Don’t try to compete with Goliath
There’ll always be someone bigger than you! That applies equally to your personal training business, but the good news is – it doesn’t matter; there’s enough business there for you if you pitch it right.
Let the Goliaths of the fitness business go stomping about their merry way; we prefer the David approach, picking off the opportunities as we go. Here’s why:
1. The Demand Is Already There
Presumably you’ve identified what you do best and have already started to build a market for your talents and skills in your niche.
The demand is there so don’t turn your back on it or take your eye off the ball just because Goliath down the road is doing something different; you can’t compete with him; focus on feeding the “starving crowd” with high quality performance and information and over-delivery of services, because that feeds you; it grows your business and generates the much-needed cash-flow, which all businesses need in order to thrive, especially when starting out.
2. Goliath Fishes With A Trawler in the Ocean; David Fishes With a Spear in a Bucket
If you only have a spear with which to fish it doesn’t make sense to compete with trawlers in the ocean does it? You’re much more likely to catch a fish by using your spear in a bucket that’s swarming with fish; even though there are far more fish in the ocean and you see Goliath out there every day catching boat-loads, you don’t have the resources to compete on that scale.
Such is the case with your personal training and coaching business.
3. The GP and the Specialist
Becoming a leading light in your area is much easier if that area is smaller and more specialised.
Take the example of the GP and the specialist doctor; the latter commands higher fees by focusing on one or two areas that he or she excels in, rather then being the jack of all trades and master of none.
With the areas of personal training, mentoring and coaching, you should not try to be everything to everyone in an effort to grow profits; know what you’re good at, develop ways of expanding your products and services based upon your skills, over-deliver to clients, market yourself smartly and constantly and grow your business that way, built on strong, lasting relationships with your customers.
That’s not to say don’t keep improving your skill-set and learning new things, but your business will benefit by focusing efforts on a highly targeted database of contacts; you can build this by offering op- ins on your web site for a free report or video, in exchange for them leaving their email address.
Growing your reputation amongst this targeted crowd will yield dividends in the long run.
If you have any observations or experiences with your own personal training business carving a niche out in your local area, then please feel free to share your comments below!
You cannot hide from you!
Think about that for a second – no matter where you go, there you are!
This simple truth is often missed by many fitness professionals – who seem to think part of their fitness regime is to endlessly run away from their problems!
That’s like trying to hide from yourself and we all know how successful you’ll be with that venture! Unchecked problems have a nasty habit of catching you up and overtaking you.
The reverse mindset is one for success; we always teach our personal trainers to take personal responsibility for their actions, face problems head on without fear or procrastination and to be accountable.
What You Resist Will Persist
This mantra can be applied to many walks of life, physically, emotionally and mentally. Physically when we resist something we are creating an energy that can intensify the very pain we are trying to avoid.
Mentally and emotionally, when we resist something it can result in the very characteristics that intensify our fears and make our problems worse: impatience, stubbornness, anger, guilt, shame, arrogance, procrastination.
These universally negative characteristics impact our state of mind and can create energetic stresses that affect our physical body long after we stop feeling the emotion– negative energy can be stored by the body and can manifest itself in sickness or disease.
We need to get into the habit of not resisting but facing up to our problems, fears and feelings; we will see big improvements in our life once we learn to recognise problems, deal with them and then let them go, rather than being fearful of them, dwelling on them, resisting them and creating all the negative energy that goes along with this.
Once we learn to let go like this, tackling our problems becomes much more natural to us, because we identify them as only temporary states rather than permanent obstacles.
This makes us more accountable for our actions, starts to free us up to focus more on our long-term goals without the constant niggles in the backs of our mind that preoccupy our time and energy.
This mindset also allows us to break our goals down into actionable steps – which makes us far more likely to actually achieve them.
Avoidance of Avoidance
A key part of accountability is not to avoid doing what needs to be done; too many of us will make excuses (to ourselves!) why we didn’t do something rather than being accountable and getting it done.
Again we are trying to hide from ourselves here and it will come back to bite us in the shape of guilt or shame. This is our conscience reminding ourselves what we should have done and it creates negative energy again; other people may instead blame others and take on the “victim mentality”
Avoiding the “Victim” Mentality
I’m sure you’ve met people who think the world is against them. These are classic cases of avoiding accountability for actions. They are the opposite of what we are trying to achieve – someone with this mindset will be angry towards others and will never achieve the life they want; they take the easy path of blaming others for their woes.
We have actually touched on several interconnected subjects here – acceptance of oneself, personal responsibility and accountability, facing problems without fear and achieving our goals.
It all starts with each fitness professional having the courage to create a mindset of being accountable for his or her actions; this will help you tackle all the hurdles in your personal and business lives and will see you flourish.
After all, the buck always stops with you and it’s your face that always looks back at you when you look in the mirror!
Priority management - get the big rocks in the jar first!
If you are a fitness professional who regularly spends your days running around – busy, busy, busy – feeling like you’re getting somewhere, only for the truth to hit you at the end of the day that you are no further ahead, try introducing some priority management into your daily diet!
Here we look at how procrastinating over the major things and mis-prioritising the minor things can be two of the most harmful and limiting things you do for you and your business.
One of the main reasons for not achieving our potential is delaying doing what we need to do to get there.
Why would we possibly do that?
Because of fear; because inaction is easier than action most of the time; because we think we don’t have time; because we spend time doing what we want to do rather than what we need to do; or because we are not recognising the importance of the action to our life … we have not managed our priorities well enough.
Some of the side-effects of procrastination include:
- Stress – things that need to be done, but are delayed, sit inside us like a dark energy that hangs over our every mood. Remove this energy and we will feel less stressed.
- Poor focus and concentration – if we are constantly thinking about something that needs doing then how can we concentrate on what we are doing now?
- Lack of Satisfaction – when we know we should have done something but have put it off, it eats away at us and we don’t feel satisfied. Compare this with the feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction we feel by doing something we know has value and benefit.
Often you will find the fear building the longer you procrastinate; then when you get round to doing the thing you should have done last month you ask yourself why you didn’t do it before; it wasn’t that bad!
As soon as we prioritise what we need to do and realise that there is more fear and pain associated with the actual procrastination than with the task or action we need to be doing, then all the reasons to delay disappear.
Priority management helps you major in the major things!
To use Steven Covey’s analogy of putting rocks in the bottle – we select all the big rocks first and get them into the bottle, because all the smaller rocks can be added afterwards and will fill up the space around the big rocks; if we do it the other way around, we don’t have space for the big rocks – and that’s what leads to unproductive days and a feeling that we are running round in circles.
What are the big rocks in your life and your business? Work that out and you are already on the road to managing your time better.
Combine this with the realisation that delaying putting the big rocks in the bottle will only cause more stress and dissatisfaction in your life, and you are in a really powerful position to move forward.
In fact, when people start prioritising and making space in their days for all the important stuff, the smaller stuff is often seen as unnecessary; more large priorities are created, so you get to the situation where more of your actions are working on the important areas – this is where you really start to take off and fulfill your potential; productivity improves in all areas of life and business.
Don’t forget that your priorities remain fluid and can be changed; regularly re-assessing what areas need to be worked on will keep driving you on to better things.
Remember, priority management is not about replacing the things you like doing with what you should be doing; it’s about you recognising and taking pleasure in the most important things in your life, breaking your longer-term goals down into action steps to help you get there and bringing you a heightened sense of achievement, fulfillment and happiness.
Share some of your procrastination and priority management experiences with us below – good and bad – come on, don’t delay!
Jobs - Apply his lessons to your PT Business
There are lessons for all personal trainers, coaches and mentors in the sad recent passing of Apple founder Steve Jobs.
In fact there are aspects of his life that every person on the planet can learn from; but he wouldn’t want you to believe what I say or what anybody else says – he was all about thinking for yourself and using your own brainpower to come up with your own conclusions.
Here I highlight a few things that Steve Jobs means to me, anyway.
Steve Jobs set out to change the world through his innovations and few would argue that he didn’t achieve that. He aimed BIG and achieved BIG.
What allowed him to achieve his vision was a rare combination of technology, sales and marketing, management and design skills all coming together in perfect co-ordination under one company roof.
But the point is that you have to have the vision in the first place.
He liked to keep his eyes fixed beyond the horizon, rather than just on what was happening around him and he had an uncanny knack of being able to see what demand would arise and creating and shaping products to meet that demand earlier and better than most of the others.
Commitment and Focus
It is clear that Steve Jobs was an unabashed self-publicist – it was his way of getting noticed and making sure he got what he want. Whilst this can back-fire for some people, for Jobs it became an important virtue that kept him and his company in the limelight, aided by some captivating presentation and marketing skills.
But what you don’t see on the stage at the Apple launch is the doggedness and perseverance it took to get there; the hours, days, week, months and years of hard work that went into creating the little tablet or iPhone 4S before your eyes.
Steve Jobs and his team weren’t just lucky and struck gold – they made it happen.
Even when the “Big C” word was thrown at him, he used his illness to drive him on; he remarked how once you have been diagnosed with cancer, there is no fear that can take hold of you because you are already naked to your own mortality.
Fear is the greatest reason people don’t fulfill their potential and Jobs decided very early on that he would not be subject to it; he knew how fear can play out – preventing people from taking risks, from pushing boundaries, from challenging, from pioneering new frontiers; real innovators and visionaries often have to “fly by the seat of their pants” with no safety net underneath; there is no Plan B often times! But they conquer the fear and forge ahead.
The lesson for us is obvious – play safe, tread water and “go with the flow” or meet the fear head on and become master of it, rather than letting it master you; take calculated risks, go against the grain, challenge and test, create something new, go forward fearlessly and with purpose.
As personal trainers and professional coaches think of all the “take aways” from this mindset; how it can empower us; how that empowerment can be passed on to our clients.
If Steve Jobs is looking down he may ask you personal trainers and professional coaches some questions, like:
What’s your vision?
How are you going to shape your business to meet a future demand?
How are you going to conquer your fear to make your vision a reality?
These are all poignant questions if you want to change the world and create a legacy that people will remember for decades and centuries to come. What’s your personal training legacy going to be?