Plant Your Failures...

“Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.” -Napoleon Hill

One of my favorite people, and my favorite quotes...Napolean kills it in that quote. 

I talk a lot about mindset because I think everything starts there. 

There is only so much you can control in life and business, but do you know the one thing you can always control?

How you react to something. 

That usually comes back to your mindset about it. 

Failure is a common word in society, especially in the small business space.

"I failed to make enough money."

"I failed to get good employees."

"I failed to reach my goal."

For years, we've been taught that failure is a bad thing. 

Everything we're taught in school, everything we're taught growing up is that failure is a weakness. 

You are in the wrong if you fail. 

But isn't that when we learn the most?

If you plant your failures, they become the seeds to your success. 

One of the largest areas we can all improve upon is to not look at failure as a negative thing, but instead to look at it as a learning lesson, a chance to make a change and do it better next time. 

When we fail, we are proving that we are living life and taking chances. 

You can't be afraid to fail. 

Failure is not a negative thing. 

Albert Einstein once said, "Failure is success in progress."

Imagine how many of his ideas failed?

Without those, without learning from those failures, none of his brilliant ideas would have come to life. 

Whether you failed to hit your revenue goal this month...

Or you failed to get your product on the shelf...

None of that matters. 

Use those as learning lessons, use those as opportunities to make a change, to get better. 

Don't be afraid to fail, because failure is quite often the seeds to our success.

Failure means you're trying. 

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling 

5 Pillars of Productivity

In Small Business, it's all about being productive. 

The more you can produce, the more you win. 

Productivity is built on 5 pillars...

1. Planning & Preparation

This is something that seems so obvious, but how many of us actually do that. 

This is planning the night before what is the one thing you're going to get done tomorrow. 

This is mapping out your calendar on the weekend so you're not scrambling during the week. 

Planning your schedule to allow for a 45 minute stop at the gym to get a workout in to boost your energy, and being prepared for that by having your clothes packed the night before.

It doesn't have to be anything crazy, but all productivity starts with preparing and planning ahead of time. 

2. Professional Accountability

We all need coaches. 

I have a coach. 

My coaches have a coach. 

Steve jobs had a coach. 

Bill Gates has a coach. 

Tom Brady has a coach. 

So what makes you think you're special and don't need a coach?

If you want to get better with money hire a coach for that. 

If you want to get better at your craft hire an expert coach for that. 

If you want to get better at fitness hire a coach. 

We all need accountability, and a good coach will give that to you. 

3. Social Support

Quick story. 

In Alaska, crabbing is a huge thing. 

Imagine you walk out onto a pier and see a bucket of crabs. 

As you watch those crabs it looks like one is climbing out and ready to escape. 

You grab the fisherman and say...

"Hey, one of those crabs is escaping!"

He says...

"Oh, don't worry about it, just watch."

As you look on, just before it looks like the crab is ready to tip over the edge, get out of the bucket and back into the cold water something happens...

Another crab pulls him back into the bucket. 

Crabs will not let one escape, if one goes down, they all go down. 

That's a great analogy for a lot of our social support. 

As soon as we want to have any kind of success or want to become good at something there's always that "friend" that becomes jealous and keeps us tied down. 

If you're looking to change your behavior, in whatever facet of life, you need to make sure you have strong social support.

Find strong social support, people that challenge you and lift you up, not bring you down. 

4. Incentive

What's the point of all this?

What's the carrot we're chasing?

What's the point of being productive, achieving a goal, if there is no incentive at the end? 

So maybe if you're really locked in for 90 days, and you increase your profit by X, you reward yourself with a mini vacation. 

Or, if you're trying to be productive with your savings after you hit a milestone you agree to take a small percentage of it and buy that thing you've been wanting. 

Whatever it is, there has to be some form of incentive to change the behavior. 

5. Big Deadline

This one, I think, is the most important. 

There's a universal law called Parkinson's Law

Again, a law, something that is not up for negotiation, we all fight it. 

Parkinson's Law states that work expands as to fill the time allowed to complete it. 

Meaning, if you have two weeks to complete a project,  it will take you two weeks. 

If you have a week to do that same project, it will take you a week. 

Use deadlines for everything you do. 

A goal is great, but if it doesn't have a deadline it will never happen. 

Any project you decide to take on, give it a deadline. 

Anything you need to get done, give it a deadline. 

We work off of deadlines, it's how we're wired, don't fight it, just set the deadline. 

So there you have it...

The 5 Pillars of Productivity.

Which one do you need to build up?

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

Small Biz: How To Build Your Team

If you're in the service-based business, your team is your most valuable asset. 

However, finding, keeping, and developing a team can be a business owners biggest headache if you don't go about it the right way. 

Here are four keys to building your company's dream team:

1. Hire character, train skill

I always say that I can train you on anything that needs to be done in our business, but I can't train you to be nice. 

It may seem smart to hire the guy with 20 years experience and all the certifications in the world, but that can potentially mean 20 years of bad habits you have to change. 

You have your way, your system of doing something. It's much easier to teach a nice person specific skills and protocols then it is to teach a person that has a bunch of irrelevant skills to be nice. 

Hire based on character, hire based on your core values (another post for another day), and then train the skill. 

2. Clear Expectations & Systems

We have one way of doing things in our business. 

It's our system. 

From day one, and every day after that it's important for the leader to set really clear expectations and have a system for everything you want to be done.

Quite often I hear frustrations from business owners that their employees aren't up to snuff, and I ask them about their systems. 

Crickets. 

If the standard isn't set, if the expectations aren't clear, if they don't know what right looks like, how can you get mad at them?

Extreme Ownership. 

Set clear expectations by having systems for everything in your business. 

How are people greeted?

How is the phone answered?

What happens when someone inquires?

What does the client journey look like?

What happens when someone leaves your business?

What do the service standards look like?

These and more are all things that should be clearly documented for all to see. 

We have ours stored on a cloud that everyone can access at any time from anywhere. 

You create them, get their feedback, tweak, and then hold them accountable to it. 

If you want the business to run without you, to run smoothly and consistently, every single thing in your business needs to have a system. 

3. Hold Them Accountable & Train Relentlessly. 

So you've brought on the right people and you set clear expectations through systems. 

Great, you're just getting started. 

The hardest part is the daily, yes daily, training of your team. 

Just like the famous Ziglar motivation quote, staff training is like bathing, it's required daily. 

Every day is an opportunity for a learning experience or a moment for positive reinforcement. 

We set up our formal training and accountability through daily meetings.

Bad meetings suck.

They're boring time wasters, and people hate them.

A good meeting can be a game changer.

Get good at holding valuable and engaging meetings.

Read the book Death By Meeting and everything else by Patrick Lencioni. 

Our meeting flow looks like this:

Daily Huddle: Each morning a preview of the day and what people are working on. 

Weekly Individual Meeting: Each week every employee meets with their supervisor to discuss their specific role, responsibilities, tasks they're working on, and how they're developing. 

Weekly Team Meeting: Each week we meet as a team to dive deep into one particular topic. 

Quarterly War Room: Each quarter we recap the previous quarter and set 2-3 big rocks we're going to accomplish for the coming quarter. 

Annual Vision Meeting: Each year we map out the coming year, set goals, and everything above (quarterly, weekly, and daily meetings) is a breakdown of the goals we set at this meeting. 

It may seem like a lot but these meetings alone will change your business. 

It allows you to build team rapport, hold them accountable, and keep communication clear. 

4. Build Autonomy and Lead From The Back

This is where the magic is made but you can't do this until you have the first three keys down pat. 

Once you've found the right people, set clear expectations, have concrete systems, and have a cadence of accountability, it's time to let them do what they do best. 

Your job as a leader is to make them better people. 

I don't lead from the back with a whip like you see in those cheesy leadership photos, I lead from the back by challenging and inspiring my team to be 1% better every single day. 

I push them to get better at their craft, to develop as better spouses, friends, and just better people in general. 

Involve them in decisions, get to know them outside of work, let their personalities shine, and treat them the way you want to be treated, not as a dollar sign. 

If you're in the service based business your team is your biggest asset. 

Your clients and customers will stay not because of the service you give them, but because of the people behind that service. 

Running a business is hard, trust me, I know, but you can't do it alone. Follow these four keys as you look to develop your team. 

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

The One Question Every Business Owner Needs To Ask Themselves...

In a world where there’s an option for every service on each block, it’s pertinent that you differentiate yourself.

Now you can do that several ways in the bigger picture including brand development, marketing differentiation, service offerings, etc.

However, on a daily basis, you can also differentiate yourself by asking this one question each and every day…

How can I add more value?

Why can Disney charge $100+ per ticket, and other amusement parks can only get away with charging half that?

There are several reasons, but the biggest and simplest reason is their perceived value and how much value they actually give is just so much higher than any other amusement park.

So I challenge you to strategically think within your business how can you add more value?

This could be literally anything…

It could be remembering each customer’s name that walks into your business.

It could be rewarding long-time customers with gifts of appreciation such as handwritten cards or small gifts.

You could improve the experience that the customer has as they enter your business with an upgraded lobby, nicer products, or having a range of different service options for each customer.

Adding value does not have to be a “home run” thing…

Sure, top of the line materials, top of the line equipment, and top of the line furnishings will have a perceived higher value.

However, in a day and age where people hide behind technology, don’t answer their phones, and don’t follow up with customer wants and needs, nailing the basics could be added value.

Do you return e-mails and voicemails in a timely manner?

Do you remember clients birthdays, anniversaries, or special achievements?

I always tell my staff, there is no point in giving the client gravy if we don't have the good mashed potatoes down first.

Nail the basics!

We’re all in business to make a profit, support our families, and make an impact on our community.

I truly believe that starts by looking at every aspect of your business and asking yourself...how can I add more value?

If you focus on that not only will you see your numbers grow, but also, more importantly, you’ll make more of an impact on your customer's lives.

Lessons From The First Year Of Parenting...

Yesterday my son, Kaden, turned one. 

As I reflect back on the last year, he taught me a lot. 

A lot about family, about time management, about business, and about life. 

The last year has been nothing shy of a giant rollercoaster, but that's what makes it so fun. 

I look forward to many more years of learning and growing alongside my K Man. 

Without further ado, here are three of the lessons that I've learned or reenforced within me over the last year. 

1. Time is our most valuable asset

I write about time a lot. 

Selfishly, by writing about time, I continue to keep it top of mind. 

The last year has flown by, and as I hear from clients, that's the one consistent with all of this...

it goes by too fast!

I've done well for myself in my early years, Kaden won't have to worry, and I continue to work hard everyday to create a better life for my family. 

But the one thing I can never give him more of?

Time. 

I've gotten progressively better at valuing my time, being efficient with my time, and trying to spend as much time with Kaden and Megan as I possibly can. 

I'm not perfect, but over the last year, this is the are I've improved the most on. 

I run everything through the filter...

Does it take time away from my family?

If the answer is yes, it better be well worth it. 

Kaden is the reason I don't say yes to every e-mail, the reason I no longer answer your Facebook Message or text in .2 seconds, and the reason I have to say no to the person that just wants to pick my brain for a few minutes. 

Time.

I've become more efficient with my time, waking up at 430am is miserable somedays, but I do it so that I can get the bulk of my productive stuff done before he wakes up. 

I have my top 3 priorities for the day,  I get those done first. 

I schedule everything, including my workouts, and I say no to anything that is a distraction. 

Sure, I'd love to hang out at the gym for a 90 minute workout, but right now, a quick 45 minute circuit is what I sneak in before picking him up from day care. 

Most of you reading this have a few years of experience on me, and I know a lot of this is a head nod for you. 

I learn a lot from you, more than you know, but here's my challenge for you with this lesson. 

Time is our most valuable lesson. 

How are you spending your time?

I think this last year as a parent has made me more productive. 

I had a lot of people tell me that I wasn't going to be able to do everything I do once Kaden came along. 

I would argue, I get more done in less time know. 

I say yes to what's important. 

I say no to anything that's a distraction. 

I make sure I schedule "me time" with daily mediations, reading, and a workout. 

I audit my time consistently, and we can all benefit from that.  

2. Being present is my largest area of opportunity

As much as all of the above with time management sounds great, I still do have a large hole in my personal development. 

Being present. 

I've spent the last year carving out more hours to be with my family. 

But have all of them been quality?

No. 

My mind is often a pinball machine, with ideas and thoughts never ending, bouncing all over the place. 

I want to do so many things...

I want to make the experience at Spurling Fitness better, I want to make the team at Spurling so much better, I want to help my business coaching clients more, I want to make a bigger impact in the community, I want to help more people, I want to travel the world, and I want to rack up more experiences...

So many ideas.

But what about now?

Like right now. 

This moment. 

I spend the bulk of my day reflecting about past experiences and how I would have made them better, or thinking about the future, and confirming what I'm doing right now is going to make a better experience for my clients, my team, and most importantly, my family. 

But sometimes the best thing I can do is be present, here, right now. 

I'm not going to lie...it's my biggest area of opportunity. 

Slowing down, and learning from Kaden. 

Being in the moment, playing with those blocks or trucks, and just being present. 

I will continue to write about this lesson, even if it doesn't help you, it helps me remember what's important. 

As much as it's important to carve out more time with the family, and be more productive, if that time is not quality, it doesn't matter. 

I've missed out on so much because of this, I've argued with Megan too many times because of this, and it hurts, yet like an addictive drug, I'll constantly catch myself going back. 

Going back to the "ideas guy" and running scenarios in my head, thinking about all the projects or ideas I want to conquer, sometimes personal, sometimes business. 

I'm there, I'm in the room, my body is there, but my mind is not. 

I've gotten much better at it. 

But being present is still the largest skill I need to develop. 

When I say I learn a lot from Kaden, this is a great example. 

I know that when he's on the ground, playing with his blocks, he's playing with his blocks. 

That's it. 

He's not thinking, he's not doing anything else but playing with his blocks, loving life. 

I can learn a lot from that. 

3. Leaving a legacy is what matters most to me.

I think this sums up why I'm here. 

I'm a servant. 

I'm motivated by serving others. 

I want nothing but the best for my clients....

I want nothing but the best for my team...

And I will do everything possible to build the best damn life for my family. 

I've always been a pretty driven person, but being a parent has taken this to another level. 

When my mom died eight years ago, don't ask me why, but I used her death as motivation to drive me. 

I will outwork you, I will out hustle you, and I do that with the end goal of making sure, if she's looking down, she's proud of me. 

Now with Kaden around, everything I do is to leave a better legacy for him. 

I want to teach him, I want to mentor him, I want to be his best friend. 

I want him to say 85 years from now, when he's rocking in his chair, talking to his grandkids...

"That was my dad. He made a difference in this world."

I visualize that, clearer than you can imagine, and that's what drives me everyday. 

So how do you balance it all?

I need to be present and in the moment...

Yet I can't sit around stacking blocks on the carpet all day long if I want to make a difference in the world. 

There are so many things I want to do, people I want to impact, and places I want to visit. 

Yet I want to be present, and play with blocks on the carpet with Kaden. 

It's basically a combination of the first two lessons, it's yin and yang. 

It's being more efficient with my time....

It's making sure I have my "me time" for mental and physical health so I can be around for him as long as possible...

Yet it's hustling and outworking everyone to build a better future for him.

How do we balance it all?

I don't have the answer. 

All I do is bring it back to my life motto, the phrase that I sign off every e-mail with, the phrase I sign every card with, and the phrase we plaster all over the gym. 

1% Better. 

I just aim to be a little better than yesterday. 

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

 

8 Numbers Every Small Business Must Track

1. Leads

It seems like a no-brainer, but it always amazes me when I ask business owners how many leads they got last month and they don't know. You have to track EVERY single person that inquires in some way into your business. From there, the goal is to get them in front of you, but if you don't know their status, how they heard about you, and continue to follow up with them, they can easily get lost. Have a lead tracker that every team member has access to and track leads relentlessly. If you don't have enough leads you have a marketing problem. If you're getting enough inquires/leads, move onto the next number. 

2. Trials

What is the offer that you have that people can "try before they buy? Are 50% of your leads coming in for some form of trial or consult. Do you know the exact number each month and try to improve it? If you're getting plenty of leads, but are not getting enough in for trials you have to make that offer more enticing, have a better follow up/confirmation process, or improve your sales skills for showing them the value of taking the time to come in.

3. New Clients/Customers

If all you have is people trying things or just doing consults, it can artificially inflate your numbers and feeling of busyness. Ultimately the goal is to get those trials into core customers. We shoot for 80% conversion. If we dip below that, we're looking at the trial experience and onboarding process and seeing where things can be improved.

4. Retention Rate

How many people are leaving your business. One lesson that Pat Rigsby drilled into my head for a long time as that people ARE going to leave your business. It may be a personal issue or their just not on the right bus, and they have to leave. I would always get mad if we didn't have 100% retention, now we shoot for 97%. Anything below that we look at what we can do to improve the experience. Anything above that is a win.

5. Average Ticket

You can do 7 figures with 275 customers if your average transaction is $300 each month. If your average transaction is $100 each month, you need 830 customers. Regardless of what it is, most of us are not in the volume based business so it's important to look at the average transaction or ticket each customer represents. If I want to make $50,000 I can either have 500 customers paying $100 or 50 customers paying $1,000 each month. There's no right answer, but you have to track this and make it work for the business you want. 

6. Base Operating Expenses

What is the specific dollar amount you need to make this month to keep the doors open, lights on, and payroll paid. If you know that number, you know your minimum goal each month, and anything over that is profit.

7. Client/Customer Acquisition Cost

How much did it cost you to get each client or customer? I know if I spend $1000 on marketing it's going to produce about 50 leads or inquiries, meaning my average lead cost is $20. If half of those come in for a consult, and 20 of them buy, that means that it cost me $50 to get a client. What is a new client worth? For me, MUCH more than $50. If you don't know this number, you'll always see marketing costs and an expense, not an investment. 

8. Profit

That's why we're all here. Profit allows us to grow. Profit allows us to invest in ourselves, in our team, in our community, and in our family. Without it we're nothing. I don't care about revenue, I care about profit.

All 8 of these are on our monthly scoreboard. We track them relentlessly each month, and the entire team is bought into improving these 8 numbers every single month.

Questions?

Reply and let me know...

We Can't Stop It...

We can only determine its use. 

Time. 

We can't stop it, we can only determine its use. 

Our most valuable asset. 

We chase things like more money, bigger businesses, and other materialistic things. 

Yet, those are all renewable, we always have the option of more. 

However, we don't put enough scarcity to time. 

The clock is ticking, it never stops, and we only have a finite amount of time left. 

Doesn't the scare you?

It should. 

Imagine if it didn't.

We always here people say...

"I wish I had more time."

"I need more hours in the day."

Well, we know that's never going to happen. 

And two, I'm quite confident that if we had more time we would fill with it with the same things we do now. 

Parkinson's Law. 

In short, work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.

If you have 40 hours to do something, it will take you 40 hours. 

If you have 50 hours to do that same thing, it will take you 50 hours. 

But I digress.

Last night my wife, Megan, and I sat on the couch flipping through my sons, Kaden, baby book. 

As she cried (men don't cry, right?), we looked at pictures of the day he was born, pictures of each month's milestone, and memories of his first year. 

On Sunday Kaden will turn one. 

This last year has flown by, just like I'm sure every year will, as I always hear from those who have kids that are my age. 

We can't stop time, but we can determine its use. 

Since Kaden was born, my priorities have shifted.

He is the reason I have to say no to the guy that e-mails me and "just wants to pick my brain for 5 minutes."

He's the reason the reason I write this e-mail at 530am every morning and the reason I work so hard when no one is watching, aiming to create my ideal business. 

Time with Kaden. 

Time. 

We can't stop it, but we can determine its use. 

More time with your loved ones, more time to make an impact, and more time to leave a legacy. 

Remember, your business is just a vehicle that helps you get there. 

If you're spending all your time in the business, and not allowing any time to be with those you love, do things you enjoy, and live life, what's the point. 

Time. 

We can't stop it, but we can determine its use. 

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

The 3 M's of Small Business Marketing...

Do you get annoyed when you don't get the response you expected when marketing? 

Keep in mind the three m's...right message, right moment, and right medium. 

I hear a lot of frustrations from small business owners about not getting any responses from their marketing. 

You can look at a few different ways. 

Was it the right message?

The right message is a message that resonates and talks to your customer. 

A message is about clearly stating here's what I'm about and here's why you should choose me. 

If the customer doesn't resonate with the message they are not going to respond. 

Was it the right moment?

You've heard all those crazy statistics like it takes 7-10 times for someone to see your message before they buy. 

That's true, but it also has the be the right moment. 

I'm probably not going to respond to a barber shop message until my hair needs cut. 

Your job is to make sure I see the message at the right moment. 

The tricky part? 

You can't always know the right moment, so you always have to be marketing. 

Was it the right medium?

If you're a restaurant you can be all over Instagram showing off pictures of your delicious entrees. 

That may be the right medium. 

If you're selling geriatric services to the elderly I'm not sure if Instagram would be right medium. 

You have to be on the right medium, which is the one your customer is on. 

Follow the three M's of marketing and it will attract more customers, and grow your business. 

Always Be Marketing. 

All marketing is just being on the right medium, at the right moment, with the right message. 

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling 

The Art of Fulfillment...

The ultimate goal?

It's not to make more money or have a six-figure business. 

The ultimate goal for all of us...

To feel fulfilled.

Any goal you have...

Money, fitness, relationship, any goal...

Ultimately, you will never be happy with it until you feel fulfilled. 

Achieving a goal is science, it's a calculation. 

Sell this much, make this much. 

Save this much each month and I'll have this much money. 

Eat this many calories and workout this many times and I'll weigh this much. 

It's science. 

What I want to focus on today is the art of fulfillment. 

We all have six human needs. 

It doesn't matter who you are, what you do, or what your goals are, we all have six needs. 

These come from Tony Robbins, and I've been spending a lot more time with these lately. 

As we check more boxes, as we hit our goals, as we set new goals, constantly raising the bar, why sometimes do we not feel fulfilled?

We don't have the six needs. 

What are they?

1. Certainty

In some aspects of life, you need to have certainty. 

You need to be certain that you'll have a roof over your head. 

You need to be certain you won't get hurt, you won't get bored, or you'll be able to do something without pain. 

In your business, you took a risk, but there was always some form of certainty, and subconsciously, you make decisions every day to have more certainty. 

2. Variety

To counter certainty, we need variety. 

 We want the surprises that we want. 

We like to have spice in our life. 

Each of us is different in the level or type of variety, but we all need variety. 

There's some excitement as a business owner to not having everyday be the same, to have surprises pop up, or troubleshooting problems. 

As much as we crave certainty, we equally crave variety. 

3. Significance

We all want to feel important, we want to feel unique. 

We want to know that what we do matters. 

We want to be the hero. 

We want to be in control, valued, and know that what we're doing right now is important. 

It's the small things like getting your name highlighted, or getting an award. 

It's the recognition, the appreciation, and the gratitude. 

We all want to feel significant. 

4. Connection & Love

It could be a relationship, it could be a community, or it could be the connection with nature. 

As humans, we need to give love, feel love, and be connected. 

It's why our strongest piece at Spurling Fitness is not the workouts, not the equipment, but the community. 

People feel safe, they feel connected, and to some extent, they feel loved. 

How do you build connection into your business?

...into your life?

5.  Grow

This is where the real magic happens. 

Tony believes that everyone has the first four. 

You don't survive if you don't have the first four. 

They may not be as developed as you would like, but to some extent you have them. 

The real magic is in these last two. 

Grow or die. 

We want to get better, we want to develop, we want challenges, we want new opportunities. 

We want to be able to progress in business, and in life. 

The drive to grow and develop is in all of us, you just need to find it. 

6. Contribute

Life is about giving. 

The happiest people in the world are not the people with the biggest businesses, the biggest houses, or the most money, they are the people that have given the most. 

It's not about me, it's about we. 

Whether that's in giving back to your community, raising a family, or any other form of contribution, we all want to give back. 

The six human needs. 

We all need them, we all have them. 

However, like anything else, there are ones that we need to develop more.

Ultimately, it's these six things, not a number on the profit and loss statement that leave us fulfilled. 

1% Better. 

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

SPF...

It's summer here in Maine, and although short lived, I hope you're enjoying every minute of it. 

Most of you are familiar with SPF, Sun Protection Factor, as you get ready to hit the beaches, you want to protect your skin. 

But what if you want to protect your business?

There's another kind of SPF. 

Simple. 

Profitable. 

Fun. 

Those are the three keys to running a successful business.

That's it. 

SPF. 

Simple. 

Keep things as simple as you can and not any simpler. 

The more simple something is the easier it is to manage, the smoother it runs, and be happier you are. 

How can you simplify your business?

Can you reduce workflows?

Can you create typed out systems or processes to follow?

You can take it to any extreme, but spend sometime answering these two questions. 

1. What would it look like if it were easy?

2. What would it look like it I could start from fresh, start over and do it all again?

Make it simple. 

Profitable. 

Business is quite simple when we think about it. 

Spend less than you make. 

Make sure you're margins are strong, know your numbers, and adjust so that you are always profitable. 

Fun. 

Is that not the point of all this?

Make it fun. 

Love what you do, enjoy it. 

Don't build a business you can't escape from. 

If you're not having fun, what do you need to change to make that happen?

Do that. 

Simple. 

Profitable. 

Fun. 

SPF. 

The only way to run a busiess...that you enjoy :)

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

 

Consistent Lead Generation

It's probably the most common question we hear from fellow business owners...

"How do I get more customers or clients?"

First, let's define what a lead is. 

A lead is someone who expresses interest in your product or service. 

It could be someone that calls or e-mails, it could be someone that you see at the grocery store, or it could be someone that sends you a Facebook message. 

A lead is anyone that reaches out to you. 

We need to track these leads and work on turning them into customers or clients. 

Let me start with this....

How many of you have a busy business right now?

For some, it's summer time, and if you rely on the summer uptick, you might be slammed right now. 

For others, you may be wondering when your next customer is going to walk through the door. 

When things are busy we tend not to market. 

We things are slow we freak out and start marketing. 

That's usually what I see as the gap between consistent lead generation.

When things are quiet in the business, you slingshot market, and then when the business gets busy, you stop marketing.

Here's how we consistently generate 50, 60, and 70+ leads per month, year round.

We follow my marketing blueprint.

1. Know your target market, and speak to them. 
2. Have a unique message
3. Have a nurturing plan across 3 channels
4. Have 3 offers: lead magnet, evergreen, and deadline driven.

So here's what it may look like AFTER you've defined your target market and your unique message.

If you don't have that clearly defined, you need to start there.

From there, we approach marketing and lead generation as an everyday thing.

Every single day we do the following 5 things:

1. Every day an e-mail gets written to our list
2. Every day that e-mail gets copied over as a blog post on our website and shared on social.
3. Every day, we post a picture/testimonial/video, some piece of content on our Facebook page, and boost it to our audience we've defined as our target market
4. Every day we ask for referrals at point of sale
5. Every day we have an offer out there, whether it's the free lead magnet to get the e-mail every day, an evergreen offer like a trial or our business, or a deadline driven offer like joining an upcoming program. 

The key there?

Every damn day!

The key to consistent lead generation is, you guessed it, being consistent.

It's excellence in the ordinary things.

It's showing up, every single day.

I always tell biz owners, there will not be a single day that every female between the age of 30-60 that lives within a 12-mile radius doesn't see something from my company because that's our target market.

We show up every single day, add value, and give them an offer that solves their problem.

Cool?

Let me know if you have questions...

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

 

Instantly Become Profitable...

As most of you know, I got into the business world owning a fitness business. 

Although I love running the gym, I got into the fitness industry because I love helping people, I love seeing change. 

Yes, it can come from a wellness side, but it can also come from a financial or business side. 

Hence why in 2016 I started consulting for other Maine Small Businesses, carrying over the knowledge that I've used to build a seven-figure business, and coach them to be better business owners. 

One of the biggest "requests" I get as their coach is to become more profitable. 

Although there's a lot that goes into that, I wanted to share one quick tip I got from the book, Profit First. 

In accounting, they teach you the calculation of profit as...

Revenue - Expenses = Profit

Basically, you bring money in, pay all your bills, and then hope that there is something left over. 

But what ends up happening?

As much as we're taught not to, we make buying decisions off of our checking account balance. 

If there's money in there, we spend, and the end of the month comes around, and all the sudden there's no profit. 

In fitness, it's like the tool of using a smaller plate. 

If you have a big plate of food, you'll eat all the food. 

Nobody likes a half eaten plate. 

However, if you use a smaller plate, there is less food, but you still get the satisfaction of finishing the plate without all the extra calories. 

So, how does Profit First work?

In simple terms (read the book)...

we flip the traditional equation. 

Revenue - Profit = Expenses. 

Meaning, money comes in, and on a set day, we automatically transfer a percentage into a savings account that you can't draw from, only in an emergency. 

Then, you pay your bills with what's left over. 

Instantly, even if you transfer $100 a month, you instantly became profitable because you paid the "profit first."

Magic, huh?

It basically just plays to human behavior. 

If we wait until the end to see what's left for profit, there will never be anything there. 

However, if we set it up as the first "bill" of the month, and it's out of the account, we never miss it, yet after months and years, we've built up nice little savings. 

It's the idea of saving for retirement if it's automatically taken out of your paycheck you forget about it and don't miss it. 

I highly recommend you read the book, here is the link. 

Hopefully, you found this helpful. 

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling 

4 Agreements...

Running a good business can sometimes come down to just being a good human being.

The four agreements. 

The four things, as good human beings, that we need to keep in mind and take action on. 

The four things that create love and happiness in our lives. 

Understanding these commitments is easy and simple, but actually living and keeping these four agreements can be one of the hardest things. 

Integrate these four agreements into your life and every area will improve, including your business. 

1. Be Impeccable with your word

This is integrity. 

Doing what you said you were going to do. 

Committing to what you said you would do. 

Saying only what you mean. 

If you said you were going to call the customer back on Tuesday, call them on Tuesday.

It's also avoiding using negative words to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. 

Use your words to drive happiness and love not negativity. 

2. Don't take anything personally. 

What others say and do is a projection of their own reality. 

Nothing others do is because of you. 

When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others you won't be impacted by their negativity. 

Keep this one in mind next time you get one of those nasty e-mails or a bad review. 

Don't take anything personally, keep your head down, stay positive, and focus on your journey. 

3. Don't make assumptions

Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. 

Communicate with others as clearly as possible to avoid misunderstandings.

Whether it's communicating with your team members, communicating with vendors, or communicating with your spouse, don't make assumptions. 

Spell things our clearly, ask good questions and don't assume. 

4. Always do your best. 

This is my favorite one. 

In every moment, you should always be doing the best you possibly can. 

Life is too short for half-hearted efforts in anything. 

Now, an important thing to understand before I go on...

Your best is going to change from moment to moment.

Your best when you're sick is not going to be as good as when you're healthy.

Your best when you're tired is not going to be as good as when you're rested.

That doesn't matter though.

In any situation, always do your best, whatever that looks like at that time. 

Jump higher.

Put 100% effort in 100% of the time.

Always do your best. 

How'd you like the four agreements?

If you liked them I would highly suggest reading the book, The Four Agreements. 

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling

How To Stay Ahead...

*How To Stay Ahead In 2018*

In today's fast-paced world, social media changing every day, and your customers lives busier than ever, how do you stand out?

What has gone by the wayside in the last decade?

We have the ability to automate almost everything...

We can post something from our phone and have it seen by hundreds or thousands of people...

What's missing?

Good customer service.

Actually, great customer service.

Good is no longer good enough.

So, how do you stand out?

Nail the basics.

Excellence in the ordinary.

How you do anything is how you do everything.

When someone calls is the phone answered in 3 rings or less?

If I don't get an answer, is my call returned promptly, ideally in the next hour or so.

Again, in today's fast-paced world, if I don't get what I want, I move on quickly to the 1000 other options.

The same thing applies to e-mail.

Do you e-mail me back right away, or do I have to wait 3 days for a response?

The longer you make them wait, the higher the chance they are going somewhere else.

Do you greet every customer, every single time?

Do you remember their name?

Do you remember when they had a birthday?

When was the last time you wrote a handwritten note to your customers?

Think about it...

When was the last time you received a handwritten note from a company that you bought from?

It allows you to stand out, it allows you to show up differently.

You have a customer that is a repeat buyer, they've spent hundreds or thousands of dollars with you.

They've given you their most valuable asset, their time.

The least you could do is send them a handwritten thank you note or a small gift, right?

It's not going to get any slower...

Things are going to keep changing and evolving...

Peoples lives will get busier and busier...

Go back to the basics, excellence in the ordinary, and grow your business by being memorable, creating an experience, and having such good customer service that people can't stop talking about you.

Energy Crisis

Energy Crisis!

Ever found yourself frustrated, wondering almost aloud:

– What’s wrong with all those employees? Why don’t they get it?
– Why don’t more people start to innovate?
– What’s keeping employees from being more creative?
– What’s wrong with the economy? What’s keeping things from getting going?

Workplaces are suffering a very serious energy crisis.

Go into most any business other than the really great ones and you know and I know that the place is going to feel . . . flat.

If you doubt my doom and gloom, energy crisis assessment, take a look at this data from a Harris Poll cited in Dean Tucker’s great book, Using the Power of Purpose. Seriously—check this out. Of those surveyed:

Only 37% of employees clearly know the company’s goals
Only 20% are enthusiastic about those goals
Only 20% could say how they could support those goals
Only 15% feel like are enabled to work towards ‘em
Only 20% fully trust the company they worked for.

He had the deft wisdom and wit to suggest that one translate that workplace data into what it would mean for a football team. Of the eleven players who get sent out onto the field:

Only four actually know which goal they’re going towards
Even more depressing, only two of them actually care
Only two know which position they’re supposed to be playing when they get on the field.

Only two guys on the team feel like their efforts on the field could actually make a difference.

And all but two players would be just as likely to be rooting for the other team as their own.

Think about that.

Instead of complaining, how are you taking action on this energy crisis?

29 Random Thoughts on My 29th Birthday

On my birthday I could think of nothing more fun than to spend it outlining 29 lessons or random thoughts that I've accumulated over the last 365 days. 

I'll spend my day doing what I get to do every day, my ideal day. It started off with an hour of reading over a hot cup of coffee, followed up by writing this post. I'll then go hang out with my dream team at the gym, get a workout in, and top it off with an evening spent with Megan and Kaden. 

This last year has certainly been a test, in so many ways. 

Like all years, it was filled with ups and downs. 

As I reflect back, it's always more ups than downs, although it never seems it at the moment, the "roller coaster" feel of every day I think is what makes life so fun. 

I hope you enjoy the random thoughts as they're in no particular order and I wrote them as they came into my head this morning :)

Also, as a side note, I write these lessons not only for those reading but also as a reminder to myself, I'm not perfect, I'm here right along with you. 

1. Happiness: That seems to be what we're all after. We want happiness in our lives, in our families, in our careers, etc. Happiness doesn't just come to you after you make a certain amount of money or reach a certain title in your career. I believe true happiness is never-ending. It's being on a journey with a clear direction. It's being a part of something bigger than yourself, standing for something and having values. It's being excited about the process. It's leaving the world a better place than you found it. 

2. Being a part of something bigger than yourself: That's a value that has been more rewarding than almost anything I've come across. I'll continue to always involve myself in things that are bigger than me. Whether that's my growing family, my team, or my business. It's so rewarding to see the impact you can make on someone or something bigger than just you. 

3. Your network is a true reflection of your net worth: As I continue to grow this statement continues to drive home how important who you know is. There are so many opportunities that have come about both in business and in personal life that would have never happened if I didn't know that person. I aim to meet one new person a day. I surround myself with people that are where I strive to be. I surround myself with positive people. All of this has allowed me to grow personally, professionally, and financially. Life is too short for negative people. Life is too short for tired people. 

4. You work for the people in your house: Why do you go to work every day? You hopefully are a part of a positive company that has a strong mission that you're motivated by. However, at the end of the day, you go to work every day to provide for your family.   I'll be forever motivated to make my mother proud, a woman who left us to early, but in her short life did everything for the people in her house. Everything I do is working towards building a better future for my wife, my son, and their future. This one hit home this year especially, and I needed to remind myself of it constantly. I am a workaholic. It's something I've used as a badge of honor, and I do believe it's part of the reason I've been able to build what I've built, however, that could all come crashing down if I don't constantly remember why I'm doing what I'm doing every day. It's for the people in my house, and if I spend the entire time working, I never get to enjoy the people in the house. 

5. Find a partner in crime: This journey we're on in life has it's up and it's down so why not have someone by your side to laugh and cry with you? Megan has been with me through the ups and downs of everything. When it's good she's there, and when I come home screaming to her about a frustration she's right there too. I can't imagine my life without her, and I could only wish the same for all of you. This year has been the toughest for us. We welcomed Kaden into our lives in August, which has been amazing, but it definitely challenged our relationship. She spent the first 4-6 months taking care of him, raising him, and I spent the first 4-6 months feeling like a useless piece of shit. I didn't know what to do with him, I didn't know what to do to help, so I just defaulted to what is easy for me...work. I worked to support our family, yes, but I believe I missed the point. It wasn't until Kaden turned about six months old that we had a turning point in our relationship. I knew if I kept going on the track that I was going (working so much and not being present at home) I was going to lose them. We're by no means perfect now, but I can't thank Megan enough for sticking through this journey with me, and I know it can only get better from here. And as for Kaden, he's now at an age that I really feel like a dad. I got to help him get in the pool for the first time, I play with him on the carpet as he learns to walk, I take him for walks on the beach, and I now, finally, feel like a dad. 

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6. Profit First: We've always been taught finances like this: income-expenses = profit/savings. Meaning, once you get paid, you pay your bills and then try to save what's left. Well how's that working for you? I'm challenging you to reverse that equation so it looks like income-profit = expenses. Automate a certain percentage of your income to come out automatically and go right into retirement/savings. You surely will miss it the first month, but after that, you learn to live on what's after. The government assures they get their chunk first (think of what happens with your paycheck) so why not run your personal finances the same way. Automate a certain percentage automatically to come off the top (pre-tax) and you will thank yourself in retirement. Following this for the last couple years has allowed my family to be financially free, have a long-term retirement plan in place, have a cash reserve for emergencies, and have the financial flexibility to do what we wish. I don't say that to boast, but to drive home the point that this works. 

7. I don't give a damn about what others think: This is not meant in a harsh way, and I'm not saying I don't value people's opinions, but I just don't let what anyone thinks impact my mood. Way too many people are living someone else's dream. They are going to college because their parents told them to. They work in a job they hate because society tells them it's the right thing to do. They make buying decisions (houses, cars, etc) to please the people around them. I do what is best for me, my family, my team, and my clients, in that order, and don't let any negative nancies chime in with their opinion. It seems to have worked out ok :)

8. Dream Team: Everything you see is a result of my team. I may help lead it, but they are the ones that are in the trenches day in and day out delivering our mission of changing people's lives. They work relentlessly, and I would not be where I am, Spurling Fitness would not be where it is, without the devotion of my team. Surround yourself with good people and good things will happen. 

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9. Reverse any goal into what you need to do today: You want to have a million bucks in the bank? What do you need to do TODAY to make that happen? Do you want to lose 50lbs? What do you need to do TODAY to make that happen? Every goal, no matter how large, can be broken down into manageable chunks to determine what needs to be done today. Take any of your goals, and reverse engineer them into what action needs to be done today. 

10. Experiences over materials: I always joke that I could fit everything I own in a Rubbermaid container. Outside of real estate, vehicles, and the equipment in the gym, I don't own much. I have a t-shirt for each day of the week (yes, I'm weird like that), two pairs of jeans, my laptop, and my journal. Now I know I'm missing stuff, of course, but the point I aim to make here is I don't spend money on materialistic things, but instead spend it on experience-based things. I challenge you not to chase the "dream life" of a big car payment, big house payment, and lots of debt (trust me, I've been there). Why? You end up choking yourself out, working every month just to pay your bills, and you never get to enjoy any experiences. You won't remember all the stuff you own, but you will remember the memories you create. 

11. Make it automatic: Go back to my line about profit first. We don't have the discipline to manually write checks into our long-term investments. So instead, I can't recommend enough that you automate it. I automate everything. All bills are automatically deducted, but not until savings is automatically deducted. Every 10th and 25th in my business account and in my personal account a % goes into a long-term savings vehicle, automatically. If it's there you'll spend it. If it's not there, you'll forget about it. Make it automatic. 

12. I wish. That's the biggest phrase I work to avoid. I wish I went on that trip. I wish I tried that adventure. I wish I made that career jump. When I'm 95 years old and sitting in a rocking chair I can only ask for one thing...no regrets. I did everything I could to make an impact and leave a legacy. I don't want to say "I wish."

13. Understanding Your Why:  In his book "Start with Why" Simon Sinek makes the argument that most people know what they want to do, and how they have to do it, but they never take the time to think about why they want to do it. Without exaggeration, this book changed the way I think about life. If you look at the best businesses in the world they always have a very strong WHY. Similar, the most driven people in this world are motivated because they know their WHY. If you know your why, you'll have no problem getting out of bed every morning. You know you'll know your why when you can't wait to go to bed because you know the next thing is getting up and working towards it. For me, I aim to leave a legacy that my mom would be proud of, and a legacy that when I'm gone, my family can say "dad built this." My mom was never around for my "adult" years, she only remembers me as that quiet and awkward (I still am) kid. She'll never see what I've built, but I'm motivated, probably more than if she was still around, to build something she's so proud of. Now that I have my own family, I wake up every day with a very clear picture in my mind. Kaden is in his 60's, and he's showing his grandkids what his dad built, pictures of the family, the trips they went on, the community he impacted, the businesses he built, the transformations he curated, and the people that he inspired. For me, it will never be about counting the hours or punching the clock, it's about doing something every day to build that vision. That picture is so clear, and it motivates me on the hardest of days. 

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14. A Mentor: Who do you go to talk through a tough decision? Do you have someone that aims to not only be there for you but challenges you both personally and professionally? Having a strong mentor in life can be a game changer. For some it's a parent, for others it's a co-worker. It can take time to find a mentor, but if you find a good one they will take the roof off, and make you grow further than you ever thought possible. For me, my mentor, Pat, is my second dad. I've called him on a Sunday afternoon freaking out, and he talked me through it like it was nothing. He challenges me, in a professional way, but more so in a personal way, to make sure what I'm building constantly works me closer to my ideal life. On the flip side, earlier this year, I was called a mentor by my Director at Spurling Fitness, Josh, and it motivated me so much. Being able to be a mentor to someone is so rewarding. 

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15. Freedom is what we're all after: Freedom to do what we want when we want. Now, I'm not saying sitting on the beach all day with a cold drink in your hand. That sounds good, but I would bet after a couple weeks of doing that you'd get bored and have no satisfaction. We want financial freedom to be able to travel and provide for our family. We want freedom at work to be home on the weekends with our family. Each move we make every day is moving us towards more and more freedom. 

16. Hire an Expert: If I told you that there is this slot machine where if you put $10 in it and once you do that you get $20 back, how many times would you do that? I'm not sure about you, but I'd do that all day long. That's what hiring an expert does. I pay a lot to have an expert business coach, but he's easily made me seven figures that I would have never made without his help. I hire an expert bookkeeper and accountant because together they've saved me thousands. In whatever area of life you're trying to get better at, hire an expert. It will save you time and money in the long-term. 

17. Ask the right questions: If you're looking for the right answers you need to ask the right questions. I spend the bulk of my time thinking about what questions I'm going to ask someone. Whether that's a question for someone on my team, a question to another business owner, or a just a question to my wife. If you want quality answers, ask quality questions. 

18. Listening: It's the largest skill I continue to aim to develop. Make no mistake about it, it's a skill that needs to be practiced. We think that listening is this passive thing where we can just sit back, but if you want to truly listen to someone it's an active exercise. That being said, truly listening, being in the moment, and making that person feel like they are the most important person right now is so much more valuable than anything you say. Most people are not listening, they are just waiting to respond. 

19. You get paid for done: I got this line from my mentor mentioned above, Pat. He always drives that home. Ideas don't mean anything, we get paid for done. This is not only true in business but true in life. You get "paid" when you complete something. Pay does not have mean money, it means you get what you're after. Setting fitness goals is great, but if you never take any action they'll always remain goals. Setting income goals is great, but if you don't take action they'll always remain goals. Analysis paralysis can be our biggest weakness. Take action and execute. Ship it! 

20. The more books I read the more I grow: According to Brian Tracy one hour of reading a day will put you at the top of your field in three years. Within five years you'll be a national authority. In seven years, you can be one of the best people in the world at what you do. Everything I've learned has come from the people I've met and the books I've read. I aim to read for an hour a day, it is a priority to me, and it's where I gain a large chunk of my development. 

21. Play: I think the older we get, we forget to play. As kids, we do a nice job playing, but for some reason, the older we get, we forget to have fun, to play. Trust me, this is just as much of a reminder for me as it is for you. I take things very seriously. I will do anything to hit my goals, and when I'm into something, I want to be the best in the world at it. However, I always remind myself, that when we're at our best, we are making things a game, we're having fun, we're playing, I believe this so much that one of our core values at Spurling Fitness is play. Each session needs to have play in it, how I lead our team needs to have play in it. If you want to be successful in fitness you need to make it fun. In order to love your career, it needs to be fun. 

22. We trade good problems for better problems: Life will always be full of problems. I have caught myself in traps where I try to do get rid of all problems. The reality is, life will always be full of problems, it's just a matter of exchanging good problems for better problems. Last year you didn't own your own house, now that you do, you traded that problem for the problem of making sure to pay your mortgage each month. Last month you had the problem of being unhealthy and not working out, now you have the problem of balancing going to the gym with work and family. We all have problems. The goal is not to get rid of the problems, that will drive you crazy, but instead, trade good problems for better problems. 

23. If you write it down, it will happen: Every goal I've ever accomplished started with a scribble in my notebook. Whether you're after a physical goal or a fiscal goal, write it down. I'm sure there's a bunch of research that supports this, but I just simply know that If I write something down there's a very strong chance it will happen. If I keep it in my head, the chances of it happening pretty much disappear. 

24. Have a clear and documented vision: Where does all my "stuff" go when I write it down. My personal vision. What is a vision? A vision is a "picture" in the future. For example, where do see yourself on May 10, 2021, three years from now? Take the time to document what you want your life to look like, document what you want to be doing for work, what kind of trips do you want to go on, what you want your finances to look like, what you want your average day to look like, everything. Everything gets writtend down in the vision. Read that vision every morning, and make sure what you're doing that day is moving you a little bit closer to that vision. Take that vision and break that down into yearly, monthly, weekly, and daily action items. Take a day to map this out, and read it every day. This exercise has changed my life. 

25. We don't deserve anything: I'm a firm believe in everything we want we must earn. The reason you can call my business a success is because my team and I have literally put blood, sweat, and tears into it. I'm pretty confident that I work harder on my business than 99.9% of people out there, and that's why it is where it is today. While some are enjoying television, I'm usually working on the business. While some are okay with punching a clock, I never stop, looking to always make things better, 24/7. While others blow money on coffees, I stash it away. In the world where everyone gets a trophy and we have kids graduating college thinking their poop doesn't stink, we need more people driving the message home that we don't deserve anything, we earn it.

26. Thank the people that got you to where you are: I'm all for hard work and building what you want, but nobody gets to where they are without a little help from others. This year I've tried to spend more time going back to the people that helped me and thanking them. The biggest was my dad. My dad and I have never been super close, and he shows about as much emotion as a white wall. He still has yet to buy even the smallest of gifts for Kaden, he may not remember to call me today on my birthday, but he's still my dad and I love him. When I first started the gym, I had no money. Six years ago, he let me max out his credit card to pay the first months rent of my first location and buy some equipment. Six weeks ago, I found out his apartment complex was up for sale and he had to be out by the end of the month. I remembered that day six years ago when I called him to tell him I was starting the gym and he let me max out his credit card. Six weeks ago Megan and I bought him a condo he'll get to live the rest of his life in. I had to return the favor and thank him. Now, that's the biggest example, but even a simple handwritten note or small gift to the people that have helped me the most is of the utmost importance to me this year. I lost friends years ago for not being thankful for what they did, and now, I try to always remind myself that they are always people that are helping me get to where I am, and it's the same for you. 

27. Success is never a straight line: That picture that we've all seen of the two lines, one is straight, and the other is filled with a bunch of squiggles. That is the perfect image of what success looks like. There will be bumps, there will be setbacks, but those that work through those and continue to push forward will come out on top. Again, all of this is true whether we're talking fitness, business, or life. 

28. Values are guardrails: Another golden lesson I got from my coach, Pat. Take time to develop your values and they'll act as your guardrails. When you look at a tough decision go back to your values. When you're wondering if something is right, go back to your values. Make decisions and live a life based on your values. This, again, became super important this year, as I needed to constantly remind myself of my values to make sure I wasn't performing in ways that are building 

29. 1% Better: This is the motto I live by. Every day I try to be a better person, a better husband, a better father, a better son, a better business owner, and a better leader. 1% better every day. It's keeps me hungry yet humble. It's everything.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this. 

If you're reading this you've impacted my life in one way or another and all I can say is...

Thank you. 

I look forward to another great year. :)

Doug Spurling

What's the Value of ONE?

Meet our client, Christine. 

She's a middle-aged woman, single, and probably summed up as our "average" client. 

She works in banking, but not super high up, an average income. 

When I met with her for her orientation she was about as hesitant as they get. 

She had never stepped foot into a training gym, only tried some group exercise classes before, and couldn't understand why every membership was over $150 per month. 

We did a decent job on day one, I got her to try a month at our lowest tier, and off to the races she went. 

If we stopped there, I'm guessing we would have missed out on at least $10,000 in revenue just from her, and that's conservative. 

We continued with our strong onboarding program, over delivered, and then all of the sudden we sit back and watch the magic work. 

After about 2-3 weeks she came up to Mel, our Director of Customer Experience, and started crying. 

She had never been successful in the gym before and she was finally seeing results. 

She loved the daily e-mails and she looked forward to the check-ins and accountability calls. 

Long story short, Christin has been with us for about a year now. 

She upgraded her membership to our highest option, joined our nutrition program, buys her supplements from us, and is obsessed with our rewards program where she gets points for everything she does, including 400 points for every referral she gives us. 

In a very conservative number, she has given us at least $10,000 in her short time here. 

That's a pretty big jump compared to the $150 she committed to in the beginning. 

Here are a couple big takeaways:

1. Remember the value of one client: We spend so much time trying to get new clients, yet there is so much to be made from our existing clients. The story above is cool, and she is having great success. Imagine if you can multiply that by 10, 100, 200, clients? 

2. The first 90 days are so crucial: That's why I'm such a firm believer in having a strong onboarding program and something like a Client Lifecycle Checklist to make sure every client goes through the big milestones. If we dropped the ball once with the above story that could have made the difference between a client for life and a client for a month. 

3. Never assume: When I first met with Christine I knew if I was able to close the sale it was going to be tough. I probably assumed that she just was miserable and not going to want to pay for anything like our service. Luckily I was able to get her to try it and build the value from there, but I caught myself making assumptions that were never true. 

4. Every piece of the puzzle matters: The follow-up process, the success session, the greetings, the workouts, the community stuff, the accountability stuff, and all the extra things we all do to go above and beyond for our clients. When we're in the trenches we don't realize the impact it's having, or when we're building out one piece of the puzzle we don't realize how integral it is to the entire thing, it all works together. 

How do you go above and beyond for your clients?

More importantly, how do you stay consistent delivering a top-notch experience to all clients so that can WOW every single person?

 

 

 

 

What's Your Daily Number?

Raise your hand if you want more revenue?

But do you know exactly how much?

I don't mean some round number like "I want to make $5,000, $10,000, or $100,000."

I mean, based on your annual goal setting (you did that, right?), how much do you need to make this month?

From there, you're going to update your daily sales number, every day. 

So, at the beginning of the month, if you want to make $10,000 and you're open for business 24 days, you're daily number on the 1st of the month is $416. 

$10,000/24 = $416.

Now, the most important part, it's updated every day. 

Meaning, it's going to look like this: 

Monthly Sales Goal - Money Collected Month to Date / Days Left in Month = Daily Number

For example:

$10,000 - $4500 / 15 Days Left = $366

Your daily number changes every day with the fluctuation of your sales. 

This number should be top of mind every morning, driven to your staff, and updated at the end of every day. 

Remember, what gets measured get managed. 

If you want to grow your sales, you have to aggressively measure it. 

  

A Meeting Flow...

Meetings seem to get a bad rap.

And trust me, I'm all for meetings that are a complete waste of time (corporate america style), but when used right, I think it's one of the best tools for business growth, delegation, and team development. 

In our business, we have 7 different types of meeting. 

I know, it sounds like a lot, but they all serve a purpose. 

Now, just like any post here, you need to be able to take the goodies out of this and tweak it to your business because we're all at different stages. 

So, here are the 7 different meetings we have, how they're structured, the benefits of them, and how you can fit it into your business. 

1. Annual Planning Meeting

It all starts with this. 

Once a year we get together as a team and we plan out the entire next year. 

We go over our vision and what are our values (another post for another day). 

We make sure everyone is on the same ship with the reason why the company exists. 

Then we take a look at our 3-year goals. 

These are probably a little fluffy because they're 3 years out, but they are certainly beneficial. 

Basically, as a team, we ask ourselves what does the business want to look like in 3 years?

How many team members?

Revenue?

Clients?

Big projects/changes, etc?

It all starts with this. 

Because...

After we set the 3 years, we take each of those and reverse engineer it down to a 1-year goal. 

And that is the real point of this annual meeting, leave with really SMART goals for the next year. 

It sounds like a lot, but as you get a few under your belt, it becomes just updates to each goal and getting a little more clear on our 3-year goals. 

For us, this takes about 4-6 hours, but we leave with crystal clear goals for the next year and who is responsible for each goal. 

2. Quarterly Planning Meeting

This meeting obviously happens every quarter and is basically a stripped down annual meeting.

We talk about wins from the quarter, what's working really well, what's broken, and what are things we want to add. 

However, the meat of it is discussing are we on track with our 1-year goals. 

We know if we are because we set quarterly rocks. 

Basically, a mini version of the 1-year goal. 

So, if the 1-year goal is to do 1 million dollars in revenue, a quarterly rock or goal may be to make sure we're at $250,000 (ignoring seasonality ). 

Or, if it's a big project, like overhauling your operations, what does 25% done look like?

We end this meeting with a really clear list of 3-7 "rocks for the quarter. 

3. Weekly Team Meeting

For me, this is probably the most important meeting, and if you don't have any meetings I would start with this one. 

It's at the same time every week, that's important. 

It starts with wins and highlights from each team member for the week. 

We then go over our Scoreboard (search that word and you'll find another post I did on this). 

Basically, are we on track for our monthly and quarterly goals. 

We go over any big headlines and things going on. 

This takes about 15  minutes. 

The remaining 45 minutes is spent discussing one big topic. 

For us, we rotate each week, so each week a different team member has the floor for the 45 minutes and they get to choose what topic they want to present on. 

We end with a recap, action items for the week, and we rate the meeting. 

4. 5-15 Individual Meetings

I've also written about these in the past and I think they are awesome. 

For me, my manager does these now, but if you play that role, you would do them. 

All they are are 15-minute meetings with each team member. 

Josh does all of his on Wednesdays, so it only takes him about an hour or two. 

It's basically a weekly check-in on them. 

Put the focus on them. 

How are things going?

How is the workload?

Any rocks in your shoe?

Anything keeping you up at night?

We also go over their individual responsibilities, making sure things are done, and make sure they know about all the big things going on in the business. 

So that covers the 15 minutes. 

Where does the 5 come from in a 5-15 meeting?

We ask them 5 questions before the meeting (we use a Google Form), that way we can prep for the meeting. 

It's a combination of the above questions, and we change them every few months so they're not answering the same questions. 

5. Leadership Meeting

This is probably for most of you, the least important, but as you continue to grow, it becomes important. 

For me, this is really the only meeting weekly (I also lead the quarterly and annual meetings) that I'm super involved in. 

It's a 30ish minute meeting with my manager on Mondays. 

We go over how last week went, any issues, and then discuss the plan for this week. 

Any big events, any big schedule conflicts, what are the 5-15 and team meetings going to look like, etc. 

Just keeps us on the same page. 

6. Coach's Meeting

Again, this one may no directly apply or be necessary for you, but on Tuesdays, just the coaching staff meets. 

They go over programming for the month and usually rotate a weekly topic to go deep into (cues, nutrition, a certain injury, etc)

7. Daily Huddle

This happens every single day. 

It's only 5 minutes, and it's STANDING (very important to keep it at the pace it needs to be). 

It's a quick update from each person about what they have on their schedule and to do that day and if they need any help. 

Melanie (my admin) also goes over any big headlines for the day and what our daily numbers are (leads, sales goal, etc). 

We high five, and we're off. 

Melanie after the meeting writes down what everyone said they were going to get done that day on the whiteboard in the office so there is some social accountability too. 

5 minutes, but SUPER helpful. 

So, there you have it.

Our meeting flow. 

It sounds like a lot, but let's think about it....

5-minute daily huddle is 25 minutes a week, lets' call it 30 minutes. 

15 minute 5-15 meeting. 

45-minute coach's meeting

60-minute team meeting 

And 30-minute leadership meeting. 

3 hours a week, at most, if you implement all of them, that's like 8% of the week.

However, if done right, it saves you a ton of time, everybody is more efficient, there aren't 100 questions coming to you each day, and everyone is on the same page, knows the plan, and you don't have all that wasted chitter chatter throughout the week. 

Finally, it's important to keep these meetings moving, efficient, and actionable. 

Here are 3 final tips:

1. Have an agenda and stick to that agenda.

2. Squirrel: If someone is going on a rant and it's getting to be wasteful, someone yells "Squirrel" and we know it's time to move on

3. Always end with a recap and going around the room with each person listing their action items and a rating of the meeting (1-10) so you know it was an effective meeting. 

So there you have it. 

Hope this helps. 

Do you have any meetings right now? 

What questions do you have?

PS: Any of Patrick Lencioni's stuff is really good when it comes time to this topic, especially "Death by Meeting."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How Can You Add More Value?

In a world where there’s an option for every service on each block, it’s pertinent that you differentiate yourself.

Now you can do that several ways in the bigger picture including brand development, marketing differentiation, service offerings, etc.

However, on a daily basis you can also differentiate yourself by asking this one question each and every day…

How can I add more value?

Why can Disney charge $100+ per ticket, and other amusement parks can only get away with charging half that?

There are several reasons, but the biggest and simplest reason is their perceived value and how much value they actually give is just so much higher than any other amusement park.

So I challenge you to strategically think within your business how can you add more value?

This could be literally anything…

It could be remembering each customer’s name that walks into your business.

It could be rewarding long time customers with gifts of appreciation such as hand written cards or small gifts.

You could improve the experience that the customer has as they enter your business with an upgraded lobby, nicer products, or having a range of different service options for each customer.

Adding value does not have to be a “homerun” thing…

Sure, top of the line materials, top of the line equipment, and top of the line furnishings will have a perceived higher value.

However, in a day and age where people hide behind technology, don’t answer their phones, and don’t follow up with customer wants and needs, nailing the basics could be added value.

Do you return e-mails and voicemails in a timely manner?

Do you remember clients birthdays, anniversaries, or special achievements?

I always tell my staff, there is no point in giving the client gravy, if we haven’t got the good mash potatoes down fist.

Nail the basics!

We’re all in business to make a profit, support our families, and make an impact on our community.

I truly believe that starts by looking at every aspect of your business and asking yourself how can I add more value?

If you focus on that not only will you see your numbers grow, but also more importantly you’ll make more of an impact on your customers lives.