Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and fitness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Grace Barnick-Damazo, Founder of FitPath Coaching LLC, located in San Diego, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
FitPath Coaching, LLC is a Health & Fitness Coaching Company for Active Duty Women and Military Spouses. We provide health & fitness solutions that actually work for Military Life so that our members can reach their goals from anywhere in the world!
Tell us about yourself
Starting a new fitness routine is challenging enough as it is. But for women in the military & for military spouses, it's nearly impossible to find a program or gym membership that works with the unique challenges of military life. I started FitPath Coaching because, as a Navy Wife, I've experienced & understand how hard it is to have to uproot your entire life every few years. New home, new job, new gym, new routine—it can be so tough! And if you are lucky enough to have had a great gym community in your current duty station, you have to be prepared to leave your fitness family and often your coach behind and start over from scratch each time you relocate. These are just some of the unique challenges that face female service members & military spouses & make it even more difficult to reach your fitness goals. As a Fitness Professional, I realized there was a need for a solution that meets the unique challenges of military life. Nearly every day, I speak with women who share their stories of how much they've struggled to start or reach their fitness goals because of military life. And that keeps me that much more motivated to continue working on my mission to create the world's largest fitness community for military women & military spouses.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment as a business owner has been actually seeing the lasting connections that have been made between my coaching clients. Traditional fitness coaching relationships are one-on-one and kind of linear in nature. But one of the core values of FitPath Coaching is Community, and finding unique ways to create connections in a worldwide military community was essential to that. Seeing the rippling out of connections from this program and the layers of support beyond just the coach-client relationship has been so rewarding & I'm really proud of that.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
I feel like the hardest thing about being a business owner, especially for a service-based business, is guarding your time & learning when to say 'no.' Most business owners have a never-ending list of tasks and priorities to focus on. And on top of that, our clients deserve our 100% every day. So, if you're not careful, you can end up burnt out & unable to show up for the clients who are keeping your business alive. A business coach of mine stated to me this way "Every time you say 'YES' to something, you're automatically saying 'NO' to something else." And that really helps me to evaluate my decisions and what I'm choosing to give my time & energy to. It's a constant challenge and a skill that all business owners & entrepreneurs need to work toward mastering.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Don't wait to get started. The timing will never be perfect & you will never be 100% ready. Just start & you'll figure it out on the way.
- Hire a Coach. A great coach can save you so much time, energy, & stress and provide support on a journey that can feel otherwise very lonely.
- Don't be afraid of feedback. Even your most difficult client, customer, employee, etc. can teach you something that may ultimately make your business more stable, profitable & successful. While it may come across as complaining, look for opportunities in it to improve.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
There have been several times during my journey as a business owner that I felt like giving up (I'm sure that I'm not alone in that). But, when you're creating something where the mission feels bigger than just you, it can pull you through the roughest times.
Just as in fitness, you have to put in your reps to see progress. They don't have to be perfect, but everyone is moving you closer to your greater goal. So, even in the lowest points of your business journey, just keep showing up and putting in your reps!
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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