There are times in life that feel heavy and dark. But, we always make it through. Then there are unprecedented times full of unknowns, which is our current reality because of COVID. It’s an entirely new and different beast.
Navigating through this has been challenging and excruciating at times. Because of it, I’ve learned that certain things are completely out of my control. When I made peace with this fact, my stress began to subside.
And although COVID isn’t over and the pandemic’s still affecting many around the world, I’ve learned so much from this time. I’ve grown as a business owner and personal trainer, and I’m still standing and going strong.
Now is the perfect time to reflect on and share 8 lessons I learned during the COVID shutdown and the slow return back to the new ‘normal’.
1. The importance of gratitude
Gratitude is like a superpower. The more grateful you are, the happier you become and the better you feel. When you’re not in a state of gratitude, you may become fearful, depressed, and quickly enter victimhood. This is a place of disempowerment. When you’re dealing with the unknown, like COVID, that’s not a position you want to be in.
To step back into your power, write down 3 to 5 things you’re grateful for every morning. Say them out loud over and over until a smile appears on your face.
I’m thankful that my fitness business is still successful even with the COVID crisis. Not everyone has been as fortunate. Some people lost everything. When I’m feeling down or frustrated, I shift my mindset and think about everything in my life I’m grateful for.
I think this mindset is one of the main reasons my business persevered.
2. There’s more than one way to make money
Don’t get married to how you make your money. And don’t get stuck in the limited belief that money is hard to come by. When you get creative and think outside the box, you’ll realize there are lots of ways to make money in the fitness industry.
For starters, there’s online one-on-one coaching, virtual group training sessions, paid writing gigs, affiliate marketing, teaching opportunities, and more.
Focus your attention on making money, instead of fearing the lack of money. This is a basic principle of the Law of Attraction. Ask for what you want and it will come. Ask for what you don’t want and that will also come. You get to choose.
3. Let go of the “old, comfortable way” and learn to adapt
The key phrase here is “let go.” Release your attachment to the old way, to the way you’ve always done things. And adapt to the changing environment around you. If this pandemic taught us anything, it taught us how to be resilient and adaptable in the face of adversity. Extreme adversity I might add.
So, if your regular clients are Baby Boomers and don’t like training online, be okay with that and understand where they’re coming from. Pivot and adapt. Make adjustments to stay in business.
Making money keeps you in the game for the long run. And not only you but everyone down the road who stands to benefit from your expertise and services.
When we switched to virtual sessions, we noticed our senior clients dropped out at a higher rate. So, we focused our marketing efforts on young athletes to help make up the difference in income. We also transitioned to more one-on-one and semi-private options.
4. Become more open-minded
I never saw myself giving live coaching sessions online, but I adjusted and enjoyed being at my gym while coaching virtually. It gave me more energy to focus on expanding my leadership and personal training skills. And more energy to attack different revenue sources with my writing and coaching other trainers.
Instead of hating the idea of coaching virtually, I chose to see the positive in it. And from that mindset, I attracted people I wanted to work with. In other words, I changed my perception of virtual fitness training and found a way to make it work for me.
5. Never underestimate the power of your network
A network isn’t just useful and practical — it’s necessary for success. And in the case of a global pandemic, it was necessary for survival. I was fortunate to have established a stable and powerful network long before I actually needed it.
So, it was easy to ask for help and to help others in my network. Honestly, I don’t know what I would’ve done without my network of fit pros who were also going through the same thing.
If you ever questioned your network before, this time probably helped you see who was on your side and who wasn’t. When your network is defined by a healthy, team-spirited culture, they’ll always support you, even through difficult times.
And if there’s any negativity in your group, you’ll see that very clearly. And your inner guidance system will tell you to part ways with the people who don’t have your best interest at heart.
As a takeaway, make it a point to develop meaningful connections — one’s that last. One’s that stand the test of time. Not only for your sake but for their benefit as well. We’re stronger together, as you know.
6. Study your numbers and track them close
It’s not always about how much you make, it’s also how much you keep. Make your money work for you. Get better with money management if that’s something you struggle with
There are tons of great online resources and books on the subject of finances. Spend some of your downtime learning and soon enough you’ll be more confident in this area. Also, be sure to have great bookkeepers and accountants on your team.
These important financial steps and decisions can end up saving your business — literally.
7. Ground yourself before making quick decisions
Before making an irrational decision from a place of emotional duress, stop and take a breath. In fact, take several of them. You don’t always have to make decisions at the drop of a dime. You often have more time than you think.
Spend time grounding yourself before making an impulsive or costly decision. This doesn’t have to take days, this can happen in as little as 20 to 30 minutes.
Go for a walk alone, step your feet onto the grass, feel the connection of the earth. And don’t forget to take breaths, pray if you want to. Having a quiet, uninterrupted moment where you’re breathing slowly and calmly will end up providing you the best insights.
Coming from a calm, grounded place helped me make decisions fast when I needed to. Like taking the steps to move our training sessions to a virtual platform, which enabled us to maintain our members.
8. Remember your ‘why’
Why did you start your own gym? What was your main inspiration and driving force behind it all? Now, get back to that.
Remembering why you got into this industry in the first place will bring back a flood of good memories. Such as your love for fitness, your passion for serving others. And your calling to bring joy and health into the lives of those who step foot into your gym.
Your ‘why’ is powerful. It’s going to help you get out of any bind and jump over any hurdle. You got this