“I just want to get toned for the summer.”
You know this line. We all do.
We hear it from every other person that walks through our doors when we ask them the big WHY: Why do they want to join our gym?
For some of us gym owners, we’ve gotten into the habit of digging deeper, a la the 5 Whys technique: ask why five times until you get to the heart of the matter.
Because we get tired of the canned stuff. Everyone wants to look good naked, but deep down, we know there’s more to the story.
And we know that pressing the issue gets people to unravel their superficial reasons, uncovering the driving story behind their life.
We eventually go from “I want to get toned” to “I turned 45 the other day, and I didn’t like what I saw when I looked in the mirror. I don’t know if my wife finds me attractive anymore, and I don’t want being out of shape to be the reason why she doesn’t.”
Now that’s real.
Why does this line of questioning work so well?
I’ll tell you why.
What you’re ultimately discovering in this line of question is not what someone wants but what they fear.
It’s not some Instagram dude’s six pack that got them in the door today. It’s the fear that stirred in their soul when they considered being unattractive for the rest of their lives.
It’s not the healthcare industry telling them to exercise more that got them walking through your door. It was the fear that if they didn’t exercise, they could lose time with their grandchildren.
And ultimately, it is the fear of not fulfilling our potential that wakes us up and drives us to make a change.
What if nothing changed from your reality today?
I don’t know about you, but when I ask myself that question, I panic. Straight up.
On the surface, life is pretty great for us as gym owners. Lee and I are in the process of hiring a General Manager, and we’re looking forward to taking a couple weeks off next month to visit Colombia then climb Mt. Rainier.
But if absolutely nothing changed in my reality, I would be devastated. I would feel like a trapped animal.
Because I may be fulfilled by my life today, but I wouldn’t be satisfied with it indefinitely.
The reason it’s important to understand what drives people is because it allows you to figure out if someone is truly willing to make a change.
But, it’s not just our members who are looking to make a change, is it?
Your turn. What would happen if nothing changed in your life from today?
What if 30 years down the road, your life looked exactly the same?
And if there is a part of you that panicked, in the same way I did, what are you willing to do to change your reality?
Because the honest truth is, you have to be willing to give up everything in your life if you want to make that change.
I didn’t say you will give up everything. I just said you need to be willing.
Because when you make a change to improve your life, you’re always giving up something.
Sometimes it’s a steady paycheck.
Sometimes it’s your attachment to coaching all your classes.
Sometimes it’s simply your ego, and that can be harder to give up than all your possessions combined.
So, as you see, it was never a question of what you wanted…
It is always the question of what you’re willing to give up to have it.
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