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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
Operator Circadian Trust has launched a five-year growth drive designed to support health and wellbeing ...
Latest News
Norwegian health club operator, Treningshelse Holding, which owns the Aktiv365 and Family Sports Club fitness ...
Latest News
The HCM team were busy at the recent FIBO Global Fitness event in Cologne, Germany, ...
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Atlanta-based boutique fitness software company, Xplor Mariana Tek, has kicked off a push for international ...
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The Global Wellness Institute (GWI) has released new data on the US’ wellness economy, valuing ...
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The fitness sector’s pivot to active wellbeing is being discussed in a new weekly podcast, ...
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Planet Fitness has a new CEO – Colleen Keating. She will take up the position ...
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Company profile: active insight
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Company profile: ServiceSport (UK) Ltd
ServiceSport (UK) Ltd specialises in maintaining, servicing and re-manufacturing all brands of cardiovascular and resistance ...
Supplier Showcase
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Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Featured press releases
Power Plate UK press release: Power plate + red light therapy: life-changing ‘biostacking’
“We combine Power Plate and red light therapy in all our small group classes,” says Natt Summers, founder and owner of Accomplish Fitness in Hungerford, Berkshire.
Featured press releases
Zoom Media press release: Zoom Media expands partnership with Fitness4less
Zoom Media, the UK's leading provider of health and fitness digital media, has announced a new contract with Fitness4Less to deliver Out of Home advertising across its estate.
Directory
Lockers
Crown Sports Lockers: Lockers
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Cryotherapy
Art of Cryo: Cryotherapy
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Salt therapy products
Himalayan Source: Salt therapy products
Snowroom
TechnoAlpin SpA: Snowroom
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Loughton, IG10
Knight Frank
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Grantham, Leicestershire
Belvoir Castle
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Diary dates
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Worldwide, Various,
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ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
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Diary dates
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Diary dates
22-25 Oct 2024
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Diary dates
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Diary dates
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In person, St Andrews, United Kingdom
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