Hello again everyone! I recently interviewed my former boss and now healthcare co-worker, Kevin Monroe from Monroe Real Training. He provides personal training, right in your home within the Madison Area. He has a lot of insight about going into the health field, especially as an entrepreneur, and I hope you enjoy his advice as much as I did!
Kevin, What made you want to start your own business?
“One reason, every time I worked somewhere I had ideas, but sometimes my ideas weren’t always 100% accepted.
Another reason, when the health club I managed got really busy and the machines were being used, I would start using the fitness bands and other functional fitness equipment that wasn’t as popular – in the corner of the gym. A personal training client told me they ‘enjoyed the corner and the functional fitness equipment,’ and asked me, “Can’t we do this at home, or on the road; when we travel?” And there came the idea to start my own business of in-home personal training. I identified the possibility of training people without having to use expensive equipment. The gears started turning and whenever I wasn’t at the health club I worked on my business plan. I was always researching and thinking of ideas and things started growing & coming together! It was years in the works before I was doing my own in-home personal training business part-time.”
Advice for those starting their new business or wanting to?
“Never be afraid to ask questions from people you respect and are successful in your field. Ask questions and read. I like to read constantly. I generally have at least one book that I’m always reading, not necessarily about fitness. They’re usually best sellers about business or self-help and motivation – they help me think differently. So, read, ask questions and more importantly find a have a mentor. I have two. One is a client. That mentor once said, “You’re going to make mistake, but don’t make a real costly mistake, because you need financial stability so it doesn’t ruin your business. Remember that.”
My business mentor teaches me many lessons. For an example, every single week, after every training session, he’d ask me if I had a couple of business cards to give to his connections. I would always have to get them from my vehicle. After about three weeks of doing this, I learned to put them in my pocket and always keep them with me. Now, I don’t leave my house unless my business cards are in my front left pocket. You never know when you might meet your next client. Think of them like car keys – don’t leave the house without them!
I also encourage those to write a business plan, it’s extremely important. I wrote mine in a notebook. I think it’s great to start clarifying ideas in a notebook, but if a person is going to a bank or an investor you probably want to have your business plan clarified and typed. Think of a business plan like a relationship, you have ideas of how things will go, but things change and you have to tweak plans and keep going with it.
And, if anyone wants to go into fitness and wellness don’t be afraid to go for it, because if it’s something you really enjoy, you will do well. Put your heart into it, and don’t be afraid to fail. We learn sometimes by our mistakes and our failures. If there is one thing I’ve noticed, when it comes to helping people in fitness and wellness, there is plenty to go around. So, I recommend anyone that wants to start their own business, don’t worry about the money, it will come…if you put your passion into it! ”
Advice for budgeting for your business?
“I recommend, keeping all expenses as low as possible. It could be something as simple as packing your food for lunches instead of purchasing them at meetings. I recommend being really frugal. I bartered everything in the beginning (i.e. logo, website). Try to get everything paid off as much as possible so you have leeway for cash flow to start coming in. And when it does come in, don’t spend it all… see it as the business’ money. Ask, “What can I do for the business with this money?”
“How I have my business structured – there are no electronic funds transferable (EFTs), so I only get paid when someone meets with me. So just because they buy a personal training package, if they cancel, are on vacation or have a medical appointment – I don’t get paid.
That challenge encourages me to keep my clients motivated so they continue seeing me
on a regular basis. I motivate them by texting or e-mailing them, be a good listener when I’m training them in their home, and making sure clients are enjoying each workout experience with me. I always ask myself, ‘Why do they want to train with me…to be with Kevin?’ I’m always hoping to keep them motivated so they stay training with me on a regular basis so they see & feel results. In return, this also allows the business to stay afloat.”
What do you prioritize/schedule first?
“The top priority is my fitness; my workouts, because when I feel better… I have more to give to others. I don’t need to write in my workouts, because I know I will get them in between personal training sessions.”
What type of advice for those seeking greater happiness and health?
“I encourage people to make goals that motivate them – other than the scale. I am personally intrinsically motivated, but most people are extrinsically motivated. Goals could be to finish a 5k, jump higher, 5 pushups, or your first pull up. When you accomplish your goals, you’ll feel really good. To me, it’s about having a better quality of life. As a person goes through that transition and they feel better, they’ll have a better quality of life; they’ll feel like a better person and have more love to give to others.”
Thank you for your interview, Kevin!
Thanks for reading,