Ep. 52 - Launching A Gym Business with Gym Launch COO, Mimi Naghshineh

Ep. 52 - Launching A Gym Business with Gym Launch COO, Mimi Naghshineh

Mimi Naghshineh, the COO of Gym Launch, shares how she developed her passion for fixing things and solving problems and how she got her job at the company. Gym Launch helps existing gym owners get their gyms to full capacity. Mimi walks us through what the company is all about, the process of launching a gym business, and how she operates the company with her sister Leila and brother-in-law Alex. The company has had significant growth this year, and they are handling this through a lot of communication with remote and on-site employees. Mimi discusses some of the ways that they do as a team which encourages them for more growth including regular monthly meetings and leadership trainings. She shares some of the biggest lessons she learned in managing their business, including launching and selling their products internationally.

Launching A Gym Business with Gym Launch COO, Mimi Naghshineh

Mimi Naghshineh is the Chief Operations Officer of Gym Launch and Prestige Labs helping gym owners create a profitable clientele. She oversees all operational areas including customer service, sales, IT, HR, finance and marketing. Mimi was the fourteenth employee when she joined in October of 2017 and they’ve now grown to a strong 96 people in several months. Prior to Gym Launch, she spent eight years working with digital marketing companies, primarily in the automotive space. She’s now proud to work at Gym Launch, which went from zero to $30 million in revenue in several months. They are not exaggerating. I know her two cofounders well. Mimi is also one of the founding members of the COO Alliance. Mimi, welcome to the show.

Thanks, Cameron. Thank you for having me.

I’m looking forward to diving in here a little bit. You have got a spectacular reputation as an organization on what you’ve built, but I want to go a little bit before that. I want you to tell us a little bit about who you are and where your skill set came from before we dive into even Gym Launch itself.

I’m definitely a “like to know everything” person. I like having my hands in all the different pots and understanding how everything flows and works together. I went to school for business management. I focused on the hospitality of all things, which I’m clearly not using that degree at this point. As soon as I was done, I realized I didn’t want to stay in that industry and I found a job doing entry-level digital marketing. I supported myself by bartending on the side full-time and also working full-time. That was interesting. I worked my way up through different positions in marketing. Through that, I stepped up, according to my last company, as an operator when I started seeing holes in the processes. Whether that was within the marketing department or across the company, I can’t help myself.

I stepped in and started saying, “Let’s figure this out and let’s fix this.” I’m a fixer. That led me to more positions that did more of that. We worked on global scaling initiatives. I ended up in sales operations of all places from marketing to sales. Alex approached me for Gym Launch. It was my dream job hidden. I didn’t realize it. I see the big picture. I see the vision and where we’re going. I also have the ability to see all of the details, all the inner workings of a business, of a problem, of anything and how that puzzle fits together. I can help explain in detail how it’s all going to flow together in a six-month timeline even for us to get to our vision and help enforce that and enact that.

I love that you mentioned that you saw all the holes but you didn’t just point them out, you wanted to fix them. A lot of people tend to point out the problems. They are the negative cultural cancers in an organization when you pointed out all the problems and you don’t want to do anything about it. What do you think was in your DNA to have you want to fix things and solve things?

I look at it as like a challenge. It’s a puzzle for me. It makes sense for me to untie a knot and look at it in a pretty form. One of my previous supervisors refers to my mind like the matrix. It’s like you see layers upon. I know it was weird but I was also flattered that you see layers upon layers of it. You see all the inner workings. It drives me to solve those problems and to fix those problems. It gives me momentum. I feel encouraged and energized by doing that especially when we get to the end results and it’s been completed.

You even said something about hospitality, you laughed and said clearly you’re not using it. I almost disagree that in a lot of ways, people that gravitate towards hospitality care about customer engagement. That would probably translate into employee engagement and customer engagement, both. Maybe you don’t feel like you’re using the hospitality skills of running a hotel or running restaurants or what have you but you maybe saw a different side of it that you probably should take with you. Do you think you carry any of the lessons maybe that you learned in school or do you think it was all from experience where you gained your skills?

I learned a lot. Every experience we have in life leads us to where we are and shapes who we are. I don’t think it was a wrong choice to go into hospitality and to end up exiting. I learned a lot from it. I did enjoy working with people when I was in that industry. There were ten years of hostessing, waitressing and bartending. I interned as a general manager one summer. It was not exactly what I wanted to be doing.

I was interviewed by the media. I was talking to the journalist and I said that one of my skills that I picked up along the way was around efficiencies that I learned being a waiter. I said, “I don’t think I could have worked in this restaurant at the pace that we were, at the high level of service that we had, had I not learned efficiency.” Every time I walked into the kitchen, I carried something. Whenever I came out, I carried something. I always saw the opportunities and things that had to get done. That was a skill that I pulled. How did Alex find you? Where did he bump into you?

We have a unique story. Alex is married to my younger sister, who is our co-CEO. They are CEO and co-CEO.

I didn’t know if I knew that.

It’s a unique situation. Leila and I had lived in California together after she finished college. She met him on Bumble. She started dating him and brought him home for Christmas one year when I lived in Michigan. This is at the peak of their stress as they tell their story. Alex was stressed out that day at Christmas. We were talking at the kitchen table and he offered me a job right there. I didn’t take it seriously. I’m like, “Who’s this guy my sister brought home for Christmas? I’ve never met him. He looks a little crazy.” It’s very intense. I’m a little more traditional in my decisions in life and the workforce. It was a good nine months of him selling me every time we spoke before I submitted my notice.

What did he see in you that he wanted to bring you into the company? Was it because of Leila that he knew more about you or did he see that special something that he wanted to bring into the company as well? How did that work out?

He saw me for me, whereas Leila saw me as a sister at that point and didn’t quite understand what I had been doing in my career for the seven, eight years before she had met Alex. She says now that she remembers some of the things that I used to say and it clicks. She realizes the importance of the things I used to tell her and some of the projects that I would work on. Whereas Alex and I were talking, we were talking about digital marketing, my experience with SEO, search and all the different things and websites and working with all the different departments. He said, “I could use someone like you.”

Your sister dismissed you because of the familiarity. Alex didn’t know. He was more intrigued to learn more and listen.

I don’t know if it was dismissive. Most people will introduce that type of layer to a relationship when you’re a family. Most people don’t think like that. You hear about what people do at their workplace, but you don’t think about, “They should come work with me.” I want to be working with them every single day.

My brother and sister both run their own companies. I would never want to work with them, but I don’t think I ever sat down and thought of the real skills that they have in business. My sister’s company is growing well. I don’t think I’ve ever sat down and thought about like, “I wonder where I can turn to them for advice for the skill side.” What did you see in the company with your sister getting involved? It was quite small at the time.

It was very small. I interviewed them. I made them sit down and walk me through their funnel, their processes, their pipeline, their finances and everything like their business plan basically on a Sunday afternoon. I said, “Explain to me why this was a legitimate business?” It was a legitimate opportunity for me. I’m a logical person and that’s what I needed. Seeing everything and seeing that we had employees, we have payroll and seeing the opportunity was the biggest draw for me. Seeing the opportunity for where I could be useful, where I could grow, learn and obtain the skills that I wanted to obtain while helping grow this business. That’s what sold me on transitioning and changing what I was doing.

You started to see that opportunity. You saw that it was a real business and you can apply your skills to it. Tell everybody now what Gym Launch does so that we get an idea of the business and the scope you’re at. You’re right around 100 employees already. Walk us through what the company does and how you operate.

Our vision is to find high-margin products and services that have economies of scale that will solve gym owner problems. It started out with information products. That is the foundation of our business. That’s Gym Launch Secrets. It’s helping businesses generate leads, nurture them, sell them, retain them and ascends them. We have another program that’s built on top of it that enhances it. It builds on it. It has not Facebook marketing, but it has Instagram. It has YouTube. It has Google Ads. It’s a little bit of everything. It has multiple different plays. When I say a play, it’s like a marketing campaign.

The infamous 360 Challenge that we see everywhere. It could be a bring a friend challenge. It could be Big Booty Bootcamp. It’s something that gym owners use to get more people in the door and to generate more revenue, that is our goal. We also do a lot of leadership training, coaching and helping with how they scale their gyms. We will offer job descriptions for key positions within the gym. Salary recommendations based on a range obviously, it depends on where you are but our recommendations. How you should pay them, how to manage your time, how to delegate, how to manage a meeting and how to run meetings. All the basics of a business that a lot of gym owners forget that that’s what’s happening. They’re running a business, they’re not trainers at that point.

SIC 52 | Gym Business
Gym Business: Gym Launch’s secret is helping businesses generate leads, nurture them, sell them, and retain them.

 

Was no one doing this in the gym space other than I would imagine the franchise orders or the multi-unit operators? I would see someone like an Orangetheory or anyone in the sports or fitness space or health and wellness space. Was no one doing this for independent gym owners?

It’s not to the extent that we are. The cool thing is that we can work with people that are franchisees as well. It’s not exclusive to independent operators. If you are a franchisee, figuring out what your rules are with your franchisor and make sure you’re following those on your own.

Do you work with any franchise owners in the fitness space at all?

We do. We work with Koko Fit Club. We work with Iron Tribe Fitness. There’s PEPT Fitness, which is an Australian-based franchise. They are growing fast. Those are our three main relationships right now. We have a lot of different gyms that are in the CrossFit space, that are in the low-ticket offer space as well like the $10 gyms. We have some of those.

You’re sticking to that niche, aren’t you? You’re not going into dental offices or chiropractic. You’re sticking in the gym space because it’s such a huge niche and you own it.

Yes and no. We’re definitely sticking to it, but the reason is more of, “This is what we know.” Alex built and launched six gyms on his own before ever building Gym Launch. He has the experience. We love our clients. We’re passionate about them. We love our gym owners. Coming from automotive and into this, it was like night and day. I’m working with our clients. That’s a big thing. We were passionate about this customer base and we want to do all we can to expand on it.

I used to be in the automotive industry as well. I was in the auto body space. I don’t think back and go, “I loved auto body.” I didn’t like anything about auto body. I like the business of building a business, but I wasn’t passionate about the brand or the product at all. I didn’t like getting dirty. I didn’t like being in the garage. I didn’t understand mechanics. The gym space, I could get. It makes sense. It’s healthy. It’s intuitive. You feel good. You joined the company and there are around sixteen, twenty employees at the time and now there are about 100. Walk us through your first 90 days. How did you get on the same page? How did you get up to speed? What did you do? How did they get you up to speed?

I was walking in not only into such a small business and new business but also walking into a position that had never existed before. It was a free for all. It was a, “What do you need from us?” is what Leila and Alex would say. I had to create my own onboarding and define what I thought was important. I shadowed every single department. I shadowed calls with clients, sales. I learned how everyone operates and how all those systems flow together and the processes. I learned the CRM. I figured my own stuff out.

Did you come in as the second-in-command? Is that what they were bringing you in to do was to be the operation side?

That was the intention. When I came in though, Leila was operating as the COO and Alex was the CEO. Within five months, I had been moved to COO.

I remember that period as well because I remember talking to Leila. She was saying that she was the COO, but it was you that she was talking about. She knew that she was transitioning out of that and was looking forward to it. Did you know that’s what you are moving into though when they brought you in?

I knew that was the intention and the goal. I’m not going to set expectations that I’m going to get that definitely. I’m aware of my deficits and where I may have room to grow.

How long did it take you to understand the industry?

I’m still learning to this day because I don’t have as many interactions with our customers. I felt comfortable after our first summit where I interacted with them in person. That was in January of 2018.

It’s a fair amount of time. It takes time to get to understand the DNA of the industry. Now, you’ve got a sister and a brother-in-law who are the cofounders. You’re the COO. How did the three of you decide to divide roles, responsibilities and reporting structure? How did you fight all that up?

It’s changed over time. Probably every 90 days or so, we have some conversation about, “What are we doing? Who’s in charge of what? Do we need to make changes?” Reassessing how the company is structured and how the three of us are structured. At first, it was Alex who was all marketing and R&D. Leila was operations. I was directly below Leila with all the departments. As she stepped out, she became what was called the president and partnered with Alex and me. She was in the middle. I had most of the company below me. As that grew and I became more comfortable, I was stepping in and taking over. They ended up shifting and saying, “We’re both operating as half of a CEO at this point. We make one CEO together.” That’s how they came up with their CEO and co-CEO and left me to run the operations.

Do you have equity in the company?

I do not have as of this time.

Is there a plan for that or how does that get approached or broached when, first off it’s family and secondly, it seems to be so common these days that especially Gen Y comes into companies and want or expect equity? How did that discussion happen or where are you with that?

We haven’t spoken about it. Right now, we’re focused on figuring out a good bonus compensation, some profit sharing. We don’t have any of that in place. I’m a straight salary at the moment. That was our first step. As far as equity, I’m not eager to be a business owner. That is not my goal in life. Having some ownership in the stake in it on paper would be nice, but it’s not something that I ultimately feel I have to have. I’ll approach that when I feel like I need to. More often than not, Leila and Alex approached me about these things and offered them rather than me coming to them.

They found a good person. One of the things we do at the COO Alliance is that we have Kolbe profiles done. We try to get the CEO and the COOs to get their Kolbe profile. Did you do your Kolbe profile?

I did.

SIC 52 | Gym Business
Gym Business: Be aware of your deficits and where you still have room to grow.

 

Do you remember what your four numbers are?

I was an eight, six, six, two.

The eight is a high fact-finder. It’s somebody who asks lots of questions, naturally curious and wants to understand, which makes sense. It’s totally you. The second two sixes, one is follow through, which is about putting systems, SOPs and processes in place. You’re in the higher middle there. The quick start is the third one, which is somebody who starts things and plans later. That’s good that you’ve got a reasonably high middle on that because they must be very high on the quick start?

They are pretty high. Leila and I are tied but Alex is high.

My guess is that he would be a four, three, nine, three would be his numbers.

He’s an interesting one. He’s evolved and changed over time since I started with them. We work closely on improving our skill set so we can balance each other out more. He’s become more operationally-focused on things when I need him to be. Just like I’ve become more able to adapt and move quickly when he needs me to be.

Is that because you’ve talked about it or bumped heads on it? How have you evolved?

It’s all of the above. In the beginning, we bumped heads a lot but the three of us committed at the beginning to always be talking about everything. No matter how hard it is. Don’t hold anything back. Tell each other when something’s bothering you, whether it’s personal or professional because those lines are blurred here. We need to make sure that we’re 100% on the same page at all times. Our team needs that. Me coming from an operations-focused position, him from an entrepreneurial position and who he is, we had to figure out how to work together, where our trigger points are and where the right balance is.

The fact that you do have that family blend is both super powerful and super scary at the same time. Powerful because you know that blood bonds you together and you go through brick walls for each other. You can have that passion and engagement. You still love each other the next day, which is different than a hired gun. They’re a great couple. How have they navigated being a couple and running a company together? Have you watched them at all? Have you had to work with them as a COO on that at all?

I don’t think I’ve had to work with them on it. They are good at working on their marriage and their relationship on their own. I know that they do a lot of videos and posts about this. They take time every morning to make sure that they spend time together. They make sure they have meals set together where their phones are away. They make sure they take a day off each week where they spend time together. They have the same relationship where if something’s bothering them, they tell each other right away. They don’t hold off. If they’re not good and they’re about to get on a call with our team, they will not get on that call. They will figure their stuff out first. They do a lot of books, reading and talking with each other. One of the things that they have gone through with our clients is they made lists for each other of what was important to each of them, “It is important to me, Leila, if you do this for me and if you save these things for me,” and she did the same thing to him.

It’s like the love languages. When you’ve got this super dynamic tied couple and everybody’s growing quickly, how do you manage this growth? You are on fast growth. It doesn’t feel like it’s slowing down because when I met them, they were doing $15 million. You’ll do $30 million this time.

In total, we’re looking at about $54 million. That’s without any of the business that’s in the pipeline. That’s if we stay in the same way we are.

How are you managing that growth?

It’s a lot of communication. We have more meetings than I had when I worked in an office because we don’t have that office environment. We make sure we have our daily huddles. We have strategic team meetings. We use Voxer for group threads. We have communication cycles and cadences set up. As far as the company and the growth, we’ve gotten caught with our pants around our ankles a few times. Hiring was our weakness this time.

In what way?

We didn’t ramp up hiring in time for some launches that we had planned. We thought we did, but it didn’t scale fast enough. All of a sudden, we were like, “We can’t launch this right now. That’s not feasible. We’re going to break our team.” That’s definitely something that we learned from and we’re learning more with now. We seem to be ahead of things at this point. One of the other things is Alex have amazing ideas, growth and plans for this business. He lives in the future. That’s what we always say. One of the things that I have to do on a daily basis with our team to make sure that we can scale is remember this world like, “That’s a great idea and I know that’s exciting. Let’s move away from the bright and shiny object. Let’s focus on this present time. Let’s make sure that our foundation is built and it’s strong so that we can grow, we can meet those visions and those ideas when they come.”

As COOs, we often have to be good at saying not now versus no. It’s not like we’re saying no to them. We’re saying not now. How do you say not now to him or her and still harness that idea, not kill their energy? How do you keep track of their ideas so that you can look at them later?

The first and most important thing is obviously to listen. I need to listen. I need to hear out what the idea is without jumping in and asking my questions like I want to. I am naturally going to say, “What about this? What about that? We need to think about this.” That totally ruins their game. They want to be able to tell me their whole beautiful vision before I say anything. Holding back and making sure that I let them have that time and that moment with me. I will carefully choose a few questions to ask, the most important ones. Typically, what I’ll do is I’ll ask them to prioritize based on the other items that we already have in the pipeline. Forcing them to prioritize and reminding them of the other things that are going on will help reset expectations between both of us so that I know what their idea is. They understand, “What’s the reality?” and we can go from there.

As a company, you launched a huge new category in terms of supplements. This was completely different from anything you’ve been doing before. How did you go about greenlighting that decision and how did you go about moving into that space? I’m curious as to how you went from an information marketing company and helping other company to have a product side of the business.

When I first got hired, Alex told me we were going to launch supplements by the New Year. That would have been the beginning of 2018. We did not even beta tested until August of 2018. A lot of that was me putting my foot down and saying, “There’s no way that this makes sense. This is not ready. I don’t understand it. This isn’t built. We don’t have the team,” unfortunately. Putting it into reality like, “This is the realistic situation that we’re dealing with right now.” Alex had the idea to do a supplements product before Gym Launch existed. This was something that even working on for a long time in his mind and to see it come to fruition, he is very excited.

The idea came from Alex originally and we worked over time. The moment that we agreed, “This can come to life,” was when of all people, our head of customer service stepped in and said she wanted to own the launch of supplements. We were blown away. It seemed unnatural based on her personality type, who she is as a person and as an employee. She said she wanted to own it and that she felt she could do it. Having somebody as that point person and owner gave us the confidence to move forward.

What were the big lessons from launching this that you think you’ve internalized as a company? What did you pull off from this?

SIC 52 | Gym Business
Gym Business: Make sure that your foundation is built strong so that you can grow and can meet those visions and those ideas when they come.

 

Any new ideas need to be looped in all the right parties from the beginning. It can’t be a, “We’re going to build it and we’ll bring in all the right parties later,” because they don’t have time right now. That’s not possible. We need to make sure they’re in it from the beginning so they understand everything from the start. They see the vision. They see it being built. That was probably our biggest learning. Some of our not-so-fun learnings that are going international are not easy. There are a lot of hoops to jump through, legalities, taxes and regulations. That’s been a big learning for us right now.

Have you pulled back on any of that at all?

Right now, we’re in the US and Canada with supplements. Canada, we’re still dealing with it but from the client-facing side, we resolve them. On the backend, we’re still dealing with it. As far as the other countries, we’re looking at Australia, UK, Ireland and New Zealand. I said clearly that you need to tell our clients that we are not any closer to making this happen and this is why. Alex had to take a step back and say, “I messed up or we messed up. We didn’t think about this fully,” because we thought the shipping was going to be the biggest problem.

It cannot make any logical sense to go to New Zealand when the country is only four million people. There are fewer people in New Zealand than there are now in Texas or there are ten times as many in California.

Our reasoning is right now all of the supplements clients are our Gym Launch clients, all the distributors. We’re looking at where we have the most distributors on our end that need the product. They are consuming the information product, that’s Supplement Selling Secrets, but they can’t get the tangible goods. Australia and the UK are the top two. Hopefully, we think that New Zealand and Ireland will come a little bit easier after we implement those first.

I might cut everybody in New Zealand a check and say, “Sorry, we can’t help you.” You will come to visit or run an event there but I don’t know. I had the second-in-command for Bulletproof Coffee on. She was saying that they shut down a bunch of their international expansion because of how complicated it got and how focused she wanted to keep them. The big shiny objects had to get more and more myopically focused. That’s helped propel their growth. What’s next for Gym Launch? Where’s the next focus that we can expect to see in the next couple of months? Is there anything that you can tell us is coming?

Obviously, it’s the supplements expansion. We are working on a piece of technology which will be coming hopefully. It’s expected to solve gym owner retention problems and managing their clients. I don’t want to go too much into detail, but we’re excited about it. I pitched it a little bit to one of my friends in the gym business and they were like, “That would be amazing.” We’re excited about that. We were definitely going to be going to cold traffic with supplements. We’re going to be doing Supplement Selling Secrets as a cold traffic offer in the next couple of months. That will be new. We’re shifting it. Supplement Selling Secrets is our front-end offer, not Gym Launch. It’s a huge pain in the butt to switch things up. It seems to make the most sense for us to have people enter into our business with this easy, smaller Supplement Selling Secrets. They get the goods. They make money right off the bat. If they are gym owners, we can interest them in Gym Launch. They can build on that into Gym Legacy.

Are you a remote company? All of your employees or most of your employees are remote?

It’s 100%.

How do you manage it that way? How does it scale? Walk us through some of the secrets and lessons learning that way.

Zoom is our best friend. We have our set meetings, huddles and cadences. Everyone has their set one-on-ones with their supervisors, direct reports every week. As a company, we’re learning now that we’re bigger as well. We’re trying to figure out what the best way is to communicate with now over 100 employees. We have monthly all-company meetings, which are on Zoom. It’s required to be seated with the camera on, fully engaged and not on your phone. We walked through and we repeat our vision, our goals, why we’re here, walking through all that, go through our wins, discussed our core tenets, our mission and we go through everything. Every single month we have certain things we hit every time to reinforce it. There’s always something new that’s coming up to you like questions and concerns and whatnot.

We do monthly leadership training as well. If somebody is interested in growing into more of a leader within the business or if a supervisor thinks someone could benefit from those, everyone’s welcome to attend. They have different topics. It could be time management. It could be talking about one of our core tenets like don’t sugarcoat it, talk about what that means as a leader and what you need to do in order to own it. Leila has started sending out weekly announcements-ish to the client and to all of our employees. It’s going through what’s on her and Alex mind right now. What are they reading? What are they listening to? Some exciting things that are coming down the pipeline and all the different departments, some recent wins and some kudos.

These are best practices at the nth degree for companies that have everybody showing up in the same office every day. It’s great that you’re doing it with the remote team as well. Is that one of the reasons why you’re successful or do you think is it your marketing expertise or is it a blend now of operational and marketing expertise that makes you successful?

Marketing is great, but anybody can steal it, anybody can replicate it and run with it. What sets us apart is the support we provide our clients on top of the product. We have a full customer service and tech support team that’s available via chat, Facebook and phone that helps all of our clients. That’s what sets us apart with them. The business as a whole, we’re focused on hiring people that fit our culture. We try to model how Netflix did their culture interview with the culture deck. We do group culture interviews. We switched it up after the last COO event. Anybody that’s doing a culture interview is another hiring manager but has no idea what these people are being interviewed for. They don’t know their resume. They don’t know who they are, nothing. The people that are doing the interview have no stake in it whatsoever. It’s like the opposite departments will do it. It’s to weed out the crazies as we like to say.

You’re looking for it through the cultural fit. You’re not looking for a skill set at that point.

I would rather make sure that we get everyone in on the culture standpoint and move them to skill set after that. If they don’t make the culture, it doesn’t matter. It’s hard to teach culture. That’s a personal thing.

They asked Herb Kelleher, who started Southwest Airlines, “How do you get all your employees to smile like that?” He said, “I hire smiley people.” You can’t take the core behavioral traits that you want in people and train that. They either live in them already or they don’t. Maybe you have, in the few years you’ve been there, had to scale yourself as a leader. What are you working on now to grow?

I’m trying to replace myself a little bit right now. We’re in the middle of hiring a CFO. I hired a director of operations. I came to the realization that I cannot do what I need to be doing as COO if I don’t have these other people in place. I want to be able to walk through the big ideas with Alex more than I can right now and talk through like timelines, logistics and stuff before it even reaches our team and be proactive with that. I can’t do that if I’m doing all the day-to-day stuff as well.

It needs to get done, but not by you.

That’s my big goal right now is to fill some positions so that I’m not involved in the day-to-day as much as I was. One of the big things that I took away from the COO Alliance was making sure that I make time for myself outside of work as well. That was a big thing. I’m trying to make sure that I do something at least once a week with friends and go out by myself maybe. Something to get out because that recharges me and reenergizes me to come back to work and be even better.

If you were your 21-year-old self, walking into your career and knowing you wanted to be a leader in organizations, what’s a big parting word of advice that you would have loved to have known when you were 21 that you could leave with everyone who’s reading this?

You are not hot crap is what I would tell my 21-year-old self. Early in my years, I was very cocky because I was good. There’s confidence and there’s cockiness and I came across very cocky. I thought I was a hot crap because I was so good at what I was doing. Growing and becoming more of an actual leader, not an executor, I have had to temper that a lot. That is not how a leader operates and it’s not who I need to be for this company and the people below me. This is not about me being successful. It’s about our company being successful. I’m defined by how my team succeeds at the end of the day, especially as a COO, I’m behind the scenes. Nobody sees what I do. It’s all about what everyone else does. I am not the hot crap that I thought I was and that I thought I needed to be. I need to be a different person now.

SIC 52 | Gym Business
Gym Business: As your company grows bigger, you have to figure out the best way to communicate with your employees.

 

You are the hot crap that you thought you were. You are quite as strong as a COO. I’m glad that you’ve tempered the ego to make it confidence now as well. Mimi Naghshineh, the COO for Gym Launch, thank you so much for sharing all of your secrets and your wisdom with us. I’m glad you were able to share some of your ideas with us.

Thank you, Cameron.

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About Mimi Naghshineh

Dynamic Chief Operating Officer with a demonstrated history of working in the internet & marketing industries within fast-paced growth environments. Skilled in Operations Management, Change Management, Systems and Process Development / Improvement, Innovation, Collaboration and Mentoring/Coaching. Strong operations professional with a Bachelor of Science focused in Business, Hospitality Management from Ferris State University.

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