We had the good fortune of connecting with Amy Rivers and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Amy, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
When I first began training and coaching, I would take any session, any client, on any day and at any time. I was working Saturdays and Sundays, early mornings, and late, late nights. More than anything else, I had these huge breaks in time between sessions. I would have a client at 7am, and then not another one until 10am, and then maybe another at 3. This made time management and productivity incredibly difficult. I would feel like I was just waiting for the time to pass until I was able to train the next individual. Simultaneously, even though I wasn’t necessarily working a ton of hours because I would have these breaks in between, my weekends and evenings to spend quality time with my partner and my friends and family slipped away. I had set no boundaries on my time. Now, having been a personal trainer for almost 6 years, I have learned how to manage my time and my clientele much more efficiently. I stack my clients one after another when possible and I never train on the weekends. While I do work late most nights, I’ve compromised on that front by not working any earlier than 8am. Gone are the 5am sessions that were brutal to my biological clock and left me tired the remainder of the day. While it’s certainly important to work with the client to find a time that fits within their own schedule, you should never sacrifice your own mental or physical health, or your business success, to do so. If you’re keeping a schedule that feels uncomfortable, tires you out, or interferes with your attitude or demeanor, shut it down. Being miserable every day because your body can’t keep up with the expectations you’ve set for yourself will only hurt you in the long run because a) you won’t be able to maintain it forever, and b) it will come across in your sessions with your clientele.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I don’t think starting a business is ever “easy.” You’re taking a huge risk and a huge leap of faith to go against the grain. You’re choosing a life of uncertainty rather than one of security. The specific challenges I faced included opening a business in a state I had just moved to. I’m from upstate New York and I definitely think that opening a business in your hometown, while bringing its own challenges, makes it a bit easier to find clientele. When you open a business, practice or firm in an unfamiliar place, you can’t fall back on your reputation or the contacts you’ve built up through the years to help you out. You really have to rely on, and put a lot of money into, marketing yourself and your business. One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is to prioritize my website. I built my website myself, from scratch, and while I’m proud of my design and its functionality, in hindsight I wish I would have hired someone to ensure top level search engine optimization. Your website can look as beautiful as you want but unless prospective customers are finding it on the front page of Google, you’re going to be missing out on a lot of possible clientele.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I love Colorado so much and I love when my friends visit and I’m able to show them around. I love spending time in the mountains so I definitely try to take my friends to as many hikes as I can convince them to go on! Some of the staples include Idaho Springs, Breckenridge, and Boulder. It’s fun to go for a hike in Georgetown and then stop in Idaho Springs on the way back for a cup of coffee and a snack, or walk around Pearl Street in Boulder and window shop at the various mom-and-pop stores. Of course I almost always take them to Red Rocks as well, for either a concert or just to sight-see and take a walk around the amphitheater. I also love to spend time in the city of Denver so I might take them to dinner at Linger or El Five for the views and then have us grab a drink later at Avanti or 54Thirty.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I’d like to dedicate my shoutout to my husband who has supported me in my career endeavors since day 1. And not just emotionally, but financially, too. When I made the decision to stop training at big box gyms and start my own business, income didn’t just start flowing in immediately. There were good months, and bad months, and months when I wanted to quit – and months where he had to pick up the slack and pay most of the bills. And never once did he ask me to quit and do something else. So thanks, honey, for your unwavering support in anything I attempt.
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