We had the good fortune of connecting with Jacques DeVore and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jacques, we’d love for you to start things off by telling us something about your industry that we and others not in the industry might be unaware of?
My path to this business was different than most. I was in the world of finance for most of my working life and had been the owner of a sports performance center in Santa Barbara that is still there after 20 years and currently owned by two of my coaches that worked for me. I finally decided to leave finance and take what was a hobby and completely step into the health and fitness industry full time and leave finance. 7 years ago I opened Sirens and Titans Fitness in Los Angeles. I realized that I truly loved this business and that I needed to see if I could make it work on a larger scale.
What should our readers know about your business?
I am very happy that we have navigated the last year in the fitness business. I am very sad for the businesses that did not make it out on the other end of covid as I know how difficult this period of time has been for many. I have a real belief in moving the needle forward for my clients. We conduct an evaluation for every new client and will not start with them unless this is completed. I believe this is necessary so I can develop the proper strategy to move the client forward toward their goal. We look at our clients holistically and examine all aspects of what goes into training and improvement. That is not just the workouts themselves. It includes nutrition, sleep, recovery, intensity of training, rest weeks, rest days etc. We write each workout specifically for the individual so they know that the workout is specific to their goals and progressed according to their progress. We are coaches and a coach’s job is to win. That means sometimes we are motivators, and sometimes we are critics. This is why our clients want to train with us. I call this “Truth in Fitness” . This method takes more time to build a business because it not just exercise. It is training. Training has a prescription for a particular client. It also means that I need to spend a lot of time studying the science of exercise and recovery as the science is always changing. The fitness industry often focuses more on the marketing. Especially in the social media world we currently live within. However, the staying power of this differentiator is invaluable in the long run. I am proud of the fact that I had a long successful career in finance and then made a complete change into fitness and the business is currently thriving. In addition I was able to co-author a book that was published by Rodale Press. “Maximum Overload for Cyclists” available on Amazon. I am currently in the final stages of developing a nutritionist/health coach marketplace application called Planibble that should be released in the next few months. Lastly, the thing I have learned and really try to impart in my team is that the little things do really matter. I call it the 2 percent rule. Rarely is a decision by a client to hire you or stay with you is overwhelmingly one way. Typically it is 51 percent in favor of you and 49 percent elsewhere. So the decision is based on that 2 percent difference. That 2 percent is the little things. An example would be that after every initial workout we check in with our clients to see how they feel. This is a small thing and can easily get lost, but I insist on the first workout check in. We have a multitude of little things that we deem very important to our success and this bleeds through to everything we do. On the business side I monitor all aspects of the business on a daily basis. It gives me the ability to recognize where the business is during the month and if we are moving forward at the pace I want and what resources are available for growth and the future. Being a small business owner today in a service business is not easy by any stretch of the imagination. Especially with the new risk of city wide shutdowns. You need to manage the business accordingly and really know your numbers and your product. Our brand has survived because we care about the well being of our clients, and their success is our success. I think clients recognize that this is our goal and appreciate the attention to getting them the change they want to achieve.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
As we know Los Angeles has been closed for the better part of a year. However, I would recommend the following when things get opened again. I love the outdoors so the Santa Monica mountain trails are wonderful for hiking and mountain biking. The Hollywood Bowl is a gem as is the Disney Concert Hall in downtown LA. I love to workout so I would have to stop at our gym in Westwood for one of our Versaclimber group cardio workouts. It is a tough 30 mins but you will leave with a sense of accomplishment. I love Carlitos Gardel restaurant for some great food in West Hollywood, and also Montana Ave in Santa Monica for Coffee outside or Forma Restaurant for excellent Italian food. If you want an active recovery day. Take a leisurely ride down the bike bath in Santa Monica. You can go all the way to Manhattan Beach and the view of the beach is unsurpassed. With LA having great weather there are so many options outside for brunch or dinner.
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?
There are a number of people who have greatly influenced my life. Of course my Mother and Father. I was lucky to have wonderful parents who gave me confidence and a fearless attitude towards my life. My wrestling coach from High School Roger Renfro gave me a humorous perspective on life and the recognition that hard work and focus will put you in the win column. I had a business mentor in Robert Canaday. He was always a wonderful ear to listen and give me excellent feedback. The lessons learned in my years as a competitive wrestler taught me how to suffer and the recognition that I am completely responsible for the outcomes in my life. I regularly re-read Marcus Aurelius Meditations to remind me of how to live a life of integrity.
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