I’m in a room of new faces, and the one question that I use to break the ice, the question that starts a series of other questions, is the one question I struggle to answer…..What do you do for a living? For most people this is a black and white question. We all know what a Teacher does. We all know what a Cop does, but what does a CFM Marketing Manager do? As I try to explain that I market gyms, in places I have never been, for people I have never meet, away from family and friends for 10 months of the year, I feel as if I’m losing them! So, I bypass the question and talk about travel, as nothing builds the bridge of conversation like the roads we have travelled. It then hits me, I have never been in the same place for more than 8 weeks in the last 7 years! So, what do I do and why do I do it?
Health and fitness has always been a passion of mine, so it is natural that I fell into this industry and what better way to immerse myself into it then with Creative Fitness Marketing (CFM). I wish I could tell you some fateful story where the universe interventions lead me through a series of butterfly effect like scenarios, ultimately leading me to CFM, but it was much simpler than that. John, a friend from Uni, who worked for CFM, referred me and I got the job! See, that’s how it works, I was referred by John, who had been referred by Krista, who was referred by Anthony and so on and so forth. Most CFM employees can track back their referral lineage 10, 20 years back! Rumour has it a former CFM’er “Bear”, can even date his back to the cave man era. Like a CFM family tree, in some way we are all “related” which helps build a culture like no other, but we will get to that later.
Sooo… back to the pressing question, What do I do as a CFM Marketing Manager?! As our Mission Statement describes my role is - “To Primarily Encourage The “Non-Active” Segment of The Communities We Work in To Make Exercise a Part Of Their Lifestyle And to Ultimately Improve the Profitability of Independent Health Clubs Around the World. However, this is too long to fit on a cue card or my hand and it can sound robotic repeated ten times in one night. It is easier to speak from experience. Firstly, and most importantly my role is to help the “forgotten about” members of our communities get healthy. While our competition is fighting over the active members of the community like a seagull on a salty chip, We are focusing on the people that really need it! They are the people with lifestyle preventable diseases like Type 2 Diabetes or are overweight and unhealthy. A lot of these people know they need to make a change but are too nervous, intimidated or see themselves as lost causes who can’t make a start on their own. They don’t see themselves as gym people, the gym to them is as foreign as hieroglyphics are to you and me. It is my job to provide them with support, a facility and a membership to change their lives and provide a healthy alternative to fighting disease or to just get in shape for Summer. After 7 years with CFM and after working at over 50 health centres, I can honestly say lives have been changed! In turn we also help Independent Health Clubs (the little guys) not only survive but thrive in an industry full of big guys! We do this all over the world! We enter a community and promote one of the most proven, cost effective, sustainable products in the world! Health and Fitness! All while having fun!
Now why do I do this? This is not an easy job, we are away from family and friends 10 months of the year! We move location every 6 weeks! I mean booking a 5-day vacation can be stressful – and this is my bread and butter! So why have I done this for 7 years? Firstly, I believe in the product! I mean how could you not? And then there is the travel! CFM has taken me through Mexico, America, New Zealand and nearly every spot imaginable in Australia, from Launceston to Rockhampton! In fact, next time you are road tripping around Australia flick me a message and I can tell you where to get the best coffee from and let you in on the secret hidden beach or spot to enjoy it at. Now for the people! People are to places like icing is to cake, it just tops it off. Many see wealth as material possessions, but true wealth is the people you connect with and the memories you create and CFM has provided me with that opportunity to fill my bank. But most importantly I do this for the culture!
Told you I would get back to culture. Now why is culture so important? Well culture is the key! You can have all the passion, the knowledge and know-how but without that key to start the engine and ignite that fire, then you’re not going anywhere. At CFM culture is that key! Remember we are away from friends and family most of the year so our culture is our support system, it is our family. A culture is something you belong to! It is your ideas, customs and social behaviours and CFM’s is second to none! I have met some of my best friends though CFM. Our culture is so strong that even after you leave you still remain a part of the CFM family and culture. So, what builds such a strong culture? I believe 4 pillars that create our culture 1, Is our common passion for this industry and helping people. 2, Our drive and desire to travel. 3. FUN! CFM’ers are notorious fun lovers! The Christmas parties are legendary and whenever you have more than 3 of us in the same room at once past or present, you’re in for a good time! I call it “Syzygy” which ironically is the same word they use for the alignment of Moons and Planets. 4, Well 4 I can’t explain. It’s that sense of kindred spirits, it’s that drive, a personality trait, something that links you to these former strangers. Each year my CFM family tree gets bigger and grows stronger. I see best mates leave and new ones join but through our culture we will always work for the best family in the world… Alright time to get back to these new faces and explain all of this! ……. maybe ill just tag them in it.