Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and fitness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Alessia Kofftun, Owner of Alessia Kofftun Gym, located in Montreal, QC, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Alessia Kofftun Gym is an online gym platform that offers quick training solutions with workouts for every day of the week. The online training platform is a digital recreation of the physical gyms I used to own. Our clients and coaches valued my facilities' workout programs and enjoyed them for over eight years. It was time, however, to shift things online, and today, I offer my WODs (Workouts Of the Day) in a new format, one that can be done anywhere in the world, so long as you have a way to login, a pair of sneakers, and a motivation to stay in shape.
Tell us about yourself
I studied finance and worked as a stock trader before I ventured into entrepreneurship and opened my first gym in Canada in 2014. My passion for fitness was originally just a hobby that became a business idea. One gym grew into four, and before I knew it, I was running and managing several locations all at once. It was an incredible journey! I consider myself lucky to have had this experience through which I learned so much about coaching and client interactions and built many beautiful connections over the years. When COVID came, it significantly affected my retail businesses, and I had to change course. After 20 years in Canada, I now travel, explore different parts of the world and continue doing what I love with my business online.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I embarked on a digital transformation of my business and faced the toughest decision of my life to date: relinquishing ownership of my gyms in Canada. The sentimental value and emotional attachment I had towards building the gyms from scratch made it difficult to let go. The biggest accomplishment was recognizing the need to adapt and making the transition to a new chapter that aligns better with my goals and lifestyle.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Managing accountability and responsibility is crucial in any role. As a leader, you hold responsibilities to your staff, clients, and suppliers, and it is vital to meet these commitments without fail. This responsibility can feel like constant pressure, and learning how to leverage the stress that comes with it could be the hardest thing.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Authenticity is Key. Being genuine and selling a product or service that you truly believe in is crucial to achieving success. Choose something that you enjoy doing or creating to ensure your passion shines through.
- Embrace Risks. Starting and running a business always involves taking risks, and it's unavoidable. However, being willing to take calculated risks is essential to move forward and achieve success.
- Recognize When to Move On. If an idea, project, or task feels like an uphill battle with no progress, it's time to assess whether it's worth continuing. Sometimes, pushing through is necessary, but other times, letting go and redirecting your efforts toward a new direction could be the best course of action.
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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