A HUMBLING EXPERIENCE
Well, Murph is fast approaching, and I’m gearing up for another humbling experience. After founding O2, I’ve discovered that the better my business is doing the worse my athletic performance gets. In 2013, right before our little oxygenated beverage got off the ground, I managed to complete the legendary WOD in under 40 minutes, weighted vest and all. Last year, I finally crossed the finish line after a grueling 52. I’m not complacent with this drop in performance, but I understand it. I’ve had to spend more and more time on the factory floor, rather than the gym floor, and that’s a trade-off I’ve been willing to make. But so help me, I’m not going to slip closer to an hour-long Murph. Last time, it was the pushups that had me gasping on my knees, so I’ve made myself drill them every day this year. Even if I improve my time by just a few minutes, I’ll be happy.
what all this means for the wider culture at boxes, I can speak to how this refocusing made last year’s Murph a blast for me, despite how long it took me to cross the finish line. I did the 2018 Murph as a guest of CrossFit Clintonville, a Columbus box that by all rights should be one of the most competitive affiliates in the country. The owner, Patrick, was captain of the Ohio State University track team, and his coaching staff is packed with former collegiate athletes from Big Ten schools. But the culture of CF Clintonville isn’t heavy on elite athleticism but rather on community support and authentic friendship. The way they approach the Murph speaks to this perfectly.
“Communal moments like this remind me of the real strength of CrossFit.”
Writing that feels strange for me. Back when I started CrossFit, I wouldn’t be happy until I finished in the top three at my box. I was all about competing with my fellow gym members and doing my
Murph is an out-and-out parade in Clintonville. The box gets permission to run right down High Street with a fire engine flying a huge American flag leading the way. This makes Murph a true community event, and family, friends, and interested onlookers cheer as members run down the main thoroughfare toward the box. The second leg of the journey took us back to a member’s house for a post-Murph party. As I crossed the finish line, you can bet I was disappointed to see my time. But those feelings were quickly washed away by the cheers and pats on the back I received from members and coaches alike. Communal moments like this remind me of the real strength of CrossFit. It’s not about being the best at your box; it’s about being a better, healthier you.
damnedest to put some points on the board. But as I’ve grown older, and hopefully a little wiser, I’ve come to care more about improving my health than trying to be the best athlete in the room. In a way, the change in my approach to working out mirrors the shifts we’re seeing in CrossFit.
A lot has already been said about Greg Glassman’s move toward a less competitive, more holistic CrossFit: The changes to the Games, the shifts in marketing, and the de-emphasis of elite athletes. But while others may speculate about
–Dave Colina Founder, O2
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HOW TO CULTIVATE VALUABLE CUSTOM
When you’re thinking about buying a new product or service, what’s the first step you take? If you turn to the World Wide Web in search of reviews, then you’re in good company. According to a survey conducted by BrightLocal, 85 percent of consumers regard the customer review to be the single most credible and trustworthy source of advertising. That same survey found that 68 percent of customers surveyed were willing to provide feedback for the company. So, how do you get your customers to write the glowing reviews that help close deals? 1. DIVERSIFY YOUR PLATFORMS Don’t rely on customers to go to your website to leave reviews. There are numerous websites you can utilize that make leaving feedback more convenient for your clients. What’s more is that these other platforms are highly trafficked. BrightLocal found that Facebook and Yelp were consumers’ most trusted sources of user reviews in the U.S., but you can also use Google My Business or the Better Business Bureau. Most importantly, be sure you are active on all the platforms you use. 2. OFFER INCENTIVES Give your clients a reason to write reviews. Consider offering incentives like a discount or coupon code, coffee gift card, or an entry to win a contest for an even bigger prize.
THE VALUE OF SEASONAL GEAR SWITCHING SWAG
SHOW SOME CHARACTER Lastly, these limited swag runs can say something about your gym. Maybe you design a T-shirt commemorating a local Hero WOD, for example. Having swag that really speaks to what makes your box special will reinforce the sense of community and pride among your members and get their friends curious when they wear their gear to work or around town. If you’ve had the same T-shirts collecting dust on shelves for months, maybe it’s time to change it up.
Having branded gear at your box is always a smart move. T-shirts, water bottles, and drawstring bags with your logo help round out your retail operation and provide plenty of free advertising for your gym. But are you doing your best to keep things fresh? As seasons change, there can be some real benefits to putting a new spin on your swag. WEATHER PERMITTING If you’re in a part of the world that experiences a change in seasons, keeping weather-appropriate gear on your shelves is always a great place to start. Winter beanies and summer tank tops allow your members to rep your box year-round. If you’re fortunate enough to live somewhere with warm weather and sunshine all year (looking at you, CF SOFLA), consider making event-specific gear available — a T-shirt for the August games, for example. The key is to have a rotation of new swag your members can be excited about. LESS IS MORE While switching up the branded gear you have on offer may sound more resource-intensive than sticking to evergreen designs, you don’t need to rent a warehouse to store your seasonal specials. In fact, limiting the number of these specialty items you have on offer is the perfect way to generate hype. A member is far more likely to pick up a limited edition tank top that puts a fun spin on your logo than whatever they’ve seen sitting on your shelves all year.
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3. ASK THE RIGHT QUESTIONS Think of the review process as a conversation rather than a request to be met, and use open-ended questions to start. Before you even request a review, you can ask customers questions like “How was your recent experience with us?” or “How are you liking your product?” That way, you can gauge their satisfaction before they leave any feedback. 4. RESPOND, RESPOND, RESPOND The last thing you want to see is a scathing one-star review. But no matter how hard you work, they are still bound to happen. When you receive one, take the time to respond thoughtfully — without being defensive — and try to come up with a possible solution to the complaint. And be sure to respond to your positive reviews as well. When you show that you engage with all of your customers, prospective ones will be more likely to give you a shot.
BOX OWNER SPOTLIGHT: HOW JEREMY RUBERA KEEPS THE FOCUS ON MEMBERS Jeremy Rubera grew up around fitness. “My mom was a bodybuilder and personal trainer,” he explains. “She even had a 20 by 20 gym in our house.” But, like most teenagers, Jeremy didn’t always listen to his mother. “It’s funny. I rejected strength training growing up,” he reflects. It wasn’t until Jeremy became a gym manager that he realized the value of what his mother was trying to teach him. “Managing the floor, I would see this dude working with ropes, kettlebells, the whole thing,” Jeremy remembers. “Eventually, I jumped in and felt the difference; it changed my mental fortitude. That’s when I realized I didn’t want to be a manager.” Having discovered a love for the physical and mental benefits of strength training, Jeremy poured his energy into coaching others. Today, he’s earned certifications as a USA Weightlifting Sport Performance Coach, Level-I CrossFit Trainer, and Functional Movement Specialist. Along the way, Jeremy met Emily Holland, a coach who shared his no-nonsense approach to fitness (and his future fiancée). Together, they channeled their convictions and decade of industry experience to found High Function Fitness. With small classes and individualized training, everything at this gym is focused on putting members first. That’s why we found Jeremy’s advice to box owners so surprising. “This may seem strange,” the 9-year industry veteran begins, “but pay yourself first.” He goes on to explain, “We see this in the fitness industry all the time. Owners run things from paycheck to paycheck.” Jeremy admits he struggled with this exact problem, trying to minimize the business aspects and focus on being a coach. But after reading the book “Profit First” by Mike Michalowicz, he realized that building the business side of High Function Fitness was the key to getting his members the programing and equipment they deserved. “Learning to do this will make your box better,” Jeremy concludes. Fittingly enough, Jeremy’s mom has gone from personal training to business coaching. “She still works out at 5 a.m. every morning,” Jeremy tells us. “I’m very grateful for her example. My goal is to still be rocking and rolling like she is at 65.”
PESTO PASTA SALAD WITH TOMATOES AND MOZZARELLA
Serves 4 (serving size: about 2 cups)
• 8 ounces uncooked whole-grain farfalle
• 1 garlic clove, peeled • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved • 1 cup yellow cherry tomatoes, halved • 3 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 3/4 cup), divided • 1 ounce Romano cheese, grated (about 1/4 cup)
• 2 cups fresh basil leaves • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil • 2 teaspoons grated lemon rind • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain. Place pasta in a large bowl. 2. Combine basil and next 5 ingredients (through garlic) in the bowl of a food processor; process until smooth. Add basil mixture, tomatoes, and 5 ounces mozzarella to pasta; toss to combine. Top with remaining 5 ounces mozzarella and Romano cheese.
14.7g 5.3g 5.6g
Monofat Polyfat Protein
Sodium Calcium Sugars
1.2g 15g 47g
Thanks for the advice, Jeremy, and to all the moms of box owners out there, Happy Mother’s Day!
Est. added sugars
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Murph and the Future of CrossFit Page 1 The Value of User Reviews and
How to Cultivate Them Is Seasonal Swag Right for Your Box? Page 2 Pesto Pasta Salad with
Tomatoes and Mozzarella Jeremy Rubera’s Surprising Advice for Box Owners Page 3 Influence: The Psychology of Yes Page 4
INFLUENCE: Business majors and longtime entrepreneurs will be very familiar with this work. And in an age when many shiny new theories on leadership and personal development come out every year, it’s refreshing to revisit a classic that has stood the test of time. Thirty-five years after its original publication, “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion” should still be required reading for marketers, small-business owners, and anyone else looking to improve their negotiation skills. Written by Dr. Robert Cialdini, “Influence” explores why people say yes. A professor of business and psychology, Dr. Cialdini is uniquely qualified to tackle this question, combining scientific data with practical applications. “Influence” is still a subject of praise, with marketing research groups and journals of psychology lauding the book as a “proverbial gold mine.” You don’t have to get too far into “Influence” to see why. Dr. Cialdini lays out six “universal principles” of the human psyche. These include “Reciprocity,” our tendency to want to return perceived kindness or concessions; “Commitment and Consistency,” our tendency to cling to past decisions; and “Scarcity,” our tendency to assign value to things based on their rarity. While these may sound like surface level business concepts, the way Dr. Cialdini uses these principles as a launching point gives “Influence” value.
A ROAD MAP TO CLOSING DEALS
With each principle, the author dives into examples of how these psychological elements can be used by you or against
you in any negotiation. Take “Commitment and
Consistency,” for example. If you are able to get a person to agree with you on several small points, you lay the groundwork for them to agree with you in the future. Conversely, you can be more alert when people try to use this tactic on you.
One of the most powerful results of reading “Influence”
is that it helps you recognize behaviors you yourself were unaware of. Indeed, that’s the whole underlying thesis of Dr. Cialdini’s work: As social creatures, we all have habitual behaviors geared towards finding common ground with others. Once you are aware of these behaviors, you’ll begin to see conversations and negotiations in a whole new light.
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