Marc Zalmanoff is known as “The Fitness Ninja”, and since 2003 he’s been helping business professionals live happier, healthier lives through improved fitness and nutrition. Today Marc shares about his journey to becoming gym owner again, asking me what he should make his main focus as he makes this transition. He’s also looking for guidance on how he can scale his training business and overcome that feeling of never quite doing “enough”, and it’s all in this episode of The Ideal Business Show.

Marc has been in the fitness industry for 15 years now, starting out by working at a big box gym. In the past he briefly owned his own gym and for about the last 7 or 8 years he’s been an independent contractor, operating his training business out of other people’s facilities. A few years ago Marc got certified as a nutrition coach and starting looking at moving into the online space, with the goal of reducing his time in the gym.

He now has an opportunity to take over a gym that is currently set up in a similar way to his business model, with small group training and personal training. Marc is wondering what he should be focusing on to make it a seamless transition with the clients of the facility, as well as his existing clientele.

I remind him that the clients at the facility will be experiencing change with the new ownership, so they have every right to be uncomfortable. His main job will be to connect with each and every one of them individually in order to learn about their goals, what’s going well in the gym and what they’d like to see changed.

If he treats these meetings like sales calls, where he’s inheriting prospects as opposed to clients, and lets them know he’s the person to help get them to their goals, he’ll have a much easier time making the necessary connection with them.

Next Marc should ask for feedback but frame it the right way and not imply that the old model was “broken.” This communication will allow the customers to enjoy a sense of ownership in the business.

In order to scale, I recommend that Marc prepare someone to take over in the long run, but first just hand off some duties and make the new person an assistant coach. This would allow clients to get to know him or her, and he can start to back away from some of the sessions. It’s important that he doesn’t back away from the relationships though, and Marc should continue to send out the emails, do the Facebook Lives, etc. to maintain his connection with the clients. By backing away gradually, it won’t be a big shock to his clients and they won’t feel as though they’re just being passed off to someone else.

To get over the feeling that he’s never doing enough, I like to use the phrase, just “win the day.” Be clear about what you need to get done going in to each day, and know what you need to complete to feel good about it. Anything extra can be “extra credit.”

By taking just three steps a day for 300 days a year (and not doing anything the other 65 days), that would give Marc 900 meaningful steps towards his goals, which should put him exponentially ahead of most business owners.

However, if we want to be happy as a business owner and succeed in the process, we really have to be able to do it in a sustainable way.



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