Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and fitness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with David Rafuse, CEO of Blended Athletics, located in Dartmouth, NS, Canada.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Blended Athletics is a fitness facility that offers various fitness programs and services. We strive to help individuals unlock their potential and reach their highest level of physical and mental success. Our mission is to inspire growth and motivate our clients to become the BEST version of themselves. We are more than a gym; we are a lifestyle.

Tell us about yourself

Growing up in a family that valued healthy living and entrepreneurship, I developed a passion for fitness and business from a young age. I opened Blended Athletics in 2013 when I was just 26 years old, driven by a desire to share my love of fitness with others and help them achieve their personal, professional, and social goals. What motivates me each day is seeing our members make progress and reach their own milestones, knowing that our gym is helping them become the best version of themselves. Pursuing excellence is not just a brand philosophy for me but a way of life that I strive to embody every day. Consistency, hard work, and a genuine love for working out are the principles that guide me, both in my own fitness journey and in running my business.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

As a business owner, my biggest accomplishment so far has been surviving the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic had a profound impact on the fitness industry, and it forced us to quickly adapt to a new reality. We had to close our doors temporarily and pivot to offering online classes and training programs to keep our members engaged and motivated while they were at home. It was a challenging time, but we were able to stay afloat and even grow our community during this period. We implemented strict safety measures when we reopened, and our members responded positively. We continued to provide the same high-quality training and support that we are known for, even during the most uncertain of times. Surviving the pandemic has made us stronger and more resilient as a business, and it has shown us that we are capable of overcoming even the most difficult obstacles. I'm proud of what we have accomplished, and I'm grateful for the support of our members, who have helped us weather the storm.

What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?

For me, one of the hardest things I've encountered is the constant battle between my heart and my bank account. My heart tells me to follow my passion and create something amazing, while my bank account screams at me to be more realistic and focus on the bottom line. It's like a never-ending game of tug-of-war, with my sanity as the rope.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Find Great Mentors: Building a successful business is not something that you can achieve alone. Finding a mentor who has been in your shoes and has achieved the success you're aiming for can be a game-changer. They can guide you, provide valuable advice, and help you avoid costly mistakes.
  2. Understand Your Cashflow: As a business owner, it's important to understand your finances inside and out. You need to know how much money is coming in and going out of your business. This will help you make informed decisions and avoid financial pitfalls that could harm your business.
  3. Invest in Your Team (Employees): Your employees are the backbone of your business, and investing in them can pay off in spades. When you invest in your team, you show them that you care about their success and well-being. This can lead to increased productivity, better customer service, and a more positive work environment.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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