Do You Treat Your Business Like the Average Gym Membership?


I ran across an interesting article on gym memberships.  According to this report 80% of those who join don’t make it past the 5th month.  So an individual may have neglected their body for years, but 5 months (or less) is the allotted time they committed to getting into better shape before throwing in the towel!  It doesn’t even sound logical, but apparently it is the reality.  No doubt, the instant gratification society we live in has pressed that timeline.

“Real positive long-term change seldom happens overnight, it takes time. Especially depending on where one is starting.”

That statistic was a good reminder that real positive change in business usually takes time, that there are few overnight shortcuts that produce long-term results.  Maybe not in every case, but the most successful companies are guided by leadership that is consistently working to improve the health of the business on a regular basis.  They don’t view it as a membership they buy and dump after 5 months.

“You will increase your odds of succeeding by working with someone or a group.”

Another interesting percentage was that 44% of the consistent long term gym-goers work out with another person.  And, more than 2 out of 5 are involved in a group exercise program.  If you are looking for the secret sauce to increase your odds of making it past 5 months in a gym, you might want to seek out a partner!   Today business owners and leaders have more groups and organizations for support than ever before, yet one of the most common challenges we hear from business owners is dealing with the feeling of isolation; like they are stuck on island and have no one to turn to.  Does this sound like you or someone you know?

“Slow progress is still better that throwing in the towel, stick with it.”

There were several other statistics in this article, but the final one that caught my eye was that even those who do stick with their fitness memberships don’t make it to the gym near as often as they should.  Their data showed that only about half of the members visited 100 times or more in a year.  This doesn’t necessarily mean they are not working out, but it probably means they aren’t being as diligent as they should be in their efforts to get healthier.  At least they aren’t throwing in the towel.  They are just on a path that is moving a little slower to better health.

So what does all this mean?  On the fitness side, if you have decided this is your year to get physically healthier the first thing you need to do is give yourself more than 5 months to get there, especially if it has been years since you were the best version of yourself.   If you can hold yourself accountable to working out, don’t be afraid to go it alone.  But the data shows seeking out a personal fitness trainer, workout partner, or group early on, greatly improves your odds of succeeding.

From a business perspective it really isn’t much different.  If you really want to make significant improvements in your business you have to get serious about going after it. You can’t make it a part-time business plan, it has to be consistent.  And, recognize that it isn’t going to be completed in 5 months.  Certainly there are many smaller accomplishments along the way that may be reached on even a daily basis.  But longer term objectives are more comparable to getting a body back into better physical condition after years of neglect.  It is simply going to take some time.  And finally don’t be afraid to seek out some help to improve your odds of succeeding.

Whatever you do, don’t treat your business like the average gym membership.  Make a commitment.  As always please feel free to share any thoughts in the space below.

Chris Steinlage Kansas City Business Coach