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


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

Credit: photo: Myzone
Myzone is now used by 2.5 million people in 9,000 gyms and facilities globally Credit: photo: Myzone
Myzone’s wearables give users real-time feedback Credit: photo: Myzone
 


CONTACT US

Leisure Media
Tel: +44 (0)1462 431385

©Cybertrek 2024

ABOUT LEISURE MEDIA
LEISURE MEDIA MAGAZINES
LEISURE MEDIA HANDBOOKS
LEISURE MEDIA WEBSITES
LEISURE MEDIA PRODUCT SEARCH
PRINT SUBSCRIPTIONS
FREE DIGITAL SUBSCRIPTIONS
 
19 Jun 2024 Leisure Management: daily news and jobs
 
 
HOME
JOBS
NEWS
FEATURES
PRODUCTS
FREE DIGITAL SUBSCRIPTION
PRINT SUBSCRIPTION
ADVERTISE
CONTACT US
Sign up for FREE ezine

Features List



SELECTED ISSUE
Health Club Management
2023 issue 10

View issue contents

Leisure Management - Dave Wright

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

The launch and expansion of Myzone into a global brand has not been without its hurdles photo: Myzone
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

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


Originally published in Health Club Management 2023 issue 10

Published by Leisure Media Tel: +44 (0)1462 431385 | Contact us | About us | © Cybertrek Ltd