The Importance of Grit, Gratitude, and a Strong Playbook in Franchising with Roger Martin

How can fitness entrepreneurs create a unique and engaging workout experience that keeps members coming back?

 

In this episode, Roger Martin, co-founder and CEO of Rockbox Fitness Franchise, shares his journey of building a state-of-the-art group fitness studio that combines intensity, fun, motivation, and results. With a background in the pharmaceutical industry, Roger brings a unique perspective on branding, marketing, and differentiating a fitness concept in a competitive market.

 

Roger discusses the importance of creating a workout that never repeats itself, keeping members engaged and excited to return. He shares how Rockbox’s combination of boxing, kickboxing, and functional strength training, along with a nightclub-like atmosphere and curated playlists, sets them apart from traditional gyms.

 

Throughout the conversation, Roger emphasizes the need for a strong set of core values, including fun, accountability, service, trust, energy, and results (FASTER). He also delves into the qualities he looks for in potential franchisees, such as grit, the ability to follow a playbook, and an entrepreneurial spirit.

 

Roger opens up about his experience navigating the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, including temporary studio closures, pivoting to online workouts, and maintaining member engagement. He also shares his insights on the future of the fitness industry post-pandemic, and how the desire for human connection and community will drive the success of boutique fitness concepts.

 

Mentors that Inspired Roger:

  • Steve, the founder of the original boxing for fitness group fitness studio that Roger partnered with to create Rockbox. 

 

  • His experience in the pharmaceutical industry

LISTEN TO THE FULL EPISODE HERE

Transcript

Intro  

Welcome to another edition of inspired stories where leaders share their experiences so we can learn from their successes, how they’ve overcome adversity, and explore current challenges they’re facing.


Anthony Codispoti (00:04.59)
Welcome to another edition of the Inspired Stories podcast, where leaders share their experiences so we can learn from their successes and be inspired by how they’ve overcome adversity. My name is Anthony Codaspoti and today’s guest is Roger Martin, co -founder and CEO of Rockbox Fitness Franchise. This is a state -of -the -art group fitness studio that takes fitness to a whole new level by combining intensity, mojo, fun, motivation and results.

Roger Martin (00:24.096)
Stay with me, all right?

Anthony Codispoti (00:31.694)
He’s also the co -founder and board member of Beam Light Sauna, which offers light therapy solutions such as red light therapy, chroma therapy, and infrared saunas. Additionally, he hosts his own podcast called Thrive More, where he explores the latest tools and best thinking to help you thrive in every aspect possible, financially, physically, and mentally. So you should definitely check that out. And he’s written his own book, An Insider’s Guide to Business, Secrets of

Roger Martin (00:47.872)
to help you thrive in every aspect of your life.

Roger Martin (00:57.984)
This is a Cider’s Guide to Business.

Anthony Codispoti (01:00.27)
from an entrepreneur’s playbook, where all the proceeds go to a charity and we’ll find out what that charity is. But before we get into all the good stuff, today’s episode is brought to you by my company, Adback Benefits Agency, where we offer very specific and unique employee benefits that are both great for your team and fiscally optimized for your bottom line. One recent client was able to save over $900 per employee per year to their bottom line by implementing one of our proprietary programs.

Roger Martin (01:03.488)
See you folks in the chair.

Before we get into all the good stuff, today’s episode is about…

Roger Martin (01:14.24)
specific and unique employee benefits that are both great for your team and physically optimized for your bottom line. One recent client was able to save over $900 per employee per year.

Anthony Codispoti (01:27.885)
Results vary for each company and some organizations may not be eligible. To find out if your company qualifies, contact us today at Add Back Benefits Agency. Now, back to our guest today, the co -founder, the founder of Rockbox Fitness and Beam Light Sauna. Roger, I appreciate you making the time to share your story today.

Roger Martin (01:29.28)
Each company and some organizations may not be able to provide us.

Roger Martin (01:45.504)
You bet, I’m glad to be here. Glad to be here. Sure.

Anthony Codispoti (01:47.725)
So Roger, let’s do one brand at a time. Tell us in your own words, what does Rockbox do that’s different from other fitness centers?

Roger Martin (01:56.256)
Yeah, great question. and I’ll just quickly give you, very shortly, background before that. So I spent 25 years in the branded pharmaceutical business, right out of undergrad. went to work for a company called Eli Lilly and then, was a sales rep and then ended up working my way through three different, three, three or four different companies up to a chief operating officer position, move my family eight times in 14 years. So got a lot of experience in leadership sales and marketing branding.

And a lot of pharmaceuticals, believe it or not, are very, very similar. They’re called Me Too drugs. They’re, you know, these manufacturers will develop a drug first, and then you have like four follow -ons that are so similar. It’s always the branding and the way it’s presented and small little nuances that make the difference. So I really hone my chops in branding and understanding those pretty complex markets over those 25 years. When I decided to leave corporate America back in 2016, 17,

I had met a gentleman who had a boxing for fitness group fitness studio and he was looking to franchise. I had actually found my son, my son wanted to learn how to box and, and I found him, you know, a private boxing instructor in a meeting, this gentleman named Steve. And I said, look, I’m looking, I’m going to be leaving corporate America. I’m going to be starting my own company. And, and I wanted to be around health and wellness versus treating sick people. I’d rather like avoid that, you know, and help people.

be much more conscious of their health, but also have a really good time and enjoy it. I’m a huge fan of MMA. I’m a huge fan of boxing. I’ve always been passionate about health and fitness. And so when I got together with Steve, he already had the product, like the workout and the way it’s set up and the way it flows. And it’s really, really unique. The workout never repeats itself. A member will never do the same workout twice, like legitimately ever. But it wasn’t, the name was wrong. It wasn’t wrapped in the right package.

it didn’t have the sizzle that I’ve really good strong brand does, and it didn’t have the identity that a strong brand needs. So long story short, we, after about four months of talking, we got together from the 50 50 partnership. He brought all of his fitness expertise and, and, and, that industry expertise. I brought the capital and my, my know -how around, around, marketing and, and building a brand.

Roger Martin (04:16.672)
And then our first two hires were marketing consultants, one on the West coast that I knew and then one on the East coast that I’d worked extensively with. And we started to build the brand and we set out to start a national franchise. It was never, Hey, let’s have, you know, I want to have a couple of gyms or something. I was going to definitely build one of my own so I could own a studio and find all the pain points in the studio. And, also make some money for sure. But I wanted to understand the business and we ended up.

rebranding the business because he had a different name as a rock box fitness and it is a boxing kickboxing workout group workout led by an instructor on a mic calling the combinations and then half the workout after the boxing kickboxing on bags nobody gets punched in the face by the way we yeah we we we i’ve done that when i was younger but not now it’s you punch bags we bust calories not noses

Anthony Codispoti (05:01.579)
So no sparring.

Roger Martin (05:08.768)
so, and then the other half of the workout on the other side of the studio is a full functional strength workout. So think kettlebells, dumbbells, you know, battle ropes, TRX, you know, slam balls, those things, nothing, no, you know, bikes or treadmills, nothing where you’re just going to sit there and be stationary. We wanted a very dynamic workout. And also for our franchisees, we didn’t want a lot of moving parts because you have to have maintenance plans and you have to fix those things when they break. So we wanted a very simple.

functional strength building side of the studio. So we’ve got the the boxing bags a couple different kinds of boxing bags and rows of them on one side. You’ve got a functional training studio on the other and every workout is 50 minutes 5 -0. It’s all done to a curated playlist. It’s all done that the combinations the workout is all pushed down from our headquarters here and it it’s set to to color changing color adaptive lighting that changes with the music. So the best way to think about this a real long answer to your simple question is

Most people quit their fitness programs because of boredom. They get bored. And so we’ve created almost a nightclub feel where you come in and you, you know, you sweat and you work out hard. It’s a hard workout, but you have fun and the music’s going and the lights are changing color. And you’re in there with a group of people that have the same kind of goals. You’ve got an instructor that’s almost like a rock star lead singer on the mic, really rooting you on.

And 50 minutes just flies by and it’s, you know, it’s like going to a nightclub, but there’s no hangover, no bar bill. You know, you, you leave and you feel great and people want to come back. No, love it. That’s good. That’s good. That’s good. I love that. I may steal that. so yeah, so it’s, it’s really, it’s really taken off. We have 60 studios nationwide. we’re opening one this week, I believe actually, yeah. And Tyler, Texas this week. we have another one in Virginia that’s opening. we just awarded a license in.

Anthony Codispoti (06:39.595)
bar bills they’re barbells right

Roger Martin (07:00.64)
And we have another one in Nashville, North Carolina. It’s opening in three, four weeks. We just awarded a license in Boston, the greater Boston area. So the concept’s expanding and it’s because I think people are sick of running on a treadmill. They’re, they’re tired of going to, or not even going to a gym because they don’t know what to do. They’re not sure what to do or, you know, they get bored and they quit and there’s nobody there to motivate them. And we’ve also combined like a full custom nutrition.

meal planning and nutrition plan for people that want it and we have accountability coaching which means that our coaches will you know get the members cell phone numbers and be texting them and reaching out to them if they haven’t come to class and you know have you done your grocery shopping on Sunday night and if it’s a really you know a stickler coach that leave and say cool Samantha will shoot me a picture of those you know and and really hold the members accountable because they come to us for a result they stay for the experience but they come for the result and that’s why they walk through the door.

Anthony Codispoti (07:38.378)
wow.

Anthony Codispoti (07:48.617)
Ha ha.

Roger Martin (07:57.056)
And in a nutshell, that’s how we differentiated our product within the market. And then we have a franchise opportunity where entrepreneurs and people that are looking to expand their portfolio and take control of their destiny can own their own or several of them. We have many multi -unit owners that will have several in a given metropolitan area.

Anthony Codispoti (08:15.594)
And it seems like the timing is probably really good for this, right? Like a couple of years ago, gyms were suffering, right? Coming out of COVID, everything shut down. You know, even when you could, some of them could reopen different parts of the country, you know, strong limitations in place. Maybe you had to wear a mask or you still had to stay spaced from people. But now it feels like here we are mid 2024 as we’re recording this.

People want to be back out, right? They want to be in social communal situations again. But I mean, you touched on a really important thing there that, man, I mean, I’ve been a guy who’s tried to stay fit my entire life, and I get into these ruts, and I get into these routines, and then I get really excited when I find a new YouTube video that like, yeah, I forgot, like I should focus on the negatives now instead of the.

Roger Martin (09:00.928)
I’m really excited when I…

Yeah.

Sure.

Anthony Codispoti (09:08.842)
And I get excited to do something new again. And in a class environment like this, especially when you’ve got other people with you, you’ve got an instructor who’s leading it, and I’ve got to witness this, what you’re talking about with the music and the lights going, like, you can’t get bored in that kind of an environment, right? And you’re coming in maybe after a long day of work, and you’re just dragging, right? And you need somebody to pick you up. I mean, what you’re describing is exactly that. Like, you couldn’t help but get into it and, you know.

Roger Martin (09:20.672)
Yeah. Yep.

Roger Martin (09:30.176)
Yeah. I love what you just said too, because I grew up, you know, I’m 53 now. I grew up three sets of 10, right? Three sets of 10. And you just, you know, it was, and Monday, Monday was always chest and try day, always the chest and try, you know, international chest and try day, but.

Anthony Codispoti (09:37.545)
and get some good fitness from it.

Anthony Codispoti (09:51.273)
Just yep.

Roger Martin (09:56.384)
But I didn’t experience or really experience group fitness till my forties. And then once I did, I realized, holy smokes, I work out a lot harder in a group format than I did on my own. I’m even with a personal trainer at times. I still found I worked out harder in a group format because you have people on your left and right and your peripheral vision. But you know, with rock box, the reason it’s called rock box is we wanted to emulate that feeling of live music. So I’m a huge live music fan. I used to be a musician in my younger days and playing bar bands and stuff.

I just, just this past Thursday, I saw the, saw the food fighters here in Charlotte and there’s a feeling that you get. Everybody gets when they, it doesn’t matter the genre of music you like that, you know, the, the openers played. Then they’ll let you know, then they’re, they’re cleaning all the stuff out and you know, it’s about to pop off. You know, it’s about to, you know, and the, the, the hay starts coming out and the license and you know, but, but it hasn’t quite, but you get those butterflies like here it goes, man, here it goes. I wanted to recreate that on the hour, every hour at rock box.

So that when it was time to work out, you got excited, not crap. I got to go to the gym, you know, more like it’s about to go, man. You know, and the lights go crazy and the music comes way up and, and that feeling, you know, no one’s ever left a concert, you know, driving home and going, well, I wish we would have stayed in tonight. Said no one ever, right? Said no one ever. Like it’s always a great time. And so that’s what we’ve worked really hard to recreate is that feeling that.

Anthony Codispoti (11:14.344)
Heheheheh

Roger Martin (11:21.76)
that you get right before it starts so that people look forward to it versus, you know, and they get to go to rock box versus they’ve got to go to the gym. Yeah.

Anthony Codispoti (11:30.985)
And so describe to me like how it works. Is it literally like every hour on the hour there’s a new class starting?

Roger Martin (11:38.88)
depends on the city, depends on how, how full the studio is. Yeah. But it can hold the studios can hold depending on the size of the studio, anywhere from 24 to 40 people. And so, and then the class would be split. So you’d have half on the boxing side, half on the functional, then they would swap 20, 25 minutes in. and it’s all coordinated by the instructor. Like you don’t even have to think you put your phone in the cubby, check your brain at the door, you know, put on your boxing gloves and come on in. And then they call the combos and they do all them. They teach you how to do it. So it’s, usually it would be.

Anthony Codispoti (11:42.12)
Busy it is, yeah.

Roger Martin (12:08.736)
You know, there’d be like a four or five, six PM class in the average studio. if some classes are really, you know, on the weekends, there’ll be maybe an eight, nine, 10, or sometimes we’ll space it out like 15 minutes or so to give people time to get in and out. But yeah, and it, you know, every studio is slightly different, but it just depends on the load and depends on. You know, for the morning classes, what time the school start in that particular area and what.

Anthony Codispoti (12:30.44)
So let’s talk about the customer experience. Okay, so I’m somebody, maybe I’m a little bit fit, maybe I’m not, and I want to get into, like I want to try something new. What you’re describing sounds interesting to me, but a little bit intimidated because I don’t know how to box, I don’t know how to kickbox. You’re talking about putting on boxing gloves, I’ve never even worn boxing gloves. Like walk me through that like first time experience.

Roger Martin (12:33.824)
Yeah.

Roger Martin (12:54.848)
Yep. well, with, without, without missing a beat, I can tell you that whenever I’ve worked in a studio or help train franchisees, I never missed the opportunity when somebody new comes in and I can tell they’re a little bit intimidated to say, did you bring your mouthpiece and head gear? Cause it always freaks the hell out. Right. I’m like, no, just kidding. There’s no, we’re not going to spar today, but you can just see their eyes get huge. Like, my God, where’s the door? no. So we prefer people who have not boxed because honestly, a lot of times they’ll bring bad habits in.

We would rather teach them from the ground up how to stand, how to move, how to turn their hips, how to rotate their shoulders. It’s not an arm punch. You know, you’re using your hips and your core to really throw that punch. And we teach them that there’s, there’s only four punches in boxing. There’s, there’s a jab across a hook and an uppercut, you know, throw on each side. And we teach them how to effectively do that. So they don’t get hurt. We teach them three basic kicks that we do, which is a front kick, round kick and sidekick. And you don’t have to be a, you know, a martial arts expert by any means. And in fact, Anthony, the vast majority of our.

members, the vast majority, were deconditioned. You know, that’s our kind word for people that are just way out of shape. They were deconditioned when they came to Rockbox to seek help because they couldn’t do it on their own. And to make everyone feel comfortable and also to make sure we don’t have people that are distracted, we’ve built all of our studios without mirrors. So there’s no mirrors inside or besides the bathroom. There’s no mirrors because you’re right. People can get intimidated, especially if they are deconditioned.

Anthony Codispoti (14:14.695)
I don’t know.

Roger Martin (14:21.216)
And they go into an orange theory or they go to, you know, some other studio where it’s wrapped 360 degrees in mirrors. And they’re really self -conscious about people are looking at me or they didn’t like the way they, they look in the mirror. You know, they don’t want to look at themselves. And so we just made a decision after, I think it was like the fourth studio we’d built. We said, that’s it. No more mirrors. If this is bothering anybody, it’s not worth having them. If somebody’s form is incorrect, the instructor is going to come over and correct them. So they don’t have to like watch their form. so, so we help them with that. And so nobody gets hurt. And it’s just.

It has you watch when people come in and we’ll say, you know, what do you notice that’s different about the studio here at rock box? And they’ll say they are without fail. They’ll say no treadmills. I’m like, okay, you’re right. You’re right. But besides that, what, you know, and they can’t quite figure it out. And then I say, there’s no mirrors. And then they see that there’s no mirrors and you just watch this. you’re like this, this calm come over them. Like, I’m not going to be judged. You know, even yeah.

Anthony Codispoti (15:00.455)
What else?

Anthony Codispoti (15:13.99)
I was going to say this tells everybody this is a judgment free zone. Without having to put up a banner or a sign or anything, it communicates it more subtly like.

Roger Martin (15:21.12)
Yeah. Exactly. Instead of putting a no judgment zone vinyl above a mirror, which is kind of ironic to me, you know, above, you know, but, yeah. So we, we’d like to walk the talk. Our, our values, we are a values driven company. And when I say that people sometimes think, you know, it’s, it’s religious or something. No, no, no. We’re a values driven company, meaning we have six core values and that’s how we hire people. That’s how we fire people. That’s how we decide if a franchisee candidate is right.

Anthony Codispoti (15:28.23)
Hahaha.

Roger Martin (15:50.56)
to be part of our network or maybe needs to go if, if things have changed or we, we’ve made a bad decision. If you have your values, right in a business, the decisions get really, really easy, really easy. And I wrote about this in the book, your decisions get really easy. The consequences may be very difficult. And you talked about COVID. I would love to say we started in 2021 and things have been great. No, we started in 2017. So I had to get, I think we had 15 to 20 open at that time. How do you get 15 to 20 of these studios?

through COVID and let me tell you, you know, I would, I can argue forever that fitness is the most essential thing besides food is the most essential thing you need. But of course it wasn’t determined or wasn’t deemed to be an essential service. So we did have to close, but we made the decision to close prior to the mandated shutdown about two days prior than the shutdown, because one of our values is trust and the members, the staff, the franchisees were trusting us at the headquarters to make the right decision and to lead them.

And nobody knew what to do. I mean, none of us knew what how to operate in a pandemic. I’m not, you know, IBM, General Electric, nobody knew, but we knew that we didn’t understand what the hell was going on. So we should probably go ahead and just pause, hit the pause button and let’s figure this out. And, you know, we ended up having to close for what was supposed to be two weeks turned into months and months, depending on the state you were in. But it was the right thing to do at the time. And within 72 hours, we had a, an online portal set up for our members with.

goal setting, meal plans, workouts if you had equipment, workouts if you didn’t have equipment. We were doing Facebook live workouts, Zoom workouts from the studio to just their local members. We were trying to support our members remotely when we couldn’t do it in person. And a staff that I’ve shared many times I’m so proud of is that that first month, that first full month we were closed nationwide, 84 % of the members continued to pay full dues.

Anthony Codispoti (17:43.493)
Wow.

Roger Martin (17:44.384)
to support the studio and or just because they were getting the service that they needed and we were helping them and that’s that’s a set I’m really really proud of of course every month we were closed after that it started to go you know down some more but I couldn’t be more proud of the franchisees.

Anthony Codispoti (17:57.221)
There’s a couple of impressive things in what you just said there. I mean, the fact that you guys closed two days before the mandated shutdown. You know, now that we’re on the other side of this, some people forget, like, things became very politicized as it went along. But early days, you didn’t really know what was going on. Like, we didn’t know what it was or what it was going to become. And…

Roger Martin (18:21.952)
Mm -mm.

Anthony Codispoti (18:25.317)
I don’t want to hear too many stories of people who shut down before the mandate came out. So for you guys to do that, to live up to that value of trust that you were talking about, I think speaks volumes. What are some of the other values that are core to the brand?

Roger Martin (18:31.648)
Yeah.

Roger Martin (18:44.64)
Yeah, so of course, like any company, we have a cute little acronym, right? It’s called faster because we do believe that that, you know, speed wins in business and small midsize businesses speed wins. So faster is our culture and faster stands for fun. So again, a guy from 25 years of pharmaceutical corporate America, very buttoned down, I wear suits.

I wanted something that was fun, you know, and so if I was going to build a company, I wanted to make sure that we could have fun as a headquarters, as a franchise network and our members could have fun as a fun product. So it’s, it’s fun accountability. So, you know, we’re accountable for actions, do the right thing when no one else is looking, as is for service. So lead with the servant’s heart and, and the way you do that is different depending on the situation. But again, if you, if you do what you would want somebody to do for you, you’re going to serve other people.

I’m T is for trust as we talked about. E is for energy. I think again in corporate America, I saw so many just dead men walking dead women walking, you know, just through the halls and we want energy and we, you know, the little sound bite behind that is it’s, it’s the vibe that makes the tribe. And we really want, we want, you know, smile first, like when they walk in the door, make sure you’re the first to greet the member with their name and a smile so that they feel that energy and, and ours for results, you know, at the end of the day, it’s, it’s based on research, you know, tried.

and proven and we want to make sure that whatever we roll out to our franchise network from a promotion standpoint, from an advertising standpoint, or from a workout programming standpoint, it’s researched and proven. And then again, the same thing for our members as well.

Anthony Codispoti (20:18.564)
The way that you’ve described the gym, it sounds to me like there probably isn’t a huge square footage requirement as compared to maybe a traditional fitness facility that has all the bikes and the treadmills and all of that. What’s a traditional footprint look like?

Roger Martin (20:29.952)
Yep.

Roger Martin (20:34.016)
Yeah, that’s an insightful question. And we’ve, we’ve actually just contracted it. So it was, the average was about 3000 square feet and we’re, you know, a big box gym is probably 15 ,000 square feet, but with the cost of leasing commercial real estate now and build out an outfit, we’ve really worked to bring that down. So we’ve optimized and got it down to 2000 to 2200. it takes very little capacity out. It takes some, but very little out just the way you’ve re -engineered it. but it.

you still make just as much money as a franchisee because class load you can just add another class if you need more capacity you just add an additional class so yeah we’ve got it down to about 2200 I think is the sweet spot 2200 square feet.

Anthony Codispoti (21:13.443)
Well, that’s impressive. I mean, 3 ,000 square feet already sounded like a really attractive footprint. But if you’re able to reduce that by almost 50%, and like you’re saying, that they can continue to make the same amount of revenue while paying a lot less than Brent. And probably, like you say, if you need to, you just add an extra class. Probably having some of that scarcity makes it even more attractive. I got to go in, I got to book myself. I don’t want to miss out.

Roger Martin (21:18.336)
Sure.

Roger Martin (21:25.984)
Yeah.

Roger Martin (21:35.744)
100%.

Yeah. When we first reopened after COVID, it’s the most popular I’ve ever felt in my life. I’ll tell you if you want to, cause I owned, I owned a studio or two, I think two studios back then. And when we reopened, we kept the class size to 50%. So I think I had a capacity of 32. So I had 16 spots that, only 16 spots, eight on the bags and eight on, we have everybody spaced out. And so, you know, we went from 32 down to, to 16 and, and people wanted to come back and work out after COVID. So every single class was just.

Anthony Codispoti (21:44.131)
Hahaha

Roger Martin (22:08.128)
slam packed and waiting lists. It was kind of fun. Yeah.

Anthony Codispoti (22:11.651)
Let’s talk about COVID just for a minute more, not to throw salt and wounds, but I’m kind of curious that trajectory kind of coming out of COVID because, you know, kind of looking back now, a lot of people forget, like, we didn’t, it wasn’t a straight path, right? It was like, okay, we think this is almost done. Like, let’s start to, wait, there’s another variant, like another surge. Let’s close everything again. So there was just a lot of like up and down and back and forth and like.

Roger Martin (22:16.448)
Sure.

Anthony Codispoti (22:38.147)
So much uncertainty. You know, if you’re just living your normal life, you’re dealing with that uncertainty. But if you’re trying to run a business and staff it and trying to figure out cash flow, like the uncertainty is just like on an exponential level. I’m kind of curious, like as you’re, when did you see like finally coming out of that? When was it that you kind of knew like, okay, I think we’re gonna be all right. I think we’re gonna actually make it now.

Roger Martin (22:49.248)
Yeah.

Roger Martin (23:00.264)
Yeah. Sooner than you, sooner than you would think. Now I can tell you the whole industry group fitness, boutique fitness, it rebounded really strong in January, February of 2021. So that was after a lot of people had already gotten it, had some immunity or they got the vaccine I think was out by then. So that seemed to really allow people mentally to come back into the space.

But I was closed for two months in North Carolina and then reopen. Now I will tell you, the governor and I didn’t agree on the date that I was going to reopen, but I went ahead and reopen. but I did stay closed for two full months, but I, but it was that game closed for two weeks. Cause that’s the mandate. Then it was, we’re going to close for two more weeks. Like, okay. And then, okay, now we’re going to open, we’re going to allow these services, including fitness to reopen in two weeks. So send out members or letters to all the members or emails and texts and.

Yeah. And, I had, I really just, I kept most of my staff on and paid them. And then I finally had to furlough them when we kept extending it. but then I brought all the staff back and then the governor, like the day before said, you know what? We’re going to wait and postpone this another two weeks. I’m like, okay, I’ll play along. I’ll play along. So we, Hey, just kidding. We’re not going to open yet. but then, you know, we’re opening in two weeks and it was like, I don’t know, June 2nd or something. And, and, you know, June 1st comes around.

Governor comes on and says, you know, we’re not going to, we’re not going to open fact. We’re going to delay this at least another month. And I, again, just brought it right back, told the members classes were already fully booked, ready to go. Not, you know, they weren’t full because we had half capacity, but the schedule was full. And I’m like, you know what the hell with it? I’m we’re opening, we’re opening. And what we did is we, we did consult a legal and said, well, you know, physical fitness is prescribed by physicians. It’s prescribed by physicians and.

You know, people with diabetes, they need, people need to work out and there is a need for this. So it is, it is an essential service because physical therapy, you know, physician prescribed exercise is an essential service, but you can’t ask the member if they’ve been prescribed that, cause that violates HIPAA and neither can the police if they come. So we found a loophole. Yeah. And we said, I didn’t find it. I mean, I gotta say, you know, it was, it was a clever lawyer, but.

Anthony Codispoti (25:13.121)
You found a loophole. It’s pretty clever.

Roger Martin (25:20.316)
we did end up, reopening, but again, we had spray bottles behind, you know, we, we, we would always be masked up except during the workout. we were as, we were as efficient and clean and healthy as you possibly could be in any situation, but it, I, I feel that it was such a hypocritical time in our nation because. You know, you’d still have liquor stores that were open. Like those were fine for some reason, but you know, you couldn’t have people working out. It’s just some crazy stuff. And again, not to politicize it, but it, it.

Some of it just didn’t make sense to me. So I went along for a while and then finally I was like, I’m not going to, and then they left us alone. They didn’t say a word. Now I will say, and I read about this in the book as well as my franchisee out in San Diego, California. California wasn’t quite so lax and, and you know, they’d send in the national guard if you were to open. So, and they did the same thing. We’re going to open. And in fact, they, I think they did let her open reopen and then they closed everybody back down again, which was just a, you know, kind of whip sawing the businesses.

So she ended up renting one of those like rent offenses. She got with her landlord, got part of the parking lot and, and fenced off a part of the parking lot. And because the blessing of the weather in San Diego, she was able to every morning bring her equipment out. and not the boxing bags, but, but, mitts and kick shields and everything. And then of course, dumbbells and kettlebells. And because all of her stuff is, doesn’t have big moving parts. She could take it to her team, could take it to the parking lot. She would host six, seven classes a day out there and then put it back inside at night.

Anthony Codispoti (26:40.065)
Mmm.

Roger Martin (26:46.976)
And it was all above board because you know, they were outside. So, that, you know, I thought that was just, that’s a winner. That’s somebody that is refusing to allow anybody, the government, a politician, you know, whomever, you know, an angry neighbor to keep you from earning a living because she figured out a way to win, you know, playing, playing by their rules, so to speak.

Anthony Codispoti (27:07.616)
I just had another guest on who told me the vernacronym he likes to use, FSO, figure stuff out. That’s what a business owner has to have. They have to have this ability to just figure stuff out. Even when you’ve got a franchise model, where you guys are giving people the playbook, you’re giving them the infrastructure, there’s still little things that come up day to day, like where you’ve got to step in, your own situation, your own unique circumstances, you’ve got to be able to think on your feet and figure stuff out.

Roger Martin (27:14.528)
Yeah.

Every day.

Yeah.

Roger Martin (27:35.68)
Yeah, for sure. 100%.

Anthony Codispoti (27:37.568)
And I’m curious, what are the geographies that you guys are looking for with the franchising opportunity? Where are you looking to grow into?

Roger Martin (27:45.888)
Yep. So we are in 21, 22 States, I think right now. So it’s where Anthony, the real answer is I’m more interested in the person, the entrepreneur, the, the person that wants to leave corporate America and become an entrepreneur. we, we don’t say like, okay, we’re going to go into Austin, Texas, and then just dominate that. Then we’ll move on to San Antonio. Then we’ll move on to Chicago, whatever. it, it is so much more about the person and the professional.

And they’re fit with us and what we’re trying to do if to see if that, you know, is a good fit.

Anthony Codispoti (28:21.888)
What are the qualities that you’re looking for in a person? What’s a good fit?

Roger Martin (28:24.2)
Grit is number one, like it’s actually first, second, third. It’s first, second, third, because then we, you and I were talking just briefly before we went live here. Yeah. You know, it’s, it is never giving up. And so many times, so many times people in our society will, they’ll try and then, you know, they’ll try a few times and then it doesn’t work. And they’re like, I give up. This doesn’t work. Or this is too hard.

And you know, we do have this, unfortunately, we have this kind of epidemic of a victim mindset in the world right now, where, Hey, it’s not my fault. And what I look for is, yes, maybe it’s not my fault, but it’s my responsibility, right? May not be my fault, but it is my responsibility. And as a business owner, it is always your responsibility. And as you said, you have to FSO, you have to figure stuff out. Now, as a franchisee, you’re going to have an entire network of people that are in the same boat that are going to be helping you.

And I’ve already experienced this. You’re going to have a headquarters that has, you know, training and resources upon resources. And so it helps. But I, you know, anybody listening to this, that’s even considering a rock box or any franchise. You still have to work. It is a small business. You own the business. It demands your time. It demands your attention. And it’s not a S and P 500 with the shingle out, you know, from the brick and mortar. It is, it is a business and it’s, you know, it’s like a child. Sometimes it’s fine on its own.

And then sometimes it needs a whole bunch of care, but it is not a set it and forget it. And so we look for grit. We look for, of course, somebody that, you know, can, can follow a playbook. You actually to use your term, you said there, you know, give them a playbook. We don’t want an entrepreneur that is every 15 seconds thinking of a new thing to try. That’s not a franchisee, right? That’s, that’s a tried and true to entrepreneur, but we need somebody that has an entrepreneurial spirit, but wants to follow a playbook.

Anthony Codispoti (30:06.91)
Thank you.

Roger Martin (30:14.08)
that has already been proven to make money. It has already been proven to be successful. So don’t reinvent it. And what I’ll find so many times is somebody will be really successful and then say, okay, what do we do next? And my answer is you do a lot more of what you’re doing right now that’s making a lot of money. You rinse and repeat, you do the boring stuff that makes you money. And a good business, a really good business is a little bit boring because it’s predictable.

You know, a business that there’s fires all the time and they always needs you and it’s crazy and it’s super exciting. That’s kind of a crappy business, man, because it’s not predictable. And that means that it could be a day where you’re not making money because it’s so crazy. And I think that people, you know, too much Instagram or whatever, or too many, you know, Netflix specials on crazy, you know, business stories where it’s always craziness. That is not a good business. you know, at times it can be that way, but you want it to be much more predictable.

So that you can forecast you can anticipate your cash needs you can anticipate the cash it’ll the business will kick off And and I just found that a lot of people Maybe because the way we’re programmed. It’s they’ll break their own business. They’ll literally self -sabotage to Keep the you know almost to have a purpose if you will where a really good well -run business shouldn’t need you Every single day it may need you some days, but not every single day and

Anthony Codispoti (31:30.686)
Thank you.

Roger Martin (31:39.392)
That’s a big lesson for a lot of entrepreneurs to learn, I think.

Anthony Codispoti (31:42.174)
Roger, I’ve had this exact conversation with a lot of my entrepreneurial friends. There is a difficult balance to be found between sort of innovation and tinkering and wanting to turn the dials and figure out ways to improve things and scale to the next level versus tried and true systems and processes, reliable, do it over and over again. And…

I think some people are wired a little bit more that way. They want the cookbook, right? They want the, it’s a cup of this and a teaspoon of that, and you put them in in this order. And other people kind of want to look at that and be like, eh, it doesn’t call for salt, but I like salt, so I’m gonna throw some salt in there and see what happens. And so I’m kind of curious with all the franchises that you guys have opened and the number of franchisees that you’ve had the opportunity to work with.

Roger Martin (32:16.736)
Yep.

Roger Martin (32:27.456)
Sure.

Sure.

Anthony Codispoti (32:39.869)
Do you sort of like screen for those types of personality traits? Like is this somebody who’s gonna wanna throw salt into the recipe that didn’t call for it?

Roger Martin (32:49.952)
Yeah, yeah, good question. We try. And with with another brand we have called Beam Light Sauna. It’s a infrared sauna studio light therapy studio concept. Just recently, we’ve had a couple different franchise candidates come in because that brand is moving really, really quickly and rewarding a lot of licenses.

And like, I can remember a woman in particular came in and at dinner, we always kind of meet for dinner, you know, break bread the night before. And then we have a very formal presentation and take them through the whole process of how the business would work and what would be involved if they decided to participate. But that at dinner, which couldn’t even wait through dinner, started telling us what we should change about the brand and do differently and how she was going to do it in her studio. And I’m, you know, we let her go through the process and the next day we’re like, she’s not, no, she’s not, she’s not in. Cause I know how that movie ends. I know how that movie ends. So.

Yeah, we certainly ask some targeted questions and see if we can pull that out because that person wouldn’t be happy in a franchise network and we wouldn’t be happy having that person in our franchise network. So it’s mutually beneficial to screen those people out.

Anthony Codispoti (33:54.141)
This is a good time to transition. Let’s talk about the other brand, Beamlight Sana. So, you know, different types of light therapy. I think a lot of people are acquainted with this now, but for those who aren’t familiar with these different types of light therapy, can you explain it to a newcomer?

Roger Martin (34:10.72)
Sure, and I was a newcomer. So to be very candid in 2021 when I met my I have two business partners in beam when I met the founder of of the first infrared sauna studio in this area that we then modeled the business around. I didn’t really understand what infrared therapy was infrared saunas were I knew what sauna was but I wasn’t sure how it was different from an infrared sauna. And I certainly didn’t know anything about red light therapy.

didn’t understand there was other types of light therapy like blue light therapy, there’s green light therapy. Now, when people hear this, they think kind of woo woo and okay, it changes their mood. I’m talking about specific wavelengths and intensity of the light spectrum that have been honed and scientifically researched to target a certain type of pathology. So infrared is there’s like the saunas we have are full spectrum. That means they’re full other far mid and near infrared light. And

fancy way of saying that right before we can see light, which is red, red is the first color we can see on the spectrum is infrared. You can’t see it. And those specific wavelengths at a certain intensity of that wavelength can penetrate your body. And when it penetrates your body, the far infrared goes deep into your body and warms you heats you from, from your core. So instead of a sauna, just being like 190 degrees in the air and it just so damn hot, you sweat.

infrared is lower, it’s about 130 degrees in that private infrared sauna. And because we have like eight suites and each suite has its own private infrared sauna, when you go in there, you’re warming from the inside out. So it’s pushing the toxins out. It’s seven times more detoxifying than a regular sauna. And then the mid and near infrared do different things. And near especially is wonderful because it works in your circulatory system because it can only penetrate your dermis and epidermis, your skin. And 80 % of our circulatory system is in our skin.

Also, it helps with fine lines and wrinkles. It helps with skin conditions. So not only are you going to sweat, detoxify, lose some weight, get some pain relief from the far infrared, but the mid and near do some nice health -wise, but also some nice aesthetic things that a lot of the members appreciate. And then on the other side of that is there’s red light therapy. You can definitely see it. It’s bright red, but it’s a specific, it’s like 630 to 660.

Roger Martin (36:36.672)
I think nanometers, I don’t know the exact science, but it, but it’s the, it’s the wavelength and the intensity of that wavelength that again, helps with circulatory system pain relief. you’re gonna, you’re gonna recover from workouts faster. Definitely, you know, wonderful for your skin and complexion. And then blue light targets acne. So think about people that have hormonal acne or, you know, acne on their back and some of these, you know, severe acne that there’s a lot of social stigma associated with that.

But it’s safe for consumer use. So we don’t have a medical director. We don’t need a medical director. We don’t promote our products for, so what I’m sharing in this podcast, I’m sharing with you openly, but we would never advertise like come cure your acne because that’s a medical claim. And we don’t have a medical director. So we can’t, you know, so we would say like, you know, if you suffer from blemishes, we have a solution for that. Blemish is a cosmetic term. and then green light therapy, we just, we’ve put in the first proprietary bed first, actually in the world. We had a bed custom built for beam and we’re testing it now.

Anthony Codispoti (37:15.835)
Mm -hmm.

Roger Martin (37:35.04)
The technology is proven, but we’re actually testing the market. I guess we will. And green, a specific, again, a specific wavelength and intensity of green light, penetrates your body and pierces the fat cells that we have in subcutaneous fat. And it doesn’t kill them. It pierces them. And then the lipids drain out and then you just excrete them. You know, you just flush them out. So people will lose like two to six inches. Now, if you, and that’s two to six inches is not just around your waist. That’s, that’s looking at,

six different measurements, your arms, your waist, your hips and your thighs. And people, you know, when you look at the circumference in just like six treatments that are 20 minutes each can lose anywhere from, usually it’s for four to six inches if they have it to lose, if they have it to lose, because it’s, you know, if you’re not, if you don’t have any, a lot of subcutaneous fat, you’re not going to see a big difference, but you probably wouldn’t seek out this treatment. But for people that don’t want to do liposuction, don’t want to take shots or pills and starve themselves,

It’s a wonderful aesthetic treatment that people are really excited about. So we’re just scratching the surface of how we’re going to market it.

Anthony Codispoti (38:41.978)
Okay, so the green light is a new one for me. I’m familiar with the other types of light therapy and there’s actual science behind this that supports all the claims that you just made. It is piercing the fat cell and draining it. Is that what I heard you say?

Roger Martin (38:53.152)
Yeah. Yep. Yep. Exactly. Now, let’s be really candid. If you go then and eat a cheeseburger and three pizzas, you’re going to ingest more calories. Let me really eat anything because you’re going to adjust the calories. And then if you don’t mean, you know, if you don’t watch your diet and you don’t exercise, those fat cells will fill back up, right? They don’t permanently because you don’t, as you know, as I’m sure everybody listening.

You never really lose fat cells. Once you create them, they’re always there, but you can deplete them. And that’s why it’s so easy to regain weight and regain fat in the areas that you don’t want it to be. Cause it’s always the last one to come off and the first first part to come back on because the fat cells are already there. But yeah. And so again, we can’t claim weight loss. That’s a medical claim. We can’t, you know, so ours is going to be around our claims will be cosmetic in nature. So, you know, lose some inches of, of, you know,

circumference reduction, things like that. And there’s, again, we have legal counsel that will help us to make sure that we stay in the guidelines. And then people can choose to use it how they would like, because it’s all safe for consumer use. This has been deemed safe for consumer use by the FDA as a class two medical device, 510k medical device. We just can’t make medical claims, because if we do, we’d be practicing medicine. And of course, we don’t want to do that.

Anthony Codispoti (40:14.138)
Is there a threshold to number of consecutive uses that somebody can use the green light or I guess any of the light therapies for that matter?

Roger Martin (40:22.548)
Yeah, it depends on so like infrared you could do seven days a week You just have to make sure you’re always hydrated because you know, you will lose fluids when you when you sweat Red light you can do every day blue light. Some people even do twice a day They have really severe acne because it reduces Bacteria and that’s how you can get rid of acne and then green light You really don’t need to do more than three two because you’re not gonna you’re not gonna get more efficacy if you do it more than two or three times per week So for what we charge just wouldn’t make

make sense for people. But you know, we like to recommend what fits people’s lifestyle. So if they can get into infrared, two to three times a week, their health is going to radically improve. If they can get into red light while right before they do infrared, or even do that on a separate day, a couple days a week, they’re going to see, you know, benefit from that. And then depending on, you know, if they need blue light or green light, depending on their physical stature or any afflictions they have, you know, we would never again, we don’t prescribe, we recommend

what other members do and what the literature says.

Anthony Codispoti (41:26.296)
And so is there a room at your facility where I can just go and get all the light treatment simultaneously?

Roger Martin (41:32.608)
You would have to hop rooms, right? They’re all private rooms. So you would have to hop rooms. but, yeah, it’s, the beam lights on it is a super high end. I mean, it’s affordable, but, but when you walk in, it’s very well lit, light and bright, very modern looking. So I always like to say it’s, you know, it’s got that. Like if Apple were to make a sauna studio, they would have made beam, you know, except, except the, my co -founder, definitely has.

the look and feel is all her, I had nothing to do with it, she’s the brains behind that but you know it’s a little warmer maybe than an apple store but it’s still that modern feel, you know that very modern feel it’s not dark with a waterfall kind of massage place you know it’s definitely more just a contemporary look and feel

Anthony Codispoti (42:19.832)
Yeah. And so what is the customer experience like from a payment model? Are most people coming in like on an a la carte? Are they signing up for a monthly subscription that gives them some kind of limited or unlimited use?

Roger Martin (42:34.816)
Yeah. another great question. And I would share with all of your listeners who are small business owners or midsize business owners, recurring revenue is how you make your business more predictable and a little more boring. And we said, that’s a good thing. So, we have a recurring membership model. Of course we do also, and that’s what we incentivize people to do because it’s, the cost is much more affordable per service. but we also do have all a cart, what we call drop ins where people can come in and, and just experience one session and.

consume how they like and then we have you know we can sell those in packs if they’d like to but our preferred model of course is recurring revenue where it would be a membership model where the member is going to save the most money but we also have that guaranteed monthly revenue.

Anthony Codispoti (43:17.176)
I’m curious for both of these franchises that we’re talking about, Beam Light as well as Rockbox, the fitness studio, what kinds of things are being done at either the local or regional or national level to promote and to advertise and to get people familiar with it?

Roger Martin (43:30.272)
Mmm.

Yeah. So we do, so we, you know, we don’t do Superbowl commercials or anything like that, but we definitely have, like national branding, but, but most of the money, not only ours, but, but the franchisees is spent in the local market where they’re at geo targeted so that their money goes directly towards their business. And that’s important because if I were investing in marketing and spending marketing funds, I’d want it to be spent in my direct market where I can see a benefit. So.

We’ve actually created our own in -house digital marketing agency that serves our franchisees. And instead of having them to go find a marketing agency or, or do an outsource, which we allow them, we have two other vendors that they could use, but we’ve actually built a really good competency in -house over the last four or five years on digital marketing. So Facebook, Instagram, Google, YouTube, we’ve even tried Hulu and Pinterest and you know, some of the others that, but, but.

really the eyeballs are on Facebook and Instagram. I mean, that’s where the money is. And so we’ve gotten exceptionally well at scaling our ad agency here inside Thrivemore Brands, which is the name of our kind of a holding company over all these. So that our franchisees, they can worry about their business and we’ll take care of their marketing and direct response.

Anthony Codispoti (44:56.44)
values of beam light compared to Rockbox. Exactly the same, similar.

Roger Martin (45:03.168)
us some great questions. So we, we wrestled with that for a long time and we ended up with a different set of values. They’re similar, but they’re different. So, and of course, of course it has to spell a cute acronym. And so light is the acronym, light L I G H T. And, you know, the first one is love. our, our, my, my co -founder, where I, where I was chasing fun, you know, when I was living corporate America, she really wanted to incorporate love. And it’s not just, you know,

again woo woo it’s love for your business, love for your members, love for what you’re doing because if you’re competing against somebody who loves what they’re doing best wishes man, godspeed because that person is going to just they’re naturally outwork you, out hustle you outlast you because they love what they’re doing so we look for that passion within our franchisees light, I stands for integrity you know without integrity which is trust you know so it’s another word for trust so they are similar

You don’t really have a business if you don’t have integrity, Jesus for gratitude. And that’s one I was pretty adamant about and we don’t have in our other values, but gratitude is something I came into that came into focus for me, 2016, 2017 and something I practice every day. Most, most every day. And it’s really helped me enjoy the journey because again, newsflash for the listeners, for your audience, the joy is in the work.

I can assure you, and again, I write about this in, I think at the last chapter of the book, no matter what you’re, what, what that number is that you’re chasing with how many zeros behind it, I have chased, you know, several different numbers and hit them and attain them. And it doesn’t change a damn thing in your life. I will tell you, it takes a little bit of stress out of, you know, are we going to make bills and you know, more like it does take that stress out. But once you hit those numbers,

You’re, you’re, you’re still going to be looking for the same thing we’re looking for before. And that’s fulfillment. That’s fulfillment. And we find fulfillment through our work. And if a man or a woman doesn’t have a purpose, a reason to get out of bed in the morning, they’re not going to be very happy person. They’re not going to be fulfilled and they’re won’t have a lot to be grateful for. So whether you are a busy executive, you’re a small business owner, if you’re a stay at home mom, that, that, that manages the family, you’ve got a definite purpose every morning. You’ve got to wake up and run that family.

Roger Martin (47:29.824)
But you have a purpose and everybody needs that purpose. And I’ve, I’ve just found that gratitude helps you center back when things get tough and they always get tough around why am I doing this? And, and then another question I asked myself a lot is what, what is it? I really want, because we’ll find ourselves wrapped around the axle on something that’s pretty stupid, quite frankly. I will. And then if we just slowed down for a second and say, wait, what do I really want? What do I really want out of this situation?

Okay, well I can still get that and he she and he can still get what they want. Like what are we going back and forth for? In fact, it shouldn’t be it really shouldn’t be but but it becomes zero sum when we lose sight of what do we really want and what do they really want? Well, we can make both that you know, both those happen. And again, if you’re approaching with gratitude, it’s a lot easier to do that. H stands for health and health again is not only health of our members, but it’s health of the business.

Anthony Codispoti (48:03.029)
It doesn’t have to be a zero -sum game.

Roger Martin (48:25.696)
You know, you have to run a healthy business. If you don’t have a healthy business and have cashflow, positive cashflow, you’re not going to be able to help your members be healthy. And so we wanted to incorporate health into that. And then T is tenacity, which, you know, again, it’s another word, a fan that said, yeah, $5 word for grit. And, and we, that was really important to put it. In fact, the G started as grit by the way, in light. And then, and then we realized like gratitude that we really want gratitude. And then we just, what’s, what’s, what’s another word for, for grit. but I, I.

And I know there’s a difference. I do want to say this too, that I want your listeners to hopefully take away is stop using the word grind. And I have, I think I’ve been used to even use it with you real quickly. We were just getting know each other, but grind is, is a negative term. That’s, that’s parts rubbing against each other. That’s metal on metal. And at some point, something’s going to break and a human being is, you know, can only go for so long before they’ll break grit.

is different grit is I’m selectively applying myself in the situations that need me to apply myself versus grind and and I’m still getting myself out of that habit but I had a actually physical therapist that kind of exposed me to that philosophy and I just thought man that is so so true grind is you know we say it I know hustle culture and you could grind they dude

Anthony Codispoti (49:42.549)
These words matter that our brain our brain hears them and it does things internally that we’re not me

Roger Martin (49:50.08)
100%. 100%. Yeah.

Anthony Codispoti (49:52.085)
I think it’s good to call out that difference. And I’m curious, thinking about both of these brands here, if somebody’s listening and they’re considering a franchising opportunity and maybe they’re questioning, I don’t know if I’m a good fit for that. I know that you’re looking for, the things that you’re looking for in somebody, you talked a little bit about. You wanted to be somebody, they’ve got a good attitude, they’ve got the grit, they share those values that you talked about.

Roger Martin (50:11.616)
things that you’re looking for.

You want to be somebody, you know, that’s different than us.

Anthony Codispoti (50:21.429)
There’s somebody who’s going to follow a playbook, who’s not going to try to throw salt in the recipe that didn’t call for it. But for somebody else who’s sitting there like, man, the rock box sounds really interesting, but I’m not a fitness instructor. What would you say to that? What should somebody sitting out there thinking, man, those businesses sound really interesting and on the edge of something that culturally is very popular right now.

Roger Martin (50:28.732)
I’m not a fitness instructor. What would you say to that? What should somebody sitting out there thinking? Business is something really interesting and on the edge of something that culturally is very popular right now.

Anthony Codispoti (50:49.365)
I don’t know if I’m the right person for that. What would you say? What should they be asking themselves?

Roger Martin (50:53.6)
I would take the next step and find out if it is, too many people. I’m gonna, right? I’m gonna tomorrow and free beer tomorrow, right? You know, it’s always going to be tomorrow. And, and the thing about entrepreneurship is if you’re thinking about it, then test the waters. Do not jump head first in, don’t go quit your job tomorrow. Don’t do that, but start exploring it and, and, you know,

Anthony Codispoti (51:06.453)
Hehehe.

Roger Martin (51:22.752)
I can share if they’re interested in beam light sauna or rock box fitness, they can go to thrive. Well, they can go to either one of those and beam is two E’s. So B E E they can go to either one of those two websites, a rockbox fitness .com or beam light sauna .com, or they can just go to thrive more brands .com thrive more, you know, just put, run it all together, thrive more brands .com and literally say, you know, click a button, fill out a little thing. I just want to learn more. There’s no obligation. There’s no, in fact,

We’ve got a pretty long, it’s like a six week process and there’s these very, there are stage gates along each part of it so that the candidate can self select out at any time that they choose. And we can select out the candidate at any time. And if not, we get to the end of the dance and we say, this looks pretty good. You know, let’s, let’s get together and go into business together. But again, whether it’s rock box or we might sign it or something else.

Just take the next step and learn about it and, and go about it seriously. if, if you really like it, look at your financing, get financing, if you never get approved for financing, if you need it so that you can make an empowered decision. But obviously you want to make sure that, you know, you’re the franchise is proven. You want to make, if it’s a franchise, you want to make sure that it’s proven. You want to make sure that, you know, it has the support. It’s not just two people in an office somewhere and are working out of their kitchen that, you know, we’ve got an 11 ,000 square foot headquarters here that, you know, is fully staffed and.

Again, on -site digital advertising agency operations, finance, HR, everything, you know, we’ve got all that here and make sure that you’re the opportunity you’re looking at has that. I would also say, make sure that the member experience is differentiated. You and I have talked a lot about that in this, on this podcast. If you don’t have a customer experience, I should say that is differentiated, whether it’s a restaurant, a retail setting, whatever an online experience.

It’s going to be, it’s going to be a tough road to hope. Like it’s, you know, we’re, it’s a very competitive market in anything you do these days and anything. So you have to have a differentiated customer experience. And then the fourth is, and we talked about this too, is I would look for something with recurring revenue. Like I don’t want to have to earn every dollar every single time. I’ll earn it through the member experience and, and over delivering on the brand promise. But I don’t want to have to constantly resell the same customer. And so I would look for those kind of those four things, you know, you, it’s.

Roger Martin (53:40.032)
It’s a proven concept. Let’s make sure it’s tried and true before you put your money into it. Unless it’s your own business, unless you’re trying your own thing that’s brand new. But if you’re looking at franchising, make sure it’s proven. Two, make sure you’ve got great support behind it. Two, it’s a differentiated offering. And then the fourth one would be, I would say, make sure there’s recurring revenue.

Anthony Codispoti (54:00.629)
So we’ve made reference several times to your book. Let’s talk a little bit more about it. An insider’s guide to business, secrets from an entrepreneur’s playbook. What was the motivation behind writing?

Roger Martin (54:12.608)
Yeah. I wish that I’ve, I’ve, I’ve consumed so many books. I usually read 50 to 60 books a year. I’ve just, I love it. It’d be, it came my chosen way of learning later in life. you know, in school I did it cause you had to. And then when I got into my thirties, I really started enjoying it. And what I enjoy is our business biographies. Like I love them because you get all the story and all the drama and all the fun with the business lessons included. and then I just love, you know, business books, self -help books.

psychology books, psychology of selling psychology of pricing. I love how a consumer’s mind works and figuring that out and putting that puzzle together. So I’ve always enjoyed that, but I found that so many great, but you know, people always quote good to great. Well, I just recently went back to reread that just because I’d read it so many years ago. That is a really hard book to get through when you sit down and you read it again. Like we always talk about it and we reference it, but it is just a data laden long read.

And then you, you know, so many of these other books, I just reread execution. Ram Charan, great book, right? disciple of GE. Holy crap. That is a hard book to get through. And it’s funny cause I’m looking at it with different eyes now. And so I wrote this book and there’s, I wrote it, there’s no chat GPT. There’s no AI like it. It was me 46 ,000 words pecking out on a laptop. and I wrote it. It only took me about 30, 35 days to write it, but.

and 180 pages or so, but it took me four months to edit it. And I edited cover to cover seven times. And what I was doing, I was, some of it was content, but mainly I was trying to make it an easier read. So the only technology I use for this book is I ran it through this app called Hemingway that tells you what grade level the book is written at. And the first time I ran it through shocker, it was written at a collegiate level. You know, I’ve got an MBA, so hopefully it should be, but.

That’s not how people like to read. That’s not how I like to read. A good book is usually around the sixth to seventh grade level, which sounds pedantic and like, you know, like a, like a young kid’s book. That’s how we like to consume even news. Like we need, you know, it needs to be written at a even fourth to fifth grade level times. So I kept revising it and I would take my, you know, I would take the word tenacity and turn into the word grit, right? You know, I would, I would take the $10 words and make them $1 words and just kept simplifying it. And then like,

Roger Martin (56:38.144)
You know, a month later I’d run it through and see, okay, I’ve gotten down to 11th grade. Okay. You know, what else can I simplify? Can I take a compound sentence and make a three sentence? So it’s easier to read and, and got it down to, I think I got it on to six or seventh grade level. And, and then, you know, became a book I’m incredibly proud of. And I had somebody recently, that made a post about it on solicited, which was really cool on LinkedIn. And they even said to the camera, like, Hey, and you know, the author Roger, Hey, I don’t.

you know, I don’t mean to say anything bad here, but you know, it’s pretty easy read and I’m thinking, dude, I work my butt off to make that an easy read, you know, like, like it’s supposed to be an easy read. So you remember it, you know, and then I’ve got like little call outs in the book, but the thing too, so I’m super proud of it. And I wrote it to answer your question. I wrote it for entrepreneurs. I wrote it for people that were thinking about becoming an entrepreneur or they’ve just gotten started or even they’ve been a midsize, but they’re stuck, they’re stuck and they can’t, they can’t get it out of, you know, second year.

Anthony Codispoti (57:10.773)
Hahaha!

Roger Martin (57:32.096)
I wrote it for the people that are looking to start staff and scale a business or who have a business and just can’t scale it to the next level. And look, if you’re looking to how to get from a billion to 10 billion, I haven’t done that yet. I don’t know. I’m not your guy. There’s books that go read Elon’s biography, right? But, but if you’re looking on how to grow a six figure into seven figure, a seven figure into eight figure, and I even been, I’ve been an integral part of a team that sold for 210 million. So nine figure. Like I know how to do that.

I know how to do that and I know how to make it really, really easy and tangible for people to understand how to do that. The work is still there. I don’t have a magic pill for the work. If I did, I would have taken it. But the actual roadmap and the playbook, like that’s what I lay out. Like here is how to do it. Very, very on a very granular level.

Anthony Codispoti (58:18.864)
And so the book is available for purchase on Amazon. It’s a physical book or you can get it as a Kindle book. All the proceeds go to charity, is that right?

Roger Martin (58:20.96)
Mm -hmm.

Roger Martin (58:28.128)
Yep, every single dime. So our national charity partner is called, the name of the charity partner for rock box is called to write love on her arms, Twala to write love on her arms. And what that is, is, you know, people that, commit self harm where they’ll, you know, take a razor blade and, and hurt themselves or write something, the, the story that goes, and I didn’t know about this charity, but when I learned about it, just, it was like, wow, I want to be part of that and help and help this charity.

a guy had a friend who was cutting herself and he said to her, hey if you’re gonna write anything in your arms, because you know, write terrible things, he’s like, why don’t you just write the word love? Like, write love. And so, to write love on her arms became the charity and you know, she was able to heal and become very healthy and so this charity is focused on preventing self -harm or helping people who are committing self -harm and of course suicide prevention because usually self -harm can lead up to and include suicide. So,

It is our national charity partner for rock box. We raise money for it every single year, through our franchisees and through our corporate, our headquarters here. and then, so for the book, I thought it just makes sense to just donate every single dime, you know, everything. So, and you know, usually I’m going to say that a lot of times when people will say, you know, all proceeds go, that’s after they take a cut and then there’s proceeds left. No, no, no. Besides what Amazon takes to print it. And then they’re cut. Of course, every single penny red cent goes to,

right level arms. Yeah.

Anthony Codispoti (59:55.472)
That’s really generous of you. That’s a fantastic story. People should check that book out. We’ll have links to it in the show notes for sure. Roger, I just have one more question for you, but before I ask it, I want to do two things. The first one is, if you like today’s content, I invite you to hit the like, share, or subscribe button on your favorite podcast app. The second thing is, I want to make sure that people know how to get in touch with you, and I think…

Roger Martin (01:00:08.192)
Yeah.

Anthony Codispoti (01:00:21.615)
we went over this already, thrivemorebrands .com is the best place to see how to get in contact with Roger, his team, to learn more about both of the franchise opportunities that they have available. Follow some of the advice that you gave earlier in the show, which is, hey, just take the first step. Nothing is committing you to filling out a form and just kicking the tires and just, let’s just see. So if there’s any interest at all, just a tiny little bit.

Roger Martin (01:00:36.288)
the advice that you gave earlier in the show, which is, you just take the first step. Nothing is committing you to filling out a form.

Roger Martin (01:00:46.016)
So if there’s any interest at all, just a tiny little bit, yeah, I always encourage people in all parts of life, you know, speak, let the nurse hear you.

Anthony Codispoti (01:00:50.287)
Yeah, I always encourage people in all parts of life, you know, be, let inertia work for you, you know, don’t be a body at rest, be a body in motion and take that first step. So, last question for you, Roger. I’m curious, and you’ve got two different sort of industries that you’re playing in here with your franchises, but how do you see each of those kind of evolving in the next five years? What do you think the biggest changes that are coming?

Roger Martin (01:01:07.264)
You’ve got two different industries that you’re playing in here with your franchises, but how do you see each of those kind of evolving in the next five years? What do you think the biggest change is?

I’m going to answer that differently right now with you, Anthony, but I would have answered it three days ago when I read what I read and it just this light bulb went off. Cause again, I have brick and mortar locations. I personally have brick and mortar businesses and then have a bunch of franchisees with brick and mortar. And so, you know, AI, my God, AI is going to, you know, take everybody’s job and ruin all the businesses.

And, I forgot who I was reading about. I forgot who posted this. I know I’d give them credit, but you know, AI is definitely going to evolve. We’re using AI in the way that we advertise and the way that we measure things. And we need to learn how to use it even more, but because AI is advancing so fast, very, very, very shortly, you know, very soon, if not already the level of trust.

is gonna go down because people are not gonna know is this real? Is this fake? I don’t know. I’m gonna assume it’s fake until I know it’s real. And because of that feeling, and you know, we’re human beings, we’re social creatures, I’m a total introvert, I play an extrovert on TV, but I’m a total introvert. But I still want to be around people. I kind of joke, you know, we talked about, I said I went to a Foo Fighters concert, like, I don’t like people, but I love gatherings, right? You know, like, it’s just that weird thing. Because we’re social creatures. We’re social creatures.

Anthony Codispoti (01:02:35.086)
Hehehehehe

Roger Martin (01:02:39.712)
And, and because artificial intelligence is going to replicate the, the, the interactions that we would have with another human, we’re going to crave that. And I have, I now have more confidence in group fitness and the boutique fitness model than I’ve ever had because I don’t, I know.

I was going to say, I don’t think, no, I know people are not going to move away from that. They’re going to move towards that because it’s a community. They’re going to see the same people they see at every, you know, the same class of their chosen time, but people kind of gravitate to that. They’re going to get to know the instructors. They’re going to feel like they belong somewhere. The AI is going to be filling their lives in all the other areas. So I’ve, I’m ultimately confident that people will seek out communal experiences to subsidize.

Anthony Codispoti (01:03:24.622)
you

Roger Martin (01:03:29.376)
what AI will take away from the human experience. So maybe a different answer than you’re expecting, but a different answer than I would have given probably three days ago. Yeah.

Anthony Codispoti (01:03:37.869)
Yeah, that’s interesting. I have been involved in and have a lot of friends who are heavily involved in the digital space.

Anthony Codispoti (01:03:48.653)
years and I remember having a series of, you know, pretty in -depth conversations with some of my friends in the space before COVID. And the thought then from a lot of folks was that we are eventually going to get to a place where traditional retail will be unsustainable. There will have to be some sort of emerging of the digital experience and the in -person experience.

Roger Martin (01:03:56.704)
Mm.

Anthony Codispoti (01:04:16.333)
And then I think when COVID first happened, everybody was like, yep, and now this is going to accelerate that. It’s just gonna throw gas on that fire that was already burning. And you’re gonna see a whole bunch of just traditional retail or in -person experiences go away because everybody loves the comfort of being able to do it from their own couch. And certainly we did see a thinning of the herd. There were a lot of really painful closures. A lot of people lost.

Roger Martin (01:04:27.168)
see a whole bunch of traditional retail or in -person experiences go away because everybody loves the comfort of being able to do it from their own cab. And certainly, we did see a fitting of a herd. There were a lot of really clean, slow birds.

Anthony Codispoti (01:04:44.493)
businesses, lost jobs, very painful transition that took place. But I think what surprised a lot of people, and I’m certainly one of them, was coming out of COVID, we recognized just how important those in -person experiences were. And it was like, whoa, yeah, we rang the bell a little bit too quickly for the end of that round. I think we’ve confirmed, we’ve reaffirmed.

Roger Martin (01:04:45.632)
Good job.

Roger Martin (01:04:55.008)
Coming out of COVID, we recognized just how important those in -person experiences were. And it was like, whoa, yeah.

Yep.

Anthony Codispoti (01:05:13.837)
the importance of these in -person experiences. And yes, we’ll continue to layer sort of the digital elements on top of it, being able to check in with your phone and all kinds of things that sort of make it better and more interesting. But I agree with you 100%. I think if anything, the COVID experience has shown us just how important the social aspect is to us because we’re social creatures, we’re social animals.

Roger Martin (01:05:32.736)
the COVID experience has shown us just how important the social aspect is.

Yeah, I would just dovetail that. I agree with everything you just said. I would dovetail that with, and you, what COVID showed is if you said it thin the herd and the herd, the part of the herd that gets thin is always the weakest. And that’s what happened. The businesses that weren’t strong businesses that weren’t built on a strong foundation that weren’t willing to adapt and didn’t have a differentiated experience, customer experience.

They went by the wayside and I think about like these, you know, the big giant retail malls, as we all know, they’re, they’re quickly dissipating because.

It’s such a vanilla experience. Like you go, you could be in any mall in the world and it’s going to feel the same, look the same same, at least in America, it’s going to be the same exact shops, you know, same, same exact double layer with an escalator, like, and that isn’t differentiated. And so what I believe you’re going to see and already starting to see is it’s the boutique experience, whether it’s fitness or you’re buying coffee or you’re getting jewelry or clothes. I mean, Lululemon has a huge, huge digital presence.

But every time I go to their stores, there’s a line at the cash register, right? And I can get the same stuff online, but it’s a boutique experience they offer versus, you know, a hundred different stores in a mall. That’s where I believe you’re going to see the winners come out is when they can create a very unique, one of a kind customer experience. Then it doesn’t matter if they sell it on Amazon. They’re still going to come to you because they love the experience. But if you don’t differentiate, it’s going to be a very hard, hard road. Yeah.

Anthony Codispoti (01:07:00.364)
Mm -hmm.

Anthony Codispoti (01:07:12.012)
Great lessons. Roger, I want to be the first to thank you for sharing your time and your story with us today, myself and my audience. We appreciate it.

Roger Martin (01:07:13.12)
Yeah.

Roger Martin (01:07:20.032)
My pleasure. Really enjoyed it.

Anthony Codispoti (01:07:22.092)
Folks, that’s a wrap on another episode of the Inspired Stories podcast. Thanks for learning with us today.


Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *