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147. Old City CrossFit | A Family Affair

147. Old City CrossFit | A Family Affair

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On today’s episode, Ackerman is chatting with Sean Emery and Erin Loise owners and founders of Old City Crossfit DC. The interesting about their partnership is they are sliding. Their box is a family affair. They talk about Owning an affiliate with a family how they feel like it’s the best kind of partnership you can have. They have been open since 2013, with everyone from mom and dad, other sliding and spouses all throwing down in the box. It’s great to hear of they use their different skill set to ensure that the business is thriving and also how because they are family, it makes them more committed – especially as no one wants to wreck Christmas. 

Hey, team don ‘t forget! Jason new book Best Bour of Their Day is out now! 

Timestamps:

(2:11) How it all become a family affair
(9:32) Are famous politicians working out the gym?
(10:40) Mixing business with family 
(14:14) Whos Fittest member of in family?
(15:59) Owning a box in a big city. 
(18:04) The skillset that they took from the military 
(20:02) The mistakes affiliate are making  
(23:58) Who they are developing coaches
(27:50) What one thing affiliate could be doing better? 

Social media

@theseanemery

@oldcitycrossfit

Book recommend 

https://www.amazon.com/Dichotomy-Leadership-Balancing-Challenges-Ownership/dp/1250195772/ref=sr_1_2_sspa?keywords=Extreme+ownership&qid=1578485409&sr=8-2-spons&psc=1&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUE5RldPSjdOQjZYSTAmZW5jcnlwdGVkSWQ9QTA3MzE3MjMyUEtKQ0FZVzlNNkFDJmVuY3J5cHRlZEFkSWQ9QTAwMzk1MzMzMzNGM1Y2QUs1NlA3JndpZGdldE5hbWU9c3BfYXRmJmFjdGlvbj1jbGlja1JlZGlyZWN0JmRvTm90TG9nQ2xpY2s9dHJ1ZQ==

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Old City CrossFit.mp4 transcript powered by Sonix—the best audio to text transcription service

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Ackerman:
All right, so I'm here with Sean Emery and Erin Losie, see you guys together, along with a whole mess of family own Old City Crossfit,.

Sean Emery:
Yeah, that's right. Thanks for. Thanks for having us. Really appreciate this.

Ackerman:
So what I wanted to dive into today specifically with you guys is owning an affiliate with family. And it cannot be easy to run a business along with multiple siblings. And your parents are involved as well. So let's let's get a couple of things out of the way. Old City Crossfit,. When did you guys open?

Sean Emery:
We signed our Declaration of In tO Fitness in October of 2013.

Ackerman:
So.

Sean Emery:
I'll. By five and a half years.

Ackerman:
Yes. I mean, any affiliate that's been around and, you know, they're becoming almost like restaurants. You know what they say about restaurants like most close within their first year, you guys have made it over that home. You guys are in Washington, D.C., which is one of the biggest and best cities in the entire world. But there's also I mean, how many Crossfit, affiliates are in in that area?

Sean Emery:
There's probably about four or five in this city and then in the greater area, probably 10, 15.

Ackerman:
Do you guys know my friend Melanie Feldman? Not Melanie. Melody Feldman. Crossfit, mph.

Sean Emery:
Oh, yeah, yeah. I'm very familiar with Crossfit, MPH's, but I don't I don't think I know her.

Ackerman:
And are you familiar with Ted's bulletin? That's my favorite restaurant in DC.

Sean Emery:
Yeah. Yeah,.

Erin Losie:
Very good. Milkshakes and burgers.

Ackerman:
And homemade Pop-Tarts.

Erin Losie:
Yeah. Yes. Yes, yes. They They screwed up or order one time. So we got a free homemade Pop-Tart. I was not disappointed. I was like, screw it up every time.

Ackerman:
Yes. That was you know, we did a road trip all around the country. And that was to this day my favorite stop. We went to for breakfast. So you'll have Sean and Erin on here. And I know you mentioned your other sibling and parents are involved, but who found Crossfit, first?

Sean Emery:
Actually, we started on the exact same day just totally randomly. I'll let Erin tell the story because it's pretty awesome.

Erin Losie:
Yeah. So we as I was living in D.C., I was in the Marine Corps and I was. I'd just gotten out Sean the Navy. He was stationed out in San Diego and he called me up one day and he's like, you're not you're not going to believe this. He's like, I did. I just do this workout. It was like in this garage. And he starts like even look like he got a much passed garage. And I go, is it Crossfit,? And he's like, yes. How do you know? I was like, because I just went to my first Crossfit, workout, too.

Erin Losie:
And so we quickly just started comparing notes and just talking about how much how much we enjoyed it, cause we were both. We both were collegiate swimmers at the Naval Academy. They both went into the military. So after once you're in the military, you need to stay. You need to stay in shape. But we both struggled since we didn't have that structure from swimming because we both swam competitively from the time we were eight or so, you know, all the way through college.

Erin Losie:
And then all of a sudden you don't have like people telling you exactly what to do. Every single day to stay in shape, you have to figure it out on your own. And we both kind of struggle through the like, oh, I don't want to do anything. I don't have a coach to tell me what to do. I'm going to go to the pool. Oh, just kidding. And we get sidetracked by the hot tub. And I'm just going to sit in the hot tub for an hour or whatever. So we. Yeah, so we ended up finding Crossfit,. Right, about about about the same time. And we loved it. We both just immediately that that competitive, you know, everyday something different and you're constantly learning new things and you know, you never you never get bored doing it. So our two younger sisters were still were in high school I think late high school at the time, maybe one was in college, but they both were swimmers, too. We encouraged them to take the summer off from swimming and only do Crossfit,. And I mean, they're both just like, that's not possible because I'm swimming.

Erin Losie:
Like you literally get two weeks off a year. And but we convinced one of them to do it and it was a great mental break. And then she got a lot stronger and had a an amazing season in that that fall. And then we from there, we got our parents into it. And our parents at the time, I think were, you know, maybe late, late 50s, early 60s. And our dad had that mythical knee pain where doctors are like, don't squat, which is the most ridiculous thing anybody can ever say. And they they were having him do the reclined bike at the gym. And within a month of Crossfit, fitting his knee, pain went away. And within a few months he was overhead squatting. And then our mom with she didn't have like any of that type of pain. But but within a few months, she was climbing a 15 foot rope. I mean, and now they're there, you know, a few years older, but they're in better shape than people half their age. So it's been amazing.

Ackerman:
That is an amazing story, and I love when people talk about I had this pain and that pain until I started doing Crossfit,. So that's really amazing to hear. But sounds like you kind of all fell into it in three different areas of the, you know, maybe the mid-Atlantic Northeast. You're all kind of in that area. What was the journey then from Cool? We found this amazing thing. People are swimming better, dads bodies feeling better, moms climbing ropes. Let's open a box.

Sean Emery:
Yeah. So so I I was actually out in California, I was stationed out in California. And so I was, you know, I was out there and and the vibe and I think it was like it was so it was two factors. One. It was like out in California where everyone's just like super chill and laid back and then moving to the east coast to Washington, D.C., where no one is chill and lay back. And at the same time, you know, the Crossfit, changed from that 2009 to kind of 2011 and 2012 time frame open and it got much more competitive and much more popular. And so I left this like tiny little home box, you know, Crossfit, Coronado, it was my family.

Ackerman:
You know, you have Crossfit, Guarnotta as a gay well known box,.

Sean Emery:
Ya it's legit. Yeah, it's it's awesome. And Clint and, you know, the owners there are just absolutely awesome. And it was a family. You know, I literally felt like I was leaving my family. And so I came out to the to the east, to the east coast and, you know, like join some gyms. And they were they were fine gyms. They were great quality, great coaches, great everything. And just, you know, like, I don't know, I just felt like something was missing. I just felt like there wasn't that like that community that love that like, I don't know, like the X Factor, I guess you could say. I just felt like there was just something missing. And then I was living in D.C. Erin was living in D.C. and I took a job, got out of the Navy, took a job in a cubicle, Erin, got out of the Marine Corps. You know, like worked in various government contracting type companies. And, you know, we were just kind of hanging out, just complaining about cubicle life. And, you know, I forget exactly how the idea came up, but we just started talking about like how cool it would be if we didn't have to work in a cubicle.

Sean Emery:
And, you know,.

Erin Losie:
Actually, it was my druthers. It was my my husband who at the time was not Crossfit, ing. He thought it was a clut.

Ackerman:
It is. Let's be fair. There's definitely some cultish things going on or.

Erin Losie:
He's Seeing the light. And he loves Crossfit,, you know? But yeah, it might. So my husband, he loves to study city maps. And so we were we were living and he and I were living in in Capital Hill and in the H Street, the northeast, the H Street northeast corner.

Erin Losie:
So H Street area was the area, D.C., where that had the riots in the 60s. So everything just was destroyed. And it wasn't until like maybe around two thousand nine or so that the very beginning of the revitalization began. So we were kind of living in that in that general area. Sean wasn't too far away, but he was technically in Northwest. And my husband was just looking at the map. And because I was actually I was going to try to Crossfit, in Alexandria.

Ackerman:
Chris. Chris Nanji. Yeah, good friends.

Yeah. I actually I joined them from from the beginning because I actually started Crossfit, at Crossfit, Boling on it on the Air Force base nearby. And but then I wanted to do something that was a little more serious. Isn't the right word a little more consistent, had a more consistent schedule. So they were opening. So I joined them. So my husband was like it was like looking around to see if there's any any place closer across the gym. Closer. But but there wasn't. And actually in that H Street area of DC, there wasn't a gym period. Now, there was something that was a little bit close in it, like in East. But as far as like mileage wise, it wasn't far. But in D.C., it's it's an attorney. You know, it's an eternity away. And he was like, you and your brother should open a Crossfit, gym around the H Street area and DC, there's there's nothing. And I was like, that's a great idea. And I was like, chÃvez's, you know, going across the gym. All right.

Ackerman:
Now. Well, first of all, my question, when I hear D.C., any famous politicians come into the box work out is, is Obama fran in there?

Sean Emery:
No, I think the most I think the most well-known politician we had I think it was Jeb Bush's son that came in once, like this was a long time ago when we had paper waivers and this guy, like, filled out the waiver.

Sean Emery:
And his name was like something Bush and, you know, looks kind of like like a politician would look in our morning code to like on Google trying to figure out who this guy was. I'm pretty sure it was Jeb Bush's son.

Sean Emery:
But we get we get a bunch of staffers and, you know, some some high profile, higher profile people, but not like, you know, we're not getting we're not getting Obama or Michelle or anybody in there.

Ackerman:
That's not where she got her famous arms and Old city Crossfit,.

Sean Emery:
Ya I wish.

Ackerman:
Now when you guys decide to do it and it sounds like a family affair. Did anybody come to you guys and say, like, look, don't mix business and family?

Sean Emery:
Yeah, I mean, that's kind of a cliche. I don't know. I mean, I feel like I feel like anytime that you have a business partnership, you're you're mixing something with something, you know, like you're mixing you're mixing business with your friendship. You're mixing business with interaction with another human. As far as I'm concerned, I think mixing business and is the best possible mixture because I have zero doubt in my mind that Erin is going to take advantage of me or screw me over whatever. Like we might have our share of disagreements or discord and like have to work through things. But there's no doubt in my mind that it's all to move the business forward. And it's not like, you know, take advantage of or screw me over. I guess it's just, hey, we just don't see eye to eye on the business. So let's figure out how we can see eye to eye on the business, you know? And I think it's double better because none of us want to ruin Christmas, you know?

Erin Losie:
So I don't know. I don't see. I don't I don't see it as being any different.

Ackerman:
Yeah. And that's really great to hear. I've done three affiliates. One was by myself. The latter two were with partners. And there were definitely ups and downs in the second one that I owned the partner. And I don't really speak anymore because we just butted heads all the time. Well, has there been any fights? Around owning the box and decisions at the box that have left the box and gone to, you know, Thanksgiving dinner.

Sean Emery:
I mean, our whole family's involved, so certainly, you know, certainly there's been a lot of stressful conversations and tough conversations and butting heads and differences. But, you know, like we we deal with them, we move on and, you know, it does it does it cross over Thanksgiving? Yeah. We might have a board meeting like the week of Thanksgiving when we're all there. But but no, I mean I mean, at least from my perspective, Erin's perspective might be might be different. But.

Ackerman:
Yeah. Let's hear. Erin, do you agree with Sean?

Erin Losie:
Yeah. Yeah. For the most part. I mean, like like you said, I mean, I don't think you can as much as you want to try to compartmentalize. I never completely compartmentalize it. And sure, things things are gonna bleed over. But overall, I think that we've done a good job. And as much as recently as much as can be reasonably expected, kind of compartmentalize things. And, you know, if there's a visit, an issue with the business. So I had a I had a son last August, and we we just went through kind of just a tough time in the business. And Sean and I had really disagreed on things. And ever and like like it was just it was not it was not a real great time. But Sean and his wife came to visit me in the hospital and we were just like, I do like nothing an happen. And, you know, so so that. Yeah. Now it may be that the healthiest thing, maybe not but but it seems it seems it seems to work work for us. And like Sean said, I think that their you know, their pluses and minuses of being in business with family or you know, really just just with anybody. And I think ultimately being in business with family, it makes it maybe a little bit harder to get divorced, so to speak, you know, to like get out of the business. So, you know, I think you really are just in some ways, I think you're a little more committed because it's harder to to walk away and because it because it does have a ripple effect into your familial relationship.

Ackerman:
Who is the fittest in the family?

Sean Emery:
Oh, man. You know, we we did our level one was a level one. Yeah. He was a level 1. We did a level one on the same weekend. And it was back when that I think they were we did friend. I don't know what they're what they're doing now, but they had a new friend on that first day and Erin went first and like she was in the first heat does just kind of how it shook out and I was like, oh man, I put up a pretty good time. You know, like none of us are like regional athletes. So, like, you know, I forget what Erin signed was, but, you know, something like seven minutes, you know, which is respectable. But when I talking like that, two minute nonsense, call that out. And so I was like, oh, man, like, now I got to beat that.

Sean Emery:
I remember like being super nervous thinking I couldn't beat it. And I I knew I know I was close. I don't know if I beat her, if I didn't. But I knew that I would at least put up a good show. But I was really hoping that she would like, I don't know, like blow out a knee or not be able to finish the work out so I could like this like a phone it in.

Erin Losie:
I will say, as far as athletic ability Sean has the natural talent like growing up swimming, I mean. And just in general playing sports, Sean definitely has raw talent. Now, as far as like dedication and longer term work ethic, I would say that that's my my strength. So. I think that it's it's kind of funny to see to see that a different dynamic because Sean could you know, he probably hasn't touched a basketball in a couple of years, but he could probably go play a pickup game and and do pretty well. So he just has that born athletic ability.

Ackerman:
Now with the box being in D.C., such a metropolis. What are some of the challenges you face there vs.. Yes. I owned a box in upstate New York, Albany while a city nothing compared to D.C..

Sean Emery:
Yeah, I mean, I think you kind of face two sets of challenges. One, it's real expensive. You know, rent is just super, super expensive. So getting used to the idea that like when we first started, you know, I was coming from Cornetto, you know, Crossfit, in 2009. I think I was paying like one twenty five one thirty five a month for membership. And, you know, I'm not sure what Erin was paying, but when we were starting to look at like what we were gonna charge, like I remember thinking like no way is two hundred and fifteen dollars is gonna work like that is ridiculous. It's so expensive. And Erin is much wiser with with money and stuff like that. Joe was like, that's what we have to charge. I was like, oh, OK. So for me, it was like getting over that hump and realizing that, like, you have to charge what what it's worth. And like what it costs. You can't you can't undervalue yourself, you know, whatever. So I think that was a that was a big challenge. And then the second challenge, I think, is just. Just the volume. You know, you you you need I mean, you need a hundred and fifty to two hundred people in your gym basically to break even. You know, and so that's that's a tough that's a tough thing to manage, I guess.

Ackerman:
So what what is the current rate at Old City Crossfit?

Sean Emery:
Two twenty five.

Ackerman:
Yes. So that's certainly on the higher end. But like you said, when you factor in where you are rent, there is probably double if not triple what most smaller areas pay. So you have to charge more. I'm sure that people that live in that area are used to paying more of a premium for living in the city.

Ackerman:
Now. What were some skill sets? Erin, you said you're in the Marines, Sean, you're in the Navy. What are some of the skill sets you took from the military and carried over and best helped you prepare to own your own business?

Erin Losie:
It's just the I mean, for me anyway, it's the the regiment of the military in that, you know, things are very. Things are very structured and you have to be very disciplined. And because if you're if you're all over if you're all over the map and and and maybe maybe if that's a way like Sean, Sean is like I am definitely more like disciplined, I would say, than Sean, like just naturally. It's it's more of a learned skill for Sean. So if that's your personality type, that you need somebody who is going to instill that rigour in that discipline, because that's what's gonna get you through. Like it's all fun and exciting at first when you're developing the idea and you first open your doors, but then as you as you move on, you need that that rigour and that discipline. And then I think the other thing is the leadership. I mean, at twenty two years old, we were both put in charge of people that we had to lead and we didn't know anything, like absolutely nothing. I mean, when you're like, I was a second lieutenant, he was mentioned. I mean, literally, you don't you don't know anything, but you have to. I don't want to say fake it till you make it. But there is a little bit there is a little bit of that. But just admitting to your sailors and Marines like what you don't know and learning that as the person in charge and as the leader, you don't have to have all the answers. You just have to know, like where to go get them. And you have to be humble enough to ask people and, you know, you don't have to, like set yourself up there as this as this, you know, God or or or God s and that you can that that you can lead by example and lead by using people's strengths.

Ackerman:
Do you think that's a mistake? Affiliate owners are making not being willing to say, I don't know.

Erin Losie:
I would. I would. I would. I would think so. Yeah. And I think I think the other mistake that I see is that people treating it like a hobby, like, oh, hey, Crossfit, so fun. I want to do this. I want to do this as a business. And but they don't. They say business, but they don't really buy by their actions. They don't really mean business. They take something that's fun and just try to. They don't put the business structure around it and cause it. It's it's tough. It's difficult. It's difficult to do. And so they they run it more more as as a hobby.

Ackerman:
Sean would you agree with that?

Sean Emery:
Yeah. Yeah. Completely. Well, completely with the second part, my my military experience was rebelling against the discipline that Erin took to heart. So, yeah, what I what I took out from my military experience was as a submarine. And and there's a collateral duty on the submarine. They give to one of the officers called the morale, welfare and recreation officer. And it's something that, you know, like super collateral duty. You're in charge of making sure that the boat has like the ball caps and, you know, maybe like make sure the treadmill works like it's, you know, a few a few hours a month. And that's kind of like the job. But when I got in charge, I took over MWI, like I was so involved in the morale and welfare of the crew that basically my captain was like, you didn't even worry about like my primary job and just kind of let me let me run with it. And so it really it really made me realize that as a leader, your primary responsibility is taking care of your of your crew, of your team, of your you know, the people that that's port the the mission.

Sean Emery:
The job is to kind of take care of them, make sure that they're in a position to thrive. And, you know, in the military, there's a position where your job is morale. And then when we transfer over to the business, you know, I'm there, I'm coaching, you know, all the time. I'm like the primary coach in the gym. And my job is to do the same thing for the members. But then as we start to build a team bigger and bigger and I'm coaching a little less than a little less than it it took me it took me a few years to realize that now my focus needs to be on my team. Like I'm on my coaches, my need to treat my coaches as if they're my crew and expect them to treat the members as if they're their crew. And, you know, I just I just sort of see that like that concept of, you know, what your job is as a leader to to take care and protect people so that they can do their job. And that's kind of that's kind of what I took from it.

Ackerman:
How big is your coaching staff?

Sean Emery:
So we have 10 coaches on our Crossfit, side. But out of that, we have like four, maybe like six. We'll call it six like super primary coaches for pretty primary coaches, too. Like pretty significant two to three pretty significant assistant coaches. And then we have some like weekend coaches who are a big help. But, you know, they're not they're not quite as active as. Some of our daily coaches.

Ackerman:
So, you know, Erin was saying she took her level, two, with Fern at Crossfit, RIF and I work on the level to staff as well and we get a lot of people that come in. And they're really bad coaches. And, you know, I talk to them. I'm like, hey, what do you expect? Like, you're not getting feedback, you're not getting developed. You took your level 1 three years ago and that was it as the last time you learned from anyone. What are you guys doing at Old City Crossfit, to develop these coaches?

Sean Emery:
Yes. So this this comes like this is another thing that just basically comes straight out of my military experience. You go you go through all this training, you know, you go through nuclear training, you go to through a really short submarine school and then you're put on the submarine and the reactor looks nothing like what you studied in school. And then, you know, you have you've got no idea how a submarine works, really. And so you're given a qual book that's like this big. You have to go around and, you know, you have to go to the mechanic who's in charge of the mechanical systems of the submarine. And he basically interviews you and asks you questions. And if you demonstrate enough knowledge, then he signs your book, puts a date on it, and then you go on and have the same conversation with the electrical guys or maybe the dive control guys. And so you sort of work your way around it. It's a mechanism that forces you to talk to all of the crew, to demonstrate that you have knowledge, to demonstrate that you have no operational capacity. And once you get everything, every once you get everything signed in your call card. Then you go to the captain and the engineer and they give you a big comprehensive interview and they determine whether or not you're ready to to qualify and stand watch. And so that's like, you know, three, six month process. And basically, I totally copy that exact same format for assistant coaching and for head coaching. And so our assistant coaches have the responsibility of meeting to be able to teach movements and correct movements kind of on a one on one and kind of basic level.

Sean Emery:
And then our head coaches, we just expect more of them to be able to teach and correct in a group environment. And also just to have like more knowledge around nutrition and mobility and stretching and range of motion, you know, like basically like the comprehensive suite of what you would expect a coach to do. And so if when a coach comes in, they come in with their level one. And then we we put them on their assistant coach scorecard. And then that Paul Card is going to force them to just have conversations with every single one of our coaches and our staff. We're gonna have to talk with me. They're gonna have to talk with Katie or Jason, like people who are experts in this type of thing. Oh, go meet with Jen to talk about Keto Wells. And it really the primary thing that it does is facilitates conversation between coaches. And it gives the senior coach an avenue to like without being a dick, to like give feedback to the coach because there's no supervised walk like you. You stand the watch as a head coach and that I'm going to give you feedback. And if there wasn't the mechanism of a call card, then then that feedback as just can be like, why is this coach always picking on me? No, I like I want you to get qualified. So here's how it works. And that's worked pretty good.

Erin Losie:
And it's taken me years to get to get to where we're we're happy with it. I mean, obviously, it's always being tweaked. But I mean, this is probably version at least 5.0, because I think that one of the great things is that CrossFit HQ is continually adding training and and and adding other things. But there is no there wasn't even a level to when we when we started it. And actually the L-1 test had just been implemented, one of our coaches had to go back and take the test because she had taken the L-1 before that, before there was a test. So it's been I mean, it's been a long process to get to to get to this point. But we but we feel it's really important not only for the coaches development, but also so athlete. So when our members come in, they feel like they're getting consistent coaching across across the board. So it doesn't matter whether you come in at 5 a.m. or 7 p.m.. Wow. Okay. Jen and David might have different coaching styles there, ultimately coaching.

Erin Losie:
You know, the same mechanics and giving the same basic basic cues and things like that. There's consistency in the coaching.

Ackerman:
Now, I think that's very important. You know, I think boxes should allow coaches to have their own style and flavor at the end. And the coaching and the teaching has to be consistent so that we don't go to Shawn's class and an Arun's class. And it's just two completely different events. Ryan, it should be a lot of synergy there. What's one thing you think affiliate owners could be doing better?

Sean Emery:
It's a good question. I spent so much time thinking about what we could be doing better. I don't think about other people.

Ackerman:
Well, then what's one thing? And maybe be introspective. What is something? You know, Old City Crossfit, successful. You're running a family operated business charging over two hundred dollars a month. Things are looking good, but it's important to think, what can I also be doing better? Is there something you guys are working on currently to improve?

Erin Losie:
I'll answer the question, real qucik on what generally I think boxes could do better. And again, this is just something that I that I've seen and it's something it goes back to. What I said earlier is that if you're going to open a box, you need to run it as a business and you need to. You need to understand. And we at least have somebody that you can reach out to or somebody in the business that understands, like licensing laws, labor laws that taxes, you know, all of these H.R. laws, because you because you can quickly get yourself into trouble, whether it's through, you know, a disgruntled employee or even just not making, not meeting or your revenue goals or you're not able to pay your rent. So I think it's it's really, really important to understand that you have to you have to run your box as as a business. And on the on the ownership side, I don't want to say that coaching is an import, because obviously you did it. It is. But it really like if you're going to be successful long term, you need to understand you need to understand the business, the business side, side of things and actually like it first. I mean, this is terrible. But Sean and I used to joke that that the best way to get out of shape is to own a Crossfit, gym, because you're so like you're so engrossed in the business side of things that at least for us anyway, at first, like we weren't even working.

Ackerman:
Yeah. I have two chapters in that in the upcoming book Best Hour of Their Day, dedicated to the two times I looked in the mirror and was like I'm the fat and the chubby affiliate owner.

Sean Emery:
Right. Right. story of my life.

Erin Losie:
Obviously, if we could go back and do it again, we you know, we'd have a lot we'd have a lot of lessons learned at that. But I will say, I think, though, at least we were focused on the dollars and sense of it, because I think people go like totally the other way and they are just focused on themselves working out and not on the business side of things. And I think a lot of that I've seen that a lot of those gyms really, really struggle.

Ackerman:
Yeah. I mean, as recently as yesterday, I was talking with Chris Chris Hinshaw for the podcast. And, you know, he was faced with this dilemma of do I keep my job and try to do this a rubber capacity thing or quit. And it wasn't until he quit that, you know, people think it's just a matter of why I need more time. But it's also giving your brain the opportunity to think and grow and develop all that stuff. I think the best box owners out there are doing it full time and it's a challenge. But you've to take risk once in awhile. Before we wrap up, though, it's like asking all the guests. If there's a book that they recommend for the listeners so shiny, if you do a go to book that you recommend.

Sean Emery:
Yeah, absolutely. Extreme ownership, that court dichotomy of leadership, Jocko Willink thought that's like mandatory reading, like if you want to work in our company, like come to the interview. Having read those books, that's how we operate everything now.

Ackerman:
Extreme ownership. I finished that earlier this year. It's a tough one. Yeah.

Sean Emery:
Dik Dichotomy leadership makes that book so much better.

Ackerman:
Is that. Are they both by Jocko?

Sean Emery:
Yep. Yep. It's a follow up, one that just gives a little more nuance. And then what I tell people to do is listen to every Q&A that Jarkko does on his podcast because it takes it to an even deeper level.

Ackerman:
Yeah. Jacko's podcast is dark sometimes and I can always listen him Q&A as I enjoy because it's headman's answering questions, not just talking about being in the battles. And I like the field manual. I was a little bit easier for me.

Sean Emery:
Yeah, yeah. Discipline equals freedom.

Ackerman:
Yeah. And I agree. I mean, I talk about that in the book as well, where part of being a box owner is sending those rules for yourself, whether it's going to bed at a certain time or getting up at a certain time or make sure to work out. That discipline is actually what gives us that freedom.

Ackerman:
What about You Erin?

Erin Losie:
Traction by Julia Wickman. This book was, I would say, Life-Changing for Our Business. It it explains how there's the the visionary and the integrator. And Sean is basically 100 hundred percent visionary, and I'm basically 100 percent integrator into it really clarified for us our roles in the business and how like one is not better than the other. But you need you need both of them. And all the really successful businesses are not all but a lot have have had both that are. And and then it also helped us get a handle on running the running of the day to day business. So if you're if you're like us and you felt like the business was running you and running you ragged and you're just at the end of your rope, this is put a ton of day to day. What kind of going back to what you guys were just talking about with the day to day structure? It puts it puts stated a structure in place and helps you get people in the right seats doing different right job. It was it was a it was a turning point in our business.

Ackerman:
Yeah. Both of those books had been recommended numerous times by the guests. And the traction is on my list. Enough people have recommended and now I'm like, OK, I just have to. I just had to go get it. Well, it's been great chatting with you. Do any anything I missed talking about Old City Crossfit, or your family and relationship in the box ownership.

Sean Emery:
Just to circle back to the last question. Yes. Before the books. The thing that I think that were really aggressively working on and actually I think this is this is for any business owner, especially family businesses. But literally, like any business partnership, I think you really need to. You really need to define roles, define responsibilities, create processes, create job descriptions like as much structure as you can build into the partnerships and into the roles that everybody's doing. I think you'll be much better served when you can look at a piece of paper and say, like you're not doing what you committed to do, you know, and that's like what we're doing right now with our coaches. Like we're getting cleaning processes. We're getting, you know, just every every single process defined. And it's probably something that Erin wanted us to do for four and a half years ago. And I was like, we don't need to do that. Come on and quit wasting our time. But now I'm realizing the wisdom and the importance of that sort of stuff.

Ackerman:
That's what sisters are for.

Erin Losie:
Older sisters.

Ackerman:
You mean do all this stuff? That's not fun. That's not why I open a box, right?

Sean Emery:
Ya seriously.

Ackerman:
You're right. Those are some of the hardest things I had to do. But you're looking to run a box not just for the short term, but long term. You got to do all that stuff, all the nitty gritty. Well, it's been really great talking to you. And now I have a second reason to get to DC other than Ted. And actually my sister's moving there, so I will certainly be there. My sister and parents are moving there. I think in the next couple of months. So now I know a box to recommend for them and and I'll grab a breakfast burrito and poptart at Ted's Bolds and we'll get a good workout on a beach to a beach in France. Let's do it. Well, thanks again, guys. It's been a real pleasure talking to you.

Sean Emery:
All right. Have a great day.

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