Ah the first entry.
I should have done this a long time ago.
Created a place where I could just be me and organize my thoughts through writing without any defined or preconceived expectations about what to write about or how to write it.
I am just glad I finally did it. I think it is going to be a daily ritual, writing here, that I look forward too and enjoy. An opportunity to reflect on days events, problems, solutions to those problems, books I have read, clients I have helped, roles that I need to fill, food that I have eaten, and weights I have lifted.
I am looking forward to it tremendously.
I finished reading Delivering Happiness this afternoon. I shared that fact on Facebook and recommended to those who see it in their news feed that they "Read it."
I honestly can say that it is a book that will forever change the way I approach any future entrepreneurial endeavor and will directly affect the one I am currently in the process of building, Revolution Strength & Conditioning.
The biggest take away for me as an individual from the book was the insight that almost all the things we choose to do as people are motivated by one need and want, to be happy. The biggest take away for me from the book as a business owner was the necessity to focus on building relationships. Relationships with co-workers, clients, customers, and business partners that exist for no other reason, but to enjoy their company and friendship. Perhaps they will provide me with an advantage in business perhaps not, but build the relationships anyway I must.
I truly respect the way Tony Hsieh went about building Zappos as a company, brand, and culture. He decided to take the traditional business model and flip it on it's fucking head. Something that I can only expect caused a lot of criticism and negative responses, but the fact is it is the right way to do business in my mind. Mr. Hsieh decided that values would drive his company and not profit.
Which is exactly what I want to do with my own gym. I want to put our values first and foremost because they will ultimately help us build a culture that will create radically loyal customers and clients in the long run. It may be tiring and quite frustrating in the short term as you are trying to explain to people the way you operate your business who come from the old school way of thinking about profits and short term pay offs first, but it will be worth it in the end.
I also enjoyed Tony's recap of the difficulties Zappos when through in 2009 as a result of their Board of Directors and investors being misaligned with the senior management of Zappos. This is a situation I have thought about many times myself when deciding on how to open and fund a gym. Luckily Mr. Hsieh was able to find away out of his difficult situation with the help of Jeff Bezos and Amazon, but I know that with a business that operates in a much smaller market I would not be so lucky.
That is why I have felt the need from the beginning to grow slowly and remained largely self-funded.
It's frustrating at times not having the capital to buy and invest in things that would help the business run smoother or allow our clients to be more successful, at least in the short term. But I feel strongly about the way I want my business to operate and how I want to present my brand of fitness to the world and if I allow someone else to put money into this business than they will more than likely will begin to have say in both. Which are two things I am not willing to compromise on and would rather avoid being put in a position where I might have too.
On a more personal note that relates to the final chapter of Mr. Hsieh's book I think I have found the work that is going to make me happy and is going to give me a sense a purpose. And I think I have found a way to merge it with making a profit. I think I have found something where I can allow profits, passion, and purpose all collide into one big epic explosion like when Luke destroys the Death Star in Return of the Jedi.
I don't know if this will mean always owning and operating a brick and mortar gym full time or if it will lead to building an online community and running a fitness brand that delivers coaching via the web. Either are fine with me and either would make me happy.
4:30 is fast approaching which means it's about time for me to head back to the gym for evening semi-private classes. I'd better go eat something and be on my way.
Aren't Mondays just the best! (seriously, no sarcasm here)