Over 10 years ago when I started my fitness journey in earnest I would have never thought things would be where they are today. What started as a passion for fitness turned into a passion for helping others. The transition from a traditional coach to business owner has been and is less of a natural progression, made more difficult by the need and want to keep a pulse on my love for coaching.
As mentioned above the thought of transitioning to passionate fitness-er to actual coach is a natural one. In fact it’s where the vast majority of coaches get their start. Eventually there is a fork in the road. I either work for others or myself. Knowing what I know now, I’m not sure I would pick the latter. Naivete has its perks. Regardless, here we are. Coming up on our 10 year anniversary of Triumph Strength & Conditioning. The transition from coach to owner has been one of the toughest in my limited experience. One has to take a step back and realize what is actually important. Generally this means not being “the man” as many athlete coaches are accustomed to. Letting others take charge is a learned skill and one that is usually not at the forefront of our mental vocabulary.
The litany of issues we encounter on a daily basis as entrepreneurs ranges from serious and business ending to hilarious and could only come from a SNL writers room. Sometimes we’re answering emails and phone calls. Sometimes we’re talking to lawyers to make sure our T’s are crossed and I’s dotted. The challenge is addicting and never ending. Eventually you achieve a sort of flow state. Or in our case, you hire someone to help.
As the role of owner evolves the role of coach diminishes. It’s natural evolution and a challenging one to swallow. Transitioning from a coach to curator is the next step in the evolution of my role as an owner. Our outward appearance directly affects how our inward business operates and vice versa. Long ago, we made the decision that we aren’t the “skull and crossbones” type of place. We wanted a facility that encouraged people of all abilities to be able to gather and sweat as one. This thought is pervasive in everything we do at this point. From our photos we post, to events we hold, to our daily class structure or even the t-shirts we put out on sale. Everything surrounds our four core values of client first, humility, consistency and gratitude.
The more we progress as a business the more imperative that each one of our staff and every client gets our message clearly. This is easy with 10 clients, becomes more difficult at 50, downright hard at 100 and a constant struggle past 150 to 200. There are more opinions and avenues to create divisiveness amongst the floor of the gym. As a “curator” we need to be in absolute awareness of our surroundings. The dirty floor, the out of stock toilet paper, the guy skipping reps. Each one of these things are miniscule but can lead to a larger problem.
This is not to say that we’re only putting out fires. The role as curator allows for incredible community involvement. Writing cards to a member’s son who’s about to embark on a military journey. Gathering materials and funds for a family who left everything behind to search for a better life in America. Hosting events where our community can come together as one and break bread. These are all fun and enjoyable things that build our image as a place of inclusiveness. We sell relationships, not fitness.
Coaching will forever be a passion. Helping others see their potential as athletes and individuals is at the forefront of my existence at this point. With that being said, the role of curator is more important than ever to ensure the success of our business and community at large.