How to Start a Fitness Business – Getting Past Your Self-Imposed Limitations

I’ve said it many times already and I’ll probably say it many times again: very often, our biggest obstacles are our own self-limiting beliefs. Whether those beliefs have their origins in our own heads or whether we’ve just chosen to accept what the media, our families, our friends or our competitors tell us, the negative things we choose to believe are often the main thing standing between us and true success. That’s why when people ask me how to start a fitness business, one of the first things I tell them is “Get your head straight.”

On November 7 & 8, my great friend and partner Craig Ballantyne and I are hosting the Online Info Blueprint Workshop in Costa Mesa. We’re going to have several incredible speakers, including Kevin Harrington of TV’s Shark Tank and the incredibly successful fitness entrepreneur Mark Costes. (Last I heard, we still had about eight seats left and all tickets come with a money back PLUS guarantee, so if you want to register, get over to the registration page quickly)

Screen Shot 2014-10-30 at 9.20.15 PMIf you’ve never heard Mark Costes speak, you should. He gave an incredibly valuable one-hour talk on taking your business online at Fitness Business Summit 2014 and one of the first things he covered was getting past our own self-doubts and self-limiting beliefs. I’m going to share some of the self-limiting BS he talked about; things I’ve heard over and over again from people who have asked for my advice on how to start a fitness business. When you’ve finished reading, take stock of what your own beliefs are and give them an honest assessment to see if the biggest obstacle between you and success is……you.

There’s simply too much competition in my area

Self-limiting beliefs tend to come in two flavors: the “things outside my control” beliefs and the “either/or” beliefs. This is one of those “things outside my control” beliefs and I hear it probably more than any other.

It’s particularly frustrating for me because the solution is so simple that most people don’t believe it. If you don’t want to compete with everyone in your area, don’t. Set yourself apart and become a field of one. Don’t sell what everyone else is selling. Don’t be a generalist, be a specialist. Don’t sell service, sell results. Establish yourself as a local expert. When you do these things, you will have no competition. Let everyone else undercut each other on price or try to outsell each other on their coolness factor.

The economy sucks. No one’s going to pay $XX for my services.

Really? I have news for you. The economy has always sucked for somebody. If you live in a city of 100,000 people and 30,000 of them are upper middle class or better, you have plenty of people who can pay for your services. How many clients do you need?

Even if you live in a small town that’s been hit hard by the economy, you can still work around the issue of cost by selling based on your value, the results you give your clients, rather than selling based on price. Even in the hardest of times and the most economically-depressed neighborhoods, I’ve seen people commanding higher prices for their training than anyone else, and having to turn clients away, because they promise great results, deliver those great results and focus their sales efforts on those results.

Screen Shot 2014-10-30 at 9.25.13 PMThe really successful people got there by being dishonest/unethical/selfish, etcetera

This is one of the more common “either/or” limiting beliefs. That you have to choose between being successful and being a good person. That people who are rich got their money by taking it from someone else. This one is really popular with the media and it’s easy to buy into, because it’s easier to believe that rich people got there dishonestly than it is to believe that all you need to do is work harder and give more.

But this one is so easy to debunk. Just take a look at people like Richard Branson, who’s known for treating his partners and his employees with respect and dignity. Look at Kevin Harrington, who’s famous for his generous spirit and his ethical approach to business – the guy who said, “Commit to doing things right.” Look at Jason Feruggia, who’s probably one of the most successful online fitness entrepreneurs in the world, and who still looks for what he can give someone else, rather than what he can get.

You don’t have to choose between being rich and being a good person. You just have to choose to be both.

Listen, we’ve all had these types of negative thoughts in our heads. My brain was loaded with them when I was just learning about how to start a fitness business. Even now, when I have several multi-million dollar companies, I have to be careful about letting self-doubt creep back in.

You’re in control of what you think and what you think controls what you can become.

Committed to Your Success,

Bedros