Last Friday we had our Spot Athletics Christmas party. It was a lot of fun. There were several things I realized during the party that I wanted to share with everyone, because I think they are important take aways.

First, I want to say that I started our Christmas party by taking away everyone's cell phones. I hate how disconnected we have become as a society so for our 3 hour party, no cell phones were allowed. This made things really nice and everyone was engaged with each other and not their phones the whole time.

We did a gift exchange where you blindly selected a gift someone brought. It was funny and I laughed so hard my abs were sore the next day.  Some of the gifts I can't even talk about, but it was great. My first rule of hiring someone is that if I wouldn't want to have a beer with someone then I won't hire them. After all, I am going to spend a ton of time with this person, I better like them enough to have a beer with them. We had lot's of beers, or more accurately bourbons, on Friday night and it confirmed that I have followed my hiring rule.

Here are things I thought about during the party:

1. You are who you surround yourself with.
I have been very lucky to find an amazing staff of coaches who are passionate about being the best they can be. They are also passionate about making The Spot Athletics one of the top training facilities in the world. The Spot Athletics isn't about me, it's about what my coaches do every day, and the level they do it at that gets us where we are.

2. Family 1st. 
I consider everyone who works at The Spot as family. The guys are my brothers and the girls are my sisters. We operate like a family and treat each other that way. Some may say this isn't the best way to do things but I spend 12 hours per day with these people, so I better love them or I'm going to kill them. I have their back and they have mine and it's a great feeling.

3. We have built something special
One of the servers at the place we had our party happened to be a personal trainer who had just moved here and was asking how she can come work for us. She said we seemed so awesome and wanted to join our team, and one of my people said "you mean family". She said where she worked in Cleveland before she moved here was so awful that she really didn't even want to do it anymore. That same night, an owner of a Crossfit gym in town saw me at a bar we went to after the party and came up and said he follows our stuff and thanked me for putting out great information. He said how we do such a great job and how impressed he was with how we did things. It was a great compliment and he was a great guy for doing so, but it really hit home what an impact we are having in our area.

4. Exponential growth is impossible to manage but a fun ride to take.
We have grown 60% in each of our first 4 years. We are still a very small company but we are now up to 12 employees and next year we are starting to offer retirement and benefits. It's crazy that is 4 years we have gone from 0 employees to where we are now. I know that for some this may not seem like a huge deal, but in our industry, it's a huge deal. We had fun talking about how much things have changed and what things used to be like. It's been a really fun ride and I'm glad things have gotten to where they are and am excited to see where they go.