Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and fitness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Cynthia "Chi" Planken, founder of Outdoor Fitness Coach, located in San Marcos, CA, USA.

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

Training cyclists with a thoughtful and individualized training approach to be stronger, faster, and more confident while having time for family, life, and adventure.

Tell us about yourself

I'm a passionate person who loves riding my bike, testing my own limits, sharing time with my family and friends (who share my passions), being outside, and being inspired by life itself. I launched full-time in 2021 but have been training people as Outdoor Fitness Coach when I was actively training groups to climb Mt. Whitney (one day summit) since 2010. My coaching slowly transitioned to work with cyclists, and now my business is on cyclists.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

I'm proud of myself each week with what I'm able to accomplish, things I learn from website building to process streamlining, and being a better coach. There are lots of things I know little about, and I work to learn and grow. One example is starting my podcast, Local Legends, as a way to connect to the local cycling commuting. I started it on IG Live, and now I have a podcast and working on my 11th episode.

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

Keeping myself grounded and not letting myself get too upset when I mess up but also not getting too full of myself when I get a compliment. I think it's good to keep a level head and let the compliments and achievements be recognized for what they are and that they are confirmation of hard work and alignment. When I get constructive feedback, or I feel like I didn't do my best, I sit back and let that be a growing opportunity.

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

  1. Get a business coach - that helped me IMMENSELY to know what to focus on, things that weren't serving me, and how to show up as 100% me (and how important that is).
  2. Have good technology and resources. Getting a mac computer and AirPods felt like a splurge, but I'm thankful each day that my tech helps me and lets me work smarter. These are valuable purchases. I also have a subscription to Canva and zoom, which are both tools that I use and need to do my work.
  3. Give yourself a year, quarter, month, week, and daily goal. Things come at you from all angles, and you feel like you aren't doing anything, but you are doing everything. I also check on my goals to ensure that I'm putting my energy in the right place and look back to see how I hit my goals one step at a time. This also helps me with future goals when I may get overwhelmed. For example, back in December 2021, I had three goals for the quarter - BWR training, playing a song on the guitar (I started playing in Oct 2021), and Weekly walking goals.

In those three months:
Goal 1 - I created a badass 4-month gravel training plan to prepare for the BWR race and have 12 clients in that program.

Goal 2 - I practice my guitar four times per week and can play four songs :). Practicing the guitar gives me a non-stress break in my day and thinking of nothing and enjoying the process of learning.

Goal 3 - I ride my bike 10 hours per week but don't walk, and in 2023 I plan to do El Camino in Spain, a 400-mile pilgrimage walk. I started walking 6 miles a week, and now I'm at 8 miles a week. It's about walking 2miles a day and resetting my brain. It's a part of my day that I always look forward to. Let's just say the pilgrimage has started in my soul and my sole :)

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

I am grateful that my husband and family completely support me emotionally. It is an adventure every day to run my own business, and I LOVE IT!!!

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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