All too often we spend our time on day-to-day tasks or working on the tactical level of our business yet fail to spend time taking a step back and getting clear about what we really want from our business. I used to think that ‘getting clear’ meant determining how many clients you wanted, how much revenue you planned to generate, or even how much income you would personally make. These can be part of it, but it is not the complete answer.

What does success look like to you? Do you know? Are you clear on what your ideal business looks like?

What do you want your life to look like? What is your professional mission?

What you must get clear on is what success looks like to you and what is your ideal business? A subtle, but important distinction.

You might think on the surface it is to make some money or own a fancy training facility. Often, we trick ourselves into thinking that we’re in this industry simply to make an okay-living by training clients. But the reality is you want something more specific, whether you have sat down and deliberately figured it out or not.

Here is a strategy to help you determine what success and your ideal business looks like for you. There are two phases to getting clear on your vision:

Phase I: Determine your mission and ideal business

Here are some questions that might help you do this

• What will you sacrifice to make it your reality?

• What is truly important to you personally and professionally?

• What is the outcome you are dedicated to?

For example, I’m willing to travel away from my family more than I’d ideally like to, in order to reach more fitness entrepreneurs or to learn better ways to serve them. Being able to help the clients you want to help and having income, security and enough freedom to go on vacation or coach your kid’s Little League team shouldn’t be mutually exclusive.

People are going to doubt you. They’re going to try to kill your dreams. You’re going to try things and they won’t succeed like you plan. What will keep you going? The answer must be your mission and all that it yields. When you’re clear on where you’re going, other aspects of your life and work often fall into place automatically.

Phase II: Clarify why your mission is important to you

To clarify your mission and what your ideal business looks like, it’s important to understand your ”why.” The clarity that you have when you discover where you want to go and the “why” behind it will give you the conviction and the drive to do all that is necessary to achieve it and set yourself up for lasting success.

Fitness professionals often settle for less than they are capable… less than they deserve. They get up early every day; hustle into the gym; help dozens, even hundreds of other people reach their goals and enjoy a better, healthier, more fulfilling life. Most do this while barely making ends meet; sacrificing time with their family; failing to save money for the future; accepting that a large percentage of the people they train will be people they don’t enjoy but do so simply because they must pay the bills.

Rarely – if ever – do they take a vacation or have time for their family or their own personal interests, creating a path to burnout and exhaustion. Their only solace is that they get to have their own training business, even if it doesn’t resemble what they originally set out to build.

It’s something that I’ve experienced from both sides – as the burned-out coach, putting in ridiculous hours for low pay and no retirement, and as the fitness entrepreneur who has a significant impact on the people I want to help while still enjoying a family-friendly lifestyle and an income that matches my impact on others.

Be assured that lasting business success takes a tremendous amount of work, but if you’re clear on where you’re going, more often than not it won’t feel like work at all. Focus on clarity of purpose, clarity of mission, and clarity of what success looks like to you and you’ll be excited about what you are doing. When you know what’s moving you toward your mission, you’ll clearly see the impact you’re having each and every day.