Justin Yule is the President & Chief Fitness Officer of The Transformation Club in Chanhassen, MN. He also serves fitness professionals worldwide as a business coach and the content manager of the Virtual Fitness Mastermind.
Justin holds a Bachelor of Science in Physical Education with a Concentration in Adult Fitness. He is also a certified personal trainer with the National Academy of Sports Medicine, and holds multiple specialty certifications including Metabolic Training Expert, Kettlebell Coach, and Resistance Band Training Specialist. Justin is also certified to administer the Functional Movement Screen.
Justin has been helping clients achieve their health and fitness goals since 1997, and became a Best Selling Author in 2011 with his contribution to Total Body Breakthroughs. In addition, he has been nominated as one of the top Rising Stars in the Fitness Industry, and was featured in USA Today as a member of the World Fitness Elite.
Justin started his career with a big box gym, as in 1997 starting his own business wasn’t an option. He loved what he was doing, but the gym facility was taken over by a larger group, so he moved to a new company.
He still enjoyed what he was doing with the new company, but wanted to make more money. Justin sat down and came up with specific financial goals, by reverse-engineering the numbers.
“Long story short, I put my head down and I got it done”
In only second year of his personal training carer, he became a top-selling trainer with the company for the whole nation. This led to accolades, awards and promotions, which brought him to the Mid-West to work at the corporate headquarters. Justin had a great salary, story options and more, but in reality, says he was miserable on the inside.
“Part of that I think was due to the entrepreneurial spirit that was in me, that never had the chance to express itself”
Frustrated by the speed of decision-making, and a disconnect with clients by the corporate office, Justin started looking for options of things to do online.
“I just wanted to see what else what out there, which was just crazy to even think about leaving this position”
He found Pat and joined a program he was running, which opened his eyes to the success that fitness professionals were having as their own bosses. Eventually Justin figured out that he needed to join a mastermind group, go to events and network with others in the industry.
Justin launched his own company in 2009 and started implementing what he learned the program he took part in. He started boot camps in a park, then made arrangements with a local recreation center to rent space there by the hour.
“That’s really where it all started, and I don’t ever want to forget those humbling roots”
He did well building the business one client at a time, but he admits he had “Shiny Object Syndrome” and was pursuing too many different opportunities.
“Pick the one (area) that fires you up every day; that’s when you’re going to have the passion for the success you want to have”
Space was becoming an issue at the recreation center, and he wasn’t able to do backend sales like he wanted to. Justin decided to make the leap to get his own facility, and with limited capital he moved into a 2,200 square foot space, which the landlord built out to suit his needs. The additional cost lit a fire under Justin, and his business doubled.
“It allowed me to have an identity of what my business was and who I was in the community”
He started to consider what he wasn’t good at, so he could outsource those things. When he hired a part-time coach, it freed him up and the business started to blossom.
“Understand that you will only get so far when it’s just you; I’m nothing without my people.”
Adding too many coaches to train individuals was a costly mistake, and his business didn’t end up getting more referrals or more clients just because they had more coaches. As well, the actual coaching become boring for the employees, as they lost that excitement of being in a group training environment. Another mistake was not having systems in place to make a smooth transition when a key employee left. He now treats it like a business meaning all employees have a real job description and expectations upon getting hired.
In January, with his lease expiring, Justin decided to take the next leap and moved to an 8,400 square foot space that would allow for more opportunities within the business.
The biggest change he made this year was identifying and being known for one thing, which simplified his business. They used to have multiple challenges though out the year doing similar things, but streamlining now allows him to take more time off.
“We really focus a lot on using the ideal business that we’re building to be the vehicle for the idea life”
His tips for building an ideal business include identifying what you’re about and who it’s for, finding that one “hook” to attract customers and knowing the right time to say “No” to certain opportunities.
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