407 Why What You Do Really Matters with Justin Tamsett

407 Why What You Do Really Matters with Justin Tamsett

JT has been in the fitness industry since 1988 as a personal trainer, sales person, club manager, multi-club owner and now one of the world’s most sort after speakers. He has delivered over 390 presentations in 22 countries to over 250,000 people. He facilities REX Roundtables in the US and Australia for gym and studio owners and industry suppliers. His company Active Management is a world renowned business coaching company with one of the most engaged Facebook Community in our industry. He is the owner of the Fitness Business Podcast that has produced over 400 shows in 6 years. He has a weekly Facebook live show called #JTInTheRaw that has been viewed over 200,000 times! He does all this to reduce the health care costs across the globe by getting more people moving more often!

Your Podcast Snapshot

  • The importance of choosing wisely
  • A powerful model for business success under any circumstances
  • A heartfelt message directly to each of you on why you do what you do is so important!

Resources Our Experts Shared in the Show

Show 159 – Strategies To Increase Your Prices

2021 Fanatics

Start With Why

Simon Sinek TED Talk

Contact Today’s Guest

Justin Tamsett


This Week’s Podcast Partners

Podcast Transcript

On March 22nd 2020, the world changed and has really continued to change right up until the day of recording this podcast and quite possibly for some months or even years into the future.  But what doesn’t change is why you got into the fitness industry!

And I want to remind you this week to take a few hours to remind yourself of why you chose the fitness industry as your vocation.

I’m Justin Tamsett and your guest host for the final show for 2021.  Welcome to The Fitness Business Podcast

Thanks for joining me today as the owner of the podcast I wanted to share today the importance of choosing wisely, giving you a powerful model for business success under any circumstances and finally a heartfelt message directly to each of you on why you do what you do is so important!

Since 2015 we have produced a show every week – some weeks multiple shows!  This means it is difficult for our hosts to take a break, so this year I’ve given Dori the week off to spend time with her newly graduated daughter Lexi, Dirk who is home from College, cuddle loveable Duke (her dog) and spend time with her patient husband, Pat! Enjoy the week off Dori.

I was last on the podcast as a guest on show 159 where I shared tips to increasing your prices – I’ll put the link in the show notes.  Since then much as changed.

In just the Fitness Business Podcast world, we welcomed Dori as the new weekly host, Chantal switched to the Education Intensives and Jason & Sarah joined us as hosts of The Value Proposition and Thinking Ahead.  This year we had 24 amazing influencers in our industry become FBP Fanatics and clocked up 400 shows!

Outside the FBP world much has changed.  Some say pivoted and others may say our industry has been turned on it’s head! 

I guess it is just how you look at it!

And that is my first lesson I want to share with you: how we respond to challenges and changes is a choice.  No-one tells you how to respond – it is your choice.  No-one forces you to take option 1 over option 2 – it is your choice.

I have found to focus on what I can control.  There have been so many things whirling around that are beyond my control that if I got caught up in them, I’m in the middle of a twister!

My choices were on things that I could control.  And for that reason I always felt and still feel in control.  I’m not going to lie that I do feel overwhelmed at times but I tried hard to focus on what I could control and made choices around in that scope.

So in this crazy world how you respond to lockdowns, mask mandates, uplifts in membership suspensions, or even staff leaving is your choice.  Potentially these are out of your control and exhausting! 

As a leader how you respond will definitely impact the people around you.

Your team will take your lead. 

If your head is down and kicking stones, they will mirror your behaviour. 

I know it is hard! I really know first-hand how hard it can be to be positive.  The reality . . . your team will look for you for inspiration, direction and response.

This reminds me of a poem by an unknown author called Little Eyes Upon You and the first stanza is:

There are little eyes upon you,

And they’re watching night and day.

There are little ears that quickly

Take in every word you say;

There are little hands all eager

To do anything you do;

And a little boy who’s dreaming

Of the day he’ll be like you.

Read the whole poem here.

No matter the curve ball thrown at you, remember how you respond is a choice.  Think wisely how you respond.

I would like also take this opportunity to thank our partners and advertisers.  Quite simply without their financial assistance we could not deliver a podcast for you.

The products of our partners and advertisers do have a profound impact on your business:

  • I am lucky to have a ring side seat as a number of my REX Roundtable members use Keepme. I have been privy to peak behind the curtain of their business operations.  In simple terms, they were operating their club in black and white installed Keepme and saw everything in colour!  The data, implications and subsequent actions have seen covering the costs multiple times over!  Thanks Ian and the Keepme Team for being our Premium Partner.
  • Our longest supporting partners are Tribe Team Training, Myzone and OneFitStop. Over the years they have supported us, I have witnessed incredible innovation with these products.  All 3 are at the pointy end of their product category.  They are the best.  I would have no hesitation in recommending you use their products to enhance operations, sales and retention.
  • We recently welcomed Luke from Discover Strength franchising and this is one of the best franchises on the planet! I am a huge fan of true strength training for health benefits and the research that has gone into this business will simply blow you away!
  • Our newest partner is ISSA and we cannot wait to bring their courses and education to you! They have world leading education at your fingertips to train and upskill your staff.
  • And finally MX Metrics and Vapor Fresh Wipes are outstanding products! MX Metrics will have you crush mediocrity and Vapor Fresh Wipes will have you crush any germs in your facilities!

And while the products are awesome, you will love dealing the people in these businesses.  The owners, managers and reps of our partners and advertisers are awesome human beings!  They will really look after you!

Of course it would be remiss of me not to mention Eddie & REX Roundtables.  This is where I spend of most time now and the friendship, support, trust and love that I see develop in Roundtables makes this simply the most unique program for business & personal development on the planet.  I have no idea why every owner is not a member.

There will be a simple link in the show notes to all our partners for you to find out more about our partners.

Thank you to all of you for your support of the Fitness Business Podcast!

I guess following on from the topic of choice, I have seen some of the best businesses use the SMS filter to determine what they focus on for the week, quarter or year ahead!

Let me explain . . .

SMS is an acronym:

  • Stop
  • Maintain
  • Start

Stop – what in your business should you stop? What are you doing, producing, delivering that is not giving you the return on investment you want.  Consider the time, energy or even money you are inputting and then what is the output.  If that output is not what you want then you need to have the courage and the discipline to STOP doing it. 

Maintain – what in your business should you maintain?  What is giving you the results you want at a level you want with the input you want.

Start – what should you be doing to grow your business?  You will get plenty of ideas for this from our guests!

I would ask you to run the SMS filter across all aspects of your business – marketing, sales systems, services, products you offer and even running your eye over your P and L with that same critical SMS eye!

This exercise takes extreme objectivity! 

For many of us we are emotionally tied to people, products and processes.  So when we start running that SMS eye over these we do emotions.  This means we can emotionally justify why we should keep aspects of our business or even start new aspects!

Your true business success will happen when you leave that emotion at the planning door when you enter your planning room.

It is certainly not easy to stop something or even start something brand new.  When you do your business will prosper!  Have the courage to run everything you do through your SMS filter!

I want to finish this podcast with something inspirational. 

I was trying to think of a quote or a story that would have you so pumped up you’d just want to walk in to the business and rock it!

I wanted to share something where you went “WOW! I’m sharing that with my team!”

After the 2 years we have had I turned to the great Italian philosopher, Rocky Balboa when he said “The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It is a very mean and nasty place and it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t how hard you hit; it’s about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward.”

But I have changed my mind and decided to ask you one simple question: why do you do what you do?

The most powerful book I have ever read is Simon Sinek’s book: Start With Why.  Every January, I watch his TED talk which I will include in the show notes.  And whenever I feel lost in what I do, I revisit why I do what I do.

In December 2021, my mum fell and broke her hip.  She had a full hip replacement and spend the month in hospital.  I cannot help but wonder if she had been more active in 50’s, 60’s or 70’s would she not have fallen?  Would she have recovered faster?  Would she not be a diabetic?  Would she just be darn healthier?

The answer is of course YES!

Physical activity is essential, critical and vital to the health of every human on the planet! The intensity of that activity can vary based on the individual but moving and moving often is what everyone needs.

It doesn’t matter if people are doing Zumba in a church hall, aerobics on YouTube, Crossfit, yoga, walking with friends or attending a gym.  These people are moving and improving their health.  And in the simplest of terms, we do not have enough people moving!

I know that over the past 2 years, owners, managers, staff and people across our industry have been kicked to the ground by the pandemic.  We have all thought ‘why the hell am I doing this?’  The government can shut us down, force our members to wear masks, restrict who can use our services or anything else that just makes running a fitness business difficult – if not impossible.

I just want to remind you that what you do positively changes people’s lives – like no other product!

Every day you are improving people’s physical, emotional and mental health in the most natural way possible.

Every day you are helping people feel better!

And together we all transform the health of people across the world.

The fitness industry is essential . . . exercise is amazing . . . and we all need it – for our health’s sake!

Be rest assured I know that the last 2 years has been challenging for you personally and in business.  I can empathise with you.

What got me up every day and gets me up every day, is my why!  It is my drive and it is my inspiration!

Simon Sinek says very clearly that people follow you because of your why.  I add to that that people will follow you on social media, want to work for you, and want to be members with you when they know your why. 

Your why is a beacon for your business.  Shine that beacon!

I know at different times you’ve wondered is it all worth it . . . I am here to tell you it is!  It is totally worth it because of the positive impact you make on people’s lives!

Your clubs, your staff and you make a difference.

Open your arms to your community and weave good health into people’s lives!

And so never more important in your career is our closing statement from Pericles:

What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others.



With nearly 1 million downloads, The Fitness Business Podcast is the most practical podcast in the world.  Subscribe to the show notes now for all the resources guests share delivered to your inbox.