We are Grateful for YOU

At this time of celebrating family, friends and showing gratitude, we would be remiss if we didn’t express our thanks to you, our clients, and our mentors/ team members who “make it happen”.

Our clients give us the gift and opportunity to do what we love.

Our committed mentors live our values, and are committed to “help first”, they inspire us every day with their enthusiasm and drive.

We could share many stories from the course of the year that illustrate the commitment level from each and every one of them, but have selected one to represent them all.

Recently our mentor Ken had a post on the private member page on FB that illustrates the spirit TBB live by and we thought we would share it (i.e. brag) as an illustration of why we are so grateful to work with this team.  Below is a summary of that post:

“I met Ken this year in March or April I’m not exactly sure. On Nov 1st, 2016 a house I have on Cape Breton Island flooded quite badly, I was in Calgary upon my arrival to the house I was devastated to discover 20 inches or so of water in the house . Hurricane Matthew did a real number on the whole town , after three days waiting for insurance people to come the insurance adjuster explain I was 188 on the list of the houses to visit . After explaining there was black mold forming on the walls she said take pictures and you will have to rip it out yourself . The next day I began by myself a very giant removal of a disaster , Ken Andrukow had texted me and asked how I was doing and I explained to him the circumstances of the disaster my deceased parents former house was in . Within an hour he texted me back saying help is on the way and sure enough within 30 minutes a knock on the door and 7 women and men were at my door, Ken asked us to come help you , within 3 or 4 hours the flood damaged basement was in the driveway , nothing short of a lifesaving gesture by a group of young people that belong to Glace Bay CrossFit club D10 who by the way were dealing with the loss of their own club . That’s the kind of man Ken is. I’m sure our members already know the kind of leader he is just wanted to say it myself. Thank you again Ken for being there in my moment of crisis . “

I think this speaks for itself.

Best of the season to you and your families

Are you ignoring your best performers?

Are you ignoring your best performers?

By Amber Cooper, MHRM

When it comes to talking to our team about how they are doing, we often can get stuck in the “opportunities” (i.e. what we can do better). What we don’t focus on enough is the positive feedback – and when we do it’s a “Good Work” in passing.

Reality is we tend to ignore our best performers all together, thinking that we can just rely on them to get things done and focus on the other problems that face us every day. If you have someone on your team who is doing a great job, it is a mistake to not provide positive feedback.

Studies vary on the ratio of how much positive to constructive feedback is required by a team member, but you are looking at a minimum of three to a high of seven times. That means for every piece of constructive feedback you give, you need to provide three times the positive encouragement to that same employee.

If you think about your best performing coach, or other team member right now, do you think you are meeting that ratio? And if you do how specific are you? Do you link their behavior to business results; are you providing the kudos in the moment?

These are all elements that make positive feedback more meaningful. Next time, instead of a passing “good work”, take the extra ten seconds and make it clear to them their impact on the growth of the business… i.e. “I wanted to thank you for what I saw back at the desk. Your positive attitude with that potential client really made an impression on them, when they see the people that work here are engaged and happy the customer knows it’s a fun place to be. Thanks for giving them a peek at our culture”

Never assume your best performer knows how appreciated they are, and take the time to provide reinforcement to your team.

How to maintain margins

How to maintain margins

By Ken Andrukow, TwoBrain Mentor

A funny thing happens as your business grows…so do your costs, both fixed and variable. You sign a new team to a training contract and you need to invest in 10 new rowers. Your PT is growing every month, and you think it is a good time to increase square footage. This can become a slippery slope.  To make the right choices at the right time, you need to ensure you understand your margins.

Profit margin is a metric that helps to assess efficiency in running a business. While overall costs influence the net profit margin, variable costs are a specific determinant of gross profit margin. Variable costs are the cost of goods sold — for instance labor costs or material costs — and are different from fixed operating costs of running a business. By controlling variable costs you can achieve a higher gross profit margin and, therefore, in a more profitable business.

As Mike Michalowicz writes in “Profit First”:

“The GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) formula for determining a business’s profit is Sales – Expenses = Profit.

It is simple, logical and clear. Unfortunately, it doesn’t give you the total picture.  The formula, while logically accurate, does not account for human behavior. In the GAAP formula profit is a left over, a final consideration, something that is hopefully a nice surprise at the end of the year. Alas, the profit is rarely there and the business continues on its check to check survival.

Sales – Expenses = Profit

Sales – Profit = Expenses

With Profit First you to flip your focus to Sales – Profit = Expenses. Logically the math is the same, but from the standpoint of the entrepreneur’s behaviour it is radically different. With Profit First, you take a predetermined percentage of profit from every sale first, and only the remainder is available for expenses.”

Understanding this accounting principle will help you protect your margins when you are making decisions about equipment purchases or hiring. (Variable expenses) In forums I often see gym owners asking what equipment they should spend their profits on.  What they should be asking is how they can maintain a profit.  It cannot be overstated, profits are the lifeblood of your business. without them you will not be able to pay yourself.  Focusing on these principles will ensure your business can make money.

Why Hire a Mentor

Why Hire a Mentor

by Ken Andrukow, TwoBrain Mentor

Being an entrepreneur doesn’t mean you have to go it alone. As a successful business owner I will tell you I could not have accomplished my goals without help–from a mentor, colleague, friend or even family. Looking outside my business gave the ability to evaluate, internalize and act on the counsel I received and was instrumental in making my companies successful.

Successful business leaders leave a path of breadcrumbs, follow them. Why would you take advice from someone that is not already been where or beyond where you’d like to see yourself.
Hiring a mentor is not a path to shortcuts. However, a mentor can help you make better decisions and avoid unnecessary defeats. A mentor can also help you identify and make sense of what you already know, and give you the leverage to take action on the most important pieces.
There are no original ideas left in the world so why try to reinvent the wheel. Whatever you’re trying to do, it’s probably already been done before. Learn from those that have already successfully navigated a similar situation, solved a problem and are profiting.
A mentor, especially one that you hire, is someone who will not pull any punches, they will provide the unbiased advice you need most. Hire a mentor that is someone who has the experience, or expertise, that you looking to achieve.
In the fitness business we are quick to tell athletes that they need to hire a coach if they want the best results. Remember there are experts waiting to help you solve your business problems.
Eventually you may get there on your own however why wouldn’t you want to have someone give you the playbook that made them successful in the same field. The lessons you will learn will be invaluable and will give you the mindset necessary to ensure your success.
Constructive Feedback

Constructive Feedback

By Amber Cooper, MHRM

Every manager has been there.  One of their team isn’t meeting expectations, or has done something that requires them to have the “difficult” conversation with them.

There are many reasons a manager/owner may hesitate giving constructive feedback – they may be “friends” with their team members, they may be fearful of the reaction, or they may not have the time (to name a few).  Whatever the reason, the implications of not providing feedback far outweigh that moment or two of discomfort delivering the feedback.  Specifically, your team member may impact your customers with their continuing performance issue, the resentment might grow in you  and lead to a less calm discussion and, perhaps most importantly, you are not providing your team member with valuable information that will support their development.

When applying the principle of “help first”, think of what that means to your own team.  We all want solid performers working for us.  Often that requires you, as an owner or manager, to support your team in getting to that performance level.

To help you in delivering that message, think about providing factual feedback, not judgmental feedback.  A simple model for delivering constructive feedback is as follows:

  •         Describe the current behavior
  •         Describe the impact of the behavior
  •         Identify alternative behaviors
  •         Listen (what are their concerns, ask them to summarize back next steps to ensure understanding and offer ongoing support/ confidence in them)

An example, rather than:

Your coaching of that class was crappy today (Judgement, not specific, what does crappy mean, what do you want them to do)

Try instead:

Sally, today I noticed you lacked enthusiasm and energy in your class.  When you lack enthusiasm, and don’t engage, customers can see that and they were losing interest because they see your lack of interest.  If you aren’t feeling energized at the beginning of class what are some things you can do to get focused?  What has worked for me is……  I’ve seen you do this before so I’m confident you can do it; Let’s discuss what happened today and what actions you can take to prevent this in the future.

Re-framing the way you think of constructive feedback to being helpful to your team, as opposed to scary or difficult, will help you make these conversations much more natural and easy to have – In addition to ensuring your people are performing to their full potential.