The mental strain of starting a new business venture is something nobody talks about, and when they provide solutions, they are centered around the business, not you. These self-reflection exercises help you mentally prime for your CrossFit affiliate journey and can be constantly revisited to affirm your reason for getting started in the first place.
It all starts with you. If you fall, everything falls around you, so you’d better start building with bricks instead of twigs and hay. Be honest with yourself before you start, and be your own number one source of emotional and mental support during this entire journey by self-reflecting with these exercises
1. Why Do I Want to Start This?
What’s your reason behind starting a CrossFit affiliate gym in the first place? Are you a born entrepreneur, or someone who’s really into fitness on your own? Find the reasons that you want to start this and solidify them.
If you can’t iron out your emotions behind wanting to start this, or if you can’t find a direction as to why you want to own a gym, take a step back and think on it for a few days. The best thing you can do is sleep on a problem—we actually learn while we sleep, so taking time to solve a difficult problem is a good thing, not a bad thing. Just make sure you come back with an answer you can back.
2. What Kind of Affiliate Do I Want to be?
An affiliate for CrossFit is a great thing to be, but at the end of the day, how involved do you want to be? What’s the reason you want to be an affiliate in the first place?
By the way, if the answer is because you want the social proof and notoriety for having CrossFit in your name, that’s okay. It’s actually a solid business decision.
However, you should be an affiliate who’s involved with your products, a trainer in CrossFit, and someone who understands the customers pain points before you ever build up a gym in the first place. It will help you run things smoothly that others would often struggle with.
3. Is My Passion in Commercial Membership or Private Instruction?
Commercial membership basically means you’re asking for a membership cost for access to your facility. You have quality machines, excellent atmosphere, plenty of natural light, and a good gym culture. That’s worth paying for, but in CrossFit, memberships are often expensive because they also come with group classes; it’s one of the big draws for CrossFit.
If group classes aren't where your heart is, what about private instruction? Multiple coaches each with agendas to support one-on-one training with individuals is also a great way to bring in revenue, depending on your demographic. Think about which method you’d like to offer, and how you can go about doing that.
4. Do I Want to Provide Nonprofit Fitness Services?
Nonprofit services are an excellent way to help out your community while dually marketing your gym and brand at the same time. Everyone respects businesses who offer their time, resources, and help out the local community. Is this something you’re open to as an affiliate owner, or are you strictly for-profit? Decide that now so you’ll know how many resources you have to devote to nonprofit causes.
5. What is My Experience That makes Me Qualified?
Anyone can rent a building, put a sign that says “Gym” on it out front, and buy some equipment. Anyone can do that. So what’s different about you? What are you planning to do with your gym that is completely different from the average person?
What about your personal and professional experiences makes you qualified to start this? Whether it’s a long-standing love affair with fitness, being a personal trainer, or a successful entrepreneur with a background in fitness, everyone has to have something that qualifies them to become a CrossFit affiliate.
6. What Are My Strengths and Competitive Advantages Over Other Businesses?
Every one of your competitors is still in business because they have some edge, some strength, some advantage over everyone else in their competitive circle. So what’s yours?
Find out what advantages you pose that other gyms in the area just can’t keep up with. There’s bound to be more than one, but really focus on that one competitive advantage you offer, because that’s what you’re going to build your business success on.
7. Can I See Myself Enjoying This Day in and Day Out?
Everything has a honeymoon phase. It’s why people buy courses and never finish them, start books that they don’t get to the end of, and learn new skills only to give up after a few weeks or months.
Be honest with yourself: can you see yourself doing this in five or ten years? What role will you be in at that point? Will someone else take over as manager while you open a second location? It’s important to have a path for your own personal development already set up so you don’t stagnate or begin to hate this job.
If you’re creative and you can see a point for yourself beyond just managing your own affiliate gym, work that into your plan from the start.
8. Do I Have the Time, Resources, and Dedication to Be Successful?
Success is exponential. It starts off small, abysmal even, and then it ramps up over time. Eventually, success feels effortless because you’ve already laid layer upon layer of foundation.
So how long are you able to dedicate to this? Do you have the resources available to even dedicate your time, or will it be an issue? Find out now before you go all-in on this.
9. Am I Mentally, Financially, and Emotionally Strong Enough to Do This?
There will be plenty of weeks where you’re not taking home a paycheck in the beginning. Do you have the stable housing, personal finance, and emotional strength to keep working at something that doesn’t pour out a result in your bank account every Friday?
If you’re not ready for that, figure out how you can reasonably live and survive while you make your business thrive.
10. Am I Able to Balance My Work Life and Family Life?
You have friends, you have your own job, and you have your family. How do they all fit into this plan? It’s important to make time for them and not kill your relationships just because you began an entrepreneurial endeavor.
11. Is Personal Financial Support Available to Supplement a Slow Business Start?
Your business isn’t going to make much in the first six months. You might have a successful launch, but nobody keeps that momentum going from day one. It will nosedive after the hype of a new gym in town wears off, and then you’ll have to build sustainable growth.
Do you need to have a weekly paycheck coming in just to keep yourself afloat while your gym picks up momentum? Because if so, it’s going to drain you to no end and it will impact your business.
12. Do I Have Every Necessary Skill to Start? If Not, Where Can I Find Others Who Do?
Do you know how to balance books, plan out social media marketing, and train your front-end staff? Do you have experience in customer service? Few people are a true Jack-of-all-trades, and that’s okay. Find out what you’re good at, and outsource the rest.
It’s not uncommon for CrossFit affiliate gym owners to have freelancers in their employ to help with bookkeeping and accounting. Consider it before you jump in and try to do everything yourself, but make sure you’re taking on a fair deal of the startup tasks on your own so you can utilize your own skills.
13. What Will I Sacrifice Along the Way, and Am I Okay With it?
You are going to make sacrifices. Even though we talked about making sure there’s time for your family and obligations, you won’t be able to maintain them with the same gusto that you are now. Your free time may nearly vanish, and you have to be okay with that. Starting up a business is hard, so be willing (and ready) to see some things go out the window or lower on your priority scale.
14. What Financial Goals Do I Want to Hit With This Business?
Are you trying to get rich over time, diversify your income, or build a business to leave behind to your children? Give yourself a reason to get started with a CrossFit affiliate gym. Whatever your financial goals are, they need to play a core part in how you carry yourself when you run this business.
15. Where Are My Personal Financial Goals for This Business?
Now we’re looking at the business. What do you want to happen to its coffers? Enough money to sustain through rough seasons? Do you want to make a certain amount that the business can contribute to the local community more and more each year? It’s good to have personal financial goals, but your business goals should also play a part in how you run things.
16. Why Do I Believe This is the Business for Me?
There are a lot of business models you could run, so what is it about being a CrossFit affiliate owner that’s so appealing to you? Why this, and not something else? This is a question that ties in a lot of other answers and prompts, such as where your personal and professional experience lies.
Do you believe in the business model because you’ve seen it work, or because you’ve experienced it in some way or another? Everyone has their own reasons for doing something, just make sure the reason you’re doing it is sustainable and interesting to you.
17. What About My Personality Will Make Me a Good Affiliate Owner?
You have a team to lead and a business to run. Why you? What is it about you that makes you a good leader or a good entrepreneur? You don’t have to look for a skill set or achievements—what is it about your personality that makes you a naturally good fit for owning an affiliate gym? If you can’t answer this immediately, take time to dwell, but don’t gloss over this question.
18. Have I Led Teams and People Before, and Was it Successful?
If you’ve never led a team before, let us tell you right now that it looks deceptively simple. You’re only ever shown the good parts about running a team, like lifting up a team member that’s down, or seeing results as a response to your hard work and dedication.
There are endless real-world examples where you do everything right and it still doesn’t work out the way you want it to. That can happen. Nobody can lead 100% effectively, so find out how effective you are, how to improve it, and accept that even if you try your best, there will be some details that slip through the cracks. Be honest with yourself; this isn’t a training video.
19. Can I Provide Value to Multiple Different Target Markets?
It’s good to pick a specific niche of athlete to target, but once you have their business, it’s time to shift sights and focus on one or two more. You should be able to target multiple markets and still be successful.
20. Am I Ready for the Emotional Roller Coaster of Being an Affiliate Owner?
It’s not easy to own a gym and run it at the same time. Maintenance issues, problems with software malfunctions, hardware issues, repairing machines, juggling legal freelancers and bookkeeping—if it sounds overwhelming, that’s because it is. You have a lot to do and a lot is resting on your shoulders. Are you up for that challenge?
Become the Master of Self-Reflection to Launch Your Successful CrossFit Affiliate Gym
Now that you know how to keep your wits sharp and your mental health in check, what are you going to do? Actually, don’t worry—you don’t have to answer that right now. Take all the time you need to self-reflect and find the answers for yourself, and when you’re ready, come back to it.
Be a strong leader for your staff, your teams, and your clients, but most of all for yourself. Nobody is going to hold your hand through this process. At PushPress, we’re constantly finding ways to make CrossFit affiliate’s lives easier, but it still comes down to your effort and raw, unshakable determination to make this work. So, what will you do?