Got An Empty Swimming Pool? PDF Print E-mail
Written by Bernadette Doyle   
Friday, 29 August 2008 00:00
Bernadette Doyle
Bernadette Doyle

Several years ago, I was on holiday at Club La Santa in Lanzarote, a sports resort where there are lots of fitness classes scheduled throughout the day. One lunchtime I was lounging by the pool in a perfect position to observe the following scene as it unfolded before me.

An aqua aerobics class was scheduled for midday. Shortly before, the instructor arrived, set up her music and waited for her participants. There had been a big party the previous night, and I did not predict a huge turnout for the class. But when it got to midday, not a single person had turned up. I saw the instructor walk towards the music system, and guessed that she was about to pack up and leave. To my surprise she started her music and started her warm up, calling instructions to an empty pool.

I was stunned. It must have taken some courage to lead an empty class. But I was also impressed by her commitment. As far as she was concerned, she had been booked to lead the class, and just because participants hadn’t turned up, that wasn’t going to stop her from showing up and doing her bit. She didn’t run around the pool trying to rally support and persuade us up from our sun loungers. She just started the class.

Years before I had even considered the phrase ‘client magnet’, I was witness to this demonstration of client magnetism. Because after a few minutes, the combination of loud music plus the spectacle of an aerobics instructor shouting instructions to an empty pool pulled a few curious observers. A couple of them got into the water and joined in. Before long at least 10 people had joined the class. The instructor didn’t care how many people turned up, she had decided that nothing would stop her from fully showing up and give 100% commitment to the class. In doing so, the instructor became a powerful magnet who had her vision of a full class manifest before my eyes.

This memory was a big inspiration for me when I was preparing for my first paid teleseminar. As the date approached, only two people had registered for the class. Of course I was tempted to cancel, but then I remembered that aerobics instructor and realised that there is something very powerful about following through on our intentions. I ignored the little voice inside that said ‘who are you to talk about being a client magnet when there are only two people in the class?’ and stayed committed. And then a funny thing happened…

On the day of the teleseminar, as I was making final preparations for the calls I received not one, but two enquiries. The second call came just 30 minutes before the teleseminar was due to start! This felt like a lot more than coincidence, and it felt like just as the instructor attracted participants through her willingness to show up, that my willingness to show up was acting as a magnet too.

Fast forward a few short years, and since that bumpy start teleseminars have become a very important part of my business. From a starting point of just four people, these days I’ve had over 950 people register for a single call. But I can’t help wondering what would have happened if I had given in to that temptation to cancel. Would I have ever mustered the courage to try again?

I’m sharing this story today for two reasons. First I want to ask how often do you set an intention and then cancel it due to apparent lack of interest? Are you really showing up? Or are you waiting for clients to show up first? Maybe you’re the one who needs to demonstrate commitment before you can expect clients to do so.

Second, it’s a word of encouragement to anyone who is feeling how I felt when the day of my first teleseminar approached. Keep going! Don’t give up. If you’ve said you were going to do something, then follow through on your word. Recommit to your project and trust that whatever happens is perfect for you. In my first year of business I was tempted to cancel a course because I was barely covering my costs. I proceeded anyway and one of the participants went on to refer over £18,000 of business to me over the next 12 months. The truth is, you never know what’s around the corner. But if you give up this time, you’ll be tempted to give up the next time things get tough, and the time after that.

I’ll wrap up with one of my favourite quotes, one that I live by and has served me well, ‘the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favour all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way.’

© 2008 Bernadette Doyle

Bernadette Doyle publishes her weekly Client Magnets newsletter for trainers, coaches, consultants, complementary therapists and solo professionals. If you want to get clients calling you instead of you calling them, then get your free tips now at

Last Updated on Saturday, 01 November 2008 10:48