Fitness entrepreneurs have no shortage of ideas.
It’s a superpower…
But also a curse.
Ideas are the spark that a business needs to come to life. But they’re also a compelling distraction that can pull you away from your focus.
You’ll never stop having ideas in your fitness business. They will be a constant of your business journey. But what can not become a constant is whether or not you pursue them, and this changes at different phases of your business’ life.
Very early in your career, you should chase every idea you can. Sample widely, build a minimal viable product for each idea, throw the ideas at the wall, and see what sticks. Don’t go ‘all in’ on any one idea until you’ve tested the market to gauge the long term viability of that venture.
This stage is fun. It’s about building and experimenting. And it’s tempting to keep doing this forever.
This is the exploration phase.
We can’t live here though, and need to move into the exploitation phase.
Because as your business matures, you need to make a change. You need to narrow down the ideas you pursue. You need to focus on the experiments that have worked best. You need to exploit the winners of your early sampling.
If the idea is a spark, the exploitation phase is where you build a roaring bonfire. This should be the longest phase of the life of your fitness business. Finding that overlap between what you do well and what the market wants.
Over time, you will systemise and automate the process to make the business as turn-key as possible. Running on autopilot.
Then (and only then) you can venture back into the exploration phase. You can start to experiment with new ideas to build new income streams and (more importantly) to re-inject some freshness and novelty into your life. Not every decision needs to (or should) be made through a financial lens, and pursuing new ideas is a great way to keep business fun.
Now, there is a way to scratch you entrepreneurial itch while still in an exploitation phase, but it takes some discipline.
It involves you ‘siloing’ your ideas.
Each week, have a short amount of time set aside to work on ‘new ideas’. No more than three hours. In this solid three hour weekly block, allow yourself to build and experiment with new stuff. Build a minimal viable product and release it out to the world to see if the market responds. But once that three hour block ends, stop working on the idea and don’t think about it again until the same time next week. This approach takes a lot of discipline and is hard to do, but (if you get it right) it can be a great way to generate sparks while still enjoying the bonfire.
Ideas and innovation are vital to a business. If pursued at the right time. Make sure you’re not confusing distraction with progress, and match your pursuit of ideas with the maturity level of your business.