Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and fitness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Tracie Thompson, Founder of 4Fitness, located in St. Petersburg, FL, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
4Fitness is a boutique fitness studio. I specialize in personal training and small-group fitness classes. I offer fun fitness experiences like FLY Bungee, Flying Pilates, Aerial Yoga, SurfSet, Chopfit, and more. The studio was designed to minimize gym anxiety, from the layout of the studio to our policies. 4Fitness is a no-judgment, body-positive fitness facility that welcomes people of all body types and exercise abilities.
Tell us about yourself
How I became a personal trainer is a long story, but the short version is I had a very disappointing experience with a personal trainer that left me unheard, unseen, judged, and not much more informed than before working with a trainer. I began learning about exercise and enjoyed the process of learning and exercising. This led to a part-time job, which gave me a passion for sharing fitness with others. Eventually, fitness training was the full-time job that I truly loved, and I couldn't imagine my life without it.
I love that my clients appreciate that I'm not your typical "skinny girl at the gym." I'm not saying there's anything wrong with being skinny, but that's just not me. I'm strong and have curves that my clients can identify with. As a Certified Personal Trainer for over 18 years, I specialize in creating safe places for people who aren't comfortable with the typical "gym" culture. I'm also a best-selling author and business coach. I consider myself a powerhouse of intelligent leadership, and I care deeply about helping others develop into their best selves. Whether I'm training fitness clients or coaching business leaders, I bring a caring yet straightforward approach to everything I do. My bestselling books, "Suck It Up, Buttercup: 10 Tough-Love Strategies To Get You Off Your Butt and Making Money" and "I Love My Body What's Your Problem?" perfectly represent my style.
People say I'm a dynamic speaker who amazes audiences with my real-world stories and to-the-point messages. I like to inject humor and refreshing honesty into my talks, making tough topics like self-respect, commitment, and motivation come alive with clarity and relevance. I give practical advice on making decisions and taking action that leaves audiences equipped to make meaningful changes in their lives. I live in St. Petersburg with my husband of 25 years, Eric, and our two children. I'm proud to be in this profession and provide a private space for individuals to achieve their unique fitness goals in a safe and encouraging environment.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I think my biggest accomplishment as a business owner has been staying open for nine years and thriving during the pandemic. But my biggest joy as a business owner is when clients give me feedback like, "I am so happy I have finally found a gym/studio that makes me feel welcome, that is fun, and I love coming here.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
One of the hardest things for me as a business owner was sticking to what I knew I wanted my business to be, even when other people couldn't really grip it yet. Not letting other people convince me it couldn't be done.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Take care of yourself. If you are your business, you need to take care of yourself; if not, you and your business will suffer.
- Have a plan. A business plan is a staple. Feel free to make adjustments as needed, but without a plan, your business can drift; with a good plan, it will thrive.
- Talk to other business owners. Make friends with business owners, talk, network, mastermind, and mentor. No one should be alone on the journey of owning a business. The input I have received from my network of business owners has been a game changer for me.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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