Are You Mindful of the Economy?

by Phil Kaplan

More millionaires than ever in prior history grew out of the Great Depression.  More Fitness Professional successes can come out of this period in history than ever before!

Some personal trainers will laugh, invest, enjoy, build, grow, develop, and prosper.  Most won’t.

In this exploratory brief, I’ll help you understand why.

The lines are so clear between “those who will” and “those who won’t,” but I have always struggled to find what, precisely, “the lines” are made of.  I’m referring to the separation between personal fitness trainers who will achieve some modicum of success, and those who will complain about “the industry” and its unwillingness to provide.

When I spend 5 minutes speaking with a personal trainer, I can tell which side of the line he or she will land on.  I can tell by language, attitude, outlook, perspective, body language, eye contact, and expressed passion.  The challenge is one of qualification.  Absent of the 5 minute conversation, what is the “thing,” the element, the “stuff” that serves as the separating force?

Over the years I’ve called it The X-Factor, or simply referred to it as “the Right Stuff.”  Although I inherently understood it, I struggled with expressing the distinction in an absolute form.  I couldn’t seem to narrow it down to a defining attitudinal trait or a specific mannerism.

Now, as we embark upon 2009, “the industry” is not the only villain the also-rans are willing to indict.  Now they have a larger foe.  It’s a massive enemy.  The news media presents this invader, this destroyer of the human condition, as unstoppable in its torturous onslaught. It’s . . . THE ECONOMY!!!!

It's time for those personal trainers who are financially strained and would like to "turn things around" to gain some new perspective. Let's answer the following question.

Who suffers in a crippled 21st century economy? 

  • Retailers who rely on credit will suffer.  The retail marketplace typically rides the Holiday Season by offering credit terms including attractive phrases such as “same as cash,” “interest free,” or “no payments until . . . . “  The challenge lies in extending credit when the banks and creditors have empty drawers.  Only the strongest or most creative retailers will weather the storm. 
  • Manufacturers who sell exclusively through retailers are also going to experience radical shifts in volume.  As the retail traffic diminishes, so too must the supply which at one time might have exceeded demand.  Cost cutting leads to job losses, and the snowball effect is inevitable. 
  • Luxury item sellers will feel the economic tightening.  The super luxury items, such as yachts, may continue to sell, but as public awareness shifts to preservation, everything from high end Harleys to high end watches will suffer reduced consumption.  Ditto for high end purses and $50 socks.  The consumer will make conservative choices and realize the absurdity in paying more for a name or prestige in areas where it’s rarely recognized. 
  • Large “life” purchases requiring mortgages are going to become increasingly scarce as we compound the mistakes financial institutions will now pay for with the mortgage crisis affecting property values. 
  • There is one more large group who is destined to find suffering amidst the economic spiral.  This group is a volunteer group, although the members may not acknowledge their voluntary status.  The group is comprised of individuals who buy into the negative talk and fail to shift to accommodate the changing climate.

Who need not suffer at all during a global economic downturn? 

  • Fitness Professionals need not suffer.  They may have to work a bit harder, they may have to reposition themselves a bit, they may have to form new strategic alliances, and they might find extreme benefit in an enhanced education as to how to better serve the present population, but this is an ideal time for committed fitness professionals to prosper.

The “line,” the distinction I referred to earlier, is not crystal clear.  It is an attitudinal expression, one that reveals itself in language and thought.  Those who are going to face struggle and challenge pursue their careers with the following thought:

"I want to be a personal trainer"

Those who are destined to prosper pursue their careers with:

"I’m going to earn a living as a personal trainer"

The distinction may sound simplistic, but it’s incredibly telling.  The individual who sets out to be a personal trainer can wave his or her flag as soon as certification and a client base are secured.  The goal has been met.  The dream may not have been, but the aspiration has met an end.  If thrilling outcomes fail to manifest, the inherent attitude is, “I did my part.  I got certified and got clients.”  Somehow the universe is then supposed to deliver prosperity.  I’ve met the universe.  It doesn’t deliver.

If you commit to earning a living, to finding true prosperity in the noble and rewarding field of personal training, you realize the certification process is nothing more than an entry, and the acquisition of clients is an ongoing requirement that begets new opportunities.  Only when you learn to maximize and build upon those opportunities can you step into the world of prosperity.

My Be Better Project was designed to embrace the desires of those trainers who seek prosperity.  It has nothing to do with instant riches.  It’s a pure and credible curriculum structured so your energy output brings you extreme reward. It is challenging. It is strategic. It is proven

If you’ve decided to blame “the economy,” you’ll likely find some commiserative comfort in that blame. 

If, like the few who command prosperity, you’ve decided to be all that you’re capable of, I can teach you how to build a forever clientele, how to grow your business in a manner that feels effortless, how to position yourself as a “need” not a luxury, and how to find compensation directly in line with your value. The bottom line is, the committed personal trainers who have become a part of my Be Better project understand their careers as vehicles to prosper. They are different. They land on the right side of the line. They posses confidence, certainty, and power.

If you want to find out more about my Be Better Project, email me with the Subject Line, “I Want to Be Better” and I'll respond to schedule a 10-minute telephone conversation.

In 2009, I’m working ONLY with 100 fitness professionals, and they’re all connected by the principles I’ve developed that lie at the root of Personal Training Prosperity and The Be Better Project.  If you believe you might want to be a part of this group, having me as your personal coach, and connecting with like-minded fitness professionals who are all committed to their “livings,” email me at and include a phone number.  I’ll have someone call you to set up a time that you and I can discuss your future.

- Phil Kaplan

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