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Phil: What's up, team? Welcome to another amazing podcast called the Martial Arts Business Success, and we're here to give great sound advice to help you build, grow, and monetize your business. I'm here with Graham McDonnell, as always, myself, Phil Britten. We're on the couch, we're here. If you're listening, make sure you get on YouTube and our website and find the videos. If you're watching and you just can't do it in the car, which is probably illegal, make sure you get on the podcast and download it on iTunes, so you get those automatic updates. Now, before I get into what we're talking about today, I really just want to mention that every topic that we come up with is either a question from someone or something that's come out of dealings with people. Now, here's the thing. Either I write the questions down, and Graham has no idea what I'm saying of talking about until the moment, or vice versa. So the answers you're getting are literally fresh out of our head as it comes rolling. They're not pre-organized, they're not pre-taped or whatever. So this is off the cuff stuff, which I think in itself, is really, really important for you to know. That we don't pre-organize this stuff. It literally is like what four things came up this week or this month, and how can we give you the best answer that we can, which is literally off the cuff. Graham: Guys, I guess it's as if you were sitting on the couch with us and you asked the question. We would just deliver straight out of our brains and mouths and give you exactly what we think, live right now. So, again team, strap yourselves in, because we've got another really awesome one. Phil: All right, so Graham, what have we got? Graham: All right, dealing with the nay sayers, or people who complain about your business, or even the practices that you do. So a lot of what we talk about are stories we've gone through and from personal experience. And as you grow, you will find that you generally have people who will complain about, it's not like the old days, you changed too much, this, that, and the other. Or you've got someone who knows nothing about your business, looks from the outside in, and will complain and think they know what's going on and tell you how you should do things. So, well, let's get into it. Phil: I just wanna... Look, this topic here is for those people, you know. Look, you're gonna get it, and it doesn't matter, you get the nay sayers, the people who complain about your business, who you are, your practice, how much money you make. And there's various levels of complainers or nay sayers or haters. But I think the biggest thing that I've learned, because it happens, like I said, I've had it happen to me, and you. You're too young to be successful, or wait, you're driving that car now, or where...how come you're in a position to talk about that? What life have you lived? There's just people who complain or don't have anything nice to say. And something that comes to my mind is a saying that we've probably all heard as a child is sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt us. You know, at the end of the day, what I've learned as I've grown in business, as long as I'm true to myself, as long as I'm true to my heart, and I know with all the authenticity, and being congruent with my message and why I'm doing what I'm doing. If I can back that up, it doesn't matter what anyone says or thinks, it really doesn't. And you just gotta learn to compartmentalize. And that type of...that language or those type of people, put it in there. Okay. Yeah, it's cool, sometimes you might listen to it. If there's a repeat saying that's happening a lot, maybe it's something that you need to listen to. Maybe you're being perceived by others as a certain thing. And maybe that's a reflection of who you are. So I think one, yes, sticks and stones break my bones, and compartmentalize. But also have a little listen. Because if the same thing that's happening over and over again, maybe there's something you need to listen to and reflect on. Graham: Great, great, wise words there. A lot of the training that we do with our clients and people that we associate with is very much about mindset, and then obviously the business practices. So what you talked about there too, is believe in yourself and that mindset as well too. Yes, there's words that can be thrown at you, it's the power you give those words. If you take it on board, and you want to...someone tells you can't do it, and you think, oh I can't. Well, guess what's gonna happen. That's gonna occur. There's gonna be times where you just go, well, I appreciate those comments, but that's not where I'm heading. Boom, I'm driving forward, and away we go. And I guess, that's something we've always put a lot of emphasis into, is believe in yourself and knowing you can do anything. You know, you put your mind to something, it's amazing what can happen. But, let's just talk about how we've managed to deal with the direct complaints. And let's just reflect back on our martial arts company and martial arts businesses. In the early days of taking over from our instructor, many, many, many moons ago, you inherit certain students, certain business principles, and all the rest. Now, myself and Phil, eight years ago, took a company that was eh, you know, it was plateauing. And we broke it apart and put it back together the way we wanted it. You'd agree that there's gonna be some people that go, oh I liked it the old way, this, that, and the other. Now we took on board those comments, but at the end of the day we had a vision, we knew where we were going. And sometimes you've gotta just...you gotta be so focused on moving forward that these sort of complaints and comments, they're gonna fall by the wayside. Now, we lost plenty of students. We lost plenty of our high ranking black belts. And we lost plenty of staff. Now, when I talk about plenty, there was maybe 50 or 100 back in the day. Now we've replaced that 50 or 100 with close to a thousand or a thousand plus, because of the decisions we made. We lost maybe two or three key staff. Now we've got 30 or 40 extra staff, since that decision was made. So sometimes, in the moment, you're nervous. But at the end of the day, if you're fixed on your vision, you know where you're heading, whatever nay sayers, whatever complaints won't mean anything once you prove them wrong. Phil: Yeah, so that was, I guess, for us, personally, going into business, we were young. We were fresh off the boat, so to speak, and there was definitely some things we had to deal with as we were navigating to the success that we were yearning for and that we knew we would get. And sometimes, you know, what Graham says, sometimes, you have to crack a few eggs to make an omelette. Or sometimes to pull a couple of strings off the onion to get to the bottom. So the thing is like...and as you go through in your business, people might then start nay saying on your business practices. Or if you want to be a professional school, one of the big ones that we've had is you shouldn't be charging that much, or you're a rip off, or you're a McDojo or belt factory, all that sort of stuff. It happens out there, and I know for you guys out, some of you gang out there who are doing really, really well, I've seen it on the posts on the Facebook groups. People, you're selling out, you're doing this, you're doing that. But, you know, at the end of the day, we love what we do. We're professionals. And for me to be the best that I can be, and for you as well, and to deliver amazing life transformational, not only lessons, techniques and mindsets, to the community, I need to charge a reasonable fee, so that I can keep my shop open and really make a massive, massive difference, you know. Like, I can...yeah, I could have been for the last eight years still been teaching 30, 50, 100 people. But what good would that do? Again, I was true to myself, and Graham will justify this, true to your heart. Global vision, change the world, impact as many people as you can. You can't do that off bread crumbs. Graham: We actually had some good conversation just the other day about, you know, certain mindsets for some people. And thinking, jeez, I can't do this, I can't do that. And again, it's one of those things that I guess they're saying that we said, the decisions that we make. We think long and hard about the impact it's gonna have on our student base, our staff, our culture, for the next 10 minutes, the next 10 days, the next 10 years. And I know a lot of the decisions we make are from a mid to long term point of view. So we'll often say or suggest to somebody who's thinking about making some changes, make the decisions today for the students you'll have in three years time plus, not for the ones you have today. And I hate to say that, we're not about being rude. I'd like to keep everyone forever, but I know that that's not gonna happen. So when we make a decision, initially there may be some pain and some complaints. But I guarantee in the test of time, the decision that you make will be celebrated. And the people won't even know that that decision was made way back when. So again, going back a few steps, we made some choices within staffing and operational positions for us, way back when. We sweated for months, thinking, jeez, we're gonna lose key players. Oh my God, we're gonna collapse. We thought no, we've gotta do this. We've gotta put the rubber to the road, we've gotta put the pedal to the metal, and let's just do it anyway. Once we got through it and when the things settled, we realized that wow, that decision was what helped the companies grow exponentially. So again team, don't sweat about the small stuff. And this is something we've had some great conversation with recently. Stop looking at the details, start thinking about the big picture. Not everybody will see the big picture, and that's okay. That's what's gonna make you different. Phil: Yeah, at the end of the day, I think there are gonna be entrepreneurs, they're gonna be business owners. There's gonna be great [inaudible 00:09:25]. There's gonna be great people who sit on the fence and wish they could start a business in martial arts, but never frigging do it because they're too scared. And they're the ones that mostly sit on the outside, saying the bad stuff or the nay saying stuff or the negative stuff towards those people doing it. And they could be doing it for various reasons, insecurity, fear, they're jealous, whatever it may be. I think, to bring into to like today's world. And look, Graham and I are quite young, we're 36 years of age as we sit here today. We've been in business for eight years. We've built various businesses, not just martial arts, as well. We've put it online, we're coaching other businesses. And this is all quite new. And at the end of the day, I'm proud of who I am, and I'm proud of what I've done, and I'm proud of what I'm doing. And I'm never gonna be perfect, because I'm always learning. And I'm always wanting to help other people. And that's what I'm proud of, that I can congruently, and honestly, and authentically say that I want to help business owners just like you get, if not the same, or better results of what we have. And if I'm saying to someone who is selling out or doing something wrong, then go screw yourself. That's what it comes down to. Basically, you know, the proof is in the pudding. I can coach martial arts business owners, because in the past eight years, Graham and I have been able to turn a school that was doing okay, it was plateauing, into a multi-million dollar empire. There's lessons in there. Now, other coaches out there saying stuff, yes. Do you practice a jab the same way some one else does? Yes. There's only so many ways you can teach a left punch. Same coaching, there's only so many ways you can do it. Now, we love all the coaches that we know. Dave Kovar's amazing. Fred DePalma's great. All the guys are amazing coaches, and each brings something different to the party. We bring something a little bit different. I believe, Graham will back me up, I believe we bring a bit of innovation. I believe we bring some new fresh content. I believe we see a different perspective on what's being done, and what's done there. Does that appeal to everyone? No. Does it appeal to some? Yes. Guess what, sales is a disqualification process, not a qualification process. Graham: And guys, you can tell by feeling, if you're watching the video, you can see it. But if you can't, you can hear it. Passionate, not perfect. We make no excuse for screwing up. That's okay, that's all part of it. But again, at the same token too, we have continually, continually, continually evolved and put ourselves in the line of fire to learn, develop, and grow, and test this stuff that we deliver to you guys. So, like students who come to your school because they resonate with you, you go to a particular coach, because you resonate with what they have to say. Know this, that I can't wait to share with you this time next year, what we've done and the extra [inaudible 00:12:28] we've done, the extra business. Because we're continually growing and pushing forward against all those that may be out there that say you can't do that. Again, a great quote before we sort throw it to you, guys. But those who say it can't be done, are usually interrupted by others doing it. So going back again, those who say it can't be done, you can't do this, you're not good enough, you're too young, are usually interrupted by others doing it. Okay, so again, that's just a reminder that hey, you put your mind to something, you've got a vision. Yes, you may listen to that chatter that's around you, if it's the the same sort comments you may look at adjusting yourself, how you're being perceived. But at the end of the day, that doesn't mean that you have to change the end game. It just may mean that you need to reshape it or at least polish it so it's a little easier digested for the crowd. But that being said too, you know, Steve Jobs. He's one of those guys that wasn't loved by all, but he still got the work done. And again, great quote that I've always loved, and I think I've got around here somewhere, if you want to predict the future, create it yourself. Simple as that. Phil: Well, there you go, gang, guess what. This is one thing only, which is winners win and losers lose, the difference is, is what's up here. How you feel, what you believe, and how you act. Let me just repeat that. Winners will always win, and losers will always lose, but the difference is what you see, what you feel, and how you act on the situations and to the landscape of the environment. So again, look, I hope you've heard this podcast or watched this video and gone, yeah, you know, that's given me some motivation, that's given me some drive to block out the negative noise and continue on my journey of building an empire. Whether it's a small school, a big school, whether it's negative noise outside of business and it's just a personal thing. I hope we've really helped fuel some fire. And you guys can go out there and just kill it in your business as well. So thank you very much, gang, and we'll see you next time. Graham: Take care.
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