How the Cofounder of Anytime Fitness Built 4,000 Locations

Most small business owners are never taught how to be a manager or a leader. As a result, they never learn to lead a team. And unless you can lead your team, you can never get the leverage required to build a big and profitable company.

On the Small Business Radio Show this week, Chuck Runyon, the Co-Founder of Anytime Fitness discusses how he grew his company to 4,000 franchise locations in 50 countries (including Antarctica). For example, Chuck discusses how mindset matters, how to seek trusted feedback and how to practice self-disclosure.  An alternative to big-box gyms, the company runs smaller, neighborhood clubs featuring convenience, affordability, quality equipment and non-intimidating facilities.

Chuck discussed the five lessons for entrepreneurs seeking to become a better leader:

1. Mindset Matters

As a first step, Chuck suggests getting in tune with your emotions. He says “no matter how you’re feeling, welcome those feelings. Question what’s causing them, and then seek to understand them. By knowing your emotions, personality, habits, and values, you’ll be better able to manage your stress, reactions, and overall decision-making.”

2. Seek Trusted Feedback

Chuck believes that all leaders need feedback to be successful. He adds that “by gathering feedback from different sources, inside and outside of the office, you’ll begin to discover behavior patterns that might impact your effectiveness. Be willing to see yourself through another person’s eyes will give you invaluable insight on how your mannerisms, emotions, and communication style affect others and your business.”

3. Practice Self-disclosure

Chuck reminds us that good leaders are not afraid to be vulnerable with their employees.  He reiterates that “being vulnerable is not a sign of weakness.  It’s an acknowledgment that nobody is perfect — and your employees will respect and appreciate you for it.  Engage in storytelling, share personal information, be silly with your staff, and have one-on-one meetings to allow for more honest conversations.  Allowing staff to get to know you on a personal level affects the way they see you. You’ll learn more about yourself and how others view you.”

4. Know your Team and Build Them Up

People quit bosses not companies. Chuck states that “seventy-nine percent of employees quit due to a lack of appreciation from their leaders. Get in the weeds with them, celebrate their wins, and be there for them if they fail. Encourage and empower them to take risks in order to continue improving and advancing. Provide opportunities for professional development such as conferences, events, and courses for personal growth. Your business is only as strong as your people.”

5. Measure your Growth

Finally, Chuck encourages small business owners to “take a moment to reflect on where you started, where you are now, and how you got there. Consider journaling, meditation, or mentorship to allow for natural reflection. If you journal, go back and read where you were a year, three years, or five years ago. Seeing how much you’ve grown will encourage you to strive for more. By measuring your growth and becoming aware of your progress and accomplishments, you can set more realistic goals to achieve as you grow yourself and your business.”

Listen to the entire interview on the Small Business Radio Show.


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Defined by Nature: Planet Earth Habitant, Human, Son of Eladio Rodulfo & Briceida Moya, Brother of Gabriela, Gustavo & Katiuska, Father of Gabriel & Sofia; Defined by the Society: Venezuelan Citizen (Human Rights Limited by default), Friend of many, Enemy of few, Neighbor, Student/Teacher/Student, Worker/Supervisor/Manager/Leader/Worker, Husband of Katty/ Ex-Husband of K/Husband of Yohana; Defined by the US Immigration System: Legal Alien; Defined by the Gig Economy: Independent Contractor Form 1099; Studies in classroom: Master Degree in Human Resources Management, English, Chinese Mandarin; Studies at the real world: Human Behavior; Studies at home: Webmaster SEO, Graphic Web Apps Design, Internet & Social Media Marketing, Video Production, You Tube Branding, Trading, Import-Exports, Affiliate Marketing, Cooking, Laundry, Home Cleaning; Work experience: Public-Private-Entrepreneur Sectors; Other Definitions: Bitcoin Evangelist, Human Rights Peace and Love Advocate. Author of: Why Maslow: How to use his theory to stay in Power Forever (EN/SP); Asylum Seekers (EN/SP); Manual for Gorillas: 9 Rules to be the “Fer-pect” Dictator (EN/SP); Why you must Play the Lottery (EN/SP); Para Español Oprima #2: Speaking Spanish in Times of Xenophobia (EN/SP). Social Media profiles: Twitter/FB/Instagram/VK/Linkedin/Sina Weibo: @rodulfox
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