Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and fitness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Marischa, Founder of FitnessType, located in the Netherlands.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I provide free online low-impact workouts on YouTube and on my website. People from all over the world and of different ages are working out with me. I like to show that even if a workout is called 'low impact,' it still is effective, can be challenging, and is good for your body.
Tell us about yourself
What drove me to start up an online fitness channel is that I really believe that sports, e.g., fitness, should be available for everyone. For a lot of people, it is difficult to go to the gym at set times because of work, kids, financial reasons, etc. Nowadays, everything can be found online, so why not workouts? So, I created a YouTube account, and I uploaded my first video on August 1, 2014. I was very anxious because putting myself online is not my nature, and English is not my first language. I'm from the Netherlands, but I knew doing everything in English would reach a much bigger public. The first video was a voice-over because I did not dare to work out and speak at the same time in front of the camera. After 8 years, that has fortunately changed. When I record a new workout now, I sometimes forget the camera is running. I do happy workouts with fun and sometimes even embarrassing moves without thinking it over.
Because everything is online, it's harder to have a real connection with the people who are working out with me. The comments, private messages, and support I get through different channels are a big motivation for me to keep doing what I do. It's a very good feeling if you open your inbox and see a message from a follower who tells me she is down so many pounds or has recovered after surgery, and my workouts helped a lot with the recovery progress of just feeling fitter and more healthy!
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment is consistency and pushing through even when this doesn't seem to turn out how you imagined. When I started the online fitness business, I didn't get any income out of it. It really takes a while before you have enough subscribers. The fact that I started my business besides a full-time day job was hard. On Weekdays I worked at a school, and on the weekend, I recorded, edited, and uploaded the workouts for the next week. From the start, 2 new workouts each week, and in these 8 years I never skipped a week, and I never reused material. That makes me proud, and reaching 100,000 subscribers and receiving the silver YouTube button as a trophy was very nice.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
I think it's the uncertainty. Doubting yourself, your product, and your business model is something I did and sometimes still do. Of course, as a business owner, you need to stay sharp on what you're doing, stay inventive, and try to maximize, but don't get lost in your own thoughts. But when my head explodes from questions and new ideas, I always go back to the basics. Why did I start? What is my mission?
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Be patient.
- Be yourself (don't copy). You are your business.
- Keep smiling and enjoy the journey. You started for a reason!
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Staying fit and healthy as a business owner is very important! So don't forget to take care of yourself. Work out regularly (maybe with free online workouts, eat healthy and get enough sleep. Good luck to every business owner! You can find my YouTube channel at: https://www.youtube.com/fitnesstype.
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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