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3 Things Yoda Has Taught Me About Business


Saturday morning movies are becoming a ‘thing’ in the Lee household…Mom catches some zzz’s while Dad and Baby post up on the couch downstairs. Naturally I want to start Sawyer off on the right foot so we’ve started chugging through the Star Wars movies

At the weeeee hours of the morning what else is there to do but throw in your favorite inter-galactic war movie and start getting over-analytical about iconic movie quotes?

Maybe Sawyer will grow up to be a Jedi Master?! I can only hope…

Maybe Sawyer will grow up to be a Jedi Master?! I can only hope…

1) “You must unlearn what you have learned.”

This one was a no-brainer for me to include on the list. When I first started taking over more managerial responsibilities at the facility I kept doing the tasks and kept the same attitude that lead me to the promotion.

I never unlearned what I had learned.

Simply stated - what got you somewhere might not take you to where you want to go next.

I needed to evolve, find new resources, new role models, read new books, put myself in new situations that challenged my comfort level and expanded my threshold for business and the responsibilities I was taking on as well as prepare me for the next wave to come.

Takeaway: Your current level of knowledge is the base of your pyramid. Keep acquiring so your foundation can grow. Your ability to apply your knowledge will allow your pyramid to grow higher and higher.

2) “[Luke:] I can’t believe it. [Yoda:] That is why you fail.”

Self doubt. That is what Yoda taught me in this interaction with his young Padawon. In business the second you start to have negative thoughts, of any kind, you start to position yourself to lose.

There will be lows, but rather than start to doubt your ability, your effort, etc. start to think about learning points or lessons you can apply to the future. I have made a considerable number of mistakes over the last half decade. Each one has taught me a valuable lesson or made me appreciate the complexity of business strategy.

Takeaway- don’t let a mistake turn in to a pitfall. Mistakes are our best teacher. Come to terms that you can not have linear growth/success in business, but rather know that the obstacles you face will turn in to your own mini(er)-Yoda along your journey.

3) “Do or do not. There is no try.”

Did you really think I would write a Yoda article and not have this quote included?

I remember my first ever training week at Parisi Franchise Headquarters and Bill Parisi saying “are you into it or are you IN TO it?” I feel like this quote is the one in the same. Like most things if you’re into it on the surface you’ll probably fall on your face. When you’re in to it you’re invested, you’re motivated, and you no longer try, you just do.

Takeaway: Ask yourself are you into it? Do you just like the surface level qualities your job/position/lifestyle provides? Or are you in to what it takes to be successful?

Write here…


3 Things I learned in January


3 Things I learned in January

January was a wild ride for our facility. I can't really remember a month in the previous 7 years that resembled the level of awesomeness that we (a staff of 5 total) shelled out. We added 35 new athletes to our program, started up with 3 collegiate teams for the spring semester, while maintaining the 4 team training contacts that carried through the month. 

It was a lot of fun and positioned us well for the rest of 2018, however, it shined a big light on some things that had previously gone under the radar. I want to share those three things with you...

1) As you grow, make sure your systems do too

This was by far the biggest punch in the neck I received. I've always considered myself a 'systems' guy. We dial in everything from how to answer the phone, how to greet new faces at the door, and programming, BUT what I struggled with was how some of our systems started to deteriorate with an immediate influx of bodies coming in to our space. Huge plug here for the crew at Strength Faction, specifically Co-Founder Chris Merritt, who helped me identify what was happening EARLY on to help avoid issues down the road

This is why you surround yourself with people who have been there. INVALUABLE to the success of our program. 

Our facility was absolutely getting chaotic. This prompted us to immediately put everything under the microscope. Gym lay out, flow of traffic, storage, coach positioning on the floor, when we station a Coach at the desk, etc. It all was being assessed. 

This led us to alter the lay out of our gym space, change some of the verbiage when talking to prospects, and also changing some of our session times to better space the traffic through out our day. All have yielded very positive feedback from our members and have kept our staff sane in the growth process. 

2) Working with teams is more than providing strength and conditioning 

I made a post in the "Parisi Speed School Coaches Corner" private facebook page last fall when we started at Saint Michael's College working with three of their programs. I wanted to reiterate this point - the services we deliver go far beyond strength and conditioning. If you think that is your only role on a team, you are doing a disservice to the players and coaching staff and also discrediting yourself as a leader. After ramping up the spring semester last month, this point has become more relevant with two of those teams going in to their main competitive season. 

When you are a part of the team your duties expand to staying in contact with the sports med staff, talking to administration, communicating with alumni who may be on campus, talking to recruits who may in for a visit with the team, referring out for nutritional questions, helping with fund raisers (that pay for your services...) and so much more. When you are a part of the team, you are ON the team, don't take your role lightly.

Never take your role for granted!

Never take your role for granted!

3) Communication is the glue to your successful staff (development).

In January we started to implement a second 'in-service' day to our weeks. On Monday's we meet for an hour as a staff to talk operations and keep this meeting purely administrative. We cover everything from how to answer the phone, who's a new athlete coming in, injured athletes that may need programming adjustments, how to explain our pricing structure, and tough customer service questions or interactions. We follow that up with a 'Fri-yay' in-service where we talk all things Coaching. Training concepts, programming strategies, industry trends, etc. It's just pure coaching development. 

What I think is important to highlight why we do it this way is two things. 1) it separates the two types of 'coach'...emotional engagement and x's and o's. Our staff comes in prepared for the topics on their respective day and can engage better. 2) We doubled the amount of time we spent on group staff development. I meet with coaches privately each week some candid some planned, but as a group we sit down for two hours a week and just focus on getting better as a group. Going back to point 1 on this post, making sure we scaled our staff development to match our growing business is a key priority. 

Hoping that these three things help you and your facility thrive as we all jump head first in to 2018! 

ALSO- don't forget to check out the '3 Things Podcast' now available for download on iTunes, Google Play, and Soundcloud!