John Spencer Ellis – Show Notes

John Spencer Ellis is the Founder and CEO of the National Exercise & Sports Trainers Association (NESTA), which educates, certifies and provides business solutions for fitness, coaching and nutrition professionals. NESTA now has over 55,000 members throughout the world. In addition to being one of the world’s foremost fitness and personal development experts, John is a best-selling author, speaker, philanthropist and television personality.

He started as a personal trainer in the very early days of the Internet, with only about $2,000 to his name. He spent $1,200 of that on a body fat analyzer and offered an analysis to people entering the grocery story. This got him his first clients, and in 6 months, John was able to purchase a bed as he had been sleeping on the floor. He now appreciates this time in his life because of everything that it taught him.


“I realized I had far more determination and motivation than I did skill set; you just got to keep going.”


At age 27, he thought he had it all figured out and didn’t believe he needed a coach or mentor. He shares that this led to him suffering and failing, but he went and got more formal education to help get him on the right track.


“I then blossomed from that point and never looked back. Although not every day is glorious, I certainly have more good days than bad (days).”


When he first launched his certification program in 1992, he was ridiculed and had to ignore his critics and march forward.


“It takes passion, determination and work ethic to push through the tough times.”


He notes that oddly his business really took off the week of September 11th, 2001, and he says that it has been steady and predictable since then.


“All the things that I had done before that date in time, just culminated at that moment.”


John was at the forefront of the boot camp movement with his “Adventure Boot Camp.” He adds that there were people that had done it before him, but they hadn’t systematized and licensed it like he did to make it national and global. At the peak, there were well over 200 locations.

He was able to leverage his initial exposure on a television reality show to double his business in a month.


“It just really gave me an enormous platform.”


John mentions that a lot of fitness professionals falsely believe there is no room for advancement and end up leaving. His certification program focuses on more important things like language and sales skills, copywriting and search engine optimization that other programs might miss.

He believes strongly in the concept of conscious capitalism.


“You’re able to contribute to a great good in the world without compromising your business and you can do some really cool stuff and help people.”


John’s tips for fitness professionals are not to focus on trivial things, realize that anything you can do you can do bigger, and to stay away from negative people.


“Focus on what matters, let go of what doesn’t and believe in yourself.”






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