Today we’re proud to share the story of OTA graduate Malcolm Wilson, who's always dreamed of opening his own gym, but until he found OTA, he had been having trouble keeping his head above water. Now with the systems he's learned from OTA, he's been able to implement a hybrid model of training that allows him to be with his family and help provide for them. Here's his story.
Location: Bridgeport, Connecticut
Company name: Level Up Fitness & Nutrition
In high school, Malcolm became the best hurdler in the state. But instead of pursuing athletics he went to college for business.
When he came home, he felt a bit lost. “I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do. But I love talking to people, I love hearing people’s stories and seeing their smile. I wanted to serve others.”
Being a self-described “people person”, Malcolm got into sales, and eventually got a job at a gym. He was back in the fitness world, but in the sales department, not on the gym floor.
“I wanted to actually be the one helping people, not just the one selling the memberships,” he realized.
So Malcolm decided to switch gears and become a personal trainer.
Two jobs, 60 hours a week.
Malcolm got certified and started teaching cardio boxing classes, but soon found that one job wasn’t enough.
In order to bring home enough money he found himself working 40 hours at one gym, and over 20 more hours at another gym every week. Typical hours were from 5am until 9:30pm at night.
“My dream was to open up my own gym.”
Unfortunately, having his own space seemed far-fetched as he could barely keep his head above water as it was, and he knew that opening a bricks and mortar gym would come with all kinds of complications. Still, he dreamed of making it happen.
Then Malcolm found out his wife was pregnant.
“Right then I made a business plan,” he says. “I stayed up all night.”
He was determined to start his own training facility. “I got the business plan in place, did all my research, trying to get that in motion… and then I found the Online Trainer Academy.”
“I thought, instead of opening up the gym, first I should have a successful online business. That would let me be more flexible with my time, give me more time with my son. And there were fewer barriers to entry. Less was required to start up.”
So Malcolm quit one of the two gyms, and became a student of online training.
First, he read as much as he could and started learning by “trial and error”. He explains, “I got a lot of clients initially but it was hard to maintain them. I knew how to train clients in person but it was a little more difficult to train clients online,” he explains.
Reading about online training wasn’t enough; Malcolm needed a system. The Online Trainer Academy was his answer.
The Academy helped Malcolm learn how to train clients effectively online. And how to put the right systems in place so he could run his online training business successfully.
After becoming a certified online trainer (OTC), Malcolm quit the gym and implemented his own hybrid model of training.
He now offers in-home training for a select group of clients at a higher price point, while also training online. He finds that this is a powerful combo that allowed him to make good money, along with more flexibility and free time.
“Online training has given me a couple extra thousand a month, which allows me to work less and have time with my son, and help more people all at the same time. These days, I spend about 10 hours a week training in-home, and 5 hours of training online. That’s it. I’m like a stay at home dad.”
Pursuing the dreams, buying a house… with online training as a solid foundation
It’s an exciting time for Malcolm and his family.
He still dreams of running a gym and is working towards making it happen. He’s also renewing
his love of hurdles by working towards opening a popular obstacle race franchise.
“My credit’s better now, I have some money saved up, and my wife and I are looking to buy a house. The Online Trainer Academy has really helped me build confidence. If you’re someone who wants to run your own business, it helps you realize, you can do this.”