It all started with about $500 to my name, a job I was miserable with at the time to get me through college, and just 19 years old!
Its funny how it all started, actually. Are you ready for it? You may be quite surprised.
Fresh out of high school, what does the typical rat do in the rat race? Jump right into college, because that is what we all feel is the right thing to do. We want to make the parents proud, maybe do a college sport and if you have a full ride from sports, now that is dope! BUT, I didn’t. I didn’t have any type of scholarship. I didn’t have an inheritance to pay for my college career. It was all up to me.
So I was thinking what is the cheapest route I can go.
Local community college. So I did.
I began college to chase the degree of “Dental Hygiene”. Lol, I know.
Why “Dental Hygiene”? Literally, because it made good money. That was the only reason I had behind. Such a naive move. Ay, we live and learn!
It took ONE job shadow to realize, “F*ck this.”
So as most college kids, we switch degrees 3-5 times before we actually stick to something, so here I go onto degree decision #2. lol…
Now I decided to try teaching. Why? I actually loved it. I originally wanted to go for teaching because I love helping people. I love kids. It was a no brainer, until I realized how little money they made. Which I why I started with Dental Hygiene…
While going to school, I was working for a real estate company and it wasn’t bad. I actually had the COOLEST boss EVER! She was the BOMB; there were just a few very negative co workers that drove me to quit. I was brought down daily and was actually told my someone twice my age,
“You won’t make ANY money in personal training. Just pass your real estate test and you will be set here making GREAT money!”
Ok I get it but will I be happy? Is this exactly what I want to be doing? I am SO GLAD I ran those thoughts through my head because yes, great money but AM I HAPPY?
-NO AMOUNT OF MONEY CAN BUY HAPPINESS-
You can be a billionaire and HATE what you do, and you will not be happy. You will bring it home to your family and it will be a domino effect. Unhappiness everywhere! AH! NO! I do not want that!
Anyway, back to my story;
Ok well, now that I quit I was like “Sh*t, I have to find a new job.” With everything going through my head, of course I could get a minimum wage salary job almost ANYWHERE, but I KNEW deep down that I could make more. I just needed to figure it out. (Remember those key words. “Figure it out”) I knew I had so much more potential then to work a minimum wage job. BUT if I had to, I would until I found something better; but I am too driven to just settle.
So the ONLY experience I really had in life was high school, oh so impressive. NOT, a secretary/bookkeeping job & Fitness from competing in bodybuilding and that was about it. But the difference between highschool/secretary job and Fitness experience was NOT ONLY did I have just a little experience from it, but I had a burning PASSION for it.
So the fact I was going to school to be a teacher, what better “in the mean time to get me through college job” was there than “Personal Training”? I am helping people better themselves! Just as I would be helping kids shape their future and teach them!
So here I am with less than $500 sitting my bank account, I was fortunate enough to borrow the $500 it took for the Cert in just “Personal Training” and used that other $500 sitting in my account to pay for my other bills & expenses in the mean time; food, car, phone, insurance. (I still lived with my parents at the time, luckily! I paid for EVERYTHING except rent. Which is huge, I get it. But I was making PENNIES and driving my 150,000 mile pontiac grandam. I wanted more. I figured it out. <–key words)
As I was signing up for this cert, it said the average span of getting that class done via online was 3-4 months. I was like CRAP…that is not happening. I am doing it quicker. I have no choice. I was SO motivated, it took me 2 weeks. I spent all day every day on it. 10-12 hours a day. No dramatization.
Now that I was “official”, I was applying for some personal training/gym jobs.
I landed an in-person personal training job a local global gym. I was STOKED! I was ready to use the knowledge & experience I have to help others!
Day one on the job…it was great. It truly was! I had my own office, the owners were awesome BUT here I caught myself with this “sad and overwhelming feeling”…….I realized with school full time and in order to make enough money to be worth having this job and be able to pay my bills, I will have to work an INSANE amount!
the thoughts going through my head….
“How am I going to keep up my 14 credit hours?”
“How am I going to have time to study for my exams?”
“When will I actually be able to sleep?”
“When will I be able to train myself and get prepped for my own bodybuilding shows?”
“Will I even make enough to be able to pay rent to the gym?”
School, at the time, was SO important to me. So I quit my job. Literally on day one. After all that hard work passing this class in TWO WEEKS, I QUIT!!! Why??? Honestly I have no clue.
Now I am REAL broke. I had no plan.
It was another dumb move. BUT what did I do?
I figured it out.
So I was just talking on the phone with my uncle how overwhelmed I was. We were brainstorming ideas what I could do to make money and still make sure to continue school full time and do WELL in school. He knew I should stay in the fitness industry because I had knowledge there and that is what I love.
Out of the blue, he suggested the craziest idea. He suggested posting on social media that I am certified in personal training and if anyone had questions or wanted help, I can help them! I thought he was crazy. I literally didn’t think that was possible because it was so uncommon at the time. It scared me to be honest. Thats what kept me from doing it!
IT SCARED ME! ONE OF THE FEW BEST PIECES OF ADVICE I CAN TELL YOU IS THIS! MY GOODNESS GRACIOUS I CANT STRESS IT ENOUGH, IF IT SCARES YOU, DO IT!
What is the worst that can happen?
You end up back in your comfort zone? Oh, gee!
Keep in mind you guys, online training was almost non-existent at this time. Maybe one or two I would come across on social media.
But I literally had TO DO SOMETHING.
I had about 7 thousand followers at the time from competing in bodybuilding.
So I told myself to grow some balls and just put a post up letting people know if they need help, hey I am here….BOOM! That’s all she wrote.
It took off…my inbox was blowing UP with questions.
Now the questions are going to flow in from you guys…
but what did you do? did you have stuff ready to go? did you have plans written out? A way for them to pay you for plans?
The answer. NO.
I had no type of payments set up, not a plan written out. So what did I do? I FIGURED IT OUT!
I asked questions, I researched, I was up hours on end writing plans, researching business strategies, how to do this, how to do that.
There is NO book, there are NO guidelines how to run a business. It is literally HOW YOU MAKE IT!
You must try new things, fail at some things, succeed in others, and what else?
Figure it out. 😉
This idea turned into a full time job. But the difference was I didnt mind it because I was enjoying it! I effing LOVED what I was doing. I still do to this day which HONESTLY the reason I feel it is still successful.
*Side note: yes, I was still in school full time while running this business!
Let me fast forward a year in, it all was going pretty well! Made more money than I ever did and for a 19, just turned 20 years old college kid, I felt like I was rolling in the dough because I was used to making just minimum wage.
BUT I wasn’t changing/ By this I mean I wasn’t evolving with the new information on fitness and nutrition coming out. I kind of kept in my ways. I was comfortable. THE WORST THING YOU CAN DO WHEN TRYNG TO RUN A BUSINESS!
Online training began getting more popular so now it is becoming more competitive.
So I had to do something because not only was the field getting more competitive, but I couldn’t write any type of nutrition diets or even recommendations because I had no certs in nutrition. All I could do was give advice.
It helped. But it wasn’t enough of what people wanted. I don’t blame them though.
So here I am worrying again as my business was almost failing….
“I need to do something”
“I need something new”
“Something people want”
“something people can take with them for their future and hold on to that knowledge”
So I decided to do SOMETHING nutrition along with still going to school for teaching.
SO I invested in becoming a “Specialist in Fitness Nutrition”. I learned so much! It was SO interesting.
Now I was able to help people with their nutrition. I was able to recommend macronutrient advice and that was the key I was missing. How did I know? I figured it out. 😉
is that annoying yet? Good! You need to hear it!
I was scared, a lot the info I knew from experience in competing in bodybuilding but a lot was new to me.
As I keep learning more about myself and my business, it all kept growing.
You must evolve with the new trends, you must take risks, get out of your f*cking comfort zone damnit! I am tired of people asking me how I did it. I try to explain or give advice in a few brief sentences and then all I get is…….
“but I won’t make that much starting out.”
“But I don’t have health insurance benefits”
“I don’t have the following you do to get the clients”
Heres my answer to all of that! It is going to sound very unsympathetic but…..
THAT IS BECAUSE YOU HAVE TO WORK YOUR WAY UP!
I did NOT wake up with a business one morning or 91k followers. You must EARN that respect. I busted my ass for what I have. I don’t have it all but what I do have, I make the best of it and that is why I am truly happy!
Look at Bill Gates, you think he just woke up and became a gazillionaire?
No…. he worked his ASS off to be where he is today.
July will officially be 3 years running HanJam Fitness and I f*cking LOVE what I do!
Hey I almost forgot to say…….once I made more money online personal training while going to school than I ever would as a teacher, I asked myself what am I doing?
So here I am again……….
changing my degree for the 3rd time…..
I am working toward finishing my degree in Business with a minor in Exercise Science.
First I am working on getting out of the stupid rat race school debt from my first 3 years of college.
I honestly could stop right here with trying to get a degree. But in my driven head, that would make me a quitter. I WANT to finish my degree. I always finish what I start. Even if it takes me longer than I planned. Sh*t happens.
I also love getting certs regarding fitness and nutrition and specific areas, so I am doing that as well.
Its a passion, I don’t dread doing it. I look forward to it.
I wake up every morning EXCITED to answer emails. Excited to take on new clients to join the team!
& I WANT THIS POST TO INSPIRE YOU TO BE ABLE TO WAKE UP AND FEEL THE SAME WAY!
Do not settle for your job just because it pays well, or you have benefits, or because you are simply comfortable with that paycheck.
Take a chance. Take risks. FIGURE IT OUT.
With a TON of passion & love, HanJam
* feel free to leave questions/comments below that you may have!