Personal trainers and fitness professionals need to innovate and diversify their businesses to thrive. Learn the G.R.I.T. framework for success: Growth mindset, Resilience strategies, Inspired P’s, and Taking actions. You can steer your personal training and fitness business to reach more clients by applying these results-oriented strategies. This 5-part series will focus on 1) Resilience for self-care, 2) Resilience for personal development, 3) Resilience strategies for your online fitness business, 4) Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB) in Your Personal Development, and 5) DEIB for Your Business. These excerpts are from the new ebook, Online Personal Training: Taking Control of Your Personal Training & Fitness Business
To embed DEIB in your business, it begins with a purpose, a vision, mission statement and values that you will implement within all facets of development and practice. DEIB can be very broad in its mandate and we may not have the time and resources to address all the challenges in the world. Before diving into action steps, you need to identify the challenge or challenges that you want to address. With a clearer understanding of the concerns and issues, you will design better programs and educational efforts to advance DEIB.
Think about the “isms” and “phobias” that circulate in your communities. Some of the common “isms” include racism, sexism, classism, heterosexism, ableism and ageism. Other phrases include transphobia and homophobia. These words describe situations, systems and attitudes with discriminatory actions and remarks being felt by specific individuals and communities, while privileging others. In racism, the BIPOC communities feel the discrimination, while White communities have easier access to opportunities and resources. In sexism, women often feel marginalized in comparison to their male peers. In classism, the lower income communities would feel the lack of privilege in comparison to the higher-income groups. Individuals with impairments may feel and have less access to resources than individuals without impairments. With ageism, older adults may feel marginalized compared to their younger cohorts. Transphobia favours the binary genders of male and female, while homophobia privileges heterosexual communities.
DEIB practices and activism can begin where you think you can make the most difference, as a member of a particular social group or through your passionate interests. Here are some possible action steps:
- Include an equity statement in your public presence such as “ABC organization is committed to advancing the values of equity, diversity, inclusion and belonging within our programs and services as we serve under-represented communities.”
- Identify niche communities who are underserved within your programs and services, and co-develop new ones with members from the targeted communities.
- Use your promotional materials to reflect back to the communities that you serve through the images and messages you use and show that you understand their needs and interests.
- Ensure that your online programs and services are accessible using alt-text and closed captioning functions.
- Ensure that in-person programs have accessible entrances, spaces and washrooms, or appropriate breaks during online formats
- In the recruitment of staff, search broadly through different talent pools and advertise that the job welcomes individuals with lived experiences in ___(insert name of targeted community).
- Create a DEIB advisory committee, with representatives from different communities
- Include diverse representatives in hiring committees.
- Connect staff with diverse role models within and outside of your business.
- Prepare forms that use more inclusive gender terms such as non-binary/genderqueer, male, two-spirit, female, transgender, response not included on this list.
- Train staff on DEIB competencies including definitions and applications.
- Public events such as workshops and conferences need to have broad representations for speakers, including gender, race, Indigeneity, sexual orientation, physical and invisible disabilities, and different social identities.
- Acknowledge international days and holidays to recognize and celebrate the successes of different communities.
All these actions, separately and collectively, will build your confidence to advance DEIB within yourself, your relationships and within your personal training and fitness business.
By adding a DEIB lens to your personal and professional development, you will learn and grow to be better prepared to serve different communities. Connect to your why and visualize your DEIB goals. As with any goal, prepare a short and long-term plan. Create your S.M.A.R.T. goals. The acronym represents the components Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Trackable. Identify your resources. Prioritize what you can do each day to advance DEIB as a champion and as an ally. DEIB work requires patience and commitment. You too can be a change agent for social justice and positive impact.
SUSAN LEE, PhD, CPTN-CPT is the president of the Certified Professional Trainers Network (CPTN) Inc. and Synergetics Wellness. She recently launched her new book and ebook Online Personal Training: Taking Control of Your Personal Training & Fitness Business and an initiative for individuals 50+ who are interested in wellness, inclusion, creativity and connections, Wisdom Circle 50+, to support the UN’s Declaration for the Decade of Healthy Ageing (2021-2030). She lectures at the college and university levels on leadership, business and social justice; presents at international conferences; and publishes in peer-reviewed journals and educational platforms to share her research, practices and passions.