Coppell Trainer – 9 Lessons Learned while celebrating 9 years in Coppell

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Sep 13

October of 2016 will mark Get You In Shape’s 9th Year Anniversary of starting the Get You In Shape fitness program in Coppell.
Although Get You In Shape was “born” in 2006 (see story below of how it was started), we are celebrating 9 Years of the Coppell Fitness program.
I have added a few lessons I’ve learned along the way that hopefully will give you more insight to the journey it’s been but also help give you some wisdom.

“What are lessons learned from 9 years of being in business?”

I encourage you to take some time out and read the entire blog at some point but I also put in the cliff notes below 🙂

1. God Is In Control and “It’s Not About Me”!

Get You In Shape on ABC in 2008!

Get You In Shape on ABC in 2008!

2. Build Solid Core Values and Know What You Stand For
3. “Small, Smart Choices + Consistency + Time = RADICAL DIFFERENCE”
4. Surround Yourself With Great People 
5. Follow the DARN Instructions
6. Keep It Simple
7. Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff
8. Use Your Gifts To Give Back
9. Make it YOUR IDEAL

1. God Is In Control and “It’s Not About Me”! – I read a book a long time ago called “Let Go and Let GOD.” Get You In Shape would not be possible without God being in Control. I learned quickly to let God be in control (once I finally gave in and pursued health and fitness as a true profession) of everything when I started. I know I started it but I will continue this blog by using WE since it’s not about me 🙂

The name (see below post about the name), the core values, the trainers and the awesome clients have all been because of God. We knew that God was in control and continues to be the CEO of Get You In Shape. We know all the clients that have come our way were led from God which is why we have done our best to live out the Get You In Shape core values. I could certainly not have scripted the growth (5 clients to 60 clients in 6 months and 100 clients in 12 months). With God being in control from day one and giving all the credit to HIM, Get You In Shape has been able to change a lot of lives.

“It’s not about me” is a motto I personally strive to live by every day. It’s very strange for me to say the word “I” when it comes to Get You In Shape. If you know any of my story I did not intend to be a “Personal Trainer” or be known as the “Fitness Guy.” Although I played basketball through the professional ranks and received a master’s degree in Health and Kinesiology, it was more of a hobby than a profession of helping people look, feel and perform better. Long story short, after a number of years of doing what I loved as a hobby part time, I knew I finally had to give in and use my God-given gifts to help people in the area of health and fitness. Although Get You In Shape was started in 2006, I did not officially start pursuing my passion and start the Get You In Shape Group Personal Training Program (fitness boot camp) until 2007. I do think that EVERYTHING that lead me to this step was helping me prepare for building a solid business.

As I took the focus off of me, I focused more on each client and building a community of like-minded people that were all in this thing called “life” together.  From that point on, I focused on the community and the word “WE”. Although we started out with just 5 people in our first ever group session, we grew fast because it was not about me but about the people I was helping.

2. Build Solid Core Values and Know What You Stand For –
Below are Get You In Shape’s core values. It has changed very little over the last 9 years.  Knowing our core values and living/standing by them day in and day out has helped us stay consistent. From the owners to the trainers to the Get You In Shape Clients, these core values have certainly been one reason the program has and continues to thrive. My number one value was community. Starting the process of getting in shape and staying in shape is very tough. We set out to put people in a positive environment that will create motivation, encouragement, accountability and inspiration. All of those will allow us to stay consistent in our fitness and nutrition. Having a support system (from trainers, tools and all the GYIS clients) and building a community has been key to our program.

  • Community: Create a positive and healthy environment that promotes motivation, encouragement, accountability and inspiration.
  • Servants Heart: Respect and serve each person wherever they are on their health and fitness journey.
  • Empower: Help motivate each client to a live healthy lifestyle so they can pay it forward.
  • Give Back: Use our God-given gifts to help our community and worthy causes.
  • Over-Deliver: Provide a service that goes above and beyond the typical fitness program

Mission Statement:
Get You In Shape provides Scientific based, no-hype health and nutrition solutions to its clients by delivering an outstanding positive experience
We accomplish this mission . . .

by educating the community
by delivering results driven programs
by helping those who want to be helped
by acting in a manner that brings out the best in others
by enriching the lives of those with who we come in contact with

Living by the core values has really allowed us to build a program that actually PRODUCES RESULTS (over 400 Video Success Stories on our YouTube Playlist) and provides a level of SERVICE that people NEED when it comes to a health and fitness program.

Over time we have continued to carry out our values by having client challenges, the Total Transformation Challenge, Team Challenges, charity events and fun stuff for our clients to participate in throughout the year.

3. “Small, Smart Choices + Consistency + Time = RADICAL DIFFERENCE” – If you read how Get You In Shape came to be (read at the bottom of this blog), Get You In Shape was NOT a success overnight. I love this quote from Darren Hardy. Get You In Shape’s success over the last 9 years came with YEARS of Small, Smart Choices, Consistency and a lot of Time! It’s been a small and steady journey that began from an early age. When Get You In Shape started in 2006 (the first Coppell fitness session was October of 2007) it was a combination of years of small, smart choices and consistency of growing myself. I call this sharpening my sword. Although, I did not necessarily know what GOD had in store for me, I stayed the course and kept going. When the Get You In Shape Coppell Fitness program started, all the years of Small, Smart Choices, Consistency and Time just came together perfectly to allow Get You In Shape to grow FAST. Mainly, because all the work had already been done.
I use this quote in pretty much everything in my life. If you are looking to make progress in something, you need to understand this Tip.

4. Surround Yourself With Great People – I am very humbled by the success of Get You In Shape. I learned from an early age that if I can “hang around” the right people, I will learn and grow as a person from being around them. When it comes to business, I have learned that I need to surround myself with great people to have a sustaining business. I brought like-minded people on board the Get You In Shape team that had similar values along with bringing in clients that also aligned with our core values. We have had an amazing team of personal trainers AND the best clients that I could ever ask for. Get You In Shape is about our community and the trainers and clients make it so special.

One of the things I did early on was hire a business coaching company that only helps fitness businesses. Investing in people who have a proven track record and know more about how to run a successful business than I do has been a huge reason why Get You In Shape has been successful. I also surrounded myself with other fitness business owners from around the country to gain wisdom and network with them.

Wisdom comes from God but it also comes from people that you surround yourself with.

5. Follow the DARN Instructions – This seems to be very simple but I have learned over time that many people are just not willing to do so. The ones that are willing to start the journey tend to be successful and LOVE THE JOURNEY. We have done all the work and put all the tools together and have created the environment that would help a client reach their goals. All someone needs to do is “Follow The DARN Instructions”. I am Texan so I know you can add another D word in there. The Get You In Shape program is “Personal Training in a Group Environment “. This means we have step by step instructions for our clients to follow AND have provided all the help and coaching that one would need throughout the process to reach their goals. They get the accountability they need to get started along with all the tools so just “Follow the Darn Instructions.”
Anyone looking to lose weight, have more energy and get healthy just needs to “Follow The DARN Instructions” to reach their health and fitness goals. It’s been shown time and time again that if you do the work, the results come.

6. Keep It Simple – We have built our business on two services. Our Get You In Shape Coppell Group Personal Training (fitness boot camp) and our Group Challenges. Although, we have expanded and added services like corporate fitness, we have stuck with two main services because we KNOW THEY WORK and because it’s WHAT WE ARE GOOD AT. It also has allowed us to focus on what we are passionate about which has made all the hard work fun. Keeping it simple with two services has also allowed us to make some easy “Follow the Darn Instructions” and allowed us to include the personal accountability. Those two alone (a step by step system and support/accountability) have been a key to helping our clients get started and also a key to why we’ve had many of our clients stay with us over the years. Keeping the focus on what works and what you feel is the best option for someone getting started, has allowed us to keep it simple and only offer two main core programs or services.

7. Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff – This one I have come to learn to be true over the years. Every small issue or thing that affects your business can become stressful. I have learned over the years NOT TO SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF. Although I do have to deal with all the issues that come up, I have learned not to stress over it. Looking back on the 9 years, there have been many minor things (small stuff) that ate at me and caused me to stress. Because of the stress, the small issues have caused over the years, I have come to realize that THERE IS ANOTHER DAY and that the small situation is NOT THE END OF THE WORLD. In a week, that issue will be over with and not a problem so it’s not something I should stress over today. Especially if it is an issue I don’t have any control over.

With 3 kids now and one on the way, I know there will ALWAYS be issues to deal with and work to do but understanding that God is in control, gets me through it. We can all get better at this lesson in all areas of our life. I am still learning this lesson but do believe that this is something I have improved on since starting.

8. Use Your Gifts To Give Back – The first of our core values is COMMUNITY. Life is much more enjoyable when you’re on a journey with others. The community is what it’s all about. We learned early on that we could use our gifts to bring people together for fitness related events and give back to a local charity. When you have a community of like-minded people, it’s easy to “round up the troops” and put fun events on to help give back. It has been very humbling to know that the Get You In Shape community has been able to give back more than $120,000 in all of our Charity events over the last 9 years. The Coppell 5k for the Coppell Special Olympic teams, Pushups for Charity Events for our veterans, Thanksgiving Turkey Busting workouts (Can Good drive for CCA) and Boot Camp 4 Backpacks for school supplies and many other local charity events. Here is a Link to see some of the events we have done with pictures.

9. Make it YOUR IDEAL LIFE – 
Definition of “IDEAL” – Satisfying one’s conception of what is perfect; most suitable.  An ultimate or worthy object of endeavor; a goal.
IDEAL can be used in a number of areas in your life such as business, finances, home, family, etc.

“You should franchise Get You In Shape”
“You will be more successful if you move inside”
“You should expand across DFW”
These are just three of the many “suggestions” I’ve gotten over the years. Some I tried while others I just brushed off.

The 9th tip is to focus on YOUR IDEAL. For me, it’s about making my IDEAL LIFE coincide with IDEAL BUSINESS.
Early on, I learned that I did not want to expand locations. At one point, we had two downtown locations for a while. It was fun and rewarding but a lot of work juggling and my IDEAL was not having to manage 3 locations far away from each other. The downtown location meant a lot of driving and a lot of marketing. In the end, it was not my ideal so I decided to dial back and just focus on our Coppell location. I was training a lot of hours along with trying to manage people, market 3 different separate locations and running myself thin.
We were starting a family soon and knew that having to basically work multiple locations was like running multiple businesses. That is great for some but not my IDEAL.

I think you have to always go back to what YOU want and what is YOUR IDEAL.

One example would be is staying at the park. Since the beginning, we have been blessed to attract people who fit who we are looking to help and also like to workout outside. It’s worked for us, been successful and part of my IDEAL. Moving into a “brick and mortar” building would really mean starting another business from scratch and attracting a different “niche” client. I’m confident that if we opened an inside location, it would be successful. It’s just not my IDEAL.

What is my IDEAL Business?  First off, my IDEAL will always be ever-changing. I’m constantly working to improve and grow both personally and professionally.
I would say, though, that understanding what my IDEAL LIFE is has allowed me to be more focused on the things needed to build my IDEAL BUSINESS.
Here is a list of a few current IDEALS:
1) Stick to what works – Our group personal training program and group challenges is what we will continue to focus on.
2) Instead of expanding locations, we simply have taken what we do good at and brought it onsite to local Corporations. By local, I mean close to where we live and work in Coppell, TX. We currently have 4 corporate onside locations but two are in Coppell, one is in Carrollton and the other one is in Lewisville. It does not run me thin because they are all close so it fits my IDEAL. I’ve also brought on incredible team to help bring what we do to corporations.
3) I am doing more Lifestyle Coaching and expanding my network by helping lead, train and mentor more people through the nutrition company I have been involved with since 2001. Helping coach people with both health/wellness and also help people duplicate what I’m doing is something I enjoy doing so it fits my IDEAL life. I know I am able to impact more lives through Advocare.
4) Helping more people. One of the reasons I stopped teaching is because I felt that I was called to help more people. My ideal business is to build more virtual programs so that I can make a difference in more lives than just in Coppell, TX. I’ve just completed my first online product which is at 24DayKickStart.com and am excited about helping more and more people virtually.

It’s easy to get caught up in what others tell you about your business. It’s easy to look at the shiny new object and start running after it.
In the end, focusing on building my IDEAL BUSINESS has been a blessing.

How Get You In Shape Started

I decided to share this story in hopes that it will motivate, encourage and inspire you.

I am very humbled and excited to be celebrating 9 awesome years of the Get You In Shape Program here in Coppell. I started the Get You In Shape fitness program wanting to bring a fitness program that would attract like-minded people to form a community, helping all of us live healthier lives. It’s been a rewarding experience knowing that I said YES to the call and started to use my gifts in health and fitness. I now use the word WE when talking about Get You In Shape. Although I started it (with God’s wisdom), it is now “we” because of our team and community.  Our Get You In Shape family is a combination of Cynthia (my awesome wife), our amazing team of trainers, our client liaison and our amazing clients (the reason why we do everything we do).
Although there are some “I’s” in this story, know it is really about getting the points across and everything is a “We” now.

As with most successful companies, there is a road less traveled to get there. Get You In Shape and the road that led me to start Get You In Shape certainly is one worth sharing. I am very humble with what I have been able to create and the path that God has given me.

What is Success?  Here are some great definition of Success
“Success is peace of mind, which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best you are capable of becoming,” John Wooden

“Success is about living in accordance with your values.” Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh

“Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.” Maya Angelou

“Success is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm,” Winston Churchill

“The more you’re actively and practically engaged, the more successful you will feel.”  Richard Branson

“Success is 1% inspiration, 99% perspiration.” Thomas Edison

It’s always great looking back and seeing the path that I was lead to in order for me to finally start Get You In Shape in 2006. There are many different path’s from 1975 (when I was born) to 1999, but to spare you some of the unexciting details let me start at the latter. In 1999, I got my master’s degree in Health and Kinesiology, teacher certification and soon after I received my Personal Trainer Certification. For the next 5-6 years, I was able to get some incredible experience in the “game of life” and learn a lot of things that proved to help in the formation of Get You In Shape. Looking back at all the things I did, all the different steps I took, the different roles I played, they were all just pieces of the puzzle that helped put everything together.

From 1998 to 1999, I was a Graduate Assistant for the Texas A&M – Commerce basketball team. In 2000, I was then given the chance to go play professional basketball in Ireland for a year and also get to tour around Western Europe for a month while being over there (the all by yourself, backpack, hostel, find your way around type of travel). After getting back from playing professional basketball, I went back to teaching at the same private school for the next 18 months. I also starting taking Advocare nutritional products in 2001 and I still take them daily (Being a part of Advocare has been huge in my personal growth and development). In 2003, I knew that it was time for a change. It was very rewarding teaching and felt I was making a difference in the lives of the kids I taught, but I knew and felt that there was much more in store for me and more lives I could change in a different way. I moved up to Dallas not having a job to go to and not really knowing what I was going to do. I just felt God was calling me to make a change. My first week, I decided to be a volunteer for my church’s teen program (which I ended up doing for the next 5 years) in Coppell. It was with the move to Dallas (started in Plano, then moved to Carrollton, then to Coppell) that I spent the next 2-3 years exploring “What God/I wanted to do”.

A few of the things I did from 2003-2006:
1. Got my Insurance License and sold both life and health insurance
2. Became a golf caddy and caddied in groups with Payton Manning, Mike Modano, Brett Hull and a large number of business owners/CEO’s.
3. Worked for a brand-building company to promote different products (mainly liqueur promotions)
4. Bartended at my roommate’s (and longtime friend’s) bar in Lewisville (Hat Tricks)
5. Continued to benefit from using Advocare nutritional products and also consistently helped more and more people get started on programs that would help them get results.
6. Stayed consistent with personal training clients

Looking back, each of the above service jobs helped prepare me for when the door opened for me to pursue health and fitness as a career rather than a hobby. Needless to say, doors were opened and doors were closed.  For some reason, I did not want to be known as a “personal trainer.” Maybe it was because I did not truly believe that I could be a personal trainer as a professional career to be able to raise a family. I also think that it was just my journey and path at the time. Most everyone knew me as “Trainer Brad” and I felt as if I had a target on my forehead that said “Ask me anything about health and fitness!” From 1999-2006, I did live my passion for health and fitness daily. People certainly knew I walked the walk and talked the talk 🙂

I also want to be very clear that even though I had my hands in a lot of areas, I was not raking in the dough or making a lot of money. For some reason, though, I knew that what I was doing at that time was the RIGHT THING FOR ME (Jer 29:11). I was able to gain a lot of knowledge in every area of service that I did during that time. I was able to learn what people wanted (and didn’t want), I learned a lot about how to interact with all types of personalities (how to get along with people) and  I was able to learn how to over deliver on service by just listening to people.

In 2006, two doors opened that would eventually prove to be WHY I chose to quit everything and pursue my career in health and fitness once and for all.

The first door that opened was getting my first Corporate Fitness Program (boot camp) at the University of Dallas. I had already done group training with athletes at CCA in Carrollton but this was just bringing what I was doing with one on one training to a group session. The University of Dallas group personal training program solidified to me that I had been given gifts to be used in group fitness and that this is something that I WANTED to do. The program was a success and I had a blast personal training in a group atmosphere.

The second door that opened is HOW the name GET YOU IN SHAPE started. Another guy I caddied with worked at a television and production station and approached me with the idea of having a television show that would start with an interview and end with a fitness segment. This would also end up being a Fitness DVD with the interviews being included along with 5 different workout segments.

The ball was in my court to come up with the entire programming including the fitness portion and finding the people to Interview. I was able to call and get interviews with some of the most well-known people in their fields in the Dallas area. Some of the interviews were the late Coach Joe AvezzanoSidney Stohs M.D. (Professor, Pharmacology and Toxicology), Lance Walker (Global Director of Performance at Michael Johnson Performance), Everett Aaberg (Owner of Telos Fitness Center), Ken Goldberg M.D. (Founder of the Male Health Center)  Meredan Zerner (Registered Dietitian @ Cooper Aerobics), and  Collete Cole (has led Cooper’s Female Focus Program since 2006). These are a few of the incredible list of folks I was able to interview and learn from.

The fitness portion was something I worked on for a few weeks and we were able to get the production of 5 different fitness segments finished in about 5 hours. Looking back, it was simply something I can’t describe as we had 4 “fitness models” that did not know any of the segments or exercises before I went over the shoot. If you ask Cynthia (my wife and one of the fitness models that day), we were able to crank out every single segment without having to retake any portion of the segments. God was certainly running the show. Pun intended!

All that being said, I spent a long time trying to come up with a name for the television show. I also wanted to make sure that the URL (website) was available and business name was not taken. From this Get You In Shape was BORN! In 2006, GetYouInShape, LLC was formed and the rest is history. The short end to the story was that the television show never panned out. The good news, though, I was able to keep intellectual property of all the footage and the Get You In Shape Fitness DVD did come to fruition. It was and has been a great tool for many people.

The Get You In Shape Coppell Boot Camp did not start until October of 2007, which is why we are celebrating our 9th Year Anniversary.

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