00:00 From ABC News Radio, KIBT 1490 in Southern California, this is BizNinja Entrepreneur Radio, with your host, Tyler Jorgenson.
00:14 So I wanted to talk about how Crossfit saved my life, and then almost killed me. And, I say that not actually even kind of in a joking or exaggeration way. So, back in the 2008 financial crisis, I owned 13 properties, a mortgage company, a real estate company, and investment Company. I was like quadruple invested into the real estate market. And, I was pretty young, 28 at the time, and when the market crashed, I was…, I had been pretty intelligent with it, at least I thought. And so, I was insulated for the first year or so, and I was like, “Okay”, you know, all of my properties at equity, all the businesses were built to be flexible and adaptable, so we handled it all the way till about 2010, when all of a sudden condos that I owned that we’re worth, you know, $250,000 were now worth $25,000. And when the business that once had three great partners went through major partnership crumbles, and then revenue collapse, and then…, and I just couldn’t personally support it anymore.
01:25 I got to a point where I was putting…, this stress was causing me to put on weight, and not take care of my physical health, and really also getting into a really bad financial situation. So I got my…, I started a new business, which I’ve talked about before, where I started my first eCommerce store and started making decent money again. And then I realized I had to take care of my health. Okay? Finances were fixed. I’ll go into that story again in a different time. But finances were fixed. Now I’ve got to attack physical health. And I found Crossfit in…, I think it was around 2011. And, in six months I lost 30 pounds. And I…, this amazing thing happened, because the biggest thing that Crossfit did, was it brought me back into a really positive community. There were…, people were supportive, and this community had its own culture, and it was smaller at the time than it is now more mainstream and everyone knows about it.
02:21 And so it was also kind of unique, and every day you’d show up, and there’d be variety, which is really healthy for the mindset, and then you leave feeling great about having put in a good workout, and getting results. And, you know, in a lot of ways, it really saved my life, both from a health standpoint, as well as from a mental health standpoint. And it allowed me to apply that energy back into my business, and grow my business, to be in a really good position. So, at that point I was like, “Man, okay, I’ve gotten my…, finances are good, my health is good. I want to grow my mind a little bit more.” So I went and got an MBA from USC, and things were flying really well on all points, and I was really grateful for all of the positive energy.
03:05 And, at that time, the gym where I was going, the owner approached me and said, “Hey, I hear that you run eCommerce stores, and you do stuff online, and we’re thinking of doing something and would love to have you involved. And, it was really exciting cause Crossfit was such a passion of mine. I was like, “Man, this is great. I can kind of be a consultant, get another thing going and see build another revenue stream doing something I’m passionate about.” After a few months of starting this…, this business evolved, and it took on a life of its own, and then it kept evolving, and kept changing, to where over time what I realized is, this business is no longer anywhere near what we originally wanted it to be. And now years into it, I’m realizing, “Man, we’re seeing a lot of these same signs. We’re constantly shifting plans, constantly shifting goals, constantly shifting objectives, and of lack of KPIs.”
04:03 And it was…., what I really found fascinating was all of the things that made Crossfit athletes successful, were the exact things they weren’t doing in their businesses. So we built a Crossfit equipment company. So we’re selling to Crossfit gyms and gym owners. And then we started…, and then I helped open another handful of gyms, and we’re training staff and doing human resources, and I was doing real estate negotiations, and really just opening all of these businesses, and doing all of this. But the thing that makes Crossfit so great, is that, you’re tracking your results over time. And just fitness in general, what you notice is, really good athletes, they are coachable, they have a plan, they’re disciplined, and they work under…, they look for the little things that they need to do better to get to the next level.
05:01 What I found fascinating about Crossfit and gym owners in general, is these athletes who are so coachable, who are so big on discipline, were closed off when it came to running their business. They wouldn’t seek out coaches for their business. They wouldn’t seek out the criticism, and the feedback of what they can be doing to run their business better. So most of these gyms, and businesses within this space that we worked with, I noticed didn’t have a clear business plan. They didn’t have…, they weren’t analyzing their key performance indicators each month, and know how they were performing. Little things like analyzing their retention. They wouldn’t go into the numbers and get into the weeds, and if they did, they wouldn’t take the next step to really understand what that meant, and what they need and then seek out help of how to improve it.
05:53 So, the fascinating thing was that, this was happening in every business that we were working with. And in every business and partnership I was involved in, and I’m not saying the partnership was necessarily bad, or that my business partner was bad, but just that, the number of plates that we were spinning without being able to really look at the numbers of what was happening with each business, and be painfully honest with ourselves about what needed to change. And what that took was a humility, that what we were doing wasn’t right. It’s that whole “what got you here, won’t get you there” concept. Right? So, in fitness, right? You want to break a 500-pound deadlift, you can’t keep only lifting 400 pounds. You have to start doing something different, and get to the next number of strength, or the next amount of strength.
06:47 And so, in business, you get to a hundred gym owners, or a hundred gym members, that’s great, but what got you there, is not going to get you to 400, or if you got…, you break your first $10,000 a month in any business, that’s awesome. Good job. How are you going to get to $100,000, because it’s not going to be the same things that got you there. Right? And so what I found…, when I say that Crossfit then almost killed me, I’m not exaggerating, because operating in a business with so…, for so long, for years, with such a negative amount of shifting, and changing, and lack of focus, and I was still putting maximum effort into the business, but running in a hundred different directions every morning, and then starting to be in fear of negative responses to anything I was doing.
07:35 Right? And so, what I should have done differently is what we need…, the goal, right?, of learning from our mistakes. What I should’ve done differently is one; take ownership in the parts where I wasn’t perfect, and two; be really raw and honest with my partner and the people involved in the business, and with my staff and everyone around me about, where I felt…, where things needed to change, because I would sometimes say it, but not stick to it. So for example, I’m a big believer that marketing and sales is the first thing you have to fix in the business, but I wasn’t like firm enough in my suggestions. I would kind of make a suggestion, if it didn’t…, if it wasn’t well received, I would just move on. And so, be firm in your convictions of what needs to happen in your business.
08:19 And then the last, like major point is, in business when you set a goal, and when you go after it, you have to know when’s the end. Okay? Quitting isn’t bad. So, for example, in Crossfit, again, a lot of people when they start Crossfit, they come into it with the goal of making it to the Crossfit games, which is kind of like, the world series for Crossfit. But there’s a point where reality has to be discussed, right? Not everyone is going to have the physiology to be a games contender, or the time, or the resources, or just the honest commitment to it. But if time…, if you waste years and years saying that’s your goal, but without it being realistic, or without being time-bound, you’re just wasting energy. And so, whenever a business…, there’s a saying that says, “If you’re going to play the game, decide two things up front. The rules of the game and when to quit.”
09:16 And I think that’s really important in any business. You’ve got…, and my wife was always…, she was always really good at telling me that. She’s like, “How long are you going to…, how long are you going to work on this before you say it’s not working.” And the challenges is…, it’s always…, if you say I’m going to do 12 months, and in month 11 you build some momentum, but not enough that you actually hit your goal, you gotta be willing to pull the rip cord or set it, you know, have an honest discussion with everyone involved in setting other dates. Say, “Okay, we’ve got some momentum, let’s give it three more months and see if we’re…, if we can hit that goal, and if we can’t, that’s it. We’re going to move onto the next thing.”
09:53 And you’ve gotta be able to pivot your energy in business, and in sports, you know, again saying this in Crossfit, coming back to that, a lot of people that thought they were going to be world class Crossfit athletes, are world class athletes, but had to pivot and say, “You know what, I’m not going to be able to make the Crossfit games, but I can be a top level powerlifter, or I can…, or you know what? I’m going to pivot again. I’m going to be one of the best coaches in the area, whatever, but finally being willing to call it quits and move on to the next thing. And so, you know, I found myself, again in a deep depression, because I knew that I was out of alignment with the business. I knew that where my energy, my mindset, what I should be doing wasn’t what was actually happening, and living out of a wine and over time, is like, I swear it’s one of the fastest ways to just completely be depressed, because your subconscious knows, that every day you’re waking up and doing something that’s not going to work, that’s not right for you.
10:53 And so, I found myself again in this deep depression. And so I finally, finally got to a point where I said, “I’m willing to move forward, even if it’s in the most…, even in the way that to me is not the best, I guess you could say, least advantageous, because I knew that my future was worth much more than my past, that anything I’d put into the business was now some costs and was gone. And that if I tried to fight for the past, I was going to continue to steal from my future. And so, I finally got to that point where I was honest with myself enough to say, “This is it, let me have this honest conversation, and I’m going to put it on my partners. Whatever they say, the path forward, I’ll accept.” And, I know that I could have negotiated harder, I could have done different things, but I’ll tell you what, the momentum in my…, that that created, to put myself in that place to say, “When I say this, like it’s done right.”
11:50 And when I did, and we moved forward, there was negativity. It was not a fun moment, but from that moment forward, my other businesses started taking off, and my…, the positivity starting to regrow, and my health started to come back, and my…, like literally my hair started to regrow. And so, if you find anything in your life that’s out of alignment, attack that ferociously, and I promise that you’ll find yourself with greater energy, greater momentum. And, I hope that that plays into your business, and other parts of your life as well. Thanks for listening. Go check out BizNinja.com/DreamLine. Got a really cool calculator there for you to map out your next 12 months, and I’ll go out and do something.
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