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Gym Launch is about taking an entrepreneur who has the passion for fitness and changing lives, and turning them into not only fitness professionals but business professionals. 

Why among thousands of Gym Owners, did we choose Cameron Brown to represent Gym Launch? The answer to that question can be found in the conversation we had with him regarding his journey as a Gym Owner.

Have you ever wondered how your local gym came to be? Planet Fitness, Golds, Crunch, they all appear one day and we can nod in understanding that some corporate bigwig sat down with a map and said– here is our new untapped market. Here are the customers we will target with our flyers, social media ads, and pleas to come in for free consultations. Just a drop in the bucket for a large investor. But what about the garage style gyms? The family owned group training studios? The new strip mall bootcamp? Who are the people behind those?

People like Cameron Brown who invest their life savings, borrow from friends and family, and risk everything to add something valuable to their community. They do it because they care. They know that a gym is more than just a warehouse of weights and machinery. It’s a place where strangers come together to get stronger, to push each other out of their comfort zones, and lift one another up during difficult times. For many, including the gym owner, a gym is a saving grace from a dark place. 

How did you start your gym, and what were those early days like? 

“I started my gym at 23. I’m 36 now. In the early days my wife and I were newlyweds. We lived like church mice. We didn’t have air conditioning in our house, or my car, but we said we’re putting everything into savings so that we can open the gym. I didn’t want to get into a massive amount of debt to begin with, so we found a gym that went out of business and bought all of their equipment. We took out a small loan from my brother. Then we found a spot in an old warehouse that had a small office. Smelled pretty weird, ya know. But that was kind of the beginning. 

As for struggles in the beginning, we had a room with stuff to lift but it is freakishly hot and I have to figure out how to work my calendar, I don’t know anything about sales. I was suddenly all of the things. A salesman, an accountant, everything. 

My biggest challenge was the program I designed worked really, really well from the beginning and I was so busy. My philosophy back then was I will meet with anyone anytime Mon-Sat. So my calendar was open 5am-10pm and I would fill that. I did 85-95 sessions a week. I took no time off, no holidays, birthdays, etc. I had a fear that if I ever told someone no it would spread like cancer. I didnt turn anyone away at any time. It became the biggest limiting factor for me. 

Looking back, my first three kids, I have very very few memories of them when they were little. The memories of them start when they were 6, 7, or 8 years old and I honestly feel horrible about that. The identity that I assumed was that a man’s responsibility was completely to provide income”. 

I had to get rid of the limiting belief that if I said no to something everything would fall apart”. 

From a business standpoint, what mistakes did you make in the beginning?

“Regrets don’t serve us, but lessons do. I wouldn’t say I have regrets because I was living in accordance with my values at the time, but it was my lack of intelligence/education that kept me from divorcing from those (values). 

One of the biggest lessons was pricing. I wanted to be the least expensive option and prided myself on that even though it was a very successful program with thousands of clients with successful transformations. I undervalued my time and also my perception of what a lot of money is. Growing up with not a ton of money, my first number in my mind was $30k/year. If I could make that, I thought I made it. One of the biggest lessons going through this was changing that number. 

I had raised my prices a tiny amount through the years, but I used to charge $26/hour when I started, now I charge $400(/hour) and there’s not any less demand”.

The biggest mistake was in my thinking around my family structure…

I thought if I wanted to be a good father I needed to work more, but really if I wanted to be a good father I needed to spend more time with my kids, and if I wanted to do that I needed to make my time more valuable. 

How has your family life changed since joining Gym Launch?

“I had never been on a family vacation until this year. Part of never taking days off was a fear that the business would crash. Looking back I would tell myself you need to make this a superstar process, not a business based on a superstar person. Jurassic park is my favorite movie and there’s a line in there that says, ‘you guys are so obsessed with whether or not you could, that you never stopped to ask if you should’. And so, um, there’s the fear side of. If I pass this on to somebody else, they’ll crash it, burn it, fail it, and the business will fall apart”.

My coaching hours are down by 55%. 

Financially, how has your life changed since joining Gym Launch?

“The fascinating thing for me looking back is our total members right now is actually about the same as it was a year ago but our revenue is up 69% compared to the year prior and our profit is up 290%. So same members, 3 times the profit, and my coaching hours are down by 55%

And another thing I’m really proud of is that every single staff person that works here makes more money than they did a year ago. So that’s our cleaning staff, front desk, daycare, trainers, everybody. And so when one of us wins, we all win. And I think that’s a huge part of our culture”.

As far as Gym Launch goes, how does having a coach help you and your gym?

“Here we are signed up for year two because we can see what the massive impact is there. And that came from a coach who didn’t pitch me, he didn’t sell me, he didn’t pressure me. He listened extremely well and asked some extremely high quality questions. And as I’ve gotten to know more people through Gym Launch– the different coaches, the CEO, his wife, the supplement guy, everybody, that’s just it. That’s the culture.

It’s all about how do we explore new ways that are gonna help you to execute your vision and to help you to contribute in a meaningful way to something bigger than yourself? No matter the level of success of the people that I’ve talked to in GymLaunch, among the coaches, among the leadership, there’s no arrogance about what they say. They’re perfectly open to hear a new idea”.

What advice would you give to a Gym Owner who is struggling with the same things you were at the start?

“There were things that I was not good at and things I was not doing right. And so the thing that I would say is that if you feel like you’re not good at something, that’s great, because you’re starting to see it. And you probably do suck at it. And that is okay. What’s not okay, is to lack the intelligence to make a change on that.

There’s a big difference between fault and responsibility. There are true victims out there that bad things have happened to, and it’s not their fault, but it’s still their responsibility to decide what they’re gonna do with it. And so it’s being like, ‘yeah, okay, I suck at marketing. It’s not my fault up to this point, but it is my responsibility now’.”

A huge thank you to Cameron Brown and the team at Evolution Fitness in Layton, Utah, for their participation. To learn more about their facility, or stop by for a workout, see here: 

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sponsored by Gym Launch

This is sponsored content. M&F is not endorsing the websites or products listed in this article.