This is Why I Won't Do Business Consultations

Personal Trainers

Nick Mitchell

Everyone in the fitness industry is available for consultations.

At least that’s the assumption made by the overwhelming majority.

You can understand why – fitness, and I am largely referring to Personal Training, is a freelance mindset dominated industry where it’s all about exchanging time for money.  It’s every man for himself out to make a buck.

There’s nothing wrong with making a buck. In fact, making lots of bucks should be applauded by one and all because you’re probably paying a high level of taxes, taking care of your family, and buying the services and products of other people who in turn can feed their own families.

But the problem in Personal Training is that most of you are so busy making a buck you miss out on building a business.

Which brings me to the point of today’s message - I don’t do private business consultations.

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Every week I have to politely let down a handful of people who message me on social media asking for advice. If they’re cheeky they just ask for advice with nothing back for me (time is the one thing we never get back, give me a compelling reason to spend some of that on you and not the people I genuinely owe it to like my family or my staff), if they’re a bit more savvy they want a paid consult. I’m probably the only person in PT who always says 'no'.

I’d love to have the time to help up-and-coming trainers because I know better than anyone about the pitfalls that lie ahead.  

If you’re a Personal Trainer reading this then one reason I am more successful than you is because I’ve made more mistakes than you will ever make. Those mistakes are the most valuable things to have ever happened to me, they have taught me almost everything that I know.

Wisdom is hard won. Intelligence, ability and work ethic can only do so much.

One day I hope to take some trainers on and mentor them to bring out their own best performance. Not to be the next Nick Mitchell, but to be the best version of themselves and their own unique strengths. I think that I’m singularly qualified to do this because UP, the PT business that came out of my head 10 years ago, is a singular company in the world of Personal Training.

If I can go off on one of my usual tangents, this belief is also why I increasingly loathe the utter bullshit that pervades certain aspects of fitness industry education. 

Nick

A few years ago “educators” (usually guys who hadn’t made it as PTs and thought there was an easier way to make money than grinding it out in the gym at 6 am every morning, so they rebranded as “six-figure trainers”) worked out that PTs will invest a hell of a lot more in the hoping of learning how to make more money than they will in learning how to become better at their craft of Personal Training.

This flawed priority is a spectacular own goal on behalf of the individual PT (I’ve lost count of the educational courses I’ve been on, but I’ve never been to a “business” course in my life) because if you get the results then the business will come.

I cannot emphasise this enough – your results are your product and if you want a world class business or even just the best business in your town, then the first priority should always be to have a world class product.

I have an additional issue with most “fitness business” educators – very simply they teach something they haven’t done. Half of the people attending their courses have aspirations to own their own gym(s). Believe you me when I tell you that until you’ve tried to run your own PT gym, you really are not qualified to teach about it.  

There are books, courses, and lectures on “PT business”, and almost all are delivered by people with theory and no practice. For me, this is an outrage of style over substance.

In the end, however, the economics of a situation is what rules.  I won’t do business consults because whilst I do have a price, you can’t afford it because even if you had the money I don’t want you to spend half your equipment budget on an hour of my time.  

Nick

I don’t believe that I can give you the value that you need in that time. Business education cannot be boiled down to an abbreviated series of catchphrases, it is hard, often painful, examination and scrutiny of every aspect of your decision-making process.

The one lesson I’ll give for free is that you should cut your cloth according to your means, which means the thousands you’d have to spend to talk to me is not the way for you to progress.  

Taking this example further, start-up gyms who seek to emulate UP gyms by copying our equipment are destined to fail in an overblown attempt at ego gratification.  

Don’t blow your budget on things that you don’t need to spend. My first gym cost a tiny fraction of what UP now budgets for a new gym. 

My closing point as to why I don’t do business consults is a simple, if selfish, one. I reserve my time to help coach my team, not someone else’s. 

I’m incredibly proud of the men and women who help lead the UP business, and until the day that I step into retirement, I believe that they should have sole proprietorship over the daily lessons that I learn as we steer UP onto our fourth different continent.

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