87. CrossFit 10 Year Affiliate Gathering

87. CrossFit 10 Year Affiliate Gathering

In this episode, Both Fern and Ackerman are in Whistler, Canada at the CrossFit affiliate gathering. Just giving you guys an inside scoop of what it’s like at the gathering. With the special drop-in guest of Austin Begiebing. They raise some talking points that affiliate owners are facing, and they reminisce about it was like starting out over 10 years ago.

Timestamps:

What was it like back in 2009? (2:55)
Affiliate Fee (13:05)
Fern question Austin Begiebing (17:20) 
Making it to 20 + Aflliliate gathering (31:27)

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Ackerman:
All right, we're here at the Crossfit, 10 year affiliate gathering for. OK.

Fern:
Yes. Yes, we are.

Austin Begiebing:
Fern is purposely being quiet because so we came down to the lobby of the Westin, which is a really nice resort, that we're lucky enough to be a huge buffet breakfast. And in the middle of Whistler and I just said to Fern, follow my lead for the podcast, because we came down with the intention of recording this show about an hour ago. And we just keep.

Fern:
Running 30 minutes, 30 minutes,.

Ackerman:
But we keep running into people. There's people waving and looking at us over there. Amy, that's Amy Hollingsworth. Dan Hollingsworth is over there. Crossfit, kids up Washington. Yep. David Sorry, I just walk by from South Brooklyn. The Girls of Girls Gone Wod. Lots of things.

Fern:
Rocket. Crossfit,.

Ackerman:
Rocket. So many.

Fern:
Seattle.

Ackerman:
Pat Sherwood was here,.

Fern:
The general from China.

Ackerman:
Yes. OK. So it's where you want to be.

Fern:
Matt Swift from Australia. That I could do this all day.

Ackerman:
Fern has a has a better angle on the room than i do. Ok. But then here's here's what I'm putting out there, because we do have to get over to the get together the gathering. Well, we wanted to record a few podcasts this week and we're gonna get some of those great people that Fern just pointed out. But I was on a walk earlier today with Justin Berg. Justin Berg, for those who are unaware as the general manager of the Crossfit, Games, he owns or owned and sold Crossfit, Southside in Jacksonville, Florida. And Roz and I and my wife were going on a hike and Justin tagged along. But he said something interesting.

Fern:
Was he a third wheel? We all just the three of you.

Ackerman:
It was a bit of a third wheel area. But like I told him before the show to bad, I didn't record because he dropped some dirt on the Crossfit, games. That shall remain silent. Go to the vault with me. But one question Justin did pose to me. Then I'm gonna ask first, and then if he wants. We can talk a little bit about it. Is. You know, what was the difference when all of us first affiliated, so we're the 10 year gathering, meaning every affiliate here has been here since at least 2009. Fern and I. For years prior to that. What was the difference and what sparked someone in 2007, 8 and 9 to become an affiliate versus what is happening now in twenty nineteen? So. And real quick, I'll give my brief answer.

Fern:
Yep.

Ackerman:
And it was like just like, hey, at first glance, at first thought it really reminded me of the Simon Sinek Ted talk. Start with why.

Fern:
Yeah.

Ackerman:
And hey, you know how great leaders inspire action and a.

Fern:
Great book as well.

Ackerman:
Great. Absolutely. And we were really early adopters of what caused that. So are you comfortable with the fact that I said follow my lead? Was that was that a good. Did I leave you in a good direction?

Fern:
Following you anywhere makes me uncomfortable. However, it's a good topic. No, no, it this is a great topic because of where we are. And I I I do think the topic is relevant because we're not gonna get that time back meaning like that. That air of Crossfit, is gone and not necessarily for good or bad. It's just gone, right. Everything about fitness in general has evolved largely due to Crossfit,. The landscape of micro gyms has evolved immensely more so like in the past five years than any than probably the previous five years. But I think largely most people got into it first is because they wanted to be early adopters. So if you think about crossing the chasm, it kind of outlines that as far as like a lot of people that started the affiliates, there were early adopters like nobody, not everybody knew what Crossfit, was. There was a select group of people, largely people that were like into pain and training. And I think to be fair to say that 10 years ago, Crossfit, was not For everybody.

Ackerman:
Well, yes, certainly no. And just to be clear, some of what sparked this topic was a push to Crossfit, health changed to the games, but also just expectations of affiliate owners. Back when we started versus what it is today and I and I agree with you, it's certainly the position Crossfit, has taken in the fitness world has changed. And now it really is for everybody. I think part of it was when I opened in 2007 on how you felt, but I'd never really thought of it like I'm opening a business. I just looked at as Hey I'm a trainer. This is a better way to train people. I can handle more of them once. I can probably make more money. But I didn't look at it like, hey, I need to go to the attorney and drop of an LLC, all that kind of stuff. I literally was just whatever money I had in my personal bank account.

Fern:
I don't mean I don't think any. Most people probably thought of it that way in 2000 because it was a passion project for most people. It was not. I'm getting in this. Most people did not start their Crossfit, gyms in order to leave their jobs, meaning it was something they did on the side because they wanted to have their own place where they wanted to chill out and work out and hang out with their friends. But was for most people, it wasn't how they intended to pay their bills.

Ackerman:
It was just a passion project that for some of us became lucrative and for businesses. But at the time it was more, hey, did you feel a little bit like you're joining a revolution?

Fern:
Correct. Now, in that kind of is what I was alluding to earlier when I stated that that era of Crossfit, is gone. So the allure of this thing is new is gone. You know, Crossfit, is as mainstream as it's gonna get as far I think in the fitness industry.

Ackerman:
I think it'll become it. Personally, I think it'll become even more mainstream. I think it is mainstream.

Fern:
Maybe it is. But but nobody people know what it is.

Ackerman:
Yes.

Fern:
Right. They may not know the ends out. They may not know the ins and outs of it. But if you say Crossfit, to somebody, there is not. It's not. The question is generally not what is Crossfit,, right? The question is people already have assumed ideas of what Crossfit, is right into. And that's when I say it's mainstream. If some. If people have already assumed they know what it is, it's not a secret anymore. Now, whether they're right or not is a totally different discussion. But people have an idea and they have an opinion about it. Good or bad?

Ackerman:
Do you think there will ever be a day when Crossfit, is the standard of training versus I'd say?

Fern:
I think it depends on how we deal with this podcast Jay.

Ackerman:
There's no hope know, wouldn't you say the average person that thinks about joining a gym, thinks of chess, dries and cardio as the standard,.

Fern:
A traditional gym.

Ackerman:
Traditional gym?

Fern:
You know, I'm I don't even know if I can answer that question. I have no idea what the average gym ago or this day and age is looking for, meaning like somebody who's not looking for functional type fitness, I think. I think the craze now is a lot of people are looking for spin offs of Crossfit, that have a Crossfit, ESC flavor but don't actually they're boutique, but they don't actually have the the work capacity requirement of Crossfit,. Right. People are trying to do Crossfit,, but they're just trying to do it the easy way and to each their own. I'm not mad at anybody for that.

Ackerman:
And I don't think in their mind they've realized they're trying to do it the easy way. Someone is probably, you know, guided them improperly and said Crossfit, is dangerous. So do OTF, or do Barry's bootcamp are one of those. It's safer.

Fern:
Yeah.

Ackerman:
And you lose weight faster. That's what that's what they're being told.

Fern:
For sure.

Ackerman:
If it's not true.

Fern:
Yeah. I think a lot of people are being sold a false bill of goods in the sense that like hey, there's an easier way to do this other than work really hard.

Ackerman:
But it might. My point is, you know, if we take the entire community of people that exercise in this country, Crossfit, is still probably less than 1 percent.

Fern:
That is a yeah, I wouldn't disagree. And that's a fair statement. It's not we all think it's the thing and we all think that everybody knows it and is aware that it exists. But the reality is, if you as you start to get out of that small pond that was started in back in 2002 and everybody started fishing in very lightly in 2000, and it's still a small pond. We have not gotten to the ocean yet.

Ackerman:
Yeah. I mean, I think people are misguided when they think, you know, first of all, you'd have to I mean, this can become a super deep tangent, but OK, what classifies someone exercises in this country? Right. They walk three times a week. So now you're gonna say probably 10 percent of people that claim they exercise are just walking or jogging, that.

Fern:
They're doing the minimal amount of movement to be classified as a human being.

Ackerman:
You know, and then most people that say, hey, I do exercise regularly would probably say do some shitty version of bodybuilding style workout 20 minutes, you know? Then you have the yogi. Then you have all you know, point is Crossfit, still very, very small and.

Fern:
Which is good news for everybody

Ackerman:
How so?

Fern:
Meaning for those people who think, how many times have you heard that the market is saturated like Crossfit, and Crossfit, is in a downward trend?

Ackerman:
Oh, countless. Every every seminar someone's asking, you know, do you think it's too busy in this in Atlanta and New Orleans? No. No, it's not.

Fern:
And that's my point, is that we were I think we're in a unique scenario where people think that Crossfit, has it has begun to kind of teeter or sputter out when in fact, we haven't even really gotten started. I think everybody just has to recalibrate the lens that they're looking at Crossfit, and the overall fitness space through meaning. Coach Glassman has talked about this and elaborated on this property better than anybody. Crossfit, has owns the elite fitness space, but there is no other player yet.

Ackerman:
People will claim they own it like the OCR guy at 45 or all that stuff.

Fern:
But people call it people. Nobody is is claiming elite fitness who's not doing Crossfit,. It's just not a thing. And anybody who's anybody who says that is completely full of shit. Right.

Ackerman:
So I think even the best in the OCR world this day realises him really good at obstacle course. I'm not the elitist of the elite when it comes to fitness.

Fern:
That's a specialty sport, right? You're good at obstacle courses, you know. And kudos to what's his name, the guy who showed up to the games. Like in the.

Ackerman:
Hunter.

Fern:
Hunter. Yeah. And he I think he did really well. Like he got an invite and he's he's not a scrub. He's fit. I mean like. But by most metrics. Yeah. So but the good news is that there's also there's a lot of people out there and and I'm hoping that some of the the things with regard to that will get addressed this weekend, which is where do people need to be shifting their focus and their site in order to start capturing a larger part of that market. And a lot of the affiliates are figuring it out, meaning you can run a really great Crossfit gym. But people may need to think about lower barrier programs to get people in the door, because no amount of you being a nice guy and smiley and having a good social media presence is going to convince that person who's just scared to death. The only people that came into the gym in 2008 9 were the people that were sadists.

Ackerman:
Yeah, they were. And that's what Justin and I started talking a little bit about, you know, in two thousand, six, seven, eight and nine. It was primarily 20 to 30 year olds, mostly men, but some women and, you know, former athletes that.

Fern:
Were looking to try to regain their athleticism again.

Ackerman:
And or at least that culture and community event like, you know, how many married men and women that had their kids. And now they're like, I still want to have some friends. I still want to participate in some community. That's not a bar that's not going out drinking. And now that was primarily it. And nowadays, it's, you know, a completely different demographic. And I believe that that's partly due to the Crossfit, health initiative there. My mom understands now that she can do Crossfit,. We're back then. And part of what made it scary also was probably the fact that it was in dungeons.

Fern:
And it was dirty and it was scary. And everybody played to Megadeth on the on the radio. And it was not like us before. It was not welcoming. Yeah, it wasn't. It was. It was a cult. So and that was that was a fair categorization of Crossfit, at that time, by the way.

Ackerman:
And some part of the second the second part of the question that we were talking about was our affiliate owners expectations a lot higher now than they were back then.

Fern:
With regard to what?

Ackerman:
Anything and everything. So, you know, those listening, maybe you've checked out the affiliate owner groups on Facebook. There's a handful of them or you just hear people griping I'm dis- affiliating or D affiliating. Is that because there's entitlement and expectations these days when in 0 7 for five hundred dollars? That was my first affiliate fee. It's like I don't expect Crossfit, to do anything. In fact, just letting me use this name is really bad ass.

Fern:
Well. I think perspective matters. So first of all, it is an affiliation and other way to look at it would be it is a licensing type. A model where you basically pay to use the name Crossfit, with the credential while not disparaging the brand like that. If I could sum it up like that's what it is. There's no requirement on you to do anything. And even for three thousand dollars, it's incredibly cheap like that is at the current rate because the currently. But my point is, what other brand are you going to buy into? It's going to cost you three grand a year.

Ackerman:
Yeah.

Fern:
Nothing. Zero. There is not one. It does not exist yet.

Ackerman:
No rules with associated.

Fern:
No franchise. Well, even though even even if there were rules associated with it. You're not. It's not. There is no other brand that would be equivalent in size and recognition as Crossfit,. That is going to be near. I mean Chick fil A may maybe like that's free, but a two year interview process to get in there, you know. So my point is, is like it's still incredibly cheap. So don't complain.

Ackerman:
So but with that being said that.

Fern:
The problem with doing a podcast in the lobby at an affiliate gathering is, you know, 70 percent of the people now.

Ackerman:
I do want to let people chime in on here. You want to ask some of these people a question. I'll give them the headset.

Fern:
Let's finish this and then we'll just grab people as they come through.

Ackerman:
OK. No, I just think, you know, in the whole spectrum of affiliate ownership, you do see that. And in general, we were talking about the games. We were talking about a lot of things. Crossfit, is this thing that we care about, we're passionate about and we believe we have a voice and we should be heard instead of sometimes just appreciating, hey, we we get to do this thing, you know, we get to be a part of it. And I think when when, you know, going back to the original question, it was because some of us have been around for those for that long, didn't expect anything out of it, because it was just like, hey, it's like our favorite band is picking up. We're excited for them.

Fern:
We got tickets at a discounted rate.

Ackerman:
Yeah. And I still get to go.

Fern:
And they let us backstage at no extra cost.

Ackerman:
Yeah. And now when that when I see them I still get front row tickets every once in a while. But other people do as well.

Fern:
So what. So moving forward. So let's fast forward 10 years. Right. So we're at the 10 year now. This is not this is not the 10 year anniversary of Crossfit, for anybody who's confused. Right. This affiliate gathering is for affiliates who have been open for 10 years or longer, which I believe the number is about 800. I believe at least two hundred and fifty of those. Eight hundred are here.

Ackerman:
Yeah, that's exactly what I've heard.

Fern:
So a good bet. Right. So, you know, a quarter of them, 25 percent of them showed up in Canada.

Ackerman:
Yeah. Whistler. Right. It's huge.

Fern:
That's a fuckin big deal.

Ackerman:
I will say this in because with all whenever you use numbers, they're skewed. Right. The first out of the first eight hundred, probably 90 percent were in the United States and Canada.

Fern:
They had to have been. I would imagine you could have had. I mean, they could have. But I mean, like that that first eight hundred happened pretty quickly. It happened primary.

Ackerman:
That's like saying the numbers are skewed. People came from all over the world. Most people that are here from the United States and Canada because to have been a 10 year affiliate, you probably.

Fern:
There is a handful from Europe like Carl Steadman is here.

Ackerman:
Yeah,.

Fern:
Davs is here,.

Ackerman:
You're right.

Fern:
And Drake is here.

Ackerman:
Some people are invited as well. So they may be guests.

Fern:
There's that like you.

Ackerman:
Some Arman, dude.

Fern:
Like you. You're here. You're not an affiliate owner. You're here. I saw weaseling, just weaseling your way around the Crossfit, community.

Ackerman:
What's that Armen dude's name? Armen Hammer?

Fern:
No, he's not Armen Hammer. hahah.

Ackerman:
Austin Begiebing is over there. Can you come here Austin?

Fern:
It's Begiebing.

Ackerman:
Begiebing. Yeah, I'm going to let you talk.

Fern:
So I'm also gonna teach him how to pronounce your name. Austin. It's beginning. All right. So for those of you,.

Austin Begiebing:
Don't mess up the hair.

Fern:
No, no, no. I see how much product you have in there. You look good. All right. So we have Austin giving flow, master. How how long you be under affiliate?

Austin Begiebing:
Well, the credentials say 2007, but since 2008.

Fern:
Okay.

Austin Begiebing:
It was January.

Fern:
All right. So Jay just asked me to ask you about the two thousand and eight Crossfit, games.

Austin Begiebing:
What do you want to ask?

Fern:
Can you be more specific about that? Yeah. First rule of interviewing is be specific, specifically your question. You were at that games, right?

Austin Begiebing:
Yeah. By participating in the games? Yes.

Fern:
And how did you do that?

Austin Begiebing:
I participated. I don't know those competing or is more parties.

Fern:
Okay. Oh, God. Do you just want the microphone?

Ackerman:
Yeah. I had a discussion and you were upset because you didn't get to participate and you would have done really well.

Austin Begiebing:
Yes, I did yet that. The 0 7 games in my backyard in Aromse. In Aromse.

Fern:
Yeah.

Austin Begiebing:
And, uh. When all the events were released, right, little Woodstock of fittness.

Ackerman:
Over, they were gonna kick us off in the middle of a story.

Fern:
No she is. She is more important.

Austin Begiebing:
Shit. Yeah.

Fern:
Get her over here. Get my mic. You guys can talk.

Austin Begiebing:
So anyways. Yeah. I would have finished, I don't know, six or something.

Fern:
Could've about six fittest man on earth.

Austin Begiebing:
I'm the 13th in 0 8. So.

Fern:
There you go.

Austin Begiebing:
You know, that's pretty cool.

Fern:
I think I have we had somebody that's placed higher than that on the podcast?

Ackerman:
Austin Malleo come in 6th.

Fern:
Ok. Well,.

Ackerman:
James Hobart won.

Austin Begiebing:
Team,.

Fern:
Team. Yeah, I'm talking to individuals, bro. Come on, just give him a break. All right. So anyway, so let me ask you this. Austin. So Jay and I were talking about the difference between opening Crossfit, affiliate and two thousand seven eight nine, which is when the three of us open our affiliates.

Austin Begiebing:
Right.

Fern:
And now and like some of the biggest differences that you see and nothing in particular, but just like the people and like what their expectations are for having an affiliate.

Austin Begiebing:
Well, the sheer size of some of the affiliates that are opening now is astronomical. You know, in relation to back then.

Fern:
Yeah. Nobody nobody had. Nobody was dumping one hundred thousand dollars into their affiliate back then.

Austin Begiebing:
I think both me and Jay open up in a in a racquetball court.

Fern:
He did for sure.

Austin Begiebing:
I mean. I did.

Fern:
Oh you did?

Austin Begiebing:
Yeah.

Fern:
So just for some context. Austin is a flow master, was training back in Santa Cruz way back in the day. You know, super, super talented coach. And I've when we have talked about you in a positive light on the podcasts. So he is no stranger to Crossfit, and just an exceptional coach. So he has a lot of contacts to offer here. So but yeah. Nobody who had any investment type dollars we would call it.

Austin Begiebing:
No, it was it was relatively inexpensive. You started small back then. I mean one of the biggest challenges was finding bumper plates.

Fern:
We've talked about that, too, just like this year. This year, the sheer problem of just getting access to equipment was a problem.

Austin Begiebing:
Right. I built my own rig.

Fern:
Most people did.

Austin Begiebing:
Right.

Austin Begiebing:
That that whole scenario. Now you can one stop shop all over the place. Yeah, thats fine.

Fern:
And go a rogue and you can hit the button once and you get a fully outfitted gym.

Austin Begiebing:
That's there. There are. I mean I know a few people that have opened affiliates recently that have companies behind them like two brains business.

Fern:
Yeah. Like VCs. Yeah. They're coming.

Austin Begiebing:
Yes. Just that. But also.

Fern:
Mentoring structure.

Austin Begiebing:
Yeah. Before they even open the doors so they have systems in place.

Fern:
Yep.

Austin Begiebing:
When I think all of us started it was at least for myself. I didn't have a background in business whatsoever. I was a trainer. Jim found Crossfit,, loved it, wanted to share it with other people. So.

Fern:
And that's largely what he and I spoke about, things like that, that everybody that's here falls in that bucket. Like all 250 people fall exactly in that bucket. Like, I'm super passion about this. I want to help people. I'm just going to start a gym. But nobody back then considered it a business.

Austin Begiebing:
Exactly right. And, you know, you stumble along and make some errors and we're all still here.

Fern:
So, yeah. And you and I've had some conversations about like evolving the business. So what in your mind if we fast forward another 10 years, what do you think it's going to take for people to be at the 20 plus year affiliate gathering?

Austin Begiebing:
I still in I don't know if this is naive or not, but I still believe that if you create fit people and build a strong community, that that you're going to be successful. And sure, there's a lot of business pieces and systems that need to be in place. But if that's at the root of it all, I'm pretty confident that I'll be here in another 20 years.

Fern:
I would agree. And I think. I think that people that keep that core function that you're talking about, which is like concentrated function when it's executed, high intensity and care, care, care, and that is the core value of whatever your business or your gym is. And you can lay on all of the other systems, the marketing and all of those things without completely abandoning. The fitness aspect, because I we I do see and I don't know if you I do see a lot of people that are kind of straying away from actually providing fitness and coaching and just going for sales and just trying to do all of the other stuff without actually addressing the service aspect of it. Right. You have to do both. And at that point, I think you win. And I think there's a lot of people who are straying away from the coaching aspect of it because they do need the systems and the sales and all that stuff. But it doesn't matter how good those are, if your core product is not actually any good.

Austin Begiebing:
Yeah, it's a. I mean, there's I don't know how many e-mails you get as an affiliate owner a day about, uh, so-and-so who can bring 50 new people to your box.

Fern:
Every day.

Austin Begiebing:
But even if those worked and 50 people showed up at your box, could you service them? And if you can. That's a nightmare. As a business owner. So, yeah, the service needs to be there. And then the systems laid on top of that definitely help. But if you're delivering fitness and you're making your people more fit and and really that community feel is behind it. I think that all of us here will be around.

Fern:
If you could give gym owners either wanted to real specific things in order to do that, what would they be?

Austin Begiebing:
Stick to what you're good at. Stick to what you know.

Fern:
Meaning like, don't start doing all these weird programs and creating, you know, spin offs of Crossfit,. Maybe,.

Austin Begiebing:
Yeah, that's that's a piece of it, but. I mean. I've seen the cycle of. You know, strength is king or aerobic capacity it. Gymnastics based, but in reality, it's do constantly varied functional movements, high intensity over years and years and years. That's me as an athlete.

Fern:
Yeah.

Austin Begiebing:
You know, and I continue to improve at 40 AM when I take my son to the school in the morning and look around at the other dads.

Fern:
I would imagine you're the fittest 40 year old rolling around in most circles.

Austin Begiebing:
Not trying to pop the collar, but yeah, it's like this.It's just a reminder this stuff works and. You can get caught up in in in the you know, this is hot now and start to try to diversify a little too much, in my opinion, as an affiliate owner. You know, if I'm adding yoga and a specialty gymnastics class and a specialty powerlifting class and a specialty this class, there's experts for that, you know. Good friend Jesse Burdick. You know, like if I started a powerlifting class in my gym, I'm not a specialist when it comes to powerlifting. It's not my specialty. My specialty is Crossfit,. And yeah, those movements are a piece of it, but. I'm not going to be nearly as successful as any Specialist gymnastics class or specialist powerlifting, if I try to offer all of them, it's going to dilute the main product.

Fern:
I have Like we have a specialist in my gym. He's a weightlifting coach, is a former national champion, 94 kilo guy like. But he's the weightlifting coach, not me.

Austin Begiebing:
Right. And I think that that's I've seen that work successfully and in gyms and the way that that I've seen it work successfully, maybe you have a different experience is basically sub leasing. You know, here's your program. You do it.

Fern:
And yeah, there's a lot of different ways to do it. I think it's just a fair. It's a conversation about like what's fair for the other person. And now in order to do that, here's what to do. Going back, talking like what the larger question is, you have to run a sound business in order to offer somebody else opportunity to do that. Inside the walls of your gym. Yeah. So I think that's cool.

Austin Begiebing:
Yes, that's one thing, and. I think the second thing. Yes, for 2 is. I find that affiliate owners that fall out of living the lifestyle.

Fern:
Ohh?

Austin Begiebing:
You just. If you're still living the lifestyle, you're going to be passionate about.

Fern:
Oh that's that's a great point, actually, because I know that you bring that up. I guess I've thought about that now con = conversations, but I've never really like said it out loud probably is that I get what you're saying. I think the gym owners that are still training Crossfit, and like that's their primary means of fitness have a healthy community and the ones that don't probably aren't as healthy.

Austin Begiebing:
Yeah. And you know. The absentee owner,.

Fern:
Which can work but yet have a system, is in place for that, like the person who replaces you needs to fit the bill for all of that stuff. Yeah. You know, they need to live Crossfit, as a lifestyle. They need to be a people person. They need to have systems in place and stuff like that. There are some gyms that do it successfully and to each their own. Like I'm not going to knock anybody for any particular model, but it's either works or it doesn't. Right. So it's effective. It's just like coaching. It's either effective or not. You know. Any with some of the biggest changes you've made in your gym in the last like two to three years as an affiliate owner.

Austin Begiebing:
Just getting some more help. Business wise and set up systems, whether it's like a gym playbook for new employees. Job descriptions written out. You know, to the systems side of things and getting that going.That's been. Basically, the biggest change that have made, man. I mean, other than that. It's been pretty consistent.

Fern:
What would you say? What? So what would you say was your biggest Achilles heel? What was your Achilles heel like that you've got? I started addressing in the past like 36 months.

Austin Begiebing:
My biggest Achilles heel. I mean, not to sound redundant, but it's just. It was lack of business knowledge and. That stuff's not just gonna come to you. Yes.

Austin Begiebing:
I've learned a, you know, small things. Hey, this is probably not a good idea in California. The way that you're structured to pay your employees is ten ninety nine. Got it. You know, and and so I like. All right, I'll do that. I'll get a payroll system. And you know, this is years ago. So my payroll system hits them like, hey, hold on a minute. They're paying taxes on the income. I'm paying them. But I have to pay taxes. That's what California.

Fern:
Yeah, thanks.

Austin Begiebing:
So, you know, these are the ways that I learned about business. And just to get. All that a little more dialed in. I got some help from, uh. Two brains.

Fern:
And Chris has been. He's he's talked to Chris and we've talked to quite a few. He's been on the podcast.

Austin Begiebing:
So that was great. I am. I went to.

Fern:
I use them. He used them.

Austin Begiebing:
Yeah, I went to. They did a dry run of their course at Scotts Valley. And I attended the one thing that really struck me about this, guys. There's a lot of people out there that. Blew up a gym in a year, sold it, and now our consultants and everyone who presented at that course is a gym owner still,.

Fern:
Which is super important. I'm always suspect of somebody who they blew up their gym and then they sold it because to me that doesn't make any sense. If you have a cash flow asset, I'm I'm really confused as to why you would sell it.

Austin Begiebing:
Well, it's that and I think that the first year or two, especially depending on location, but just for a Crossfit, gym is relatively easy.

Fern:
Yeah, that's a good point. That's a good point. That's a good point.

Austin Begiebing:
It's everything's new, fresh and exciting.

Fern:
Well. Well, he gave us two pieces. You need to hold back.

Austin Begiebing:
All good Jason.

Fern:
Austin Begiebing Everybody. Bring it in buddy. I'm hugging a big bearded man right now. What's up? My other roommate from the Crossfit, Games. Two years. What's up, guys? All right.

Ackerman:
Frens say hi to everybody. I just said hi to you, but I hope that was good. OK. Listen to it.

Fern:
No, it's good.

Ackerman:
He made a lot of hand gestures.

Fern:
That's what he does.

Ackerman:
All right. So let's let's let's end with this.

Ackerman:
Yeah. We had to go. Our wives are gonna be yelling at us to get ours mine hangry.

Fern:
Yeah.

Ackerman:
And we're you know, we had the whole conversation about marriage in the last episode,.

Fern:
Which Jess does listen to the podcast she promised, she commented. So, OK. So I want to ask you this.

Ackerman:
Tia did walk by earlier

Fern:
Tia who?

Ackerman:
How many Tia do you know?

Fern:
I don't know any. That's why I'm asking.

Ackerman:
Tia Clair Toomey.

Fern:
I do not know her. I have judged her on several occasions, but I do not know her. So let me ask you this question. So, again, we're at the 10 year and I asked Austin this question, too. What do you think affiliates are going to need to do to be here thriving and happy for the 20 plus year affiliate gathering?

Ackerman:
Well, personally, I do think if you're here now, you probably will be doing the right things in another 10 years. I don't think you've survived this far. So in other words, keep doing what they're doing.

Fern:
Well, I don't know. I ask that because I'm not sure because I I think only in the last 36 months has the market reached anything that looks like maturity, which changes a lot of things. Right. So there's things you could have gotten away with 36 months ago or five years ago. They cannot get away with that now.

Ackerman:
That is true.

Fern:
And if you're established and if you meaning like if you were first to the party, you can get away with that shit for a lot longer because you already have a built in member base who doesn't know any better.

Ackerman:
You're right. And we've made a lot of mistakes that if we had, we're making them now.

Fern:
We'd would have gonna out of Business.

Ackerman:
Yes. 100%. Would it be.

Fern:
Like not even joking,.

Ackerman:
Boycotted, picketed. The business would have been shut down. Fire marshals would come, you know. So, yeah.

Fern:
Curtis Bowler just walked by everybody. Yeah. Oh, OG. I saw Curtis John Browns here, my man.

Ackerman:
Giving the finger to us.

Fern:
People like who are these people? Curtis Bowler, who owns Rainier Crossfit, in Washington,.

Ackerman:
Which is considered right now the first affiliate first ever. Well, because a few had closed.

Fern:
Oh, Got it.

Ackerman:
Technically, he's technically number one.

Fern:
And then John Brown, who's on some of our staff, was a flow manager for Crossfit, kids for many years in his life. And his wife to Kelly. Yep.

Ackerman:
And then a couple other people. Jody Gain, who birthday it is.

Fern:
It's His his birthday

Ackerman:
Yeah,.

Fern:
We're gonna get drunk.

Ackerman:
He's definitely probably drunk already.

Fern:
Yeah. So he definitely needs to be. We'll get him on the podcast, though, all three of us before we leave.

Ackerman:
While he's drunk?

Fern:
That's even better.

Ackerman:
First drunk episode?

Fern:
Well if he's on than his wife needs to be on because I actually enjoy her more. Liz,.

Ackerman:
Liz is the best she's insane. So you kind of I guess piggybacking off what you were saying then is yet to evolve. And now that's probably the question you're asking. What is evolving at this point?

Fern:
Yeah,.

Ackerman:
I'd say.

Fern:
Besides listening to this podcast,.

Ackerman:
You do have to do, and I think we already touched upon it. So maybe it's a good point to wrap up. We have to show everyone that they can do Crossfit, and I don't know if That's too general.

Fern:
It's kind of general. But how would you do that? I kind of agree with you. Meaning? I think it's time for affiliate owners in general to get their heads out of the sand.

Ackerman:
Yeah, I think, you know, a mistake I used to make and to some extent still make it in different areas as you just get so strong in your beliefs that you are looking elsewhere. And while I believe in Crossfit,, I believe in one workout a day. I think there has to be something easier to get people into classes in joining the community. And that goes back to what you said. Whether it's a boot camp, whether it's a Crossfit,, that doesn't do snatches for the first month. But we need to just show everyone, hey, this is safe. You're gonna get fitter and you're gonna have a really good time while doing it. That's that's what it's going to take, because if you don't do it. The truth is somebody else is going to do it in your town.

Fern:
Yeah. And I think that's a challenge. And the challenge is, hey, how do I lower the barrier for entry while not abandoning the methodology of Crossfit,, which which does involve a barbell or a dumbbell and complex movements.

Ackerman:
You know how you do that. Really? Now that I think about it as you become a better coach.

Fern:
So that was where I was hoping Austin was gonna go early. I just don't think we had enough time, but I think so.

Ackerman:
I got the answer right.

Fern:
You I think you do. I think you did get the answer right. And but I don't think it's an answer. Right, because that's a very broad topic. But I think my point is and I with that with a lot of what you mentioned, people are out there. De-affiliating or abandoning the brand? And I don't. And they're largely going. If you take a look at it and this is I'm not knocking this. I just want to lead with that. They're going to lower skill programs.

Ackerman:
I say, wait. You actually were saying that? I say we stop here. OK. We have part two, because I'm I think we're right where we need to be. And I think that's. You just really made me think of it from that perspective. It's easier to not coach the snatch.

Fern:
Right.

Ackerman:
But if everybody like. But that doesn't mean you can't be in class with my grandma. That's I can't coach for and just naturally coach that woman.

Fern:
That means I'm not good enough. It means you're not good.

Ackerman:
And let's end it there.

Fern:
We'll end it there. We'll pick it back out. Joe Degains are great one to have on those for 2?

Ackerman:
Oh, yeah. That's great. Oh, we'll be less distracted. We might be drunk, but we'll we'll be back.

Fern:
Jay will not be drunk. He's not going to drink it. Don't. Don't tell buy that. All right, guys.

Ackerman:
But we're over in Canada and there are some legal stuff in Canada.

Fern:
There is. Cannabis is legal in Canada. I forgot about that. As we were driving by all the dispensaries on the way here,.

Ackerman:
If I'm asleep in the corner while you were recording, I'm very high. Don't wake me up.

Fern:
Fair enough. I'm wont even be mad at you. All right.

Ackerman:
Well, let's go to this party.

Fern:
All right. See you guys.

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