Deciding to leave CrossFit Northland as an owner/coach was really difficult. It was the right move at the right time. It’s been a few months so I thought it would be a good time to capture some thoughts on what it was like to own a CrossFit gym for five years.
Owning a business is hard work. We attempted this while having other full-time jobs so time was of the essence. But even so, owning a small business is really difficult. It’s almost like that old saying that you don’t know what it’s like to have kids until you do…same thing with a small business. You really have no idea what it’s like until you start one..I read books, blogs, you name it and nothing prepares you for running every department of a business.
CFN’s First Location
One constant was how CFN grew over the years. We started organically in parks and dance studios with like-minded folks that wanted to be in better shape. That grew into the first location. A 2,000 sq foot facility in which we maxed every square inch. And now, CFN is housed in almost 10,000 sq feet with plenty of room for wall balls and no grocery store dumpsters to run past. Hundreds of members increased their fitness, lost weight and suffered together through some really grueling experiences.
CrossFit has this way of giving participants the courage to attempt and accomplish things they never would have given a go in the past. In weaker moments I was coerced into doing a GoRuck challenge, three ½ marathons and an Ironman. I owe those experiences to CrossFit and to the community at CFN.
But the thing I will take from owning a CrossFit gym was that we brought people together by building a great community. Some members eventually married. Some started businesses together. Many did business together. Because of that strong community, I met a lot of great people and fostered many great friendships along the way. Because of CFN I now have attorneys, real estate agents, electricians in my network to call on in case I need one of them soon.
I’m really excited for the future of CFN. We left it in the hands of two guys I know will work to keep the community strong at CFN. I’m confident Jason and David will continue to develop an environment where individuals can receive the best coaching and motivation in the area – there aren’t two other friends I would want to own the gym. I am looking forward to being a member at CFN for years to come.