a personal fitness trainer. That's not only what I do, it's
become ingrained into who I am. There was a time, shortly before
my 30th birthday, when I resigned from an executive position
with a generous salary, a secretary, and an expense account,
to pursue my personal fitness training passion, armed with little
more than ambition. That ambition was fueled exponentially when
one of my then peers laughed. I don't mean giggled. I don't
mean chuckled. I mean he gave way to an all-out face-turning-red
belly-pumping deep-from-the-diaphragm display of near hysterical
. . . you're . . . . you're (ha, ha, ha) . . . going to be a
wealthy trainer? You're walking away from this company to be
a fitness trainer?"
walked away, not embarrassed, but inspired. I've learned to
channel emotion, to use experience, and that experience took
me from an inner sense of doubt to an absolute certainty. There
wasn't any turning back. I decided right then and there I MUST
find prosperity incorporating my passion for helping other people
is probably an overused word, but that's only because its definition
varies with the individual. Unscientifically, from my own observation,
true prosperity is far less prevalent than most who seek it
would suspect. Of course, that's based on my own definition
of the word. I've had enough miserable yet affluent clients
over the years to recognize that financial abundance was not
synonymous with the state of being prosperous. I've been to
enough of the country club dinners to see behind the cosmetic
enhancements, the tuxedos and gowns, and the air of having it
all. For me, prosperity has a disctinctive connection with freedom.
It comes with a sense of having the freedom, not only to acquire
those things you long for, but also the freedom to user your
inner uniqueness, your inner good.
behind the eyes I see through every day, prosperity is a sense
of relevance, power, and an abundant energy that allows you
to put out more and more of your energy, to impact greater and
greater numbers of people in positive ways, and to find extreme
reward, financially, emotionally, spiritually, and joyously.
Prosperity is not a destination, but an ever-evolving experience,
and as you tap into higher and higher levels of feeling prosperous,
you realize your potential is far greater than you imagined
even days ago.
WHAT YOU EXPECT
aware and comfortable with the fact that many trainers and aspiring
fitness professionals will find this article disappointing.
I'll stop you from reading further if you're searching for "the
amazing promotion that drives clients to your door" or
"the miraculous email trick that puts you on a pedestal
with Donald Trump and Bill Gates."
won't find amazing promotions herein, although those who are
open to a new perspective may find new doors being to slowly
open up. There isn't any "amazing promotion" that
makes you successful, but if you connect the dots between "your
work," your power, your passion, and your love of life,
the new success you'll find will almost miraculously attract
"success secrets" that are so simple they seem to
fall into your lap one after another.
over a decade I've shared practical real-world promotions and
strategies with fitness professionals, and I'm certainly not
going to stop, but this article is not the forum for tactical
ideas. My workshops, seminars, and programs have more "how-to
meat" than most career curriculums could ever promise.
This article is different. I've written it for fitness professionals
ready to take responsibility for their own futures.
you begin to digest and understand the perspectives I'm aobut
to share, it's vital that you accept four specific attitudinal
perspectives required for operating professionally and enjoying
that elusive sense of prosperity without effort.
Don't let their brevity dissuade you. They are, in fact, vital
pieces of the prosperity puzzle.
Be a part of something bigger than "what you do
a for a living"
Approach your "work" fully engaged
Recognize and monitor your self talk
Make a difference
you've accepted and internalized those four perspectives related
to your career, you can begin to find growth by reframing your
business operation into three elements that make up the backbone
of continuous growth.
begin with an insight:
can only come from reaching greater numbers of people with your
valuable message, funneling prospects into clients utilizing
a forum that optimizes the value of your time, and continually
building the number of thrilled customers with a spillover mechanism
that prevents excessive drain on your energies or your time.
can whittle that last paragraph down to three words, each one
representing one of the three growth elements:
now have three words that without further explanation leave
you no closer to finding fulfillment.
Don’t worry. I’ll
explain the virtues and relevance of each of the three words,
and then I’ll delve into the first of the three, the
The Reach is marketing,
but don’t mistake marketing for advertising.
To expand your reach requires that you expand your sphere
of influence, send ripples out that touch greater and greater
numbers of people. Marketing should be thought of as anything that
puts your name, message, image, or voice, in front of the universe
of potential clients.
The Funnel is the step between
attracting interest and linking a new client with an ongoing
win-win relationship, a business strategy that allows you to
find fair compensation for communicating your message to groups
of people and funneling those who are qualified clients into
your prosperity net.
The Spillover is the element
of your business that allows you to continue to attract, maintain,
and provide exceptional service to ever-growing numbers of people
who make it through your funnel but cannot realistically fit
into the boundaries of your schedule or time restraints.
the goal is to find financial and emotional reward by bettering
the lives of others, all three of these elements must be developed
and refined, and if you have a passion for personal training,
it is not only possible but likely that the combination of focus,
commitment, and strategy will ultimately take on a sense of
“flow,” a sensation equating to effortlessness.
Don’t mistake effortlessness for the unwillingness to
expend energy. Instead think of energy as an investment of
calculated effort that provides a momentous return, and as a
part of that return energy reserves are fueled endlessly.
future articles I'll reveal the intricacies of building the
funnel and spillover, but the importance of "Reach"
DOES YOUR GARDEN GROW?
out for a short detour and an absurd response . . .
Imagine you own a plot of land. You have the land cleared and hire a landscaping
company to beautify the project. Three months later you visit
the property and find it’s a mud pit.
You call the landscaper to an urgent meeting and ask,
absurd response . . .
happened. I planted seeds
but nothing grew. It isn’t my fault. I did my part.”
right? Unfortunately it’s the same mindset that plagues
personal trainers who fail to identify a primary weakness. They plant seeds by getting certified, printing
business cards, getting a business license and purchasing insurance,
and they attract their first handful of clients. Three months later they decide “it isn’t working.”
Some of the clients dropped off, nobody else is interested,
and “you can’t earn a
living as a personal trainer.”
the mistake. Just as
a landscaper must go far beyond planting seeds, just as a beautification
program must include cultivation, care, and response to issues
that interrupt a garden’s potential to grow, a personal training
business requires a commitment to nurturing, to responding,
and to cultivating an ever-expanding base of people the business
doesn’t have to cost anything. In its naked form, it’s nothing more than talking
to people about the value you offer.
A commitment to speak with five people each day about
what you do is a guarantee that your reach
takes on a life of its own.
you create impressive direct mail campaigns, drive traffic to
a website using online marketing, or use innovating networking
strategies to gain a perceived position in the marketplace? Sure, but those options incorporate risk, expense,
and a stream of variables that make anticipated return a best
basic as it seems, speaking to five people a day is a scientific
approach, a pure numbers game.
Five people per day amounts to over 1500 people per year,
1500 people you’ve personally touched, 1500 people who serve
as evidence of your reach.
you ask, can this commitment, over time, lead to exponential
growth in Reach? It’s simple.
This year, a percentage of the 1500 people you connect
with will take a follow up action with you.
A percentage of those people will become thrilled clients
or impressed advocates. Next year, in addition to the 1500 people you
will bring into your sphere of influence, you’ll have your army
of allies driving people toward your funnel.
find that connecting with 1500 people brings you power. Some
of them will work for or own companies with scores or perhaps
hundreds of employees in need of fitness.
Some will have connections with media.
Some will know people who know people, and the expansion
of your Reach becomes a habit fueled with contagious enthusiasm.
am not discouraging you from launching promotions and ideas
that excite you, but I am suggesting that Reach becomes effortless
only when the action you take becomes an enjoyable habit and
the continued ripples outward expand without any further investment
of your time. Rely on promotions and you’re certain to have
more of those roller coaster ups and downs.
Rely on your own power, develop the Reach habit, and
you ensure a sense of control, a recognition that you still
haven’t hit your prime, a realization that your potential is
greater today than it was last week and greater next week than
it is today.
BIG MARKETING QUESTION REVISITED
segment of the market is in fact your “universe?”
question is the key question in tens of thousands of marketing
books, articles, and business-building protocols. As the personal training field matures, a great
number of trainers are accepting common business practices,
thus, trainers everywhere seek to answer the question in their
respectively unique marketing universes.
you call it your “target market,” your “main demographic,” or
your “field of prospects,” marketing companies worldwide invest
hundreds of hours and hundreds of thousands of dollars in refining
the marketing scope.
going to suggest that for you, for a personal trainer with an
established level of competence and enough of a dose of confidence
to “Reach” five people a day, the key question need not be answered. I thoroughly understand the reasoning behind
“identifying your market” before beginning any marketing campaign,
but the reality is, as personal fitness trainers our potential
goes far beyond “training” a given market.
you opt to zero in on a niche, if you find extreme reward training
athletes, find a thrill in getting deconditioned seniors back
to previous levels of functionality, or if you find the gratification
you attract from helping obese men and women lose weight, of
course it’s sensible to direct your marketing toward your specific
then would I suggest stepping away from the business norm of
“finding your market?” Because
the opportunity for strategic growth is vast, in fact, it’s
greater than ever . . . . and limiting
your marketing to a segment of the universe may hinder your
potential. Your funnel
and your spillover will allow you to “recruit” areas of specialty,
so even those clients who fall outside of your preferred demographic
can become a contributing and appreciating part of your client
for a clarity check.
you think Phil said, “never choose
a target market,” I’ve failed to communicate effectively. There are those who can and should find their
target and capitalize on a specialty, but if you spend days,
weeks, months, and ultimately years trying to figure out “the
target,” you’ve missed all of those circles around the bull’s-eye.
VIEW OF THE ENTIRE TARGET - BEYOND THE BULLS-EYE
the universe as a target, each circle is valuable.
Although the bulls-eye will represent the smallest number
of prospects, it may in fact represent those who are most likely
to commit. As we go outward,
the willingness to commit may diminish, but the raw numbers
and the actual need increase significantly.
the middle of the bulls-eye might be the physically fit, or
near-fit, who enjoy the health club experience, and, with subtle
coaxing, are open to connecting with a true expert.
next ring is “the people who have joined gyms and feel they’ve
failed to achieve the results they seek.” The number of people who inhabit this ring is
astonishingly high, and although their enthusiasm has likely
diminished, the unachieved goal can serve as motivational fuel.
number three would include people who find excuses not to devote
time to exercise but periodically attempt a diet, an exercise
regimen, or a trendy “solution.”
If you recognize that we’re looking at well over $75
billion dollars spent annually on ineffective technologies,
you’ll understand why in terms of opportunity, there’s clearly
greater opportunity in the third ring than the middle.
number four includes the deconditioned and overweight, the Syndrome
X, and the metabolically challenged, the busy, the stressed,
the fast-food plagued drive-through-ers and those who wish but
have trouble believing physical change is possible for them.
outer rings are growing, and growing, and growing.
we get outward from the center, the market becomes less pinpointed,
less definable, but clearly more needy, and as we move toward
the center, as we look at the piece of the universe inhabited
by the physically fit, we find a proven commitment, an elevated
sense of “the norm” in terms of physical prowess and functionality,
and a want to be better with each successive year.
inner circle, the physically fit, are targeted by many trainers
who find comfort in the health club environment, but that slice
of market is often dismissed by trainers who feel they need
to present a health club alternative.
I’ve heard the self-discouraging line uttered repeatedly
among personal trainer limited by their hindered sense of potential.
“But these people don’t want trainers.”
WITHOUT BOUNDARIES AND TAP THE OUTER RING
two years I operated a retail store which served as yet another
portal into my funnel, my seminars and programs sharing “the
fitness truth.” My staff
knew the mantra. “Nobody wants a fat burner, people want to burn
fat.” I’d lend the same
mindset to you. Nobody
wants a trainer. People want an outcome, and if they believe
you can deliver that outcome, they attach themselves to you
with a fervor and spirit that knows no bounds.
you can help any person inhabiting any ring in the circle find
that a trainer is a vehicle to transport them from the physical
place they live in now to the physical place that represents
what they’d like to be, the trainer is no longer an option,
it’s a must.
the message I most want to communicate in this installment of
the four-part series is:
to tell five people per day, every day, about what you do, and
approach “the Reach” without boundaries, recognizing that in
the long run, every person you touch can become a source of
new business. At first the commitment asks for discipline,
but within 90 days the discipline is traded for enjoyable habit. After all, you love talking to people about
fitness and you have an absolute passion for what you do.
while my own customers and clientele fill the entirety of the
target, I believe the greatest potential lies in the masses,
in the outer ring. How
do you optimize your Reach making certain you touch the outer
the perceived need to “target” your market, and recognize that
your universe ultimately has few borders or barriers. Find “outer ringers” wherever you find people.
Think of throwing a net out into an ocean, then
throwing it out again, and again, and again.
Consider that a pole with specialized bait appealing
to a prize fish will attract few catches, and casting a net
will bring in volumes which, by the rules of statistical probability,
will pull in some genuine prizes in greater abundance than a
single baited pole.
years ago, I found a leap in revenues
and appeal by learning to combine my Reach and my Funnel, although
I hadn’t yet perfected the process.
The leap came primarily from understanding how I could,
using the media, seminars, and group gatherings, position myself,
not as “a trainer,” but as “an expert.”
If I were to offer “position yourself as an expert” as
advice with extreme value, I’d be selling you short, as the
terrain has changed over the last 15 years. The phrase has been passed along and the methods
have been so watered down the phrase itself almost appears impotent.
encourage you to get into the media, to speak at public forums,
and to appear in front of a group whenever possible, but in
today’s marketplace it has to go way beyond the same “expert”
approach so many trainers are muddying the water with.
The idea is to stand out.
The terrain is changing, trainers on 5-minute segments
on the regional news discussing new years resolutions or diet
scams is commonplace, thus simply getting into the media is
no longer going to make you a stand-out.
into the media with a hard line, a challenge against convention,
and the willingness to exploit problem and solution. Think of yourself not as an expert, but rather
as a rescuer, as someone who holds the formula to success, and
then learn to present it so it comes across as bold, confrontational,
or even absurd.
what you do, do what you love, but do it with thought, direction,
and in appreciation of your unique gifts, and effortless prosperity
is more than a dream. It’s