Copy Cats and pirates
Although I realize that imitation is the best form of flattery, and its flattering in itself to even be noticed or copied but in this tiny town of Whistler, business imitation to the extent that is happening to me is pure piracy. Piracy is stealing of ideas, processes and concepts.
Cat Smiley Fitness has been successfully in business since 2001. I have lived in Whistler since 1994. Boot Camp was launched in April 2004 (100 per cent self-created, from countless hours of research and development) and together with the support of the community, we continue to kick ass.
In my learning process, Ive learned from my mistakes along the way I didnt wait for another company to make them first. Since our success, a slew of wannabes have tried to imitate every great idea I have had, at a few dollars less. They observe the original for a while to see if it works, and then decide if its worth giving it a go themselves.
In addition they have started rumors about what happens in Boot Camp such as "I heard she hits you!" and inventing stories that would put off anyone from even thinking about enlisting. They run the same advertising campaigns, offer the same schedules and class types/procedures, go on sale at the same time. And so their business grows, but the public is only given a second-rate version of the service copied. Mine.
As I reinvent my business as an outdoor fitness club, I take pride that its my own creativity and courage that has developed something completely unique and innovative. Im happy that Whistler locals have so many options when it comes to fitness companies, there are lots of fantastic trainers in town (Jodie Hopkins, Diana Rochon, Mandy Dobbs, etc.) who do not copy Cat.
Despite this piracy, we have never been busier.
Having been part of a first response team in Whistler, a dispatcher for Blackcomb Ski patrol for the past 10 years, I have always been proud to say we provide first class care. Well, on Saturday, May 27th I experienced it for myself.
The boys and I were having a great ride on Shit Happens when we leap-frogged Don Saugstad (Blackcomb volunteer ski patroller) and his friend Kim, who thought they would watch us ride the rock first. Needless to say after my attempt, complete with crash and ankle injury, Im pretty sure they passed.
Thanks Geoff Playfair and your team for the first class big wheel ride out. It rocked. To Jeff and your EHS partner, I had no idea that an ambulance ride could be so much fun. To the girls at the clinic, Gill, Shirley and Monica, your prep care and after care have left me speechless.