No free rides

I have to address something that is bugging me a bit, Free Training. Why do people think they deserve it? Why do we trainers allow for it? It is mutual destruction of value that can lead to the ultimate destruction of your business, which by the way is your opportunity to do what you love for a living.

If someone does not have the money to train, they are either lazy or lying. The cost of training can get as high as $300 a month depending on the academy. But you can train at other spots for as low as $100. If you can’t figure out how to make $100 in expendable income, you are not smart enough to find a benefit in your training. Sorry, but it’s true. Make your own coffee and drink tap water instead of bottled and you just got your $100 plus a month. If I have to explain this to you, I don’t want to train you anyway.

Fighters…. Where do I begin? Your ability to compete does not bring value to me or my academy. You may think you are this diamond worth investing in, but if you are not paying me on the rise, why the fuck should I expect you to pay me when you start making real money? By then, you have been trained to be cheap and you have an ego that allows for you to think that your presence alone is some gift worth more than money? Sorry, but my time is money and my body is not getting broke in training just to say I knew you when.    

People that want lower rates because they fight also want more of your time than people paying full price. Fighters complain when you don’t hold pads and give them attention. Fighters want you to spend gas money getting to fights and training, wrap their hands with the gauze and tape you bought, eat on your own dime while on the road, and give up days of your life to hold their hand on fight day… Why should you do this for free? Why should anyone expect this for free? Glory, association with greatness…? I call bullshit. Trainers want the glory because they think it matters and fighters just want free shit because they convinced themselves they deserve it. Can’t pay rent with glory and my wife or son don’t give a shit who you think you are.

The price is not all money. I do believe in trading of time and expertise too. If a fighter can teach and does teach, there is a value in that. If a fighter is good at something that makes the business money and they will do it in exchange, I am good with that. As long as the relationship is as close to 50/50 as we can get, I am good with that.

What I am not good with is the guy who wants free, complains they are broke, but drives a nice car, lives in Mom’s basement, and never misses a night out. You have to bring something to the table that has value. You have to make my life better, not harder or worse.

Charity cases never work for me. In 20 years, I have not 1 that I can say was a success story. Free lead to lack of appreciation for value. That over time lead to failure. As an athlete, you have to bring value. As a coach you have to bring value. Both sides have to provide what the other needs. My business needs capital, I need effort, and the athlete needs to provide this in return for knowledge and work.  

The name of the game in all things people is real simple; Mutually beneficial trade. Learn it, live by it. If the relationship is out of balance, it will ultimately fail. You are doing nobody any favors by not charging them. In figuring out how to afford things and appreciating the value of time, you are teaching real world valuable skills.

Don’t be the dick who chases after glory thru the efforts of others. Don’t be the dick who thinks they are special enough to ask for time and money from people with nothing but association in return. Be the valuable person that works in a mutually beneficial way that can last.

Brian Wright