10 Questions With Chuck Runyon
1. Who or what has been your inspiration in fitness entrepreneurship over the years? The members of Anytime Fitness are a consistent source of inspiration and we are constantly receiving stories from franchise owners or members directly through social media.
2. What has been the major differentiator for Anytime Fitness over the years? Technology creates operational efficiency for our franchise owners and for members; it provides convenience and access to a network of 2,500-plus clubs. Design creates a welcoming environment that is inviting, warm and friendly. The heart is what our franchise owners provide and the ultimate differentiator is their passion, empathy and deep engagement with members.
3. What has allowed Anytime Fitness to be so successful as a worldwide brand? From a member’s perspective, people all over the world want the same thing — a non-intimidating environment, quality equipment and facilities at an affordable price, and fitness programming and personable service that helps them get real results.
4. How do you create such intense brand loyalty that people get tattoos of your logo? Business ownership or transforming your life through exercise is very similar. I’ve heard hundreds of reasons why people get tattoos and every answer is deeply personal and unique. It’s never about money. Let that marinate.
5. What is Anytime Fitness doing to help break through to the 80 percent of non-members? As an aging, unhealthy country continues on, the financial burden of providing health care will provide opportunities for our industry. So we continue to engage with insurance companies, employers and lawmakers to understand their problems and provide solutions or urge proactive programs.
6. How do you perceive yourself in business? Our team works incredibly hard to support franchise owners and grow both brands. As for how I’m perceived, I don’t give that any thought. My energy is better spent thinking about franchisees, members or employees.
7. What have been major keys in your life to achieving success? In my opinion, luck and timing play a larger role than most people are willing to admit. I was born into a two-parent family as a white male in Midwest America (still the greatest country of opportunity) without any physical, mental or emotional issues holding me back. Other life experiences – beyond my control — helped form my personality and values.
8. On a typical day, what do you enjoy the most about life outside of Anytime Fitness? In the winter, I’m watching or coaching my kids in basketball and in the summer, we spend weekends at our lake home. Golf, competitive challenges and working out are regular hobbies.
9. I know you enjoy traveling. Where have you been lately and how does that compare to your favorite travel destination? My favorite destination is still at our lake home in northern Minnesota and over the last few years, I’ve really enjoyed spending time in Australia and New Zealand.
10. When did you start to see yourself as successful? We give ourselves three to four days a year to celebrate achievements, but outside of that, we don’t talk about or think about success. If you observed our meetings, you’d think our company was terrible, because we are always critically assessing execution, performance, weaknesses and threats.