What St. Patrick’s Day Can Teach Us About The Business of Fitness

By March 16, 2020 No Comments

Are you Irish?  Does it really matter?  Virtually everyone celebrates St. Patty’s Day – whether they have Irish roots or not. 

What can this teach us about fitness culture? 

Let’s examine the psychology behind Saint Patrick’s Day – why is it so much fun and how can you apply these principles to your training business?

People Enjoy Culture

Let’s face the facts, the majority of people who celebrate St. Patrick’s Day might not be Irish, but the spirit of the Irish is alive and well on this day.  One day each year is dedicated to the Irish traditions of eating different food, drinking different drinks, celebrating with friends, singing and dancing, etc.  People LOVE culture. This is how it’s been for as long as we can remember. Any excuse to have fun is a great reason to celebrate.  

How does this apply to your fitness business?  There is no doubt that fitness has its own culture.  There are many different niches within the umbrella of ‘fitness.’  I used to believe that the fitness coach and trainer space was crowded.  Then, I realized how niche our industry is. It is based not only on the trainer’s ability to help their trainee achieve a desired result, but also the relationship that is established between the two.  Your clients love to see how you operate on a daily basis. They enjoy hearing what your opinions are on certain topics. They like the interactions they have with you whether that is in-person or online.  This is all a part of the culture of your business and how you conduct yourself. People love culture.

Identity Matters

My Irish lineage is a small percentage of my overall heritage.  However, on St. Patrick’s Day, I embrace my Irish roots and identify with millions of others who are in celebration of their (or other people’s) heritage.  How we perceive our identity is important to shaping our reality. The same is true for fitness.

I find that the most successful fitness/health journeys start with a change of identity.  Your clients, trainees, athletes, etc. must change their identity to become the character they want to be.  You will not lose 100 lbs without changing your identity to become the healthy person that you’ve always wanted to become.  You will not make it to the NFL without changing your identity to that of a world-class football player. 

This doesn’t mean you are disingenuous or artificial.  It simply means that you align your desires, thoughts, and actions with a specific goal.  All of these things create your identity. Having the discipline to eat well, push yourself during workouts, and take care of your body may not be innate for everyone.  That is where a shift in identity can be hugely effective. Let’s take a lesson from St. Patty’s Day about identity and help our clients align themselves with their goals.

Create a Magnetic Business

If you were by yourself, is St. Patrick’s Day fun to celebrate?  Maybe you are a true hardcore Irishman (or Irishwoman) who will have fun, by yourself, regardless.  For the rest of us, it’s about being with other people!  

Your training business is the same way.  How can you possibly create a business culture if your clients are all siloed and isolated from one another.  I encourage you to have interaction, whether your business is online or in-person. It is important to engage the patrons of your business and continually put effort into your relationship with them.  Celebrations are always better together – perhaps they are celebrating a weight loss goal, a new PR, or another accomplishment. People love to celebrate with each other and this is a great way to build some culture in your training business.

Closing Thoughts

St. Patrick’s Day may seem like the furthest thing from a relatable fitness concept, but I wanted to write this timely article to explain how we can observe the culture and psychology of the Irish celebration.  Building culture, helping your clients shift their identities, and establishing a fun business environment may help you to build a larger, more stable clientele.

How would you describe your business culture?  Leave us a comment below and let’s chat!

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