Business expanding during a pandemic – freaking yikes.

2020 was to be the year that I began focusing on expanding my personal training business back to what it was before having my son, and eventually making it my full time gig.

After having a baby, the need for financial stability, health insurance, etc were, next to schedule flexibility, at the top of my “parent must have” list.

My day job offered me quite a bit of flexibility, much like any personal training schedule would. However, being self-employed doesn’t give you much breathing room in the finance department, or provide health care insurance – which, which a new baby, you really, really need.

So training took a back seat for those early years. I stopped doing classes, and limited my one-on-one clientele to five clients at a time. It covered the cost of my continuing education, and helped cover daycare expenses.

With Kindergarten coming down the pipeline, I began making my plans to expand. With my son in school, I had extra hours in the day to take on more clients, so I began to shift my focus.

I began working on my rebrand, because VanSpice Functional Foundations didn’t quite fit anymore. I was still working with the pre/postnatal population, but I was also working with non-parent clients just looking to reclaim their health and fitness, and heal damaging ways of taking part in fitness.

The pandemic brought it all to a screeching halt.

On the onset, my remote training clients boomed. I had roughly a dozen those first few months. People looking to make the transition from the gym to home as shutdowns began, and stretched out.

I realized I had been holding myself back by limiting my online and remote coaching, and could pinpoint exactly where it happened.

In the early-ish days of Instagram, a trainer/fitness professional I followed asked if you would still be able to do your job if the internet were to “die” tomorrow. It was a direct aim at online personal trainers, and how they wouldn’t have clients if it weren’t for social media. He did a REALLY good job at making you feel like a skeezy “quick fix” salesperson in his post, and it hung with me for a long time after.

The pandemic made me realize that I’d shortchanged myself by holding on to that deep need to be able to say I’d still have clients if I didn’t have the internet.

In order to grow, not just my business, but as a trainer, I needed to shift to an online model.

I created a universal program for people to buy that they could do anywhere, anytime, with little equipment (even whatever they had lying around the house, like a case of water, or a backpack with kids toys inside).

I started Fit Friday’s for Mental Health, an online, monthly fitness based fundraiser that donates 100% of proceeds to organizations and programs that help people gain access to therapy and counseling either for free, or at actual affordable costs.

While the pandemic did impact the growth of my business, because it was slow going given our financial situations with lack of work, layoffs, shutdowns, rising costs of groceries, etc… I was learning how to be an online coach, and how to adapt my in-person methods to that world.

Habit creating challenges, and workout programs for the last 100 days of the year helped launch me into the new year with my feet already on the ground.

Is it where I’d hoped it would be by March of 2021 when I was laying out my plans in January of 2020? No, I’m still a ways off. However, I am moving forward.

Having a business isn’t easy, and trying to run one in the midst of a pandemic is even less easy. There will never be any denial of that.

But create goals, make a plan, then create that action list of how you’re going to do it.

Work at it, one by one. Stay consistent, and keep moving forward.

It’s pretty much exactly what I tell all of my clients. So far? I’ve yet to have a client tell me that it doesn’t work, they’re not moving forward at all.

Even if it’s baby steps, a step is a step.

Posted by

Mother. Photographer. Writer. Founder of Fit Fridays for Mental Health. Former powerlifter turned weightlifter. Coach & Nutritionist. Spondy/PCOS/Endo. Bully breed advocate.

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