Khalil Zahar, a top graduate of the Founder Institute and alumnus of Y Combinator, created FightCamp from a desire to quantify his progress in the ring. Zahar has grown the venture into an expansive community, making boxing an accessible workout for everyone.
3 Value Bombs
1) Focus on creating a product that you’ll ship to users. It won’t be as fun and glamorous, but there’s more success in that.
2) Don’t try to see where the ball is going to be in 1 or 2 years from now. Depending on the industry, give it around 5 or 7 years from now, shoot for that, and it may lead you to something that’s 10x better.
3) It was not about beating the competition. It was more about the opportunity to be the first to bring people a connected experience at home.
**Click the time stamp to jump directly to that point in the episode.
[1:02] – Khalil shares something about being successful that most people disagree with.
- Most people believe that you have to be special to be successful, but that is not the case. There’s an entrepreneur in each of us.
[2:32] – Why did Khalil choose boxing, and was there a trend in the boxing space or was it born out of his passion for the sport?
- He fell in love with the sport and wanted to compete in it.
- He wanted to shortcut his way to the best evolution possible.
- Boxing and kickboxing is a very special sport in that up to 99% of the people who engage in it don’t ever actually enter the ring to get hit – they do it for the fitness aspect
- Their product drew them into the fitness world.
[5:25] – Working out at home instead of the gym – will it become the norm?
- With COVID, things have accelerated a lot. In the long run, having a workout room at home is going to be a natural extension of our living spaces.
- Home fitness is very popular today.
- The new generation companies offer a better way
[7:59] – The things that Khalil did to make FightCamp standout.
- It was not about beating the competition. It was more about the opportunity to be the first to bring people a connected experience at home.
- Boxing is not easily accessible. You have to develop a foundation and work on your reflexes.
[13:21] – Khalil’s advise on how to make a splash in your industry.
- Don’t try to see where the ball is going to be in 1 or 2 years from now. Depending on the industry, give it around 5 or 7 years from now, shoot for that, and it may lead you to something that’s 10x better.
[14:41] – The piece of advise that he wished somebody gave him when he first started his business.
- Khalil wish he knew about shipping a product early – even when you’re still ashamed of it.
- Focus on speaking to your customers.
[16:00] – Khalil’s key takeaway and call to action for Fire Nation!
- A lot of people focus on the glamorous aspect of entrepreneurship. What they should be doing is spending time in the lab and building their product. Focus on creating a product that you’ll ship to users. It won’t be as fun and glamorous, but there’s more success in that.
- FightCamp brings the boxing gym right to your home! Visit JoinFightCamp.com/fire to get free shipping on your new gym today!
Light that sparked fire nation. JLD here with an audio master class on how to stand out in a fitness revolution to drop these value bombs. I bought Khalil Zahar on the mic. He is a top graduate of the founder Institute in the lameness of a Y Combinator. He created fight camp for me, desire to quantify his progress in the ring. He's grown the venture into an expansive community, making boxing and accessible workout for everyone in today. Fire nation, we'll be talking about how you can stand out and make a slash in your industry. A piece of advice that clear wished he had when he started off in his business. And so much more. When we get back from thinking ours sponsors fire nation, what if you could run an e-commerce business with no tech experience or employees and generate 10 K or more each month today's sponsor quantify is doing just that quantify guarantees your success and revenue with complete end to end training and support apply for their partner program today at quantify.com.
0 (1m 2s):
Khalil say what's up to fire nation. And what is something that you believe about becoming successful that most people disagree with?
1 (1m 12s):
Yeah, John, thanks a lot for having me. So my thing that I believe in that most people disagree with, and it's a little bit of a reverse, but I believe that a lot of people think you need to be special to make it to a very high success. And I, I really don't think that's the case. I don't, I believe that there's an entrepreneur into each and every single one of us and that at the beginning, people think you're never going to make it. I think that's like across the board then as you start making some progress, I think that some people think you're lucky.
1 (1m 54s):
They still doubt you, but they think you just found a bone and then as you actually made it, then they look back and say he was actually special.
0 (2m 4s):
I love that. That is fascinating. Fire nation, something to definitely sit down, absorb, digest, and think about in your situation. And today we'll be talking about how to stand out in a fitness revolution because we are parts of a fitness revolution. I can tell you that right now. I mean, I've got a Peloton in my gym right here. I'm thinking about getting a mirror. I mean, there's just a lot of things that are going on in this world. It is a revolution. So Khalil, that leads me to my first question of why boxing, like, did you see a trend in the boxing space or is this more born from a passion for the sport?
1 (2m 41s):
Yeah, it's a great question. And you know, our story really tells that insert well, so, you know, a lot of people know us for fight camp today, but we actually originally started with a product called Hexo H Y K S O, which was like a terrible name, but basically our, I started boxing in my life pretty late when I was about, you know, 21 years old. And, you know, my background is actually more in soccer, but I really wanted, you know, I fell in love with the sport and I wanted to compete, you know, and studying a competitive sport that 21 years old it's, it's, you know, you're kind of behind.
1 (3m 22s):
So at that point I really wanted to shortcut my way to the best evolution possible. So it was very, really adamant about, you know, having the best training regimen possible, really try to optimize every single aspect of it. And that led us, you know, that led me to want to measure myself on a regular basis. And there was not a lot of measuring tools out there for, you know, boxing specific stuff. So we created this first version of the product. That's, you know, our punch trackers, you would put them on your wrist, then calculate the types of punch. You throw measures the speed of every punch and you could recreate a performance profile with it.
1 (4m 3s):
And that went on to be a very successful product in the elite community. You know, we had multiple Olympic teams using it, a lot of pro boxers and pro UFC fighters using it. And then because boxing and MMA and kickboxing is a very special sport where 95%, if not 99% of the people that engage in it, actually don't enter in the ring and get hit, but just do it for the fitness aspect of it. So we can, you know, our initial product started to spill to a very different, you know, typical customer and that kind of draw, it drew us into the fitness world,
0 (4m 44s):
Fire nation. I really want you to just think that, Hey, there's multiple ways to kind of make your start, make your splash. Like, is it because of a trend or is it because of a passion? Can it maybe be a combination of both? I mean, that can kind of be where a zone of fire lies and that can really be a spark that then of course, leads to, we can flag duration and Khalil for you since you started fight camp, how have you seen the connected fitness industry evolve? I mean, how will, you know, we just are connected to, you know, other people live or, you know, whether we've got stuff strapped on this dish, just kind of connecting all of our stats and what we're doing here. I mean, our people working out from home instead of gyms, is that going to become the norm
1 (5m 28s):
Absolute thing? It, it will be for portion of, from majority of the portion of the fitness community. I think we're still, you know, like obviously with COVID things have been accelerated a lot, but you know, we really believe that in the long run, working out in a workout room makes a lot more sense to have in your home the same way you actually have a living room in the same way you have, you know, you know, a home theater and a big screen TV and a kitchen. We think it's like an X it's going to be an extension part of our living spaces, just because it's not something you, you, you're doing only once a month, you know, like a good fitness routine, you will engage in it at least at least three times a week.
1 (6m 17s):
So, you know, having to add friction every time that you have to do this with the commute and having to hit the class right on time, where it starts, we just don't think it's aligned with the frequency on which you have to engage with it. So that's one aspect. The second aspect is, you know, like home fitness, home fitness is very popular today, but you know, it started a long time ago, you know, and I'm sure some people remember Jazzercise or Taebo Oh yeah. That was really like the, the beginning of the category. But, you know, it led to a lot of like scammy products, especially specifically like in the late nineties, a lot of infomercial at the end of the night, like black and white and, you know, train trying to target people that, you know, kind of really wanted to buy a dream, but not necessarily incorporated fit fitness in a healthy lifestyle.
1 (7m 19s):
And I kind of feel that this new generation of companies are a lot more authentic. They're genuine, they're, you know, they're offering a better way and they're not targeting someone who's, you know, trying to press on the fact that, you know, you may not feel good about yourself. Look at all these people they're in shape, but they're, they're targeting a healthy lifestyle. And I think they're building the products accordingly.
0 (7m 43s):
I mean, clearly it's critical these days to stand up above the noise to be unique from your competition. I mean, that just is in every single industry, a hundred percent across the board. And let's be honest, cop is fierce in the fitness space. So what specifically have you done to make fight camp stand out
1 (8m 3s):
We're yet to see a serious competitor in boxing and kickboxing, right? Like we, you know, we there's some concepts out there, but you know, when we started, it was not about, you know, trying to beat the competition. It was more, you know, like there's a very unique opportunity here in being the first to bring a connected experience to, you know, boxing and kickboxing from home. And, you know, we thought the power of teaching people how to do boxing well was also like, you know, a statement for, you know, the growth of boxing with like a lot of, you know, franchise that we're growing as well.
1 (8m 48s):
You know, like pre COVID boxing gyms and kickboxing gyms across the nation were growing very, very fast. It was becoming a very big, you know, a fast growing exercise that was gaining in popularity. But, you know, boxing is not easily, you know, it's not easily accessible in terms of like, there's a lot of technique, you know, you can just get a bag and hit it, but it is not proper boxing. You actually have to develop the foundation and you have to, you know, work on your reflexes. And then you have to know why you throw a certain punch and why you don't throw that certain punch and how to move.
1 (9m 29s):
So we wanted to provide an authentic experience and at the same time, make it interactive. And, you know, there was nobody else that, you know, was doing that at a time
0 (9m 41s):
Nation. When you are trying to stand out from the competition, you need to ask yourself, what is it that I'm providing? That's a void in the marketplace. That's not currently being filled. And guess what? The fitness revolution, it's fierce competition everywhere and the overall fitness space. But I mean, what did Khalil step into a void? You know, he can't even really talk about a competent competitor right now in his specific space, because there's really not in his specific space. He is right now, the one shop in town, like I like to refer, you know, back before Netflix blew up blockbuster, you know, in the nineties, if you wanted to rent a movie, there was one blockbuster you went there. And right now, when you can be the only show in town, you're going to win on a certain level.
0 (10m 22s):
And now it's like, can you build a moat around this business when you have that first mover advantage? First mover advantage is super important. Khalil has that. Now, how can he build a moat around his business to make it hard for people to storm that castle? How can he put the barrier so high that the competition stays so low? And we're going to be talking about advice that Khalil has for you fire nation, making a splash in any industry. When we get back from thanking our sponsors in 2021, a truly diversified portfolio needs more than the traditional mix of stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. It needs private real estate studies have shown the portfolios when the allocation to private real estate generally delivered a better risk adjusted return with more annual income and lower volatility over the past two decades, thanks to his track record of consistent performance through multiple market cycles.
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0 (11m 53s):
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0 (12m 40s):
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0 (13m 22s):
Our listeners who want to make a splash in their industry? I mean, you've been able to do that in the fitness space, you know, with a very unique opportunity, you know, with fight camp, what would your advice be for someone who wants to do something similar with a splash in their industry?
1 (13m 37s):
I think it is to really try to not see where the ball is going to be in a year from now, not see where the ball is going to be in two years from now, but maybe have a little bit more of a, you know, five, seven, depending on the industry, but five, seven, 10 years from now. And instead shoot for that. And, you know, my experiences, it leads you to building just something that becomes 10 X better instead of just trying to catch up and always be playing behind someone else. You actually are trying to build, you know, the one whole order of magnitude above the current stage of products.
1 (14m 23s):
And I think that's ultimately how, you know, you're able to pass everybody.
0 (14m 28s):
Now, obviously you've made some mistakes on your journey. Everybody has, and you look back, you're like, you know what, I would've done this differently. I might have done that differently. Like I wish things had worked out like this instead of like that what's one piece of advice that you wish somebody had given you when you first started your business
1 (14m 45s):
Shipping product early, when you're still ashamed of it, when you think someone is literally gonna laugh at it. And you know, really like focusing on speaking to your customers, I think is just foundational advice that is very hard to, to be more effective. There's the, and you know, it's easy to know it, but it's very hard to execute on it because like your whole, you know, the feeling of doing it is, is really hard and not everyone can actually overcome, you know, that's fear and put themselves in that type of situation. Like, you know, the re the rejection fear is really strong and most of us, so, you know, like shipping the product earlier than, than you think it's ready, not trying to find an excuse for, you know, avoiding a conversation with a customer, because you think, you know, either they're unhappy or either they don't like the product, it's like still a constant muscle that needs to be trained and, and maintained.
0 (15m 49s):
So Khalil, we've talked a lot about your journey. I mean, you've had experience, like you said, and Y Combinator and other places, and you've had your successes, you've had your failures. What would it be? One piece of advice that you would just want to give fire nation based on everything we've talked about here today, for people that are starting off, you know, in any space in any industry, like what's something that you just feel is a tried and true lesson that you've learned that you want to pass along to us.
1 (16m 16s):
A lot of people focus on the glamorous aspect of entrepreneurship, you know, being able to call themselves an entrepreneur and being able to go to networking events and convince themselves that some somewhat that has value and, you know, they're building a network, but really what they should be doing is being in the lab and building their product. So I think like an admin focus on at the end of the day, creating a product that you will ship to users, and, you know, you will gain the feedback on and focus on that for the first big step of, of the entrepreneurship stages would save an insane amount of time.
1 (17m 2s):
You won't be as fun. It won't be as glamorous, but, you know, there's way more odds of success doing that than just participating into the lifestyle of being an entrepreneur.
0 (17m 14s):
What do you want to share with fire nation right now, as far as a call to action for them to check out fight camp, if you know, that's is kind of part of the journey that they're on right now in the NBA health and wellness, and they find themselves at home more because maybe they're working from home now, and they're not going to the gym. Like, what do you want to share with them about fight camp that might make fire nation want to step up, give it a try, and then we'll say goodbye.
1 (17m 37s):
Yeah. Awesome. Thank you for the opportunity. I mean, I encourage everyone to go check out our website. If they're looking to learn how to box this, isn't an advanced product for people who have been there before. It is totally made for people that have zero experience. Go ahead and check us firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also have, you know, you can download the app, check out the videos that are opened without to have to purchase the product. If you want to get a feel. And we also have, we're investing heavily into our YouTube channel. So you'll have a lot of value there as well. And you know, if you're interested in potentially applying to, you know, join our adventure, we're heavily hiring right now.
1 (18m 22s):
So, you know, we'd love to hear from you guys.
FightCamp (18m 24s):
Very cool. Well, fire nation, listen, you're the average of the five people you spend the most time with. You've been hanging out with KZ and J L D today. So let's keep up that heat and fire nation. Your call to action is the head over to fightcamp.com/fire. As you know, if you've been listening, fire nation fight camp is a sponsor of this month's episode. So if you want free shipping on your fight, camp sets head over to fightcamp.com/fire, check what they have going on, get free shipping, and you'll be off to the races and by the way, Semia before and after picture, because I'd love to share that with the world.
1 (19m 2s):
So Khalil, thank you so much for sharing your truth, your knowledge, your value with fire nation today, for that we salute you and we'll catch you on the flip side.
0 (19m 11s):
Thank you. Hey, fire nation today's value bomb content was brought to you by collegial. And are you ready to rock your very own podcast? We'll check out my free podcasting course, where I teach you how to create and launch your podcast for free free podcast course.com free podcast course.com and I'll catch you there, or I'll catch you on the flip, the flip side
2 (19m 36s):
0 (19m 37s):
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