BJ McKay is an entrepreneur, leadership consultant, coach and, most importantly, family man. He launched The Arsenal Fitness in 2013 to continue the type of training he did as an athlete at Ball State University.
BJ McKay is an entrepreneur, leadership consultant, coach and, most importantly, family man. He launched The Arsenal Fitness in 2013 to continue the type of training he did as an athlete at Ball State University. Muncie CrossFit was the cornerstone of the program, and the first CrossFit affiliate in the City of Muncie. Since then, the business has grown to a new 6,000 sq ft location and boasts over 200 athletes, 9 coaches, and is the proud provider of sports performance training for the MAC Champion Ball State Men’s Baseball team. His coaches have trained current NCAA Division I athletes as well as rising starts in high school and middle school throughout Central Indiana. Muncie CrossFit continues to thrive as the largest and longest standing CrossFit affiliate in Muncie. BJ is enthusiastic about The Arsenal’s vision to create a world were being fit is normal.
Prior to, and throughout, the launch of The Arsenal, BJ maintained a role as Senior Leadership Consultant at ADVISA. There he has worked with Fortune 500 companies like Hanesbrands and Tempur-Sealy in additional to hundreds of USA based and international organizations looking to increase results by creating a magnetic culture.
If you are interested in making fit normal in your life connect with BJ, and his team at The Arsenal here: https://arsenalfitness.com/
hello this is coach Tim campsall and I'm your host for the self-made is a myth make a difference together show where we're talking with successful business owners to hear their stories of the journey to building their business and because we know that success in business is not something that we can do on our own we're taking some time to recognize and celebrate the folks who have helped us along our journey today I'm excited to have a fellow business owner from Indiana with us today my guest is a uh a 2002 Mac champion in pole vault for uh Ball State we'll learn a little bit more about that here in a minute he enjoys time with his family and his six kids and he's most proud of his marriage with Erica and uh and credits that relationship to teaching him the most that he has learned in life it's my pleasure to welcome BJ to the show today hello BJ hello Tim thanks for having me absolutely well hey let's start with having you um introduce yourself uh tell us a little bit of your personal story and where you're born where you live and about your family yeah so I was uh born and raised in Erie Pennsylvania um and uh by my mom and dad I had a younger sister and um did a great job middle class family about like firmly in the middle um and I think that like runs true for me throughout my life it's uh you know middle this off the rock suit 42 regular like all the way through it's right in the middle uh but uh yeah came up out there uh went to relatively large High School uh called McDowell High School out there and um some of my entrepreneurial Roots kind of really even started to Bud uh back then when it was um I I struggled to listen to people uh when I didn't agree with them in the classroom and it's like you need to know this and I'm like well why and how and how does it work and you kind of get it pushed um a little too much where it was like you know like do you have a problem okay is there like something we need I'm like yeah I just you know and then sometimes I just needed to talk because I talked to think and you know in the old classroom style sit down and just like listen and we'll talk when we tell you to and I'm like yeah when I tell you two parts that was a struggle uh but yeah a girl played a lot of sports uh played a lot of sports uh my family's active active in our church and sports and um kind of like uh interspersed with the different groups growing up so it was never like one massive friend group it was kind of a lot of uh trying to find my own way a little bit more independent which is where I found um track and field and pole vaulting which kind of I that's where I got to hang my hook um honestly was kind of a a kind of a Salvation for me just kind of getting around like like bullying and things like that where I had something to give me some self-confidence and I kind of put all my stock in that and it was by success in track and field that got me a scholarship to Ball State University which transplanted me from Pennsylvania out here to Muncie Indiana where I'm sitting today and where we chose to raise our family so four years there a degree in telecommunications then a degree in um uh public relations and sports performance an opportunity public relations Sports communication um I want to say that right and then um that at the latter half of that I was able to um become the assistant men's track and field coach at Ball State uh for the last last year of the program uh that we had so it was a glorious existence for one year as a grad student making money working out most of the day eating free food like yeah like I got a paycheck on top of it I'm like it's like I'm like I feel like I'm stealing from you and it do this and I'm flying around with the best athletes it was a I was definitely not a a deserved role I don't think I think I was pretty young for it but like when you're managing a bunch of people that were your peers two years before right it's an it's sometimes awkward and I'm sure some of the folks listening can find that that's awkward as well when you're working and all of a sudden you're the boss yeah and you're just yesterday you weren't now you are like how do you navigate that that difference so I definitely stubbed my toe more than I got it right um and since there I got into I thought I'd want to stay into coaching I did some homework and I'm like I'm looking at like maybe Michigan state has an opening in here I started thinking like an entrepreneur would how much do uh like average track and field coaches make and I started looking and I'm like hmm I knew I wanted a family and I'm like all right how do they get raises I'm like oh they get fired or they move and then they move and then they move and I'm like huh I'm like well what what other things are there I looked in media and then I looked in sales and I looked at average people made in like media creative stuff and other things I looked at that I'm like wow what average people make is what the best make at this I'm like I've never you know it's a alpha minded person I never thought well I'm not on average like I'd never raised my hand you know I'm sure I am in many things but um that's when I kind of went off and I went back to um like Communications and media got a job at a local organization um here um through networking through my professors which you know I encourage everybody to do if um you're trying to get a foothold work for Rudder Communications for three years another year from an offspring from Rudder and then from there I launched and um worked for um a Chris Baggett who's the founder of exact target his company compendium software at the time for a job I was immensely unprepared for which was vice president of sales of about 14 people um so a little a year and some change we worked there and uh had a decent amount of success and met some lifelong friends that now work with me here at advisor so when I left there um I was scooped up by advisor a couple months later and um and here I stay it's been I'm in my 13 years in the rear view mirror and I'm in my 14th year now there and then in the midst of doing that which is part of our story is 10 years ago like as I was transitioning into my advisor work is when um my business spawned like that's where it was like I'm like hey I need to do this and it was on a trip to Virginia to a military contractor where they asked after a day of training hey you want to go train I said Tim I thought that's what we were doing all day like no no no you want to do do you do CrossFit and I'm like what's CrossFit and it was there that like I was introduced to um that uh program in sport with and I watched a 55 year old guy beat the crap out of me and I'm like I'm a division one athlete I had this thing I'm like all right I'm gonna be fine it's like no there's levels to this game kid and you're not at mine and it was like I want to do this and then you know it was more than a couple years I waited they call someone all open one of these in Muncie and no one did so I'm like well I guess I'm not someone nice uh so tell us about your family married and I think six kids right that's right that's right yeah my wife Eric and I um we've been married for I think 19 years now 19 years if I get it wrong so let me know and thank you and then we have a daughter about to go to college I have a son who's a sophomore I hear a local high school a daughter who's a freshman and then I have a daughter um who is in seventh grade here and I also have a two-year-old son and a nine month old daughter so they're they're great active healthy fun I mean it's like we travel together we do stuff together I mean I would have brought them here if they wouldn't have been trying to lean in and say hi to you while we're there it's like great fun kids and yeah it's uh it's awesome how about like always wanted to have a like always want to have a big family and I married someone who had similar goals which is great fantastic so I'm sure with that Mega family there's lots of funny stories so tell us uh is there a a story your family likes to tell about you that you'd be willing to share with us I was thinking about that when uh you prompted me before and uh I'm trying to think of a it's hard to find a story I think I have one that's probably worth retelling um I took my dog I tried to take my kids on uh before covet it was way easier on a quarterly plane trip with Dad okay so there's a cool we get some one-to-one when there's six kids you kind of everyone's wearing everyone else's clothes and it's kind of hand-me-down it's like this would be that cool I work I travel for work a little bit so I can bring them with me and we actually go on a thing I'm not working I'm going just for them yeah so we decided my daughter and I so I'm like what do you want to do I want to be around Dolphins what if you did a dolphin training thing so we found one in Key Largo so we made a thing about it we went down and I'm kind of getting things scheduled and I'm I'm a big picture I'm like a Visionary strategy level thinker which makes my weakness details uh-huh and like execution and consistency and execution so it just came to roost this time so we got down everything's set up and I'm real proud of myself we get off the airplane wait look weather's beautiful you're driving out of there I think we went like uh like February or January or something where it was like garbage up here yeah in Indiana but down there it was like it's all like it always is and you get off and there's the Blue Water we drive to the Airbnb we got and it looks great we go in and I'm punching the code in and it doesn't work you're thinking I'm like why does this work and I'm like oh I got the place the next day oh no on there so it's like all right well I'll get a hotel and I'm looking at hotels and like everything was like Skyrocket high and there was no and I'm like all right I'm like I told my daughter and she's looking to be like what are we gonna do like she's freaking out I'm like yeah we got a car it's beautiful out 24 hours a day so it's like we're not like I'm like where do you park it and we had a friend that had a place in Key West we just kept driving two hours down but like that's a story now like careful when you go with Dad you might get there and there'll be no place to stay and I was joking with my wife like how do you know how do you know what uh uh what to pack right like when you go and I'm like uh like well they take money I'm pretty sure they have clothes that they would wear there if I'm never really worried about it but that time it bit me and uh my daughter had holds that over me are you sure that are you sure we're all set up and I'm like all right nice so BJ you you told us uh how the business came about at what point did you have the confidence that you could run your own business you know Tim um I think the most vulnerable and true answer is I never did um like I don't think I ever quite had it and in a moment like I was my and I think that word comes from my upbringing my parents are very like it's almost traditionalist even though they were Boomers like it was that kind of mindset where to get a job you kind of work your way up you get into GE you can just work it was kind of that mindset you can just work your way up and work your way up so it's kind of I was never wired that way so I was always rubbing against that and I'm like well who's that person's boss and who's that person's boss and then they finally get up to Jack Welch and I'd be like like oh who's his boss well no one I'm like I want his job she's like well that's not how it works and I'm like I think I told my mom once I'm like well he was a baby once why doesn't it work for me what's different about me so I had like this um I have probably more risk aversion than you would think for how I was wired so I struggled with it I'm like how do I do this how do I make it work like I mean I I do really well um with my Consulting and I still do so it was like there was something to lose and I just found like being middle class is like almost one of the worst places to go from like what you're currently doing to really wealthy or to doing your own thing because you have something to lose you have a warm head you have a warm meal you have relationships you have something to lose yeah people that have less like all right I'm already comfortable like what do I have to risk if I'm back here I got it and then people that have more are surrounded with the network of people that ought to keep more more they know how to do it yeah weird place where it's like whoa I don't want to go down there and I'm sure like that but it's going to cost me this like this level of uh of comfort and security that I had so I I struggled with it all the way to the point where I'm like hey I have a business plan I met with the Small Business Development Group I'm kind of going through all the Cycles like how do I de-risk this how do I de-risk what don't I know yeah I ran into a couple things one is my confidence didn't increase the moral doors I open the more I realize like this is way more expensive than I thought it was yeah there's so much more I don't know like I'm having HVAC conversations and I'm having conversations on like Leasing and I have no idea like is this a good lease like this is a do I I mean how do I so I talk that's pretty good and that's like this real kind of foggy great I had no like it was like running around like on a map in a video game with no compass and I'm running around and everything I Learned was you don't know that you also don't know that you need that but you don't know that I'm like I couldn't even put it in order so I finally got to a point where like through the sbdc some coaches there some other things there I kind of got a framework are they all right this will work I went to the bank and they're like we're not gonna give you money foreign I need to rewind a little bit it was the second thing I actually went to my boss Heather Haas who is we could we'll probably talk more about later and I said hey um I need to talk to you there's an airport I just mustered up if I had confidence of one thing and mustering up Courage the confidence being like I don't think it's confidence I think it's courage I was scared to have the conversation because I'm about to tell my boss hey I want to start a new thing but I'm going to keep doing this thing and I think I can do both really well because I wasn't like leaving the start like a tech startup company I wasn't going to lead I was starting a gym Tim like it wasn't like I was gonna go to a gym I was like I'm like this would be like a fun project and I get to use a lot of my Consulting experience like in my mind I kind of rationalized it all yeah I told her and she said she's like you have my full support but you need to do this and I'm like that was like literally that's what my confidence opened up yeah because I knew I had the blessing to someone that I am super loyal to I care deeply about and who trained me and taught me so much that I'm like if you if she would have said no there's a good chance we're not talking today right like I would I wouldn't I would it would have been all I needed to say all right I tried I tried to say no I did it I took it as far as I could so that was kind of my out so there was no real kind of like Herculean moment where it's like I'm gonna do this and I'm gonna make them it's gonna go just like I thought but then I got pushed into it the banks wouldn't give me money I talked to friends they wouldn't give me money and then finally I just went before I I think all I had was the LLC which you pay like whatever like 60 bucks to get like and I got that done and I sold probably 20 to 25 memberships full paid for a year up front and then I went back to the bank with that cash and I said like well you normally ask that you're leasing you don't have all this other stuff like hey I'll personally guarantee and then like they're looking at me still and I said hey how many buildings and stoves and ovens and chairs in a restaurant are you going to finance how many hot dogs have they sold how many people walk in the building I'm like I have 25 members to a gym that doesn't exist anywhere but my head yeah like you're worried if I can sell and do this once I have a building and I have coaches and I could give me a break and it was enough to give me enough money yeah which wasn't anywhere near what I needed to go back to individual investors to say hey I went through bank due Dylan all right we'll give you money it was like this I didn't and I didn't know I didn't know I saw one yeah like I didn't know that they needed the de-risk and some of them were giving me a little more but I always ask for an amount so small for what I believed because you never really know that person's total net worth was that it was almost forgettable so it was like five grand 10 grand sometimes it was bigger than that but it was always like you sure you don't need more when they said that I'm like nope sure that's all I need that's how I'm gonna go find some more friends so that was kind of the if there was a jump off point that's the that's the story I love it BJ tell us a little bit more about the company what do you guys do specifically and how you help people yeah so um the Arsenal Fitness uh we found were found in 2013 so we're coming up on 10 years and um we started off as muncie's first uh CrossFit affiliate Muncie CrossFit is like another DBA for what we were doing and what we did and started out over like we continue to do it over 10 years is um like high intensity functional group training so when you go into a class when you come in there's a whiteboard talk you get introduced to people and then there's typically some sort of warm-up that's dedicated to what you're about to do it's got Dynamic movement because a lot of people are desk jockeys that we work with just like me sitting standing driving all day so we're losing up shoulders and things like that then we move into strength which is some formal with power lifting or weightlifting that's all um we call it like earn the barbell style so sometimes that might not be I'm throwing a barbell around I mean well if you're 74 years old Tim and you haven't you've been sedentary for 20 years that's not your experience in that class might be different than sure the 22 year old kid next to you so you do strength and then you move in and do something we call uh they call it the wad work out of the day or we call it a meta metcon metabolic conditioning which is basically I I just basically hey we're going to a road are we doing aerobics yet are you in aerobics class yet where's the aerobics what's the aerobics part of the class where you're doing something over time and there's a little competitive nature to it and then uh your heart rate's getting up you're sweating you're having fun and it's a lot like um Sports and you know when you're a little kid middle school or high school high-fiving people so that's kind of was our core thing for the first probably five or six years from there where we do most of our work now is actually one-to-one uh personal training nutrition coaching and youth sports performance and sports performance and that goes all the way up to uh College um athletes both individuals and then College programs that we do work for so it was a lot about like learning as we go and the constant mindset I mean in the meantime I'm Consulting with manufacturing companies engineering companies and hearing how they're doing things I'm like this Six Sigma process sounds like how everybody should do everything this sounds like everyone like why aren't we setting a Target and reevaluate right like so we can right borrowing and stealing and advancing I'm like this isn't good enough this part why isn't anything good enough I'm like no no the part I'm focusing on isn't good enough yeah this part's good enough to build this much money to provide like I wanted to go here and I think if we learn so it was a lot of that learning that to get us where we're at now when you walk in Tim we have a robust assessment process to make sure throughout your journey with us you will not experience pain you're going to avoid injury both in the gym and outside the gym and we want to increase your energy to the most degree that we can so you can go out be the best leader you can be parent you can be son daughter you can be in the world so when you're out there and you're not just sore all the time telling stories about here's what I did today and I joke with my kids it's like Dad you put your score in right and I'm like it's not a 43 no one cares like it's not about that anymore it's about like coming and being the best me so but uh that's what we do and uh we have uh we have a 10-year vision for uh uh where we're going uh which is even um obviously like a big hairy audacious goal you would call it Tim for what that might be which is going to cause a lot of disruption and we have to once again leave our middle class zone of comfort as a small business to say hey a lot of these we got to leave a lot of the stuff behind and drop a lot of the stuff to become what we're going to become and I use the um I use the butterfly analogy a lot where I'm like hey you think we're we're awesome right now all we are is the fastest caterpillar like we need to go on the Cocoon I'm like do you know what happens like I talk to my team all the time like you know what happens when the Catapult goes to cool now they turn to a butterfly I'm like no you know what they do first they dissolve into liquid they cease to exist completely I'm like you know Matt I just choke and I'm like oh this is hard like you wonder what that feels like to that caterpillar yeah do you wonder like do you think it even knows it's just kind of going through the motions and then it comes out the other side oh a beautiful butterfly so I think we're kind of in a a next over the next couple years metamorphosis but that's what that's what we do yeah so BJ share a story where someone pushed you or inspired you that you could do it even though maybe you didn't think you could and the impact that person had on you um I have a I have a few names I mean honestly Tim
um a lot of the people that I I've looked up to the most I've got a lot of advice from are dead people that wrote books so there's a lot of those people when I couldn't find in my own network um whether it be like stoic philosophers Christian thinkers like um I mean how many times have I read uh Peter drucker's effective executive like wore it out like I'm like all right what are people smarter than me do like what do you all right you've seen this person seems like they've made it like what I think what's the rule so there's a lot of those but if the people that I would think I think the first person I think of is I'm Heather Haas who is uh the person who um where in a hiring process to join our consulting firm um I she believed in me when other people did and she saw something that I'd even see it's like well you're gonna go you're gonna you're gonna work with businesses and you're gonna consult and you're gonna I'm like I've been managing people for a year yeah I'm like I don't but I don't I'm part of the product that's like you coming to me Tim like all right Tim what's the program well it's nothing from you Tim nothing your experience you're gonna know but I have this like that's how I felt and I'm like that just feels like like I don't have I don't know I could do it but she she believed him even through the first three years where it was a struggle a real struggle for me so she was one where it's like you could do it I believe you and then she just left to let me go figure it out yeah like it was like what exactly what I needed yeah um I know another person um that I think about is a gentleman named Will Davis he was a co-founder of Ontario systems um up here in Muncie and uh he's a person I found a little later but it was like it was a part of my leadership Journey where I needed a steady hand I needed somebody to be like just all right let's just think about like where this at and he really taught me through his um story and his coaching of me like what like imbuing what you're doing with your virtue like remember like who needs to be doing and showing up like that and having that kind of executive presence or leadership presence is a function of how you live your life every day no matter what you're doing and the more authentic that is that you advance it the easier all this stuff you're frantic about sure is because it's all leveled out in this playing field that the things you can control happen between your ears and they happen with the time and hours that you have in your day with your two hands and if that's consistent it's this constant solid Landing Place regardless of the problem uh and the last person I think is uh when my dad was passing away which happened a couple uh almost a couple years ago now from pancreatic cancer and my dad was my dad and mom are like very big mentors for me they're bastions of stability and everything but when it comes to like starting a business this was the weird thing saying they're like well you like we don't like it was kind of like I left I sailed off from from there when he's going through that John on who I stay really close with he's close to my family he's in his mid 70s right now was um just a constant voice in my head reminding me of how much I got this and how much sometimes he looked up to me and I was always puzzling to me I'm like but she made it man like you've got like you're like you're the sage and you're the guru on the Mountaintop like what do you mean you're you look up to me for what I do and it was like those kernels that I don't know in like an email one-line email it's right on my wall over here like probably meant nothing Ash probably like it probably like didn't even think about it but to me it's like still there whenever I'm like going through a slump I can't solve a problem it's like yeah BJ everybody hates you at the business because if this is what you do and it's like all right and I just see those as like all right all right you're not infallible you're not perfect you're probably screwing there's probably more things you're screwing out now than you even realize right now however you overcome bigger things than the the molehill right that you're making a mountain today so I think those are probably three that really jump out as it comes to like mentors as it relates to starting a business believing in myself and kind of imbuing me with the confidence and perseverance to keep pushing even though the dark kept getting darker right so keep going keep going are you sure Tim yeah BK I'm sure you tell your clients just keep going I'm like I'm scared and I can't see and you're telling me it's like and then sure enough you break through and it's like it's amazing like right afterwards yes it's like you tell yourself I should have known that of course this was gonna it's like I'm like dude yesterday you didn't feel that way yesterday but yesterday it was like all this like nihilistic thinking about how it goes and then the next day it's like of course I was going to get through questions I remember my first year of having this business and and my coach kept telling me hey Tim it's it's about being persistent and consistent and and uh I know you're gonna get there and I'm like how do you know that and she's like well because I know that you're you're doing all the things you're supposed to be doing and it's just a matter of time until you you know you hit that critical mass or the hockey stick effect right and I like well I'm paying you know I'm paying a good amount of money for her guidance and Direction so I don't see it I don't believe it but if she says that it's true then I'm just gonna keep doing what I'm doing yeah I Jo I you know what I the label I put on that is outsourced confidence I like that like how do I Outsource my confidence like why do you pay coaches why do you pay Tim why do you pay BJ why do you pay I've had Fitness consulting firms that I've been with that have given me just treasure chose of information and I'm like hey if we're paying this money just so you know we're students we're listening we're not here to evaluate what they're telling us we're to do it and I have to tell my team that and I'm telling my team I'm really telling me yeah because like I I always want to tweak and I'm like nope yes sir Tim like and then go execute and then after I execute everything Tim told me to do then I'm allowed to be creative right then I'm allowed to like go but it's like if I can't because you think about like the business but what makes a business tick and this is me on like the other side of it I don't have a decade-long business most CrossFit Affiliates don't make anywhere near that long and we're that we'll probably get a plaque or something nice from Crossfit you know crossfits listening that'd be nice you know our watch or something that'd be cool yeah yeah but it's like it's the it's the unsexy consistent blocking and tackling that like I honestly need most of the coaching to stick to because it seems boring it doesn't seem Dynamic it doesn't seem interesting it seems ordinary I'm like how's everyone else like I was like I mean but I joke with like with with with even new coaches at our gym we have nine of them now we'll probably have 11 starting next week it's like I'm like listen like you're gonna look back in a little while and it'll seem a little while there's gonna be a mountain lion like oh it's gonna be a mountain like don't look back you're going to be making this mountain a couple grains of salt a day at a time yeah so if you keep thinking about that mountain it's going to discourage you I just need you to think about the salt you're walking the salt or walking the sand over and just you put it down and just like Drop it behind you just keep throwing it behind you every day just throw the salt there's the sand behind you and then all of a sudden like BJ will tell you when to look yeah and I'll know when to do it because it's like it's when you've gone into the abyss of your unknowing so far that you're too deep I'm like hey come back out come back I can't do it look at me I'm like I want you to turn around look at your look oh my God who's what is that that is your mountain look at how high it is look at how oh my god I've done all that stuff all right great here we go yeah there's the sand pit and you get them right back on like you get you get going it's uh but it's like that every one of those pieces of sand hey consistent phone calls keeping in touch with your um best customers asking your best customers for advice like going all these things that you just like if you just drip drop them through over and over and over again your Top Line keeps going up and then you keep having having the accounting Bean counting meetings which by the way are the most hard for me if you can't tell I'm like the Top Line guy and I like the big Vision but it's like hey if you keep spending more than you make this doesn't work no and it's like all right and then you just you listen I joke my another one of uh my mentors I mean this is so this is the self-made the myth um conversation is like my bookkeeper Jackie Crist is like my secret weapon she has like a literally a stamp with my signature on it and at times during these stretches I'm like I I'm paid last and I go to her and say hey so how's it going get paid this month and I'm like okay like okay like what whatever like it's coming she's that one that's like I actually like dotted line report to Jackie in my own business because I'm like I don't have that part of my brain I don't think about conservation yeah I think about opportunity but it's like putting that team together that really levels me out where I can stay in my lane and then my ego has to take a downside like Hey listen like that's their control we have to delegate that Authority which means Authority to me to this person or else I'm wasting their time and I'm wasting my money and I'll just keep screwing it up and be average is that what you want ego and it's like yuck but it's a battle because your ego keeps telling you well I think we could spend it oh let's like no no no she said no yeah we're not doing it because we care about her and she's smart over and over again Vijay we know that business success doesn't happen in isolation so tell us about one of your challenges over the years and maybe another business owner who you know came alongside you helped you get through that
um so early on um in like in the within the first couple years I actually had a co-founder and like it was a partnership and we ended up separating and it was pretty messy like it I mean and for me for my part which I can own like I didn't really even know how to do that like it was a moral function of just ignorance like how do you do I know it needs to happen I knew that yeah like but I don't know how it does so it just got ugly because I it was his first business it was my it was just a lack of comp like no one knew how to do things and it got um it got uglier because one party assumed the other party did know what was going on right and it was like no neither party knows what's going on that's why this is tough so after that I mean we went through a few Cycles where the fact that the business even existed for even a three-year stretch was a miracle like I was paying people out of my own checking account just to keep the wheels on the bus to try to grind I probably took out too many loans to start it because I wanted Visionary guy like it's got to look like this right from the get-go yeah like I like bought that myth and I just literally wholesaled into it and I I paid for it I paid for that education probably more than my kids will pay for college I paid for it and I didn't even which was unnecessary I guess it was necessary for me because I'm like it was like I needed a block Force instrument to get me so it was at that time I think that's where I met um I ran into Will Davis who I talked to about before you know he had founded grew a company right here on Muncie that was extraordinarily serious what's more successful than I think we'll ever be become that was that guiding hand that Steady Hand that came in I think the Small Business Development Center at different times when I came back in I mean this was like they literally have a trailer Trail of Tears of these stories of like people and I'm like hey like what do you do here and they would redirect my energy because I didn't have any place to go um on that and I think um further down after I got out of that pit and then my even like my my Heather Haas and my our uh chairman Bob Wilson were were great helping me I'm like I'm running into some things here work me through it just kind of lifted me up through it um as I went back into the battle but later on we got stagnant as a business we were good enough to look like art you're legitimate good enough and for a while that felt good yeah because everyone's getting paid I was getting paid all the girls are getting paid I'm like this is like we made it the promised land everybody for a while you're like that's enough but then it's like things got stale and inconsistent and there weren't really good policies and workbooks and like scaling like none of that was left because it was literally like it was like I was so just relieved should be past that that like and I didn't have anybody like you Tim in my ear all right here's what you got to do next BJ I didn't have an interval 90-day meeting I didn't have a month-to-month meeting where someone's like all right great you've had a couple months to enjoy that you've had six months like whatever it was someone to get me back on you're like you're the Visionary you need to bring there was nobody there yeah so that got stale we worked with um uh a coach out of um Ann Arbor um his name is uh uh Doug Chapman he's a brilliant programmer has coached a lot of CrossFit Games athletes and like we leaned on him for programming like product if you think about where that would fit for other people like product how do I buy products better go outside the world my community I live in find somebody doing a level far beyond ours and get as much of that brought in and if you didn't know what we're doing that was one and even more recently within the last uh few years we um synced up with a group called active life and that's they're at a Long Beach New York and we um spent a lot of money for us at the time for Council that like brought us in with other gyms around the country I think they might even have some International that are aspiring to lift out of the same thing so finding those people that are on that next two or three levels on the ladder was the hunt because somebody as good as me I'm like I already know how to be this good yeah lesser it's like I'm in a coaching well it feels good feels good to coach those people but like I don't know how much I'm growing but finding those people not way up here it's like oh you want to be rich just read Warren Buffett's books I'm like that's not going to get you again he's worth 65 billion dollars like you you have 100 Grand like it's I needed that next two rungs that they still felt they were still remember yeah in their veins what it was like to be here and they can really articulate those next couple rungs up there um they I mean the investment we made there which is substantial still Pays His dividends yeah awesome so that kind of leads into this last question Jim Rohn says we become the average of the five people that we spend the most time with so as you think about that um and reflect on business owners who believe that they should do it on their own or their you know they're they're they are doing it on their own what advice would you have for them
um I think the first one the first question I would ask them if they're sitting in front of me is like well how's this how's it going you know or like the Dr Phil stuff how's that working out for you yeah odds are if you're even talking to you or you're talking to me Tim we probably know the answer to that there's a couple things it's I have too many plates many there's too much going on I know what to do to grow I have no time to do it um everyone around me is an idiot if it's not me no one could do like it's like I can't think of good people and I'm like it's like a lot of this it's it's stuff and I just it's a function of I'm like it's uh a certain lack of self-awareness and that's mired and ego and it's I say ego but like people think ego as this prefrontal cortex you can see ego and you just let it own you that's not how it works ego rests and loves to sit in the subconscious and just work and tell you you should be able to do it Tim you should you don't need that person you do it don't listen you don't need it's the ego because and someone wired to be an entrepreneur to be a business owner like that's kind of almost like the old school work style where so you get in at six a.m and you don't leave until the last it's the same like Specter lurking in the background so I tell them it's like you know what's missing and I would basically start asking them and start like all right like let's let's build some criteria if this if then if what what's going to happen and then listen to their cycle of either resentment or excuses that cut them off to realize in that reality and say huh do you think and then when you break it down you go into the top five people and you think there's anybody that knows just like this that there's six Lanes or six things that they said aren't happening I'm not making as much as I should I don't have as much time as I should I'm stuck in the book whatever other thing is yeah it's like a different like pie chart with different but the same stuff just different segments based on who you're talking to yeah like do you think there's somebody that knows something about that that you could probably bring on consult like have a fractional account like which was what I did yeah there probably is well what would your life be like let's go into the other end they do that what would they be doing and all of a sudden like the job description comes up and like all right you lighten that load how much time and energy did you buy back yeah oh I could do this this stop right there let's go to the next one like you just keep going down to the point where it's like literally you could Outsource a hundred percent of everything you complain to me about on paper like you can't because you got to pay those you know what I mean if there's no cash flow whatever like that's the air we breathe it's there but it's like now it's like I can you can help I can help them prioritize the top two or three which means you have to go in you have to sacrifice your ego and say hey I don't know how to do this I am not doing this part well I need to realign and like and then you align there's fractional people for 250 bucks a month there's factual people for 15 grand a month how big is your problem yeah like what's going on and if you're by the way if you're bringing in less than 50 Grand a month and you have a 15 000 a month problem there's other things we probably need to talk about or it's like what are you what did you do who sued you like what happened like it's uh but I think that's kind of like that's those are the type of questions that I think help me yeah when I was asked because when I when you're in that pit of despair everything seems Frozen yeah it seems like I can't move so like everything you're telling me Tim I understand I logically understand it sounds beautiful yeah that sounds great but here's why I can't and here's why this person won't let me or here's why these employees you start rationalizing your employees it's like and I'm like great it's like it's the same thing you're Frozen in place how's that working out for you like that I at some point anybody you coach or anybody that would come to me for coaching like they have to be ready to be self-aware or it's a waste of time yeah and they have to be ready to detach you have to detach from at least like one little pinky finger Tim one of these things so that we can start Paving this path to see like see see you're starting to feel better even then you get that first half hour and a week back that one time like at the end of a week on a Friday they get back and I'm like and like hey what was the victory last week man you know on Friday I typically left at five I left at 4 30 because like the bookkeeper done I didn't have to do it I just like left I'm like yeah great uh great okay guys what do we need to do to make sure we still have that half hour next week it's just like Bill once that road starts it's so much easier to advance as a small business owner yeah and a mid-sized business owner and man I Tim in my Consulting I see organizations without strategic plans without processes that are in the hundreds of millions that you're like how and when you tell that to someone who doesn't know who maybe hasn't gone down the roads that maybe we have they it's unfathomable to them right it's almost like that like when we when I talk to my kids about a pro athlete how I can see that some are being uh financially irresponsible and it's going to get a and there's others that being on I try to show them they're both really good at basketball however I want you to know that this person is going to be a generational wealthy Beyond this and it seems like this person is going to be irrelevant publicly and broke likely like very soon yeah and they just watched I'm like hey remember we were talking about so-and-so yeah I'm like it turns out like you know they work at this place now they work there they work there I'm like guess where LeBron James is working it's it's like who do you surround himself with what advice did he take I think it's it's all it's true right down to us like well they have everyone that's there is better than me knows more than me has their stuff together and I I mean that one quote that comes to mind I can cap it with this on this part Tim is um there's there's two stories one is um uh the gentleman uh F Scott Fitzgerald wrote The Great Gatsby if I'm if I'm correct he said he's like the thing about I think it's opening line the thing about rich people because they're different than you and me and his friend Ernest Hemingway immediately made fun of him he's like yeah they have more money just kind of like they're not special it's like they suck just as much as you and me they questioned themselves they're as depressed and lonely it's like it doesn't change anything other than the numbers on your bank account it will chase app or whatever you like and the second story was when I got from a book that Ryan holiday wrote he's like popular writing about the stoic philosophies the ego is the enemy it's from us still the still Stillness is the key and um Kurt Vonnegut Indiana guy um and um oh she was the other guy it was Kurt Vonnegut another author it'll come to me they're at they were invited to a palatial estate of this like he calls him a boring billionaire where they're looking all this stuff and Kurt vonnegut's like okay uh no the guy who wrote catch 22. is who he was with whose name is still escaping me he's like man he's like he's like can you believe all this stuff and he's like he's like yeah I got something this guy will never have he's like oh yeah what's that he's like the knowledge that I have enough oh and it was like that's kind of the Counterpoint to like where's the wealth it's like you know sometimes when I'm in that pit and I'm in despair I'm not recognized what I need to be grateful for and what I have accomplished other times you get over your skis and you think your success has a lot more to do with you than it actually does I'm great and I mean I've coached CEOs and I'm like yeah am I right are they ready for the question is this happening because of you or in spite you know it's like once you start seeing how things are working yeah and then when you get a recession it's there's a dip or a market shifts and everything else it's like I I joked I was on a board that went into massive duress and all the board members left and they were left like everyone Surly we're in like a bottom room and I'm young at the time I had no idea what I was doing there I think I had one line of wisdom they're like well there's one good thing why we get to all learn if we're actually good leaders or not because there's nowhere to hide it's like at this point like this is what a Leader's supposed to do before it's like hey there's money coming in the not-for-profit's doing great it's like great I'm on a board it's like what am I doing am I helping here Tim like am I doing but when everything goes away and there's like six of you and there were 20. guess what are you prepared did you have a coach do you know how to handle this who are you gonna call when you can't call anyone else it's like I think that like small business owners that are stuck and even mid-sized business owners that are stuck it's like they don't for whatever reason they're on a skip track that doesn't get them on that phone that doesn't get there they don't know who to call yeah and the ones that I mean God bless you the ones that go on to Google business coach like bit like that just go out and just throw it throw a ringer out there I had I did that for a life coach and I was going through some struggles yeah found one off of Google what would you you probably use this you probably want a book and I'm like yeah Google typed in my problem Indianapolis came up I'm like wow you seems like good and he was he was great like I'd still consider him a friend and he did a great job so BJ you've been blessed with some of the incredible people uh in your life and on your business Journey if they were all here today uh on the show what would you want to say to them
um I mean obviously the biggest is like all caps thank you and I think what I would thank them for is um fostering belief in me that I didn't have in myself um for their patients in like my stupidity especially when I was like hard-headed and I didn't listen and I came back with my tail between my legs like yeah I just it went out you said and they but they didn't pun on me because I didn't listen I think that's a big one um and
I think I think that you can extend to patience but it's like I think it's like the compassion like I'm I don't have a lot of self-compassion I don't Foster like my self-talk tends to be you can do more push harder there's a lot of that in there that's got limiting returns if you don't want to be like the horse from Animal Farm and work yourself to glue um that's got limiting returns but they like that for The Times They told me to slow down take a vacation hey what would it be like if you took three weeks off could you do it a month could you like these challenges I'm like I thought we were talking about growing right yeah I thought we were talking about like what do we I'm confused like I'm not tired it seems like you're tired I don't feel tired it's like working with me and being patient with me throughout that and that's like another name right now that's in my life that is a executive coach his name is Jim struck I don't know if you know him if you happen to know Jim he's probably the best of the best as far as I know um he is like the epitome of that voice in my head that's just like there and I'm super grateful for him and he never lets me and I think the other thing is they never for the ones that corner me in my own BS and never let me escape like they love me enough to pin me all the way into the corner yeah and say like I'm not gonna I'm not going to let you out of this one because like you this is the moment yeah you need to be aware of this this is the moment you have to own this thing and I think that most people around me uh most family if you think about if you're listening to this like business friends family employees everything else they will mostly be nice and kind and they'll rest in your zone of comfort or they will be your focus because they're mad at you quote unquote you about something that takes your attention very few are those people that love you enough to cornea and say Hey you can do better than this this is beneath you you can do you could like pushing you there and it's like I have not made that easy for those people that's what I would say yeah Amen to that BJ it's been a pleasure speaking with you today thank you so much for being on the show now you're very welcome it was an honor to be invited Tim thank you to everyone who tuned in thanks for listening to the self-made as a myth show with your host coach Tim cancel be sure to help spread this Movement by liking the show and posting about it on your social media and to join our movement go to bemadtogether.com all right folks that's a wrap make sure to pay it forward and we'll see you all next time take care