PFP Editor Lindsay Vastola asked several industry leaders to narrow down the top five strategies they believe have been instrumental in their success as fitness professionals. Here is what they had to say has helped them achieve continued success year after year...

Kelli Calabrese
Author, speaker, coach, Trainer of the Year, former editor of PFP Magazine

1. Have a mentor. A mentor should provide insider perspectives on navigating your career, giving you clearer understanding by exposing you to experienced perspectives as well as help you identify your skills and give you the foundation for a lasting professional network.

2. Have a plan. Take the time to work backwards from your goal to determine the resources including time, money, and people needed to achieve success. Document it and share it with people who you respect.

3. Work from a list. Each night, construct a list of the 10 most important and urgent tasks you need to achieve the next day. Put all other distracters off until the night when you can determine if they are worthy of your next day's list.

4. Sleep on all big decisions. What may seem like a good idea in the moment should be given more careful thought before making a commitment that may derail your goals, waste your resources and move you further from success.

5. Notice when things are not working. When things feel like an uphill battle, there's a good chance it’s not worth your efforts. It may be time to leave a struggling project behind to make room for something great.

Kelli Calabrese is a 25-year fitness industry veteran and has owned and operated health clubs, managed corporate fitness centers, worked closely with certifying agencies, was the lead fitness expert for eDiets, edited PFP magazine and is the fitness expert for Montel Williams. She is the international master trainer for Adventure Boot Camp, consultant with Isagenix and Founder of Beyond Organic. www.KelliCalabrese.com.


Stephen Cabral
Author, studio owner, consultant, 2011 PFP Trainer of the Year

1. Ask for new clients. This may seem obvious, but you really should let your fitness manager know you have openings in your schedule and would love to do complimentary consultations with new gym or studio members.

2. Ask for the list. Ask your gym or studio for new member phone numbers and emails to contact and welcome them to your club.

3. Ask your manager for the list of clients who used to do personal training, but have stopped. By contacting them and showing them you want to help them get back on track you can usually pick up at least a couple of clients, which would equate to another 4-6 sessions a week minimum.

4. No competition. Don't view the other trainers around you as competition. That creates a mindset of shortage where you believe there are only so many clients to go around. Your mindset is crucial in creating abundance in your life.

5. Look at the big picture. Realize that in order to successfully grow your business on a yearly basis you can't rely on just ONE thing. In order to increase your chances of success you should be attacking from all fronts -- this will allow you to win in the end, even if some of your tactics fail.

Stephen Cabral has consulted for MTV, Maxim, Men's Health, NutritionData, SELF, Women's Day, as well as dozens of others. He was named the PFP 2011 Trainer of the Year. He is also a fitness writer, author, studio owner, and the founder of Personal Training Business School. His free fitness business video series, proven strategies and tips can be found athttp://PersonalTrainingBusinessSchool.com.


Todd Durkin
Coach, motivator, consultant, studio owner, 2-Time Trainer of the Year

1. Surround yourself with great people. A coach once told me "If you want to be a great athlete, hang and train with great athletes; if you want to be a great trainer, hang with great trainers; if you want to be wealthy, spend time with wealthy people."

2. Work "ON" your business, not always "IN" your business. Do not confuse activity with achievement. You must be focused on the right types of activities that will lead you to where you want to go.

3. Master your craft. Immerse yourself in on-going learning about training, nutrition, performance, behavioral science and coaching principles. Be a lifelong learner.

4. Create WOW in your business and life. Consistently delivering WOW comes from a relentless dedication to customer service, doing the little things to make customers happy, and creating a culture that has magnetic positive energy that creates raving fans for life. As Walt Disney says, "Everything speaks."

5. Take care of YOU! One of my mantras for life is "Play with PASSION ... Live with PURPOSE ... and CREATE IMPACT" everyday. When you take care of YOU, you are guaranteed to be firing on all cylinders.

Todd Durkin, MA, CSCS, is an internationally recognized performance coach, personal trainer, massage therapist and author. He is the owner of Fitness Quest 10 in San Diego, head of the Under Armour Performance Training Council, consultant to Gatorade, and presenter for Perform Better. Todd also coaches trainers through his 3.5 Day Mentorships and Mastermind Coaching Group. Find out more: www.ToddDurkin.comwww.Facebook.com/ToddDurkinFQ10 or on Twitter at: www.Twitter.com/ToddDurkin


Shelby Murphy
Studio owner, weight loss coach, former PFP editor

1. Focus on what you do best. Don't try to train all types of people or perform every task in your business. Find your strength, stick to that, and find others to do the rest.

2. Use your time and tools purposefully. Email, Twitter and Facebook can be some of the biggest time-suckers, but are valuable for business when you maintain control. Schedule time to communicate with others rather than randomly checking and corresponding throughout the day.

3. Define success. Are you successful when you make a lot of money? When others admire you? When you've made a difference? When you have a healthy balance in your life? Define what success really means to you, rather than what others may think.

4. Set only one goal. A man who chases two rabbits catches none. Determine that for you, 2012 will be the year of ________. And then focus all of your energies on making that statement come true.

5. Recharge weekly. Schedule at least two hours every week where you can read, find inspiration, think big, reflect, and feel deeply grateful for what you have, what you have done, and what you will accomplish.

Shelby Murphy, former editor of PFP magazine, recognized the need of trainers to have a comprehensive tool to keep clients accountable to healthy eating. She created My Diet Angel, 7-day-a-week personal weight loss coaching via text messaging, to help your clients eat for weight loss so you look like a rock star trainer. Best of all, My Diet Angel pays trainers for referrals.www.mydietangel.com/affiliate.


Bedros Keuilian
Coach and mentor, fitness marketing expert, founder of the Fit Body Boot Camp franchise and Fitness Business Summit

1. Specialize your training business. Select a niche market and go narrow and deep.

2. Differentiate yourself. Become a category of one and eliminate competition.

3. Realize that you're in the service business. Exceed expectations; over deliver on value.

4. Don't wait for perfect, perfect never happens. Take imperfect action.

5. Work on the things that deliver the highest value and return on investment. Outsource the rest.

Bedros Keuilian coaches and mentors six- and seven- figure producing fitness trainers worldwide and is co-founder of Fit Body Boot Camp the largest and fastest growing fitness boot camp franchise. www.ptpower.com. Learn more about his upcoming Fitness Business Summit atwww.fitnessbusinesssummit.com.


Pat Rigsby
Coach, mentor, consultant, industry innovator

1. Break out of the fitness industry norms. The majority is almost always wrong and is always behind.

2. Small hinges swing big doors. A few small, but strategic changes like improving your closing percentage or adding an upsell at the point of sale can make big differences to the bottom line.

3. Tap into the hidden opportunities in your business. Three easy ones are upsells from your basic programs, downsells for people who don't buy, and reactivation of previous clients.

4. Improve the experience. If you want to set yourself apart from every other fitness provider in your market, focus your efforts on delivering an extraordinary experience to your clients and prospects.

5. You get paid for done. The only things that matter are the things you finish.

Pat Rigsby is the co-owner and CEO of Fitness Revolution Franchises, Athletic Revolution Franchises and the Fitness Consulting Group. You can get over 7 hours of free video business coaching from him at www.fitbusinessinsider.com.

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