Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and fitness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Andrea Ettinghausen, Founder of Hobby Joggers, located in Temecula, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Hobby Joggers is a company I founded in 2020 with the aspiration of providing a community for fitness enthusiasts who enjoy running for fun and their health. Hobby Joggers is geared towards individuals who prefer a more relaxed and inclusive approach to running rather than one focused on intense competition or rigorous routines. Hobby Joggers (Run-Shop-Race) is structured to offer a variety of services. Our Run Club includes monthly meetups that will start by featuring a different local business or charity related to wellness, followed by an open walk/run hour with guided support. Our races include in-person and virtual walk/run race packages. We specialize in uniquely themed running events that come with one-of-a-kind medals in addition to both a pre and a post-race package full of handpicked SWAG. Hobby Joggers is currently building a run shop that will provide customers with a one-stop shop for all things running-related. We create our social platforms to be accessible and welcoming to anyone interested in running, offering tips and tricks through a supportive online community of walkers and runners.
Tell us about yourself
I often joke that I was born and built to be a runner - it's in my blood. I ran my first marathon, the LA Marathon, when I was just eight years old, finishing hand in hand with my dad and older brother. That experience kickstarted my lifelong bond with the sport and played a significant role in shaping who I am today.
My dad, Ed Ettinghausen, is known as "The Jester" in the ultra-running community, with multiple world records to his name and a career as a motivational speaker. His success story, combined with my passion for running, inspired me to design and provide a way for others to experience all that running has to offer. Running may seem like a basic activity, but its effects can be profound, impacting you on physical, spiritual, emotional, and mental levels. Unfortunately, many newcomers find it difficult to break into the running community, which can often feel exclusive and unwelcoming. As someone who grew up in the running community, my motivation is to make sure that anyone who takes an interest in running feels welcomed, included, and supported. My ultimate aspiration is to consistently enhance the allure and accessibility of running, enabling individuals at any level of interest to experience the joy of running at their own pace and catalyzing a constructive transformation in the overall quality of their lives.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Simply becoming a business owner. It's been a dream come true to have found a niche that I feel so comfortable in and can make a living in. As an introverted and independent person, I've always known that I wanted to run my own business. Running for hours alone with my thoughts has helped me develop my focus and endurance, but operating my business has challenged me to grow in areas where I am weaker, helping me become a more confident and successful person in society. Although I'm just a one-woman team (for now), I'm committed to making progress on my business every day. While it may not happen as quickly as I'd prefer, I'm constantly learning, improving, and growing. The flame of passion for my business burns brighter than ever as I dream about where I can take this company in the future. Building something that can make a positive impact on just 1 person is an incredible accomplishment and very exciting to me.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
Managing the balance between my business and personal life has been a hard but valuable lesson for me. Some days, I am driven to work long hours to complete a project or attend to a race's needs, edit a website page, or do other business-related tasks. However, there are other days when I feel overwhelmed and exhausted from the constant focus on my business. Despite this, I am grateful for the opportunity to pursue my passion for running through my business, as it keeps me connected to the running community that I have been a part of since childhood. Nonetheless, I have learned that it is important to establish boundaries and avoid letting work consume my personal time. When I go for a run or prepare a healthy meal, I try to detach myself from my work and appreciate the experience at the moment rather than thinking, "this would make great content." It can be challenging to turn off my "business owner brain," but finding a balance between work and personal life has been crucial for my overall well-being.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
As someone who has been through the process of starting and growing a business, here are my top three tips:
- Start even if you feel unsure or unprepared. Perfectionism can be a huge obstacle when starting a business. It's better to get started and learn from your mistakes than to wait until everything feels "perfect." Accept that you may feel uncomfortable or unsure at first, but trust that you'll learn and improve over time.
- Reach out for help and connect with others. The internet and your local community are full of resources that can help you grow your business. Joining groups and attending meetups can provide valuable insights and connections with other entrepreneurs who are on the same journey. Don't be afraid to ask for help or guidance.
- Pursue a business idea that aligns with your interests and passions. Building a business takes a lot of time and effort, so it's important to make sure you're invested in what you're doing. Starting a business simply to make money may not be sustainable in the long run. When you're genuinely interested in your industry, it will make the tough days easier and motivate you to keep going.
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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