“Budget is employment”


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11 years ago I was the General Manager of the Fitness First Club at Sheffield Millhouses (not t’other one at Hillsborough, although I did work their for a year as well).

There were four main sections of staff there – the sales team, the fitness team, front of house and cleaning / maintenance.

Much of a GM’s job was spent with the sales team.

As getting new members has always been seen as more important, by most of the fitness industry, than servicing the existing ones (not at The Academy, of course. Check https://buff.ly/2GlhB0l if you you’d like to find out about an approach built around getting people results and keeping them happy).

Us GMs had to go on all the sales staff training.

As I was a qualified and (fairly) experienced PT by then, I knew what the fitness side should be doing but, interestingly, never received any training on that side whilst in that role.

Anyway, much of the sales training was taken by the Regional Sales Manager George Yasamedus.

A more stereotypical salesman you probably will never see.

Nice suit, fancy car, slick back hair and always carrying at least three sugar free redbulls.

Bluetooth earpiece always (always) blinking in his ear.

“The Yaz Man” (as he would refer to himself, in the third person) had a lot of sayings.

Soundbites he would repeat, near endlessly.

There’s one that still sticks with me.

“Budget is employment”

Meaning the budgeted number of sales isn’t a ‘nice to have’.

Or a ‘maximum to aim for’.

It’s the minimum you have to deliver to keep your job.

And, although somewhat blunt, it did help me re-frame what had to happen there.

And, after missing budget for the first two months I was in that role, we hit it for the remainder of that year (most consecutive months in the six years since the club had opened), until I moved on (back into the more ‘fitnessy side’ of things as Area Manager for the company that ran the Personal Training brand for several major chains).

It was a nice, clear cut, way of looking at things that helped me realise what needed to happen.

A change in understanding for us all that this was the minimum requirement for the result we all desired (keeping our jobs and getting paid).

I didn’t necessarily enjoy the job (definitely didn’t actually), but it was a powerful mindset shift.

And it’s sometimes beneficial to give ourselves a reframe in a similar way.

Here’s another that ‘The Yaz Man’ might have said:

** Calorie deficits are weight loss **

Sure, there’s more to consider, just like their was more to a GMs job than just hitting budget.

But both are absolute essentials.

Without which what else is happening kinda doesn’t matter.

So, we don’t need to forget everything else.

But let’s not forget the most important one (from a weight loss perspective at least).

Much love,

Jon ‘Red briefcase’ Hall and Matt ‘Chancellor’ Hall

The Academy Group Transformation Centre Macclesfield - buff.ly/2EhYTcx

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