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124. Joe DeGain | 810 CrossFit

124. Joe DeGain | 810 CrossFit

On today’s episode Fern chats with Joe DeGain, a long-time member of the CrossFit Seminar Staff. Joes also the owner of 810 Crossfit, in Michigan. They go deep down that rabbit hole of Affiliate ownership. Joes has been on staff for 11 years and 8 years of those were as a Flowmaster, he works on the Level 1, 2 and Kids.  He’s been in the sport for a long time and has always stuck to the Crossfit methodology never watering down for fabs. There’s a lot to learn here team. Enjoy. 

Timestamps: 

(15:34) Coaches Development
(21:22) Looking after your staff/coaching
(28:59) Meeting the demands of your class
(31:42) Messing up 
(44:59) Lesson learned as affiliate owners
(56:49) Nutrition in the box
(1:04:46) Biggest mistake an affiliate owner

Social Media:

@Joe.degain
@810crossfit

Recommend Resources: 

Jocko Podcast

Primal Blueprint

Warrior Clinic – Blood Work Kits


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Fern:
All right, everybody, welcome back to the best out of their day Fern here. I'm with I'm with arguably my favorite person to work with. Mr. Joe Joe No pain Degain. He's a flow master. Joe owns an affiliate up in Michigan. Crossfit, 8 10, 8 8 1 0?

Joe DeGain:
8 8 1 8 1 0 8 1 8 1 8 1 0. But the telephone exchange up here is 8 1. It is 8 1 0. So they call 8 1, although they call them the Flint area.

Fern:
Yeah. Yeah. So but no, like Joe, Joe and I every time we see like a seminar. Listen, Joe's on there. Like I know I'm in for a good evening's discussion about affiliate ownership and coaching and all that stuff. So Joe is currently on a walk right now in Flint, Michigan, where the good for the temperature is currently fifteen degrees. So if you're feeling bad for yourself, stop because Joe is stucking it up.

Joe DeGain:
Yeah, no excuses. You gotta get you got to get your activity ends right now.

Fern:
They call it. That's why you call, you know, pain to Degain dude.

Joe DeGain:
Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. We have had some good talks over the over the past few years here about the rabbit hole of affiliate ownership is usually what the talk goes down.

Fern:
And that's I think that's largely where this is gonna go is kind of. Maybe we'll do some dos, maybe we'll cover some don'ts. And what the reason I've always enjoyed talking to you is because I feel like you're kind of like me in the sense that you're always kind of toying with things and always playing around with new ideas. And you're you're very much not what I would describe as risk averse. Like you like to try things even if they don't work out, which I think is which is probably the mark of a true entrepreneur. I would imagine. I don't know if you would kind of categorize yourself that way or not.

Joe DeGain:
Yeah, yeah, yeah. I'm always I guess I guess it's that pursuit of virtuosity, right? Just try it. Just always trying to tinker and fix things and move forward and you have to do them, you know. What do we always say? Like you don't have to start. Right. You just have to start. So start making the action happen and then start adjusting from there to make it fit your mold and whatever it's going to be. But yeah, I've made quite a few changes over the years. You're right.

Fern:
How many years have you had your affiliate?

Joe DeGain:
We we have been open nine and a half years.

Fern:
I knew I was one up on 10, I knew was coming to 110.

Joe DeGain:
Yeah. And then we got we were fortunate enough to go out to the 10 year affiliate gathering in Whistler. And we talked a little bit out there at that 10 year affiliate. I know you were out there. Jason was. And yeah. But we got so we got a special little with a snuck us into the side door because we were only nine and a half years in. But I feel like I owned an Affiliate for twenty five.

Fern:
I think it's all a lot of affiliate owners feel. What was your I guess like did you have a take away from the summit like is there something? You from the affiliate or something like what was there? Is there something you walked away from in your just like? I dig that or it's something I didn't know before.

Joe DeGain:
You know, I think it's always great to get that chance to jump inside. Coach Glassman is head and just see what what in the world is going on in there, because he you know, over the years he has made a lot of decisions for Crossfit, headquarters that sometimes the community has or has not agreed with. And when we look back over the years at a majority of those decisions, I think all of them like not nothing. No decisions he has made have been bad decisions. They might have felt odd at the time. But looking back at the was the affiliate community and the Crossfit, community always comes out smelling like a rose. So I think just just seeing you remember that little web he made on the Philly gathering about like where we are now, you know, how we got there.

Fern:
And it was it was like the ball of like, what did you describe? It was like it was basically. So if you're trying to visualize this, which is imagine 80s had like this big ball of yarn that was not like put together and it's just like this big clump or just like that looks like a mess. And what was it? What was his? How do you describe what it was like? Listen. He was like, it doesn't really matter like what the path was for. How we got here is I was what it was. I remember how you describe.

Joe DeGain:
Yeah. Yeah. That's what it was. Yeah. That's basically it. It was this big shift from, you know, the competition side of things to the healthy wellness shift. And it was kind of it was just kind of neat to see that the timeline of events above items that happened, events that happened in Coach Glass Man's life to kind of lead us to this new lens of Crossfit, that is still definitely focused on games and competitiveness. But but it but it definitely lessened the focus of it and made a bigger focus towards health and wellness. And it was kind of neat. I think just to hear Coach Glassman's reasoning as to how we got there. And I think a lot of it, you know, only only some tenured affiliate owners can understand that scope or that lens, because a lot of times when you get into affiliate ownership in the beginning, I know in the in the when I did, you know, I was I was a big competitor and I was thinking competitive, competitive, competitive. And it wasn't the only thing driving my business in the very, very beginning. I definitely wanted to help out the normal population, but selfishly driven, I was a competitor. And and over the years, you just start to realize like that's not how you keep your doors open. So it's kind of neat to see how Coach Glassman shifted the whole lens of the organization and how he got there and to these steps.

Fern:
So I think they're going to release that talk soon. But so for anybody who's wondering kind of what we're talking about, he kind of went through this chronological kind of slides of just like dates, like the significant dates within the past. I think it was like within the past, like three or four years as far as like meeting with certain people, significant things, shifts that the company has made. The new website when they came on social media and all that stuff. And he, like Joe's describing, he kind of walked everybody through his through the cycle of why he did things.

Fern:
And I know a lot people don't disagree or a lot of you will disagree with certain things you did. However, good news on the social media front. Crossfit, training is back on Instagram. So if you are not following them, you need to go follow at Crossfit, training on Instagram right now. Stop this podcast. Go search it. Follow it. So I was really stoked because I think that came back on like mon or Wednesday or Tuesday this week.

Joe DeGain:
So yeah, I saw that. That was really exciting. Very exciting. And I also think I read somewhere that they get as soon as they came back and they gained like almost 10000 new followers, as soon as they came back on to Instagram and they had all their it was the same platform they had before it looked like it was just paused and taken off line so they didn't lose any followers. But you are getting 10000 immediately, it looks like,.

Fern:
Which I have no doubt. And I think I'm just super excited to see that. I'm super excited to see them back on tobacco and Instagram, because I think that's just a really awesome outlet. And I guess for anybody who's wondering, like he did have some philosophical differences with those companies, which I guess and it's his company. So we can do that. But yeah, the utility governor was cool. It's cool to see that. It is cool to see him talk through that. And we were fortunate we could see it twice. We got to see a truncated version of the train or something. But. What was your what was your take away from the trainer summit?

Joe DeGain:
Oh, gosh. You know, I add that I am never. Disappointed every time I work a seminar for Crossfit, headquarters, I always introduce our staff and I talk about not only the aggressive screening process that they've had to go through to be able to come on board to staff. But also the extensive amount of professional development that they've been through to assure that so that we Crossfit, can just assure that this is the best of the best that we have to offer an L1 and L2 or a kid seminar. And and that was no disappointment there at the at the at the summit. We had these little small groups organized with TVC sticks. And it's it's not it's interresting at the L2 experience. We give a lot of feedback to participants about.

Fern:
I think I lost you.

Fern:
Oh, lost him. I'm going to have him dial back in. We'll do a quick edit. So what he was talking about was some of the small was some small breakouts. I think we've talked about in some of the in some of the previous episodes and as far as like coach development, there was like a waterfall effect. And Denise and I talked about it in her episode and that was what he was alluding to. I'm trying to get him back on the call right now. I think he dropped it. It's probably just too damn cold in Michigan, too, to keep a phone call outside. But. If he doesn't come back on, I'll just splice these two together. And we'll do. Both of them. I might cut one out and do it that way, but let me see if we can get him back on.

Joe DeGain:
Jason, I'm back.

Fern:
All right, cool.

Joe DeGain:
Maybe, maybe I walked through a dead zone. I don't know.

Fern:
I don't know. I was afraid I got hit by a car on your long walk.

Joe DeGain:
All right. So are we recording right now?

Fern:
Yeah, we're recording. I just left it on and I was just doing.

Joe DeGain:
OK.

Fern:
A little monologue. Yeah. So what was cool

Joe DeGain:
Yeah. Exactly, yeah. Those and we we we hammered each other with the TVC stick and and that was a lot of fun. Another big takeaway is when we had that Zoe Hart come Harkov, she came in and talked and she just said, we're gonna get right into some stuff. Yeah. Great. That's.

Fern:
Yeah. Like, I'm super stoked about that because like she is she is like a lot of good stuff to say. We like her talk was good. And then on Dr. Jenkins on the podcast twice and he had some really awesome stuff to talk about to.

Joe DeGain:
Yes. Oh, it's always good to hear.

Fern:
What was your favorite part about? About Zoe's talk. Like, what was your what was your big takeaway there?

Joe DeGain:
Well, you know, I guess I guess one one thing about Zoe that I thought was so interesting is I think my preference it sounds like she is a vegan by a preference. She which she she enjoys that food. So, I mean, if she could have she could pick any way she wanted to eat. She would eat a vegan lifestyle. And I forgot how many years of her life it sounded like 80 or 90 percent of her life. She has been that way. And. And then but through all the studies that she's done and just research about nutrition and whatnot, that she she makes herself eat meat because she knows that's what's best for her. And and that's that's an interesting angle that not a lot of you know, there's not a lot of big in certain meat eaters because of the education that they've gone through.

Fern:
There's no message in telecommunications. But I think, like the percentage of people that go vegan or vegetarian and convert back is something crazy. Hi. I want to say it's like 80 percent like people try.

Joe DeGain:
Oh, I didn't I didn't know.

Fern:
Yeah. It's high. What I thought was SuperRatings on her talk was like the I always kind of knew this, but it didn't know to what degree that liver is the superfood for humanity.

Joe DeGain:
Oh, I know it has been on my mind for I haven't seen it. I haven't made any liver yet. But I do have a member of my gym who by gyms about five minutes from my house in the number of my gym is a butcher and his butcher shop is literally halfway between my house and the gym. And he says he he has liver in the shop. And it's just a matter of time till I go in there and grab some in it because I've got it. I've got to grill myself up some liver and then see what. Yeah, it seems like it's a superfood.

Fern:
I'll have to. I'm going to have her. We'll probably add some of the graphics that she showed have on the show. But the the I mean, there is no food that even comes close to liver when it comes to nutritional value. I mean, the the numbers on their rose, it was almost like somebody made it up. It was just like, hey, listen, if you could make a ridiculous nutritional protein product, it would be liver. It was just crazy.

Joe DeGain:
Yeah. Yeah. And you hear it. You know, the big thing lately is like the Carnivore Diet. A lot of people talking about the kind of our diet. And one of the misconceptions of the kind of our diet is that you're just eating like revise and T-bones and whatnot. Not now that delicious part of of of of the cow, but, you know, the to kind of our diet. The reason people say that it works so well in the theory behind it is that you eat the animal nose to tail, including all the organs, which is kind of in line with what she was saying, because the liver that contains all those minerals and vitamins that are critical to the technique of the metabolic system, you know. So that was definitely in alignment with that. Yeah.

Fern:
I can't wait to talk to her I'm trying to set that up.

Joe DeGain:
Think somebody also somebody asked her also if if she thought there was some type of a conspiracy theory. Like what? What is taking society so long to turn their lens and seeking and thinking meat is bad? And she she she didn't miss a beat. And just and reflected back upon like, I don't know what their first names were, but like Mr. Kellogg and Mr. Graham. Oh, let's raggedly eighteen hundreds where the seventh day they're a list. And they were in their heads like that. And they didn't want anybody to eat meat. And I mean, she really and that that was pretty deep rooted. And to hear her not miss a beat and say, look, could be this.

Joe DeGain:
That was interesting. I care about exactly what it was, but it had something to do with them making those companies and then also having a view to want to kind of change the world back in the day. I don't know. I don't know how true or not it was, but it was inter-. It was, too.

Fern:
I'm going to think, still gonna get it wrong. I'm going to get this wrong. But it was they were part of a not a cult. The cult is not what it is, but it was a was it a religion that was against.

Joe DeGain:
Seventh Day Adventists.

Fern:
Thats right, That's right. S8 advocates and they were against eating meat. And that's how they started coming out with all this other stuff. And when you think about it like, oh, that makes a lot of sense. Yes, she. She did not skip a beat on the conspiracy theory. She didn't say like definitively, but she she outlined it and had a pretty strong argument for for why that like some of those companies are so prevalent in in the in the world of food production these days. But yeah, I can't wait to have her on. It's like I listen to a podcast and is like she is just so well read and just like just and she doesn't mince words either. That's the other thing I love about her. Like she just says it. Which is great.

Joe DeGain:
Yes. Yes, she's right to the point. I think a lot of people like Crossfit, are like that. We like to get right to the point, you know.

Fern:
Well, there's no yeah, there's no there's no sensation. There's there's no sense in like beating around the bush, which is kind of a good segue way to the next piece, which I wanted to talk to you a little bit about your thoughts on coach development. So Joe's been pulling been a flow master Joe.

Joe DeGain:
Probably, I've been on staff for 11 years. I think I've been a flow master for seven or eight years.

Fern:
And then what was your seminar count? Three hundred and.

Joe DeGain:
Yeah, it was like three hundred and sixty, some three hundred sixty, some seminars, which I did a calculation was six and a half years of weekends of my life getting dedicated to the L1, L2 and Kids Seminar's 6 and half years.W

Fern:
Which is crazy because if you at it, if you think about that, that's almost a thousand hours on the floor just in a seminar setting.

Joe DeGain:
Yeah. It's. It's been a great ride. I've loved it. I've loved every second, you know. My wife explains it to me as others. The movie is a movie where these were some of the 40. And there is this. These two guys and they're watching one of them is getting ready to be a dad. I think it's Seth Rogen. And the other one is Paul Rudd. I think maybe they're sitting on the edge and he says he's like he's like, look at these kids with their bubbles. I just wish I could be as happy about anything in life as those kids are about bubbles is what he says. And I get it. I had to find bubbles in my life. My wife calls the seminars bubbles. So every time I leave for a weekend, she says, enjoy your bubbles. That's what she says. And they walk out the door. But yeah, that's how I feel. I love. I love work in those seminars.

Fern:
That's a very credible way to describe that.

Joe DeGain:
Yes. Yes. It's awesome to have to have a job you love. You know, it's awesome to have a job you love and we have. Yeah. So and now I'm trying to extend it a little bit into the coaches development program also, which you guys are doing over there. Crossfit, Rife ? I know.

Fern:
Yeah. We just had one last week and it went phenomenal. It was. And I. I failed the listeners because I was gonna do a podcast with the three participants because they all really wanted to do one. But we just got so entrenched into the development portion that like I just finished day three and like, shit, we forgot. We forgot to do that. Like, yeah, I was that the I was I was reflecting on this on the summit I and I wrote an email to say thank you to a couple of people in the e-mail I kind of expressed I said I I find it very rare that you could find yourself in a position to earn a living doing truly what you love, like what is actually your passion. And then it's even more rare than that to be surrounded by people who are just as passionate as you. And then I felt like I hit the lottery by like being able to do what I love and be surrounded by people who are literally just as passionate about it. And I was just like, thank you for this opportunity. Like, I I couldn't imagine myself in any other place.

Joe DeGain:
Yeah. You have to live in living your life any other way is just not worth it. You know, I mean, they're standing around the water cooler another day, another dollar groans and whatnot with with the with other people in the miserable corporate life. Nothing wrong with it if you enjoy it. But by getting caught in the rat race is. Yeah. Definitely going to try to pursue something that you bubbles that you can infiltrate your life with happiness in your day to day work.

Fern:
And I think what's cool about that is and you kind of see it when you look inside like people's kind of like their personal bubbles. If we're going to use that term, like it's infectious. It's infectious, right. Because, I mean, how many how many people have you had that have kind of been under your tutelage over the years that have ended up working on some of our staff?

Joe DeGain:
Oh, my gosh. Let's see it started. Charles. Yeah. The Charles words generally endure. They they both got on staff. My wife, Liz. She is on the kids staff. And then we also my son in law, Colin County, is on staff and also Dennis Martin, who is no longer on staff. But he was on staff for a little bit. So that would be I have five people. They could then they all came through 810 Crossfit,. And and they just got passionate about Crossfit,. And it's kind of neat because, you know, they leave and move on, which is devastating to have these wonderful trainers leave and move. Of course, my wife. And it leaves. You still have he's said to Heather, you know, it's devastating. At the same time, it's kind of a neat little in a weird way. It feels like an act of philanthropy almost, that they're off leading these great communities now and and loving their job day to day, which is and I hope they were able to steal some of that from from working at 810. And learning along the way

Fern:
I think, way. I definitely think it's something you should be proud of. And that's kind of wanted I wanted to ask you, because that's always been my vision is to have, you know, something similar. Like I always envision like the coaches I admire the most are the coaches who have had coaches that have left and then gone on to do things like Bill Parcells comes to mind, like the number of head coaches in the NFL that started under Bill Parcells and then went on to do something else. Nick Saban's and other one like that is what I like, not how many championships you have, but like the number of people that went on to do great things after being in your presence is what I consider like the true mark of success. Like, is that something? Like, how do you transmit for somebody who's owns a gym like you've done at a gym for almost 10 years, like how do you begin to start to transmit that culture onto your other staff when they come in?

Joe DeGain:
Well, you know what I mean? I think it's just I think it just kind of I think it just kind of organically happened. You know, I I don't I don't think we start with a new coach and, you know, just immediately start thinking about, you know, what the end goal is going to be. We just, you know, just show it. Just try to just try to love them. Make sure, you know, be open to the idea that they're going to make mistakes. Because before, you know, when before you are a great coach, you have to be a bad coach, has to start somewhere. And I think just being open to that idea and realizing that the only real mistake you make is the mistake when you when you don't get back up, after you fall down and and just kind of always been there for him. And and then I think in the beginning, what we do with our younger coaches is we kind of spell things out very much for them about how things are going to be. We get sick compared to like fishing. Like when I was a little boy, my dad would take me fishing. He would. He would you know, he'd he'd he'd tie the knot. He put he he put the bait on the lure and he would throw it out and he would throw it out the fish would bite. He'd set the hook and he'd give me the point. I'd real- in in it in the beginning. That's kind of what we do with with our trainers is we just lay it all out and then as they get used to reel it in the fish or running the classes, and now we start to give them a little bit more creative freedom, they start to grow into their own and trusting them with that process. And yeah, they just kind of they just kind of come along. And then eventually they're they're setting their own hook.

Fern:
What's the first. So on that. What's the first thing you allow a new coach to do? Like, what's the first thing you're like, hey, you can do this by yourself?

Joe DeGain:
Yeah, usually it's usually it'll start with some of the more complex progressions. I don't like me for it. I just use the arbitrary. Your example. Maybe we're gonna do ring muscle ups in a workout today. And so I've got some I've got two or three free populated ring muscle up progressions that I like to put the athletes through at 810 Crossfit,. And I'm like, if you're a new coach, then then you're geared automatically doing these 810 default progressions, the great progressions. But then after a while, maybe we'll put a charge on our coaches as as we see their experience level and take off a little bit, maybe, maybe now it's going to be there like, hey, why don't you know you're you're gonna do a muscle up progression. Why don't you go into the bat cave, come up with your own little twist on things and put your own little you know, you're a little creativity, stamp on it. And then. So it's still within the context of the timeline. But usually that's where and then and then we and then, you know, also a general warm ups and whatnot. We've got some pre populated general warm ups, some very popular ones that I like to use, and they're out from my arsenal of coaching. But then we just study eventually handing those little over become like evolutions of the class over to the so they can kind of vary away from it a little bit. But it's tricky because you don't want you don't want to have. You don't want to. You don't want to have too much discrepancy between your 03:00 and your 6:30 p.m. class. Right. You don't you don't like coaches coming in at 3:00 because they are clients coming in at 3:00 because, well, this coach has a better progression than this coach has. So it's a tricky little bird, too. Maybe then that as you start trusting your coaches, maybe, maybe then that becomes a new default affiliate muscle up progression. So that way the 6:30 class copies the same thing that the 3 o'clock coach created.

Fern:
Yeah. I was gonna ask you that like that. I was gonna ask you how much standardization you have within your kind of class procedures, because that's that was an error I made early on was I kind of gave everybody, you know, all the rope in the world to hang themselves. And then and then we went we swung the pendulum all the way the other direction or said, you're gonna do everything exactly like this. And we took away all poetic freedom. And now we lie probably somewhere in the middle where there are there are certain things that are standardized. We don't we don't change the Snatch progression. We don't change the push or progression. We don't change the pull up progression. But outside of that. Like, if you want to sprinkle some other things in there as you get better, then I'll let you do that. But first, kind of where you were going is like, you have to show me that you can set the hook exactly like I taught you how to set it.

Fern:
And then once you can do that repeatedly, then I'll let you kind of, you know, venture out and get a little bit creative. But for me, I find that the best the best way to move coaches forward is like, hey, demonstrate the template first. Show me that you can follow directions and that you understand this. Then you can be creative, but not until then.

Joe DeGain:
Yeah. Absolutely. And that is that and kind of like what you said earlier, that some of the great conversations we've had has been about entrepreneurship and whatnot. And the first part of entrepreneurship is dialing in on the way you want things done for your business. And then you hand those off. So so what you said is like that baseline. That's basically the safety net for every single coach that comes in. And in the beginning in the beginning, as an early affiliate, you had to do exactly what you and I did. You have to just come up with this is our muscle progression. This is our this is our kipping pull up progression. This is. And now we have two of these progressions and now we have two of these progressions and two that now we have three. And now that we have these baseline and these safety nets for our new coaches, now that they can demonstrate they have those, then you can start to move away. But you can't.

Joe DeGain:
Right. You can't start the opposite way. You can't give them creative freedom. You're giving them creative freedom without a safety net to fall back on. Almost seems unfair. And. It seems like you're going to see incorrect. You start to see and correct somebody before you before you teach them.

Fern:
Yes. And you know, you end up setting them up for failure because they they end up falling on their face anyway, because, you know, trying to recreate the wheel is generally never a good idea. But then then the other thing that becomes a problem from a business standpoint is you create this this pretty significant discrepancy from classic Lasser, from coach to coach. You know, if I'm talking about often, you know, if I'm talking about offering a consistent service or product, there has to be a pretty substantial amount of ability to replicate the service from one co-CEO. They can all have their fleet, like the way I like to describe it is like I want you to be you and I want you to put whatever spin on this you want. But it doesn't change the content kind of like we do the level one. Like the content doesn't change the delivery. Who's giving the lecture and the flavor which with with which it's given that varies from person to person as they get comfortable with content. I feel like coaching is the same way. Don't you don't need to change the clean. It's good the way it is. What you need to do is figure out how to deliver it effectively being you.

Joe DeGain:
Yeah. Yeah. And then the art continues when you not only develop like your own unique way to deliver that instruction for the clean, but when you can become a chameleon to the environment that you are with.

Joe DeGain:
You know, like as you are literally looking out onto your class as a coach and you're running through your your very best clean progression and you start to pick up on like, oh, my gosh, these we we are these clients. Are these participants learning this clean progression for me right now are not quite as advanced or or maybe they're more advanced than what I thought.

Joe DeGain:
And your ability to kind of adjust your progression mid way to meet the demands of or the needs of the clients in the class. That's another part of the art, right? Where gosh, I mean, you could have you could have ten old hands in the class or you could have eight newbies in two old hands in the class. And being able to balance the education with still not being having to board the old hands, but give the education to the to the newbies at the same time. Yeah, that's and that's a continuation of the I. Right there.

Fern:
Yeah. We get that question quite a bit because when we're when we're working with coaches either in the mentor group or people ask questions about when they're when they do their lesson plans. And the question about it inevitably comes up about what if I've got like this big mix of athletes or have this these athletes that are all pretty much good to go. And my my statements, everybody's like, it shouldn't matter. It doesn't change the plan. And this is something John Alexander told me years ago. And he says, yeah, and I'm gonna butcher this a little bit. But he's like, hey, what you want to become able to do as a professional is either contract or expand the content at will based on the audience that you're looking at. And

Joe DeGain:
Ya love that.

Fern:
Yeah, that's that's an art form that I still work on constantly is like, hey, can I fast forward this? Do I need to lengthen this out? But I I still have not mastered that. I think I'm just significantly better at it than it was 10 years ago. But it's still something that I'm constantly evaluating because, you know, the the athletes change every day, which is really kind of the fun part of the whole thing.

Joe DeGain:
Yeah, yeah. No doubt, no doubt about it. Yeah. And you only learn by by by doing it right. And you can put your hand on a hot stove a couple of times by realizing like, well that I really just over coach that group of people, you know, here I am dropping on my on my knowledge bombs and they look at you like you've got three heads where it could have been very appropriate for the last class. You know, just because they're just maybe they're more experienced class.

Fern:
I did that just the other day where I had you to watch both the classes back to back. They would. They would they could not have been more different. But it was just literally based on the people that had the class. I just decided on the fly was like, I got to change this just cause because I think it's appropriate based on this. But I wanted to go back to something you said earlier because. This idea of like letting people mess up is a hard pill to swallow, particularly when as a business owner, when those decisions and those mess up can in a lot of instances cause you money, like how long did it take you two to really take that on board and start to be OK with that?

Joe DeGain:
Well, I think, you know, really, I think from the beginning I was not. Not to sound like a know it. I guess. But I just knew. I mean, when I came in to Crossfit,, which would have been about 12 or 13 years ago. Right. It just wasn't a lot of affiliates around. I mean, I think there was only one good Crossfit, coach in all of the state of Michigan when when I first started twelve or thirteen years ago. And I mean, it was it was quite a drive to get there. So, I mean, when I started the coaching Crossfit,, I started coaching at the high school kids when I started. And then I would just I was just messing up. You know, I would just have just mess up with these kids. And then I would have to change things and derive things. And when I got confident enough, I eventually I left. I was a school teacher and I eventually left that profession to open my own affiliate. I think I just had a lot of empathy for my coaches because I remember the past two or three years of the learning curve that I had been going through with coaching where I just felt like I was constantly put my hand on a hot stove and. Right. The only thing in play in a hot stove. The worst thing you could do is just put your hand back on the same myself. Of course it's going to be hot. So, I mean, I had done this many times that I just said I just had empathy with them that they would that they would. I got to be patient with them, that they're going to make mistakes.

Fern:
I was reading somewhere the other day was it was the saying moment where I got it from, but it was. Probably on of Instagram feed, but it was like, you know, how to make good decisions. It was like get experience. How do you get experience, make bad decisions? I was like, oh, that's a very it's a very accurate description of how that whole process works. And it's tough because like you do, there is frustration involved with teaching people something new. And again, not to beat it like one of my members who's a friend and mentor of mine, like super, super successful entrepreneur. And he works in the fast food industry and he owns a couple Chick-Fil-A's. But he says, hey, listen, people are gonna mess things up five times. Like you have to give them five opportunities to mess it up. And generally by them, they'll probably do it better than you. And I was like, man, that seems like a lot. It seems like a lot of times up, but yeah.

Joe DeGain:
And that's how it works in another part. That's another tricky part of it is. Yeah. Making them better than you and not letting your own ego get in the way that is. I can I keep like I guess I'm talking about the learning curves of going through my out on your own as a new coach to learn things and then you start to spread that wealth to others in the first time that you start to realize that the person you're tutoring is becoming better than you. You almost want to be like, well, wait a minute, maybe I don't want to give them any more knowledge. There is this there's a selfish side of you that is that I think is normal and organic. But to be able to slice up your humble pie, take big bites of it, and realize that that is actually what part of leadership is is if you can if you can have the humility and be proud to bring people along that path, that it is OK. And it's a totally normal part of leadership to have your subordinates or your you know, your coaches that you're training to become actually better than you. And I feel like that quite often. I wish some of those names we mentioned earlier. I mean, I watch these guys running classes and I'll be like, damn, I wish I was that good. And I'll tell them afterwards. I'm like, guys. That was amazing. I'm going to try to steal that. I don't know if I can replicate it, but I'm sure as shit going to try to steal it and. And yeah, that's a that's that's a new learning curve that you have to go through eventually with as an affiliate owner I think. And as you're trying to bring up good coaches there you get let them get better then you let them. I think I think that's hard to swallow sometimes.

Fern:
I know I can definitely understand how people could feel that way. I might be an outlier here, but for whatever reason and I'm not saying this is due to anything specific I did or I'm special, probably parenting, but I've never been that way. I always looked at it a little bit differently. I'm an I'm an uber competitive person and and and I don't necessarily have the desire to win. I just like competition. So I always look at it like as somebody get better. Like, I always excited because now there was more competition. Like, I knew that as this person got better, my competitive nature would take over and I would also get better. So I always looked at it like as you get better, it's going to force me to get better. And I thought, that's probably not normal. But I've always that's always been excited, citing to me like when I played baseball and basketball, football growing up, when I played in college and like you guys would be getting better. It just got me excited. Like I was just like I was like, how? Yeah, I'm like, this is like the competition is about to go up a notch. And that was always what I looked looked for. And I and I do it now as a coach. Like I I find it exciting because now I'm going to start to steal from that person, too, like I'm going to steal the things that they do and try to.

Joe DeGain:
Yeah, yeah, I get it. You got another outlet that I get it. You got another out. Another opportunity to steal. Yeah, I love it. That's a great lens. That is such a healthy lens. That's a great way to have an outlook on things. It reminds me of my competitive days of wrestling where I always, always felt like my pitfall of wrestling was that I looked at wrestling. I didn't look at it like I was wrestling to win. I wrestled not to lose. And you can never win that way.

Fern:
Ya.

Joe DeGain:
You can never win if you wrestle, not to lose. You have to play to win and you like it. And then that would be like if you if you are afraid to let your. Your coaches, if you're afraid to let them grow into something better, which eventually means, I mean, they're going to move on. You know, they're they're they're gonna move and they're going to do bigger and better things.

Fern:
We also we all break up like.

Joe DeGain:
The things.

Fern:
Yeah, that was something I learned. Like we all break up. And if you're trying to hold people in, it's never gonna work out. Like I prefer to look at it.

Joe DeGain:
That is playing. That's playing not to lose. Right. That's why I'm playing to win. Being in it to win, it is gonna be like, oh, great. Look at this. I got another avenue, another another person I can steal from now. And you just traded that for yourself. That's a great lens. It's such a healthy lens and a way to look at things.

Fern:
I can't take credit for that. I don't know why I'm like that, because it's weird because I hate losing. Like. It's just like. Well, I don't I don't know if it's accurate. I don't know that I hate losing. I feel like I've told Joe Alexander this, for I have a profound fear of mediocrity, right, like that. That's probably what drives me. Like, I don't. I realize that losing is part of life. But like what? I guess what probably drives me is like I have like it scares the crap out of me to be mediocre at things. There's some things like that.

Fern:
I don't care about that. I'm like, I'm never gonna be good at that. Like, I'm just going to. But it's not part of my life, so I don't care. But like, when it comes to the things that I'm doing and I'm passionate about, like being mediocre at those things like is is incredibly frightening to me. And I think that's what drives it. It's not like my desire to be great. It's my fear of being terrible.

Fern:
And I think that's hopeful and like something I've been struggling with. And it like and this is on the business mindset. I love to get your idea. Like, have you read have you read any of Simon Sinek books like start with why or anything like that?

Joe DeGain:
No, I have not. I have been referred multiple times to the blogs, but I have not read any of his.

Fern:
So his his newest book is called The Infinite Game. And basically the premise of the book is to in order to be successful, particularly like in life and business, trying to win is how you fail. There is no there is no winning. There's simply staying in the game and having to shift and having to shift. My mindset, particularly on business on that has been it's been a struggle because I was always in the mindset, we've got to win. We have to we have to either close the sale or we have to, you know, grow this much or we have to be better than this business.

Fern:
And then all of that is short term thinking. And I've really had to like take a step back and look at it and say, like, what am I actually what am actually winning? Like what? Like. Like, how do you approach business? Because I like that shifts from me quite a bit and I'm trying to get better at it.

Joe DeGain:
You know, I think I like to approach a kind of. You see, you said something earlier about I forget exactly what they talked about earlier in the podcast. We mentioned something along the idea of just like you don't have to start. Right. You just have to start.

Fern:
Yeah. You said that

Joe DeGain:
And I have. Yupe. I have a tendency to try to think things right. I have a tendency to want to think things right and I will sit in the think tank and I will think know I was thinking, I was thinking, I would think I'll think of a better way to implement this thing in a better way. Well, what if I change this before I implement it? What if I said and I think over the years, one thing that I'm starting to realize is I just have to start this process or the standard operating procedure that instead of thinking about it, I can't think it right. I just have to get started. And then and then I'll. And then I will adjust, you know. And that's the same. Right. That's the same thing that a lot of people need to realize with nutrition as well as like, you know, all the calories. What percentage of protein? What percentage of fat? What is it? Who cares? Just start ordinary care. You know, you could have the most I've seen, you know, you could start in the most wrong way. Like maybe 90 percent of your intake is going to be from carbohydrate, 5 percent from protein, 5 percent from fat. As long as you start weighing and measuring your food, you're going to realize real quick that you don't like those results and you're going to shift those numbers. So being exactly right and trying to think it right. The clients that they believe in and carbohydrate riddled nutrition, traditional regimes, rather light and now they're going to switch it. So what's my right number? Is somebody in my head just just get us somewhere in this arena of 40 percent to start. You don't have to start it. Right. You just have to start what you have to do. And I think that one thing I've learned with with affiliate ownership is just right. I got this great idea. Let's just start it and let's not give up on it when it fails. You know it's going to fail. Let's just fix it when it does and make it meet the mold of what you need. And right now, that's it's interesting.

Fern:
So I would be I would classify myself as the opposite of that. When where like my tendency is to let's not build the plane. Let's just start flying and build the plane in midair.

Joe DeGain:
Which. Yes. Yeah.

Fern:
Which as is which also has a straw back. And there's a some I think I read this and I think it was Stanley McChrystal book. I think it was in a team of teams when he talks about this concept of the cathedral and the bazaar and is like, you know, there's two concepts, right? This cathedral is this immaculately structured thing in it.

Fern:
And it's every brick is placed. You know, super precisely. And it's this beautiful structure. The problem with the cathedral is it takes two centuries to build it, you know, but it's perfect. When you're done. So it's it's it's an efficiency thing. And the opposite end of the spectrum is the bazaar. Right. So if anybody's never been to a bizarre if you've never been to the Middle East or anything like that, you know, like the bazaar is this crazy kind of marketplace that nobody really knows how it functions. There's no rules, there's no structure. But it functions like it's this place of trade that functions. But like what? You can't change anything in the bazaar. Right. Because nobody knows how it works. The problem with the cathedral, though, is like if I change something, I continue to push the timeline back.

Fern:
So it's like how do I become some version of both the cathedral and the bazaar, which is like have some structure and some logic to my thought, but not let the perfect design hold me back from actually starting the project. So that's where I try to live my life. But I tend towards the bazaar, which is like, let's just figure it out. And that has bitten me. It has. That's just more than on more than a couple occasions after. Be a little bit better about that.

Joe DeGain:
It seems like a big theme of all the stuff we've talked about is like the dance, the dance fairytale of Goldilocks, not too hot, not too cold. It's almost everything we've talked about so far as like you can be at one end of the spectrum or the other in a small way. What we find is right in the middle is where you need to be.

Fern:
But again, like, how do you get to the middle? Like, you only get to the middle by by spending too much time on the on the periphery. Like, you're just like, this is not where I want to be. And if you somehow figure out how to gravitate towards the middle, you know, if you're being intelligent about it and what you said, staying in the game, staying in the game, that's the key is you've got to stay in the game.

Joe DeGain:
You've got to adjust. You can't just take that plan because, you know, the umbrella concept of that plan is good. You just have to figure out how to nail that umbrella concept, which you're trying to not give up on it because you're too much like the bazaar, too much like the cathedral. I love that.

Fern:
So on that note, what are some of the what are some lessons learned as an affiliate owner that you would pass on to people? So like, again, not a ton of us who have been around 10 years, which doesn't necessarily make us good, right? I think that's. Yes. It just it does it does mean that we're still in the game, though. And then there's been some lessons learned along the way. Like what are some of the like? What's some of the big takeaways that if you reflect on 10 years and you sit down and. You and Liz are drinking wine and like, what would you be? What would be your big takeaway is like things that you've either done poorly or things you're like. We nailed it on that. We definitely got that right.

Joe DeGain:
Yeah, well, that's great. Oh, my gosh. Well, isn't that a tough one? I guess I guess the you know, in the beginning it's kind of funny, you know, and the. And you know what, I think your needs kind of change over the years, your needs kind of change over the years to about what you're doing right at that time. And why not? Because I mean, there's a whole concept of taking care of the people that are under your umbrella right now, the people who you are, your current clients, and and somehow managing to still pull more clients in. I had I've done both. I've done both ways. You know, I've done just like all I'm going to do is I'm just going to concentrate on my count on my clients and offer quality service to them. And I've gotten very, very happy with with their experience and what they're having an eight month old Crossfit,. And then they're just starting to rely on that to bring other people in through word of mouth, which it does. But it's not like a crazy it's not like I have people just knocking down my door. I've had to experiement also with getting my name out there to try to get people to come in the door. So then that because so then you start to focus on that item and kind of like we were saying before, then all of a sudden you start to lose focus of the people who are in your gym and the quality control drops there because you're too focused on drawing people into your gym. So you shift back and then I don't know, then then how do you want to take care of the people in your gym? I would say the big would be the big takeaway.

Joe DeGain:
Number one, take away some that we have nailed. I think I think just just being consistent with the Crossfit, methodology and not watering it down like consistently challenging people to build their gymnastic skills, constantly looking after people that are under my brother, under our roof, constantly challenging them, not not watering down, not getting caught up in a new sexy thing in the fitness industry and going off on some tangent. Now, all of a sudden, you're not the Crossfit, methodology anymore, that that has been something that we've done well and then with. We're just making sure we have consistent benchmarks for our athletes that they're familiar with, always participating in the open and making the open something fun that people can celebrate the celebration of lifestyle, of being a Crossfitters. I think that I think just sticking to the roots of Crossfit, is something that we've done well that that I'm pretty proud of because I think there's a lot of Tandy's in go off and you see this happening all the time and you see some Crossfit, affiliates changing their name to like socialist's our strength and conditioning because they don't want to be for whatever reason they lose track of. They got cut some new sexy thing. They went off on a tangent in the fitness industry and they didn't want to be pigeonholed into whatever they think the Crossfit, methodology is or whatever misconception they have.

Fern:
I mean, I I get where you're saying and I don't even even fault those people for that. Like, I don't. I don't. I disagree with it, but I get how it's easy to. To want to take the new shiny object, because, I mean, if you give anybody the option, like, hey, what's the easier route? Like continue to try to get better at the thing that you're doing. Or go chase this thing over here like chasing the new thing is always easier realistically than it is to like, particularly as you get better at something. It's like it gets better. It gets harder and harder to improve one percent if you're as you become really competent with something as like how do you know how does somebody like Joe to gain or as a flow master who runs into affiliate for ten years, like improve his affiliate? Like we all know it can be done, but I would argue that it just does get more complicated and it does get harder the longer you've been doing it.

Joe DeGain:
Yeah, yeah, definitely, definitely. And we've come across some standard operating procedures across the way that I know this is where you and I really can go down the rabbit hole with you as we start talking about those things that we have learned to just kind of recreate. And now we're starting to fall into a little bit of a template that allows us to have no goal meetings with our athletes and then challenges with our athletes. When are benchmarks going to happen? And I've got to.

Fern:
So whats your structure there. Yeah. How do you guys set that up? Because I think that's one of the that's like a major retention tool that people are that are missing. Like, how do I. How do I have consistent frequent replicate a bowl retention strategies in place for the people when they're when they're in my care. Right. To take somebodies average, you know, their length of engagement, which is what Chris Cooper likes their leg to take it from three months to two years. Like, what do you guys have in place to do that?

Joe DeGain:
Wow. Yeah. It's evolving, really. We have gone from you know, we used to have this really interesting. We used to have these goal meetings that we would do throughout the entire year and we would call people like if you were a member of my gym, we would call you like every three or four months and try to set up this meeting with you is what we would do. And then you would come in for this meeting. It was kind of like a mandatory thing. You would come in for this meeting. We talk about your goals and it was just chance to sit down with an individual, find out how things are going. And a lot of times, to be honest with you, would turn into a little bit of a therapy session that you would just have to hear about all these different reasons as to why the person can't make it into the gym.

Fern:
It's never about fitness. It's literally it's never about fitness.

Joe DeGain:
And yeah. So we would do those. But they were just I don't know. It was it was like we tried to spread them out throughout the course of the year. And so that sort of volume wouldn't be that aggressive. And and it just became really tricky. And we kind of got away from that just last year. And in this New Year, 2020, I'm kind of looking forward to this idea of just making like in January of this year, I would really just like to hunker down and meet with every single one of my clients just to be able to talk about like, where are you? Where do you want to go? Can we write something down that would help you for the next six months, something to get you kind of squared away a little bit right now or give you some resources and just let them know we care for them. And then but in order to do that, in order to do that, you have to in order in order to have anything to talk about, you have to have data in front of you about your athletes. You know, you can't have it otherwise. It's just a subjective sit down and like, I don't know what is your clean. I don't know what is your body fat percentage. I don't know what it you know, we look at all these if you can look at all these different metrics.

Joe DeGain:
So. So before that even can happen, before you can have those meetings in those goal meetings with your athletes having some type of a metric system to be able to gather data on your athletes, you can sit down and look at them across from a desk with a piece of paper that has things that are relevant to them that are data driven. So that's a whole nother process in itself. And I would love to use the open as an opportunity to do that in the open, but the open only really gives us that one workout, right? There's only gonna be one repeat workout. And there's so many factors change. You can't base you can't base like, well, I was in the top 40th percentile last year and this year I'm in the top thirty fifth percentile. You know, I'd like look at how many the numbers are changing of the participants in the open. And that's just a hard it's a hard one to measure your. You definitely got that one repeatable workout that you can compare to years past to see if you are improving or not. But so we like to look at the open kind of like as a huge celebration of lifestyle and participate in these five crazy weeks with some of the fittest people in the world.

Joe DeGain:
And then now that that's over, we are doing right now before Christmas, before the new year. Our game plan is to have a whole slew of benchmarks and data. And then, of course, as soon as January hits, then we want to do some body metrics such as body fat percentage, muscle mass and whatnot. And then we want to sit down and have meetings with people about like, alright, this is where you were in the open at the end of 2019. This is where you are in all our benchmarks. This is where this is what your body fat percentage of muscle mass, your visceral fat inflammation levels is where you are right now. And so where do you want to go from here? And that's kind of a neat little I don't know. I'm pretty happy with the way that looks from what I can be. October, September, September, what? August, September? You're Fogginess August. You start getting nervous about the open. September, you start doing some things that might get you in the open type mindset. And then what was it, October and November? We kind of went through the open experience and now we can test on it. So that's that's a third of the year eaten up right there. Yeah, I think you're gonna need a name like.

Fern:
Then key now is like it is like finding that new schedule because like for us, like we didn't have a ton of compare to what we normally have of participation in the open. I think it was just because like people were just still kind of exhausted from the games, you know, like just the idea of it in general, members like, oh man, this is like really quick again to do this all over again. So we really had a 50 percent participation, but I think that will go back up next year because there's gonna be so much lead time going into it. I think it'll be better.

Joe DeGain:
Yeah, I think there was a lot of people like that. A lot of people didn't do the old thing. I think they were just like, oh, my gosh, it's so quick. So it's just a fast turn around. Oh, my God. But I got to believe that if you didn't do the open and I could be misspeaking, but if, you know, do the open, you had to then watch and from a distance. And yeah, probably did the workouts anyways..

Fern:
100%

Joe DeGain:
Did just what it is. And then you just got on the leaderboard and quiet shame in your closet and lifted up to where you were. You would have been if you would have ended the open.

Fern:
Yeah, yeah, I agree. I think I think once this is like that weird transition year where everything just feels discombobulated, but I think it'll settle in going into next year. Now that now that everybody knows, like the open is not in February, March anymore, now it is in October. So I think it'll work itself out. One of the other things I wanted ask you was like you have played around probably more than anybody I know with like trying to weave nutrition into your members, like either memberships or like how you do it and stuff like that. And I think last time we talked, which is a while ago, you had a significant number of people who were doing some sort of nutrition protocol with you.

Joe DeGain:
Yeah. Yeah, we did. Yeah, well, you know, if we did, we actually made it mandatory in our gym for a little bit. So for a while we had 100 percent it was mandatory. And essentially what we did, we don't do this anymore. I can't say that this is a bad idea either. We just had like every three months, every once on your membership, there was a twenty five dollar charge that came through. And this was kind of how we did the like those mandatory meetings, because a lot of times, you know, a lot of times that's when people need the most help that we get the one hour in the day to help them with their metabolic conditioning and their gymnastics and their and their weight lifting. But they got twenty three hours and they just grew up in nutrition. So that's usually where people need the most guidance from. Yeah. So what we would do is every every three months your account as a member of the gym, your accounts charge twenty five bucks and you get a we we use we use a software, a membership software that will allow for appointments. So you're. So this appointment just shows up in your in your in your smartphone and on our on our app. And and then you have 30 days to schedule an appointment with us. And what you're gonna come in and you're going to get on in-body machine and you're going to get all the metrics.

Joe DeGain:
And we're gonna talk about nutrition and talk about like, hey, what? This is where you were three months ago. This is where you are now. It looks like everything's going just fine. Or do you want to get better or will you do want to change anything or just it just seems like it's almost negligent if you don't at least check in every three months and sometimes, you know, three months with, you know, somebody would not see any change and they would be happy and they just kind of be sitting there and they wouldn't really be inspired to make any changes. But sometimes, especially with some of our older people, like they would come in and be like, oh, my gosh, my bodyfat percentage went up by one and a half percent. They go, oh, it's changed. And they say nothing. Well, well, your metabolism is changed. You know, you're changing now like you. I mean, it's obvious when you go from fifteen to twenty five that your metabolism changes. But then as you start to get older, you know that that code is that metabolic code is always changing. And it was kind of nice to be able to catch people every three months because they would just see a little increase in percent a percent of body fat. Now I've been feeling a little bit chubbier, but I guess I really am.

Fern:
And then the other is that really there? Is that really their metabolism or is that more long lines of what kind of what you were discussing beforehand, which is you live in Michigan, like there is seasonal depression. People were inside for longer periods of time. Like, is it really their metabolism that will cause their bodies to go up one and a half percent in three months? Or do they have some habits and lifestyle stuff that changed?

Joe DeGain:
Yeah. No, you're you're absolutely right. It could it could be a zillion different things. It could be a zillion different things. You're right. It is hard. It is hard to dial in to figure out. But I guess the overarching principle, right, is just like, oh, my gosh, is something has. Something has to change. Now, I guess it doesn't matter if you seasonally your body has no regard to your seasonal depression or to your changing metabolism. It's going to get fat if you don't change something right now with what you've been doing for the past three months.

Fern:
Yeah. And I think that's the beauty of it. Like one of the things that we're trying to get people to do more freely now is like bloodwork. You know, it's like the more things that I can, the more things that we can get athletes to present themselves with, whether it's body composition, blood work or their logbook.

Fern:
The less opportunity there is for them to like cop out or like a lot of themselves. Right. Like, you can't lie about any of those things. You can't say that like every you're training consistently that your nutrition is dialed in. If you're workouts are going down. If your body's fat, if your body composition is going in the wrong direction. And if your blood blood lipid profile is gotten worse, something is going wrong, you know, and you can't tell. You can't tell me that you're doing what you're supposed to. You know what I mean?

Joe DeGain:
Yeah, and those meetings are really hard to do without that. That's that you got it. You have to figure out what do you want. It's almost like you have to reverse engineer the project. What are you what do you want to talk about? To sit down and little lipid profiles are part of it. And those other metrics that you can't just sit down and be like, hey, man, I just want you know, I'm trying really hard for you and I hope you're doing well, but we don't have anything to really talk about. I mean, the meeting is useless.

Fern:
Yeah.

Joe DeGain:
For both parties. Yeah. Yeah. So that's what we. We've kind of we've thought about how to integrate blood work is well into our gym. So I'm sure you and I will have more in future talks about that escapade.

Fern:
So we just. Well we have I mean we've all that we can have right now. We just rolled out some stuff from the Warrior clinic, which is from Dr. Scott and Shakar in. So Scott was at the trainer summit very briefly. I think he was there for a day. But Shakar is his coach. Glassman is kid's pediatrician. And so they started the Warrior. Yeah, I did.

Joe DeGain:
Do know her. Yeah.

Fern:
Yeah. Where they were. You can go in and order a kit. So the kit gets mailed to you. You do a fingerprint and then you mail it back and then they they will go through all of your stuff with you. And now you have a dashboard and you can do this periodically throughout the year. And it's like it's very, very cost effective. You get a you get to forego all of the crap about trying to get some bloodwork from your doctor to order the blood work like it. And then having to go back and get your results and all that stuff. So it's just really, really efficient way to do it.

Fern:
So that's what we're rolling

Joe DeGain:
It's called the warrior, the Warrior Kit?

Fern:
Clinic. So it's called the Warrior Clinic.

Joe DeGain:
Okay.

Fern:
Yeah, the word clinic dot com, I believe. And then in there you order the kit and you can do two different types of kits in there. But all of all I see in there, all of the testing that they do is based on what they feel are the most appropriate. What's the word I'm looking for? Chronic disease markers. Right there like these are the things that we know definitively are like have strong association to, you know, metabolic derangement and chronic disease.

Joe DeGain:
And now, how is it different than the inside track? Are you familiar with a side tracker?

Fern:
I am not as familiar. I don't know that it's much different. I think they're probably very similar. I think this is a space that a lot of people are getting into. I just really like those two, to be honest. They're both Crossfitters and they're entrenched in the space.

Joe DeGain:
Right. Right.

Like I do.

Joe DeGain:
Let me ask you this. With that with with that warrior clinic, when you order, let's say I want to order something. Can I. Can I order that? And this is an important question. I think as an affiliate owner, can I order that? I just ordered 10 of these and sell them in my gym or when you order one. Is it specifically registered to you? And it shows up registered to you when you get it? Or are they blank kits that you get that anybody could just send in?

Fern:
You know, that's a good question. I don't know. I mean, I guess I guess, like, it doesn't really matter until you send it back. I can ask, though. I don't know. That's a good.

Joe DeGain:
Yeah. Because there was one thing that was one beef I had was inside Tracker's is I wanted to start putting these fingerprints because that's what they have is the fingerprint system. And I wanted to do. But but I but they wouldn't let me order 10 of them to put on a shelf and sell it my affiliate, because I wanted.

Fern:
Got it.

Joe DeGain:
I really just wanted to look at somebody in the eye and be like, look, the thing is sitting right here, you can send it into night, rather, telling somebody about this with this website they have to go through.

Joe DeGain:
And that's how does it always lead to a week later? They're like all. Yeah. Or two months later. Yeah. Yeah. Tell me about it. But I never went to the website. But if it's sitting there on your shelf.I always felt like I was being better.

Fern:
I will ask, is I going to have them back on the show because we're going to do a Q&A with them. But I will ask because that's a good that's a good question. All right. We're we're getting into this for almost an hour, which I which I have no doubt we were gonna do. I've got a couple more questions for you. What is one of the biggest mistakes you've made as an affiliate owner?

Joe DeGain:
The biggest mistake I've ever made made as an affiliate owner is see that bigger is better.

Fern:
No, not because I actually want to do. I'm glad you said that, because I actually want to do like a multi person podcast with with gym owners who have had multiple associates and then contracted back to one.

Joe DeGain:
And my original my original gym we had we probably had about I'd say we had about 3000 to 4000 square feet. And it was I really loved it behind behind my unit was it was like 7000 more square feet that I could tap into if I wanted to. So immediately I was. I'd always been looking at this 7000 square feet. Like as soon as we are big enough. I'm going to get it as soon as I got it. And we put all this turf down back there. We put another rig up back there. And then really, you know, one of the things we got going for us in this and these affiliates, I think, is the community and the intimacy of the community. In my experience, when I plug into that seven thousand square feet, I ended up with like four or five people way over in this corner talking. I had two or three people way over. And here I had one guy with his headphones on and one section of the gym. And we kind of lost the intimacy of our community. And I don't think people felt as connected and slowly over time. You know, it's not something that just happens in one day, but slowly over time. I started to realize like that tightness of the community had been kind of woven apart. And I eventually shut down, not because he was here like a price gig. I just didn't like the feel of my community anymore. So I shut that back down and made it small again is what I did. And.

Fern:
I like it.

Joe DeGain:
And then and then. And then we then we started to grow. I mean, people I don't want people to be in danger when they're working out. But I like them to have to be close to each other a little bit. And I think it's healthier for that gym environment. And then I put my hand on the hot stove again because I opened up another affiliate and we had two affiliates. And then we had two affiliates. We opened on up about 20 minutes down the road. And Coach Glassman always said, if you think you run a good affiliate to open up another one and you will run to half as well. And of course, I didn't listen. I put my hand on a hot stove again. I opened up a second affiliate. And then I knew I knew I was in over my head one day when I was at that affiliate. And I called two members by the wrong name. And then I went back to my original affiliate to run to another couple of classes. And I called to more people from my original affiliate by the wrong name. And I was like, I'm in over my head. I don't I'm not saying it can't be done. I know it can be done, but it's not for me. So for me every time. And then now I've sold that second affiliate and I'm back to my original affiliate, which is 810. And for me, getting thinking bigger is better was my it was my personal mistake. And I know a lot of people are successful with I'm running multiple gyms, but I think just for me, I'm a little bit more. I'm a little bit more in the trenches. I like to be in the trenches a little bit. Yeah. I definitely want. I want to be able to step out of the trenches when I want to. I want to be able to have that kind of freedom. But I do like still being hands on in my affiliates. And so those are those are my two biggest mistakes. To think bigger is better.

Fern:
Yeah, I I agree with you. I go. This is something that just rattles around in my brain almost constantly as the vast majority of people that I know that have that have done multiple affiliates have contracted back to one at some point. And I don't I don't think it's because it can't be done, because I do know people who are doing it successfully. It's a very, very small percentage. I mean, is definitely less than 1 percent of the Crossfit, community.

Joe DeGain:
But you're doing it right now, right? You still have two locations.

Fern:
No. So we can. Well, we were force in like that's a whole another story. I do a podcast on just like just sometimes bad luck as a thing. But it's yeah it's it's a it's still dealing with right now. But the. I do think there were some errors that I made there which were not necessary thinking bigger is better. But I do think that the Crossfit, model, because it's so intimate, because it's so because of what we do is is fairly complex. I think it is very difficult to replicate and I do people that do replicate it. And in my experience. Do something that is that is far simpler from from a from a training standpoint.

Fern:
It's much easier to replicate like a simple model, like like orange theory or barry boot camp or eat the frog or something like that, where the complexity is removed, where I can create standard operating procedures like in how I run every single class. But when it's Crossfit,, we're dealing with, you know, very complex, literally lifting movements with complex gymnastics that requires a significant skill set, which I think is harder to replicate. So I don't think I think the skill set of great coaches is hard to replicate. I don't think that the that it's it's difficult to move forward. But I also think that a lot of people, myself included, do it in a somewhat haphazard manner.

Fern:
Like I don't think we give it enough thought and chew on it long enough to say like this is exactly how it's going to run. And can I run the second one absent of being there? Because you kind of have to like if you're if you wanted to stand on its own feet, two feet, it kind of needs to stand on its own two feet because you just can't be in two places at one time. So I do think that like there's a lot people there doing franchise models with with different kind of training modalities and that works. But I don't think that Crossfit, was ever designed with franchising in mind. It was done with a lot of one on one interaction, which means I need to be there. So I think that's the big the big hurdle that people have to jump over and very few do it well. So I would agree.

Joe DeGain:
Yes. I love it. I love it.

Fern:
Last question meant any books or podcasts that you're hip to right now?

Joe DeGain:
I guess I I have just I've been all over Jacko lately, I've just been listening to Jack or will it. And I love. I love his demeanor. I love his outlook on things. I love. He's got a no bullshit type attitude and I really enjoy listening them. In fact, I'm reading his children's books with my daughter Kimora right now.

Fern:
Oh, nice.

Joe DeGain:
And. And it's actually it's really helping her out. She's she said some are some behavioral things going on and she's starting to realize how she is the one in control of her own behavior. And I think it's a lot of a lot of the things that he puts across in his children's books. His what is his quote? His quote is a big thing is discipline equals freedom.

Fern:
Yupe.

Joe DeGain:
And that statement really resonates a lot with me. I mean, just to think, what what do you want freedom from? What would you like freedom from? Because everybody there's something that's bothering somebody. Something's bothering everybody. And what is that thing? Once you could identify what that is, that is what you want freedom from. And to get freedom from that takes discipline in some aspect of your life and be able to recognize what is the discipline you need to get freedom from that thing that you don't want. And it basically means, you know, self accountability towards yourself and having higher standards for yourself. And I really been listening to a lot of his his podcast lately. When is that? Episode 174 is about the eminent human and it kind of goes through them. The Marine the Marine ranking system about how they evaluate and any any kind of body translates that over to real life. And, you know, how could you evaluate your own life based upon these same standards that the Marines have in their ranking system where they have like a five star rating system and like on the first, they don't have anything for number one. And number two, number three is like you do everything really, really well.

Fern:
Got it.

Joe DeGain:
And they don't even read the thing that wanted to please. You're out. You can't even be in if you're at 1 or 2, but you're not doing things well. And then four and five are like really hard, you know. And you just probably went through this with the with the Crossfit, evaluation. You probably had to do on yourself. We're like three is actually pretty good. You read what it said to be a three on the Crossfit, headquarter staff. You like man 3 isn't is good.

Fern:
Yeah. Three is a good performer. Like three is like not average. The way we would think about it the the other way I've I've I've heard that explained is like, you know, great things on a scale of 1 to 1 to 10, but 7 is not an option. Have you ever heard that right? So like you can rank 1 to 10. You can't but you can't use seven Keys 7's ever. That's safe number to let go. It's pretty good. But if you think about it, if you give yourself a six, if you give yourself a six, you're like just above average. But if you give yourself an eight you like, that's pretty damn good if I'm an eight.

Fern:
So you really have to be honest with yourself about like, hey, seven is not you. There is no 7 because 7 is just something where you puts where you put a number there in order to like not actually be critically evaluated either by yourself or by somebody else.

Joe DeGain:
Yeah, yeah, I love it. Yeah, you're absolutely right. So, yeah, that's a good one. Is this I've been doing a lot of jacobellis lately. And then I like cause I'm a big fan of the primal blueprint. I do a lot of different stuff. I just like listening to those guys talk.

Fern:
I haven't I haven't listened to that in a long time. I was real I was real heavy on that for a long time, but have not listen to it a long time. Okay. I'm going to get back on that. I'm glad you said that. Cool.

Fern:
Well, listen, man,.

Joe DeGain:
We've been wonderful. Jason.

Fern:
Yeah. This has been more than an hour, which I knew was gonna be absolutely necessary to have this conversation. So if you guys are interested, go look up 8 1 0 Crossfit,.

Fern:
Check out Joe DaGain. If you got questions for Joe about coach development, about running his affiliate, about his experiences, 10 years hit us off with hand-job. If you're looking for wins, your next coach development course.

Joe DeGain:
Only we have one. We have one scheduled. I think the weekend before Christmas, we have one. I know. I think actually, if I'm not mistaken, I think I think Christmas is on a Wednesday. And we have something right, right, right around Christmas is when we have. But obviously not intruding upon Christmas plans.

Fern:
I is that a one or a three day.

Joe DeGain:
It is a I believe it is a three day course that we scheduled it might be the week before Christmas.

Fern:
Yes. So if you're looking for coach development, you're up in that area and the Michigan area or region. Go look that up. If you're actually in the coach development course, I can think of a very few people that would be better to do that with Joe.

Fern:
We've got one coming up in January here at Virginia Beach. I think there's one spot left to register. But Joe, as always, brother, you did not disappoint. I appreciate your time, ma'am.

Joe DeGain:
That was fun, Jason. Thanks for having me on. And I will see you soon, brother.

Fern:
All right. See you guys later.

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