An interview with Tim Schilcher from Myofitness

From the September / October edition of The Quarter Roll
Get Your Small Business Ideas In Shape
By The Quarter Roll team

If you could do anything for a living, what would it be? There are plenty of career coaches out there that say living and working your passion is a key to real happiness and satisfaction. Just take a look at our story in the September 2011 issue about Gary DellíAbate, an example of someone who found a job that allows him to enjoy his passion. For other people though, self-employment is their dream. The problem? Going out on your own is often much easier said than done! Where do you start?

Anything that is worth having, including your dream career, usually requires lots of hard work and sacrifice. Creating a career for yourself where you are doing the things you love, and getting paid for it, may come with challenges, but you most certainly can achieve your dream. How do we know that? Because of guys like Tim Schilcher.

This past month we interviewed Tim Schilcher, owner of the personal fitness training company, Myofitness Personal Training & Yoga, in Cheswick, Pennsylvania. Over the years Tim has created his own dream job. His business allows him to be deeply involved in the industry he loves, enrich his clients' lives with his expertise, and provide for his family and lifestyle.

Years ago Tim was working for someone else and gaining valuable industry experience, but realized he could do things better for clients and have more freedom in his life at the same time. He was willing to share some insights with us on how he created a business and career he loves.

The Quarter Roll: Tim, tell us how you got started in your profession.
Tim Schilcher: I started out by earning a bachelorís degree in Science and Pre-Physical Therapy, and I am currently two classes away from earning a masterís degree in Physical Therapy. I also earned a certification from the National Academy of Sports Medicine. I started working as a Physical Therapy Technician. It was a good job for me to start at in order to learn about the business. However, even though I had a good job in physical therapy, I didn't like the fact that I was restricted to the very small repertoire of exercise routines I was allowed to walk patients through. I had an education in physical therapy, but I knew those patients would benefit even more from a wider array of exercise therapies.

TQR: Why did you decide to go into business for yourself?
TS: I went into business for myself for two important reasons. The first was that as a self-employed person I would now be in charge of my own destiny. I liked the idea of being fully responsible for making a living on my own and having the freedom that came along with that responsibility. Freedom really is important to me. I have friends who work at ďsecureĒ corporate jobs, but they lack true freedom. Instead, their jobs are often causing them to have much more stress in their lives. Thatís just not for me.

Secondly, I would be able to train clients in a manner I knew would benefit them much more than if they continued to follow the ultra-conservative, cookie cutter routines they were introduced to through most physical therapy offices.

TQR: How important is it to be different from other companies and what makes your company different from your competitors?
TS: Itís very important. Two things make Myofitness a better choice. The first is that I will only hire the best trainers who have a nationally recognized certification or health related degree. Most trainers are salespeople who are more interested in the number of clients they have, rather than the quality of information and training they provide. Not my representatives. My trainers are educated and experienced, but they must also go through my own training program before they work with clients. Our style is unique because we mainly use stability balls, bands, medicine balls and dumbbells. This is how the pro athletes train these days, we modify the workout to the clients abilities and goals. Most other trainers just use machines, which arenít good for you for several reasons. I also use the company website to educate clients about these facts.

The second difference would be the "exercise prescriptions" we customize for clients. We don't walk clients through a gym and simply show them how to use the machinery. We teach them to use their core muscles. When you use a machine you are using two or three muscles. However, when you are exercising your core and stabilizing muscles you are using hundreds of muscles. That is how you build strength quickly and burn many more calories.

TQR: How large is your company today and who is your target market?
TS: Today, I can have up to 20 contractors working for me at any given time depending on the volume of business. As far as a target market, I believe that fitness training is for anyone. We train individuals, friends exercising together, and entire families. We have very affordable rates so everyone can learn how to get fit.

TQR: What advice would you give to someone who wants to start their own business?
TS: You better be passionate about what you do. You WILL run into hard times, and you may start to doubt yourself. You have got to be strong enough and passionate enough to keep working through those difficult times. (More of Timís tips for new entrepreneurs are listed below.)

TQR: Who are the people that are good candidates for self-employment?
TS: People who are confident, resourceful, and not afraid of challenge.

TQR: Why do you mention those specific qualities?
TS: Itís based on my own experience. Things weren't always so good. Remember I have been doing this for close to 20 years. When I first started, money was very tight. There were plenty of days I questioned what I was doing. However, I was confident in the service I was providing. I was helping more and more people achieve the fitness levels they desired.

Generating enough income was an issue early on, but rather than give up on my business I sought out part-time work that would allow me to keep training. Back then I would also paint clientsí homes and do other basic remodeling when they were on vacation. There were plenty of days I would do some painting, go train a client, come back to do some more painting, and then end the day with more training!

TQR: Any last words of advice for new entrepreneurs?
TS: Stay out of debt! Too many business owners finance their businesses and lifestyles with debt. Personally, I've seen debt cause too much stress and too many problems. You just don't need the additional challenges when you are getting started out.

An interview with Tim Schicher from Myofitness6 more tips from Tim Schilcher.
1. Don't waste your money on expensive advertising. Rather build affiliate and referral relationships with similar companies in your industry.
2. Get creative. Find unique ways to spread your message. Give seminars. Give free samples. Volunteer during down times.
3. Get a website. When properly optimized, a website is a powerful tool for attracting new business.
4. Be flexible. Know that there will be both busy and slow times. Plan accordingly.
5. Be energetic. After all, you are the face of the company. Let clients see energy and confidence.
6. Know your target market. Have several appropriate targets if possible, and create multiple streams of income. Example: We also sell whey protein and vitamins. We also added in-home yoga and Pilates, and will soon be adding martial arts. TQR

You can learn more about Tim's story and Myofitness at http://myofitness.org.

 
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