In this special episode, I’m interviewed by my friend and colleague Justin Yule. We discuss my beginnings, and how I got to where I am today, which has allowed me to build my ideal business.
I was a “sports guy” as far back as I can remember. I played a variety of sports, but particularly baseball, after high school in college and in an independent professional league. I discovered pretty quickly that my future wasn’t in playing, but I still wanted to be involved in sports doing something that I was excited about.
“Most of the real lessons that last along the way came from sports.”
My father was an entrepreneur and still owns an auto repair business. I grew up sweeping floors and doing some elementary repair work at the shop.
“I didn’t like it all; I watched the clock the entire time I was there; I was just counting minutes.”
I took a job with a minor league baseball team as an Assistant General Manager, overseeing tasks such as sponsorships and in-game promotions.
“I was trying to build a resume in the sports world because I knew that’s what I was excited about.”
I then sent out 40 letters to universities, looking for some sort of coaching position, but got no offers and only 5 replies thanking me and wishing me luck. Eventually, when I turned 23, I got a position with my former university and I was the youngest baseball coach in the country at the time. The starting salary in 1995 was $3,000 annually.
At this point, I already had my personal training certification and was training people for extra money, and I knew that I was going to somehow make that my career path instead of just taking the “traditional” job route.
“That time of my life has set the stage for so much that has happened since.”
While at the university, I started to study marketing to learn how to recruit players more effectively, with the limited resources the school had.
“I needed to figure out how to sell what we had, better.”
This experience was my proving ground for business, except I had a certain degree of stability in the position. I put in 100-hour weeks, and the job was literally my identity until I left due to friction with the administration.
I received a decent severance and a few months later, I was offered a job running a baseball performance facility. The previous summer the business had lost $70,000, and I was able to turn a slight profit in my first year. The owners ended up selling the facility for a huge profit and shut down the business.
After taking a job in Gold’s Gym, running the personal training department, I significantly increased revenues, which led to me running all of the Gold’s Gyms in the State of Kentucky. Going from a staff of 5 in one facility, I then had 75 trainers I was responsible for. I looked at this as my “practical and doctoral” experience.
An opportunity presented itself to go into business with a partner to open a business with rights to a training department in a gym. I built the client base from practically zero to 420 clients in 18 months, without knowing anyone in the new town I was located in. Around the same time, I opened a health club, which became the fastest growing one in the franchise at the time, with 350 training clients in that location.
“Everything kind of just kept moving forward.”
I attribute this success to three things:
- We did it differently (offered 12-month contracts, 30-minute sessions and billed monthly)
- We sold (and didn’t just train)! Selling was ingrained in our culture and not just something that was “tolerated.”
- We set goals and provided incentives
“In all honesty, I think we were ahead of our time in many, many ways.”
During this time, I attended a conference put on by Ryan Lee, which led to my first product (with Eric Ruth) called “The Personal Training Machine”, and then the e-book, “Fitness Riches.”
My goal had been to open 12 locations in 5 years, and at first saw the information products as a way to generate extra cash to put towards the expansion. I realized that I didn’t want to be away from family and decided to put an emphasis on the online products, like “Trainers’ Inner Circle” and “Bootcamp Blueprint.” These things snowballed and lead to the creation of two franchises.
I wanted to coach people with the same ideas of entrepreneurship as I had, and those people looking to create their ideal business. In 2014, I sold my stake in the companies and launched my new brand, PatRigsby.com.
“I could start fresh and build something new that was aligned with my values and my goals.”
This allowed me to enjoy my time away from work even more, and I’m working less hours than I ever have in my adult life; the hours I am working are much more fulfilling and 90% of the time, I’m doing the things that need to be done.
“I’m in the right place, doing the right things, with the right people; I think you get that right and the sky is the limit.”
The three “divisions” of my business are:
- Products that don’t require a lot of my personal time
- Coaching work (masterminds, private consulting, etc.)
- Collaboration with others (I usually have two to three of these projects ongoing at one time)
Each of us has to design a business that allows us to reach our personal goals and to have the things we want in our life!
The 15 Minute Ideal Business Planner
Building your Ideal Business isn’t a fantasy or a dream. It’s the result of designing what you want your business to be and then taking daily steps to create it. It is really that simple and the 15 Minute Ideal Business Planner will help you create the roadmap you need to reach both your personal and professional goals.
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Would you be interested in discussing?
If so, email me here with ‘interested’ in subject line and we’ll set up a chat.