I’m not sure if there are any “outside” challenges because if you really want to succeed in this field you will need to keep improving as a trainer and a person. This means keep educating yourself and always be flexible with the changes around you. A great trainer is the one who can be a drill sergeant, a cheerleader and a philosopher all at the same time and know how to mix all three in order to connect with the clients. So you will need to find what your weaknesses are and try to work on them. At the end we can only control those things that we are directly involved with, and in my opinion learning how to let go of the those situations that we can’t do anything about it, is the toughest challenge of them all. The rest is easy.
Getting started. I’ve relocated twice since becoming certified – and reputation / word of mouth is EVERYTHING. It took me 2 years to build a semi-profitable base in my last location (I added group ex to supplement and found I do very well in that setting, almost better than PT).
I don’t “advertise” myself. I have found developing relationships and building a network of gym peeps really helps. Not all of these people are ones I train, actually hardly any were but they told others and soon I had people asking for me.
That being said, I feel it is highly beneficial to identify strengths and weaknesses. As fitness professionals we are our own walking billboard. If you are grumpy looking and you barely smile and you grunt as a reply – I feel that does directly affect your sales just as much as neglecting education.
I’m still learning. I think a good follow-up to your question is, what are the challenges and how have you faced them to help achieve success?