This topic has come up a few times in the past week in fitpro forums and reading the answers made me realise how many personal trainers are affected by this problem.
For those of you who experience it for the first time, it may feel devastating and may make you question whether you should keep trying to make it in the fitness industry or not. I'm afraid I can't answer that for you, but I can give you some tips on how to pull yourself out of the slump. Once you can see clearly, you can make your decisions for yourself. Let's dig in.
1. Take a BreakI can hear you roar that it's not possible. But often it's something we need to make top priority. Let me explain.
Finding ourselves in a slump is often is a result of a burnout; doing too much or more than we can handle for an extended period. Quite likely we don't realise while we are in the middle of it, but then our body and our mind get tired and runs out of energy.
Let me ask you a question: would you rather deal with losing out on 1-2 weeks of income or struggle your way to eventually giving up? That may sound harsh, but when you don't give yourself, meaning your body and your mind what it needs to recover, you may end up running them down entirely and burning everything you built in the process.
So, take a break, be upfront with your clients. The ones worth having will understand. If you have employees, put the one you trust the most in charge, tell them the goal for the time you're away is maintenance. Then get out. Go fishing, go hiking or wherever you can recharge your batteries. Leave your phone, laptop and tablets behind, give yourself a break and cut yourself some slack.
2. Do a SWOT AnalysisA SWOT analysis is a great tool to identify what's going great in the business, what opportunities you have, what are the weak areas, and what risks you're facing.
Focus particularly on the strengths first, make a list of all the things that are going well and appreciate what you have accomplished so far. Being thankful for your achievements and strengths is beneficial for several reasons, and it can give you just that little push you need to pull yourself out of the slump.
3. Get It Off Your ChestIn other words, spend some time complaining. It may surprise you that a form of complaining can be beneficial in staying mentally stable and sane according to science.
I wouldn't recommend putting that burden on your closest friends and family members, though. Don't get me wrong, venting a little can make you feel better, however, if you end up focusing on the negative repeatedly, you may cause some damage unintentionally.
Instead, write a journal and put it all out on paper. You can make a list of all your complaints as instructed in the linked Psychology Today article above and perform the tasks. If there's anything on the list that you can control, don't hesitate to do something about it. Letting go of the rest will be a relief and allow you to focus those energies elsewhere.
4. Do Something. AnythingNewton's first law of motion states that an object at rest stays at rest, and an object in motion stays in motion. The best instant remedy for being in a slump is an action of movement. Binge watching your favourite Netflix series won't cut it here!
Find tasks on your to-do list you've been pushing back for some time: organise your garden, clear out the loft, take your kids to the playground instead of your partner, go for a walk in nature, attend a dance class or just listen to music at home and let your body follow the rhythm.
You may laugh at the latter, but science says music can make you healthier. If moving to music makes you self conscious, do it behind closed doors. Or do a workout while listening to your favourite tracks. Whatever gets your blood flowing and makes you feel alive. Do it!
5. Change Your Surroundings and RoutineSometimes we get bored with our routine, and we need new stimuli to keep us excited and engaged. Changing your daily routine or re-doing your home office can hit that threshold.
Enrolling onto a new course or starting a new hobby can also have the same effect. The point is to do something that interests and excites you in your own time so you can stay engaged when working in and on your business.
6. Do Something Radical with Your BusinessI am not suggesting jumping head first into something new without any risk assessment or preparation, but sometimes we may be too cautious about making a decision so much so that we lose the qualities that make us entrepreneurs.
Have you been thinking too long to launch a new service? Do it! Is someone in your team more of a liability than an asset? Have a hard but honest conversation and move on. Have you been toying with the idea of opening a new location? Make it happen.
Sometimes taking higher risks launches us into taking more action and results in achieving better success in business.