WHAT IF IT’S NOT WORKING? PART THREE
You’ll notice this is part 3 of a 4-part blog series. In the last two Last blogs we spoke about where to start if things aren’t working. I mentioned that there were a few places to start, and it could be 1 or all of 3-4 things. I’m following on from those and as I said last week you really need to start at blogs one and two as this is, more often than not, the major cause for a lot of trainers not working out. If you haven’t read last weeks, that’s where you need to start (read part 2 here).
But here’s the last and it applies to trainers in their first 12 and maybe up to 24 months. The last reason that things may not be working for you, is that you’re in the wrong place!
When we gain our fitness quals most of us are filled with excitement. Often, we’re presented with opportunities and promised the world. Sometimes we’re not, but just have massive expectations on how great things are going to be – I know that was the case for myself. It was more a case of I didn’t have realistic expectations and didn’t think I’d have to take ownership of fucking everything and as silly as it sounds, that clients would just come to me, or the gym would give me clients happy and willing to pay me good money.
So often Trainers who now have great practical skills after gaining their personal training qualifications start in gyms or health clubs. Once again, they have great practical skills but little to no communication or business skills, which are of course vital in running your own business. If that’s you go to blog 1 (read part 1 here).
However, in most larger health clubs they have fitness directors or personal training managers that are there to help guide and mentor you to a degree. Please understand that they are not there to build your business for you. But they are there to bounce ideas off, ask questions and to help you move in the right direction.
Some of them are great! I’m lucky to have some of these on my team that coach for NHFA and they are the best of the best. They put in so much work with their rookie trainers and help them build successful businesses. But there are also others that aren’t fantastic – some and I want to be clear, not all, are pretty average and even downright awful.
NHFA Founder & Director, Dave Burgis, gives advice to Personal Trainers or Coaches who feel like it’s just not working
They are often trainers that weren’t overly successful themselves working away in a club and not implementing systems and process building a successful business. Some had no idea how and weren’t even prepared to invest in coaches, mentors, or courses to help better themselves. They were merely in the right place at the right time and when a paid position came up at a gym, they applied and then somehow got it.
Now they are your mentor… Here lies the challenge for those you that are aspiring fitness entrepreneurs and are happy to go after it and work hard but just don’t know what to do. Sadly, you’re not going to get it from your manager. If you’ve identified this, it may be time to make a change to another club, or a better solution is to stay where you are with your current clients and find real mentors and coaches that can help you build your business and stay away from the manager. I’m not saying that they are bad people, just not great mentors and possibly some shouldn’t be in the position they are as they can’t help you and won’t invest in an education to build the knowledge and skills to pass on.
One last challenge is that maybe you and the personal training manager just aren’t suited. Maybe the relationship is strained, they have favourites and therefore that’s where most of the leads go.
One: develop strategies to build your own leads so you’re not relying on them, and
Two: look at why the relationship may be strained and see if it can be mended. In my experience trainers are as much to blame as what the PTM’s are.
The last thing is the club suitable for you. Meaning the type of clients that you’d like to attract – are they in that type of facility? If you want to train males and you’re working at Fernwood you’re really pushing shit uphill there. It’s an extreme example but you know what I mean.
Here’s the important part: Don’t give up! Just because it’s not working at the first gym you go to, doesn’t mean it won’t in the future. And lastly, don’t be a trainer that can’t make it work in one place, swap to another club and then another. If that’s what is happening, it’s you and your systems that need changing, not the clubs.
In Part 4 we’ll talk about different business models that may need changing!