This is an excerpt from our Guide Always Be Caring: The 9 Keys to Strengthening Your Affiliate Community
The founder of McDonald's, Ray Kroc, once said of his restaurants, “We’re not in the hamburger business, we’re in show business.” Food quality issues aside, Mr. Kroc was onto something. What we do is not necessarily what we are.
As affiliate owners, what we do is facilitate improved fitness by programming and coaching constantly varied, functional movements performed at high intensity. The barbells and box jumps and burpees are our hamburgers. But we’re not in the fitness business, we’re in the relationship business.
Our job is to build relationships, because genuine relationships foster trust, and trust tears down the walls of self-consciousness that hold us all back from reaching our potential. That’s who we are as affiliate owners and coaches: wrecking balls of weakness.
Once you understand that, you can begin to align your actions with the goal of creating a stronger, more trusting community.
The best way we’ve found to do this is by embracing something the writer Stephen Covey called the Emotional Bank Account, or the EBA.
The EBA works the same way a regular bank account does. If you’re trying to build wealth, you want to be sure to make more deposits than withdrawals.
Much like you have an account at your local bank, you have an emotional bank account with each person in your life with whom you have a relationship. This includes every single coach and member inside your facility.
If you make more deposits than withdrawals into those accounts, your relationships will be strong. If you remove more than you add, your relationships will be weak.
It’s simple. Just don’t confuse simple with easy.
EBA withdrawals should be relatively obvious and intuitive. We’ve all been the victim of somebody’s overdrafting their accounts with us. When they gossip about us, when they ignore us, when they break a promise -- all withdrawals, and the list could go on.
When it happens, it’s often impossible not to protect ourselves from further insult by stepping back from the relationship in big or small ways. We won’t have as much buy-in going forward. We won’t trust as easily or fully.
Withdrawals are easy. We pull something out when we need it without giving much thought to how it might affect the long-term accumulation of our wealth. As an affiliate owner, this kind of short-term thinking will result in greater turnover among coaching staff and a community of athletes who don’t see the kinds of results they’re paying good money to achieve.
We want to focus our efforts and energies on deposits. All we have to do to have a thriving community is limit our withdrawals as much as we can, while making consistent, sizable deposits.