James Ayotte is a successful entrepreneur and fitness coach based in Quebec, Canada. As his career has progressed, James has gained widespread recognition, often called ‘the best bikini coach in the world,’ and boasting an exceptional track record of helping women become bikini pros in the International Fitness and Bodybuilding Federation (known within the industry as the IFBB).
After working hard and losing 140 pounds, James Ayotte developed a passion for fitness and became a personal trainer before transitioning to a full-time coaching role. Since that point, he has trained the most new professional bikini athletes in the world in both the years 2021 and 2022, and has had multiple athletes place at the Bikini Olympia, as well as other prestigious competitions. With a total of 290 overall bikini titles won by his team, James Ayotte’s dedication and expertise to his craft make him one of the most sought-after coaches in the fitness industry.
Where did the idea for Team Atlas come from?
The name ‘Team Atlas’ was chosen because of the Greek mythological figure, Atlas. In Greek mythology, Atlas was known for his immense strength and was often depicted as carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders. This symbolizes the strength and determination that is required in the world of bodybuilding and fitness. The name ‘Team Atlas’ represents a group of individuals who are dedicated to pushing their limits, building their strength, and striving for greatness in their athletic pursuits. By embodying the spirit of Atlas, members of Team Atlas are inspired to achieve their goals and reach new heights in their training and performance.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I dedicate a significant portion of my days to attending to the needs of my athletes, ensuring that they are on track and progressing as planned. I travel approximately 40 weekends per year to support them at their shows. To maximize my productivity, I focus my attention on the most pressing tasks at hand each day, staying organized, and prioritizing my workload.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Bringing your ideas to life as a bikini bodybuilding coach and entrepreneur requires a systematic approach. I start by clarifying my ideas and making sure they align with my goals. Then, I conduct market research to determine the viability of my ideas, identify my target audience, and understand my competition. I then develop a comprehensive business plan that outlines my objectives, strategies, and plans for executing my ideas. I surround myself with a supportive network of individuals with complementary skills and expertise to help bring my ideas to life. I then proceed to create a basic version of each individual idea to test its viability and make any necessary adjustments. Once I have completed my research, planning, and testing, it’s time to launch the idea. Then I regularly review my progress, gather feedback from my athletes, and make necessary adjustments to ensure success. Throughout the process, I always remain open to pivoting my strategies as needed to ensure the long-term success of my ideas.
What’s one trend that excites you?
The evolution of the IFBB’s bikini category is exciting because it has provided a platform for female athletes to showcase their hard-earned physiques and athletic abilities. The category has evolved over the years to become more competitive, allowing women to push their limits and strive for ever-higher levels of fitness. As time has passed, it’s developed into a means to help promote the importance of healthy and active lifestyles for women, inspiring many to pursue and attain their own fitness goals. Overall, the evolution of the IFBB bikini category has been a positive and exciting development in the world of bodybuilding and fitness, and I believe it will continue to trend in that direction.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Being organized is a sort of an all-encompassing and governing habit that greatly benefits me as an entrepreneur. I find that by being organized, I am able to effectively manage my time, prioritize tasks, and keep track of important information and details. This enables me to stay on top of my responsibilities and make the most of my time. Organization also helps me to avoid wasting time on repetitive tasks and reduces the risk of missing important deadlines or opportunities. Additionally, being organized helps me to be more efficient and productive, which has a positive impact on my bottom line. By developing and maintaining a habit of being organized, I set myself up for success and can effectively manage the demands of running Team Atlas.
What advice would you give your younger self?
If I could travel back in time and speak with my younger self, I would tell him the following: “Believe in yourself, trust your instincts, and never second-guess your decisions. You have unique skills and experiences that set you apart from your peers, and maintaining confidence in yourself will allow you to chase your passions and dreams with determination. Stay true to your path and take risks, and your older self will thank you for the success and fulfillment you’ll achieve early on. Don’t let others’ doubts hold you back; take control and make choices that shape your future.”
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
As an entrepreneur, I don’t focus on what others agree or disagree with me on. I have my own unique vision and path towards success. I believe that it’s essential to trust your instincts, make informed decisions, and have the confidence to pursue your goals, regardless of what others may think. By doing so, I’ve been able to create my own path to success and stay true to my values and vision. Ultimately, the key to success as an entrepreneur is not to be swayed by outside opinions, but to stay focused on your own goals and make decisions that will bring you closer to your desired outcome.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
I believe in never becoming complacent or comfortable. It’s essential to continuously learn and grow to stay ahead in business. This means stepping out of your comfort zone, embracing new opportunities, attending industry events, reading up on trends, seeking mentorship and guidance. The key to success is always to be willing to learn and evolve. By doing so, you can overcome challenges and seize opportunities. My advice to others is to never stop learning and consistently strive for self-improvement.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
The primary strategy for growing my business is transforming my clients into successful fitness professionals. By offering personalized training, nutrition plans and continuous support, I help my clients achieve their fitness goals and reach new heights. This showcases the results of my training methods, establishes me as a leader in the fitness industry, and contributes to my professional reputation for delivering results. In short, the success of my current and former clients has attracted more clients, helping to grow my business.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
One failure I experienced as an entrepreneur was making quick, impulsive decisions in my early 20s. I realized that this tendency was holding me back and causing me to make mistakes. To overcome this, I started taking a more measured approach and taking the time to thoroughly consider all my options before making a decision. I learned the value of patience and careful consideration in business. I now approach each decision with a clear and thoughtful mindset, which has helped me avoid past mistakes and make more successful choices for my business.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I’m excited to announce that I’ve been working on a new hair and skin care line, Amarita Beauty, with my girlfriend Hannah Mehregan. We’ve been working on it for the past two years and are thrilled to finally be launching it in late February of 2023. Our goal has always been to create high-end products that are affordable and accessible to everyone, and we’re confident that Amarita Beauty will deliver on that. We can’t wait to share our vision with the world and make a positive impact on people’s lives through the power of beauty.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
Buying a gym membership was a life-changing decision for me. It gave me access to the equipment and facilities I needed to pursue my goal of losing weight and improving my health. With the support of my gym and the dedication I put into my fitness plan, I was able to successfully lose 140 lbs.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
I personally use Microsoft Excel to stay organized in various aspects of my life. I use it to create to-do lists to track my various tasks for each day, manage my finances by creating budgets and tracking expenses, track various types of data such as exercise routines and work hours, manage project timelines, assign tasks to team members, and monitor the progress of all these things. Excel provides a flexible and versatile platform for organizing and managing data, helping me to be more productive in both my personal and professional life.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill is an amazing book for entrepreneurs. It offers practical advice on achieving success and prosperity based on Hill’s research into the habits and attitudes of a variety of successful people. The book emphasizes the power of positive thinking, goal-setting, and visualization, as well as perseverance and consistent action towards one’s goals. Many entrepreneurs have found inspiration and guidance from this book, helping them to develop the right mindset for success, turn their ideas into successful businesses, and achieve financial independence.
What is your favorite quote?
As an entrepreneur, I firmly believe in Peter Drucker’s quote that “the best way to predict the future is to create it.” This quote serves as a constant reminder that I have the power to shape my own destiny and that of my business. I know that by taking action and relentlessly pursuing my vision, I can create the future I want. Whether it’s through innovation, hard work, perseverance, or all of the above, I’m confident that I can make my dreams into a reality. This quote inspires me to keep pushing forward and to never give up on my goals, no matter what obstacles I may face.
- Being organized is an overarching habit that can greatly benefit entrepreneurs by effectively managing time, prioritizing tasks, and keeping track of important details.
- As an entrepreneur, it’s important to focus on your own unique vision and path towards success, rather than worrying about whether others agree or disagree with you.
- Never stop learning and striving for self-improvement. It’s important to never become too complacent or too comfortable, even if you’ve achieved great success and are at the top of your field. Constantly pushing yourself to new heights and striving for further growth is essential to maintain your edge and remain at the forefront of your industry.
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.