Hey, has anyone ever seen this movie? I watched it again, for the sixth or seventh time because I love it so much. Aside from the excellent acting of Brad Pitt, this movie, although it may come across as a baseball movie to most, I see it as an inspiration, or in my particular case a reminder of how true success develops over the years because of laser focus on the end result. It reminded me of me. I knew where I wanted to be at this stage in my life, and what I had to do to get there. So I just did it. Nose to the grindstone, and never looked up.
When I think back on all of the business decisions I have made on behalf of our business, all in the best interest of our business of course, I can tell you that a lot of times, those decisions did not fare well with some of our members. As they say, “you can’t please everybody.” This is absolutely true. Take it from me. So needless to say, there were a lot of distractions along the way.
Here’s a short version of some of those comments and distractions from customers over the years:
Soon after opening:
“How long do you anticipate being in business? Most other clubs are closing at the speed of sound”
“We’ve done the numbers and a club like this can’t survive in this city.”
Right after kicking a lady out of our club:
“Why do you take things so personally?”
Right after firing my very first employee:
“You’ll never make it without me.”
After investing several hundred thousand dollars in equipment:
“Is this all of the equipment you have?”
Trying to keep the overhead under control:
“It’s too hot in here.”
After 33 years in business in Port Colborne:
“I can go to Welland for $10.00 per month.”
After 12 years of doing group fitness and realizing it was a drain on the business:
“You cancelled all of your group classes! Are you crazy?”
After providing Childcare services during fitness classes at $2.00 per hour with a Certified staff member and actually watching people keep their children outside of the designated area to avoid having to pay the $2.00:
“Why don’t you have Childcare anymore?”
“You should do this, you should do that, why are you doing this, why are you doing that”…..and so on and so on and so on.
It was all just noise to me. Looking back, would I have made different decisions based on what I know now? No.
Anyway, back to this movie. In the movie, which is a true story by the way, the General Manager of the Oakland Athletics chose to build a baseball team using statistics. No one else was doing that. He was criticized to no end by just about every professional staff member on his Board but he persevered. He stayed true to his plan and regardless of how many times he was questioned, criticized, threatened, he stayed the course. He knew his business.
Well, guess what? We know our business, we know our industry, we know our market, we know when to spend money and when not to, we know what to spend money on and what not to spend money on. It took decades to learn all that from our mentors and our mistakes. We’re very good at what we do now, so you’ll just have to trust us, because at the end of the day, our decisions that are made in the best interest of our business are essentially made in your best interest because you are our business.
So calm down and keep training. I’ll take care of the rest.