Setting Yourself Apart in the Fitness Industry

Because I get to interact with interns and young professionals on a regular basis, I have had the opportunity to ask a lot of questions about what’s going on at the college level, what they’re being taught and how they’re being prepared for the “real world.”  Recently, one of the internship supervisors asked if I could share my thoughts on the way they are preparing their students.  This professor happens to be an awesome person with incredible knowledge in the field.  He has a wide variety of Young Fitness Proexperiences and really seems to care about the students and the fitness profession, so it was a great conversation.

I asked a lot of questions about their curriculum and what he was seeing, but he ended up asking a question that turned into a lengthy discussion.  His question was “Are we putting out too many students into the field and is the education worth the investment?”

I was kind of blown away.

I have thought about this many times, but I guess I never expected a professor to think about this. It turned out that we had very similar thoughts on the topic.

1.  Yes, there are too many students trying to enter the field.

2. No, the expense of the education (including both money and time) was often not worth the investment.

Let me be clear here, I believe that a good education is incredibly important, and I think that a college degree is invaluable.  I am NOT against college.  If anything, I would say that I’m “pro-college,” but that doesn’t mean it is right for everyone or always worth the expense.

Think of it this way, would it be smart to invest money into something that may never show a return?

Many people invest $100,000 into their education, just to get a job that pays $30,000.  When you do the math, this is not a great investment unless the person is dedicated to advancing him/herself and has the “right stuff” to set themselves apart in the fitness industry.

In this video, I talk about some things you can do to set yourself apart and get a leg up on the “competition.”

Is it enough to look good?  Does classroom knowledge translate to career success?  Are there other options or action that can be taken to put yourself in a better position?

The drop-out rate in this industry is disappointing, but I think YOU can make a difference by doing certain things.  You have to understand some basic aspects of the sales process, how people perceive you, how to become an expert and how you can add value to people’s lives.  If you haven’t grabbed a free copy of my e-book on the Sports Training Business, do that now.  It’s not just for sports training, either.  The concepts outlined in the book will help anyone trying to build a service business in the fitness and sports industry.

Let me know what you’re doing to set yourself apart.

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3 Responses to Setting Yourself Apart in the Fitness Industry

  1. Josh Gibson July 12, 2013 at 8:02 am #

    All the professors should play this in their class rooms. Its the bottom line truth. You can e-mail that professor, He seems open minded enough and you guys have a good relationship assuming.

  2. Jim Kielbaso July 17, 2013 at 8:58 am #

    Josh, I had a great conversation with the profession and he agreed with me 100%. His issue is that he can’t tell kids NOT to take his classes or select a Kinesiology related major just because he doesn’t think they have the right personality. Kids have to figure it out for themselves at some point and choose a career path that will work for them.

  3. Steven Trolio September 5, 2013 at 2:50 pm #

    This is great advice Jim. A lot of my peers that are kinda-sorta-maybe interested in “being a personal trainer” do not understand the amount of work that is needed to actually do well as a trainer. It’s pretty easy in my opinion to tell if someone really has a passion for fitness and coaching just after one discussion with them. If you don’t care about your clients and you don’t have the ability to think critically this industry is going to be a nightmare for you. I agree that personality is a huge factor as well.

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