Why I Quit a 6-Figure Job at McDonald’s to Become a Fitness Entrepreneur

Why the hell would anyone quit a stable, successful, six-figure job at a global company? A job where you work with fun, intelligent colleagues, get heated covered parking (crucial in Chicago), and can travel the world almost any day you choose. A career that helps support a family, pays the mortgage, and still leaves a few bucks left over for all the protein bars you can eat. You’d have to be an idiot, right?!

Hi — I’m Dennis. Your typical idiot entrepreneur.

My sources of motivation: family, friends, sports, and a startup. (Dennis Timpanaro)

Truth is, some days I do feel like a real dumb dumb for starting my own business. Those days I tend to focus on my shortcomings and failures. I vividly relive getting cut at the Olympic Trials, being benched by my high-school coach, and even experiencing a ‘downsizing’ at a former employer. I get frustrated having to prove myself all over again in a brand-new business and my entrepreneurial confidence feels fragile. Meanwhile, my bank account creeps closer to $0, my family asks when I’m going to go back and ‘get a real job’, and I end the night eating soggy Shredded Mini-Wheats for dinner. Problems I’m sure all small business owners relate to.

Other days I feel like I can take on the world! Literally. (Did I mention I’ve been fortunate enough to be a world-ranked archer? Youngest global Director at McDonald’s? Chess champion?) 6:00 am can’t come fast enough. I have an endless desire to learn, achieve, help, and socialize. My confidence is soaring and my output of shirtless beach-selfies doubles.

For me, this dichotomy can be traced back to MOTIVATION.

It can be the difference between your absolute best days and your 4th day in a row of wearing the same, stained yoga pants. Good motivation can inspire you to lead an important meeting, endure years of school, or even share how you feel with a loved one. The extreme example? You guessed it! Motivation (in addition to a very supportive wife) was enough to coax me into starting my business — GOtivation. A goal that was nearly 15 years in the making.

In the world of fitness, good motivation can be the difference between a client getting lasting results or falling back into unhealthy habits. The right motivation can turn a coach into a rock-star and a basic studio member into a raving fan. (Don’t believe it? Read about a little brand called Soul Cycle). Motivation is also a factor in you creating a thriving fitness business or suffering burnout.

Good motivation (or ‘grit’ in this example) can get you back up off the floor

There’s a catch though. ‘Good’ motivation is different for everyone and every situation. How many friends do you know with matching Spotify playlists or Netflix queues? This is just as true when it comes to health and fitness motivation. A lot of psychology research has been done on the topic, and scientists, top-level coaches, and technology like GOtivation are all starting to harness it.

So, why did I really leave my job to become an entrepreneur?

We all tend to look back on our decisions and justify them regardless of the outcome. There is little doubt most entrepreneurs ask themselves: ‘Did I make the right choice?’ Regardless of my final blog article being titled “Broke and Bummed” or “Successful and Stoked”, I know this decision was right for me. Why? Because in my new adventure, I’ve found an endless source of education, motivation, and energy. It goes a little something like this…

If I can help one coach motivate their clients to exercise, it has been an energizing day.
If I can share an amazing fitness story of one of our fans, it has been an inspiring day.

And if I can help you make a small, positive change in how you take care of your body, then you’ve motivated me to keep this crazy entrepreneurial dream going!

(PS: If you’re a fitness coach or studio owner that is spending too many hours trying to connect with your clients, head over to www.gotivation.co and ‘Request Free Invite’ to see how GOtivation can help; automatically. The early beta trial period is ending soon!)

Motivated…but sweaty.