You may have the certification and the college degree, but that’s not what really matters in life. You may have the financial means to start a new business, but that alone will not breed success. Spend some time cultivating your personal, intellectual, social and financial capital to put yourself at the helm and have control over your direction in life.

Personal capital is defined as “how well you know yourself.” Do you know your strengths, weaknesses, purposes and passions? What interests you most? What interests you least? Which type of environment do you thrive in? What motivates you? These are all questions you should be able to answer immediately. Otherwise, you need to give these areas some thought. You can develop your personal capital by attending seminars and workshops, taking personal development classes, seeking mentorships and business coaching, or reading books.

Intellectual capital pertains to “what you know.” When you walk into the room, what would you feel comfortable speaking about? What did you learn about in school? Where does your experience lie? What skills do you have that you can do well with some consistency? You want to focus on becoming good at something that is enjoyable for you, so you master something that brings you great pride in life. School, certification courses, books, webinars, seminars, conferences and business courses can all help you add to your knowledge base.
Social capital refers to “who you know and who knows you.” Who can you call for professional advice? Who would call you if they had a question? How many people do you interact with on that are not related to you? How many friends can you call to help you move? How many colleagues, professors, mentors, coaches, professionals, advisors and entrepreneurs do you know? Keep your ties strong by sending out emails, making quick phone calls and networking on Facebook. You never know who will contribute to your personal development and growth, but each individual represents an opportunity.
Financial capital is “who knows that you know what you know.” What individuals have you genuinely impressed with your personality, skills, talents, communication style, and achievements? Who sees the opportunity you represent? Who would be willing to invest in you? How many people can you count on to help you if money was ever tight? A salary is one source of financial capital, but it requires more networking to generate access to greater capital and help you climb up the corporate ladder.

Much of what drives success can’t be learned in the classroom. Instead, you need to have a hunger for knowledge, opportunity and networking that sets you apart from the pack. As Henry David Thoreau once said, you must “Launch yourself on every wave.” Once you have met the basic criteria to obtain a job in the fitness industry, don’t stop there. Read a new book every week. Sign up for local meetings, seminars and workshops. Look up a qualified business coach and inquire about mentorship opportunities to increase your earning potential. Put yourself at parties and in places where you can meet more like-minded people and learn more about the subjects that interest you most. Your life will go in the direction you want — once you have amassed personal, intellectual, social and financial capital.