Adam Bornstein – Show Notes

Adam Bornstein is the CEO and Founder of Born Fitness, LLC., and Pen Name Consulting. He’s a Brand Builder, Best-Selling Author, Editor and Consultant, as well as a New York Times Best-Selling Author. Adam was named one of the most influential writers in health and fitness by Dr. Oz’s Sharecare, SHAPE magazine, Greatist, and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Looking back, Adam says he was far from being an entrepreneur. His background is in psychology and exercise physiology. He had wanted to be a writer, as well as in the health and fitness industry, but he listened to others when they told him those fields wouldn’t compensate him financially.


“I avoided things because I allowed people’s perceptions of the things I enjoyed to influence what I did.”


Adam realized that he wanted a job that he enjoyed, so he left the University lab where he was employed. He went back to grad school and applied for an internship with Men’s Health, which led to a full-time job.


“I just wanted to take every opportunity to become better.”


He asked for extra responsibilities, particularly with social media, which was just starting to take off at the time. Adam also had a big part in developing the newsletter and first mobile app for Men’s Health.

Still, Adam realized that he was being constrained working in a corporate environment, and he created Born Fitness and Pen Name Consulting. As a consultant, he says that he doesn’t need to get credit for what he does, but he just needs to do really great work for his clients.

Pen Name is very selective about the companies that they work with, and he wants their clients to thrive and achieve a very high ROI as a result of their business partnership.


“The success is a by-product of who we work with.”


When starting to work with a new client, they spend the first month assessing the business. Adam says this is not unlike a fitness assessment when working with a personal training client one-on-one.

He says that he’s built a “super-team” that can go into a situation and help someone grow their audience or build a product.

Adam adds that for businesses, retention of clients is a major key to success.


“A lot of people get so focused on new customers that they miss out on the value of their existing customers; that can be the core of their entire business.”


There is a lot of fighting in the fitness industry, but more than enough business for everyone. Each week, Adam gives his time to others in the industry that contact him for help or advice.


“Be a person first, and a business person second.”


He notes that appearing on podcasts is great way for him to help others, without them having to pay him.

The most common mistake that he sees is people not wanting to “re-invent the wheel.” This leads to what he calls a “copycat industry” for health and fitness.


“You should always be playing to your strength of what you do best.”


In his first year of business, he lost money by not following his own practices. He shares that he was obsessed with the idea of multiple revenue streams, until his mentor asked him why he wasn’t focusing on the area of his business where he could have the highest lifetime value from the customer. He realized this was with his online coaching, and he started focusing on this source of revenue.


3 pieces of advice for struggling businesses:

1) Take a lot of time to build a business plan, look at it often and have others poke holes in it

Adam notes that the business plan is so important as it will help you understand your core competencies, strengths and weaknesses.


2) Get really good at listening

Adam doesn’t want to guess what people wants, he wants to know. He says that the best copywriting in the world doesn’t mean anything if it doesn’t speak to people.


3) Learn how to assess your business

As entrepreneurs, we should be looking at everything in our businesses; this can be economic, as well as the overall happiness of clients and employees. This means asking people the hard questions and focusing on the bad to bring out the good.



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