Twenty years ago. January 1997 (I’m not positive of the date). I started my fitness career with an internship at Gold’s Gym in Danbury, CT.
Wow! That seems so long ago!!
It’s kinda fun to sit back and reflect on those days…
I’ve seen a lot of things over the last two decades in the fitness industry.
There have been tons of fad diets, gimmick exercise program, and an unholy amount of pills, powders and potions making all kinds of miracle cure claims.
I can say with 100% certainty, our 6-week 20-pound Challenge is built on principles that have stood the test of time.
I’ve also seen a LOT of personal trainers come and go. Sadly, the average career lifespan of a personal trainer is estimated to be somewhere between 1 and 3 years.
I’m so happy and grateful that I’ve been able to stick to my career choice and make a living doing what I love.
You know, there was actually a time when I didn’t think it was going to work…
That was in the fall of 2001.
After working for a couple different companies I found what I thought at the time would be THE company to work for the rest of my life. It was definitely different than the other health clubs I’d checked out or worked for. I could see a real career there…
But, it didn’t just happen on it’s own. Much like getting in shape doesn’t just happen just by joining a gym. ;-b
The funny thing is, I was meeting the goals that were given to me and I was performing towards the “top of the class” less than a year in.
HOWEVER, the goals I was going after weren’t MY goals. Not that they were bad. But achieving them didn’t meet my WANTS. I suppose they satisfied my basic NEEDS, but that’s not really living in my opinion.
So came another BIG LESSON in goal setting and achievement for me. The previous big one was probably competing in my bodybuilding competitions in college. I learned a LOT from that.
I needed to set a goal that actually meant something to ME, and I needed to “attach” a big enough WHY to it so nothing could stop me from achieving it…
I’ll never forget sitting in my girlfriend’s (at the time) kitchen saying, “I don’t know if I can do this anymore. The hours are brutal, and I’m not making enough money to LIVE life.”
NOTE: The average personal trainer today makes about $37,000/year, but sadly they generally work 6 days per week for about 10+ hours per day, and can’t really take vacation because a) they can’t afford it, b) if they’re not training they’re not making money. Do the math and the dollars per hour aren’t much higher than what the person at the front desk swiping cards makes…not that there’s anything wrong with working the front desk, but with a fitness degree and student loan debt, not what most trainers are looking for.
I remember saying in quite the defeated voice,
“I don’t want to be that person who is paying off school loans working a job that has nothing to do with what he went to school for.”
Then, in quite the determined (possibly pissed off) voice I said, “I don’t want to do anything else. This is what I love. I have to figure out how to make a GOOD living doing it!”
And, THAT is when things changed for me.
I had a burning DESIRE and I had a strong WHY.
I didn’t know HOW I was going to do it, but I knew I HAD to do it…
Long story short, I CRUSHED my goals and became the #1 selling personal trainer in the United States for the company – a pretty significant accomplishment for a company of that size!
I don’t share this to impress you in any way. I want to impress upon you the importance and POWER of setting meaningful goals.
I’ve used that lesson over and over again since then to do a lot of things in and out of the fitness industry. I’ve helped countless clients, trainers and now other fitness entrepreneurs achieve their goals and change their lives.
It’s been a true blessing. 🙂
Helping others achieve their goals is a real passion of mine. In fact, a couple years ago I wrote out my purpose statement:
I use my knowledge, experience & awareness to educate, motivate & inspire people who are willing to HAVE FAITH & TAKE ACTION!Ⓡ to achieve a level of success they previously only dreamed of.
I know it’s a little wordy. I suppose the gist of it is, I love helping people achieve their goals.
Justin Yule, BS, CPT, MTE, FMSC
President and Chief Transformation Officer
The Transformation Club
P.S. – Clearly I’m no longer working for that company. In 2009 I decided I needed to change directions and do my own thing. That’s an entirely different story, but once again it was a MEANINGFUL GOAL that was the catalyst…