John’s Musings – 2018 is going to be a great year!

By John’s Musings

Happy News Years to everyone! 2018 is beginning to feel like a record year with the amount of orders that are streaming into our order desk. Fitness facilities seem to be packed with new members and I’m optimistic that “fitness” is going to be back in fashion again.

January’s Soapbox will be one of our best ever. Lots of new content furnished by experts new to the Soapbox, its exciting to be meeting all these new people and their desire to help people achieve a better quality of life. If you have a suggestion for a topic to be highlighted, please let me know and we will do everything we can to be accomadating.

Lets start with Petra’s very own “Cleanologist”, Franz Johnson and his video test of hand sanitizers and dealing with the flu

Just about every person I know has been affected by the flu epidemic. Reviewed figures seem to point to a record flu season. The current flu shot only inoculates you to 30% of the flu viruses which means you more susceptible than in past years to get the flue.  As we all know the best way to avoid the flu is “wash your hands” as often as you can! In the first Soapbox article for the January issue, Petra’s “Cleanologist” Franz Johnson speaks to the need to wash your hands and if this isn’t possible, use a hand sanitizer. We have embedded in Franz’s article a video on a test comparison of Petra’s foaming non-alcohol hand sanitizer versus Gojo/Purell’s hand sanitizer. Not only did our foaming hand sanitizer reduce/neutralize/kill more pathogens/bacteria than the Gojo/Purell hand sanitizer but our product is half the cost! I believe your will find Franz’s video not only entertaining but very educational.

Continue reading “John’s Musings – 2018 is going to be a great year!”

Brian Walker from Live Purple shares the importance of getting fit, the right way.

I remember the first time I walked into a high-end gym in a fancy neighborhood. The sales pitch was minimal and the transaction went quickly followed by a firm handshake. I was looking to escape daily pressures and for a sense of belonging to a group. It would not take long before I was addicted. That gym was a newly built facility in my school and the addiction was to pain killers. I was 13 years old. I would overdose twice before reaching high school.

My story is far too common. Ninety percent of prescription drug addiction starts between the ages of 12 and 18 years old and nearly one in five teens has already abused a prescription pain killer equating to 4.2 Million teens.  With most public schools either significantly reducing the amount of time spent on health education, or eliminating health education all together, most don’t realize the dangers from prescription abuse and one of the many reasons we the abuse shows no signs of improvement. In 2016, the cost of prescription drug misuse in the U.S. exceeded $443 billion each year.  Ninety-seven percent of the $443 billion was spent on the consequences from the abuse with only 3% spent on prevention.

After decades of working executive level positions in fortune 1000 companies, I found myself 32 years old, exhausted, stressed and out of shape. I entered a different type of gym. I received a different sales pitch than decades earlier yet once again became addicted. This time to fitness. Unlike the high I had sought from pills, my addiction to fitness is under my control. This is of little surprise as some of the brain regions effected by commonly misused drugs are the same regions impacted by exercise.

I recently had the opportunity to listen to the former Surgeon General of the United States discuss the increased risk factors to society of substance misuse including the role of stress, anxiety, and the role the “lifestyle” plays, including lack of exercise. that lifestyle practice has become a major topic as the search to find a solution reversing the current trend is discussed.

Sixty percent of all addicted have a medical condition defined as a dual diagnosis disorder or co-occurring disorder.  Dual diagnosis means the addict also suffers from an additional mental disorder in addition to their addiction disorder. For example, alcoholics often also suffer from symptoms of depression and opioid addicts often also suffer from a type of anxiety disorder (in many cases PTSD).

In the most recent survey of the American Psychological Associations, teens are experiencing as much stress as adults, in and some cases more, leading to feelings of depression and loss of appetite. Adult stress levels are also on the rise with only one in ten saying they’re willing to seek professional support to address the issues. The remaining 90% become prime candidates for attempting self-medication thus dramatically increasing their chances of becoming future addicts.

As fitness professionals, it is imperative we not only remember our purpose but act on “why we do what we do.” Our top priority must remain to use our solutions to better the lives of others in every community in which we operate.  Having a proven solution to help an epidemic, it is our responsibility to expose that solution and inspire the community to participate. If we choose not to support the cause, and we continue to ignore the devastation, this epidemic will continue to spread. The consequences to all will be catastrophic.

Live Purple, A CAUSE FOR FITNESS, is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Our team has decades of experience and knowledge of all aspects of the fitness industry allowing us to provide you the tools and solutions to impact the addiction, the mental health and the obesity epidemics. Most programs currently offered were created specifically for one of the founders own multi-club fitness companies. Each program is designed from inception to be mutually beneficial, delivering both impact to the community and increasing new business resulting from the cause marketing and brand awareness benefits.  Live Purple is the ideal cause-relationship solution for the health and fitness industry.

Together we can fulfill our responsibility as professionals and help end this epidemic.  To learn how you can have a greater impact, please contact us at  We will have one of our Impact Teammates contact you immediately.

Brian Walker
VP of Research & Education | Co-founder,

John’s May Musings

REX Roundtable, if you are not aquatinted with this organization, you should be. Will Phillips the founder of REX Roundtable has written a brief blurb on what to expect from entry-level employees coming into the workforce. I believe you will find his content of interest.

Since joining the REX Roundtable family (as a vendor), I can’t say enough good things about the organization. The quality of clubs, the owners and managers, all with the purpose of helping each other and improving their clubs. The transparency of the REX members is truly inspiring. I encourage you to go to their website ( ) to learn more.

Continue reading “John’s May Musings”

Leadership Lessons

by Bill McBride

Sometimes business feels metaphorically like war.  I say metaphorically because nothing in business compares to the pain, suffering and sacrifice our dedicated soldiers defending our great nation provide.  But strategically and from a leadership perspective, there are so many lessons us civilians can learn from the great military leaders like Retired Secretary of State Colin Powell. 

With strategic “battle” planning, one must take into account:

  1. One’s Army – Team condition and capabilities.  Competency, Readiness, Morale, & Confidence in leadership
  2. The Enemy – Population Inactivity, “Substitutes” to our product offerings, and our Competition (although this makes us better and is not our core threat it is an adversary in talent and member acquisition)
  3. The Geography & Climate – Local, state & federal economic factors, local & federal regulations, weather, workforce talent, population density and consumer demographics
  4. Leadership & Strategy – Leadership & Strategy

Continue reading “Leadership Lessons”

FitLife Club Owners/Managers Retreat-Lindsey Rainwater to Keynote

Join The FitLife Club Network for their annual Owners/Managers Retreat on April 30th -May 1st featuring top-notch training from industry professional Lindsey Rainwater.

The mission of the FitLife Summer Conference is to create meaningful networking and educational opportunities for the owners, managers, and staff of FitLife member clubs and the suppliers who support them.

Lindsey Rainwater, FitLife Keynote Speaker

Lindsey Rainwater, an experienced consultant and coach to the fitness and wellness industry will be discussing Social Media Made Simple for your Health Club; The What and the How Behind Hacking Social Media Management for Your Health Club.  Continue reading “FitLife Club Owners/Managers Retreat-Lindsey Rainwater to Keynote”

Happy New year! 2017… It’s all about “We” :)

Let 2017 begin. Everyone starts the new year with lofty goals and inspirations which seem to be based upon self-improvement. We at the Soapbox will try to change this mindset of being about “me” and moving forward into 2017 we want to change the perspective to “We”.

Let’s start with providing our Soapbox readership with a gift if you want to attend the tradeshow at IHRSA. Working with the folks at IHRSA, we are providing free tradeshow passes to anyone who wishes to attend (link Below).  Anyone, from the owners to staff can attend the IHRSA tradeshow free of charge. There is no limit to the number of passes that can be obtained by a facility, anyone that wants to go, can use the link provided and take advantage of this special offer. This is another way we “give back” to our readership.

Meredith Poppler from IHRSA writes about the lofty but achievable goals of The IHRSA Foundation and the desire to demonstrate the impact health clubs have on helping people effectively improve and manage their health, and then promote those benefits to increase the physically active population and improve wellness across the globe. We encourage you to donate to the IHRSA Foundation and help promote evidence-based programs that encourage healthy lifestyles.

I’ve known Neal Simpson, the Director of The FitLife Club Network for a number of years. Fitlife is an association of independent fitness facilities located in the Pacific Northwest. In this Soapbox edition he talks about the Fitlife regional summer conference and the guest speakers that will be presenting. If you have never experienced attending a regional IHRSA event located in picturesque Bend Oregon, contact Neal for more details.

Bill McBride comes through with another powerful article on Active Wellness, which is the leading health service management company and its passion in building active communities through both fitness and wellness. You will find the article full of ideas and practices that should inspire you to think outside the box and I encourage you to contact Bill to learn more.

Finally, in the spirit of giving back, we are continuing our “Free Consultation Offer – Our Gift to You!” offer through January. Bill McBride, President & Chief Executive Officer, Active Wellness, Active Sports Clubs & BMC3, Bryan O’Rourke, Business, Technology & Wellness Leader. Speaker, Consultant & CEO, Brent Darden, Principal at Brent Darden Consulting, Chairman of the Board for IHRSA, and Chairman of REX Executive Roundtables and Sal Pellegrino, Precor, Inc. have offered to “give back” to the Soapbox readership by offering free consulting services. Theres no catch, no fee, no charge for an initial consulting session. If you want to be on the cutting edge of programs to make your facility more profitable, increase membership and provide a better membership experience, you need to email them and take advantage of this special offer. They will meet or exceed your expectations.

As you might have noticed, we are making changes in the Soapbox’s format and we encourage you to drop us an email and let us know how you are doing. We are here to serve you so we look forward to your suggestions and comments.

It’s a pleasure and privilege to serve you and look forward to seeing you at IHRSA.


9 Partnership Principles: A Story of Life Lessons and Working Together

by Bryan K. O’Rourke and Robert Dyer >>>

When most people create business partnerships, they focus on potential opportunities, their office, titles, mission statements, stationary, logos, social media platforms, and more. But entrepreneurs Bryan O’Rourke and Robert J. Dyer know there is much more to establishing a successful partnership.

Inline image 1The founders of Fitmarc, which is a strategic partner with a variety of leading global fitness and wellness players, share nine principles to success in this guide to improving life at work and at home.

Whoever you’re considering as a partner, values and character should be at the top of the list. You must openly discuss your views without fear of reprisal—and if you can’t—you need to ask yourself why. It’s also important to realize that no one has the right answers. But you do need to ask the right questions if you want to succeed.

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2016 Draws to a close… A FitLife Update

by Neal Simpson of FitLife Club Network >>

Well my friends, another year has come and gone. What will 2017 bring? The Board of Directors and I have a great year planned with several events and educational opportunities.

This year we will have our Owners/Managers retreat in April @ the Resort in CDA, Idaho. Watch for information coming in the next few weeks on this exciting program, featuring Lindsey Rainwater. Lindsey will explain and show us how we can take control of social media and use it to our benefit, without feeling overwhelmed.

The Summer Conference this year at the Riverhouse in Bend, OR. will be held on July 23-25, 2017, as we move back to our traditional days of Sunday through Tuesday. I have been contacted by several new companies that will be in the trade show. I can tell you we have secured as keynoters Chris Stevenson, (Stevenson Fitness) and Mark Matteson, “Get more of the Right Things Done in less Time!” I should have our 3rd keynoter secured by January 1st.

Another item on my list is to schedule a meeting in PDX to discuss providers such as Silver & Fit, Silver Sneakers, etc. We will meet in person but also have a “call in” feature so everyone can make it notwithstanding the weather. We need to have a plan as these type of “programs” will continue to eat away on our profitability and possibly losing members to other clubs that reduce their prices so low it is not feasible for us.

Read the entire FitLife Newsletter Here fitlife-dec2016


Neal Simpson is the Executive Director of the The FitLife Club Network, an association of independently-owned health and fitness clubs in the Pacific Northwest. Our reciprocity program gives each club’s members the ability to use approximately 80 different clubs in Oregon, Washington, Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming on a short-term basis while they are traveling.
Many of the clubs in the Network have been in business for more than 25 years now, so there is an incredible wealth of knowledge and experience among our group of owners and managers. Networking is a key benefit of membership in FitLife and a willingness to share ideas and information is a hallmark of our association’s reputation.

To learn more about joining FitLife, click here.

Free Consultation Offer – Our Gift to You!

In December the SoapBox begun a campaign to give back to our readers. A complimentary “one on one” consultation session (60 minute session) with Bill, Brent, Bryan, Sal, Lindsey or Brandi. If you have a desire to talk with Sal about industry trends, we will arrange a free session with him. If you are interested in a discussion in retaining members or any other topic with Brent, we can make it happen. How about social media questions and concerns, Brandi and/or Bryan can provide “one on one” expertise and finally, Lindsey loves helping people, facilities and organizations enjoy transformational change and Bill McBride is able to work with you on strategy, sales & marketing or organizational structure. You can choose one, two, three or all six members to discuss your club’s questions or concerns. All provided to you at no charge. We are not talking about a webinar, we are talking about each of the individuals mentioned above talking directly to you, your management staff or administrative staff, its up to you who you include in the “one on one” 60 minute conference call.


Bill McBride profile

Bill McBride, President & Chief Executive Officer, Active Wellness, Active Sports Clubs & BMC3

Bill is a health club industry veteran with over 25 years of experience leading and managing all aspects of commercial health clubs, medical fitness centers, residential, community, multi-tenant and corporate fitness sites. He co-founded Active Sports Clubs and Active Wellness, LLC and owns a health club consultancy – BMC3. Bill has served as Chairman of the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) Board of Directors, President of the Mid-Atlantic Club Management Association (MACMA) and served on the Industry Advisory Board for the American Council of Exercise (ACE). He is actively engaged as an author on industry education, serves on several Advisory Boards and speaks regularly on industry topics throughout the world.

Bryan O'Rourke Profile

Bryan O’Rourke, Business, Technology & Wellness Leader. Speaker, Consultant & CEO

Bryan O’Rourke is an experienced CEO, strategist, deal maker and adviser who helps organizations and professionals realize their full potential and solve their biggest challenges. With a track record of building teams and growing global brands, his network of associates and partners have served organizations large and small. As the current President of the Fitness Industry Technology Council, he is working to create interoperability standards in the fitness space. He is considered a leading expert on technology, consumer and business trends and his views have been published in periodicals like the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Inc. Magazine, CBI and many others.

Brent Dardin Profile

Brent Darden, Principal at Brent Darden Consulting, Chairman of the Board for IHRSA, and Chairman of REX Executive Roundtables

The club industry has labeled Brent Darden a “Texas Talent” and “Industry Treasure” – “part preacher, part teacher, and part reacher”. For over three decades, the former IHRSA Board of Directors Chairman has amassed a wealth of knowledge about the industry and continues to share his experiences around the world through speaking and consulting. His messages have reached audiences across nine continents and been translated into seven different languages. In addition to his consulting practice, Brent also Chairs several industry REX Roundtables. Website:

Sal Pelligrino Profile

Sal Pellegrino, Precor, Inc.

Sal Pellegrino is an experienced presenter at many industry events, Gold’s Gym Convention, Club Industry, IHRSA, World Gym convention, Medical Fitness Association and the JCC Association. Sal is a wealth of industry knowledge and has a keen eye for creative industry trends. His experience ranges from owning two fitness centers for seven years and thirty years of vendor experience with a number of large fitness equipment and service companies (StairMaster, Precor, Star Trac and Les Mills). During these many years of experience he focused on large national and regional chains where he observed many new trends, creative programs and facility design elements. He lives in Raleigh, NC with his wife and daughter and is known to play a pretty good guitar. Recently, Sal has accepted a position with ABC Financial as the SVP of Client Management.

Lindsey Rainwater,

Also known as Lindsey Rainh2o is a sought after Business Consultant & Leadership Coach, Writer and Presenter. Lindsey loves helping people and organizations enjoy transformational change. Her enthusiasm for leadership, conscious living, and wellness amplified by technology drives the majority of her writing. Lindsey’s intuitive and intentional form of communication facilitates unimaginable shifts in the unconscious mind resulting in powerful written, verbal and presentation skills. As a well thought of consultant and coach to the professionals supporting the fitness industry, she is known for her work in business development, business strategy, digital marketing, content creation and change management.

Brandi J. Bergeron, Moon Mission Media

Brandi is talented Marketing Consultant, Branding Strategist and Content Creator with her finger firmly on the pulse of digital and social media’s leading edge. With 20+ years of marketing experience under her belt, Brandi loves nothing more than helping clients to thrive in both traditional marketing and the constantly changing seas of digital and social media. Her secret weapon is a knack for combining powerful relationships with strategic expertise that bridges the Wellness, Fitness and Technology industries.

Sign up for your free consulting offer today!