The Week of September 3
Things are moving quickly and slowly at the same time it seems. Emotionally it is an absolute roller coaster. Momentum gets built up as tasks get crossed off the to do list and excitement naturally grows. If only we were in the building! If only we had the keys! This thing would grow like a JV football player hopping into the Field Strong program (because he would get big, fast and strong in weeks in case you didn’t follow…). But the reality is we are in a holding pattern and we have been for sometime.
We have an approved name (Black Wolf CrossFit), we have some artwork (see above and below and everywhere else), we have stickers (because those are pivotal products if we hope to succeed), we have rubber flooring ordered, and favorable quotes on equipment. More important than all of that, we have growing support in our community! Every single day someone passes on an encouraging word about what we are about to do. Undoubtedly, if information is not passed along, that support will begin to wain. After all, everyone is talking about opening their very own gym, but does it ever happen? What makes this project any different if the information never changes?
Black Wolf CrossFit will be very forthcoming with business related information. This is not always a wise decision. Just today the National Pro Grid League posted a Facebook update regarding investors pulling out of the business. In my opinion, nothing good will come from that announcement. But CrossFit on the local affiliate level is a different business entirely. To an extent, the more transparent you are, the better off you are going to be. Your clients are absolutely your family. If your reaction is that your clients are just that, clients, then congratulations, you are destined for wild mediocrity.
Your clients are spending a significant amount of money on your product. I do not need to see your breakdown of what it would cost for that client to go and find a personal trainer and train 4-5x a week for a month. Yes, going that route would be very very expensive. And yes, there are personal trainers who are putting out absolute horse shit, wasting everyones time. But don’t forget, if you put a premium price, you must deliver a premium product. LA Fitness does not have to invest in me because I am paying $20 or $30 or $40 a month and I signed up to use the facilities. But a client is not paying you $150+ TO USE YOUR FACILITIES SO QUIT MAILING IT IN OR THEY WON’T BE YOURS FOR LONG!
Sorry, that turned into a rant. So your clients are your family. They will see you be terrible and they will see you be great. And as long as you are always striving to be great (in coaching, not in being an awesome exerciser), they will carry you through when you are terrible. You will also see them at their best (congratulate them) and at their worst (pick them back up and keep them focused). If you are treating them as a client then you will be the coach who says good job at the white board when you get their time and thats about it. Or, worse, when they post a poor performance, you won’t say anything. If that was your brother or sister or training partner would you do the same thing? Hell no! You would tell them that they need to pull their head out of their ass or they need shake it off and get back to it the next day, or tell them its absolutely alright (this all depends on their personality and the context of the situation).
The other reason to see your clients as family is because they know way more than you think. Clients are like your mother when you come in late in your college years and you pretend you’re not hammered. She knows your hammered even though she probably won’t call you on it. And when you tell her that you are sober as a bird and you only had 1 beer and the only reason you’re late is because you were doing something valiant like driving an elderly woman home, she sees straight through your crap and she grows frustrated that you thinking she’s dumb enough to buy into it. If things are not going well and all you do is tell your clients that nothing needs to change and that things are awesome, your clients will not appreciate it. Whether you understand it or not, your affiliate is their 2nd home. And people are very aware of the temperature in their 2nd home.
And finally just understand that sometimes the clients are way way smarter than you. Coaches feel powerful because people walk into the gym and basically lose their mind. The environment may be extremely intimidating in the beginning and until clients grow comfortable they feel very very vulnerable. As we know, when we operate while worried, we hardly perform at our best. This puts the coach in a powerful position. This is not a bad thing. “Turn your brain off and just do it” is one of my favorite cues. Overthinking is everywhere and it is the coaches job to override that tendency by instilling confidence in the clients. However, when this is abused, you get poor coaching with little engagement. You also have coaches and owners underestimating who they are dealing with. Just because a client is not comfortable in this new gym setting does not mean they do not have their whits about them. There will be no uncertainty in their mind when they see shortcomings in the business.
Basically, you are going to be found out eventually, no matter how much smoke you blow. But if you choose to go the other way. If you choose to open up and make your challenges known to your community, what you find may shock you. Your community will actually come together and be stronger than before. There is nothing more uniting than struggle. Isn’t that why this group fitness, coach led class system has grown so incredibly well? If you suffer next to each other for a day or two, you suddenly have something in common! So when you tell your clients that this is what you are dealing with, you will find incredible support and you may also find some answers as, again, your clients are very intelligent people with experiences of their own that they may have learned from in the past!
So here is our struggle: we are just waiting and waiting and waiting. The good news is that we have a rough timeline for a potential “get the keys to the building” date. It looks like it may be possible on September 29th. This week they completed/are completing the survey. Next week (5 days) they will be finishing and printing the plans. Finally, at the end of next week or the very beginning of the following week, the plans will be submitted to the city for approval. The city will knock the plans around a few different departments (5 I believe) for 2-3 days each (1 or 2 departments only take 1 day). Once the plans have gone through the city we will sign the lease and get the keys. The to do list from the city may push back opening or it may not, it just depends on the extent of work required. Having a little past experience with the city, it is definitely going to require a small job or two but it should not be anything significant. The goal, as of today is to be running 5 and 6am and 5:30 and 6:30pm beginning the first week of October. We will see and this may change. Of course, I will let y’all know!
Black Wolf will remain active on social media and on the blog. We should have some t-shirts in next week so maybe we will run a few promotions. Raising some money for charity is always a good reason to be active! Follow us on Twitter and on Instagram. Of course the easiest place to see what's going on is the Facebook Page.