3 Important Lessons Reinforced in 2015

2015 has been the most eventful of the 8+ years I have spent overseeing the day-to-day operations of Cressey Sports Performance (CSP). 

It was our first full calendar year of managing two strength & conditioning facilities.  It was a year in which I launched a website and dabbled in some public speaking at fitness industry events.  It was even a year that saw one of the three CSP Co-Founders move on to a new stage in his fitness career.

Big changes.  All good.

With all of these happenings sitting in my rear-view mirror, I’d like to extend three quick thank you’s and highlight three important lessons that have been reinforced for me in 2015.

3 Thank You's to Deliver

Tony Gentilcore

I want to extend one last public “thank you” to Tony for all that he has done to elevate CSP to the level it sits at today.  As mentioned above, Tony made the decision to move on from CSP earlier this fall with the intention of launching his own smaller-scale fitness business.  He is now a one-man show, delivering exceptional fitness instruction out of a training studio in Brookline, MA.

From our training environment and programming philosophy, to our unique company culture, Tony’s fingerprints can be found all over the CSP brand.  Eric and I cannot thank him enough for all that he’s done to positively impact our careers.  So, one last time: Thank you, Tony.

Nick & David Bromberg

The Bromberg brothers took a chance on me.  These guys are the engines that run the Fitness Summit, a critically acclaimed industry event with a cult-like following of annual attendees.  With a 2015 featured presenter list including names such as Alan Aragon, Brett Contreras, Tony Gentilcore, and many more recognizable names from the fitness industry, I had little business being offered a spot on the expert panel. 

Fortunately for me, hours spent discussing the business of fitness with David during his 2012 CSP Fall Internship paid off.  He convinced his big brother to give me a shot at speaking to the Fitness Summit audience, and it was an experience that slightly altered the direction of my career.  The numerous interactions I had with presenters and attendees before, during, and after my presentation ultimately inspired me to launch this website and begin sharing business-related knowledge with the fitness world.

Again, I thank you, gentlemen. 

Katie Dupuis

My wife is a rock-steady partner in parenting, a voice of reason guiding each and every professional move I make, and my best friend in the world.  She tolerates an unreasonable amount of CSP-related discussion every night when I get home from work, weekly requests for blog editing, and many of my other quirks that I’m likely unaware of.

Katie encourages me to take risks, gives my life perspective, and always stands by my side.  There’s truth in the saying that behind every good man is an even better woman.  Thank you for being that person for me, Katie.

3 Important Lessons Reinforced in '15

Insure Your Ability to Provide

I have a close friend who earns a great living Personal Training at a big box gym.  Coming in to the month of December he was recognized as a top performer for a national brand that employs more than 18,000 individuals.  While he’s very good at what he does, this coach is not invincible.  I say this because he recently took a fall during his free time (non-working hours) and had the misfortune of rupturing his patella tendon, requiring surgery and extensive rehab.

Photo Credit: payload.cargocollective.com

Photo Credit: payload.cargocollective.com

What’s worse than being taken off of your feet for 6-8 weeks as a personal trainer?  The answer, is being taken off your feet just as the majority of your gym’s members are setting new year’s resolutions that involve exercise-related objectives.  If you are a fitness professional who has not yet investigated your options as it relates to short-term disability insurance, I’d strongly encourage you do so.  Your livelihood is tied up in your ability to be upright, and even the healthiest of trainers and coaches are susceptible to freak accidents.

Hire an Accountant

If you’re reading my blog right now, you’ve likely outgrown TurboTax, TaxAct.com, or any other web-based do-it-yourself tax services.  While many of you are experts within the realm of delivering fitness instruction, it is unlikely that you possess similar levels of expertise in accounting, tax or legal issues. 

As I now find myself managing a new business (fitness business consulting) in addition to my CSP responsibilities, I intend to lean heavily on my accountant Tom to outline the implications and opportunities that come with the change.  I may not know my options as it relates to writing off home office expenses at this moment in time, but you can be sure that Tom will hit me with a thorough tutorial between now and April 15th.

I encourage you to read this related blog post Eric published back in 2010.  I may even ask him to revise the title to read “The Single Dumbest Thing Trainers and Fitness Business Owners Do”.

Get Your Reps In

I had sports talk radio playing in my car during a recent commute and was surprised to hear one of the hosts discussing the possibility that Steph Curry could win the title of the NBA’s Most Improved Player during the season following him earning an NBA Title AND a League MVP Award.  Somebody please tell me how the “best player in the world” manages to go out and become the most improved player the following year?  I decided to dig a little deeper.

I soon came to find out that Curry is famous for his practice schedule, work ethic, and pre-game shooting regimen.  In a recent Men’s Health interview, he explained: “You either put the work in and reap the benefits of what you’re doing, or you try to take shortcuts and think you’re going to be alright.” 

When I read this quote I was reminded of Tony Bonvechio’s strong performance at our 2015 CSP Fall Seminar.  At the conclusion of the event we sent out an electronic questionnaire to gather attendee feedback so that we can improve future events.  With more than half of the 150+ attendees taking the time to provide detailed responses and ratings, Tony came away with the high score of 93% approval on his presentation.  Feedback on his performance consistently featured terms such as “polished” and “clearly articulated.” 

I asked Tony to explain his preparation process to our team during a staff meeting the following week.  He told us that he’d delivered his presentation in it’s entirety four separate times during the days leading up to the event.  “My wife heard it start-to-finish on two occasions. I ran through it once while by myself in an empty room. My dog Eddie even watched me give it once.”

Put quite simply, Tony got his reps in, and it was evident in his smooth and comfortable delivery.  If you are a fitness business owner or even a personal trainer selling fitness instruction services, the best way to sell with conviction is to get your reps in.  Take some time to outline the most difficult questions you’ve encountered while giving the pitch, and become a pro at delivering the appropriate answers to your spouse, an empty room, or even your dog.  Just get your reps in.

We're on to 2016

Here's to a happy, healthy, and productive 2016 for all of my readers!