24/7 fitness clubs
7 The numbers are strong at Anytime Fitness—2,400 clubs open worldwide in all 50 states and 16 countries, at a rate between 250 and 350 clubs in each of the last six years. But emotion is where it’s at for Chuck Runyon, CEO.
A team-building exercise at Anytime Fitness provides a metaphor for controlled growth.
At their first annual conference in St. Paul, Minnesota, in 2005, Anytime Fitness invited franchisees onto the stage who had transformed lives (their own and others) through fitness. “These individuals went in front of the audience and they spoke from the heart,” Runyon recalls. “It wasn’t just how they looked or what they weighed—they were completely different people. It was like they had fallen back in love with themselves.”
The experience made an impact. “It hit me how profound this is and how people were captured by the economics of passion,” Runyon says, and now he emphasizes the meaning in operating a wellness franchise, not the facts. He calls it ROEI, or return on emotional investment. “At our annual conferences we never talk about money or profit. It’s like an accelerant for performance—people want meaning in their life.