How Did Julie Go From $1K A Month To $45K A Month After Her First Business Collapsed?
The collapse of Julie’s business left her at a devastating crossroads – and all the signs pointed to “give up”. Here’s what happened when she fought back from the edge.
Julie Keehn’s fitness business in Kansas was on the brink of closure, following a series of events which had shattered not just her dream, but family relationships and old friendships.
“I felt like a complete failure,” Julie told us. “My confidence and self-belief had been crushed by what happened. We’d raised $5million to open a 30,000 square ft facility in my husband’s childhood town. Within a few years, local in-fighting and politics had driven me out and led to the collapse of the business. My dream, my plans, and my network were gone.”
When the business you’ve put your heart, soul, time and money into fails, you need your friends and family more than ever. But in Julie’s case, she had lost almost all of it. No money, no business, and no local support. Can you imagine how you’d cope with all that?
Most people would give up, tuck their tail between their legs, and get out of there. But Julie refused to give up. She had always dreamed of helping people find strength through fitness. So now she needed to tap into her own strength, more than ever before.
Julie’s backstory shows how resilient she is. Growing up in an abusive home, with an alcoholic father, she found a lifeline in fitness.
“Getting fit as a small teenager got me physically stronger,” said Julie, “but it also taught me how to be confident, and gave me an outlet to be myself.”
Julie joined the Army as a medic where physical training was a big part of her routine. Marriage and a family followed, and fitness was always her stronghold. The family settled in rural Kansas, where her husband had grown up, and eventually it was Julie’s turn to pursue her business dream.
In 2009, she started raising $50M investment for a 30,000 square ft facility with pool, gym, clinic, and fitness facility – which would be Julie’s remit. But the reality of such a large-scale project didn’t match the dream. Politics, fighting, and a serious breakdown of communication between Board members ultimately led to the business failing.
No Facility, No Business – and a Huge Amount of Debt
It was very hard for Julie to set up a new gym. In a small community, emotions were running high. The easy route would have been switching careers, taking a 9-5 job, distancing herself from the whole situation.
But the fitness industry meant so much to Julie. She was determined not to turn her back on it.
Amidst all the confusion, hurt, and panic, Julie was certain of two things. “First, I knew if I didn’t pick up my stuff and reopen I’d be sunk financially,” she said.
“Second, I wouldn’t have a reason for getting up in the morning. My confidence was utterly crushed. But I couldn’t leave the industry on a failure.”
Do You Want to be Good or do You Want to be Great?
“Growing up in that abusive family situation, I was always told I wasn’t good enough, didn’t know enough, had no right to succeed,” said Julie. “I had to prove to myself that I am not that girl anymore.”
In 2016, Julie built her business up from scratch in a new location 10 minutes down the road. “My biggest fear was that the new gym would fail, too,” she admits. “I had to prove people wrong. I knew it would be the end of me if this didn’t work.”
Does Your Business Need More Than a Generic Strategy Coach?
The new gym – Rhino Fitness – was barely making ends meet. Julie was exhausted, beaten down, and going through the motions. She knew she needed help.
“I actually looked for a strategist-style business coach to tell me exactly what to do,”
she said. “I tried a couple of business coaches, but none of them helped. Then I realised that everything still going on in my heart was crippling my business.
“A business strategist wasn’t enough for me,” she said. “I needed a combination of emotional coaching and expert fitness business strategy. I never believed I’d find it!”
Julie started reading Simon’s Fitpreneur book and realised this was exactly what she needed. After devouring the book cover to cover, Julie applied for Fitpro Mastery and got started as soon as she could.
Her Business Started to Blow Up
“It was incredible,” she says. “From barely making ends meet to the business blowing up! I can’t believe how different life is now. I’ve hired trainers to help deliver our programs and I can work on my online business. I am watching my facility run the way I’ve always dreamed it would run. The joy is back. I feel strong, confident, and full of self-belief.”
Before Fitpro Mastery: Julie was selling gym memberships for $500 a month. She had 30 members.
After starting Fitpro Mastery, Julie was selling 12-week programs for $1200. She currently has 245 members.
Julie’s Fitpro Journey in Numbers
2 weeks of November 2016: $1,100 in contracts
December 2016: $45,000 in contracts
January 2017: $25,000 in new business, plus renewals
February 2017: on track for another $45,000 month
Why Fitpro Mastery Worked Where Other Mentoring Had Failed
Julie had tried several business coaches before reaching out to us. She explained what makes Fitpro Mastery different. “Most business coaches are a one-man band, but with Fitpro Mastery you have a team of people on the calls, webinars, and coaching sessions,” she explains. “They give tangible tools and plans to help your business, and the Facebook group is amazing. I know from my own business how helpful a closed Facebook community can be. It’s the same for us as business owners. Simon’s coaching is a community. The support and network were exactly what I wanted.”
An Amazing Thing Happens When You Believe in Yourself
Less than a year ago, Julie was consumed by fear of failure. Her passion for business had gone. She was just trying to keep her head above water.
“I now have more ideas than I can keep up with,” she laughed. “The dynamic is completely different – I’m going all in again! I’m investing in the business, expanding the facility, hiring trainers and paying for their certifications. I’m not scared anymore.
I’m out of protection mode and taking bold risks.
“That’s who I always was – nurturing the potential in people and building them up. I’m back to how I was before the nightmare of my first business.”
Julie credits Simon and the Fitpro Mastery team with building her confidence back up. “I am finally at a place where I can tell my difficult story so it might encourage other fitpros,” she explains. “Failures are going to come along, and things are going to happen. It doesn’t have to stop you having your dreams.”
Fitpro Mastery was the complete support system Julie needed from a business mentor program.
“In a world where most people try to compete and tear each other apart, this programme puts you in a world where everyone supports each other,” she said. “The Fitpro Mastery way of looking at business has transformed my life. They taught me how to believe in myself again. I didn’t think that was ever going to be possible.”
Truth is, Julie spent a lot of time looking at a lot of coaching programs, and she didn’t find many specific to the fitness industry.
“If you’re in this industry, that’s so important,” she said. “The way our businesses run is completely different to any other. I believe having a regular business coach wouldn’t have helped me. Fitpro Mastery actually teaches you the tools and gives you the strength to be who you are and use your personality to help other people.
Simon has made this program and the group be a life changing, supportive, educational experience. It goes above and beyond simply doing well at your fitness business.
Julie has discovered how many people she can help when she’s at the top of her game. If you’re ready to overcome your past experiences, get your confidence back, and start being the fitness professional you want to be, apply for your free breakthrough call here.