July 2 2017 11:03 AM

As a business consultant for fitness professionals, I love the question, "What's next?" It drives professionals to seek advice, consider their options and plan for the future. The root of this question is about professionals seeking continual growth. But, when asked the question, you might be surprised of my typical response. To help someone find the answer, I don't start with a deep analysis of what they are currently doing or with consideration of their specialty. Instead, I turn back and ask the question, "Why now?"

“Why now?” is the perfect question to get to the root cause of the desire for change. It compels a professional to stop and carefully consider what they want; this becomes an important part of charting the course for the next waypoint. Are you bored? Do you need more money? These two reasons might not necessitate significant changes, but rather require you to revisit what you're currently doing and how you're doing it with new skills, products or offerings. If what you’re looking for is a bigger platform to do your best work, this is usually the best reason for jumping in and taking greater risk.

Once you take that risk, taking advantage of bold new opportunities then requires a plan. To get where you've never been, you must do what you've never done. Finding a new level of productivity to work the plan and take steps toward your goal is challenging. Aligning your purpose with your passion is the only way to make it happen.

Passion can get you started ("I love helping people," or "I thrive on seeing people change their lives"). When you are excited by your work, it's natural to evaluate ways to do more of that work and in a bigger way. However, you must begin by knowing who you were put on this earth to serve and the number one benefit you provide. Then, evaluate opportunities that exist and ensure they will help you help your ideal audience with that benefit you give them.

If you don’t clearly define who you serve and specifically what you provide them, you may end up pursuing opportunities that appear hot right now. Not everyone needs to open a studio; not everyone needs to go virtual; not everyone needs their own YouTube Channel. Don't play "follow the leader;" try to find your own way to offer what you do best to those who need it.

So, what's next for you? Ask yourself, “Why now?” and you might start to uncover the best path forward.

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