Small Dojo, Big Profits by Mike Massie Review
So you’re thinking about buying Mike Massie’s Small Dojo, Big Profits? As you can see from the name you need to be a martial arts instructor looking to create enough profit to quit your “day job”. You know who else can be to learn from this book? Anyone looking to start a small school with little money. This book is a real motivational read.
If there’s one thing that Mike Massie is, it’s charismatic. This book is for the hopeful, and open-minded. In no way will you feel unnecessarily encouraged to do things that are way out of your grasp. In fact, the one thing that adds to his charisma is his blatant honesty. He has no problem laying out his rocky and, for some, questionable road to success.
What good news lies inside?
The first thing you will have to unlearn if you’re part of the brainwashed group is that “Bigger is better.” This is a key lesson. You are actually taught from the onset that smaller is better but it’s probably twice the work. If you didn’t know, you can actually be a successful with 180 students in 2000 square feet.
Once you get started on the book (that’s, honestly, the way up for the rock bottom martial arts master who wants to focus on his passion and make money from doing the thing he loves) you’ll soon realize that this is big work. There is no sugar coating the amount of work that goes into it and thankfully he does not make light of the work you put into being successful.
Depending on where you are, the overhead cost of running a dojo is about $5000, more or less. This book takes the time to extensively explain how you can succeed from scratch with the bare minimum. He even takes the time to layout cost and revenue details with figures to support his simple plan.
In case I hadn’t said it before he is an honest individual. While his implementation of a yearly contract is questionable and off-putting for most, the same bitter taste of bait and switch tactics used by most does not come with his technique. Instead he gives a verbal one on one explanation of fees, additional costs and length of contract in plain and simple English before signing of the contract.
He is quite refreshing and this is probably because he focused on a specific industry. While most successful business people try to create a motivational book that tries to encourage any entrepreneur beginner, his narrow approach on these specific start ups provides deep information that is clear and, dare I say, foolproof. From finding a suitable location, to sales techniques, insurance and potential legal issues, Massie lays out relevant and useful advice well worth reading by any club owner.
When you have a small dojo, your primary driving force is probably passion; a strong desire to provide authentic skills. Numbers are your next major concern. Unlike many self-help products that only tell you to make a conscious decision to think positive and all of a sudden your positivity pulls followers, this book actually teaches you how to get your numbers growing through paid advertisements and through your pupils.
I can’t help but give him extra points for including information on what to do about clients that are losing interest or dropping out of your classes. This is a major game changer because it’s one thing gaining students but maintaining numbers is a crucial skill to learn. Information is power. And in this case it is the power you need to make great things out of your passion.
No doubt his methods work, the proof is in the pudding. He is successful and he has a trail of success stories to back him up. As I mentioned in the beginning this is for the open minded. Not all success stories will be exactly the same because there are so many ways to skin a cat and some ways may depend on how open-minded you are.
Fighting his charisma, I’m going to fulfill my reviewer obligations and point out some things that didn’t sit well regarding Small Dojo, Big Profits. This in no way refutes anything I said earlier but there are some points you need to consider as you read.
I don’t want to give too much away but some of the concepts expressed in the book were a bit concerning. While it worked for him, I can only guess, I can’t fathom how you can start up a business of your own with absolutely no expenses. Any site you acquire will require some initial capital for anything such as renovations to make it suitable. Speaking on behalf of the naïve, maybe this wasn’t clear.
If you overlook that minor issue, can you swallow another controversial technique of contract signing. Year-long legal obligations. As I mentioned before, he is an honest fellow who takes the time to explain and clarify the terms of the contract before any one signs anything but most people have issues signing anything, especially a yearly contract on behalf of their children. It is a bit of a hard pill to swallow but that depends on your own ideas and rationale.
The only reason I’d have a dojo without the help of suppliers such as Century is to provide affordable sessions so I find it hard to reconcile the $100 per month for twelve months suggested in the book. Maybe that’s just me.
Look, when the entrepreneur gene isn’t one that manifests in your life naturally, some easy ways to make money out of your passion are going to take some time to adjust to. He implements a system of paid grading tests. For most of us, that sounds like he’s encouraging the selling of ranks and this crosses the line into actually creating, I don’t want to write it…maybe I’ll spell it out…please don’t make me do this… M-c-D-o-j-o-s. But we all know “Dojo Graduation Rate” depends on how good the instructor is and the intensity of the training so maybe that’s a discussion for another time.
At the end of the day…
Above that we still have “Small Dojo”? Really? If you know anything about martial arts you know there is nothing small in what they represent and teach.
Off the bet the one thing I’d change about this is the name. Dojos represent and stand for respect, confidence, courage, focus, physical fitness, self-discipline and leadership. In my opinion if you only have 5 students you’re big because of those huge values you’re imparting.
But nothing stifles anyone’s passion like bad credit and tough luck.
So if you’re low on funds why would you part with valuable pennies for another self-help?
Chances are you have probably read a self-help book from a media guru, a billionaire software engineer or a life coach who created blanket information with no specifics. Though, it was surely motivating it did very little to help you in your particular industry. So if you have a dream of owning your own, this the best investment you can ever make. Heck, I know relatives with no martial arts skills getting this book for Christmas! That’s how inspiring it is.
Does it promote McDojoism?
In my opinion, I don’t feel it does. Massie simply laid out the steps for maintenance and functioning of a business. This is a 255 page key to potentially allowing a martial arts master to make money from what he loves.
The connecting idea of any self-help book or journey is stepping out of your comfort zone. There will always be ideas and methods you don’t agree with and feel you’ll never break just to make money, especially when it comes to something you are passionate about. Maybe that’s why you’ll be pressing your face against the window watching everyone else make a career out of your dreams…food for thought.
Small Dojo, Big Profits is an investment into your passion for $99. I can’t talk about the value of this self-help without weighing it next to your personal sacrifice. This $99 gives you(according to the promotional information):
- The 255-page manual in three digital formats – PDF, Kindle (.mobi), and Nook (ePub)
- 40+ pages of time-saving resources and templates
- Plus, over 5 hours and 25 minutes of mp3 audio.
You also have another option of $39 for:
- The 255-page manual in three digital formats – PDF, Kindle (.mobi), and Nook (ePub). Instant download.
Next thing you’re probably wondering is what will you learn? The information provided will include:
- How to start your own martial art school with almost no money and no credit
- How you can earn more money in your studio with less students (and less headaches!)
- How to have a 6-figure school with less than 200 students
- The secrets to end your student recruitment frustrations for good
- The easiest methods to increase your retention and attract better students into your martial art school
- What no one is telling you about starting a martial arts school
- How to drastically reduce or even completely eliminate your payroll
- Understanding the risks that are threatening your martial art school – and how to protect yourself from them…
If you are serious about turning your small dream into big profits I do recommend you pick up a copy. It’s a refreshing read, as I mentioned before. If there’s anything you’ll read that will motivate you to get out of your comfort zone, it’ll be this book. He has done amazing work maintaining sincerity throughout his work.
Research for this review showed that the majority of the issues people might have with the book are things neither Massie nor you as a reader can fix. Constantly asking yourself if the information provided will be used to breed mcdojoism defeats the purpose of a self help book. Information is power and power can be used for right and wrong reasons. The essence of a self-help journey is to focus on yourself and your journey.
In short this a book for people who are starting out. $99 is a high price to pay for validation that what you’re doing is correct. So if you have a successful business already then you probably don’t need to buy this book. If you’re starting out there is absolutely no doubt you’ll be able to save yourself a few headaches by browsing through this book for ideas.