How To Be A Successful Career As A Trainer With Landon Smith

Episode Summary

In this episode, I talk with Landon Smith, a fitness coach who has worked with us for 8 years about working and training right. Landon shares with us his successful career as a trainer and a coach.

Episode Notes

In this episode, we talk about how to have a successful career as a trainer and work right even when the job gets monotonous. Landon shares with us his journey from college and how he got into fitness. He tells us about his early days as a coach and how he learned from his mistakes. How he was open to feedback and how that helped overcome challenges.

We delve deeper into professional behavior on and off the floor. How to relate to your clients in a friendly manner while still showing them respect without sounding too formal.  

We then talk about fighting the imposter syndrome that often creeps in. You are well qualified for your job but still feel inadequate at the time especially when you are dealing with people much older than you. This is not a bad thing as it forces you to work even harder and improve your skills.

Finally, we talk about the perceived glass feeling we feel we have hit when we do the same job for a long time. Landon opines that self-reflection ad self-evaluation is how to overcome this feeling. There is no ceiling to improving our skills. That way, when an opportunity arises we are well-prepared to handle it, just as Landon has the amazing opportunity to expand Alloy to the Charlotte market.

Key Takeaways
  • How to train and work right even when it gets monotonous 0:54
  • Professional behavior at work: showing utmost respect 9:45
  • Appropriate communication on and off the floor 10:21
  • How to talk too older people than you in a friendly manner 10:50
  • Fighting the feeling like you are not good enough, the imposter syndrome 11:25
  • How to stay motivated while working in a monotonous system 15:44
  • Having the mindset of looking at challenges as opportunities 16:51
  • Constant self-reflection and self-evaluation in your professional career 32:20


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Mentioned in this episode

Rick Mayo 

Alloy Personal Training Franchise


How Landon Learned How To Have A Successful Career As A Trainer

Landon is an amazing coach. He came to us through an internship yet from Georgia State, and we liked him so much we kept him on. Eight years later, here we are. Today we’re going to talk about how to train and a lot of ways how to work. Like, how do you come to work every day and do a job that you love even when it can be monotonous. How do you handle that? Before we do that, let’s talk about how Landon got into fitness?

“I was an athlete. Growing up, I played a little football in high school, but mainly soccer, played a little college soccer, but mainly soccer most of the time and, anytime you’re a relatively high-level athlete, I won’t pretend that I was a spectacular athlete. Anytime you’re relatively spectacular you don’t have to really worry about being fit. I realized I had no idea how to stay in shape when I’m not playing. My plan in college was to be a storm chaser. I was a meteorology major at Georgia Tech for a year.”

“Yes, I was into meteorology. My major was Earth and atmospheric sciences. Georgia Tech for a whole year. I had a professor that did not speak spectacular English any fault of his own. He was not from America. It didn’t go well. I didn’t do great in the semester. I took it in the summer and was still not doing great. It wasn’t working for me. Why am I working this hard for something that I know I’m not going to do? I was like, I need to learn how to exercise because I’m the kind of person my entire life and still, I never liked to do anything unless I thought I had enough information to be successful at it.”

“I told myself, I’m going to take a nutrition and fitness class. So I signed up for 4390, which, when you’re a freshman in college, you don’t understand that 4000 level classes or senior classes row 3000 or junior and stuff like that. So I just took a 4390 thinking this is just a class and learn how to eat more exercise. I was the only person there that wasn’t a senior or a Kinesiology and health major. At the time, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do. I just knew I didn’t want to be out of shape. It’s actually really fun. I had always thought I had a passion to help people and to better people’s lives, make people happy. This is how I’m going to do what I’ve always thought my purpose was to do.”

“I came here as my internship because of Anthony. He was a TPI, golf instructor, certified golf instructor. That’s what I thought I wanted to do this through. I wanted to be a golf fitness guy. I was big into golf, loved golf, still love golf. He was really who brought me here. He and that group of interns right before me who I knew throughout college from Georgia State, and when I told them about it, they just couldn’t stop raving about you about the staff. I thought It’s sealed. This is literally what I’ve tried to do every day of my life. My entire life is to be the best part of someone’s day that otherwise wouldn’t have the best part of their day potentially. Sounds like this is the place. I’m in this I’m sold. And the rest is history.”

What were some of the early struggles that you had as a coach? What were things that that you now know that maybe you didn’t know then?

“A lot of them are surrounded around general, professional behavior. How do you behave on the floor, in front of people who up until this point in your life, where your parents your girlfriend’s parents, or your friend’s parents. Up until this point, you would call them Mr. such and such and you would show them the utmost respect. What I learned very quickly is that you are equals, the age doesn’t matter. Little things like that, how to communicate, what is appropriate communication, both on and off the floor. again, how do you talk to adults, how do you talk to people 20, 30 years older than you on a friend level.”

“I loved the early issues, and I hope that anybody listening, that may be having some early stepping stone issues or maybe having difficulty getting a client base going if they say their own coach.  It helped me learn how to have a successful career as a trainer.  All the things you’re going to hear from people are opportunities. They are not knives in you, they are opportunities for their steps for you to step up on to and be like, okay, I can conquer that. You know, this woman thought that I didn’t have any emotional intelligence, I can conquer that. I’m going to use that as a stepping stone so that I have a new thing that I can do where I’m emotionally intelligent. So I hope everybody can sort of strip away it’s about me, the ego, ego of it and understand that the ego will come with the loyal following, but in order to get it, the egos kind of got to get stripped away.” 

“My job is to make sure that they may walk in and have had a crappy day. It’s raining all the time and Atlanta these days, to make sure that the second they walk in, you can reason to smile, whether it’s yellow and Hey, what’s up, or whether it’s yet those are some awesome new shoes.  It doesn’t always have to be the same thing. The more you do it, you start to love it yourself. You get addicted to investing in them, and then you find yourself loving rolling towels well. Your job is to make sure that everybody who comes in here never leaves with a bad taste in their mouth. Anytime you can help someone have a good positive outlook on fitness, exercise on health, especially in today’s world, that’s a win.”

“No matter the age because it’s so it’s such a world that it’s easy to have a negative outlook on fitness, that ensures that anybody can have a positive outlook now, especially those who need it most. Even the guys that are the strongest, the women that are the fittest, they need a positive outlook too, because just like them like it is for you coming into the gym every day. They’re already fit. You’ve been coaching for four years. Now, what is it? What is it for them? What is it for you, and it’s that affection for one another. It’s that addiction, that obsession with making sure that they just enjoy the heck out of it. And that’s your job. As a coach, they got to enjoy it. They gotta love it as much as you do. Otherwise, why are you still, you know, you’re not still there because you don’t love it, you’re not still there because you don’t think it’s effective. If you’re going to be there, be happy about it and just love doing what you’re doing.”

Rick, “Landon has been given an amazing opportunity. We just sold the Charlotte market. So we sold six territories in Charlotte to one of our clients. They had come to me first and said, Hey, you know, I’d love to, we love Landon. Imagine this, you’re doing a great job in the gym. So much so that an investor sees how you work. They come to me to ask to steal my best guy and take him to Charlotte to help them launch this new brand. They have aspirations of you moving into a much higher role and running multiple gyms. My knee-jerk reaction wasn’t maybe what it would be as the founder with a brick and mortar gym, which is like, Oh, crap, I’m losing him.  You’re so loyal to the brand and you’ve worked so hard. I felt half guilty of not having another place to maneuver you and he brought that to me. You literally earned it by doing all the little things right and making people happy each time they came in. So congratulations. Thank you.”

Landon, “Whenever presale starts is when it all is going to begin. Yes, eternally grateful you know it goes back to everybody deserves the best version of you in life in my opinion not just in your job and not everybody will be rewarded with that. We have been to Charlotte a couple of times. It is a great place. It is a great market. Then it’s up to me to knock it out of the park, so we can pick a location to and knock it out of the park. 

Landon, “I’m excited to put myself back to the test. You know, I think I’ve shown obviously that I can do the training and I can help the people in the session. I’m really excited to see if I can inspire employees if I can sell the memberships to people without a gym even existing.” 

Any tips or any last thoughts you could leave that person with on how to have a successful career as a trainer? Or, how do they deal with essentially the monotony of doing the same job and the perceived glass ceiling that they have, even though it may not be there, right? What would you say to that?

Overall to have a successful career as a trainer, “I would say constant, self-reflection, self-evaluation is a good way to go about it. Even if there is a perceived ceiling professionally, there is no ceiling on what you can improve on and do well. So, take the things that you can control. It’s a sort of life lesson as well. You know, take the things you can’t control and control the ever-living hell out of them.” 

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