Running a successful personal training business isn’t easy. And when combined with the stresses of studying for grad school, life can seem plain overwhelming. So, to help you fend off anxiety and find time for both major life commitments, here are our top 5 tips for balancing your business and grad school.
Tip #1: Plan Your Days
Being highly organized is going to be one of your biggest allies in trying to find an ideal balance between your work, your studies, and the rest of your life. Not only will it help you track all of your activities and commitments so that nothing is forgotten, but it will also let you more easily visualize your time allocation.
If you are running a personal training business and studying for the GMAT or another major entrance exam, you are going to have an incredibly full schedule. You will be spending large amounts of time at the gym with clients, and you will need equally large amounts of time in the books getting ready for test day. Since small blocks of time at the gym don’t help a lot, and neither do small spurts of studying, it may help significantly to dedicate one part of your day to work exclusively, and another for GMAT prep.
A final benefit of scheduling all of your activities is that you will know exactly when your free time is, and if you plan ahead, you will know what you’re doing. No more stumbling into a few hours of free time and wasting half of it trying to think of what you want to do.
Tip #2: Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
One of the things that most people find difficult is asking for help. Many people choose to struggle through something and figure it out themselves when there were probably a few people that could have guided them towards a solution earlier on. Time is precious, and when you have a full schedule, you don’t have any extra moments to spare.
If you find that you’re struggling with something, there is absolutely nothing wrong with seeking assistance. Whether you need a tutor to help you pass your next test or you need a friend to run an errand for you, you likely have more people on your side than you think.
You may decide that your workload is too much right now, and that’s perfectly normal. Speak with your academic advisor or counselor at school to see if there are any accommodations that can be made. You may be able to move some classes around to make your schedule fit your personal training clients and personal time better.
Tip #3: Take Time for Yourself
Self-care is going to be incredibly important, particularly if you have operated your personal training business for less than several years. You are probably still in the stage of business development where you are pushing yourself extra hard trying to build clientele and get your reputation for results out there, and in all likelihood, neglecting some of your core needs in the process. Your mind needs variety and challenge, as well as joy and new experiences. As much as you might love being in the gym, doing it day in and day out with your only respite from work being your school studies will leave you exhausted and burnt out before you know it.
Make time for yourself and any hobbies or interests you have that are not work-related. Schedule time for these things and show up for them, like you would with any other client. You are that important. It doesn’t matter if it’s a daycation to a nearby city to do things you don’t normally do around home, or if it’s just a few extra hours you might have with some friends on a Friday afternoon. Schedule it and enjoy it.
Tip #4: Get Plenty of Sleep
Sleep is incredibly important, and as a personal trainer, you should already know that. Sleep helps to heal all those tiny tears in your muscle fibers that you’ve been working on all day. It lets your mind rest, reset, and rebuild its neural fibers, helping you retain new information you learned that day. In addition to all of the physical and mental repair that happens while you sleep, you also regain your energy stores.
Waking up after a good, restful night’s sleep can have you feeling like a million bucks in the morning. You will feel refreshed and ready to get your clients the results they are paying you for. While waking up after not getting enough sleep will leave you tired during the day and feeling mentally dull. You may even experience forgetfulness or hampered critical thinking or reasoning during a critical moment of your grad school studies.
On top of all that, your clients will know that you’re not running on a full tank, and it’s going to leave you even more fatigued and drowsy later on when your head’s in the books while you are studying.
Tip #5: Keep Your Long-Term Goals in Mind
If you want to go to business school so you can further your personal training career, it’s important not to lose sight of your academic, career, and personal goals. When you are juggling clients, classes, a personal life, and studying for the GMAT, it can be easy to get caught up in the day to day life – but you shouldn’t lose track of your goals.
Keeping on the path to your desired future can certainly be hard. In order to keep on track, planners can help out with short term objectives. Get a calendar to hang up at home so you can write in all of your important test days throughout the semester, as well as any deadlines and end of grading periods so your academics don’t fall behind.
Keeping these goals in mind will not only give you long-term benchmarks of your progress, but they will remind you of what you are working and studying for, and why this will all be worth it one day. Having that constant motivation or reminder of things to come can serve as a strong inspiration to keep focused and driving toward your ultimate goal.
If you want more tips and tricks to running a personal training business, then check out the rest of our blog here! Leave a comment below if you have any feedback or extra insight to share.