We had the good fortune of connecting with Nikki Lian and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Nikki, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I hated my career at the time, and I wanted to be my own boss. It’s not something you decide because you want to sleep later. It’s knowing your purpose in life, and trying to live that purpose. It wasn’t working out for me as far as working for other people, so I had to take that leap of faith for myself.
What should our readers know about your business?
10 Years ago I decided to open a CKO Kickboxing franchise, and 7 years ago it happened, I’ve never owned a business, so that’s why I decided to go the franchise route. The struggles? It’s 10:36am and I have a 5pm class to teach so I don’t have that much time to go own the list. From buildout, to city permits, to dealing with horrible people, to a pandemic, etc. etc. It wasn’t easy. I can probably right a book. That’s why I love helping new gym owners navigate the system.
A few years ago one my trainers, Gabby and I starting volunteering for a boxing program for people with neurological disorders, mainly Parkinson’s Disease. We had a lot of inquiries from seniors, who really didn’t have any problems, wanted to do the program. So we decided to start our own non-Profit called Body Brain Train. Our mission is to bring fitness and wellness to senior facilities. We also have our own location and teach 5 classes per week, and host one senior social every month to get seniors out and about. It is all donation based, and we are currently researching grants and how to raise more money. For the non-profit, this has been our biggest obstacle.
Anything and everything is possible if you stay solution-based. Think outside the box, get your head clear, meditate. The ideas and solutions will come. Owning a business and running a non-profit is not for everyone. You have to love it, or you won’t make it.
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?
I used to work for a company called Lucha Vavoom as a performer. I have since retired, but it is the BEST show in Los Angeles. Lucha libre, burlesque, comedians, and the best performers in the world. They perform at the Mayan four times a year, so if a show was going on that’s the first place I’d hit.
There are so many beautiful hikes all around Cali–too many to list. I would definitely start with some of that!
How can we not mention the beaches? Zuma beach is my go-to for rucking or laying out.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I’m going to start out by thanking my mom, because she’s always supported everything I’ve ever wanted to do. Growing up it was “get a job with benefits.” But as I grew into my own person with my own ideals she has supported me every step of the way.
Shout out to Steve, who ran a hole-in-the-wall gym in the Valley that he let neighborhood kids box at for free. It was donation based, and he also gave me my first set of gloves and head gear. Once I left my first career and got into the world of fitness, he let me have access of his gym for free. He inspired me to spread the love and pay it forward.
The CEO of the franchise I own, CKO Kickboxing. Joseph Andruela leads with his heart, and from day 1 he is all about giving back, He inspired me to open a non-profit.
My members, clients and staff who I also call my fitfam, who come through for the community each and every time we fundraise, give back or volunteer.
To Ray, the owner of the Christmas tree lot I used to work at when I needed a part time job. He showed me how to (and how not to) run a business.
I wanted to add a shoutout to my life/business coach. He’s really helped me with my work/life balance these past two years, and my quality of life as a business owner increased exponentially.
Instagram: @bodybraintrain @nikkilianfit @ckosimivalley