Learning, Success, and Suffering Fools in Your Business

suffering fools in your business

Do You Suffer Fools Lightly?

I don’t. You’ve likely heard Einstein’s definition of insanity (“Doing the same thing over and over again yet expecting different results.”)

Here’s my definition of foolishness: “Shooting yourself in the foot, then blaming the gun.”

And, the only thing worse than a fool is a dishonest fool; a dishonest fool will shoot himself in the foot, blame the gun, and then sue the gun manufacturer.

But, this isn’t a rant about legal activism among gun control pundits; it’s a cautionary post on allowing others to dictate the terms of engagement in your business.

Exhibit A: Taking Success Advice From Fools

Some of you are prone to do this by allowing your peer groups to dictate how you run your studio.

Instead of seeking advice from successful martial arts studio owners you instead turn to your peers, who are often struggling financially, seeking their approval. You do this out of fear for what your peer group will think if you change your marketing approach or the way you teach your classes.

The truth is, this is a non-issue. Nothing I teach requires anyone to change the quality or substance of their classes. I never did; if anything, I’ve been much harder on my students and more reluctant to promote than many of my peers. Yet, still I have been more successful financially than they.

If you take advice from people who are in no position to give it, you’re suffering fools who don’t know what they don’t know.

Exhibit B: Child-Centered Parenting As An Approach to Management

Others of you cluster at the opposite end of the spectrum. You cater to the every request of your staff, students and clients, and then wonder why they don’t respect you, or leave to train with other instructors.

What you’ve failed to realize is that by letting your staff and students run your school, you are violating the basic principles of proper relational positioning with your subordinates.

Show me any child-centered household, and I will show you ill-mannered, disrespectful, and poorly adjusted children. The simple reason is that, when the inmates run the asylum, chaos prevails.

If you allow your staff and students to run your school, you’re suffering fools that think they know better then you do how to teach martial arts and run a successful business. Or, you’re catering to the whims of people who are putting their own priorities ahead of your own.

Either is a recipe for disaster.

Exhibit C: The Shotgun Approach That Results In A Cluster, With A 100% Probability Of Failure

There are also those of you who attempt to compile information from everyone and everywhere, cobbling together a “system” that is anything but.

Maybe Chip Foose can take pieces of different cars and engines and build a virtual masterpiece of engineering and ingenuity; however, your average mechanic is not going to produce those results (remember Monster Garage?)

Likewise, most people simply do not have the capacity to take disparate and separate sources of business information and blend them together into a cohesive whole.

That’s why you see instructors who attend every seminar, every convention, and who buy every martial arts business product on the planet, yet they are still running schools with less than 100 students.

By doing this, you’re fooling yourself into believing the marketing lie that there’s a “secret shortcut” to success.

Let me save you some time and disappointment; the “secret shortcut” is finding someone who is already successful that shares your values and business ideals, and then proceeding to copy what they did to succeed.

That’s it. Anything else is an exercise in self-flagellation.

Exhibit D: Continuing To Visit The Doctor Who Has Failed To Find A Cure

Finally, there are many of you out there who remain loyal to “gurus” who have yet to provide a solution to your struggles. This is akin to continuing to visit a doctor who has failed to find a cure for you.

Any physician with a conscience knows that if they can’t find a cure for what ails you, it’s time to refer you out to someone who can. Only con artists and snake oil salesman prolong your pain to make a buck.

Never suffer the fool who will prolong your pain so they can keep their hand on your wallet.

A Bitter Medicine Often Gets The Fastest Results

Thankfully, there’s a cure for the issues I’ve described here – but you may not like it.

Over the last seven years I’ve come to realize that the cure for what ails people is often a bitter medicine that can be difficult to swallow.

And just as you have little patience for a white belt who never listens in class, I have little patience for people who refuse to take the bitter pill.

The Fast Track To Massive Business Success: One-on-One Coaching

However, few things bring me more satisfaction than coaching the teachable and willing to success in their martial arts studios.

I can take anyone who is willing and teachable from a sub-50-student enrollment to 200 students in under 24 months, so long as they follow my coaching and instruction.

If you’re eager to experience a massive increase in your business over the next 6 to 12 months, click here for details on how to get started.


  1. Megan Drap on October 31, 2011 at 12:37 am

    I found this article very helpful. Not only am I a student in college writing a paper on the marketing aspect of a Martial Arts School, but I train in one as well. The school I train in has seen better days as far as enrollment, this is partially due to the fact that most of the students are from military family’s and are forced to move all over the country. Hopefully with your incite to marketing I can aid my mother, the owner of the school, in obtaining more students. Thank you for writing a wonderful and helpful article.

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