Being a Successful Affiliate

By Craig Patterson

In Affiliation, Audio, Videos

December 31, 2008

Video Article

Craig Patterson runs CrossFit Vancouver, now a thriving business. But it wasn’t always that way. Craig, by his own admission, did many things wrong. At one point, he was on the verge of bankruptcy with total monthly revenue of about $800. After many changes, in the month before the Affiliate Gathering, which took place Feb 2-3, 2008, they had $54,000 of revenue. What changed?

This video is Patty’s colorful story. Drug references, alcohol, and explicit language delivered with complete authenticity about a culture of excellence, camaraderie, and no excuses.

This is the bottom line. It’s not about systems or business plans. It’s about delivering an outstanding product and service in an environment that people want to hang out in. Make your gym a place that you and your friends love. It won’t appeal to everyone, but you don’t need everyone. Craig looks to keep the right 20% of all who walk into the gym.

12min 49sec



11 Comments on “Being a Successful Affiliate”


Rich Vos wrote …

Great video! I'm very jealous of those who have the guts to start their own affiliate. There was a video a while back where (I believe) Jeff Tucker says something like, "Everyone of you [who are opening an affiliate] should be frightened. It's completely natural." Those who push that fear to the side to do what they love have my respect.


wrote …

Dude, I could hang with a guy like you brother - very genuine and likeable. What you described is what people desire most = leadership and a sense of purpose/accomplishment. Simpler is better - totally agree. I deal with it everyday as a commander for an Army Recon Squadron. I hope to use my experiences as an organizational leader in a few years (once I retire - am only 39 so no old comments) to train those who want to belong to something different when I open an affiliate somewhere. My saving grace will be an Army retirement under my belt, so I will have no pressure to want to make money (not wanting to do it for that reason) - it'll be something I can start as my own little hobby and project to challenge me in my next life. I commend you for starting out the way you did and sticking with it - says something about your character. If you're ever passing through Manhattan Kansas (FT Riley), give me a holler. Best to you in 2009 for another great year of training and success.

Scott Nelson


Ian Carver wrote …

I had the pleasure to meet Patty and work in his group last year at the One World Oly Lift Cert. Talk about a friendly, funny, engaging and intelligent person! I was impressed with his aforementioned attributes and his ability to coach people, so I see where his success comes from. In addition, Chris "Shep" Saini was with him at the cert and again, Chris' same attitude and coaching style were another testament to the success of CFV due to it's ownership and trainers and their shared philosophy and ideals.

Great vid, Patty. In goofy economic times as such, it is inspiring to hear the stories of success like yours to provide motivation for the rest of us as we grow. It is something to strive for and there are a handful of very successful affiliates out there,much like yourself, who have proven that although some of their methods of running/training the business may be different, the underlying theme is quality, community and integrity in all we do. Good stuff, Patty.

Thanks again to Coach and the rest of the community for the many opportunities of growth and the continued sharing of knowledge to make us better in every way.

Best regards,

Ian Carver (aka:"Sacramento K9" as per Patty)
CrossFit Centurion


Cody Limbaugh wrote …

I love it! This is a very personal video for me because I am right now in the middle of the dip he described.
My Training Center started off great one year ago, but I think we focused too much on 'marketing' instead of the excellence we originally stood for and now we have paid the price. Financially sunk- but more motivated and passionate than ever! Whatever the new year brings I know we will be impacting peoples lives in a big way by striving for excellence. Our clients are loyal and since I've found CrossFit I now feel I have the mentorship and support we needed all along.

What an awesome community! Thank you Coach and thank you Craig, for that encouragement. I can't wait to become an affiliate and plug in to the amazing associations found here!


wrote …

Awesome video! Thanks for all of the advice Patty. We started doing CrossFit last January on our own and the people started finding us shortly after. Without any advertising, CrossFit PEI now has over 35 people training on a daily basis and enough to fill a couple of Fundamental courses so we are looking at different ways to move forward to manage the growth.

The timing of this series is perfect. Your experiences (a number of which we have also dealt with) really echo a lot of what Coach has said about focussing on excellence in training. I'm looking forward to more of these articles.

The CrossFit community both within the boxes and between them is amazing. I look forward to getting out West and training with you guys. Feel free to visit us if you are ever in PEI.

Mike Ives - CrossFit PEI


Zach Even - Esh wrote …

CRAP - cant get the videos to play, dying to watch this!


wrote …

Great story, great video, great humor and great advice! As a brand new affiliate owner this couldn't be more timely. This video really inspires and gives clarity to me about what it is that brings folks in and more importantly what will keep them there. Look forward to the Affiliate Fest in Feb. this year. Best of luck to you at CF Vancouver on your continued success!

Tom Nugent - CrossFit No Limits


Zach Even - Esh wrote …

Patty, that f**ing rocked dude!

Nice, Nice Job!

Most of all, congrats on doing what you love, I think this is EVERYONE'S dream!

kill it!



wrote …

Totally psyched to start my own affiliate. And I agree 100% everybody does it differently but at the heart of it all it has to be driven by a passion to provide quality and results. There is no better marketing strategy then turning your customers into your fans. Make them love what you provide and they will spread the word! Congrats and Godspeed

R. Mendez
Bay Shore. NY


wrote …

Nice job and a half lot of help for me at this time in my life!
Collective Fitness


wrote …

Patty that was awesome. Truly inspiring that is why I love Crossfit that is why I love Canada!! Haha who else would smoke a doob and come up with a business plan for a new fitness facility then tell everybody about it with a scotch in hand and still gain everyone's support and respect. True Cannuck :)
I really want to open my own affiliate and it's stories like that that remove the fear coz we know how good our product is and with good coaching you will gain great results and turn your clients into billboards for your business

Great work on CF Vancouver I hope to visit sometime soon and shake your hand mate


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