On the CrossFit Podcast today, I talk a lot about money and its amplifying effect. There are other elements mixed in there–authenticity, wealth, retirement–but the undercurrent was: “Is money bad?”
(Skip to 1:16:40 to hear the main part of this discussion, but it’s a common thread in the whole episode.)
I said “They need to build a bigger engine before they can pull people with their truck.” I was talking about the financial engine of the gym owner.
One of the reasons I’ve dedicated my life to helping gym owners is because there are few others who will be more generous with their success. Almost every day, I speak with a gym owner who’s SO generous that she’s giving away everything: her time, her money and her energy.
For example, they’re running fundraising events for charity, but not taking a paycheck themselves.
Or they’re giving their coaches 70% of Personal Training revenue, but holding a “day job” to pay the bills.
Or they’re giving a 20% discount to people who earn more money than they do.
Everyone benefits from their box–except for the owner.
My friend, you and I both know that’s unsustainable. If the pilot is tired, the plane will crash.
Money might corrupt people, but not nearly as often as poverty does. Money simply empowers people to make choices. And despite what the media tells us about crooked bankers and CEO parachutes, most people with money use it to help other people.
The best way to help people is to be a success yourself.
Build a gym that will support them for the next 30 years, instead of one that excites them today and leaves them alone when the lease runs out.
Build a family that gets Daddy’s attention instead of his exhausted phone-checking during playtime.
Build a community that can take pride in their coaches and know they’re successful.
Build a lifestyle that allows you to be charitable.
In the podcast episode, I mention my own epiphany about giving, which I got from Greg Glassman and a foster parent. I like to look for places where a few thousand dollars will change a person’s life, instead of adding a small drop to a huge corporate charity’s bucket. But both are good. The point is that I can choose, on a moment’s notice, to help. And I couldn’t do that when I was broke.
When a hockey team needs new uniforms, I jump to the front of the line. Because it makes me happy to see the kids happy.
When Houston floods, I’m thrilled to be called for help first, because I know that my donation can be the base for others to build upon.
When an affiliate owner has a great idea, or produces outstanding work, I’m eager to pay them for it and add it to our bank of content that will help other affiliates. Imagine being paid to write the best staff playbook in the world. Or even finding the best staff playbook in the world with permission to copy it. That’s what we do with the TwoBrain family. And money makes it possible.
Money isn’t the root of all evil. Money is not the flower of an evil tree. Money is simply sun and water to the plant, be it weed or tree. And I don’t know any weeds who own gyms.
The most common response to our question in the Gym Checkup “What would you do if you won the lottery today?” is “I’d go to my gym and coach.” You’d do this for free, I know.
Build your engine. Pull more people.