A lot of hopeful people jump into the realm of fitness.
It seems easy because they themselves like fitness, they’re passionate, have a story to share of how they lost weight etc, and they really really want to help people.
Obviously for the sake of helping people, not to fulfil an emotional need or anything.
In the early days of being qualified many are fuelled by the promises of instant business from friends, family, colleagues and people that they happen to know.
I’m going to tell you that this is folly.
Those promises rarely become a reality and we are naive for believing they ever will because while people judge themselves based on their proposed intentions (even if never followed through on), we judge them used on their actions.
To most people it is enough for them to say they will do something and not do it, they still get the initial feeling of being good, helpful, needed/wanted/important, yet that’s as far as many go because they’ve gotten what they need at no actually cost to them.
So this being the case, why would they then pay?
🎓 Lesson 1 – Don’t rely on the good will of others because they will let you down.
When a new trainer/coach gets about 6months into their fitness business journey things start to change.
Suddenly they realise that people didn’t suddenly flock to them because they were nothing special, in fact they were just another trainer.
Yep, once qualified you’re nothing special, just one of many.
At this point the need for an individual identity starts to become apparent, some being to hammer their social media, sharing all sorts of motivational quotes, photos and videos of –
“This (insert target demographic) can🏋️♀️ 🏋️♀️ all you need is to believe”
It may spike some interest, however there is still very little of value for people because all that they do is copy what others are doing.
Now copying trends isn’t a bad thing, so long as it’s a successful one and you know WHY it works.
If you don’t know why then you won’t make it work.
You can go for all the fads and trends available to you, yet without a solid message or set of values backing what it is you’re saying there will be no call to action for people because it’s just not real.
🎓 Lesson 2 – Jumping on the bandwagon to try and become different/noticed doesn’t work, it makes you the same as everybody else doing it.
Finding a niche that you can call your own isn’t easy.
In fact it can take many years because a lot of people are still influenced by what they themselves find enticing, and while this isn’t a terrible thing it doesn’t mean that the potential clients available to them will react in the same way.
So many talk of being their best self, an individual, different.
You will find that many potential clients and those who have stagnated often talk of wanting those very things, a coach/trainer who is their best self, an individual who different and does things differently.
Alas, if you do things that are not familiar and truly different this weekend warrior of the majority will put in a subtle dig along the lines of
– “We usually do it this way.”
– “I like to do ti like this.”
– “My/Our old trainer used to do it this way.”
My answer to anything similar to the above is as follows:
“I thought you said that you wanted something different?”
“That’s cool, they sound like a great coach, so why did you leave them?”
Yep I will put people on the spot and call out hypocrisy and bullshit because I’m just too tired to be tactful these days.
You see as much as people say they want something different what they actually mean is something different yet familiar and basically the same as what they’re doing, but still different though.
It’s fucking maddening.
This is where taking the jump and creating a true niche that is different takes courage because the world and it’s dog will tell you have the things they’ve already done are great and that you’d do well to adopt some of those ideas.
Which is the height of disrespect in my eyes.
If you truly want to be different be prepared for criticism.
🎓 Lesson 3 – People will tell you how they want you to run your business, by all means listen and be thankful for any advice/feedback, just remember you don’t need to bend yourself out of shape to help other people fit in. If they don’t fit, that;s okay, they can go somewhere else.
Th hardest part about running any business is understanding that you’re in actual fact running a business.
As such you can’t afford to piss about.
Too many in fitness don’t understand this and try to make it a hobby that pays them, and one that pays them well, this is a mistake.
The only people who can get away with running a fitness business like this are of the following:
– People who are retired and don’t need to work
– People who have a job they can step back into at will
– People who come from money
– People who have a partner who supports all other finance
^^ Many don’t like this, yet it’s very much the truth.
Running a business isn’t easy, and yet in fitness so many think that once they become qualified people will just rock up and throw money at them, that they ill be abel to do 3-4 clients a day only, train whenever they like and live ‘the good life’.
This is a dangerous attitude to have.
The average fitness professional will work a 12+ hour day in most cases, and that isn’t taking in to account all the behind the scenes things such as admin, tracking, program writing and the logistical part of running a business.
If you think it will be easy you’re in for a shock.
🎓 Lesson 4 – Remember you’re running a business, not a charity or a hobby that pays well, a business.
If you are someone new to the industry you’d do well to hire a mentor.
Now many will say they can’t afford this investment and to that I have this reply for their consideration:
Can you afford not to be successful then?
There are many ways to find the cash to invest in your business, and having someone in your corner to help you avoid making silly mistakes, while perhaps costly in the early days will save you literally thousands moving forwards.
You may choose to consider or ignore the above.
Either way I hope you do well and don’t end up as fitness fodder.