Taking The Leap From Day Job to Full Time Coach

Taking The Leap From Day Job to Full Time Coach


So you’ve decided full-time coaching is for you—at least it’s what you want to do.

You love helping others improve their own fitness. You thrive upon sharing your knowledge—what you know now that you wish you knew then. The gym is your second home—it’s the place you want to be.

But when is the right time to go from part-time coach to full-time coach?

That is a question with no clear answer.

Some coaches find that, with a thoughtful plan of action, they are able to gradually transition from desk-jockey by day and coach by night, to:

· Taking on more classes,

· Building up their client load,

· And making their decision to leave their current job known with an appropriate-fitting timeline.

Others resolve, ‘It’s now or never’—and we’ve heard stories of those who ‘risked it all’—quitting their day job cold turkey to pursue a passion that was greater (be it starting a gym, or just committing to being ‘all in’).

And still others struggle with really committing to ‘that’ decision—it’s something they think about, dream about, but the actual leap does not come until much later when ‘all the cards play out just right.’

As you can see there is not a one-size-fits-all approach.

That being said, most of us coaches here at OPEX have been there, got the t-shirt.

In other words: Many of us at one time were part-time coaches, juggling other lives, other careers, or getting by on a shoestring budget.

And, in each of our own different ways, full-time coaching evolved and became our main gig.

Coach James FitzGerald began his journey as first and foremost an athlete, while concurrently juggling life as a personal trainer—all in from the start. His career evolved in the traditional globo gym first and foremost, and therefore, his transition to ‘full-time coach’ involved more of a leap into launching out on his own, starting up the original OPT in Calgary, Canada.

No two stories or coaches are alike, and therefore your timeline to going ‘all in’ is completely unique to you.

The one overarching similarity though—regardless of your ‘situation’ (financially, job obligations, opportunities)?

Each and every coach that we’ve ever worked with, or that we are ourselves, shares this similar quality.

Passion is not only a similarity either—it is necessary—if you want to make the leap from your current day job to full-time coach, and do more than just survive once you become that coach.

In order to thrive as a coach, passion is vital—passion for helping others improve, passion for learning more, passion for health, wellness and/or performance.

Whether you are passionate about CrossFit, rehabilitation, strength gains, athletic performance, women’s empowerment, kids’ fitness, helping clients achieve their goals, enhancing others’ lives, or anything in between, dig deep to find what moves you about fitness and coaching—and sink your teeth into that.

Be all in—and devote yourself to becoming an expert in those areas (no matter if you are still working your day job or not).

In addition, here are a few more tidbits we at OPEX have learned (some the ‘hard way’) on answering that question:

BUT when is the right time to go from part-time coach to full-time coach?!

OPEX’s 2-Cents on Making the Leap from Day Job to Full-Time Coach

• Don’t jump the gun. Patience is important before you pull the trigger. Think through your options, plan out how to position yourself, and then execute.

• Financially savvy. Make sure you have a little money saved. Often times entry level coaching roles pay very little.

• Know your why. Ask yourself why you are coaching – if you don’t understand that question deeply it will be just like anything else, brutal when you face challenges.

• Get educated. Coaches are a dime a dozen but great coaches are invaluable.

• Never stop learning. Continue learning even after you pull the trigger – you have no idea how little you know until you get on that floor and work with people. The coaching journey is a career in itself so set yourself up to learn for the long haul.

• Client-centered. Take time to remember that it’s your client’s interests that you are working toward. It’s easy to punch the clock sometimes if you are going through the motions. Take a second and remember that you can change lives for the better but you won’t if you don’t put the time and energy in.

Do YOU have any stories of taking the leap? What your situation was before–and how you decided WHEN the right time was to launch into full-time coaching?

OR, perhaps you have more personal questions about what that actually looks like for YOU?

Connect with us today-we love nothing more than chatting with coaches about those possibilities.

Shoot us a message  to connect with a coach at OPEX and talk through the questions on your mind.

Lastly…maybe you KNOW you are ready to begin taking a leap?

OPEX’s CCP program is a catalyst for supporting you with a full comprehensive set of tools, knowledge, experience and education to help you get there.

You will learn the ins and outs of Assessment, Program Design, Nutrition, Lifestyle Coaching and Business Systems through the five-module education program that takes about a year to complete.

Fitness Assessments for New Clients