Business & Fitness What They Have In Common

In late December I started a new fitness program called CrossFit. It’s not new at all, but it’s new to me.  Lately I’ve been thinking about it’s principles and how it applies to life and a few new projects I’m working on.

CrossFit has a cult like following of athletes looking to improve their strength, coordination and overall fitness.  It also includes many elements of Gymnastics.  Many police academies and tactical operations teams, military special operations units also use CrossFit to improve their performance.

It’s challenging. In fact it’s very challenging. My arms are so sore today I can’t really extend them all of the way.  In the last two days we learned how to do toes to bars and climb a rope.  Toe To Bars is basically a pull up made more difficult by having to touch your toes to the bar at your head level.  So over the past few work outs I’ve done over 60 pull ups including the toe to bar move and scaled the ropes about a dozen times.

My daughter came along to the class yesterday morning before school and laughed as we struggled to get up the ropes.  She can scale the rope at the YMCA all the way to the top already.  I and my CrossFit beginners struggled to get just a few body lengths.  I told our instructor he should be video taping this as it would make for a great reality TV show.

Currently I’m a part of the ONRAMP program which is a month long program for beginners to learn all of the moves.  Each day we’re taught a few new weightlifting or gymnastic moves.  This way every one is on the same playing field, so to speak.  It’s just me and three girls in the early AM program.  In just a few weeks we’ve all made huge improvements in strength.

At the end of each class you finish with the WOD or Work Out Of The Day. Basically the instructor creates a very difficult workout that you are timed on.  Either a 8 or 12 minute AMRAP (As Many Reps As Possible) or you just try and do the workout as fast as you can.  As you get stronger you add more weight to the weight lifting elements.  It’s really a competition against yourself.

If you are the least bit competitive you’ll love CrossFit.  I decided to start it as part of my training for an upcoming Marathon.

I’d like to thank Sheri Omernick for a couple weeks of pushing me to go for the first class.  Even though we start at 6:30 AM and it’s way across town. I’m glad I started. Some days this means getting up at 5:30 AM to make sure that I get my daughter to her childcare program if she doesn’t want to come along to class. Not to mention the last few weeks it’s been awfully cold, including -35 last week with the windchill, which would make it very easy to stay in bed.

But I have a few goals to reach and just missing a few days sends you backwards.

If you’d like to learn a little more about CrossFit visit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CrossFit

So here are a few of the things that I believe are common links between CrossFit and Business:

1. You need to constantly improve your business as well as your personal well being. I’m a big believer in the time invested working out now will save me time later at the Dr’s office, in waiting rooms or other unwanted procedures.

I believe that we all need to be constantly improving our businesses by reading relevant books, magazines and articles, joining Mastermind Groups, attending seminars and investing in tools that can improve your business.

It’s also amazing the amount of focused work I can get done in the first two hours after class.  It seems to put me in the groove.

2. Goal Setting.  One of my goals is to finish the Marathon in under 4 hours.  So I’m taking proactive steps towards achieving that goal.  Will I make it? Not sure…but I want to be prepared and I want to know that I’m improving each day/week as we get closer to the May 19th race.

Same in business.  You need to set goals that you can track and measure. Sales goals, new leads into your funnel, sales conversion %’s, gross profit and more.  Another one of your goals might be to work less.  You need to set goals that are achievable and can be measured.  Whether that means you make more money this year, take more time off or better yet a combination of the two! You need to track these.

Currently I write down all of my fitness activity including miles run and times.  Also I write down my CrossFit times and workouts.  Two years ago when I started back training and working out I was only able to do 10 push ups, now I can crank out 50.  It’s been a slow steady climb, but tracking the progress is fun!  I can also do handstand push up which as you can probably imagine are not easy, but awfully rewarding when you get done.

In my business I look at sales numbers, number of leads coming in on various websites, via direct mail and telephone, membership numbers or total number of new members added to various programs that I offer. In addition to these I look at my checking accounts and investment accounts at least once a week to see if I’m making progress.  Now most of my investment accounts can be accessed online and can quickly get an idea as to where I’m at.

3.  Have some fun!  If you’re not having any fun in your business, you’ll burn out.  You need to find the things that you enjoy in your business and do them.  Outsource the rest of the work that you do not enjoy.  I hate bookkeeping and accounting.  So I’ve built a team that I know and trust.  I get reports to make sure every thing is going the way it’s supposed to, bills are getting paid, etc.  But I cringe at the very thought of assigning expenses to certain accounts, tracking depreciation and worrying about the quarterly tax payments.

I’d rather be speaking in front of a crowd.  I’d rather be writing letters, postcards and emails. I’d rather be outlining a multi-media marketing system and then implementing it.  I’d rather be doing anything except bookkeeping.

The same in fitness…You need to have fun or at least be able to enjoy it.  If you find a workout that you enjoy, an instructor or other group members that you enjoy it makes it much easier.  If I’d go to a Zumba class I wouldn’t have a whole lot of fun.  But for many ladies and a few guys it’s been a HUGE hit and it’s helped them get off the couch.  I’m not recommending you run out and join CrossFit. It may not be for you, especially if you haven’t been active in a while. But I’d challenge you to find something that you can enjoy, set some goals and watch your improvements.

4. Begin with the basics! As I shared with you before I’m a part of the one month CrossFit ONRAMP program.  It’s vital because they teach you the moves you need to master so you don’t hurt yourself later on.

In business and marketing there are basics that we should all learn as well.  Many business owners are sometimes too interested in getting involved in complicated and advanced strategies before implementing the basics.  Things like capturing data from existing customers, implementing a referral program or setting up a system for generating leads.

I can already hear a few people saying while “Darin you don’t understand. I’m busy. I have kids that go here and there. I have a business to run. I’m a single parent. I have this excuse and that excuse.”

Actually I do understand. I’m a single Dad, with a good relationship with my ex wife.  It’s important to me that we get along.  We help each other out to make sure our daughter can be involved in school activities and Gymnastics.

She covers me when I’m traveling for work.  I cover for her when she’s on call at the hospital.  We try to help each other out for social events too.

If she’s working late I make sure to get Presley to Gymnastics. If I’m traveling she’ll rearrange her schedule or we have my Mom help us out.  Which just happened yesterday.

I also pay for my daughter to be in an before and after school program.  Even though she only attends about half of the time.  But this allows me to get to a fitness class early in the morning or attend a business meeting at 3 PM if necessary.  But I actually enjoy it more when she comes to fitness class with me and I can then take her to school.  I also enjoy picking her up after school, but there are some days I can’t get there in time so I’ve essentially bought an insurance policy.  Plus, she actually likes the program as many of her friends attend.

Likewise I have multiple businesses to run and obligations to meet. Private clients with deadlines to meet.  We all have the same 24 hours in the day.  How will you use yours today?

To me my fitness program is a non negotiable deal in my schedule.  I mark it off just like a business appointment and work around it.  For me I know it improves my work out put for the rest of the day and I’m hedging my bet that later in life I’ll have extra hours available to be on the beach instead of a Dr’s waiting room.

Soon you’ll see a new program that I’m designing with my business partner Andy O’ Mara where we’ll be laying the foundation for business owners to build a better business on.

Watch for details coming soon!

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Dedicated To Building The Business Of Your Dreams,

Darin Spindler




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