We had the good fortune of connecting with Barry Kostabi and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Barry, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I didn’t initially intend to start a business. I launched a podcast for fitness instructors and entrepreneurs while I was living in China, working for a corporate fitness brand, training new instructors to teach cycle and yoga. The podcast started out as more of a hobby, a way to connect with my peers while living so far away, But I quickly realized that I had acquired SO much information from my decade+ of experience working in the fitness industry that was not readily available to the average fitness professional and that I practically took for granted! I wanted to pay it forward, so to speak, and educate the next generation of fit pros on a global scale.
During this time I also came to realize that I just didn’t fit into a corporate infrastructure and was feeling called to build something of my own. It wasn’t until my then best friend, now business partner and wife, started collaborating with me. She had a consulting business based in LA and was a regular guest on my show. She told me, “you have built this incredible platform that is generating international leads, but there’s no business behind it. I have a business to serve these people, but don’t have the bandwidth to build this kind of marketing machine behind it. What if we joined forces and created a business where we can provide career education for fitness instructors, creators and entrepreneurs?” That was over two years ago and we’ve never looked back!
What should our readers know about your business?
Fitness Career Mastery provides career education for fitness instructors, coaches, creators and entrepreneurs. After 10+ years working internationally my wife and I have learned that most fitness professionals are taught WHAT to do but there is zero guidance on HOW to do it. How do you build a personal brand? How do you create content that connects with your ideal customer? How do you provide an exceptional experience for your clients? How do build a profitable business that you can scale? We answer these questions and more through private group coaching programs, one on one sessions, consulting, online courses and of course our free podcast.
We got to where we are today because we walk our talk. We’ve been through it all. We also survey members of our industry on a regular basis and get on the phone with our ideal client to figure out how we can best serve them. We have two really juicy pieces of advice. One, you are most equipped to serve the person you once were. Your personal story is the key to everything. It’s what makes you unique and relatable. Two, create a product for your people, rather than building a product and then running around trying to find people to sell it to. This means, doing some intense research on the people you are meant to serve. You want to know them as intimately as you know your best friend. This is where you’ll find clarity on product development, messaging, pricing structure, marketing… basically everything.
Both Shay and I have built programs and products in the vaccum of our own creative minds that were probably really awesome, but totally flopped. It wasn’t what our audience wanted. We’ve also built programs and products to specifically common pain points that our audiences experience, but that we might not have thought to create on our own that have had massive success. The old adage “build it and they will come” doesn’t really work. Especially in a digital landscape. Build something for the people where they are already at so you can help them get to the next place they want to go.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
We live just outside of Topanga Canyon and we love it here. We’d take our friends on a hike through red rock canyon, lunch at Topanga Canyon Living Cafe and a drive up the coast to Malibu.Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
We absolutely love the book How to Build a Story Brand by Donald Miller. It’s been a game changer for our own business and has been essential reading for the clients we work with as well.