The desire to grow a $100k per year personal training business can be a big draw. But the reality is that many personal trainers struggle to reach half of that in their career, and in this article I’ll explain specifically why and what to do about it.

Back in 2005, when I qualified as a personal trainer, I entered the industry with so much energy and enthusiasm. I found myself in a big box gym, and within a week, I managed to sign up seven new clients.

But I ended up reaching a point of burnout. Yes, I was helping people. Yes, it was fun. But the early mornings, the late nights—I found myself caught in a trap.

I desperately wanted to boost my income, but every time I would take on a new client, I ended up losing another hour of my time.

The business model taught by most training companies is ‘sell per session.’ ‘Sell blocks,’ and you’ll generate a great income. They didn’t mention that my income would be capped. They didn’t mention that I wouldn’t really be building a business.

So here’s a list of seven things that will make a huge difference not only to your personal training business, but to your overall happiness, impact and freedom.

If you want to hear ‘you changed my life,’ from your clients more often, you’ll need to ask yourself some tough questions. 

Does My Fitness Business Model Support My $100k Goal?

Crazy as it sounds, many fitness business owners fail to link their goal to their business model. In this scenario, once you start doing the math, you’ll suddenly realise that you most likely need to start changing things around in order to reach the bigger numbers and create more impact.

If you’re performing one-on-one personal training now, how many clients do you need to hit that number per month? Is that achievable consistently? Will you be able to take any time off without stressing out?

The semi-private model of personal training is far more scalable to $100k and beyond with the correct systems in place—with an additional online element that can boost your income only if you’re good at what you do offline.

Do I Honestly Believe I Can Earn $100k per Year?

Just like someone who doesn’t truly believe they can lose all of that weight, our belief system and relationship with money plays a huge role in what we can earn. If you don’t truly believe at a gut level that you can reach the bigger numbers, most likely you won’t shoot for it.

This is why it’s important to start to shift your identity which comes from the repetitive thoughts we have. Once momentum builds and income ascends, you can start to build confidence that you can get there.

You really have to question what you think and feel about $100k and, once you’re 100% committed, you can find a way to reach it. But doubts and limiting thoughts of, ‘I need another five years in the industry,’ won’t help you get there faster. 

What Impact Am I Committed to Making?

Once you make helping people your primary focus, you’ll be able to work from your ‘heart,’ and this will drive you to generate more impact. If you focus 100% on the money, that’s not as big a driver as the change you will make by helping 100 people, or whatever your goal is.

So many times we hear the ‘why’ is so important and revisiting why you went into the industry is important, but remember, it’s 100% okay to hit your goals too.

What Is Broken and What Are My Numbers?

Numbers don’t lie, and in order to grow a business,you need to look at the data and make decisions based on that. How many leads did you get in last month? How many showed up? How many did you close? What was your package price? 

As much as it may be boring to track all of this data, it turns you from the shotgun approach to business toward a laser targeted one. Then, you can reverse engineer the actions required to hit your targets.

What Do I Need to Optimize First to Bring the Fastest Return?

Once you know your numbers, you can start to understand, “Okay, I’ve spoken to 10 people and closed 1.” We know now that closing is an issue and that it needs to be worked on. Or, maybe you got five leads in this month and closed three, but with that many leads you’ll never reach your goal. So what’s the marketing activity like?

You can only fix broken parts of a business if you’re aware of what’s broken.

Who Do I Know That Has Already Hit This Goal?

The fastest way to reach a goal is to find someone who has already reached that goal. Most likely a personal trainer who has hit $100k per year had some kind of coach or mentor to take them from A to B.

Here’s the truth: if you help your clients go from A to B, you can do it for yourself, too. This is one of the biggest mistakes most personal trainers make.

Get smart and save time by doing your research and finding the best to help you speed up your progress to success. It’s what every athlete does, and it’s what you should do because figuring it out is far more expensive in the long run.

What Other Skills / Staff / Services Can I Add?

You may want to think about offering supplements, meal prep, diet plans, online coaching, events, or seminars to boost your income. If you can leverage yourself by putting people in groups, then that’s much better because you’re then maximizing time.

In addition, hiring an assistant, additional trainer or sales person will help leverage your time. Yes, you need to get out of the habit of doing everything on your own.

One piece of great advice that Richard Branson gave me on his private island was, “Simon, I found people better than me.” 

That’s how he grew over 400 companies and the Virgin empire.

Earning $100k per year as a personal trainer is very achievable if you have the right attitude, mindset, business model and are willing to put in the work. Intelligent application of information is the key. Don’t get caught up worrying what other personal trainers are doing. It’s about your dreams, your ambition and your focus.Opinions expressed here by Contributors are their own.

Simon Lovell
Simon Lovell is a former personal trainer, TV presenter, speaker, best selling diet author and founder of The Fitpreneurs, a heroic business and self development program for personal trainers which he grew from zero to $1million in 18 months. He also helps high level entrepreneurs get into alignment. Simon is calls himself a ‘spiritual hustler’ and his sidekick Buddha is his spaniel puppy. He’s hung out with the likes of Tony Robbins at west end shows and drunk Pussy Vodka with Richard Branson in a hot tub on his private island.