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"I Don't Work in the Business of Six-Packs..."

Jack Boon

Founder GRIPT Personal Training

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About this episode [listen below]

Jack has built his business off the back of his passion to truly understand the individual, not simply thrust them into exercise routines. Applying his deep understanding of emotional intelligence and hard work, he is able to break down scientific principals into easy-to-understand actionable insights and truly achieving results with his clients. This is one of the many reasons GRIPT has become a booming business.

Transcript below. 

"I'd say to people all the time I don't work in the businesses of six packs. I work in the business of people."

- Jack Boon

"Embracing that patience and not panicking or being too stressed that things aren't necessarily where we want them to be right now and having faith that we continue to do our daily things day in day out and they're all leading to a path of a greater picture."

- Jack Boon

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GUESTS ON THIS EPISODE

Jack Boon

Jack is the Founder of GRIPT Personal Training. Having spent 10 years building his skills and knowledge in fitness and health, Jack is on a mission to help as many people as he can by sharing his teachings on holistic living. Jack's passion lies with the personal growth found within an individual having accomplished things they thought to be out of reach. To see people build confidence that flows through other facets of their lives, is where he gains his fulfilment. 

 "So just being able to break down people's... probably their ideology of what weight training actually is. Teaching them that it's far more than just physical and that a huge component of it is what's going in your head and what is the intention behind everything that you're actually doing there and that goes as far from what is your goal, why is it that you're actually turning up into the gym in the first place and what things need to be executed to get you from A to B."

- Jack Boon

EPISODE TRANSCRIPT

Jack: [00:00:00] I say to people all the time. I don't work in the business of six-packs. I work in the business of people, okay. For me, it's all about what's going on up here not what's actually happening on the outside. That's a byproduct of what we do and it's great and it helps people you know feel a sense of accomplishment and achievement, walk taller and more confident but at the end of the day it's very much about how somebody is viewing themselves and the happiness that they can live within their own skin.

 

Kareena: [00:00:23] Jack Boon the founder of GRIPT Personal Training. Jack is a man whose passion lies with the personal growth found within an individual having accomplished things that they thought to be out of reach. Tune in to hear just how Jack came to found GRIPT and what it really means to be "Built. Not Born.".

 

Kareena: [00:00:50] Hey there Loopers. Welcome to another episode of In The Loop where we chat about the business end of being an influencer. I'm your host Kareena and today we're interviewing GRIPT Personal Training Founder: Jack Boon.

 

Jack: [00:01:02] Hey Guys!

 

Kareena: [00:01:02] So Jack I'm very excited to talk to you about everything GRIPT. Obviously owning a gym is very exciting and something that a lot of fitness professionals aspire to. So, to kick us off I want to get all the way back.

 

Jack: [00:01:13] Okay, how far?

 

Kareena: [00:01:14] Basically to your childhood. I'd love to know what kind of kid you were that inspired this success in owning and running a gym.

 

Jack: [00:01:23] I don't know if that is connected to my childhood. Maybe it is. Maybe it is. It's happened very naturally and organically in the way that my mother would probably testify to it. If we're going back to the childhood we always had a bit of a problem with authority paying attention and doing as been told so to be doing my own thing has just made the most sense.

 

Jack: [00:01:42] And I grew up forever thinking that I was going to play professional sport in either cricket or football. You know I took to some good levels which I'm proud of but I didn't go the way as planned so I was kind of back to the drawing board and left with you know what's next. And as I just discussed before we started recording you know got 95 percent of the way through a marketing and finance degree but in a way, it was very much just doing that because that's what my school friends were doing. And PT was a job that was just sort of allowing me a good time of exchange for money in between that after school and it grew from there and I realized that maybe I cared about it a bit more than just picking up my paycheck at the end of the day.

 

Kareena: [00:02:19] So you went and got your formal qualifications as a PT?

 

Jack: [00:02:22] Yeah, I did. I did that while I was still at school.

 

Kareena: [00:02:24] So tell us about your work then as a PT. Where did you start out?

 

Jack: [00:02:27] I actually grew up in Tassie in Hobart. Gym was always something that was of interest. Again, seeing as we're talking about childhood always you know running around wrestling with your mates and you know getting dirty and whatever that may be and I've always enjoyed that. So, you know flexing your biceps and things like that and just had an interest in it from a young age. So, I started going to the gym I think my mum might have bought me some dumbbells when I was probably twelve in the bedroom.

 

Kareena: [00:02:53] Supportive.

 

Jack: [00:02:54] Yeah, very much. And then probably started going to the gym properly when I was maybe 14-15 years old and that was just you know in free periods at school, after school, at the school gym. And whether I was probably aware of it or not it was just a really good outlet and therapy for me. A way to sort of just balance all those childhood hormones and whatever was going on. So, I was fortunate that there were some older guys in the gym that I got to know and they kind of gave me some guidance and direction where it needed and it just became part of my routine and it's just something that I'm reliant on in a way and I'm out of whack if I'm not exercising and training and just enjoy passing it on to other people.

 

Kareena: [00:03:33] So hugely passionate about it.

 

Jack: [00:03:33] Very much so. So, PT was such a flexible thing given that it's not typical hours of 9:00 to 5:00. So, I'd be able to go to the gym, take a few clients in the morning, go do some university studies, hang out with some mates and head back into the gym in the afternoon if I wanted to. And it gave me the financial freedom to be able to do things that your typical 17-18-19-year-old guys would want to be doing.

 

Kareena: [00:03:53] Jack's passion for health and fitness goes beyond the fun and physical exertion of the activity. Jack shares the turning point of what took fitness from being a simple hobby to making it his life's work.

 

Jack: [00:04:05] Now, we're gonna get deep pretty quick. The real sort of turning point for me. There's been two significant young women in my life that we won't go into the names of just out of respect for their privacy.

 

Kareena: [00:04:16] Sure, absolutely.

 

Jack: [00:04:17] They suffered deep dark depression and went down a road of self-harming which I was, I suppose, close witness to. And that mental health issue was very much stimulated from body image issues and body image disorders through things like anorexia and bulimia and that. So, that for me was a bit of a turning point where I realized okay this isn't just you know going in showing someone how do a few squats, taking my money home at the end of the day and realize that there's a real issue here that I think has increased with modernity and the social media pressures and everything that's sort of arisen in the way that it's changing the world that we live in.

 

Jack: [00:04:57] And that, like I said, that was just very much a turning point for me and now I'd say to people all the time I don't work in the businesses of six packs. I work in the business of people.

 

Kareena: [00:05:04] Perfect.

 

Jack: [00:05:05] Okay, so for me it's all about what's going on up here not what's actually happening on the outside. That's a byproduct of what we do and it's great and that helps people you know feel a sense of accomplishment and achievement, walk taller and more confident but at the end of the day it's very much about how somebody is viewing themselves and the happiness that they can live within their own skin.

 

Kareena: [00:05:24] Becoming increasingly frustrated by the commercial gym models available at the time and realizing that his ability to help people was limited. Jack set out to create an environment that could bring his vision to life. And that's why he founded GRIPT.

 

Jack: [00:05:38] So, I start at a small gym called Zap Fitness. So that's Tasmanian owned company. They've got a very much a model like Anytime Fitness which is probably more well-known. So, a 24/7 kind of low budget, low entry point kind of gym. And that was great. It's a great place to sort of find your feet but after spending my time there I then moved to Melbourne. When Zap actually expanded to Victoria with the goal to set up the personal training company GRIPT where I was actually subcontracting some trainers to work for me under that banner. Where then I would have done the leg work for them in terms of getting the clientele, managing the programming and the payment processing and essentially paying them a commission for what that was. But being confined to that environment, that set up, probably not having the support network on the same train and the same path and the passion that I sort of spoke about and why I'm actually getting out of bed and doing this every day. When you met with a bottleneck on how many people you could actually help. So, obviously, you know you can probably help maybe 20 people yourself if they're trying multiple times a week and then very much the same with your subcontracted trainers. So, you know I was just met with some roadblocks and I literally called my friend Drew, who is now my business partner who has a background in banking. So, complete opposite skill set to me and I think that's why it actually works because we complement one another in that nature and he can take care of the things that give me headaches that I really don't care or want anything to do with and vice-versa. So that call literally was just one out of frustration and I know that he had his own frustrations with the role that he was in at the same time. And that conversation very quickly stimulated from me having a vent into I think two weeks later we had a business plan and we started, sort of yeah gathering some momentum just in our own belief and started actively looking at commercial buildings around the area where we looked at probably 10 places until we found the one in South Yarra which could be described as nothing less than a rundown crack den when we took it. But the location being about 100 meters off Chapel Street in South Yarra just made perfect sense for the sort of demographic that we wanted to be able to reach. So, we did that. That was about June 2014 and I think we actually opened the doors in October 2014.

 

Kareena: [00:07:57] Right, that's a pretty quick turnaround.

 

Jack: [00:07:59] Like I said yeah from that conversation we decided yup we're going to do this. Took out a "personal loan" for some furniture and seeing as the banks weren't too willing to look at us Drew sold his car and I'd been able to save over the last sort of a couple years doing what I was doing and we emptied our bank accounts and opened up with bare minimal really. There was a couple of kettlebells, few barbells and some dumbbells and very minimal equipment, few boxing bags I think hanging from ropes from the beams of the building and just got our friends and anyone who would listen to come in and have a go. And four years on it's gone like that.

 

Kareena: [00:08:33] I can imagine. Yeah, it's a pretty big leap though to literally invest everything you have in this idea. What was that driving force? What made you go okay I'm going to do it?

 

Jack: [00:08:43] Yeah, multiple facets there. But the biggest one being that I am so passionate about that mental health side of things particularly with the stigma that surrounds body image and the way that somebody should look in 2018. And, you know, it's affected me enough on an emotional level that it's not about the money. I just was a firm believer all along that I'm confident in my skill set. In my ability to coach people and probably just given my life circumstances and some of the exposure to these kinds of things. But there's just a driving force behind the issues that that exist and I haven't had any doubts or hesitations. I've just been confident and we backed ourselves and just worked as a partnership to be quick on our feet and change with what needed to be changed and changing and try and keep the emotion out of it really and listen.

 

Kareena: [00:09:32] GRIPT is more than just a personal training studio. It's a place where people can come and feel supported in their journey and be educated on more than just the physical aspect of lifting weights. Jack tells us just what you can expect to experience when you enter GRIPT.

 

Jack: [00:09:46] We got a few little catchphrases that we throw around the gym and you know, real training, honest effort, the weights are heavier at GRIPT, built not born. Like all these things they get flown around. Like I really enjoy teaching people, educating. So, there's a big gap in the market I think in the weight training space and what that actually looks like. Group training is very popular at the moment. Things like F45 and whatnot where we have our group training, we have our semi private weight training, we have one on ones, we use some boxing as well. So just being able to break down people's probably their ideology of what weight training actually is. Teaching them that it's far more than just physical and that a huge component of it is what's going in your head and what is the intention behind everything that you're actually doing there and that goes as far from what is your goal, why is it that you're actually turning up into the gym in the first place and what things need to be executed to get you from A to B and then with the exercise selection that you're doing as well. Because the way that you've been programmed since you've been born if I said, "hey can you help me move this couch" you know, you're going to use your arms, you're gonna use your legs, you're going to use your back and you're doing it very unconsciously. So, changing that mindset for people and being like you're not here to move weight because you're not a weight lifter. That is not your goal. You're here to, let's say we're doing a lower body session and you're trying to target your hamstrings and glutes and that's going to take a lot of you know neurological control and honing in on the way that you're executing and actually doing it with contractions rather than just moving weight with no regard to what muscles are actually doing it. Just I think that mindset and that approach to it alone has a differentiation to a way a lot of people are actually coaching. Probably then the way that we structure our groups as well and giving people an affordable way to be able to get high quality and frequent weight training without breaking the bank and having to go through that one on one path forever.

 

Kareena: [00:11:34] A strong focus on mindset is one of the guiding principles that attracts so many to GRIPT. Trainers are taught to leverage their emotional intelligence and approach clients empathetically in a bid to connect and support each other throughout their journey.

 

Jack: [00:11:46] Going on from what I just sort of said there I meet a lot of people. I'll stick with young women not to stereotype them because it's men as well. But you meet people, they come inside the gym and they've got some closed-off body language, their eyes are often down, a little bit nervous or insecure about probably their environment and their abilities also and It's often the instinctual answer to say I can't do it and it's too hard. It becomes intimidating or scary. So that's where we come in and I'm very big on us. You know I hate the coaching and the PT style of that drill sergeant sort of army yelling yo yo. Much more you know a softer approach where we're empathetic and exercise some emotional intelligence actually be there with you doing it. So, you know supporting people through these challenges or they might view them as problems but then after time of consistently doing things that they didn't think they could do. That mindset changes from being overwhelmed and doing something as a problem and instead actually being like oh you know what fuck it. There's a challenge I want to take it on and I believe that firmly flows through the other facets of their life whether it be in their personal relationships or whether it be in the workplace and whatever it may be.

 

Kareena: [00:12:56] Jack has some big goals for GRIPT and shares with us just what he aims to achieve.

 

Jack: [00:13:03] Well I suppose the vision and mission ties back to the original story and what got me into it in the first place. And, like I said, being in a commercial gym space you met with a bottleneck on how many people you can reach. In terms of you know who I'm in touch with at the moment it's like a drop of water in the ocean. So, the larger the brand becomes and the larger that I managed to get my profile and we're able to continue to get that message across and obviously open up more gyms across Victoria and eventually across Australia then that reach becomes far greater. I feel grateful if I've had the ability to influence one person's life in a positive manner so the more and more people that I get to have just the slightest influence over, or that my team have influence over, then you know that that's a win for me. But yeah, all in all I think that's our plan over the next sort of five years is to start expanding them across the country. And who knows, if you ask me four years ago where you think I'd be now and where the gym would be, it probably would've been a completely different answer to what it actually looks like. So, for me to answer that question on where I think things will be in five years is probably going to be well off where it actually will be and I'm excited and looking forward to seeing what opportunities and avenues I find myself in.

 

Kareena: [00:14:09] Yeah, well it's exciting to see what you're working towards and it is gonna be interesting in five years to see where you end up.

 

Kareena: [00:14:17] Having outlined his plans for the future. We highlight a pertinent aspect of his strategy: building his personal profile. This is something that's been hotly debated in entrepreneurial circles as of late. And that's the idea as to whether the founders should and need to build their personal profiles alongside that of their businesses. Or should they simply focus on creating a strong brand message for their companies. We asked Jack about his move to raise his profile.

 

Jack: [00:14:43] If I look at it. I actually had a personal account before GRIPT actually came about. So that was already there.

 

Kareena: [00:14:48] Just as the general user?

 

Jack: [00:14:49] Just as a general user exactly. Now as the business has evolved and what not that's very much tailored to being specific to my profession. I actually keep my private life quite private. But again, if I look from the consumer point of view people tend to have greater interests in personalities rather than just businesses. So, being I suppose the founder of GRIPT in a way again my voice intertwines with groups voice and those philosophies overlap with one another. So, although there may be people like if I think about people let's say at the moment you might live in Queensland. We only have a GRIPT in Melbourne so your desires to follow GRIPT is probably quite minimal because what interest do you have when you can't actually train there. So, I believe that I'm an extension of that whereas I can continue to provide content and value to somebody who can't necessarily actually train in our facility and then hopefully when we do get that expansion going interstate over the next year or two, then that connection might be made and it'll complement one other with our growth.

 

Kareena: [00:15:53] Expansion is high on Jack's priority list as he sees it as a way to help reach more people. However, establishing new facilities is a long and often incredibly costly exercise. So, we ask Jack whether he'd consider the move to go online like so many other professionals in this space.

 

Jack: [00:16:09] I mean I've dabbled in the online coaching space and I hate it.

 

Kareena: [00:16:12] That's interesting, why?

 

Jack: [00:16:12] Because it sort of goes against why I'm here in the first place. Don't get me wrong there's opportunity there to make money but that's exactly what it is. It's a time of exchange for money and it's tedious. I hate sitting on a laptop. I find some reason responding to emails and you know doing online diets and stuff just grating on my soul. I like to be able to see people face-to-face. I want to say your emotion. I want to know what this is all about. I'm quite hands-on with my approach and you know coaching people. So that's not much of an interest to me. However again as we discussed before we started recording how big the online space is with apps and that is certainly something that is in the horizons of our plans to have an online app platform. But again, I don't want to do it the way that a lot of people are doing it now where it does just feel very generic. I want to make sure that there's some sort of wellness check-ins where every morning you can be recording you how did you sleep, how do you feel, what do you rate your self-confidence, how’s your strength going. And that we can actually start to gather some data from. So, you know let's say someone's been on the GRIPT training app and they've been doing it for three months and for following our nutrition protocols or whatnot and we can actually use some real data from the users saying you know 30 percent of the women that trained on the GRIPT app and follow our philosophy's report a 50 percent increase in self-confidence over a three-month period. So, all of a sudden again like I said I'm not in the business of six packs, I'm in the business of people. And if somebody can tell me that then all of a sudden I actually can sleep with a clear conscience at night knowing that's the value that I'm providing not just the aesthetic narcissistic side of things that is attached with our industry.

 

Kareena: [00:17:49] So how do you feel about that personally. Do you ever feel conflicted between the narcissistic side that is so often associated with the fitness industry and what your core philosophies are?

 

Jack: [00:17:58] For myself not so much. I mean don't get me wrong I'd be a liar if I sat here and said I don't care about what I look like. Because that's what got me there in the first place you know. But at the same time with that as well everything that I've learned that I passed on. It's all come from a place of selfishness. You learn it because you want to be the best version of yourself and then I've learned what works, what doesn't work, what I like, what I don't like and then I make my decision on, you know, is this going to apply to our GRIPT clients. Does it have a place or does it not? For example, like a lot of my mentoring and coaching and things I've been exposed to is people in the bodybuilding industry. And you know people can say what they want about bodybuilding but at the end of the day it's pretty hard to argue that it's not narcissistic because it's all about what you look like.

 

Kareena: [00:18:41] And that's going through a massive resurgence at the moment as well.

 

Jack: [00:18:42] People ask me all the time would you compete. And it's just not at all of interest. You know, I don't feel like I need to put fake tan and a G-string on for somebody to tell me that I've done good enough in the gym.

 

Jack: [00:18:53] So, separating the two I think is just organically done in the culture that we have in the gym and that's very hard to put into words But I celebrate somebody's success who's 120 kilos the same as I would who's 70 kilos. You know what you look like on the outside doesn't mean anything to me as long as you turn up with the right attitude and application and you listen and you're respectful of everybody around you then you'll be sweet.

 

Kareena: [00:19:16] Culture is something that we believe is cultivated purposefully. It's a set of guiding principles, beliefs and values that are shared by members of an organization and that filtered down to everyone that the business touches. Jack has set out to create an incredibly inclusive and supportive culture at GRIPT and he tells us about the tactics and measures that he's implemented to create an environment that he and his community members want to be part of.

 

Jack: [00:19:41] A lot of it has to be influenced by probably again my parents. That's who teaches you the most about you know, not that you want to get too caught up in what's right or wrong. And I think people should be more focused on you know, you're different, you're not right or wrong. But they're the ones that have ingrained your core values and morals of who you are as a person and what is important.

 

Jack: [00:19:59] And then having that flow into the gym and probably in a way policing it a little bit because you do get people that come into the gym that may not necessarily feel like a good fit.

 

Kareena: [00:20:11] We're talking about clients.

 

Jack: [00:20:12] We are we're talking about clients. And I think one of the biggest mistakes people make is trying to please everybody. Like I said before, I don't mind being controversial and if you don't like me you don't like me. I'm not going to lose any sleep over it. And the same thing goes with the clients, if somebody comes into our environment and they're not playing ball in terms of the way things go and you feel that their attitude might be disruptive or their choice of language is inappropriate then just being very hot on that to be able to address it and stamp it out and doing that obviously in a calm and respectable manner yourself and not being emotional and just being able to provide the perspective on why that's important and it's just naturally you know it'll wean people out who don't belong or it will create more self-awareness for that person.

 

Kareena: [00:20:53] Jack has achieved so much in just a few short years. So, we asked him to reflect on a few of his GRIPT highlights and also a few of the more challenging moments in his journey so far.

 

Jack: [00:21:05] There is no definitive one that sort of standing out in my mind. Of course, there's been lots of little successes and wins that we've been able to celebrate along the way and I suppose that's looking at each year as it goes by. From the day, we opened and just being grateful for the opportunity that we have now collecting on how much we have done in a short period of time. The people that I get to meet day in day out on a personal level and then also on a business level. You know it's awesome having the contacts that we have now whether it be you know on a doctors, physios, electricians, marketing people. We meet them all throughout our client base and seem to have a really good community going where we're looking after one another which I really appreciate and I find important. Other successes I suppose just in when we started the business with 250 square meters at 52 Wilson Street and I think it was probably two years ago now the building next door became available. So, we took over the lease from that as well. We cut a big hole in the wall so you can walk through and made one side purely conditioning based. And basically, reinvested a heap of cash and given we'd had a couple of years on the books now we had that capacity to borrow some money from the banks and create an environment and a facility that is far more reflective of probably the level of expertise we have and the passion that's driving behind it all. So yeah that's probably the biggest one.

 

Kareena: [00:22:27] What challenges have you experienced during this time as an entrepreneur basically starting your own business.

 

Jack: [00:22:32] Definitely that. I mean money's your oxygen to be able to do the things that you want to do.

 

Kareena: [00:22:36] Cash flow or investment?

 

Jack: [00:22:36] Probably more of both because in terms of investment it's just we own it ourselves, we haven't got any investors on board the equity is split between Drew and myself but that's all come from our own bank accounts and the story that I just told. So, you know, when you've got something a vision in mind and I'd love to be able to open it that way from day dot but that was the reality of the restrictions that we did have. So yeah, money being a big one to give you oxygen to be able to market the way that you need to, to be able to actually have the equipment that you think to be in the gym, to have branding in place that actually is aligned and represents probably what you're actually about.

 

Jack: [00:23:12] In terms of challenges, I would probably say just patience, to be able to exercise patience. And you know it's something that's probably been forced, out of no choice, but embracing that patience and not panicking or being too stressed that things aren't necessarily where we want them to be right now and having faith that we continue to do our daily things day in day out and they're all leading to a path of a greater picture.

 

Kareena: [00:23:40] Patience, a challenge that almost all entrepreneurs struggle with at some point in their journey. The importance of this practice is something that we all need to learn to be successful. And Jack shares just how far he's come in embracing it.

 

Jack: [00:23:52] Learn some patience and I've learned to embrace the patience. And at the same time, I hold a manner or a level of self-respect on what I do. I've worked very hard to obtain the knowledge and the experience that I do have today. And with that I know my worth. I'm not interested in entering relationships built on obligation because that's not real. Again, I think that's transparent as well. If somebody is posting because they're contractually obliged to, it shows.

 

Kareena: [00:24:25] Patience is not the only thing Jack has learnt in his time as a business owner or fitness professional. Having gathered information from numerous mentors over time Jack has found a way to share this knowledge with his clients and his audience in a way that makes sense to them.

 

Jack: [00:24:40] Nothing that I know has ever been created by myself. I think that goes across most industries. Fitness more so than probably others. You know, I'm not reinventing the wheel here. I've learned what I learn and I take what I find applicable to my demographic and our business model and implement it where appropriate. I've had very good mentoring and coaching from people and one of the biggest influences I've had myself was Luke McNally who started the supplement company Mass Nutrition which some of the listeners would probably know about. The Biggest supplement company in the country. And he was an ex Mr. Australia and physique coach very much in the bodybuilding space but an extremely intelligent brain which sort of opened my mind to holistic health and viewing things beyond just food and exercise. And then have dived into the space with Charles Poliquin who recently passed away. Yeah just try and pass on that knowledge in my own way. I think you create your own luck as corny as that sounds and you do that by doing your time. It's really cool that I'm at the point in time in my career where I have the ability to pick and choose who I work with a little bit and I'm not forced financially to take on all business that comes my way. But just it's got to be time. I think if you continue to try and develop yourself then these opportunities present themselves. I even look at myself as an 18-year-old PT and I thought I got this shit figured out. You know a piece of advice I actually read and learned a couple years ago was that if you're not looking back on some of the information you provided to your client or network twelve months ago and you don't feel slightly embarrassed about it, then you need to re-evaluate your development avenues and processes there because obviously, you've hit a bit of a stagnant point there. I love looking back on things and going you know what, that was a stupid thing to say because that means I'm moving forward. And that constant progression and educating myself is what keeps me alive.

 

Kareena: [00:26:33] Jack's method of educating people is one of the main contributing factors to his success. Some may even attribute it to luck. But as far as Jack's concerned, there is no such thing.

 

Kareena: [00:26:42] Keeps me motivated and I think flows back into the business. Like I said, we're trying to provide a point of difference and that comes down to not just the way that we deliver the information but what is that information. And taking away from some of the fad stuff that is flourishing in the fitness industry at the moment because people, I call it "enter-training", because you know it looks cool and it's exciting and it's funny but some of it is pretty *beep*.

 

Kareena: [00:27:12] Jack considers a few other factors that have led to his success with GRIPT. Namely his periodic evaluation of business activities. Going through this review process and understanding what has and hasn't worked, has enabled the team a group to improve with each iteration. So, what else does Jack do to ensure that GRIPT keeps moving forward.

 

Jack: [00:27:30] Learning from the mistakes definitely. Made heaps of them but not dwelling on it. So again, trying to take the emotion out of it and not taking everything so personally. I'm young in business and we put all our eggs in one basket, you're bound to make mistakes. But instead of viewing them as problems, view them as an opportunity because it's taught me what works and what doesn't work. And just being quick to go, yep we've tried it, it doesn't work. I'm not gonna worry too much about why and whose fault this was but let's drop it and move on because the more time I sit here dwelling, is less time that I'm spending executing on something more positive.

 

Kareena: [00:28:04] Is there anything you would have done differently then?

 

Jack: [00:28:05] Heaps, heaps. I mean the amount of money that we probably wasted on certain pieces of equipment is one that just stands out for me. Like all things, there's very different tiers of quality that you can buy and the equipment that we have in the gym now is of a really high quality but it's not the highest quality. Because again, I look at who our demographic is, my clientele don't know the difference between a $10,000 and a $5,000 cable pace. But at the same time, when we were in early doors, being so eager to have something that was of a greater quality was probably speaking more to my ego because in a way the gym facility is a representation of my skill set and myself. So, being impatient and wanting to buy bigger pieces and compromising on the quality of them to get more stuff in there to keep people excited and entertained and stimulated or whatever you want to call it and then having to find yourself repurchasing it another 12 months later with a higher quality when perhaps I would have been better off just holding off a little bit longer. Putting that money into marketing or something more important at the time.

 

Kareena: [00:29:13] Marketing is an area that Jack and his team have invested in quite heavily - especially in the social media space. We learn more about the role that social media is playing in Jack's personal and business profiles.

 

Jack: [00:29:25] So I am grateful that I don't have to manage our businesses social media.

 

Kareena: [00:29:30] So you keep them entirely separate.

 

Jack: [00:29:32] Yep. So, although, mind you they intertwine. So often there's content that gets shared on my personal account that will get shared on the business account as well. But it's a time-consuming thing.

 

Kareena: [00:29:41] It is, creating content and planning everything.

 

Jack: [00:29:45] Yeah exactly. So, for the business we've got our Facebook and we have our Instagram being the main ones. Of course, there's things like LinkedIn and whatnot. How I use it myself personally. My goal is...

 

Jack: [00:29:55] Basically they just provide valuable content. I'd say that 80 percent of the things that I post I'm trying to go down an educational route where I'm giving people insights into either what I'm doing, that might be applicable to themselves, or somebody that they know. Giving instruction and then also providing some entertainment at the same time. So, my strategy with it is, make sure that it's valuable, so quality over quantity, but at the same time trying to make sure that I am posting frequently, consistently and that it's got a little bit of diversity amongst what's getting used there.

 

Jack: [00:31:25] I really like the story feature because that just gives me the ability to sort of speak freely, show a little bit of personality.

 

Kareena: [00:31:32] Which is hard to convey in an image.

 

Jack: [00:31:33] And I don't mind being controversial and calling some things out there. I mean, again, we're in a time, an interesting time, where there's a lot of shit out there for lack of a better word.

 

Kareena: [00:31:56] I know, there is.

 

Jack: [00:31:57] I don't know anything about accounting. That's why I hire an account. If there's people that don't know anything about fitness and there's things that they're reading and hearing it's not their fault for being ignorant and believing so. I see that's where I feel a little bit of obligation to break down the fact and fad.

 

Kareena: [00:32:24] What role is social media playing in this because it sounds like it's almost aligned and getting more people to hear your message.

 

Jack: [00:32:29] Massive, massive. Yeah, I mean, social media is great and then social media is horrible because social media has given people like myself the ability to get exposure, to be able to market our business because you know print media is very much dead and advertising on TV in my opinion anyway.

 

Kareena: [00:32:46] And ridiculously expensive.

 

Jack: [00:32:46] Yeah and crazy expensive. It's given opportunity where we didn't used to have it. I think we live, I'm very big on you know Gary Vaynerchuk.

 

Kareena: [00:32:52] I do, huge fan!

 

Jack: [00:32:53] I love listening to Gary's stuff. You know, he's very inspirational and it's just so true. Everything that comes out of his mouth like people are complaining and upset about how tough things are but they don't realize that we have more opportunity surrounding us now than we ever have as young people in particular. But then at the same time there's the flipside of that, that you know social media is occasionally giving people a voice to be heard when they shouldn't be probably listened to in the first place. But that's where you need to I suppose, not be worried about what other people are doing and I just keep doing what I'm doing and whether you like it, you like me or you don't, that's up to you to decide.

 

Kareena: [00:33:28] With so many variables when it comes to creating great content. We ask Jack what he thinks is working well across these various social media accounts but namely Instagram.

 

Jack: [00:33:37] I just think with our Instagram, we're consistent with the message. We're consistent with the voice. So, yourself with your background in marketing, you'd be very aware of what the tone of voice actually means in your business.

 

Kareena: [00:33:49] Absolutely.

 

Jack: [00:33:49] And trying to make sure that our choice of language is one that is uplifting and positive, providing acknowledgement for people's successes and reinforcing our values that we do try and drive with the words and the blogs and the content and whatever it is that we put out there.

 

Kareena: [00:34:05] As many business owners would recognize, creating this wide variety of content is both time consuming and often a specialized task. Consumers are demanding high quality and a high frequency of fresh new content. So, we find out just how Jack is managing to keep up with this.

 

Jack [00:34:21] One of my very good friends Rod Favola, check him out @rayrollaau his Instagram account is. So, he has done his degree in photography at RMIT. I think he's only just about to finish in the next month or so. He has done pretty much all out photography and just in his own learning it's been fun for him to experiment but now we've got our look pretty much down pat with the edits and things that he does. He's trained at the gym himself, knows a lot of the members now as well. So, he just comes in probably once a month and sneaks around like a little fly on the wall and just captures people in their finest moments with facial expressions on the leg press and whatever you may. So, and then dumps us with loads of stuff with the choices to pick from. So yeah, he does a lot of the content in terms of the photography. Of course, there's some overlaps that happen. So, for example, recently been doing some stuff with Elyse Knowles and we got up a lot of content from the Vital Green's crew that came in and did a lot of filming for a day of me and her training. And at the same time, we're all just very proactive in helping one another. I mean iPhones how good are the cameras these days.

 

Kareena [00:35:19] So good!

 

Jack: [00:35:16] Come a long way from the snake on your 3315. Getting a lot of behind the scenes footage and raw. A lot of content, occasionally you know it's nice to have you polished content with the music and the graphics and the editing stuff. From a marketing perspective, I think it's almost our content that gets the most views the most interactions and likes, tends to be the stuff that's unpolished. Stuff that's just raw because there's no trickery there and people can relate a little bit more.

 

Kareena: [00:35:41] It looks authentic and organic.

 

Kareena: [00:35:45] Having a strategy around content creation is imperative to creating an account that not only gets followers but engages them. So, we take a look at the Instagram strategy behind both GRIPT and Jack Boon.

 

Jack: [00:35:57] My own Instagram is managed by myself. I just try and be proactive with it. I might have topics at the start of the week. Every Monday morning, I get in the gym at about 5:30 and my first half an hour is pretty much set on mapping out my week and I pretty much do a To Do List. And whether I get that all done on Monday and Tuesday or whether I'm still working on a Friday afternoon, that's completely up to me and what else is going on in and around it. So, often within that Monday morning planning, I have an idea of what content I want to get out there and what messages I'm interested in sending out. In terms of the business, so GRIPT's Instagram, again that's on a schedule where I think 2 posts happen a day. A lot of the photography used from Rod and again whether it be myself, Drew or Brigitte who works as our concierge. She's pretty competent in putting together some little mash-up videos and things as well which just again giving people insights into what's actually happening in the place.

 

Kareena: [00:36:49] With your personal account, given that you manage it, what have you found has worked really well and what hasn't worked well on Instagram?

 

Jack: [00:36:55] I've discussed this with a few of my staff as well and the biggest thing I think you need to overcome when starting out is the fear you've got of judgment. Especially when you've got a thousand people following you, for example, when I'm talking as if I've got 10,000 or 20,000 listening to me and you look like a bit of an idiot. You mates will have a bit of a laugh and a poke at you and that's all well and good. And you know you weather this storm and you get through that and now it's really rewarding actually finding those people the ones having a bit of a laugh and a bit of a joke, are now looking to do some things with their own ventures and might actually come to you for a little bit of advice. So, just being true to yourself. I don't ever try to be somebody that I'm not. You either like me or you don't. And I don't try and please everybody with my words and the content that I put out there or the style.

 

Kareena: [00:37:40] Having a public profile comes with its pros and cons. One of the cons being the pressure to maintain a certain image. Much has been done to disparage this school of thought and encourage authenticity among the group with many influences sharing both the ups and downs as a way to stay connected with their audience. Now Jack is someone that's clear about who he is and what he represents. So, it left us wondering. Has he ever felt a pressure to behave a certain way, knowing that he's got eyes on him. What we came to find was that Jack's contentment in who he is as a person, was born out of the consistent effort he put into his personal development over years.

 

Jack: [00:38:14] Not really. Not at all. I'm pretty free-spirited in that manner. I'm content with who I am as a person. I've put a lot of work into my personal development over the last few years with the business and that's very much happened with a psychologist. We put so much energy, time and effort into what's going into my body nutritionally and what I'm doing in the gym. So, why would I be so neglected to put equal if not more amount of energy into something that's overriding all of that and that's my brain.

 

Kareena: [00:38:44] Very good point.

 

Jack: [00:38:44] So although that relationship with a psychologist maybe came out of a time of difficulty for myself many years ago, that relationship has quickly flourished from something that was perhaps spent with a short term of tears into a now more time with laughter. You know I've become fascinated with understanding my psychology, understanding what it is that makes me tick, what it is that actually rubs me the wrong way and being able to discover that those reasons are actually probably from something with inside myself not necessarily what somebody else is doing. So, it just calms all the anxiety around like I said the emotion things and when you can recognize why you are feeling in a certain way, has allowed me to make far more logical and strategic decisions with my personal life and also the business.

 

Kareena: [00:39:30] Jack talks openly about his past struggles and mental health and how he's worked to overcome them. With so many affected by this we were keen to hear Jack's take on just how this conversation is evolving. We want to bring more awareness to this issue and remove the stigma that's been associated with it for far too long.

 

Jack: [00:39:46] Certainly becoming more common. It's not so taboo and fearful because it does get in old school male mentality as a weakness. And that's why I'm so forward in sharing that I have that part of my monthly routine check. That I check in and do those kind of things because again people might view me as an authority figure or an alpha male or someone who is going to the gym and can do this and this and this but I'm not scared to dive into my emotions as well because we've all got them.

 

Kareena: [00:40:18] Yes, we do.

 

Jack: [00:40:18] And there's some really good things going on. I mean obviously, the AFL is big in Australia and there's been lots of media coverage on mental health issues with certain players around that which I think is helping breaking down some barriers. There'd be so much that I don't know about, in that space, but obviously, there's like Beyondblue and those kinds of things. There's a very good friend of mine from back home called Mitch McPherson who started a charity called SPEAK UP! Stay ChatTY when his younger brother actually sadly took his own life about three four years ago as well.

 

Kareena: [00:40:49] Oh jeeze.

 

Jack: [00:40:49] And he's doing great things down in Tassie and getting some reach across Australia as well. So, I often consult with him. When we looked, we've run a men's health night where we had a doctor psychologist and a few other people be present to speak about that.

 

Kareena: [00:41:01] How was that received?

 

Jack: [00:41:03] It was really good. So, off the back of that straight, you know, something that I've learned is that if you want somebody to be vulnerable with you, you must be brave enough to be vulnerable with them in the first place to encourage that behaviour in return. So, running a night like that just in itself, obviously got people there who were in attendance that are sitting there quietly probably worrying about other things that are going on in their own life and it's given them the comfort to approach you knowing that you're not going to be laughed at and that you're not going to have your confidentiality breached. Again, same as the training thing, if we've had the ability to influence one person's life in a positive manner through expressing yourself in exercise or whether it be a conversation you know I don't care.

 

Kareena: [00:41:42] We asked Jack to leave us with a few laughs tidbits of advice that could potentially help you, our Loopers, with achieving your goals.

 

Jack: [00:41:51] I almost feel embarrassed being asked that because you know I don't think of myself. I know I know the business is going well and I'm proud of the achievements I've made so far, but I feel so strongly that this is very much the first chapter of where I'm at. You know that's hence why I feel a little bit embarrassed being asked these questions and asked for advice because I'm still looking out for everybody for advice. So, perhaps that's just maybe I've just stumbled across one there. I'm not a religious man but God gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason and I think the more that you start listening to other people then the sooner that other people will start listening to you. And no matter what level, background or cultural differences people have, being open-minded in opinions.

 

Jack: [00:42:36] So you know again, I reflect and compare myself to a younger version of Jack and if somebody didn't view the world the way I did or believed what I believe then I'd be, I'm right, you're wrong, you're a fucking idiot and I'm not. Whereas now I get excited by the opportunity to have a conversation with somebody who disagrees with me because it's adding tools to my toolkit and it's giving me greater perspective which then may have use to somebody else you meet down the track who is a client and you can have a positive influence on them.

 

Kareena: [00:43:08] Before we sign off from this interview we wanted to bring your attention to the amazing work that Jack and his team at GRIPT are doing to help raise awareness and funds for Movember.

 

Kareena: [00:43:15] So we've been chatting about quite a few things in our podcast today and one of them being mental health. So, we wanted to chat about what Jack is doing in some of the guys here at GRIPT as they're taking part in the Movember foundation fundraiser this month. So, I'll leave it to Jack to explain exactly what he's doing.

 

Jack: [00:43:33] Hey guys! As you would have heard in the podcast, mental health is a big part of what we do and the reason why we're here. Movember being a supporter of men's mental health and raising money and their awareness. So, the stats say that mental health will affect one in two men at some stage in their life. And seventy five percent of suicides is actually male related incident. So, what we're doing is, through the gym, trying to raise as much money as we can for the foundation through two ways. You can either make a donation through the link that we have in our bio on our socials or secondly on the 16th of November I'm going to be participating in a 10 minute straight set of hack squats with 100 kilos. Doing as many reps as I can and asking for sponsorship donations per rep which will once again be donated to the to the charity.

 

Kareena: [00:44:27] And we will be including all the links to these events and to the fundraising page in our show notes. So, make sure that you take a look and see how you can help out.

 

Kareena: [00:44:36] That brings us to the end of our interview Loopers. Well thank you so much for joining us on the Loop App couch this week Jack.

 

Jack: [00:44:41] Thank you for having me!

 

Kareena: [00:44:42] If you'd like to continue following Jack we've included all the links to his socials in our show notes. Not to mention the links to Jack's Movember fundraiser. So, look out for that!

 

Kareena: [00:44:53] Don't forget to let us know what you thought of our latest episode by leaving a review and giving us a rating so we always love to hear your feedback. We'll be back again next week with another episode of In The Loop where we chat about the business end of being an influencer. Catch you then!