If you ask ten different business owners what it’s like to own a business, you’re bound to get ten completely different answers. Some will say they love it, while others can’t stand it (and are actively trying to get out of business in one way or another). I, on the other hand, sit somewhere in the middle.
Deep down, I know that entrepreneurship has found me. My personality makes for a pretty good business owner because I’m loyal, organized, and driven to succeed, yet stubborn, opinionated, and anticipatory. I work incredibly hard, build solid internal systems, and reward everyone around me as much as possible. However, insecurities and anxiety sometimes get in the way, like when I moved to Austin, TX, and had to start our new business venture from scratch. After about three or four months down here, I didn’t think I could do it, but here we are.
I sit with a (mostly) healthy skepticism about the whole business owner thing: it’s not entirely good or bad. You can, obviously, make it better or worse, and your perspective and outlook certainly shape that.
But owning a business is one of the most unique things you can do, and it may be equatable to being a parent. Only parents know what it’s like to actually be a parent, and you won’t know what it’s like until you become one yourself. The same thinking can be applied to owning a business. There are many nuances and things to learn about starting and operating a business. And it’s almost guaranteed you won’t fully understand them until you’ve been immersed in them for years.
That’s why you always see business owners connecting so easily over cocktails at Dorsia, like parents chatting by the benches on the playground while their kids run around. We all fundamentally appreciate the entrepreneurial undertaking, and anyone else who hasn’t stepped foot in our shoes won’t have a clue what we go through.
They won’t understand us.
But I was wrong.
Motive’s Internship Program
In early 2021, when I hadn’t yet decided to pull the rug on Dan about wanting to depart from West Michigan, our team committed to the idea of doing an internship program. My mission from day one was to make Motive Training an educational platform as much as a vehicle for client growth, so it made sense to have our own internal course.
So, RJ, Dan, and I sat down and drew out the internship program; in late 2021/early 2022, we (mostly) finished it and presented it to Grand Valley State University. They accepted us, and we were on our way.
Our internship program is a 16-week course that goes deep into what it means to be a personal trainer at Motive Training and in general. We wanted to cover a ton of information about exercise programming, coach talk, Functional Range Conditioning, and more. We set the goal of having weekly meetings and doing as much hands-on coaching with each one of the interns every week as we can.
In the Fall of 2022, we had our first two interns come on board: Claire and Addison.
And we were on our way.
The Internship Expo
Fall flew by and ended up being one of our busiest seasons yet. Thankfully, we had Claire and Addison along for the ride to help. They were everything we’d hoped for and more, and our whole gym and clientele miss them as I write this.
Claire was finishing her undergrad, so her time with Motive was much more intensive because she was doing her internship before graduating. Being so, she also had an internship expo that she was expected to present at when she was done. This was news to me; I didn’t know you had to “present” your internship when it was complete. But, listen, I didn’t graduate college, so it’s not my fault.
It’s my fault.
Long story short, I showed up in Michigan this past week, and everyone kept mentioning “Claire’s internship board.” Finally, she showed me what it was.
Claire said, “It’s not a big deal. It’s just a board.“
And I understood what she meant, but this board meant the world to me.
Clients get an opportunity to see what we do daily, and we know they appreciate our approach in the gym and as a business, but they don’t know what this job truly takes. It’s not easy being a trainer, especially if you care.
Our team knows the mission and strives to exceed it at every waking moment, but they rarely live and breathe it from the client’s perspective.
The interns, however, get a taste of both worlds from a truly inexperienced viewpoint. They lived the life of a client and learned what it took to live, breathe, and coach clients daily. Interns saw the systems, team, and foundation we built from the inside out and watched it unfold in front of our client’s eyes.
They saw how Motive Training started with one client and turned it into one hundred clients.
How one teammate turned into six.
How one idea turned into a reality.
Reverence is one of my favorite words, and it’s what I took from Claire’s poster. There’s a deep respect for us, our craft, and everything we’ve done to get to this point in Motive’s journey. And it’s that kind of respect we rarely get, yet Dan, RJ, and especially me covet it. That’s why this poster made me cry and why I love it to death.
Thank you, Claire and Addison, for everything you did and continue to do for all of us. And thanks to everyone else for reading my post-flu ramblings.
Lastly, in case you couldn’t read it, here’s a little bit of what Claire shared on the board,
My time spent at Motive was extremely beneficial and meaningful. The whole Motive team was welcoming, inclusive, and made sure I got the most out of my time with them. From day one I was a part of the Motive team and learning more than I ever could have imagined. Going into this internship, I knew nothing about FRC but the team did a great job of making sure I felt confident by the end of the semester.
Not only did I gain a huge amount of new information and knowledge I will apply to my future career, I have also made connections that will last me forever. Every trainer and client I spent time with encouraged me along my PT application journey, motivated me to get out of my comfort zone and helped me grow as a person overall. While I may not remember every little rule of FRC, I know I will always remember the connections and friendships I made this semester.
Brian Murray, FRSC, FRA
Founder of Motive Training
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