Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and fitness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Michael Hughes, Founder, and CEO of Gymnazo, located in San Luis Obispo, CA, USA.

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

Gymnazo provides an "adult playground" that provides age-appropriate exercise programs so that personal fitness and movement goals are realized. Our customers are seeking services that focus more on how well the body moves through daily life vs. just how it looks.

Tell us about yourself

Since 7th grade, I've felt called to restore movement and help get people back to enjoying their lives. Despite me being rejected from grad school, I pressed on, and every time I was faced with a problem I couldn't solve, I invested in my education to level up. In the last decade, I have pioneered a new model of training that blends my heart for restoration with the energy of fitness training. A son of generations of entrepreneurs, I witnessed the need for grit, ambition, and vision when creating and sustaining a business.

I'm a futurist at heart and also love disruption and innovation. I'm deeply connected to the dream to blend restoration training with performance. My mission is to elevate the industry's standards for what quality and a sustainable career look like as a trainer.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Creating a team of trainers that can graduate with a four-year degree or less and acquire the intelligence and skills to solve the root problems of movement pain and guide clients to realize their full performance potential in their movement capabilities. This is in tandem that they all didn't get burdened with the massive debt that graduate schools in our field give. This model has been repeated over and over and now can be shared with our entire industry.

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

Taking time for your own growth in your mind, body, and soul. Owners are responsible for taking care of those around them, but when our cup is empty, we have nothing to give from. We need to make time to restore our own energy in the face of holding the title of "the buck stops at me."

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

  1. Have a clear vision that is big enough that it scares you a bit.
  2. Change starts with your personal psychology, not that of your team or environment. The limiting factor of your growth is mostly in your own hands or mind.
  3. Find and hire people that are smarter than you for the things that you don't need to do as an owner. Then once you don't need to do them, get someone smarter than you to do it. Repeat this cycle until you are positioned at your strengths.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Failure is not a bad thing; it shows effort and willingness to try. Avoid trying the same thing and expecting different results. Change happens in the newness, not the old.

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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