AUCKLAND personal trainer and nutrition coach Katie Parsons is used to gains, but didn't expect her business to weigh in quite as successful as it has.
The 23 year-old from Auckland's North Shore has turned her own personal fitness journey into a business, cashing in on six-figure digits after initially investing $10,000 to start the business.
"I'm so happy it worked out for me - it's pretty much a dream come true job," says Parsons.
At the end of 2015, after completing a course in personal training, Parsons began training clients with the aim to promote lifestyle changes and "getting a healthy mindset". Since then the business has taken off and Parsons is now focusing on launching a website this year and app later in 2018.
"I've already written an e-book and shot the photos, but I've decided to release it on my app [when it comes out] in video form."
Juggling the demands of a 30-people strong client base, a job at Ultimate Body Gym and university coursework, time is often pressed for Parsons.
But she manages.
"My day usually starts at 5:30 or six in the morning. I'll have a few clients in the morning then have a little bit of a break. Most days I'll go to university and lectures.
"In between that I'll be in my office writing plans and then I go back to work training in the evenings for a few hours again, and I'll do that most days of the week," Parsons says.
"I've had to cut down a little bit as I got quite run down at the end of last year, I'm doing what I love so it's hard to say no to clients who want to train."
Parsons is currently studying towards a Bachelor of Science majoring in human nutrition at Massey University, and is considering postgraduate study, too.
Inspired by Insta-famous fitness guru Kayla Itsines, who boasts close to seven million followers, Parsons says her own business journey has been hard, but she wouldn't change it.
"Honestly, I'm amazed I did it. I didn't take no for answer for anything, pushed through it and it has been the most challenging and stressful thing I've ever done, but also the most rewarding - and I wouldn't change it for the world."
The former Les Mills trainer and NZ Fitness Expo model says she often has to remind herself to stop and take it all in.
"I've got to remember to step back and be proud as I just get on with it and forget how far I've come. I am so thankful and happy that I have managed to help as many people as I have so far... I'm really excited to see how far I can take this."
But it hasn't all been smooth sailing. She lost money in the first year of business.
"In the first year of business I actually lost thousands trying to study at university full time and build my client base whilst investing into it, but after another year and building my online client base, nutrition clients and personal training I'm making five to six figure revenue which is a huge turnaround," she said.
"[Initially] I lost a few thousand from giving too many people deals and then decided to make a flat rate for each session and plan - this definitely made a big impact on my financial growth. I also used my social media to educate rather than advertise which gained a lot more response, along with investing in Facebook advertising which helped me gain a lot more exposure."
Social media helped kick-start the business, but Parson now gains clients the traditional way. She used to gain clients through videos and content posted on her Facebook and Instagram pages, but most now come through word of mouth.
"The better job you do and the more genuine you are, then the more people find out. But of course it helps to have a following, for sure," she says.
Her family are just as excited as she is about the business.
"My family are extremely supportive and love that I am involved in a career that I am so passionate about," she says. "They come in to [the gym] train with me every now and again too which is great."
She hopes to have her own fitness studio in the future, she says.
"Eventually I want to have my own training studio with my own setup - that would be amazing," she says. "By 30 that's definitely going to happen for me."
Parsons says she is proud of the business, but also how far she's come personally.
"I'm really proud of my own fitness journey, I feel like doing this as a job has changed my life as well, not just my clients."
- NZ Herald
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