There are ups and downs to being both self-employed and a business owner. If you read my last blog post, we talked about the different quadrants. But what very few people are prepared for is the transition from self-employed to the business owner.
Nobody works harder than the gym owner in the self-employed quadrant. They get there at 5:00 am and they’re closing the doors at 9:00 pm. They’re training every client, and they’re lucky if they get to take a break just to eat. They want to change lives, it’s a labor of love.
And I want to change that.
I think that this business could be a lot better for people if they would just step away from the day-to-day stuff and start putting systems in place. One of the things we’ve worked with our clients on, that’s been a huge transition for us at ProFit these past few years, is that we’re no longer providing just the done-for-you stuff to send more clients through those doors.
We can provide the marketing, those tools, and tactics that drive leads in, but it’s not helping those individuals progress.
It’s not helping them move out of that self-employed role and into the business owner role. When they move into the business owner role, they’re actually utilizing the systems that are available to gym owners today that can help them step away from these mundane day-to-day tasks.
What it all breaks down to is freedom and quality of life.
You can absolutely love what you do every day, but you’re going to be burnt out by putting in 14, 15, 16, hours a day, every day. If you don’t have a plan, an exit goal, or even just a short-term plan on limiting the responsibilities of the day-to-day work you’re trapping yourself into this self-employed quadrant.
You have to force your plan.
If you don’t do something, if you’re not intentional with your business, it’s going to consume you. It’s only a matter of time before you resent it. You’ll start to pull-back and you won’t enjoy what you do anymore.
That’s a tough position to be in.
To have invested so much time, so much effort and so much money into your business, for what? To resent it. If you’re already in this angry stage, that’s a good thing. That means you’re ready to go all in and do whatever it takes to win your time and your freedom back.
The problem; however, is a lot of people don’t know how to get out of there.
On the other hand, if you’re just starting out as a gym owner, you’re going to have to do all those things. You’re going to have to do every role. All of the mundane day-to-day tasks. You’re going to have to grind until you get into a position to hire help. I was the guy in between sessions I would be grabbing the mop. If I saw even a fleck of dust on the ground, I was out there cleaning the floors. And I would happily do it because you just don’t think twice about it.
It’s just a job that needed to be done and you’re the only one there to do it. I’d be up there early. I was taking appointments and closing deals. I was doing the marketing; at the time it was a lot of e-mail marketing. I was the one writing the e-mail campaigns. I was creating marketing for fitness systems and plans. I was helping the coaches train, I was training, I was doing boot-camps, I was wrenching on the equipment, fixing stuff, ordering stuff, cleaning the toilet.
I did all of it.
When you’re just starting out, it’s just what you do. Then, we started to grow, so we brought on staff and we’re growing as a team. It was awesome. At the old space we were at 3,100 square feet and over 330 clients. It felt like we were blowing the doors off the place.
So fast forward a few years:
We moved into the new space, which we’re in now. It’s a great gym that I’ve been able to step away from the day to day with. I’ve hired a cleaning crew. I put the coaching staff in charge of a lot of things that I was doing. I put a fitness director in place who handles all of the sales consultations.
But here’s the kicker.
I wasn’t doing all of those things anymore and we had some clients that got upset and I couldn’t understand why. In fact, there was a group of five ladies, they were all in, they were with us from the beginning. Then they started leaving one at a time, so we got a hold of them.
When we finally got to the root of it, it was because they felt like now it wasn’t a mom and pop business. They were like, “Tim’s getting too big and there was too much change, it’s like a corporation now”. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. The impression our clients got, was that we didn’t care about them because I wasn’t physically mopping the floor. And I just could not believe it.
Why do you think that they would get upset that I was becoming a business owner, not mopping the floors anymore?
I have a few theories. They’re worried the experience they were accustomed to was going to change. They didn’t like the change. I personally believe they didn’t want to see other people more successful than them, and there’s, unfortunately, absolutely a portion of the society that is that way.
If someone is happy and they’re doing well, I support them. I don’t get jealous or envious or any of those things. It’s just like good, good for them. They’re making it. Winners want to see other people win, but that’s not the norm. If you’re growing, you’re going to see some negativity.
There’s a big difference between the people that we’re speaking to, reading this blog here, and your general population as well, though. We’re in the entrepreneurial based world with our audience here. We think a little differently. We want to see other people win. We want to be surrounded by winners. We don’t settle. We don’t look at mediocrity. We don’t accept things the way that they are. But, if you’re rooted in negativity, you’re not going to win.
This is where being self-aware comes in to play.
You must have the ability to look at a situation like that and understand that’s the way they think, but that’s not the truth of it, and that’s not the thought process of the majority. You’ll never be able to make a difficult decision, like changing your business model, if you’re too concerned about other people’s opinions – especially when it’s very few people. You’re need to move forward and succeed and cut your losses with the few that don’t agree with you.
When you start to define yourself in the position of growth into the business owner stage, you’re going to get a little bit of resistance for change and some negativity. When I was going through this, I reached out to some close friends of mine in my mastermind group, and I explained what was going on. And to my surprise, they all reassured me they went through the same thing.
People don’t like change.
They don’t want to see other people win. And that’s okay. You’re moving up and moving on. I’m here to reassure you, that you are going to upset some people along the way. You’re going to experience disagreement as you grow. But it’s up to you to decide if the changes you’re making are worth giving up all the hard work of the self-employed role.
For me it was.
If you need help making that decision, and you need help with mapping your path to get there, book a breakthrough call with us today.
Let me help you stop wearing so many hats! Book a call with me here and let me help you transition from self-employed, to a real business owner:
Tim Lyons is an avid gym goer that takes his workouts as seriously as his commitment to the business of fitness. Tim not only talks the talk, but also walks the walk. Tim is the founder and CEO of ProFit Marketing Solutions and Pulse Fitness Training Facility (est. 2008). Tim has spent the last decade as a gym owner and operator in the fitness industry. Tim knows firsthand the challenges of gym ownership and understands the need for reliable, results-driven marketing solutions. As the creator of Pro-Fit Marketing Solutions, Tim has devised industry-specific marketing strategies to help other club owners get better results for their business. Tim is a featured speaker at conferences, workshops, and podcasts helping fitness professionals learn how to market personal training services and to progress into a lifestyle of profit and freedom. As a published writer, Tim has written articles on the business of fitness and marketing strategies for gym owners for trade journals, wellness lifestyle publications, and contributes regularly to national publications such as Funnel Magazine. Schedule a Call: www.calendly.com/profit