It is January and the gyms are flooded with new members wanting to get fit. Many will soon learn that doing it on their own is not enough and they need to hire someone to help them. Enter the personal trainer... YOU. Some of you reading this are veteran's, training for many years and in many different places. However, the vast majority of you are new (2 years or less) and are wondering how to survive in a crowded workforce.

According to CNN Money, the 10 year growth pattern for people in our profession is 24%. That is a dramatic uptick from the current 250,000 personal trainers currently working. So what is going to separate the new from the veteran and the great from the good. In my opinion, experience is key but that isn't the only defining characteristic that separates us, there are more. For all you new trainers, here is my Trainer Survival Guide for 2015:

Learn the Business

The fitness industry is full of people who do not understand how our business works. They either focus on sales or the focus solely on service. To succeed you need to learn both. More importantly you need to understand people and how they will respond to the service you provide. If you do not understand people, you will not understand business. Get to know your demographic, know what makes them happy and know what they need to be a success. Master those skills and you will succeed regardless of your experience level.

Read Leadership Books

Our love for the science is often what gets us into the game. However, there are other components that are just as important and that is learning how to lead your clients. Once you get a client you want to keep that client for as long as you can. Leadership is what we do. We lead in the community, we lead our clients and in some cases we lead other trainers. Learning how to do this effective will carry your career to another level. John Maxwell is a favorite author of mine and his library of books will hep you dramatically.
Show Your Passion

Trainers get a bad wrap for being lazy and sloppy. In most cases this could not be further from the truth. We are passionate about what we do and we make a difference. However, we tend to not be able to show it. The moment you walk into your gym you are on stage; act, dress and perform accordingly. No sitting down during a session. Be attentive to your clients needs. Be clean cut with what you wear. You want to be taken seriously not to be compared with just another trainer. Define the role.

Find a Role Model

This industry is full of "gurus" and people who are suppose to be experts. Be careful with whom you invest your time and money in. My suggestion is to find the best busiest and/or best trainer in your gym or city. Ask to interview them and see what teaching tools they have to offer you and maybe any advice they can give. It is always helpful to know people who you can bounce ideas off of and can help you out when you need it most.

To survive in this profession takes a monumental effort and you must have drive and passion. Most won't put the time in to be great. Follow the above four suggestions and you are well on your way to being the best you can be.