There are so many mistakes I made in my coaching journey and here are 5 that I made. I started my journey as a Personal Trainer and slowly integrated into group fitness and online Life Coaching with a focus in vitality and mindfulness. These mistakes led me to burn out and my energy diminished greatly. Avoid these 5 mistakes in your coaching journey:
1) Always Saying Yes
This was one of the worst mistakes I made as I ended up working from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. This was not sustainable as Personal Training and Group Fitness are very taxing in general. I kept saying yes to time slots I didn’t prefer and not setting boundaries on when my work hours are. I am primarily online now, but I still teach in person because I enjoy it. I make sure to only take time slots I don’t dread.
My best advice, if you teach at 6 a.m. do not sign up to teach at 6 p.m. Listen to your body. If you are in this situation, take a nap in the middle of the day and practice self care. Do your best to get the best value for your time because you are valuable. Also, you do not have to say yes to every sub position when teaching classes. Learn to say you are not available. You do not need to give a reason even if it is your rest time. That is your right and boundary.
2) Working All the Time
This piggy backs off my first point. If you are working all the time you do not have time to have a life outside of your classes and clients. This is a no go. This will diminish your mental health and energy quickly. Therefore, set your work boundaries. How many hours will you work a day/week? How many days will you work in a week? Do you want split shifts? What is your minimum value per class/session?
I suggest to do your best to think about those questions above. It is up to you to create schedule. This is a blessing and a curse. We get so caught up in wanting to help and do as much as we can that we neglect ourselves. I had to cap myself at 40 hours a week, 5 times a week, with no split shifts for the most part. This is primarily because these work best for me.
I know trainers that love split shifts and I know trainers that dread them. If you love them keep doing what you love, if you don’t do less of what you dislike. I was working 65+ hours and sometimes worked 14 days straight with 12-14 hours day. I see a lot of coaches fall into this trap as well. You have value but it diminishes if you burn out and are spread too thin.
3) Giving Your Clients 24/7 Access to You
Draw your boundaries! I tell my clients to give me up to 72 hours to reply and I let them know my business hours. I usually respond sooner but this is for my mental health. Yes, there are emergencies and special circumstances. Listen to me when I share this with you, people are great problem solvers and just end up in freak out mode. They will simmer down in a few hours or by the next time you can get ahold of them and most of the problems will be solved without you. Put it in your contracts if you can on when your work hours are and how soon they can expect you to get back to them. Even have a work phone or Do Not Disturb mode hours on your phone to help you stay within these hours.
4) Only Focusing on the Outcome
I fell into this trap because I like a stable income. This is why I combine group classes with clients. Usually group fitness is a stable source of income minus holidays or sick days. This means you get paid no matter what. We need money to survive, but when you get too caught up into it and lose the reason why you are coaching in the first place, then you lose some value. Your clients start to notice and you will end up in a downward spiral. It isn’t about money, it is about helping others in their journey whatever they decide it to be.
In order to do this try to create value, go the extra mile(with boundaries of course), and be present with your clients. If you aren’t present with your clients the personal relationship takes the toll and they may not want to be coached by you anymore.
It is okay if you aren’t the right fit for a client. You don’t have to be. Save slots for those that you do get along with and that are your ideal clients. Your client book will fill up and you will get the most value for your time. You have to want to work with them too. Try to create 3 disqualifiers and 3 qualifiers. If they hit your disqualifiers don’t sell to them. If they hit your qualifiers, just one, then go ahead and see if they see the value in your services. If they don’t see your value at your price, then they aren’t the client for you. There are special circumstances and really use your intuition on this one. Check out my article on ” How to Listen to Your Body”.
5) Not Taking Care of Yourself
As a coach you must take care of yourself. I don’t like using the should, would, must language, but this is a non-negotiable. If you are drained of your energy then your clients will see that. I know my value diminishes greatly in my coaching when I’m tired or drained. Your classes lose their spark. Take your sick days, mental health days, rest days, and vacations. I get that we only make money when we work, but you need time off too. Get your movement in, your whole foods in, and some time to yourself. You need enough sleep to function in the day. Practice 50% of what you preach. Even if it is just for 5 minutes or once a week. You deserve to take care of yourself. We can’t pour from an empty cup.
Take Your Business to the Next Level
If you are like me, your time and energy are valuable. You want the time freedom to do things outside of your business. You are doing great and making enough money to get by. I wanted to take my business to the next level so I enrolled in a business program to help. It did not meet my expectations and I saw a lot of coaches go into burn out as well. I decided to partner with a Marketing Coach and ex CEO to help you scale your business without Burning out. Check it out and book your complimentary Discovery Call today.