Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and fitness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Austin Santee, Founder of Tribe Coaching, located in San Diego, CA, USA.

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

I am an online evidence-based health and fitness coach helping people reframe what it means to be fit and healthy. I provide online fitness coaching to men and women worldwide by empowering and educating them on the most effective exercise and nutrition methods customized to fit their goals and needs. We provide monthly coaching services to help people finally achieve their health and fitness goals and then hold them accountable so they can keep their results for good.

Tell us about yourself

I started my personal training business to turn my passion for health and wellness into a career. While pursuing my MBA, I realized I could create a business out of my love for fitness and simultaneously help others achieve their fitness goals. My unique background, which included working as a server/bartender and a personal trainer throughout my college experience, taught me the value of hard work and persistence and I used these qualities to build my business from the ground up.

My passion for driving real change in people's lives motivates me each day. Fitness is more than just physical. It can also profoundly impact a person's mental and emotional well-being. I strive to create a sense of belonging and community within the fitness industry, and I am proud to help my clients become the best versions of themselves.

My personal values and beliefs are reflected in my business, and I am committed to creating a fun and engaging training experience that keeps my clients coming back for more. I use a combination of bodybuilding and strength training techniques to achieve my client's desired physical results. Still, my ultimate goal is to help them discover the same sense of belonging and community I have experienced in the fitness industry.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

As a business owner, my biggest accomplishment is not just about the numbers or the accolades. It's the feeling of being a catalyst for transformation for my clients. When my clients come to me seeking help with their fitness goals, I see the pain and frustration in their eyes. But as they push themselves, they begin to experience a shift in their mindset, and that's when the magic happens. They realize their hard work in building their bodies strengthens their mental and emotional resilience.

Many of my clients come to me for help with their fitness goals, but they realize that building themselves up in the gym gives them the strength to build themselves up outside of the gym as well. Witnessing the complete transformation in their lives due to their hard work and dedication is incredible. To me, there is no greater reward than being a part of my client's journeys toward becoming the best versions of themselves. For me, there's no greater accomplishment as a business owner than making a meaningful difference in the lives of those I serve.

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

As a business owner, one of the hardest things is the constant need to be on and available for your clients. It's not just a 9-5 job, it's a 24/7 commitment. Even when you're on vacation or taking a break, it can be difficult to disconnect from work and be present in the treatment entirely. Please be careful with your client's needs and be available to answer their questions or concerns, even if it's outside of regular business hours. This constant need to be "on" can be mentally and physically exhausting and make it challenging to achieve a work-life balance. Setting boundaries and prioritizing self-care is essential to prevent burnout and maintain a healthy lifestyle. However, it can be difficult to fully disconnect from work as a business owner, as the business's success is often tied to your investment.

Despite the challenges of being a business owner and the constant need to be "on," seeing the transformations and results of your clients can make it all worth it. Witnessing your clients' progress and knowing you have played a role in their success can be incredibly fulfilling and motivating. It's a reminder of why you started the business in the first place and the impact you can have on people's lives. Seeing your clients achieve their goals and become the best versions of themselves is one of the most rewarding aspects of being a business owner.

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

  1. Do a great job, and make sure everyone knows about it!
  2. To succeed as a business owner, resilience is crucial. Overcoming challenges, adapting, and evolving are vital to increasing your chances of success.
  3. Leave no stone unturned if you truly love what you're doing. Go ALL in
    that way, when you look back on your life, you never have to wonder, "What if?"

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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