Sometimes you get an inkling that it’s time for something new. It might start off as a light tap that might be silenced by fear of change, but when the roar grows louder it’s all you can do but take the plunge. That’s exactly what happened to Jodie Charles, who recently made the switch from traditional job to full-time personal trainer with Kickoff. And she’s thriving.
In fact, Jodie actually penciled in a date for when she’d put in her notice at work and make the transition to full-time trainer. But that feeling of needing to make the switch grew so strong that she ended up making the shift months early. Now, she makes her own schedule, works with more clients in more places than she’d ever have been able to before, and is changing lives for the better every day.
We got a chance to connect with Jodie to talk about her passion for fitness and her journey to become a full-time trainer with Kickoff.
The Moment She Fell in Love With Fitness
In 2012, Jodie joined a 100-mile run challenge, where she had to log the number of miles she ran from January through May. It culminated in a free T-shirt for completing the mission, but the experience also sparked her passion for fitness.
“It was what started my drive for having an end goal and something to push myself towards,” she says. “It was rewarding to finish and gave me a feeling of pride in what I could do when setting my mind to it and sticking to it.”
(And yes, she still has the T-shirt!)
Leaning Into the Passion
After the running challenge, Jodie explored more aspects of fitness, including cardio and free weights, and loved the way it made her feel. She and her now husband also began researching exercise and nutrition, and how it played a crucial role in the way we feel from top to bottom, inside to outside.
“We started talking about it with our friends and family and sharing all of our knowledge,” she recalls. “It led me to want to help change the lives of anyone and everyone I could.”
Exploring a Career in Fitness
Driven by that passion, Jodie made the decision to pursue part-time work as a fitness trainer. She started by teaching bootcamp classes, which incorporated a mixture of strength, cardio, and HIIT. She explored more strength-training modalities along with other types of fitness, such as CrossFit. Jodie ultimately spent years studying and teaching herself many varieties of training, exercise, and nutrition approaches.
As the years passed, Jodie balanced working a full-time office job while pursuing her passion for fitness and nutrition on the side. Then, in 2022, she came across Kickoff while researching ways to do virtual personal training.
“I knew financially I was going to have to keep my full-time job as I did my personal training on the side, but Kickoff allowed me the opportunity to reach more clients over a wider area — both the United States and Canada,” she says. “This was more realistic for me while I was still working my nine-to-five job and having limited time to have in-house client hours.”
Making the Switch to Full-Time Trainer With Kickoff
After about a year of working with Kickoff on the side, Jodie realized that she might just be able to make the switch to full-time trainer. She knew it’d be a dream come true, but at the same time didn’t want to discount just how big of a move it’d be for her.
What helped seal the deal was a marketing bootcamp class offered by Kickoff. It provided training and homework that taught how to market herself and gain more clients.
She told herself that she’d quit her job in about six months after bringing in a steady client load — about 30 clients total.
The marketing tactics from the class paid off in spades, and she was able to reach that 30-client mark in just a couple months. That’s when she made the decision to leap forward with her career plan. She says, “At first it was scary, but I continued to grow with Kickoff and the nerves were soon replaced with excitement and opportunity.”
To help with outreach and build her client roster, Jodie says she often leverages social media, and promotes herself around her location. Kickoff provides leads through their internal marketing, which also helped Jodie grow her client base.
Living the Dream
Today, Jodie works with a total of 44 clients — and counting — across the United States and Canada, and is making a comfortable income doing what she loves. She works from home, which has a full gym in the basement. In addition to providing in-house sessions with local clients who are also members of the Kickoff app, she teaches four live sessions a week with virtual clients.
She’s also in touch with her clients daily, guiding them through their fitness and nutrition journeys, answering questions that may arise, and providing encouragement.
“Making the switch has allowed me to continue doing what I love,” she says. “Being a full-time personal trainer doesn’t feel like a job. I’m able to help people change their lives every day. I feel this is my purpose in life, and I am very blessed to have found the opportunity with such a great company.”
Her Best Advice for Trainees and Trainers
We asked Jodie to share her best piece of fitness wisdom. She says: “Keep moving. If you don’t use it, you lose it. Being active is so important. We only have one life — enjoy it. Human bodies are made to move, and you might just be surprised at what you are capable of doing.”
And for those who are thinking about making the switch to full-time trainer with Kickoff, she’s living proof that it’s a legit possibility. “Keep doing what you love,” she says. “Building your brand and your business will allow you to continue to spread your knowledge to everyone you meet. The clients will come.”