This blog post was written from the heart by Coach Jeff.
Since opening Humble Beast CrossFit, I’ve spoken to a few other gym owners, mostly because my local network of peers know that I'm one of the owners of Humble Beast CrossFit. Many ignorantly assume I'm the sole owner, but little do they know I represent less than half of the reason Humble Beast CrossFit is successful. That’s because my wife, business partner, and all around amazing human being would never for a second take the credit she rightfully deserves for the “success” of the gym. In speaking to these gym owners, I'm repeatedly asked the what, how, and why's in regards to growing our business. I hear owners talk about their clients as numbers rather than names. I hear them talk about their gyms with concerns to returns rather than continued investment. I’m constantly told we do things different, or even wrong.
Sitting in church this weekend, in a members meeting, my pastor reflected on the “busy-ness” or “size” of our congregation (as it has reached 1,000 members). He shed light on the fact that busy-ness, should be viewed as a good thing. Not necessarily from a business point of view, though a capitalist may argue solely from that vantage point, but from a humility perspective. Just think: you are in the presence of many like-minded individuals who value the same things you do. Enough value to spend repetitive times gathering weekly, sometimes daily.
Then I reflected. Those same capitalists have, from day one, been concerned with “size”. “What can we do to increase membership base?” “How can we market to X area, or to Y clients?” “Should we do a Groupon/LivingSocial or sale incentive of some sort?” It is almost as if they do not have faith in the product they are selling and frantically need to prove to themselves that it is good by rapidly growing the consumer base. What about quality? Longevity? Individuality of the consumers? Well, those are the concerns Lindsay and I have always felt when viewing growth. When we first opened, we had roughly 30 total members. Each and every one we loved and knew belonged here. So we prayed, and patiently knew that by doing what we knew was right, we would grow our member base exactly as it was supposed grow with exactly who was supposed to be in our gym: Smart, motivated, social, enthusiastic, and humble people!
Over the course of the past 2.5 years, Humble Beast CrossFit has steadily grown with exactly those types of people and we (Jeff and Lindsay) have done our best keeping the Humble Beast CrossFit staff (MJ, JMO, Alex, Tiffany, Kelsey) as passionate about you guys as we are. Per your feedback, we collectively have done a good job serving you as coaches, supporters, and friends. As we have gained many members and said our goodbyes to GREAT people who have left for whatever reasons life threw their way, we are at a point where the gym is, well, busy.
My ask is this: that you see the bigger, better picture of the "crowdedness". Problems come with crowded spaces, we get that. They can make situations uncomfortable, but you can make the best of it, or make the worse of it. When I see a crowded class, I don’t think to myself, “Man it is crowded in here *Insert negative thought*.” Instead, I am humbled, motivated, and encouraged to be surrounded by people who care enough about their health to value and hour of fitness. More so, they trust us (the Humble Beast CrossFit family) enough to give us that hour (or more). So I ask you again, how do you view the gym when it’s crowded? Better yet, when it’s not crowded?