Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and fitness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Matthew Kostek, Owner of Matt K Training, located in Northampton, MA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I am a Personal Trainer and Nutrition Coach. Through my exercise and nutrition coaching programs, I help active adults eat, move, and recover well. Many of my clients are middle age men and women (30-60) who have been sedentary for some time and have decided it's time to improve their fitness and get stronger. Others are experienced exercisers who are training for athletic competition. Quite a few are runners looking to improve their performance.
Tell us about yourself
After twenty-plus years in the fitness industry, as well as a ten-year stint in academia, I wanted to fully capitalize on my skills and experience, as well as enjoy the benefits and satisfaction that come with owning a business. I am regularly motivated by the achievements and success I see in my clients. I simply enjoy watching folks succeed and embrace the positive effects that accompany better health and physical performance.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Truthfully, I don't see any of my accomplishments as a business as "big." So far, it has been a series of small but positive victories. Having said that, perhaps the biggest one would be the point when Matt K Training became my main source of income, or rather, where I was able to support myself solely through my business. I'm not quite sure when that point came exactly, but it certainly didn't happen right away. In the past, I had other attempts to become independent that fell short; this one has and continues to grow steadily.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
The hardest thing is recognizing when, and then actually switching, hats. As a "solopreneur," I wear the "Owner" hat, the "Trainer and Coach" hat, the "marketing and sales hat," and the "Manager/Operations hat." That switch isn't just about changing the tasks you are doing but also changing your perspective and mindset as well. Some days I switch hats multiple times; it can be very tiring!
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Realize that once you start a business, you are no longer only a "technician" of your trade, you are a business owner and must think like one. For instance, you may be a very magnanimous, empathetic person, but a business only survives when it makes a profit; thus, sometimes difficult decisions must be made and made by a business owner.
- Be patient. Don't be afraid to adjust your long-term goals. The journey from start to becoming viable is longer than you think.
- Practice self-compassion. Your to-do list will grow exponentially, but your time and energy will not. Give yourself a break, keep your list small, and your expectations reasonable.
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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