I’m glad you joined us because we have Dave Lukas and Shannon Hudson. Dave is a serial entrepreneur. He’s the bestselling author and Founder of the Misfit Entrepreneur Podcast. He has a great lineup of people on his show. I’ve been on his show and I was looking at some of the people he interviews and an unbelievable group. He shares so much content. He’s a lot of fun to talk to. We’re going to talk to Shannon Hudson, who is the Founder and CEO of 9Round, which is a franchise. He’s a former IKF Lightweight Middleweight Kickboxing Champion of the World. He’s got this company where he has these kickboxing franchises, which is interesting how he’s done that.
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The Principles Of Success with Dave M. Lukas
I am here with Dave M. Lukas who’s a serial entrepreneur, bestselling author, investor and Founder of the Misfit Entrepreneur Podcast. It’s nice to have you here, Dave.
It’s an honor to be on with you, Diane, and an honor to be on with all of you in the audience.
It’s going to be interesting because last time we chatted, I was on the other end of this conversation. Now, I get to ask you all the questions. I know a lot about you from our chat before. I know you’re also the author of the Amazon Bestseller, The Ten-Year Career: The Fast Track Guide To Retiring Young, Wealthy and Fulfilled. I listened to one of your podcasts I found fascinating. It was episode 125 where you did a year-end recap. You went through the shows from the year and what you learned from each of the shows. I noticed we had a lot of the same people we’ve interviewed. For one thing, I was going, “Mitch Russo, Dov Baron, Steve Olsher.” I was going through many of them. They were good. I got some ideas for some new guests that I thought would be great, but there was so much that you’ve learned from your show. I want to start with success because we talked about you have ten principles of success. Success is what I’m trying to study when I’m studying curiosity. I would like to know where you got your ten principles of success and what are they?
They came about through the work that I’ve done with the company that I built, multiple time Inc. 5000 companies as well as Entrepreneur 360 and all that stuff. You learn a lot of stuff along the way. Also, in interviewing and getting to spend time with some of the highest performers in the world, I started to notice some patterns and things that are consistent. That reinforced some of the things that I had developed over time. That’s how the ten principles came about. I started thinking about narrowing down all these things to find the best of the top ten that have the biggest impact. For example, one thing I talk about a lot and this flows through into everything is the fact that’s principle number one. For me when it comes to these ten is what I call the DCP formula. What that stands for is discipline, consistency and persistence.
You hear those and you’re like, “You need those to succeed.” When you think about what they are, discipline is doing the things that you know you need to do even when you don’t want to do them. Consistency is doing that day in and day out without fail. You can be disciplined for one day, but that’s not going to do you any good. In fact, the gyms at the beginning of the year are filled with disciplined people for one or two days. By the end of February, you won’t have that. You have to be consistent, but even if you’re disciplined and you are consistent, you’re going to run into walls. You’re going to run into major plateau and barriers. If you aren’t willing to persist through them, you’re going to get stuck. You’re going to get stagnant.
In fact, I was on with JV Crum on the Conscious Millionaire. We were talking about Apple and how Apple came out and they lowered their guidance. They’re saying their iPhone sales are going to be down. They’re saying it’s because of some of the things happening in China. If you look at the cell phone landscape, the big thing is there haven’t been any major innovations in the last little two iteration of phones. Most of the major things have already been done. The impulse, the impetus to upgrade your phone every year is not there because there’s not that big of a difference between what it was in the last version to the new version.
Apple’s not selling as many phones every year because people are holding onto them longer. Companies like Huawei and the others that are out there are caught up to the technology offering a phone for half or less of what Apple offers. They’ve got a major thing that they have to figure out how to persist through and for them it’s going to have to come probably with innovation. You see this in companies all the time where they skyrocket to success because they have good discipline, they are consistent, but then they hit that plateau and they can’t figure out how to get through it. They stagnate and they stop. If you look at anything in your life, your business or any area and you look at it from that view of DCP, you can usually find where the breakdowns at.
When I consult for a company, I take that formula and apply it to the areas of the business. Let’s look at operations. Are you disciplined in your operations? If you’re disciplined, are you consistent? You’re not in these three areas and that’s causing a problem for you. Let’s fix those. In sales, are you disciplined? Are you consistent? Is there a big major pocket you haven’t been willing to persist through? Maybe you need to come out with a new product or redesign your product so that you can do that. You’ve got to be willing to do that. If you look at it from that way and about working out, all that stuff, you want to lose weight. It’s going to take discipline, consistency and persistence. That’s why it’s the underpinning of all the other principles. Hopefully that makes sense and hopefully, those can look at things and use that in their lives and their business.
It’s interesting because it ties in a lot to what I’ve been researching as far as motivation. I looked into motivation and drive because it was so much tied into curiosity and since I’m studying curiosity, I wanted to see which comes first. To be disciplined and do all these things, there’s stuff you’re not going to want to have to do, but do you have to have a sense of curiosity to get motivated to become disciplined? It’s all tied together. It’s hard to separate things, don’t you think?
Yeah and that’s why one of the other principles that you have to have is a strong why. Not a why, but a strong why that underpins this and drives you. If you don’t have something that is going to be your anchor or your rock for you when times get hard because they will to fall back on and say, “I committed to this because of this and I’m going to do it because it’s this important to me. It’s that strong in me.” It’s hard to do that. That’s why a lot of people tell you to find your why. I always say to find your strong why. There are a lot of whys out there, but you need to find the strongest driver in you and for you from a why standpoint that is going to be what you use to fuel that. Curiosity helps you find that. Curiosity helps you ask the right questions. If you want to get better, you ask better questions. That ability is needed to succeed.
Some people are afraid to ask those questions and I know you deal with fear a lot. I was listening to some of your recaps. You were saying fear is a problem for a lot of people. You hear many people say fear is basically how you perceive it. It could be a negative thing. I put it how you put it from one of your guests. It was not necessarily a negative emotion and we have to build a positive relationship suffering.
I wrote a blog post on that. You do.
What did you deal with in your blog?
A great book that centers on this topic well is the 12 Rules For Life by Jordan Peterson. It is one of the best thought-out books that I’ve ever read and Jordan’s known for that. He’s one of the deepest thinkers that are out there now. One of the things that he gets right to early on in the book is that life is suffering. I know it sounds bad, but for the majority of life, in some way you’re suffering and it’s broken up by periods of intense joy and happiness and great things. That outweighs the suffering that you go through to get there. Suffering, you don’t have to think of it as a negative connotation. If you’re trying to lose weight and you’re working hard and you’re breaking down your muscles and you’re sore and in pain and the stuff that you have to go through to do that, that’s suffering. The end result for you is huge. The quality of life, better self-esteem, all of that stuff comes from that. That’s okay.
That’s why suffering is a part of life and always will be a part of life. Once you’re okay with that and can embrace that and understand that’s such a rite of passage to many things, it makes it more of a game. Back to the curiosity, it causes you to ask those questions of how do I do this? One of the things that I also talk about is asking how. In our world, a lot of times we’ll come up with saying something and it will say, “You can’t do that,” or our brain will say, “That’s not possible.” When we say that, our mind stops right then and there. The way our mind stops, it stops working, thinking towards that. The minute you say, “How can I do this?” it activates the mind. It activates the brain to stop looking for the solution. That’s how the subconscious works. A great example of that is I always use the subconscious. We can get in deep on conditioning and how we’re controlled by that and all that stuff.Even if you have discipline and consistency, if you're not willing to persist when you run into walls, you're going to get stuck. Click To Tweet
If you’ve ever found a car that you like that you finally said, “That’s the next car I want to get in that color or whatever.” Almost every time, as soon as you make that decision, then the ensuing days or weeks you start to see them all over the place or on the road. I remember the first time that I saw an Aston Martin DB9 and that cool silver color that Aspen has. I went, “That’s the car. That’s the one that I want to get some day.” I saw it online. I live in Columbus, Ohio. It’s not the mecca for high performance, $300,000 cars. That next week, I saw three of them on the road because my conscious started activating and looking for those things. It’s looking for that solution. Once you start asking how you can do things that activate that curiosity, ask those questions, starts to find the solution and starts to work on the problem. If you’ve got a strong why backing that up, if you’re disciplined and you’re consistent and you’re willing to persist, you can accomplish anything.
These are good principles for success. We covered the DCP, the strong why. I want to make sure we cover all of it since we tease people with having ten of them. What is another one?
Another one is the incredible importance of little things. I learned this through my largest company, Grasp Technologies. We grew at over 100% a year for ten years straight. It was painful because we grew out of cashflow. We didn’t take any outside money. If anybody’s ever done that before, growth sucks cash. You’re always fighting the battle where you sell a bunch, but you need to hire and need to put resources in to fulfill it. You are left with almost nothing at the end of the day and you’re shifting things around and make payroll and all that stuff all the time. Even though you’re growing crazy, you have that constant balancing act. It can wreak havoc on you mentally, physically and all that stuff. After several years of doing that, my business partner and I looked at each other like, “We can’t keep going like this because the business won’t be able to survive. It will crush under itself at some point in time.”
We made a conscious decision to take a step back and grow slowly. In fact, we took a step back and go, “We’re going to grow at 30% this year.” That sounds funny because a lot of businesses would kill to grow at 30%. When you’re growing at 100% a year and you scale back to 30%, it’s like pulling the parachute in the middle of the dive. What we did is we stepped back and all the things that we had never taken the time to do. All the things that you don’t want to do in a business. All the documentation, all the standard operating procedures that had never been written down or put into place, the onboarding process for employees, the hiring process, getting your accounting in order, all that stuff. We spent a whole year tediously with our teams for fifteen hours a day doing. That was painful. That’s the least I want to do. After doing that, it’s been amazing. The businesses have been able to scale like never before. My business partner and I are not needed nearly even close to what we were before.
At this point, we aren’t active in the day-to-day needs of the business because our teams are managing it. They hire new people, they onboard them. I come in and it’s like, “We hired two new employees?” It’s a different world. Doing those little things make the biggest difference. You see this about everywhere. An Olympic race is won by 100th of a second. There’s always the famous Michael Phelps swimming win where they show it from the bottom or a race on the track. In sales or in business, sometimes the first person to get there or respond the fastest gets the sale. It’s the little things that make the biggest difference. You have to pay attention to those and not neglect them.
Sometimes many people grow so fast and then they haven’t gotten the foundation either to be able to withstand that. I would like to touch on all these. Let’s jump to number four. What would number four be?
We went out of order but number three is live from true choice, which gets into your conditioning and stuff. People don’t realize that we’re a product. We’re taught to be who we are. We’re a product of the conditioning throughout our entire lives to be who we are. You’re born with a clean slate. It’s not like you came out of the womb and they said, “Beautiful baby, too bad you’ll never make more than $35,000.” It doesn’t work like that. The reality is we’re taught how to act and how to respond to the situation that happened in our life. Most of that stuff is good. There are some things in our lives that can be debilitating. For example, if you were conditioned that money is a struggle in life and chances are money is a struggle for you. You probably wonder why it’s always a struggle. That’s because of your inner voice.
Understanding you have been conditioned to be who are and then learning that you can take back that control and lift from two choices the ultimate in personal power. I always tell everybody that your beliefs lead to your emotions, your emotions lead to your thoughts, your thoughts lead to your actions, and your actions ultimately lead to your feelings. If you take out all that in the middle and take the first two words, your beliefs ultimately lead to your results. What you ultimately believe will deliver the results you have. You have to start changing your beliefs. You have to find out first what your beliefs are. First ask, “What do I truly believe?” Most people haven’t taken the time to ever do that in their lives and say, “What do I believe?”
Many people make assumptions and have many environmental influences that impact their beliefs that they don’t even recognize.
That’s the thing is that most people aren’t aware too and awareness is the catalyst to change. You’re hearing this and you’re going, “I get that. I’m aware of it. What do I do?” One of the things that I tell people to do to start with is to remember, stop, ask and choose. Stop yourself when you feel yourself reacting to something. You’ll usually feel that the hair on your neck stands up and you get all emotional situation, like when you get angry or whatever. You feel it bubble up inside of you. Stop yourself. Ask yourself, “Is this the way I want to respond to this situation at this moment?” and then choose how you want to move forward. It seems weird to do that when you’re in the moment about to respond and I stop and I ask and I choose.
The first few times that you do it, it’s going to be awkward. It becomes second nature and it happens automatically the more you do it, like anything that you practice. Once you realize that you start to live from true choice and you can choose how you want to respond to things. That will then start to recondition your mind for things. There are countless studies been done on this since the beginning of time. Every book you’d ever want to read on this type of subject and NLP and all that type of stuff. In the end, you can realize that you’ve been conditioned to be who you are. A lot of that stuff’s good. Sit back, make a decision, ask yourself what you believe, choose what those things are for you, and then go forward and live that way. You’ll be ultimately in a much better situation.
You’ve got some books that you might like to suggest. I love that you suggested one earlier and from Jordan Peterson. Sometimes giving some good complimentary ideas to get from books is a good thing to do.
I can give you one on that and an easy one to read. It’s cheesy but it definitely hits the point home is Secrets of the Millionaire Mind by T. Harv Eker. I say cheesy tongue and cheek because Harv is really smart, but he makes you do these declarations at the end of every chapter and stuff like that. Anything by John Assaraf is good. He’s studied this for many years. He has a book called Innercise that deals with a lot of this stuff well. It gives you some practical good exercises to help you recondition yourself. Those are a few. One’s older, one’s newer.
The next one at number five.
The next principle is life is a journey of transformation. You have to embrace that. This goes to what we’re talking about suffering a little bit earlier and stuff. A lot of people get stagnant. A lot of people going back to the willingness to persist plateau. They never transform. They are never willing to seek out even to examine their critics or their inner critic, to see if it’s true or not. This is the way I am and this is who I’m going to be. It doesn’t have to be that way. You can always learn new things. You can always become something more than you are. You have to embrace that throughout life. If you want to become the person that you can be at your highest potential, you need to ask yourself, “Who do you need to become to live at the edge of your ability?” The way that I look at this is standards. What standards do you have for yourself? Most people have never written down the standards that they have for themselves. I’ve got a list of ten standards that I have.Find the strongest driver in you. Click To Tweet
What’s an example of your standard?
I carry myself always no matter what as if my wife and daughter are there with me or watching me at all times. I carry myself as if my daughter’s watching me. For me, that’s the standard that I live up to and I live into. For me, health and exercise are important. I will allow my routine around how I exercise and take care of myself and my mind and my body to be disrupted or interrupted. My teams all know the two hours in the morning when Dave’s not available and he will not answer you. Those are standards that I hold myself to. If you get a chance to sit down and write down your standards for who you are and you may not be living up to them or into them yet and that’s okay. It gives you something to look for, but that will help you transform. Once you get there, then you’ll examine those. As you grow, you’ll find that you have other standards that you want to add or ones that change over time. It’s not set in stone.
Learn to become a great problem solver. One of my favorite movies in the world is The Martian. It’s an amazing example of ingenuity and problem-solving and what it can do for you. There’s a secret to becoming a great problem solver. You have to use your personal growth routine in the areas of transformation to grow yourself so that you become bigger than your problems. If you’re set to handle a small level of a problem and you get a big problem, you’ve got a problem. If you’ve grown yourself to handle large problems and it’s no sweat for you, you get a small problem. It’s no big deal. You get a medium-sized problem, it’s no big deal. The bigger the problems that you can handle, the bigger business can grow, the bigger you can grow in life and everything else.
You want to embrace that and you want to embrace when problems come up. You don’t want to shy away from them. You want to find a way and ask yourself, “How do we solve this?” Get that brain activated and working for you. You see that the most successful people that you look up to are typically great problem solvers. Titans of industry like Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson, they’re great problem solvers. The thing I want people to understand is if you have a problem, you have the ability to handle it. You need to separate emotion from logic. Focus on what you can control because there are only certain things you can. Being emotional about it isn’t going to help you. You have to attack it logically. You have to work the problem one step at a time. As the old adage says, “Eat the elephant one bite at a time.”
Here’s the hardest one for people. Ask for help. It’s okay to ask for help in solving a problem. I alluded to it, but the next one is committing to personal development. I believe that if you’re a college grad or where you’re at, your education begins after that. The most important things I’ve learned about how to succeed in life and in business and everything else has come from continuously developing myself after the base that my schooling gave me. I try to read a book a week. One thing I love about doing my show is its part of my personal development. You’re like, “Dave, why do you do the show notes for your show?” I almost do like a book if you look at my show notes. That for me is personal growth time because I’m doing the interview. I’m constant with the guest on, what were the topics we’re talking about and everything else?
I don’t pick up as much as when I go back and I listen to that episode after I break them down and I pick those points out. For me, that’s personal growth. I schedule them a week to do that. That’s all part of my routine. In your life, you should have some personal growth routine. There are some great options out there for you. One of my favorites is the ReadItFor.me platform. They take the best business books, the most popular ones that are out there. They summarize them in a ten-minute read video or audio that you can take on the go. Those guys are great at what they do. There are a number of tools out there to make it even easier for you, so you don’t have an excuse not to have some personal development program in place.
I want to go to number nine, which is implementing systems and processes to scale. You’re only as good as your weakest link. When you think of systems and processes, you think more like business and operations and stuff, but that’s not true. Systems and processes are everything in your life. You have a routine when you get up in the morning. You have a routine with your kid getting off to school. You have a routine in how you eat. You have all that stuff or systems and processes. In anything you do, the more deliberate you are about it, the better you’re going to be. Being able to implement those systems and processes and look at it that way and be able to write them down, commit to them and all that is one of the most important things you can do it.
That brings us to principle number ten is your habits and choices define you and your success. How you do anything is how you do everything. In fact, Tom Ziglar said to me once. It was profound, one of the simplest, most important sentences I’ve ever heard, “The fastest way to success is to replace a bad habit with a good habit.” Say you picked one bad habit and you replaced it with a good habit and you worked on that and you made it a good habit and so on. Where would you be at the end of the year? Think of it from a business. Pick one bad habit in your business. Change it into a good habit and so on
One of the issues that we have in our society now is that we live in an instant society. We stop the mic when we’re three seconds left. We can’t wait three seconds anymore. It’s a problem because you have to be willing to play the long game to get what you want. Everybody sees that one unicorn or two unicorns and thinks that’s the norm where it’s not. It’s that perseverance and putting that time in and having that patience and staying consistent, water dripping on a rock, moving forward and never quitting that get you to the end. People will totally overestimate what they can accomplish in a week, but underestimate what they can do in a year. Imagine if you started with one bad habit and as soon as you got that right, the next one. You’ll be a totally different person a year from now. Your habits and choices truly do define you. Those are the ten principles. I have them in a free eBook.
If you could share how people could find you or how they can get the eBook and all that?
The best way to connect with me is MisfitEntrepreneur.com. If you want the book, go to MisfitEntrepreneur.com/lessons. You can get the book there as a download directly. One other area too that has become a lot of fun for me and a business partner that I have, another global entrepreneur, named Evan Money. We put on a unique event every year called the Grow.Thrive.Revive. The website for that is GrowThriveRevive.com. We pick a five-star destination every year, but we only allow 25 entrepreneurs. We focus on them for three days. When they’re done, we’ve solved the biggest challenge in their life and their business and created their plan to double their business inside of several months.
We wrap all this around a unique experience. An experience that you would have probably never done before or never been inclined to do if you didn’t have an event like this to do it in, something that is off the charts. For example, the first one we did we raced Porsches in LA and then we went kayaking out in the Pacific Ocean in front of Catalina with a guided tour with the whales. I had a whale from here to my office door swimming by me. We do unique things like that with it. We’re going to be doing it in San Diego in September 2019. The website still shows 2018, but it’ll change soon for the new ones. If anybody has any interest in that, shoot me a note. We have some special preferred pricing for people that are guests of your show and everything. Send us a note through there and we’ll get you all set up for it.
Thank you so much for all this. You do such a great job with your show and I could imagine that your Grow.Thrive.Revive and all your events and different things that you do must be amazing. I’m glad you shared that and thank you for being on the show.Recognize the incredible importance of little things. Click To Tweet
It’s an absolute honor to be on with you. What you’ve done with curiosity and the footprint and impact that you’ve had with everything you do. I’m in awe of what you do on a daily basis and everything. It’s been an honor with you and everybody in the audience. If there’s any way I can help, please connect. I’m on social media at Misfit Entrepreneur and all that as well too. I’m happy to help any way I can.
I hope everybody checks it out.
The Fight For Success with Shannon Hudson
I am here with Shannon “The Cannon” Hudson. He’s the Founder and CEO of 9Round Franchising, LLC. He is a former IKF Light Middleweight Kickboxing Champion of the World. He won his title on October 1st, 2011. It’s exciting to have you here, Shannon, welcome.
Thank you so much. I appreciate you having me on.
You’re welcome. That’s quite an accomplishment. Kickboxing is exhausting. From doing the little light kickboxing apps and things I’ve done, you must have had to be in unbelievable shape to do that. You and your wife, Heather, have opened up 9Round Studio, the first one in 2008 and now you’ve got 772 locations.
We’re climbing every week and we open two to three new locations a week. It’s an exciting time for us.
You’ve got a black belt. You’ve got all kinds of exercise-related, serious levels you’ve reached. To go into a business is a completely different realm. How hard was it to start thinking like a businessperson?
A lot of people are passionate about a certain area, artsy. A martial artist is an artist by the way. Some people don’t realize that, but they are and they love doing that. A trainer loves to do the training or a martial artist loves to do the martial arts. They have to switch modalities in their brain and learn how to scale their passion, which is what everybody wants to do. Everybody talks about scaling their past, scaling up, and that’s the challenge of being able to scale. You have to all of a sudden be in love with business as much as you’re in love with the art or the passion or whatever you love. Those two loves have to combine and you have to study both of those carefully to do well. The first passion is always the art, but you have to fall in love with business because if you don’t, it will beat you up. It will crush you. That’s what you have to do.
There are many businesses you don’t think of as businesses like doctors and different things. Their businesses, but you forget about the sales aspect. There are definitely sales associated with about everything. You wrote a book called Zero to 100 that walks readers through the process of taking 9Round from nothing to what it is now. Can you tell me a little about the book and what lead to you wanting to write that?
It’s a candid memoir of how I did it. One of the reasons I wrote the book was for my children, for my kids. I wanted them to be able to read on paper exactly the thoughts I was having because I wish my parents had written a book. I wish my grandparents had written a book or had a journal that I found that I could read. I find that fascinating. I also wrote it for anyone that’s starting their own business because it’s very hard. I wrote the book and one of the chapters is about all the failures I’ve had and business tries. I’ve tried a lot of things. After I wrote that chapter, I felt depressed so bad because I was reliving all those memories of failures. Everybody sees the star on top and they see the rock star on the stage and doing great, but they never see the struggles. A lot of struggles went into it. I wrote that book and the book went off great. We give it to every franchise owner that comes into the system so they understand the history of the business and a little bit about my personality and how I became who I am. The book’s been great. It’s not on Barnes & Noble, but we can get it on Amazon and I’m proud of it. It will be out there and it’s a good read for anyone who’s starting their own business.
You got into the franchising business. It’s even more complicated than business. When you go big, you go there all the way. I was a swimmer and I have a competitive family. I get the idea of the competitive mindset of the athlete even though I’ve not accomplished any level of anything you’ve done, but how hard is it when you have that natural sense of competition? The thrill of victory, the agony of defeat, do you think it’s any harder on somebody who’s super competitive like an athlete?
They do better in business. You have to have a level of competitiveness to be in business. You need to want to be number one. You want to be the best. That drives people and it drives me every single day. I watch all the other fitness franchises out there. Even if they’re not competing directly to me, for example, Planet Fitness or Anytime Fitness, they don’t have anything to do with kickboxing. To me, I watch them and I look up to them and I learn from them, but I still want to beat them. I still want to whoop them. That competitiveness has helped me and people that didn’t grow up like you. That’s why you’re successful in your podcast and the things you do because you have that little bit of competitiveness in you that you want to be great at it. It’s a positive. If I could channel that in every franchise owner I have as I hope I try to do and bring that out, they’ll do well.
Quitting was not an option in my job. You had to be the Terminator, you can fail but you had to come back from it. That’s a hard thing to teach people. In my research I’m working on about curiosity, I’m working on that because many people let fears overtake their natural sense of wanting to explore and learn things. Fear of failure is a huge thing for people. Do you address that when you decide who should have a franchise and do this? Do you have a minimum standard for what you want people to have?
We do address it and fear will paralyze you. You might have heard the saying, “It takes money to make money.” I don’t think that’s 100% true. What it takes is courage. If you look at any immigrant that’s come to the US and started to work their way up and started a business and now very successful. There are a million stories like that and they had no money. It doesn’t take money to make money. What it takes is real courage. A quick little story of my daughter, she’ll be nineteen and we took her to the airport and she’s studying abroad in Spain for a semester. I told her how proud I was of her because it takes courage to do what you’re doing. It’s fun and exciting but a little bit scary and you’re still doing it because you’re going to a country where you don’t know the language. You don’t know what the food is like. You don’t know anything. You’re going to live in a house with people you don’t know. It takes a lot of courage to do what you’re doing and I’m proud of you. Never lose that courage. I told her, “Don’t lose that courage when you get older because that’s what’s going to make you successful.”
My eldest daughter studied abroad in Spain and Italy. She did the same thing. She went and lived in these houses with people she didn’t know and I was impressed by that because at that age I would’ve been terrified to do that. You can have courage in one area and not have it in another area. If you have a passion for something, you find that drive, that courage to do certain things. A lot of people, the courage they needed to come up with are the courage to be able to lose money if it doesn’t work. Do you think that’s harder for people, the fear of financial failure?Wanting to be the best is what should drive you every single day. Click To Tweet
It’s the biggest fear most people have besides their health if they have any health scares or family issues with health-related, next right after that is money. I see it every single day and it doesn’t scare me to lose the money, but I’m always on edge about it. I’m always watching it and that’s a good part. You talked about being competitive. Were you nervous before you did a swim meet? Absolutely. Am I nervous before I go in the ring? I think to myself, “What did I get myself into?” before I go in there like, “What am thinking? Why do I do this?” That keeps you on edge. My trainer, I’ll never forget, I have an amazing boxing coach. I still am great friends with him. He said, “If you are not nervous, then I’m really nervous,” because it keeps you on your toes.
When I tell franchise owners or business owners and say, “Are you nervous about this? Are you nervous about doing this, putting your money up or starting this business?” They always are like, “I can’t sleep. I’m nervous.” I say, “That’s perfect. That’s awesome.” It always makes them feel, “I’m supposed to be nervous. It’s good.” It’s a good thing to be nervous. It’s not playing house, we’re running a business here, but we’re doing two of the most beautiful things in the world. We’re helping people with their health because it’s a fitness program and the other thing we’re doing is providing jobs and opportunities for people that own their own business. When I lay my head down at night, I feel good to be able to say we do those two things.
It’s so important and all that you said is bringing back some interesting memories of competition and the sense you have. You can get it when you speak. Speakers talk about that. You want to have a sense of anxiety a little bit. Otherwise, you’re going to give a dull speech because you don’t care enough to have that drive. When I used to swim, my dad used to pound Pixy Stix in my mouth to try to get me jazzed up on sugar and I’m thinking, “That can’t be good.” Back in the day, I don’t know if he went for the health model version of how to do this properly, but I won. I was probably buzzed for a week afterwards.
My dad was funny because he was super competitive because he was born legally blind. He couldn’t do a lot of sports. He wanted us to do all the sports he couldn’t do. He would make sure that we were in everything. I never really was in kickboxing. I go to the gym and do a lot of that training type of thing. I’m curious having learned how to run a kickboxing franchise in a health fitness area. Could you run any business now that you’ve learned how to do this? Have you learned something specific to do that? How can you take what you’ve learned and done something else with it?
Honestly, I think I could run any business, anything because the mechanics are the same. It’s the vehicle’s different. The vehicle is kickboxing. Let’s say I ran, especially in the fitness world. If it was a yoga chain, I’d do well with that but the vehicle is different. In business, you need the same three things. You need marketing, sales and you need retention. You need to keep the customers coming back. That’s pretty much what any business needs, whether some ice cream shop or a coffee shop or a 9Round. You need those three things marketing, sales and retention. You can hone in on those three things and develop a great team, you’ll do well at any business out there.
What do you think are the unique challenges of having it be a franchise business?
The main thing we do at this that I do, we call it the home office. We don’t like to say the word corporate because it sounds sterile. The main thing that we have to think on a level most mom and pop stores don’t have to think of. I have to create a process and a system that’ll work in any market anywhere in the world. We have stores in Japan, Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Australia, Mexico and Canada. I have to create a process and a system that will work anywhere. That creates consistency. That’s what you want in a brand and that is the most challenging part, it’s to create consistency. Every business owner in the world will drift a little bit. They’ll drift off the path not meaning to all the times, but they get sidetracked and lose focus a little bit. The next shiny object over here and they slack up a little bit here. Before you know it, the little bit of drift over time has created your way far away like a ship sailing, you’re way away from your mark.
What we have to do in-house is keep these franchises focused on the main thing, delivering the product like it’s supposed to be delivered. Not getting crazy doing crazy things but staying on-brand. Not putting yoga in the store. We do kickboxing. We don’t do yoga. Not getting crazy, not playing unlicensed music. That would get you in trouble. All of these factors have to go in and that is the most challenging part. A franchisee sometimes doesn’t see the reason we have to be strict on them. They want to be able to do whatever. It’s because we have a brand. Could you imagine going to McDonald’s and ordering a Big Mac and it being a whole different formula? You’re like, “What is this recipe? It’s not even a Big Mac.” It would be a nightmare. The biggest challenge we have is keeping that consistency and that’s exactly what we try to work to do. We do that by creating systems and processes.
I’d like to know what even got you interested in that in the first place to go into that.
I have one sibling, one older brother. He’s eight-and-a-half years older than me. He started karate when I was born. He started a local karate school. I was born in ‘79. In 1979, he started martial arts. I remember as a kid vividly going to watching him do karate. I followed my big brother’s footsteps and when I turned seven years old, I want to start karate at the same karate school with him. My brother became a black belt. My brother started kickboxing in the ‘80s. In the ‘80s, kickboxing was getting on ESPN and getting on TV and becoming popular. That’s how I got into it. My brother won two world titles kickboxing. When I turned eighteen years old, I said, “I want to box.” I boxed and kickboxed. I did both. I said, “I want to do it all.” Kickboxing is like boxing except you can kick, you can use your feet too. You have more weapons to use. I did that and that’s how I got into it. Business-wise, I saw a brand out there that had almost 10,000 locations with a 30-minute circuit training workout and it was women only and it was Curves.
I said, “What an awesome business model. What if I take what I know, which is kickboxing? Take out the worst part, which is getting punched in the face because that part’s no fun and put it in a 30-minute circuit and it comes out to a nine-round workout.” That’s how we got the name 9Round. In 2008, my wife is the Co-Founder with me. She’s the Chief Operating Officer. We co-CEO, we both run the company. We started the company in 2008 with zero money, a lot of courage, maxed out the only credit card we could get. We opened the first location on a shoestring budget. We could not afford a sign on the building, we could only get a banner. We had almost 100 members after 30 days. We knew we had a tiger by the tail. We had something and here we are. In 2018, we opened up over 200 locations and we’re in sixteen countries and we have 772 locations.
I’ve done kickboxing based on watching an app where you’re kicking in the air. I’ve taken some karate class where I’m kicking the dummy bag or whatever that’s called. Are you kicking in the air? What’s happening in this kickboxing is what I’m curious.
If you’ve never been to it, you don’t understand what to do. Each round is three minutes and there’s a 30-second break in between each round to give you time to recover. Each round is themed differently. One round you’ll jump rope, one round you’ll use dumbbells and kettlebells and weights, and then you’re going to hit six different types of bags that professionals use. Speed bag, heavy bag, double end bag, wrecking ball. You don’t know what the names of what these bags are, but it’s different types of bags which you could do different things on, different kicks, knee strikes, punches, elbow strikes, all these things. One round is devoted to the core. You’re going to do a core exercise. We always use props, dumbbells, medicine balls, kettlebells, and sand bells, all these props to keep it fun and engaging. You’re going to get to punch and kick. You going to train as Muhammad Ali did. You’re going to do the real training, not just going to hit the air or some bag with water filled in the bottom. We don’t do that. We use real bags that hang and swing.
We give everyone a fighter name. I’m Shannon, “The Cannon” and you’ll be Diane, “The Destroyer.” We keep it fun. You’re in and out in 30 minutes. There’s no class time because it’s a circuit and that’s why people love us and that’s the differentiator between all the other fitness out there. When you go, you have to have class time. If you were late or hit some traffic or running late at work, you miss your class. With us, you never miss a class. It’s a full body workout in 30 minutes. Workout changes every day. We program them from the home office and deliver them to the franchise portal to the franchise owner. You have a trainer with you guiding you through that. We have over 3,000 trainers in our system. Talk about jobs doing well. I hope that helps.
The fact that you talk about this 30-minute training and it makes me wonder how hard is this if you have joint issues, knee problems?Passion will help you find the drive and courage to help you do certain things. Click To Tweet
It’s not at all. We modify the exercise. If you can’t jump rope, we’ll modify the exercise. 70% of our clientele’s female. Women like the hip stuff I guess. The guys love it, but it’s not high impact like running is. It’s good for you to hit things. It helps bone density. If there’s anything that hurts, our role is if it hurts, we won’t do it. If it’s joint pain or anything, we don’t do it. A lot of communication between the trainer, the trainer interaction, and the customer is important. We want to know your fitness goals. We want to know if you have any injuries. We need to be aware of or any joint pain or pregnancy, diabetic, asthma, any of that. We need to know it and we’ll work around it. Like any obstacle in life, you can’t just stop. You have to go around it. We do the same thing with the workout.
We do a lot of rock-climbing gyms here in Arizona. Do you guys have any of your 9Rounds here in Arizona?
We do. We’re in Scottsdale, Phoenix. We’re in 42 states. We’re not in Hawaii yet. We’re not in Alaska yet, but we’re getting there. We just got to find the right people. We’re not in the fitness business, we’re in the people business and that’s what I tell our franchise owners all the time. You have to be great with people. We hire instructors and trainers that are good with people. They don’t have to be black belts like I am or world champions. They have to love fitness and be good with people because you can’t teach personality. I can teach a front kick and a jab all day long, but I can’t teach a creeper to not be a creeper. We don’t want that. We want personality.
Can you do more than 30 minutes or is that it? You would have to keep it to 30 minutes.
If you go around twice, the trainer did not do their job. We want you to be in and out and on with your day. Our philosophy of training is you don’t need more time. You need more intensity in what you’re doing. I use this analogy all the time. Have you ever gotten up late in the morning but still made it to work on time? Everybody says, “I’ve done that.” I said, “What happened? I had more intensity getting ready.” It’s the same thing with working out. You need two hours in the gym. You don’t even need one hour. Let’s come three times a week for 30 minutes and let’s see what happens. Let’s start dialing in your nutrition. Let’s make sure we get plenty of rest and plenty of water. You’re going to see some changes in your body.
A lot of people are probably like me wondering where they can find out where the different sites are and what they can learn about what you’re doing. Could you share that information?
The first workout is always free. We want you to come in and give it a test drive, see if it’s a good fit for you. Meet the staff, meet the trainers. It’s a 30-minute workout. It’s only 2% of your day. It’s 9Round.com. You can book your first free sessions right there on the website. It can’t get any easier than that. It’s free. It’s only 30 minutes and it’s a ton of fun. Come in with your fighter name and say, “I’m Jabbing Johnny.” Get in there and it’s got to be fun. The trainers are going to have a blast with you. They’re going to hold the hand pads for you like a real trainer. You’re going to train like a pro. You’re going to walk out of there feeling like a world champion.
I found this fascinating and I knew this was a little bit different than some of our traditional shows, but I was interested in the business of what you’re running and the franchising aspect. I also found fascinating because I didn’t know much about all the kickboxing training. Thank you for sharing all that, Shannon. It was nice to have you on the show.
It’s my pleasure. Thank you so much. God bless you. Good luck with everything.
Thanks. I’d like to thank both Dave and Shannon for being my guests. We get many great guests. I hope you join us for the next episode of Take The Lead Radio.
- Misfit Entrepreneur Podcast
- The Ten-Year Career: The Fast Track Guide To Retiring Young, Wealthy and Fulfilled
- Episode 125 – previous episode in Misfit Entrepreneur Podcast
- Conscious Millionaire
- 12 Rules For Life
- Grasp Technologies
- Secrets of the Millionaire Mind
- 9Round Franchising, LLC
- Zero to 100
About Dave M. Lukas
Dave M. Lukas is a serial entrepreneur, best-selling author, investor, and Founder of the Misfit Entrepreneur Podcast. His companies have been on the Entrepreneur 365 and INC 5000 List multiple times. He has been featured on radio, TV, and many top trade publications and web such as Forbes, INC, Yahoo! Finance, BTN, BTE, and others. His is the author of the Amazon best-seller “The Ten Year Career, The Fast Track to Retiring Young, Wealthy and Fulfilled.” The book is a culmination of 5 years of dedicated research into the mindset and habits of high performers, and gives the reader the missing links and path to greater success and fulfillment.
About Shannon Hudson
Shannon “The Cannon” Hudson, founder and CEO of 9Round Franchising, LLC, is a former IKF Light Middleweight Kickboxing Champion of the World. He won his title on October 1, 2011, with a 6th round TKO victory. He trained under legendary boxing trainer Xavier Biggs, brother of 1984 Olympic Gold Medalist Tyrell Biggs. Shannon began martial arts at the age of seven and has continued training ever since then. He has a 5th degree Black Belt in Japanese Shotokan Karate and a 4th Degree Black Belt under Joe Lewis’s Fighting System JLFS.