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Dare To Define If You Are A Business Or A Hobby?
Author: Tom Perkins

For whatever reason, it’s not uncommon to find personal trainers who tend to treat their business more like a hobby than a business. Reasons could range from fear of failure to a lack of experience in running a business. Maybe, it’s just psychologically easier to ultimately accept the failure of a hobby than it would be a full-blown business.

Whatever the reason may be, treating a business as a hobby can be a costly mistake that no one can afford to make. If you are trying to determine how you treat your personal training business, take a look at the following characteristics of a profitable hobby versus a small business.

People operating a profitable hobby:

- Started it because it was fun, easy, fulfilling and lucrative.
- Attribute their success/failure to things beyond their control (i.e., the industry, the economy, fads/trends, etc.)
- Do not have a specific plan for the future. In fact, they are happy with the way things are here and now, and don’t foresee much need to expand in the future.
- Do not keep any type of records regarding business performance over time. They don’t know if business was up or down compared to a year ago or even six months ago.
- Think in terms of the here and now and seek only immediate results.
- Any additional training undertaken is solely for the purpose of performing their” hobby” better.

People operating a small business:

- Started it because they had a clear vision of what their service was; what benefits they could provide people; and what personal goals their business had the potential of addressing.
- Attribute their success/failure to a combination of their service and business professional skills.
Small business owners take responsibility for whatever happens whether it is good or bad.
- Engage in regular, systematic business planning throughout every phase of their business so that they can grow and prosper.
- Think in terms of the future and long-term results and consequences.
- Any additional training undertaken is for the purpose of optimizing the potential of their business.

So, which do you have? If you are treating your personal training business more like a hobby than a business, you need to change your mindset if you want to truly be successful. With 95% of small businesses failing within the first five years, you can not afford to treat your business as anything but a business.

A popular business saying states that if you treat your business like a business, it will pay you like a business should. If you treat it like a hobby, it will cost you. Typically, hobbies do not pay. You cannot afford to “try” personal training to see if it’s something you want to do. You either commit to doing it or you don’t. There is no middle of the road here.

If you choose to commit yourself and your resources to developing your personal training business, learn to stay consistent, to use the best tools possible, and to take your business seriously. The end result will be both professionally and personally rewarding.

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Tom Perkins is a business solutions coach and certified personal trainer who leads fitness professionals to profitability. Send an email to [email protected] to receive the Essential Business Success Checklist. Or visit his website at www.fitnessindustrysolutions.com.

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