Should You Give Things Away For Free?

By | Branding & Website Advice, Building Community, Business Help, Digital Marketing, Financial Help, How To, Hub, Julie Weldon, Leadership, Marketing, Resources, Social Media, Staffing & Coaches, Starting a Gym, Tips | 2 Comments

We recently wrapped up an online Gym Owners Growth Summit with 3,000+ participants from almost every country in the world. THREE THOUSAND. That’s pretty amazing, especially since we were hoping for 500 this first year. The speakers were the best minds in the industry and they were curated to give some of their most solid advice for growing a gym. Three days of advice from the best. And, the most incredible part about it… it was free (except for the time needed, of course, to attend the sessions).

They say nothing in life is free, but this Summit really was free. Because, here at 321GoProject, we know many gym owners can’t afford all the expenses associated with traveling to a weekend seminar or the costs associated with hiring a mentor to grow their gym. Or, they live in other countries and don’t have as many resources available as we do here in the U.S.

People have a wide range of opinions about free. The majority are thankful, but of course you also have the naysayers. Some of these critics say things like, “People won’t value it if you give it away for free.” or “The content can’t be as good if it’s free.”, or “Paying money holds people accountable to take action.”

While I agree with these sentiments, I also know and have experienced firsthand that when you can give something of high quality away for free, it nurtures a relationship and fosters trust. Good people conclude, “wow, if they’re this committed to giving something of this quality away for free, what value must their paid services offer?”

What if you went into a coffee shop and connection to wi-fi wasn’t free?  Of course it costs the shop something to provide it, so following the arguments above… people wouldn’t value it (or you), or they won’t use it properly, or whatever. But, we all know a coffee shop offering free wi-fi only draws us in and makes us a more loyal consumer than one that doesn’t.

The reality is the challenge of free lies with the person actually receiving the free, not the free itself. (You might want to read that again.) If someone is a GSD (get sh!t done) kind of person, they will understand the value and maximize the potential of what’s being offered, whether it’s free or not. If they are not a GSD kind of person, they will have lots to naysay about why it’s ridiculous to give something away.

What’s more important though is being able to answer the question – does giving something away for free align with your values as a company?

Our values at 321Go are the following:

  1. We learn. We create. We give.
  2. We will be financially sound so we can invest into relationships.
  3. We will never assume because we know that clarity wins.
  4. We will lead by example.
  5. We will be the leader in delivering an incredible client experience.
  6. We will be ethical in our decisions and won’t compromise or take shortcuts.

So, you see, giving something as huge as 3 day access to a Summit fits right in line with a number of our values. When values and actions align, let all the critics say what they will.

Given that, we know many don’t have time to sit for 3 days watching training sessions so we decided to offer a 30 Day Pass for only $69. Literally, hundreds are seeing the crazy value in this.

So, here we are in an industry where, admittedly, many gym owners are incredible people and amazing trainers, but know very little about actually running a gym.

And, for just $69, we’re offering 25 sessions with the experts on how to grow your gym.

I’m not sure if this is for you, but just imagine how your business would change if you committed to watching just 1 session a day for the next month.… You’d have tools on marketing, how to create Facebook ads, creating a strategic plan, how to create videos that convert, how to set up effective retail, what insurance options are right for you, how to set up Profit First in your business, actionable tips on how to hire and how to be a good leader, to name just a few.

Most won’t do this because they will get caught up in the urgent of the day.  And 3 months from now, their business will be the same (or worse).

But for those of you who do, you will have a completely different business 3 months from now for only $69.

To what extent you are willing to suffer or sacrifice or be disciplined to get the growth that you want in your gym?

Sometimes free really is good.

4 Things to Maximize Your Chances of Success in Your Business

By | Blog, Business Help, Financial Help, How To, Julie Weldon, Leadership, Marketing, Starting a Gym | No Comments

We’ve all heard the sobering statistics from the SBA that only 50% make it to the five-year mark and just one-third get to celebrate their 10-year anniversary.

If you’re reading this and you’ve made it to your 2 year mark, your 5 year mark, or maybe even your 10 year mark… huge congratulations!  We all know getting to any of these milestones is no small feat.

Because, let’s be honest… the road of an entrepreneur is never an easy one.

It often feels like going on a hike… barefoot, through a densely wooded mountainous forest, at night, with no flashlight, no food or water, and certainly no cell phone reception.

Even for the ones who seem like they have it all together.

What about the road for those who don’t make it to the 5 year mark? Or, maybe even a better question… for those that do? Starting a business and staying open 5 years is a monumental undertaking.

We’ve spoken with countless gym owners who are tired. We’ve spoken to ones who look like they’ve built a huge business because of the number of members they have, but they’re not profitable. For those people, business isn’t fun, it’s stressful. These owners got into the business because they loved helping others, and now it’s turned into the exhausting business of well, running a business.

So how can you make sure that you’re in the small percentage of folks who actually succeed and don’t get burnt out along the way?

Here are a few of the key things based on our experience:

1. Pay Attention to Your Cash Flow. This is the number one sinker for small businesses. Most people who start a business aren’t a “numbers person”, so they don’t ever really have control over or understanding of their numbers. Huge mistake. As a result, they don’t pay themselves, and are constantly focused on not having enough.

Suggestion: If this is you, stop putting this off. Commit now to focusing on getting comfortable with and knowing your numbers. First things first, order a copy of Profit First today, and set up your business using this financial system. It will get you in control of your numbers, have you paying yourself right away, and radically change your cash flow challenges. But, be prepared to work the system. There are no magic bullets!

2. Have a Marketing Strategy in Place. You would never (or very rarely) start a vacation or a building project without a plan. So, why do so many small businesses open their doors without a plan for how they are going to grow? Many owners we talk with are years in and haven’t created a marketing plan. Working without a plan will only get you so far. With so much competition rising up, those who have a plan that they’re executing on will be the ones who get out in front of the pack.

Suggestion: Join Hub. For the month of May in Hub, we’re focused on helping all Hub subscribers develop and execute on their Marketing Plan. We provide the how to, templates, courses, resources, and the expertise needed to ensure Hubsters are focused on the right thing.

3. Surround Yourself with Other Like-Minded Owners. A strong, supportive group offers you the ability to positively change. To see what others are doing, and use their experience to make changes in your own business, can be a game changer for your business. It gives you the accountability to actually make the changes. And then it provides encouragement and high fives when those changes happen.

Suggestion: Again, join Hub. Our Hub subscribers have come together to form one of the most powerful communities of gym owners that exists in the industry. They are quick to say that our private Facebook group has been one of the biggest benefits of being a Hub subscriber. It’s a safe place of question asking, idea sharing, and high fiving. Just being a part of this group is worth the price of admission. To take it a step farther, you can apply to join a M3 (Momentum MasterMind) group. These are small groups of 6-8 like-minded gym owners who meet weekly. They are led by a 321Go Business Coach and are all in similar places in their business.

4. Admit What You Don’t Know and Get Help. Another big reason businesses fail is because of the incompetence of the leader. This is not meant to be a derogatory statement at all, it’s just that many gym owners aren’t equipped to run a business. They just don’t know what they don’t know. And none of us know everything. But, the ones who admit what they don’t know and are willing to invest the time and money into really learning and applying what they learn are the business owners who will be around for the long haul.

Suggestion: Find a business mentor, join an accountability group, listen to podcasts, read blogs, and become a part of a motivating and inspiring FB group. The resources are there, you just need to tap into them. Invest your time and money in ways that will grow your knowledge, and ultimately your business.

Your business is your baby. Your creation. It’s everything to you. It can become everything you dream it to be, you just have to choose the best ways to invest in it. And then, execute on what you learn.

We very much want you to succeed. So much so that everything we create and offer here at 321GoProject is geared towards that. Want to jump on a call with us? Click here to schedule one. We’d love to chat!

The act of taking the first step is what separates the winners from everyone else.  – Brian Tracy

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 (

17 Podcasts That Will Change Your Life

By | Business Help, Culture, Julie Weldon, Leadership, Resources, Starting a Gym, The 321Go Podcast | 2 Comments

guy with headphones

We live in an age of massive opportunity for learning.

With so many resources available at our fingertips – books, articles, blogs, seminars – there is no reason (or excuse) why we shouldn’t be dedicated to our own personal development.

Because I’m a constant improvement junkie, I have to be honest… I’m always a little surprised when I recommend books to people and they say, “Oh, I don’t read.” Or have suggested articles/blogs and the response is, “I’ll get to that after the other 300 emails in my inbox.” (meaning: they’ll never get to it).

I love to read, but I really love podcasts. During my run every morning, it’s my time to listen to podcasts. When someone recommends a new podcast, you’d think I just won an all-inclusive trip for two. I can’t wait to the next day to give it a listen. [It’s a problem really.]

Podcasts are just so convenient. You can listen while you drive, while you’re in the shower, while you work out. Anytime you’re doing a “mindless” activity, they allow you to engage your mind.

So, I figured I’d share my current podcast playlist with you in hopes that you’ll return the favor and share the ones you subscribe to. [Remember, getting introduced to a new podcast is kind of a big deal to me.] Many of these you’ve probably heard of, but some others may be new to you.

In no particular order, here goes…

EOFire – John Lee Dumas. Short 20 minute engaging interviews with people who are killing it in business and life.

The James Altucher Show – James Altucher. Business. Life. Stories. Humor. Every episode is thought-provoking.

The EntreLeadership Podcast – Ken Coleman. After listening to this one, it just makes me want to be a better leader.

The Art of Charm – Jordan Harbinger. I just recently discovered this one. It talks all about what kind of impression you’re making and how to improve it. headphones

Online Marketing Made Easy – Amy Porterfield. This girl gets marketing. She’s not cheesy, just real and down-to-earth. And super smart. Every episode is a winner.

The Top – Nathan Latka. I like this one because he interviews entrepreneurs who are crushing it in business, and he’s not afraid to ask the hard questions.

The Dave Ramsey Show – Dave Ramsey. The financial guru. He thoughtfully challenges his listeners to manage their money and not let their money manage them.

Building a Story Brand – Donald Miller. Huge motivator to make your customers the hero of your business story instead of yourself.

Office Hours – Daniel Pink. Because of who he is, he has some heavy hitter guests on this show. He dives deep and, in true Dan Pink fashion, every episode is fantastic.

StartUp Camp – Dale Partridge. Dale believes that a strong business with a weak family doesn’t work. I love this and couldn’t agree more. He strives to help people turn their passion into their profession.

Power & Purpose – Mastin Kipp. More personal than business. Mastin encourages you to think below the surface and live fully in your purpose.

Seth Godin’s StartUp School – Seth Godin. This man is a genius and this podcast series (15 episodes) is worth every single bit of your time if you want to grow a successful business.

GirlBoss Radio – Sophia Amoruso. An all woman list of guests, this podcast inspires the female folks to get out there and make our marks on this world.

School of Greatness – Lewis Howes. This guy is awesome and his guests are the cream of the crop. You’d be hard-pressed to listen to even one of his episodes and not walk away with a desire to be a better human.

Rule Breaker Investing – David Gardner. Another podcast I just recently discovered and I look forward to every episode. Too many of us don’t know enough about money and investing. These are the Motley Fool guys and they are wildly smart.

The Four Hour Work Week – Tim Ferriss. Everyone knows about Tim Ferriss, but it’s for a reason. Every episode he puts out is both fantastic and inspiring.

And last but certainly not least…

321Go Podcast – Matt Scanlon. I’d be remiss to not include this because I honestly look forward to the new episode every week. This is a podcast by a gym owner, for gym owners. And it covers every topic that a small business owner faces. If you’re not giving this a weekly listen, you’re missing out on some serious goodness.

Podcasts are all the rage, and I’ve bought in. Learning on the go is such an easy and convenient way to spur us all on to become better humans.

What podcasts are in your playlist?

5 Key Takeaways From 1 Incredible Weekend

By | Affiliate Story Telling, Blog, Building Community, Business Help, Julie Weldon, Seminars, Starting a Gym | No Comments

I had the privilege of attending our 321Go seminar this weekend at CrossFit Memorial Hill in Kansas City, MO. There was a ton about it that was over-the-top awesome, but I have to say, without question, the best part was getting to hear the stories of the gym owners. Many of these folks have been through some really challenging hardships but are surviving, even thriving. If all gym owners were like this crew, there’d be few industries that could compare.

On the plane ride home, I took the time to reflect on some of my highlights, the takeaways that I don’t want to forget. Here is my list in no particular order:

Gym owners crave time with other gym owners.

When you get a bunch of gym owners in the room, there is immediately an understanding. A camaraderie that is deep. A trust that is felt. Owning a gym is often a lonely spot – long hours spent in constant decision-making mode. Gym owners get each other, and it’s cool to experience.

People are so much more, once you hear their story.

I was given the opportunity to lead a session on “Helping People Tell Better Stories”. At the end, we split up into 2’s and answered the question, “What’s your story?”  There were tears, there was laughter, there was deep connection. And, the best part is the conversation continued like that through the entire weekend. It’s powerful what you can learn when you are genuinely interested in another person’s story.

Systems and processes are so necessary to run a successful business.

Ok, that’s obvious, but the takeaway?  Not many gym owners have them. CrossFit has such a great name and gym owners are absolutely helping change others lives… imagine how much more powerful we could be if we created duplicatable processes which allowed things to “run themselves”. Gym owners could spend more time on the important things – like being a CEO, investing even more purposefully in relationships, and taking some much needed time off.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed, but you have to just focus on one thing.

Create a list of all you need to do, for sure, but do one thing at a time. Focus on that one thing each day that will propel your business forward, and before you know it, in a month, you’ve completed 30 things. And in a year? You might not even recognize yourself.

Relationships are paramount.

At 321Go, there is absolutely nothing we like more than to really build relationships with our clients. We now have a big handful of new friends whose success we’re invested in! 

A big thanks to all those who attended. We loved every minute of being in the presence of such smart and kind people who are making such significant differences in people’s lives!


Written by: Julie Weldon