“I can’t wait to see you roll back down the hill to the s***hole that you came from.”
They were the words that came out of the mouth of my first ‘business coach’ after I fired him.
That was in February of 2017 and I still remember the day like it was yesterday.
I was sitting in the upstairs area of our second gym.
I’d moved in a few months earlier.
I had dialed his number and put it on speaker.
Shawn, my old business partner, was sitting next to me.
I was sick in the stomach.
Nervous as hell.
Because I hated confrontation back then.
But in front of Shawn, I needed to be brave.
Because my gym needed me to make this phone call.
I had to be the one to pull the ripcord, because I was the one that got us in this situation.
I pressed call.
The phone started ringing…
I could tell from the tone of his voice that he was defensive.
He knew what was happening.
And he knew, that I knew.
But before I tell you what happened next, I need to tell you how I got myself into this red-hot mess.
About a year earlier, I’d opened up AA 1.0.
A ‘garage-style’ gym, above a smash repairs, in a converted residential apartment.
Full of character.
It was the place that had gotten a name as being the “place you go to GSD.”
But while there was great sentiment from the members, Shawn and I were dead broke.
We couldn’t make enough money from our memberships and programs to get by.
Which made us desperate…
And susceptible to garden variety Guru’s… aka ‘Goo-woos.’
I met my first ‘business coach’ through a mutual PT friend… I’d already listened to him on a podcast and I thought they he was legit.
On the call, I got sold to, hard.
And in my desperation to actually start making money, I took the bait hook, line and sinker.
I bought two tickets to his next event that he was doing alongside his brother.
They had developed a name for themselves as business coaches for gym’s and PT’s.
When I bought the tickets, he told me that I was buying two for the price of one because Shawn HAD to come to the event…
“That’s generous of them”, I thought.
I attended the event like a Tony Robbins fan-boy. Props to the two brothers — they swept me off my feet.
I DID feel motivated.
I DID feel inspired.
And I DID feel like they could help.
My mentor, and his brother, appeared to have it all.
He lived in an amazing penthouse apartment in the nice part of town that cost him $2000 p/w in rent… (that’s more than what I was making in a month).
The two of them leased out a swanky office.
They had all this money to throw around.
So I definitely felt like I was in the right place.
I thought to myself, “If these guys have money, then they’ll know how to help me make some.”
There was one thing though that had me scratching my head.
I had paid $2500 for two tickets.
But over the course of the day, someone had said in passing that a ticket was $1250.
I remember thinking “that’s odd… did they lie to me?”
But high on hype, I dismissed it.
I swept the hesitation under the rug because I’d drunk the Kool-Aid.
The next week, I hopped on a follow-up call.
They must have thought it was like taking candy from a baby… because before I got a chance to put in place what I’d learned, I had been upsold.
Over the phone, I joined their flagship mentorship program.
It cost an arm and a leg, but still high from the weekend, I bought… again.
$500 per week.
In their defence, over the next 6 months, we did make progress.
But at the same time, orange flags started to emerge.
When push-came-to-shove, the advice I was getting lacked ‘real-world application’.
When it came down to having an actionable strategy, I got concepts.
Moving aside all the mindset and ‘Goo-Woo’ stuff we were doing, I started to get a strange feeling…
And that feeling was doubt.
I began doubting that they were all the said they were.
And with that doubt, I started doing some research.
The first thing I found out was that they had started… and failed… at opening their own gym.
2 years in, they closed it down.
It dawned on me… that must have been when they transitioned to their new business venture…
Instead of actually building a gym they could be proud of, they’d piggy-back off gym-owners (who were taking the real risk) instead.
They’d tap into their pain and desperation and cash in.
When I found that out, I was pretty livid. I asked myself: “Had I been getting advice from someone who had never actually succeeded at what I was trying to do?”
In front of my eyes, the house of cards came crashing down.
Remember that amazing apartment in the city?
He didn’t pay $2000 a week in rent.
His parents did.
That fancy office the event was held in?
A day rental.
I had been conned.
Ever watch Wolf of Wall Street?
It reminds me of that scene with Leo and Matt Mcconaughey.
Matt’s character in the movie is talking about the stock market.
“No one knows if the stock market is going up, down, sideways or in circles… the least of all stock brokers.”
“It’s all a fugazi. It’s fairy dust.. it doesn’t exist.”
If you haven’t watched the movie… put it on the list.
So that’s when I knew I had to make the call.
“<Hey (name redacted because I’m staying classy)>, we’re not going to need your coaching anymore.”
I went that route because I had to pull the band-aid fast. That’s break-up advice 101… don’t drag it out.
It didn’t go down well.
As I walked him through why I’d made that decision, I got to see his true colours.
He was a con in Guru’s clothing.
Like a wolf in sheep’s.
See, real mentors always have your best interests at heart. By definition, mentors don’t need you. They want to help.
They would never want you to fail.
But this guy did, and that’s why I knew I had made the right decision.
The roll back down the hill comment?
It was in reference to my first gym.
He wanted me to lose.
He wanted me to stay small where I kept him on a pedestal.
He didn’t want me to win.
Pro Tip #438: Never put anyone on a pedestal. It blindsides you.
As much as it was painful at the time… to this day it is still one of the best lessons I’ve ever learned… and now I can spot a garden-variety Goo-woo from a mile away.
And, I get to share a simple ‘rule of thumb’ so you never get trapped.
Here it is:
Never… EVER… get swindled by the fancy lifestyle a Goo-woo lives… (or how they claim to live). And, never ever take paid advice from someone who isn’t exactly where you want to be.
If I had asked myself this simple question:
“Is this business coach doing what I want to be doing?”
I would have said no, and I’d never have made the mistake.
But it’s OK, because now I can tell you — so my pain is not in vain.
Garden variety Goo-woos are everywhere.
The internet is rife with them.
But that’s not a problem… because now they’ll stand out like a sore thumb because you know what to look for.