The Biggest Mistake You Can Make In Business

Today I’m writing on a topic a little bit closer to home – I’m sharing the biggest mistake you can make in business and how I made it. You see I’ve worked in the fitness industry since I got my VicFit certificate back in the day as a 17 year old. And with this certificate, I worked at the local gym as (here’s the really embarrassing part)….  a Tae Bo instructor.

Do you remember Billy Blanks? His Tae Bo program was the Zumba of the late 90’s and for me, it was the easiest way to get my foot in the door of the only industry I could only ever see myself working in (aside from playing for Carlton in the AFL that is). So while I am embarrassed by this, I also know that growing up in a small country town opportunities don’t happen all that often and you have to take what you can get, when you get it, and then throw it in a headlock and not let go.

Business Lesson #1: You may hate met-con, but you do it just the same. When in business, you can’t cherry pick, sometimes you’re just going to have to suck it up and do the stuff that you just don’t like doing.

Fast forward 5 years and countless hours spent jumping around the front of a stage like a tool, I decided to branch out to personal training, while also finishing a Bachelor in Applied Science, Human Movement. I then secured a dream job running a boutique PT studio at beautiful Portsea on the Mornington Peninsula, training B-grade celebrities and societies elite, needless to say, I was pretty pleased with myself.

I’d really managed to step up in the world.

Business Lesson #2: I’m yet to find a successful athlete that is inconsistent with their training, and business is no different. Long term success is never, ever achieved without relentless, unwavering consistency.

It was with this same sense of confidence (or arrogance), I decided to move back to my hometown and take the plunge when an opportunity presented itself to buy the local gym and become my own boss.

At the time, I was 22 and all I had as an old VK commodore, a big HEC’s debt to show for my university years and now an old gym in a country town with 80 members.

Fast forward another five longs years with some very lucky breaks, a perpetual cycle of early mornings / late evenings, little to no social life and I’d managed to claw a membership base of a measly 80 up to over 1,000. Which in a town of 10,000 people, that’s a pretty fair market penetration.

Business Lesson # 3: Going in to business is always a risky proposition. It’s hard to be prepared for the unknown and unknowable, but it all starts with managing your weaknesses.

But it wasn’t until my first son arrived that suddenly I started to take stock of where I was really at.

At the ripe old age of 27 I was married with a son, another bub on the way and a really successful business – or so I thought.

You see it was never easy to go away on holidays. Things never worked as well when I wasn’t there and despite the fact that we had grown significantly, I wasn’t getting paid much differently to what I would have if I was just an employee somewhere. In fact I’d have earned a heck of a lot more if I factored in the overtime I was doing. I realised that I didn’t own a business, it owned me and I owned a job.

For most people, they’d have been a lot smarter or much less pig-headed and taken stock of where they were at much sooner. This analysis would have naturally lead them to either get out and go for the standard 9-5 or recognised that they needed help. But for a number of reasons (part ego, part determination and part stupidity) I grinded it out for five long years, doing things my way, making the biggest mistake that you can make in business – NOT SEEKING OUT HELP.

Business Lesson # 4: No matter where you are in your business life, you do not have all of the answers, all of the time. To succeed (at some point) you’re going to need to ask for help – we all need a coach.

Just about every high level athlete has a coach; someone that gives the objective perspective, the support and strategic direction on things when those with vested interests are battling it out. I knew things had to change, but I just wasn’t sure where to start. The good thing in all of this is that for the first time in the five years I’d been a business owner, I’d removed my stupid hat, smacked down my ego and was looking for guidance – enter the business coach.

From the first conversation I had with my coach, I very quickly realised the value in having that outside perspective. And almost immediately, things started to turn around. I found myself getting more out of the business financially, with me being there even less. Now this is not to say that it wasn’t hard work, as I was still putting in big time and effort. But this time, things were paying off.

Even now, with over a decade as a business owner, I still see the value in having a coach. Like I said, the best games athletes all have coaches and unfortunately, it took me the better part of five years to realise this. And I should say that my coach has a coach, and so too does his coach – you just can’t argue against the value of this.

So if you take one lesson from this; don’t do it all on your own – seek help.

There are a number of ways in which you can get this help. Seek out a successful affiliate and ask them if they’d be happy to be a mentor for you. Or you could speak to other non-competing affiliates and maybe set up a regular meeting where you can all info share. Or you can seek out a business coaching program such as what we’ve got here at the Box Builders with our fundamentals program.

That said, the fundamentals program is now available at 50% for today (Monday) only – tomorrow it will be for it’s regualr price of $97.  As a member of this program, you will get;

  • Proven done-for-you tools business tools that will allow you to manage your business goats (weaknesses) and spend more time doing the things you like and exploit your strengths.
  • Monthly business tutorials and accountability contacts, delivered on a consistent bases to ensure that you are relentless and unwavering your business approach to long term success.
  • Tried and tested systems, proven to work time and time again, addressing every core aspect of your business so that you can minimise the risk in your business and ensure that you prepared for the unknown and unknowable.
  • The support of other affiliates that are all working in the same direction as you. You see it in your box every single day. We all know the power of being part of a community.
  • For this foundation level of membership, you will also receive a templated monthly business newsletter to use in your box (including content) to build community and generate leads.

So if you’re not prepared to waste five years of your business life like me, then take the smartest business step you can make by clicking here to get the all help, guidance and support you need to have a seriously successful CrossFit box at half the cost.

Hope to see you in the program,

I’m off to practice my Tae Bo :-)


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