How to handle another business #shutdown

Thank you for the myriad messages asking #business questions about how we have dealt with 2 government shutdowns of the gym I own in one year. This article is only part 1 of my answer. The following are the key points that worked for us. Your reality is different. Hope this answers your questions:

  1. Admit it. The gym I own, X Fitness, has been shutdown for the second time in 2020. The Shutdown Effect is a potential health hazard in mind-body-soul and financially unless you effectively remove the #Shutdown Side-Effects Two shutdowns in one year can kill your business and causes killer-stress that, left unchecked, will destroy your health. Admitting the potential consequences acknowledges the truth. It’s impossible to deal with any adversity unless you admit the truth and recognize the consequences. Nothing is more important than your health. Nothing. Never let your health suffer for any reason. Never let any human make you sick. Ever.
  2. Perspective. My 15 year policing career taught me countless Real Life&Death lessons and strategies about how to cope with exigent life-threatening adversities. At the top of the list is perspective – human lives matter most. If the business shutdown is a life-saver, then that perspective is our life-saver. It solves our stress. If the shutdown is actually saving lives, that perspective saves you from fuming and frustration about unprecedented exigent circumstances that is causing global pain & suffering.
  3. Solve the confusion. How this shutdown was communicated by the government last week cost us enormous time and money to figure out the truth about what the government shutdown actually meant. Here’s an example – my wife called Public Health to learn the legalities of the shutdown shortly after the announcement was broadcast. A Public Health employee told her that gyms were not shutdown and could remain open with a 10-member limit. Shortly afterward, my daughter who is a Boot Camp Coach at our gym called the Downtown BIA in our city. A BIA official contradicted Public Health, stating gyms were shutdown. Since shutdown day, the confusion escalated. Our staff has been inundated with more mixed messages about who is essential, who is not, and who is circumventing the shutdown with “loopholes.” Customer confusion escalated. Our staff spent more time and money answering a flood of questions from customers. Solving the confusion has not been simple but its essential to be fully informed in order to make informed life & death decisions. Get answers to save your staff’s sanity.
  4. Change the focus, change the outcome. The cost of trying to find the truth has been absurd, especially to the health of our staff. Never allow anyone to F-up your health. No one. We have limited time on planet Earth. Willingly allowing anyone, including government officials and public sector employees, to destroy your joy is one of the top 51 definitions of insanity. The solution is changing the focus. Instead of investing energy and focus into fighting with people who haven’t got answers, invest energy and focus into #personalbests.
  5. The dual meaning of #PersonalBest has been and always will be the mission of my football program, my business mission, my workout ideology, my coaching philosophy. First meaning: (i) Fight to achieve a #personalbest physically and intellectually every single day. Not once in awhile. Every day. (ii) streaks of #personalbests lead to building you Personal Best every single day. Here’s how #personalbest investment connects with handling shutdown: (i) never let anyone shutdown your growth in mind-body-soul. (ii) never give anyone authority over your strength-building physically, intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually. The moment you shut down in mind-body-soul, you are killing you potential and burying your God-given gifts & talents.
  6. Focus on another business. The government can shutdown gyms but they cannot shut down my website, my books, podcasts, videos. The government cannot shut down my own workouts, my 51 year workout streak, my writing, my coaching. Focus on what matters to make forward progress. My gym is shutdown. Not my life.
  7. Self-expression or self-depression. Joyously express your soul through transformative physical and intellectual exertion instead of expressing rage and contempt that lead to depression in self, everyone on your team, and everyone you cross paths with.
  8. Work your ass off when its time to work then shut it down. Same as working out. I’m more obsessed with working out than any human I know but only for 90 minutes a day. I don’t talk about muscles or fat or bodyparts of food all day long. For 90 minutes, no one breaks my focus during working out. Same when I’m coaching football. Same when I’m writing. I have a family. I have a wife, 3 daughter, 7 grandchildren. I refuse to talk about sports, working out, business, books to anyone during time outside worktime. I wrote that philosophy in my introduction to one of my 61 books – Soul of a Lifter. I don’t talk about the things I love to do when I’m not doing it. There’s more the do than what you do. 
  9. Disconnect from gym members. Without disconnecting from your customers, your staff is risking psychological shutdown, of becoming Burn Victims from 5th Degree Burnout that will scar them for life.
  10. Never cut prices. My biggest business mistake was cutting prices to match competition rock-bottom prices. We became part of a #RaceToTheBottom.
  11. Never give away for free. We have giving away a fortune in free coaching, free content, free memberships. Free coaching to student-athletes has lifted my soul. But giving away our business for free to solve a shutdown will shutdown business even worse. We post zero workout videos for free, zero coaching for free. Giving away fore free makes customers believe you are a charity. I have lost a fortune giving away for free for decades. The moment I stopped, business improved.
  12. Never whine about your shutdown on social media. Everyone has problems. Complaining about how tough your job is is counter-productive. Instead of attracting sympathy, you push people away.
  13. Live in the pre-Internet era. Shut down your #phone. Shut down #social media. Spending all day answering social media messages from new #connections who want to sell you everything you don’t need, will contribute to a longer business shutdown.
  14. Don’t squander the struggle and sacrifices of those who fought like hell to get you here. My poor, illiterate Italian immigrant Antonio experienced more struggles than I ever have or will. He was shot down and shut down because of his limitations – education, communication, resources, network. But he worked his ass off more than any human I’ve worked with in public sector for 35 years and in business for 20 years. I witnessed it. No one ever outworked him. He made it work with less than any human I’ve met. He never once complained in broken Italian or broken English about how tough he had it. Not once. He never wasted his life on social media, counting #likes, posting infinite narcissistic  #selfies, and infecting his head with News Feed dread. I’m blessed that I witnessed what a human can accomplish by facing the challenges of extreme adversity. My business shutdown does not compare to the hell Antonio faced and beat every day of his life. I’m not going to squander Antonio’s struggle and sacrifice by being a punk, by posting sympathy-seeking junk, and sinking in self-pity. I will honour Antonio by applying what he taught me – workout and work my ass off.

 Taught #football #teams & #college #lawenforcement #students:

Imagine what you could achieve if you converted your Spectator #Energy to Participator Energy. The energy you burn watching & paying to make other people #rich would make you a superstar in #mind #body #soul if you poured the same energy into #lifting & #learning. By the time you make a #NewYears Resolution, you’ll have lost your starting job to a substitution. 

New #podcast compliments of X Fitness at:

#MUCHLOVE #soulofalifter

Blessings and all good things


Gino Arcaro

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