Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and fitness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Teresa Rhoads, Owner of Rhoads To A New U, located in Sunbury, PA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I'm a Certified Personal Trainer, Weight Management Specialist & Nutritionist. Currently working on my Glute Specialist certification. I aim to help women with underlying medical conditions such as autoimmune disorders, fibromyalgia, and, like diagnoses, take back their lives through fitness and nutrition. Nobody enjoys living day to day with the struggles of a diagnosis, and they don't have to with proper nutrition and exercise.
Tell us about yourself
Back in 2017, when I was 27, I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease. I had been sick my entire life and had no idea why, but I knew as an adult I would get to the bottom of it no matter what doctors or how many I'd have to see. It took me four months after my diagnosis to take action as I admittedly became depressed. I asked myself the typical top questions, "Why me?", "Why now?" and "Why did it take so long to get answers?". Finally, after looking at myself in the mirror after showering, I decided I couldn't stand to look at myself like that anymore or feel the things I felt so toxic and negative. The next day, I began exercising and cutting out all things gluten as that is the only "medicine" for one with Celiac Disease. Within the first 2 weeks, I had lost 10" and 9lbs and could already feel the changes happening. I had more energy. I was sleeping better. My mood had improved. My ADHD and anxiety were dormant. I was so excited that it fueled me to keep going. Over the course of the next 10 months, I dropped 27 lbs and 30". I went from a size 17/XL to a size 12/M in pants and from XL in tops to L. At the 10-month mark, I had to end my workouts due to needing both knees operated on, which caused me to regain everything I lost, having been out of commission for about a year. I began my workouts again in early 2020 and was making great progress. I was running/walking a mile in 19min.
Talk about amazing recovery! Then COVID hit and shut the gyms down. At that point, I decided to pursue furthering my education and began earning my certifications, and decided that I would help women like myself. Not knowing how long gyms would be shut down for, I began finding simple equipment anywhere I could, from dumbbells to even a barbell. Resistance loops, yoga mat, workout dice, jump ropes, and so on that I could take on the go anywhere and began to do workouts at home during the pandemic. Unfortunately, my asthma got really bad, and my doctor instructed me to cease workouts. Well, that sucked, but I knew I'd be back at it in no time.
Sure enough, within I'd say 3-4mo I was cleared to begin exercising again, and the timing was PERFECT! I joined a fitness challenge with the company I am an Elite Ambassador for and get ALL my supplements from. During this challenge, I worked out daily, focused on my eating habits, cared for my self-care/mental health, and ensured I was getting ample sleep. While doing all of these things, I made sure to post daily, some days multiple times a day. My posts would share my progress and struggles, as well as help encourage and hype up others participating in the challenge. During the 45-day challenge, I hadn't lost any weight, but I lost 19". I thought, "There's no way I was winning this challenge, but I'm still so proud of myself for sticking to it and creating better habits." Little did I know that sometime later, I was going to be announced the winner!! It felt so amazing and validated everything I had endured leading up to that moment. My hard work, determination, drive, and so much more had paid off. I'm currently out of commission again due to a shoulder injury, possibly needing surgery, but I'm mentally where I need to be to get back at it once the orthopedic surgeon clears me. Since all of these events, I've been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, and not even that will keep me down. So while I'm not your "typical" personal trainer physique, my knowledge, heart, passion, and drive are more than make up for it.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I'm just beginning to start my business, but I'd have to say at this point, my biggest accomplishment is being a 32-year-old mom of 4, going back to school to earn a business degree to help me be the best and most successful that I can be in running my fitness business.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
I would definitely have to say the hardest thing is getting my name out there, as I get a lot of comments stating that until I "look" the part, I'll never have clients. So that's a bit of a struggle.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
NEVER give up! NEVER let others dictate whether or not you will be successful. ALWAYS remember your why!
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Surround yourself with positive mentors who will cheer you on and want to see you succeed. Those are your people. Cherish them with every fiber of your being, as they'll be the ones helping you every step of the way, even if that means they help spread the word about you or engage in your social media posts. The smallest little thing that helps boost not only your business but also your confidence will outweigh all the negative people you've turned away to reach your dreams and goals. Stay the course no matter what.
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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