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Transcription – Show 122 Fitness Business Podcast Shannon Fable

Chantal Brodrick:              Shannon, a very warm welcome to the Fitness Business Podcast.

Shannon Fable:                 Thank you so much for having me.

Chantal Brodrick:              After hearing your bio, I am convinced that the FBP family are probably wondering how you stay on top of your workload. Can we start today by you sharing any apps, systems, or rituals that you use to stay focused and to stay on top of things?

Shannon Fable:                 Sure, and I always preface it by saying, obviously, what works for me may or may not work for you. I’d say the number one app that goes along with the book I gave in a recommendation, Getting Things Done by David Allen, is OmniFocus. It’s both an app as well as a desktop service that you can use. This is literally my brain. It houses all of my projects, all of my to-dos, all of my notes, and it helps me stay focused because a lot of to-do lists truly become just this litany of things just written. It can get really frustrating and overwhelming to see it all at the same time. What I appreciate about OmniFocus is it’s all captured, it’s all in there. My brain is in this app, but it has a great way of bringing to focus the things that I need to work on that day and in that moment to keep pushing forward.

I’d say the second app, and this is not necessarily keeping on top of my business, but I’ve mentioned reading to me is one of the best ways to stay ahead, get ahead, and make sure you’re doing all you can to continue to grow and lean into whatever you’re doing. I found that you get so many book recommendations. That can be overwhelming as well, so an app called Blinkist, B-L-I-N-K-I-S-T. If you remember the cliff notes versions of books you had to read when you’re in middle school, it’s the same thing but for adults. You can either read excerpts, and I shouldn’t say excerpts. It’s not even reading excerpts. It truly is the top 10 takeaways from each book. You can either read it really quickly, or you can listen to it in 10 minutes or less. Any book that someone tells me about that’s self-help, leadership management, I go in and try to find it here.

I’ll listen to it on a quick walk with my pup. I can get two in. Then if I like it and it sounds meaty and something I need to dive deeper into, I can buy it right from there, either on Audible or Amazon, and go back and read it later. That has completely transformed my life, so I get twice as much reading in half the time. Then I’d say my one ritual, and this is taken from, again, always the person to tell you what books to read, any Franklin Covey book. They talk about daily and weekly planning. Setting aside time, and you have to book it into your calendar. This is really something … You know much like we’re fitness professionals and we teach people how to build fitness into your life, you’ve got to schedule it like an appointment, well the same thing is true for getting things done. You can’t just schedule all the things you need to get done.

You actually have to set aside time daily and weekly to manage and organise and find the time to get everything done. Sundays for me, I set aside 30 minutes every Sunday morning to get really quiet, make coffee, look through my to-do list, all my projects, all my outstanding items, and look at my week and put in my project time. Because if we leave big things, like writing outlines or making a new group fitness schedule or learning a new release at [body pump 00:03:20], if we just leave that to chance, it’s never going to get done. You’ve got to take a bird’s eye view, look at your entire week, and find and hold sacred big chunks of time to get your project work done.

Then each day, either in the morning or at night, either to start your day or to finish your day, I believe in just a quick 10 to 15-minute planning where, again, you just skim through what’d you get done, what didn’t you get done? What’s the number one thing you need to do tomorrow to move your business forward? And start rearranging things, whether that’s moving appointments or shuffling your workout. Those two things have been game changers for me, just setting aside quiet time in my days and my weeks to organise everything that has to get done during the week.

Chantal Brodrick:              Shannon, there are three great areas that you’ve just covered off. I’m so glad that you mentioned Blinkist because it keeps popping up on my Instagram feed as a sponsored post, and I keep seeing it flashing up there. It’s talking to me and I haven’t yet pressed the button. Now that you’ve explained the app to me a little bit more, I am definitely going to download that one because as much as I try and read every single day, personally, I’m an Audible girl, so I listen to all of my books on Audible. I can never get through as much as comes my way. You know?

Shannon Fable:                 Right.

Chantal Brodrick:              I’m hearing book recommendations every single day, so I’m really excited to try out Blinkist. Thank you so much for sharing that.

Shannon Fable:                 You bet.

Chantal Brodrick:              The topic that we’re talking about today is very, very close to my heart. I’ve been a group fitness instructor for 10 years now. I was thinking about, “Oh my goodness. What are all the things that we’re going to talk about that I can ask you?” I didn’t know where to start based on all your experience, so we’re going to start right at the very beginning. Can you tell us where do you recommend we go about finding new group fitness instructors?

Shannon Fable:                 What a great question. I think the art of this has been lost in the last 20 years. The best place to find group fitness instructors is in your front row. Maybe not even in your front row because sometimes they are ego-centric or they think they can do it better. I’m speaking of myself. You know, the front row people typically are there waiting for the instructor to not show up so they can do their thing, but I digress. Anyone that loves group fitness and enjoys group fitness, you can turn them into a group fitness instructor. I think back in the 90s, that’s where we found everyone. We put them through this great mentorship program to teach them the skills necessary. We kind of ushered them along. I think as group fitness has become so fragmented … Supply and demand is off the charts. There’s not enough instructors, good instructors I should say, and the demand is through the roof.

You’ve got these middle managers that aren’t necessarily, which I’m sure we’ll get into … You’ve got these middle group fitness managers that didn’t get plucked to be shepherds of talent or creation of talent. They’re just there to make sure that the classes get filled and the schedules made and members are happy. These three things are coming together at the same time and we’re running out of talent because we just don’t have anyone to see it through. If you find someone in the front row, you can’t just say, “Hey, I think you’d be great, Chantal. Go get your group fitness certification. Go learn how to teach cycling and come back to me and audition,” because that’s a giant leap from taking the class to teaching it. If you’re going to find them in your front row, I think it’s the best place. Then you’ve got to be prepared to help them through their journey, so to speak. That takes some time, so you’ve got to have some space as a group fitness manager for that to happen. Front row for sure.

Chantal Brodrick:              It was funny, Shannon, because last night I was teaching cycle. As I was teaching, I was actually remembering how much I loved attending my mentor’s class. I was the front row person at that time and it was a male instructor. Here’s the interesting thing. In the club where I teach currently, and I would say easily in probably the five clubs that surround ours, the ratio of male to female instructors is probably 1:10, which I think is a real shame.

Shannon Fable:                 It is.

Chantal Brodrick:              In your experience, how would you make teaching group fitness a more attractive option for male instructors?

Shannon Fable:                 Gosh, I think what we’re fighting is the history of group fitness. We started out as aerobics, right? You and I were in our thong leotards in the front. I go back because I want to make sure that nobody feels disrespected by me saying maybe look past your front row because I was that girl on the front row with the tape ready for the instructor to not show up. We’re great. We’re there. We have a little bit of that ego to put ourselves on the stage, but we have to redefine what group exercise is because I think men, unless they’re actively participating, they still think weight room is for men. The studio is for aerobics or jazzercise. We really have to start looking at what words do we use on our schedules. It starts with how do we sell the actual product first because they’ve got to get interested in the product and then want to deliver the product.

What are our class titles? What are the words that we use in our descriptions? What words does the instructor use when she’s teaching class? What type of music do we use? What’s the look and what’s the feel? What are the events that we host in a group ex room to drive participation? I know most of what we do and what we use, based on that criteria that I was just mentioning, is because we’re catering to the people that are already in. I think group fitness truly has to look at who they want to attract. You’ve already got the women. They’re not going to run screaming if you start using different language on your schedule, so to speak. We definitely have to redefine what group exercise is. I’ve almost gotten rid of the group ex when I’m describing what it is that we do in different studios, or what we do under the multipurpose health club roof.

I feel the product we deliver is fitness. You might get that in a large group. You might get it in a moderate-sized group. You might get in the small group, or you might get it one-on-one. Depending on how the product is delivered, it might mean a different location in the gym. I think if we can do that from a gym and from an industry standpoint, stop really delineating between group exercise and personal training, because at the end of the day, if you’re a good group ex instructor, you do the same thing a personal trainer does. You just happen to do it one-on-50 instead of one-on-one. I think unfortunately, as we’ve gone through the years, it still has been this great divide. We’re dancing in the studio. We’re getting fit in the weight room.

I just don’t think that men are drawn to being the person in front of the room to do it, unless they end up in there because their personal trainers need some extra money by teaching classes they want to get in front of clients. I think things like cycling help. That’s a format that men are drawn to, so if we can use that as a gateway drug or circuit style classes. We can also run … You’re asking how do we find new group fitness instructors, you need to run campaigns and run drives from time to time. If you think about really advertising, “Hey, we have room to take on five new people in the next quarter to train you up to be fitness professionals, what do you say?” And we make that more male-oriented, I think that would help attract them. We’ve got to let them see themselves in our ranks. Right now, it’s just so female-dominated that everything that we do screams female. I just don’t think they’re looking our way, but redefining group exercise is what it’s going to take.

Chantal Brodrick:              You know what? I’d love to hear from any of our listeners out there that have in the last, let’s say 12 months, run that campaign to welcome new instructors, to introduce them, to train them up because I’ve got to be totally honest. That’s what we used to do five to 10 years ago, and I just do not see it happening anymore. I think that it’s such a simple initiative and really great way to get those people from the floor that are interested, that are enthusiastic, and train them to be being a group fitness instructor, but I don’t see a lot of it, so I’d love to hear from any of our listeners that perhaps have a program running. How frequently do you do it? What success do you find in running that program? Are you attracting the men as well as the women? Very, very convenient to know that, so make sure that you write in and let me know. Now, Shannon, do you have any tips for us on building a group fitness team rather than just having a whole lot of casual instructors?

Shannon Fable:                 I have so many tips, but I’ll try to boil it down. This is my passion point. I think I go back, kind of the same conversation we were just having. Why are we not mentoring people? Why are we not building instructors? I think I alluded to it earlier. I think, unfortunately, the role of group fitness manager has become so mammoth in the last decade. Multiple studios. We’ve got lots of instructors that teach one class, two class, so they’re managing more people that are super, super part time that their jobs have gotten so overwhelming that they’ve run out of time to do what I think the fundamental job of a group fitness manager is. That is to communicate and connect with this group of instructors, mentor them, educate them, and turn them into a well-oiled machine that delivers a great product from class-to-class, time slot-to-time slot, format-to-format no matter who the person is at the front of the room.

We kind of lost that. I think we’re just running out of time, and we’re not well-compensated either, but that’s a whole other subject. I think making sure that you’re getting a team is the start of it all because the more well-functioning your group of instructors is, the more you’re freed up to do these other things we’re talking about. Number one way to build a team, redefine what team is. It doesn’t mean that we’re just cooperating with one another and making sure that classes are covered. A team understands each individual plays an extremely important part, but that we don’t get the job done if we don’t have every single player. I like to use the analogy, just like any kind of sports team, you can’t play a football match, or we use baseball since that’s universal. You can’t play a baseball game if you don’t have all of the positions represented on both sides of the ball.

I think sometimes we’re just grabbing people a la carte to fill in time slots that we forget to educate the rest of the team about, “Why did I choose you? What is your strength? What are you bringing to the table?” Then letting you know the strengths of all of the other people on your team. It starts with that common understanding. How do you do that when your team, like your 6:00 A.M. instructor may never, ever meet your 6:00 P.M. instructor unless you somehow magically can get them there on a Sunday every three to four months for a potluck, right?

Chantal Brodrick:              Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Shannon Fable:                 How can you be a team if you don’t see one another? We’ve got to learn how to lean into electronic communication and not just emailing each other to make sure that the stereo is locked up and if the mic is on the fritz, you know what to do and define subs. We need to have places that are secure and private and two-way communication, where all the inputs and outputs are going in one place and out one place, where it’s not just business but you can also get the pleasure side. That’s how well-functioning teams happen in the corporate world. You’ve got the water cooler, but then you’ve also got your project meetings and then everyone has their cubes that they go back to and they do their work. We need to figure out how to foster that electronically because it’s never going to happen live and we can’t force it to happen live.

I don’t know if you know, my husband and I actually created a software 15 years ago exactly for this reason because I was so frustrated that I couldn’t get my team to know one another without forcing them to be at that Sunday meeting, so we created a product called GroupExPRO. If you don’t have that, it’s totally fine. I’m more than willing to share the tips of what we do in there that make it right so you can recreate it on Facebook, or if you want to use Slack, or you want to build a website for your team, I don’t care where it happens. You need a place where manager can shoot out notices and they need to be short snippets of information so I can digest them when I’m ready in a timely fashion and ask questions back to that specific notice, versus that Monday email that the manager tends to send out that goes on and on forever.

Then I also need a separate place where I can talk with my colleagues, whether it’s about universal conversations, music, or the facility, or happenings at the club, or happenings in the industry in general, or if it’s in … I’ve also got to allow people the opportunity to get in their small [bucket 00:16:17], so my cycling instructors, my body pump instructors, my yoga instructors, and discuss their craft and be able to bring to one another ideas and knowledge and information, and in a place where they can do their [inaudible 00:16:30] that doesn’t require 17 emails back and forth.

Chantal Brodrick:              We all know that one.

Shannon Fable:                 Death to the reply all that ends up being something so much further than what it started out as. Basically, it’s communication where I can also foster that engagement, so on GroupExPRO account that I’ve used with my team, there’s always in the notice section and in the forum where we all can communicate, all start entries like catch someone doing something right, where I encourage instructors to seek out the good that other instructors are doing and publicly promote it in this environment. I post the comment cards that they get. It’s not just meet that’s giving you the comment card that Suzy wrote about you, but everyone gets to see the comment card that Suzy wrote about you. Really celebrating each other’s victories. I get them to talk about classes they’ve taken from other people, things that they’ve learned.

Then the last thing I’d say is once you get this communication and you’re trying to foster these behaviours, you’ve got to start rewarding the behaviours that build the team. Our kryptonite right now is that the only thing we typically reward people for are big class numbers. When you start doing that, there’s another great book by … Oh my gosh, it’s escaping me but I’ll send it to you. Pat Riley, The Winner Within. There we go. He talks about the disease of me. I find that happens a lot in group fitness because we only publicly tout the things that we’re judging. Right now, we’re judging their numbers. How many people did you have your class? How many good comment cards do you get?

We all know that having good numbers and getting comment cards that are great doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re the greatest instructor or you’re doing the most for the team. It might just mean that you’re really self-serving and self-promotional and you told people to write five comment cards so you could keep your time slot. When managers tend to make that the public thing, they say, “Oh Chantal, you’ve got five great comment cards. It’s so amazing, and she had 50 people in her class today. Well done, well done.” I keep applauding you for that, then all these other players that might not have 50 people because they’re not in a good time slot teaching the most popular class, or they might not be working with people that feel comfortable writing comment cards, or they’re not self-promotional, but they’re doing really good work. They never get the public commendation.

When you don’t feel like you’re being seen, that’s when you get your superstar divas that all the managers hate, but we kind of create them. We create them by applauding them, and then we get frustrated when they’re the ones ruining the team environment. We need to find a way to reward the behaviour that builds teams, not just the behaviours that end up with huge numbers and impact rooms. I know that was a lot to unpack, but think about making sure that we educate people about the key reason why they’re all there. What are all of their strengths? What do they bring to the table? Foster a way to communicate and lean into rewarding behaviours that build teams instead of just celebrating the diva that packs the room.

Chantal Brodrick:              Shannon, in the example that you just gave of having that communication package amongst all of the team members, do you find that it’s beneficial to nominate people as champions that kind of drive that process, or is that job of championing the communication generally led by the group fitness manager?

Shannon Fable:                 Really good question. I think it depends on how big your team is. Once you get over a certain size and you’ve got lots of different studios and lots of different formats, I find that having lead instructors, even if it’s not a paid position but like you said, you just kind of nominate. You are my person. You’re my point person for cycling. I’m going to lean into you to help rally the troops. You can pay them back in other ways that don’t have to be money exchanging hands. I think that’s a really important thing that you can do once your group gets above a certain size. Think of it like the president’s round table to use a US euphemism, like the cabinet. If you can get them enrolled in this idea of getting this communication started, kind of like any good Facebook page where you plant your influencers and you get them to answer your post first to get the party started.

Nobody wants to be the first person on the dance floor, so if you can plant those people to get the conversation started in a communication system, that’s the best way to do it for sure. What I did is I created something called teamwork tally. I know this sounds so ridiculous, but I’m a cheerleader, so bear with me. It’s like a reversed demerit system. Instead of getting dinged for everything you do wrong and getting penalised, think of all the good that you want your team to engage in. Whether that’s subbing, offering to sub, catching people doing things right, taking other people’s classes, evaluations, sharing articles, sharing class plans, sharing Spotify playlists, I associated point values with all those things. Then I started tracking it. Every month, I would publicly post the results.

The cool thing about it was, going back to the last question, it allowed people that didn’t engage in the same way to engage in their way and be recognised for it. Once people started seeing, “Okay. This instructor of the month,” because whoever got the most points became the instructor of the month, that whoever was the instructor of the month, that it was an objective measure of subjective behaviour, then people started playing. You’re always going to have people that don’t play, but you can start to weed those out and then you can identify the ones that aren’t necessarily playing them bringing them along. If you can gamify it to some degree, the communication gets started rather quickly. I’d say two things in there.

Find lead instructors, people that you can plant to get the conversation started. Incentivize them and others to do it, whether that’s with something like a teamwork tally like I created, or even just promising some extra pay in the beginning to get the conversation started. Then when you find the people that aren’t necessarily engaged in a communication, lean in and find out why. Is it a time thing? Are you not meeting them where they’re at? That’s the other reason why we created something like … I know Workplace, Facebook has Workplace, which is very similar to Facebook but for private groups. You can create a private group on Facebook, but if you can make communication where they can do it on-the-fly on their phone, you’ll have a lot more traction as well. I think that’s it. People just don’t want to be in their email anymore communicating with another group of people. The better you can get it into a private system, the better uptake you’ll have.

Chantal Brodrick:              They are great recommendations, Shannon. Thank you for those. We’ve touched on it briefly and I’m hoping we can just dive into these in a little bit of detail. That is so many group fitness instructors want to move into more senior roles. They want to progress into being maybe the group fitness manager or even moving from group fitness manager to, say, fitness manager or club manager. Do you want to give us a couple of pieces of advice for people that are in that position wanting to move up?

Shannon Fable:                 Yes. I think it’s a really important question. I’d say my number one piece of advice is start by taking a gut check. Let me back up. I think a lot of people want to get into management because they want a steady paycheck and they don’t want to trade sweat for money. They want to even that out. They want to teach a few classes, but they want extra money. They want to stay in group fitness because it’s what they know. When I say take a gut check, make sure that you are truly interested and best suited to be behind the scenes propping up other superstars and accessing whether or not you still need to be in the main studio at prime time. There’s nothing wrong with that, but if you haven’t made the switch to identifying yourself as an enabler versus the star performer, then you will fail at this job or it’s not going to be as rewarding as you’ll need it to be to stay in it.

You’ve got to enjoy the business side of fitness, and not just group fitness, but all fitness in general. You’ve got to want to learn about leadership and lead a team, do all these silly things like teamwork tally and whatever it takes to get your team fully functioning. You’ve got to want to mentor. You’ve got to want to educate. You’ve got to want to do the customer service side of things. A lot of that has nothing to do with being a great group fitness instructor, right? I think that’s the toughest thing is many times we end up in it just because it makes the most sense. It seems like a logical progression, but much like I tell personal trainers that are good trainers that they don’t need to open a bricks and mortar to take the next step. I don’t think that all group fitness instructors are necessarily suited to be a group fitness manager, so take the gut check first.

The next thing you need to do is you’ve got to learn about the fitness business. I tell group fitness managers, “You do that …” This also relates to moving from maybe group fitness manager to that hybrid fitness manager athletics director. You got to learn about … I’ve been a GM, I’ve been a salesperson, a membership salesperson, a personal training director, a personal trainer. Not that you necessarily need to go that route and do all that craziness, but you’ve got to spend time in each of those departments and find out how does group fitness sit? It is the hub to some degree of the entire gym. Many times, we take latitude with that and we think, “If we know our business, we’ll be an effective group fitness manager.” The best group fitness managers understand how they intersect with every other department.

A wise man once told me, like as an interview question what he said to me was, he was like, “What is your number one job as a group fitness manager?” Of course, I rattled off all the things that we think that it is. Make customers happy. Build a great schedule. Make sure class numbers stay up. Hire the best team. Yeah, yeah, yeah. He’s like, “No. None of that.” I’m like, “Oh, okay. Then you tell me. What is it?” He said, “You have to remember you have a direct line to dos. Everything you do affects membership acquisition and membership retention. If you can’t run it through that filter, if you don’t truly understand how a good experience can drive membership, can keep someone from cancelling, and you don’t understand how to create,” like we were talking about, “the team atmosphere instead of three individual instructors that create memorable experiences, you’re just going to fail.”

I think the biggest thing group fitness managers can do is get outside of the studios, get outside the day-to-day choreography, class planning, music prep and microphones and spandex, and go experience what does it actually take to get a gym running and see how we intersect, or could better intersect, with all those. Then I’d say the other thing is making sure that you take yourself seriously on the business side. Not that you need to go back to school and get an MBA, but you need to understand how to run numbers and deal with spreadsheets and do Word processing and organise a calendar and to work cross-departmentally on projects. You do need to get … Use Blinkist. Go back to my favourite app, Blinkist, and read some books on business management and project management and learn how to be that business person in office versus the great instructor that you’ve always been in front of a group of people.

Chantal Brodrick:              Shannon, thank you for those recommendations. I think you know that here on the podcast, that’s what we’re all about is trying to help and support people in their business knowledge. I would say to all of our fitness managers out there, to our club owners and our club managers, if you’re listening to the interview today and thinking that is an area that your group fitness team and your group fitness manager could really utilise better, could strengthen their knowledge on a business perspective, then yes. Please take Shannon’s recommendations and help them understand the business better.

Share resources like this show with them so that they can increase their knowledge base around general business practices. Encourage them to read. Go back and listen to the show that we did with Luke [Carlson 00:28:31] where he talks about Project Learn, which is a really great system that they’ve created within their fitness facility to help all of the members of the team increase their business knowledge base. Really thank you so much for sharing that with us today, Shannon. Now tell us, in your opinion, what should all of our owners, managers out there be doing to strengthen their group fitness program, say, over the next 12 to 24 months?

Shannon Fable:                 Gosh, I wish I had a crystal ball. I think number one is manage the hit hype. This could be true about any fad or trend that’s come into the fitness industry. Again, I said this earlier. We tend to look at what people like and we give them more of what they like because the squeaky wheel always gets attention. You’ve got your 50 ladies that always come Monday, Wednesday, Friday 9:00 A.M. and they’re super, super vocal. They want more of this class type. We keep giving it to them. When it’s supported by data in the industry that hits still number, what, three on the ACSN top lists, we keep just throwing it at them because we figure if we give them more of that, then we’ll attract more people. We just need to realise that people need diversity. Too much of a good thing is too much of a good thing because eventually, hit may not be hot anymore. Then how do you roll back the 27 classes you have on your schedule? How do you bring it all back?

I guess under that same umbrella of manage the hit hype, it should be make sure that your classes have a sharp point. Each of your formats, your class titles, they need to have a sharp point. I think the thing that I’m noticing most now is literally every class, when you get right down to it, sounds exactly freaking the same. It all promises to be full-body, total-body, interval, high-intensity, burn as many calories as you can, everyone’s welcome. If we could take a lesson, this is the next thing, take a lesson from what boutiques are doing well, I don’t think that at a multipurpose health club, you can stand to be a one-trick pony. You certainly could look at what boutiques are doing and go, “Oh. They’ve actually started going back to where we were in the 90s where less is more.”

There’s so many of these programs that, like I said, your class descriptions look … I can’t find myself in anything that you do because it says it’s for everyone. I think today’s day and age, we all want to be unique. Everything else in our life is on-demand, when we want it, put together the pieces the way you want to do it, like mix and match whatever. Even the dollar menu at McDonald’s is like mix and match to your heart’s content. When we go into our fitness experiences, we want it to feel tailor-made to meet our needs. I’d say thinking to manage the hit hype is number one, think less is more, stop being so fragmented in your programming, and really make sure there are some sharp points in your programming so I can go, “Yes. That’s my class. That class was meant for me. I see myself in there. My people are in there because we all just want to feel like we belong.”

Then like I said I alluded to just a second ago, but don’t be a hater. Look at what is working in the boutique side of things. Look at what’s happening on the virtual side of things, so daily burn or any of the myriad of apps that people have on their phones. Fitness is just so easy to consume now and it doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. Instead of say, “Well, it’s not the same as a live experience,” or, “It’s not the same as our club’s experience.” That’s always our defence mechanism, right? But, but, but it’s not like we do. Instead, lean into it. Go consume it. Group fitness managers, you should be at every boutique in your neighbourhood.

You should be on every website and your GM should be giving you money to go experience these things and see what are they doing that’s making people pay $18 an hour to take a class that you’re recreating in your gym? Those would be the big things, I’d say. We’ve got to make sure that we’re looking, we’re peeking under the hood of what’s disrupting fitness right now and seeing where we can really corner the market and give something valuable in our clubs that people want to pay for, that people want to show up for. They treat it like gold, like they are with that boutique experience right now.

Chantal Brodrick:              Shannon, I just cannot tell you how much I have so thoroughly enjoyed chatting to you today. It’s just been brilliant. If people want to contact you, where is the best place for them to go?

Shannon Fable:                 Sure. is my website, and lots of information about where I’ll be showing up. I do a lot of writing, so I always link my articles back on many of the topics we’ve talked about today, so that would be the best place to jump on. You can message me there too.

Chantal Brodrick:              Fantastic. Now, we finish off every single show with our fitness [inaudible 00:33:21]. I’m hoping that you can share with us, to finish off today, your top three tips to move from a team member to a team leader. We’ll be back with Shannon in just a moment. First, here’s a quick message from one of our podcast partners.

We’d like to thank our sponsor One Fit Stop for their support. We highly recommend all fitness professionals go to to find out how their software will enable you to take control of day-to-day management in your fitness business. One Fit Stop’s scheduling, client management, programming, and payment collection tools will set your business up for success.

Shannon Fable:                 Number one, know that group fitness is so much more than exercise put to music and spandex. It is so much bigger than that and has so much potential. Treat it like the little gym that it is. Two, polish up your business skills and start taking yourself seriously. That’s going to help make sure others do as well, so it may be getting your hair out of the ponytail and freshening up a little bit and taking off your lulu or Athleta and putting on a pair of pants and standing up and being a businesswoman toe-to-toe with a GM or a sales manager or PT director. Then finally, be there. I think I just said it a minute ago, but lean in. Be seen. Lean in. Show up. Ask questions. Eventually, you can’t be in the right place at the right time if you’re not there, so make sure that you are the one being there. Don’t wait to be asked to take the seat. Just take the seat.

Chantal Brodrick:              Shannon, the information that you share with us today has been so incredibly valuable. I’m so thrilled that we had the opportunity to really take a deep dive into the group fitness environment, into group fitness world. Thank you so, so much for joining us today on the show.

Shannon Fable:                 Thank you. Thank you so much for the opportunity.

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