Have confidence and it will all workout
Starting a business may often be about taking the plunge, but that doesn’t mean dipping your toe in the water first isn’t also an option. When Andy Chapman and Michael Walsh decided to turn their passion for fitness and training into a business they consulted Roe Valley Enterprises who helped them to formulate a plan that would initially allow for the best of both worlds.
“Andy and I met through training and always talked about starting our own business. It wasn’t until October, 2015, that we finally decided to go for it and launch Adonis Fitness. Through the (Regional Start Initiative) start-up programme we were able to come up with a way of combining our existing work with opening the new premises.” As it transpired, no safety net was required. Within a few short months Michael was working full-time at Adonis, with demand dictating that Andy follow suit.
One of the keys to the lads’ success was the affiliation with the renowned CrossFit franchise. Created in America by Greg Glassman and Lauren Jenai, this high intensity fitness programme and associated CrossFit Games has become a global phenomenon. “Things really took off when our application to form CrossFit, Limavady, was accepted. Although we promoted the gym on Facebook, word of mouth has been our best form of advertising. Cross-Fit has proved incredibly popular and there is a real buzz about the place. Members are currently preparing to take part in the CrossFit Games, a five-week/five-workout competition for CrossFit gyms around the world.”
The success of Adonis Fitness has meant long hours of (quite literally) blood, sweat, and tears for Michael and Andy. With the first class starting at 5am and the last finishing at 10 in the evening, it is both physically and mentally demanding. Andy and Michael wouldn’t have it any other way. “It can be tough, but you put a smile on your face and get on with it. It’s a pleasure and a privilege to be working with our members, to be able to do for a living something we both feel so passionately about. Our focus is on people, making them fitter and healthier, pushing them hard, but safely, to achieve their goals.”
And if there was one piece of advice for would-be start-ups? “Don’t give in to doubts, have confidence, believe in yourself.”