Photo provided by Jason Markowicz
Every month, Club Solutions sits down with an industry expert to share in their wealth of knowledge. In the July issue, the conversation features Jason Markowicz, the CEO of Fitness Premier.
1. What led you to founding Fitness Premier 24/7?
I saw an opportunity in our markets to put together a traditional 24/7 fitness facility with great results-oriented programming. We had a great team in place at that time and the vision was to create opportunities for them as we grew the brand.
2. What are you most proud of concerning Fitness Premier 24/7?
Our team. Our franchisees, employees and corporate office staff are some of the greatest people I’ve been around. They make our culture fun, supportive and collaborative, which makes what I do very enjoyable. Our team is what builds that culture into our clubs, which ultimately drives them to be successful.
3. What’s your favorite part of being in the fitness industry?
My favorite part of being in the fitness industry is helping others. We have the opportunity every day to make someone’s day better. Whether it’s a team member or a client — that is a unique and special thing. I focus on making the most out of those opportunities by being a servant leader first.
4. What’s your favorite leadership book and why?
“The Five Dysfunctions of a Team” by Patrick Lencioni, because it teaches the fundamentals of teamwork by focusing on trust and relationships first and foremost. I believe foundational focus translates into the fitness space very well. I believe people want to do business, and give their business to people and companies they trust.
5. What is the best piece of leadership advice you’ve ever been given?
You can get everything in life you want if you just help enough people get what they want. That has engrained servant leadership in my mind, and I’ve been blessed to be surrounded by leaders who exemplify this great trait.
6. If you weren’t in the position you’re in now, what job do you think you’d be doing?
Growing up, I wanted to always be a professional football player. Those days are long gone. I couldn’t imagine doing anything other than what we are doing right now, but it would be in the health and wellness space. I’ve been an athlete all my life and I love staying busy. It would be something entrepreneurial in this industry.
7. What’s the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome?
When you get into multi-unit management, I think there are principles that need to be applied. Years ago, we learned the hard way what worked and what didn’t work very quickly. Going back about 12 years, we had locations in various states and we had some tough challenges with leadership and performance in some cases.
8. And how did you overcome that challenge?
We focused on building stronger systems. It required us to become very disciplined with our hiring processes, leadership development, communication with the team, and KPI performance transparency. Many of the systems we still use today were born from those tough times.
9. If you could give your younger self a piece of advice, what would it be?
Discover what you love to do and find a way to make a career out of it. I think having passion and real enjoyment for what you’re doing in your professional and personal life is what drives all of us through the tough times life can bring.
10. What’s a fitness trend you’re keeping an eye on right now?
Technology moves at such a rapid pace and it’s going to be such a large part of how businesses continue to evolve in the future. I look for technology advancements that are available that can enhance our business model and make it more enjoyable for our clients and team members.