A little story about How To Open A Profitable Martial Arts Gym
My name is Paul Halme and I opened my gym in 2003 as a Brown Belt In Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu with zero students and tried everything to get my gym to work. Lots of trial and error with so many ups and downs. I had no idea how to open a profitable martial arts gym. But it was the best decision of my life.
When I opened my gym I was a nobody who had done nothing in the martial arts World. I was competing and training hard but not winning anything. This was a big risk to take but it felt right. I really loved teaching more than competing.
I was holding myself back because in my head I was no one. Then years later I learned that nobody cares about that, its all about what I could do for them.
So many excuses why my gym wasn’t making money. I hadn’t won anything, I couldn’t afford to spend a bunch of money on marketing. So and so is part of a big affiliation.
Getting off to a slow start
The first 2 years was so hard. I wish I would have had someone to help guide me on the journey and point me in the right direction. Having no idea what I was doing, I would put out yard signs and hope people would call.
I kept working my corporate job as a stock broker to fund my little school. This made for some really long days with a wife and 2 small kids at home. Without this stream of income, my school would have gone under in less than 12 months.
After 2 solid years of working at the gym, I was getting lucky and my gym was growing. I am a numbers guy and set up a plan to leave my good paying job once I knew I could pay all my bills.
I knew my broker’s license wouldn’t expire for 2 years so I could always go back. It was a bit of a safety net. My wife and I talked about it and we decided it was time for me to run my school full time.
The tipping point
In my 4th year, I was making progress but needed help. I went to a Fitness Business Marketing Event hosted by Bedros Keuilian. It was an amazing eye opener. He opened up spots in his mastermind and I jumped all over it. I finally knew how to open a profitable martial arts gym.
I will never forget calling my wife and telling her I just threw down $10,000 on my credit card for a coaching program that we couldn’t afford yet but I promised her it would work. This was not a conversation I was looking forward to when I got home and hoped to still be married when I got back. And I am happy to say that I got to keep all of my body parts…
He taught me about direct response marketing, systems and internet marketing. I took what he used in the fitness industry and tested it, adapted it, tweaked it and refined it until I created my own systems for my martial arts gym.
Now we were off to the races. My systems transformed my gym and the school was busting at the seams. So I did what any lunatic would do and I decided to open 3 more. I bit that off way too soon but it was a good learning experience.
My next Business Coach was Lloyd Irvin Jr. He taught me how to get my gym to a level that I never imagined. The copywritting and Internet Marketing I learned was legendary and got me into info products and Dvds.
Then I studied under Ryan Deiss, Frank Kern, Dan Meredith and Mitch Miller. I never stopped learning and still belong to various masterminds to improve my systems.
I never stopped learning and still belong to various masterminds to keep growing.
My gym owner lifestyle now
The the gym was profitable enough to let me travel all over the World training and competing. I had unlimited vacation days…lol. As I improved my systems, my gym became more and more profitable.
This was a big turning point for me. My school was running on all cylinders and I could finally train as much as I wanted to and chase some competition dreams. This culminated in me winning a Master No Gi World Championship at Black Belt!
Now I get to show Martial Arts Gym Owners how they can do the same thing with Combat Business Success!
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