Fear and Lack of Confidence Were Holding Him Back - Smart Hustle interview with Ramon Ray

His doubt and fear was holding him back from starting the business he always dreamed of starting said Gary Mahbair of Brooklyn based Knockout Performance.

For years Gary had been a coach to athletes, helping them perfect their kickboxing and martial arts, however what Gary really wanted to do was open up his own gym to train more people and give other coaches the opportunity to train as well.

Nestled in the heart Brooklyn, East Flatbush, Knockout Performance is a boutique fitness studio with one room adorned with 20 “punching bags” and the other room, weights, an exercise bike and a $10,000 advanced scale to measure body fat and muscle.

Watch my interview and read the rest of this blog post below.

In late 2017 Gary sat down with a long time friend and together they outlined what he needed to start a business and keep it running for a year, until it was generating enough cash flow to break even.

They were sitting in a local coffee shop, unbeknownst to them at the time, right across the street from what’s now their gym.

Gary’s friend told him, “Gary, if you don’t start this business now, you never will”. She new Gary’s fear and lack of confidence would hold him back. This encouragement propelled Gary to find space, spend a few thousand dollars remodeling the staff and stick his toe into the water of business ownership.

The business is now a few months old, launched in January 2018 and Gary says they’re breaking even and things are looking very good.

While he’s conquered his initial challenge of self doubt and lack of confidence, he’s not facing challenges of hiring and marketing.

In order to grow the business and for him not to do all the training he needs to hire staff who will adhere to his philosophy and vision of customer service and training. Hiring is often a challenge for many business owners.

Gary said he’s not looking for clones, however he does want people who he’ll enjoy working with, who will bring ideas but who also will follow the customer playbook that he envisions for Knockout Performance.

Another challenge Gary’s facing is marketing. Ironically, he said that old school marketing is working. Passing out flyers and just going out in the community. In his line of business, people in the local community are going to be his customers, so it’s important that his brand is locally known. Gary’s dabbled with online marketing, he’s not entirely sure if it’s working because he’s not sufficiently put the resources into advertising nor organic marketing with blog posts and Facebook posts. Marketing is a challenge that EVERY business faces. For retail businesses like Gary’s their marketing challenges are different than online only businesses. Retail businesses must have FOOT traffic, they need to get people in the door.

While visiting Gary’s business, one ideas we discussed was Gary having a weekly “community night” to invite the community to come into his business for free health & fun sessions. Gary said if he can get the right people into his business he can convert a good percentage of them to being a paying customer.