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Episode Info:

They say if you love what you do you’ll never work a day in your life, and my guest Lonnie Beck is doing exactly that. He is a 5th Dan Black Belt, and he has been able to turn his passion for martial arts into a thriving, successful business. 

Lonnie and business partner and friend Somnath Sikdar purchased Dragon Gym in Southeast Pennsylvania in 2008, and they have been able to achieve fantastic business growth over the past 10-years. What makes this business story even more extraordinary is it's the same martial arts school where they both started as kids. 

Developing Your Skills

As a business owner it’s crucial to be improving your skills continually and at the same time be prepared to make changes in your business if you want it to grow consistently and to stay competitive.

Work/Life Balance Takes Planning

When Lonnie purchased Dragon Gym, he was in his mid-twenties, full of energy and single. Moving ahead ten years, he is married with a daughter, meaning the schedule needed to be adjusted, but this was not a problem, as it was planned for and well thought out way ahead of time.

Setting Up Systems

Right from the outset, Lonnie knew you couldn’t take four martial arts classes a day, every day, for the rest of your life, as instructing does take a toll on your body.

Instructing at a high level is a young person game, so very early on they planned for the business to be able to run without them and the only way to do this was to develop sound business systems.

A successful business also needs to have the right people in the right positions.

Educating Yourself & Self Improvement

Lonnie has developed himself personally by having various business coaches and mentors, doing a lot of reading and being part of business mastermind groups.

It’s crucial to pull information from different people and different industries because the martial arts industry is quite small and stagnate.

Nutrition & Exercise Is The Root Of All Happiness

A lot of people feel guilt and regret by the way they look because they know they are eating all the wrong foods and not exercising, but to turn this around it all begins by changing the way you talk to yourself.

You need to find that inner light of happiness.

When you exercise and eat healthier the conversations you have with yourself are far more positive, and this positivity is transferred to the people around you, making your life better.

Help Yourself First

It’s no different to the instructions we receive on every flight, in case of an emergency and oxygen mask will fall from the compartment above, put on your mask first before trying to help others.

If you don’t work on yourself first, you cannot help others, and yes, you may be able to fake it for a while, but eventually, you will break.

Start With Small Wins

It’s about developing small wins you can hang onto. With your health, going to the gym or making a healthy smoothie is a small win. In business, it could be developing a simple phone system that you’ve been putting off.

It’s important not to try to change everything at once. If there are bad habits in play, eliminate one at a time, don’t try to give up everything at once because it's unlikely you will succeed. 

Improved Performance with Mental Preparation 

When you decide you’re going to show up and make an effort to perform better, and you feel good about yourself, and you’re confident about the decisions you’re making, no challenges that come your way will be a problem because you’re mentally prepared

Monday Morning Tip

It all starts with positive self-talk; Pay attention to that voice in your head and consciously change it to be more uplifting.

You can’t change anything in life unless you start to change your behaviours, including your diet, exercise and how you speak to yourself.

If you have any questions about this podcast or blog, please send me an email at  

You can also connect directly with Lonnie Beck via Facebook or at Dragon Gym, especially if you're keen to know more about his Discovery Group business mentoring program. If I owned a martial arts school, I would be contacting them immediately.  

If you like this episode, you'll also enjoy:

Episode 018: Mastermind With The Dragon Master with Somnath Sikdar

Episode 002: Communication, Persuasion & Influence with Dave Frees

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