How Personal Trainers Can Avoid The Potential Trap Of Professional Loneliness
Do You Love What You Do?
For most personal trainers, you arrived in this industry because you have an intense love affair with fitness, health and the positive impact that you have on people’s lives.
The interaction that you have with numerous individuals, personality types and the impact that you have on these peoples lives is, for many Personal Trainers, an incredibly rewarding experience. When a client turns around to you and say’s “you have changed my life” is an amazing thing to be a part of. It’s really an honor and a privilege.
With our great industry of approximately 40,000 plus fitness professionals, and growing at a very rapid rate, the estimates are for the number of PT’s to double by the year 2020. Now, that’s not too far away!
Keep in mind however, that with approximately 4 Million Australian’s attending gyms, personal training studio’s, and bootcamps (which is approximately 18% of the population) that this figure is predicted to climb to over 7.5 Million Aussies.
So the future of the fitness industry is looking healthy and strong. Pardon the pun!
Who Can Personal Trainers Turn To?
However as the industry grows so too does the potential isolation that exists for a fitness professional in the modern day and age. Sure, you have the interaction with your clients, but it’s on more of a, well, “personal trainer to client” professional level.
Are your clients the best people to discuss your concerns, fears and frustrations on how to create and build a sustainable business and improve your career prospects in our ever changing market? For most, the answer will be “no”.
No doubt for most of you, your relationship that you have with you clients will be described as great, otherwise I assume that they wouldn’t continue coming back! However, you would most likely agree that they aren’t the best people to confide in for the future strategy, direction and advice for your business.
Who can you turn to when you are struggling yourself to keep motivation, when you have been working from 5am till 9pm, burning the candle at both ends, finding a balance between training your clients, attracting new ones, billing clients and keeping up with day to day business administration tasks!
This can lead a great trainer to a place of fatigue, frustration, feeling of overwhelmed and possible burn out!
Huge Numbers Of Personal Trainers Graduate Each Year
What about the huge numbers of personal trainers that are becoming certified each year to add to the already massive industry that we are in?
With most personal trainers around Australia operating as solo, independent business owners, aren’t all personal trainers pretty much in competition with each other?
The answer to that question can be described as “yes” and “no”.
Sure, it would be fair to say that you want to differentiate yourself in your local area, so your personal training business becomes the obvious best choice. Therefore the answer is, “yes” you are in competition against all of the other PT’s out there who are competing for new clients themselves.
However, I tend to view the competition a little differently.
It All Starts With Coke and Pepsi!
Now, you might ask “what the hell does Coke and Pepsi have to do with the Fitness Industry, other than contributing to making people overweight”?
To answer that, I would ask you to have a look at the business model of both Coke and Pepsi. Before we do that, I would ask you do you prefer the taste of Coke of Pepsi.
In your opinion, you might suggest that you prefer the taste of Coke. Others might say they prefer the taste of Pepsi.
So which one is the best Cola? The answer is “who cares”!
You see both Coke and Pepsi spend huge amounts of money to advertise their brand as the leader in Cola consumption. As they are increasing their brand, profile, awareness and position in the marketplace, they know one thing for certain; The average amount of actual Cola consumed increases.
That’s right. As they are battling it out to be number 1, what becomes less important from a business perspective is who “number 1” actually is. What they both are concerned about is that their product (in this case Cola) increases in consumption and therefore sales.
More consumption and more sales mean more profits!
Now, regardless on your view on cola, you can see a clear relationship that exists for the fitness industry. What this means is that as the number of personal trainers increase and provide a first class service, so too does that of our community perception and usage of personal trainers and fitness centers.
You might now conclude that although all personal trainers are in competition against each other, we really are part of one big team. Therefore every action that you do to better yourself as a fitness professional and business owner, contributes on the whole to making our industry a powerful driving force
I get inspired when I see so many great personal trainers and personal training businesses entering the market to literally shape and change people’s lives. The more great fitness professionals we have in our country, the more that the public will engage the services of such great professionals which means that more individuals lives are changed in a positive way.
How Do You Make This All Happen When You Are On Your Own As a Solo Personal Trainer?
It really boils down to making the most of your circumstances and support networks to enhance your position as one of the leading personal trainers by collaborating with your industry, as opposed to viewing them as competition.
From our experience, the most successful personal trainers and fitness businesses do the following;
1) They seek ongoing and higher level education
The more time you spend in a professional skill, the more it exposes you to all of the things you don’t know! Now, this is a good thing as it keeps you forever learning and growing as a fitness professional that has high standards and integrity.
Seek further education and professional development to continually up skill yourself, not just for re-registration, but to improve you professionally.
2) Successful Personal Trainers Collaborate
With such a high percentage of Personal Trainers in Solo-Independent personal training roles, there is no denying there can be feeling of isolation for fitness professionals or what can also be defined as “professional loneliness”. The fitness industry is starving for great leaders, mentors and coaches to aid the ongoing professional development of today’s personal trainer, and the future PT’s that will enter our industry.
If you are a fitness industry veteran, seek to share your knowledge and wisdom with those that are hungry to grow. When you teach you learn. Play your part in the evolution of our industry by assisting those that are less experienced, yet keen to accelerate their progress.
If you are new to the industry, then surround yourself by those that have walked that path before you, have been there and done that and are open to sharing their successes and challenges. Why try to reinvent the wheel? Remember, the wheel rolled for cave man, so it will roll for you and me!
3) Together, We Can Raise The Standard Of Professionalism
That’s right; each fitness professional in Australia has the opportunity to play their part in making our great industry even better! Regardless of where you are located, how much competition you have around you, or how isolated you are as a personal trainer, there is always the opportunity for you to “step up” and play your part in the growth and success of our industry.
Your daily actions play a part in shaping the public’s perception on what personal training is all about. Consider the smaller parts to how you conduct your business; how you present yourself, answer the phone, promptly respond to inquiries, handle conflict and seek in a pro-active manner to raise your own personal standards.
It’s Everything You Do
Everything you do, day in and day out impacts the way people view you as fitness professional. By raising your own personal standards and viewing your position in our great industry as part of a team, you will have taken the most important steps to guaranteeing a satisfying and sustainable career doing what you love!
Want to find other Personal Trainers to bounce ideas off of? Come visit our facebook page and join in the conversation!
Jason Urbanowicz Fitness Magazine Article – March 2013