The Future is Great, the Future is Gig!

HPT5 - “Transforming passion into profession in fitness and healthcare”

The nature of work is changing at a pace no one could have ever imagined. The combined impact of technology and globalisation has created the opportunity to do something people could only have dreamt of just two generations ago, making the concept of work a ‘lived-for’ and not a ‘dead-end’ experience. 

Work was once defined as ‘something you do not like doing!’ Whether you were a coal, factory or steel worker, heavy industry merely offered the need to earn to live, and little else. 

Words such as fulfilment, meaning, happiness, creativity, fun and freedom did not exist in the employer’s vocabulary. This is why a retiring steel worker was reported to say on the eve of his retirement:

“For years you have paid me for my hands, when you could have had my brain for free” 

The employer was the puppet master controlling your every move: clock in, follow the process, keep your head down and you will be rewarded.

The nature of industry was heavy, manual and process driven. Supplier was king, as Henry Ford once infamously stated ‘you can have any colour car as long as it is black.’ 

Creativity was the realm of the few. However, now it is diametrically the opposite - creativity is the kingdom of the many. The throne of the supplier has been substituted; customer is now king and the core skill driving our economy is now light not heavy, cerebral not manual. 

But what ultimately technology and globalisation have given us is an attribute which has fundamentally transformed the quality of our life experience - Choice! 

We can have any colour car we want, choose the transmission, upholstery, sound system - everything is up for grabs. 

Competition for product and services has grown exponentially and on a global scale. In the 1920s there were just two jeans manufacturers, now there are over a 1,000. Holidays used to be a week in Margate on the English south coast, now it is yomping up Machu Picchu. Communications was once a monthly letter to cousins in Australia, now it is FaceTime on your iPhone.

But the impact on our working environment is even more consequential. We can now do something our forefathers could only have dreamt of, we possess the ability to create a profession out of our passion. 

“Freedom of expression to capitalise upon an individual’s talents, those raw minerals mined at birth” 

A profession where work and enjoyment are not mutually exclusive, where you do not earn to live but flip the axiom on its head and live to earn!

This new environment is the Gig Economy! An economy in which you decide when to work and who you work with. What we are witnessing is a reinvention of the workplace, a reinvention which the traditional corporate world is struggling to come to terms with. 

Emerging Internet cloud and mobile technologies are increasingly shifting work lives away from the corporate office altogether and toward an in-my-own-place, on-my-own-time work regime. 

The way we work and create value will be driven more by relationships, brand confidence and the quality of the client experience, not by the size of a marketing budget. 

The Gig Economy offers a freedom of expression to capitalise upon an individual’s talents, those raw minerals mined at birth, which enable you to excel within your chosen profession and craft an unassailable market niche. An economy where meaning, happiness, creativity and identity sit at centre stage. 

Failures in the Gig Economy are well documented, the successes less so; for example, at DW Fitness First in Hammersmith, we have worked with talented personal trainers who have developed into accomplished fitness practitioners enjoying the benefits of growing their individual businesses to new heights.

At Urban Massage, we have witnessed a true 21st century company innovate with passion, people care and outstanding operational competence. The Urban Massage ‘platform’ has created the opportunity for mobile massage therapists to develop their own, flexible individual business marrying passion for massage and well-being with sustainable revenue opportunity with incredible success. 

However, carving your destiny in the Gig Economy demands an understanding of market forces which shape our globally connected economy. It was the American military who first coined the acronym VUCA to describe the context in which we create global wealth - Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous. 

Plethora of choice, enhanced competition and constant change means to succeed in the Gig Economy requires the need to produce product and service which is continually evolving, as Ginni Rimetty, CEO of IBM, one the largest global companies stated:

“Whatever business you’re in, it’s going to commoditise over time, so you have to keep moving it to a higher value and change.” 

All this can make the path to success daunting in the Gig Economy but, in fact it can be the opposite! 

Firstly, to make your passion your profession you need to possess two key attributes, outstanding technical competence in your chosen discipline and the business understanding to be able to create and build a compelling, client proposition. 

At HPT5, we have taken the changes to the way that we can, and will work, to heart and made them the centrepiece of our educational curriculum in fitness and healthcare.

We have constructed our education specifically to develop and grow these technical and commercial competencies required to excel and capitalise upon the exciting opportunities the Gig Economy affords. 

We have redesigned the curriculum for personal training and massage; in partnership with Richmond upon Thames College in West London, we are creating a centre for excellence with regards to fitness and healthcare education. 

Our course programmes offer a rich learning experience in how to become a self manager and grow your career. We understand that being average will never succeed in the Gig Economy, the forces that drive, choice, competition and change are all too powerful to tolerate mediocre performance. Being average means a short and slippery slide to oblivion. 

We have designed our programmes with one unifying vision in mind, to deliver education which will enable our graduates to excel, to hit the ground running when they graduate and to deliver a truly, world class client experience. 

Our graduates will be well equipped technically, they will have benefited from exam qualification credentials but will have so much more in their technical armoury.

Technically, they will have gained knowledge in Biomechanics, Soft Tissue Release, Injury Management and Massage which will enable them to design innovative training routines for clients which will attract attention as well as being able to advise competently on injury rehabilitation. 

They will also possess the confidence and knowledge to be able to stand toe to toe and engage professionally with a broad spectrum of practitioners across the fitness and healthcare spectrum. 

Commercially, they will possess a laser focus on career aspiration; they will understand how to build niche businesses which attract client attention and which will give the opportunity to create and build new communities and spread the fun, enjoyment and health benefits fitness affords. Some of our graduates are even in the process of growing their own global brand!

Our Service Leadership content stretches their thinking and career aspiration to new heights. We inspire them to ask ‘where is the unmet client need, where is the unfilled potential?’ And help to cascade innovative thinking into action based initiatives which our graduates can then apply in practical, real world situations with ‘live’ clients!

Our courses do not do average. Our graduates will qualify as ‘HPT5 High Performance Trainers’, highly qualified and competent to help our own overarching vision to ‘Make Exercise Irresistible’ for everyone. 

The future is Great, the future is Gig!

Haydn is Service Leadership Director at HPT5

Stop Press! We are holding an Open Evening on Wednesday, November 22nd at Richmond Upon Thames College where we will be showcasing our content for the HPT5 Specialist Course providing insights into Biomechanics, Body Mapping and Injury Management together with commercial insights into building a compelling niche business in the GIG Economy. 

Full details on our website here: