If you're jumping into this business right now and are looking to begin providing for yourself from the get-go, there's one key piece of advice I have for you, and please don't forget it: You need to treat the fitness industry like a real career.

If you take that to heart, you will stand apart from 90 percent of the rest of the industry and have the right mindset to achieve rapid success.

I see many trainers in the trap of treating fitness and training like a hobby. It's a natural mistake that people can make, because when you think about it, working out is something that we've always done as a hobby ourselves. The problem is that they bring the same relaxed demeanor to their job or fitness business. This is what prevents them from establishing themselves as real professionals, having a real fitness business, and stepping up to the big leagues.

Here is a checklist of things to watch out for to make sure you don't fall into these traps. If you execute on each of these points, you'll almost certainly and immediately jump into the top 10% of earners in the fitness business!

Look the part
I really wish we lived in a world where we were judged on our knowledge, our intentions, or our actual ability, but we aren't. We're judged, for the most part, on our appearance and demeanor. So when you're training as a profession, make sure you look the part. You should wear a good, clean, matching athletic uniform that's different from what you normally work out in. It should look new, and it should make you immediately stand out in the mind of your clients as one of the top people in this business. Your sneakers should be new, and your clothing should fit well. Your purpose should be to send the message that you're a real professional.

Treat fitness like a real business
Like I mentioned, a lot of trainers treat fitness like a hobby. They don't pay attention to their earnings, expenses or profits. Even if you're an army of one right now, you need to still treat this like a real business. Keep careful track of your earnings, the money you spend, and the time your training- and non-training-related tasks take. You will also want to find yourself an assistant as soon as you possibly can. The sooner you view fitness as a real business for yourself, the sooner your focus will sharpen and you'll start to get real earnings from it.

Set serious goals
Part of treating training like a real business is setting real goals. You need to create a vision of what you want your business to look like. Do you want to own a bootcamp or training studio? How many clients do you want? What will be your training style? How much do you want to make? Without asking yourself these questions, you'll never find the answers to make them a reality.

Find a workable business model
Training a roster of clients for high rates by yourself is a great start, but can't last as an ongoing business model. There's only so many hours a day you can train, and only so much you can charge. If you want real growth, start thinking about your business model right now. Will you run a bootcamp, where up to a certain level, more clients don't cost you overhead? Will you develop or execute a unique style of training that can be administered by other trainers? Will you open a facility that offers multiple kinds of fitness services? Whatever your choice, you must think through and research your business model to make sure it's workable and something you're going to enjoy operating.

Invest in yourself and your career
Now that you've declared yourself a real professional in this business, the most amazing journey of your life has just begun. Now it's your job to educate yourself on the business, network, and expand your horizons. Considering yourself a real professional is one of the most liberating feelings out there, because from here on out everything new you learn and you're able to implement will lead to a better life for you. You almost can't learn and implement fast enough!

Kaiser Serajuddin is a 10-year veteran in the fitness industry. His latest fitness business, Better Body Bootcamp, has two locations in the Queens and Long Island areas of New York and generates over $40,000 per month each. He is a long-time contributor to PFP, a former consultant to upstart trainers, and has personally helped hundreds of trainers start and grow their fitness careers.


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