Running a personal training business is exciting, but damn hard. There are many moving parts, and it’s easy to get get distracted by all the ‘to-do’ items on the list (ya feel me on this?)
Gah, this can lead to feelings of overwhelm and ‘stuckness’ or wearing the ‘busy’ tag like a badge of honour. Being ‘busy’ doesn’t mean productive and too many fitness business owners get caught up being busy without moving the dial in their business.
And I get that. So do all the other Personal Trainers I work with.
But this way of doing things is not effective or sustainable.
Which is why in todays MYFB show we jam on business productivity, getting sh*t done and learning how to drop the ‘busy’ label (gasp – yes it CAN be done!)
There’s a lot of juicy things in this video so make sure you take notes.
P.S we also discuss why I loathe the word ‘hack’ and why trying to ‘hack’ your way to success or business results is actually keeping stuck!
Read the conversation here:
Miriam: We are live.
Nardia: Hello. I think we’re on.
Miriam: Well, greetings everybody. Greetings from Sydney. Where in the world are you today Nardia?
Nardia: I am in Bangkok and this is the amazing, amazing sunrise that you can see behind me. I’ve got that song ‘One Night in Bangkok’ stuck in my head. It’s been in my head all night.
Miriam: No one knows the words. All we know is ‘One Night in Bangkok’.
Nardia: One night you wake up and the world’s your oyster. Something about something about being set free. Anyways, set us free Mim. What are we doing today?
Miriam: It’s mindset, a good choice. Listen, I have had a really interesting week that I’d like to open up a discussion with because I took part in a big Samsung campaign talking about productivity and hacks for entrepreneur people running a business. So actually I though this is a really good energy and environment for us to discuss today is with all the people running side hustles, running their own business, trying to get their brand out there as well. Whether you’re employed and just getting through life or doing what you do, I think productivity is a great question because in an age where, oh, there’s an app for that, people still need help with how to prioritise, how to understand what they need to get done. So yeah, getting shit done. Going beyond the technology, I would actually really like to hear about your hacks on productivity and about setting up your mindset so you do get through all the stuff that you need to. You’ve got travel, our run interviews, you’re running programs, so I’d like to throw it over to you today. Talk to us about productivity?
Nardia: Okay. Well first of all, if you guys are tuning in, Hi, welcome to the Mind Your Fitness Business Show, I’m Nadia and there’s Mim if you don’t know who we are, and that is such a great place to start. Now I need to put a caveat in place. My brain is really not on fire today. So who knows what’s going to come out of my brain. It’s 6:00 AM in the morning here. Jetlag had me up at 4.00 AM, so I’m a little bit frazzled. But productivity. I think it’s really interesting, you said an interesting word there. You said Hack, and I’ve just got to preface this by saying I loathe the word hack because to me a hack implies a shortcut, and I think with anything in business, you’re a PT, you’ve got some side hustle going on, you don’t want to hack your way to success, right?
That is the antithesis of what you want to try and achieve. You can accelerate your results or accelerate your progress and success by putting some great strategies in place, which is what I want to talk about right now. So I think when it comes to the ability to get shit done, you mentioned the word priorities, I think that is the key place to start. You need to be very clear on what your key priorities are in your business. What are the key things that are going to move your business forward, and then having the D word, the discipline around your priorities, the D word, we do like the D, having the discipline to execute on your priorities. So one of my favourite strategies is, number one, having a really clear weekly schedule in place. And by that I mean, Brendon Burchard talks about this. He says, show me your schedule and I can show you how successful you are. In other words, whatever is written into your diary or your weekly planner is obviously the things that are going to get done. So if you can really plan everything like the biggest rocks in your world need to go into your schedule, whether that’s, creativity, face to face personal training, admin, personal development, education, training, everything has to go into that schedule and it might seem a little stifling, but when you create rigidity around your schedule and you stick to your times, you actually create freedom, so you can get shit done in the required amount of time, which then allows you the ability to create freedom so you’re not wasting time and energy. What are your thoughts on that?
Miriam: Yeah, yeah. I think that’s a really big one, and mine you’ve helped me with that in the past and I see this come up time and time again. I think even looking at when people can be overwhelmed and they are like, there’s so much that I need to do, so do I actually plan my schedule? Like is there a ritual or routine or someway that you figure out actually what is the stuff that needs to get done?
Nardia: I hate to do lists. I think when women particularly get into to do list mode, we put ourselves into overwhelm because our lists end up being really long. So one of my favourite strategies is that every single day there should only be three key tasks on that to do list. That’s it. And they are the three most impactful tasks for the day that are going to move you forward. So I guess what that comes back to is getting super clear on knowing what drives your business forward or what is going to help you accelerate. And also getting very clear on all the tasks, the people, the things that are going to distract you from that movement. Does that make sense?
Miriam: Yeah, it does, and I think actually even what you just said about knowing [Inaudible 00:05:43] so first thinking of the mindset of the where you’re taking your business, how you felt other professionals grow their business as well. How do you pivot or flex when you think you know what you’re doing to drive your business forward, but then a new opportunity comes up and how do you just say, oh, is this like a funny, shiny, cool distraction or actually is this an opportunity I need to take advantage of?
Nardia: Oh my God, this is like the big question. This is the one I’m always having conversations with my team with. Look, I think if you are a creative person, if you are a hustler, an entrepreneur of sorts, you will always have a ton of ideas. So the idea fairy is going to come at you every single day. You’ve probably asked someone who gets a little bit distracted by shiny bright objects, which I do as well. So how to practice discerning between an opportunity and a distraction. I think number one is being very clear on what the goals are for your business. So do you know what the outcome is for your business, financially from a vision perspective, do you know where that business is going? Do you know what kind of paths leads to getting you that outcome? Because there’s lots of different ways, right, and this is where an opportunity might provide you with a new path to get to the same result. So are you aware of what opportunities exist and then if an idea comes up or an opportunity or something arises, don’t execute on it straight away, I think you need to kind of run it through a bit of an internal filter. So something like, is this thing helpful? Is it going to provide value to my business? How much of my energy is it going to require to execute on this idea? Is it going to add profit or is it going to contribute to the outcome, you need to kind of run it through that filter first, and then also, yeah, that’s all I’m going to say. Run it through that internal filter and sit on it and I think if you are still feeling excitement around that idea a couple of days later, then it’s probably going to be something worth exploring. In fact, it was Alicia Smith, your flatmate, and my good friend to, who also shared this with me, how I asked her exactly that, how do you execute on the right ideas and which ones do you leave? And she said if she is still feeling quite buzzy about the idea or the opportunity a week later, then she knows internally there’s something she’s going to strive for. So I think that’s kind of, perhaps it goes back to what we talked about last week there Mim, is about having intuition and trusting that what you are deciding is going to be of benefit.
Miriam: I’m glad you brought that up, because that was some of the things [Inaudible 00:08:37] thinking about intuition. Can we make this? [Inaudible 00:08:46]And then we’re thinking about, you know, then how.
Oh, I’m just, I’m looking at what drives your business and what you said about, not necessarily executing straight away. What kind of advice would you be giving, like for instance for personal trainers especially and people running gyms, fitness professionals, they are often looking after a team. They’re looking after clients, so it’s not just me and my brand and all the decisions I have to make now, but often they’re thinking about different types of clients in there and they’re forced to make decisions quite quickly. Is there anything that you could offer around that and around planning because you could have a bit of structure and get through things like you said some rigidity creates freedom. But what about going with the flow, where does that come up for people running a business, working with clients, I’ve created their plan for the week, all that’s great. But then stuff happens.
Nardia: It does. It does happen. Life happens. Okay. So this is a term that I picked up from a guy called Taki Moore, who’s also like a personal development guru, you know Taki Moore, he talks about the ability to freestyle within a framework. The framework of your business is the systems that you have in place, the automation that you have created, all the planning that you do for your clients and so forth. So there’s an architecture there, there’s a scaffolding, but life then gets in the way. But the beautiful thing is if you’ve got that scaffolding in place, then you have the flexibility and the opportunity to kind of go with the flow there. You can kind of just freestyle as you see fit, so trainers know this, you might plan for a client to do a certain session, but they rock up, they’re tired, they haven’t slept or the gym super busy, so you still have the architecture of the system, but you go ahead and you can kind of change it and wing it and adjust it accordingly. So that’s the ability to have flexibility with your own skill set and also having the resilience to be able to do so and not freak out. I think that’s that beautiful, beautiful push-pull or movement on a spectrum between being super planned and then having the ability to just make shit up as you go, winging it as Emma Isaac says in her latest book, you get to wing it because you’ve kind of planned for the winging. What are your thoughts?
Miriam: Yeah. Wow. Yeah. I love that you’ve even said that and interestingly on this panel that I was on last week [Inaudible 00:11:22] Zoom, Dropbox and Canva that we were all sort of talking about how they execute big ideas and keep moving and so many of them, you know, they weren’t talking about you’ve got to have tight system and you’ve got to follow this process and then pretend that that’s just success. They were talking about holding big ideas, big ideas loosely or strong ideas loosely, which I thought was quite cool, and scheduling time for yourself so you can actually give yourself some capacity to think, so if you’re in go mode and action mode all day with other people’s meetings, making sure that you set aside some time for yourself so you can actually give yourself that energy and that pause to like you said free time within the framework as well. And they said, often as you grow and scale your business and you’ve got people that are looking up to you, you’ve got teams and clients, sometimes you can end up just having less in your days. So it’s like you start by planning really well and get really used to that but then as you scale, as you grow, you actually sort of decrease that and it gives yourself more space as well to think to create. It’s quite interesting these themes coming up across leaders of all shapes and sizes.
Nardia: Yeah, totally. And I think as part of that scheduling point I made at the start, you have to, I think as trainers specifically, you have to carve out white space into your day, but you intentionally have to block out time where you just sit and do nothing or you just relax and chill, watch the clouds go by, whatever. You don’t fill it with social media or getting shit done because it’s like, as you mentioned, it’s in those moments of space where you give your brain a break, therefore you’ve got more energy to do the things that you need to later on. It’s an opportunity to be creative. I think we’ve lost the ability just to be, and let ideas come down and I think that’s where we could get better at discerning the differences between a good idea and a distraction because we’ll get better at filtering the different ideas and seeing which one’s going to work. So yeah. Big Fan of putting space in your life.
Miriam: Yeah. Well I know we’ve only got a few minutes left, but I suppose you are about to start your day and you’ve got some exciting stuff happening. In the time that we’ve got left, why don’t you talk us through, given that you’ve been up early with jet lag, how are you going to slay, crush, nail productivity today?
Nardia: Today, I purposely actually built in a nothing day because I’ve got five intense days coming up. So in order for me to plan for these five days, the preparation actually started weeks ago. So for the last two weeks I’ve been intentionally been on top of my nutrition, been on top of my training, getting a ton of sleep, I’ve organised all my presentations, so they’re done with the intention of giving myself today a nothing day. And that’s really important for me to be able to be on fire to handle my energy through the next five days. So I’m hoping to find some delicious Bangkok food. I am going to wander around the city and yeah, just chill. It’s supposed to be amazing today. It’s very clear out there.
Miriam: I would recommend the Mandarin Oriental. That can be a really nice way to explore a bit of Bangkok today.
Nardia: Sounds so oriental.
Miriam: That’s great, I think with what you’re coming up to as well, talking about the prep that’s involved, but also, not riding straight into it, I’ve got to go, go, go, giving yourself that space as well. I think some great takeaways from today about priming your mindset, what are the things that we need to do, for instance if it’s a hack, what are the ways that we can actually be most effective and most productive. Any sort of summary or life thoughts from you before we head off?
Miriam: I’ll send you a good coffee place as well actually.
Nardia: Look I think productivity is a skill set, it’s the response of practice. Okay. I might be losing you.
Miriam: Well I think that’s it for me. That’d be amazing.
Miriam: You guys go be amazing too. And please, if you like this, make sure you comment below and share it to the people that you think need to hear this message or tune in for us, we will get our tick issue sorted next week. I promise you.
Miriam: Bye everyone.
Nardia is an Australian Institute of Fitness ‘Legend’, Fitness Network Personal Trainer of the year 2014, course creator, international presenter and part time comedian (in her lounge room).
She loves helping women in fitness create stronger businesses so they can have more money, flexibility and impact.
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