Active Management: Fitness Principles Effectively Applied in the Workplace



Guest: Justin Tamsett

Presenter: Wayne Bucklar

Guest Bio: Justin Tamsett aka JT is recognised world wide as a thought leader who has been challenging the status quo in the fitness industry for 20 years and in more recent times has broadened his reach with a weekly Facebook Live show where he likes to ‘chew the thin on all things business.’ His weekly show is called JT In The Raw and he is up to show 95, as of today.  It has has been viewed over 95,000 times. He has delivered over 320 presentations since 1999 across 19 countries and to over 182,500 business owners, managers and entrepreneurs. He is a regular at fitness conferences around the world but also spoken at Rugby Australia’s Elite Coaches Program, The International Conferencing Association Conference and various small business conferences. In 2016, Justin ran his first marathon and now exercises in at least one different fitness business model every week as a paying casual visitor to get the true consumer experience. JT is a highly sort after speaker because he shares practical ideas that can be implemented immediately. His aim in every presentation is have you think and do different.  When you do, you will stay ahead of your industry curve and grow profitability.

Segment Overview: In this segment, Justin Tamsett (better known as JT), Managing Director of Active Management joins Talkers.FM host Wayne Bucklar in conversation where he talks about the fascinating nature of his company. He primarily helps businesses in the fitness industry which is extremely competitive. JT highlights the challenges surrounding the fitness industry and what can be done to tackle them.


Wayne Bucklar:  You’re listening to Business Radio Talkers.FM. My name is Wayne Bucklar and today, I’m joined in conversation by JT Tamsett. Alright, Justin Tamsett but he gets called JT, so we’ll call him JT. He’s the Managing Director of Active Management and that’s one of those business names that when you see it, you go “Well, I’m not exactly sure what that is.” So the easiest way to find out is to ask him. JT, welcome to the show.

Justin Tamsett:  Thanks Wayne. It’s great to be here and it’s a real honor to be chatting with you today.

Wayne:  Look, it’s our pleasure. Now, tell us about Active Management. What is it that you do and who do you do it for?

Justin:  It’s a really good question and I like your introduction, you hear the name and what does that actually mean. Look historically, we have worked in the fitness industry consulting with fitness businesses on the acquisition and the retention of their customers. And we pretty much dabbled in that, right up to our necks for the last 8, 9 years. It’s only in the last few years where we’ve actually started now to work with businesses outside the fitness industry, where we’re really starting to focus on helping them understand who their customer is and then how to service their customer through the customer journey. I mean I’m sure you would know as with all the listeners that it really doesn’t matter what business you’re in, if you’re selling, you’re selling and if you’ve got customers, you’re trying to keep them, it doesn’t matter what you’re in. And probably the coolest thing about the fitness industry is that it’s hyper competitive. So I guess the IP that I’ve got in my head just helps me, help other businesses in hyper competitive environments.

Wayne: It is a very, very competitive industry.  I see gymnasiums come and go. I see personal trainers come and go so fast sometimes you think, “Wow. That’s like a fair bit of education and expense to get qualified and 3 minutes in the industry and they’ve disappeared.” Is that competition good, do you think?

Justin:  Look, competition is great I think in any industry. I think one of the biggest challenges in the fitness industry now as with a lot of other industries is that it’s very easy to enter the industry and in the older days to open a gymnasium was $500,000 to a million dollars to open a decent facility or a pretty studio close to a hundred grand. Now, you can get in for $10,000 to $15,000 and $20,000. So it’s easy entry and that’s what one of the challenges is in the industry is because that hyper-competitiveness, you’ve got people coming in a very low entry, therefore they don’t have to charge a lot but as a result, it’s not really a career, it’s kind of like this “fill in job” I guess from uni or college before starting a real job. So yes, the competition is great, it keeps us on our toes but as you say, the negative side is that they could go as quickly as they came in and often that means consumers are out of pocket.

Wayne:  Well, as someone with a face for radio and a body to match, I’ve always been in favor of competition and exercise for my competitors not for me. So for you to be in the industry, what’s made it such a viable industry in the last about 20 years I suppose I mean I’m old enough to remember when there was maybe Gold’s Gym floating around and that was about it? Why is it become so much a part of our lifestyle?

Justin:  Well, I think there’s two reasons and for the younger people that are listening and when I say “younger people,” you’re talking about the Millennials and Gen Ys, you’re probably looking at the people who are exercising for a vanity sake. We’re getting more and more research that’s coming out that’s impacting Baby Boomers, seniors and Gen Xers that it’s really about improving your health. At the end of the day, the little thing that beats inside our chest is our engine and if our engine is operating efficiently and effectively, then we are often operating efficiently, effectively in our families, in our workplace, in our relationships. I find for me going for a run in the morning and then sitting down and having to do creative thinking or writing content is a whole lot easier when I’ve got oxygen flying through my body after a workout. And if I just sort of got up, had brekkie and then sat down at my desk. So I think what we’re seeing as a society is exercise is now becoming more apparent and more reasonable and more accessible for everybody and it’s not about how you look. It’s about how you think and how your body operates.

Wayne:  See? I always wanted to find a gym called “Fat Old Bastards” where no one was allowed in unless they’re at least 20 kilos overweight and Lycra was banned, that’d be my kind of gym.

Justin:  There is actually a gym in the U.S. where you’ve got to be over 200 pounds to join. There’s one over there but I think generally for your listeners if they’re interested in starting an exercise program these days, 8 ½ to 9 out of 10 gyms would have somebody working in it at least the time that they walk in to have a look around who would be overweight. So they will feel quite comfortable there and it’s okay to go in there even if you are out of shape. The days of having a weight till you got fit to join a gym are over. You can actually go and start and feel comfortable there.

Wayne:  I can’t go to a gym. I’m not looking good enough. JT, I’m joking. But tell me in your business, what’s your ideal customer like? In my business, it’s someone with a credit card and they’re breathing, but that’s not a very good way to do it. How do you describe your ideal customer?

Justin:  So my ideal customer really is someone who wants to enhance their business, grow their business. Someone who is really I guess systemized, they’ve already got the systems in place. My strength is not coming into a business and saying, “Okay, let’s look at your systems and let’s look at the operations.” My strengths when I’m working with customers is about how do we improve the business strategically? What are we got to be up? This will sound a bit altruistic I’m sure Wayne, but what are we got to do in the business to free you up so that you can exercise or that you can spend time with your family? So that’s my ideal customer. Someone who wants to not necessarily beyond the tools 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They actually want to get the business operating at such a level that they can have a life outside of the business.

Wayne:  For those people who are listening to us today and by the way, you’re listening to Business Radio Talkers.FM and my name is Wayne Bucklar and I’m in conversation with JT Tamsett and we’ve been talking about his business in the fitness industry and beyond. What are the symptoms that someone listening to us is going to be aware of that would lead them to go, “I’ve got to go and talk to JT.” What are they able to kind of detect in their environment that says, “Yep, JT is the guy I need to talk to.”

Justin:  Customer turnover, staff turnover would be my two top ones. I also think it’s a case of I don’t even know if this is a word Wayne, you tell me, “Overwhelmedness.” Someone feeling overwhelmed in their business. Their to-do list just keeps growing, and growing, and growing and they haven’t really got the team to be able to delegate their activities and maybe, they do have the team but they don’t have the confidence in the team. So one of the I guess real aspects of my business is working with business owners to help them develop the team so that they can feel comfortable delegating the tasks out so that they don’t have to be continually working in the business. So that comes back to picking the right people, that comes back to having the right communication strategies in their business between them and their staff and their staff back to them.

Wayne:  If it wasn’t a word before, we’ll make it a word now JT. You uttered it, so it becomes a word. Tell us about some of the product you got because I’ve been looking at your website while I’m chatting here, that’s the kind of evil host I am you see. And I noticed there’s ebooks, and marketing templates and stuff. Tell us about some of those products that you offer.

Justin:  Well, we’ve got a number of different products and I guess one of the interesting things for me, Wayne, is I’m lucky enough to speak at conferences around the world. And when you’re on stage and you’re speaking, if you haven’t got any products when people go to your website, you can’t get any secondary income spent. So I have to produce the products. And I guess, this is even a tip for those that are listening today is that I’m a big fan of repurposing information. So when I do a presentation at a conference, I’ll turn that presentation into an ebook and then that gives me a product that I can then sell to people who are either at the conference, give it away to them or I can sell it to people who weren’t at the conference. So repurpose has really been where most of our product has come from. It’s looking at things that I’ve already done and redo it a second time. So yes, we’ve got a bucket load of ebooks, we’ve got some marketing templates. I’ve got to be honest, most of those marketing templates are relevant particularly for the fitness industry but the ebooks that we have are relevant for anybody and everybody in any business. On other products is I own the number one podcast on the planet for fitness business owners, that’s about 3 years ago. We’ve done 180 shows on that and that’s one of our products. Again, we then use that information, repurpose that into ebooks as well. And obviously, our other product is business coaching that we do and we do that one-on-one or in groups particularly around fitness industry in the groups and one-on-one with the business owners to help them as I say enhance their business or grow their business.

Wayne:  And I should just mention for listeners who I’m hearing some Australian bushland sounds in the background, JT is talking to us today from the back deck of his house in Sydney which is a spectacular piece of Australian bushland and I’ve been listening to the lorikeets and the dogs in the background. So it’s not someone taking over your radio station, it’s just JT’s lifestyle coming through. JT, it’s been a pleasure having you with us today. How can people reach out to you?

Justin:  Look, there’s a couple of different ways. The easiest though is literally Google me, Justin Tamsett. I’m on LinkedIn, Facebook, and that’s not the modeling agency in Canada, it’s I also do a weekly Facebook live show called “JT in the Raw.” So that’s a hashtag and you can find that on Facebook.

Wayne:  Thanks for being with us today.

Justin:  Thank you kindly, Wayne. It’s been a pleasure.

Wayne:  Now, if you’ve just joined us on Business Radio Talkers.FM, you’ve just missed me talking to Justin “JT” Tamsett about his work in consultancy and training, primarily for the fitness industry but also with applicability in other industries. Now, the good news is you haven’t missed everything because on our website, if you’re a reader we have a transcript of the interview and you can read what he had to say. Or given that it’s radio, you’re probably not a reader, you’re probably a listener, so we have an audio archive on YouTube, SoundCloud and iTunes. And I guess if you’re one of the younger generation listening, you can download that and think of it as being a mini podcast and you can listen to it over and over at your leisure. If you are listening to us on social media, down the bottom of the window, they’ll be all those little smiley icons, and shares and likes depending on where you are, please click on those buttons for us because we like to know you’re listening to us. And if you’ve got a question either for us or for JT, any social media channel, we monitor them all, pop the question in there and we’ll either pass them on to JT or get back to yourselves. This is Business Radio Talkers.FM. My name is Wayne Bucklar.

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