Anniversary. Milestone of an event!
Just a little bit about my background… I’m not sure everybody knows that I used to be an amateur kickboxer. There’s a photo of me of my first win. It’s a sport that I really loved because it was something I used all my pent up adolescent aggression towards. I guess it’s something positive. Instead of punching people in the streets, you punch people in the ring.
I loved it, got into the sport deeply and had it in my mind to be a professional fighter. When you go for fights, you go to get blood work done even at an amateur level just to make sure that you’re safe. When I had my typical blood work done, it came back and turned out that I had high hepatitis C.
If you know anything about hepatitis C, it’s a blood virus that attacks your liver. It’s similar to HIV in a sense. Treatments are like chemotherapy which kills off all of your liver cells and would basically leave you bedridden for a year or so I was told.
My doctor said, “Joe, if you live a healthy life, you know, you eat healthy, you workout regularly, you could live a long time”. And so, I had to deal with it. I had to leave the sport that I loved and just focused on my health.
A lot of my focus went to seeking out experts like naturopaths or nutritionists; doing my own research like going to forums and really just arming myself with knowledge. Knowledge gave me that power and gave me that ability to feel like I can overcome this.
Fast-forward to eight months later, we went to a specialist Downtown Toronto General. He decided to do my blood work just to double check everything before I start treatment. The results came back and it turned out that I was a false positive. They actually made a mistake with my blood work.
For nine months, I thought I was going to have this disease and it turned out that it was a false positive. It changed my life completely. I started focusing on health, fitness and just making that part of my life. That’s what brought me to start fitness and personal training.
Instead of kicking people in the head, I started to teach other people to do it. And it turns out people don’t like getting kicked in the head. They’d rather do it just to be healthy. That’s how Fight Fit was born. But I want to take you on a journey of Fight Fit.
June 2011 was when I officially incorporated Fight Fitness as a business. I knew I wanted to do this. We were doing some bootcamp stuff and I knew I wanted to do group fitness or fitness kickboxing.
Fast forward about two years, we were renting space and then eventually opened up our Markham location in 2013. This is the first lease for our current location, the one we’re in right now.
In 2014, one year later, we decided to open our second location. In less than a year, we opened up our Stovall location and started running sessions out of there. We didn’t have the location that many of you guys have been to in Stovall but started running in a Stovall renting space.
A couple of months later, we opened up our North York location. This was my first licensed location where we used the Fight Fit training methodology. Then we opened another location in the same district. In that same year, we opened up our second licensed location in Downtown Riverdale, Toronto. The next year after that, we opened up The Annex.
Within the span of less than four years, we already had five locations. Three of them licensed, two owned by us and it was a whirlwind of a year! Combined this with getting married and having my first kid! That was all in those first five years.
This next phase I call ‘the rebuild’ because in 2016, we decided to scrap all licensed locations and just focus entirely on education and certifications for trainers. This is when we started our Fight Fit coaching academy and started teaching trainers how to train their clients by using fitness, kickboxing and boxing exercises to get them in shape.
In 2017, we started to acquire new team members. A lot of the current team members and a lot of the people that came in during this time started to see a shift in new team members and coaches. It was a new energy that was definitely coming into the business.
In 2018, we started our first 6-week challenge. This was the start of constantly running 6-week challenges that you could see all transformations and that we’re able to work with. In 2019, we continuously grew to over 40% of our member base. It was a huge growth year for us.
Which led us to January 2020. The best quarter of our company’s history. We had a killer beginning of the year. Not only on the business side of the team but the team was super dialed in! We had all the right team members in all the right places. We were crushing it in terms of how everybody was feeling.
Then March (2020) happened. I’m not even going to name what happened but we all know what happened. We went on and started servicing people online with our classes at this point, which leads us to where we are today. I always want to talk about the future. I am super excited that we are opening up step one, based on Ontario’s government 3-step plan of opening.
We plan to open on June 11, which is super exciting. We’re going to start outdoor classes on June 12 where there’s going to be a max of 10 people.
Step two, we plan and hope that on July 2nd, we will be opening up more ‘Fit’ classes.
‘Fit’ is our fight inspired interval training classes throughout the week.
We are increasing capacity to 25 so we could fit a lot more people. We will also be doing indoor personal training as well. This is when we’re going to start accepting new members because right now, we’re not accepting any new members. We are currently just dealing with the capacity we have right now.
Step three, by July 23rd, we will be opening up the recently renovated studio for indoor training to offer all our full classes of kickboxing, boxing and Fit limited to 10 people. We will also be continuing our other classes so we could still service a lot of users. Those are our plans.
I also want to share with you guys the 10 lessons that I’ve learned in 10 years in the short amount of time from being a business owner/fitness professional.
Number Ten: Fight Fit is a ‘people’ not a ‘place’. This is one thing I’ve come to realize, that you, our clients, are team members. Everyone makes Fight Fit what it is. It doesn’t matter where we have our five locations or ten locations or twenty locations or one location… it’s all about YOU. It’s all about the people.
Number Nine: Habits compound over time. Good habits and bad habits. They both compound. Which one do you want to compound?
Number eight: We often don’t need to learn new things, just reminded. Tie this into business and health. You see a lot of new things, new fads, new supplements, new workout and routines come out. All these new things… but we don’t need new things. We just need to be reminded of the basics in order to keep moving forward.
Number seven: Focus on one thing at a time. I’m really big on this. When I’m coaching clients or when we work with anybody, we like to do one or two action steps max because we need to make sure that we focus on one thing. If you focus on too many things, just like my history in the last 10 years, what can happen if you focus on multiple things at the same time.
Number six: Even coaches need coaches. This is a huge thing. I believe strongly in coaching. I have business coaches, fitness coaches… myself! People need coaching. They need accountabilities because if we don’t have accountabilities, a lot of times you don’t get things done. We all need to be held accountable to a standard and to commitments.
Number five: Your inputs equal to outputs. This is two-fold in business and in health. Let’s talk about health. What you put in your body becomes your output. You have to be careful with nutrition because that’s what gives you energy. Your inputs, the media that you consume, eventually becomes your output because it gets incepted into your brain. So be mindful of what you’re consuming.
Business. Who you’re listening to in business is going to be your output. I’ve had good business coaches and I’ve had bad business coaches. I mean, I wouldn’t say bad but I’ve had good and great ones. Good ones because they’ve given me poor inputs that I’ve had to do and make an output and have had to learn from those mistakes, which I’m okay with. So your inputs equal your outputs.
Number four: Consistent experience equals consistent results. This is more of a business lesson that I learned. Systemizing a lot of our programming and a lot of our classes will provide consistent results to everyone. We strive to do that day in and day out.
Number three is big. We need to be challenged in order to change. If you’ve done any of our challenges, committing to any of that stuff is what actually changes you. Challenging your mind and body to something that you’ve never done is what moves you forward in order to cause change.
Change is very difficult to do and takes a long time. But in order to start change, you need to be able to challenge it.
Number two: We overestimate the short-term and underestimate the long-term. This is a big one for me. If you think about what we do when it comes to your fitness and health. A lot of times we think we could drop weight quickly, but we’re really here for the long game. We’re actually here now for the infinite game. This is an infinite game we’re playing. It’s going to go on forever.
Humans do a really bad job at this, even me. I thought renovations would take a lot sooner to finish. But it is really something that takes a longer time.
Number one: Change is the only constant. The last 10 years, we’ve seen a lot of change. The last year or two years and a half, we’ve seen a lot of change and change will always happen. It’s our ability to adapt to that change, to look into the positive, to see what to overcome that change and become better from it. That’s what makes life so fulfilling.
Change is the one thing that we are going to have to expect is that we’re going to have to adapt to it or die. This has been the big motto in our team for the last few months since this whole thing happened.
It’s been exciting, it’s been challenging but most importantly it has been super rewarding both personally and professionally. I am completely a different person than I was 10 years ago. The person that I knew before is not the same because of everybody that’s contributed to this business and to us. Thank you for being part of this journey.
It’s Fight Fit’s 10 Year Anniversary today! Join me as I share:
1️⃣ Our journey in the LAST 10 years
2️⃣ Our Re-opening plans
3️⃣ 10 Lessons in the last 10 years
For more episodes visit: https://www.fight.fitness/being-a-ninja-podcast/
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