Community//

Matt McCollum of BODYBAR Pilates: “Always live in good times for bad”

“Always live in good times for bad.” I really think this advice can be applied to every aspect of life. When you’re doing well financially, it is important to put money away and spend wisely. Similarly, when you’re feeling strong and confident in your personal relationships, keeping an open flow of honest communication is essential. It […]

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.

“Always live in good times for bad.”

I really think this advice can be applied to every aspect of life. When you’re doing well financially, it is important to put money away and spend wisely. Similarly, when you’re feeling strong and confident in your personal relationships, keeping an open flow of honest communication is essential. It may feel like you’re preparing for the worst, but if you are faced with the worst — like a global pandemic — you’ll have the tools and resources necessary to come out of it stronger on the other end.


As a part of our series about business leaders who are shaking things up in their industry, I had the pleasure of interviewing Matt McCollum.

Matt McCollum, CEO of BODYBAR Pilates, quickly discovered that the only way to build a successful business was to help others achieve their goals. Rather than just generating revenue, McCollum wants to use his platform to make a positive impact on the people around him. BODYBAR Pilates is disrupting the fitness space by offering a supportive, welcoming community-centric environment that is founded on love and acceptance.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit more. Can you tell us a bit about your “backstory”? What led you to this particular career path?

My wife Kamille and I joined the BODYBAR Pilates brand as franchisees in 2015. Prior to that, Kamille worked as a special education teacher and I was working for a local start-up in Fort Worth. We had always entertained the idea of business ownership, and when we came across BODYBAR, it felt like the perfect opportunity.

We had a really successful launch of our first studio, which instilled confidence in BODYBAR’s ownership to approach us about taking over executive leadership of the franchise. At the time, I was a Master Franchisee with the Maid Right Franchise Group and understood how to properly maintain and grow a franchise system. So, we accepted the offer and took over the company in June of 2019.

Can you tell our readers what it is about the work you’re doing that’s disruptive?

At BODYBAR, we are building micro-communities inside of larger communities. The essence of our brand is to promote an encouraging environment where members feel safe, supported and loved. People can feel really vulnerable when trying a new workout, especially when it involves a machine, like the Reformer, that may be foreign to them. So, our goal is to foster a supportive environment where people build each other up. Truthfully, I credit our members and the communities we’ve built at BODYBAR for our success during the COVID-19 pandemic — we retained over 70% of our members even when our studios were shut down. Customers will cancel memberships, not relationships. This strong brand loyalty has also assisted in our continued growth on the franchise side — franchise investors recognize how unique and vital a community-centric concept like BODYBAR is.

You could also argue that a Pilates class like BODYBAR is a disruptor in and of itself. Pilates has been around for over 100 years, but in the fitness space, it has only been surfacing in group environments with Reformers since about 2012. It is still a new and vastly underserved segment of the fitness space, so the more market share we can inhabit, the more people will understand the benefit of this low-impact, high-intensity, safe workout that is built around how to the body is meant to move.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

At our first studio in Fort Worth, Texas, we had this beautiful glass door that separated the lobby from the studio. Typically, the door was shut so that people in the foyer wouldn’t disrupt the current class, and members were constantly walking into the glass door while distracted looking down at their phones. One day, one of our most active members walked into the door and chipped her tooth! She was too embarrassed to return to the studio, and we decided we couldn’t lose another member to the door. So, we have now put up a visual marker at eye-level as an attempt to avoid any additional injuries.

We all need a little help along the journey. Who have been some of your mentors? Can you share a story about how they made an impact?

I’ve been extremely fortunate to have had several mentors and influencers to help guide me through each facet of life. Whether it had to do with business, my spirituality or my family, I was lucky to have someone there, even if just for inspiration.

My first boss, Randy Anderson, helped me tremendously in my years as a young professional. Through his guidance, I was able to focus my energy and start on the path that got me to where I am today.

As a father of three daughters and the CEO of a company with a predominantly female membership base, I needed to know how to raise and work with strong women. My father-in-law, Frank Alexander, a father of five daughters himself, is someone who has been a great resource in my growth as a father and as a business owner.

Finally, I draw a lot of influence from Mike Arce, CEO of Loud Rumor. I am extremely impressed by his work ethic — he has built a multi-million dollar business by doing right by people. It is rare to find a c-suite executive who is so willing to share his means of success to help in the growth of others. I hope to offer that same level of generosity in my own leadership.

In today’s parlance, being disruptive is usually a positive adjective. But is disrupting always good? Articulate to our readers when disrupting an industry is positive, and when disrupting an industry is ‘not so positive’? Can you share some examples of what you mean?

Disruption is positive when you are looking at an industry that has become stale or lacks strong thought leaders. If you are trying to grow and give back to your customer base, innovation — or disruption — is necessary.

Reversely, if an industry is being monopolized by one or two players that are going to buy-up the competition and refuse to innovate, I would consider that negative disruption.

Can you share 3 of the best words of advice you’ve gotten along your journey? Please give a story or example for each.

“Always live in good times for bad.”

I really think this advice can be applied to every aspect of life. When you’re doing well financially, it is important to put money away and spend wisely. Similarly, when you’re feeling strong and confident in your personal relationships, keeping an open flow of honest communication is essential. It may feel like you’re preparing for the worst, but if you are faced with the worst — like a global pandemic — you’ll have the tools and resources necessary to come out of it stronger on the other end.

Lead generation is one of the most important aspects of any business. Can you share some of the strategies you use to generate good, qualified leads?

When it comes to lead generation we’ve really tried everything, from direct mail to magazine ads and even radio and television spots. What we’ve found, however, is that social media offers the best return on investment. So, we are consistently using social media as our driving force for lead generation.

Producing great photo and video content for your social platforms, especially for a fitness and lifestyle brand like BODYBAR, is essential. People don’t just want to see the workout, they want to get a sense of the environment so they can decide if it is the right fit for them or not. Currently, we’re seeing the best cost-per-lead on YouTube and Google Display, but we’re always considering new mediums. When you’re first starting lead generation efforts, it’s all about trial and error.

We are sure you aren’t done. How are you going to shake things up next?

At the onset of the pandemic, we had to make a lot of quick, thoughtful and impactful changes to ensure we kept the brand alive. One of those changes was to launch our digital platform, BODYBAR Live!. BODYBAR Live! provides live streaming workouts, on-demand workouts, nutrition advice and other features that drive engagement among our members. It has been a great way for our franchise partners to continue to generate revenue and keep their members active.

Looking ahead, we have a lot of ideas that we want to flesh out, but it’s just a matter of timing. When you’re looking to make a move, you have to determine, is the juice worth the squeeze? But, without giving too much away, we’re looking at a lot of streaming content and ways that we can get people into a studio that better suits their lifestyle. There is definitely more to come from BODYBAR.

Do you have a book, podcast, or talk that’s had a deep impact on your thinking? Can you share a story with us? Can you explain why it was so resonant with you?

One of the first business books I ever read is titled Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki and Sharon Lechter. Overall, the book talks about the importance of financial literacy as a means to finding financial independence. It really shaped my mentality when it came to money and time management and after I read it, I started thinking seriously about becoming an entrepreneur. I learned more about how to deploy capital to raise debt that will turn into more cash flow and truly, it is why Kamille and I own a few businesses and still maintain W2 jobs — we appreciate the financial freedom.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

Something that is profound to our family and the times that we’re living in is, “Sew love, reap joy.”

The idea behind this quote is that in every relationship that we have — or even interaction — we must plant love. By doing so, we reap joy in our own lives and in the lives of others.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

BODYBAR. Across the country and across the world.

Fitness makes everyone’s lives better and at BODYBAR, our members find their people. If we can play a small part in facilitating those relationships and encouraging each person who walks through our doors to find their joy, I couldn’t ask for anything else.

Our goal is to find franchise partners that understand and buy into what we’re building. The best way to start a fire is to have several matches that will help you burn. That is why we went into franchising — we know that we need the buy in.

How can our readers follow you online?

BODYBAR Pilates’ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Bodybar-Pilates-463591877533408

BODYBAR Pilates’ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bodybarpilates/

BODYBAR Pilates’ LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/bodybar-pilates/?viewAsMember=true

Matt’s LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mattmccollumexecutiveleader/

Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...

Courtesy of www.TheLuxeList.com
Community//

How to Be a Courageous Leader in the Post-Pandemic Era

by Merilee Kern
Wisdom//

Get Your Volume Right

by Todd Davis
Community//

5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Became CEO of AdQuick, with Matt O’Connor

by Carly Martinetti
We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.