During the middle of the night I bolted upright in our bed.
It shook so much that Gigi (my wife) thought we were experiencing an earthquake.
She looked at me and asked, “What’s going on? Are you alright?”
I was more than alright.
I was so stoked with WHAT was going on in my head that I jumped out of bed and ran downstairs to get these thoughts written down before they left my brain!
Yes, in the middle of the night I awakened by what I can only describe as an epiphany!
It Started with Peyton Manning
I have no idea why I was dreaming about Peyton Manning.
But, nonetheless, there he was… one of the greatest NFL quarterbacks of all-time floating around inside my sleepy brain.
As I drifted toward consciousness, my thoughts turned to this:
Isn’t it interesting…. even at his super-high level of performance — that when Peyton Manning moved from the Indianapolis Colts to the Denver Broncos… he STILL spent MONTHS learning the “Offensive System” used by the Broncos.
Let that sink in for just a moment….
And, now, let me tell you where this led me next…
From Google to Apple
The thought of Peyton Manning — one of the best to play the game — having to spend months to learn a new system, made me realize that this not only happens in almost all team sports, but occurs in the professional business world, too.
My friend Allie Gendozia is a highly regarded IT professional who spent most of her career at Google. But, recently accepted a new position at Apple.
She spent the first three weeks at Apple just walking around, talking to project managers, sitting in on meetings, attending company events and trade shows.
She was actually mandated to “hang out” as a way to get acquainted with the “Apple Culture.”
Just like Peyton Manning, Allie was hired to do something she was already an expert at doing… but, the playing field changed.
She’d be doing the same things, but in a different environment.
A different system with a different culture and protocol.
This transition period when entering a new environment or learning a new platform is commonly known as Onboarding.
Fitness Does It Too, BUT…
Yes… the fitness industry has its own form of onboarding, too.
It’s especially prevalent among the larger big box clubs.
It’s typically a structured program that ensures a new member is familiarized with the equipment, the locker room, the services, amenities, the pro shop, the cafe and, of course, the professional staff.
After all, new members and clients are changing their playing fields, too. From a sedentary existence to an active healthy lifestyle.
But, here’s the rub. And it’s a BIG RUB!
We, in the health and fitness industry — have missed an important step!
And, here it is…
Follow me on this…
Peyton Manning dedicated his entire life learning, training and practicing to become one of the absolute best quarterbacks in NFL history.
Allie Gendozia was coding software from the time she was 10 years old! It became her passion and career track resulting in her becoming a heavily recruited IT Professional.
Now, compare this to your members and clients.
We make a false assumption.
We assume that just because they’ve been “eating” and “moving” all their lives, our members and clients have some idea of how their own bodies function!
And, That’s the Misstep…
Unlike the aforementioned examples of Manning and Gendozia, new members and clients are NOT already experts.
Sure, they know how to put food in their mouths. And, most can chew gum and walk at the same time.
But, they know almost NOTHING about their own muscle-skeletal systems, circulatory systems, digestive systems, nervous systems, etc.
In fact, they know more about how their smart phones operate than how their own bodies function.
Ask a member or client this question: “Basketball… is it an aerobic or anaerobic activity?”
In our consumer surveys, 8 out of 10 people get it wrong.
Yes, members and clients do what we tell them to do. They run, jump, swim, cycle, lift…. but with no real rationale as to WHY they are doing it.
It’s pure “blind faith.”
Not only do most people NOT know the difference between aerobic and anaerobic activities — but, they don’t know the difference between simple and complex carbohydrates. Or, why it’s important to consume complete proteins.
The sad reality is that most people don’t possess the most basic fundamental knowledge of how their bodies function in relation to foods, activity and mindset.
They’re “winging it!”
Ignorance is Bliss
You don’t need research to prove what I’m saying. Go see it for yourself at any $10/mth, no-contract, room-full-of-equipment type club.
You’ll witness all kinds of people — young and old — attempting exercises they don’t know HOW to do… or WHY they’re even doing them!
FYI: The popular argument that doing something is better than doing nothing just doesn’t hold up — especially when it leads to injury.
Is it any wonder why we have such a high attrition rate?
Get People Onboard with Their Own Bodies
So, there it is. Onboarding.
(If you’re wondering if this is a blatant plug for my own ONBOARD 101 platform, the answer is YES!)
What if we could offer a way for our members and clients to get “onboard” with their own bodies?
What if we could literally help them through the transition period from “sedentary existence” to “healthy lifestyle?”
How much better would be the outcomes?
How much might it increase retention rates, drive referrals and generate new revenues?
A Step Further…
I’ll go so far as to say, that as a health and fitness professionals, we have both a moral and financial obligation to ONBOARD our members and clients.
I won’t lecture on the moral obligation. If you’re like most true professionals, you are 100% passionate and dedicated to helping your clients achieve their goals. ‘Nuf said.
However, on the financial side of things… thousands of true professionals… just like you simply “give away the farm!”
Listen, I’m as altruistic as the next guy, but, ONBOARDING is an additional “education course“ no less important than a nutrition program or training routine. Perhaps even more important!
Courses that educate and empower people are VALUABLE.
That’s why colleges and universities charge for them.
That’s why the most lucrative “value propositions” on the internet are “ONLINE COURSES.”
Are You ONBOARD..?
So, whether you:
- Charge for it as a stand alone program
- Bundle it into training programs
- Bake it into your memberships
- Give it away as a “value-add”
— if you truly want to help your clients reach their goals, then getting them onboard with their own bodies through some sort of education protocol is imperative.
And, when you gleefully discover it helps your business grow… and, that it increases retention rates, drives referrals and generates new revenues…
Well… you can thank Peyton Manning!
To learn more about ONBOARD 101, please CLICK or TAP HERE….