Its 11:40pm at night on Sunday 22/03/2020, 4 hours ago I was driving home from my office with my wife after 3 hours of planning. Planning for the day I am told my business needs to be shut down. 13 Months into my first ever business and here I am, planning for when the government shuts down everything we have worked for, the community we have built and the stories we have created.
If I take a step back, 2 days before this, I thought my business was in the best position it could possibly be in. The collapse of all sporting organisations meant that athletes had no where to train. Resistance Sports Science was the perfect home. My vision was coming to life, a performance centre built for athletes with big time athletes training inside. I remember the moment I heard that all AFL and Rugby league; State and Club level will close. Training was off. The businessman in me, jumped at the opportunity. There’s so many athletes without a home and finally we have an opportunity to help them.
My phone blew up. Reds rugby, Aussie cricketers, local footy teams, netball clubs, everyone wanted a piece of our community. What a time to be alive. This is quiet possibly the most excited I had been for any business milestone so far. For those that know me, I jump at any opportunity, I dwell on it, when something big arises, it’s the only thing I can think about.. I feel sorry for Tia (my newly wedded wife) when these things happen it’s like talking to a brick wall, I get so encapsulated in my own thoughts. The opportunity in front of me is everything and I will do everything in my power to secure it.
It’s this exact same attitude which got me into the business world. The opportunity to buy and reinvent a worn down failing fitness business came up in the place I already worked at. It became everything, it controlled my thoughts. To the point where I was pulled over by a police officer for almost running a red, he read my
file and told me I had a record under my name for stealing petrol. The only thing I’m capable of stealing is children’s lollies. I was that encapsulated in my own thoughts that I drove off without paying for fuel at my local petrol station. For those wondering, yes I went back that night and paid for it.
Anyway off topic, so here we are planning for the collapse of our world as we know it. We think, plan and scribble for 3 hours and the result? It was fairly positive. We made plans to move online, start outdoor training, even mobile visits. It was the drive home which would inevitably change my life for ever. I can’t remember the exact time, but PM Scott Morrisson release his emergency press conference, screened all over the cloud. Our team notified us that the as of tomorrow (now today) that at 12pm all indoor sporting organisations are to be closed. In a moment of panic, we took a breathe and realised. Wait, that’s not us.
We are a multidisciplinary allied health facility who specialises in return to sport Rehab. Not a indoor sport centre. We thought we were off the hook, and business could continue as usual. But .. someone asked the dreaded question. Are beauty salons allowed to keep working? Scott Morrisson replied with, the only business that need to be closed are the ones I mentioned. He mentioned this and that and finally he said gyms and Indoor Sports Centres. “WHAT!? He didn’t say gyms before” Tia and I mentioned in a panic to each other. “Fuck, here we go”. This was my exact thought which you could also probably read from my facial and hand gestures.
Another moment of panic, but a sudden realisation that again we aren’t really a gym. We are an allied health centre. Maybe we are safe? I had messages coming from many different gym owners, all of which were expressing that they hope we are alright and we will get through it. It’s amazing how a crises can turn a competitor into a friend and someone who’s doing it tough with you. Then my worst nightmare, 5 emails after the conference. Five people wanting to cancel their membership. Is this just the start? How many more will cancel in the next few days. Am I trying to patch a sinking ship??
It’s now 12:17pm and I still don’t know. How can schools and Westfield with thousands of people remain open but my shed with enforced cleaning, thorough distance rules and a capacity of 30 people needs to close. It’s bullshit. Freeze the economy. Let’s take a sideways step for a month and then get on with it.
How on gods earth is it ok to send thousands of kids to school together who could be potential carriers of the virus. Money, it always is. It has nothing to do with kids missing a month of school. “They only get pre-school once”. Who cares. I’m not sure how much power the CEO of Westfield has, but he/she must have a big seat at the table. What a disgrace. People putting their hands on everything. Railings, screens, windows, you name it. Now get thousands of people come in and do the same, transfer their germs to somewhere else and so on. I mean seriously.
I look forward to seeing how this all pans out. Please keep supporting small business. A $550 job seekers payment per week is more then enough to look after yourself (if mortgages and rent are frozen). Look after yourself, support small business and help where you can. This could be the biggest ever disruption in Human Evolution. Let’s Stick with each other through this, let’s laugh, Smile and make memes about the time we were all forced to stay home because of that time the Chinese government started World War 3 so they could dominate the stock market.
Yep...I went their. 🤙
I sympathise for every small - medium sized business owner in the dreadful time. Now although we aren't done just yet, we know it's only a week or so away. I want to thank anyone who has been apart of the RSS journey. It has been an incredible 13 months. when the time comes and we are forced to shut, we will be moving online and leasing our gym equipment so people can keep training at their own homemade gym!
Lots of love