AJ Mihrzad found himself going through a rough period in life in his early twenties. He had chipmunk cheeks, back pain, and emotional insecurities from being 60 pounds overweight. He was partying a lot, doing a lot of drugs, and one night he overdosed, landing himself in the emergency room.
This experience opened AJ’s eyes that he needed to make a shift in his life and get his health figured out. He started studying exercise and nutrition and put a lot of hard work in the gym, helping him lose that 60 pounds. Others started noticing his results in the gym and came to him for help, resulting in his first personal training clients.
One day, AJ made a huge mistake. He accidentally mixed up a supplement with his pre workout and resulted in him taking the equivalent of 3,000 cups of coffee. He was rushed to the ER where doctors were forced to put him into a medically induced coma for six days. When this happened, his heart stopped and he was pronounced dead in front of his family. Thankfully the doctors were able to revive him.
AJ reflected on what happened and decided he needed to really pursue his dreams while he had the chance. He quit his full time job to pursue personal training. He was making $1,500/month at the time from his personal training and needed to double that.
Just by focusing on his training business full time he was able to hit his goal. Unfortunately for him, the 2008 recession hit and cut his business in half, back down to $1,500/month. AJ thought he was screwed.
AJ saw a friend at the time who made the transition from selling personal training sessions to selling group bootcamps. AJ asked him how he made the switch and was introduced to direct response marketing.
AJ started to read everything he could find on the subject from authors like Dan Kennedy, Frank Kern and Eben Pagan. He also hired a coach for $5,000 to help him grow his business, named Chris McCombs.
Chris gave him three pieces of advice that would change the direction of his life.
Chris told AJ to take action on three things.
Making these changes helped AJ grow from working with 5-6 clients per day to 50-60 clients per day and increased his income to over $8,000/month.
With this new system, AJ knew he needed to find leverage and scale. He hired a personal trainer which allowed him to focus his time on generating phone calls and signing people up for his program through Google Adwords and local search traffic.
This switch helped him grow to multiple six figures and eventually max out his facility. Living in New York, rent was very expensive and committing to a larger facility and lease seemed daunting.
He saw others at the time starting to create online courses teaching about nutrition and fitness and this gave him an idea around how he could transform his business
AJ decided to make the leap into online personal training. He used the exact same systems of generating leads and sales calls as he used in his New York based training program.
The switch he made was he now tried to persuade these leads that signing up for a $1,000, six-month online video program would be better for them then training in person. It worked so AJ decided to switch all his sales to this online program which freed him up from the expense of trainers or paying rent.
Using this new model, AJ scaled his advertisement, hired another sales person and started selling his packages for $1,000 and $5,000. Making this switch is what ultimately helped AJ scale his business to $1.2M in sales and 90% profit.
This column is brought to you by LeadQuizzes and their series, Journey to 7 Figures. To listen to the entire podcast interview with AJ Mihrzad and get advice and inspiration from other seven figure entrepreneurs, click here.
More from AJ Mihrzad
“Coaching really works well for me, so that was my unfair advantage over other people.” — AJ Mihrzad
“It’s one of the hardest things to do, to find a hungry market that is underserved and you create something that’s leveraged. ” — AJ Mihrzad
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