These are just some random thoughts that have come up as I brainstormed the topic of “lessons learned”. I found myself early on discouraging many people who asked me for advice about opening a gym and thought I was doing them a favor and protecting them. Who am I to take that away from people? If your passion is to open and run a business, you’ll eventually figure out what you need to succeed. If it isn’t, you’ll have learned a valuable lesson and experience that you will never learn in class. Either way you win.
- You have to do something aligned with your purpose. It makes you smarter, more vibrant, and you transform as a human being as you go. If not, you can make all the money and get all the accolades in the world, and you’ll feel stuck/trapped. This short video from Steve Jobs sums it up perfectly. Luckily, we started something that we were truly passionate about. https://youtu.be/PznJqxon4zE
- It’s way more difficult than I thought it was going to be. However, once we started, the difficulty is not as painful/unbearable as I would have imagined.
- You can’t avoid mistakes, and you learn the gift of the mistakes faster when you perceive it as a gift.
- There’s good debt and bad debt. You have to be willing to go into debt. I classify good debt as anything that will eventually return more than what you invested. Many times, you won’t know for a while. The best you can do is take calculated risks.
- Respect the advice of people but don’t necessarily value it. Most of them are trying to help, but they don’t know what they are talking about, and they are not you.
- Business plans are overrated. What’s the point of planning 20 steps when the plan is going to deviate during step 2? It’s way more useful to get clear with your big vision and guiding principles and then get started once you have step 1 figured out.
- It is harder to work out as a gym owner. I’ve heard it from other gym owners, and I always thought it was bullshit. That doesn’t mean it can’t be done.
- Fear, discomfort and stress forced me to grow and be more creative than I ever would have been if I stayed at my previous job (Air Force).
- Every big breakthrough is preceded by a set back, and every big expansion is followed by a contraction. You can’t have one without the other.
- It’s messy, and that’s how life is, but you’ll rarely get that side of reality from social media, media and testimonials. If it’s messy, you are “doing it right”.
- It’s a bullshit narrative to assume that you can’t be business partners with family members and good friends. The nature of your relationship changes, but it can also give your business more soul.