Ep. 42 — From Prison to Franchise Success: The Inspiring Journey of Travis Barnes

by | Apr 2, 2024

Welcome to the “Show Me The Way” podcast with David Seitter

In this episode of “Show Me The Way,” Dave sits down with Travis Barnes, the CEO and founder of Journey 333, to discuss his humble beginnings in a FEMA trailer to becoming a successful entrepreneur, motivational speaker, author, and podcaster. They delve into the challenges and triumphs of franchising, the importance of systems, mentors, and the right team.

Ep. 42 — From Prison to Franchise Success: The Inspiring Journey of Travis Barnes

In the world of business and personal development, stories of resilience, determination, and triumph serve as powerful beacons of hope. One such story is that of Travis Barnes, a man who overcame insurmountable challenges to become the CEO and founder of Journey 333, a rapidly growing fitness franchise. This blog post will delve into Travis’s extraordinary journey, highlighting the key lessons and insights that aspiring entrepreneurs can glean from his experiences.

The Unlikely Beginning

Travis Barnes’s story starts in a small town, Sayre, Pennsylvania, where he was born and raised. Fresh out of high school, Travis moved to Las Vegas, Nevada, in pursuit of his passion for fitness. Initially, it seemed like a dream come true. He landed his first job in fitness at Gold’s Gym, a place buzzing with potential and opportunity. However, Travis’s journey took a dark turn as he was ensnared by an unhealthy lifestyle that spiraled into drug addiction and, eventually, prison for a nonviolent drug offense.

A Phoenix Rises

The potent mix of regret and a desire for redemption during his imprisonment ignited Travis’s determination to turn his life around. Upon release, Travis’s path to recovery and success began with a job at a physical therapy and fitness company. There, he quickly ascended to the role of manager, thanks to his work ethic and vision. It was this experience that equipped him with the knowledge of how a business could be systemized and run efficiently, setting the stage for what was to come.

The Birth of Journey 333

Travis’s entrepreneurial journey kicked into high gear when he and his wife, displaced into a FEMA trailer by a flood, decided to leverage their last reserves of hope and start a fitness business. With nothing but an unemployment check and a high-interest loan for equipment, they began Journey Fitness. The business flourished, growing from 14 to 400 clients in a year, and expanding to five locations in under four years. Despite these successes, Travis knew he wanted to impact more lives. The solution? Franchising.

The Franchise Model

Transitioning to a franchise model was not merely a business decision; it was a means to enable passionate fitness professionals to own their businesses while continuing to propagate the proven Journey 333 brand and system. Today, Journey 333 is a beacon in the fitness industry, with locations across several states, and is continuing to expand despite the challenges presented by the global pandemic.

Lessons from the Valley to the Peak

Travis Barnes’s story is more than one of personal redemption; it encapsulates invaluable lessons for entrepreneurs and business leaders:

1.    Embrace Systems and Processes

Efficiency and consistency are the backbones of a successful enterprise. Implementing systems that allow the business to run smoothly without constant oversight is crucial for growth.

2.    Seek Mentorship

Mentors can provide guidance, wisdom, and insight based on their experiences. For Travis, mentorship was instrumental in navigating the challenges of entrepreneurship and franchise development.

3.    Find the Right People

Your team can significantly impact your business’s trajectory. Investing in finding and nurturing the right talent is pivotal for long-term success.

Looking Ahead

With a goal to impact a million lives, Travis Barnes and Journey 333 are on an upward trajectory, demonstrating the transformative power of resilience, leadership, and vision in the entrepreneurial landscape. His journey teaches us that adversity can serve as a powerful catalyst for change and that the depth of one’s struggles can indeed determine the height of one’s successes.

Whether you’re an aspiring entrepreneur or someone looking to make a significant life change, remember Travis Barnes’s story. It’s a vivid reminder that, no matter where you start or the obstacles you face, with determination, support, and vision, you can achieve incredible heights.

For anyone drawn to the compelling world of fitness and entrepreneurship, Journey 333 stands as an exemplary model and testament to what is achievable when passion meets purpose.




To reach out to Dave for advice or consultation, please visit www.davidseitter.com or email him at dseitter@spencerfane.com



This podcast is provided for educational purposes. It does not constitute legal advice and is not intended to establish an attorney-client relationship. The recommendations contained in this podcast are not necessarily appropriate for every individual or business. In determining the best course of action, business owners should consult with an attorney on their distinct circumstances.