What the gym taught me about business

As I get myself back into the gym after a prolonged absence, it is hard not to notice a distinct similarity between the ecosystem at the gym, and the business environment we all work in on any given day.  Whether it is other gym members or the personal trainers, you can see many similarities between what business owners, sales people and gym participants experience every day.

Just show up to the Gym

If you show up to the gym, you are already beating out 90% of the population.  The same can apply in business, and in particular sales.  Show up to a networking event, a client event or site, and you have already beat out 90% of the other people out there.

Putting in some effort

If you even put in a tiny bit of effort to your workout, you will beat out 50% of the people at the gym.  If you aren’t leaving the gym without being sweaty, you haven’t done the work.  If your work doesn’t make you sweat (figuratively) you are not doing the work.

Having a plan

Do you think professional body builders just show up at the gym and “work out”?  No, these folks have detailed plans on how they are going to succeed.  They build out their work out schedule down to the day, diet based on goals, and set deadlines for it all.  This includes having high level goals, event based goals and even daily goals.  What is your plan today?

There should be some pain

At the gym, if there isn’t some discomfort, you aren’t doing things right.  Whether you are sore the next day, or struggling to lift that weight, it is how your body builds itself.  In business, if there is not some discomfort, it’s a good possibility you are not building your business.  It can be as simple as picking up the phone and calling a prospect, but the difference between the winners and losers, is doing the things that cause us discomfort.

What you learn from personal trainers

I go to 24 Hour Fitness and it is amazing what a business person can learn by watching personal trainers.  There is a distinct difference between the A players and the B and C players on the personal training teams.  There are two trainers I see at the gym all the time, and it is obvious which one is the A player and which one is the B player.

The A player always has clients.  I have yet to see this woman at the gym without either a client, or working out herself.  It is not just the hustle (she is a soft spoken Japanese woman), this comes from her attitude to her business.  The amount of personal attention she shows to her clients is amazing.  This includes thoroughly explaining workouts, paying attention to form, and never once wavering from their clients attention.  Do you dedicate your time to your client like this?

The B player I see all the time, but there is a definite difference in how he handles his clients.  First, if you aren’t female and pretty, you pretty much aren’t getting much attention.  He pays no attention to the form of the client (what I consider most important), and half the time he is looking at his cell phone, hugging other women at the gym or talking with friends.  While he gets a few big wins, lately I have noticed, he has had very few clients.  Clients notice when they aren’t getting full value of what they are paying for.  Do your clients feel like they have 100% of your attention?

What to do now?

First, just show up.  Two, even a little bit of effort will move you forward in your business and in your training.  Three, have a plan to how you will get there, and finally, be prepared for a little discomfort.

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