In The Trenches catches up with Josh Price, owner of LoCo CrossFit and Senior Mentor at Two Brain Business to discuss leadership, principles, values, planning, staff development, and a “before, during, and after”
Josh Price is the owner of LoCo CrossFit in Leesburg, Virginia and a Senior Mentor at Two Brain Business. In this episode Eric sits down with Josh to discuss leadership, principles, values, planning, staff development, and a “before, during, and after” look at “readiness and resiliency” through this crisis.
Eric LeClair: Welcome to In The Trenches, a weekly podcast series dedicated to entrepreneurial leadership, the principles and values that define and develop it, as well as actionable steps that you can take to immediately lead your team to victory.
Good afternoon, this is Eric LeClair with PushPress, and I am so happy and honored to have Josh Price with us today, former or should I say former owner of LoCo CrossFit or still current owner?
Josh Price: Still current owner of LoCo CrossFit.
Eric LeClair: Fantastic. We have a series titled In The Trenches, and it’s a kind of portrait and leadership through chaos and each one of the affiliate owners that were reaching out to have a substantial kind of pedigree in leadership and or building systems, building processes, developing staff and being able to help reduce risk or mitigate risk through trying times. so, Josh, thank you so much for the time that we’re going to spend here today. For those that are watching, and you may not know, Josh feel free to do a little intro on yourself and maybe your affiliate as well.
Josh Price: Yeah, absolutely. First off, thank you for having me. This is really a lot of fun. I haven’t done a lot of podcasts, but I’m getting more opportunities, so it’s fun. I own LoCo Crossfit which is in Leesburg, Virginia, that’s outside of Washington, D. C. Kind of fun fact though I live in a little bitty town called Pass Christian, Mississippi, 1600 miles away from my gym, so I actually run it from afar, and then I’m also the lead mentor for Two Brain Business. I’m the mentor that trains and teaches all the other mentors how we do business at Two Brain.
Eric LeClair: Awesome. How did that come up? Did you use Two Brain initially with LoCo and then you kind of turned into… tell me about it.
Josh Price: Yeah. So, my story with Two Brain started in the 321Go days, you know when Chris was still with them and everything. I did the original online course that they had for the business incubator, and goodness gracious it doubled my business in, like, two months and then it tripled my business at around the four month mark. It’s huge, you know, Chris went with Two Brain, because he really wanted more mentorship and all that, I wanted the same, like I wanted to have the accountability and I wanted to have, you know, the sounding board to bounce ideas off of, so I went that direction with him, and I think I was still a client for another, almost two years and then me and Chris for having a conversation, and it was probably March timeframe of whatever year that was, and just whatever I said, he goes, you need to present at the summit this year. So I got up, I presented at the summit when we’re still smaller, so CrossFit Illumine, Brian’s gym, and afterwards he came up to me and actually I think he called me and was like, because I think it was at the airport in O’Hare, he was like, you need to be a mentor for me. So I became a mentor, and just over my time there, kind of what we’re talking about today, because of my leadership and just kind of the guy that I am, I hit it up rising through the ranks and becoming the elite mentor.
Eric LeClair: Outstanding. Now, how did that challenge you from that gym owners role when you started to wear both hats? How did you develop your staff?
Josh Price: Yeah, great question. So my time in the military and everything. So I was in the Army for, like, 13 years as a staff sergeant. Um, actually, did get to lead a mission in Iraq as a platoon sergeant, so I got that little bit of that E-7 experience, and the big thing that it made me realize is that you have set up your organization in that way. So basically, for every five people or so you’ve got to have some type of leadership put in. So we had already started doing that with my head coach and our GM and then kind of our department leads that we had already and then it just made me look at it and my GM at the time was really my administrative assistant. And when I looked at her, it was like, ok, you got to be the GM now. I need somebody looking at this, so we just look at all of the roles and tasks in the business units. One of things that Two Brain teaches, and I realized I was like, okay, a lot of this is gonna come down to leadership, okay, and in leadership, there’s kind of this model that I use and it’s kind of a training model into a leadership, which is first, it’s task oriented. You have to be able to do a task to the standard. Okay, when you prove that, you move into level 2 which is responsibility. Alright. Responsibility is earned over time. So the first thing that kind of happens is you have daily responsibility. Somebody’s watching you basically over your shoulder. When they see that you could do it daily, moves out to weekly, then it moves out to monthly, and then finally, quarterly. But just like in the military, you know, with your NCOERs or anything like that, we are going to review at least quarterly when you hit that, we move into the third level, which is decision making. This is where we build leaders. The decision making level and the most important thing with this is that you, as a leader, as the owner have to understand how you make decisions so that you can then teach your people all how to make decisions the way you do. And with that I do it in a way I call thought projects. And you can ask any of my people about this because they hate thought projects. I’m like, hey, we’re gonna do a thought project, and they’re like, no! But basically, I ask them, show me how you would increase our profitability by 10%. Show me how you would cut expenses. Show me how you would start a new program and we do this before there’s any money on the line before there’s anything it could actually hurt. Conceptual first. Yeah, and then they go through it, show me their steps, and then I show them, you know, like okay, well, this is what I think of this and this and this, so that moves them through that level. This is exactly what we did with my admin to bring her all the way up to the GM role where she understands exactly how I make decisions and now she makes those decisions at LoCo, and to let everybody know this wasn’t a day, 18 months to get us to where I ultimately move but at the time, just hand it off, just to be able to do more for Two Brain.
Eric LeClair: I love it. It’s methodical. It’s got purpose. There’s intention behind it. She saw the big picture, obviously. And then you trusted, as you assessed her capabilities, you felt more trust. So you gave her more roles, right? More tasks. I dig it. So bring us full speed to today. We were talking on an earlier call about kind of definitions of leadership or operational definitions of leadership. How did you impress upon your staff that there are values or principles at play that helped to mold leaders? Did you have any discussions with them about that?
Josh Price: Yeah, absolutely. So the way that I kind of break everything down is so there’s two parts to your questions. The first part is, there’s a hierarchy of need or leadership direction, and that is all of my clients, hopefully they’ll listen to this, they’ll be like oh here he goes. It’s vision, mission, goals, objectives, strategy and tactics. So, vision, what is the overall legacy? We may never obtain this ever, ever, ever, ever, but this is the direction that we’re going, and then in the why, right? Mission is, I think Jim Collins or whatever we call it the big, hairy, audacious goal, right? We’re actually going to define what we’re trying to hit in a 3 to 5 year timeline, goals, then break down into yearly, objectives are gonna be quarterly. They get smaller and smaller, but they actually spread and scope because now we have marketing objectives, we have sales, objectives, we have operational objectives, and we have the business objectives. Right? And then so basically, those are managed by the department leads over those departments, right? And then we have strategy, strategy is going to be our plan. Right? So that could be Facebook Marketing, social media strategy, affinity marketing, which we teach in Two Brain, basically, how to create more organic leads. That’s a strategy, right? How you teach your classes. That’s a strategy that ultimately needs to go all the way up to the vision, has to align. I teach my classes this way because it aligns with the vision, right? And then finally, tactics, and those are the individual tactics that you have to do so, how to teach the squat, that’s a tactic, how to teach the press.
Eric LeClair: I love it. I love it, man. If folks only watched to this moment, they can run away with those right there and immediately employed.
Josh Price: So the second part was values, right? So the initial business was built off from my values, and I will actually say they were probably not the best values because I’m an extremely competitive person. So we have this, like, hard core competitive line and everything in our business, and I would get, in the early days, this is training and you got to be on time and that as time went on, I softened on that and I was like, man like, I really got to put the customer first. Like one of the values I say is like, what don’t I know? That’s a value, right. And the context around it is if I’m frustrated, if I’m angry, If I’m irritated at a client or at a person in my life, the first question I have to ask them is, hey, what don’t I know about the situation? And then immediately opens up, and then I’m like, okay, now I can help you. That is ingrained at LoCo. What don’t I know? Let me find out from my client so we can take care of them first, right? So, what’s cool, to kind of expand on this, when I left or when I kind of handed it over to the GM at first, my values could not propel LoCo forward, it had to be the values of our essential staff. People that were in there, in the trenches today. So we had to have the conversation now, what are your values, right? All of them. What do you hold dear? What’s important to you? And then we started looking for the common elements and we started saying, oh, man, working hard that’s one, consistency, that’s one, you know, this, that, X, Y, Z, and then that became the corporate values that LoCo still uses today. And the funny part is is like, I don’t really see myself, besides, maybe what don’t I know, even in that anymore. But that’s OK, right? I know that it will push us on for 10 years, 15 years, you know, in the future.
Eric LeClair: So to wrap this into the crisis mode because, really, the dialogue today with so many gym owners is they’re pulling their hair out because they didn’t have things like this in place, and this is not a loaded question. Do you believe all that work up has prepared your staff to handle what’s going on today?
Josh Price: Yes. Yes, 100%. We’ve had six clients leave. We’re not a super huge gym, we’ve probably got 120 group members, probably another 30 or so PT, and then a mess of kids, you know, 30, 40, 50 kids in the program, right? We had six total leave, and that was because they lost their jobs. No way around it. And everybody else, one of the big things they said to us, you know, we called everybody, let them know what’s happening. They actually did Zooms, I think we did two a day for three days in a row where they come on and ask questions, everything. The biggest thread that we kept seeing was I will never leave this place. I will never leave this place. Why? Because of my head coach, his number one value is relationships. Keith Sager takes care of people better than anybody I’ve ever seen. And he let them all know that we love you. We’re gonna take care of you. You’ve entrusted your fitness to us, and because of those relationships, we have a plan. We’re going to make sure that in this one area of your life you are not gonna have to lead it yourself, you’re not gonna have to figure it out. We have the solution for you.
Eric LeClair: Yeah, it’s like you knew the very next question, right? I was going to just figure like that’s what so many gym owners need to hear is the clear, consistent communication up the chain and down the chain of command and out to the clients that we have one, we care. Two, we’ve got your solution and it’s easy, just go up on the computer. You’ve got financial hardships. You’ve got family hardships. You’ve got all the bad things. Let’s just add fitness on top. Folks are gonna become depressed, frustrated, anxious. I love it. We only have about nine more minutes, but I think one of the strongest components here is, is there anything you share that would be poignant or specific to a struggling gym owner today? They’re lacking faith in themselves. They might be lacking this staff to facilitate delegation. That might be losing clients. Any parting words for the struggling gym owner?
Josh Price: Shameless plug, seek mentorship that will help massively, massively,. And that comes from other areas besides Two Brain that comes through affiliate sport groups. Anything like that. Um, number one, I would say to them is, and I do this fairly often, I will go and sit outside and just look off into the distance and reconnect with my why, reconnect with my vision, why do I do this in the first place? And then I immediately will tell whomever, if it’s gonna be the staff, the clients, whatever, this is why we’re here, this is what we’re doing, and when you do that, you immediately assert yourself as the leader and people want to be led. And I cannot harp on that enough. People want to be led when they’re confused. They don’t know what to do. They react emotionally, you know, out of fear. And the thing is, when you lead, you show them abundance. You show them where they can go there, you show them what can actually be. And if you just do that, I’m telling you, your staff who follow you, your people will follow you. And most of your problems will go away, and I know it’s so scary to lead, but I can’t tell you enough, just do it. Just say follow me.
Eric LeClair: Yep. Yeah, man. Powerful, absolutely powerful. You’ve provided clarity. You provided action steps. You provided organizational structure that is gonna be great for a lot of folks to tune in. I really appreciate your time.