Stuck in that trap of trading money for time? Inevitably as a coach, that’s the way the cookie crumbles, unless you learn how to delegate. For most of us humble beings in the industry, I say this with jest, we mostly believe that no one else can be better than what we deliver, then therefore just keep making ourselves busier and busier. To a degree, you are right. People are buying into who you are, what you are about and the results you have created. But here’s the problem… there’s only one of you!
My biggest mistake in the early years of my coaching business was making myself too busy. Some may say, don’t complain about being too busy, that’s not what this is about, being too busy is amazing for financial freedom, being too busy personally means that you make mistakes, you burn out quickly and things take longer to do such as mundane admin tasks. One mistake I remember so clearly. My diary was packed out. I maybe had just a 30 minute gap that was left. Then an enquiry came in about personal training. This guy wanted to lose weight, be more functional and this was to enable him to be a better dad for his kids. I didn’t have time in my diary, or the mental headspace at that point to even comprehend what delegation could mean for me as a business. I was still training full time as an athlete, when I say this my day looked like this. Clients 5.30am – 9am. Drive to my own training for 9.30am – 12pm, quick lunch in the car, clients 12.30pm – 2.30pm. Back to my own training 3pm – 5pm, clients 5.30pm – 9pm. Can you guess what I did….
I said, “yes”. I know you are probably reading this thinking, why and how? It was also the era of trainers that mobile personal training really did exist. I would drive to each of my clients houses, therefore diary management was a BIG part of my week. Clearly, I wasn’t thinking straight but with a few adjustments I made this work. Well it looked like it worked physically on paper. What I didn’t take into consideration was traffic, eating, programming, staying on top of basic admin. So what started happening… I had over packed my diary so much because I got greedy, that I kept being late. I would get stuck in traffic going to one client, then the rest of my entire day would be completely messed up, I was constantly chasing my tail. Then that would happen daily. Then I started to get run down, so my session deliveries were god awful. My anxiety was through the roof because I just kept thinking how am I going to be able to manage all of this forever. I didn’t want to be ungrateful, but I was absolutely MAXED out. In all areas. Mentally, physically, emotionally, I was a wreck! Then I get an email from that last client I took on to say, “I no longer want to continue with sessions. You clearly are a very good trainer, and I love the content of the sessions and what you are about. But your punctuality and your organisation just isn’t good enough. I think you need to work out what you need and manage your diary better.”
I remember feeling a massive punch to the stomach. Several emotions ran through me. “Is this what everyone is starting to think”, “Does he know how much I have tried to rearrange to make this happen?”, “How am I going to fix this”, “When can I get a break”, “Am I a failure?” It took a couple of days, but this email saved me. He was right. I was a great trainer and I had good business sense, BUT I currently was an absolute failure at really understanding what I needed. I actually took some days off to reflect. Taking days off, as you all know as trainers, are things that we only dream of. But I did, because you know what, time for you is so important. Time for you not only to reflect, but also to analyse how you can be smarter with your time.
Can you guess what I eventually did next? I looked into how I could hire a trainer to work under my brand, and I would support in training them to deliver the best product. As a business, JNPT went from delivering 45-50 (probably pretty average by the time we reached 35 and above) sessions per week to delivering over 90 GOOD quality sessions per week consistently!
How you can delegate or maybe even understand what you actually need or want as a business and for your lifestyle. So are you a trainer or a fitness business owner who is guilty of being a busy fool?
Remember life is too short, and your reputation is everything. Take that time to understand what you need, what your business needs and from there know how much you can give your customers. We only have 1 cup to pour from, you need to be able to refill it.
If you need any support on finding this balance, let’s jump on a discovery to discuss how I can help you.