Robotic Lifeguards Coming To A Beach Near You

I watched a video clip of the new lifeguards at Myrtle Beach this summer. What caught my attention is that they are not all human.

This really caught my attention for a couple of reasons. My career in the fitness industry started as a lifeguard. Later in my career I trained lifeguards. I have been involved, directly and indirectly, in more rescues that I can count or remember.

And it’s not anywhere as glamorous as television has made it seem. Terrified, frantic clutching, screaming, and vomiting are words that come to mind to describe many rescues.

The reality of automating the lifesaving process with robots was challenging to my thinking right from the start.

What I saw next impressed me. The robot is a radio-controlled surfboard capable of traveling six miles and hauling six people who are hanging on to the attached ropes on the side of the unit.

A lifeguard guides the rescue board from safety of the shore.

The numerous advantages of this system are immediately obvious. It’s fast, efficient (can carry six people at once), safer for the lifeguard, and the list goes on.

One thing is missing – the human connection – the assurance and comfort the guard can give the victim during and after the rescue.

In a world moving further and further away from face-to-face human interactions, we are experiencing a host of problems this distance between us is creating.

The successful fitness businesses are successful in no small part because of the human connection. Our community defines us equally, if not more, than our program.

Your job is secure. As the world turns, more and more people seek out connections and communities where there is the connection with others, a source of encouragement and a sense of friendship and belonging. A well-run fitness program is the ideal.

Your job is secure. But at what price? Most fitness people have created jobs for themselves and it is both extremely gratifying and extremely demanding. You can end up feeling like you are close to drowning in your business.

The solution is to move from the business owning you (which is really a job) to you owing the business. It’s an evolutionary process and the 6-Figure Trainers is designed to be your roadmap.

Our approach is simple. We don’t send a robot (or sell you a program) out to rescue you, we meet you where you are and provide guidance every step of the way.

Use the contact information below and contact us.

Remember, you will only get results if you take immediate action.

To your success!

Force Multiplier for the Fitness Professional
6-Figure Trainers and Coaches

Adding a New Product

I started shopping around for some solar panels yesterday.

Being able to use the power of the sun as a source of energy to power the creature comforts of our life is fascinating to me.

Several years ago, I owned an RV with a solar panel mounted on top that helped charge the coach batteries. It was a very cool set-up and I learned a lot, from a combination of necessity and curiosity.

The RV went away and with it my interest in solar energy, which had become a hobby. I had bigger problems in my business and something had to go.

As I have eliminated some distractions in my life, my interest in solar power has returned.

Eliminating the distractions gave me energy for something that I am excited about.

The same applies to business. Last week I talked about eliminating low-value things to free up your energy and time for the high-value things in your business. As I promised, today I want to talk about how to add something to your business.

If you eliminated something of low-value, like I talked about last week, then you are ready to add something.

When most of my clients start working with me they are passionate about adding something to make their business grow. And all of them are already busy, and simply adding something will not work. Subtracting something first creates the space necessary.

Hopefully you are convinced at this point. Now, how to add something.

Most people want to follow the big business model of a detailed plan, promoting through mass media including digital channels, making videos, and the list goes on and on, – and the bank account gets smaller and smaller.

Forget all of that. We don’t have bottomless pockets.

Instead, take your idea from one of these “buckets” and test it.

  • What to do more of…
  • What to start doing…

You test it by creating a one-page plan, in writing, and then selling your plan to 10 prospects. They will either buy your idea, or give you great valuable feedback, or both.

Your product may be the best product in the world, but if no one is interested in buying it there is no business opportunity with the product. It’s not a business unless you have a customer.

Savvy small business owners introduce new business using this technique all the time. Once you have 10 people paying for your service then you will know your market and then you can make wise investments in marketing and product development.

To explore this concept deeper and read about a real-life example, check this post out. (The post is how we added Personal Training to our group class program which was taught by staff very uncomfortable with Personal Training.)

Remember, you will only get results from this exercise if you take action on a consistent basis.

To your success!

Force Multiplier for the Fitness Professional
6-Figure Trainers and Coaches

Adding Personal Fitness Training To A Group Class Program – A Case Study

We had a typical CrossFit business. We had group classes with a focus on general fitness, an Olympic Lifting specialty class, a kid’s program, the usual array of classes for the typical CrossFit gym. Since we had a huge emphasis on endurance sports, we also had a CompuTrainer MultiRider Training Center for cycling and a loosely organized group of triathletes and runners.

Our staff was also what one could describe as typical.  Most came from the ranks of class participants and each had, minimally, CrossFit Level 1 credentials, and most have several specialty credentials, too. One was a professional with a degree in physical education.

Our program was rich and of great value to our members. We were profitable on day one. We had outstanding Google reviews and ranked #1 or #2 on the Google search engines without paid advertising. We worked very hard to keep this reputation. We never offered Groupon or any other discounted variations to our pricing schedule.

Besides the above, the main differentiator for the business was the average age of the members – 42.

We were constantly looking for ways to serve our members better while, at the same time, enriching our program and our business model.

The typical staff meeting, where we were brainstorming how to serve people better, would inevitably turn into a discussion about adding personal training. The need for the program was evident, but we kept hitting stumbling blocks. I had decades of experience with individual training. My PT business had grown to the point where I served a very select group of people who paid me a premium for my services. Between the two businesses, I did not have time to take on more clients, and my hourly rate put me out of the market for clients who were already paying a monthly membership fee. I was not available for this new initiative.

There were also stumbling blocks for our staff team. Regardless of the obvious need from the members, and the thorough training of the staff through CrossFit training and an in-house program, there were serious reservations from the staff. They admittedly had no idea how to train someone one-on-one.  The discussion and directions from me (with 30 years of experience as a personal trainer) offered little reassurance.

After several meetings I decided to take a different direction. (The names of the staff below have been changed to fictitious names, but the events are as it happened.)

In a staff meeting, we identified a member, Susan, who needed help with her deadlift. She was a good student, but something about the deadlift had her blocking her own efforts. I went to Susan and asked if she would be interested in extra help if we could provide it. She asked what I had in mind and I recommended four private sessions with coach John. I quoted a rate of $40 per half-hour session. She jumped at the offer and offered to pay immediately.

Then I went back to John to see if he would be interested in helping Susan and making more money at the same time. His immediate response was yes, but suddenly his face clouded over and he remarked that he had no idea what to do – or how to start. I explained he needed to teach Susan how to do a proper deadlift by analyzing her movement and prescribing specific exercises to correct the imbalances holding her back. He would also need to assign homework and monitor her progress during each of the 30-minute sessions over the course the four weeks. His eyes lit up as he eagerly agreed.

I remember him saying that this would be just like what he does in class, but on a more specific basis, focused on only one person. He was right – that’s what it really is.

The relationship between John and Susan was great. She learned what to do to correct her movement. She did the corrective exercises. She met with John regularly and accepted the new cues he offered as she rapidly progressed. She mastered the technique of a safe, effective deadlift that no longer troubled her and held her back.

Susan felt great about her progress. She told everybody how much John had helped her. Other people began to express interest in some specialty training. John felt good about being able to focus on Susan and guide her to real measurable results.

John learned what personal training was all about and he began promoting his services to other members. Soon, he was training more people on an individual basis. He came back to staff meetings and reported on his success.

With each new client, his confidence grew and, soon, we had added a personal training component to our program – at a price that made sense to people and provided them with a great service.

Now we were in a strong position to market and advertise the program. We experienced great benefits from providing this program, including strong enthusiastic testimonials. Based on John’s excited attitude, other staff were more comfortable with trying on this new role.

A new offering in our business was launched. We were serving our staff and members better than ever before. We did this without a business plan, a marketing effort, expensive advertising or sending staff for additional training. It was a grassroots, bootstrapped initiative.

This is how new programs should be offered.

How Owners Sabotage Their Business

I was talking to a friend yesterday about my recent decision to eliminate the extra things in my life and live a more minimalist lifestyle.

She asked what was the hardest part of this process.

My immediate answer was letting go of things. This has been my biggest challenge. My life is rich with a wide variety of hobbies and interests and most of my possessions have a useful purpose or an emotional connection. .

For instance, I had four bicycles and I can easily justify each one, even the one that I only rode a few times a year. And then there was all the gear that went with that particular bike. Or the long sleeve tri-suit that I only needed occasionally. Both are gone now and, to my surprise, I don’t miss them like I thought I would. I have space in my life for other energies.

When we give up something we make space for something else. The same applies to business.

Business owners ae always telling me they need to make a change but can’t for a usually long list of reasons. Often they are hanging on to those excuses out of a fear of some sort.

How do you make room for that new program or initiative that keeps nagging at you, the one you know will make your life a bit easier?

Letting go of something that is not of a high value to your business is the only way to make room for something new and of greater value.

The two choices for the low-value activity are to delete it or to delegate it. For many business owners this choice is not an easy one. That’s your ego talking to you.

It’s a tough choice, but this is the step necessary to turn a new direction in your business. As your business grows, you will face this challenge routinely and continually, before every major breakthrough you experience.

This process is much easier if you have a mentor that can help you see the bigger picture.

In my last post, I talked about how to make massive change in your business. The first step is not to add something, but to delete something that is drawing on your energy.

  • What to do less of…
  • What to stop doing…

These are your low value activities and should be deleted or delegated. Take immediate initiative and implement the most important strategy (delete or delegate) and you will immediately experience some relief, and space to add that critical next step. (More on that next week)

Remember, you will only get results from this exercise if you take action on a consistent basis.

To your success!

Force Multiplier for the Fitness Professional
6-Figure Trainers and Coaches

Growing to the Next Level

I am three months into a huge change in my life and it is awesome.

By design, and with a fair amount (a lot) of planning, I moved from a house into an RV.

This was a huge change for me and something I have looked forward to for years. I want the flexibility of travel and exploration, while still growing my businesses.

Coincidentally, my move and the beginning of the new year started at nearly the same time. We are approaching three months into the changes, and the new year – the perfect time to do a little inventory.

With every big move there is a period of time that feels like total disorientation. Habits, rituals and routines are disrupted. Everything takes more time than it used to, until the new habits, rituals and routines become automatic.

Whether it’s our personal life or our business life, this is a reality we live with every day.

Some of the things we do are efficient and take little effort. Others are inefficient, distracting and gobble up enormous amounts of energy, usually without us realizing it. They are, after all, automatic responses and we don’t give them any thought – until we are forced to.

Our results in life, and in business, are based on our habits.

When we change our habits we change the trajectory of our lives and our business. The great news is that we can proactively make changes any time we want to, and it pays great dividends.

To make changes simply grab a piece of paper and answer these four questions for yourself and/or your business:

  • What to do more of…
  • What to do less of…
  • What to start doing…
  • What to stop doing…

Sometimes this is called the starfish exercise. The critical step is to take a few minutes and answer these questions. Then take immediate initiative and implement the most important thing for the next 60 days (at least) until it becomes a habit. Your life and business will be changed forever.

Remember, you will only get results from this exercise if you take action on a consistent basis.

To your success!

Force Multiplier for the Fitness Professional
6-Figure Trainers and Coaches

A Prescription For Explosive Business Growth

I became a CVS customer out of convenience. The CVS store was the closest pharmacy to where I lived a couple of years ago.

Then I moved to a new state and shopped several new stores. I was looking for something that was a fit for me. All the stores were clean, nicely organized and had the products I was interested in. Prices were about the same in each store.

In all the stores I was a complete stranger, but at CVS they quickly pulled up my records from 800 miles away, and all of a sudden, I didn’t feel like a complete stranger. This may seem like no big deal but it’s lonely when you move 850 miles away across 6 states and don’t know anyone in the new community.

It was comforting when they reviewed some of my past history with me. I felt a bit more at home.

That experience led me to seeking out the CVS store whenever I needed a product that they carried. Of course, I have a CVS card which sometimes gets me a better price.

Then I got irritated with CVS. They kept giving me these really long receipts. What a waste I thought to myself. (This, of course, without ever looking at the piece of paper that I assumed was all marketing and sales pitches.)

Then one day the cashier excitedly pointed out that I had a 40% off coupon, which she circled on the receipt. That got my attention. So much for my assumptions. What do they say about making assumptions?

The typical sales receipts from CVS is 48 inches long. (See actual picture here). Mine typically have nine (9) coupons with each receipt, and it is all about marketing and sales. But wait- there’s more…

The sales are all targeted to me – to me specifically. They are all I will need in the very near future. My receipt does not have the same coupons that your does. I have tested it to be sure. Now I look at them all the time because they are relevant, timely, intriguing and cost-saving.

This is marketing. Inexpensive marketing. Once the systems are in place, the cost is the 3″ x 48″ piece of paper. How expensive is this compared to media, flyers, mailers, billboards and postcards. There is no comparison. I could go on and on about measurability and data collection, but you get the idea.

We have the same capabilities in our businesses. Whether it’s reminders for birthdays, anniversaries, special accomplishments, or whatever, we have the same capabilities. The same inexpensive, easy and automated capabilities. But are we using it effectively? The businesses that are will be here flourishing in 5 years

Your program and workouts are important, and yet it is the simple extra things that keep people coming back, rather than wandering down to the competition.

What can you start doing today so you are running a thriving business?

Remember, it’s never too late, action creates the results you want.

To your success!

Force Multiplier for the Fitness Professional
6-Figure Trainers and Coaches