Start with Crap, Polish Until Pretty


Often I sit down to write an article and find myself paralyzed by the inability to create perfection. See the The War of Art by Steven Pressfield, where he writes “a guide to inspire and support those who struggle to express their creativity.”

The book references writing as a means of expressing creativity and the obstacles that will be faced. Then, subsequently how to identify, work through and create beauty.

You may not be a writer, but the lessons taught in the book can be applied to all of those tasks that will make your gym into a special place. Had you thought about revamping your Elements course, but haven’t done it? Want to start a barbell club but don’t know how? How’s that endurance or mobility class coming that you’ve been thinking about starting?

Don’t let not knowing how to pull something off completely stop you from starting. Be willing to make mistakes and start with something, maybe something crappy. Remember, “an average strength program done constantly beats a perfect program never done.”

Sometimes the best approach is to just close your eyes, jump and figure things out on the way down. Create a little crap and continuously polish it until you have gold. I start my writing and all of my business tasks with this same approach. If I didn’t, I would never get anything done.

I will be launching a podcast later this year, The Million Dollar, where I will be documenting my journey from gym owner to successful gym owner. I have the ideas, the guests lined up, and the motivation to help myself and any other owners in my same situation. So why has it taken me so long to get it up and running? It’s the fear that I’m not good enough, the thought that it’s not as good as Barbell Shrugged or Wodcast Podcast. Then I remind myself, they all started in the same place I am and the only difference I see is they took action, massive action, on a consistent basis.

So I’ve been putting my words into action and creating some crap. What have I found? That the more crap I make, the better it is gets and the more confidence I gain. Keep an eye out for the podcast not only because you think it might be a good resource for you and your gym, which it will, but also to see that I’m not all talk. Everything I write about are ideas I implement in my own life.

Here are the keys to the kingdom. Go out and make some crap!

Eric Karls is a founder of CrossFit 859 in Nicholasville, Kentucky. He also helped open CrossFit Fisticuffs in Georgetown, Kentucky, and is the founder/supervisor of Georgetown College CrossFit. Eric can be followed on his personal Facebook or contacted at