4 Ways to Grow your Fitness Business and Avoid Burnout

by | Nov 22, 2021 | Fitness Business, Fitness Business Owner, Leadership | 0 comments

(Last Updated On: February 4, 2022)


One of the biggest issues most fitness business owners have is burnout. The reason owners tend to burnout is because they are passionate and excited about what they do. The other reason this happens is because of the business model itself. Most owners feel like they have to play every role in the business. From CEO to accountant to trainer. And there are two reasons why this happens. One of those reasons is that it costs money to hire people, and maybe that money isn’t coming in yet. The other reason is not being able to let go of control of the business. This article is going to give you 4 ways that you can work less, have more free time, and get the same amount done.  All to prevent burnout and maintain your passion for providing health and fitness.

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1. Know your Patterns

The number one thing that you can do to avoid burnout is observing yourself and getting to know yourself. This is really important as a business owner because you need to understand your strengths and weaknesses. You need to understand your weaknesses, then you can find coaching for support or hire staff members that are stronger in that area than you are. You need to know your strengths so that you can build your business around the things that you are already great at. 

You’re going to start this process by reflecting on times where you struggled in the past. What were those instances? What were the things that were so challenging about them? Take note of your emotional and mental states during those times. Start to question yourself so that you get to know yourself better. You can also do this in the present. When you’re in a stressful situation, pause, take a breath, and ask yourself what’s causing you so much stress. What can you do to mitigate that stress? Or even if you’re in a really excited and passionate emotional state. What are you doing in your business that is bringing your energy up? Can you create more experiences like that in your business? This will help you be more excited and more productive in your business.

Getting to know yourself and understanding your patterns is truly a lifelong journey. Starting to ask questions, and making observations about yourself, will help you become a better business owner and avoid burnout. You will start to be able to make decisions to create a better business that serves you and the people you care about. 

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2. One thing at a Time (No multitasking)

In our very fast-paced world many people believe that doing many things at once make them more productive. For example, you may be having a casual conversation with one of your employees and checking your email on your phone. This split attention causes, what scientists are calling, “interference” in your brain. They say that when your brain is trying to complete more than one task it can be competing for finite resources. This type of multitasking can be exhausting and make you less productive. Even though it seems like you’re getting more done you’re actually slowing yourself down and not able to do deep work.

Cal Newport, in his book, Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World discusses how the ability to focus on a task without distraction is a path to success. Especially today, when we are filled with distractions, mainly from our devices. We have actually become used to constantly being distracted. This doesn’t allow our brain to be fully present for what we’re doing at the moment. When you are present, and doing deep work, you actually become better at what you do. Not only that but you will become more productive in those spaces of deep work. Becoming better at what you do, will in the long run make you faster at what you do.

Exercise: Next time you sit at your computer to do your office work, put your phone on silent and dedicate one hour to your next task. Do not stop for any distractions and reward yourself for completing fully undistracted, deep work.


3. Set Clear Goals

Fitness business owners make the mistake of making vague goals. Declaring goals like “I want to grow my gym.” or “I want to get more members.” These are great aspirations but they are unclear. When you declare unclear goals then you don’t know the appropriate action to take to reach those goals. For example when you say “I want to get more members”. What is a measurable action that you can take to get “more members.” There actually isn’t a measurable action for that goal because the goal isn’t clearly measurable. Is “more members” just 1 member or 100 members? 

An example of a clear goal would be “I want to get 24 more members by the end of the quarter”. Then you can backtrack and do the math. If it’s the beginning of the quarter, and you know you have 3 months, that means you need to get 8 more members per month. That means two additional members per week. So then you can create a measurable action. So maybe it’s creating Facebook ads because you need to get more leads. Or you could have plenty of leads and your sales process is the piece that isn’t working. Whatever it is you want to be able to take action and then in a week or two be able to look at the data from that action and see if it’s working. If it isn’t working you’re going to need to find a new solution, or give it more time. 


4. Replicate and Delegate

As a fitness business owner there is no way you can do everything alone. You need a supportive team that you can rely on to build a strong community within your gym and execute necessary tasks in your business. The first thing you need to do with this team is replicate. Replicate means that your staff is trained so they replicate exactly how you would complete the task. This doesn’t mean that they can’t be themselves as an individual. It means you know they will produce the same result as you would. 

When you’re just getting started and learning all the different processes in your business is going to take you time to understand the ins and outs of how those tasks need to be completed. Once you have solidified those processes and tasks you can begin to create a training manual for your staff members. Another way you can do this, that we found to be very effective, is by creating short training videos (3-5 minutes) for your staff members. This way if you don’t have time to train new staff members and you know they will get trained properly. Keep the training videos in an accessible place just in case staff members need to use them in a moment’s notice. Especially, for new staff members who are still learning, this can be very useful. 

Of course once you have staff in place, the next step is to make sure that you’re delegating property. Surprisingly, this is a challenging thing to do for a lot of gym owners. On some level your gym feels like your child. You don’t want it to go too far away from you. You want to make sure it stays close and that you take care of everything it needs. But if you want to grow your gym you’re going to have to let go of some of the responsibility. You are going to need to trust other people and trust your training process. You also must trust yourself. If something does go wrong, you’ll be able to deal with the situation! Building a team that you feel confident in will change your business. It will build a community that your members will want to continually be a part of (Hint: it will increase your retention rate).

Bonus Tip:

Make sure that you always take the time to relax and unwind. Do not work 70 or 80 hours a week. That is the biggest cause of burnout! You need to take time to rest your body and your mind. When you’re rested you will become more productive in the times when you are working. Also, this will keep the passion alive for what you do. If you found this helpful and you are looking for more help with marketing, sales, finance, or business. Fill out our quick Needs Assessment which will give you an instant snapshot of where you’re at in your business. It will give you a detailed report of what you need to do next.

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Justin Hanover,
Success Coach, Fitness Revolution

4 Ways to Grow your Fitness Business and Avoid Burnout