Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and fitness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Sam Mugavero, owner of Smugs Fitness, located in Atlanta, GA, USA.

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

I am the owner of Smugs Fitness, a boutique health and corporate wellness business located in Atlanta. We provide individuals interested in optimizing their health and longevity with the tools, knowledge, and training to lead healthy, active, and independent lives. Our customers value coaching, understand the importance of physical strength and fitness as it relates to the quality of life, and pursue optimizing other lifestyle factors to achieve lifelong health. Smugs Fitness believes in the power of well-being to change mindsets, alter physical chemistry and perceptions, and ultimately improve our lives. We are inspired and motivated to share this outlook — to teach, train and encourage so our clients can recognize and release their own capabilities.

Tell us about yourself

Smugs Fitness was born during my time in academia as I am educated as a Ph.D. Chemist. Learning first-hand the stress of the classroom, he saw a need for educators and administrators to lead healthier lives and practice healthier habits, arming them to carry forward those values to the student population. The fitness program I developed for the faculty and staff blossomed into the first Smugs Fitness Corporate Wellness program and continues today as an important part of the campus culture. I recognized early in my chemistry career that I was motivated by people and the potential realized through unlocking our own potential through applied chemical principles. For greater than ten years, fitness has been my vocation and avocation.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

The creation of jobs and careers for my staff. When I started this business, it was a one-person operation. After enjoying success on my own, I realized the important role I could play in job creation. If done correctly, the potential to provide long-term careers for individuals interested in pursuing became my driving force. In the fitness industry, coaches and trainers get burned out very quickly and often find they cannot commit to making fitness their career. Our staff has chosen fitness as their career, and we have a model to support them without generating burnout and fatigue. It's exciting, and it motivates me to continue to think well beyond myself.

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

As a business owner, we often feel like we are on an island. When things go wrong, you are often on your own and are forced to problem solve on the fly, to learn things you never expected, and to make difficult decisions with limited information. That being stated, often, the hardest things are also the most exciting and generate the most personal growth.

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

  1. Write a business plan and review it at least once every year. Revise if needed, but always have a plan.
  2. Network with professionals in your field as often as possible and with business owners in your local neighborhood. Brand awareness is important, referrals help grow your business, and having a network of other entrepreneurs to share success and challenges with can help you feel less isolated.
  3. Ask for feedback. Speak with your customers. Find a mentor/mentors to provide you with feedback. Speak with your staff and listen to their feedback.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

In addition to Smugs Fitness, I also am the Owner of SportSight - Atlanta
a Sports Vision Training business focused on optimizing performance through visual and cognitive training.

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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