The Blog

The Blog


By Todd Durkin, MA, CSCS

For many years, I’ve been deeply entrenched in studying success. I’m engrossed by it. I want to know what the best of the best in any field does to be at the top of their game. Athletes, doctors, lawyers, teachers, entrepreneurs, fitness professionals. You name it.

One of the common traits that all world-class performers have is the ability to create WOW. In their professional lives. And in their personal lives.

So I want to focus on that word. WOW.

I believe WOW is one of the factors that has allowed my business, Fitness Quest 10, to consistently operate at high-levels over the past decade. We have a committed group of 38 passionate professionals that embrace the mission, vision, and core values of our company. They understand our “WHY” and are excellent at SERVING our clients, members, and guests to create a WOW experience every time they step foot in the door.

And if you know me, you also know that I stand for creating “IMPACT.” And that’s what I want to do right now. I want to help you create more IMPACT in your life.  Personally and professionally.

I wrote my “100 Ways to Create WOW” to help you in all areas of your life. Many of these lessons and tips can be the game-changers you need to elevate your business. Or to create more meaningful relationships. Or to capture more time freedom or money freedom.

Print them out, highlight the 10 or so that stand out to you, and TAKE ACTION on the 3-5 that you need to immediately address. And then report back to me and let me know how these IMPACTED your life.



1.      Stop doing things that you don’t like to do. List out 5 things that you don’t like to do and STOP doing them. NOW.

2.      Do what you do best and hire the rest. Who can you hire to help you do what you don’t like doing but must get done?

3.      Get rid of dead plants around your gym.

4.      Add new plants and fresh flowers to your home and gym. In the bathrooms, on the front desk, in treatment rooms…

5.      Install an awning over your entrance.

6.      Pull out a red carpet every morning so clients feel like they are VIPs everyday. Engrave a saying in it such as “Dare to be GREAT today” or “Train hard.  Live INSPIRED!”

7.      Leave your team a 2-minute inspirational message once a week. Deliver via audio recording or on voice mail.

8.      Invest in a fresh coat of paint each year.

9.      Get rid of some old “equipment” (old cords, old Swiss balls, old medicine balls, old boxing mitts, old stretch mats, old balance pads, and pieces you don’t use).  PURGE IT!  Give it away to clients; they will be happy and you will be happy.  If it doesn’t WOW you, get rid of it!

10.  Invest in new equipment. Cardio pieces, heavy ropes, kettlebells, TRXs, are all very visual and functional.

11.  Replace your Airex mats with new ones each year as they get all chewed up.

12.  Clean your balls. Bosus, Swiss balls, medicine balls, jam balls.  A good, thorough cleaning a few times a year will help keep them shining. Now get your mind right!

13.  Get rid of carpet on the training floor and put down rubber flooring. It looks good and will bring even more eye appeal. Speckled floor is better as it will “hide” dust or spots better than solid black floor.

14.  Put in wood flooring or imitation wood floor (actually rubber that looks like grainy wood) in your mind-body area (Pilates, yoga, etc.).

15.  Dress up your bathrooms. Offer amenities like mouthwash, Q-tips, mints, hand lotion, etc. It’s the little things that make a big difference.

16.  Change the lighting. Lights play a major role in the creation of great “atmosphere.” Consider some track lighting, sconces, spotlights…

17.  Upgrade your music system. Maybe it’s your delivery system or maybe it’s the actual music selection. But music is critical and the quality of sound and what’s playing plays a role in the environment you create.

18.  Upgrade your audio-visual. Do you need to add a TV somewhere in your business?  Maybe you add Apple-TV so you can run that through your system as well.

19.  Put some inspirational quotes on the walls throughout your facility. What would your’s say?

20.  If you have treatment rooms (massage, physical therapy, chiropractic), how are you subtly, professionally cross-marketing other services in the room.  Simply having professional brochures, business cards, or upcoming events on a small upright stand on a desk may be sufficient.

21.   Upgrade your “presentation folder.” Is it graphically appealing? Is the print quality high? Does it have pictures? Is there a testimonials page with pictures? Is the paper glossy or of high quality? Create something your PROSPECTS won’t want to throw out.

22.  Create a 60-second commercial on your business.

23.  Upgrade your “consultations.” Is your message clear? Is your message and offerings “simple” so they don’t confuse PROSPECTS?  Could you automate the process on a MacBook or iPad to bring out a more professional presentation? Include your 60-second “commercial” to fire people up.

24.  Offer more retail and display it prominently and professionally. Nutritional products.  Water. Protein bars. Shirts. Hats. Swag bands. Skin-care. Yoga mats. Foam rollers.  TRXs.  Holiday Gift baskets. Gift certificates.

25.  Schedule an educational/inspirational talk at your business.

26.  Schedule an educational/inspirational talk at one of your client’s business.

27.  Schedule an educational/inspirational talk at one of your professional network colleagues’ business. Consider any of these: Chiropractor, physical therapy, health club, sporting goods stores, skin-care clinic, physician’s office or wellness clinic/spa that focuses on anti-aging, etc.

28.  Customize your newsletter “look and feel” to match your brand.

29.  Customize your social media outlets “look and feel” to match your brand.

30.  Hire a young person to become your “social media director.” They can help you edit YOUTUBE clips, post on Facebook and Twitter, and engage with your followers. This person might spend 10-15 hours per week on this powerful form of engagement. Who could this be? Do you know a savvy high school student or a young client who loves social media and gets your brand?

31.  Train one kid for free who really needs your help and doesn’t have the means to train with you. But he/she has the passion and really wants to work with you. Heck, maybe this will be the kid who knows social media…

32.  Have a Turkey toss the day after Thanksgiving in a “Burn the Bird” workout. Have male and female winners and award them with a free massage or shirt or something cool after they win. Film it. And oh-yeah, award them the turkey if they want also. (You may need 2 turkeys for this challenge. The bird will get beaten up and it’s best if it’s frozen, in the wrapper, and wrapped in duct tape. It WILL get messy!)

33.   Have a FREE holiday contest between Thanksgiving and New Years. Clients/members accrue points through a myriad of ways and the top 3 males and top 3 females on January 1 get rewarded with free services. We do $250 in services (top male/female); $150 in services (2nd place male/female); therapeutic massage (3rd place male/female). Do it!

34.  Select a local charity and start giving back.

35.  Give away 5 gift certificates each to your top 20 clients to gift-away for the holidays.  Or anytime.

36.  Handwrite 5 notes to clients who need some extra encouragement this week. And put it on personalized stationary.

37.  Gift every client a “Power of Attitude” book this holiday season. Or consider another Simple Truths type book.

38.  Gift out nice, comfortable t-shirts or sweatshirts with your logo/brand for the holidays.  The key is to spend a little money on these so they want to wear them.  (Hint: You may have to add clothing sizes to your intake form so you can have this on file to randomly surprise them also).

39.  Update your intake forms and waivers.  Client information does change (medication information is so important), and we want the most up-to-date information on our people. NOW is a great time to do this.

40.  Create a phenomenal offer for your current clients. An example would be, “You can bring in ANYONE with you for FREE for the entire month for any training service” you offer. They just have to come in with your client. This is for personal training, small group, and/or class training.

41.  Create “memberships.” Your regular membership might be $89.00 per month and includes full use of your facility.  Your class membership might be $150.00 per month ($130 EFT; 12 month contract) and this includes your “regular membership.” Your unlimited small-group training membership might be $300.00 per month. This includes your class membership and regular membership.

42.  Hire an assistant. Maybe it’s a client. Maybe you post something on Linked-In. But hire someone who can help you get things done.  Just be sure to set your objectives and expectations. Remember: Do what you do best and hire the rest!

43.  Hire a Director of Cleanliness. Or hire a cleaning service 1 or 2 days per week to come in and do a thorough cleaning.

44.  Treat 1 person (client or staff member) to lunch per week. Sit down, relax, and LISTEN.

45.   Create a Word of the Week (WOW), post it on a flip chart, and let your clients/members fill in the blank.  An example would be “INSPIRE” and then post “What will you do this week to be INSPIRED?”

46.  Post a Workout of the Week on a board for your clients/members when they are not with you or a trainer.  This gives them a guideline and some structure to their workouts.

47.  Create a “Google Group” or distribution group for your clients/members. Or have different groups (clients, members, biggest winner contestants, holiday contest participants) and post inspirational messages, thoughts, educational articles, record an audio message, etc. for them. This is VALUE!

48.  Create a Google Group for your team.  Be sure to have “shout-outs” of the week, share important client messages, any news to report, etc.

49.  Create a “Perfect 10” kind-of program.  Reward your members for coming in 8 or more times a month. This WILL help you create accountability and culture.

50.  Schedule a “Hibachi 10” (thank you Frank Pucher, kind of program. For every 10 (or 20 or 50 or 100) new clients who start up, treat your team to something special. An example is dinner as a team out at a local, nice restaurant when the goal is achieved.

51.  Schedule a trip to the Grand Cayman Islands with your team (thank you Brent Gallagher, upon a monumental goal. OK, maybe it doesn’t have to be the Cayman Islands. But set a lofty team goal and get your team to support the mission.

52.  Schedule a “leadership meeting” in Miami (thank you Trina Gray,

Think about the 1, 2, or 3 key folks in your business with management or leadership roles. Get away for a strategy session in another location and have a 1 or 2 day leadership-focused meeting. Have some fun there too!

53.  Learn EVERYONE’s first name and USE IT.

54.  Survey your members and clients annually (survey monkey).

55.  Have a Featured Client of the month. Feature them in your newsletter, on a bulletin board, and make it a big deal.

56.  Create an exercise “experience” for your clients. Laugh. Smile. Have fun!

57.  Assess your client. Take “before” and “after” pictures, inches, and body fat.

58.  Have your clients fill out a personal inventory on their life (physical, mental/emotional, spiritual, energy, nutritional). Get them to write about what’s working well and what’s not working well.

59.  Take your client on a surprise outing.

60.  Create a retreat for your clients.

61.  Provide food once per month after a certain class.

62.  Announce a “Client Appreciation” Day. Call all your clients and thank them.

63.  Create a “credo card.”

64.  Provide a “social media zone” for your clients to hang out and Facebook / Tweet.

65.  Provide a computer in that area (if it’s safe!).

66.  Create a 60-second “Client Profile” commercial.

67.  Take a ton of pictures and create an “Animoto” account. Share the link in your newsletter.

68.  Segment your email marketing list and follow-up / follow-through with a marketing campaign.

69.  Sponsor a local athletic team.

70.  Hold a FREE camp for a youth athletic team/league.

71.  Speak at a coaches meeting on the “Importance of Training for the Youth Athlete.”

72.  Get a booth at League Sign-ups. Lead demos there and have a ton of professional brochures and flyers available. Give something away to capture parents’ emails there and then follow up.

73.  Have a party once a year for all your clients.

74.  Create a “fitness fair” and invite other health professionals to your event.

75.  Sponsor a blood drive.

76.  Have a monthly educational Training Fellow Trainer (“TFT”).

77.  Reward those who attend the TFT with points. After a certain number of points, reward them with a cash bonus or a gift.

78.  Have a team-building outing (go-karts, beach trip, ski-trip, softball, etc.).

79.   Get involved in the community. Parades, schools, local races…

80.   Give away a GREAT package of prizes at Silent Auctions. WOW them with your gift!

81.  Create social media contests where you choose random people who participate and they receive great gifts (apparel, services, etc.) just for participating.

82.  Establish and maintain relationships with local colleges and universities.

83.  Establish an internship program and always have at least 1 intern.

84.  Use the Wildfire app to amp up your social media campaign.

85.  Tape a short video for clients who travel. Capture their training routines for easy reference.

86.  Create a QR code, tie it to a landing page, and have a phenomenal offer attached to it.  This could be on your business card, flyer, or on swag that you create.

87.  Create SWAG products. Wristbands, headbands, sweatbands, stickers, slap bracelets, etc.

88.  Create an iPhone app.

89.  Invest in a high-def camera. And then use it!

90.  Have a “focus group” meeting with your Top 10 clients.

91.  Write an article on something you NEED to say. Just START it!

92.   Book your next vacation and put it on the calendar.

93.  Own within three miles of your facility. Introduce yourself to every business in the area.

94.  Connect and develop relationships with local hotels or condo complexes that don’t have “world-class” fitness options for their guests. Establish a “Guest Pass” program for a win/win.

95.  Have at least 5 revenues streams into your business. What are they?

96.  Have a “chef and wine” night twice a year. Invite a chef into your facility for a healthy cooking demonstration and wine tasting.

97.   Have grocery shopping tours.

98.  PLAN your LIFE. Be sure to have your Big 5 for Life, Big 5 for the Year, 90-Day Wonders, 3 in 30s, Big 5 for Weeks, and Big 5 for Day. Challenge your team and leaders within your organization to do the same.

99.  Surround yourself only with the most positive, energetic, inspirational people you know. When you make sure your “inner-circle” is full of people who challenge you to be your best, you will continue to motivate, educate, and inspire at the highest level!

100.  Think of another 100 ways to create WOW.

Now that’s a lot of WOW. The key here is to identify at least 5 that MOST resonate with you NOW and make sense for your business and culture. Write them down and make them happen. No excuses. Start building MO-MENTUM.

Time for IMPACT! Join me in my crusade to inspire millions of lives to greatness worldwide. It starts with you and me committing to creating and sharing WOW every day. Let’s do it!


Todd Durkin, MA, CSCS, is an internationally recognized performance coach, personal trainer, massage therapist, and author, who motivates, educates and inspires people worldwide.  He is the owner of Fitness Quest 10 in San Diego, CA, where his wonderful team of 35 focuses helps transform the bodies, minds and spirits of a broad clientele.  He is the head of the Under Armour Performance Training Council, serves as a consultant to Gatorade, and is a featured presenter on the Perform Better educational circuit.  He is a two-time Trainer of the Year (IDEA & ACE) and has authored 35 DVDs on strength and conditioning, functional fitness, massage/bodywork and business/personal growth.

Todd also coaches trainers through his once-per-year 3.5 Day Mentorship Program and his on-going, on-line Mastermind Coaching Group.

The next 3.5 Day Mentorship is October 10-13, 2013 in San Diego, CA. You can get all the information at

Feel free to comment on the blog below. For additional motivation and education, please follow Todd on his Facebook LIKE page at: or on Twitter at: 






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