Time to Stop Asking "What If" and Actually Open Your Own Gym?

3,650 days.

CSP is officially ten years old today. What started as an entertaining distraction as I avoided getting a “real job” coming out of my MBA program just may have actually become a career…

In reviewing more than two years of my weekly blogs, I’ve come to a conclusion: I spend far more time telling you why you shouldn’t open a gym than I do encouraging you to do so. That sucks. I consider myself an optimist in nature, so today I want to rectify this situation.

Open a gym of your own. Seriously.

If it’s important to you, do it.

Start a gym today because of the amazing people you’ll meet along the way. On a Saturday morning back in the spring of 2010, a general fitness client walked through the front door of CSP and told me she had a friend she wanted to introduce me to. Fast-forward seven years and that friend happens to be my wife and the mother of my two children.

Start a gym today because if you want to survive the process, you’ve got no choice but to address your weaknesses and challenge yourself to be competent (or better). I faked my way through all things relating to mathematics during both my undergrad and graduate experiences, doing just enough to get by. Today I’ve got a firm grasp on managing the books at CSP and consider knowing my numbers one of my strengths. I had no choice but to evolve.

Start a gym today because there’s no better motivator than having others counting on you to make a living. You want to feel some pressure? Assume the responsibility of driving a business forward with a collection of employees who expect you to make payroll every other week, to keep their health insurance coverage paid and up to date, and to get their W-2’s issued in a timely manner in advance of tax season. Pressure will either bring out the best in you, or end this small business experience real quick.

Start a gym today because the responsibilities associated with keeping your doors open will mandate that you avoid complacency like the plague. After 7+ years of double-digit growth, we hit a bit of a ceiling in 2015. Multiple kids had recently entered the equation between the Dupuis and Cressey Families, competing businesses had flooded the competitive landscape, and we hadn’t made any distinct strategic shifts in years.

We were reminded of an important lesson: Do what you always have…get what you’ve always got. This applies to your business, your personal relationships, and everything in between.

Start a gym today because of the fascinating new doors it might open for you. Ten years ago today I couldn’t have guessed that I’d eventually accumulate so much meaningful experience that people would care to read a weekly blog reflecting on my day-to-day tasks. I also never imagined I’d have a thorough understanding of the business of professional baseball or an appreciation for the lifecycle of a sneaker from conception of design all the way to the finished product on your foot. I’ve learned some cool stuff along the way.

Start a gym today because the unique training model and gym culture swimming around in your head may have the potential to actually change lives for the better. Maybe you’ll help a recent high school graduate go from aspiring college baseball walk-on to making a Major League Baseball Debut in under four years time. You really never know.

Timmy looking awfully young on the day of his MLB debut

Timmy looking awfully young on the day of his MLB debut

Start a gym today for one of the many cliché reasons I’ve had a tendency of bashing in the past: So that you can pick your own music…So that you can set your own hours…So that you can pick out the optimal equipment selection…So that you can stop working for the man…So that you can tell people “I own a gym.”

Take the plunge.

A decade ago I decided to take the entrepreneurial jump with zero days of fitness industry experience and absolute certainty that I would be successful at it. I don’t doubt for one second that you feel the same way.

Do it.

One caveat: if you decide to do so and ultimately fail, don’t blame anybody but yourself. The gym ownership game is hard, you’ve been warned. If you manage to succeed (and I sincerely hope you will), I look forward to hearing all about the insights you’ve derived from your own sweat equity.

I can’t wait to learn from you.