I love to ponder, from time to time. Over the most pressing questions of men and women in the 21st century.

“Cluster set or Giant?”

“Crossfit or Yoga?”

“Which is the best toilet roll?”

“Apple or Android?”

Rather pressing indeed.

None more so than – “Why can’t I do what I know I’m supposed to do for my fitness and health/business development?”

We have all seen this in clients. What’s the deal with them? They’ve got the guidance, the advice, they’ve also clearly chosen the most amazeballs trainer.


So why aren’t they doing it? Is it my coaching style? My advice isn’t good enough? My strategies are pants? A toughie, isn’t it? There’s a real barrier for many people, where simply being told what they need to do just doesn’t suffice. It’d be ignorant to jump onto the bandwagon of many coaches who are binary mindset doesn’t help the client.

If you're struggling with the business side as a Fit-Pro and don't know why, then this piece may resonate with you.

I want to expand on that, and finish off with an offering of my top tip that enables you to troubleshoot the heart of the issue.

Why does it matter? It not only helps you understand clients better and handle them adroitly. It illuminates the other side of the coin. With you and your business endeavors.

If you’re struggling with the business side as a Fit-Pro and don’t know why then this piece may resonate with you.

I love reading, but I never used to.

One of the best decisions I ever made wasn’t just reading. It was, but it goes deeper than that. The best decision I ever made was changing my mind about reading. I used to tell myself I just don’t read, it’s just not me or my style. I’m a much more practical and visual kind of guy.

I am.

Though one day I just changed my mind. I began to see examples of why reading can help me get the things I want in life. I assigned that perceived value to read and hey, presto. I wanted to read. I actually started to believe it would help me.

So all this bullshit I told myself? It really just delayed me in utilizing a valuable tool which would springboard me to the next level in my personal and business life.

Upon my most recent reading travels, I came across a few lines embedded within a Fitness Marketing subscription I signed up for. (I highly, highly recommend Jon Goodman’s work, if you don’t know who that is yet, you’re behind the curve as a Fit-Pro.)


It was in interview format conducted by Lou Schuler. (He’s kind of a big deal too.)

Syatt and I have almost nothing in common, beyond our hairlines and love for Harry Potter. He’s young, I’m not. He’s a record-setting powerlifter. I’m very much not. More to the point, he’s really good at all the marketing skills I failed to master, and as a result has a large, enthusiastic audience.


He built that following, in part, by appealing to people who struggle to find a fitness approach that works for them. He doesn’t just get them to believe in him as an expert. He gets them to believe in themselves, to understand what’s keeping them from getting the results they want.

Many coaches dismiss this audience by framing fitness as a time-management problem. “Everyone has the same 24 hours in a day,” They’ll argue. “If we find time to work out, what’s their excuse?” To these trainers, it’s a binary choice: Either you choose to get in shape, or you choose not to.


This is where Jordan Syatt chimed in with this little number.

“A lot of these people get a taste of their own medicine when they get advice on how to run their business,” Syatt told me. “They see how everything they said about not having the time or being impatient comes back to bite them in the ass.”


When I read this, it really struck me and provoked an instant swivel on my viewpoint from outward, to inward.

It’s a two-way street, guys, and gals. Because you’ve got yourself a business to run. Of which the cornerstones of success in this domain – behind all the latest tech, fancy stuff and what have you – are the same.

Nobody is there to hold your hand, organize finances, organize your calendar, handle all your marketing, or further your own education.

That’s on you.

I slapped back into my chair, overcome by reflection and sonder. I assessed my own habits, business, and coaching conduction. Do I accommodate people’s struggles appropriately? Plus, do I contradict myself? In that I find time for fitness, yet fall woefully short of the time, consistency and application required to build my own business?

The former is for the client to decide. I strongly endeavor to accommodate clients appropriately. Even if they hate my face sometimes 😉

The latter? I’m pleased to report I don’t contradict myself. I create the time in my calendar to accommodate all things personal and business development. I have at it.

I grow and I create.

Before all of that, however. There’s one thing that you must be abundantly clear about. Irrespective of the tools at your disposal.

The bit where I talk about the invisible snare that might be holding you back.

See, the parallels between entrepreneurship and fitness are uncanny.

  • Identify the goals
  • Identify the obstacles
  • Create a plan
  • Action the plan
  • Consistency

Being able to recognize these parallels, enables you to strip away the distraction of white noise. Transfer the basic skills inherent for success in fitness, right over to success in business.

Why? It comes down to this. Something I hinted at much further up. Tell me, let’s say you find someone who’s great in their career and business life, but sucks donkey balls at fitness? Or vice versa?

No doubt it is familiar to you. What’s the difference between the two?

Aside from being two different life avenues – Which is superficial – What’s the difference?

I’ll tell you. They don’t believe they can do it.

Flip, reverse, take a look in the mirror. You can have the best gadgets, tools, uniform, business cards. IG feed, badonkadonk… Yet none of that matters if your self-belief isn’t there.

They believe they can do corporate, business, or whatever it is they’re pursuing to put a roof over their heads. But fitness? They do not really believe they can become the idealized version of themselves.

I’ve got a few clients who are the very definition of entrepreneurs. Self-made, with business revenues topping 7 figures. They can do that, but can’t do fitness?

Conversely, we can do fitness, but struggle with business?

You must believe in yourself. Or at very least, your belief must align with the goal you seek. How you begin to believe yourself can be achieved in many ways. Much like how I began to believe in the value of reading.

Think about this, deeply. Ask yourself why you don’t believe you can master the business side. Does it come from a place of fear? Most likely it does.

Address that fear. Nothing else matters until you do.


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James Dilley

James Dilley

I train Martial Artists Online & in House. 24 years of experience in competitive sport & over 16 years of martial arts experience.
James Dilley

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