In 2012, West Little Rock CrossFit opened in Little Rock, Arkansas. Owner Jeff Jucha shares about the business below.
Jeff Jucha: Everyone starts with personal training and continues with a one-on-one check-in every 90 days. We coach people on what they need to do in order to reach their goal that matters to them. Nutrition, personal training and we now offer online training and accountability.
JJ: I tried a workout back in 2009, and became more and more interested from there until I got my Level 1 in 2011. Then I started coaching foundations at one of two Boxes in our county.
JJ: Banks. I got turned down by every bank I went to, which was over 10 different ones. I was 22, had no credit, assets or steady income. So of course, I looked like a safe bet — not. I finally got some financial backing — use of a credit card — from a friend.
JJ: I am an ambivert. I really enjoy the human connection more than I do the physical work of CrossFit. Don’t get me wrong, the science and exercise portion is magic and will save and extend lives down the road. But, the social bonds and gift giving and connections is saving lives today. We’re a group of people focused on relationships, over going to the CrossFit games or winning competitions.
1. Unfollowing other gyms and defining what success means for me. What will let me lay my head down at night with a sense of fulfillment? What kind of life — and gym — do I want to wake up with every day, and how does the gym fit in that vision? It’s not 250 members and a million-dollar facility. Hint: it’s more about the relationships part.
2. Surrounding myself with a mix of the right people for my style. For me personally, that’s meant being really selective about mentors. I pay for mentorship now. People we know who’ve been successful often mean well, but will only tell you what they would do in a situation. A pro will give you clarity and action around what matters to you in your situation. That’s beyond worth having in your arsenal as a leader.
JJ: Have more hard conversations.
For my gym, that’s meant getting better at owning up for what goes on. I used to avoid hard conversations with people who had a poor attitude in the gym or would not respect our rules or staff. You know, you drive up to the gym and see that person’s car in the parking lot and your mood and energy go down a level.
That just sets you up to allow more of it, and that’s depleting of you, your Coaches and everyone who sees it.
If someone’s not a fit for your culture and would probably be happier somewhere else, you’ve got to tell them. You’ll be happier, they’ll be happier and your staff will see you leading, and that lets them trust you.
JJ: Personal training. We start everyone there, so they get used to it from the start. That way, when we see a better way to help them outside of the class environment, they aren’t so apprehensive about “having a personal trainer” to work on their mobility, or receive structured accountability for activity and lifestyle outside the gym.
We’ve had clients who started with me before the gym opened and stayed in personal training for over 10 years. Longevity and consistency are what they need. Group class just didn’t fit them well, so we helped them individually.