Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and fitness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Kelsey Royston, co-owner of Dissent Athletics, located in Arlington, TX, USA.

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

Our business is Dissent Athletics, a functional fitness gym. Our members are those who are wanting to be happier and healthier in their lives overall. Through group classes, personal training, nutrition, and mindset coaching, we are able to make an impact in all areas of our members' lives.

Tell us about yourself

Jonathan and I have always been passionate about bringing together mental and physical health, and the gym is the avenue we get to do it! I am a Licensed Therapist as well when I am not working on the business, and Jonathan is in the gym full time. We are motivated by the changes we see in our members. We have a fantastic community that supports and encourages us as much as we do for them. Seeing someone meet their goal or google review about someone's positive experience through the gym keeps our fire lit.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Our biggest accomplishment as business owners is building an atmosphere where people feel safe. That's not something many gyms have. We are very open with our community about our own struggles, and in return, they come to us when they are having a hard time. We are the safe haven our members seek out when they need to be in a positive and supportive environment.

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

One of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner is constantly needing to adapt and overcome. Owning a business is a great example of the goal post daily moving. There is never a time you are "coasting." There will always be a task to complete, change, add, modify, or remove.

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

  1. Leave your ego at home. Your customers, family, friends, and non-customers all have their own opinions. If one of them says a negative thing and it ruins your day, you won't make it. Listen to what others have to say, taking the advice you think works, and disregard the rest.
  2. Be ready to commit the time your business needs. We have missed holidays, birthdays, vacations, and births due to the needs of the business. There have been times we woke up at 3:30 am, got home at 10:00 pm, and repeated that for months in the beginning stages. We have a lot more free time now, but it has taken a few years to get to this point.
  3. Take care of yourself first. Burnout is REAL. Even if something is 100% your passion. In order to take care of your business and the clients you serve, you need to be sleeping enough, eating enough, exercising, and doing things unrelated to the business that brings you joy.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Even though running a business is challenging, it is rewarding tenfold. I get to work with my husband, and our dogs come to the gym with us every day. We have gotten to see sides of each other many couples won't. We are better at communicating, problem-solving, supporting each other, and pushing each other to grow.

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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