Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Chris Knighton, Founder of Knighton Runs Marathon Coaching, located in Providence, RI, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Knighton Runs Marathon Coaching was founded in the Summer of 2019 by Coach Chris Knighton. We help passionate athletes run faster marathons and develop their confidence to take on any life challenge through high-touch online running coaching, The Knighton Runs Podcast, and Chris's book, Run Faster Marathons: The Proven Path to PR. We coach adults in their 20's, 30's, 40's, and 50's who want to stop just going out and running and are ready to start training like an athlete. Our team of athletes is named The Knighton Lions because of their bravery in pursuing their goals.
Tell us about yourself
I started Knighton Runs Marathon Coaching in 2019 while living in Boston, Massachusetts. Over the years, I have had the pleasure of helping over one-hundred athletes run new PRs, earn their BQ, and feel better about their running than ever before. As a kid growing up just south of Boston, I always dreamed of running the Boston Marathon. Although, when I first got into running, I quickly learned that not just anyone can run this race. That's because it takes a seriously fast qualifying time in another marathon to even be considered for entry!
I realized that if I ever wanted to run a BQ time, I had to start taking my running seriously. But at that time, I honestly didn't know what I was doing other than "just going out and running." That's why I decided to reach out to a trusted coach to help me train for my first marathon. My coach taught me how to actually train like an athlete, not just a casual runner. I saw immediate results, and the improvements I got kept coming and coming. I learned how to intelligently structure my training, put variation into the day-to-day, run my first speed workouts, complete long runs with ease, and build the confidence I needed to race to the best of my ability. She helped me not just with BQ but went far beyond that.
I started Knighton Runs Marathon Coaching to share the life-changing power that working together as an athlete and coach has with passionate athletes like you.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I love helping others succeed in running. This sport is so meaningful to me personally, and the transformative power it has on the lives of those who dedicate themselves to it is life-changing. I am so proud that I've been able to turn this interest of mine into a successful online business that gives me the freedom and flexibility to do what I love and be fully creative with how I go about doing it. We've had countless athletes run their first marathon, set new personal bests, and qualify for the Boston Marathon. Helping my athletes reach huge goals is very rewarding.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
The hardest part is dealing with the emotional highs and lows of building a client-based business. I love seeing my athletes succeed, but it can be heartbreaking when they don't reach their goals. I often feel personally responsible because of how much hard work I put into their success and because of the personal connection I make with them every step of the way. It's important to reframe how both my and my clients view outcomes and recognize that we often learn and grow more from our challenges than we do from our victories.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- You can make money doing anything. Pick something you love to do and that you will be excited to do each day.
- Don't give up. There will be times you want to quit, but it's the 10% of people who don't quit when things get hard who end up being successful.
- Don't be afraid to ask for help. Find a mentor, join a business community, and ask your customers for suggestions and client referrals.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Be brave, run with confidence, and finish fast. If we can run faster marathons, we can do anything.
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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