The #1 Skill of Being A Successful Online Fitness Coach

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This blog is my biased version of what I think it truly takes to succeed at the highest possible levels in the fitness industry.

It’s not secret formulas.

It’s not starting your own supplement company.

And it’s definitely not ripping off other coaches’ ideas and calling them your own.

Instead, it’s about coaching.

Coaching will not only give you financial freedom, but it will also lead to a lifetime of respected career longevity.

When you put the skills together to become a good coach, you will inevitably create long-term success for your clients – which will create long-term career success for yourself and eventually allow you to create freedom in your life.

“Dan You’re Doing Such Amazing Stuff Now!”

I get a message like this from time to time, and I’m super grateful every time somebody thinks that what I’m doing is cool.

I’ve been in this industry a long time now and have learned in dog years (7 years experience for every 1 year in the business) because of how many hours I put in everyday and how many people I have helped (which is into the hundreds of thousands at this point).

When I look back at it all now from a birds-eye view, it’s very difficult for anybody to tell me anything other than that it was my coaching ability that got me to where I am today.

I got to where I am in the industry not so much because of my knowledge or anything academic like that, or some secret diet program or protocol, but through an acquired and applied coaching skill set.

My coaching skills are what have allowed me to have a long, stable, and successful career.

The Missing Element

What’s funny to me is that I attribute a large portion of my success on the back of my coaching ability, yet, any seminar you attend or symposium topic-list you read – the idea of “coaching” seems completely absent.

Seminars, symposiums, and courses are getting more and more carried away with a never-ending wave of information and science, yet they don’t realize this is coming at the expense of teaching and creating insightful leaders who actually help the consumers reach and maintain their goals.

This industry has changed since the time I first got into it.

Well, it’s always changing. Sometimes for good, and sometimes not.

Each era assumes with no lack of arrogance that this is the new “right way” to do things. After watching these “right ways” consistently come and go time after time, one thing I know for sure is that the knowledge-base changes considerably, but the coaching and leadership skills do not.

Sure, a lot of what cycles through in this industry is complete garbage. But, good coaches will actually change their thinking over time as new and actually legitimate research comes out to open new avenues of thinking.

That’s fine, and it’s actually a good thing.

But, what it takes to be a good coach will never change. Ever.

Don’t Follow the Shiny Objects

I can say without a shadow of doubt in my mind or soul that the skill-set needed for long-term career success (in both reputation and finances) lies completely outside of the knowledge-domain of health and fitness.

There is no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow where you will find the training and nutrition knowledge that is guaranteed to give you the best career possible for the longest period of time.

Instead, it’s people skills and coaching skills that will stand the test of time and allow you to be who you want to be in this industry.

Want to know the truth?

Just a sprinkle of knowledge in training and nutrition is enough to truly succeed in the fitness industry…

Provided that sprinkle is matched up with an equal sprinkle of legitimate coaching application skills.

Solving the Puzzle of Your Career

Think about your career like a really big puzzle for a moment. One of those kinds that has 3000 pieces or so.

Focusing on the individual pieces with no thought as to what the bigger picture looks like is where you are going to run into problems, frustration, and confusion.

You will become chained to the minutiae, but, just a quick glance over at the box would give you an idea on the general direction you should be heading.

You look at the bigger picture and work your way backwards from there.

This is exactly what a good coach does.

He/she looks at the bigger picture, doesn’t allow themselves to be wrapped up in all the small details…until it’s necessary to do so.

The real coach puts this piece here…and that piece there…and continues to chip away at the puzzle while always keeping the long-term “big picture” in mind.

A great coach isn’t just thinking about the small pieces fitting together, instead, a great coach is thinking where these two pieces fit together within the big picture of it all, because that’s often what should tell you that those two pieces belong there in the first place.

Meditate on that for a moment and connect it to how you approach your clientele, and how you approach your career. You will find striking similarities in big-picture reverse engineering, and yet it’s all too often lost in a sea of everyone worrying about the details.

The Truth About Success in the Health Industry

This is going to sound crazy for those of you who have been following me in the training and nutrition field, but scientific knowledge has little to do with being an effective coach.

Client success is not all about what you know, but all that you do, and all that you can get your client to do.

It’s about the doing, not the knowing.

Client adherence is the key, and that small sprinkle of knowledge will get your clients great results if you have mastered to “doing” side of the equation.

When a great coach considers the clients adherence, they instantly consider the:

  • Immediate
  • Accumulative
  • Long-term

In respect to their adherence.

It’s not just about what puzzle piece you’re using right now, but how it’s going to impact the big picture for the rest of their life.

Short term success is easy, I truly don’t give a F#CK about your 4-Week transformations. Anyone can starve a client and post a before-and-after photo on their website.

Whoop de frigging doo.

But, if this transformation isn’t sustained, how can it be considered ANYTHING but a total failure?

No coach worth the money they are charging should ever be doing this to their clients. It’s a complete joke, and yet it’s paraded around on social media as if it’s an accomplishment.

It’s not.

A real coach considers how what the client is doing today will affect what they can do tomorrow, and for the rest of their life.

In other words, don’t think about “body transformation” – instead, consider “life transformation”

Let the losers in this industry toy around with “five-day fixes” – it will only make you stand out more as a true pack leader, or better yet, a true coach.

Final Thoughts

Domain knowledge will always take a backseat to people skills in terms of having a long, successful, and impactful career in the health industry.

You can teach someone to dead lift correctly, you can teach them your calorie formula, and you can teach them the right supplements to take.

But to engage someone so that they maintain a passion for doing all of the above will always require ongoing communication skills.

We are in the people industry, not the small puzzle piece industry.

Being a successful coach is about moving from the “how” and into the “why”

It’s about engaging the full potential of your client so that they can realize their long-term life transformation.

This, my friends, is also how you will engage your own full potential to be as successful as possible in this industry in every way you can imagine.

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