Andrew Demetre, Charleston based physical trainer and health coach, discovered his passion for fitness in the 9th-grade, after his P.E. coach introduced him to the weight room. Since then, Demetre has been obsessed with the idea of achieving physical perfection through bodybuilding.
Demetre moved to Charleston, South Carolina during the pandemic. While wasting away in quarantine, Demetre learned the value of increased versatility in his training programs. He incorporated a variety of calisthenic movements without the need for weights, he expanded his clientele – making both house calls and Zoom calls – and he built his first home gym in his garage.
When all was said and done, Andrew Demetre discovered that he no longer needed to follow the traditional model of training. Many of his clients not only preferred working from home but also working out from home. Today, 100% of Andrew’s clients – which he chooses selectively based on their need and drive – are bodybuilders with busy schedules and busy lives who don’t always fit in with the standard idea of what it means to “lift weights.”
Where did the idea for your career come from?
I decided to start my solopreneur journey during the pandemic. I’ve spent most of my career in gyms. Just training clients to be stronger versions of themselves and helping them meet their fitness goals, and I never thought about the possibility of being able to make the same gains at home without even needing weights. That doesn’t mean I don’t incorporate weight training, but I want my clients to know there’s more flexibility than they realize.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
To be honest, I try to keep my days flexible. What’s the point of living if you have to do everything by a schedule? But I typically spend a few hours each day training, a few hours working with clients, a few hours marketing my brand, and the rest is dedicated to doing things I enjoy: watching a movie, reading, going for a walk.
How do you bring ideas to life?
If you can see it in your mind’s eye, you can bring it to reality. The trick is just being able to envision what you want with a high level of specificity.
What’s one trend that excites you?
Well, there’s a lot of exciting things in a variety of industries. I think cryptocurrency is amazing. But if we’re talking about fitness, I think the at-home revolution is incredible. Think things like Peloton and related technologies and corporations, all converging on this big idea: people don’t need to leave the comfort of their home to stay in shape.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I’m tenacious. When I have a goal, I chase it. If there’s any advice I could give to younger professionals chasing their business dreams, it would be this: “Chase your dreams and don’t stop.”
What advice would you give your younger self?
Other than the bit about chasing your dreams? I suppose if I wanted to be more specific, I would tell my younger self to invest in Bitcoin.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
You can gain the same results when it comes to hypertrophy by doing advanced calisthenic routines as you would be able to achieve with weights (and with less equipment to boot).
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Document, document, document. When I first started out in the gym, a regular was kind enough to correct my form one day. We formed a bond pretty quickly since he was always there at the same time I was, and he scolded me one day for not writing down my reps and the weights I was using. The idea was this: How can you expect to make progress if you aren’t even recording what you’re doing day to day? This is true for all forms of training, but it’s also true for running a business. There’s a lot of buzz lately about data, and that’s well deserved, but to get at the data you need to document everything you’re doing.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Marketing and word of mouth recommendations. I’m never stressed if a client moves on to a different phase of their life. People don’t always want to train forever, you know; they’ll have kids, or find a new job, or end up in a different part of the country. But what I’ve found is I usually hear their name again a few months later. Someone invariably reaches out and says, “Hey, so-and-so recommended your services.” And that is what has helped my business grow exponentially. Nothing can replace treating a client right and having it come back to you later on.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
It’s hard to imagine a single failure, but there have been periods of slow growth where I failed to realize how clear the path forward was for many months, and I think the takeaway from that is to just understand that “failure” doesn’t exist unless you stop. As long as you’re moving forward, even if you’re going slower than you should, you’re still making progress.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Invest in housing and rent out your properties. This isn’t business per se, but it’s a sure fire way to maximize your investment potential and make other people’s money work for you.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I bought a new pair of wooden gymnastic rings from Rogue to train with in my home gym.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
I use Evernote and Google Calendar to great effect. Evernote is just a place to record thoughts, things for further research, progress, and any related business data. It’s easily searchable too, which helps me find whatever I need.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Good to Great by Jim Collins. It’s a great story about how culture affects businesses and helps them grow into titans. It might not be applicable for my kind of business, but I do think there’s something to be said about culture, attitude, and vision for every business – no matter how large.
What is your favorite quote?
“Know yourself, know your enemy. A thousand battles, a thousand victories.” – Sun Tzu
– Chase your goals wherever they lead you
– Document every piece of data in your business and use it to drive future growth processes
– Don’t be afraid of relying on word-of-mouth marketing in certain industries
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.