Perspective – Autumn 2014

Perspective features the opinions of prominent people in the fitness industry. Here, internationally lauded strength and conditioning coach Todd Durkin shares the habits that he believes make for a successful and impactful life in fitness.

Do you want to make a real difference to the world by positively impacting a massive number of lives, or are you happy to just coast along?

My time working in this great industry has taught me more than a few valuable lessons about creating success, significance and impact in not only my own life, but in the lives of others.

  1. Take time to work on your business, not just in it. Determine your true purpose in business and in life, plan where you want to be, and work out what you need to do to get there. Even three hours a month spent working on your business will reap benefits and help you focus on why you do what you do.
  2. Surround yourself with positive people who bring out the best in you. Your circle of contacts can either elevate your mindset, actions and beliefs, or drag you down. Allow no energy vampires in your life.
  3. Commit to ongoing learning. I live by the mantra ‘1 per cent better every day’, which entails a daily dose of business or personal development through books, podcasts, videos, and attending workshops and conventions. Never stop learning.
  4. Regardless of your role, you must strive to be a leader. From setting expectations to providing feedback to teammates, there are numerous ways to exhibit leadership and make people feel valued. One of the most important things any leader can do is simply listen to and care for ‘their people’.
  5. Take more risks. Fear holds us back and paralyses dreams. Don’t let it. Instead, use fear to motivate you to take action. Take risks and don’t be afraid to fail – that’s where valuable lessons are learnt. To play bigger, you must dream bigger, and risk bigger.
  6. 'Win the day’ by attacking every day with fervour. To do this you must adhere to your best practices, train hard, eat right and lead effectively. Daily wins add up to great success.
  7. Contrary to popular advice, I believe you should sweat the small stuff. Greatness is 100 little things done well. Make sure your words, behaviour, appearance – everything you do – has your stamp of approval. I believe ‘The way you do one thing is the way you do everything’, so make sure nothing lets you down.
  8. ‘Love the process, not the product’. Every great sports coach speaks of the importance of practice. The fitness industry is no different. We often want things ‘now’, but they don’t always come now. The 10,000 hour rule states that you need to do something for that many hours to be great at it – so you might as well embrace the journey.
  9. Focus is the most important trait if you want to accomplish more. Identify exactly what you want to achieve in life, and determine three things you need to do this year to get you closer to that goal. Need plus focus increases the chance of success.
  10. Finally, you must create raving fans by taking world class care of your clients and members! Referrals can account for 90 per cent of new business, so do all you can to create consistently amazing experiences for clients. In my business we say ‘We are the best part of your day, every day.’ And then we back it up.
  11. Did I say ‘finally’? Well here’s one more tip – because I love the motto ‘And then some!’ Why? Because in everything you do, from customer service to communication and leadership, you must over-deliver. Regardless of your role on the team, commit to excellence, dream big, and create impact every day.

Todd Durkin, MA, CSCS
Todd is an internationally recognised strength, speed and conditioning coach, personal trainer, motivational speaker and founder of Fitness Quest 10 in San Diego, CA. He is also author of The IMPACT! Body Plan, a 10-week plan to change body, mind and spirit. For more information visit


Experience Todd’s game-changing training and PT business advice at FILEX 2014 where he will present:

  • TDs IMPACT Challenge! • A1L
  • The road to world class • A2D
  • The complete boot camp package • B1O
  • Train the Joes like the pros! • B5C
  • PLUS ‘The blueprint for PT prosperity’ at the PT Business Summit

For more information on Todd’s sessions check out where you can also register for the convention or the all-inclusive Gold Pass packages that include access to the essential PT Business or Business summits and breakfast events.