Being a personal trainer is an incredible way to earn a living. My career in fitness and training has taken me to places I could never have imagined. I’ve worked with so many inspirational people that have taught me as much I’ve taught them. You might think it’s something you want to try. You might also think that I’d be against the competition, but it’s quite the opposite. There are, however, a number of things you might need to consider before you throw off the shackles of your current role and become a PT for real. I’ve tried to balance those aspects of personal training that are both positive and negative to give you a complete picture of what you might be getting into.
As I’ve touched on already, being a personal trainer is a fantastic way to inspire other people to get fit. Seeing their physical transformation based on your help, guidance and expertise is a very fulfilling aspect of the job. Whether your clients are looking to lose weight or gain muscle, seeing their body change for the better means you can literally see the results of your efforts right in front of you.
As much as seeing clients achieve their goals is a great way to work, it does mean that you will have less time for your own fitness regime. Almost everyone who gets into the personal training business will (hopefully) have an interest in staying fit and healthy themselves. Being a professional PT will mean that you are going to have less time to do that. Depending on how you work with clients, either in person or online, you may be spending less time working on your own body and more on theirs. There will be so many more things to consider than going to the gym. I’ve talking about your accounts, social media, networking, advertising, promotion and blogging to name just a few. The list really does go on! The work is great, but the hours are very long indeed.
One of the best aspects of being a PT is the fact that you’re your own boss, well, kind of. As a personal trainer, in many ways, all your clients are your boss. They are the ones you are serving and they are the ones you need to answer too. Remember that it’s their goals and their objectives that you are working towards, not your own. It’s important to always bare that in mind, whenever you’re working with a client. It’s also worth remembering that, in these days of internet reviews, it’ll be your reputation on the line. You might be the head of the business, but they’re the ones in charge.
As your business starts to grow and you begin to attract a degree of success, then more people will get to know about you and what you can do. This might sound like a good thing (which it is) but it’s not without its downside. As you become a example of the work you do, it will mean that you come under the microscope. No longer will be you be able to eat unhealthily in public again. It would only take an innocent picture of you in a fast food chain or enjoying a sneaky doughnut for your reputation to be affected. It won’t matter than there may be a perfectly good reason for it, it will appear to those people that you don’t practice what you preach. That can have a lasting impact on your business.
For those of you committed to making a success of your PT business, there is a great opportunity to earn a good living. In many ways it’s much like any other business. If you work hard, plan strategically and network to build a solid reputation, the benefits will always come with that. There aren’t many better adverts for your work than to see people gaining confidence and looking great. They’ll tell their friends, and if they don’t, their friends are sure to ask how it happened. You’ll soon have many adverts walking around and it’ll all be because of you.
The downside of being successful will be that many people will come to you for advice. That might not sound like a bad thing, but wait! If they’re family, friends, or even co-workers and social media buddies, that will mean they want it for free. As a professional PT, i.e. one that relies on their knowledge and expertise to make a living, this might have a knock-on effect on the money you can make. As they tell people, i.e. their friends, family and co-workers, that circle of free advice can grow more than you might think.
We’ve talked about how much job satisfaction you can get from seeing people achieve their goals. Don’t get me wring, that is a very accurate statement, but it’s also a double-edged sword. For the most part those who are wanting your help and fully motivated to change, to grow and to transform their body for the better. The flip side of that is that not everyone achieves it. This can be for a multitude of reasons, many of them not associated with your service. They may find it’s too hard, it’s unachievable, they’re too busy to commit, their initial enthusiasm wanes or their personal circumstances change. When it works, it feels great but when it doesn’t, it’s hard not to take it personally.