Stronger Sundays

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


Quote of the week:

"Note to parents: When we said youth athletes should play multiple sports and not specialize too early, we didn’t mean play all these sports simultaneously all year long."
                                                                                          - Mike Reinold on Twitter
Watch for this newsletter from the Personal Trainer Development Center each Sunday.

In this issue:

  1. "Income security" is an illusion
  2. Networking tips for fitness pros
  3. The myth of diet failure
  4. People don’t want the best
1. The myth of income security

Economists are bad at predicting economic downturns. (As the old joke says, they’ve correctly forecast 10 of the last five recessions.)

What we do know is that there will be a recession, and it will hit personal trainers. Does that mean you’d be better off in a salaried position, with a steady paycheck? Absolutely not, says Andrew Coates in this Facebook post.

In fact, he argues, trainers actually have an advantage over salaried employees: "We are less vulnerable to losing it all in one shot."

As long as you have some income, you can adjust to new circumstances—pursue new clients, reduce overhead and expenses, add services like nutrition coaching, work harder for your current clients.

The takeaway: "It’s a shame to see people who want to improve the lives of others leave because they’re fearful of … the ups and downs of being in business for yourself," Coates says. Viewed through the right lens, "we are more robust than most employed positions."

Go deeper: This new article by Lana Sova, who immigrated to the U.S. from Belarus, shares hard-earned wisdom about managing personal finances, especially when you’re just starting out.

What Lana learned: The more you worry about money, the worse you are at training clients. And the worse you are at your job, the fewer clients you’ll have.

Read it here:
--> Money Management for Personal Trainers

2. Networking tips for fitness pros - Lou Schuler

If you have a copy of Change Maker, John Berardi’s terrific new book, please turn to page 296. That’s where you’ll find a perfect example of how to connect with someone you admire. And I’d probably say that even if it wasn’t about Nate Green connecting with me.

Berardi and Green offer tips and scripts anyone can use, the most important of which is this:

You’re not connecting as a fanboy or fangirl. Yes, you admire the person. That’s understood. But you’re not auditioning to be an acolyte. Your goal is to become a colleague, a peer, maybe even a friend. That means 95 percent of your interaction should be friendly.

Go shallower: But not too friendly, as Ben Bruno notes in this brief guide to networking:

1. Probably not a good idea to call someone "bro" your first time reaching out.

2. Tagging someone you’ve never met in random pics and inspirational quotes is not networking. That’s annoying.

3. Abbreviations like "ur" or "lol" are also not advised

Final pro tip: Typos happen. As an editor, I’ve spent a lifetime fixing other people’s mistakes (I graduated from journalism school 40 years ago this month), and I still make them all the time in my articles and emails. That’s why I’d never mark down a fitness pro because of their grammar or spelling.

But not all typos are equally harmless. If I go to your site and see crucial words misspelled, words that help explain what you do and how you do it, I’m going to wonder why. Inattention to details like those isn’t a good look.
3. The myth of diet failure

We’ve all heard that 95 percent of all diets fail. Many of us have cited it. Obesity specialist Spencer Nadolsky, DO, calls B.S.

"First, how do you define success?" he asks. "Is it keeping off all the weight? I would say no."

Nadolsky says true success is reaching and maintaining "a weight that’s metabolically healthier," which means it’s enough to reduce weight-related comorbidities. If those are your benchmarks, as they were in this 2013 study, the success rate is "more like 70 percent. Still not great, but not futile."

Go deeper: Michelle Allison, RD, offers a bracing perspective on weight loss, from the perspective of someone who describes herself as "a fat lady" who’s "not especially bothered by it."

"I hear a lot of stories from people about what caused them to ‘fail’ at a diet," her thread begins. "They got busy at work. They caught the flu. They graduated. They had a breakup. They moved to a new place. So normal human life happened to them, and their diet never accounted for this possibility."

4. People don’t want the best - Jonathan Goodman

The following is an excerpt from the introduction to my next book, The Wealthy Fit Pro's Guide to Getting Clients and Referrals (includes 50 PROVEN ways to get more clients), which will be available for preorders mid-December. The official publication date is February 4, 2020.

People don’t want the best. They just want to know that what they’re buying isn’t crap.

The idea, called loss aversion, comes to us from behavioral psychology. Put simply, it means potential losses are weighted more heavily than potential gains, and people will work harder to avoid being on the losing end of a transaction than they will to come out ahead.

That’s why the majority of purchase decisions reflect something called "satisficing"—a decision-making heuristic that means you shop until you find something that’s good enough.  

Often, that means returning to a trusted brand, even if it costs a little more. We don’t do this because we believe the brand-name product is better. We do it because we’re fairly certain it isn’t crap.

Unconsciously, we calculate that brands have more to lose by selling a bad product. So they invest more in their products, knowing consumers who trust the brand are willing to pay more for this shortcut to an acceptability threshold.

If we’re indeed satisfied with the product, we’re grateful to the company for making our decision easier, and we reward them with our loyalty.

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

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