Spotlight - Andre LB, Personal Training
March 19, 2017
Following our last post about the importance of having a well defined
plan for your personal and professional advancement, we begin our Spotlight Serie with a feature interview with a Hively Fitness Partner, Personal
Trainer Dre Le Brocquy. He shared his approach to personal and professional
goals, and offered insights that are cleverly applicable across all service
categories on Hively - and perhaps even beyond. So, no matter what your
service category, find a few minutes to read through. A big thank you to Dre for his time, and excellent tips.
Dre is a co-founder and trainer at The Sweathouse, a Kentish Town-based
boutique studio set to open in September, 2017. A certified PT with 5 years
of experience, he prides himself on taking a realistic approach with his
Hively: Hi Dre. Any general or specific way in which you approach goals?
ALB: I split my goals into three constituent “parts”. First are my personal goals.
These are my overarching family and lifestyle-related ambitions. Second are
my entrepreneurial goals, which relate to my work life, but with a long-term
view. For instance, I'm currently working towards the launch of own gym. For
this kind of enormous project, goal-setting and planning is imperative. And
finally, there’s my operational/workday goals, which relate to my personal
training practice on a day-to-day basis - these might include things like my
Hively: How much of an importance does the process of setting goals have in your
ALB: Goal-setting is an essential part of my professional activity. As the term
“service provider” suggests, I bestow a service onto my clients. This service
takes a number of different forms, but the very core of what I do is help
people achieve whatever objectives they’ve set for themselves, or that we set
for them - together. Whether we’re talking about assisting them in their
preparation for a sporting event, improve their physical (or psychological)
condition, overcome weight issues - my job is to help my clients attain
fitness success. How we define success varies from one person to the next,
but that’s why it’s imperative for fitness professionals to ask customers
before starting any exercise programme: “what does fit mean to you?”
Hively: In that sense, you operate very much as a consultant?
ALB: Absolutely. My skill set is being a fitness professional. But setting objectives
with my client and accompanying them along their journey is how I earn a
living, and derive value from those skills. A big part of my role is to track their progress against a desired end-goal that we’ll typically set before we
start working together. These parameters allow my clients and I to see how
we’re moving along, and it helps us adjust if and when needed. Without
goals, I’d pretty much be working and walking on air, and so would they. No
planning pretty much means... planning to fail.
Hively: To what extent do you think this sort of accompaniment is applicable to
other service professionals?
ALB: Well, maybe the process of setting and meeting goals is a bit more palpable,
or at least easier to measure in the fitness industry in particular. But it’s
definitely not exclusive to the fitness industry. As an approach, it’s just as
applicable across all care services, for pretty much any self-employed
professional. Basically, if you have a customer, chances are you’ll some
exposure to their goals, their routine, their habits... And this knowledge is
key: learning these little things help create a strong provider-client
relationship, and they give you a better idea about the things that will work
best for them.
Hively: You made the point that it might be easier to measure and notice progress in
your profession than, say, in the pet sitting or cleaning industry. But for the
benefit of Hively Partners in other service categories, could you think of
generally applicable ways to track progress?
ALB:Tough one, but sure. A babysitter, a dog walker, a cleaner, or a pilates
instructor... they all exploit some kind of skill set in order to make a living,
right? And who says skill set says deliverable, so anyone can track progress
in his or her activity. At first glance, I’d look at things like... how much
repeat business am I getting? Are customers eager to work with me again?
This probably sounds like a basic way to measure how consistent or how
good I am in my work, but it shows me that whatever it is I’m doing - I’m
doing it well enough that a customer wants to work with me again.
Hively: Interesting. In a general sense, can you take us through the things that you
think matter to a customer?
ALB: I think that for both customer and provider, continual improvement in a
relationship is essential. I look at it this way: as a personal trainer, I notice
that over time my clients and I start getting more and more comfortable with
one another, and we get into the good type of routine. From one session to
the next, we manage to perform exercises faster - and that means that we
can progressively cover more material from one session to the next.
From the stance of a cleaner... I suppose I’d probably ask myself if I’m giving
time back to my customers by measuring how much faster I’m able to perform a task, how many more tasks I manage to finish as a result of
gaining more familiarity with a house. And if I can work on a few more of the
little things that make a difference in my client’s day to day.
A client actually shared with me the other day that their cleaner of many
years actually writes his family a Christmas card every year, and occasionally
she'll gift them quirky little trinkets. These are little things, but ultimately it's
one example among many of how any service professional can become more
valuable to a client. By doing more of the little things that make them
Hively: You sound inspired! Anything else you care to share?
ALB: I am! To finish answering your previous question, I’d say any service provider
may be able to track progress by measuring their investment in time and
energy. As the quality of our work improves, we might manage to perform
the very same task faster. In turn that means we tend to get more done in
the same amount of time. So as quality increases, maybe so does the
quantity of the work you deliver and can charge a client for.
Say, when the dog walker that takes care of my GoldenDoodle becomes more
trustworthy in my eyes, his value to me increases because I might look to
ask him to handle a few more things when I cannot, like grooming or feeding
her, or picking up dog food on his way in. I guess the menial things that
people might otherwise do, if a provider is willing to win that client’s
business, he has everything to gain from going the extra mile. Gaining their
trust to add more and more. It’s a challenge, but hey - whatever it takes to
make the client happy. So I guess customer happiness is probably a good
way for a service provider to measure success.
Outstanding. Thank you for your time, Dre!
Of course, anytime.