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Times Are A Changing – How To Succeed In A Changing Fitness Industry

Posted Feb 22 2012 11:29am
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Times Are A Changing – How To Succeed In A Changing Fitness Industry

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The above embarrassing photo was taken when I was a fresh faced instructor that didn’t even teach step ( I hated it!), and was bright eyed and bushy tailed.  In my time as an instructor I have seen many changes, some good and some bad.  My personality is one that traditionally has not embraced change. I was the one that if I took a class I would have to stand in the same spot, or if I drive to the supermarket, I would have to drive to the exact same parking bay, and if that is not free I would drive around to see if it would miraculously appear, even though there are probably loads of spaces in another part of the car park!

I have learnt that I had to embrace the changing industry as if I had not then I would still be a not very good streetdance instructor that only taught in local centres in Cheltenham Gloucestershire.

I had to force myself to go to my first conventions to see what was out there and force myself to adapt to the needs of the fitness industry.  As I have mentioned above I used to hate teaching step, but I had to do as Olympic Decathlon Gold Medalist Daley Thompson said, ” and make my weaknesses my strengths” Funnily enough by doing that I was being asked to present more step masterclasses than dance ones.  I even remember being at the Bodylife Convention in Germany which was one of the largest in Europe and having some presenters that I looked up to, taking my step classes in order to get some ideas!!

So change, I have learnt, is a good thing and we as instructors must embrace it if we are to prosper and succeed in this industry.  But the question is how do we do that?  Below I have outlined some tips that has helped me and may help you.

How Change Becomes Success
 

Unexpected changes often take us by surprise. We may feel as if we have lost our foundation and or are swimming against a rip tide. But change can give birth to our greatest life successes if we open ourselves up to the possibility.

What are the secrets that turn life changes into life successes?

1. Remain true to yourself. Never compromise your beliefs even if it is expedient or seems like the only way out at the time. For me, for example, even though lots of instructors are making a mint from Zumba, because it does not fit into where I want to go in the industry I decided to move towards learning more about hormonal fat loss, and that is how I came to find out about Metabolic Effect.

2. Think outside of yourself. How will your choices affect your friends, family, community and the earth on which we live? You are part of a much larger world and if you make decisions that benefit all, you will benefit yourself.

3. Be patient. Turning change into success may not happen overnight. When I started my Ceroc jive franchise, I lost money for a year before the business started earning £500 per night! So be patient and if you believe in the direction that you are going then you will be fine.

4. Research your change to see if it fits into your business and life goals as well as your clients goals. With my Ceroc business I realised that there was a need in my town for people of a certain age to find a place to socialise and do something midweek.  Also as someone that loved to dance I always wanted to learn how to Jive, so this was a perfect fit for me, my life goal and my client’s needs.  Find out what your clients’ needs are and then change/adapt your services to suit.  You can find out what your clients want, by getting them to fill in a questionnaire, or an online survey.  You can do this for free by using a service such as http://surveymonkey.com

Too many fitness professionals, do the reverse and jump on the latest fitness bandwagon irrespective of whether it is what their client’s want or need.  I would strongly advise making that mistake.

5.  If you are going to learn a new skill or trend, see how it fits into your beliefs or skill set .  When I decided to teach step, I hated the traditional Reebok method of delivering it, so I created my style of teaching which was more dance inspired.  This meant that I was able to stay true to myself, but embrace a new discipline. Also I always wanted to introduce new concepts to the UK fitness industry, hence why I sought out, researched and introduced Powerstretch, and Metabolic Effect to the  Uk, which helped me adapt and change to the industry needs, but still keep my own identity.

A lot of instructors try to be Jack/Jacquelines of all trades in order to pay bills (which I really do understand).  But I believe that true happiness comes from meeting life’s changes and overcoming challenges while remaining true to ourselves.

I would be interested in your thoughts on this. PLEASE POST YOUR COMMENTS BELOW :-)  
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