June 23, 2017
I have been meaning to do an article like this for a while now.
This is my first time in a while that I am doing my own piece for my own blog and staying away from my column with The42
Working in the fitness industry was a career I always wanted to be around.It was destined to happen being from such a sporty family.Looking in from the outside with little to no experience it looked to be a dream career where you can train people for a living and actually get to do something you might actually really enjoy.For most looking in it seems easy,perhaps a dream job and a job where you can make money quite easily-sadly this is where some people get drawn into this industry.Perhaps looking it may seem the best career choice for most but sometimes looking in from the outside might not be the same from when you get inside.Over the last 6 months I see young trainers being told how easy this industry is to get clients and have a successful business.I was one of them guys too starting out.From weekend trainer courses,mentoring programs, inner circles,sales funnel routes to special sales formulas to get business in the door.
We are now at a time where the industry is flooded with trainers and I predict this number to be halved in 5 years when a lot of these hopefuls see what the real side of it is all about.The last number of months I have been having young trainers following my work and aspiring future trainers too so I guess I want to do this piece to help you out.I am not saying that my business model is perfect.I have failed a lot,gone through burnout,fatigue and stress many a time and by god the passion I walked in with when I first started has been tested at times.
I stepped into this industry almost 10 years ago starting from the very bottom as a junior lifeguard walking around a pool deck 35 hours a week.Looking back those times were hard and I gradually moved my way along ticking the boxes going through all roles in the gym.I am very happy I went through these positions as it really is one of the biggest learning curves for me.You just cant beat experience starting from the bottom and working your way up appreciating the process I guess.
I am now out by myself and Davidlastfitness is now a officially a business 2 years at the end of June 2017.Here is everything I would like to share with you over these last few years that they might not tell you on your course or before you get into this industry and I hope you might pull a nugget or two from this which can help you develop more.
Start from the bottom
Like I said above,I started out as a junior lifeguard.The long term goal was to be working for myself working as a PT or running my own fitness business but you to need to start at the very bottom to appreciate it more and pick up all the vital info along the way.I see many people wanting to go into the deep end straight away and sadly that might not just work out for you.Start with family and friends as clients.Work with them for free.Build up your confidence and knowledge with these people and make many mistakes along the way learning from them.Find that 1 client that might just be able to get your business to the next level.Go do those social media ads,the click bait adverts,those inner circle meet ups or even that weekend course but it may not work.-it never really has for me too much.What will work is trial and error,getting to work every day and learning from your experiences and failures.The best thing for me is referrals and retention.You will be surprised what word of mouth can do for your business
Pull the trigger
There is never going to be a perfect time.Your never going to be ready and you never will be the finished article.You can watch all the motivational videos you want on youtube but the difference is you actually have to do something about it-DO THE WORK.A lot of people can say they want to do something but not everybody will do something about it because of this or that obstacle.The home shed where I first started out with my baby steps as a business may have looked a laughing stock of a "gym" but I knew I had to just start somewhere and build from there.You don't need the perfect set up,the business card or the website.You don't need too much money nowadays to get started.Some passion,belief and consistent hard work at your craft with a small space,limited equipment while making use of the internet-blogging,writing,social media etc.
Go through some madness and learn from it
Looking back the shed days were crazy but a madness I learned from every single day.Be willing to do crazy things and accept them.Work hard early into late for buttons to get the ball rolling.I remember working for pretty much free in the shed days taking my first client at 6am and finishing up with the last clients at 11pm some nights.It was crazy looking back but its what you should go through in the early days.Going through nights with limited sleep,days living off coffee and some weeks of going through burnout and fatigue but I got through it.I still go through moments here and its all part of working for yourself-accept it.We really had no equipment or space but we made it work and I learned a hell of a lot during my time here.
Take almost every opportunity that comes your way
This will more than likely take you out of your comfort zone.I am a big believer of getting comfortable with the uncomfortable.I have taken on tones of things that I really didn't want to do at the start particularly putting myself out in the public.From working with corporate companies,doing public speaking,writing a weekly column for The 42/journal to speaking live on the radio all was quite daunting for me at the start and my first initial reaction was to back down and say no to them all but looking back I am glad I have pretty much taken any chance that has come my way and made it into a positive developing experience.
Prepare yourself for a roller coaster
Its not a easy journey and who ever says it is a easy career choice there lieing. Any job is hard and if you are out working for yourself in any industry it really is going to be a challenge-a rewarding challenge somewhere down the line once the work has been put in.Sure it might be sold to you as a dream career and one where you can make a nice living out of.The truth is you need to be willing to be pretty much always on,willing to do 5am starts to 10pm finishes on a gym floor and working with different individuals throughout the day giving all your caring attention in every session.There will be days you have no clients and there will be days you have plenty.There will be months where the business bank account is a little low and days where the account is a little higher.Trust me its a rollercoaster that will test you mentally more than anything.My advice here is surround yourself with people in a similar position. Go for coffee,meet up and bounce some ideas off one another,do some meditation and make time for yourself too.This will be good therapy for you.
I hope these 5 points have helped you out and you have enjoyed my journey and content to date.I know there are quite a number of young trainers and future trainers considering working in this industry following my work and I would love to help you out with a little more advise.This summer I am offering a free shadowing advice where you can come to my gym and get to know a little more on what I do and I have no doubt you might learn a thing or two.If you or you know a friend that maybe interested then you can send me a direct message here.