Name’s Jerry. Been a personal trainer for a little over a decade. I’ve learned a lot over time and I’ve had my fair share of successes and failures. You know, I’m willing to bet that we actually have a lot in common. I also believe we are probably world’s apart. Let me tell you why…
First of all, I can remember when I first started off as a trainer. I had my story and I was able to convince quite a few people that I was good at what I did. Of course, I didn’t fully believe that, but you couldn’t tell me that any of that mattered at all, because I was making bank! After buying a luxury car and upgrading my apartment, I was feeling so confident that I felt like I could conquer the world.
I trained people pretty much from sun up to sun down. So that’s like you probably right now. I was making tons of money, so that’s probably not you right now. No, I’m not being a hater, I’m just saying that statistics show that the average personal trainer makes barely a mere $10,000 over the poverty line. So unless you are selling body parts for cash in your spare time, you know where you sit.
I made a lot of money being a personal trainer, but I wasn’t happy for some reason. I ended up spending more than I was earning just to keep my sanity. It was kinda insane when I think about it. The clock on my 15 minutes of fame was ticking 14:59…
The thing about personal training is that it is not like most professions. Because it’s not regulated, there are so many versions of it, it’s not funny. But what ended up happening for me is that I started to get bigger than the training. I was young and I believed that people were making changes because of me. Because I was that cool guy. The guy that would pay top dollar to, simply because he was a cool person.
Gimmicks and Crutches
You see brozilla, you can be the coolest person in the gym and people may like you for awhile, but once they find out that you’re more about yourself then you are about them, it’s a wrap. It’s pretty much the same in everyday life as well. You’ll see someone that seems so cool because she has the coolest outfit, or the newest toy, but once people are done admiring that specific aspect of their personality…well you know. It’s a shame, because so many beginner trainers feel like they need a crutch or a gimmick.
Honestly, gimmicks don’t set you apart though. Think about those days when you find “block buster deals” like Black Friday, or Christmas. All of those companies that have sales and gimmicks are all just trying to make more noise than the next. Their plan is to attract as much attention as possible to themselves and try make as much as they can with whomever they reach. They don’t care if they have a relationship with their customer and in the personal training field, that’s probably the worst approach to take.
But the flip side is if all you are trying to do is make friends, you don’t get paid. If you’ve ever lent a friend money, you probably know that some friends don’t pay you right away. As a personal trainer, I’m sure you would agree, it’s kind of important that you get paid, but some people are unwilling to part with their money if you don’t have the confidence to ask for it.
Trainer or Money Maker??
So you are stuck. You start off trying to attract attention. You realize that all you get is unwanted attention. The people that fall for your gimmick come in droves and you realize you have to work hours on end with these people. It sucks HARD.
You’re trapped because if you step away you lose the security of the money you’ve been making. But if you stay with it, you just might go insane. I know, because I’ve been there as well.
You see, as I’ve said before I’ve seen both sides of the coin. I’ve had my fair share of both for various reasons, but what I’ve realized that it’s not the gimmicks. It’s not just being the coolest guy. It for sure is not having the lowest price. Someone can come along and match all those things. You wanna know what will really make you a great trainer? This might blow you mind, because it did for me when I realized it. The only way that you, (insert name here) will be a great trainer is if you make it not about (insert name here).
What I mean is that you drop the reliance on anything other than your own desire to improve their lives. You wanna be a trainer? Prepare to be the best servant to people as possible. You wanna be a great trainer? Well there’s a few more things that I don’t have time to talk about today, but if you’d like to know just post your comments/questions below.
Jerry “no gimmicks” Washington
P.S. I’m still the cool charismatic guy that I always was. The key for me though was to be charismatic in showing people how I could help them rather than trying to impress them. There is a huge difference and if you’re a personal trainer or a fledgling personal trainer, I would love to chat with you about your experiences. You can always contact me directly here.