by: Yuri Elkaim

How do you turn fitness into financial freedom? I want to share my story real quickly with you and I think you’ll be able to relate to this, whether you’re a fitness expert or a health expert who has a practice or a clinic.

I’m down here in Mexico, taking a break from the cold winter, and the only reason I’m able to do this is because I’ve built a business that has freed me up from the one-on-one shackle, if you want to think of it that way.

The One-On-One Shackles

I’ve been in the health and fitness business for 20 years. I started back in ’99, maybe? 2000, 2001?  I spent a long time working with clients one-on-one, as a trainer, as nutritionist, and it was great for a little while.

And then I got into the issue where I was working 16 hour days, you know those mornings where you get up at seven in the morning you drive off to a client’s place and you’re like, what am I doing here? Right? It’s like, this is way too early in the morning. And then you’re working until seven or eight at night and you’re thinking to yourself, man, is this the life I want to live? This is really not really what I forecasted for my life.

I did that for seven years, and at the time I didn’t have kids. I had a girlfriend who’s now my wife. We had one dog. Now we’ve got two. I  quickly realized after doing that for about seven years, I’m like, you know what? I want to do bigger things in this world. I want to impact more people, I want to live a better quality of life, I want to be able to take off and do stuff like this not on March break and not just during Christmas.

I wanted to have that freedom and flexibility and I knew that I had really great expertise that could help me help more people. I didn’t want to be confined to one-on-one.

In 2006, I started my online business. I had no clue what I was doing, so I had a bit of a coach I was working with on the mindset stuff and he was suggesting, hey, why don’t you put a website up? And I was like, all right, what’s a website? Because I had no clue. This is back in like, the dial-up days almost. And so I set this website up, really just really not a good looking website, which doesn’t actually matter to be honest. But anyways, it wasn’t a good website. Didn’t really get much traffic. Spent a lot of time, trial and error trying to get traffic to the website. Thank God I didn’t spend a ton of money on the website, because imagine spending five, ten, 15000 dollars later and no one’s coming to the website. That would have been even worse.

The Problem With Selling An Online Product

So spent some time putting together my first product, which was essentially … I thought to myself, okay, who do I enjoy working with the most out of all my clients? Who am I really good at helping and what am I consistently doing over and over again? And what I did was I just turned that into a product or a system that I was then able to sell to people all around the world who I’d never met before. And it was good. The product was good. But the problem was that no one knew about it. So I think I made my first sale six months in, and it was really demoralizing because here I am was a trainer, training time for money. I can’t take off on vacation because number one, I’m missing out on the income that I would have been making during that time. But also, it’s costing me money while I’m on the trip, right?

So it just wasn’t a good situation. Now, just actually really quickly, I’ll share one really important takeaway or insight, retroactively, is instead of building a product and trying to sell it for $67 like I did, what I should have done, honestly, and this is a really important message for you, what I should have done is I should have actually been coaching people online right from day one. Because I could have charged more, I wouldn’t have had to worry about all the marketing as much as I did with selling a product and that was a really important lesson that sadly took me almost 10 years to realize. So I want to save you the frustration of trying to sell a product that really is not going to … most people are not going to use anyways.

Life Changing Decision

Anyways. So I did that, struggled for a number of years until about 2009. Sat down at Starbucks at the end of the year and I said to myself, “Hey self, what we’re doing isn’t working. We got to change things up. We got to do something different, otherwise what are we doing here?” So I made the decision that that December, I said I’m going to go to some live events, because I was a hermit sitting behind my desk, typing away, writing content, I don’t even know what I was doing, to be honest. There was so much stuff. No focus. And I said, okay, I’m going to go to some live events. I’m going to meet some real people. Figure out what they’re doing. And I’m going to hire a coach. I don’t know who, but I’m going to hire a coach. I need some help.

And so the beginning of the next year, I went to three different events even though I didn’t have the money. I put it all on my credit card. At one of those events, I found the perfect person for me at the time who I wanted to be my coach. I went up to him, I said listen, I don’t know what you offer, but I want to work with you. $18000 later, that I did not have just to be clear, I jumped in and invested. And just for some perspective in my first three years online, I probably made a total of about 50000 dollars. I don’t even know. It was really combined below the poverty line. So it’s not like I was sitting on cash just throwing it. And this is, I think, one of the things that’s allowed me to enjoy the success I’ve had over the years, is I’ve just kind of … I just jumped into the ocean without the water wings on. I didn’t have the safety net. I didn’t know what was going to happen. I just went for it.

Learning From Mistakes To Building A Profitable Coaching Business

So from 2010, that was a really important pivotal year in my business, and I learned a lot of things I didn’t know before. Made some really big changes, met some important people, and that was a hockey stick inflection point in my business. And from that point on, we’ve been able to do … well, at least in our health and fitness business, seven straight years of seven figures or more, which is very much behind us. Now, that’s one of the businesses I have. But I also have, as you may or may not know, a great company called Healthpreneur. We’re the world’s leading coaching training company for helping health and fitness experts start and scale coaching businesses.

What I recognized from my first business is that even though we enjoyed a lot of success, we made a lot of mistakes. A lot of mistakes. It’s a very complicated business. Hundreds of products, hundreds of funnels. Way too much complexity. I mean, my blog gets a million visitors per month. That all sounds great, but do you know we spend $35000 a month just on the blog between payroll and SEO? You don’t need to do that stuff. So when I started Healthpreneur  four years ago, I said I’m going to do things right. Knowing what I know now, I’m going to do things a lot more intelligently and that’s what we’ve done.

We’ve built a beautiful, multiple seven figure business, we’re helping people who are just like you, an expert in your respective field within health, wellness, fitness, turning your expertise into great coaching programs that can much more quickly produce the lifestyle and income you want without trying to become an internet marketer in the process, right?

So my first business was heavy on the internet marketing side. That’s why I’ve become really, really good at copy and marketing and thinking about offers and stuff like that. But the downside is that it takes a long time to do that stuff. And so we’ve been able to crack the code for us and our clients to really help them succeed. But I share this story with you because listen, I went through periods in that journey where there are so many days where it was like, man, I’m going to just … I’m done. This is ridiculous. What am I doing?

And I always had to come back and think to myself, okay, what’s the alternative? What’s the alternative? I need to go back and get a job. I’m not an employable person. You probably aren’t either if you’re an entrepreneur. So I share this story with you because you have expertise that means a lot. It really means a lot to people. If I could shake this camera, I would. You have to understand that your magic, your wisdom, your knowledge can make a huge difference in someone’s life. I mean, you can’t really put a price on health, can you? But if you did, if you could, would it be worth a couple hundred bucks? No, come on. Way more. A couple of thousand? Way more, keep going. Hundreds of thousands of dollars for most people.

And you have to be able to take that and remember that and build your business, your brand, your positioning, your offerings around that. Don’t settle and compare yourself to what everyone else is doing. Raise the bar. Raise your standards. Raise the quality of people you want to work with. We all want to work with committed clients. So number one, you need to be committed to start with. You need to be coachable if you want your clients to be coachable. You need to take a leap of faith if you want your clients to take a leap of faith with you. You have to become the client you want to attract. And this is a big lesson I learned the hard way.

So anyways, hopefully this video has inspired you to recognize that I’m no different than anyone else. I’m no different than anyone else. I had some expertise, I was sick and tired of my situation. I saw an opportunity, had no clue what I was doing and I decided to go for it. And I want that same thing for you if that’s what you want as well. You’ve got to want your dream more than I want it for you, but I want to let you know that it’s possible. It’s a competitive space out there, but it’s possible because people are not just buying coaches. Sorry, they’re not just buying coaching. They’re buying coaches. So you’ll always have a category of one because you are you.

I hope this message has found you well. If it has, let me know your thoughts below and again, if we can support you in your journey, please let me know as well and I hope you have an awesome day.