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Paying For What We Value: The Two-Step Test [Newsletter]

Few years ago, while visiting his own parents in Russia, my dad found out that you could take private tennis lessons at a local gym for what converted to about twenty bucks an hour. Of course, he jumped at the opportunity. “Where do I sign, and when can I start?”.

Later that day, my Grandma wanted all the details. When she found out how much the tennis lessons cost, she balked at the price. It was outrageously expensive! And on tennis lessons? What a waste of money! She shook her head in disbelief, as she served dinner. Chicken, salad, cheese, and… at least twenty dollars worth of fancy salami.

I see this quite a bit in the health and fitness industry. While most of us would not hesitate before dropping a hundred dollars or more on a new pair of training shoes, (or maybe, fancy salami), many shy away from paying for expertise when it comes to health, fitness and nutrition.

Remember this blog post I wrote recently on how to help YOUR coach help YOU? A woman I just met at a dinner party was looking for a strength coach, and… I wasn’t sure I could help her. Something was MISSING.

It’s a strange state of things. We pay dentists to fix our teeth, but feel like we know better when it comes to nutrition, exercise and training programs. For some reason, many of us have less of a problem paying for tangible services, or material objects than expertise. Maybe, because we get to keep the actual object, while expertise seems ephemeral.

“I can’t possibly spend more money on my health and fitness!” I overheard someone say the other day. “I already buy fitness gear, and protein powder, and my gym membership! I can’t afford a coach”. I looked over my shoulder to see if she was being facetious.

Nope. Her face was earnest.

We do not mind paying for what we value. So… what DO we value?

— How you spend your time — How you spend your money

The two variables above are a great litmus test for what you actually value. Take a look at your calendar, and at your bank statement for the last two to three months. What do you see?

I pull up my own calendar, and my own bank statement, as I write this email.


Work. Coaching calls. Gym. Chiro appointment for my shoulder. Writing workshop. Friend date. Gym friend date. Night in. Night in.

Bank statement.

Ticket to another writing workshop. Gas stove. (Yay!) Groceries. Spinning class. Gas. Coffee beans. Manicure. Gym membership. Dinner with friend. Breakfast with friend.

What do I see?

I see work, health, and friends/loved ones. I am good with these. ???? And if I need to cut back, extras likes manicures and eating out will go first. I’ll reduce the frequency of my visits to a massage therapist or chiro. I will postpone a purchase of a large appliance.

I wrote about the things I would NOT give up here.

What about you?

What does your calendar and bank statement say about your values? Those two do not lie. ???? And, if you take your values into account, AND you need to cut corners, where will you start? What will you give up?

Hugs, SOLO


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