As we approach the end of the year, it is common to lookback and come up with Top 10 Lists and Best of Lists etc...

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I thought that I would puttogether a list of my Top 10 bits of fitness business advice and wisdom thathave had an impact on my livelihood over the years (...even though Thanksgivingwas in October here in Canada!) as thanks to the people that gave me theadvice.

In no particular order, here are my Top 10:

  • From my dad, Ernst Schramayr (Former company president): Don't force things. If something isn't working, take a step back, examine it and figure out how to make it work.

  • From my mom, Isolde Schramayr: You CAN... and you WILL. Before it is reality, believe it to be reality. The power of positive thinking goes a long, long way.

  • From Sean Rosen (Hamilton business consultant): Always ask yourself this question when confronted with a situation that might have a negative consequences: "What possible good can come from this?" If the answer is "none," then don't do it.

  • From Phil Kaplan (Personal Training/ Fitness Educator): Create your ideal schedule and then demand respect for your time. If YOU don't respect your time, nobody will and you will be a slave to your clients.

  • Juan Carlos Santana (Personal Trainer/ Fitness Educator): Educate yourself on the latest science of training, understand why things work the way that they do and then forget about science! Things we "know" today will be disproved down the road, just as there are things that we know work everyday in the gym that we cannot prove in a lab. Do not discount the validity of anecdotal evidence.

  • From Ernst Schramayr: Keep your pencils sharpened, keep your desk clean and use the right tools and lighting for your work. Never underestimate the impact that having the right environment has on the quality of your work.

  • From Sean Rosen: Never look at too small of a segment of your business. There are always going to be slow days, weeks or even months. Judge the health of your business by looking at nothing less than a quarter (12 weeks) at a time.

  • From Phil Kaplan: Charge what you are worth and demand that you are paid what you are worth. Real professionals do not work for free and are paid what they deserve to be paid. It should be no different for fitness pros.

  • From Ernst Schramayr: It's ALL about the numbers. This is why we are in business. If the numbers tell you that you are losing money, NOTHING else matters.

  • From Anthony Robbins (Motivational Speaker): You become what you focus on. You can develop the ability to focus on what you want, and not on the things that you don't want. We literally move in the direction of our focus.

As I read over my list, I realize that I could probably add10, 20 or 30 more bits of advice, but, the above 10 have been transformationalin the way that I look at my business and my everyday life since "turning pro."

Ernie Schramayr is an ACE-Certified Personal Trainer and the owner of All Canadian Fitness, a private training studio in Hamilton, Ontario (