I always find it odd when people tell me I’m good at selling CrossFit- I don’t think I’ve ever sold CrossFit to anyone. I’ve never advertised… never recruited… everyone who walks in our doors comes by word of mouth, and they do so voluntarily. All I provide is an explanation of what CrossFit is and an opportunity to try it; the rest is up to the individual.
I think my approach to growing our community baffles some of my more business minded friends, so let this serve as an explanation as to why I will never sell CrossFit.
BECAUSE CROSSFIT SELLS ITSELF
Results. That’s what people care about. When properly executed, CrossFit is the best programaround to improve your overall health and fitness… all you have to do is show a few people a glimpse of what it can do, and the word will spread like wildfire. You can keep your advertisements, your Groupons, and all your silly little gimmicks. Give me a handful of athletes and a few months, and I’ll create a community of believers. We have walking billboards- people stop our athletes all the time with “You look great! What have you been doing??!?” When you can watch someone’s body composition transform right before your eyes, that’s when people start to notice.
People don’t want to hear about CrossFit from me- aside from being fit, I do this for a living… ofCOURSE I’m going to claim CrossFit is the best. People want to hear about it from their neighbors; their coworkers; their family members… “ordinary” people who don’t stand to gain from the addition of a new athlete to a gym. What we do works, and it works better than anything else out there, but people need to hear about it from someone who cares about their well-being, not a profit margin.
BECAUSE I’M NOT A SALESMAN
I’m a coach. I want to work with athletes, not waste my time trying to chase numbers. I’m not here to sell you a membership; I’m here to make your overhead position look better. To make sure you’re staying back on your heels in that squat. Do I believe it what I do? Oh, absolutely– I’ve seen, first hand, just how much CrossFit can improve a person’s fitness. Am I passionate about it? Without a doubt… I love CrossFit and I love coaching- I will talk your ear off about either if you give me the chance. But I’m not trying to push CrossFit on you- I don’t really care if you want to do CrossFit or not… I’m just talking about what I know (and love).
BECAUSE FITNESS IS LIKE AN ADDICTION
Look- this is what it comes down to: I can scale any workout, any movement, for any person, regardless of their fitness… but at the end of the day, if they don’t WANT to do it, I can’t help them. It really doesn’t matter what I say about CrossFit, or even what I can prove about- if you haven’t decided for yourself that it’s time to make a change in your life, my words will fall on deaf ears.
We talk all the time about how CrossFit is for everyone, but not everyone is for CrossFit. Yes, anyone can DO CrossFit- but that doesn’t mean everyone has the right attitude about it, and it certainly doesn’t mean that everyone WANTS to do CrossFit. This shit is NOT easy. Period. No matter how fit you are, it never gets easier, you just get faster. You have to want it- you have to want to get better.
BECAUSE I’M AN ALTRUISTIC BLEEDING HEART THAT BELIEVES IN MAKING THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE
We all have a finite amount of time in this world, and when your time comes, even the richest among us will have to leave their earnings behind. The question becomes- what kind of legacy will you leave? What did you do with your time here? Did you leave the world a better place? For me, I found my answers in fitness. As we’ve watched the obesity rates sky rocket over the last generation, and watched our society transform from a nation of hard working innovators to a nation of lazy, sedentary couch potatoes, it becomes frighteningly clear that it is far past time for the pendulum to swing back in the other direction.
Such a massive paradigm shift is an incredibly difficult undertaking, and truthfully, not always achievable. But I CAN affect THIS community. We can improve the health, fitness, and well-being of our athletes, and they can, in turn, improve the lives of their families, friends, and neighbors. THIS is why I get so excited when someone tells me “Okay, my husband is ready to give CrossFit a try” or “The reason I’m doing this is to set an example for my child.” This is how the community SHOULDgrow- not because someone is pressuring them into another gym membership.
It cracks me up when I get emails and texts from my athletes saying “I’m sure you get tired of hearing this, but [insert amazing personal accomplishment here]”… Are you kidding me??? I will NEVER get tired of hearing that stuff- that’s what I live for, that’s why I opened ABV. Those messages are worth more to me than any paycheck ever will. To know that I made a difference in your life, that’s what it’s all about for me.
Coaching for a living is a little bit like teaching for a living, except less pay, no benefits, and no retirement. I don’t do this for the money. I coach because I really, truly, deeply believe that fitness is very important. I want you to do whatever works for you- be it running, yoga, personal training, or CrossFit… I’m here to promote fitness. I’m always happy to educate people on what CrossFit really is, and I can prove to you that it works, but I’m not going to sell it to you. You have to be ready to make a change, you need to talk to someone you know who does it, and you have to understand that I care more about your success than I do about taking your money. That’s why I’ll never sell CrossFit.