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110. Cassidy Ballensky | From Intern to Staff

110. Cassidy Ballensky | From Intern to Staff

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Hey listeners! Today you are in for a treat Fern is sitting down with his GM at Crossfit RIF, Cassidy Ballensky. Cassiday wears a lot of hat form programming today to cleaning duties, athlete management and everything in between. He’s a level 3 and is also on seminar staff. Like I said he wears a lot of hat in the Crossfit world. This is an interesting episode that looking into having why you need a GM but also viewing it from the GM and how they find their place in the gym. Cassiday also gives his experience and advice on interning, coaching developing then becoming on staff.  This is someone who truly loves coaching and wants to make everyone who comes in contact with him to have a better day. 

Timestamp: 

(13:00) Interning Crossfit RIF

(17:18) Summit Stroy 

(24:02) Moving to be good coaches

(25:47) Seminar Staff internship 

(37:25) Business changes

(43:56) Fern’s 2019 mistakes 

(52:42) Cassidy’s Dad Story   

(59:17) How to be a good GM

Today episode was sponsored by Groove Life. They are the best silocne rings on the market which both Fern and Ackerman wear themselves. Fern has been for the past 6 months so we’re telling you guys about them because we actually like them, team! They come with a lifetime guarantee as well, it really can’t get any better? If you want to get yourself one head on over to  https://groovelife.com/ and use the code Best Hour for 18% off! And we want to hear what you think about them too! Don’t forget to share your pic with us with your new rings. @groovelife

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Cassidy Ballensky .mp4 transcript powered by Sonix—the best audio to text transcription service

Cassidy Ballensky .mp4 was automatically transcribed by Sonix with the latest audio-to-text algorithms. This transcript may contain errors. Sonix is the best way to convert your audio to text in 2019.

Jason Ackerman:
Welcome back to another episode, a best hour of their day. Fern I was recently thinking about you as I often do, and I was wondering.

Fern:
Admiration, is it admiration for you or is it jealousy? What it when you're when you think of me? What is it?

Jason Ackerman:
It's often. Yeah. A nice mix of. Envy and jealousy. Mmm.. I guess that's really the same thing. That's all it is. I'm just envious of you.

Fern:
It sounds like marriage.

Jason Ackerman:
It does sound like marriage. And what I was thinking about, though, is you've been married for quite some time now.

Fern:
My anniversary is next month and that will be 8 years. But my wife and I met 20 years ago.

Jason Ackerman:
That's crazy. That is the only person I have a relationship with for that long. Are my parents. I have no friends at long and certainly no significant others.

Fern:
From lack of commitment issues.

Jason Ackerman:
I have many, many issues. You and I. This is like the longest campaign that I ever had.

Fern:
I will get another ring to wear on my right hand for you.

Jason Ackerman:
Well, speaking of rings, I notice you are wearing a groove life ring. And Mike, my question was, you know, so many people ask us about rings. I have a tattoo because I'm not necessarily a ring person, but I do have a group of life ring and they're comfortable. What did you wear before that ring when you did Crossfit,?

Fern:
I had a so I would never wear a ring. So this is just in general kind of safety thing within the military, particularly if you're on ships, you work in around like heavy machinery is don't ever wear rings because you can essentially do what you can you can rip a finger off no one, but you can also do what they call it, just like de gloving, which is basically all of the skin and muscles come off your finger with the ring. If you get it, call on something. So I know people that that has happened to either lost the finger or done that in the military. Whether you're on a ship or deployed, you won't see a ton of people actually wearing the hardware in their head through doing some type of silicone ring. Or they have a tattoo or they just don't wear it at all. So I have not worn my actual wedding band as tungsten. Which is really, really hard, but very brittle. Right. So if if like, it can shatter. But if I needed to get it off, like in my thing, it was swollen. They'd probably end up having to cut my finger off to get off.

Jason Ackerman:
That's how committed you are to your relationship.

Jason Ackerman:
I guess you have a good way to put it. Willing to lose my finger, you lose your finger.

Jason Ackerman:
Well, the good news is you won't have to lose it with a group like Ring. But what are some other things you like about Backer of Life Ring?

Fern:
I get it. So I've worn other silicone rings, but they all end up breaking. So they get like worn out over time. And this one has got some working in her band and they can make some other ones that have like a safety belt on there, which makes it a little bit stronger. But it's the safety brake on there. Like if it had a lot of tension on them, it would still break, but it would last significantly longer over time. And the really thing I like like I never know that I really have it on. Like, it's just kind of forms my finger. It breathes. It is just a comfortable ring about some other ones. I really liked it when I started wearing these like. Six months ago, maybe.

Jason Ackerman:
Well, silicone rings are all the rage and groove life is helping out our podcast. And like you've already said accidentally, what you realize is some of the benefits that they have, which is the ring will break under pressure, which I didn't realize is to keep your fingers safe. I mean, not being in the military. I didn't realize that was such a big deal and so dangerous. Good to know that it will break. But it does have that Interbrand, like you mentioned, that keeps it from stretching. So doesn't get too worn out and just slip off your fingers. And the cool thing about them is they do have a lifetime warranty. So if it does break or even if you lose it, because chances are you're gonna lose yours.

Fern:
Why?

Jason Ackerman:
Just because you're forgetful and you take things off and do that.

Fern:
I don't know where you came up with them.

Jason Ackerman:
All right. Let's say Logan. Say Logan, your daughter grabs it, throws it down the toilet, which I could imagine she would do something like that.

Fern:
That she is forgetful. She hid a fart gone. Bobby Milsap sent me the other day and she couldn't remember where it was. And then finally, I found it in a foam roller. She put it in like a triple point foam roller, which was like, oh, here it is. Like, you hide that. Did you do that? Yes, I did.

Jason Ackerman:
Did you say did you say fart gun?

Fern:
A court gun for millions? Yeah. So I don't forget what my daughter is.

Jason Ackerman:
Gotcha. Well, if you're interested in checking out groove life in go their Web site, it's groove life.com and really cool if you use the code. Best to our best alor. You get 18 percent off your order of groove. Life rings. So no reason to take off a ring, not wear a ring. When you work out your your wife or husband probably gets upset when you do that. Take and throw in a group life ring. It sits there, it's safe. If for some reason you get it caught you won't lose a finger like firm was talking about, but it also won't get too stretched out. And the cool thing is, if your daughter hides it in a foam roller, it's fully covered by groove life. So go check him out. Groove Life.com musiker best hour for 18 percent.

Fern:
All right, everybody, welcome back to the best hour their day, a little bit different. So today we are at Crossfit, RIF. We are not doing this virtually. I'm here with the birthday boy, Caskey Belinsky. You may have heard him say one to two words and they 50 back. But I figured as his birthdays we have on the podcast. But I think Kassidy has been at Crossfit, Rife for just an hour discussing this this morning. It's at least six years, six and a half, I think six. And I think summer was six years. Yes, six and a half years. I was coaching part time while he was in the Navy, got out of the Navy. But before he got to the Navy, he got on seminar staff, went through the interim process, has been through the internal process here is now that GM wears a lot of hats here. So there's a lot of topics that we could discuss today. We're both fresh off of the train or summit, so we could talk about that. But I guess the first question is, what would you say it is that you do hear it in the tech?

Cassidy Ballensky:
Yes, I feel a little bit of everything, so I do. I write the programming for the Crossfit, and for our rights fit camp. I do a writer accessory. I do. I took over a scheduling few months ago. I do toilets and showers and restocking and general cleanliness. Do a lot of callbacks for retention. I make sure you stay on schedule. I run our meetings when we have our monthly meetings. Coach development. I kind of head of that. You and I kind of split that. I think that's it. And I think I just. My main job is just keeping everybody happy. Between weightlifters of the East Coast, Golden Crossfitters and new folks and old folks and make sure everybody wants to keep coming back.

Fern:
So then somebody is probably listening to this and asking themselves, well, what does fern do if you do all of those things?

Cassidy Ballensky:
You make sure I do everything.

Fern:
Yeah. So because I mean, I would tell anybody that it's not none of those things are kind of a one man band. So I have done all of those tasks for extended periods of time throughout the years and then slowly handed it. I'm off. And from a gym owner standpoint, something to consider, which is you are the recipient of this scenario right now, which is a lot of coaches are carrying a lot of staff. And the reality is, if you looked at the payroll, I can't wait to say this, but assuming that you're paying your staff, you can consolidate that, that you can consolidate those 11:49 coaches into one to two good coaches and probably paid or maybe even just one and pay them a living wage. And we did that for a long time or we had a lot of coaches. And then we consolidated in the past six or seven months. And in my personal opinion, from an operator standpoint. Things are significantly better. Yeah, I don't know how you feel about it, but you've always been very critical of the business, which is good to have in the business.

Fern:
And for anybody who's you know, for anybody who's listening to this, like, yes, CASSIDY and I are like like buddy buddy brose, but. We have our conversations.

Fern:
Yes. I think that's what makes our are working in personal relationships so good is because I'll call you on your dumbshit and you'll do it right back to me. So it's not in a you're trying to tear me down tideway it's a you're trying to build me up kind of way. And it same thing with the business. I've been like I said, like we said, I've been here six and some change years and I've. I feel like I'm heavily invested. And even though I'm not an owner and I want the gym to do well. So if there's things that aren't going right, you know, it's I think it would be irresponsible of me to not say something about it both from what's actually happening here and again, on a front level, what you could potentially be doing to yourself. Because of whatever you're trying to do,.

Fern:
How long do you think it took us to get to that point? Not us. How long do you think it took you to get to that point where you were OK with saying like, hey, I think you kind of suck wag this?

Cassidy Ballensky:
Um, a few years? I think we kind of had to figure out or I think I had to figure out where where I fit into the into the into the whole jungle here of where I can actually put my two cents in and where it's, you know, I have the experience to actually kind of note I'm talking about rather than just shoot from the hip and think I know everything. It took a while. It took a couple of years of I was part time. So I wasn't in the door all day, every day, but took a little bit time of sitting back and just observing and kind of asking the questions of why we're doing things certain ways. And as I kind of understood the bigger picture of it, it it helped it kind of blossomed into what it is now. But I think for the first time when I was like, hey, this is a bad idea. I was probably maybe three years ago, three or four years ago.

Cassidy Ballensky:
You remember what it was like down off top my head. Now, I'm curious. It was probably what was it about? It had to have been something with programming, because I think that's kind of where I started getting my foot in the door of like this is my this is my section. This is kind of my niche and was around program. And so probably to do something with that.

Fern:
That's fair. What the. One of the big thing, what I think has led itself to that is so the more and more you've been around, the more context that you have on the the more nuanced things going on in the gym. So that time when when there's like, you know, it sounds like a good idea. Ferry is coming to town. It's not just a good idea. Ferry coming to town, you know, because you're more and more involved in the day to day operations. The input has more value. Mm hmm. Right. So it's not just like I think we should do this because this is what I think. You know, not knowing the like the what and why and more importantly, the how and what the long tail and that is. So that is where I mean, I kind of feel at the point at this point where for for a lot of things, we just kind of can't have conversations and passing at this point.

Cassidy Ballensky:
Yeah. Backing up if if you're listening to this. Don't be the good idea fairy and that kind of that started out somebody if you've ever been the military, you you're guaranteed to know one of these people. But for those of you don't, it's just the person who has a good idea and just throws it at you and says, all right, here you go, do it, make it happen. Like, oh, I got a good idea for this weekend. Right. Well, how are we gonna? I don't know it's your problem now? Just don't.

Fern:
Don't be that person that that is when the military what we would describe as tasking other people with your ideas, which is like, I've got this idea. I have no desire to execute this idea. But I just wanted to throw this grenade on everybody else so that they can enjoy it. All right. So it's backup. So you came in here six and a half years ago and then I don't remember you. You went to another gym and then came back after deployment. And then I kind of wanted to walk people through the coaching development because it's there's been different evolutions of that. So there's no shortage of people to come into the seminar. The question about, hey, this looks amazing. I would want to do that. And, you know, there's no follow up on that. So context does matter here, right? So you were inside the walls of this gym, which does give you an advantage, not an advantage in the sense that I have any sort of weight to be throwing around within the company, because I absolutely do not. But simply just having access to somebody who's there and knows what the expectation is. Mm hmm. So, I mean, talk to a little talk talk to me a little bit about what that cause. I mean, we've we've chatted about it a little bit, but not like in great detail just because we were both there.

Cassidy Ballensky:
The the staff internship?

Fern:
While here first and then that.

Cassidy Ballensky:
Yeah. When I first started coming here I actually I didn't even want to coach. I had zero intentions of ever being being a coach. Now I'm a little bit about me like I did. Used to want to be a high school history teacher. So I do. I've always enjoyed teaching. But as far as Crossfit,, I never, never had any idea of actually coaching that I took my level on. And I remember there was just a moment in my level one just watching, watching these watching these guys and girls just do this stuff so effortlessly. And they made it look like it was so easy. I was like, this is what I want to do. So I took my level one with no. No. Want to do it? Came back and I approached you about, hey, I like to intern. And at the time, it was like I wanted to intern just to spend more time in the gym and just kind of be around people more. This was where I spent a lot of my time anyway. So let's just have another reason to be here. And then so with the internship here, I think it I think it run it. We've we've obviously modified it over the years, but it's still pretty much pretty similar to my my internship I went through years ago. And it's you know, you just do a lot of time observing, just shadowing, asking all the questions. You know, there's infinite things running through your mind. So just to get him out to somebody who knows more than you and then Switch is watching for a couple of weeks. And then it was like I got a brief, the workout and that was it.

Cassidy Ballensky:
And then I got to brief the workouts and do a general warm up. And that was it. And then the whole time I'm briefing the whole team, doing the general warm, whatever, I still have somebody evaluating me, still giving me feedback of like, well, let's shorten it up or let's make it better this way. Let's expand on the brief this way or same thing with the general warm up. Then it led into the specific and then it led into, you know, brief, general, specific workout. And then it led to just the entire thing of a brief, general specific workout cooldown. And the whole tone was still being evaluated. And that took. I want to see my internship was two, two and a half, three months somewhere in there. I know, like we say, it's three months. I want to say mine was just under three months, though. And then what was nice about it, though, is you're just getting feedback the entire way. Again, like not a lot of people think about getting feedback on their want reef. But I think you're right. I personally think you're wide reef. Can you set your class up for success or failure just within the first three minutes of what you say? If you kind of get people in the right mindset, what they're actually thinking about, what's gonna happen in the workout, you can you can help yourself answer a lot of questions that could come up, which could then help your timeline down the road and give you more time to do whatever skills or drills you want to do because you're not answering infinite question. To 20 different people.

Fern:
I think it might be the biggest tell. For me, knowing nothing about a coach. If I watch their whiteboard breathe, I could. I feel like I could pretty accurately. Predict what that class is going to end up like, seeing nothing but the whiteboard brief.

Cassidy Ballensky:
Yeah, I mean, you can I mean, you can get a good idea to for probably what your coach is gonna go through during that time, like how you can probably have a a good guesstimate of how they're going to teach their movements just based off the experience of their of their of their Whitewater brief. If they do a good brief, they probably have some experience because, hey, I understand how this workout is going to go. I need to get this and this happening if I want to make my timeline. If they're all over the place, they're just rambling on into 20 different directions. There's no real purpose of what they're talking about. It's probably how their class is going to go as well.

Fern:
And then when you first started coaching here,.

Cassidy Ballensky:
I was terrible.

Fern:
Yeah. I mean, everybody was there's it's a running joke that most everybody that comes in here, like, I don't even really need to watch their first know forty fifty classes. Like, I could just basically write up some notes and be like this is what you're about to do. This these are all the things you're about to mess up. And I'm going back and forth over the years about like whether to try to pre-empt that or not. But I'm. I'm really glad that I haven't because I kind it goes against everything that we teach in also Boz reinforced at this last week at the at the trainers summit, and one of the things he brought up was, you know, don't wait like that teaching point in the moment is what's important. So you have to let people mess up. And then sometimes it might feel like you're stepping on their toes a little bit, but there's not a ton of value into letting somebody go through this thing, do it incorrectly and then tell them about it afterwards. And admittedly like that, that was a mistake that I made just this past week at the trainer summit for like a lot of different reasons, like the time got cut and Todd kind of threw kind of like caught me off guard with how he wanted me to do it. So I was just kind of like, all right, I'll let it run. But, you know, in hindsight, I probably did Vanina a little bit of disservice in that breakout when we did that, because in large it like I just second guessed myself a little bit. I was like, OK. Shorter time. Like, she's new. And she crushed it, by the way. So is a. But imagine this, everybody. So imagine that you have never worked one seminar. Just finished the intern process. Venia is from France, from France, from France. And you show it to the trainer summit. And they have you teach a group in front of a bunch of people.

Cassidy Ballensky:
You're teaching the other trainers.

Fern:
You're teaching the other level 1 trainers. You've never worked a seminar before. All you've done is the internship process. And you show up there. And this is kind of your first. I mean, holy shit. And she crushed it like she did a really, really good job. And like like like all of us, she had some things to work on. But like all things being said and all things being equal, I mean, I was like, I forget who I told later that night, but I was like, that was impressive. That was pretty good. But anyway. Yeah. Nobody's good when they start. And then I mean, I'm going to spitball here. But probably like I would say it was like a couple years before it was like some like I would have considered you to be like a good coach.

Cassidy Ballensky:
I would say personally I would say it'd probably be like three to four years. Somewhere in that gap is where I felt like I was a good coach. And I mean, I took such took my level one. I think about a year later I took my level two and then I had that gap because I deployed. So I wasn't really coaching when I was deployed. But when I came back after I got into the groove with things is probably like a solid year after I got back. And I'd been a coach for two, three years at this point when I got back. And yeah, like it was it probably took about a solid year of coaching, coaching, coaching around four or five hundred hours before I finally felt like, okay, I'm okay. And then fast forward a couple of years later.

Cassidy Ballensky:
I still didn't think I was very good and I still don't think I was good enough and is probably after where I had started leading up to my internship process with HQ where I think I felt the biggest bump up because I had to.

Fern:
Yeah, I mean that's that's a that's very much a forcing function. But the back to what you were saying a minute ago, the. Four to five hundred hours. So just for reference, I want. People to kind of understand how long that takes. You know, let's say on our because when you were doing it part time, pulling out a calculator here, when you're doing it part time for it, let's just call it five hundred hours. Let's how many? What would be what a heavy month for you be 30 collaterally a month,.

Cassidy Ballensky:
30 would be a high month,.

Fern:
So divided by 30. That's it. No, what am i doing> Let's just call it so, let's call it fuor how many years, we'll call for years,.

Cassidy Ballensky:
Four years.

Fern:
So divided by 48. Yeah, I mean. Yeah. So it's gonna take you about four years at 30 classes a month to get to for it to get to to four to five hundred. Now that there's some fluctuations in there, but there's not a ton of people. I mean there's ones in whose. Yes, there are people that are coaching more than that. But here they're generally gym owners.

Cassidy Ballensky:
Mm hmm.

Fern:
So I don't think people understand understand the. Time under tension that you need for that just to get your eyeballs on movement and like watch people and mess it up and have like the 9 a.m. class versus, you know. And those are classes that you never even really got. Which are which you need to have those under your belt. But that's a long time. So then going, you know, moving forward again, back to that forcing that forcing function. You come to me and you're like, hey, I want to do this. And I. I think my response was something to the tune of, well, you're not ready. So we have to. We got work to do.

Cassidy Ballensky:
Well, I think the first conversation was, hey, I want to be really competitive. And you're like, hey, you realize you're not fit enough. And I was like, okay. And then we started talking about coaching more because I think we had the same conversation as around the same time. I was like, yeah, I think I wanna be super competitive. I think I can make regionals. Then you're like, wait a second. Like, what are your numbers? And I gave you my numbers like. Let's be realistic here.

Cassidy Ballensky:
And then you said like it was something along the lines of you can probably if you put the same energy that you're thinking of now into working out that you're putting, or if you if you put into coaching what you're think about putting into working out, if you put that energy there, you can make a living off coaching. Probably not a good chance of making a living off workout. And then that was kind of like, OK, I want to get out of the military. Working out probably won't pay my bills with coaching might. And then that was like you're starting to say, was we need to bring you up. You need to get a you need to be a better coach if if you want to go that route.

Fern:
Yeah. And. I've always tried to be pretty honest with people about that. And just for the record, like CASSIDY is fit, right? So like his numbers are not garbage, but I just think there's a very real hard conversation of somebodies like comes to you and says that they want to do that. You are not helping them by sugar coating that. And even based on where you were, which was fit, we were probably looking at 2 to 3 years of an incredibly regimented training program before like that would even potentially be an option. Maybe. Maybe, right. Because I just don't think people have a really firm grasp on what that needs to look like these days. So we switch gears and what like where does your mindset go? How are you? How do you start to get yourself framed up to to put that into play?

Cassidy Ballensky:
While it was kind of I started watching you coach more just to kind of see what you're doing versus what I was doing, because at about this time was when I thought I was a good coach. And then I would I would just watch your classes, like I would just sit in the corner with a notepad and I would write down your timelines. I would want I'd write down what you were saying. I would write down what you were kind of looking at, try and follow your eyes. And I kind of looked at what you're doing versus what I was doing.

Cassidy Ballensky:
And there was a big gap at how fast you were seeing things and how fast you're able to correct them versus what I was doing. So then it was kind of like art. Well, I need to know the points performance better. I need to know all the, you know, the progressions without even without even thinking about it, which at the time I knew them. But it wasn't like, hey, what's the push? Are being able to just recite it like that. Same thing with the points.

Fern:
I'm glad you said that, because I we say that all the time and I don't think people believe us.

Cassidy Ballensky:
It needs to be like, what's your name? CASSIDY, you need to be able to answer this sumer to the final progression. That is exactly as fast.

Fern:
Yeah. And I just don't think people really like I just I don't think they're taking that on board and it could end because the speed. The speed can't happen without the knowledge. Right. The speed to see that thing and preempt what you think is going to happen and then marry that with what's actually happening. And then look at root cause like that speed of seeing and correcting and seeing three to four faults almost simultaneously does not happen a without a ton of reps, but even a ton of reps doesn't mean it's good. You know, like you stuff to study and do all of that stuff. So then. Even when you so you submit for the for the internship.

Fern:
They give it to you and then you start. Which I don't think enough people do as well. You start bringing in members. To coach.

Cassidy Ballensky:
Yep. I did like the circle we run. So the first time I the first internship, you know, you do with a lot of just observing. And then so I just again, I took notes on literally everything. I still I still have the same notebook that I watch my first my first internship on the first circle I saw and I wrote down to the minute exactly what was going on. Like minute zero introduction, minute 60 breaking out. Like it was literally one, two, three, four down to six to exact what they did. And then I did start practicing it of making it into my own. And so I was put up a lot of more or less flyers, whether they're social media, you know, word of mouth. Hey, I'm looking for five to ten people to help me. And I probably ran the circles three times a week for six months. It was a lot of circles just I had to get better coaching. So I did a lot of those that ask you to base observe.

Cassidy Ballensky:
I observe my coaching, what I was doing well, what I was doing wrong and what I can improve on. I knew it was that was what was nice about having you here. I was able to get direct feedback and it was it wasn't any kind of feedback of like, oh, they're gonna be looking for this are gonna be seen if you knew this. It was just straight up coaching feedback, which I don't think enough people reach out for that whether they're trying to aspire to be a staff member or not, you know, just general coaching feedback. Hey, watch my class. How'd this go? Had my time line go for this. Just not enough. People aren't getting that. So that was that was one of the best things I think he did for me was just feedback when I needed it.

Fern:
Yeah. And it was it anyone, kind of wondering what that looks like. It was very much it had nothing to do with the seminar setting because you can't fake it. And the seminar setting like if you can't see you can't see if you can't coach, can't coach. If you haven't put in the time it becomes evident within like the first 30 seconds. And I think I think Joe Alexander told me this years ago, he's, you know, generally like if somebody is coming in for that job interview, you know, like within the first five minutes, whether that person is gonna be successful. And even when you were running the groups at first, a lot of my feedback, it was pretty blunt. It was.

Cassidy Ballensky:
Mm hmm.

Fern:
And and I did it that way because nobody there was gonna take it easy on you, like in an intern setting. So I almost wanted to do it be worse.

Cassidy Ballensky:
Mm hmm.

Fern:
Here. And so my feedback would be things like you cannot walk by lack of hip extension without saying something like, I don't give a shit what the excuses like. If you want to do this for a living, you that just cannot happen. It doesn't matter what the reason is. It just can't be done. Because the reality is, if you're being evaluated and you do walk by something that needs to be corrected and say nothing. The only assumption can be that that you didn't see it by an evaluator. Now if you say something and you mess it up, that I can deal with, because that just means that we need to give you tools to address a little bit better. But if you just walk by it, that means we can't see.

Fern:
And if we can't see, then we can't correct like those those fundamentally go together. So a lot of that was just kind of a little bit more harsh about you needed to. You need to be better about catching multiple dynamic cues and doing all that stuff and then and then trying to give different kind of. Not tricks, but like different means of making that happen. When you're coaching and then in that time frame, like the class, your classes continue to get better. You know, so really the goal is just to improve the product that you provide here. And then that will carry over to seminar, even though there you know, there's those are two different skill sets put.

Cassidy Ballensky:
Right. And it was, you know, apart from just doing a lot of coaching in here, it was a tremendous amount of just studying. Going back to the level one, I got probably read the level one manual at least 50 times, you know, front to back, just trying to remember everything they had to do with coach. Now, I'm not talking about like the what is Crossfit,, what is fact fitness sections. But as far as the coaching and going back to the level two about how to have run better classes and demonstration and presence and attitude and all these things, like I was just going back and reading it again and reading them again and reading and again and copy them or writing them down and typing them and over and over and over and over again until what I was reading finally started to come out in my class a little bit better.

Cassidy Ballensky:
Do you remember what I told you I thought the biggest hiccup was gonna be? my face.

Fern:
It was like, hey, dude, you need to fix your face. It was one of those things where it's so like. And I brought this up because I knew this seminar is for anybody who's like, we've talked about this. If you go if you're not if you're not sure on I why go back and listen to the presence and attitude episode that we did a couple of months ago. But, you know, CASSIDY is kind of like me. We're like, if I'm not, like, engage with somebody kind of like resting dickface. So big time. You have to wait. You have to. You have to know that because you're you're giving a presentation in the seminar. So you have to be aware of that.

Fern:
And and, you know, that was that was when a lot of the flows came to me. They're like, hey, like, what's up with CASSIDY? I'm like, what do you mean? I'm like, it's just so serious. And I'm like, oh, that's just his face. I was like, was this coaching on par? And they like, his coaching was great. And I'm like, okay, well, he smiles, just not right now anyway. So you make it on the team and then you just. Went to your first train summit?

Cassidy Ballensky:
Yep.

Fern:
And what what was that like for you and what was your takeaway?

Cassidy Ballensky:
There was a lot just there was what was there? One hundred eighty something of us that were all there is. There's just a lot of people and I spent so much of the time just trying to trying to network with as many people as he can, cause I've seen a lot of these people or I've heard of a lot these people or I've seen him on social media. You know, I've just been on been on the team for so long that, you know, I've I've seen a lot of these names or faces. So it's just trying to meet them and introduce myself and, you know, kind of reconnect with all the people I did know from the new trainer summit last year and that I've worked with before. And it was it was really well put together for how much we did in the two, two days. We're there really two days between all the speakers and between all the coaching drills and, you know, just keep the logistics of the hotel and the convention center and the where we're eating out and just all that. It was just it was a lot to take in, but it was kind of thing. Now, I've had a little bit of time, about a week now to kind of digest it. It's been it's good. It was it was a lot, but it was a lot of good stuff.

Fern:
Did you have any big takeaways from it?

Cassidy Ballensky:
The biggest thing and it's like I said this week with the increase and the biggest thing I said that still stuck with me is what Joel Zander, when he finished, is his section. And I mean, obviously got a lot from Dr. Jenkins and he's been on the podcast. And so he. I can't remember her last name.

Fern:
Hakam.

Cassidy Ballensky:
Yep.

Fern:
Who will be on the podcast.

Cassidy Ballensky:
Like they gave a lot of stuff. But what Joe Alexander was talking about as far as just us coaching is kind of like, ah, this distaff ethos. And the last thing I think you would've closed, I think was the last thing you said is are the people around you better after having been in your presence? And that, I think, stuck with me more than anything, because, yeah, we're we say it all the time. And I mean, it's the name of your of your podcast, the best hour of the day. But it's ah is it actually their best hour like. Yeah. We're teaching people how to squat but it's it's so much more than that. You know, as are people enjoying actually being around me. Do people actually like when I come up and talk to them, do you people actually like when I work out with them. Are people happier after they leave? Being around me or are they kind of just like, ah, well, Cassidy is gone. And that that goes both in the gym, outside the gym, you know, the person at Starbucks in the morning, you know, and are they are they having a better day after I say good morning to them or they just kind of like it's another dude. And so it it translates into everything. And so I've that was the number one thing I took away is just, ah, people better after having been around me.

Fern:
So let me ask you this because. I think everybody's answer is unique. But we have to acknowledge that doing this is very much Groundhog's Day, right being. And I think you're. Acutely aware of that, now that you've been the GM here for three to four months, how do you go about doing that every day?

Cassidy Ballensky:
By doing the same thing over and over?

Fern:
Well, how do you how do you continue to try to bring that energy, you know, minus the fact that you probably most days wake up and just say, well, I could still be in the Navy. You know, like, how do you go? Because I think that's where people like.

Cassidy Ballensky:
I know you're saying.

Fern:
When that kind of burnout can happen. Yeah, and it's just like how do you stay on top of that?

Cassidy Ballensky:
I mean, I've I've we've had I've had burnout before, like I've talked to you about it. It's. 1 I really I love what I do. There's not a lot of I don't think there's a lot of people who can actually legitimately mean when they say that. I actually love what I do. Like I have I have the potential to have such a big impact on somebodies life. Like there's not there's not a whole lot of fields where you can say that. Like I said, I want to be a high school teacher. I'm not I'm not teaching history, but I'm still teaching stuff. So I'm still being able to to spread knowledge and help people. One long term with her life by doing Crossfit, and teaching him how to move better and the achy knees and all these kind of things that we always hear about. But to like I can, I have a direct impact on whose day I can make somebody is a really good or I can make somebody say really terrible. And having that kind of responsibility is kind of what keeps me. I get straight of I need to do I need to do well today, otherwise I could potentially ruin someone day and that could rue. If you really want to get traumatic with it. Could ruin their week, could ruin their month, could ruin their life.

Cassidy Ballensky:
If you do it bad enough.

Fern:
I mean, that's not. That's a real thing because. You could do something as little as like say something in jest. Jokingly and catch somebody on a bad on their worst day, and that is the only thing they associate with our time at the gym. Like, that's a real scenario. So I think I'd say you should walk on eggshells, but I do think you have to be kind of hypersensitive to people when they walk in. Like if you can't read facial expressions and body language, it like that. This is not for you.

Cassidy Ballensky:
No you have to have more than just coaching skills, yet have a lot of people skills. And if you don't like people, it's probably not the business for you. And I joke a lot. You know, I hate people. I love being out in the middle of nowhere. And there's no one nowhere around me. But that's like traffic people. That's like annoying people at Wal-Mart. People like, I love relationships. I love meeting new people. I like being able to learn about people. I get asked all the time, like, why do you ask me questions? It's like I just want to want to know more. Like, I want to be able to talk to you a week from now and ask you, you know, how your job is doing or if you have a dog, I'm going to know more about your dog than I do your kids. But I just want to know everything, everything I can about you just to try and build a relationship, because it's I think it's what I want people to want from me as well. I want people to want to know more about me. I want people to know why I why I joined the military or why I have, you know, three dogs or why. Coach Crossfit, or why, you know, whatever. Like, I just I want to be able to build relationships. So we're. Yeah, we're we're it we're in it. We're, you know, a fitness business. We're all about health, but we're we're people's business more more than anything.

Fern:
That's a good spot to switch gears here because I do want to talk business on some different things. So you've been here for six years and six and a half years. So we'll just sit around it and call it seven. We've gone through a lot in the seven years, so we're coming up on 10 years this month. So you've been here for 70 percent of the lifespan of this business. Tell me about that.

Cassidy Ballensky:
It's changed a lot. When I first got here, I think you think you'd moved into this space like the week before I started coming here cause you used to be at the end of the block. You guys moved here, moved into this space like down the street, like, well, I was I went to you. I I saw you guys at GISS. Way back when. But that was like when our shopping at G.S. Assembly, one of the ropes back there kind of thing. And then the first time you and I met, it was when you're at the end of this block.

Fern:
Oh, by the way, I'm unit one o 8 way back when you're over. So anybody who does. So we we're in it like a big kind of industrial park, just like most people. And there's eleven units in this building. We were in Unit 1 0 8, which is 3000 square feet. And then we transition to Unit 1, a 1 in 1 or 2, which is 6000. And now we have 1, 2, 3 and 4, which is just shy of eleven anyway.

Cassidy Ballensky:
So it's grown a lot. It started out when I came here. It was more because you were still in the military. Jess, is Still in the military, which was then I was. I felt like almost everybody here is in the military. So it's almost like a service where everybody goes to work out. There wasn't a whole lot of. It was almost like if we make money, cool, if not, it's still a place to train. And that's kind of turned into.

Fern:
That was definitely the mindset. Which is not good.

Cassidy Ballensky:
You made it work. And so it kind of turned into more. And this was, I think, more after you had Logan and then you were kind of on your exit from the from the military of like this is this is everything now. So I've seen it changed all for the all for the better. And there's a lot of things I think we could have been doing sooner to make it even better. But it's changed from just come up and hang out to come up and hang out and let's get to know more people to come up and hang out, get to know more people and get better at coaching. And then it's now what it is today.

Fern:
What do you think we were the worst at? And your time here? Like, what have we done? Like. It is the most poorly of an actual phrase, I don't know.

Cassidy Ballensky:
I think something that I retention. It's for sure gonna be retention. I think that's something that we could have always been doing better. And I think it's something like you could have been doing better before any of us got here. It just again, like the relationships building those such strong relationships where even if people don't want to do Crossfit, anywhere, they still want to come here and see everybody. They still want to come back. And that's, I think, what keeps a lot of people in Crossfit, is just the people. So we just recently started doing this six months ago, maybe provi months probably where we started reaching out to every single person in the gym every two to four weeks. Like if they haven't been reached out to you in five weeks, like that's a long time without getting talked to us. And that's more than just like they're canceling. That's more than somebody in the gym like just walking by being like, oh what's up Jason. Like it's a reaching out talking to them. Hey, how is your training going? You know, if there's anything we can do, please let us know. Feedback, good or bad? Like I want to hear it. Hope see around more things like that. And we do that for every person in the gym,.

Fern:
For instance. I sent probably. Thirty five texts today. And we'll talk about some of the administrative stuff on that, but all of them had individual context to them. So like all of them had something that was specific to that person in the text. It was not just like, hey, checking in on you. Let us know like it was that and a piece for them that was very much only could have been to that person. And I think that's super important. But going back to the retention piece, just something, too, for gym owners to be, I don't want to say weary of, but. It's easy when your gym is small like you don't there's a good argument that you don't need to do it because you're probably the only coach and you probably see everybody every single day and you probably are aware when people like as things begin to scale.

Fern:
So we have like youth weightlifting here. We have weightlifting, we have fit camp. We have Crossfit,, you know, like we have there's two I think that counted as a today. Today's like two thirty three, 233 members here. You know, like one person can't do that, you know, if you're gonna go again by Dunbar's number, which I'm not sure is entirely accurate, but let's 1/50. Right. So you were I think I failed miserably was like I didn't I never put anything in place to. Hedged that bet. Once we once we kind of crusted over that number, you know, and that is where, you know, you can you can get to the TWU's by accident and never do anything, but you're not going to stay there. People are going to people are going to fall off the top because you're just not keeping track of them.

Cassidy Ballensky:
Yeah. And we have we have a lot of people like come in and, you know, we're it's it's pretty obvious if we if we don't. You know, if we don't stay on this person, they're not going to come back. They're gonna be kind of harder to keep. And the whole reason is they they come in not really knowing what they're looking for. And, you know, I'm sure everybody's always, ever to step foot in this in the door like they've heard of Crossfit,, whether it's good or bad, they've heard of it somehow and they've still walked in. And then so for the most part, people who come in there. All right. I'll try it because my friend does it. But they're almost looking for a reason to not continue to continue to do it. So that's where you have to 1 give him a good experience every single day in the door and then to be involved them more than just that hour there and in the door. And that could be some as easy as like, you know, like, what are you doing this weekend? And then when they check back in the next week, like, how was your weekend, you know, and follow up with what they said they're doing if they're going to just hang out and watch football. Oh, did you watch this game? And just being able to continue that relationship, just like your friends, like, yeah. You teach in your teaching classes and you have a class of 15 people. But try and try and turn it into, you know, instead of just a class and you're in charge of it, you're just hanging out with 15 friends and you're just making a move better.

Fern:
What do you think are some of the biggest mistakes that I have made? So I'm going to put myself on blast here and end 2019. The whole year is available to you there. So take your pick.

Fern:
Yeah, I'm so I I'm gonna write a book. And there's going to be probably numerous chapters dedicated to the year of 2019 because it has been a very strange year.

Cassidy Ballensky:
You have a series on.

Fern:
I could have a series on that. And I'm and I'm going to I'm I have no secrets. I'm going to tell everybody everything that we did wrong and all the things that I like just completely flopped on, because I think that's important. I think. I don't think there's enough people that say like, oh, I tried this thing. We probably failed at 75 percent of things we tried this year.

Cassidy Ballensky:
Mm hmm.

Fern:
And not just like failed a little bit like failed in epic fashion.

Cassidy Ballensky:
I would go with two things. One would be. Expanding too much, too fast. I think we stretched ourselves pretty thin between here. Fieldhouse. Yep.

Cassidy Ballensky:
Northbourne and revive. Yep. I think we stretch our souls pretty thin and I think that's what led to that. The other thing I was gonna say, which would have been communication on the plan. Yep. I think they.

Cassidy Ballensky:
I don't know if one cause the other one or they just both happen to happen but I think it was everybody was spread out like I spent most my I spent half my time at once by half my time either. So I didn't really know it was going on all the time at both places. I was pretty fortunate because I was in both ways like catch up. But if nobody ever coach at North End they didn't know was going on there. I never once went to the Fieldhouse because it just wasn't my. My my area, so I had zero idea what was going on there. I didn't know what the end goal of it was.

Fern:
That was a good idea. fairy deal.

Cassidy Ballensky:
Revive. I was there a little bit to kind of help out. That was my own good idea fairy. That was a that was me just kind of helping out the classes as you were doing sit downs or consultations. But again, like I didn't know where we went from there. I don't know. I knew what Step 1 was. I didn't know what the next however many steps were. So I think expanding too much and then just not knowing. As a team where where we're going, how we're gonna get there and what we're gonna do when we get there.

Fern:
Yeah. So we we did a little roundtable at the summit and I think it was right for Todd's. No during Todd during during Todd Whitman, who's been on the podcast. And he was basically giving basically he was giving everybody an algorithm with which to tie up success. And it was you know, it was very largely along the lines of like, what are you good at? What are you bad at? And then crafting a plan to not suck at the thing that you're that you suck at. And. And I've told you guys this. I've told you this personally and I've told the team this, that was something that I've been woefully bad at. And I may have talked about on the podcast, too, and I've gotten better at.

Fern:
But that is like what I would describe as like vision casting. And I get this from from Barnes. And this is very much a Chick-Fil-A thing like that vision, casting the ability to cast a vision to everybody that in in a manner that everybody gets it and is immediately on board with what needs to happen. And that is a skill set that some people are born with. I think it out. But outside of that, those are like there's a handful of people outside of that. It takes a lot of practice to do that. And there's different ways to do it. But yeah, that's somewhere I continually, continuously find myself deficient. For for what reason, I'm not sure. I think like everybody wants to be on like. I think it's because I like to move fast. Which. Which like I think a lot of entrepreneurs do like to move fast, but you can do that to a fault. Like you can move too fast where like you just can't keep everybody on the train. Like you're driving you're driving the bus so wildly that people like are just literally falling out the back and out of the emergency exit.

Fern:
And yeah, I've done that at different points. And and I think that comes and goes. I think it ebbs and flows. So I think if I think back to like 2000 in 17, 2018, man, I think like life was good, like we were in a good spot. And then 2019. You know, I, you know, made the decision to try to move a little faster and do some things because quite frankly, I was just curious and wanted to find out.

Fern:
And yeah, a lot of it backfired. And that's OK. That's on me. Tough shit.

Cassidy Ballensky:
Yeah. I mean, we've gotten a lot of. We've learned a lot from that, though. And I think that's for all, you know, all the money that you lost and all that kind of stuff it at the end of it. I think we're set up for success. Long term for the future now having done it. Because we know what works and doesn't work. Now we have it or rather we don't know it, but we have a better idea of what does and doesn't work.

Fern:
I mean, I can tell you my big my big lesson learned from all of that from the early 2019. And for anybody who is looking to. Do corporate contracts purchase another facility? Try a different business venture, add different sources of revenue outside of the gym.

Fern:
Almost all of them can be done inside the walls of your gym like. And I don't give a shit what your space looks like. I don't care about any of that stuff like. There is a way to do it. It is. It involves significantly less risk and the upside is way more so whatever it is that you're thinking about. If you're thinking about like. Any of those things? Ask yourself, could I do this here? Right. Could I accomplish the same thing without leaving the walls of my gym and minimize my risk drive revenue? And not split up, the team is the big one. So that's my big lesson learned, and it's not to say that I won't try again in the future. I have no idea. But I'll be I will look at it through a different lens. Next time.

Fern:
Mm hmm. So that's that's my big take away from 19 is like we could have done all those things here because we are doing them all here and they are.

Cassidy Ballensky:
So with with the rise, I think we we probably have about as many members here as you did. Yeah. Five. Yeah. I was I was like I said, I was in fail of epic proportions.

Fern:
Now, what do you think? What do you think some of the what do you think some of the best changes that we've made are here? So, you know, I want you to think like. In that seven years. Mm hmm. Obviously, we've got better coaching. Right, so like every all of us have improved, but. I mean, I know I know what I think we do significantly better now.

Cassidy Ballensky:
But are you talking about like the best thing we've added to the gym in general?

Fern:
No, I just think, like,. What we've.

Cassidy Ballensky:
What what are we doing about what.

Fern:
We've probably made the biggest strides in? I guess it's a better question, a better way to phrase it.

Cassidy Ballensky:
Mm hmm. I mean, again, I think it's I think it's retention. I think where we were and where we are now, it's incredibly it's night and day from what what we used to do and what we are doing now. I think today we're much more involved in a good way in our in our in our people's lives than than we were before. To where people are bringing more friends to to us like our or bring a friend with we just did to ecl. I think that was one of the larger, larger weeks we've had of of newer folks. And even just to try it out and maybe they.

Fern:
Which we need to do a podcast just on retention because bring it friend week is a big one. But I need to do some math on that because there's some there's some cool stuff there. Anyway, we got.

Cassidy Ballensky:
So facility wise, I think we're we're a lot better at just being. Being a better place to be. You said it once before. Of like essentially nobody really knows good or bad coaching. They just kind of know good customer service. Same thing goes with your facility as a whole is I kind of took a better look at it. Looking at it like nobody. People who walk in here for the first time, they don't know a good or bad Crossfit, and they don't know what's good or bad coaching. They know nice and not nice people, but they do all know what a clean bathroom looks like. They've you-know-what clean floors look like. They do know what. You know, being out of paper looks like somebody's coming up to say hello to him like those. Get rid of the people on there does walk through in an empty space. They would know a clean facility from a dirty facility.

Fern:
So your dad was just here like two weeks ago.

Cassidy Ballensky:
Yeah.

Fern:
And so I want you to tell that story.

Cassidy Ballensky:
Yeah, my dad, he, uh, my dad doesn't do Crossfit, or workout at all. He's a runner. He does run half marathon stuff. He's never stepped foot in and across the gym. And I've been telling him for years and ever since I drank the Kool-Aid, it's daddy. I do this, too. And I think he's slowly getting there. But anyway, he he stopped in one Saturday when I was coaching and he didn't get a chance to actually look at the place was like he stopped and saw me coach for a couple of minutes because I need to borrow my truck and because he was doing yard work for me when I was coaching. So he came in some places like, oh, this looks nice. And then he Hendel.. Well, then I brought him back at night because we're waiting for some friends to get to dinner. And so we drove by the gym, gave him a whole tour of the place, and he just walked by. And the first thing he said, he's like, oh, wow. He's like, it smells clean.

Cassidy Ballensky:
And I was like, yeah, like, that's what we try. He's like, no, no. I like when I walked in earlier, he's like, I kind of expected it just smell like a gym because he's been in like a gold's gym and, you know, like a planet fitness, whatever kind of gym. He just smelled clean. He's like, the floor is clean. And he's like, what's a giant Zamboni in the corner for another ghost to clean the floor? He's like, well, you know, how does it work? And I told him how it worked and how he put like Pines Hall and stuff. And it just to make it smell nicer and walk through the bathrooms. And he was just kind of like looking at the little things and he's like white, you know, like you clean behind the toilet. Okay. Oh, you take like you have trash bags ready ready to go. You have oh you have air freshies in here. Just all the little things that I was was not trying to show my dad. I just tried to show it out like this where I spend all my time. So I work out and he more or less gave me like an inspection of the place and like, oh, you you clean the place like it looks really good. Like it's a it's a clean facility. It's a it's a big facility. You have lighting like it just it doesn't look like what I was expecting it to look like. And I think him walking in here may have helped the car. It definitely it hurt the cause of I'm going to a gym, but it might hurt it when he goes to another place and they're not.

Fern:
As is he gonna Crossfit?

Cassidy Ballensky:
Gym still working on it,.

Fern:
But it's can be downhill.

Cassidy Ballensky:
If anybody's in Helena, Montana, reach out to me and I'll I'll send my dad to you.

Fern:
So what I think we do better and I would just. I would I would say investment, right? And a lot of people would really go just financially, but I'm going to go across the board. So I think what we do significantly better now than what we did five, six, seven.

Fern:
Even two years ago is investment, investment in time, investment and money. Investment in resources, investment in people. And I think that is a significant piece. And that comes at a cost, right? It does come at a cost of my time. At your time? It does come at it, too, at a cost of money, because you have to spend money on things. But I do think that investment in all of those things will reap rewards. They do have significant R-N.Y. And most of them are probably not short term. All right. They're probably like at least 12 months, R-N.Y. But it's there. And I look at a lot of the things that we do. And like we spend a significant amount of money on the facility. We spend a significant amount of time making sure the facility is clean. And and we still have things to do, like we still need to redo some of the bathrooms and retool some of those.

Fern:
We still are finishing a project up in front and a lobby like I'm talking about now about like redoing the lighting, you know, like. But people notice those things. And the investment piece, I think, is what sets you apart from other gyms long term, because age is puts you in a position where, like, you're willing to invest so that you can shift or change things. And spending money is not it is not your big hang up when you have to do something and and people notice it. So, I mean, you guys know where I'm at. But like my my thing has always been what separates your gym from everybody else. Everything is the goal. Not to say that that is what we do, but the goal is everything. And so whether that's like all the equipment is organized and all the dumbbells are labeled and there where they're supposed to be or the floor is clean or that we don't run out of toilet paper or, you know, like my big thing when your dad came in here, it was I think he said it didn't smell. I don't know if you don't know. It said it's not good, but I swung it the other way and I said, why do I don't think it's not I don't think it's not smelling like shit is good enough. I think it needs to smell good. Like, I think you need to walk in and it smell good to wear.

Fern:
Like you're almost caught off guard. Yeah. So then we started. So then I have like all of those are those automatic air fresheners in the H vac units now you know, like and it's not overwhelming but like it smells like clean laundry in the gym now. So I think it's little stuff like that that people pick up on over time. But I mean I couldn't possibly tell you the amount of money we've invested in the gym over the years. I mean, like I mean,.

Cassidy Ballensky:
You put what how much what's the percentage of the of the total revenue that goes back into the gym? It's 3 percent.

Fern:
It's been as high as a 9. It's it's just where I can do it now simply because we're reaping the financial windfalls of like some of those other things. So probably not as much as I would like. However, we don't need to at this point. Right, because we had been doing that for three years. So I'm in a position where I don't necessarily need to do that. And people aren't going to get bent about it, you know, and we'll. Walt, I'll talk at length about how I did that, because John Briggs, who owns INSIGHT Tax, is going to come on this is going to come on the podcast. And he wrote Profit First for Micro Gems, which is like I'm thinking to release in January. But that. You know, when we expand, it is a perfect example because we had been spending money, significant money on on the facility for about seven or eight months and.

Fern:
People were basically started asking me before we said anything, if prices were going to go up and they weren't asking me out of fear, they were asking me because like that's what they expected based on all the things that we were doing. So like there's ways to hedge all that stuff, but. So, yeah, I think investment is what we've done. And there's a lot of different ways that we've done that over the years. So, I mean, if you guys have questions, whether it's about the people, the money, time and resources just hit us up on best out of their day. But last question from a GM standpoint, like what is it that you think a good GM means and should do for an owner? So I'm asking you what you think your responsibility is in order to be a good GM. So for somebody listening to this and like wants to do this full time has the opportunity to be a GM. What would you tell them?

Cassidy Ballensky:
Look at everything through the owner's eyes and through their perspective, because there's a there's a lot of things that happen that you do. I mean, I didn't really get why you were doing it or what the purpose of it was. Why you're spending so much time, you know, on your computer or on your phone. You know, it's.

Cassidy Ballensky:
It's I now I'm basically putting myself in your shoes, like if if you aren't here, if I was the owner, what would I do? And I'm trying to operate it the same way you would, you know. And I still give you feedback on I think we can do this better, this better. But for the most part, I'm running it as if I'm you know, I'm just I'm just a second you. And luckily, you and I are very similar to where it's I'm operating like myself, but I'm trying to always stay a step ahead of you. So when rather than you asking me to do something, I'm telling you what I'm going to do or I'm giving you an idea of how we do things, you know, I'm trying to take as much, much stuff off your plate and onto my own to where when you go, hey, we should do this. I'm a gay. I'm already doing it next week. He's already in in here. And I'm just kind of backfilling you on on what we're doing. So rather than waiting to be told, hey, I need we need to tighten up the assault bikes, so we need to put the the wheel back on the on the Zamboni, like I'm already doing it. And I'm asking you for parts or I'm asking you to approve a purchase or I'm I'm just saying ahead of the game rather than trying to play catch up. And a lot of times I'll have an idea like, hey, I want to. I think we should do this and you and I have a conversation and it doesn't always work that way but or doesn't always happen the way in my head. But now we're starting that path and we found a better way to do it.

Fern:
Yeah, I think with regard that is. Don't be afraid to just do things. I mean, obviously, you don't want to just go, you know, willy nilly spending other people's money. But, you know, be proactive is what I would say. You know, I think. I don't know. I've kind of put in the past. But it's kind of just, you know. Like, value goes both ways. Right. Just like. Yeah. My job is to make sure that everything is taken care of. But, you know, I think I think good teammates understand that like you have to have. I need to have value up, not just. I need to be provided value down.

Cassidy Ballensky:
I mean, if you take it if you take a look at it, years ago when we started expanding, when I was still just a part time coach and we did the expansion, I mean, I did how much of the painting and the floors and all that stuff in here just because it need to get done. I did things because it was for the better of the team, not for just me doing it wrongly. We had plenty of conversations of like, hey, when when the fuck am I getting fed here? Yeah, but it was I did it cause I had to get done. And by me busting my ass over here, it helped out East Coast gold expand here. It helped us be able to have the extra space to do you like the kids and now the hit program and it's all started to kind of get paid back. But I did it because it was for the good of the team, not for the good of me. Yeah, it's. You got it. You've got to be on. Yeah. You can't be selfish with all this stuff. And I. Same thing with as a GM. Now if you want to say that was I'm not I'm not doing what I want what I'm doing because I'm looking out for me. I'm doing it because I'm looking out for the space and I'm looking out for the spot. And you know, over time, whether it's two months, two years, a decade from now, like, you know, I trust all I'll get mine, get mine as well to where I'm extremely well taken care of. And I'm doing it wrong like I'm very well taken care of now to where I can pay all my bills and then some. And I can make a legitimate living off just this. And as it continues to grow, my role will continue to grow. And what I'm doing will continue to grow and everything's just going to keep going up with it. But I'm doing that with RIF in mind, not Cassidy in mind right now.

Fern:
I think that's hard for people to to understand because I like I and I get it right. So this is this is something I struggled with as a leader a long time ago. So it's like, why can't you just do it for good on the team? And like, it's just not realistic. I mean, people are people are inherently there is an inherent like self-preservation present in everybody where they're worried about numero uno. And, you know, your job as a leader, as an owner is is to balance both of those, which is, yes, my job is to take care of you while also getting you to understand that, like, what's good for the goose is good for the gander. And some people get it and some people don't. And that's OK. In both scenarios, you know, but it's.

Cassidy Ballensky:
Just Got to be patient.

Fern:
Yeah. And and some people are not okay with that. At which point, you know, the marriage doesn't work out. And again, that's OK. Last question. What is something that you've failed at recently?

Cassidy Ballensky:
Fail that recently. Well, I monthy challenge. I didn't complete that. I think I made it eight days into the month and then I stopped doing sit-ups. My my goal was to do one hundred AB exercises. Didn't matter what they were just one hundred core exercises a day. Frontside specific every day. I think it lasted like eight days and I woke up with a hangover and was like I'm not doing shit today. And then after that it just snowballed. And I don't think I'm going to sit up and let's say the 23rd, probably a week and a half. No, I didn't. I didn't yesterday. I did set up yesterday.

Fern:
So it can't count. You can't you can't count L sits as your AB workout. Now it was some I've failed at.

Cassidy Ballensky:
There's gotta be something besides just my amazing physique. I think it's been. You know, it's communication with my wife. That's actually something I feel that.

Fern:
That's deep.

Cassidy Ballensky:
Yeah. I. We we talk a lot and it's I mean, obviously we talk every day. But something I've I've haven't been doing well. Communication is like I'm I'm hearing her, but I'm not listening to her and I'm not actually engaged their conversations. And it's something that I'm I kind of realized yesterday when she was on the phone and she was telling me the same story with nursing school for, I think the second time yesterday. And I just like I've heard this already, like I and I kind of was just zoning out, doing my own thing, doing a hit, my uhh and no ways I got the exact right moments I should have been. And then I got off the phone like, what am I doing? So I went back and. You know, we had we had a legitimate conversation about how our day was in in school and our tests and exams and. Yeah, I think that was it. It was just I had very poor communication with with my spouse.

Fern:
I dig it. Well, first of all, you're talking about my wife now. Here's I also fail at that regularly.

Cassidy Ballensky:
I made Jess laugh. Last week I was pretty.

Fern:
What's a big deal, everybody? It's a big deal. Yeah. My wife doesn't think anybody's funny. I. Not even me. Only my kids. She only thinks our kids are funny. That's it.

Cassidy Ballensky:
I. There's a there's a joke I keep telling her all the time is like I worked here for three years and I still do. I still don't know if you like math. I've worked here for six years now. I still don't know if you like me, but you keep me around going. Assume the answer's yes.

Fern:
Listen. I've known her for 20 years, for 20 years, and there's some days I'm like she might kill me in my sleep anyway. All right, guys, if you guys have questions, we thought we covered a ton of stuff today. So I thought this is a good conversation and I've actually been wanting podcast. You don't here for a long time because I do think it's only appropriate that we I kind of open up to you guys about what we do here at Crossfit, RIF and expose ourselves to a little bit of scrutiny and questions and stuff like that, because it would be very, you know, ridiculous of me to be on the podcast and talk about different things without kind of letting you guys into what we do here and mistakes and things that we've made. So if you got questions, go out and shoot him out. But I'm going to, you know, consolidate everything that a lot of things we talked about here and put that information out here over the next couple months, because I think it's valuable. But anyway, thanks. We'll see you next time. Appreciate it.

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