I trust you have seen the iconic scene by Alec Baldwin in GlenGarry GlenRoss where he gives a speech to a bunch of underperforming real estate brokers.
If you haven’t, I really question the way you spend your free time.
In any case, the monologue starts with
“Good news, you are fired.
Bad news, you have one week to get your jobs back!”
In a way this was/is our pandemic experience as a company.
Boy, did we get fired!
Here is our timeline: from a fully booked gym, voted NYC Best Trainer we went to be closed down and unemployed within 24 hours.
Add another 72 hours and I came down with the virus.
So at the nadir, we had pretty much zero business, dim prospects and I could not walk four blocks, courtesy of lung damage.
It is now mid July and we are back. Pretty much a full deck of clients, in fact we actually added a good 30% of bookings. ( mind you, gyms in NYC are still not open so our main source of revenue is still dead). I even staged somewhat of a physical recovery.
I said to the team recently: ” With a bit of luck, we might come out of all this with a surplus!”
Not by throwing temper tantrums, suing the governor or illegally opening our gym ( yes, that does happen ).
But by getting our jobs back.
In short, we reinvented the business and moved it online and more so outdoors. It paid off that we had been training with bands for 10 years now so we did not come along as a trend surfer.
One key point is that we kept being value added via social media, personal notes and the newsletter. Greg delivered great workout videos, Shane pitched in recipes and I added boring science. All of this created a lot of goodwill and visibility which led to new opportunities .
What can you draw from that?
Well for one there is survival but it’s more to it.
If you consider the circumstances of being in the epicenter of the pandemic, being the hardest hit city ( at least for now) in terms of lives and jobs lost, you can argue that it would be difficult to find a more adverse environment for restarting a business.
And yet, we did!
With that experience you simply know that no matter how bad things get, you have the means to pull it off. And that is a great confidence builder.
Am I happy about the overall situation? No, it is still horrifying on many levels, with millions sick, unemployed and thousands dying.
But within our little universe we did the most we could. And that is something I am proud of!
Now, if we could open our gym that would be even better but one day at a time!
Hope to see you soon!