Corporal Francis’ Guide to a Successful Fitness Business

Guest Post by Sean Francis


Corporal Sean Francis here with some epic business building, action taking, marketing and mindset gems guaranteed to bring you more success the being the best potato peeler in your platoon.

Now I know what you might be thinking…

“What is this ‘jarhead’ going to teach me about fitness business success?”

Well, let me give you the nickel tour on where I came from and the steps I took to become not only the 2012 Fitness Business Summit Land Rover Winner for greatest business transformation in the preceding 12 months. But also the guy who took home the 2013 Trainer of the Year award AND… share Top Presenter honors at Fitness Business Summit 2013.

Yeah… a TRIFECTA of sorts.311654_10151062088727937_1476986754_n

Here goes…

At 18 I graduated high school and didn’t have a clue of what I wanted to do with my life. I had also recently completed Basic Training in the Canadian Armed Forces as part of my last year of high school in a pretty new Military Co-op program that had me conduct army training for a semester instead of going to school. And though that program changed my path forever, joining the military full time wasn’t for me.

Instead, I looked at every college and university in my area and made lists of the courses that I was actually qualified to take. You see without a plan, I was left with what was left. Finally, I settled on Physical Education in hopes of one day becoming a gym teacher.

Five years later (yes a victory lap was involved), and a change in programs, I graduated with a degree in Kinesiology. But not knowing what to do next, I bounced between personal training jobs at local gyms and summers back training with the military.

After two years of only moderate success as a trainer (thank goodness I was still living at home and not paying many bills), I decided it was time to go back to school. This time it was the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College that I applied and was accepted into.

It was during my time at CMCC that I learned about and got involved in fitness boot camps as a way to make some money and cover living expenses (chiropractic school ain’t cheap!).

I lucked out and found a company that ran a military style fitness boot camp. What a break, eh?! A combo of my two favorite things, fitness, and the army.

This job lasted for two years while I finished off my education and paid the bills. I met some great people and was content with my morning group of 15 clients, evening group of five clients, and the salary I was being paid.

Upon graduating, I moved to Kawartha Lakes, Ontario which is where my fiancé was from. I had eight weeks to kill as I waited for my chiropractic board exam marks and license to practice, so I decided to do what I had come to know, run boot camps.

I partnered again with the same company that I worked for in Toronto and started my first program on 26 July 2010 with five clients in my AM group, and two in my PM group.

Seven clients?270173_104154196347429_4754443_n


And at $175 each, that gave me a whopping $1225.

Minus the franchise fee, some equipment, and website set up… I was left with about $400 ☹

If I was going to make this work, I would have to learn how to successfully market my program and work on my own belief systems.

I searched the Google machine and found this blog,, and some dude named Bedros Keuilian (pronounced Cooool-E-in… I think).

From then until now (we just celebrated 3 years in business with an epic BBQ at the park which had 2 adult rated bouncy castles), things have not only done a 180, they have super charged, released the nitrous, turned on the turbo jets, and launched into the AWESOMESHPERE!

These days I successfully run two fitness boot camps with over 300+ amazing clients, and 10 staff.

My outdoor camps have been revamped, redesigned, rebranded and continue to offer fitness in a team building manner with military accountability to the program and to reaching each members fitness goals.

And my indoor camp holds the world wide record for largest opening and fastest to 100 clients. Yes, it’s a Fit Body Boot Camp, and yes it kicks A$$! Within 7 days of opening our doors we had 100 clients on board, most of them on 12 month fitness agreements. Just like that and with the help of FBBC HQ, I had set up a 6-figure generating boot camp. And now six months later we have over 200 clients and continue to grow.

At this point I’m guessing you are thinking 1 of 2 things. Either:

1. Sure, but you likely have some sort of mythical powers, and I couldn’t possibly do that (mindset fail). Or,

So, I’ll address both in my list of ten things that I did and that you should consider DOING right away to move you in the direction of success.

* the DOING was capitalized on purpose. 9 out of 10 people who read this will come to KNOW a great deal on what is required for success. But only one will DO and TAKE THE ACTION necessary to actually gain this success. I hope YOU are that one ☺

Here goes:

1. Act As If. If you want to be a success, you have to act like a successful person. You need to create a bulletproof mindset of being absolutely unstoppable. That nothing (including yourself) will stop you from being successful. Long before outside factors have a chance to influence your success for better or worse, you must first convince yourself that you deserve the success you are after. If you don’t believe 100% without a shadow of doubt, there is no point going forward. If you can’t convince yourself on your deepest of beliefs, you will find a way either consciously or subconsciously to self-sabotage and fulfill your “I could never achieve that kind of success” beliefs. Repeat after me “I AM SUCCESSFUL BECAUSE I ATTRACT SUCCESS IN ALL OF MY ACTIONS.” If you can make this your daily mantra, saying it with passion and believing it, you will no doubt act more like a successful person would act with every passing day.

229690_385080228274253_1153405752_n2. Be absolutely crystal clear on what you want. Write it out. Set deadlines for its achievement. It took me a while but when I finally took the time, it’s like adding a laser to my rifle sighting system. I was able to accurately focus and get serious about targeting my goals.

I would stop reading right now and do this. The rest is worthless until you know exactly WHAT it is you want.

I’m serious…


Put some thought into what you want.

Write it down on paper.


Ok, carry on

3. Do everything you can to move towards the accomplishment of what you want. If you aren’t moving towards your goals, you are moving away from them. Look back at that list and start reverse engineering your goal. What steps need to occur? What do you have to do to achieve success? What will derail you and take you further from attaining your goals? Write all this down as it will become part of your plan. Now organize this list. What must be done first? What will you do tomorrow that will move you a step closer to your goals?

4. Get a coach. Don’t try to do it all on your own. It’s been done before by others. You might as well save money on potential errors, save time and lean from others mistakes and success. Let them guide you. Investing first in Bedros’ products (Fit Pro Newsletter, Fit Pro Magazine, System 9, Close Clients) and then in his event (Fitness Business Summit), and finally in him and his system (7 Figure Mastermind), was and is the best and smartest investment I could have made in my success. Erroneous ideas that I had were worked through and either fixed or let go, saving me thousands of dollars. And good ideas I had were developed and enhanced and made me even more thousands of dollars.

5. Take action. DO SOMETHING every day. Don’t just think about success, go get it. Sometimes you will fail. That’s not a problem. It’s failing and not getting back up that’s the problem. Fail forward always. In having a goal you are reminded of your ultimate purpose and are more likely to get back up and push forward. And in working with a coach, you will course correct even faster and save yourself time and money. Remember, nine people will read this and by the end of the blog will have convinced themselves that they could never achieve this success. Or they will say “yes that’s good stuff, I’ll get to it tomorrow”. Unfortunately for these people that tomorrow will never materialize and they will never take action on this info. You need to be the one that does. As a matter of fact, I want to hear about it. Post in the comments below with the one thing that you took from this blog and that you are going to do TODAY that will improve your fitness business.

6. Plan your days. Your DOING of SOMETHING must not be haphazard and misguided. Each night list the five MUST DO things you WILL achieve tomorrow. Don’t do anything else until those five get done. Sometimes this means missed meals, missed training, and missed time with family. However those are the sacrifices you must be willing to make in order to achieve huge success. It won’t always be like this, but in the beginning it’s something you need to be willing to do. If you stick to your plan, take action on items that move you toward success, and stay focused, it won’t take long until your productivity improves and you will find time each day to do the things you love besides working on your fitness business.

7. Build a tribe. Have a name, badge, logo, clothing, sayings (like HUA!), anything that sets you apart. People want to belong. How can you build belonging and family, and sell it along with your results based training. I have my Fit Corps “Warriors”. Ray Ortiz has his “FOGR’s”. What are your tribe members referred to or what do they refer to themselves as? Hell, Ray even gets away with and has his members boast that they are MUTHA FOGR’s! You better believe it’s harder to give up and leave family then it is some generic and non-belonging fitness program.

8. Become a master of F539729_374225459359730_1721716521_nacebook, or pay someone to run your account for you (or get Josh Carter’s Facebook Funnel product). Facebook is king for promos at low to no cost. Build your tribe through here. Share your knowledge. Get people to know, like, and trust you. $974 in Facebook ads is what contributed to 284 “likes” and 324 opt-ins in relation to my Fit Body Boot Camp awareness and grown during the two months before opening. These lists and following is what allowed me to reach 100 clients within seven days of starting training at my facility. A $974 investment created a 6-figure business within seven days, and this whole system has been documented and is being used on multiple new Fit Body Boot Camp locations worldwide to help them achieve similar results.

9. Leverage your time. If you want time and financial success and freedom I dare say that 1-on-1 training is no good, unless you are making big bucks ($150-$200/hour). In the boot camp model you (or your trainers) can train many people in the same amount of time. This allows your clients to pay less, which means more clients, and if done right creates more profit for your business. Instead of training 1 person at $50/hour (what most personal trainers charge), you can train 15 people each at $10 for the hour ($200/month for access to 20 session averages $10 per hour). In doing it this way, you make $150, and get to help 15 people to move closer to their fitness goals. And instead of a nine hour day to make $450, you only have to work three hours to make the same amount of money.

10. Sell results, not training sessions. People want results; you know what it will take to get them the results so sell them that. If 20 pounds of weight loss will take three months, sell them three months of boot camp. If they have 50 or more pounds to lose, sell them a 12 month program that will not only help them lose that 50 pounds, but will make sure they keep it off. And be sure to have your agreements convert to indefinite ongoing training agreements so you can continue to help them maintain their results past the 3 or 12 months. Set up your agreements so you don’t have resell over and over, month after month. And once your agreements are in place, set up and use EFT (electronic funds transfer). Make payments automatic each month, right to your bank account so you don’t have to chase people for money or checks. This also relieves them of the need to re-think about continuing each time they have to go to the bank machine to take money out or write you another check. Fitness is life long, so set them up for lifelong success with your program.

I hope this blog has helped you in some way and will contribute to even greater success for you and your fitness business. Just remember that “Action Favors the Bold” so don’t just take this info and store it for later use. Print it off, highlight the areas that you need to work on and that will offer the most benefit to you and your program, and get to work right away.

Corporal Sean Francis