When Mark Parker took over as CEO of Nike, he received a call from Steve Jobs to congratulate and offer him some advice.

Jobs said: "Nike makes some of the best products in the world. Products you lust after. Products that are beautiful and stunning... but you also make a lot of crap."

Parker waited for a laugh, but there was only silence.

Jobs went on: "Just get rid of the crappy stuff and focus on the good stuff."

Parker said that Jobs was absolutely right and soon made it his priority as CEO to edit.

Nike is an idea factory. They have so many ideas that Parker had to 'edit' when it came to making business decisions. In Parker's mind, to 'edit' meant to focus. And we're not talking about focusing on saying yes to everything.


Editing (focusing) means to say 'no' to the hundred other good ideas in return to saying 'yes' to the best.

And that's the key to innovation in your career as well - saying no to thousands of ideas (new programs, equipment, methods, classes, etc) in place of narrowing your focus down to THE one.

The communities we serve demand simplicity because they are confused.

As an industry, we've built complexity into living a fit and healthy life. In place of mastering the basics (manage stress, sleep more, eat cleaner, train less) we throw passing fabs into the weekly mix.

Simplicity requires you to edit anything that clutters your clients' experience.

Regardless if you're a trainer, manager or owner (current or future) of a facility, ask yourself these questions:

1. If an outside company bought our facility today and made changes immediately to edit clutter, where's the first place they would start? Why? And why haven't we done the same?

2. What clutter have we fallen in love with that's no longer as effective as it used to be?

3. Where can we edit in our _______? (programming, front entrance, training floor, group ex rooms, locker rooms, wall space, bulletin boards, healthy cafe')

4. If you could only train your clients for 30 minutes, what would you take out of your programs and what would you keep? Why?

5. If we could remove three pieces of equipment to de-clutter and open up more space to make a visually more appealing and more inviting facility, what would they be? Why?

These questions of editing are meant to provoke, irritate and force you to address things that would be easier just to ignore. You might be dissatisfied with your answers, but dissatisfaction is merely a symptom of ambition.

And ambition takes courage to be vulnerable enough to change (edit):

- Admit there's a better way than the outdated vision we might be married to.
- Freshen up your facility by taking things away and letting light in.
- Explore rearranging your current layout by asking "What if...?"
- Host a purge Spring Cleaning event to edit and donate on a quarterly basis.

To redefine the business of personal training, we simply need to say 'no' more often than 'yes.'