What’s Really Holding You Back in Your Personal Trainer Career? (It’s Not COVID19)

 In podcasts, professional development

What is really in the way of you having the personal training career you want? I’m unpacking it right now. I encourage you to stay with me all the way through this episode. Above all, don’t let COVID19 be an excuse to hide behind. Let it be a reason to dig in.

Over 35 years ago

The late summer sun felt delicious on my skin. It wasn’t warm enough for a bathing suit any more, but I’d rolled up my sleeves and kicked off my shoes to lie on the lounge chair for a few minutes. I wanted these moments to last. These moments when I was a young adult just beginning to take on responsibilities and still at home for a long weekend feeling cared for, safe, secure. It was predictable. And beyond this was anything but. First job, new apartment new city.

But my mom dropped a bomb on me. I had assumed from some random segment of a conversation I remembered incorrectly that my mom’s marriage to my step-dad was because of me. It was the right thing to do. I very likely had overheard a conversation or had one with my mom and that was where I apparently had left the room.

I carried around guilt or the impression that I had to be good or that my parents had settled to provide security and safety for me.

Can you imagine what that would be like and how you might feel pressure to be perfect, never make a mistake, stay within boundaries? Whatever those things looked like to you?

Your Personal Training Career

Look, we’re in strange times right now. And this may feel like a story for another time. But stay with me here. This is absolutely a story for right now. Because I don’t know about you but I can create stories inside my head and believe them for years- like the example above I believed from the time I was 7 until I was 25 that my parents were married because of me, not love. I made decisions about what I could and couldn’t do, who I could and couldn’t be based on that for a very long time.

We all do make choices based sometimes on false assumptions. We can get messages between 3 and 7 years old that if we don’t revisit why we have these limiting beliefs will hold us back.

So you may be in paralysis right now. COVID19 is doing that to many. Is it you? You kind of want to hole up with a blanket and suck your thumb? Or dig into chips and watch old movies… whatever it is, it’s okay for a while. But if you’re ready to take some control and feel better because of it, then keep listening to this episode.

Self-doubt Now and Before

Self-doubt may actually be leftover from your youth. Some message you got, even if it was WRONG could be influencing you still today. Between the ages of 3 and 7 your foundations are laid. Did you know you could be operating on a set of beliefs that are only that, but they’re so powerful they are the basis of how you make decisions, choices, and take action or avoid action.

  • What happened the year you were 3?
  • What happened the year you were 4?
  • What happened the year you were 5?
  • What happened the year you were 6?
  • What happened the year you were 7?

PS – there’s no couch and I’m not a therapist. However, if you want something, and what you have to do to get it is something you’re in conflict with, it’s absolutely worth exploring this.

The Real Questions

(1) Are you operating on the wrong belief?

Do you really know WHAT it is to do now? Do you know how to really find what people need and want and will buy right now? Or at least in the future when we’re through the worst? Do you believe that people aren’t spending money? Stop. Last week a client I had talked to for 10 minutes sent me a check for $7500. When she said “the check’s in the mail” on Friday, I did what most of us do. I smiled. Monday? There it was. Not all people are not spending money.

Not all people are unwilling to train online. If you don’t do it, offer, get sessions booked on Skype and Facetime for them, they’ll find someone else who is doing it.

– it’s changed from what you believe – it’s not dieting, it’s not eating less, it’s not that if you “love food” or “love to eat” you can’t be healthy – the two actually are both required and need to co-exist

foods you learned to eat as “healthy” no longer are a one-healthy-foods-list-fits-all

exercise you learned to do is no longer the best way to attain energy, optimal hormone balance

the calorie deficit alone you thought was required is not the answer to any long term success

(2) Are you not doing it once you DO know what to do?

When no one is looking? Are you doing the right things repeatedly? You would ask your clients this wouldn’t you? When I’m not with you, are you doing the workouts? Are you reaching fatigue? Are you lifting heavy enough? Are you doing it the way I instructed you?

I’m going to come back to this in a short while because you really need to know WHAT to be doing right now. If you’ve convinced yourself there isn’t anything? You’re wrong. You can be proactive and those that are ready when this is over, or who in fact are creating something that people want and need right now, may begin to grow their businesses DURING COVID19.

What Will Stop You From Getting a Personal Training Career You Want

You can’t simply train clients at some low rate you’re comfortable charging and work hard day after day doing that andmake a fantastic living. That won’t work. You can raise your rate if you get good and you’re in demand – AND gain the confidence to do it. There’s a problem in that too.

The myth making more money will solve your problems

At some point your lifestyle will also increase. As your revenue grows you’ll want a better car, house, or you’ll have children and college and your expenditures will increase as fast.

So what’s the answer? Some type of scalable business model where you have not only revenue from one-on-one sessions whether in person or online, but information products (courses, programs), or actual products(supplements, clothing, affiliate products) clients also want and need to be more successful that you sell as a compliment to your services. In fitness, this is the way personal training started.

Member-Retention Model

For some gyms this is the model still: Members join and those who personal train stay longer and get better results so they are more satisfied customers. So the revenue margin is very small on purpose. For some gyms personal training is a revenue stream, for others it is not because of the square footage and equipment, marketing, and expense invested in personal training. It in fact may not be a loss and a marketing expense similar to group fitness programs. The service is an amenity that brings people through the door where they become members in order to have access to those programs.

And now?

A more contemporary model is that personal training is the service, a membership is secondary. A membership is the continuity factor after a personal training or coaching transaction occurs. If you train with clients in person you then may have an app or an online membership full of videos and streaming workouts that they use between your sessions or after they’ve completed your sessions. You may offer nutrition support or educational resources within. In the Flipping 50 virtual membership I offer all of those. Members are invited to join after completing a program or coaching.

Whether you have a hybrid business or a 100% online fitness training business, digital programming is a key to your future success and financial freedom.

If you believe that by personal training one-on-one or even in pairs or small groups daily you’ll grow your revenue and relax into a flow of revenue easily, you’re wrong.

It’s Continuous

There will always be a need to launch. A launch is not announcing something for sale. It’s giving value again and again before you ask for the sale. At the start of a new program you have to go and get clients again. You will always need to be marketing to customers with education and value so that you stay fresh and current and support them. You won’t be able to continue the same programming without freshening up your offers. Consistence and persistence doing the right actions is what successful profitable businesses do.

Have You Heard of McDonald’s? Indulge me in telling this story

I watched the Ray Croc story the other night. I didn’t care for him very much and I realize that his persona could very much reinforce the negative impression so many people already have about successful business owners. Yet, rarely do people make judgments truly knowing someone. We make judgments based on knowing ourselves and the beliefs we acquired growing up.

At McDonald’s the success was built on systems. The “speedy system” changed everything and initiated “fast food.” The steps were written and clear and documented and repeated for a hamburger that was the same no matter what McDonald’s in the world you went to. To be successful your business has to be built on some kind of similar system.

Can you Systematize or Create a Single Method?

I know every client is different. You can still have a system for working with them. You build a smoothie the same way. Add greens, fruit, protein, fiber and fats, and a liquid every time. But they’re different every time. You have to consistently, persistently create a method or system that can be repeated again and again.

There are common denominators in your clients’ journey no matter if you’re working with athletes, pregnant women, or cancer patients – and anyone in between. If you repeat the same steps your most successful clients go through again and again you’ll find that you already have one. You just may not have stuck to it each time. Maybe you get bored or your client wants to jump in ahead and you cave.

You’ve Put a System to Work

When you know what works and you can relay that to customers, you’ll gain their respect and you will be distinctly different from any other trainer who is also certified, also passionate, also serves the same clients you do.

The question you need to ask and answer honestly is, knowing this are you willing to do that work? Do the work to discover your system. AND do the work daily to share that system with others.

The Daily Work

That means:

  • Making the daily phone calls to prospective clients
  • Making daily or weekly outreach calls to media
  • Making time to plan, create, and implement information products
  • Following up with value-added extras with clients between sessions

Even When No One Is Watching

Are you doing the right thing when no one else is watching? Like right now, no boss or employer is hovering over your shoulder. No one is going to ask you at that staff meeting on Monday what you did in the last 7 days. Are you still doing what you need to do? That’s the difference between fitness professionals that will succeed and those that are waiting and wishing for this to blow over and go back to the way things were.

It is never going to go back to the way it was before my friends.

You will decide if you want to be a part of the change in fitness and be there or if you wait for someone else to change it.

All of those things – those steps I mentioned above (phone calls, content planning and creating) collectively fill you now and fill you for the future.

Not taking action right now because you are scared is the wrong thing to do. Taking action – the right action – will put you in control of your future.

If You Don’t Want To

No is not a negative answer. In fact, it will save you a lot of heartache and frustration. If you would rather find a job where you can work as a trainer for an hourly rate and only want to serve clients, you know that now.

If You Do, Then What?

If you answered yes, then the most important thing you can do is determine what the steps really are and research them thoroughly before you go into action. Most personal trainers begin training, and think that just getting clients and “getting through this” is the best way to start. What often happens is they are still in that mode of getting through it a year or three or five later. It always feels unstable or if it doesn’t, it’s a bit of a myth, because someone else is learning more, creating another service or product that clients may get an itch to try something new if you’ve become complacent at all.

If you’re not connecting between sessions, or providing additional content and support, if you’re not 100% attentive and if you forget that this session is about the customer from start to end. If you forget that you have rapport with them not friendship with them, and you blur the lines of a professional relationship, you can’t forget that your client always has choices.

Your Personal Training Career is Built on Habits 

Right now, between sessions may be a long time. Anyone who is serving right now, without asking for money and making constant offers, will be serving a community who will remember it later. You aren’t getting paid. What are you though? Are you really passionate and educated with something to share?

How can you support your community now? What do they need? Can you cultivate relationships and resources if you don’t feel you have the knowledge or background to provide it yourself? Who is an expert who can speak to supplements? Who is a sleep expert? Who is an exercise and immune-boosting expert? You can either take the lead in interviewing or in providing directly. But sitting quietly and watching will not help your audience, nor will it help your business.

Right now make three choices:

  1. you want to do nothing or you’re going to take action
  2. you want to do it alone or you want to get support
  3. you want support from me right now. Book a call if you want to talk about coaching right now for the moment we’re in. By the time we’re done we will together decide if we are well-matched for working together and what your options are.

IF you are ready to take action in your business and grow it now and or be ready when more people do once again more freely invest in their health, then book a session with me to discuss your options.

I want you to fill out the questionnaire you’ll see a link to when you book and return it to me before our session.

personal training career

Use: certificate50 to get started now at special “covid19 times” extension. We will face a brighter future. Control what you can. You will be ready.

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