Fitness Was No Longer Fitness: When I Rediscovered Creativity
The Great Corporate Disillusionment started in 2017, but my writing kickstarted back again in 2015, as a hobby.
And it was only going to be a hobby as I set off to become the greatest personal trainer the nation has ever seen. But, writing was going to be a hobby, just as Libertarian politics was a hobby.
After leaving the Weirton Club (code name for my initial place of work) and venturing off on my own in 2017, writing was still a hobby.
However, it was around this time I’d finally completed my first draft of Northern Knights, then called Once: The Lost Book. Before that I had a ton of strange names, like Soldiers of the Fall, Soldiers of Autumn, and other strange names and titles.
I want to say I didn’t settle on Lord of Columbia as the series name until…April this year?
And I want to say I didn’t settle on Northern Knights until…May or June? Also this year.
But, realizing I wanted to be a writer full-time, and nothing else, came in mid-2017, as I’ve stated in the past.
The Great Corporate Disillusionment
As a new indie-author, I’ve become a little obsessed with my Amazon sales ranking! But, it’s rookie butterflies and I’ll soon come to pass.
But what is my writing all about?
Really, my writing’s all about Libertarianism. If you want to want to learn the Libertarian Way, Northern Knights preaches it from a theme perspective. Sure, it’s a work of fiction, but theme is what I write about.
The number one factor in whether I succeed is if my theme gets through to people. I appreciate it when people say it’s a great story, has a great premise, and of course, I appreciate those buying the book and telling their friends about it.
But, theme is the number one, absolute most important thing for me to get across to readers. I could earn six-figures one day off Lord of Columbia and if I’m getting panned by the Left and the Neoconservative Right I didn’t succeed.
And when I was in fitness as my number one gig, if my clients weren’t happy I failed. If my clients saw results and were happy, I succeeded. But, I failed if my clients didn’t see results and weren’t happy, regardless of how much money I was making.
Then came my trip into Wexford, where I’ll just call the Wexford Club.
And man, oh man, did everything change.
The Corporate Disillusionment I mentioned?
Yep, it became a freaking numbers game.
A Business Model I Hated
Yes, the business model was something I hated; something I despised. It went like this: Sell a personal training package, any package, and boom, upgrade, upgrade, upgrade.
Todd, you’re going to make more money, the company’s going to make more money, we’re all going to be happy, right?
It’s why I had to get the hell out of corporate fitness.
Wrong. Wrong. Wrong!
How am I going to upgrade?
You tell them to upgrade.
What if they don’t want to upgrade?
They should be doing everything you tell them. People want to be told what to do.
Most people do.
How do you win them over?
Keep telling them what to do and it’ll hypnotize them.
My manager actually said this.
Money. It was all about the money. And it was all about giving these people max deals for training, until they were on our schedules five days a week.
You want the kicker?
The owner sliced my pay as we continued to increase our training sales.
What you’re reading IS NOT a typo; it’s the honest truth.
It was all about numbers…while cutting your employees’ pay without warning, after writing in contract of what the pay would be.
Is this even legal?
The Right Way to Upgrade Clients
I understand business is business. And I understand business must make max profits to survive. And guess what? I’m more than for upgrades. People need to upgrade to see maximum results.
Hmm, so how do you upgrade in an honest way?
With clients’ consent, why not let their black and white results go public?
Again, at their consent.
Why not, at their consent, show progress pictures?
Hey, people love showing others before and after shots, so why not do the same here?
For group training, give me some music, a digital timeclock, and dim the lighting! Let me be loud!
Offer free body fat analyses and show people where they need to be body fat wise.
For current clients who see results, and are showing off to other members, not only will they upgrade but others will buy.
In Wexford, there was little evidence personal training existed. There was zero evidence in black and white clients saw results. The only people noticing were those who came in the same time my clients did.
But during the downtime of the late-morning, afternoon, and mid-afternoon?
There was no incentive to buy.
Yes, the fitness industry has gone so corporate they’ve lost sight of what drives numbers and sales: People. But not just people; showing what the product can do.
If you tell me what your product can do for me, I’m not buying.
If you show me, I’ll probably buy.
If you provide me a sample, as I have free sample page of Northern Knights on Amazon, I’m much more likely to buy something that’s a great fit.
But if I’m in a place and there’s zero evidence a product does any good, am I going to buy?
Are you going to buy?
Why would you?
It’s a sad experience, and it’s something I would tell anyone looking for a trainer to stay away from. Corporate fitness doesn’t care about you; they care about your wallet. If you’re looking for fitness trainers, go with indies, they’re almost always honest.