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by wodumedia

I’ve been an instructor for Personal Trainers, Strength Coaches, Neurokinetic Therapists and Life Coaches. Throughout my career many alumni have come to me after hitting the wall. It usually starts out, “Coach, do you have a moment? Can I buy you lunch?” Then, from what feels like a place of shame, they start out “I am making money, and happy with that, but…”

I know what’s coming before they even tell me.

They feel trapped.

They want to be able to leave, take a vacation, know they have a sound future, they want to buy a home or have a child…but they lack the confidence in where their business stands.

I began to realize that I needed to stop reading physiology books for the moment and turn my attention to the skillsets of the business savvy required to be successful in the industry. I needed my students and alumni moving forward to understand how to avoid being one of the comfortably uncomfortable…falling prey to the good month/bad month roller coaster that all service industry careers can experience.

We are not automatically taught the skills to avoid the roller coaster. The unfortunate truth is that you find out along the way.

We need to be better to ourselves. We need to be better, so that we can sustain our practice and grow something amazing. We need to be better, so that we can continue to establish positive relationships with our clients and athletes moving forward. Those positive relationships will not last long when you internalize your practice, become bored or complacent, or start blaming clients for not showing up as the reason why you are not doing well this month. We need to be self-interested so that we can be healthy and well, therefore truly be able to be selfless to others. You need to take care of “number one” so you can be the best for everyone you work with. If you can’t be the best for everyone, then you are not going to be very successful in the industry. Eventually you will burn out, and this will not be a sustainable career.

The good news is that the Personal Training, Strength and Conditioning and Life Coaching fields are structured in a way that provides endless opportunity and scalability allowing you to create a career in which you feel free and not trapped. A field that is recession proof when you are proactive. A field that supports you in keeping the tarnish off the shine you feel in helping others. We can prevent comfortably uncomfortable. We just need to honor ourselves and be a little more business savvy.

A few ways we can become a little more “business savvy” are the following:

  1. Figure out how much we need to make a month to get out of that feeling of being “comfortably uncomfortable”.
  2. Restructure your training schedule so that it aligns with how you want your life to look. What are your days off? How many sessions are you training a week? What is your pay structure?
  3. Creating a schedule that is sustainable. You most definitely don’t want to be running around constantly trying to please others while you sacrifice the health and/or happiness of you and your family.
  4. Creating a culture within your training business. What makes your clients want to come back each day? Is your training business the “buzz” in the gym and in your client’s community?
  5. Know where your money is going. Do you have a great understanding of what your overhead costs are? Have you factored in emergency funds? Do you have at least 3 months of capital set aside so that you can run your business if there is a down-turn in clientele?
  6. Knowing your tax structure for your state and how it will affect your business is important. Will you hire a CPA or accountant? Will you do your monthly statements on your own? Having a great grasp on where every penny goes and what each month looks like financially will help you plan for the future and adjust your structure in the present if need be.
  7. Take care of #1. Yup, it is the truth of the matter that when we are running a business, no matter how large or small, we forget to take care of ourselves and we sacrifice everything for the success of the business. By paying yourself first, whether that is a retirement fund, an emergency fund, etc., those types of actions of investing in yourself will give you the confidence moving forward in your business.

I bet you are saying, “MAN, I wish I knew more about each of those 7 areas and didn’t have to constantly live in a state of ‘comfortably uncomfortable’.” Well, you are in luck! We most definitely want you to be comfortable in your business and professional career. We want you to be “business savvy”! Check out our Continuing Education Unit (CEU) course – “Business Savvy” at

Sending you the best of luck in your business ventures! Even the most seasoned business professionals in the Fitness Industry are always searching and learning new ways to be efficient and more successful. We are happy we could help you on finding your success!

Arik is a graduate of the University of Oregon: Bachelors degree in Exercise and Movement Science and Master’s degree in Human Physiology, with a concentration in Biomechanics. Arik Wiest has been the Director and Lead Instructor at a few National Personal Training Institute locations. He now serves as the Director and Lead Instructor at NationalPTI, Hawaii. As his experiences grow, Arik realizes his passion lies in helping others become the leading professionals in the fitness, health and wellness industry.

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