Lessons Learned in 2020

When I became owner of No Excuses CrossFit a few years ago, I felt like I had not earned my stripes.

The gym was successful and I didn’t have to endure many of the tough months and years that most business owners face when starting a business.

Then 2020 came and let’s just say those stripes were earned pretty quickly.

But through the tough days, sleepless nights, and countless what ifs, it has made the gym a better place for our members. Our systems and processes are better, the way we coach classes is better, the functionality of the gym is better.

2020 has taught us a lot of lessons. Here are my top 10.

Don’t take things personally. We all handle adversity differently. Some of us are quiet, others outspoken. We’re all trying to navigate this new life and relationships are changing.

Communication is everything. 2020 was filled with examples of people communicating badly. Communication with staff, members, guests is important. If you don’t communicate, others don’t know your intentions.

Time is so precious. Time with our friends or family is so important. It can be whipped away in an instant. Illness, quarantine, death can make us miss our loved ones.

Mentorship is invaluable. Working with a mentor that can give you objective feedback helps set feelings aside and make the right decision.

Forgiveness is important. People act out of character when they’re under stress. They say things they’d never say in normal times. 2020 required a lot, but it required forgiveness most of all. Forgive your co-workers, your friends, your family — and yourself.

Leadership is even more valuable in a crisis. In the darkest night, a beacon becomes the most important thing. People don’t know where you’re going unless you tell them. If you tell them, they’ll follow you.

The gym is only as strong as the staff. As individuals we are good coaches and staff members, but together — working with one another — we are great coaches and staff.

Coaching is valuable. Home gyms and workout apps are the most popular they have ever been, but people still want to be coached. That’s why we’re a coaching facility and not a gym with a bunch of equipment and unlimited access.

Fear is paralyzing. When we are afraid we don’t know what to do, so we do nothing.

A little cleaning goes a long way. Our cleaning budget has expanded tremendously. Towels, cleaning spray, disinfectant wipes, hand soap were once items occasionally used. Now they are used with frequency.