Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and fitness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Brad Lloyd, Owner of Bradley's Performance and Wellness, located in Brooklyn, NY, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I own a personal training business. I offer personal 1:1 training, small group training and nutritional guidance which can all be serviced via in-person or online.
I work with men and women ages 15 to 75 years of age looking to find improved strength and functionality for recreational and/or competitive sports as well as normal daily activities and overall health.
Tell us about yourself
My full name is Bradley Lloyd, but I mainly go by Brad. Born and raised in Durham, North Carolina. What got me into fitness was the fact that I came from a fairly extensive athletic background, so the desire to want to achieve higher levels of self-improvement has been with me for a very long time. Once I decided I no longer wanted to pursue playing football as a career after college, I knew the next best thing I could naturally resonate with would be to coach. However, I didn't know that it would be coaching fitness right away. It took some time. I went back to my hometown after finishing school and started working an internship at one of the local news stations thinking that I'd try to get into broadcasting sports as an occupation. Along with that, I also started volunteer coaching football at my former high school, where I once played. I coached there for a very short period. That and the internship were very short-lived.
For about two years, I lived with my folks in the home I grew up in and worked part-time jobs to get myself going with the "real world" During this same period, I also began to notice my own personal lifestyle beginning to shift in a way where I wasn't taking care of my health in the best way. Hanging out, partying, eating whatever, whenever, and not keeping up with the same workout discipline I once had. Trying to figure out which direction my life was going all began to affect my self-esteem in a bad way. I no longer wanted to work the odds jobs I was taking on. I knew there was more to it than this. Until one day, the light bulb went off. First, I told myself I needed to make a change in the way I felt and looked. I wasn't a football player anymore, so that meant I needed to stop eating like one plus; there was no point in keeping all of this weight on. So I said, the first thing on Monday morning, I'm taking my ass down to the track, and I gonna start running again. I need to work on my image first. I just refuse to fall off that easy, let alone other people seeing me fall off.
Once I started that day, it felt great, and I began to run every other day. One mile turned into 2, 2 turned into three, and pretty soon, I was running 3 miles four times per week. It was something that became joyful and peaceful and something I looked forward to weekly. Not to mention I began to see the results quickly. This cascaded into me cutting back on certain foods in the diet I knew weren't beneficial to what I was doing. My family members and friends began to notice the shift in me; people would say hey, man, have you ever thought about becoming a personal trainer? And it really did inspire me. Just people seeing something in me that showed leadership and self-discipline got me thinking that coaching people to be fit would be what I could so much so to where I began to do research on the career and learned that becoming certified before anything was the wisest choice plus health clubs offer great incentives to trainers who are certified. So that is what I chose.
I pursued my first certification with AFAA, and I completed it successfully. I then took my credentials to the most affluent gym in the city at the time and applied for a personal training position there, and was hired right on the spot. After 15 and half years here, I am now running my own business. What motivates me each day to do what I do is the simple fact that if I'm blessed to wake up each day, I can work on becoming a better version of myself than the day before. That alone is such a gratifying feeling because self-improvement, especially in fitness, is something that we all have 100% control over. Investing in our mind and in our body is something where you can determine the outcome over. What you put out is what you'll get back. I know from first-hand experience it works!
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My clients. Having the following that I have. It didn't happen overnight. It took years of marketing, working for other people, working at gyms, etc., but now it has paid off because I now work with clients that I genuinely enjoy working with, and they all understand my method that goes along with the goals they are looking to achieve.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Having the discipline to not get complacent with your progress. I'm a one-man show for now, so it's important for me to stay on top of my game; even when things are going great, I always need to be thinking two steps ahead. No one is looking over my shoulder saying do better, do more, etc. I need to already be forward-thinking. So it's the discipline that's important because it can be easy to sink if you think you got it made and you need to work harder.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
Network as much as possible, study your craft in & out, know your product in & out, be a people person, and be passionate about your product.
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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