A little bit on me; I have a strong athletic background, have passed my CPT and am currently working towards a Health Coach certification but now find myself in the what-the-hell-do-I-do-now point of the process. I’m ready to leave my job so I can immerse myself in the fitness world but am wondering the best path to take.
I understand its going to be slow to start building clients so am thinking about either looking at multiple gyms or doing front desk or something…it’s exciting but nerve wracking too! I know there’s not one way to get started and would love all of your experiences from those who’ve been at this long enough to own their own practice to those who have been training 2 months…Thanks for any to-dos or not-to-dos!
Hi Samantha. Congratulations! As someone who started out pretty much thinking the same things as you 21 years ago (wow has it really been that long?), my advice would be: If you’re currently working in a job, rather than quit your job and diving head-log into starting out new, I would recommend starting your training business slowly, on the side as you continue to collect a regular paycheck from your other job. In my opinion, this will take some of the pressure off of you to take training jobs and even clients that are not suited for you. For example, I’m not sure that working the front desk of a gym – as a certified trainer – will help you much at all in learning the ‘training business’ and in becoming a better trainer (not taking anything away for the duties and responsibilities of Front Desk staff – it’s a very important position in the gym, just not a hands-on training experience that is helpful to a certified trainer in my opinion). Anyway, that’s how I started my training practice (slowly and on the side) so in my opinion, that works best.
Good luck whichever way you decide to go!
Years ago I came from the corporate world but I had years of being an athlete and coach as well. Then the day came that I made a career change to personal training. Basically, I just jumped right in both feet into the water. I bought a fitness studio that another trainer was selling that included active clients. Plus part of the purchase was that I shadowed him for a couple months. He was a great mentor! The rest was up to me.
Granted, I was lucky to have a turnkey operation to get into with existing clients.
My advice: Always keep learning, be prepared to take calculated risks, and find a mentor is possible. It helped me greatly to have someone to learn from. Also, one mistake that I made early in my career was lack of networking. My ego got in the way and I didn’t network with other trainers in my area. I ended up paying dearly for that later on. Lesson learned! It is important to network with other trainers. You never know when a referral relationship can come into play. Hope this helps.