Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and fitness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Rael Isacowitz, founder and director of BASI Pilates, located in Newport Beach, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
BASI Pilates is an international Pilates education company spanning 50+ countries. Our headquarters, BASI Pilates Academy—USA (formerly On Center Conditioning), is situated in Newport Beach, CA, and has been serving Orange County since 1991. Whether in our flagship studio or one of over 100 studios around the globe, we provide the highest level of Pilates training available. For us, Pilates is far more than an exercise regimen. It is a path to well-being and happiness. Our students and our clients are our family—the BASI Family. We welcome and embrace EVERYONE!
Tell us about yourself
I started doing Pilates in the late 1970s. My studies and my career took me on a journey from South Africa to Israel, England, Australia, and my home today, the USA. I was invited to the USA from Australia in 1990 as a dancer/choreographer and Pilates specialist. I moved here in 1991 and established the beginnings of my business. It has flourished and grown more than I could ever have dreamed or fathomed. I am motivated each day by my students and the incredible team I am blessed to work with.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Building a global BASI community of like-minded people that share a common vision— to make the planet a better home, one person at a time. Pilates has the ability to transform lives, and it is our gift as teachers to be able to facilitate this transformation.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Without a doubt, the hardest thing to deal with as a business owner is finding the right people to build a team and keep a team. It is an ongoing and never-ending challenge, one that does not get easier with time.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
I would apply the three values of BASI Pilates to starting, running, and growing a business.
- PASSION—I have always believed in following my heart and having a passion for what I do. Personally, I could not spend each day doing something I am not passionate about, whatever it may be.
- COMPASSION—I instill in my team that we must always see others' points of view. In my opinion, this is the basis for good customer service.
- EXCELLENCE—I try and be the best that I can be, and do the best that I can do, each and every day. I ask the same of those around me.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Pilates is not for everyone, but it is for anyone! It has laid down a foundation of fitness and wellness in my life that allows me to still enjoy activities like surfing, kiteboarding, standup paddling, windsurfing, skiing, snowboarding, and mountain biking at the age of 67. I practice Pilates (almost) every day. It is my meditation in motion that helps bring balance to my life. Most importantly, I am able to enjoy precious time with my wife, son, and dog. Each day begins with a pre-dawn 3.5-6 mile walk with Adelle and Shiloh. The highlight of my recent Father's Day was surfing for a couple of hours with Elan. These are the moments when I am overcome with gratitude. I Iook back over thousands of hours of nurturing body, mind, and spirit, and think - this is well-being in every sense of the word, the ultimate goal of Pilates.
Where can people find you and your business?
Rael's Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/risacowitz
Rael's Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rael_isacowitz/
Rael's LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rael-isacowitz-1245184/
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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