I can't help but take to the keyboard here to write about some thoughts I have regarding Tim, the gym, and the reality of true business ownership from my perspective.
It's been awhile since I've blogged, mostly because the time between the three "jobs" I have leaves me very little opportunity to do so. Also, considering the fact that Tim and I don't have much time together outside of work, I prefer to spend that small window of time we do have lounging on the couch either watching another Netflix series or one of the thousands of movies he's already seen. But I've been itching to write something... and the time finally felt right.
It's funny... Ask anyone who is close to me and they could probably attest to this: I am wildly protective about the people I love and I will do anything I can to help them. Whether we're talking about my family, my small close-knit group of friends, or the kids I teach at school, I am protective of them all for different reasons... but of all of those groups, I am most protective of my husband. Why? Because he is one of the hardest working and passionate people I know.
Looking back at our relationship, I feel like Tim and I have gotten where we have today through overcoming challenges and helping one another through some of the toughest times in our lives. When Tim and I first met, he was going through a tough time personally and professionally. A flood had completely devastated his business, put him out of work for 4 months, and forced him to renovate and rebuild his newly established business.
Anyway.. What is my point? What am I trying to get across here? I am protective of what I care about. Tim and his business are pretty high on that list for me. I get protective because although I came into his gym family a little later, I came in at a dark time and experienced the rebuilding of something that has been one of the best parts of my life. Watching Tim work tirelessly from sun up to sun down for months to get the gym back in working shape really showed me the gritty and ugly side to owning a business... but it also showed me true passion in it's most natural form. There are not many people who would have put in that time and effort for days on end... most people would have given up.... but not Tim.
But like one of Tim's mentors, Dave Tate, told him recently... All of the setbacks never stop- that's business. "What does change is your ability to predict them, deal with them, solve them and finally to reframe them to reward more than they take away". Through each of the setbacks Tim has experienced in the short time he's started his business, he has gotten stronger through each one. Any of his clients will tell you that the gym has only gotten better, and the "scars" it has left are simply reminders of the hardships that have been overcome through perseverance.
Lately Tim and I have been talking about our future and the business, and what plans we have for the next five years. I have a lot of ideas, but Tim always has a tendency to keep me grounded. He treats his business the same way. When I say let's add on or build a building on our property, he reminds me that it all comes with time and money. He never does anything outside of his means, as he learned from many of his clients. Every piece of equipment, every renovation, every decision he makes with the gym is made with thought, means and strategy. He doesn't have access to an indefinite amount of cash flow to buy equipment, put out tons of profitable ads, move to a more marketable spot, or even build his own space... but what he does have is the willingness to put in the work to get what he wants and needs for the gym and his clients. That, my friends, is something that can't be taught... or bought.
So with every new gym that pops up in our area, I can't help but cringe and worry thinking that it could possibly impact Tim's business. Want to know the amazing thing? Tim tell's me to quit it... Because he reminds me about what we have that they don't.
We have a family of clients who have stuck through the ups and downs from the beginning.
We have a foundation built from triumphs over what most would have considered defeats.
We don't just train, we teach. We want our clients to get stronger but understand why, and how.
We have an owner who dedicates his life to this gym- wholeheartedly (he didn't remind me of that... I just know it).
All of these other gyms may have a ton of brand new equipment, lots of clients, state-of-the-art facilities, and prime locations, but they're not Elite Custom Fitness... and they never will be.