Would you really want a career in fitness and well-being…?
Kim Ingleby is one of my favourite people in the fitness industry. She is incredibly positive, hugely knowledgeable - and very realistic. There are a lot of 'follow your dreams' blogs and social media accounts out there, but although this is a great sentiment, most of them don't go into the mechanics of how turning your passion into work actually, well, works. Kim is different, and she's put together her top 7 tips for turning your love for fitness into a career for life.
It’s a beautiful frosty morning, the sun is rising and I feel huge gratitude for this moment. I love what I do, I love the fitness and wellness industry, I love helping people realise anything is possible. And I’m lucky that since about 16 years old, despite a chosen diversion to do a degree in International Business, I always wanted to work in sports. Over the last 20+ years the industry has changed constantly, evolving and growing, which makes it really exciting to be part of.
Yet what happens if you're not sure if it’s the right thing for you? Here’s my 7 top things to consider when starting out or thinking of jumping into the sports and fitness industry.
You love fitness and sport - but can you love it as your career?
Fitness, sport, well-being and adventure is brilliant, I love it. It’s been part of my life, and it gives you so many opportunities, both personally and professionally. Yet before you jump into making it your career, think about if you want your personal love and hobbies to turn into your work. Naturally they will link together and one inspires the other, but remember turning it into your work changes your whole lifestyle. I believe this is essentially for the better, yet from coaching many entrepreneurs it doesn’t suit everyone, so just check in with your life values, goals and dreams, before taking the leap.
Find your passion?
The sports and fitness industry is huge and growing fast, so what’s your passion, your ‘thing’ going to be? Grab a piece of paper and scribble out all your ideas - no limits, play with it all. Imagine in a year’s time if you could have developed something, what would it be? Then create a plan of the steps you need to go through to achieve your plan, any training or knowledge you need to update and how you are going to implement it. Having a clear plan will allow you to know which opportunities to say yes or no too, and how to develop something that really excites you, growing yourself and a ‘tribe’ of happy, healthy, confident people.
Develop clear boundaries
Whenever you are starting something new, changing or committing to a scary goal, it’s exciting but it's also filled with moments of fear and doubt - and that’s normal. It requires a huge amount of hard work, courage and commitment to keep going as you start out in any career or sport. The key to making it work, is to have clear boundaries, so that you know the times of day that suit you best to work, you know the sleep you require and you know the type of people you would like to work with, and the business you want to grow. By knowing this (and knowing that you will adapt as you grow), you can develop boundaries that allow you to do your best.
Get a coach or mentor to support you.
I’ve always had a coach, sometimes two or three depending on my goals and focus. I think it’s key to helping you stay on track, ask the tricky questions, keep you accountable and give you support. I also believe that if you're coaching people, it’s really good to be in the student role so you remember what it feels like to be coached, to get uncomfortable and to be ‘made’ to commit to positively change, even if it’s hard. If you can’t afford a coach, there are lots of free business start up schemes in local areas, free podcasts, YouTube and group mentoring schemes out there. Make a little time each week or at least each month to have a coaching session, go to a conference, read a book - anything that will grow your business and confidence.
Look after your own well-being
It’s so important when you're helping people change their habits and achieve their goals that you create time to dedicate to yourself. Without this, you will end up tired, burnt out and lacking motivation. Surround yourself with motivational and inspiring coaches and friends to train with, support and help you to grow. The balance between training hard, working hard and resting smart is key to growing your best business, whilst looking after your own well-being.
Have your own goals
Whilst it’s really key to have your clear business goals, passion and purpose, make time in the year to have your own personal goals that excite you. This really keeps the balance between giving out coaching energy and time, and giving to you with your own goal. I find that through my own goals I learn more, which enhances my business and confidence, plus allows me to travel, explore, raise money for charity and have an adventure. Linking my business values with my personal goals is motivating and exciting.
Having the odd goal outside of fitness and sports I feel has always been useful in the balance of conversation with clients, and should you need time out, you have other interests. I’ve always done lots of photography and reading of financial markets, which has helped my corporate speaking. You never know who you may meet so get excited by your own goals!
Celebrate and adapt
It took me ages to do this, and I still need prompting, but make sure you celebrate the journey. Every 3 months block out a couple of hours in your diary and head to a café with a notebook. Write down all the things you are proud of, or that made you happy in the last three months, and how they made you feel. Really celebrate this, it could be tiny things like spring has arrived and you love the tulips, they make you happy, or you increased your strength by 10%, anything.
Then write down two things you would like to achieve each month, or change, that you keep saying you will do, but have not done so far. This can be developed on a vision board with photos and pictures, shared with your coach or social media or just a commitment with yourself. Finally, if you buy a money pot, and each week pop a few pounds in, once it’s full, you can smash it and do something to celebrate. The money pot is a representation of the commitment and growth to your business or fitness, and each time you pop some pounds in your focus, confidence and self worth grows...try it!
I totally love the fitness and sports industry, I’ve travelled the World with Team GB athletes, worked with Strictly Come Dancing, complex medical cases, raised over £42k for charity, judged and won Global awards, written a magazine-book with Women’s Fitness and done a TEDx Talk and so much more. It’s an industry packed full of opportunities and growth, if you have the passion, purpose and courage to pursue it, and the awareness to balance what you give out, with a little bit of self care JI can only recommend working in sports and fitness, it’s the biggest privilege to be able to coach people, of any age or background, to believe in themselves, grow their confidence and achieve ‘that’ goal. I feel incredibly lucky each day someone trusts me to help support and coach them.
There is no right or wrong, I think it’s just about keeping it simple, being clear on what you want and taking a leap of faith to start. Go on , I dare you: be brave...
So there you have it, any questions do let me know, I’m more than happy to help & love to get feedback, ideas and thoughts.
Big Happy Spring and much support,
To find out more about Kim’s 1:1 Strategy Sessions or Empower Days, or join her Monthly Success Mentoring Club online, just pop her an email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit energisedperformance.com and click on courses. For media & presenting visit kimingleby.co.uk or tweet her @kimingleby. You can watch Kim's TEDx Talk below.