While doing some research for a project I ran across an article that defined and showed the difference between excellence and success. I, like most, have used the two terms interchangeably but there is a distinct difference between the meanings in each. In a fitness industry, where everyone is trying to get ahead and looking to the left and right of each other to see what everyone is doing, we often lose sight of original ideas. Whether it be CrossFit, low cost gym memberships or HIIT workouts, everyone in the industry is on a quest improve profits. But at what cost? Are striving for excellence or success?

In the article I was reading, the author began to explain the differences between success and excellence. Success is comparing one's self to another person. For example, comparing your business with another fitness business down the street. We have all fallen into this before. The grass is always greener on the other side. We want what others have. Inversely, excellence is different and more personal. Excellence is about comparing one's self with one’s self. Are we better today than we were yesterday or the day before? Excellence is internal and personal.

So what would we rather have? The comparison to the business down the street that brings in x amount of revenue every month that we have no idea what the inner workings of are or comparing ourselves to ourselves? The long term answer is the the quest for excellence and personal mastery. We have more control over ourselves and our own businesses, we have no idea what goes on down the road. So here are a few steps to take to strive for excellence:

1. 10,000 hour rule - It is said that it takes 10,000 hours to master any skill. Personal training is no different. We must strive to keep our skills sharp and evolving constantly pushing ourselves to better our service and results. The more we do it the best we will become.

2. Mind your business - as hard as it is to say, do not concern yourself, other than to learn from, what people are doing down the street. Their business is different than yours and no two businesses are run exactly the same. You have no control over what, how or why they do things. Focus on yourself.

3. Focus on the fundamentals - The small things matter. Details can kill you and your business if not looked at. Keep a keen eye on the details in your business. Make sure your facility is clean, equipment is working properly and everyone looks presentable.

The quest for excellence over success is a big deal for us in the fitness industry. All too often people enter into our craft just to make money without thinking about the joys that our service provides to so many people. Strive for excellence and be the best you can be. Do not worry about your competition or who is doing what. Focus on getting 1% better every day.