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In exclusive Partnership with Climbing Business Journal

CBJ Climbing Business Journal Logo Wide

After 2+ decades in the climbing gym industry, I became acutely aware of a major gap in the industry: professional development opportunities and best practice sharing was nearly non-existent. I worked for over 20 years to learn, adapt and seek out any info I could to try to make myself a better leader in the industry. With Rise Above, my goals are to break down information barriers and share as much and as widely as possible what I had learned in those 20 years or operating and growing businesses in the industry. Together with Climbing Business Journal, the leading industry publication, we started the Climbing Gym Management Series, a monthly seminar series covering topics relevant to opening, operating and scaling a climbing gym business. In this series I share both best practices and how to avoid mistakes I've made in my 20 year journey. 

These seminars are not just for owners and senior leaders, they are specifically designed to help grow the knowledge and development of anyone who is in or aspiring to be in a leadership position in a climbing gym.

These seminars are free for CBJ "Biz", "Plus" or "Premium" members and their staff and are available on-demand after the live session happens. See more details below on each seminar. This is an ongoing series and new seminars will be posted here as they become available.

Launching You First Climbing Gym

In this 1.5 hour webinar we cover:

  • Finding your motivation

  • Market research - location, demographics, competition

  • Business planning – the plan, the financial model

  • And more

Setting Your Culture Up For Success

In this 1.25 hour webinar we cover:

  • Defining your values

  • How to operationalize those values to drive high performing culture

  • And more

Hiring And Retaining Your All Star Team

In this 1.5 hour webinar we cover:

  • The employee lifecycle - Attraction, Recruiting, Onboarding, Performance Management, Promotion and Exit

  • Team member engagement how to get the most out of your people

  • And more

Building Loyalty Through Customer Service

In this 1.5 hour webinar we cover:

  • What is customer service? How is it different from a designed customer experience?

  • The key purchasing factors for climbing gym guests and members

  • How to design a customer journey map

  • And more

Sales Strategies To Launch Strong And Keep Growing

In this 1.5 hour webinar we cover:

  • Why sales isn't a dirty word

  • How to build a strong sales process that is in line with your values

  • The key elements to driving a sustainable sales strategy

  • And more

Build Programs Your Customers Will Love

In this 1.5 hour webinar we cover:

  • Using agile methodologies to develop and iterate programming

  • Using customer feedback and your gym's goals to create programming your customers love

  • Measuring the success of your programs

Make Next Year Your Best Year Ever

In this 1.5 hour webinar we cover:

  • Why Goal Setting is so Important for High Performing Organizations, Teams & Individuals

  • The Objectives & Key Results Framework (OKRs)

  • How to Build a Strategic Plan to Set & Achieve Your Goals

Mastering Business Risk Safety and Crisis

In this 1.5 hour webinar we cover:

  • Some of the common but less discussed business risks and strategies to mitigate them: protecting your business from competition, staff safety and risk management training, managing HR crises, and more.

Prepare to Scale Your Climbing Gym Business

In this 1.5 hour webinar we cover:

  • General considerations for scaling your business, what you should make sure you are doing really well before you scale, and the major hurdles to scaling.

Scale Your Business Scale Your Team---Professional Development and Organization Structure Planning

In this 1.5 hour webinar we cover:

  • Whether you are opening your first gym or your tenth, an owner, manager or team member, professional development is the key to growth and increasing value in your culture. Learn some tools to make org structure planning attainable and actionable.


In this 1.5 hour webinar we cover:

  • Performance Management is a complex art that blends policy, process, leadership, management and communication skills. In this webinar, we unpack it all and come away with tangible takeaways that you can implement to improve how your teams perform.


In this 1.5 hour webinar we cover:

Risk management isn't usually viewed as an element of customer service, but the two topics are more intertwined than one might think. To show how they're connected, this next webinar will combine standards and expectations from Granite Insurance, a respected broker, with practical actionable steps and best practices from seasoned operations consultancy Rise Above. What type of service should you deliver? This session will help answer that question and covers:

  • Why risk mitigation and response is actually customer service

  • How to assess risk, how to prepare for and respond to incidents

  • How to document and manage incidents

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