Burn The Boats (part Two)

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     Back in March of 2018, I signed on with a national fitness franchise to open my first gym after doing some in depth research. I was excited. I couldn’t wait to get started. Over the next 6 months, as I took steps toward finding a location for my gym, I contemplated staying in my current job. I was making 6 figures at a Wall Street Bank and leaving the job meant leaving a stable income. Maybe I could keep my job and start this business as a semi-absentee owner, I thought. I looked at the potential numbers and what the business could do in the first year or two and seriously contemplated keeping my job and income. As I continued to work on finding a suitable location and doing more research on running the gym, I came to the realization that this business was not an absentee business. It was even more true since it was to be my first location. Six months after I signed the franchise agreement, I decided that if I wanted to succeed, I had to leave my current job and put 100% effort into my new venture. It was not welcome news for my wife who was worried about the potential failure of the business. She asked, “What if it doesn’t work?”. I didn’t know how to respond other than, “It will work!”.

     On March 29th, 2019, I walked out of my Wall Street job for the last time and promised I would never return no matter what the outcome of my business. It wasn’t just that job, it was the entire career and industry I was leaving behind. I made the conscious decision to leave a good paying job and risk my entire life savings on new business. I burned my boats. Many people would have trade places with me to have the type of job I had. I was miserable in that job and decided to risk it all to be happy. I left with no doubt in my mind I would succeed. I was 100% committed.

     For the next 10 months I focused solely on doing everything necessary to prepare for my grand opening. I spent time, energy, and money to bring the business to a successful grand opening in January 2020. If had kept my job, I would not have had the time nor the energy to do what was needed to accomplish what was previously unheard of for a new owner.

     Two months after my amazing grand opening, I had to close due to the worldwide COVID pandemic. For the following 2 years I had to fight through some truly unbelievable, exhausting, and challenging circumstances. I was running out of money, but the Government helped the small businesses. I had personnel issues. Hiring reliable, stable, and long-term team members was difficult. I had to do the work of 3 people. There was widespread fear of catching COVID and dying. People were afraid to go to a gym. I caught COVID myself which rocked my world. Even though I started out 100% committed, I admit there were times when I thought I wouldn’t make it. When I had these thoughts, I would remember what I said to myself. I was never going back no matter what happened. I just kept going.


     More than two years after COVID struck, the business is back to where it was pre-COVID. Where we are currently is exactly where I planned to be prior to the Pandemic and it’s only getting better.

     Looking back and remembering all the things I had to go through, I realized a very important aspect of being an entrepreneur. I had to go through all of it. I needed to be tested. It was training. It was all necessary to strengthen my resolve and keep going no matter what the circumstances. I learned that if you want something bad enough, you’ll do just about anything. For me, mentally burning the boats to my past career gave me all the juice I need to keep going and I gave it everything I had. Today, the gym is in rapid growth mode, and I expect to exceed my goals for this year even sooner than I had originally expected.


1 thought on “Burn The Boats (Part Two)”

  1. True inspiration!! Thank you for your perseverance! You are so right. Successful entrepreneurs Must be present and fully committed…not “part timers”. No doubt you will continue to grow. We are the recipients of your continued dedication and insight and appreciate your devotion to each of us in helping us on our journeys.

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