BUSINESS NAME: Encompass Fitness Studio
LOCATION: Estevan, SK
BUSINESS MODEL: Personal Trainer
NPE STATUS: VIP ACADEMY™
“Should I shut down or keep on going?” That’s what Brady Johnson asked herself after less than a year running Encompass Fitness Studio. She had launched Encompass in spring of 2014, and not long after was totally depleted, both emotionally and physically. She was doing what she loved, but felt like she was swimming upstream with no clear destination in sight.
At the crack of dawn each day, Brady trained clients in her humble 700 square foot studio. From there, she dashed off to a physiotherapy clinic, where she worked a full day. She would duck out during lunch to work at her studio, and head back to her studio once again when her clinic job wrapped up at 5pm. As her long evening ended, she would slump into a chair and breathe. Torn between her two jobs, she struggled to maintain focus and make the kinds of decisions that would fuel growth for Encompass.
Encompass had a group training model, with several subcontractors teaching yoga. Yoga wasn’t Brady’s passion, but she was persuaded to provide the yoga classes that were popular in her community. Not only was she being pushed and pulled between her two jobs, but Encompass itself also lacked definition and clarity.
“It was overwhelming,” says Brady. “I knew I couldn’t sustain what I was doing.”
Shut the business down or keep going?
During the most challenging times, she thought back to how this all began.
Growing up in the small oil field community in Estevan, Saskatchewan, Canada, she remembered working out in her parents home gym and being enlightened by the experience of pushing herself to new levels of physical development. “When you discover potential in fitness, you discover your potential in this world,” she says.
As a student at the University of Regina earning a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology, she became the go-to person for helping her friends with their workout regimens and nutrition. “I realized that I had started a business organically,” says Brady. “I knew I wanted to be in a field to help other look and feel better.”
After graduating, her dream of owning her own fitness studio became a reality. She launched Encompass Fitness Studio, but she felt like she couldn’t afford to focus on it full time. The physiotherapy clinic job seemed like it could mesh with her plans and lifestyle because it was in her field, but she never imagined how distracting it would be while she was building Encompass.
Now, in her moment of exhaustion, she seriously considered closing her studio’s doors forever. She looked at two options: back to school or work for someone else full time for the long term.
Taking Risks, Seeing the Light
Brady sought inspiration and advice when she could find the time. Poring through a Precision Nutrition training manual, an NPE ad for MegaTraining™ caught her eye. She called to find out more about the three-day immersive workshop that helps fitness entrepreneurs reach their goals and get work done on their businesses during the event. MegaTraining™ offers business strategies and learning from some of the world’s leading business minds. Brady decided that it sounded promising, and was worth the investment.
“My family and friends didn’t think I should invest the money, even though it wasn’t that much to begin with,” says Brady.
It was a tiny risk to take in comparison to the huge investment she had already made in her business. As she thought about it, she recognized that the greater risk was doing nothing at all.
The night before she was to leave for MegaTraining™, a crisis arose. Her subcontractors demanded 60 percent of her profits and threatened to intentionally run her business into the ground if she didn’t give them what they asked for. Her business seemed to be crumbling from within.
But the threat didn’t have the desired effect. Brady’s outlook was already changing, and she was seeking opportunities. She followed through on attending MegaTraining™ and “got to meet all the members and see where they were on their journey, and how far ahead they were.”
Today, Brady sees her immersion in the NPE community as pivotal. “Jim Rome says ‘You become the five people you spend the most time with.’ These were the kind of people I needed to be around. They were where I wanted to be, so I realized it was possible for me to do the same thing if I just committed,” she says.
Getting Serious and Committed:
Growing From A Hobby To A Business
When Brady returned home after a transformative weekend, she made two major decisions. First, she ended her subcontractor relationships and dropped yoga completely. She also quit her job at the physiotherapy clinic so she could focus 100 percent on her company.
Although she was down to just five clients, she had faith in the program. Having no business background, Brady’s lasting takeaway from MEGA TRAINING™ was the importance of having business systems in place. “I needed to develop myself as a business owner, and see myself as a business owner and not just a trainer.”
Brady signed up for AUTO-CLOSERⓇ, an NPE program for business owners making less than $3,000 per month who are struggling with filling their schedule and need help charging premium rates for their services. Her enrollment in the program gave her access to an NPE coach.
She was paired with NPE coach Jonathan Aluzas, who understood her predicament early on.
“Part of what was impairing Brady’s business growth was her tendency to be pulled in too many directions,” says Jonathan. “She is extremely intelligent and creative, and a byproduct if you have those characteristics can be that you can be easily distracted or drawn to addressing too many things at once.”
Together, they began to carve out a plan.
“Jonathan and I have meshed well together,” says Brady. “That’s something that NPE has done a great job of — making sure that it’s a priority that you work well with your coach and have a good understanding of each other.”
Brady focused on her financial habits, and on time management. She also delved into Carol Dweck’s book Mindset, and discovered that as an entrepreneur, you can “have a growth mindset where you see an obstacle as a challenge and an opportunity to overcome it and to really develop yourself, or you can have a fixed mindset…”
Brady was ready to abandon the fixed mindset that had hindered her, face the fears that trapped her, give herself a mindset makeover, and rebrand Encompass Fitness Studio.
From 5 to 117 Members in Nine Months
The result of Brady’s determination to grow? A well-structured business and serious revenue growth. Encompass brought in almost $200,000 in 2016. In September 2016, she had her best month with $32,000 in revenue.
She also went from five active members to 117, hired staff aligned with her core values, and moved into a 5,200 square full facility.
Her coach Jonathan couldn’t be more proud. “That sort of accomplishment is off the charts on the growth spectrum,” he says. “She is a different person than she was a year ago. She seems to recognize, grasp and own the enormously talented, charismatic, and inspirational person that she is.”
Brady’s business is thriving even during an economic downturn in Saskatchewan, and she’s able to give back to her community. Encompass donates a dollar for every inch lost to a healthy breakfast program for inner city children, and gym members are even able to serve the breakfast themselves, and educate the children about the importance of healthy eating. Brady’s also in the process of building an outdoor gym that anyone in the community can access.
As NPE’s 2016 Member of the Year award winner, Brady’s future looks bright. She wants Encompass to have over 200 members by the second half of 2017 and to remove herself from the day to day operations, so she focus more on developing her team and growing her business.