Honestly, I never thought it would happen to me. Other leaders don’t take care of their people so their people eventually become disloyal.

Not me though. I was different.

I always came with a giving spirit. Always took care of my people. Then it happened. One of my coaches who happened to also be my “best friend” left and opened his own facility right down the block.

Since then, it’s gone from bad to worse.

Seemingly out of nowhere people who have always been nothing but supportive have turned on me. It’s really strange. I would never have believed this could happen.

It’s been hard for me and my team. However, as usually is the case, there’s a silver lining. I’m going to share 7 lessons I’ve either learned through this process or that have been reinforced by the wisest of all teachers, experience.

1. Stay Humble

It’s easy to get prideful when you’re running a successful business. You can start feeling like you have the “Midas touch.”

Then when something rocks your world it gives you a new perspective.

Personally, as a person of faith, it helped me to rely on God. When everything is going great, I tend to rely more on myself. If you’re not a person of faith, don’t check out. There are plenty of lessons that will help.

2. The Fitness Business is NOT for Sissies

I’ve reached out to some of my colleagues and mentors and realized I’m not alone. Every single one of them told me a similar story. Oftentimes, there were multiple betrayals. And it’s not limited to our industry. It seems every successful person has had this happen.

Some of the most successful people have the most haters.

The reality is when you’re doing big things, people are going to disagree with your approach.

The best advice I’ve heard on this is to ignore the haters. Most of them are small minded and aren’t doing anything with their own life.

3. Have Your Financial House in Order

Thankfully, mine was. I have an emergency fund for my business in case something causes a dip in revenue. I haven’t needed to touch the emergency fund but it certainly brings some peace of mind, knowing that it’s there.

It’s not a matter of if an emergency or dip in revenue will occur. It’s when.

4. Don’t Question Your Value

I went through a period questioning what I did wrong.

Then I realized that while it’s great to try and learn from things and improve, we are doing great work. We need to continually show people the value we offer but just as important, we need to recognize our own value.

5. Appreciate What You Have

My team has become more united.

We have so many great things going on with our clients. We need to be intentional about doing things to keep them. Remember, our biggest clients are our competitors’ biggest prospects.

6. Surround Yourself with the Right People

If you hang out with high performers, you’ll be a high performer. If you surround yourself with negative people, you’ll become negative.

This is the reason that I surround myself with great coaches and business owners.

Friends will celebrate with you during the great times and be there to support you in the tough times.

These things matter.

7. Be a Leader

It’s easy to lead when things are going great.

When challenges present themselves, you can either become a spineless leader or an inspirational one.

It’s OK and even beneficial to get vulnerable but you need to remain optimistic. If you show signs that you don’t believe in your people or your mission, your team certainly won’t.

Make no mistake. People are watching what you do and how you act.

It’s been a tough month to say the least but nobody said it would be easy.

Is it worth it? Absolutely!

For the few people who were disloyal or entitled, there are many more that are true and appreciative. For them it’s worth it.

In hindsight, I wouldn’t change anything. This experience is causing my team to become more united, we got rid of some dead wood, and we’re ready to have our best month to date!

By William Hofacker

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