Hi Everyone! I’m Chris.
I’m a martial arts bum – well kinda’. I grew up in Michigan in a poor family. My father was an alcoholic, and my mother was the classic abused wife who wouldn’t leave her abuser. My dad was great when he was drunk, but mean sober so you can imagine how challenging my household was growing up.
Martial Arts was my escape. When I was old enough to have a bike, I would ride to my Martial Arts School 7 miles one way. When it got dark outside my parents would come and pick me up, and during the winter time I would find a way to train, but my parents wouldn’t/couldn’t pay for my tuition. So as soon as I got old enough, I worked at my dojo in exchange for my tuition. I cleaned the bathrooms and mats, I taught classes when needed, I worked so hard that over the years I was promoted to Senior Instructor until it was time for me to leave to go to college. I earned my 2nd Degree Black Belt before I left and it was a wonder journey that helped forge the man I am today.
As a child you always hear that Martial Arts will help develop strong character traits like confidence, discipline, self-control and respect. But as a child, you don’t really understand how. I was just attending class regularly and doing everything my instructors told me to do, and I didn’t think it was anything special because I loved it so much. But as I look back now, those experiences challenged me to develop the sense of perseverance that I hope to someday teach my kids. In my career as a pharmacist, I always used Martial Arts references and frankly I think my staff grew tired of it!
Once I left for college, my plan was to find something that I could make a lot of money relatively quickly so I could eventually develop into an entrepreneur and make some real money. I knew I was smart and I worked hard in High School to finish at the top of my class. After consulting with some of my mentors, I realized that if I went to Pharmacy School, I would be making close to a 6-figure salary right away. So that is what I did. I busted my butt during college and Pharmacy School, didn’t drink and party like my classmates (partly because I didn’t want to end up like an alcoholic like my father and uncles). And finished college and started Pharmacy School a year early. As a recent pharmacy school graduate, sure enough I was making a lot of money for a 20-something year old who came from a poor family growing up.
As my pharmacy career progressed, I was always thinking about what I wanted to do to build my empire. I got my real estate license and bought and sold properties, which was fun. I realized that if I wanted to make real estate the vehicle I used to build wealth, and then I would need to be more involved, which wasn’t possible at the time with my pharmacy career. So I put that on hold until later.
But all this time, I still remembered quite vividly how Martial Arts shaped me and helped me get to where I was at this point in my life. I always heard that there are some martial arts school owners out there that are making over $30,000 per month and I always wondered how they did it. I remember my school was only 3,000 sq. ft. with about 120 students and could never imagine what a school that was grossing over $30K per month looked like.
So now that is my quest. I don’t know if I want to go in the single mega school model – which is 1 school with over 300 students, or the multiple location model. Both models have their pros and cons, and I have been fortunate to see how both work successfully. Now I just have to determine which direction I want to go in. I don’t know if I need to decide before I open my first school, or if I can decide after a few months/years. But I know I want to open soon.
I have a few spots picked out and I’m getting great feedback from successful martial art school owners throughout the country. Some of the things that will drive my decision are how far will my commute be? How deep will the Mormon influence affect my business? How much will it affect the amount of time I have to spend with my kids as they grow up? Size, price and potential are all the same so I have to prioritize my decision based on the other factors.
I am very fortunate that my wife supports me following my dream. She is a professor at the University of Utah so income will be stable which is great because it will give me time to build this business with a good, strong foundation. She is also excited about the decision making process of starting our own business and hopes our children will also earn their black belt someday.
I hope you find this entertaining and thanks for coming along on my journey!Tweet
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