Overcoming Anxiety and Overwhelm as a Business Owner

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As life (and business) gets busier and busier, now more than ever, business owners all around Australia are reporting they are feeling the effects and deathly grip known as anxiety and overwhelm.

Today, I want to share with you a very practical system that you can use every time you feel stuck on the inside of your business.

Before we even begin, I want to put your mind to ease. As a business owner, feeling anxious, overwhelmed and discouraged at times is 100% normal. Anyone who has been in business for more than 30 days knows this.

The realities are, that business is hard. If you’re striving for delivering more value than anyone else in your marketplace, then it’s natural that you are going to be pushing your limits. But if you don’t have a system to manage this process, what ends up happening is you’ll start spending too much time worrying, and not enough time winning.

It’s my goal to help you navigate the feelings of anxiety and overwhelm as a business owner, so you can get back on track to win.

While many may attempt to complicate it, anxiety is actually very simply defined. It’s fearing that somewhere in the future you will experience more pain than pleasure.

Now, these feelings might be rational or irrational, imagined or real. But in any case, the result for you is the’re stuck, suffering and have no idea what to do next!

The good news is, below I have prepared a simple system for you to follow and implement. This means you’ll now have the tools to free yourself from feeling stuck, and actually get moving again.

Let’s do it.

Step 1: Identify What is Causing the Anxiety

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The first thing you’ll want to do, is get really clear on what is causing the problem. Ask yourself a series of questions (sample below), until you’ve clearly identified what the problem actually is.

To do this, I recommend you use your $5 psychologist (a $5 hardcover journal you can carry everywhere you go) and write (+ answer) the following questions.

Keep writing until you feel confident you know you’ve ‘got it’

  • What is truly causing this challenge?

  • What is it I am avoiding?

  • What am I really fearing here?

  • Why am I feeling this way?

You may wish to bullet point your answers, or have a conversation with yourself. Either way, the goal is the same: find the root cause.

(Note: These questions are purposely asking the same question in different ways. This is designed to help you see the problem from slightly different angles. You do not have to answer all four, but instead, just ask one at a time until you’ve nailed the problem.)

Step 2: What is the Goal?


Now you’ve identified what is causing the issue, you’ll notice the reason you’re feeling anxious about it, is that you’re not where you’d like to be.

You may not be making the money you’d like make, you may not be attracting the quality leads that you’d love to turn a healthy profit, or maybe you’re just overwhelmed with the entire process.

In any case, if you want to start making progress again and breakthrough this plateau, you must define the goal.

What I’ve found from working with service based business owners from a variety of industries, is very often, more than 50% of the anxiety and overwhelm they’re feeling, is due to a lack of clarity over what the actual goal is.

So what is your goal?

  • How much money do you want to make?

  • How many clients do you want to work with each day, week, month and year?

  • How big do you want your business

  • What does a perfect business look like for you?

We’re going to get to the planning section next, but if you don’t define where you want to be before moving on, you won’t be able to solve the problem.  

Take the time to discover what success looks like for you.

Step 3: Build An Action Plan


OK, you’ve now discovered the cause of your anxiety and overwhelm, and also identified where you would like to be (your goal), it’s time to now build the plan to get you there.

To help in this process, I want you to think about the last three big things you’ve accomplished in your life. Anything that you’re proud of yourself for achieving.

Now I want you to ask yourself, how many of these happened by accident? The answer will always be zero. Anything worthwhile that you’ve achieved once started with a plan. That plan was then acted up, and eventually, through hard work, persistence and some creative thought, it resulted in an outcome. It’s simple. Plans work.

It’s true that success is never linear, and that in pursuit of a goal, you’ll often be taken off the original path (in order to learn some necessary lessons along your personal journey), but the one thing I know about success for sure is if you don’t have a plan to achieve it, you’ll never get there.

To do this, you’ll need to think about where you are now, where you want to be (both defined in steps 1 and 2) and then brainstorm every step in the process to get there.

This will take work. New results require new thinking.

Again, using your journal, outline, brainstorm and detail the elements of the plan to get clear on the action steps (inputs) required. While the outcome is what you desire, that is not within your control. Inputs however are. And those are what’s going to make it happen.

For example, let’s just say your goal was to earn $200,000 in personal income, here are some of the elements that need to go into your plan…

  • How many clients do I need per week/month/year to make this?

  • How many products to do I need to sell?

  • How many appointments do I need to set each week/month?

  • How will I secure those appointments?

  • How much will I invest into marketing, advertising, savings, and growth?

Keep thinking until you have clarity over the steps and build it into a plan to help you get there.

Step 4: Tracking Progress


Lastly, if you want to ensure you’re winning, you must keep on top of progress. This is the step that most people neglect. They might enjoy the planning process, or the actioning, but when it comes to reviewing and tracking, many shy away from it. It’s most likely because in the beginning, it’s easy to get away with NOT doing this. Because the little things are just that...little.

As Jim Rohn says: ‘the easiest things to do, are also the easiest things NOT to do.’

Soon enough however, from little things, big things grow. And like a snowball rolling down a mountain, small problems neglected start to gain significant momentum. Soon enough, just like that snowball, those small things become very difficult to stop.

When I first started in my business, no-one showed me the crucial numbers to track. I really was flying blind a lot of the time, and was just using my bank account at the end of the month to track whether I was doing good, or doing bad. That’s a terrible way to run a business.

To help you avoid that pain of confusion and anxiety around not knowing how you’re doing, I want to share with you the crucial numbers you’ll want to track on the inside of your business if you wish to stay on top of things.

Here is a snapshot of what I (and all of my clients) fill in weekly. You may wish to start using something similar in your business. I promise you it will remove a huge chunk of your anxiety and overwhelm around the numbers, and be one of the wisest investments of time you ever make. 5 minutes a week, to save hours upon hours of frustration.

Don’t let the snowball get too big. Stay on top of things and track the numbers that count. This will help.

Trusting this all makes sense for you.

Remember, in business (and life), the realer you get with yourself, the realer life things will get around you. The key (as with all matters of importance), is to take full responsibility for where you are, where you’re going, and how you’re going to get there.

The above system will help...but only if you use it.

Let me know if there are any questions by dropping a comment below -  I’d be happy to clarify anything that will help you get back on track.


Better Questions Are The Answer


Questions have always been the answer for me.

I've built my entire career off the back of great questions. Which has led me to create the business I love, work with clients I love, speak with mentors I love, and share the inspiration with those who are ready for it.

Which is what I wanted to speak with you today about. 

Some of my top questions across the key areas you need the most if you want to grow on the inside of your business.

Questions for Business Clarity
1. What's the ultimate job I get done for the client? (what problems do I solve?)
2. How do I actually do that? (courses, 1-1, small group, consulting, books, etc)
3. How do I share with people that I'm the real deal? (how do I build freaky trust?)

Questions for Business Growth
1. What am I doing to reliably and predictably increase the lifetime value of each customer? (the ultimate goal in any business)
2. What opportunities currently exist that we are missing?
3. Who do we need to connect with this week to rapidly grow our bottom line or brand?

Questions for Business Stagnation
1. What's currently holding me back?
2. How do I build a plan in advance to solve that?
3. Who has been here before and knows how to navigate this challenge?

Some of the above might seem basic. But basics ALWAYS win.

Plus in my experience, knowing is not doing. Just because you know this stuff, doesn't mean you're already doing it. As my good friend Craig Harper taught me: the transformation is in the doing, not just the knowing.

Let's get you clear and focus on moving you to a position where you can powerfully answer those questions to someone you trust inside a 20-minute practice pitch situation.

It could be me. It could be a friend. It could be another professional. Anyone who isn't afraid to give you honest and growth promoting feedback that you can trust.

Give it a shot and let me know what you think.

Would love to know.


Let’s Talk Marketing

For the longest time I was scared of marketing my business. Because when you start marketing, it becomes real. People other than those in your inner circle, start to see what you’re up to. Meaning you’re right in the firing line for judgement, ridicule and visibility if you ‘fail’.

I’ve since learned that the challenge is not with marketing the business itself, but how you view marketing. And even more specifically, what you think others will think of you for marketing that way. After all, who are you to put yourself out there and make these bold promises.


The thing is, that’s what we’re told works in marketing. Finding and tweaking and showcasing and highlighting the very ‘sexiest’ part of an offer and making it sound like it’s the best thing since ever. The problem is...most of the time, it’s not. Because real value take time to formulate. It’s a process of discovery and innovation, not quick fixes and guess work.


But right now, we live in an insta-nt society. Meaning it’s about testing first, and proving yourself later. That is, put a wild claim out there, see who swallows it, and then try like hell to convert them into a client. If it doesn’t work, don’t worry, just put another $30 into the ad and muster up a few more leads.

Call me old fashioned, but I prefer to work the other way around - Prove value first, then market that. I’d much rather make promises I can keep, than offer outrageous (and often false claims) like we all see six (or sixty) times a day in our news feeds.

When you use authentic, genuine marketing, you might not get as many eye balls on your stuff, but I’ve found the right people see it. Instead of scrolling past going “oh another one”, you are actually are heard. It may not be as ‘sexy’, but if you value sleeping well at night, knowing you’re doing the right thing by you and your market it’s worth learning.

Remember, your reputation follows you. Do the right thing, and the right things will follow.


The Importance of Setting The Direction

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Since 2012, I've made it my business to be at the forefront of what is happening inside the industry I love. I've studied people, processes, and systems to help draw out the very best from both individuals and their teams inside their fitness businesses.

By far, the most important (yet often most forgotten or neglected) is setting the direction of the business.

See, what I've found from working with people from all different niches inside the fitness industry, is things to start often happen by chance. From there, as you continue to get better at what you do, you start to realise you actually like this coaching thing and start to get busier.

The challenge comes when the pace quickens. At that point, it's easy to get stuck on the hamster wheel of business, and neglect taking the time to set (and reset) the direction of the business moving forward.

What I've learned is great businesses are built by choice, not by chance. Which means if you want to continue to grow, you'll need to get clear about where you are going, and exactly what that looks like.

Let me suggest a couple of ways we can go about doing this:

1. What is it you want?
I'm not one to tout on about setting a 5-year plan. Like Mike Tyson said: everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face. However, I am a believer that if you don't stop and think about what it is you want, then you'll never get there.

A great first step is to define how many clients you'll help this year, how much money you want in your savings account, what courses you want to develop yourself in, and who you want to work with (both clients and coaches).

Next, reverse engineer each of those things to help set some really clear goals about your future moving forward.

Instead of the 5-year plan, I coach my clients to work in 100-day blocks. It helps keep the energy high and the inspiration flowing. Maybe it's time you did the same.

2. What is out of bounds?
Having a business is just like being the president of your own little country. You'll get to set the rules of how people go about working with you, and also what happens when they don't.

If you want a business you love, it's best to work out what that does and doesn't look like. How will clients be treated? How you be treated by clients? What are your working hours? How long will it take you to get back to emails? How often will clients see you? Do you have any time off? Who will they contact while you're away?

Write them all down and put them into a document on your computer. This is soon going become your bible (the more we add to it).

3. Who will be on this journey with you?
I can't remember who, but a famous author once wrote a book called: "No man is an island". It was true then, and it's true now. Inside your business, because you've always worked by yourself, you might think that's how it always has to be. As a result, you're a gun at doing EVERYTHING yourself (plus that way you know it's done right).

I agree that only you will care as much about your business as you, but if you want to grow, you've got to learn to let go. Helping others become good at the things you think only you can do, is simply about working from great systems.

If you want inspiration, watch the movie: The Founder. It's the story of a guy called Ray Kroc who found two brothers making burgers in California. He made it his business to systemise their entire business so it could be run by 15-year-olds. That business today turns over $27b, has nearly 37,000 locations and goes by the name of McDonald's.

4. Take it one step at a time.
I know it can be overwhelming at times. On one hand you want to help more people, but on the other hand, sometimes it just feels like you can barely keep your head above water with this whole running of the business thing. I get it. (I've been in business since 2013). 

What I've come to realise is this entire thing, is a process. There is nothing that will prepare you for what it's like to run a business. I've got a bachelor of business from a major university, and half a decade of experience. And still, nearly every day I learn something new about how to successfully run a business.

My advice is to take things one day at a time. Business is an evolution. Who you were 12 months ago is dramatically different from today. Which is also going to be dramatically different to who you become over the next 3, 6 and 12 months.

If you feel like you could use a hand setting the direction of your business, and want a professional, objective opinion, then perhaps it's time we spoke?

Business is hard, but it doesn't have to be lonely. Reach out and let's make sure you're on the right path to success.


7 Basics of Fitness Business Success


If there's one thing I know, it's that tough times don't last, tough people do.

It sounds cliche. But it's also true.

As we begin the new week, I wanted to share with you the seven things I'd be doing today if I wanted to get my mojo and momentum back inside my business.

You probably won't see anything new in my list below, but my hope is you'll see one or two items that really stand out and make you think

YES...that's the thing I need to focus on.

Here we go:

1. Ask yourself 3 simple questions: Who do I serve? What do I do for them? What do I really do for them? Clarity in KING, and will give you power.

2. Sell the result they're after, not your time. Ask your top three clients exactly what they want (or wanted when they first signed up with you), then build that into a product, focusing solely on the transformation, results and how they'll feel after immediately after they get started working with you.

3. Put the client at the centre of everything you do. Take the time to define who it is you love serving (see point 1 above) and then wrap every piece of marketing around it. Record every podcast, write every blog and shoot every video talking to this exact person.

4. Stop the selfies and turn the spotlight around. Turn the camera around and make your client the star of the show. Learn how to tell great stories and then champion their journey to everyone you can.

5. Don't get caught up on the little things. I know losing a client sucks, or even just having a bad coaching session can bring you down. But start thinking in terms of months and years, not session to session. What will happen is you'll feel so much better and get your head right. Remember, this is a long game. Keep at it.

6. Set the vision and do the work that matters. No-one else is in charge or giving you direction for your business. Take a piece of paper and define where you'd love to be in 90 days, 12 months, 5 years and even 20 years time. It will 100% most likely change, but the power isn't sticking to it like a recipe, but using it as a compass instead.

7. Lastly, if you don’t try, you’ve already failed. Seriously, this is probably the most important. For years I would sabotage myself the moment before I was about to launch something. I spent so long building things, but when it came down to launch or pitch, I'd back down. Don't do the same.

A great business becomes great not by thinking about doing things, but by actually doing.

It's time to really take this business thing seriously and get you to where you say you want to be.

If you're keen to get things sorted (once and for all), then book in your Reboot session so we can get you to where you want to be a lot faster.

Today's Focus:
Monday Planning.
- What opportunities are waiting for us to act upon them?
- Who do we need to meet this week?
- What do we need to stop doing?

Today's Quote:
"The cowards never started and the weak died along the way." - Phil Knight

OK time to kill.

I'll speak to you soon.

Let me know how you go with the above or if you've got any questions.


How To Sell More

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Just a reminder, that business services do not sell themselves.

You need to be actively pursuing, creating and making sales if you want your business to survive.

It would be nice if simply putting up a Facebook post pointing to a sales page could work, but the reality is, the consumer is much too smart for that these days.

Services must be sold.

Here is my biggest advice for sales:

1. Sell the solution, not the product or process.
Get clear on the solution you provide and get clear about the KEY benefits it will provide someone. People do not buy products, they buy solutions to their problems.

2. Get a system.
Even a poor system done well is better than no system at all. But if you're serious about this, find or create a system that is rock-tight with proven results.

When you have a system, it's literally like following a checklist. In fact, it is a checklist. One that you can follow step by step to take the customer through to help educate them on how what YOU'VE got, can solve their biggest problems.

3. Ask for the sale
If you want the sale, ask for it. Don't have awkward closes that end with polite goodbyes. Get the client to make a final decision of either: 1. yes, 2. no or 3. I'll get back to you within 24 hours with a decision.

The clearer you both are, the less anxiety exists around waiting for them to make a decision.

I hope that helps in your sales conversations.

If you think your sales system could be polished up (or you want to speak about getting one), then reach out via comments or PM and let's see if we can spot a few gaps that could be filled.

To start all we do is use a small survey to assess where you're currently at, and if there are some next steps we could recommend, then we can explore.

Keep working hard on your business and keep making those sales (y)


Death of the Personal Trainer (Part 1)

Death of the Personal Trainer (Part 1)

As we progress further and further into the new age of fitness, the idea of simply being a personal trainer is quickly becoming redundant. The new standard is to be a coach.

In a four-part series, I've been writing called: "Death of the Personal Trainer" (this is part 1) I share what you can do to transform from PT to coach, which I hope is helpful for you and your business.