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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
HCM magazine
Charlotte Greenwood talks us through new research from Savanta, which is seeking to deliver a deeper understanding of what motivates consumers
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Social media is causing huge amounts of poor mental health and a lot of fitness influencers don't understand the damage they’re doing
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A new study has found major differences in the way males and females utilise fat during exercise, as Kath Hudson reports
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Weight loss drugs are altering consumer behaviour, disrupting sectors from food retailing (smaller portions) to apparel (less fabric needed). We need to move fast to align with this new reality
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Disappointment about being passed over for promotion gave Neil Randall, the resilience he needed to climb the ranks. He talks to Kath Hudson about the challenges he faced early in his career and the skills he learned from them
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Altrafit has taken further steps to cement its reputation as a provider of high-quality, affordable functional fitness equipment that is built to last with the development and introduction of a new functional fitness keg for luxury gym operator, Third Space.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: THFI’s new online coaching course partners with FITR: launch your business confidently post-completion
In today's rapidly evolving fitness industry, where many online courses promise secret formulas for entrepreneurial success, the reality is that few provide the necessary knowledge to thrive in this fast-changing profession.
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Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Featured press releases
Servicesport UK Limited press release: ServiceSport UK awarded Ministry of Justice contract for gym equipment maintenance in prisons
In a significant milestone, ServiceSport UK proudly announces that we have been awarded the prestigious Ministry of Justice contract for the inspection, service, and maintenance of PE equipment across 106 public prisons in England and Wales.
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This month sees the official opening of a brand new, £9 million Health Hub in Nottinghamshire. Based on Sport England’s Leisure Local model, the new community provision delivers a host of leisure facilities designed to bring new active living opportunities to the whole community.
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03-05 Sep 2024
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08-10 Sep 2024
Wyndham® Lake Buena Vista Disney Springs™ Resort, Lake Buena Vista, United States
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The Salil Hotel Riverside - Bangkok, Bangkok 10120, Thailand
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Locations worldwide,
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Exhibition Centre , Cologne, Germany
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Worldwide, Various,
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Koelnmesse, Cologne, Germany
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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
Urban Gym Group CEO Neil Randall talks in this month’s HCM about how being passed ...
Latest News
Boxing and strength franchise UBX has taken a step closer to realising its ambitions to ...
Latest News
Fitness International has announced the acquisition of XSport Fitness, adding to its portfolio of brands, ...
Latest News
Community Leisure UK (CLUK) and The Richmond Group of Charities have joined forces to support ...
Latest News
Mental Health Swims has been awarded almost £18,000 of lottery money to extend its mission ...
Latest News
Employee wellness app GoJoe has teamed up with Les Mills for a major new content ...
Latest News
Former footballer, David Beckham, has become a strategic investor in health sciences company, Prenetics, which ...
Latest News
Gymbox has partnered with Haringey Council and not-for-profit organisation, Raza Sana, to give opportunities to ...
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In a bid to get girls more active, Nuffield Health has launched a campaign, Move ...
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Mindbody, has launched a specialist insurance programme for its customers which is being delivered through ...
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Altrafit introduces custom functional fitness equipment at Third Space
Altrafit has taken further steps to cement its reputation as a provider of high-quality, affordable functional fitness equipment that is built to last with the development and introduction of a new functional fitness keg for luxury gym operator, Third Space.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: THFI’s new online coaching course partners with FITR: launch your business confidently post-completion
In today's rapidly evolving fitness industry, where many online courses promise secret formulas for entrepreneurial success, the reality is that few provide the necessary knowledge to thrive in this fast-changing profession.
Company profiles
Company profile: Orbit4
Orbit4 is a leading FitTech brand that provides gym operators with a comprehensive software solution ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Everyone Active
Everyone Active's aim is to get communities active, engaged and entertained through our wide-ranging activities ...
Supplier Showcases
Supplier showcase - Safe Space: Delivering the vision
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Featured press releases
Servicesport UK Limited press release: ServiceSport UK awarded Ministry of Justice contract for gym equipment maintenance in prisons
In a significant milestone, ServiceSport UK proudly announces that we have been awarded the prestigious Ministry of Justice contract for the inspection, service, and maintenance of PE equipment across 106 public prisons in England and Wales.
Featured press releases
Alliance Leisure Services (Design, Build and Fund) press release: Alliance Leisure celebrates official opening of its first Leisure Local Health Hub
This month sees the official opening of a brand new, £9 million Health Hub in Nottinghamshire. Based on Sport England’s Leisure Local model, the new community provision delivers a host of leisure facilities designed to bring new active living opportunities to the whole community.
Directory
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Lockers
Fitlockers: Lockers
Cryotherapy
Art of Cryo: Cryotherapy
salt therapy products
Saltability: salt therapy products
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Snowroom
TechnoAlpin SpA: Snowroom
Property & Tenders
Jersey
Jersey War Tunnels
Property & Tenders
Chiswick, Gillingham, York and Nottingham
Savills
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
03-05 Sep 2024
IMPACT Exhibition Center, Bangkok, Thailand
Diary dates
08-10 Sep 2024
Wyndham® Lake Buena Vista Disney Springs™ Resort, Lake Buena Vista, United States
Diary dates
19-19 Sep 2024
The Salil Hotel Riverside - Bangkok, Bangkok 10120, Thailand
Diary dates
20-22 Sep 2024
Locations worldwide,
Diary dates
01-04 Oct 2024
REVĪVŌ Wellness Resort Nusa Dua Bali, Kabupaten Badung, Indonesia
Diary dates
09-13 Oct 2024
Soneva Fushi, Maldives
Diary dates
10 Oct 2024
QEII Conference Centre, London,
Diary dates
22-25 Oct 2024
Messe Stuttgart, Germany
Diary dates
24-24 Oct 2024
QEII Conference Centre, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
04-07 Nov 2024
In person, St Andrews, United Kingdom
Diary dates
04-06 Feb 2025
Coventry Building Society Arena, Coventry, United Kingdom
Diary dates
11-13 Feb 2025
Fairmont Riyadh , Saudi Arabia
Diary dates
10-13 Apr 2025
Exhibition Centre , Cologne, Germany
Diary dates
07-07 Jun 2025
Worldwide, Various,
Diary dates
28-31 Oct 2025
Koelnmesse, Cologne, Germany
Diary dates
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