We love fitness. We love helping people. We love helping our clients reach their goals and beyond.

But not all of us are able to make a business doing so, or if we do have a business, we would love to be able to expand without eliminating the precious little time we have to live our own lives.

What got me really thinking about this was the recent split between myself and the facility I was working at for the past 2 years. I was working 40 or so contact hours a week (for the non-trainers out there, that means 50–60 hours a week), plus running 2 other online coaching businesses, plus I have a girlfriend and 3 year old son.

I love fitness, but it kind of sucked.

I eventually parted ways, for the main reason that my employer was too disorganized. It wasn’t that I had too much on the go, but it was that getting in the 40 hours I WANTED to get in was far too difficult. There was a ton of ‘behind the scenes’ problems, and they lacked the systems needed for us to grow and succeed.

My employer isn’t the only one who would benefit from a few well-made systems.

Recently I posted a question to a number of coaches in the Motivate Forum asking if they were in fitness full time or part time. If they weren’t full time and wanted to be, what was the #1 thing holding them back?

As you might expect, some coaches are part time and others are full-time (or more accurately, “all-the-time”, as one coach joked). What holds them back from either moving to fitness full-time or expanding what already exists comes down to 2 things:

Time and money.


Let me help you get a bit more of both.

A friend of mine told me “If you have to do something more than 3 times in a week, it should be a system”.

Let that sink in.

It’s how you can make your passion a full-time — not all-the-time — endeavour, support yourself, and make sure you stay passionate about your passion.

The Motivate Collective exists to “help the most people help the most people”. If we truly want to help the most people help the most people, we need to run our fitness business like an actual business. All actual businesses use systems, and they are what will help us earn more money in less time so we can grow, hire and expand to ultimately help as many people as possible.

To do this, we have to recognize a few basic things:

  1. Clients want results (duh).
  2. Delivering an outstanding experience while they get to those results is great for all parties in basically every way.
  3. Most of the people we work with need, don’t need, want and don’t want a lot of the same things.

That last one is key. It means we can do a lot of the same things for all our clients. From intake to programming and even to the ‘individualized’ component: if you work with 1-on-1 clients like me, it can all be the same process.

Dan John calls this “Mexican food” — the same thing served differently.

Even though we all deliver different ‘flavours’ of Mexican food, these are things that we ALL have to do in our business. We can systemize them to save time, but to the client there is no loss of value.

They still get an amazing program.

They still get nutrition built for them.

They still enjoy the process to their goals.

They still feel valued, and if anything it’s a more streamlined service that reflects our professionalism.

In breaking down some of the core things we do, we find that a lot of the things can be systemized. This saves us time, allows us to earn more money, and lets our vision grow to support the number of clients we all wish we could handle.

Take me, for example.

Since I quit I run my own businesses, helping clients online and in so-called real life. Here is some of what I systemized:

  • I laid out my core values and mission statement. This was HARD, but it guides every decision I make and gives me incredible clarity.
  • I made my intake process the EXACT same for every client, in-person or online.
  • All clients now check in weekly in a Google Doc form which tells me everything I need to know. This cuts processing time down from 20 minutes to 5 minutes per client.
  • I set recurring reminders in Todoist to contact all my clients on Mondays (Check-in feedback) and Thursdays (“Hey, how’s that thing you are working on going?”).
  • All training-related events and billing are handled by a single software program. Billing is preauthorized, it deposits to my bank account, and it gives me peace of mind.

Since the switch and setting up these systems (and more) I got incredible results.

My clients are happier.

They are getting better results.

I work with about the same number of people.

I am earning approximately the same amount of money.

But I am only working 11 contact hours per week.


Now I have time for myself. I have time for my family. I have time to interact with great people like yourselves, and most relevantly, I have time to build a business rather than just always be working. My ceiling just went from crushing me to near-infinite, and I am far happier. I did all this by systemizing everything I could (and I continue to do so) - and you can do the exact same thing. What do you do 3 times in a week? Identifying those things is the first step to your success. Here’s to building an actual fitness business, and TRULY helping the most people help the most people.