Photo: Cindy Wilson, Telegraph Journal
[Dave Veale’s interview with Terry Blizzard, Founder & Owner of Afterburn Performance Centre.]
For a couple of years I had been hearing from some of my clients about this fabulous personal trainer named Terry Blizzard. When I finally had the chance to meet Terry and tour his training facility on Bayside Drive in Saint John, I quickly understood what my clients were raving about.
Terry is totally committed to improving the health and fitness of his clientele. He began his journey more than 12 years ago and has worked with the top coaches and trainers in North America to create training systems that help people achieve optimal health and wellness through nutrition and exercise.
Four years ago he launched Total Wellness in Uptown Saint John and then, late last year, expanded with the opening of the Afterburn Performance Centre, a 4,000-square-foot state-of-the art-facility outfitted with modern equipment and catering to clients from all walks of life. Terry’s clients range from those who are having their first fitness experience to elite athletes such as Saint John Sea Dogs members.
Terry’s vision is clear and compelling: to be a “leading force in helping others improve their physical, holistic and emotional quality of life.” I began my conversation with Terry by asking about his clients:
A: We have people coming here who are as young as nine years old up to my oldest client, who is 75. We welcome all ages, all shapes and sizes. There’s no real demographic we go for. We’re just looking to help people.
Q: How did you come up with your business concept?
A: I traveled around the world and went to the top three to five gyms in North America. I trained with the top four or five trainers in the world. I took all their ideas, came back and tweaked them. What I have today is the outcome of those four years of a journey. Technically it has been a 12-year journey because that’s when I started in the industry, but the last four years, I have been on my own.
Q: You’re in the business of motivating and inspiring. What inspires you?
A: Definitely helping people inspires me. We literally change people’s lives. Helping people get healthier, get well, think positive and change their attitude is really rewarding.
Q: You have come a long way in a short time. What are your long term goals?
A: One of my biggest goals is to be known around North America as one of the best trainers. I want trainers to come here someday and learn from me. This has actually already started to happen. I want to be at the top of the list of the best trainers in the world.
Q: What do you think was instrumental in helping you become a successful trainer?
A: I think it was when I put down the training books and picked up on human behaviour. I started to ask myself, “What makes people successful?”
Q: What are you learning about what has supported your success?
A: My work ethic and being open-minded. Definitely, the biggest support for me is having mentors.
Q: What are the “soft-skills” that you think are critical for success in your business?
A: Actually, as a trainer, I think people liking you is the number one thing. You want to be able to communicate with clients so they feel positive when they leave. Also, being patient. It has taken me a while to get my business to this point. I’m a very impatient person. Most entrepreneurs are. They want to drive, drive, drive.
Q: What would be one piece of advice you’d give to other entrepreneurs?
A: Do your research. Study people who have already been successful.
[Tweet “Do your research. Study people who have already been successful. – Terry Blizzard”]
Q: What’s the most challenging part of being an entrepreneur and growing your business?
A: The number one challenge is balancing your time. I’m basically working hard now so I can have a better life later. My challenge is working too much.
Time management is one thing I struggle with. It’s a good problem because I’m so busy. I always say, “Create good problems.” For example, if I run out of space at our facility – great problem. I don’t have enough time because I train too many clients; it’s a great problem to have as well. I fill my life with good problems.
Q: Have you always been so positive and optimistic?
A: What do I really have to feel crappy about? People have a lot of struggles. As long as I have my health and my family has their health, there’s really nothing to be negative about. My clients will attest to the fact that I never come in and have a bad day. Ninety-nine per cent of my time is living a good life and being happy. It’s not about having the million-dollar home. I’m living my dream.
Q: You have an impressive list of clients from the business community. How have these clients helped your business?
A: I have some heavy hitters who are my clients and who have taught me a lot. My clientele are some of the most successful people in Saint John. I’m pretty proud to have this clientele. Over the years they have given me a great education on being an entrepreneur and empowering myself.
[Tweet “My clientele are some of the most successful people in Saint John. – Terry Blizzard”]
Q: What is the biggest lesson you have learned from your mentors?
A: One of the biggest things I’ve learned is TOMA – Top-of-Mind Awareness. With TOMA, when someone asks, “Who is the best trainer?” Terry Blizzard should come to mind. Always be top of mind in your community and establish yourself as the professional in your area.
[Tweet “…be top of mind in your community – establish yourself as the professional… – Terry Blizzard”]
Dave Veale is a business and leadership coach and founder of Vision Coaching Inc. in Saint John. He can be reached by email at Dave@VisionCoachingInc.com or via Twitter@Dave_Veale. To read past columns go to www.LeadershipUnleashed.ca.