Name: Jamie Walker
Business: SweatGuru, an online fitness marketplace
Location: San Francisco Bay Area, California, U.S.
Reason for starting: Necessity! We want to make the world more fit. In 2009, my co-founder and I started a fitness bootcamp and online community called Fit Approach, which quickly grew from a weekend hobby into a thriving business. Fairly quickly, we realized that there was no technology platform to help us manage and grow our business. We launched SweatGuru to help small and medium-size fitness businesses (much like ours) get online and be more successful. It also helps consumers discover and share fitness classes.
I am extremely passionate about fitness and technology; I not only talk the talk but also walk the walk. While running two startups (SweatGuru and Fit Approach), I am simultaneously competing in ultra marathons (currently training for a 100 mile run) and am a dedicated yogi. Through my ultras and startup career I have demonstrated a tremendous amount of grit and hope to inspire people all over the country to aim high and be the best version of themselves.
How do you define success? I believe that success is a moving target; it is defined by where you are in life and your surroundings. The only constant in success is creation; you have to keep moving forward to be successful. Today, success for me means establishing and maintaining a happy and healthy company culture and fostering productive relationships with our customers. Increased communication and feedback, further innovation to meet demands and overall satisfaction are keys to our current success.
Biggest Success: Everyday we experience small victories, no one success is more important than the next. In a startup environment, it’s better to think of every victory as your biggest success. I always say, the biggest success is forward progress…you have to just keep moving!
What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it? My top challenge is overcoming self doubt and maintaining focus. Running a startup is difficult and at times it can be downright taxing. While having high standards is a good thing, it’s easy to over burden yourself with the idea of perfection. To address these challenges, I often remind myself of how far we’ve come and how we are going to get there! As I always say, you have to embrace the highs and manage the lows.
Who is your most important role model? My most important role model is my mom. She was single for a lot of my young life and worked multiple jobs to give my brother and I every opportunity under the sun. And because she often worked long hours, she also relied on us to take care of each other. She instilled in us a great deal of maturity, self-reliance, and independence at a very young age. She is one of the most hard working, determined and selfless people I know and I aspire to be more like her.
Edited by The Story Exchange