate quickly. Here's a strategy you can implement right now to retain more members.

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IN THIS EPISODE, YOU WILL LEARN: 

  • How to adjust your martial arts business plans in uncertain times
  • Tips on how to run engaging online classes 
  • Sympathize vs. empathize
  • And more

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

TRANSCRIPTION

If students want to cancel, what is the plan? What is the plan that we need to implement, and how do we really install certainty? Let's look at this. Why do people want to cancel right now? Well, they're uncertain and there's some fear of the unknown.

Hey George, I hope you're well. I want to talk about how to stop students canceling their memberships right now. Right now we are in a bit of a challenging time in the martial arts industry. People are fearful, they aren't making rational decisions and they want to cancel their memberships. I want to give you a plan to navigate through that and stop your students from canceling and do what's the best thing for them right now. Let's explore the situation.

First up, and I was just discussing this with one of our Partners members, Peter, in a game plan session. We were looking at, all right, well if students want to cancel, what is the plan? What is the plan that we need to implement and how do we really install certainty? 

Because, let's look at this. Why do people want to cancel right now? Well, they're uncertain and there's some fear of the unknown. There's some fear of the unknown, and because there's fear, people would rather cancel things, horde, sit back, try and protect. So conversation has changed from aspirational to survival, okay?

That's the first situation that we're facing, is the whole frame of people's mindsets have completely changed in the matter of a week as of the time of recording this. People want to cancel because they are uncertain. Now, how do we remove uncertainty? Well, we give a plan. This is why it's so important to be on top of the situation about what's happening in the world right now, because you want to be that source of inspiration.

You've been training for this your entire life. As your martial arts school owner, you have been teaching confidence, resilience, all this that you've been through is what's going to count for you right now, because this is your opportunity to lead.

Let's be realistic. These people are fearful. If you can be that source of confidence, and help people see a plan for the future, then people are going to bond with you more than they ever did before. Right now is your time to lead, and step up, and show the path to how we are going to navigate through this.

First up, what are you going to need? You're going to need a plan. You're going to need a plan, and I'll share with you how you can get a plan for free from us right now. You're going to need a plan. Now let's look at how we handle this conversation.

In our Partners program, we've got a program called Sales 101. Sales 101 Strategy. It's all about really establishing the value, more so pointing out the real value, focusing on the real reason why people want to train martial arts.

I'll give a quick example. I'm sure you get the objection. How much is this? Our strategy for that is to steer the conversation away from price and to the real reason, because let's face it, it's never about the price, it's about they just don't know what to ask, right?

So, it's easier to ask for the pricing. Yep. It might be for the price sometimes, but really people don't know what to ask, and they don't know what martial arts is going to provide for them.

It's important to always take conversations back to, well, what is it that you actually want out of this? So, if somebody does ask you for the price, it's good to say, “Cool, I'm happy to talk about the price, but is it okay if I just ask you a few questions just to make sure if our martial arts programs are right for you or not?” Okay, cool. Now you've shifted a logical price conversation to an emotional drive conversation, okay?

Let me show you how we use this strategy right now to stop cancellations. Well, somebody wants to cancel. Now we can approach this with two mindsets. One, sympathize. Sympathizing is not the right way to go, obviously. Now, why would you sympathize? Because, potentially if you've been soaking up everything that's going on in the media, and you're feeling fearful, and you're scared of what's coming, your head might be in the sand right now. 

If your head's in the sand, and not looking forward, and somebody else is saying they want to cancel, you might just sympathize because you actually feel the same way, and you think that there's no other alternative. You might just say “It's okay. We totally understand.”

Okay, so sympathizing is one way. We don't want to go there. What would we want to do is empathize, empathize, and then we want to lead, okay? How that might play out is somebody says, “I want to cancel.”

We don't disagree with them and say, “Yes, look, totally cool. I get that you want to cancel, and I know that things are a little uncertain right now.” But then we transitioned to leadership. “But is it okay if we just stall this cancel conversation just for a little bit, because what I really want to talk about more importantly is about you.”

Maybe you can even pause there, right, let's talk about you. What's going on in your life right now? How are things going? This is an opportunity for you to bond with your students, lead and bond. Now you can get someone talking about their situation and what's going on. This is where you really just need to listen. The more you can listen, the more you're going to connect, and the more you're going to establish a relationship here. 

Now you can start shifting the conversation back, as we did with a price objection, and we can look at it and say, “Okay, just curious. Can you recall why you started training martial arts with us?”, and get them talking about that? “What was the real thing that you needed to get out of your martial arts training?” It was X, Y, and Z.

Okay. Now, person, let me ask you a serious question yet here. With all this happening in the world right now, do you think it's going to be a wise move to start neglecting your health, and not exercising, and not training anymore? No, of course not because it's not, right?

What is the most important thing right now? It's health, it's safety, it's security, it's looking after ourselves. If we don't look after ourselves, then we can't be our best for everyone else around us. If there's one thing that's more important right now it's martial arts, and now the conversation has shifted.

This is where you have an opportunity to present your plan. Say, “Look, I understand things are like this right down. But if your health is important to you as you say it is,” Or maybe not frame it in a way that sounds, just come from a good place of intent, because you care, and that's why you are having this conversation, and this is why I'm having this conversation with you, because I really care about you staying afloat and you making your business navigating through this, right?

Now you can shift and really discuss your plan. Say, “Look, as you say, your health is important to you, and this is important to you. So, here is what we are going to do.” Affirm it. “This is what we are going to do. Right now, we've reduced our classes, we've done this, we're going online.” Now you've got to present the plan. 

But here's why it's important that you've got the plan. Because if you don't have a plan, you can't deliver an alternative, and right now you want to be ahead of the plan. So if anything else happens, you know governments, things, start to do things and shut things down or whatever they do, you want to be ahead of this.

You need a plan. Now, if you don't have a plan yet, I spent the last weekend when things started to unfold and I spent 48 hours. Told my family I'm staying at the office, and I recorded in total about 15 videos to show you exactly how you can make a pivot. It's called the Martial Arts Pivot Plan, and it's about how to take your classes online.

Now, a lot of people are talking about this. I've been doing this for about 10 years. I've been living in this digital world for 10 years, and that's why I really wanted to get this out.

Because, if there's something that I know that I could really help with, it's a world I already live in, and for me it's just backtracking, taking a few steps back, and showing you how you can go about this the right way.

Because, a lot of guys are talking about doing it and I see a lot of guys showing off fancy TVs and equipment, and to me that creates obstacles because it's not about that. There's other elements that are way more important than fancy equipment. It's about getting it right and getting it going fast and being able to leverage what you do on the back-end.

So, look, I've put this training together for you. It's 100% free, as in 100% free. It's there, it's uploaded into our member’s area. If you go to martialartsmedia.com/online-class, so martialartsmedia.com/online-class, that will take you there. Just log in, we'll email you a username and password, get stuck in, but please, if you're watching this, do that right now. Do not delay. Do that. Go through the videos. 

If you get value out of it, just share it. Please share it with someone else. Please share it with another school owner that could benefit from this right now. If you've got any questions, reach out to me wherever you watch this video, and ask me a question or you can join our free Facebook group, martialartsmedia.group, so martialartsmedia.group, not.com, .group and just click to join there. I will approve that and let you in and all of this.

Good luck. There are options, right? This is not doomsday. This is a little dip, and we're going to move through this, but it's important just to do the right things right now, and capitalize on the opportunity. Because, if you have time now to add value to your existing programs, add value to your existing membership, and really an opportunity to provide more value to your existing student base, which is really what this is about, they make use of the time and do it.

Look, I hope that it's useful. Grab that course, get it going and let me know how you go. All the best. I'm rooting for you. You've got this. Speak soon. Cheers.

Awesome. Thanks for listening. If you want to connect with other top and smart martial arts school owners, and have a chat about marketing, lead generation, what's working now, or just have a gentle rant about things that are happening in the industry, then I want to invite you to join our Facebook group

It's a private Facebook group and in there, I share a lot of extra videos and downloads and worksheets – the things that are working for us when we help school owners grow and share a couple of video interviews and a bunch of cool extra resources.

So it's called the Martial Arts Media Business Community and an easy way to access it is, if you just go to the domain named martialartsmedia.group, so martialaartsmedia.group, g-r-o-u-p, there's no .Com or anything, martialartsmedia.group. That will take you straight there. Request to join and I will accept your invitation.

Thanks – I'll speak to you on the next episode – cheers!

 

Here are 3 ways we can help scale your school right now.

1. Join the Martial Arts Media community.

It's our new Facebook community where martial arts school owners get to ask questions about online marketing and get access to training videos that we don't share elsewhere – Click Here.

2. Join the Martial Arts Media Academy and become a Case Study.

I'm working closely with a group of martial arts school owners this month. If you'd like to work with me to help you grow your martial arts school, message me with the word ‘Case Study'.

3. Work with me and my team privately.

If you would like to work with me and my team to scale your school to the next level, then message me with the word ‘private'… tell me a little about your business and what you would like to work on together and I'll get you all the details.

Enjoyed the show? Get more martial arts business tips when you subscribe on iTunes for iPhone or Stitcher Radio for Android devices.

***NEW*** Now available on Spotify!

Podcast Sponsored by Martial Arts Media Partners

86 – Using Facebook Messenger Bots For Martial Arts Schools

How martial arts school Messenger bots can help educate your future students when you're not present.

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IN THIS EPISODE, YOU WILL LEARN: 

  • How martial arts school messenger bots help with relationships
  • The power of speed replies
  • Getting conversations started without you
  • And more

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

TRANSCRIPTION

The quicker you reply, the better response you get at the end of the day. So what a bot actually does for you is it gives you the opportunity to reply instantly and start building a bit of relationship, or sharing information, or maybe even directing people to a paid trial. 

Hey George here. I hope you're well. I'm on my usual walk with the girl. So exciting stuff, in about 90 minutes from now I am meeting with our messenger bot developer. So we're busy mapping out a messenger bot for our Partner members. And so, quick couple of things about bots. I don't know if that's something that you're familiar with or not, but it's basically if you think of email automation in a way, where you have a sequence of follow up messages, well a messenger bot does the same thing. It just does it a bit more instant and looks real in a way, but obviously is an automated way of following people up. 

So there are pluses and minuses to it. I always feel that to have an optimal sales process nothing's ever going to beat face-to-face or person-to-person live contact, provided of course you've got some cool selling skills and so forth, and you know how to present your offers in the right way. But then a big benefit about having a bot is the instant reply feature. When you look at email marketing, email can sit for a day or even longer, and it's okay to take a bit longer to reply. But with messaging people expect a bit more of an urgent reply. The quicker you reply, the better response you get at the end of the day. 

So what a bot actually does for you is gives you the opportunity to reply instantly, and start building a bit of relationship, or sharing information, or maybe even directing people to a paid trial while you're busy and while you're on the mats and before you actually get to them and be able to speak to them one-on-one through the chat, or get on the phone, or however you want to do it. 

So there are two ways to do it. One is to start the conversation, which is my favourite. I prefer to use it as a conversation starter and not to be the actual conversation. And I think a lot, especially of the bot developers, get really crazy about it. They get all technical and create these long sequences and so forth. But at the end of the day, for me, the way I look at it is I just want to be able to speak to someone, start a conversation, and provide them with useful information before I could have the real conversation, and the one-to-one chat. 

That's pretty much what it's all about, for us at least. You can get really fancy with it and have all these long fancy sequences, but for me and for our members, we've got different ways of following up with chat on a one-to-one basis. So the bots really going to facilitate in helping start that conversation, and just give a bit of breathing space, or a bit of time for someone to actually soak up some videos, read up some information, and ultimately if they're ready, sign up for the paid trial. 

So anyway, that's me. I've got to jump to the meeting fairly soon. Just wrapping up the last couple of questions and things that we're going to work on and how are we're going to format the whole bot. So, exciting stuff. We'll let you know more about it once we have it up. 

If that's something that does interest you and you'd like to have a messenger bot built out for you and for your school that you can plug and play, and just swap out a couple of words and be good to go, then yeah, just hit me up with a message wherever you're watching this. Just reach out to my profile, send me a message and we'll have a chat, and see if we could help. Cool. Have an awesome day. I'm going to head back, speak soon. Cheers.

Awesome. Thanks for listening. If you want to connect with other top and smart martial arts school owners, and have a chat about marketing, lead generation, what's working now, or just have a gentle rant about things that are happening in the industry, then I want to invite you to join our Facebook group.

It's a private Facebook group and in there, I share a lot of extra videos and downloads and worksheets – the things that are working for us when we help school owners grow and share a couple of video interviews and a bunch of cool extra resources.

So it's called the Martial Arts Media Business Community and an easy way to access it is, if you just go to the domain named martialartsmedia.group, so martialaartsmedia.group, g-r-o-u-p, there's no .Com or anything, martialartsmedia.group. That will take you straight there. Request to join and I will accept your invitation.

Thanks – I'll speak to you on the next episode – cheers!


Here are 3 ways we can help scale your school right now.

1. Join the Martial Arts Media community.

It's our new Facebook community where martial arts school owners get to ask questions about online marketing and get access to training videos that we don't share elsewhere – Click Here.

2. Join the Martial Arts Media Academy and become a Case Study.

I'm working closely with a group of martial arts school owners this month. If you'd like to work with me to help you grow your martial arts school, message me with the word ‘Case Study'.

3. Work with me and my team privately.

If you would like to work with me and my team to scale your school to the next level, then message me with the word ‘private'… tell me a little about your business and what you would like to work on together and I'll get you all the details.

Enjoyed the show? Get more martial arts business tips when you subscribe on iTunes for iPhone or Stitcher Radio for Android devices.

***NEW*** Now available on Spotify!

Podcast Sponsored by Martial Arts Media Partners

85 – Martial Arts Marketing BS!

When martial arts marketing agencies make promises too good to be true, it probably is.

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IN THIS EPISODE, YOU WILL LEARN: 

  • Why you should avoid those ‘too good to be true’ marketing strategies 
  • Why a ‘quick fix’ does more harm than good
  • How a wrong offer damages the culture in your martial arts school 
  • How to hire the right martial arts business coach
  • And more

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

TRANSCRIPTION

Be a bit cautious. Before you just throw money at a company that gives all these unrealistic promises. Having a bit of a gut check and think is that realistic? Because if it's too good to be true, it probably is.

GEORGE: Hey George here, hope you're well. So when is too good to be true, too good to be true? So chatting to someone in Rhode Island yesterday, great martial artist and talking about getting burnt with marketing companies, and I like to keep this podcast positive, but there are some things that just piss me off, and this is one of them because whenever somebody makes promises, it's always a red flag for me. 

If somebody makes a promise and say they'll get you so many martial arts students sign-ups in X amount of time, guaranteed. I think, all right, that's interesting. Maybe that's true, but at what cost and at what expense?

There's one thing to sell a trick and one thing to actually know a strategy and unfortunately what happens is, and all respect to everybody starting out of business and trying to try to get things ahead, but when you start making money at the expense of others, that just doesn't sit well with me. It just doesn't. 

The one thing that attracted me to the martial arts industry was when you look at the things that you see on the wall of an average martial arts school and you probably have it as well. Discipline, respect, confidence, focus, depending on what type of school you have. But it's those values that resonate with me. And that kind of got me going in the industry. Because it was like, “Okay, it's the practical personal development.” But then if I see people working in the industry or maybe they're from the outside or… That doesn't gel with those values that… I'm just not a fan of that.

So here's the thing, it's really easy to sell a tactic. And what I mean by that is you get started, you figure some little trick and tactic out and it works. One part of it works. Only one part of it works and now you go shout it from the rooftops and you go post in all the martial arts groups and you tell everybody about this cool thing that you've got going. And people fall for it because it taps into the secret desire of having a quick fix. 

The secret desire of I can push this button or give this company money and they just going to do everything for me. And I've never once seen that work. I haven't. For a little bit there, I was trying to be that company, but it's not ethically and humanly possible because you can only ever serve one component.

And unless you are doing everything from the minute people engage with you to being the instructor on the mat and furthering that… Have that congruent flow of what you're doing. It's just not possible. So here's what fired me up about this is this company made all these promises and they put this ridiculous offer on the front end for people to buy. And on the front end it looks, wow, it's irresistible. So of course people take it, but what type of people are taking it? Well, the people that you probably don't want in your school because they were just bargain hunters.

They just saw something that was so good, so irresistible, so great that they went and bought it. So for the lead company, well paid, they delivered on their promise. Because they got you the signups, not the sign-ups that you wanted, but they got you some sign-ups. But for you as a school owner, you sit with the crap. And I remember speaking to Kevin Blundell a couple of years back now and on… Perhaps it's podcast number 20. If you go to martialartsmedia.com/20, it might be this podcast. But he was talking about having the wrong offer, having the wrong front end offer and the damage that that did.

It took them more than a year to actually clean out the bad students that they attracted. So be a bit cautious before you just throw money at a company that gives all these unrealistic promises. Have a bit of a gut check and think is that realistic? Because if it's too good to be true, it probably is too good to be true. And it might work on the front end, but at what cost for you, your culture, your existing students and everyone in the backend? Anyway, that's all I wanted to share. I might share some other stuff that really pissed me off on another episode.

But hey, if you need help with this kind of stuff, and I'm not talking about a quick fix, but talking to real help, real help to scale your business, to grow your business with a real marketing strategy from the front end to the backend, something that's got to work with your offer on the front end, when people connect with you to something that's got to be congruent with your sales process. And super clear about that. 

Your process, not someone else's but yours. Because someone else's process might not work for you. Then send me a message. No hard pressure, no weirdness. We'll have a chat and if I feel we can help, we'll go take the conversation further. Awesome. I'm going to run off. Get some other work done. I will speak to you soon. Cheers.

Awesome. Thanks for listening. If you want to connect with other top and smart martial arts school owners, and have a chat about marketing, lead generation, what's working now, or just have a gentle rant about things that are happening in the industry, then I want to invite you to join our Facebook group.

It's a private Facebook group and in there, I share a lot of extra videos and downloads and worksheets – the things that are working for us when we help school owners grow and share a couple of video interviews and a bunch of cool extra resources.

So it's called the Martial Arts Media Business Community and an easy way to access it is, if you just go to the domain named martialartsmedia.group, so martialaartsmedia.group, g-r-o-u-p, there's no .Com or anything, martialartsmedia.group. That will take you straight there. Request to join and I will accept your invitation.

Thanks – I'll speak to you on the next episode – cheers!


Here are 3 ways we can help scale your school right now.

1. Join the Martial Arts Media community.

It's our new Facebook community where martial arts school owners get to ask questions about online marketing and get access to training videos that we don't share elsewhere – Click Here.

2. Join the Martial Arts Media Academy and become a Case Study.

I'm working closely with a group of martial arts school owners this month. If you'd like to work with me to help you grow your martial arts school, message me with the word ‘Case Study'.

3. Work with me and my team privately.

If you would like to work with me and my team to scale your school to the next level, then message me with the word ‘private'… tell me a little about your business and what you would like to work on together and I'll get you all the details.

Enjoyed the show? Get more martial arts business tips when you subscribe on iTunes for iPhone or Stitcher Radio for Android devices.

***NEW*** Now available on Spotify!

Podcast Sponsored by Martial Arts Media Partners

84 – How To Improve Your Martial Arts Facebook Ads Through Split Testing

Do this to build a library of successful lead generating martial arts Facebook ads.

.
IN THIS EPISODE, YOU WILL LEARN: 

  • What is a Facebook ad split testing really
  • How to stop ‘flying blind’
  • Why you should always ‘beat the control’
  • Moving big rocks, stones and pebbles
  • And more

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

TRANSCRIPTION

If you're not testing and optimizing and trying to improve your ads, then what happens is, every month you're just flying blind, right? So every month, you've got to come up with a new campaign, a new idea. And if you don't have a proven track record of things that have worked previously and you know exactly why they worked, then you're always playing this guessing game.

GEORGE: Hey George here. So I want to give you a quick couple of ideas and tips on how you can improve your ads, your Facebook Ads or Google Ads. Mostly going to focus on Facebook at this point in time, but how you can improve your ads through testing, through running different split tests, et cetera. 

So just finishing up the last touches for a session I'm running for our Partners tomorrow, it's called the Ad Conversion Optimizer. Just finished up mapping everything out and just about to finish up on the actual worksheet that goes with it.

It's going to be a great session, but I want to give you a quick couple of ideas on how you can improve your ads. And I guess first and foremost, why you should be doing it in the first place. If you're not testing and optimizing and trying to improve your ads, then what happens is, every month you're just flying blind, right? 

So every month you've got to come up with a new campaign, a new idea. And if you don't have a proven track record of things that have worked previously and you know exactly why they worked, then you're always playing this guessing game and you're always trying to come up with new things and you're flying blind every single month.

Whereas if you keep track of what you're doing and you measure your different results and you test all these different elements that we're going to talk about now, then you build up this library of winning campaigns. And now when you go and run a new campaign, you know, well, that offer converts, that headline works, that element works, and you can mash them all together and the chance of a successful campaign is so much higher.

And look, there's no golden goose of… Everyone's always looking for that big idea. Well, sometimes that big idea is actually just working with what you've got and making those incremental changes until you build up this golden goose that's forever producing the golden eggs. Right? Okay. So we don't look at eggs, we like to look at rocks. I like to refer to it as balancing rocks, which is kind of why I added this slide over here.

So here's what that means. You've got big rocks, you've got little stones, and then you've got pebbles. Okay. So first let's start with the big rocks. Big rocks are testing big ideas, big ideas as in big, different concepts. So that could be targeting a different emotion, for example, or restructuring a whole different ad format. Maybe that could be like running a video ad versus a text-based ad, or a long copy versus a shorter copy type ad.

Then you've got the little stones. Now working with the little stones, with the little stones is you've got your winning concept and now you start tweaking little elements. So you might start changing the different headlines, changing the descriptions, and now you start testing different elements within that ad to see which is performing better. 

So there's a term called ‘beat the control’. Perry Marshall started, I think he started this concept. Perry Marshall was the… He wrote a book called ‘The Definitive Guide to AdWords’ way back in the day, many, many moons ago. And he always spoke about this concept of beat the control and that means that you are always trying to beat your winning ad basically. These are running ads kind of side by side. Now you're looking at the little stones, for example, and you're testing headline to headline, description to description.

And then you go down to the pebbles. And the pebbled are these tiny little tweaks. It's shuffling these little pebbles to see what type of results you get. And that is basically to maybe swap out a different word, move little elements around, small little increments. It could be different punctuation marks, really little increments to see what gets better results. And I'll tell you what, you'll be surprised what happens when you do that. If you're testing accurately and you know how to track and what to do against each other, you'll be surprised what you can actually achieve.

So hope that helps. That's just to give you a bit of a run around on how to go about it. If it's something that you need help with, really how to structure it, what those big ideas should be, how you should go about that, all those concepts, what exactly you should be tracking and testing and how you can really become a master at advertising. Because that's what it's about. 

It doesn't happen in a day. It happens by committing to the right process. There are so many things that you do anyway. You're going to do it anyway and you're going to spend the time, you might as well do the time right. And work towards building up a library of winning campaigns, winning formulas and not be in a situation where you little elements have to sign up new students every month because you've got to make the rent, the bank, whatever you want to call it?

Cool. So yeah, look, if you need help with that, shoot me a message. I'm going to run off, hopefully, get some training in and finish off the last of my worksheet. Catch you soon. Cheers.

Awesome. Thanks for listening. If you want to connect with another top, smart martial arts school owners, and have a chat about marketing, lead generation, what's working now, or just have a gentle rant about things that are happening in the industry, then I want to invite you to join our Facebook group.

It's a private Facebook group and in there, I share a lot of extra videos and downloads and worksheets – the things that are working for us when we help school owners grow and share a couple of video interviews and a bunch of cool extra resources.

So it's called the Martial Arts Media Business Community and an easy way to access it is, if you just go to the domain named martialartsmedia.group, so martialaartsmedia.group, g-r-o-u-p, there's no .Com or anything, martialartsmedia.group. That will take you straight there. Request to join and I will accept your invitation.

Thanks – I'll speak to you on the next episode – cheers!


Here are 3 ways we can help scale your school right now.

1. Join the Martial Arts Media community.

It's our new Facebook community where martial arts school owners get to ask questions about online marketing and get access to training videos that we don't share elsewhere – Click Here.

2. Join the Martial Arts Media Academy and become a Case Study.

I'm working closely with a group of martial arts school owners this month. If you'd like to work with me to help you grow your martial arts school, message me with the word ‘Case Study'.

3. Work with me and my team privately.

If you would like to work with me and my team to scale your school to the next level, then message me with the word ‘private'… tell me a little about your business and what you would like to work on together and I'll get you all the details.

Enjoyed the show? Get more martial arts business tips when you subscribe on iTunes for iPhone or Stitcher Radio for Android devices.

***NEW*** Now available on Spotify!

Podcast Sponsored by Martial Arts Media Partners

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