Starting my own business has been a huge learning experience. Not only am I learning about how to run a business, but I am also learning a lot about myself. Fortunately being a personal trainer, is a lot like being self-employed. You are the service that your business provides, you set your own hours, the majority of the time you have to find clients by yourself, and there is a lot of extra work you do that you are not compensated for. Another similarity between being a personal trainer and a business owner is that you take a lot of your work home with you. When you finish with your last client of the day, that doesn’t mean your work is necessarily done. There may be some programming you have to do, emails you have to catch up on, social media you have to update, blogs you have to write…the list goes on. I love my job, and I love how I can influence peoples lives, but I also love snowboarding, and I love getting out of the city and enjoying the outdoors with family and friends. In order for me to feel balanced and energized to take on whatever life throws at me, I need to regularly get away from the city and be outdoors. If I stay in the city for too long, I get a little nutty. Finding a balance between my work, my play, and making sure I spend time with the people that matter the most to me (including myself) doesn’t always happen. I’ll admit it, I am guilty of procrastinating tasks and responsibilities in exchange for a weekend in Rogers Pass splitboarding or heading down to the Ship and Anchor for a few pints with some good company.
My end goal as a business owner is putting my love for fitness, promotion of healthy living, and my passion for the outdoors all into one, and sharing this with the world. Working on this goal has been exhilarating, but occasionally I feel too scattered and overwhelmed. Often I help my clients work towards their fitness goals by starting small, focusing on one thing at a time versus trying to change everything all at once. Less is more.
Whatever your long-term goals are, figure out what changes, and actions need to be taken to achieve the end goal. Then pick one or two of those actions and focus on them for 2-4 weeks. In order for me to maintain a successful business, I know that one of the things I needed to improve was my time management. So I devote three uninterrupted hours a day entirely to working on my business outside of personal training. Maintaining a regular fitness routine is less of a challenge for me since personally, I need to be active to function and to be focused. I am also at a gym every day and I live in workout clothing. I don't know how to put outfits together that don't include a sports bra, tank top, and tights. As a result, I have had to ask my best friend, who lives in Toronto, for fashion advice too many times than I would like to admit. I ensure that four days of the week I am training in the gym, and the rest of the week I use as rest days and days spent snowboarding, climbing, hiking, or biking. Week to week this changes, because life changes and you gotta roll with the punches.
Nutrition is probably my biggest challenge currently. After working a long day, I do not always have the motivation to grocery shop and then cook a meal. If I am splitboarding all weekend, the last thing I want to do on Sunday night is to make lunches for the next couple of days. As a result, I end up eating out more than I should, and this not only affects me physically but financially. To set myself up for success, I am working on preparing healthy frozen meals, soups, smoothies, and snacks. This way I can cut down on the daily preparation and cook time.
When working towards your personal goals, make sure that they match your reality, your lifestyle, your schedule, and how much you are willing to commit. Life is hectic as it is already, so make things easier for yourself and start small. Don’t beat yourself up if you fail, because it is in those failures where we learn the most about ourselves and where growth happens. Just because you didn’t work out at all this week or you ate Mucho Burrito 3 times this week, does not mean you should stop trying. Get out all of your emotions, dust yourself off, and then get back on track. You are in control.