My Believe Fit Story: Part I
I figured this is the year to really make a change, we often say we are going to change, or follow a diet, or workout, or quit that bad habit, but we always seem to lapse after a certain period of time. Well, the goal I have set for myself isn’t something that can be done quickly nor can it be quit easily. I’m going after whatever I want to, whatever I feel will make me happy, regardless of how big the dream is or how long it will take. These words were also spoken by me in 2011 when I wanted to create an “Active Hub” concept. I thought I knew what I wanted, I thought I knew the industry, I thought I understood business in a sense, but I couldn’t have been more wrong.
First I should probably explain a little bit about me, as you will see my upbringing was a large factor in my decision making process. I grew up in a very small town in Saskatchewan, like a town of 45 people small. We had a K-12 school with around 160 kids, and this was the only life I had really known, farm life. I was taught at a young age how farming works, how everyone worked together and how you helped your neighbors. No one ever stole gas from each other, no one stole grain, tools, or anything else, in fact, we all kept our vehicles and houses unlocked. It was once said “Love thy neighbor” and that is precisely what we did, my best friends were my neighbors and these neighbors still are to this day. When I enrolled in engineering I couldn’t believe that we actually had to lock our vehicles, but I found out that first week how crucial it was, when someone stole my tail lights (I did, however, arm signal like a boss for a few days). This was an easy adjustment, it was no longer “love thy neighbor” but rather “love thy haters”. I also got to learn the value of money, I had a measly student loan of $680 a month to live off, of that had to pay allllll my bills and entertainment (that meant beer), it was no wonder we were brewing our own vodka in the apartment. I could literally go on about this experience for a very long time, a lot of the challenges and provocations, personal experiences shrouded in mystery and much much more. However, I’ll skip ahead here to keep this moving along.
I eventually got a job in the oilsands, Canada’s black jewel. I was impressed with the scope of the oilsands, the technology that was being implemented and the extraction process was simply amazing. There is a lot of discord for the oilsands but I feel if people understood how the process worked, what is being done, the amount of red tape involved and the alternatives, we would all be slapping “Support Alberta Oilsands” stickers on the back of our vehicles. I am extremely environmentally conscious, when nature provides your living growing up as a farmer you always take natures side. I made some amazing friends up in the oilsands and many of the friendships I still have today, a lot of hard working people trying to provide a safe alternative to other countries oil and I’m glad to have such great personalities involved. There, then, came a time where I wanted to go in business for myself, the incubation of Believe Fit.
I sold everything to make my first store happen, I had a truck I sold to put into the company as well as all my savings from working up north. It was a HUGE risk, considering I had a newborn baby daughter at home, I was going to make this fantastic future for her and my family, I just knew it. Fitness was always a big part of my life, we had homemade gym equipment growing up, and I was ecstatic to be able to work out in a gym with proper equipment. I read from morning until night on supplementation, diets, nutrition, weight training techniques, form, and anything else I could possibly absorb. I wanted to create a space where people could get great advice and great products at a great price. I loved the space so much anyway that I would have no problem staying in working mode inevitably. What I expected and what actually “was” were 2 very different things.
I would like to conclude this first part by doing a few things, I would like to give some advice on what I had learnt at this point and then some advice for people that are in business, a little life lesson and a little business lesson.
What I learnt about life: When starting something new, no one will understand it entirely but you, and that is OK. Never let this deter you from doing something that you believe in. At the same time, ask people what they think and take their responses critically, it provides a perspective or a problem you perhaps might have missed entirely, which still gives you time to address it. At the same time, you will realize a lot of people don’t want you to succeed, so they will often say it is a stupid idea, be conscious of what these people think of their own jobs, if they are stuck in a dead end job or wish they would have done something else. More often than not, people think your idea sucks because they are not willing to make any changes themselves or feel it is “too late”. This also means that you shouldn’t be afraid to ask advice on a good idea, they won’t steal your idea, they don’t have the motivation to implement it 99% of the time. A market analysis of some kind is extremely important to validate an idea or parts of an idea, always look at the person giving the advice or feedback though.
What I learnt about Business: Register your company and do a nuance search for your name, if you want to have your company be a specific name. You can register through a registries office or a lawyer, a lawyer will cost substantially more but with a long term business can end up saving you money. You can register as a numbered company (rather than a name) and operate your business in whatever name you choose to ie 1405930 Ab ltd operating as Believe Fit. After this is done register a GST number online with the CRA, there is a lot of helpful information on their homepage for businesses, it is best to use as much online features as possible. Here you can also register your payroll (if you are going to have employees) or your import/export number (if you plan on importing products to sell or exporting products). It is always best to do this off the start and before you start making sales. If you are selling less than $30,000 a year you are not required to register a GST number.
In the next part I will explain how I found brands, how I found Lorna Jane, my method for drawing in customers, and how not to approach a brand new build. I will also give some secrets of trickery that supplement companies use on their customers.
Also if you are interested in purchasing some products we are having a special New Year’s sale on, use discount code “believe75” for 75% off everything on our site for a limited time.