Strategic thinking is a much needed skill to help to develop a business, in the fitness world unfortunately this seems to be something that is sadly lacking. Strategy is defined in the Oxford dictionary as ‘a plan of action to achieve a long term or overall aim’. Really for me strategy is really about setting you destination (aim) thinking through your options and then planning the most effective route to get to your goal.
Lots of personal trainers have a plan, an idea, the big one. Unfortunately it is often the case that for a number of reasons these plans do not come through to fruition. There a number of traits that are common amongst strategic thinkers and not only that but strategic achievers!
- Being environmentally aware, as a strategic thinker it is important to have a deep understanding of the business environment. Only once you understand your industry and what is going on in it can you truly exploit the opportunities that might present themselves.
- Have the ability to specifically define a set of objectives based on your creative vision. If you do not know clearly where you are going, how can you start to plan how you will get there?
- Take decisive action that helps move you towards your goals on a daily basis and to a set timeline. Even taking the smallest steps each day will help you move you closer to your gals.
- Having the ability to be flexible in the achievement of your goals, this is vital to help you to be responsive environmental changes that make take place in the course of working towards the established goals. This can particularly help when new opportunities are identified along the way!
- Develop the skills to be both creative and logical, being able to not only come up with new and innovative ideas and then logically think through how these can be executed.
- A strong commitment to self development and improvement. By constantly improving yourself this will help you to keep updated with industry changes that in turn may help to identify new opportunities.
- A good set of communication skills that allow you to seek advice and insight from others that might have specific knowledge.
- The ability to be realistic and honest about what you can achieve and how you can do it.
- You need to be able to be patient, it may take some time to get to your goals.
- Maybe one of the most underrated aspects of strategy is an understanding that it comes from a clear and open mind. One of the best ways to keep your mind in tip top condition is understanding that it needs some down time, so take some time for yourself clear your mind, then use this clarity to reflect!
As a fitness professional and more so as a business person it is important that you keep in mind your strategy. Remember being a successful trainer is not all about working in your business, it is also about working on your business! See how many of the above you can implement to try and become more of a strategic thinker.