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Once Upon a Time... The Art of Story Telling in Business

January 15, 2018
5 minute read

Hi guys! How are you? It's Jono here today. How was your weekend? Mine was AWESOME... I saw Jumanji AND Pitch Perfect 3... One was pretty good and one sucked... I'm sure you can guess :p! Hey talking about movies... I've been working on my ability to tell stories as I think that's the most powerful way to communicate a message to someone... So i'm going to do a 7 Day Video Series live in our Facebook Community Group this week telling my story... I'd love for you to check it out and let me know what you think - it will kick off today :)! I'll also give you a bit of a sneak peak of it in the email :).

"Jono's Story: Part 1"

I started off, like most of us in the industry... Working at a big commercial gym... I was a big leisure centre and I was working full time... Personal Training, Gym Floor, Group Fitness Classes... But mainly just cleaning treadmills... It was an ok job... because it was super safe, not stressful... but I was actually super depressed there... I mean the environment was good... but the pay was rubbish... I could live with the bad pay... The thing that depressed me was most of the other staff were casual and just working at the gym while they were studying or as extra cash to their full time job... I was already a qualified Exercise Physiologist with a degree in Health and Exercise Science... And what would REALLY get to me the most is when members at the gym / other staff would ask me 'so what else do you do apart from this?'... and I would reply with 'oh, this is my full time thing'... I could see on their eyes they were thinking 'oh really... this guy must be a loser... he just cleans treadmills all day'... Or it was even worse when Uni students would ask me 'wait... you're an Exercise Physiologist... Why are you working here?". So my confidence was pretty low at the time...

This came to an ALL TIME LOW when I had to cover a Cardio Boxing class! I was only covering that class because the regular instructor was on holidays for 3 weeks... I covered the first class and thought it went ok... One of the participants came up to me... I smiled and asked "hey, you were great - how did you enjoy the class"... and she replied with "yeah look... how long are you doing this class for... because i've got to be honest... I don't feel like I got a work out at all... My heart rate felt low... I usually sweat a lot and I didn't break a sweat that whole class"...

My confidence in life was already down at this point... After that comment... I just felt like absolute crap... I just wanted to give up with anything to do with running Group Fitness Classes... I asked every other Trainer I knew if they could cover the class and they couldn't... So I had to suck it up and teach the next few weeks... I was dreading all week... Was having trouble sleeping... Having nightmares... I did so much research and practise before I taught that class for the second time and it was a little better but it still sucked...

Anyways... At this same time an opportunity came up for me to run / manage a local Bootcamp franchise... I'd never run a Bootcamp before... But I thought i'd give it a crack... It could give me an opportunity to grow myself and not feel like a loser cleaning treadmills all day... So I applied for the position and my resume was pretty good... Degree in Ex Science, Accredited Ex Phys, Head PT at a Gym, 5 years experience in the industry etc etc... So the head of the Franchise said he wanted to come out and watch one of my PT or group sessions and if he liked my style - than I had the position! The only day he could watch me was Wednesday... Guess what the only session I was doing that Wednesday was? Yep... That boxing class...

After that second class... Now I was really ready to give up... BUT... Now the Head of Franchise was coming to watch and if he liked it - I could get a new opportunity and life... So I thought i'd give it one more crack! I analyzed everything I had done in the first two classes... Anything that didn't work - I analyzed why it didn't work and if I could change it to make it work... And anything that did work... I analyzed why it worked and if I can make it better! Anyways... I put this class together and I thought "this is absolutely the best I can do... If this doesn't work... I'm giving up"... I can't go through any more pain / rejection... I would prefer to feel like a loser cleaning treadmills and being comfortable than being super uncomfortable teaching Group Fitness...

So Tuesday night... Didn't sleep at all... Spend the whole night stressing... I was hoping that the member that complained about me wouldn't come to that session... I would be so much more comfortable if she wasn't there... Wednesday morning came... I was tired... nervous... the complaining participant was there... the Head of the Franchise was there... I dead set felt like my life was on the line... I ran the participants through the class I planned... And I actually felt like it went really well... As planned... But you never know right... Especially early in your career... You may 'think' that class went well... Doesn't always mean it does...

I went over to speak to the Head of The Franchise to ask what he thought... I was super nervous... Heart pounding, butterflies in my tummy... Stuttering when I speak... Just as I was about to ask him... The complaining member came up to me... In front of the Head of the Franchise... n said "Hey Jono, I've got to say, that was one of the best Cardio Boxing classes i've ever done... You have improved so much... I'm going to personally tell Matt to get you to cover whenever he's away"... The Head of The Franchise... said pretty much the same thing "one of the best cardio boxing classes i've seen.... here's the paper work sign it and you're in"!

So that's the story about how I got my start in Bootcamps :)! I like that story because I think there's a few messages in there... The most important in there was that I was in a place where I wasn't happy (cleaning treadmills)... I wanted to get out of that place and get to another place (running my own bootcamps)... But to do that I had to put up with something very uncomfortable (running these boxing classes with participants complaining how bad they were)... But I pushed through the pain and got the result :)!

Now for me in that situation it was literally an 'uncomfortable situation' that I had to go through... But now that I know more in life.. It doesn't always have to 'uncomfortable' like that to get to the other side... You're other options are

"Time": Sometimes to get a head you need to spend your time doing something that you won't get paid for... Which is super 'uncomfortable'... BUT what you learn allows you to get to the other side.

"Money": Sometimes to get a head you need to invest your money in someone to help you / teach you... This is also super 'uncomfortable' because you could have spent that money on food, clothes, holiday but instead you gave it to someone else... BUT what that person can teach you allows you to get to the other side!

PS: The next part of the story gets a little juicier... I'll share it on Wednesday!

This is a big part of running a successful Bootcamp so, if you'd like to grow your bootcampp, Check out our 5 Tips to Grow your Bootcamp.

Now we would love you hear from you. In the comments below, let me know your opinion.

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About The Author: Jono Petrohilos
Online Course Creator I 2020 Fitness Australia Educator of the Year

Jono is the co-founder and director at Fitness Education Online. Fitness Education Online is one of the leading providers in the world when it comes to delivering online education to Fitness Professionals, providing over 30 registered CEC courses.

Fitness Education Online is also the admins of the largest Facebook Group in Australia / New Zealand for Fitness Professionals (Fitness Education Online Community Facebook Group).

Jono is also a qualified Exercise Physiologist, best selling author (The Bootcamp Blueprint), and the host of the successful podcast “Fitness Education Online Podcast”.

Jono is the current 2020 Fitness Educator of the Year (awarded by Fitness Australia)

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