Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health & fitness, but not sure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with TJ Sadler owner and founder of YEG Fitness, based in Canada.
Tell us all about your business...
YEG Fitness - we're an online community that inspires people to live their best life. We aren't about "fitness" being just about body size and the ability to lift weights. We're all about whole-body fitness including mental, spiritual, and fitness. Through our online community, we share inspiring personal stories and also share the latest wellness news.
What's your background and motivation to grow as a solopreneur?
I began YEG Fitness originally as a way to share my passion for fitness and healthy living. I am a high school teacher in Edmonton, Canada, and have always enjoyed learning about science and the human body, and writing was something I enjoyed doing. Our online community supported not only all fitness abilities but was very inclusive of gender, sex, race, and ability.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Seeing our community grow from a small blog with a few followers and readers to a strong, engaged network of fitness studios, therapists, and readers who look to us for the latest wellness advice and also fitness events to connect them with others in the community with similar interests
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a solopreneur?
Finding the time to balance work and life. I also have a full-time job as a teacher. In the beginning, I was working full time and then nearly full time on YEG Fitness to create and grow the business. This was very challenging to ensure. I was able to build a successful business, while also be connected with my family, and still have time for myself.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run or grow a small business today?
Plan. Plan. Plan. You need to research what your market is and think it through. It may be a passion project but if no one else shares that passion, it will just be a hobby for you and not a business (which is fine if that's what you're looking to do). Get out and network before you start to see if people would be interested. Then continue to network and be part of the community.
If there was one thing you could do repeatedly to help grow your business, what would it be?
Networking and being a part of the community you are working in. For me, that is fitness and wellness. Being out at events and partnering with other brands to share your passion.
What are some of the things you put in place to maintain a healthy work/life balance and to keep it all together?
Hiring out (if you can) for certain projects that are time killers. If you're able to pay someone to do the work you don't like to do or to get them to simply do some of the jobs that take you away from growing your business, do it. I hire graphic designers and have a social media manager. Also, someone who does the SEO for our website. These are all time-consuming and take me away from the time I could spend hosting or attending events to engage with our audience. It is tough at the beginning where you are watching every dollar, but when you are able to hire out some of these jobs, you'll find it pays itself as you're able to spend that time you would have spent on them building your business and making more money.
Who are some of your favorite entrepreneurs and best business resources/books?
I'm honestly not a big business book reader. I did listen to Gary Vaynerchuk at the start and he taught me a lot as I don't have a business background, but to be honest, I just learned a ton about networking at local events and listening to the entrepreneurs in my community. Most good entrepreneurs will be more than happy to answer any questions you have (unless you're trying to compete for their customers). Social media is also a great way to see what others are doing in the world and what works and what doesn't.
Where can people find you online?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share then email email@example.com, we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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