Chinwe Asagwara is an online health and lifestyle coach based in Winnipeg, MB. She teaches women the habits and behaviours that help them achieve their desired healthy lifestyle. She’ll be speaking about her passion and her journey in business at our next Boss Babe Pyjama Party on Feb | 22 |20, but we wanted to ask her a few questions beforehand to get to know the woman behind the biz.
I officially launched my business in November of 2014 and women and weights group training in January of 2015
I first found fitness in 2009 while I was completing my human nutritional sciences degree at the University of Manitoba. I was struggling to stay consistent with exercising after finishing high school. I stopped playing sports and had not yet found my way into a gym or weight room. At the same time I discovered Oxygen Magazine which at the time was a printed women’s fitness magazine. They featured fitness competitions all over the states and Canada and I loved the strong fit women I saw on those pages. I wanted to build that kind of muscle for myself. I decided signing up for a fitness competition was a way to stay motivated with working out. For the first time I trained consistently and started to see some great progress. After 3 months I hit the stage and placed 1st and 2nd in the categories I entered. I fell in love with fitness and the rest is history.
In the beginning it was my post secondary education and personal training certifications. After school I worked for one year at a big box gym and then a year for a husband and wife fitness coaching business. I learned a ton of helpful information about training clients and running a business from both experiences. Neither were the exact right fit for me, and the reason I started my own business. More recently I would say Podcasts like the Coaches Corner, fellow entrepreneurship groups and on-going training and education in more specific areas of fitness and nutrition have helped me grow my business and coaching methods.
One I would say is time. Over the years I have run my business, I have been a student and worked either part time and/or full time. This can create scenarios where work feels like it never stops. But neither does my love for my industry, business and entrepreneurship. Working towards finding balance in it all has been on-going, but slowly getting better with time. Setting boundaries within my business has helped with this. Making it clear to clients when I am and am not available – and then (the harder part) sticking to it.
The first is the addition of Women & Weights Small Group Training. I began to offer this service as I was having the same conversation with so many women who were seeking out my services. There was a want to get in the weight room, but so many barriers to do so. Fear of injury, being seen working out, intimidation by the weight room and/or men there. Women & Weights Small Group Training is a safe space that eliminates all these barriers and I am extremely proud of that.
Becoming a recurring guest on CTV Winnipeg and the Marc and Mandy show as a Nutrition and Fitness Expert.
The EmpowHERment Boot Camp Charity events that I started in 2019. In our first year we raised 1K that was donated to organizations in Winnipeg that support women and girls. I was also interviewed on CBC Radio about Women & Weights Summer Party which was the last charity event of 2019.
1. Consistency is extremely important. Even when you think or feel all the hard work isn’t making forward momentum it is. So keep at it.
2. Ask for help. Create connections and relationships with people who have a skill set that supports your business. Delegate tasks you do not enjoy or have the skill set for.
3. A focus on providing value. True value out of love and passion for what you do will lead to the financial growth you want to see in your business.
It is extremely important, and a large part of why I am where I am now. When I found Oxygen Magazine there was a cover story on a black fitness model that I ripped out and taped to my mirror. Seeing someone who looked like me in that magazine fuelled my training and made me feel like I could achieve that same status. That image and story was one in a million at that time and even more of a reason why it struck me so much. It was a “WOW I finally see myself in these images” moment.
I also feel it goes beyond seeing black females as fitness leaders. Representation effects my clients the same way it does me. If the fitness industry and small business world is primarily represented by white people, where does that leave a person of colour who is seeking guidance from personal training or other industry? I am proud that I have become a face and space that women of colour can see themselves and feel acceptance.
When seeking collaboration, sponsorship or otherwise we have a bigger hill to climb. Some opportunities may already be promised in a way to others who fit a typical fitness industry look. This is always the case but it is there.
I am! I can’t share complete details just yet but it will be something Winnipeg has never seen before in the health and fitness industry. What I can share for now is my focus on growing Women & Weights Small Group Training and the EmpowHERment Boot Camp.
Ask for feedback from your clients. Pay attention to what’s working and get rid of what’s not. Continue to learn and educate yourself as the industry and your clients needs are always changing.
To hear more from Chinwe Asagwara, join us at our next Winnipeg Boss Babe Pyjama Party on Saturday February 22.