Is The CrossFit Industry At Risk?

By | Branding, Business Help, Julie Weldon, Leadership, Starting a Gym | No Comments

This weekend I stumbled across a story about Pando, aka the Trembling Giant. Maybe you’ve heard of it, or actually “him”. I probably had before, but I certainly hadn’t given him the attention he deserves.

Pando is an incredibly massive male colony of aspen trees spread over 106+ acres in Fishlake National Forest, Utah. Every single one of the approximately 47,000 trees shoot up from a single organism as they share a giant underground root system. It’s estimated that Pando collectively weighs 1.3 billion pounds, making it the heaviest living organism on the planet.

And it’s under threat.

As I read this, I started to think about the CrossFit industry. The massive organism that is known, recognized, and respected as the world of CrossFit… started with one dream, one vision, one passion. This one simple idea began to grow roots in 2000, and then just like the definition of “Pando”, it spread. It spread so much that, in less than 20 years, there are more than 12,000 affiliates across the globe. In many ways, it’s like one big ecosystem, interconnected underground.

While there are no two CrossFit gyms alike, there are strong commonalities that bind each one together. The same language, the same movements, an understanding, and a connection that people outside the affiliate world just don’t get.

My fascination of this massive organism of trees, known as the “quaking aspens”, drove me to dive deeper in my learning, and I realized some incredible facts that are interestingly parallel to the CrossFit industry.

A handful of the roots of this ecological system go down 100+ feet deep. Only a few of the roots have pushed their way to places where many haven’t gone. They form the base for the entire system. Over the past 2.5 years of having literally hundreds of conversations with gym owners, I’m struck by the fact that while there are a large group of gym owners who are doing incredible work, there is a select top percentage of the “high impact” gym owners who are making profound differences across the industry. Their roots are deep. They can be traced back to a rich legacy of empowering others. Jason Khalipa, Ben Bergeron, Chris Spealler, Matt Scanlon, are a few that automatically come to mind. Their gracious and powerful impact and influence has spawned countless new “shoots and trees” all over the world. Together we are all stronger because of their commitment to this industry.

The roots near an abundant supply of water often carry nutrients to the roots and shoots in drier areas. We can learn a lot from aspens. Those who have “more” carry health and vitality to those who are less fortunate. But the fascinating thing is only the trees that accept/receive the nutrients will grow from the nutrients shared. The others quickly die off. Same is true with CrossFit gyms – those who admit they need help and actually receive the help they are given are the ones who will last.

Quaking aspens flourish in unstable environments like mud, snow, and fire. These marvels of nature thrive in difficult environments and the biggest growth happens after devastation. For example, if a large number of the shoots in a “stand” are wiped out, the roots that are left produce hormones in extreme excess to compensate. This hormonal imbalance triggers a profound increase in new, rapidly growing stems. And amazingly, this new section of growth often dwarfs what once was. Similar in the CrossFit world, hardship has often produced extreme goodness when people rally around – Steve’s ClubMurphBarbells for Boobs, competitions for charity, etc. are all beautiful examples of this.

If a grove of quaking aspens doesn’t regularly experience some hardship – fire or some other “disturbance”, its days are numbered. To carry the point in the above paragraph a little further, research says that eventually conifers will pop up all around the aspens, providing abundant shade, which will kill the aspens because they can’t tolerate low levels of light. Like all businesses, CrossFit must continually reinvent itself. While the fundamentals stay the same, the marketing, packaging of services, branding, etc. all must continually evolve or its days will be numbered. Giants like Kodak, Blackberry, Motorola, the phone book, Sears, Blockbuster, etc. all fell prey to this as they refused to pay attention to the changing world around them; and as a result, they lost their power and influence.

Pando is at risk of extinction. Unless it quickly and continually regenerates itself, things like disease, fungus, overgrazing by deer and elk on the new shoots, human interference (new home construction, campgrounds, etc., which causes the inability to allow forest fires), etc. will overtake this natural treasure. So it goes with CrossFit. Is it in jeopardy of being overtaken by “the new thing” or the globo gym overnight? Certainly not, but those who reinvent themselves while staying true to what makes CrossFit so unique and powerful will be the ones who will keep the movement going.

How We Can Help
At 321GoProject, our goal is to do everything in our power to help gym owners continue the movement. Every service we create and deliver is so that gym businesses can be strengthened and roots can go deep.

Given that, we are excited to announce a new offering called, MOMENTUM Master Minds (M3). These small groups of like-minded gym owners will be no more than 6-7 people, plus one of our 321Go Business Coaches. M3 groups will meet weekly to provide insight and accountability, share resources, and strengthen roots. The loneliest place is often business ownership… but it doesn’t have to be. For a limited time, you can join a M3 group for only $99/month and get a team of committed, like-minded people who are in the trenches with you. These groups will start February 2017.

This may just be what you’re looking for to take your business to the next level in 2017.

If interested in hearing more, we’d love to talk with you! Click here to schedule a call with us today.

 

-This post was written by Julie Weldon (julie@321goproject.com).

Do You Have The Secret Weapon For Success In Place?

By | Blog, Business Help, Julie Weldon, Leadership | No Comments

If there is one thing that can propel a business and a leader forward it would most definitely be accountability.

Accountability is difficult to put into place for a number of reasons: 1) we don’t know who to ask, 2) it’s sometimes surprisingly challenging to set our egos aside, 3) we may feel like we “don’t have time for that”, 4) we’re uncomfortable being vulnerable, and/or 5) we don’t feel like we’d have much to offer someone else.

Whatever your reason, if you don’t have accountability in your life and you’re not making the progress you want, you might do well to put all that aside and consider this secret weapon.  

Motivation can get you started on making a change or achieving a goal, but eventually the excitement that you’re feeling at the outset will begin to wane. We’ve all experienced this.

Good accountability can help you go the extra mile when it’s just feels easier to give up.

Every day presents so many possible distractions – even an unexpected phone call or email can completely derail your initial daily plan. If you add up all of these times in your day where distraction wins and strategic thought and execution are a far off 2nd, then your path to business success slowly fades. And sadly, this could leave you among the large percentage of other businesses that just don’t last for the long-term.

The simple and unfortunate truth is that far too many small business owners have gotten used to existing on a deserted island, even if they are surrounded by a great staff. They start their business so they can be their own boss and not have to answer to anyone, but the pendulum oftens swings too far left and they lose touch with other voices who are desperately needed to help them succeed.

An accountability partner is a business peer who you start a relationship with in order to help each other grow your respective companies. You do this by offering guidance and by holding each other to your commitments. This relationship is different than a mentor because in an accountability relationship, both are bettering their businesses and giving support and feedback to each other.

A good accountability partner has a lot to offer…

  • They keep your goals at the forefront of your focus.
  • They validate and vet your thoughts, ideas, and decisions.
  • They help accelerate your performance by keeping you responsible and holding your feet to the fire.
  • They help you measure your progress.
  • They understand your challenges and joys.
  • They become your biggest cheerleader and celebrate with you.
  • They call you on your b.s. excuses and push you through procrastination.
  • They are brutally honest with you (in a kind way, of course).
  • They are in it with you.

Accountability is what separates the super successful entrepreneurs and leaders from the mediocre.

When you are clear on your expectations and you agree on consequences, there is nothing that can stop the two of you from reaching your potential.

We are just entering week 2 of our Setting & Crushing Your Goals Challenge through our online platform Hub, where 250+ gym owners are starting off this year with razor-like focus and a bang. One of the components of this challenge is to find an accountability partner among the other gym owners participating in the Challenge. The results are already unbelievably powerful, even just one week in. And much of this is because these gym owners know they are not in this alone, but have a supportive, kind, smart community that’s got their back. They’re smart enough to have tapped into the “secret weapon”.

How about you? Are you willing to do the uncomfortable to get the results you want?

“Accountability separates the wishers in life from the action-takers who care enough about their future to account for their daily actions.” – John Di Lemme

 

-This post was written by Julie Weldon (julie@321goproject.com)

10 Characteristics of Entrepreneurs Who Are Going To Crush 2017

By | Blog, Business Help, Julie Weldon, Leadership | No Comments

In today’s world, it’s never been easier to become an entrepreneur, but it’s also never been more difficult to become really successful as an entrepreneur.

It’s almost envogue to leave your corporate job and start your own thing. That’s all fine and well until you learn that it takes some serious mojo to be a “for real” entrepreneur.

Of course all entrepreneurs are different but there are certain characteristics ingrained and evident in the ones who lead the pack.

Here are 10 things, in our opinion, that these leaders have in spades over all the rest:

  1. They plan every day in advance. They don’t let their days control them, but they control their days. The first part of their morning (or the last part of the day prior) is spent on what the day is going to hold. It’s the difference between being proactive and reactive. They spend a few minutes at the start of every day, thinking and planning. They know what they want to accomplish, and they make it happen.
  2. They give priority to their health. Working out and eating right is just a given. It’s not an option. Even when they are busy, they take care of their body. Sure, they may have cheat meals, but on the whole, they fuel their bodies with good stuff.
  3. They are constantly seeking to serve. They do what they do because they want to see others succeed. Focusing on your own success is a surefire way to no success at all. They go through their life trying to find ways to make other’s lives better and they use their business as a platform to make this happen on a large scale.
  4. They have clear and actionable goals in place. They set off on the road trip of their business with a map in hand. They know where they are headed, what they want to accomplish, and have highlighted the stops they want to see along the way. Goal setting is important to them because it provides clear direction.
  5. They take calculated risks. In order to be a successful entrepreneur, you absolutely have to take risks. But you don’t do something just because you saw someone else have a little success with it in a Facebook group. You do your own research and homework, and have a plan for implementation of new things. And, then if it’s not working after a reasonable amount of time (90 days), you let it go and learn from the “mistake”.
  6. They make their family a priority. Even though work may be busy, they know their priorities and family is one of them. It’s too easy to let too much time go by without being focused on what’s important. The successful ones know this and make regular investments into their family bank accounts.
  7. They are aware of their own strengths and weaknesses. We all are good at some things and not so great at others. The key is knowing and admitting where we could use help. No man/woman is an island, so no one can do it effectively alone. Those who surround themselves with others where they are weak are the ones who will see the greatest progress this year.
  8. They don’t blame others when things don’t go as planned. Taking responsibility is a beautiful, but sometimes hard, thing. Those who recognize the fact that if their business isn’t where they want it, know that the responsibility lies on them because the buck starts and stops right there in their own person. And, on the flip side, if their business is successful, other people are given the credit they deserve. This one characteristic alone of taking responsibility could make all the difference between the 5% of really successful entrepreneurs and all the rest.
  9. They evaluate and make adjustments after every day. Reflection is built into what they do every day. They course correct early and often. They look back on what they are grateful for every day, knowing that the best leaders cultivate a heart of gratitude. They make adjustments for the next day based on what went well and what could’ve been improved.
  10. They know what they don’t know. When given tools that they don’t know how to use, they invest time in learning (and not expecting other people to do it for them). They are insatiable learners, and have no problem learning from their own mistakes. Failure is welcome because it means growth for them.

It’s not an easy job being an entrepreneur. If you’ve done it for any length of time, this is not news to you. Certainly not all will crush it in their businesses in 2017. Many will go out of business. Many will sell for far less than their business could have been worth. The vast majority will be ok with being “ok” at many of the above, then get to the end of 2017 wishing things were different (again).

How are you doing with this list?  Today would be a good day to start working on those things you know could use improvement so that the end of 2017 isn’t met with regret.

A year from now you will wish you had started today. – Karen Lamb

 

-This post was written by Julie Weldon. You can reach her at julie@321goproject.com.

9 Big Takeaways From 2016

By | Business Help, Culture, Julie Weldon, Leadership, Staffing & Coaches | No Comments

Our content over the last month in both our blog posts and podcast episodes has been all about maximizing future opportunities as we consider what’s ahead in 2017. Whether you embrace goal setting or not, the truth is that what you focus on is where you’ll see growth.

In order to create that focus to experience the growth you’re hoping for, it’s important to do two things: 1) reflect on the past (what you did, how you did it, what you didn’t do, etc.) and 2) create a plan for the future.

Given #1 above, as I take a few minutes to reflect, I feel like I was taken to school this past year. 2016 brought lots of changes for us at 321GoProject – in our team, our service offerings, and our focus.

Here are a handful of themes I’ve learned (or re-learned) from those changes in hopes that just maybe you can learn a little something from them too.

Success takes time. There are no magic pills. Very few plug-n-play, easy button answers exist. Success comes from doing the hard work, every day. Doing the little things and creating habits that are often seemingly insignificant, but when added up over time equal your envisioned success. The difference between the people who understand (and embrace) this and those who don’t is astounding.

Every day requires recommitment. Some days you wake up stoked for what lies ahead, to be sure. But, for the most part if you’re anything like me, it’s a daily recommitment to what’s important. It is discipline. It is habits. It is perseverance. It’s the grind. It’s remembering that every choice you make every day matters.

The importance of a good team can’t be overstated. We have a team at 321Go now that is unlike anything I’ve ever been a part of. We are “for” each other, we care about each other’s success and not just our own, we laugh (a lot), and we challenge each other to be the best version of ourselves. And it’s so fun… every day.

Bad people do prosper. While karma is truly what they say she is, she doesn’t always work in our timeframe. Because of that, bad people do still get wins. Sometimes this is a really hard pill to swallow. Especially if you’ve done your very best to take the high road when you know who they really are. That’s ok… trust karma’s timing. Truth always finds its way to the surface, eventually.

Getting rid of the rotten apple is always better when done quickly.  If you have someone on your team who doesn’t fit, it’s always better to let them go sooner rather than later. No sense in delaying, they’re only going to spoil the bunch the more you wait.

True character is easy to see if you listen and pay attention. People do actions and use words that define their character, whether good or bad. Want to know if you can trust someone? Just watch and listen to how much it’s about them.

People attract like kind. We are drawn to people we are like because it’s familiar, and comfortable. Whether you’re competitive, or genuine, or arrogant, or driven, or kind, or encouraging, or funny, or quirky, or family-oriented, or faith-driven, or expletive-using, or intelligent, or motivated, or a combination of the above. If you’re a leader, look at the people following you. They are most likely a direct reflection of your own self.

The people who have my respect are those who don’t “need” it. They don’t do proverbial jumping jacks trying to get noticed. They don’t have to post about what they are giving away to get everyone’s “attaboy”. They definitely don’t toot their own horns. They simply lead from a position of (often quiet) strength and character. This truth has never been more apparent for me than this year. Those who are willing to give others the spotlight and even hold it for them, are the ones who, every day, have my respect.

Positivity always wins. Being negative affects not only yourself, but all those around you. We have a private Facebook group with 250+ gym owner clients. This is a portion of our creed… “This is a place where no question is a “dumb” one. This is an arms-wide-open group. We don’t do arrogant. We don’t do unkind. We check our egos at the door. We cheer for each other loudly and unashamedly. We give. We help. We do positive and impactful. All are welcome and all have a voice.” We don’t allow negativity. Period. And it is absolutely awesome and filled with amazing people. This world is full of positioning, negativity, and hard stuff; people want to be around positive people.

What have you learned this year? Do any of the above takeaways ring true for you?

If you’re finding yourself needing and wanting to be around good people, you should consider joining us for the Setting & Crushing Your 2017 Goals Challenge we’re launching through Hub on Monday, January 2. It’s for anyone who is ready for a change.

In it, we offer ways to get organized, the opportunity to assess last year, a plan you can follow, and all the accountability you need to set and crush your goals, while also developing a system to help your athletes reach their goals.

To find out more about the Challenge, click here.

 

If you have any questions or feedback, you can reach me at julie@321goproject.com. Would love to hear from you!

How To Tell If Greatness Is In Your Future

By | Blog, Business Help, Julie Weldon, Leadership | No Comments

Whether you believe in resolutions and setting goals at the turn of a new year.. or not, it’s always a good idea – every now and then – to take inventory of your life and hit the reset button.

Think about all the different roles you play. You’re a dad/mom. You’re a son/daughter. You’re a business owner. You’re a friend. You’re a spouse/partner/significant other. You’re a coach/team member. So many roles that sometimes it hard to keep up with them all.

Every one of us develop habits and patterns that become “just the way things are”. We get so used to doing something a certain way, or being a certain way, that we stop actually taking notice.

Does this routine feel familiar at all?  New day, same pattern… A little like Groundhog Day.  

  • Wake up. Check phone. Make coffee. Check social media and emails. Rush to work. Get stressed about all the things you have to do. Check your (maybe declining) bank account.
  • Work, work, work. Feel like it’s never enough. Never get caught up. Stare at your computer because you have so much to do, but don’t know where to start.
  • Get home. Eat some food. Feel bad about not doing enough. Distract ourselves with some screens. Go to bed to do it all again the next day.

Have you ever thought to yourself – “This thing that I’m doing… This series of choices I make every day… It isn’t working. I don’t like the way I feel. I don’t like how my business is going. I don’t like the things I’m doing.” And then you find yourself saying… “Things need to change.”

If you’re at the point where you’ve done everything you know to do this past year and your life, or an area of your life, still isn’t working out, read on, my friend. This just might be for you.

Think about your business. Now, think about your relationships. Now, your finances. Now, your health. Now, your focus. Let come to mind any big block area of your life that makes you you.

Now, think about the people for whom you have a lot of respect because of who they are and what they’ve accomplished. Maybe it’s a successful business person like Elon Musk, or Seth Godin, or Mark Zuckerberg. Maybe it’s a celebrity. Maybe it’s a person you consider your coach. Maybe it’s your Mom or Dad or Grandparent. Whomever it is, picture them clearly in your mind.

Now, think about this question… How many hours do they have in a day?

Answer? Same number as you.

Same number as me! I’ve been letting this thought simmer now for about 4 weeks as I’ve been hyper focused on learning all I can about how to make 2017 my best year yet.  

If you’re not becoming who you want to be and are allowing yourself to be satisfied with status quo in your business, or relationship with your significant other, or whatever…. There’s a hard truth maybe you need to hear. You have no one to blame but you.

I have no one to blame but me if the different areas of my life aren’t as I want them to be.

We can make excuses all day long, but the ones who really want to accomplish something, get sh$t done. Plain and simple.

They shift their mindset to a get-it-done mentality. They create the environment that will foster growth. They invest their time and money in being different. They don’t let things get in their way, and when things do pop up, they find a way around them. When they don’t know how to do something, they do whatever it takes to learn. Because they know where they’re headed. They’re on a mission to make every day count, big.

They know that these four things have to be in place in order to make things happen.

Organization – Their life is organized. Their closet, their car, their house, their desk, their thoughts… all these things maintain a sense of order. They all may not be perfect every minute of every day, but things don’t stay in disarray long. A disorganized life is typically a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants, chaotic life. And, before you know it, it’s over. 

Regular Assessments – They know their baseline. And they know when they’re making progress towards their goal. They take inventory of their life and their business often. And, when things aren’t as they want them to be, they do something about it. The hit the reset button.

A Plan – They have a plan. How silly would it be to go from Philadelphia, PA to San Diego, CA without a map? You’d waste so much time meandering down roads that seemingly lead to nowhere. You’d miss the big attractions and spend time on the lesser things. But how often do we do this with our lives, relationships and businesses? How many of us enter into a new month, new week, or new day haphazardly? We far too easily adopt the “let whatever come, come” mindset. Aristotle coined the term “enkrateia”. It means to be “in power over oneself.” Too often we give away this power to circumstances or other people. Not those who hit their goals. They have a plan. They grab the bull by the horns and they map out their future.

Accountability – Truth be told, we all fall off the wagon. Goal hitters have people in place who pick them up, encourage them, and kick them in their pants when they need it most. To them, having accountability in place is absolutely a non-negotiable.

We’e super excited about a new 30 Day Challenge through Hub that we’ll be launching on Monday, January 2.

It’s a Setting & Crushing Your 2017 Goals Challenge and it’s for anyone who is ready for a change. It’s for those who are ready to attack 2017 with a good old-fashioned load of gusto. It’s for those who want incredible accountability within a group of smart people who are big encouragers.

We absolutely guarantee this Challenge will work in setting up this year to be your best yet… if you’re serious about change.

If 2016 went by way too fast and you’re not much farther along than when you started, and you want to make 2017 your best yet… this Challenge is for you. 

In it, we offer ways to get organized, the opportunity to assess last year, a plan you can follow, and all the accountability you need to set and crush your goals.

For the cost of a monthly Hub subscription ($49), you can set your trajectory for 2017. You’ll get complete access to Hub, plus we’ll walk you through 30 days of setting yourself up to make 2017 count. There are no contracts with Hub, you can stay as long as you like. 

If interested, just click here to shoot me (Julie) a quick email and say, “I want this year to be awesome. I’m in for the Challenge!”

In our private client Facebook group, the question was recently asked “What’s your definition of greatness?” The consistent theme in the answers was that greatness is never stopping your pursuit to be all that you can be in this life that you’ve been uniquely created for.

Consider this your invitation to grab January by the horns and put a little greatness in your future.

What are you going to do about 2017? Won’t you join us for this Challenge?

 

This post was written by Julie Weldon.

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