Broke To $200m: The Three Master Traits That Built A Business Empire
What would you do if you had nothing? If you were starting from scratch, with no money, no contacts and no clue which way to turn, what would be your next move? When you have hit rock bottom there is only one way to go from there. But getting out of a bad place takes more than just an intention.
Entrepreneur Bedros Keuilian has experienced this shift first-hand. An immigrant from a communist country-turned-entrepreneur, Keuilian is founder and CEO of Fit Body Boot Camp, a franchise business that started in 2009 and now reportedly has over 600 locations (from 355 in 2020), that has been included in Entrepreneur Magazine’s 500 fastest growing franchises in the world and three times on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing privately owned companies. Keuilian is now an investor and a coach, working with entrepreneurs, New York Times best-selling authors and thought-leaders to create highly profitable and industry dominating brands and businesses.
Keuilian arrived in the United States of America at the age of six with nothing and has since built companies worth over $200million. He puts his success down to three key components and is sharing them so other ambitious entrepreneurs can do the same. I interviewed Keuilian to find out the secrets to his transformation.
Keuilian’s first business was a supplement company that he started in 1997 when the internet first came into play. But it didn’t end well. “I didn’t know how to build a business. I didn’t put any work into sales or marketing and I didn’t do anything with any consistency.” This led to him, “ultimately maxing out my credit cards and having all the supplements expire because I wasn’t able to sell them.” This pattern appeared again in his second venture, a 2002 online software company where Keuilian admits, “I was an inconsistent leader and I didn’t discuss problems with my business partners, which ultimately led to the business folding.” He’s learned the hard way that results require a commitment to something and to see it through to success.
Keuilian credits consistency as the backbone of his success, applied to business as well as fitness and relationships. He believes, “When you’re consistent at something the universe works with you to multiply the outcome that you’re after,” and uses the example of maintaining a happy marriage. Rather than, “haphazardly take my wife on dates just whenever,” which would have no consistency, date nights are firmly in the diary every Wednesday night.
When applied to training, consistency takes sporadic results up a level. In a business sense, Keuilian believes that consistency “deepens the outcome and the results you are after, whether that’s money, influence, impact or market share.” It’s not enough to put in the work every now and again. It’s not okay to turn up when you feel like it. Consistency is overlooked because it appears dull. It’s not sexy. Business gurus looking to grab attention and sell courses will tell you it’s overrated, but it’s often the foundation of true success, which is rarely possible without it.
“If you are unfocused in business,” explained Keuilian, “then you are the person who has a great idea, starts a business, gets a logo, and then the idea fairy comes along again and now you’re onto something new.” That’s not the plan. The idea fairy shouldn’t be able to pull you away from something important. The idea fairy is persistent, so you must be focused to deflect her efforts. Keuilian knows if you don’t sort this out now, it will happen again and again. The only option is to deepen your focus in one area and stick with it when new, shiny objects appear.
Similarly in relationships, “when your eyes start wondering and you’re looking at someone else, you can see how this negatively affects your partner,” said Keuilian. But it’s more than that. “You start feeling like you’re not a good role model to your kids, and you’re less confident, all because you couldn’t focus on what was right in front of you.” Being focused on one thing means all your energy flows there, you’re not losing it on things that don’t matter.
Keuilian’s focus is money, which includes generational wealth and financial freedom. “I used to live day-to-day in terms of focus,” he said. “I was dividing my attention among many different business ideas, and while this created multiple income streams and security for my family, I never got any of these businesses across the finish line and in the end they all suffered.” Side projects can be bad news for focus. “Now I know that key to financial freedom and success is singularity of focus, and once I started to focus on one idea at a time, systemize it, then get a leader in place and measure its success, that’s when I really started to thrive.” Keuilian doesn’t let himself work on more than one business at a time and he extends the simplicity to his entire approach. Now, his family’s four pillars are faith, family, fitness and finances, and they stay focused on these areas no matter what.
Keuilian’s third pillar of success, which he credits as instrumental in building a $200million business portfolio, is being able to put in the work even when he doesn’t feel like it. “Imagine if you only did your best sales calls when you were motivated, or only worked out when it wasn’t cold or rainy, or didn’t show up when you didn’t sleep so well.” That’s not what significant fortunes are made of. “I’m not going to overthink what I said I was going to do, I’m just going to do it,” he added.
“When I was building my company from scratch it took discipline to keep putting the work in even though I could only see small progress,” he explained. “But because I was focused on creating a better future, so even if I woke up bitter and angry, I would still go and do the thing.” Keuilian had a feeling he would be rewarded by sticking to the grind. “One of the things that really helped me develop my discipline muscle was signing up to a marathon that was only six weeks away, giving me no choice but to stick to a training schedule.” Keuilian registered for the San Diego marathon then hired a running coach, made a plan and had “rock solid discipline until the race was complete.” Once he had completed this mission, and proven he could stick to a tough regime, he knew he could do the same with his business endeavours.
Discipline is another overlooked trait, because most people deem it too difficult. They see discipline and they hear dull, boring, monotonous. But discipline can remove friction. It removes the need to make decisions on arbitrary things like what to wear or what to eat. You know what you’re going to wear, eat and work on because you already committed. And because you’re disciplined, you’re going to stick to the plan and see it through. It sounds so simple, but most people simply don’t make it happen.
Putting the traits to work
It’s not enough to just develop these skills in yourself. Putting them to work means extending them to other areas of your life and work, including who you hire. “Let’s say you want to bring onboard a marketer and a salesperson whose skillsets you cannot fault,” said Keuilian. “You still need to look at their traits. You need to be sure they have the traits of consistency, focus and discipline.” Otherwise, their skills will go wasted, and you’ll be paying for it.
Ask them to tell you about times when they displayed focus, and the same for consistency and discipline. As you listen to their stories, figure out if they are genuine. Are they really who they say they are and do they have the potential to match you in terms of effort? Anyone can talk a good game, you want the people who play it too. “I can teach them the skills, but if they come to me with consistency, focus and discipline already instilled, I can create superhuman team members.” That’s what Keuilian looks for.
Keuilian sees these three traits as a multiplier. “When you combine them with the skills of sales and marketing as well as developing mastery in copywriting, you have the ability to print money,” he said. This takes time, of course, but doing something hard over a long period ultimately leads to you being able to call the shots. Your sustained effort on fundamental business concepts means you have outworked and outperformed the competition, and the gap widens every day.
“Develop these millionaire success traits so they pour into every area of your life,” said Keuilian, “including your mindset, health, fitness, relationships and money.” Set yourself targets that require you to be top of your game with consistency, focus and discipline and don’t stop until you hit them.