Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and fitness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Declan Walsh, Owner of Fight 2B Fit Inc., located in Calgary, AB, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Declan runs his own business, operating a Health & Fitness Club / Boxing Club & has over 12 years of experience in the Health & Fitness Industry as an Award Winning Elite Level Coach both in Ireland & Canada. He has worked with some of the world's most Elite Level Combat Athletes, from some of the world's Best Boxers & World Champions, such as Errol Spence JR & Regis Prograis, to some of the world's Best Mixed Martial Artists & World Champions, such as Alexander Volkanovski & Anthony Pettis. Declan has worked with some of the world's Best Promoters in both Boxing & Mixed Martial Arts, working alongside promotions such as the UFC, Top Rank, Bellator Matchroom, ONE Championship & Golden Boy.
Fight 2B Fit Inc. was established with the simple goal of helping as many Combat Athletes as possible when it comes to all things Boxing, Nutrition & Strength & Conditioning. At Fight 2B Fit, you can work privately on your Boxing, Nutrition, and Strength & Conditioning all under one roof. The focus of the whole team at F2BF is on Athlete Optimization. Their goal is to help all of their Athletes by optimizing their Health, Performance, and Weight Management all year round, both in & out of camp. This will allow all of their Athletes to perform at an optimal level with optimum efficiency.
At Fight 2B Fit, they act as the final piece of the puzzle & they tie all the other pieces together by ensuring that all of their athletes eat, rest & train at an optimal level all year round by following their periodized programming. It simply comes down to giving their Athletes what they need, when they need it, so that their Athletes can do, what they need to do, when they need to do it! At F2BF, they also work with general population clientele.
Tell us about yourself
I grew up Boxing as a kid in Ireland. I loved the discipline & work ethic that the sport instilled in me at such a young age. I now pass this on to the next generation to help them with their development, their discipline & their work ethic.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
It would have to be opening my own gym in Canada. I emigrated to Canada 7 years ago from Ireland with the goal/dream of opening my own facility & training world-class athletes, all of which I have done.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
The hardest thing for me is balance. I travel a lot for work with my athletes as they compete all over the world. In the space of just 12 months, I had been to Dubai, Dublin, London, Abu Dhabi, Dallas, Houston, LA, New York, Vancouver & Montreal. I find it hard being away from my gym during these times & not having the ability to be there for all of my athletes, but it helps that they understand that it's essential for me to travel with all of my athletes.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Passion is essential for a successful business. If you are not passionate about what you do, you will find it hard to do whatever is necessary in order to succeed. In Canada, the winter mornings can be cold, - 30 degrees outside. If it were for the fact that I am passionate about what I do, getting out of bed at 4 am every morning would be a lot harder. I love what I do so much that I never feel like I work a day in my life & as a result of that, it allows my business to grow organically to the point where I already need to look at a bigger facility to accommodate everyone.
- I feel like you need to know your Strengths & Weaknesses. I know what my skills & abilities are. I am aware of where my knowledge is at relative to the rest of the industry & I use this, along with my experience of 12 years in the industry, to give my business the edge over any competition. In the beginning, I was forced to wear a lot of different hats, especially during the earliest stages, but in doing so, I learned what I was good at & what I wasn't good at; this allowed me to know exactly where I needed to apply myself & in what areas I needed help.
- I recommend hiring a Mentor, someone who is doing/has done what you want. Don't be afraid to ask for help. In the beginning, I didn't have a resource to use to help me, but I wish I did at times. If there is someone you look up to, don't be afraid to ask for help. If anyone out there is ever looking for help, then feel free to reach out to me & I will be happy to help you in whatever possible way I can. After all, in this industry, the more we help each other, the more we can help our clients & help to tackle/overcome the global obesity epidemic, as well as just help clientele to become much healthier/fitter versions of themselves.
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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