Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in sports and fitness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Mona Pretorius, Owner of Lift Big Eat Big, located in Austin, TX, USA.

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

I am the owner of Lift Big Eat Big Weightlifting, where I coach Olympic weightlifters online at all levels. I also work with CrossFit athletes who want to better their weightlifting. This could range from a complete beginner-level athlete to an advanced athlete who has been competing for many years.

Tell us about yourself

I have been an Olympic weightlifter competing at the highest level for over 20 years. I started the sport of weightlifting in the year 2000 when my father wanted to help me become a better, stronger, and more explosive martial artist. I then became a six-time Karate world champion and a 3rd Dan black belt. Later on, I fell in love with weightlifting, and I knew with the number of hours I dedicated to my sport, I had to choose which sport I wanted to achieve the highest level in.

With competition and education, I later decided to become a weightlifting coach. I love working with people and making a difference in their lives. Sports can open up many doors, including creating a community where like-minded people can train together and work towards a common goal. I now coach mostly online or present weightlifting seminars teaching people the sport of weightlifting. Combined with my sport psychology degree, I help athletes mentally take their game to the next level. I am extremely passionate about coaching and have helped athletes for more than ten years, both in sports and with mindset coaching.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

I owned my own CrossFit and Weightlifting facility in South Africa and was the first ever to own a CrossFit gym in my city. I then moved to America to grow my brand as a coach, where I owned two youth weightlifting clubs. I have now gone fully online with my business, coaching athletes worldwide on our app, which you can find on our Lift Big Eat Big website.

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

Finding that balance between work, sport, and family. Although it is much better now that I am mostly online with my business, finding that complete balance can always be a struggle. Another thing is knowing where to start and then trusting the process. Nothing comes fast and overnight. It takes time and constantly ticking off the important things, no matter how big or small. I have always been hard on myself, and if things move slower than I want them to, it can definitely be frustrating. But slow progress is still progress at the end of the day.

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

  1. Don't delay it. Start today with something, even if it's small. It won't be perfect from the get-go, and often people wait for that perfect moment to start. There is no perfect moment.
  2. Do your research, see what your competitors in the field are doing, and learn from them.
  3. Progress isn't always linear, so when you start, continue going back to the drawing board and seeing where you could improve or maybe change a few things. Starting a business isn't easy, but remind yourself of how this could change your life in the long run. Write some affirmations and just keep going, even during the tough times.

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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