Guest Post by Luka Hocevar, Creator of The Fitness Business Mix Tape
The fitness industry is the real deal.
There are very few professions where you can affect people as much as we do. Literally change people’s lives; inside and out.
You should be proud for being in this industry and you owe it to the people you train to be the best you can be for them.
Here’s some real talk though.
Training people year in and year out can become tough, draining; especially when your goal is to affect more and more people. Giving more and more time and energy to the clients can leave you burnt out which is never a good place to be, for yourself, the people you love, and of course – your clients; whom you want nothing but the best for.
There has to be other ways to affect people through the fitness industry though, right Luka?
With the power of the web you can now also leverage your knowledge and help people all over the world by sharing your information through e-books, manuals, DVD’s, membership sites, podcasts, hangouts, Skype coaching, and countless other means.
This is dope and something everyone should tap into, but it’s not what I wanted to touch on.
I love having a gym and training people and I knew that the only way to be able to keep helping more people through the gym and not get burnt out is to develop a powerful team of people who are passionate about helping others through fitness and looking to constantly grow personally and professionally while being a part of a team that is about something bigger than themselves.
I said that all in one breath.
Before I go into one of the strategies that has been crazy successful for building an incredible team as well as helping me become a lot better at presenting (side effect); here are 4 things you need in place to be able to develop a great team:
Without having strong core values/beliefs that you build the business on, both from a standpoint of philosophies of training as well as life, you can’t attract people that have those same values.
When I interview interns I ask questions based on our core values to see if the person will be a fit. Without that you don’t even know what you are looking for since you don’t even really know who YOU are.
Leadership From The Front
Don’t ask people to do things that you are not doing or willing to do yourself. Do you train hard and eat right? Do you constantly educate yourself and have a growth mindset? How do you treat the team (are you a boss or a leader)? Do you give, give, give, or just ask?
The roles on your team may be different from person to person but make sure you are the general leading from the front rather than pushing from the back. If you’re looking to build greatness over the long haul, then make sure you inspire rather than manipulating!
If your team is purposeful about constantly learning and growing (this should be there core value, that’s why they are on the team right?), then creating opportunities for them to grow through education and experiences because a huge reason why they would want to be part of the team long term. At Vigor Ground we bring in the top experts from different fields for in-staffs as well as hosting seminars, workshops, conferences. We also support traveling to seminars and educational opportunities out of State, which meshes education and experience for our team.
Beyond that, you should also find people’s strengths and interests and create opportunities for them within your business for them to brand/niche themselves. Basically it is creating the person’s own unique brand within the bigger brand that is your gym. This shows them that you believe in them and you are committed to helping them grow (as well as masterminding ways for them to achieve the things they want to).
Show Your Vision
People want to be a part of something bigger, make sure you show them (genuinely) the bigger picture, the BIG vision, and how they will be a part of it. At least every 4 months I will sit down with the team and present the vision we’re working towards.
This gets everyone fired up and on point to put in more so that WE can achieve that vision. The great thing about it is that the vision keeps changing because as we grow we set our sights on bigger goals that are attached to purpose.
This is crucial as its important for the team to see what everyone is working towards and that the pursuit of this vision will benefit each individual (both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, the former being most important!)
I found that those are things that need to be in place to build a great team in the short and long term.
As I mentioned above, I’m big on continuing education and creating opportunities for our team to get better, which is why I constantly bring in presenters from around the world for in-staff and hold seminars at the gym. I feel everyone should have a budget for education of their team in their business (but that is a story for another time).
Here is something that you can start implementing now.
A method that has constantly helped our team grow and has had the side effect of making me better at speaking and presenting was adding weekly in staff-training and team meetings as well as encouraging our team members to present at in-staffs.
Any time I learn something new, whether it’s from a seminar, workshop, DVD, book, or any other educational resource (and I feel like it would benefit the team and our clients), I will present on the subject at our in-staff meeting.
The information may be hands on in which instance we’ll do things live on the training floor or it may be all teaching verbally or visually through presentations and speaking
I look at this presentation as if I’m speaking in front of a large audience or that I’m doing a paid, hands on workshop for trainers. This makes me get ready and go over what I will be presenting and organize it in a way that everyone will understand and be able to implement it right away.
This also means that in a short amount of time I:
– Learned the information from someone else in one way (live seminar, audio, DVD, and taking notes, etc.)
– Organized those thoughts in a way that I could understand and though about how to present them to my team so that they can take the most from it and implement it that next week.
– Actually presented on the subject with a Q and A and explaining certain information in different ways (since people have different ways of understanding)
– BONUS: Most of the time I will write an article, do an audio or video interview, create a seminar on the subject I learned for our members (which means I have to present it in a less geeky way than to our team; this is another form of dissecting the subject matter and having to think about how to present it)
This way the subject gets heard, written down, discussed, “felt”, etc.
When you just listen or read you retain very little of the information if it is not revisited. Actually, here are the stats of what learners retain:
90% of what they learn when they teach someone else/use immediately.
75% of what they learn when they practice what they learned.
50% of what they learn when engaged in a group discussion.
30% of what they learn when they see a demonstration.
20% of what they learn from audio-visual.
10% of what they learn when they’ve learned from reading.
5% of what they learn when they’ve learned from lecture.
This means I go through information that I just learned in three to four different ways while always having to revisit it and present it in a different way. The subject matter gets ingrained and I also get to practice speaking in front of different people.
This is true deliberate practice (focused, grueling, repetitive practice with the intent of consistent improvement), which is the fuel that drives “expertise.”
Whenever someone from my team does a seminar they will come back and do the same thing; organize thoughts and present on what they’ve learned.
Even if you do not have seminars or in-staff at your gym, you can create your own continuing education that will take your team to the next level. In 2014 we’ll have at least 40 in house learning weeks, not counting bringing in other presenters or speaking locally at companies, organizations and schools.
That’s at least forty times there will be a lot of deliberate practice going into owning the content and presenting it. This makes you better at your craft and presenting, all while creating continuing education opportunities for your team.
Apply this system into your training business and create a powerful team along with taking your presenting skills up a notch.
Is it easy? Nope!
What I do know is that if you apply this it will differentiate your business both from a standpoint of how clients and prospects look at you as well as how the people on your team look at you (and the business).
Gotta go and do an in-staff, catch you later…..
NOTE: Jay is no longer accepting guest post. Please do not submit a request for one.