This is the week we turn ten years old. It started in March 2009 with a certification and a new business license, technically, and this week I thought I might mark the occasion, as so many tenth anniversaries are marked, with a list–ten things I have learned since opening Woodshed (from an actual shed), ten lessons I’ve been taught, ten things I’ve seen, something like that.
But when I sat down to write, I couldn’t make it past one. Just one thing. It is the greatest lesson I have learned these last ten years and I feel like all of the others live under its umbrella…
Squat below parallel.
Just kidding. (Mostly. I mean, there are exceptions.)
No…what I’ve learned, what I have come to cherish, what I feel so deeply that it’s almost impossible to put into words is this:
The greatest index your work will have is what others do with it.
As a business owner, especially in your early days, you think of yourself as a service provider–you are showing your customers something new and fulfilling their orders (sometimes while giving orders–squat below parallel!).
Later, you come to think of yourself as a partner. You have loyal members and a staff of great coaches. You are in this together.
But finally, you realize what and who you are. You are the guy who opens the door, you are the guy who watches the people you love walk in, and you are the guy who says “hey before you get started…psst…this is yours, remember? Go get it.”
Seeing our coaches take initiative, do amazing things, and come to work every day to help people get stronger and healthier–that is joy. Hearing our members talk about “my squat” and “my workout” and “my shoes” (I mean, we have a shoe rack where like 80 people leave their workout shoes!)–that is joy.
When the lights go up, and the music goes on, and we are all in wordless agreement that these lifts and conditioners matter because we matter, because we are here to show up for ourselves and each other…damn, that is amazing.
And what I see when I look out at this place are people who put their hands on barbells, or kettlebells, or whiteboards, or timers, and then say, “I got this.” I am profoundly grateful to be among their number. They have surely taught me more than I have taught them.
To bear witness to what others, my sisters and brothers, have done with Woodshed…it is the greatest honor I’ve ever received. This really is the best job in the world.