Personal trainers have become a staple within gyms. If your gym doesn’t offer the service of PTs, is it even considered a gym in 2020? From the work put in by PTs to allow their clients to meet their health and weight loss goals, to the amount of hours PTs put into growing and expanding their business, being a personal trainer is a very busy profession.
No personal trainer is busier than 39-year-old mother of three, Amanda Jane. Amanda is a force to be reckoned with in the world of PTs, and an inspiration to many single mothers — running a successful business whilst caring for her three children.
Amanda, along with her brother Simon, founded Mission Possible Fitness in 2013, initially opening the Bella Vista Studio. In a few short years the business grew, and now Amanda has franchised a further three studios across Sydney. These studios are in in Dural, Crows Nest and in Rouse Hill.
I sat down with Amanda at her Mission Possible Fitness Bella Vista studio. We had a chat about her business, being a woman in her industry and how her personal struggles helped her find her place in life.
What was the motivation to open the first Mission Possible Fitness?
My brother made a drastic change in career paths and I had just gone through a separation and was looking to start the next stage of my life. So I started studying to become a Pilates instructor so that he and I could start working together as PT’s.
Was there any pressure to open new studios or was growth a part of your business plan?
Growth was always the plan, but the business evolved into what it is today after a few episodes of business growth and decline. It [growth] wasn’t a thing until we found our niche, which was focusing beyond the PT side of the business and offering Pilates to our clients as well. That is when we realised that there is nothing on offer in the Hills area like what we offer.
As a woman what were some of the stigmas you faced opening up your own gym?
The industry is obviously male-dominated, but like I said we do focus on Pilates, which is generally considered a feminine workout. We are mainly a female dominated gym, so we do not face any reluctance from clients to join our studio. However, we have had some challenges as a start-up like all start-ups do. You start with one client and growing from there is obviously difficult. You go five steps forward, two steps back both financially and with client retention.
What were some of the challenges you faced/overcome personally in order to become the businesswoman you are today?
Well, I am a mother of three teenage boys, and in my mid 30’s I had sort of a midlife crisis where I left my marriage because I was unhappy. I was struggling with anxiety and depression as well as post-natal depression following my third child. All that combined together and basically spat me out of my marriage.
From there I was at my lowest point and was basically on the dole, and I felt that the only option from there was to go up. So I started seeking help with psychologists as well as working on myself personally.
Were those personal challenges necessary to your growth and would you change your pathway to success?
No, absolutely not. I am one of those people that believes you only grow when you are uncomfortable and change only comes out of pain. I would not change anything. I think things happen how they are meant to happen. I truly believe that if things are not meant to be then they won’t be, and if they are meant to be then they will.
I think the growth of this business similar to my story comes from working hard and striving to succeed through growth and development.
Do you see yourself as a role model for young women who want to open their own business?
Absolutely I do! There is this clear stigma in society about being a single mum or having depression and anxiety. These are seen as things that pull us down, and for someone like me to be able to come up out of that and I guess be a positive influence is great.
I believe my trauma can help other women. For example with Mission Possible Fitness, so many women come in here and they are struggling mentally and with their body, and my experience can help me help people going through all that. This really is not a job for me, I love helping other women.
Do you plan to keep on expanding and opening more studios?
Of course. We have a goal of 100 studios. I’ve put it out into the universe now and I am manifesting it so it will eventually happen. In all seriousness though, growth is imminent for us. We are a forward moving company. We want to help more people. The bigger the better!
Is taking a back seat as a business owner an option for you in the future?
No way. This is what I love doing. I love that I have the ability to help other women, and I don’t ever not want to be doing that. I want to always physically be there. I do not feel like I am coming to work, I feel like I am coming to hang out with some of my mates and I would never give up that feeling.
Clearly Amanda is an inspiration, not only as a personal trainer, but as someone who has triumphed despite personal struggles. We ended the interview with Amanda leaving future businesswomen and men with some advice on never allowing yourself to feel comfortable with your position, and never taking a backseat in your own life:
“The second you think your business direction is smooth sailing, that is when your business starts going backwards. You always have to be working on something that benefits the business and constantly solving problems before they even happen.”
Amanda and the team at Mission Possible Fitness is currently gearing up for the hot Spring and Summer months. So if you’re looking to get into shape or just improve your health, check out Mission Possible Fitness’s website below:
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