Winston Churchill once said, “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” Granted, Old Winston was referring to Britain’s nightly bombardments by the Luftwaffe, but I think from a business standpoint in the current CoronaVirus climate, we can certainly take a page (or two) from his book. In fact, at the risk of sounding too bold, I think we could amend Winston’s point. It’s my argument that in times like these you should be doing even more. How about something like; “If you’re going through hell, give ‘em hell.”?
Now, I’m sure you’re wondering what on earth I’m talking about. It’s been more than 100 days of quarantines and shutdowns, of masks and enough hand sanitizer to chafe your hands raw. Maybe your gym has been shut down. Maybe you’ve watched your business’s bottom line plummet in direct juxtaposition to the nation’s positive Covid-19 test results. Whatever your business situation is, things in the fitness industry in America and around the world have looked quite bleak. But it’s never too late to dig in and to turn things around.
On Episode 40 of the Core Of Success Podcast, Abs Company CEO Sean Gagnon and VP Of Sales Mike Ritter discussed “Where We Are”, and took an in depth look at how the company has not only survived the pandemic, but how we’ve ensured we’ll hit the ground running when the fitness world “normalizes”. The secret is simple; when others might choose to surrender, you must do more.
Here’s a breakdown of Sean and Mike’s main talking points to help you push your team and your business towards continued success, no matter what the world throws in your way.
1. FOCUS ON WHAT YOU CAN CONTROL
When discussing the lessons learned through this challenging time, Ritter recalled: “At the start of all of this you said something that stuck with me Sean, You said, ' We have control of two things right now, -Our mindset and our effort.’ That stuck with me.There's a lot we can't control, but our mindset and our effort we can.”
Look, it’s no secret in dire situations such as the ones we’re facing that some people prefer to dwell down in the dumps. You could hand someone the opportunity of a lifetime on a gold plated platter and they’d still be going on and on about the unemployment rate, their plummeting 401k, yada, yada, yada.“Keep real people around you,” Mike continued. “You know, people that are looking forward, not whiners and people that are pissing and moaning. Keep getting better each day, reading, listening to podcasts. Just trying to improve.”
Focus on the positive. Pour yourself into areas where you our your business might improve. Is there an area where you might come out one step ahead of your competitor once we return to a version of normal
2. SOMEONE IS ALWAYS BUYING
If the whole wide world were to flood next week, you’d better believe we’d have a lot of Ark salesmen going door to door. It isn’t exactly breaking news that things went badly for the fitness industry in March, but that doesn’t mean you should even consider slowing down.
For The Abs Company, a lot of this has factored in with identifying the opportunity that was born of the madness. People who love The Abs Company product experience at the gym might want that same experience at home. Boom. We shift focus to the consumer and to the corresponding selling strategies and a rainy day suddenly has a new silver lining.
Need proof that people are always buying? “Yes,” Sean Gagnon said, “somebody is always buying, but on the other side of that, as a company, we are buying. We as a company over these past 90 days, have invested in a new website. We also just recently signed a deal for a new software system that's gonna handle a lot of our backend, logistics and inventory.”
Sure these, investments cost us on the short end, but we’re preparing ourselves to operate ten steps ahead of our competitors if/when they choose to rise up out of the pandemic doldrums
Someone is always buying, you might just have to find them.
3. COMPLACENCY KILLS
For his inspiration in tough times Sean Gagnon looks no further than his brother, Lt. Colonel Joseph Gagnon. There’s a simple, two-word quote from Joe that Sean tends to live by and if you work with him for any length of time it’s easy to see that he takes it to heart. “Complacency Kills.”
While our endeavors pale in importance and bravery to those that Lt. Colonel Gagnon has faced in war, the overlying point is the same; settle for good enough and you might as well call it quits. This applies especially to the fitness industry in the time of Covid-19. Gagnon said during the podcast. “People who went into this, who were sitting on top of the world, had everything going for them and boom, it was switched off in a second. Now where are they? Still thriving or looking for the exits?"
The bottom line is that what got you here will not get you there. You must always be improving or you run a real risk when situations change. This is always true but it’s been magnified now. If you are constantly looking to improve your knowledge and your skills, you can remain relevant and fly past your competition as they try to catch up!
4. BUILD YOUR TOOLBOX
What if the tools you've learned to use in this age of socially distanced remote working could come in useful once the fitness world reopens? Zoom and Google Meets have become the ‘temporary norm’ for all business meetings. Are you simply using those tools out of necessity or are you learning and building as you go so that you’ve mastered them for the future?
Sean Gagnon had this to say; “We spoke many times about your analogy of the Mixed Martial Arts approach to sales, right? How you have to be good at everything.”
The fact of the matter is, the Covid-19 pandemic has the meeting and events industry shaking in it’s collective boots. Why? Because people are discovering that many face-to-face meetings can be just as easily done through online meeting tools. Why pay for flights, meals, and hotel stays when you can simply hook your employees and clients up with an easy Zoom Meeting Access Code?
Whether you like it or not, these online meeting tools may become ‘the new normal’. Are you putting the work in to make sure that aspect of your game is razor sharp?
Does it suck that the nation and the world got hit with this pandemic when it did? Yes, of course. Is the landscape of the fitness industry going to be changed forever? Well—yeah, probably. But we’re going to come back. We have to. Physical fitness remains one of mankind’s primal needs and it’s up to us to provide innovative and effective ways to fulfill that need.
When we do come back, how will you look back at this time? Were you complacent? Did you just eek by? Or did you dig in and ‘give ‘em hell?’
Check out Episode 40 of the Core Of Success Podcast to learn more!