Luckily, there are numerous free tools out there that will help you streamline and improve how you interact with people — be them your clients, potential clients, or the public in general.
Below are five free services and tools that I use on a regular basis!
#1 – SignRequest
You have your clients sign a waiver and PAR-Q, right? In the past, I would email them the files, and they would have to digitally sign them themselves or print, scan, and email them back to me. What a hassle!
With the free plan from SignRequest, all I have to do is upload my two blank forms, click where my new client needs to sign and check, and email it to them. They can easily sign digitally and send it right back to my email inbox. Two clicks later and I’ve moved the signed document into their Google Docs folder.
If you want to upgrade your SignRequest, it will let you customize logos and colors, use templates, and store more documents.
#2 – Calendly
We should always be improving. Sometimes I look back at how I used to do things and think, “I can’t believe I did it like that!” but that’s just how progress works.
Calendly is how I now schedule check-ins with athletes and consultations/interviews with potential clients. It integrates with my calendar’s availability hours and detects local time zones, and even the free version is highly versatile. All you have to do is send them your personal Calendly URL, and they’re good to go!
Upgrading your Calendly lets you have more than one event type (mine is simply “Meeting”) and more customization.
#3 – InShot
I post a lot of Youtube videos. Most of these videos are done in one take and require very little editing, if any. In the past, I would film on my iPhone, upload to my computer, and edit it there. For a 1-minute video, I’d film a few takes and cut/paste the best down to a minute. It was time consuming and more stressful with all the takes and editing!
Now that I’ve gotten more comfortable with the videos through practice, I simply do a single take. With InShot, I combine the intro and extro I have saved on my iPhone with the video, add some text, maybe edit a tiny bit, and then upload it straight to Youtube and Facebook from my phone. InShot actually lets you remove their logo in two presses of your thumb.
I don’t know if there’s a paid version because I’ve never needed it!
#4 – IFTTT
If This, Then That is a handy tool that connects services with various applets to make things happen. For example, I have an applet that will post my Instagram photos as native photos to Twitter if I include the #twitter hashtag in my Instagram post. They also post to my Facebook page as native images if I put #runningcoach in the original Instagram post.
There’s an incredible number of applets — from emailing you posts from your favorite Subreddit and alerting you of rain in the forecast, to connecting your IOS Calendar to your Google Calendar.
Just about every service you could think of is included: from the EPA . . . to Chicago Transit Authority . . . to home security services!
#5 – Canva
Canva has been a super handy tool for photo editing. I primarily use it to create my Youtube cover images quickly. However, you can use it to easily select sizes for just about every social media site, make templates for ebooks and marketing materials, and even create event invitations.
You may search for free photos to use; find a great variety of fonts, templates, and shapes; save brand colors, etc. Upgrading offers you more features, but I’ve tried this and found that the free version has plenty of horse power!
What other free tools and services do you find indispensable for your training needs?
Train Anyone, Anywhere in the World.
Kyle Kranz is a running coach who specializes in helping runners learn good training practices so they can run sustainably and injury-free on their own. Kyle works remotely with busy individuals all over the world who are looking to improve at distances ranging from the 5k to ultra-marathon. He has lost 80 pounds, obtained a degree in Dietetics, and earned a certification through the Online Trainer Academy. Since he primarily works online with clients, he and his wife enjoy spending the summer house-sitting in different locations around the world.
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5 Free Fitness Coaching Tools was originally posted at https://www.exercise.com/blog/5-free-fitness-coaching-tools/ by Kyle Kranz
Daily Deliberate Practice
Anders Ericsson has written an excellent book PEAK: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise. Ericsson’s research contributed to the common recited 10,000 rule.
If you’re not familiar with it, Malcolm Gladwell interpreted Ericsson’s research and suggested people need to accumulate 10,000 hours to become an expert.
Ericsson, however, says,
“[T]he key thing that people have misinterpreted is that it’s not just a matter of accumulating hours. If you’re doing your job, and you’re just doing more and more of the same, you’re not actually going to get better.” (source)
Ericsson instead says the missed element is something he calls “deliberate practice.” As fitness experts, this idea should resonate with you.
Imagine a client who wanted to get healthy and strong, but they kept repeating the same exercises done incorrectly. If they reached 10,000 hours without hurting themselves, would they really have improved? They may even be in a worse position long term.
Ericsson says, “Purposeful practice is all about putting a bunch of baby steps together to reach a longer-term goal” (p. 15).
An Interview with Anders Ericsson
Check out this interview with Ericsson below:
6 Tips for Incorporating Deliberate Practice Into Your Business
As you think about how deliberate practice might apply to your business, we wanted to share a few tips:
Incorporate practice into daily work life – The first step in applying deliberate practice into your business is to schedule it into your daily work life. You’ll never make progress if you don’t set aside regular time. Get out of your comfort zone – If you only practice what you’ve always practiced, you’ll never grow. That’s true when you exercise and it’s true in your business. If one of your clients only wanted to exercise their biceps, you’d firmly explain that’s not a smart way to exercise. Seek immediate feedback – A core component of deliberate practice is seeking immediate feedback. That might mean seeking out a business mentor or taking an online course where you have access to an expert for a new business tactic. Don’t keep practice something that you can’t get feedback on and don’t know if you’re doing correctly. Learn from others, particularly experts – The best way to become an expert is to learn from one. That might mean reading a book like PEAK: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise, taking a seminar, going to a conference, or seeking a new certification. Our digital world provides us hundreds of ways we can learn from experts. Build mental representations – “A mental representation is a mental structure that corresponds to an object, an idea, a collection of information, or anything else, concrete or abstract, that the brain is thinking about.” (source). Many people use this form of learning in school but stopped using it as they transitioned into the business world. It can be a tremendous tool in your deliberate practice. Focus – Deliberate practice requires your full attention, so set aside a specific amount of time and remove distractions. If you’re new to this idea, read more about the Pomodoro Technique.
We’d love to talk more and provide more tangible tips on how to grow your fitness business. Enter your info below to schedule a demo with our expert team!
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Daily Deliberate Practice was originally posted at https://www.exercise.com/blog/daily-deliberate-practice/ by Exercise.com Staff
Rubber Band Theory of Personality (Are you Bill Gates or Steve Jobs?)
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Our personalities are flexible…but only to a point. Knowing yourself will help you as you chart your path to success. Set aside time to try new things outside of your comfort zone. Susan Cain wrote a powerful book that has resonated with hundreds of thousands of people — Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking.
In a team meeting, we discussed this selection from Quiet:
“We can stretch our personalities, but only up to a point. Our inborn temperaments influence us, regardless of the lives we lead. A sizable part of who we are is ordained by our genes, by our brains, by our nervous systems. And yet the elasticity that Schwartz found in some of the high-reactive teens also suggests the converse: we have free will and can use it to shape our personalities.
These seem like contradictory principles, but they are not. Free will can take us far, suggests Dr. Schwartz’s research, but it cannot carry us infinitely beyond our genetic limits. Bill Gates is never going to be Bill Clinton, no matter how he polishes his social skills, and Bill Clinton can never be Bill Gates, no matter how much time he spends alone with a computer.
We might call this the ‘rubber band theory’ of personality. We are like rubber bands at rest. We are elastic and can stretch ourselves, but only so much.”
Bill Gates vs. Steve Jobs
Let’s make this practical. Check out the way Bill Gates and the team from Microsoft tried to pump up the crowd for the release of Windows 95:
Now politics aside, you can’t question that Bill Clinton could command a room. However, for an even more apples-to-apples comparison, let’s look at the way Steve Jobs works a crowd.
This video shows the product launch for the original iPhone. It’s long but just watch the first few minutes:
Both of these men are brilliant in their respective fields but these videos show the drastic differences in their personality. Steve Jobs was comfortable commanding a room with the sheer anticipation of the product creating excitement.
Bill Gates, on the other hand, didn’t look comfortable in that same settings and struggled to describe his product with words that illicit the same kind of atmosphere Jobs set.
Train Anyone, Anywhere in the World. How far will your personality stretch?
Honestly evaluate your own personality.
These are important things to know as you chart your path to success. How can we reconcile the tension between playing to our strengths/using our gifts and stretching ourselves outside of our comfort zone?
Now that’s even tougher question. How can you maximize your strengths and gifting while also not crippling yourself by never stretching outside your comfort zone?
If you never sat down and thought about that, we recommend doing so. What works best for everyone will vary but we recommend setting aside time for activities that are outside of your comfort zone.
You might be surprised to find an activity that with a little nurturing turns into a strength.
If you do some further digging for more recent Microsoft events, you can easily spot that Bill Gates has spent time developing his on-stage presence. He’s still not in the Bill Clinton or Steve Jobs stratosphere, but he’s definitely developed his voice.
Susan Cain Talks Quiet
Take a few minutes and watch Susan’s TED Talk about her book.
No matter your personality, you need a team that shares your values and vision. We’re passionate about growing your business. Schedule your demo today!
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Rubber Band Theory of Personality (Are you Bill Gates or Steve Jobs?) was originally posted at https://www.exercise.com/blog/rubber-band-theory-personality/ by Exercise.com Staff
How to Game Plan for Change (Real World Tips!)
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Surviving isn’t just for hikers; it’s for when your circumstances change. “The most successful are open to the changing nature of their environment.” Having a game plan for changing circumstances is critical for survival. One of our recent team meetings centered on how to survive being lost as explained in Deep Survival by Laurence Gonzales.
The extreme unpredictability of nature carries a lot of parallels to operating your own business.
Just when you think you’ve got it all figured out…
Something unexpected comes along and you’re left out of sorts and scrambling to survive!
5 Stages of Being Lost
Here are the 5 Stages of Being Lost:
You’re disoriented but continue to “push through it.” You start to realize that you’re lost and get a little frazzled. You desperately search for any scrap of evidence to match what you think is going on! You start to break down rationally and emotionally. This is NOT good. You accept your lost condition and resolve to start fresh from where you are.
A lot of people tend to get stuck in steps one to four and never make it to step five. Unfortunately, those are not survivors.
Instead, the best thing you can do is get to step 5 as quickly as you can be recognizing your limits and focusing on your new reality:
Stop → Observe → Think → Plan → Act
“The most successful are open to the changing nature of their environment.”
Here are the Survival Rules for Life to help you out in any bind – whether you’re stuck on a snowy mountaintop or in the middle of a business breakdown:
Be here now – Develop an appreciation for full engagement with what’s in front of you. Know the limits of your experience – Just because something has worked in the past, doesn’t mean you won’t need to innovate in the future. Adaptability is key – You have to plan in order to be successful, but be ready to let go of your plan and adjust your course as you perceive changes in your environment.
Check out more about Deep Survival. The next time you’re caught off guard, how are you going to dig in and observe your situation so you can put together a new game plan and take decisive action?
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How to Game Plan for Change (Real World Tips!) was originally posted at https://www.exercise.com/blog/how-to-game-plan-for-change/ by Exercise.com Staff