February 2nd marked 6 years of GHP’s existence. January makes it 5 years of full time business ownership.
I’m grateful for what this journey has done for my own personal development. To a large extent, GHP is an extension of who I have grown into as a man. From the staff I’ve built to the conversations I have with members that transcend just aligning their feet in a squat.
During my first year in 2017 I was just fumbling around figuring out GHP’s coaching identity. And what it meant to be a private coach.
Over the course of 2018 & 2019 I spent significant time and resources trying different business models, getting mentored by other gym owners, improving the coaching model, and making a lot of mistakes. A lot.
I learned in 2020 how to find a target market and made my first hire, which was a major transition for me. Oh, and rebuild after an enormous shut down.
2021 was the first year I started and was like “I’m going to do ___” and it played out to some effect that way. That year brought new staff and the establishment of GHP’s current way of doing things reflected today.
2022 challenged my resiliency and creative problem solving at a level higher than 2020. It proved to me that I can move at a strategic level. It allowed me to experience a business that won’t fall apart if I take Tuesday off. Or the entire week =)
Believe the hype. Running a business is hard. I’m honored to have been able to serve so many hundreds of people over the years and make it past that “5 year” mark, at this point taking sprinting strides.
It’s not hard because the work itself is actually difficult. My coaching hours in the gym or in 25 degree weather at the track are the easiest and most fun hours of my week.
What makes it hard is that it’s very hard to turn off when I leave, I have to make all of the rules, I am the ultimate bearer of responsibility - like the parent of a small child - which weighs a lot mentally/emotionally, and there’s tremendous energy that goes into emotional regulation to show up at a high level everyday.
I could go on.
Honestly, I love it though. The pressure is fun. Progress is measured by how much better the problems get that you have to solve. They don’t go away. Ever.
Even on the days when I lay on the floor wondering what in the world I am doing. Yes, I have those on occasion. I feel worthless & helpless at times. Confused.
I’m so, so grateful even on my darkest days.
Thank you to my members, staff, supporters, over the years.
I want to leave you with a few reflections that I think you can find valuable in your own journey if you are a person who feels they wield great influence on your journey.
- Running an organization and “owning your job” are NOT the same thing
Being a solo entrepreneur and having a staff in some capacity require very different skill sets. The things in your head have to be on paper and taught or else a cascade of repetitive problems emerge.
- A significant amount of energy goes into emotional regulation
My mood affects everything. Being aware of your mood and how it can affect your clients & staff will save and make you money. You’re the big dawg. Everyone feeds off of your energy. Sometimes you don’t want to. Oh well. You must summon saiyan levels of energy to be cheerful when pissed, anxious, or irritated. But you sets the tone for the room. Noone wants to spend money and be served by a negative presence.
Just like children, everyone is watching you and models how to act based on how you show up.
I’ve shut down the room more times than I care to remember for showing how tired I am. Or bringing my personal irritations to the gym.
- Character quality, your preceding reputation, and exposure of your presence opens doors that didn’t even seem to exist
Be who you need at home alone. Be that person to others. People will sing your praises if you do them right and are a lighting presence. You never know who the person you just spoke to knows.
- Before offering staff critique that just pops up, just wait
The pause takes the irritation out so it’s received better. I’ve learned this the hard way. Getting the desired behavior is more important than expressing your frustration - unless that actually is needed to drive the point home. Even then, critique in private, with intent and a plan.
Again, I’ve had many nights wishing I bit my lip and just waited until I was less irritated. I wasn’t going to forget to bring it up.
- If you’re the smartest person on your team, you will get no rest
If no one else can solve a problem, you end up solving them all.
- Who you date either adds cold water or oil to your fire. Be extremely picky.
Buddy. I’ve made more mistakes than got it right. They can make or break you. From just your mood and how you show up, to even the social professional events you bring them to.
Do they make you feel great about what you do or try to make you feel small? Are they drama clouds or actually make life flow better?
I have exes who made me money, still make me money and we haven't spoken in years. And others who were liabilities which have cost me in ways that affected my business.
- Profitability exists in both time and money.
If your dollars are equated directly (especially if lowly) to the amount of time you work, you are not profiting in time.
My 25 hour weeks tend to have the most revenue, least stress, and most flow for everyone. My 60+ hour weeks are usually riddled with stress and lack of money. This is the beginning of the 3rd year that I’m trying to get out of the mindset that more work hours are better. It’s hard, even when the metrics support it. I’m not my best self when I work that much.
- Being a perfectionist is NOT a flex.
Most perfectionists I know seem to be broke, annoyed, and actually get little done. That serves no one. It’s arguably selfish if you aren’t sharing your talent and skills with the world. There’s no honor in never making a mistake. I dismiss people when they use this line for why they haven’t finished something. I didn’t realize just how much it bugs me until I typed this.
- Staff are investments to develop.
Developing them is paramount to success and sustainability. Unless you want to do all of the 80 hours a week of work yourself, make them amazing. I personally take enormous pride in being able to offer opportunities for growth. Life’s about making people better.
I want my coaches to be better than me. My business won’t grow if I’m the only good coach in the building. I have a love/hate relationship with writing fat payroll checks because they have so many 1:1 clients.
When members tell me about how great the coach they work with is, it warms my heart.
Seeing those youngsters hang out with each other puts a tear in this old man’s eye. Their presence brings me tremendous gratitude.
A constant reminder to be someone worth working for and with. Refer back to points 2 & 3.
- You’ll get more credit if you give up power and credit to others
Don’t go for praise and power. I’ve found delegating important work and crediting my team abundantly and loudly, comes back 3 fold.
I used to very much be the opposite in some of my pre-GHP leadership experiences. It’s gotten me cold shoulders, more work, and less emotional reward. Just useless pride. Let people be useful and make them feel even more useful.
And it’s led me to feeling quite embarrassed.
Chasing attention will leave you lonely and empty. Make others look amazing. It feels better. And you won’t be forgotten.
- Your family and friends are probably not your target audience
Stop fussing about them not supporting you. I really get annoyed when people do this. They don’t want what you're selling. You just end up bitter. Be happy when they’re happy for you years down the line.
Be extremely grateful for those who support you early on. If everyone fusses about family and friends not supporting them early on, what makes you think it’ll be any different for you? Just don’t expect it and you’ll be at peace.
You know who’s excited about your business? The people who emotionally feel that they need/want what you provide because it’s awesome.
Entitlement is a poison.
These are some reflections I put together to celebrate. The list was originally triple in size, but I figured this was long enough since I wanted to write about them.
What are your thoughts? Especially if you’ve brushed shoulders with us.
Share this with another leader in your life.
And if you’d like me to write more about this, send me a message