Purpose or Finance?

Purpose or Finance?

If I asked you to be really honest with yourself right now could you?

Is your day to day activity focused around purpose or finance?

Maybe this sounds like a weird question. 

Maybe you answered it quickly in your mind, but are you sure? Are you truly being 100% honest with yourself?

If I’m being honest with you I can say throughout my professional life there’s been many times when I looked really deep I gymowner, business coaching, fitness business coachwas pretty conflicted about this.

Which I see now isn’t at all that uncommon for anyone who comes from a background of struggle.

If you grew up without money then when money flows in it’s very easy to become temporarily consumed by finance, to do what brings in more money faster.

But what started this cascade may or may not have been your true purpose, it may have been necessity.

In the last week and a half I’ve had no short of 7 former clients, friends and colleagues message me saying they’ve been feeling as though they have lost their passion, they’ve become disinterested in their work or their business.

Nearly all of them had one thing in common, they’d given up their fitness businesses through the course of the pandemic.
A couple to shift online, others to have jumped to something entirely different, and one that still has their fitness studio.

One of my favourite authors, Daniel Pink, writes in his book Drive (which you should read before you hire anyone) states, “money is a factor until it isn’t.”

Simply stated we all need a certain amount of money to satisfy our stress survival instinct.

This amount is different for everyone, it can range from the basic amount to attain a sustainable basic lifestyle or it can range to the high value deluxe lifestyle you always thought you wanted.

Either way once this amount is satisfied a subconscious psychological shift occurs.

For employees (and some of us alike) a sense of complacency kicks in, we stop striving, there’s no longer that fight or flight instinct to do so, and as such quality of product, service, work ethic, etc declines.

The second thing that happens is you may either “lose your passion” AKA you weren’t in touch with your true purpose in the first place or you charge ahead to continued and sustained growth (that is until the next “money is a factor until it isn’t” threshold is reached.)

Steve Jobs said, “I always knew when there were too many days in a row that I didn’t enjoy what I was doing that change was necessary.”

Stress, Frustration and Success all have something in common, they all can make it apparent that we may be disconnected from our purpose.

I really seen this in recent years in our industry when a certain promotional offer became all the rage, (I won’t name names, but I am sure you can figure it out, because I actually have total respect for the person that created it), it was genius, it created huge lead and cash surges…but it frustrated consumers and worse it disconnected many business owners from their true purpose.

Many wouldn’t see it because the money kept flowing.

That’s because there’s a lag.

The purpose and struggle that started the process got the rock rolling, and it was fun, but then it became more about the money than the results, the product slipped or failed to deliver. (Compounded by the very effective yet not entirely transparent marketing language.)

Still the money flowed in fast…until it stopped.

And when it did many found themselves in freefall, with no safety net. 

For every action there is any equal but opposite reaction, easy come easy go.

More recently the pandemic exacerbated this environment…especially for our industry.

Drastic operational constraints, poor financial preparedness = exponential failure.

But we adapt…and survive. Or some did.

But it’s left many broken.

If you left your studio behind you might be finding yourself unhappy.

If you still have your studio you might be finding yourself uncertain.

I can say without fail that some of my highest earning years I was very disconnected from my purpose, wealthier and unhappier.

This last year and a bit has been hard on everyone, radical shifts have happened really fast which created many radical decisions. Sometimes both emotional and irrational.

So many small businesses were destroyed, our industry was hit so hard, and the worst I think is so many heroes, people like yourself whose true purpose is to enrich others have been pushed away, or are jaded and uncertain about what will happen next.

Becoming a father had this effect on me, I am now more self-aware than ever about my own sense of purpose and when my actions have strayed from my purpose.

Maybe this is my way of offering fatherly advice to you, that if you’ve found yourself unhappy, uncertain or unsure of how you feel about your current career situation it’s time to sit down and really get in touch with and identify your purpose.

If your sense of purpose is far from or misaligned with your current day to day career activity then you need to make some decisions about how to shift that (often easier said than done.)

But if there’s one thing that’s for certain…

If the finance is not aligned with your purpose it’s not worth continuing to pursue.

Sure for the short term you may need to out of necessity but I can tell you without fail any time you become too disconnected from your purpose the finance will have a ceiling (and usually a significant decline thereafter.)

And when you are aligned with your true purpose the finance will flow freely (and matter less ironically) and continue to grow until you reach the next threshold where you must again decide, am I aligned with my true purpose?

If you’ve read this far and you left your studio and feeling very underwhelmed in your current career choice, maybe it’s time to revisit that. It’s clear that the barrier to entry of starting a new business is now currently lower than any time I’ve ever seen in my lifetime. Over this coming “peak season” (September to May) I see massive demand incoming…that is as long as the headlines aren’t overwhelmed by more fear mongering.

If you’ve jumped online and are or aren’t having some success you may find yourself questioning. The relationships aren’t the same, for many it doesn’t satisfy what your brick and mortar community did.

Or you may be realizing that being a ripple amongst the waves of the likes of Peleton, Mirror, Apple Fitness, Noom and every other corporate fitness brand is a scary place to be, it requires a different skill set entirely.

Or maybe you still have your studio, you’ve held on, but you’re exhausted from navigating an unprecedented climate and finding it hard to know where to apply your focus and if you’re still on the right path. To you I would say you made it this far, it’s time to reflect back to business year 1, why did you do what you did then and do you still feel that way deep down underneath all the unprecedented and unfair stress?

Or maybe none of this applies to you…that in the midst of so much change you’ve just found yourself in a place where you are not certain what your purpose is. (Weirdly this is where I found myself before my first son was born, that drastic and unexpected change to life really made me begin to question everything and ask the big question of what do I really want?)

Age is wonderful thing in the wisdom it provides, and I’m still convinced the fitness industry is the best industry in the world, if it weren’t for my young sons and my deep desire to flexible and present for them I would be re-opening a studio this fall.

I see massive demand for small scale private (very small group or one-on-one) training. I miss the small close knit community bubble we created.

But alas my purpose has grown from that which our studios instilled, I’m as determined as ever to enrich lives but only in ways that allows me to first be present for my boys always.

I do this now in 2 ways:

  1. By creating, sourcing and distributing chemical free products for families, the very reason my boys exist.
  2. Using the wisdom of my experience to help business owners use data and systems to create strategic decision making, and create rock solid sustainability no matter the world circumstances.

Just writing that brings a smile to my face, but this is about you, so what is your purpose?

Thanks for sharing this time, I hope it leaves you thinking, if so mission accomplished.

Until next time.

The Whole Summer Deal

It’s nice to see the world returning to normal in the wake of this bizarre pandemic! It’s only now in most parts of Canada all the Covid restrictions are falling away.

I finally see the trend developing that should see advanced recovery in a lot of industries in the coming months (namely the fitness industry)

So I just wanted to reach out today because well….it’s July.

July typically is the most poorly attended month of the year (followed by December) maybe it’s not that way everywhere but anywhere that has 4 seasons I’ve noticed this to be true.

It’s also a time of year that’s it’s more challenging typically to create a steady stream of new trials (not always but if you weren’t gearing up for this season that’s fairly typical.)

So what should you be doing in July?

1) Think ahead to September. We all know September post Labour Day is a key time for people to start thinking about their own routines. I’d argue it’s the true beginning to our 9 month peak season (not January.)

This is where the “Whole Summer Deal” ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​came in. 

We found there were still plenty of people throughout the summer that were looking to get started and take their health more seriously (in fact many of the “get in shape for summer” pundits still hope they can accomplish that even this late in the game.)

The commonality with these consumers is getting started needs to address one very specific fear, “I don’t want to waste money on time I am not going to use…maybe I should wait until September.”

We found most people typically holiday for about 2-3 weeks through the course of the summer, so on average we tried to offer up about 4 weeks of service free as part of the Whole Summer Deal. For most this made it attractive enough for them to commit now and get started because they really had nothing to lose. (This is for brand new clients only of course, and not applicable to exiting memberships.)

There’s a variety of ways you can package this, it can be the whole summer at a greatly reduced cost as your outward promotion.

Internally as time ticks away you may need to alter the deal to reflect. The goal was always to have an aggressive promotion to get people in our system now with the goal of having a renewal plan for just after Labour Day as this always fit people’s commitment cycle.

A pro-tip we often was to price the deal aggressively, but not as aggressive as we might have been willing, in addition to the price point as a selling feature to help close the deal when we met with prospects was to explain that we also offered them a reimbursement for any time missed on this particular program (which basically made it a no brainer) but the key is that reimbursement came by way of a renewal onto a long term program in the fall.

It’s never about the first sale, it’s always about the long-term value of the customer.

Here’s a copy & paste example of one of our old emails for this promotion:

Notes about promo:


  1. We always began offering this somewhere in mid June through to the middle of July, the price was typically about 1 month price X 1.3
  2. As a general rule the agreement stated this program would automatically renew in September at our ongoing month-to-month price (typically unlimited) and as a courtesy we would contact the customer right after Labour Day weekend prior to billing them (this is a key time for people to return to fitness, so often many would first hesitate then sometimes ask for the courtesy to delay the start one week until kids were firmly back to school, this always boded well for us to ensure they continued come September.)


Subject lines:


Subject 1 – Summer Already?! Special offer inside 😉 

SUB 2 – Whole summer one low price (For A Limited Time)

SUB 3 – In case you missed this…(Big savings for you.)


Send the same email 3 times with the above subject lines.



Can you believe it’s summer already!? 

Doesn’t the first half of the year just seem to fly by? 

The weather is finally getting nicer. People are walking, biking, swimming and playing outside. 

Have you ever said “I don’t need my gym membership in the summer because I’m going to be more active outside?” 

I hear this all the time, and while people generally have really good intentions about this, it doesn’t usually work the way we want it to. 

It’s not even necessarily that people are less active, it’s just that we eat and drink a lot of extra empty calories in the summer. 

Ice cream, drinks on the patio and lots of bbq. You can relate right? 

With all these extra empty calories it doesn’t take long before we’re consuming more calories than we can burn by just being active outside in the summer months. 

That’s why I went to the boss and told him we have to help! We have to help people stay accountable in the summer to their goals. 

After some tough convincing, and a lot of back and forth emails, we came to an amazing agreement 🙂 

I have a special offer for new clients to find a workout program that will work for the summer! 

If you act fast I can offer you the whole summer, that’s from the day you sign up until August 31st for just a 1 time fee of $199(Your price). After the summer you’ll continue at our best unlimited VIP rate 🙂 

The best part of this deal is everything we do is backed by an unconditional 30 day money back guarantee. If you don’t absolutely love boot camp in the first 30 days we will refund your money.

That’s unlimited boot camp sessions + accountability and nutrition support for 2 whole months for just $199(Your price) 

Do you know what you can accomplish with this type of workout/support in 2 months? If you workout as often as you can and follow our nutrition guidance (while still indulging in a few summer treats) you are going to see some big changes. You’ll see changes in your energy levels, you’ll sleep better and you’re going to see some changes on the scale or in your clothing as well! 

Who doesn’t want to buy a new fall outfit?! 

Don’t miss out on this great opportunity, it’s only going to be around for a couple of days! 

Reply to this email or text me today at (your phone) before time runs out! 


Be #Unstoppable 



The Fine Print – Only new clients and first time participants are eligible for this offer, no purchase is necessary and it may not be combined with any other offer unless otherwise stated. May not be applied to, combined with or replace current active trials or memberships of any kind. 

2) Spend a little more on marketing in the summer. Look I know, Facebook etc, not like it used to be, but regardless in the summer months there’s more noise. People have many distractions, your message needs to be delivered more times to move them to action, this means your lead cost will be higher so to continue to acquire an adequate number of leads you are going to need to be advertising more not less. (This is why we use the Quarterly Business Review with my clients to track our average lead and customer costs so we can anticipate these costs quarter to quarter and budget accordingly.

3) This is a great time to review your operational policies. Every summer, but I’d say this summer more than ever, if you are not yet brimming with activity it’s a really good time to review your ops manuals. Fix any small problems that have developed, update and replace redundant policies because if you ever hope to step away from or create an exit in your business it’s this one document that will make or break that opportunity!

I’ve certainly seen a number of my clients are having an unusually busy summer as a result of the “pandemic” seemingly subsiding once and for all, it’s really great news to see consumer demand return in this fashion, and the best part, mark my words this will be magnified once we return to the normal seasonal trend cycle for our business.

Of course there will be new problems (like massive amounts of new competition com​ing) but more on that later!​​​​​​​​​​

Hope you are well, remember I am always here to help!


P.S. Now that I can see a trend developing I’m cautiously taking a few new coaching clients. Coaching with me is different, I work closely with each individual, I don’t force you to operate in the same box as everyone else, it’s inefficient so I only service a handful of dedicated individuals. Sound like you? Click if you’d like more details on a business coaching consultation: ​

How-to Keep You Clients Longer

We often talk about how to “get more leads” for your personal training business or fitness studio, but if nobody ever left would you need as many leads?

Truth is the most powerful marketing strategy in fitness or in anything else is retention hands down. (You thought I was going to say results didn’t you?)

Ironically though results are important (and to a degree essential for any of this to work) results are never actually at the top of the list for most clients when it comes to why they stay with a service.

If you doubt this, just think about your own behaviours, the things you pay for, do or are a part of.

Truth is we’re most likely to stick with something we enjoy. To enjoy something, results are a component, but equally or more important is the sense of community, belonging, acknowledgment and recognition and more.

IN my own personal training career I experienced this first hand, it wasn’t unusual for me to maintain clients for multiple years. And; even when they would leave they’d often return months and years later to work with me again. My longest standing client was more than eight years (and that’s because I stopped training people at that point) and now nearly 8 years later since I stopped training people I will still get sporadic inquiries from past clients wondering if I’d work with them again or if I can suggest someone for them.

Master this and you will have true sustainability in your business no matter what the world throws at you!

In this video I put together some of the best tips and ideas and lay out for you the critical components that you must do to maintain the relationship with your clients through year 1, 2, 5 and beyond.

If you like it I hope you’ll subscribe! (Just click here to subscribe

The 5X25 Fitness Marketing Model

I’ve always preached that you need to be, “fishing in multiple ponds,” when it comes to generating enough leads to successfully grow your fitness business (or any business for that matter.)

So something I’ve always taught my clients is what I call the “5X25 Fitness Marketing Model.”

You see we live in a time where online is so easy and appealing, because it’s quick and easy.

And then days happen like recently where both Facebook and Instagram were down for a good part of the day.

Not to mention that both of these platforms are becoming exponentially more expensive, competitive and consumers are just getting flogged with so many offers that the responsiveness of these campaigns is becoming more unpredictable.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying you shouldn’t be advertising on Facebook, in fact I’m certain for most it’s still where the largest portion of their fitness marketing budget will go.

But…you need to be beyond Facebook.

In fact I’d even argue that when you utilize multiple channels well they will all even work better making your cost per lead and marketing ROI dramatically drop.

In this video I explain the 5X25 Fitness Marketing Model, simply put we want to be drawing at least 25 leads from 5 different sources each month, so this way if one or more fail our business doesn’t stall.

While others freak out that Facebook or whatever is down or not working, you’ll continue to grow and in times where adaptation is needed you’ll be able to take your time and do it right!

Hope this helps!

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Email Marketing For Personal Trainers in 2019

“Email marketing doesn’t work for personal trainers!”

I seem to hear this a lot late, but this statement couldn’t be more false.

In fact there’s a reason it’s not working for many (and one I’ve even fallen prey to from time to time.)

Your content isn’t good enough.

In the midst of all the day to day hustle, the million things that pull you in, what feels like, thousands of direction it’s hard to make time to generate truly good content.

And let’s face it, we live in the “delegation world.”

Over these most recent years everything has been about speed, about outsourcing, and there’s some pretty compelling services out there that make it easy to let go of the reins, heck the stuff they provide is often even pretty informative and well written.

There’s just one problem…

There’s no soul, no life, character or personality…namely yours.

I’m happy to tell you I’ve never send you anything I didn’t write.

For a time I used a fair amount of ghost written content for my fitness studios to allow me to focus, but over time I could see the responsiveness of my lists on the decline.

Even with you my trainers and fitness professionals, at times where I’ve been overloaded or stressed my content became a little more robotic, less from the heart and truly that just doesn’t fly.

In fact it’s probably why you’re saying email marketing for personal trainers doesn’t work!

But I’ve got good news, it does, and it will be easier than you think to re-ignite your email list.

First if you’re using a pre-generated newsletter, kill it.

If you’re using outsources content stop.

Start with just once a week and write something from the heart, don’t worry if it’s not earth shattering education, just write from the heart.

Your clients, subscribers and team like to hear from YOU, they bought into YOU, so be you.

Don’t make it “I” focused, but do express your vision, what you’re excited about, what’s rolling around in that marble of yours on top of your shoulders.

Yes, make it relevant to your desired field, just don’t feel like you have to always be a scholar.

Recipes are still amazing, but try to focus on ones you’ve actually tried or legitimately want to try.

And when sending a recipe my favourite thing to do is send it on Saturday morning, because if you’re like me the weekend affords more time to try something new.

And because I know a lot of people just skim their inbox (I know I do) I like to start these emails with, “Just want you to know I appreciate you, and here’s a recipe my family and I are trying this weekend.”

So even if you don’t open it, well you know my intentions are clear.

Try to do this for a couple of weeks, and now we’ve set the stage to deliver an offer, it’s time for you to watch the video below.

In it I outline exactly how I structure my email campaigns. Always 4 emails, always start Sunday (or Monday on a long weekend) at 4 PM, and always written to what I call the 3 personalities.

  1. The Impulse Buyer
  2. The Analyst (yep that’s me)
  3. Eyore (yep you read that right, not a Pooh fan?)

Follow these steps and you’re going to be saying, “email marketing for personal trainers works just fine in 2019!”


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