Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Michele Yates, Founder of Rugged Running, located in Conifer, CO, USA.

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

Rugged Running is a holistic running company for all levels, distances, and backgrounds. We provide cardio/running training, nutrition, strength training, mobility, and more.

Tell us about yourself

To be honest, when I opened my business over 10 years ago, I was resistant. As an elite athlete myself, I had a negative view of coaching as the "old dried-up athlete." I certainly was wrong, and I'm so happy I worked through it! Coaching for me then and now has been the ultimate, gratifying experience. I love the challenge of helping those with complex injuries or health problems, and beginners are my favorite to coach, given their sponge-like learning attitudes! Motivation is not a problem for me with coaching. Every day is a new challenge, a new day to help someone overcome an obstacle or fine-tune their race plan.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishment as a business owner has been helping hundreds of athletes reach their potential over the past 10 years as a female business owner!

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

One of the hardest things that come with being a business owner is the challenge of when to let go. Not everyone is a great fit, but I want them to be so I can help them in the best way possible! I really geek out on the challenging aspects, and it does sting when I can't fully help.

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

My top 3 tips for someone who is starting a business today would be

  1. Set a solid foundation with a clear message. What do you do? What do you help with? Who do you help?
  2. Don't get sucked into social media marketing. Go for word of mouth. If you make the impact, they will come, and numbers will grow!
  3. BE confident. If you don't believe in yourself, no one else will either.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Although I spoke mostly of Rugged Running here this winter, I'm excited to launch my faith-based fitness program for women SHE Rugged. I felt the encouragement to do this given my extensive background in health and fitness, but also my personal experience lately of being unable to race due to health concerns. I really want to make an impact on more women by building confidence, creating friendships, and nailing nutrition.

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.

Turn your craft into recurring revenue with Subkit. Start your subscription offering in minutes and supercharge it with growth levers. Get early access here.