Monday, June 15, 2009

Five things I have learned in the past year

Well I am 1 month away from owning a gym for three years. WOW! Time flies so fast. It is incredible the things you can learn in such a little time. I will make it one of my goals to continue to learn and better myself each day I am in the business. This is long term. This is not a sprint. I will be at it for the rest of my life.

These five things I have learned over the past 3 year of my Life.

  1. Set and write down your goals. This is an important one. It keeps your accountable. I literally write down my goals and look back at them at least once a month. If you want a certain number in the bank account, if you want to train a certain amount of clients, if you want to accomplish an athletic feat, whatever it is, you need to write it down. If you do not write down your goals, you will just be a talker and not a walker. I am not saying that if you write down that you want $100,000 in the bank account in one year it is going to happen. But if you write it down you almost feel guilty each day when you have not done anything to get you closer to your goal. Once you have determined your goals, then figure out the steps it will take to achieve that goal. All goals take steps. They take daily, weekly, monthly and yearly tasks. If you have no clue the steps it will take, then you better get someone to assist you to make a plan.
  2. Owning a Business is NO JOKE. When I first opened my facility, I was a personal trainer who knew how to train. I loved helping people and training came easy for me. In this past year I have learned that I need to know more about business. The business side of things is tough. Marketing, really long hours, employees, taxes, facility upkeep, bills, gross revenue, net revenue, retaining clients, keeping clients happy....the list goes on and on. Don't get me wrong, I love the challenge. But it definitely is not for the weak minded. The past 3 months I have spent reading more business related material than fitness related material. I have learned from guys like Alwyn Cosgrove, Pat Rigsby, Mike Boyle, Todd Durkin, and Bill Parisi. These guys all have profitable fitness businesses and they are all willing to help a trainer out. Even if they do not know they are, they are. I read their blogs and newsletters and listen to them at seminars and webinars. They know how to keep it fresh and up to date, and that is what I want. This is an area I will grind and grind to keep learning the ins and outs of business. I have a ways to go but I know with my persistency it will pay off.
  3. There are so many whack fitness programs out there. I didn't really learn this in the last 12 months but I needed to bring it up. Do not fall into the trap to do those gimmicky fitness programs out there. Anytime you turn on the TV there is some type of fitness infercommercial playing over and over. Yes they might work but what happens when they are completed? Now you have to do it on your own and you are back to square one. Yes they might motivate you to get off your butt but what happens when that guy yelling at you from the TV gets on your nerves? You will quite and get frustrated. You need to build fitness and eating healthy into your life. Make it a part of your daily routine. NO DIETS, NO FAD WORKOUTS, just plain hard work, dedication and consistency. Your life will take off. You will have more energy, you will decrease your chances of sickness and heart disease and you will take advantage of everything around you. Mike Boyle once said, "If it seems too gimmicky to be true, then it probably doesn't work." Again, fitness is work but it can be FUN. It is all what you make it. Get on a bike, go out for a run, do some mobility and flexiblity work so you are moving properly, and hit some push-ups and chin-ups. The endorphins are just waiting to be released! Make it who you are and enjoy the benefits.
  4. Mobility, flexiblity and soft tissue work is #1. Whether you are an athlete, general fitness individual, weekend warrior or a child, you need to work on moving properly on a consistent basis. This aspect, to me, is the most important part of fitness. It doesn't make sense if you are extremely fit but have numerous issues and imbalances. You will never feel good and that is a huge goal of mine when I am training you, is for you to be pain free. You must spend time to work on these things. We start every workout with a thorough dynamic warm-up. Not just 5 minutes on a treadmill, that is not a warm-up. Every client spends at least 5 minutes to foam roll when they come into my facility. Then we go through ankle, hip and thoracic mobility drills and then perform some full body flexibility drills. If I have someone who has major movement issues then they will have to do some of these drills at home on their own. I never cut this portion short. I will cut their strength work and conditioning short before I cut mobility and warm-up. Find my article on "6 corrective exercises athletes should do", and you will learn some basic movements to do on your own.
  5. Think before you speak. I had a conversation with a client of mine who has been a very successful business owner the past 15 years. She brought this up to me during this talk and challenged me to work on this. She called it "self awarness". As a business owner and "someone in charge" the things we say are taken very seriously. People listen to us and do the things we ask. It is so critical to think before things come out of our mouth. Whether it is a conversation with a client, an employee, a family member or with your significant other, you must mentally think about what you are about to say before you say it. Say to yourself, "How will this comment affect this individual." I am learning to do this right now. I am far from perfect. I say things sometimes and wonder "why did I say that?" This is a concept I will continue to work on so I can continue to grow as an individual and as a business owner.

Time to go make it happen. Let your actions speak loud. You will never have to brag about yourself if you are always working hard and striving for excellence!

No comments:

Past writings