Most strangers out there have absolutely no clue what we personal trainers do. They just go on living their lives without a thought for the amount of people we help and the lives we change every day.
And that’s perfectly fine (obviously some people aren’t going to know much about us, right?) UNTIL those people come around and try telling us how to fix our industry.
See, I recently had a chat with someone who told me that the personal fitness industry was just too young, that is wasn’t evolved enough to be a truly profitable and reliable industry.
And while I was able to stay calm and reasonable talking to this person, it took everything in me not to simply give the guy The Finger and walk away.
I mean, the guy was dead wrong, but I really didn’t feel like wasting my time trying to tell him that. Besides, I had a highly evolved and complex industry to get back to.
But I do want to take the time and tell you why I love our industry and why I believe it’s come incredibly far in the few years since its birth.
Not because I need to pump myself up or gratify my vanity but simply because I want to make sure you know what to say if some jerk ever tells you our industry is too young to be worth anything.
Or, even worse, if you yourself have begun to lose faith in what you’ll be able to accomplish as a fitness professional, I want to make sure you’re proud of what we have accomplished and excited about what’s to come.
Ok, so what exactly am I trying to say here?
First of all, whether you’ve been a trainer since the early 80’s or your certification just came in the mail today, I want you to be proud. You’re one among the ranks of an incredible workforce that our nation literally couldn’t survive without.
But you should also be proud of how much advancement and development our industry has seen in the few decades we’ve been around. From the early days of celebrity and millionaire training, all the way to today’s Boot Camps and state-of-the-art online training technologies, the personal fitness industry has grown more in 25 years than most industries do in centuries.
And I also want to make sure you understand how valuable you are.
Our society needs industries like plumbers, banks, advertisers; they make the world go round, right? So it’s easy to look at personal training and see the work we do as… well, optional.
But that’s just plain untrue— untrue for many reasons.
First of all, this world is getting unhealthier every day. As more and more jobs move out of the fields, into the factory, and all the way to the computer desk, the average worker becomes increasingly sedentary.
Take all that, combine it with the amount and the kinds of food we eat, and you’ve got a recipe for devastating health epidemics.
The world keeps getting fatter, and as waistlines grow so does the need for our industry. As obesity related diseases bog down our healthcare systems and kill our citizens the personal fitness industry becomes an absolute necessity.
But it’s more than just healthcare: the entertainment industry, sports medicine and professional athletes, military, police and firefighters, all these industries rely on people like us or systems designed by people like us.
But I know you don’t need me to tell you how valuable you are. You already know that, I’m sure it’s why you got into this industry in the first place. But what about those people who think this job is just a passing phase—just something to hold you over while you grow up—but never a career choice?
Well, to those people I say, “You have absolutely no idea what you are talking about.”
Look at all the complicated and diverse systems, operations, and ventures we create. We’re marketing masters, inspirational gurus, anatomy and physiology experts, entrepreneurs and business owners. We build six-figure and million dollar companies from the ground up, we study, learn, and perfect systems, and we’ve fostered an incredible professional community.
How many people can wake up every morning knowing their actions are directly saving lives? Better yet, how many of those people can say they created and own the business that allows them to perform these life saving efforts?
Listen, you are truly in a league of your own. Set apart by your own actions and your own business, you and the other trainers working alongside you are genuine leaders.
Does a restaurant owner need to grow and nurture a passionate following of loyal friends and clients? Does the local mechanic need to connect with every one of his clients on a personal, emotional, professional and medical level? Do you see your plumber as an experienced and knowledgeable guru who inspires, leads and teaches? Or is he just a guy who fixes pipes?
In order to be successful there is so very much required from us. And sure, it’s easy to talk about how important we are, but it’s the fact that we’re able to step up to the plate and get it done that matters.
You’re a leader, a trusted advisor, and a spiritual guru, as well as a successful businesses owner and ambitious entrepreneur.
I know this is starting to get redundant but that’s just testament to how impressed I am by those who are moving and shaking in our industry. These people (and don’t think for a second that you aren’t one of them) are truly changing lives for the better. And they’re doing it within an industry that is reliable and robust enough to support a wonderful and fulfilling lifestyle.
Well, the next time you run into someone who says you don’t have a real job or says our industry is too young to be respectable, you should have plenty of information to set them straight.
In the meantime, keep learning, growing, and improving your category of one. Be the best, get better, and do your part to change this industry’s reputation. Sure, I know how great you are, but it’s up to you and your fellow trainers to show the rest of the world how strong our industry has become.
And if you’re wondering, here’re three of the best ways you can help make this happen:
1. Make sure you look the part. A respected fitness professional looks the part and practices what they preach. Don’t let your appearance allow anyone to question your genuineness.
2. Keep growing your following. The best evidence of a great trainer is a loyal and successful client base. Make sure you’re promising and delivering results, and make sure you build your image as the local fitness icon.
3. Finally, win respect through hard work and success. Master the marketing and business systems you need (here, these will help) to grow your business and win the respect that comes with a comfortable lifestyle.
Alright, your pat on the back is over. Now it’s time to get out there and make it to where you need to be.
Committed to your success,