Owning a business requires discipline.
Discipline to remain focused through the good times and the bad.
If revenues are up and things are looking great, stay focused—don’t pull back and relax just yet. Better yet, have someone shadow you as you continue to take action. Develop them and then present them with a career-changing opportunity to take over. Then you can be free to pursue other goals or grow the business.
If revenues are down, don’t wallow in self-pity. Take a nice big bite of humble pie, accept that things suck right now and then get to work. As long as you are taking action daily, you will see results. You will get out of this rut.
Discipline to see one program through before starting another.
It can be tempting to launch multiple programs at once. You may believe this will multiply your revenue. Unfortunately, it may do just the opposite. With so many options available, your community may choose the easiest one: none of them.
Start with one program and see it through. Document the process and learn from it. Then try again and aim to improve every time. This is slower, but much more effective.
Discipline to evaluate staff before giving them more to do.
Testing and evaluating is key to developing great staff members. First offer a good staff member a new opportunity. Then test them for one month and evaluate them at the end. How did they do? How do they feel? Can they take on more? If so, repeat the process and add another task or role. Again—slow, but effective.
Discipline to review and improve systems often.
Your systems are not perfect. There is no such thing. The top businesses understand that how it is done now is not how it will always be done. It may be tedious—even annoying—but you must review and recode your processes often. Aim for a review every quarter. You don’t have to completely recode every quarter, just look for holes and fix them.
Discipline to avoid the attraction of shiny get-rich-quick programs.
So you found a fancy new ad campaign, or Facebook marketing guy, or event template—great, what does the data say? Has this worked at more than a dozen gyms, more than one time? Just because it sounds great doesn’t mean that it is. Just because it has worked doesn’t mean it will work. This is not a pessimistic view, this is a realistic view. Trying and failing is part of owning a business. But trying without having done the research is foolish.
Discipline to protect your staff and community by firing a member.
If a member is causing problems in your community or causing stress and anxiety for your staff, it is your duty as an owner to handle it. Remove them. Do so gracefully and professionally, but urgently nonetheless.
Discipline to protect your members by firing an employee.
The same can be said for your staff. If they are the ones causing issues, deal with it immediately. Handle it professionally, and then communicate with tact to your members. Communication is key in termination.
Discipline to take action even when it’s hard, even when it seems like you can do nothing right.
So you had a bad month, quarter or year. That’s okay. It happens. Focus on what you can control: your actions. No matter what condition your business is in, you can save it—if you only take action. Every day, identify a way you can improve your situation and take action. Don’t overthink it. Just do something to move the needle forward. If you continuously do this, you will climb out of the hole.
Discipline and patience are the keys. It’s easy to give up. It’s hard to take action—but it’s worth it.
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