Why Bootstrapping Your Company Will Set You Up For Success And Wealth Creation | Peter Taunton
45 min

In this episode of the Millionaire Mindcast, we have an extraordinary guest, Peter Taunton, who shares his knowledge and insights about building a real wealth, how to turn a failing business into an empire, how he built his first 3 clubs and expand it into 6,000 locations, why it’s essential to understand your numbers as a business owner, how to make your employees loyal, and what’s the good thing about bootstrapping a business!

Peter Taunton is a serial-entrepreneur, a pioneer in the fitness industry, an expert in building a franchise system, international franchising, bootstrapping a startup, expansion, and roll-out strategies both domestic and international, the CEO of Lift Brands, and the founder of Snap Fitness, an affordable, 24-7, results-driven gym.

In recent years, he has acquired and founded several brands to round out the consumer-fitness experience: 9Round, Farrell’s, YogaFit, STEELE Fitness, Fitness on Demand. Together with the Snap Fitness brand, they comprise the world’s largest wellness franchise organization, serving 165 million workouts and counting.

Prior to founding Snap Fitness, Peter owned nine America’s Fitness Centers and has been well-recognized by the business community. In 2010, he was named an Ernst and Young “Entrepreneur of the Year.” His companies have also been featured for six years running in such prestigious industry lists as Entrepreneur 500, Inc 5000, Top Global, and Franchise 500.

 Peter was born and raised in a middle-class family. He has been engaging in business since he was 8 years old working with his dad, selling popcorn in front of a grocery store. This young entrepreneur also loves sports. He was one of the better racquetball players in their town. The discipline and dedication he learned from this sport would later fuel his success in business. 

He was in his early 20’s when the huge break came. With no experience, Peter never thinks twice and grabbed the opportunity to turn on and manage a failing club. With his commitment and sacrifices, he turns it into an empire. Later, Peter has built his own three (3) clubs, the Snap Fitness that now has 6, 000 locations across 20 different countries. What so special with his way of managing? 

Simply, quitting was not an option for him. He loves wins but embraces loses and lives with it. Peter believes that failing is part of growing. Likewise, Peter gives importance on investing not just the machine but also the human capital. He made sure that the company grows as well as his employees. Peter shares with those big moments in their life. Co-signed for homes for his employees, and helped them buy their first new car.

Also, Peter allows them to buy shares in the company. Currently, his employees have stock options in his companies that he owned because when he wins, he wants everyone to win. Additionally, the essentials of knowing his numbers as a business owner and being very aware of what wants and needs.

For Peter, it is surreal to experience the life he dreamed of. But with his amazing leadership, he impacts people’s lives, businesses, economy, and the health and fitness industry.

Some Questions I Ask:

  • Where did these all start? (00:45)
  • Where did you get that first big break when you were starting your company?  (02:53)
  • How do you build that mindset? (03:56)
  • Where did that confidence come from? (09:52)
  • Do you love to win more or hate to lose more? (11:50)
  • As you were starting to thrive as a young entrepreneur in business, where did the vision start to expand to be where you are at that moment?  (13:36)
  • How important is it in the very beginning to sharpen the ax on financial literacy and understanding your economic model to scale and to build real wealth? (17:40)
  • Any of that stuck out more than others to you that you think it might be worthwhile to spotlighting for entrepreneurs moving forward? (20:59)
  • What do you say to that young entrepreneur that is chasing those sexy lifestyles, building real wealth, financial freedom, and living like a millionaire in all areas of life?? (25:34)
  • When did you start kind of up in the lifestyle a little bit? (29:12)
  • How did it feel when you get the deal for $47 million on that very first big payday? (33:58)

In This Episode, You Will Learn:

  • Why should fight for the fear of failure (04:02)
  • How Peter completely change the culture and dynamic of a failing business and turning it an empire (06:02)
  • Importance of investing not just machines but also human capital (09:00)
  • The story when Peter built his first club (15:17)
  • The essential of knowing/understanding your numbers as a business owner (19:01)
  • How to create unbelievable loyalty with your employees (24:07)
  • The good thing about bootstrap and managing a company without access to unlimited capital (26:36)
  • How Peter started Snap Fitness and bootstrapped his company (29:41)


  • “Hard work works.”
  • “Being mentally prepared to fight in order to win is paramount in the endgame.”
  • “Fear is a dream killer.”
  • “It’s during times of adversities that all the growth takes place.”
  • “It’s not what you bring in the front door, it’s what you take out at the back door.”
  • “If you owned a business, it’s on you.”
  • “Knowing the numbers is key.”
  • “Don’t mistake kindness for weakness.”
  • “You have to plan for the worst and hope for the best.”
  •  “Watch your debt levels because debt will kill you.”
  •  “I’m diversified to protect my downside.”
  • “The other side of winning, don’t lose yourself in the process.”
  • “Money doesn’t make a man.”  

Connect with Peter Taunton on:





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With that said, we're going to move now into the third part of the interview series. Again, we broke down our three and a half hour interview into five podcasts episodes. I know these are long, but I hope you're enjoying them. And hopefully it's just getting the wheels spinning. Hopefully, you're enjoying it. And I really hope that it gives you the desire to go and read the Atlas Shrugged book and kind of see some of these principles through that lens. So, with that said, we'll queue up the theme song. When we get back, you'll have a chance to listen to part three of my interview with Josh Forti. Josh Forti: Okay. I want to circle back to one quick thing and then we can move on. Russell Brunson: Okay. Josh: So the question I was trying to ask was, when you were like, "Hey, there's the technician or there's the plumber, there's this, or there's that or then there's the person that comes in and makes it rain." There's only a few people in an organization that like, make it rain, right? Like you in ClickFunnels, you make it rain. You're the one that brings it in and, I'm sure there's other people to a certain extent, but you are that person. And you probably have what, 100, 200 people on the support team? That don't actually make the company any money, but they do play a critical role in the sense that the company couldn't function without them. And so, to those people there, how does somebody who... Two-part question. One, can you live your best life in a position like that? Can you be most alive and fulfilled and live a great life, doing something average like that? Number two, does that person need to go learn how to make it rain? Does everybody need to be an entrepreneur? Does everybody need to be... Like, you are so fascinating, you got this whole community of funnel hackers and like, "We're going to go out and choose a world. We think differently. We do it differently. We got all this stuff." Would it be good if the whole world thought that way? 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Sales Gravy: Jeb Blount
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Jeb Blount
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Sales Myth: You Have to Sell Yourself Most of us, at one time or another in our careers, have heard some trainer or manager exclaim, “You have to sell yourself.” “If you want to get that job, son, you have to sell yourself.” “The real key to sales is your ability to sell yourself.” “If you want others to like you, you’ll have to sell yourself.” The Sell Yourself Cliche This philosophy is prevalent in business culture. A while back, I was at an Ivy League University for a speech by a successful businessman to a group of MBA students from the top business schools in the world. The speaker was so well respected that when he walked into the room there was a hush. The audience members were on the edge of their seats in anticipation. And what was the message? What was the secret of success that this revered businessman offered? “Never forget how important it is in business to first sell yourself.” The entire audience nodded in unison. For this wise man and many others, the phrase sell yourself  has become an easy-to-use cliche´. It just rolls off the tongue. Like the audience at the speech I attended, most people will nod their heads in agreement to the statement as if some prophet on a hill had just read it from stone tablets. People Buy You for Their Reasons, Not Yours Sales expert and bestselling author Jeffrey Gitomer teaches a simple philosophy, “People love to buy but they hate to be sold.” In other words, most people prefer to buy on their terms. They do not want or appreciate a hard pitch or a features dump. They buy for their reasons not yours. Yet daily salespeople across the globe, on the phone, video calls, email, social media, and in person, sell to their customers by dumping data, pushing their position, or simply trying to talk their way into a sale. They sell themselves to anyone else they can get to stand still for more than five minutes. But it does not work, because people like to buy, they don’t like to be sold. When You Try to Sell Yourself You Push People Away The harder you try to sell yourself to others, the more you push them away. A conversation where the other person tells you all about themselves, their accomplishments, and how great they are is a turnoff. It is a features dump. Think about it, the most unlikeable human in the world is the person standing in front of you talking about themself. You don’t walk away from that conversation thinking how much you would like to spend more time with them. Instead you think, “What a jerk,” or “How boring,” or “Wow,  that guy is full of himself.” We Love to Talk About Our Favorite Person Still, we do love the opportunity to sell ourselves. Most of us, if given the opportunity, will talk for hours about our favorite person, oblivious to the negative impact it has on how we are viewed by others. When pressed, experts who are quick to tell you to sell yourself, are unable to explain exactly how to do it. Sure, they will offer tips, but it's mostly hyperbole. Here is the brutal truth: You cannot sell yourself to others; you have to get others to buy you on their terms. You're Talking, They Aren't Buying Even if you are preceded by a great reputation and others are anticipating meeting you, your attempts to sell yourself can backfire. I learned this lesson at a speech I gave to a large dinner group. One of the audience members was such a big fan of one of my books, that he lobbied the meeting organizer to be seated right next to me. During dinner he asked me questions, and I talked and talked and talked—about me. A few days after the speech, I called the meeting organizer to follow up and offer my thanks. I thanked him for seating Daniel next to me and asked him if Daniel had had a good time. He hesitated for a moment and finally said, “I’m telling you this because I like you; but Daniel did not come away with a very good opinion of you.” It was like being punched in the gut!
7 min
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