Talking Money To Us | Wimp to Warrior – John Kavanagh and Nick Langton

HOSTS Candice Bourke & Felicity Thomas|3 September, 2021

Meet your hosts

  • Candice Bourke

    Candice Bourke is a Senior Investment Adviser with over six years' experience in capital markets and wealth management, specialising in investment advice including equities, listed fixed interest, ethical investing, portfolio risk management and lombard loans. She discovered her passion for finance and baguettes, when working and living in France, and soon afterwards started her own business (all before the age of 23). Candice is passionate about financial literacy for women which lead her to co found Her Financial Network, and in her downtime, you’ll find her doing any of the following: surfing, skiing, reading a book by the fire, or walking her black lab, Cooper, with a soy cappuccino in hand.
  • Felicity Thomas

    Felicity Thomas is a Senior Private Wealth Adviser with over nine years experience in wealth management and strategic financial planning, covering areas including Australian and Global equities, portfolio construction and risk management, bonds, fixed interest, lombard loans, margin lending , insurance, superannuation and SMSFs. Felicity started her career in finance at BT Financial Group, speaking to customers about their superannuation and investments. This led to the realisation becoming a Financial Advisor would be the perfect marriage of her skills and interests - interpersonal relationships and economics. She is passionate about improving women’s access to financial resources and professionals, and co founded Her Financial Network. On the weekends you’ll find her on the beach, or going for an adventure with her black cavoodle, Loki.

Felicity and Candice welcome their first guests: Wimp 2 Warrior Co Founder and Head Coach John Kavanagh, together with CEO and Co Founder Nick Langton. The company, is a Sydney-based mixed-martial-art start-up, that delivers the end to end marketing, content, publishing and payments platform for combat sports academies to connect with and monetise 500 million MMA fans, through a curated fitness and lifestyle experience. Felicity is a convert, and can attest to the brilliance of the programme, and throughout this episode they learn more about how the founders came to discover the program, the unique challenges of the pandemic and its effect on a contact fitness startup, and how the’ll use the recent funding to grow the company even further. 

Follow Talk Money To Me on Instagram, or send Candice and Felicity an email with all your thoughts here.


In the spirit of reconciliation, Equity Mates Media and the hosts of Talk Money To Me acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respects to their elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people today. 


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In the spirit of reconciliation, Equity Mates Media and the hosts of Talk Money To Me acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respects to their elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people today.

Candice: [00:00:04] Welcome to talk money to me. I'm Candice Burke. [00:00:06][2.3]

Felicity: [00:00:06] And I'm Felicity Thomas. Talk Money to Me is a podcast where we draw on our extensive expertise and experience to help educate you on all aspects of your financial landscape. Now, today, we have two very special guests, Nick Langton, CEO and co-founder of Wimp 2 Warrior, and John Kavanagh, head coach and co-founder of Wimp 2 Warrior. [00:00:26][19.5]

Candice: [00:00:27] Welcome gents, to the show. [00:00:28][1.0]

John: [00:00:29] Thank you very much. [00:00:30][0.5]

Felicity: [00:00:30] If you're an MMA fan, you should know what Wimp 2 Warrior is as their logo pops up all across the UFC. But for those of you that aren't familiar with the brand Wimp 2 Warrior to is the end to end marketing, content, publishing and payments platform for combat sports academies to connect with and monetise 500 million MMA fans through a curated fitness and lifestyle experience. They believe that the most valuable company in my vertical will be the one that converts the 500 million fans to participate. And look, they're clearly doing something right with the likes of the notorious Conor McGregor and the last day or Bender Israel Adesanya being huge advocates of the programme. [00:01:10][40.1]

Candice: [00:01:11] But before we get into our interview, bear with us. We just need to tick off this disclaimer so our lawyers don't freak out, even though we have registered financial advisors. Please note that this podcast and the content discussed does not constitute as financial advice, nor is it a financial product. The content on this podcast is genuine nature, and you should seek professional advice before making any financial decisions. All right. That's now done and dusted with superexcited guys to have you on our show as our very first special guests, particularly as we wanted to kick start our first interview with a super unique business, which I personally think we have to worry ticks those boxes. So, John, you know, give me your best elevator pitch in terms of what is going to war and what did I what did we miss in the introduction? [00:01:59][47.3]

John: [00:02:00] Oh, no, you nailed it. You did a great job. Just a few of the nuts and bolts of it is that we take a group of people, we start them on the same day. They're going to train for 20 weeks, 100 lessons, and at the end of it, have the option of competing in their first amateur mixed martial arts contest. So that's in a in a box. And it's only when you've gone through that, you kind of really see what the benefits of it are. We disguise a true learning, cool martial arts that almost everybody at some stage in their life had an interest in, whether it's for self self-confidence, whatever the reason is that brought you here, maybe even though you're a bit of a sign of professional fighting and you want to have a better appreciation of it, why they're watching it on Saturday nights are, as is the case with you guys, mostly Sunday afternoons, very jealous of that. So whatever the reason to get you into it, I think it's only when you've gone through it and we have someone here that's more or less that more or less gone through most of it, I think you get to really see what the what the whole point of it is, what what the main benefits of it are. And it's I suppose we'll talk about that as we go on. But it's for me, it's it's all about what's upstairs. [00:03:09][68.8]

Felicity: [00:03:10] Yeah. So I'm solid. I mean, for me, it's the peloton of combat support. As you said previously, I actually did sign up for the twenty week challenge started on the 1st of March with my fight was scheduled for the 30th of July. However, due to the Sydney Lockdown's, which is still currently in, it's been postponed to the 11th of December. But like John said, you know, I think it's fantastic. I was loving every minute of it and I can't wait to get back to the gym. In last week's episode, we gave our listeners some background of the life cycle of a business, early and late stage investing. So, Nick, we know a lot about Terraria as we're both personally invested. But for our listeners benefit, can you give us a bit of background on Wimp 2 Warrior and how you actually got involved with the business? [00:03:51][41.5]

Nick: [00:03:52] Yeah, thanks. We see I got involved in the business, you know, coincidentally as a as a participant, first and foremost. So I first met the creator of Winter Warrior, Richie Karani all the way back in twenty thirteen at that time, just turned 40, was probably sort of looking for, you know, some life changes, new challenges, that sort of typical kind of thing that that happened. See, when you're forty I came across Ritchie's programme. I was already a long term martial arts and mixed martial arts fan. I did a fair bit of judo as a kid, and it was really a wonderful pathway for me to get back training in martial arts. I think it really wasn't long after talking to Ritchie and that I certainly had a view that the sport was growing exponentially. We could see the first emergence of female participation really growing in combat sport. And I really felt the path the UFC has become synonymous with MMI, even as there's lots of other t one of my organisations around the world. But the thing the UFC did brilliantly was they ran towards regulation. They Ren. Towards a mainstream fan base, they ran towards brilliant content by Slaid Marketing, and it was apparent to me that it was going to be a sport that was much more widely watched even back then. And so when I came across Ritchie's programme, not only does decide to do it, I also became his first investor. I co-founded the business and said, look, we don't really know where this is going yet, but I think it's a very special idea. He's a long way between an idea and a business. But in saying that that was that was what prompted me all the way back in 2013 to to first get involved, to first invest more capital and equally importantly, to subject myself to five months of the programme and and and getting the to compete at the ripe old age of 40, which at the time was a record. And now we've had people in their early sixties compete in sanctioned MMI, which is just mind boggling to me. So now I don't feel particularly special at all. [00:06:03][130.5]

Candice: [00:06:03] So I'm going to ask a follow up question. How did you go on on the company? How did you perform [00:06:08][4.6]

Nick: [00:06:09] or did I want a three round decision? I thought I should have finished the fight in the first round. That absolute credit to my opponent, a guy called Stephen Elyssa. He shot a lot of hot in that first round. And then I remember Jonel relate to this, having cornered fighters for God knows how long I sat on the stool at the end of the first round, having literally emptied my tank, trying to finish him in the first. And I was like, I don't think I'm going back half of the second. I think I'm done. I think I'm cooped in my corner, kind of slap me around and got me back out there. And so I managed to get a decision, one which was enormously gratifying. And yeah, we're like literally it's it's an indescribable failing to, you know, to to compete in that cage. I think, you know, we always say, will I say one victory to winners? Anybody who goes through this programme and gets into the cage and competes hands down is an absolute winner. They join as sort of an elite group of people who are prepared to do something so bold. Yeah. So, yeah, so is whilst it was nice winning, it sounds cliche, but trust me when I say the moment you step in that Kijang fortnight you have won. [00:07:27][77.9]

Felicity: [00:07:27] Yeah. 100 percent. I mean I still want to win. No like I still want to actually win, but I'm not sure I'm about to make the second or third round to be honest at the moment. Now John, with such a high profile, I'm sure you had many different programmes. Appreciate. How did you first get involved in limped to where I am. [00:07:44][16.6]

Nick: [00:07:44] So an Irish guy have done the programme in Sydney many years ago, and he came back and he told his coach about it, who was one of my who runs an SPG in Ireland, and he gave me a shout about it. And like you suggested, I did have a number of what I would describe as white collar type boxing, kickboxing, M.A organisations had approached me and at the start I would listen to them, but they were all kind of the same. I was like eight weeks training. You do twice a week and then you have a very hard to watch contest at the end of it. But hopefully most of your office staff are so drunk you don't know what's going on. So I had no real interest in it. I just didn't it didn't represent whatever May was about at all. But when I heard about this programme, you know, Europe of five in the morning, you do this for five months. It's 20 weeks straight true. One hundred lessons. It immediately rang true to me as being something that erm the real point of it all was I wanted someone to get out of them what I got out of it. And that was a massive step up in my self-confidence and in my personal mental health. And I knew you weren't going to get that from ten lessons or twenty lessons. I had to be tough. I had to be hard enough that it would stress you. That would make you uncomfortable, but monitored enough that we would get you through it. And at the end of it, you would get the adaptation that comes from going through a stressful period. And that's really what this whole thing is about. I love that you're really talking about winning your fight on the night, but half the people who do this lose. There's twenty fights. You're going to have many winners and losers. That's just how the sport is. It's binary. Yeah, but really what we're trying to get true across the whole programme is that, yes, you want to be a winner, you want to get your hand raised, but that it's not just about that night. You say, well, is it a failure is not fatal and success is not final. So it's it's to get that true over the programme that we're trying to get you set for other challenges, you're going to miss that you're able to get put yourself in uncomfortable situations to get a positive. On the other side, so, yes, I had been approached by other organisations, which are not either, it's like every city has something like this with the white collar element. But I initially was a customer of Winter Warrior and I just ran a programme just to see how it would work. And within within a few weeks of doing this, I knew this was going to be a game changer for my gym and really reminded me why I got into coaching mixed martial arts. I'm very lucky that I kind of hit all of my pro coaching goals quite early on. And it was sort of like after I got the notoriety for some in some ways and won a bunch of world championships, it was like, well, what is this really about? Is it about spending all your time with a small group of people so that they can win belts and win lots of money? Or is it actually about trying to get the benefits of mixed martial arts training to as many people worldwide as possible? And like I said, when I got through my first season and my inbox was flooded with messages from people saying this was genuinely a life changing experience, they were able to get out of a toxic relationship, go for that job that they were nervous about, you know, face up to some fears in their past that they hadn't really dealt with. I was I was blown away with it far exceeded anything that I thought would come about from this. And I was down and there I sat down with the guys and said, look, I'm in here, I'm in here. This is not I'm not just doing run in the off season in Ireland. I'm like, we're going to the world with this. And I now look here we are talking to you too, lady. So we're on the right track. [00:11:47][242.9]

Felicity: [00:11:48] I can say first hand. I mean, the people in my programme, they've dealt with addiction and they've completely changed their lives, you know, even within the 20 weeks. So it's been amazing from a personal experience seeing these people go through it. [00:12:00][12.3]

Candice: [00:12:00] And what I love about both of your responses just then was like you both tried before you board in the sense that you both were participants. You gave it a go and you understood it's more than just a fitness programme. It's a community. And I think that's the biggest standpoint that's different and really unique about him to worry because anyone can just sign up, right? Pay 30 bucks a month or a week or whatever to a gym membership. It sits in the back of your mind. You don't really utilise it. It's not a sense of community. And I think that's what makes you very different to like, you know, a forty five, for example, or just a regular gym. I remember reading in your deck, you know, and this is where my my comment is. And the question, I promise you is coming. You guys have a really big return retention rate. So what was the stats on that? Like someone will go through your programmes multiple times. [00:12:49][49.0]

Nick: [00:12:50] Yeah, we do have returned customers. I think we've got one person who's come back to do like five programmes. But the really important thing is the amount of people and this is part of our business to business proposition, to the gym sector, is that the amount of people who then transition from doing the programme to stay training in a combat sports academy. And I think that's what's fundamentally different from a fitness experience standpoint, is that you're obviously trying to be getting fit. You know, you're dropping why you're improving your cardiovascular fitness. You're doing it in a boutique fitness environment. The training with friends, training, mixed martial arts is very interactive. A lot of partner Bryce drills. There's no escaping that that sort of level of contact and so on which which they're in builds a really strong community sort of vibe. And then I think the other thing is that martial arts and John's far to answer this than me. But martial arts is a is a lifelong learning syllabus. And so probably the best way I can answer it is not so much personally. But if I look at my three sons, they've been on the jujitsu match the for over nine years now. You know, my fifteen year old twins were promoted to their first adult belts in jujitsu. They blue belts, which, as John knows, this is a significant achievement when you started on the mats at the age of six. And so I think that I've always known believed clearly, John, you know, Ritchie, Ritchie, karate and all the early coaches, they knew the best mental and physical health and fitness product on planet Earth, entire sort of combat sports academy. That is our absolute fervent belief. But what we've had to do through our branding, through technology, through customer onboarding, through all these other elements is make the onramp to get involved and to walk into a combat sports academy for the typical consumer. Make that a lot less daunting, a lot more easy, a much more curated experience. And and that therein lies what we're trying to build globally is these five hundred six hundred million fans of MMI and God knows how many fitness consumers globally, how many of them, through being able to put their toe in the water, consume online content. And all those other elements being slowly tempted towards walking into a combat sports academy, signing up for a beginner's class and then also going all the way to what Felicity's done, which is step into a really intensive 20 week mixed martial arts training programme. So that's really been the face of the business. [00:15:42][171.8]

Candice: [00:15:43] And so a follow up question for you, Nick, on on a business standpoint, you know, once you realise, OK, this is a really incredible programme, I can see some legs here. You know, with your background in finance, what were the business metrics that you were looking out for? You know, you touched on the technology side of things you touch on the platform. Let's pretend I own an M.A. gym. I am my own business on our own staff. You know, pitch to me why I would join went to war. I from a business standpoint of view. [00:16:10][27.2]

Nick: [00:16:11] Yeah. Look, I think and John knows this because he's told to demonises if been through it. At the end of the day, you know, what we tried to do was make licencing our programme as easy as possible and as addictive as possible to the the margin or revenues of the of the combat sports team. So, you know, we didn't go out and say we want to charge a big annual fee or we want to set up a franchise model or anything like that. We said we want to leverage your existing coaching staff. We want to leverage your existing facilities. We want to go and find you a whole bunch of new customers. We want to show you our syllabus. We want to show you our training programmes. They're our proprietary training programmes. You don't have to put a cent out. All you have to do is commit as a licensee to do everything we ask. We're going to source the new customers. We're going to manage all their payments, all the customer onboarding, all that infrastructure, and then we'll retain Aspley. And so when you consider it's just additive revenue to your existing operations and you've got those staff costs, you've got those premises and someone's coming to you saying, would you like some new premium customers? And by the way, if you give them a great experience, you know, somewhere between 50 and 70 percent of the way on as annual members. And then if it's a mom and dad, will their kids get involved? [00:17:32][81.1]

Candice: [00:17:32] They'll be sticky for life. [00:17:33][0.8]

Nick: [00:17:34] Yeah. So when you start talking about that, the lifetime value of a premium customer, which is what we really are bringing to combat sports academies, then it really is a no brainer for the gym to participate. And actually, John and I were talking the other day and he was remarking about how his first couple of series, he was attracting a very different consumer through to W than he was through, you know, who was typically rocking up to his knees, Jim. And those consumers are more valuable consumers to the business owners who Afterpay staff who have to clean mats, have to keep the lights on, pay the electricity bill. So it was really simple process of saying, well, look, all the stuff the gym owners are good at and don't want to do, customer onboarding payments, the online marketing, investing in all those digital elements. How about we do all that? And how about you guys do what you're brilliant at, which is the second I step on the mats and Felicity would know these. There's some there's some pretty rough diamonds. Occasionally they look and then you get to know them as coaches and they technically brilliant and they kind and they get so inspired by teaching. So we want to our business models will keep you in your sweet spot and we'll go and do all the things you that you're not particularly adept at or don't really want to do. And that's really how we built it out. [00:19:04][90.5]

Felicity: [00:19:05] Our head coach is Covid, and that looks scary as hell, except we know that he's a big softie. So I understand from a customer retention perspective, you can't go from training every single morning to nothing at all. You get addicted, you enjoy it. [00:19:21][15.7]

Candice: [00:19:21] And really, you're not just a fitness business, your payments platform, marketing, tech and fitness provider in terms of programmes. So you're not just one size fits all really from from a business point of view. [00:19:35][14.3]

Nick: [00:19:36] Yeah, from from a business standpoint, we we sit at a kind of a fascinating, fascinating intersection of media. So content publishing and marketing payments, which is the core of the payments infrastructure we build to collect payments from our competitors and distribute that to our Juman as we sit at the intersection of the fastest growing and most exciting sport in sport vertical in the world. So in that regard, it does make the that's where what creates a lot of excitement in building a platform that can sort of plug into all those elements and and serve the ecosystem is what I would say. [00:20:19][42.5]

Candice: [00:20:19] That's what we're going to get into. We're going to. Get into the exciting new next steps of growth, but just before we dive even deeper into the value of the business and hear more from Nick and John, let's first hear from our sponsors. [00:20:32][12.2]

Felicity: [00:20:37] John, a lot of people are probably thinking it's probably not the best time to invest in fitness or sports as a past 18 months or almost two years have been really challenging for gyms. We know that you own SPG Island. So how is Covid negatively impacted your gym and went to benefit at the gym? [00:20:54][17.9]

John: [00:20:55] The way the way I'm kind of thinking about this now, we're sort of coming out of it now in Ireland is that it would be sort of quite hypocritical of me that I am the last decade or two. Talking about mixed martial arts is supposed to make you more comfortable in uncomfortable situations. If I didn't see this instead walk for what it was, is that it was definitely challenging. It was very tough. But we're going to get through this, too. Shall pass. Life is going to carry on. So it's just I have a little speech idea of my women warriors and I say that some of the best life advice I ever got was when do you guys remember what Doree told Marlin... [00:21:36][40.8]

Felicity: [00:21:37] From Finding Nemo? [00:21:37][0.6]

John: [00:21:38] Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming. It's always funny because I have like, you know, you're 40, 50 people in front of you. And it was like the toughest guy, Thomas I can going. And I put his hand up. He was like, just keep swimming. I was like, exactly. So we've just for the last year or so, just keep swimming. I say, I change a little bit. It's a little bit different for for mixed martial arts. So I'm going to say just keep breathing. So just keep breathing. I'm moving through. And here's what happened to me anyway as we as we reopened. Is that we hit a world record on the number of people that were showing interest and doing the programme, and I actually have to split it across two gyms. And there were so many people and I have a lot of friends in Dublin and I speak to people from all over the world that have like restaurants that you can poke a table at for the next six months. So there was like this massive almost like a domino effect, this Build-Up of people wanting to interact with humans again, be outside, do something different, not just stare at a zoom screen, punching in the air or doing push ups on their own. So I feel that we're on the other side of the worst parts of this and that especially Ireland must be doing particularly well with with vaccinations. And I read something today that in the world where over twenty five percent will be vaccinated now, you know, I feel that's that's what this programme is about. It's about getting through tough times. What you're going through tough times. Keep going. Don't stop there. Just keep swimming. And that's what we did. We kept our head above water. Actually, just keep your head low. Whatever your fish you get, you get you get the point. Don't do that myself. And I feel we really were we really worked well together in the last six to 12 months, Dollars times where he was feeling the weight and the challenge. And I'm on the phone to him and motivating him and keeping them going. And that it's the same for me. There's times where I'm feeling the pressure of it all and this is going to work. And he's reminding me of our goals and our mission and our mindset. And that was, I feel all that was justified in closing a great round there recently, which Nic did just an unbelievable job on closing around during a pandemic for a combat contact sport. If that doesn't show you what the world sees about this and where this is going to go as we come out on the other side of this, I think that's such a great such a great example of all of what this mixed martial arts is all about, getting through tough times, coming out the other side as a winner. [00:24:08][150.4]

Felicity: [00:24:09] It definitely is. And I guess that's a really good Segway into. We recently obviously spoke to our listeners about why companies decide to write raise equity. So you completed that important growth capital Rand in February. Why did you decide to raise seven and a half million? And what did you use the funds for? [00:24:25][16.3]

Nick: [00:24:26] The great questions that we raised, we raised the money for a number of reasons. No, obviously, twenty twenty was massively disruptive to operations in twenty. Twenty one is continued to be. So we did need to recapitalise the business to ensure that we could continue to grow. So there was there was an obvious need around recapitalisation. But most importantly, we raised the money to to invest in our technology platform. It just became more and more evident that there was just so much more we could do. We had used sort of some trusted tech vendors. We tried to keep our own cost. Bryce is as flexible as possible as all companies do, is they scale up and grow. And and with that in mind, we decide to bite the bullet and rise a larger Bryce capital Ren to really double down on the investment in our own naive tech team, we hired our chief technology officer, James Fleet, who was one of the technology execs who compay the market here in Australia, backing a bit over ten years ago, ten, twelve years ago, and then was also the key to appliances online. So real ecommerce guru, passionate about the sector, too. And James is building a team there. And and so it was really that idea. Okay, well, now it's a stage that we are going to come out the other side of Lockdown's of the pandemic. We're seeing that now around the world as we put programmes back on the match. And and and so it was a it was a great chance to, you know, to to raise that capital. So we were ready for growth. And and we've been growing strongly since since February. So a lot of games, a lot of new licences bought on some UK stuff. So that was the primary reason to to to raise that capital and really get a set for the next phase of our growth. Because if we're going to reach our ambitions that are really significant in terms of engaging this massive, massive global audience of martial arts fans and and fitness consumers, then we have to scale accordingly. And so that's what we're doing. [00:26:46][140.0]

Candice: [00:26:46] And I guess coming back to Australia, Nick, because obviously most of New South Wales and feels like most of Australia is in lockdown. How is the last, I guess, two, three months it went to where he locally? [00:26:59][12.7]

Nick: [00:27:00] Yeah. I mean, obviously it impacts us when programmes are frozen and it impacts the business on an operational and revenue basis, but at the same time, then we're fortunate to have a footprint overseas as we're putting programmes on the map in North America and and in Ireland we've broken a ton of records with, you know, until just the other week, we've got a massive programme running in or a couple of massive programmes running in in New Zealand, too. So that is the benefit of not being subject to the vagueries of any one geography that we have had that. But I want law. I like like everybody in our in our space, in our sector. We're very eager to get back to normal operations. And we see talented 20 to being a more normalised year for the world. [00:27:55][55.1]

Nick: [00:27:56] You know, it's funny. And me and Nick we've spoken about this, but it's almost like that pause in the world really in the end worked out massively to our benefit because I feel maybe Nick will be happy that I'm saying this. But I feel we were kind of grown at a rate that we weren't quite ready for on a world scale. Our team is still so small and we're all still figuring it all out. And it was just starting to rapidly draw so much interest worldwide about this. And Dollars, I remember times where my head was going. If this is in a thousand gyms and the next two months, we're not really ready for that capacity yet. And it was like we hit pause. We had a bit of a reshuffle in the company, even things in my personal life. I got to do some big fights with Connor that would have been very distracting to me if everything else and the rest of my life was going on a full speed as well. Yeah, and this is something I tell my fight team as well as the situations happen, they just happen and then it's up to you what you got. Tell them they can be positive, they can be negative. Don't think about this. You don't if you're in a fight and your partner breaks a rule, the whole defence or maybe just a change of opponent with twenty four hours notice, there's always going to be situations that occur. It's when you get on the other side, if you're going to look back at it and say whether it was positive or negative and really what that's going to come down to is how you dealt with that situation. And I just think we we adjourned the time. We, of course, wouldn't have wanted this to happen. But I feel we're on the other end of it now and we look back and go, we're actually in ten years time, I'm going to say that was the most positive thing that could have ever happened. It sort of got us to pump the brakes on rapid worldwide expansion, prepare ourselves, get some new stuff. A bit of a reshuffle saved my life. I was able to change some things around, so I was able to be more devoted. I have more time to this. And then when we hit play again, now we are ready to go from whatever is one hundred and forty odd gyms to five hundred thousand gyms. [00:30:00][124.2]

Candice: [00:30:00] Fantastic. Well, let's talk about goals now. So like what are the next big things that you guys are aiming to shoot for? The stars like you guys mentioned FY twenty two. It's going to look more normal, you know. Tell me more about the outlook and where you guys want to push this growth, the business to in the next five, 10 years. [00:30:18][18.2]

Nick: [00:30:19] Yeah, from our perspective, we sort of I suppose there's some good proxies. If you think like there is literally tens and tens of thousands of martial arts teams and combat sports academies around the world. So so why why couldn't they be affiliated as a partner with us? And why couldn't we help them with the all the elements we want to do now, obviously, to go from know sick or one hundred and forty of to to tens of thousands. I think there's a great benchmark out there, which is Crossfield. I think they peaked at seventeen thousand cross beatboxes globally. And we certainly know there's a hell of a lot more than that in terms of martial arts and combat sports gyms. So we should have those ambitions. Clearly, it's going to take us to continue to, you know, to ramp a capital programme and continue to deliver on all the things we're doing, really build and scale our technology aggressively over that time. So I think the only way to really break it down, we have some ridiculously ambitious goals in terms of how large we we believe we can build this company. And these companies is surfing some pretty significant tailwinds, theories, billions of dollars in private equity and venture capital. Being invested in mixed martial arts is a vertical because the UFC is out there and at least determined. David, you have arguably with eight, nine, ten billion dollars, always [00:31:51][92.0]

Candice: [00:31:52] Fantastic to have ambitious goals. And clearly you guys have a huge addressable market in the space. So we look forward to following the story as you continue to keep these major milestones. [00:32:00][8.0]

Felicity: [00:32:01] OK, so I want to make a bit of a pivot here. John, tell us a major moment in your life that shaped your career. [00:32:07][5.7]

Nick: [00:32:08] Just just something something like that. What's the most important thing you've got in your life? Well, here's a here's a kind of a funny one as someone goes back to what I said earlier on. But situations happen and it's not till it's all said and done that you don't really know whether that was a positive or a negative. So what got me into mixed martial arts was when I was 18 or 19, I got badly beaten up in and in a street fight, self-defence type of situation. What happened was I was walking down the street with my it was like a 1:00 a.m. go to a taxi rank with my with my then girlfriend. And I saw a guy get beaten up by three or four guys. Now, I done some martial arts in the lead up to this, so I thought it would go like a Jackie Chan movie. And I jumped in the middle, but they didn't all attack one at a time. They had clearly not read the rules of martial arts movies. So instead they just came at me at the same time. And, well, the good the good part was the guy that was getting beaten up, he got away. So I achieved my goal of him getting away. But unfortunately, I got I got pretty badly I got pretty badly beaten up. And after that, I ended up this here's the down part. After that is where I went into like a six month kind of depression period. I wouldn't leave my house, would leave my bedroom. I broke with my girlfriend. I was going through a really, really hard time. And I start looking for different ways to defend myself. So I found I come across UFC one day and I said, this is going to be me for life. I'm going to learn mixed martial arts. The next time that happens, I'm going to be ready. I look back now and I realised two things. One, I wasn't looking to learn how to defend myself. I was looking to get my confidence back. And I got my confidence back to mixed martial arts, because if I ever come across that situation again, I'd call the cops. There was a police station on the other side of the road. I could have just walked over there and came back for four cops. I would have been a much smarter approach to that situation. And the other thing was, is that going through that period, getting humiliated in front of my girlfriend, getting beaten up in hospital depression for a couple of months afterwards, going through all of that, I thought I was in hell. And now I look back and realise that nudged me onto a path that led me to be speaking to you guys today because I wouldn't have started looking for new ways to defend myself. I wouldn't have come across mixed martial arts. I wouldn't have had the motivation and the desire to devote myself to something completely and totally as I did with my alma mater writing back when I was in my late teens and early twenties. So, yeah, what was what? As I was going through it, I thought it was the end of the world and the worst situation I could ever imagine. I look back now in my forties and say, thank God that happened because here I am today said [00:35:04][175.6]

Felicity: [00:35:04] that everything happens for a reason. You know, it really came to fruition for you. [00:35:08][4.2]

Nick: [00:35:09] Well, well, everything happens. Everything happens. And then we assign a reason. So I would just say that there's a little bit different. Yeah, I like that. And when when things happen, it's up to you what you're going to get out of it. And for me that happened and it was the reason for me finding me. And I look back now and realise it was the best thing that could have ever happened. [00:35:29][20.5]

Felicity: [00:35:31] It's honestly not hard to see why John is a fantastic and Intiman coach. That's such an inspirational story and such a great testimonial to the power of this community in this programme. [00:35:41][9.7]

Candice: [00:35:42] And, of course, right where finance podcast. But we love investing and exploring companies that have such a clear human impact, you know, because we believe these companies have the greatest rewards, long term and fleecy. You can attest to that. [00:35:54][12.5]

Felicity: [00:35:55] Yeah, I definitely can. So thank you so much for joining us on our Talk Money to Me podcast. We look forward to following the link to our journey and hope to have you guys back soon. If you'd like to follow John Cavanough on Instagram, it's on the cavanough. And if you want to follow Toria, it's a wimp with the number two. Laria their website is also don't want to worry Dotcom. Now, if you'd also like to get in contact with either candidate or try to find out more about talk money to me, our email and social media details are in the show. Notes below. Until next time. [00:36:26][31.6]

Candice: [00:36:28] Slan, I think that's goodbye. In Gaelic, did I say that right now? [00:36:31][2.6]

Nick: [00:36:31] I'll give you your blue belt. Slan! [00:36:31][0.0]


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