At 7 years old, Joe Cirulli saw a football team lifting weights at the local fitness center and set the first goal on his entrepreneurial journey: learn how to lift weights. It may not sound entrepreneurial, but it turns out that cultivating any personal skill can be turned into a business if you have the necessary passion. Joe’s parents bought him a set of weights for Christmas that year, and he set a new goal: teach people how to lift weights.
Pretty soon, he had all his friends working out in his family’s basement.
Several years later, halfway through a college degree, Joe found himself down in Gainesville, Florida teaching as a fitness instructor and selling gym memberships. You might be thinking, “Hey, that’s great! He’s building on his goal!” But it wasn’t that simple…
Each gym he worked at in those first few years, due to terrible financial practices, would eventually go bankrupt and leave him jobless, and even broke and homeless din some cases. Joe was only in his early twenties, but everything seemed to be pushing his away from his goal. He wanted to teach people how to exercise and train with weights, because it had dramatically improved his life. He wanted to be his own boss and bring respect to a health club industry that was failing left and right, because he was passionate about it. But he had a long, long way to go.
That reality was made terribly clear one day when he realized he had only 12 cents to his name. Not even enough for a small diet coke at the McDonalds in Gainesville where he was sleeping in his car and waiting for a new gym to open so he could find a job.
It was at this moment that he decided to write a list of what he wanted out of life. It wasn’t just one goal, it was many goals. It may seem counter-intuitive, but he found that the way out of this rut was not to abandon the goal, but make more, even loftier goals.
He read each of those goals every night before going to sleep, and every day before going to work. He had heard a psychologist once say that people can’t help but move toward their dominant thoughts, so he figured if he made his list of goals his dominant thoughts he would move toward them no matter what.
And he did. Each time he gained more ground on his goals, he got more confidant. That confidence gave him the grit needed to take the next step, and the next. It was almost like Joe’s goals became alive themselves, pulling him in the right direction even when he felt defeated, or it seemed risky.
Joe’s story is a truism of running a business, or even living a fulfilling life in general. If your goals are unformed or low-level, they are easy to give up on. But if your goals are lofty and driven deep into your mind, they will pull you forward. That’s how you build a success from a small business like Gainesville Health & Fitness.