Freedom of time and location

My partner Nicky and I just got back from a holiday/work trip to the Sunshine Coast in Australia. You might have seen some of the Instagram pics or some posts on Facebook. Our time away has made me reflect on my business and lifestyle goals I've set for myself.

As a business owner you will have some goals. You might have formalized them and written them down or they just live in your head.

Your short term goals might be something like;

  • Generate $x in the next quarter
  • To acquire 5 new clients in the next 30 days
  • To sell 10 new monthly subscriptions in the next 60 days

Those are good measurable achievable goals. At university I learnt a lot of stuff about goal setting for business. S.M.A.R.T goal setting was one of them. Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely. Totally off the point but it's always bothered me that Attainable and Realistic seem like the same thing. But I guess SMAT doesn't have the same ring to it.

It's great to have these goals but there must be some greater over arching goal that drives and motivates you. Most of our Training Tilt customers are small business owners running their business on their own. I get the feeling that increasing revenue by $x a month is not particularly exciting or motivating and isn't why people start their own small business.

For me personally my ultimate goal is to have "freedom of time and location". What I want to do, when I want to do it, from wherever I want to be. This is not the same as sitting around on a beach drinking Pina Colada's. I've got lots of things I'd like to do with my time and they all involve something challenging.

When I make decisions now I always consider whether or not the decision will take me closer to that goal.

I first started thinking of this goal in 2005 when I changed the path of my career slightly from IT infrastructure to programming. The infrastructure work meant I was tied to a physical location looking after servers and networks. Moving to programming could potentially free up my location.

My first junior programming role meant a 50% pay cut and starting at the very bottom. After a year I switched to a new company and slowly progressed.

Then at some stage I got stuck in the same job in the same office, building software I didn't believe in and that no-one was buying. 7 years later I finally realised I'd completely forgotten my goal. So I quit, started my own consulting business and started contracting myself out by the hour.

This was a step in the right direction but it still meant my time was not my own. I was still writing someone else's software and I was still just trading my time in exchange for money. If I stopped working then the money stopped coming in. Taking holidays meant losing money. It wasn't a real business.

The only way I could see myself reaching my goals was to build my own software and to stop selling my time. Enter Training Tilt my community and coaching platform for fitness professionals. Building your own software is a long game. You have to spend a lot of money and commit a lot of time before you can even make 1 cent of profit. There is still a long way to go to reach my goal, but we're on the right path and a lot of work has been done to get to this point.

I built Training Tilt for another reason too, so fitness business owners like you can reach their own lifestyle, business and financial goals. To be honest I think I've done a pretty good job of building the software but now I want to focus more and more on educating my clients on how to use it to monetize their skills and resources.

If you have similar goals to me then from my experience with researching the industry and working with fitness pros these are the key things that will help you achieve them.

  • Skills, experience and education - In your field of expertise
  • Skills, experience and education - In business and marketing
  • Building an audience of potential clients
  • Becoming an authority in your field in the eyes of your audience
  • Creating a platform to monetize all of the above (without selling your time)

Skills, experience and education - In your field of expertise

You've likely got a lot of these already but like most things it's a journey not a destination so you need to be continuously learning and improving your coaching and training skills. Education doesn't mean school or university degree's, it just means developing knowledge in whatever way you can.

Skills, experience and education - In business and marketing

This is what 90% of fitness pro's are missing. Fact: In business those that have these skills will be more successful than those that don't. I've heard a bunch of reasons (excuses) why fitness pro's can't/won't/don't develop these skills. So far I haven't heard a valid reason. Just ask yourself, what have you done to pro-actively develop your business and marketing skills?

You don't need a bachelor's degree in marketing or an MBA to develop these skills. All you need is the desire to learn, the internet and some guidance. A great place to start is to get a business mentor ideally to work one on one with. If you can't work one on one with someone for whatever reason then find a community or blogger online. Do some research find someone who is willing to share their knowledge and seems like a good fit. It's amazing how many coaches and trainers don't prioritise getting coaching for themselves.

Building an audience of potential clients

This is crucial to online fitness business success, you need to build an audience of potential clients. The best way to do this is to start building a list of email addresses and social media followers. If you don't have a mail list then go and get one setup today. There are a bunch of tools out there, I use Mailchimp and it will take 10 minutes to create an account. If you are a Training Tilt customer just get in touch and we'll help you get it set up and then create a form on your Training Tilt site so you can start collecting email addresses today. A social media following is absolutely NOT enough, social media is crowded and distracting and you are competing with all the noise of social media to get attention. Build an email list and build it now. Email is still more effective than social media so don't neglect to use it.

Becoming an authority in your field in the eyes of your audience

Once you've started building an audience you then need to prove to them that you know what you are talking about and are an expert in your field. You do this with content. Create a blog and share it to your social media and email audiences. Share tips and tricks. Don't under estimate your ability to create valuable content, there is a saying in content marketing "Obvious to you, amazing to others". It's easy to think that a lot of what you know about your field is common knowledge, but it's really not. The key to content is consistency and quality. Most fitness pro's share content sporadically blogging every once in a while, posting to their Facebook page once a week. It needs to be much more than that. Blog at least once a week, and post to social media at least once a day.

Creating a platform to monetize all of the above (without selling your time)

This is where it's tough. You've got a few thousands followers on social media and in your email lists but you can only train or coach say 30 people at any one time. All you can do is sell your time. Say good bye to "Freedom of time and location".

You need to monetize all your knowledge and experience in a way that does not consume your time. You need a platform to do the work for you. There are a lot of options out there but we've built Training Tilt specifically for the fitness industry.

Here's three ways you can earn money with Training Tilt without selling your time:

  1. Create template Training Plans and publish them in the online store for sale
  2. Create recurring membership plans and allow clients to signup to a fully automated self service on-line platform including access to your videos, articles, recipes and Training plans.
  3. Offer add-on Training and Nutrition plans to existing members as an up-sell

All of these just require a some work up-front but once set up will begin to generate passive income. Do the work once, earn the money over and over. Don't forget though if you haven't committed to developing your business and marketing skills don't expect amazing results.

If you are a Training Tilt customer I'd be more than happy to spend some time taking your through how to set all of this up, just get in touch.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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