Hi David, thank you for chatting with me today. You’ve built a successful personal training business in Atlanta, GA by helping busy executives to find time for their own health and wellness. Tell us what inspired you to become a personal trainer?
The idea came to me through experience. I was overweight growing up, and, like many other kids, I was bullied because of it. I wasn’t comfortable in my body and at one point decided to take control of how I looked. After pulling myself out of the worst shape of my life, I decided to dedicate my life to helping others overcome their limitations and gain confidence in themselves.
Fitness training is a “cool” job to have. But currently, it seems like the industry is struggling due to COVID-19 impact. I hear many people switching to “at-home” workouts. How did this impact your business?
Absolutely. There are many businesses that had to close their doors at the beginning of the pandemic and never reopened. Thankfully, I never depended on the gyms to bring me clients. I usually work as a remote coach — I set up training programs for my clients and follow up with them to make sure they are staying on track. So, even though the circumstances changed, I was still able to retain most of my clients, by adjusting the training program to fit their current needs.
This is very creative. I am curious what you think makes you different from other personal trainers?
I like to try new things and experiment with different approaches. This has helped me to stay afloat during COVID-19. I also have a holistic approach to personal training that my clients appreciate about me. Yes, we train their bodies and make sure they burn calories and reach their physique goals, but mostly, I help them develop healthier habits. Many of my clients are so used to working 14+ hours a day that finding time for themselves is a struggle. So I am always here to remind them that their body is a vehicle, and they need to take care of it.
What is your training philosophy?
I always say that it doesn’t matter how much you weigh, it matters if you feel healthy in your weight. We often see a picture and want to look like “that”. But we need to realize that we are all unique people with different bodies. Some people struggle with putting on muscle, and others gain muscle mass very quickly. We have to strive for realistic goals, otherwise, we will constantly be frustrated.
How do you keep clients motivated and engaged?
I make it personable. When I start working with a client, I find out what makes them tick. For some people it’s family, for others it’s money. Some people like to be organized and on time, and some people appreciate flexibility. I try to account for all of their individual characteristics to make sure I motivate them individually.
This is amazing. Now, you are not just a personal trainer, you are also a business owner. How do you bring ideas to life?
I use a framework that works for me. Whenever I have an idea, I evaluate it and ask multiple people about their opinions on it. Not only my friends and family but experts in the field. After I gather enough information, I decide how I am going to implement the idea: by myself, by delegating it to my team or outsourcing it. Sometimes it’s easier to hire a freelancer to help you with a specific project so it doesn’t distract the core team from their responsibilities. And also, this way you expand your network, which is also great.
That’s great advice. What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
As I mentioned previously, I delegate a lot. Many entrepreneurs get stuck doing everything by themselves because they don’t trust their team or other people, and I think it’s a flawed premise. I know that even though someone else does the work, it will get done well. Because they account for how I see the execution of the project and add their own creativity and problem solving, which adds value at the end.
What advice would you give your younger self?
I would say that in moments of struggle, you discover your purpose. Because by overcoming obstacles, we become trailblazers who are able to lead others. So, “don’t be afraid of hard work, it will pay off in the end.”
This is very inspiring. Thank you so much for chatting with us today and sharing the inspiration with our audience.