Gym Rat or Coaching Genius?
“Come on! Just 7 more and you get a break. Push yourself, you have it in you, I know you can do this, but you’ve ‘gotta’ want the results…Now push, good, just 6 more! No, don’t quit now, I’m right here to help you, come on, and push. Five more, I’ll help you up, you just lower the weight slowly, good. Last 4, you’re almost there, look at that, you didn’t even need my help with that one, 3 more, breathe, and don’t let 3 reps stop you from reaching your next level. Two more, great job, and up now, don’t wait, just go!
Awesome, only one more, drive now, I’m right here, come on, you can do it, push past what you feel, dig deep and beat this weight right now…You Got It! You did it! All you needed was a little tap on the bar a few times near the end, but that was all you that finished the set off!”
By the time I was 35 years old, I had probably said those words 50 times a day. I pushed more executives, top athletes, CEOs, and their families past the point of physical pain and into the “zone” 20,000 times over those 2 decades. I’d been teaching, coaching, and running martial arts and personal fitness businesses for 20 years. (Yes, I was put in charge of running a martial arts school at the age of 15.) Those words above were a combination of a drill sergeant and motivational coach flowed out of my mouth without thought.
I’d helped people reach goals in 6 months that they couldn’t, or wouldn’t do on their own in 5 years. In fact, most other trainers weren’t getting the results I was getting for my clients. There’s a myriad of reasons why, and I’m going to outline several of them for you here while explaining how each of them will impact your coaching business.
The Top Reasons My Personal Training and Martial Arts Clients Got Results With Me Faster than Anywhere Else They’d Previously Trained, and Why I Was Paid 6 to 7 Times More Than Every One of My Competitors Even Though I Had 10-20 Less Experience Than Them :
- I Worked Hard and Thought Even Harder: As a student, a martial artist and in college, where I earned a degree in Exercise and Sport Science, I studied and researched way beyond what anyone else was doing. However, due to a variety of muscle pain and headache issues I suffered with all of my life, I couldn’t always do anything other than lay in bed and think. I was passionate about Fighting and Fitness! I put in hours of mental rehearsal while bedridden, but also while eating or walking 2 miles across campus. I was never obsessed though. With multiple physical challenges and living in constant pain, I had to do more mentally than I ever could physically, but when it came time to perform (coach) people felt my confidence. Then, I would make myself available from 5:30 AM to 10 PM at times, even if I had a headache that had me feeling sick to my stomach. Answering questions, helping people learn how to use a machine better, and teaching a secret technique (explained later) got me recognized by everyone that mattered, my prospects. I worked hard to launch for 6 months, by month 7 I was earning more than my parents and had a waiting list.
- Confidence: As mentioned in the point above, came from experience and not knowing any better! Sometimes not realizing you aren’t “following the rules”, like charging 7 times more than everyone else, is the best thing for you. Once I had graduated college I started my own personal training company. I set up a joint venture between me and one of the top 5 health clubs in the nation, I didn’t know, I couldn’t do that either. This place had everything including a fancy restaurant. Their fees were 10 times higher than any gym I worked at before, so I charged much more than any of the trainers at the gyms I worked at in college. Once you’ve been paid by 1 or 2 people and they like what you’re doing, your confidence soars. I took action, with no fear, asked and received…and my confidence soared.
- Target Market: I was with the “rich folks” now, not with the $20/month muscle heads. As a ghetto kid I seriously didn’t know that so many people had so much money and lived right in my city. Once I realized that my clients were results oriented and not price oriented, I focused all of my efforts on a very specific type of person. They had to prove to me that they wanted to change. It would take me just 1-2 workouts to decide if we were a fit, or if I should refer them to a different trainer.
- Results Over Friendship: Results, like losing weight, building muscle, gaining energy, all require effort. Too many people want results fast, but not the effort it takes to get there. I pushed my clients hard. Much harder than any of the other trainers that I ever worked around. Many of the other trainers were afraid of scaring the client away when it came time to get 2 more reps, or 5 more minutes on the stair climber. I never had to yell or scream like the T.V. gurus or the muscle heads. I just used a stern voice, spoke to them so as not to draw unwanted attention to them while they looked bad or struggled, and barely helped, or let them think I was helping, when I really was just motivating them to go beyond what they think their limits were. I was called many names, but wen they’d start getting compliments, was thanked every day! You as a coach, have to want the client to get results more than you worry about what they feel about you.
- Go Big with Celebrity Positioning: Opportunities arise all the time for coaches, but sometimes they aren’t directly related to you. Before CrossFit ever existed, ESPN held a National Fitness Challenge, with regional events that lead to a televised national event in the Bahamas. I happen to be training two athletes that competed in the men’s and women’s national championships. I worked them out for 2 months and due to my publicity mindset, I mentioned this to the health club. Their connections ended up getting me interviewed by newspapers, radio shows, and I even ended up on ESPN with them as the expert, a long haired, 23 year old fitness expert, on what it takes to be the “World’s Most Fit Athlete”.
- Premium Pricing: My target market could afford the money, and I only marketed the fact that I trained people for 30 brutal minutes, not the standard 60 minutes. I put you through a workout that was going to push you past what you ever thought was possible, and you often will actually have to eat more to lose weight. You will not be comfortable when working with me, but you’ll be crazy happy after you get results in 1 month. To get into my schedule you had to be exactly on time, preferably 5 minutes early, you could not walk away when I push you, and you don’t get a refund if you quit. You’d commit $3,000 up front, not the standard $400/month. I never had to act like a tough guy when asking for the money or giving my rules, I never even had to jump up and down and scream to motivate, as mentioned above. I just charged more, had confidence, worked consistently, and had clients that ended up staying with me for 15 years.
My business grew from visibility, both in the health clubs, in the media, and from my target market’s referrals, sure, but it continued to grow from consistency and caring about my clients’ results.
Now let’s take the info here and relate it back to your coaching business.
- Work Hard, Be Available, and Think Even Harder: Are you writing content, recording courses, and surfing social media for ideas? That doesn’t make you a hard worker…that makes you a person that is avoiding work. Get your education out to the public, practice exactly what you’d say during a networking event, a sales presentation, and in a speech.
- Confidence: I admit, I was sort of forced into becoming confident when, at 15 years of age I was teaching adults. I had a college degree, I charged what I thought was fair, which was a premium price, and I had the right target market around me. However, that confidence came from acting on my decisions to do these things, not from considering them for 6 months, or 6 years. Action produces results, often positive results, which in turn produces high levels of confidence in you.
- Target Market; I’m not a fan of the niche conversations that have been jammed down our throats, but if you want a full time coaching business, especially one that gives you a lifestyle business, then you have to go where it makes sense. In my case, I had very specific requirement for people to work with me, so my screening process was stringent too.
- Results Focused: I don’t know what type of coach you are. As a trainer, pushing people into levels of pain and discomfort is acceptable. As a mindset, marketing and sales coach I push people to be “Totally R.A.D.” (Responsible, Accountable, and Disciplined) and that often times becomes a very sensitive issue. They end up telling you excuse after excuse as to why they aren’t achieving the goals and results that they specifically hired you to help them acquire. Do you accept their excuses, do you worry about how they feel about you, or do you hold them to their need to be R.A.D.? Give up on them, let them fail, let them complain, and they aren’t going to grow your business with you, instead, they will weigh you down.
- Celebrity: Back in the late 80s and 90s I talked to everyone about what I did, I held their interest with my passion and knowledge. How? Mostly because I talked about them. The news reporters and radio show hosts were offered high-quality content and free workouts as a way to better report the stories. I took a risk, and it paid off maybe 5% of the time. Pay attention, this goes with the hard work idea that gurus want you to believe you don’t need to do. Only 5% of the time did a story or guest spot work out, and half of those didn’t ever help me. But my celebrity grew.
- Premium Pricing: One of my favorite subjects to help coaches with is how to charge more and have prospects gladly invest with you, and how to do it without sounding pushy. Again, not knowing what you coach people on, going offline often gets quicker results at higher fees than all the Internet hype promotes. My clients paid way more, worked way harder, I worked half the time of any other trainer, and my clients just kept coming back to me and referring me. The low fee trainers either quit or had to hold down other jobs.
- Bonus section for coaches (This is meant to be a little humorous and thought provoking at the same time) – Every “How To Be a High Ticket Coach and Earn 6-Figures/Month” Outlined Right Here:
- Advertise your educational event or product, like a webinar, seminar, or free report
- Offer a “strategy session”, that is really a sales pitch
- Close the prospect on that call or at the end of the webinar/seminar listed above
- Deliver content
- Do those 4 steps, combined with the 6 “reasons” my training business skyrocketed, repeat and you’re a successful coach.
Yes, extremely oversimplified, but it’s scary how accurate it is!
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