In recent posts, I’ve done a good bit of talking about productivity, focus, and strengthening your resolve for when we hit a few bumps along the way. I’ve also talked about those long, tough hours we often work in order to see our dreams become realities. (These have been on my personal JSE fitness business success blog, if you’re interested)
At the same time, however, there is one thing that we fitness entrepreneurs should always remember: our time and energy is always used best when we’re innovating creatively and thinking outside the box. Granted, not all of our solutions are going to be winners, but when our most ingenious ideas take flight …that’s when real progress is made.
How to Know When You’re Working Too Hard
I’ve often heard a good friend and mentor of mine say something that’s long been burned into my memory:
“Never ask a hard worker how to do things. Ask the lazy person, because they’d rather take half the effort to do twice the work.”
At first glance, that saying sounds a bit backwards. But in taking another look at what it really means, I find that it has less to do with the lazy person -and more to do with how hard work can be wasted on an inefficient way of doing things. If you get to a point when you feel like you’re getting nowhere in your fitness business, and you’ve reached a frustrating plateau, then perhaps it’s time to think outside the box.
Perhaps, the problem is that you’re trusting hard work too much and creativity too little. Just about everybody is capable of putting in a hard day’s work, but it’s the creative entrepreneurs with the know how to leverage their energy, who will build wealth. Here are 5 reasons why this is the case.
#1 – They’re Able to Visualize Success
The ability to visualize the achievement of your goals is certainly one of the most notable qualities of a creative entrepreneur. At the end up the day, if you can’t actually ‘see’ your future success (in really any facet of life and business), then your thought patterns will default to maintaining the status quo. According to a Entrepreneur Contributor Matt Mayberry, visualization appears to be a defining factor between the successful and the unsuccessful…
“All top performers, regardless of profession, know the importance of picturing themselves succeeding in their minds before they actually do in reality.”
With that said, I find that this principle works in two ways. First, visualization helps us know exactly what we want to accomplish, which offers a guide to help us get there. Second, it’s a skill that offers continual inspiration to get us excited about why we’re in business to begin with.
The kicker is that you’ve got to be creative and audacious enough to pinpoint the essence of your vision in order to see it come to life.
#2 – They Let Go of Stress and Anxiety
There have been quite a few studies on the topic of how stress and creativity cannot seem to exist in the same space. To give you an example, think of the times during your day when you feel the most overwhelmed; and then, try to write a post for your own fitness business’s blog. The cursor seems to taunt your writer’s block with it’s constant blinking, doesn’t it?
Well, there’s a very good reason why this happens. Not only have studies shown that creativity can actually help you cope with and reduce stress, but stress is also a known creativity killer. Do you remember that quote about ‘top performers’ that I’d just mentioned? Well, Bernard Marr also discusses the marks of a successful entrepreneur, and being hindered by stress is not one of them:
“A survey by TalentSmart showed that 90 percent of top performers know how to manage their emotions in times of stress so that they remain cool, calm, and able to do what needs to be done.”
There you have it. You can have, either stress (hard work), or creativity (smart work), but science shows that you can’t exactly have both in the same brain at the same time. So, your emotions choose wisely, my friends.
#3 – They’re Instinctively Inquisitive (and Well-Researched as a Result)
“To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old problems from a new angle, requires creative imagination and marks real advance in science.” -Albert Einstein
Creative people tend to be an extremely curious bunch, and contrary to popular belief, curiosity is what opens the door to giant leaps in scientific, societal, and economic advancement (and probably never actually killed any cats for that matter).
But with innate curiosity comes its natural byproduct, which is a very well-researched mind. While curious people might not necessarily have the university degrees to prove it, they’re always learning new things. But, the reason why this correlates to the success of a small business is this…
Creativity in business is like taking a week-long road trip: in the same way you’d need to gas up your convertible in order to explore further, you’ll also need to keep absorbing knowledge in order to expand your fitness company through creative innovation and continuous education. Curiosity is the demand for exploration, and knowledge is your fuel.
#4 – They Think More About Solutions and Less About Problems
“Opportunists seek for a chance.
Entrepreneurs make new chances.” –Toba Beta
Problems are always going to be easy to find, but often times, the only necessity to achieve that business’s next major turning point is to explore just one or two more brilliant solutions. Either way, the important part is to focus on coming up with solutions, rather than focussing on problems. It is true that this isn’t easy to do, but this frame of mind is usually responsible for why certain entrepreneurs have a knack for becoming wealthy when everyone else seems to be experiencing tough times.
The reason why this can become such a powerful lesson in business is that becoming an excellent problem solver is to learn how to overcome obstacles through creative thought processes. In effect, it’s the act of making ‘new chances’, as Toba Beta would put it -rather than waiting on opportunity to bring them to you.
#5 – They’re Natural Brand Builders
Stats have also shown that 75% of retail consumers will make purchases, based on emotion. If that doesn’t demand a need for effective brand building, then I’m not sure what does; since branding is tantamount to the psychological/emotional tie between your fitness training business and its customers. With that said, we’re now dealing on an emotional playing field.
Come to think of it, that’s yet another massive reason why a creative fitness trainer will succeed. Not only will they be unafraid to think outside the box, but once outside, they already understand their market (because they’re well-researched) and they know what the emotional triggers are going to be. And that’s a lethal combination of massively useful creativity-based strengths.
Overall, working hard might pay -but what pays extremely well is working smart from a creative mindset.