282 – Tom Bisson – How to Build a $20k Per Month One-Man Fitness Business

Thomas Bisson
Thomas Bisson

Thomas Bisson is a personal trainer, weight loss specialist, and the founder of Chigwell Personal Training. With 10+ years of training experience and learning from fitness experts like Dr. Doug McGuff and Mike Mentzer, Tom developed a training method that is fun and efficient in helping clients achieve their goals.     

After discovering the principles of Objectivism, Tom turned a failing personal training business into a $20,000 Per Month lifestyle business.

In this podcast, Tom shares his personal training journey, Objectivism principles, how to recover from business failure, business automation and leverage, how to prevent burnout, and much more.

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Show Notes

  • 1:40 – Tom’s personal training and business journey
  • 17:33 – Strategies to build a client base and decide pricing
  • 35:26 – How to acquire more customers through networking
  • 38:46 – How to recover from a business failure
  • 52:57 – Ways to automate, scale up, and leverage a HIT business
  • 55:56 – The Objectivism philosophy (Atlas Shrugged)
  • 59:22 – Keys to avoid burnouts while growing the business
  • 1:13:42 – Advice for HIT entrepreneurs

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Comments 3

  • Inspiring story, and interesting to hear. I must confess, however, that I am a little fuzzy on how he can produce such high revenue with such low amounts of training time, and a one man business.

    The $20K per month revenue figure is associated with the time he was under the influence of Bedros Keuilian, so I assume he was running group training sessions similiar to Fit Body Boot Camp? I suppose with enough classes per month, and big enough classes, the math would work, especially if you were getting people to show up 5 times a week, and charging per session. But he also mentioned being one of the few people in his breakout session who was turning a profit… and then he mentioned 10% profit? So that has me wondering how much net income (in his pocket) did he actually produce after expenses? Or did his expenses include paying himself a nice salary?

    I’m even less clear about what he is doing now that he has switched over to a more HIT approach? Still large group classes, but employing HIT methods (and reduced training frequency)? If he is only doing 6 hours a week, and hasn’t lost much income, that would suggest pretty large classes??? How well does that work, compared to 1 on 1 training or small group training???

  • Hey Greg, apologies if what I said wasn’t clear. To be honest there is so much I wanted to go in to but the time on the podcast flew by much faster than I expected.

    I want to answer your questions to help give you some clarity so if the model I created is something you want to emulate, then hopefully it’s a little easier for you.

    First. I use the “Profit First” system in regards to revenue. Reading this book will show you exactly what is included in my expenses and how I split the revenue.

    Second. The Bedros mentorship for me wasn’t about following a lot of what he taught, it was about the extreme accountability. I had too many ideas and having someone to help me organise in which order to do them is what I took most from it.

    Third. I am lazy. I do not have the energy nor patience to do lots of sessions every day. So instead I leverage my time and energy with group sessions. Have done for years. Although I do group sessions I charge the equivalent of one-on-one sessions so it’s high-end. I focus purely on delivering as much value as possible. (Remember, we don’t train bodies, we train people)

    Finally. This was my biggest revelation. I don’t really see myself as a personal trainer. I’m more of a teacher. I teach my clients the HIT principles and how to do the workouts even if I’m not there at all. This was my biggest game changer.

    Is that helpful?

  • Thanks for the reply. I was mainly curious about how to reconcile high revenue with low hours spent supervising clients. The answer seems to be to charge one-on-one training rates for group classes. Not sure that many personal trainers could pull that off. What is the biggest class that you can supervise? What kind of equipment is used? In circumstances where clients are doing workouts without you being present, are you still getting paid?

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