Tony Doherty - Episode 24 // PT Prophet Podcast with Hayden Wilson

I can't believe it took me 24 episodes before I got this man on.  You were asking for him, so you got him.  Austalia's most successful bodybuilding promoter and someone who knows exactly how to take the bull by the horns, Mr Tony Doherty.  

Tony has been someone I've always looked up to, from when I first stepped into the gym around 4 years ago he has taken me under his wing and together we have achieved some amazing things.


In this episode we go deep into:

  • How Tony got started in the industry and took the world on......for free.
  • Why work ethic doesn't need to be mentioned...and TRUE work ethic comes from action...not talk.
  • How to create massive influence and create a tribe of followers within an organisation
  • How to master 'people management' to get the most from everyone you work with
  • Why personal training isn't just about smashing your clients into the ground...but a much deeper activity
  • The fine (yet often forgotten) art of LISTENING to maximise your business
  • Those who have influenced Tony and helped shape his life
  • Tony's thoughts on whether he is 'Successful'
  • Helping friends.....and a hard lesson learnt on finding real friends
  • Progression from FitX and a very small audience to forming a partnership with the Arnold Classic Australia
  • What big plans Tony has for this event...
  • The importance of being READY.


Reach Tony:

Doherty's Gym | Arnold Classic

Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

tony [at]

Subscribe on ITunes here

If you like the podcast, leave a 5 star rating here


Listener Question: Alex asks "How often should I be blogging?"  Listen along to find out my answer.


Additional Resources: Join the Prophets here -


[su_box title="Download The PDF" box_color="#ed1c24"]Download the PDF: Episode 24 of the PT Prophet Podcast, Full Transcription PDF[/su_box]


HAYDEN WILSON: Welcome back to another episode of the PT Prophet Podcast, my name is Hayden Wilson. So glad you could join me here, for yet another episode. This is the show for personal trainers and fitness industry experts to learn more about their business and how some of the stuff works online. And also just a bunch of cool interviews with really special guests, that I have the pleasure of speaking to every week.

This week I have a killer episode lined up, the guest that I have is someone that you’ve probably seen in the description as Tony Doherty. A man that has had a huge influence on my life, I should have had him on sooner. We are up to Episode 24 now; really inspirational stuff, I can’t wait to share the story with you.

Before we get into that, let’s just get into a listener question and then I want to tell you a little bit about “The Prophets.” Okay so I have question here from Alex who’s reached out to me via email who’s just asking “How often should I be blogging?” Alex look mate it’s something that you want to sort of get used to, the more you do it, the better you are going to get at it. I like to blog 5 times a week personally; whether that be through a podcast or I like to put 5 pieces of content out, I should say. Whether that be a podcast and on the 4 other remaining days; I generally put out some blogging and really help the audience.  I think that is a good schedule to stick too, 5 days a week. If you can’t handle that I completely understand, we’re all busy, start with 2 days a week try and increase to 3 move your way up. Every week try and get more and more done, the key is getting into a positive habit try and get to that 5 times a week benchmark, you’ll just see your engagement skyrocket. And you’ll start to see more and more people reading your site. Check out your Google analytic stats because you are going to see a tonne more engagement from your audience. And really start to get to know what they like and just start judging your content around that. So I hope that helps Alex, now if you have a question for me please hit me up at [email protected] or just use the contact form on my site

Lastly, I just want to speak to you about “The Prophets” which is a private community that I run now, which has a bunch of private training in there, with video step by step Modules. The first one being “Training Clients Online” So if you want to learn more about how to actually train someone effectively online, making a difference in their life and really giving off a professional branding. Then I encourage to check out and I have actually just implemented an application process to make sure there’s no dickheads. I have a no dickhead rule, so it’s just a couple of questions to make sure you’re perfectly suited for my community; there’s no conflicts of interest or anything like that. Head over there fill in the application form and we can get to know each other and then if you are suitable for the community and I think that I can get results for you and you can make a difference in your business, then let’s work together and let’s get it done.

Now let’s get into the interview with Tony. We cover a range of different topics, mostly motivational type stuff. How he has made it through the industry a few challenges along the way and then we mention of course “The Arnold Classic Australia” which is a huge contest and sports festival that’s coming up in 2015. There’s a tonne of stuff that you can take from this episode, implement into your business. If you’re success driven, if you really want to make a difference industry; listen along to Tony he’s a great influence on many, many people. He is a mentor to thousands that he probably doesn’t even know about. Enjoy it’s a great show. I’ll speak to you soon.

3:46 HAYDEN WILSON: Okay so today on the PT Prophet Podcast we have a man that I probably should have interviewed earlier, he’s my mentor, one of my best mates. Welcome Tony Doherty.

3:55 TONY DOHERTY: Thanks Hayden, I’m happy that I waited because I was waiting for you to build up your listener base, so hello to all the listeners.

4:02 HAYDEN WILSON: (Laughter) Now I just want to start off with a bit of a history, not too in depth because I know you’ve been in the industry for nearly 3, over 3 decades now. So why don’t you give us a quick little introduction on your story.

4:14 TONY DOHERTY: *Laughter* How do I summarise 3 decades? I started off working in the gym you know I was a kid that went to the gym and loved it and decided that’s how I wanted to live my life and started doing that in a Little country town called Bendigo. Worked in my first gym, that is a story within itself and how I got the job and all that sort of business, then I moved to Melbourne in 1994 and started Doherty’s Gym. The first one of its kind, a little warehouse in Brunswick outgrew that, moved to the current premises in 1998. Took the plunge and became like the first and only 24 hour gym at the time, back then.  And we have expanded the brand now, we are about to open our 6th 24 hour Doherty’s Gym, that’s pretty much it.

5:05 HAYDEN WILSON: And so you do have a crazy work ethic that has stemmed from when you were 16 and first started working in a gym. Where you use to, you offered to work for free and clean toilets for the gym owner just to get your foot in the door. How has that work ethic developed over the years?

5:24 TONY DOHERTY: It probably not really developed it’s just something you’ve got. I have always liked to work hard; you know I had part time jobs when I was 14 years old. I actually started my first gym when I was pretty close to I think I was 18 when I first started in the gym. And you know sometimes you just have to think outside the box, I kept asking this guy for a job and he wouldn’t give me one. So I said “what about I said your toilets aren’t real clean” he looked a little offended and I said “well the upside is I will come clean them for free, can I just do that for a month. And I said I can work I am not above and I will do my best” well he said “yes.” So I went out and brought a bunch of cleaning equipment and boxes and buckets and scrubbing brushes and all sorts of chemicals and that sort of thing. And scrubbed all his toilets and cleaned his showers and in between the tiles and under the shelves and things people wouldn’t of even thought of. So I did a few touch ups of painting and fixing things and people would start to come to the gym and say to him “gee those toilets and change rooms are always really, really clean” which gave him a bit of pride and eventually when a job came up, I was first in line.

6:28 HAYDEN WILSON: It’s a good story and one that the listener can really take on board and learn more about their own work ethic now I just want to…

6:35 TONY DOHERTY: Can I just jump in on that, hang on. Work ethic it seems to be a word just that bantered around at the moment, in fact I meet people and they tell me what a terrific work ethic they’ve got. I was talking to someone yesterday and they said “oh I like to win over my clients, I like them to be happy clients, I like them to know that I have a great work ethic” it’s like everyone needs to know that everyone has a great work ethic. I don’t think that is something you really need to talk about; I think it is something that people would notice from a far. If you need to tell someone your work ethics great, then you’re probably too focused on telling people your work ethics great, rather than working. It’s one of those things, just head down arse up. You have a terrific opportunity in the country where you use to be able to work and have a choice of career and career path and jobs and then it defines you as a person and how you want to apply yourself to it. I always like to say to people “get to work early, stay late do all the crap jobs in between and you’ll get noticed.”

7:32 HAYDEN WILSON: Hmmm and it’s sort of how we developed our relationship over the years and starting off when I use to do some videos and I started working for you. It’s been great seeing you and learning from you and one of my favourite stories is when we were at a recent competition The Amanda Doherty Classic and it was at the end of the show and we’d all been working quite hard. And Tony had been on stage all day and then at the end of the show there was rubbish, some rubbish on the ground and you’re in a $5000 suit and Gucci shoes and whatever and you started picking up rubbish. And that just showed me that it doesn’t matter what level you’re at; and a man who is about to run, well has been running multimillion dollar Expos, is not above picking up rubbish. It definitely is a lesson to learn and one that you don’t have to, he doesn’t go around telling people.

8:20 TONY DOHERTY: You know what, well on that there was coffee cups everywhere and it was the first time we used the venue and I wanted to leave a good impression and just think “oh some poor cleaners got to come in and just pick up crap that people have left on the floor.” So you know what happened I found a bin with a liner in it so it wasn’t really dirty work, yes I had an expensive suit on and stuff. But you know what happened, as soon as I started doing it 10 people jumped in and were like “wow Tony’s cleaning up and moving chairs and getting on his knees to pick up coffee cups and doing this and that, I want to join in.”

And you know you’ve just got to lead by example. You know I use that in the gym all the time that if someone, I don’t want to tell horrendous stories or anything but sometimes someone might vomit or have an accident in the bathroom or even worse you know. Someone, we’ve had people dirty our bathrooms, you never know who they are, you don’t want to know but some disgusting stuff. I’m always the first one to get the mop and bucket out and I know people business who go “oh can’t you pay someone to do that” and I tend to think this, if I see something disgusting, someone vomits or worse. And I grab the bucket and the gloves and the disinfectant and rip into it and say to everyone “Just stay there I’ve got it, I’ve got it” then I figure that person can never think that I would ask them to do something, that I wasn’t prepared to do.

I think it is a great way to lead an organisation of people, to show people you’re willing to do anything for your business, anything there’s no limits. And I think a lot of bosses put themselves above the general person and therefore separate themselves from the staff because they are above it or “I’m not cleaning up that, you know I pay you to do that.” I’ve never had that attitude “I’ll be like I’ll get it let me show you how good I can clean” I go back to kid that was very proud of his cleaning job. So you know I think you’ve just got to lead by example, so at the end of the show I think its great leadership for me to actually grab a mop and a bucket or a bin or a cloth or some spray and wipe and go about leading by example. Because I think it’s infectious for people and then maybe they’ll become good leaders that are prepared to do the scut work in their organisations.

10:25 HAYDEN WILSON: Mm hmm and I think just on that you are quite an influential person and by doing and leading by example that does create influence. Which is a unique management style, how do you find managing people? What’s the trick to managing various, different people?

10:42 TONY DOHERTY: Well, there’s not a trick to it peoples, people and you’ve got to have people skills. In fact you know some of the great coaches I’ve spoken to in football, leagues and management, had the opportunity to work with some incredible people and one thing they all say in common is that their job is people management. Whether you are the at top of an organisation or a business or a gym or a big PT company or CEO of a huge organisation or Coach of an AFL team or an Olympic Squad or whatever. You really, your job is people management and the trick, the psychology of it is to get the best out of people. So therefore you have to position yourself to be able to get the best out of people; to make them want to work their hardest and do their very best. And one of the best things you can do is lead by example, but also to be able to relate to people and not to be judgemental and not to put people into categories.

The one thing that working in a gym is fantastic, that’s why a lot of people who go through the gym industry and come out the other end are very successful in a lot of careers, is because you meet people from all walks of life. And you’ve got to relate to CEO’s and Politicians and in our case a lot Celebrities and really you know high A-list people. And you’ve also got to be able to relate to your average tradey or shit-kicker or unemployed person or whatever that comes into the gym. And you’ve got to be able to talk tradey to tradey’s, talk you know bogan to bogans and you’ve got to be able to talk and walk with CEO’s and high end people and everyone in between. And you learn great skills working in the gym just by being around people.

I guess, I was with someone the other day and they introduced me to a group and said “one of Tony’s best abilities is being able to read a temperature in a room and to understand how far he can go with people and what people need to know and hear.” And I think that what you hone from working with a great cross section of people; you learn to read people really, really well and you learn when you need to be a little bit irreverent or when you need to be a little bit more formal or when you need to muck up or when you need to really be articulate. And everything in between so I think in any organisation, managing people, that’s what it is, the art of managing people.

And you know, being kind and being able to listen, but then again being able to identify a time thief and not waste your time on them. And being able to see potential in people. Something I’ve always enjoyed doing Hayden, not just yourself but everyone I’ve been able to work with. I’ve always enjoyed potentiating people and seeing a streak or a light in someone and thinking this person just needs a chance, or an opportunity or to be around some positive people to take the next step in their life and to kick on and to have a great existence. And you can’t be greedy with that, you’ve got to think; there is enough out there for everyone. Having a generous kind of, to be generous with your time and with your advice and with your everything else. If you pick the right people it’s a terrific investment in their future and in your future and it’s just as simple as that.

13:51 HAYDEN WILSON: It all stems back to like with your personal training, that’s helping people achieve and potentiate themselves as well.

14:00 TONY DOHERTY: Correct, yeah you’re giving a gift to people, you really are. So they’re paying you for your services but quite often the reason personal trainers are good people managers because quite often; I did personal training for years, before it was even called personal training I was doing it. And I found that a lot of your clients aren’t paying for the best program or for the best diet or the best knowledge. They’re paying for you to be their friend, their sounding board to be their bartender basically. So a lot of people that don’t for example go to a pub and drink for therapy, they go to the gym for therapy. And their personal trainer is actually their bartender. And when you are a personal trainer anyone who is listening to this who has clients will know; they tell you horrendous things about themselves, all their deepest darkest secrets and everything in between. And you’ve got to be you know like I said; there’s a hairdressers, there’s a bartender, there’s a personal trainer; where you become a sounding board for a person or a friend.

You know I’ve had clients who just aren’t socially great, don’t have a lot of friends but they need companionship, and they need to be able to talk to someone. So they come and they go through their workout and sometimes I’ve seen trainers make the mistake of thrashing people like that because they feel like they’re ripping them off if they don’t give them the world’s greatest workout and they thrash them and they make them do these lunges and deadlifts and squats and up and down the gym and sweat. And all they really want is just to talk to someone and wind down after work. And you need to be able to identify that in people, you’ve got to give people what they want. Whether in my situation where they’re a sponsor, an investor or an exhibitor or business partner, client, a regular member, you’ve got to give them what they want.

And I think in business too many people make the mistake of assuming what people want, not listening because they are too busy talking about themselves, so they don’t open up their ears to listen to what the clients wants or open their eyes to see how the client is reacting to what you’re prescribing. And then they drop off and you go “shit bloke he had no heart, you know he had no work ethic, no drive.” Where really you’ve got to look at yourselves, why did this client not continue? Perhaps you didn’t give them what they paid you to give them and sometimes it’s just to be their friend. It’s just to give them, to be a mentor and give them some guidance in life and let’s call it a bartender you know. A great bartender is always a fun person to talk to.

16:16 HAYDEN WILSON: mm hmm and you do have a very unconventional style of work as far as your gyms. We always sort of joke around and say we’ve got the 5 percent of people, that other gyms sort of reject and they come to us to escape from their lives. But how do you control that customer service and

16:34 TONY DOHERTY: Let me redefine that, we’ve got the 5 percent of people that no one else wants and they come here to cope not to hide from their lives. I really think the kind of people we attract or the people I love having at my gym. The gym or the exercise is a thread of existence, it holds their life together and you know I think that is very important to recognise in people. Sorry, I cut you off but I’ve got to clear that up because it’s one of my sort of theories. What was the question?

17:00 HAYDEN WILSON: No that’s okay we covered it then, just about customer service and adapting to different to different people and how to read the room.

17:08 TONY DOHERTY: Well you know what, if you’re working at a gym; whether you are a trainer or someone on the desk or whatever. What you’ve got to do, you’ve got to look at someone when they come into the gym and you don’t know what they have gone through to get there. They might of had a horrendous day, they might be at a job they hate, they might have a horrible Mrs or an abusive husband or just you know, an unhappy existence.

And you find that, that person makes their way through the day thinking “oh God when I get to the gym everything will be ok, everything will be fine when I just get my hands around that steel or just get that punching bag or just get to meet with my personal trainer or get to see whoever is at the front desk, you know they get to the gym” and they get fixated on this point where they think everything will be okay when I get to the gym. And what gym owners and trainers and receptionists staff have to realise is, you are the highlight of that person’s day. And if the person comes into the gym in a bad mood or with a bit of a chip on their shoulder or a bit arrogant or a bit aggressive or whatever, don’t judge them, don’t think “oh that person’s always grumpy.” I hear my staff and staff at all sorts of gyms say it all the time “oh that so and so he’s a shit bloke or he’s no good or he’s always angry or whatever” and I always say “yeah but what are they like when they leave?” And the answer is always the same “oh much better when they leave.”

Well therefore they need a workout; we’re providing something people really, really need to cope with their lives and it’s just that thing that holds it together. And you know and it’s not bad advice or harmful advice like drugs or alcohol which also people use to hold their life together. This is a healthier endeavour where people realise they might have been through it or down a path or alcoholism or being a drug addict or some sort of abuser or nut job. And they finally find the gym and they think “oh I finally found some peace” And you know just give them a break. I tell my staff all the time, don’t think anything about anyone. You’re the highlight of their day, even if they don’t show it to you. You have to realise this is the part they look forward to, cause we work in gyms everyone listening even you Hayden everyone out there listening to this is probably someone who works in a gym and we really take that for granted and suddenly think “he could come in with a smile on his face.” Well that’s okay for you, you work in a gym you’ve got a dream job, you’ve got an existence that most people would love to have and you’re the highlight of someone’s day.

So just remember that, if you’ve got a difficult person, just give them a break. Let them train, let them get a bit of steam off, maybe go approach them after 20 minutes or so and don’t go say, you know I’ve heard people say for example someone will come in and someone will say “oh you look like you’ve had a shit day or you don’t look too happy” like you need that. Imagine someone saying that to you when you’re having a crappy day and someone comes and points out the obvious. It’s like when you’ve got a bloody pimple on your nose and someone goes “hey you’ve got a pimple on your nose” and you think “really I hadn’t noticed, I can see it with both my eyes, thanks.”

You’ve got to realise when people come into the gym, whatever their state of mind, sometimes this is where our brand is a little different; we teach our staff to leave people alone. We’re like; don’t just get in someone’s face because they’ve walked in the gym, you don’t have a right to do that. Just let them workout, catch them on the way out or maybe after 15 or 20 minutes go up and say “hey, how’s things, you looked like you needed a workout, you’re getting stronger” give them some encouragement, you’d be amazed how you can win people over by doing that. And you know I’ve had members that have trained here for; it might be a year it might be 6 months it might be a year it might be 2 years. I was having a conversation with a young bloke the other day he’s been training for 2 years he is a very insular sort of guy not very outgoing, he doesn’t talk to anyone, puts his headphones in, attacks his workout. You can tell he has some issues there he has got a bit of a chip on his shoulder. But anyway we found a bit of common ground the other day and we had a chat, what I didn’t know is this guy had nearly died he had a really bad cancer a year ago and had come to the gym to try to get himself healthy and he’s just about through it, he hasn’t got the all clear he’s seeing light at the end of the tunnel. And he was so scared of dying young and not getting to live his life and follow his dreams; that he went into himself and didn’t think anyone would want to talk to him. And he’s a guy that we’ve all kind of judged and put into the cooky list, you get those people you think “oh they’re just a bit nuts, no one talks to him or he’s unfriendly.” You don’t know what they are going through, you really don’t and I learnt something about this kid the other day and now there’s a warmth there when I see him. He’ll go “hey” he’s confident and comfortable to speak to me and I’ve won him over a little bit and that’s a really win and you think “gee he’s been coming in close to 2 years and it took that long to crack him” how? We left him alone, he needed to be left alone, he needed that space and clarity to find himself and he has and he’s come out the other end, he’s not a bad kid.

21:51 HAYDEN WILSON: So, that’s a really cool story and you’re quite influential yourself, as we’ve just talked about. Tell me about some of your influencers, people who have made an impact in your life.

22:01 TONY DOHERTY:  Well, I kind of think that, you take a little bit; I’ll get a little bit deep with you, you take a little bit of everyone you meet. You take a little bit of their personality, a little bit of their spirit, a little bit of their energy and I’ve had some obvious influences. But I’ve had hundreds and thousands of other influence, which might be someone who you run into or engage with at the gym or you train or whatever. That have just got a really good trait that you identify, and you just pick up a little bit. For example well to break it down, I’ve had your standard influence and mentors and that sort of thing but I think beyond that, you just take a little bit from everyone you meet. So therefore surround yourself with positive and successful people and you will just pick up little things on a deep subconscious level. You might read a book you know and I was talking to you Hayden the other day about a book you’d just read and you said “did you ever read such and such?” and I said “yeah like 20, 30 years ago” and you said to me “do you realise you pull quotes out of that book all the time?” and I didn’t realise I did, but obviously I had taken some stuff from that and it had gone deep into my subconscious.

Now on a deeper level I think you do that with everyone you meet. So be careful who you surround yourself with, and try to be around positive people, not just positive people, I don’t mean people who are always like “hi! How’s your day? Fantastic!!”  because some of them are fake. Be around people who you would like to be more like, people who are successful and people who are genuine and people who have got that sort of spirit around them, people who walk in and light up a room, you know. And the people who have influenced me, have been people I’ve met, people I haven’t met. I might see someone on television and think “wow that guy’s got an aura or an energy about him” and there’s been a couple of people I’ve heard speak or heard interviews  and I’ve always loved reading biographies and watching interviews and stuff.

So I’ve been influenced by them, I’ve been influenced by you know people, I’ve told this story a hundred times but Arnold Schwarzenegger who is now my business partner was my greatest influence because when I saw him as a kid, I wanted to be a bodybuilder and a gym owner and be a promoter, from the first time I ever saw Arnold do an interview. But the first thing that caught my eye was his muscles “I thought wow” I was a 13 year old kid, I thought “gee how did he get to look like that Dad” and I shot off all these questions at my Dad “how did he get to look like that, what are those things on his arms” they were veins, I just didn’t even know at the time.  What is it about this guy? And my final question, why doesn’t everyone look like that? Like straight away I had this light bulb moment, if you can look like that, why wouldn’t you want to? This is fantastic what a specimen. But when I analysed that later, I realised what amazed me more was the confidence of the bloke. You know the self-confidence and the aura and the humour and just the confidence to have that humour and to be a bit irreverent and just be this larger than life guy. And he had a bad accent back then and you know he was still a bodybuilder he wasn’t in movies or anything. And that influenced me enormously as a kid, I thought “I want to be more like that” and then I’ve had people I’ve worked with, top end people in business or people that I have trained or people or I’ve worked under or around you know; coaches in the AFL world and just people I have taken a little bit from. And I got to work with Denis Pagan two times premiership coach, for 5 years as his weights coach and he was a great people’s person and you know and I took a lot from that.

I remember some of his little catch phrases and sayings and one of them being “everybody loves to feel important” and he was great at that, he’d make the boot studder and the person who cut up the oranges and the pasture and swept out the rooms and the weights coach and myself everybody, he just had an ability to make everyone feel important. And that’s been a great influence because I do that in my organisation. I make sure the bloke that washes the windows gets a pat on the back and I make coffees for the couriers every day the couriers comes. People look at me strangely and go “why do you bother?” and I say “because he wants to feel important, look at him he is delivering parcels all day people don’t even want to sign his  little bloody electric pad, they make him wait 5 minutes because they are talking to someone, poor bloke look at him.” So I go the other way and I make them a coffee every day, I make sure he’s got a water in summer, he gets a pat on the back or a little man hug or whatever a high five and you know what, guess who gets their parcels first? Who do you think he looks forward to seeing more than anyone? Who? The postie you know, which business in Brunswick does he most look forward to visiting? Ours, because he always gets treated with respect and it doesn’t take a whole lot to do that, to everyone you meet. You know, gee I would impart that upon anyone, don’t get ahead of yourself, don’t forget everyone has a right to feel important and to feel wanted and to be acknowledged and gee it will pay you back 10 fold. It is a long answer, but who have my influencers been? Just anyone I have ever met.

27:06 HAYDEN WILSON: And just on that with giving away like coffees and drinks or things that don’t cost like the a hug or things like that. Has there ever been an issue where you were on sort of a lower budget and you still had to give away stuff or anything like that?

27:22 TONY DOHERTY: mmm yeah, well like you know my story pretty well. I started out, for those who don’t know I will tell you a quick story. When I started out in the gym business, it’s funny now everyone sees you having a little bit of success and they don’t know where you’ve come from. When I opened up my first gym I talked about in 1994 when I moved from Bendigo. I went broke, I’d lost everything but I had a loan against my parent’s house to open my first gym. And being a cocky little fellow from the country and a young body builder, strapping young bloke I thought I was shit hot and I knew everything and I didn’t know anything.

So I got way ahead of myself and I lived this bloody lifestyle and I lived above my means. I just thought I was better than other people, I really you know, my ego got the better of me. I had to kill that ego, so the best way to do that is to lose everything, so I had a house with a couple mates and we had to sell that and we lost (inaudible28:18) on that. I had a couple of cars, you know the last one I had, I sold, I exchanged it for a lap pool because I needed to buy a lap pull down for the gym. I didn’t have any equipment and I had this old Jaguar which was my life’s ambition to chop it and lower it and a little hot rod. So I swapped that for a lap pull down and I got so low and so bad and all I had was the clothes on my back. In fact I didn’t have many of them, could fit them all in one bag and I sold all my furniture and I gave everything away. So what I use to do I use to sleep, I had this couch in the gym upstairs above this vault, and this vault at my first gym in Brunswick. And I had a couch up there, so what I use to do, we use to open at 6:00 in the morning and I think it’s a funny story.

People love this when I do my motivational talks now. I use to get up, because I always had pride, I would get up at 5 there was a single shower at the gym, I would have a shower do my teeth and I would let myself out of the gym cause I would sleep there all night. I would let myself out of the gym, I would walk up to the nearest Road, Sydney Road. McDonalds use to open up at 5:30 so I would go there and get a coffee, I’d go to the news agent and get a newspaper and I’d walk 150 metres back down my street with a newspaper under my arm and a coffee in my hand so it’d look like I got off the tram, looked like I had come from somewhere. And I’d be like “hey morning everyone” and I’d unlock the gym and let them all in. I’d work from 6am til 9 at night, I think we were open 10 some nights. So I’d work from 6:00 til 10:00 then I would let myself out, I’d let everyone out and say “good night everyone I will see you all later” then I’d go hide in a car park wait for them all to leave because they would stand out the front and talk a bit of shit and have a smoke or a protein shake or whatever they’d be into back then. And I’d just hide behind a tree and wait til they all left and make sure they left and let myself back in the building, crash out on the couch. Get up in the morning 5:30 go get a coffee, get a newspaper, repeat, repeat, repeat. I did that for 9 months. I didn’t have a wage I didn’t have, I brought a rice cooker and a vertical grill from a second hand shop, you know those vertical grills they kind of look like a toaster that you get a steak in. And you know on a good day I’d buy a kilo of rump steak and on a bad day I’d just have a couple cans of tuna and just live like that. So I was living the bodybuilder dream, I lived in a gym but I didn’t have a house I didn’t have a car, I didn’t have anything.

You know you could say that was a low point in your life, to me I look back and think what a great opportunity that was to kill my ego and to find out myself and you know back then I couldn’t afford to do anything. I still remember this great lesson, I’d given these memberships to, one guy I don’t know what he is doing I don’t want to identify him. But he had a business based around the AFL and he promised to bring me all these footballers, because I knew from an early age to get my brand going I had to bring in some elite athletes and some celebrities in. So this guy was going to bring in this footballer, and celebrities and models and all these people to the gym and he never delivered. Anyway I’d given him a free membership it was him and about 10 others I had on a free membership, because I thought we could benefit having their profile at the gym.

They all promised me the world, one bloke was moving down from Bendigo and he was like “oh I’ve got 50 members I’m going to bring to your gym; everyone in Melbourne is excited about it.” So what I did, I gave him a free membership, anyway after the first year I was pretty much broke, well I was broke. The first year  I had the power cut off and the phone cut off almost every single month. You know I’d just have to hustle and sell another part of myself some furniture a car or whatever until, borrow, beg, steal. Go work part time jobs security, debt collection, whatever I had to do to make a buck. Then I’d get the power put back on for another month, I was behind in the rent all time and I just fought and fought and fought just not to quit. Where was I going with that, so when I look back at those days I had nothing to giveaway that’s what I was going to say. I gave away these 10 free memberships out that first year to try and get that popularity into the gym and things got so tight one day. I thought these guys are up for renewal and none of them delivered, I’m going to go “give me a chop out here, I’d love to continue to give you a free membership but I just can’t afford it. I’m really broke, I’m working 15-18 hours a day 7 days a week. I don’t have a house and you haven’t really brought any members in so if it would be okay, could I get you to pay for your next year’s membership and I will do it half price? And I thought that’s pretty reasonable I’ve given them something for nothing for a year and they used it. There was one guy he was tied up with an AFL football player and he would come in 6 days a week it was like his second home and I never forgot this I went to all of them and said “hey can you guys help me out can you join up and pay for your membership? I will give you a massive discount I’ve just got to get some money in to pay the rent or put the power back on or whatever”  How many of them do you reckon stayed?

33:22 HAYDEN WILSON: I’d say 1.

33:23 TONY DOHERTY: It was 1 or 2, it was 1 or 2. After everything I had done for them and this one bloke made me think, he never walked in the door again. I thought “wow what a leech” you know like but I don’t hold any animosity or grudge or whatever. He might of saved me a lot of money because I learnt people are always what they seem. So when you give something away, it’s like I always think this, I always say it’s like lending money to a mate or family, when you lend money to your mate or family don’t really expect to get it back. You don’t sever your ties with someone in your family for 500 bucks or 1000 bucks if they need it and they don’t pay you back, well you were able to afford in the first place, bad luck. Well it’s a little bit like that when you give something away, you give it away unconditionally. If you buy someone a coffee every day or give someone a membership, just do it. If it comes good, its comes good, if it doesn’t it doesn’t. You’ve got to know when to cut it off; that was the lesson that I learnt, there is always a cut-off point.

Don’t have expectations on generosity because it never works out that way. So back then I gave something away that I couldn’t afford to and then I learnt the hard way to put no value on it. Then I learnt when you give away a membership to the wrong people they don’t put their weights away, they don’t put any value on it, they don’t respect the other members. Everyone that I always had a problem with was one of these people on a free membership. So now when I give away a sponsorship or a free membership I tell them “I expect you to be an ambassador of the place and treat it like it’s your own place and pack up and maybe do a bit extra.” And most of the time now it works out because I have been able to hone that. So when you say “do you give away a coffee or a drink? Yeah” but unconditionally because I do it because I want to do it. And if you can’t afford it don’t do it, but you’ve got to look at the big picture. I know people who charge gee, when I started my Expo business, one of the opposition Expos would charge some might spend $40,000-$50,000 setting up their booths and they use to get this bill for a green wastage fee it was $40 and it was $80 to use their forklift. So you spend $40,000-$50,000 and then you get a bill for $120 bucks and when I started my Expos I said, “no all that stuff’s included” yes 100-200 exhibitors might cost you a few thousand dollars, but it keeps them all happy. When someone is spending that much money you then just can’t be penny pinching with the small stuff. You’ve always got to be thinking of the big picture, so if someone comes to your gym and spends, for example $700 or $800 a year on their membership and they buy a couple of hundred dollars’ worth of supplements every month. Shit, buy them lunch, buy them a coffee it doesn’t matter. I often have something to eat with you mate, not you but anyone and I always like to shout it’s not just because I can afford it, but because you give, you put it out and it comes back 10 fold. So that coffee I make the courier, it costs me $0.50 cents of something you know and I get fantastic service off the courier, he feels important and good about himself. He doesn’t have a hate going to work every day because he knows there at least a little bit of love out there and I kind of get deep about all of that stuff. And you know what I’m like I never count small things ever whatever just give.

36:34 HAYDEN WILSON: Do you feel successful?

36:39 TONY DOHERTY: Well you know I did an interview yesterday, someone asked me; what is my definition of success? And I had to stop and think about it and I thought well, what is the definition of success? And I think I answered it by saying that success is about feeling good about what you do you know, you’re actually looking forward to getting up every day, giving back and choosing a career path that makes you want to look forward to going to work every single day and excited about your life. Yeah sure there are difficulties and hard days, but if you are actually passionate about what you do and you love it, then you are on the right track. And you are probably in a very small percentage of people in the workforce. So from that point of view, yeah I do, I feel successful. I feel like I have been able to stick at things, I’ve had this ability to never quit and I’ve been able to share it now with others and influence lots of people to have good lives and good careers and all that. And I think that’s a pretty good measure of success, yeah I mean of course you want more but for me it’s never been a monetary thing. I think people make a mistake and I’ve seen this a lot where people say “oh you know when I’ve got a Porsche or when I’ve got a this or when I’ve got a house I’ll be happy, when I’ve got a thousand members I’ll be happy, when I’ve got a flash car or a motorcycle whatever, I’ll be happy” And guess what if you don’t enjoy the journey, you’re not going to be happy when you get to the pot of gold at the end, you won’t know what to do with it.

That’s why there’s more wealthy people in therapy, then what there is poor people in therapy, not because they can afford therapy because they have this expectation; if they work in a job that they hate and a career that drives them mental and they get up and they hate going to work all day and they don’t give and there’s no generosity  to them and they have no pleasure in anything but they make a whole lot of money. Well it ends up being really empty money. You know there is no point having a nice car if you don’t have someone to go drive it with or there is no point having a shed full of motorcycles if you haven’t got any mates to ride them with or share them with. There is no point having any measure of success, if you can’t enjoy it with the people that mean something to you.

So I have always thought to enjoy the process and I look back through my life and when I slept on the floor at the gym and I had nothing. They were some of the happiest days of my life you know I was training with my great mates and greater influencers Sonny Schmidt who taught me a lot about life. He was like my big brother he was a Mr Olympia, an amazing bloke he was from a little island in Samoa and he taught me so much about being a man, about being a good man, a good honest man. And he is deceased now, he has been dead for 10 years but I miss him all the time and I really wish he was here to see what this has become. But you know you just take those little bits from people and you learn about just the basic stuff.

39:35 HAYDEN WILSON: And tell me about the first time you walked into a gym?

39:39 TONY DOHERTY: The first time I walked into a gym, the first time, oh I probably haven’t told you about the very first time. The very first time I think was after I had seen Arnold on television and I was at school they had like where you could go and do electives or whatever at school and you could do an extra subject, something in your own time; one of the choices was going to the gym and I walked into the gym. It was just a little fitness gym in Bendigo and I loved it, I loved it from the minute I walked into a gym I fell in love. It has never waned, when I am travelling I see a gym, I have to walk in. I love gyms even little (inaudible 40:19) there fitness centres in hotels, I even like hotel gyms. I just love gyms, I love gym equipment, I love the smell of them the feel of them. I just like you know, kicking back in the gym wherever I am and I have been so fortunate to be able to travel. But there wouldn’t be a city in the world that I have been too, that I haven’t walked into a gym. Even if I haven’t had time for a workout just to see a gym and say “hey there’s a gym, let’s go check it out.” I might get one idea, I may be able to share one, I might meet someone just like us, just gym rats and kind of got something in common.

But you know that was the very first time I walked into a gym and you know I started training pretty early on. I don’t know if I told you this one; when I first joined a gym I joined the YMCA in Bendigo, and I was 15 I think. I wanted to be a body builder, I wanted to do boxing. Poor mum was really worried I’d mess up my face doing boxing, I’d get brain damage or something . So I was like let’s go to the gym I’ll go to that gym, not that gym, I wanted to combine boxing and bodybuilding you know. So I went to this gym and I think the 1980 Olympics had just been on, so I would have been 15 because I was born in ’64.’ And I’d been watching the weightlifting and being a robust young fellow I thought, I think I was 100 kilos when I was 15. I went to the gym and there was a barbell there, you know those old one inch barbells with 45 pound plates, 20 kilo plates. So put a plate on each end of the bar, a couple of collars and thought “here we go, I am going to lift it above my head like those blokes on TV” So I cleaned it alright and I pushed it up, not realising you had to a split or kind of balance yourself at all. And I pushed it straight up and went back past the point of balance; I was like ooh ooh ooh fell back, landed badly busted both bones in both wrists, to the point one side they pierced through the skin. Have I ever told you this story?


42:14 TONY DOHERTY: This is a true story and anyway long story short, I had to go to hospital, get my arm in casts which is just terrible to have 2 broken arms when you’re a 15 old kid you know.  Anyway I went to the doctor saw him and remember and he said well “you’ll never lift weights again” and it was just like a red flag and I said “ I beg your pardon?” he said you will never lift weights again you will have to find another sport, another activity” because I told him I wanted to be a bodybuilder this was just a little hiccup and he goes “no no no you’ve smashed both your wrists, they’re gone, there is no way you are going to lift weights again” and I said “oh well there must be something I can do” and he said “oh you can start with some light rehab work but just take up some other sport running or something.” And I said “nah I hate running no no” and I remember  this obstinate, this stubborn part of me, which I hadn’t really identified  before. Man I just dug my feet and in and thought “you can go to hell” you know I didn’t abuse him or yell at him or anything but I just remember sitting there hearing “blah blah blah blah blah.” This guy could be speaking in another language for all I care because of course I am going back to the gym as soon as I get the plaster off I am going back to the gym, in the mean time I’ll do sit ups, I’ll do legs. I always had this thing in my life, I don’t know where it come from but, this saying “to worry about what can you do and not what you can’t do.” And I apply it and I say it all the time in seminars and stuff to apply to life, to relationships, to work, to sport is to worry about what you can do and not what you can’t do. You can always do something; there is always someone worse off.

So I still remember when I had broken arms I would go to the gym and do sit ups and leg extensions and leg presses and that kind of thing and then when my arms we better I found one exercise I could do and I just do 10 sets of 10 of that one exercise. I couldn’t do pull downs, I couldn’t do curls, barbell curls for a long time, so I just found something I could do. Eventually I could do hammer curls, I couldn’t do barbell curls so I’d just do more of them and so on. So it was actually just a point in my life, like most things that just tested me out to make sure I really did want to do it.

I think sometimes when you hit some adversity in your life its life’s way of saying “are you sure you want to do this? Here’s a chance, here’s an out clause” It’s like I say a job, a relationship it’s like if you have a fight with your boss or whatever. I remember I was mentoring this one guy at the gym, yes he is a bit of a hothead this and that he told he’s walked out, third time he’s walked out on his job I said “what happened” and he said “oh the boss talked down to me so I said go on stick it you know and I wasn’t going to put up with that” and I said “geez there is a bit of a pattern there it can’t just be the bosses fault” I said “you must be a bit of a hot head, perhaps you need to learn the old saying sticks and stones, names will never hurt you. Harden up a little bit if someone gives you a spray don’t just walk out every time someone gives you a spray. Learn to deal with it, so you become a better person and you don’t get a spray and this and that.”

So I think in your life you’ve got to learn that when you find something in life that is difficult, deal with it. You know don’t just walk out, it’s such an easy, you know I’ve never walked out, I’ve never quit anything in my whole life, apart from some bad habits, those are the ones you need to quit. But I’ve never quit something I’ve put my mind to. And I think if I could give anyone some advice out there; it’s going to be tough there are going to be days where you question your sanity you question your choices you question everything. But hang in there; find a way ‘worry about what you can do and not what you can’t do.’

Another quick story when I had gym around on Union Street I had no money and I was sleeping on the floor at the gym, I had nothing. So what I use to do, I use to move the equipment around people would come in and say “what are you moving that stuff for?” and I’d go “oh well I think it would be better for your workout if the dumbbells are over there and the squat racks are over there” they say “but you’ve drilled them to the floor” and I’d say “that’s okay I’ve got an angle grinder and a drill and I’ll just move them.” And I’d buy $20 worth of dynabolts to move them around just to move them around, so that it looked like I was doing something you know what happened people would come in and say “gee you’re always busy you’re always doing something.” And people like that, they don’t like to come in and seeing you with your hands behind your head and your feet up reclining. They want to see a busy gym owner. So I learnt that when you can’t afford to buy a leg press or a you can’t afford to buy a squat rack, I really needed more equipment I had broken equipment. To try to fix it, I would save up and buy one piece at a time. And to this day I own all of the equipment in all the gyms and when we move into a new gym we buy as much equipment as we can afford and then as you make money you buy one piece, one a month, one a year, whatever just tick away at it.

And then I realised you can buy a tin of paint for 60 bucks or 80 bucks you get 20 litres of paint and you can change a whole look of a place by painting a wall. So then I thought well I can’t afford to buy a leg press but if I paint that wall and make the place look tidier and move the equipment around. Someone might tell their friends “hey come down to this gym, this guy is always doing something” so I just did that, I’d just paint shit and move shit, and that theory do what you can do, not what you can’t do. I can’t afford to buy new equipment but I can afford to paint, I can afford to clean, I can afford to hustle, so that’s what you’ve got to do.

47:24 HAYDEN WILSON: It actually reminds me of the story when I broke my foot and I was still coming. I was on crutches and I started coming in and this is sort of when we started developing our friendship and you said that to me “good on you for coming back in and doing what you can do, not what you can’t do” and it always sort of stuck around in my head.

47:42 TONY DOHERTY: You could of stayed home and felt sorry for yourself but what would that achieved, nothing.

47:47 HAYDEN WILSON:  Well it’s a lot easier to keep going rather than stopping and starting all the time. If you can keep that momentum going and I know you’ve got a saying that we’re going to mention ‘relentless momentum’ which has sort of become a bit of a catch phrase for you. Let’s just transition into the ‘relentless momentum’ from FitX into what is now the Arnold Classic Australia, let’s speak about that.

48:08 TONY DOHERTY: Well, I had the vision back in 1991. I walked into the Arnold Classic in Columbus, Ohio it was the second or third one. It had about a hundred stalls, little booths nothing major, a couple of sports, mostly just a big pro bodybuilding show. But there were people everywhere, it was packed, it was exciting and Arnold walked through and I’d never seen anything like it, you know. And within an hour of being there, I guess that’s what makes some people different; I didn’t think about getting a shirt or some free samples, like watching the sport or anything else. I walked in there and thought “this is what I want to do with the rest of my life, I want to create something bigger, better than this but take it to another level, I want to bring this to Australia.”

And I got to ask Jim Lorimer who was about 60 then he’s just about to turn 90 and we’re business partners now and I got to ask him one question and I said “excuse me Mr Lorimer Sir, when do you start working on next year’s show?” and he looked at me like, what sort of question is that? And he goes “Monday morning” and I never forgot it. And what that did to me it made me think, okay when you’re mature enough and centred enough to realise that the only way you can do this, is when you are ready to devote your life to it. You’re set up well enough and you think okay I can work 364 days straight to make something work, that’s when you’re ready to run an Expo. So then 14 years ago I started the Australian Pro Grand Prix Bodybuilding Show which had never been done out here. It’s now the third longest running show in the world. It’s grown to be one of the really popular ones, but I all I wanted to do with that was copy the theory of building that into an Expo with other sports involved, like Arnold had done. I thought gee if it worked there, and I had been to every Expo and sporting event in the world I could of ever go to but this is the one that stuck in my mind and I thought, I want to do something like that.

So when I created FitX 4 years ago, I just did it with nothing. I had no backup, no sponsors, no financial commitment from anyone. I just had to go around and hustle and sell you know the first hundred booths. Tried to get some sports involved, so I got a few obscure sports involved like; powerlifting and arm wrestling and of course bodybuilding. Some sports that weren’t getting any love or recognition you know, we managed to get 8000 or 9000 people through the first year. But the truth is I gave away about 5000 free tickets and I just hustled you know. But a lot of industry got behind and was said “oh we’ll give him a bit of a go. It’s his first one, it’s not that expensive” they gave me a bit of a chop out. But the second year was tough one, the first year I broke even. Second year oh my everyone wanted blood, everyone wanted me to deliver like you’ve got to have a big advertising budget, so you know I went all out; billboards all over the freeways, TV ads, radio ads, newspaper ads, everything. I spent hundreds of thousands on advertising and absolutely did my balls. So I went from 9000 people through the Expo to 12,000 – 12,500 but I lost, lost $120,000 that year, just lost money I didn’t have you know. And then you’ve got to rob your other businesses and all that and lend money to yourself and take money out of your housing loan and redraws and everything, just to pay your bills. And people go “oh that’s not very economically sound or whatever.” I didn’t go to accountancy school so I just hustle I don’t know any different I got to pay my bills, so I paid my bills, licked my wounds. This is when you define yourself; what do you do, do you hmmm I better give up on that and walk away and cut your losses or do you think “okay gee I learnt a lot this year, I’ll get it right next time around”

So the next time around we went from 12,000-25,000 and actually made a profit and learnt so much, you know it was just incredible. And then this year we went from 25,000 to close to 40,000 so in 4 years its gone 9,12,25,40 it’s the fastest growing sport and fitness expo in the whole wide world. And then I got approached by Arnold’s team. They’ve done the Arnold Classic in Columbus now for 26 years; 3 years ago they decided to take it worldwide because Arnold wants to leave a legacy of making the world a fitter and healthier place and to take the Arnold Classic brand worldwide. So he chose a promoter in Spain, but they started a starter Expo from nothing and they learnt the hard way that that is the hardest thing in the world to do. As I learnt you know you start with something that doesn’t exist, is very difficult.

So the next country Arnold wanted to go to was Rio, so Rio in Brazil. He said this time to his partner go find and approach the most successful sports and health and fitness expo in Brazil and see if they will work together with us to make an Arnold’s Classic. So they did that and those people had been getting about 25,000 to their expo. The first year they did the Arnold Classic they got about 50,000 and they had to turn 20,000 people away it was so busy, everyone just wanted the Arnold thing.

And here’s where it happens, he decided the next place he wanted to do was Australia and fortunate enough for me, I wanted to use the word lucky but I’ll come back to this. Fortunately his team approached me and said “hey you’ve got this successful sports and fitness expo we know all about it” they’d done their homework on me and they knew all about FitX and the fact it was a IFBB pro show tied up with it, it ticked all their boxes. They said “we’d like you to be our Arnold partner Australia. So straight away I thought ‘oh well we’ll start a new Arnolds Classic in Sydney’ and they’re like “no we thought we might take over FitX” and I go “no that’s my baby, no you can’t.” Anyway I sat and thought about it, thought about it and thought oh I’ve got to do the numbers and play with it and sort of played hard to get and knowing deep down that this is the greatest opportunity I could ever have.

And Arnold was my hero, I’m going to be business partners with Arnold and work with him and all this. So I was like “oh I guess we can have a look at it” Arnolds partner Bob Lorimer who’s now a really good mate of mine came out and basically Arnold said to him go out to Australia, this is last January, this January, and stay there with Tony until you sign him up, don’t come home kind of thing. So Bob’s like “well you’re stuck with me” So I went around and showed him all of Melbourne’s facilities and he was so excited, he was like “this is the best city, this is better than Madrid, better than Rio, better than Columbus” obviously he’s got land locked up there. The facilities in Melbourne I took him to Rod Laver Arena, AAMI Stadium, to MCG, to Melbourne Convention Exhibition Centre, to MSAC to all of our great facilities.  I said “one day we’ll have events in all of these” he’s like “I like the way you think, you know let’s partner up.” So became business partners and you know I’ve got just over 8 months to go and I’m further down the track then I’ve ever been before, the response has been incredible. So I’ve raised the bar up even further we are up to now 26 sports in our first Arnolds Classic we should have 10,000 individual athletes which is, you don’t get 10,000 athletes in the Olympic Games with 30 sports. I’m at 26 sports, in Columbus they are up to 50 sports with 18,000 athletes, 200,000 people go through the expo on their weekend.

So that’s where I’m heading I’ve just booked the Melbourne Convention Exhibition Centre right through to 2020. 2017 I take the whole thing, so I’ve gone from 4 bays to 6 bays to 7 bays now 10 bays, the things 20 bays long, so by 2017 I will have all 20 bays. I’m absolutely fixated and driven by this and I’ve put everything into it. But you’ve got to be prepared to work, you’ve got to be, you know one of the things I learnt, I think I heard Denis Pagan articulate it best ‘you’ve got to be prepared, you’ve got to, there’s no point in wanting and dreaming and having this desire. All these people listening are going to be these personal trainers with all this ambition “I want to be the best at this, I want to do that” but it’s beyond that.

You’ve got to be prepared that when you’re opportunity comes, you’re ready to pick up that ball and go you’ve got to you’ve absolutely got to be ready and you can’t just say right well I’m going to be ready but if it doesn’t happen in 6 months I’m going to give up on myself. No you’ve got to grind, you’ve got to position yourself to be ready. So all this time for 25 years, I’ve been positioning myself to get ready to run an Arnold Classic you know psychologically and deep down I’ve programmed this into myself. So when I got that knock on the door the reason they approached me is because I was ready made for them. Now that didn’t happen by accident people say “oh you’re lucky” I’m not lucky I’ve risked everything I lost money, I worked day and night for 4 years I didn’t have a day off for 4 years, you know this I didn’t have a day off for 4 years with FitX. And you know I finished FitX last year and I had to address Arnold and his partner in Columbus and actually talk in front of them for the first time. I’ve now worked with them a lot but it was kind of overwhelming you know and I don’t know what else to say except; I’ll start work tomorrow and I will not stop I will leave no stone unturned I will give this everything I’ve got and I can’t guarantee more than that. And that’s it I haven’t stopped and we’ve got 200 something odd days to go and you’ve just got to work every single one of them.

You know people say “oh I can’t wait for Friday, have the whole weekend off” that’s a lot of time you can be hustling, writing and working. Every week just do the maths why do people limit themselves to there’s only 5 days a week, no actually there’s 7. You know I’ve got a wife and 4 kids I still to manage to spend time with them and be a good dad and all the rest of it. But when the kids go to bed I get on my laptop and I do all of my overseas work, I’ll start at 5 or 6 in the morning and do all of my emails and come in and do a workout and do a gym and work all day and then go home and spend some time with the kids and have dinner and help them with their homework and all that and when they go to bed, I work again. I work til 11, 12, 1 every morning and get up and do it again. And you know that’s what it takes, so don’t just think if you are going to work for yourself and be successful at something. Don’t just think it’s going to be an 8 hour day and you’re going to get every weekend off and get sick pay and holiday pay. Don’t get sick, don’t have sickies, don’t have days off. Work hard, test yourself. That’s all I’ve got to say about that.

58:16 HAYDEN WILSON: And you do test yourself quite a lot, I get the privilege of seeing how hard you work and the relationship you’ve put into place. Just before we take off, what’s next for you? And beyond the Arnold Classic Australia, what else are you sort of concentrating on?

58:35 TONY DOHERTY: Oh worldwide domination, no. Basically look in fact I had to answer this question yesterday in another interview and my answer is always the same “I’ve never been a planner and I am an opportunist” You know I think, this is where we talk about having goals and plans and desires and passion to do things can be really, really dangerous. You haven’t got to put a limit on it and say “I must open 50 gyms to be successful; I must have to have 100 clients before I measure my success, I must have 10,000 listeners on my podcast before it’s any good.”  You can’t put limitations on that, what you have to do is to be prepared ,to make yourself prepared for success and opportunity when it comes.

So when people say “oh what’s next for you” I’ve got a whole lot of plans and everything else, but I just don’t put a limit on it. When I open a new gym for example I never say “oh we have to have another Doherty’s Gym open by the end of the year” What I do is, I just keep my eyes open so then if I see a gym on a great street, in a great location that’s run badly or the people are just sick of doing it or whatever, I see it as a great opportunity. And then I find a way to buy it or I find a deal that can work or something that you can walk into that’s not going to cost a lot, but needs some renovation and a lot of hard work and love. And our most successful ventures have all been those ones. Where we have gone into you that that real estate theory’ worst house on the best street.’ And in my situation I find the worst gym in the best suburb and you know pick them up fix them, brand them as our Doherty’s brand and move on real quick.

I never put that expectation people say “well how many gyms are you going to have?”  you must have a plan and people often in business will say “what’s your 5 year plan” I say “my plan is to work as hard as I can and be prepared, be prepared for opportunity and be prepared and excited about anything that comes along and then find a way. ” But you don’t rush into shit either, you can make mistakes along the way I’ve made a couple, I gee more than anyone. But you’ve got to learn from every single experience, so you don’t make the same mistake twice. People say “so why are you good at what you do” because I’ve made more mistakes then most people. But I do learn from them and you learn and learn. You can’t keep hitting yourself with the same stick because you will end up broke and sad and depressed and that’s no good. So what’s my next plan? I don’t know, I love life I love, gee I’d give up sleep if I could I want to live and pack as much into everyday as I possibly can. I’ve always been this way, you know and we’ll see what happens

61:26 HAYDEN WILSON: Well it’s unbelievable to watch and I am very proud to call myself a member of the team. I just want to say thank you for jumping on the PT Prophet Podcast today. And how can people reach you Tony?

61:36 TONY DOHERTY: Through you (Laughter) Call Hayden, look I am approachable and reachable I always give pretty much anyone a meeting who wants  to have one because once again you don’t know where there is an opportunity or a gold person pops up this and that. People often want to have a chat with me and find out about business, you know I don’t charge people for that or put a limit on that, just time permitting. I’ve always got time to answer an email, they can email me or hit me up on Facebook or they can just go through Hayden, ask me a question. But if you do come into see me, don’t sit there and talk about yourself for an hour, just have some questions ready. And if I can help and enable you to be better at your craft and what you do, I’m happy to share some wisdom and knowledge with you. And I don’t want anything back, if you’re a taker you’re a taker or if you’re a giver, you’re a giver, I don’t care. There’s plenty out there for everyone. So that’s how I can be contacted through Doherty’s Gym, through PT Prophet, through Arnold Classic. Checkout our website, what else can I tell you, be your best, don’t quit.

62:41 HAYDEN WILSON: Awesome brother, well thanks a lot.

62:42 TONY DOHERTY: Cool



*End of interview*


Okay I really hope you enjoyed that interview, it doesn’t matter how many times I hear Tony’s stories I always love them. He is a huge influence on my life and I hope you get the most out of that episode. To learn more and to get the show notes for this episode head over to I will see you over there, make sure you get involved. Have a look at some of the other articles I have over there.

Thanks again for listening get in touch with me I would love to hear from you. Have a good week.


*End of Show*