Five lessons you can learn from personal trainers and their customers

"We wouldn’t automatically picture a link between personal trainers and high-flying businesspeople, but the truth is that both have a very similar set of skills.

David Cameron often refers to small and medium enterprises as the “lifeblood of the UK economy”, and the recent spell of growth appears to have given entrepreneurs more confidence to set up a new business. Although the economic outlook is far brighter than it was this time last year, budding Alan Sugars and Donald Trumps still have plenty of challenges to overcome in their attempt to establish a thriving company.

Strong communication, incredible discipline, good organisation, plenty of energy and a burning desire to achieve targets are all attributes that entrepreneurs must have. They also happen to be key requirements for any decent personal trainer. Here’s a breakdown of how you can use personal training techniques when starting up your business.

Set challenging goals, but be realistic

One of the big reasons small businesses fail is because their owners try to take on too much too soon. While it is important to progress at a good pace, you must ensure you have the necessary infrastructure in place to cope with an increased workload.

It’s comparable to a first-time gym member who has never lifted a dumbbell in their life heading straight for the 30 kg weights during their induction. It’s a recipe for disaster. A personal trainer will have gauged exactly what a new client is capable of, before piecing together a suitable plan that will help them to improve their strength and conditioning without suffering an injury.

Be open, communicative and don’t assume you know everything

The best personal trainers are those who constantly strive to improve their knowledge, learning from their peers. In business terms, entrepreneurs who have a know-it-all attitude and are unwilling to receive support or criticism will ultimately fall short. Setting up a company is hard work and you may need to outsource certain parts of it in order to grow. An inability to accept help will ultimately hold you back.

Adapt or perish

The business world is constantly evolving, and it is easy to get set in your ways. This also rings true for personal trainers, as scientists are constantly publishing new research on how the body works, so training programmes need to be updated regularly.

Like personal trainers, entrepreneurs need to stay abreast of the latest developments in their industry, honing their business plans accordingly.

Work hard, but know your limits

People who set up their own business can easily find themselves working 80 hours a week in the early stages. While this might be necessary, entrepreneurs can seriously risk their health if they overdo it.

This is where applying personal training techniques can really pay dividends, as these people know how to strike the right balance between work and rest. Set yourself a to-do list and schedule in some downtime to avoid burnout.

Lead by example

People often look towards personal trainers for inspiration, so it is vital that they are charismatic and approachable.

The same applies in the business world. If you are serious about expansion, you will have to recruit employees to work underneath you. To get the best out of them, you must lead by example and deal with any problems they might have effectively."


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