ET13- Using Technology to Scale a One to One Business
Taking Personal Training to The Next (Huge) Level With Jay Scott
How do you stand out in an industry where you are one of over 279,000 people doing the same thing? Well, Jay Scott has figured it out for his business and I think he’s got a great approach. He is marrying technology with the personal training industry in his business called iScienceFit.com and so far he’s had great success!
The question to ask yourself, as Jay did, is what can I do differently to overcome the problems in my industry. For him, the challenge of doing in home personal training was trying to fit as many appointments into the day as possible while still accounting for traffic, people being late, people not showing and all kinds of other headaches.
The answer was to create a system of doing personal training via webcam. It solved all those problems at a single stroke- no more traffic, missed or late appointments were much less of a problem and he could now expand his staff beyond those who were able to drive to in home appointments and it also protected him from having trainers walk away with a portion of his client base.
While Jay came up with a great solution for his personal situation it also isw a good example in the bigger picture of how you can build a great business by challenging some fundamental assumptions that might be holding everyone else back. Who says you can’t have a personal training session just because the personal trainer isn’t in the room? That’s what people thought until Jay proved it could be done!
In our bookkeeping business, we are challenging a similar assumption that your bookkeeper has to be local. Not the case at all and we have clients all across the country who would agree with us! Would you rather have someone close, or someone really good? What if the someone really good also cost less and had better service? Still want to stay local? Nope- didn’t think so!
What assumptions and ideas can you challenge in your industry that will break the mold and launch you to success?
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Matt: Today, I’d like to welcome to the show Jay Scott. He is the host of the Full Disclosure Fitness Podcast and the founder of IScienceFit.com. I am very excited and appreciative to have him on the show today. With that, Jay, why don’t you just give us some of your background? Where did you come from? And kinda how you got to where you at right now?
Jay: Yeah. I came from the hills of Kentucky. I basically did. I came from a cow pasture, basically. I live in the middle of farmland in southeastern Kentucky. And you may know a little bit about southeastern Kentucky because of the show Justified if any watch that. Some of the listeners may have. It’s not exactly the place that you would expect entrepreneurship to burst forth but I started getting into fitness and fitness led to discipline and self-improvement and that kinda led to teaching others and then that kind led to entrepreneurship. That led to my podcast and now my regular person-person training business has led into IScienceFit which is an online personal training business. That’s basically a good synopsis of me, the Kentucky boy.
Matt: I know a lot of people who get into fitness kinda start out as personal trainers but that’s where it ends for a lot of people too. They picked up a handful of clients and make some money but not a whole lot and that’s kinda that’s far as they ever get. What motivated you to take it to the next step and the next step after that and how did you kind of accomplished that and set yourself aside or differentiate yourself from your competition?
Jay: In the beginning, I really started with just a couple of my friends. Then, I started working for a gym which I think is a very important step. I think you need to work for a gym for a while. You need to get your barriers. You need to learn on somebody else’s diet. You need to learn how to interact with people. I worked at about 4 different YMCAs as I moved around and that was the base of my personal training. Then, I had to learn marketing. So, basically what I did was I gave up for quite a few years and I’m one of those success stories that started to happen when I was 30. I was in my parent’s basement at 30 with just a couple of clients, just paying the bills. I had an epiphany one day, really. I said “I’ve got to do this. I’ve got to try to do this. I can’t go out like this.” I really was thinking about death and my legacy and I know that sounds morbid but I was thinking, “You cannot – this can’t be you. This is not Jay Scott, right here.” I still remember the concrete block that I was looking at when I made that decision and I said “It’s gotta change. It’s gotta change right now.” And so, I had downloaded a book and the book basically taught – I had the name of the book a minute ago, not a minute ago, I had it about a month ago and I forgot the name of the book so I’m not gonna be able to give credit to the author which is horrible but it was saying how you can get things done. It started to tell me that you had to take action and then you had to have set up some kind of reward system so you can do this after you get this done. I started to make to do list. And I, this is the big one, I started to blog. I had a website. That’s big step for anybody’s listening. Got to get a website if you’re in a fitness business that you’re home-based. I started to blog and I promise myself that I would blog weekly. So, I started blogging weekly and I used keywords. I looked up how to do that. I would include Lexington in the keywords and all that. I started to get calls and that changed everything because before that I was beaten down person who did not believe that I could succeed. I started to get calls that led me into learning sales that led me into learning a little bit more about marketing. It just kinda snowballed from there. I don’t want to go off on a [inaudible 0:08:25.3] but that’s how it started.
Matt: So, you made a mental commitment to yourself to succeed, to grow your business beyond just a handful of clients you had and then the first pro-active stuff from there really is to just market what you had and build a base of clients. You then went from a handful of clients to enough. Did you open a location? Or what was kinda your next step from there once you’ve started build up some momentum and have more and more people contacting you for services?
Jay: Strangely, coming from a body building bag, I mean natural body building – looking as good as you can. Sort of Hollywood type of physique. That’s basically what I liked for my sale. I was more interested in helping people that were people completely out of shape to get in shape. I knew that you can get a fantastic body if you would just watch your nutrition and work out a few times a week with basic stuff like push-ups, pull ups, squats and rose. My idea was to start doing in-home personal training. I started doing that and I was doing 30-minute sessions because I started with an hour. An hour was just complete overkill. We would end up talking for half a session. I cut it to 30 mins. Kept my pricing the same and did in-home personal training. Big mistake that a lot of fitness people make, a lot of personal trainers, is they try to get that location because it feels like an accomplishment. Get that location first and then they don’t have enough money to cover the rent, lease every month and that’s takes a launder. If you get a store front, it’d be a couple thousand, $3000 a month plus you gotta buy equipment that could sink you before you ever get started. In the in-home training, if you know enough about exercise, you could get people fantastic results because it’s just not needed. It’s really not. You could get in Hollywood shape with no equipment or whatsoever. You just have to know how to do it. I was able to keep the profits and that was a big wave that I got started. It help pushed me into the future.
Matt: At that level, you could obviously do 4 or 5 clients a day maybe a 6 or more if you’re doing half an hour sessions and you could work even as much as you want 7 days a week but you’re still sort of capped at that point, how did you take it from that level to the next level? Or what was your next level that you want to achieve?
Jay: This is an interesting thing because the cap basically hit. I had a choice. I had a facility. I leased a very small space. This is only about 2 years ago. I went on doing that and I was bringing people into hire and I just stopped. I read about hiring. I’ve done all that stuff. And I said “I don’t want to do this. I want to actually branch out and do something that I know because I have this idea right?” I have this idea of the internet personal training, training people with a webcam. About a year ago, I started to phase out my in-person personal training and rather than scale that which I could’ve done and be in 600 thousand billion people to do that business model, I decided to do IScienceFit which is basically training people with a webcam over the internet. I started doing that. It started to take off. I started to get a few testimonials. Now, just for about the past 2 or 3 months, I’m a startup, it’s really been starting to get traction.im up to about 10 clients now which is a lot. I’m actually getting a lot of leads pouring in; already know the sales process from my previous business. So now, it’s time to start scaling from here. A lot of your listeners may actually respond to this because they’re in a similar situation. I’m not a guy coming on saying “Well, my first business is 8 million dollars.” I love those podcasts. I do. I love listening to people like that but I’m still on the road and it’s still a learning process and a journey for me. So, people who are just getting started and are just beginning, I think they can really take a walk a lot away from this interview.
Matt: Yeah. Definitely. It’s always fun to hear about the mega success stories but I’m much more in touch and in contact on a regular basis with the everyday entrepreneur who’s doing well maybe but probably not gonna be the front of business week or anything but still great stories, inspiring and not only making good living but doing something they really enjoy. To me, that’s as much success as anything else. It’s cool to hear that you went from zero to ten. That’s a pretty huge jump because obviously zero is zero. You’ve gotten way past that and now you’re at the point you can being to even scale further and really hit that inflection point where the numbers jump up and up. If somebody signed up for your IScienceFit program and they’ve got a webcam, you’re watching them worked out but you’re not in person obviously, you’re coaching them via webcam, is that kind of the model you’re doing?
Jay: That’s it. It’s just about the same as in person. Now, you can’t reach out and shake their hand. There’s a lot of things that are a little bit different but you’re getting top quality personal training because anybody that I hire or myself is going too bedded and it’s going to be based on science. The different between personal training from just some guy or some girl in town in what I do is I’m clearing the garbage out of the fitness industry because there are so many charlatans selling snake oil because you can sell it for a lot of money. Money is not my number 1 priority. It’s not. Delivering a great service that tells people the truth is my legacy. That’s what I want to leave behind. With this, you know you’re getting that. That’s why it’s called IScienceFit because it’s backed up by peer reviewed science. I can tell you the secret in fat loss in 1 word and all the listeners out there who tried other things and have worked and have slayed and have tried all bad diets and are ready to turn to the truth, that’s when they come to IScienceFit. The one way to lose fat is calorie intake. Now, the exercise is wonderful. It helps you lose fat faster, builds your underlying structure, strengthen your bones, makes you more functional human, makes you live longer, increases the quality of your life but calorie intake is the key. That is the key. People bid around that bush. That’s what everybody does. [Inaudible 0:15:23.1] sugars, well, what is it? No. its calories in vs. calories out. That’s what I want to spread throughout the world. That’s gonna be my legacy, to give the people the truth. When they’re ready after struggling, they’re ready to learn the truth and finally get results then they can come to IScienceFit and get an expert trainer that will show them the truth.
Matt: Now, wait a minute Jay, you’re saying if I eat less, I gain less weight?
Jay: Yeah. You’ll gain less weight.
Matt: Wait a minute. There’s no secret powder. There’s no $5000 exercise machine. Are you sure? That seems too easy.
Jay: I am actually a hundred percent positive. I tried a lot of steps when I was very young. I tried a lot of things. The truth to the matter is that waiting for the miracle, that’s not the type of client we want at IScienceFit. You have to be ready to accept the truth. You have to ready to fit in. twenty five minutes is what we do. Twenty five minutes 3 times a week and then you keep tracking your nutrition and then you can get the best body of your life. Literally, we have people come in; the average is that they’ll get about 2 and half times stronger. That’s amazing. If you woke up one day and you’re 2 and half times stronger, you’re freak. But you can do that over the course on a couple months.
Matt: that’s impressive. Recognizing that I tend to wholeheartedly agree with what you’ve said, I think a lot of times the simple answer is that there’s no secret. It’s just hard work and being smart about stuff. The answer is not just in fitness but in a lot of things including entrepreneurship. There’s not really a secret to being a successful entrepreneur. It’s just hard work and following a good opportunity. But that said, you are sort of up against a lot of hype and a lot of fancy infomercials and a lot of marketing for different fitness solutions if you will, how do you kind of differentiating yourself and breaking through the noise and getting your message out so that people would find you and see what you’re offering is the real deal and become a client?
Jay: Well, I’m doing guest appearances like this. You know I’m the anti-pad. Really, there’s some people that I would actually tell them if they’re like “I don’t know about that. I’m still trying out. I think it maybe [inaudible 0:17:45.9] actually not that bad because its letting you eat more meat and vegetables which usually result to people losing fat.” But it still overly restrictive. It’s still a little bit fatty and a little bit cold-like. I would tell people “Listen, you may need to try couple more pads before you’re ready to come but with IScienceFit, it’s kind of the truth. You may need to try a couple more and then when you find out they don’t work, come over here.” Honestly, I have time to convince people. I love to do it but there’s only so much time in a day and I can’t talk to everybody. So, if I can’t convince you, go try a couple more and then when you’re ready, come over here because you’ll get frustrated eventually because everybody’s lying to you. So, I’ve been doing guest appearances. I’ve been doing TV. I’ve been doing my podcast. I’ve been doing my YouTube channel. All of those are ways that get the word out. I haven’t went to a lot of paid advertising. Actually I had. I tried it but I’m not good enough that yet. So I have to get some coaching on that myself. It’s always good to know your weaknesses but the grass roots is basically the way I’ve been doing this.
Matt: Yeah. I think that paid advertising can be tough and it’s an expensive way to learn if you’re not already an expert. I agree, a lot of times it’s worth the money to pay an expert to help you with that rather than spend it on your own education. You may or may not graduate with honors at the time you spent all that money.
Jay: Yeah. The future is like – we were talking about before the show, Matt, is in relationships. It’s in personal connection. That’s what made me more to build my business because I don’t believe robots are the future. I think a synergistic relationship between robots, technology and humans. That’s the future. We can’t take the human element out of everything. I think the pendulum has swung that way but I think that it will swing back to the middle base soon.
Matt: Definitely. I think relationships are key. One of the things that were trying to do on our business is build relationships with good referral sources rather than one at the time meeting clients and just like you, kind of pitching our solutions. Why we think were the best fit? Why we offer the best value and so on. If we can form partnerships with companies or providers that interact with a lot of the same people who potentially good clients for us, one partnership like that may result to dozens of referrals rather than trying to go out for those clients one at a time. But that’s all based on in-person relationship where they’ve gotten to meet me and know me and trust me and see that I’m gonna deliver on what the promises I’m making. At that point, there are very comfortable sending me tons of work. But before that it’s a challenge. Are there anybody or any companies or firms that you’re working to partner with or would like to partner with that would be good sources for you?
Jay: Not yet. But I’ve had people that help me and a couple of [inaudible 0:21:04.4]. Antonio Centeno is a great guy. He’s got a men style YouTube channel. Great guy. And then, John Korkorin, used to work at the white house. He’s a great guy and he really taught me the value. He took time out of his day to just talk with me and teach me the value of networking and how you have to give people what they need. You already get what you need and it’s really a reciprocal relationship. Nobody is to sell out – it’s just the way the world works. You have to help others and then in turn they may help you and you shouldn’t expect that but you should be ready in helping others and it will come back to you. I believe that.
Matt: Yeah. I definitely think that’s true. If you put it out there, I think it comes back to you not in a sort of visualized [inaudible 0:21:57.6] but in a legitimate offer to help, offer to add value for other people, I think that does come back to you. I think those relationships would pay off not every single one, not every time but in the aggregate, by trying to provide real service and real value and really help people, I think that really does come back to you many times over and over in the long run.
Jay: Yeah. You should think “How can I help this person?” what can I do? Sometimes you’re so small. You’re like “what can I do to help this person? I don’t know what I could do.” And you just keep thinking and you think “well, I could see if they want to come on my podcast to maybe tell them I’ve sent something out to my list form” do little things because little gestures still show a lot of effort.
Matt: Definitely. Little gestures I think lead to bigger gestures and bigger commitments once that relationship is build, once that trust is established. People see that you’re not just taking what you can take but you’re giving as much or more than you’re asking for.
Jay: Exactly. Yeah.
Matt: So if you have to get started again, you kinda been down a few different passes. Is there anything you’d do differently? Any advice you’d give to others kinda coming up to help them get to success faster whatever that means for them?
Jay: Well, I would concentrate on marketing. A lot of people, this I the truth, a lot of people concentrate on perfecting their skill. If they’re playing guitar, they would just become the best guitar player they can because [inaudible 0:23:34.7]. Right? That’s what you like. So you’re gonna put a lot into that. You had it for 10 years, learned everything about building the body and nutrition and constantly studying but you know, I didn’t put it in to marketing. I didn’t put it in to networking. If I could go back, I would say “Hey! Start making some connections. Start putting some time into studying marketing. Start putting some time into studying sales.” And I would also say “This can be done!” because I had this theory that the world was against me and then you had to know people. So what if you had to know people, you have to learn how to get to know them. It doesn’t matter. You do have to know people. What you have to do after that is learn how to get to know people. I think that’s the biggest thing and the reason I’m harping on this because it’s my weakness. So everybody, listen to this. Not yelling at you, I’m just saying “Hey! This is my weakness and if you have a similar one, I’m trying to give you a solution that you can dig your way out of the hole with.”
Matt: That makes sense. I think, especially if you’re more of an introverted personality, it’s easier to kind of keep working on stuff like redesigning your webpage or writing those blog post but you don’t – you’re less inclined to get out there, to put yourself out there and meet people and make relationships that’ll help you down the road. But you really do have to get out there I think if you want to be ultimately as successful as you can.
Jay: Yeah. I totally agree with you. That’s the missing piece of the puzzle. If you’re good on what you do and you’re not making money, that’s probably the missing piece of the puzzle.
Matt: Yeah. That makes a lot of sense. So, where do you kind of go from here? Is it just more of the same? More marketing opportunities? More podcasting? More of everything to kind of build IScienceFit, is that gonna be sort of your flagship business going forward?
Jay: Yes. That is it. This is my thing and I’m gonna work until I either die or build it into a gigantic enterprise that’s gonna help a lot of people. I don’t say it’s gonna make me a ton of money because I’m honestly telling you truth, I’m not a huge money freak. I can do with just minimalism. I’m pretty much a minimalist when it comes to training. I’m minimalist when it comes to diet and I’m minimalist when it comes to money. I want enough, don’t get me wrong. I don’t hate money or anything. I really care more about building this as build as it can be and the money will come after that naturally.
Matt: I’m just thinking about your model, you’re not, in any way, confined to where you currently at, right? Because you can have trainers that work for you that are located anywhere and you can have clients who are signed up with you anywhere. Really, the sky is the limit on how big you can grow this.
Jay: It is and it isn’t because everybody always brings that up with the trainers in remote locations. I don’t want to have such stringent quality standards that I almost see like a Google Campus. I don’t see doing it far apart, on remote locations. I think that I’ve got to oversee the quality so much that it is gonna hurt the money making opportunity a bit. That’s what everybody would go for. Scale! Scale! Scale! And I’m like “Eh. How about to be the best instead of just scale?” that’s kind of my – that’s a genius thing. I’m gonna go against the grain on that. Probably, I’m not dug in and set my ways. I’m always learning but I think that I’m gonna go against the grain on that and sacrifice a bit of scalage or quality.
Matt: Well, who knows? Maybe there’s a middle ground. Maybe you start out. Everybody is local. A part of your onsite program but somewhere down the road maybe there’s an IScienceFit certification when they come and work with you for a month or 3 months or something. When they passed the test, they’ve gotten over the hurdles and you feel that they’re qualified, they could then go and work out of some other locations once you know that they’re gonna follow the program and they’re gonna maintain your standards. This isn’t something you’re gonna outsource to some guy on the Philippines that’s gonna watch over the webcam. That’s taking it too far. But there may be some little ground between having everybody on your campus and people who can work remotely. But that’s the fun part about this right? You can make your own future.
Jay: Yeah. It really is. There’s so many things people can do. It’s not limited to any one niche. There’s so much out there now with the internet. It’s there for the taking. The unfortunate party is it’s usually like on the top of Mt. Everest. You’re gonna climb up there and get it.
Matt: Yeah. Well, even the guy from the back pastures Kentucky can make it, right?
Jay: it’s true. It doesn’t matter where you’re from now. College is taking the back seat. A lot of people don’t like to hear that but it’s taking the back seat. My little cousin is not going to college and I’ve just talked to him about entrepreneurship. His mom was over there and I didn’t want to say anything too loud. College is so 2001. That’s true and false. It was an exaggeration but it is becoming – I mean, you go to college every day. I was in there just riding away. And I thought about that a minute ago it’s like “Man, you’re in college right now.” Learning is just as far as your keyboard away.
Matt: That’s exactly right. I certainly had fun in college but nothing I did in college relates to anything I did later in life as part of my business for being successful. I wouldn’t tell people not to go but I would definitely not say that “If you don’t go, don’t think that means you’re in anyway limited in how successful you can be.” I don’t think the two correlate nearly as much as they used to even 10 or 15 years ago.
Jay: So true. You can do so much now as an entrepreneur and it’s becoming a cool thing. It used to be like some weird thing. Like, “You’re dad is a what? Mine works for the railroad.” That’s kind of the way it is now. It’s starting to become ultra-cool which kinda mangers too many people diving into it. You got to have a hardcore or mentality to dive into it. But if you’re ready to do it, I’d say there’s no other way. Just do it.
Matt: I definitely agree. I think there’s people and I count myself among them that couldn’t do anything else. I was basically born to be an entrepreneur. Nothing else was gonna fit the bill for me. I think there’s lot of other people just like that. Were lucky enough to live in a place where there really aren’t any limits to what you can do. If you want to go out and do it, nobody is stopping you and the opportunity is there. That’s what makes things so exciting now. If you want to do it, go out and do it. If you succeed, congratulations! If not, try it again. There’s no shame in failing. Just get up and try again.
Jay: I failed so many times and you just have to get up. You have to move forward. You have to go as far as you can see. When you get there, you’ll be able to see farther. It’s a JP Morgan quote. And I truly believe in that. You just go forward. Everyday make sure you go forward. If you don’t quit, you’re going to get somewhere. I can guarantee you.
Matt: Yeah. Definitely. It’s up to you. If you don’t quit, you will eventually succeed. That’s the only option. I appreciate you taking the time to chat with me today, Jay. If people are interest and I’m sure there’s gonna be a lot of them who are, what’s the best way for them to find out more and get in touch with you?
Jay: I’m @jayscottfitness on all social media. I would recommend following me on instagram because I put up fitness tip every single day. That’s where I’m most active. It’s on instagram as far as social media. Of course, you can go to full disclosure fitness.com. Check that out. I got a free report over there. It tells you how to lose fat the scientific way. How to calculate calories for your particular size. Then, isciencefit.com is the place to go for online personal training. Finally, check me out on YouTube. I put up 3 videos a week. I’ve been doing that for a while now. That’s a lot of content. You can get to that by going to YouTube and typing in Jay Scott Fitness in the search engine there. It will pop up for you. Be sure to subscribe.
Matt: Awesome! That sounds like definitely a lot of content to check out. I’ll put the links to all those in the show notes. Again, I really appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us. It sounds like you’re just getting bigger and bigger all the time which is awesome. Again, thank you. Looking forward to checking back in the future.
Jay: Thank you for having me, Matt! I really appreciate it.