Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey into a martial arts school but not sure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Brett Fenton founder at Red Dragon Martial Arts, based out of Queensland, Australia.
Tell us all about your business...
We are a full time professional martial arts center that teaches from age 3 and up in a variety of programs.
What's your background and motivation to grow as a solopreneur?
It started as a hobby school in 1997. It grew each year exponentially until I finally gave up my full-time career and started running the business full-time instead in 2007. Martial Arts has always been my passion for over 40 years but become my "Why" about 30 years ago when I started teaching and running martial arts schools.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
We have won many business awards but being named the 2010 Martial Arts Professional for the Martial Arts Industry was very rewarding.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a solopreneur?
Knowing when to switch off when you are at home or on holiday. For many years I wasn't very good at this, which caused a lot of stress. In the past 5-years, I've implemented some strategies to ensure I have consistent downtime to keep me fresh.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run or grow a small business today?
- Don't listen to the advice of family and friends as they can't see your vision. Hire a mentor or business coach to help you in the areas that you struggle in.
- Do the work and don't cut any corners. Always make decisions with integrity as it's the fastest way to lose customers if you don't.
- Invest in your marketing and understand who your ideal customer is. Don't try and be everything to everyone.
If there was one thing you could do repeatedly to help grow your business, what would it be?
Create a Great customer experience as you will then create raving fans that will spread your brand-wide.
What are some of the things you put in place to maintain a healthy work/life balance and to keep it all together?
I have a mini 3-day holiday every 6-weeks and 2- large; 2-week holidays each year. Usually the middle of the year and Christmas time.
Who are some of your favorite entrepreneurs and best business resources/books?
Steve Jobs (His Autobiography)
Richard Branson (Screw Business as Usual)
Tony Robbins (Awake the Giant Within)
Gary Vaynerchuk (Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook)
Where can people find you online?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share then email firstname.lastname@example.org, we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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