Fitness Professionals: Find Your Why

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While I wouldn’t place myself in the echelon of “voracious reader,” I do read a lot. Fiction, non-fiction, autobiographies, Entertainment Weekly, it’s all fair game.

Like many of my colleagues, I make a special point to read books on personal development and business. For some of my favs check out my list HERE.

One book that’s rocking my world at the moment is Start With Why by Simon Sinek.

At the center of the book is what’s referred to as The Golden Circle. I know it sounds nefarious – or at the very least a long-lost Narnia sequel – but I assure you it’s harmless.

It goes like this (and for the more visual learners in the crowd you can peep the chart above):

Many people and/or businesses and organizations know what they do and they know how they do it.

Rarely, though, do they know WHY.

WHY do they do what they do?

One “go to” example often used in the book is Apple. There are any number of companies that make computers, laptops, Mp3 players, and what not. Some of which are technologically better than Apple.

So what makes Apple so special?

Why are they able to maintain such a stronghold, be the most profitable, and retain such a loyal following despite only penetrating 6-7% of the market?

What do they do differently and where are others missing the mark?

And since I’m on a roll right now and ending every sentence with an open-ended question, is this not the funniest video ever?


To quote the book, here’s a marketing message from Apple, if they were like everyone else:

“We make great computers. They’re beautifully designed, simple to use and user-friendly. Wanna buy one?”

Here’s the same message written in a way that Apple actually communicates. This time emphasizing the WHY:

“Everything we do, we believe in challenging the status quo. We believe in thinking differently. The way we challenge the status quo is by making our products beautifully designed, simple to use and user-friendly.

And we happen to make great computers. Wanna buy one?”

What’s My Point?

I see this same phenomenon in the fitness industry (and frankly, you can insert any industry or occupation here), and the same message mirrors why many fitness professionals fail.

While I generally avoid using gross generalizations, I’d garner a guess that most personal trainers and coaches know what they do.

“I get people jacked, shredded, bigger, faster, stronger, or increase their level of sexification, yo!”

To that same point, many know how to do it.

[Lets assume we live in a perfect bubble and every trainer takes their clients through a thorough assessment and designs a well thought out, organized, efficient, and non-bat-shit-crazy program based off the findings of said assessment.


2. But seriously, lets assume it.]

But WHY do you do what you do?

“To help people achieve their goals,” most might say.

Okay, noble answer.

But that doesn’t really say anything, differentiate you from the masses, or speak to the fact 99.99% of fitness professionals aren’t in it to not help people achieve their goals.

In short: lame answer, and it’s what everyone else says.

Much like Apple, we don’t need to over-think things and come up with some Tolstoy’esq sized Mission Statement.

Lets run with the canned response “I want to help people achieve their goals.”

It it were me, I’d saying something along the lines of:

“There are any number of trainers and coaches out there you could hire. And like most of them, I too want to help you achieve your goals – whether it’s to get a little stronger, improve performance in your respective sport, shed some extra body fat, or help with a nagging injury.

I choose to do so with integrity and honesty, in addition to using equal parts evidence-based research and anecdotal “real-world” experience.”

I want to help you achieve your goals, but I also want to help you not have to rely on me long-term. I want to teach you, educate you, coach you. It’s my goal to make you your own best ally, asset, and advocate.”

I encourage you to find your WHY.

Did what you just read make your day? Ruin it? Either way, you should share it with your friends and/or comment below.

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Plus, get a copy of Tony’s Pick Things Up, a quick-tip guide to everything deadlift-related. See his butt? Yeah. It’s good. You should probably listen to him if you have any hope of getting a butt that good.

I don’t share email information. Ever. Because I’m not a jerk.

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