Why I Almost Closed StrongLife Gym Last Christmas
So last night was the last session of 2016 here in StrongLife Gym.
It has been a fantastic year all around.
However, it could’ve been so much different had I pulled the plug last year.
The second half of 2016 was a rough time for me personally.
And unfortunately it affected business too.
I remember sitting down at the table to do the December accounts and thinking “shit”.
By the time all the bills had been paid, I had €29 to get me through Christmas.
I even borrowed money to go for a few pints with the gym crew.
I’ll never forget the sickening feeling I had in my stomach knowing that this was probably the end for StrongLife Gym.
I had had enough.
I even spent an hour looking up jobs sites to see what was out there.
But something just wouldn’t let me quit just yet.
Thankfully, I convinced myself to chill out for the Christmas and see what January would bring.
I spent every day thinking of what I was doing right, areas that needed improvement and what I was plain sh*t at.
I looked at how I ran programmes and what I could do better to get results with my clients.
Looking back now, it was probably the best thing to happen for me and the business.
When your back is to the wall you really find out what you’re made of.
Instead of being a b*tch and quitting, I put my head down and worked harder than ever.
(If you’ve been following the gym, you’ll have seen a surge of results clients are getting throughout 2016.)
Ya see, being self employed is really lonely.
No one ever really “gets it” except for other business owners.
Everyone thinks you’re loaded with cash.
No one ever sees all the bills, self doubt, stress and mental fatigue that goes on behind running a business.
No one ever sees when you’re absolutely struggling but you’ve to show up every day with energy, motivation and a smile on your face.
No such thing as ringing in sick on the day you’re not feeling it.
No avoiding the shitty work that has to be done.
It’s very easy to hide behind social media pretending you’re killing it in business and life, when in reality you’re struggling to make ends meet, crippled with self doubt and you crave validation on Facebook just to make yourself feel good.
Not for me I’m afraid. I’m happy to stick to the truth.
Unfortunately, there’s a very poor support network for us solo entrepreneurs to even just chat, vent or to get someone to understand these things.
(he probably doesn’t know this but my barber is my source of network!)
But one thing I’ve learned from it all is:
I absolutely LOVE this place. Running any business has it’s highs and lows. It’s okay to be stressed, it’s okay to doubt, it’s okay to not be okay. But no matter what, I’ll just keep working away, making this place bigger and better.
It’s literally the best thing I have done in my life and I honestly wish I done it sooner.
It’s not just the business that makes me so happy.
The people that are in StrongLife Gym make it. I genuinely mean that.
This year, I’ve loved going to work every day.
If it’s driving Sinead mental accusing her of taking selfies every time she checks her phone.
Or chasing Sinead, Laura and Maurice to get them to stop acting the eejits and do some training.
Or drawing loads of attention to Alan when he’s pounding his biceps.
Making terrible jokes to Aine and pretty much everybody.
Seeing how many innuendos you can make in 45 mins with Mary, Fiona, Denise and Denisa.
I could go on all day.
But overall, I love the challenge of running a business.
I love learning more and more and developing myself as a person.
Everyone that joins is far more than just a client, they’re friends in this weird, innuendo filled, mad for craic environment that is StrongLife Gym.
Looking back, I am so happy I didn’t quit.
Because I’d honestly be miserable if I was in any other job.
So to any of the StrongLife crew that are reading this, I thank you for being you.
For believing in me, the gym and what we do.
It’s a pleasure to train all of ye and to get to know everyone last one of you.
Have a great Christmas and New Year and we’ll make 2017 even better together.