When Daniel Jackson was in the fourth grade, he knew he wanted to be a coach.
He held on to this goal through high school, which then led him to earn his degree in exercise science at the University of South Carolina. After that, he began a career as a personal trainer.
It was fun for a while, but he soon realized his dream job might not be his dream job, after all.
“I ultimately saw pretty quickly there was no long-term growth in personal training, and I saw a cap on what I could reasonably earn. I could never take a vacation and I always felt like I was one cold or flu away from not making any money,” said the 30-year-old from Austin, Texas.
Not only that, spending eight to 10 hours a day on the floor, often working split shifts and weekends, was incredibly draining.
“It left me with little to give anyone else outside my clients. It wasn’t sustainable, and I actually entertained what other career I might be able to do,” he said. “And I definitely didn’t have any energy or time to explore or develop other interests.”
Ultimately, Jackson said he knew the personal trainer life would never allow him to buy a house or start a family one day.
“And I wanted to be able to take some vacations and just get more out of life,” he said.
So after seven years of grinding it out coaching way too many hours, it was time to make a change.
He came across OPEX Fitness and right away saw it as an opportunity to acquire a healthier lifestyle and earn a better living in the process.
So he quit working at the gym he was at to start his own business, and signed up for the OPEX Coach Certificate Program (CCP) in March 2019. At the time he had just one client.
Today, Jackson has 29 clients, 26 of which are individual program design clients and three continue to do personal training. Each pays between US$295 and $345 a month.
He continues to rent space from a local gym, and offers times each day when his clients can come in and train. This means he never spends more than four or five hours a day on the floor, and he no longer works split shifts.
“It’s so much more enjoyable, too. It’s less intensive, both physically and mentally and I actually look forward to going to work, whereas before I was always a bit anxious thinking, ‘Is it going to work today? Are they going to come in ready to train?’” he said.
The reason Jackson used to experience anxiety was because he wasn’t confident that he was giving his clients what they needed.
“I wasn’t paying attention to a lot of the things I should have before, and CCP really shone a light on that,” he said. “But I guess, you don’t know what you don’t know until you know.”
For Jackson, a lot of this came down to recognizing that working with people on their fitness is about so much more than the training program itself.
“I was a good coach before, but I was missing 97 percent of what these folks really need. And although I always kind of knew there was something more than just writing the perfect training program, it never occurred to me to talk with my clients about things like whether they’re getting enough sunlight. I was falling short of helping my clients realize any sort of potential because I never really opened up a conversation around lifestyle and nutrition and stress management,” he said.
Jackson added: “And CCP really helped simplify these things, so I have seen a big shift in my confidence in being able to verbalize things in a way my clients can digest.”
As a result, today, not only is Jackson earning a better living where he is less burnt out and more fulfilled, his clients, too, are reaping the benefits in the form of seeing the results they always wanted. Their success has inspired Jackson to plan to keep coaching well into the future.
“OPEX helped me realize there’s a future in this. And I don’t need to be helping everyone or changing the world, but I want to get really good at helping 40 to 60 individuals, and then build a space for other coaches to help 40 or 50 individuals,” he said.
He added: “My plan isn’t world domination through fitness, but just to make my corner of the world better, and OPEX and CCP have put me in a place to do that.”
Take the first step to making your corner of the world a better place and learn the fundamentals of CCP with our free coaching course, the Coach’s Toolkit. Sign up today and begin your journey.