Success can be defined and measured in many ways. In this post I’m defining “success” for a personal trainer generally as becoming busier, booking more sessions, developing skills and a higher knowledge of movement and the body. View it from how you would the first day you became a PT; more clients, more skills, more money. But as we gain and acquire those pillars of personal training “success” I find that a few things fall through the cracks on the way up the ladder.
1. Don’t become over-booked. Busy is good. You help more people and make more money but there is a fine line. At some point, and all of ours are different, our services become diluted. This happens for many reasons; we lose focus from being on the floor too long (i.e. 5 straight sessions), long hours with little sleep (i.e. 5am sessions mixed with 9pm sessions), not enough time to create individualized programs and give adequate attention to each client. They are, after all, paying for PERSONAL Training.
There are some things you can do to help from falling into that trap. Obviously put a cap on how many clients you will work with, or better yet how many sessions you’ll perform. I say this because I could have 15 clients who train 2x per week and you could have 30 who train once per week. Once my schedule began to fill I would pass on clients to other trainers if the client was only interested in training once per week or once every couple of weeks. I’d rather keep my focus on my larger accounts who are much more reliable and meet more often. Don’t lose your foundation by chasing every possible client.
Become a better scheduler. If you have 7 sessions in a day split them up into 2-3 groupings if possible. Three sessions before lunch and 4 sessions after lunch. If you try to perform them all in a row you damn well know that the 6th and 7th client aren’t getting the same focus you had with your first clients. Personal Trainers with fitness goals of their own get very grumpy when they miss meals and don’t drink enough coffee and honestly your last few clients don’t really give a shit if you’re tired and have been training all day. They just want a great workout and to get what they paid for.
Do your best to schedule people at their regular hours and at least 2 weeks in advance. This way you’ll spend less time chasing them and each day you’ll know exactly what you’ll have in front of you. Avoid confusion, it is a focus buster and day ruin-er.
Change your environment while working. I’m not necessarily telling anyone to work less; I’d be a hypocrite. As a business owner you’re always working to some degree. What keeps me sane through the day is breaking up my work. I have my set hours on the floor, set hours on my computer, set hours programming and I set aside time to workout myself. After working on a blog post or an upcoming presentation for an hour I am ready to get off my butt and start training again. It’s refreshing without a drop-off in productivity.
Busy is good but don’t over-book yourself and allow your service to suffer. Stay tuned for mistake #2 & #3.