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Two-Brain Radio Episode 6: How to Work With Chiropractors

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Owner to Entrepreneur

CrossFit has given us a beautiful gift: entrepreneurship. The chance to OWN something, to build it any way we like. To kick away from bosses and fill our OWN cup. But this immense freedom to use a powerful brand any way we like makes us overconfident. It’s EASY to start a gym. It’s also HARD to keep one going. Eventually, success in gym ownership means more than being a good coach. Coaching is a different skill set entirely. Gym owners need business coaching. But the TYPE of coaching they need will differ. Some will need systems to follow (closer to a franchise model.) Others will take ideas from other gyms and apply them (peer modeling.) And still others will see opportunities and rise to meet them. Mentoring sometimes means guiding people to systems that will work. Other times, it might mean presenting a picture of the industry and saying, “Here’s what’s working in San Diego, and how it can be modified to fit your gym in Massachusetts.” And for many, it means “There’s a massive opportunity to add a tutoring service” or “It’s time to open another gym.” My greatest joy as a mentor is taking an owner from one step to the next. When a client asks, “What’s next?” I get very excited. But not every owner will want a second location or another business, and in those cases a mentor can best help by presenting the best systems. It took Elliott Jaques nearly 50 years to develop his theories around stratification of job tasks. I’ll try to sum it up in five minutes. Disclaimer: this is not a commentary on anyone’s intelligence, potential, or raw brain power. To the contrary: the purpose here is to identify friction and cognitive dissonance. If you’re working at things you LIKE, you’ll be happy and achieve your “Perfect Day.” And that’s always the point. Different owners find joy at different levels, according to Jaques. Level I – ...
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Zero to One-Point-One

Peter Thiel has a perspective you and I don’t. Think of the last time you heard the word “Monopoly.” If it wasn’t a conversation about the board game, the word was probably used in a negative context (i.e. in the news in the context of a lawsuit.) But Thiel’s perspective as founder of PayPal and early investor in Facebook is different: he believes monopolies are good. True innovation creates a monopoly, says Thiel in “Zero to One: Notes on Startups or How To Build The Future.” He points to the copycat culture of China, where entire cities have been planned to duplicate their U.S. counterparts, and technologies are reproduced cheaply but rarely invented. According to Thiel, the only path to true prosperity is through novelty: being the first, and creating a monopoly. He believes competition drives prices down and hurts everyone. For example, the price of cars relative to an annual income continues to drop, and profit margins are sometimes nonexistent. But SpaceX (in which he’s also a large investor) has a monopoly on space flight; it can charge anything it wants. This might seem to be bad news for CrossFit affiliates. There are nearly 13,000 of us now, and many potential clients can’t tell us apart. This makes us a commodity service in the mind of the buyer, and drives prices down. But on the other hand, affiliates who CAN differentiate themselves from the pack have a massive opportunity. If their gym is obviously different–to the client, not the owner–they can move closer to “monopoly” status. The first article I ever published about the gym business was called, “Don’t Be Vanilla.” (June 16, 2009.) Differentiation was the point. For me, being a CrossFit gym WAS being different. But now we’re vanilla, too. How can you distinguish yourself from the pack and create a local monopoly even when there are other boxes around?  
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The Value of Singularity

This was originally published on April 25, 2012. This is an updated version. Singularity This is Alexei Sidorovitch Medveyev. He’s one of the greatest weightlifting coaches of all time, pioneering huge advances in periodization, biomechanics, and force development. His USSR teams dominated weightlifting from 1970-1974. A totalitarian approach to managing athletes has its obvious drawbacks. It can also teach us much, even 40 years later. Medveyev could control when his athletes slept, and for how long; when they ate, and what; what they lifted, and when. Under his guidance, the Soviet Weightlifting program experimented with colour; sound; and even smell, marching their athletes through different types of forest after their workouts and measuring relative recovery to the 10th power (spoiler alert: Siberian Fir is best.) You can read more about these ‘best practices’ in Managing The Training of Weightlifters (bottom right.) Worth the cover price just for the short paragraph on steroid usage recommendations for women. Medveyev also experimented with coaching methods. Concerned with far more than just load, bar speed, and reps, Medveyev measured the effects of voice quality; instruction quantity; and total practice time. Prilepin’s Table was developed during this period.  Other ideas were tried, measured, and discarded. One of Medveyev’s guiding principles: never give an athlete more than one instruction or correction in a training session.  Yes, they may need to raise their chin; they may need to stand taller; they may need to lift their hips more. All of those may be true, but only one may be corrected at a time. One instruction was useful; two instructions handicapped the athlete, splitting their attention. When a cue was mastered, the next was given. Information would be prioritized based on relevance, or timing. Do the same with your new contacts: on their first visit, they need to hear that CrossFit is novel, or different, or challenging, or fun, or Sport. As teachers, Coaches, and experts trying to deliver their ...
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Two-Brain Radio Episode 5: Greg Everett

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Two-Brain Radio Episode 4: Jason Williams

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