On Being Expensive
In the case of medical field, the primary source of revenues come from those seeking immediate solutions to their problems, such as injuries and sickness.
In law, revenues come from clients seeking prevention of complications through the proper representation of interests of individuals or organizations.
They solve or prevent the worsening of problems, and so do we. Why then, do people still pay for medicine and law services even though they perceive them to be ‘expensive’?
The real reason is because people don’t make their buying decisions based on whether something is expensive is not. People buy based on perceived value. Cars are expensive but people buy them anyway.
When people say that something is “expensive”, what they actually mean is that they are not fully convinced that the price and the value of it are equal. In short, they don't recognize the value of fitness coaching.
And for the most part, who can blame them?
In medicine, to call yourself a Doctor, you need to go through six years in med school. You need to sit through any number of different tests - theoretical and practical. Then you have to intern at a hospital for 2 years before graduating.
In fitness however, you can be recognized by the general public as a trainer/coach/nutrition expert/body transformation coach/etc, as long as you have a nice body. As for certification, the barrier entry is so low that anyone can take up an online course or anywhere between a two-day up to a three-months course... and voila - “credentials”.
It’s so easy to be recognized as a trainer, even a 7-year old Jamaican can do it.
Also, the professionals in our industry have to focus so much on marketing themselves to the general public in order to secure business that this has created such a competitive atmosphere whereby the less mature would go about talking bad about everyone else. Within the industry, we have more people going out of their way to disprove theories that don’t conform to their existing beliefs, and doing it with such passion, rather than working together to find solutions. This has made us plateau in the development frontier of new ideas and innovations.
Above all is the problem of the perceived role of a trainer/coach. We are largely regarded as a ‘pusher’ or motivator - a far cry from the true extent of our abilities. If you really think about it, it is pretty stupid to pay >RM100 for someone to count your reps for you. Why would anyone want to do that? How difficult is it to sit on a chest press machine and rep away? Unfortunately, almost everybody is oblivious to this fact.
Including, with much disappointment, many trainers out there.
This, in combination with the reality that technology is catching up. New smart apps such as the artificial intelligence running coach Vi plus the wide availability of information online are slowly transforming the world into one where the less knowledgeable and skilled fitness pros lose their relevance.
Suffice to say that in the possible near future, the word “trainer” will lose but all of its meaning, because everybody will be able to do it.
So what can we do? For those whose interest and passion lies in helping others, our only recourse is to refine ourselves. To do whatever it takes to improve ourselves.
In order for anything to happen however, we need funds.
There is no need to feel guilty about charging more. Charging people less only does them a favor if you're not a good trainer. If you are, then don't feel guilty. If you are not, then improve yourself! The industry needs you.
Do well to earn profits, so that in turn, we can do even better work.
On Those Who Can’t Afford What We Do
We will get to them one day, and in a way that will be sustainable for all generations to come.
That’s a promise.
Are you ready for the last part?
I'll take it