How To Quit Working For Your Boss at the Gym

At one time or another, we all had to get one. A J-O-B.

Before I landed a position as a fitness instructor, I sported three odd jobs. One was a labourer (lasted 1 week). The other was some random agency work. And for another I got to actually play semi-professional football.

We all have to start somewhere.

Before our first jobs, we have no real experience. We take what they give us. We take it because we need to pay bills, make ends meet and survive.

A stubborn mindset is then created: a job is our safety net.

This mindset becomes downright gospel, whether it’s a job scrubbing toilets at McDonalds, or one in the fitness industry where you we presumably belong.

Is this mindset a good or bad thing?

It depends on your situation.

Right now, I see widespread panic amongst personal trainers who work for large gym chains. They a freaking out because management decided to cut the amount of money trainers can earn from training “their” clients.

Want proof? Check out these statistics I found on a Chris Collora post over on the Exercise Science Guide website.

In short, commission ranges from 30% – 60%, depending upon your experience, education and credentials. If, by the grace of god, you’re allowed to train clients who aren’t members of the fitness facility, the percentage may drop to as low as 15% – 20%.

I found this table over at the Exercise Science Guide website. The following table is a general guideline on how much personal trainers make at several popular gym and fitness chains. Full props and credit are given to Justin Pierce of the forum for making this research available.

Pay Rates at 5 Popular Gym Chains

Please note rates may vary according to location and other circumstances. These figures are meant to give a general idea of what you can expect to earn at these places.

Gym Hourly Session Wage Hourly Floor Wage
Equinox $23.00 – $28.00 at Tier I
$31.50 – $36.50 at Tier II
$39.00 – $44.00 at Tier III
Around $60.00 at Tier IV
Bally Total Fitness $12.94 – $17.00 at Level 1
$15.54 – $20.75 at Level 2
$24.94 – $29.10 at Level 3
$34.40 at Level 4
$39.10 at Level 5
Minimum wage
Gold’s Gym $22.75 – $35.00

(No official tier system)

$8.00 – $8.50
24 Hour Fitness $13.50 at CPT 1
$16.00 at CPT 2
$18.50 at CPT 3
$20.50 at EPT/Master
$7.25 – $9.50
LA Fitness $12.00 – $15.00

(No official tier system)


If you find yourself in this position, I hope it’s not too late.

Let me be frank. This was inevitable. A job for life? That ship has sailed, my friend.

This is supposed to light a fire up your arse. Accepting those kinds of pay rates suggests that you weren’t thinking big enough or far enough into the future.

The future. Will your current income allow you to properly raise a family and treat your beautiful partner to all the best things in life?

More to the point, are you okay with not being able to wake up with your wife or tuck your kids into bed, on account of you enslaved to your clients at all times?

What would you like your life to be like when you reach your 30s? Or 40s? Or 50s?

In hindsight, I really wish I had someone challenge me this way in my 20’s. Now that I have the perspective and experience, I’d like to help you avoid these same mistakes:  

  • You are happy to accept building someone else’s dream.
  • You are comfortable being owned. Your boss makes thousands of pounds a month and you get a salary that barely enables you to survive. Actually, you get 22 days paid holiday (excluding bank holidays, as you have to work these whilst he sits at home).

If this is you, right now you are not serving the world.

Are you just biding your time working a job? Jerry Gillies says it best:

“You will recognize your own path when you come upon it, because you will suddenly have all the energy and imagination you will ever need.”

In all honestly, who actually enjoys an early start after finishing a graveyard shift the night before? Plus weekends?

Some gyms reward such sacrifice and great talent. Most do not.

This might sound harsh, but it shouldn’t be anything new.

Yet you are easily attracted by something that offers you safety, gratification, security and comfort, even if that means settling for less than you want or deserve.  

It comes down to what type of person you are and what is most important to you.

Will you continue to stay a solo personal trainer (working for someone else or on your own somehow) or will you own a personal training studio with a team?


Do you work yourself up the current career ladder or do you own your own gym, set your own rules, look after clients the way you want to, and – most importantly – pay yourself what you are worth?

TBH, you’re never in control of your own destiny when you work for someone else. It’s a delusion to think otherwise.

I created my own career and destiny. I want you to as well.

It will take boldness, bravery, confidence, risk and quite possibly embarrassment when you fall on your face in failure a few times.

Still interested?

Try these three steps to set yourself up for success:

1. Design your own future. Take control of your own fate

It’s not about changing from a J-O-B to a snappy business owner; rather, it’s the bigger picture: how much change will you make in the world.

In a nutshell, be prepared. Do your homework. I wrote about opening your own gym here.

What kind of company are you looking to create? Continue down the route as a sole personal trainer, free from the chokehold commercial gyms have on you? Or own your own studio?

Whatever you choose, build a business based upon your values, and link it to your strengths and personal story. The key to getting ahead is knowing what will make you different from the millions of other personal trainers out there?  

Here’s how to hack your value quickly. Answer these questions. Who gets the best results or positive change when you help them? Why would they choose you over someone else, what differentiates you?  Then check out the fine print in this podcast episode.

2. Do not ditch your job at the gym too early.

When finding out the shitty news that your gym is cutting your commission, the worst possible thing to do is to react stupidly and hand your notice in. Do not quit your day job too quickly.

When I decided to open my own gym, first, I worked every goddamn hour possible to gain new clients, so that I could then cut my hours employed by the gym by half. I could do this because the extra clients covered the secure income I was going to lose. I continued working 50/50 until I had a enough clients to go completely freelance.

After several months, and the rent adding up, it made total sense to find a proper location and move into my own studio.

I despised working for the gym. I knew it had to be done.

Here’s a few more tips if you are thinking about making this kind of jump:

  • Pay all of your personal debt off or don’t get into debt. That might require stopping the car lease, the mobile phone contract, having no overdrafts, cutting up your credit cards, and so forth. Trust me on this one. I’m not trying to turn you into a bore. Don’t worry. There is a strategy to still have fun…but first we have to get our principles straight. And remember we’re planning for the future, perhaps 10 years from now. These things can come later, if you actually ever need credit again!

“If you will live like no one else, later you can live like no one else.” Dave Ramsey

  • Have at least £1000 in emergency funds
  • 6-12 months personal expenses in your savings
  • Have a plan in place to have 100% of business start up costs in savings

“If you will live like no one else, later you can live like no one else.” Dave Ramsey


3. Seek out a Consultant

You will need three elements: market need, competency and passion to ensure success upon leaving your job.

Most of all, you will need clarity, perspective and objectivity.

This is best when it comes from conversations with someone who isn’t invested in you emotionally, who can provide you with perspective well beyond your years, and do so with total objectivity. And let’s be real for a minute here: you ain’t getting any younger. If you would like clarity and reassurance that what you are about to (creating your own gym) is the right thing, then jump on a call with me by booking here.


The question that’s usually the most difficult to answer tends to pop up here. It comes from the uncertainty that one might have, both in themselves or the fitness industry that they’re about to pour their blood, sweat and tears into. Am I good enough?

This is why The Fit Man Collective was born. We’re a very different kind of personal trainer and entrepreneur. Whether your goal is to continue as a personal trainer in order to extract all the money possible from your business, to maximise personal income, freedom, and well being, or it’s your ambition to become a studio owner with other coaches to someday sell the business, the collective is here for you. If you are good enough, you’ll discover solidarity. If you could be good enough, we’ll get you there.

The biggest mistake most personal trainers make is thinking that they need to immediately own their own place. This is not always the best option.

If you haven’t already, download this free report on the benefits and disadvantages of being a solo personal trainer or a studio owner.

What does your gut say? Which one do you want to be? Type “Solo” or “Studio Owner” below in the comments to receive a special bonus gift.





*Image courtesy of

Why Charging By The Hour Punishes Personal Trainers For Being Good

Us personal trainers often really suck at making money. This is because we fail to charge what we’re worth.

Personal trainers who charge less, in fact, undercut you to win business.  

Both personal trainers and commercial gyms are guilty of this practice. It’s smarmy AF, and erodes the integrity of what we do.

If you have a strong opinion about this, check out  UK PT’s Facebook Group put together by Josh Mullin (PT Tool Box). Go there and be in-the-know. There are some cracking discussions going on always.

Recently, a trainer asked a question. He wanted some moral support and affirmation regarding his desire to double his prices.

This perked my interest.

Yet it was the comments from about one hundred other PT’s chipping in that left a sour taste in my mouth. Trolls.

The comments were packed with negativity, suggesting that “selling” is a bad thing in our industry. Seriously? Making money is absolutely critical to what we do. There was, I knew, something more to the story.

But first, here’s my 8 reasons why personal trainers fear asking for real money:

1. You’d have to up skill yourself. Learn about business, selling, persuasion, influence, and leadership. This requires you to admit that you know less than you know, then commit to a greater vision of your life and business.

2. Clients will demand more of you. You’ll have to actually live by your values, not just provide lip service. For a premium price, your clients should expect nothing less than a premium person.

3. Overcome your fear around money and selling personal training. I’m not the first person to say this: money is not inherently good or bad. It’s an energy, and it’s up to you to decide what kind it is.

4. You’d have to challenge the status quo. You’ll be standing alone rather than fitting in. As seen in the UK PTs Facebook Group, there is massive resistance. There is a saying in China: the raised nail gets hammered down. If you want to fit in with a billion other people, don’t stand out. But real money requires rare courage.

5. Stop comparing yourself to other personal trainers and their fees. Do not worry about what others might think about you. All you have to do is to be you. Recognise your value and demand a proper exchange of value.

6. Losing Clients. You might think it is a bad move to increase your prices in fear of losing clients or feel, psychologically, that you are simply not worth it.

7. Living in old patterns and habits manifested outside of the gym as you were growing up. Have you read my how to become wealthy as a personal trainer blog? I go into what money meant to me growing up as well sharing my untold story here  

8. Working on someone else’s gym floor. They dictate the prices. They choose the commission. When you really do the math, it works out less than what you would be paid for working for McDonald’s. When you do eventually charge more (and you will!), remember this, and set up a system which rewards good talent in your business.

Alright. So how do you charge what you’re worth, profit handsomely and have clients happily agree to pay you?

Let’s jump in.

Chase The Money (client comes second)

I have always chased the money before the client.

What do I mean by this?

It starts with rewriting that story that the more clients we have, the more successful we’ll be. This is simply not true.

This destroys your free time and your personal life and relationships. Read more about that here.

Taking a helicopter view, this the very thing causing our industry to fail.

There’s been a lot of talk about low budget gyms. How, for example, Xercise4less Gyms are taking large chunks of a personal trainers income.

Who could blame them? It’s a business and must maximise its income potential. It’s the same logic that should apply to you charging more for what you do.  

However, charging less, whether it’s a gym membership or a personal training session, gives permission to everyone to have a lot less responsibility to the client.

The answer? Raise prices and raise standards. This automatically creates a greater sense of responsibility and, in turn, reduces procrastination, something overworked and underpaid personal trainers are so very very good at.

Despite us being in the “game” of fitness, personal trainers aren’t really willing to do the work required to level-up. We just get the job done.

Client turns up. We provide a so-called workout based on their wishes for the day and that’s it. Then clock out. Done.  

If this isn’t you and you’d like a proven approach that’ll help you charge more for your services (even if you have no clue what you are worth yet), then read on, my friend.

Coming up with your current pricing strategy probably didn’t take much effort. Most just engage in a few web clicks, sheepishly browsing prices and sorta guessing where you might place yourself. That best guess is usually based on age, experience, qualifications, and the psychological element I alluded to earlier.

Instead, just put yourself in your client’s shoes.

Start by asking these questions of yourself:

  • What are your clients’ 3 biggest problems?
  • What’s their biggest frustrations?
  • How long has this been going on for?  
  • What have they tried previously which didn’t work?
  • What moments can you create that would take your client’s breath away?
  • What are your clients concerns when hiring a personal trainer?

Want to go deeper? Try these on:

  • What factors does the fitness industry take for granted and should be eliminated?
  • What factors should be raised well above industry standards?
  • What benefits should be created which the fitness industry never offered?

Already, just by reading these questions, you are constructing a more profitable mindset, one that puts the money first and comes from a place of empathy and understanding of what really matters to people.

Project Management

Your fee should be based on the client’s goal, the problems you have the solution for, and when you will achieve it. Do not charge on an hourly basis.

A lack of timing is a pet hate of mine. For example, you go to the physio because you are injured, but they rarely ever give you a date when you can expect to be fully recovered and fixed.

They’ve got you hooked. It could go on forever. For what reason?

For profit, of course. Conveniently, they don’t know when you’ll be fixed, as they are not convinced they’ll have another client coming to pay their hourly fee. So who better to pay this than you?

The fitness industry falls into the same trap. Personal trainers get paid for their time, not their results.

This is backwards. Personal Trainers get punished for being good.  

Alwyn Cosgrove first brought this to my attention.

If it takes you 10 training sessions to get the same results as I do with a client, where it only took me 5 training sessions, on the current personal training payment model, you will get paid more.

So, surely if I achieved the results in less time than you (by half), I should be worth more (more valuable)?

My First £7,200 Client

Considering the amount this client invested in for my services, and the promise I made to them to deliver results in a specific time frame, a massive pressure was put into place.

Most personal trainers are afraid of this kind of pressure. They would prefer to undervalue themselves to avoid failure. I honestly wouldn’t want it any other way.

You’ve had your fair share of the following:

  • Clients cancelling 5 minutes before their session started or after
  • Clients not prioritising your services
  • Client no shows
  • Cold emails from clients wanting to cancel and expecting a refund with no explanation
  • Clients just turning up and going through the motions
  • Client complains when she doesn’t hit her goals
  • Client goes to the the trainer down the road who is undercutting you with their low ball prices

Have a client like this? Share your worst client story below in the comments.

Stop wasting your time with these types of clients.

Let’s role reverse this. What if you were responsible for your own situation?

You’ve been given a cheap £10 watch, with no brand. Nothing special about it. Just plain and simple.

How would you treat this watch?

On the flipside, you could be fortunate enough to purchase a Breitling Colt Automatic for £3000. You pay in full.

How would you treat this watch in comparison to the cheap, unbranded watch?

There’s a massive difference, right?

The same is true when you charge a premium for your services.

The key is stop thinking of your services as a commodity. They are not just workouts.

How? Your services help others in more ways than you can imagine, including helping yourself. It’s you who becomes the leader, the role model. And you cannot offer life advice if you don’t have your shit together yourself.

When you have yourself together, you offer more than workouts. You offer clients more life.

Become More Than Just Muscles

I’ll hand this over to Skip La Cour.

How do I get someone to start using the "right" training or ea…

"How To Get Someone To Use The 'Right' Training Or Eating Strategy?"It's frustrating when people won't listen to logic, isn't it? Here are some things to think about when you want to help people with the "right" information.P.S. The 15 MANformation Steps will help you become a better communicator because you'll understand both sides better. Get inside with the current group of men while you can. Access is free and instant.

Posted by Skip La Cour on Saturday, 13 May 2017

In a nutshell, the majority of your clients’ goals that you face requires help with their nutrition and exercise strategies. But to get your clients to consistently follow through, there is something completely different that we weren’t taught in PT Certification.

Something you haven’t been able to figure out yourself either. Why were you able to stick to your exercise and eating plan so diligently, yet your clients somehow cannot?

Once you understand this, clients will pay whatever you want to help them solve this challenge.

You are selling more than a workout. You are selling the invisible.

Yes Is For Poor Personal Trainers. To Become Rich, Get Used To Hearing NO.

Previously, I shared a recording of a client consultation in which trainers felt the need to reply in a negative way.  They say signing one client out of every 3 prospects is nothing to shout about.

To which I replied…

For the two “NOs” I received (clients not willing to pay for my services), I received one “Yes”…

Here’s the math:

2 clients pay £300 each per month (total of £600)


1 client to pay £800 per month

Which is the better deal?

If you knew, in advance, that for every 3rd client you consulted with, you’d sign them up for the price of 2 low paying clients, plus £200 more, would you be happy?

Of course. You work less. Less clients to manage means better quality time with each high paying client. In turn, they become a more committed client, and you receive more money and profit.

Let “NO” serve as a motivator. If you get a no, get to work on becoming better at sales. Do whatever it takes.

“NO” keeps out the cheapskates. These are the worst clients to work with, don’t you agree? You want clients that respect and value you enough to work hard and achieve results. These will become your billboard clients! Which will then get you more high paying clients. It’s a vicious cycle of awesome.

Let “NO” be a reminder that you are different. That you will be successful. That you have no desire to fit in, but to rise above and stand in the face of fitness.

Let “NO” mean you have to up skill yourself all the time. To this this day, I still get a NO and it now and forever only means that I have to continue to learn and develop myself more.

It was Jeffrey Gitomer’s fantastic book The Sales Bible which turned on the lightbulb for me.

He said, “The sale starts when the customer says no.” Brilliant.

From now on, take that approach. It turns the formerly negative into a positive, raging fuel.

Then, when you get the “YES” from the client you want willing to pay the fee you deserve, it will feel 100 times better than you’ve ever experienced. After that, you’ll never settle for anything else.

“Missing out” on all those low end sales doesn’t matter anymore.

What Amount of Money Do You Need To Earn To Feel Successful?

Better yet, what would it cost to live your dream life?

Back to my very first point: chase the money. This dictates the amount of clients you need, not the other way round.

Have fun while you figure this out.

How much would you like to earn in the next year?

£50,000, £100,000… 1 million?

What is the amount per month?

Now, play around and divide the desired amount per month by the number of clients you’d like to have.

At first the numbers may seem very unrealistic.

Find something you are comfortable with, but stretches you at the same time. Motivates you without breaking you. Like you were chasing a new PB in the gym.

For example, could you charge £500 per month per client?

If so, 16 clients would make you £8,000 per month, or £96,000 per year.

How do you convince a client to pay you £500 per month?

First, don’t focus on the amount of workouts you will include (yet).

Simply nail the primary reasons the clients needs you and what you can fix that they haven’t (or anyone else) hasn’t been able to for the past 10 or so years? Answer these questions and apply some basics and you’ll be on a six figure income faster faster than ever.

Need extra help with this? Click here to watch my free PT Growth Lab module: “Formulate: Create Potent Result-Driven Training Packages.”



11 Signs Why As A Personal Trainer You Are In The Wrong Relationship

If you have followed me at all before, you more than likely know my shifty backstory.

What you may not know is that, despite my philandering, no-good cheating ways, I’ve always been entrenched in what most would call a serious relationship. When I think back on each of these botched attempts at union, I would have said, without a doubt, “ah, yes, mate, she’s the one!”

Think back yourself. Picture all their faces. How many times have you been in love? Or better yet, how many times have you thought you were in love?

On my end, these were long term relationships, like 2 or 3 years, and, in one instance, 5 years.

I’ll spare the granular details of all these past relationships, but what I think might be worth your time to is hear about that 5 year one. My close call.

I’m guessing you’ll learn a great deal from this, just as I did, as this happened to be the exact relationship where I made a decision to figure out what was really going on with me. In the head.

I asked this question:

Joe, are you truly happy in your relationship, or are you just putting up with it?

That question was aimed to help me see myself as I really was.

A man’s mind can play tricks on him. Convince him that where he’s at is where he wants to be, especially if it isn’t. You could be like, yup, I’m happy, but because you said this inside your head, and not out loud, it loses the power to make or break reality.

Because, well, we’re as manly as a viking warlord, and the captain of our own ship, we seldom question the first thing that comes to mind with any question, let alone relationship stuff.

When I answered this question out loud, hearing made it easier to hear the deception in my voice when I answered yes, and then, by comparison, hearing the truth reverberate when I said something different, louder.

Try it. Read the question again and say your answers out loud, so you can hear your own voice. It’ll seem dumb at first, like talking to yourself in the mirror. You’ll feel like a positive psychology nut job. Ignore that.

Not convinced? Then supersize the question. Add some torque to it so you can really feel the implications of where you’re at: Can you see yourself marrying your current partner and being with her for the long term, raising a family, and growing old together, knowing she’ll be the only woman you’ll have sex with the rest of your life?

I hesitated. And hesitated and mumbled something along the lines of, “I don’t see myself having children or even being tied down to anyone.”

To be honest, I still had my father’s beliefs and negative patterns running when it came to trusting and settling down with one women, but the “I don’t see myself having children” part I’m not sure.

Maybe it was a fear of how I didn’t know, from experience, how to be a good father (I didn’t necessarily have the best role model). Or it might have just been that I didn’t think the girl I was with at the time had the qualities, characteristics and ability to be the mother and wife I would want around if I did have children and a family.

I was asked those questions about 3 years into my 5 year relationship. The clues were always there, but, for whatever reason, I wasn’t aware of them. I had convinced myself everything was “normal” and as it should be.

I’ve come up with 11 Signs You Are Unhappy In Your Relationship. If these are to be helpful in any way, you must of course accept that you are the only person responsible for your relationship and, as such, you are the only person who can get you out.

Sure, blame it on the girlfriend. Or the moon. Or Trump.

Need more of a kick? If you are in an unhappy relationship, you are leaving money on the table in your Personal Training Business and, slowly but surely, wiping you clean of all the characteristics that would make you a proper Fit Man.

So when you read the 11 Signs, have the courage to see yourself as you really are, so that you can find out what is wrong and how you can correct it. And something must be at least a wee bit off with your current ways, or you wouldn’t still be reading this.

As you read the list, hold up a mirror carefully and really see how many of these you use.

1. You rarely initiate sex but easily fantasise about other women (past sexual encounters)

To anyone else, your partner would be seen as sexually attractive, but she is not getting your mojo working anymore. Often, you talk yourself out of this truth when other people pay her compliments. It’s a lame reason to stay with her, but at this point you’re hanging on to anything you can.

1.1 On occasions you are more than fantasizing about women

Hate the player and hate the game. You are out there, stringing other girls along, having one night stands, texting, sexting, meeting for coffee, anything. Your radar is always on, searching for something new or better.

2. A lads night out or a romantic night in with the misses?

A night out with the lads every time. The lads aren’t really that important to you. But you’ll do anything to avoid spending a night in with her.

3. You are quick to justify why you haven’t married or had children yet

You know the real reasons why you haven’t, but have somehow created convincing stories as to why you haven’t.

If I had the money I would…

We’re not yet ready…

My business is still growing…

We can’t afford our own house yet to bring up a family…

We will… one day …


4. You check their phone

This shows how much distance actually exists in your relationship. And if I’m honest, I only ever felt the need to check my partners phone was when it was me who was up to something. Really, I was looking for “evidence” on her phone to justify leaving her. This is what cheats and cowards do.

5. I feel bad or sad for my partner

The hero. If I leave, who will take care of her?

When I said this to my coach, he shot me down straight away with this reply:

You didn’t feel bad when you were texting that other girl, and what about the other night when you got in a 6am after being with that girl from the strip club? Feel bad my ass.

It was guilt more than anything. Guilt of over promising, and under delivering.

6. I can’t imagine my partner with another trainer (man)

If you are still only in a relationship because you can’t bare the thought of her being with someone else, than you totally don’t have your shit together.

7. You threaten to leave a lot

Man, if someone kept doing this you’d think they leave you right? It doesn’t happen, do you know why? Because your partner is just as defective as you are. She must be if she chose you in this weakest ass version of you.

8. You have your own plans and dream which are separate from her

You have no desire to share your dreams and plans. If anything, she is seen as an extra burden.

9. You are emotionally and verbally abusive

You act out. You misbehave. You argue and argue, where before you wouldn’t have. This is a sign that you lack respect and love for your partner.

10. Financially dependant on her

She helps pay the bills each month. She helps you out in times of need, and you don’t know how you will survive without her. This is dumb. Man up. Make more money. Or spend less. Remove the excuse, and see the truth.

11. My relationship is OK in comparison to others… 

On occasion, you try your best to convince yourself that she is the right one. Because there are so many other relationships which are way worse than yours.

That’s just the thing. You might feel that you have it good but you are comparing yourself to the wrong relationship and men.

So, again, are you truly happy in your relationship?

Though this post may seem jaded, I am forever grateful to my ex’s because they taught me a lot about myself and, more importantly, what I was actually looking for in a partner and, ultimately, myself.

It was no easy ride. I had a lot of the baggage to deal with.

I’m glad it just stopped when it did. Any more years of carrying on like I was and I don’t know think there would have been a coming back. Just imagine if she would of had a child or we went through with marriage?

Are you stuck in a relationship? Or find that you go from one relationship straight into another without considering what you really want, or what type of girl you will marry?

Really give this some thought. It will save a lot of angst, frustration and you’ll be a lot more successful in business once you get this area of your life sorted, once and for all, rather than pissing about.

Respect yourself enough to demand more of yourself and your partner, and you’ll see the results in your PT business as well.  

Would you like some support with this? I know how difficult this is and I know exactly what you’re going through. Contact me directly. Send me a message below.


Welcome back to Part 3 of my 3-part blog (If you didn’t catch Part 1, go here and read this first), written to help you avoid all the mistakes that I made, so that you can step-up in your business and life faster, stronger and better than the 200 personal trainers next to you. The market is fierce and certainly, won’t let you dominate your niche without a fight.

Prefer not to read the full blog and are an infographic kind of guy then download that here.

Mistake #10: A web designer is definitely not a marketing expert

This is like expecting your barber to clean your teeth like a dentist. Teeth and hair are in the same vicinity but require wildly different skill sets.

I’ve put my trust in web designers more than anyone I know, thinking that, by extension, they also know what they’re talking about when it comes to marketing.

Put it this way: if instead of having an opt-in above the fold (where a prospect can enter their details in exchange for something of value, you instead have a list of your qualifications, then that is a sure-as-shit clue to fire your web designer/marketing manager.

Something like this, which worked extremely well


Or this,


They say we treasure what we measure. With marketing, it is critically important to know where your money is going, because you can then suss out if the money is worth it based on the number of qualified leads you are attracting.

If you are just starting out or even a seasoned pro, I know one guy in particular who specialises in making them for personal trainers: Internet FitPro| The Fitness Website Experts. Money well spent with people who know what they are doing.

Mistake 11: What got you here, won’t get you over there

Another great book I read some time ago: What Got You Here Won’t Get You There, by Marshall Goldsmith.

Once I left a commercial gym and transitioned into my own boutique PT Studio, the only thing I kept doing the same was training my clients semi-privately.

Everything else had to change and evolve.

In other words, you must adapt and create a multi-faceted approach. Here, I’m talking about a magical place that might consider body mapping, functional biomechanics, injury management by HPT5, then there’s physio, GP referral, hybrid training programs, nutrition, and life coaching as not separate from one another, but integrated together in such a way as to create a complete turn-key operating system.

Why? Because this is what the modern high paying client wants: everything under one roof, bespoke, the way they like it.

Mistake 12: Your competition is NOT another personal trainer or gym in your town

If you are only heading in one direction and that is merely competing on price, the lowest price, then you’ll always be sharing those clients amongst all of your competitors. It doesn’t matter how good you are. Lowballing your price is a race to the bottom.

I want to share a simple framework for pricing your services. But first, let me paint a picture for you.

Your client is a middle aged woman who likes the finest things in life, has a husband who can afford to pay these finer luxuries for his wife, and travels first class to holidays, such as the Maldives, a visit to the French ski resort Val d’Isère, a 5-star hotel, weekend long breaks, and Michelin star restaurants. She drives a 4×4 Vogue, whom after dropping the kids off at private school hops into Starbucks for a caramel latte, then walks into the doors of … your warehouse gym.

If this upper crust client isn’t immediately greeted, by her name, within 3 seconds, shown a huge smile of appreciation, and escorted to the relaxation area or even changing room while also being informed of which coach will be helping her today and what to expect, etc.,

Then she will be comparing you to the barista at Starbucks who always remembers her name, and order, and so forth. Just for good measure, she’ll mention the butler who made her life hassle free so she could more fully enjoy her stay.

You get the picture now?

As humans, once we have experienced a standard that we fully appreciate, we simply compare that with everything else.

Raise your standards to that of the best hotel, restaurant, car manufacturer, private school, and Starbucks and your mindset will start to change. You will want to market to the affluent.

This book by Michael Heppell will show you how to ensure customers are raving about your products and services and come back for more.

I know what you are thinking. But “Joe, you had a warehouse of a gym!” –  In fact, it was an old hosiery factory, but what I set out to do was create an experience that once you enter through the doors, you’ll actually forget that you are in Leicester. A bit like The Chronicles of Narnia… 🙂 

A simple framework for pricing your services

Still with me? Good. I know this is a slightly longer point that I’m making, but it’ll be well worth it.

Pricing is usually set on seeing what your competitors are charging and, once you have that information, you either charge slightly less or slightly higher (in order to be seen as the expert, as many marketers advise us to do).

So what should you do instead?

It’s very simple. It starts with what you want your clients to get out of working with you, rather than trying to figure it out based on what everyone else is doing. If you do what they do, you’ll obviously only be setting your prices based on sessions (1 or 2 or 10 per month), because that’s what every other personal trainer does. You may make a few dollars, but you’ll never make bank.

Instead, build a service to fit the price.

If your client needs life coaching, program design, nutritional guidance, mobility and flexibility work, stress reduction, recovery sessions, HR rate monitored classes, supplements, rehab, etc., then piece this all together and set the price.

This boils down to three questions:

  1. Who gets the best results or positive change when you help them?
  2. Who gives you the most personal satisfaction to help?
  3. Who is your best (highest profit, repeat, happy) client in 12 months?

This will begin to give you an idea of the people you will serve.

Mistake #13: Ego

I’m yet to read Ryan Holiday’s book Ego is the Enemy, and I’m no gambling man (I’ve been Vegas 3 times and didn’t gamble once, can you believe that?), but I’m willing to bet that the book is more or less written about me and you.

Whenever I tasted success, and this could be anything from signing a new client, getting clients results, pulling off an event idea that I had, or basically anything that increased my bank balance, confidence and made me feel successful, it was inevitable that my ego would get the better of me.

I didn’t know when to stop. In one example, I invested  8K for something called “brand awareness.” Thinking back, I did this more for popularity (for me) than I did for the actual business.

I couldn’t control urges like this. When I wanted something, I wanted it now, like a 5-year old. Even though ‘I knew’ (probably two of the most dangerous words in the English vocabulary) what the possible drawbacks could be, I still went through with it. Ego can be that strong.

This alone puts a strain on my cash flow, and as a personal trainer, whether you are just starting out or a 10-year veteran, cash flow is vital for a PT business. Without it, you are sunk.

I don’t know if I have a lesson for you here, though Fitness Business Mentor Thomas Plummer, in a recent post, said:

Cash flow can be a problem for even a healthy business

         Even the healthiest of businesses can have cash flow problems. Shortage of present cash is usually not always an indication that the business is not healthy. You can run a great business for years, but all of a sudden find yourself grasping for money to cover the payroll. In other words, cash flow problems happen to good people who run good businesses.

To me, this says: cash flow problems lies with the owner of the business and is not necessarily a business problem.

The fight is to, therefore, master ourselves. Why did I need to gain popularity? Why did I need to prove to people that I was actually good enough? What personal void or need was I trying to fill?

Mistake #14: Moving too quick up the ladder without systems in place

Just for the record, I don’t like companies that create a hierarchy and then use that to their advantage to make key decisions to, let’s just say, make others in the company feel less valued and powerless.

I’m not talking about hierarchy as you may know it.

I’m talking more about when you, as the trainer, decide to leave the technical side of training (hands-on with clients) and moving to, say, Program Director and then perhaps manager.

I spoke more about this on a recent podcast episode with Steve of My Gym Hub and even recommended the book E-myth in. Apologies. I have a tendency to recommend books to you as you have probably guessed, but books have helped me gain more perspective than I could get anywhere else.

These two books… really inspired me to think differently about setting up processes and systems.

Referring to mistake #13 (“My Ego”), once the opportunity came about where I could move up the ladder, so to speak, I did so without thinking too much about it.

Why? Because the system was in my head.

I put too much onus on the guys I hired (who luckily were very smart people) to automatically duplicate what was already successful, though without knowing too much about it. Because it was obvious in my head, it should have also been obvious in theirs.

As you can imagine, this caused a lot of frustration, a drop in performance, and — more importantly — a reduction in client results and quality of services.

To avoid this happening, first, listen to this, read the books above, and begin creating your checklist which will then turn into a system, which will then form your operational manual.

The key is to act as if you were going to franchise your business model even if you plan on never franchising it.  

Take a look at Ritual Business Model 

It will make your life so much easier and, I promise, you’ll then start to adventure more around the world whilst your business runs without you.


My mistakes may not seem like a big deal to you, but they were monumental for me. They not only cost me money, and my dignity, but more importantly added years of grinding it out unnecessarily.

Knowing these mistakes in advance would have halved the amount of time it took to get where I am today, and that’s living in Bali, with an entrepreneur lifestyle, with my dream girlfriend around, kitesurfing most afternoons, and doing what I love to do, which is serving trainers like you.  

I hope you can learn from me and avoid some of my simple mistakes.

What mistakes have you made? Or currently making?

Cut your personal and business growth time by months or years. Get on a Discovery Call with me and get “over there” in record time.

Part 2: 14 Years, 14 Costly Mistakes: How to Profit from the 14 Lessons I Learned As A Personal Trainer turned Gym Owner

Welcome back to Part 2 of my 3-part blog (If you didn’t catch Part 1, then go here and read this first), written to help you avoid all the mistakes that I made, so that you can step-up in your business and life faster, stronger and better than the 200 guys next to you. The market is fierce and certainly won’t let you dominate your niche without a fight.

Mistake #5: Choose carefully who you date

In a gym environment, it’s only natural to garner attention from the ladies (and sure, in some cases, men). As a human being, this is supposed to make you feel good. And no matter body type or gender the attention comes from,  flattery tends to give you a mini dopamine rush, no different than, say, checking your Facebook or Instagram and seeing how many people liked your latest swole pic.

Harmless enough, though Gary Vaynerchuck’s trainer, Jordan Syatt, has some very strong opinions about this how Personal Trainer’s abuse social media, recorded in a recent Fit Man Collective podcast.  

Just because there are cookies in the jar doesn’t mean you should eat them. Even if they are your favourite flavour. Especially if they are your favourite. I’m not talking about dating a client. This shouldn’t even cross your mind. That’d be like a teacher dating their student. Creepy. I’m referring more to dating an employee or a member of the gym who isn’t and will never be a client.

Dopamine is nice. Cookies are nicer. You may be the big swinging mac on the block, and can rub them all the right way. But. But. But. It can take years to build a dominating personal brand and it can be destroyed in an instant. Piss off the wrong person, rub them the wrong way, and snap, it’s all gone.

So, if you plan on dating another employee or another member of the gym, than do so only if you have the sincere intention of making things serious between you both.

I’ve done both.

I’m not with them now. I got lucky. I was a jerk. When things didn’t workout with these escapades, things remained more or less amicable. They could have chosen the nuclear option. You may get lucky too, but it’s not worth the risk.

However, I have witnessed some serious shit going down when that special someone pressed the red button. Clients got an ear of their alleged negative stuff towards women, and that was the end of many profitable client relationships. It doesn’t even matter if the stories were true or not.

On a more practical level, you certainly don’t want to make a name for yourself as the trainer “who sleeps around.” When people think of you, you want them to think of your skills as a trainer and not as some sweaty gym casanova. It doesn’t matter how good you are as a Personal Trainer; too many extra-curriculars on the side can overshadow your real legacy.

If you’re out on Saturday night, it’s all good, but make sure you go to another city where you can play more anonymously. That way, your decisions have less of a chance of harming your business and personal reputation.

Plus, giving out free sessions is a critical component to your sales funnel. Hard to do that well when you’re boozing it up.

Mistake #5.5: Don’t get into a relationship when you know she isn’t the one.

How do you know she isn’t the one? I answered that one in this blog post.

The “wrong one” will:

  • Cause you too much distraction
  • Cause too much stress
  • Limit you
  • Slow you down
  • Mentally fatigue you
  • Create an unnecessary annoyance
  • Add an extra burden

Subconsciously, you become trapped. If two or more of the above bullet points describes your current relationship, it’s time to have a serious conversation with yourself. Then her.

Mistake #6: Not saving any money and having to work until you die

I briefly touched on this in another blog post.

I made the mistake of spending whatever I made as soon as I made it. Put a dollar in my pocket, and it was already burning a hole. In some cases, it was burning a hole before I even had it.

I had this carefree, delusional attitude: it doesn’t matter now because later I will be rich anyway.

How wrong was I?

Seriously, if you take just one thing from these 14 mistakes, make sure it is this one.

Save 10% of all your income.

And it doesn’t matter how small of an income it is.

You earn £1, save 10 pence.

Over time, this will compound to something quite significant.

For example, how long have you been in the fitness industry?

Let’s say you saved £100 per month.

And you’ve been in the fitness industry for 12 months. That’s £1200.  

5 years in the fitness industry makes it £6000. 10 years makes it £12,000.

How much easier would life be if you knew you had £12,000 in the bank?

Put that into a saving account at 5%. That’s £600 free cash. Depending how you compounded this.

But there is something else more important here, and that is forming a great habit, so that over time, it becomes easier. It becomes your new norm.  

I regret not doing this when I got my very first job as a fitness instructor 14 years ago.

It would have looked something like this…

Gym Instructor at North Warwickshire and Hinckley College Gym

£80 per month for the first 2 years = £1920 banked

Gym Instructor/PT at Balance Health Club

£195 per month for the next 2 years = £4680 banked

(Note: for every pay increase, increase percentage of saving by 3%)

Gym Instructor / Personal Trainer at Greens Health and Fitness and Women’s Fit Camps

(Cringe, how young was I?)

Man, I was going this 10 years ago…

Anyway, this made £320 per month for the next 4 years = £15,360 banked

PT Studio

£760 per month for 6 years = £54,720 banked

Added all together over 14 years, and that totals £76,680 in savings.

This post isn’t about investing, interest rates, or assets, but just think what you could do with that amount of money. There is freedom and power in making the money work for you rather than you working for the money.  

Knowing what I know now, I’d have compounded that cash over the years into triple or quadruple the above amount. In hindsight, I really wish I discovered these two books sooner, from Dave Ramsey and Tony Robbins, which taught money and numbers to a guy who absolutely hates long division.

So, newsflash: start saving, regardless of how small or insignificant you feel it is, because over time it will all account for something. Nobody wants to reach 50 and have no savings, no pension plan, and no retirement money.

Plus, in the meantime, it helps to have a stash of money in the bank for when you have those inevitable downtime moments in your business. It would be delusional to think otherwise.

Mistake #7: Neglecting myself

I was an idiot more times than I’d like to admit. Back in the day, you could definitely find me passed out on the lay down sunbeds, catching up on much needed sleep after a rough night out.  

That would be after my ten minute blast of course. Don’t worry it never ended up like Ross from friends.










Let’s not forget the late night junk food snacks after returning home at 10pm from a

16 hour work day. And that was relying on food from the gym canteen all day.

I found myself too tired to workout, and all the other things they don’t tell you when you become a trainer, as myself and Celebrity Personal Trainer Scott spoke about on this recent episode of the Fit Man Collective Podcast.

I would GLADLY sacrifice taking on another client if that meant getting home earlier. And I suggest that you do the same. At the end of the day, if you are not healthy and well, how do you intend to help your clients?

Mistake #8: Looking too desperate

How many times has your client said, “What times do you have available next week?

And you go, “…anytime, what’s good for you?”

With me, I thought I was doing the client a disservice if I didn’t have availability just for them. And what a lovely added benefit for the clients. They never had a challenge booking in.

Forget that. Never again.

I learned my lesson when I took on a cheap-ass client, who wanted a 6am time on a Monday morning and, get this, an 8pm on a Friday night. Wow.  

He never showed, or if he did, he showed up late. More often than not, I’d receive a text message 5-10 minutes after the session was scheduled to start.

So, the easiest way to combat this insanity:

  • Never show your client your full schedule
  • Only give her two options to pick from
  • When she books, make it clear that these will be the times and dates going forward because consistency and structure is what is going to make her successful.
  • Remind her of her personal fitness and life goals, and remind her that you won’t let her cancel these.

Your clients never get the luxury of selecting when they want to book an appointment at the doctor, dentist, or even hair dresser. You are no different. You’re a business, so start acting like one.

Mistake #9: Taking unnecessary courses just because everyone else was

Man, I did “boxercise” when it first came out. A word of caution: don’t ever pair up with a semi-pro boxer; they don’t know how to not to take things seriously. And serious hurts.

Kettlebells. I never had blisters like that in my whole life.

RPM. I actually hate this song by Coldplay because of that weekend long course. I must have heard this terrible earworm a thousand times.   

Guess what? I never use these in my programming, with the exception of the odd kettlebell for metabolic finishers or because they offer a different option when it comes to handling the weight.

A side note: As a trainer please don’t add boxing into your workout … just because. If anything pisses me off it’s seeing this. That and fidget spinners.

Seriously, there are only a few people I would study from when it comes to programming and nutrition.

Alwyn and Rachel Cosgrove, Gray Cook, Eric Cressey,  John Berardi, Ben Coomber, Charles Poliquin, Paul Chek, Mike Boyle, Mark Verstegen, Lyle McDonald, Leigh Peele, Personal Training Development Centre, Dax Moy and Ian King

And this, of course.

Now, that would be a wise investment.






Prefer to send me a direct message first? Message me privately here.

Next up, in Part 3: Why your ego is the enemy, how the best thinking 5 years ago is your baggage today, why you’re replaceable, why you have more to worry about than a personal trainer being your competition and much more.  Go here to read Part 3 (Mistakes 10-14)

Part1: 14 Years, 14 Costly Mistakes: How to Profit from the 14 Lessons I Learned As A Personal Trainer turned Gym Owner

Appearances can be deceiving.

If you’re a regular follower of my blog, or have encountered the fitness brands I’ve helped create, including what you are reading now, The Fit Man Collective, you’d assume I have my shit completely together.

That’s true. But I am still work-in-progress when it comes to being fully prepared to become the best husband and father I can be. I’ve made a lot of costly mistakes over the years as a personal trainer, gym owner and human being. I sucked at life.

Luckily, my epic stuff-ups didn’t cause any collateral damage. Rather than explode, I mostly imploded, so my mistakes only affected my fitness business, so it was me that lost money, me that lost time, and me who suffered hardships.

So, I guess, in theory, if you keep reading, you’ll neither explode or implode, but thrive. Heck, you may even come out of this feeling clairvoyant, able to see the future of you and your fitness business. It’s my version of The Secret, Fit Man style. Visualise it, and it will come, they say.

Easier, I reckon, to manifest your success if you know what to visualise. I mean, if you are a shitty human being, like I was, you are kinda limited. You visualise crap, because that is all you know.

Frankly, I don’t care if you are a convict or Mother Theresa. I’m not here to judge. Leave that to the robes and politicians. Rather, I’m here to empower you. And one way to do that is to paint a vivid picture of how I dropped the damn ball, so that you can visualise what not to do, and instead crack on faster with your epic plans for fitness world domination.

I could list a thousand mistakes. I’m not kidding. For today, though, I’ve selected the 14 biggest and most costly ones. 

Mistake #1: Offering ‘workouts’ made up on the spot

As a personal trainer, it is far-far too easy to think that our clients hire us just for the workouts. In hindsight, this kind of thinking was sheer laziness. And kinda stupid.

I genuinely didn’t notice or care about what a client’s real interests were. I blindly followed what more or less every other trainer did.

Having my client warm up on a piece of cardio equipment with or without me didn’t really matter. During this time, I was either daydreaming (“when will the session be finished”) or trying to slap together a workout plan, which, if I am being honest, was whatever machine or piece of equipment was available. Lazy.

Do you know what’s wrong with this? Apart from looking like a little cheerleader counting backwards from 10 to 1, you’ll continue to charge by the hour (at a very minimal rate), and the chances of that client ever showing up again is very unlikely.

Your shoddy practices and lazy thinking end up lighting up someone else’s bank account, because whatever your commercial gym boss charges the client, you only get a tiny cut off from that. Petite. Might as well wear a pleated skirt.

So, avoid doing trial workouts or “taster sessions” because this isn’t really what we’re trying to sell, or what the client wants. These trials and tasters work against you (and your bank account) because they are suggesting to your clients that this is the most important element of your service offering. So you can only charge based on that. You are more than lackey for someone else’s empire.  Learn how to put together free consultation that results in high paid memberships or hourly fees. For you.  

Mistake #2: Competing on a number of clients I had with other trainers

Growing a number of clients that you serve is fine, but it is not where you should focus your valuable attention.

Having more clients than any other personal trainer doesn’t necessarily make you the better trainer. It only means you have more clients. What good does having 100 clients notched on your belt do when you’re exhausted and broke?

Seriously, would you rather have 100 clients, making you £2500 per month or 50 clients making you £3750 per month? That’s 50% fewer clients, resulting in fewer hours and actually earning £1250 more a month, and £15,000 more a year.

Training as many clients as you humanly can might be a good idea to begin if you are going through the ‘apprenticeship’ phase. You are learning your trade and figuring out which clients you help best, and these sorts of insights come faster if you see more people. This is okay, but have your eye on the real vision: earning more money per client/session. Go into your apprenticeship phase with the mindset that you are already the kind of person who can command higher fees. Then, when you are ready to fully step into your power, get after it.

Mistake #3: Not tracking the all important numbers

When I was a lot dumber, there would have been times that, if you were to ask me how many enquiries I had this month, or how many hot leads, I would have shrugged my oversized shoulders. If you would have asked how many of those leads set up a consultation appointment, or how many of those consultations appointments showed up, or how many of those converted to actual sales, or what the average income made per client was, I would have stared at you like a baby deer in headlights. Well, maybe more like a five-point Buck, but still, the duh-duh look.

Again, we’re talking about laziness here. It is all too easy to treat your personal training services as something other than a business. Even waiters and waitresses understand they are running a miniature business, but sadly not most PTs.

Even if you are still working for someone else, it will do you absolutely no harm to keep a track on your own numbers. See your energy within their business as a proto version of your own business and eventual fitness empire. Know your shit: a number of sessions you complete, the amount of no shows, a number of clients you have, and a number of free sessions converted. Anything that can be measured, measure it.

Knowing these numbers in-and-out provides you killer insights. You’ll know your weaknesses before it’s too late; that is, before you find yourself jammed in at the end of the month, with a few days to spare, panicking how you’re going to find new clients and make up the shortage in income this month from the previous.


Mistake #4: Know how much a client is worth

If you still need convincing about tracking your numbers, then this might just be it. It certainly was for me.

How much is a client worth to you?

For me, a client was worth anything from £3000 to £14,000 a year (not including supplement sales and add-ons).

Okay, let’s play around with the lowest membership fee from above.  On average, a client stays as a member for 3 years.

£3000 x 3 = £9000 LTV (Life Time Value)

Supplements sales on average would be £60 per month.

£60 x 12 months x 3 years = £2160

Total = £11,160

Wait, that’s not all…

The average referral or recommendation a new client would send our way was between 1-2 in the whole 3 years.

Take the “total number” and multiply that by another 2 = £33,480. This then becomes perpetual, which basically means a never-ending cycle, because if 1 client refers 2, and then those 2 refer 2 more, that’s 4, and 4 refers 2  more, then that’s 8 new client/referral, assuming that you have a really good referral system in place.

Knowing a new prospect is potentially worth £11,160 to your business, you’d be a fool not to operate in a whole new way. The blinders would come off. The mountain would come to Moses.

So, if you had 10 leads, and only 2 showed up to their initial consultation, there are 8 prospects equivalent to £89,280 that you’ve missed out on. Using these numbers, it would tell me that my receptionist (or whoever took the initial enquiry) is converting at only 20%. That’s good for website opt-ins, but bad for fitness.

To be the best, you should be aiming for 60%. Knowing that number tells me where to focus my efforts on next month when it comes to staff training. Or if you are still solo, where you need to focus your personal study and development.

When I first learned about the power of these numbers, I combed back through old spreadsheets of prospects; I had 1000s that got in touch with me, but for whatever reason didn’t sign. I could have made more money, saved more, grew quicker and helped more people.

Next up, in Part 2: Why you should be careful who you date, why saving money is critical, how neglecting yourself will ruin everything, and much more. 



A Step-by-Step Guide to Publish Your Own Book and Attract High Paying Clients

It’s cutthroat competition out there. An army of trainers are out there trying to rope in the same pool of potential clients. Plus, those clients are getting smarter and more picky. So just assume they want the best. And I’ll assume that you are the best (or could be).

What are you gonna do about it?

To attract these kind of clients, you need to differentiate yourself from the pack. There are lots of ways to do this. One of the most effective ways is, I’ve found, to write your own book. This strategy worked tremendously well for me, and it’s my hunch it’ll do the same for you.

I’ve gone to countless networking events and, if I felt like it (or remembered), handed out shnazzy business cards. Truth is, people rarely followed up.

I have a website. But 80% of visitors left my site without taking action. They didn’t leave contact details, which makes it 100% impossible to sell them anything.

In my town, there were 49 other gyms in the area, as well as 249 other personal trainers duking it out for the same clients.

I could have gone to more networking events, handed out more business cards, pumped more money into outbound marketing, or even moved to a less congested market. Those may or may not have worked.

The difference was meeting successful fitness professionals who got where they are because they decided to write a book. The book became the X factor that made all the rest possible. Lightbulb.

Why did this work for them? Because a book builds trust and establishes you as an expert in your field. By becoming an author, you instantly create author-ity.

You may not be a writer. If not, I’m assuming you’re thinking the same thing: how do I write a book?


  • I’m an imposter… I don’t have the experience yet to qualify as an expert
  • Do I have to send manuscripts to publishers, and why would publishers even give me the time of day?
  • There’s so much out there. I don’t want to beat a dead horse. What would I write about that’s not already done?

Take a deep breathe. First of all, you don’t need to have the skills of a creative writer, or any other so-called “qualification” to self-publish. In fact, if you’re anything like I was, you might even suck at writing all together.  

Here’s the rub: to write this book, you don’t have to do any writing at all. With the exception of an odd email here and there, you won’t have to lift a finger on the keyboard!

Before explaining the step-by-step process, I’ll  assume that you already have a client base and that your clients are already achieving great results. Not only that, but they have become raving fans of yours.

To make this work, you’ll need at least 10 client success stories. Do you have that? If not, you need to work on your program design and make it happen before you attempt this book.

If you have 10 or more raving fans, awesome. Let’s crack on.

I learned things the hard way when I created my first book. My singular aim for this blog post is to help you avoid all the pitfalls and mistakes that I did, so that you can quickly pursue the opportunity (which I’ll outline below) to promote your book, and to aggressively set yourself apart and make the competition irrelevant.

So, what to write about?

Easy. You don’t write. Your clients do.

You simply send an email or letter to your clients telling them about the book you’d like to publish and that you’d like to feature them in it. Not only that, but you’d like to involve them in the creation process, such as choosing the book title or content topics.

With this approach, they feel instantly invested in the project, and since they are also raving fans, they are more likely to promote the book and recommend it to others. They love you and love their results, and they want the world to know about both.

This co-creation strategy also builds suspense and anticipation. Just imagine the excitement buzzing around this book due to the conversations your clients will be having. If they are truly raving fans, a viral effect occurs which is ultimately more effective and more lucrative than any conventional ad campaign.

Below is the exact letter I sent out. The letter also includes a competition for the most inspiring story. A book requires words. Lots of words. So you don’t want just 1-2 paragraphs. You want to incentivize your clients to go deep and emotional. That takes words.

You want the reader (your potential client) to be able to relate and connect with the stories, and in turn be confident that you can also help them.

So, ask your clients to share what their life was like before they came to you, why they came to you, what helped them take the leap of faith, and how long they were on the fence about joining. Ask them to describe their struggles and challenges, how you helped them, what results they achieved, and what their life is like now.

Some other tips with the letter:

  • Insist on a deadline for your clients submitting their story
  • Plan to follow up with them at least 1 or 2 times
  • Speak to your client in person about the project. This keeps keep it at the top of their mind and awareness
  • Naturally, there will be a few client reservations, mostly around confidentiality, privacy and stuff like that. Just explain precisely how you plan to use the book and how their story will inspire people just like them to make a change.
  • Follow up with every client that sends in a story with a sincere and memorable thank you email and also send them regular updates on the progress of the book

Your clients stories will create the main inserts (inside pages) to your book. Hence, the quality of your relationship with your “writers” is absolutely critical to the completion of the book, its success, and ultimately its capacity to bring new clients into your ecosystem.

Organising the different chapters

Once you’ve received your client stories, you’ll want to go through each one of them to make sure that you got exactly what you asked for (and what the book needs). As you are reading through the stories, you want to be paying attention to the words your clients use to describe their story. Why? Because some of the language they use can be reused — made into chapter titles, pull quotes, and anything else you’d like.

To illustrate, here are the titles we came up with for the chapters of our book. Plus, they also create your table of contents, as you can see below.

30 chapters, 30 client success stories…

I gained confidence in my ability to work out and lift weights

By Alpa Pandya

Beating stress helped me conquer my weight loss demons         

By Amanda Coombs

Corrective exercises and encouragement improved my game        

By Anne MacGregor

The support and help I’ve received at U Fit has improved my life     

By Becky Smith

I lost over two stone and now fit into my favourite jeans                      

By Chris Bott

Small changes made it easier for me to lose weight                                       

By Dave Nicholls

U Fit Studio has helped me to believe in myself                                 

By Debbie Neath

U Fit Studio helps me feel important, comfortable and motivated             

By Gemma Shepherdson

The U Fit team helped me through a difficult life experience                         

By Harriett Gilbert

Encouragement and motivation helped me fit into the dress of my dreams                         

By Helen Robbins

A journey of self-discovery that has helped me view life positively

By Jackie Dziewanowska

Caring attitudes and members’ happiness is Joe’s passion                  

By Jayshree Vyas

Unique programmes help me to focus and feel motivated                              

By Jimmy Chauhan

An enjoyable experience that’s now an important part of my day            

By Jo Cotton

Healthy eating and clear goals have helped us both look and feel great

By Simon & Katie Baines

A friendly and encouraging atmosphere with extra support when I need it                            

By Katie Hollingsworth

I’d be in a dark place if it wasn’t for the focus and support U Fit gives me                                

By Kerrie Heath

I’m actively conquering my demons and feel amazing                         

By Lucy Matthews

My thought processes have improved and now I’m fitter, happier and healthier

By Lynn Lewis

I feel physically stronger and I have control of my weight                  

By Lynne Griffiths

Plenty of variety and new challenges to keep you on your toes    

Nicola Lennard

Lifestyle and nutritional advice has played a key role in my wellbeing                                     

By Nikeen Patel

My diet and lifestyle has improved and I’m in control                

By Paula Dhiman

U Fit has helped me to re-evaluate my life and now I feel fantastic  

By Rachel Bettle

Attending U Fit Studio is a high point of my day; I have all the tools need to achieve my goals

By Sanjna Dhanjal

I’m in the best shape of my life thanks to U Fit                                

By Sheetal Kachhela

Being part of U Fit means a lot to me and is an important part of my life  

By Tracy Flounders

U Fit Studio has given me a fitter, more toned body and increased my levels of confidence  

By Vimal Thakrar

U Fit Studio turned my life around in just 14 months after a 33 year battle                                  

By Sallyann Fowles

After reading these, can you identify the client I was targeting?

Before I begin sharing my insights on hiring an editor, I must mention the legal part. It’s important that I do. So please bare with me.

Legal Documents

Now that you have the main content, I would advise that you get some form of an agreement signed by yourself and your client. It basically states that you have the full rights and permission of the client to share their story in the book and you can choose what you wish to do with the book, such as promoting, marketing and advertising your services.

Here’s an example, though it’s probably best that you hire a professional lawyer to draw one up for you. It’ll be well worth it. Your clients are awesome, but they may not all be angels. For whatever reason, one of your clients may leave, become disgruntled, then get nasty.

Download the PDF version of the Sample Book Release Form by clicking here

Now, have your client sign it.  One copy for them and one for you.

Let’s recap: we’ve figured out the content of your book, we’ve got chapter titles, the legal bits are out of the way, and your clients are already creating suspense around the launch of your book. That leaves us with just one thing.

Do you have or know an editor?

You can hire one on elance (now called Upwork) or fivver. For the most part, both tend to be very reliable and produce quick results.

Do a Google search for Upwork.

Then complete the necessary fields

While an editor is not required to self publish, editors can help clean up the copy, make the story flow better, as well as spot spelling mistakes and grammatical errors. Even if you don’t have a professional editor to work with, a second opinion always helps.

Neuroscience tells us that we become “blind” to the errors in material we’ve looked at for too long, especially material that we’ve written or have a vested interest in. We literally cannot see the mistakes.

The additional beauty of hiring someone else to do the editing and proofreading is that you can utilize this time for coming up with a killer design for the front and back cover.

Front and Back Cover Design

It doesn’t have to be too extravagant. It is, however, a representation of your brand, and so it should be on point. Has anyone ever told you that you have a second chance to make a good impression? That might work in other industries, but in the fitness industry, you need to ditch that. It’s lazy, and you can bet your ass someone out there is hustling faster and better than you to capture the attention of those smarter clients. So, as Mindtools suggests, get it done right the first time:  

“These first impressions can be nearly impossible to reverse or undo, making those first encounters extremely important, for they set the tone for all the relationships that follows. So, whether they are in your career or social life, it’s important to know how to create a good first impression.”

And Brian Tracey:

Everything counts in a first impression. Everything you do or don’t do either adds to or takes away from your credibility to influence someone as a leader.”

The first impression is what makes your prospect curious enough to raise their hand high and ask for help. If your impression is average, then they’ll go to your competitor. I talk about this at length in another blog: 3 Fatal mistakes that are standing between you and you beating your competition.

So, make sure you hire a good designer, or at least someone who understands your brand strategy and standards, so that they keep consistency across all your marketing channels and material.

The colours in the U Fit Studio branding were blue, white, and shades of grey. You will see this in the book design below.

A few more things. Do consider including a picture on the back cover of the clients featured in the book.

And do include a well-written and polished book description that will help convert window shoppers into clients. If you want potential clients to identify with someone, there is no better way than showing them people who are just like them.

Most people who want (or need) the help you provide have a fear of being judged. It’s human nature. By making sure they see people who are just like them, they quickly overcome this common hurdle, and in turn are “warmer” to working with you.

How to pick a book title

You may already have a title in your head, but, based upon experience, I recommend the following strategy.

Involve your clients…

Step 1: What results are your potential clients aspiring for?

Step 2: Brainstorm a bunch of titles based on the above.

Step 3: Pick your favourite titles. Make sure they are easy to remember, and are catchy and exciting. Then run a poll on social media.

Step 4: Carefully read and listen to the results of the above poll.

Step 5: Compare the results against the overall goals of your book.

Here’s the title that I came up with:

What is an ISBN and Do I Need One?

You don’t need to buy a ISBN (International Standard Book Number), but I would strongly advise that you do. Basically, having an ISBN record stores important information like the author’s name, publisher, size, format, topic-related information, pricing, and other data needed by retailers, libraries, and book distribution systems.

Even though you may only want to publish an ebook for now, an ISBN is required to print hard copies. It costs money, but totally worth the small investment.  The UK ISBN provider is

For International Agency try clicking here.

Just give them a call; it’s easy and they are very helpful. If I recall, it takes around 2 weeks to complete the process and register.

In a nutshell, an ISBN means that you can sell your book.

Also, going back to the notion of first impressions, it also gives the perception that your book is an authentic book. It’ll come with a barcode and a price tag. They’ll know it’s the real deal.

If you’re based in the U.K., and you prefer a direct contact then ask for Diana Dalasini at Ph: +44 (0) 1483 712215. She’s always been very helpful, professional and efficient whenever I needed a question answered.

That said, if for whatever reason you are on a tight budget or you’re not interested into producing a printed hard copy, then you won’t need an ISBN.

If you are collecting email addresses from your website, or soon might be, it’ll be worth a shot to collect postal addresses at the same time. If and when you have something physical to send (like a book!), you have what you need to get it where it needs to go.

As with any opt-in, you’ll need to give prospects visiting your website a really good reason to handover their addresses. A compelling book is an example of a high value item to prompt that handover.  

Format the book

At this point, you should have the inserts (table of contents + client stories), as well as the front and back cover design. Don’t forget the spine of the book, as this is valuable space where you can place the book title and display your branding.

It’ll be in your best interest to contact a printing service. Not just any old printing service. Use one like this. They won’t require you to commit to large orders or minimum amounts. You pay for what you order. In the beginning, this is all you need.

Moreover, it is worth reaching out to these now because they can help you format your book and get it print ready, usually at no extra charge.  They’ll ask you heaps of questions, and definitely around what size you’d like the book to be (I always suggest no larger than A5).

Explain to them that you are waiting for an ISBN and a barcode to be delivered. Once these arrive, the printing service will then position everything for you appropriately and professionally.

I’ve probably oversimplified this part but believe me, a good printing service will always stream line the process for you. If you don’t want to spend your time writing, I assume you don’t want to bog down your valuable time fussing with formatting.

Now, that your book is published…

It’s about getting the book in front of potential clients.

Step 1: While you are putting the book together, it makes total sense to build suspense around a book launch with your clients. Do this by keeping them in the loop at all times. Give them something exciting to talk about. Then they’ll talk about it.  

Step 2: Plan and prepare a book launch. We timed this with our annual client appreciation party. For that night, we encouraged our clients to bring guests. In addition, we invited the press. Everybody who was anybody came and it turned out to be a wildly successful night.

Step 3: Ensure that every single one of your clients gets a copy of the book. It will not only inspire them, but it’ll create another reason for them to stay with you.

Plus, they’ll feel more connected with your other clients. After reading the sometimes vulnerable stories of others at the gym, social walls will break down, more conversations will happen between members, and your community will grow even stronger. Like a family. Those who were not raving fans before will become so. Then those new raving fans can be part of the next book. And so on.

Step 4: It automatically becomes a referral tool. When your client takes it home and places it on the kitchen table, just think how many of their friends and family members will see it. Do you think they’ll read it? Of course! Because your client will insist that they do.

Step 5: Send a copy of the book to every media outlet in your local town. Ask them if they would be kind enough to read a copy and possibly share some of the stories with their audiences. There is no need to get anxious about asking for what you want from these outlets. Remember that they have a problem they need solved. They need content. You need your content out there. It’s a win-win.  

Generally speaking, I find that local radio stations are way more receptive to this idea than magazines and newspapers.

Step 6: Depending on your budget, it’s probably worth investing in advertisement. More than likely, those media outlets have already tried to pitch this idea to you. If so, great! It means you’re hot. If they haven’t approached you, then approach them. Remind them why you’re hot and worth featuring. Negotiate for favourable rates, but don’t be a jerk about it.  

Here’s an example of a simple advert I took out in a local village magazine.

The key to successful weight loss doesn’t have to be a secret

FREE book, exclusively for The Beacon Magazine readers explains how to lose weight and keep it off for life

Have you ever wondered how people lose weight quickly and keep that weight off?

Despite spending hours at the gym or watching every bite you eat, do you never seem to be able to achieve your ideal shape?

Do you find that diet and exercise advice can be misleading and difficult to follow?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, don’t worry, you’re not on your own. 99% of the population are dissatisfied with the results they get from their current diet, personal trainer or gym. These same people often feel they have no choice but to carry on doing the things they’re doing, even when they don’t see any results.

Fortunately, a new book is about to change the way you look at fitness and weight loss forever. “30 Weight Loss Success Stories” shares inspirational stories from people who’ve been where you are now and have turned their lives around for the better. It contains motivations, methods and techniques behind successful and lasting weight loss that anyone can follow.

Claim your FREE copy now. Visit [insert landing page] and claim your free copy.


Note: We didn’t send prospects to our main website; instead we wanted to track the amount of leads we got so we sent them to a separate URL and landing page.

You can either ask your web team to organise this, or go to leadpages or instapage and you can have a page set up in minutes.

Remember to register a URL. It makes the most sense for this to be the title of your book. If you’re as anal about tracking as I am, then you’ll want to keep tabs on which magazine uses your URL. This will help you ascertain which outlets are effective or not, and provide insight on what might work better next time.  

Step 7: Make sure you have the book available on your website home page. Make it look attractive, user friendly and efficient … and bam! Prospects that visit your website will now have a reason to leave their contact details with you.

For some inspiration, check these sales stats out:

With these contact details, you’ll be able to market to them over and over again in your follow-up processes. As you may know, this is called permission marketing: the prospect has given you the green light to market to them. So make sure you market!

Step 8: It goes without saying: share the new book on ALL social media channels, and track and measure so that you can figure out what’s working and what isn’t.

Step 9: Whenever you go to networking events, instead of giving out business cards you now have a shiny book, full of raving clients, to handover. A book is more physically dominant than a business card, and contains all the information the prospect needs to determine if you are the right person for them. This also saves you time later. By the time the prospect contacts you, they have more than likely made up their mind. You can avoid unnecessary “discovery calls” and instead sign them as a client in a flash.

Step 10: Have the book present and available for your clients to read before and after workouts in a common area. At U Fit, we called this the “Chill Out Area”. If they are new, they’ll feel validated that they have become a member at the right gym. If they are an established client, they’ll feel inspired to become part of the next book. If they are in the book, they’ll feel like a damn celebrity!

Step 11: Remember to hand the book to any new prospect that visits your gym. “Joe, will be with you in two minutes; in the meantime, feel free to flip through our new book, ‘30 weight loss success stories’…”

These tactics will absolutely help you differentiate yourself from the other trainers. Hands down, you’ll make yourself more attractive to your potential clients.

If you didn’t have any authority, you will now and you’ll immediately be positioned as an expert in your town. Authority is not earned. It’s created. So create it!


If you already have at least 10 successful clients, and want your own book one day, then this might be the perfect opportunity for you.

What’s your experience with using before-and-after pictures and client success stories in marketing? What methods have you found to be most successful at increasing your leads?

Comment below, and let’s start a conversation. I’d love to hear more about them and if you have any additional ideas. We’re a brotherhood, so we’re here to help each other out.








How To Make Money Networking As a Gym Owner or Personal Trainer

As the saying goes, when you open your mouth, you put your business in ‘da streets. So, on a personal level, whatever comes out of your mouth reveals something about your identity and what kind of man you are.

To view or download an infographic version of this blog click here.

If you own a business, you reveal its truths too (the clean and the dirty bits). Another way of putting this is that whenever you open your mouth, you are selling, whether you think you are or not, whether you want to or not. It just is.

In his landmark book, How to Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnegie claimed (rightfully so) that networking is a fundamental part of doing business. I’m not going to get on a soapbox and tell you that you should be networking and connecting with people, as I assume you already know this. Rather, I want to share the winning strategies of how Fit Man networks and makes money, so that when you are opening your mouth, magic happens.

I’m going to break down, step-by-step, how to make money networking. In 2015/16, I made a total of £37,500 a year from just 5 clients, by merely attending three networking events on a regular basis: Premier BNI Leicester, Niche Networking Events and Aspirational Club.

In fact, here’s Gavin, one of clients I scooped up from these events, singing our praises.

Now, I wasn’t in no upmarket area, like Mayfair, London, or New York. My business was based in Leicester (named “the poorest city in the UK”) and in that depressed area I had to compete with 49 other gyms and 245 other personal trainers.

I’m under no illusion. You may have tried networking in the past and it didn’t turn out too well. It may have felt awkward. You didn’t quite fit in, because you were just the muscly guy in the corner.

You felt out of your depth, uncomfortable, didn’t know what to say or do. It was not your usual social crowd. There were tea and biscuits instead of protein shakes, cereal, and fry ups, and overweight business women snarling at you … you get the picture. Who in their right of mind would want to experience this?

Don’t worry. I was just talking about myself above. But, was that the same for you also? Or something similar?

I totally understand. And being the introvert I am, I struggled even more. It was at that point that I went looking for expert help. And what come of it was more than I ever imagined. Both professionally and personally, I grew and you’ll see and feel what I’m talking about once you’ve followed through on this.

Side note: I won’t be sharing which networking events to choose. This really comes down personal preference, as in who is your preferred client avatar. Unless you are from Leicester, which I know inside out, you’ll have to do the heavy lifting here.

So, let’s begin by putting the foundations in place.

Shaken not stirred, enter James Bond.


Dress about 10% better than you expect your prospect (where “prospect” =  another business owner) to be dressed. Do not overdress or underdress.

Above all else, the number one reason a person decides to buy a personal training package is that they liked the person they talked to. 75% of sales are based on emotion. They don’t have to reach a state of ecstasy by talking to you. You just have to do enough for them to like you. A sharp outfit and a tight smile is usually enough.

You should be immaculate when you first meet your prospect. This means you should smell good, but not like a cologne factory. Have your hair trim and neat. Take care of the details, top to toe, inside and out, to physically appear as good as you possibly can. Leave the gym gear at home. Wear a fitted suit.

Keep these questions in mind. What is your projection to the public? What is your appearance like? Do you practice what you preach? Are you a role model? How do you sound to others? What do your words actually say? How well can you listen?

Suspend your current beliefs, rules, values and standards

Why? Because they are not serving you as well as you need them to! If they were, you’d be experiencing a life much, much better than the one you are in right now. Your current way of thinking and doing isn’t allowing you be your most powerful, influential and charismatic self.

The Fit Man edge

Learn to put yourself in state.

“The difference between peak performance and poor performance is not intelligence or ability; most often it’s the state that your mind and body is in.”                                                                                                     —Tony Robbins

We all get in lousy psychological and emotional states at times. But when you find yourself in that special place, right before you enter the networking room, make a conscious decision: change your body and get in state.


Study how gentleman should sit, stand and walk in public places.

Learn the qualities and characteristics of men who possess true chivalry.

Sharp, Enthusiastic and Expert Status

Something I learnt from Jordan Belfort:

If you can’t present yourself as someone who is sharp as a tack, enthusiastic as hell, and an expert in your field, you literally cannot move your game forward. It’s that simple.

I would repeatedly say this to myself, or as Napoleon Hill of Think and Grow Rich would put it, AFFIRM this, as I drove to the venue:

I am sharp as a tack

I am enthusiastic as hell

I am the expert

The Event

Due Diligence

Having sold many high end packages, I can tell you, in this economy, your clients are more discerning, more circumspect, more analytical, and more critical. They want to trust, but will make you dance to get there.

In other words, they want expertise, not just workouts and blocks of sessions. They want the best value for their money, not the lowest price. In addition, these business owners you are networking with are, in fact, potential clients, just as their employees and customers are, so they will be assessing and judging you harshly. They want the best and are willing to wait, and to apply for the opportunity to work with the best, most competent specialist in weight loss, health and fitness.

Now, that you are aware of this. We can act upon it.

Know this:

Who is your best client?

What are their battles?

What challenges do they have?

What frustrates them?

What are their biggest struggles and pain?

Why do they need you?

What keeps them awake at night?

How many diets and gyms have they been to?

What do they want, exactly?

If you have a firm handle on this information upfront, it allows you to be able to share stories of your clients and — most importantly — why you do what you do. It also enables you to identify your client targets.

I guarantee you these prospects will then respond favourably to you when they feel they are being treated warmly, professionally and respectively. They will feel this because you did the homework. They will be amazed and delighted because your sincere empathy and knowledge will make them feel like you already know them. It’ll be the sales version of love-at-first-sight.

The goal of the networking event is not only to set up an appointment for the prospect to come visit you at your gym, but also to establish a strong enough connection so the prospect is compelled to actually show up for the appointment. The FOMO will be so potent, they’ll have to come.

Make a good first impression

Harvard tells that the first 30 seconds of a meeting are critical, however, I believe the first 4 seconds of any encounter are the most influential. This adds pressure, but you there are specific preparations you can make so that your message is fully received and, in turn, you hear music in response: YES!


Introduce yourself by your first name and always greet with a handshake. It should be softer (but still with authority) for the lady and much firmer for a gentleman. Eye contact is equally as important.

When introducing yourself to a women, try and keep your eye level below hers. Empirical research suggests that most women are more comfortable and less intimidated when their eye level is higher than those around them. This can be difficult, especially if you are standing tall, but you should bear this is mind. Even if you are physically unable to lower your eye level, just the conscious awareness of this phenomenon tends to positively affect the interaction. Be certain to note the person’s speaking and listening pace (they are generally identical) and match them closely as possible. This “mirroring” creates connection. Do not speak so fast that the person cannot process what you are saying, and do not speak slowly if the person processes rapidly, as you will bore the crap out of them.

In the early stages, it’s perfectly natural if you are nervous about networking events. If so, take some comfort in the fact that the other persons is probably nervous as well.

Quick tip: take advantage of the brain’s natural organisation and, if possible, keep the prospect situated to your right when shaking hands, sitting and communicating. This makes the interaction more of a “left-brained” engagement, for both you and the prospect, and tends to cultivate more relaxed, analytical conversations. When that happens, business happens.

Be familiar with the terminology of the business or profession of the prospects you meet. I heard some great advice long ago, the source of which escapes me. But here it goes: when you use the exact same buzzwords your customer does, it identifies you as an “insider” and nudges your prospect more into the ‘yes’ category.

Show sincere interest and fascination with the person in front of you. If you fake it, you’re done. They must feel your authentic interest in what’s important to them, in their pursuits and business. Another word for this is rapport, and nothing helps this along better that possessing an honest and caring interest in the person you are trying to influence.


Okay, this is where its gets more interesting.

A Fit Man is a leader. He influences the mood of the group. To get others to trust you and have more faith in your opinion than they in their own, there’s a few things you have to learn how to get comfortable with.

Just like building those muscles of yours, it’ll take practice and exercise, but I can assure you it will be worth it. These are clutch life skills.

In networking events, you’re probably affected by what other people think of you. I was the same. In these situations, we quietly leave, and beat ourselves up for not doing all the things we know we should have done.

It stems from a fear of offending people. As humans, we crave approval and validation. We got that approval with our bodies, but not so much with our communication, social and business skills.  

Skip, my mentor, said it best, “Joe, either stop needing approval from other people or do an awesome job of giving them the impression that you don’t need their approval.”

He would then go on and say; “There is a saying, ‘Nice guys don’t finish last; pleasers do’. You can’t aggressively go for what you really want in life with 100 percent focus, effort and enthusiasm while desperately trying to please other people at the same time. It just doesn’t work. You will end up pleasing nobody.”

That was a lightning jolt right to the heart! It fiercely pissed me off, because for the last ten years I had been playing that same old story. I knew it. He knew. And he called me out on the carpet. Something had to change.

I no longer stay in the middle, one foot securely in my higher confidence and the other foot pandering to whims of other people. I no longer said, “maybe” or “let me think about it” or “well, what do you think” or  “I’ll try”. This was the feckless kind of language and communication I used to deploy.

If that language sounds familiar, just be more decisive. Yes or No. Have the courage to choose a side. Trust yourself more.

When you have this confidence and verve, people naturally gravitate towards you. Then, when they are in your orbit, you can lead them.

You are not a personal trainer. Those are boring.

I first learned that from Paul Mort. (If you haven’t yet, go and check out his Marketing Muscle Inner Circle programme – decent!) I cannot recall the correct term he used, but it is essentially coming up with your own elevator pitch – It might of even been that 🙂

First lets see what the definition is.

I like Wikipedia’s

Put simply, when someone asks “Joe, what is it that you do?” I do DO NOT REPLY WITH  “I work as a personal trainer at…”

If you do that, you miss your opportunity to leave a lasting impression. Given that you have only a few second to make that impression, don’t waste it spouting the bland resume crap you hear everyone using.

It has to be memorable. To this, it must appeal to both sides of the brain, both the rational and the emotional, so that long long after they leave the event they are still thinking about what you said. If you’re good, they’ll be compelled to  share what you said with friends and family at another event that same day.

This spiel has worked well for me:

“I am Joe Hanney, I’m a multi award winning performance and change specialist, speaker and business owner.

I help ambitious business women overcome their biggest fears and challenges when it comes to achieving their dream body…”

With these two examples, one makes you want to fall asleep. The other creates mystery, curiosity and leaves the prospect wanting to know more.

You may feel obligated to leave them a business card. Boring. Forget business cards. Give them A BOOK. This plot twist makes the exchange even more memorable because you are making the familiar unfamiliar.

See, they are so used to receiving a business card, it’s no more memorable than getting handed a receipt at Starbucks or brushing their teeth. It’s automatic. When you swap out one boring physical object (the card) with something more exciting (a book), this creates a story worth sharing.

They might say, “I met a guy Joe the other day, Instead of giving me a business card, he gave me a book.” Then, not only one person, but two people are talking about you and your book.

It doesn’t have to be a book. It can be anything you do, at anytime, in the networking process which snaps someone out of autopilot long enough to see you.


When you have an ideal prospect who is showing real interest, take their details, and plant the suggestion that you’ll “try” to give them call in 3 days time. Don’t call them in three. Call them in five. It’s a bit like dating, where absence and distance creates desire.

Start the phone conversation with something personally related to them which you purposely remembered from your previous conversation with them. It could be simple, like remembering that they heading to the park that afternoon with their children.

This warms the space enough for you to then ask a series of thoughtful, open ended questions, which warms the space further for you to eventually present your offer. Remember that they are smart, and the totally “get” that you are selling to them, but also remember that nobody like to be sold to, especially in an aggressive way.

If you’ve done your part to create the conditions for rapport to be built, they’ll usually reciprocate. Popping the question and getting a “YES” is then only a matter of tact and timing.

One of my go-to methods for creating these conditions of success is offering free sessions. To learn how I use these to sell high-end packages and command the highest fees, go here.

One more important thing. If all this networking mumbo jumbo seems boring and too much work, let the numbers excite you.

The value of getting just one client to me was worth £6500 a year. The average a client would renew every year for 3 years. That’s £19,500. I don’t know of any other marketing tool that would give that kind of return on investment. If you then do group or semi private coaching, you can serve more people by leveraging your time. Then the money really gets interesting.

Fit Men know their numbers. Period.


My opportunities and success came from networking. That’s how I created the Dine on a Diet Concept,

became a judge for Miss Great Britain, and sponsored awards at prestigious events like the Leicester Mercury Sports Awards. It’s how I was a featured columnist in local magazine and newspapers. It’s how I met the Lord Mayor. It’s how I was a judge at Leicester Got Talent and received the invite to watch Leicester Vs Manu in a posh box when Vardy beat Van Nistelrooy’s record! I think back sometimes, and wonder what it was like for another personal trainer in Leicester watching me become a local expert and celebrity. I never ever had to search for clients. I am here to tell you that neither do you.

I say this not to brag or impress you, but to impress upon you the fact that you do not have to struggle anymore. You can create and master whatever market space you want to play in. You know my background.



If you want that market space to be high end, and if you want to have more time and freedom in you life while making exponential cash, you can! If you feel it’s the right time, ask me how I can help lock out your competition for good.

How would you now introduce yourself at a networking event? What would you say to make yourself memorable?

Prefer to discuss this over a 15 minute Make Money Networking Strategy Session? Click here.



Don’t try to deny it. Men always crave them…

Sex… Money…

and Fame.

You wouldn’t be totally wrong if you called us a bunch of animals. We’ve fallen for the shiny lifestyle of movie stars, footballers, celebrity trainers, and millionaires, which has in turn led us to compromise our better lives and forfeit cultivating the character of a real man.

The fact that our clients rave about our physical prowess doesn’t help matters much. Verity over at News Hub referred to this phenomenon in her racy blog ‘Why Are Personal Trainers The New Sex Gods…

If you are curious, I hold a slightly different perspective.  

Until now, your beliefs about sex, money and fame are, in fact, a lifelong accumulation of confusion.

You might think sex, money and fame is one thing, but it’s actually another. I admit, that may be an unpopular perspective, but if I knew then what I know now, I would have chased something totally different.

Money, in fact, does not solve everything. Or anything, really.   

To view or download an infographic version of this blog click here.

I’m willing to risk telling you something that you might not like (and believe me, I would’ve probably been the same, as more money meant everything to me). If just one person out of everyone who reads (or skims) this takes what I say and makes the changes necessary, the risk was worth it.

Back when I was first trying to sort myself out, I went looking around for “man stuff” and nothing was ever available. It was all smoke and mirrors.

Still reading? Good. It probably because you’re interested in what else I’ve got to say or you still need a little context.

This next part is for the latter, because I have yet to convince you of this.

The way you currently think about sex, money, and fame will seriously make you an unhappy, lonely, cash strapped individual. When I say “you” I am, of course, talking about me, but I am also talking about you.

I can talk about you because of experience. Here’s where it all started… I’ve kept this version kinda clean, maybe in a future post I’ll add the unedited version… 

Exposure to Porn

Forget school. My “sex education” classes came from porn. My “mature” father thought it was a good idea to show me porn at 9 years old. It was just another night drunk for him, but it began to shape the kind of man I would become.

You might think showing porn to a boy is harmless, but it is not.

I totally degraded women from this point on. Not clients, of course. Girlfriends and hook-ups, mostly. It became an act of winning the “love” or sexual favour of someone — nothing else. Even when I thought I was in love, I still degraded women (if you are anything like me, you fell in love a lot of times).  

Porn is really bad education, especially when you are young and inexperienced.

The desire porn creates will always leave you unsatisfied. I wasn’t addicted to porn; rather I was in a way traumatised and conforming to my father’s unhealthy habits.

Add to that some more “fatherly” advice. Don’t ever trust women. There are too many of them to just settle with one. Years on years “playing the field” really frigged up my brain chemistry.

A sexually obsessed personal trainer is not essentially different from a person addicted to drugs or alcohol. Both have lost control over their faculties of reason and willpower.

Over to you…

Have you ever been truly faithful to your girlfriend(s)? Do you always desire something better, or something else when in a relationship?

Say an opportunity comes up to go out with the lads. You go, because there’s always the fear-of-missing-out on strip clubs, threesomes, or just empty casual sex. It doesn’t matter if you have a client at 6am — you do it.

Staying in a relationship just because…

Easily influenced by the lights, the cars and the lifestyle footballers portrayed

I will tell you this. I lived like a footballer (just without the actual football).  

I’m not so sure if this was the case for you, but most personal trainers have some kind of history with a chosen sport. Mine was football.

Those that don’t quite fulfil their dreams of playing at a professional level, for whatever reason, tend to end up in the fitness industry. It’s a natural exchange, but there’s also a natural problem.

Everything I thought football would do for me, everything I needed football to do for me, was no longer available. I had to find alternative outlets.

I was still trying to prove to the world that was good enough — grieving without realising it. Add some immaturity to that mixed up world, and I found myself chasing all the wrong things in the wrong places, pushing harder and harder, no matter what.

I was convinced that in order to live the life I wanted, I would need money, and lots of it. Like f-you kind of money. But, the game of chasing money is endless. And it only results in one thing.


The lust of money make us slaves.

More importantly, it shines a light on our true weakness: our self worth. Most men see the worth of their manhood in terms of money.

As some say, “The love of money is the root of all evil.”

Your turn again…

Honestly, how much of your time do you spend thinking about money?

Do you worry when you have it and and when you don’t?

Do you even worship what money can do?

One last thing before we move on. This unhealthy mind of yours is only ever going to attract the same kind of woman, who are perhaps more defective than you. They are more defective than you because they are attracted to this lower version of the true you.

Afraid of connection, intimacy and love

Before I sign off, a couple of things I have said might be misleading (slightly), in that footballers, movie stars, celebrity personal trainers and millionaires have the fame, the money, and the sex, but what it means to them is so very different than what it means to us. We’re different animals.

It comes down to our greatest fears: connection, intimacy and love.

I’m conscious of the length this blog post is becoming. When it comes to personal trainers and gym owners, this really requires a full book of its own.

Here’s the kicker. Let’s admit it: you turned to the fitness industry because it gives you a level of control, approval and/or the security you can’t get anywhere else.

You simply haven’t put enough thought or effort in other areas.

If you want a to read more about this now, I recommend that you go and read this post over at the Men’s Movement: “Why Are Men Afraid Of Healthy Women.”


At my absolute worst, I did everything in my power to manipulate my ex’s to leave me, left women pregnant, kept relationships at a distance, even nearly killed myself drunk driving, all because I was trying to escape. At that time, I wasn’t self aware. If we were friends at that time, I would have told you that I simply needed a night out, to blow off some steam.

Trust me, you don’t want even half of this to happen to you. There is no way you’ll ever be able to focus on what you really want with this stress hanging around. All of this, and putting on this show, only made me weaker as a man.

It really is time for men to come forward and be men — especially in the fitness world.  Our world must have them, women anxiously seek them, and children desperately need them.

The only thing women want men to be is men. And the only thing most men desire to be is men. (from Communication, Sex & Money)

Most men do not understand what it is to be a man. That’s what Fit Man is all about: a conscious platform, a brotherhood to help you get rid of what’s standing in your way to becoming the man you know you are, and to help you redefine your current beliefs, values and standards so that you can get there on your terms.

When you find love and romance and are truly open to them, a whole set of new emotions will be released capable of driving you to super achievements in all areas of your life.

Your Journey

So things are little trickier now that you’ve read this? There’s a way to make your journey easier, and it may even help you find that special someone even quicker.

I was bad. Maybe you were were/are just as bad. Do you have a crazy story to tell about your addictions to sex, money or fame?


If you liked this blog post, then you’ll love this…

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They say love sets you free. If so, why do so many Personal Trainers get in their own way? Notoriously, we create “blocks” which limit our ability to have a deep, meaningful relationships.

We’re a weird bunch, us fitness fanatics. It’s a chicken and egg situation. The fitness world either attracts a certain kind of person, or it totally makes us this way.  

My clients often share intimate details of their broken life beyond the walls of the gym. Some tell me it’s their lack of control when it comes to sexual urges. For others, they lack a well-defined purpose in their career and life. Or, more unsettling, they’ve allowed bad influences during childhood to continue to define them. Across the board, there’s a poverty of ambition to chase what they feel they deserve.

I was the worst version of all of that. Thinking back now, I would never have dreamed this was was me just a few years ago. I’ll spare you the story of me crawling out of  the Platinum Lace Lap Dancing Club, with a girl on each arm, though with my then girlfriend at home naively waiting for me.

I share this to give hope to those who need it. If I can change, you certainly can. I  wasn’t just broken when it came to relationships. Everywhere, I was a piss-ant. Biblically bad. Rebellious. Idolatrous. Lost. Enslaved. Disobedient. Egotistic. Dishonest. Adulterous. And, in case I haven’t bench pressed this point enough,  ‘dead’ of love, intimacy and connection.

When I did something, I did it until it absolutely breaks me. I couldn’t just have wandering thoughts about hot girls. I had the urge to find one.

But don’t let the lime light fool you. That’s precisely where it starts. Yeah, the money comes, the fame comes, but is escalates from there. You think you’re going up, but you’re actually going down.

To view or download an infographic version of this blog click here.

If you can relate, even in the slightest from what I described above, or you’re putting a great deal of effort into the wrong relationship (always on the lookout, thinking there is better yet to come…), and you’re unsure of what to do, I’m here to tell you that the change starts with you.

It’s got nothing to do with your partner. Well, some of it might. If she is attracted to this weaker, lower version of who you are now, she certainly won’t be attracted to who you will become!

At the root of all this is identity. Do you know who you really are, at the core? Nothing happens by accident. Feel free to use any fumbles, insights, tips, half-baked experience, pseudo-wisdom, or pure honesty from my past to shine a light or hold up mirror to your life. Self-awareness can come from anywhere, even from an old PT like me.

“Self Awareness” is one of those terms thrown around too much by the so-called personal development prophets out there. Like Tony, I’m no guru, but we both have the thousand yard stare from our share of life’s firewalks.

So what is self-awareness? Everybody has a different take. For what it’s worth, I have mine, which may be useful to you. To that possible end I’ll include a few questions below which I’d be honoured if you found the time to answer in the comments section.

If you already know me and want to get to know me better, or it just feels like you are in the right place, you can jump right into the passenger seat, fasten your seatbelt, and supercharge your journey of self-discovery by requesting a 90 minute personal Discovery Coaching Call now.  

You can stick around and read on, of course. Hesitation in the face of a solution might keep you in the vast majority of people who continue to fail at relationships.

I have had the privilege of analyzing the fitness industry for 14 years, working closely with male personal trainers, celebrity trainers and studio owners whom were classed as ‘failures’ in relationships (myself included).

My observations proved that there are more causes to failing relationships than the blocks which I sketched out earlier:

Some tell me it’s their lack of control when it comes to sexual urges. For others, they lack a well-defined purpose in their career and life. Or, more unsettling, they’ve allowed bad influences during childhood to continue to define them. Across the board, there’s a poverty of ambition to chase what they feel they deserve.

I found there’s at least 26 more!

For some, the major block is a lack in capital (“My personal training business barely survives month to month, how on earth will I be able to afford raising a family?”), then when uncertainty is added to that, such as the fear that you won’t be able to provide the very best for your partner, it get’s messy. You tell yourself, “that’s the minimum she deserves!”

Then, there’s the block of regret because you’ve chosen the wrong partner, but stay in due to shame or guilt. There’s also the issues of trust and control (the unhealthy reasons you were attracted to the fitness industry in the first place!).

Try going through the first 5 blocks on the list. Measure yourself against them. It will help you to discover how many of these causes of failure stand between you and real love, romance (and epic sex)! You can indeed transform any block into a more powerful emotion capable of driving you to new levels of happiness and achievement.

Prefer to go deeper right away? Consider filling out this Personal Discovery Questionnaire, and schedule your call here.



  1. What was the general atmosphere in your home when you were a child (including parenting and relationship between your parents) and when / how did this change?
  2. Do you have any physical or emotional scars? What are their stories?
  3. Have you ever put much thought, energy and focus into deciding who you would like as a mate? If not, why? What’s important to you about the type of partner you want?
  4. Who would you not want as a mate? Get your checklist out.  List characteristics, style, attributes, mindset, purpose, values, interests, nationality, etc.
  5. In an ideal world, would you like to be living your ideal life right now? Is there anyone or anything that you feel powerless over? Who or what is running your life?

This not helping? Or am I boring you. You just want the Sex, Money and Straight Up Power don’t you?

I get it. I did too.

Then you might want to go and read the untold version of this. There is a story for everyone here. Maybe, even a private video showing lots of girls fuelled with Vodka … at The Encore Las Vegas.



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