As a gym owner myself, I know there are days and even months sometimes when you get frustrated and it’s easy to feel like all your effort and hard work isn’t getting you anywhere.

To make things worse, as a small business owner with staff and working in customer service, we also get member complaints and negative feedback which adds to the stress.

The reality is, it’s not easy. 

We need to work hard and consistently look for education and strategies that allow us to be smarter and more effective when ‘Marketing’ our service, ‘Selling’ our product and managing our ‘Teams’. The key is to just stick at it when everyone else quits and the secret to sticking it out, is remaining positive and above all protecting your head space 

Below are 8 practical strategies I use to handle stress and cope with overwhelm. 

The Richard Branson method 

This strategy is a head space. Richard Branson suggests to treat set-backs as a challenge and make it a game. Rather than feeling stressed or making it a negative energy, he sees challenges as roadblocks that would have stopped his competition and welcomes them as opportunities for his brands to get in front.

Meditation or Breathing

When you feel over whelmed. STOP. Take 10 deep breathes, super saturate your cells with oxygen and sit for 3 minutes without moving. Visualise your day and getting 3 important tasks done. What goes first, what goes next. This process sounds too simple to be effective, but more and more successful entrepreneurs practice daily breathing rituals.  


Break each project task in smaller chunks and allocate time in your diary to get it done. Chunking allows you to feel progress and use 1-hour blocks of time on the top 3 most important tasks each day.

Be Proactive  

Planning key tasks like ‘lead generation’ and ‘recruitment’ before each quarter allows you to be strategic and calm to execute, rather than posting random Facebook ads last minute that rarely work or hiring when you are desperate.

Be the Rock

Showing a steady hand at the helm makes the team steady too and demonstrates how to behave. If you don’t feel steady, you need to Fake it at first. 

Don’t worry about what u can’t control

Accept that staff will turnover and sometimes let u down, except that members will move out of area and competing gyms will open across the road, BUT stay positive and focus your energy on what YOU can influence.

Choose the company you keep

Surround yourself with a great network of other hard working and innovative business owners. This allows you to keep things in perspective and problem solve daily challenges as they arise.

Create 1 line of defense

This is between you, your staff and your members. i.e. Positioning a senior trainer or manager to handle member complaints, billing issues and staff questions will help you focus on the ‘big picture’ business metrics like lead generation, sales conversion, retention and recruitment and ultimately help provide longevity in the industry.

Please leave a comment below and share which one of these tips you find most useful.

Thanks in advance!