FROM BIG GYM CRONY TO STUDIO OWNER

Posted on 12. Aug, 2010 by in Marketing Fitness

No one ever got anywhere by following all the rules.

No one ever got anywhere by following all the rules.

I’ve got another Super-Trainer fitness industry success story today, but I’ve got a feeling that some of you might not like this one …

It’s from a guy that didn’t go through the usual channels to get his own fitness studio up and running … didn’t spend years paying his dues … didn’t wait for permission or until everything was right …  doesn’t train clients one on one all day … doesn’t accept just anyone that walks in the door with a pulse and a credit card … decided to make it his business a lifestyle business where he dictates how things are done, not a “business as usual” …

Oh, and I haven’t told you the WORST PART: he’s done it all in less than a year!

See, I warned you that you wouldn’t like him, I’m talking about Omaha Nebraska’s own, Travis Stoetzel.

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On a side not, I remember the days when I had to contact trainers I wanted to profile here on the site.  Now it’s great that I can just tap my own network of success stories for these profiles (if you’re a trainer that’s achieved big things as a result of Super-Trainer, don’t hesitate to let me know).

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Travis is a guy that I’ve come to know and become in touch with, mainly because he’s purchased every product I’ve ever produced (Travis is a big consumer of fitness business specific products and has purchased the products of industry business coaches as well). The original TOP-LEVEL TRAINER PROGRAM (now off the market) helped Travis quit the gym.  Along with that program came a couple of coaching sessions (I don’t do that any more so please don’t ask), which Travis was very quick to jump on.  In that time I helped him take the next steps from independent trainer to even bigger goals.

Oh no Travis! You haven’t been a trainer for 10 years?  You haven’t been independent for five of those years?  You weren’t a fitness manager for five years?   You didn’t have $25,000 in start-up money?  You didn’t wait a couple of years to think about it? A big NO on all fronts ….

He got a program, and took action on what was inside – funny how you get results when you do that.

Travis is proof of a term I learned about called THE PHENOMENON, which was first popularized by legendary success author Earl Nightingale.  It’s the idea that at a point in a person’s life, they are capable of making more in 12 months than they did in the previous 12 years.

Some people don’t think this is possible and don’t even entertain the concept.  I was one of them for much of my life.  But once I got into business, I started to get out of that mindset, and since then have to varying degrees been able to achieve “the phenomenon” in multiple areas of my life.  I now use it as a core concept in developing high end fitness industry products – my products are designed to help you achieve THE PHENOMENON, plain and simple.

Once I heard about everything Travis was up to, I shot him some questions so I could put together an article everyone could learn from.  Here it is:

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Today I have another success story – a guy who got out of working for a big-box gym, got started with the TOP LEVEL TRAINER MANUAL, and has moved on to his own facility, bootcamps, and to expanding his business online, all in under a year.  He’s one of the most ambitious, hard working, and coolest guys I’ve met in this business, Travis Stoetzel.

Travis, what was your start in the business like?

I was always an athlete growing up. Being in and around sports was my life. When competition ended, I had to be around training so that’s when i took a job at a big corporate gym. I grew my business fast within the corp business, but I saw there was no way to expand and I was sort of stuck in “the man’s” world. I worked there for 2.5 years (2.5 yrs too long, LOL), then finally made the jump into my own biz where I could train by my rules and only train people that i wanted to train – athletes and serious people.

What was the mental turning point for you?

I started to think outside the box and some things I tried to do in the corp gym where shut down because it didn’t go along with what corporation wanted to do. Plus, when the economy when to crap, I had to really think outside the box.  I was charging $75 a session at the corp job but people couldn’t afford to pay that. So I started training these people “under the table” in bootcamps, charging a much lower price. They saw double the results and had 10 times the fun! I knew then I needed to get out of the big box gym. Plus, flipping tires, lifting with chains, and doing other “caveman” type things didn’t fly in the corp gym!

What is your training business like today?

I run a highly motivational bootcamp business called Forged Fit Camp. It’s for busy men and women looking to take their fitness and results to higher levels. I ONLY accept people that commit themselves and want to work hard. One thing I learned was to always do business on my own terms; that I way I never would have to go to a “job”. Aside from the bootcamps, I train athletes and super serious people in my gym called The Forged AthleteWe train anyone from the ex athlete, weekend warrior, to professional football players. We’re a hard core, no BS, “underground” style garage gym. I love it!  Wouldn’t have it any other way!  On top of all of this, I’m starting to create my own online empire. I’ve started to branch out online and have a few projects in the making. My personal blog is currently at www.forgedstrength.wordpress.com. I’m really looking forward to growing that!

What went into the choice of your specialty?

I chose to specialize in training athletes and serious people because that’s exactly how I am and these types of people are the people I want to train and be around. Training in the corp gym was a negative experience because I had to train negative people. Now, since I only train serious people and athletes, it’s ALL positive and inspirational. The type of training we do is very OLD SCHOOL and rugged. It’s the new wave of training that will be surfacing more and more as the years come. I like to call my specialty of training a unique blend of underground training meets crossfit. I use everything that’s useful.

How does it feel to have a specialty that is directly in line with your own interests?

You NEVER work a day in your life! When you train at least ;) It’s like I said before: I’m with people I actually WANT to train. If I was still stuck training people I HATED training at the corp gym on a day to day basis, I would probably be out of the training world and in construction somewhere, which wouldn’t be any fun at all! I did that growing up.

What are you doing now to grow your business?

I do a ton of social media stuff. REFERRALS are huge within the business. One thing I’ve adopted within my bootcamps to really increase growth and retention is having challenges ALL the time! People want to work for something. It’s different for everyone but when you can INSPIRE and help change people’s lives, your business will grow BIG TIME! Other things I do are Facebook ads, Craiglists ads. Low cost stuff. My 3 BIGGEST things are these :

1) CARE about your clients – treat them like gold

2) HUSTLE – get off your butt and get in front of people

3) INSPIRE people – get them results and make them believe they can go further!

Of all the marketing channels and tactics, which one in particular has helped you the most?

WORD of mouth! Get your clients results and the rest is history!

Awesome work Travis – good luck and much continued success with your business.

Thanks Kaiser! I want to thank you for helping me start on this journey!  The TLT Program sits on my shelf right next to my computer and I can truly say, that got me taking the first steps to getting out of the corporate world my friend!  I look to grow my business online and reach your status some day!

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Here’s a video of Travis where you can get a glimpse of his place (btw he teaches you how to make home-made TRX’s here, which he’ll probably be getting a cease and desist for in the mail real soon).

And be sure to visit Travis blog -it’s hugely inspiring and will get you training yourself and your clients harder for sure – you can find it at:  http://forgedstrength.wordpress.com/.

And if you want to see what an extremely well done, personality driven, “long copy” website looks like, check his out: http://www.theforgedathlete.com/

Congrats again Travis, and thanks for coming on and sharing.  To anyone else that wants results like Travis, I promise to do my best and aggressively sell you my business products in the near future!  Talk soon.

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11 Comments

Greg Justice

12. Aug, 2010

Congratulations Travis, you have officially turned your avocation into your vocation.

Travis

12. Aug, 2010

Now that’s how it’s done – good job dude.

Adam W.

12. Aug, 2010

Great story – good job Travis! For me a studio is next too. That’s just the next natural step.

Raquelle Valderama

14. Aug, 2010

Kaiser and Travis, I loved this article! And I’m going to definitely take you up on that offer for the success story really soon!

Ben London

14. Aug, 2010

Congratulations Travis, I can tell from the way you responded to Kaiser’s questions that you love what you do and that above all else is a guarentee for success!

Ben

Jason

15. Aug, 2010

Great job Travis! Reading stories like this really motivate me and show me what’s possible. I think it’s one of the reasons I’ve been able to accomplish so much in a short amount of time.

Thanks Kaiser, and really hope to send you a great success story real soon.

Jeremy

15. Aug, 2010

Wow – this post was so motivational! I was planning to do exactly what Travis is trying to do, and this showed me it’s really possible.

Kaiser, I’ve just started your course and it’s been really helpful. I have seven clients now … all that’s left for me to do is let the gym know I quit – I’m going to wait til i have 10 of my own private clients until I do.

Then I’m planning to do exactly what Travis did – I hope the new studio course helps with that.

Ryan

18. Aug, 2010

nice one Travis, youve given me the motivation to go out and make things happen

Erik Kristensen

20. Aug, 2010

Some real good information here.

I’m sorry to say I spent way too long working for a big gym too. Once I got out, that’s when my life started to take off.

I give you all the credit in the world Kaiser for giving me the confidence to do it. You deserve all of your success and every penny for the programs you get.

The information is completely insider information. I can’t tell you how many years I went to the conferences, and didn’t hear anything like this.

It doesn’t surprise me to hear about so many of your students getting big success. I’m one of them.

Keep up the great work man! I hope to meet you one day.

And congratulations to Travis on the gym. Like ol’ blue eyes said, you did it YOUR way.

Kaiser

22. Aug, 2010

Awesome Eric – appreciate the positive feedback.

Greg T.

01. Sep, 2010

This guy’s gym is totally bad ass – great article here. I’m looking forward to this being me in a year or two. And I’ll be sure to let you know about it.

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