Recently, I wrote a post on my experiences of going to a personal trainer. I had such a great time, not only because I learned some new exercise tips and was validated with my current skills and abilities, but I was able to work out with Maren Dickson, an amazing (and healthy) woman.
I actually first met Maren almost 26 years ago when she was only 15 and I was her church youth leader in Burbank, California. Our little family moved away from Burbank in 1987 and I lost track of Maren until about a month ago, when we were reacquainted. She recognized me first and started up a conversation. Of course I remembered her; well, at least her younger version. We got caught up with our lives for the past two and a half decades. That is when I learned how Maren traded in her predictable life as an accountant for her new role as a certified personal trainer, after making some extreme life changes. Her story intrigued and inspired me and I am confident it will for you too, my devoted reader.
Describe your venture: I am a Certified Personal Trainer. Saving people’s lives, with fitness and nutrition.
What set you on your path to your venture? Long story, but in a nutshell, I am a single mom, with two sons, and had to go to work full time, when I separated, over 6 years ago. That was a hard pill to swallow, because I place high value on mothers being at home for their children. So, I sought out a way that if I had to work, I could at least have more control and flexibility with my work schedule. Having enjoyed being a client of Personal Training, I decided to make a business out of it.
What skills/talents do you have that compliment your venture? I have years of experience working-out and I am now officially certified to train others how to work out correctly.
What fears did you have getting started? I was concerned about start-up costs, the inconsistency of the business and whether or not I would be able to pass the exam the first time around.
What was involved in getting started? An investment for the certification materials and exam and a lot of studying.
What were your start up costs? What are your ongoing costs? Start up costs were roughly $1,000; ongoing costs vary, but can average $700 – $900 per month (mostly for rent of gym space).
How do you get the word out about your venture? So far, word of mouth. That seems to be the best advertising.
How much time a week do you spend on your venture? I currently work in the gym Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, in the mornings. I have two clients who have full gyms in their homes, so I make house calls and train with them there, twice a week, in the evenings. I also have a women’s Walking Group that meets every Tuesday and Thursday morning. We walk for a minimum of an hour, but often go beyond that.
What have you learned along the way? It is a rewarding business because I truly help people and their self-improvements are noticeable.
What do you like best about your venture? Again, I enjoy being able to help others meet their health and fitness goals; it is rewarding for all.
What do you see for you and your venture in the future? I would like to continue building my clientele and perhaps begin adding some group classes, such as a boot camp.
Maren Dickson works in the Chino Hills, California area and can be reached at FitnessByMaren@gmail.com