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What does it take to run one of the most successful fitness businesses in the world?

These two are the real deal. To them success is a choice and hard work, effort and passion are what drives them to continue to grow, improve and literally set the tone for the entire strength, fitness and athletic development industry.

Varsity House Gym lives on the border of New York and New Jersey. It is state of the art, purpose built and filled to the brim with buzzing athletes, members and staff and has been the centre point for their new venture: The Business of Strength.

Based on the operational systems the pair have implemented over the decade they have run the business together, Joe and Dan now run an educative program for up and coming strength and fitness professionals and entrepreneurs.

The passion these men have for what they do oozes out of them. Not only is it inspiring to hear them speak of their success so far and the plans they have yet to make a reality, but the conversation will lay the groundwork for you to make the changes necessary to make your life better.

You can absolutely turn passion into profit and it is something to not only chase but be super proud of.

Tune in by searching for Your Revolution on your podcasts app (iPhone) or Stitch app (android) or by jumping across to revo.pt/yourrevolutionpodcast

Jane Erbacher: Hello and welcome to this week’s episode of the Your Revolution Podcast, my name is Jane Erbacher and I’m your host. I just wanted to do a pre-intro-intro, to this week’s episode because I’m really excited about it and everybody’s getting really used to me being excited, and I guess if I wasn’t excited you’d all think that something was wrong, so it’s lucky that I am excited.

But I’m coming to you, again, from New York, my favourite place in the world. I absolutely love it. I’m heading off to Austin this week to reunite with my friends Dave and Courtney from, Off the Line. Then heading to Portland, Oregon with Project Row, Project Ski, with my friend Nick Eldridge. I’m running a workshop with him out of his gym. His business is called Higher Standards Fitness. I’m so excited to go up to Oregon, I’ve heard that it’s absolutely beautiful.  Everyone keeps saying I’m really going to like it, because there’s great outdoors stuff, and there’s really good coffee. So, I was like, “Yes! I like both of those things very much.”

Then, heading back to Salt Like City, Utah. Absolutely love Utah for the Gym Jones Advanced Course. I’ll also be running my row and ski workshops out of Gym Jones on the 19th of August. Then, head back to LA. Then, I go across to Iowa, Iowa City, and I’m running a workshop out of Alchemy Strength. Really excited to go to Iowa.

Lots of cool stuff happening for me. But this week’s episode really deserved an intro because it’s with, what I would say, some of the best fitness entrepreneurs in the whole world, and that’s Joe Riggio and Dan Goodman, the founders, creators, brains, and brawn of Varsity House. These two are absolutely incredible. When I started this podcast, about 18 months ago or just a little bit over, one of my real missions was to talk to the people that had passion oozing out of them for what they do. They’re clearly getting up every single day, and they’re going for what they believe in. Joe and Dan absolutely epitomise this. It’s not just in business that they’re successful, but it’s in their every day approach to their life. It’s their attitude.

I decided after the episode with them that I wanted to do a little bit of a series this coming month, which is, “How to turn passion into profit.” I think that a lot of us get really scared when we do work in our passion, to actually charge for it, or to take any money for it. What I’ve really come to learn, this year, after turning my passion into an absolute career is that the way to sustain a career in your passion, where you are helping people, where you are trying to have an impact on the world, is to actually be able to pay yourself. If you can’t survive working in your passion, or working in your craft, then you can’t deliver what you need to deliver. If your goal is to impact the world, and impact people, then you need to take care of yourself in a way that enables you to do that on even a small scale, or a mass scale.

Joe and Dan are a perfect example of two people who believe so whole-heartedly in changing the world, and having an impact, and helping people, and educating, and empowering, and inspiring. They do it in a way that takes care of them and their family, as well. They don’t put themselves second to that, and I think that’s so interesting and so important to learn from this. So many us, almost apologise for our part in it. It always comes back to a self-worth thing, “Am I enough for somebody to pay for?” If this is something you’re thinking about, and I get emails every single week from people who ask me about how they can change careers and turn passion into profit, and this is how. Listen to everything they say and this is how.

I really hope that you enjoy the episode, thank you so much for the ongoing support. Make sure you do reach out to me if you’ve got anything to say. I would love to hear from you. My email address is probably the best it’s, [email protected]

I’ll talk to you soon, bye.

Hello and welcome to the Your Revolution Podcast. The Your Revolution Podcast is a collaboration between revolution, personal, and performance training in Melbourne, and the, ME project. The purpose of the, Your Revolution Podcast is to inspire you on your mission of betterment. Each week on the podcast you’ll meet game changers who have created extraordinary lives. You’ll listen to stories and lessons to empower you to make the changes necessary to your life. The, Your Revolution Podcast is committed to fitness, health, nutrition, mindset, community, education, empowerment, and betterment. We hope that you can take what you learn here and apply it to your very own revolution.

Hello and welcome to this week’s episode of the Your Revolution Podcast, my name Jane Erbacher, and I’m your host. I am so excited! I can’t handle this, though, that we are so technologically savvy, here at Varsity House. We have hooked a full on … I feel like I’m on the radio, this is the best.

Joe Riggio: It sounds good.

Dan Goodman: We are.

Jane Erbacher: It does, we are!

Joe Riggio: We are.

Dan Goodman: This is web radio.

Joe Riggio: With DJ Prophecy in the building, T-Money.

Jane Erbacher: Thank you, Trevor, for hooking this up.

Trevor: Yeah, I’m happy to do this, this is fun for me.

Jane Erbacher: This is the best. So I am so excited. I am at one of my favourite places in the whole world. I was trying to add up on my hands today how many times I’ve been back to Varsity House, and I can’t add it up, but, today’s the first time I’ve driven here. So, congratulations.

Joe Riggio: How was the ride, was it sketchy?

Jane Erbacher: You drive on the right side of the road, which you would think was the right side of the road, it was definitely the wrong side of the road. But, I am so excited to be here at Varsity House, it’s absolutely one of my favourite places in the world. I keep looking for excuses to move here, and maybe I could become your nanny, Joe?

Joe Riggio: That’s it! You’re hired, for sure.

Jane Erbacher: I am here with Joe and Dan, the owners, creators, brains, and brawn. Both of them are brains and brawn. Neither of them is one or the other. I am really excited because we’ve got both of them here for the podcast today.

Joe Riggio: Trevor’s the brains.

Trevor: Yeah.

Jane Erbacher: Definitely. But I’m really excited. It was funny, because I’ve talked to both of you individually about whether or not I would interview you independently or whether I’d have it as a team situation, and up until today I was planning on interviewing you separately because you both bring so much individually to the business, and also to the world, and also as my friends, individually. But I also feel like together as a partnership, you’re an incredible example of how to run a business. So I’ve decided to, first, all to be together, so I’m not gonna ask one of you to leave the room now. You made the cut.

Dan Goodman: You can’t separate us.

Jane Erbacher: No, you’re Joe and Dan. Or Dan and Joe.

Trevor: We’ve been married for 10 years.

Jane Erbacher: It’s true. And I also thought, I did say to Dan, imagine if I put your podcast up before Joe’s. I think I’d be dead to him.

Joe Riggio: That would definitely cause some beef here.

Jane Erbacher: Yeah! But thank you both so much for being here today, in your gym, which I absolutely love. I really, really wanted you on the podcast this time cause I want to talk about Varsity House and what an incredible place it is that you’ve created. But I also want to talk about what you’re both creating with the business of strength. So the loose banner under this … the heading for this podcast is “How to Turn Passion into Profit.” So that’s what I’d like to talk about today. I’d really love if each of you could give us a brief introduction on what’s led you to now. Joe, you’ve been on the podcast a year ago …

Joe Riggio: Sure.

Jane Erbacher: And I still, I don’t know if I told you this, I still receive emails at least weekly about your episode.

Joe Riggio: That’s awesome.

Jane Erbacher: Yeah, it’s really cool. So a lot of people, in and out of the fitness industry, you’ve left a mark on. So I think that’s a real testament to you. So I’d really like to hear from you first, Dan. Just on kind of what your path here has been, cause people haven’t met you in Australia, a lot of them, and I’d really love them to meet the Dan that I know. There is one thing I will say before this though. I still remember when I met you guys for the first time, Gym Jones Intermediate, and we’ve talked about this because immediately I was like “I’ve never met guys like this.” You guys are like big, football guys, and I was like “I don’t know if I’m gonna have anything in common with you,” and I was a little bit scared of you both, and I have to say that you are both two of my favourite people in the world.

Joe Riggio: Oh that’s cool. Thank you. You’re awesome too.

Jane Erbacher: And, I did say this to you in the car though, I haven’t met such engaging, interested, interesting, and proactive people. You’re both doing what you need to do every day. You’re not resting on your laurels. And I think that that’s awesome. I think that the meathead heading, I think that you should wear that as a …

Joe Riggio: That’s a badge of honour for us, you know …

Jane Erbacher: Yeah it is!

Joe Riggio: It just kind of goes with the territory, being Joe from Jersey. What are you gonna do?

Jane Erbacher: Totally. But …

Joe Riggio: It works though.

Jane Erbacher: It totally does. But both of you are so savvy, so intelligent, and such great men, and I’m just excited that people get to hear from you.

Joe Riggio: Well thank you for having us on the show here. It’s awesome having you in Jersey, or New York, yet again.

Jane Erbacher: We’re right on the border.

Joe Riggio: Right on the border.

Dan Goodman: Right on the border.

Joe Riggio: Literally. But we still go with …

Dan Goodman: We’re straight Jersey now.

Jane Erbacher: Yeah.

Joe Riggio: Still Jersey. The residence is still both in New Jersey.

Jane Erbacher: Oh okay.

Dan Goodman: Our story, I mean, I know Joe has been on this podcast before, but for everybody that doesn’t know, I actually train with Joe as athlete, so our partnership really started organically like that, as coach and athlete. I had worked at some other gyms before, and I was still playing football at the University of Rhode Island, and one summer I came back and my little brother started training, and we started bringing some family and friends to the gym, and Joe said “Hey man, I think that we could probably start a business here. For the next couple weeks why don’t you try to bring a kid to the gym every day, and for every kid you bring here I’ll give you $100.” I was like, you kidding me?

Jane Erbacher: That’s the best.

Joe Riggio: Carloads of little kids, with terrified looks on their faces.

Dan Goodman: I was like, man, I could do this …

Joe Riggio: Get in there and work out.

Dan Goodman: Easily. So we did that for a summer, and made quite a bit of money doing that, and when we left, I went back to play my 5th year, I had a scholarship, University of Rhode Island, I said, you know, I’m obviously gonna see this through. All the while though, we put together a business plan, I came home from school mid-year, and three months later, May 1st of 2009, we were in our first space, and the rest is kind of history, where that’s where Varsity House started to form. We started Varsity House number two.

From that point, the first three years was just full on grind. We worked nonstop, tonnes of session hours, we had no systems in place. We really had to find each other in terms of our business partnership. After year three, we really decided we have to hire some help, we have to find some people to help us, really move this business forward. That’s when we got out and got some coaching and started putting some operating systems in place, really without even knowing we were doing it.

Fast forward, we went through the Gym Jones certification process, we spent a lot of time with other business coaches, like I said, spending a lot of money on our development as people and business owners, and we knew that we wanted to get in the educational side of fitness, we just didn’t know what route we were gonna take. We said, “Man, we’re getting a lot of questions about business and business development. Maybe we can start doing an educational programme on business.” And, that in the last year’s been the creation of Business of Strength. I know I can speak for myself, it’s been a lot of fun the last year or so, putting on … we’re gonna have our second instalment of Business of Strength …

Jane Erbacher: And that’s here at Varsity?

Joe Riggio: That’s here.

Dan Goodman: That’s here, and we’re gonna be giving a talk at Gym Jones in two weeks. Then we’re actually going over to London at the beginning of 2018 to give a talk and to give a business another …

Joe Riggio: To do another mentorship with Steve Kolenko.

Jane Erbacher: Yeah, at Reach?

Dan Goodman: Yeah, it’s gonna be great.

Jane Erbacher: Awesome. Everybody in London will have to sign up for this.

Joe Riggio: Yeah, that’ll be fun.

Dan Goodman: So that’s nine years in a nutshell. We’ve done a lot. We’ve made a lot of mistakes, and I’ll let Joe take it over from here cause I know he probably wants to retell the story. He’ll probably have a different take on it.

Joe Riggio: No I mean, look, everything kind of fell into place. There’s a lot of things people could say, like “Well, you got lucky with this, you got lucky with that.” But there’s no such thing as luck in business. We just made conscious moves along the way. Partnering up with Dan in 2009, going to the gym. We did not have any systems, but we had a training plan that I had been using, and I had followed. So the one thing we knew we had was a really good training programme. Before we even knew we had it, we had a really great mentorship programme for developing coaches, before we even knew it. Our first coach was Big Mike, right, he was our first intern. I think I told you this story in the last one, but my Big Mike intern, and we worked him like a savage. 50 hours a week, for $250 every other week, it was terrible. It was definitely illegal, but …

Dan Goodman: He’s still here.

Jane Erbacher: He’s still here.

Joe Riggio: Definitely illegal. But, and Mike had already been training for a long time and was a super strong dude and was really into it, but had no idea how to programme for athletes and stuff like that. So I spent a lot of time teaching Mike. Dan had already been through a lot of training. Obviously through his own training, college, and then years of training with me prior to us becoming businessmen, so he had learned the system kind of by absorption, by osmosis. By being in it and doing it for three or four years before we partnered up.

So we had a good training, and we had a mentorship. Those are two of the absolute fundamental components. Right? You have to have a great product, and you have to have the way to develop great employees. We kind of started that process right from the beginning, without even knowing it. All of that has completely evolved and now we have this giant manual for our interns, and we have weekly meetings, they have tests, quizzes, projects that they have to do when they’re here in the summertime. It’s evolved into a very top-notch mentorship programme for an entire summer, where back then it was just Big Mike, just watch what I do and pay attention.

Dan Goodman: We spent a lot of time and money on the development of our staff. I believe it’s the only way to scale a business.

Joe Riggio: Yeah. We’ve always, this is something I’ll say on the business side, just a little nugget for all the strength entrepreneurs out there is we’ve always believed in paying people’s salaries. We don’t pay people by the hour, because then you get hourly employees.

Jane Erbacher: Yes.

Joe Riggio: You get people who are looking to come work their hour and peace out. You know what I mean? So we always paid somebody as either a full-time salary or a part-time salary, and lock them into specific shifts, times and requirements. And even if you’re a part-time employee, let’s say Leslie at the front desk, right, who’s a part-time employee …

Jane Erbacher: Who I love.

Joe Riggio: Leslie’s amazing right? But she has a specific role. She is the billings department, her job is specific. So I gave her … you know, it’s giving people ownership, it’s giving them responsibility right from the beginning. And it’s paying them salary, and it’s giving them the ability to grow as a person and as an employee.

Jane Erbacher: And security then.

Joe Riggio: Security, everything.

Jane Erbacher: You go home, and you still think about your job. It’s not … you don’t clock off.

Joe Riggio: A lot of gyms want to save money. Crossfit gyms do this a lot. This is no knock on Crossfit gyms, cause it’s not Crossfit, it’s the owners of those gyms, but a lot of Crossfit gyms and smaller box gyms, they want to save money. So it’s like hey, can you come teach two classes a week and I’ll give you $50 per class.

Jane Erbacher: Totally.

Joe Riggio: Well, how is that getting an employee that has any investment in what you’re doing?

Jane Erbacher: Totally. And then they’re teaching at the other box around the corner as well for two hours a week.

Joe Riggio: Right. Here you can’t coach anywhere else. If you coach somewhere else, you can’t work here.

Jane Erbacher: Totally.

Joe Riggio: You know what I mean?

Jane Erbacher: Yeah.

Joe Riggio: So that’s kind of been our thing.

So that started right from the beginning and when I look back now, ten years ago, it’s like man, that was pretty damn smart.

Jane Erbacher: Yes I know!

Joe Riggio: And we didn’t mean it to be. It was really like … you know I remember I was sitting down with Craig, our accountant, Craig who’s coming in a little bit. We should make Craig sit down and do the podcast.

Jane Erbacher: Yeah.

Joe Riggio: And …

Dan Goodman: He’d love it.

Joe Riggio: Craig, come here for a second. He’d be terrified, right?

But I remember sitting down with him and Justin and being like, what should we do? How do we pay everybody? Well, just give them what you can afford, lock them into something. You want to build a good employee, you make sure you give them the opportunity to grow and own something. And I don’t mean own something like own a piece of company, but own something within the company.

Mike is in charge … Mike has always been, in a sense, the head strength and conditioning coach. He’s always been in charge of writing athletic programmes. He’s always dealt with the athletes and had a piece of that in terms of when he looks down at the gym floor now, and sees Adam doing what Adam does, Shawn doing what Shawn does, Joey doing what he does, and how Simone’s developed into an awesome coach, he can look down there with pride and say, I helped create that. I helped foster those abilities. I helped foster the gym. The success of the gym is a big piece of his ownership in our training programmes and what goes on on the gym floor. That’s allowed us to do stuff like this cause Mike’s down there training right now and working with guys right now.

That’s been a big part of the development in this story. I think what led us to Business of Strength was like what Dan said. Every time we went to … we’d go to a training workshop and people see our gym and they’d be like, how are you guys getting clients? Alright, what about, do you want to learn how to train athletes? No, no, no, how do you … So, how are you guys doing your marketing? Who does the marketing? Who does the operations? You know, blah, blah, blah, and we get into an hour long conversation about the business. What about training athletes?

Dan Goodman: Yeah.

Jane Erbacher: Yeah. You go like, we want to talk about this.

Joe Riggio: Nobody gave a … nobody cared. Nobody cares here, you know?

Dan Goodman: I think it’s funny too, I think actually on your video you can see this quote I went over with the interns yesterday, and I posted about it, and I wrote the article on Monday about Starbucks, but from their CEO, we just talk about Starbucks is not an advertiser. Everybody thinks there’s this huge marketing conglomerate. You don’t see them marketing on the Superbowl, you don’t see Starbucks billboards. What they talk about is the development of their employees. That’s where their time and money is spent …

Joe Riggio: And client experience.

Dan Goodman: Exactly. And the thing is, is here, we’re not spending $100,000 a month on Facebook ads. We’re not putting in paid advertising in a newspaper. We’re putting in our time, money, and expertise into developing the next great strength and conditioning coach …

Jane Erbacher: Totally.

Dan Goodman: The next great head of operations, because that’s enabled us to do the things that we want to do, and further our career as strength entrepreneurs where we no longer have to do 50 session hours a week. And we didn’t have to take a pay cut to do it. You know, where a lot of people are, oh man, I gotta shift gears and I gotta try and do this over here, but am I gonna be able to pay rent? It’s like, no, I know I’m gonna be able to pay rent because we have great people that we allow to do their jobs. I mean, Trevor, who’s sitting in the room right now, he’s our general manager who’s the de facto complaint department. Anytime anyone has a problem around the gym, they go to Trevor, but he’s become a resource for everybody that works here, and by and large, we know that we’ve got great, reliable help at the gym all the time.

Joe Riggio: Putting ownership on people, I think a lot of times also forces them to level up.

Jane Erbacher: Totally, like how you did with …

Joe Riggio: So, as soon as I told Mike … I remember sitting him down and being like, Mike … and this was years ago. We’re talking 2000, I think right after our trip to Westside so like 2011. He’d been working for two years, he’d been doing a great job, totally immersed himself into training and stuff like that. I said, Mike, we’re getting business cards and so I said, head strength and conditioning coach. I remember his eyes lit up like … you know he’s like head strength and conditioning coach? Does that mean I’m in charge of strength and conditioning? Yes, Mike. That’s kind of what that means, right? But you know, it was a prideful moment for him. He’d worked his ass off.

Dan Goodman: Yeah, for sure.

Jane Erbacher: Totally.

Joe Riggio: So it’s like great. So there was a little bit of acknowledgement, but it gave him ownership, and he’s like, I’m signing up for these workshops. I’m doing … this summer he’s going to, you know Eric Cressey, he’s a great practitioner. Big in baseball, and shoulder mobility, flexibility, correct effects, stuff like that. Mike trains all our baseball players, so he’s going to one of Cressey’s workshops and he’s super excited about that. He’s always trying to level himself cause he takes a tonne of pride in that title. Hey I’m the head strength and conditioning coach here at Varsity House. He does all of the technical strength and conditioning, teaching with our interns, and stuff like that. Giving him that title has forced him to level up.

Creating a position for Trevor, calling him the general manager has forced him to level up. Trevor was always a super talented IT guy, computer, graphics, video, pictures, art, stuff like that. But going to the other side of the table and becoming a businessman, and a leader, and being able to conduct a meeting at the front desk with the girls, and our front desk staff, and the other coaches, and be like, hey guys, here’s the stuff we have on the table. Here’s what we have to do. Here’s our new onboarding process, or whatever it is, and help to implement those things, has been … That happened because we said, Trevor, when we go to the new gym, you’re gonna be the general manager and I need help with x, y, and z, you gotta make this happen, dude. And that’s it. It’s like, step up. Everybody has, but I think it only happens when you force people to. If you leave it … again if we go back to that part-time employee thing, part-time employee means part-time investment.

Jane Erbacher: Totally. 100%.

Joe Riggio: There’s really little investment. Even with part-time employees, you can really help them stand out and make a difference in your company by helping them, by giving them something that’s theirs to control.

Susan’s in charge of all the clothing ordering and supplements. Simone obviously has our SNAP Nutrition programme and she runs SNAP Nutrition. Trevor’s mom, who also works part-time at the front desk, she’s in charge of all the product ordering. All our supplies and things like that. She takes pride in every Monday when, or every Tuesday rather, when Mama Langsdon, she does all the inventory and stuff like that. So it’s given people something that’s like, hey, this is something that I do every day, it’s nice. Instead of just sitting there at the front desk, waiting for someone to come into the gym with nothing to do.

Dan Goodman: But even more so for the strength entrepreneurs that are listening, that are running their own spaces, is for the coaches that work here, on top of creating a salary system for them and talking about retirement, we also are providing our coaches with paid days off, which does not exist in this industry.

Jane Erbacher: Mm-mm (negative)

Joe Riggio: No.

Dan Goodman: We’ve also provided them with continuing education, an allotment of funds for each person where we have, not just Big Mike, but I know Joey’s going to the Cressey Performance.

Joe Riggio: He’s going too, yeah.

Dan Goodman: Trevor’s going to the WordPress level one and two for the development of our website. You know, Joe and I are headed back to Gym Jones in the next couple weeks, and Adam just went to Bedros’s business summit.

Joe Riggio: Summit, yeah. You know, more like [crosstalk 00:23:33]

Dan Goodman: Everybody here, on a monthly basis, is going to learn. And they feel empowered to come back and share that experience with everybody because, it’s really more of a team like-minded approach as opposed to … I know people have asked in the past, You know, Big Mike’s the head of strength and conditioning, he’s going to this or that, it’s like, yeah. All that does is make our team better. If our team’s better, then I’m better.

Jane Erbacher: Totally.

Joe Riggio: Me and Dan can’t go to everything, so it’s like, you know …

Jane Erbacher: Right. And what’s the point? Because it’s like, something that you’ve set up so well in your business, and I think this is why people are so interested to learn from you from a business side, is you don’t need to be in amongst every single operation of the gym for it to be successful.

Joe Riggio: Hell no. I don’t want to be. No.

Jane Erbacher: And it’s crazy to have your … it would be crazy for you too. So the interesting part about that I think is that so many gym owners, I’ve got a couple of questions from things that you’ve said, but so many gym owners have their ego attached to needing to be involved with every aspect of the gym. How have you both separated that? How have you both said, Trevor’s better at all of that than us, and if he’s …

Joe Riggio: Arguing. There’s been some arguing. No, but A, I want to make money. Right? So if you want to make money, you have to let go. You go to Tony Robbins, you go to any major business entrepreneur and the first thing he says, you gotta learn to delegate. You gotta learn to let go. You can’t do everything, and that’s one.

Two, especially for me, and I know I’ve talked to you about this personally, but one of the absolute best moments was seeing Dan and Mike turn the corner as coaches. Seeing Dan lead an entire crew of high school athletes, empower them, train them, write the training programme, train the team, give them the speeches. When they came in the gym they were looking for Coach Dan. You know like, is Dan here? Is Dan here? You know what I mean? And he had made the connection, the bond, and fostered the relationship, facilitated the money aspect of that with the coaches and the parents, and really took ownership. It was like man, that’s the moment for me as the gym dad in this sense, when it was like, wow that’s what I was looking for. That’s what you need.

So its like now with Dan seeing Adam take that leap. Where me and him both helped Adam grow. Dan spent a lot of time with Adam on the business side and the marketing and stuff like that. To see Adam become a phenomenal coach, he’s an amazing coach. And also he’s a really sharp kid with a really good business mind, to walk into our office one day when we’re having a meeting and he’s like guys, I really think I could help you out with this, this, and this on the business side.

Dan Goodman: With finished processes.

Joe Riggio: And for what it’s worth, on that side, he took a chance, and he got shit done. You know what I mean? So it’s like, I can help you out, but you gotta make it happen.

So I think that the ego’s a big part. I get a lot of people in the industry who, I don’t know, they think they’re saving money by not hiring people around them, and they’re really losing a lot of money.

Dan Goodman: And short term they may be. You know?

Joe Riggio: Well yeah. So I mean look, I get that sometimes there is a money issue. But I also see a lot of guys in the industry, they do a lot of travelling, there’s a lot of lifestyle people, you know what I mean? So you got money to travel around the country and do like a …

Dan Goodman: What’s important.

Jane Erbacher: Yeah.

Joe Riggio: So you know, we didn’t go anywhere for a long time. We didn’t spend any money. I went from making good money and running my own gym to barely taking a cent for myself for a few years to put money back in the business to see it grow. We do that today. When we moved here, we cut our salaries, we put money back into the gym, and it was like, hey we want to take this to another level, we gotta hire three or four new employees. We’re spending two and a half million dollars on building a new gym. We gotta make some …

Jane Erbacher: Totally. And it’s an issue of priority then. Cause that’s the thing that I kept thinking, how many people who would own a gym that would say, I just can’t afford to pay somebody a salary. And it’s like, it’s about what you then prioritise. Cause it’s like, how do you develop your gym if you’re in your gym working on everything all the time?

Joe Riggio: Let’s just say too, I think some people get worried about hiring employees. I just think that you’re hiring the … there’s something flawed in your hiring process. If you know personally and you can look introspectively and say hey look, this is definitely, IT is a clear weakness for me. It’s a clear weakness for him. Well, shit we need to figure this out. In comes Trevor, who has a background and a degree in that.

Jane Erbacher: Right, wouldn’t you get the best.

Joe Riggio: So why wouldn’t we lean on him for that? And obviously I want to learn more from him, but I’m not gonna tell him what to do in his own field.

Jane Erbacher: Yes.

Dan Goodman: You could just go back in our old YouTube videos, in the first YouTube videos, the ones that I did myself …

Jane Erbacher: Yeah …

Joe Riggio: And you could see that there’s zero quality or ability.

Dan Goodman: But also what takes him one hour, can take him three minutes. So now what have we created?

Joe Riggio: Yeah, we’ve created an accountant and everything[crosstalk 00:28:36]

Dan Goodman: We’ve created time.

Jane Erbacher: Yes.

Dan Goodman: We’ve put more time back on our plates. If we go out and we hire a great coach, and they go through our internship process, and they go through the betterment programme of being here at Varsity House, it’s like, why do you need to have your finger on that person all the time? You’re just inhibiting their growth and that’s just gonna do that person and yourself a disservice.

Joe Riggio: What was the thing we said the other day, it’s like, can you afford not to train your …

Dan Goodman



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