Have a podcast in 30 days

Without headaches or hassles

Building up a local business as a solo entrepreneur can be full of challenges. There is a seemingly endless list of things you need to get done in order to grow… Not to mention actually doing your work! But with the right mindset and approach, you can get it done and succeed massively.

In this episode, Jimmy and Chason Perry discuss why starting your business without partners sets you up for future success, mindset tips for getting through the initial growing pains and tips for scaling things up fast using social media (even if you have NO budget).

Show Highlights:

  • The secret to quickly building up the skills necessary for running a solo business (9:10)
  • The shocking impact the internet is having on our collective IQ (9:34)
  • Taking this approach to business processes is essential or you will continue to fail (12:09)
  • What strength coaches can teach you about crushing it in business and life (12:27)
  • Why running a business by yourself in the early days sets you up for huge success in the future (14:22)
  • A little known Facebook hack that helps you build your business fast… for free (18:58)

If you want to recession-proof your business and thrive in any area of life, go to www.uncommonlifepodcast.com and grab your free report today. I share with you the 5 key principles that have transformed and elevated my life – and they can do the same for you too if consistently applied.

Read Full Transcript

You're listening to the Uncommon Life Podcast. Whether you're a startup or you've been in business for 10 years, this show is for you. Each week, you'll get mentored by business leaders who deliver valuable strategies, tactics and tips on how you can pursue your passion without compromise. We’ll show you how to achieve balance while sticking to your core values, so you can have an uncommon life.

Now, here's your host, Jimmy Fullerton.

Jimmy: Alright, this is Episode 15 of the Uncommon Life podcast, and I just want to take a minute before I go into this week's episode to just thank everybody for the encouragement, the positive responses and feedback I've gotten. I know everybody's lives have been altered in a major way. Your routines have been just completely obliterated. Anyway, it just means a lot that you're listening right now, so I do appreciate it and certainly do not take it for granted.

On this week's episode, I'm talking with Chason Perry. He's the owner of Impact Performance RX in Columbus, Georgia. They are a sports performance training center and they have had quite a lot of success in the first two years.
They’ve produced 45 scholarship athletes, three baseball state championships to their credit. It was the first year each team won their first day title. They currently have a lot of people right now. I don't have a number, but definitely double digits of people in the NFL, major league baseball, XFL and CFL, and once again, all this in just two short years.

Now, in part one, Chason shares his background, kind of gives you his story, how he came to be doing what he's doing and why he's doing it, and how he has achieved such great success in a short period of time. There is a lot of good information in here, especially when he goes into his social media strategy and some of the things he has learned. But, anyway, without further delay, here it is.

Chason, tell us a little bit about Impact Performance RX, your company.

Chason: Impact Performance RX is a … I don't like to use the word “gym” or “training center,” and obviously if you think of common terms for gym, but we cater to athletes specifically, but we do general population as well.
I come from college and pro sports. That environment is hard to replicate and I think if people were exposed to that more, they would really get into it because it's just a different kind of environment when you work with, D1 college athletes and pro athletes, which are different in themselves [03:01.0]. But I wanted to kind of bring that to the general population and then also be able to do stuff, getting kids into fitness at a young age and all the way through adults.

Jimmy: Yeah, so your overall vision when you started was to … you said the environment was different.

Chason: Yeah, I think we put more of an emphasis on structure and teaching fundamentals, and when you get a workout, I think everybody needs to always ask themselves, Are you teaching people a movement? Are you teaching people how to move? And that's where we're a little bit different. We teach people how to move, so it's not just weight lifting. There's mobility, stability, balance. There's explosive work, speed and agility type stuff.

You take a lot of the general population through adults and there are a lot of programs that they'll go run 400 meters and a mile or two here and there. We'll do ladder drills and agility drills, and reaction drills and stuff like that, and I think just bringing that up-tempo pace has made people really kind of fall in love with what you do as an athlete, and it's honestly a little bit better of a workout.

Jimmy: Yeah. So, [onto] what your background is, okay, what was your background before you got into this?

Chason: Undergrad in exercise science, master's degree in strength and conditioning from West Virginia University. I was a graduate assistant at WVU, worked back in ’06 and ’07, so I was there when we were a top-five team in the country.

Jimmy: Where was this?

Chason: West Virginia University, WVU, so I’m a Mountaineer.

Jimmy: Yeah, I'm not going to hold that against you.

Chason: Yeah, I'm from Ohio, so I'm still Buckeye in my blood, but …

Jimmy: I won't hold that against you. We’re in an SEC territory here.

Chason: But I still love my mountaineers.

Jimmy: Yeah.

Chason: So, I did that. I worked in the NHL with the Atlanta Thrashers. That was actually in between undergrad and grad school back in ’06. I went to grad school ’07 to ’09, and then did my master's there. Then I moved to Cincinnati where I was in the private sector for a little bit.

Jimmy: In what capacity?

Chason: Actually, this would be my second business down here. I owned a training center. I'm not going to get into how that started because that would be a whole podcast on that business. But I kind of replicated what we had up there here. I ended up franchising.

It was a Parisi Speed School franchise, and when I came in, we were able to … It was pretty stagnant for two years. I tripled the capacity in six months, took over it, bought a softball school that was going out of business and then took our facility, our franchise there and then expanded to that. I sold my shares of that and then moved, took a job with SOCOM and that's what brought me to Columbus, Georgia, working for a Special Forces unit.

Jimmy: Okay, Special Forces unit.

Chason: I was the director for a SOCOM unit for seven years.

Jimmy: Okay. I didn't know that [06:00.1] was part of what you did.

Chason: That's what brought us to Columbus. I worked on Fort Benning for seven years. My wife, we had kids here. We started settling in.

Jimmy: So that was actually what brought you to Columbus, Georgia. It was the training of the special ops.

Chason: Yup. And then, when we had our first son, Grant, I took him to gymnastics and when he was two or three, and I went on and I just started doing research because I knew what we had in Cincinnati—we started our kids at seven—and I started thinking, What are we going to do with Grant when he gets to that age because I want that same type of program, working with the youth athletes and the stuff that we do with them.
Really, that age group are seven- to 10-year-olds. It's more about teaching. We gamify their training. We make it fun. It's about getting into movement, movements and body weight stuff, teaching them how to run, not just running drills.

We went from taking him to gymnastics to researching and going online, and I realized there was a need in the market here because nobody was doing it. And so, I told my wife that I'm going to leave my job and open up a business here, and here we are.

Jimmy: So, what you wanted was to teach about being a well-rounded athlete. Is that what I’m getting?

Chason: Yeah, use athletics as a platform.

Jimmy: Yeah. What were some of the biggest challenges you faced when you were trying to get it off the ground here?

Chason: Everything is always a challenge when you're getting started.

Jimmy: Give me the top three or the first one. Let's just start there and see how long that goes.

Chason: Probably the first thing was having to go back before I had partners. Now I'm a sole proprietor. So, I had partners to help with a lot of stuff that I still had that I didn't really get the learn on the business side that first time that you just have to kind of make your mistakes and learn from them the second time.

Jimmy: Your specialty in that regard was not the business side. It was the training.

Chason: It was the training and probably the sales portion of it, building the program, that side. That's what I like to do, the infrastructure of how it runs, but the administrative side I had to get better on.

Jimmy: So, you're operational in that regard. As far as business goes, you're more of an operational person.

Chason: Yeah.

Jimmy: The administrative is what you probably needed more assistance with.

Chason: Yeah, I'm not a sit at a desk and do QuickBooks and files and things like that. I'd rather be out, talking to people, building relationships and stuff like that.

Jimmy: Yeah, so you had partners initially. So, what happened?

Chason: In Cincinnati, I did.

Jimmy: Okay, so when you came down here, you were a sole proprietor. It was just you.

Chason: Yeah, and from having partners before, I wanted to be a sole proprietor this time.

Jimmy: What did you do to compensate for the administrative part that you did not like doing and weren't very at?

Chason: A lot of Google searching, reading [09:00.0], just educated myself on it and trying to find … obviously talking to people.

Jimmy: Self-education, yeah.

Chason: I'm very good at self-educating. I'm bets at it.

Jimmy: That’s the way with the future I think, man, self-education. There's so much information out there. All you’ve got to do is look forward. It's there.

Chason: Yes, we have so much access to information now. Do you know the human capacity, IQ is eight points higher than what it was 60 years ago just because of the internet?

Jimmy: Really?

Chason: Yeah. People think it's making us stupider because we don't know how to research through books and things and look stuff up, but it's actually not. Our ability to access information is so much faster that we're actually getting smarter from it.

Jimmy: This is a rabbit trail, but I'm so interested in this because I think I want to park there for a second, just to see what your thoughts are on this. As far as capacity goes, I get what you're saying, but what about attention span? What I've noticed, and I can see this in myself sometimes, if I spend too much time looking at my phone and not focusing on one specific activity, I feel like I lose my powers of concentration unless I'm really intentional about it. What do you think about that, how it has affected us?

Chason: Maybe I'm biased because I am ADD and I come from a background where I grew up, and when I got into this field, it was because I have Tourette syndrome and not being able to control my movements made me want to learn more about the human body and movement in itself. I started off in physical therapy, and then when I found strength conditioning, I kind of fell in love with it. Being a high school athlete and college athlete, that was more my thing.

I think that I've always worked better like that, a weight room to me with a lot of moving pieces, and I'm more comfortable in an environment where there are 50, 60 , 80 or 100 people, all multitasking and doing stuff because it's organized chaos and I enjoy that. My attention span has never been good sitting in front of a computer, so I don't know if I could relate to that.

Jimmy: As to where you are, I get it. Yeah, you function better in that kind of environment. Your brain thrives in that.

Chason: Yeah, I can be more creative with it, too. I look at business and the infrastructure of it, and kind of the how-to of building the processes. I love the movie Moneyball with Brad Pitt and my favorite scene is when he's telling the guys like, Here's our plan and we’ve got this Matt guy, and Jonah Hill's whole process that he's going through.

Jimmy: I loved that role he played. Yeah, I loved hearing them have that dialogue, and the way they thought was so different, so unconventional compared to what everybody else was doing. They were going in a different direction. I guess that’s one thing I like about that movie so much.

Chason: Yeah, I think it kind of proved that we can use math and science and stuff like that, obviously math way more in that, but Brad Pitt says a line like, “This is a process. It's a process. It's a process.” [12:00.0] And I think what a lot of people struggle to do is they have an idea and they think they know how to get there, but they don't know how to build multiple processes to get there. They get so one-tracked with it that sometimes in business you have to detour a little bit. As long as you still are trying to go in the same end, your end game is still the same, but they don't know how to detour off that original plan. They don't know how to adapt and overcome, and being adjustable. And that's kind of what a strength coach does. We're constantly making adaptations to stuff.

Jimmy: In business, you have to do that. Especially today with all the changes that constantly come at you, you have to be able to do that on a regular basis. If you get too comfortable, you're going to wind up and something bad is going to happen. You're going to get behind your competition or your business is going to fail. I mean, in this day and age, you just have to be able to adapt.

That's why I think collaboration is so important to be able to know other people, not just in your industry or your sector, whatever it is, but also people that are outside of it or may be complementary to it, so you’re kind of getting an ear to what's going on out there, to what else is going on outside of your particular area of expertise to kind of help you get an idea about where you might need to go, what direction should you go based on all the other stuff that's going on. Does that make sense?

Chason: Yeah.

Jimmy: So, you had to basically self-educate in those areas where you were weak, which is basically administrative. Does that include accounting and stuff like that, QuickBooks?

Chason: Yeah.

Jimmy: Okay, so did you hire for those positions?

Chason: No, I did it in year one. I did all of it.

Jimmy: You were everything.

Chason: I did social media, sales, coaching, programming, everything.

Jimmy: How about now?

Chason: I use an accounting firm that’s online that's actually built for gyms. That's been great. I'll plug. GymBookkeeping.co I think is who we use and they're very easy, great to work with. They took that off the plate.

My team helps with a lot of the social media stuff now. A lot of the other tasks now, we started off with two coaches and I've got technically seven, so being able to hand off other tasks, because even just things like cleaning and stuff like that because in the beginning--

Jimmy: You're doing it all. That's the way most business owners are in the beginning. They're pretty much doing it all. I think there's some value to that because that way you're learning every single facet of the business and you know how to develop the systems, so when you bring somebody else in, you're teaching them your system, so you're familiar with every single facet of your business. That's the value of being Mr. or Mrs. Everything at first. So, that was an area that you needed some help in and basically, like you said, you self-educated to kind of shore up those areas where you were weak, and I guess the same thing with social media, right?

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Jimmy: How did you school yourself up on social media?

Chason: I was pretty much off the grid. I had a Facebook and I only use it because we live away from our families, some friends, and put pictures of the kids up so our grandma and granddads can check it. But now it's like we're constantly on it all the time. My wife hates it because even our videos on our Instagram and Facebook, I do all those from my phone or from the laptop themselves, editing stuff and adding music. I like that, though. I enjoy that part. What was the question on that?

Jimmy: I was asking you how you shored up your knowledge on … first of all, I was talking about your administrative side, but also when you started going into your social media, you didn't have all the expertise initially when you were opening your business, but then you had to …

Chason: The expertise part.

Jimmy: Yeah, you had to learn. I was trying to figure out where you went, who was your source for learning about social media, because there's so much out there about social media and there are so many voices. But usually they all end up saying some version of the same thing about what you need to do to best give your business the right exposure on social media. There's just so much out there. You don't even know where to start sometimes.

Chason: My sister has a degree in marketing, so she actually runs a social media in Myrtle Beach for a Broadway at the Beach, which is that whole all the restaurants and stuff out there, the hard rock café and all that type of stuff. She's their main social media person and she was the one that gave me a lot of really good info on ways to boost and get your stuff out there.

Jimmy: That’s one thing I have found. The way it is right now, usually somebody knows or has somebody in their sphere of influence or somebody that they know in some capacity that has knowledge, a lot of knowledge in the social media realm that they can get good information from. There are a lot of people out there that are really thriving in that area right now.

Chason: You can spend a lot of money on it. Really, what's happened now and I think that it's changed in the last or so, you pretty much have to pay to advertise through Facebook and Instagram to really make traction, or it's getting people to like and share. I mean, interactions with posts are what brings it to the top.

Jimmy: What [18:00.1] makes it organic, yeah. Organic traction is the best way to go if you can do it. It's just it takes work. It takes asking people to share and stuff like that.

Chason: And finding the local community stuff, like here in Columbus, there’s a lot of Columbus yard sale groups and stuff like that, so anytime we run a special, I'm a member at all those groups and I post in those groups, and I actually will post. I will share my business stuff to my personal account and then share it from my personal account to those local city things, and before we started doing that, that came from my sister. If we had 500 interactions with the post, we were happy. Now we can get to 4,000 to 5,000 in just a couple of days.

Jimmy: That's a really good tip. So, utilize some of the local groups that they have. For instance, in Columbus, you use some of the … what are some of the groups you're using?

Chason: Like Columbus garage sales or Columbus Facebook sales. There are a lot of people that just sell stuff online. Some will let you do business promotion. There’s Stay Healthy and Fit Columbus, Georgia, that we will share our stuff to.
When this whole coronavirus thing hit, we’d do our app that we use for our members. We actually built a home program and we did it for free for anybody, not just our members, and we shared it to those pages and we prefaced that with, Hey, I know this is from my business, but this isn't for advertising. We literally just want to give something out so that people want to utilize it. Please feel free to. And then, you've got a lot of interaction.

So, that's one of the ways that we do it through Facebook. It's easier to do that. Instagram, you want to tag your people in your business and have it shared on their page, and hopefully you'll get third party followers that way.

Jimmy: Is your strategy on social media the same with Facebook and Instagram or does it differ somewhat?

Chason: Ours is somewhat similar in both. I've read and I've talked to other people that believe that your Instagram should be one and your Facebook should be another. A lot of our stuff we, we double tap into both.
Jimmy: It makes sense because they're tied together. You can put one form of content in Instagram and it'll go really quickly to Facebook, so they're tied together naturally that way, so it seems to make sense to do that.

Chason: One thing you want with your Instagram that's better, videos are better on Facebook than on Instagram. Instagram's algorithms work by swipes, so the more people that swipe through your photos, the more likely it is actually to hit higher up. And even if they don't like it, but if they like and swipe through it a few times, that will boost it to the top and you'll get more organic interaction.

That's why when you log in, sometimes there's always that one post that's always on top, and 20 minutes later, you go and check it again, and it's still that same post that you're getting at the top of your feed. It's because people are interacting and swiping through the pictures.

Jimmy: So, how do you influence the algorithms? What are some of the tips you can give to do that to help?

Chason: You can’t really. The algorithms you can't really mess with because that's their sources [21:00.3]. We use apps called SCRL. S-C-R-L I believe is the one. I'm sorry I'm checking my phone.

Jimmy: Is it free?

Chason: I think they have some free and some paid, but it's cheap. They have templates.

Jimmy: What does it do?

Chason: This one does some stuff where, if you have pictures—and I'm actually showing—you take a picture and to see the whole picture, it forces you to swipe, but it adds different layers and things like that to it, so that you can build Instagram stories and things like that. We use Canva, which is … I paid--

Jimmy: I’ve heard of Canva, yeah.

Chason: Use a lot of Canva for stuff. SCRL is really good because when you're looking at it, you can have writing going across. It basically makes all your four-by-three photos into a banner, so people, when they swipe, it's like one giant banner that they're going across, so they're more likely to … If you have sentences running across it, you've got to swipe to see it more, and that's one way that we notice that those do get a lot of interaction.

Jimmy: Okay, and you use Canva as one of the apps that you use for that to help.

Chason: Photo editing and stuff like or just to build advertisements and stuff. I mean, you can pay a lot of money and do it through marketing firms and stuff like that, and a third party where you're sending stuff and waiting, or you can just learn how to do it yourself and you'd have it the way that you want it to look because as a business you kind of have a theme. Our colors are scarlet and gray. That scarlet red, that black and gray and white.

Jimmy: Scarlet and gray, those are the state colors, isn’t it?

Chason: Yeah, it is. Bing in the South, it's not crimson. It's scarlet.

Jimmy: It's okay with me, but, yeah, here it’s probably not going to go over well as a whole, but it has worked for you okay so far.

Chason: Yeah, we just wanted a good … I like that burgundish red, that deeper red, not firetruck. But you want those tones, so a lot of your advertisements and stuff run the same. For yours, it’s green and yellow, so you want those, because that associates. People see that. They recognize that and they go, Oh, that's Launch.

Jimmy: In this city, yep, they know that is Launch, for sure.

Chason: Yeah.

Jimmy: So, Facebook, Instagram, I really am fascinated by social media and how people use it. But you use Facebook and Instagram. What other social media do you use the most?

Chason: We will use Twitter. I personally don't. I'm not a big tweeter on Twitter.

Jimmy: Yeah, I'm not either.

Chason: We are followers. We don't have a very big following on Twitter, like 500 or so. We use that more to announce our high school athletes for camps and combines and stuff like that. It's grown recently.
We have some stuff that we have done with it that's helped and we've partnered with Recruit Georgia. They've got 40,000 or 50,000 followers. Not they. It’s one guy. But Dave has a huge [24:00.0] following with that.

Playbook Athletes Sports, we have a relationship with their company and they will actually use us. They actually did a story on one of my kids. They sent me a questionnaire about him. I filled it all out. I go to their website a couple of days later. I get a link from the parent of that kid and it was basically my questionnaire was their whole entire story. They copied and pasted it out. I sent their guy that runs Playbook Athlete like, Do I get some credit for that? He put my name on it and stuff, but they wrote a paragraph and then everything else was verbatim what I had said to him. I was like, that's awesome.

Jimmy: What else do you use also? Do you use any kind of email marketing or anything like that?

Chason: Not really anymore. I think that's getting to a point where there's so much junk email every day that people get that it's just not. We did Constant Contact. I did it when in Cincinnati, 10 years ago. I think it was really effective. I think now because of social media, a lot of those other marketing schemes have kind of died off.

Jimmy: But the only thing about that is, when you have an email database, you own that traffic. That means you don't have to pay for advertisements on Facebook, Instagram, any of that kind of stuff. That's one thing I like about email marketing, the fact that you own that traffic. If Facebook changed their rules, all of a sudden, you could lose all of your followers just like that. I've heard of people that that has happened to them.

Chason: Sure.

Jimmy: So, that's the only thing about that that definitely you get a lot of value from Facebook. It’s so much cheaper now to market your business than it used to be. It gives people that are just starting at a much better chance to get their business off the ground and kind of hit that escape velocity that's so hard to do, because traditional marketing can be so expensive. But now it's just been a game changer for a lot of startups.

Chason: I think a lot of it has to do with what type of clientele you're bringing in, too. Being in here and this facility, getting people to come back each time, and it's also the business model.

It probably is more effective for that for you because you can send out specials and promos and things like that, where we can, too, but our members are paying one time that month and we want them there as much as possible where they're not paying any more each time they walk into the door. So, if we had more of that type of model, and we could run some promos and we'd done some stuff before, but we just didn't … I mean, you can check the open rates on a lot of stuff now. We just didn’t see, for us. I think that's just a part of our industry now, too. It has kind of trended that way. Does that make sense?

Jimmy: Absolutely.

Chason: I think if you end up at a local ice cream parlor and you want to get a two-for-one special, that's an easy email that will drive revenue and bring in, but if our members come back in, they're not necessarily spending more money each time they come in. They're paying for that membership to have access.

Jimmy: That’s [27:00.0] right.

Chason: That’s our model and that's why I think it's harder for us to drive new types of revenue off stuff like that, where social media puts it out to people that we don't have already or that don't know about us, and that's why we spend a lot more time in that aspect of it.

Jimmy: All right, so that's the end of Part 1. Now, coming up in Part 2, we go into some really cool stuff about their training philosophy because they train pro athletes and special ops guys, and we talk about the focus at that level is more on the minimum effective dose, and also a heavy focus on recharging and longevity instead of wearing your body down.

And this can be applied to business as well, so there’s a lot of good stuff if you're an entrepreneur. We also talk about listening to your customers, which I know is a recurring theme, but it's so important and good information there. Also, we talk about the downside of having too many goals.

So, once again, it’s good information. I think you'll get a lot out of it, so be sure to check it out, Part 2 of my interview with Chason Perry of Impact Performance RX.

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