200 Random Thoughts About Being a Fitness Business Owner

I’ve been a fitness business owner for 5 years now. I’ve endured a lot, some will say more then most, my story is just that, one story. You have your story and that is what makes you unique.


I can tell you that everything I’ve learned over the past 64 months has lead to a stronger foundation inside my business. This piece of writing was started on whim, with a bunch of “random” thoughts and ended up with what some may call a powerful list of thoughts, lessons and statements about being a fitness business owner.

Call these what you will, they are from the heart, they are real, they can, may have already or will happen to you over time.

I have learned the hard way that I cannot always count on others to respect my feelings, even when I respect theirs. I always try to be the best business owner and person I know how, this hasn’t always lead to others being good.

Remember, you only have control of yourself and your business. Your business is yours; protect it with your life, because it’s what provides yours.

This is a list of 200 comments, statements, happenings, lessons and truths I’ve written at random. This isn’t “gospel” but they are real world.

Here are my thoughts…

  1. You are a business owner. Don’t expect everyone to understand.
  2. You are a brother, sister, father, mother, aunt, uncle, son, daughter, etc, first. Don’t expect everyone to understand.
  3. You have a life. Don’t expect everyone to understand.
  4. You have a significant other. Don’t expect everyone to understand.
  5. You have to operate the business.
  6. Working in your business sometimes is what your business needs.
  7. Working on your business is just as important, if not more important for your longevity and psyche.
  8. You don’t have all the extra time you’d like.
  9. Your work will take up a large majority of your life.
  10. You will struggle to find balance.
  11. Clients will come.
  12. You will change client’s lives for the better.
  13. Those same clients will go.
  14. Those same clients who have come and gone, will come back.
  15. Don’t compete on price, ever.
  16. Compete on delivering the best product out there.
  17. The help some people need is beyond the scope of your practice.
  18. People will talk about the amazing work you do.
  19. People will talk behind your back, in a negative light.
  20. Jealously and envy come with success.
  21. So too does support, love and respect.
  22. Other gyms will pop up around you.
  23. Some of those gyms will try to imitate your product.
  24. Let them try. Be better.
  25. Staff will come, staff will go.
  26. People will hold grudges, let them.
  27. Take the high road, even if it can’t be seen by all.
  28. People will lie to your face. Forgive them.
  29. You’ll learn the difference between those staff who are there for the long haul and those who are there for a paycheck.
  30. You are not there to be your client’s friend.
  31. You may become friends along the way.
  32. You will laugh.
  33. You will cry.
  34. Anyone can open a gym, not everyone can grow a gym.
  35. You’ll discover this as more and more open.
  36. People don’t care what you know, until they know you care.
  37. 4AM is normal.
  38. Leaving “work” after 8PM is normal.
  39. Working anything less than a 12-hour day is a break.
  40. People will ask you when you are going on vacation.
  41. What is vacation?
  42. Gain a strong understanding of basic fat loss nutrition.
  43. Grow this understanding to build a solid foundation of fat loss nutrition.
  44. Learn how to deliver this understanding of nutrition so a client understands it.
  45. Don’t be a dork, simplify your words for clients.
  46. Everyone will always say “I know your busy” yet what they don’t understand is we are all busy, in fact, “I’m busy” is the new “I’m good.”
  47. You will find your true love.
  48. People will mistaken your confidence for arrogance.
  49. No one will ever truly understand your passion.
  50. The only person loyal to your business is you.
  51. Being strong, will go far beyond your time spent with the iron.
  52. Respect the grind.
  53. You will struggle to delegate.
  54. You will live by your set of core values.
  55. These core values won’t seem so obvious at first, they are easier to find then you first think.
  56. Surround yourself with people who believe in these core values.
  57. You won’t call your mom enough.
  58. You’ll lose friends.
  59. You’ll gain new friends.
  60. The word “friend” will mean something entirely different then it did as a child.
  61. Practice what you preach. And I mean PRACTICE it. Save the “make believe” for the internet trolls.
  62. Ignore the haters.
  63. Take deep breaths daily.
  64. Mobility is oversold.
  65. You still need mobility.
  66. There is strength in stability.
  67. You don’t have enough mobility or stability.
  68. Too much laxity in training isn’t a good thing.
  69. Build stability.
  70. Be a badass.
  71. Provide feedback, both positive and negative.
  72. Train like a Strongman. Diet like a Bodybuilder. Mobilize like a Weightlifter. Think like a Powerlifter. (Thanks Brandon Lilly!)
  73. Learn how to squat, bench and deadlift.
  74. Don’t hate on overhead pressing, make sure your clients earn the right to press overhead.
  75. Core work is not overrated.
  76. Understand the importance of the hips.
  77. Surround yourself with people who have your best interest at heart.
  78. These same people will be hard to find.
  79. It takes a special man/woman to love a fitness business owner.
  80. When you meet the person who stops you in your tracks, show them how much you love them, hold them tight, keep them by your side and make them happy.
  81. If given the opportunity to join a mastermind, do it.
  82. Network, pay it forward, ask for help.
  83. You don’t know it all.
  84. You can’t learn it all.
  85. Don’t be a robot.
  86. Focus on the now.
  87. Don’t be afraid to change, when change is required. You may lose something good, but you may gain something better. It’s called evolution.
  88. The programs that “get it” evolve. Be one of those programs.
  89. Don’t live for the weekends.
  90. Going without food is ok.
  91. You’ll lose weight due to stress.
  92. You’ll gain weight due to eating too much.
  93. When success grows greater you’ll fight the urge to become complacent.
  94. Systems are great.
  95. Great people are better.
  96. Just because someone is a good coach, doesn’t make them a great person.
  97. On that note, be a great person first, great coach second.
  98. You’ll meet a lot of coaches who think they are better then the rest.
  99. Read the E-Myth. Then read it again.
  100. The fitness industry is full of assholes.
  101. The fitness industry is full of amazing people.
  102. For every asshole you meet, there are hundreds of hungry coaches who want success as bad as they want to breath.
  103. Not every coach is meant to be a fitness business owner.
  104. Being “the owner” doesn’t mean you coach all day.
  105. Some of the amazing people you meet in the fitness industry will become your best friends.
  106. Some of the best coaches in the fitness industry aren’t in your favorite magazines or blogs.
  107. Accounting sucks, but you better understand how to read a P&L, Balance Sheet, and the like.
  108. You’ll love your Accountant.
  109. You’ll hate your Accountant.
  110. Just because you’re business grows, doesn’t mean your paycheck grows.
  111. Start your business for freedom, not to get rich.
  112. Train to get strong.
  113. Train your clients to get strong.
  114. Spend some point of your training life getting as strong as you can.
  115. Spend some point of your training life getting as lean as you can.
  116. Balance your macronutrients.
  117. Know what the hell macronutrients are.
  118. Every newbie in the fitness industry is an expert in their eyes.
  119. The 10,000-hour rule isn’t respected anymore.
  120. You won’t read enough.
  121. You’ll read too much.
  122. Reading will become a must. Read things outside the norm, for example, read true stories like “Back in the Fight” and you’ll discover that your life isn’t that difficult.
  123. Clients will cry.
  124. Clients will treat you like their therapist.
  125. Training people in a group format is the smartest thing you can do for your business.
  126. Create an experience like no other.
  127. The majority of the clients you see in year one of business, will be in better shape then the clients you see in year 3, 5 and so on.
  128. To summarize the above comment, our society is becoming more deconditioned.
  129. A deconditioned society means your program should evolve.
  130. Sweat angles are not the future of fitness.
  131. Understand the true art of metabolic training.
  132. If it were easy, everyone would do it.
  133. It’s the hard that makes it great.
  134. Develop rough skin, you’ll need it.
  135. Having a degree in the field doesn’t qualify one person more then the next.
  136. The amount of certifications you have means nothing.
  137. What you learn and implement is far more powerful.
  138. Study.
  139. Be the lion.
  140. Why do you want this?
  141. Know your “why?”
  142. Failure is not an option, but you will fail, only to succeed again.
  143. Do not fear failure.
  144. Admit your failures.
  145. You will give lots of sweaty hugs.
  146. Impossible is nothing.
  147. Own a dog, or two.
  148. Empower your team.
  149. Know the difference between a true teammate and someone who is only in the game for themselves.
  150. You only have 24 hours in a day.
  151. Writing won’t come easy.
  152. Writing a book is an amazing experience.
  153. Don’t write a book, just to write a book.
  154. Just because your writing isn’t published, doesn’t mean it doesn’t count.
  155. Write when you feel the need.
  156. Share your writing if you feel the need.
  157. Don’t stop writing.
  158. There are a lot of great marketers in the fitness industry.
  159. Be a great coach, develop your system, then share it with the world.
  160. Clients can achieve results by cutting out the crap and walking daily. This doesn’t mean they are doing it right.
  161. Teach your clients about creating a lifestyle that will equal long-term success.
  162. Remove the words “I can’t” from your vocabulary.
  163. Doing nothing, planning nothing, preparing nothing, will lead to nothing.
  164. Understand periodization. Linear, non-linear, undulating and why each works or doesn’t for your clients.
  165. Study strength training. And I mean STUDY IT!
  166. You’ll be burnt more then once.
  167. Have a good lawyer.
  168. Ask for help.
  169. Give more then you get.
  170. Knowledge is power.
  171. Share your knowledge.
  172. You’ll forget more then you know.
  173. You will mentor someone who will move on.
  174. Not everyone is meant to be in your life.
  175. When something is wrong and you can help, lend a hand.
  176. Not everyone will want your help.
  177. Saying “I’m sorry” doesn’t mean you are giving up your power. Saying your sorry often times makes you a better person.
  178. Staying small is ok tamiflu generic.
  179. Barbells are great, that doesn’t mean every client should use them.
  180. Make your clients earn the right to perform a given movement.
  181. Understand energy systems.
  182. Understand not all energy systems are created equal.
  183. Don’t just throw a bunch of random shit together for your clients to perform as their workout.
  184. Clients are there to progressively get better, make sure you program reflects that. Random isn’t the answer.
  185. “Foo Foo” fitness programs will survive….because not everyone knows the difference.
  186. Sleep is for suckers.
  187. Dreams do come true, with a lot of work.
  188. You’ll put everyone else first for a while.
  189. It’s ok to put yourself first.
  190. You’ll be a critic of all the new fitness equipment toys.
  191. Your time is precious; guard it with your life.
  192. You’ll be dealt curveballs, hardships, struggles, battles, and challenges that will only be defined on how you react to them.
  193. The best solution for the above, be proactive, not reactive.
  194. Being proactive isn’t always a choice, so remember 90% of what happens to you is how you react to it.
  195. Study the best in the industry. They’ve been there and done that.
  196. Focus on better, not perfection.
  197. More is not better, better is better.
  198. Time is the greatest gift.
  199. Time is the biggest factor for greatness.
  200. Be great.

Work Hard, Train Hard, Get Better,

Tyler English

PS – Did I miss some? Do you have your own to add? Please leave a comment with some “thoughts” of your own! I’d love to hear them.

PPS – I’m constantly asked to share more with the fitness industry. That’s why I’m so proud to share this awesome system with the world => Elite Training System



  1. Steven R says:

    Success is getting up one more time than you were knocked down.

  2. Steve Trentham says:

    Awesome comments Tyler! Many will try, but few will truly understand this. Keep writing!