A long-term career in fitness is a calling. Successful trainers are not born; they are forged from hard work, grit and determination. The trainers that last are committed to excellence and a drive to never stop learning and growing. Here are three things that all successful trainers are constantly working on.

1. Their Craft. Successful trainers develop a philosophy of training and work to master it throughout their careers. The willingness to continue learning by taking continuing education courses and certifications, get coaching and building a skillset is crucial. More importantly, successful trainers learn to apply that knowledge appropriately to the unique human being in front of them at that moment. Dig into the latest research, be committed to evidence-based training and be able to back up why you do what you do.

2. Their Coaching. Successful trainers understand that creating desired outcomes for their clients is as much art as science. They understand there can be a significant difference between “trainer” and “coach.” Trainers understand the mechanics of exercise science and how to properly apply them. Coaches understand that successful outcomes go beyond mechanics to mindset, relationship and influence. To its credit, the fitness industry is waking up to that fact. At the next industry event you attend, you are very likely to see presentations and workshops on behavior change and modification, improving communication skills and emotional intelligence. Adding these to your skillset will help you grow personally and professionally.

3. Their Cash. Successful trainers take care of their money. According to Payscale.com, the average hourly pay for a personal trainer is $19.11, or roughly $40,000 per year. Thirty years ago, that was a decent living; today not so much. To grow your income, you will need to invest some of your pay into continuing education and career development. Open a bank account dedicated to your education and set aside a percentage of your income into it, every time you get paid. Take a personal finance course. Learn how to invest. Work on reducing debt. If you currently own a gym you know cash flow counts. If you dream of opening your own gym or studio down the road, start saving now. Maximizing every dollar matters.

Personal training is a high calling. It’s more than sets and reps, it’s about changing lives. The industry needs you to be successful. Focus on the “Three C’s” and create a fulfilling and lasting career.

Dean Carlson is a certified Profit First Professional and in 2016 founded Fit For Profit, providing fitness business owners with the coaching and tools they need to manage their cash easily and keep more of their hard-earned money. His experience as a gym owner came full circle in 2018 when he sold his award-winning gym Get Fit NH for seven-figures. He is passionate about helping fitness entrepreneurs stop worrying about finances and start building the business of their dreams.