By Kenny Markwardt, Certified Two-Brain Fitness Business Mentor
Your clients want you to make a profit.
How do you feel about it?
If you’re anything like I was for the first few years of my career, you probably have some guilt about making any money at all. Heck, you’re just thrilled people want to trade their hard-earned cash for your coaching. Even if you’re running every class, cleaning the floors, bartending on weekends and relying on your spouse’s job to keep everything afloat, you’re just excited that you get to change the world one air squat at a time.
But your clients don’t want that life for you. They want you to make money. In fact, they need you to make money.
In every stage of your business, your ability to make money improves their experience, increases your ability to professionalize your operation and allows you the freedom to enhance your community.
Let’s examine what that looks like through all phases of business ownership, as outlined by Two-Brain founder Chris Cooper in his book “Founder, Farmer, Tinker, Thief.”
In the Founder Phase of business ownership, where you’re getting started and mostly going it alone, your clients need you to make a profit so you can be a professional, so you can take your new venture seriously and so they can believe in your ability to change their lives.
Your clients need you energized, refreshed and eager to serve them. If you’re working two (or more) jobs to support your new business, everyone loses. Think about how much better you’d be if you could spend all your time focusing on being the best instead of just surviving. This is especially important in the microgym industry. Clients are investing their money, entrusting their health and putting their confidence in your ability to help them chase their dreams.
Your value to your clients skyrockets when people open up to you about their real reasons for training. Think about the breakthrough you’ve made when someone admits to you that it’s not about the 10 pounds on the scale but about not crying every morning in fear of following the path of their prematurely deceased parents. That breakthrough can change a life.
Now think about how unlikely someone would be to share something like that with a coach who is clearly struggling to make enough money to survive into the next month.
Your success will create the trust and confidence that are needed to build long-term relationships.
As you gain traction and move into the Farmer Phase of business ownership, profit becomes even more important.
You’re growing, you’re starting to replicate yourself with staff members, and you’re looking to hire more people to do the tasks that keep you from focusing on your best work. In this phase of ownership, you’re building a team, and you need to make enough money to confidently lead them and pay them enough to take it seriously.
If you’re making a comfortable living, you’ll be a calm, steadfast leader. If you’re barely getting by, you’re not going to be able to look staff in the eye and say, “Help me build a better tomorrow.”
Just as your clients looked to you for stability and confidence in Founder Phase, your staff will look to you for those same things now. If you’re not making enough money, it’s going to show, and your staff people will feel insecure. How can they do their best work?
Your clients need and want people they can trust as much as they trust you. You need to profit to make this happen by providing confident, thriving staff people!
When you move into the Tinker Phase of business ownership, profit is a tool for you to make your business even better. Your clients need you to profit so you generate even more dedication from your staff and so your business becomes even more stable.
In this stage, you’ll aim for at least one full-time employee, and this person will rely on you and your vision to an even greater degree. The person is probably supporting a family, hoping for vacations and planning for the future. These dreams and plans are predicated on the success of your business, and your profit is the glue that holds the future together—both for you and the staff member.
If you’ve made it to Tinker Phase, you’ve probably been in the game for a while. This is where your initial investment and sleepless nights begin to pay you an actual return.
You started a business because of the risk-reward relationship. You took a giant leap, made hundreds of mistakes, lost sleep, cried, bled and nearly got divorced for this business. You should be proud of your work and the return you’re receiving on your initial investment. Whether you believe it or not, you deserve it!
Perhaps more importantly, you must understand that your clients want this for you! They’ve wanted it for you all along. Without the light of reward at the end of the tunnel, you wouldn’t have worked so hard to change their lives. You’d have done something far easier. Now, you’ve built something sustainable that will be able to change lives for generations to come. Your clients want their children and their children’s children to be able to benefit from your dreams and hard work. Businesses that aren’t profitable aren’t around for decades. They fizzle out and die. So, for your clients’ sake, don’t let that happen!
In the Thief Phase of business ownership, you’ve built a great business that runs without your direct oversight and will survive you. Now you, the entrepreneur, are looking to build a legacy. In this phase of entrepreneurship, your clients want you to make a profit so you can use it as a tool to change the world in an even bigger way through philanthropy.
Think of all of the good philanthropy does for the world. Imagine a world without all that has been possible because of the generosity of people who have generated great wealth. In the Thief stage, you’ve proven your business acumen and have an opportunity to channel your resources into the things that will make an impact for generations. If you don’t think your clients want this for you, you’re crazy!
Profit: Good for Everyone
It can be hard to remember that your clients actually want you to make a profit in return for following your passion and changing the world, but they do. Profit enhances your ability to serve at the highest level through all phases of your entrepreneurial journey. The sooner you embrace that as fact, the better you’ll be as a business owner and the more successful your clients will be.