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Choosing Your Business

“He that wishes to be the greatest, finds a way to serve the many.” – The Bible

Before leaving my Wall Street career to open my first fitness studio, I spent about 10 years trying to figure out what business I wanted to do. I tried everything. I tried real estate from different angles. I tried network marketing. It tried changing companies and changing job positions.

During this time of searching, I focused on businesses that had the most profit potential without as much financial commitment. Even in my finance career, I always placed my attention on how to make the most money. I frequently jumped to the job that had the better opportunity. I think it’s good to put yourself in places of opportunity, but I believe what drove me was what kept me from progressing to my potential.

As the years went by, I became more discouraged, even slumping into what I believe was depression. My wife noticed that I was lacking in motivation and my spirit was low. This was a new thing for me because if you knew me at all, you’d know that I was always in good spirits with a very positive attitude. Eventually, I would snap out of this depression and continue working on Wall Street because I had a family to take care of. That’s what kept me going.

In 2013, still searching for a business to start, I decided to take a part time job at a national burger franchise near my home. I would work there part time for about 1 ½ years to gain some experience. Making $9.25/hr was a stark contrast to the 6-figure income I was making at a large Wall Street Bank. The money didn’t matter. The experience was priceless. I learned that I didn’t want to open a burger business. Instead, I decided on a pizza franchise. It was an interesting concept. Imagine Buffalo Wild Wings on a 1/3 of the footprint and focused on pizza. It was cool. It was hip. It had great profit potential. I didn’t have the money and getting a loan was critical. For the next 3 years I would apply to one bank after another and be rejected each time. By 2017, I had given up on the business because I just could not obtain the financing. By the same time, I had started my new position at another large Wall Street Bank. As it turned, this would be the last stop of my Wall Street career. By mid-2017, I had put my plans to open a business on hold because I was still unsure of what business I would do.

A little more history. I love to workout. I had been working out since the age of 12 when my father bought me a set of weights. I worked in my basement frequently and loved the results. My friends all saw my results. I was growing muscles before I had pubic hair. For the next 40 years, I would continue my love of fitness. There wasn’t a time in my life that I can remember not working out. No matter where I moved to, my very first concern was to determine where the closest gym was. It was a major priority for me. Sometimes I thought this was a problem and perhaps I should place more importance on my career. I couldn’t help it. I loved working out and I loved how it made me feel. Because of my own physical transformation in early-2017, I began to have even more interest in fitness. By the end of that year, I would lose 25 lbs, something I didn’t think was possible. I started out at 165 lbs (my highest ever) and ended up at 140 lbs (my lowest in over 30 years). I did it mostly through nutrition.

I had failed to obtain the financing necessary to open a business, but this turned out to be a blessing. With my own transformation and the feeling I derived, I had an awakening, an epiphany, an enlightening. All these years I spent searching for a path to a business that would be both personally and financially rewarding and it was right in my face. It was with me all along. It was obvious but hidden. I had to make fitness my profession. Not just any fitness profession. I needed to affect the lives of many. That same year I came across a business, a national fitness franchise. It was exactly what wanted, exactly what I needed. I signed the agreement in March of 2018 open my first location. I would leave my job 1 year later and made a pact with myself that I would never go back no matter what the outcome. I would open my business on January 20th, 2020 to massive grand opening with over 300 clients signed up, something that was unheard of for a new owner.

In my 2 year journey to open, I met the people, went to the places and obtained the material means necessary to have a successful grand opening. I also got really clear on the one thing I needed to focus on to be successful. It was true in my previous career and the reason I didn’t achieve the success I wanted. I had focused on how to make the most money. Money was the driving force behind my decision making. It never turned out the way I wanted. I always fell short of my desires. With this new business I realized I needed to focus on something else, helping people. I realized if I can help enough people, the money would take care of itself. It was the key to any success I’ve had thus far. It’s the driving force behind the decisions I make.

“You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want.” ~ Zig Ziglar

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