There’s a saying in the world of small business ownership: evolve or die.
And that saying has embedded itself in my mind since 2009 when “RevFit” started.
There is not only the feeling that change must occur so that growth (or transformation) can happen but the equal pull of trying to figure out what must stay at the foundation of what we do and who we are.
And there is also that nagging stubbornness of mine that says, “Maybe we need to stay the course on this plan of action and not deviate for awhile.”
In the spring of 2009, I was working with a designer to help me craft our logo, business cards, letterheads, you name it (Hi Lee!) The work he did for me was really great and I still use so much of that initial design work to this day for much of what I do.
I remember he asked me what my tagline would be.
“A tagline? What do you mean? I asked.
Lee replied, “You know, Nike has “Just Do It.” That’s their tagline. What will yours be?”
I had no idea how to respond to that. Here I was building a business from the ground up and a tagline was the furthest thing from my mind.
So, I tried to think about what I envisioned our services to be and what a first impression might come off as to a potential new client.
The tagline I sent to Lee was “Personalized. Privatized. Revolutionized. Welcome to the New You.” (I know, it’s a mouthful.)
So, that’s what we went with.
And I would say it worked okay for about a year or so. There was just something about it that felt off. Not to mention, it seemed way too wordy to me.
In 2010, my father was diagnosed with bone marrow cancer and my oldest son, Jackson was diagnosed with autism. Trying to wrap my head around both of these diagnoses was a lot for me to deal with.
I was working as hard as I could to build my business up, while also trying to take care of my own health, nurture a new relationship with Marissa (which at the time was a long-distance relationship), make sure my mom was doing okay handing my Dad’s prognosis, and try to be the best father I could be to my son. It was so much to handle at one time.
And somewhere in the midst of all of that turmoil, another tagline hit me:
“Be Fit For Generations”
I saw the importance of being healthy and strong to help my mother with my Dad as his health was deteriorating and I saw what obstacles I was going to have to help Jackson overcome throughout his life. Being healthy and fit for my family seemed like not only the right thing for me but something of an overarching concept for my clients too.
I saw how many of my clients were also parents or perhaps transitioning into care-taking roles for parents of their own. It just made sense that our vision of what we do become the next phrase guiding our business model.
I won’t lie, I always liked “Be Fit For Generations” but like my first tagline, there was something missing.
You see, “Be Fit For Generations” really seemed more about me than it was about our clients. Sure, there might be some clients who would appreciate and share the sentiment of mine. I just couldn’t quite see it being a driving force behind how we do our work or even the motivation to keep our clients on the path they want to be on.
And then earlier this year, there was another change.
As we got adjusted to our new and larger location, I got more into posting our work on Instagram. As many know, Instagram posts rely heavily on the use of hashtags to develop a concept of what the posts might signify.
And a line crossed my mind that made me stop and search for it on Google.
“Surely, someone else has used this line before. It’s too simple. It’s too easy for someone else to have already thought about it.”
But I couldn’t find it.
And so, little by little, the tagline propelling my vision for what I believe the business to be is “We Make Great People Greater.”
And it just fit.
No longer was the tagline too wordy. No longer was it driven by my own personal life. This tagline was about our clients. It was about what we have the privilege of seeing 5 and a half days out of every week: great people doing great things and getting better at them.
And this is a very long way of me trying to illustrate a small point:
You Have To Be Willing To Change.
I see clients who talk a good game. They want to lose 40lbs but they don’t really want to do much different with their diet. Or they want to consistently get stronger so they can see more muscle definition and hit a new personal record on a lift but they’re unwilling to get better sleep, better recovery and eat for the goal.
And I get it, change is hard. Change pushes back with an indescribable resistance. Change might tell you: “I bet you can’t”
And stubborn bastards like me say “Try and stop me.”
As a business owner, change is inevitable. It is essential. Change has taken my business towards peaks I never believed we could achieve and beyond the comprehension I had way back in 2009.
For some people, they just don’t believe enough in themselves to think that they can succeed at change. So they offer myriad of reasons/excuses why they are destined to fail.
“I’m too busy.”
“I’m such-and-such age.”
“I had to work late.”
“But I’ve been like this for so long…”
But if this post can illustrate anything to you, it’s that sometimes we have to be open to the possibility that the life we’ve created for ourselves is no longer serving our best selves. The person we aim to be is no longer fitting in the cage we’ve trapped ourselves in.
Do I think that RevFit could be where we are today if that original tagline still existed? It’s hard to answer that but I will say that as the tagline changed, the business changed. And as our industry has catapulted to shinier trends and more novelty, we have had to stay more firmly rooted in the basics: great nutrition, great support, great strength progress…and yes, all for the greater good of great people.
That came from change.
Of not allowing ourselves to be so firmly stuck in the past that we could no longer associate with a future.
It’s also my open invitation to you to be more willing to adopt change in your life. It is not without struggle and it is not without pain. Hell, I think some of the biggest changes we’ve made with our business were both temporarily painful and a legitimate struggle.
They’ve also been what’s allowed us to see greener pastures on the other side.
It’s about more than taglines though, as I’m sure you can imagine.
It’s about changing the narrative that no longer tells us the right story.
Below is our “King” Richard. At 78 years of age and nearly three years training with us, he’s still breaking his own personal records, still progressing, still evolving. It’s been an honor to serve him.
“We Make Great People Greater”