Brick and Mortar Visibility - For Studio Owners

I’m so excited to introduce you to Greg Garves of Leadership Martial Arts

In this episode we get into the story of Leadership Martial Arts. How it came to be, the journey of finding his purpose and passion along with creating a community of clients that are her favorite people. Greg share some great nuggets about business ownership and how to live a more joy filled life.

Leadership Martial Arts is part of the 4th edition of Healthy in the Valley.

Healthy in the Valley is a FREE digital resource for the entire St. Croix Valley.

In each publication, you’ll find the areas best & leading business owners who are passionate about health and wellness. Helping and serving you live your best life in mind, body and soul.

So if you’re local to the St. Croix Valley in Hudson WI - I invite you to grab your FREE copy by going to

Show Notes

I’m so excited to introduce you to Greg Garves of Leadership Martial Arts

In this episode we get into the story of Leadership Martial Arts. How it came to be, the journey of finding his purpose and passion along with creating a community of clients that are her favorite people. Greg share some great nuggets about business ownership and how to live a more joy filled life. 

Leadership Martial Arts is part of the 4th edition of Healthy in the Valley. 

Healthy in the Valley is a FREE digital resource for the entire St. Croix Valley.  

In each publication, you’ll find the areas best &  leading business owners who are passionate about health and wellness. Helping and serving  you live your best life in mind, body and soul. 

So if you’re local to the St. Croix Valley in Hudson WI - I invite you to grab your FREE copy by going to
Did you love today’s podcast? 🙌
  1. Take a screenshot and share it to your IG stories. Tag me @themsmelissarose  OR let me know what you think.  DM!

  1. Leave us a rating and review on Apple Podcast!

FREE Webinars: 

Be Found, Liked and Trusted Faster - Google Workshop

The Only Three You Need - Be the Only Option in Town by Doing Less!

Ready to Uplevel Your Business with One on One Coaching?  

A bit about our Guest: 
Greg Garves is first and foremost a Child of the most High God and disciple of Jesus Christ. He is a husband of 23 years to beautiful Diane, and father of three gorgeous daughters. 
Greg has earned his 7th dan black belt in martial arts as well as his Masters Degree in the field of Social Work. He is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker which transfers nicely into his work with individuals and families in his lifework and ministry at Leadership Martial Arts. He has many years of education and experience in the field of recreation therapy and leading outdoor adventure trips. 

Greg is a voracious learner and provider of non-mainstream growth and thinking hacks. He is a business owner of 30 years, dog owner and trainer, tree planter, hunter, camper, canoeist and observer of people, behaviors and patterns. Greg is a connoisseur of cold-brew coffee, enemy of the Japanese Beetle, lover of raspberries and the perfectly-placed hammock. 

Other thoughts: Get and keep first things first. We have many roles and learn many views from the total of the life experience we have-use them all! Ask better questions. Trust your intuition. Ditch the screens-get your feet dirty. Get comfortable and confident in being uncomfortable. 

What is Brick and Mortar Visibility - For Studio Owners?

Hey there Studio Owner - You’ve put your blood, sweat and tears into creating brick and mortar business that serves your clients well and impacts the community you love. You’re my hero. And I’m pretty sure we could sit down and talk like besties do cuz I get it. I’ve had my studio business for many years, a hand full of kids and a few passion projects that I love - like this one.

Hey there, I’m Melissa Rose - your business coach for the studio owners who wants more stellar clients coming in their door, more bank in their bank account and more time to hang out- and be completely present - with those they love most.

I love guiding other studio owners who are also living life and on the edge. Going for their dreams and creating a legacy through their kickass business.

In this podcast we’re going to share the nitty gritty of running a successful studio business. Sharing stories, talking strategy and learning practical tips that leave you inspired, empowered and equipped to create your epic life. Every. Single. Day.

So If you’re a dance studio, yoga studio, pilates studio, or fitness boutique studio - you’re in the right place. Add some kiddos, and maybe a partner in the mix - And I call you a Rebel Woman.

Ready to dive in?

Let’s get real.

Melissa: In today's podcast, we are going to have a conversation with business owner Greg Garves. He owns Leadership Martial Arts here in Hudson, Wisconsin, and is a member of Healthy in the Valley. Healthy in the Valley is a free digital resource for the entire Saint Croix valley. In each publication, you're going to find the area's best and leading business owners who are passionate about health and wellness in mind, body, and soul. So if you are local to the Saint Croix Valley area, I invite you to grab your free copy by going to It is filled with exclusive offers from the area's best. Now let's get real!

Mellisa: Hey There, studio owner! You've put your blood, sweat, and tears into creating a Brick and Mortar business that serves your clients and impacts the community you love. You are my hero! And I'm pretty sure we could sit down and talk like besties do because I get it. I've had my studio business for over twelve years, a handful of kids, and a few passion projects that I love, like this one. Hey there, I'm Melissa Rose, your visibility coach for the studio owner who wants more stellar clients coming through their doors, more bank in their bank account, and more time to hang out and be completely present with those they love most. In this podcast, we're going to share the nitty-gritty of running a successful studio business, sharing stories, talking strategy, and learning practical tips that leave you inspired, empowered, and equipped to create your epic life every single day. So, if you're a dance studio, yoga studio, pilates studio, or fitness boutique studio, you are in the right place. Add some kiddos into the mix and maybe a life partner and I call you a rebel woman, ready to dive in? Let's get real!

Melissa: All right, everybody. We have Greg Garves here with Leadership Martial Arts of Hudson, Wisconsin. Welcome to the Brick and Mortar Visibility podcast, Greg.

Melissa: Thanks, Melissa.

Melissa: Yes, thank you so much for being here. We are so excited to hear about your story about Leadership Martial Arts and how you serve our community so well in the Saint Croix Valley. So let's dive in. Before we get into the nitty-gritty, I want to know, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Greg: Yeah, that was a great question I prepared for, but honestly, I couldn't recall other than maybe being a baseball player as every nine-year-old boy wanted to be I think, at least when I was growing up. I couldn't tell you. I was really mostly just living for the next time I could get out of school and go play baseball, go play football, go out in the woods, or go hunting. Couldn't really tell you what I really wanted to be when I grew up.

Melissa: Really?

Greg: I don't know if I ever wanted to grow up.

Melissa: Amen. Okay. So are you local to this area?

Greg: No, my folks moved around a bit. So I was born in Minneapolis, and then we moved to La Crosse, and then we moved to New Jersey, and then we moved to Milwaukee, and then we moved back to La Crosse. My mom and dad are from the La Crosse rural area.

Melissa: Wow!

Greg: And so spent about ten years in the Milwaukee area, and then before senior year in high school, moved to La Crosse, back to La Crosse. So I considered the La Crosse area the hometown area, but we've been here for about 22 years now.

Melissa: Very cool. Okay, so it's too funny. So maybe baseball. Did you have a position that you liked?

Greg: Oh, on the field? Any place.

Melissa: 'Any place, just get me on the field!' Okay.

Greg: Any place, just to be playing, just be in the game!

Melissa: Not in school! Okay.

Greg: Just moving my body, you know. Moving my body. Yeah!

Melissa: Okay, awesome. All right, well, let's dive into your business. Tell me about you, tell me how it started. Tell me why.

Greg: Yeah. So I was playing. As an adult, I was playing softball, if you can imagine that. And I had a buddy of mine who wasn't playing softball, and he said, hey, Garves. Hey, there's this taekwondo club, and this is in West Salem, Wisconsin, where we're living at the time. And so I'm 21 years old then, and he says, hey, you got to try this taekwondo stuff. And I said, 'Yeah, yeah, let me finish this softball season'. So this is August, so early September, I jumped into my first class.

Greg: I grew up as a teenager watching the kung fu TV series, and I couldn't tell you this back then, but intuitively, I wanted what that actor had and what he portrayed. And so that clicked into me when he said that, and I thought, yeah, okay, let's go. At about that time, I was getting a little bit maybe burned out on the sports scene as a young adult and realized I needed to shift some friendships and some lifestyle choices. And so this was just a great time to run into martial arts. So I got into my first class, and it's been 40 years ongoing. Yeah.

Greg: Interestingly enough, the guy who got me into it quit, and I just kept going.

Melissa: Isn't that funny? I love that. Okay. I call you a late bloomer, though, so you didn't really get into this until 20-ish.

Greg: 20-ish, yeah. And back then, there were very few kids in martial arts.

Melissa: Absolutely.

Greg: It was mostly young guys, some women, but mostly young guys who just wanted to work out and kind of thump things. Yeah, so. But late bloomer. Yes.

Melissa: Yeah, definitely. I love those stories of late bloomers because they usually end up being pretty fierce and awesome. I have a dancer friend who didn't start taking a dance class until college, but he just soared, and his first show was a Broadway show as a swing dancer. And that's hard to do. You've got to be good to do that. But it is just so fun to see.

Melissa: So when people come to me like, 'Oh, she's kind of late, she's five' And I'm like, oh my goodness, you have lots of time to make up. You don't need to start at three, five, or seven. You can do it when you are ready and excel really big. Okay, so you got into it at 20 ish. So when did you get the idea or in your mind did you start percolating the idea of running your own business?

Greg: I think I look back on it and I look back on when I was age ten, I was organizing the bike clubs in the neighbourhood. I was making a list of here's the gear you got to have to be in our bike club. I was the guy on the phone when we had phones on the wall and cords and I was the guy calling around the neighborhood, getting the next ball game together. And so I looked back and I had some of the talents back there to kind of get things going.

Greg: But otherwise, I just saw what my instructor was doing in my twenties, and then he invited me to help out with a women's self-defense class. I was going to college at the time as well. And so I was going to college, and I hadn't declared a major. I wanted to help people in some way. And so I saw the lights coming on with these ladies who are in this women's self-defense class. Holy cow! The power that they were just bringing out and the cathartic experiences that they were having, I thought, 'Oh my gosh, I got to be involved in this in some way, ongoing as long as God will have me'.

Greg: And so then I graduated college. I moved to the middle part of the state, Nielsville near Marshfield. And I was working at a treatment center, a residential treatment center for kids there. And there were no martial arts there. Well, there was a club, but it just wasn't what I was looking for. So I'm like, well I got to start my own then. So I started my own in 1990.

Greg: It's amazing all the little places you find to have classes and stuff as you start working your way into owning your own real brick-and-mortar place. Just along the way, I think I just had that in the back of my mind, I wanted to teach, I wanted to provide for other people. And then at some point, I thought, hey, we ran into a business system related to martial arts and we realized we could do this full-time and make a bigger impact. So a little trickling along the way, from 1990 all the way up through 2006, we ran into that business system and that training and so it's been a whole different ballgame since then.

Melissa: So you started in Nielsville, Wisconsin, which is Central Wisconsin. You're in Hudson right now. So can you explain that transition or that journey of it?

Greg: Oh sure, yeah. So I was in Nielsville. I graduated from college with a degree in therapeutic recreation, and I'd gone through drug and alcohol treatment myself. So that was one of those lifestyle things, you know.

Melissa: I was picking up what you were putting down.

Greg: So that's what it was. And I realized, boy, I was working in a factory for about six years after high school. I just wasn't college material right after high school. And so then I developed perspective through that. And then I just went to college looking for someplace where I was helping people. So then I went off and worked at this treatment center for about eight years, eight, nine years. And I was leading the kids in bike trips and rock climbing and Boundary Waters canoe trips and teaching them how to use their leisure time that might be more useful than what they were doing out on the streets.

Greg: After so many years of standing there holding a rope in the blazing sun, looking up and getting a knot in my neck, I realized, 'Hey, I'm getting older, and I don't want to keep doing this the rest of my life'. And I thought instead of working with groups in therapy, I wanted to start working with individuals. So I did some research and found out that for me anyway, getting a master's degree in social work was the thing to do so I could be a therapist.

Greg: So I went back to college. This is age 38. Went back, and got a master's degree. Then I started working with people, families and marriages, and individuals as well. And that led me to come up to Polk County, where we're living now, and work with human services in Polk County, and then I worked in Pierce County human services. So that's kind of how we got here.

Melissa: That's how you got here. And then you opened your Leadership Martial Arts, When?

Greg: We opened up in 2002 in Amery, and we lived just south of Amery, so yeah, it was about a year or two where I wasn't teaching any classes, and I was driving my wife nuts, and she said, just go out and start something. Just go do it. And so that's what I did. It was in August. I'm a believer in starting small and then working your way into building it bigger. I see so many other people start out big, all this grand build out and all high bills, high loans, and a lot of people go under. That just didn't make any sense to me.

Greg: So we started in our backyard. We had this great big butternut tree that loses its leaves really early in the fall. This is August, so it wasn't quite Fall. And I just kind of raked up all these leaves and made a little boundary. So we had this little room in our yard.

Melissa: Oh my gosh!

Greg: And we just started having classes there. And then once it got cooler, we moved into our garage, and then we started looking for space in the Amery area, indoors, you know, downtown. So then we were doing that and I was using a business system that I had seen my instructor use, which wasn't very good, but that's all I knew. So that's what I was plugging along, thinking I wanted to do martial arts full-time and reach a lot more people, but I didn't have the right system.

Greg: And so through a lot of frustration and then having three kids and working on a marriage and taking care of a home and all this kind of stuff, I realized I got to find something else that's going to make this more worthwhile. And one of my colleagues in Illinois ran into this system and he started telling us about it. And so we all went to a training in Bloomington, and that opened it up for a lot of us to be able to reach more people and actually take care of the family and to do this as a full-time career.

Melissa: Right. So was it a coaching system or was it a certification? What was it that helped you?

Greg: It was more of a business system, taking the business and psychology of the consumer, how consumers think and act, and creating the signups or the programs that corresponded with the way people buy and charging a price that shows that we're worth it. I used to have a really low price. Part of that was my expression of my self-worth, and some of it was, that's the way my instructor did it. So I thought that's the way you did it. I had to work through some money issues and self-worth issues as we went along.

Melissa: I want everybody, can we just pause there? Because that's a legit business thing. We go into our service, our passion. We start, especially you and I, we didn't necessarily go to, like a physical therapist going to school for this or a chiropractor going to school for this. Like I studied dance since I was younger. Martial arts thing, too. You're in a studio-type setting and you're studying it, and you love it. You decide you want to do it. You do what you know, you do what you have been around.

Greg: Right!

Melissa: And I did the same thing. I undercharged for many, many years. That was a huge self-worth thing. It was my mom in the back of my head saying, 'How the hell am I going to pay for costumes? That makes no sense!' And so therefore not charging for my time and thinking, My dad always said, 'If you do what you love, you won't work a day in your life'. And I believe that. However, there's nothing wrong with making money, because when you make money, you can make more of an impact. You're able to give more. You're able to provide more for your people, your clients, and your family. So it's very interesting to hear you say that as well. And I don't think we're alone there. When we start a business, we love what we do so much, and we want people to experience it, but when we don't charge properly, it doesn't work for anybody.

Greg: Yes, you're right. Jen Senchero, she said a business is a personal development program, and so you got to work on yourself. And if we followed John Maxwell's 21 laws of leadership, the Law of the Lid is one of them. And Lid is my ceiling, my developmental ceiling. If we're not going anywhere further if I'm not growing and increasing my ceiling, you know, who I am, or what I contribute to the marketplace. Yeah.

Melissa: Yeah! All right, so you've been in Hudson now, how many years have you been in Hudson?

Greg: So the story is we started in Amery. So I'm a serial starter. I'm a serial starter, and I love it. I love the thrill of building and getting it going and making sure we start out right. And to be honest with you, maintaining things drives me up a wall.

Melissa: Well, that's an entrepreneur. We always start stuff. So then we need our amazing team to keep us going.

Greg: Amen. And God is good. I've got an amazing team right now. So we started in Amery, and we were there for a few years, went through the business training. All this time I was working there in Human Services, I pretty much drove through New Richmond. There really isn't a martial arts place in New Richmond. New Richmond. I'm thinking New Richmond needs a martial arts place. So we open up in New Richmond. So I'm working in Human Services. Then we're building an academy in Amery, and then a new one in New Richmond.

Melissa: Again, I've got three kids, a marriage to take care of, and a house, and so something's got to give. That's when we went full-time. And then I decided River Falls needed a good martial arts. So we opened up in River Falls. So now we got three places. Burnout. Burnout came.

Melissa: Yeah!

Greg: And so we sold Amery to some of our students. And then eventually, I got to a point where my kids were getting a little bit older, and I wanted to be home with them, and I was hitting Burnout. So we sold all of the academies. I sold all the academies. I worked at a local hospital for four years as a social worker in the Locked Psych unit. I was working there. I wasn't in the Locked Psych unit, I was working there. And great learning, great experience.

Greg: But anyway, so then it was four years, and I was realizing that my time working in the healthcare system, as we know healthcare now, was ending. I couldn't keep working in the health care system with the way they do things. So took some time off, and a lot of prayers, and these little voices kept directing me back to get back into martial arts.

Greg: And so reached out to the guy we sold River Falls to, and he said, yeah, I'm ready to let go of one. We bought it and moved it to Hudson right away. That was September 2017.

Melissa: Okay.

Greg: Then you know, location makes a difference.

Melissa: It does.

Greg: It's been great. And we opened up, first of all, over by the Caribbean Car Wash. It's not called that anymore.

Melissa: No.

Greg: Just across the road from Dunn Coffee, and we were there for about three years. And then we moved over here to Plaza 94 a year and a half ago. Yeah.

Melissa: Yeah, more visibility for sure there.

Greg: Yeah, it's great, great parking, great visibility, great traffic.

Melissa: Okay, so quite the story there, where you build up these satellite locations and then you sold them and kind of took a break from it and then bought one back to continue. So I'd love to pick your brain about that later on.

Greg: Stephen Covey says, you got to begin with the end in mind. And at some point, we all will want to probably let go of our business and get out of it. For whatever reason.

Melissa: And I want to sell it. I don't want to give it away.

Greg: Yes. You put too much stuff. It's good for the other person who buys it to buy it, not just have it given because then they've got skin in the game and they are gonna hustle.

Melissa: Amen! Exactly! Yeah.

Greg: You got to be able to hustle.

Melissa: Yeah, but that's what happens with a lot of businesses. They either die away with the owner or they close shop or they give it to their kid. And that's great as long as there is you know. But yeah, no, I want to sell my business. That's the goal.

Greg: Yeah!

Melissa: Okay. All right. So what was the moment, Greg, that you knew that you could do anything? For me? It was when I signed the loan for my build-out on my commercial space, and I did it myself, like, I was single. My divorce was final, and I didn't have anybody else doing that. That was all me and working with the bank like a big girl, and I walked out of there and go, 'Okay, if I can do that, I can do anything', because that was a big deal. So tell me about you.

Greg: It's a great question, and I'm trying to think of a time well, I'm trying to think of this all of a sudden time that I could do anything. They're just little pieces along the way. Honestly!

Melissa: Yeah, Yeah!

Greg: And for me, a lot of it goes back to my faith. I had no idea as a kid and a young person, I had no idea this is what I'd be doing. Nothing. It's out of the blue. Out of the blue, really! For me, it's got to be a God thing. He put me here, and I just do my best to follow and be obedient and turn things over to him.

Greg: But I remember about 18 years ago, we were struggling, and I just kind of said, 'If this is what you want us to do, send more people'. 20 more people came in within the next three weeks. I'm like, okay, okay. So if he is for me, if he is for me, I just gotta hustle and it'll work out fine. So I think that was probably the first time, and then otherwise just little things you learn along the way.

Greg: We have a mindset coach, and working on your mindset is so important. Being able to work through the anxiety of the ups and downs and the roller coaster are so important. And if you keep your focus on where you want to go and what you're building, then that helps get you through the anxiety of low numbers and what's going on with society and stuff like that. So really it's been little pieces along the way that we've brought in or that people have been put in front of my path.

Melissa: When you talk about a mindset coach, is that for you or for your team, or for your community? Talk to me about that.

Greg: Yes. I've been working with Coach Bob for ten years. And when I first went to one of his seminars, it was completely different than you know. A lot of people go and they get an agenda at a seminar, and there's no agenda. It's pretty authentic. He comes from the Vietnam jungles where he was walking point with the canine corp, and so they were the first ones to be targeted. And so he brings his experiences, 'the psychology', and the 'brain work' from that experience to survive and work through the anxiety. And then he's been doing this for 40 years for business owners, a lot of different businesses.

Greg: And he teaches you about, you got to stay focused on where you're going. We call it a 'B'. You're going from point A to point B. Your B, and it's got to be built. It's got to be time specific. It's kind of like a smart goal if you will. But it helps draw you through that, the anxiety or the anxious times, and keeps you focused. I think that's where a lot of people stop either a fitness program or building a business or especially direct marketing or multi-level kind of thing. There are a lot of good programs, and a lot of good businesses, but a lot of people don't know how to stay the course through that anxiety and keep going.

Melissa: I think it's interesting that you call it anxiety, and I see where you're getting that. The roller coaster of like, it's going well and oh, now, it's not. I also think they don't stick through the boredom of it because so much of business is consistency and showing up day after day doing the same thing with excellence. And it doesn't really, I mean, once you get your stuff down, it's kind of boring.

Greg: Yeah, you're right. It is. That's a good point.

Melissa: So for me and for you who like to start things and I do get bored. So that's why I have so many spokes for my business. That's why we're here because this is a 'boredom idea', Healthy In The Valley, that came to me and I was like, I think this is a really good idea and I love it and it works and it fits in the business both. But the consistency of it, we get bored with the consistency factors. And if we don't have a team to help us with that stay consistent, that's where things fall off the, you know the wagon falls off, the wheels!

Greg: I think you nailed a big one right there. You're right. And if you got a team, then you've got to be the one reminding them about the boring things that they got to do.

Melissa: I just listened to a Dave Framy thing. It was another podcast. But how do you get people to stay for years and years and years and years and years? They have to be so bought into the vision and the goals and the belief of your company.

Melissa: So at my little company, it is, 'We are the highlight of your week'. Your little dance class every week, whether you're 72 or two years old, is the highlight of your week. And what does that mean? We are that 'safe place' for those kiddos or that 'outlet' for those kiddos or that 'change up' of that routine, the monotony of that 60-year-old who's retired and needs something to get out of the house. Your job as a staff member is so important to create that highlight of the week, whatever that means, for that family, you know?

Greg: Yeah, we've got a mission here too. And we shifted about three years ago to focus directly on leadership. Anybody who's going to be here is going to learn how to be a leader on their level where they can. And so we've got a team of people who've come through that now and it's just been so fun working with a team of leaders.

Greg: And our mission is to support families, support parents. We know what parents and families are going through and if we can help reinforce, so we have some ten tenants or ten character points that we focus on throughout our ten-week rotation. And if we can help parents with getting consistent messages out to the kids about respect and humility and integrity or honesty and commitment and punctuality and gratitude and things like that. And then we see, and then we see it in class and we hear about the stories when the child is at home and the parents sees, sees that they're being supported.

Greg: And we see the light come on in kids' eyes like they're struggling and they just haven't found that outlet that matches their energy, their energy flow. And now they've met it here and they come alive. So many of us live for that. And so many of the people on our team, I see that they've got stuff, they've got somebody inside of them that's waiting to get out. And so the service to other people in this modality helps release that as a leader in them. And I think they love it because they get to serve. And they love it because they get to get served.

Melissa: That goes both ways.

Greg: Yeah!

Melissa: Absolutely! Let's just talk a little business. Like, who is your ideal client? Who are the people that are coming in your doors that you love to serve?

Greg: Yes. Great. Families with kiddos ages three to 20. A lot of parents are looking for some support. And so that's what we're there to help them out with.

Greg: One of the things we've been after for the last couple of years, I've got a mentor out in Rhode Island, and they've been way along this line, this path, for a long time. But their mantra is 'No Awkward Teenagers'. So what that means is, you know, you get to be a teenager and you're bumbling, you don't know what to say, you don't know how to talk, all this kind of stuff. And so what they've discovered is that if you get the kids involved, you give them a script or you tell them what to say, and you let them do it in small groups, groups of two or three. And then little by little, you've got them out in front of a group of the whole class, and you're teaching them how to use their voice and use their body to build confidence.

Greg: And so the mantra is 'No Awkward Teenagers'. Right now, we're really after that teenage crew to help them be confident and get out in front of the class. And then we also want to, hopefully, this transfers into the other parts of their lives. And we've been hearing that it does. And we've seen more of these kiddos see what other kids are doing, and now they're coming to us wanting to join that program. It's called our Delta Program.

Melissa: Okay.

Greg: And that's where we teach them how to use their voice. And we practice over and over and over with other people in Delta. It's been so much fun. That's been our focus.

Greg: Then the other focus is three to five-year-olds, five to seven-year-olds, and then seven or eight-year-olds and older are people in the regular martial arts.

Melissa: Awesome!

Greg: So families ages three to 20, kids ages three to 20.

Melissa: All right, since this is a visibility podcast, what is the visibility strategy that you have been using for your martial arts studio that you're like, 'Yes, this has been really working for us'? And then just share a little bit about that for other business owners who might be listening.

Greg: Through the last three years, we had something called Buddy Week, so our current members could invite a buddy and just experience class. And that was enormous. That was enormous. And we were one of the only places that were open. So we were overworked. Honestly, it was really cool. And so that's been a big deal. It still is a big deal. It's tapered off a little bit now that, it's tapered off a bit. We kind of took the summer off. We were burnt out, and I wanted to make sure our staff had time and me to enjoy the summer. So we cut back on classes, we cut back on our marketing, and we've been hitting it again now in September and October.

Melissa: The buddy week was kind of a big deal and helpful. And if you can do that, bring a friend to dance, bring a friend to your studio. We do a 'First Class Free'. That's really great visibility for us to getting out there too.

Melissa: All right, so you shared this great nugget about the numbers and data and keeping us on the roller coaster, and you've had some other great nuggets within the podcast here. You said you have some workshop coming up or something that you wanted to share, a promotion that you had coming up.

Greg: So the nugget we talked about earlier was, We get caught up in looking at the numbers, and we got to hit our numbers and we get anxious about that. I've had my share of nights waking up at two in the morning and wondering, how am I going to hit my numbers? And at some point, you realize it takes the joy out of what we're doing. The numbers are important. The numbers are important. Then I realized, I forget where I got this, but we just started focusing on serving people, and if we do a great job with serving people, the people will take care of our business, and the numbers will play out. We might have low monthly numbers sometimes, but honestly, when we have more joy in what we're doing, we're going to serve better and with more energy. And that's just been carrying us through quite a bit.

Melissa: Who's the owner? CEO of Chick-Fil-A. His name is on the tip of my tongue.

Greg: Cathy?

Melissa: Yeah. And he says, don't worry about getting bigger. Worry about getting better, and your customers will demand that you get bigger.

Greg: Oh, Amen to that.

Melissa: And when I heard that, I was like, that's all I need to worry about, today, how am I going to be amazing? What am I going to do to be amazing today? And my audience will do it. The other one that really helps me is if Mama isn't having fun, nobody's having fun. And it's so true. Even when I'm teaching, if I'm loving the dance or loving the music, if I'm just having a blast, the students are having a blast.

Greg: Yeah.

Melissa: Yeah, If mama's not having fun, nobody's having fun.

Greg: Yeah, I think a lot of the parents love seeing us with our energy unleashed and having joy, and then it's like we give them permission to experience that too.

Melissa: Yeah. And our staff, too. I have one team member last year that the parents were like, I don't know who's having more fun, the teacher or the students? Because she was just so fun to watch teach. She was just having a blast. And that's what you want. We need that energy. We need that goodness. And when you're shining your light so brightly, it's just the best. It's just the best.

Greg: It is!

Melissa: Awesome. Okay, so you have a martial arts class for women, a self-defense class coming up. Talk about that.

Greg: Yeah, we have, let's see, November 28, it's a Monday, and in Hudson, we've got a women's self-defense class coming up. We generally do those quarterly.

Melissa: Okay, so that's a one-night thing?

Greg: Two-hour seminar. Yeah.

Melissa: Awesome.

Greg: However, I've gotten some input and I've been thinking about this for a while as well. So it's time, this time in January we're going to put together a four-week thing for anybody who is brand new to any of our women's self-defense and past participants so they can come in and do four weeks. We're going to do 30 to 45 minutes where it's fitness, it's some stretching, we're going to put some yoga in there. There's going to be a little bit of self-protection or self-defense pieces in there too. So people come in, maybe get a spark, get sparked with their fitness. Just some different ways of moving the body and getting the heart and the lungs going. Some yoga, some stretching, and then get some reminders or some new information about how to keep yourself safe. Just to keep your brain, keep your thoughts on how to stay alert, and how to stay safe in your life.

Greg: I tell a lot of our participants, it's important you know those self-defense classes, first aid, and CPR classes taken once every two years, how many people really know what to do after two years? That's the only training you get. Hardly anybody.

Melissa: Yeah!

Greg: So it's important, I tell our participants, it's important that you have some sort of a drip or some sort of exposure on a regular basis. Weekly, monthly, that just has you thinking about, 'OK, what would I do in this situation?' Alright? 'If this is happening now? I'm sitting in my car and this would happen, what would I do?' What did I learn in the class? So just stuff to kind of keep it on your mind from time to time so it can actually be useful for you. So we're looking at doing that in January, but our next seminar is on Monday, November 28.

Greg: And then we've got a family safety and self-defense seminar coming up November 13th in Hudson, it's a Monday night, and November 14th, a Tuesday night in New Richmond.

Melissa: Okay.

Greg: And that's just getting the whole family together, talking about safety stuff and not just physical protection, but even, hey, how do you set up a fire drill at your home? Just a reminder to take your family through something as basic as that. Yeah.

Melissa: Awesome. I will put that in the show notes as well as website information and how to get a hold of you. So if you're interested in talking to Greg as a business owner or learning more about self-defense classes or martial arts in the Hudson and Saint Croix area, we will have that in the show notes.

Melissa: Before we sign off, Greg, 'What is saving you right now?'

Greg: I've been actually coming through some burnout and it's feeling great. And so I've actually, one of my daughters said, 'Hey, dad, I'd like to try bow hunting'. And when they were younger, I took them hunting so they had some experience, So I said, 'Okay, let's go'. I used to do it and so that got me back into it. So these last three months I've been just focused on getting outdoors and getting back into that activity of being in nature, sitting in a tree, and just having time to think and observe.

Melissa: Yes. I'm going to go for a walk right now and get in nature and just.

Greg: A little bit of coffee helps out, too.

Melissa: Yeah, Yeah, it does, but it's all good. Greg, it was so great to meet you via Zoom here and get to put a face to your business. Super happy to have you be part of Healthy In The Valley. For those of you that don't know, Healthy In The Valley is a resource for our community filled with exclusive offers by business owners that specialize in health and wellness in mind, body, and soul. So Greg has some offers inside Healthy In The Valley that are exclusive to Healthy In The Valley. If you want to grab that, go to and you can get all the offers from all the amazing businesses that are part of it this season, so please take advantage of that. And Greg, thank you so much for being on the Brick and Mortar Visibility Podcast.

Greg: This has been a lot of fun. Melissa, thank you.

Melissa: You're welcome. You're welcome. Thank you, everybody. We will see you here same time, same place next week. Peace. Bye bye.

Melissa: Oh, my gosh, you're still here. You are such a rebel woman. I have to meet you. Come on over to the Rebel Women Tribe on Facebook created for Brick and Mortar Business owners just like you. In this group, we empower, encourage, and support each other. And every week I come in and share with you a tip, tool or strategy that I'm learning in my Brick and Mortar Business to help you and yours. And you guys, this is the real stuff, the nitty-gritty in real-time of what's going on. So come on over to the Rebel Women Tribe on Facebook. I can't wait to meet you.