Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and fitness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Claire Gibbons, Freelance Fitness Trainer, located in Swansea, South Wales, UK.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I am a Freelance Fitness Trainer based in various clubs throughout South Wales in the UK. Teaching in various clubs, I have a wide member base of all ages with a common goal of coming to get fitter in a fun, friendly environment as well as the social and mental health benefits associated with fitness.
Tell us about yourself
My career in fitness began from my own trauma with a life-changing injury. I had a severe disc herniation that caused spinal cord damage and a rare condition called Cauda Equina Syndrome, which unfortunately left lasting effects.
I was advised to continue with gym exercise to keep strengthening my body after the injury following physiotherapy; it was from then on that I found a love for group fitness classes and the gym, so I decided to take the leap into qualifying myself as an instructor to take forward my new found passion to the world. Instructing helped me get through not only physical trauma but through the mental struggle that came with it; my goal is to take that forward to as many people as possible.
A big motivation of mine is paying it forward to the world ever since following the Imperfectly Perfect Campaign, founded by Glenn Marsden. The campaign has been fundamental for me in keeping me grounded and focused on my purpose; this has now led to being fortunate enough to have written a chapter in the collaboration book between IPC and the Pay it forward series: Notes to my younger self released later this month. Hard work pays off in the end and brings with it opportunities.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Honestly, I would have to say that it was to be able to take a traumatic experience and turn it into a newfound passion that I can take forward to the world, impacting the lives of so many, getting messages from fellow instructors and members who say that what I do inspires them to go back to the gym or a class every week or to keep on teaching even when times get tough is heartwarming.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
My honest opinion was learning how to cope with pressures that come from all angles when you become successful, there are times when maybe you are not liked or when you come across ambitious and envious people, but my lesson was that as long as I lead with the passion I have for what I do, and continue to stay humble, that is all that matters.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
Be kind to yourself, never stop developing with new learnings, and always lead with passion; it can be infectious.
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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