When you work in the fitness industry, it can be tough to avoid burnout. If you’re running your own business then everything depends on you, so it’s even easier to overdo it and end up running yourself down. To help you deal with this issue, so common in our profession, this post looks how to identify if you’re suffering from burnout, how to avoid it in the first place, and what to do to about it if does catch up with you.
So, what is burnout anyway? It’s defined as physical or mental collapse as a result of overwork or stress. It’s not, of course, restricted to those working in the fitness industry, but as we tend to lead high- pace lives, constantly be on the move and experience the pressures of running our own businesses, we’re likely to suffer from it at some time or another if we don’t take conscious steps to avoid it.
So how do you know if you’re suffering from it? Here are some early warning signs to watch out for.
Whether you’re just starting out as an instructor or have years of experience under your belt, chances are, one of your biggest concerns is how much you should be charging for your classes. You’re not alone. Every instructor we know has moments of self-doubt and can find endless reasons not to charge what their classes are really worth.
Are you’re guilty of underselling yourself? We’ve put together a list of some the main excuses instructors find to justify charging less than they should for what they offer.
This is the classic stumbling block for all instructors. You probably started out doing what you’re doing for the love of it, and you became a teacher largely because you’re passionate about sharing this love with other people. We all seem to be labouring under the misapprehension that if we enjoy doing something, it isn’t work, so therefore we shouldn’t be paid for it.
When you’re self-employed as a class instructor, it’s hard to find time to focus on your marketing. It’s also hard to know where to best place your time and energy. The chances are that you don’t have a marketing background – very few of us do – so, when it comes to marketing your classes, you may just be taking a stab at it and hoping for the best.
If your efforts aren’t paying off and you’re struggling to fill your classes, now might be the perfect time to review what you’re doing. Are you making one or more of these common mistakes? Don’t worry, they’re all fixable!
One of the most common marketing mistakes people make is to try to appeal to absolutely everyone. The thinking is that if you advertise everywhere, favouring quantity over quality, you’re bound to get bookings for your classes. Or as the old adage goes, throw enough balls and you’re bound to hit...
Am I old enough? Am I young enough? Am I the right height? Am I the right shape? Am I clever enough? Am I fit enough? Am I organised enough? Am I committed enough? Am I popular enough? Am I talented enough? Can I do as good a job as they do? Can I earn enough? Am I good enough?
I’m sure that I am not the only one who has had some (or most!) of the above questions pop into my head at one point or another over my teaching career.
As a new instructor I accepted that these were questions which needed to be asked. I figured that once I started teaching the self-questioning would stop.
I was wrong. So wrong.
The rate at which I questioned myself seemed to increase with my expertise in the industry. I struggled with my confidence, and questioned my ability to be a good Instructor, even though I had passed all of the courses and qualifications which confirmed my capability, and had customers saying how much they enjoyed my classes.
I often found myself...
Sometimes she can be a real B*. Let me tell you why.
Nothing is ever good enough for her. She always criticises me and thinks that I could have done better.
Even when I teach a fabulous class, she criticises me. ‘You didn’t do this, you should have done that, you forgot to say hello to X, you didn’t remind the class of Y’.
My boss expects me to be able to handle a massive workload too. She expects me to book the venues, manage the social media accounts, do all of the administration work, do the accounts, teach 10+ classes a week, introduce new classes, regularly change my routines, arrange social events, send out newsletters and arrange cover for classes.
Having a business network means that you can tap into advice, knowledge and expertise beyond your own. This is especially important if you’re working alone.
I love the idea of instructors connecting with one another, which is one of the reasons that I’m working hard to create a community of instructors through The Instructor Hub. It’s so easy to see other instructors as competitors, when they could in fact be your greatest allies. Personally, I’ve found it invaluable to nurture and have ‘business’ best friends. These are people who can cover my classes in the event of an emergency; they also provide a...
As you know, it isn’t just a case of showing up and running a class – there’s preparation to do, marketing, administration, finding venues, ongoing training and development, and many of you work in a full-time job outside of the classes you run.
With all this going on, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. What should you prioritise? Where should you spend your marketing budget? How can you fit in all your admin? Argh! Should you be active on social media too?
The next step from overwhelm is burnout. And, as you can imagine if you haven’t experienced it first-hand, burning out can have damaging consequences for your business. When you’re trying to keep one hundred and one plates spinning at the same time, to be everything to everyone, the chances are that eventually you’re going to drop a plate or two. Mistakes get made. You may even find that your health begins to suffer as...
In fact, it’s possible to blog even if you don’t have a website. But why does blogging matter? How can it help you fill your classes?
Well, you’re reading one now! To give you the official definition, the word ‘blog’ is a truncation of the term ‘web log’ and is ‘a personal website or web page on which an individual records opinions, links to other sites, etc. on a regular basis’.
You might have lots of knowledge, insights or opinions about topics related to what you teach but no clear avenue to share them. Articles and information posts aren’t always appropriate for the main pages of a website and you might feel you have stuff to say that doesn’t necessarily fit into your class content.
When you blog regularly, even if it’s once a month, you can begin to build your...
Over the years, I’ve learned a lot of lessons through trial and error. I’ve had some great successes and made a few mistakes along the way. So, I wanted to take a moment to share with you the 11 most important lessons I wish I’d learnt before I started out:
I don’t say that to sound really cynical! What I mean is that, despite your passion for your subject, being an effective teacher means having the ability to communicate that passion and bring it out in others. If your heart isn’t 100% into what you’re doing – perhaps because you’re stressed, tired or feeling a bit jaded – the people in your class will realise that straight away.
I actually stopped teaching some classes because, although I loved them, I...