We had the good fortune of connecting with Chris Johnson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Chris, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I knew it was a high risk high reward proposition. Honestly if you look objectively at the risk side of start ups it is hard to rationalize why to start objectively, but balance that out with something you are passionate about and feel has tremendous upside for not just you but those who would be impacted by your business and the thought process goes from “What if” to “When do I start”. Anyone who has experienced starting their own business can relate on an almost visceral level with the ultimate highs and lows you experience. It’s a wild ride!
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Our business is aimed towards creating and reinforcing healthy and active lifestyles for people through our products, events, services and community. We host a range of events including some nationally recognized obstacle races in an effort to give people big milestones to train for. Was it easy? No, it was so difficult as a small operation with lofty goals and minimal workforce that many times we came across crossroads where we contemplated–can we continue this? Are our goals too ambitious? More than anything our journey has taught me the power of people–specifically community. We sometimes host events that require 70+ volunteers in a single day and I’m so amazed the number of people from our community who show up and selflessly give so that they can contribute to our mission of creating a healthy and enduring lifestyle for others. As a young startup I think you will often find the CEO/founder wants to do EVERYTHING– because who better to carry out the mission to look exactly as envisioned? I learned that trap is also a falsehood- Your time is a limiting factor and by holding on to too much you stop 2 very important things from happening: 1. You stop growing and creating because you are too wrapped up in the millions of todos and 2. You prevent others who can align with and build upon your vision from being part of the process and sharing in the load both in vision and in work. You can do more with more and it is so much more fulfilling to share in the journey with others.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’d certainly spend 1-2 days just in the mountains– Estes Park, Telluride, Winter Park are all favorites of mine and something that so many cannot experience without beautiful mountains like Colorado has. Off the mountain we’d spend days in Boulder hitting up Pearl Street and the amazing restaurants as well as Fort Collins with frequent stops at locations like Horsetooth and Lake Loveland.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Richard Leeper- My VP of Operations– in it from the very early stages and giving selflessly to the company and to others since Day 1. He brings a passion for fitness, a persistence for excellence and is never discouraged by the highs and lows of a start up. He’s always positive and brings his best to the company and community every single day.
Jamie Johnson- My wife and a huge part of our day to day operations. She has picked up countless loose ends on our personal life with our kids and at home created by the insane hours and workload created by this company while also still helping us elevate to be better company as well. She’s amazing!
Steve, Jenny, Jeff, Nicole, Zach, Gary- When Cerus was in it’s infancy we were so lucky to have people who gave so much to make our races possible. It’s hard to comprehend how lucky you are and how positive the future of your company can be until you see people like this group show up and give even more than asked and never ask for anything in return. They laid the foundations for our community and a culture for our company from their first involvement.
Our community- When we set out to build a fitness lifestyle community we knew the single most important thing would be the community itself. We set lofty goals that it would be encouraging, supportive and willing to take action to make the impossible possible. Our community is incredible and growing like wildfire because of those willing to constantly give and support others!
Other: https://g.page/r/CR07CWPCWCYqEBA (Google Business Profile with Directions & Reviews)
Jessica Pollard Jamie Johnson