My guest today is an expert fitness & hospitality business consultant, owner of multiple successful businesses and a founder of leading Business Consultancy headquartered in Kuwait.
His extensive project portfolio make him one of the most recognised Fitness Consultants. Also, he widely is known as an international networker in the health and fitness industry.
- (00:00:16) - Introduction of my guest today
- (00:01:41) - We talk about a new exciting fitness franchise MuayThai Fit
- (00:07:06) - Yves shares his career journey
- (00:14:18) - Fitness industry in middle east
- (00:15:46) - Fitness jobs, workforce and more around working as a trainer in middle east.
- (00:21:32) - Toughest experiences Yves had while growing his business
- (00:23:08) - Lifestyle Yves now lives as a result of his success and hard work.
- (00:28:55) - How does Yves keep fit to perform at his best
- (00:31:12) - Life is a choice, Yves shares how lives his life
- (00:34:02) - Emerging Fitness markets around the world and work Yves does
- (00:37:13) - There is no point trying to work on something you don't enjoy doing
- (00:38:49) - What Yves wish he did if he could go back in time
- (00:41:04) - We discuss what fitness can and cant' do and selling proposition when it comes to fitness as a solution.
- (00:52:09) - How to get in touch with Yves
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Vit Muller: [00:00:16] Hello, everybody Vit here from Success Inspired Podcast again, my guest today is an expert fitness and hospitality business consultant, owner of multiple successful businesses and founder of leading business consultancy, headquartered in Kuwait.
[00:00:32] His extensive project portfolio, making one of the most recognized fitness consultants.
[00:00:37] He is widely known as an international networker in the health and fitness industry. The focus on turnkey solutions for fitness, leisure, sport, and spa industry, him and his team have completed projects across Europe, the middle East and Africa, their collaborations touch almost every aspect of the lifestyle industry. This includes some of the world's leading brands in fitness and hospitality. Please. Welcome to the show Yves Preissler.
Yves Preissler: [00:01:12] Hello Vit, it's a pleasure to be here. Thank you, Vit.
Vit Muller: [00:01:15] Great to have you on the show Yves. Now, since I've already for introduced you a little bit, uh, what's something that not many people know about you.
Yves Preissler: [00:01:24] I think I'm a pretty open book. People know everything about me. I'm a straightforward guy. I say it as it is. So for my company philosophy is 'Acta non verba', actions not words. And if you have a question, you will get the answer, whether you like it or not
Vit Muller: [00:01:38] I like it, straight shooter. I like it by the way,
We talk about a new exciting fitness franchise MuayThai Fit
[00:01:41] congratulations on your new, new, uh, fitness project MuayThai Fit how did that come about?
Yves Preissler: [00:01:48] I met on LinkedIn, a fellow German, Greek gentleman named totally Toli Makris who approached me about a project. He has started
[00:01:57]and project with him. And we had a few Zoom collaboration calls and have then decided to do this project together, create an international franchise and have developed MuayThaiTen into MuayThai Fit, which is now featuring a 30 minute class, MuayThai Ten which have 20 and 60 minutes class and we have added, flex and relaxed class.
[00:02:17] And making it a wholesome affordable franchise. In the likes of F45 for an investment volume or 200, 250,000 with very nice return on investments. We think it's the right time that the market needs combat and functional training combined yet affordable and a little bit cheaper than the Barry's or, Orange theory that you need half a million dollar for.
[00:02:45] Since fitness is growing and there's so many spaces available, molds and developments, our 150 to 200 square meter franchise fits well.
Vit Muller: [00:02:54] So you combining functional element in today's martial arts type of training as well.
Yves Preissler: [00:03:00] Yeah, exactly. The idea is to use the best of MuayThai without the combat and the bleeding noses.
[00:03:05] And to combine it with a functional, functional training, there is a big demand for combat sports, but not everyone wants to train three, four hours full contact MuayThai or Judo or whatever it might be. So we took, uh, the elements of the striking and kicking into a fitness regime, combined it with standard functional training using dumbbells, kettlebells, plyo boxes.
[00:03:27] Uh, without any fixed machines of strength and cardio. So therefore you need a space. You need a few boxing bags, you need 10 squares and you do 10 rounds or 20 rounds of exercise combining MuayThai and functional. In order to take part of the mobility and the meditation aspect of MuayThai fighters, we came up with Flexible & Relax by MuayThaiFit, which is a mobility yoga inspired workout.
[00:03:55] And it ends with a little bit of meditation and mindfulness. So it's a perfect to get started into the fitness regime. If you're not someone who wants to do any MuayThai or touch, Any weights, you'd join those classes in order to transition yourself into a Muay Thais side of training.
Vit Muller: [00:04:12] I love it.
[00:04:12] This is great. You're basically covering all basis is, is great for anybody who is just starting out, has a stressful job, not ready to take on the Muay Thai classes. They can start with that really like a bit of a relaxation stuff, improve their mobility and then delve into the functional training. That's a, that's a very good idea.
[00:04:30] And what I also like about it is that you combine. Uh, obviously the why aspect, that's where they get the cardio out of. And then if the functional training, that's the strength part, right. Um, this is great. I really like it. I mean, um, in comparison, not to compare, but just to on the side note, I think, um, I like it more than for example, orange theory.
[00:04:50] Um, just because, um, I think they use
[00:04:53] For the cardio part, um, which is not that it's bad, but I think this is going to provide people, uh, more, uh, more variety, uh, and, and the business can, has more flexibility with the programming if, if the kicking and punching and all the other combos. Right.
Yves Preissler: [00:05:10] It certainly does it's something anyone can do, because you pace yourself, you use Myzone heart rate monitoring.
[00:05:17] And so you go by your own pace and in your own zone. So if you are a newcomer to fitness, you're still going to get a great workout within your zone. If you are fit like yourself, uh, you, you go just a little bit harder because you have to take long to climb. And we also believe that MuayThaiFit is I think the only boutique concept in the world, which has a history.
[00:05:37] I mean, there's MuayThai behind it. So if people want to take it to the next level, uh, we've partnered up with professional company, Elite Boxing. So you can go to the MuayThai events. You can actually go to the real fight camp like MuayThai or whatever, if you're inspired to do so. And which other boutique fitness brand has, um, a really connection to traditional history of sports?
[00:06:00] I think there's none in , Orange Theory is an amazing concept, works and Barry's Bootcamp is an amazing concept. But these are. New school fitness activities. We have combined in old traditional martial arts and bring it to the masses. And people can explore this by traveling to Thailand, by attending MuayThai events on global level.
[00:06:20] I think that will be attractive then combine it. Of course, if the usual merchandise and everything else. So you can have your brand that you can have all of that too, but it's not for me important to create that story and connect it real MuayThai which we have done.
Vit Muller: [00:06:37] I mean, I looked at your website, um, of the Muay Thai Fit business.
[00:06:41] Um, it looks great. Um, so yeah, congrats, well done. Um, I, I think this, this, this might be a new trend in the industry, like more, more martial arts type of training. Because, that hasn't really become mainstream yet. I mean, you have UFC gyms, the sort of, they've got some classes, but I think that that might be one of the trends.
[00:07:01] Right. But before we talk about trends and talk about future of fitness, um, back to you,
Yves shares his career journey [00:07:06] What, what compelled you to, to become, um, fitness and hospitality consultant?
Yves Preissler: [00:07:14] Well, uh, it happened, uh, rather naturally I've done Judo since the age of 5 until 25. I played a little bit of football. I wasn't good at it, but it was a fun team sport.
[00:07:24] And I started frequenting gyms with the age of 16, going with the motorcycle to the gym and, and start training. So I enjoy this environment and completed my a levels and a certain service. And start getting a little bit more interest in doing a very basic C lessons for fitness training over a weekend. Liked it so okay. Let's do some more.
[00:07:44] Got licensed. And then until the personal trainer diploma. And not wanting to be a train on all my life, uh, than went back to school again, and did a business, uh, an administration degree in English and French language, which has then allowed me to travel the world and speak the languages, which I wanted to speak.
[00:08:06] And then combine that with fitness, starting as a trainer, starting as a personal trainer at a club in Kuwait. And training basically, uh, the high society of Kuwait back in the day in that club, it was a $20 million club for 750 high rich Kuwaiti people. Uh, had three gyms in there. Um, three squash courts, two tennis courts at the beach.
[00:08:28] I progress from personal training into the being the health fitness manager stayed there four and a half years before getting headhunted by another individual from Kuwait. Uh, we had agreed to start the company for home personal training, uh, in Kuwait, which was the first of its kind at that time, grew it to 10 to 12 trainers, then ventured into Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
[00:08:52] And on the way I was asked that, can you design gyms? I said I think so to do a normal machine layout and then naturally progressed. Okay. The layout is not enough. You need to have a financial. You know, assist them behind it. And the investing needs to be guaranteed to get into visibility's market studies.
[00:09:10] We start meeting architecture companies and interior design. So you pick that knowledge up to, and then decided to solely build the company around being a turnkey solution company where investors can come and can have everything from a pre concept to concept development and even to operation, including recruitment.
[00:09:29] Something like this does not exist a lot in the world that people come and can have everything. You have often have fitness consultants being personal trainers who then believe they can build such a business and work with equipment companies together who usually fill up your space with as much equipment as they can.
[00:09:49] And the personal trainer has great ideas and creating programs and the front part of it. But we have often the case that those businesses are financially not successful. And we combine all of this to make sure that we start with that in mind, it's a business and a, not a charity or just an activity. So we'll try to put it all together in a way where, you know, the invested money is returning as per industry standards.
[00:10:15] Because I rather say if you have a million dollar, buy a building, get, get branded and have no idea, or build a gym and get real money
Vit Muller: [00:10:24] or, or buy into a franchise.
Yves Preissler: [00:10:27] Or that you, if you just want to make money and you enjoy fitness and service, I think a franchise is a great tool to get, um, the systems and, uh, designs afford and have something which is already proven and working and then scale it, then scale it.
Vit Muller: [00:10:43] Absolutely. Definitely like there's so many aspects when it comes to developing a fitness club, right? Like you really need to have that experience, have to have that knowledge of all the aspects. So like you said, if you just a personal trainer who is passionate about training and you might be passionate about putting few pieces of equipment on an open space and thinking that's all there is to it, that it, that now that it it's not.
[00:11:09] Um, and the other thing is, um, What I like about this, that you guys provide the turnkey solution because, you know, oftentimes you can go do fitness, fitness, expos, and, and you've got all the providers there, you know, from fitness equipment to flooring, to, uh, business, um, business consultancy, but it's kind of like bits and pieces.
[00:11:30] And then, and then you kind of have to work with all these different providers to assist you, um, hoping that they will communicate. Together properly, which, um, which might even add additional costs. Right. So having it like turnkey, one company that does it, everything. And has that, um, proven track record behind them, I think that's makes perfect sense.
Yves Preissler: [00:11:51] We are consultants. We get paid by the client, not by the equipment provider. So we have, uh, sometimes heated discussions with the equipment provider , why did you to take that why did you put some more cardio because it's not needed. So the concept is that this is how it's going to work.
[00:12:04] This is the club capacities. I don't need 15 treadmills. I need 12. Obviously not to the liking of the equipment company, but you, on the side of, of the investor, you're responsible to, to perform that the business performs. And we have been successful in building performing businesses. That's why we work with additionally, the hotel consultants who hire us to build certain parts of the hotel operations, which is fitness, but that's what we will be asked by different franchisees to look at things where there's an existing franchise system. Is that okay if you know the local market? Why don't you tell me about Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar.
[00:12:42] If this is. The right product for this market. We experienced a lot in the middle East that people bring over on concepts in the States or from Europe. And they're not performing as well in the local society because they are not made for the local society, starts from, from setup costs, how the entrance is done, but parking is there.
[00:13:00] What social media, how the trainers are dressing and what's on the trainers of social media. I mean, it goes that far that you have to look okay, who works on your business. If you book in a conservative place, a Saudi Arabia might not be a as appropriate to show up in the bikini on the social media. Not that you cannot, but you have to simply think what does this do to the society you are serving?
[00:13:21] That will be a really good at doing bespoke solutions with proper market research, with local contacts interviewing local. Um, people about the concept we wanted to insert that. Would you go, what changes you would like to see and, uh, helping in this way, our client to offer exactly what the society wants, not what we think looks good or sexy, or just makes money.
[00:13:45] I mean, you have to have an uptake for that business. Right.
Vit Muller: [00:13:49] And, and the big part in there as well. Like you mentioned, um, understanding the local culture culture, right?
Yves Preissler: [00:13:56] Yeah, I suppose in the middle. Yeah, sure. I mean, we have been there so long. I've been there myself since 2005, as they little people who stay there that long.
[00:14:05] And I've also the ability to connect to local society as well. So I'm sitting with locals, my friends are locals and I'm not a foreigner living in the country without understanding the culture, the language and their behaviors.
Fitness industry in middle east
Vit Muller: [00:14:18] How much has the fitness industry sort of changed from when you first, um, started in quiet, back into say 2005 to where it's now, has it been a big progress
Yves Preissler: [00:14:31] It has been a massive progress to me.
[00:14:33] The most developed health and fitness market with the highest amount of spending on square meter must be Kuwait, the best gyms in the world. I think are in Kuwait. And there's a big demand, but it's still heavy on bodybuilding, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, but by Dubai is much more cosmopolitan than in global life with the franchises boutique studios, but it hasn't made a big leap forward.
[00:14:57] Also from people who want to work there, the talent available, the education available products available has just been growing and it's still there. Mine the most, the most, the biggest moment of the future, I've seen him, at least the Saudi Arabia women can drive. Women can now exercise and they're allowed to have a female license and nothing much has been done.
[00:15:19] I think, uh, operators and, um, investors looking at it, but at least needs again, local context to insert those brands, to find the right site, to find the right rental deals and also serve this population and educating the population to go to the gym. The market is there and people are aware because of social media, but attendance and penetration rates are nowhere near that they should be and could be.
[00:15:43] So there's still a lot of educational marketing to be done.
Fitness jobs, workforce and more around working as a trainer in middle east.
Vit Muller: [00:15:46] What about the, uh, fitness professionals? What level of fitness professionals are there? Is there, is there a big gap? Is there a big demand or are you finding it difficult to find those right? You know, quality trainers,
Yves Preissler: [00:15:59] Quality trainers in the world are difficult to find.
[00:16:02] We have a lot of rep counters and rent a friends. And that that is a global issue. Obviously I'm recruiting for the UAE. Dubai Abu Dhabi is relatively easy because it's a very Western lifestyle and promoters for media on tourism. So we can find people relatively easy. And, uh, Kuwait, uh, along with so much knowledge about local talent and health, we can recruit the challenge is still recruiting good people for Saudi Arabia because it's just opening up and the culture, um, is, um, often times so, less than as difficult to understand it.
[00:16:42] And it's.
[00:16:42]It's not as open, but I mean, it's a growing fitness market. It's a, it's a growing lifestyle market. So we often have conversations about going out and the availability of alcohol that should not be the driver in the fitness market. Anyway, we know that what set and what's being done different. So we can always use what talents or whoever sees this podcast and looks for roles in the middle East.
[00:17:08] They can visit our website or simply apply by our yvespreissler.com. And we can then facilitate a review of CVs, which suit a local market. And we can interview them for projects, which are plenty available. I mean, we'd be working, um, The big brands have been working with private investors. So there's always jobs available.
[00:17:31] And then the times of the current changes in the world, why not apply and try something new.
Vit Muller: [00:17:36] Now what about, uh, expectation in terms of salaries? Because you know, when people mention Dubai, you know, mentioned Arabs, people think, okay, there's a lot of money there. Um, is the salary higher than then? Like, is there a, quite a higher, um, reward for, for good quality trainers there in Dubai and in Kuwait?
Yves Preissler: [00:17:59] I would say. Okay. It's not about the salary. It's what can you save or what is there to, for your own spending? Uh, naturally the salaries might be higher. Might not be higher. What's the cost of living is the question to ask. Yeah. And many people still come to the middle Eastern and think they get red carpets and be picked up by Rolls Royce that might happen.
[00:18:23] But it's not as common. I mean, it's still hard work. It's still a, you have to be in there for making a difference in people's lives. And you ultimately we're on money, personal trainers earn the same all over the world, boutique studio coaches on the same model. Are there good packages available? Yes.
[00:18:42] Are they plenty? No, because simply, uh, the supply and demand has changed as more trainers available, but other skill trainers, project to the judge. But to come back to, to your question. Yes, we have good packages and yes, we have normal packages and yes, we have also average packages. You have to decide what you come there for.
[00:19:05] Are you paying off a student loan? Are you coming for an experience? Are you coming there to grow? Do you want it to be a trainer forever? So that will then ultimately decide what package do you accept? But also what's packages on offer. And what can you give the business? I mean, if you a good cycling coach coming from Soul cycle or alike, and you can crank out six quality classes, six days a week, well, you will make money.
[00:19:29] Right? You get the base salary, you get the money, the class and attendance, and you will make money. But if you come there and say, okay, I'm an amazing trainer, but I can only do two classes because I get tired than you will make no money.
Vit Muller: [00:19:40] Makes perfect sense. Now what about a local workforce? Is there, is there, um, And interest from, from locals to become fitness professionals.
[00:19:49] Is there a growing interest there as well?
Yves Preissler: [00:19:51] Yes It has started a in Kuwait. Kuwaiti trainers are available, male and female, the same in Saudi Arabia. The same in the Emirates and Emirates. I have not seen the growth so much, but there are, I have seen a lot of trainers in Kuwait and then the market is also growing in Saudi Arabia.
[00:20:10] it comes back that the local workforce is changing. And seeing now also the service industry is a nice industry to work in, right? So the, to, to, to work with people and, uh, to be a trainer or a cook wouldn't have happened early two thousands. And it was simply not something which people have seen, but this is definitely developing and also supported by where you have local workforce on your payroll.
[00:20:39] There's a certain percentage which you have to employ. And obviously you want to employ people who also work and not just there. Right? Did you have, uh, you have trainers, you have HR professionals, often the leadership CEO, COO, are now locals, which is really nice because this is their country and everyone there has a guest and we also there to educate the local society to ultimately do the job themselves.
Vit Muller: [00:21:05] What about, uh, colleges, fitness colleges? Are they, are they good fitness colleges in middle East,
Yves Preissler: [00:21:11] mainly, uh, like branches or franchises or collaborations of the us or Europe firms that there's companies in Dubai there's companies in Saudi Arabia who have fitness academies. And there may be the often offsprings of already existing academies, there is no such thing as local academies whereby local language Arabic is definitely tought.
Toughest experiences Yves had while growing his business [00:21:32]Vit Muller: [00:21:32] Now, back to back to you back to your business, what were some of the toughest, uh, the challenges that you've experienced while you were at growing a business
Yves Preissler: [00:21:42] has multiple, I mean, globally. In the beginning is of course difficult. It's not as accepted as it's the last year that zoom calls and stuff are available. So you travel a lot. That can be a challenge with different time zones and multiple projects at the same time, finding the right talent to work with.
[00:22:05] It's I think it's a challenge for all businesses, committed people who have a lot of output and who have the knowledge required. I mean, to work for a company like us, you need to understand fitness and you can have a passionate about fitness that you should also look fit. I'm in the moment I'm looking after this, that you don't just.
[00:22:22] You know, talk something that you don't do. And, um, loyalty of employees, of course, is always an issue when you introduce them to a certain amount of clientele. Uh, people might, uh, start their own businesses, but that's the rest of you always face and ultimately, um, what, that would be a challenge. I mean, again, every change is a solution, so start to tackle them. Challenges I had faced in the past is having a lot of projects at the same time.
[00:22:53] There's tight deadlines and then deliverables, right? So we as consultants, usually always under pressure to deliver fast because of the knowledge, just stuff needs to be made available. But I think that's the fun thing about it, right? To, to, to be under pressure, to do a lot of things at the same time.
Lifestyle Yves now lives as a result of his success and hard work.
Vit Muller: [00:23:08] Okay, absolutely. Now tell us about this moment when you started to see success in your consultancy and how did it, how did that impact your lifestyle? What is your lifestyle now?
[00:23:17] I mean, now you're more successful than, than you were when you started.
Yves Preissler: [00:23:23] Yeah, of course that's life successes. It's a cycle. You build that up. I think it still applies that every good company needs 10 years to be really successful. Daily shortcut in the service industry. So you have to build an audience and you have to put the portfolio. It, there's not the technology company.
[00:23:41] They're developing an app and sell it on. The application here is the human right? The human knowledge, the human touch and the network. So success has grown over the years. I'm committing to, what's been said we like to, uh, over deliver and deliver before time. I mentioned that earlier, my motto of my life and my company.
[00:24:03] ' Acta Non verba' , action not words. I think there's a lot of talk in our space and all kinds of consultants. They tell you what you already know, right. Your language, you understand that they charge for it, but delivering real value, um, Well, the main success, and this has grown as I also learned how to lead people, how to learn about projects, how to learn what clients ultimately want to see and how they want to be dealt with.
[00:24:26] And then the presentation of the product that right, that you can do a simple Excel sheet, or you can do an animation, or you can do a video or however you present your product. In order to showcase, uh, your own capabilities, which then makes you successful. If people say, okay, this was value for
Vit Muller: [00:24:45] Yeah. And the other thing is. Managing a team, right? That's leadership. That's a whole, another, another thing as well, right? Like you might have all the technical knowledge, you might have all the connections. Um, you've been in the industry for a while. And, but now, like you said, you get an, all these projects that you have to do, maybe even at the same time, that means managing people in your team to do it.
[00:25:08] How, how has the latest sheep evolved in your case during those years?
[00:25:13] Well, I'm, I'm, I'm pleased with the same player. Always was right. I mean, I, I demand action. I can be impatient, uh, not too much into detail, but I will find the detail that I need to structure with my team, uh, with a little entries and a lot of contractors and a lot of quality network trust.
Yves Preissler: [00:25:34] I feel more confident with this way with, with expecting, uh, services, some other people. To deliver to my company rather than employing people on fixed, fixed income on salaries, which we know that employees can fail. And of course also often deliver, however, attendance for eight hours is different than having a scope of work value.
[00:25:58] You need output for eight hours. I do. I put projects together in a way, a preferred parties who deliver a scope of work to me, but I deliver a scope of work to the client and they ultimately has to perform in order to, to receive contractual payments Which ultimately do not fail because they're contract regulated and they might function on a day.
[00:26:20] Well, and then another day they have something else and of consultants and third party companies. This does not happen because they are company too. And they can, uh, use other resources if certain employees are not available or are not up for the job. Yeah.
Vit Muller: [00:26:35] That's an interesting takeaway. Uh, in a way it makes sense.
[00:26:39] I mean, if you, if you have a, somebody on a salary and they just get in and hourly pay, um, there is more risk involved with the output, um, delivered, right? So it is a, it is actually an interesting effective strategy, uh, strategies by the sound of it. Having the external companies contracting with you, and then it makes it a bit more easy as well, because you don't have to deal with the people in those companies.
[00:27:05] You just deal with the big boss there and they say, look, this is what's going on. Right?
Yves Preissler: [00:27:11] Yeah. But I also deal with people who have their single companies with one or two people and then deliver a service. And I use the same people since, since a long time. And I try it here and bail, you people have trusted, trusted network, which performs.
[00:27:27] Yeah. And then, and then in this way, I don't take scopes on board. I do not always ask if they are happy to, or able to do it. I know they can do it. I know what it costs. I outsource it and it gets done. It comes back to me who was spinning the plates, but it's altogether because I'm responsible for the output because I validate and send it to the client.
[00:27:48] In today's world. Everyone wants to be a CEO and the founder of a company. So they are all coming to the marketplace, right? I mean, here's the marketplace take responsibility for the work you offer and having a t-shirt printing press at home, doesn't make you a CEO of a t-shirt printing company. It makes you a founder of a one-man show who says.
[00:28:09] Quite interesting part, which I enjoy. And also, but you see even people, um, contract other people and then see what is the actual output of that company, which is registered. Yeah, that's a, that's a website. That's Instagram following that doesn't mean there's is any output, yeah, it comes from a, from a functioning, uh, team of employees or parties.
[00:28:35] It does not necessarily come from a good social media channel. It does not come from what's being said, it comes from, what's been done.
[00:28:44] I really liked it.
[00:28:45]That's what it is all about. Right? That's what people pay for. They know what they want. They get with us. I mean, they contract us, the job will be done no matter what.
How does Yves keep fit to perform at his best
Vit Muller: [00:28:55] Now handling all these projects, managing successful consultancy business, dealing with all these people. That is a, obviously a lot of workload for yourself as well, and can be stressful.
[00:29:07] How do you manage, um, your personal wellbeing? I know you said you've done, you know, Judo back back then when you were younger, um, what are type of workouts that you like to do? How often do you train? How do you manage all that?
Yves Preissler: [00:29:22] It comes back to a routine. I'm a very routinized person. I wake up 4:15, 4:30 in the morning, get out of bed, have some coffee, usually read something, scan the most important emails.
[00:29:36] And I go to the gym, 6, 6:30, do a normal split routine, very old school. Chest and triceps shoulders and like 15, 12, 10, 8, not too much variety to it. During that time, during warmup in cardio, choose to listen to Blinkists and a dozen, audio books, some advice, and then change to music later, when there is weights to be lifted.
[00:30:01] So I take care of my body and mind at the same time and, uh, not just listen to music and do not use the time effectively. You're the first one in the office from 8:30 to 12, 12:30. Come home, eat my lunch. And, uh, I often nap for half an hour, 45 minutes before getting up and have another cup of coffee and then do the second round of office.
[00:30:21] The days fairly blend in with the weekend every day is Monday there's work to do. We do work. If I feel I want to have a day off on a Wednesday, I'll take the day off and don't book anything. Stay Say fluid. I don't believe in work / life balance, it's the life integration. When you work on global level and the weekend in the middle East East is Friday , Saturday and the weekend everywhere else is Saturday, Sunday, which day is off? Friday, you're working with Europe and the middle East is off.
[00:30:51] Saturday is like a half day and I'm in the middle East and then Europe. So you still might get asked to attend the phone call and Sunday is the first day of the week in middle East and Sunday is day off in Europe. So comes back to self, balancing your life. And I really love what I do, so I don't feel I'm working.
Life is a choice, Yves shares how lives his life
Vit Muller: [00:31:12] Yeah. Now somebody listening to this, they might be like, but hang on a minute. I've got a wife, I've got kids. So that's a bit different
Yves Preissler: [00:31:22] Sure but life is a choice. I don't have a wife, I don't have kids, I have two dogs. And I set up my, my environment in a way that, uh, some tasks are done by other people. I mean, I've always someone who takes care of the house of my laundry or cooks a bit.
[00:31:37] So I don't have to do those things, which often is either shared between parents, right. And that they use time to do that. I don't use any time to do that. I employ someone because they can make money more money in the time. This has been done to pay the worker for doing this. And, um, there is a gardener who takes care of the gardens.
[00:31:57] I have a wonderful place around me, but I don't have to maintain it. And, um, yeah, I don't have kids. I have two dogs and you feed them, you play with them and they're good to go. They don't need to go to school. They don't have any questions. They don't want to go on a holiday with you. So my setup of life that supports my, my business and my sucess because I've chose different things than what other people have chosen.
Vit Muller: [00:32:21] Absolutely. And obviously everybody's got their own level of happiness and, and what they enjoy doing. So, um, each to their own.
[00:32:29] Now you now live in Nairobi, is that right?
Yves Preissler: [00:32:33] I live in Nairobi, Kenya, yes
Vit Muller: [00:32:35] But you're originally from Germany.
Yves Preissler: [00:32:38] Yeah,
Vit Muller: [00:32:39] You don't miss Germany?
Yves Preissler: [00:32:42] I don't say as the last four months, right. I flew out of here of the last flight end of March to Germany and then had no way of coming back.
[00:32:51] And then current global situation, I enjoyed Germany for what it is. I'm glad that I grew up there. By fortunate to have a German passport, to be traveling freely, to have German education. I've been taught to be on time every time and to deliver what you say, but living in Germany, um, For ever, I've done things as an option.
[00:33:13] I liked the challenges to deliver broad. I like to meet different people. I like the challenges of different cultures also for something drives me insane, but that's the fun about it to be somewhere new. But I also like to go to places where there's no one who does what I do. And I came to Kuwait. There were not many qualified personal trainers.
[00:33:34] So I went there.
Vit Muller: [00:33:35] Did you went by yourself?
Yves Preissler: [00:33:38] Yeah. By myself. I went by myself. I was living in Spain, briefly. I was living in Ireland briefly and then moved from Ireland to Kuwait. Stayed 10 years in Kuwait and then the last two years of the 10 years, I had an apartment in Dubai and Kuwait before then moving full-time to Dubai for five years.
[00:33:57] And then one and a half years, I'm already here in Kenya Nairobi, with frequent travels to the middle East.
Emerging Fitness markets around the world and work Yves does
Vit Muller: [00:34:02] Now why, why Nairobi is that another area that you're looking at, you know, entering the fitness market, doing some, some consultants work or is it just because you like the place?
Yves Preissler: [00:34:13] No, we have been hired to start a budget gym chain over here.
[00:34:17] Which we have started successfully opened the first budget gym here in Nairobi, and we build it, we sold it out and the contract finished in April. The company will continue by itself and we will be doing what we're doing everywhere. Build fitness facilities, deliver returns on investment for potential investors.
[00:34:37] I see a huge scope here for affordable fitness and for premium fitness because. Affordable fitness sold for a premium price. Value basic gym started at a hundred dollars a month. The average gym is between 60 to $80, and offers very little service, and very basic fit out, and we have a scope here to start a fitness school and Academy because no one is doing fitness education.
[00:35:01] The equipment suppliers and distributors are here, but not necessarily as strong as in Europe or the middle East, so we can help them get into the market. And I think we can build a great fitness scene over East Africa and then branch out. And in the middle of Africa, it's a massive continent. There's a lot of people, the population is growing and as a very young population, uh, the median salaries are growing.
[00:35:27] So I think it's the right time to offer very well priced, good fitness product in order to be successful. And obviously we can go into data collection of all those names, numbers, and emails using fitness and memberships. Right? You give freely your data there. So we can than start working with health insurance is become more supplement providers.
[00:35:51] I mean, the opportunity in Africa are endless. It is hard work. Many people do not understand the continent. They say ok, Africa by where we start?. Uh, that is the fun thing about it, right? To do, to lay
[00:36:05]the foundation for big players to come.
Vit Muller: [00:36:08] Sounds like a, the secret recipe here in a way to your success. If I'm correct. Sounds like the entry to a new emerging markets, less developed market has been in a way, the success behind this, isn't it?
Yves Preissler: [00:36:26] Yeah. It can be like that as long part of the success. I mean, every success comes back to one thing, deliver what you say you're going to deliver and create value for people that are happy to pay. And that is in a simple way in an undeveloped market. People do not know what to expect so you can offer. So you can offer any product and it should be valuable. Right. But if you are good in what you're doing and deliver more than that, uh, that is the keys to success.
[00:36:53] And I think that's also part of my success. I'm going to be looking now at places like Pakistan, we have sold fitness equipment to Syria, but people are saying. Syria, the war is just finished. It's finished. So people need fitness equipment. Right? So entire kitted out gyms have been sold there. So it's moving.
Vit Muller: [00:37:12] Wow.
There is no point trying to work on something you don't enjoy doing [00:37:13] Very interesting. Very interesting. Now, um, we're all human humans, no one is perfect. What are you? Not very good Yves?
Yves Preissler: [00:37:26] Detail. Like I can miss detail in, in a certain context, right? I do not like to read very long contracts in lawyer English. I'm not good at that, but I'm getting better at it. Or I employ someone to help me with it.
[00:37:44] I think this is what it is. And sometimes that could be a little bit more on the topic with my, my employees or contractors to understand where they come from and what they feel like that is not something I'm very often interested in because I'm so results driven. And, um, so I've managed to succeed that door's emotional side sometimes, uh, you know, stays on the way behind.
Vit Muller: [00:38:11] So the takeaway point I'm getting here is, and that's, we've heard it many times when you run a business focus on what you're good at and delegate the rest. Makes sense.
Yves Preissler: [00:38:23] Exactly. The don't try to, um, make your weakness, your strength. They will never be, try to manage them somehow. And I choose not to deal with them too much.
[00:38:34] I have other people deal with this part of the business and help me thereby, uh, I still don't understand, but I'm not trying to get any good at it because it's a waste of time. I can focus on what I'm good at and enjoy what I'm doing and be good at what I'm good at.
What Yves wish he did if he could go back in time Vit Muller: [00:38:49] Absolutely. Now Yves, what do you wish you had known when you, when you, um, you know, decided to enter fitness industry and started your business?
Yves Preissler: [00:39:00] If you could go back. You would have definitely looked more into boutique fitness and how it's going to explode and how functional training becomes a big craze. Right? I'm still biased self training body building because this is how I grew up. But to have knew that that everything is heading into community would have been a good thing.
[00:39:21] To become the leader in online fitness early two thousands would have been a good thing. Seeing what has happened now, I mean, uh, to create an equipment brand early 2000 would have been a good thing. They've seen the market growing. I mean, there's many things, but ultimately you can't go back. You can only look what could be the next big fitness trend and then trying to predict it.
Vit Muller: [00:39:45] What do you think that will be?
Yves Preissler: [00:39:48] Combat combat fitness. I mean, to take the best out of combat sports and put it into a fitness industry, you see it, what we have done with MuayThai Fit, Floyd Mayweather has a fitness franchise, that whole boxing spaces of like one rebel or whatever . Brands of Boxing classes are fairly busy because people see it as a good workout.
[00:40:10] It helps you, uh, you know, with confidence. It helps you deal with anger management. I would say whatever reasons people do, do it.
[00:40:20] They wanna fight but they don't want to fight with people, but maybe with themselves and push yourself a little bit harder. I think it's really interesting how speed, power, agility can be incorporated in and fitness industry and routines.
[00:40:37] And obviously the trend will be to enlist more and more investment, uh, less, less, and fixtures and fittings. I mean the treadmill 5,000 to $10,000. What else can you do with that, Appreciate it and gets thrown away by the return on investments are very much the same. If I do a boxing class or if I do a cycling class. The boxing bag might last longer than a cycle and that's very little maintenance.
We discuss what fitness can and cant' do and selling proposition when it comes to fitness as a solution.
Vit Muller: [00:41:04] Absolutely. I think you also touched on an interesting thing with the, you know, the word confidence and people actually wanting to do things like Muay Thai class, because it does boost confidence.
[00:41:16] We know that. Um, do you think maybe, maybe even like when it comes, like talk about more broad, like, uh, uh, a trend keyword, maybe personal development will become a thing as a trend in the industry. Like a reason why people start to like maybe people will start looking at these fitness services for the purpose of improving their like themselves, not just from the fitness perspective, but also develop as to be a better human being like, like improving confidence.
Yves Preissler: [00:41:49] I can't tell, like for me, um, I need to sidetrack you seeing all those life coaches that mindfulness coaches and combining with the fitness for me is there's no good. I mean, I'm not a psychologist, I'm a fitness trainer, coach, whatever you want to be. If you have a emotional issue is one to build up confidence and that's go back to your childhood or passed by that is fitness can do a certain thing, but to change body image.
[00:42:16] For confidence, it can potentially give you a good way to increase your punching power and that you potentially could do something with it, but that cannot be all mixed and meditation and mindfulness and wanting to be that doctor kind of thing that people take it.
Vit Muller: [00:42:34] No, no, no,
[00:42:36] not to be the provider of the solution.
[00:42:39] More like. You know, uh, the way it's going to be marketed, maybe like it could be that, that it's more marketed towards explaining the benefits from the personal development level. It can do, like, for example, you know, back in the days, like it used to be very, you know, build that six spark, you know, summers come in, build that six bucks summer body, very, uh, like, uh, And our aesthetic goal.
[00:43:05] So literally just looking on the outside, but didn't really dig in on like what it will do for you. But now I think, you know, many people who might be very overweight, um, It's a difficult thing to take on an exercise program. Right. And one of the things I find, you know, when I'm doing sales calls is what works is trying to like ask the right questions.
[00:43:31] Like what will that allow you to do? Like making people realize that it's not just, yeah, you need to lose weight, but there's a bigger meaning behind it. Like if you lose weight, you're going to feel better. Are you going to finally do things that you may be were enabled to do? Do you know what I mean?
Yves Preissler: [00:43:46] I agree with you with that.
[00:43:48] I mean the age old retention problem comes from the wrong sale. Usually we need to be selling something, actually fitness, something everyone wants, but no one wants to do. You are a trainer your self with a background. Right? How many training programs have you written or been asked for at parties? One of those ways and they never been done.
[00:44:07] So we surely have a lot of marketing and explaining to do. What fitness does for you? The only thing you keep all your life is one thing is your body. That's how we should start with. So how we treat our body, what we put into our body, how we sleep, how we move. Right. Fitness is one part I would like to say it's one hour a day.
[00:44:29] What happens to other 23 hours is also important. Let's look at a little bit, look at it wholesomely, and then let's give the different parts of the day to different experts . We as Fitness professionals we can say, okay, we'll definitely make you move better, preserves your body, or you sleep better. You can certainly do things.
[00:44:48] And the aesthetic part will always be a part of it. And in the age of social media, we cannot put it away. So you can also talk about that, but let's be realistic. There's no six pack in six weeks. And you should not sell that anymore. Right? We should sell health, wellbeing, movement, and safety and fun in fitness clubs.
[00:45:08] And this is what boutique fitness has done. They put people together into fun classes. It's not so bright, there's not too much mirrors and people can exercise in their group and can be people and exercise for the heck of exercising. Not for bloody looking. Good. Whereby our old school approach, people still want to look good because we have been sold that and there's nothing wrong with it.
[00:45:32] Right. But, uh, obviously the, the membership demographics we are now approaching, are, heavily overweight. They have heavily issues with, uh, coordination. I mean, everyone has good hand-eye coordination on the phone. So I think this conversation is good for another full, uh, podcast episode, where we come, how we educate our children, because this is where sports starts, but I told you, I have started with the age of five, doing judo. I've done a strength training. I've done speed, power, agility training, I've been the smallest guy in the room and enjoy competing with all the people.
[00:46:08] And you got educated on that. Because without big mouth, you got nothing. So, and I think that is what needs to be brought back in how we sell fitness, what it does, and that it's a journey from young age because of our sedentary lifestyle. It's because the way we choose to live. Right to make it part of your daily life.
[00:46:26] And that starts in the very young age, just already, too late when we sell them fitness memberships.
Vit Muller: [00:46:32] Absolutely. talking about this, we could go on, um, and we could also talk about, you know, other aspects when it comes to future of fitness, like tech, um, technology and all that.
[00:46:43] Um, there is some really exciting things, by the way, I I've, I've seen. Um, this week, uh, it just popped up and it was an advertisement in my Facebook. It was basically an online fitness, a virtual personal trainer, and basically I switched on my camera, , on my laptop. And they gave me a demo. The camera was able to see and analyze exactly my joints, my bones in my body.
[00:47:10] I had to step away. So it would see the camera. I would be in a full view. And then there was a simple exercise, like, you know, raising one knee balancing on one knee or doing squats. And it gave me a real feedback saying you're not going low enough. You know, you need to, you know, get your knees out, get a better angle.
[00:47:30] It was very interesting and in a way interesting, but also in a way, a bit scary. Um, when you see the possibility I'm really. I wonder what that future's going to look like.
Yves Preissler: [00:47:45] It depends like fitness is still, you still got to do it, so it doesn't matter what app is there. You're still gonna go out of your comfort zone and move and then do a little bit more than you think you're capable of and to force your body to adapt.
[00:47:58] So whatever comes you need to be encouraged to do just that. And, uh, of course there's the mural that is all those interactive applications. But can they entice you to do it once, twice or 10 times? Is it interesting enough to keep going and other reasons enough to keep going? That's what we need to ask ourselves, how can we engage people to do this continuously and not just selling them another thing?
[00:48:28] So the muscle will only be adapt only for one thing, resistance and overload your heart, the cognitive system. You need to challenge it. So you. Need to get your pulse about a certain count. So it's, it's basically, it comes back to whatever it is. You have to do those things. If there's new technologies or new equipment can do that, they will be welcome to the market and stay there.
[00:48:53] What I think what always has been is a bench a dumbbell, a treadmill, and that's there. I mean, and it's been started since it's Gold's gym, you know, at Venice Beach and it's there and it's in some form or shape everywhere else there. So why, what are we trying to do? Offcourse to make it fancy. We make it nice. We make it technology.
[00:49:15] We make it expensive or we make it cheap. We scale it. But are we asking ourselves the question? What is the end user going through? They going through pain because they're not fit and that we need to have enough enticement and enough, um, the will has to be, they have to do it again and again, no matter what product there is, I think human interaction is still important and current is still important.
[00:49:45] Camaraderie is still important and we will not stay at home to just exercise by ourselves. Only the motivated people will this other same people who are in your gym when you switch off the light, the AC, and don't clean the bathrooms. That's 10% of the people they always will be there. We don't have to worry about them.
[00:50:02] That's very about the 90% and how we can commit them to exercise and healthy lifestyle long-term, whatever that may look like. It be what it is, but it needs to do that.
Vit Muller: [00:50:12] That's it? I think it's in a human nature though, you know, like we like to evolve, we always look at okay. The improvement of something, whether it's a way of, of delivering fitness, motivating somebody, you know, doing an exercise program, maybe this technique technological thing is that it's, you know, the gamification giving people an opportunity to play a computer game.
[00:50:35] At home, but now also exercise, maybe that's something that might help that, you know, that portion of the market or that portion of people who were, who. We grow up playing computer games and they're just sitting there not doing anything. They would never think of going into the gym. Maybe this is something that might be more enticing to them.
[00:50:54] We'll see. It'll be very interesting to see what, you know, having that conversation. Maybe in 10 years time, we'll be like, wow. Okay,
Yves Preissler: [00:51:01] Look, look Vit Esports is there to grow. E-sports can be a form of fitness. I mean, people are playing on their controllers. Their heart rate goes up around them. The heart rate goes up.
[00:51:12] So Esports is some form of fitness let it be mental fitness, let it be coordination. I don't know how you want to name it. It should be recognized. And I think we can do more with it, but now with the virtual reality glasses and the other stuff this will come, it's not there just yet because it doesn't function so well.
[00:51:30] But obviously we now see cameras assessing bodies and stuff it's going in the right direction. What anyone's wants that makes them move.
Vit Muller: [00:51:37] That's it.
Yves Preissler: [00:51:38] We are the generation in between and we are not digital natives. We've got our first mobile there's the age of, I don't know, 18. So we didn't grow up with that device that did not, and the new generation did.
[00:51:51] So we need to find a way how to put fitness into this device.
Vit Muller: [00:51:56] That's it? That's it.
Yves Preissler: [00:51:57] Yeah.
Vit Muller: [00:51:58] Now if we could go on, but, um, I do like to keep it to an hour. So maybe, like you said, maybe, um, we'll leave it for another episode where we talk more fitness specific,
How to get in touch with Yves
[00:52:09] um, for anybody listening. Um, how can people find you?
[00:52:13] Um, maybe a gym might be looking for some, some, some help, um, if they want to contact you, what is the details?
Yves Preissler: [00:52:22] The best way to contact me is a way or my personal email address [email protected] via my LinkedIn profile via our website. I mean, we are easy to be found. You will not see us marketing. You will not see any ads from us.
[00:52:36] We simply don't do that. We work by a referral. And by the kind, finding us only, but we are there. I mean, Google my name and you will find me or contact yourself and you can of course give those details further.
Vit Muller: [00:52:50] Absolutely. Now, for those of you guys listening, thank you for listening. I'm going to put all these details in the show notes, so don't worry.
[00:52:57] Um, and like I said, we, um, you can contact me if you want to talk to me. What I like about this is what you said. You don't do much marketing. You just rely on good referrals. So that sort of really ties everything together with what you said at the start, 'Acta non verba'. Actions, less talking more actions.
[00:53:15] And when you do that, when you deliver people will remember, then they refer you. So any, and that applies for any business. Referral referral referral marketing is still one of the best way to get more business. It's it's cheap. It doesn't cost you anything. And it just challenges your integrity and delivery of what you promise you deliver.
[00:53:39] So that's good.
Yves Preissler: [00:53:41] Absolutely. That works for any area in your life. Just do what you say you're going to do, and things will just happen.
Vit Muller: [00:53:49] Excellent. Awesome. Well, Yves great talking to you, have a great rest of your day in Nairobi. I'm going to wrap it up over here in, um, in Canberra at 7:00 PM. It is my birthday today, actually as well.
[00:54:01] So I better, better go and celebrate
Yves Preissler: [00:54:04] Well happy birthday Vit, and thank you for being part of this podcast and the special day for you as well. So we want you to do a hundred pushups at the end of the podcast, and then you can switch off.
Vit Muller: [00:54:15] All right. Challenge accepted.