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Environment Matters

(big tip)

by David Garland in General

A few weeks ago my fitness trainer Ryan came to me to discuss a new opportunity.

Ryan subleased space from another gym and an opportunity to open up his own gym had just fallen on his lap.

The decision was a big one, to say the least, and he wanted to chat over lunch. It’s one thing to say “Let’s do it!” and it’s another one to consider all the factors including money, equipment and all the other things that go along with a brand new gym.

But one of the biggest things we ended up discussing over lunch was something oh-so-overlooked: Environment. 

Meaning, at the gym Ryan subleased from, he had a little space to do his training but was in zero control of the environment.

No offense to that gym, but it was usually freezing cold and super dark. The music was, um, interesting. Sometimes there were dogs running around (side note: I loveeeeeeee doggies but not when I’m working out and one hid a chew toy in my gym bag #badboy). Some days it just felt kinda sad and glum for all of us.

If Ryan was to open his own shop…he would completely control everything about his environment. The colors, the music, the freakin’ mirrors on the wall (he is ordering some super strange mirrors that remind me of “mirror mirror on the wall” but that’s another story). And in turn, clients would be more inspired too and he would attract the right people to him that resonated with his environment and style.

For example, for those who love high energy there are cycling classes (like CycleBar and SoulCycle) with killer lighting and music and all kinds of crazy energy. Very different than an old school cycling class. And that attracts a certain type of person (and repels others).

What does this have to do with you and your online business?

The environment where you do your work matters. 

If your environment sucks, your work will suck.

If your environment is inspiring, your work will be inspiring.

Now inspiration for everyone is different. What gets you going?

Is it designing the perfect home office with the world’s biggest window?

Is it a co-working space where you can feel the hustle and bustle of others?

Is it working from coffee shops (one of my favorites!)?

Is it mixing and matching? Some days at home other days at a cafe?

Whatever works, pay attention to it. And go with it (even if it is freakin’ nuts like you only work best when you are sitting on a big pile of trash and playing the flute). Own it.

And if you aren’t sure what inspires you…try different things. A hotel lobby. An old favorite coffee shop. A new spot in your house.

Having a successful online business/course/personal brand takes a lot of motivation. There isn’t someone looking over your shoulder telling you what to do. I can tell you from nearly 10 years in business (will be 10 this October) that your best motivator is YOU and a ton of that has to do with being in the right environment to do your best work.

Also, your “online” environment matters for your customers & subscribers (your peeps):

Meaning, your website. Your materials. Your online presence. Your photos. Your content. A lot of time this is all lumped together into the word “branding” but it’s important to think about. What are you trying to convey and who are you trying to attract?

Is your brand (which is “you” in brand form since we are all personal brands) uplifting and positive? No-nonsense and stern? Warm and welcoming?

Because at the end of the day when someone comes to your “gym” what do they see when they come in the door? A cool place with fun music, bright lights and great energy or a dingy basement with dogs?

The choice is yours.

Go get ’em,


PS: Ryan did decide to roll the dice and open his own gym and it is already awesomex1000. He is well on his way.