Shrugged Collective

Barbell Business – Burning Man for Business


  • What Burning Man (really) is
  • Why every entrepreneur should go
  • How true creative expression can benefit your business
  • The 10 principles of Burning Man and how they can apply to your gym

Podcast link: iTunes

The first days after Burning Man always bring out the usual excitement, fear of the unknown, and concerns about the inability to go about business as usual. I guess probably the people who actually go to Burning Man go through that as well, but right now I’m talking about being a friend/co-worker of someone who’s coming back from the playa. Prepare for the weird, people.

I’m mostly joking.

This week, Mike and Doug walk us through some of the business lessons they learned at Burning Man and explain why you should get your ticket for 2016 right now. It’ll be disruptive, but the lessons you can learn for both business and your personal life are invaluable.

We’re emphasizing the “can” in that last statement because as Mike mentions on the show, “Burning Man is what you make it.”

You can decide to be a part of a camp that just wants to hoop dance and give back rubs for sandwiches:

Or you can do it right and get an entirely new outlook on life in a single week. There are a lot of articles and videos like the hilarious one above that will tell you Burning Man is lame, that it’s become a place for rich people to check something off of their bucket list. That can be totally accurate, but again it is what you make it.

One of our big takeaways from this show is to create your own set of principles for your business. Burning Man has 10 principles that, “were crafted not as a dictate of how people should be and act, but as a reflection of the community’s ethos and culture as it had organically developed since the event’s inception.”

Having a set of principles for your gym or fitness business is essential to crafting your culture. A publicly published list of core values will bring in people aligned with your mindset.

One of our Barbell Logic clients, Society Barbell and Fitness, has a great list of what they call their gym’s “Points of Performance.” They’re simple, but they do a great job of being the inspiration behind everything they do. You can tell just by looking at this list, the type of athletes they have at their box:

  1. Everyday & everybody counts
  2. Play often
  3. Value learning & practicing
  4. Learn from defeats
  5. Train like an athlete, compete like a warrior
  7. Be a leader
  8. Make a difference
  9. Celebrate victories

Do you have principles and/or core values for your business? Tell us in the comments below.

Lastly, gym owners: if you feel as if you’re too busy to take a week of to go to something like Burning Man, watch this 11 min demo of Barbell Logic. We’ll show you how we automate some of the most important aspects of your biz.


Enjoy the show,



Mike Bledsoe

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