Business Savvy

B Savvy – Lesson 1: Comfortably Uncomfortable

I’ve been an instructor for Personal Trainers, Strength Coaches, Neurokinetic Therapists and Life Coaches. Throughout my career many alumni have come to me after hitting the wall. It usually starts out, “Coach, do you have a moment? Can I buy you lunch?” Then, from what feels like a place of shame, they start out “I am making money, and happy with that, but…”

I know what’s coming before they even tell me.

They feel trapped.

They want to be able to leave, take a vacation, know they have a sound future, they want to buy a home or have a child…but they lack the confidence in where their business stands.

I began to realize that I needed to stop reading physiology books for the moment and turn my attention to the skillsets of the business savvy required to be successful in the industry. I needed my students and alumni moving forward to understand how to avoid being one of the comfortably uncomfortable…falling prey to the good month/bad month roller coaster that all service industry careers can experience.

We are not automatically taught the skills to avoid the roller coaster. The unfortunate truth is that you find out along the way.

We need to be better to ourselves.  We need to be better, so that we can sustain our practice and grow something amazing.  We need to be better, so that we can continue to establish positive relationships with our clients and athletes moving forward.  Those positive relationships will not last long when you internalize your practice, become bored or complacent, or start blaming clients for not showing up as the reason why you are not doing well this month.  We need to be self-interested so that we can be healthy and well, therefore truly be able to be selfless to others.  You need to take care of “number one” so you can be the best for everyone you work with.  If you can’t be the best for everyone, then you are not going to be very successful in the industry.  Eventually you will burn out, and this will not be a sustainable career.

The good news is that the Personal Training, Strength and Conditioning and Life Coaching fields are structured in a way that provides endless opportunity and scalability allowing you to create a career in which you feel free and not trapped. A field that is recession proof when you are proactive.  A field that supports you in keeping the tarnish off the shine you feel in helping others. We can prevent comfortably uncomfortable.  We just need to honor ourselves and be a little more business savvy.

Let’s do a little scheduling.  Say you WANT to work Monday through Thursday with a shorter Friday and a weekend in and out.  Maybe you choose something that looks like this:

You run Personal Training Sessions Monday through Friday and charge 50 dollars per hour. Saturdays consist of feeder boot camps that you use as a recruiting tool for your clients to bring friends. Let’s say you are smart and give yourself at least five weeks off per year–this leaves 47 weeks per year to train.  We all need a rest!  Remember, if you burn out you are no good to anyone.  You must take care of yourself to be selfless helping others.

Calculating our potential, we have 34 PT slots per week at 47 weeks which gives us 1,598 sessions in that year; at $50 per PT session your potential gross income is $79,900. You can look at the 2-hour boot camp slots per week as gravy.  Call it date money.  Maybe you charge $5 to partake and free if you bring a friend. Remember, this is primarily a recruiting tool to begin with.

If I asked people in the training industry how $79,900/year sounds, having 5 weeks off, working a half day on Friday, a morning wake-me-up on Saturday, and every Sunday off, most would sign up immediately!  Many take one look at this chart and the earning’s potential and jump in the game.  This is where we could end up making some business mistakes that will make our lives comfortably uncomfortable.

REFLECTION #1:  Think through your lifestyle, goals, cost of living, needs for you to be happy and feel financially stable.  Come up with the number you need to bring in net after taxes and overhead each month.  Write that number down.  Now let’s get to work! (Click below for a printable PDF worksheet.)

Click Here For REFLECTION #1 Worksheet

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