“You need to make more money,” aspiring business guru Len Hall told a group of 20-30 CrossFit affiliate owners at a seminar last Monday.
“Business is about two things: profits and losses,” he continued. “Profits are good. Losses are not good.”
Hall paused for a moment to adjust his headset microphone and click to the next PowerPoint slide, a graphic representation of the basic income-versus-expenses calculation.
“Your job as the gym owner is to maximize income and minimize expenses. The result: pure profit,” Hall said with a smug smile, followed by a lengthy pause in which he attempted to make eye contact with each person in the audience.
After an awkward 45 seconds, several hands went up in the crowd, but the expert ignored them and clicked to the next slide—a grainy picture of Hall himself, shirtless, squatting 385. Leaving the slide on the screen for the next 15 minutes, Hall detailed his athletic history and successes, including back-to-back wins at the Rattlesnake Canyon Fitness Throwdown and a top-60 finish in a local 5-K fun run.
Turning to business successes, Hall repeatedly referenced gross revenue totals of at least a million dollars for each of the four years he owned his gym, though net figures and profit margins were conspicuously absent. Hall also did not mention that he filed for bankruptcy in early 2015 after bouncing a series of payroll and rent checks.
“If I can gross a million, so can you,” he said as he handed out pamphlets for his upcoming master class in San Diego. “It’s just simple economics.”