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Stronger Sundays

Dominate your fitness business with this weekly collection of strategies, tips, and tricks.
By trainers, for trainers.

04/20/2021

Quote of the week:

"Prediction:

In the next couple of years, we’re going to see an online community of people who take up smoking for health benefit.

They’re so convinced that science is corrupt and government advice evil that smoking just has to be good. Anecdotally, they feel great."

                                                                                          - Pauli Ohukainen on Twitter
Watch for this newsletter from the Personal Trainer Development Center each Sunday.

In this issue:

  1. What makes you a fitness expert?
  2. Clothing as tax deduction
  3. The meteorologist fallacy and the shaky bridge
  4. The beauty of an empty closet
1. What makes you a fitness expert?

Where does expertise come from? Nick Tumminello says it’s not the sum of your credentials. Consider his own path to success:

• With no college degree, he’s spoken at major conferences, written three books (with a fourth on the way), and published countless articles.

• With no competitive background in martial arts or strength or physique sports, he’s worked with pro bodybuilders, NFL players, and MMA athletes.

• With no tech or business education, he’s created and marketed both digital and physical products.

"In all these ventures, I legitimately started out not knowing what the heck I was doing," he says. In his view, the real prerequisites you need to stand out as a fitness pro include these:

• An "internally motivated work ethic (such as a chip on your shoulder)"

• Honest self-evaluation combined with a reluctance to blame others for your struggles

• Self-confidence combined with humility

• A willingness to ask for help and accept criticism

• The ability to build relationships

Go deeper:

--> Do Trainers Need a College Degree to Be Successful?

2. Clothing as tax deduction

Patrick Darby, a certified financial planner who focuses on fitness businesses, offers an intriguing way to save a little on your taxes:

"According to the [U.S. Internal Revenue Service], work clothes can only be deducted when they cannot be used or worn outside of work," he writes in his newsletter. "This has traditionally meant safety equipment and specific uniforms."

On the surface, that’s bad news for trainers. Go to any Whole Foods at 6 p.m., and half the people shopping there could pass as fitness pros. But there’s a loophole:

"Adding your logo to clothes makes them tax deductible," Darby says, as long as the logo is "clearly visible and prominently displayed." The deduction applies to the clothes as well as the expense of adding your logo.

The fine print: Darby concludes with a warning: The IRS sees deductions for clothing and dry cleaning as red flags, putting you at higher risk for an audit. Make sure you can document anything and everything you claim as a business expense.

Go deeper:

--> Master Your Taxes in 10 Easy Steps

3. The meteorologist fallacy and the shaky bridge

Author Joel Stein coined the term "meteorologist fallacy" in a book called In Defense of Elitism. Here’s how he described it in an interview with NPR:

"Every time it rains, and the weather people told you it wasn't going to rain, people say, ‘Oh, you can never trust meteorologists. They always get it wrong.’"

What amazes Stein—and, really, anyone who’s paying attention—is that "we are in a world of extreme expertise, and instead there’s this movement that people should just operate from their gut, as if education and expertise made you immoral and untrustworthy."

Mike Doehla, coauthor of the Wealthy Fit Pro's Guide to Getting Clients and Referrals, offers a parable for how it plays out in our world:

"I’m standing on the side of a road with a sign that says ‘stop.’

A driver pulls up and asks what’s up. I say, ‘Don’t go that way because the bridge isn’t stable.’

They say, ‘I’m in a rush and I think it will be different for me so I’m going to try it.’ They get halfway over and the bridge collapses. They fall into the river.

That’s what giving nutrition advice feels like sometimes. The bridges are unstable, but everyone wants to take their chances."

4. The beauty of an empty closet - Jonathan Goodman

Alison and I were on a boat in Mexico when we officially became homeowners in Toronto.

It’s the first house I’ve owned. In fact, I own very little. I guess you’d call me a minimalist.

That’s a hidden benefit of traveling as much as we do. Every six months for the past seven years, I’ve culled anything I didn’t need, which is almost everything aside from my laptop, backpack, T-shirts, and jeans.

What I have is what makes me happy. I’ll spend as much as I need for things that matter, and I won’t waste a minute thinking about what I don’t have. It’s irrelevant to me.

We’ll move into the house in a few weeks. It’s not a small house. It’s going to take some money to fill it with beds and lamps and cookware and all the other things most people take for granted. I actually look forward to having a living room couch we can call our own.

Economic freedom, to me, is less about money in an absolute sense and more about how we use it. A little money goes a long way when we limit expenditures on stuff that doesn’t matter and maximize expenditures on things that do.

Even if I only have three T-shirts to hang in my new walk-in closet.


**Thanks for reading. What to do next**



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