When I was 18 years old, I already had a vision set out for my future. It was very clear, I saw myself running a personal training business, writing books, and doing motivational speaking. When I was finished University, I still held onto this vision. It was a stressful time, being 22 years old right out of school having to find a job.
I knew I had to work as a personal trainer first for a company before going out on my own. I had to gain the experience, have someone mentor me and teach me about sales, marketing and self-promoting. So I landed my first job with a small training business , I lasted there for just under 2 years.
I was just happy that I got a job in order to build a foundation for myself. It was great, I had the opportunity to work with amazing clients,I absorbed and learned so much in those 2 years. As time went on, I knew I was ready to move on and pursue my own ventures. I felt that I was outgrowing the company and I had a different vision for my future in terms of how I wanted to brand myself as a trainer and build my business. As I started to get to know myself better, my purpose became more clear to me.
I was really nervous about the whole process of going out on my own, What if I fail? What if I don’t have clients and have to get another job? What if i’m not cut out to be an entrepreneur? All of these thoughts ran through my head before I took the leap. It was well thought out and the best decision I ever made.
I already had 4-5 clients before going out on my own. I was also fortunate enough to have a good network and support all around me. My dad helped build my website and gave me some helpful tips on marketing strategies, and my friend was my branding strategist. I basically filled in the gaps with my passion for helping and inspiring others.
The first 6 months was anything but easy, I was trying to find ways to promote and market myself, learn how to do sales and put all my packages together in an organized fashion. I was always hesitant about the whole sales thing, I hated the idea of the hard sale. However, I realized that sales was nothing more than simply being yourself, knowing that what you are selling is of incredible value to others so it became effortless for me.
It’s been under 2 years now since I started the business and with a clear idea of where I want to take it, things are really shaping up. I have a solid client base built, a blog up and running, the next steps will be writing a book and getting into motivational speaking.
These 3 key things helped me through my transition into entrepreneurship
1) Love what you do – Passion is absolutely necessary if you are willing to start a business. Half heartedness is an entrepreneurial endeavor that will eat away at your drive to succeed. Perseverance is the only thing guaranteed to move things over time. There is no way I would have started my business if I wasn’t this passionate about helping and transforming other people’s lives. If you find something you love, that love will fuel and give you purpose.
2) Learn from others – Spending a few years in the industry under a mentor provided me with a good launching pad. I build up a good network with clients and other fitness experts in the industry. I learned new things, what works and what doesn’t work. There is always more to learn, as an entrepreneur you have to constantly be willing to learn new things and try out different methods. I always try to soak up as much knowledge as possible through books, articles and videos.
3) Self-Motivation and flexibility – Being your own boss doesn’t mean sleeping in, When you are the only one peering over your shoulders you have to keep yourself focused and away from distractions. You have to be flexible and wear many hats if you are running a business. In my case, i’m not just the personal trainer, I am also doing the marketing, branding, writing, sales ect. You need to dive into all aspects of your business from the creative to the mundane stuff. I didn’t learn all of these things overnight, it’s still a learning process that will continue.