Trainers are incredibly busy, so it's easy to fall into the trap of taking every possible client. This seems great to make a little more money in the short-term, but we end up sacrificing professional and business development that would help make our business more sustainable long-term. We can end up working in our business, rather than on it. It's foolish.
You can't grow your business if you lack priorities and focus.
According to the researchers at PayScale.com, the average trainer pulls in an average of $39,000 annually. This is after working a split shift that ranges from 5:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. The combination of long hours and low pay is the primary reason most trainers leave the industry, despite their passion.
I get it. I was there, too.
And then I started doing what I told my own clients to do: focus on the realistic daily actions that help build their ultimate body. As trainers, we preach consistency and smaller, habit-driven actions for our clients and to others. To help our clients adopt healthy behaviors to transform their lives, we tell them to focus on the daily actions that help them toward their goals. And to become better coaches and make more money, we need to practice what we preach. We, too, must go through every day with consistent and focused action.
I took my own advice and focused on daily improvements to build my own business. I've since distilled these daily improvements into five things you can do every day, too, to elevate yourself and your business.
Do these five things every day to build your business.
1. Read for an hour.
According to business expert Brian Tracy, "If you read one book per month, that will put you into the top 1% of income earners in our society. But if you read one book per week, 50 books per year, that will make you one of the best educated, smartest, most capable, and highest paid people in your field. Regular reading will transform your life completely."
And I agree. Every mentor and coach that's helped me elevate my business has set aside at least an hour per day for reading.
Check out: The PTDC's Recommended Book List
When you're building a business, you don't need to reinvent the wheel. Chances are, if you have a question, it's been answered in a book. Start small and carry a paperback or ebook everywhere you go and read your book instead of checking your phone. Pick up audiobooks and listen to them during your training or your commute.
Whatever you do, you're constantly learning from experts and are improving your knowledge.
2. Create for one hour per day.
You can create content in many forms, such as podcasts, videos, and written content. Find a medium that fits your skill set, create content that solves your clients problems, and share it with them. Even if you don't know how to write articles, make videos, or record podcasts, there are resources to learn, such as this one on how to get published.
Obviously, I prefer writing. All of my writing started with finding my clients' problems, organizing my thought process to solve their problems, and presenting it in the most simple, digestible way possible. That's all content is--whether it's video, audio, or written. If you want ideas on what to write or talk about, talk to your own clients. Chances are, they're the first people who will read, watch, or listen to you, and if it solves their problem, they'll probably share it, too.
Define the problem, find the solution, and present it to your audience so they can take action.
3. Perform one act of gratitude every day.
Despite what someone may say, no one becomes successful on his own. We've all had teachers, coaches, and authorities who've paved the way for our success. Whether it's another blogger you've followed for years, the head trainer at your gym, or a college professor, reach out to anyone who has made an impact on your life and say, "Thank you."
Simple acts of gratitude, such as a "thank you" message on Facebook, a personal letter, or shout out, go a long way toward building stronger relationships. And remember, these relationships form the basis of a strong network.
If you're having trouble finding something to be thankful for, take a look at what you're doing right this instant. If you're reading this article on a phone or computer (thank you, by the way!), you're fortunate enough to be in a privileged position to be able to do so. You can also start by thanking your parents and your clients, then expand from there.
We're in an industry of changing lives. Chances are, many people have helped you get here. Find one way to say thank you along the way.
4. Reflect on your sessions and answer one question.
It's easy to gaze into the future, but struggle with reflecting on the past. Yet, past actions are one of the greatest indicators of future success. If we're not actively reflecting on what we do, then how can we expect to get better?
So take five minutes each day before you head home to reflect on your work day. A good practice is asking these three questions in a journal or something similar:
- What went well?
- What went wrong?
- What problems can you solve better?
It's easy to charge straight through the day, wearing your "busyness" as a badge of honor, rather than reflecting on areas for improvement. Sit back and take a serious look at where you are and where you can grow from each day.
Our experiences speak volumes, but it's up to us to listen to them and consistently improve on them each day.
5. Meditate or "do nothing" for 10 minutes.
Most trainers are Type A, driven, and task-oriented folks. Coupled by the fact that fitness marketing consumes your social media feeds, TV, and all other forms of media, it's tough to get a break from work.
We may tell our clients to relax and find a way to decompress, but we seem to forget that advice for ourselves.
Meditation is one of the best ways to separate work from life.
A study in Alternative Health Medicine found that practicing meditation reduced psychological stress responses and improved cognitive functions. Further, the effects of meditation become more effective with regular practice.
As a trainer always looking to improve, I have found meditation to be the most important habit for reducing stress and improving my work-life balance. Without a clear mind and a notion of separating work and play, you won't last in the industry. Meditation is a habit, just like anything else, so as little as 10 minutes can be helpful. Apps like Headspace is the simplest strategy you can take to decompress, de-stress, and unwind after a long day.
Take action now.
We already know that the key to adopting any new action as a habit is starting small, picking one task at a time, and taking action daily.
Just as a client would be hard-pressed to go from zero exercise to training five days per week or from eating McDonald's daily to tracking nutrition regularly, you also need to start with only one of the tasks in this post and take action today, every day. Do it for two weeks, then add another.
"We are what we repeatedly do; excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." "”Aristotle
More related articles to help you become a better personal trainer:
- 3 Monetization Strategies for Earning More Money by Eddie Lester
- How to Start a Fitness Blog: A Blueprint On How to Make Money Blogging by Jonathan Goodman
- 4 Ways to Improve Your Fitness Brand and Eliminate the Competition by Cassandra Damiris