Every morning I go through the same ritual…
…I wake up, shower, see my kids off to school and then I sit in my favorite spot on the sofa looking out the french doors at the pool, trees, and flowers in my backyard.
It’s kind of an open eyed meditation I suppose, and I just clear my mind and let the organic thoughts come to me in any order that they will.
Sometimes this lasts three or four minutes… and other times as much as 20 minutes.
But this morning I was thinking about you.
I was thinking about why you got into the fitness industry and what makes you stay in it even when times get tough.
See, many people don’t know this but I was never supposed to be a personal trainer.
In fact, all throughout high school I had planned on going to a technical school to become a smog technician.
(Here in California cars are required to pass a smog test. If they’re considered “gross polluters” then they’re taken off the road. My job as a smog tech would have been to test cars, and if they passed I’d certify it so that you can renew your registration. And if your car didn’t pass smog then I’d recommend repair.)
While in smog teach school I realized I had nothing in common with the other dudes in it.
They smelled of cigaret smoke, had beer bellies, and ate like crap by the truckload.
I had just lost 25 pounds in the previous year and daily workouts and eating right had become a normal part of my life… a priority.
I just couldn’t see myself working in a garage surrounded by these dudes for 8 hours a day…
…and so I dropped out and decided to get certified as a personal trainer where I could help others.
It only took me four tries to pass the ACE exam (stop your laughter… I’m a poor test taker lol).
Once certified I knew I wanted to help others achieve their fat loss goals by teaching them how to make better food choices and making daily workouts a priority in their life.
Probably a lot like you, I struggled at first.
In fact, the first six months as a certified personal trainer I only had three clients.
I’d drive to their homes, train them three times a week in the mornings and then go to my day job as a dinner cook at Disneyland.
I hate to admit this… but I spent more money at Kinkos having business cards made than I ever did on market.
When I couldn’t for the life of me figure out how to get more clients, I bought a pair of Lang body fat calipers and then changed my business cards (for the third time) by making the ACE logo on them bigger in hopes that somehow those two things would yield more clients.
At one point when I desperately needed more money I got a job on the weekends as a bouncer.
I was “that” guy… the personal trainer who had the day job as a dinner cook and a weekend gig as a bouncer just to make ends meet.
(I’ve got some colorful stories to share with you about my days as a bouncer… lol. That will have to be a blog post for another day though.)
My point is this… no matter what I stuck to it.
I knew I wanted to make personal training my career and did what I had to do to keep training the three clients I had.
Thank God for my fourth client, after signing up with me he brought me a cassette tape (google it if you don’t know what a cassette tape is) and on it was this guy Tom Hopkins teaching the fundamentals of sales.
That one tape changed my life… like literally changed it. Continue reading