Well, I’ve gone and done it again. I stumbled into a position running a CF gym on accident. One of the things I had hoped to do when we moved back south was to join a CF gym and get back into training. This past week I’ve been reaching out to local gyms for information on rates and scheduling. One thing led to another and what began as an interview to man the front desk part time and help out with coaching turned into me accepting a position as the new General Manager of an 8000 square foot facility in Cary, a well-to-do suburb of Raleigh.
I am constantly amused by the quirks and happy accidents of life. I had a job down here already, working as a fleet mechanic. The Mechanic field is a bit more reliable than coaching typically, the pay is guaranteed and so are the benefits. Unfortunately the potential for growth is severely limited, the hours long and physically demanding. My own training has slacked off these last 10 months. Working 12-16 hour days in and around heavy equipment has a way of beating the crap out of you. Throw in an hour commute each way and there really is little time for training.
In a few days I’ll be taking over as General manager of a growing CF box. The hours will be long, the commute also long, but the potential for earnings, extremely high. I opted for a commission based pay structure that I set the terms for over salary, preferring a percentage of monthly memberships, sales, and personal training revenue. My pay goes up the more successful the gym is. It’s extremely motivating and a great incentive to bust my ass and hustle. A lot of trainers and coaches get complacent and comfortable as hourly paid employees. The other issue is that it really is impossible to make a good living just coaching hourly group classes. The real trainers, the professionals spend the majority of their time on personal training, nutrition services and increasing their online revenues through consulting.
The next few weeks will be trying, stressful, and hectic but in the end the juice is worth the squeeze. If you want the life you want, lived under your terms, you have to be willing to work your ass off for it. You have to take risks and put yourself out there and be willing to fail. I dare to go a different path.
One issue I have had with CrossFit gym owners going all the way back to 2010 is this, most have no clue how to operate a business and don’t deserve success. They simply aren’t willing to put the time and effort into developing the business to the point that it becomes self sufficient. After my first meeting with the owner of the gym I talked about above, I began to have some questions and nagging doubts. After some more conversation and probing questions the next day it soon became apparent that this gym is a ticking time bomb. The owner (Or I should say majority owner) has identified the key issues standing in the way of this gym succeeding, and I commend him for it. Unfortunately he identified those issues 2 years ago and in the intervening years has done nothing to eliminate them.
In the end I decided not to get involved it what has become a pissing contest between 2 owners over who has say in the future direction of the gym while neither one is willing to bust their ass to make things work. I will still be coaching and working towards my own ownership goals. I’ve already talked with several of the other 20+ gyms in the area and will be working with them to develop my own PT client list and coaching opportunities. The Lesson is as it often is: If it seems to good to be true and too many accolades too fast, start asking why. In this case this particular owner wanted me to fix his dream for him and make it come true without getting his hands dirty or breaking a sweat.