Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and fitness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Ben Howard, Fitness & Lifestyle Coach of Team Ben-E-Fit, located in Colombes, Hauts-De-Seine, France.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
We are a Fitness & Lifestyle Coaching business working with those who want to improve their quality of life, fitness & overall sense of happiness. We work together to find the most appropriate solutions to exercise, nutrition & other lifestyle factors, such as sleep, stress, time management & much more, to create a better body, a better brain, and a better business for each individual. The focus is very much on ensuring that each team member is treated as an individual as we recognise & celebrate the uniqueness of every person.
Tell us about yourself
I spent 15 years working in the finance world, climbing the ladder & achieving what the outside world would have seen as a success - the salary, the house, the cars, the holidays, etc. Much of that success I put down to building my body, brain, and confidence & more inside the gym and through the quality of my diet & lifestyle habits that the world of fitness provided me with.
As my own self-confidence grew, as I was a very self-conscious teenager & young adult, so made my career. I was better able to manage stress, remain calm under pressure & really be a role model for those around me. Ultimately resulting in 5 promotions in a 7 year period. But inside, I knew I wanted something more. I knew I had a purpose of helping other people benefit from all of the amazing things I had. The lifestyle created through fitness is so special & so powerful, and I truly believe it can be a catapult for much more in a person's life - better relationships with themselves & those around them, improved general health & well-being, confidence & energy that becomes infectious & fosters respect from others. My real purpose is to help as many other people as possible experience all of these benefits and more.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Being able to help other people find happiness. Firstly, in themselves. Sometimes this comes from having to borrow my confidence in them initially while there are builds, but I truly believe in every single person that I work with & will do everything I can to help them see in themselves what I can. I have been privileged to see clients' confidence completely level up from a really shy, self-conscious individual to stepping in front of a professional camera and totally rocking it. I've seen numerous clients achieve promotions, pay raises & recognition for how much they have invested themselves in their careers as a result of having invested in themselves first. I've seen clients come off long-term medication because the changes we have made to their lifestyle have drastically improved health markers. I've seen clients fall pregnant after years of trying without success. The list goes on & I am so grateful to have these opportunities every day to be a part of a person's journey.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
I truly love what I do so much, and I know it may sound a little cliché, but I do find switching off difficult. I want nothing but success for every single person that I work with & am heavily invested in each of them to make that happen. I have improved this over time because I know how important it is. Something that I often speak to my clients about and something that I, therefore, need to lead from the front in showcasing that I, too, have those periods of downtime.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
First, Be yourself - so much of your business is you, especially in the early days. And if you are trying to be someone else, you're living a lie & always run the risk of either being found out or just not enjoying the act.
Second, I would have to say it is consistency. This applies to pretty much anything when it comes to success. You have to find what works and consistently apply yourself to it for long-term progress to happen. It's the same in business as it is in training, diet & everything else.
Third is, without a doubt, to be prepared to ask for help. Something I struggled with to begin with as I felt like I should know everything (the perfectionist in me), so I found reaching out difficult. But, it is 100% OK and to be expected that you don't know everything, so find good people who can provide support, share knowledge & also create an amazing network to bounce off when needed.
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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