Posts in Tribe
Winning Hearts

The heart represents the limbic, feeling part of the brain, and the mind is the rational, language center. Most companies are quite adept at winning minds; all that requires is a comparison of all the features and benefits. Winning hearts, however, takes more work.

Simon Sinek, Start With Why

Sometimes being right isn’t enough. Same goes for being the best.

That you’re either (or both) certainly helps, but they’re not guarantors of success in & of themselves.

That’s because, mostly, right & best are subjective.

The right solution (for some people). The best option (for some people).

It’s excellent that CrossFit is as effective as it is. It’s heartening that we’re on the side of good in any number of political & cultural fights. But don’t settle there.

Pick your people. Make your thing. Leave your mark.

The last part is almost entirely contingent on getting the first part right.

TribePatrick Cummings
When They Know the Least

The single biggest mistake idea merchants make is that they ask for money too soon…[T]his strategy introduces friction into the system. Many marketers require people to pay the most when they know the least.

Seth Godin, Unleashing the Ideavirus

The first 90 days of a new member’s journey with you is perhaps the most important.

Important for him because he’s establishing new habits, building new routines, & reintroducing his body to the kind of movement it hasn’t experienced maybe since high school.

Important for you because you’re establishing trust & making a case for being the solution to the problems he’s willing to tell you about (weight gain, decreased energy), as well as the problems he’s not quite ready to talk about (lack of confidence, fear of getting older).

If you can overwhelm this new member with excellence over these first three months - if you can earn trust, establish yourself as a knowledgeable guide, & show him he’s capable of making real progress - the chances you’ll celebrate your first or third or fifth anniversary together are high.

Being intentional & emphatic about where & how money fits into this equation can help.

Remember that even after he forks over his bank account information, he’s likely still unsure. Unsure if you’re the right place for him, if any of it will make any shred of difference, if he wants to pay this much for a gym membership.

Respecting all this uncertainty means thinking hard about whether charging full price for these 90 days is the most optimal way of ensuring you both have the necessary space to do the work of solving the problems at hand.

Maybe a better way would be to take ownership of building trust & establishing that relationship, to think about the first three months as when you earn the first three years.

Money is just a proxy for trust. The more trust you have, the more money you’ll make over a long enough timeline. You don’t need to rush it.

Trust compounds. Earn it early & it will pay dividends.

TribePatrick CummingsTribe
Know What Your Aiming For

You must be able to explicitly say who you are building your thing for. You must know what you are aiming for—you’ll miss otherwise. You need to know this so you can make the decisions that go into properly positioning the project for them.

Ryan Holiday, Perennial Seller

For every product we buy, every service we employ, every community we join, there's a mental checklist we all unconsciously speed through to make what feels like a logical decision. 

The checklist for somebody considering your gym for the first time might look something like this:

✓ I know exercise is important
✓ I'm willing to make time for it
✓ I'm ready to pay for it
✓ I think doing it in a group is a good idea
✓ I believe having guidance & coaching is important
✓ I'm prepared to pay more for those things
✓ I know enough about CrossFit not to be scared
✓ This gym looks like I might belong there
✓ The price seems reasonable
✓ The location seems convenient
✓ The schedule seems suitable
✓ I understand how to start
✓ Starting doesn't feel overwhelming
✓ I'm ready to start

The point:

Somebody who doesn't appreciate the value of exercise is too many miles from you to spend your finite resources on. Somebody ready to pay for a gym membership, but who doesn't see value in a group setting or having a coach is also too far to be worth your time, money, & attention. Same from someone who wants coaching & is ready to be in a class, but who thinks yoga or spinning is more effective than CrossFit.

It's not that you can't help these people. It's that they don't believe what you need them to believe. Going after them is the business equivalent of a Jehovah's Witness wandering door-to-door & hoping.

Focus your attention instead on the people who already believe enough of what you need them to believe, then focus your marketing on articulating all the reasons why you’re the place they've been searching for.

TribePatrick Cummings