Once upon a time I had a dream, a recurrent dream. To be my own boss, to have my own train studio, to hold the power when I can take holiday but mostly importantly to make people happy, healthy and resilient.
Having your own business IS NOT easy. Omg, if you think you can buy a squat rack, put some flashy grass on the ground and call yourself a holistic coach, I am begging you to postpone your dream until you are ready.
Working for yourself is a consistent hard work, be ready to be extremely adaptable, be super humble and be ready to receive a lot of punches. It’s about discipline, self-trust, authenticity and always be one step ahead.
What does it mean to be an efficient coach? I am not talking about being a great coach, this article will help you more (comeback here after you read).
An Efficient Coach - I’m sure that each of you will think of a different things. For me, it’s about coaching longevity, uninterrupted energy, endless creativity and your own health abundance. In order to achieve all these I will now share 6 main strategies with you. Every point goes way deeper that here but this is for another time. Let’s start.
1. BOOKING SOFTWARE
Without exaggerating one of the best decision I have ever made. After a years of resisting and stubbornness I decided to look for a great but affordable software. I did not have too much spare to go wild. I spoke to so many trainers about it and many of them told me they don’t need it. You do guys, even if you have 10 clients. It will save you a tons of very valuable time which you can invest elsewhere [__________insert where].
keep ALL clients details in one place. Attach their assessment, medical history, on-boarding forms, credit card details (DO THIS!!!) for reconciling, you can set their preferable personal training reminders, save their personal informations such as the name of the kids or their pets, see all invoicing and WAY more
see your training calendar on one page and shuffle around with ease
all financials in one place. This is incredibly important. You’ll have all invoicing, reports, credits/owing, predicted growth graphs, profit, clients spending (so you can reward them) in ONE location.
your clients can create their own account. That’s the place where they can purchase your products, see their spendings or book another session.
create your own products/memberships/packages and offer them to your members
it’s professional and saves you A LOT of time and headaches
I searched a lot for a long time. I didn’t want to spend too much on it but I was looking for almost complete features offer. Another persuasive argument which was very important to me was; it must have mobile application. I run all businesses from my phone.
I have to say that PT Minder fulfilled my all expectations. But the software wasn’t the only reason to sign up. Their prompt and professional communication, their listening skills ( I made a lot of cheeky suggestions), their respect and mainly empathy made me stay even if things weren’t perfect. Give PT Minder ago. You will get a lot for the price. Do I remind you that monthly subscription is mostly half an hour of your work?
2. LET YOUR CLIENTS CARRY THE WEIGHTS
During each session I use to ALWAYS taking care of clients exercise prep. You know these situations , put the bench there, heavy dumbbells next to it, clean it after, set another exercise...day after day, year after year. At the end of each day? Totally exhausted which affected my coaching quality and energy.
If you don’t do this mistake, great. But I learned the hard way and based on what I am still seeing, I wasn’t the only one.
for them, it will be a part of the session
they will feel trusted and own charge which can increase coach-client relationship and self-confidence
for you, it will save you A LOT of energy
you can focus on some quick thinking whilst they are setting up. Maybe you need to quickly progress the drill or adapt in a different way. This is your chance.
3. REPETITIVE PROGRAM DESIGN + PREFILLING
Oh, this one is huge. But at the sane time it’s a big barrier for some, especially when you are sitting in a cafe and overhearing a conversation: “omg, I have an awesome trainer, every session is different...”.
Sure, it’s very appealing to create EVERY session a new program. It’s exciting fo you too because with the repetitive program, the same thought runs in your head “they are bored, they are bored, they are bored”. Well, my mentor Aaron always reminded us, “they aren’t bored, you are”.
I have a few questions for you. If you are changing the program every session:
How do you measure progression? I mean, the real one. If they don’t get your prescribed exercise or move within the first session (which is mostly the case) and you change the exercise the next session, how they can get better in it and actually receive some benefits?
For how long are you able to do this before you ran out of ideas and your training will start looking like a collage of Youtube clips?
How client can learn a new skills if you change the programs so quickly?
Do you really have to unhide all cards and burn out?
I have a better idea for you as I firmly believe you can do both - let clients LOVE your training and measure their progress.
Here is the thing, people hire a guide who has a plan because they have a problem. If you build a mutual relationship the right way - they will trust you, therefore it should be easier to justify your decisions.
And your decision will be to design a repetitive program and every session manipulate the program the way that will spark their excitement. These manipulations must be driven by daily readiness and your bright adaptability:
Changing range of motion
Changing hands/feet/body directions
Shortening/lengthening the rest periods
Changing the exercise equipment
Adding a short cardio / recovery sections to finish off the session
You get the idea...Simply there is A LOT you can do with the same program without your clients getting bored.
it will be easier to measure improvements, for both of you. For example; when the load is getting easier to move with, the uncomfortable lateral lunge becomes smoother ON BOTH SIDES or the recovery between the exercises/sets require shorter rest… - it’s time to change
IMPORTANT: for you, no need to come up EVERY session with a new program. SO DRAINING & UNSUSTAINABLE. Good bye coaching longevity.
clients will gain more confidence and learn brand new skills
The bottom line is, it can still be super fun, challenging and engaging. On top of these you bring real results and save you some energy for next session. AND, you have a client for a lifetime.
Once you see your client clearly master your program (which is usually after 6th session) move on.
One more thing, of course, time to time you should throw a different circuit or something more diverse. But your core approach will be a repetitive program design.
I can not express how this will become vital for your productivity and longevity of the coaching. You literally need a template for everything. For those clients who don’t feel ready to execute your designed program due to their immediate issue they didn’t tell you over the phone. For that small group training you unexpectedly created. For that in-home mobility routine client politely asked you or for your philosophy explanation because they want to share with their friends how amazing you are. Trust me, you need a to of templates.
Sure, to create templates can take you a year but once it’s done it will save you a lot of time which you can invest into your private relationship, creating new products, spend time on the ongoing education or schedule a catch up with your friend.
All templates must remain in the editable version because everyone is different so don’t export them to PDF just yet.
super time efficiency. When you need it, you have it
client doesn’t have to wait to long if she ask you to help her with out of the gym Health Plan
freeing up for something exciting
5. FIRST 10 MINUTES OF THE FIRST SESSION ARE FOR YOU
Now, how many of you are guessing what I mean bu that. No? Yes? Ok, let me please explain.
We all know how much movement influence cognitive health, reaction, sharpness, creativity, calmness and decision making. My friends, if you are facing 6+ (are you really doing more?, you shouldn’t) your will need all qualities. For these reasons, you are going to be selfish. You will program first 5-10 minutes for yourself. Every movement done with your client or small group will be FOR YOU!
Did you wake up and your hips are tight? Make it better. Or perhaps you need more energy to run through your blood? Get some games or activation drills. As a result - your clients will have a coach who is READY! Win - win.
for you, you will feel amazing and ready to coach with energy and smile on your face
for client, they don’t have to look at your tired face or observe your slow body language (always move better then your client. For as long as you can).
for you, create happy clients by shining bright and speak out with enthusiasm
for you, you don’t have too do it later on your own and your clients are happy to be guided
6. AVOID COACHING “CLASSIC PT HOURS”
Ok, I left this one last for a reason. It’s the hardest to follow and it takes a time to craft, what I call, the smart schedule. Don’t work hard, work smart.
A classic trainer wakes up at 5 am, shovel in some brekky and rush to the gym. With a fake energy coaches first 2 hours and continue to a mid morning.
Next, if we he is lucky he gets a coffee, dip in the ocean, a quick lunch and rushing back to the gym (or whenever) he coaches to complete another 12 hour day. He leaves the gym at 8pm and let’s have some night fun. NO, NO, NO my friends this is not being smart. You have a life to live and you don’t have to spend it in the gym.
I will confess something very important here which I never shared before. Btw., I didn’t share a lot of things publicly until this blog post.
When I opened my own studio up north, I promised to myself to not work past 11 am. I DID NOT even once. Sure, I had 1-2 days with 1 afternoon session but it was because my client really could not come any other time, very rare!
Every day I worked 5.30 - 9.30am. Done! No Fridays past 8am and no weekend. Strictly. When other went to work until 5pm I went home. This wasn’t easy to build but it’s totally possible.
NOTE: if you prefer afternoon coaching, let it be. Clear up the morning and work only 5-8.30pm.
However, I didn’t work this way because I would be lazy, I did it because I desperately wanted:
spend time with Chantel
rest by the pool at lunch time
design programs which I love
have enough energy for days, weeks, years after
go for a walk & coffee ( I dearly love both)
create other products
enjoy my own training
__________ you insert what you want
You ask, how could you make enough money? How could you pay the rent? How 20 hours a week could be enough to pay for the living? Right now, guys - here, I am not capable to give you the formula how to create a smart schedule. All I can say is - think outside the box. It is possible. I am the right example.
My friends, one of the reason I have never shared this before is that I thought no one would be interested. I also knew that people would not believe that all this is possible, but you know what? It is. You don’t have to believe me but if you do, and you want to live a life and do what you love the most, above is the snippet of my experience.
Let me please know if this is helpful and if you want to know more. Nothing makes more happy than seeing my fellow coaches grow and enjoy the life. I firmly believe in my strategies because I crafted them I went through the process and I perfected them. And YOU have to believe in the process if you want this to work.