Gut Check for your 2016 Business Goals

Gut CheckThis is the perfect time of the year to take a quick break from the challenge of working in our business to working on our business, specifically our business goals. If you have goals and are on track for the year, congratulations! You are among a rare minority and the rest of this article may not be not for you. If you don’t have them or if you are not on track here is what to do:

Revise or scrap your goal and start over.

If the main business goal for 2016 is not coming together, set aside some time to think. We’ll call this working on the business. Second, keep thinking until you think of something you want for the business and the work you will have to do to get there is slightly exciting. This is important because you will have to love the work in order to achieve the goal. To love the work is to resonate with it. The opposite of love is indifference and if you find yourself disliking, or even more common, indifferent about the work – you are not going to do it. This is where personal and business goals fail almost of the time.

If you find yourself in this situation, change your goals to something that you will not be indifferent about, and reboot your energy. Instead of taking this decisive action, I often see fitness professionals limp along with their old goals thinking something is going to change and motivate them, like some kind of miracle. To use a football analogy, drop back 10 yards to set up a play that will work.

Do you have the right number of goals?

This is a very common problem. People get excited about their goals and in their excitement they create lots of goals. Big mistake. Curb your enthusiasm and focus on one goal and only one. Everything in business takes twice as long as we think and it will and cost twice as much as we anticipate when we start out. The same will happen with your goal because you can’t possibly know all the steps you will need to go through to achieve the goal. In business we make decisions and then do the work as necessary to succeed – as the work comes up.

Working on your business (your goal) and not in your business (coaching) is new to many fitness professionals. Trust me that you will love working on your business once you have the right goal and the work becomes an enjoyable habit. Achieving a goal is simply the result of daily habits. Don’t try to do it all at once, no more than you would try to run a 4-minute mile without lots of prep work and training. The same thinking applies to your business.

Do your habits support your goal?

Look at your calendar. How many times in the last week did you actually dedicate time to, and work on your business? Be honest. It’s not going to happen unless you dedicate some time to it.

Here is what you need to do to start: 10 minutes a day working on your business every day without exception. It’s only 10 minutes, of course 20 is better, but start with 10. Your 10 minutes should be uninterrupted and totally focused, no phones, Internet or other distractions. None! 3-2-1 Go! Set a timer and walk away at the end of the 10 minutes. Come back to it tomorrow and the next day and the day after…. You will be amazed!!

In LinkedIn I posted an article on how much a poster in my Grandfather’s garage has helped me remember what is important. You can read it here.

Improving client retention by helping with the New Year’s Resolution.

goal starts on MondayPeople struggle with New Year’s resolutions. Almost all of the good intentions on January 1 have been lost in the day-to-day activities of having a life. This is a perfect time for you to have a conversation with your clients. Everyone in the fitness industry knows the value of a high retention rate for clients. One of the best ways to improve retention in the fitness industry is to establish rapport so that the client knows that the coach/trainer truly cares for them and their situation. There is perhaps no better way to show how much you care about your people than to review and revisit their New Year’s Resolutions with them during the month of February. Here are three things to keep in mind as you do that review.

1.) Schedule a meeting with your client.

Your meeting with your client should be a face-to-face meeting with no distractions. First and foremost, it is a signal to the client how important they really are to you. It also signals to them how important their goals are to you. In your meeting, start by discussing their goals and what they’ve accomplished so far. Take your time and focus on being understanding and patient. In all likelihood they have accomplished almost nothing significant toward their goal and they may be uncomfortable telling you this. Perhaps they have the wrong goal. As you talk with your client about their successes, or lack of, try to find one or two things that they have done that are successes. Be aware that these steps will very likely be very small steps, however they should be the focus of your conversation.

2). Make adjustments to the goals.

If the goal is not the right goal, now is the perfect time to either adjust or start completely over. Talk openly with them about the price they will pay and the reward that will follow. In short, this comes down to having them create new habits. Usually this involves first carving out a few minutes of each day to work on the goal in small steps. It should be energizing to the client. If you notice it is not energizing, but rather seems to be a burden, find something else that actually energizes them. Remember, you don’t want to be misleading them. All goals and resolutions are going to require work. It is important that the client embrace this work. I would recommend that you take a look at my article posted in Linkedin. There you will find more information on goal setting.

3.) Schedule another meeting.

The next meeting you schedule with your client will again be face-to-face. It should be approximately three weeks from your first meeting. Remember to discuss and include action steps that will become the basis of your conversation at your next meeting. The action steps must be small manageable pieces of the puzzle that can be accomplished through short periods of time. In other words, your client will need to develop a couple of new habits. You are the professional and you will easily spot some things that your client can be successful with. These are the things you will celebrate in your next meeting. Before you leave this meeting, make sure you both agree to the day, time and place of your next meeting. Make sure they know you are going to hold them accountable for the small steps you have agreed on.


Meetings like this take time and are often overlooked. Connecting like this with your clients is critically important to your client’s success and in turn your success. Clients who are successful in achieving their goals give your business a huge advantage over all of your competitors.

How do you know how successful your meeting was? That answer quite honestly is the mood at the end of the meeting. Is the atmosphere more energized than when the meeting started? What is the client’s energy? What is your energy? If the answer is that both of you have higher energy, it was a very successful meeting. Successful meetings and interactions like this signal to your clients how important they are to you. Meetings like this also re-energize you and remind you of why you got into this business in the first place. These people will become successful and in turn raving fans and that is what you want in your business. Here is a link to my other article on goal setting that should be helpful additional information as you meet with your clients. Here

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