We had the good fortune of connecting with Brandon Sundwall and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Brandon, what is the most important factor behind your success?
One of our guiding principles from day one at Virtuo has been to forge relationships. We strive to build a connection with our clients so that we can better understand what challenges them, why they want our help and where they want to be.
Before entering the fitness space full time, I was a teacher at a Charter School called Learning Works in Boyle Heights and the founder, Dr. Mikala Rahn, preached leading with relationship as one of core missions of the school that existed to help underserved youth. It was from this experience that I gained an understanding of the power of relationship.
We humans are interesting in that we will fail ourselves time and time again due to any number of reasons, but when it comes to serving others, we are biologically programmed to show up and perform. We are social creatures, and at Virtuo we leverage our relationships with our clients to help them get the best out of themselves.
Opening up and being vulnerable about something as personal as one’s health and fitness requires a deep level of trust, and that’s why before we ever talk about goals with our clients we take the time to build a bond with them that will allow us to push and ask them to give more when they think they are done.
The fitness space is full of organizations and trainers that unfortunately treat clients as a commodity or a number on a balance sheet. To us, our business can never grow beyond the strength of the relationship between client and coach at the most basic level. Everything we do, no matter how big, is built upon a commitment to understand and serving our clients.
Just as achieving a fitness goal comes from an attention to small habits and behavior, our mission at Virtuo to help busy professional incorporate fitness into their lives to be better at everything they do starts with that most basic of habits; taking the time to listen and understand who we serve.
As we have grown in the online space to expand our reach, our team has stayed commitment to forging relationships with our clients. If the people we serve know, like and trust us, then we are confident we can guide them to their goals.
We are in the business of building relationships, because we know that strong relationships lead to massive change.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Virtuo is an in-person and online fitness coaching business that teach busy professionals how to integrate fitness into their lives to be healthier, more productive and more fulfilled.
As an entrepreneur I know firsthand how the demands of running a business can throw the rest of life into chaos, and it is my team’s goal to teach clients how to integrate a fitness practice into their lives to serve as the bedrock of a more balanced life.
We know that we are better at everything we do when we take care of our physical and mental health, and that is why we place that at the center of our philosophy in teaching people how to get the most out of themselves.
We believe in leading with relationship, a philosophy I learned in working as a high school teacher with underserved high school students in Boyle heights. This approach means meeting each client where they are at and personalizing our approach to unlock their potential. We know that each client is capable of amazing things and by building trust we can help them reach that potential.
As a former high school teacher, I realized that teaching has the power to change lives and I recognized the potential to combine my passion for fitness with this skillset to help an undressed population in the space; business owners and other busy professionals.
Working as a personal trainer I often saw clients near the end of their busy working careers, broken down and in poor health from overworking and undeserving their fitness throughout their career. I wondered if different choices had been made, how different would the person in front of me be, or would I even be seeing them at all.
I knew that the more attention I paid to my physical and mental health, the more my career flourished, and I was sure that this would be true for my clients, no matter how busy they were.
Virtuo is focused on teaching these clients, the people with no time, how to fold fitness into their lives in a way to optimize their performance outside the gym and keep them healthy and balance long into their careers and beyond.
As a fellow business owner, I intimately understand the challenges my clients face and make it a priority to practice what I preach in terms of placing personal health at the cornerstone of my business model. My team and I believe strongly that you can’t serve others if you don’t first take care of yourself.
This is not to say that our in persona online coaching growth has always been easy. The Pandemic posed a major challenge to the fitness industry and for a period of time there was some doubt as to whether our services would be viable. Soon though people began to search for something they could control in an environment rife with uncertainty. Fitness become for many the life boat to cling to.
Through our commitment to serving clients first we have grown from a one man shop only a year ago to a growing team of 5 fitness professionals with the same goal; to help the busy professionals we serve get the most out of themselves so they can get the most out of their careers and personal lives.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Must Eat: Ilobasqueño Resturant for Salvadorian food / Maple Block Meat Company for BBQ / Bluestone Lane For Coffee / HMS Bounty for Drinks and across the street to Brass Monkey for karaoke / Grand Central market
Must see: Any hike in the Angeles Forest / Angles view in Elysian Park / Dodger Stadium / Drive down the PCH in Malibu / Bradbury building downtown /
A workout at Virtuo of course
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Starting a business from scratch is a high risk endeavor and doesn’t happen without lost of support. I’ve been lucky to have a patient and supportive fiancé throughout the process as well as the guidance, support and hands on help of friends, family and my business coach Faron McNeal of Beo Services.