Podcast Episode 10: Chris Dufey

How To Avoid The Time-Money Trap Of One-To-One Personal Training, With Chris Dufey

When personal trainers are just beginning in the industry, they often find themselves working around 60 hours-a-week on one-to-one training with clients. Because these trainers are only earning when they are with their clients, they fall into a time-money trap where their income is tied to the schedule of their clients. This can cause trainers to neglect themselves and their loved ones as they find themselves constantly in the gym, training and earning money.

What if there was a way to break that cycle and earn passive income whilst you are away from the gym? This would allow you to have time for yourself and others to live a life that is on your own terms. Fortunately, Chris Dufey has the answer – by creating multiple streams of income. More importantly, Chris shows personal trainers and health professionals how to build their own online business.

“It is totally up to you. Take responsibility. Figure out it is only a few simple steps away from where you are now” – Chris Dufey

About Chris Dufey

Chris Dufey is a successful physique and conditioning coach who is a marketing advisor to fitness companies and ran his own highly successful personal training businesses in Sydney and Dubai.

However, despite the success, he felt that he was stuck in a time-money trap. He was spending most of his time at the gym to earn money whilst missing out on being there for his family. The straw that broke the camel’s back was when he raced home from a day at the gym, only to miss feeding his baby and putting it to bed. As a proud father, this really hurt Chris. He decided to break free from the time-money trip, by relocating to Bali and focusing on online training and consulting. He says that this has been one of the best decisions that he has ever made.

Show Highlights

  • Chris talks about how he was stuck in the time-money trap with a successful business but no time for his family
  • How missing putting his baby to bed was the catalyst for positive change
  • Why personal trainers need to think about multiple streams of income to avoid the time-money trap
  • Why personal trainers need to take responsibility for making this positive change


“The freedom factor is really important to me”

Connect with Chris Dufey

Website: chrisdufey.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/fatlossspecialist

Email: http://www.chrisdufey.com/contact/


Interview Transcript

JH: Welcome to the Fit Man Collective Podcast show. I’m Joe Hanney, the host and founder of the Fit Man Collective. This is a show that helps you become a better personal trainer by becoming a better man, a fit man. Today I have a guest who is the epitome of what a Fit Man stands for. His name is Chris Dufey. Chris is a physique and health specialist with profitable, successful fitness businesses. He is an author, a speaker, a family man and lives life on his own terms.

He started out as a trainer when he was just 18 years old. He’s experienced the rat race that the industry has to offer. He’s worked 60 hours per week, he’s traded valuable time for money and Chris wanted to start living a life free from money worries. This episode is geared towards helping you build the business and life you really want. You’re in for one hell of a show.

Before we jump into the show, I want to say a huge thank you, even though I am a partner in the business, to Organo Gold coffee who have bought you the show. If you would like to learn about or sample this health coffee, which contains a rare mushroom that is used to promote health and wellbeing, then head over to The Fit Man Collective podcast page at www.thefitmancollective.com. Click on the free sample link and I will get it sent to you as soon as possible.

Chris, welcome to the Fit Man Collective podcast. Right now you are the epitome of what a Fit Man is all about. I am damn excited to have you on the show today. How are you, my friend?


CD: I’m very good, thank you for having me and I’m really excited to get into this chat that we are going to have.


JH: Just for the audience Chris, please give them an introduction to who you are and the background that you have in the Fitness Industry.


CD: I am a physique coach and I was a personal trainer from 18 years old. I grew a business in Sydney and I had a bunch of personal trainers working for me. I then took an opportunity and moved to Dubai. I have a personal training business in Dubai. That is where my wife and I had our first child. Everything was great from the outside perspective in terms of traditional personal training. I was running a successful business and I was fully-booked charging a super-premium rate, except that I was caught in the time-for-money trap.

I was effectively selling my time, which is not a good thing because if I wasn’t at the gym and seeing clients I wasn’t earning any money. I wanted to have a bigger impact in what I do and how I can help people. I also wanted to continue being able to travel around the world. The freedom factor is really important to me.

This was instilled in me when I read The Four Hour Work Week, all those years ago. I bit the bullet and started my online training business. A few weeks later we packed everything up and sold everything in Dubai before moving to Bali. This is what we wanted to take the leap. It has been a fantastic journey so far.


JH: Excellent. Talking of the multiple successful businesses, the loving family and the lifestyle between different countries, running a PT business online: by any means, this won’t be a short or easy answer. At what point did you decide you wanted more?


CD: That is a great question. I had to pack up the gym in Dubai and I had to race home. You can do some pretty unreal speeds on the roads in Dubai. I was trying to get home to give my daughter the bottle before she went to bed. I didn’t make it in time and it crushed me. I thought this isn’t the dad I want to be, this isn’t the human being that I want to be, this isn’t the life I want to live. It was time to make some changes.

I was in pain and because I was in pain it was time to make that move. I’d seen other people in the fitness industry have success online, and I had dabbled in it. I started doing it and it has been an unreal journey. I love the two different worlds: health, physique and transforming people’s bodies plus the business, psychology and marketing. Both of these worlds I just really love.


JH: That is interesting about not wanting to be that kind of father. We will put ourselves in our younger shoes. I don’t know if that comes from childhood for you, but it does for me. My motivation was to always be the opposite of Dad. Is that the same for you?


CD: Ok, growing up my parents had me when they were 17 years-old, so I have some really young parents. They are still together. I was an only child. I now have a younger brother 24 years later. My parents did their absolute best and I see the sacrifices that they went through. Growing up, we didn’t have a lot of money. This is an important question and is something that I am working on at the moment. How do I evolve and become a better person?

I didn’t have a rebellion against it, but I did have the drive to have something better. I’m grateful for the intrinsic drive and motivation I have that makes me kick my legs out of bed each morning. I would get to the top of one mountain and immediately want to get to the top of the next one.

There was never an appreciation factor coming into it, and that is something that I am working on. How do I celebrate and enjoy the small wins? This is a journey and I feel that I have created a fantastic life that has freedom. I’m sitting in my Bali villa that is my office and I am looking at the view with the pool and the gardens. I appreciate this, but I’m also thinking back to the days when I was in the gym for 12 hours a day. I had a period where I did 60 hours a week of face-to-face consultation

I’m still working on bringing gratefulness to every day and I think that is a really important factor.


JH: Great answer. I asked it to put myself in the shoes of the trainers who are listening. We can help them identify this a whole lot sooner than we did. It took until my late twenties to understand what was really holding me back. I punished myself in a lot of different ways. I had reached a level of success but I felt undeserving of that and would crash things to the ground.


CD: If someone feels like they are self-sabotaging, read a book called The Big Leap, that will really help you out. Try and get into it a lot quicker. I have gone through the trials and tribulations. That is the joy of being able to walk people through what works and what doesn’t.


JH: That leads to my next question. You’ve learnt from some of the best. How did you decide who to listen to and who not to? This is because there is a boatload of mentors out there. How did you decide who was going to help you figure this all out?


CD: I went through the phase of wanting to be the best personal trainer and the best physique coach. I travelled the world doing seminars with some of the best mentors. I wanted recommendations of who else I should see and who else I should spend time with. When it came to business I did something different. I thought, who is doing really well in the online world, not in the fitness space? This is something I still bring to the table. I see a lot of what people are regurgitating when it comes to fitness and marketing. A lot of it is old and has been regurgitated.

Understand the strategy and understand the time that it needs to be applied, plus the psychology. I have had some awesome mentors and I am still searching them out. I do marketing strategy for a couple of companies that are in the fitness world. They ask me who I have learnt from and I tell them about all the different bits and pieces. Just this morning I was learning about how Facebook ads have changed. I was learning how the psychology has changed. Then I was able to jump on a call with my clients and relay that to them: This is how I’m using it. This is what’s worked. This hasn’t.


JH: It is a great strategy. From looking at the testimonials on your website, they talk about how it is a step-by-step process and you didn’t just give them tactics. You say that you have taught yourself about this by learning from your mistakes. You have that perspective and experience to offer them.


CD: One of my things is that I am still running these businesses. Being a business coach is not my full-time schtick. I am still in the trenches with my businesses. So when it comes to giving advice, I transfer my winning funnels and email campaigns into my clients’ accounts. They then add their own flavour, so I want to transfer what I am doing to them.

I am not a guru, but I might be a couple of steps ahead so that I can fast-track you along.


JH: Talking about the multiple income streams and the different businesses you have. I was so narrow-minded in looking at different business ideas, whether that was offline-online or the other way around. I was very narrow in thinking that it had to be person-to-person contact in the traditional way of personal training. What advice would you give trainers? I believe that many personal trainers have that mindset.


CD: There are three ways that we can answer this really well. Firstly, in terms of a business model, the fitness industry is changing right now. The one-on-one personal training model is a time-for-money trap. There are lots more personal trainers but we are getting a lot better and that is awesome. Ten years ago, people thought personal trainers were just for celebrities, but that has changed. I love that and I want to continue to drive that.

Secondly, what is the “why?” behind having other income flows. It’s about wanting to have higher income and more freedom. When it comes to income, ask yourself how much is it that you want to earn? When a client does this with me, and they say they want to earn $100,000, I always say why isn’t that $200,000? This is just a number that the client has come up with. Just understand that this is a limiting belief and the value of money earned is up to you.

Then you decide, what is the business model that you want to run? Is it one-on-one or group training? Is it private training? Is it online training? Is it supplements? Is it affiliates? Is it joint ventures? You need clarity on what that person wants to create. What life and freedom do you want to have? What is the impact you want to have? What income do you want? What ticks all of those boxes?

Once you tick the boxes, you then have the business model that you want. Too many trainers want to do one-on-one personal training and then you are doing 60 hours a week. You think how long can you keep doing this? Do you still do this when you are fifty? What if you want to go on holiday but don’t earn when you are away from clients?


JH: There is a time factor as well, isn’t there, for being with family? I don’t think that one-on-one training allows for that because you are dictated by your client’s lifestyle rather than your own.


CD: If you want to do one-on-one personal training, more power to you. I want people to get what they want.


JH: There is a very good quote on your website. “Stop standing in your own way”. Is that what you meant? Firstly, have someone ask you some very good questions, and don’t deflect or put them off. Is that what you meant, that success you want in life is really all down to you?


CD: You have to take responsibility. It really is about figuring out what you want and who can help you get there. This is modelling success, but you are the one who has to execute on that. I can give you the steps, but if you don’t follow them it is like taking a donkey to water and it not taking a drink. I can write your diet and training programme, but if you don’t do the push-ups then you are not going to get the results.


JH: You are a very fit man and you have always looked after yourself. Do you see a problem with trainers who are too obsessed with getting themselves in shape? It creates blind spots in other areas of their lives. What is your take on this and what advice do you have for that trainer?


CD: There is a lot of smoke and mirrors in this industry when it comes to that world. My health is a high priority. I enjoy training and I want to walk the walk. I still run my businesses and I want to help my members through that. I enjoy being strong, healthy and eating right. I think that a lot of people take it way too far. I speak from experience. I did compete as a fitness model, so I competed in London, Denmark and Australia. My goal was wanting to help my fitness business.

You have to be jacked as a personal trainer. No one wants a broke financial advisor. I used to do a lot of physique coaching. I did a lot of online coaching for people who wanted to do photo shoots or wanted to compete themselves. So I wanted to do it. If someone hasn’t gone to those depths of low body fat, they don’t know what it feels like. I found a huge problem.

How do you get in shape, stay in great shape and enjoy life at the same time? I see a lot of people losing their lives because they are trying to get a six-pack or keep a six-pack. It is not the whole world, and I feel that a lot of people are caught up with it. It is unfortunate because there is some real mental distress going on out there.


JH: People can take encouragement from that. The dedication people put into their bodies, if people put 10% of that into the business, they would be able to reap the rewards from that as well.


CD: Firstly I think that a lot of people do it wrong when they are trying to get in shape. There are much easier ways. Prioritise your life and figure out how to transition between the effort or time with the energy that you are putting in. For example, I had a client who was 200kg when he was referred to me. He is here in Bali. Great guy, very successful businessman.

The company has over 10,000 staff. I said to him why are you not putting the effort into building your body that you do with building your business. That was a big thing for him because he had been so successful in the business world, why can’t you put energy and discipline into your own health? People can succeed in one area of their life, but they may be lacking in other areas.


JH: I am conscious of the time. Just before we finish, are there any words of wisdom or action steps that trainers can take away looking at their business and their mindset?


CD: It is totally up to you. You just have to take responsibility. It is not rocket science at the end of the day, stop trying to make it so complicated. I get emails all the time of people being confused

If the trainer right now is confused or frustrated, figure out that it is only a few simple steps away from where you are right now. Take one solid step moving forwards every day. Get clarity on what it is that you actually want. So many people are not focused.


JH: Great. Where can people find you?


CD: The best place is chrisdufey.com. You will be able to join the private group. There is the free video and you can jump on board into the actual coaching sessions. It is a host of information and I wanted to create a library so people can take the steps themselves.


JH: Perfect Chris, thank you for your time.


One hell of a show, right? The Fit Man Collective is going through a massive change so make sure to pay The Fit Man Collective website a visit. You can do this by going to www.thefitmancollective.com. You can get access to show notes, links and any recommended resources that were mentioned in this show.

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