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Lessons from Year 1 (Part 1)

As we hit the month of November this year, it’s a time of reflection and gratitude for me. Yes, Thanksgiving is this month, but it also marks the one-year anniversary of Adam Clark Fitness.

On November 5, 2018, we officially opened the doors for business and we are at the one-year mark.

The past 12 months have marked the best year of my life. When I opened Adam Clark Fitness, I had a vision of creating a community of positive, supportive people looking to better their lives. I’ve had the opportunity to work with so many awesome people in just a year who have made me a better person, coach and I’m happy to call them my friends. 

I’ve hit plenty of professional goals, had some personal wins (getting engaged is a big deal, right?) and in the process have had many takeaways.

So, over the next two weeks, I’m going to share my top 10 takeaways since opening day of last year as well as some action steps for you to take. I hope these will resonate with you to better your own life.


It starts with this. We live in the Information Age and we can get paralyzed by the amount of information out there. To truly get stuff done, accomplish your goals and make progress in your life, you need to start focusing. For me, this presents a challenge as I am still a solopreneur and trying to do my best at all aspects of my business and life. 

For you, maybe you’re going in several different directions with your kids, job and life. I don’t have kids but know a lot of members who do and they are constantly on the run. This doesn’t mean you can’t be successful and thrive though.

The last year, I’ve averaged 35-40 training sessions per week, developed a successful corporate wellness program, written a book and grown a business all while staying in shape to run a half-marathon and read/listen to 24 books so far. I’m not saying this to brag about how much I’ve gotten done, but it all starts by writing down your priorities and that doesn’t mean write down 50 for the week because that’s not reasonable.

What are your top 3-5 priorities for the week? Take time to write them down, schedule time to work on them and get it done. After all, if you currently feel like you’re dragging and it’s not working, you might as well try it!

Have Fun!

One of the pillars of Adam Clark Fitness is to have fun. Our mission is to provide the best possible personal training experience and I believe that has to include fun. Sure, not everything is going to be fun (Assault Bike, anyone?), but in general, there needs to be some element of fun.

If I was a drill sergeant and yelled at every member, I wouldn’t be in business very long and that’s just not my personality. 

It’s possible to have fun and get results and Adam Clark Fitness is a perfect example. 

During workouts, it’s okay to crack jokes, laugh at one another and still support them. Outside of the gym, it’s okay to have a beer, have a tailgate party and live a little. Online, it lightens the mood when someone posts a funny workout meme. 

I’m a creature of habit and sometimes I’m a little robotic, but the element of “fun” is one of the major reasons why people come to Adam Clark Fitness and why I love my job so much.

What are some ways you can implement fun into your life both at home and at work (just keep it within HR policy…)? Maybe it’s as simple as giving yourself permission to relax and laugh more often.

Set Big Goals

I LOVE GOAL-SETTING! Adam Clark Fitness happened because I set a goal, wrote it down, looked at it frequently and took action. I wrote a book by setting a goal and making it happen. I ran a half-marathon by setting a goal and making it happen. Do you see a theme here?

Goal setting is important to me because it does two things:

  1. Makes me think big picture and past the everyday stuff.

  2. Makes me think bigger and pushes me to strive for more and grow.

My big goals for this year were to get a membership base of 75 (check), read 24 books (check), hire an employee (haven’t checked this one off but working at it) and run a half-marathon (check). In the process, I also checked off or are about to check off two bigger goals I had for the future which is presenting at a conference (in December) and writing a book (check). 

Do you feel like you’re often stuck in the day-to-day grind? For me, I took a weekend getaway/business retreat and did some big picture planning for the rest of 2019. If you don’t get out of the day-to-day from time-to-time, you don’t allow yourself to think big picture.

What are your goals for the rest of 2019 and beyond? THINK BIG because you are capable of anything.

Big Goals Are Achieved in the Day-to-Day

You’re probably thinking, huh? I just thought he said to get out of the day-to-day and think big picture. Yes, I did. Set big goals for yourself, your company and your family. Get out of the day-to-day grind every now and then. 

However, that doesn’t mean get out of the day-to-day grind completely. Big goals are achieved by consistently putting in the effort every single day. Ray Kroc, the man who turned McDonald’s into a global empire, was once asked how it felt to be an overnight success and responded, “I was an overnight success alright, but 30 years is a long, long night.”

Nothing happens overnight. You don’t lose 20 pounds overnight. You don’t win an Olympic gold medal overnight. You don’t build a business overnight. You don’t write a book overnight.

It just doesn’t happen that way. It happens through consistent action every day. For me, to write a book, I would carve out an hour here and there during the week and plug away at it. Ten pages turned into 20 and then 50 and then 100. 

There is a boring element to achieving goals, but you must get really good at the fundamentals. That’s what successful people do and I know you can be successful.

If you get 1% Better Every Day, imagine how that stacks up in a year’s time?

If you have a big goal, what are three things you can implement each day to make it happen?

Be Comfortable being Uncomfortable

If you want to get anywhere in life, you must put yourself out there and get uncomfortable. You must embrace challenges.

A comfort zone is the place where complacency lives. When you get uncomfortable, you grow. One of my favorite quotes by Neale Donald Walsch is “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”

I love my comfort zone of training. My uncomfortable zone was starting a business, writing a book and speaking in the community. I love doing it, but that is uncomfortable for me. 

I’m very happy that I started my own business and thrilled with the way it has gone over the past year, but it didn’t happen without getting uncomfortable. I came from a job I really liked and I loved my boss. I was comfortable. To start a business though, I had to have the uncomfortable conversation with her telling her that I was leaving.

My stomach was in knots for days and I could barely sleep but it was something I had to do to grow.

If you want to lose weight, you know you need to exercise and the uncomfortable zone may by the gym at first. If you want to get a raise, sometimes you need to ask for it and that could be uncomfortable. 

If you keep doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results, we all know that’s the definition of insanity. 

So, I challenge you to get uncomfortable, put yourself out there and shoot for the stars. Will you have failures along the way? Absolutely but if you keep being persistent, you can get there. What is one way you are going to live outside of your comfort zone in the next year?

Check in next week as I complete my top 10 list of takeaways. I hope something resonates with you on this list.

#lessonsfromabusinessowner #author #personaltrainer #adamclarkfitness #smallbusiness

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