I believe that one of the keys to a happy life, a life well lived is developing an attitude of gratitude for the things that make life worthwhile and rewarding. I think it was Tony Robbins, whom I first heard say that, it’s stuck with me ever since. In celebration of the arrival of the holiday season I would like to share my list of things for which I am truly grateful, and that I am giving thanks for this year.
My List of Gratitude
1. First, I am very thankful for a career that helps people and promotes health. There really is something for everyone. It doesn’t matter what level of fitness you are at; there is a program or a certified trainer who can help you get into shape. Even if you are physically disabled, there is something that you can do to increase your fitness. It’s great to be in a position to enable that.
2. I get to work in the gym, which I love and not in some office cubicle, which I don’t love nearly so much. Sometimes I have a little moment where I just enjoy the fact that I am earning a living at something I love to do.
3. I get a powerful sense of satisfaction of seeing positive results for members. I like nothing better than watching a member transform into the fit and healthy person they want to be. The thrill is in seeing their growing confidence in their changing demeanors and body language. Their goal-achievement and success secretly feel like my own victories.
4. It really helps to live in a time when technology gives us a huge amount of leverage over how we conduct our daily business. I can do a very large part of my job from home. An Internet connection, a basic notebook computer and the right facility features let me monitor what’s going on any time. Ten years ago we had phones, fax machines and photographic film that you had to pay to develop. I thought I was clever because I could use a spreadsheet. Now you can do so much more. I am investigating how I can run my home from the gym 🙂 After all, this is where I’d rather be and I’m hoping it can work both ways. I’ll let you know how that goes.
5. Being able to provide rewarding jobs for people in a safe and friendly environment is very satisfying to me. Life has so many uncertainties these days and good jobs can be hard to find. I really love that I have been able to share the success and contribute to the local business economy in a meaningful way.
6. The fitness trend is not going to go away. There will be demand for years to come. This is a business model that really can’t be outsourced or off-shored. People continue to want to enjoy the benefits of being in good shape, and they still want to be part of a gym to do it. The numbers show that the trend is not slowing down.
7. Generally, small gym owners can be good members of the local community (I do try) both as businesses and as community members that contribute their time and effort in local activities. These provide a little publicity in return. But it is also just a good thing to be an active part of the community, and I am grateful for the opportunity.
8. Fitness and health, as a profession, is constantly innovating, so it’s exciting to see it changing over time. There’s always something new, like a way to attract customers or new ways to manage a gym. Professional organizations like the American College of Sports Medicine and the International Health, Racquet & Sports Club Association continue to develop new certifications that address members’ physical needs in ways that are creative and beneficial to both the business and the membership.
9. You can employ modern gym management software system. Maybe I’m duplicating here a little, but I’m talking about specific applications that run your gym for you. No more double entry ledger books or paper files. Searching and troubleshooting accounts is now so much easier. As a small business owner it is far too easy to get tied up in paperwork. That seems to be about double in a membership-based service business like a fitness center, so time saved is time found.
10. Just being around positive people both staff and members, who make every day a pleasure to come to work. That is the best part for me. Like the point that I started with but more generally, on a day to day basis it’s great to be around people who are working to improve their lives and the lives of others.
One last bonus point of gratitude… is that I love that I don’t have to wear a suit and tie every day or even any day, for that matter. On the other hand, if I want I can wear a suit every day and look like a boss. Mostly I don’t want to because it’s out of sync with the tone that I try to set. If I work out in my own gym I can wear a tracksuit or casual clothes if I don’t; chinos and a polo shirt like every day is casual Friday.
The Holidays Are Here
As we now roll into the holidays, the peak season for new memberships is just around the corner. Gyms tend to have their most profitable periods as people make resolutions and repent the past holiday’s overindulgence. That’s always good for revenue, but you can feel the optimism and a hopefulness of the start to the New Year when the gym fills with earnest new members.
It doesn’t sound like much but it creates a positive friendly atmosphere that draws people in. When they are comfortable and relate to you, and stop by to say "hi" or discuss their training, it’s a connection that is a blessing each and every time. I think the ultimate thing about being a small gym owner is that human connection, the joy of being around people and being a host to their activities and efforts. That makes it all worthwhile!
Have a Blessed Thanksgiving!
Over to you…
If you are part of the fitness industry, please share what you are thankful for!