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FITNESS, HEALTH, WELLNESS

features

Life lessons: Dave Wright

The founder of Myzone and one of the fitness industry’s most visionary entrepreneurs talks to Kath Hudson about how he deals with adversity

Published in Health Club Management 2023 issue 10
The launch and expansion of Myzone into a global brand has not been without its hurdles / photo: Myzone
The launch and expansion of Myzone into a global brand has not been without its hurdles / photo: Myzone
I used to look at myself in the mirror at three o’clock in the morning and say “why the fuck are you doing this?"

The toughest time of my career was in 2011-2012 – about a year after I’d launched Myzone.

CFM, my company which sold gym memberships, used a collections company to handle contracts. That company was taken to court for having illegal contracts and 98 per cent of these were for CFM.

Although I moved our membership administration away from them, they continued to collect the money, so we lost £7.2m of what we were due and there was nothing I could do about it.

As this was shortly after the launch of Myzone, we were having technical issues and product recalls and our monthly CFM income went down from £480,000 to £112,000 at the same time as Myzone needed investment.

It was like being punched in the face with your hands behind your back and not being able to do a thing about it. Everything was on the line.

I would meet with my financial controller and make the decision about who we could pay that week and I didn’t take a salary from Myzone for six years. It was a stressful time.

I said to my team that we had to sell our way through it, that Myzone would eventually change the health of the world and if they stuck with me they would be paid handsomely.

From years of selling memberships, speaking to people and owning my own gyms, I knew Myzone would be a global success, but many people doubted it and when the two crises hit at the same time I used to look at myself in the mirror at three o’clock in the morning and say “why the fuck are you doing this?”

Bring it on
As awful as it was, I did believe I would look back with hindsight and see it had happened for a reason and I do. You can’t appreciate the good times if you don’t have bad times. And when you’re flush with cash you make silly decisions. What I developed from that time was a laser focus on profitable, efficient operations. I’ve always been able to deal with adversity by thinking that it’s only a moment in time. Whatever it is at some point it will be over and then you’ll be stronger for it.

I’ve always been a big believer in learning about – and developing – mental strength. I started out working with kids, being a camp director in Australia and America, which was all about teaching them mental resilience. When you run a sales and marketing company you have to become adept at overcoming objections and dealing with rejection, so I’ve constantly read books and gone to seminars on how to train your mind to deal with adversity.

I believe it’s not what happens to you but how you respond which makes the difference. So every time I get presented with adversity, I ask myself what can I do to deal with this and how can I find a solution? It’s all about moving from your reptilian brain – your flight and fight – to the neocortex, which is about solutions.

This thinking has served me well. I’ve got quite a few friends who run their own businesses and when COVID came along we all felt alive. I just thought “bring it on, I’ve faced adversity, this is where I shine and we’ll bounce through it”, as we did.

Melbourne, which is where my brother runs a number of my gyms, was hit really badly. I kept saying to him this was our time to show we’re engaged with our community and he stepped in and grabbed it by the horns. It was nothing compared to the adversity we had dealt with before.

Once you’ve been through one difficult time you know you can do it again and again. You ask yourself, have I been through this situation before? And what did I do about it? And you end up stronger for the experience.

photo: Myzone

Dave Wright, founder of Myzone

/ photo: Myzone
Myzone is now used by 2.5 million people in 9,000 gyms and facilities globally / photo: Myzone
Myzone is now used by 2.5 million people in 9,000 gyms and facilities globally / photo: Myzone
Myzone’s wearables give users real-time feedback / photo: Myzone
Myzone’s wearables give users real-time feedback / photo: Myzone
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/2023/484756_305231.jpg
The founder of Myzone and one of the fitness industry’s most visionary entrepreneurs talks to Kath Hudson about how he deals with adversity
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features

Life lessons: Dave Wright

The founder of Myzone and one of the fitness industry’s most visionary entrepreneurs talks to Kath Hudson about how he deals with adversity

Published in Health Club Management 2023 issue 10
The launch and expansion of Myzone into a global brand has not been without its hurdles / photo: Myzone
The launch and expansion of Myzone into a global brand has not been without its hurdles / photo: Myzone
I used to look at myself in the mirror at three o’clock in the morning and say “why the fuck are you doing this?"

The toughest time of my career was in 2011-2012 – about a year after I’d launched Myzone.

CFM, my company which sold gym memberships, used a collections company to handle contracts. That company was taken to court for having illegal contracts and 98 per cent of these were for CFM.

Although I moved our membership administration away from them, they continued to collect the money, so we lost £7.2m of what we were due and there was nothing I could do about it.

As this was shortly after the launch of Myzone, we were having technical issues and product recalls and our monthly CFM income went down from £480,000 to £112,000 at the same time as Myzone needed investment.

It was like being punched in the face with your hands behind your back and not being able to do a thing about it. Everything was on the line.

I would meet with my financial controller and make the decision about who we could pay that week and I didn’t take a salary from Myzone for six years. It was a stressful time.

I said to my team that we had to sell our way through it, that Myzone would eventually change the health of the world and if they stuck with me they would be paid handsomely.

From years of selling memberships, speaking to people and owning my own gyms, I knew Myzone would be a global success, but many people doubted it and when the two crises hit at the same time I used to look at myself in the mirror at three o’clock in the morning and say “why the fuck are you doing this?”

Bring it on
As awful as it was, I did believe I would look back with hindsight and see it had happened for a reason and I do. You can’t appreciate the good times if you don’t have bad times. And when you’re flush with cash you make silly decisions. What I developed from that time was a laser focus on profitable, efficient operations. I’ve always been able to deal with adversity by thinking that it’s only a moment in time. Whatever it is at some point it will be over and then you’ll be stronger for it.

I’ve always been a big believer in learning about – and developing – mental strength. I started out working with kids, being a camp director in Australia and America, which was all about teaching them mental resilience. When you run a sales and marketing company you have to become adept at overcoming objections and dealing with rejection, so I’ve constantly read books and gone to seminars on how to train your mind to deal with adversity.

I believe it’s not what happens to you but how you respond which makes the difference. So every time I get presented with adversity, I ask myself what can I do to deal with this and how can I find a solution? It’s all about moving from your reptilian brain – your flight and fight – to the neocortex, which is about solutions.

This thinking has served me well. I’ve got quite a few friends who run their own businesses and when COVID came along we all felt alive. I just thought “bring it on, I’ve faced adversity, this is where I shine and we’ll bounce through it”, as we did.

Melbourne, which is where my brother runs a number of my gyms, was hit really badly. I kept saying to him this was our time to show we’re engaged with our community and he stepped in and grabbed it by the horns. It was nothing compared to the adversity we had dealt with before.

Once you’ve been through one difficult time you know you can do it again and again. You ask yourself, have I been through this situation before? And what did I do about it? And you end up stronger for the experience.

photo: Myzone

Dave Wright, founder of Myzone

/ photo: Myzone
Myzone is now used by 2.5 million people in 9,000 gyms and facilities globally / photo: Myzone
Myzone is now used by 2.5 million people in 9,000 gyms and facilities globally / photo: Myzone
Myzone’s wearables give users real-time feedback / photo: Myzone
Myzone’s wearables give users real-time feedback / photo: Myzone
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/2023/484756_305231.jpg
The founder of Myzone and one of the fitness industry’s most visionary entrepreneurs talks to Kath Hudson about how he deals with adversity
Latest News
Kerzner International has ushered in a new era of wellness-centric hospitality and unveiled its highly-anticipated ...
Latest News
Following a successful pilot, The Gym Group is rolling out a programme, delivered by The ...
Latest News
As Planet Fitness announces strong year-end results there are reports the company is planning a ...
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The ICO has ruled that eight leisure operators have been unlawfully processing the biometric data ...
Latest News
Xponential Fitness has told HCM it will vigorously defend itself against claims made in a ...
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“2024 is going to the be biggest year for Gymshark ever,” says CEO and founder, ...
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More consumers are realising meditation is beneficial, but many give up because it’s difficult to ...
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Featured supplier news: Panatta shares the secrets behind the Three Angles Biceps Machine
Panatta’s Three Angles Bicep Machine is designed for training the main elbow flexor muscles; the biceps brachii and brachialis.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: seca TRU: Medical values for medical fitness
Developed for the world of medicine, tailored to the needs of modern fitness studios. The seca TRU seamlessly provides medical expertise for health-focused training with a clinically validated body composition analysis meeting the health and fitness industry's evolving demands.
Company profiles
Company profile: Xplor Gym
Xplor Gym is an all-in-one gym management software with embedded payments & integrated access control ...
Company profiles
Company profile: FIBO Global Fitness
FIBO Global Fitness is the international platform for fitness, wellness and health. During four days, ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Featured press releases
Balanced Body press release: Celebrity favourite, Exhale Pilates, partners with Contrology® to pioneer classical pilates at new London site
Award-winning classical Pilates studio, Exhale Pilates, has opened a new site in the heart of Marylebone, London, furnished with Contrology® apparatus from Balanced Body, global provider of Pilates equipment and education with a trading history spanning more than 45 years.
Featured press releases
Greenwich Leisure Limited press release: GLL and Pickleball England launch leap year taster day
As part of a partnership with Better, the charitable social enterprise that operates leisure centres across the UK, Pickleball England has announced that they will be offering free pickleball taster sessions this February 29th, as part of a nationwide campaign to encourage the public to get active on the extra day of the year.
Directory
Cryotherapy
Art of Cryo: Cryotherapy
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Lockers
Fitlockers: Lockers
Salt therapy products
Himalayan Source: Salt therapy products
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Snowroom
TechnoAlpin SpA: Snowroom
Property & Tenders
Loughton, IG10
Knight Frank
Property & Tenders
Grantham, Leicestershire
Belvoir Castle
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
11-14 Apr 2024
Exhibition Centre , Cologne, Germany
Diary dates
30 May - 02 Jun 2024
Rimini Exhibition Center, Rimini, Italy
Diary dates
08-08 Jun 2024
Worldwide, Various,
Diary dates
11-13 Jun 2024
Raffles City Convention Centre, Singapore, Singapore
Diary dates
22-25 Oct 2024
Messe Stuttgart, Germany
Diary dates
04-07 Nov 2024
In person, St Andrews, United Kingdom
Diary dates
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