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Running a CrossFit Facility Tips and guidance on how to open and operate a CrossFit gym.

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Old 12-01-2008, 02:34 AM   #1
Tish Traster
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Fear, Doubt, Ego...

I'm two months away from officially opening my doors. I have 10 solid clients who are "IN" and my box is small, 1550 sq ft. I also have a USA Weightlifting coach with 10+ kids coming on board, which will assist with some expenses.

Albiet the initial investement wouldn't put us (my loving supporting husband and family) under financially even if the whole thing fell flat as a pancake. My ego seems to be playing mind games with me the past week. While I'm very excited, recently I've been having moments of serious fear and doubt.

"What have I done?" "What if the community isn't ready for this?" "What if "they" (whoever "they" are) don't like CrossFit?" "What if "they" don't like me? "Who's gonna mop the floors and do the laundry at home?" "Do I know what I'm doing?" "I don't know what I'm doing." "Your Fran is pathetic." "I'm too old to start a business." "I'm not too old for this Earth, just too old for CrossFit."

Did anyone else go through this? Anyone care to elaborate or advise?

Thank you in advance for your response
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Old 12-01-2008, 02:49 AM   #2
lisa taylor
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Re: Fear, Doubt, Ego...

Gads Trish....

You may think you're too old, but if you're up an posting at 0430....

...you're definately not ready to be put out to pasture.

Look on the bright side. Even if you're 'too old', that just mean's you'll be less intimidating to those who don't know any better.
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Old 12-01-2008, 05:56 AM   #3
Jeff Edwards
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Re: Fear, Doubt, Ego...

I'm right there with you Trish, I recently affiliated and opened my doors. So far I only have 3 people (family and friends who aren't paying), and I've had one new person give a try and never came back. I've been open 2 weeks and now a lot of fear and doubt are trying to creep there way in.
Am I a good enough trainer, is the economy going to drive people to the cheapest place, will I find the right people, etc?
I'll I can do is spread the word, talk to anyone who will listen and is interested, always work on being a better trainer, and hope people fall in love with it as I have.
Best of luck Trish!
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Old 12-01-2008, 07:08 AM   #4
Wade Smith
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Re: Fear, Doubt, Ego...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tish Traster View Post
I'm two months away from officially opening my doors. I have 10 solid clients who are "IN" and my box is small, 1550 sq ft. I also have a USA Weightlifting coach with 10+ kids coming on board, which will assist with some expenses.

Albiet the initial investement wouldn't put us (my loving supporting husband and family) under financially even if the whole thing fell flat as a pancake. My ego seems to be playing mind games with me the past week. While I'm very excited, recently I've been having moments of serious fear and doubt.

"What have I done?" "What if the community isn't ready for this?" "What if "they" (whoever "they" are) don't like CrossFit?" "What if "they" don't like me? "Who's gonna mop the floors and do the laundry at home?" "Do I know what I'm doing?" "I don't know what I'm doing." "Your Fran is pathetic." "I'm too old to start a business." "I'm not too old for this Earth, just too old for CrossFit."

Did anyone else go through this? Anyone care to elaborate or advise?

Thank you in advance for your response
From the handful of your posts that I've read, I really like you. You seem open, professional, eager to learn, and most importantly... respectful.

Your future members are going to love you and love your CF gym. Best of luck. --Wade
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Old 12-01-2008, 08:04 AM   #5
Tish Traster
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Re: Fear, Doubt, Ego...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Edwards View Post
I'm right there with you Trish, I recently affiliated and opened my doors. So far I only have 3 people (family and friends who aren't paying), and I've had one new person give a try and never came back. I've been open 2 weeks and now a lot of fear and doubt are trying to creep there way in.
Am I a good enough trainer, is the economy going to drive people to the cheapest place, will I find the right people, etc?
I'll I can do is spread the word, talk to anyone who will listen and is interested, always work on being a better trainer, and hope people fall in love with it as I have.
Best of luck Trish!

Congrats on you new place!

Well Jeff, looks like we're in this together I took a look at your website and read your bio. It sure seems like your heart is really in it and I think that makes all the difference in the world between a good trainer and a great trainer. One day at a time, keep doing what you're doing, keep showing up, even it's for those 1 or 2 people and it will grow. Treat the next 4 or 5 like they are the first 1 or 2 and the 10th like they are your very 1st client.

I want my clients to love CrossFit the way I love CrossFit. That may never happen. They may never love it, but liking it is ok too.

I know if we continue to build it, they will come.
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Old 12-01-2008, 08:26 AM   #6
Jeff Edwards
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Re: Fear, Doubt, Ego...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tish Traster View Post
Congrats on you new place!

Well Jeff, looks like we're in this together I took a look at your website and read your bio. It sure seems like your heart is really in it and I think that makes all the difference in the world between a good trainer and a great trainer. One day at a time, keep doing what you're doing, keep showing up, even it's for those 1 or 2 people and it will grow. Treat the next 4 or 5 like they are the first 1 or 2 and the 10th like they are your very 1st client.

I want my clients to love CrossFit the way I love CrossFit. That may never happen. They may never love it, but liking it is ok too.

I know if we continue to build it, they will come.
You bet we're in this together! Even if we're states away, I'm with you Trish. I feel passion and striving to be the best at what you do are the most important attributes to be truly excellent. So you will definitely be an excellent trainer!

I just got an email from another interested person, so that was a nice confidence boost!
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Old 12-01-2008, 09:34 AM   #7
Andy Petranek
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Re: Fear, Doubt, Ego...

Hey Tish,

I was right there with you when I opened 4 years ago. And at each juncture that involved taking a new risk, I've gone through the same mental torment. I don't think there is any way to avoid it (well, if there is, I sure don't know how!) and maybe it is a good thing - your natural instincts telling you to "proceed with caution - danger ahead". I find that it's similar to how I feel just before I start a workout... a micro version of the same angst, fear, trepidation, etc.

Regarding your comment "if we build it, they will come"... I used to believe this... in fact, it's exactlyhow I ran my business for the first 2 years - and I grew from about 12 clients to 45 or so, but was working like a dog (15 hour days) and was miserable. Two years ago I completely restructured my business systems (lots of fear, questions, angst, etc), and it really paid off (now we're at 240 students!) My business consultant/partner, John Burch, and I, are teaching our system to affiliates that sign up for our 2-day Business seminar December 11-12. If you're interested or want more details, send me or john an email (andy@crossfitla.com, john@crossfitla.biz).

Good luck, and hope to see you / meet you soon!

Andy
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Old 12-01-2008, 10:16 AM   #8
John C. Brown
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Re: Fear, Doubt, Ego...

Tish and Jeff,

I would guess that a lot of existing affiliates were right where you are. I am getting ready to saddle up the self doubt pony again as I am getting ready to move to the gym as a full time, family supporting gig. It seemed that every time that we moved (2 times in a year and a half, will be 3 come end of Feb.) that attendance dropped off, almost like as soon as we made a commitment to do right by our clients, they dropped us. Well, that was mostly my lack of self confidence (funny as that may seem to some that know me here). Almost without fail, within one month of moving into the new place we filled it and were ready to move again.

I haven't worked nearly as hard as Andy seemed to have (or at least says he has, although I have no reason to doubt him, he is a great guy). We have, until 3 months ago, only been open for 2 hours a day, 6 am and 6 pm. We have gone from 3 clients in my garage to a steady 65 clients that I can count on, with another 15 or so seasonal clients.

The bottom line is that in order to succeed, you have to take some risks. They may be calculated ones, but they are risks all the same. I have never hidden who I am or what I stand for (I am an A hole and I stand for finding the very best that people can give me), and I think that that has given my clientele confidence in me. At the Affiliate gathering last year, several people, including Andy got up and spoke to us. There were so many disparate business models that it would have closed down a business school trying to analyze it. What I took from it was that if you put effort into being a great trainer, the program will grow itself, and if you invest in your clients, they will invest in you.
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Old 12-01-2008, 11:22 AM   #9
Ginger Calem
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Re: Fear, Doubt, Ego...

I'd like to say thanks for this post. (And I guess I'll introduce myself as this is my first post.)

My husband, William, and I have just opened our affiliate, CrossFit Georgetown, in October. We are currently in our garage with hopes of moving ASAP. We are also training 3 family members at no charge, with paying clients in the wings, ready to start in the next week or so. We are so excited but we also feel the fears and angst that come with starting our own business. We love CrossFit and we care so much about this venture that it naturally comes with high-emotions, good and bad.

So, thanks for sharing your doubts. You are not alone and it's so nice to see that we're not alone as well. William and I are on these message boards daily trying to learn and soak in everything so that we can be a success.

Cheers!

Ginger
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Old 12-01-2008, 11:32 AM   #10
Eric Lester
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Re: Fear, Doubt, Ego...

Kudos for taking the leap. I'd say if you already have 10 clients lined up plus 10 kids you are in better shape than a lot of affiliates on opening day.
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