I don’t watch television because I get enough drama in my daily life.  Two story lines emerged this week – one involving a divorce and one involving an arrest – are directly (positively) affecting my gyms.

One particular gym has been a thorn in my side since we started.  We are different enough that we can tolerate each other’s presence but similar enough to need to keep an eye on the other.  I – admittedly bias – feel they’ve modified their branding, website, and services to copy SD UNITED.  What can’t be questioned is that they moved from across town to 4 blocks down the street and have tried to hire away my coaches on more than one occasion.  So you can imagine my reaction when I heard that the husband/wife owner are splitting up and looking to sell/close their gym. Enter my internal turmoil of celebrating a competitors personal problems and misfortune.  But while I might morally struggle with how to react to the news, I can’t deny that a competitor’s personal issues absolutely effect me business-wise.  I’ve gotten 3 recent resumes from coaches at their gym within hours of hearing the news.

Now the gym is still there, still open and I don’t imagine anything happening for awhile.  But their marriage or divorce is looking to already play a roll in our numbers this year.

A more concrete tangible example happened IN THE SAME WEEK.

Santee Gymnastics Coach Arrested, Accused of Relationship With Minor

Actual numbers, within 3-days Victory’s enrollment went up 5%.  No joke.  Here again a horrendous story-line that you wouldn’t wish on anyone – clearly not good for the sport or community – but I see immediate benefit from.  I asked my front desk staff to come in a bit early to quickly respond to all phone calls/messages we received over the next few days.  But beyond that there was no outward celebration of another’s troubles.

There are no lessons or statements to be made through these two simultaneously timed experiences. More just my musings over the intricate web that is the small business community where personal owner problems directly manifest themselves as line items on my monthly balance sheets.  I guess in the world of small business it puts further emphasis on “so go I as the owner, so goes my business.”

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