Interview Matt Shore – Meeting Clients Where They Are At

Interview with Matt Shore, personal trainer and business owner. Matt has a lot to share with us on working with client’s limiting beliefs, his own mindset as a business owner, the law of attraction, and so much more!

matt shore personal trainer interviewMatt Shore – Personal Trainer – East Sussex

Matt, thanks for speaking with me! What’s exciting in your world right now?

Working with and supporting the customers who I attract to help them to transform and achieve goals they may not have thought possible. I love being involved in their journey, helping them to overcome limiting beliefs, barriers and obstacles and helping them to recognize their own unique potential for change.

For my own personal excitement it is exploring my capabilities as an endurance athlete in training for the Fan Dance Race – a Special Forces based race which I came 14th  in January, My goal is to improve on this position for the July 2017.

What’s your #1 way that you’re attracting clients right now?

When it comes to attracting clients I come from the understanding that in the universe in which we live, everything is connected, and everything has energy. From that place, I understand that when I have space for a new client, I put it out there through intent and journaling that I would like to work with another new client.

The space is a place for energy to flow into, much like water and so once my intent has been stated, within 2 weeks usually I receive an inquiry, or some emerges for me to work with. YES its not the “traditional” way but I am not a traditional kind of guy. This process has served me for the past 8 years and I have NEVER been short of work in that time.

I simply operate from the space of wanting to help more people. The income then flows as a side effect of that process rather than being money driven which in my experience, doesn’t work as well for me as this process.

Clients come to me from so many different places, a referral, chance encounter, someone seeing my social media presence, a network connection. No one path brings in more than any other – I simply go with the flow and understand that I am in an abundant universe and that everything I need is out there waiting for me to attract in.

As I said, not the usual approach but has served me incredibly well.

I simply operate from the space of wanting to help more people. The income then flows as a side effect of that process rather than being money driven which in my experience, doesn’t work as well for me as this process.

How do you handle the tough clients who come in with limiting beliefs? How do you help turn their mindset around?

All of my clients come in with limiting beliefs. I believe on a level that we all possess such things. I firstly ask them what they think their limiting patterns are, as I get to know someone I will discover for myself their limiting patterns.

I then gently discuss and show them how they may be holding themselves back. I coach them into becoming more mindful of their patterns and then, and this is the important bit, I talk to them about how to release those patterns and break the cycle.

Some can do it, many can’t as they are so invested in their “stuff” because on a level it keeps them “safe” and in the familiar. Everyone changes at different rates and I keep on supporting them at whatever stage they are at.

How did you get started in the career of coaching?

I have always been involved in sport and fitness. I studied Sport Science at Chichester University and then afterwards fell into lifeguarding and gym instruction which led me to a managerial role. I moved to the South of England in January 2000 for a Leisure Manager Job at University of Brighton.

After 2 years I left to manage the Chichester University Sports Centre for 12 months. I was disillusioned with Leisure and took a role working for an IT company. My role was in supporting and training people how to use the leisure management software solution they provided.

I did this for 5 years and hated it after 2. When on honeymoon in Canada I decided enough was enough and I would re-certify as a personal trainer and set up my own business – as that what I had wanted to do for a good number of years.

After 12 months working on my own website I began to attract a few clients, set up a Kettlebell Class in a local park and went full time self-employed in 2008. Since then I have cemented my position in the local community as one of the most successful personal training business in the area and operate as Train Strong Ltd.

I now provide Transformational Coaching on a 1-2-1 level, Group Classes, Nutritional Coaching and provide education to other Trainers in the use of Kettlebell Training.

In terms of sports; I swam for my county, cycle raced in the regional championships, competed in the British Championship for Powerlifting 3 times (BDFPA Fed) and now compete in running and special forces based challenges and events.

matt shore personal trainer

What was an obstacle that you faced and how did you overcome it?

I encountered lots of obstacles over the years but the biggest one centered on money. For a number of years I feared not having enough, or that somehow I would lose by clientele and be left with nothing.

I overcame it through working with a mentor who helped me to recognize that we live in a world of abundance and that money can come to us from a great many sources and doesn’t always have to be earned.

I charge now what I feel I am worth and have the highest rates for PT in the area. I work to live. I now feel totally relaxed about money and my business which in turn means I rarely get stressed about my business and have a steady flow of clientele to my door. I have now been fully booked for 1-2-1 Transformational coaching now for 2 years.

I have now been fully booked for 1-2-1 Transformational coaching now for 2 years.

How do you handle the question from potential clients, “Why do you charge so much more than others?”

To be honest I rarely get asked this question! But if I do I explain its because I am VERY very good at what I do and that if someone works with me, and invests time in themselves and listens to my advice, they WILL change, they cant not change – as long as they remain open.

I have a long list of client testimonials and successes. Once someone has met with me during an initial consultation and had the first session they understand why I charge what I do. I have a strong reputation in the area which helps of course.

That said, the fact that I charge what I do also acts as a filter. It tends to filter out those who would ask such questions and I only attract those who recognize the true value of money and service quality.

A lot of wisdom in that statement above! I think everyone should read that twice. What is something in the fitness industry that you wish you knew when you were starting out?

The importance of relationship with customers, having no agenda with them apart from to support them and coach them where they are at. For many years I felt I needed to prove myself by getting the clients results.

I had an agenda to be successful through those results. Now of course, we want results for our clients but I now understand that the onus firmly rests on them – and I coach from this place of no agenda and support and advise in whatever capacity that person needs in one moment to the next.

Since changing my mindset to this my clients now enjoy incredible results and I help people more organically and at their own pace. Its incredibly powerful and my results now speak for themselves.

What’s one book that changed your practice/mindset, etc… and why? What’s the one thing you took away from it?

It’s a booked called Running to Learn by Julia Armstrong. It’s a massively powerful book about Julia’s own success as an Elite Level Runner and who won the Dublin Marathon in 1984.

In her book, Julia talks about the importance on becoming more conscious of our limiting patterns, our pain, restriction and false beliefs that we pick up in our lives and that shape how we lead our lives. She teaches the importance of being able to consciously release these patterns which essence can lead to us living with less restriction, greater self-understanding and ultimately with greater freedom.

It has totally transformed my business and how I live my life and moreover, how I help my clients to change on a grass roots and deeper level.

Can you give me an example of how you have helped a client’s change on a “more grass roots and deeper level?”

I had a client whose life is spent entertaining. A champagne lifestyle. They wanted to lose a significant amount of body fat. Historically they would get 8 weeks in, make some progress and then fall off the wagon. They eat out 4-5 times per week and are rarely home. A very difficult lifestyle to manage.

They were frustrated and felt trapped in their lifestyle.

I helped said client to become more aware of the crutch of drink and what led them to drink even though they knew it would sabotage their progress. We didn’t cut anything out. We simply worked on releasing the feelings that came up surrounding drinking and introducing the feeling that it was ok to behave in a different way.

I helped introduce certain simple habits and over time it became such they during social events they rarely drank. In addition, I helped the client to understand their view on how hard things are/can be.

Using some simple mantras I helped said client to realise that if we think something will be hard, it will be! We worked on perspective and some ideas surrounding this and now she has lost all of the weight she wanted to, is fitter than ever and hardly drinks while managing a very busy entertainment based lifestyle.

What are you reading right now?

Currently, I am reading a fictional book by Patricia Cornwell called Chaos. I rarely read development books unless I feel a real connection with its message and content – there are very few that resonate!

Can you talk about a breakthrough with a client, and what led up to it?

I have had so many over the years. I think my biggest breakthrough was in helping a customer who attended my classes to regain fitness after a severe calf injury that saw her in a cast for 8 weeks. I coached her on a 1-2-1 level from injury to recovery and then on to pass the Strength Matters SMK1 Certificate in 2016.

The process was one of self-discovery, of helping the client to become more aware of their ability to push too hard and the need to be more relaxed – not just about training but in all areas of her life.

It was a massively transformational process for her on many levels, change in body shape, strength, self-confidence levels, overcoming personal barriers, self-belief and more.

Your top 3 favorite questions that you ask a new client? Your top 3 questions for someone you’ve been training for a while?

New Client:  What lead you here to me today, why NOW do you want to change and why not before, what do you think is your biggest limiting factor right now?

Client for a while: What habit is your current biggest limitation now, how would it feel to you if you achieved X goal? How can I support you in the best possible way?

Can you tell me about your proudest moment?

My proudest moment to date, apart from becoming a father is to have achieved a sub 4 hour race time on the Winter Fan Dance in 2017 (24km over the highest mountain and back in the Brecon Beacons in Wales with a Bergan of 40lb) which is the required time for Special Forces selection during test march week.

I had trained specifically for 3 months for the event after passing the SMK1 in sept 2016. I knocked off 35 minutes off my summer time, finished 9th in my category and 14th overall from 186 competitors and was by far, the hardest I have ever pushed myself. I finished in a time of 3hr 54.

I have to ask since I became a recent dad – how did you adjust your workouts after having kid(s) – if you needed to at all?

I have never needed to change my training as I work my work life around my training and how I wish to live my life. Training has always been massively important to me. I have created my life such that I can train for several hours most days should I wish.

On an average week I have 15 hours of 1-2-1 clients and 5 classes per week. So around 20 hours of contact time per week. Add into that travel between clients, programming, admin, I reckon I do on average 35 hours per week of work. I see my son 4 times per week and have him stay over 2-3 nights per week.

Right now I am running on average 50 miles per week (around 8-10 hours) plus a resistance session of 60 mins. Outside of work, training and seeing my son I don’t do that much.

How has your programming changed since last year?

My programming with most clients is relaxed and is intuition based. We have a goal in mind, training is progressive over time and I coach by the rule of do no harm.

We work towards the goal on a consistent upward trend. I am highly intuitive and find that rigid plans just don’t work for me or my clients, as well as my approach does. In my experience as human beings fluctuate between different states from one day to the next.

My approach is to meet the person where they are at on a given day and am never afraid to tweak as I go and as my gut feeling tells me what is needed. It works for me and my clients incredibly well.

On your programming and your clients fluctuating – I totally agree, – how do you handle the client that comes in and just wants to get ‘beat up’ every day. 

I now don’t have clients who want to get beat up. If I do I help them to explore why they may feel that is a healthy way to train and help them to explore the idea of better ways.

For some, it’s the idea of earning their food or their worth or having something to prove, or to make themselves feel better. If I help that person to sort those underlying issues out then the external stuff, the need to be hard on oneself to engage in beastmode etc sorts itself out as a side effect of that change of perspective.

I very rarely hand out ass whoopings as fundamentally I believe that most people don’t need that much hard training and actually need something moderate, don’t consistently.

Recent continuing education that you really enjoyed?

SMK1 Level 1 by far! Great course. Loved it!

What’s one thing that you think is really easy, but works well with many of your clients?

Keep things simple. I think most regular human beings who want to feel better, lose a few pounds and just feel happier in life need a handful of effective exercises and very little else.

As I’ve gotten older I constantly see myself using a handful of movements that deliver everything anyone really needs with very little need for any fancy stuff. I am a big fan of Dan Johns fundamental movement patterns as a guide.

Matt, thanks so much for letting me interview you! Any parting advice for us? 

Fundamentally anyone we work with is a human being. Learning to connect fully with people, to relate to them, to listen, see and be empathic towards that person is in my experience the best way to help someone.

As coaches I believe in the importance of being able to listen to our intuition and trust it implicitly. In doing so, we can truly meet our clients where they are at in any given moment and serve them in the best possible way without being tied into rigid and restrictive training just because the plan says we should be doing XYZ on a given day.

Throw away the rule book, listen and connect to people and operate from a space of here and now and it will serve you well. Above all, enjoy what you do and have fun with it, and if you don’t, take a long hard look at what you are doing.

How do we get in contact with you?

Mobile:- 07764477531

Instagram: TrainStrongPT

Twitter: TrainStrongPT

Resources Mentioned:

Running to Learn by Julia Armstrong

Patricia Cornwell – Chaos

Dan John

Strength Matters