Stronger Sundays

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


Quote of the week:

“In any health crisis, people emerge as gurus by telling us what we want to hear. It’s not unique to the pandemic. (‘The virus isn’t that bad,’ ‘open everything,’ ‘you don’t need a mask,’ etc.)

The challenge is identifying who’s debating in good faith and who’s just committed to the part.”

                                                                   - Physician and journalist James Hamblin on Twitter
Watch for this newsletter from the Personal Trainer Development Center each Sunday.

In this issue:

  1. Why I wouldn’t pay to be called “the best”
  2. Three career lessons from a movie director
  3. This week on the Online Trainer Show
1. Why I wouldn’t pay to be called “the best” Jonathan Goodman

I woke up on Tuesday morning to multiple messages asking why I wasn’t included in an article listing the best fitness business coaches.

It was published on a major website, so they assumed it must’ve been a big deal.

It wasn’t. It was pay-for-play. I know because a rep for the company that put it together asked me if I wanted to “discuss pricing.”

Here’s how it works:

A PR company gets a bunch of people to pay to appear in an article declaring them “the best” at something. Then they pay a media company to publish the article.

The people who appear in the article can then share it on social media in hopes of converting some prospects.

Maybe it really does work that way. I haven’t seen the article, and don’t know who’s in it, but I assume they know what they’re doing.

But think of it like this: Would you be impressed by someone who paid for an award or honor? Would it make you more likely to pay them for their product or service, or less?

I’ve been in lots of articles, including some that listed me among the best fitness business coaches. I’ve never paid to appear in any of them, and I don’t plan to start.

2. Three career lessons from a movie director Lou Schuler

If you listen to one podcast this week, other than the new episodes of the Online Trainer Show described below, I highly recommend the recent NPR interview with Gina Prince-Bythewood (

Prince-Bythewood directed The Old Guard, which debuted this summer on Netflix.

I had a personal interest in the movie because it was written by Greg Rucka, a former grad school classmate, based on his comic book. But that isn’t why I recommend listening to the interview.

Starting around the 30-minute mark, she talks about how she put herself in a position to become the first Black woman to direct a big-budget adaptation of a comic book.

I think her story offers lessons for ambitious fitness and nutrition coaches who struggle to get past industry gatekeepers to reach the next level in their careers—speaking at conferences, writing for popular websites, collaborating on books and programs, or whatever you hope to do.

Lesson #1: Find your swagger

Prince-Bythewood grew up a misfit—a quiet, introverted, mixed-race girl adopted by white parents and raised in white communities.

Sports became her outlet, a venue where she could be loud, confident, passionate, and competitive. She could be all those things because of the hard work she put in.

What’s your superpower? What are you willing to work on until you reach an elite level of mastery?

Lesson #2: Play the long game

When she was offered college scholarships in both basketball and track, she chose track not because it was her favorite sport, but because it could get her into UCLA, which has one of the country’s top film schools.

And then, after reaching the conference championships as a sophomore, she had a choice to make: Continue with track in hopes of reaching the Olympics, or give it up to focus on her filmmaking classes.

Once again, she looked down the road and chose what was best for her career.

Lesson #3: Use your swagger

There was something like 30 years from when Prince-Bythewood quit track to when she got hired to direct The Old Guard—a high-profile position involving more than 1,000 people. In between she proved herself over and over and over again.

Each time, she used her swagger to push herself and her crew.

“Swagger is the belief that we … can succeed in any setting,” she wrote in an essay a few years ago. “Without swagger, I'm just that shy girl who can't find her voice. With it, I am the baddest chick in the room.”
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.

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Before Jonathan Goodman left for his summer vacation, he recorded Episode 23, How to Use Money to Buy a Better Life, an essay he originally wrote for Fitness Marketing Monthly.

As Jon says, money is a tool. Just as you wouldn’t buy a bunch of hammers and stash them under your mattress, so you shouldn’t think of money as something you should accumulate just to have it.

In Episode 24, Jon replays his conversation with firefighter and part-time online trainer Alex Harriman. Alex talks about how the tactics he learned in Level 2 of the Online Trainer Academy allowed him to maximize his earning power in the time he has available.

One important step: Managing his schedule so he didn’t end up with wasted time between appointments or tasks.

Jon will be back next week with Online Trainer Show cohosts Carolina Belmares and Ren Jones for two all-new episodes.

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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