Monday, December 14, 2009

Things I Did Differently in 2009

My training business has been on a steady growth for me the last year and I think it correlates with my growth as a person. The more I learn about training, exercise programing, and the human body, the better I can serve the customers that come to me. My on-line business has also grown the last 12 months, and it is no surprise that most of the on-line relationships I have developed with other professionals have helped to cultivate my unfolding growth.

Personal and professional growth comes with its trials and errors. And I have committed plenty of errors over the years. There is nothing wrong with making mistakes in life, however  it is important to learn from them--if not the first time, definitely the second time. I believe that the obstacles I have run into over the past few years in my business and personal life, were avoided the last 12 months using a combination of introspection, patience, and planning.

Things I Did Differently in 2009 to Help My Training & Online Business

1.) Joining Facebook & Twitter
The biggest and most important step I took to enhancing my business was finally joining online networks: Facebook and Twitter. For a while, I detested online networking and was not willing to give it try. But one day, I decided to try out Facebook and within a month, I was hooked. I loved connecting with old friends from childhood, high-school, and college. Then, one I was able to connect with my took my Facebook experience to a whole 'nother level. Joining these online networking websites allowed me to share a side of me that is important to those that read my work. I am a human that loves what he does, and loves to have fun with loved ones and friends. Facebook and Twitter allowed potential clients to "review" me before they hired me and learn a thing or two about my persona and training style. And that in itself makes it an effective tool. This is by far, the most important thing I have done to increase my business.

2.) Formed respectable relationships with other coaches and fitness professionals
Facebook opened me up to many professionals that I highly respect, and it allowed me to reach out to them for help. With a bit of coaxing, I befriended some fellow coaches that helped me along the way with words of encouragement, advice, and collaboration. In 2009, I have conducted 11 interviews with other professionals. These opportunities have allowed me to learn from, and connect with those that I am professionally fond of. I am profoundly grateful for the help and coaching that these individuals have given me over the past 12 months. My advice to anyone seeking to enhance their business: Develop mutual respected relationships with those that you want to emulate. You can learn alot from those that you look up to.

3.) Concentrated on creating quality content.
I learned that if you are going to run a blog and a website, you should put out quality information. Especially if you are going to spend some time on networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, putting out quality info is paramount. Over the past 2 months, I refined my writing skills. I bookmarked tons of  fitness referencing sites and learned how to cite sources correctly in writings. The key to becoming a good writer is to write alot. Sounds simple? Well,  it's not. Depending on how much you know about a subject; how much time you can dedicate to a certain subject; and what kind of information you can dispel on a certain subject that hasn't already been printed can be a daunting task. That is why I spend alot of my free time on other professionals' blogs. I love reading other people's online work. Reading the work of others is a learning experience culminated with inspiration, motivation, and discovery.

4.) Avoided discussion boards and online forums.
Possibly the smartest thing I could have done in 2009 was avoid online forums. It is true, I used to venture on discussion board and forums numerous times  a day. In between client sessions, on break,  or at home I would try my hardest to provide and contribute my own take on the numerous topics that were discussed centered around fitness and training. But that proved to be a double-edged sword. Forums are a love-hate component of the world wide web. You can gain some decent information shared by other or you can be castrated by a horde of strangers simply for thinking against the grain. Some--not all--forums house negative people that hide behind an anonymous cloak of handles and user IDs that are ready to strike if the majority is threatened. I guess it is no differentl than in life. When you force others to think outside of their comfort zone, they react by using malice or parsimony.

5.) Put out more learning products.
I have a host of products (books and DVDs) that concentrate on one thing: making you a better exercise trainer or enthusiast. My goal is to have you walk into the gym or wherever you train and stand apart from the countless fumblers that walk from machine to machine like zombies; or the circus performers that try a "salad" of different exercise methods in one session. I don't create products that promise fat loss...or bigger benches...I'm not that specialized. Frankly,  I can't claim my methods are that effective if I am not there observing every detail and reinforcing specific cues. So, neither should the countless other Internet experts that claim their program exists only to make you leaner or stronger. If it was that easy, I'd have a new product out on the market: The 6-Week Jumping Jack in the Corner Fat Loss Program. I'm joking of course...kinda.

Shatterproof Spine was bred from my experience working with many golfers that described intense low back pain. After countless observation, training, and assessment--I figured it was localized to a mechanical problem with the muscle/tissue quality of that area. Sever problems pertaining to discs were referred out but  the ones I could help were worked on using a bullet-point scheme:
  • Glute activation/strengthing
  • Tissue manipulation & Flexiblity
  • Core strength
Without a doubt, Shatterproof Spine became my best seller. The DVD, along with my entire catalog, are workshops that detail a lecture and practical. So you still have to take notes. But, instead of flying to a location to sit in on a seminar, I record them and ship them out to you. Nothing wrong with traveling to seminars. I encourage you to get out there and invest in yourself. But I found my passion of teaching others and that passion, hopefully transcends into quality.

1 comment:

  1. John-

    Miss your comments over at Stronglifts. I thought you were a good addition to the community. But I completely understand your position about message boards and online communities.



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