We Quit!


“Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.”

Matthew 6: 33-34

It’s been 552 days since Ash and I started the Ballistic Performance Instagram page, which back then was the entirety of the business. We didn’t know a damn thing about business, sales, marketing, finances, P&Ls, or quarterly taxes. Hell, the only thing we really knew was how to create content, but that was enough to start.

In September 2019, Ash and I were both working at a CrossFit affiliate in Lake Mary, Florida. I was the General Manager/Head Coach, and Ash was the Director of Nutrition. The community at the facility was great, the owners were incredible people, we were financially stable, and we loved where we lived. By all accounts, we were leading an amazing life in Florida. Unfortunately, behind closed doors, we were anything but happy. From an outsider’s perspective, we had all the necessities for a joyful and fulfilling life: job security, financial stability, convenience, community, support, great weather, the beach, Disney passes; some would say we had it all.

Here’s the problem. Despite having all of those things, we weren’t fulfilled. We didn’t feel as if we were truly pursuing God’s will for our lives. It felt as if something was missing. We believed He was calling us to do something greater. Those feelings of unrest, dissatisfaction, anxiety, and confusion lead to countless hours of prayer and time in the word. I vividly remember praying every morning that God would open my heart, mind, eyes, and ears to His plan, that He would help me to understand what He was calling us to do, and that he would provide the strength and endurance necessary to pursue His will with reckless abandon.

After months of prayer and devotion, Ash and I both came to the same realization - God was calling us to build Ballistic.

In the months that followed, we invested nearly $10,000 into the business. We hired Boris at Metcon Creative to help us build the brand (logo, colors, fonts, ideal client, mission, messaging, and website), and we invested all of our time, energy, and effort into creating systems and processes that would enable us to run a successful business.

Now, the big question, what was the return on our investment?

ZERO. We did NOT make a single dollar in the weeks and months that followed the initial investment. Talk about a serious buzzkill.

So what happened? In retrospect, it’s easy to identify the areas of the business that we neglected. However, at the time, we didn’t have a damn clue! We thought we were doing everything right. We had a professional website, great branding, clear and consistent messaging, and a shit ton of content. So why the hell couldn’t we convert a single lead? Why wasn’t our inbox flooded with DMs? Why didn’t we have 5,000 10,000 or 15,000 followers?

The answer: we did NOT have a sales process.

We weren’t doing ANYTHING to generate leads. We were under the impression that if our content were good, people would reach out (i.e., if you build it, they will come). Looking back, it’s actually comical - we were so naive.

Here’s the real kicker. We didn’t come to that realization for another 10 months! We just continued to pump out content: three posts per day on Instagram, 3-5 posts on TikTok, a few Facebook sprinkled on top, and a weekly podcast.

Alright, we need to get back on track. So, at this point in the story, it’s February 2020. Ash and I have been running Ballistic as a side hustle, we’ve signed a handful of clients (mostly friends and family who probably felt bad for us), and we reached our breaking point as it relates to our jobs in Florida. So what did we do? We prayed harder! We asked God to provide, to help us out of our situation, to show us His path, and as He always does, God showed up in a BIG way.

One night after dinner, Ash and I were sitting on the couch talking about the future, wondering whether or not we should submit our notices at the affiliate and leave Florida. We didn’t know where we wanted to go (actually, we were considering St. Thomas - I had been offered a job running an affiliate on the island) or if it was even the right move. Then BOOM! As we’re sitting there discussing everything, our good friend Nate gives a call. At that point, we probably hadn’t spoken to Nate in 6-8 months. He and his wife lived in Chicago, we were obviously in Florida, and we each had a lot going on. Nate called to ask if either of us would be interested in taking a Performance Coach position with EXOS. It’s so freakin’ awesome when God shows up in big ways when you’re least expecting it!

Nate described the position, outlined the roles and responsibilities, compensation, and benefits - pretty much all the information you’d need to make a decision, or in this case, at least take the interview. The only piece of information that Nate didn’t relay to us was the location. So I asked him, “Where is the job?” His response was literally the worst-case scenario, at least in our minds. “Michigan,” Nate said. “Ann Arbor, Michigan.” I cannot remember our exact response, but I know that when we hung up the phone, Ash and I looked at each other and said, “Michigan?! That’s basically the tundra.”

Four weeks later, we moved into our apartment in Ann Arbor.

I’m going to fast forward through the rest of 2020, not because we “canceled” it, but because for the remainder of 2020, Ballistic was stagnant. We gain a few members, lost a few members, added some programs and services, but for the most part, our revenue was consistent, consistently lower than we had hoped.

Again, remember, we still didn’t realize that the lack of sale processes was strangling the business. We remained clueless.

So, let’s pick back up in 2021.

In January 2021, Ash and I decided that it was time to invest in a business coach and/course to help us refine our processes and generate additional revenue. After researching several different coaches, companies, and courses, we selected a course that we felt would provide the most value in regards to customer acquisition, sales, and marketing. So, 16 months after launching Ballistic, we made our second investment into the business - $3,000.

What was the return on that investment?

By March 2021, our revenue TRIPLED!

Needless to say, the course paid for itself!

That brings us to March 1, 2021. At that point, Ash had been with EXOS for a year, and I had been with Power Home Remodeling for six months. Although we were grateful to have jobs, similar to Florida, we found ourselves overworked and overstressed. That placed enormous strain on our relationship and compromised our happiness; neither of which we were willing to accept. Once again, we turned to Christ and prayed for answers. After two weeks of constant prayer, thought, heart-to-heart conversations, and number crunching, we decided that it was time to lean into our faith, trust in the Lord, and take the leap. The next day, both of us submitted our two-week notice.

As of April 2nd, Ash and I will be 100% full-time on Ballistic Performance.

How amazing is that? God is so good! We are so incredibly grateful and blessed to have this opportunity, and we could not have achieved this milestone without all of the love and support of the Ballistic team, our family, and friends. 

We understand that there will be additional trials and tribulations. We know there will be difficult seasons and rough waters. We don’t know it all, we will need help, and there will be times where we fail. We acknowledge that our faith and relationship will be tested. However, we also know that God will provide for us. When we pursue His will and bring glory to His name, He will give us everything we need.

We’re so excited to invest all of our time, energy, and effort into developing, refining, and expanding Ballistic Performance. We truly believe that God has called us to create a community of caring, confident, capable people who show up, work hard, eat well, and love the process. We’re committed to that mission, and we look forward to learning, evolving, and doing life with the BP family.

In Strength,

Derrick & Ash


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