AF Project Slide Decks

There is a school of thought that says that you should never give away your best stuff.

Instead, it you should put it behind a paywall somewhere, charging admission so you can profit from its release — one transaction at a time.

I've always felt this to be a bit short sighted, instead believing that you should give away nearly everything you create.

The idea is simpler than it sounds — by giving away your knowledge, your audience will reward you by seeking your next piece of knowledge (perhaps the part that you charge for), thereby enabling yourself to make a living.

In the case of the AF Project (my crusade to bring metrics-based decision-making and humanistic behavioral psychology to the gym business), I started by giving it away — a free four-hour business Seminar. And by loading it with way more info than might be considered prudent by the paywall crowd, I was rewarded with approximately 1/10th of participants taking me up on the AF Project 2.0 (a $399 nine-hour Seminar that covered my bills for a full year).

Now, I'm going to begin the process of giving that away, publishing the AF Project on this blog.

Here's the plan:

  • I'm going to give away both slide decks from my Seminars, right here, right now — for the AF Project 1.0 and the AF Project 2.0.

  • They're full of insights into running a good gym, and all you need to do to get them is punch the hyperlinks above.

  • (They're also the outline for the AF Project book, which I've long promised to write, and which I'll be banging away on daily while publishing drafts, chapters, and charts to this site.)

  • If you want to be notified when each chapter goes live on this blog — (Chapter 1 in rough form by end-October), just sign up for my email list below.

  • And I'll send you an email every time I publish.

So what's the rub? 

Simple — when I actually publish the book, every chapter in bound form, I want you to buy it even though you already have it

So why the "everything free, no tricks, pay if you want" model?

We'll consider it mutual insider knowledge — a massive repudiation of the idea that everything in the world that's worth a damn costs money, along with support for the idea that people are strong enough and good enough to recognize and reward the things that are worth rewarding.

Enjoy the decks, and sign up for the email list below. And as always, thanks for your love and support.



The Psychology of Member Retention: Patterns and Solutions for CrossFit Gyms

People leave your gym for dozens of reasons, seemingly at random.  You lose the new guy to changing finances, the seasoned athlete to a job in a new city, your multi-year veteran to a minor injury, a half dozen casual exercisers to the gym across town.  

Every month you lose a few more, hoping that new memberships outpace departures, incredulous at the losses but unaware of the driving factors.  Everyone gives you the same vague answers at the exit interview, some combination of "money" or "time", assuring you that there's nothing wrong with the gym, that it's merely time to move on.

It would be easy to dismiss turnover as an unassailable inconvenience, the price of doing business.  In reality, membership loss follows a consistent pattern, one the smart gym owner can effectively counteract.  In this post, I'm going to teach you how.  

Content is King: The Gym Owner's Step-by-Step Guide to Blogging

In every one of my seminars and consulting engagements, I preach the value of blogging and inbound marketing.  The reason:  It's an amazing tool for growing revenue.

You choose a tangible goal, write a compelling blog entry, send people to the blog, serve a call-to-action, capture their information, and poof: you're well on you way to new clients, growing your client base and succeeding as a gym owner.   

If you can master the inbound cycle, you'll spend a lot less time wondering why you're not growing and a lot more time wondering how to handle scores of trial clients.  Therefore, I harp on it like crazy.

Still, no matter how much I preach, the advice to engage in inbound is useless unless you're actually able to create content.  It's the lynchpin of the effort, and two critical parts of the inbound marketing cycle depend on it: creating blog posts and writing newsletters.  In this step-by-step guide, we'll concentrate on the first, and I'll show you how to use your blog output to create the second. 

The Targeted Program: Selling Gym Memberships the Smart Way

Here's a harsh fact: you can't sell to everybody.  It's impossible.  

If you try, you'll inevitably find yourself unable to grow, stuck in a descending spiral of mediocrity.  Every failed sale creates desperation, leading you to widen your sales net until you'll take any client that walks in the door.  You'll discount when asked, you'll compromise your value proposition, and you'll create vague, undifferentiated solutions that speak softly to everyone (and loudly to no one).

You'll be unheard and unprofitable.  

In this article, you'll learn to avoid this downward spiral, targeting clients precisely to grow revenue.  We'll create unique offerings that spur growth by attracting a very specific demographic to your gym.  We'll do so without compromising your reputation or lowering your average client value.

Taking the Leap: Becoming a Full-Time Entrepreneur

The risks are real.  You are making an all-in bet that you'll generate an ongoing profit that meets your needs (and those of your employees), year after year.  You're low on capital, light on experience, unproven as an operator, and relatively unconnected.  The deck is stacked against you, and if you fail, financial disaster looms.  

Fortunately, there are many ways to mitigate the risks of becoming an entrepreneur, staying solvent amid the uncertainty.  What follows is a guide to making the leap successfully, confronting the dangers head-on while taking full advantage of the benefits of being your own boss.  

This isn't theory, but rather the path I followed to progress from a low-level bank employee (making less than $40k a year) to the CEO of a multi-million dollar multinational.  This process works, and it will get you there.