May 2nd, 2011
Shortly after 7AM I just finished the first session at Coval Training and Performance (yep, that's what we used to be called) and sat in my less than 100 square foot office.
With the bay door wide open to get a smell from Zingerman's Bakehouse (we were located directly behind them) I anxiously plopped into my chair, opened my laptop, and logged into my bank account.
My checking account read…."$97"
Debt: $80k+ in mostly student loans
The scoreboard was not in my favor. To say that I was overcome with stress, anxiety, and fear would be an understatement.
May 3, 2011
The first transaction went through and I had a few hundred dollars in the checking account.
I was elated. I felt like I had just won the jackpot.
For any of you small business owners out there, you're probably laughing as you read this as you can relate.
The ups & downs that we go through and the rate at which they occur would drive any person mad.
It's easy to appreciate and embrace the ups, but over time you even learn to appreciate and embrace the down times. There comes opportunity during those times. For example, right now in this pandemic.
During the past 9 years we've survived:
-2 fires that put us on the sideline for a little bit
-my Mom passing away in 2012 which was even more difficult given that I was the a 1 man operation at the time
-my Grandma Coval passing away in 2014
-me having 2 failed engagements that resulted in chronic depression and insomnia
And we're about to add COVID-19 to the list.
I'm sure that there will be more that we continue to add to the list as the years go on, but the truth is that COVAL doesn't exist today, sustain itself through difficult times, and grow when times are great if it isn't for you and all of your support.
Running a business is hard. Growing a business is harder. Growing a business where you're letting your passion and beliefs in what is "right" guide your operation even if it means profit margins are lower and it's not as efficient as more common industry models is even harder.
What makes it all easier and worthwhile is the heart-warming stories that we get to see from each and every one of you.
It doesn't matter if it's one of our athletes getting a college scholarship, a client sheds 50+ pounds, or a client is simply able to tie their shoe for the first time in years…it all hits me hard with an overwhelming sense of pride to have been a part of your journey. The fact that you allowed us into your world and put your trust in us means everything to me and the team. The happiness that we feel for you is something that is hard to put in words.
Despite all that we've been through, I would have never thought that we would be celebrating 9 years in the middle of a pandemic. The doors are closed for now, but you can bet that we will overcome this, adapt, and be ready to deliver for you better than we ever have. I can't thank you all enough. This has been an amazing journey and we look forward to continuing to have you be a part of COVAL, whether within or from afar, for years to come!