Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Steve Coons, Owner of Thrive Personal Training & Athletic Performance Studio, located in Barrie, ON, Canada.

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

We offer five main services focused on wellness and optimizing function: personal training, athletic performance training, functional nutrition coaching, small group workouts, and soft tissue release. We have a widely varied clientele ranging in age from 11 to 83. All fitness abilities and levels of function.

Tell us about yourself

Although we are now a team of 5, I started in the fitness industry almost 40 years ago as an instructor at a local gym. Fitness and health have always been my passion and personal priority. Now, as a Registered Kinesiologist and STR Practitioner, I love what I do in helping others with their fitness journey. And besides, it's nice to go to work in the summer in a pair of shorts!

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Easy answer, helping our clients. Our belief is that if you take care of your clients and you take care of your team, your business will take care of itself. I've never strayed from this focus, and it has served us well. We do over 120-140 personal training sessions a week, and we are in the midst of now planning a second studio location.

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

Running a business requires hard work, discipline, and constant energy. Fatigue is a natural off-shoot of running a business. It's challenging to balance rest and work and not let your own sense of fatigue cloud how you deal with clients and people in your business. Rest is critical and must be optimized to deal effectively with helping people.

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

  1. Don't be afraid of hard work and long hours, not just with clients and customers but also when you're "not working" but still thinking about your business. It's always with you!
  2. Be prepared to do everything - deal with clients and customers, book-keeping, cleaning, marketing/advertising, maintenance, and many other tasks that are not exactly your unique genius. If you're starting off, you likely can't afford to hire a support team right away, so be ready to do it yourself.
  3. Build a support team. Family and friends. But a professional support team as well. A mentor or advisor. Someone to help with finances and making sound business decisions that will help you grow, but not too much too soon.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

I ask myself five questions every day:

  1. Is this in my control?
  2. What does my ideal day look like?
  3. What is the most important thing?
  4. Is this who I want to be?
  5. Who do I spend time with?

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.