How to build a business and remain healthy and happy

Building a business from the ground up requires focus and dedication in all aspects. You may find yourself juggling multiple roles, putting in long hours and skipping meals and forgetting the bigger picture, which is to stay healthy and happy as well.

In conversation with Damian from the F45 Gym in Alexandria we learn that dedication to building a business is important, but finding that work-life balance to ensure you don’t compromise your health and happiness, is equally important.


F45 is different from other gyms

F45 is an Australian concept that was started in 2013 by a couple of guys in Paddington, Sydney.F45 gyms have gained popularity the world over. It’s Functional Training in 45-minute time frames. It’s pre-programmed, every muscle group gets targeted and people get a fantastic workout. It suits anybody and everybody.

It’s great to be part of a local idea that’s gone global. Every F45 Studio is almost identical. We all have two big walls that screen the workouts of the day, heart-rate monitoring etc. So, if you’re in Sydney doing a particular workout, your friend in London will be doing that same workout on the same day. The idea is to create a global F45 family, which is fantastic!


How we built the business

When I started out, it was daunting because it was the first time I’d ventured into business. I have a background that’s completely different to the fitness industry, though I had completed all my qualifications as a trainer.

When I came across the F45 concept I was completely taken with the business model and the guys who were running it seemed to have everything in place. Initially, it was quite tough, because no one knew what F45 was. For me, the focus was to promote the business on social media and that was quite a challenge because personally, I was not very active.

In the beginning, I was burning a candle at both ends. I thought I could do everything. I realised I wasn’t looking after myself. So, I had to create a team to grow the business. To make your business successful, you’ve got to make time for yourself, make yourself happy and fitter so that you can actually do business effectively.


Here is a look at what I mean by ‘everything’ back in the early days

We had 32 classes a week and I was teaching every class, cleaning the gym, handling the maintenance, sales and accounts. I had a hand in anything and everything associated with the business. So that was 60-70 hour a week, with the first class starting at 6am. I was up at 4:45am every morning and I wasn’t getting back home until about 7:45pm at night. My health suffered, my personal life suffered, everything suffered. That’s when my partner stepped in and made me see reason and that’s when we decided to bring in people to help us.


My health and happiness were suffering. Here is how I found a balance

I tried to create the right team and started delegating work. When you’re in business, you think you know everything and you want to do everything. The earlier you accept that as an impossibility, the easier it is to move ahead.

So, for your business to be successful, you’ve got to create your own team that has different skill sets that complement each other. This is when your business will actually start to grow. Currently, we have a fantastic team, there’s growth and we’re happy with what we’re doing now.

Moreover, I’m much healthier and I’m back training regularly. I get to spend time with my partner and we can actually have a weekend away, as opposed to earlier when I was too tired to do anything. We actually have a social life together now and she’s much happier too.


How our  trainers provide support for someone who’s looking to get fit and healthy

We have a great team of five trainers whose knowledge and expertise is fantastic. They’ve done such a good job that some of our members have been motivated to become trainers themselves. In the last month, I’ve had four members who have enrolled to become personal trainers. They’re all going to do the required training, attend relevant courses with us and eventually join the F45 family.

I also take classes because I love meeting the members. I like seeing the smile on their faces when they are lifting the heaviest weight they can, or seeing them doing a pull-up without a resistance band for the first time. If I’m not there teaching a class, I still go there to talk to our members.


Making sure I’m able to be happy and healthy in a business

My passion is being on the floor with the members, I really enjoy that. For me, the admin side is what I struggle with. I have a couple of good trainers who are fantastic with admin work, so they’ve come on board to handle that, as well as social media. That side of the business has really improved dramatically. I really didn’t enjoy doing it, so I probably wasn’t doing it to the best of my ability. Now, the business has reached a stage where I can focus on being with the members and help them get great results. But at the end of the day, it does take an efficient team to create and grow a successful business.


You need to look outwards for support and mentoring

When I first started, I probably didn’t have the resources or support network I needed.. We are different from a lot of other F45 Studios because I’m a single owner, whereas a lot of other F45 studios have multiple owners. While starting out, they had people to bounce off ideas, while I was on my own.

Over time, I learnt that it’s always better to ask questions and get help. I do have a couple of close friends who have been part of this industry for a long time. So, if I have any issues, need help or assistance, I’ll contact them. F45  has great backend support to handle any issues that crop up along the way.

For more information about F45’s way of training or how to stay healthy and happy while building your business

you can visit our website f45training.com.au or head to our gym in Alexandria, we can definitely steer you in the right direction.

It’s my job here at Evalesco to work with my clients to maximise the likelihood that they achieve what is important to them in their life.