Keepin' it real
In this economy, many people have been forced to reinvent themselves and start a new career. Totally understandable, as many lucrative industries have disintegrated into thin air (wall street jobs) while others (like mine) are seeing a sharp increase in revenue. Huge consumers, like baby boomers, want to stay young and crave information in this regard. Our young people are obsessed with being hollywood-skinny no matter the price. And our elders just want to move around pain-free. It’s no wonder these newly underemployed are turning to the health and fitness industry to make a buck! It’s also no wonder that there are thousands of health/fitness/nutritional products out there being pushed onto consumers by marketing geniuses.
As a personal trainer, it is easy to get lured into a side business like selling multi-vitamins, cellulite creams or fat-burning supplements for commissions: by forcing our clients to buy these products from us, we can easily double or triple our income! However, this is an obvious conflict of interest (and career-killer).
Our clients are doctors, lawyers, bankers, CEOs, experts at motherhood, students, teachers, retirees and so on…many of whom are incredibly bright and talented in their respective field. Wisely, they have entrusted us as health experts to direct their fitness lives. We must not abuse this relationship: our clients pay us to stay on top of scientific studies, weed out fads, educate them on trends and steer them away from obvious gimmicks. They pay us for our knowledge and for us to keep their best interests at heart. If we have an ulterior motive, like peddling products, these valued clients will look elsewhere for their fitness needs. Is this loss in revenue worth it??
Time and again, Facebook friends, acquaintances, friends-of-friends and even relatives have sought to sell their essential oils, vitamins, sports drinks and the like to my very valued book of business, namely, clients. I am a career trainer and value the trust my clients place on me. There is no way I would jeopardize this confidence for a few extra pennies in the bank. My clients pay a premium for my services. I am certified, insured, practice what I preach and take few, if any, supplements. I believe the best way to success is by keeping things as simple as possible. As a for-profit-organization, my training and consulting rates are competitive with the industry. I neither gouge my clients unfairly, nor do i throw myself under the bus to get a new client. I keep my certifications current, add letters to my title each year and stay current. I make an honest living.
Fads come and go. There is only one way to make a lasting career in this field: build a loyal clientele by keeping your clients happy and consistently seeing results, year in, year out. With a lot of patience, honesty, professionalism and hard work, your clients will stay faithful, appreciative in the years to come and you won’t have to sell silly stuff to turn a profit.