PIONEERS, INNOVATORS, LEADERS
Seeing as March is Women’s History Month, I can think of no better time to shout out the amazing women who have helped shape CrossFit into the community it is today. Looking all the way back to the earliest days when Greg Glassman and Lauren Jenai put their ideas in motion, many of the defining pioneers, innovators, strategists, and trendsetters of this community have been women. I’m lucky enough to have met several of them in person. A big name that comes to mind is Nicole Carroll. Old-school CrossFitters remember Nicole for the way she powered through the infamous “nasty girls” workout, alongside legendary athletes Eva T. and Annie Sakamoto, in under 13 minutes. Today, as CrossFit’s director of training and certification, she helps countless men and women through
welcoming environment is its coed nature. As a former high school athlete, I’ll readily admit that the locker room of my all-boys baseball team certainly didn’t prepare me for the real world. Coming to CrossFit, where every box I’ve called home has had a near-even split of men and women, is much more reflective of reality. Struggling through a hero WOD alongside members of the opposite sex quickly dissolves one’s gender biases. Last, but far from least, there are the thousands of women who take on the mantle of affiliate owner. This job has afforded me the opportunity to meet countless amazing women who have stepped beyond just being a member or coach and into the challenging world of running a box. We’ve featured some of these great owners in this newsletter — women like Ashley Thompson, Nathalie Mejias, and Liv Bellanti. Each has their own story of how they came to CrossFit, but they are united with an entrepreneurial spirit and raw gumption that is truly inspiring. I will always hold women who have owned their own business in high esteem. My mom raised my brother and me while going into private practice as a therapist. To this day, I’m astounded at her ability to keep so many plates spinning in the air at once. Of all the business books and entrepreneurial figures I looked to when starting this company, she has remained my primary source of inspiration. Having owned her own practice for 40 years now, she’s still grinding away, getting up early and staying late, helping improve people’s lives. I could think of no better role model for me as a business owner or a human being. To the men reading this, let’s do our part this month to shout out the accomplishments of the ladies in our lives. To the women, thank you for all you do to make CrossFit such a great community.
her tutelage. After meeting Nicole at last year’s Games, I can say with certainty that she has an incredibly sharp mind in addition to her raw talent as an athlete. With leadership like hers, the future of
CrossFit is in good hands.
Of course, CrossFit has been shaped by far more women who never made it to the big stage. You don’t have to be a
Nicole Carol or a Katrín Davíðsdóttir — coaches and members alike have a grassroots role in helping our community improve. Part of what makes CrossFit feel like such a healthy,
–Dave Colina Founder, O2
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4 FACTORS THAT MIGHT BE AFFECTING
Spring is here, and watching flowers sneak up through the soil in your front yard may remind you to consider growth of a different kind — the growth of your business. Regardless of whether you soared over your revenue goals the previous quarter or you took these last few months to recover from failed marketing efforts and missed opportunities, spring provides a great opportunity for overall growth. Still, it’s hard to know where you should focus your energy. To aid your efforts, here are four factors to consider for strategic business growth. 1. LEADERSHIP Similar to nature’s processes during springtime, business growth begins far below the surface through good leadership. Your employees’ perception of you and your company’s mission is what determines their motivation to work hard. Take a step back to evaluate your leadership tactics and determine if they match your ideal business model. Often, replacing poor leaders with stronger ones makes all the difference in a company’s success. 2. EMPLOYEE TRAINING Business growth doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Just as leadership from your management team should be a major focus, your employees need a standard but solid foundation of
WHAT DO THE BRANDS YOU SELL SAY ABOUT YOUR BOX? CARING CONSUMERS
Just as pro athletes are conscious about the products they put in their bodies, affiliate owners need to use discernment about the brands they offer at their box. On one level, this means offering clean, healthy products that will help your members reach their fitness goals. But it also means considering the way the makers of these products conduct themselves. AN INTERCONNECTED WORLD Now more than ever, people are paying attention to the social and environmental impacts of the brands they buy. Thanks in large part to social media sites connecting the globe, we’re more aware of the role our purchases play in shaping the world around us. CrossFitters in particular tend to be socially conscious, caring individuals — they want to know that the brands they buy aren’t just good for them, but good for others as well. THE VALUE OF GOOD VALUES Plenty of companies have proven that it’s not only possible to make a positive impact on the world, but that doing so is good for business too. The conservational and philanthropic efforts of companies ranging from Patagonia to Subaru have won these brands loyal followings. Plenty of affiliate owners have embraced this idea by volunteering at food banks, homeless shelters, and VA events. It never hurts to show support for the
causes near and dear to your box. Making sure the items you sell reflect these values is just as
important as profit. OUR OWN EFFORTS
Part of our O2 mantra of “Honesty, Humility, Hustle” is acknowledging the impact we have on the world and striving to make it a positive one. It’s our team’s personal mission to reduce the amount of cardboard we put out into the world and make our environmental impact as small as possible. Of course, the last thing we want is for cans to arrive at your box damaged, so
striking a balance between safety and efficiency remains our primary concern. Those who have been with us for a long time can attest to how our packaging has shifted over the years. We guarantee that we’ll keep experimenting until we strike a refreshing balance.
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OUR BUSINESS’S GROWTH THIS SEASON
knowledge in order to cultivate their own growth in the company. This spring, consider revamping your training programs by moving to online platforms that customize learning paths for each new employee based on previous employees’ feedback. 3. CUSTOMER LOYALTY While it is important to increase brand awareness and expand your customer base, it is essential to also increase sales potential with your existing customers. Look for opportunities to grow your profits with the customers you already have through add-on sales, customer loyalty programs, and referral business. 4. SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY When you adopt policies of social responsibility, you affect your community — and therefore your customers — in a positive way. Take the month of March, for example, which is National Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Awareness Month. You can get your business involved in various organizations geared toward raising awareness. Through sponsoring events and donating money, you can increase your client base while simultaneously helping others.
AFFILIATE SPOTLIGHT LIV BELLANTI LOVES HER MEMBERS When Liv Bellanti started CrossFit, she didn’t know it. “I’d just had my third kid, and a friend invited me over to work out in her garage,” the Michigan mother of four remembers. “One day, I asked this friend how she came up with her workout routine, and she just stared at me. ‘It’s CrossFit,’ she told me. ‘Seriously, go Google it.’” In the eight years since making this discovery, Liv has come a long way in the CrossFit community. When her friend decided to go from a garage operation to opening a box, Liv signed on as a coach. Now she’s taken over as the affiliate owner of CrossFit TIG. “It was a hobby I just couldn’t kick,” Liv laughs, adding, “I really fell in love with CrossFit.” Since taking on the role of director at the end of last year, Liv has done a lot to revamp her gym, inside and out. “It’s a lot of working from scratch,” she says, explaining that they’ve just started a retail operation for the first time. “O2 was actually our very first product! I’m a wimp when it comes to investing money, so it was a bit of a leap of faith buying the fridges and ordering that first batch, but it went so well! It just started selling so fast … people love the stuff!” It’s clear Liv has done a lot for her gym, but if you ask her, the gym has repaid her efforts tenfold. “I know it sounds cliché since every box is a community, but I do really love the people who make up our gym. Folks really want to be involved!” After describing how members had volunteered to help around the box — putting up shelves and even building a website — Liv touches on a particularly heartwarming story. When the polar vortex settled over Michigan earlier this year, Liv and her kids got stuck in the snow while driving to the gym. After sending out a text letting her members know the situation and that class would be canceled because of it, her community immediately sprang to her aid. “One of my members lived nearby. She sent her husband out onto the ice rink of a road, and he walked the kids and me back to their house. No one hesitated to help me. I immediately got texts back with offers from people looking to help.”
BEET, MINT, AND RICOTTA HUMMUS
A delicious and healthy take on the classic Levantine spread, this hummus will brighten up your March Madness snack spread.
• 1 6-ounce beet (about the size of an adult fist), scrubbed • 1 15 1/2-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained • 1/3 cup tahini, well-mixed • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice • 1/4 cup ricotta cheese
• 1 garlic clove, grated • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, or more to taste • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander • Mint leaves, poppy seeds, and olive oil, for garnish
1. Heat oven to 425 F. 2. Wrap beet tightly in foil. On a foil-lined baking sheet, roast wrapped beet until fork tender, about 60–70 minutes. 3. While beet is roasting, blend chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, ricotta, garlic, salt, pepper, and coriander until smooth. 4. Once beet is cool enough to handle, use a paper towel to remove beet skin. Trim root end and cut into small pieces. Add to blender or food processor, and blend until entire mixture is smooth. Add additional salt if desired. 5. Transfer to a shallow bowl, top with garnishes, and serve.
That’s what a truly caring CrossFit box looks like. Thanks for sharing your story, Liv!
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The Women of CrossFit Page 1
Reorganizing Your Efforts for Strategic Growth This Spring What Do the Brands You Sell Say About Your Box? Page 2 Beet, Mint, and Ricotta Hummus Meet Liv Bellanti! Page 3 Book Review: ‘The Magic of Thinking Big’ Page 4
REVISITING A CLASSIC
‘THE MAGIC OF THINKING BIG’
In this issue we’re diving into an old classic that helped define the modern personal development genre and has helped millions of readers improve their lives. “The Magic of Thinking Big” flew off shelves when it was first published in 1959, propelling author David J. Schwartz from university professor to foremost authority on motivation. But does his seminal work still hold true 60 years later? Is there still magic in letting yourself think big in the 21st century? In a word, yes. The lessons in “Thinking Big” are broad, but their wide applicability
This can make the opening chapters in “Thinking Big” feel excessively familiar to those who have read other personal development books. The power of positivity and self-confidence may have been groundbreaking ideas back when Eisenhower was president, but today they’re a given. While this may make some of Schwartz’s ideas feel old hat to modern audiences, the essence of what he wrote in 1959 still rings true today. In fact, one could argue that several core concepts of this decades- old work are even more applicable today. A running theme in Schwartz’s book is the incomparable benefit of treating people like people. While many personal and business dealings hinge on the power of a handshake, there’s something refreshing about the common human decency of Schwartz’s outlook. So many motivational works today focus solely on personal reflection — “Thinking Big” reminds us that there is great power in simply being good to other people. Perhaps the largest takeaway today’s readers can find here is to take on more and think bigger. “Thinking Big” is replete with real- world success stories of people doing precisely that, from students collaborating to solve supposedly impossible problems to wounded paratroopers making their way across the mountains of Burma toward safety. Whether you’re dusting off an old copy or picking it up for the first time, this classic is still worth a read in 2019.
is also what makes them timeless. While today, many authors and motivational coaches — from “influencer” culture to “growth hacking” — focus on whatever is new and shiny, Schwartz focuses on the fundamentals.
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