Chicken shit soup

October 21, 2015

I’m getting an increasing amount of personal trainers reaching out to me asking if I do consultations and mentorship programmes for gym owners.  Which is great, as people are getting off their arses and having a go, but I fear that as an industry we are walking on shaky ground.

As an aside, the fact that I referred to it as an industry might be the real problem.

We all want to ‘get shit done’, ‘rise and grind’ and every other ridiculous motivational fitness Facebook status stupidity that I can think of, but my observation is that many new or aspiring facility owners are going to find themselves knee deep in the shit in the not-to-distant future.

In fact, my guess is that most won’t make it into their third year.

Or worse, they’re going to set themselves up in way that doesn’t in fact liberate them into a life of self-employed bliss, rather kick them squarely in the metaphorical bollocks and have them shackled to their facility, having simply swapped Fitness First for the ‘glamour’ of owning their own studio.

And I’m not the only one who’s realised.

So has every PT mentorship, six-figure, platinum masterminding, social media, work-less-earn-more offering, squeeze page and sales funnel hero in the growing ‘fitness business’ space.

Which on one hand is great – there is support at hand – but on the other is frightening, because the honest truth is that most of these folk don’t actually know their arse from their elbow.

Sorry.  I mean they are not actually qualified or credible enough to be offering this kind of service.  They haven’t done it themselves.

It’s a case of the partially sighted leading the blind.

And its tough to watch.

We’ve got trainers with less than couple of years as a trainer mentoring other trainers… gym owners open less than a year telling other soon-to-be-gym owners how to set up their gym… mediocre trainers trying to convince other mediocre trainers to scale a semi-private personal training model… sales experts doing an unconvincing job of convincing personal trainers that they can be sales experts… financial fuck-wits giving other will-be financial fuck-wits financial advice… and on and on.

Its nuts.  Stop.

And remember two things.

  1. You can’t make chicken soup out of chicken shit.


  1. You can only market shit once.


Stop filling the coffers of the pseudo-experts and just get good at training people before you think about opening your own space or ‘growing your PT business’.  The quickest route from A to B might seem tempting, and in the digital world it’s pretty easy to get yourself out there, but it will bite you on the arse in the end.

I don’t know how many hours, sessions or years that is – it’s definitely more than you would like – but you need to get good at training people before you start trying to scale stuff, because the reality is that in the end your business will live or die based on this.

Getting results (you need to know how to), hiring and retaining the best staff (you need to be credible to them), setting a solid training culture (you need the confidence and experience to do this, without turning it into a circus), scaling a semi-private model (semi-private done well requires solid systems and top notch trainers), charging top whack (see all previous) and all of the other things that culminate to make a good gym, are based on you serving your time in the trenches, coaching a tonne of people, and genuinely knowing your shit.

There are no short cuts, get rich quick schemes, or any of the other BS that goes on it fitness-la-la-land.  Ask any respected coach.  You need to know your onions.  There is no way around it.  You simply cannot make chicken soup out of chicken shit.

And if you do decide to shortcut this by way of social media marketing, sales funnels, squeeze pages, landing pages and all of the other fancy-tech stuff, which seems to be all most trainers I speak to are being distracted by, you will get found out.  It’s no good directing people to you, if all you’ve got is chicken shit.

Remember, you can only market shit once.

Get in touch.