Doing Your Own Thing
One of the great things about being a professional in today’s fitness industry is that you have unlimited career options. You sell a product that everyone needs, and finding your niche is a simple matter of aligning your unique skill set with the people who can most benefit from your expertise. For many of us, going solo is the best way to ensure professional fulfillment and financial success. From in-home training, to boot camp in the park, to owning a brick-and-mortar studio or gym, fitness professionals have found creative ways to step away from the mainstream and jump aboard the exciting roller coaster of entrepreneurship.
The prospect of ruling your own empire may be enticing, but before you hang out your shingle and print your business cards, consider whether you are made of the right stuff to succeed as an entrepreneur. A 2006 meta-analysis of entrepreneurial traits, published in the “Journal of Applied Psychology,” identified five personality dimensions that define successful entrepreneurs, including Extraversion, Conscientiousness, Openness to Experience, Neuroticism and Agreeableness.
Researchers found a positive relationship between Extraversion and entrepreneurship. Extraverts are defined as cheerful, group-loving and people-loving seekers of excitement and stimulation. Fitness is, after all, a people business, so introverts take note. Conscientiousness ties into organization, persistence, hard work, and motivation in the pursuit of goals, all necessary tools for competitive entrepreneurship. Openness to Experience means you are creative, innovative, imaginative, reflective, and untraditional. You are willing to go outside your comfort zone and think outside the box in order to succeed.
Neuroticism can be a handicap when it comes to surviving as an entrepreneur. A low level of neuroticism is characterized by self-confidence, calmness, and even-temperedness, all good traits to have in the sometimes volatile climate of business. Likewise, Agreeableness, while not entirely undesirable, can undermine your ability to drive hard bargains, look out for your own self-interests, and influence others for your own advantage. In the shark tank of commerce, being too trusting, forgiving, caring, altruistic or gullible can get you eaten alive.
Self Knowledge is Key
According to the authors of the study, some of the traits necessary for entrepreneurial success are inherent, while others may be cultivated. Identifying your own strengths and weaknesses and seeing how you measure up can help you determine if you have the right stuff to persevere and thrive as a fitness entrepreneur. However, if you are a bit of a neurotic introverted laid-back nice guy who prefers to play it safe, you may find your own niche as a fitness entrepreneur. According to DISC Insights, introverts may thrive in activities like yoga, tai chi and other low-key fitness activities. As an industry professional, you may find your entrepreneurial niche amongst others who share your personality traits.
If you have the need to succeed and the drive to thrive, then W.I.T.S. is here for you, offering online business tools and courses that will set you on the path to prosperity. Check out our Business Success for Fitness Professionals, Fitness Management, Certified Personal Trainer, and Certified Older Adult Fitness Specialist courses. We are here to help you succeed!
DISC Insights: What Role Does Your DISC Personality Play in Your Fitness Goals?
Journal of Applied Psychology: The Big Five Personality Dimensions and Entrepreneurial Status: A Meta-Analytical Review
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