The Grass is Greener if You Water Your Lawn
You’re such a good coach. You’ve got a following. Athletes like you. You have grown the program. Surely you are worth much more than what you make right?! Time to move on and see if the grass is greener over there. Hold on boss. Do you do the same in relationships? If so, get ready for a vicious cycle of - as one of my favorite bands (Gogol Bordello) says - lots of seekers and finders out there. Don't end up being a transient coach making the same bucks.
What’s my point? When you plant a garden, you take care of it and nurture it along. It grows over time, becomes full and vibrant and brings happiness. It’s not as rewarding to plant then move on, plant then move on, etc. You can always improve on your garden and replace plants – the soil has been prepared for stronger growth. Get it? There’s always money to be made if you’re a good coach with some business acumen. And you can do it right where you’re at (often).
There are a lot of successful coaches. The ones who typically earn more over time (i.e. Nick Saban, Gregg Popovich, Bill Belichek, Pat Sumner, Gino Auriemma) build strong programs that reward them due to their hard work and ability to create culture. It’s not about YOU! It’s about your athletes.
Here are a few tips (albeit, more on the business front, but heck, coaching is a business). Loyalty matters. Working with what you got (i.e. Fitness Truth) will pay off IF you pursue it. Simple.
Develop a strategic plan. Just like a business. Know what your 1-3-5 year plan is with coaching. This includes what you want to accomplish and what that opportunity cost is both emotionally and financially.
Look to leadership. Does your boss have vision? Are they a leader? Are they working with you to create your plan to grow? Over the last years, I watched a coach who developed to inspire more athletes outside of their market – but they don’t see it. The leadership was conflicted and anxious because of challenging market conditions. Instead of staying strong, working hard and cultivating, they pivot and re-do their model. Ouch. A lack of leadership can stunt your coaching growth. Communicate. If your boss is not being a leader, help them! Sit down and organize a planning session for your growth and for the business!
You decide what you earn. You are responsible for your earning potential. Coaches that float around doing three or four jobs can’t focus on one. If you think you’ll make more money (as a trainer or coach) by floating from gym to gym, you’ll make less money because you can’t prove you can build in any one spot. Plus it gets exhausting.
Work hard and smart. But you have to actually work, Dude. I’ve seen coaches who spend more time training themselves then focusing on their craft and plan. Walking around thinking you’re an elite athlete, bodybuilder, trainer or whatever won’t allow you to retire comfortably. Walking around with a jug of water more than you read is not a good sign. And you have to work hard. It does pay off. We’re all in the business of inspiring, selling and serving. If you’re not enthused about that, go back to school and learn another discipline.
Hold yourself accountable. Do you have a set amount of income you want to earn? Write it down and build it into your business plan. Revenue and expense. Strategize and plot out how you will make that money. Then hold yourself accountable every week to meet your own KPIs.
There’s something wrong with your character if opportunity controls your loyalty. (Sean Simmons)