Charles “Petey” Bell

Bryant, Arkansas, United States

Contact This Student: First Klass Nutrition

Speciality: Weight Loss

Pre-Academy Experience: Some Online Training Experience

Goals: Do What I Love, Financial Security, Make More Money, Work/Life Balance

WIth an undergraduate degree in nutrition, Charles knew he wanted to help people with their health and fitness.The only real question was how to do it.

He discovered that nutrition-related jobs were limited. And the jobs he did get were usually unsatisfying. Charles didn’t want to be stuck in food service. So he got his fitness certification and pursued a career as a trainer.

To make it work, Charles did what most independent fitness professionals do: he hustled.

For a while, his schedule consisted of teaching small group classes at a local recreation center, plus driving three hours out of town where he would spend three days each week to do personal training in his home town. Oh, and he coached basketball on the side.

In total, Charles was training about 50 clients in person, and working from 8am – 8pm, 5 days a week.

Despite the crazy schedule, for the first couple months, Charles says “it was great. I was making money.” The people in his hometown knew him and personal training was a fairly easy sell.

“But then towards the end, it tailed off,” says Charles. “People started telling me reasons why they couldn’t workout any more. And you know, some of the reasons people give you…” he laughs with a shake of the head.

Even worse, once he tallied up gas and other travel costs, Charles realized that all his hustling was actually costing him money.  

Discouraged, Charles took a ‘regular’ job.

“I got a job as a nutrition services host at the Arkansas Children’s Hospital. It was a job I knew I didn’t want. But I said to myself, this is what I need to do right now to build my money back up.”

“Every day I said to myself, I have to do something else.”

Still hoping to make something work fitness-wise, Charles tried a couple of side projects in the hopes of finding something else to support himself and his fiancee. Nothing went the way he hoped. “I spent 3 days recording workouts and tried to sell an online fitness camp. That bombed,” Charles laughs.

A year went by.

Finally, Charles snagged a side-gig as a fitness trainer at the hospital. Ultimately, he transitioned to a full time job as an exercise specialist, which allowed him to continue training clients as part of his work.

The spark rekindled.

Excited to be back in fitness, Charles returned to the idea of online training.

But this time, he was going to do it right. Enter the Online Trainer Academy.

Implementing what he learned from the Academy, Charles realized that despite his years of knowledge and experience, he’d lost sight of the basics.

“I realized, this is stuff I should know, but I don’t,” says Charles. “It helped me get back to the fundamentals, to the core of the business.”

His first efforts paid off immediately. After launching a free nutrition challenge, Charles quickly converted 14 people into paying clients. They all bought his mid-priced package, earning Charles an extra $3k per month. “Not bad at all,” says Charles, “especially since I’m getting married this year.”

Along with extra cash, Charles got his life-balance back. And he’s dreaming big again.

Gone are the ridiculous hours. Charles fits his online training easily around his work schedule. He holds a few ‘office hours’ on Saturday morning. He still serves people in his hometown community, but without spending 6 hours per week driving there and back.

Charles says he loves his current job at the hospital but ultimately he wants do online training full time.

“There’s nothing wrong with a regular job, but 9-5 was never for me,” he explains.

“I don’t want to be there for 40 years and get the gold watch. I want to build my own brand, my own legacy. Something to pass onto my kids. This will give me the freedom to do it.”