"Push your limits way beyond your wildest expectations."
Why are you a personal trainer?
Honestly, I became a trainer because I was an actor and writer and what I didn’t consider is that I would fall in love with the job, that it would be so rewarding, or that I would get a chance to help so many people. It wasn’t long before I “retired” as an actor and put my main focus on my fitness business. I really love it. At the expense of sounding cheesy, it’s my calling. Plus, I get to wear shorts to work every day.
What’s your biggest success story thus far?
It’s so hard to pick just one because I am privy to little successes every day. Someone’s friends told her that her arms look ripped, a guy that would start panting after 20 jumping jacks is doing sets of Burpees and pull ups three months later, another client who avoided knee surgery through the program of corrective exercise I designed for him, that kind of thing. A woman came in last week stressed out of her mind. She was in the middle of her workday and was feeling completely overwhelmed at work. By the end of the workout, she was smiling and laughing. I love it. One of my favorite success stories was a woman who eventually lost 50 pounds working with me. About four months in, she sent me an email in the middle of the night because, for the first time in years, the clothes in the Plus-sized department at Macy’s were too big. She had to go down to a different floor. I was so happy for her.
What are you currently working on or towards?
I’ve been thinking on a much bigger scale. I am getting ready to launch a fitness app and have a few sponsors lined up as well. It’s one of the biggest projects I’ve ever worked on, I’m really proud of it.
What’s your advice to aspiring entrepreneurs?
I would say that in terms of setting and reaching goals, the advice is the same advice I give my clients: It’s important to set big goals to reach toward but it is more important to set a lot of micro goals along the way. That way you don’t allow the weight of the huge goals to overwhelm you and you are able to appreciate and acknowledge the little victories you accrue on a week-to-week basis.
Why did you decide to work with me?
The digital world can be really intimidating to those like me that aren’t very technologically-inclined but I saw your online videos and blogs and really connected with your message—the content was really helpful and was delivered in such an accessible, easily digestible manner. I knew we’d be a great fit.
What were your hold-ups in hiring a digital strategist?
I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to accomplish specifically, which made it hard to pull the trigger. In the end I not only found what I was looking for, it opened my eyes up to so much more. (See my note above about creating my own app!)
How was the process/experience?
Eye-opening, informative, game-changing and, also, a lot of fun.
What responses or results have you received?
You helped me with tweaks on my web site that ended up being invaluable. Customer testimonials are the single, most important factor in running a successful personal training business. You displayed testimonials on my web site in a more prominent place on my web site and suggested I add photos with each person’s testimonial. It has made all the difference in putting on new business. When someone contacts me through my web site now they have already made the decision to work with me. I don’t have to “sell” them on anything. Working with you on my website ultimately turned what the previously, multi-step process in getting new clients, into a 1-step process.
What’s your favorite social network?
Facebook. I am Facebook friends with my 92-year old grandmother. Everyone is on Facebook.
Favorite place in NYC?
I love walking all the way to the west side and sitting by the water, especially during the summer. It’s like a mini-vacation from the craziness of the city.
Any last bit of advice you’d like to share?
Remember that book, All I Really Need To Know I Learned in Kindergarten? Well, all I really need to know I learned in the gym. Of all of the things I’ve learned in the gym is that most of our limitations are self-imposed. Through hard work, discipline and consistency, you can push your limits way beyond your wildest expectations.
Tony Howell is a digital strategist dedicated to helping you design your future—creating offline success from your online presence.