The Million Dollar Gym: To Own or Not to Own


Well, shit. I start going down the road to what I think is building the gym of my dreams and what happens? The proverbial wrong turn! Since my last blog, I had been doing a lot of planning and information gathering for purchasing a lot, constructing a custom building and taking my gym to the next level.

Within all of the above was sitting down with my three business partners to discuss what that would look like for us as a business and also for each of us individually. I came to find out my partners had very different ideas than I did. This meant a change would have to be made. The change? I’m out.

As partners, we couldn’t agree on anything except that me leaving the partnership might be the best thing for everyone. So as of November 23, 2016, I now no longer own a CrossFit.

Now in full disclosure, I’m not the easiest person to be a partner with. I am always coming up with new and grand ideas and always looking for the next “big thing.”  So I can fully see why the easiest thing to do was to get rid of the wheel making all of the noise.

So now what? I took the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, drank a lot of beer, caught up on some much needed sleep, had a small pity party for myself because I no longer owned a gym and now I’m planning my next “big thing.”

I may not have a gym, but what I do have is an opportunity. By selling my gym, I have essentially been paid to get my time back. With this time, I will do what we never did when opening the doors at CrossFit 859 – create a business plan that goes beyond getting the doors open. I will take every bit of knowledge and experience I have gained over the last four years and put it into action.

So even though this is an unexpected turn, the plan remains the same: Build the gym of my dreams. It might just look a little different this time around. I will now shift gears and center the blog around the question, “What would you do differently if you could do it all over again?”

First, I will focus on content. Content being the knowledge I have acquired over the past four years in being a part of starting and running three different CrossFits: CrossFit 859, CrossFit Fisticuffs and Georgetown College CrossFit (non-profit), and using it to help other gym owners.

Then I will focus on the product – a new gym. My dream gym.

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