I can’t quite remember how I first came across CrossFit Central.
Then again, I often take a winding path – via Google – to connect with most of my sources for the first time. In 2015, I had my first recorded conversation with Jeremy Thiel about software for one’s gym.
And often times, that’s how it begins. I start a relationship with a source, learn more and more about their business acumen, hear great things about their Box from others, and then pursue a cover story. It’s quite atypical for me to cold-call a gym to be on the cover. I’ve often in some way, shape or form connected with him/her prior. Kepler and Thiel were no different.
Despite having connected with them earlier, I didn’t know everything. In fact, they had some unique aspects of their business I wouldn’t have know about until I talked with them more in-depth. For example, one fact I learned is they helped spawn many of the gyms in the Austin area. I didn’t know that. Another is how they had structured their classes for the longest time, having a sort of closed-class model. It proved great for accountability and retention. And it was quite different than what other Affiliates do.
If I have learned anything at all in my time doing these cover story interviews, it’s the fact you can’t know someone or their business until you have an in-depth conversation. You have to ask questions, of course, but more importantly, you have to listen.
Yes, this can apply to listening to your members. But I think it also means listening to your Coaches, your friends and even other business owners. I had talked with Thiel multiple times before on various subjects; but it took several conversations for me to learn more about what really made CrossFit Central tick and the fascinating facts about the business. And because of that conversation, we now have Episode 43 of Box Talk!
So, what’s the action step today from this blog? How about you grab one of your Coaches. Sit him/her down. Have a conversation to either 1) get to know them better or 2) see how your business can grow. Practice your listening skills and see if you can find something out you didn’t know before. It just might help your gym grow.
Oh, and have a listen to my chat with Kepler and Thiel. They have so many knowledge nuggets you don’t want to miss this episode: