What Should I Expect of My First Few Years in the Fitness Business?

Let’s talk about the thing that matters most to you.

This is really for someone who has just started something, whether it’s your first year in the fitness business, losing weight, getting in shape, wanting to make more money, have a better lifestyle, or improve your health. If you’re within your first year, this is particularly going to resonate with you.

I want you to understand that every single person on this planet overestimates the amount that they will achieve in one year. However, everybody underestimates what he or she can achieve in five years.

See, in your first year try something new, you’re just that: new. Right? It doesn’t matter if it’s business, if it’s health, if it’s your mindset, if it’s athletics, if it’s whatever.

A while back, I went surfing for the first time. I’d never been surfing before so, naturally, I was apprehensive.

When I first got into the water, I was awkward. I couldn’t even sit up on my board, let alone stand on it. I can’t tell you how many bumps, bruises, and cuts I got from the water. My board just kept hitting me and the fin kept cutting me.

I could have easily said, “This just isn’t for me.” That would have left me untested and stuck in my comfort zone…

Instead, I stuck it out. I knew that the only way to get better was to get past the first learning curve. That’s why I kept going out to sea, trying, failing, and then correcting course and doing it all over again.

Before long, though, I could get up, find the right wave, paddle out, and catch that wave. I could actually enjoy the ride rather than think about the process of getting up and doing it.

In business, I can tell you that I started a franchise in 2010 called Fit Body Boot Camp, and when I started it, I knew nothing about franchising. For every two or three people we got on board per week, we were losing one to three people a week because we didn’t know how to operate.

That first year of being in business was like going through a grinder. It was uncomfortable. It was hard. I didn’t like it. There were growing pains, anxiety attacks, and I even had essential tremors. I took all types of medication to manage my stress.

Guess what happens when you get on the other side of that year, though? You start getting better at stuff because the knowledge and the experience and the expertise that you’re building compounds faster month after month.

When you stick to something long enough, you just get good at it.

Here’s the thing. Like most people, I thought that all I had to do was get a really nice board, jump in the water when the waves were decent, and I’d surfing like Kelly Slater in no time.

People expect more of themselves in the first few years of starting anything. They feel they will be able to achieve more.

They go into business thinking, “All right. I’m going to build it, and they will come.”

All of a sudden, the realization hits that when they build it and open their doors, no matter how awesome looking their business is and how great the service of the product is, clients just don’t come.

You‘ll need to market. You’ll need to sell. You’ll need to follow up with leads, prospects, and clients. You’ll need to ask for referrals. You’ll need to talk to local businesses. You’ll need to figure out how Facebook and the Internet work.

You’ll need to grind it out.

The four hours a day that you dedicate to working on product delivery will end up being 40 hours a day. You’ll actually work a couple hundred hours a week on marketing and selling, rather than the few hours you thought you’d need for it.

That’s just the nuts and bolts of life, man. You have to understand that you can’t go into something thinking that you’re going to kill it right out of the gate.

I can promise you this: if you stick with it long enough, after that first year, the experience, the knowledge, the expertise compounds so quickly that you become an expert within two to four years.

That now speaks to what I call the five-year goal, because so many people underestimate what they can achieve in five years.

If you open up a business, go on a diet, start a fitness program, or want to better your mindset and mental capacity, what will end up happening is that you’ll achieve a fair amount in that first year or two. Still, for some reason, most people won’t set their goals high enough for years four, five, and six. Right?

Remember: those later years are when your knowledge is at its greatest. It’s when your ability to deal with the “suck factor” is at its greatest.

You should set higher goals for years four, five, and six rather than having these unreasonable expectations for yourself in the first year.

Screen-Shot-2014-07-02-at-2.56.53-PM-300x270-9U5dWi.pngLet’s face it: no one masters anything within a year. If you stick with it and keep grinding it out, I can tell you that you’ll end up exactly where we’ve ended up with Fit Body Boot Camp, our franchise.

We’re six years out from opening up Fit Body Boot Camp as a franchise. Today, we open one new location somewhere on the planet each and every day. How awesome is that?

Boy, let me tell you: the first year was a grind. We were losing money and overstressed. Today, after five years, we figured it out. The knowledge compounded, and it’s so much more fun owning a franchise now than it was five years ago.

This applies to surfing. This applies to fitness. This applies to business. This applies to mindset. It applies to everything.

Do not overestimate what you can achieve in your first year, and then sit back on your laurels. I want you to go into your first year expecting to fail, but doing everything in your power to improve — like your life depends on it.

Your attitude should be that you will succeed in your first year. You’ll just dominate and grind and outwork everybody.

When you do, the experience and knowledge you build within that first year will take you to a whole new level of success, so that you can set higher and bigger goals for years four through six.

Committed to your success,