Business Launch Podcast
Changing Lives One Black Belt at a Time with Sensei Josh Marks
November 27, 2022
Carlo Selorio sits down with Sensei Josh Marks, the owner of Black Belt Martial Arts Hornsby and shares his story on how he started a Martial Arts Business starting from humble beginnings to growing a community of martial artists who give back to the community. Top 3 Advice for Martial Artists, Entrepreneurs and Business Owners Recommended Book. Atomic Habits by James Clear Sensei Josh Marks' handles below: Website: Facebook: Instagram:
 Sensei Josh Marks Interview

[00:00:00] Carlo Selorio: Hey everyone. Is Carlo here from the Business Launch Podcast? I am really excited to have my guest today. He, I've worked for him and he's actually a good friend of mine and he is really great person. Um, it's, uh, See Sensei Josh Marks, He's um, he's had a really good business here at my area at Hornsby and doing really well, um, really with the actual community itself.

[00:00:31] Um, welcome sensei. Josh. 

[00:00:32] Sensei Josh Marks: Thank you so much for having me, Carlo. It's great to see you again. Yes. And um, yeah, just an absolute privilege to sort of get a chance to have a chat to today. 

[00:00:39] Carlo Selorio: Yeah, it's been. Years to actually, not, not, Is it years? No. Yeah, it would be cuz 

[00:00:45] Sensei Josh Marks: of Covid. I think it'll be close. Yeah. Yeah.

[00:00:47] Maybe, maybe close to a year now. Yeah. Yeah. 

[00:00:49] Carlo Selorio: So it's, um, I, I was working for Sensei Josh, um, uh, just before Covid, the last covid hit, and it's been, it's one of my best experience working with him and the team. Thank you. A BBMA [00:01:00] Hornsby. Um, since, uh, what's, uh, tell us a bit about your background, where you grew up.

[00:01:04] Sensei Josh Marks: Um, Sure. So, uh, I grew up in the Hunter Valley, um, in a, in a town called Musslebrook. Um, and lived there until I was probably about 12, 13 years of age. That's, that's when I first started martial arts as well. Um, which is of course my sort of vocation, um, now. And, um, yeah, so I, I grew up in the Hunter Valley and then ended up moving to, uh, Singleton for about a year, and then after that moved to the Central coast, uh, in Gosford.

[00:01:23] Yeah. Um, Just lived a pretty, you know, stock standard life, I guess. Um, you know, went to school just like most other people, but, um, but, but martial arts has always been a big part of my life as well. Um, from about the age of 11, um, I was picked on and bullied a lot at school, and that's what kind of started everything as a, as like the catalyst for getting it all to sort of of happen.

[00:01:38] And, um, you know, of course it took over many, many other aspects of my life as. So, and that's, that's kind of where it all began, I guess. Yeah. 

[00:01:43] Carlo Selorio: Yeah. Well, before you started business, um, what, what were you doing as a, when you first started your working career? 

[00:01:50] Sensei Josh Marks: Um, so when I left high school, I was unsure about what I wanted to do.

[00:01:53] Um, so I got a job in a coffee shop. Worked there for probably, I don't know, up to about five years. I think it was close [00:02:00] to, um, I ended up doing, A sort of course to get into uni. Went to the University of Sydney for about a year. Um, was studying psychology and um, like science, like doing a double degree in both those two areas.

[00:02:11] And uh, then I ended up being sort of running into one of my martial arts teachers who said that. She had a, uh, job going and asked me why I was still in the coffee shop, still working there and I could be doing something so much more interesting. So, So, funnily enough, I jumped across and started like working there, um, for that school at the time.

[00:02:26] And, uh, then decided to stop uni and, uh, just put that on hold. I thought cuz I was enjoying it so much and thought while I was young, I might as well sort of, you know, throw myself into a. Um, sort of arena. Yeah. And, um, and it really did turn into being sort of a real life passion. And, and yeah, that, that was, I kind of worked for them for a while and then eventually decided that I'd like to own my own school and, uh, you know, worked, worked with, um, Liz Mahler, my master teacher.

[00:02:49] On sort of developing a sort of a school under her sort of branding black belt martial arts. Yep. And we opened that in Hornsby a few years later. So I had a brief stint working in construction to save cash for the, for the [00:03:00] business in the first place too. So I think I worked, um, for about four years, but in that industry.

[00:03:05] Um, and then it's been, you know, basically martial arts school since, so I think we started in 2013. 2013. I know. So yeah. 2013. Yep. Yes, I 

[00:03:15] Carlo Selorio: remember those 

[00:03:16] Sensei Josh Marks: days. Yeah, that's right. That's right. Yep. Small 

[00:03:19] Carlo Selorio: beginnings. Yep. Small beginnings. And it's, um, evolved ever since. Um, yeah. In terms of before you started owning, how long were you doing both construction and working at the same time?

[00:03:33] Uh, starting your own? 

[00:03:34] Sensei Josh Marks: Yeah, I took a structured approach to sort of jumping into the, the, the school owner, um, sort of space. So I, I started part-time a few nights a week and would work full-time and then in the evenings, you know, jump across to a school hall essentially to teach. And then, you know, just slowly as the student base increased, Um, you know, we just added an extra day.

[00:03:51] Um, and then after we added the extra day, then sort of got to a crunch point where I had to kind make the decision, do I want to sort launch full-time or do I want to keep it sort of part-time? Yeah. So, um, yeah. [00:04:00] And then from there, you know, we've had a few venue since, and with each venue increase we've, we've, we've dramatically increased our student base.

[00:04:05] So, yeah. Yeah, it's, 

[00:04:06] Carlo Selorio: um, it's a really great community, great great teachers sensei, Josh, and. Since, say, Jordan over there, so, Yep, that's right. Yep. Um, they, they're doing a really good job with even adult, adult classes and the kids' classes, so, um, you guys should go check it out for those people living at, at Hornsby, um, what were the big wins early on that made you realize that?

[00:04:26] Your business was gonna work for you. I know it was, it was a balancing act at one stage. It's 

[00:04:31] Sensei Josh Marks: really interesting, actually. There's, there's lots of different ways that you could approach starting a martial arts school. And I went, as I said, the part-time route, like the satellite school route. And that was with a lot of, um, talking with my master teacher about it.

[00:04:42] You know, that's how she started back in the eighties and, and, uh, I thought this was a good, good thing to do. But one thing that sticks out, I went to an industry, um, sort of martial arts industry. Um, sort of conference a weekend thing once, and I spoke to a quite a prolific martial arts teacher named, uh, Fred De Palmer, who owns, uh, martial arts schools in America.

[00:04:57] Um, very successful ones as well. And I spoke to him and I said, What would you, you know, what's the biggest [00:05:00] piece of advice I could sort of take on board, um, as a, as, you know, as a, um, someone who wanted to do part-time, you know, martial arts at first, Like what's the big, big piece of advice? And he said, Don't do it..

[00:05:09] He actually said part-time will get part-time results, full-time will get full-time results. And um, the reason I bring that up is because at the time I thought, well, you know, , I'm not gonna do that. I gotta, I I'm not gonna, I'm not willing to make that big commitment yet. And, you know, I'll get there when I get there.

[00:05:21] But, uh, his, his words really ring true to me now in that as soon as I launched. And went full time and had a proper venue, even though it was a little small place, it just changed my mentality. And you go from having so many different areas and uh, that you're sort of focusing on here, there, and everywhere.

[00:05:36] And it really allowed me to focus on my business. And, uh, and that was the, the first really big, big success. And so that, that early big win of kind of going, Oh, he's right. When you dedicate yourself a hundred percent to something, that's where you really beat the rewards of it. Um, that's, that's, that's what I noticed.

[00:05:50] And so I think that that was solidified when we then moved venue cuz we sort of capped that, you know, we could only get so many people back in that small space to start with. And when we moved to a new facility, it was three [00:06:00] times the rent and we needed, you know, to double the student base in a certain time.

[00:06:03] And that became a new catalyst again for being able to like jump up to that next level. And you know, we then mirrored the same. What was that four years ago to a brand new facility again, and, um, that, that was the big jump for us. That's, we went from just being a sort of a martial arts school to one that's pretty prolific in the area.

[00:06:20] Carlo Selorio: Yeah, it's, I'd say it's one of the biggest, if not, Yeah, I think 

[00:06:26] Sensei Josh Marks: I was just gonna say, at our height, uh, each one of those jumps, we went from about 40 students. Then we went to about 130 students. Then that went to about 200 and probably like two 60 students. And then, you know, now we're sitting at about four, I think about 470 people at the moment.

[00:06:41] Yeah. Um, and of course Covid had a bit of an impact on that too. Yeah. But, but, but we're sort of of back. Sort of boomy again. 

[00:06:46] Carlo Selorio: Yeah. Yes. It's uh, I think a lot of business I've spoken to had a lot. Problems with, with Covid, like a lot of their business got shut down or didn't know if they were gonna survive or not.

[00:06:58] Yeah. It was 

[00:06:59] Sensei Josh Marks: very 

[00:06:59] Carlo Selorio: scary. [00:07:00] Yeah. Yeah. On the flip side, since they, what events happened where you weren't so 

[00:07:05] Sensei Josh Marks: sure? Yeah, so Covid smashed us. Um, Covid, Covid like obviously scared everybody in the, in in sort of our industry and we were lucky to have developed really good relationships with our, with our, with our clients and with our students.

[00:07:16] And so because of that, we had a large proportion of them, you know, continue to support the school. Um, we were very quick on our feet and went straight to online classes and we were offering above and beyond what I think most, most places sort of provided was like 24 7 martial arts classes online. Um, we really tried to keep our student base engaged.

[00:07:31] Of scary times. And so when you just watch something that you've built for, you know, six years or seven years and you've sacrificed so much for just like literally slipping through your fingers and all of the people who seem to be so supportive or so nice to you, you know, they started to become really fearful as well.

[00:07:48] And because they were so fearful. We got to see like the, you know, the worst part of those people as well. Like they were abrupt and they were sharp and we were getting hundreds of emails a day asking questions about this and what we're gonna do about that. And, you know, [00:08:00] so it turned into a pretty, pretty full on time, um, where there was lots of correspondence and we were just working harder than we've ever worked just to be able to maintain the best service we possibly could.

[00:08:10] And, um, and that was, that was really tricky because we really started to question like, Are we making the right decision here? Because so many people were hurting, so many people were losing their jobs. So many people were in isolation from their, you know, friends and family. And so, so that was, that was tricky.

[00:08:23] Um, and because we're, we're big heart first people, as you know, Carlo, we're all very softhearted. We care a lot about our students. It was, that was probably the toughest thing to, to deal with is just, you know, being. Exposed to sort of, you know, all of those emotions, you know, firsthand. Yeah. Yeah. 

[00:08:37] Carlo Selorio: So, um, it was, it was, I know how you and Sensei Ann work and how much you give to your, your students or your clients, and I've seen it firsthand, you, you, to all your employees as well.

[00:08:49] You actually did whatever you can to make sure that everyone was treated well. And so everyone was equal and everyone was gave, you, gave a time of day for [00:09:00] even your students, even hard, hard 

[00:09:03] Sensei Josh Marks: students. . Yeah. And, and it's probably a good point that you bring it up too. Another just a, a bit of a jam for a piece of advice that I'd give would be definitely look after your staff.

[00:09:12] Mm-hmm. . Um, I think as a business owner, if you invest in your, in your staff and they're happy, then they'll have a much. Chance of doing a good job. Right? And so if they're happy and they're doing a good job, and the customers your, your clientele definitely feel it. And so for us, you know, I was, uh, very quickly introduced to that concept of, you know, actually the customer's not always right.

[00:09:29] Sometimes you have to, you know, invest in your staff as the primary thing. And, uh, uh, then what happens is the customer base does come to you are the people that like your staff. They're the people that appreciate your staff. And if they're at their best, then you know, you're, you're much better off than trying to.

[00:09:43] Constantly push your stuff all the time, right? Yeah. Next, 

[00:09:47] Carlo Selorio: it's, um, it's something that you and the team live by, and I think it's just why your, why your business is growing still to after all the three, How many Cs [00:10:00]

[00:10:00] Sensei Josh Marks: it was over was over like three or something. That's right. Three lockdowns. Yeah, three 

[00:10:03] Carlo Selorio: lockdowns.

[00:10:04] But, um, with all the hard work, we, you were able to maintain the. The clientele that you've had and the members that you've had? Yeah, because of just the passion that the group have has had. 

[00:10:16] Sensei Josh Marks: Um, we we're, we're we're also very lucky in cuz we're part of a group, like, as I mentioned before, my, my martial arts like master teacher, um, you know, she and all the other school owners that are affiliated with the black belt martial arts brand really came together as well.

[00:10:27] So not only do I like, you know, wonderful students and good staff members and a great business partner, I also have a broader. Our community too. And so we, we, we sort of all knuckled down together and did what we could. And, you know, out of that has come some really wonderful things, including like online training portals and, you know, uh, you know, very competent sort of zoom skills and, and online teaching skills.

[00:10:44] And, and so we, we all came together. Really well with that. And I think that was the other huge win for me is that I had a support cast with, which is not just, you know, my staff and, and, you know, my business partners, but also other peers in the industry and, and, you know, mentors in the industry too. Yeah.

[00:10:58] Carlo Selorio: Um, what makes your, your [00:11:00] business, your martial arts business different to? Oh, so what makes it stand out compared to other competitors? 

[00:11:06] Sensei Josh Marks: Um, look, the, the martial arts world is really, really broad, right? Like, you can have full contact martial arts schools, You can have, you know, um, you can have, you know, jujitsu and grappling schools.

[00:11:13] You can have striking schools. You can have people that are, and, and people are looking for different things, right? So for us, we just want a clear message and I think. Uh, that, that clear message of what we care about is, is what separates us from, from a lot of other people in that we don't try to cater for everybody.

[00:11:27] We're quite upfront in the first place and say that what we care most about is sort of of the transformational value of the business itself. Um, Oh, sorry. Of the, like, the service that we provide and that we believe that, you know, karate, black belts or kickboxing, black belts can. You know, sort of community changes and, uh, and what you go through as an individual will have this impact on your social life will have an impact on your family life, your, you know, your community around you.

[00:11:47] And so we, we really are passionate about trying to be the best we can be, encouraging and supporting people to be the best they can be, and then sort of challenging each other to, to continue to grow and improve and, um, You know that that [00:12:00] kind of messaging, I think, and that focus for us just kind of distills the population that people are interested in that stuff.

[00:12:05] And so, you know, we, we could choose to go competitive. We could choose to go into all of these different arenas, you know, for competition or tournaments or all of these other things. But for us, really, I think the thing that separates us in our community in that Hornsby area is just that our focus is on, you know, improving as human being.

[00:12:20] Yeah, and trying to help, you know, young kids, you know, to be able to be the best they can or the, you know, the adult mom who's, you know, newly widowed to, to, you know, get some confidence back in the life and, you know, community around you or help and support us. So that, that's really where our big focus is.

[00:12:33] And it's not all about the kicking and punching, right? Yeah, no, and that's a, and that's a line that we use all the time for, It's, it's about like constant, never ending improvement and, and really looking at yourself, and I don't think there's. Um, sport or another activity you can really do that's as confronting as fighting, right.

[00:12:47] As you know, Carlo. So when someone's punching and kicking you, it's hard to be your best. Yeah. And so you get to know yourself on a level that's, that's quite revealing and, um, that allows for us to, you know, to grow. And that, that, that's the mentality and the focus that really, I [00:13:00] think, separates us. Yeah.

[00:13:01] Yeah. 

[00:13:01] Carlo Selorio: It's, it's very. You can actually tell with the students, cuz I've, I've worked for you. I've, I've, I know who your students are and the people that's in that community and it's still, it's still growing. And all the black belts just, that's risen to what they are now. And the people that they have, they've changed you.

[00:13:21] You're changing a lot of lives that way as well. Um, so. What ma, what motivates you daily since. So 

[00:13:27] Sensei Josh Marks: it's interesting. I think it changes. I think it really does change, and I think it needs to evolve as like you as an individual evolves too. Um, but, but the big things is just the people. Like, you know, when you walk into the, the school and you are, you know, you talk, sort of turn the lights on, you're preparing your class plans and you're talking to stuff and you're getting everyone together.

[00:13:42] That's when those first kids walk in the door and they sort of, They're like, hi said, say, it's kind of like, there it is. You know? Or it's where the person who sits down and had a chat to you, you know, after class and just goes, You know what? I had a miserable day today. It was just, it was terrible. My, my, my family there was this drama, or I got s laid off at work, or whatever it is.

[00:13:57] And, and we, you know, having that person say to you, you know, I came [00:14:00] here feeling crap and now I'm leaving today feeling like, You know, I've got a complete state change and that's, that's really, you know, getting that little bits of feedback or even talking to someone like yourself, Carlo, who's just been so lovely and so, um, you know, supportive when you hear about our little wins, that, that really fuels the fire for me to keep going and to, to keep investing.

[00:14:15] And, you know, it doesn't matter how hard the days get and how long the days get as a business owner. Um, it just reassures me and makes me go, Yep, that's the path. That's, that's the right way to go. Yeah. 

[00:14:23] Carlo Selorio: Yeah. It's, it's just the feeling of being able to help and yeah, knowing that your students or your actual clients are happy to.

[00:14:33] And you're improving as people as 

[00:14:34] Sensei Josh Marks: well. That's right. I guess the other thing too though, is I, I, I read recently, you know, uh, a sort of an article on how motivation doesn't really exist and that, um, and that it's, that's something that we fool ourselves about, and it was, it was quite thought provoking too, because I think there is an element of like, truth to that in that you, you're not always gonna want to do.

[00:14:51] You're not always going to be able to just motivate yourself. And I think there has to be a moment where you just make a decision to kind of go, No, I'd have to put one foot in front of the other. I have to grind [00:15:00] today and I might not see a benefit today, but it will come and I'm gonna trust in the process, trust in myself, trust in my team, and sort of pull together and just put one foot in front of the other and create some, you know?

[00:15:09] And that grinding is, is, is an essential thing for all business owners, I believe. Yeah, 

[00:15:14] Carlo Selorio: I think it. It just shows, Just shows with, um, the community that you have anyway, um,

[00:15:18] growing up or even in business, who are your influences? 

[00:15:23] Sensei Josh Marks: Um, Oh, that's everybody. The answer is everybody, like, honestly, I don't think there's a single person in this world who you should disregard.

[00:15:31] And so it's one thing I've learnt is that, you know, the most humble, quiet, spoken person is sometimes the most astute, right? And I will regularly is the most astute. Funnily enough, But, but no, I believe in trying to. Make sure that you surround yourself with people who are your peers, people that you respect, who are on the same journey as you.

[00:15:48] People who you know, you, uh, you can sort of bounce ideas off who are pushing or who are, who are, uh, sort of aspiring to be what you are aspiring to be. And then making sure you have a few mentors out there as well. And, um, and for me, you know, the, the biggest mentor would be my martial arts [00:16:00] teacher, like Liz Mahler

[00:16:00] um, and, and her partner Liam Worthington. They, they're definitely huge inspirations for me. Um, but as well as that too, you know, know, my business partner. Anne Russell, she's, uh, an amazing, amazing individual and I'm lucky to have, have, I don't know, entered into a business partnership with her because she inspires me daily, um, and definitely influences me for the, for the positive.

[00:16:16] She comes from a corporate background, and I think the lessons that she's learned in her sort of HR days and management days have been something that I just am so, so thankful for having. Um, and, and it's given me a real head start, you know? And so I think, you know, those, those people in combination have just been.

[00:16:28] Super, super powerful. I'm also a big reader, right? So I'm always reading like books and, and things in the background. And of course there's, you know, your jock Bullit and you know, all of these people who have written all of these different things or, you know, sort of public speakers like Gary V or, you know, I, I've really jumped around the place, um, and, and read lots of different things.

[00:16:44] And they're, they're of course, inspirational in their own right. But I think the meaningful connections, the people that I have seen who have done it before, the people who have. Actually achieved what I want to do and living the life that I want to live are the people that I try and model myself sort of on.

[00:16:57] Yeah. Yeah. 

[00:16:58] Carlo Selorio: Um, yeah, the [00:17:00] Kyoshi um, and since Anne, the, uh, great people Great. Yeah. Great inspiration for me as well. Yeah. So they've, they, they've changed a lot of lives change , 

[00:17:11] Sensei Josh Marks: They definitely, they both, they both definitely have, and they're just so kindhearted, right? And so every time when I find it hard to be that, that, you know, um, you know, sort of thoughtful kind person, I always think of people like that and just go, Yeah, look, you know, that's who you wanna be.

[00:17:22] Like that's the person you wanna aspire to be like. And, and that's what I go with. So, so, yeah. 

[00:17:26] Carlo Selorio: Yeah. Um, Going forward. Um, Sensei Josh, what big goals do you have for for BBMA Hornsby for the next three to 10 years? Um, 

[00:17:34] Sensei Josh Marks: That's an interesting timeframe, um, for us, like in the, in the very, very short term where we're spending a lot of time and effort on team building at the moment.

[00:17:40] Um, one thing about our sort of specific style of martial art is that we kind of have to create our team. Uh, we can't just hire from the open market and sort of say, Hey, look, does anyone out there train in, Shotokan karate familiar with our programs, these self defense systems, blah, blah, blah, this blah, blah, blah, that it's quite difficult.

[00:17:56] And so for us, we kind of have. Create and make and provide the [00:18:00] sort of room to, to build our bench. And um, so we are gonna be spending probably the next, you know, well definitely the next 10 years continuing to do this cuz we know that it's that kind of a long process to be able to do it. Um, because the little kid who walks in, who's 12 years old at the moment will be 22 eventually.

[00:18:16] Right. And when he is 22, who might be a gun teacher. And so for us, we want to invest in those people, continue building them and you know, that's what we're spending a lot of time we've. I think five or six teens who are on our books at the moment, just as casual staff. And you know, even though. They are, um, you know, new to this kind of, this sort of environment.

[00:18:34] You know, we're working hard with them and creating a really positive little community there where they can sort of grow together. And I don't doubt for a second that that'll pay big dividends for, um, Like myself and our business, you know, in, you know, probably about three years, funnily enough. Yeah. I think that'd be a kind of a magical time.

[00:18:48] And for, for me, that's, that's an important part too, is I spend a lot of time in the business and it's hard because you need to spend time on the business, right? So if you, you know, you, you think when you start a business, especially in martial arts, you can be teaching everything. You're gonna be doing this and that, [00:19:00] and it's just, unfortunately there's so many other parts of being a business owner that are just different to that, right?

[00:19:04] So, um, I think if you get caught. That, that low level there, it can be really difficult to, to actually help your business grow. And for us, we know. The growth will happen as a team and, uh, we'll get to a level probably very soon, probably within the next year, where we don't want to grow too much more. I know that's probably a bit weird to say, but we want to get our margins right so that we're living comfortably, that we're living well, Um, of course, that we can provide for the team we currently have.

[00:19:29] But we know we're gonna have to build the team up first before we can look to really, truly expand, you know, our timetables above and beyond 500 students. Um, so for me, I'd like to get to about 5 50. I'd be pretty happy with five 50 students. I think that's a sort of a comfort, comfortable place for us.

[00:19:44] And, um, and then just keep training, keep training, keep training, keep, you know, and, and, and sort of, you know, working with our team. 

[00:19:47] Carlo Selorio: I know you guys have, have got a good leadership program over the, the leadership and you can see from teens like Sensei Jordan who started as a. As a kid now, [00:20:00] 20 plus, or maybe 10, 15 years now working full-time as a full-time martial artist.

[00:20:07] It's um, just a leadership training. Yeah. 

[00:20:10] Sensei Josh Marks: And, and again I'm lucky cuz he started my master teacher's school, right? So he was a student in that arena and I knew of him as a kid of course. And when he got his black belt I was there for it and part of the sort of, you know, those black belt ratings and stuff too.

[00:20:21] But, um, but yeah, I got very lucky to I get to know him, for him to, to jump on board with us and it's just been such a wonderful journey to, to have him and to be able to support him and watch him grow and help him grow. And, you know, we we're good needs now as well too, which is. Yeah. 

[00:20:35] Carlo Selorio: What's your top three advice for aspiring martial artists, entrepreneur and business owners?

[00:20:42] Sensei Josh Marks: Um, Top three pieces of advice. Uh, actually, probably what I was saying before too, make sure that you have, I saw a TED talk on this once. I think it's a wonderful piece of advice. Make sure you have mentors who have been there, done that, and make sure you pick the best ones. Go out of your way to, to find mentors in your life who have done what you'd like to [00:21:00] do, who are excellent in their field.

[00:21:02] Um, the next one is to make sure that you surround yourself with people that are going in the same direction as you. And I think that's, It's just massive because our, the biggest influences in our life is our environment, right? And so who you spend time around is what you're gonna end up like, you know, And I talk to the kids about it.

[00:21:17] Of course, if you spend time a drug addicts, you'll end up a drug addict. But, but it's much more profound than that. And you know, for me, the big success was in finding like my people and those people who have the, the same values, the same, you know, core beliefs, the same principles that they live by, you know?

[00:21:30] These people are supportive. And so when I go, Oh, I've got a great idea. They don't shut me down, or they don't steal the idea, or they don't do those things, they're kind of like, Yeah, so why haven't you done it yet? Huh? And so they're the kind of people that'll push and, and help, help, uh, you know, that, um, to actually happen.

[00:21:42] And, uh, the last part is of that. That sort of little trio there is to make sure you have students and people you're passing it onto as well. Cause the satisfaction you get with leaving a great legacy behind you, you know, that that sort of, I don't know if you, you know, the um, sort of selfish, like giving is is a big thing because you feel so good when you give things to people.

[00:21:57] And so I think having students is, is important too. So it's why I [00:22:00] love martial arts so much is because those three things. Yeah. Right. And so if they are people who are living by these, these wonderful principles, then you kind of got that, You've got your master teacher above you. You've got, you know, you the people who trained by the side, and then you got the people you teach.

[00:22:12] And that's just such a wonderful, self-fulfilling, um, thing. And I think if in any business it doesn't matter if I was a martial arts teacher or whether or not I decided to, you know, go do a joint in some other field, I think I would still maintain and keep those tho that, that framework there in my life.

[00:22:27] I'd go out and find the. I train with people or, or I learn with and, and and surround myself by people that wanna be there and make sure that I pass it on as well. Um, cuz just that process solidifies my knowledge, you know, as well. Yeah. Um, that, that's probably the, the, the big one. Um, another. Always read, always like, always throw yourself into some form of like learning and never believe it.

[00:22:46] You know everything. Because the moment you think you know everything, there's somebody else who's, who's, who's, you know, moving past you. That's true. And so I think staying humble and, you know, I started martial arts teaching when I was young. Right? And so because of that, I was always hearing from people like, Yeah, yeah, you're young.

[00:22:58] Yeah, yeah, you're young. And I thought to myself, [00:23:00] It was grading, you know, it's kinda like, but then I know what I'm talking about. I know these things. I've done this stuff. But, but now looking back, you know, 10 years later, I do think to myself, Oh yeah, I was young. And, uh, and so I think do, you know, stay humble.

[00:23:10] Um, and always listen. And, and I do. I think that's, that's such a big thing has always be listen, always reading, always challenging what your sort of paradigms are. Um, because they can be really limiting sometimes too. Yeah. Um, yeah, I'd say that's probably my, Tips or piece of advice? 

[00:23:24] Carlo Selorio: Yes. Really great, great tips to, to for starting martial artists or entrepreneur or business owner.

[00:23:32] I think you can put them in whatever, whatever work you want to do, and I think that can flow and transfer to whatever you are trying to achieve. Yeah. . Um, how do you, I know you've talked about legacies. How do you want to impact the world and what kind of legacy do you want to have? We, we 

[00:23:48] Sensei Josh Marks: talk about this idea of, um, you know, changing our communities one black belt at a time mm-hmm.

[00:23:52] and we, we really believe it. And so I think having, like, being a sort of linchpin in the community and being a place where people know that they [00:24:00] can, you know, send their kids or that they could join, you know, that's gonna have a positive impact is big, um, for us. I, we, we, we try and do a little bit of charity work as well, and it's, and you know, we offer, um, women self-defense seminars or bully Buster seminars to the community.

[00:24:12] Um, last month I jumped on board. I don't know if you've heard it. There's a, it's called the polished man campaign, which is about, Saw that, Yeah, yeah. Violence against women. Um, and it's all about sort of men stepping up and, and being representative to say, Hey, it's, it's not okay, and I'm gonna stand up and speak about this.

[00:24:26] And so that was great. We, I think I raised like $1,250 or something for that, which was cool. And we're doing a, we're doing a fundraiser at the moment, at the school for, um, a share of Dignity. Like it's in the bag, it's the sort of little hashtag that they go by. But the idea is to fill, you know, sort of of bags for people for Christmas.

[00:24:41] Um, things to be able to help, like homeless women, just have a little bit of dignity, you know, soaps, um, you know, Everything just . It's, it's such a powerful thing. And so for us, we wanna encourage our student base as well as, you know, the people that, um, uh, sort of associated with us to step out of their comfort zones and do good things for other people.

[00:24:54] And I think that's, that's the kind of legacy we really wanna leave, is just one that's positive on our community and one [00:25:00] that helps the community come together. Especially after Covid, right? It's so divided. It's so divided right now, and people really are sort of still feeling it and still struggling and there's a disconnect that's going on with, with them and their communities at the moment.

[00:25:13] And for us, we wanna just sort of help, you know, empower people to get back into that and to. Yeah, Make a difference. 

[00:25:19] Carlo Selorio: It's a legacy that's already starting to make an impact already in, in the community of, of the Hornsby Shire and all throughout the central coast that I've seen from the, the black belt martial arts community itself.

[00:25:33] Um, fun question, and you've already talked about books and reading. If you could recommend one book. For all our listener listeners. What should they read? 

[00:25:46] Sensei Josh Marks: It's a nasty question Carlo cause as I said, like I've read a fair few books. Right. But I could recommend so many like, different genres of books. Yeah.

[00:25:54] Um, because look, cuz it's a business podcast, I think, um, one of the best books that I've read, I read a series of books actually, [00:26:00] like one after another. The just like, were really super powerful. But the, the big catalyst in them, or the biggest one that I found was wonderful was Atomic Habits, um, by James Clear.

[00:26:08] It's a wonderful book. Um, I would, I'd recommend. Everybody. Uh, I think it's one of the most powerful things I've ever read, and that's going for somebody who's read like a lot of books. Yeah. Um, and, uh, it's, he sort of takes you through simple steps to help, um, create, like change in your life. And he looks at habits and how to create them and how to, you know, set them up and, you know, ways that you can.

[00:26:25] Um, like create big change in your life. Cuz generally speaking, your habits are the, like, lead you in certain directions, don't they? That's true. Right? And the thing that is constant in your life, just like your environment right, is, is just so powerful. And so I think that that book was a game changer. Um, it really helped me to create the change in my life that I'd need to and bounce back from adversity as well.

[00:26:43] Um, and it's something that just, I don't know, it never ceases to, um, Have an impact on the people that read it. So, so that's a, that's a big one. And I think it's good for business owners because you can apply it to whatever industry you're from, you know, um, and, and, and sort of set yourself up. You just might to be a little bit creative, right?

[00:26:57] Yeah, 

[00:26:57] Carlo Selorio: yeah, yeah. I'll, I will have to go, um, buy that [00:27:00] book or get it on, I'll get it on Audible as well, so, Yeah. Yeah. It's, um, It's something that I need to do to change a few habits of mine as well. So yeah, it would be perfect, perfect book for me. Um, if the listeners, uh, wanted to touch base with you or wanted to get an advice with you, or even want to go start using bb m a Hornsby or the bb m a.

[00:27:23] Um, family. How can they reach you? 

[00:27:25] Sensei Josh Marks: Um, they can reach us just by googling like black belt, martial arts Hornsby um, he'll come up to our website. It's got like our email address. It's got our phone number. Uh, you can gimme a call or you can give us a, uh, uh, if you flick us an email, very happy to. Um, you know, obviously have a chat and see if we can help each other out.

[00:27:39] Um, but yeah, the, our, our email address at the moment is hello bbm a au. So it's, it's a pretty simple one to remember. Um, but that's, that's probably the easiest way. And, and you know, we do get a lot of emails, a lot of emails on a daily basis. Yeah. Um, but, um, but we will get there if you, if you do reach out and, and send us an email, we'll definitely get, get back to you.

[00:27:56] Yeah, 

[00:27:57] Carlo Selorio: that's, that's. I know the email very [00:28:00] well, . Yeah, that's right. Yeah. Yeah. So, um, what I'll, I'll put that on the show notes and make sure that. We, we champion BBMA Hornsby be here at, um, Business Launch Podcast. Um, any last 

[00:28:09] Sensei Josh Marks: words? Uh, just thank you so much for having me, Carlo. It's so good to to hear your voice.

[00:28:12] So good to catch up with you as well. Uh, I really appreciate it. And look, you know, all the best with a podcast too. I just hope we go so well. I know you're a gifted, talented, loving, you know, guy and I, I just wish you, all of us as you sort of chase, you know, chase this and follow. Yeah. 

[00:28:25] Carlo Selorio: Thank you so much.

[00:28:26] Um, since hey Josh, thank you for your time. I know that you are very strapped for time, , that's not no problem. And um, hope, hope to catch up soon and, um, And 

[00:28:37] Sensei Josh Marks: yeah, we'll have to shoot some hoops sometime too, so That's right. Yeah, for sure. 

[00:28:41] Carlo Selorio: That's right. So , we we're, our team is missing you, so we would love to have you back once, once all the injuries are, are all gone, so sounds good.

[00:28:49] Thank you again, Sensei. You're welcome. And um, and I will speak to you very soon. 

[00:28:54] Sensei Josh Marks: Sounds good bud. I'll talk to you this soon. Have a great day. 

[00:28:57] Carlo Selorio: Have a great day.