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Trainers: Beware the Traitors

July 11, 2012

“Find the traitors . . . and . . . kill them!”  It’s a common theme in espionage movies, war movies, and historical depictions of revolutions.  Traitors, once identified, are punished to the extreme of death.  We despise the traitor, but . . . the precise nature of the traitor is the essence of his deception.  We cannot destroy the traitor until we identify him.

Don Carleone, in the Godfather, warned Michael, “whoever comes to you with this Brazini meeting is the traitor.”  The mob was always on the lookout for traitors and Michael, with the heads-up, was appropriately vigilante.

Ah yes, we hate the traitor, we deplore the traitor, but . . . as personal trainers, we allow the traitors into our homes, our careers, and our exercise facilities.

Benedict Arnold went down in history as one of the greatest traitors of American history.  From biblical times (Judas) to ancient Rome (Brutus), from the cold war to the War on Terror, we’ve been disgusted by traitors.  Now, as a personal trainer, you must know those that are most likely to betray you.  Read on . . .

Here’s a riddle.  Dan is a personal trainer.  His facility grosses $32,000 a month.  He personally earns $150,000 annually.  Tom is a personal trainer.  Tom’s facility grosses $3,000 a month in a similar market to Dan’s.  Tom, per his 2011 tax return, personally earned $12,900.  Who works harder?

OK, it’s an absurd question. Based on the limited information I shared, you couldn’t determine who works harder.  Perhaps Dan is successful in part because of how hard he works, or . . . perhaps Dan coasts along because he’s successful and Tom invests lots of wasted energy spinning wheels.  Let’s try a different question.

Who is smarter?

Is it Dan?  Maybe Dan isn’t the higher scores in the intellect department, but he has more resources, more connections, and more magnetic appeal.  We couldn’t accurately say who’s smarter, but it’s clear that “smarts” are not a defining prerequisite for winning.

The age-old question of “what separates winners from losers” has led to some of our most revered foundations of evolutionary science.   We can point to greater genetic gifts (survival of the fittest), but we can then draw examples of entrepreneurs who were born with every disadvantage and found great wealth and prosperity.  We can point to education, but then we can find MBA’s scraping to make ends meet and people with nothing more than a sixth grade education making millions.

To attempt to answer the question, “what separates the successes from the rest” with a global overriding answer would be foolhardy, as we know there are many variables of which accidents of luck, fate, or circumstance might be included.

I can only base my own theories upon evidence I’ve witnessed, and after decades of working with fitness professionals, after helping hundreds of trainers rise from struggle to success, I can point to what I believe is the most consistent factor in determining who wins.

The factor I’m referring to is a willingness to dismiss doubt and replace it with certainty.

This isn’t a new theory.  Shakespeare, perhaps the most prolific playwright in history, was an astute student of the human condition.  In Measure for Measure, Act I, Scene IV, he writes, “Our doubts are traitors and often make us lose the good we oft might win by fearing to attempt.”

I urge you, do not “fear to attempt.”  In one week, I’m going to begin my newest Be Better Project offering, the Summer-to-Summer coaching program titled Career Conquest, and the first call will address those traitors we call doubts.

Why are they traitors?  Because like friends that we protect, they’re thoughts that we harbor, likely thoughts that we create, and we do so for the pursuit of betterment, and rather than propelling us forward, they bring us to stalemate or stagnation.  They come to us as benevolent but work to shut us down.

Today, we are surrounded by doubt.  As we kick off Career Conquest, I’m going to jump headfirst into a topic upon which more doubt rests than perhaps any topic in history.  The economy.  The media drives us to ask whether our economy is turning around.  Who is the best suited Presidential candidate to “fix” the economy?  Where are we headed as a nation?

I’m going to help you understand, what happens in the next Presidential election, what happens to the unemployment statistics, and what happens to the Gross Domestic Product has virtually no bearing upon your ability to earn in the year ahead, nor does it have any bearing on your potential for the future.

I’ll share with you factors that make this the most opportune time in history for you, the progressive ambitious personal trainer, to shape your future.

I’m not asking that we ignore the national economy, but rather that we separate what we control from what we cannot control, and using those things we can control . . . we can create certainty where doubt flows.

Dan and Tom are real people.  The differences in their potential are staggering.  Dan went through my second Be Better group.  He came with doubt, he left with certainty.  He knew what he was capable of, and he simply followed the course he knew would propel him to ongoing achievement.

Tom still wonders whether he’s pricing his services correctly.  He wonders whether he should do a direct mail campaign, buy an email list, or study Facebook and Google ads.

Tom is uncertain how he’s going to pay his rent each month.  He always manages, but barely.  Does Tom have greater potential to achieve?  No.  Not as long as he remains in this tentative mire.  Of course, with direction, persuasion, coaching, and the instilling of confidence in a new set of strategies, his potential will change, but that’s something only he can control.  Tom did not participate in Be Better.  He thought about it.  He’s still thinking.

If you want to understand what “economy” should really mean to a personal trainer, if you’re ready to launch using insights and opportunities that give you a distinctive advantage over the rest of the field, if you’re ready to face those traitors we better know as doubts and defeat them with a new sense of certainty, you can do it right now.

Register for Career Conquest (begins July 17).

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