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That thing that builds credibility

Money and credibility are two of the most sought-after concepts. I said ‘concepts’ because they aren’t just ‘things’ that you can buy from Amazon or your local grocery store. Nor can you earn enough of either! The more the merrier. Or so people think.

Now, let me be very clear — money is important but it’s not everything. I believe an ideal place in life is to be able to earn enough that you’re not worried about money anymore. And believe me, you don’t have to earn a $100,000 or more each year to get to that place. But, of course, your mileage may vary and much of what you consider ‘enough’ is driven by your lifestyle.

Sorry, I digressed. But that bit about money was important as I don’t think there’s anything else to it! We work/create value and we get paid. It’s that simple.

Credibility on the other hand is much more complicated. You can throw it out of the window with just one stupid decision/move. Something that might have taken you years to build. And that’s why I think focusing on building credibility is a healthier approach to becoming truly successful.

That said, it’s quite disturbing to see our generation stretching the need for credibility to an extreme. I mean, look around you! Every organization, institution, and profession is either offering or getting certified! Heck, even food manufactures queue up to get certified so that they can sell their product.

I understand there are numerous benefits to getting certified, the most important being trust, reliability and the assurance that the quality provided is top-notch. All the aspects that builds one’s credibility.

But my question is who regulates these certifying authorities? Some other organisation that’s primary into research and development? And these R&D folks are constantly studying and finding new ways to do things. In essence, it’s a work in progress. Just like it is for thousands of professionals who aren’t certified but are committed to what and who they serve.

While certifications might be your ticket to gaining creditability, I think that they’re grossly overrated. What matters the most is knowledge and education, the certificate is optional because what you do with the former is what builds your credibility in the first place.

I’ve attended a bunch of global certification programs the past 3 years, including a few prestigious credentials in the sports and fitness space. Gained an in-depth understanding of the scientific concepts of programming, weightlifting, powerlifting, kineosology and our physiology. But I’ve never been certified because I never made the effort for it. Why? Because it just wasn’t important.

Sure, I didn’t need it because I’m not a professional strength and conditioning coach nor do I have intentions to become one. But, honestly, I wouldn’t have cared even if I wanted to be one. Because my clients don’t care about my certifications but the results I can deliver for them. Yes, having the right credentials and/or certifications can get your foot in the door but I believe there’s a better way to do that than shell out your hard earned money to fund someone else’s business.

What’s the better way? It’s this — do stuff! Record it, analyse it, make it better for yourself, try it on someone else and make them better. Ask them to share it further. That’s it! It’s a simple model driven by your clients (or friends, if you’re just starting) and will reap almost the same results if you were a certified ‘coach’ of some sort.

Let me tell you, if you are able to deadlift 500 pounds or squat 400 pounds, you have more credibility than the dude in that red/green/yellow/black (or whatever color these trainers/coaches wear in the gym or the heath centre) t-shirt because they can’t. I know so.

And if people don’t give a shit about that, it’s okay. Impressing them was never your goal. Improving yourself always was. And that’s the hallmark of a true professional. You don’t need a certificate or someone’s blessing for that.