New Burn Boot Camp franchisee and former Certified Public Accountant Megan Johnson had long lived in the world of numbers, yet she knew that her real conviction lay elsewhere. The Battle Creek, Michigan resident began taking a closer look at her passions and her plans for the future when her mother passed away from cancer in 2015.
“Honestly, what really got me to Burn Boot Camp was my mom,” said Johnson. “She always worked incredibly hard and put everyone before herself. She would work 80 hours a week. I wanted something in my own life that asked for that same level of passion. I wanted something that would let people put themselves first, even if only for 45 minutes a day.”
Then, last year, as Johnson prepared to return to work at her accounting firm following the birth of her youngest son, she paused to reflect.
“I was really thinking big picture and taxes just weren’t what I was passionate about,” Johnson said. “I felt like there was something more, and I just needed to find it. I started thinking about my hobbies and about what would bring me purpose. My biggest hobby was working out, which got me thinking about Burn Boot Camp.”
Although Johnson had not yet attended a camp at the time, she was familiar with the brand thanks to its strong social media presence of “raving fans,” and its connection to her hometown of Battle Creek; Burn Boot Camp husband-and-wife co-founders Devan and Morgan Kline had graduated from the same high school as Johnson.
“I followed them because they’re from Battle Creek, just like me. I started thinking, “Maybe I could do that,’” Johnson shared.
Johnson and her husband decided to take the plunge and are now on track to launch their Burn Boot Camp Battle Creek location in mid-July. When asked what it was about Burn Boot Camp that really spoke to her, Johnson is emphatic.
“From following Burn on social media, you immediately feel the passion. I could tell that what they believed in was what I cared about in my own life,” Johnson explained. “Burn is about total health and balance, not crash diets. The brand celebrates non-scale victories. It was totally what I believed in. I felt so passionate that I just wanted to sign up.”
The upcoming Battle Creek opening is momentous not only for Johnson, but for CEO Devan Kline as well. Kline grew up in Battle Creek amidst a tumultuous childhood and dysfunctional family dynamics. Throughout the hardship, Kline found meaning in sports and fitness, as well as ongoing support from his future wife and business partner, Morgan. He went on to play baseball for Central Michigan University and the San Francisco Giants, traveling over six years and staying with host families with whom he shared his principles for healthy living and navigating stress.
When his baseball career ended in 2012, Devan felt momentarily directionless, until Morgan reminded him of his achievements and the lightbulb clicked on. The couple reconnected in Florida and they decided to relocate to North Carolina. There, Morgan and Devan began teaching camps in a parking lot, which was the birth of what is now a national franchise with more than 200 locations.
“Coming home to Battle Creek for this opening is truly surreal,” Kline said. “I never thought that a franchise concept that I created would grow so fast or expand to the point that a location would open here, where our lives began. It feels incredibly rewarding not only to have developed a system that I see helping others, but to be able to see that system come full-circle.”
Consistent with Burn Boot Camp’s explosive franchise growth, the Battle Creek location will mark the brand’s fifth in the state, with plans to open another five by the end of 2020 already in the works.
Thus far, Johnson has had the opportunity to connect with the Klines on several occasions.
“I first met Devan at headquarters for training,” said Johnson. “And Devan and Morgan were recently in Battle Creek. We got to tour my location, which was amazing to have them in the gym with me, and they were so excited to have a Burn where they grew up.”
In preparation for her Grand Opening, Johnson is building brand buzz through offering a Free 30-Day Trial for early bird members and preparing her gym location at 5700 Beckley Rd., Suite B2, near Battle Creek’s well-trafficked Target.
“I am so excited to change people’s lives and to contribute to the overall health of the community of Battle Creek,” Johnson said. “I can’t wait to go to my job and not have it feel like work. Burn Boot Camp gives me purpose and serves as a great example for my kids, too.”
Asked to name the most meaningful lesson she has learned in her journey to ownership thus far, Johnson spoke to the degree to which Burn has inspired her to claim her passion.
“It’s important in this one life to follow what you want to do,” said Johnson. “I’m 37 years old and a CPA but that doesn’t have to be who I am for the rest of my life. Life changes and you’re OK to change, too.”
The startup cost for a Burn Boot Camp location ranges from $148,830 to $353,150 with a $40,000 franchise fee. For more information about franchising opportunities with Burn Boot Camp, please visit https://franchise.burnbootcamp.com/.