As the gym nears its Fifth birthday (I can’t believe we will be open 5 years in February) I am sitting down to reflect on the successes and failures of our original business plan and map out the next 5 years and beyond for FFS Gym(s). This isn't an easy exercise as I know how difficult it was to grow the business to the point that we are at today.
The struggles to get new premises, the difficulties in building our great team at FFS (it wasn't easy to find such a team of brilliant & committed coaches that have bought into our vision, we truly are blessed), fitting out the gyms and the scary stack of invoices that comes with it are all significant deterrents and enough reason for me to think; "Rudds, should we just stay where we are and 'solidify' things for a little while longer?"
The truth of it is, this is fear taking hold of me. Personal fear of not being a good enough leader to run a tight ship as we grow, financial fear, fear of embarrassment if things don't work out and a huge underlying fear of failure!
But as I sit here and look at the original 5 year business plan, if you could even call it a business plan. I wonder what the just turned 24 year old Rory was thinking. Was he scared, was he naive or was he just a little bit blind as to all that can go wrong in the big bad world?
I'm not sure that I was thinking at all to be honest. But I’m 100% sure that fear wasn’t controlling my decision-making process. I was just doing what felt right at an exciting time in life. I found something that I was truly passionate about and didn't care about all that could go wrong. I had a bunch of incredibly supportive people around me, including my new business partner Rudds, and I genuinely had no fear because I knew in my bones that it would work out if we worked hard, every single day! That is the truth, I never had any doubts that we would fill the first gym, not for a second.
When it came to opening the second gym I was a little more apprehensive, even though we had already filled one, had a stronger team in place than ever and had a loyal & amazing client base. So, why was I apprehensive? I still don’t know the answer for sure but I think it’s because this time around I had something to lose, we had built a reputation, a brand, I had other people’s livelihoods at stake and we had to put it all on the line. But what kept me going was the supportive environment that I had built around me. Family, colleagues and clients all spurring us on and telling us that we can do it is what made the difference.
You might be thinking right about now… why is he sharing this story? The reason isn’t ego massaging or embracing nostalgia. It is simple. Whether it’s business, fitness or your personal life, when you set goals and have ambition there is always a fear of failure. A fear of embarrassment. A fear of your inadequacies becoming exposed for all to see. I am sharing this story because I see so many people who are afraid to make a move in the right direction. Afraid to walk the plank and dive toward their goals, instead just teetering on the edge with their toes barely getting wet. If there is something in your life that you want to do, go and do it!
Is it get fit? Is it ask that girl (or guy) out on a date? Is it propose? Whatever it is, if you truly want it, figure out the steps involved and how to get it, then walk that path. But take each step knowing what your purpose is. Know WHY you get out of bed in the morning.
You might want to start your own business and it’s not feasible to just quit your job right now, BUT what else can you be doing outside of the 9-5 RIGHT NOW; night courses, reading, whatever you have identified as your path to where you want to go, walk it! Don’t wait and please don’t let fear stop you. Surround yourself with positive people that will support you and believe in you. If someone is dragging you down, then you don’t need that person around.
The only thing I fear now is regret. The regret of not having tried or not having done all that I can. Don’t be a victim of circumstance. YOU ARE IN CONTROL. If I can get a business loan using my 1996 ford fiesta as collateral, then you can definitely get that girl to go on a date with you!
“I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul”
William Ernest Henley.
Rory is the Founder and Managing Director at Fitter Faster Stronger. A holder of a BSc. in Health and Performance Science from University College Dublin and fully certified PT with 10,000+ hours of S&C coaching.
Rory's philosophy is simple;
"Anything worthwhile in life, never comes easy".
If you would like to learn more about Rory, you can check out his profile here:
Team FFS - Rory or follow him on Instagram @rorymcffs