Travis is a serial entrepreneur, major risk taker, business commentator and health & wellness trail blazer. Travis was under time constraint when he recorded this and once he was on a roll … well listen in and you’ll hear he has a lot to say about his industry. Honestly, my gym days are long over and yet he makes this sound so incredibly compelling that I almost signed up on the spot!!
His companies include:
– Result Based Training, a specialist body transformation gym in South Melbourne, with revenues in excess of $10million dollars.
– Think Tank Australia, a cutting-edge coaching business that helps guide and coach SME’s on how to grow their businesses into successful brands. Started with his wife Liv Jones, it saw $1.5million turnover within its first year.
– Attain Digital Agency, also with Liv, is a digital marketing agency that manages over $1.5million dollars worth of client marketing campaigns.
Apart from their corporate ventures, both Travis and Liv have also gone on to create their passion project, If Not Now Then When, a foundation established to change the lives of children all over the world.
Known for being the man who has never written a business plan, Travis began his entrepreneurial journey like many entrepreneurs – essentially broke and living out of the space that his business occupied. In this case, it was Result Based Training’s first location in South Melbourne.
Jones’ ‘do what it takes’ mantra and work ethic helped grow Result Based Training into an internationally recognised gym, launching six gyms across three states within the first 24 months. The last five years has seen the growth of Result Based Training from one gym in 2013 to 21 by February, 2018.
Travis’ Social Media:
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Ingrid: Hello, and here we are today with Travis Jones from RBT Gyms. Travis Hello. Thanks for your time today.
Travis: Thank you so much for having me on here today. I’m really looking forward to that chat.
Ingrid: Yeah. I think some of our listeners are just going to get so much value from what you’ve got to say. let’s start. What is your business?
Travis: Essentially the first business that we started was RBT Gyms. We’re 21 locations across two countries at the moment. That’s fantastic-
Ingrid: Say that again, 21 locations.
Travis: Yeah. 21 locations in the last eight years. There’s been a bit of a grind along the way, and we’re still growing, which is fantastic, and the spin offs to that business is, we have a digital agency called Attain Digital, which helps RBT plus other businesses acquire clients. Essentially is ROI based marketing, and then, also a spin off of that was our coaching. We help our health based businesses, so the fitness, and Pilates, and yoga style businesses grow to that million dollars and beyond, and that’s our niche that we sit in. That’s the three core businesses that we sit between, and one grew because essentially we needed to continue to lead generation. We couldn’t find a company to be able to help give the amount of leads that we need on a monthly basis. No one group is … Everyone kept asking me for help-
Travis: … three businesses.
Ingrid: Yeah. Teach us what you’ve done because we want to do too. Yeah, totally. Okay. You said eight years ago. You started the first business RBT Gyms eight years ago?
Ingrid: And why? Why did you start RBT Gyms?
Travis: I was working in a big box gym, and there’s thousands of members. Now, we all know the big box gyms there’s the fitness person there. Anytime fitness’s and all that, and I was working inside one of those and I saw everyone coming into the gym, and what happens there is there’s an 80% no show rate. There’s 80% of members are nonactive, and only 20% of members actually using that membership, and I said like, “Am I really making any impact in the health and fitness industry? I got in here to change lives. I got in here to make a difference,” and I was training my … I was a personal trainer. I am. I was training about 20, 30 people. I did it in a little semiprivate environment. I try and look for it while I sat in the corner by myself. You are the sum of the five people and I didn’t really have anyone really surrounded by myself to lift me up and I looked at everyone, they’re walking in, no one even greet each other really, but just go stand on the treadmill or the girls, the females would walk into the weight room feeling intimidated and I was just like, “This environment isn’t actually transforming lives. This environment isn’t conducive to results and all it is, it’s a cash machine. I was like, I don’t want to be a part of this anymore.
Travis: Within six weeks I was like, “That’s it. I’m opening my thing,” and my first ever numbers where I’m going to get 216 members, they’re going to pay me $50 a week. I’m going to make 570000 a year, but I’m going to change these 216 lives. That was my first ever numbers that I made. I walked up to … I had no money either, so, I walked up to 51 people and asked them for a $25000 investment, and 4% of that first location, the 52nd person said yes. It was a lot of asking and not much leeway but the 52nd person said yes, and I sold my car, I moved into the first location with my dog Hercules, and that was the first year of my life, and my marketing back then was walking the streets and I just knew that people were going to be in a park at lunchtime. I walked up to 100 people every single week and I offered them a free trial into my business. It was a 28 day challenge, and I knew if I walked up to 100 people a week 80 would say no, 20 say yes, and if I did those numbers, I would get me to where I needed to be. It wasn’t smart marketing, but it was what I knew back then.
Ingrid: Yeah, and you know what? It was probably really genuine in terms of it was you eyeball to eyeball smiling. I mean, we’re watching each other now in the video, it’s your personality and yes, there’s more sophisticated ways of doing it, but a personal trainer is just that, a personal trainer. It’s that connection. It might not have been the smartest marketing, but those people knew who they were going to be dealing with when they came to your gym.
Travis: 100% agree with. So many people these days that [inaudible 00:04:33] are you B to B or are you B to C? I was like, “No, I’m H to H, human to human. That’s who I am, and it doesn’t matter. Back then, yeah, I was literally human to human relationships, but even through social media now or even through this, it’s knowing that it’s not a number. I’m literally connecting with a person on the other end that’s a human being that have emotions, they have feelings, they have their own things they’re dealing with. I want to connect to a human, and I think that for us, that’s always what I wanted. I wanted the opposite. I wanted a 80% show rate, and that’s how we’ve built our business. It’s that we try to look at what the industry was doing eight years ago and I wanted to flip it on its head. I wanted to create a community driven jam, it was only 250 members, essentially the cost was a little bit high, but everyone trained in a group training environment, but I had the one on one accountability from a personal trainer. We checked in with them each week. I think that’s the difference from where we went with the business, so, had that contact. If they didn’t show up to that session, they would get that text message, get that call and they’re like, “Oh, but people actually care about my results,”-
Travis: … and that’s the difference. That’s where I went.
Ingrid: Yeah. Fantastic. We could talk for hours about that particular aspect because that lack of followup, that lack of … We can talk about that in a little bit. We’ll come back to that. Just when you got started eight years ago, you’ve kind of alluded to it but Travis, what did you personally want from your business from day one? What was that going to be? I know you’ve talked about you wanted to create something different, you want to impact people’s lives, but what was this business going to give you from day one?
Travis: I think we all have our own dreams and aspirations, and I think that comes from childhood. When I look back, for me, when I was growing up, my dad was a successful entrepreneur, and unfortunately he passed away in my teens and I always had this thing. It’s like I’m gonna make a million dollars by the time I’m 30 and I’m going to change lives, and I never shied away from work ethic or anything like that, and I was sitting there at 26, and I’m like, “You’re full of crap. You aren’t going to make a million dollars and you aren’t going to change all the lives that you said you’re going to change. What you’re currently doing isn’t serving the world or you the amount that you should be serving.” I was like, “Okay, I need to step it up. I need to step out of being mediocre, and step out of mediocrity and move into more of an achiever.”
Travis: Step one was 216 members, and I wanted the lifestyle. I wanted to build a lifestyle. I think that’s what everyone wants with business. I want more time, more money, more freedom, but I think you just have to … I don’t think that was the biggest driver. The biggest driver for me was it was a bit of a chip on the shoulder at the start. People say you can’t do this, prove them wrong, and at the same time service. I wanted to change more lives. I think those two things, the chip on the shoulder and the service were the biggest two things and, yeah.
Ingrid: Yeah, and that chip on the shoulder, and that really … that can be a huge driver for people can’t it? Yeah. It’s like as soon as someone says you can’t, it’s like, “Yes, I can. Watch me.” Yeah.
Travis: Exactly right. I think the chip gets you so far, and then you get to a point … I think it was like four or five gyms in the chip didn’t serve me anymore. I was like, “Yeah, I’ve done it. Whatever you say I really don’t care anymore,” and then it moved into more of a contribution thing. We always have these drivers, and I think once you take care of yourself, it’s like, “Okay, cool. Now I, I am here to serve on a larger basis.” I think some people get to that stage, and some people still just doing that lifestyle business. For me it was like, “No, now I want to 10000 members, I want to change 20000 lives,” and I think that’s our goal at the moment, is we’re moving towards changing 20000 lives and what does that mean?
Travis: We need 50 locations and that’s our next goal that we’re looking at by 2022, and you always have to have this … We have away from motivation and towards motivation, and the style of the business. I think we all had a bit of a [inaudible 00:08:38] from motivation. We want to get out of pain, and then we also might have like thoughts in our mind. It’s like, “I want more freedom and a lifestyle business so I can sit on the beach in Fiji and drink pina coladas,” but then they’re like ” Oh yeah, that’s actually not what I want.”
Ingrid: And there’s only so many pina coladas in fact that you can drink.
Travis: Yeah, exactly.
Ingrid: That big why, that changing lives, helping people really live a better life is the underpinning that once that all that get the freedom, get the money, like you said, after the third or fourth gym that that big why has to be what drives doesn’t it?
Travis: Yeah. It has to be this wildly important goal. For me we have 100 staff at the moment. For me I get to look after 100 people in that business, their life, and then they show up every day to fulfil my dreams, which is crazy. It’s like you need to lead them, you need to inspire them, you need to make sure that they feel like every moment they’re spending on your business or our business is worthwhile. It’s leadership on a deeper basis and I feel like it’s impacting the industry for me, but instead from them, I get to impact thousands of lives. I really have got to look after them, and I think that’s the wildly important goal at the moment.
Ingrid: And I love what you say because one of the things is that you’re not just impacting those 100 people, you’re impacting their partners, their children, their parents, that they’ve all got family members and how they get treated in your business just ripples out into their families and beyond. I’ve, I’ve always believed that how we treat people at work with us just has this lovely rippling effect out into the bigger community.
Travis: That’s so true.
Ingrid: This is a question about when did it feel like your business was real? You’re walking around, you’re asking people in the park, you’re offering people in, at what point did you go, “Oh wow, now I have a business.” When did it feel … What was the point?
Travis: I think there’s this line in the sand. I was six months into the business and I knew I needed to become better as a business marketer and a business operator, and I’ve always been good at, we can use the term hustling or whatever it is, I will use that terminology, I was always good at hustling or whatever to make a couple of hundred thousand dollars and that’s fine, but six months in I was like, “I need to start to get smarter at this business rather than just work harder, work smarter.” I saw this mentor in the states and she was fantastic at marketing, he had some great operations, he had this … essentially everything that I needed except I didn’t have the cash flow at that time to pay him as a mentor. What I looked at was I was like, “Okay, how do I …” he was running this competition and it was whoever could represent his blog, his website, the best over the next month, won a year of mentoring, mastermind catch ups, and I was like, “Okay, I’m going to win,” and I just sort of sat there. I’m like, “How am I going to do this, those people knew, in Paris holding up signs in front of the Eiffel towel with his website on it.
Travis: It was pretty crazy, but from that I was like, “Okay, I’m just going to tattoo myself, and I tattooed his website on the back of my shoulder. I’ve got this tattoo across the back of my shoulder with this guys website. I took a photo, I sent it in. He’s like, “Man, you are crazy.” He’s like, “but you win” like, “You win because no one else is crazy enough to do that,” and I think in that moment right there and then I was like, “I’m going to be successful, and I’m willing to do anything to succeed that some people might call crazy,” but starting a business in the first place is crazy. We have a 96% chance of failure.
Travis: I think it’s crazy so you may as well go all in crazy.
Ingrid: We’re not suggesting everybody tattoo peoples websites but … Congratulations. That must have been amazing to have his mentorship.
Travis: Yeah, I was in a mentor … I was in a mastermind with Bill Phillips who’s doing tens of millions of dollars with Body for Life. When you look at it again, the sum of the five people, I was surrounded by people doing 10, 20, $30000000, and then you can round this and you can see what’s possible. Sometimes you have that belief structure inside your brain changes and I’m like, “Okay, I’m actually playing small,” and what I thought was big is actually small. These small goals that I have, I just have to go a b and c, and I’ve achieved it. Then that was the process. I’m like, “Okay, everything I ever thought was crazy isn’t crazy and I can achieve these 216 members,” and it took me the next six months and I achieved it, and then six months after that I opened the second gym. It was just like this rolling momentum forward after that because, I think you have a deeper belief inside yourself that hey, you know, we have infinite possibilities inside of this fence. For us, all we have to do is tap into our true potential and then we can achieve it.
Ingrid: Yeah, absolutely. I couldn’t agree, and there’s nothing like being exposed to the scale and the size of America to actually make us realise just what is potentially possible.
Travis: That’s so true.
Ingrid: The customers that you’ve got, and you knew that this gym model that was over, that eight years ago with the 80% never showing up and paying their money, but how do you know people want what you’re offering? How do you know that … They obviously like gyms and you’ve got 10000 members, but how do you know this is what they want?
Travis: I think it’s always a constant evolution. Before I opened the gym is I’d been in the fitness industry for eight years. I’ve been in industry for … or seven years, so, I’ve been in the industry for 15 years now. I feel like it’s nearly half my life I’ve been trying to get people healthy, but for me, it’s always trying to have some level of emotional intelligence to understand are we doing the right thing? It’s also cutting the model off at the right times, when we feel like we’re going in the wrong direction [inaudible 00:14:45] We had two sessions a week instead of four sessions a week and a couple of years ago we went, “Okay the results we’re getting with people that were two sessions a week were subpar to those who were training four times a week. Out of integrity, even though we had people paying it and they said, “We can’t pay the higher one, the higher fee,” we cut a whole part of our business model because we weren’t truly serving those people, and because of that, how the members that did stay with us got better results and we then … more members came in.
Travis: I think sometimes you can’t be afraid to stick to your guns of your own integrity if you can back that up, by we back that up. We knew that our core market is the male 27 to 37 corporate. As for the females, we know that they have the cash. We also know that they want to feel good and look good, and we also know the way we can communicate with them that they have these stresses that they have in their lives that we can go, “Okay, this is how you manage stress, this is how you manage with meditation, this is how you manage with training, this is also how you manage with nutrition. It’s truly an educate and empower business model. They feel good by coming towards us because we’re empowering them to be better people. That’s who we are then. Then we have the competitive edge with the males. That 27 to 37 who used to play sports. They used to essentially train hard but they stopped playing sports, whether it be injury, or like that. They come in to RBT to be inside a group environment still, which is everyone’s pushing to become stronger, to become leaner, to become fitter. Inside this group environment that they miss is again, human psychology doesn’t change. We always want to be part of a tribe.
Ingrid: Yeah. We’re tribal. Absolutely.
Ingrid: Yeah, and so, you’re providing so much more than just a gym.
Travis: Yeah, absolutely. It’s like we’re community driven for us. Looking at our core values it’s like how can we manufacture a tribal communities, and for us now, we have … I’m sitting in Melbourne. Where I am, there’s nine or ten locations in Melbourne right now and we have inter club games or essentially a [inaudible 00:16:56] and so, tribes come together and compete against each other, and that’s who we are. We want to win, we want to be the winning tribe, we want to get stronger, we want to represent. We’re looking at a human needs and it’s significance and connection, there’s growth, there’s contribution, there’s variety, there’s certainty. We make sure we get that, and then all of a sudden we also have these tribal leaders inside our gym. They’re members that when new members come in, they can welcome them and be a part of our tribe. I think it’s if anyone who starts a business and they go, “Oh yeah. When you’re in a group environment like this,” or “I’m just going to start a Pilates business, I’m just going to start a yoga business.” No you’re starting a tribe, and you are the tribal leader, your staff are tribal leaders, and if you want to step back from the business, you need to promote another leader of your business. Otherwise, I’ll look for someone else who was a strong leader because society is just silently begging to be led.
Ingrid: Yeah. Yeah.
Travis: Why do you create [inaudible 00:17:54]
Ingrid: Yeah. Yeah. Couldn’t agree more. Fantastic. I want to join your gym. I’m not really a girl now, but I” have to investigate if there’s one in Sydney. We heard a little bit about your funding in the early day. You sold your car, you asked 51 and then the 52nd person said yes. Was that it? Was that how you funded the business? You just-
Travis: I had a couple of crazy things. Yeah, I think you’ve got to think outside the box. I think that’s a big thing with business always, and for myself, I’ve always had some form personality on social media, whether it be my personal Facebook page. People really started following me because I started posting just content all the time before people started posting content, but when I first started, I got $25000 in, I sold my car and then four months in I still couldn’t pay the rent. I was like … you have your first month’s rent. I negotiated for three months free and my first month came around, and I still couldn’t pay the rent. My walking the streets hadn’t grown the business to big enough yet, but I was like, “Okay cool. How do I do this? I need $12000 in 14 days.” I think you have a will and that there’s will in fights. Sometimes they align together and if you have a strong enough will then fight sometimes works for you as well.
Travis: I reached out to Groupon back then and I was like, “I want to do an offer, and I want to do them for my services, which is the training, but I want to do it for an infrared sauna. I said, “Infrared sauna helps with detoxification, a variety of other benefits,” and they said to me, “You don’t have a website.” I was like, “Okay, hold on.” I went back, built a website because back then there wasn’t any landing pages and all that sort of stuff. You had to do everything from scratch. Somehow I figured out how to build websites back then as well. I build this website and you’re putting up pictures … I pulled a bunch of pictures off google, and I was like, “Look, this is my infrared saunas. Um, it’s eight sessions a week, eight sessions a month sessions a month and $97, and they’re like, “Okay, cool, we’ll put it up.”
Travis: There was at this stage it was 12 days left and I needed to bring in $12000 and if I didn’t I would have been basically kicked out of the gym, and my dream was over before it started, and everyone would have been right. Again fate and will … I’ve never even owned an infrared sauna right now. I was literally selling the dream. On these Groupon that went out there it said you had to wait two weeks before you could actually activate this deal. We sold $21000 worth of deals over the next 10 days. Crazy. It was like 800 deals got sold. My part as a business was 15000, of about 21000. I got that two days before we had to pay the rent. I paid $12000 to rent. I called up this business JNH Saunas. I was like, “I need a sauna.” It was express delivered to me [inaudible 00:20:50] I paid them $2000 for that and I had another $1000 in my pocket, and I was there to survive another month.
Travis: Again, it’s like gambling a little bit, but I knew it was going to work. When I first started the business again, I think some people were like, “Oh, I need all this funding.” No, sometimes you need to look outside the box. I went to her. I was like, “Who’s a new business or gym provider in the marketplace?” and I went to this guy called Simon. He’s actually not in business anymore, but I was like, “Your new into the industry. I’m new into the industry. You’re getting equipment from China. I want your equipment. I can’t get financing but I’ll pay you cash each month for 12 months and if I miss a payment, just take the equipment off me.” I didn’t even have to finance my equipment. I just had pay for it in cash. That’s how I got my equipment for the gym. Four months in I couldn’t pay the rent. I was getting there, but I couldn’t pay the rent again. I reached out to a friend and I was like, “I need to borrow $12000, I’ll pay you $24000 back in 12 weeks.” Huge ROI for him, and if I don’t just take the equipment and sell the equipment, and I was screwed anyway. Then I made the $12000 back. I paid him off and my first four months, that was me. I was just doing whatever it took.
Ingrid: And looking after clients as well, and finding clients that … Yeah.
Travis: Yeah. Yeah. I know. I tried this thing called monophasic sleeping at one stage. I was like, “I need more time in the day. How do I find more time in the day?” Monophasic sleeping, you sleep 20 minutes and you’re awake for four hours and then you sleep 20 minutes and that’s how you live. You don’t have a night time. I was like, “That’s how I get more hours in the day.” I did it for 10 days and then I passed out. I thought I was going to die. I passed out for a day and a half and everyone was like, “Where has he gone?” Luckily it was over a weekend, and like, “Yeah, he hasn’t been on social media for 12 hours. I think he could be dead.”
Ingrid: No, he was just sleeping off his marathon …
Travis: Yeah. I was like, “Okay, that’s, that’s not for me.” I stopped doing monophasic sleeping and-
Travis: Yeah, but you start to work on, okay, how can I be more productive? And that’s when I searched for that mentor. I was like, “How can I get better with my time, my marketing. How can I get better with my productivity, how can I get better at [inaudible 00:23:02] or at my sales, how can I keep using philosophy because then the one percent every week across all my different areas to improve the margins, to improve the business, and that’s essentially where the first bunch of money was coming from inside RBT. It’s just thinking outside the box.
Ingrid: Yeah, and I think people feel constrained by just either funding, or borrowing money, or going to the bank or something, and there’s so many other ways of doing it. Okay, while we’re talking about money, how did you in the early days, and then how do you now, and you don’t have to actually tell us how much it costs to come to the gym, but how do you decide a pricing strategy? How do you know how much to charge people? You said there about the two sessions and the four session and-
Ingrid: … tell me about pricing please.
Travis: It’s a bit of a tough one. For us, obviously we work around margins. We’re just going through a pricing restructure at the moment. We were at 97 for some locations, we were at 77 for some locations. At the 77 where we have good margins at capacity, but not until capacity we don’t. We’re actually pushing it back to just looking at a 30% margin all the way from 100 members up to 150 up to 200 and looking at the employees that we’re hiring at that point as well. I think that 84, 95 for us at having 30% margins is key. Sometimes … We’re good at what we do. We’re more expensive than the other places around us, like us, but we don’t really care. For us, we need it to be profitable whilst holding a leadership team because we’re not franchise based. We have internally this leadership team that we distribute the cost of that across the locations as well. Our cost is slightly higher at each location.
Travis: I think it’s not really, when you’re looking at what you’re going to charge, dictated on what the market is currently paying. It’s dependent on what you need to charge based on your infrastructure, and if it’s $20 more a week than the other competitors. Okay, then just be better at your experience. People will pay $1000 for a burger and 1000 pounds for a burger in London, and they’ll also pay like $2 for a Big Mac. Right? If there’s people that pay on the extremes … I looked it up there. There’s literally a place in London that does a 1000 pounds for a kebab. There’s also three pounds kebabs. It’s the experience you deliver that dictates how much you can charge, and then it’s going, “Okay, what’s the business model?” Like you said, it’s true with me, and for us, we wanted one on one support, we wanted to deliver that experience. For us, and then we work our margins first and that’s what our price works out to be. It’s on the same margins from your cashflow.
Ingrid: Yeah. What do you say, and this is a question without notice. A lot of people … Your more expensive than your competition. What do you do when someone says, “Your expensive,” or “That’s expensive.” How do you respond to that, or how does your team? How are they trained to respond to when someone says, “That’s expensive?”
Travis: It’s easy. For us, Quantis is more expensive than Tiger. A Rolex is more expensive than a Casio, a Lamborghini is more expensive than a Datsun.
Ingrid: Yeah. That goes back to what you said about their customer experience.
Travis: Yeah. The experience is for sure. Do you want certainty that you’re going to get to your result, because that’s what we provide. We give you a 100% certainty that we’ll get your results or your money back. We give you that certainty and it’s like, yeah, for sure. When there’s first class, there’s business class, and there’s economy. Are you the type of person who likes to sit in the car? Do you want the leg room? Do you want the personalised approach or do you want to be guessing your way along this? Like, “I hope I’m doing it right.” If you want the guesswork were taken out from you. If you want to be kept accountable, if you’re sick of yo yo dieting, if you want to learn how to keep this for life, then this is probably … we’re probably a good fit for you. If you haven’t been to the gym for the last three years. How much have you spent by not coming to our gym when you could have achieved that in six months? You could have had the last two and a half years with more confidence, the last two and a half years feeling better about yourself, last two and a half years you probably would’ve got a pay rise because the confidence you would have got if you joined us three years ago.
Ingrid: Travis, I love you.
Travis: Yeah. You’re losing money.
Travis: You’re losing money doing what you’re doing-
Ingrid: You’re losing money doing what you’re doing.
Ingrid: Stop spending more and get over here.
Travis: That’s the thing, and it’s also people go, “Oh, I’m not sure if I’m willing to pay that,” and even with business consulting as well it’s like, “Your expansive.” It’s like, “Yeah, if you can’t afford it, that’s why you need to do it,” and it’s like when someone starts to put more money on the table, they actually take you more seriously. When you’re looking at a gym and you’re like, “Oh, I’m going to charge $30 a week so it’s more affordable,” it’s like, “Okay, you’re also making it easier for them to not care about it as well.” I’d rather charge $100 a week and they like, “Oh Jesus, that’s really expensive for me. I’m going to take this really seriously then,” it’s like, “Yeah, I want you to take it seriously because that means you actually listened to what I say. It means you follow the nutritional advice, your going to turn up to the sessions.” What some people see as a hindrance, I see it as an advantage because we’re making people more conscious of their choices because every dollar counts.
Ingrid: Every dollar counts, and they know that they’ve got that commitment, and you’re holding them accountable because you follow them up if they’re not showing up.
Travis: It’s crucial to understand that pricing is crucial to not try and go, if I compete on price, I lose on price. Just always remember that.
Ingrid: Yeah. Say it again for everyone who just maybe was distracted by throwing a ball for their dogs while they were listening to the podcast.
Travis: If you compete on price, you will lose on price. There’s always someone willing to come into the marketplace and probably has more money than you who’s willing to do it cheaper than you. If that was your angle in your business growth, that is going to be your essentially downfall in your business growth.
Ingrid: Price is never something to compete on. It really isn’t, and certainly not for health professionals because so many health professionals do what they do because they want to help people. They want to make a difference and selling that cheap, you can’t help anyone when you’re sleeping in the car under a bridge. You’re just not, and if you’re constantly stressed about money, it really impacts how well then a health professional can actually deliver what they’re doing. The money has to be gone. Yeah.
Ingrid: Okay, so an exit strategy. It doesn’t sound like you have one, but you don’t have to tell us what it is, but have you … When you get … What happens down the track?
Travis: Yeah. For us, it’s in a good one. For us here, we’re going to get to the 50 locations in Australia and then we’ll focus on the US again. I think I want it to be $100000000 company. I think that’s a big thing for me. It’s not just because it’s a number. I think for us 100 million or 150 gyms, it means we get to those hundred million dollar company, 100 million gyms means we’re changing about 30000 lives every single year. We’re actually making an impact. When we look at a … They said, I think it’s 66% by 2022, 66% of the adult population is going to be overweight or obese and 40% of children. I find that it is scary. Yeah, really scary, and it’s kind of been disgusting as well. I feel like, oh my gosh, we’re going in the wrong direction. We’re launching some initiatives to bring in kids for free. You have a 4 to 5:00 mark so we can start to educate the next generation-
Travis: … and for me, it’s not just about, it’s not about cash. It’s about, okay, cool. If I have 130 gyms, that means I can run a 460 campaigns for the kids running for six weeks for free each year, and that means great, out of those 460 kids I can impact about 10000 children every single year and that’s the next wave. It’s educating them to empower them to have better lives and the ripple effect that you talked about earlier. That’s why I’m in this industry.
Ingrid: Yeah, and you know, Travis, the smoking thing was actually driven by children, the nonsmoking. They went into schools and they taught children what smoking was doing to their parents and that generation of parents stopped smoking because they’re children spoke to them about. It wasn’t a campaign from the government that told the parents it was the children. You could have the same impact with the children to their parents about healthier eating and it’s just phenomenal what it can do. I was at a conference recently that Michelle Obama spoke at and she talked about how many people in America, it’s the same percentages, it’s hundreds of millions of people who are unhealthy and that the strain that is going to be on their lives, on their families, and then on the health system and it really is and there’s more than enough. Anyone who’s worried that their business … there is more than enough clients for everybody because such a tiny percentage of people actually come to health, to gyms, to those sorts of things.
Travis: That’s the thing. People say, “But aren’t you worried about competition?” I’m like, “No, bring more competition,” because, especially in the states, for us in Australia there’s, 23/24 million or whatever it is in Australia at the moment who will get to our 50 gyms. There is 30, million people in LA. We have to go to America because we have to impact more lives over there. We have to grow over there and the impact we can have if we’re doing 50 in Australia, we can do 50 in LA.
Ingrid: And there’s still people left over.
Travis: It’s easy. Competition is nothing you should ever be worried about.
Ingrid: Absolutely. Something you wish you’d done differently at the beginning. Let’s be a bit reflective. You’ve eight years, if you had to say something you’d rather you’d done differently, what would it be?
Travis: I’m an emotional person. [inaudible 00:33:19] and I don’t know if that means anything, but I feel like I wear my emotions on my sleeve. I think I felt like I got let down a few times by people, and I think it’s being more reflective earlier on and taking more ownership sometimes earlier on and also understanding and empathising and have compassion earlier on as well. Someone makes a decision whether to leave me or whether it be steal from me or whatever it is, and it’s like, “Okay, what are they going through?” Let’s change perspective, let’s sit down and go, okay, maybe I shouldn’t anger and stress, never actually give you a positive outcome. Empathy and compassion can or just sitting down and asking more questions without emotion involved at all.
Travis: Viktor Frankl talks about it. He wrote a book called Man’s Search for Meaning and it’s probably one of the … I wish I read that earlier on as well. He talks about the stimulus and response, and expanding the gap between a stimulus and to a response. You can choose the better quality emotional, or you can choose the better action from that stimulus, because so many of us think these stimulus’ predetermine a response. Someone steals from you, you must get angry. It’s like, “No, you don’t have to get angry.” You could empathise, you could be compassionate or you can reflect those. Why did they feel like they needed to steal from me? How did I fail them as a leader, or how did they not really understand our business model, or how could I have connected with them better? Sometimes it’s, yeah, it’s not right to do that, but sometimes if we can reflect and we take some form of ownership, it takes the emotion out of it, which allows you to have better quality thinking, better creative thinking and better quality actions from it. I think that’s the biggest thing I would tell myself.
Ingrid: And that’s true. It’s not easy to learn the stimulus response because so much of the monkey brain, the reptilian brain, it’s happened before you’ve even realised that it-
Travis: Yeah, and I’m a male. We’re even worse.
Ingrid: Okay. Slightly different question and this is more around the business and I am going to put the Viktor Frankl book in the … because I think that’s a really good piece, especially if people are listening to this heading into the summer holidays. It might not be everybody’s idea of the perfect book to read, but it’s a really good reflective book. Thank you for mentioning that one. Is there something you wish you’d known from the start? You eventually went to your mentor, you had that year with him, if there was some knowledge that you could have had from the beginning?
Travis: I think it’s knowing cashflow earlier. I think cashflow is such a big thing for me now. I didn’t really look at it as much, and I’m not the biggest on cashflow [inaudible 00:36:01] cashflow now, but also I think earlier on something that I wish I knew is you can hire talents, or you can grow talent, and understanding the right time to hire talent and when the right time to grow talent is also. Those two things are such a crucial thing. If you have money you can buy a talent. If you don’t have money, you have to grow talent.
Travis: Growing talent does take longer, but you can still create more loyalty. Either way it doesn’t really matter it’s just what do I need right now in my business, and there’s been certain times where I’ve had to buy talent to stabilise differences, and then other times I’ve had to grow talent to create better communities within the gym. I think that key distinguishing understanding is when should I do it either one of those, and then looking at the cashflow side of things, you don’t just make decisions on a whim. You need to project, and plan, and making sure that we’re hitting our 90 day milestones, or we’re hitting at six mile per year milestones. Are we truly on track and I think that’s the key thing as well. It’s not just top line, gross revenue, but okay, what’s our net profit on what’s our percent of wages, or what’s that [inaudible 00:37:16] marketing.
Ingrid: And so many people, particularly health professionals and people who are in this sort of creatives and caring industries talk about not being numbers people. I’m not really a numbers person, which is actually rubbish because you’re dealing with numbers all the time. How much do people weigh? How much weight did they lift, how many reps do they do? It’s actually, it’s really just another form of numbers, isn’t it? Okay. Your mentor was a great assistance to you. Who else has been of assistance and who can give you good feedback? Who gives you really great feedback?
Travis: I think my wife gives me probably the best feedback. We’re a sounding board for each other every single Friday night on date night we just have a recap of the week and then we stop talking about work, but we always … We’re our best pals. We’re our counterparts. I think we’re opposites at the same time so we can reflect on different things. I think without her we definitely wouldn’t be where we at as a company. She grounds me and she is probably one of the smartest people I know. She definitely is the biggest help for me. I think then it’s looking at [inaudible 00:38:18]. I think [inaudible 00:38:19] in every day they give the best feedback and you have to be open and honest with feedback as well. You have to go, okay, this is whatever it is. At a certain day of the week you’re doing your feedback time and you go, okay cool, this is a nonemotional feedback time guys. I’m going to tell something to you, each of you, that I need better from you over the last seven days, and you’re going to tell … Everyone, gives everyone a piece of feedback.
Travis: Constantly we can be becoming better as teams, we can get better as a leadership team, or we can become better as individual teams, which strengthens the culture because there’s so many times in business people are afraid to speak up. They’re afraid to tell us something that they feel like is going wrong, and if you don’t tell people that something’s going wrong then all of a sudden it’s like small [crosstalk 00:39:08] It’s massive, I’ll got an ulcer or something like that [crosstalk 00:39:13] debilitating at times. I think having a set time each week with you team where you’re doing open nonemotional feedback. I say nonemotional because feedback isn’t emotional. It’s just what people … They’re giving you that. It can be emotional, but you need to take the emotion out of it so you can have constructive conversations. I think those two. I’ve had seven or eight mentors over the last ideas. I’ve sold multiple cars to try and pay it for [inaudible 00:39:40] states. I’ve done it all.
Travis: Mentors are great, and some mentors weren’t, but the ones that weren’t, I’ll learn something from them, and the one’s that are great I’ll learn two things from. It’s constantly … and Tony Robbins would say It’s constant, never ending improvement. If you look at yourself with the humility or being humble enough to go every single moment I can learn something from anyone, whether it be a mentor or the janitor or whatever it is. You have to be open to learning, and if you’re closed off to learning, that means okay, cool, maybe you have a bit of an ego problem-
Ingrid: Yeah, yeah.
Travis: … ego to the side and be humble enough to learn from anyone and everyone, and if anyone gives you feedback it’s valid, you look at it, you reflect on it, you move forward. I think that the last one I would say is, myself, I think feedback from myself. If you journal on a daily basis, I would really recommend everyone should be journaling on a daily basis. Ask yourself a question each month. How can I be a better person, or what would I need to do to reach my true potential? Ask yourself questions. If I had to do three things to increase our member experience what would I do? If there was one thing that I could implement to be a better leader to x person, what would that one thing be? And so many times we have the answers inside of us, we don’t quite know our mind enough and spend 20 minutes to 30 minutes just reflecting on specific questions because you have the answers. It’s just you’re constantly in a reactive state. Be proactive to give yourself that feedback.
Ingrid: Travis, that is just music to my ears because one of the things that I’ve been observing is how much everybody watches everybody else and you can’t have an original thought while you’re busy watching what everyone else is doing, and there’s always going to be somebody prettier, taller, with better videos. Stop watching around. Just keep your eye on the on … Yeah, thank you. I love what you just said there. Thank you so much.
Travis: It’s hard. We compare so much right now because of Instagram, because of Facebook, because of everything, and we forget. I started doing youtube videos about eight years ago now and I look back to some of my first ones and I was like, “Whoa, I was so terrible,” and I’m still not the best. That’s okay, but I’m on my journey. Every athlete was an amateur, and you might have been an amateur or you might be an athlete right now, but you’re on your journey and all you can compare is you to yesterday or the last year, and I think as entrepreneurs we don’t reflect enough and it’s not just patting yourself on the back for the financial wins, but it’s patting yourself on the back for the person you’re becoming along the way. If you can’t truly feel the enjoyment in the process on your way to your million dollars, two million dollars, twenty million dollars, whatever it is for you. The process is where all the learnings happen, the process is where the fun is, the processes is where the excitement is, the process is who you needed to become to get that end goal, and if you’re not excited about that, it’s like, “Jeez, like good job.”
Ingrid: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. That’s perfect. Couldn’t agree more. Three characteristics, and the listeners know I ask this question about the characteristics that you have. We could probably sum them up ourselves right now, but what do you think your three characteristics are that make you successful? You talked about being sensitive, you’re ambitious. What are your three characteristics?
Travis: I think I ask myself this more. I think the traits we internally do to ourselves is how well we project. I think we are our own worst critic. As you were talking about before, we’re so self critical as a society right now, I’m not good looking enough, I can’t sell well enough, I’m not good enough is the statement we say ourselves so much. I think my key trait first is, respect. I have to respect myself first and then I can respect others. I think that’s the key thing.
Travis: Another key thing is inspiration. Inspiration is essentially for amateurs, but I believe that inspiration … I need to inspire myself in the moment to moment basis, and I’ve got a lot of stuff going on at the moments. I’m either, I need to centre myself with a bit of inspiration, even right before this podcast. It’s okay, bring it back to my why. Get myself in the right moment in the right state. I inspire myself. Okay, now conversation. Hopefully that I can inspire others or, you know, before I have a conversation with any of my staff or any of my team, it’s like, “Okay, I need to centre myself. What state do I need to be in. What inspires someone because I want every conversation them to leave feeling like they were better off with communicating with me. I think respect is a big one, I think inspiration is the next one.
Travis: I think courageous is the next one because courage is what people truly want and it’s not that you are fearless flag. It’s not that you’re fearless as a leader, it is that you just simply fear less. I think it’s a big distinction there. It’s not that you fearless as a leader. Just simply be at rest because you took the chance to open the business despite the 96% failure. You’ve taken chances to try and grow your business even though it’s only 2% of businesses making million dollars. You simply fear less [crosstalk 00:44:55] society to take the chance, and that’s what you’ll start seeing. They’re giving you years of their life. We only have one life, and they’re giving years of that because you are their courageous leader, and if you want courageous, they’ll find another courageous leader to lead them.
Travis: Courage, inspiration, respect. I think those three things, and if you can tie all that in to charisma, you have to be some form of charismatic to communicate effectively, and I’m not saying you must be this charismatic person, but I think everyone is charismatic and their own authentic way, and you’ll find the staff inside your business that remind me of your authenticity. I think being charismatic in your way, not trying to project and be like someone else, but being who you need to be. I think that’s charisma.
Ingrid: Yeah, and that comes back to that being who you are and not looking … Don’t be this person over here. Lovely. Last question Travis, and I’m just so … You are very charismatic I’d have to say. This has been the most delightful interview. Thank you. Someone comes along to you, and I know that this happens to you on a regular basis, and says, “You know what? I just want to start my own business.” What do you say to them?
Travis: Are you sure? No. Seriously. Are you sure? Are you sure this is what you want to do because for the next … For me, I’m eight years in and I didn’t take a wage for the first six and a half years, not because I couldn’t take wage, it was because I wanted to put everything back into the business. For me, I still wear $2 t-shirts, I wear $50 jeans, I wear $20 shoes, it’s not about-
Ingrid: You don’t have a car because you sold it.
Travis: Yeah, exactly. If you want instant gratification, if you’re about security, if you’re about certainty, don’t get in to business. Go get a job and work for someone. That’s okay as well because I think we as a society right now, we put these entrepreneurs up on pedestals and we’re like, “Oh I need to be an entrepreneur. If not I’m doing the wrong thing,” and I think we’re going to have … they’re going to over the coming years … a lot of people I know now already slipping into depression or feeling like a failure because they didn’t live up to what Instagram say an entrepreneur should be. Getting the likes on the posts, and driving the Ferrari’s, and having the big houses. That’s not what an entrepreneur does. An entrepreneur wants to create impact, an entrepreneur … You can’t make money. I make money but I’m putting my money back into my business to try and grow it to impact more lives and if you want instant cash go buy some crypto currency at the right time.
Ingrid: I’m so glad you’re saying this Travis, because I spent a lot of my life as an employee, and I was a good employee, and I contributed to those companies and you’ve got 100 employees. People still have to be employees and it’s honourable. It’s honourable to be an employee and do a good job and take the money and look after your family and enjoy your life. Not everybody has to start a business, but let’s get you in the right head space so that you can start a successful-
Travis: Yeah. You could do it. We can start the ride, but you can definitely start a business, but you don’t to have to start a business. I feel like a lot of people were a failure unless they don’t. They think if they don’t start one right now and they might feel lost, and they feel like they’re a failure even more because they didn’t get the instant cash that people say they’re going to get. If you really want to change the world, the industry, if you feel like you’re a genius talent who’s going to impact more than the place down the road, by all means start the business, but before you do it, have you been in this industry yet? No, then go get a job part time, go work as a casual person, understand that you truly love the business. If that gives you this fire in your heart that’s like, “Yes, I want to do more, I want to do more and I want to do more.” You found it, and congratulations, you found it.
Travis: Now pull your heart and your soul into that for the next five years because over the next five years, if you do that, then you’re going to build something that truly changes lives, it’s going to impact the world, and then if you want to keep growing that, keep investing in it, but it’s going to take the next five years to get to the seven figures and you’re going to start to build this a legacy, and that’s why I do it now because I’ve got two sons. I’ve got a one and a four year old, and I want to go for them. Where you start in this world and where you finish. Where you start doesn’t determine where you finish. You get to decide.
Travis: Success to me is being a good husband. My wife works, she’s over there. success to me is being a good dad and success to me is not business. It’s some of who I am, and if I can build this to 130 gyms, awesome. It means I got to transform lots and lots of lives, but success, if the gyms went I have my wife and I have my kids still and that’s success. It’s being a person and staying true to your values. I think so many people who want to start a business and I’m going to learn about this because they think that, “Oh, I want to start a business so I can be successful.” No, you just wake up this morning and just tell you’re successful when you are. You don’t need a business to be successful, but if you want to impact more lives? Yeah, for sure. Starting your own business-
Ingrid: And in your own business you can. You can, and it can be in another person’s business. You’ve got 100 people helping you. Travis. I have no doubt in the world you are going to have 150 gyms. I have no doubt if wanted to have 1050 gyms … Honestly.
Travis: Thank you so much.
Ingrid: This has been … Now, if people want to contact you. RBT … Can I ask you why you’ve called it RBT? Because I’ll [crosstalk 00:51:01]
Travis: Yeah, random breath testing. Yeah, it’s cool. The result based training. So, result, based, training, but we dropped the result based training a couple of years ago and went RBT gyms. I get random screen captures on Instagram. It’s like, “Oh, you’re on TV because RBT is on channel seven or whatever it is, and I’m all the time, I’m like, “Well, we’re on TV again,” but we dropped our RBT gyms now, but it’s just easier to say-
Ingrid: And it’s got that lovely little association with rbt and stuff.
Travis: Exactly, exactly. It’s like don’t drink and drive.
Ingrid: If somebody wants to join, it’s an RBT gym. They just need to find one nearby, and then the coaching that you do as well. How would somebody contact you for that?
Travis: I think the biggest thing is find me on Instagram. Travis Jones entrepreneur, if you just reach out to me on Instagram I give two posts a day every day of value on Instagram through my consulting side of things. I truly want to educate people, empower them to live true to their values on the sand sales and marketing on a deeper level. I post of my stuff there as far as webinars coming up and how to grow with Facebook ads, or Instagram, or anything like that. Travis Jones entrepreneur on Instagram is probably the easiest way you will find me right now. Yeah. Who knows.
Ingrid: Who knows. That’s right. From the listeners I want to thank you very much for your time and it has been an absolute pleasure.
Travis: Thank you so much.