In yesterday’s Part 1 of this Q&A with Irish fitness professional Derek Rowe , he opened up candidly about the truly harrowing early life, wild ways and bad choices that marked out his early life. You can read it here. Today Derek continues this honest feature and describe the inspirational turnaround in his life.
I do my best to inspire and, as I said, it starts with honesty first. People want the truth and I use my past and story to help inspire, but more importantly, I help them believe anything is possible in life.
I have saved lives in my local community here, and this is what I love for now: to help as many people as possible realise their potential, and for them to know that we all have a way out.RELATED: RECOMMENDED PLANS FOR YOU
As I said, it starts with training and nutrition; but I also created a very special place for people to come and express themselves without fear of judgement. This alone is incredible, as many were like me, struggling with life and depression, unable to leave their house and feeling like no one cared.
Fast forward a couple of months and my clients’ transformations are truly remarkable. Indeed, I focus a lot more on the mindset and the accountability in my program, than on the usual training and nutrition. And it delivers a happy client, which is the main thing!
Life after a Halfway House
4) When I got out of the halfway house, I got an apartment. It wasn’t the best of surroundings, but it was my home nonetheless. I had money for food, and time to read books as I had no TV; from there I got flyers done inviting people to come train with me in the local park. Thinking back, they were awful, and I got no business from them; but I had my vision of owning a gym. How the hell I’d get there, I did not know, but I would not give up.
I got a few ladies to train with me, and eventually some more came along; but with Irish weather being what it is, I needed a place indoors, as summer was going to end very soon. This was little under three years ago.
I had a dream but no idea how to realise it
I did not have any money, but still went to view places to rent to build my gym and this burning vision I had. I managed to get one cheap place and blagged my way to not needing a deposit.
It wasn’t great. I would not have put my dog in it: it was a shell and was literally falling down around me but hey, what choice did I have? We have to make the most out of what we have and I was good at this and I’d make it work…
Now I needed 400 euros, and had no one to get it from; “OK, let’s try the local charity, the Vincent de Paul”. They refused a number of times, but I went back again and again and in the end, they gave in and I got a cheque. I was so happy!
Now I needed some equipment, so I went to the local government offices, where, again, I had to be very determined and refused to take no for an answer. Again, after many visits, they gave me a grant!
Building the dream
January 2014, I opened my doors and went overboard on the delivery of my classes. It was funny because people were so dirty, but from the dust coming out of my gym rather than from training; nonetheless they loved it. At this time, my business skills were zero, meaning that on some days, I had no clients; but I had to be disciplined and very persistent as this could not fail. I had no other options.
Most would have given up, but as I said, it was not an option for me. I was also preparing for a bodybuilding show, so my discipline was at an all time high; and I also met my beautiful girlfriend, whom I am still with. She was like a rock for me, helping me through the struggles of my new business.
The next level
I was getting some clients, but nothing special. Then, as is the way with Personal Training, I got to the point when I had almost no current clients. I needed to do something, so I got in touch with a business mentor. It was a far too much money, but he had a webinar and was offering a 6 weeks program at a very discounted price.
I had nearly enough money for it but was 50 euros short, so I asked I asked for my girlfriend for help. She only had 50 herself.
Taking the plunge
We decided to go for it, with only enough food left for a week.But I knew I could do it, even though my gym looked more like a building site, as I there was no money to do it up.
Fast forward a little way to Jan 2015, when I was thriving, I was able to invest in my gym, which is, now state of the art with an incredible office. Later I employed five people and was helping save and change lives daily. My work hours were crazy to implement all these new systems from 5:30am until 11:30pm every day. But it was worth it.
5) I would not have the life I have now if I did not invest in a mentor as I knew nothing of the business side of things. I took a chance and it worked; for many they hold fear around the unknown and are never truly able to be free. That’s not a life for me, and even though I took a risk, I knew I had what it took to make it work.
6) From where I come, many expected me to be in jail for a long time or dead. The outlook for me was entirely bleak. I am very proud of what I have become and what I have done, and I would not be here if I had not worked my ass off to achieve the great vision I set myself and high standards.
The main thing for me, is sharing my story and be 100% honest in everything I do so people can relate to my story and, of course, help them change their lives just like I did.
Many thought I was a lost cause, and this is what will keep driving me on towards future success and happiness.
7) My gym is doing very well, recently I have developed a men’s online coaching program for entrepreneurs wanting more success in their lives. It’s called Ultimate Physique System, in it I focus on training, nutrition and mindset. I coach my clients on every aspect of their lives; and again, me being me helps because people listen, therefore great results happen.
8) My god, the fitness industry has truly saved my life and I feel so blessed to be in my situation at the moment and for me, it’s hard to believe what I have achieved in such a short space of time.
I know it is only the beginning of great things for myself, my family and my future clients. I know my story will inspire the world over and I will continue to be myself, as I know it helps so many already.
Connect here with WatchFit Expert Derek Rowe
Click here to read the Part 1 of the Q&A with Derek Rowe.