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I’ve always believed that CrossFit gyms have a higher proportion of female ownership than almost any other small business. HQ doesn’t have the data to support or refute that claim, but my empirical experience, when compared to industry data held elsewhere, says that more women own CrossFit gyms than any other type, and the success rate for female entrepreneurs in CrossFit is higher than almost any other option.
Today on the show we are joined by Danielle Brown and Anastasia Bennett. Both are longtime CrossFit box owners and mentors at Two Brain. They both bring a wealth of business and CrossFit experience to the table as we discuss a range of topics on the show today. Be ready to take good notes and as always feel free to reach out to either mentor with any questions you may have!
Danielle and her husband started CrossFit 781 which they recently sold in November of 2016. Since then she has joined Two-Brain to become a full time mentor. Now a senior mentor, Dani has completed over 650 mentor calls since she started in September of 2016, all while raising a family and moving homes twice.
Anastasia Bennett grew up in Russia and moved to New Zealand soon after turning 19. She had to learn how to speak a new language and fit in to a new culture. Being an immigrant and being female, she found life very difficult. Through hard work and perseverance, Anastasia now owns two CrossFit gyms. She has since become a Two Brain mentor and enjoys helping CrossFit box owners in her spare time.
Since both Danielle and Anastasia have experience as female business owners, we take a deep dive into what it is like own a business as a female and what sort of struggles take place on a daily basis. One topic that both Danielle and Anastasia talk about is the troubles of having people take you seriously. For the most part, everyone is very accepting of a female’s authority but both have had experiences when clients created difficult or awkward situations. One component of being a gym owner is to be able to deal with these issues. Sometimes coming from a position of a female it can be much more comfortable to approach females as opposed to males from the perspective of a woman.
Another component of being a female business owner is balancing family life and business life. Many children tend to view mothers as the more nurturing component of the parental unit and as a result, are needed when children are sick or need assistance. One way that Danielle and Anastasia have balanced this is to hire additional help in the form of nannies and caretakers to allow them to run their businesses while still providing their children with care. Balancing work life and home life is a constant struggle and something we highlight and discuss on this episode!
2:44 – Dani and Anastasia Introduction
4:44 – Danielle Brown’s story, selling her gym and becoming a mentor
6:30 – Anastasia Bennett’s story from her beginnings in Russia
9:31 – Why does the CrossFit model attract such a high proportion of female owners?
11:15 – Coaching men through the eyes of a woman
15:24 – Addressing female versus male clients within the gym
17:45 – How to balance a family while owning a gym
24:09 – How to decompress from the day and transition your attention at home
28:20 – The effect of business ownership on family
31:02 – Dealing with criticism for using a nanny or caretaker for your children
35:12 – Is it harder for a woman to coach a class if she is unfit?
36:59 – The pressure behind being a female mentor and leader in the business world
40:18 – The reaction Dani and Anastasia receive when introduced as a business mentor