Entrepreneurs and business owners are often so focused on their enterprise that they forego their health and fitness. To build a business, one must keep up with one’s health and fitness. In fact, giving equal focus to one’s health and fitness has long term benefits to the business as well! In this session of Inspire, fitness trainer and entrepreneur Gavin Loh, founder and CEO of GoTrainer, shared his insights on how entrepreneurs can achieve the best of both worlds.
How important is it for entrepreneurs to stay fit and healthy?
“If you want to get the most out of your life, fitness must be your priority.”
Gavin described the entrepreneur’s life as a hectic one. Many entrepreneurs have hectic schedules and lead stressful lives. To maintain such a routine and get the most out of life, exercise must be a priority. It is essential to exercise because physical improvement leads to mental improvement.
He defined exercise as something in addition to one’s daily routine. The daily walk to the office does not count as exercise. You have to add additional exercise to your daily routine. Being physically active allows you to know your risk of health issues. More importantly, it brings cognitive benefits - higher energy levels, reduced depression risk, better sleep, better mood, and all of that leads to better decision making.
Gavin also shared two tips for exercising. Firstly, aim to get a minimal amount of exercise each week. Instead of infrequent and long sessions of exercise, Gavin advised that it is much more sustainable to have frequent and short bouts of exercises. Secondly, because entrepreneurs have hectic and unpredictable schedules, Gavin recommended waking up earlier to exercise before work.
How about Diet?
Although Gavin’s expertise lies in fitness, he generally shared some tips on dieting. First of all, don’t try to overhaul your diet and start a completely new diet. Making small changes towards having a healthier diet would be more manageable.
Additionally, we can focus on specific changes for each meal. A good breakfast would consist of nourishing items that are easy to make, such as eggs, muesli, fruits and yogurt. Lunch is tricky, but aim to cut down on carbohydrates. For dinner, we could learn simple but healthy recipes to cook for ourselves.
Challenges of building a Freelance Marketplace
Gavin shared that there were many challenges, but the biggest of all was the technical barrier to entry. When Gavin was building GoTrainer, he was not aware that there were marketplace builders like Arcadier that allowed entrepreneurs to build their marketplaces with ready-built templates. Getting the website up and running was a challenge, especially for someone without technical expertise. Fortunately, the concept of a marketplace resonated with other trainers and GoTrainer was launched.
How do you build credibility?
A key ingredient for a new marketplace to grow is to build its credibility. Gavin started with the trainers he trusted and expanded to the peers of his trainers.
“Credibility grows with the marketplace”
Users will judge the trainers through their experience, and with time, the reputation of the freelance marketplace will grow. Being on a platform with growing credibility brings more clients. At the time of launch, GoTrainer only had twenty tried and tested trainers. With quality trainers, the GoTrainer brand grew, and now, GoTrainer is a trusted platform with over seventy trainers and is looking to expand further.
Why did you start GoTrainer?
GoTrainer is a marketplace that brings together the best personal trainers in the fitness industry and make their services more accessible across Singapore. Before Gavin founded GoTrainer, he was a freelance trainers, like many others. Gavin noted the difficulties that aspiring trainers face. Working alone, many trainers lack a system to find clients. Most individual trainers would rely on word of mouth recommendations or social media as a basic form of marketing. However, aspiring trainers face difficulties in getting more clients because it is difficult for individuals to establish strong credibility and branding. With this in mind, Gavin founded GoTrainer as a solution to expand the client base for trainers under a credible platform.
Will GoTrainer expand overseas?
When asked about plans for expansion, Gavin said that while it would be great, there are various factors to consider. At present, the platform is still growing and has a model that is heavily dependent on Gavin’s presence. He also shared that each country has different market characteristics. GoTrainer is able to sustain and grow in Singapore because it has a trait that other countries may not have. Singapore is geographically small and has a big fitness culture. Gavin’s advice to entrepreneurs is that while there are models that work brilliantly in some countries, they do not work in all markets.
For more diet tips and exercises that you can do at home, in the hotel or office, watch the entire Arcadier Inspire Summit talk by Gavin Loh here