This week is a significant one. Exactly a year ago Ryding2Health NZ was born. I know, it’s existed in some format or other since 2011, but 2015-16 was different. This was my first compete year being full time self employed.
I spend a lot of time wondering what I can do different, how I can improve, reach more clients, offer more services, get better, do better, but I rarely stop to look back at what I have actually done thus far.
Ryding2Health was originally born in 2011. Back then I just sold mental strength coaching. I was asked numerous times if I would train athletes, but I continually said no until one persistent client persuaded me to say yes, despite them knowing I wasn’t officially qualified (yet). My skill set grew as I looked to gain more knowledge in things I was interested in, however I remained a teacher full time. Ryding2Health was always just a part time pass time.
Then I moved to New Zealand in 2013.
Ryding2Health was put on the back burner. I didn’t know how it would turn out but I had to officially stop trading when I changed countries so the web site lay dormant. Until new opportunities came up.
A serious knee injury forced me to retire from international competition in 2013. Yes, the same year that I emigrated: yep a lot to deal with all at once.
I decided to revisit the coaching idea from a number of years back and did a triathlon coach qualification. But things had changed. The country I was in was different. Triathlon was no longer in my blood. I had to let time pass while I decided how things would pan out.
Fast forward 18 months.
I was desperately unhappy in my day job, I was at a cross roads. I had created a lifestyle and a country to live in that I loved and that complimented my desire for the great outdoors and exercise / active pastimes. But my job was still the same. It no longer fit.
In October 2014 I made another bold move. I quit my lifelong career: teaching. I effectively made myself redundant.
I did this to enable me to quickly finish another qualification: personal trainer L3 and L4. It worked. In March 2015 I was ready. I resurrected Ryding2Health, had my business cards reprinted again and went for a relaunch. On 1 April 2015 I officially started trading as Ryding2Health. That’s when the real hard work began. Successes in the past year:
- Within 8 weeks I was able to pay myself a modest wage. I haven’t yet achieved a pay raise and I still earn a lot lower than the living wage. But, I was paying myself a wage! And I have ever since.
- Within 16 weeks I had too much business to sustain being a mobile personal trainer. I needed a building. On 1 August 2015 I opened the studio.
- I have a lot of clients who came to that very first class and are STILL coming to classes now. Thank you for believing in me, continuing to believe in me and helping to make Ryding2Health what is is today.
- I have people I have never met booking appointment to come and talk to me, a reputation is building in town which is wonderful
- For a few months now I have been deliberating over whether I needed staff. I advertised, am conducting interviews and have already taken on a part time trainer personal trainer.
- Hubby is now completing a personal trainer course too and would love to work in Rtding2Health full time.
- Two other clients have approached me saying they are interested in qualifying and working for me. One has started the course.
On reflection; I have done amazing things for a first year in business. However, it hasn’t been easy. Things are really tight financially, I work long hours, I have no one to bounce ideas off, I have to learn how to do all my own accounts. I am now also learning what it means to be an employer and what paperwork comes with that.
You have to be a director, bank manager, HR manager, mini accountant, sales person, trainer, life coach, mental strength coach, planner, cleaner, buyer (and seller) … I’m sure there’s much more to add to that list: I should make a proper list!
But, would I change anything? No! Way back 4 years ago, the goal ‘I want to work full time for myself’ was a dream I didn’t think would ever become a reality. Now I am having to raise my goal posts! So let’s write my new dreams down.
- Build Ryding2Health to a team of 3-6 trainers. Within 2-3 years
- Get hubby on board and build his role up to full time, confidently, so he can give up his day job.
- Grow to a point where we can move into a bigger building – one with a hall, spin studio and small group studio with showers etc. Bigger but still small personalised in feel. Achieve this within 2 years.
- Develop a brand that I could, in 5-6 years time, franchise out to others. The benefits of this is a wider catchment and a developing a range of skill sets in the staff that are employed.
Massive goals, but there they are written down. Now I must get to work!