Hey guys, hope you and your fitness business are doing awesome!
I feel VERY honored in being part of the new Super-Trainer family. It was actually this very same blog that turned me into dumping the gym and becoming an independent personal trainer a couple years ago.
It’s a little weird, but the very first time I met Sam was when the original owner of Super-Trainer (Kaiser Serajuddin) asked me to interview him at his facility.
At that time, back in January 2009, I had just left the gym to go out on my own… and I had never been in touch with ‘real success’ before.
When I say ‘real success’ I’m talking about people that live on their own terms, define their own reality, and of course… do what they want, when they want, for however long they want to do it.
You’ll hear it all over the place that it’s ‘important to surround yourself with successful people’, but really – after I met Sam the first time and doing a little video interview.. I remember driving back home thinking “I HAVE to be successful like him, I HAVE to, no matter WHAT’.
Up until that point I had lived the majority of my life pursuing all the wrong things.
It’s not like I had a bad life though, I never dropped out of school, had a bad youth, did a lot of drugs, etc, etc.
In fact, I actually got my degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Amsterdam. Reason being was because as a kid I always liked airplanes. So I figured this would be a ‘safe’ and secure career path.
But after moving from Amsterdam to Los Angeles and landing my first job as an engineer, I was trapped in a cubicle for 40+ hours week, and slowly but surely all the life was being sucked out of me.
It was literally like that movie ‘Office Space’, my boss (no joke) looked EXACTLY like that fat guy with the red stapler
Eventually I got laid off because of… I don’t know actually. But I do remember after cleaning out my cubicle I said to myself “never again!” and decided to become a personal trainer at a big chain health club.
Did that for over a year, until one day when I was looking for supplements on a bodybuilding website… happened to see a forum post by Kaiser talking about some abs exercise… clicked on his profile… landed on super-trainer.com… then saw that he was selling a product called “The Top Level Trainer – How To Dump The Gym”.
I had never bought anything online at the time, so naturally at first I thought it was a scam. Though after 3 weeks of staring at the “add to cart” button, and after extending my disbelief big time, I purchased his program.. and the rest is history.
(Note: I think that same program is now free on this blog when you enter your email in the box above)
Fast forward to present day and I own a pretty cool fitness bootcamp in Southern California, and I have had the amazing priviledge of learning from the best of the best, Bedros Keuilian, Steve Hochman, Chris McCombs, Sam Bakhtiar. If it wasn’t for those guys I would still be doing one-on-one personal training sessions with a Lebert Equalizer in the trunk of my car.
Now I know this blog post has been about me so far, merely to introduce myself, but I don’t want to leave you with at least SOME sort of content.
Along the way of building up my fitness boot camp, I probably have tried EVERYTHING under the sun to get clients. And especially in the first half year I made a TON of mistakes.
I want to share them with you right here, and I’m going to call them “Never Do This”, or NDT’s in Super-Trainer language..
Here are some of my NDT’s:
- Never offer free bootcamp training to Victoria’s Secret employees in exchange for referrals (they are all teenagers and all they do is multiply. Soon enough you will have the entire district of Victoria’s Secret in your bootcamp. And they’re not as good-looking as the models)
- Never do public speaking events without having a pitch at the end (When I first started I messed up BIG time once. After speaking to over 500 people I ended with a lame “so… yeah… if you have any questions about my bootcamp…. Yeah just let me know”. Needless to say I walked out with nothing).
- Never try hard to get the better end of the deal. Eben Pagan said about marketing: “Learn to love getting the shorter end of the deal”. Doing this will get you something, while the other party gets way more. This causes you to always overdeliver and work the law of reciprocity.
- Never try to get clients from the mall. This really depends on how savvy of a Pick-Up Artist you are, but I found that if your plan is to just simply walk up to people in the mall and try to get their contact info for your bootcamp… you must be prepared to get rejected a LOT. Of course this is the name of the game, after all Neil Strauss himself says to ‘learn to love rejection’…. and ‘there are never failures but only learning moments’… but if you ask me, constantly hearing the word NO messes with your subconscious thoughts – and you’re better off spending energy on crafting killer salescopy & coming up with new marketing funnels.
- Never join the chamber of commerce. Your area MAY be different, but all I saw was a bunch of struggling business owners who expect to see referrals just because they paid their $300 yearly membership fee.
- Never do on-location 1-on-1 personal training. I did it and got into some hairy situations. I would drive all over Los Angeles to meet my clients, with a deflated stability ball in my backseat (when I trained someone I would pump it up in the 10 minutes before the session started).
- Never watch the news. If you pay attention, all news is packaged to ‘sell’ and 99% of it is based on scarcity & fear. Instead, watch movies like ‘The Count of Monte Cristo’, ‘Boiler Room’, ‘Shawshank Redemption’, etc. Those are the movies that turn girls into women and boys into men.
- Never become a ‘seminar-junkie’, or ‘info-product junkie’. I used to make this mistake of soaking up waayy too much information before actually taking action on it. And I started making money when I took action. The great Christian Aguirre told me: “When you learn something new, put everything aside and focus on it for at least 60-90 days of implementation and then move onto the next idea.”
So there it is, my first blog post for the great Mr. Bakhtiar, thank you so much for reading – I totally appreciate all you guys. Now this is the part where Sam will put “Didn’t you momma tell you it’s rude not to leave a comment on a blog?”, so go ahead and let me know if you got anything out of this post in the comment box below :)
Michael “the engineer” Duivis
Michael is a Whittier Personal Trainer
Awwww. Thanks Carrie you always have so much positive energy. Just love being around you.
Mike, it’s just amazing to see how much you’ve accomplished in such an unbelievably short time. Proud to have paid a small part in it. And no, the TLT Manual is not free after sign up, but that would be a pretty bitchin’ idea. Let me think it over for a few days.
Great post Mike! Your advice on what not to do is on the money. It’s a good reminder to see what’s working and not. Keep up the great work!
thanks for sharing those Tips Mike! I really enjoyed reading your “NDT’s”
Awesome post Mike!
I appreciate all your support and like you, Kaiser is one of the first guys who I found and started following. Before Bedros, Before steve, and Chris. And the content He has delivered has been nothing short of AMAZING.
Keep killin it brothas!
@Billy: I know following Kaiser I have some big shoes to fill. Kaiser has and always will be a part of Super-Trainer and as a matter of fact I talked to him last night to get some advice
Mike, very nice brother. Loved what the great Christian said…so true about focus and implementation.
Great story…can you imagine going back to an office, with a boss….!! Congratulations on the bold move of changing careers. Great NDT list!! thanks for sharing and inspiring us!!!
I have you as a boss Alejandra. What could be worse than a “Colombian” lady boss. :)
Billy, thanks man – cool to hear that you got started through Kaiser as well. Hit me up on facebook and let me know how things are going.
Sam, can’t wait to contribute more – and Jonas, Armando, Christian I hope to be like you one of these days.
And Alejandra, yeah just the image of a cubicle now scares me! We’re probably the luckiest people on earth to be in this industry.
Billy, Michael, Sam, flattered by your feedback. Will continue to bring as much as I can to this site, believe that.