Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and fitness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Dennis Connor, owner, and CEO of Athletic Zone LLC., located in Dallas, TX, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Athletic Zone is a black-owned sports performance facility located in the heart of West Dallas. We got our start in 2108 with the intention of bringing high-performance training to an under-serviced but deserving community. Our clients include professional athletes and the general population alike.

For our professional athletes, we design programs that naturally enhance or maintain their performance levels through a distinctive training method that has been developed throughout the years.

We take the same approach for our general population clients as well. We have a unique program (SPP to GPP) that allows our clients to continually progress and prepare for life as well as weekend competitions such as 5k's and obstacles courses, for example. We service youth athletics as well, either through personal performance training or through our group performance training.

Tell us about yourself

I've been in the industry for almost 20 years. I started my journey in 2003 as a Health and Hunan performance major at Texas A&M University-Commerce. I began training myself and others while in school. Afterward, I continued my journey by working as an intern at SMU and TCU, respectively. While working as an intern, I began to further my career by becoming a licensed massage therapist. I shortly after began coaching in the Dallas area, and in 2016 I became the head coach at D1 Sports Dallas, where I continued training athletes and the general population. In 2018, while working at Michael Johnson performance and managing another facility, I opened my own facility. My motivation for opening a facility goes beyond training. I wanted to establish a company that made an impact in my community by creating jobs and opportunities for people to live healthy lives and reach optimal levels of health. I'm currently in med school to become a chiropractor, with the goal of expanding and transforming Athletic Zone into sports performance and rehabilitation center.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

As a black-owned business, I believe our biggest impact has been our ability to be an example of excellence in our community. We've consistently served our community with professional service. We plan to constantly improve our environment so that lives can continue to change through the services we provide.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

As a business owner, the toughest obstacle to overcome is work-life balance. There are several layers to balancing life and work, and it is minimal and diverse for each business owner. Learning how to continue to grow as an owner and develop as an individual is equally important and non-compromising if you plan to succeed as a business owner.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

When looking to run and grow a business, you should always look to others to see what works and what doesn't, but you'll still have to learn as you go. So, for any aspiring entrepreneur, I'll leave my top three tips.

  1. Establish your foundational or core values. By doing this, you'll always have a way to evaluate your company to see if your team and your mission are in line with the goals that you've set.
  2. Make your success a priority: By making your company's success a priority, you will or should approach each day with a mindset of growth and establishment. Be prepared to work more hours as an owner than as an employee.
  3. Don't give up: There will be issues, situations, and circumstances that will test your will to succeed. Perseverance through those trying times will prove that you were worthy of everything you endeavored for.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

We are always looking to partner with like-minded individuals and companies. Please feel free to reach out to us via social media or other contact means.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

Feel inspired to start, run or grow your own subscription business? Check out and learn how you can turn "one day" into day one.