A Tip for the Trainers

Becoming the Best...

I’m always amused by people who tells others how to make more money.

So by giving you money, you’re going to tell me how to make more money?

It’s intriguing, at the very least.

And that’s not to say there aren’t some great examples out there.  I think Pat Rigsby is one of the most knowledgable business guys I’ve talked to.  EVER.  He really helped Bill and I solidify the mindset and operations behind I-FAST.

Some of the others out there, though, aren’t nearly as adept at their craft.

I don’t know about you, but I got into this industry because I had a genuine interest in helping people achieve their performance-related goals.  Over the years, that interest has spread – it’s not just about sports now, but also rehab, fat loss, etc.  Basically, my goal is to learn as much about this industry as possible, and to be able to deliver consistent results time and again.

It doesn’t always work out perfectly, but more times than not we’re getting great results. Any trainer who tells you the get results 100% of the time is either delusional, a liar, or both.

So if you’re a trainer, and you’re reading this blog, take this post to heart.  Are you serious about making more money?  If so, there’s one consistently sure-fire way to do it….

Are you ready for it?

Get really good.

Not just kind of good.  Better than the average Schmuck trainer good.  I’m talking really good.

People seek you out good.

People consistently refer their friends and family to you good.

If you can do this, you will never have a shortage of clients.  You will never have to worry about making ends meet (unless you’re just a total momo when it comes to running your business and spending money, which I can’t really help you with).

I guess the thing that really irks me is that no one mentions this.  Everyone wants to talk about making more money and all these great business ideas, which are absolutely fine.  But where did we forget about putting people first?

When we put our clients and their needs first, we always win.

When we combine that with the skills necessary to deliver results, we have a truly lethal combination.

So there’s my tip.  It’s not sexy.  It doesn’t occur overnight.  But if you are serious about making more money, forget about making more money.

Get really good at your craft first.  When you do, the money will follow.

Stay strong



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  1. Mike,
    This is awesome. I get probably 30 newsletters every day from every fitness marketing expert in the world telling me that I could be printing money and hardly working. When I opened a facility, I didn’t do it so that I could make millions. Do I want to be successful? Absolutely. Will I be successful? You bet. You know why I love heading to the facility ever single day? Because I want to help the kid who plays second string linebacker and has the heart of a lion be all-state next season. When I step back and really think about it, this is what matters most. Thanks for bringing this back to the forefront. Hopefully I will bump into you at Mike’s seminar on Saturday.
    Have a great squat day,

  2. Preach on Mike! Investment in getting better will always pay off LONG term. Clients/athletes pay you for RESULTS.
    Rock on
    Mike T Nelson

  3. Mike,
    Its nice to see that alot of the experts are noting that "getting good at your craft" is priority #1. There was a time not so long ago, where it wasn't like that. Glad to see you and others are seeing the light.

  4. Mike,
    I’m glad I read this post as I was just writing an article on the same lines. Even I got pulled away for a while with all the marketing and business guru stuff in the fitness industry. As much as I know that it is necessary to be pay attention to business in the training industry, we should never stop getting better at our craft and trying our hardest to improve our knowledge so we can better help our athletes, clients reach their goals.
    I’m glad that I found the right mentors when coming into the industry and following people such as yourself that do not lose sight of what it is really about.
    Luka Hocevar

  5. Mike, please don’t take this the wrong way because I really like you and your work. I 100% have to disagree on Pat Rigsby. He is one of the worst ones out there, him and the Ryan Lee wannabee Jim (I don’t lift) Labadee, and the rest of those PTU guys.
    They are the one pimping out Jimmy Smith and tons of other trainers that don’t have a clue what they are doing Mike. Seriously it bothers me. I have not investment in it but, how can they back material and people like that just for the sake of money. There is not care about who they support, just who networks better on twitter. It is pathetic.
    Sorry, but I just had to get it off my chest. I am glad he helped, but two rights don’t make up for a ton of wrongs.

  6. Mike – Thank you for the simple and straightforward points. I, too, have always heard these business "gurus" talk about endless amounts of tricks and gimmicks to increase revenue, with no real regard for the client. The sad part is actually seeing how many business owners in our industry "drink the kool-aid." I manage a private training studio and am always preaching to my trainers to "perfect" their craft.
    If you want to make more money, make yourself more valuable, plain and simple. If you make yourself better than anyone around you, and you can deliver your clients outstanding results, predictably and consistently, providing them with a great experience along the way, you will rarely ever need to "sell" yourself. Again, thanks for putting your knowledge and experience out there to help others in the field. I've just recently been introduced to your podcast, and have enjoyed it. Keep up the good work!

  7. hey Mike,
    Great post. Seems like people are not fond of simple, basic common sense nowaday. They always look for the next “gig” to make big buck, but building yourself, physical-wise and knowledge-wise, never seems to cross their mind.
    Keep on rocking and best of luck for Mike’s seminar this weekend.

  8. Mike:

    I found this old post you did above and although I don’t know Pat or many of these self professed fitness marketing gurus, one thing has wrang true over my 40+ years of life, military, and dealing with clients:

    “Nobody cares what you know, until they know you care”

    So, keep doing you Mike and being the best you can and helping others, just don’t fall prey to getting “too big” and trying to becoming a fitness marketer.

    I noticed lately you, Pat, and Eric are creating a Fitness Blueprint product here in August 2011. All I can say is WHY?

    I like your mobility info and rehab info and training, but with my own MBA, college Marketing teaching, I am not going to buy some fitness marketing business product from you that tells me how to run my biz successfully because you believe you have.

    You have done great, but you also have become part of the cult like following of Mastermind Groups because dudes think they can recreate the Napolean Hill theories of successful entrepreneurship.

    Don’t you know Mike, if true WEALTH like the Carnagies’s, Kennedy’s, Rockafeller’s, etc….was attaintable by all, then it would hapen?

    All Pat and the other so called fitness marketing experts have done is just like Tony Robbins. They have become the self-help fitness marketing gurus that folks pay money at seminars, conferences, etc… to not have to go to college and learn about business or do it on there own reading books for free at the local library.

    No matter how you slice and dice it, folks are paying people money the same as if you went to college and paid them and the Pat’s of the world, who are they paying to coach them?

    Are they calling up Donald Trump to be their mentor, no? They thought of a niche or gimmick to work less and make more off the people stupid enough to buy their nicely package informational product when they could actually get educated on the Strategic Marketing Process in college or get the info for free at a library.

    In the end, these folks like Pat will go away until some other guy tries to sell the BBD (Bigger Better Deal) or miracle fitness business model in a bottle.

    Just like folks buy the pills, powders, and potions to lose weight, folks waste their money on stupid, reguritated business info because they are too lazy to get educated, train their ass off, get certified, studied their ass off, and really learn how to run a successful business.

    In the end, it’s called HARD WORK and not buying someone elses’s fitness marketing crap to make a buck.

  9. Nice work Mike.
    Your words ring very true. With that sort of down to earth attitude, you will fit in nicely down here in Australia. Some conditioning gurus, are going way over the top with their marketing and endorsement of everything that pays commission.
    Look forward to meeting you at the Melbourne Seminar in a weeks time. I will wear a Colts cap to make you feel right at home!
    Glenn Kemp

  10. You are such a geniuinely good person. It shows in everything you do. Thank you for being a constant reminder that nice guys who care and put people first can make a business flourish without becoming a manipulative sleazeball.
    All the best to you and may your success continue to follow the positive energy you put out into the world.

  11. Very true in all industries I think. It seems many parents spoil their kids these days and the kids expect immediate success. In general, they seem to forget or not see the hard work that comes before success and assume that successful people are “lucky” or just “caught a break.”
    “Success is 10 percent inspiration and 90 percent perspiration.” Thomas Alva Edison

  12. Mike,
    The problem is that the cart is becoming WAY before the horse these days. Young trainers (and old, I guess) are way more concerned about marketing and making themselves into “stars” before ever training anyone or learning to “be good” at what they do. It is kind of sad because people on the net can easily get swayed by crafty marketing, and buy into working with someone that really isnt very good at what they do. Money is spent by the time they figure it out. Worse yet, sometimes these people dont get any results other than injuries.
    My 2 cents.
    Keep up the good work Mike
    -Keith Scott

  13. Mike,
    You make a great point mate.
    Throughout my life I have realised that whenever I am chasing the money, success is always elusive. Somehow it slips thropugh the fingers, and yet, when i focus on getting better and helping more hey presto… more money arrives.
    Increase your value which is exactly the point you’re making.
    Thanks mate great post
    Adam Toohey

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