The Camp Rhino Gym Will Never Be The Same.
Something wonderful has happened. I will tell you about this wonderful thing that happened, and why we will never be the same. But first, you need to know what is staying the same: Our mission.
We truly believe our mission can positively affect the energy of our entire city. And we LOVE our city. Which means we are dedicated to our mission.
Our mission is to help Las Vegans feel better and have more confidence. Because when people feel better and have more confidence they are better parents, spouses, employers and co-workers. Which makes Las Vegas a better place.
So how do we achieve this mission?
- In order to help Las Vegans feel better and have more confidence, we need to get them results. They will stay motivated if they see results.
- In order to get Las Vegans results, we need to be prescribing the best plans for them.
- In order to prescribe the best plan for Las Vegans, we need the best coaches.
How do we make sure we have the best coaches?
Becoming a Rhino Coach is now tougher than ever.
Our members are our family and we want them in the best hands possible.
(Don’t worry, I will be telling you about the wonderful thing that happened soon, I promise. This wonderful thing allowed me to keep AND hire the best coaches)
The coaches we have now, AND the coaches we would be willing to hire, must meet the following qualifications:
- Must be full-time. This must be their profession and their passion. They must always be learning. They must be experts. This will help us have the best programs possible.
- Must have experience to be hired. There are many amazing, experienced coaches who do not currently have a supportive environment to flourish in. We would like to provide that environment and make sure our members have coaches with experience.
- Must be committed. Committed to our members and committed to learning and improving.
- Must have a willingness to go above and beyond for the mission. All of our current coaches are ALL-IN. New coaches must bring the same mentality.
- Must be humble. None of us knows everything, so we must identify ourselves as learners and we must rely on each other to help find the answers.
- Must be honest. We must tell members what they need to reach their goals, instead of taking the easier roads. We must be seeking truth, always.
If you know someone who meets the above criteria and wants a new gym home, let them know this:
Our promise and offerings to our coaches:
- We will keep Camp Rhino a positive, happy work environment. We will protect our coaches from negativity and stress by only accepting members who are kind and fit our core values. Las Vegas is filled with good, kind people who need help with their health and fitness. We are committed to finding those people and giving them our best so we can help them continue to make a positive impact in Las Vegas. This will allow us to bring high, positive energy to our members every day. This will also keep Camp Rhino positive and happy for our members.
- We have incentives for our coaches to learn. We spend our resources keeping our coaches on the cutting edge. This includes coaching summits and unlimited access to our head coaching staff who each have over 10 years experience coaching.
- We have weekly individual and group support for each coach.
- We have programming meetings every week where we ask the coaches how our members did in the group classes. We adapt class programming based on their input to continue providing the highest level program we can. (Because of this, other gyms buy our programming to use in their gyms.)
- We give coaches the creative freedom to specialize in areas they are most passionate about. We teach them how to host their own workshops and training series’ to both help our members reach their goals AND help them continue to level up as coaches.
- We are building a new Corporate Wellness Program to have a bigger impact on our Las Vegas community, while simultaneously giving our coaches more opportunities for advancement.
- Our coaches are heard. Their ideas matter. Their feedback matters. Happy Coaches = Happy Members = A Happier Las Vegas.
It has taken us a LONG time to get here. 16 years. You can hear the whole story another day, but I started Rhino with $134 to my name and some Home Depot supplies in a park. I’ve dedicated the last 16 years to build my dream team and my dream gym environment. We built it up, little by little, always re-investing, always improving equipment/space/coaching, always progressing. But it always seemed like 10 steps forward, 9.9999 steps back.
I promise I will tell you the wonderful thing that happened. But you need some more context to truly appreciate this wonderful thing.
There have been times when Rhino was wildly successful financially, and then times when we were in deep debt because of ideas that didn’t work out (how many of you remember the 100 Obstacle Rhino Course in Boulder City? LOL yeah, that didn’t go well for us financially).
I knew there was nothing that could keep us from being successful, as long as we kept helping people and upheld our values. But one thing was missing. I needed to officially learn how to make a gym work financially, once and for all. I signed up to a gym mentor-ship program (Two Brain Business) and learned how to charge appropriately and build systems. If we help our members get healthy, and we have the proper systems in place, we will be successful.
It is one thing to learn how to do it and another thing to take a business and completely change its processes and systems. We went from having 74 members on ‘scholarship’ and tons of people paying rock bottom rates to charging the market rate for our program. This allowed us to move into a proper facility and hire our staff full-time. It’s embarrassing, but the ‘old prices’ literally came from nowhere.
We made a lot of positive changes and became the Two Brain Business Left Brain Gym of the year. (Then I became a mentor for Two Brain Business to help other gym owners help more people. It feels good to give back.)
But in 2018 we still had a problem.
In 2018 we were doing well financially because we were getting a high volume of new members in for free with our 6 Week Challenge. I LOVED that program. I felt like we made a difference in so many people’s lives. Some of our best members came from that challenge. We had high turnover, but it was working financially because so many 6 Week Challengers stayed and became members.
My coaches had a heart to heart with me. They said they were sad. They knew I loved the 6 Week Challenge, but the constant turnover was heart wrenching for them. They would give their time and energy to people who didn’t stay. This time and energy was taken away from our long term members.
I knew the coaches were right. The painful effect of the turnover was too great on our staff and members.
BUT: this program provided our marketing. This program was what we were known for. It’s listed on my truck (lol). We needed to quit the thing that brought new members in and we had to pivot.
This is one of the most painful transitions you can make as a gym. From high volume to high value.
Our teams brainstormed ways to make it work. During this time, we came up with a dream Camp Rhino. If money wasn’t a factor, what would we want it to be? We dreamed that one day we could walk into Camp Rhino and know every member there. We would know their goals, their successes and how to motivate them on an individual basis. And we knew we could make it work if we tried hard enough.
We quit the Free 6 Week Challenge cold-turkey (you can now pay for a new and improved one-on-one version). I stepped in to help manage the gym. I gave every member my cell number and started meeting with our most loyal members one on one to see how we could help them. I took over sales and marketing to make up for the lack of people coming in.
Then we took a gamble. We took our gym savings, that was dwindling lower and lower, and invested it all into the education of our coaches and management team. We started personal training people who had specific goals and previous injuries.
Towards the end of 2019 we were suffering, but we could feel a wonderful difference. We could feel the happiness emanating from our coaches. We could feel the pull of the community in the smaller classes. It felt really good to know the names of every single person in my gyms.
We were set up for a great 2020. January and February were on point. We started paying off debts.
Focusing on helping our members and our coaches worked! Introducing programs to help them reach their goals individually worked!
Enter COVID. I have no complaints. I’m happy to be healthy. But we all know what COVID did to small businesses.
What do we do when there’s a situation out of our control? We take control of the things we have control over.
I spent the 2 ½ months we were shut down learning everything I could about how to help people through Camp Rhino. I learned what we needed to do to keep going. While other gyms closed forever, I knew that I wanted nothing more than to see our members again, and I knew how to do it.
I had two obstacles. I needed time and more money.
I’m finally going to tell you what the wonderful thing is. We got a fresh start. We had support from members during COVID that we didn’t expect but it changed everything. Our members gave us the opportunity to re-build. We re-made the business as a team. We brainstormed our member’s biggest roadblocks and how we could help guide them. From the programming to the systems to the actual facility, we were able to start over. We were able to get a loan from the SBA for the first time. When you have money, you can buy time. And when you believe in something, you know that’s all you need.
For the first time, we have the team, the knowledge and the skills to take Camp Rhino to its full potential.
To all of you who gave us grace and time to fix broken systems and become the best we can be, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. We are not done improving, but mark my words: your contribution will be carried forward and have an impact on our city.
Love and hugs, Julie