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James Alexander Ellis | UK | Your Mindset!!

I have been a personal trainer for about 3 yrs at a gym in my hometown (5 yrs ago). Having had some fortune in the fitness competition / bodybuilding scene, my social media began growing rapidly re: getting many enquiries from abroad. I realised that I could create a more scaleable business and use my marketing experience to build a real brand. Moving forward, years later my goals changed - instead I decided to build a fully automated Ecommerce system from which I could sell downloadable assets. While doing all that, I had to learn more about launching and market campaigning and using landing pages etc. This was moving memory towards a “lifestyle” rather than a career.

What were the biggest initial hurdles to building your business and how did you overcome them?

When I stared to doing “Online Coaching” I was delivering a 100% bespoke service which worked out to be pretty challenging and time demanding. Also as my plans to go fully digital developed, I found many different NOs NOT to do it! I learnt a lot about marketing through Facebook, and discovered that it is important to give away SO MUCH, before you start asking money from people, even if they have already invested in your brand. Another big mistake was letting an Admin employee take control of my social media a couple of days a week, and they didn’t post as “authentically” as I would have done and the content was engaging but not getting the kind of response or clients/customers that I was seeking.

Did you ever deal with contention from your family and friends concerning your entrepreneurial pursuits?

How did you handle it? What would you do differently in hindsight?

My girlfriend struggled occasionally to deal with my 24/7 work life. Sometimes my brand and “influencer” status would take me away travelling working on promotional projects etc, and it has been hard for her to see me jetting off without her.

What would you say was the single most influential factor in your business success?

The main factor is that I never gave up - even when Social algorithms made it harder for businesses to thrive organically, I kept posting great content! Also I’m very pro-risk, and not afraid of failure. I know that many of my entrepreneurial icons and fitness icons have had to crawl their way to the top! So you should always see TIME 7 MONEY invested in your fitness business (or any business) as equals valuable investments that will yield.

What do you know today that you wish you would have known when you first got started as an entrepreneur?

Focus foremost on building a strong and large email list! It will always be your best sales tool if you do!

For social media focus on - QUALITY of content, focus on giving away tips and info, even assets. We live in a world of free information, so don't expect to sell yours right off the bat. It's CRUCIAL to choose the right people to work with. Your technical team / VA / designers or mentors will make or break you at some point.

What advice would you give to an upcoming young and old entrepreneur locally and internationally?

Your mindset is your MASTER and your FOCUS will determine your reality - eventually. The reason you chose to be an entrepreneur is because you have a FIRE inside of you, that says you need to be a leader, a motivator and you aren’t happy with the socio-economic norms of employment. When times get tough, always remember WHY you started.

Photo Credit : Shane Watkins (

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