Want a White-Collar To-Do List? Start With Some Blue-Collar Work.

“Smart work will never replace hard work; it only supplements it.”

I can’t argue with Gary Vaynerchuck on this one. Whether you’re in the tech industry, or in fitness, great ideas are nothing without execution, and execution means hard work.

My buddy AJ has been a client at CSP since his days as a high school athlete. He’s since completed college and launched a business named Lumberlend Bat Co.. Lumberlend was in the black in well under a year despite making hefty initial investments in expensive equipment and materials associated with crafting customized “bat mugs.” He’s also managed to join me for roughly 125 training sessions since taking the jump into entrepreneurship last spring, while simultaneously working 15-hours days for months on end.

Pretty cool baby announcement, if you ask me.

Pretty cool baby announcement, if you ask me.

When AJ shows up to train, he’s typically got paint all over his clothes, calloused hands, and a big smile on his face.

He doesn’t, however, want to vent about the exhausting nature of his job. He could tell me that he’s been up since 4:00am, but instead opts to ask me what book I’m currently reading, who I’ve been learning from, and what my newest strategic objectives are for developing my own personal brand and consulting business.

He’s thirsty for knowledge.

What kind of gym owner will you be?

I admire AJ’s work ethic and drive because it reminds me of the energy that went into launching Cressey Sports Performance. When the dust settles on the first twelve months of business operations at a new gym, there are typically two types of owners:

  1. Those who are considering how they’ll reinvest their profits
  2. Those who are losing sleep over outstanding debt

If you were to audit how each of these business owners spent the previous 365 days, there would be obvious habits associated with each category. The entrepreneurs who are sitting on a little cushion of profits have calloused hands because of the energy that went into cutting rubber flooring for hours on end the night before their gym’s grand opening. Meanwhile, the debt-ridden gym owners are also sporting some banged up palms, because they prioritized their heavy deadlifting session while outsourcing the installation of their turf and equipment.

My hands and back hurt just looking at this...

My hands and back hurt just looking at this...

Unless you’re swimming in unlimited funds, there is no task that is beneath you. Eric Cressey was right there loading the dumpster during the CSP Florida initial demolition process, because he knows the value of blue-collar work during the early stages of a performance enhancement facility rollout. You may be excited to throw yourself into brand management and strategic business development, but working on the business takes a distant back seat to working in the business and earning a little sweat equity as your operation is in its infancy.

Go ahead and open that gym you’ve been dreaming of. But remember this: Your white-collar to-do list will not survive year-one if you don’t embrace some blue-collar tendencies. It’s time to get your hands dirty.