Stop Thinking of Yourself as Just an Employee
Today I want to write about why we need to stop thinking of ourselves as merely employees of studios and gyms and instead as a business, in and of ourselves. And I don’t mean to suggest that being an employee at a studio is a bad thing or that we should all rise up and quit the studios. No that’s not the point. I’m currently working for a studio and I love it. I’m just saying we don’t need to limit ourselves or try to make a full time income working for someone else.. Or if you’re wanting to teach group fitness or get into personal training, you don’t need to wait for a studio or gym to hire you.
When I started teaching and even before, I assumed all fitness instructors and personal trainers were employees of the studios and gyms where they were at. By employee, I mean you’re hired, you fill out a W-4 and the employer gives you a paycheck after withholding state and federal taxes . It’s up to the studio or gym to hire you and it’s up to the studio or gym to fire you. And sure, that’s one way to teach classes and earn income, but it’s not the only way.
You can be a business in and of yourself, while also teaching at a studio. That’s right. You can be an entrepreneur and also teach at a studio as well. Now, some of you are out there doing it, and some of you are not, maybe because it’s just a little too intimidating.
Let’s face it. It’s easier to be an employee. You show up. You know you’re going to get at least a minimum amount of payment. You don’t necessarily worry about the marketing and finding clients. You don’t worry about finding the space to hold your classes, the utilities, the equipment, equipment maintenance, collecting payment, liability and insurance, payroll, your taxes are withheld from each paycheck and sometimes you get a return in the spring (which even thought that was always your money to begin with, feels like a bonus, doesn’t it?). It’s super easy, right? But employment has its limitations.
You’re relying on the studio to hire you. And although you may be able to tell them when you’re available, you’re otherwise at their mercy schedule-wise. I know first-hand that that part can really start to suck. Plus, about that rate of pay…. Although there’s a minimum you get paid to show up, there’s also probably a cap and a $2-$5 raise per class or even a little sales commission is never going to make that much of a difference in how much you can make if you stay in the employee mentality.
But there’s no financial cap if you start thinking beyond being just an employee Holding your own classes in some available space is one step. And then there’s private lessons, private coaching with long-term contracts, memberships and on-line classes, online coaching, group coaching and programs or maybe making a product or workout program that gets sold internationally. I’m serious. If someone else has done it, you can too.
But doing something and going out on that limb without the protection of an employer may be intimidating. There’s no more minimum amount you earn earn for showing up. You could earn nothing, you could lose money, and you’re not under the umbrella of employment protection when it comes to financial loses, liability, law suits, equipment, as well as confusing and complex state and federal laws.
Many of you are starting your own business or else are thinking about it and doing on a shoestring budget. The idea of hiring a lawyer or a CPA may seem intimidating or scary. How do you find a lawyer who knows how to do this? How much is it going to cost? Will taxes be so much more complicated? The mind drama you create starts to take over and so you’re either putting off your business ideas.
It doesn’t have to be scary. There’s ways for you to move forward with your dreams if you (1) understand just a few legal and business issues and (2) learn to manage your mind to feel empowered. That’s what this website and my empowerment coaching come into play. I first plant a little seed of inspiration and information and then we go to work on your mindset.