On March 16th, my town went into full quarantine mode and my gym was shut down…” until further notice.”
On March 17th my wife gave birth to my first child. Parker.
I just had a baby and my entire livelihood felt like it was at stake. My wife runs our gym, LIV Athletic and we had a plan for her taking time off. However, we forgot to think through the “in case of a global pandemic” contingency plan. Whoops.
The month following the shutdown was probably the most stressful time of my entire life.
I would lay in bed at night full of adrenaline, worried and scared about the future…” what was going to happen to my gym? My client’s gyms? My coaches? My members? … My new family?”
If I did manage to sleep, I’d wake up with the same questions and no answers.
I didn’t have the “right” plan or even the certainty that I would make it through this. No one knew how this would pan out. We still don’t fully know.
I stayed in this stress for 3 days, feeling paralyzed because I wanted to know the “right” move but didn’t. How do you decide what to do if I don’t know if you’re going to succeed, or if what you’re doing is the right thing, or if it’s even going to work.
But then I was struck with the reality that “no one is going to save me. If I sit here and do nothing I’ll be bankrupt or unable to provide for my family.”
That wasn’t an option.
So I got to work. I downsized my gym. I went from 4000 square feet to 2000 square feet. I renovated and rented out the space to a professional woodworking team and created some rental income.
I restructured my membership options. We had to add an online option but not create more work for the team. That meant no 1:1 coaching for me or my team. Again: I just had a baby. The solution couldn’t just be…work more.
I came up with a way to provide a premium service (worth a premium price) even with an online delivery.
With consumer confidence working against me, I needed to combat the “groups are bad” mentality in my messaging. I dove back into the lead follow up stages and fine-tune my messaging/strategy to attract leads and convert them. I’ve been enrolling members each week and converting 80% of my leads to appointments.
6 months and a lifetime later…we’re still standing and growing each and every week.
I gave it my all and I can stand here today knowing that experience has exponentially grown me as a business owner.
You see I could have taken 1 of 2 routes:
Route #1: I’m a victim.
Why is this happening? Why is the government shutting down my gym? All my members left. I lost 30% of my revenue. No one likes doing online.
Route #2: I can solve this problem.
How can this serve me? What can I get better at? How can this help me grow? How will this allow me to optimize, minimize, and innovate?
It’s a challenging time for the gym industry, particularly gym owners. But ask yourself: what do you want your next 6 months to look like?
In 6 months will you say: “yeah the shutdown/economy killed my gym” or will you tell the story of how you figure it out and “this is what I did about it…”
The choice is yours.
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