In Conversation with Cary Williams of Boxing & Barbells
Describe your business in a few words?
My current business is a fitness company offering formatted group fitness content to gyms and trainers along with a full certification program.
What made you take the leap to start your own business?
The first business I opened because I was a bad employee and wanted to be my own boss.
What was your background prior to starting your own business?
Before my first business (a boxing gym) I had a background in lifeguarding and waitressing along with a degree in Environmental Science.
Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?
Yes. I tried to sell everything I could from an early age. Vegetables from the garden, mistletoe from the trees and then started making halter tops out of bandanas to sell outside of concerts.
Take us back to when you first launched your business, what was your marketing strategy to get the word out and did it go as planned?
Back in 1998 there was no Google which means not much email marketing or social media. I went old school with passing out flyers at local events, grassroots PR and word of mouth.
We always learn the most from our mistakes, share a time with us that you made a mistake or had a challenging time in business and what you learned from it?
Spreading myself too thin. I decided to start another business while running my first one. It was bad for both businesses as I needed to focus on one to make it successful.
What is the accomplishment you are the most proud of to date?
Opening my first gym at 26 years old with no business degree or background or financial assistance.
How has your business or industry been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic?
It has been impacted 100% My gym was shut down in March and I am still not allowed to open it. As well, I have been unable to certify trainers which is a big part of my business. Of course, I have online options but for trainers who are not working they have no need to get certified.
What’s next for your business? What can we expect to see over the next few years?
I am growing our online content offerings and we are starting to get some course bookings for gyms in states where they are open. As well, our current certified trainers are starting to offer our live stream classes from their hometowns. Our certified trainer numbers will continue to grow and you will see the B&B program in gyms globally within a couple of years.
What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were first starting your business?
I actually would not have wanted to know anything that I didn’t know. Ignorance is bliss and sometimes keeps you from getting discouraged.
Do you believe in work/life balance? What are some of your best tips?
Well, I know that the reason why my first company was successful is because I put everything into it. I tried the work/life balance with my second company and it did not do as well. My third and current company, I am giving more time to the business with some work/life balance when I can. Once I bring the company to where it needs to be without needing me as much, I will have more balance.
What’s something our audience would be surprised to learn about you?
I was on Fear Factor.
What are your top 3 tips to stay productive each day?
- Add all to-dos in my calendar the night before
- Once I post on social media, I try to get off it right away
- Drink cold brew
What does being an Entreprenista mean to you?
It means being my own boss, being creative, being a source to everyone who asks for my help, being a servant leader and striving for the position to give back even more.