Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and fitness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Chris Smits, Owner of Coach Chris, located in Toronto, ON, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I am the leading wellness entrepreneur behind the 8-Week Lifestyle Rest Challenge and a top-rated wellness retreat in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica. Catering exclusively to high-performing individuals who value their health, I provide premium online coaching and personalized attention to help optimize wellness and unlock its full potential.
Tell us about yourself
I grew up as an elite athlete and trained at the national level in two sports - speed skating and bobsleighing. I went to Wilfred Laurier University, where I played varsity football for 3 years. After school, I moved to Toronto and got certified by 3 of the top wellness institutes, and started working with clients. I've trained over 200 professional athletes in my career, working as a high-performance coach with NHL legend and fitness guru Gary Roberts. I also had the privilege of helping Samuel L. Jackson get in shape for his role in the Avengers trilogy.
I got my start in the gym business when I was working for Toronto Maple Leaf legend Gary Roberts as a strength coach. He needed someone to take over the day-to-day operations, and this was the first time I ran a gym business. I got a taste and never looked back. Each day I wake up, I feel fulfilled and motivated because I love helping people overcome challenges and transform their life and body for the better.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment was starting my online business with my wife when our gym was closed due to the pandemic. We had to quickly pivot, and it turned out to be an amazing experience!
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
One of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner is all the unforeseen challenges that come out of the blue and the fact that no one is going to come to save you. It can be super stressful, and you need to have thick skin because things do go wrong, and that's part of being an entrepreneur.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Find something you are extremely passionate about and learn everything you can about it.
- Find someone who is doing exactly what you want to do and either volunteer your time to be around them or pay them to learn all their secrets.
- Start small and organically build your business by bootstrapping it.
This is what I did to get to where I am, and I wouldn't have done it any other way.
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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