The Bledsoe Show

Building a Scalable Coaching Business with Jim Crowell of OPEX Fitness

Building a Scalable Coaching Business with Jim Crowell of OPEX Fitness

Jim Crowell loves doing two things over all else…. Building businesses and mentoring coaches and business owners to enjoy inspiring, fulfilling, and successful careers. This is precisely what we delve into during today’s discussion.

Jim Crowell loves doing two things over all else…. Building businesses and mentoring coaches and business owners to enjoy inspiring, fulfilling, and successful careers. This is precisely what we delve into during today's discussion.

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The Need To Create A Scalable System

Jim: If you want to impact a thousand, you're going to have to create a scalable system because you can't directly one to one continuously coach a thousand different people at once. You can educate, like you can have some conversations here and there. But you can't have intimate relationships with a thousand, which means you either have to have more coaches or you have to have a product or a platform that can connect with those people highly successfully at scale.

That costs cash and costs for resources, tt costs time. If that's not what you want to spend your, your energy Building I'm telling you, I don't know that I go down that road. That's a different ball game.

Mike: A lot. A lot of the coaches I interact with early on, what I'm witnessing is that it seems like they're torn between two things. There they have this feeling inside of I'm meant to do more. There's something, this urge, telling you to do more. And then, but then there's this other part that doesn't want to lose that intimacy with clients where when you start, or when I start throwing out ideas of like, okay, we're going to, this is how you start a coaching business.This is how we start getting to the scaling conversation.

And then we watch coaches just shrink back so that they say they want it and then you start telling them how it's done. And then they shrink back, it's like, Oh, well, And then the ability to trust that we can create systems and delegate appropriately to where the clients are going to be cared for as much as you care for them.

What Is Success To You?

Jim: I don't want to say something that anchors somebody into thinking this is how it is. But a lot of people that I have talked to have had that idea of large impact injected into their brain and they don't know when or where or how. They don't even really know what large impact means to them. They just think that they need to impact more. And I'm certainly guilty of feeling that at times, no doubt about it.

I think that coaches need to ask themselves very tangible. What does it impact actually means to me? Almost lay it out. Impact is many clients or it's this much progress for my clients. And I'll just go right back to the reason why that's black and white and effective is that you could put a business model around that. Or you can learn that there isn't a business model that can be put around that. So it's like, okay, that idea's probably not going to work, but what I see is that I wouldn't ask.

Mike: I've witnessed that a lot as people go, I want to do this. And then we said, well, this is all this stuff that would happen. They happen. They go, Oh, I actually don't want to do that.

Jim: Exactly. Like that's all good, you know? But what I find in Fitness in which is why I think that you have so much impact to the people that you work with, is that most coaches either haven't been taught how to do that analysis or they just simply haven't put their hat in the ring. They're not doing the analysis. They're just jumping in and hoping that everything's going to be okay. and I think that, it leads to either a collapse in a business model or it leads to years of just going in circles, not really growing much of anything in starting to be like, is this successful or not?

I don't know because I never defined success upfront. That's what we try to talk to our coaches a lot about is what is success to you? And I know it's such a simple question, but write it down. Like actually take a moment and think about it, with an empty mind because that's what you'll fall back on. you'll want to get to that point. And now obviously I think you and I probably would agree, it's like it's not just about what that success point is, it's about the enjoyment of getting there, but you have to know what the business can become if you're going to put other people into it and put money into it and put a bunch of your time because building a gym or a coaching business, its like that doesn't happen in a year.

Like you might have some initial success, but the business itself is not solidified. One year in, I can tell you that much.

Mike: I built a few and I've, I've never been able to get one solidified under two years.

Jim: No matter how much you think, your customer or your business model or your financials, you can wake up two months later you're like, I didn't know shit. and I, I'm six years into OPEX at this point and every month why didn't I know that five years ago?

And at this point, I don't, I don't, I don't downplay it. I just chalk it up to, well, I got a feeling that in three years I'm going to laugh at my 2020 version of myself just because if I keep learning, how can I not be better? So my goal is, it's almost like a John Wooden strategy. I just want to be better every year and learn and grow every year because I'm confident enough in myself, in our team, et cetera that we will succeed if we just keep improving. It's like and we want to do that work.

Approaching Things From A 10x Mindset

Jim: I think that's what makes OPEX unique at least in some circles is that we want to do the work to refine it by 1% And a lot of people want to refine it by 2000% it's like bro you haven't done 1% yet. Let's do 1% and then work up to two and then the 12 and whatever.

The Compound Effect

Mike:I like approaching things from a 10 X mindset where it's like okay, how did we go from say twenty thousand two hundred thousand like I don't like the devil. Okay. And what you're saying and what, what, what what I'm saying what you're saying is lines right up. Its not contradictory. I want to point out where there's a connection is because these 1% improvements turn into if the one thing you're improving is, if you really thought it through and looked at the highest leverage thing you can, that makes the biggest difference.

The thing that I missed when I was younger was the incremental improvement and I had too much in my mind on the 10X and not enough on the incremental. And then I've also noticed on the other side, some people are way too On incremental, but I have yet to lay out of 10 X vision so that its like they're making incremental changes but it's like, but it's not the best thing they could be doing in a business. It's just a thing they're doing in the business. How do you prioritize that?

Jim: I think that's really well said. I'm reading this book right now called the ascent of money. Not one that's typically in the normal Fitness a person's mind. But, I'm going to butcher the math a little bit so just bear with me on it. people watching this don't kill me afterwards for being wrong. they said that if you get 25% interest every week, it's something like 11000000% return over a year.

So what I'm saying is like, I want to come in every day and find spots to get better every day because the compounding effect of those 1% are the 10 X. and so when I look out three, three years, five years, I'm absolutely seeing where, where the business should absolutely be able to 10 X. But what I've found, particularly as a team grows, is that the team needs to be a very focused on those more granular details.

While I'm thinking about the mid range and the long range strategic vision of what this is. And that's been a big learning experience for me because I've always had to be in the weeds and at the 60,000 foot Mark. And so what I've been trying to do over the last couple of years is I have been pulling myself out of the weeds because that's where I'm the most valuable to the company. Whereas somebody who comes in who's got two years of experience under their belt, but who's outstanding and analytics and metrics, et cetera, it's like I need them getting 1% better on things.

I need our operations team to improve by 1%, week by week on the experience of delivering a course and the experience of a Coach from start to finish five years down the road. but that that will equal a 10 X return. If I've done my own planning, not my own, but our team's planning effectively.

I'm a finance econ guy kind of a at heart. That's my, that's my education and the idea of compounding. Now let's not go down the rabbit hole of like the idea of compounding a is intensely important when you think about Business and like the way that I kind of lay it out in CCP on the business side is I've got this concept of strategy, execution, measurement and refinement.

And if you don't build a foundation off of a strategy, you're executing against nothing like you're just doing to do without a game plan of what that means. But if you don't measure the execution as well, you don't actually know if the execution or the strategy works. And then once you have all of that data and all of that doing, you need to refine the plan so that when you build out the next strategy for the next, whether it's three months or two years or whatever, your starting at a higher place. And so I think a lot of Jim owners, and I have worked with thousands of Jim owners over the years, they're not compounding their success.

They're starting from step one January 1st every year.

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