Episode 14: Brett Interviews Industry Expert Justin Tamsett (Trends)

In this episode of the Fiit Professional Podcast Brett & Justin discuss the following:justin tamsett

  • Where is the fitness industry heading and how this will effect every Personal Trainer and how you can take ADVANTAGE of these trends
  • The concept of NEWISM and how this applies to your Fitness Business
  • Virgin consumers (no this has nothing to do with Richard Branson
  • A logical way on how to decide whether or not the Health & Fitness Industry is for YOU or not.

Justin owns and runs Active Management, and has 24 years experience within the Fitness Industry.

You can check out his website here.

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WARNING: the strategies you are about to learn, WILL change YOUR Business and YOUR life.




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Brett Interviews Industry Expert Justin Tamsett (Trends)

Transcript of EPISODE 14:

Hello and welcome to the Fiit edition of podcast, the number one podcast for Fiit Professionals looking to build their fitness business. If you’re after more clients, more income and more free time then you’ve come to the right place. Visit podcast.fiitprofessionals.com.au today.

Brett: Hello and welcome to another fit edition on podcast. I’m your host Brett Campbell and today I have another special guest with me, another industry leading expert, buy the name Justin Tamsett. Now you may have heard of him if you’re in the fitness industry. You should of have heard of him, if you haven’t heard of him, you will have right now, and you will go and investigate more about this gentleman when we’ve finished the call no doubt.

Let me give you a quick little introduction as to who Justin is and we will let him come on in and see what else he has to say about himself. So why Justin Tamsett is recognised worldwide. Forth leader who challenges the status quo for his fitness industry. He is a highly sort after speaker. He’s quickly going to share how his strategies can be implemented immediately. He has presented in over 15 countries and has hundreds of clubs who have members of active management that receive monthly education that will improve their business. So Justin, thank you very much for taking time out of your busy schedule and welcome to the Fiit Professional podcast.

Justin:   Thanks for inviting me Brett. It’s a pleasure to be here.

Brett:    Excellent mate. So I guess a couple of things here Justin. Now, you’ve probably got some many interesting things about yourself that obviously I didn’t pull out of the sky there. Firstly Justin give us a bit of a background about who you are and also a little bit about productive management and how does that help the fitness industry.

Justin:   Yes, okay, let’s start with my background. Probably like 99.9% of the people listening to these podcasts, I was once a personal trainer. Where that be a good thing or bad thing Brett, I’m not sure. But I was one and eventually….’

Brett: I have a question for you, sorry to interrupt, but did you, where you a personal trainer in the bum bag era?

Justin: what era?

Brett: The bum bag, called the fanny pack. Whatever they’re called.

Justin: Oh Yes. Was I? No, I was before the bum bag. I was…

Brett: Oh Jeez.

Justin: I was in the parachute material, tracksuit pants, where you’d tuck your tracksuit pants into your socks

Brett: Ah nice, we need to bring that back

Justin: Yes, yeah, no we don’t

Brett: Right go ahead, go ahead. I’m interrupting you,

Justin: So I actually started as a gym floor instructor while I was at uni. And I read a book which I recommend most personal trainers to read. This is called: ‘Going Solo’ by Dr Douglas Brookes. And it was a great book. It sort of inspired me to become a personal trainer. It didn’t tell me a couple of things like cancellation fees and coming up with a good name for your business and that sort of stuff. But I launched a PT business and pretty quickly worked out that personal training really wasn’t my bag. it didn’t gel with my personality style and I worked out that I love the fitness industry but yeah, not as a PT. cause the thing is it takes a, and I don’t mean things disrespectfully, a special person to be a personal trainer and a very special person to be a great persona trainer and it just, it wasn’t what I wanted to do. SO I needed up moving back to gym floor, and from gym floor into sales, sales into club management and then from club management to owning one club, and then owning two clubs, then owning one club and  now currently owning no clubs. Now, I like to say I was, well I’d like to think anyway. The things I say, whether people believe me or not is another thing. But I as an exceptional one club owner, and a shithead two club owner. When I was growing up, and maybe for a lot of the people listening today. It was, it was almost a unsaid truth that the bigger you were the better you were, the more locations you had then more successful you were, So I was under the believe that I need to have thousands and thousands of members and I needed to have multiple locations, and this is back in the early 1990’s. Looking back at it now, it was probably one of my biggest mistakes in doing that, because, you can be just one club, or one PT studio or a personal trainer and be highly successful. I look back on it now and I go, we were all ego based, ego driven. owning tow businesses what probably the biggest mistake I ever made, or it was the best thing I ever did because it taught me that I didn’t need to have multiple locations, and I didn’t’ need to do all this to be happy and to be successful.

Brett: excellent mate, some really good points out of there and I’m going to touch on those in a moment. If you could try and just give us a little bit of background about what happened from that, I guess that moment when you decided that PT was no longer for you  to now doing what you’re doing and now educating thousands of personal trainers. So where was that, where did you peak away from.  Where was that?

Justin: Well I guess I was at uni learning to be a PE teacher, and I kind of, I really enjoyed teaching. I loved teaching. And the difference for me was, when I was a PT in a gym as a gym instructor or working as a personal trainer, people wanted to be there. And they’d pay me money to be there, as when I was learning to be a school teacher I was these kids don’t always want to be there or not all of them want to be here. Certainly the abuse you got from the crowd or someone on the gym floorislovely abuse as appose to the abuse as you sometimes got as a school teacher,. And I take my hat off to school teachers, and nurses because I think these are the toughest jobs in the world. At that point I think I kind of went, no, I want to work in the fitness industry because it’s more a positive environment, and then it took me 15 years before I worked out, actually I really enjoy teaching. I like learning, I like teaching myself and then  parting the knowledge that I’ve learnt to others so it was about 10 years ago now, that I started working part-time as a consultant and presenting,. The last 5 years I’ve been doing it full time. So my job now basically is to study consumer trends, business trends outside the fitness industry and tends like that information, the business of the consumer translates that so it’s relevant to our industry and then impart that knowledge to personal trainers, club owners and staffers of health clubs. Does that make sense?

Brett: Excellent. Yeah, totally. Basically what you’re doing is, you’re being the Warren Buffett of shares and you’re trying to forecast what’s going to happen and you’re letting some of the trainers and all the business owners of this industry know where I guess the industry is heading. Is that what you’re meaning?

Justin: Pretty much, that’s pretty close to it. I don’t necessarily like some times where the industry is heading and that’s why I try to challenge the status quo, I want were currently doing in the industry. I see a lot of, which I don’t have a problem with by the way. But I see a lot of copying of businesses and I kind of think, well if I’ve got a fitness business, and I’m looking at another personal trainer in my area and I see that they’re successful and I try to copy what they do. I only get as good as that personal trainer.

So my job that I like to look at is what’s happening outside the industry, and can our businesses subscribe to those strategies or techniques that other businesses outside the industry are using. Because my idea, if we look outside the industry we actually will grow the industry, if we keep looking within the industry we only get as good as the industry.

Brett: Couldn’t agree with you more on that point. Let’s talk about consumer trending because I am actually really interested in that myself. It’s a question I always ask if a guest on the Fiit Professional podcast where they see the fitness industry heading. But I guess your someone who’s front line of that and would have the most up-to-date information, and let’s get a world exclusive right now, and give us your understanding of where you feel the fitness industry is heading in the next 12 months or a couple of years or whatever your  projections are.

Justin: Well I think, with the upmost respect to the fitness industry. I think if you’re, we’ve got our fitness business. It could be a fitness business, it could be a studio, it could be a club and let’s call that a round whole. And then we’ve got our portion of clients, the consumers out there who are not using our products at the moment and they’re a square peg. Then we’ve got our business which is the hammer. It could be our marketing, but it is our hammer. So that hammer hits away at our square peg until we get that square peg in the round hole. Does that make sense? In order to get the square peg into the round hole, we’ve had to chip bits away from that square peg but simply with brute force of hammering it in. Now the problem with that is that, that’s no longer a square peg and there is bits of it now that’s left on the table from getting that square peg in that round hole. And those bits that are around the table, those bits are critical to keeping our customer, out client. If we had a square peg and put a square peg in that hole, then we’ve got a complete solution for our consumer. The challenge that I really see in our industry at the moment, we don’t actually meet all the needs of the customer, today’s consumer. We meet about 90% of the needs, but that’s why we don’t have 100% retention because we’ve actually made them mould into what our business is, whatever our business may be. It could be anything from the condition of membership, the conditions of PT, the terms and conditions, and they’re like. ‘What, I don’t like that’. Let’s give an example, there are a chain of gyms in Australia and they only offer monthly debits. That’s the only thing they offer. So if the consumer came in and say we, I’d like to do it fortnightly, they can’t join the team And they only debit on the first of the month. So, it’s like, what if I only wanted my debits done on my pay day which is the first Thursday of the month. ‘Naah can’t do it’. So that is an example where I think our industry is, we’ve got our rules, we’ve got our conditions and I absolutely respect that  you have rules and conditions around your business. We are not flexible and I understand that. But I think that we are too rigid and the consumers are saying, ‘well this is too hard’ .So they either don’t do anything or they go to a competitor. But I would take it as guess that most of the time they don’t go anywhere.

Brett: really good point there, that you make around the whole thing there of not really willing to budge and I guess, like you say, that thin line. For someone who is starting out in that industry can be like, what do I do? Should I do a monthly debit? Do I do a weekly debit? Etcetera.Or do I have so many options and I spread myself thin?’ If you were to give someone advise on that. What you, your main points be in regards to finding that line of too many conditions versus not enough?

Justin: Well one of the consumer treads that is worldwide, not so much relevant in the fitness industry to a certain degree but it is certainly outside the industry is a term we call ‘made for one’. With the increasing number of consumers that are trying to get through tired marketing, trying to get through brand led customisation of our product and they want to arrive at something new, something unique. What they want is a truly individualised program. They want to feel that the personal training package has been made for them. It is not something we take off the shelf.

So that’s often the way that we explain it, and the way we price  present that, and the way that we go through the process to get things started. So that they walk away thinking, ‘Wow! Brett has just made me an individualised program that no one else has’. If I feel that, if the consumer feels that, price doesn’t become relevant and neither does that fact that you may have chipped away the corners of that square peg. Because, the consumer, they’re walking away going, ‘You’ve tailored this specifically for me’. So for me, these days, you should be able to debit any day of the week, day of the month. You should be able to do it weekly, fortnightly, monthly. It doesn’t matter. It is what suits the customer. Your systems should mould around to the customer as opposed to the customer moulding around your system.  That just means that you’ve got to have a billing company. You’ve got to have a good CRM, you’ve got to take time out of being on the tools as it were, training clients and being able to work on your business around the admin side of things. The better the software, the better billing company, the less admin you’re going to have to do. So you’ve got to pay for that, but that’s an investment into your business.

Brett: Sure, so let’s, I guess look for another example because I’m curious to see how this is trend is going to fit into the industry. Now taking away the direct debits and examples, what are some other examples that you’re aware of that  personal trainers or fitness business owners may fall into a trap of?

Justin: Well I think one of the trends that is very apparent in the world at the moment, is what we call ‘virgin consumers’.

Brett: What? Richard Branson’s company?

Justin: (Laughs) No, no. you’ve got to be really careful these days when you say that because, you’re kind of waiting for someone to go; ‘That will be $100 000 because you used the word ‘virgin”.

Brett: That’s right.

Justin: So what a virgin consumer is, is someone who has never used our products before. There’s two scopes here. The first one is the concept that they’ve never trained in a gym before, they’ve never trained with a personal trainer before, so they’re total virgins. Or we’ve got this other concept called ‘youism’ and this is basically, and you would know, especially, it is every day, pretty much every hour if not every minute, there is something new being developed in the world. And what that means is it’s no longer a marketing ploy to say something is new or something is new and improved. When someone says something now it’s new and improved that’s very genuine and that’s a really exciting proposition for consumers. Because we’ve got so much new stuff, new programs, new opportunities, we have a lot of virgin consumers. So with a virgin consumer we have got to really go back to what the basics of what our product is all about. We’ve got to sell the vision around what that product is going to deliver. We’ve really got to peel everything right back to the virgin consumer and what I don’t see now in our industry at the moment is that. I see what we’re doing is actually not peeling anything back and we’re progressing further and further, which means in our marketing we’re doing, is we’re saying a lot of jargon and a lot of industry technical words used, which the consumers says ‘I don’t understand a thing you’re talking about, so this is too hard for me. I’m not interested’. Does that make sense?

Brett: Yeah, it looks, 100%. I mean, I’ve got many examples on that and one of them is, you know, back, probably about three years ago when I ran a seminar to a whole heap of gym members and the actual product itself. So what I was delivering was my self-myofascial release, so SMR. Which I know a lot of trainers who don’t even know what that is, so how’s the general public going to know what SMR is? But, how I named my seminar was ‘how to increase your flexibility without stretching’. So self-myofascial release, that’s what I thought too when I wrote it was, it took me a while but, the thing is, that is exactly what you’re going to get, what you’re going to embark on. No one wants to know that they can increase their fascia or stretch their fascia by rolling on a blue roller, or a foam roller. They want to know the results. I couldn’t agree with you more on that…and that’s, if was tough when I was there, speaking on stage talking about marketing, trying to break it down into its simplest form. That’s basically what it is. You need to be able to find the single sole benefit that this person is actually after. I was just listening to your podcasts earlier and they were talking about purchasing a nice sports car. People don’t buy the sports car to actually have the sports car. They buy it to actually have the feeling of what they’ll feel like when they’re driving in a sports car. Put their mate in it and go for a nice drive and go ‘Hey, what do you think about that?’. You’ve got to market to the benefit of that. You’ll see a TV. ad where they’re driving a nice sports car and they’ll have it focusing to what their main benefit is. They might see a hot chick walk past down the street while you’re in your hot sports car. While you’re watching the ad you don’t actually click on that woman in the ad is there for a particular reason, because of the excitement.

Justin: I agree to that 100% and I think as an industry we probably in our marketing try to make our self sound really smart, really qualified. At the same time, in the effort to give ourselves credibility, but that just disenfranchises some of our virgin consumers because they’re sitting there going ‘What the hell is an integrated nutrition and exercise program that boosts my metabolism’. We know what it means but the average person doesn’t. there’s a great example is this concept it was in Brazil in 2012 and a cruise company released an online game to consumers to win, to have a chance to winning a trip abroad on one of their big cruise liners. Massivecruiseliners. If you talk to anybody who has been on a cruise ship they go ‘Love it! Its great!’ but if you’ve never been on a cruise ship. Have you ever been on a cruise ship?

Brett: No I haven’t actually. I was supposed to go on one last year, but it was the one that caught fire.

Justin: Good reason not to.

Brett: Yeah, luckily then and not when I was on it.

Justin: well if you took anybody that has never been on one they kinda go ‘I couldn’t think of anything worse being on a ship for 8, 9, 10 days, seeing the same people. So what the company said was these people are virgin consumers and they’re uneducated. They’re making a decision not to go on a cruise ship from an uneducated perspective. So what they did they put together these online games. had 7 levels and they put these challenges on every level and the consumer, the uneducated consumer, would go on  and play this online game and by the time they got to level 7 they were then in the draw to win a trip. But now they became completely educated on what it was like to be on a cruise ship. So then they could then decide whether they did or didn’t want to go. I think that is a great example of our industry. Sometimes we do this very well, and sometimes we don’t. With trial memberships and trial exercises with a personal trainer. People say they need to get fit before they go to a gym first. What? That doesn’t make any sense, but that is what they say. They have this uneducated perspective of what happens with a personal trainer or what happens in a gym. so this online game would be perfect, or a video for people to watch the video of what actually happens in a gym, and somebody sits there and goes ‘ I could do that, I could do that  with a personal trainer. that could be me.’ and that kind of makes that virgin consumer pull back a bit, back to the basics and go ‘I could do that, I’m interested now, because I’m a bit more educated than now 5 minutes ago when I started watching that video’.

Brett: I think that the biggest issue that I’ve seen with many personal trainers is, not, the fact that they’re not good trainers. They can certainly deliver on the services, and I’m sure if we use the cruise ship. Once you get on it’s amazing. Once you’ve watched a TV. Program recommended by a mate, you’re like ‘Wow, that TV. program is great!’. Your initial thing of I’m not sure, I don’t know if I want to watch it or not. What we need to do as personal trainers in the fitness industry is how we can lead these virgin consumers through the front door. What we need, and I know through a fact in our business, that if we can get someone through our front door. we have them got them into our market funnel or the client journey, because we know that all we need to do is get in front of someone and our product and service will sell themselves. We don’t even need to sell or products or services. That’s what I think most personal trainers struggle with, is how to get people through your front door? Let’s ask you and what’s your opinion on that? How would you, what are you best methods that you’ve seen in the fitness industry that worked that can get this virgin consumers through the front door so you can then construct things that deliver a fantastic client service.

Justin: Well I think the biggest problem with marketing in the fitness industry is we are marketing like we use to market 5 years ago, 10 years ago, 20 years ago. certainly probably 5 years ago, which is we put a message out, a brochure out, whatever marketing piece we want, we put it out there. And we say, ‘Who is this talking about?’ and the club or the personal trainer will say, ‘everybody’. That to be is the biggest mistake you can make these days. That was 5 years ago you did put a marketing piece out, you put it in a letterbox and you could have no specific market. However things these days, the consumers are far more savvy and they want a message directed to them. They want the business that they are about to spend their money with to understand that they have an issue or they have a problem and that that business can solve their problems. so 5 years ago we used to be able to say how grand we were, now we’ve got to say how grand we are prepared to understand what your problems are and that we have a solution it your problems. The example I often use is, and this is not meant to be sexist at all, but I use women as a classic example. A working woman and a nonworking woman of the same age have 2 completely different needs. A working woman, who has children in day care, has completely different needs to a working woman who has children in high school or in primary school. A working woman who doesn’t have kids has completely different needs to the other 4 different types of women. so there are some core needs, sure, each one of those has different needs so if we were marketing we would really need to decide which one of those target markets we are after because if we just say we are after women in general, then the women in general are going to say ‘you’re not really talking to me, you must be talking to some other woman’. I think in our marketing, we need to be more specific. We need to really nail down our target market in a marketing piece. To me that is well instead of getting 5000 flyers printed we only need 200 printed and if we are going after 5 different markets, we get 200 printed of the 5 different markets we are going after and we are still 4000 flyers that are off, because we only got 1000 printed. In essence we can actually do, we can spend less on our marketing, but we can be far more targeted and I think that probably where our biggest problem is. We are too generic in our marketing, let’s hope everybody responds, and then nobody does.

Brett: I mean I’ve touched on that we’ve talked about this in several Fitt Professional episodes. It’s that thing that you can never talk about enough, that thing about target market, and what you’ve just touched on there, I think was a very valid point in regards to even break it down your target market and get even further, instead of getting male and female, whilst it is getting better than just having one target market of males and females. It really enables you to become specialists in your particular areas. For example, you wanted to target corporate, high level corporate females who are stressed out, overworked and not in the best shape of their lives. You would then be able to construct a copy written piece of marketing using their type of terminally, using their jargon, appealing to their main points. A lot of travel, they may do a lot of travel being in that type of industry. so one of your main points may be ‘you’re sick and tired of travelling, or living out of a suitcase?’ became that is what is going on in their heads, in their heads they’re like man I’m sick of being in every hotel, living out of a suitcase. You need to appeal to them like you’re having a conversation with them. What I mean is whenever they see your form marketing, whether it’s a Facebook ad, a google ad, a flyer, and posters. Whatever it may be. When they see that they need to be able to go ‘aah that’s me. That is exactly what I don’t like’. What it then does, it allows you obviously like you said to, hyper tag this people and you know exactly where to put these pieces of marketing. I guess on that particular point, because I know what will happen because there is going to be trainers there going ‘well I’m only getting started and I want to train everyone’. Sowhat’s your reply to that? A trainer who goes, ‘I don’t really have a target market now, I just want to train people’.

Justin: I’d say, rip in, you want to get your hands in, get your hands dirty. I’ve seen, from a brand new trainer you want to train everybody, because you might initially think, and I’m sure you’ve met trainers like this and there may be Fiit Professionals out there who were like these, that as soon as they become qualified and they have an interest in bodybuilding, then they want to train other body builders and then they quickly work out body builders aren’t really interested in personal training, aren’t really great reliable personal training clients, or they want to spend their money on supplements and not on trainers. All of a sudden they go ‘oh, geez, this isn’t the market I want’, and then they change. I don’t have a problem with them changing, I think that is actually really good, when you first start out, you train  everybody because that will help you workout who you really want to train, who you really want to help, what your niche market is. I would suggest that 12 weeks, you’re training people regularly, you know the type of client that you like to train, and then you got to make sure that that is viable for you to run your business training those people. If it’s not viable to train people who have had a knee replacement in rehab and you go, ‘well actually that’s too hard for me’, then you’ve got to say, okay well ‘I need to broaden my scope’. Sometimes that is a tough decision because if there is not even people, there’s not enough people. You can’t make them up. So you might have to make that tough decision and go ‘well I’d like to train people who have had a knee replaced, there’s not enough of them so I better get out of the industry or find a bigger niche’. I think you just go to a bigger niche.

Brett: I use the terminology, it’s the thing of being a jack of all trades, a master of man and I’ve actually, I’ve been a victim of that. Many years, my entrepreneurial years, even as a kid actually. I’d always place a lot of sports, I’d be good at a lot of sports but I was never, never had that edge to be the best at it. Because I wanted to spread myself thin and I found that that type of behaviour when I first started in business. I wanted to train everyone. I trained an 18 year old female, all the way up to a 67 year old man. It was that thing that I just wanted some clients at that time. What I, the biggest, and I will use the world cataclysmicshift thatI have ever had and if you had to look and pinpoint where in my business journey did it really start to gain attraction and go to being a solo personal trainer to a business owner. It was when I defined, and clearly defined my niche market. It was quite funny because you still have to go through all that and when I started as a personal trainer I was always told, and always read that you’ve got to find your niche market. At the time I was like that sounds all good and well, but what’s the process? I think if we were to look at some, lets I guess, look at this a little deeper and give the person out there listening to this going ‘yeah, I’m in that exact same boat now, but I don’t really know what to do’. So I will start with your first, and I will put you on the spot. What would your advice before someone who, they have an idea of the niche market but they’re not too sure which way to take it. What would you say there?

Justin: Well, my view is, you’re going to get nowhere sitting on the fence. so, if you think you know your niche, then you’re just got to jump in and put all your heart and soul into that and I think you used the phrases ‘be known as the expert in your community, in that area’. Then beautiful thing about social media and Facebook, twitter, those sorts or components of social media, it does allow you to sort of position yourself as an expert pretty quickly. You’ve just got to blog, put your Facebook status updates and focus on that niche, and that allows you that positioning pretty quickly and the more it will spread. So I think that is the first thing for me, if you want to do rehab, that’s fine, that’s great. Put your heart and soul into it. If you’re sitting on the fence and you’re not quite sure whether that’s what you wanted to do, then you’ll get clients who are not quite sure whether they want to train with you or not.

Brett: I guess just on that, on that point as well. going back to my story of being a    jack of all trades, a master of man, what it does as well on another underlying level is that when you are spread over many different areas, you can’t become the expert because you physically can’t sit there and learn as much material as you can about every single part of the industry. an example from myself, now I love business, business is my thing, but inside business there is many different levels that obviously makes up a business as you know, and you know consumer trends being one of them, which I have to say I spend no time basically looking at. However, that’s why there’s people like yourself that has been able to carve out a niche that has been able to fill the void that I have when it comes to that. I would rather spend my time learning about marketing, systems and strategy. That’s where I am an expert at.

Justin: And that’s your level of interest, that’s’ the thing that interests you the most. So when you get out of bed in the morning it’s like ‘you know what, I’m driven about learning about marketing’. So again with trainers, the first thing we’ve got to think about is ‘what am I driven by?’ because if I’m driven by taking people through rehab, if that’s what really drives me then I’m going to be depressed if I go to work with overweight people or vice versa. You know, I think carving out a niche is one thing, but the niche has to be something that pushes your buttons.

Brett: Great point because, this is a question I ask myself and I ask people to ask themselves to find their level of passion with what we’re doing. now the question I ask, ‘would you get up at 3am to go and do your thing, whatever it is you’re wanting to go and learn?’ an example is this morning, I got up at 3am , and I don’t do this every morning but we are in the middle of creating a product that we will be releasing before Christmas. I know there is a lot of extra work that needs to go into this. So I was up 3am straight to the office, and I was able to put in 5 solid hours before anyone could get into the office. SoI pretty much had done a day’s work and this is the thing…

Justin: Isn’t it amazing how much work you get done when there’s no one around?

Brett: Honestly I’m really looking at the thing of changing that because before 9 o’clock no one tries to reach out to you anyway. So you basically get the whole trap of emails that we find ourselves in and Facebook and that. Yesterday I put up a post about me on Facebook and it was basically about me going into hibernation for 3 days.

Justin: Yeah, I saw that. I did see that.

Brett: so I made a decision that I’m going into hibernation for 3 days and I will check my emails once a day and I check my Facebook once a day. And I tell you I got more work done yesterday that I probably have the whole week. This call right now is something that we had planned so this is, you know, a good break for me because I don’t see this as work at all. I could talk about business and strategies all day, every day. Hence the reason why I started this podcast because I love talking about it and sharing the knowledge that I’ve been able to learn and the knowledge of others as well but it goes back to that question, ‘would you get up at 3am to do it?’. Now I hated and I use the word because I literally started waking up feeling ill when I was still doing 5:30 personal training session. Even when I got my charging rate up and I was earning good money for the time spent. It just was, on an emotional level wasn’t making me feel complete. I couldn’t enjoy it and the reason why I couldn’t, in the fitness industry, to be to enjoy what I do and live the lifestyle that I want to live. Now the funny thing was my excuse back then was I’m sick of getting up early, that these early mornings are killing me, then all of a sudden I’d book a trip to Bali and we’d be up till 4 o’clock and heading to the airport I’d be bright as rain. Then I realised it had nothing to do with the early morning and getting up and its cold, or it’s not to bad up in Queensland being hot every day, but you know, I discovered that I was doing something that I wasn’t enjoying. For the people listening in full time jobs, and I’ve coached many of those and I’m sure you have too. People who are in a fulltime roll right now doing their 9-5 and they’re’ just sick of it and wanting to get out the industry. Ask yourself the question, ‘Would you get up at 3am to do your job?’ and the answer is ‘yes’, then you’re doing the right thing.

Justin: That’s exactly right and I think you’ve just nailed it, then and there, and that’s a great message for everybody on the podcast and that’s: ‘Would you get up at 3am to do it?’ And if you would then you’re in the right job or you’re training the right clientele. But if you still thinking ‘oh I’m not sure’, yip it’s a tough one.

Brett: Yeah, I think that lesson right there like you said can be encapsulated to many different areas of your life. You know, are you getting up at 3am? Do you love seeing your partner next to you in bed? If not get rid of them.

Justin: I won’t get into dating advice but you can take this over into every aspect of your life. So even if you’re getting trained by a PT and you’re going ‘aah, I’m not really looking forward to it’, then don’t do it. Find something that you do enjoy. Go and do aqua aerobics or go and do poke dancing. There’s something out there that will fit your needs.

Brett: alright so…

Justin: there’s a great book by Simon Sinek and if anybody has heard me speak, I’m a really fan of him. his written a book  called ‘Start with why’, and I would encourage every, all the Fiit Professionals on the podcast to read the book and if they’re not interested in reading the book then go to google and google him. There’s a video that goes for 18 minutes and watch the video because what he talks about there is what we are talking about now, and that is having a clear understanding of why you went into the fitness industry. Why you choose to do what you do. what Simon Sinek says which I think is, well I think is absolute spot on is people don’t follow you like they want to be your client because of what you do, people like you , follow you and want to be your client because of why you do it. It’s not because of what we do, it’s because of why we do it. So I would encourage everybody listening to the podcast, read the book or watch the DVD and sit down themselves and analyse why they chose to be a personal trainer. If they can clearly articulate why they chose to be a personal trainer, that will be a magnet to their business. That will attract customers and clients like they’ve never seen before. Did they say ‘I chose to be a personal trainer because I’m passionate about health and fitness’, which is what most personal trainers say. I challenge myself and say ‘okay, well why are you passionate?’. It’s a deep reason on why, and I think if you’re the guys listening are created to do that they will a: Be a super successful personal trainer and B: They won’t have any problems about getting up at 3 o’clock in the morning to go to work.

Brett: Yeah, couldn’t agree with you more there. So that for beginners from Simon Sinek ‘Start with why’ so I will certainly be checking that out and if he has got an audio book I will be getting that first.

Justin: Yeah, no there’s definitely an audio book and there’s a video. The video goes for 18 minutes and it will, it tells everything that is in the book as well.

Brett: Excellent, perfect. So let’s change tack there a little bit and get into a little bit more about, you know, I guess things that you’ve learnt in the industry and big lessons that you’ve taken away that you think would save the Fiit Professionals and business owners listening now the heartache of having to go through it. OS what was one of you biggest business decisions? I know you mentioned it at the start of the episode it was not having 2 gyms or 1 gym was better than 2 etcetera for yourself. What sort of other business lessons do you have there? Or did you want to elaborate on that one a little bit more?’

Justin: might need to leave it at that. Probably the biggest lesson that I’ve learnt around business is to have a work/life balance. I worked similar to you, entrepreneur, if you asked me if I was working I’d say ‘no, working is like, you don’t like doing what you’re doing. That’s work. I love what I do, I don’t consider it work’. But your body doesn’t quite think like that, and it’s imperative that you take time out, its imperative that you turn off, and it’s imperative that you recharge your batteries for your own health’s sake. I learnt the hard way, I’ve got, I now have a chronic self-stress induced illness and that is because ii loved doing what I was doing and I didn’t consider  it work but my body was telling me something completely different. so my real lesson around work and around, particularly in our industry because we just love what we do so much, is that you’ve got to take time out, you’ve got to take time out. You’ve got celebrate success, smell the roses when you’ve had success, when you’ve finished off at the end of the day, you finish off at the end of the day. for personal trainers I think, a really important course to do is like a counselling course, not to learn how to console clients because I don’t think we need to know that, but you need to go to a counselling course to learn how to leave all the things that you’ve been told by your clients today behind and not carry all that baggage into your own life. If that makes sense?

Brett: That actually makes a lot of sense and it’s to be perfectly honest, I think that it’s probably that time I myself have actually heard that as a recommendation, but the more I think about it, the more I think it should almost be a necessity and actually a part of what everyone going through a qualification, because you’re so right. There is so many times that you be like ‘Oh no I’ve got Mary tonight at 7 o’clock and she’s going to tell me another life story and whilst I still care for her and I want to make sure that she is okay, I’m just sick to death hearing about it. It does, you know, there has to be a way for you to be able to express that side of it. So I think that they, that I just had a ‘ah hah’ moment there myself mate, so.

Justin: Ah, excellent. But I think, I do, I think it’s really important. We are not counsellors so I don’t think we need, I don’t think we need to know how to counsel. we need for our own health, because if Mary has told us about all of the horrible things that’s happened in her life and told us her life story for an hour or half an hour, or how every long that session is, at the end of that session, she walks away feeling bloodly marvellous because she has taken all the monkeys off her back and plonked them all on Brett’s back, and Brett’s walking now with his knuckles dragging on the ground because he has got all Marys monkeys plus Dave and John’s and Peter’s from the half an hours before. Then you go home to your wife, your girlfriend or your flatmate and they’re all like ‘how was your day?’ and you grunt and you groan and your partner says to you ‘since you’ve become a personal trainer you’ve changed, you’re not the person you use to be’ and you are, it’s just that your got all these monkeys on your back and the last thing you want to do is have a conversation with your partner at home. You just want to veg out, watch TV. And whatever and that’s, I think it’s really important we taught the skill of leaving work at work, in the park, at the studio or in the gym. I think that would add to the longevity of our personal trainers, they’d be out, they wouldn’t suffer burn out. Maybe it has to be part of the course, I don’t know. To me, that was my biggest lesson, is that work really is work no matter how you look at it, work is work. Your body will, needs to recharge.

Brett: Yeah, and tapping onto that thing. Whether you do a counselling course, obviously for the learning (stuttering) perspective. Jeez I got there. Crops. There’s no editing there so I sound like a complete douche. So it really comes down to that whole emotional challenge and how much time you actually spend on working on yourself. Now we’ve talked about marketing, we’ve talked about business, we’ve talked about how you can be a good trainer, you can go and do courses and learn all that type of stuff but there’s the thing that a lot of personal trainers lack and business owners lack that I see is the emotional intelligence side of it. Being able to connect, because what will happen when Mary tells you the story about what is going on in her life, what that will do is emotionally trigger, it will trigger something within yourself and it could bring back a memory that you’ve had in your past or you know, bring out a memory that you just thought that wasn’t there anymore and it is there. So it is about being able to actually clean out our closet as Eminem sang. So you need to clean out your closet and you need to keep it clean because whether you, and it goes back to the whole thing of emotional vampires. I’ve stacked so many clients over my time because I literally would wake up, this is how bad it got for me, on a Sunday morning, I woke up one day and I was like ‘Oh no I have to train this person tomorrow night at 7pm’ and I was like, I started letting myself feel ill from that Sunday morning…

Justin: 30 Hours before you were going to train them, yeah.

Brett: Correct and T was like, what am I doing to myself. That’s were I guess you take from that journey of personal development and you grow and A: you can become a better person and that type of thing. It was just quite amazing as we as human beings sabotage ourselves before something has happened or we even know a certain outcome.

Justin: Well that’s absolutely right, that’s a very very important point that you make and I think as personal trainers we love exercise, we love changing people’s life through exercise, but I think, maybe you know the step, but there was a step that came out of an idea in the U.S. but I think it was like 75% of personal trainers, once they became a personal trainer worked out less than before they were a personal trainer.

Brett: I’m definitely in that. I lost my passion for training when I became a trainer. And I was in the best shape of my life leading up to training and when I become one, I’m supposed to be a role model and I start letting myself go a little bit. It’s that same thing, I guess it was more, for me, I started working in a gym and I just got sick of seeing the inside of the wall, so every time I had a free moment I’d just get out of the place and I think it was actually 83.4%, don’t quote me on that. At least it sounds like I know what I’m talking about right.

Justin: But I think, you know, that’s part of recharging your batteries so we just get so busy and when you’re a new personal trainer you don’t want to say no to new potential clients so you say yes to everybody, you’re completely overworked and those first 3 months are really difficult so if you’re not recharging your batteries, you not use to people pouring their heart and soul out in 30 minutes to you, and you’re trying to market and you’re trying to keep up with the latest trends. It’s a bloody hard job. You’ve really got to take that time out, take out your batteries, turn off your phone, don’t look at Facebook. Doesn’t matter what screen you’re looking at, that screen drains energy from you and sucks it out. I love your description ’emotional vampire’. The screen will do that to you, so you’ve got to get out, go for a run, work out, recharge the battery and get ready for the next day or later that day, whatever you’re going to do. Yeah, my biggest business lesson is creating balance and focus on that balance and when you’ve got that balance the rest of the business will prosper. If you haven’t got that balance, there’s a big difference between being productive and being busy. And I will take being productive over being busy any day.

Brett: Yeah, that’s right. So, just somewhere, we are nearly at the end of our, of the episode today and I know you’ve got to go on and…

Justin: Do stuff.

Brett: Be productive. You’ve got productive things to go and do, but I just want to end with one of your favourite quotes and what it means to you. I know you probably got a dozen there but what comes to mind first?

Justin: well, my favourite one that I finish all my presentations with is ‘What you leave behind, is not what is engraved in stone monuments but what is woven into the lives of others’- Pericles.

Brett: Alright, and what does that mean to you bud?

Justin: Basically say, it doesn’t matter what my resume says, my resume is irrelevant. It’s what impact have I had on people’s lives and what learns have I given. People can sit back and go ‘you know what, I got this from Justin, I learnt this from JT’ or something along those lines and ‘it really influenced me’. So, I’m not too worried about what people want to write on my tombstone. I’m more worried I’ve created some change an balance in people’s lives so that they’re happier at home with their partners,  they’re happier with their kids,  they’re happier in their business, whatever is important to them, that they’re happy because of something I’ve taught them, worked with them on or something along those lines.

Brett: Excellent. And…

Justin: That was pretty deep way to finish.

Brett: Yeah, I know, it’s good actually, it’s got people thinking. Emotion is the driver to taking action and I guess what your said there you’ve definitely had an impact on people listening today and again, with every episode, I suggest you go back and listen to it 10 times or at least twice because there’s going to be a whole lot of things that you actually missed out on today’s episode that you probably didn’t resonate with whilst we were going through. But I guarantee if you go through it, it’s like watching a movie for the second time. You go back through and you get the new pieces. I didn’t really know that happened. Look, lets finish on that Justin and how can our listeners here find out more information about you?

Justin: Look, probably the easiest place to go is our website which is activemgmt.com.au, activemgmt.com.au.  When they go there they can become a freemium member, a premium member obviously they pay from the premium but the freemium is free, they get information. So we really focus on…

Brett: You don’t mind if I steal that ‘freemium’?

Justin: No, you can use freemium if you like. If fact, anybody, anybody who is a Fiit Professional can steal ‘freemium’.

Brett: Okay, I’m using that. It’s cool. Sorry buddy.

Justin: So, yeah, they can go on there and get a whole heap of free information. I mean really what we do is, we’re sharing business briefing, we’re sharing consumer trends and other stuff that we’ve got to help businesses run better. But I guess there is the two main things we look at. How we can manage our business better? How can we run them better? And how does that relate to what the consumer is looking for?

Brett: Excellent. One last thing popped into my mind. I want to test how good you are. Let’s get your prediction for the fitness industry in the next 6 months and we are going to get you back on in a future episode. So what’s going to happen in the next 6 months that we are going to be able to talk about in 6 months? You know, JT you’re the man.

Justin: Okay. Here’s my prediction. In the next 6 months. Not much is going to change. But the next 12-18 months, there’s going to be some changes in our industry. We are going to see Les Mills bring out their programs, that will be all video. So it will be, for example in anytime fitness currently you can’t do Les Mills. You will be able to do classes on demand, and there will be Les Mills classes on demand. so that opens up, that  then makes up that 24 hour model more competitive with a big box gym for one of a better description. So that will be really interesting to see. Because Les Mills is already doing this in the U.S, if and when they bring that to Australia, which I suggest will be in the next 12-18 months that they will do that. So that will be interesting. I think the proliferation of 24 hour gyms is going to be really interesting to see what happens. There are a lot that are opening, there are multiple brands that are out there. I’m not sure that they can all exist.

Brett: No.

Justin: I think it’s all the brands that can exist, but I’m not sure that in one town or in one suburb, you can have 4 brands of 24 hour clubs, plus one or two independent clubs. So I, look I’ve got a client who in Western Australia and in her town three years ago it was her and a counsel facility. Now there is 3 24 hours brands, 2 cross fit clubs, plus her, and the counsel facilities still. That has completely changed the dynamics. And I’m not completely sure that the penetration of people in that community has increased. She’s got one of the better gyms so she is the last let’s say 10% of her membership base has gone to these other gyms. So we are not growing the number of people exercising sufficiently enough to make all these viable. So I do think there will be some rationalisation. A bit of a shake down over the next 20, let’s say 24 months, and that concerns me because it is never good when businesses close up. so I really think, for me, if I was running a fitness business at the moment I’d be really buckling down , making sure I’ve got my expenses at a bare minimum. That I can run my business. I know my numbers really well in my business. My finances, my financials, I understand that. I’ve got to work harder on my referrals because external marketing generally is tougher these days, so word-of-mouth, and marketing and referral is going to be key. And there will be some. So I want to have a plan B in my back pocket if a competitor goes broke. Well what does that do in the community? Well, you might pick a couple of members. But then everybody doesn’t join a gym because, or, of these 3 smaller clubs, do they now become for sale? And as the personal trainer I go ‘well actually I could afford to buy one of them and bring all my clients in. So, it brings up a lot of interesting things. I don’t think in the next three months there will be a lot of change, because we are going to go through Christmas, and we know we’ve got a peak time from now pretty much through to April.  But I think next winter we’re just going to have to see where our industry sits.

Brett: That certainly will be. So, look, thanks for the prediction, we’re definitely going to check in with that and I want, thanks again for taking the time out of your busy schedule to be a part of the Fiit Professional podcast. I know everyone, especially myself, got a lot out of it today. But, mate, I wish you the best for the rest of the day and we will be seeing each other in New Zealand at the end of the month actually. We both speaking at the New Zealand FitX conference. So if you’re a New Zealand personal trainer and you’re listening to this, make sure you come in and listen to our presentation because it is no fun talking to an empty room is it?

Justin: That’s spot on. Yeah it will be great. I look forward to catching up to you there too Brett, that will be unreal.

Brett: Yeah, likewise. Alright Justin, you have a fantastic day.

Justin: No worries, cheers mate.

Brett: Alright take care!

Justin: Bye!

Brett: Bye!




  1. Great podcast, i really relate to the part about taking time out and being able to separate work from personal life work life balance is key to success and as a pt i found it hard to understand in the beginning – great lessons in here for any PT

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