Fitness professionals enter the business because of their passion for health, for helping others, or a combination of the two. Once you decide to become a fitness business owner, it’s a grind trying to find clients and building trust. Once you do build up a client base, there are seemingly endless days. Waking up at 4 AM and training clients until after dark, leaving you little time to work on your own fitness goals. Some months are crazy (hello January), and others are filled with cancellations. Some days your clients will proclaim how much stronger or fitter they feel thanks to you. Other days you’ll wonder if you are making any impact at all.
For most fitness professionals, every day is exhausting, hectic, but fulfilling. So how do you know if you’ve made it as a fitness business owner? Here are some telltale signs:
The first and obvious sign is financial security. Any business owner knows that working for yourself is a massive financial risk. If you lose one client that you train with four times a week, that’s a considerable amount of income lost and an extra time slot you now need to fill.
Any fitness professional knows that there are busier times (New Year’s, springtime, and before the holidays) and there are slower times (summer, and holidays). Despite this, you are able to keep a consistent schedule and fill spots when needed.
You have diversified your services, such as offering a combination of personal training, group fitness programs, wellness talks, online training and nutritional programs. Taking on different forms of training and coaching means that you don’t worry when a client cancels or you get sick. You’ve also ensured that your existing clients will stick with you, because you’ve offered them customized training which suits their needs. Why would they go anywhere else?
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Making a Positive Impact
Your clients refer you to their friends and family because they’re meeting their goals. These situations are tangible measurements of success. However, making a positive impact for your clients mentally and emotionally is a measurement that is more difficult to notice on a daily basis.
When, after a few months, your client is more optimistic during their session and cancels less often, you are making a huge impact. You are shifting their entire mindset, and their well being. You know you’re successful when you realize that changing lives is less about the short term results, and more about how you are helping clients find peace or happiness from living a healthy lifestyle.
Although you may have conflicting feelings day-to-day about how your business is going, and what kind of impact you’re making, you generally look back at your decision as a good one. You know that this is what you were meant to do because you really care about your clients getting the results they want to, rather than just going through the motions and thinking of it as your job. You may also know you’re in the career for the right reasons because you are genuinely curious and want to learn new things about the fitness industry.
Whether you are a fitness pro that has been in the industry for 15 years, or a personal trainer just starting out in the business, be sure to celebrate the small wins and also reflect on the big picture. You may struggle with the stress of owning your own business, that extra financial uncertainty, and working with many different types of clients, but you know deep down that you wouldn’t change it for anything.