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Stronger Sundays

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

05/15/2021

Quote of the week:

"The cool thing about social media is it reveals all those people in your life that are secretly lunatics. All it took was a platform to say what they really think about literally everything."
                                                                                          - Mike Doehla on Facebook
Watch for this newsletter from the Personal Trainer Development Center each Sunday.

In this issue:

  1. The best advice I never followed
  2. Why fitness and politics don’t mix
  3. The problem with certifications, and a solution
1. The best advice I never followed Jonathan Goodman

Back in 2008, I was working 12 to 14 hours a day on the training floor. It was hard work, and I enjoyed it. But I knew I couldn’t do it for the rest of my life.

So I searched, and I read.

For six months, I absorbed everything I could find on residential real estate investing, thinking I would buy a house and rent it out while still training clients. Then I’d buy two, then four, and so on.

It never happened. The first house I bought is the one we live in now, and that was just a few months ago. Instead I wrote a book and started a website, and you know the rest.

The one thing I remember from those six months was a piece of advice I never got a chance to follow:

When you put a bid on a house, even if you don’t get it, celebrate. When you apply for a loan on a property that meets your criteria, even if the bank turns you down, celebrate. When you do something positive, regardless of the outcome, celebrate.

Outcomes aren’t always in your control, but your actions are. Take the right actions day after day, and you’ll win in the long run.

It’s the process that matters, and it’s the process you celebrate.

Celebrating wins feels better, of course. But you still celebrate the losses. Not because they were losses, but because you took a positive action toward a goal, even if things didn’t work out the way you wanted.

For years, it was the best advice I’d never taken. Win or lose, I immediately started thinking about the next thing. No time to enjoy a success or recover from a disappointment. There’s just the next thing, and the next, and the next.

I’m getting better. I now take time off to celebrate each thing. Like buying an investment property 12 years after I first studied how to do it.

Or, even better, that time I bought a nice big house just in time to be quarantined inside it.

2. Why fitness and politics don’t mix

"If you own a gym business, stay out of politics," writes Thomas Plummer, founder of the National Fitness Business Alliance, on Facebook.

He understands why trainers and gym owners do it. They get more anxious and frustrated every day they’re forced to sit home, not knowing when, how, or even if they’ll be able to reopen their facilities.

But political rants on social media will only make things worse.

"No matter which side you choose," odds are that half of your current or potential customers will disagree. Some will disagree so vehemently that they’ll never walk through your doors once they’re open again.  

The takeaway: "No one wins a political argument, minds are never changed, and expressing your frustration changes nothing," Plummer says. "Stay out of politics, or risk losing a large percentage of your potential market."
3. The problem with certifications, and a solution

We’re all ambitious. We all value achievement, and we all want to be perceived as someone who’s achieved success.

"This is why so many coaches collect every certification under the sun," says Brett Bartholomew, author of Conscious Coaching, on Twitter. Unfortunately, "many certifications are watered down, and require little to no long-term skin in the game."

Having a credential doesn’t make you an expert. Expertise, Bartholomew says, "requires knowing how to think, not just being told what to think."

Same with affiliation. We all want to be part of something important or meaningful, but too often we affiliate ourselves with a group out of insecurity, with the goal of being part of an in-group.

But if there’s an in-group there has to be an out-group, which means you’re defining yourself by what you’re against as much as what you’re for.

Any power or prestige you gain by your affiliation with one faction is weakened by your alienation from and hostility to other factions.

None of which moves your career forward in the way you want. It just makes you more insulated and less adaptable.

But there’s one affiliation that defines you in a positive way without putting anyone else down. One where CrossFitters comfortably coexist with bodybuilders, where vegans and carnivores find common ground.

And it’s one credential that literally no one ever regrets achieving.

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