Sponsored by Fit for Profit

By Shannon Simmons, Special FBA Contributor

Everyone, no matter their job or industry, deserves to make a living wage. As a business owner, however, the lines may get a little blurred. You’re straddling the need to invest in your business and your team and sometimes paying yourself isn’t the highest priority.

We’d like to change that narrative. Whether you pay yourself a living wage or not tells the world how you feel about your business. Because if the business owner isn’t worthy of a wage that maintains their lifestyle, is anyone?

We all are.

What is a Living Wage

Google living wage in [your city] and results will show you a range of hourly rates depending on the size of your household. But we think living wage goes well beyond that.

A living wage is how much you need to earn in order to live the lifestyle you want. It’s ensuring you live somewhere that offers the basic necessities. That you can provide for your children, take a vacation now and again, treat yourself to the things that you want--all within reason.

And paying yourself a living wage can totally change your mindset around what you do.

Create a Business vs. Freelancer Mindset

As a fitness professional, you may have started out as a trainer working on a freelance basis. You trained clients as a contractor at a big gym or maybe even in your own garage gym. And if that’s still where you are, that’s fine too!

Your income is an exchange of a 50-minute session for an hourly fee. Maybe your clients pay you $100 for each session. You pocket the money and deposit it into your business account. As a contractor, your overhead is low, but you still have to pay for new equipment, scheduling software, digital ads, association dues, a video editor, education software, and more. There’s not a lot leftover at the end of the month so you take a pittance. And you never know how much that amount will be until the end of the month.

Or maybe the above is true, but then your personal vehicle breaks down. Since you’re not paying yourself a living wage, you don’t have the savings to pay for repairs. So you dip into your business account. And this means that you need to bring on more clients next month to ensure you can pay the bills.

This is not the mindset of a business owner.

A business owner is an employee of their business and earns a regular, steady income that allows them to live the lifestyle they desire. Not a lavish lifestyle, but one that’s comfortable. (And isn’t that what we’re all looking for?)

A business owner sets aside profits and owner’s pay as a priority because they know they have to take care of themselves in order to maintain the health of the business. Where are you in this process? Creating a system around your own pay is essential, and it ensures that you have the money for everything you need it for--both in the business and in your personal life.

Profit First is that system. It works for fitness businesses just like it works for so many others. It prioritizes your pay while still ensuring that you have what you need for your operating expenses and team members.

The first step is to determine what your owner’s pay should be...and figure out how to navigate around your new operations budget. We can help with that!

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Shannon Simmons is a Certified Profit First Professional and Certified QuickBooks Pro Advisor, specializing in working with fitness and wellness businesses. Her practice, Fit For Profit, helps small business owners grow financially healthy and personally fulfilling businesses.

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