Gemma Spackman: Being an entrepreneur isn’t easy

Gemma Spackman is a personal trainer and football coach turned entrepreneur. In our latest feature, Gemma tells #YesSheCan about her professional experiences and how she channelled them into becoming a successful (and growing) business owner.

How I started as a coach

After developing a love a football when I was younger, I began playing which eventually lead to coaching.


When I started coaching when I was in my teens there were only a small number of female football coaches, I remember on all the courses I took, it was usually only me or one other girl on the course. Part of this made me more determined to show what I could do.


In my early 20’s I injured my back, I was eventually told I wouldn’t be able to play sport again at the level I did, this made me refocus on what I was doing and lead me down the route of coaching and personal training. As I wanted to make sure what happened to me wouldn’t happen to anybody else, as I understood the pain physically and mentally that can cause. Again I didn’t let this stop me as I now regularly take part in obstacle course races and focus my business on helping my clients improve for their events can challenges.


Why I started my own business

The path to me starting Fundamental Sports & Fitness began a few years before it came to be. Obviously, my background in sports and coaching helped, as did my degree in Sports Development and Coaching (amongst other certifications).


I qualified as a Personal Trainer and started to pick up clients slowly. After working at a company and there being no other progression routes I knew this is what I wanted to do and started to take steps to do it full time.


From there I worked at other local PT studios training clients, whilst still coaching in schools to provide stability to my income.


I knew long term I wanted to train clients out of my own studio rather than renting other places and travelling to different buildings all day.


Not getting a full-time position at the leisure centre I was in forced me to change jobs and I got a leadership roll in another company. Later I felt that I was ready for a change but there weren’t any management positions for me to progress into, this then made me realise I could work for myself and set me on the path to running my own business.


Being a PT isn’t just about training clients, I suddenly needed to know how to run a business, market myself and everything else. I worked with different business coaches and got a lot of advice. I then added my knowledge and experience training as a sports massage therapist to provide a holistic approach to the studio and my ability to help clients.


An opportunity came up in 2018 for me to bring all my services under one roof and set up Fundamental Sports and Fitness Personal Training Studios.


My advice for women starting their own businesses

Based on my experience I’d give three pieces of advice to young females starting their career:

  • Work hard

  • Don’t let anybody stop you

  • Dream big and have a plan


If you enjoyed hearing about Gemma’s journey experience in Health & Fitness, make sure to check out Dr Nicola Relph’s blog about being a Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Health and Social Care at a popular university.


To see more of Gemma’s work check out her social media channels.

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