Fit For the Job, From Freelance to Entrepeneur
by Tan Wen Hui
Fitness entrepreneur Chung Tze Khit shares with Tan Wen Hui how he went from freelance status to entrepreneur.
Apart from fitness, what do a fitness enthusiast, Personal Trainer and entrepreneur have in common? Well, nothing in particular, unless it’s the same person. This is what makes 27-year-old Chung Tze Khit stand out from the crowd.
Tze Khit started out as a freelance Personal Trainer in 2005. Along with the idea of a mobile gym, Tze Khit embarked on a career path that would take him to where he is today. Hint: his good physique is his main selling point.
Hi Tze Khit, how have you been and what are you currently up to?
Tze Khit: Excellent! Although I am dead tired at this point in time; it has been a busy week for my team and me as we are in the midst of setting up our new gym at International Business Park. But I am definitely satisfied to see a full gym facility being built from scratch!
You mentioned on your website that your first client is yourself. What inspired you to transform your once skinny self and how long did it take for you to see results?
Tze Khit: I’m pretty tall and hate to look just like a stick. And like any other vain man I starting hitting the gym and got results in as short as three months. Of course if I had the chance to do it all over again I wouldn’t resort to ‘Do It Yourself’ training, rather would have gotten myself a personal trainer to avoid making mistakes.
Tze Khit: Everyone has 24 hours, so do I. I try my best to manage my time so I can be more productive. I would like to shift more towards being a businessman more than a personal trainer now so I try to only see a small group of loyal clients and devote the rest of my time towards running the business.
Apart from fitness, what else motivated you to become a Personal Trainer?
Tze Khit: The passion to help others succeed. It keeps oneself motivated and forward moving!
How did you go about marketing your services when you first started out? Was it a challenging one, given the competition between you and established commercial gyms?
Tze Khit: When I first started, I thought long and hard about how I can differentiate myself from the competition so I came up with the idea of a mobile gym (I had my equipment placed in my van and conducted training at homes that have no equipment). As time passed, I started getting attention from the media and built a small reputation for myself. In fact, I thought marketing my services wasn’t particularly challenging.
So, what made you decide to form Gold’s Gym Pte Ltd., and how did you go about establishing the gym?
Tze Khit: After running around for some time, attending to house calls, etc., I became exhausted. Then, a timely opportunity came knocking on my door, so I decided to grab it and that was how I started my own gym. My team and I started small and gradually expanded to opening our third branch now.
As a Personal Trainer and fitness entrepreneur, what are the challenges you face and how do you overcome them?
Tze Khit: Well what I can say is that uncertainty looms ahead and you can never be sure about the future, and what lies ahead. As an entrepreneur, this is more so compared to someone who is a teacher or accountant. While this is not exactly a challenge but something I always have to bear in mind and realize that my future lies in my own hands. So the need for me to believe in myself and that I will succeed is very important and I constantly remind myself of this.
It seems that you are concerned about ethics; it has evolved to become your guiding principle. Why is ethics important to a Personal Trainer?
Tze Khit: The answer to your question is very simple – a trainer without ethics won’t last long in this industry.
Based on professional experience, can you list five of the most common mistakes both Personal Trainers and fitness entrepreneurs fall trap to? That way our readers – jobseekers – would be able to identify with themselves.
Tze Khit: The five most common mistakes personal trainers make are:
As for entrepreneurs, I honestly think that at this point on time I am in no position to comment because I myself do make mistakes!
What advice would you give to aspiring fitness entrepreneurs and Personal Trainers?
Tze Khit: Find a mentor if you can. Mine has helped me tremendously. Also, try your best to work smart, not hard, and believe in yourself that you can succeed!
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