Most of us are walking contradictions. We pick and choose which areas of our lives we follow certain rules, while giving ourselves a pass in others. It doesn’t make us bad people, but it does highlight the challenge to stay true to our mission and values in all aspects of life.
Think about your clients who are extremely disciplined and committed to their work, but struggle with basic eating habits. Is losing weight really that complicated? Is it really this challenging mathematical equation only to be solved by the fitness elite? Of course, there are exceptions, but not really! For most people the path is easily defined, but difficult to follow.
Most of us have no problem identifying the habits and issues holding back other people but miss the boat when it comes to our own lives. If you feel like you’re spinning your wheels and not making progress on making more money and having more time, the answer is likely in the advice you give your clients.
A theory on coaching is that information is important, but implementation is everything. Ease of information access means you have to do far more than spew knowledge but find ways to make it actionable and relevant. It means creating the awareness, structure and accountability to keep them on track.
Personal and financial success in the fitness industry (or probably any industry) is really the same process and requires the same skills; it just looks a little bit different.
Just like weight loss, the equation to success in this industry isn't rocket science. It’s just challenging for most because it requires daily consistency and exploration of things that don't come as easy to many fitness professionals as working out and eating broccoli does.
We’re just like our clients because:
- 1) We don’t eat our broccoli. Everyone knows they need to eat veggies, but so few people do it. Success is not always sexy, and this is where most personal trainers struggle. There are plenty of things like following up with potential clients, writing emails, and creating content that most know are necessary to build a following. Yet, most still avoid doing it because it’s not fun or convenient. It’s natural to want to spend more time on what you’re good at, but that’s the funny thing about success. What got you to where you are now may not be what gets you to the next level. Further success requires new skills and a willingness to take on not just what you want to do, but what you need to do. Takeaway: Face the difficult tasks and make it happen. Be honest with yourself about what you have been avoiding. Do a comprehensive self-assessment and take action on at least one of those things every single day.
- 2) We struggle with consistency. Even when we do bite the bullet and finally eat our metaphorical broccoli, consistency is tough. Just like our clients, we tend to be extreme creatures and live on one end of the spectrum or the other. Just like clients, we go all-out for a full week and try to tackle everything at once and get de-motivated when we don’t see immediate change. Baby steps just don’t sound like they are enough to drive change, but they do. This is why long-term change is so hard. We actually have to keep doing it every single day. Most fitness pros do things sporadically. They get motivated, shoot a video, and then send out an email because they felt inspired in the moment. Then it’s crickets for the next month. Building a following of raving fans that want to refer business doesn’t happen on a whim, it happens from doing these kinds of things every week for years. Knowing that this is where most fall short, consistency should be your secret weapon. Takeaway: Don’t just trust that you will do it when it comes to mind. We all need systems to help keep us focused and on track when life distracts us, and when willpower is low. This means doing the things we know we need to most and not trying to tackle everything at once. Small incremental change that you can sustain is key. Even if you don’t feel like what you’re doing is perfect, just keep taking action. Those who consistently take action over the long haul are the ones who will thrive.
- 3. We need coaching. Why do your clients need you and how have you helped them succeed? We live in an age with more information on health and fitness than ever before, yet the world continues to become overweight and sedentary. The answers for weight loss (and business success) are out there, but they need a guide to help them navigate the course. Coaches can help us wade through all of the trends and strategies to better understand which way of doing things might work best for us. They don’t just motivate us with high fives but challenge us to believe that we are capable of more. They ask the right questions, so we don’t sell ourselves short. They serve as a beacon of what’s possible and keep us accountable, so we are eating our broccoli on a regular basis. As a fitness professional why would you not want that in your own life as well? Coaching is the key to leveling-up your success and getting out of your own way. Yet, so few personal trainers seek out coaches and mentors. Some of the most successful names in our industry have gotten where they are by learning from others and seeking out coaching and guidance from those who have walked the path. Takeaway: For insight, get yourself some kind of coach: a personal trainer, boxing instructor, or even a dance instructor. This alone will make you a better fitness professional. Then seek out a mentor or coach for your business. You might feel like you can’t afford these things but having skin in the game is the fastest way to force yourself into making progress.
The sign of someone on a collision course with success is the ability to recognize these inconsistencies in themselves and work to address them. The path to success starts with honest, inward evaluation before it can be translated into external consistent action.
Keeping in mind that deep down we aren’t that different from our clients will not only make you more empathetic to their struggles, but also help you clearly identify what you need to be doing personally to keep moving forward.