As a professional serving the movement industry, I was taught to sign up as many clients as possible and try to hang onto them for as long as I could. It didn’t matter if we reached their goal or had barely progressed; the goal was to just hang on. And losing a client was tragic because then you had to do the difficult work of finding a new client. This approach is still the norm within our industry but having a few years under my belt has helped me to see how transactional this engagement is.
Going back about 5 years ago, I found myself in the midst of a full schedule but realized I had no exit strategy for any of my clients. It dawned on me how selfish that entire engagement was. Not intentionally selfish but more a matter of cultural norms, circumstance and familiarity. I didn’t know what I didn’t know but once I knew, I couldn’t unknow it. That realization caused me to create a program that placed my clients needs ahead of my own. I wanted to create a relationship where they would no longer need me beyond a year. My goal was to fully empower them to sustain the progress we would achieve together.
Conceptually, this sounded like a great idea until I started applying this novel concept. I was nauseous to say the least. What seemed like a great idea, suddenly had me wondering if I was going to suddenly “empower” all of my clients and then they’d leave me and I’d have no one to work with, I’d have to move in with my in-laws (they’re great actually) and suffer the consequences of my bright idea. Nonetheless, I allowed my heart to continue leading although my ego was telling me otherwise. It actually took a number of years to organize an approach completely different than what the fitness industry has suggested but I haven’t looked back since.
Today, our goal is simple. If you share one year of your time with me, I’ll give you everything you’ll need to know to manage the journey of health-fitness-wellness and high quality living. I couldn’t have ever imagined the response we were going to receive, our clients…
- Actually started enjoying the process of losing weight and getting in shape
- Become more vulnerable with us early on, allowing us to help them more effectively
- Started putting diet and exercise into its rightful place and prioritized the bigger issues they were dealing with
- Stopped relying on us for accountability and starting relying upon themselves
- Not only lost weight, improved their posture and energy levels but were also getting promotions at work, restoring strained relationships, extending forgiveness, started saying I’m sorry, healed their marriages, paid off debt, explored new ways of expressing themselves, became role models for their children and the list goes on and on and on.
What we’re doing is not magic but it is magical. We’re developing the whole person (Body-Mind-Spirit) and allowing their waistline, their strength, their energy and all of their goals to follow. We’re helping people feel good first, which authentically motivates them to participate in the activities that cause them to look good. We’re placing needs ahead of wants, mind and spirit before the body and our hearts before our egos. And as for losing my clients, never happened! Instead, I’ve discovered that when you treat people right, they actually come to love, respect and trust you in return and while they could leave after a year, they end up staying because they want to, not because they have to.
“Always trust your gut, it knows what your head hasn’t figured out yet.”