Protecting your mental health as a fitness professional is often highly overlooked by people in the industry. In the fast-paced world of fitness entrepreneurship, it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day operations and overlook the importance of self-care.
Many fitness businesses and brands are based around one individual: sound familiar? Becoming the complete brand of a full business can be exhausting, disorienting, and also a tough challenge to separate yourself from.
When you’re placed front and center in a business 24/7, it can often take a toll.
But how do you protect yourself as a fitness business owner?
Your business is your everything, we get it – but sometimes you need to learn how to step back. Here are 6 tips to help you protect your mental health as a fitness professional
1. Master Stress Management
The fitness industry is dynamic and ever-changing, requiring business owners to adapt quickly to new trends, technologies, and client needs.
Every morning there’s a new problem, a new staff member who needs to be trained in, and a new member asking for something either entirely unrealistic or impossible. Creating a stable environment where you’re able to leave your business behind you as you head home in the evening is incredibly important.
Yoga, breathing techniques, long walks, and even a healthy dose of therapy can be game-changers when it comes to the stress of business management, but at the core, you need to achieve one key target:
Learn how to separate yourself from your business.
As soon as you realize that you’re just another employee in the business that you run, your life will become significantly easier.
2. Master Work-Life Balance
Make sure your time in your gym or studio is clearly structured and realistic. If you’re aiming to be there 12 hours a day 7 days a week, you’re going to burn out.
There is zero point in you being on the premises if you’re not at your best or most effective.
A great approach to improving your work hours and efficiency is to keep a journal for a week or two. This can help you with a number of significant problems, like:
- Your most effective hours
- Your least effective hours
- The time you need alone
- The time that’s better suited to other tasks
As business owners, we can sometimes fall into a bit of a trance, going from day to day putting out fires but not solving the core problems. If you take the time to truly analyze your patterns and behaviors, you can rearrange your work schedule to better suit your behaviors and routine. After all, you are you’re own boss, might as well use that to its advantage.
3. Seek Support
You’re not the only fitness business owner out there.
Every town, city, and area has a community of business owners who are all trying their best to make their dreams come true and develop a successful enterprise. Try and find groups that are focused on business management and success, because these are your people.
A second step, and one which could be just as important, is enrolling in a business management course. You may have decades of experience in the industry, but a course that teaches you how to successfully optimize and delegate your business can be an absolute game-changer. Courses like these are also going to be where you meet like-minded professionals.
The Top 10 Barriers Discover more
Slowing Your Fitness
4. Prioritize Self-Care
We all need that “me” time. As business owners, we often think that nobody else is going to be able to solve the problem but us, and we need to be there 24/7. That’s not true. Most problems can wait, and if not, there’s a reason why you hired staff: to solve these problems for you.
Take time off, go for a coffee and a walk, take a nap if you need it, and go to that yoga class on Saturday afternoons – there’s no point having you as the face of the business if you can barely keep your eyes open.
5. Outsource Stress
It’s midnight, you’re trying to figure out who paid for what class, what your trainers’ schedules are, and why your Excel sheet keeps reformatting for absolutely no reason.
Life’s too short: get a fitness business platform that sorts all of that for you.
The time and money you save in outsourcing and simplifying all of these tasks can be a game-changer, even if it’s just so you never have to look at that Excel sheet ever again.
6. Set Realistic Goals
Let’s face it: you’re not going to be as big as Snap Fitness in the next two weeks.
Being brutally honest with yourself about the trajectory and profitability of your business can be one of the most important things you can do not just for your mental health, but for your business as a whole.
If you set unrealistic expectations for your business, you’re actually setting them for yourself. Don’t create targets or budgets that you can’t realistically stick to – be more realistic, and be more honest.
Less aspirational targets can actually help your business in the long run. If you’re constantly running to the next marker, you never have time to look up and wonder why you’re running at breakneck speed. By taking your time, you can keep your head up and find the way there that’s faster and easier.
Here’s a video on how Spartans Boxing Studio took a step back and realized the power of community
You And Your Business Are Separate
Take the above headline as a mantra.
You may be the face of the company, you may be your only employee, you may be the only one showing up for your business, but that doesn’t mean you are the business.
Take your time and be more forgiving in how you develop your business because otherwise you’ll burn out and lose everything.
Here’s a quick recap of how you can protect your mental health as a fitness professional.
- Give yourself clear working hours
- Allow yourself a break and delegate work to others
- Keep a journal of your tasks, times, and productivity
- Take days off and relax
- Take up a course or join a community group of business owners
- Set realistic goals for yourself