A few months back I hit the three year mark as a trainer. This was a big milestone for me considering I’m in an industry where the vast majority burn out within 1-2 years (sometimes even less). Although I’ve only been in the game for three years, I’ve learned quite a ton and gained a unique perspective.
1. There’s a lot of hard work involved
This should come as no surprise. It’s really silly to think you can skip steps and avoid the process — like there’s some magic formula. Quite frankly, that type of thinking is repulsive. Pay your dues. Everyday. The vast majority that don’t “make it” fail to understand the simple concept of hard work.
To go against this grain just spells entitled douche bag.
2. Professionalism goes a long way
As a kid, the one virtue that was drilled into my head over and over again was humility (thanks Ma). You’re not superior to your craft and others. That’s why I continually stress the importance of never looking down and thinking you’re above everything or anyone.
Let me tell you, when it’s time to shut my mouth and learn, I take my trainer hat off. I can make a legitimate argument that that’s what paid dividends to my success early on.
If you want to standout, conduct yourself like a professional — serve as an example and an inspiration.
3. You can’t help everyone
I can’t stress this enough. When I first started out, I wanted to help everyone. The reality that quickly took place, however, was the complete opposite — I learned the hard way that you can’t help someone who doesn’t genuinely want help.
There is a fine distinction between someone who says they need help, and someone who actually wants help. With that in mind, it’s virtually impossible to help everyone that crosses your path. This was such a tough pill for me to swallow considering my optimistic nature.
So… in the grand scheme of things, actively seek out people who actually want help.
4. Have positive interactions
This, in many ways, ties into the second lesson mentioned above. Being good at what you do is a given — no way around that. It’s essential that you do your work and get really, really, REALLY good at it. However, further down the road, having positive interactions and building relationships makes a bigger impact.
As a frame of reference, my former employer back when I used to teach P.E. was such a huge influence in my life he and I became good friends. In fact, he was the one that made the intro to the owner of the gym I currently run my business in. Some would label that situation as luck (which is sort of true), but this is a perfect example of where preparation meets opportunity.
5. Be clear and concise
Understand that people are inherently skeptical, and trying to impress them doesn’t do any good. On many occasions, I’ve had my clients nod their head whenever I tried to articulate the reasoning behind a certain drill and/or exercise — it’s safe to say they didn’t know what the hell I was saying. With that said, you have to understand that everybody caters to simplicity. In the realm of strength and conditioning, minimizing trainer jargon and becoming proficient in your communication skills is paramount.
The best trainers and coaches in the world are the ones who are able to convey their message as if they’re the client.
Think and act like a trainer, but speak like a client.