At the top of the interview, Angelo relays his many business ventures.
- O’Hare Crossfit, a gym with over 200 members
- Conquer an online coaching app for Crossfit athletes
- Lifestyle Nutrition an online nutrition app for those into functional bodybuilding
- Business coaching services for 6 CrossFit gym owners worldwide
- Alpha Hippy which involves a podcast and 10-week masculinity mastery course
Angelo starts by talking about how fitness has given him the two greatest tools for success in his many business ventures. These tools are discipline and consistency.
This discipline and consistency he learned from losing 100 lbs with CrossFit allowed him to build a successful gym.
Angelo talks about how all these other successes are only possible because his gym gave him the resources and freedom he needed to be able to pursue them.
It took Angelo 4.5 years to get the gym to this point, and all these new ventures came about in the last 3.5 years.
O’hare CrossFit (OCF) became the incubator for new ventures.
Angelo has a pretty interesting take on operating a gym and gaining new clients.
“Because I’m into fine dining I think I’d be in the restaurant business If I wasn’t into fitness.”
He talks about how restaurants and gyms have a similar need for both hospitality and quality service. His aim with his gym is to create a 5-star experience like the Ritz or at Disney World.
He talks about how during a training session he would ask his staff about their favorite restaurant. Once they named a place, Angelo would ask them something interesting…
“When’s the last time they called you to come in?”
The response is always “never.” And the answer is because they overdeliver so much on the experience that they don’t have to bother you to come down constantly. This is the approach Angelo tries to take with the customer experience in his gym.
Angelo extends this approach to his online business also. He aims to put a face behind the mouse click and create a true connection. As he puts it, “I want you to call me “Anj.”
Angelo wants to bring the “humanness” back into everything with this approach. Things like using video for all communication.
I ask where Angelo is noticing that impact in his business from going the extra mile.
“I think the real display is when mistakes are made,” replies Angelo. He knows that when he makes a billing error, the client isn’t jumping to wrong conclusions. Because of that connection, they know their best interests are at heart.
When it comes to sales, Angelo has a unique approach.
He talks about seeing it differently. He sees a sales meeting as someone coming to him with a problem. He has the solution, and it’s his responsibility to talk people out of their own way to get this solution. Money is simply a form of commitment to solving this problem.
When it comes to training sales teams, Angelo believes changing the mindset is the biggest challenge. Too many people see sales as something that is underhanded. Like they are a used car salesman selling someone a rusted out pile of junk.
He gets every sales person to read “To Sell is Human” by Dan Pink. This gets them to see that they are constantly selling . Getting a date or making a friend is selling yourself, and we’re always doing it but not realizing it. Having a more positive perspective on selling makes everything much easier from there.
I inquire as to how Angelo manages to help so many businesses succeed when they are all so different from OCF.
The first thing Angelo gets them to do is to figure out who they are trying to reach and help.
If they are trying to get 40-year-old moms as clients, they need to get their messaging right for this type of client. Using words like “tone” instead of “jacked.” So that these types of clients feel understood.
Next, he gets business owners to find out where those people are hanging out. There are groups for every type of person these days. You need to get in front of that person and solve problems they are having right now.
Lastly, he needs business owners to get less impatient. We help people on Tuesday and expect a client on Wednesday. Providing value is something that should be seen as momentum you are building, which eventually comes back to you.
When it comes to being taken advantage of, Angelo doesn’t mind still working for free. In fact, he stills give kettlebell seminars twice a year at a place that gave the gym discounts on supplies when they were starting out.
He wants both his pocket and his wallet to feel good.
I ask Angelo about obtaining balance in his life. For Angelo, this was about one key mindset shift…
That the work never ends.
By recognizing this, Angelo was able to take time off. He was able to turn his phone off on Sundays. Because he knew that it never stops and would be there on Monday when he got back.
To face challenges in your business, you need to be the best version of yourself. This can only happen by looking after yourself and not always being on.
When it comes to problems in the business, Angelo believes these problems are usually a reflection of you. Your good and bad habits spill into your business. When it comes to fixing problems in your business usually you need to cure yourself of this problem first.
When it comes to building a robust business, Angelo believes that seeing your staff as an investment is key. The quality of the people in a business determines everything that happens in it. He wants everyone there to be the best versions of themselves, from the janitor to the trainers.
I ask if Angelo aspired to be the next big brand like a Nike or an Onnit.
When it comes to motivation Angelo is driven to make himself and his family feel proud. Success for Angelo is when the work feels more like play.
When it comes to finding balance in life, Angelo reveals an interesting approach.
He says that he schedules everything, even lunch with his wife. By scheduling everything he has complete control over his time. Then, when he sits down for that lunch, he can totally be there for that hour as opposed to being constantly distracted.
Other habits like meditation and journaling were a big help for Angelo, too. They helped by reducing anger he had and allowed him to make decisions from a better place.
He talks about how you should start slowly with these habits. He says that you should forgive yourself for early mess-ups when you are just starting out. The key thing is to build these habits gradually.
This approach can also apply to improve the client experience. He has a habit of bringing his phone with him to the bathroom and texting a different client a specific, encouraging message each time.
You can find out more about Angelo by…