Continued from: Chris Fernandez Talks About Making Money in Personal Training
Hugo: Absolutely. Let me switch gears a little bit over here and talk about your personal training career because I just happen to know that you’re a very successful guy and I want you to share a little bit of this with our readers. So, let me ask you about what sort of clients have you trained; I know you train some high profile clients out there.
Chris: Yeah, I have. What got me going in all of this, is my love and passion for helping others succeed and it was driven by my own life in overcoming some of the obstacles that we talked about earlier.
And naturally what happens to most people when they get into health and fitness, is that it becomes a passion and we become personal trainers. I mean it just kind of goes right with that.
So I got my certification right out of college and began training at a local gym making my little $13 bucks an hour (or whatever people make when they first start out training) and overtime, and I realized that what I had to offer was worth way more than what I was getting paid for.
I was changing people’s lives and I didn’t know at the time how profound it was until people started telling me that and until they started showing me what I’ve done for them and thanking me.
I would always tell them: “Look I didn’t do anything, I just gave you the tools to succeed, you are the one that did all the work, I can’t take any credit for that.”
So over the years, I started realizing that what I did was very, very important and big, and I was so passionate about what I did that I became very good at it.
And so I started separating myself from other trainers and in the market where I worked there was a need for specialized individual training. So, I discovered a way that I could charge more money than other trainers and have people basically clamoring for my services because it was so exclusive.
So what happened was that I took on anyone that wanted to be trained – like I said, I’ve trained stay-at-home moms, professional athletes and I’ve also trained CEO’s of big companies because I live in the Bay Area (California) and the kind of people that they are looking for are one-on-one training with a professional trainer; not just a personal trainer – a professional trainer; someone that lives the life.
That’s the comment that I would get over and over again was “You practice what you preach and we could feel the passion when you train us.” and every client would tell me that’s why they liked training with me.
They would say: “All I need is to train just two months.” and they would instead train with me for a year and I would say to myself: “I thought you couldn't afford it?”
Well, the client couldn’t afford it but they wanted to keep training with me.
Then it was like: “Well why?”
So I was told by my clients that it was such a powerful experience to be training with me because I had a vested interest in their success and that came across in everything that I did.
And so I wanted to train all kinds of people – yes, professional athletes – but I also wanted to train CEOs of big companies in the Bay Area and believe it or not, anyone and everyone in between.
So people would find that they weren’t necessarily high profile celebrities or anything like that; just the stay-at-home moms that saw my website and said: “You know what, I need that, I want some help. Can you help me do that?” and I would be like sure, that’s no problem for me. Give me the effort! If you give me everything you’ve got then I’ll give you everything I got too.
Hugo: One thing I love about you is that like you said, you practice what you preach and I think as professional trainers we have to lead by example.
I think, and I hate to say this but I’ll say it right here, even though some people may get mad at me: but if you’re a trainer (or if you call yourself a trainer) and you don’t look the part and you’re not following what you’re asking your clients to do, then I would really revisit the choice of being a personal trainer. You know what I mean? To me, that is no different than being a priest who is preaching about the importance of prayer but who is not following his own advice. It's as bad as it gets.
Chris: I agree with you 100%. Trainers that don’t look like trainers shouldn’t be trainers. They cannot lead by example.
Hugo: To me the personal trainer should be in the best shape absolutely possible and should be able to do everything that they are asking their clients to do; because as you and I both know, we will ask our clients to do a lot.
Chris: I have a funny story about that actually. One of my clients said to me once – you’re going to love this – I asked him: “So why did you call me up or decide to train with me?”
And he said: “Because when I walk in the gym, I don’t want people to try to figure out who is the trainer, and who is the client.”
So I told him that that was absolutely awesome and priceless!
Hugo: Oh my god! That's great!
Before I continue, I’ve got to thank you; I received this past week a copu of your System 5™ and I absolutely love it!
I’m looking right now at your book “The 5 Lies Stopping You From Making Over $5,000 Per Client, Per Month”.
So obviously I’ve gone through this and I really love your DVD set, and I agree with everything you are saying.
A few things, many things actually, stuck in my mind.
For example, you talk about the need to have your own identity; you have to realize that you cannot be everything to everyone. Those are the things that I see out there. I see trainers doing things like trying to be weight loss specialists, bodybuilding pre-contest specialists, sports specific training specialists – you can’t be a specialist if you’re a jack of all trades, do you know what I mean?