LOV­ING THE LIFE­STYLE

Five fran­chisees re­veal how in­vest­ing in their fu­ture changed their lives for the bet­ter.

Inside Franchise Business - - Contents - By Sarah Stowe

Five fran­chisees re­veal how in­vest­ing in their fu­ture changed their lives for the bet­ter.

SARAH BROAD, VI­SION PERSONAL TRAIN­ING

Weight was al­ways a touchy sub­ject for Sarah Broad. But a leaflet in her let­ter­box changed all that and al­tered her life for­ever.

Sarah Broad was over­weight, suf­fered very high blood pres­sure, was su­per stressed and sleep­ing badly. She hoped a visit to the doc­tor would set her up with some tablets to, in her words, “make it all bet­ter”. She counts her­self lucky that the doc­tor re­fused and told her to lose weight. Given a week to set some changes in place, the re­al­ity of her life­style hit home. “I’d al­ways been touchy about my weight but used to say, ‘I don’t have time, I’m a work­ing mum with two kids, I’m too busy’. Friends told me I’d get di­a­betes or have a stroke, or get re­ally high blood pres­sure and all of a sud­den one of those things came true.”

Shaken by this ex­pe­ri­ence, when Sarah saw a Vi­sion Personal Train­ing flyer on top of her mail she didn’t need any more con­vinc­ing – through her daugh­ter she al­ready knew of some­one who’d lost 30 kg through the pro­gram.

“It was meant to be. I emailed them straight away and said, you have to help me.”

Sarah’s daugh­ter signed up too. “She’s a per­fect size 8, tall and slen­der, and she signed up to help me walk through the doors. That was al­most six years ago.”

Sarah’s weight loss and sub­se­quent ca­reer change has been quite a fam­ily af­fair. While she was trans­form­ing her­self from an over­weight mid­dle-aged mum to an en­er­getic, pas­sion­ate gym owner, her son de­cided to be­come a personal trainer be­cause he wanted to help other peo­ple like her. her To­day hus­band he works own at in Wahroonga the stu­dio she in Syd­ney’s and north­ern sub­urbs.

“My fam­ily is mas­sively im­por­tant to me, and to have their sup­port ev­ery step of the way has been bril­liant. I started do­ing runs and swims, and I al­ways have a mem­ber of the fam­ily with me.”

It’s all a long way from be­liev­ing she didn’t be­long in a gym en­vi­ron­ment. Step­ping into Vi­sion was quite dif­fer­ent from her ex­pec­ta­tions, H how­ever: it’s a small and less in­tim­i­dat­ing space, a safe en­vi­ron­ment.

“My trainer worked out what I was like. Vi­sion teaches you to learn how clients want to be trained, and to coach them to get the best re­sults.

“It be­came a strong bond of ut­ter trust. If he asked me to do some­thing it was be­cause he knew I could. It never got any eas­ier, I just got pushed harder. It was his in­flu­ence that made me change ca­reers.” FROM CAR RENTALS TO GYM JUNKIE Sarah and her hus­band ran a car rental busi­ness in NSW and ACT that pro­vided re­place­ment cars for driv­ers. It was a high pres­sure job deal­ing with cross and an­gry peo­ple all day, she says. “I’d go to my ses­sions and say ‘I need to box to get rid of my frus­tra­tion’. Then my trainer said, ‘Why don’t you try and do some­thing dif­fer­ent? Go and do Cert 3 and 4 and see if you like it.’” im­me­di­ately Not only did spoke Sarah to the en­joy owner it she of the stu­dio gym her­self. she was Her train­ing tim­ing at was about per­fect buy­ing – the a owner was sell­ing the Wahroonga stu­dio. “We lit­er­ally up­rooted ev­ery­thing. We sold the car rental busi­ness and bought this.'' er hus­band did the due dili­gence, in­ves­ti­gat­ing a cou­ple of stu­dios to en­sure the busi­ness had the po­ten­tial re­quired for an in­vest­ment. To­day he’s mak­ing things hap­pen be­hind the scenes.

The move was the sec­ond stage of a ma­jor trans­for­ma­tion for Sarah.

“I’m al­most 50, I needed to do some­thing that is about more than money. This fit­ted ex­actly. It’s about peo­ple. If you’re not pas­sion­ate about peo­ple, it can’t be driven by the bot­tom line.

“This changed and saved my life. If I hadn’t done this six years ago, I would un­doubt­edly have been in all sorts of trouble.”

LIFE­STYLE IS MORE THAN FEWER HOURS

The plan was to take life a lit­tle more eas­ily af­ter sell­ing the car rental firm and not put in the 60 hours or more a week to run a busi­ness.

Sarah ad­mits it didn’t get fur­ther than be­ing a dis­cus­sion with her hus­band.

“I’ve al­ways been a bit of a worka­holic but this is my pas­sion. I have a ridicu­lous lack of work–life bal­ance, but this doesn’t feel like work. It does some­times, but most of the time I love be­ing around the train­ers, I get so much en­ergy from them.

“You just let some peo­ple come into your busi­ness and be part of this amaz­ing thing. I go out walk­ing with clients, I go out for cof­fee with clients. You get to know peo­ple un­be­liev­ably well.

“Dur­ing the week I’m here. I don’t ac­tu­ally need to be here but I choose to be be­cause I love it, talk­ing to peo­ple about their chal­lenges.”

And she’s con­tin­ued her pas­sion, do­ing at least one car­dio ses­sion daily to keep fit and keep her mood healthy.

“So many peo­ple bat­tle with anx­i­ety and de­pres­sion and there’s a sim­ple so­lu­tion. Start mov­ing.”

While the busi­ness is suc­cess­ful it hasn’t reached the same fi­nan­cial heights the car rental op­er­a­tion achieved. And that’s fine, says Sarah.

“It wasn’t about mak­ing the most money that we could. It was about ful­fill­ing the emo­tional side of life a bit more, and giv­ing back. It’s ful­fill­ing my needs, and my hus­band’s needs and help­ing other peo­ple.

“That feel­ing when some­one jumps on the scales and has lost the last bit to reach their goal weight, or got to un­der 100 kg, the look on their faces is mag­i­cal, they give you a huge hug.”

“I’ve al­ways been a bit of a worka­holic but this is my pas­sion. I have a ridicu­lous lack of work–life bal­ance, but this doesn’t feel like work.

Sarah Broad, cen­tre

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