Why Create Autonomous Clients? By Carl Hardwick

Why Create Autonomous Clients? By Carl Hardwick

Why do I think that we should get over our fears around retention and move all of our clients towards autonomy?

At OPEX we’ve discussed the importance of building autonomy in our clients as fitness coaches for years.

It’s something that most coaches can get on board with from an ideological standpoint, but is undeniably a scary concept when speaking to coaches that have been told “retain retain retain” their entire professional coaching careers.

I have a few reasons why this mentality is outdated and overblown.



Let's be honest—withholding knowledge from our clients does not work in the long term. Yes, there is a time for your clients to just do what you tell them to do so they can learn through doing and being consistent. 

However, during this time, we should be teaching them what we know by looping them into why they are doing what they are doing. A lot of learning, connecting, and increased compliance comes from doing this, so bring them into the process.


Lengthens the Leash

I have never met a coach that wants to have their client on a short leash for the length of their coach/client relationship. 

I get it, early on in the relationship we should communicate as much as needed, have conversations on how much weight to use for 15 reps of bicep curls, and tell your clients exactly what warm-up they need to do goblet squats.

But in the long run, we want to teach our clients how to determine these things for themselves.

This equals growth for them and time for you.



The probability of coaching your clients for the rest of your and their lives? Highly unlikely. 

You will lose your clients. Deal with it. 

If you truly want to have an impact on your clients, make sure that when the time comes to go your separate ways, they DON’T need to hire another coach or sign up for another group class. Ensure they DO understand how to do patterns in resistance, aerobic intervals, and the importance of Basic Lifestyle Guidelines.

Creating autonomous clients is a win-win outcome for yourself and your clients. You know you have an autonomous client when they want to work with you, but no longer need to work with you.


In next week's final installment of the series, we will talk about how to build autonomous clients.



1: Purpose before Prosperity as a Coach

2: Value & Values

3: The Model Wars

4: Why Create Autonomous Clients? (this one)

5: How to Create Autonomous Clients 


Recommended free guide to dive deeper into coach/client relationships:

Fitness Assessments for New Clients - DOWNLOAD NOW >>

Fitness Assessments for New Clients