It has become natural in society to ask for a better price. To haggle or barter in a market to see if you can get the product or service for less. In some cultures, bartering is part of the game of merchandising.
In the Great Market of Istanbul, you would never accept the first price, to do so would dishonour the game of bartering or haggling, that is part and parcel of the cultural experience. The merchant pretending to be offended at the request for a discount is equally part of the melodrama of the great bazaar. That should not happen here.
"Discounting your value is an erosion of conviction or a demonstration of commitment."
Discounting your value is an erosion of conviction or a demonstration of commitment. In other words, it's not about what the final price is, it's how you got there. I, for example, may reduce my day rate if you buy 10 days; in doing so I am rewarding your commitment to me. And in this case, I should never go lower than my minimum acceptable day rate. More often than not though, a person in charge of procurement has a checklist of questions and procedures and one of them is to ask for a discount. If there is no increased commitment from the other side, don't discount and even if there is, don't discount lower than your baseline hourly/day rate. Resist the instinct to lower your fees. Be cool, stand in your value, know your worth and be willing to walk away if it's a deal-breaker.
The Mexican restaurant selling Italian food or whatever combination seems slightly wrong can easily be a mistake we make in our fitness businesses if we don't take the time to identify our core strengths and walk away from the extra services, we think we should provide when in fact not providing them is the crux of the matter and the recipe for success.
There are not many downsides of taking the time to really hone in on who your customer is and what your business provides. this can be compared to sharpening your sore before cutting down the tree. If we just try and cut the tree without sharpening the saw it's going to take twice as long.
Let’s do a side-by-side comparison of niching down in your business pro’s and con’s I think it will speak for itself:
The list could do on….
If you haven’t sharpened your saw lately take a leaf out of Abraham Lincoln's book – he said “If I had 6 hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend the first 4 sharpening the saw.” Take that approach to your own business and you’ll be amazed at how things turn out.
First looking at what you do – specialising in ‘that thing’ then pushing that one clear message out to the audience you know will be your customers.
This is a key skill in our industry in fact probably one of the most important. When we meet prospects who could become clients it's really important that we build rapport in a short space of time so that we connect with a potential client, and they see us as an ally and someone they feel they can work with.
There are some key tips and tricks which I want to share so that you can use these to help build rapport on an ongoing basis have more success in landing prospects as clients and have a bigger business as a result of more clients.
Here are some areas to take note of when building rapport. These can be abbreviated to G.E.E.V.S.
General Posture gestures:
Options for building rapport...
Start learning these, start looking at them in your friends and family and start using them with potential clients if you're not already instinctively doing some of these things, you probably are, but there's always things to improve upon.
Go get ‘em….!
Marcus Aurelius said: “Just remember you can endure anything your mind can make endurable by making it in your interests to do so”
If you have purpose, you can find the ease in the discomfort or you get the mindset right. That can come when you have a strong sense of purpose in what you do.
Have you found that thing?
Have you been tested in this way?
Did your sense of purpose help you get through this?
“The more you know who you are and what you want the less you’re going to let things upset you” This was a line from Bill Murray in the film Lost in Translation.
What the writer is referring to is that sense of clarity and wisdom or self-understanding. But how do we achieve this especially when we are young? When we may not have got the understanding of who we are yet this can be difficult but there are 3 ways in which we can find purpose in life, and these are:
1.Gradually over time (this is the slow game, gaining wisdom over time)
2.Event which forces out purpose (e.g. family member gets sick and needs support)
Learning from others to speed up your understanding (e.g. mentor, professor, older family member)
Goals can sometimes be the obstacle to success but a sense of purpose decouples these things so we can focus on the purpose or general direction in life – therefore we don’t get so hung up on the goals and pursue the purpose.
Does this sound like you or are to a strong goal orientated person?
Are you more organic and just use your general sense of purpose to guide you towards what you consider success?
I’m keen to hear your take on this….hit me up with a comment below.
It’s a tricky one, eh?
When we’re locked down you can do all the online things for sure but for me it doesn’t feel like things are moving forwards. The day to day isn’t the same, of course, but it can be easy to fall into the trap of not doing anything, to giving up or giving into the inertia that comes with not being able to see clients on a daily basis.
This can then lead to over thinking and questioning what you are doing.
Is this the right work to be in?
Should I find something more Covid proof?
How to I keep the plates spinning when there is little to no cash flow?
When it seems like there is nothing to work on or to push ahead with on a daily basis the brain can become stagnant. Much like the body, if we don’t keep moving and thereby giving our brains the endogenous neurochemistry it needs to help us feel good and want to do more, we won't get that kick of motivating transmitter dopamine (among others).
So how do we progress when we can’t
Well, you’ve probably heard the expression, ‘fake it til you make it’ or perhaps, ‘be the thing in the world you want to see’. You’ll need to work out which of these or some other type of ignition works for you. We’re all different so keep searching if these don't work for you. You get the idea though. To trick our brains into wanting progress we must fool it into thinking we are making progress through tasks and small endeavours.
Start with the things you can control. A lot of energy and stress is consumed when it doesn’t need to be when we sweat on the things we cannot change.
Look at your business take a critical eye to it and see what things you think you can do today or over the coming days to make it better than it already is.
This is the Kaizen way – continuous improvement. Tiny steps taken continuously so that when added together, make a significant difference.
If you want to publish more articles, then structure a plan so you can see how well you are doing. See this pic below as a great way to give yourself accountability and structure to your goal of getting published more often.
If you have less grand plans than publishing then think about the things you do every day that could be improved let’s just brainstorm some ideas right now:
This way you’ll have the gun loaded and ready to fire when we get to level 2 of lockdown with a newer shinier business ready to rock and roll.
If you’d like any help with that hit me up for a free chat no strings attached. I just love to help people and if one more PT can be even more successful then my WHY will have been answered.
You may remember back in November 2020 I talked about ‘cutting your cloth to fit’. Well, I’m back with version 2.0!!!
If you need to reference that last article because you missed it, here it is now before you read on today.
The title of that last article was obviously a metaphor for managing your expenses to suit your turnover but what if you fixed your turnover challenges instead of dropping your expenses – or even better, did both.
What if you had a growth in sales and also trimmed some of the ‘fat’ out of your expenses which have been ‘coasting’ along happily because your sales were buoyant up until we got locked down – or for that matter had any unforeseen event that had a negative knock-on effect to your sales.
As that first article talked about trimming out some of your expenses of changing more of the fixed costs to variable ones is a great start but if you need to be more ruthless take a deeper look.
E.g. #3: I recently decided to let go of a domain name I have never used but had in case I wanted to mirror my website with a slightly different suffix. GONE. $38 odd less per year, not much but it adds up.
E.g. #2: I am an audible subscriber but I have allowed my monthly credits to accumulate so much I had 6 waiting for me to cash in on a book that I am not yet ready to read. I have put that on hold for 90 days saving me approx. $48 (3 months x$16)
It’s not much but it all adds up and over time can make the business super lean when I want it to be, just by taking a magnifying glass to the small things. I once had a boss – actually he was my bosses, bosses, boss! He said, “take care of the little things and the big things will take care of themselves.” He was kind of right, if you manage the little things in your business the larger things will by default be taken care of…it stuck with me.
Back to the sales ideas to boost your topline (sales) now you have taken care of the expenses.
In no particular order:
1. Send an email to 5 prospects asking what it would take to close a sale
If you’re not sure why someone’s not signing on the dotted line – ask them. Often it’s an easily fixable issue that opens the door.
2. Ask an existing customer for a referral
Good customers refer good customers. Ask a customer “What is the primary benefit you got from using our product? Do you know anyone else who would benefit from it?
3. Upgrade a customer
Would you like fries with that? Small, medium or large? They want what you’ve got now is your opportunity to add more value to their experience and your sale.
4. Go back over messages/emails
There may well be lots of leads you have let go of or clients who have slopped through the cracks over time. Now is the time to follow up and see where they’re at. You’ll be surprised how many just ‘got busy’ and never bothered to come back to you. ‘There’s gold in them there hills!’
5. 10 cold emails
“Cold” anything is a numbers game. Do it often enough and you will get something out of it. Cold email (or Linkedin) messages need to be super valuable to get any cut through and they are still worth it if you can scale it
6. Package your knowledge and give it away
It gives people who could use your services a small taste of what it would be like to work with you and has been extremely effective in attracting new clients.
Collect old blog posts, customer correspondence – anything that can help your prospect. Package it up, give it to them and make sure you have a method to follow up
7. Test a new product on an existing customer
Those ideas for a new product or service that are swimming around your head? Call an existing customer and ask “If I did this? Would you pay this?” The idea isn’t validated until they’ve paid you.
8. Approach a partner
Who’s got your customer? I’m working with the local physio that recently changed hands I approached the owner and am presenting to the whole team in their October monthly education meeting. Approach someone who has your ideal client, and you can bring complimentary skills to the relationship. Make sure it works both ways.
9. Pitch a journalist
Getting covered in the media is far easier than most people think. Look at who is writing about your industry and get in touch with them. If you can provide an interesting angle, stats or insights that the journalist can’t get themselves you will get covered. Media will not explode your business by itself, but it can be used to build credibility with customers and partners.
10. Run a trade in offer
This tactic isn’t just for car dealers. Contact a customer who has had your product or service and offer to trade it in for the newer/bigger/faster version you can provide now. You are in the incumbent supplier and in most cases it’s harder to move away and change but you need to keep adding value.
With these in place and a diary appointment to remind you to do them over a week or even 10 days you will find some opportunities to either boost your bank balance now or certainly over a period of time with consistent effort.
Go for it…
The Brilliant Barista
Everyday heroes serving the public with a smile and a welcome and a product that has already been prepared as you approached the building.
I like to walk my dog. My dog likes to be walked. I see this is a win win. My opportunity to get out and do some exercise my dogs’ opportunity to get out and get some exercise, not only that, but I stop at my local coffee shop/bakery for my favorite cup of Joe some mornings. it's got to the stage now the barista sees me out of the window and has already made my coffee by the time I go in to order it, how good is that service.
How could you replicate this kind of service in your business?
What opportunities are there to wow your clients when they turn up for their session?
What are they not expecting that you can deliver?
These questions are all worth pondering. there are bound to be more questions you could think of in which you could differentiate yourself from your competition just by wowing your clients when the opportunity arises. Knowing what your customer likes asking, recording memorising even awesome simple steps to making your service stand out from others.
I go to other coffee shops but I don't get this sort of service So what is it that this place does differently what is it that this barista goes above and beyond compared to the other baristas. They are all baristas they all serve the same basic product but where do I want to go when I'm thirsty for my cup of Joe you guessed it the brilliant barista.
Not only do I get my cup of Joe there is a dog bowl for my dog she's pretty happy to find a bowl of fresh water when we get there however far we've walked she has a thirst on! The simple tasks and easily executed it's a matter of having a system and working the system and ensuring everybody in the business knows the system - simple as that!
Times get to work start a list of things that you deliver as part of your service but could elevate them to that level of delivering a wow. Examples that have worked for me in the past are:
You get the idea it's personal it's not generic. Generic would be a towel, a water bottle - unless they have their name stitched into them it's the same thing, you'd give everybody, so give it some thought, and you'll be surprised how much of an impact it makes.
Good luck - Stay safe
While NZ is locked down I am offering FREE 30 mins catch ups so you can off load, ask questions, pick my brains or chew over a new business idea, whatever it is feel free to reach out so we can have a chat
Until I got help I felt as though my world was getting smaller. Once I had that help and support my world got bigger and bigger and bigger now it's a matter of deciding what not to do as opposed to what to do - that sounds big headed by what I mean is, when your brain in in growth mode it seeks and spots opportunities and actively looks for ways in which things could be done better or ways in which to grow.
At the crossroads, I felt as though I'd exhausted my technical skills and myself in the process! So not only was I tired I also lacked the motivation required to take the next steps.
this can be tough this can be demotivating this can feel as though the business you have is the wrong thing for you because it's made you tired exhausted even and lacking the will to go on, I don't mean in a dangerous way but just lacking the motivation to progress.
Do you have this feeling? Are you at that point of wanting more but not having the knowledge on how to get it?
Reach out for a free chat - Let's Talk
We don't see our biases that's why they are described as unconscious, we grow up with them so our 'norm' can seem to be the way the world works but often we'll meet people with different world views and quickly see that in fact we don't see things the same way so in situations where we need to bring a neutral mind to a situation we often don't!
Back to that list of different biases!
1) Affinity Bias - "birds of a feather flock together" we will generally befriend and socailise with people like us. We will feel most comfortable with those who look and sound like us.
3) Labelling Bias - How they look, dress, show up externally. It's so easy to judge. But I remember a car sales man tell me about a farmer that turned up at the show room looking for some help with a car and no one gave him the time of day. He went elsewhere to the showroom of the guy telling the story and bought 3 cars on the spot. He was dressed shabbily and unkempt but the sales people in the first showroom judged his ability to pay on his appearance! WRONG! Never assume...
4) Selective Attention Bias - Surrounding ourselves with those who are similar to ourselves. This has a lot in common with the affinity bias. We feel 'safe' being around those that look and act like we do but this can narrow our field of vision when it comes to working with people of all creeds and backgrounds.
There are other biases like the 'weight' bias, this can be common in our industry. We see people who are over weight and can start to judge them as lazy. We know how much work goes into looking good and we may think over weight people just don't put in the work. There may be an element of truth, there may not, but until we get to know people we don't know their story. There may well be very good reasons why people are the way they are.
Respectful care delivers care that exudes acceptance, absolute worth and autonomy. This allows the client to open up and feel heard when you are working with them. If you have overcome all the biases in the book you will be free to serve and make real differences in peoples live....
If learning is not one of your values then it's quite possible that you don't have a regular routine that helps you grow and build your knowledge base to improve yourself and your business.
Should learning be one of your values?
It sounds a bit corny but if you're not growing anywhere, you may well be staying in the same place that you've been for the last year. So, do your years just repeat themselves? Is it a case of what works now should just keep working for you? Perhaps it does perhaps you're completely content and don't feel the need to increase that knowledge however this may become self-limiting after a while.
The world keeps moving. You can't deny that technology research current thinking will become yesterday's thinking very soon. so if we don't spend a little time and perhaps a little money keeping up with what's changing we could get left behind. Have you had one of those experiences where you realise what people are talking about you know nothing about? has that experience made you turn inwards and think about what you need to do differently?
As Daniel Pink put it in his book “Drive,” “human beings are motivated by purpose, autonomy and a drive towards mastery,”
If you're not learning then what is your purpose where is your autonomy and are you getting closer to mastery?
By creating a culture of learning in your business you are setting up the opportunity for continuous improvement much like the All Blacks have done finding those 1% opportunities and multiplying them by 100 gives them double the improvement they had the previous year it doesn't even have to be 100 in your business it could be 10. What 10 things can you think of that could be improved? Some of those you can probably do yourself and some you may need help with but overtime the incremental change that it makes to your business will be significant and your business will not look like it did 12 months ago.
I urge you to take a critical look and see what could be changed or worked on day to day week to week. A little time of reflection can reveal huge opportunities that can be chipped away at over time.
You just have to start
It doesn't have to be complicated a single sheet of a four is enough for a process. Examples of the sorts of processes that may occur in your business could be:
The list could go on, but the rule of thumb is, if it happens day to day - document it. Having records of how all the things happen that occur in your business is a great way of turning your job into a business it means that the business is not reliant on you alone. This practice is good business practice keep doing it and you'll be surprised how much you've created.
If you need help with a manual hit me up I'm happy to help
1. Be prepared to work hard, really hard, in your first 2 to 3 years – new start ups don’t succeed without some blood, sweat and a few tears!
2. No you don't have to be amazingly fit and strong to be a great PT you just have to have a reasonable level of fitness no Arnold Schwarzenegger’s necessary here.
3. Get a mentor or coach to work with you at least initially but ongoing would be ideal it's great to have someone in your corner someone to bounce ideas off, ask advice from, and perhaps have a shoulder to cry on!
4. The hours can be long but if you craft your week into a form that works for you overtime, you'll have your dream job/career mapped out for you.
5. Understanding the business side of PTing is crucial. having a financial plan understanding tax and getting to grips with expenses is probably one of the most important aspects of running a successful PT business.
6. Do awards help? She had watched the video on my website! Yeah, for sure they certainly help they give credibility and they don't just have to be exercise awards they could be bank awards they could be people awards whatever suits find something to raise your profile it'll stand you in good stead?
7. Keep learning have a plan on how you will keep learning and growing your knowledge this will become a habit and set you apart from the rest who simply get a qualification and repeat the same year after year after year with the same knowledge.
8. Find your tribe this could be clients this could be friends this could be anybody create a tribe that you can lead that connects you to people then you are positioned as the perfect choice when they may get to a point of needing your services.
9. Professional networks cultivate relationships with allied health professionals to establish Referral networks and a reputation as a professional who works alongside other health professionals this will help business and client experience.
10. Love what you do not the money that comes from it, loving what you do will be clear to see by all those you come into contact with, and the money will follow
Need a helping hand: Reach Out!
My friend responded: Ok, then I invite you to do it yourself.
The customer answered: I don't know how to.
My friend responded: Alright, then how about for $2500 I'll teach you how to. So besides saving you $2000, you'll learn valuable skills that will benefit you in the future.
The customer answered: Sounds good! Let’s do it!
My friend responded: Great! To get started, you are going to need some tools. You will need a chop saw, table saw, cordless drill, bit set, router, skill saw, jig saw, tool belt, hammer, etc..
The customer answered: But I don't have any of those tools and I can't justify buying all of these for one job.
My friend responded: Ok. Well then for an additional $300 I can rent my tools to you to use for this project.
The customer answered: Okay. That’s fair.
My friend responded: Great! We will start the project on Monday.
The customer answered: I work Monday through Friday. I’m only available on the weekends.
My friend responded: If you want to learn from me then you will need to work when I work. This project will take 3 days so you will need to take 3 days off work.
The customer answered: That means I’m going to have to sacrifice my pay for 3 days or use my vacation time!
My friend responded: That’s true. Remember, when you do a job yourself you need to account for unproductive factors.
The customer answered: What do you mean by that?
My friend responded: Doing a job completely from start to finish includes time spent to plan the project, pick up materials, travel time, gas, set up time, clean up, and waste disposal amongst other things. That’s all in addition to the actual project itself. And speaking of materials, that’s where we will start on Monday so I need you to meet me at the lumberyard at 6:00am.
The customer answered: At 6am?!! My work day doesn’t usually start until 8am!
My friend responded: Well then you’re in luck! My plan is to start on the deck build by 8am. But to do so we have to start at 6am to get materials picked up, loaded and delivered to your job site.
The customer answered: You know, I’m realizing that a lot more goes in to a job than what a customer sees in the finished project. Your proposal of $4500 is very reasonable. I would like you to handle the project.
When you pay for a job, especially a custom job, (whether it’s a physical project or digital project) you pay not only for the material and the work to be completed. You also pay for:
✔️ Custom Skills
✔️ Time to plan
✔️ Time to prepare
✔️ Work Ethic
If you request a proposal for custom work to be done, please don’t disrespect a service provider by trying to get them to lower their prices.
If their proposal exceeds your budget, there’s nothing wrong with getting other proposals.
Just remember.. you get what you pay for.
👉🏼 SERVICE PROVIDERS: Know your worth and be confident in it.
👉🏼 CONSUMERS: Recognize their worth and be respectful of it.
Sharing this to support all my friends, family and clients who are Entrepreneurs, Business Owners and Tradesman.
ALL, I mean ALL of these endeavours were met with resistance. Now, you may say, “You need to persist Rich!” “Don’t give up Rich,” believe me I had all these comments going through my head.
I have worked with a good number of clients over the years, some very challenging but this lady broke the mould. I decided after 4 weeks of trying my best that I had to cut her loose….
This was tough, I had poor sleeps leading up to the time I decided to make the break. I knew it was going to be good for my mental health and that my bank balance although worse off for losing her, would be better in the long run and I'd easily pick up new clients in the future.
This has come to pass. We parted company – she wanted feedback on why I felt that way. I gave her some kind words about willingness to change and directed her towards some books which may help get her head in the right space. For now I have created the space I needed.
I knew things were going badly when I would get to the end of a session and feel like an utter dunce. Like I knew nothing about what I was supposed to be an expert in because she already knew it herself or she had tried it and it didn’t work. Think – head and brick wall!!! This was doing mine in.
If you find yourself in this position, really take the time to weigh up the pros and cons of stopping or continuing. Some people deserve to be persevered with and I strongly believe others don’t – for our own sanity. This is clearly my own opinion you may feel differently but whatever you do give yourself time to process the options open to you.
You need to put your own oxygen mask on first!
In NZ it's called tall poppy syndrome. People don't like it when you try to tell them how good you are. That's just the way it is! But it doesn't have to be like that. there are ways in which you can share your talents, skills, products and services without sounding like a FIGJAM. Apparently, an Australian band thought this acronym was good enough to make a song about it here’s the link. I'm not so sure!
Ways in which you can promote yourself that isn't shouting from the rooftops about you, is sharing clients’ successes. In addition you could be proactive and ask clients for testimonials specific to their achievements and experiences with you. This way the message comes from the client and not from you directly.
FIGJAMS tell you what they do and how good they are whereas non FIGJAMS tell you about the changes you could expect to see as a result of working with them. Everyone knows what we do, or their version of what we do, so really what we need to explain is how we're different what they can expect to achieve and the types of outcomes and results other people have experienced, this way the message isn't direct from your mouth it's more objective and way less FIGJAMMY!
Have you come across successful FIGJAM’s? Sure we all have and usually they are huge douches but we get on with what we do and ignore them. Some people a drawn to them and that works for them. But others simply can’t stand to be in the same room as a FIGJAM as they continue to spout their own bullshit which may be grounded in reality but often not!!
Find your flavour and work it well. People will be attracted to your message and often if you market yourself well they you will attract the kind of client you really want and leave the rest out in the cold.
Good luck and keep blowing that trumpet!
Now onto those 4 key stages of the actual interviewing process.
4 Stages - MI Inspired Questions
1. Engaging – we must build rapport before we start talking motivation and goals .e.g. what brings you in today, what were you hoping to get out of the session, what changes if any are you interested in making
2. Focusing – What topics are you interested in discussing today? If it’s ok with you I have soime suggestions that may work?
3. Evoking – Why did you select that particular change? What are your reasons for making that change? What barriers to change might there be? How interested are you in making that change on a scale of 0-10?
4. Planning – How might you go about making that change? How ready are you? How important is this to you? How confident are you….? Would you be interested in hearing other strategies?
You can see how this is s journey towards the action points that should arrive in the planning stage but there can’t be a short cut otherwise you miss some key thinking points for the client to work tough in getting to the answer they need to be successful It’s a process but an important one which requires patience on your part.
If you’d like some practice in this technique feel free to reach out and we can plan a time.
Bring all your tricky clients issues with you!!
supportive and empathetic not directive and authoritative.
This relationship boils down to the ability of the coach to ask good questions to elicit responses from the client that will help them see the pathway they need to follow to achieve their goals. It is also equally about the coach listening and the client being heard. Listening to understand as opposed to listening to speak or contribute. This difference is the key two successful coaching there are some clear behaviours that need to be brought by the coach to the relationship.
Stages of Change
As you may know from Prochaska and DiClemente’s ‘Transtheoretical Model’ from the 1970's also known as ‘Stages of Change Model’. the process of change is not easy, there are many steps, and we may also move backwards as well as forward through these stages; here are those stages:
There are a number of relationship builders that can be used by a coach to help improve trust build rapport and strengthen the overall relationship for better outcomes. These are:
If these points resonated with you then you'll probably already be coaching well if some didn't then there may be an opportunity to improve your coaching skills either way your clients will be grateful for your ability to help them navigate the pathway of change towards their chosen goals. Good luck, go for it coach!!!
Reach out if you'd like a hand or want your own coach...
the equation things like; relaxation, sleep, creativity and fun! It’s a great way to help you focus on what’s important to you and relates the values exercise at the beginning of Business Bootcamp.
Time v Money Conundrum
I’ve seen and have experienced myself this conundrum of how many hours should I be working. When you are in business for yourself there is no right answer until you start working on a budget that works for you and your bigger goals. Burnout if a very real thing in our industry and too many people think more is better, when often it’s simply unsustainable and greater balance is required. I have said on may occasions, we could all push our prices up 10% and most clients wouldn’t bat an eyelid! We do need to do this so that we lose a few clients which will help create the space we may need to find that balance.
When creating the time budget, you need to look at what works for you. What you charge and how much time is left over for the other things that are important to you. We will typically overestimate how much we can achieve in the short term and under estimate how much we can achieve in the long term. Gates Law explains this phenomenon.
The Europeans are contracted for 35 hours per week and must not exceed 48 – by law. There’s good reasoning behind these numbers from Europe.
How may do you work each week? Productivity drops off heavily after about 50 hours so where are you pitching your time budget?
Are you burning the candle at both ends just to do all the things you would like to?
Your list of things to do: ‘but don’t have time for’
Have you made a list of all the things you would like to do but ‘don’t have time for’. This is where you will save wasted time and really move your time from ‘inefficient’ to ‘best spent.’
Whenever you default to social media your next thought needs to be the list. Hit the activities on your list so you can start living the things you love and not missing out. This not missing out will bring a sense of satisfaction that you may be missing.
Perfect week or time budget record
Now you can work through the ‘Perfect Week’ exercise where you look at how you’d like to spend your time and drop in the activities you want to. You could also set up a spreadsheet this would help you create a pie chart of time split across a day and/or the week.
If you are self employed then applying this into your life is relatively easy if you are employed by others then not so much, but take from it what you can for a better outcome for you. Use this as a target that may well be of the moving variety as life so often is. Nevertheless, have that guide handy so you can stay on track, stay productive and enjoy all the things you love doing alongside the work which must also be done.
Inspired by Cliff Harvey
Sometimes asking more searching questions about their lives can yield dividends and help us truly understand their situations, what's going on in their businesses or private lives.
I'll share my recent example.
Client tells me he'd like a certain day and a certain time each week - great, works for me and I'll have that automatic payment set up too please! You want my time consistently then there's an ongoing fee attached to that. [Mental health tip #1]
He doesn't respond to reminder text the following week - nothing, nada!
I left it until the following week, in hindsight calling him [Mental Health tip #2] to see if he was OK would have been the best thing to do – I was not in the right headspace, funny that!
Following week, he returns the reminder text, arrives on time and apologises for not responding or turning up to the session. Business had been manic – a sister company of his was heading in the wrong direction and required urgent action which meant 4am starts and 7pm finishes for a while as well as travel. We’re back on track he isn’t deliberately a problem client but could have become one.
We never know what is going on in clients’ lives so we can’t make assumptions about them as people until they show a pattern of behaviour that tells us they are a problem client.
Head these problem clients ‘off at the pass’ by suggesting a different trainer who may be able to help them. [Mental health tip #3]
It is not worth the mental anguish having clients mess you around. Clarifying expectations up front are key to avoiding these circumstances in the first place. [Mental health tip #4] This can be done in person or via a standardised letter you send out once a new clients is signed up and ready to go. Ongoing communication is especially important obviously and calling as well as texting goes a long way to building the relationship outside of sessions together. You could be calling to see if they understand the homework, or how a certain event went that they mentioned to you. [Mental health tip #5]
Continuing with a client that genuinely doesn’t care about your time and the effort that goes into doing what you do really is a person worth questioning and perhaps moving them on [Mental health tip #6] before it gets to the point of real frustration. This isn’t an easy thing to do but in the long run will mean a happier you and a better you for the clients that do all the right things and work well with you.
If you’d like any help feel free to reach out for a chat about your business, body or mind. That’s what we do here!
I started my NLP course last week and I wanted to share an insight into some of the content that relates nicely to our industry and clients achieving their goals.
A well-formed outcome, which is essentially a goal in better quality more detailed clothing! However, the process followed to get to it is more holistic in terms of what senses and thoughts we engage to creating it – stay with me here!
Let me step you through the process so you can take this with you and use with your clients.
We use the S.P.I.K.E. acronym from volleyball
S – Sensory specific consideration
Date/Time? Be as specific as you can
Place? Where are you? What are you doing? Who are you with?
Desired sensory specific results?
Now fully step into yourself at that time and place, with those sensations.
P – Positive language
On a separate blank piece of paper capture, this sensorily explicit description. Remember your well formed outcome should have the structure of :
“at this specific time/date and place, I will get these (sensory) specific results.”
Read it back and adjust to ensure that it evokes what is intended/desired as an outcome.
It could be written as bullet points or descriptive text, whatever helps you conjure it up in your mind.
Ensure it's written positively wording that indicates you are moving towards something that you want as opposed to away from something you don't want - the brain cannot differentiate between these two so we must make it clear.
I – Initiated and maintained by self to ensure empowerment and being ‘at cause’
Review what's been written as the WFO. Check in on its realism are you looking to ensure that you recognize your pivotal role in making it happen and that you feel motivated and empowered to do so try using the following supportive questions to note down your answers on a separate sheet of paper.
Q: have I achieved this before?
Q: how can I use that memory to achieve WFO now?
Q: have someone else achieved it real or fictitious what could you learn from them?
Q: if no one real or fictitious seems to have, then what supports the feasibility of you doing so?
Having done that, consider the following:
Q: what prevents you from having it now?
Q: any limiting beliefs decisions or doubts that arise?
Q: what other resources/support are likely to be needed to achieve WFO?
Note: In terms of resources these might be external – money, time, other people’s help or internal – confidence, drive focus. These can all be acquired – you just need an awareness of what’s needed.
Now with your draft WFO you originally wrote, plus your answers to these two banks of questions – rewrite your whole WFO. Notice as you do so the steps or areas of action you need to make things happen towards your WFO. IT should follow this structure.
“at this specific time/date and place, I will get these (sensory) specific results.”
K – Knowing what needs to be done
Based on the revised WFO get clear on the sequential 5-9 steps that you personally need to take to achieve it. These might be such things a ‘create a budget’ or ‘enroll in course x’ or seek assistance to gain the belief that I am capable of doing all of this. These will reflect a mix of practical (external world) and mindset (internal world) steps.
Note them down with a timeline/estimate for completing them. Transfer them into your schedule or calendar so they get done. Ensure that they first step can be taken by you within 24 Hours.
E – Ecological (fitting your ‘map of the world’ inc any changes made to it)
Final steps consider how this new WFO fits into your existing world your ecosystems if you like. For example, how would getting fit impact on your eating habits, how would it impact your social activities. Some suggestions include:
“at this specific time/date and place, I will get these (sensory) specific results……………….
And adjust planned actions to ensure all is congruent within your world. Put actions into your schedule now and take that first planned step/action within 24 hours.
Habits need to be our focus not resolutions. I’ll expand.
We need to break the goal (resolution) down to its smallest part(s). The example in our world would of course be building an exercise habit. But there are so many more and this is where this subject applies to us in our businesses. If we want a goal to be achieved by a certain date or time we need to start building towards it with tiny habits rather than tackling it in one or two goes.
Instead of suggesting our new client who wants to get fit do 3 x 30 min sessions a week. They should begin with just 10 or even 5 minutes of the given activity to begin the journey.
THIS IS WHERE IT GETS INTERESTING
BJ Fogg (taught James Clear [of Atomic Habits fame] everything he knows!), the world leading researcher in habits and habit formation suggests this is the method that will work because – you get a ‘completion reward’ once you have done the first tiny habit. The dopamine hit you get is the neuro chemical ‘pat on the back’ that rewards the behaviour you just did. The next time you come back for the next session you will be more inclined to give it another go as your brain remembers the dopamine hit and will want more of this endogenous chemical goodie!
The research shows that it isn’t the repetition of an action that ultimately creates the success although it is linked, the reward of completion is actually the key element to the success.
We MUST start small and build. The example BJ Fogg uses is – becoming a flosser (of your teeth, not the dance move!) Day 1 floss 2 teeth and stop! Day 2 floss 4 teeth and stop! Day 3 floss 6 teeth and stop…..you get the idea. Soon enough bottom and top sets of teeth are being flossed and the habit has stuck. Now it may take more than one attempt to do this, but the process should never change. Start really small and build it up. Do this with your clients, throw out the huge goals and break it down to bite size chunks (this is not periodisation) which seem silly they are so small but that is the magic ingredient in the recipe.
Give it a go let me know how you go….
“It’s not what happens between Christmas and New year that matters it’s what happens between New year and Christmas that counts”
Despite that credo there will be clients that want some guidance and support even when you are away. This is one way, and there are many, to support them using a simple document you create and keep updating as your business changes and research information becomes updated.
The Holiday Survival Guide:
This can contain whatever you like but I like to have the following content in mine. This is a give away and can be a useful lead magnet or a free gift to your community as well as clients:
Balance is important so not being a food nazi is helps here but offering tips and tricks will go a long way to embedding the advice you have been giving over the year so that the progress made so far is not all going to go backwards.
Thanks for reading over the last few months – have a great Christmas and New Year.
Defining your brand is a critical step to understanding how you're going to position yourself and your business to attract the clients that you want who you are and who you want to work with are really important steps before setting out.
Is there one or more overriding concepts that define what's unique about you unique in that it will help you sell yourself to your target market. Something that may be different from your competitors.
How does this look?
Think fonts colours logos look and feel what is it that you want to communicate about your brand to your target market. Dig deep on this take time to think about the elements that make up your brand. Be sure that it fits with your values and helps communicate exactly what it is you stand for. I share this document with mentees to help guide them on what their brand looks like. Feel free to swipe it here.
If you were to write a book about your life what would you say? Writing down important aspects of your story that are unique to you. Include challenges that you have been through, how you overcame them. Tragedies you may have endured what you learned from them and any anecdotes along the way.
What are you?
Beyond your vocational title what is it that you do day-to-day think about this in terms of how you communicate what you do and who you are with your target market. There are lots of modalities and areas of speciality that you could use to differentiate yourself and define your brand more accurately get clear on this and it will help you communicate more easily.
What do you do?
Summarise exactly what you do in the shortest way possible this could also be known as your mission statement.
If you need a helping hand then reach out it's a great process to go through with someone else and once complete, clarifies so many things for you moving fowards....
Inspired by Time Rich Practice ~ Cliff Harvey