Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and fitness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with James E. Warren, Training Director at Soken Fitness, located in Wilmington, NC, USA.

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

I'm fortunate to serve two groups: young aspiring athletes and health clubs and small businesses. I trained pro athletes for over fifteen (15) years, but now young athletes are my passion-play. As a multiple club owner and partner in many different unique businesses, I consult to a vast range of clients, from start-ups to mature businesses looking for a new 'edge.'

Tell us about yourself

After many years as a high school, collegiate, and professional athlete, I was blessed to train over 250 NFL players and over 100 NBA, MLB, and Olympic athletes. During that time, I owned or managed clubs from 2000 to over 320,000 sq ft and was responsible for the career development of from 25 to over 300 personal trainers at a time.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Number one would be having aided in the careers of over twenty Hall of Fame athletes. Secondly, I started a sports-nutrition company with a number of pro athletes that was sold in only four years to one of the biggest nutrition companies in the world.

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

Dealing with changes in laws (taxes, reporting, HR rules), economic changes (the collapse of the Mass Miracle in the early 1990s, the 2008 collapse, and for sure COVID), and lastly, the change of mindset of some (not all) younger entitled employees. Getting great employees is tough right now.

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

Surround yourself with a team of successful people who love you and are willing to be honest. Have them do a SWOT on your business idea, the current market need for it, and an HONEST SWOT on you!

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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