Do you know what business you’re in? Of course you do!

Or, perhaps it’s worth taking another look.

I thought I knew exactly what business I was in when I was first asked this question, but it took some thinking. “What business am I really in?

When I first answered this question, I was the owner of a personal training studio in Santa Barbara, California. I was, I thought, in the business of providing personal training services to my clients.

Although that’s not entirely incorrect, I was really in the business of providing hope and accountability for my clients in a safe environment. This isn’t to say that we didn’t do a great job with the personal training programs – we did. In fact, our team was, in my opinion, the best in the area. This certainly was the main reason people came through our doors, but it wasn’t the reason they stayed.

People stayed because we were able to show them progress in an area of their life that provided discomfort (either physically or emotionally… often both). They were now hopeful for the future and they were seeing progress. What stood in their way was themselves.

So what about accountability? Well, 9 times out of 10, exercising wasn’t the top priority on people’s lists of things they had to do, so when something else showed up such as having to run to the store, get a haircut, or happy hour, they’d skip their workout. So, we decided to charge them if they didn’t show. This proved to be a huge motivator and most all our clients thanked us for it.

Had we just thought we did personal training, we would have only focused on the mechanics of training and program design and missed the real needs of our clients, which in turn would have proved to be a disservice.

businessBy figuring out what business we were really in, it allowed us to tailor or services, policies, and marketing much more effectively.

So I ask you that same questions that were asked of me (the more raw and honest you are the more you’ll get out of this exercise):

  1. What business are you really in?
  2. How’s business?
  3. What is the gap between where you are now and where you want to be?

“The only true competitive advantage in today’s changing market and economy is not having a business plan, but having a business map that can take you from where you are to where you want to be.” – Anthony Robbins

Put your answers in the comments below. I’d love to hear them and it would be great for others to help in their growth as well.

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