Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and fitness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Gus Diamantopoulos, president of THE STRENGTH ROOM, located in Toronto, ON, Canada.

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

I own and operate The Strength Room, a by appointment only, one-on-one strength-building exercise studio In Toronto. We provide private, fully supervised instruction in a clinically-styled environment using specialized equipment and proprietary protocols. Our methods are beneficial across the total exercise continuum from general conditioning to treatment and rehabilitation. As such, our clientele spans a broad spectrum from doctors and lawyers to CEOs and business people to creative individuals and anyone who is looking for a serious, time-efficient approach to exercise.

Tell us about yourself

I was working in the film industry and was at the precipice of advancing my career when an unexpected trip to Florida changed the course of my professional life. At the time, I had been studying the exercise philosophy and protocols of Ken Hutchins, the developer of SuperSlow. When I first walked into his facility, it was like entering the Emerald City from the Wizard of Oz. I was mesmerized and decided that this was what I wanted to do. Since then, the development of my business has been more than a labour of love; it is a part of who I am. I was motivated by the concept of Kaizen, a Japanese business philosophy of constant and never-ending improvement. I try to apply this philosophy to every aspect of my business, from innovations in working practices to client relations to equipment improvements and enhancements to my studio environment.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

I have designed and developed new technology (machines, devices, and computer feedback systems) that I use in my practice. But my most cherished accomplishment is the wonderful relationships that I have with my loyal clients. Being of service to others has helped me discover myself.

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

I always return from a vacation feeling energized and full of verve for my work. Yet I am terrible at taking vacations. It has taken me a very long time to learn that vacations are not something you need to earn. You don't deserve to take a break and relax only after you've worked extra hard. Time off is not supposed to be a cure for exhaustion. (Naturally, I have not yet planned my next vacation...)

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

Mark Twain said, "make your vocation your vacation," Freud said, "all that matters is love and work." My number one tip to anyone starting a business is to make sure you love and enjoy what you're doing.

Number two would be, "Ask, and you shall receive." Find successful people who are running a business like the one you intend to start and be fearless in asking them for their advice. I corresponded with and visited about half a dozen people who were doing what I wanted to do before starting my business. Some of that advice from all those years ago continues to help me with my business to this day.

Tip number three is, "know what you know and what you don't know." The worst two years of my life were spent trying to do my own accounting at the start of my business. Don't waste time doing things that others can do better than you, for you. Outsource the jobs that you know you're not good at or that you don't want to do. It will free you to focus on what is necessary and allow you to devote yourself to what you're good at.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

This has been a very challenging time in society and in the economy. Every time I hear a story of other businesses being lost or having to be shuttered because of the restrictions from the pandemic, it is extremely distressing. And perhaps even worse is when I hear that entrepreneurship is feared or even loathed by younger people who say that running a business is too onerous or difficult or that it's too much responsibility.

Small business is the lifeblood of the economy; it makes society interesting and is one of the most fulfilling endeavors anyone can aspire to. If you have even the slightest inkling of an idea that could be a business, go for it. Don't just make a living; design your life. Create something! The world didn't have it until you made it.

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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