Our Fitness Entrepreneurs' 8 Tips For Success

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1. Don’t compromise your vision

“If you believe in your ideas, take the risks. Don’t compromise your vision – execute what you want to execute, and trust your gut,” says Hilton. “That’s what I’ve done for years. Everybody said putting a boxing ring in a gym was a terrible idea. They thought it would be East End gangsters kicking each other in the head.”

2. Trust passion over money

“Find something you’re truly passionate about,” says Williams. “That’s not to say you can’t be motivated by money but, for me, it has to be more than that because there will be hard times. There will be moments when you want to forget about it.”

3. Recognise your limits

“A common fault in people who try to set up businesses is that they don’t recognise the limit of their skillset,” says Williams. “They also forget that there are only 24 hours in the day. Bring in people more talented than you and make sure they’re set up to be the best they can.”

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4. Learn your industry

“I’ve learned more from working with experienced coaches than I have on any course so if you can find a mentor, somebody you can look up to, it’ll benefit you greatly,” says Rayner. “The industry is huge and there are always opportunities to further your education every year. Look around, see what’s working in the industry, branch out and look at different coaches, styles and techniques – there are so many people out there that you can learn from.”

5. Believe in yourself

“Everyone will tell you that you can’t do it. Don’t listen to them,” says Burridge. “It’s because they’re too scared to do it themselves. That’s why they’re telling you that.”

6. It’s going to be hard

“Personal training sounds like a great job. You think, ‘I can hang around the gym all day’ – and yes, it’s fun but it’s hard too,” says Rayner. “You have to work around your clients. That often means being at the gym at 6am and not leaving until 8pm.”


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7. Your need to be adaptable 

“The fitness industry is always changing,” says Rayner. “If you want to be classed as a quality trainer, you need to keep up to date. It’s like any other industry – you have to stay in front of the people around you.”

8. Take everything seriously 

“Wrestling isn’t a joke,” says Vanderhorne. “You’re putting your safety in someone else’s hands, and combining martial arts, stunt work and athletics – so it’s all that, plus performing in character and working an audience. It’s the same in business – if any single aspect slips, you won’t succeed.”

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Matt joined Men’s Fitness in April 2014 as features writer after spending several years writing for a luxury lifestyle magazine, swapping champagne and canapés for cardio and leg days.

Matt is a keen Thai boxer and his interest in fitness took off when he made the decision to compete semi-professionally and had to get in shape. Training aside, he says the worst thing about fighting is resisting the urge to apologise all the time. 

Oh, and he’s still on the look out for a decent fight nickname after being told ‘The Best’ was reaching a little bit…

Favourite move: Any kind of squat variation

Favourite sport: MMA and Muay Thai kickboxing

Personal best: Competing in a semi-pro K1 bout

Targets: Sub-1hr 40m half marathon and winning a fight by KO

Scariest MF moment: Writing about myself in the third-person for this profile

Favourite MF website story: Spider-Man workout

Favourite trainer quote: ‘Hands up, chin down’ – every striking coach ever

Biggest gym crime: Avoiding the weights and sticking to the treadmill