Matt Roberts talks about the hard work that got him where he is today.
Raise Your Game: What do you do?
Matt Roberts: I'm a personal trainer and I own the world's biggest one to one training company. My headquarters are in Mayfair, London. The company's growing and it's very exciting. I'm also launching a school to train trainers and an online training system called My-train.
I've also developed a sports clothing line. All these things are aimed at making sure that anyone who comes into contact with my company and brand gets a hike in performance and an improvement in their fitness in a way that's attainable, achievable and good fun.
RYG: You were the original personal trainer, where did your vision come from?
- Author of eight best-selling fitness books
- Started the world's biggest personal training company (1995)
MR: When I was fifteen or sixteen-years-old, I realised there was a real gap in the market for good personal training and related services and products.
I wanted to have a fabulous building with amazing trainers, doctors, physiotherapists and dieticians - all on hand for any of our clients coming through the doors at any time. That had never existed before.
I was very close to sport in my background as a sprinter. My dad was also a footballer in the sixties, seventies and eighties. I saw at close quarters that, even for professional athletes, there was a lack of preparation and a lack of care.
I figured that, for the average person in the street, there was a real lack of provision. We started off with one gym. Now we have several places and numerous different projects.
RYG: Was it easy to sell the idea of personal training in the beginning?
MR: When I first started, because it didn't exist as a concept, everyone said it was a nice idea, but I was 22-years-old. The bank wouldn't lend me a penny, and it was pretty tough to sell it as an idea.
I couldn't borrow any money, so I had to work my backside off for six to eight months, saving every penny I could and living off brown rice and vegetables. I invested that into my first place. In six months we were full and the bank was asking to lend us money.
RYG: What advice would you give to someone looking to follow in your footsteps?
MR: Focus on doing something you enjoy, and that you're passionate about. Don't follow the money. The money comes with anything you're passionate about, because you'll be successful at it. It's about ensuring you feel happy.
You've got to stay focused. You've got to be prepared to give up certain things which get in the way of you achieving your goal. It's the same in sport as it is in business. You've got to make sure you have a goal in mind. If you have that, and you're passionate, you can't fail to succeed.
Go out there and give it your best.
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