The phenomenon referred to as the Great Resignation has initiated a surge in entrepreneurship. As mid-career professionals continue to be disillusioned by burnout and unfavorable working environments, there has been a significant rise in the number of individuals embarking on their own business ventures. Shockingly, approximately 55% of new entrepreneurs are individuals between the ages of 25 and 34 who chose to leave their jobs in order to launch their own enterprises.
Nick Palladino King is among this group. Now 40 years old, he decided to become a Gym Owner after realizing he no longer wanted to pursue the traditional corporate career ladder. Following a near-death experience at the age of 23, he was compelled to re-evaluate his life’s purpose and ask himself, “If this were the end, would my life have been meaningful?” The resounding answer was no. We had the opportunity to sit down with Nick to learn about his decision to leave his corporate job and how he transformed Tribe Fit into a thriving business.
Prior to your departure from the corporate world, what occupation were you engaged in?
My professional journey commenced in the sphere of corporate sales. My aspirations were to attain an executive position, amass wealth, and wield power. However, after a few years, I realized that my pursuit had transformed me into an unpleasant and dissatisfied individual who was constantly under stress. Despite achieving financial success and positioning myself on the executive track within the company, I found solace in yoga as a means to cope with my stress and dissatisfaction. Over time, I began to question whether the corporate world was truly my desired path.
Was there a pivotal moment that prompted you to make a career transition?
One evening, as I was returning home after a company meeting in the affluent area of Newport Beach, California, I was attacked by three individuals in the streets. Fortunately, standing at 6’6″ and with a background in college basketball, I managed to fend off the assailants and escape without severe harm. Nonetheless, the following day, while attempting to compose an email at the office, I experienced an epiphany that signaled the end of my corporate career. I pondered whether my life would have been fulfilling if it had ended during the attack.
A month or two later, I tendered my resignation and liquidated all my possessions.
For the subsequent three years, I embarked on a journey around the world to discover my true self. I resided in Thailand, Mexico, and Korea, where I even mastered the Thai language. Upon my return to the United States in my late 20s, I faced the question, “What do I do now?” Subsequently, I commenced imparting the knowledge I had gained through yoga, personal training, and life coaching, eventually cultivating a holistic wellness coaching practice that eventually generated a six-figure income.
How did you progress from there to owning your own gym?
I gained experience by working at several gyms, managing a YMCA, and serving as a managing partner at a gym called Body Mechanics in San Francisco for approximately two years. It was during this period that I realized my potential to establish my own gym. Armed with the requisite skills, experience, and a loyal client base, I felt prepared for the leap.
One can acquire knowledge from anyone by carefully observing and learning from their experiences. For aspiring entrepreneurs in the realm of health and wellness, transitioning to an ownership role need not occur hastily. It is crucial to acquire knowledge and establish a foundation before embarking on this journey.
Discovering the viability of a semi-private approach prompted me to envision the scalability of this model. Subsequently, I began discussing the prospect of launching a gym with my brother.
How did you and your brother establish and operate the physical gym?
We employed a variety of methods. Our initial investment comprised personal capital of approximately $10,000 from each of us, coupled with securing 0% financing for the equipment (special thanks to 360 Superstore in the Bay Area). During the initial two years, we handled all training responsibilities, thereby negating any payroll expenditure. Moreover, with the advantage of minimal rent and overall low costs, we adopted a bootstrapping approach, leading to profitability within the initial months.
When did you decide to seek assistance from Gym Launch, and how did you recognize the necessity for support?
With the onset of the Covid pandemic, our business witnessed an immediate 50% decline. Overnight, our monthly revenue plummeted from nearly $40,000 to $20,000. To salvage the remaining half, we pivoted to an online approach. By mid-2021, I was prepared to close down the business entirely.
We were unfamiliar with online marketing strategies, client acquisition, and ad campaigns. The substantial foot traffic we had previously relied on in downtown San Francisco vanished. Our only successful client acquisition method had been the prime location and opportune timing, circumstances that had now changed.
Exhausted and discontent, we were left with meager earnings of a few thousand dollars each month. Faced with a critical juncture, we were confronted with a decision – either concede defeat or pursue further growth.
Motivated to give it one final attempt, my brother Billy stumbled upon The Gym Launch Secrets book. Implementing some of the techniques outlined in the book yielded significant progress. It marked the first time in two years that we successfully acquired new members, despite previously engaging an ineffective online marketing firm to run our ad campaigns.
Upon consulting a friend who had undergone Gym Launch, he declared, “If you fail to double your business within a year with Gym Launch, it indicates a lack of understanding and competence, compelling the closure of your business.”
In what manner did Gym Launch alter the trajectory of your business?
Prior to Gym Launch, our membership count stood at approximately 30 individuals. As of today, we presently boast over 160 group fitness members, alongside an additional 40-50 participants engaging in various challenges, totaling around 200 members. Our weekly lead count soared from 10 to a staggering 100. Consequently, our business has tripled in size within the past year, all thanks to Gym Launch.
The transition has been beyond belief – at times, it feels surreal. Previously incapable of acquiring new clients and eking out a mere $5,000 per month, we are now averaging an impressive monthly revenue of $80,000.
We have enhanced our profit margins to over 40%, thereby facilitating increased earnings, savings, and a heightened capacity to make a substantial impact, all while having a considerably more enjoyable experience.
What advice would you offer to struggling gym owners who may come across this interview?
It is easy to feel isolated within this profession. As a gym owner, it can be a solitary and overwhelming experience. I realized that despite my progress, I could not advance further without seeking guidance and support. It was evident that I needed assistance from coaches, mentors, and individuals in my life who could provide constructive feedback to facilitate growth and development. This realization underscores the purpose of coaching and training – the willingness to actively seek individuals capable of guiding you to the next level. I remained humbled and receptive to learning and evolving, ultimately achieving substantial progress.
We extend our gratitude to Nick Palladino King for his participation in this interview. Make sure to explore Tribe Fit in San Francisco for a comprehensive approach to fitness.
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