Should I Trust You?

I was talking to a potential client the other day and she asked me a question.

It wasn't easy for her, asking this question. She hemmed and hawed. Shifted a bit and smiled at the ceiling. She said that her boyfriend brought up a good point and she kind of wanted to ask it.

"Why should I listen to you?" she said with a slight laugh.

And I smiled back.

It's a fantastic question! It really is. If you're hiring somebody to do anything you should probably ask them this question. Why is this person worth listening to? What have they done? What products have they shipped?

Folks who know me know that over the past few years I've been talking more and more about nutrition and fitness. They may not know whether I actually know anything, but they probably associate me with that stuff now. Sometimes we get into weird internet arguments about details, new health science, and antiquated ideas. But we talk about it.

This potential client sort of knew me a bit, but not really. This apprehension about asking me for my credentials made me instantly aware that if I'm going to do this nutrition coach/personal trainer thing as a job, I would need to answer this question all the time. ALL THE TIME! People need to know this stuff. They need to know whether they can trust someone with their health, with their money, and in some cases with their life.

I didn't have a stock answer. I've not really been asked this before, even by other clients. I laughed a bit and said something like this:

"I'm in the midst of my certifications, so you want to know whether I'm qualified and trustworthy. Well, we know PhD's who are idiots. One of my fitness teachers, in fact, said to the class "protein doesn't build muscle like everyone thinks. It's carbs! Make sure you eat lots and lots of carbs!" Just because someone has a job and a title doesn't mean that they know what they are talking about."

"I think that there are two reasons you should listen to me. First, I lost 50 pounds and I did it through trial and error. I tried things that sort of worked, things that worked for a little while, and things that didn't work at all. At a certain point I became determined to stop flailing about and actually figure out what would burn body fat."

"And so, second, I started reading the actual science. People like Ben Greenfield and Jonathan Bailor are great, easy to understand, credible sources for interpreting actual science and not perpetuating fitness myths. The process of losing weight and gaining health is like solving a mystery with all of the clues and tools in front of you. How do we put these pieces together for you?"

That's it.
1. I've done it before.
2. I use modern science and not old myth.
3. And by the way, because I won't have the certification for a few more months, I charge a lot less.

I suppose, for the sake of professionalism, I should turn this into a well-rehearsed elevator pitch and test it in front of a focus group. For now though, this potential client became an actual client. We start this week.

This is me. 50some lbs ago. Holding a cat.