My Life As A Personal Trainer & Single Parent by Roi Larrett

Balancing business and parenting

Whoever said life is a balancing act was so right.  Whatever you’re balancing, it has good days, great days and those days that just suck.  Your own training, nutrition and mindset are all a factor in this as well as your commitments.

Now imagine balancing 2 things you totally love – being a parent and a coach in your own business.

I totally love helping clients and inspiring my 2 sons (Ethan who’s 15 and Ellis who’s 12) but it can be super tough as well as super rewarding.  Having been in the industry for 20 years and a single dad for the last 5 years and running my own business since August 2014 you would think I would have it all figured out and running smoothly – NO WAY lol.  Every year brings new challenges and surprises.

 

Challenges, Balance, sleep and starting out

In 2014 I decided that enough was enough of working in gyms and started out on my own.  A decision that was tough as I was living at my brother’s house and, whilst I had the opportunity to set up a small studio in a town, I had no previous clients and still had my boys to care for.  I did have the money from my cycling accident when I was hit by a car and left on the roadside and this allowed me to fund the studio refurb and begin a new chapter.  So through the school summer holidays in 2014 me, my mate and the 2 boys spent most of our days ripping out 3 offices and turning it into a fitness studio.

The biggest challenge here was that I had great skills and experience as a coach but next to nothing as a business owner and being my own boss.  So on 6th Sept 2014 I opened the studio with Zero clients, £2000 in the bank and a sh*t load of expectation which soon turned to panic and fear.  Way back then the prospect of having a mentor/coach for business or something like LTB was not on the radar.  This lead to many sleepless nights, panic points and despair due to having no clear marketing strategy to fill the studio.  So Xmas 2014 I created a Golden Ticket raffle prize draw, tickets were £15 and I sold 10.  I knew I was giving lots away in this draw but I was desperate and in Feb 2015 eight of the prize draw winners converted to paying customers – business had started.

The rest of 2015 was blur due to a personal relationship breakdown at the end of 2014, no money, fear and depression hitting.  That was until Aug 2015 when I discovered business coaching and life changed.  Fast forward some time and I joined LTB and that further boosted my support and business development.  At this point my days started around 6am and finished around 2am – zero balance here as I would stay up until 2am after my sons when to bed to do more stuff/work – It just wasn’t always productive.

The lesson here was “do less, achieve more, but have a plan”.

 

Current challenges

So now in 2018 I have a trainer/physio, work the hrs I choose (mostly) and steady turnover and income from the studio.

But as I expand to include a full therapy service and refurb a toilet into a treatment room current challenges include – money to refurb, time (again lol) and being able to fill the spaces.  The main difference is that my mindset is solid most days now, I have the marketing skills and of course LTB.

I have recently given up both working as a business coach and with a business coach, in order to focus on my business and fully use all the amazing LTB resources as I‘m not taking full advantage of it all.  The podcasts are just brilliant and the courses offer a good mix of professional PT development and for me as a business owner too.

 

My biggest take aways from my journey are:

  • Take the time to have a break and go get an ice cream with your kids on a summers day – an hour out will do you all good.
  • Be rigid in your sleep pattern and discipline because getting burnt out and knackered is really easy to achieve but your efficiency and productivity disappear.
  • Take time out on your own – even if that is when your kids are at school. Read a book, get a coffee, go and sit on the beach and ask yourself why the heck you’re even bothering.
  • Get Help – Just ask friends, family and groups like LTB for help – people do give a crap.

Because I now have the above in place and am no longer a victim to my choices I’m even considering home schooling my eldest because school isn’t great for him.  I wouldn’t change the choices just maybe a better plan in the beginning and 2018 will see huge shifts forward for me and my family.  I’m so grateful to my new partner Donna and my two boys for their support and patience.

Roi Larrett

Boom Fitness Ltd