The first and most important step in being a great personal trainer or bodyworker is….having a passion for it! Now this doesn’t mean you have to love it everyday (hard work is….hard!), but you should have a passion for the health and wellness field not only for yourself but for helping others achieve their goals.
2. become educated/ lifelong student
This should be obvious, but you’d be surprised how many trainers or therapists don’t take this to heart! You should want to become an expert in your field. Not for your ego, but to be in the position to best help your clients or patients be successful. When you have an unwavering desire to serve your clients, you should be on a quest to be constantly improving your education to help them. New technology and innovation is constantly changing, thus you should be keeping up with noteworthy news and techniques. This can be professional courses, training programs, podcasts, books, social media you follow or all of the above. I’ll list some of my favorite resources for a growth mindset at the bottom of the blog!
3. SET THE EXAMPLE
Have you ever seen the unhealthy trainer? The stressed out therapist? The chronically ill doctor? “”First remove the plank from your own eye and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” -Matthew 7:5. Not only do you have a moral responsibility to reflect the things you preach, but you are best positioned to help the person you used to be. If you have overcome an injury, lost fat and gained muscle, healed chronic pain or illness in yourself, or experienced any other personal success that’s training or therapy related, that puts you in a prime position to teach someone else. Knowledge + Experience = Wisdom.
4. LISTEN / BE INTERESTED… NOT INTERESTING
How many times have you come across a trainer who talks about themselves the entire session? Or a therapist, who word vomits all of their problems to you….it can be overwhelming. And here’s a psychological tip – People love to talk about themselves. If someone is paying you good money for your time, guess what? They should be the ones doing the majority of the talking (there shouldn’t be too much talking if there’s good coaching or physical therapy going on but you get the point…). One great attribute of not only a great trainer/therapist, but leader or person in general is their ability to Listen. So often patients and clients in our space feel unheard…and typically if you just become a great listener for your clients they will give you the keys to unlocking their success and in succession your own as well.
5. NICHE DOWN- BUT BECOME WELL ROUNDED IN WELLNESS
The riches are in the niches….right? For the most part I agree. Our field is way too extensive and comprehensive to not focus on one part and attempt to be an expert in that particular area. Though it is true that your compensation is directly correlated to your ability to solve people’s problems, if you can solve a problem that most peers can’t solve then you’re on the right track. This does not mean you can be ignorant of all other things wellness related. As we know all aspects of health are interconnected and you should have a basic understanding of not only training or therapy but also sleep, nutrition, psychology, faith, communication, and holistic or traditional medicine.
6. FIND GREAT TEAM ENVIRONMENT
The right team can make all the difference. The wrong team can make you dread going to work. The right team will encourage you and give you positive feedback trying to pull the best out of you, while the wrong team will belittle you and tear you down to build themselves up. This is why it’s important to have strong leadership in your business. The right leaders can weed out toxic behavior and coworkers while instilling good habits, strong morals and cultural values. It’s important for you to have a strong moral and value structure as well so no matter what environment you walk into you have the strength and foundation to be successful no matter what, but having the right team around you can make all the difference in the world. Besides those obvious factors, when you’re on a team working together for unselfish reasons and personal benefits, working for a Purpose Greater Than the team itself, joy and fulfillment ensue and those are hard things to come by.
7. CREATE SELF-DISCIPLINE
Self Discipline – the ability to control one’s feelings and overcome one’s weaknesses; the ability to pursue what one thinks is right despite temptations to abandon it. Motivation is fleeting but discipline is forever. Have you ever woken up early and listened to a youtube video on motivation to try to get yourself motivated for a long day ahead? I have. And I can tell you that it’s a temporary fix. It’s a fix for a lack of discipline, well-being/health, joy and fulfillment, and delaying short term satisfaction. To become great or consistent at anything requires discipline. Discipline with your time, skill development, health habits, serving others, building your faith, and putting in consistent effort and hard work at your job. If you’ve ever read a biography of a successful or great person they embody these qualities or most of them that require Self Discipline.
8. SHOWCASE YOUR CLIENTS RESULTS AND YOUR EDUCATION
What is the first thing you do when looking for a local business or service to get something or get something done in your area? You look it up on google or go to their website. The next thing your eyes and brain go to are reviews. You want to know, like, and trust this business and can really only qualify those attributes by what other customers of that business have said. This is why it’s extremely important to showcase your client wins and get reviews – either on your social media, website or other public resource. If it’s a service you’re looking for from a provider, the typical third step is seeing what their qualifications are. If you’re looking to provide a niche service this is extremely important. As consumers become more savvy and educated, it’s important for you to highlight your education, background and skills.
9. ETWORK WITH OTHER PRACTITIONERS
Your network is your net worth. If no one knows who you are in your field, how are you supposed to grow and gain influence? The quickest way to gain clientele is to develop a network of like minded individuals who ideally are in a complementary or similar profession as you. For personal trainers this could be: chiropractors, physical therapists, massage therapists, doctors, supplement stores, nutritionists etc… As you develop relationships and trust with this group of people (as well as develop and grow your talent and ability to deliver a great service), your influence and network will grow. You will become top of mind when these people run into someone who could use your service. But remember, give value first without ever expecting value in return.
10. FIND MENTOR OR COACH…FOREVER
Every question has an answer. Every problem – a solution. Every great trainer, coach or therapist I have ever met has had a great mentor or coach themselves. Someone who has accomplished what you are looking to accomplish. Someone who has been where you have been. If they have accomplished what you want to accomplish and have been where you have been, do you think they could help you answer the questions you currently have and help you navigate the road blocks that are currently impeding your progress? Of course they can. That’s why it’s so important in many facets of your life, to have a great mentor or business coach who can get you to where you want to go faster and with less pain. Make sure you get the right mentor and coach and that they mirror the values and accomplishments that you want to have.
I have found that these 10 steps are not only effective in becoming a great trainer, bodyworker or therapist, but for any professional trying to navigate the waters of life and business. It takes purpose. It takes wisdom. It takes courage. It takes love. It takes communication. It takes a village. It takes discipline and hard work. It takes creativity. It takes guidance. I hope you can take these lessons and implement them into you life and practice to Become Greater Than even your own expectations of what you could become.
Growth Resources: www.greaterthanpain.com
Books: Think and Grow Rich, How to Eat, Move, and Be Healthy, Discipline is Freedom, The Body Keeps the Score, WhyWe Sleep, The Bible, The Richest Man in Babylon, The Obstacle is the Way, 5 Dysfunctions of a Team, Man’s Search for Meaning, Leadership in Turbulent Times, 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership
Podcasts: “The Ed Mylett Show”, “Ben Greenfield”, “The School of Greatness”, “Mastery Podcast”, “Huberman Lab”, “The Doctors Farmacy”, “Industrial Strength Show”, “Muscle Intelligence”, “Maxwell Leadership Podcast”, “this:Undefined”
By: Scott Pollock
Owner of Greater Than