Describe your role in no more than 100 words.
I am director of Precision Fitness, a Pilates, Fitness and Wellbeing studio in the Blagdon countryside, near Newcastle. As one of the most highly trained movement coaches in the UK, I bring a new and interesting take on Pilates to the North East – If people move well, their quality of life is better.
What is it the company does?
We teach fitness and movement skills using Pilates, natural movement and functional training methods, via one-to-one sessions or in classes. We’re also the only studio outside of London to offer Bodhi - using suspension ropes to improve posture, core strength and muscle tone. We’re experts in assessing people's movement, addressing any imbalances and restrictions, and then offering solutions to enable them to enjoy life more fully, recover from injury, or improve their technique.
Give us a brief timeline of your career so far – where did you start, how did you move on?
I started my working life in a Merchant Bank in the city of London back in the mid-1980s. I studied my banking exams and moved into a corporate lending role. In the early 1990s I decided to leave that career path and study priesthood. Following a period of six years of formation I was ordained as a priest. I then spent four years working in parishes as an assistant and then parish priest. In 2003 I made yet another change and decided to leave the priesthood and begin a career in health and fitness. I had always been interested in my own health and wellbeing so it seemed a natural progression. I worked for local authorities in the North East and then as a freelance instructor. I was keen to build my own business so in 2013, took a leap and set up Precision Fitness, allowing me to define my own fitness personality.
What do you believe makes a great leader?
I think determination and commitment to the cause are essential ingredients, along with a clear vision of where you want to go.
What has been your biggest challenge in your current position?
When setting up Precision Fitness my biggest challenge was finding the right space to house the studio, as well as committing to the large outlay that is needed to set up a fully equipped studio. I found that there weren’t too many investors out there keen to get involved in setting up a studio, but I wasn’t going to let that stop me.
How do you alleviate the stress that comes with your job?
I find that taking my two dogs, Colin and Norman the Dobermans, for a long walk each morning really clears my head and is a great way to get in a positive mind-set to start the day with.
When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
As a kid I always wanted to be a professional footballer. Getting paid for doing something you love to do seemed like a dream come true. Although I'm not a professional footballer, I am still very fortunate to be doing something I love.
Any pet hates in the workplace? What do you do about then?
I'm a bit obsessive about the studio being tidy and get a little frustrated if there’s any mess - I usually just laugh at myself!
Where do you see the company in five years’ time?
My dream is to see the studio grow and the Precision Fitness brand become recognised as the place to go for the best quality Pilates tuition in the region. With this growth I’d like to be in a position to add to my team of staff and offer increased options to clients.
What advice would you give to an aspiring business leader?
Believe in yourself, visualise your dream, and make it happen.