Stronger Sundays

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


Quote of the week:

“When it comes to losing weight and keeping it off, let’s make this absolutely clear:

Motivation is a scam.

Discipline is a scam.

Willpower is a scam.

The more you think you need these things to be successful, the more you become trapped by them.”

                                                                            - Roger Lawson II (@RogLaw) on Facebook
Watch for this newsletter from the Personal Trainer Development Center each Sunday.

In this issue:

  1. The two most important things they don’t teach you in school
  2. Meet the single mom who tripled her prices and doubled her online training business
  3. This week on the Online Trainer Show
1. The two most important things they don’t teach you in school Jonathan Goodman (follow him on IG @jonathan_goodman101)

  1. How money works
  2. The science of happiness

Because they don’t teach you about money and happiness in school, you have to study them on your own.

And you really should study both, because in my view they’re inextricable.

You can’t achieve happiness if you’re constantly worried about money. And no amount of money can make you happy if you don’t understand how to use it.

To understand happiness, I suggest these two books:

  • The Happiness Hypothesis, by Jonathan Haidt
  • Stumbling on Happiness, by Daniel Gilbert

What you’ll learn is how cheap and easy it is make yourself happier. The key principles:

  • Invest in experiences, not things.
  • Surround yourself with family and close friends.

You’ll get a lot more happiness from special moments with a loved one (like a weekend hike to a scenic overlook) vs. expensive vacations and other lavish indulgences where the goal is to spend money simply because you can.

As for money, books can teach you the basics of personal finance and investing, like the difference between bad debt (credit-card balance or car loan) and good debt (home mortgage or investments in appreciating assets).

You should have a good accountant, someone who understands your local tax system and helps you maximize potential write-offs. For more complicated investments, you may want to hire a fee-only financial advisor.

This just scratches the surface on both topics, but that’s also my point:

Happiness and money are important enough for you to go deep. And you need to go deep, because if you don’t learn about them on your own, nobody will teach you.

2. Meet the single mom who tripled her prices and doubled her online training business

Even more surprising, Yasmine Tarek did those things in the middle of the pandemic, with all three kids at home.

And did we mention that Tarek trained her first online client in 2018, and within two years had 121 clients in her coaching group?

In our new article, we identify several reasons she was able to pull it off:

1. She’s used to upheavals

Her first one came in 2011, when she closed her fitness studio, separated from her first husband, and gave birth to her first child—all coinciding with the chaos of the revolution in Egypt, where she lives.

2. She was desperate

Her potential clients were initially skeptical of online training. Tarek was too. As she told us, “Online training was not very common here in Egypt.”

But with most of her in-person clients on vacation in the summer of 2018, she needed to do something, and she had an opportunity to train someone online.

It was her one chance to turn her business around, and failure wasn’t an option.  

3. She’s really good at what she does

If Tarek’s first online client hadn’t gotten great results, who knows what would’ve happened?

But even though Tarek had never trained anyone online, she’d been training clients since 2005, and knew what she was doing.

Given the opportunity, she spent 20 of the next 48 hours creating a program for that first client, and the client’s success set the stage for everything that followed.

Read Yasmine Tarek’s amazing story here:

--> How a Single Mom Overcame Anxiety and 2x’d her Online Training Business with Three Kids at Home During Lockdown
3. This Week on the Online Trainer Show
The Online Trainer Show is proud to be sponsored by PT Distinction. After carefully reviewing all the major software platforms, we recommend PT Distinction because it offers a unique combination of flexibility, coaching tools, and ease of use. That’s why we use it in Online Trainer Coaching, our just-launched personal training business.

Click here to get a full 60-day FREE TRIAL to try PT Distinction with your own clients.

Here’s what podcast cohosts Jonathan Goodman, Carolina Belmares, and Ren Jones talked about this week on the Online Trainer Show:

In Episode 49, Why People Pay for Fitness When They Could Get It for Free, Jon shares a dispiriting truth:

For most people, the free workouts available online are good enough. They can find everything they need to get started, build a base of strength and conditioning, and troubleshoot the challenges they’re most likely to have.

Moreover, that free content comes at them from a lot of different directions, thanks to the democratization of the fitness industry. We’re long past the days when Men’s Health or T Nation dominated the conversation.

In fact, Jon says, it’s now impossible for any single player to have a voice in every channel of communication, much less to dominate the conversations in those places.

So who wins in a decentralized marketplace? The person who skillfully plays at the fringes. That’s where the opportunities are, and that’s where the off-the-shelf fitness programs fall short.

When your target audience sees your program and asks, “Is this made for me?”, you want the answer to be an emphatic “yes.”

And when they ask the inevitable follow-up questions—“How is this different from what I’ve done before?” “Why will this work when other programs didn’t?”—you want to have those answers ready for them as well.

“That gives people the belief that they’re actually going to do the thing,” Jon says.

In Episode 50, Three Marketing Principles for Great Success (the title is a tribute to the new Borat movie, in case you were wondering), Jon has some tough love for coaches who claim they don’t care about money because they just want to help people:

“It’s an excuse you make when you’re not confident enough to charge what you’re worth,” he says. “And if you’re offended by that statement, it’s probably because it’s true.”

That leads to the three marketing principles:

  • Understand that you’re in the marketing business.
  • Build relationships and partnerships based on mutual respect and cooperation.
  • Attract customers to you, rather than chasing after them.  

All these things take time and effort. There’s no fast way to learn marketing, form genuine connections with your peers, and create content and systems that bring your customers to you.

Which is fine.

If fitness is your career, you already believe in working hard to achieve tangible results. It’s what you tell your clients. And if you’re at the front end of that career, you have plenty of time.

You’ll find every episode here:

--> The Online Trainer Show
P.S. Whenever you’re ready, here are 3 ways we can help you:

1. Grab a free copy of The Wealthy Fit Pro’s Guide to Online Training
It’s your blueprint to building a fitness or nutrition business online. --> Click here

2. Join the Online Trainers Unite Group and connect with other online trainers  
It’s our Facebook community where fitness and nutrition pros like you can share insights and advice about starting or running a successful coaching business online.
--> Click here

3. Join the Online Trainer Academy
Our world-class certification course is everything you need to responsibly and profitably coach fitness or nutrition online. --> Click here

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

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