Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in fitness and health but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with John Williams, Owner of Galaxy Fit Lab, located in Naples, FL, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I run a small, studio-style gym in Naples, Florida. My gym is called Galaxy Fit Lab. I have a deep love for space and science. When I bought my gym and realized I could call it whatever I wanted, giving it a space theme was obvious. People are highly entertained by the astronaut figures that are spread throughout the gym!
My customers are highly motivated, middle-aged individuals who are looking for a challenge. The small group classes at Galaxy are not easy. They are hard but doable. They are not for the faint of heart. So, we tend to attract a lot of big personalities that push the limits in life!
Tell us about yourself
I got into fitness through training at a sports performance facility when I was 16. It was pretty clear from then on what I wanted to pursue in life. I got my degree in Exercise Science and haven't turned back!
I like Scott Adams', the cartoonist known for creating Dilbert framework for life. Which is: be useful. I wake up every day thinking about how I can set myself up to have maximum impact in life. I want to help as many people as possible. And my work as a gym owner feels like a great first step.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment at the moment centers around the client progress people experience at Galaxy Fit Lab. People change their lives for the better here on a daily basis. There's nothing sweeter than the feeling of watching someone you care about becoming fitter and healthier in front of your eyes.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
When you work for a company, that company owns a certain amount of your time. Typically, 40 hours per week. You have to ask for time off. People create your schedule. You lose a bit of control being an employee.
As a business owner, nobody owns your time. However, to be successful, you have to show up twice as much as your employees. In a sense, you have more control. But, you have less time, even though you control it. Balancing this lack of time with living a fulfilling life is where most good business owners struggle.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
I'm not very successful in business. My gym makes some money, and I can pay my bills. I don't feel qualified to give anyone advice. But if someone were twisting my arm to give advice to someone getting started, here's the answer I would give:
- Don't start a business with anything you're not specifically skilled at and don't enjoy. You must enjoy it, and you must be good at it. Otherwise, you'll either burn out or lose to someone better than you, or both.
- Start with capital. It doesn't cost that much to open your first business. You're going to want two things in the beginning: runway and leverage. You don't want to give up control to some investor because you have no money. And you don't want to fear that you can't pay the bills every month. Stay at your job, save your pennies, and start when you have 6-12 months of runway and the initial capital to own 100% of your venture.
- Be obsessed. That means you must work all the time, improve your product on a daily basis, and don't give up. If you're not obsessed, you'll lose to someone who is.
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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