Shrugged Collective

Maybe you SHOULDN’T own a gym

Yesterday on Barbell Business we shared some common mistakes that new gym owners must avoid. Today, Zach Even-Esh is on the DAILY to let you know just how much work it’s going to take to make your gym thrive. Listen up! – C

Every time I am on Facebook I see ads for entrepreneurs or fitness business owners.

In the pic there’s usually a young guy in his 20’s sitting in a beach chair with an ice cold cocktail in hand. It’s a fine goal, I won’t argue with that. But I can assure you before any of that shit actually happens, you’re going to be busting your ass actually BUILDING your business for a long time.

You can live the dream, baby, but no one’s going to punch your ticket for you. You have to grind.

Training for LIFE!!!! #Edison #UndergroundStrengthGym #Manasquan ========= what are you training for?!?!

A photo posted by Zach Even – Esh (@zevenesh) on


You hear about the romantic side all the time, right? Being an entrepreneur is awesome! You have ultimate freedom to work from anywhere at any time, all that. But what they forget to tell is that, in reality, you end of working all of the time – from wherever you happen to be – because that is what is required.

Once you have a realistic sense of the work involved, my next best advice for owning your own place is this – Don’t pay attention to what everyone else is doing. Be YOU.

If you’re busy making all the same moves you see what other gym owners making, then you’ll be what I call “just part of the team.” You’ll be a follower, one of the flock, and you don’t want that. To thrive in this business you have to kick ass and take names at all times, that’s it. If you try keeping up with the heard, guess what? It won’t be long before the bulk of your gym is up for sale on eBay, and dude, I’ll be first in line to grab a deal on your gear.

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     Check out the new book.

I started my coaching career with that attitude, and I’ve kept it to this day. If you want to succeed, look for deals. Start very small, the way I did, so you don’t have to make moves that go against your gut instincts or your heart’s true motive. Once you give that up, it’s hard to get back, believe me. Stay true to yourself at all costs.

One money becomes your driving influence you’ll probably fail. You can’t be more concerned about profit and paying bills than your mission to change the lives of those you train. Keeping a small, profitable business will give you more flexibility to make better moves quickly down the road. It will also help you avoid all of the unforeseen management work that usually blindsides unsuspecting coaches/owners of unnecessarily large businesses.

It’s just like training, baby. You can go big, but you better be prepared. Heavy barbells come with razor thin margins for error. The crowded gym market is no different. If you can keep your core purpose in focus and grow organically, you’ll be successful.


You might be a great coach, but once you call yourself a gym owner you need to dive head first into business and marketing. You can never know too much about running a business.

You’ll also need to be mentally tough when things don’t go your way, or as expected. There will always be bumps in the road, which is something else they leave out of those bullshit Facebook ads. Without a doubt, the rewards of entrepreneurship are immense, but no one gets all the way to the beach without their fair share of trial and tribulation. But those that stay focused and agile during the bumpy times usually make it through.

At the end of the day, if you’re going to be a coach and gym owner, be ALL IN. You have to have a real driving passion for the business side, or else you’ll you might fail and lose both. You don’t want that.

If all you want to do is coach, that’s more than fine. But I love being a gym owner! I get to grow bad MoFos in my own building and uphold my personal standards. But more importantly, at the end of every day I can look at myself in the mirror be proud what I’m doing.

If you’ve got that, you’ve got everything.

Grind away, baby.



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Mike Bledsoe


  • Being a business owner myself, I can attest to it that everything said in this article is true. You can have your dreams of working 2 hours at the beach sipping on margaritas served to you by men in uniforms, but before that you have to get in and WORK. And you gotta work hard baby . You’re on your own now and owning a business isn’t like working for someone where someone tells you what to do and not to do. It’s hard work for sure, but if you’re in this completely, it’s gonna pay off.

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