In today’s episode of the Gym Owner’s Growth Zone podcast, our host Andres Escobar meets with Dan Ritchie to discuss how Ritchie maintained his work life balance as the owner of a gym, and lessons you can learn to do the same.

Ritchie’s Background

  • Ritchie got a degree in sports and medicine. At first, he thought he wanted to be a strength coach, however, decided against it when he realized he wouldn’t be able to be a strength coach in the NFL.
  • After this, Ritchie got his PhD and opened his first personal training business. Ritchie would also go on to found an education company, designed to teach other people to become personal trainers.

 How Ritchie Remained Focused

  • The key thing that helped Ritchie remain focused AND maintain his work life balance was boundaries. Instead of staying at his gym all day, he would set hard boundaries for when he would be home to enjoy time with his family.
  • Ritchie believes there’s an all too common mindset among gym owners where they believe they HAVE to stay at the gym 24/7, destroying their work life balance.
  • Ritchie also hired mentors and coaches to help him manage his business. Although he has a PhD, he’s not an expert on everything. Coaches and mentors helped him learn more about managing a business while also enjoying his time off.

How Ritchie Overcame Challenges

  • One challenge tha Ritchie faced was when he began to expand his business. Ritchie opened up a second location, but people weren’t going to the new location. Even if they lived closer to the new location, people came to Ritchie’s first gym.
  • The second location was closed. Instead of focusing on expansion, Ritchie focused on maximizing his first location.
  • Ritchie focused on two things when overcoming challenges: Being willing to sell his business so he could move on to other things AND maximizing his potential instead of focusing on expansion.

 The Biggest Challenge in the Fitness Industry

  • Ritchie thinks that the biggest challenge in the fitness industry is retention.
  • People don’t get fit and reach their results from being gym members. They reach their results by putting in genuine effort. To combat this retention, Ritchie has a few different tactics.
  • Specifically, he makes clients come in so many days per week and sign up for a certain amount of sessions to ensure they can actually become fit.

The Fast 5

  • Who is an influential person/people in your business journey?
  • Steve Thalls, Ritchie’s first business coach.
  • What’s one thing you wish you had known when you began your business?
  • Start small and simple and avoid taking on too much debt.
  • What’s a book/show/video/podcast/etc. that has positively impacted you?
  • The Instant Success series by Bradley Sugars and No B.S. Marketing To Boomers and Seniors by Dan Kennedy.
  • Do you have a favorite online tool?
  • FitPro Newsletter and TextMagic.
  • What’s one practice or habit that you believe EVERYONE would benefit from?
  • Follow up with clients far more than you already are.

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