THE EMBODIMENT OF HUSTLE
WOMEN OF O2 I’m probably going to ruffle some feathers by saying this, but as a business owner, I have to call things as I see them. Women, on average, punch well above their paygrade in the workplace. In fact, we guys have to step it up. I only have to look to my own team to recognize this. Over the years, I’ve found that the women we’ve brought onto our team have generally outperformed men in virtually every role — we have some rock-star dudes on our team, and they’d agree with me. So, what better time to shout out some of these amazing members of the O2 family than during Women’s History Month? Brittany Garrett was our very first brand ambassador all the way back in 2014. She worked at the gym where I coached, and I could tell she had the hustle our fledgling company was looking for. As we grew, we were able to bring her on as a full-time member of our team back in 2017. She’s proven an incredible partner in crime, living and breathing the tenets of the fitness biz. As our sales manager, she’s trained a team of badass women who will run through walls to get the job done. Meanwhile, Sarah Browning, our VIP customer service manager, is a titan of personal and professional strength. She’s the one who gets back to folks the same day to solve whatever issues our subscribers may have. Sarah manages to maintain her laser focus on these issues even as her little girl, Harper, clambers all over her. As someone who’s yet to experience being a parent, I can only imagine the kind of patience and discipline she exudes every day. Needless to say, we’re lucky to have her. In fact, that whole notion that having families somehow takes women’s focus out of the workplace is a load of BS. Most of our staff have children between the ages of 3–5 and can still outperform single men in their field. It’s time to leave dated stereotypes like that in the past and cut them out of the way we make business decisions.
As someone whose own mother has been — and still is — a successful small- businesswoman, I’ve
always believed in giving women a fair shake in the workplace. Starting O2 has only strengthened my convictions
on this point. In fact, if it were up to me, men would probably be the ones making 75 cents on the dollar, not the other way around.
I’m mostly kidding on that last point — we want hiring and promotion at O2 to be 100% merit-based. But we also love hiring people with big chips on their shoulder — fighters who have something to prove to the world. Thanks to those CEOs who still undervalue and underpromote the women in their business, plenty of talent in the professional world is just itching to prove their former bosses wrong. This is especially true in the fitness world. We have a long history playing to only the masculine demographic, and many past attempts to depict women in fitness have been, well ... let’s just call it less than empowering. We as an industry have made these missteps and missed out on a huge portion of the market, largely because we refused to let women have a place in marketing meetings and leadership roles. I’m proud that O2 has leaned into a more open, inclusive brand image. It’s something that simply wouldn’t be possible without the women on our team.
Cheers to you,
–Dave Colina Founder, O2
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IMPROVE PRODUCTIVITY BY CLEA IS EMAIL CLUTTE
Do you cringe every time you open your email, preparing yourself for a barrage of unanswered
messages? If so, then it’s time to take tidying up your inbox more seriously because poor organization results in far worse problems than simply missing out on happy hours with coworkers.
According to psychology professor Susan Krauss Whitbourne, mental and physical clutter can impede
productivity. It may also have long-term effects on our ability to process information. One University of Toronto researcher has even found evidence that mental clutter may worsen age- related memory loss. Since most people can cite their digital inbox as a source of stress, starting there is a big step toward organizing your mind and your life. Plus, you can declutter it in just one hour by following these steps. 1. SWEEP AWAY THE JUNK. Begin by going through your emails from oldest to newest and deleting anything you know you won’t need. When you see an email you want to delete, search to find others from that sender — it’s likely there are multiple you can trash right away.
BROADEN YOUR BRANDING BREAKING AWAY FROM HYPER-MASCULINE MARKETING As Dave mentions on this month’s cover, women play a huge role in the fitness community. Indeed, athletes like Annie Thorisdottir and Elisabeth Akinwale are some of the biggest names in CrossFit.
workout poses, you’re sending a very different message. Many people look at this sort of imagery and think, “This place isn’t for people like me.” GET REAL
Yet many affiliates continue to market toward a very narrow, masculine demographic. Here are a few tips on how and why more gyms should be opening up the ways they reach out to new members. PART OF A LARGER SHIFT The branding landscape for CrossFit has already undergone significant change in recent years. The hyper-competitive, “work out until you throw up” attitude that underpinned much of the formative years of this community has shifted toward far more grounded fitness goals. This move toward whole-body health aims at capitalizing one of the most significant draws for CrossFit gyms — one that can only benefit from inclusive messaging. SCALABILITY By far one of the most attractive qualities of CrossFit is that anyone can do it. Scalable workout routines have helped many people who would not normally see themselves as “fitness types” go above and beyond their workout goals. Here’s the issue: If your social media feed, posters, and other branding elements still primarily lean into muscle-bound dudes hoisting enormous kettlebells and traditionally attractive women in compromising
“Opening up” your branding by buying pink kettlebells won’t cut it — in fact, research from MarketingDive shows this sort of dated demographic pandering does more harm than good. Instead, try to capture real, everyday life at your gym. People, regardless of gender, are receptive to the
idea that they too can become a CrossFitter. Take the time to capture the real faces and stories of your gym on social media, invest in brands that don’t rely on gender stereotypes, and make it clear to your members that whole-body fitness is something every body can enjoy.
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DRAGGING YOU DOWN?
ING UP YOUR INBOX
2. CATEGORIZE NECESSARY MESSAGES. Create folders to organize the remaining emails. You might use a time-based system, like “First Quarter of 2020,” or descriptive names, like “Receipts” and “Current Projects.” Choose a system that works for your personal preferences. 3. RESPOND TO URGENT EMAILS. Have unanswered emails that can’t be filed away? Use the two- minute rule: Immediately respond to anything that will take less than two minutes to answer. For the ones that need more effort, put them on your to-do list and schedule a time on your calendar to respond. 4. MAINTAIN A HEALTHY EMAIL HABIT. Now that your inbox is in a manageable state, develop habits to keep it that way. Check your inbox when you get to work and follow the steps above. Once a week, set aside a few minutes to sort through and organize anything you missed. The more time you devote to decluttering your email first thing, the more time you’ll have to accomplish bigger and more important goals.
A WHIRLWIND DECISION LAUREN SUEVER ON HER DREAM JOB
Not everyone grows up planning to be a gym owner. To many in the coaching and athletic world, it seems like a far-off fantasy. But affiliate owners like Lauren Suever didn’t let her dreams stay dreams. When the founder of Decorum CrossFit saw her opportunity to bring fitness to her community, she didn’t hesitate. That’s why we sat down with this small-town gym owner, to learn how she balances her passion for CrossFit with the duties of a business owner. “One door opened up after another,” Lauren tells us, reflecting on the hectic founding of Decorum. “I was beyond blessed.” Indeed, the founding of this gym in Lima, Ohio, is quite the unlikely story. “We learned our local affiliate would be closing in two weeks,” Lauren explains. “The news came out of nowhere.” As a level two coach and active member at an existing CrossFit gym, she was shocked by the news of this closure. Prior to the local box opening up, Lauren would drive 45 minutes to the nearest CrossFit location. Now, in October 2017, her local community was once again faced with being gymless. Someone had to step up. “I pondered it for about a week,” Lauren says, adding, “We opened [Decorum’s] doors on Oct. 29.” Founding an entirely new box within the same month as the previous affiliate closing took what Lauren calls “a crazy whirlwind” of activity. “I had a friend who was an attorney, another who was an electrician — people came to help paint and lay flooring. […] We were able to get a building up in three weeks without hiring anyone. It was amazing.” While Lauren is the first to admit that the unique skill sets of her members, family, and friends made her very fortunate, it just goes to show the value of reaching out to your community. “Never be afraid to ask, ‘Who do I know?’” she advises. Of course, as an elite CrossFit athlete, Lauren also had the resolve and leadership skills to make the rapid founding of Decorum possible. “I was in CrossFit long enough to know other owners and get their perspectives,” she says. “I asked them everything from how they run classes to how they purchase toiletries.” Moving into her third year as an affiliate owner, Lauren has just one piece of advice to passionate CrossFitters like her who want to bring a box to their community. “Never forget that it’s a business,” she advises. “You have to strike that balance. […] It’s all about trial and error until you find what works for your community.”
RICOTTA RASPBERRY CANAPÉS
• 12 (1/2-oz) slices whole wheat peasant bread • 1 cup fresh ricotta cheese • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
• 2 cups fresh raspberries • 2 tbsp honey • Mint sprigs, optional
1. Heat oven to 300 F.
2. Cut each bread slice in half and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 7 minutes or until lightly toasted. Remove from oven; cool completely. 3. Combine ricotta and pepper in a small bowl. Spread about 2 tsp cheese mixture on each toast. Top each toast with 2–3 raspberries; drizzle evenly with honey. Garnish with mint sprigs if desired. Serve immediately.
Yield: Serves 12 | Calories 96 | Fat 3.4g | Protein 4.1g | Carbs 13.2g | Fiber 2.3g | Iron 0.8mg | Sodium 93mg
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Page 1 The Women of O2 Page 2 Productivity Lagging? Check Your Inbox! Opening Up Your Marketing Page 3 Ricotta Raspberry Canapés Lauren Suever Revived CrossFit in Her Town Page 4 How Your Vibes Affect Your Business
ARE YOU VIBING WITH YOUR BUSINESS? BOOST YOUR COMPANY’S CULTURE WITH ‘FIVE FREQUENCIES’
If you dive deep into the tactics of successful businesses and startups, a common thread among them is that culture reigns king. More and more value is placed on fostering an uplifting atmosphere for employees, which allows them to generate better business. The general consensus says great culture is built over time and can take many tries in an attempt to get it “just right.” But one book suggests that you might not need to look very far to pinpoint the biggest influence behind company culture.
The authors assert that leaders are, at every moment, transmitting signals to their team, whether intentionally or not. Teams take cues from those who lead them, so if leaders aren’t dialed into the frequencies they’re giving off, they could be transmitting troublesome signals. Instead, leaders should always be dialed into their “vibes” and be particularly aware of five specific frequencies:
1. Their decisions and actions 2. What they choose to reward and recognize 3. What they do and do not tolerate 4. The way they show up informally 5. How they compose formal communications
“Five Frequencies” illustrates how correctly tuning into these frequencies can give leaders the tools they need to make bad culture good and good culture great. Full of tried-and-true examples from real companies around the globe, this guide proves that culture is not something tangible you can hold, nor is it a procedural element you can simply implement. It’s something people feel, and it’s built and explained by the behaviors that surround it. This means it can be difficult to manage, measure, and, most importantly, change. But if leaders take the time to look at themselves and the actions they exemplify, they’ll have a solid foundation to start.
In “Five Frequencies: Leadership Signals That Turn Culture Into Competitive Advantage,” a team of four authors compile their years of extensive experience working with companies to execute cohesive strategies for building effective culture. Jeff Grimshaw, Tanya Mann, Lynne Viscio, and Jennifer Landis have witnessed company cultures of every type be successful and fail. They concluded that culture doesn’t cultivate from the many but, rather, is affected by the few. In this case, the few are the leaders of the business.
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