“How do measure success as a trainer?” This is one of the questions I challenge people to answer during the Excellence in Training courses and workshops.
One of the interviews I listened to last year on Impact Theory was with Talib Kweli. Not being a fan of rap or hip hop music I had never heard of him before. I enjoyed the interview, as I do with most of the ones I have listened to on Impact Theory and Health Theory with Tom Bilyeu. One of the topics Kweli talked about was success. He said:
“Too often our definition of success is whoever has the most toys wins. Whoever is the most popping wins. Whoever has the most likes on Instagrams wins. We need to change our definition of success. To me success is doing what you love for a living. It doesn’t mean you are rich. It doesn’t mean you are famous. It doesn’t mean you will never struggle again. It means doing what you love for a living and if that’s the metric then that’s how you get successful. The closer you get to doing what you love and being yourself for a living the more successful you get.”
While I am not sure what “the most popping means”, it struck me that this definition of success is one trainers should pay attention to. Too often trainers get caught up thinking success is being the busiest trainer in the industry, being the highest paid or having the largest audiences. Yes, it is nice to be busy and make a decent living, but only a few will be “the highest paid and busiest”. Only a few will consistently speak to large audiences. Better questions might be, “Do you love what you do?” and “Do you love who you do it for?”
For most of us as trainers we will generally speak to smaller groups, some who are there by choice and some who are only there because they were told to show up. The great thing about speaking with smaller audiences is the opportunity for meaningful interaction. It is those interactions that often lead to significant change in beliefs and behaviours. Sometimes the smaller the group, the greater the impact you can have. If you love what you do, you love who you do it for, and you love that you have the opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives through the work that you do, then the size of the audience is unimportant.
“Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.” If you focus on being useful to the audience members, being honourable in your message, being compassionate regarding the challenges and issues facing the individuals in attendance and making a difference in their lives, you will live a life of significance as a trainer. That may be the true measure of success as a trainer.
Thank you for what you do as a trainer. Thank you for making a difference in the profession and in the lives of the men and women you serve as a trainer. Thank you for your service.
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