Thriving with Tyres, Positivity & Passion [Craig Abbott]

Craig Abbott is the manager and founder of Heavy Haulers & Phiit Club, an outdoor group fitness program he runs with his wife, Jess, where amongst other copious exercises members perform compound exercises using large, tyres. 

There are many things that drive people to success. And for Craig, it’s not just about the bank balance. While you need cashflow to ensure the business stays afloat, he’s got a different scoreboard.

To him, success is about helping people, about having a positive impact on their lives, and being able to see tangible changes in their self-worth. 

Thanks to this positive attitude, and desire to help, Craig has built up an amazingly positive culture around his training programs.

But culture is a thing that tends to get misconstrued by many businesses. It’s not something that can be forced, or contrived, or decided upon in a branding exercise. It can be a deliberate choice, sure—but it has to be genuine. 

It’s this culture of support and positivity that enabled Craig to build resilience into his business. And resilience was a trait we all needed in spades in 2020. 

It was a tough year, particularly for the fitness industry. COVID-19 taught us a lot of things, but one undeniable learning was coming up against the hard realisation of what we can’t do. 

For Craig it wasn’t so much about the business itself being impacted; it was about the impact on his family, and the community he’d built. 

But he’d built that level of resilience and positivity into his business that instead of focusing on what they couldn’t do, Craig immediately focused on what they could. They pivoted, and they pivoted quickly. Craig and Jess spent two solid days, sacrificing sleep, focusing on their programs, to create an online training space for their community via Zoom meetings.

And they didn’t just survive. Heavy Haulers & the Phiit Club has continued, and thrived.

Because Craig is committed to his business. He’s passionate. And he believes in it. This commitment is what keeps his community coming back, what drives his members, and the factor that has kept their business trajectory strong.

By modelling this behaviour, by constantly pivoting to the positive, despite what life throws at you, by demonstrating what success looks like in your own eyes—this is the best resilience plan you could have.

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