Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and fitness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Alexandre Bernier, Founder of The Online School of Exercise, located in Montréal, QC, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
The Online School of Exercise is a platform for people who seek to resolve their pain, posture, or performance problems. Our students range from novices to advanced lifters from all over the world. My mission is to help them exceed their physical potential and guide them to Sovereign Fitness.
Tell us about yourself
I grew up in Montréal, the biggest bilingual city in the French-speaking Canadian province of Québec. This language synergy became an asset as a francophone in international business. My passion for exercise started as a child. I saw my dad work out and wanted to imitate him. The weights would not disappoint me years later. My physique and physical performance in sports skyrocketed soon after I got my first gym membership at 14.
Fast forward to the dawn of my twenties. I land my first job as a personal trainer at a high-end gym in the city. I was a second-year university student in Kinesiology, yet the work thrilled me more than any of my classes. I loved the new schedule control and the notion of signing clients. An opportunity presented itself about a year after my graduation. I set my eyes on new horizons and went to work for a start-up in Dubai. This one-and-a-half-year experience made me realize I could run a business myself. I returned home with a new mindset and the spark that would eventually become The Online School of Exercise.
The impact you have on someone's quality of life when you teach them how to be strong and active is powerful. I love being able to do so from anywhere in the world with an internet connection. The progress made since I imagined this business pushes me to do what I do daily, and the thought of having to work for someone else adds heat under my feet.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I executed my vision and created something real.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
The beginning was rough because it made me question myself. I was in my late twenties, a broke joke who sometimes had his debit card declined at the grocery store while others my age bought homes. I felt like a constant failure. And few people encourage you to keep going or understand what you're doing. Now that I've overcome this initial obstacle, the next challenge is to scale my business furthermore and stay relevant in these times of shortening attention spans and ever-changing technologies.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Take care of your body and mind from the start. Many of my clients neglected theirs and paid greatly for it later in life, despite achieving financial success.
- Start now. There are so many tools available to run an online business with little overhead. The path to being your boss or, at the very least, earning a hefty side income has never been easier to pursue. I wasted too much time online and would have started earlier in hindsight.
- Follow your vision. Believe it blindly and act accordingly.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
I just released my new eBook, "Fix Your Sitting Posture - The Scapular Solution." This 3-month program will teach you how to train your shoulder blade muscles to improve your posture.
Give your wing bones the support they deserve.
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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