Updated: Nov 22, 2019
Sophomore year in college I had a roommate who was also a coworker. We of course would vent and complain about our job, customers and managers. I remember vividly one evening when we had gotten home from work, after I said my piece, she says to me "I don't think you're meant to work for other people". That statement would linger in the back of my head from that moment on. I would go on to graduate with big plans of working for someone else at some major company. Reality is I never really worked in my field. I basically worked whatever job could pay the bills. Doing so left me unfulfilled. I usually found myself irked with my superiors for being completely ridiculous morons. Eventually I got fed up with being fed up. I realized I could trace the feeling of disappointment when my jobs didn't satisfy, all the way back to my very first one at the age of 15. I had two managers there. One was great, the other, not so much. He would leave me with short patience for simple superiors.
Fast forward possibly a decade later from that conversation with my college roommate, I would decide to take the risk of entrepreneurship. Yup, I quit a salary paid job with health benefits as a single mom of a toddler to try my hand at being a full time entrepreneur. I know, it was an extremely bold, scary, somewhat brave & maybe stupid move, but it felt like the right thing, possibly the only thing to do at that point. I had reached my wits' end with being an employee. The decision was slightly random & I was unprepared. I had no potential clients and no real clue or plan of what to do in business but I was hella determined to make entrepreneurship work for me, for us. I had a whole baby depending on me to take care of him. No way was failure an option. Honestly, I'm certain motherhood helped influence my decision to be my own boss. It would allow me time to actually be a mother and not have to put my child in someone else's care for most of the day.
So, yeah I had no potential clients and no real plan. I figured posting on Facebook & Instagram would be my best bet. I advertised I was finally accepting clients for personal training sessions. I secured two clients who I trained at my home with just one set of five pound dumbbells, a single eight pound weight, jump rope and a yoga mat. Regardless of how minimal the equipment was, the workouts were effective. A couple of months into my decision I decided to look into training clients in an actual gym to expand my clientele and offer them more. When I found a gym home I then had to learn how to actually use gym equipment. My style of training was mainly body weight and calisthenics. This was a great lesson for me as a trainer, that would in return benefit my clients. Training at a gym really boosted my business. On average I maintained a load of around 10 clients at a time.
It's been 3+ years, I'm still learning and figuring business out. From small things like having training agreements, to not, then back to having them. The lesson being: make sure I'm covering myself first. Major things like MONEY! I've had clients dick me for payments, which completely messes up the flow to my life. As a full time business owner, literally every payment is vital. There have been moments when I've struggled with how to implement boundaries and standards to keep the relationships I build with clients professional when it comes to payment and schedule, considering some clients do turn into real life friends. On the flip, I've had friends become clients and then fail to uphold their part of the bargain, which of course taints the personal relationship we had prior. It def gets tricky running a business. There's a transparency and honesty necessary to be an entrepreneur that helps get you to the next level of your journey. I implement both with my clients and myself. I'm seeing my own strengths and weaknesses, which I appreciate. Evolution is something I hope happens as often as my business needs it. Despite how difficult the moments can get in entrepreneurship, I'm determined to stick this through. Success is not an option, it's a must, no if, ands or buts about that. So to whomever this may help, the best piece of advice I can give someone interested in being an entrepreneur is to be open to the process; it's a roller coaster for sure, be quick thinking because unexpected things happen often, and have resiliency as this is an extremely trying life choice... Whatever you do, just don't quit on your dreams. *talking to myself too*