Russell Francis is living proof that it’s never too late to pursue a new goal. He joined CrossFit Jersey City as a member in 2012, and when the opportunity arose in 2016 to purchase the gym, he abandoned a 29-year banking career to take the helm.
At the time, Russell had little to no idea how to run the business, which had been treated more like a hobby by its previous owners. He discovered Two-Brain Business through a podcast and began the Incubator in early 2018. With work, CrossFit Jersey City’s gross revenue increased from less than $30,000 to $50,000 per month, and its staff grew from two coaches to four full-time trainers, one nutrition coach and two administrative staff members.
“Two-Brain Business really helped me turn (the gym) into a business,” he said.
But he didn’t stop there. In late 2019, Russell opened another gym, CrossFit Jersey City at Journal Square, with one of his coaches. It was cash-flow positive from day one, and both gyms have enjoyed steady growth despite increasing competition. He plans to continue to grow his brand by adding a life-coaching business.
Russell knows what it’s like to switch careers and jump into ownership with no entrepreneurial experience, and his goal is to help others learn how to take their gym from hobby to business.
“My mission as a mentor is to give back—to help other entrepreneurs fulfill their own mission and vision statements and to live their Perfect Day,” he said.
In his free time, Russell loves to travel, read, cuddle his Vizsla puppy and play golf with his 14-year-old daughter.