Happy Sunday, Motivators! This is your weekly 10 minutes summary of the conversations that happened on the Motivate Forums!

  • Averaging 5hrs sleep a night
  • Only having one "day" off (Saturday from 1pm till Sunday 6am)
  • Not going out seeing friends as often (if at all)
  • Letting hobbies I loved die (not DJing at all, except for one gig at a festival)


In lieu of that, coming back getting a new client base in, I have my "rules" to keep a better hold on representing that "practice what you preach" line going:

  • Don't work weekends (unless it's really really REALLY urgent between 10am-midday on a Saturday only - and I can still say no)
  • Mon/Wed/Fri are "early" days - 6am-2pm
  • Tues/Thurs are "late days" 2pm - 8.30pm
  • My training days used to be 10am Tuesday and Thursday so those have now been (re)carved into place.
  • I've told friends to figuratively drag me out kicking and screaming on the weekends - you can't really think "work" if you're out having a giggle.
  • I use my "festival" phone (just an old Nokia: makes calls and texts and can play Snake) on days off when i want a low-tech day.
  • Meditate! Even if it means going and sitting somewhere quiet and watching your brain go by, let it do its thing and it'll shut up eventually
  • Also, I don't stress out too much anymore about finding articles that are tailored to every individual quirk of a client - I theme each week and maybe send 1 or 4 articles of interest on said theme to everyone
    • Mark Fisher Hey Chris, I know we've never met before. Just wanted to say you sound awesome. You're already getting great advice here (raise prices and/or hire/systematize/automate more). If you haven't checked out the E-Myth yet, it's a great read on this piece of the puzzle. I will say hiring and managing other humans is a whole other skill set haha, but for me it's been the most satisfying challenge of my life. Mind you, I'm not sure how good I am it just yet haha, but I sure do love it, and I love the people in my life. I know I felt alone for a long time in this business, but now that I have a team/ family, we share the load. PLUS I get to take days off, leave town a lot, and really prioritize self care. I'll also note both you and Josh have an AMAZING problem; it sounds like you're really great at something you love and that's really helping other people. While it's a great problem to have, I think all of us know what a toll it can take when you really truly deeply give a shit about people and put your heart into this work. But I'm confident that if you're having this problem at all, you must be doing a lot of good stuff for a lot of people. And my bet is that this post is an indication that you're about to turn a corner.
  • Lauren Koski asked for advice on setting up rewards to reinforce habits.
    • Steven Michael Ledbetter There's lots of ways to do it. BJ Fogg recommends a pat on the back. Leo Babuta recommends a Zen pat on the back. But I think the most universal reward that coaches can use is reminding the client that they are acting in accordance with their values. A way to get the client to reflect that, "I'm doing the things that I need to do in order to become the best version of myself."


To that end, I build the reflection into the habit statement itself as an "in order to." My (current) goto habit loop is:


I am 90-100% confident I will [action] when [trigger] for the next [1-14 days] in order work towards [skill OR identity OR performance goal].


action = the tiny behavior they want to perform.


trigger = the habitual behavior they’re already doing that they can piggyback on.


1-14 days = the number of days between 1 and 14 they feel confident they can do.


skill = something that the client's best version of themselves wants to do better or more easily


identity = the values that the best person of themselves lives up to every day.


performance goal = the first thing they wanna do which shows they’re on the right track to becoming their best self.


Some examples of this with the reward statement would be:


"I am 90-100% confident I will record what I eat after every meal for the next 14 days in order to eat more mindfully."


"I am 90-100% confident I will record what I eat after every meal for the next 14 days in order to be a mindful eater."


"I am 90-100% confident I will record what I eat after every meal for the next 14 days in order to learn how many calories I'm eating."


The secret sauce is then getting the client to then reflect daily by answering:


1) What did I do well today?

2) What did I learn today?

  • Benjamin Pickard asked for advice on determining pricing.
    • Roland Fisher I'd advise that you first figure out your costs if you had to hire people to do every part if the business. To do that you need to map out your time and resource commitment and then price the labor market for those roles. After you have a good idea of price of service, add to that a reasonable profit. That is likely the lowest price you can charge. With that knowledge I'd charge what I think I can get. Monitor results. If you then think you aren't getting enough people, reduce your price a bit, see if a loss of 10% profit increases revenue by more than 10%, as an example. If it does, you have a better price for your market and you make more money.
    • Andy Fossett Roland made some good points. You want to ideally offer at least a couple of tiers and split the levels according to the features and interactions your clients find valuable. Pricing is one of the most important business decisions you can make (nothing has a more direct impact of profit), but most people just pull something out of the air.
    • Josh Hillis So one thing that stood out to me a lot doing the internship at Results Fitness was that the Cosgroves weren't there. I mean, in a good way.


They had staffed the whole gym. They had program designers, head trainers, membership managers (sales), customer service managers — the whole thing was handled.


And of course they were paying those people.


So if you know the price of paying your employees ahead of time, and have that baked into the price... you can actually do that.

  • Jamie Chanelle  asked for advice on building an online support group for her gym members
    • Josh Hillis Know that pages are almost less than totally useless. So don't use that as your barometer of FB usefulness. No one interacts with pages. In fact, most people that liked your page will never see posts to your page unless you pay. Pages are *entirely* pay-for-play at this point. And still they don't get the engagement that a group does.


A group is a completely different experience. People will actually see stuff. On top of that, you can tag people (which pushes a notification to their phone) and start conversations.

    • Steven Michael Ledbetter I cannot overemphasize the importance of people getting notifications pushed to their phones that inform them of relevant conversations happening that they might be missing out on. Unless of course, they do not have a mobile phone. In which case I cannot overemphasize the power of Pot Luck.
    • Omar Atlas Do you have 3-5 really enthusiastic/popular gym members? Recruit them to act as your "champions".
    • Jamie Chenelle Omar Atlas do you mean getting those people to help draw people in to the FB group and to events like a pot luck? Basically having them serve almost as in-house marketers?
    • Omar Atlas ^ Yes!


The problem is no one will post in the group unless there are already other clients posting useful/interesting/funny stuff in the group.


I wouldn't describe it as "in-house marketing" when recruiting them (even though that's what they might be doing).


I'd present it as an awesome opportunity for them to shape their community and as a way for them to increase their own fitness success.


They are probably going to need a lot of direction early on to understand "what's our role and how do we do it?", so I'd prepare for a lot of hand holding, at least initially.


People come as often as they can. Some come 1-2 times per week, some come 2-3 times per week. A couple come 4x per week.


Everyone loves it. And for fat loss, where the food habits are the thing, and the workouts "they should do some", it works really well.


It works especially well for clients that have busy seasons and not busy seasons (like a client who is a wedding planner) who can modify how often they come, on the fly, week to week.

    • Seth Munsey I have my memberships structured currently at 2x per week, or 3x per week.


I am evaluating those current offerings and looking at changing them to 8x/month and 12x/month.


I like my current offerings, but a lot of my people travel, so they miss out on a week here or there. So they are always asking if they can make up a few classes that they missed. Changing it to 8x/month and 12x/month might alleviate that.

  • Stevo shared a personal insight about the concept of unteaching “How can we use open-ended questions, paraphrasing, autonomy, competence, and belonging to get people to see how full their cups really are? Especially when I know that just because someone has hired a coach doesn't mean they're ready to change.”


"What beliefs does your current self have about success and what do you think your target self would say about those beliefs?"


I like to ask questions that help clients realize that it's very hard to be two different (often times opposing) people at once. And in general, the person they're trying to be requires belief/value/behavior systems that drastically differ from the systems belonging to the person they currently identify themselves as.


With enough guiding, they can loosen the grip of the self of old and gain some mental real estate for accepting change.

    • Mark Zarate Awesome post...a key point is that just because someone hires a coach doesn't mean they are ready to change! That simply shows they want to change, but far too often they arent 'ready' to change. That's the beautiful struggle is getting them 'ready' to be 'ready'. Everybody can be reached!
    • Georgie Fear Excellent thread! I try to ask questions aimed at increasing their awareness (like why and when they began xx behavior? What changes have they noticed since beginning it? Have the results changed over time or has the outcome been pretty consistent?)


If they are hoping that something which isn't working now will begin to work in the future, we can talk about what evidence there is to support that prediction. Because sometimes things DO change with more practice, we get better at riding a bike if we don't give up the first time we hit the curb and take a header.


But many times, and Steven pointed out, it isn't working. They can't come up with a valid reason why and believe that trying harder is the answer. So I use that as an opportunity to chat about how they probably have tried really hard so far, and if it's been too hard this far, maybe we can try easier.


With calorie counting as a really prevalent not-effective behavior:


It's handy to have BEEN the pro dieter and calorie counter - because I speak their language and have done shit like counting grapes. I will share pieces of my experience, and things I have seen with other clients which are drawbacks of calorie counting - the psychological impact, the rationalizations, the logistical flaws of labels and databases being inaccurate, all of which can decrease the return on investment of your time spent with Myfitnesspal. Often they are voicing that they too have experienced some of those problems (like eating "up to" their calorie budget hungry or not, or wanting to slay their spouse for asking for a bite of their pretzel).


In the end it comes down to fear. Fear that if they lt go of this habit, _____ will happen. And that's a great place to listen, to hear them out, to reassure them that it's normal to have that fear, and that if they want to, you can help them step out of it safely and in small increments with them in charge of the pace.


    • Georgie Fear When it comes to asking a client to give up an old habit, behavior, self-defeating belief, etc, I think of it like a security blanket. Instead of tearing it away from them, I turn up the heat until they feel less of a need for it, and then invite them to shed it since they don't need it.