Right off the bat I want to say that these are my "first world problems" and if you're looking for some real life inspiration do a quick search for "Viktor Frankl" the holocaust survivor and "Cliff Young" the 61 year old Australian runner (Video at bottom of post).
Recently I took a huge life gamble giving up my 30+ hours a week personal training in Cambridge, along with my steady income, to move down to West London to live with my girlfriend. I'd found the job, found the flat, worked my notice period with my Cambridge client base and in early December moved my belongings, business and life.
Without going into my personal banking details my expenditures didn't change significantly - they were still there after all, but my income did. I went from earning comfortably, to... not!
That's the trouble with being self-employed; you don't work, you don't get paid.
So I knew I had to hit the ground running at Lifestyle Fitness Wembley because otherwise I'd miss my first month's rent at the gym (and probably lose the job and income) or even worse be out on the street!
Was I scared... yes. In fact I hit a very tough week in January where my depression started to kick in and I was very close to giving up training people in favour of a 'normal job' with a stable income.
My mum can attest to this as she got a phone call from a very upset boy telling her all of this... ON HER BIRTHDAY! (Sorry Mum).
I always knew deep down that I would be fine. Yes I had a moment where I wavered and fortunately I've had amazing support from my lovely girlfriend, my supporting family and a few kick ass friends (real, life long friends) to help steer me back round.
Before I moved down people would ask me why my girlfriend didn't move to me so that I could keep my business, and what if I didn't 'make it'. I specifically remember a conversation with someone at Cambourne Fitness and Sports Center a few weeks before I moved which went:
Him: "Well you've got a job down there though?" ... Me: "Unpaid"
Him: "But you've got some clients, right?" ... Me: "Not yet"
Him: "Savings?"... Me: "No"
Me: "What I do have is a glass, and its f@#!$%g half full and the love and support of my lady"
Without constantly reminding myself that I'd be fine the fear would have definitely taken a hold of me, and stopped me from moving away, which ultimately has developed me as a character and trainer, and made me happier.
"Start with the end in sight"
I've heard this phrase before, but recently at a business course delivered by my new company, Ric Moylan uttered these words, and it really stuck.
We all know about how important it is to set goals, but how many of us actually do this. When you start a task with the end in sight, your creating a blueprint for success and making a tick list of mini-goals along the way.
I started the process of moving my business knowing that I needed x amount of pounds to survive, and I've completed tasks to get myself to that goal.
This has been all sorts mini goals like introducing myself to people in the gym, booking complimentary consultations, attending other trainers classes, covering classes, giving out training sessions in my spare time, going in to the gym at 6am most mornings and staying until around 9pm most evenings, spending one-to-one time with the successful trainers. I've been on a (perfectly timed) business course, spent time with my managers at various levels of the company for their advice.
Working on my website, creating business cards, liaising with the sales team to push potential clients my way, blogging my training, building a mailing list, met up with other coaches I know in London, networked with other fitness professionals, spending time during the day outside of the gym to actually get this stuff done!
ALL of this has been done with the end in sight... make enough money to live the life I want for me and my lady.
And it doesn't even stop there, because all of this is part of a greater goal, which I will let you in on one day.
It's cliche, but if you don't, who will?
I have always backed myself and believed in myself. When I became a personal trainer I had to take out a huge loan without the guarantee of income to pay it back on the other side, but I just knew I could make a success of it.
When I entered my first strongman competition 2 weeks before the day I had never lifted the weights that I''d need to on the day. I knew I wasn't going to win it, but I also knew I was going to make damn sure I could lift those weights... and I did.
When I made this move down to London I had to back myself because I simply couldn't see what would happen if things weren't a success.
Wrapping it up
Well that was slightly longer than planned, but I hope you took some inspiration from it. There are too many people to mention who have helped me along the way, but ultimately I still feel like I had to seek or accept that help. Because if you don't do it, the who will?
Now that I've been brave enough to share what's been going on in my life, why don't you let me know what's going on in yours?