Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and fitness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Daniel Smith, owner of onlythestrong Personal Training and Fitness Education, located in Toronto, ON, Canada.

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

onlythestrong is a Personal Training and Fitness Education business created to fill a necessary gap in the industry focused on teaching our members and students throughout their experience with us.

We believe that 'strength' is greater than physical adaptation. So much of the reason why our society can struggle to attain its fitness success comes down to a lack of understanding as to the 'why' behind the what of their goals. Therefore we focus on building the confidence of our members and students by teaching them the art behind structured exercise. With this approach, we have found that our adherence level is OUTSTANDING.

We now have members who have a greater purpose in their exercise and students who have become greater leaders in their professional roles. Regardless of why you came to OTS, our goal is to raise the standard of the health and wellness industry however we can. When you are better, we are better because of it. #strengthfromwithin

Tell us about yourself

As a former athlete, my entrance into the fitness industry began on a whim. While training for the professional football combine, I met an executive of one of the large gyms in Canada. They suggested that I try out Personal Training, and I have yet to stop since. Over a decade and three facilities later, here I am, living my dream to help people become the best version of themselves.

My motivation comes from all of the members that enter our facilities daily. The appreciation they expressed for finally finding a place where they felt they could belong. A place where they did not feel judged. A place where they felt like they were part of something. I created OTS; however, what it has become is a facet of the people who carry it forward every day with their efforts. That is my inspiration.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishment as a business owner is opening my facilities with no investors, no loans, and no partners. I was told it wasn't possible. I was told that I wasn't good enough. I was told I wouldn't survive. In fact, the day that I resigned to chase my dream, the owner of the facility asked me why I thought I had what it takes to run a business. I responded, "I don't know; I just have this idea." He responded, "Ideas don't make entrepreneurs"...I guess he was wrong, eh.

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

One of the hardest things about being a business owner is finding great people. I look at our members as my family, and therefore you don't let just anyone around your family. Whether it is new members or new associates, it is so important to be critical of everyone you bring through your doors. Culture is everything. No amount of money can circumvent poor culture.

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

I have one tip. No matter what you do in life, someone will always have something to say about you. In fact, the hard truth is right now, while you are reading this, someone is probably talking about you. No matter what people say about the odds. No matter what people say about the risks. No matter what people say about your chances, you are the author, the editor, and the publisher of your life's work; BET ON YOURSELF. You will never lose.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

onlythestrong is one of the only fitness facilities to create and host their own full-length certification program. The OTS Exercise Specialist Personal Training Certification program is designed to develop a high-level skill set in personal trainers through our guided methodology to transcend and optimize proficiency in their craft. Our goal is to deliver both a theoretical and practical protocol which can be implemented for immediate results.

Our diverse team of educators will give personal trainers various perspectives on the dynamic and ever-changing industry and give them assurance to tackle the industry head-on. This course will give you the confidence to present and utilize a clear system to progress your client from day one to goal attainment regardless of their fitness level. Whether you are a Personal Training of a Fitness Enthusiast, we have something for everyone.

If you are interested in learning more, please visit the 'Fitness Education' page on our website.

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.

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