As part of my series about the “How Business Leaders Plan To Rebuild In The Post COVID Economy”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Scott Hatter, Rob Scott and Andrew Scott.
Rob and Andrew Scott are brothers and co-founders of Legends Boxing, based in Lehi, Utah. They began Legends as a place to teach regular people a valuable life skill while giving them a sense of belonging. Scott Hatter later joined Legends as President and COO to help the company scale through franchising.
Thank you so much for your time! I know that you are a very busy person. Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?
Rob: “I actually started out with selling insurance. I was selling sports insurance when the opportunity arose to buy a pretty good size gym. When I purchased it, it wasn’t really all that diverse with the options that they had to offer, and I had been into boxing for pretty much my whole life so we started to bring that into the gym. It was all competition style at first– we trained and conditioned professional boxers and they would compete against one another in the ring. Then one day we had a member come up to ask us if he could just watch and learn. He told us he didn’t really want to get hit or anything but he was impressed by the conditioning and workouts that the boxers did to prepare for their matches. That’s what really sparked the idea for us to teach boxing to people who didn’t really want to hit each other but wanted that same kind of conditioning. I remember telling my brother that I thought we should start this up, and he told me ‘I don’t know how to teach fake boxing’ and that’s when we realized we could still teach real, authentic USA boxing. It turned out to be a major hit and we kept growing and eventually sold that gym and bought a new building where Legends was really born.”
Scott: “I was really born into the franchising world. Growing up, my dad was a franchisee, and when I found myself needing work, I asked him if I could help him with some of his locations. He started me from the bottom, doing the work like the late shifts, the cleaning, you know– the stuff no one really wants to do. Once I proved myself, he start to let me move up the ranks with him. I ended up working with him for twelve years, and we grew from running and managing two locations to eventually running 15. I began on the franchisor side with our sister company, Deka Lash Since I had all of this experience on the side of the franchisee, I had a lot to offer to help develop their business model as they started moving into franchising. Once we got them up and established, I already knew Rob and I loved the concept and values behind Legends, so I was excited when the opportunity arose for me to jump into their company and help them begin to scale with their own franchising model.”
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘take aways’ you learned from that?
Rob: “Well, it’s kind of funny in a way but my brother and I are completely opposite of one another when it comes to delegation. I found that I was almost over-delegating, I was giving away more responsibility than I actually needed to. Later down the road once I got a chance to reflect, I think it honestly was likely because I was just lacking a little bit in self confidence. Sure, I knew I could get the job done, but I often felt maybe someone else could do it better than I could. Once I started learning to recognize my strengths and capabilities, I was able to take ownership of more tasks and delegate what truly didn’t fall under the scope of work I was responsible for.”
Andrew: “I really am the opposite. When I first thought about other people coaching out our programs, it was hard for me to let go and trust that they would do as good of a job with it as I do. I’ve always been particular about coaching, I like the way that I do it and I have a certain way that I feel it needs to be done. Once I learned to relax and trust that we were providing exceptional training and hiring extremely passionate and capable individuals, it became easier for me to focus on my own role within the company.”
Is there a particular book that you read, or podcast you listened to, that really helped you in your career? Can you explain?
Rob: “Rocket Fuel really changed the way that I do business. It was one of those books where the more I read it, the more I was like, ‘was this written for me?’. It really helped to outline the importance of having both a visionary and an integrator, and helped reassure that it’s okay to be just one or the other and to collaborate with other people to help bring out each person’s individual strengths in order to catapult the business’s growth.”
Extensive research suggests that “purpose driven business” are more successful in many areas. When you started your company what was your vision, your purpose?
Rob: “This is again another area where Andrew and I had a little bit of a different vision in mind, but I think that’s part of what made us so successful. I’m very achievement driven– so once we had this idea to teach real USA boxing to real people, my immediate goal was to make us the most recognized brand in boxing in Utah. Once we achieved that, it went a step further, I want Legends to become the most recognizable boxing brand nationwide.”
Andrew: “My vision was really about changing lives. Once Rob introduced me to boxing, it really made a major transformation on me and my life. That was something that I felt obligated to share with other people, and Legends was the vehicle for me to be able to achieve that.”
Do you have a “number one principle” that guides you through the ups and downs of running a business?
Scott: “For me, it’s about prioritizing the team, the culture and the passion around the business. I think when you are valuing people first, the rest will fall into place. When times are good, we celebrate with each other and our members. When times are tough, like they have been recently, we support each other and keep each other going.”
Rob: “Choosing the right person for the job. I don’t do the things that I’m not great at. It gets to be too much if you try to do everything yourself, especially when someone else on the team could be doing a better job than you are. Giving each other the opportunity to do work in areas where they excel will do nothing but good things for the business.”
Andrew: “Do what you’re supposed to do, when you’re supposed to do it. This has always been my motto to avoid procrastination or get the job done even if the motivation isn’t there. When it gets done, you end up feeling good about getting it done anyway.”
Thank you for all that. The Covid-19 pandemic has affected nearly every aspect of our lives today. For the benefit of empowering our readers, can you share with our readers a few of the personal and family related challenges you faced during this crisis? Can you share what you’ve done to address those challenges?
Rob: “For me, honestly it’s been combating boredom. I’m used to traveling a lot and this has forced me to really reflect on the things in my life that are wants as opposed to needs.”
Andrew: “I’ve really just been trying to be there for my wife and her kids. We’ve been going through it all together, and have been living by the motto ‘we can’t change what is happening, but we can change how we respond’. We’re trying to be positive and proactive as opposed to reactive, and I think that’s been helpful in giving us back a sense of control instead of leaning into feeling powerless.”
Can you share a few of the biggest work related challenges you are facing during this pandemic? Can you share what you’ve done to address those challenges?
Scott: “The biggest challenge has been knowing how this is impacting lives. The gyms obviously had to close, meaning revenue was limited. So we had to figure out how are we going to support our franchisees through all of this? How are we going to keep up morale and get through this as strong as we can? We made quick pivots, we got online workouts started up, we setup an e-commerce shop that gives revenue back to our franchisees, and we made sure we were communicating regularly. Our team out together resources to help our franchisees with funding available to them, we set them up with professionals who could help them negotiate their rent if possible, and we’ve been working with them to develop our plans for re-opening. The result has been amazing.”
Rob: “We really highly value our Legends tribe– one of our core values is BELONG meaning a sense of belonging for everyone. This pandemic really put us to the test to make sure that we live through that value even when times are hard. What happened is powerful. Our members wanted to continue to support us financially so that they had a place to come back to, even with the option to freeze their memberships at no cost. Both our members and our coaches are excited to come back. We also decided to reward the loyalty of the members who stayed active with us through the pandemic with T-shirts at no cost to our franchisees, just to thank them and show them how appreciative we are that they chose to keep going with us.”
Many people have become anxious from the dramatic jolts of the news cycle. The fears related to the coronavirus pandemic have understandably heightened a sense of uncertainty, fear, and loneliness. What are a few ideas that you have used to offer support to your family and loved ones who were feeling anxious? Can you explain?
Rob: “I just try to remind my friends and family whenever possible to use common sense, think critically, and stay calm. There is a lot of information swirling around, and when stress is at a high level, it can be easy to start to have your doubts. But if you come back to just being rational and thinking critically, you’ll be able to stay clear on what’s going on and what you need to do next.”
Obviously we can’t know for certain what the Post-Covid economy will look like. But we can of course try our best to be prepared. We can reasonably assume that the Post-Covid economy will be a trying time for many people across the globe. Yet at the same time the Post-Covid growth can be a time of opportunity. Can you share a few of the opportunities that you anticipate in the Post-Covid economy?
Rob: “I’ve never really felt secure in a traditional job. I think this is an opportunity for those who maybe feel that same way to start to take their destiny into their own hands. For me, when it comes to entrepreneurship it’s always been a feeling of ‘I can figure out a way, and I can do it myself if I have to’. I think there is truly opportunity now to think about how you can make your business recession-proof, what offerings can you expand on, do you have a plan to pivot if necessary, and how can you feel like you have a little bit more control over your future should we ever come into another crisis like this one ever again?”
Scott: “Touching on that, now is really where there is a clear divide between those who see opportunity, and those who sit and wait for things to become good again.”
How do you think the COVID pandemic might permanently change the way we behave, act or live?
Scott: “Cleanliness is going to be huge. No one is going to go from the cleaning standards we have now to starting to relax on keeping things clean and sanitized. We’ve already had a high level of sanitization in place, but this has forced just about everyone to be extra mindful in paying attention to every little detail. Additionally, having a backup plan is going to be as important as ever. We were able to pivot quickly and get revenue-generating offerings setup online. Not everyone was prepared to do that. Having a plan for if one of your revenue streams suddenly came to a halt, and knowing what you would do to continue bringing in revenue is going to be a critical piece to business planning moving forward.”
Considering the potential challenges and opportunities in the Post-Covid economy, what do you personally plan to do to rebuild and grow your business or organization in the Post-Covid Economy?
Rob: “We really touched on the tribe piece a lot, but we’re going to continue making sure we give our members an exceptional experience and ensuring that everyone feels they have a second home with us. That dedication and loyalty since we truly CARE about our members kept us going strong and helped to boost our morale as much as it did theirs.”
Scott: “Additionally, keeping up with a high standard of cleanliness so that our members and our coaches both feel safe at our gyms. It’s not just for health reasons, although that is obviously a major factor, but the feeling of safety and reassuring our members, franchisees and coaches that we DO care about them, their safety, and taking everything seriously.”
Similarly, what would you encourage others to do?
Rob: “One big thing is trying not to take on a lot of debt. There seems to be a major occurrence of some sort every 4–6 years. Minimize your expenses and focus on recognizing and prioritizing your needs over your wants. Also, not confusing effort with success is extremely important. Pay attention to what tasks and actions are actually moving the needle and learn from it.”
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
Scott: “Mistakes are learning opportunities. I’ve made more mistakes than I love to admit, but every mistake is a chance to do better and to differentiate what works and what doesn’t. That goes for in life and in business.”
Rob: “Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t know all of the answers. No one starts out knowing everything, and anyone who says they know everything is lying. Life is a continuous learning process, and you’re a lot more likely to find your answer more quickly if you just ask for it right away.”
How can our readers further follow your work?
Scott: “You can find us on LinkedIn! You can follow the Legends Boxing company page or send us connection requests to our individual profiles.”