The Symptoms of Gym Owner Burnout and the Prescription for the Cure

You walk into your gym and what you used to be your “happy place”, but you’re not feeling so happy. 

You hope to avoid eye contact with anyone because you’re not feeling social. You force a smile to anyone you do see, but you’re really thinking about the million things you need to get done.

When you do sit down to check things off the list, you’re not sure where to start and everything seems so difficult. You just feel tired.

Then, when you do lay down to sleep, even that becomes difficult with the constant whirring thoughts of pressures and stress that the gym demands.

If you know this feeling, you know GYM OWNER BURNOUT. 

EVERY gym owner experiences days like this sometimes. If they start to become a common thing, it is time to make changes. It is a downward spiral. 

As the issues mount the mental capacity to deal with them decreases. The effectiveness of your leadership diminishes, your members and staff feel the negative energy and start to leave because of it… which only makes things worse. 

But don’t worry, this is common and there is hope.

The very first thing to do:

Recognize you are not alone. The best gym owners in the world experience this feeling at times. It’s part of the experience. Pain and discomfort bring growth. No matter what happens from this point forth, you will be better for it. Know that. 

The very next thing to do:

Take a step back and reassess your mission and goals. No one opens a gym to run a business. You open a gym to be enveloped in fitness and help people. You can’t know everything that is involved with running a gym before you start one. If it’s just not what you expected, and not for you, that’s ok. You won’t be doing yourself of your members any favors by continuing. 

That said, if your fire for fitness and helping others is still burning and just needs some fuel to burn through the wet blanket of business challenges… here are some ideas that could help. 

Sharpen the saw – if you are feverishly sawing the log with a dull blade, take the time you need to sharpen it. Workout and recover the mind as well as you do the body. You’ll be in a better mental place to deal with the challenges and achieve exponential results. You know all the methods: adequate time off, proper sleep, meditation, nutrition, etc. Prioritize them.

Get a business coach – You know the value of a coach in fitness, the same holds true for business. Learn from those that have been there. It doesn’t have to be a formal relationship, it could be following someone who puts out great content. Keep in mind, the more you invest in a relationship like this, the more you stand to get out of it.

Reconnect with your “why” – Review your mission statement (or write one if you haven’t). Keep the focus of building your community through an incredible experience provided to your members. In other words, the reason you got started in the first place and what drives you to get better.

Utilize existing tools and systems – There are tons of software and service options to cut down on business task lists and the time sucks that take away from what makes you and your members happy.

The “ALL OF THE ABOVE” option – Level Method is known for its incredible impact on positive member experience and helping gym owners see and feel their “why” every day… but it is so much more than that. It comes with tools and software to help with business tasks like on-boarding members, training coaches, workout programming, supplementary programs, marketing, and much more. It also comes with a vast network of support system including other gym owners, top coaches, and some of the best business minds in the industry. To learn more, start with this overview of what Level Method does

For many gym owners experiencing burnout, it marks the beginning of a new phase of gym ownership mastery. May you find the inspiration to make this YOUR beginning to the next phase of growth.

Mather Wiswall

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