What Marie Kondo Taught Me About Organising My Fitness Business

The nation, nay, the world is going crazy for Marie Kondo and her KonMari method!

If you don’t know who she is (shame on you!), get yourself onto Netflix and go watch her show: Tidying Up!

Marie Kondo may be the worlds’ most famous personal organiser/the queen of tidying up (she was named Time Magazines most influential person in 2015) but there is a lot that we can take from the lessons that she sets out!

KonMari Method

Marie follows a series of lessons in order to help people declutter their belongings and claim their lives back.

It’s more than just a big tidying up session though, she gives people structure and helps them to deal with the overwhelm in their lives!

She believes that simplicity is key and if something doesn’t spark joy, you should get rid of it.

Here’s a more comprehensive Blog if you want to find out more:

https://www.thespruce.com/the-konmari-method-4138610

Marie’s Lessons

In the Netflix show, Marie refers to a series of lessons (these are more like areas to tackle):

Lesson 1 – Clothing

Lesson 2 – Books

Lesson 3 – Paper Documents

Lesson 4 – Komono (miscellaneous)

Lesson 5 – Sentimental Items

I believe she puts them in this order so that you can see and feel an instant change right at the beginning of this process!

We quite often have an emotional attachment to ‘stuff’ and working in the fitness industry is no different!

We feel loyal to a particular class or venue even when it’s not working, or you are losing money every week.

We struggle to think of our fitness classes as a ‘business’ and that my friends, is where our first/biggest problem is.

Here is my own interpretation of Marie’s’ lessons:

Lesson 1 – Tackle the biggest problem first

Lesson 2 – Structure your task list

Lesson 3 – Focus on one task at a time

Lesson 4 – Visibility

Lesson 5 – Getting unstuck/ Stick to the new formula that works!

Lesson 1 – Tackle the biggest problem first

I believe Marie chooses clothing first as it is the biggest category and often the task that overwhelms us the most.

My biggest problem/bugbear is marketing/promotion, it just seems so vast, right?

Gone are the days when you could just print off some flyers, put a banner up outside your venue, speak to a few people (and put the odd post on Facebook, which came much later for you veterans out there), and your classes would fill themselves!

Now you need a complete marketing strategy that includes traditional and digital marketing! You also need a marketing budget, now that’s scary!

Fear not, it does not need to be that mountainous a task!

Here’s a couple of tips to get you started:

Write a list of what you currently do to market your business and make a note of where your students are coming from (this can be as simple as asking them when they come through the door).

Once you’ve identified where you get most of your students from, you can focus on another area to bring in new blood (without neglecting the area that’s working!).

e.g. If most of your students are coming from word of mouth/flyers, make a list of Facebook groups you can post in and when they allow you post.

Be careful, as some groups are very strict, and you can get banned if you don’t adhere to their rules.

Allocate yourself a set day each month to come up with enough content to post on Facebook and also have a few hours set aside to flyer.

If you are confident enough, use the Facebook scheduler and get all of your posts scheduled for the month.

The key with marketing/promoting your business is consistency – You can have the best classes in the world but if no one knows about them, it doesn’t matter!

Lesson 2 – Structure your task list

If you want to put your tasks in order, you need to know what it is that you do!

The best way to do this (IMHO) is to get a pack of post its/sticky notes and write down a single task on each note!

Don’t think too hard about this, just scribble – I call this Brain Dumping and it is so therapeutic!

Once you feel as if your brain is empty (trust me, you’ll know), have a look at the post its and arrange them into some kind of order, e.g. Social Media, Class Planning, Equipment

Your order will depend entirely on what your post it notes say, group them together and then create task lists dependent on the subject.

Don’t put them all on one task list, you’ll feel overwhelmed all over again!

Once you have your lists, go through it and number them in order of importance/urgency and your list/lists are structured!

Lesson 3 – Focus on one task at a time

Focusing on one task at a time makes it seem less daunting –  When Marie makes her clients pull all of their clothing out and put it onto their beds (guys, seriously, watch the show!), it can be quite shocking!

Although it may seem scary at first, she then tells them to work through it until it is done.

If you’ve not done anything like this before, please don’t expect to get it all done in a couple of hours – You are creating a new way of working and so it is going to take time.

Once your new way is set though, your business will start to operate more smoothly!

Lesson 4 – Visibility

When we market ourselves, it’s very easy to do what everyone else is doing and then we become invisible/drowned in the sea of Facebook posts!

In order to be visible, we need to do more than the norm, we need to stand out from the crowd!

We can do this by creating content that is different to everyone else – Use video when they are using images, create your own images when they are using stock/generic images.

All it takes is a little bit of research and some practice to create original posts that people won’t scroll past!

Lesson 5 – Getting unstuck/ Stick to the new formula that works!

It’s very easy to slip back into the old way of doing things, they feel comfortable, we get overwhelmed by the thought of a new routine – We basically have an emotional attachment to our business!

You may think there’s nothing wrong with that, you care about what you do? The two are not the same!

Caring about your business and wanting it to do well is fine as you will more than likely do what it takes to make your business successful, including implementing necessary changes!

Being emotionally attached can be detrimental as it can hamper change, e.g. you’ve been running a class for years, it’s stopped making money, but you don’t want to cancel it/change it for something else because:

  • You have great memories of when it was busy
  • Doris has been coming for years and it’s the only time she gets out of the house
  • It was the first class you ever taught

You have an emotional attachment to that class, see the difference?

Summary

It’s time to start thinking about your business, as a business – Whether you do it Fulltime, Part-time or as a hobby, it’s still a business and you still want it to be profitable!

So, what are you waiting for, channel your inner Marie Kondo and declutter your business, you will feel better for it and I’m pretty sure it will ‘Spark Joy’!

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