I was reminded by LinkedIn that I am celebrating an anniversary.
March 2014 I received my personal trainer’s certification and subsequently opened a business as a personal trainer and health coach. As I write this I am sitting at a desk at a fitness and wellness center. I have a part time job here which was not really in the plan when I first decided to become a personal trainer. My plan was to open a business from home, where I would train women exclusively and earn a living doing what I love.
It didn’t quite work out that way. I suppose it’s true that God sits back and chuckles as we feverishly make our life plans.
Over the past two years my business has taken many twists and turns:
· Started out bringing clients to my private studio
· Developed an online training option
· Introduced boot camps
· Trained seniors at retirement communities
· Had speaking engagements
· Received certification as Fitness Nutrition Specialist
· Incorporated meal plans into the online training option
· Rebranded my business from Fab Fit & 50 to Michele Matthews
· Revamped the website
· Moved business to 100% online
· Got a part time job to supplement my income and maintain face-to-face contact with clients
· Signed with a media company as a personal trainer for an 8-week fitness challenge
A lot is happening. One thing I have learned is that I have to be flexible in order to be successful. If I had my heart set on exclusively teaching boot camps or training seniors I would have been severely disappointed. I had to be open to go with the flow. I supposed I could have knocked down the doors of every retirement community in town and refused to take “no” for answer … but that’s not me. Fitness is not that kind of business. No matter how hard I try, I can’t force someone to decide to take care of themselves. If they don’t see the immediate benefit of doing something, they won’t spend the money. Additionally, people are less likely to spend money with someone they don’t know, like and trust. My current clients are women who have spent time with me and know what I’m about. I have yet to sign someone who hasn’t met me in person.
The good thing about my job in the fitness center is that I can train people who don’t know me personally but can get to know me that way. The same is true with the 8-week fitness challenge. Depending on how many people sign up, I could get a client or two out of that.
Even with all the ups and downs of being an entrepreneur, I don’t have any regrets. There are lessons with every disappointment and I’m determined to learn from them and make better choices.
Another lesson that I learned was that fitness is not a Sell! Sell! Sell! type of business, contrary to what my former business coach would have me to believe. Guerilla marketing does not work with potential fitness clients. Even though personal training is very beneficial and should be viewed as a necessity in the eyes of many it is still considered a luxury which means that they have a choice. It’s the proactive vs. reactive argument. Too many people are conditioned to react to problems instead of proactively working to prevent them. In other words, a strong body is a healthy body. Get strong today and avoid problems later.
That is the reality.
It has been an interesting 2 years and I can honestly say that I am looking forward to the future.