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  • Founder of Athletes Authority
  • Marketing Maverick
  • Business Strategist
  • Newsletter Publisher

What’s The Difference Between Ethical Copying And Stealing?

A podcast listener and a long-term Alley-Oop’er subscriber Taylor reached out to me last week via email with some really interesting thoughts. This is what he said:


I listened to your podcast that just launched and it’s true: you guys are the most copied gym in the world. No doubt about that.

I think what many coaches and business owners see is that there can actually be an opportunity to make a living doing what you love following your model. The failure rate in this industry previously was so high and probably still is high. I look back to the days where I couldn’t meet rent, car payments bounced, and I couldn’t even afford interest on my student loans. Having your framework is what can save people’s lives because being able to run a profitable business is so hard.


Now, I didn’t tell Taylor I would be sharing this email so i’m not going to use his last name out of respect, however, what I CAN say is that he couldn’t have hit the nail better on the head and I’m massively grateful for his insights because everything he said is bang on. I’d agree that:

1. Running a gym is hard and creating a permanently profitable enterprise feels for many, like a pipe-dream that is always (no matter what they try) just out of arm’s reach.

2. When you see success, your first instinct is to copy and paste, because you’d do almost anything to get out of the state of desperation you’re in.

3. Frameworks and models that have proven themselves in the real world should be shared openly, even though, as Benjamin Franklin puts it, “there is far more money to be made keeping secrets, than there is sharing them.” 

And thinking back to my podcast episode, I wish I clarified one more thing that I didn’t. If I had my time again, I would have said this:

“I totally understand why people copy us. I understand and I get it, because if I was on my hands and knees, I would have done the same.”

So while I understand and empathise, and still remember clearly exactly what it felt like being dead arse broke, I still don’t think it’s the best approach, and here is why:

When you steal an idea without understanding how the idea was ideated, developed, and iterated over time, you miss the most important part of the learning process:

You miss the part which actually lays out the plans.

The blueprint, so to speak, with all the context and nuance.

With all the important “how-to’s that make a finished product the way it is.

So while that product that you carbon copied will hold up for a while, what do you do when it breaks?

What do you do when a part needs to be replaced?

What happens when you need to rebuild it?

Without the prototype, the blueprint, or the plans, you’re left with a business model that is fundamentally, not fit for purpose for your organisation.

And at that point, you run the risk of all sorts of things that no business owner wants to deal with.

Because while it’s easy to ‘see’ what we do and copy our model, you don’t really ‘see it’ because you don’t see what went into it.

And that to me, is the difference between ethical copying, and stealing.

Which brings me to the point of today’s email.

Last year, we took 100+ coaches through the exact frameworks and systems we used at Athletes Authority to get us to the point where many think that we’re the “most copied and plagiarised gym in the world.”

And it was all done through our Coach Immersion Program, which most just call our CIP.

But unlike last year, we’re not going to be helping 100’s of coaches this year.

Instead, we’re only doing one intake in 2023 at our Sydney location, so there is only one chance to ethically copy everything we do and paste it in your own business for maximum effect with minimum effort.

And the reason we’re only doing one intake this year in Sydney is because we’re going deeper with everyone who’s already spent time with us (a CIP 2.0, perhaps?), rather than going broader. A decision primarily built on protecting mine, Lachy’s and the rest of the team’s energy (we did 7 CIP events last year and pouring your heart and soul out every couple of months takes its toll).

So in saying that, there really is only just this one chance to spend time with me in Sydney this year.

And given that it’s only a few weeks away, you don’t have a lot of time to decide whether you want the VIP, back-stage pass to peek behind the curtain and see what makes our gym (and our business model more broadly) so popular amongst the S&C industry.

So if you’ve ever been curious to see how we did it…

Or want to do what we’ve done, for yourself…

Then the CIP is the only way outside of my Mastermind, to spend time with me, face-to-face, no-holds-barred, for 3 days straight.

If the 100+ testimonials we’ve gathered are anything to go by (you can watch some of them on the link below), it may very well be “the best 3-days you’ve ever had”.

I’ve linked the details below. If you’re interested in finding out more, you’ll be able to register your interest and ask for a callback. Jordi should be in touch within a couple of days.

– Karl Goodman

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Lachlan Wilmot



  • Bachelors of Exercise and Sport Science
  • Honors in Rate of Force Development in Team Sport Athletes

Lachlan began his professional sports coaching career as the second ever employee at the GWS Giants in 2010-11 season prior to entering the AFL in 2012. Over 7 seasons, Lachlan grew a team of talented young men into back-to-back preliminary finals contenders. As the head of strength and power, his role was to turn teenagers into physically dominant men, developing their strength, power, speed and most importantly, their resistance to injury.

In 2018, Lachlan’s success afforded him the opportunity to shift codes, having been offered the role of High Performance Manager for the NRL’s Parramatta Eels.

In as little as one rebuild season, he had taken the wooden spooners of 2018 to the finals in 2019, where they inflicted the greatest defeat of the Brisbane Broncos in NRL history. By 2019, it was time for Lachlan to go ‘all-in’ on his other baby, Athletes Authority.

Now, Lachlan leads the performance program, designing the programs for all the athletes here. He works closely with the sports medicine team, just like he did in pro sport, to help athletes achieve more and reach new heights with their athletic careers.

Karl Goodman


Karl began his career in coaching as a Personal Trainer back in 2007. After competing for NSW as a Baseballer, and then competing at an elite standard as a cyclist throughout university,  Karl received the opportunity to work with Gordon Rugby in the Shute Shield competition. From there, he found a way to marry his passion in sports and competition with coaching; selling his investment property to start Athletes Authority in early 2016.

Starting from humble beginnings, the facility vision was taken to another level when Lachlan and Karl partnered up in 2017 and Athletes Authority was incorporated. It was no longer just a gym training athletes; Athletes Authority was committed to becoming a brand athletes worldwide could rely on for quality coaching, advice and service.