The most valuable asset you will ever have is that you are completely unlike anyone else. We must all celebrate our differences, because they are our true strengths
With over 10 years of experience in the fitness industry, Jason has taught over 6,000 sold-out classes across the country and keeps many of Hollywood’s elite looking their best, including Kate Hudson, Selma Blair, Jane Lynch, Leela Goldkuhl and Annabeth Gish. Jason’s most recent endeavor is the opening of his Flagship Studio, THE WALL. THE WALL is LA’s largest boutique fitness studio and first fully-registered green studio. Prior to opening THE WALL, Jason launched WIMBERLEAN, his signature movement and DVD that focuses on long, lean bodies through isolated movements with resistance bands. Additionally, Jason is a featured W Hotels Worldwide FUEL Trainer and Propel Water Ambassador.
Where did the idea for THE WALL come from?
After teaching over 6000 classes, I really wanted to create a class that delivered everything you need in one stop. Scientifically we know strength before cardio delivers the best results for fat burning, and by doing core activation at the beginning of class instead of the end we have been able to increase caloric burn even further. Beyond having an amazing workout, it was also important to me that THE WALL delivered a VIP luxury experience that welcomes anyone. We focus on the community aspect of group fitness, and strive to constantly break down the walls that separate us and hold us back.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
My alarm clock goes off at 4:45am as my first client or class starts at 6:30am. From there it cycles through classes, clients, staff meetings, training, marketing plans, events, and more appointments than I can even remember sometimes. The one thing that has always helped me not go completely crazy with my schedule is to segment my time and day. For example, 6am-12pm is for classes or clients: 1-4pm is for working with my staff or on the back end of the business. 4-7pm is for whatever else is on my to do list, and my evenings are spent making time for my partner and whatever social life I can muster to maintain.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I do my best to try and not look outward or at what others are doing. Of course I find inspiration everywhere, but I believe to really bring anything of value to life, I have to just focus on what I believe is of value. Of course, having a team you can trust and rely on is a vital part of getting any new idea off the ground.
What’s one fitness trend that excites you?
I’m just elated to see how the fitness industry continues to grow. While I do think many now are striving to be in the business because of its rapid growth and are seeking financial gain, it’s exciting to see so many who have a passion for movement be able to share it with the world. The one trend I am not excited to see however is a reliance on gimmicks and tech in a way that is distracting for the client. It’s my personal belief that a client can not truly connect with their body and create lasting change if there are too many external stimuli in a class. That is why our digital platform at THE WALL acts as “supporting cast” and delivers your performance data to our app or your inbox after class, but does not distract you during with monitors or zones to strive for.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Early mornings are essential as an entrepreneur. Not just because it allows for increased productivity, but that hour in the morning before the sun is up allows for mini rituals that set your day up for success. There is also something so special when you live in a busy metropolis like Los Angeles, to have even a few moments of quiet to yourself. As someone who’s life is very public, I cherish the quiet time the most.
What advice would you give your younger self?
I had a hard time fitting in within my industry. I spent a lot of time trying to be what others told me to be, and it wasn’t until I fully accepted myself and stopped listening to the opinions of others that I started to find success. I would have reminded myself much sooner, that the most valuable asset you will ever have, is that you are completely unlike anyone else. We must all celebrate our differences, because they are our true strengths.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Let go of fear in moving forward and don’t be afraid to fail. If you never fail, you are not doing anything new. There is never going to be a perfect time, or a perfect set of circumstances, but it’s so easy for us as humans to convince ourselves of otherwise. I’ve fallen on my face, been fired more than once, and lost every dime I had… but it never stopped me from doing it over and over again. I also said one of my biggest strengths is my ability to not think too much, to not overanalyze and worry. Instead, I strive to just do, and keep moving. Movement is not a choice, but a necessity, for our bodies, our minds, and our hearts.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Remaining steadfast in ideals and concepts is essential in building trust with your customer. To grow any business, your clients or customers must be able to clearly recognize your brand and be able to place their trust in it. That means not doing every partnership that comes your way, being strategic in how you grow, and not caving to pressure. In fitness there are many businesses that have poised themselves as necessary for the growth of studios by discounting class prices to deliver clients. We instead choose to forgo discounting our services, and instead focus on increasing our value. We include luxury amenities, offer free parking, have an engaging rewards program, and plan activities outside of our regular offerings that engage our community. I believe a large part of any successful growth involves a massive part of education and teaching the client why they need your product. If a company relies on simply discounting their services to fill seats, then what they are teaching and selling, starts to lose value.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I don’t believe in failure. Everything that has happened in my life and career is simply a stepping-stone to something else. Resiliency is essential if wishes to be successful, so thinking of failures as anything other than an opportunity for growth, would be detrimental in moving forward.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
It was $150 on an uber ride from LA to Palm Springs. Time is money, and it saved me 2.5 hours of driving in traffic. Instead it allowed me to work in the backseat finishing tasks I had on my list, and arrive at my destination ahead of the game and ready for a glass of wine.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive? How do you use it?
Our website has 17 different software programs running all at once, and we need each one to streamline all we do. I don’t think it’s every a good idea to rely on just one thing, but instead diversify your backend support as much as possible.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Im a big science nerd, and as an athlete and trainer am endlessly fascinated by the body, and most importantly the brain. “The Emotional Life Of Your Brain,” by Richard J Davidson, Phd., is something that I read over and over. So much of what we experience, and how we respond, is simply chemical reactions in our body. It explores the connection between the physical response to emotion, and discusses how we can aim to better understand it and maybe even change it.
What is your favorite quote?
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right.” – Henry Ford
- Ignore trends, and instead strive to creating ideas free of influence from others.
- Embracing your differences is the only way to harness your strength.
- Failure is the mother of all success.
Carlyn runs the day-to-day publishing operation here at ideamensch and interacts with our awesome customers and entrepreneurs. She is likely editing this with a cat on her lap.