Home Blog Four Years of Cressey Performance: Time Flies When You’re Having Fun

Four Years of Cressey Performance: Time Flies When You’re Having Fun

Written on July 13, 2011 at 11:14 am, by Eric Cressey

When I woke up this morning, it seemed just like any other Wednesday morning.

I didn’t even realize that it had been four years since July 13, 2007: the day we opened the doors at Cressey Performance.  I would have blown right through today if my business partner, Pete, hadn’t reminded me of July 13’s significance when I came in to the office today.

On our first anniversary in 2008, I was absolutely swamped, as we’d just moved into a larger facility.  I was 100% aware of the significance of the day, but literally didn’t have time to enjoy it.

On the second anniversary, things had settled down a bit, and I wrote up a blog to celebrate the day: The Two Year Mark.

Last year, on the third anniversary, I went “all in” and wrote up this bad boy: Three Years of Cressey Performance: The Right Reasons and the Right Way.

This year, I celebrating by simply forgetting.

Is this my first “over 30” moment, or is there something to be said for the fact that I forgot?

This has been, unarguably, our best year on a variety of fronts.  Some highlights:

Tim Collins – one of our first pro guys and longest tenured clients – went to the big leagues this year.  The same goes for guys like Cory Gearrin, Steve Cishek, and Trystan Magnuson.  We also saw more professional athletes (and clients overall) than any other year before.

Tyler Beede – also a long-time Cressey Performer – was drafted in the first round of the 2011 MLB Draft…and we celebrated in my living room.

Tyler was one of 12 players with CP ties taken in this year’s draft.

Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School won the Division 1 State Championship, and they epitomize everything that effective strength and conditioning can do to help keep a high school team healthy and performing at high levels.

Over 30 CP athletes in the Class of 2011 signed letters of intent to play Division 1 baseball.

We expanded our staff to include some great people who complemented our existing skill sets and program offerings nicely.

We added about 1,000 square feet more office space and polished up our look with some new paint and more framed/autographed jerseys on the walls.  I even got my own office – which is shared with our new mascot, Tank, of course:

Most importantly, though, we continued to have an absolute blast each and every day we came to “work” – and that, to me, is what it’s all about.  We made new friends and further developed already-existing friendships.  The CP family grew, and we offered a service to people that helped them get to where they wanted to be.

You’ll notice I didn’t mention financial gain – and the reason is pretty simple; I view it as secondary.  It’s the destination, and I’m a lot more concerned about the process.  Cultivate relationships, deliver a quality service, and genuinely care, and the money will take care of itself.  Before the business gurus out there start crapping on me, I’ll add that our business has grown by more than 30% over the past year in spite of the fact that I usually forget that I’m supposed to receive a paycheck at month’s end.  Pete just surprises me with it.

Don’t get me wrong; you need effective business systems to make things work.  If you’re an organizational disaster and can’t make your rent, it’s going to be pretty hard to put on a happy face and make someone’s day with your smile.  However, the overwhelming majority of “savvy business decisions” are actually a combination of common sense, courtesy, and a genuine desire to help someone.

Most of the people that ask us business questions want to know how much we charge, how much our rent is, how we schedule, what our hours are, who painted Tony’s t-shirt on him, what our start-up costs were, and why we don’t use electronic funds transfer (EFT).  What they should be asking us:

1. How do you remember so many people’s names?

2. How can you possibly know everyone’s health history who walks through your door?

3. How do you write individual strength and conditioning programs for everyone?

4. What do you do to build relationships?

5. How do you find time to get to so many baseball games?

6. How do you do to educate and retain staff?

7. How is it that all of your clients seem to be friends with each other? (As a little aside to this point, Tim Collins was at the facility the past two days while home for the all-star break, and he greeted every person who walked through the office door.  He even answered the phone for us twice.  That’s big-league customer service.)

There are some brilliant business consultants out there.  Pat Rigsby and Alwyn Cosgrove, for instance, are super bright guys and great friends who have helped loads of fitness professionals increase their incomes and improve their quality of life.  They are also the first guys to tell you that if you don’t know how to cultivate relationships and treat people right, then you’re studying for the wrong test by looking for the perfect business plan.

Spend more time focusing on the process, and worry less about the destination.  Four years from now, you’ll probably enjoy your “job” a lot more – both psychologically and monetarily – and have a lot more friends and experiences that make you smile each time you think of them.  You’ll probably even forget it’s your business’ anniversary!

Thank you, as always, to everyone for all your support.

As a mini-celebration of this day, I’ll do a little promo: if you purchase a CP hat HERE before Friday (July 15) at midnight, I’ll send along a video of a 37-minute staff in-service I did on shoulder assessment that’s uploaded to the ‘web.

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15 Responses to “Four Years of Cressey Performance: Time Flies When You’re Having Fun”

  1. Jeff Neslon Says:

    Though we’ve not met (hopefully at the Long Beach PB Summit though) I’ve been following your stuff for a little while and just needed to tell you I loved this. I left a very successful business career 2 years ago at 36 years old for unfortunate family reasons and decided to pursue my passion and couldn’t agree more that it is all about that passion and it’s overflow into your clients’ life & experience. The more lives we genuinely enrich, the richer our lives will be. After all, we don’t take any of the “stuff” with us when we leave…

  2. Kris Wolff Says:

    Congratulations Eric, Pete, Tony, Chris and everyone else who makes CP not only a training meca for pro athletes but also for soccer mom/athlete wannabes like me. You do what you do better than anyone else and I am privileged to be the first to say thank you!

  3. Joe Hashey Says:

    Here’s to 4 more awesome years! Congrats to all of CP.


  4. Kyle Bracey Says:

    Keep up the great work at CP! I enjoyed reading about your respectable approach to your business.

  5. Amy Sanchez Says:

    Thank you so much for all you have done for this industry. Couldn’t have said it better. I have started my own business recently and will keep this post in my mind as I work on building relationships and a community for better health and improving lives!

  6. Luka Hocevar Says:

    Congratulations Eric and all of the awesome CP staff!

    I have learned so much and am thankful for you guys as I continue to pass and forget anniversaries doing my “job”.

    Here’s to many more!


  7. Paul Valiulis Says:

    Congrats guys!

  8. shama Says:

    timing of your mail is perfect as i am using it as motivation to speak with some important people today. congratulations to all of you at Cressey performance for a job well done. 4 years is awesome! keep rocking

  9. Jeff Blair Says:

    Congrats Eric

    Your anniversary posts are awesome. Last year as I was making the move to open my own place, I really enjoyed your post about how you could be sitting home writing online programs but chose another path.

    Your seven questions above are fantastic guidelines and reminders for those of us who want to provide a better service.

    One thing I have found works well: do one thing extra for the client/athlete. Print them a relevant article, send them a helpful email link, give them a call to see how they are doing, etc. One little thing like this can separate you from the pack.

    Hopefully, you will be blogging about how to best do the seven things sometime soon.

    Jeff Blair

  10. Grant Says:

    Great work CP, the video was awesome!

  11. Ian Says:

    Nice One Eric!

  12. Kenne Says:

    Congratulations to everyone at CP!! Keep up the great work!!

    All the best,
    Kenne Pitts

  13. Ted Ryce Says:

    Congrats Eric! I’ve been a fan of yours since you posted the “Neanderthal No More” series on T nation. Totally resonate with the idea of developing relationships and delivering value to people as a way to business success.

    On a side note, I just finished going through your Optimal Shoulder DVD. Best seminar I’ve seen on the subject. Great mix of theory and practical. Thanks for all the great info!


  14. Gaurav Says:

    So brilliantly put. People who really want to be good in what they do should ask questions as you did. Running facilities indicate that money is primary motivation. But when fundamentals are right and passion is there, only then someone asks the right questions.

    Awesome post. Brilliant lessons.


  15. Michael Says:


    Great piece! I wish the facility I used to work at followed the same principles you and your staff do. Things were actually a lot more fun when the bosses were gone. Who knew?!

    They looked for the money, and not the care of their clients. I remember they upped the charge for private lessons from a little of 40 per session to about 70. Wouldn’t you want to do everything to retain your existing clients, not lose them? Also, myself and the coaching staff were basically told to keep quiet about a girl who started training with us, but wasn’t physically ready. She was “cleared” by the PT, but cleared to do what? Walk the halls of high school? Surely, she wasn’t cleared to work on acceleration and deceleration, especially when she didn’t even have the same range of motion as her other knee that wasn’t operated on, and she walked with a limp. Poor kid!

    Keep coming with more e-mails about the dynamics of operating a first class facility.


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