After his taste of entrepreneurship at College Pro, Nathan definitely rode the wave full force. Here's what he's been up to in the startup space over the last decade.
Education: University of Minnesota – Duluth
Rookie Year: 1999
Nathan's College Pro Journey
Nathan was naturally curious about entrepreneurship. He was already interested in entrepreneurship after dabbling in the pager business (remember those?), selling them to students. When he heard rumblings of students running their own painting businesses, it caught his ear. After talking to one of our competitors (oh no you didn't!), he decided to shift his focus to College Pro - which turned out to be a pretty good decision!
Nathan was a franchisee for two summers before getting on the General Manager track, a position he held for another five years. The GM role seemed like the logical next step in professional development; he loved the idea of coaching and developing other entrepreneurs.
Since College Pro
Drawn to the franchisee lifestyle, Nathan opened, owned, and operated 6 gyms as part of the ‘Anytime Fitness’ company. It was a lot of work, but after the hectic lifestyle he’d gotten accustomed to at College Pro, he needed to keep busy: “I was addicted to the intensity of a 60 hour work week.”
Since then, Anytime Fitness has been his foundation to earn profit in order to explore other ventures. His first was a Pillar to Post franchise called Community Ventures, a capital investment firm. While it was a great idea in theory, it unfortunately felt the brunt of the 2008 financial crisis, and Nathan and his business partner decided it was time to move on.
After that, they began Fitness on Request, now known as WELLBEATS, which is an automated fitness system used in fitness centers to track progress and get more information throughout a workout. The idea originated in one of his Anytime Fitness gyms, and has since grown all over the United States. While Nathan doesn’t actively work at the company, he is the largest stakeholder and stays active on the board.
Loving the world of fitness, Nathan and his wife then developed a ‘Look Good Naked Boot Camp,’ which is now called Trumi (his wife actually started it in their basement 10 years ago!). After nailing down he foundation and developing a solid business model, they began to franchise the idea. It now operates as both a physical boot camp and a virtual world of health expertise and health regimens.
"Do what you love, and the stability will follow.”
Nathan's Advice For Fledgling Entrepreneurs: “Even though not everyone gets into College Pro to become an entrepreneur, they get into College Pro because they want to do something different – they want a creative outlet. But my advice would be…don’t go back to the construct. It always bums me out when I hear about someone leaving College Pro to do something they didn’t absolutely love, just to follow the norm of a ‘stable job’. Do what you love, and the stability will follow.”
The word 'entrepreneur' can mean many things to different people, and some people aren’t sure what to make of it at all: “At my bank this morning they wouldn’t let me put entrepreneur as my profession, because no one really knows what that means.” Nathan believes entrepreneurship is about having the freedom to think outside the box, try new things, and empower others.
About Nathan: Fun Facts
- Nathan adores his family – he and his wife have two daughters and a dog, and he spends as much of his time as possible with them, including in the office with his wife (and the dog).
- He also loves boating. They live on a river and actually spend their summers living on their houseboat to enjoy the outdoors.
- Nathan loves his morning routine and starts everyday playing the piano and meditating.
- Surprising fact? Nathan is NOT a fitness maniac! “I’m just your average guy, I work out because I have to and it keeps me healthy, not because I’m obsessed with hitting the gym. That’s why I think our program works – it’s catered to people like me.”
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