Starting from the Bottom
The fitness industry is, without a doubt, a grind. You have to start from bottom and climb your way up by building your reputation and clientele. When I started at Equinox, I didn’t have any of my own clients and I was making minimum wage. I never dwelled on the money, though, because I loved what I did. I woke up at 5:30 every morning and worked from 6am-7pm. I was exhausted but felt fulfilled and more motivated than ever.
Starting out as a personal trainer, you begin without a reputation, just a blank slate. It’s critical to build a personal brand as a fitness expert and then learn to sell yourself. No matter what you do for a profession, it all comes back to sales; the story of how I got started and how I continue to excel today is a perfect example of that.
I didn’t have my own clients at first; I had to convince my boss to give me my first two. Even though they were a bit older and struggled lifting small weights, I gave them everything I had. I started to get a few more clients, and after a few months I had about seven or eight of my own; I thought to myself, “Okay, I can do this.”
Equinox had blackout hours during “peak time” on the floor, but I never let that stop me from developing what I considered to be my personal brand. When I wasn’t “on the floor,” I would go on the StairMaster. I would stay at the gym after work hours and continue to work out, surrounding myself with potential clients, always ready for a new opportunity. That’s when other gym members started to notice my hard work and results, and I started to gain credibility. Over time, my client list grew. I proved to myself that I could succeed with the right attitude and work ethic. I learned that the most effective way to sell myself was by being and showcasing the best version of me.
It wasn’t just about fitness, though. No matter the job, I’m a strong believer that you need to show up, work hard, and be a nice person every single day. Not just for a while, but forever, and especially in the beginning. I think that is the best recipe for success. People need to look at you and think, “Wow, she or he is consistently a hard worker, dedicated, passionate, and nice to everyone.” My clients get excited to train with me because they know I never have a bad day when I train them—or if I do, I will make sure to leave any negative energy at the door before I walk into the session.
I can have horrible days and moods just like the next person, but when it’s time for training sessions, I know how important it is to shut it off and bring on the positive vibes. I personally feed off of the positive energy of others and understand the impact. Having this mentality has been a driving force for my success.