‘HERE WE GO AGAIN’ Sometimes, I hit these moments where I feel as if I’m living the same day over and over again. I wake up to deal with the same old concerns: profit margins, employee training, fixed cost exposure, and so on. It can feel like being locked into a treadmill or like being in a certain Bill Murray movie set during this time of year. I’m certain I’m not the only business owner who experiences the “Groundhog Day” sensation. In fact, many of you box owners may be right there with me. If that’s the case, give the old 1993 classic rom-com a rewatch — it has a surprising amount of wisdom on how to break free of this mindset. concerns of being an entrepreneur aren’t something you can “escape” or “wake up” from — they’re a core part of growing your business, no matter how dull and repetitive they might seem. But if you reframe the way you look at these acts and the time you spend doing them, you can shake yourself free of the depressing feeling that you aren’t gaining any ground. In fact, with the right outlook, sometimes these everyday actions can seem almost magical. Think back to the movie. When Murray finds himself reliving the same day over and over and over again, he’s shocked and frustrated. Like many early entrepreneurs who may have been imagining Instagram levels of overnight success, he curses every time the alarm wakes him to the same old morning and balks as the same old conversations and events play out before his eyes time and time again. Every business owner has those moments, but the ones who succeed are those who take this repetition not as a curse but as an opportunity. Naturally, this doesn’t play out as comedically as it does in “Groundhog Day.” Unlike the protagonist, we can’t use our previous experiences to rob banks, learn French, or binge eat with no fear of weight gain. However, the same core principle applies: With experience comes knowledge, and knowledge is power. Just as Murray uses his foresight to get the most out of each recurring day, we can lean on the time and energy we spent on past hurdles to better tackle obstacles in the present. And no, sadly the answer isn’t “true love” or anything as supernatural as what Murray’s character encounters. The mundane, cyclical
And we don’t have to do it alone. A turning point comes in the film when Murray explains his situation to his love interest, and she helps him through the day. In fact, her wisdom ends up being part of what brings “Groundhog Day” to an end. The same is definitely true in the world of business. Seeking an outside perspective, or, better yet, the advice of someone who’s been through the same struggles before, is a surefire way to make progress. There’s nothing new under the sun, and chances are others have faced what you’re struggling with. Thankfully, many people in the fitness community are willing to share their experiences and advice. Never be afraid to turn to a fellow box owner for tips when you feel stuck. I constantly pick the brains of others in the beverage industry, and the difference shows. People well before my time have wrestled with and overcome the issues I deal with, like packaging, pricing, and distribution. If I’m going to turn a blind eye to their expertise, then, of course, I’m going to fall into a cycle of repeating their same mistakes. Last but not least, we should remember the ultimate message of “Groundhog Day.” Even after Murray learns to use his knowledge for his own personal gain, it doesn’t bring him any lasting happiness. After a while, he’s more laconic than ever. This only changes when he makes the decision to start using his situation to help others. I’m not suggesting you make your box a philanthropy, but I am pointing out that having a broader mission than simply “grow” will make the day- to-day minutiae far more meaningful. Taking the time to see the people behind those spreadsheet numbers, the families impacted by your gym’s programming, and the amount of good you’re doing for the health and wellness of the community sounds simple, but it is vitally important. It may not always be visible, but if you take the time to look for it, I believe you’ll see that your box is making a positive impact every day of the week. That’s the kind of everyday magic I can believe in.
–Dave Colina Founder, O2
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