Michael Sena was a legend… in his own mind. As a former bodybuilder turned author turned product creator turned fitness trainer, he considered himself a brand. That’s why the personal training studio he co-owned with his wife, Tina, didn’t feature her name.
The studio, Michael Sena’s Pro-Fit, was established in 2011 and offered small-group personal training for those who might feel intimidated by a larger space. But Michael and Tina were working long hours and not earning enough money because of Pro-Fit’s current business model.
Michael Sena’s Pro-Fit On The Profit
The Profit Season 2 Episode 3
Marcus pulled into the parking lot where Pro-Fit was located and he noticed two things right away: the lot was empty and four of the spaces in the strip mall had “For Rent” signs posted in their windows. Michael told Marcus that what distinguished Pro-Fit from other gyms in the area was the focus on personal service. Marcus didn’t understand why he didn’t see equipment like treadmills and ellipticals, but Michael explained that those machines didn’t mesh with his vision.
As soon as Michael’s wife, Tina, entered the facility, Michael’s ego began to fill up space like an overinflated balloon. Tina was also a bodybuilder, but what she did was “sissy stuff” according to Michael. When Marcus asked why Tina wasn’t included in the business’s name, Michael explained that he was the brand and Tina still needed to earn her credentials.
Marcus asked how much a class cost at Pro-Fit. It was $120 for a four-person class and only two classes could be run at any one time. And classes were scheduled only during the morning and late afternoon since they were closed for four hours in the middle of the day. Marcus thought that was crazy. They could bring in so much more revenue by being open during those hours.
Michael told Marcus that Tina made homemade protein snacks and sold them in the studio, and when Marcus tried one he thought it was great since it didn’t have a traditional protein bar aftertaste. If he could help Tina market those bars outside of the business it could add a potentially large revenue stream. Since Pro-Fit was earning only $50,000 on an average annual revenue of $429,000, it was clear to Marcus that they had to find new ways to make money.
Marcus Makes Two Offers
At lunch the next day, Marcus sat across the table from Michael and Tina and made his first offer to… Tina. He thought he could help her turn her protein bars into a national brand. He offered $50,000 in exchange for the $50,000 back and then 50% of the business. Michael wasn’t happy with 50% and tried to add his “two cents.” Marcus wondered if Michael wanted his name on the bars, too. After a bit of hesitation, Tina agreed to the deal.
Marcus’s next deal was directed at Michael. He began by saying he didn’t believe in single-use facilities. He wanted Pro-Fit to find a larger space, to buy equipment and offer other types of classes, and to sell juices and snacks. His vision was to create a lifestyle concept that he could brand at a national level. Marcus offered $250,000 for 75% of the business, but Marcus would have to run the show. Knowing he really needed Marcus’s help (and money), Michael reluctantly agreed. Marcus told Michael his first assignment was to try to find a way to break his current lease so that they could rent a bigger space.
Exploring New Avenues
Marcus and Michael looked at a potential new location and Michael was overwhelmed by the size of the space. But Marcus knew he needed all of that square footage to make room for the additional revenue streams. It was going to be a challenge for Michael to accept that things would have to change.
The next day, Marcus brought in some of his ad agency employees to discuss packaging for Tina’s new brand. During their meeting, Michael was lurking around and seemed annoyed he couldn’t be involved in the discussion. Marcus had wanted Michael to focus on the gym while Tina concentrated on the snacks, but Michael was having a hard time giving up control; he wanted his hands in everything.
Despite being told to focus only on the gym, Michael accompanied Tina to a work session Marcus had set up at a bakery he owned in Chicago. Tina was there to learn how to mass-produce her protein bites, so why was Michael there when he should have been taking care of the studio and trying to get out of the lease? At the end of a long day of baking, Tina finally stood up to Michael and told him she had done so much to help the business – why couldn’t he support her for a change? Michael told her she talked too much and that he hoped her baked goods burn. It seemed obvious that Michael was jealous of his wife’s success.
Michael met with his attorney who said there was absolutely no way he’d be able to get out of the lease. When Marcus learned about this, he accused Michael of not putting enough effort into the one job he had to do. Why hadn’t he contacted a realtor to see if the space could be sublet? Marcus was frustrated and angry and realized that Michael had never intended to change the business model. Marcus called off the deal and walked out.
Perhaps Marcus’s exit was a wake-up call for Michael. He suddenly had a change of heart about Tina’s role in the business and created new signage and marketing materials that featured both of their names outside and inside the studio. Tina was thrilled, and when Marcus saw how Michael had changed, he decided to help the business succeed in the existing space. He offered $100,000 to renovate the facility and to try to incorporate many of the same elements he had planned for the larger facility.
But Michael changed the floor plan Marcus had carefully designed to make the work-space flow properly. Would Michael ever learn how to take direction from someone else? They would just have to make it work as is. As it turns out, they were able to sign up 100 new members and it looked like Tina and Michael’s Pro-Fit was on its way to becoming successful.
Plus, a meeting with the Chicago-area grocery chain, Mariano’s, netted a deal for 3,000 packages of Tina’s protein bites. Things were looking good for the Senas.
Pro-Fit After The Profit
Pro-Fit stayed in business for about two years after the renovations, and while it looked like Tina’s protein bites – eventually labeled Pro-Fit Protein Bars – would take off after a deal was signed with GNC, the product doesn’t appear to exist anymore.
But the Senas have moved on. They now own a company called SenaSational Life, which purports to be a place where you can find honest, accurate information about fitness, as well as guidance for living your best life. But the URL indicates it’s primarily a CBD oil company.
In additional to SenaSational Life, Michael’s LinkedIn page states he’s currently working as Director of Education and Sales at a company called Script-Ease. That business is aimed at helping senior citizens manage their daily medications.
The Senas made another big change in their lives: they moved to Texas. According to a YouTube video Tina is promoting on her Instagram account, Michael does travel quite often for his job at Script-Ease. Maybe the husband-and-wife team will see their working relationship improve with some time apart. Tina likely benefits when she can get out from under the shadow of Michael’s giant ego.
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