Who doesn’t like an extra buck? Obviously not me, since the field-tested info from my training career is for sale (although when you consider the ridiculously low price I charge for it, I must not like money that much :-).
But there’s one particularly hard earned piece of info in THE SIX-FIGURE TRAINER MANUAL that I’ve charged for until now, but I think is just too important to keep under wraps.
It has to do with the whole issue of HIRING AND MANAGING EMPLOYEES.
I’m going to share a few of those excerpts from THE MANUAL in the next part of this series. This is going to be three parts series on hiring and managing, because I feel this is both the most important part of becoming a high earning business owner, and at the same time ALSO the most difficult.
My experience in this area has ranged from death threats, fist-fights, all the way to some very good friendships. What that has shown me, and any successful business owner will agree, is that employees are by far the BIGGEST adventure for any entrepreneur.
This is ESPECIALLY true for a Personal Trainer more than any other type of business owner. However you want to cut it, LIVE fitness instruction will always be a PERSONAL product, and will therefore require you to manage other people to administer it as your business grows, NO-MATTER WHAT.
The info I’m going to share with you in this series is based on field-tested info from my fitness career. Call it enlightened stupidity, but I realized early on as a trainer that any growth in my fitness career was going to rely on the help of other people. Unfortunately, I had to learn all the ropes myself. I never had a “real” job where I could learn the ropes in the pretend world, nor did I know any successful business owners (or have cool blogs like this) that could teach me the ropes.
And my BIGGEST problem was overcoming pre-conceived notions on work and employment. That’s why right now, I’m going to debunk a few of these major myths with you. If these were screwing me up, I’m sure the same is happening to you.
MYTH: THE MORE PEOPLE YOU EMPLOY THE BETTER
I don’t know where I got this idea from, but I was always brought up thinking that the more people you employed, the better.
And at one point in my business life, I was hiring a new employee ever single week for over four months because my business was growing so rapidly.
But what you will find in the case of many entrepreneurs, especially training business owners that have had to run such intensive, hands on businesses, is that they feel a need to re-tract and run much smaller organizations after a while.
This is a trend you’re seeing in many other areas of business as a whole today, especially with the explosion of the internet. We’re entering an age where you are less defined by the number of people that report to you (definition of a bureaucracy) to the amount of freedom, piece of mind, and “happiness” (whatever that means for you) that you have.
(I kept that firmly in mind in THE SIX-FIGURE TRAINER MANUAL, and that’s why it’s not your typical fitness business business book – it’s built with your LIFESTYLE as the primary focus of your business.)
MYTH: GOOD BOSSES ARE BORN, NOT MADE
I’m sure you’ve heard that myth, but the opposite is actually true. Finding, managing, and nurturing talent is a LEARNED skill – it’s not something that you’re born with or will be good at the first time you try it, no matter how much you read up. For that reason, I recommend hiring assistants as a way to start. This allows you to develop your delegating and managing skills.
When people don’t learn to delegate properly, they either have to form business partnerships unnecessarily (a death sentence to a true entrepreneur) or they’re stuck being stressed out micro-managers who their employees can’t stand.
MYTH: YOU SHOULD BE FRIENDS WITH YOUR EMPLOYEES
That’s a myth, and a big one. Your employee’s job is to make you money, you know it and they know it. Any friendship will cloud your judgment of their skill, their performance, or when it’s time to get rid of them.
You often DO hear about people saying they are friends with their employees. But these are usually salaried managers, where they and the employees are all passengers in the same boat. As an entrepreneur, this doesn’t apply to you.
HIRE ENTREPRENEURIAL PEOPLE
Doesn’t everyone want to be an entrepreneur? The answer is no, and thank God for that. If that wasn’t the case, you’d have no one to work for you.
A very special person wants to be an entrepreneur. Most people ARE NOT cut out for the risk, nor do they wish to be.
So the first thing to realize is that your employees are not like you, and you don’t need to treat them like you. You do not need to make them partners on everything, nor do you have ton incentivize them on everything. What they are looking for much more is CERTAINTY and SECURITY. The more that you can make your business into a system that is repetitive so they know what to expect day after day, and can expect a regular check too, the happier they will be. You can get away with paying much less than you think, as long as they know that work will be consistent.
MYTH: IF YOU CAN’T AFFORD AN EMPLOYEE, DO IT ALL YOURSELF
Even if you’re not making much now, you’d still be suprised at your ability to outsource.
OUTSOURCING is also a skill, one that develops with learning and practice.
You should look to outsource as much of your regular, repititive work as possible. Believe it or not, even training clients can be outsourced to a degree (we’ll get into the potential IL-legality of that later.)
But for almost everything else, you can always outsource, and I encourage you to. Pick up the book the FOUR HOUR WORKWEEK (which we talked about AGAIN in the UNDERGROUND NEWSLETTER recently) if you want an “off the deep end” look into outsourcing and leveraging your time.
MYTH: OUTSOURCE EVERYTHING
Outsourcing has it’s place, but you first have to understand what you’re doing and why you’re doing it, before you can have someone else do it for you.
This also goes for having employees The key to being a good employer is at first learning to properly manage yourself. Getting to your appointments on time, getting the job done, knowing what an excellent product is, and building cash flow. Any organization starts to stink from the bottom down, and if you stink, well soon you’re going to have a smelly mess on your hands.
If you want some more juicy info on this subject, check out THE MANUAL. Flip to the GROUP-TRAINING SYSTEM chapter, where we talk about the progression from hiring your first assistant all the way to having them do the training for you.
Now that we’ve got these overarching concepts out of the way, we can proceed with the rest of this series. I probably just identified or confirmed a few things that were already on your mind, or exposed a couple of things that have been shortchanging you up to now.
In the next part of this series, we’re going to get into some specific tactics (especially if you’re a trainer just starting out) so look out for it.
That was a good one Kaiser! I’m looking to get some help very soon, especially in the administrative stuff to help grow my business.
Excellent post to start of 2010.