Reprinted from Fitness Business Canada magazine March 2017
Doing what you love is something I believe in whole-heartedly; however, I know now that you can’t forget the financial side of things if this is how you’re going to make your living.
The one piece of advice I would give myself would be to place an equal focus on understanding finances. I have no education in business, accounting or financial planning. I’ve always just focused on one simple thing—whatever I love doing. For me, this has always been wrapped around fitness, adventure, motivating people and having a lot of fun while doing it.
I started off doing what I do best—being the front man and literally ignoring what I felt was the boring side of things. In taking this approach, I jeopardized potential growth and created a lot of headaches as the financial side of my businesses became increasingly unorganized. The lesson is if it’s not your strength take the time to learn and develop in this area or hire someone who has that strength so you can continue to focus on what you do best.
Think Fitness Studios
Get Serious About Goal Setting
“Success is the progressive realization of worthwhile, predetermined personal goals.”
Paul J. Meyer
When I started in the fitness industry in 1984, I was intent on honing my technical skills acquired in university and growing in the organization in which I had my first fitness job. I managed to move up and grow and develop – but I didn’t have a plan or goal.
There were no specific action steps or no intentional thought that went into my career path. My ambitions were vague and unfocused.
I have always believed in on-going education and certification to grow each area of my wheel of life. I participated in a program called “Outcomes”with Dennis Becker early in my career and found it most helpful and motivating in creating a path, determining the obstacles and attaining my goals.
Thirty years later I find myself in another course – “Effective Personal Productivity” – which is re-defining my goals, and helping me to visualize my future and focus on success.
My advice to my younger self would be to work hard at identifying the goals I want to meet, whether they be financial, family, social, health or spiritual.
Visualize the outcome and strive toward those goals in every waking minute.
eMbody Fitness Clubs Coach
If I could go back in time, I would definitely tell myself to have more fun and enjoy life a bit more than I did. I grew up in a small rural French community, where the list of things to do was not exhaustive. The only way to have fun was to ride a bicycle or watch others play hockey. I should have tried to take acting or even dance or public speaking classes.
I would also instruct myself to take measured chances based on my abilities. For example, instead of just enrolling in a BA program at university, I could have taken business courses or even recreation courses,with the hopes of developing my skills for a specific profession. Although I learned many of these skills later on, knowing this in high school would have saved time, effort and money.
I know now that today nearly every job requires you to do some amount of networking and connecting with people,customers, employees or employers. Every person of my current age (33) who has a job usually has found it through a contact or special reference from someone known to them. It is rare that employees are selected at interviews based solely on credentials. Students should be made aware of this as soon as they hit working age or even in high school. It would save everyone a lot of time,effort and money.
The last thing, of course, is don’t pay attention to what others think of you.