Jay Williams is a co-owner in CrossFit Thames, one of the largest boxes in Europe, and CrossFit Hale, his pet project in California.

They’re very different gyms, but Jason has applied the lessons from his “big” gym to his “little” gym…and vise versa. He’s a “big learner,” and a great entrepreneur.

Does Jay believe you can make the same living in a gym with 150 members as a gym with 300?:


Now he’s taking lessons from CrossFit Hale back to the behemoth CrossFit Thames:

“Thames started as a classic CrossFit gym, where you pay a monthly fee and go to the classes. We’d add classes if there was enough interest. And that’s how we started at Hale as well. But that’s what every other box is doing.”

“We started offering specialty courses at a different fee.”
“We started making personal coaching the center of what we do, because we found they get better results.”
“We made retention our main focus.”

“We found people are generally happier. And now we’re getting the right people.”

“We took some of this stuff back to Thames, and the response was phenomenal.”

How hard was it to implement some of these changes?

As usual, Jay found it was critical to explain the value to the coaches. They were the first to be convinced.

“The best athletes don’t make the best coaches.” Jason also believes the best coaches don’t always make the best gym owners.

“I don’t see myself as the best coach. Some of the coaches who work for me are better coaches than I am. But I think I’m better at seeing the bigger picture.”

But he does take some lessons at coaching:
“The better coach you become, the less ego you have about being a coach.”

“The more you learn, the less you know.”

“The more I ask, and the more I listen, the better my business goes.”

“Sometimes the people who make Regionals are the people we have to fire from the gym.”


Jay finds inspiration through modeling other gym owners, and some unconventional sources, like:

“The Cat in the Hat”

The One Thing

The Four-Hour Workweek

Jay’s models of success:

Tim Ferriss

Elon Musk

His friend Mike.

In “Critical Questions,” I answer Ray’s email: “What’s the single most important metric for gyms to track?”

Want to ask a question for a future episode? Email me here. Want to chat for a half hour without sales pressure? Click here to book a free call.

Recorded on October 19, 2015.