How Paying "Extra" Pays You Back…

In Personal Branding
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I joined a gym called David Barton Gym in South Beach ten years ago. 

It looked and felt like a nightclub on the inside. 

The employees dressed in going-out clothes — six-inch heels, short skin-tight dresses. It was a sexy place. 

Membership costs $150 a month. 

I’d never paid more than $30 for a gym membership. But DBG was the only gym that was reasonably close to where I was living at the time. 

Even as a paying member, I still — at first, at least — had no idea what made this gym worth its price tag. 

Weights… cardio equipment… OK, the pool is cool… but $150? 

I didn’t see what the big deal was. 

I decided to give their yoga and Pilates classes a try since they were part of this seemingly-overpriced membership. 

The yoga class was about what you’d expect. A lot of attractive women, yes, but that was normal for Miami. I didn’t need yoga to meet females. I didn’t do yoga again. 

In Pilates, though, the movements were actually HARD.

Pilates is a core-based class. I was an active pro athlete. I had an impressive 8-pack stomach — and I just couldn’t do some of the moments.


The class was mostly women. The women were doing stuff that I couldn’t do. The instructor was a woman, and she not only talked us through everything — she was DOING the movements while talking the whole hour. 

It was impressive to say the least. 

After that first class, a bunch of the women crowded around the instructor to talk. I wanted to wait to talk to her, but didn’t have time to wait. 

I went and looked at DBG’s class schedule to find out her name. 


I saw that she taught that class twice a week — Tuesday and Thursday — and made sure I was at the next one. 

I went to that class twice a week for a couple weeks. 

One day during class, while doing all the moments as usual, Maria made an off-hand comment that she often trained athletes. 

After that class, I approached her as we spoke briefly. 

She was from Pennsylvania, just like me. 

She had even attended Penn State Altoona, like me. 

And yes — she did still work with athletes. She liked that better than teaching Pilates, as a matter of fact. 

Maria became my trainer. Her instruction extended my basketball career. 

We made a ton of content together that went up on YouTube. She authored a couple of my off-court basketball training programs. 

My relationship with Maria was worth a lot more than $150/month.  

That’s not to mention the NBA players, reality TV stars, rappers and other folks I met at David Barton. 


Here’s one thing that happens when you pay more for a better version of something: you meet other people who do the same thing. 

And people rarely do things one time. Those who pay more for a gym pay more for other things, too. 

Their food. Their excursions. Connections. 

This isn’t about money. It’s about mindset. 

Investing a bit more for better things isn’t about how much you have to spend. It’s a way of thinking. 

One more thing. 

Often, there is no immediate, tangible benefit to joining a gym for $150/month, buying a ticket to a conference or upgrading to first class. 

But the habit — the mindset of it — changes your life in ways that you don’t see from the outside looking in. 

When you don’t invest, you’ll have a hard time selling. It’s just a law of the universe. That’s why I wrote The Seller’s Mindset, and you can get it here: