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Session #018 - How to Switch From Corporate to Become a Personal Trainer

Show notes:

You know, at Invictus we have had trainers join us from all sorts of backgrounds.

And many trainers have come from a more corporate position in an area that relates to the area of study from their university days.

And for a lot of trainers that we interview, more and more are coming from a corporate position and really want to make a change but are often not sure how to go about it.

So I thought, having helped quite a few trainers make the move, I would give you some tips around this.

So the first thing that you need to decide on is if you really want to make this switch to personal training. It is a big decision to make.

You might have spent most of your life studying and working in an area that you will now be giving up.

So don’t take it lightly.

To help you think about this here are some of the best things about working as a personal trainer.

And first up is that you get to follow your passion.

A lot of trainers get into this field as they love training and the lifestyle that they have created and they want more.

More time in the gym, more time around like minded people.

And when you’re doing something you love, then it will hardly ever feel like ‘work’.

And I think most people would prefer working in a gym more than an office.

Because everyday is slightly different. You have a different mix of clients and goals and challenges.

Also, personal training is a very social job. You meet new people all the time in a much better environment than a stuffy office or even cubicle.

Next up is that you get to really make an impact. A direct visible real-time impact.

You get to help people become a better person version of themselves. You see them achieve milestones, learn and master new skills and gain new perspectives.

And that is an amazing feeling for trainers when that happens.

It’s a really rewarding job to have, which is why so many people are looking to get started.

Now, depending on what type of trainer you are you can have a lot of flexibility with your working hours. This flexibility also becomes more of a factor as you become more successful as people will be willing to work more around you than you are around.

This is a common trap that some trainers fall into at the beginning.

Being able to work on your terms, even if it is a while after getting started is something that you will never be able to do in the corporate world.

Now don’t get me wrong. Nothing is perfect. And personal training definitely is not.

You can probably kiss goodbye to all the benefits your large corporation gave you like insurance or even free food which some places give.

You’ll need to start taking care of your health and investments on your own from now on.

And if you’re a freelance trainer, all your taxes. And that is truly, completely boring.

But also really important! Like, essential!

Sometimes you'll work yourself too hard and not take time off. Not because you’re not allowed to or can not take days off. But because you will feel a responsibility to your client and won’t want to let them down.

When you’re starting off you will get clients that you really do not like spending time with. They will skip sessions, be late paying and waste a lot of your time and effort.

There are ways to prevent this from happening, but nothing is 100% fool proof and new trainers especially never think of these things and how to avoid them when starting off.

For some reason a lot of trainers think they will be able to work with athletes, celebrities or really good looking clients that are really driven and have no obstacles or issues or resistance to the process of reaching their own goals.

99% definitely is not!

Sounds silly, but that is the reality, and it is also where you really learn as a trainer.

And the one that probably matters the most is that, as you start, you will probably earn less than the corporate job you have had for the last say 5 years.

Let’s be honest, though. Expecting the same cash in a new area where you are basically a fresher again isn’t really going to happen.

And this is what scares many people into not making the switch.

Starting all over again….and with less money.

It can be pretty scary unless you have a good amount of savings to cover those first few months.

So here is a way to do it that has worked for many trainers over the last 10 years.

And, to be honest, it isn’t difficult.

It can take time.

And it might take quite a bit of work.

But it will be worth it.

First off, you need to find your magic number.

Your magic number is basically what you need to earn each month to take care of all your basic needs with a little bit on top just in case.

Your rent, EMI’s, food, travel, bills like electricity and internet. All that kind of stuff.

So let’s say you’re a single girl or guy as it is more complex if you’re married with kids.

So, you’re single, living alone and your magic number is 20,000 rupees.

Here is what I recommend if you can not find a position that pays you enough from day 1.

Start off working part-time around your current job. Give yourself a couple of months with the aim of handing in your notice after 1 or 2 months.

Set yourself a deadline either way or the whole process can and probably will drag on.

Start off trying to get people already in your network like friends and family that can be paying clients so you can get started.

You can build some confidence and start earning some money towards the 20k that you need to reach your magic number.

Make sure you save this extra cash! This is bonus money you don’t need right now, so keep it safe.

So you will be working some long hours basically with 2 jobs. But remember, it will be worth it!

As you build this up using referrals (check out the last session which was number 17 and all about referrals) and by the time you hand your notice in and quit your full-time job you will hopefully be earning the amount you need to meet your basic needs.

Plus, with that extra that you earned in the meantime that you saved, you also have that little bit of a cushion.

Once all that is in place, you now have free time to continue as a freelance trainer, or you can start looking for a position in a gym.

And that’s it!

Like I said, pretty simple.

But not easy.

You just need to get started with a couple of clients so that you can start earning an extra 20K a month, or whatever you magic number is, so you know when you make the switch you can cover expenses.

And in the meantime, save that extra money as a cushion.

Then, finish off your previous job so you now have more time to keep building your client base.

You can also do the same thing but have your part-time work employed in a gym. You can move to being a full time trainer at the same gym and keep all your clients and build from there.

You just need to check for good gyms that will be willing to work this way with you. And it’s something we have done with trainers many times at Invictus.

In fact, we are doing it right now with a new trainer called Deva.

So, there are 2 ways that you can make the change to go from your corporate job to a full time trainer living your passion.

Like I said, it takes some long hours and some patients, especially at the beginning.

But it’s all worth it.

Because, one of the best things about being a trainer is that there is no limit to what you can do, if you’re good at it.

You can increase your prices, fill your calendar, create a team, open a studio, reach scale online, and slowly get to a better place that would take years to do in the corporate world.

You need a raise?…go get another client or increase your prices.

You can easily earn more than waiting for that annual increment each year.

At Invictus, we have regularly had trainers earning more than their previous corporate job within 2 or 3 months. Within a year, they are far beyond that previous package.

It’s tough, but it will be worth it, if you know you’re making the right decision in the first place.


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