637
11 min 38 sec

Jiu-Jitsu Instructor Pins Down Mobile Workout Tool

An unconventional workout tool becomes a hit on Kickstarter, then goes on to earn $20,000 a month for its creator.
Crowdfunding Fitness High Profit Manufacturing Product

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What It's About

Inspired by his coach, a Jiu-Jitsu instructor takes his training to the next level.

Business Model
Manufacturing
Skills Required
Design & Experimentation
Complexity
Medium
Profit Potential
High

Words of Wisdom

If you’re going through a manufacturer, Jason recommends having a set of questions ready to ensure you’re working with a real factory and not just a third-party company who’s just out to take a commission.

Fun Fact

This is Jason’s second fitness based side hustle. His first was creating grappling equipment for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu!

Notes from Chris

Episode 637
Jason Gulati still remembers the moment he saw the most amazing training tool. He was a teenager in a gymnastics class, and his coach wheeled out what can only be described as a contraption. It was a large, flat block of wood which lay on the floor, with two metal poles standing out up to waist height. Each pole had two smaller but thicker wooden blocks at the top.

His coach began to balance his weight on the blocks and contorted his body in strong and powerful ways; handstands, dips, levers, and v-sits. He could do them all using only this simple too. And, when Jason finally got his turn to play with it, he instantly fell in love with it. But, being a teenager, he didn’t quite have the money to get one. So, he’d have to wait a few years.

Fast forward to adult life, where Jason, who was then working as a full-time Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu instructor, had a little money in his pocket. He decided he wouldn’t just buy one of these training contraptions—which he discovered are called Handstand Canes—but instead, he’d build his own and improve on the design.

He wanted to replicate the same tool but make it suitable for home use. Meaning it would need to be lightweight and collapsible so that it could be easily stored under the bed or transported to your favorite workout spot.

He found some DIY YouTube videos on how to create handstand canes and spend his free time tinkering with the design. When he finished, he showed his fitness friends what he’d created, and they liked his design. A handful of them even asked if Jason could make one for them, too.

This was when he was struck by his business idea. As he was whittling away pieces of wood, he thought if his friends were asking him to create the product, there had to be more people out there who would want this. So, he began to look at how he could create this product at scale. And in order to do that

After a few weeks on Kickstarter, Jason had smashed his target and raised $84,000 for BaseBlocks. There was a clear market out there dying to get their hands on this cool piece of equipment.

He experienced some pretty real setbacks when it came time to getting product from his manufacturer on time, but it was all worth it in the end. These days, Jason is selling around $20,000 in stock per month, at around a 40% profit margin, through his Shopify website ($8,000/month in profit). His orders from China are much more frequent and reliable than in the initial set up process, and he’s got it down to a formula.

By facing the challenges head-on, he persevered and saw his fitness product earning sweat equity and a lot of cash month after month.

 
  MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

  • BaseBlocks: Up your training game—learn more about BaseBlocks over on Jason's website!

  • Alibaba: The platform that Jason used to locate a manufacturer for his BaseBlocks
  • Kickstarter | BaseBlocks: The Kickstarter campaign that Jason started to fund his BaseBlocks
  • Unbounce: The platform that Jason used to create a series of landing pages and email sequences to determine what kind of buyer he should be targeting with his ads

SEE ALSO:

Inspiration is good; inspiration combined with action is better. Now get back to work!

Yours in the revolution,

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Resources

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Quote of the Day
"Start lean, and keep that super lean mindset no matter how big you get."
—Jason Gulati #SideHustleSchool

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CRAZY ENOUGH TO WORK

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When the rest of the world is still zigging, some companies know when it’s time to zag. Elizabeth Banks has teamed up with State Street Global Advisors to make a series of podcasts and films that uncover the bold moves mid-cap companies make to thrive and survive.


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To infinity and beyond,

Chris Guillebeau