Recently I have come to discover that the fitness industry can become a very territorial place. I know this post may seem odd coming from a gym owner and a supplement company representative. What I am about to tell you I should be skewing in favor of my business, my company, my brand, my supplement of choice. But where’s the honesty in that?
Two thoughts that come to mind while writing this post are:
“You can’t be all things to all people” and “A genuine leader will never exploit your emotions or your pocketbook.”
We don’t live in a box. We all weren’t made from a box. We all have different desires, different bodies, different goals, different budgets, different schedules, live in different areas, we click with different people. If I were to expect you to believe that my way or what I sell or what I say is THE. ONLY. WAY. for you to accomplish your goals and the desires of your heart, I would be a terrible leader and I would expect you to run far, far away from me.
Remember Where You Came From – But Also Remember It’s Ok to Move On
A client sent me an email that included 11 statements: What Your Personal Trainer Wishes She Could Tell You that included this:
“It doesn’t really bother us when you cheat on us with another trainer — but it does when you act weird about it later… We want them to find someone who fits their needs. And good trainers usually have plenty of other clients.”
–Traci D. Mitchell
This is the perfect example of a Go-Giver vs. a Go-Hoarder. I know trainers, coaches, and gyms who insist that they appeal to the masses, dilute their services to hoard everyone and anyone they can get out of fear that they may never come across new members, new clients, new leads. I will be the first to admit that I have been guilty of this. It’s a lot of wasted energy trying to appeal to everyone when not everyone wants to appeal to you anyway.
When Your Program “Doesn’t Work”; Don’t Take It Personal – Connect with other People – Form Partnerships – It’s a WIN-WIN.
At Anytime Fitness in Fredericksburg we set up cross-marketing with the local CrossFit gym in town, CrossFit 830. We offer a discount to their members and they offer a discount to ours. We understand that it just “doesn’t work” to do rope climbs, tire flips, snatches dropped mid-air, and handstand walks in our 3500 square foot gym. And at the same time I know that one cannot and should not live by CrossFit alone; hence having the option to use machines, workout in air conditioning, cross-train on the elliptical, etc – it’s an all-around win-win for our members and theirs.
The same is true of my Pump & Shred nutritional coaching. If I identify that a client cannot mentally wrap their head and lifestyle around prepping 5-6 meals a day, eating every 2-2.5 hours to fuel their metabolism, and stop cooking with so much coconut oil, or ghee, or duck fat, I’m not going to force them to do my program – it just “won’t work for them” and I am ok with that. If I were to force them to make it work and expect them to not look for another approach to eating/getting results somewhere else I would be ignorant and selfish. I’m not taking it personal. I realize it just doesn’t work personally for them. The great thing is, is that I know plenty of people I can refer them to in the hopes that they will find what they are looking for.
As a friend once shared with me, “There’s a big enough pie for all of us to have a piece and help each other.” If you truly want to help people, you will help them be successful, reach their goals and find what works for them even if it doesn’t end up helping YOU directly. The universe will end up repaying you for what you sow.
The fitness community is big enough to share, connect, support, and lift each other up where we are meant to excel and with whom we are meant to excel with. And if you feel as though tweeting about, talking about, or wearing a t-shirt from another gym/program is going to offend the community in which you currently belong; that’s a whole nother issue I can’t help you with.